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Francisco Alexander
born Jan. 26 at 2:52am
7 lbs, 12 oz
Birth Story

BIrth story below the cut )
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Ellie and I went to bed last night at 7pm. We'd been up since 2:30 (me) and 3:30 (her) PR time and it's 3 hours earlier here, so you can see why we were tired. I slept really well until at 3am here and then I just sort of laid in bed and cuddled Ellie on an off until about 5:30. Just after 5:30, I started having something that felt like it could have been the beginning of a contraction. It wasn't the clear contractions I felt at the beginning of labor with Ellie but it was also more painful/tight than the B-H contractions I've been having *and* they kept coming and coming. Until maybe 9:30 this morning when they just stopped.

Since labor was possible, I went ahead and packed my "hospital" bag so now it's ready when the time comes for real. Ellie has been rather difficult this morning - I suspect she knows something is up, plus we are away from home and things are different. Right now, she's out swinging with my mom. There's snow on the ground and it's maybe on 30 but the sun is really warm here. I love seeing Ellie in cowboy boots, hat, gloves, a big jacket, and sweater and so on. It's just so different than home.

I'm Here!

Jan. 20th, 2008 06:11 pm
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We left home at 3:50 this morning and headed to the airport. Overlooking the very early hour, the flight was awesome. JetBlue is my new favorite airline. There was free DirectTV, plenty of legroom, great snack options, we left and took off on time, and (this was just luck) the plane was practically empty. Ellie slept basically the entire flight to Orlando. From there, we switched over the Southwest which was no big deal because we had not luggage. The 2.5 hour layover was a bit of a pain with a two years old (2 accidents, which is rare; I got gum on my pants; the "fruit salad and yogurt" was about 1/8 of a cup of yogurt plus those orange and green melons with 1 bit of pineapple and 1 strawberry) but once we got on the plane, things were good. We sat next to an 80 year old woman who chose to sit by us, she said, because she thought I needed someone helpful to sit with. She totally bossed the flight attendants around (who were very sweet) and had them bringing me extra pillows, snacks, and water. Ellie spent the first 2 hours snacking and watching movies on her iPod. She was crabby for about 5 minutes and then napped for the past hour.

So, we are now at my parents' house. There is snow on the ground! Ellie had a great time playing with the snow already. She looks so cute in a jacket, pants, hat, and gloves!. I'm not used to seeing her with so many clothes on. Anyway, we made it and now vacation can begin! Baby can come any time he wants!

Last Day

Jan. 18th, 2008 09:41 am
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1. Today is my last day of work! Technically, I'm going on maternity leave, but I won't be back absent some major changes - in me, in the work place, and so on. I'm hoping to do some pro bono and/or private imigration work, but not for at least six months.

2. I've been plagued all week with dreams and worries that the baby will come before I get on the plane on Sunday. I guess it's a combination of feeling very pregnant and having *everyone* say stuff to me about looking "ready to go", "very tired", or "different".

3. My mom called me last night to tell me that it's -2 at their house. I'm so excited for winter, but, dude, that's cold!! I have a great winter jacket but there's no way it will fit over me. My mom has clothes/jacket/boots/everything else for Ellie already and I'm sure they will have something I can borrow. I'm bringing a carry-on but I might bring two since I've paid for two seats.

4. Speaking of packing, I made a list of what I want to take. We are going to try to go to the beach in the morning - sort of a "last outing as a family of 3" activity. We have a triplet 2 year birthday but they blew off Ellie's party and we are just one of many guests so we may bail if I'm feeling tired.

5. I washed the car seat cover for the baby car seat last night. Ellie, of course, delcared it to be hers (she's not wrong, I guess) and we have convinced her to share it with her baby brother. Joe was saying how nice it was to just *have* everything already. My response was, "yeah, since this baby isn't getting anything new, the least we can do is wash it for him." I feel a bit bad - Ellie's room was painted, furnished, and organized at least 3 weeks before she was born. This time, I have done nothing except make organized piles of the baby clothes people have given me. I'll organize but I just don't have the time now. Once we are back, I'll spend a few days getting stuff arranged the way I want it. Ellie's room is, and has always been, basically a storage closet for all her stuff. Other than to pick out her clothes, she's never in there. So, I'll rearrange the storage but I don't see this baby spending much time in there either.
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I'm currently 36 weeks. I had my (hopefully) last midwife appointment this morning. It was so awesome - turns out they have a clinic that is very close to my house - maybe 10-15 minutes away so I didn't have to drive to the awful hospital. Of course, I would have liked to have known this a few months ago, but at least I can go there for my post-partum appointment.

