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


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.


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


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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


So this morning C pointed out that I had instructed Baby Z not to make an appearance until I was completely finished with my dissertation. As of this morning, I only had to complete the abstract and the table of contents. I then needed C's help to convert all the various supplementary materials into a pdf before I could submit it to the thesis office. I spent the afternoon doing that, and C finished helping me convert it to a pdf. I just submitted it to the thesis office. My adviser will send the signature page over to the thesis office tomorrow, as well as a few copyright forms. My dissertation is now submitted. I hope this means that Z will now decide she can show up without making her mother's life more stressful!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I am. . .

still waiting for Z to make an appearance. I'm 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I have finished all of my dissertation revisions. Our good friends are in town visiting; Solon is here to help take care of Wild Man, and Megs is here to be my doula. My mom got into town today. I feel like a watched pot that will never boil.

According to my midwife, Z's head is engaged, which explains why it hurts to walk. I've had serious contractions the last two nights, but they've stopped around midnight. I'm ready, C is ready, Wild Man is even ready. Apparently Z is not ready. So we wait.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Princess Fever

Gender is always on my mind, it seems. It is a big concern of my research, and I think I probably pay more attention to issues of gender than the average parent (no doubt, as do most of my readers many of whom are also academic moms). Since giving birth to Wild Man, I've thought a lot about gender roles and how they will affect my son. At 2 1/2 Wild Man is slowly becoming aware of gender and sex. He knows, for example, that he has a penis and that I do not. He knows that I wear a bra but that C does not. As he has found various feminine products in our bathroom cabinet the closer we get to Z's arrival, he is also starting to understand that certain things are for "ladies." Per our pediatrician's instructions, we're focusing on providing simple answers to his questions and offering more information when he asks for more. Mostly though, Wild Man is satisfied with simple answers about the differences between his body and my body. We have recently had some trouble answering questions that are clearly related to gender.

C and I recently took Wild Man shoe shopping. He is now at the age where he offers an opinion, and we're learning how to validate his opinion while buying clothes and shoes that we think are appropriate. On this particular shopping trip, we explained to Wild Man that he needed new sneakers, nothing else. My kid likes shoes (can you blame him? So do I!), so it was important that he know we were only buying sneakers. Well, at the shoe store, Wild Man was drawn immediately to a pair of pink sparkly sneakers. He looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I please have these?" The pair he had chosen were reasonably price, were well made, and were a brand that I know will last. Moreover, they were designed in a way that would easily accommodate my son's wide foot. I figured, what the heck? They weren't obnoxiously pink and only the velcro straps were sparkly. But C took one look at them and said, "I don't think we should let him have pink shoes." I raised my eyebrows, and he then said, "I know we're trying to be progressive parents, but I really don't want to have to deal with all the comments we'll get about letting him wear pink shoes. I'll compromise. We can go buy him some pink, glittery play shoes at the toy store when we're done here." To be totally honest, I think C's reasoning is a bit of a cop out. Wild Man likes pink, plain and simple. But he also likes trucks, tractors, and dirt. I understand that we'd probably get a few odd looks about his shoes, but whatever, right? I mean, pink shoes are the least of my worries. That said, I wasn't in the mood to have a long drawn out debate about gender in the shoe store. C was able to suggest a pair of navy blue sneakers with red and silver trim that Wild Man liked. They fit so we bought them. We never made it to the toy store for dress up shoes, but he still wears my heels around the house. All is well in our house.

Then I ran across this article on Princess Fever this morning. I freely admit this is my biggest fear about having a daugther: that she will come out of my womb loving all things pink, glittery, sparkly, and princess-y. All things that I really don't like. In fact, part of the reason we haven't bought Wild Man dress up play shoes is that I can't find any that aren't connected to the Disney Princesses. I think I'm pretty good a negotiating gender choices for my son because I'm trying to seek a balance. Ideally we'll be able to provide a similar balance for Z, but after reading this article I am now imagining us in the same shoe store arguing with her about pink sparkly sneakers emblazoned with princesses and trying to steer her toward the navy blue ones. Is it possible in 2009 to raise a daughter who is not enamored by princesses?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Belly shot

A few weeks ago, we had a photographer come to the house and take some family pictures of the three of us and some maternity shots of me. Wild Man was not as cooperative as I'd hoped, but the photos still turned out great, mainly because the photographer was determined to get some great pictures. She got some really nice ones of C and me, which makes me very happy since we haven't had a professional picture taken of just the two of us since our wedding, almost 9 years ago. This is one of my favorites.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


So Thursday morning I woke up with a cold. I thought, "Seriously, a cold at 38 weeks pregnant? Who did I piss off?" I was hoping it would be a minor cold. No such luck. It has turned into a major cold, with a cough, watery eyes, and lots of sneezing. So far Wild Man hasn't caught it, but C has. Colds always affect us differently. I've already gone through a box of tissues. C has yet to sneeze or need to blow his nose, but he looks exhausted and clearly feels awful. I actually told him that as tired as I am of being pregnant I really hope I don't go into labor tonight as I don't think either one of us is up for a long night of labor. Here's hoping we'll both feel better soon, and that Z makes her appearance soon after that. I think Wild Man is even ready for her to be here. He asked me today, "Mommy, when sister come home?"

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Birthday Update

Yesterday was my birthday, and I really thought that Z would make an appearance yesterday. I was born on my grandfather's birthday, so I have thought for some time now that Z might show up on our birthday to give us something extra to celebrate. Apparently she wants to keep us guessing, so we're still waiting.

