Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's official

I just canceled my reservations for MLA. There will be no trip to Philadelphia for me this year. This sucks, and then again it doesn't.
It doesn't suck for the following reasons:
  • I don't have to pack up the entire family the day after Christmas and spend 8 hours in the car.
  • I can spend my holiday in my own home.
  • I don't have to figure out what to wear to an interview.
  • I don't have to worry about the possibly wasted expense of a trip to a major city with a $500 hotel bill.
  • I get to go visit some dear friends (Bear's godparents, in fact) rather than sit in a stuffy hotel room talking to stuffy people.
But it does suck for the following reasons:
  • I have no interviews.
  • I sent out over 40 applications and got nothing in response.
  • I have to do this all over again next year (and quite possibly the next).
  • I'm not in any sort of position to bargain for a t-t job at CU Land.
  • I don't get to see all of my MLA bound friends.
I told myself at the beginning of this process that it was going to be a difficult year. I'm not published, although I have extensive teaching experience and can teach in multiple areas. I just finished as well. That said, I was hoping for at least one interview, even just for the experience of it. Oh well. I'll troll the spring list and hope that gets me somewhere. In the mean time, I'm sending out letters for summer teaching at CU.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I need a cocktail . . .

Actually, I need several. The last few days have been rough. For the past 3 weeks, C and I have both been battling horrific colds. For me, it started as a cough, and frankly, there is nothing that irritates me more than a cough. Sometime last week, the snot started developing, and then on Saturday, it got worse. As I picked up Bear, I noticed some tenderness in my left breast, and I immediately thought, "Great, I've got a blocked duct." I assumed this for several reasons, but mainly because Bear, who also had a cold, had been fairly irregular about nursing for a few days. I wasn't too worried though, as I had one when I nursed Wild Man and was able to get rid of it fairly quickly. We had a party to go to that night, and even though I felt like crap, I was really looking forward to it. So off we went.

I must say these friends know how to throw a party. They hired 2 teenagers to take coats and pass hors d'oeuvres, and they also hired two teachers from Wild Man's school (their daughter goes there too) to watch all the children. This means that Wild Man had lots of fun upstairs while C, Bear, and I had lots of fun downstairs. Rather, I should say, we were having fun until I was talking to my party-fabulous friend and felt a fever come over me all at once. I immediately knew I didn't have a blocked duct: I had mastitis. By the time we got home a hour later, I knew I had a fever and was shivering while wearing my down coat (which, incidentally, was an early Christmas gift from C). By the time I took my temperature, it was 101. I took Tylenol and went to bed, after applying several hot compresses to my very sore and clearly inflamed breast. Sunday morning I went to the nearest walk-in clinic to get my diagnosis confirmed, and I am currently on antibiotics. So Im feeling better, as snot continues to pour out of me. That merits one cocktail, at least.

I need several because as of yet I still have not received any requests for interviews at MLA. Tomorrow I will cancel our hotel reservations and change travel plans. Instead of going to MLA in search for jobs we will be going to visit dear friends in upstate NY for a few days. I'm happy about that, but I'm really upset about the lack of interviews. Thus far, I've had 3 requests for dossiers, but no interviews. It's a crap year, I know, but it still sucks. I'm trying to focus on making this a great holiday for us and enjoying the fact that we're doing a minimum of travel--and to see people we love and who won't put any sort of pressure on us. But I'm upset at what feels like a lot of wasted energy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random Updates

Life is a bit crazy in our house, which seems to be a recurring theme. As I posted a few days ago, lots of things are going through my head right now. Here is a random sampling of things.
  • I am behind on grading and am thankful that grades are due late here. I have to finish grading today.
  • As of yet, I haven't received any interview requests, which is more than a bit disheartening. It feels like the entire term was a waste. All the time to get job letters and materials out was for naught. I am alternating between sad and indifferent. Today sad seems to be winning out.
  • Bear is adjusting well to daycare, although I continue to struggle with it. I think part of my sadness is due to the fact that I sacrificed a lot of time with Bear for the job search. Without an interview, I feel like I could have spent my time with my baby.
  • We traveled to my sister's house and my grandparents' house this weekend. I learned that I am not much like my sister, and that is a relief for a variety of reasons.
  • I have a cold that will not go away. We're on week three and it is still hanging around.
  • I am getting increasingly angry at my father, who still has yet to meet Bear. I need to devote an entire post to this soon before I totally lose it with him. Perhaps writing about my feelings will prevent me from having a total meltdown with him.
  • I'm still frustrated by all the conversations about me at CU Land. C is hopeful that Dr. Nice Guy, the chair of C's department, will be able to work out a limited-term appointment for me here (it is the equivalent of a visiting prof position). But, as usual, all these conversations are happening without my input. I find it really frustrating that everyone asks C what I want out of a job, but that no one, at least no one in a position of any power, asks me.
  • Wild Man is trying to eliminate naps. This is making for some very long evenings in our house.
  • Wild Man has also asked for a hippo for Christmas. He is obsessed with hippos and has several toy hippos, but now he wants a real one.
  • I still have some shopping to do, and I have no desire to do it.
  • This weekend we're going to make cookies, and I'm sincerely hoping that will put me in a holiday mood. I was in a good mood until this week, but all my job search frustration seems to have taken care of that mood.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Job Search

I have lots of things I want to write about, but I'm behind on grading. So for now I'm just going to write the following sentence:

The job search sucks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December Adventures

This month I'm trying really hard to get organized and focused for the upcoming semester. I want to be more organized and focused. My goal for the upcoming year is to divide work and home more neatly. I know a complete division is almost impossible given my profession, but I hope to not be thinking about all the things I need to do in the back of my mind while I'm with my sons. I want my time with them to be focused on them. To that end, we've implemented a "no errand" policy on the weekends, or at least as few as errands as possible. We're going to focus our weekends on being together and being with our boys. Here are a few pictures of our December adventures.



Bear all bundled up


Bear and Wild Man all bundled up to pick out a Christmas Tree


Wild Man and Bear in matching PJs



Wild Man with his "cheese" smile

*Sorry if you missed the pictures!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Baby blues

I really hate the term "baby blues." I think it is dismissive of what the emotional changes that many women go through following the birth of a child. That said, I'm trying to determine if I'm experiencing a case of the "baby blues."

Following Bear's birth, I was emotional for a few weeks. Given the tendency for women in my family to get depressed, C and I talked about my emotional state a lot. In fact, since my sister was diagnosed as bi-polar, C is very aware of my moods and mood changes, but that is a topic for another post. Given the mood swings I was having, I talked to my mid-wife, and she encouraged me to get more sleep and to allow myself room to be upset and to adjust to life with two children. After a few weeks, I started to feel better, so I stopped worrying about it.

In the last few weeks, however, I've been wondering if the "baby blues" are returning. Putting Bear in daycare has upset me much more than I anticipated. I mean, I knew I would be upset, just as I was upset with Wild Man. I didn't anticipate, however, that thinking of him being with other caregivers would make me burst out in tears and feel so sad. I asked C his opinion a few days ago, and he said that I seem to be much more sensitive this time around, but he thinks it is because Bear will likely be our last baby. I am also experiencing a profound sense of disappointment that I was not able to stay home with him. I've been thinking about that a lot, as Wild Man started part-time daycare at 3 1/2 months. I've been trying to determine what the difference is with Bear, and I really think it is all about our geographic and cultural location. I live in a country where it is the norm to stay home for a year, and I didn't get to experience that for a variety of reasons, primarily financial. And that has left me sad. So I've been trying to gauge if I'm depressed or if I'm just really upset by this particular situation, and while I do think it is the latter, I think I'm going to be smart and talk to my doctor at a check-up next week.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Another note to Yetta

Dear Yetta,

I'm happy you're getting along so well with my sister-in-law, Auntie J. I do not understand, however, why you can only get along with one daughter-in-law at a time. J and I talked last night, and we've both observed that when you're happy with one of us you are also very unhappy with the other. Neither of us feels this is necessary, and in fact, it only puts pressure on our relationship with each other as we feel we're constantly competing for your attention. Can't we all just get along?

Love,
M.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bear, 5 months

A Note to Yetta

Dear Yetta,

I am sorry to inform you that the world does not revolve around you. In fact, it revolves around a large celestial body known as the sun, which is responsible for heating and lighting the entire globe. I realize this is hard to believe, but it is so.

Sincerely,
M.

P.S. I'd also like to tell you that when you give someone a monetary gift you typically don't get to tell that person how to spend said gift. This is why I prefer not to receive monetary gifts.

Bear

C and I dropped both Wild Man and Bear off at school today. Wild Man will be there for his usual day of preschool, and Bear is only going to be there a few hours.

And it was hard, although not as hard as I expected. It helps that one of his caregivers is Wild Man's best buddy's mom. We've spent lots of time with her, and Bear likes her a lot. As soon as he saw her, he smiled and starting giggling. As we watched another mother dropping off her 11-month-old for the first time, I thought of one more thing to be positive about: Bear hasn't experienced any separation anxiety. He is not "making strange," as they say in Canada. He smiled at us when we left, and I know he'll be fine for the 2 hours that he will be there today. We're planning to take him to school for a few hours every day until the holiday starts. It sucks. I don't know how else to put it. But I do love that his school is on campus. I can be there in 5 minutes if I need to be (or want to be).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daycare Update

Yesterday C and I learned that there is no chance of starting Bear later in December. If we want a spot in January, we have to start paying on Nov. 30. After we found this out, we were both quiet and tense. On the drive home, C said, "Suddenly, I feel sick to my stomach, and M, this is one time in our relationship where I get to be more upset than you do. I've been the one home with Bear, and I actually think I'm going to feel a little lost the first day we send him for the whole day." I looked at C and tried really hard not to burst into tears, especially since both Bear and Wild Man were in the backseat.

