I’m in the home stretch, as they say, and after today’s post I’ll only have one more outfit to post until we drop Isobel off at Grandma and Grandpa’s and we have a date with the hospital to finally meet our son. B-Day, as we’re calling it, is not this Wednesday but next, and I’m having a hard time imaging what life will be like with another child. It was the same way when I was pregnant with Isobel, except more so, since I’d never had a baby before. Logically, I know it’s happening, but my brain still struggles to fully recognize the fact that soon we will take home a brand new human who has never existed before. Ultimately, the birth of a second child is as incomprehensible as the first.
Judging by their looks and the things they have said to me, I think I have made each and every one of my male friends incredibly thankful they cannot get pregnant. Strangers and family either laugh at or pity me (or both!) but my male friends all appear horrified. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them have doubled up on contraceptive measures. I think they must be glad a parasitic organism like this will never take over their body to make it suitable for their own.
We’ve been invited to some parties and activities that naturally I’ve not been able to attend and despite my prodding, Anthony has stayed by my side. He doesn’t want to leave me. This happened last time right before Isobel was born, too, and I’ve forgotten all about it until now. He worked and attended University back then and he had a very tough time focusing on his studies, or anything at all, really, and hovered anxiously as we waited for signs labor has started. He developed insomnia, too, as his brain wouldn’t let him relax for a second. I know that his hormones are reacting to my hormones but I forgot how deeply it affects men, too.
I have been suffering from terrible insomnia in this last trimester due to a combination of hormones, untreated anxiety, and the overall discomfort of my pregnancy. Generally some part of my back hurts, my Crohn’s pain is pretty bad and it ranges from stomach pain to arthritis in my legs and feet. I have terrible heartburn that I have to treat a few times a night, I’m a stomach sleeper exclusively so I’m struggling to find a position that is comfortable. I’ve also developed a mild case of Restless Leg Syndrome. I’m very familiar with this disorder because my Grandma had an extremely severe case of RLS and eventually she had to stop driving because her legs would kick and jump without warning, which is pretty dangerous if your feet are currently working the gas and break pedals of a car. I’m constantly tired, sometimes even exhausted, but all of these things make it incredibly difficult to sleep. I’m unhappily awake until 3 or 4 am every night, and once I get to sleep I usually get a few hours, wake up at 7 am for an hour or two, and then get another few hours into the late morning.
I have little energy during the day and food, as always, is a problem. I have to eat around a schedule for my Crohn’s medicine that requires me to have an empty stomach, meaning two hours before or after I eat. I’m frequently nauseated or just unable to eat while simultaneously feeling starving. I have, on occasion, gotten up out of bed and made myself an entire meal because I’ve been so hungry – case in point: I once made myself two tacos and also ate a pear and what felt like most of a family-sized bag of chips.
We’ve hardly purchased anything in preparation for the baby, which is in stark contrast to when I was pregnant with Isobel. I poured over books and registry lists and registered for everything I could get my hands on. If it was talked about, I was sure I needed it, and I think I attended four or five showers. The sheer amount of baby gear took over our house and I was convinced I’d need all of it. Looking back on it I think the drive to acquire all these things and cross them off my lists was a way of managing my anxiety about being wholly responsible for a brand new life. I could feel ready, or tell myself I was ready, because I had all these things around me, ready to help, assuring me I was competent. This time we asked for gift cards because we still have most of the things we used with Isobel and friends and family have blessed us with hand-me-downs. We’re really not going to know what we need until we have the baby so gift cards work just fine. I’m not using any lists (besides ones I’ve made for myself) or outside recommendations for gear because I know I’m competent. This time, I don’t have to quell that particular anxiety.
Isobel is as excited as we are to meet baby Elias, and she talks to him through my belly and gives him unprompted cuddles every day. Sometimes if she’s mad at me she’ll cradle my belly in her hands and say, pointedly, “Don’t worry, I’m not mad at YOU, baby Elias. Just Mimi. Not you. I love you.” Which is sweet and hilarious and generally requires me to practice my straight face so she doesn’t become more enraged (at me, not baby Elias, natch).
Because I am ridiculous, and because I made one for Isobel, I’ve set up a twitter account under the name @whatupElias, which you should check out if only to see the hilarious avatar Isobel created for him. I’ll use it to post hilarious baby moments, milestones, and eventually, actual things he says, just like I do with Isobel.
Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to a new, affordable way to advertise on Little Big. I’m trying to find ways to help support my family that require minimal effort on my part while I take care of a newborn. I’m offering new, extremely affordable ads on the sidebar of Little Big. I’ve signed up for Passionfruit Ads, which will automate the process, and though it isn’t free I’m hoping I can sell enough ads every month to cover the cost of running them and still have a small profit left over. The great thing about these ads is that it’s so affordable it’s not limited to just blogs or shops: you can use it to promote a giveaway, a special post, an event, a campaign you need votes for, a nonprofit or charity you believe in, a forum you belong to, as a way to get more followers on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, or other creative endeavor. I’d love to have you, and thanks for all the support over the years!