So, apparently I have gained 4 pounds in a week! Is that even possible? It was a different scale so I'm hoping that accounts for it. My home scale says I've gained maybe two pounds. I'm a little embarrassed that I've gained 40 lbs this pregnancy but I also know that I have eaten worse and exercised less. I'm not distraught over it - none of my clothes fit these days but I have no perspective on my size so it's just a fact and not upsetting me.

I asked her to do a pelvic exam - my first of the pregnancy. I am 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced, -3 station. Also, mucuos (is that spelled right? it looks weird) plug is gone and she said she felt the baby's head with her finger. All I ask is another five days. Watch - the baby will probably come two weeks late.

In happy news, Joe has decided (all on his own) to just show up in New Mexico somewhere in the first week of Feb (due date is Feb 10 but he is trying to come around 2-5 Feb). That made me happy - the medical stuff really seems to freak him out in ways I don't get (see last pregnancy as an example) but he knows I want him there so he's willing to come. I'm happy about that although I told him that I won't have the energy to worry about him and his comfort level during labor. I suspect he will rise to the occasion as he usually does (if he makes it there). I will have both the doula and my mom there so if Joe feels awkward or uncomfortable, I figure he can just stand up by my head (or wait with Ellie outside) until it's all over with. They say some husbands sort of resent the doula for doing their job but I think Joe will really appreciate having someone who knows what they are doing to give him hepful suggestions and so on. Of course, he still might not make it, but I'm happy that at least he is trying to get there.
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 1.  Had my ultrasound yesterday.  Baby is big, head down, and looks healthy.  Of, and still a boy.  We got to see his face (he has hair! somehow that makes him seem cuter to me) and see him sucking.  I was able to identify which body parts are kicking me where.  Joe got to come - his first ultrasound that wasn't for a miscarriage.  I know he went because I wanted him to but it still meant a lot that he came.

2.  Made the dogs flight arrangements today.  I'm very happy to have that done and relieved to find out that they get to stay at Continental's dog kennel for a few hours.  The nice thing is that they will get to pee and stretch a bit before the second flight.  It's a longish layover but I feel good about the whole thing.  $638 one way but that's way less than if we left them with someone here while I'm gone. 

3.  Can you get carpal tunnel in your knuckles?  I've been waking up with really sore knuckles this week.  I know it's pregnancy related, and I've read more about carpal tunnel in your wrists, but my knuckles are starting to hurt so much that it's uncomfortable to drive or type.  Thankfully, only a few more weeks, I guess.

4.  Ellie was happy to go back to preschool today.  This made me happy both for her, because I think she missed her friends, and because I've decided to just come back here after the baby comes.  I had to take a turn to the ATM before daycare and when I turned the wrong way, Ellie started saying, "See friends! See friends!" and pointing back towards the daycare. 
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I'm at 34 weeks as of today and had my most recent appointment last Thursday.  I now weigh 212 lbs, which is a bit depressing, but within the range for where I started at.  The baby is growing and about the size he should be.  When Ellie heard the heartbeat, she said, "That Ellie's baby brother!" which was pretty cute.  I'm supposed to have another ultrasound next week just to be sure that the baby is properly positioned.  (This confuses me - the midwife says he still might change positions in the next few weeks, so I'm not sure what they are checking for, but no complaints here.)

I am totally counting down the days until I'm done working (about 20).  This week will be 3 days only, then a 4 day week, then two five day weeks.  I need to get moving on the dogs' flight to New Mexico as that date is coming very soon. 

I think I've decided to stay in New Mexico until the end of Feb and then come home.  I'll have just over 2 weeks at home which isn't a lot but I feel happy with that decision.

My parents are here until Thursday.  It's nice having them around and being done with all the festivities.  My mom helped me take down the tree today and put away all the Christmas decorations.  It's a bit sooner than normal but the tree was *very* dry and the trash men came today.  If not today, we would have had to wait an entire week to have the tree taken away.  Now I just have to find a place for all Ellie's presents.  I'm hoping to get my bags packed for New Mexico by Tuesday so my parents can take them with them.  Ellie's clothes are mostly already in New Mexico (they just stayed in October since the weather is so different here and there) so I just have to send the baby stuff, winter maternity stuff, and post-baby stuff.)

