37 weeks

Well, this is it.  37 weeks.  Officially early term.

I had my second NST + AFI with the local OB today, and everything is looking good.  Baby has finally flipped, so hooray for head-down!

Today I was pleasantly surprised to be seen by my favorite OB in the practice rather than the one I had been scheduled with — I think I’ve only seen her once early on in this pregnancy, but she’s the main doctor I saw during my pregnancy with S and she’s really the reason I came into the practice, so it was nice to reconnect with her.

She did ask me about how I was feeling about induction vs. waiting for spontaneous labor.  I told her I don’t want to go much past my due date, and she said that she understood and agreed and they’d be willing to induce me anytime at 39 weeks or beyond.

That was actually kind of reassuring to hear — I’m not into interventions, and I was really pleased to go into spontaneous labor one day before my scheduled induction date at 40+5 in my pregnancy with S.  But at the same time, I worry a lot about the small but rising risk of stillbirth after 39 weeks — for me, even though the probability is low, my experience with late loss tells me that I would not want to torture myself with wondering if I could have avoided it by inducing earlier if I ever did wind up in that situation.  In addition, the closer I get to my due date, the more stressful it is to have to worry every morning about whether or not I should inject myself with Lovenox (which I’m staying on right up until delivery thanks to the Heparin allergy we discovered in my pregnancy with S).  I was a huge fan of my epidural while delivering S, and I know I can’t get an epidural until 12 hours after my last dose of Lovenox, so if things start on their own and happen quickly I could end up with an unplanned, unmedicated vaginal delivery, which I am just not interested in (though I know and respect that many women are) — obviously I’d deal with it if it happened, but I also worry about what would happen if I ran into complications and had to have a c-section.  Without the option of an epidural or spinal, they’d have to put me under general anesthesia, and I both find general anesthesia pretty creepy and also would be sad to be unconscious for the birth of my son.  Induction offers a nice way to have a little more control over the timing of stopping my medication and not worrying about the small but real risk of developing clots.

So, the way I left it with her is that I’ll wait to see what my cervix is doing in a week or two, and we’ll take it from there.  As a multigravida who had a totally textbook vaginal delivery last time, the risk of c-section is pretty low this time, induction or not (especially given the results of the ARRIVE trial).  My plan at the moment is to aim for induction during the week of my due date, unless my cervix is totally unfavorable, in which case I’d wait until the next week (the end of week 40) to induce.  But I am not interested in the risks of going into week 41 and beyond, so if I haven’t gone into spontaneous labor by then I will stop caring what my cervix is doing.

And there it is.  Unbelievably, our baby could be three weeks away… or even less!  It’s thrilling and terrifying and unbelievable all at once.  I can’t wait to welcome him to the world.

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Random potty win

So here’s a thing that happened tonight… S both pooped and peed in the potty!  Without any training whatsoever!

We’ve been talking up the potty, of course.  Mostly when he complains about diaper changes.  We tell him, “Oh, I know you don’t like diaper changes.  Did you know that once you learn to use the potty, we’ll never have to change your diaper again?”  But he’s shown almost zero interest, and usually refuses to sit on the potty when we ask.  Everything I’ve read has said to either train way before a new baby comes or way after, and since he was showing almost no signs of readiness a few months ago we have just been ignoring potty training as a thing altogether.  Still, sometimes he asks to sit on the potty, and of course we let him, but nothing has ever happened when he’s done it before.  Honestly, mostly it’s been after he poops, as a way of stalling before a poopy diaper change.  But hey, whatever, sitting on the potty is sitting on the potty, amirite?

Well, apparently something is starting to click in his brain, because tonight after his bath he was sitting on my lap wrapped in a towel when he said

“S almost peeing!”

“Do you want to go sit on the potty?” I asked him.

“Yeah!”

