The stress continues on around here.
First of all, we are waiting to take a pregnancy test. I impulsively took one too early on Thursday (my rational being that it was only a $1. Speaking of which, how can EPT charge so much!?). But really, today is the first day of my missed period. The plan is to test Thursday morning so that we can spread the good word at Thanksgiving. I've felt some real intense periods of iratiblity. One of these was brought on by the possiblity of Natalie swallowing a hair barrette. I felt like I was on the verge of tears for half an hour. (We still don't see how she could have swallowed it without gagging or chewing on it for a while first, but we can't find it anywhere in the house). But a period of irrationality that lasted most of yesterday morning was really unprompted. Some of it had to deal with Mike and I bickering about getting a baby sitter. I feel uncomfortable with the whole process. It would be different if we were leaving her with someone we already know well, but the process of finding some stranger is just daunting to me. Anyway, add to the irrationality some pretty intense moments of nausea. I can't help but think there's a good chance the test will be positive. I'm so worried I'm setting myself up for disappointment. I'm glad we didn't have another test in the house or I probably would have wasted it testing too early again.
The whole concept of getting a babysitter has made me realize that I'm having trouble getting back to normal. I mean, I've been working on getting myself time to just be myself. But the idea of Mike and I being able to go out again frequently is kind of hard for me to wrap my brain around. I think the last time we were out of the house alone together was back in mid September, and it was just for an hour long shopping trip. Mike and I have plenty of time alone together in the evenings, but we never go out to eat or to the movies anymore. I think its good for us to do those things, but I'm not sure if being out of the house together will mean that much more to me than just being together in general. Also, when we leave Natalie with someone, I always spend at least some time worrying if she is okay. Almost all of the times we've left her with family, Natalie has been asleep. Its starting to get to a point where we need to have a baby sitter put her down for the night.
When you put the two topics of this blog together (babysitters and possible pregnancy) we get a whole new area of concern. First, I feel like we are finally getting back to normal. Natalie is weaned and I can wear whatever I want and be away from her whenever I need. I've managed to work in time to get myself properly ready to exit the house every time we go out. I'm generally well slept and clean (no more constant baby spit up on me). But, with a new baby the whole thing will start again. It kind of feels like we even bother if we're going to be back where we were.
At the same time, there are my concerns about how a new baby would affect Natalie and vice versa. Natalie as an only child was a very ideal situtaiton for her. I let her nap on me or out in the car. She had my full attention almost all the time. A second baby will not get my full attention. A second child won't have me reading aloud to it at every nursing or entertaining it most wakeful moments. And Natalie will have to learn to deal with my attention being divided. In some ways, I baby sitter would be awesome for this situation. We could have a babysitter watch on child while we give the other undivided attention.
But, this type of thing is often when family comes in to the picture. But, we don't have that option. We can't be making trips every weekend to MA. I brought up the idea of us needing someone to watch Natalie when a second child is born, and my mother totally passed it over to my sister. I'm not saying that we will need someone around at home once we get home (not that we wouldn't), but we need someone to actually stay with Natalie for the minimum of two days I'd be in the hospital having the baby. Mike could be home for some of it, but its unfair to think that he wouldn't be there for most of the labor, birth, and recovery this time as he did last time. I think I could handle being alone for a lot more of the time, but obviously, not all of it. So, who watches Natalie? I'd prefer it to be family who stays with her for a few days. I mean, I could be in the hospital for five days again. A babysitter is going to be able to stay with her all that time. No matter who we get, that person will probably have other commitments (school, work, family).
I feel a little let down that my mother didn't seem to even entertain the idea of coming to watch Natalie. I understand that I do thing very differently than she did, but I'm sure she could manage. If I was pregnant now, then Natalie would be almost two by the time the baby arrived. I'm sure that I could have enough things set up for them that Natalie could be entertained without it being too stressful for my mother. True, I think my sister might have more energy to run around and more tolerance for mess and chaos, but I think my mother's experince raising three kids would be a huge assesset. What really seems crazy to me is that during our conversation my mother even said that both sets of my grandparents helped my parents out in this way. It was my father's parents who watched my brother and sister when I was born and both sets of grandparents took a shift when my mother had her gall bladder out soon after having my brother. Didn't she realize that she was not offering the help she recieved? The last reason that my mother coming to help would be better is that my sister has to work and would have to use her vacation time. That seems a bit unfair for her to use that time to babysit. I think my mother also worries that my father would be home alone. Its true that he might refuse to come stay here as she has in the past. But, wouldn't this be a time when you would put that sort of thing aside? And he loves playing with Natalie. I'm sure having the two of here would balance things out and make it much easier. For my sister and her husband to both get off work and both use their vacation time, again, it seems unfair. Of course, there is Mike's mom. But, her getting her at the time of the birth is much more tricky. If the baby was early, she wouldn't be here on time. If the baby was late, she would be hanging around not doing much. At present, this isn't much of problem since she has only managed to find seasonal work. But, hopefully she would have a preminate job by then and taking off time like that would be very hard for her.