August 20, 2013

Reassurances

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:20 pm by Erin

The telling is going slowly, primarily because I can’t seem to get people on the phone! We’ve been trying to tell relatives for almost a week now and I’m still at least 4 or 5 away from being able to tell my parents that they’re now allowed to talk about this freely. They’re dying to be able to tell their friends but are afraid it will get back to relatives somehow, so they’re keeping quiet.

A week ago, I wasn’t sure I’d felt the baby. Now I feel the baby all the time. This little one is a mover and shaker like his/her big sister! At least a couple of times a day (like right now), the baby gives me at least a few good and noticeable kicks. He/she moves around so quickly that I’ll feel them right below my bellybutton, then a minute later feel them way low in my uterus. Right now, my computer lap desk is feeling the full brunt of the energy—apparently, he/she is sick of me being on the computer and says it’s time for bed.

I agree. I went for a 3+ mile run this morning, then taught several classes and did a ton of work in the middle of the day. I’m exhausted! Good night all, and thanks for the happy wishes!

August 14, 2013

And exhale

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:29 pm by Erin

I am 95% sure that I felt the baby move early this morning, and maybe last night. Then I went to the midwife’s appt and heard his/her heartbeat—perfect, fast, healthy. Then I went to a consignment sale and bought a bunch more maternity clothes and a sleep sac for the baby, and to Ba.bies R Us for a “Big Sister” t-shirt for Ellie. And then we came home, put the shirt on her, and told the kids. P got the gist of the shirt right away and once he explained it, K jumped around with excitement. E, of course, still doesn’t understand but she does like her new shirt. Then we Skyped with my parents to tell them the news. They were excited for us.

It’s out now. We’ll tell people over the next few days and weeks. I’m still nervous but I’m finding it harder to hide it already compared to last week (the midwife felt my uterus and said “Wow, it’s really up there—I’m not surprised you felt the baby move!”), so it was going to be out of my control soon.

And, as seems to be my habit, I cried as I was driving home from the appt this morning. They were tears of joy and release, and felt perfectly natural. With all the planning and hoping and praying that we did during our many years of dealing with IF, this was never something I ever envisioned happening and I still can’t quite believe that it’s real.

14 weeks on Friday.

August 13, 2013

The world hasn’t exploded yet

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:53 pm by Erin

Yesterday, I went through E’s closet to figure out what clothes she has available to grow into for this winter (we are blessed by getting a lot of girl hand-me-downs) before I hit a consignment sale tomorrow. Also in the closet was all of our baby clothes. Little, teensy baby clothes. I’ve given away a lot of the outfits, particularly the boy clothes, but there were still a lot of newborn baby clothes in there. And a box of maternity clothes, work-related, which was HUGE. I thought I’d given away all of my maternity clothes and was dreading using some of our really-limited funds to buy both a work wardrobe and some knock-around clothes that I’d only wear for 6 or so months. The box I found had most of my nicer winter-work maternity tops, my maternity winter coat, some sweaters, a dress, and a pair of pants. I’m so relieved!

I kept reminding myself that going through clothes was not going to jinx anything. They were just clothes. I just had to look at them. I didn’t wash anything, organize anything, plan anything. They’re just…acknowledged.

Appt tomorrow, 9:45. My heart races when I think about it.

August 10, 2013

Time to start getting nervous again

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:16 pm by Erin

I hit 13w yesterday. I guess that puts me into the second trimester. It doesn’t feel real. At this point with E’s pregnancy, I’d officially (at appointments) heard the baby’s heartbeat at least 3 times, and had rented a doppler so that I could check on it at home. This time, I’ve heard the baby’s heartbeat once, at the u/s. I have another appt on Wednesday and it feels like forever away.