One cool thing about this stage of pregnancy with this baby.  It often feels like he's trying to push his way out the side or top or something.  He moves around a lot and I've really been able to feel distinct body parts this week.  Last night, I'm certain that I was putting my hand arund his little butt/back.  Very hard and way to big for an appendage.


Dec. 28th, 2007 07:38 am
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I am conflicted about my travel this next few months and I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do.

Here is my proposed travel schedule for the next 6 months:

Jan 20 - Feb 28 - parents' house in New Mexico to have baby.
Mar 15 - April 15 - 4 days in Chicago with grandparents and then brother's house in Minnesota to visit family and stay with SIL when she has baby (due Apr 1).
May 20 - June 30 - parents' house again because Joe will be in Kentucky for that time

Now, I've already been feeling like that's too much time away.  Joe and I had been talking about stopping at his parents' house on the way back in April for 3-4 days but we've already cut that out and I had decided to come home from Minnesota a week early in April so I had a bit more time here.

The dates of these trips are somewhat non-negotiable.  My baby is coming when he's coming and I don't want to have him here.  Joe has Spring Break (the only real time he can leave) at the end of March and my SIL's baby is due April 1.  Joe's dates in Kentucky are set by the Army.

So, I was all set to buy the tickets at the times I had mentioned above when Joe and I started comparing calendars again.  It turns out that he has a work related trip the last week of Feb. *and* the first week of March.  This would mean that if I go home at the planned upon time, I would basically be home alone the first two weeks.  Neither of us wants that.  But, if I stay at my parents until he is done with his trips, I would have just a week back in PR and then be leaving for Chicago.  That seems like way too much travel, especially with Ellie and new baby Frisco.

The end result of all this is that the most convenient and cheapest solution is for me to leave PR on Jan 20; fly to Chicago with Joe on Mar 14; fly with the kids to MN on Mar 19, and stay until April 15.  (Makes no sense to leave MN early because Joe has another trip April 9-13).  Then, we would go back to New Mexico around May 20 and stay until June 30th.   WRT time and money, this plan makes the most sense, but emotionally, I don't want to spend this much time away from home.

When I try to figure out *why* I don't want to be gone from home so much, a few things come to mind.  I will miss my (rather few) friends here.  I want them to meet my baby.  I want to be at my home with my baby.  Our home is not cozy or comfortable (due mostly to the climate here) but it is home.  Plus, there's the whole issue of Ellie and preschool.  If we are here, Ellie will be in preschool, meaning that I don't have to watch 2 kids full time.  And, I want her to be in preschool when we come back, so I don't want to just take her out permanently, but that's $500 month we are spending just to save her spot.

But I think, more than anything, it feels unfair to me to take her out for so long.  She really likes the preschool and her teachers and friends there.  She talks about it all the time.  She has learned a lot there and they all really like her.  IN other words, she fits in well that and I feel bad taking her out for what amounts to almost 5 months.  I know her world will change when her brother is here but I wanted her to still have her own little social sphere that was little-brother-free.

Ugh!  I just don't know what to do.  It seems dumb to be here, alone with Ellie and a newborn, when I could be with family.  But it also seems like it will be work to stay with family because Ellie won't have preschool to occupy her. (Not that I can't parent two kids at the same time, but it's just that it's not actually a huge break (for me) to stay with family so long.)

My Weekend

Dec. 10th, 2007 09:22 am
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Saturday started out great - we were all, including the dogs, headed to the beach to play with Ellie's new surfboard. Then, one of the dogs stepped in some dog shit, jumped in the back of the car, back out and into the front of the car. Joe was mad because he didn't want to bring the dogs to begin with because they make such a mess and he generally cleans the cars. I was mad because the dogs don't get walked as much as they should and taking them to the beach sort of makes up for that in my mind, plus the stepping in shit was a total accident on their part. We got to the beach and it was way too windy to be any fun.

