Thursday Baby Update: Planning life around labor

Vegan Goodness:
Today we ate:

  • Breakfast: Rice Crispies and blueberries for mom, and smoothies and cereal for LP and dad.
  • Lots of snacks for mom during our end-of-the year potluck.  I enjoyed a plate of fruit, kettle potato chips and chocolate-oat-peanut butter cookies – a mini vegan feast!
  • Lunch: Leftover chard and caramelized onion pizza for LP and dad, and leftover chickpea and sundried tomato salad for mom.
  • Post-nap snack of crackers for LP, followed by some strawberries and raspberries he picked out at our local farmer’s market.
  • Dinner: Moroccan Chickpeas and Couscous (from Vegan on the Cheap) with salad, followed by a celebratory slice of When Pigs Fly chocolate bread with to our good friend Sarah!

Money Matters:
During the month of June we have a bigger budget than we will in July.  This is partially because I am still working, and there are costs that come with that (transportation, classroom materials, meeting co-workers for weekly Friday breakfast, etc.)  So, rather than be completely limited by our “Year of Family” budget, we are simply trying to be more aware of our spending this month, and trying to cut down on “extras.”

Today we spent the following:

  • $11.00 at the Medford Farmer’s Market.  We got some strawberries and raspberries (LP demanded raspberries!) and a cucumber for future salads.  We also got some amazing artichoke tea.  It is caffeine free, but super refreshing as iced tea!
  • $22.49 at Whole Foods with our groceries we need to make our meals for the week. We saved 2.75 in coupons – yay!

Thursday Baby Update:

This week I endured the following comments:

  • “You look ready to pop!”
  • “You definitely dropped”
  • “It’ll be any day now!”

All of these comments are meant kindly, and I don’t take any offense at them.  And, frankly, they are true to a certain extent.  My baby belly is protruding quite a bit these days, and the clothes I wore today (T-shirt and shorts) did nothing to shelter people from the fact that there is a small human being growing inside of me.  But these comments did bother me because they reminded me that I’m not really ready to go have a baby yet – I still have some things to do!  There are the basics – I need to pack my hospital bag, work with the G-man to narrow our name list, and get LP used to sleeping in a big-boy bed.  I also am attending a professional development session next week that I am really looking forward to!  I keep telling this baby to hang in there until at least the 29th (I’m due the 4th of July) but, truthfully, if it wants to hang on longer, that is fine by me.

I think some of this desire to put off labor and delivery stem from the fact that I’ve been so focused on the end of the school year I actually mentally put aside my due date.  I also think some of these feelings stem from my previous pregnancy experience.  LP was two weeks late, and I had to go to the hospital to be induced (kind of . . . it’s a long story).  With LP I had planned everything around my due date.  My sister came up to stay with us, I had set up my classroom and long-term sub with my due date in mind, and I had prepped everything so that someone else could lead a PD session for me on the Friday after I was due.  All of that turned out to be for naught.  After all this planning and preparation my sister and I spent a week (which was often pretty enjoyable) eating takeout, watching tv, and occasionally asking the baby to “come on out and see us!”  In the end I gave birth a week after my sister left in a very different way that I anticipated, although in retrospect it was a fantastic birth experience, and one I would be happy to have again.

But that whole experience of waiting really made me realize a reality about birth, that has continued to apply to parenting in general.  I am not really in charge of my life and my schedule but I still have to function like I am.  I know that sounds strange – bear with me here.  Basically, the first time around I wished I hadn’t put my life on hold based on my due date since it took a bit longer for LP to make his appearance.  However, I couldn’t pretend that I would be able to do whatever I wanted on or beyond my due date.  I had to be ready to go to the hospital at a moment’s notice!  The same goes with being LP’s parent, although the burden on me and my schedule is greatly alleviated thanks to the G-man being home.  I need to be available for LP and the G-man if they need me, even if I had planned to meet with co-workers, do some grading, or even if I simply planned to come home and rest, and instead come home to a sick dad and a hyper child (as happened last night).  I still have my schedule and plans, and I still need those schedules and plans, but I have to be ready to drop them instantly if the need arises.  This last part has been the hardest for me to adapt to, starting from that very first week or so when LP was taking his sweet time coming into the world.

So, as I wait for baby #2 I will keep my plans and schedule (which, again, is only possible because the G-man is so amazing).  I am planning to go to my professional development session next week, but if the baby decides that Tuesday morning is a good day to appear in the world, that will be fine too.  I’m not putting my life on hold, but I also don’t expect this baby to adhere to my personal schedule any more than LP did (or does).  And maybe someday I will truly embrace this ambiguity instead of simply trying to deal with it one day at a time.

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