We talked about our plan after both boys were asleep. We've decided that we will start transitioning Bear this week and next week. It will be a slow process because we want it to be. Neither of us is really concerned about the cost, especially as my teaching 3 classes this term has enabled us to put a big chunk of money in savings. We want this to be easy on Bear and, frankly, to be easy on us. So by the second week of December, we plan to start taking him to his classroom for a few hours a day. Even though I don't want to do this, I know this is the best decision. He has to be used to his surroundings and his caregivers before the holiday. The school closes from Christmas Eve till the Winter Term begins, which means Bear will go straight to daycare after not seeing the school or his caregivers for about 10 days. The start of the term will be stressful enough on everyone (it always is), so we want that transition to be as smooth as possible. We will likely not leave Bear for a full 7-hour day until January, and as he is only going 3 days a week, I will still get plenty of time with him.

Yes, I'm making a conscious effort to focus on the positive.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chaos

That single word describes my life this past semester. That and guilt. I've felt a lot of guilt about various things this semester. Suffice to say, teaching 3 classes while having an infant and a pre-schooler (oh, and a house and a husband) has been much more difficult than I would have ever imagined. I was thinking this morning (at 5:45 when Bear woke up for the day) that I've somehow managed to go a lot accomplished.
  • I've sent out 34 job applications, and I have about 6 more to send out in the next 3 weeks.
  • I've graded, on average, 40 papers a week.
  • I've prepped lessons for 3 classes.
  • I've written paper prompts, quizzes, and exams for 3 classes.
  • I've managed to keep the house reasonably clean with lots of help from C.
  • I've managed to continue nursing Bear, although I've logged in a lot of time at my breast pump (although I haven't written about it, this has been a major worry of mine).
  • C and I have managed to keep both Bear and Wild Man from getting sick the entire semester, aside from a minor eye infection that Bear had in October.
  • I attended a major conference in my field.
  • I've kept up with office hours.
  • C and I have managed to cook relatively nutritious dinners 5 nights out of 7.
  • We've actually attended a few social events, and while C's family was here, we even managed to go out to lunch just the two of us.
When I see that all in writing, I know why I'm tired. The semester ends on the 8th, and I am so looking forward to a break, albeit a short one, as the Winter term starts on January 4th. I plan to spend one whole day in my pajamas just hanging out with my guys.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bear and Daycare

In January, C's leave ends, and given our teaching schedules, Bear will have to go to daycare part-time. I'm ok with this. Notice I didn't say I'm ecstatic or anything. I'm just ok. He will go three days a week, and two of those days are essential as C's and my teaching schedules overlap on those days. He will be 6 months old, and he will be going to the same school that Wild Man goes to. He will literally be a 10 minute walk from me if I decide I want to go nurse in the middle of the day. Plus, his teacher is going to be Miss M., who is Wild Man's best friend's mom. We know Miss M., and Bear likes her a lot. I'm quite pleased that he has been placed in her room as I think it will make the transition easier for him. This has been the plan for sometime, and as I said, I'm ok with this plan.

Last week we got a call from the school telling us that a spot had opened up for Nov. 30th. The person who does the scheduling for the infant rooms knows our situation and knows we don't want Bear to start until January, but as she explained it, she didn't know if any other spots would be opening up between now and January. If we wanted to ensure Bear had a spot in January, we had to take the November 30th spot. I agreed, but I made it clear that I preferred to wait. I even said if another spot opened that I wanted to take the later spot. She agreed, but I haven't heard anything.

November 30th is about 10 days away, and last night, C asked me what our plan was. He wants to go ahead and start Bear before the holiday break, especially if we'll already be paying for the spot. I, however, don't. After Dec. 7th, I will be done for the semester, aside from grading. I was really looking forward to just hanging out with Bear before the holidays and MLA. The thought of taking him to daycare, whether it is November 30th or later, makes me sick to my stomach. As I told C, I'm feeling all the things I felt when we started Wild Man in daycare. I know Bear has to go in January, but I don't want him to go any sooner than that. C seems to understand, but I can tell he isn't pleased. I know he'd rather start Bear so that we could both get a lot of work done in December and not be so stressed out at the start of the semester. He also said he thinks it is a good idea to get Bear exposed to the school to start building up his immune system. He makes a good argument, but then he does what he always does with these kinds of decisions. He said, "But if you want to have him home with you, that's what we'll do." I don't know what to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random Thoughts

I haven't been blogging regularly, and while I miss, I don't have the time or the energy to post as much as I used to. In fact, I'm writing this at 6:30 in the morning, as Bear woke me up at 5:45 ready to play. I had to get up in 45 minutes anyway, so we're hanging out downstairs while C and Wild Man continue to sleep. Bear is currently playing with his favorite toy and trying to sit up on his own, while I do some things on the computer. I'm thinking about so many different things lately, so I thought I'd post some random thoughts.
  • MLA is in about 6 weeks, and I still haven't decided what to do about the conference. I made hotel reservations in September, but I haven't bought a plane ticket. In fact, we can't decide if I should go, if the whole family should go, or if Bear and I should go. I'd rather take the whole family if only because I won't be worried about everyone. If I take Bear with me, I know there will be lots of friends there who will happily take care of him if I'm in an interview, but I also know I'll be more relaxed if I know Bear is with C. C thinks I should go on my own, but Bear will only be 6 months old at that point. He'll still be nursing a lot, and he is still nursing a lot at night (at least twice). I'm not sure either of us is ready to be away from each other for that long. So we're currently contemplating other options.
  • We also can't decide if we want to fly or drive. Flying has its advantages, but it is expensive. Driving is, well, driving. Putting the boys in the car for 8+ hours isn't my idea of fun. Although given the fact that we'd likely fly out of the nearest big U.S. city, we may as well just drive and have the freedom of having our own car.
  • I have about 12 more applications to send off in the next 2 weeks, and at that point, I will have applied for about 36 jobs. I've eliminated and added some along the way. I've heard from two schools requesting my full dossier, so we'll see what we see. C is very confident that I'll get interviews this year, but I'm not so sure. I think he is being a supportive husband more than anything else.
  • Wild Man has been very clingy and needy since C's return. For the past few days he is demanding hugs and kisses from both C and I all the time and randomly announcing, "I love you, Mommy. I love you, Daddy." I think this has something to do with C's recent trip and all the family who have come and gone in the past two weeks. He seems to want to make sure that no one is going anywhere for a while, which is another reason why I'd rather just take everyone to MLA.
  • I finally gave in and started Bear on solids. We initially tried a few weeks ago, at C's insistence and our doctor's suggestion. She said he was showing all the indications that he was ready, which, frankly, I disagreed with. The first night we gave him some very runny rice cereal mixed with breast milk he just let it run down his chin and started screaming. I felt justified knowing I was right! But while C was gone, Bear began reaching for my plate and watching everyone eat. He even started imitating us chew. About 2 weeks after we first tried rice cereal, I tried it again, and he willingly (and happily) ate about 2 tablespoons. We've since introduced oatmeal, which he seems to prefer, and sweet potatoes, which he loves. Since he is so much younger than Wild Man was when he started solids, I want to introduce new foods more slowly. And since Bear is likely my last baby, I want to do things with him that I didn't do with Wild Man, so I'm trying my hand at homemade baby food. I made Wild Man a few things, but it was easier at that time to buy jarred baby food. In all honesty, it would be easier this time around too, but I want to start Bear off on organic food, at least for the first year. Organic produce is much cheaper than organic baby food in CU Land, so I'll be able to make baby food and freeze it for a lot less than I could buy it already made.
  • I cannot believe Christmas is only 6 weeks away. I have done nothing to prepare. I will be hitting the internet again to send gifts to family in the States. I think we're going to get Wild Man an art easel, but I have no idea what to get Bear. Or C for that matter.
  • I'm presenting at a conference in town tomorrow and am totally unprepared. Luckily the paper is written, although I haven't looked at it in about 3 years. I think it will be a late night. . .
  • I'm contemplating hiring a baby sitter for a Saturday afternoon so C and I can go out alone, even if only for an hour. I have a student who has mentioned that she does a lot of babysitting. She seems to be really bright and dependable, and given her personality, I know Wild Man would like her. I'm not sure she could manage both boys though, especially given Bear's random unwillingness to take a bottle. I'm also not sure it's ethical for me to hire someone who is currently in my class.
  • I guess I should stop writing and get my day started. . .

Friday, November 06, 2009

C is home!

C got home on Wednesday night. Both boys were asleep by the time he made it home. Bear, however, woke up around 5 to play, and when he saw his father, his entire face lit up. He played for an hour or so, and when he got fussy, which usually indicates he is ready to nurse and go back to sleep, he refused to nurse. He kept coming off the breast and looking at C. C finally took him and rocked him back to sleep. Yesterday was my long teaching day, and apparently Bear was only happy when C was holding him.

When Wild Man woke up, C walked into his room, and I heard Wild Man shout, "Hooray! Daddy is home!" Both boys have staid very close to their dad in the past 24-hours, despite the presence of both Yetta and Pita (I'll write more on that later). In fact, right now all my men are snuggling on the couch together. Seeing them together is wonderful.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A productive Sunday

So the entire time change threw Wild Man off, which means I've been up forever. First Bear woke up at 5 to play, which is not that unusual. By 6 he was ready to go back to sleep. I nursed him and got him down, and just as I was drifting off to sleep Wild Man started hollering "Mommy! I want to play!" I debated waking my mom up, but honestly, it wasn't worth it. Wild Man likely would have flipped out and had a meltdown or just demanded me anyway. So I got up and took him downstairs. We chatted, and then he asked to watch a movie. I was exhausted, so I complied. He watched while I drank coffee and graded. Bear woke up about 45 minutes later, and then I did get my mom up. She amused Bear while I kept on grading. After my brother got up and Wild Man's movie was over, we had breakfast. Then Wild Man drug his uncle upstairs to play, and my mom did some stuff around the house for me (my house is a wreck, and I don't even care that Yetta will be here later in the week; how's that for progress?). Meanwhile I nursed Bear, and we both napped on the couch for an hour or so. Then we all got ready and headed to the bookstore, where we met some friends. Wild Man played with his buddies while I chatted with my friend and my mom shopped for Wild Man and Bear. By the time we got home, it was lunchtime and then naptime. Currently Bear is napping on me (no, I'm not moving him as I needed him to cooperate), Wild Man is napping in his room (despite fighting the nap, he finally gave in), and my mom is napping on the couch. My brother is reading. I have just finished grading all 22 of my students' job portfolios and am about to finish up some more job applications myself.

