Nine Months with Atticus

Dammit. Here we are 2 days from him turning 10 months old, and I’m just now remembering to post about Month 9. I guess that as long as I don’t start falling 2 months behind, I’m doing okay.

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As you can see, he is only getting cuter.

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In May he started really propelling himself around. He still (even now) hasn’t gotten his knees up underneath him, but he army crawls around the place like nobody’s business. He has arms of steel. He makes me a little scared. We got him these hideous pads to roll around on since he was still clunking his head on the floor on a regular basis.

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For Mother’s Day we taught him to drive. Then the Lumberjack gifted me with this fine backpack, and we hit the trails.

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Roots of Empathy ended in May. I know Atticus isn’t going to remember any of it, but I’m really going to miss it. The kids were so sweet, and loved him so much, and it was so fun to take him there every month to get gazed at. All babies should be so lucky.

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Things got way more exciting in the food department in May! The kid finally started eating. He’s not too good at feeding himself yet, but he’s working on it. He loves those puree pouches, as well as taking bites from whatever I’m eating. I have to be sneaky with that, though, since ONE of his parents worries that Atticus is going to choke and die. The other parent is a little more relaxed. I’ll let you guess which one is right.

He’s still predominantly nursing, and I’m sure he will turn into a psychopathic deviant for it. I’m trying to incorporate more solids into his diet so that he’s less dependent on breastmilk, but that’s just so I can stop pumping at the office. I still love nursing the little wriggler. I love how calm it makes him, and how he’ll sort of tap tap tap on my boob like he’s thinking deep thoughts. He still does his Jane Fonda high kicks, too. That, and he’ll jam his hand in my mouth until I nibble on it, then laughs hysterically (getting milk everywhere). I know I would be getting more sleep if he wasn’t nursing, but…fuck it.

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Suddenly at the end of the month he started being big enough to sit in grocery carts and restaurant high chairs. I still can’t believe I’m a mom. To a kid. Who sits in shopping carts. The fuck?

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Seven Months with Atticus

He’s not officially seven months old until Wednesday, but tomorrow we’re taking him on a 20-hour journey to the other side of the planet, and we lose Wednesday somewhere in the middle there (we leave on Tuesday, and arrive on Thursday, but it only takes 20 hours…WHAT HAPPENED TO WEDNESDAY), so there will be no photo on the rocking chair until we get back. Or maybe I’ll do it tonight, if I don’t have enough other things to do to prepare for tomorrow’s adventure.

Anyway! My kid, he keeps getting bigger. This month he basically just became an even larger, cuter, heart-asploding handsome little chubby-cheeked monster. He laughs at everything now, and holy fuck you guys I am so intensely in love with him. It literally hurts to look at him sometimes. I physically feel it in my insides, this deep, overwhelming desire to hug and protect and squeeze and observe and just BE near him.

jihwesdkuhwieruhiuhjhj$#%$^$#%@#$% brain: kaput.

He is still stuffing everything into his mouth.

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EVERYTHING. He somehow added a new channel to our roku player by chewing on the remote.

The weather has been totally incredible lately. Gorgeous sunny skies with a nice breeze. I spent most of all this month’s weekends on picnics with various friends.

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HOW CUTE IS THIS BABY

Yesterday A3 and I had a baby photo shoot for Easter. We got a bunch of cute pictures of them sitting up and looking adorable, but my favorite is this one where you can see them as preteens, totally over it.

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BabyClaws is being a good sport, but Atticus is DONE.

I’ve been taking a ton of pictures of the kid; for every picture I post here, there’s about 53 in my phone. Having camera phones makes taking photos so easy – I end up with a dozen new pictures every day. But I rarely have any of me with him, since I’m always taking the picture. After reading this article (and after finishing the resulting sappy cry), I’ve decided to ask people to take my picture with Atticus more often. I love baby pictures of myself with my parents – it makes me so happy to see what they looked like when I was so small. I want to make sure I provide that to Atticus, too.

So, here we are on Sunday:

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And here he is with the Lumberjack, totally cracking each other up:

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(if you follow me on instagram, you can see more of those! user: dkingneece)

I am wildly, insanely, overwhelmingly in love with my little boy.

