Monday, May 24, 2010

A Reluctant Update

I was bound and determined not to update this blog again until Owen decided to make his appearance... however, I feel guilty for how long I've let it lapse at this point, and grudgingly decided that one more update pre-Owen is ok.

I've long held to the fact that one of the most irritating things about pregnancy is that everyone asks you how you are feeling. NOT to say that I get irritated with people, per se (although some can get ridiculous, calling daily...) but it's irritating to have people ask you such a question and never be able to honestly give them good news. No one wants to look at their friend and say "yeah I feel like crap today!"; the friend ends up looking guilty, regretting having asked, and you feel like the worst person in the world for making someone you care about feel that way. However, it's not in me to lie and say "oh, I feel fine today!" so I just try to give a brief overview without sounding like a miserable whiner, or blow the question off with a quick "I feel ready to be less pregnant!", which is honest enough without making anyone feel bad.

The truth is, at this point, I am remembering being told in psychology that people are programmed not to remember pain. Not that they don't remember having been in pain, but our brain somehow prevents us from remembering the actual feeling of pain... I believe it. I didn't remember how painful pregnancy could be, although everything I'm feeling now has a certain familiarity, and I realize that it was at least this bad with Addison as well. I just had convinced myself that I must have been overreacting, first pregnancy jitters, etc., but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I had forgotten how tired pregnancy makes a person, but how it contradictorily robs you of the ability to sleep (which is why I am updating my blog at 2:40 a.m. instead of sleeping.) I forgot how psychologically challenging a complete lack of energy can be-- being exhausted is literally depressing. Add to that the physical symptoms: my left hip grinding in the socket every time I take a step, my feet swelling if I stand or sit for too long, stabbing pains in my lower back, constant cramping, infant body-parts under my ribs and beating against my pelvis, etc. I'm at the point where I rarely complain anymore, or at least I don't complain as often as I want to, because there's really nothing new to say-- I hurt, all the time. I'm tired, I'm grumpy, I'm depressed, and I'm doing my best to hide ALL of that because I want my daughter's last few days as an only child to be good memories, even if I lack the physical capacity to play with her like I should.

In 2 1/2 days, I have a doctors appointment and will get the final word handed down as to whether the doctor will approve my request for an elective induction. Said doctor had told me at 36 weeks that if my body was physically favorable, he would allow me to be induced this week, due largely in part to my anxiety about the possibility of giving birth to another macrosomic baby (Addison was just an ounce shy of 9 1/2 lbs, which left me in pretty bad physical condition for quite awhile post-delivery, and I'm pretty sure my blood pressure goes up just thinking about enduring that again.) I was told at my last appointment that I was well on my way to being in good condition for an induction, and several days ago, Owen dropped and is "locked in" to my pelvis, so all systems seem to be ready for labor. I'm hoping it won't take too much convincing for this doctor to schedule an induction for this week (hopefully even as early as Wednesday afternoon/evening, shortly after the appointment), not only because I'm tired of being pregnant and eager to get it over with, but also because I am dying to get back to my "real life."

I want to be able to walk around a store without periodically clutching my belly in pain from a contraction. I want to get back to a point where I feel comfortable in my own skin again. I want to be able to carry laundry baskets up and down the stairs, scrub the tub, and clean the ferret cage (no, seriously!) But more than anything, I want to be able to sweep my 3-year-old daughter up into my arms when she reaches up for me, because I'm all too aware of how quickly she is growing up, and I realize that the time that she won't want to be picked up or carried is coming too soon. I don't want to miss another moment of my life, and in addition to all of this, I am ready to start sharing moments and memories with my son outside of my womb.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Antidote to my Depression

When we need advice, it's very rare that we go looking for a 3-year-old. Myself, obviously, included. 3-year-olds are a lot of things-- crazy, joyful, adorable, annoying, etc. etc. etc. Often all at once, even. But I learned an important lesson today, one that has been summed up in numerous quotes by literary figures and philosophers that don't mean nearly as much to me as my own experience today.

I was talking to my husband on the phone during his lunch break... it started out as a discussion about a bill that needed paying and ended up as a lecture about how I need to take it easy and learn to lean on people more, because at this point in my pregnancy I am putting too much undue pressure on myself. Which is true, but as an incredible control freak, this is not easy for me to do. PLUS, I have been feeling enormously depressed lately about my increased amount of physical pain, my emotional instability regarding the impending birth of my son (I can't wait to hold him in my arms, and yet feel incredibly sad that this era of being a family of three is coming to a close), and my inability to keep up with what I feel are my "duties" as a wife and mother. My house is filthy-- I'm pretty sure there are previously unidentified species of mold growing in my toilets, walking barefoot on my carpet can be considered a serious risk to your well-being, and you can tell where the shampoo should go in the shower due to the fact that there is a shadowy ring left behind when you pick it up to use it. I can't bend and I can't vacuum (exacerbates the intense pain in my left hip), so I'm somewhat limited. The dishes are almost always done though, and my countertops are clean... am considering this a "win." In addition to my filthy house, I feel that I'm beginning to neglect my daughter a bit... not by withholding attention, as she gets plenty of that, but because I no longer have the energy or the physical ability to keep up with her. She doesn't seem to notice, but I do, and it is making me sad.