E started moving very early—I know I was feeling her clearly by my 14th week and I think it was actually a week or two earlier that I’d first started feeling those little “flutters” of movement. Even P, who was my first pregnancy, was fluttering by 14 1/2 weeks and moving clearly by 16 weeks. So far, nada from this little one. I know it’s ridiculously early but the others have started so early that I was hoping for the same thing this time around. For the past two who made it this far, the movement coincided with starting to get Braxton-Hicks contractions. Feeling those early movements helped soothe my fears when I’d have those contractions. I’ve had several BH contractions in the last few days but no reassuring movement yet. My uterus is feeling quite tender and it’s definitely larger, but I really want to feel someone in there! The appt on Wednesday will help.

J and I aren’t sure when we’ll start telling people. I’ve told two friends IRL, plus a couple who read this blog know by now, but we haven’t told the kids or our families or most of our friends. I did have to tell my boss in order to impress upon her the importance of having people to teach my classes in the spring semester (the sum total of people who are qualified to teach the majors’ level biology class at my campus is 2—she and I, and she doesn’t teach much since she’s the new department chair. I refuse to get sucked into teaching when I’m having a baby AGAIN, like I did when I had E and also like I did when we adopted K). We were planning to start telling next week but J’s job is not going well and our families have been concerned. We would rather be able to say “Hey, we have good news and better news! The good news is J got a new job…” so that they can be happy instead of immediately quizzing us about how we plan to afford this baby. The boys are oblivious and while E is far more intuitive than either of them, she’s too young to know what exactly is happening.

So anyway, who knows when we’ll start telling. I’m not quite showing yet. I’m definitely puffier around the midsection but I don’t look a whole lot different than before I started running in November, so people can’t tell by looking at me. I think I have a couple of weeks before it becomes obvious, maybe the beginning of September-ish. But it all hinges on Wednesday being OK. I’m scared already.

July 28, 2013

The real me

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:56 am by Erin

Being socially awkward and insecure is a bad combination. Really bad. There is a woman I know through a group of moms who I thought was right at that border of acquaintance and friend—you know the type who seems nice in group settings and you’d like to get to know them, you have some good conversations that go into some depth, kids have been to each others’ birthday parties, and you’re thinking that you’re at the point where you’re ready to hang out one-on-one. Apparently, I WAY misread that one in the wrong direction. 

 

There are some women with similar characteristics of this woman that I know online. They were in town and I thought “Hey, they’re at a local restaurant that’s only a few minutes from my house—I’ll go over and say hi for a few minutes!” This was not totally unexpected, since when they posted where they were, I said “Hey, maybe I’ll stop by for a few minutes” and a couple said “OK”. I didn’t invite myself over to this woman’s house (a mutual friend did so earlier today and it seemed perfectly nice, so stopping in at the restaurant didn’t seem like an idea that was too-far-out). I did not invite myself to dinner. I showed up at the restaurant about the time they were finishing dinner, literally planning to spend maybe 15-20 minutes there while they had dessert and paid, just enough time to say hi to this woman and a couple of others that I had actually met, and the ones I only knew from online. 

 

Wow, talk about me cursing my impulsiveness! When I got there, the other women I knew were fine—casual, but it was nice to see them. The ones I knew online, well, that’s always a little awkward but it was OK. This one woman, though. The only place to sit happened to be next to her, which seemed fine at first. I happened to ask how they’d all met and she said “They’re my best friends. They’re not just some moms who have (this one characteristic).” Clearly implying “That’s all you are.” Ooooooooookay, then. I tried a couple more times to talk to her but it was incredibly awkward and it’s pretty obvious that’s the last time I’ll be seeing her, unless it’s in a crowd.

 

Then I drove home feeling lousy about myself. Why didn’t she like me? Why weren’t the other people pleased to see me even when they’d been so pleased to see the mutual friend who’d stopped by earlier? What had I done? And beating myself up for…well, nothing.

 

These are not friends of mine. They weren’t before I went (since I obviously misjudged this one woman). I went mostly out of curiosity to meet some people I only knew online. Why do I care what they think? They’re not people I hang out with. They’re really just people with whom I share this one characteristic. Even “casual acquaintances” is beyond our actual relationship. Why do I care what they think?

