Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Taking a break...

I am not going to be blogging about kid stuff for a few days or weeks even. I can't even think about anything other than my dad right now. He was admitted to the hospital over the weekend with shortness of breath. He has fluid around his heart and lungs, which they drained, but he is still having a lot of trouble breathing. The cancer has spread to his liver. I spoke to his oncologist by phone and he said that the situation is quite serious and that he likely has only days to a couple of weeks to live. Hospice is visiting the family today, but I am not sure when he will be released from the hospital.

I am in my 35/36 week of pregnancy. I am trying to get a hold of my doctor to see if I can travel. After doing some research, I don't know if this is the best idea. At this stage of pregnancy, flying presents a significant increase in risk of waters breaking, going into labor or getting a DVT. They recommend if you have to fly, it should be a short flight, so that you don't get dehydrated. There are no direct flights from Seattle to Richmond and its conservatively a 7h trip, plus layovers. I am unable to safely deliver vaginally since my pelvic bones are too narrow, plus I have already had a C-section, so an emergency VBAC on a plane does not sound like a good idea. Factor in the stress of the situation--I just don't know if I should do it. This of course means that I may never see my dad again and I will likely miss his funeral. I feel terribly sad and guilty. If I wasn't this pregnant, I would have been on a plane last night.

Please don't criticize my decision, I have already been crying for days and I feel like crap. My friends have been wonderful, beyond wonderful and I wonder how lucky I am to have met such selfless, generous and supportive women in the short time I have been living here. The faraway friends have been awesome too, just for the record.

Lana has been having lots of questions, which have been difficult to answer. I think to some extent she understands what is going on, but it breaks my heart to have to answer questions that even I don't know the answer to, about death, heaven, etc. These little kids are far more intuitive that we give them credit for. I feel kind of bad too b/c she has been sitting in front of the tv a little too much and I haven't been the most engaged mother. My inlaws are taking her today so that I can talk to my doctor, my dad and do any errands that I need to take care of.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A proud mommy moment

I know I constantly complain about bad behavior or my own neuroses here on my blog, but I have had such a fun week with Lana. She has been so sweet and funny. I love these phases! We are getting ready to leave for a few days on our last family trip with just the three of us. We are driving to Victoria, British Columbia, which is only a few hours away and we get to take a ferry to get there, which Lana is super excited about.

So before we take off, I wanted to leave with a good story that sort of represented my week (rather than the 3 year old having colic post). We were in Target, Lana was walking instead of riding in the cart. As I was checking out, she was wandering a bit and looking at the candy. I wasn't really paying attention and the lady behind me in line says to me, "Your daughter is so polite--she has terrific manners!". I almost didn't think she was talking to me. Then she said, "She was trying to get past me and she politely said, 'Excuse me, can I get through?'" I was so proud of Lana b/c she did it without me watching--i.e. she wasn't sucking up to me so she could get something, like the candy she was drooling over. Maybe all this reminding her about manners is actually sinking in. Anyway, it was a proud moment for me and it just reminded me how she is growing up so fast.

I'll post photos when I get back.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can a 3 year old have colic?

I have talked about how Lana is either super-sweet or not pleasant at all (we sometimes call it sour Lana). Well, we just had a hell of a weekend with sour Lana. I don't understand it. I know part of it is being 3, but I also know many 3 year olds and not all of them can tantrum as intensely or persistently as Lana. I can usually tell whether its a sweet or sour day based on how long it takes me to get her to the bathroom to pee first thing in the morning. Some days, I simply say, "Lana let's go pee and then we can go downstairs for breakfast." and she will bound out of bed and comply. Other days its a 20 minute battle of wills to just sit on the damn potty and take a whizz so we can move on. She will lay on the bath mat, saying, "I don't want" or "I won't". Sheesh, isn't your bladder about to explode??

Well, Saturday began with a battle to pee, so I knew I was in for it. As we were leaving for my mom's, she tripped and broke her graham crackers in half. Not into little bits, only in half. She lost it! She insisted I go back in the house for new crackers that were intact. I said no way, they taste the same--you'll eat em if you are hungry. She blew! Full on crazed tantrum--over broken GRAHAM CRACKERS!! I couldn't buckle her into her seat. I yelled. Which doesn't work by the way. I closed the door on her, so I could take a deep breath, which only made it worse. She cried and cried and screamed. I finally buckled her in and started to drive away. She ate the broken graham crackers. WTF?

We had 2 more similar incidents while we were out looking for a sofa for my mom, although they were not quite as crazy. Here is the fun part--I got her down for a much-needed nap and she woke up 2 hours later screaming bloody hell. For a half an hour. Something about how I left and didn't come back. At first I thought she was dreaming, but she meant that I didn't sleep with her. I never do. She wailed and cried and screamed and nothing I could do would make her calm down. I sat still. She got mad. I left the room, she got mad. I opened the curtains--she got mad. I mean like kicking and screaming and throwing her stuffed animals. It was quite the scene. It reminded me of colic. Screaming if I am there or not, for no good reason, totally inconsolable. It was exhausting! After it was all over, she said she was sorry, but could offer no explanation. Is her brain misfiring? A loose connection up there?

