Thursday, July 26, 2012

He has arrived!

Baby G (I'll come up with a better pseudonym soon) was born on Tuesday, July 24th.  I'll likely write up the birth story later, but for now, I'll say this birth did not go as expected.  My labor with Wild Man was 4 hours 20 minutes, and 2 hours and 30 minutes with Bear.  Baby G was 15 hours, give or take.  I was not in active labor that entire time, but that is how long I was in labor, laboring, or trying to get labor to restart before he was born. 

For now, we're doing well.  He has slept fairly well the past two nights, and he is nursing fairly well.  My midwife thinks he is a bit tongue tied, and I am beginning to agree.  He is nursing, but not as efficiently as I'd like him to be.  I'm dealing with a bit of engorgement, which I'm handling with pumping, hot compresses, and ice packs.  He has an appointment with a pediatrician who will cut his frenulum, if need be. 

As for Wild Man and Bear, they are adjusting fairly well.  We've kept them on their regular schedule, so Wild Man has been at art camp all week and Bear has been in daycare.  I know lots of people (including my mom) who disagree with our decision to do this, but honestly, we want the smoothest transition for them.  Having them home, while we're trying to figure out Baby G's personality would mean that they'd end up watching a lot of TV or playing without us.  Keeping them involved with their regular activities means that they don't feel left out, and we can rest throughout the day as we need to.  When they are with Baby G, they have been excited.  Bear is telling everyone about "my brother," and Wild Man is very, very helpful.  We have had some minor meltdowns with each of them, but mostly, things are going well.  And I'm quite happy with our family of 5.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dear Everyone . . .

Yes, I'm still pregnant.  No, I've not made any plans to induce labor.  No, my midwife is not concerned that I am 4 days overdue.  Yes, the baby seems to be healthy, as do I.  Yes, I am incredibly uncomfortable, but I am also managing the heat.  No, I'm not going to stay home and hide-out; I'm pregnant, not an invalid.  Yes, either Archer or I will notify you as soon as humanly possible once the baby is born.  Unfortunately, that notification may be via email or Facebook; we'll have a newborn, plus Wild Man and Bear to care for, so individual phone calls will only be made to our immediate family members.  I'm sorry if that offends you, but I do trust you'll manage to get over it.  No, you cannot come over to see the baby the moment I get home from the hospital, although you are more than welcome to stop by with food (I've done this before you see, and I already have plenty of sleepers and cute onesies for the baby).  No, we're not revealing the baby's name prior to his birth (and yes, we are quite certain it is a boy, and neither one of us is a bit upset about that); you see, we haven't actually chosen a name.  Yes, we do expect that Bear will have a rough time adjusting, but thank you for going out of your way to point out that you think our current youngest child is a spoiled "mommy's" boy.  As you might imagine, our opinion is a bit different, but we've already begun managing his expectations about having a younger sibling.

In closing, thank you for your daily emails and phone calls to inquire whether or not the baby has been born.  They are making the waiting so much more manageable.


P.S. To my regular readers and/or close friends, thank you for your support and understanding.  I sincerely appreciate that you're all interested and excited for me, but I appreciate even more that none of you have bothered the sh*t out of me about my impending delivery.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pregnancy in Public

I've been pregnant three times since I started this blog; thus, pregnancy has been a frequent topic here.  In fact, I've previously discussed how frustrated I become by many people's assumptions that a pregnant woman's body is public domain.  During my three pregnancies, I've had a number of things happen to me or been said to me in public, usually by perfect strangers, that I do not believe would have happened to me when I was not pregnant. 
  • I've had perfect strangers tell me not to purchase feta cheese, alcohol, coffee, and sushi.
  • I've had complete strangers ask me if I'm carrying twins or if I was ready to "pop" at any moment.
  • I've had people ask me if I was smuggling a watermelon out of the grocery store.
  • I've had people ask me if I knew the "gender" of the baby.  One person then ridiculed me for finding out, asking loudly in the middle of a coffee shop "Why no one waits anymore?"
  • I've had people ask what we're naming the baby and then be offended when I decline to share our choices with them.
  • I've had people (a doctor among them, in fact) demand to know why I got pregnant before Bear was potty trained and ask if I don't think I'm too old to be having another child.
  • I've had people mourn the fact that I'm not having a girl.
  • I've had people demand to know why I'm not having a fourth child.
  • I've had perfect strangers touch my body without my permission or without even speaking to me.
I could go on and on.  I fully realize that there are many people who will argue that most people see pregnancy as a happy event, an event that they want to experience even if they are in no way connected to the pregnant person.  I accept that as a plausible explanation for their interest, but I don't accept that as a plausible explanation for people's bad manners or their failure to recognize boundaries.  I have, after all, met pregnant people before, and I have asked questions or commented on their pregnancies, although rarely unsolicited.  I am, however, someone who respects boundaries.  I have a deep respect for public and private, even when the two intersect and/or overlap.  I do recognize that there really is no clear distinction between public and private; after all, this is an area I study.  But there seems to be something about the pregnant body that causes people to collapse all distinctions between public and private, that encourages people to say things that they wouldn't normally say.  Why is this?  What is it about the sight of a pregnant belly that makes people think they no longer have to be polite and tactful, that they can say anything they think, or that another person's body is their business?  I don't have an answer to this, other than the simple fact that something that is a very private thing is on public display every time I leave the house.  And frankly, I don't find that to be a very satisfying answer.  But this really, really troubles me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I just don't get it

Pita sent Archer an email this morning via FB in which she wrote something along the lines of, "Why don't you ever like the comments I post?  I see you can like everyone else's comments but mine.  I also say how much I love you.  Why don't you like my comments?"  It was, however, a bit more aggressive.  Archer opted not to respond, but a few hours later she sent him another message in which she wrote, "Are you ignoring me?"  He responded briefly, but he did his best not to engage her in anything further.

