A Moment I’d Nearly Forgotten

May 23, 2007

Last night, M and I were snuggled together chatting right before bed.  As usual, M started dozing off in the middle of the conversation, so I kissed him good-night and continued to lie close to him as I watched him fall asleep.  All of a sudden I had a flash of one of my favorite scenes from a movie, in Casper when the sweet ghost watches his human, Kat, fall asleep and whispers to her, “Can I keep you?”  She mumbles, “Mm-hmm,” in response, which apparently satisfies the lonely ghost.  I whispered Casper’s question to M, and as if on cue, he replied, “Mm-hmm,” in his sleep.  I doubt he even remembers this morning.

This movie line has always been special to the two of us.  As you may have gathered, Kat is the shortest nickname that can be derived from my real name, so early in our relationship, M started calling me that every so often.  He’d also recently watched the movie.  Before the end of our first weekend together, he had brought up that movie scene, noting the similarities.  In a sweet romantic moment, he asked me, “Can I keep you?”  Although I’d already suspected that would be the case, I was reluctant to admit to such that soon into the relationship.  I avoided answering the question and continued to do so every time he asked for the first couple of weeks.

Then one day he asked again, and I whispered, “Uh-huh,” in response.  That was my way of telling him that I knew at last.  I don’t think he was any happier when I said those magic three words to him for the first time–I love you.

Somewhere I heard the idea of writing letters to each other to read right before our wedding, before we’d seen each other for the first time on that special day.  I thought it would be a good way to tell each other just how we were feeling about being married to each other, but I never realized that recording them in letter form would be a way for us to always keep the memory of those feelings.  Our letters are forever side-by-side in our wedding album now.  Every so often I glance back at them when I’m in a nostalgic mood.  I always get a bit teary-eyed when I read them.

The last line of M’s letter, written hastily while trying to avoid distractions from his brothers the night before, was “So, can I keep you?”

The last line of my letter, written in a quiet place in the church the morning before the wedding, before ever receiving the letter from him, was “Yes, you can keep me.”

Feelings and Stuff

May 22, 2007

I avoided mentioning it yesterday, and I’m glad now that I did.  M and I have been going through an emotional time handling this pregnancy.  M, as I’ve mentioned before, is anxious about it somehow, and that has created some friction between us when I unintentionally say something that sets it off.  It happened the other night when M happened to glance over my shoulder when my blog was open and read one line about him that could potentially be taken out of context.  He knew he must have taken it out of context and refused to bring it up with me because of that, but instead withdrew altogether with hurt feelings.  I finally dragged the truth out of him and explained exactly what I was writing about in those two posts from last week about my flip-out and the resulting compromise.  That led to another discussion about what was happening with him when I talked about the baby.  Every theory he had about why he got anxious when thinking about Baby I tried to counter with words of comfort.  Instead of comforting him, however, they led to an even worse anxiety attack than before.  We both fell into a restless sleep with nothing resolved.

The next day (yesterday) when he called on his way home for lunch, M and I continued the discussion and finally realized what was probably behind the anxiety.  M was feeling overwhelmed with the thought that he was going to be responsible for taking care of four people now, both financially and otherwise.  Last week’s illness when I was incapable of helping much around the house forced M to truly care for all three of us and the house virtually alone.  No wonder the guy was overwhelmed.  So I’m now making an effort to do more now that I’m feeling human again.  Already it’s made a huge difference; M is more relaxed when he comes home to a relatively clean house and doesn’t have to immediately assume responsibility for PJ as well.  I hope I stay feeling well enough to keep contributing and taking more from M’s workload.

In a complete change of topic, I had another baby dream last night.  Our little baby boy was born practically before I realized I was giving birth–at home–and very prematurely.  For some reason I thought in the dream that I was at 30 weeks.  The baby was perfectly healthy, though, and we never even bothered rushing him to the hospital to get him checked out.  The only problem with him was that he didn’t resemble the name we had already chosen for him.  Anybody care to analyze the dream, or is it too blatantly obvious what’s on my mind?  I’m so paranoid first and foremost that this baby will decide to be born before it’s done cooking.  I hope once the progesterone shots start, I’ll stop worrying quite so much about this possibility, but I doubt that will happen.  Right now I’m just hoping and praying the baby stays in at least one more week, and next week I’ll pray for the same.

More and more I’m recognizing some bad feelings towards my SIL (the bad one).  I hope everything I’m feeling about her is wrong.  But I can’t help mourning their coming baby.  When things blow up between my brother and my SIL, I hate the thought of a baby being between them, either keeping them together when they shouldn’t or being hurt in the process.

