May 31, 2011

38 Weeks

So I was 38 weeks yesterday. Here's a photo of me now.

And here's one when I was 38 weeks with Audia.
At this point I've gained 40 lbs (*GASP!*) But I am still only ten pounds heavier now than I was when I was 8 weeks with Audia. And, I gained 42 lbs when I was pregnant with Audia, so I'm not worried about it (nor is my doctor.)

Thankfully, the pain has been decreasing daily since I injured my pubic symphysis, and I can actually walk with more stiffness than pain these days. I am hopeful that when I go in for my appointment on Thursday, we'll be able to cancel the scheduled ceserean and change it to a scheduled induction, but we'll see. We got a ton of cleaning/rearranging/purging done this weekend so I am feeling even more ready and anxious for Callen's arrival. I know I've said it before, but it is so funny how much more relaxed I am feeling about everything this time around. We'll see how relaxed I am in a few weeks, though, right?

Our Big Girl

Call me crazy, but I decided last week to try (again) to potty train Audia. Yes, I know it is only a couple of weeks before my due date, and most likely she will regress when Callen gets here, but I figured if we can get it even partially mastered before his arrival, then it will be easier to finish the job later this summer, and before she starts preschool this fall.

Let me preface this by saying that we have been trying, without being too pushy about it, to potty train her for MONTHS now. But to say that our daughter is strong-willed is not only repetitive, it's an understatement, and she was flat out refusing to have anything at all to do with the potty each time we brought it up. Her pediatrician said not to push the issue because that could delay progress, so after a couple times of her refusing to even sit on the thing, we would give up for a week or two. I was beginning to get distressed about it because we found a preschool that we really, really like but that she can't attend if she isn't potty trained.

Thanks to some key advice from my BFF N, as of today she is mostly potty trained! I started potty training on Friday morning. By that afternoon, she had peeing on the potty mastered, and hasn't had an accident with it since! Yesterday was the first day she pooped on the potty, but considering that I've read that pooping can take weeks or even months to happen after peeing, a few days of needing changes is nothing! And what was the magical piece of advice that N had to give me? No pull ups. Go straight to panties. Sure enough, the first time Audia wet herself in her panties, she had a coniption fit. The second time she wet herself was the last time. She definitely is highly motivated by being able to, and being praised for, doing things by herself, so I am hoping that the pooping on the potty continues.

In other big girl news, the sleeping issues we were having a few weeks ago are totally gone now. We can easily put her in bed, without any whining or complaining or making millions of excuses to get us back in her room. She sleeps through the night 99% of the time, and even if she does wake up now, which is seldom, she will turn on her ocean sound by herself and go back to sleep.

It is crazy to me how you can essentially watch a toddler's brain growing. There is definitely a cycle to emotional and intellectual growth just like there are cycles with physical growth. And Audia continues to demonstrate for us that she will do things at her own pace, in her own way. We just have to be patient, nurturing, and supportive and she pretty much figures it all out on her own. I always knew that this applied to raising older children, but I am constantly amazed at how much it also applies to toddlers and even infants. There is no forcing a child to do anything before they are ready. And really, I think that overall children teach us far more than we could ever teach them.

May 26, 2011

So close and yet so far....

Well, Callen officially reached 'full term' status on Monday (which was, coincidentally, also my birthday.) So, from here on out he is technically good to go anytime he decides to grace us with his presence. To say that I am eager for his arrival is a vast understatement. As of Tuesday, the vastness of that understatement has been multiplied by about 5,000.

I have both read and been told by multiple doctors that ligament laxity issues are more common among taller women. Add to that my own personal inclination towards having lax ligaments when not pregnant, and I guess in some ways getting pregnant is just asking for trouble. Of course that's not going to stop me from wanting to and having a family, but it does make a little voice in my head say "Stop your whining. You knew this was a possibility." And, truth be told, even going through this in the moment, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. There is no pain in the world that is not worth experiencing for the joy of having children. That said, I apparently have managed to now injure my pubic symphysis. How? By bending over to fix my shoe. I know; talented, aren't I?

