Monday, June 29, 2009

Difficult conversation, difficult decisions

My husband and I had a conversation tonight about the guardianship of our children should something happen to us. It's a subject I hate to even ponder (especially with my raging hormones) because the very thought... I can't bear it. But I also know that we've been terribly remiss in not making sure we have things ironed out legally, so if the unthinkable did happen, the transition would be as smooth as it could be.

For a long time we assumed that our best friends would take our kids. In many ways, they are still a great option. We're all very close, our boys adore their two boys, adore them, they live literally right next door... Lots of reasons to choose them. But we both have to admit there are a few concerns making us question whether that would be the best place for our kids - particularly concerns about the wife, L. L is certainly one of my closest friends, but in a strange sort of "you're basically my sister, so I'm stuck with you rather than having chosen you" way. I love her dearly, but there are things about her that drive me crazy and things that make me wonder what kind of a mother figure she'd be to my kids. My husband and I are both worried that our kids would grow up feeling like a burden. I don't question whether the husband, A, loves my kids - I do question whether L does. Sometimes I catch something in her tone or in her eyes that makes me feel like she thinks my boys are, I don't know... annoying, maybe. I'm worried that, if I'm not imaginging it, my kids would pick up on it and never feel truly loved, truly at home.

I'm also concerned because L has never made any attempt to hide the fact that she does not want a girl. Part of the reason they stopped at two kids was because of her reluctance to chance having a girl. I'm sure that wasn't the only reason, and probably not even the most important. But she thinks little girls are all annoying drama queens. I also happen to believe that there's a big part of her that doesn't want the pressure of being the primary role model for a same-sex child. She likes the idea of having the option of sending the kids to daddy when questions get awkward as they grow up. Being a mom has been a great growing experience for her, especially because she stays home full time, but there's still a part of her that doesn't like being the one in charge, being the place where the buck stops. If she has boys, I think she feels that more of the responsibility for how they turn out can fall on her husband's shoulders; with a girl, she'd have to take more of that responsibility on herself and that scares her.

So here I am, about to have a girl (I think), and I have to ask - if something happened to us, is the best place for my daughter with a woman who doesn't want a daughter at all? I really don't know. Perhaps she'd let go of that piece of herself and embrace my daughter whole-heartedly. She's a good person; it isn't like she's a complete selfish bitch. But still, it's a worry.

Our other obvious option is my mom and stepdad, but it's telling that when we talk about it we only refer to my mom. My stepdad is a good guy, but he's not the best at being a father. He's an awesome grandpa, but it's a lot easier to be an awesome grandpa than an active father. I think if my mom had custody of them, she would do 99% of the parenting stuff; he'd be around a little for that, but not much. Our daughter certainly wouldn't have a strong father figure in her life, whereas with our friends she would. But there's no question in my mind that all our kids would be loved and taken care of well. There are things about that possibility that aren't ideal either (their age, the length of time its been since they had kids of their own at home, the amount of time they both have to travel for work, etc.). But I also think that if we were gone, and they had our kids, they'd do everything to make it work and always make the best interests of our kids their priority.

I also need to bring up to my husband the possiblity of my brother. I'm not sure we should discount him, although he's not the obvious choice. He's single, for one thing. He won't necessarily always be single, and certainly his choice of wife could change our decision. It would be a major adjustment for him to make, going from being on his own to raising three kids. It might be too much, really. But he loves them so much and he'd be a great father to his own kids (and I hope he'll get to be someday). I'm not sure, but the thought occurred to me that he might be an option, so I'll have to see how my husband feels about it.

The hardest part is knowing that there aren't any great scenarios. None of these options are US. No one else would ever do as good of a job raising our kids as we will, because no one are us. No one else would do things exactly the way we do, or would love them they way we do. I'm literally in tears as I write this, but I'm making myself finish because I know it's something we need to figure out, something we need to face in order to do right by our kids. Obviously my greatest hope is that these decisions never, ever matter. But it would be worse to leave our kids without a firm direction if we were gone, leave it to become a potential fight between the people who think they should have them. It needs to be clear cut and in writing so we don't have to worry about what would happen if we're not there to protect them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thirty-something weeks

Last Wednesday, I hit 30 weeks. Just 10 short weeks until my due date, and possibly a bit less until this little one actually makes her arrival. The boys were both born before their due dates, which leads me to believe she'll probably be about a week early. Like I've been telling people though, I've said that so many times she'll probably decide she needs to prove me wrong and come in September after all. Only time will tell on that one.

