Maternity Leave, At Last!

I am officially on maternity leave. I convinced Husband to use some of my vacation time until TWO gets here (I’m 38 weeks tomorrow). His response was, and I quote, “I’d rather you just be happy than have to listen to this every day.”

OH REALLY. IS THAT RIGHT.

I was offended. What did he mean, “this?” But I decided it didn’t matter what he meant by this. He agreed, and I decided in that moment that was ALL I cared about. 

I worked up until delivery with ONE, but this time, I was having an almost daily problem with false labor that was making it difficult to function in an office setting. Not to mention, I wanted to scream “Shut the f#ck up, you crazy motherf#cker” to every person who called my desk. Because that is rational. And professional.

Ever since I’ve been home, I’ve been fine. I can lie down if I need to. No one is yelling at me. I do not have to check my voicemail or email or instant messages. I am not getting faxes. I have no boss. I feel much calmer, and as a result, much more prepared to welcome a new life into this world.

So what have I been doing? Well … my first act was to watch Eat Pray Love. Then I carb-binged, bought an address book, organized paperwork and am currently working on finishing TWO’s room. Here it is, a work in progress. We still have to hang some stuff on the walls. 

 Here is the view from the doorway.

I took this with my phone, okay? So no judging.

We need something to hang above the crib that isn’t dangerous.

Picture-taking really isn’t my forte. If you are reading my blog and you feel disappointment in the visual aspect, I sincerely apologize.  

Now the thing that is keeping me awake at night is the worry that TWO will come late and I will either have to go back to work, or take time off without pay. Tonight is a full moon … isn’t that supposed to bring on labor?

Speaking of labor. I finally broke down and purchased a copy of  Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth, per the suggestion of several friends who have recently given birth sans medication. Have any of you read it?! 

The birth stories scared the crap out of me. Not the pain part — I can deal with that. The WEIRD stuff. Like having your husband “nurse” you to kick-start labor. Ummm … no thank you. I also do not wish to go wandering around in the woods and hang onto trees during contractions.

Verdict: I can’t decide if Ina May is some sort of angel, or a wacked-out hippie. I am neither of those things. I’m still planning to do this thing without an epidural, though. And Husband better NOT try to “nurse” me. Thinking about that makes me uncomfortable on so many different levels. It probably makes you uncomfortable, too. So let’s just not discuss it again.

Tuesday.

Very soon, I’ll be having another one of these. I am so excited!

I went to the doctor today for a checkup. I am 36 1/2 weeks, but I think this might have been labeled as my 37 week appointment. I’m unsure, and frankly, could care less.

I am 3 centimeters dilated and 75% effaced and extremely ready to meet my second son, Asher Rhys Hobbs. His first name means “blessed, happy” and his middle name means “enthusiasm,” so we are expecting him to be fun and happy like we are fancy ourselves to be.

Let’s be honest: all of this pregnancy talk is boring. I’d like to have something else completely encompassing my life (read: a newborn) so I can discuss another topic.

On a sidenote, I got in a very loud argument with a co-worker yesterday in front of the ice machine. It was quite unlike me. Apparently, Pregnant Me doesn’t take shit from people.

Deep Cleaning.

Nothing makes me happier than a clean house. And when I say clean, I mean clean. I realize it’s futile, to clean something only to have it dirtied again … but for that 30 minute span (or 8 hours, if it’s overnight) of time when it’s clean, I’m SO happy.

I’m in full-out nesting mode. It’s way over the top, much more exaggerated than what I experienced while pregnant with ONE. I have methodically re-decorated. I have added and removed furniture from our house. I’ve hired Stanley Steemer and Merry Maids and washed every baby item in our house in preparation for TWO.

I want a clean, serene nest to welcome him into. I’m nervous about having another baby … and when I’m nervous, my way of dealing is to create a calm, clean environment. I’m very Zen that way. Wish me luck as I fight against the odds: Husband and ONE and life in general.

Am I Entitled To Behave Badly?

Is being this pregnant a good enough excuse to check out of life?

I ask that question because, at nine months pregnant, I had an argument with a friend that caused me to take a step back and look at how I’d been behaving. Apparently, I’ve been behaving badly.

In my defense, pregnancy with a toddler is no walk in the park. My mother warned me of this, and I did not listen. Those of you who have gone before me, I know you understand. Those of you who have not, have absolutely no ground on which to judge. 

Factor in a husband who isn’t home much and you have one exhausted and cranky lady on your hands. Even so, maybe certain things aren’t excusable. This is where I found myself, on the day that the argument took place. Wondering why I thought I was excused.

I find pregnancy to be an extremely isolating experience. I withdraw. Frankly, I’d love to just hide in a miserable hole until it’s delivery time – but I have a very busy life that continues to happen even when I wish it could all just stop. So day after day I have been in survival mode, just trying to get through it.

Do I sound miserable? Yes? IT’S BECAUSE I AM.

In all honesty, I have been operating under the assumption that pregnancy is a card I can pull out if I need to. And I’ve been pulling it out – believe me. If I need a day to rest, I take it. If I need help, I ask. If I don’t feel like doing something, I don’t do it. 

During my pregnancy with ONE, I tried so hard to be “normal” the entire time. It was EXHAUSTING. It got me nowhere. I had a total meltdown several weeks postpartum when I realized that all of my efforts to be “normal” were a complete waste of time, because I wasn’t ever going to be the same again and why would I want to be?? I was a new and different person and I regretted not going with the flow and trying to enjoy the new me – the mother. So when I got pregnant with TWO, I didn’t even try to be normal. Not one bit.

Perhaps I went a little too far the other way.

Pregnancy, or any challenging life event, changes you. Behavior changes as life changes. What I was reminded of is that while I CAN say and do as I wish, it doesn’t mean other people won’t notice or care. Or, worse, be hurt by it. My mother is always reminding me of this. And just as in the above reference to her — she is usually right.

I have good friends; the kind who say, “You hurt me, but I still love you,” and I can say the same thing back. And then you move forward. At 31 years old, I’ve become quite good at moving forward. This is one of the things I love about being older.