While I’m mentioning extended family, can I say again how excited I am about our weekend trip?  Not only will I get to see my parents and pictures of this new baby (remember our 3D ultrasound on Saturday?), but it’s possible my sister and BIL will make it for the weekend as well.  Oh, and my in-laws might be there for the ultrasound, too, but I’m not quite as excited about that.  I’ve neglected to mention all the stress they have caused us with the weekend’s plans, and I’ll be good and keep it that way.  I can’t decide if I’m more eager to see all my family for my own sake, or to see how PJ reacts to them, or to see how they react to this new toddler PJ.  It will be fun no matter what.  Friday can’t get here soon enough!

The Weekend Quest

May 21, 2007

Sorry I took the weekend off from blogging.  I just needed a break, was too busy anyway, and hey, it was the weekend so nobody was reading anyway.  But I’m back now and raring to go.

 Friday night I was feeling considerably better, so M and I went out to eat for our belated anniversary dinner.  While there, we tentatively made plans for Saturday if I continued to feel well.  I did, thank goodness.  I was actually eager to get out of the house again.  We decided that when PJ woke up from his afternoon nap, we’d trek across town to the one store we knew of that sold our brand of crib so we could price a similar crib for the new baby.  While across town, we might walk the mall or find something else to do in that area since I used to live there.

Of course, PJ woke up from his nap incredibly late, and it took us a few minutes to get ready to go.  Our fast route to the other area of town was marred by construction and an accident in the construction area (huge mess).  By the time we pulled into the parking lot in front of the store, it was after 6:00.  We suddenly had the thought that this was the kind of tiny, weird store that might close early on a Saturday.  Sure enough, it was closed.  They’d actually closed at 5:00, though, so we never had a chance of making it.  (Seriously, who closes at 5:00 on a Saturday in a huge commercial area?)

Frustrated but unwilling to let our trek become a total waste, we decided to walk the nearby mall to find some new maternity clothes.  It turns out that they’ve added tons of shops around my old familiar mall and changed all the parking, and most of the decent shops are moving from the mall itself to the area around the mall.  It was a total bust; there wasn’t even a maternity clothes store.  Tired and frustrated, we turned around and headed home as fast as possible with nothing to show for our efforts.

When I still felt great yesterday, we decided to continue our quest.  M found another store in another area of the city that sells this brand of crib, so we made plans to head there.  We both got up before PJ, oddly enough, and got ready for the day before noon.  We checked this store’s hours before leaving and knew they should be open if we got there early afternoon.  It turns out that this trip was much easier and actually closer.  The store was bigger and nicer and happened to be having a big sale.  We found a crib of the same brand but not the exact same crib that is actually half the price.  It should coordinate nicely with PJ’s crib.  M’s parents are checking with a place near where they live that gave us a good deal on PJ’s nursery furniture, but if they can’t beat this price, we’ll be headed back to this store later this week to buy it.  I guess this is one thing partially crossed off my list.

As far as baby is concerned, several big changes have happened this weekend.  For one, I have definitely “popped.”  I may only be five months pregnant, but I feel like I’m in my third trimester.  The belly is huge and tight and awkward-feeling.  I have to be careful how I sit and how I stand up or even roll over in bed.  Every day my belly button gets a little more shallow, and I expect it to disappear in the next couple of weeks.  It never went away altogether with PJ.  M debates with me daily about whether I ever got this big with PJ.  I keep telling I must have if i was nine weeks father along when he was born, but I’m starting to think it’s getting pretty close.  My legs have started swelling if I stand or sit upright too long.  I can feel feet and elbows all over the belly, not just below the belly button like I had recently.  Oh, and in the moments I feel particularly big, I’ve started walking in that familiar pregnancy waddle.  I have a feeling that this is going to be a very long third trimester if I’m already this uncomfortable and a full month away from the third trimester.  I may need some reminders over the next few months that I’m doing everything I can to prevent a premature birth, because I’m probably going to wish I could have one by the time I hit thirty weeks.

Update: We have a crib, sort of.  M’s mom called him right after lunch to tell us the guy she knew couldn’t get us a better deal on the crib; it would cost him more to get it than we would pay for it at this place.  I called, and sure enough, they would take purchases over the phone.  They have a great return policy if we change our minds, too.  It’s really a fantastic deal and a fantastic place.  I’m thoroughly pleased, even if we don’t quite have the crib at home and set up yet.  It’s officially ours either way!


May 18, 2007

…if you can call it that.  M and I made only brief references to my flip-out of the other night when he got home from work yesterday.  His way of offering a compromise was telling me basically as an aside that he’d looked at our budget while at work yesterday and gave me a number that we could spend on this baby.  It was given as though it was a gift, this number for a budget.  Honestly, it’s perfectly reasonable and I would almost certainly stay within those limits anyway, but somehow it still disappointed me.  I don’t think that’s what I wanted, a number.

