Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Storm Has Passed

Whew. That was one of the most trying weeks I've had as a parent so far. A close second would be when Colton was cutting his first year molars last March and I got a total of ten hours of sleep. Yep, and I wanted another child.

After sticking to the B.R.A.T. diet (much to Colton's dismay since I wouldn't let him have his beloved milk) my little boy finally showed signs of returning to normal by Wednesday night. I've never been so happy NOT to see a poopy diaper. And then, I got sick. I still don't know if it was a very mild case of Colton's bug, or pregnancy induced nausea, but suddenly I couldn't stand to smell, eat, or look at food. I was pretty useless over Thursday and Friday, but by that time Gregg had returned home from his business trip and was able to help me out.

Now that the plague of sickness has passed by our house, I feel like I'm able to focus on and enjoy this pregnancy. I am 15 weeks along today, and have been in maternity clothes now for two. It's pretty obvious already to everyone that I'm having a baby. With my first pregnancy, I almost felt like an impostor at 16 weeks going to Babies 'R Us to register because I was barely showing. Call me crazy, but I think I felt a kick yesterday too. Things are happening so much quicker this time around!

I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time at my 12 week appointment on April 1. It was strong and in the 170's! People keep telling me that, based on the heart rate, I'm having a girl. I know it's just an old wives tale, but it's fun to believe. I still really want a daughter. We should find out sometime in May!

I'm starting to look at new furniture for the nursery, along with double strollers (yikes). I am also beginning to gather some information on breastfeeding, so I'll be more prepared this time. I haven't made the solid decision yet whether I want to try it again, but I feel okay either way. Colton flourished on formula and has been a pretty healthy kid, so I'm not worried. I think, though, that I have decided I'd like to try a VBAC if I go into labor on my own. That's all up to my body and baby's timing, which I understand. No matter how this child is delivered and fed, the most important thing of all to me is that he or she is healthy at birth and that I do not experience PPD again. I am honestly not overly concerned about it coming back, because I think a lot of the pressures and lack of knowledge I felt as a first time mom just won't be there. But I don't want to be naive, either. I want to be able to recognize the signs and ask for help when I need it, instead of suffering silently.

Since we learned baby #2 was on the way, we have also been planning to move from the condo into a house. Right now we only have two bedrooms and absolutely no yard. We haven't found anything great in our price range yet, but our landlord is in no hurry to see us leave since he still has a mortgage on this place and the market is flooded with rentals right now. He actually offered to reduce our rent if we stayed longer.

While looking for another place to live, Gregg and I actually had a discussion (more like an argument) about moving back to Florida. This past winter was horrible, and things aren't getting any cheaper. It might actually make sense if we didn't have a kid and one on the way. But reality is, Gregg has a very good job up here and we have an invaluable support system. Last summer and fall when we were facing the possibility of Gregg losing his job or being transferred due to the buyout, I had a lot of peace that we were supposed to stay here. That, in fact, God was not calling us to leave New Jersey and would move all the pieces into place so that we could continue living here. And He did just that. So in seeking Him again for whether a relocation was in the plan this time, I clearly heard that the answer was no. God has many more opportunities for us to minister and be ministered to here. Gregg also (though more reluctantly) felt the same answer.

Though I hate feeling at odds with my husband, this was a chance for us to really confront and pray through an issue that has been lurking in our marriage. I know that Gregg has this spirit of adventure within him. John Eldredge says in his book, Wild at Heart, that "adventure is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of a man." It has been given to him by God and right now Gregg feels stuck in a lot of ways, particularly at work, and that he's not able to do enough because of how tight our finances still are living in one of the most expensive areas of the country. God has shown me how I can empathize with my husband, instead of judging him, and speak to him in a way that opens up communication rather than shuts it down.

Wow, that was a lot of writing. I guess I'm making up for all those months where I hardly blogged at all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I'll admit it. I'm spent. After three and a half days taking care of a sick toddler, while my husband is away on business, and battling a cold myself being four months pregnant, I. am. done. There have been more than a few times in the past several hours that I've wanted to call my mom to come take care of me. How come THIS was never in any of the What to Expect books? Colton is finally getting over a nasty stomach virus, which started early Saturday morning.

Thankfully the puking only lasted for that one day, but the diarrhea continued through until late last night. In the middle of all this, Gregg left for a business trip and won't be home until Thursday. I called the doctor twice to ask what I should do, and was told to keep Colton hydrated and on the B.R.A.T. (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet. So he's been living on bananas, crackers, and Pedialyte for the past 72 hours. His poop has firmed up a little bit and the horrible diaper rash has gotten much better since then, thanks to Boudreaux's Butt Paste.

I almost had a breakdown last night on the phone to Gregg, who calmly reassured me that I was doing everything I could do for our son. I hate when he's sick. I hate that I can't do much about it. I hate that I've thrown myself a pity party. The past few days have really highlighted the differences between my two pregnancies. With the first one, I was blissfully dreaming about motherhood, taking belly pictures every single week, never forgetting to read about how the baby was developing or which fruit's size it had grown to that particular week. This time, I have to stop myself and ask "wait, what week is this?" I've taken a total of one photo of my growing tummy. I'm too busy trying to meet the demanding needs of a 2 1/2 year old to even remember that I'm pregnant.

I wonder how on earth I'm going to take care of a toddler and a newborn at the same time. And how I could possibly love this baby as much as I love the child I already have. I know I won't pay as much attention to all of the firsts, or take nearly as many pictures of him or her. But I also won't be coming off some ridiculously high, disillusioned concept of motherhood with this one. I won't expect to bond right away, and will know that this is perfectly okay. I'll be more relaxed about the fact that he or she didn't meet a milestone within the "average" limits. I will know that while parenting can be incredibly frustrating, it can also be wonderfully rewarding simultaneously.

So while I can't quite see the end of the tunnel to Colton's present illness, I need to remember that this too shall pass. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and choose to focus instead on my blessings, which are in abundance. While my toddler has suddenly developed a case of mine-itis and continually pushes boundaries, I am happy that he is speaking in full sentences, knows most of his colors, and recognizes several letters of the alphabet. It may be just small potatoes, but at this stage it makes me one proud mama. I know he'll be a great big brother too.