Not bad for a Sunday.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

5 nights down . . .

5 nights to go until C returns. I'm exhausted for a variety of reasons. I want to write more, but all mental energy is focused on childcare, job applications, and grading.

Today I have to get out 5 more applications, after getting out 8 earlier this week. Somehow I'll also manage to get Wild Man to a birthday party and take both Wild Man and Bear trick or treating. I will also try not to strangle my mother. I will remember she is doing her best and that it has been over 30 years since she took care of little ones.

Oh, and somehow I will maintain my already tenuous hold on my sanity.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quiet

My house is too quiet, and it is starting to annoy me. C is currently in Spain while I'm home with the boys. My mom and brother are here helping me take care of them, and I'd forgotten how quiet they are. Add to that the fact that I'm either grading or working on job materials and Wild Man is working on his puzzles, which means that there isn't a whole lot of talking going on. If C were here he and I would be talking while I worked and he played with the boys. Given Wild Man's recent penchant for randomly screaming I never thought I'd complain my house was too quiet, but there it is. Even Bear is being quiet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Wild Man!!

Wild Man is officially 3 today!

Monday, October 19, 2009

No, no, no. . .

I do not want the pediatrician to tell me that Bear can begin eating solid food whenever he shows interest. I am not ready for my baby to be 4 months old. I am not, I am not, I am not.

And yes, I am having a bit of an emotional temper tantrum. I had a really big one on Friday and told C how much I dislike him right now since he is the one who gets to stay home with Bear. I also told him if we end up staying in Canada and if I get a tenure-track job at CU we may well have a third child so I take a year off and stay home with one child. I told you I was having a temper tantrum.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Now and then

On Tuesday, Wild Man turns 3. I can hardly believe how much he's changed in 3 years. To commemorate this event, here are two pictures of him. The first was taken as we were leaving for his birthday party. The second was taken when he was just a few days old. How time flies. Happy Birthday, my Wild Man!


*I deleted the "now" image, but kept the "then" image as Wild Man looks nothing like this anymore.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It happened. . .

So Wild Man turns 3 next week, and by the nature of the travels I described in my last post, none of our extended family will be here for his birthday. Wild Man could care less, quite frankly. He asked for a birthday party with his friends, so we're having one. I guarantee he won't notice if I'm there let alone if either of his grandmother's is there. That said, my mom gets in to town for a 9 day visit a few days after Wild Man's birthday, and she has said she wants to take him shopping for a present. That's cool with me because it means I don't have to tell my mom what to get him. Wild Man can pick it out for himself. When my mom said this to me, I told C and then immediately told him not to tell him mom because I'm not up for dealing with the battle of the grandmothers. I'm just not. Well, C screwed up and mentioned this to his mom (although in his defense she did ask what my mom was getting Wild Man for his birthday). So now not only does Yetta also have to take him shopping when she comes to visit after she and C return from Spain, she is also insisting that we have another party (yes, another party, including friends, cake, and activities) for him because she doesn't want to miss "all the birthday celebrations." You know, taking him to buy him a gift is fine with me; in fact, I think it is a great thing for them to do together. I am not drawing out his birthday for 2 flipping weeks because she is jealous of the time he will be spending with my mom.

Ok, I just reread this and thought: "So, M, she wants to celebrate his birthday with him. Really, what's the big deal? Why are you so annoyed?" I'm trying to be reasonable about Yetta as I promised myself long ago that I would be, but I am tired of being reasonable. I'm annoyed because I feel like she's making Wild Man's birthday about her.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random Updates

C just left to take Wild Man to school and took Bear along for the ride, so I actually have 45 minutes to myself. Before I take a shower, I thought I'd post some updates.
  • I'm about 5 weeks into the semester, and we've finally settled into a routine of sorts. C and Bear have worked out most issues with the bottle, although Bear will still refuse it randomly. C is a bit frustrated that he isn't able to get more research or writing done, but he has been able to submit one grant application. And as he keeps reminding himself, he is on leave. His focus is supposed to be Bear, so it is ok if he doesn't get anything done.
  • Wild Man turns 3 in less than a week. C and I are both having a hard time with that one. We've planned a birthday party for him at a local children's museum. This is the first party that will consist mainly of Wild Man's friends rather than mine and C's.
  • In another milestone for Wild Man, we recently attend his friend's third birthday party. As we were leaving, C said to me, "You know, D is the first friend Wild Man has made on his own. He isn't the child of one of our friends, but someone Wild Man chose on his own to be friends with." This realization is making us both realize that Wild Man is definitely becoming his own person.
  • Bear is a huge flirt. In fact, C says their best days together are ones in which they get out of the house at least once so that Bear can see and "talk" to other people. It is so fun to watch him interact with other people. And he is incredibly vocal for a 3 1/2 month old.
  • I'm barely keeping up with my classes, and I'm actually enjoying my professional writing class a lot more than I thought I would. The students are vocal and actually want to talk about the things I'm lecturing on, which makes the classes more enjoyable for me.
  • So far, I've applied to three jobs and have one more application due this week. The bulk of my deadlines are next month, so I'm trying to get a jump on that.
  • Bear and I are going to a conference next weekend, while Wild Man and C stay home. I get to see two of my closest friends, so I'm excited about that. I am, however, a bit nervous about traveling with Bear on my own. C is also a bit concerned about how Wild Man is going to respond to being without his brother for the first time.
  • When I return from my conference, I will be bringing my mom and older brother home with me; we're meeting in the airport and driving back to CU Land together. They'll be staying with us for ten days to help me with the boys, as C leaves a few days later to go on a research trip to Spain. I'm more than a bit annoyed that the best time for him to take this trip is mid-semester, but the prices are so inexpensive right now he had to go. It will be a crazy two weeks for us. Starting with my trip, C and I will be together only two nights out of fifteen. My mom and brother will be with me for most of the time that C is gone, but as my brother couldn't get the entire time off of work, their stay overlaps with Pita's, who is coming to help with the boys at the end of the trip. To make things crazier, C is actually taking his mom with him to Spain (and yes, I've told him he is totally insane), so when he gets home she'll return to CU Land with him.
  • I'm not thrilled with this arrangement for a few reasons. First, I'm really excited to see my mom, my brother, and even Pita (whose nickname is less appropriate than it once was, but I don't see the point in changing it). I think they will be really helpful and distract Wild Man from C's lengthy absence. Second, Yetta will only be with us for 2 days. When C booked the trip, he tried to get her to stay longer in CU Land after their trip to Spain so she could spend more time with the boys. She flat out refused saying, "I've never been away from home for more than two weeks. I don't want to be gone any longer than that." Ok, so she's entitled to her feelings, and I respect those feelings. After all I prefer being in my own home, but I'm annoyed by this because she is already saying, "I won't get to see the boys for very long, and since you all aren't coming home at Christmas I don't know when I'll see them again." I don't need the guilt trip she's attempting to lay on us, and I've told her that. C pointed out that she is the one who is retired and that we're going to MLA in December in the hopes that I will actually have job interviews there. She's already tried to invite herself to Philadelphia, and C told her flat out no--or at least not until the conference is over. He and I are currently negotiating this one. Point blank: it's cheaper for her to visit us, and she has more free time.
  • To make it worse, we're planning a short trip to see my grandparents in December. They live halfway between CU Land and Homestate, but we won't be making this trip very close to Christmas (b/c of MLA) or going on to Homestate as we did last year. Yetta is likely to invite herself there, which she has done before, and C will, once again, have to uninvite her. She really doesn't make this easy. . . If my mom and dad end up driving up to see us (these are my mom's parents), Yetta will really lose it.
  • That said, we're trying to figure out when we'll get to Homestate again. C is really eager to make another visit, but it is a hard one to figure out logistically (and financially) right now.
  • As I type this, I realize that I'm finally coming into my own as a mother of two. C and I are working really well together these past few weeks, and while we still have tense moments, we're focused on making life as stress-free as possible. I'm proud of us for getting through all the life changing events of the past year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One down, a million things to go

I just submitted my first job application. That takes one thing off of my to do list and leaves a million, explaining my prolonged absence from the blog.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Still here

I'm still here. I'm just consumed by class prep, article revision, birthday party planning, and parenthood. I've been thinking about a few things I want to post, but I've got to find the time. . .

Saturday, September 19, 2009

37 jobs

I've spent a significant amount of time in recent days pouring over MLA's job list. After searching the list in every way I can think of, I have found 37 jobs that I may be able to apply for. 37 is not bad in a year in which some of my friends have less than 20 jobs to apply for. But when I think that 2 years ago, well before I was ready to go on the market, they were over 70 jobs in my area, 37 is a bit disconcerting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dr. English

Yesterday I received a very surprising email from Dr. English, the head of CU's English department. I first want to say that Dr. English rates right up there with Dr. Nice Guy, who, if you recall, is the head of C's department. Here is some background.

