As I mentioned when I started this blog, I used to blog over on MySpace. But around November of 2008, I started to use FB pretty exclusively (and was very bogged down in school work), so I stopped blogging. Well, it was in December of 2008 that we became pregnant. I have no writing about any of the pregnancy. This makes me very sad. But, today, I found one lone journal entry in a notebook from July 2009, about 8 weeks before Natalie was born. Apparently, I had hoped to start a new notebook as a journal, but it never came to be. Since it is just one entry in a notebook, I'm going to type it out here.
Thursday, July 30, 2009 9:54 AM
One indicator of summer vacation is having to stop and figure out the date like I did just now. Of course, this isn't summer vacation for me anymore - its just every day life.
Its hard to wrap my brain around not working. Some things were easier to let fo of than others. For example, I don't feel an urgency to plan or that I'm wasting my time. I also can recycle supply catalogs without opening them and walk into Staples without going to the school supple aisle at at least look. Its more the fact atht I won't be in school again as a teacher or student for some time. As I figured it out the other day, I have been actively involved in schools since Sept of 1985! During that time, summer vacations were my longest breaks - but for many of those I was still going school work for my mom or summer reading, taking Dr's Ed, tutoring, planning for the fall, or taking classes.
The choice to stay home was easy for me considering Mike said we could make it work financially. Both of our mothers stayed with us (though Mike's mom worked at night for a time and then later in the school system - she was home when Mike and Chris were home and awake). I had plenty of friends who wen tot day care programs - but I never heard them say anything that nice about them. I don't trust strangers to take proper care of my child. I must say that my experience of knowing April (Chris's first wife) and Ryan didn't help. She wanted to pen a day care and might have worked in one before, too. Well, on top of all her other shining attributes (lying, stealing), she abused her daughter. it scared me that someone like her could be in charge of my child. Then with Ryan, he was the kind of child you didn't really want your child to be with at daycare - he hit and bit other children and nothing was really done about it. So, I'm glad to not have to put our child into that situation, but I do sometimes worry that maybe we will have to if money becomes tight.
Of course, the main reason for wanting to stay home isn't because of the things I fear could happen at a daycare, but rather because I want to spend that time with my children. I don't want to miss their milestones because I only get to see them for a few hours a day. I also don't want the only time I see them to be when I'm tired and trying to get work for home and school done. I want to enjoy their childhoods and help make them positive.
I can't remember far enough back to when I wasn't in school. I have a few memories, but nothing about day-to-day life. I don't remember my mother spending time with us, ever really. I'm not sure if this is because its true or because I can't remember. I know that there were three of us - so we spent time together, but we also played alone a lot. When we grew up, we were a very fractured family. Its hard for me to grasp when students would tell me they had family time. My family didn't. We always ate together unless work for Richard or I made us eat early or late - but that wasn't until HS. We sometimes watched a video or went to a movie. We had holidays. But the vast majority of the time, we did our own things. I didn't mind this at all growing up. I liked being able to do what I wanted, but I wonder if this affected my relationship with my family.
When I think about my own family and how we will be, I don't know how to make those stronger family bonds. I worry about being overbearing. But I want to know my children more than my parents knew me.
Of course, these worries are a ways off down the road. But I can't help think about what our daughter will be like as a teenager - mostly that age because it is what I worked with and see the most in the media - books I read, TV shows, back to school Walmart commercials. I wonder what she'll be like at other times, too, but I just don't have the contest to put it into as well as i do teens.
Most of all, right now, I want to know what she will look like. I picture her with dark hair, like Mike and me. I'm trying not to allow myself to picture her eyes - especially when I picture her as older. If we remember our HS genetics - she was a 50/50 shot of brown or blue - and there are always variations, too. I know she'll most likely have blue eyes at birth - but I'm impatient to know what they will be ultimately. I also read today that hair at birth can be different, too! I want to picutre her face, but all I can do is call up images of other babies I've seen.
My friend from Leavitt has a picture of her son curled up on her chest. I can't wait to do that with Natalie. I love thinking about that picture.
But, of course, the whole birth stands between now and all those things. I'm trying very hard not to be stressed about it. I know that I fear how much something will hurt more than the pain itself. And since I've never broken a bone or had surgery, I haven't experienced serious pain before. Our birthing class has made me feel a lot more confident and prepared. I want to give natural birth a try - but knowing that only about 20% of the births at St Mary's are natural / drug-free makes me feel I'm being too optimistic. About 50% of the women get epidurals, which is what I thought I wanted until taking that class. I'm willing to have one later on in the labor - but you can't really move with one and hooked up to all these machines and need a catheter - it sounds generally unpleasant and not to mention boring! Sure you can't feel much - but how do you pass those uncomfortable hours of waiting? At least with the pain - you lose track of time. I'm much more willing to give the other medicine, that just dulls the pain, a try first.