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Week 40: D Day

It’s August 26.  I’ve been thinking about this date for almost 40 weeks.  I know that few babies actually arrive on their due date, but I’ve still been expecting it to happen right on cue.  So far it’s 5am and nothing.  What’s up, kid?

I’m officially on maternity leave now (as of last Wednesday), which has been AWESOME.  It was really hard to let go early last week, but now that I’m off the clock it’s pretty fantastic.  Just me & the Lumberjack hanging out all day, every day.  Well, he sleeps until around noon whereas I wake up around 9, and I go to bed around 10 and he’s up until 2 or 3, so we each have a few hours to ourselves each day which is also nice.  But there’s been a WHOLE lot of together time, which is making both of us really happy since soon there will be a tiny but loud human demanding all our attention.  At which point I doubt I’ll be able to bat my eyelashes at the Lumberjack and say “I want peppermint ice cream” and then he’s returning from the store 20 minutes later and serving it to me.  Pregnancy?  With the best husband ever?  Pretty awesome.

What is not awesome is my blood pressure.  It’s not dangerously high, but it’s still too high for the birth center.  So, the final decision was made and I’ll be heading to the hospital.  I’ve had a week or so to sit with that, and it’s been over a month since the BP issue first came up, so I think I’m at peace with it.  It still makes me sad, though.  For minor reasons, too – the thought of my kid having Walnut Creek listed on his birth certificate instead of Oakland is pretty much bullshit if you ask me.  But I’ll deal.

I’ve been having contractions all week, which is exciting.  On Tuesday they were happening every 5-6 minutes all day long, which made me think Wednesday or Thursday might be the day…but no.  They’re still super mild – not painful at all, just the typical Braxton-Hicks tightening.  And I hear that some women go through weeks of this without any change.  I’m not dilated at this point, although I my cervix is “soft.”  The things I share on the internet.

Due to the blood pressure issue, no one (doctors & midwives alike) wants me to hit 41 weeks.  So on Thursday, August 30 I have an appointment to be induced.  I DO NOT WANT TO BE INDUCED.  Therefore I will spend the next 4 days doing my best to get this kid moving on his own.  First up?  Acupuncture!  We’ll see if it works.  PLEASE don’t tell me to have sex.  I know it works for some people.  I’ve heard all about it.  I still don’t want anyone other than me or the Lumberjack suggesting that we do it.  It’s just too weird.

Week 37: Shit is getting REAL

The diaper service called this afternoon to confirm that they’re dropping off our first order next week.  NEXT WEEK.  WE WILL HAVE DIAPERS IN OUR HOUSE IN ONE WEEK.

Seriously?  Who decided that I was ready to be a mother?!  I guess technically it was me making that decision, 9 months or so ago.  But still!  What the fuck.  We’re going to have a BABY and we’re going to be in charge of keeping him alive.  All the time!  Every day!  FOREVER.

I may or may not be slightly freaking out.

I have been getting check-ups on the regular the past 2 weeks.  Two non-stress tests, one doctor visit and one midwife visit every week.  Plus Kaiser loaned me a blood pressure cuff, so I’m now monitoring my BP three times a day.  There are a ton of people watching over me and this little baby, making sure both of us are chugging along like we’re supposed to.  The consensus is now that I do not have pre-eclampsia (YAY), but I do have gestational hypertension (high blood pressure due to the pregnancy).  So it looks like I’ll still have to birth in the hospital, but it’s way less serious than we thought.  This is good!  The hospital we’ll go to has midwives on staff, and my midwife will be coming with me as my doula, so I’ll still get the midwifery model that I wanted – we’ll just be near doctors in case everything goes to hell.

I hope everything doesn’t go to hell.

I’m working from home full-time now, and it’s AWESOME.  No more commuting, I can snack and nap throughout the day, I work in tank tops & my underwear.  At the end of today, it took me all of 45 seconds to go from working to sitting on the couch with a popsicle.  Not too shabby.