So, my SI issues, which have actually been much better in the past week, have now been replaced by the inability to move my legs independently from one another without pain. Everything from getting into and out of bed to rolling over to putting on my pants to walking hurts.  My doc says that this type of injury can take months to heal simply due to where it is and the fact that you use your pubic symphysis for so much. Delivery should help with the pain and healing because then I won't have the weight of baby and the super-laxity of my joints to compound the problem. If I were working, she would put me on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy simply due to my extremely limited mobility. She added that because I am having a VBAC, I can't be induced, so she will tentatively schedule a C-section for the 6th with hopes that I will go into labor on my own before then.

The hardest part of all of this for me is the combination of not being able to do anything to fix the problem and not knowing when it'll all be over. I feel better having a solid date on the calendar; I've said all along that I would much rather have the time to emotionally prepare for a repeat C-section than to have to have another emergency surgery, but at the same time there is a huge disappointment that there is a chance that I won't be able to have a VBAC. On the flip side, I could go into labor tonight for all I know. I realize that the 6th is only two and a half weeks's not that long in the grand scheme of things. But for me, it feels like forever. Mainly because I feel like the theme of this pregnancy has been pain-induced limited mobility.

Add to that the extreme guilt because I literally cannot take my sweetheart of a daughter outside to play, and I am an emotional wreck. With the SI issues, at least I could wear the belt and monitor how much time I was spending walking around to try to keep the pain that I would feel the following day to a minimum. With this, walking itself is painful so there's no doing something one day knowing that I will have to pay for it the next day....the pain is immediate, limiting my mobility even more than before. I can't even begin to explain how hard it is for me to have to explain to Audia for the fifth time today that yes, honey, it is a nice day outside, but Mommy can't walk so we have to stay inside. Thankfully my mom is close by if I need her, but with her physical limitations I would rather only use her help when I really truly need it, like when I go into labor and once Callen is here.

Dearest Callen, please come soon........

May 16, 2011

Little Miss Personality

One of my favorite things about being a mom is watching Audia's (and soon, Callen's!) personality develop before my eyes. I have always been fascinated by people in general, in psychology and what makes different people tick. This fascination is multiplied by about a million when it comes to my own child(ren).

There is no denying that Audia is an absolute sweetheart. She loves snuggling and giving hugs and kisses to people she is comfortable with, and I know I've mentioned before that she says "I love you" about a hundred times a day (and that is honestly not an exaggeration.) She genuinely seems to care about how people are feeling and always gets very concerned if someone hurts themself or is sick. She regularly asks "Are you happy?" and if you answer yes but aren't smiling when you say yes, she'll say "Then how come you're not smiling?"

She also absolutely LOVES to tease and be teased. She loves to act silly and say silly things to get people to laugh. Anyone who knows Chris and me knows that we are jokesters at heart; we love being silly and teasing eachother, so this trait in Audia is no huge suprise. However, it does suprise me that someone so young can be so GOOD at teasing! She has become a master at being totally convincing in telling Chris that she has a secret to tell him and then giving him a wet willy when he leans in to hear it.

Another thing that everyone that spends time with Audia comments on is what a performer she is. There is no denying that this girl LOVES to put on a performance for anyone who will watch. Everything from acting to dancing to singing. Add to that an off-the-charts active imagination and she is just a ball of entertainment. Even when she doesn't know anyone is watching, she acts out scenes (usually conversations that we've had with her or things that we've read to her about in books) with herself in front of her mirror or with her stuffed animals or little plastic characters. I can't wait to see where this will take her in life...I imagine a future with at least some involvement in dance or music or acting....anything that can get her up on stage.

