October 23rd, 2013
35 weeks pregnant.
With the finish line in sight, I have been getting a lot of questions about my work schedule. I completely intend to continue working until our regularly scheduled Thanksgiving vacation, although there are days when it is extremely difficult to get motivated in the morning, let alone stay awake through the whole work day. As always, my main motivation is money and the fear that accompanies the several weeks without pay after Wilder arrives. There are many times when I would love to be able to head home early, but I know my personality would afford me little relaxation even if I did. I have learned many things throughout this adventure and while there isn’t much I would change, I do sometimes regret completely wiping out my savings when buying the house. I never used to stress about money, and I’m trying to embrace my past outlook.
Another question that I am often asked is if I plan to stay at home with the baby. Being a stay-at-home mom was never my intention. First off, I don’t see how that would be financially possible, and secondly I don’t think I would feel satisfied in that position for the long haul. That being said, I have a lot of respect and admiration for women (and men) who choose to be the primary caregiver during the work day. It has been our plan for quite some time (mainly since Andy had his extreme change of heart upon Wilder’s conception) that Andy would be the primary caregiver during the day while I returned to work. I am very hopeful that we can financially arrange for me to work part-time so that I am also able to spend time with our son. In any event, Andy, along with Lee Kyle on his days off, will keep Wilder during my time at the office. As the due date approaches, Andy has been happily explaining our proposed arrangement to his friends and customers. He is under the impression that he will have little problem keeping Wilder all day and acclimating an infant into his daily schedule of dealing with issues concerning his business. While I am so grateful that he is taking such an active role in the parenting of our child, I feel like he may be underestimating the stress and hard work that comes with dealing with a baby. I completely intend to be home with Wilder for at least six weeks before returning to work, but I don’t know if Andy comprehends how time-consuming it can be to tend to a little one.
Also, I had to address with him that his way of presenting our arrangement to others was a bit of a blow to my ego. I am not returning to my job because I love my job. Sadly, a lot of the time I loathe it. I am returning because in order to pay the bills, I have to work. While staying at home all day alone with Wilder full time for years is not really my fantasy, I could easily find things to occupy my time. Would I love it if I didn’t have to go back to work? Absolutely. While Andy or Lee Kyle had Wilder, I could indulge in things such as returning to school or taking my ever-expanding ass to the gym like it was my job. But the reality is that I do need to maintain employment and while my job isn’t the most satisfying (by a long stretch) it does pay me well. I explained to Andy that I felt he needed to be a bit more empathetic to both Lee Kyle and myself when announcing how he would be taking care of our son all day. He could just as easily pick up more bartending shifts at his own bar, and I could stay at home with Wilder, but as for now that isn’t the plan. I also feel like things are unknown at this point. It is very easy for all of us to say what we want or guess what will occur, but nothing will be “real” until Wilder is here.
In trying to hone our parenting skills, we have been focusing on our four-legged children. We took Kara to her first obedience class with Zac George last Friday. She did surprisingly well. She was very quick to pick up on the lessons presented that day and she didn’t show any aggression toward the other dogs there. She was a bit skittish around the new people, which is one of the main reasons we have her in the class. She often gets very nervous and fearful around new people, and while she has never acted aggressively, we are trying to get her to be more relaxed. Both Andy and I want her to be a happy dog that doesn’t have to suffer with anxiety. Since we moved into the new house I get to see Kara every day and I really do love her. She is the youngest and will probably be around the longest, so I know it is a good investment to have a trainer help us to work through some of her issues. So far, so good.
Saturday was a busy day. Our friends Daisy and Mike were having their baby shower at Flanagans Pub, so we headed over to celebrate with them. Daisy is due four days before I am and we are both using the midwives and planning to deliver at Touro. I would assume there is a decent chance that we could go into labor at the same time. We have experienced very different pregnancies. Daisy has suffered with nausea throughout nearly her whole pregnancy and still maintained to be a very happy woman. She also reports a lot of movement from her son, which makes me think Wilder might actually be a bit more on the calmer side. She and Mike graciously gave us a ton of hand-me-downs that they had received early in her pregnancy. Because of their generous donation, we literally have not had to buy any clothes for Wilder up until the six month mark. The shower was a good time and it was fun to hear the excitement in their voices about the upcoming arrival of their son. It is nice to have another couple to share this experience with.
