Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Night sky nursery

On a few occasions over the past couple of weeks,  I've caught M standing by himself in the nursery.  Sometimes he's just there in the middle of the room, looking around as if making sure that everything is in place for Chalupa Batman's arrival.  Other times, usually at night, he'll be standing there in the dark with the mobile on, listening to a lullaby while watching the night light play across the ceiling.  When I wander in to see what he's up to, he rubs my belly and talks to CB, asking him to hurry up and get here so that he can enjoy the space we've made for him.

When we started talking nursery decor, we both knew that we didn't want to go full-on "baby boy blue".  But (being space nerds) we both loved the idea of an accent wall with an outer space theme.  Over time this kind of morphed into a simpler "night sky" idea, with the rest of the room keeping to more neutral tones.  While I'm no Pinterest-worthy photographer, here are a few shots of our former junk room /new favourite room in the house.

Can you spot the Little Dipper?

Soon to be evicted suffocation hazards fluffy friends.

The wall opposite the crib, where the real shit goes down.

The next photo is a great idea from one of my baby showers.  All of my friends wrote messages on the inside of diapers to give me a laugh when I'm up at 3am changing a stinky baby and wondering what has become of my life.  Unbelievably, I've resisted the urge to peek so far.

I've been assured none of these will make me cry.

Future bedtime stories.  With a little East Coast flair!

A little name hint!  Plus curtains made by my MIL.

And finally, my absolute favourite thing in the entire room is this painting that was done by my sister, an incredibly talented artist who is wasting her time on high schoolers passing on her knowledge as a high school art teacher.  When I told her about the "night sky" idea, she created this beautiful watercolour.

Now with bonus beagle!!

So there you have it!  Tomorrow is my due date.  I know anything can happen, but at this point I'm pretty convinced Chalupa Batman is staying put for a little while yet.  Despite my best efforts in getting out for 30 to 60 minute daily walks, he hasn't even dropped and the only real "sign" of labour I've had was a chunk of my mucous plug that came out last week but has surely replenished itself by now.  If nothing happens over the weekend my OB will do a membrane sweep on Monday in the hopes of getting something started.  I think I'm ready to get this show on the road!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Home Stretch

Well friends, it is Thursday morning exactly one week before my due date.  On the recommendation of quite a few friends, I finished up at work last week so right now I'm at home, sitting on my butt on the couch enjoying what are probably the last few days of sanity that I'll have for a while.

On the one hand, it feels very weird and old-fashioned to send M off to work with a kiss while I stay home.  On the other, it's been nice to have a bit of time to attend to various chores at a leisurely pace and get some much-needed things done that might otherwise be neglected in the coming weeks (i.e. getting Buddy's nails clipped, having my bangs trimmed, replacing those stoopid pot lights in the kitchen that seem to burn out with annoying frequency, etc).  I've also been doing a bit of cooking and baking to help stock the freezer so that we won't be subsisting on cereal and canned soup once the baby arrives.  Who knew I was such a goddamn domestic goddess?

Sort of like this, except pregnant and in dog-hair covered yoga pants.

I guess it's good that I still have a to-do list around the house, because otherwise I think I'd be really freaking bored waiting for Chalupa Batman to make his appearance.  This kid seems to be in no hurry.  Which is frustrating, since he's clearly running out of room in there and I keep telling him how much more comfortable he would undoubtedly be on the outside where he's not all squished up.  At our 35 week ultrasound a month ago, he was sitting in the 75th percentile and already weighing an estimated 6 pounds 5 ounces.  I can't help but be reminded of a friend of mine who, after giving birth to her son, confided that he came out of her "like the fucking Kool Aid man".

That wall will be my vagina.  OH YEAH!

In my most fervent hopes of avoiding this, at my weekly checkup on Monday I asked whether the size of the baby would have any bearing on how far overdue they'd let me go if it came to that.  Unfortunately, they have no problem with letting me squeeze a 10-pound turkey out of my v-hole.  They will, however, possibly induce earlier due to my "advanced maternal age", so high fives for being an old mom for a change.