Once we got back home, we all seemed to be in a better mood. We got dressed and headed over to get our tree. The trees were 50% off so we got ours for $22.50! When we got it home and unwrapped it (they ship them wrapped up to preserve them so you have to pick them without really looking at them) it was huge! I was so happy with it. We had to move some more furniture a bit but we managed to make it fit. It makes the house smell so good and is beautiful.

Joe and I then went to a movie while Ellie stayed with the babysitter. She seemed to have fun and we enjoyed the break. When we got home, we headed off to a barbeque on Ft. Buchanan. I'm actually really glad we don't live there (houses are very small and old with not high speed internet)but I was a bit envious because all the neighbors are people like us and they are all so close. So, the barbeque was nice and I got to talk to some people I hadn't seen in a long time and maybe make some new friends. Also, I found out that the bank robber was already off post when they closed the gates (missed him by 1 minute and 37 seconds) and that they caught him at home later that night. He signed in at the main gate before robbing the bank. (real genius material there)

Sunday, I got up early and put some lights on the tree. Joe had to work so he didn't go to church with us, but Ellie and I made a point of being there right at the beginning (we usually go 15-20 mintues late because the service is rather long and they sing a long time) because they sing all the Christmas songs at the beginning. I was really enjoying the singing and actually cried a bit because I'm happy this pregnancy has turned into a baby and I was thinking about the two other times I was pregnant at Christmas. Then, the associate pastor gets up to preach. Now, generally I like her, but this was the worst sermon I've ever heard. It started out funny but just got depressing. Apparently, she doesn't like the holidays very much. I can respect that and I can see why Christmas might be really hard for some people for many reasons. It has, at times, been hard for me. But I was in such a happy mood and really enjoying Christmas/Advent and then she starts in on how we all give gifts out of obligation and it's all fake joy and so on. After 20 minutes, I just left. I was so irritated - I don't require that all sermons be upbeat but it would be nice if they mention the Bible occasionally and aren't just a tirade about how much the holidays suck. Maybe she had a point but I tuned out before she ever got there. Ellie and I went to Dunkin Donuts instead and that was fun.

After donuts, we went grocery shopping and when we went home, I decorated the tree finally. I love putting the ornaments on and I was very sore and tired by the time I was done. (Too much bending and reaching for this pregnant body.) I took a nap with Ellie and then proceeded to sweep the floor and put stuff away while she slept. Then Joe and I cleaned the backyard area because we are having a party Thursday night and it was pretty dirty back there.

After dinner, I did laundry. I got most of it done, but there are still probably 3-4 loads of towels and sheets to do and a few leftover clothes. When I finally went to bed, my feet, legs, and back hurt so much. IN fact, my back still hurts this morning. We are just trying very hard to get the house clean and nice looking for the party on Thursday and then my family is coming. We are so close to being done - and we only have one weekend left so I guess that's when it will happen.

Besides the guests and family, I know that once the baby comes, it will be months before anything major happens in the house. So, I feel like we have this window to get everything done and lots of motivation to do it. The guest bedrooms are now totally ready except that one is filled with Christmas presents that need to be wrapped. THe downstairs needs to be cleaned but that's only a basic dusting/sweeping/mopping and it will be ready. Joe will finish the backyard area today (it's all tile so it has to be swept and mopped). The garage is overflowing but that's not a major concern.

Before next Monday, Ellie and I need to make Christmas sugar cookies for her teachers and decide exactly which ones we are getting gift cards for. (Probably just the three she has now.) I think the cookies will go to her current teachers, last year's teachers, and then a tin for the staff. Other than that, I just need to order something for Joe's dad and brother and I'll be done with Christmas shopping. And I need to finish our Christmas letter. I have all the other peices but the letter has yet to be finalized.


Dec. 6th, 2007 09:56 am
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Last night, after I had fed Ellie dinner and washed the dishes, and walked the dogs (Joe was still at work), I sat down with her and read Mother Goose and had a glass of wine (actually a glass and a half but it was a small glass). I realized part way through that I was trying to finish it before Joe got home because I didn't want him to give me a hard time about it. I don't exactly know that he would have, but it reminded me of a conversation we had a week ago.

I'm vaguely worried that I don't already love this baby the way I love Ellie. I feel like I should, because I think I already loved Ellie an awful lot before she was born. But, and I know this for sure, I loved her way more after I had actually met her. So, in a way, it seems unfair to expect me to love this baby the way I love her when I've never met him and only have the idea of him in my head.