I alternate between feeling a lot of excitement and anticipation at her impending arrival, and a sense of fear at what it will be like to have a newborn to care for once again. My husband and I aren't crazy about the newborn phase. The constant care, the crying, the not sleeping... breasts hurting and what is probably an inevitable bout of mastitis... not sleeping... Newborns are amazingly wonderful in their smallness, sweetness and softness. They're so helpless and so compelling. And so much work. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried that caring for a newborn while simultaneously caring for my two boys (particularly G who is such a handful) is going to do me in. But at the same time, I'm growing more curious by the day as to what she'll look like, how big she'll be, what pieces of her personality will show. And, yes, waiting anxiously for that ultimate confirmation that I am truly having a daughter and the small, but growing pile of pink and lavendar clothes won't all need to be returned to the store.

I'm doing my best to enjoy the last couple months of what should be my last pregnancy. I'm uncomfortable a lot - I don't remember my pelvis aching so much before. But in spite of that, there are so many amazing things about being pregnant. Feeling the baby move is absolutely one of the most incredible sensations - and this little one gives me plenty of opportunities to enjoy it. She's so active, there are times that I am amazed by her strength. And I often find myself wondering what her belly-antics mean about who she is.

I am, however, more than at peace with this being my last foray into motherhood. I have so many feelings swirling around - happy that this experience is nearing the end, nervous about the next chapter, nostalgic for the enjoyable parts of pregnancy knowing this is the last time, and above all, so grateful and amazed at how blessed we are.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Writing again

In my spare time (ha ha, right?), I am attempting to write a book. I started it years ago, before I was pg with my first son. Back when I started, I had all these grandiose ideas of how it would go down. I'd get so caught up in writing, I'd be up late at night and struggle through the workday the following day. I even started trying to convince my husband that if we weren't pregnant by the end of the year (this was early 2004), then I would either take a leave of absence or quit my job so I could write full time for a while.

Then I got pregnant and my writing came to a grinding halt. My fiction writing, that is. For a while I had started to fear I wasn't actually getting anywhere, writing scenes that excited my imagination, but not much to link them together. Parts of it flowed well, but I had so many ideas and so many things I wanted to have happen, and much of it came to be with thoughts of "wouldn't it be cool if..." and I'd write the chapter. And then my pregnancy seemed to suck me dry of any creative energy I had. I'd sit at my computer and get nowhere. It was like I'd run out of gas.

At first, I didn't worry too much about it because I figured after I had the baby, I'd get my brain back and start up again. That was well over five years ago and save for the last several weeks, I quite literally hadn't even opened most of my files.

Something woke up in me recently, and I find it a little ironic that I happen to be pregnant again. I blamed my lack of focus and creativity on my first pregnancy, then later on my lack of time. But somehow I'm back to thinking about this story, daydreaming about the characters, and finding little bits of time to squeeze in writing. I'm not sure what has changed, but I'm happy about it. I'd made such a big deal about my grand ambitions to be a novelist, I've spent the last five years feeling a little bit like a failure. Not that I didn't think I could, and would, pick it up again. But I'd been feeling like "someday" was taking a lot longer to reach than I'd originally thought.

And with that, I'm going to go park myself on the couch and instead of mindlessly flipping channels, I'm going to do some writing. That, and covet a new, lightweight laptop...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Feeling better

Thankfully, yesterday was a low. I feel a lot better today. I went to the gym, had to stop by the hubby's office, came home for lunch and a non-nap for Grayson (darnit), went to Target in the afternoon AND made dinner which kept me on my feet for quite a while - and I'm ok. I'm tired, for sure, but not exhausted and my back feels a bit tired, but not horribly achey. Thank goodness! Yesterday I was beginning to feel like I was going to be begging to get this baby out by late August. Today I'm feeling more like myself and more like I'll be able to get through the next 12-give-or-take weeks.

In other, slightly crappier, news, I have to take the 3-hour GTT tomorrow. Apparently my blood glucose level was "slightly elevated", as the nurse put it, when I took the 1-hour test, so I have to go in for the 3-hour. I am very much NOT looking forward to that experience, given that the glucose stuff makes me feel sick until I can eat something else, and this is going to be not a one hour ordeal, but a three. Lovely. I wish I would have thought to check my blood sugar a few times this week to see what seems to be going on, but I kept forgetting. In any case, my hope is that I can make it the whole three hours without needing to lie down, but we'll see how that goes. If only they'd let me leave the doctor's office in between, but they don't, so I get to sit in a waiting room for three hours. Fun, fun. I'm just hoping I pass this one and am not developing GD.

But I'm not going to worry too much about that tonight. For now, I once again feel like I'm going to survive this pregnancy without turning into a total shrew.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can I have some cheese...

...with my whine?

I feel fat. