Meet Emily Jane! 6lb 12oz, born today around noon. Second time was waaaaaaay easier than the first! Two pushes rather than two hours of pushing. I'd like to put in an order for that kind of labor for all subsequent children.
So, here we are. One day shy of 38 weeks. Still here, still pregnant. Just kinda waiting. Things were really trucking along until a week ago. I actually felt... ready. Like, really ready. Ready to have an actual new baby. It seemed real. It was very odd. We are still hoping that New Baby will stay internal until Thanksgiving Day, 1:09pm or later so that my mom will be here to watch Hannah and help out, but I've got Hannah's little suitcase packed just in case. I've talked to her so many times about how one day mommy and daddy will go to the doctor to get the baby out and Hannah will go sleep at Babby's (her little BFF, who she loves beyond all reason) house that she runs and tries to get her bag every time I have a doctor appointment. Which is pretty often nowadays. We've had to clarify between going to Babby's house for an hour so the doctor can LOOK at the baby and going to Babby's house to sleep all night because it's time for the baby to come out. Amazingly enough, she actually seems to understand. (It helps that we had an epic week of doctor appointments last week, with Hannah having her two-year checkup and Joel going to a chiropractor because he screwed up his back. Now we're at the point where one of her friends was crying as we left a playdate and Hannah told me that his mommy should take him to the doctor because he must be sick.)
Anyway, at this point last week I felt ready. Especially after I felt the baby drop -- which felt like she was taking a tiny uterine elevator down a few levels -- and had a bunch of contractions and generally felt very off and thought it might be Go Time. Spoiler alert: it was not. What it was was an awful stomach bug. Last Monday was, I think, the second-worst day of my life. Top honors still goes to last year's Family Stomach Bug, but it is a close call. On the plus side, at least this time Joel didn't get sick until I was pretty much recovered. And Hannah at two is much more capable of entertaining and caring for herself than she was when I was out of commission last year. She asked for a snack at one point in the afternoon and I told her she could go and get out the Halloween candy if she wanted to. She went upstairs, opened the closet, got a single peice of candy, and came back down to show me. She even threw the wrapper in the trash. And now she will sit and watch TV, which yeah yeah screen time, WHATEVER. There is no screen time limit when you're puking your guts out all day. And also you're allowed to wear your swimsuit indoors for no reason at all because mommy has no reserves to argue.
And best of all -- though I'm still hesitant to say this, so please knock on any wood you have nearby -- Hannah seems to have somehow avoided catching the bug this time, thank you baby Jesus. So. That was all good.
On the other hand, I cannot recommend coming down with a stomach bug while looking like this. That definitely took things to a new level of unpleasantness.
So last week felt like we were just barely clinging on to survival. First I was out, then Joel was out, and even though I was feeling much better I stayed up all night having awful thoughts about what in god's name we were going to do if I went into labor at that very minute, with Joel completely incapacitated, Hannah likely to become violently and contagiously ill at any moment and... yeah. No sleep.
Then the next day our landlord informed me that he was putting our house on the market. So we need to move. Soon. And in the meantime there will be showings and all that jazz and yeah, I had a small breakdown. It was not a good week.
Thank goodness for good friends, who talked me down off the ledge on Thursday. My mom will be here in eleven days. If the baby does come before that, we have a plan in place for Hannah and everything will. be. FINE.
But now I'm back to just feeling plain old pregnant, la-dee-da, going about my pregnant business and we're a week closer to New Baby making an appearance. It's back to feeling like some mystical event in the distant unknowable future, rather than something that could be any day now. But hopefully not tomorrow. Or the next day. Or any day before Thanksgiving.
I still feel like this pregnancy has overall been easier than my first one. I've gained a ton more weight (yaaaaay) and I have some heartburn and a very uncomfortable 1-2 hours every evening (always about 10pm to midnight, which is super convenient timing), but I think things were far worse at this point with Hannah. So that's nice and I'm enjoying every magical moment and all that, especially the perpetual game of is-it-a-contraction-or-is-the-baby-just-blocking-my-digestive-tract-again.
I'm worried about breastfeeding, but I hope that this time I can at least have the perspective that I totally THOUGHT I had last time but got lost in the rush of postpartum hormones. I will try, and if it works I will be so happy. If it doesn't... it doesn't. I know now firsthand that the world does not end when you give your baby a bottle of formula. And I honestly don't even plan to attempt to "exclusively" breastfeed. Even that term annoys me. I'm not going to kill myself pumping all week just to get enough milk banked up so I can go to yoga on the weekend or go to the grocery store myself. A bottle of formula here and there -- hell, a bottle of formula every DAY -- is not the end of the world. Especially not when weighed against my sanity and my ability to take care of the entire other child I have. This entire paragraph is mostly for myself to come back and read in a few months, if that were not entirely obvious.
(But to go off on a tangent about the whole "exclusive" thing -- why do people love that word so much? I hear it all the time in reference to cloth diapering at well. "Oh yes, we exclusively cloth diaper! Have since Day 1!" You know what? I do not exclusively cloth diaper. I used to. And I used to feel like a huge, fat failure every time I used one of our precious for-emergencies-only disposables. And then we had to use ONLY disposables for several months while dealing with the thrush diaper rash from hell, and you know what? It was OK. We eventually got back to cloth diapers, but then when Hannah started sleeping through the night -- like, 12+ hours through the night -- none of our cloth diapers could cut it. I ordered some wool covers, I ordered extra hemp and bamboo inserts, I tried quadruple stuffing pockets to the point where we couldn't fit any pajamas over her enormous night diaper. And still, they leaked every night and I got sick of not only changing the crib sheets but also of wondering if she would have slept longer if her diaper, pajamas, and sheets hadn't been soaked in urine. Oh, dear, sweet sleep. I was not ready to trade even a MINUTE of nighttime sleep for a measly cloth diapering medal, so we gave up and started using a disposable diaper overnight and I have never looked back. I also stopped carrying more than one spare cloth diaper with me in the diaper bag around the time that Hannah's diapers became the approximate size and bulk of a throw pillow. If we're out for more than one diaper change, she goes into an emergency disposable. And NO ONE CARES! The cloth diaper police haven't shown up a single time! Exclusive anything can basically bite me, is the moral of this parenthetical story.)
I'm also worried about Hannah, which I know is the oldest sibling worry in the book. I'm sad I won't be able to give her the level of attention that I can now. I'm worried she'll resent her sister or feel confused and generally be thrown off -- which is pretty much guaranteed, as our entire household is about to be turned upside down. I know, I know, it's all worth it and she'll adjust and blah blah blah -- trust me, this is what I thought every time I've heard someone else worry about this and I know it's true. But I'm still worried about it, and also sad that the days of us being a family of three are almost over.
I want to write pages and pages about Hannah now, at two plus two months, but I can hear her waking up from her nap so I'll suffice to say that she is SO much fun (except today, when she has been UNBEARABLY whiny -- but most days, she is truly a delight). I love age two so, so much. It's just the greatest.