My Henry Thomas, born on 2/8/2011 at 9:15 p.m.

7 lbs, 7.8 oz

21 inches long

14 3/4 head circumference

9.9 Apgar score

Mom and Henry worked hard for almost 15 hours before we all decided that a c-section was best, the ups and downs of the whole day made the entire family very thankful for the miracle of modern medicine as we dealt with issues one after the other all day ranging from pain to heart rate issues and fevers.  But we’re both recovered and thankful.  Our world is a little smaller and bigger at the same time.

The start of an extensive Henry photo catalog can be seen Here (in addition to many unflattering photos of an anemic, fever fighting mama).

In the middle of my baby blues the best thing I could find to do was anything that made me feel productive and useful.  Pardon the not so great pictures, hopefully I will get better shots of these things in use.

Of course I knit.

One sweater for a little winter baby (sans buttons that I cannot find right now)

And one sweater for a slightly bigger baby who might need an extra layer in the spring.

And the Robot.

Having seen the new trend of “Tactile Blankets” (baby blankets with different ribbons attached to engaging a babies interest and sensory development) I liked the idea but have to admit that the professional seamstress in me got the best of my Etsy searches and I declared everything I saw either too ugly to live or crudely made or (usually) a combination of both.  I also wanted to make a toy, so I combined the two and this is what came to be.  He’s a hand and machine stitched, wool- felt robot toy with various ribbons for arms, legs and antennae.  I’m pretty pleased with him, though I found the hardest thing about a robot toy is not making the face look frightening.

Sometimes in order to calm my anxiety I try to remember how much life can change, for the better, in short and long periods of time.  It helps to remind me how much ours lives can improve in that same span of time in the future.

This week …

5 years ago – I was finishing my last and most stressful semester of college.  I was living on my own, in my own apartment, paying all my own bills for the first time.  I was working and going to school, I was getting my senior design show up and running, with many problems in ordering fabric.  I was getting ready for a weekend of grad school interviews and putting the finishing touches on a very problematic production of “The Elephant Man” pretty much on my own.  By the end of this week I would be in Chicago for the interviews with a bandaged, bruised  hand (some form of stress relief + boxing + wooden costume racks = flat knuckles/b.s. story about moving a friends couch) in full knowledge that my rent check was about to bounce because I had lost my most recent paycheck two hours before I had to leave the state and my almost 5 year old relationship was officially in the gutter and dying.

4 years ago – I was moving into a big city on my own with a roommate I didn’t know in Cleveland, OH.  I had just done a semester of grad work at a school that was not for me.  Mainly because they’d fired the instructor I meant to study under about 2 months before I was to start and hired a sub-par replacement.  I had cried my way out of my hometown as I had driven to my new home on my own and even slightly rear-ended a car a stop light because of it (no damage and the guy was very considerate when he saw my red teary eyes)

3 years ago – Starting year two in Cleveland with Ben, struggling to make ends meet on very small incomes.  Working freelance on too many projects to make ends meet until contracts started for the spring, planing a wedding, etc.

2 years ago – Had just moved cross-country in the winter to Oregon.  Didn’t know a soul, housing difficulties out the wazoo, stress… lots of stress.

1 year ago – Starting up my second season in Oregon… not knowing how different next January would be…

This year – Still waiting to have a baby who is due on the exact date my world came crashing down around my feet 5 years ago.

But enough on the negative

5 years ago – Pushed myself to a breaking point in my studies and learned just how far I can go, ended a dying relationship and came to some realizations about the man who is now my husband.

4 years ago – Had the excellent foresight to abandon a program and a degree that would have left me poorly trained and without real world experiences.

3 years ago – Having to foot  your own wedding bills teaches you financial responsibility and what should be really important that day… also applies to life

2 years ago – One of the best adventures of my life, reached a goal working for my dream company within 3 years of undergrad graduation… I pat myself on the back.

1 year ago – Have had my first vacation time in years and am able to do a lot of soul searching.

This year – Still waiting to have a baby who is due on the exact date I entered adulthood 5 years ago.

 

Oh yeah… I also got offered a real (salary + benefits) job today that will be waiting for me as soon as I’m on my feet post baby… in true Molly fashion – the easy road is apparently for wussies.

