Last week I was finally able to see my doctor (due to an insurance mishap and an extremely unhelpful caseworker we were uninsured since January 1st, and although we found out after talking to her supervisor that the insurance would have covered us retroactively we were not told this, and so I’ve had to cancel prenatal appointments and Anthony hasn’t had any physical therapy for his shoulder post surgery. – end rant). I was able to discuss my terrible rib pain with him and we were also given the piece of news we’ve been waiting for – Elias’ birthday! Provided I don’t go into labor early my c-section is scheduled for March 26th, exactly a week before my due date of April 2nd.
I have been in such constant and terrible pain from my ribs on the right side that I pestered Wayne, twitter friend and heart surgeon, about it. If there’s one thing doctors love it’s people asking them for free medical advice that’s completely out of their specialty. Fortunately, Wayne is such a great guy that he entertained my questions and came up with pretty much the exact thing my OB said – my organs are displaced by my giant uterus and they are shoved up into my diaphragm in a way that feels like an intense running cramp or perhaps a hot fireplace poker being shoved into your side. This didn’t really happen with Isobel because I was so much smaller with her. My doctor said that the second pregnancy is like putting on a pair of jeans: your first pregnancy the jeans are straight from the dryer and are small and snug. By the your second pregnancy the jeans are loose and worn probably ready for another trip through the washer and dryer. I’m not entirely convinced it’s not because my genes (see what I did there?) took over and I’m carrying a giant viking baby who will emerge from my womb swinging his battle axe for practice. At any rate, my ribs constantly hurt, but sometimes they bother me so much I can’t focus on anything else besides OW OW OW OW RIBS OW. The human body is a miraculous thing, but I think if you asked my body specifically it would tell you my frame is not meant to hold so much baby.
This week’s photo shoot occurred while our friends Danny and his son Noah were over for a double play date (Noah wanted to play with Isobel and Danny wanted to play with Anthony). The kids were in the backyard playing in the mud while their fathers practiced archery. I set up my camera in its usual spot and got ready for photos and both the kids wanted to be in it. Noah also took some of the photos, and he coached me on making the “scary bad guy face” you see below.
We actually have two good friends with sons named Noah, and we differentiate the two by calling them Big Boy Noah and Little Boy Noah. Big Boy Noah was born about two weeks before Isobel while Little Boy Noah belongs to our friends Ellen and Ivan and was born a year or two before Isobel. In fact, I think both Noahs are born within a few days of each other but in different years. Some of the photos in today’s post are out of focus but it was worth it to hear Noah’s maniacal laugh as he worked the camera.
This last week has been a real struggle for me. I’ve had various health problems all throughout my pregnancy, but they are all seeming to rear their collective heads at once right now. Most difficult of these has been my mental health problems. A few years ago I was diagnosed with panic disorder and I’ve lived with varying and intense levels of anxiety and depression my whole life. Part of this is circumstantial but the vast majority is genetics. My family history packs a punch and I’m in the last stage of pregnancy wherein the hormonal and emotional instability of the first trimester return. I normally bust out the heavy-duty drugs at this point to prevent full-blown anxiety and panic attacks, but I don’t have that option right now. I’m doing pretty well at the moment, which is why I’m able to sit down and write this, but there have been some pretty awful moments in the past few days that I just have to work through. I have a pretty good track record of being able to get things done during bouts of physical problems, but when the problem is with my brain it’s much more difficult for me to carry on as usual.
At this point I’m out of the cute state of pregnancy and all the things I used to wear that would accent my belly in ways generally considered adorable now fit in a way that looks ridiculous or obscene. I’m actually wearing the type of maternity pants that go all the way up my waist, something I avoided entirely when I was pregnant with Isobel (and I went a week over my due date) so now if I were to lift up my shirt you’d see these leggings hugging my body way above my belly button. I bear more than a passing resemblance to tweedle dee and tweedle dum. Today’s outfit is saved again by one of my vintage polyester shirts that I am so very fond of. They fit like a tent and under normal circumstances I’d want to take them in. I’m so glad I was too lazy to ever do it.
Currently, in addition to going crazy, I’m trying to spend as much one on one time with Isobel as possible. I sleep next to her at night and breathe the sweet scent of her head while I feel her whispy breath on my arms. I’m trying to soak all of this in while I can.
I feel totally unprepared for Elias, so while I’m thrilled to know his birthday, and for the first time ever, I’m excited about a surgery, I am frightened by my lack of preparedness. I’m foreseeing some hardcore nesting in my future.
As for these guys, I never pose Isobel when we do these photos, and the same holds true for special guest Noah. They can be in the photos if they want to, but they certainly don’t have to. They can do whatever they like in the photos and the only time I give suggestions is when they stray out of frame.
Here they are in all their natural glory.