I've been seeing a lot of posts and articles lately about how to prevent stretch marks. How to make them disappear postpartum. How to get your pre-baby body back. How to hide/cover your c-section scar. How to make your body look the body of a 22 year old woman who's never experienced life. I have to tell you, I'm honestly sick of people implying (or outright saying) that mom bodies are less than.
I've written before about body image, and I will continue to over the course of my life and this blog. I've given a lengthy explanation/recitation of my experience with weight gain and loss and how that has effected my psyche.
This week, I've seen countless articles about how sad these women are about their last baby, or the hole in their heart that showed up the day their husband got a vasectomy and they committed to not having any more kids. Listen up, internet, I have had my last baby and I'm excited about it! So I've decided to make a couple lists of my own.
I've been a little absent for a while now, and for those of you who don't keep up with us on Facebook or Instagram, we have officially completed our little nerdy family.
36 weeks. The first week of the last month of pregnancy. In reality, Kylar will be here in 23 days, so I have less than a month left, but that's not the norm. This morning I woke up to at least half a dozen emails telling what all I "need" to bring with me to the hospital and what all I should pack right now in the event that I go into labor early.
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.
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.
I've been reading a lot of articles lately about how other moms handle adding a second child to the mix, especially those articles when the first child is 2, or nearly 2. I have talked to every mom I know who added a second while their first was about Connor's age. Bonus points if they had a c-section and can provide insight and tips on how to heal while balancing a toddler and newborn. So far, all I've learned is that you can't really prepare for it. "It's a big adjustment." Not exactly the comfort I was looking for.
A lot of the articles I've read express the mom's fear that she can't possibly love another child as much as she loves the first. I honestly don't have that fear. I know I will love Kylar just as much as Connor because I can already feel that love growing with every kick, flip, and turn. Not to mention, I feel my heart get a little bigger with each niece and nephew, so how could it not grow with the birth of my second son?
My biggest fear is that Connor will feel slighted, watching the baby get all of my attention while Connor has to wait and do more by himself. His a very independent kid, in the he likes to do things by himself, but he wants you there and watching the whole time. I'm hoping to be able to wear Kylar most of the time, and free myself up to give Connor as much attention as possible, but that will ultimately depend on Kylar being content in my wrap.
I won't be able to pick Connor up for at least a couple weeks. The first week will be OK, because hubby will be home and he can take point with Connor while I focus on Kylar, but after that? I know we have lots of family who would love to help, but (let's be honest) I hate needing help and will want to do as much as I possibly can by myself. Plus, I don't want Connor to feel like he isn't important to me anymore by having someone else come and take care of him every day.
Maybe he wouldn't feel that way. Maybe Connor would be thrilled to have company, Mema, Grandma, aunts or uncles to play with every day, but that can't be our norm and I want to keep things as normal as possible for him. Normally, it's just he and I until daddy gets home. Not being able to pick him up with be hard, but he loves climbing, so I think I can get him to do a lot of "getting up" on things solo.
I just don't want him to be sad or feel replaced.
Sometimes, I think the universe (or God, if you prefer) looks at our plans and just laughs. They see our biggest fears and think "yeah, that looks like fun. Let's go!"
1 year ago today, I was sitting at an in-service training, having Braxton Hicks contractions (and freaking out my guy team members), thinking "one more day, and I'll have my son!" I have no idea what the training about. I didn't care, I wasn't paying attention.
I was terrified of giving birth. My biggest fear was that something would go wrong and I'd have to have an emergency c-section or risk the baby. I had a panic attack the night before we went to the hospital, and that was a big chunk of the reason.
Can you guess what happened 6 hours into my labor? Yep! Doc says the baby is in distress, his heart rate drops with every contraction, we need to do a c-section. Fml. Ok! Let's do this shit!!
Turns out the scariest thing was absolutely terrifying, but 100% worth it. Connor was born healthy and perfect. I have a nifty scar on my lower belly, and a fancy story to go along with it.
I have mostly stopped trying to make hard plans for the future. Now, I still make general, long term plans, but they're more like goals than actual plans. The universe has its own plans and it couldn't care less about mine.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community