That evening we attended a cocktail party in honor of Misty’s birthday. It is always such a pleasure to spend time with Misty and her husband, John. Misty is one of the most positive, kindhearted people that I know. She always tries to see the positive side of any situation. She recently returned from a trip to India where she had become so ill she required hospitalization, and yet she didn’t complain about any of it. They have a very diverse group of friends (much like myself) so their parties are always a good time. Although I was feeling somewhat worn down from getting over being ill, I was really glad that we were able to celebrate with her. I hope that in a few years when I am Misty’s age, I am as beautiful as she is, inside and out.
On Sunday our doula Kisha came over to hang out with us. We had spent a good portion of the day completing a few more designated baby tasks, such as installing the car seat. I knew that this chore was bound to take us some time, but since we are both literate and at least slightly intelligent, I wasn’t prepared for the challenge that existed. It took nearly an hour for us to get the fucking thing secured and I’m still not sure it has been done right. We referred to the instructions in the owner’s manual of the Subaru as well as the instructions that accompany the seat. There were so many options and requirements for each one. Pull the belt out till it clicks, make sure to use this belt fastener, consider using “latch,” do not use a shoulder strap improperly… The list went on and on. Finally after what felt like an eternity of pushing and pulling and shaking and looking at the little square that tells us if the seat is properly balanced, we decided it was good enough. We are going to have a professional check it. For sure. We had just finished that adventure when Kisha arrived. We went over my birth plan and chatted about the general happenings of labor. The plan is for me to labor for as long as I can (and is healthy) at home before we go to the hospital. She’ll be there with me, and that makes me feel much more confident about this choice. She helped Andy and I hang a few pieces of art in Wilder’s room, which nearly completes the nursery. We had a really nice time just hanging out and shooting the shit with her. It definitely feels like she is a friend and not just someone hired to pacify me during labor.
Andy and I had a talk about my needs. That sounds like a blast, doesn’t it? I explained to him that there are times when I feel like I need more support, both physically and emotionally. My lung capacity has rapidly diminished and things around the house that I completely took for granted were easy to accomplish are becoming increasingly difficult. It is super challenging for me to carry the canister vacuum up and down all the stairs without fear I might fall. I know I could just not vacuum as often, but that seems ludicrous. I asked if he would help move it for me and he obliged. It’s little things like that which seem nearly meaningless but become starkly important when you can no longer do them on your own. I also explained that I need him to recognize that I am working very hard and would appreciate some acknowledgement for that. At almost eight months pregnant, I am still working a forty hour week, working out at least four times a week and keeping a clean house as well as fitting in social commitments. There are days when I would like nothing more than to remain in my pajamas all day but that hasn’t happened once during this entire pregnancy. Even while fighting a miserable fucking cold, I still managed to take care of my shit. I don’t need to be coddled, nor do I expect him to bake me a cake because I’m not lazy, but a simple, “Hey, you look exhausted, can I do something to help you?” would be most welcome. Thankfully Andy is a very receptive partner and he wasn’t offended or dismissive of my needs. He also isn’t a mind reader, so I felt much better after we talked. He has already been much more responsive to helping me out.
Monday night after work I battled my fatigue to attend Jackie’s lecture at Tulane University. Although I have seen Jackie speak many times, I am always entertained by her authenticity and enthusiasm. Cody and Patrick, my two coworkers from the west bank office met me there. We sat in the back row and enjoyed the lecture as well as each other’s company. I had wanted to sit up front with the other close friends who had come to support Jackie, but my bladder told me that was not a good idea. At one point I rushed to the ladies room because I had to urinate very badly and just as I was reaching the toilet and pulling down my pants, I started to pee on the floor. The last time I peed on a bathroom floor was probably the result of too many shots of whiskey, so you can imagine my shock and dismay when I produced a small, sober puddle. I wiped it up, because hey, I have class. I told the boys about my bathroom faux pas and they found it really amusing. Pregnancy is so exciting.
Fatigue is definitely back with a vengeance. On Tuesday after I ate my lunch I sat at my desk with my feet propped up and closed my eyes to rest. When I opened my eyes, an hour and twenty minutes had passed! I felt like fucking Rip Van Winkle with an extremely sore neck and disgustingly dry mouth. Luckily none of my coworkers had caught me in the act of napping (not like they would really be upset). I then spent the rest of the afternoon in a zombie-esque state of trying to wake up and focus. I attended a pre-natal yoga class that evening at Wild Lotus downtown if for no other reason than to stretch out my compromised muscles. Sometimes I wonder how I’m going to make it through these next five weeks. It should at least be interesting.