Last December, I emailed Dr. English to set up a meeting. I did this for several reasons. I knew the teaching opportunities in Women's Studies were going to be reduced and that CU was going to be cutting the number of part-time instructors it hired. I also wanted to meet Dr. English because I eventually hope to get a partner placement in his department. He graciously agreed to meet with me, and we had a lovely meeting. In fact, he seemed really interested in my research--even more so than in what I might teach for his department. We chatted for about 40 minutes, and he promised to contact me when the part-time jobs for his department were posted. He kept his word, and I am currently teaching a full-year course in English. Dr. English has also emailed me throughout the summer to congratulate me on defending, on graduating, and to discuss various other things. He is a really nice guy.

Yesterday I received another really nice email from him. He asked me if I had any opportunity to meet many others in the English department. He then listed the other Americanists in the department and asked if he could help facilitate any meetings with them. I immediately emailed back my appreciation and expressed interest in meeting all of them, specifically on professor who is organizing a conference that I am presenting at in November. I also took the opportunity to ask if I could list him as a reference on my CV as I'm going on the market this year in search of a tenure-track job (hey, I didn't think it would hurt to remind him that a t-t job is the ultimate goal). He graciously agreed and told me he'd email the professor I'd mentioned to see if he could set up a lunch for the three of us. What a really, really nice guy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bear, 12 weeks

Bear is 12 weeks old today. Here is a fairly recent picture of him. As you can see, he is growing fast. At his 8 week check up, he was 13 pounds 4 ounces and 24.5 inches long. I estimate he is now at least 25 inches long and over 14 pounds. My triceps and biceps are getting some serious definition from carrying him around! He is cooing a lot and is on the verge of laughing. He is sleeping 4 hour stretches at night, waking up long enough to nurse and go back to sleep. Life with Bear is really good. As I said to C last night, it is hard to remember life with only one child. It feels like Bear has been with us forever.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Control

C is embracing his new domestic role. On one level, it's great. He made breakfast this morning, put dinner in the crockpot, and washed 4 loads of laundry. This week alone he cleaned, took care of Bear, and reorganized the kitchen now that he's got all the cabinets installed. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts about all of this, however. This morning he informed me I was putting something in the wrong place in the kitchen, and I had no idea what to say about that. For various reasons, the kitchen has always been my domain. I do the majority of the cooking, so I have always organized the kitchen. I feel like I'm no longer in control of my home, which I know isn't accurate and is a response to going back to work. I'm going to have to remind myself that C can do things just as well as I can, and that there is nothing wrong with how he does things. Except, of course, that my way is better.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dr. M

I just realized that I am teaching for the first time as "Dr. M." That has made my day just a bit easier.

So it begins

Today is my first long day away from Bear. After dropping Wild Man off at school a bit later than usual (my Thursday teaching schedule necessitates that I'm on campus until 4:30 meaning I won't be able to pick Wild Man up until 5:00 so we decided that I would drop him off a bit later than usual on Thursdays), I am now in C's office hiding out. Why am I in C's office? Well, I currently have access to three offices in various locations on CU's campus. However, I share every single one of them. I have no desire to try to figure out how to pump in offices that I share with a minimum of three other people--one office is, in fact, a desk in the Writing office. I share that space with about 12 people at any given time. C has his own office, so I'll be using his office to pump.

Right now I'm doing last minute things before trekking over to the English department to make copies and then to Women Studies to check on some other things. I want nothing more than to go home and snuggle with Bear. He was napping in his crib when I left, so here's hoping he had a good nap and that he and C will have a good day. It'll be a long 6 hours until I'm home again. And given his current response to the bottle I fully expect to spend the afternoon and evening nursing him.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Header update

I finally got around to updating my header. Let me know what you think.

Seriously, this is enough home improvement

Usually I love having a handy husband. I love that when something breaks C can usually fix it and fairly quickly. He is not the sort of person who puts off home repair. Things get done fast. But right now our office is a disaster as is our kitchen. Why? Because this week he's decided he has to finish all the projects he started before Bear was born. So last week he put another coat of paint on the downstairs hallway and decided to prime the office. Today he finished installing the kitchen cabinets. Now we have to purchase countertops and have them installed. He also have to finish painting the office so I'm no longer working on job materials and planning lessons at the kitchen table. I told him a little while ago that he cannot take on so many home improvement projects at one time ever again. Seriously, this is a bit ridiculous.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Blehh

I'm completing the last of my syllabi while C works on the kitchen and Bear naps. I'm still feeling rather "Blehh" about going back to teaching, but I'll deal. I'm trying to work out office hours so that I'll be away from home the minimum amount of time, but right now it's looking like I'll be gone Mondays and Fridays from about 8:15 until 12:45 or 1:00. Tuesdays I'll leave the house around 8:45 and be home around 1:00. Thursdays I'll go in later, around 9:30, but I won't be home until at least 5:00. Wednesdays I'm not planning to go in at all, except for the occasional meeting. I'm trying to squeeze in office hours on the days I'll be on campus, but I know I'll have to be there longer some days. I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach by all of this, but there isn't much I can do. I have to teach. I have to stay visible in order to stay in the good graces of the powers that be if we're going to make a case for partner placement this year, which is the ultimate goal. Oh, and on top of all this teaching, I have to work on job materials and revise a chapter to submit for publication. Blehh.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Reading lists

I've been working on my reading list for the lit course I'm teaching this fall. It is a special topics course on Women's Lit. Since I fairly short notice for this course, I designed around the themes in my dissertation. Unfortunately the reading list for the course is much, much longer. You see, Canadian universities run courses for the entire year, and this is one such course. I'm here to tell you trying to figure out reading assignments 6 months in advance is weird--and tricky.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Something else

A few moments ago, as I was snuggling Bear through an afternoon nap (he was napping while on the boppy after nursing as I read for classes next week), I suddenly had a flashback to Wild Man's first day of day care. C was teaching that day, and as I recall he taught at 8 am that semester. Thus, I got Wild Man ready and dropped him off myself. He had no idea what was going on, but as he was happy in the arms of his caregiver I essentially dropped him off and fled as quickly as I could. I drove to campus, parked my car, and promptly walked to the office of one of my best friends, Supadiscomama. I then proceeded to cry for the next 15 minutes or so while she rubbed my back--she'd gone through the same experience a few months earlier with her own son. Being in her office and knowing she (and my other friends Sarah and L) knew how I felt helped me get through that day and the next few that followed until it got easier to drop Wild Man off.

When Wild Man and I leave Bear with C next week at 8:30 or so and don't return until after 4, I will drop Wild Man off at school and then go to my office--the one I share with 4 other people, none of whom I know (or like) all that well. I don't have any place or any one to go to who will rub my back while I cry. I know I can call any or all of these wonderful friends the minute I get to my office, but I also know that won't be quite the same. That makes this whole experience just a little bit harder.

Ambivalent

Today's title reflects how I'm feeling about returning to teaching next week. I have been off since April 10th or so when the Winter term ended (yes, in CU-speak, the terms are Fall, Winter, and Summer; there's no Spring term here). In that time I defended, revised, and filed my dissertation. I spent lots of time with C and Wild Man. I gave birth to Bear. I graduated. I helped C redo the kitchen (which is still a work in progress). And I've done remarkably little in terms of work. I have managed to plan my Fall courses and start revising a chapter to submit for publication. I have also pulled all of my job materials together and started thinking about how to revise.

Usually the beginning of the semester brings a certain level of excitement to our house. But this semester C will be staying home with Bear while I go back to teaching. C is appropriately excited not to be teaching for the first fall in about 7 years, but he is, admittedly, uncertain how he will handle being the primary caregiver to our 10-week-old (it seems unreal that Bear is already 10 weeks old). He has a list of things he wants to get done around the house before the weather turns cold as well as some writing and research he wants to get done. I keep telling him to be prepared to get nothing done some days and very little on others. I'm not sure he is listening, though. As for me, I want to stay home. I am experiencing a lot of the same feelings I experienced when we put Wild Man in day care. I said this to C, and he was a bit hurt, I think. After all, Bear isn't going to day care. He is staying home with his dad. But I will still be leaving him for a significant amount of time each day. I will still have to return to the daily task of getting work done at home while caring for him. I will still have to figure out how to find time to pump during my office hours. I will still be away from Bear.

I've spent a lot of time the last few days thinking about why this bothers me so much, and I think I've finally pinpointed the primary source of my anxiety. Aside from feeling all the "normal" going-back-to-work-and-leaving-my-infant feelings, I also feel like I'm leaving Bear just as we've really started to bond. If I'm being 100% honest, I've found it harder to bond with Bear than I did with Wild Man. I predicted this a few months ago, but I didn't anticipate how guilty it would make me feel. I've found it hard, almost brutally hard, to balance the needs of both my children, and in the first few weeks of Bear's life, I found myself passing Bear off to C quite a lot to attend to Wild Man's needs. I rationalized this to myself by saying, "Bear is an easy infant. He nurses, and he sleeps. He is rarely fussy, and he needs to bond with C as much with me." In contrast, Wild Man is so vocal and verbal. He can express his needs, and he struggled a bit with Bear's arrival. He seemed to love his brother instantly, but he didn't like sharing me. Thus, I found myself feeling a bit disconnected from Bear. That began to change when Bear had his stint in the hospital. I stayed with him in the hospital, and I was the one holding him as he got poked and prodded. I was the one asking the doctors the hard questions, and I was the one talking to the nurses. C took care of Wild Man and things at home (with some help from Pita and my sister, who needs an equally descriptive nickname), and I took care of Bear. I figured out lots of little things about my youngest son, and I really started to get to know him then. Since then I've made a conscious effort to spend more time alone with Bear as well as encouraging Wild Man to get more involved with Bear's daily care. I'm amazed how different they are, yet they are similar in so many ways. I'm also loving seeing them interact, although that is a little heartbreaking as well (I need to write a separate post on the love a younger sibling has for an older sibling). Suffice to say, I don't want to go back to work. Right now, I'd love nothing more than to stay home for foreseeable future, but that isn't in the cards for a variety of reasons. So I will enjoy my final full week at home with my littlest guy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jealousy

In about three weeks, my summer at home with Bear ends. I begin teaching again, and I also start the arduous task of going on the job market and revising a chapter to publish as an article. I will be on campus 4 days a week, as I am teaching 3 classes in 3 different departments. I will have to pump and store breast milk, and I will be away from Bear for at least 3 hours a day 3 days a week and 8 hours a day one day a week. I will begin each day by dropping Wild Man off at school and follow most days with office hours and then teaching. In the evenings I will have to squeeze in time with the boys along with grading and class prep and preparing job letters and other materials.