I shared this all with Joe and he was genuinely concerned that I would love this baby less *because* he is a boy. I told him I didn't think that was true but he pointed out that I've taken all sorts of "risks" that I didn't take with Ellie - drinking wine, drinking more caffeine, and eating way more chocolate/sugar/not so healthy foods.

Anyway, this got me thinking about pregnancy and how it really is two experiences - yes, there is a baby at the end of it, but it's also an experience for the mother. With Ellie, I had nothing to worry about but school, Joe's safety, and being healthy. I was under a lot of stress, but I also had a ton of time alone. My day was go to school in the morning, drive home, have lunch, nap for two hours, walk the dogs, eat dinner, watch TV for 3 hours and go to bed. Lonely, but also lots of time for me. Now, I feel pulled in many directions and my body is usually what suffers. I don't sleep as much, exercise as much, or eat as well.

My hope, and I think it's a pretty realistic one, is that all these "risks" I've taken might affect me, but I don't think they will affect the baby in anyway. I abstained from all that stuff to make *me* feel like I was doing something, but I doubt it affected Ellie that much if at all.

I feel the same way about my doctor appointments. I looked forward and counted the days to each of Ellie's appointments. This time, they are more of a chore - something that eats up my precious leave time and takes away from the total amount of money I will get from this job before I leave.

I'm at work and I'm supposed to be working and there's a 70 year old woman waiting for me so I can't really take the time to be more coherent. I guess I'm just trying to say that I'm way more ambivalent about this pregnancy, but I don't think (I hope) that this will translate to ambivalence about the baby.

I went in for my 30 week appt. today. Baby is fine, probably head down. Blood pressure is great which relieves some of my fears about my recent edema. Ellie was sort of ambivalent about listening to the baby's heartbeat but very proud of mommy for not crying at the doctors. (I took her because I didn't have time to drop her off and get to the appt. on time. I think it was good for her to see that the doctor is not always scary and I'm hoping the heartbeat thing will help her in her growing realization that there is a baby in mommy's tummy.)
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Okay, first, I actually like the holidays.  And I think that's why I'm feeling down.  It's just impossible for me to get into the holiday spirit when it's so hot and humid.  Who feels like having hot chocolate and wearing warm fuzzy socks while hanging up ornaments in the heat.

Actually, today is very gray and rainy - it was 68 when I got it my car which is almost the lowest temperature I've ever seen here.  And normally I like gray and rainy.  But I think what's getting me down is that I keep getting these sort of emotional flashbacks from last year at this time.  I'd been working for two weeks and really missed Ellie.  And I was feeling like sort of a bad mom for leaving her at daycare because she cried every time I left her.

Most days, I have to convince her to come home with me.  But this morning, none of her regular teachers were in her room yet.  I left her with another teacher who I know, but it just felt different, which to me usually means bad, and that's how I felt all the time when I was leaving her last year, so I'm thinking that I'm just revisiting those feelings from last year. 

Well, this was very whiny and rambly.  I can't wait until January when I get to go to New Mexico and see some snow!  (Oh, and have a baby!)  Seriously, I'm excited about the baby but I hope Ellie and I get a few chances to play in some snow.  I'm totally going to wait until after Christmas and buy Ellie one of those crazy Hanna Andersson snowsuits.
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 So, I was in the middle of an interview today and I started having trouble concentrating - I couldn't think of questions to ask and I couldn't think of how to ask them in Spanish.  Then, I was accutely hungry, and then I started sweating.  I got up int he middle of the interview and got my fan pointed at me, but by then, I was feeling rather out of it and my arms felt heavy.

I got up to check on something and decided that I had to have food.  Thankfully, I ran into a friend who gave some OJ and a croissant.  I still don't feel great, but good enough to work.  I can't believe this is all from being hungry, although maybe pregnant and hungry could do it.

Anyway, I'm back at my desk, working away for another hour and half before I can go home.
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I don't think I mentioned this here but starting last Wednesday, I'd been having a lot of pain in my left heel. It felt like I had stepped on something really hard. I tried wearing tennis shoes for two days but it really didn't at all. By accident almost, I put on my Crocs (I hate them because they are bright green and make my size 9.5 feet look HUGE) and I was in heaven. For the first time in days I could walk and not be in pain.