Anyway, I write this after spending the most perfect day with sweet Lana. She was kind, obedient. We laughed together, had great tender moments, lots of hugs and kisses. No fighting, no threats, no tears. We did so many crafts and didn't watch tv at all. We walked holding hands at the mall, got jamba juices and a snack. It was fun, not just for her, but for me too. I loved it. Plus, she hugged and kissed my belly, which was nice.

I don't understand how this is the same kid as the one who flipped out on me a few days ago. I think perhaps she is just intense in everything she does. She loves intensely, and gets pissed off intensely. I appreciate sweet Lana days and I try to savor them and remember them on sour Lana days.

Yes, Laura and Joanna, I am getting that book.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting ready

Today is the first day I feel like we are actually preparing for this baby's arrival. It is amazing how very different my mindset is this time around. Last weekend we had a garage sale and while I was going through boxes of crap in our basement, I ran across a few baby things from Lana that I pulled out--crib sheets, a bumper, a changing pad cover, a baby bjorn, an infant bathtub and that's about it. I did manage to bring them upstairs to the new baby's room and throw them in the closet. How is that for preparedness?

Today Bill put together Lana's old crib and set the mattress at the highest level, which looks so weird. Bill took the guest bed that currently occupies the new baby's room and shoved it over to the wall, making room for the crib and changing table. I washed the sheets and put them on the crib, along with the crib skirt and the bumper. I even went through baby clothes and organized them by size and hung the 0-3 month stuff in the closet. I didn't wash them or take any tags off (I have purchased a *few* things in my travels at Target and such), but at least I know what I have and what I may need, which I determined today is not much at all. This is the beauty of having another girl! There is very little that I need to buy--yay to that! Plus my friend Jamie let me borrow a whole pile of adorable 0-3 month clothes from her daughter, so really I am well-stocked with clothes. I did purchase some blackout curtains, pink of course, for the nursery that Bill still needs to hang, but that has been my only major purchase so far. I know the details of all of this are very boring, but I have to say that as I sat in the new baby's room after I finished all of the above mundane tasks, I really had a moment or twelve of disbelief that we are going to be welcoming a new baby into our family in 6 short weeks, or is it 7 weeks? I never remember how far along I am. Anyway, it feels real today. A baby. A new life. I am so curious. What will she be like? What will Lana think of her? What will she think of Lana? I hope they like each other, some of the time at least. I am so not looking forward to the sleep deprivation.

I am so overwhelmed with the blessing of this baby because now that we have Lana, I understand more fully the love you have for your child and what they bring to your life. When I was pregnant with Lana, all I felt was fear because I had no clue what I was doing having a baby--I didn't know anything about children, let alone tiny babies! I was just hoping that I wouldn't suck at it. This time, I have a totally different perspective. I feel like I know what I am getting myself into (which is a bit scary, but more exciting too), I feel so very lucky and I know that I may not be the best parent in the world all of the time, but that we will get through the rough patches and we will all be fine on the other side. And the good parts totally outweigh the challenges. I know that now, but I didn't when Lana was born.

My biggest concern is how Lana will fare throughout this transition. I know most big siblings have a tough time at first, but that they adjust and everybody falls into their new role in the family eventually. I am pretty convinced that Lana will act out, will not be pleased with me being occupied with the baby and will in general feel jealous. I do think that over time, it will be good for her to have a little sister. She likes to pretend to be a teacher, she certainly loves to be bossy and she relishes her accomplishments as a big girl. It just may take a while for her to see the positive side of being a big sister.

I have also been thinking a lot about my repeat C-section. While its nice to have a fairly concrete plan this time around--I mean I have a date and time which is pretty set unless I go into labor sooner, but even so, I will still be having the surgery--but I am more apprehensive about the actual surgery and recovery. I have dreams about it. I have heard every single nightmare story of C-section complications. I remember my hangover from the spinal where the room was spinning and I was begging for Zofran. I remember getting up to go pee--OMG the ouchie!! I recall walking hunchback for a long time. I remember loving my percoset for at least 2 weeks and feeling really goofy and weak the first time I went to Wal-Mart with my mom to buy some diapers. That reminds me, I should probably start buying some diapers. Anyway, I remember the recovery was long and I was a wimp about pain. This time Bill will only be off of work for like 4 days and I will have Miss Impatient Lana to deal with as well. I will have my inlaws come over to help with Lana and meal preparation, so I am lucky for that. I know I will get through it one way or another, but its definitely on my mind these days.

In other pregnancy-related topics, my morning sickness seems to have returned. Goodie. This happened when I was pregnant with Lana as well. Somewhere in the third trimester I felt icky again. The thing is with Lana, I felt pretty shitty the whole pregnancy, so I noticed the severity increased again in the third trimester and it was do disappointing. This time around my morning sickness was pretty mild in the first trimester, actually it only occurred in the evening and then it was gone. But the last few days all around dinnertime, I have been feeling pretty queasy. It happens at the same time everyday and its gone the next morning, so it must be a morning sickness type of thing. Its ruining dinner for me though, so I am trying to eat my big meal at lunch. I feel pretty wonky right now as I am typing this. Blech.

It felt good today to get organized and prepared as much as I can. Kind of like the way cleaning used to make me feel. My friend A recently posted the most hilarious and appropriate thought on facebook the other day: "Cleaning while you have children is like shoveling while its still snowing." Is this not SO TRUE!?!