C, on the other hand, will be staying home with Bear. While he has a list of work related things he wants to accomplish while on parental leave, he will focus primarily on childcare and the house. He will be a stay-at-home-dad, at least until January. If he doesn't get anything work related accomplished, that's ok. I've never wanted to be a SAHM, but I'm more than a little jealous of the time he will get to devote to Bear. The fall semester is going to be much harder than I anticipated.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Graduate

Here is a rare photo of me. C took this picture of me with Wild Man and Bear the morning of graduation. I rarely feel like a photo captures exactly how I feel in a given moment, but this one does. It was a wonderful, wonderful day. And it feels pretty damn good to be Dr. M.

*This photo has disappeared.

Home

After a week filled with friends and graduation activities, we're home. I have lots to say about our visit, but right now, I'm still processing the visit to Southwest College Town and our return to CU Land. It seems impossible to think we've been here a year. In many ways it seems like we just arrived yesterday, but in others, it feels like we've been here forever. I've always been a firm believer that home isn't a specific location; rather it is the place where you are with those that you love. CU Land has slowly become a home of sorts. Southwest College Town will always be very, very special to me, but it doesn't feel like home anymore. Home is where my boys--all three of them--are.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hard to believe

We're currently in Southwest College Town enjoying some time with our good friends Oxymoron, Oxy-Toddler, and Mrs. Oxy. Tomorrow I graduate. It is very, very hard to believe. I don't think it will sink in that I am Dr. M until my adviser hoods me tomorrow morning. . .

Bear


We had professional pictures taken a few weeks ago, and here is one of my favorites of Bear.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

6 weeks

Bear is officially 6 weeks old. He weighs 12 pounds 4 ounces and is 24 inches long. As my midwife said at our final appointment with her today, he is growing very fast. He is smiling and starting to coo. He is also putting himself on a schedule of sorts, which means I'm getting some work done during his naps and getting a fair amount of sleep myself. Wild Man is adapting. Some days are good, some are not so good. It is clear, however, that he loves Bear.

*This picture will disappear in a few days.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Random Thoughts

Here are some random things I've been thinking.
  • My sister, who is a 5 hour drive away, came to help us with Wild Man while Bear was in the hospital. She was helpful to a degree, but she was also inconsistent with Wild Man and overly critical of my house. Honestly, it wasn't helpful to be told my house is cluttered and disorganized. I also didn't enjoy being told I don't have any taste.
  • Pita was here last week to meet Bear, and we had a great visit. This visit reaffirms my belief that she is much easier to get a long with when she isn't with her mother, but that is a separate issue altogether.
  • Bear's birth certificate finally arrived, which means we can travel out of Canada with him. We're finalizing plans for our trip to Southwest College Town.
  • Wild Man moves up to a preschool room on Tuesday. He's spent the past two weeks transitioning to his new room. Some days he is excited to go, and others he would rather be in his old room.
  • Bear slowly seems to be settling into a routine of sorts. He is taking lots of little naps and one long nap of about 2 hours during the day. I'm going my best to make the most of this nap by trying to get some work done on my fall classes. He is also ready to go down around 8:30 for the night, so I generally follow soon after. So far he sleeps for about 4 hours the first stretch and then wakes up about every 2 1/2 hours after that until 7:30 or so when he is up for the day. He is easier to get to sleep than Wild Man was and generally goes right back to sleep after nursing, so I'm averaging about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, although it is interrupted. C and I are taking turns sleeping in with Bear on the mornings he sleeps until 8 or 8:30. This gives us both a chance to hang out with Wild Man one on one.
  • C and I are trying to find some time for us when we can. Generally this means when Bear and Wild Man are napping or after both boys have gone to sleep. It isn't ideal, but it is better than nothing.
  • Wild Man is becoming more accepting of Bear's presence. He was really upset last weekend when Bear was at the hospital; in fact, he was more bothered by Bear's absence than by mine. He is still very dependent on me, but he has figured out that I can hug him while I'm nursing Bear, which is a big plus.
  • Bear loves Wild Man. At almost 6 weeks, Bear completely lights up whenever he hears Wild Man. He smiles so big for Wild Man, and that makes me melt every time.
  • Life with two children is harder than I expected, but it is also easier in some ways. I think I think it is easier because we know what to expect this time. I know Bear will be ok if I have to let him cry for a minute while I get Wild Man some milk. C knows that he will generally have to finish making dinner if Bear decides to nurse while I'm cooking. I've learned that my house can be a bit cluttered and disorganized and it isn't the end of the world (despite what my sister may think).
  • Next week, I need to get more reading done for my fall courses and I have to start revising my job letter, which I drafted over a year ago. I don't want to get behind this fall, so I'm going to try to get as much done as possible.
  • I also want to start organizing for our trip. This is the first time we'll be traveling with both boys, and I'm a bit daunted at all the stuff we have to take with us.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tired

Bear and I have spent the last two nights in the hospital, and we're beginning night number three. Luckily, we're going into tonight with good news, but I'll start at the beginning.

Last Friday, Wild Man wasn't feeling well and had a slight fever. It was around 100 before dinner, so we gave him some Motrin. It went down, and he felt better within an hour. During the night it back up to 102. C gave him some more Motrin, and again, it went down. He was a little off throughout Saturday morning, but by the afternoon, he was back to himself. On Tuesday evening, I had a headache, which wouldn't go away. I had it throughout Wednesday and had decided to call the doctor by Thursday afternoon if it hadn't gone away. Starting around 10:00 or so on Thursday, we noticed Bear wasn't acting like himself. He had woken up around 7 to nurse, and he had immediately gone back to sleep. Ordinarily he would wake up in an hour or 2 and be awake for a while before going back to sleep. He slept until ten, and when he woke up, he wanted to nurse, but went right back to sleep. He was also more cranky than usual--and for him that means just crying a bit as he is a very calm baby. By 3 I was feeling bad, and I decided to take my temperature. It was 100.8. I then decided to take Bear's; his was 99.9. I called my midwife and talked to her. As we were talking, I took it again, and it had dropped to 99, which is within normal range for a newborn. She suggested we keep an eye on him, but that if it went up again we should take him straight to the emergency room. I went to lie down with Bear, and when we woke up, around 6, he still felt warm. I took his temperature again, and it was up to 100.2. C and I packed up some things, called our midwife, and headed to the ER. Our midwife informed us that we'd probably be kept at least overnight; she told us that it is just routine to keep an infant who has a fever. So we were prepared to stay.

Fast forward to today, we were admitted, and Bear has had every test imaginable. He's been poked and prodded and seen by every resident in the hospital. We got the initial results of his blood work today, and so far, everything is negative. Assuming that his tests results are still negative by tomorrow morning, we will be able to go home. The chief pediatrician met with us early this afternoon (after making us wait all morning), and he thinks Bear likely had the same virus that Wild Man and I had. He hasn't had a fever since yesterday afternoon, and today he acted very much more like himself.

It has been a rough few days. I'm happy to say that Pita was here visiting to meet Bear, and that she was wonderful. She kept Wild Man occupied and distracted all day yesterday. My sister drove up last night, and she took care of Wild Man today, as Pita had to fly home today.

So far, both boys have been in the hospital within the first year of life. I hope this means we won't have any more scares for a long, long time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brothers

Wild Man is still getting used to Bear's presence in our lives. For the most part, he is doing well. I wouldn't go so far to say that he is in love with Bear, but Wild Man certainly likes him. He has had a few jealous moments, most of which have occurred when he wants to snuggle with me and I'm nursing Bear. Yesterday afternoon, after he misbehaved in the bookstore and was unceremoniously carried out kicking and screaming by me, Wild Man had a bit of a meltdown. He cried the entire way home, and he was accompanied by Bear who was crying because Wild Man was crying. When we got home I told Wild Man to sit in his quiet spot until he calmed down, and I then began nursing Bear. C checked on Wild Man several times, but he didn't want anything to do with his dad. When he finally calmed down, he came over to me and said, "Mommy, I don't want Bear. Send him away. I need you." I tried really hard not to get upset, but it's hard. I feel like Wild Man resents Bear's presence and the time I have to devote to him. Then I also feel like I'm not able to give Bear the attention I gave to Wild Man when he was an infant because my attention is always split. Parenting two is definitely hard.

But then, Wild Man asks to hold Bear or asks to "nurse" him, and I realize that he does like his brother.

*This photo will disappear in a few days.

Bear

We've recently given Z a nickname, which I will be using on my blog from now on. Z has officially become Bear. Why do you ask? Well, he snorts, snuffles, grunts, and growls. He is generally mellow, but when he wants something he wants it immediately, sort of like I imagine a bear to be. C actually suggested the name based on the various noises that Bear makes. He had been calling him Squeaky, until Wild Man informed him that was not acceptable. Apparently Wild Man approves of Bear, so Bear it is.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Z's room





Here are some photos of Z's room. Please keep in mind the fact that he is a boy will necessitate some redecorating, but only in terms of bedding. For now, we're leaving the daisy quilt up because I really like it. Plus, Z's sleeping in our room, and he couldn't care less about bedding.