So daddy whisked him off to the potty, where he proceeded to both pee and poop like a champ!  And he even told us that he wasn’t done and needed to keep sitting on the potty, and then pooped some more.  We had a celebratory dance and lots of praise and talked about how cool it was that he pooped and we didn’t have to change his diaper!  (Though, wiping is a challenge — he wanted me to wipe him while he was sitting on the potty “like when mama and dada go potty!”  I tried, but I was like, “Um, sorry buddy, I’ve never done this before either…”  Any tips for toddler wiping???)  Then we had him say “Bye-bye poop!” and he got to flush, and he seemed very proud and excited about the whole thing.

We are reluctant to go full-on potty training mode a mere 4.5 weeks before my due date, but at the same time, this seems like it might just be a real opportunity to seize.  I think we’ll just go with the flow (I mean, hey, it’s worked so far!) and see if he continues to be interested, or if this is just a one-time fluke.  But if he shows any more interest, I think a trip to Target to let him pick out some big-boy undies might be in the cards for next weekend.  I have to say, I could never have imagined that I’d be this excited to watch someone else go to the bathroom! 🙂

Breech Watch

35 weeks today!  Hard to believe our new little guy will make his appearance in about a month!

Everything is still looking good, with one exception: he still hasn’t flipped to head-down, so we are officially on breech watch from here on out.  Last week the ultrasonographer at MFM told me he was breech, and today the local OB did a quick scan showing that he is transverse.  She said that if he really moved from breech to transverse on his own in the last week, she’s “very optimistic” that he’s still on the move and will flip on his own.  But if he’s still not cephalic next week, they’ll schedule a version for the following week.  It’s a bit complicated by the fact that he’s on the large side, still measuring around 80th percentile, so it’s not clear how much longer he’ll have room to move on his own.

I’m mostly managing to not freak out about this news.  I know that both late flippers and successful versions are more common if you’ve given birth before, so I’m hopeful that either he’ll flip on his own or a version will be successful.  Worst-case scenario (currently at about 25% probability, according to my reading) would be a scheduled c-section if he won’t flip.  While I’d love to avoid a c-section if possible, my perspective since the loss of our daughter has always been that whatever gets baby out as safely as possible — for both baby and mom — is the way to go, and if that’s a c-section (which it sounds like it is, thanks to the Term Breech Trial), so be it.  The idea of a c-section freaks me out quite a bit, and I can’t help but think wistfully of my super-easy recovery from S’s birth, but at least a scheduled section sounds less scary than an emergency section.

Otherwise, it has so far been my favorite kind of pregnancy: boring and uneventful.  I finished my hat-knitting project (I wound up knitting three sizes of hats just to make sure there’ll be something to fit each of two kids), and I’m looking forward to giving them to my sons (plural!  can you imagine?!) after the birth.  The nursery is in reasonable shape, all of S’s old clothes are washed and organized, S is going nuts waiting for Halloween, as well as being obsessed with the two new babies in his daycare (he almost cried when baby Jack wasn’t there this morning), and we’re just generally trying to get the last few things on our to-do list done.  Except for some rain, we’re having beautiful fall weather, and I’m mostly just trying to enjoy these last few precious weeks as a family of three before our lives get upended, hopefully in the most joyful possible way.

Anniversaries

Today is the fourth anniversary of the day we found out my daughter had died.  It’s also four days after the first anniversary of my father’s death.  It’s been a somber week.

Both anniversaries feel a little bit lonely — nobody has remarked on either (though I did get a handwritten card from the funeral home about my dad).  I understand why.  I’ve had a couple of wonderful friends who remembered some of the important dates around my daughter’s death and have checked in with me on those days, which I so appreciate.  Four years later, while I still mark this day as a private day of grieving, I don’t feel as much need for the support, so it’s OK with me that my friends have stopped reaching out.  It feels natural and fine that they’ve played an important part in my healing process and the support has faded as I’ve needed it less — it’s not as though I’d expect them to remember and get in touch on this day for the rest of our lives.

