Everything will be different. Kylar will be out in the world for approx 10-11 hours. Connor will have met him and hopefully not freaked out at seeing me in a hospital bed, hooked up to shit. Someone else will be feeding my eldest while I recover from being sliced open and adjust to being a mommy of 2. Hubby will be on vacation and bouncing between hospital and home. It's going to be an interesting (and probably very stressful) time in our lives. I'm dreading the time in the hospital, simply because I don't know how Connor will handle being away from me for so long and I really don't know how I will handle it. I'm betting not well.
I keep thinking about the things I need to do before Kylar is born:
1. Stock up on snack food and lunch for Connor
2. Buy a fresh gallon of milk and orange juice the week we go to the hospital, to make sure he has what he needs for the mornings
3. Meal plan/prep for the first couple weeks. To be honest, I'm terrible at that, but I'm hoping to get it under control in the 7 weeks.
4. Get a dresser for Kylar
5. Finish going through Connor's old clothes and washing the ones we plan to keep while donating/selling the rest
6. Super wash the bottles and breastpump
7. Grocery shop and stock up on easy meals (frozen pizza, corn dogs, hot dogs, lunchmeat, etc)
8. Pack for the hospital (separate, long list of crap)
9. Wash all the diapers the day before the hospital so the caretaker(s) don't have to worry about running out
10. Shave my legs the night before, simply because it may be a week+ before I feel capable of doing it again
11. Make sure we have plenty of dog food and the caretaker(s) know it's fine to leave them in the sunroom with little ac unit going the whole time
12. Update our wills
13. Invest in at least 1 more nursing bra
14. Clean the guest room (aka Kylar's room) for the caretaker(s) to sleep in, unless they'd prefer our bed...?
15. Get the crib set up and moved into our room
16. Clean the tub and bathroom for the caretaker(s)
17. Get better window coverings for the guest room so the caretaker(s) aren't blinded by the sun at dawn
18. Determine how (if at all) I'll be able to see Kylar being born without having to make Hubby see it too. He's very adamant about not needing to see that again.
19. Get Connor's hair cut
20. Get Hubby's hair cut
The list goes on and on. I just keep thinking of more things that need to get done before we check into the hospital at 730 on the morning of September 7th. Exactly 7 weeks from today!!
It occurred to me this morning that I had an OB appointment on Friday, where decently big things were discussed and I never actually posted or shared any of it. We went from super exciting news to mildly high stress information in the span of a couple hours and I guess I needed a few days to process.
First of all, Kylar is doing great! Growing right on schedule with my belly measuring at 31 inches (1 inch per week of pregnancy and I was 30w6d at the appt), no diabetes, no anemia, and I've gained 5 lbs since my last appt (a lb a week=perfectly normal and so much better than I did with Connor). To sum up: Mommy and Baby are doing great and right on track.
Now, I went in with 2 questions: How close will she let me get to my due date? How much control do we have when it comes to scheduling the c-section? Meaning: can we pick the day or do we just go with whatever they have? Turns out, any day in my 39th week is great, but the hospital would rather a weekday than a weekend (more staff during the week). We picked a day. September 7th. September 7th!!!! We're going to have a complete family on September 7th! It's freaky to think that exactly 8 weeks and a day from now we'll be in the hospital, getting dressed and drugged up to met our baby boy.
We couldn't actually schedule it on Friday, at my appointment, because I hadn't registered at the hospital yet. I couldn't remember how far along I was with Connor, but I knew it was now-ish, when we registered before, so we went on Friday after lunch. Got all the paperwork filled out and got a nice little mini-heart attack finding out just how much a scheduled c-section costs. Even with insurance, it's an insanely high number and not one I was expecting. Having a baby is expensive.
We've got all that squared away and set up, so my OB can officially schedule Kylar's birth! I have a finite light at the end of this tunnel and I can't wait to meet him!! It looks like we will be spending at least 2 nights in the hospital, which I'm less thrilled about because it means 2 nights and the majority of 3 days away from Connor, but we have a lot of family that live nearby who will eagerly help anyway they can. Hubby will do bedtime with Connor, as per usual, and just come back to the hospital with me after Connor goes to sleep. I just hate that I'm going to be away from him so much. I haven't been away from him for more than a couple hours in a over year. That will honestly be the hardest part for me.
It's only 1 full day. I have to keep telling myself that, but it will be fine. Connor won't remember any of this by the time we get back home. It's only 1 full day.