So not fun. . .

Um, yes, shopping for a graduation dress/outfit 3 weeks after having a baby is so not fun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wild Man's school

Wild Man will be moving up to a preschool room at the first of the month, and he'll begin visiting his new room next week. We found this out yesterday, and C and I are both very relieved. To make things even better, Wild Man will be moving into the same room as both T and D, and his teacher will be Michelle, who used to be his teacher in his current room. He loves Michelle, and he still goes out of his way to talk to her whenever he sees her. This will make the transition much easier on him. After talking with the directors, it seems their concerns were different than ours. They felt Wild Man was ready to move up, but they didn't want to add extra stress on him with Z just having arrived. I pointed out that Wild Man seemed a bit out of sorts without his best buddies; leaving him in a toddler room may be as stressful as moving him up. Thus far, he is adjusting well to his friends' absences, and he is even playing really well with the younger children, which makes me feel better. So it worked out for the best!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Relieved

As I type this, Z is taking his first official bottle of expressed breast milk, and he is taking it fairly easily. I've been dreading this day for a number of reasons. First, Wild Man never took to the bottle. We gave him his first bottle when he was a month old, and he took them easily for about a month. Then he just refused. By the time he started going to daycare part time at 4 months old, he would grudgingly take just enough breast milk from a bottle to stave off his hunger. Many days, I'd pick him up to be told that he'd refused to take a bottle at all. I'd nurse him as soon as we got home, and he'd often nurse for an hour to get his fill. Second, given my fall teaching schedule, I need Z to be ok with taking a bottle, at least one a day. On Thursdays, when I teach 2 classes, he may need to take 2 or 3. I'd prefer knowing he'll take a bottle easily. So far, it seems like Z likes the bottle, and I can tell from the look on C's face that he's clearly enjoying feeding our son. So now begins the cycle of pumping and storing milk, and from here out, Z will get a bottle every other day. Here's hoping he continues to take it as easily.

Z's birth story: A comedy

At 3:15 on June 22, 2009, 5 days past my due date, I had an appointment with my midwife for my 41-week check up. My midwife and I had talked in advance, and she had agreed to do a “stretch and sweep,” which is a fairly non-invasive intervention that can induce labor. Essentially a “stretch and sweep” involves a vaginal exam in which the midwife stretches her fingers in the patient’s cervix as far as possible and then runs a finger between the cervix and the bag of waters. My midwife did this twice, and at that time, I was about 3 centimeters dilated and was easily stretching to 5 centimeters. In the event that this didn’t work, we had planned an induction for June 28th, which would have put me at 41 weeks 5 days gestation with Z. I really didn’t want to wait that long for a number of reasons. I did not want to be induced, but I couldn’t bear being pregnant any longer. On top of that, my mom was scheduled to leave that day, and it was going to cost her about $400 to extend her ticket (thanks to the international fair), which neither she nor I could afford.

After my midwife appointment, C and I went home and picked up Wild Man and my mom. It was hot and humid that day, and although the temperature was much milder than anything we’d ever experienced in Southwest College Town, I was uncomfortable. We decided to take Wild Man over to the local bookstore for a while so I could rest in the air conditioning and he could play with the train sets. While C looked at the home improvement section and my mom shopped for books for Wild Man, Wild Man and I played with the trains and read books. It was nice to have some time just for the two of us. After about an hour or so, we headed home as Wild Man was getting hungry. C took Wild Man to the car while my mom and I stood in line to pay for the books she got Wild Man (as an aside, I highly recommend Margaret Atwood’s children’s books; Wild Man loves them!). As Mom paid, she looked at me and asked if I was ok. I said, “Oh, just another contraction, but this one was a bit more painful than the ones I’ve been having for the last month or so.” We left and got in the car. It was about 5 minutes after 5:00 pm then. We drove home, and Mom started reading to Wild Man while C got dinner ready. I went to the bathroom and had another strong contraction. I asked C for his ipod to keep track of the contractions (he had downloaded a labor application a few weeks earlier for us to use), and I distinctly remember thinking that I was glad I’d put chili in the crock pot earlier in the day.

For the next 20 minutes or so, I kept having strong contractions, which lasted about 90 seconds and were 5 minutes apart. Around 5:40 I told C he needed to get my bag ready and that he needed to eat dinner. At that point, I noticed he and my mom exchanged a look. I tried lying on the couch to manage the pain on my own while C tried to eat and Mom fed Wild Man. I vaguely remember C taking stuff to the car, and then I started calling for him to help me manage the pain. He rubbed my shoulders, and then I told him I had to move around. I went from the couch to the bathroom, where I sat on the toilet for a few contractions. On my way there, I stopped in the dining room to reassure Wild Man who was getting a bit concerned for me. He kept calling for me and asking what was wrong. I wasn’t in a position to talk to him, so my mom and C tried to explain things best they could. Around 5:50, I told C that he needed to call our midwife. This was a bit complicated. Our midwife is currently working with a student midwife who is finishing up her clinical rotation. Since C and I are both teachers we had no problem working with the student, whom I’ll call L. We’d be instructed to page L first so she could get practice assessing women in labor. At the time, I really just wanted to bypass L and call my midwife directly because I knew labor was progressing very quickly, but we followed my midwife’s instructions. We called L and waited 10 minutes; when she didn’t call back C asked me if I wanted him to try her again. I said, “Absolutely not! Call my midwife.” By now it was around 6, and the contractions were getting really strong. As we waited for the midwife to call back, I did something really stupid. I went up stairs to the master bathroom to brush my teeth. I got up the stairs in between contractions without C’s help, and I don’t even think he realized I was upstairs until I called for him. Why did I go upstairs (putting me on the third floor of our house)? Well at the bookstore, I had shared a frozen strawberry drink from Starbucks with Wild Man, and I could still taste it in my mouth. I remember thinking, “I cannot have this taste in my mouth the entire time I’m in labor.” Not the smartest decision on my part, but it is what I did.

I managed to brush my teeth and then went to our bedroom to make sure we had everything. At that point I was hit with a really strong contraction and I called for C. He found me leaning over our bed and demanded to know why I’d come upstairs. I looked him straight in the face and said, “I don’t care what I’ve said for the last 9 months; I want the epidural this time. Make sure you tell L and our midwife that.” He didn’t say anything, but later he told me he knew I was entering transition at that point. C managed to help me downstairs to the main floor and just as we got there my midwife called back. C explained what was going on, and he asked me if I could talk to her. I was in the middle of another contraction and trying to hug Wild Man at the time, so I think I said something not very kind to either one of them. C told her that he thought we needed to get me to the hospital quickly. She said she’d call over to the birthing center and make sure they were ready for us and then call back. She called back in about 2 minutes and said we could head over; she then asked if I wanted her to come to the house and check me there. C passed this along to me, and I said “No, I’m going to the hospital now if I have to drive myself.” I then started heading downstairs. C later told me that B, our midwife, found this amusing; she apparently laughed and said she’d meet us there.

By now it was about 6:20. The contractions were coming really quickly, and C kept telling me to keep track on the ipod. I finally told what he could do with his ipod. Wild Man followed me down the stairs and was really upset at this point. He didn’t understand what was going on, but he knew I was hurting and that bothered him. He didn’t want to leave me, and my mom realized he was going to have a major meltdown. She didn’t want him upset and she didn’t want me upset. She looked at me very quickly and said, “M, I’m going to do something you’re not going to like to distract Wild Man. I’m sorry.” She then said to Wild Man, “Let’s go have some ice cream. Would you like to have some ice cream with Nana before we take a bath?” Ordinarily I would have been displeased with using food as a bribe, but given the circumstances I didn’t care. And it worked. Wild Man kissed me and scampered upstairs. My mom kissed me good-bye, told me not to worry about Wild Man, and very sternly instructed C to take care of me. C then helped me to the car. He tried to put me in the front seat, but I went in the back so I could lean over the driver’s seat. He then told me to put my seatbelt on, and I told him to shut up and drive. Luckily we’re only 5 minutes from the hospital.

As luck would have it, C couldn’t find a close parking space, and being stubborn and in a lot of pain, I did not want him to drop me off. I told him, “I don’t care if you have to carry me; you’re not leaving me by myself.” He found a space as close as he could and we started walking to the hospital. He stuck his ticket for the lot in his pocket; we had arrived at the parking lot at 6:32 pm.

To get to the hospital from this lot, you have to walk over a sky bridge that spans the lower parking lot. As soon as we entered the sky bridge, C grabbed a wheelchair and put me in it. The floor on the sky bridge is very bumpy though, and it was not remotely comfortable. Half way across I got out of the wheelchair and walked, stopping every 30 feet or so for a contraction. We finally got to the elevators, and suddenly my labor turned into a comedy of errors. The elevators in this hospital are notoriously slow, so we waited through at least 2 contractions until one arrived that was going down. Somehow C got me on the elevator in the middle of a contraction, and we pushed our way to the back so I could lean against the wall. Now, we were surrounded by 3 nurses and at least 4 doctors. C was so focused on helping me manage the pain that he never asked for a floor, but he said he thought to himself, surely they will push 2 for the birthing center. When the elevator doors opened everyone got out, including us. We headed in the direction of the birthing center, and C said, “Oh, M. I’m so sorry. This is the first floor. We have to get back on the elevator and go up one floor.” I turned toward the elevator and literally pushed a doctor out of my way so I could lean on the wall to get through another contraction. C said the doctor didn’t even seem to notice, and by now, C was getting a bit aggravated that no one was being particularly helpful. As we waited for the elevator, an off-duty nurse saw us and brought us a wheelchair. Being me I refused again to get in it—it literally hurt to sit down at that point. Standing up was the only way I was managing the pain at all. Given that we weren’t able to sit down or even stand still, we weren’t using any relaxation techniques at all. C was trying to get me to the birthing center as quickly as possible, and I wasn’t being particularly cooperative. But as I’ve reminded him, I was in labor!