I’m on pseudo-bedrest (that’s what I’m calling it) where I’m staying home and resting as much as possible, although still going to pre-natal yoga and taking a few easy walks in the evenings.  I’m soaking my feet at night.  I’m taking way more supplements than I thought existed.  I’m charting everything I consume.  100oz of water, 100g of protein, every day.  Greens, eggs, cucumbers, dark chocolate (woo hoo), all the right things to keep my blood pressure down and to continue creating a tiny super genius.  I’m listening to hypnobirthing audio tapes, and creating a sense of peace and calm around the upcoming birth.  I’m focusing pretty much all my energy these days on growing this baby and preparing to introduce him to the world.

This evening I ate a watermelon while sitting calmly, and realized how much I’ve changed my lifestyle in the past few months to get ready for the kid.  And I just felt so happy.  That I’m lucky enough to be able to lie around eating watermelon and dreaming about a baby.  That I have an awesome husband who is taking such good care of me and who is likewise thrilled about our upcoming adventure.  That I’m as healthy as I am, and that I know what needs to be done for the less healthy aspects of pregnancy so that it doesn’t affect me or the baby.  I’m just so happy that this has all turned out how it has, and that it appears to be continuing nicely.

And somehow that coexists with my HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I’M GOING TO HAVE A BABY IN A MATTER OF DAYS freak out.  I’m not sure how, but I’m rolling with it.

Week 35: I caught the clamp.

Hello, pre-eclampsia.  You were NOT invited to this party.

So, I was in Boulder.  With a crazy high blood pressure that got me stuck in a hospital.  They kept me overnight to monitor me, and Saturday evening gave me the news that I have “mild pre-eclampsia.”  I had a few too many high blood pressure readings, and 325mg of protein in my urine (the cut off is 300).  The doctor was incredibly nice and informative, and told me she would happily release me from the hospital as long as I promised to get the hell out of Colorado.  Since pre-eclampsia can get much worse (hello, liver & kidney failure!  hello, stroke & coma!) really quickly, if I stayed for the second week of training and something happened, I would end up having my baby in Boulder.  Without the Lumberjack.  No fucking thanks.

So I went back to the hotel, cried myself to sleep, woke up Sunday morning and flew home.  Where I proceeded to cry on the Lumberjack for a few more hours.

Up next?  More crying!  We saw our midwife Monday, and learned the heartbreaking news that I can’t birth there anymore.  Since I have an official diagnosis of pre-eclampsia, they can’t let me deliver there.  I have to go to a hospital.  And I KNOW that the goal is a baby.  I KNOW that I need to be healthy.  I KNOW that hospital births happen all the time and are fine and everyone gets out alive and un-traumatized and above all else, I know how lucky I am to be able to be pregnant in the first place.  I get that, I really do.

bed rest = cat naps

But fuck, I am so disappointed and sad.  I was born on a futon in the living room.  I have grown up proud of that story, and have always known that I would give birth the same way.  I’ve been meeting with my midwife for months, and LOVE her, and have established an amazing bond.  I’ve been getting all my pre-natal care in the actual room where I would give birth – I’ve had so many amazing experiences in there, I’ve seen the Lumberjack’s face light up about our baby in there, I’ve been filling that room for MONTHS with love and energy, knowing that those are the walls that will surround us when our marriage becomes a family.

I know everything’s going to be fine, but it’s not going to be what I hoped for.  And I’m just so SAD about.  However, yes, I understand that this is an excellent introduction to parenting.

So, now I’m on fucking bedrest.  Working from home, monitoring my pee & blood pressure daily.  Eating 100g of protein daily, drinking 100oz of water.  Keeping track of everything I consume, lying down as much as possible, etc.  You better believe I’m going to guilt-trip the fuck out of this kid one day.

Week 32: F you, pubic bone.

So apparently this is a thing, and I have it.

Basically: there’s a joint in the pubic bone so that it can spread a bit to let out a baby.  Thanks to relaxin, some lucky ladies have pubic bones that get a little feisty and decide to open up early.  This results in the painful feeling of one’s pubic bone snapping in two.