As for my dad, well… I think that’s different because everyone close to me knows that I didn’t get along with him and was not close to him.  They know that his death raised complicated emotions for me.  So, probably they’ve either not thought about following up, or assumed it wasn’t important to me, or they have thought of it but have been too daunted by not knowing what to say.  And while it’s true to some extent that it’s not hugely important to me that anyone reach out, I admit that I would have welcomed some acknowledgment of the complicated feelings, or just someone to say that they were remembering him or thinking of me in some way.  I have been grieving, in my own way.  The death of a parent is always a little earth-shattering, even if you’re not close with your parent.  It’s not really something you can just emotionally skate over, even if I don’t have to deal with the deep feelings of loss and absence that I assume someone close to their parent would have to deal with.  I did a lot of my grieving for our relationship long before he died, but there’s still something so horrifyingly final about his absence from the planet.  No chance to revisit our relationship, no chance that he might be a better grandfather than he ever was a father.  And of course, a reminder of my own mortality, and the sadness that comes with seeing how easily his existence seems to have been forgotten.  He led a fairly sad and lonely life, and feeling like I’m the only one remembering the anniversary of his death just drives home the sadness of his empty life even more.

So, that’s where I am this week — not as melancholy as I sound, I promise!  But it’s a big week for memories and contemplation.

One hopeful project I started this week is that I’m knitting matching hats for my son, S, and his little brother.  When I was pregnant with S, I was too nervous to do any sort of nesting projects before he was born.  I thought several times about knitting something for him, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it, because it was too depressing to imagine having it lying around if S died too.  We reluctantly got some furniture in the room around this time in my pregnancy with S (or maybe even later?), and I remember sitting in the rocking chair in his room and crying every night for a long time (weeks?) before he was born, wondering if I’d ever be lucky enough to meet him.  This time around, I have been able to relax and hope a little bit more, which feels good.

This weekend we went to a craft store to pick out some fabric for the window seat bench we are making for the new baby’s room (it’s an Ikea hack that we’ve been happy with in S’s room — we’re basically redoing everything we did in S’s room, furniture-wise, just with different colors and patterns), and while we were there I wandered over to the yarn section with S, who helped me pick out some yarn to make a hat: “One for S and one for S’s baby,” as S insisted.  S’s favorite colors are “light green,” orange, and purple right now.  There was no orange yarn in the baby section, so S picked out one skein of a lovely lavender and one of a lurid yellow-green.  I eventually convinced him that the skein he picked out was closer to yellow than green, and was able to suggest a softer leaf-green color instead, but there was really no negotiating beyond that!  So I started making this hat, with lavender and leaf-green cotton yarn.  It is a cute gender-neutral baby combination, and I love that S is so excited about me making matching hats for him and his baby brother that I don’t really care if the colors are a little weird (and will totally clash with S’s maroon winter coat). 🙂 It felt so nice (and a little bit ridiculous) last night after S was in bed to just sink into the stereotype of the nesting pregnant lady, resting my knitting needles on my 7-months-pregnant belly between rows.  This project is, for me, an act of hope, and an act of love and connection between me and S and the new baby.  I know that whatever happens, I’ll treasure the memories that these hats will bring.

Tenure/Pregnancy update: End-of-summer edition

30 weeks pregnant and all was well at our monthly ultrasound this week.  Little guy is bopping around in there, currently lying sideways across my belly.  My husband and I have settled on a default name (unless we come up with something we like better by the time he is born) and are setting up the nursery.  I don’t remember at what point we did all this with S, but I think it was later.  I do remember that this was the point in my pregnancy with S at which our dear friends offered to throw us a shower, and I broke down in tears and just couldn’t handle the idea of planning for a living baby (the upshot was that we agreed on a “sip-and-see” a few months after S was born, which was a lovely compromise).  Some days I still can’t handle the idea of planning for another living baby (how lucky can we possibly hope to be???), and some days that’s all I can think about.  I still feel plenty of pregnancy impostor syndrome — like, this pregnancy isn’t actually going to last, there’s not actually going to be a new baby, it could all come crashing down at any moment.  But I’m at least able to act more normal this time around, mostly not responding weirdly to people’s innocent inquiries about whether this is our first (standard answer: “No.  We have a 2.5-year-old at home”) or jibes about how we’ll have our hands full with two boys (standard answer: “I sure hope so!”).

