Raising a Blended Family

Looking on the brighter side

Okay. Pouty-me is gone. Sane and (mostly) rational me is back. 8 and a half more weeks still seems like a long time to wait, but I’ve regained a sense of perspective and hopefully that will last me awhile now.

I am in full-swing get-ready-for-baby-mode now (yes, the alternate word for this is Nesting).  Honestly, right now, it’s kind of a self-preservation thing, considering that fully half of our (medium-sized) living room is taken over by disorganized piles of baby stuff.  It needs to start finding homes!  Plus, guess what?!?!? We got our crib! Shorty put it together and now it’s sitting in the nursery waiting for us to figure out how in the heck to organize all the other baby stuff we’ve got.  We went with a mini crib instead of a standard crib, given that our nursery (and all the other rooms in our house) are pretty small since this house is like, 100 years old.  I love it and now all it needs is a mattress and a baby to put in it!

the crib! plus you can see the blue color we painted the nursery walls. =)

We also got our changing table for upstairs, since for the first few months the baby will be sleeping upstairs with us anyways in the Arms’ Reach sleeper.  So really, although we still need some of the little stuff that we’re hoping to get at the baby shower (socks, baby hygiene items, burb cloths, etc) I think we can safely say that our list of “big” items is all checked off now! That’s pretty exciting, and even more exciting to know that there’s nothing standing in the way of me and my organizing/nesting instinct now except… well, nothing! Let the nesting begin!
Another part of getting ready for baby includes all the conversations that are happening now about birth plans, details, etc.  I am one of those people who likes to know exactly what I’m getting into… or as close as possible to “exactly.” So all those vague details about home birthing and the images I have floating around my head of our home water birth and labor… I’d really like to start getting those ironed out into solid details now, please and thanks.  Details like WHEN do we get the birthing pool (midwife supplied), exactly WHAT supplies we need to be getting ready, etc.  I know it’s a bit early yet (after all, if anything were to happen in the next 4 weeks we would be hospital-bound, since our midwife doesn’t start home births until 36 weeks) but that doesn’t make the urge to “get ready” any less.  I want to KNOW what is coming and start organizing, dammit!  Our midwife also has a list of needed home birth supplies that she gives her clients and all I remember from it is “swaddling blankets and towels-” hence, we have many of these items ready (bought second hand so we don’t care about ruining them) but virtually nothing else! I’m itching to get started.  🙂
Finally, besides baby-gear-and-birth-supply-gathering, we have some questions to ask our midwife about her homebirth policies, how to handle inductions if and when they are needed, etc.  Our midwife sees clients every 4 weeks up to 36 weeks, then every two weeks up to 40 weeks, then every week after that, which is all well and good by us. However, she has in the past mentioned that she lets clients go up to 43 weeks, at which point if there is still no baby she offers a fetal growth scan to check on the baby and a sweep.  This is the part that I have questions with, since I have such a strong feeling that this baby will be overdue rather than early (and there’s no way to know if I’m right or not until he arrives!).  Shorty and I have talked and we both agree that we are comfortable with two weeks overdue, but not three, and certainly not without any fetal monitoring in between the forty week and forty three week marks. I’ve read a lot of studies, including one from Canada that looked at over 1700 women and babies who went overdue, and each study has agreed that while from 40-42 weeks, there isn’t any statistically significant change in fetal or maternal complications resulting from later deliveries, at the 42 week mark there is a slightly increased risk and at 43 weeks there is a significantly increased risk of complications due to post-maturity.  I am personally not comfortable (and neither is Shorty) with even the “slightly-increased” risk category and so, at our next appointment (34 weeks) I will be asking about the timeline of events post-due date.  Also, I feel like I should mention that I feel more strongly about this since we KNOW our due date is exact- it would be different if we weren’t sure and could be off by a week or so either way, but since when we reach 40 weeks we will KNOW we are exactly 40 weeks, and the same with 41 and 42 weeks, etc… I’m less comfortable with the idea of 43 weeks than I might otherwise be.  Does that make sense?

So all of that falls under the category of “getting ready for baby” and it’s nice to have tasks that need doing to help pass the time.  Also, we have our “at home” baby shower next weekend (since our last one was in California if you remember :)) and I’m greatly looking forward to that as well. A friend is hosting it for us at her house and it’s a combo baby shower/pool party- not at all sure how that’s going to work out but I’m betting it’ll be fun!

I’m still feeling fine and doing well this pregnancy, symptom-wise… the worst thing I’ve had is heartburn and even that has been mild.  No stretch marks on my belly proper, though my poor thighs and hips are suffering, and my boobs haven’t grown too much more I feel like in spite of the fact that they are now leaking colostrum (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sexy!). I did fall over the other day (on my rear, luckily)… I was trying to bend down to plug something in and I overbalanced (easy to do when you have a bowling ball attached to the front of you, I’ve found) and TIMBERRRRRR! Down I went.  It was at work and everyone saw me land on my ass… luckily, I wasn’t hurt but I was definitely a bit embarrassed! Ah, well. But other than feeling like a beached whale any time I have to roll myself over in bed or get up off the couch or, well, do anything (who knew such simple tasks could be so hard?!)- I’m doin’ just fine!