Of course, I'm worried about have a C-section, too. Not so much because its surgery and all that - which I'm sure if it happens will scare me a lot. But more because it makes recovery harder and because I won't get to hold and nurse her right away.
Its still very hard to comprehend this huge life change. its one thing to hear about, to read about it, even to watch the reality shows about it - but its hard to imagine my life changing so much. I worry about the difficulty of it all - being exhausted, feeling hopeless to make her happy, feeling lonely / isolated, wanting time to myself or alone with Mike - but at the same time its hard to imagine these things happening.
Its kind of like her room. I have a vague idea of how it will look when its done, but I can't picture it all. Only now as we start to work on it can I start to see it. And, its funny to me how this room that we never spent any time in we are going to spend so much time in. It won't just be an extra room anymore, but Natalie's room. Mike thinks I'm silly for insisting that all our extra stuff we've stored in there needs to come out now because she won't care for quite some time - but I feel like if we don't do it now it will be harder later.
That got me thinking of a quick tangent. The baby shower is about 9 days away. Last I looked, no one has bought anything off of the registry we spent hours on. Its not a matter of guests not knowing about it either because it was on the invitation ( I know because I got a copy for Natalie's scrapbook) and there were inserts I sent Jenn that the store fave us. We invited like 30 people and at the moment I only know 7 are going. I feel selfish saying it, but we had really hoped that people would help us out and buy some of the thing we need. What is so interesting is that people at my school gave us tons of stuff - books, clothes, blankets - just out of kindness. People who are family and invited to the shower don't appear to be pulling through in the same fashion. Maybe when the actual shower occurs it will be different. Anyway, you would think that the 7 people who are going (three of which are the planners) would get gifts off the registry because they should know that's important to me. I'm not looking forward to the shower. I have this negative image of there being few people there and having to open their gifts and look happy about getting things we don't need, all the while stressing about speing money on all that we do need. Also, I really don't understand why Mike's mom and aunt won't go. They say because its on a Sunday in MA - but couldn't they do like us and go down to MA on Saturday - stay over at his aunt's house in Tweksbury that night - and then leave on Sunday afterwards? They'd be home before dark. I'm kinda bummed that it doesn't mean enough for them to do that because I'd really like them both to be there. So yeah, between the gifts (and I do feel bratty complaining about that) and the lack of guests, I'm worried this won't be a really great experience.
I was worried about not having a good experience with pregnancy, but thus far, I've been very lucky. In the beginning, I was nauseous and tired, but it didn't affect me enough to change how I worked or lived much. I got a stomach flu and I got sick on our cruise, but I don't think either had to do with the pregnancy. The last couple of weeks of practicum, I was getting tired more easily again. And I have been more uncomfortable in general, but its not so bad. The biggest problem has been pain in my left ribs under my breast. I've had that for three months now. It makes laying on that side for long hard as well as sitting up all day (like when I was working). I also now have very annoying tingling in my right thigh from a nerve getting pressed. That's pretty new. I can sleep okay when we have the AC on and when Mike keeps to his side of the bed, but its hard without those conditions. Just generally its more uncomfortable to do anything - but its not that bad. I thought it would be a lot worse with only 8 weeks left. Oh - and I've been lucky in terms of absent mindedness, clumsiness, and crazy emotions, too.
The last couple of days its been hot. The rest of the summer (and today) has been very rainy and gray. So, until recently, I haven't had to deal with the heat much.
In a lot of ways, I've been able to spend time much Like I would my regular summer vacation. A lot of reading, TV, napping, and computer. I have an excuse for being lazy at least now. I do feel bad about not doing more - on the one hand I fee like when again in the near future will I just get to lazy around like this? But at the same time, I feel I should use the time more fully - but what is there that I really want to do? There is a lot of work - like organizing - but not much fun. And I've really only been obligation free for 6 days now since my practicum just ended on Friday.
In my mind, its hard for me to imagine that once Natalie sleeps through the night, I don't have a lot of time to myself. She'll still sleep a lot but I'll be sleeping at night and won't be as tired. There won't be that much more housework because she'll be too small still to make a mess and I won't have to cook for her. it will just be laundry - which is the easiest chore because the machine does all the work. True, I'll want to spend a lot time with her when she's awake, but I wn't have to play with her every moment. In fact, I think that's not good becaus that's how kids don't know how to play alone when they're older. I don't know - its all a mystery of how it seems like exhausting amounts of time, work, emotion, and engery, ant how it seems kinda easy at the same time.
4PM - Yea! Someone bought something necessary off the baby registary! I also meant to mention before - when I asked Mike if he thought he'd cry when he sees Natalie, he said thought no. I reminded him that he did almost cry at our wedding, though. I'm thinking he's going to cry. :) He keeps telling Natalie he want sto meet her, but I tell him not to give her any ideas about coming early.