Five

Happy birthday, Haven baby. We celebrated you today in the quiet way we always do on your birthday. Your candle was lit since morning and we spent nearly all of the day together as a family, snuggling and eating yummy things. Daddy told Nahum about his big sister and explained that it was your birthday (he didn’t understand why there wasn’t going to be a party).

Wish you were here. Miss you always, my love.

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Valentine’s Shmalentine’s

It sucks when the anniversary of the worst day of your life is also a holiday. Especially an obnoxious holiday like Valentine’s Day. Until last year, I ignored it best I could, but Nahum was in a dayhome and I bought valentines for his fellow inmates. This year, we did valentines and chocolate for all of his daycare buddies.

It’s like I am two people at this time of year: grieving mother who just wants to hole up in her jammies and eat everything, but also regular mother who carefully writes every classmate’s name onto tiny love rectangles and chooses colour coordinated, foil wrapped chocolates for each. Either way, I’m the mother who will never get to help make valentines for one spunky little girl named Haven.

I came across this post in my Facebook memories today:

About five hours later, my entire world imploded. I stopped being her and now I’m me. Even here, five years out, I’m dumbstruck at how much a life can change in an instant. There’s not a day that goes by, especially at this time of year, when I don’t feel Haven’s absence almost tangibly, silently following alongside the life I am living instead.

When you go through something like the loss of a child, you eventually get comfortable with feeling conflicting things. Like wishing with every fibre of your being that your child was here with you but not wanting to change your present circumstances. Like wondering if keeping her would mean never knowing your beautiful son. Like wondering if the baby poking around in your belly would be there or if you would already have finished having kids in that life. I wouldn’t trade Nahum or this babe for anything, but I’d trade nearly anything to get my baby girl back. It’s impossible, but the mind doesn’t operate as sensibly as we like to believe it does. It tries to find logic and solutions in circumstances that can’t be understood that way.

Anyway, Shmalentine’s. I hope yours was a gooder.

17 Weeks: Thump Thump

And then sometimes, “me time” comes when it isn’t wanted. Like when I wake at 4:45 a.m. to pee (thanks to literally two sips of water at 9:00 p.m.) and my brain decides it is time to be awake for the day. Insomnia is the worst.

But, tea and a book and my first breakfast (a la Hobbit) is a half decent consolation prize and I find myself enjoying the quiet of the house anyway. “Gary” is thump-thumping away in my belly, so I’m not really alone.

I spent many a wakeful night on this couch nursing Nahum. I find myself thinking ahead a few months to nursing a new little person in this exact spot. The exhaustion, much like I am feeling at this very moment. I am far enough away from both babies to romanticize it a bit, but I do feel I am better prepared this time around.

Gary was doing well at my check-up yesterday. I’ve gained a couple of pounds, though not as much as one would expect, given the caloric truckload headed down to my bottomless pit of a stomach every day. Babe was coy and had those little legs crossed in front of their business, so no peeks this time. Hopefully we’ll find out in a couple more weeks at our anatomy scan.

My doctor (whose husband is hilariously actually named Gary) is very supportive and positive and I again felt at ease during our second appointment. Though I loved and appreciated our previous obstetrician, I am glad I stuck with my gut and tried something new. This is a new chapter and a new approach can’t be a bad thing.

Anywho, it is time to get back to that book I’ve been reading for over a month (shocking!) Maybe I’ll get through it before Gary comes home?! I certainly won’t be hitting what I thought was a very attainable goal of 20 books this year at this rate.

17 Weeks: A Breath

I’ve always been the sort of person who needs alone time to recharge. Even as a young child, I remember feeling I needed to step away to think and observe, to let my mind wander. I always had my eye on the movement of wind in the leaves, the dance of dust motes in the dim light of my bedroom, the spray of stars across the night sky (often viewed from my window when I was supposed to be sleeping).

Solitude is as much an art as a privilege these days. I’m not as good at unplugging and unwinding as I was even ten years ago. Work, our finances, the care of our home, our social commitments, our marriage, our boy, and this pregnancy all vie for my attention and there is usually very little time or energy left for that mind wandering time that I so crave and need.