Here’s a belated 31 weeks bumpdate, actually taken at 31+1, to reward you for making it through this colossal post! Hope you’re doing well, Blogland.

bowling ball? beach ball? beached whale?


It’s that kind of day.

…the kind where I cannot WAIT for this kid to be here, where the wait during the next 9 weeks or so seems impossibly long, where it seems like I’m going to EXPLODE because I just want this baby to be here, NOW.

Yes. I am having an impatient day.

It’s not that I’m *done* being pregnant or anything- not sick of it, not even that uncomfortable yet (okay, moderately… but I know it could be a whole lot worse and so I’m not complaining much). 

It’s just that, if there’s one thing I suck at, it’s waiting. Ask anyone. Waiting for dinner to be done when I’m hungry.  Waiting in line when I want to be at the front, NOW.  Waiting for the date of our vacation to get here.  Waiting nine months to meet this baby…

I can’t wait for him to be here. Odd as it is, I’m actually looking forward to labor- I am looking forward to feeling the love and support  and connection to my beautiful wife, and to making our family of three into a family of four, together.  I’m looking forward to holding him once he’s here, to hearing his first cries, to getting to put some of this abstract baby “knowledge” I’ve acquired into actual practical use.  I can’t wait for Thing One to meet him.  I’m picturing walks with him in the ergo and Thing One on her bike and Shorty and I strolling hand in hand through the autumn leaves. I’m picturing baby’s first halloween, baby’s first Christmas, cuddly newborn moments and new family memories.  I’m picturing bliss. (and yes, you can feel free to remind me of this vision when we are both sleep-deprived and running on empty from a newborn who’s up every thirty seconds at night).

But in order for anything I’m picturing to be REALITY, the next nine weeks (+1 day, +2 weeks if he goes overdue like I think he’s going to) need to fly by. And so far it’s kind of just… crawling.

I think the lack of definite milestones in the 3rd tri doesn’t help.  In second trimester, there was sooooo much to look forward to.  First movements and gender reveals and our 3D scan and viability!  It seemed like we were hitting a new one, or only a week or so away from a new milestone, every few minutes!  In this trimester, however, I don’t think there are any real milestones other than the full-term one at 37 weeks, and  it seems like the motto is just “wait it out. be patient.”

I am here to tell you: I suck at being patient.  I don’t want him here NOW because I don’t want him to be premature, but if it were possible to physically drag myself forward through time to the full term mark and then evict his little bare bottom… I’d be doing it.

Yep. One of those days.

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30+1 (The miles just keep rollin’).

So we hit the thirty week mark yesterday and you know what? I was so damn tired I forgot to blog. Oops.

Milestones and time are flying by though! I can’t believe we’re thirty weeks* (I know I say something along those lines every week) and I can’t believe it’s almost the end of July. I’m one of those people who looks forward to long-distance events by keeping track of all the things that have to happen in between the current time period and the time period when the event I’m looking forward to is happening. So for instance, for the birth of this baby, my timeline and internal dialogue  has looked like this:

After I take this test Saturday, after our first babyshower (may), after we go on our honeymoon/babymoon trip (July), after my parents get here and then leave (midJuly), after Thing One turns seven (midJuly) and after she starts school (August), after the consignment sale (endAugust), THEN the next big thing to happen will be the baby being born!

And you know what? I can cross off most of that list now!

We’ve had our babyshower and been on our anniversarybabymoon: check.

My parents and brother were in town through yesterday evening, and left yesterday night after we all had dinner. It was so good to see them, but honestly I’m glad to have our own space back.  Our house is not large and 6 people in it is a bit much, especially for two weeks.  So they left and the next time I see my mother, Shorty and I will have a two week old! The next time I see brother and father will be at Christmas.  It all feels so far away and yet, time flies.

Another milestone that just passed is that Thing One turned seven yesterday!  I’m pretty sure she thinks her birthday is a week-, if not month-long affair though, because we had celebrations last Saturday, Wednesday, yesterday (her actual birthday) and now she’s going to her dad’s this weekend for more celebrations.  Our Saturday celebrations (swimming at the water park) were cut short due to Thing One having a stomach bug, but our celebrations Wednesday night with her cousins (spaghetti factory and rock climbing) were a huge hit. Thing One took to the rock walls like a fish takes to water- Shorty and I were amazed! She had no problems scaling rock walls that were well above her head and she was GOOD at it- not just hanging on the ropes and waiting to be hauled up like a normal seven year old, but actually truly climbing and finding footholds and stretching out to reach handholds.  I was really impressed- Shorty and I are talking about trying to find out if there are any classes she could take in our area.  Thing One had a blast climbing walls with her cousins and it was fun for me to watch her having fun!