SUUUUUUUCKS.  Okay, it’s not really THAT bad.  And it should go away once I stop being pregnant.  So that’s good.  But in the meantime, it hurts!  Suggestions for “treatment” are just tips to keep the pelvis stabilized (don’t swim the breaststroke, don’t fling one leg out of the car really fast, keep thighs parallel, etc).  My favourite is “keep your legs together.”  Thanks, smartass – if I could manage that, I wouldn’t have gotten knocked up in the first place.

Other than the whole “my pubic bone is about to snap in half” sensation that happens periodically throughout the day, I’m still feeling good.  Keeping up my iron intake, sticking with my exercise, etc.  Still on-track to birth a super genius baby.

bikini time!

The Lumberjack has gotten hilariously uber-defensive of the baby, and, by extension, me.  Anyone (humans or animals – he yelled at a goose the other day after it hissed at me) who seems to threaten my physical safety has become an enemy.  He’s sweet & gentle enough that it all just seems ridiculously cute.  How dare that jogger nearly trample me!  PROTECT THE BABY.

Baby movements have gotten intense.  He no longer just jabs me periodically – I can now feel an entire foot (or knee?  or elbow?) press against me, very solidly.  When I push back, he slides to the side and IT IS SO CREEPY, YOU GUYS.  I am so happy & so excited & totally full of OMG I AM GROWING AN AMAZING HUMAN BABY but still, it’s fucking creepy.

I’m totally in awe of what my body is currently up to.  I’m growing a person!  WTF?!  I’m having a lot of empathy these days for people who want to do this but are unable to.  It seems so bizarre that some of us have bodies that can get knocked up without even trying while others can’t get there despite trying everything possible, and there’s no logic or reason for the difference.  I feel very grateful and lucky that once this kid pops out, we get to just take him home and BAM we have a baby.  No lengthy adoption waiting lists or interviews or ridiculous costs or whatever.  Due solely to our untamed fertility, the Lumberjack & I get to have the family we want.  It’s giving me a wider perspective on the issue, similar to the greater understanding I had towards marriage after I actually got hitched (aka for fuck’s sake, let everyone get married you dickheads).

To sum up: I like being pregnant, I don’t like my pubic bone, I love the Lumberjack, and I should get back to work.

Week 31: I miss the Lumberjack

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I’m still in Florida, waiting through Tropical Storm Debby and missing my husband. I’d miss him anyway, even if there was no fetus. But it feels especially lonely when he’s not around to put his hands on my belly and get that amazed expression when he feels movement. And there is SO much movement! Last night my whole belly just started shaking all over. It was CRAZY.

I’m officially entering the “holy shit is the baby okay?!” phase where I freak out at least once an hour that he’s suddenly dead. I have no idea why.

I got to spend the weekend with the Lumberjack’s cousin & family (that’s the fetus’s second cousin in the photo) which was fun. I like feeling all the love for this little baby, from all around the world.

It’s June 26; he’s due August 26. Holy SHIT.

Week 29: the Lumberjack is older

This week was the Lumberjack’s birthday!  In a fit of domestic bliss, I baked my first cake (from scratch).  I was even barefoot while doing it.  This was not necessarily the future I would have guessed for myself a decade ago.  One of our best friends shares a birthday with him, so we had a joint birthday picnic.  We ended up staying there for 7 hours and hosting way more people than expected, so my Saturday evening = me on the couch, totally beat.  Operation Pregnant Wife was a success.  Look how cute they are.

In baby news, he has gone CRAZY with the kick-boxing.  The other day I could barely concentrate at work (to be fair, I was sitting in on the world’s most boring interview ever) because I kept staring at my stomach, watching it MOVE FROM WITHIN.  He still only wants to hang out on my right side, though, which is starting to make me look a little lopsided.  I like the dependability though, always knowing exactly where he is.