In search of a less flashy color to wear to work, I discovered that Crocs now come in a much more normal-shoe looking style. Yeah, more expensive, but they are part canvas and actually look sort of cute.  So, now that I had comfortable shoes to wear, I decided to try to fix my other pregnancy induced, and probably related, problem - swollen ankles.  

Last time I was pregnant, my ankles started to swell around 27 weeks.  I'm at 26 just now and sure enough, last week, I noticed my ankles swelling.  Also, I was blessed (yeah, right!) with very transparent skin which, when combined with pregnancy, means that my ankles, particularly my left one, turn into a lovely combination of blue/purple/red.  I have so many blue spider veins in my left ankle that I can hardly bear to look at it.  I've been wearing shorts and capris because of the heat but I cannot stand to see my legs in the mirror because of the lovely combination of spider veins and the occaisional varicose vein.  I got some very neutral-colored compression socks and so far, they are working.  

Combined with my Crocs, I feel like a new person.
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Ellie and my dad are on a plane in Houston right now, waiting to take off and come back to Puerto Rico.  Overall, this trip has been a total success.  My parents loved having Ellie there, she apparently loved being there, and Joe and I really enjoyed the break from parenting.  Also, it seems that Ellie made excellent progress towards sleeping through the night without nursing and we are going to try very hard to maintain that once she gets home.  We have all joked that home will seem boring after visiting Grandma and Grandpa, but my mom also says Ellie is really looking forward to seeing us.

It's weird - I had major misgivings about going from "never spent a night away from mom" to a week away, but it did not appear to bother her at all.  According to my mother, there was no "adjustment" phase or any crying about missing us.  As for me, well,, leaving her at the airport was very hard, but this entire week, I was very happy to know that she was having fun and trying new things.  The first two days were the hardest, but then it got easier.

I think we will try to make this a bi-yearly event - although not next spring because we will be visiting my parents in February when the baby comes and then in May/June while Joe is in Washington.  Still, it's nice to have a small break and know with certainty that Ellie is enjoying herself and being well cared for.

I did have a few insights due to her absence.  First, I knew this, but having a child is the reason our house is always a mess.  It makes me feel better to know that I can still keep a house organized and clean, but that it is the little tornado living here that makes it impossible.  It's not just that she makes messes, but caring for her takes up that time that I might otherwise use to just straighten up.

Second, being pregnant is not what it wearing me down - it is being pregnant and caring for Ellie while working full time.  I think I could do two of the three just fine, but it's that third one that means I'm exhausted at the end of the day.

Third, I was always one of those people who thought of my dogs as kids.  I have no problem with people who refer to their dogs as their kids and I can see why they do it.  However, it really hit me this week, when we had just dogs and no kid, that dogs are about a thousand times easier than kids.  You walk them, feed them, and pet them occasionally, and they are happy.   And if you want to run out for dinner or to get coffee or something, they just stay at the house.

Finally, before Ellie left, she was nursing basically just at bedtime/naptime and if she woke in the night (which happened maybe 3 nights a week).  I was very sore from nursing while pregnant and there's no milk left.  Also, my brain knows that Ellie will like her baby brother better if she's not still nursing when he comes.  Despite all that, my heart is a little bit sad that I may have nursed her for the last time.  I guess I should focus on being glad that we got to nurse for two and a half years.  When we started, I had absolutely no idea how much it would mean to me.  I thought about it a lot the week before she left, so it's not like it's unexpected for me.  I didn't talk to Ellie about it, which I now regret, but I didn't think about it after she left.  Still, my mom said she didn't ask to nurse when I wasn't there and Joe is going to take over bedtime for a week or two here.  I'm hoping it's just me that will have to make the emotional adjustment and that Ellie is ready.  If she's just not ready, she can still nurse, but I'd like to avoid that. 

Well, my dad just called - the plane is due to take off in a few minutes.  Oh the coolest part of their return trip - because of my job, I have a airport ID badge that I've never used but it's supposed to let me in anywhere in the airport.  So, Joe and I are going to try to meet them at the gate.  I can't wait to see her!
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I'm off to the mall in a bit to buy...something blue!