Despite still being pregnant, I had a lovely birthday. Wild Man woke me up by singing "Happy Birthday" to me, and he and C made me breakfast--toast, cereal, and sliced strawberries. After we dropped Wild Man off at school, C and I went to price kitchen cabinets. I know this isn't particularly exciting to most people, but the chain home improvement store in town is discontinuing a nice line of cabinets. Thus, we can replace the cabinets in our house for around $700. The problem is that since the line is discontinued we have to make do with whatever is in stock. We spent over an hour figuring out what they have and don't have and trying to locate the missing pieces at another store, which is in a town about an hour away.

After leaving the land of kitchen cabinets, we ran some other errands and then had a lovely lunch at a Thai restaurant I've been wanting to try for a while. We opted not to have a family dinner because I wanted to go to a nicer restaurant. We also opted not to hire a babysitter and to go out for the evening because I'm just not up for late nights right now. In the end, this restaurant, which was a bit upscale, was a good compromise. We had a lovely grown-up lunch, lingering over appetizers and entrees and talking for over an hour and a half. Now if we don't get to celebrate our anniversary in any significant way, I don't think either of us will feel cheated.

After lunch, C dropped me off at a nearby Starbucks, where I read and worked for awhile, and he returned to the home improvement store to purchase the cabinets we needed and they had in stock. Then he picked me up, and we went to a midwife appointment. We learned that Z is still quite low (which I knew), but that her head is not yet engaged. The midwife warned me this may not happen until I'm in labor. I find it hard to believe her head isn't engaged since I'm experiencing so much pressure in my pelvis, but whatever. Then we picked up Wild Man and went to the park for a while. We got home around 5, made pasta for dinner, and had yummy ice cream cake for dessert. After Wild Man went to bed, C and I watched a movie and snuggled on the couch. All in all, it was a low-key birthday, which is exactly what I wanted. And we have over 3/4 of the ice cream cake left, so I get to celebrate for quite a few more days!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


I'm feeling a bit weepy today. Truth be told, I've been feeling a bit weepy for the past few days. Lots of things make me want to cry, especially things connected to Wild Man. In the past month or so, it has really hit home how much he has grown up.

He is almost completely potty-trained. He always pees on the toilet, and he poops on it about 85% of the time. While a lot of this is due to mine and C's effort to make sure he goes, he is getting much better about telling us when he has to do. He can dress himself, aside from buttoning buttons and zipping zippers. He can even get his shoes on himself, although he still confuses which feet they go on regularly. And in the milestone we've been working toward for so long: he consistently sleeps through the night and puts himself to sleep. This is a big accomplishment in our household. All of these things are great, and I'm very proud of my little guy. But he is definitely not a baby anymore. He's lost most of his baby chub with his most recent growth spurt. He is about 35 inches tall and weighs about 33 pounds. He constantly tells me, "Mommy, I do it myself." He has never been much of a snuggler, and he is even less of one now. He is very free with hugs and kisses, but he won't sit on my lap (or what is left of it) for any length of time. As if all of that weren't enough, he is fascinated by C. Whereas he used to want to be with me all the time (and yes, I remember complaining about it), now he follows C around and does everything he sees his father doing. I'm quite happy that he is attaching himself to C, as it will definitely make the transition easier once Baby Z arrives, but it makes part of me a little sad.

On top of missing my baby boy, I'm also feeling some guilt about having a second child. On some level, I feel like we're doing Wild Man a huge disservice by having a second child, at least financially. If we were a family a three, we'd be able to give him a lot more--in terms of education, of travel, of life experience. Being a family of four, those things are necessarily going to be harder. C's reassures me that this won't necessarily be the case. After all, given our professions and his particular field of study, our kids will have a lot of life experiences we didn't have as children. But financially things will be harder, at least a bit. And then I feel guilty for thinking maybe we shouldn't have decided to have a second child. It's this horrible cycle, which I'm hoping will end once I meet Z and hold her for the first time. But I keep thinking, what if all I can think about when the midwife gives her to me for the first time is Wild Man? What if I don't have the immediate love for her that I had for him? What if I like him better? And I want to cry again.

I'm really hoping all of this is just pregnancy hormones and that all of these doubts and fears will go away once Z arrives.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Insurance aggravation

So last week, C and I finally got our Canadian driver's licenses. We had been putting it off for a variety of reasons, but finally, we (or I) determined we just had to do it. Getting our driver's licenses was the easy part. It literally took under a half an hour, which we both found really surprising. Getting Canadian car insurance is proving to be a bit more difficult, however.

First of all, car insurance is much more expensive here--as, it seems to us, is everything else. Second, it honestly never occurred to either C or me to keep a copy of our Southwestern State driver's licenses, which is proving to be a problem as we don't have driver's license numbers. Third, it seems that the Canadian system and the American system don't "speak" to one another, so all the paper work that the Canadian insurance company needs I'm having to find and locate on my own. That said, the insurance agent I've been working with regarding forms and the like since March has neglected to tell me what all I need to get the best rate possible. The entire process is getting a bit frustrating--and that frustration is only complicated by the fact that C has absolutely no patience for anything like this at all.

So after 4 phone calls to various companies and various states I think I finally have all the forms that I need so we can get Canadian car insurance. But something tells me I'm probably wrong.