This afternoon, I am enjoying a little moment to myself. Danny is home after being gone all morning, the laundry is all washed and (mostly) put away, the kitchen is clean, and Nahum and I had our quality weekend time together. So it’s me, some cookies, some tea, a book, and the winter sun shining in the window, lighting up my blanket. This is alright.

17 Weeks: T.G.I.F.

Seriously. Could this day go any more slowly?

Anyone else feeling distinctly sloth-like? It doesn’t seem to matter how much I sleep or don’t sleep, I am a useless lump these days. Gary and I managed an unbroken night of sleep (thank you, sleep gods), but that didn’t keep me from laying in bed for 45 minutes after my alarm went off before finally slithering off the side to go collect my toddler, who was singing the song of his people (“mama, mommy, mama…mooommia!”) Perhaps it’s pregnancy, perhaps it’s winter. Perhaps it is both! Either way, T.G.I.F. (can I get an amen?)

17 Weeks: Waddling to the Beat of a Different Drum

For reals, guys, the waddle has already arrived.

It’s been a long two weeks or so and I am exhausted. Baby has decided now is the time that we should start the pregnancy insomnia, so I wake every night around 3:00am to pee, then am hit with ravenous hunger. I eat a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with half a banana (my middle of the night go-to for three pregnancies now!) and then I lay away for at least an hour, eventually falling asleep and waking up in a fog. I have been reading the same novel for over a month because I can’t seem to focus enough to get a good session in (I can typically get through a book in a few days to two weeks, tops).

Working full time whilst pregnant and raising a toddler is challenging. If I’m being honest, I am really struggling. I am thinking of downloading a countdown for my work desktop so I can see the days fall away one at a time. I don’t like wishing away time, but I just long for those few weeks of rest I’ll hopefully get before this babe arrives.

On a funny note, Danny and I like to play a game where we think of the worst or funniest names for a newborn. That is how we started calling this baby “Gary.”

I seem to suddenly have popped. I’ve been showing forever already, but not in a way that most would think, “yeah, she is definitely pregnant.” Except it kind of snuck up on me. I’d ordered a few dresses from Old Navy for after Gary comes and I tried them on last night. Yeah. I can no longer suck in my belly. I tried. It was hilarious.

And now Gary and I are hitting the hay. Until 3:00am, that is. We’re nearly out of milk, so Gary is getting a PB&J sammie tonight! Hopefully this offering will be accepted and I can get some rest.

15 Weeks: The Plan

We saw the MFM specialist a week ago and she confirmed that we will follow the same monitoring plan with this babe that we did with Nahum: biweekly Biophysical Profiles starting at 28 weeks, weekly from 34 weeks, then optional induction at or after 38 weeks. It was a relief to hear that this babe will also be under the watchful eye of the wonderful staff in that centre and that we’ll be able to watch this babe grow the way we did with our Nahum.

The doctor didn’t want to confirm one way or another, but we got a peek at our babe’s bottom half and we are pretty sure we know the sex. We’ll likely find out for sure in about a month when we have our anatomy scan.

We had a brief ultrasound in the specialist’s office and babe looked great. The head was measuring a full week ahead, so we might be in for another big headed baby. (It’s okay, big heads run in the family on both sides).

Anxiety is…hit or miss. If I forget to take my medication, it hits me pretty hard. I become irritable, dizzy, and tired. My heart races and I have a hard time with patience. Thankfully, though, most days I am pretty even and in good spirits. I have a panic every few days and dig out my Doppler to reassure myself that the little heart inside me is still beating, but for the most part, things are pretty chill.

I have been feeling flutters for a few weeks now and a couple harder movements that are probably kicks. Baby is just too little for me to feel any real “pops” yet. I’m looking forward to it! It’s nice to know that what I’m feeling is the real deal; I’ve tested it a few times by putting the Doppler where I felt the movement and sure enough, babe will be in that spot!

I am a little overwhelmed by how much time is still left before this baby comes and equally freaked out that it is going so quickly. I can’t ever do things the easy way. 😉