The elevator finally arrived and we were on the second floor. C demanded I get in the wheelchair, and when I told him no, he literally pushed me down by my shoulders and moved so quickly I couldn’t get out. We got to the birthing center, and he started checking me in. I got up out of the wheelchair, announced that I had to pee, and went into the bathroom. He ended up throwing my wallet at the receptionist and pulled me out of the bathroom. He was concerned I was going to start pushing, but I really just had to pee. I know now that my bag of waters was so low that it was compressing my bladder, making me feel like I had to pee. A nurse showed up then and agreed to take me to the bathroom. C gave what he thought was my health card to the receptionist, but it turned out to be Wild Man’s. So until after Z was born, Wild Man was the one who had been admitted to the hospital. Once the nurse got me to the bathroom, I took my shorts off to go to the bathroom, and then I told her I needed C. She hollered for him, and then she determined that I shouldn’t go to the bathroom. She led me to an exam room, telling C on the way there that a birthing suite was all ready for me. I refused to put my shorts back on, so she and C wrapped a gown around me and we hobbled to the exam rom. She told me to lie down on the bed. The nurse said she’d check me and then get me a gown to change into. As soon as I opened my knees for her to check me, I knew I had to push. She said the words that are the most irritating thing for a woman in labor, “Don’t push.” I squeezed C’s hand as hard as I could and somehow managed not to push. She checked me and announced, “Oh yeah, she’s ten centimeters. Do you have a doctor or a midwife?” C answered, “A midwife, and she’s on her way.” The nurse then said, “I don’t think she’s going to make it in time.” I looked at the clock on the wall and noticed it was 6:55. It had taken us almost 30 minutes to get from the car to the birthing center. Then my midwife walked in.

I started freaking out a bit at that point because the contractions felt drastically different from what I experienced with Wild Man. They were one on top of the other and coming very, very fast. I told C I was scared, and he and B were great at calming me down. The second midwife, who was there to take care of Z once he was born, showed up, and I could finally start pushing. Pushing was such a relief. Instead of being high up on a hospital bed, on my back with my legs in stirrups like I was with Wild Man, I was on a low bed, and I was able to change positions as I wanted to. The room had dim lights, and the only people there were C, the two midwives, and me. I wasn’t hooked up to any monitors, and I didn’t have an IV (although, since I had tested Strep B positive 4 weeks earlier, I was supposed to have IV antibiotics). In between pushes, S, the second midwife, checked Z’s heart rate with her portable fetal monitor, the same kind doctors use to check babies’ heart rates during office visits. For the next 35 minutes I pushed while lying on my side, with one leg stretched out and the other pulled up. I changed positions once, and ultimately I was lying on my left side, holding C’s hand while I pushed. There was no counting this time. C and B encouraged me, but B let me push as many or as few times in a row as I wanted to. I pushed between 3 and 5 times during each contraction, and the 3rd push was always the strongest. After about 20 minutes of pushing my water broke while I was pushing, which was a strange sensation. It wasn’t the big gush I remembered from when Wild Man was born and my water was broken. Instead it was a small gush and then more gushes every time I pushed after that.

By this point, I was tired and ready for the baby to be born. B told me the baby was crowning, and I pushed really hard. When she told me the head was out and to stop pushing, I just looked straight into C’s eyes to have something to focus on. C told me to look down, and because of the position I was in, I was able to see Z being born. As soon as the baby was born, B put him on my chest, and S helped C and I start cleaning him up. I saw his penis right away and looked over at C, who was looking right at me. We were both quiet for a moment, and I then I said, “Well, I guess his name will be Z.” This was the only boy’s name we both liked, and ironically, it was the only name we had agreed to before I’d gone into labor. We’d gone into the delivery room with C preferring one girl’s name and me preferring another. It seems everything turned out for the best! Still, C was a bit taken aback, and said, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” He quickly agreed that we’d name him Z though. At that point, B was so focused on me that she didn’t even realize Z was a boy, and I noticed she gave us a funny look. After she delivered my placenta, she came to the head of the bed and gave Z a good look. She said, “Oh, that’s why you named him Z. I was thinking that was an odd choice for a girl.” We all laughed, and at that moment L, whose pager had not been working properly, arrived. Remember we’d arrived at the hospital, according to the parking meter, at 6:32 pm; Z was born at 7:36 pm. He weighed 8 pounds, 5.9 ounces, and was 22 ½ inches long. He was a full pound and a half heavier and 3 inches longer than Wild Man when he was born.

In the end, I had a first degree tear, which required two stitches, and I had been in labor for about 2 ½ hours. We spent the night in the hospital and went home around 3 the next afternoon. As surprising as it was to take home a little boy, we’re thrilled with our two boys, and Wild Man, who proceeded to call Z his “baby sister” for the next week, seemed very pleased with Z.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Annoyed

C and I are both a bit annoyed with Wild Man's school today. We love everything about this school (well, except maybe the tendency to serve sugary snacks in the afternoon), so for us to have a complaint is unusual. But we have one, and C was so annoyed that he emailed the director to follow-up on the conversation he had with her this morning when he dropped Wild Man off.

A bit of background: following the Canadian system, toddler rooms (which is what Wild Man is in) have children from age 18 months to 2 1/2 years. The reason for this is that most children don't start daycare until they are 12 months old (thanks to the Canadian practice of allowing caregivers to take up to 12 months maternity leave assuming they qualify). When Wild Man started, he was one of the younger kids in his class, and although this concerned us a bit, he quickly acclimated and made some good friends. Now he is one of the oldest kids. In fact, we were told a few weeks ago that he was the next child on the schedule to move up to a pre-school class. We were excited about this for Wild Man as we knew one of his good friends was going to be moving up soon; in fact, we requested that he be moved up with another of his good friends who is only 4 days younger than he is. The director said that this shouldn't be a problem, so we didn't think too much about it.

Well, last week we learned that Wild Man's best buddy, D, was moving up this week, and we knew that was going to stress him out a bit. We talked about it this weekend and he seemed ok. We reassured him that his other good friend, T, would still be with him, although she had been out on vacation last week. This morning, C dropped Wild Man off and realized that not only was D gone, but so was T. C asked Wild Man's teachers, who explained that both T and D had moved up today. C said Wild Man looked around the room for his friends and turned to C and asked, "Daddy, where are my friends?" Wild Man can (and will) play with the other children, but they are all 3 months or more younger than he is. None of them are as verbal as he is, and none of them are quite as rambunctious as he is. C said when he left, he could tell that Wild Man was stressed out. Given all the other changes that Wild Man is dealing with, C was concerned--and a bit angry. He stopped by the director's office to ask when Wild Man would be moving up. It seems they are having a hard time finding a spot for Wild Man this summer given his "part-time" schedule. So Wild Man, who turned 2 1/2 in April, isn't being moved up because he only goes 4 days a week instead of 5. That made me angry. I understand the intricacies of the schedule and all of that, but it seems like in the 5 pre-school rooms this school has, there would be one that would work with his schedule. The director told C it would be easier to find Wild Man a spot in a pre-school room if he went full-time.

Now we're discussing sending Wild Man full-time if only to ensure that he is stimulated and happy at school. I'm really, really unhappy about this, but I'm not sure what else to do.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Random Stuff

Both Z and Wild Man are napping, and C and his mom are grocery shopping. I should be napping too, but I can't seem to turn my brain off. A lot has happened in the past two weeks, and I'm not certain I've begun to process it all. My emotions are all over the place, so I thought writing might help.