 

And a part of me recognizes that it wasn’t a good idea to go in the first place. I had thought that it would be fun, to hang out with some women and just chat about frivolous things for a few minutes. This particular restaurant was a bad place for that anyway, and I had a weird feeling as I was driving there that maybe I shouldn’t go. I thought it was just nerves since I’m really bad in social situations, particularly meeting new people. Sometimes I feel like I should force myself. Sometimes that works. Tonight, it bombed miserably.

 

But I don’t need to beat myself up too much. It sucked but it also helped clarify things. It was awkward (from this one woman, almost hostile) and I was clearly interrupting their night out. I shouldn’t have done that but even accounting for that, it helped me figure out where I stand and where I want to stand. It turns out that I stand well outside that circle and it turns out that I’m OK with that, and don’t really have a desire to reach out and try to join it. I thought I did before tonight but now I really don’t. The insecure part of me still wants to know why I’m not in the circle. The rest of me, which is what I’m trying to strengthen, knows that it doesn’t really matter. My circles are strong and fulfill me. I don’t have to be part of every circle.

July 18, 2013

Oh, those hormones

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:35 pm by Erin

So I was watching Call the Midwife with all these new little babies. Then I looked up and saw a beautiful black-and-white baby picture of E that’s on our mantle. And then I started crying.

I get another chance at this. I am the luckiest woman in the world. I can’t believe I get to do this again.

10w tomorrow.

July 17, 2013

After my last post

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:31 pm by Erin

I e-mailed the family member in question to say that I was sorry about what had happened, that we hadn’t been made aware of it earlier or it wouldn’t have taken me so long to write, and that we are glad he’s OK. He e-mailed back to say that it was really horrible but that he’s at peace about it now.

Would that he would tell my MIL…

July 15, 2013

Just need to write

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:56 pm by Erin

So, I’ve been pretty upset by the Trayvon Martin case. Most of the people I know have been as well. When Zimmerman was acquitted the other night, I posted that I didn’t understand how it could happen and one emotion I feel is that I fear for other black children who may be killed walking home from stores because there’s apparently no consequences. I’m the mother of a black son. It’s not like I didn’t know that he will be viewed as more dangerous than his white brother when they’re in similar situations, but I was still hoping that the justice system wasn’t so flawed that a man could get away with stalking and killing an unarmed young black man who was doing nothing more suspicious than talking on a cell phone while walking home one night. But apparently being black is not only enough to be suspicious, it’s enough to make you such a threat to the armed man stalking you that he’s within his rights to kill you and then claim it was self-defense.

Then I got an e-mail from my MIL. Over a year ago, a white family member of hers (whose relationship I won’t explain here, because most of you know me on FB and might see who it is) was mugged by two black men. It was, legitimately, an awful and painful and terrifying experience for this family member. The police in his area didn’t really investigate much and my MIL is justifiably upset about the way it was handled. However, the e-mail she sent basically said that I was a lousy person for feeling that the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case was wrong without also expressing that this white family member had been a victim of this crime at the hands of black men. Also, I should have called the family member to tell him how horrible it was. (For the record, J and I didn’t know it happened until she sent this e-mail because the family member didn’t choose to share it with us. My MIL claims she told us. I have a hard time believing that BOTH J and I forgot something like that had happened, but she’s just convinced we’re awful people at this point.) She said that racism happens on both sides and that both sides need to take responsibility for it. And that she was a social worker for many years, so she was qualified to express her opinion.

Since she copied J on the e-mail, I insisted that the response come from him and that we both needed to agree on what it said. He and I talked about it for a while. I mostly wrote the response and said that we agreed that what had happened to the family member was awful. I tried to, without being obvious, make it clear that we didn’t really see the same comparisons but that I believed that it must be in the hope that the assaulters in both cases would be arrested, given a trial, and imprisoned for their wrongdoings. That we lamented the lack of justice in Trayvon’s case while still hoping that it might be served for this family member’s case.