(I had an ultrasound to make sure all was okay this morning and it is.  Also, in true PR tradition, they gave me 3 ultrasound shots of his penis/testicles, but none of his head/face/body/anything else.)
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 After my post of frustration yesterday, I googled "albuquerque birth center" (since that's where my parents live) and the first link was to an awesome looking/sounding birth center where the midwives will either come to you, or you can use their birth center.  And they take insurance.  I just wanted to cry because it sounds exactly like what I want.

But if I go that route, it almost guarantees Joe won't be there.  I suspect that would be fine with him (he's not home and we haven't talked much since he's pretty busy on his trip), but I know what an amazing experience it was and I think he would want to be there if he knew.  But he's wanted our baby born outside Puerto Rico from the beginning.

The whole thing just makes me mad.  I have two health insurance plans, both of which are pretty good.  I should be able to find a situation in which I can be comfortable and have my baby and yet have a safe back-up option if necessary.  Territory or not, I'm still in the US.  When I'm the most frustrated, I just imagine bending over, having them do the epidural, and just have the baby their way.  And I could accept that, but then I have to put up with 2-3 days in a substandard hospital with limited visiting hours and limited access to my baby and no 3rd party (husband or someone else) who can stick around and be my advocate.  Three days away from Ellie when she could be bonding with the baby seems so wrong.

I need to talk to Joe, I guess.  I suspect he will be all for me going to stay with my parents for a few weeks and will do his best to fly out as soon as I'm in labor.  As for him missing the birth, I guess we will just have to have a 3rd baby so he can hopefully be there for that one.
ste_noni: (Default)
 So, I'm back to that point in life where I think about posting stuff but never have time to actually do it.  Here's a bullet list of stuff on my mind:

1.  Our house was invaded by ants last night - maybe thousands of them.  They were attracted to the dog food, but there were so many of them that I had to spray them.  I hate exposing Ellie, the dogs, the baby, and myself to that stuff, but these ants bite and Ellie reacts badly to them.  Anyway, trying to yank her up out of the ants, I banged her toes on the doorjam.  I know it really hurt and I felt really bad about it.

2.  I had such a great vision of having roast chicken for dinner and then eating leftovers for the rest of the week.  The roast chicken, however, took forever last night and Ellie and I were both hungry and tired by the time it was done.  And, the chicken turned out to be scrawny so it was a lot of work for not much meat.

3.  I rearranged my week to do something with my coworkers tonight.  Not something fun, but they all want to get together and file some sort of complaint against our supervisor.  While I agree she's difficult at times, none of what they are bitching about qualifies as an EO complaint (their first idea) or a union grievance (their second).  I agreed to go out of solidarity, but I'd already decided not to sign anything.  Then, today, they cancel because someone is too busy.  

4.  Literally as we were standing next to the car this morning, getting ready to leave, Ellie had an accident.  She had wanted to wear panties and wanted to put on two pair, so I let her.  I feel bad that she didn't even make it to school, although I wasn't upset or anything.  I didn't mind, but I had to take her in, rinse her off, and change her shorts, socks, and shoes.  I felt bad for her and I know she felt bad but it all made me late for work.  Plus, I couldn't make her hair look as cute as I normally would which always makes me a bit sad.  

5.  Finally, being pregnant in PR is stressing me out.  My first doctor misled me (intentionally, I don't know) into believing that there were no natural childbirth options in a hospital here in PR.  I picked a midwife, and I liked her, but Joe wasn't totally behind the idea yet so I never finalized anything with her.  I ended up picking this midwife practice for my routine prenatal care and I realy really like them a lot.  But the hospital is 3rd world, they don't support breastfeeding, and I don't think they have sufficient facilities for any sort of NICU problem.  