Anyway, after the conversation with my husband, I had to cry for a few minutes. Don't start sending him hate mail-- it wasn't his fault. My emotions just overwhelmed me for a minute and I needed to cry it out so that I could move on with my day. After a moment, I pulled myself back together and went downstairs, intending to get a couple chores done before taking my daughter to her Poppy's house for the evening. As soon as I saw her, all nestled up on the couch with her beloved binnie draped over her legs, I needed her. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Addison, Mommy needs a hug.
Addison: Why you need a hug?
Me: Because I'm a little bit sad, and a hug would make me feel a lot better.
Addison: Why you sad?
Me: Sometimes Mommies just get sad sometimes, and we need hugs.

*Addison crawls over to me on the couch, sits on my lap, and gives me a hug. Leans back, looks me in the face...*

Addison: Wanna see my belly? *lifts up shirt*

I couldn't help myself. I cracked up laughing. What a goofy thing to do! "You're sad? Here, allow me to show you my belly. All will be right with the world." It's insane! It makes absolutely no sense at all, and yet my depressed mood was broken. I was looking for some kind of answer for my situation, trying to work it out logically, talking things through with my husband, and apparently all I needed was a 3 year old girl to show me her belly. In her own convoluted way, I think this was my daughter's way of reminding me that sometimes, even if the problems are difficult, the solutions can be simple.

And next time you're upset, I'm sure Addison would be happy to show you her belly. Just give us a call.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A First Not for the Scrapbook- Addison's First Real Lie

Addison is a very imaginative girl. Since she was old enough to talk, all of us closest to her have learned to fact-check when Addison tells a story, because she has been known to spin quite a yarn. Time and time again, Dan and I simultaneously roll our eyes at something she's spouting to us from the back seat of the car-- driving seems to bring out some of the best of her stories. However, although she can't always be relied on to tell the whole truth about something, they have never been outright lies-- she's not spinning these tales to deceive anyone, she just has a very active imagination and likes to share her non-reality with us.

Today was a little different. I was upstairs, getting Owen's crib / nursery area ready... we got a whole bunch of stuff at the store yesterday and were finally ready to get all the pieces put together. Addison was downstairs watching tv and eating her Cheerios... after about 30 minutes, she yelled to me from the bottom of the stairs that she was having trouble with her pants. Assuming she was having difficulty getting them down to sit on the potty, I told her to come upstairs and I would be glad to help her.

A moment later, I walked out into the hallway to see my daughter walking backwards up the stairs, pants at about mid-thigh and her "unnie" also half-removed. (She has been in a pull-up instead of underwear for the last day and a half, due to a short bout of diarrhea the other day-- just taking precautions.) I have learned that when she walks into a room backward, it means that she's embarrassed or ashamed of something, or thinks she will get in trouble. I asked her what had happened...

Me: Addison, why are your pants down?
Addison: I was has-ing trouble. I tan't det dem up.
Me: Did you go pee-pee?
Addison: I went pee-pee but I flush already.

This caught my attention. Addison never uses the big potty downstairs without assistance, and wouldn't have attempted to dump her little potty on her own. Plus, the obvious factor-- I hadn't heard the toilet flush.

Me: Addison, did you pee-pee in your unnies? I didn't hear you flush, are you sure you didn't go pee-pee in your unnies?
Addison: soooooorrrry.

After assuring her she was not in trouble (this was her first acki-dink in weeks, probably brought on by wearing pull-ups again as opposed to regular underwear) we changed her unnies, put her pants back on, and I sent her on her way. While I was finishing tying the bumper pads onto the crib, I thought more about the situation, and it broke my heart-- what I believe happened was upon realizing she had an acki-dink, she must have tried to pull her now-wet pull-up down to sit on the potty, realized she couldn't get it back up, and determined that whether she liked it or not, she was going to have to ask for help. The walking backwards suggests how embarrassed she must have been, having had an accident (or acki-dink) for the first time in so long... I'm so glad I didn't overreact in the moment, because it's clear to me that she punished herself already.

It also became clear, though, that the "I already flushed" story was her first real lie. It was a story that she told specifically for the purpose of covering up something she didn't want me to know... her first deceitful tale. Maybe I'm lucky to have made it past her 3rd birthday without hitting this milestone-- she has always been, to a fault, an honest child. Even when she knew she'd be in trouble, she always told the truth. Does this scare me? Absolutely. But now that I know to keep an eye out for it, hopefully the next time she does it, I'll be ready to talk to her about why lying isn't right... although I can't help praying that this moment doesn't come anytime soon. Maybe I'm naive, but I'd like to see my honest little girl continue being truthful at least a little while longer.