On the tenure side, I submitted my materials to my department today!  Hooray!  Now comes a long, long wait.  If I’m lucky, I’ll have a final answer by May 2019, and if I’m not lucky, I’ll have a final answer by December 2019.  The big steps in the process are:

  • This fall the department solicits letters from experts in my field around the country/world who can comment on my research portfolio.  This process typically takes a couple of months, as I understand — it happens in two stages, the first of which involves sending letters asking people if they will agree to write letters, and the second of which involves sending letters asking them to actually write the letters and then waiting for the responses.
  • Hopefully by the end of fall, but possibly later if there are delays, my department will have collected all of the external letters and will meet to go over all of my materials and vote on my case.
  • After my department has made its recommendation, presumably sometime in the spring, my case will go to a university-wide faculty committee for evaluation.  This committee currently includes members from the departments of English, Music, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Economics, Sociology, Chemistry, and Biology — there’s also one from Earth and Environmental Sciences, but she can’t vote on my case (unfortunately, since she’s the most qualified to evaluate it) because she’s officially my faculty mentor.  I go to the end of the line for the university-wide committee this year, since most faculty start at the university in the fall, but I started in the spring, so I’m on a one-semester-late review schedule.  This is the main reason for uncertainty in when I’ll get an answer about my tenure case — they will review my case in the spring if they have time, but if they are overwhelmed with fall cases they aren’t obligated to review it until next fall semester.
  • After the university-wide committee votes on my case (if the vote is positive), it goes to the Board of Trustees, and then the university president.  If I’ve gotten positive reviews at each stage up until this point, it’s usually a rubber stamp at the upper levels, but there was a case in recent memory that was positive at the department and university level but was overturned by the president, so there’s always the possibility that something weird will happen.  Since the Board of Trustees meets only a few times per year, this is another potential source of delay, depending on when the university-wide committee reviews my case.

After all of this, I’ll get a yes or no answer: either yes, I can keep my job essentially forever (barring unlikely circumstances like a major failure to meet my duties or major reorganization of the academic structure like eliminating my department), or no, I’m fired and I have to go look for another job.

It’s a long time to be in limbo, and many faculty find the uncertainty torturous.  My goal is just to try to relax and let the process play itself out, and allow myself to be distracted by the hopeful new addition to our family in November.  It’s the sort of setup that could either be really great (because I’ll be so busy with a new baby that I won’t have time to fret about tenure) or really awful (because being home with a new baby is psychologically challenging and so is waiting for news about your tenure case).

But either way, both of these big projects are looking like they’re in good shape at the moment, so I have to focus on that.  And now that I’ve turned in my materials, they have something else in common too: there’s essentially nothing I can do to change the outcome of either at this point.  The work I’m submitting for tenure has been done and documented, and this baby is baking away and the only thing I can do is to take care of myself and wait to see what happens.  I should avoid doing stupid things, like starting a feud in my department or suddenly becoming a binge drinker, but otherwise I have to accept that I have little to no control over the outcomes of either my pregnancy or my tenure case at this point.  And that’s hard for someone who likes to plan and act!  But if nothing else, my experience with pregnancy loss and infertility have given me plenty of practice at waiting, accepting lack of control, and dealing with difficult outcomes.  So, I’m pretty sure that whatever happens, we’ll make it through.

Baby and Tenure Update

Baby and tenure packet are both cooking along, so I thought I’d post a brief update.