I’m still gaining about a pound a week.  My knees are definitely feeling the difference.  At a friend’s house last weekend we had a bonfire and wrote down things we wanted to shed on pieces of paper, then burned them.  One of mine was “fear of 200” because I need to get over my vain issues with hitting 200lbs.  My friends immediately did the whole “oh, you won’t weigh that much!” and “don’t worry, you look amazing!” etc.  I said “I…weigh 199.5 right now.  THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.”  I keep reminding myself that the pounds are for the baby, and that it’s healthy and normal to gain weight, and blah blah blah 200 is just an arbitrary number.  I know.  I know!  Still.  200 is so daunting.  I am working on it.

We’ve come up with a few more names for the list – we now have 5 top picks.  I don’t want to pick a final name until I see his little face, but it’s nice to have a few ideas to work with.  My parents still dislike everything we’ve come up with.

On Monday I fly off to Jacksonville (Florida), where I will live out of a hotel for 2 weeks while training 8am-4pm every day.  Can you sense my enthusiasm?  I tried to convince the Lumberjack to come visit me over the weekend.  He said “…in Florida?!” and then didn’t stop laughing.  So, technically, he didn’t say no.

Week 28: Third Trimester!

Here we go, friends.  I’m entering the final countdown.  3 more months!  12 more weeks!  83 more days!  I’m basically giving birth tomorrow!  JUST KIDDING.

I feel like I’m returning to the first trimester in a lot of ways.  Feeling emotional and physically uncomfortable, and getting tired more easily again.  Mostly everything is great – seriously, I think my body was made to do this pregnancy thing, it’s rolling with the punches so easily – but I do miss being able to just hop off the couch or stay up past 10pm.

I can’t think of much else to say at this point.  I’ve been pregnant for so long (SO LONG) that it mostly feels routine.  Exciting!  But normal.  Things at home are still going great – I keep wanting to pet the Lumberjack’s face I’m so in love with it.  He is incredibly patient with my fits of swoon.  We’ll just be hanging out on the couch when I will suddenly grab his leg, overcome with OMG I LOVE YOU SO MUCH WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A BAAAAYBEEE!  But I can’t help it!  We’re making a family and he is fantastic and I’m feeling pretty good about myself as well and we’re going to be PARENTS and are going to be in charge of the cutest little boy ever who will wear onesies covered with frogs and will know above all else that he is loved, wanted and welcome.

That’s what I say to him every morning and every night.  While laying in bed I put my right hand on my belly (he only hangs out on the right side; I do not know why) and close my eyes and think over and over “you are loved, you are wanted, you are welcome” and then he usually bumps into me a bit.  Oh, baby.  You’re going to be so awesome.

Week 27: Turning Into a Turtle

It’s the last week of my second trimester!  I am still feeling good – unicorns and rainbows abound – but I’m starting to move a lot slower than usual.  And getting off the couch?  It’s…tricky.  I feel much sympathy for poor turtles who are flipped on their backs and can’t get up.  I hear you, tiny friends.  I am also ungainly and awkward.

I also get crazy head-rushes if I bend over and stand back up too quickly.  And walking up hills got hard at some point.  Basically: growing a human and carrying around 20 extra pounds of weight can really take its toll on a body.

But!  You guys, I am still so psyched.  And the Lumberjack can’t keep his hands off my stomach.  We frequently just sort of stare at each other, all “omg we’re having a BABY.”  Best birth control screw-up ever!  (Don’t tell the kid I said that.)

The Lumberjack’s dad is in town, so last night we went out to dinner with him & my parents.  Grandparent summit!  They had many opinions on potential names, but were all in agreement that this kid is going to be awesome, and so loved.  I can’t wait for him to pop out (yep, just pop right on out!  so easy!) and get to know his family.

He is kicking a TON, and it’s awesome.  Thump, thump, thump.  I think it’s because he can tell how great things are out here.  Also because we got a HUGE stash of baby clothes over the weekend from a friend, which included a BABY HOODIE.  This kid is going to be from Oakland, through and through.  Baby hoodie.  Holy crap.

Oh also my belly button is mostly flat, but it pops out whenever I cough or laugh hysterically.  Which happens simultaneously, because as soon as I cough and feel it poke out I just crack up and can’t be stopped until I’m nearly crying.  Thanks for the laughs, weird little belly button.