Otherwise, the last couple of weeks of pregnancy have been not as terrible as I'd been led to expect.  I'm sleeping ok and can achieve some semblance of "comfort" with strategically placed pillows.  The biggest new annoyance has been fluid retention, which to be fair has not been very bad at all in the grand scheme of things.  I've seen some fellow bloggers whose ankles have disappeared entirely, whereas for me I just seem to get a nice indent where my socks have been.  The water retention has actually been worse in my hands.  I stopped wearing my wedding rings weeks ago, and now when I wake up in the morning my fingers feel tight and the joints are painfully stiff and creaky.  It subsides a fair bit throughout the day, but it's a not-so-nice preview of how I'll probably feel when I'm 70 or so and my family history of arthritis really kicks in.

I leave you for now with what may be my last bump picture, from 38 weeks.  

I swear there are nursery pics coming, we just have a final wall that's waiting for M to put up a shelf and painting before the big reveal.  Rest assured, were CB to arrive today we're ready for him.  

Famous last words, right?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Navel gazing

My belly button looks so weird right now.  At 37 weeks, it's pretty much completely flattened out and, as Lilee so eloquently noted in a previous post, it bears a striking resemblance to a cat's asshole.  The part that used to be inside now makes a wide, smooth, hairless orbit around the tiny pucker of navel that's left.  Above it, the crowning glory of my belly button piercing scar (an ill-considered result of a post-breakup rebellion in my 20s) has been stretched into two horizontal lines, making it sort of look like I have three tiny belly buttons all in a row.  I thought about posting a picture, but trust me when I say I'm doing you a favour by not.

With that out of the way, the title of my post actually refers to all of the thinking I've been doing about the upcoming big event.  (BOOM!  Double entendre, bitches.)  Most of it is fairly standard stuff for first time moms, I assume.  Things like wondering how I'm going to handle childbirth (spoiler: with drugs).  How are we going to adjust to having a teeny tiny life to take care of, while initially having no idea how to do it?  How are we going to deal with sleep deprivation?  With the change in our relationship dynamic?  With immense amounts of poop and puke?  Are we going to be good parents?  Are we going to want to go back to our old lives?  Are we really ready for this???

Then there's the other stuff.  The donor egg stuff.  I find myself thinking more and more about how I'm going to deal with having a baby that isn't biologically mine.  The fact is that most of the time, I don't even think about it.  When Chalupa is beating me up from the inside out, or when I hear his little heartbeat on the Doppler at the OB's office, it doesn't even enter my mind.  But every now and again, the thought strikes me like a splash of cold water to the face: this baby isn't mine.  When I talk to M about it, he seems to have a hard time understanding what I mean.  I don't think it the sense that I feel disconnected from Chalupa, or that I'm not acknowledging the importance of my role in bringing him into this world.  I mean it in the most basic, factual, cellular sense.  He's not my son.  Not biologically.  There is another woman's child growing inside me right now, and every once in a while the sheer absurdity of that situation needs to be acknowledged by my brain.

Again, most of the time this issue doesn't even faze me.  I've felt pretty much at peace with our decision to use donor eggs and haven't really second guessed it.  But every once in a while I wonder if it will somehow colour the way I feel about Chalupa once he's here.  Will I bond with him immediately, or will it take some time?  What if we don't ever bond the same way we would have if we were biologically related?  What if it totally screws him up for life?  I find myself hoping that he strongly resembles M so that he/I won't have to deal not only with other people asking who he looks like, but wondering that himself/myself.  I just hope that we haven't set him up for a  lifetime of feeling like he doesn't belong, or that he's different somehow.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll be able to be completely accepting of him.  For instance, what if he has some kind of physical feature or personality trait that I don't like?  Worse, what if he has a disability or chronic illness?  Will I respond unconditionally the way a genetic mom would, or will I resent the donor and blame her instead of just accepting it the way I might if Chalupa was purely made up of genes from M and I?

Then there are the really crazy thoughts.  The ones where I imagine that the clinic screwed up and fertilized the donor's eggs with the wrong sperm, and we'll find out someday (somehow) that he isn't related to either of us.  Or we'll find out immediately in the delivery room if, say, he comes out the wrong colour or something.  I totally don't mean that in a racist way, I just mean that it would likely be the only way for us to know right off the bat if something was not quite the way it should be.  What the hell would we do then?  

Well, OK, maybe that last one is a little bit over the top.  But I feel like the rest are pretty legit donor egg mom worries.

I've read enough donor egg blogs to know that pretty much everyone seems to feel like these worries fly right out the window once their baby arrives.  Of course I hope it'll be the same for me.  But just...what if it's not?