Today I’m 28w pregnant and therefore officially in the third trimester.  While I do feel much more relaxed with this pregnancy, I had my first significant baby freak-out earlier this week — I had just been feeling off, and woke up with a sort of painful burning in my lower abdomen and then had two bouts of super-intense sharp pain over about an hour in the morning that freaked me out and sent me running to my OB worried about a repeat abruption.  She very calmly told me she didn’t think I was having an abruption, and that it sounded more like something GI-related, but if it would reassure me they’d check on ultrasound, which they did (just a quick, unofficial ultrasound).  Everything looked fine with the placenta, and baby has been kicking up a storm ever since, so I’m just left feeling a little sheepish.  I’m still glad I went in instead of stewing in worry, though.  While I am significantly more relaxed in this pregnancy than in my pregnancy with S, that’s like saying that my wind speeds have dropped from hurricane level to tropical storm level — I am still very, very far from the carefree blissful assumption of a healthy baby that I experienced for the first 18w of my first pregnancy.  But objectively, everything is fine.  I’m starting to drag a little and feel the achy pelvis and lower back that I remember from my pregnancy with S, but it’s still not bad, and I’m still immensely grateful for every day that I’m pregnant with a healthy, squirmy baby.

On the tenure side, I’ve drafted my research and teaching statements, gotten some feedback on them from my PhD advisor and my faculty mentor outside my department (who has served three times on our university tenure committee), updated my annotated CV, and am now revising everything and preparing to submit at the end of the month.  While my materials aren’t technically due until early November, I’ve obviously got another big deadline looming at the same time (i.e., my baby’s due date!) so don’t want to leave it any later than I have to.  I had discussed with my chair turning everything early and he’s totally on board with it.  So, my goal is to get my packet submitted by the end of August, before the semester starts, and then just allow myself to be distracted by teaching and the new baby while the process goes forward over the course of the year.

I am facing one tricky decision that I need to make in the next few weeks, which is whether or not to ask my department to solicit letters from former students as part of my tenure packet.  There’s a little bit of explanation required here: it’s not a standard thing that my department does, but other departments around the university do include it as a standard component of the tenure packet.  The only universally standard metric of teaching effectiveness at my university is the end-of-semester evaluations filled out by students in my classes.  Mine are good — consistently above average numerically, with lots of positive comments and relatively minor gripes.  But I’m also philosophically opposed to having my teaching evaluated only on the basis of those student evaluations, since there’s a ton of research showing that they are biased and not good indicators of teaching effectiveness.

So I’ve wanted to include multiple metrics of teaching effectiveness in my tenure packet.  I already asked my department to send faculty to observe some of my classes (which they’ve sort of done… last semester my chair visited one of my classes and had a really great conversation with me afterwards about his observations, and then another faculty member visited the last 12 minutes of one of my classes and said he thought he got a pretty good sampling of my teaching, blargh).  While I’m glad that I’ll be including peer evaluations to some extent in my packet (another component that is standard in many other departments at my university), the dimension that I think is missing is any sort of measurement of the longitudinal impact of my teaching/mentoring, including the work I do with research students (which falls under the category of teaching at my university).  So, I had discussed with my chair the possibility of soliciting letters from former students.  Apparently my department had their first meeting about my tenure case last week and discussed that they’d be happy to do it, and it’s basically up to me (1) whether or not I want them to do it and (2) what sample of students I want them to ask.

For example, I could ask them to solicit letters from only my former research students, or I could ask them to solicit letters from every student I’ve ever had in class, or I could ask them to solicit letters from only former majors in our department.  Whatever I choose, they will all get the same prompt (which my chair already drafted and shared with me), which is basically a letter from the chair saying that I am being considered for promotion to associate professor with tenure and asking them for any reflections they have on the quality of my teaching and mentorship, and how their experiences with me may have impacted their subsequent career development.  So, a pretty generic prompt, with no carrot or stick to encourage them to reply.