I just don't get it.  I absolutely do not understand how this is an effective form of communication.  I also don't understand why this is something that is worth initiating an argument over.  I do understand that she is a profoundly unhappy person.  Instead of deal with her own unhappiness, she'd rather attack those who love her.  I also understand that trying to engage in any sort of conversation about her behavior will not help the situation at all.  No matter how the topic is approached, Pita will claim to be attacked, despised, hated, and any other number of negative things.  It is impossible to express to her that we do care for her a great deal, but that we don't care for the drama she feels compelled to create.  As she sees it, our lives are perfect, and we look down on her because she doesn't have an education, because we're smarter than she is, because she is unmarried, because she doesn't have a "fancy" job, etc. 

Do I judge her?  If I'm being completely honest, yes, I do, but not for any of the reasons she'd likely list.  I judge her for causing drama, for taking advantage of Yetta, and for casting me as the person who has changed her brother and taken him away from their family.  I judge her for the things that I believe she is actively in control of, for the things she does that make Archer's life and relationship with her and his mother more difficult to manage.  I judge her for causing him stress and aggravation unnecessarily.  I judge her for being a 45-year-old child who refuses to express her feelings in a healthy way, despite being in therapy for over 8 years.  I judge her for using Archer as a target rather than dealing with her own unhappiness.

Mostly, I wish she'd try to have a healthy productive relationship with Archer rather than attacking him unnecessarily.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Apparently these are necessary . . .

So I'm still pregnant.  And while I have about a million things I could be doing, my brain isn't really focusing on any of them.  So I've been hanging out with Archer, Bear, and Wild Man; reading some fun books; and shopping online.  I came across these, and I'm a bit flabbergasted.  Apparently laboring mothers need to look pretty, so pretty that someone has designed a line of gowns called "Pretty Pushers."  A laboring mother is supposed to put the gown on for delivery (whether vaginal or C-section), look pretty (and I guess feel pretty), and then throw the gown away as it likely got a bit "dirty" during the delivery.  I'm offended in about 15 different ways by these gowns.  I just told Archer about these, and he is now laughing at how irritated I am by these gowns.  They just seem so unnecessary, and frankly, I don't think we need to extend Western culture's preoccupation with beauty and femininity into the delivery room.  I mean seriously, while giving birth I was never less concerned with how I looked or who saw what parts of my body.  I'm troubled by this further commercialization of labor and motherhood.  First we had the presence of "push presents"; then came professional photographers in the delivery room; and now we have "push dresses."  Does every part of pregnancy have to be commodified?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

39 weeks

I am 39 weeks pregnant today.  That is all.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A new workspace

Last week I wrote about trying to work and getting organized in the hope that I'd be able to get some things done while I'm on parental leave in the fall and winter.  I'm still working on my list, but I have, with Archer's help, created a lovely work space for myself.  You see I work on campus.  I cannot work at home.  I'm too tempted to do laundry or mop the floor or put away clothes or cook.  I can think of a million things I need to do at home that distract me from my academic work.  When we moved, I sold my desk because, well, I didn't use it.  When I work at home I use the coffee table or the kitchen table as a work space.  For the next year, that just isn't practical, but neither is sharing a desk with Archer.  Let's just say I prefer to be organized while writing and he needs to room to spread out.

To create a work space, we made a trip to Ikea on Friday.  I wanted to purchase a specific desk, but I found something that was more functional and on sale!  The desk is nothing like I'd normally buy, but it fits exactly in the space we have.  Eventually (as in a few years) we'll have the entire basement refinished with an office space, and I can see this desk working really well in a small office with modern furniture.  In the meantime, I think it will work really, really well for the work I have planned in the next 10 months or so.  In fact, I've been using it all day!

*And yes, that is a Starbucks cup you see in the picture, and yes, it was a caffeinated beverage.  If you feel the need to judge a woman who is currently 38 weeks pregnant, caring for two older children, and not sleeping well, go right ahead.

Monday, July 02, 2012

In other news. . .

I often think that I was switched at the hospital as I often am unable to understand my family's religious, civic, and political beliefs.  I will now go build lego houses with my children, whom I do understand.

What I have learned from Facebook this morning

I am the only person in my extended family who doesn't think a 1% tax increase should one choose to opt out of "Obamacare" is a horrific thing.  In fact, I think it is quite reasonable as that 1% will go to help pay to insure another family.  I have also learned that I am akin to the devil because I think this.

38 weeks

Trying to get dressed at 38 weeks pregnant in the midst of a heat wave and still trying to look somewhat presentable is almost impossible, as I just told Archer after he asked me why I had changed my clothes for the fourth time.