Getting our Christmas tree at the farmer’s market.
As I’m nearing the home stretch on this pregnancy (32 weeks pregnant and counting), I thought take a break from all of the project-related posts to let you know how things are going.
Freya, Sullivan, Louisa, Finn, and Calvin…
These are some of our considered but rejected names, just for fun (I still love Freya, but sadly, Adam does not). We finally decided on boy and girl names after I went to a forum on a baby name website and asked for advice on our top girl name contenders. Wow, is random honest feedback from strangers really helpful. The name we liked that was the most unusual had a few lovers but more haters, and Louisa was met with a solid round of “mehs.” I was surprised that the name we’re going with got such rave reviews — it’s hard to tell when you’re going through this process whether others like a name or it’s just you. Having an informal poll helped firm up my indecisive mind and just in time — I was getting anxious not having this decided.
It’s a boy! Or a girl! But not both
I’m so excited to find out the baby’s sex that I think about it every day! Since we plan on probably having two children, the reveal seems like a really big deal to me — will we be a family of two girls, or will I be a mom to a son? I’m thankful to be thrilled to have either this time, and have no secret preference (last time I had a secret preference for a girl because I really wanted to have one daughter, but I’d be as glad to have two girls as I would to have a son).
I’ve also needed to remind myself that I’m not having twins. This seems strange, but when you work hard on the names and so fully realize the possibility of a boy or a girl, part of me gets attached to the idea of having both, and I have to remember that one of these carefully chosen names will not come to exist.
Saving money on shampoo and razor blades
I’m uncomfortable and tired and feel huge at times, but I’m grateful to have had a healthy pregnancy so far. I have eight weeks left (max!) but I hope to make it close to my due date. Beatrice was born the day before hers, and that was fine with me. A co-worker exclaimed that I was “gi-normous” when she saw me, but my mother told me the other day that I looked small. I’m more inclined to agree with the co-worker (“I’m a planet!” I wailed to my husband the other night).
My favorite pregnancy-related side effects I experience are the lack of leg hair (no shaving!), great skin (I’ve gotten so lazy because it doesn’t seem to matter), and washing my hair less (I haven’t tested it but I suspect I could go five days without washing it. The most I’ve dared is three). My least favorite are headaches, Braxton-Hicks contractions (I get a ton of these), and lower back pain.
Big sister Beatrice
It’s hard to tell how much she realizes about the baby. We’ve read some books and she’s seen the baby’s room coming together and played with the baby clothes and gear, but it won’t be real until we come home from the hospital. I’m trying to make it easier for her to be independent — not pushing her hard on mastering skills, but setting up parts of her routine to make it easier for her to be as independent as she is in daycare (where they taught her at 15 months to get hand soap, wash her hands, take a paper towel and dry her hands, and throw the towel away all by herself).
I also try to imagine that I’m holding a newborn sometimes as we go about our days, to realize that multi-parent efforts to get Beatrice down for a nap or dutifully following her around the basement through various toy stations won’t be sustainable with a baby around, and correcting (or at least consciously indulging) that behavior now.
The best part about this pregnancy…
Is not having to think about and worry about labor this time. So much of the anxiety around labor is avoiding a C-section, and now that I know that a C-section isn’t a big deal it takes off a lot of the pressure. For example, my doctor mentioned that Baby #2 is still breech, and while he/she has plenty of time to turn it was such a relief to know that if the baby didn’t, it wouldn’t be this huge deal. I also know that I can handle labor so while it’s certainly a painful prospect it isn’t the absolute unknown that it was the first time. That said, I’m extremely respectful of labor and delivery, and am trying to remind myself not to assume that I’ll go 40 weeks or have a routine birth.
What I’m most nervous about
Having a healthy baby. Not having as much time or energy for Beatrice and worrying that she’ll feel hurt. Surviving the lack of sleep. Nursing, as it was hard the entire time with Bee. Being a two-working-parent family. Baby blues . . . it always seems so sad that during this amazing time in your life you’d saddled with a sleep schedule that has been shown to drive normal people insane, hormonal surges, and your own physical recovery. Mother Nature sure stacks the deck against the new mom! I didn’t have post-partum depression with Bee but I felt badly enough a few times to consult the warning signs list and make sure I was doing OK.
I’m recruiting a fantastic group of guest bloggers to write some posts for the weeks after the baby is born, to make sure that content stays fresh here on Borealis. I’m really excited about the topics they’ve proposed — stay tuned for some great posts on some new perspectives. If you’re interested in doing a guest post, let me know!