Philosophically, it seems like a great thing to do to assess a dimension of my pedagogy that is not otherwise reflected in my materials.  I suspect I might get some really strong letters — I think I have had a pretty significant positive impact on a number of our students (and I don’t think I’m being delusional about it — certainly I’ve had students tell me that they have felt that way).  But… part of me wonders if I should just leave well enough alone and not introduce an extra dimension of randomness.  My teaching evaluations are good, and on that basis alone I’d probably get tenure, so why rock the boat?  It’s certainly possible that I could get negative letters (though I can’t think of any former students who are out to get me), but the thing I’m more worried about is getting weird letters from students who don’t understand the tenure process and therefore say things in a way that they might think is positive but that might raise questions for the tenure committee.  Basically, the more data the tenure committee has in its hands, the higher the probability that there will be something a little odd for them to fixate on.

So, anyway, I’m thinking about it this week, and planning to talk to my aforementioned outside-the-department faculty mentor to see what her experience has been reading student letters as part of the university tenure committee.  My inclination at the moment is to ask my department to go ahead and solicit the letters, and for the sample to be all of our former majors.  My reasoning is both the principle that I would like my tenure packet to reflect the long-term impact of my teaching/mentoring as a dimension of my teaching effectiveness, and also that I think it’s likely that it will be an overall strength of my packet rather than a weakness (I just don’t think I’ve made any of our students mad enough that they’d be motivated to write and complain about what a horrible professor I am, and I know that I’ve had a significant positive impact on a number of our former students that isn’t reflected in my end-of-semester evaluations and would likely be reflected by these letters).  So, that’s the last big decision I need to make before I turn in my packet.

Overall, this is an exciting and busy time as I prepare for so many new things: a new semester, a new baby, and a new stage of my job.  It’s always easy to love life in August as a university professor, but I’m really feeling the gratitude this year for all of the wonderful things I have in my life.  My anxiety about the tenure process has been kept at a minimum both because I’m actually able to do something about it at this stage (e.g., work on my tenure statements) and because I have had the perspective of expecting a new baby and watching my friend land on her feet after her tenure denial last year — both of those have grounded me and reminded me that whatever the outcome of this case, I’m going to be fine, and in fact, much better than fine.  I’ve also had the wonderful distraction of preparing for the new baby.  My husband and I took most of last week off from work and had a lovely staycation — we did fun stuff with S that we don’t usually have time to do (like taking him on longer trips to the zoo and the aquarium and the beach), and we also kept him in daycare a few days so that we could get stuff done around the house (newborn and 0-3mo clothes are out of storage, washed, and folded, expired infant carseat has been replaced, and my baby to-do list has gotten longer since I finally had time to sit down and think about all the things we need to do).  The big-kid bed transition is officially a success, and I loved having the opportunity to spend more quality time together last week as a family of three — we have a really great family right now, and so much to look forward to.

Update: End of the second trimester

Well, here we are, past that oh-so-arbitrary point of “viability” (not that I’m eager to test it!).  I’m about 25.5 weeks now, and the time remaining feels both short and long.  If all goes well, living child #2 will be here before we know it, although when I think about everything I need to do between now and then it seems like a lot.

It’s been an eventful few weeks for our family: my husband’s parents visited for two weeks, in the middle of which I went to two conferences for a week.  Then, we transitioned S out of his crib and into a big-kid bed (so that we wouldn’t have to buy another crib), and this week he has his first case of croup.  Poor little munchkin’s life is all topsy-turvy.  But he’s recovering this weekend, and hopefully will be back to normal soon.  I missed him like crazy while I was away at the conferences, and I’m glad I won’t have to go on any more long (>1-night) trips before the new baby arrives.

I think that it’s pretty common to feel this way, but my husband and I are both feeling the bittersweet nature of the coming transition: eager to meet the new baby, but also worrying about having less time for S and disrupting what has been a really, really fun stage of his young little life.  Despite what everyone says about the terrible twos (and despite the occasional tantrum), we are still finding every age more fun than the last, and it’s hard to imagine giving up our wonderful little family of three — especially thinking about going back to the difficulties of the newborn days.  Even though it’s clearly what my husband and I both want, quite strongly, and even though we want our son to have a sibling.  One thing that made me feel better about this ambivalence was reading this article about how your first child fills your whole heart, and your second child makes you grow a new heart.  Kind of corny, but there are lots of corny things that speak to me during pregnancy and parenting.