So the next milestone between me and this baby is officially when Thing One starts school- on August 8th!  Time between now and then is going to fly, and then time between then an the end of September is also going to fly. It’s all so exciting and I can’t wait!  My dad helped us to finish up painting the nursery (he painted all the trim for us), as well as fixing so many other things around the house while he was here.  It was really awesome of him and thanks to him we’re a lot closer to being ready and we can move stuff into the nursery. Things are starting to move!


*Sidenote: once upon a time, 30 weeks seemed SOOOOO advanced in pregnancy!  Looking up at 30 weeks from the mere position of 8, 10, 12, 13 weeks, it seemed so advanced and like, at that point, baby would be just around the corner.  From 30 weeks looking out now though, I can say that while I *am* amazed that we are here (already!), baby feels faaaaaar from *just around the corner*.   We still have 10 weeks left, and I’m looking at my coworker who’s 36 weeks now and others around me who are in the upper 30’s… and I have to admit I’m feeling a little jealous! There, I said it: I have pregnancy jealousy!  I know baby will be here soon enough but I am having an impatient moment.  The end.

And now, picture time!


Thirty week bumpdate… I feel massive!


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The Childbirth Song

OMG you guys… I just saw this on one of those pregnancy boards. Just about DIED laughing.  Doesn’t all apply to us, but still so funny!


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oh where, oh where, did this blog disappear to?

Okay, so I admit, I disappeared on you for a minute.  I’m sorry!  I have lots of good excuses reasons though- we’ve been pretty busy!!!

  • We went on vacation for our babymoon/first anniversary and it was SO MUCH FUN!!!! We went down to Gatlinburg and spent some time poking around the tourist shops, went to the aquarium, hiked in the Smoky Mountains National Park, and in general just enjoyed being with each other. We hiked almost 3 miles round trip (uphill all the way there) to a GORGEOUS waterfall and did another hike uphill half a mile to the top of a mountain ridge for some beautiful photo ops… I was very proud of myself for making it 🙂 but the view was more than enough reward.  We got a couples massage and mine was tweaked so that it was a maternity massage- OMG heaven!!!!!!! I was drooling by the end of it. 🙂  We stayed in a beautiful cabin BandB on a mountain ridge and had the place all to ourselves as we were the only guests… it was just lovely all around and we were very sad to leave! I’ll post pictures below.
  • We turned 28, then 29 weeks.  I have seven words for you: I can’t believe we’ve come this far!  Baby is moving and kicking and groovin’ to his own little beat in there. I love feeling the kicks and bumps and turns and roll overs and whatever else he’s doing in there.  Also, while we were on vacation, on our one year anniversary exactly, two important things happened:  First, Shorty finally saw him move from the outside! She’s felt him plenty of times before but she finally actually got to see my stomach bounce in response to his movement, and it was really cool!  Also: my colostrum came in.  I don’t know how to describe it really, but it was a huge and overwhelming at the time and as soon as I realized my boobs were leaking I completely burst into tears.  I was happy that my body was doing what it should be but also, it felt overwhelming in the moment because I don’t feel ready to breastfeed our baby yet!  Is that weird? I’m feeling less psyched out now and more happy that this is (hopefully) proof that I won’t be having a hard time with my milk supply, but you never know.
  • We got our 3D ultrasound done!!!!!!!  It was part of the study so it was free, luckily, because Baby was NOT cooperative!  I’ve got an anterior placenta and baby was basically nestled up beside it the entire time facing it, making it impossible to get any full on shots.  That being said, the shot we did get I am in love with and can’t stop staring at our little baby!!!!!!!  And yes, we confirmed that he is indeed a boy (you never know!).
  • My parents and brother are in town visiting. They got here the day we got home from vacation and will be here through T1’s 7th birthday, which is coming up on Thursday.  The visit has been a little hectic and tense so far, but we basically had a family pow wow tonight and so hopefully things will be better from now.  I’ve been having fun showing my mom all the baby stuff we’ve gotten so far and we’ve got a trip to babies r us on the dockett for tomorrow… should be fun. 🙂 I haven’t really had a chance to baby shop or enjoy this pregnancy with my mom because she lives so far away so I’m enjoying this chance to do that now.
  • T1 came back from her dad’s the same day we got back from vacation and my parents got into town. She was there for 6 weeks per the custody agreement and seeing her only every other weekend was hard.  It’s been so good having her home again, though today the poor baby (and my mom) were sick with some sort of digestive tract bug… not fun. Poor kiddo.

So yeah, we’ve been busy!  Below, see photo proof, including modified bump pics from 28 weeks (vacation) and 29 weeks (today with my parents in town).

28 week improvised bump picture. =)

29 weeks!!!!!

Our wittle baby….

peeking out from behind his placenta… I cannot stop staring at this face!!!!