Sure, it helps to know he voluntarily thought about the baby without freaking out on his own.  And I guess it helps to know that he was worrying most about the cost of this baby than the baby itself.  Still, it’s apparently not the solution for my frustration or the reason I was upset that he didn’t want to hear about baby stuff.  Apparently, for me, talking about the baby is more a way to relate to each other and bond over the coming baby.  Talking about the baby stuff we’re thinking about getting isn’t about the money involved–because it doesn’t bother me if we never buy some if this stuff–it’s about the bonding.  I guess it bothers me that M doesn’t understand that aspect of it.  Although I don’t know how he would get it; it’s not as though I’m making that clear.

I offered my own side of a compromise later last night by bringing up my reaction to his offer of a budget, sort of.  I told him that I was willing to wait to buy any baby stuff until after the big 3D ultrasound next weekend, both for practical reasons and emotional.  We may change our minds about some decorating stuff once we know a definite gender, and at that point we will have passed the 24-week milestone when this baby has a real chance of making it, no matter what might happen after that point.  That also means we don’t have to obsess over it for another week, and I’m sure he’s thrilled to postpone that aspect of it even for just a week.  But to meet my own needs, I mentioned that I will not make the decision about a crib on my own and would love his help and advice choosing one.  I also told him I would probably need some help with a baby sling eventually but that I’d try to decide on my own first.  I think having his help selecting what we want for this baby will satisfy that bonding need.

So things are looking up today, mostly my own mood.  I think part of it is due to our semi-compromise from last night, but most of it is in celebration with finishing my antibiotics, which I blame my recent ickiness and moodiness on.  Or it could be the caffeine in that headache pill I took for lunch.  Whatever it is, it’s nice to be optimistic once again, even for a short period of time.  And this time next week, we’ll be on our way to see my mommy and daddy again!  Can you tell I’ve needed that for a while?


May 17, 2007

Last night I spent some time setting up a registry on Babies R Us’s website while watching the end of American Idol.  I also looked through different baby slings on amazon (more on that later).  I was excited about what I was finding, so when I got over the shocker of Melinda getting kicked off, I went to talk to M about what I’d been doing.  He’d had to work late, so he was chilling by playing a computer game, but he doesn’t mind if I come chat with him while he’s playing.

Anyway, I was going on and on about baby stuff when he interrupted me to tell me that apparently baby stuff was what had been making him anxious the last few days (a problem that crops up now and then and can lead to a panic attack).  Upset at being chastised, I flipped out.  I went back in the other room to sulk the rest of the evening.  I cried on and off for hours and was putting on a good show for him when we cuddled before bed.  I’m still nursing some hurt feelings today.

I don’t completely understand my reaction.  I know I’m pregnant and susceptible to random flip-outs like this, but they don’t usually last this long.  My only other guess is that my medicine is affecting my moods (something I did read in the information about it).  It’s annoying even if I have an explanation for it.

Okay, about the baby stuff.  I decided to go ahead and put the things i was pretty sure about on a baby registry, even though I haven’t publicized it to family yet.  I don’t know how kosher it is to set up a registry for a second baby.  It’s mostly big-price items, too, since we’re mostly set for little things, especially if it’s a boy, and we’ll get a lot of other little gifts to fill in around the edges, I’m sure.  The one area where the advice I’ve received has only caused more confusion is the baby sling.  (By the way, I love the advice about the swing.  M and I decided to try the baby in the one we have first, if we don’t get the other one off the registry, and if the baby doesn’t like that, we’ll take him/her to try out swings at Babies R Us.)  I looked in more detail at every sling any of you mentioned, and I have no idea which kind will work best for us.  I don’t know anybody personally who has one, so I can’t borrow one once the baby’s born to try it out, and frankly, I can’t find any of the slings I’m interested in anywhere but online.  If the sling wasn’t the one item I thought would make caring for both this new baby and PJ doable, I’d give up on the whole idea.  It sure would be nice if I could get my husband to do some research with me so that I’m not making such a big decision on my own.  He better not complain if we end up ordering several different ones because my first choices don’t work.

It’s Not Fair, It’s Not Fair, IT’S NOT FAIR!

May 16, 2007

Imagine me stamping my foot and shaking my head as I say that.  I’m in need of a little juvenile tantrum for a minute before I grow up again and get over it.