The good news is that this pregnancy has definitely been easier than my pregnancy with S, anxiety-wise.  When I think back to my emotional state during that pregnancy, I think I must have scarred S for life somehow (presumably cortisol-mediated) — I was in a constant state of panic and worry.  This time around, even though three of my previous four pregnancies have ended poorly, I have at least one normal, healthy pregnancy under my belt, which makes me more relaxed.  Unlike my pregnancy with S, I now have a much better sense of what’s normal and what’s not — when I was pregnant with S, I only had the one train wreck of a pregnancy with my daughter to compare with, so everything that happened during that pregnancy, normal or not, was suspect.  This time, if it happened during my pregnancy with S, I figure it’s probably fine.  I definitely have my moments of worrying that making it this far in the pregnancy will mean that it’ll be all the harder if it all comes crashing down the way my first pregnancy did, as well as moments of remembering my daughter and wondering why she had to die, but overall I’m just much more even-keeled this time around than I ever was during my pregnancy with S.

And oh, is S ever a great distraction!  I feel like I should be writing down more of the adorable things he does.  Some of them are already gone — for example, he used to call our dog “Bubba” (her real name is Goldie), which was one of his first jokes, but now he just calls her Goldie.  I love his babyish pronunciations, like “Naka-WEEN” instead of “nectarine.”  He has such a great sense of humor, and is really into knock-knock jokes (his favorite is: Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Boo.  Boo who?  Don’t cry, it’s only a joke!).  He has picked up some adorable expressions like “No way, Jose!” and “Oh dear!” and one of his favorite words is “cockeyed” (courtesy of his grandpa).  He’s also been really into song mashups, and will often launch into epic renditions of “Rain, rain, go away, Old McDonald had an itsy-bitsy spider E-I-E-I-O!” and then laugh himself silly.

Anyway, he is a riot, and he’s also a total mama’s boy right now.  I feel a bit bad for my husband, who handles it really well despite clearly having to hide his frustration once in a while, but it’s definitely a double-edged sword being the preferred parent.  I get more of the “Mama, mama, mama!” and more of the “I wuv you mama” endearments, but I am also required to carry him around all the time, can’t take a shower some days without wailing outside the bathroom door, can’t drop him off at daycare without a meltdown most days, and often have a toddler on top of me half the night if he’s had a bad dream or just needs snuggles (like he did when he had croup this week).  My body is his happy place, clearly.  I have no complaints, and I am generally happy to savor the snuggles while they last (it already makes me teary imagining when he’s a teenager and wants nothing to do with me), but I do worry that it’s only going to make things more difficult when he has to start sharing me with his little brother.  Yesterday, out of the blue, he said “Baby sleep in S’s crib?” which we thought was very generous of him since he just transitioned to a big-kid bed last week and still clearly has mixed feelings about the situation.  Those were also the first words out of his mouth this morning, so it’s already on his mind.  I hope he doesn’t have too much trouble adjusting to his new sibling — my mama guilt is already pretty strong.

And that’s the rambling update on where we are right now.  There’s a lot to do in the next three months, from replacing our expired infant car seat to moving my husband’s home office and converting the room into the new nursery — we’re planning to tackle some of it during our week of August vacation, since I’d like to get as much done as possible before classes start in the fall.  There’s still the part of me that fears assuming that everything is going to turn out OK, but the practical part of me says that it’s better to get it all done while I’m still relatively mobile and not drowning in teaching, and also that we’ve been through the worst once and will deal with it if it happens again (although I really, really hope that it doesn’t).  So, onwards!  Even if it doesn’t seem possible, I can feel this baby kicking away inside me, getting ready to meet his new family.  It’ll be a whole new ball game come November.