This weekend, we had a little swim party with a few of our friends at my in-laws house. Aside from trying very hard to not act on how stressed and anxious I was watching Connor swim with his dad, it was a fun night.
While socializing with grown ups (w00t), I learned that I have a very different interpretation of the the phrase "pampering." I realized that hubby kinda sucks at traditional pampering and I really suck at being on the receiving end of any kind of traditional pampering.
One of our friends is also pregnant right now, due exactly 3 weeks after me. Unfortunately, because of her work schedule, I haven't actually seen her since she got pregnant, but we see her husband at least once a month, so I still get updates on how things are going. Conversations with him made me realize that I'm not the pampering type. Foot massages and having someone else cook for me sounds nice, in theory. In reality? I feel guilty because I keep thinking "he doesn't need to do this. I can do it. I'm fully functional."
Hubby put lotion on my legs for me a few nights ago because I had just shaved and Kylar was being very solid and bending was physically painful. I have the kind of skin that requires lotion immediately after shaving, or it gets super dry and itchy. It was very sweet of him and I really appreciated the help, but I felt weird for needing help with something so simple.
Last night/this morning (when I was laying in bed enjoying another round of pregnancy insomnia) I came up with a list of things I could actually be genuinely happy with; no guilt, no remorse.
How to pamper your partner (pregnant or not) without actually pampering:
1. Do a load of laundry. I mean wash, dry, and put it all away. Starting a load of laundry and not completing it is actually worse than not doing anything at all If you start it, finish it, or you're just adding to my to-do list.
2. Diaper laundry. Different rules apply here. If you start it, I'll be thrilled. I'm a little particular about how it's dried and stuffed, so let me do that, but starting a load would be GREAT.
3. Primary Parent. Any time Hubby is home, Connor wants to play with him, but he still comes to me when he wants food or drink or anything at all. If you take over, even just for a couple hours, I'll be in heaven.
4. Volunteer for a poop diaper or two. Poop diapers suck. There's no two ways around it. If you step up and say, "Don't worry, I'll get this one." without any prompting or asking, I seriously won't know what to do with myself. Easily one of the best "pampering" moves you can make.
5. Clean the living room. That could be as simple as vacuuming up the dog hair. It makes the house feel cleaner and it takes something off my list.
I might end up making a whole series about the things I think about with regards to the soon and dramatic increase to the number of children in our family.
I think the hardest part of the transition (for me anyway) will be the first week we're home with Kylar and hubby goes back to work. For the first week that we're home with both boys, hubby will be on vacation and home with us. I won't be flying solo, trying to figure out Kylar's bfing needs while keeping up with Connor and desperately hoping not to pull or open my incision. I'm beyond grateful and relieved that he'll be here with us.
That next week? I'm utterly terrified. 90% of how it goes depends on how ok Connor is with not being the center of my attention. Most days, he's content to play with himself, or just sit and relax with me. I haven't been a whole lot of energetic fun in months, which could very well be great practice for life with a newborn and toddler. Then there are weeks like this week where Connor is moody and sensitive. He has been getting his molars and canines this week. Yep, cut 3 teeth in as many days and he's not done yet. I know he feels awful, and I'm doing what I can to help with that, but there's only so much I can do. He ends up sitting in my lap, watching movies (or Sarah & Duck) most of the day, and sleeping the rest of the time. That's all well and good now, but add another kid to the mix? I have no idea.
Will Connor get upset or jealous that Kylar is in my lap all the time (bfing)? Will he throw huge fits when I have to put him down to feed the baby? Will he be upset that Kylar sleeps in mommy and daddy's room and doesn't have to go to bed when he does?
If I'm super lucky, the answer to all of these questions will be no. I'm never that lucky, and I imagine it will change depending on the day.
I'd love to just fast forward about 14 weeks. Get through the end of this summer heat pregnancy, flash passed the surgery and hospital time, and through the struggle of finding a new routine. I'd like to be in November already and back to having some sort of system worked out for our days.
I've never had the "pleasure" of pushing a human being out of my body, but I'm a little jealous of the relatively quick and easy recovery time that vaginal birth mommas have to deal with. I am in no way saying that vaginal birth is somehow easier, but it's not a major surgery and that's the biologically designed way for a baby to enter the world. The body is meant to bounce back from that one. The body isn't designed to bounce back quickly from having been sliced open. Recovery time with a toddler and a newborn makes me anxious. I have a feeling it's going to seriously suck.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community