Her response was that they basically felt it was more ethically and morally wrong for the family member’s attackers to be out with a loaded gun than someone out on a neighborhood watch. I thought about responding to ask if she was saying that it was OK for Zimmerman to racially profile Trayvon Martin in Florida because this family member had been attacked by two black men in another state? I suspect that’s exactly what she was saying. She also wanted to know where was the outrage and press and police coverage for this family member. Never mind that a) this family member is still alive, which is a pretty huge difference, and b) it was Trayvon’s family who pushed for the public outcry against the failed police investigation in that case. She not only didn’t push for media coverage or police responsibility, she didn’t even tell us (not that she’d admit it).

I’m not responding and neither is J. His parents have always been borderline racist—not that I’m sure there’s a border, so I should probably just call them racist. My MIL once told J not to date anyone who was Jewish or black (it must burn her a little to have a Jewish DIL and Jewish grandkids, one of whom is black). J says they’ve never had friends who were minorities—and since J’s mom was a social worker for years (the ones of a certain ethnic refugee population who were always “those people” anytime she talked about them), she was in a position in which many of her co-workers were themselves minorities. Ideal situation to have friends of other races! But apparently not. They expressed racist concerns when we wanted to adopt K. They firmly believe affirmative action is a crock. And on and on. My FIL is worse but he knows my attitudes on these things and chooses not to address them with me, which is fine.

I asked J what I was supposed to say and he said I’m apparently not recognizing my MIL’s victimhood in this. That we’re not be sufficiently sorrowful that she had to deal with this. That this is pretty much her MO—everything is about her and we should clearly recognize it and beg her forgiveness, and try to get word out to the press that this happened (this was all tongue-in-cheek, of course).

I should know this about her by now. It’s always that she, the white Christian woman, is the victim. She was the victim of us being lousy parents to her grandkids at Thanksgiving, because our kids don’t Skype to her each week even though they do with my parents. (My parents set aside that time specifically for that purpose, showing us that they value us and our kids, while J’s parents always tell us “Oh, we don’t know where we’ll be, so just try us and we’ll call back if we’re not around.” Which they’re usually not.) That our kids didn’t even know that they paid for the kids to do soccer that fall (even though we’d made sure the kids said thank you to them when the check arrived). That we don’t spend as much time with them as we do with my parents (because my parents make the trip down here several times a year, while J’s parents—who are both retired and have plenty of money in the bank—do not). That they would rather have longer trips filled with quality time with our kids than shorter trips (so we said “Hey, come down again for spring break—the kids LOVED having you do that a couple of years ago and it would really help us since we have to work.” They said “Sure!” Until it was close to spring break, when they said “We’re just going to come in the summer,” thereby making it BY THEIR CHOICE seven months between times that they’d seen the kids. Who they Skyped with twice in that time.).

Who, the day after putting this whole guilt-trip on us about how we’re such lousy parents at making sure our kids know their grandparents, chose to spend their last day here watching a college football game. Our kids do not follow football. This was not an activity in which they wanted to share, nor did they—the boys went to a friend’s house with J’s and my blessing. But my ILs want “quality time”.

J blows it off—to him, his mom is just being her normal self. I didn’t grow up dealing with this and so I tend to take it to heart when a grandmother is crying about how she doesn’t get to see her grandkids enough. It threw me the next day when they spent 4 hours of their last day watching a football game for which their grandkids couldn’t have cared less. I hadn’t realized how much she is the victim. How much she needs that. And quite frankly, I don’t have the energy to deal with that. I have 3 1/4 kids and a husband who are the center of my world. My energy goes to them first and always.