I am so anxious to see how Callen's personality compares to Audia. The debate between nature and nurture is always in the back of my mind: is she learning these things from us, or is this just how she is? And I can't wait to see how Callen and Audia interact and feed off of each others' personalities. I have no doubt that there will be some struggles in the beginning, but I also think that Audia is going to be a fantastic big sister to Callen. She already is talking about how she's going to hold him if he cries and is going to help change his diapers. I am so excited to see her grow into a big sister!

May 14, 2011

Third Trimester Infirmity

As per usual, I hesitate to complain, here or elsewhere. Typically when I'm ill or feeling grumpy, I keep my complaints to myself and to those closest to me. But I have a threshold where, when reached, I feel like I need to vent. The logical part of me hates this side of myself. Complaining really doesn't get me anywhere, and I know it. I absolutely know that I am luckier than many, that there are a lot of people who have it far worse off than I do, and that I should count my blessings. And I do. I am immensely grateful for everything that I do have. I am immensely grateful that things aren't worse than they are. That said, I literally can barely move at the moment. Every time I shift my weight, or try to get up or sit down, or god forbid, try to walk, I feel like someone is twisting a knife into my SI joint. I have a fairly high threshold for pain, but this pain actually catches my breath. The narcotic pain reliever that my doctor prescribed when I started experiencing these problems (and which, for the record, I only take when it gets this bad) isn't even touching the pain. The stretches that worked in my first and second trimesters do nothing because my belly is too large for me to do them properly. Heat and ice do nothing. The SI belt that I purchased, while I do think it helps to a degree, obviously doesn't help enough. I am, practically speaking, immobile. And what did I do to bring on this level of discomfort? I went to the mall. For about 2 hours. That, my friends, is all. A simple trip to the mall with Chris and Audia yesterday has rendered me entirely immobile for 24 hours now. 
You read in pregnancy "guide" books that the third trimester is the hardest, and while I agreed with that statement in my first pregnancy, this pregnancy makes the first seem like a cake walk. I by no means want Callen to be born before he is ready to be born. But I am beyond ready for him to be ready. I am so done with not being able to do the normal, day-to-day things that I want to be doing. And I am feeling so guilty that Audia is essentially as home-bound as I am these days. Not to mention that today is Chris' birthday and we can't go out to do anything to celebrate because I can barely walk.

One month left. One month left. One month left......

May 12, 2011

5 Years

Five Years ago today, on an almost record-settingly HOT day in Phoenix, AZ, surrounded by our wonderful friends and family, Chris made me the happiest girl in the world. Despite the heat, the day couldn't have been more perfect short of being able to slow down time and enjoy every minute a bit longer.

Like any couple, Chris and I have had some hiccups throughout our relationship (especially early on) but the one thing that has remained strong through it all is our unshakable friendship. He is, really and truly, my absolute best friend. I can't think of anyone I would rather travel the roads of life with. I love you so much, Über! Happy Anniversary!

May 5, 2011

Cherished Moments

Most mornings, anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30, Audia will get up and crawl into bed with me. Some days she'll fall right back asleep and sleep for an hour or two, other mornings she'll snuggle with me for a few minutes and then want to get up. Either way, I find myself thinking, every morning, how lucky I am to have these quiet, snuggly, special times with my sweet girl. Who knows when she'll decide that she doesn't want/need them anymore, and who knows how they will change once Callen is here.

This morning, after crawling into bed with me at 6:30, she slept a little later than usual. We didn't have anyplace to be so I decided to let her sleep as I went to get the coffee started. As I'm putzing in the kitchen, I hear her sweet, sleepy voice call out for me. "I'll be right there, munchkin. I'm just getting the coffee ready," I say. "Is it daytime or nighttime?" she asks. "Daytime. You slept late this morning!" Her response melted my heart. "But can we still snuggle for a while before we get out of bed, Mommy?" I wanted to cry.
Audia Suzanne, of course we can still snuggle. I will always and forever make time to snuggle with you. Even when you think you're too old to snuggle with your mom, I am sure I will try to bribe you to snuggle with me anyways. I love you more than words, my sweet, sweet girl!