  • Wild Man is doing well adjusting to his brother's presence. He's not doing so well sharing me. Saturday morning he had his first major meltdown. Z had cluster fed throughout the night, which meant I was up about every 2 hours. On top of that Wild Man had a rough night himself. He woke up once and took about 30 minutes to go back to sleep, and then he woke up for the day at 6, which is about an hour earlier than he usually wakes up. So C and I were both exhausted. When Wild Man woke up, C woke up his mom, and she watched a movie with Wild Man, so C and I could go back to sleep. At 8, Z woke up, and Wild Man heard him. He came right up the stairs to see me, and he wanted a hug. I was trying to nurse Z, so I told Wild Man to sit on the bed with us and I'd hug him while I nursed Z. Not ideal, I know, but I thought it would make Wild Man happy. I was wrong, and Wild Man had a total global meltdown. He wanted me right at that moment, and I couldn't hold him the way he wanted to be held. I felt horrible. I had to feed Z, but I really wanted to take care of Wild Man, who was clearly not feeling like himself and was exhausted. C, who is inifintely patient with newborns, has little patience for toddlers' temper tantrums, and he wasn't as helpful as he could have been. Really, Wild Man just needed to cry, but going on lack of sleep, C put him in time out. That made things worse. Thankfully Z is already an effiecient nurser, and he was done in about 15 minutes. I was able to give Z to C and comfort Wild Man, but even then it took him about 15 more minutes to calm down. He was off for the rest of the day (which, frankly, wasn't helped by the fact that Yetta insisted on having an elaborate lunch for the 4th and we didn't eat until 1:00, which means Wild Man had been up for 7 hours by the time he went down for a nap.).
  • I'm tired, which seems obvious, but it isn't the same tired to the bone I experienced with Wild Man. Thus far, Z is a calmer baby than Wild Man was. He is routinely up for 2 hours in the middle of the night, but as he isn't fussy, he is easier to deal with. In fact, last night was his first real fussy night, and he was having a hard time pooping. Once he relaxed and pooped, he nursed and went right to sleep.
  • I have a million things to do to get ready for the semester, and I don't want to do any of them.
  • I'm anxiously waiting for Z's birth certificate to come in so we can get him a Canadian passport. Since we couldn't get an appointment at the U.S. Consulate until the end of the month, we weren't sure his U.S. passport would come in by the time of our trip to Southwest College Town in August. Thus, we've decided to get him a Canadian passport. I've been told this will only take about 3 weeks once we get the paper work in, but since the Canadian post is notoriously slow, I'm still worried.
  • We have to get the car registered, which will likely be a tedious process.
  • C has started installing our new kitchen cabinets (I swear the man must be occupied at all times). They look great, but frankly, I'm tired of talking about home improvement.
  • Yetta is wonderful, but she isn't my mom. I miss my mom.
  • Yetta hates hanging out around the house, and I'm not really feeling like getting out right now. C, however, wants to make sure his mom has a good visit, so he is giving in to her. I don't want to eat out, I don't want to go shopping, and I really don't want to leave my house except to take Wild Man to the park (which is too far for Yetta to walk to even though it is only 2 blocks away). I told C last night that I need him to remember that I just had a baby, and I'd like to lay low for a few more weeks.
  • My sister is being an ass to our mom. I don't want to elaborated at this point, but I will say that my sister is using her recent diagnosis of bi-polar 2 as a means to blame every horrible thing that happened in our childhood (and for the record, we had a pretty good childhood) on our mom.
  • C's sister, Pita, has made several comments about Z being a boy. C says they come across as jokes, but she is expressing her disappointment at having another nephew. So far she hasn't said anything to me, and I have already warned both Yetta and C that if she does say anything to me about Z's sex I will not be kind.
  • I had no idea that having a second child would make me love my oldest child so much more. Despite his clinginess to me, Wild Man clearly loves his baby brother. He constantly kisses Z and tells him how much he loves him. He hates for him to cry, and he gets very upset if we let Z cry for a minute longer than Wild Man thinks is necessary.
  • I still need to type up Z's birth story (which, in retrospect, was quite comedic), but I haven't managed to do that yet.
  • I have a bunch of corrections to do to my dissertation, per the ubiquitous thesis office, and I have to finish those this week.
  • I'm actually looking forward to this coming weekend. Yetta leaves on Wednesday, and it will be the four of us until the end of the month, when Pita comes for a visit. It will be stressful in some ways, but I also think it will be good for us to be on our own so we can start to figure these things out for ourselves.
  • I want to give Z a bottle sometime this week. He's nursing great, and I don't want to wait much longer. With my teaching schedule this fall (I'll be on campus 4 days a week), I need him to take a bottle easily. Wild Man never really took the bottle, but I really need Z to be comfortable getting breast milk from a bottle.
  • I figure I have another 30 minutes before Wild Man wakes up, so I'm going to try to get through some of those revisions now.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Yetta

Yetta got her on Wednesday night, and I'm already struck by how different our mothers are. I'll blog about it at some point, but for now I'll just say that Yetta prefers to shop for us while my mom preferred to clean for us. And I don't think she's stopped talking since she got here. . .

Friday, June 26, 2009

My mom

My mom leaves Sunday, and that makes me really sad. My mom has been here for 2 weeks, and she's been great. She's done all the stuff around the house that she could since she's been here so I could focus on Wild Man before Z's arrival and both boys after Z's arrival. She kept Wild Man calm the evening I went into labor, and she's taken Z every morning so I could go back to sleep and C could get Wild Man ready for school. On top of all of that, we had a week together before Z's birth, and we talked about a lot of stuff that has happened in the past few years. I feel like we understand each other a lot better now. I understand a bit more how hard it was for her when she was first diagnosed with bi-polar and she undersands a bit more how hard it was for me to deal with her diagnosis. I really wish she didn't have to go, and she wanted to extend her ticket. Doing so cost more than either one of us could afford right now, unfortunately. She may come back in August, and she'll definitely be here for Wild Man's birthday in October. In addition to giving birth to a wonderful baby, I also feel like I've gotten my mom back.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ugh

Due to a mistake on the part of the rep in Human Resources and my ignorance about the Canadian system, it turns out that I do not qualify for maternity leave benefits. I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach right now as that affects our income for the summer, although not drastically. C will still begin leave in a few weeks, and thanks to his full-time position at the university, he is assured of benefits.

There are some positive things to remember, which I'm trying to focus on rather than having an all out break down, which I'm sure would be fueled by my post-partum state of mind. We have enough in savings to see us through till the fall when I will be getting paid again. I recently found out that I will be teaching 3 courses in as many departments this year (well, 3 in the fall term, and 2 in the spring term), which will significantly improve our income and mean that we'll be able to replenish our savings fairly quickly. We also got a sizable amount back in income taxes which will help see us through. But knowing that this is due to the fact that someone forgot to check something soon enough and that I didn't know to ask the right questions is very, very upsetting.

Z

Big Brother

Wild Man is handling Z's (at some point I'll come up with another pseudonym for him, but for now we'll stick with Z) arrival really well. There has been some minor jealousy, mostly connected with me, but considering he has his Nana's attention, Wild Man is doing fairly well. In fact, whenever he hears Z cry he says, "Mommy, Z is crying. Don't hurt my brother. You be careful." He has helped C change Z's diapers several times and is eager to play with him. So far the transition has been fairly easy, although I got upset yesterday when Wild Man was crying for me to give him a bath and I couldn't because I was nursing Z. We're taking it one day at a time, but it is good to know that Wild Man likes his brother.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Baby Z's birth announcement

Baby Z was born yesterday evening at 7:36 pm after 2 hours of labor. He weighs 8 pounds 6 ounces and is 22 inches long. And yes, you read that correctly: Baby Z is, indeed, a boy! It seems our little guy confounded the ultrasound tech who had predicted he would be a she. So now we're trying to figure out what to do with all the pink clothes people have given us! I'll write more later, including a birth story. For now, I'm happy to be home with all my boys!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Scheduled

I spoke with my midwife this morning and scheduled an induction for June 28th. Scheduling an induction means that I will have to be transferred out of my midwife's care into that of an ob/gyn. My midwife encouraged me to wait one more day because the doctor on call on the 28th is a doctor whom she has worked with before and who is willing to allow her to be a part of the induction process. Not all ob/gyns are willing to include midwives in the process. My midwife also seems to think that this doctor would be willing to try just breaking my water rather than giving me pitocin or other drugs first. When I had an emergency induction with Wild Man, my then ob/gyn only had to break my water. 4 1/2 hours later Wild Man was born. This suggests my body will go into labor on its own with this single intervention. I'd really like to go this route as I may not have to deal with pitocin and will be able to have an unmedicated birth. I'm not sure what will happen if I have pitocin. I also have a series of appointments scheduled for next week in the event that I do have to be induced. This is making for some crazy conversations and contigency plans.

I do have to say though that it has been really nice to have this time with my mom. We've been shopping, she's helped me hem curtains, we've organized Z's closet, and we've been out to lunch several times. On top of that, she's done all my laundry, done the dishes every day, and played with Wild Man until he's collapsed on the floor in giggles. We also had a long conversation about my expectations once the baby gets here, and before I could even say much she told me she thinks it is more important for her to focus on Wild Man so I can focus on the baby. Since she isn't comfortable driving around a new city, she said she thinks it will be better if C handles errands and things like that. This is precisely what I had in mind anyway, so it all works out very well. It seems a lot of my worrying about her was unfounded. She isn't as energetic as the mom I grew up with, but she is definitely more together and present than she was right after Wild Man was born. Even if she is only here for a few days after Z is born, I will not feel like this was a wasted visit sine we've already had such a good time together.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An induction

Since I'm still pregnant and Z shows no signs of making an appearance, we have decided to schedule an induction. My midwife, who is not at all concerned about the baby or me, will not even consider an induction until I'm 41 weeks and 3 days, which is about 10 days from now. Her reasoning for this is that with any intervention I'm more likely to have more interventions, and I totally agree. I am somewhat frustrated though. I fully realize these are circumstances that are beyond my control, and I'm mostly ok with that. I want the baby to come in her own time as that means she's ready. That said, our good friends, who had driven to CU Land from New York, had to leave today, and their primary purpose in coming was so that my friend could be my doula, something she did for me when Wild Man was born. My mom also got here on Saturday, and she's very nervous that she won't be able to be here much after the baby is born if Z doesn't show up until the induction date. Granted, Mom will be here for about 11 more days (and for the record, the "together" Mom showed up!), but if I have to be induced, Mom will have to take more time off of work and extend her ticket. Her visit will also overlap with C's mom's, which isn't ideal for any of us.

Needless to say, both C and I are a bit stressed out. Neither one of us wants to have an induction, but I don't know that I'm mentally prepared to be pregnant for another 2 or 3 weeks. Right now the plan is to schedule an induction for June 27; in the meantime, we'll hope Z decides to come on her own. If she hasn't come by next Tuesday, my midwife will send me to have a stress test, and a few days after that she'll send me for another stress test and an ultrasound. Oddly enough, everyone is more worried than C, my mom (who went to today's appointment with us), and me. As I said to C a little while ago, I know what it is like to have a doctor look at me and be worried. After the scare we had with Wild Man's delivery, I know the look that medical personnel get when they think something is going wrong with my pregnancy. My midwife, whom I like a lot and really trust, does not seem at all concerned, so I'm not concerned--at least not about my health or the baby's. I'm just a little sad that our friends had to leave before the baby arrived and that my mom might not get to spend a lot of time with us after the baby does arrive.

*Edited to add: Yetta and Pita, both of whom are prone to assume the absolute worst, are freaked out. They are sure something will go wrong and were very upset when C told them that he isn't really worried and that he'd prefer not to have me induced.