Friday, July 23, 2010

ghosts of pregnancies past

The return of contractions, most likely Braxton Hicks, has brought back the ghost of my pregnancy with Oona. It's my job to make those ghosts go away and be confident in this pregnancy as its own unique thing. I have to say that that is much easier said than done. After Oona, I swore I would never do this pregnant thing again. Semi-regular contractions, some Braxton-Hicks, some real, from 22 and a half weeks on was emotionally and physically exhausting. With Gemma, I pretty much had five minute contractions, real ones even if they weren't producing much of change, from 34 weeks until she was born at close to 41 weeks. It's easy to say that since I carried both girls to term in spite of the contractions that they're really not a big deal. But a baby's life is in the balance and it seems wrong to gamble it. And maybe if I hadn't rested, I wouldn't have carried to term. Is it possible to know for sure? So here I am, needing to rest to keep my uterus in check and the ghost of bed rest is taunting me. I so hope that it stays far far away and doesn't become a reality. Right now it's hard not to resent this little one for asking me to be his Mom and then I feel guilty about that. My job, now, is to keep those fears and ghosts at bay, forgive myself for the resentment and move on. I'm confident that once this is all over and I meet the little guy that it will have been all worth it.

I think one lesson of motherhood is that there are times when your agenda and how you think things should be is not the most important thing in the world and may be the least important. I'm not advocating the erasure of self that can happen with some Moms. There are times when self care needs to come first. And there are times, and this is probably one of them, that the desires of my self and my ego need to come last. Sometimes other things and other little beings are more important.

Pregnancies past... with Gemma, then me in my spot on the couch with Oona.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

16 weeks

What is it about pregnancy that forces you to face all sorts of things you would rather not? There's something about bringing a new life into the world and all the change that entails. I was talking to a friend about how for some women, pregnancy and motherhood is paramount to doing a spirit quest. For me, it is like that.

First, it was the boy conflict. How could I be a boy Mom? How does that relate to being a step-mom to boys? Will it be different? What does it mean to be a step-parent? Do I play a parenting role at all with the boys? (Yes, though it's half Mom, half the woman their Dad lives with.)

After I mostly resolved that conflict, I've been dealing with the conflict of being attached to Plan A which did not involve being pregnant again. It's been hard not to get mad at God and the Universe for asking me to have another baby. I liked Plan A, and Plan B with baby is not clear to me yet. Do I keep the girls in daycare/at school? Do I take them out? How soon will I return to work? Do I try to take the baby with me? Do I try to find a babysitter? What will having another baby mean in terms of timing for my career plans and aspirations? School? How? When?

Then, to top it all off, I start getting a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions (or could they be real ones?) right at fifteen weeks. They eventually go away with rest but all the fears of bed rest and having my butt glued to the couch and having almost no control over my immediate environment all rear their ugly heads. I just can't tell the difference between Braxton-Hicks and real contractions. Part of me wants to just say that it's completely normal to get Braxton-Hicks contractions and I should just ignore them and have faith that they're no big deal. The other part of me sees the roulette wheel and I'm betting this baby's life if I ignore contractions that could possibly turn into pre-term labor. I'll be 36 weeks on December 7. I don't worry so much about contractions after 36 weeks.

So now, I get to find the balance between doing enough to not go crazy, and not doing too much so that I don't get too many contractions. Another quest? Probably...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

13 plus weeks

Phew! Only one in there. I have to say that I'm very relieved that I'm not having twins. I know that babies don't really like ultrasounds, but I also have to say, that I, personally, get a lot out of seeing the little one in there. With all the negatives of pregnancy, it is so nice to see a picture of the goal of it all - a little sweet baby with all ten fingers and all ten toes, heart beating, everything in the right place. They couldn't confirm it definitively, but it sure looked like a little boy! I'm both excited partly because my intuition has told me that it is a little boy, complete with name to be disclosed at a later date (though some already know it), and I'm nervous about being a Mom to a little boy baby. Boys are very foreign to me and I just don't get a lot of boy stuff. I have two step-sons and we have a pretty good relationship but I'm very grateful their Dad is around to understand the boy stuff. Will it be the same with this little one that I give birth to? Will there still be the foreign-ness of his boy-ness? Girls, now, I understand most girl stuff. I understand the thrill of dress-up and playing with dolls, and screeching around bugs, and not being interested in the rough and tumble, play fighting, extreme sports, and other types of super-physical adventuring. I had such an instant bond with my girls and love to be able to do girl stuff with them. How will it be different with a boy? Will I be any good as a boy Mom? Well, only one way to find out, right?

Yesterday, with the ultrasound, was a good pregnant day. Today is another story. I couldn't sleep last night because my heart was racing. I probably had too many simple carbs yesterday and all the stress from the ultrasound and we had a busy afternoon with a picnic. I'm extremely tired, cranky, exhausted, nothing sounds good to eat - especially things that I should be eating, and I feel completely and utterly behind with household chores. My house feels like it has exploded with dirt and chaos and I have to write a three page paper. And all I want to do is sit and stare at the wall. Even watching TV is too much energy. I really hope that no more spirit babies are out there wanting me to be their Mom. I'm not sure I could do this pregnant thing again.