Yep, I plan (or complain) and God laughs.  No later than 10 minutes after yesterday’s lamenting (though truthful) post I went and checked on my phone.

There it was.

The job I had interviewed for right before Christmas was checking up with me.  They’re still in the process of checking my references and wanted to see how the pregnancy was progressing and if I was still interested.

It’s not an offer, not yet.  But my boss from my last job just told me they spoke to her today, so this is good… very good.

“But I know somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars” – MLK JR.

 

 

and been the star of many plays… okay not really, but I’ve worked on many plays and if I can brag for a moment one of the plays I worked on before moving last year is mentioned in THIS article.  But, back to the point and ego stroking aside, I have seen better days.

In general the hormones have mellowed out a lot since Sept/Oct/Nov., but I still have my days and nights of worry.  The kind where I have to keep my poor husband up at night just so I can repeat my list of “It could be a lot worse if…” and “It’ll be better as soon as…”  The poor guy, he’s had a good life, and often doesn’t know how to react to stuff like this, but he’s learning and trying and really wants to make it into one big joke so we can laugh at it.  But the best thing he’s told me so far is that he’s anxious for Baby Who to be in the world so that he can finally lend a hand and take some of the weight off my shoulders.  He’s paid attention these last 8 months, he understands that it’s been really rough on me and he’s just waiting for his turn to come around… I’m a pretty darn lucky woman.

A few things I’m reminding myself of right now:

  • Though I’ve had it rough, I’ve been blessed with quite possibly the most boring, healthy pregnancy ever.  Other than MY anxiety, which I believe was a bigger factor in the 4+ months of nausea and morning sickness than were the hormones and the fact that I’m a smaller person sharing a small space with an even smaller person, I have suffered from anything else that I dreaded – no hemorrhoids, no heartburn, no strange leaking fluids, no swelling, every test that could come back negative has and the baby has had no visible problems and has always measured and scanned perfectly… and in the completely-100%-vain category I don’t waddle, I can still see my feet with a little effort and look pretty darn cute with a belly.  (Judge away for the vanity, but it’s true and it thinking it helps me feel a little better)
  • 1)  Our living situation is only temporary, and is a smart decision that we will pat ourselves on the back for in the future.  2)  A lot of people who seem to “have it all” don’t.  3)  There’s a difference between accumulating a few bills and blindly accumulating debt and our current plan of action is keeping us from one and we’ll be better off for it in the future.
  • While I had no luck in the last four months, I do have an education and I will find a job that rewards that in some way.  I just have to be patient and remind myself that though I’ve always found work in theatre, that job hunting and interviewing in the “normal” sector of the job market is completely different.
  • I’m not going to turn out like some of the people I worked with over the last few months just because I too was working a crappy retail job.  Part of this is because of the aforementioned completed education and our choice of friends  and a blessing of good family.
  • As the husband says all that’s needed is the right amounts of love and discipline at the right times to make sure that my kid does not turn out like the million little cretins I had to deal with during the holiday season.  Seriously, we should make all teenagers and college students work the weekend shifts during the Christmas season, it’d be the best deterrent ever.

 

I’m just trying to take it one day at a time…  it’ll all work out in the end….

Thanks for the kind replies!  I’ve written and deleted many posts about what I’ve gone through emotionally since about June, but I don’t know if I’ll ever bear my soul on this blog about those days.  They happened and hopefully they’re over.  Right now I’m trying to focus on the fact that I seem to have gotten through this and look forward to being able to put it all behind me when as life continues to balance out.

I learned very quickly that pregnancy is not all shiny, happy moments as TV, movies and blogs would have us like to believe and between hormones and the regular stresses in life it’s hard to have those moments if at all.  Like I said, I’m not ready to bear it all on the screen, but have wanted to put it out there for other to use.

For those friends and family of a woman expecting a few words of advice:

1.  A sincere “How are you?” is great (and amazingly rare), but as early as July I wanted to bite the head off of any person who asked “Aren’t you so excited?” and was visibly disappointment when I wasn’t jumping up and down, ridiculously giddy and then I felt worse for disappointing them.