I think the homebirth midwife was pushing me to see if this was what I really wanted, but it sort of makes me feel like she doesn't want me as a patient.  I called another very highly recommended midwife, but she is already full for February.  Then I found out there is a very pro-breastfeeding hospital that does waterbirths, but only with one doctor.  And...he won't take me because I'm too far along (he says it's too high risk.  I don't get that.  I understand he doesn't want to add patients but I don't see how it's high risk.  Anyway...)  I finally got ahold of the original midwife, Vanessa.  Joe and I are totally agreed we want a homebirth now, but she still keeps mentioning other options.  I don't get it.  She said, again, that she just wants to make sure I feel that I have choices, but it really feels like she doesn't want me as a patient.  Now, I've been calling her to confirm our Thursday appointment and she's never home and never returns my calls.  I'm starting to feel really stuck and at 19 weeks, while I have plenty of time for baby, I don't have pletny of time for finding care.  And the fact that I'm still not feeling the baby kick is really stressing me out.  If I do go with this midwife, I think I'm going to have to be very open with her and ask her if she doesn't want me for some reason and why she's so hard to reach.  :(  Who would have thought my husband-less first birth would be the easy one.  
ste_noni: (Default)
 First, the really exciting news - Ellie slept by herself in her own bed last night from 9:00pm until 4:00am.  That is huge, people!  We still have not mastered the art of her self-settling back to sleep, but I'm feeling successful with 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Of course, it took me forever to fall asleep because I was hoping she was okay over there in the corner and not cold or something.

Not much going on with the pregnancy.  I've gained about 11lbs.  Most of that I gained keeping the nausea at bay and I've remained about where I am now for the last 8 weeks or so.  I am a little freaked out about gaining too much weight since I never quite got to my pre-Ellie weight.  Still, I'm trying to accept that I will go over 200 lbs this time (honestly, no healthy way around that) and I think I'll just step away from the scale when it happens.

I bought a bunch of new maternity clothes over the weekend.  It's sad - I have tons of stuff from last time, but 80% of it is either too hot or too casual for me to wear here.  I got mostly longer-sleeved stuff for work ( this building is so cold!) and super casual tanks and shorts for at home.  It's so nice not to be wearing the same overall shorts I've been wearing after work for almost two weeks.

For a long time, I was imagining this baby as a boy and I was having a really hard time connecting to him on any level.  However, I now feel that the baby is a girl - partly because I feel much more able to connect to the baby if I imagine her as a girl.  That may well be just because I already have a daughter.  I'll be happy either way; I'm just feeling happy to have some sense of connection.  I've been feeling the baby move some, no kicks yet, and that has been nice.

I was totally dreading today at work, but so far, at just over half way, the day has gone okay.  I'm enjoying the job more and I know I will miss the work when I'm gone, but I'm still committed to leaving once the baby comes. 
ste_noni: (Default)
Had my appointment.  Heard the baby's heartbeat so all's okay there.  No ultrasound - I guess they were going to do it because I was supposedly leaving but now that I'm not, they would prefer to wait a few more weeks.  That's fine with me.  I'd love to know now, but I'm not pushing it.  

The midwife absolutely agrees that I should not be working 6 days a week and traveling all over during the third trimester (which I knew she would) so that helps if going to the training in October becomes an issue at work again, which I don't think it will.

Also, turns out I'm already 16+ weeks.  I'd lost a week in there somewhere, but 16, almost 17, is nice. 

I'd never heard this before, but according to the midwife, the first day you feel a real kick (not just some squirming) is supposedly the half way point through your pregnancy.  We will see if that turns out to be true.  I've felt some movement that *might* be a baby, but nothing for sure yet.
ste_noni: (Default)
Our internet has been down at home so I've been using my iPhone to read, but not post.  Here's the summary version of my life:

1.  Ellie fell out of bed last night and hit her head.  I felt so bad and that thud is just sickening.  She seemed okay and I dind't see a lump, but I still feel like a Bad Mommy.  Other than that, Ellie seems to be doing fine - saying all sorts of funny things and generally impressing her parents.

2.  I have my ultrasound tomorrow.  (I think.) Hopefully, the baby will cooperate and we can see the gender.

3.  Work has been...weird.  The people in my office have been mean and vicious, but the new boss (old boss left last week) and our Big!Boss in Miami have been very supportive.  Hopefully, the idea of training is put on hold until after the baby comes.  Oh, and the me-switching-to-my-old-position isn't going to happen because apparently even if I"m not valued here, I am at our headquarters.

4.  I got an email from a contact about possibly working with a pro bono immigrant advocacy thing in some capactiy.  We have to talk on the phone and I won't know more until then.  It's possible that this could lead to something like the non-profit I mentioned here a few months ago, but it's a long shot.

5.  I'm more and more leaning towards not coming back here when the baby is born.  I think I've learned what I can and the money isn't worht the stress.  Plus, child care for two is very expensive and leaves me with about $400 a month after childcare and loan payments.  So, we will see. 


ste_noni: (Default)

June 2012

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