My mom called me this morning to tell me my older brother and SIL (the good ones) found out yesterday that they’re having a girl.  If you’re keeping track, that means every single other pregnant woman I know is having a little girl. Say it with me: it’s not fair!  That is the final straw to prove to me that I’m bound to be the different one gestating a little boy.  How come they all get what I want?  At least I won’t be the least bit surprised when the ultrasound tech tells me in another week and a half that our baby does indeed have a penis.

I know once I get used to being the only one with little boys, I’ll come to actually like being special.  I’ll find all the great things about having little nieces but no nephews.  I’ll see my little baby boy and forget that I ever wanted a little girl; I’ll actually pity my brothers for having to put up with little girls.  But I think I’m owed a short-lived tantrum until then, right?

In other news, I finally called the doctor again yesterday about feeling bad.  Things had just continued to get worse since I talked to her about it at the appointment on Thursday.  Apparently the lab results had come back, and I don’t have a UTI.  There was, however, enough random bacteria in the sample for her to suggest putting me on a short course of antibiotics to make sure I didn’t have anything in my system that was making me, and possibly the baby, sick.  That’s exactly what I was hoping she would do.  Hopefully in the next two to three days I’ll be back to feeling normal again.  If not, I get to go get blood work done on Monday.  Fun.  Better than being sick anyway.

Thank you for all the comments and advice on yesterday’s post.  Boy, am I glad I waited until a Monday to post it, since you all came back with the work week like I hoped.  Could I get some more of that great helpful advice?  Here are the specific products I was looking at.  If you’ve had any experience with these products, I’d love to hear about it.  Even if it was just a friend of a friend who raved about it or hated it or whatever, I’m anxious to hear that.  I don’t want to replace a perfectly good baby swing, for example, if I’m not positive I’m getting something way better.

  • breast pump–This is the one I was looking at before all the advice yesterday, so thanks for convincing me I was looking at the right one.  It helps that the kit that works with a hospital-grade pump that I used the whole time I breast-fed PJ is the same brand and would be an extra kit to use with this (I think).
  • baby swing–I saw a newborn using this a few weeks back and thought it was the coolest thing.  Not only does it swing both directions (back and forth, and side to side), but it’s more comfy than the bigger-baby swing we have.  Oh, the best part?  It plugs in!  That’s right; we won’t have to replace its batteries every day or two.
  • diaper bag–This is my current favorite, based on online reviews.  I refuse to buy a diaper bag without seeing it in person, though.  I’m so picky about stuff like that.  It has to be big enough for all the toddler and baby paraphernalia that I take everywhere with me, but not too huge or bulky.  We’ll see what I think about this after I’ve seen it in person.
  • baby sling–I’m excited about this if it works like I’m imagining.  I’m not sure how it compares to the equally popular Maya wrap, though.

Thoughts?  Opinions?

Looking for Advice

May 15, 2007

I am still solidly in a nesting phase, but what with feeling awful lately, it has looked more like a lazy nesting phase than anything.  The other day when I was nesting by looking at baby stuff online, I decided to start listing all the baby items I thought we needed to replace or get more of before this one is born.  Fortunately that list is pretty short.  The other list I made isn’t so short, though: the “wants” list.

I feel like as an experienced mom giving it another try, I can use my wisdom from going through this once to make my experience even better the second time around.  I’ve been evaluating all the baby stuff we got for PJ that worked great and what didn’t work so well.  I’m trying to remember that certain things may have worked or not worked partly because of his special needs when he was so tiny, like onesies that buttoned down the front to allow room for the cords from his apnea monitor or the awful swing that made him spit up because of his reflux.  Or pumping exclusively for the first five weeks of his life and several times a day for months after–without an electronic pump.

Out of these evaluations, I have developed my wants list.  This is where you guys come in.  I may have figured out what didn’t work last time and could stand to be replaced, but I don’t know what does work.  I’ve been looking online and found some pretty well-recommended items, but nothing compares to personal advice.  If you particularly liked what you used for any of the following items, could you let me know what you had and why you liked it?

I’m looking at replacing our:

  • breast pump–for an electronic one
  • baby swing
  • diaper bag–need something that accommodates both toddler and newborn stuff
  • Baby Bjorn carrier for some sort of baby sling–This is what I want the most advice on.  I feel totally out of my element here.  Baby slings always felt so “hippie mom” to me, and I’m anything but.  I feel weird venturing into hippie mom territory when I still refuse to co-sleep or make my own baby food out of all organic food, but I have a feeling carrying this baby in a sling will make my life a lot easier when I’m chasing a toddler at the same time.  (By the way, kidding about the hippie mom stuff–or at least exaggerating it.)

So what advice can you guys give me?  I’ll even take stories about what didn’t work for you so that I know what not to seriously consider.  And do you have any suggestions for must-have baby products that I haven’t listed?