  • There was a day when a younger co-worker asked that very same question and I just couldn’t muster up a fake response after days of throwing up, dehydration and mounting anxiety.  She was visibly and vocally disappointed in return and that all just made me feel worse!  Don’t expect your expecting relatives or friends to be excited all the time.  Let them know that it’s okay to just be okay with it.

2.  Unless you really know the person, most likely ANY comment about how they look or assumptions on how they feel (emotionally, physically, etc.) or how the pregnancy is going or has gone is better left unsaid.

  • One of my biggest peeves was the people who assumed that just because the pregnancy was visible, that it (the baby, my body, my health, etc.) was a totally open subject to discuss.

3.  Pay attention and be supportive!  Seriously!  Ante-partum depression is not as widely know as post-partum depression, but it’s believed to be more common, just less discussed.

  • Don’t assume that once your friend or cousin is pregnant that it is all they want to discuss or think about; if they don’t want to talk about baby clothes or diapers, let that be okay.  Heck, if you get the vibe that that day they actually want to pretend that their bodies aren’t going through major changes and there’s not a countdown ticking to their lives never being the same again, let that be okay!

For any ladies who think they might have the baby blues, and don’t even have the baby yet… It’s going to be alright.

I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice, but this is what helped me out.

1.  Talk to your doctor!

  • Even if it’s just a concern and you don’t feel like you need or want a complete psychiatric evaluation, let them know how you’ve been feeling.  If you have a good doctor they’ll know what to do with any info you give them, something as simple as rechecking your vitamin levels could make a world of difference.

2.  Keep up with your vitamins.

3.  Even if you don’t feel like taking perfect care of yourself, make yourself feel good.

  • Get a hair cut, take a bath.  Even if you don’t think you want to it can make all the difference if just for that day. While you’re probably denying yourself all those things on the “don’t do or eat” while pregnant lists, find a way to let your life be normal while being healthy.  Eat fake-y Americanized sushi, drink a can of Sprite or Root Beer when you’re craving a caffeinated beverage, etc.

4.  Turn off the media! I can’t stress this enough.

  • Don’t subscribe to every baby website, don’t order tons of books and magazines if you get the feeling that looking at those articles or the ads that come with them make of feel in the slightest that you’re not doing something right.  (My mother was kind enough to get me a subscription to Parenting magazine back in June, and I threw out about 6 issues straight from the mail box because I just couldn’t bring myself to read them yet)
  • I even went so far as to delete a good number of blogs from my blog roll, any one who’s blog-shown life made me jealous or envious went away.  Craft and fashion blogs even got deleted as too many of them were making me focus on what I didn’t have rather than what I did.
  • Just like the media is responsible for so many of us believing that skinny=happy, they also want us to believe that pregnant will always = happy and if for a moment pregnant doesn’t = happy than there’s something wrong with you and how dare you try to be a mother…. and it’s all a bunch of crap and the best thing to do is just walk away from it all.

5. Talk!

  • Even if it’s in bits and pieces, talk to your spouse, your mom, your BF, somebody; you’d be surprised with how much is just in your head.
  • One of my best turning around moments was admitting to my Mom and hubby that I’ve hated about 90% of being pregnant and am not jumping at the chance doing it again any time soon and you know what?  They got it, they understand and I felt so much better.
  • There I’ve said it!  Judge me if you want, but at this moment it’s the truth!  Also just to clarify – I’ve hated being pregnant, not the pregnancy.  I’ve loved this little guy since the first moment he was a possibility on June 1st 2010.  However, if he wants a sibling to play with I’m going to need a few years or I will be the first human ever have a kid by laying eggs (which I’ve volunteered my husband to sit on for 9 months).

6.  Find at least one thing that can distract you and one thing that can provide a little solace.

  • For me it was Logic Problem activity books and a number of prayers I found at the Prayer Chapel Online (I love this resource), my favorite and most used recently have been the Serenity Prayer, the Prayer for Freedom From Anxiety, any of the Courage Prayers and the Prayer for a Mother Awaiting Childbirth.

Wow, I’ve written more than I expected and I’m going to publish it, in the hopes that perhaps one person will stumble over it one day and it might be just what they need.