I told J that I’m going to bow out of conversations with my ILs for a while until this has had some time. It will never blow over, because I can’t forget her attitude in this instance (how can I forget that someday my son may be in the situation of Trayvon Martin and that his grandmother thinks it’s OK?), but they are my husband’s family. We have a future relationship by necessity that I am not willing to throw away based on her need to be a victim. I told J that he is welcome to tell his parents that I recognize there is nothing I can say that will make them see the different situations here or make them change their minds, so I’m choosing not to engage in it further for the sake of our relationship. If they choose to pursue it, though, I WILL tell them exactly what’s on my mind. I don’t think they will. I hope they won’t because I’m just not diplomatic enough to be able to talk to them about this in such a way that we’ll have any kind of cordial relationship in the future.

July 13, 2013

I have been spoiled

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:25 pm by Erin

Y’all, I didn’t know it until recently. I was spoiled in my first two successful pregnancies. I had very little nausea with P’s pregnancy—some food aversions, sure, but nothing really bad. In E’s pregnancy, I was definitely more nauseated. I couldn’t drink plain water and the food aversions were far more plentiful. But as long as I was careful, I didn’t feel too sick. No vomiting with either one of them.

This one. This one is already rough. I haven’t yet gotten sick physically but since I spent 20 minutes heaving earlier, I don’t think it’s far off. I spend most of each day curled up in a ball, wishing the queasiness would go away, trying to remind myself that there are studies showing that more nausea is correlated to a better pregnancy outcome. I keep telling myself that it should peak pretty soon, that there’s only a few more weeks to the end of the 1T and then hopefully it will start to go away—and then I curl up into a smaller ball and moan about the idea of several more weeks of this.

It generally starts at about 10 a.m. and lasts until 8 p.m. or so. If I don’t eat something substantial around 9 p.m., I wake up feeling sick in the morning. A bowl of Cheerios in milk is the worst breakfast in the world (which sucks since that was what I ate probably 5 days a week beforehand) and will have me feeling horrible in minutes. I also like Kashi waffles but eating them is like throwing them into a void—I can’t even tell that I’ve eaten anything within 30 minutes of finishing. The idea of eggs—uh, no. I’m stuck with oatmeal. Dinners are worse, though, because I’ve been feeling so lousy all day that the idea of cooking is usually horrible.

My kids are spending a LOT of time on screens (computer, TV) this summer because a) it’s rained every single day, and b) I’ve been feeling increasingly crappy over the last 3 weeks and have almost no energy or will to do much. I seem to get about 1 good day a week. I had one yesterday and took them to both the park and library, which were good choices. I haven’t run in almost a week. I was really hoping to keep up with it as much as possible but with the way I’m feeling, I can’t do it. Maybe I’ll get back to it soon.

A few more weeks. I can do it. Mostly ’cause there’s no other choice.

July 11, 2013

Thump thump thump thump thump

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:10 pm by Erin

The healthy, healthy baby heartbeat we heard at the u/s today (I wrangled an earlier appt after they tried to schedule it for NEXT Friday). One little one measuring 8w6d, which fits perfectly with where I thought I was. By dates, I was 9w1d but I knew I was ovulating around d16/17.

Due Valentine’s Day 2014.

I ran into someone I knew there and had to ask them to PLEASE not say anything on FB before we do. It’ll still be another month or so before we tell our families and of course I won’t post about it on there before they all know. I’m starting to get excited. This little 2cm baby sounded so healthy and strong. We brought E to the appt with us but left the boys with friends. She has no idea what’s going on, anyway, so it’s not like she’ll start telling everyone. Of course,E patted my stomach and said “E***’s baby brudda” about a week after my last period, so maybe I shouldn’t doubt her so much. I mentioned it to J again and said that I didn’t have any strong feelings about whether this one was a boy or a girl, while I’d had strong feelings from the beginning with both P and E. I said “I guess I shouldn’t doubt her—she knew before I even got pregnant!” and he pointed out that, as she only has brothers, she has no idea what the word “sister” is in relation to herself anyway. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. We have two fantastic boys and an equally fantastic girl. We’re incredibly lucky either way.

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