I don’t know if anyone follows this thing anymore, I’ve been gone so long.   So here I am (and the hubs too at Christmas).  All three of us are doing well and settling down to enjoy the next few weeks and prepare for the coming months/years.

(I’m about 34 weeks along here, 37 weeks is next Tuesday!)

I could write a book on everything that has happened in the last couple months since our move back to the midwest.  Let me say it has not all been easy (a natural disposition toward anxiety + pregnancy hormones + major life changes = the perfect molotov cocktail of ante-partum depression), but we’ve found many of the hidden blessings including a new job for Ben and some much needed soul searching for me.  Life is still not where I’d love it to be right now (in that perfect world I want), but as my mother keeps reminding me it will all fall into place when it is supposed to.  As I’ve tried to repeat to myself, though this last year has been rough, if this is the worst God ever puts me through I am a fortunate woman.

So everyone divides up the trimesters differently, but according to the book I’ve been following week 23 is the start of 6th month, which is coming up on friday.  Things are starting to even out and get a little easier.  Morning sickness (knock on wood) has been gone for about 1-2 weeks… finally!  And I have a job that’s keeping me moving 8 hours a days, so I’m not to worried about being too sedentary.  Still looking for better work and trying to figure out life in the respect.  I know everyone says to just relax and let what ever happens, happen, but that’s easier said than done when you’re trying to figure out how to afford to feed and clothe a new human being in the near future.

Ben got his first chance to feel kicks the other night, and the little boy is proving to be rather nocturnal at the moment, just like Ben.

Other than that nothing too exciting is going on, just trying to take things a day at a time.

He’s still sitting low and snug at almost 23 weeks.

I should be at 21 weeks on Friday… still not much to show for it.  However the ultrasound told us he’s rather stretched out and still resting below/at my bellybutton.

Things are going well here.  I start some work tomorrow, which I have to keep reminding myself is a good thing, better this job at it’s rather menial pay rate than nothing at all and hopefully something better will come along soon.  Sadly, it’s easy to get frustrated when you keep getting turned down because you have the nerve to have a college education, etc.

Oh well, gotta have a little faith and try not to stress out too much and keep applying for everything I can get my hands on.

On a fun note, we’ve finally started getting things for the baby, which I have to admit is rather fun.  We’re blessed with a great consignment shop near by and have already made some good scores, including a Boppy pillow and cover for $9 and a Diaper bag, apparently a boutique-ish brand that runs about $70-80, for another $9.  We have a nice little stack of clothes and blankets started, pretty much all from the consignment shop, and have quite a few things that still had their original tags on.

I have to admit, I think I’m having more fun picking out things that are space and dinosaur themed.

Mom and I have started planning a few things that we’ll be making instead of buying over the winter months, including a quilt, crib bumper, some knit items and perhaps a few toys.

2nd ultrasound today!  Everything looked perfect!  We were holding our breath a little because we chose to forgo a lot of tests (in the vein of 1) we aren’t high or even seemingly at risk for much if anything 2) other than doing some extra reading the tests wouldn’t change our minds about what’s going to happen), but we’ve got hands, feet, heart, kidneys, bladder, etc. all in the right places and looking healthy and strong!

It also bumped up the due date by a week, instead of the 19 weeks I thought I was at we’re at a firm 20 as of today.  So I gave myself a pat on the back for surviving the first half and the sickness seems to be going away almost completely (knock on wood!).

It also confirmed what Ben seemed to know on June 1st, what the ring test told us last night and roughly 90% of our friends and relatives guessed… I’m really not kidding it was almost unanimous!

It’s going to be spaceships and dinosaurs (and maybe dinosaurs in spaceships) for our little family because….

It’s a BOY!

We wanted a boy, we feel ready for a boy and it’s feels great to have a gender to refer to finally… though I have to admit everyone got to me and I’ve been referring to it as “him” for about a month.

Archives

Flickr Photos

Blossoms

Near the School

More Photos
Read the Printed Word! Currently Reading: A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Diana Gabaldon 1491 - New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus - Charles C. Mann
my read shelf:
Molly's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)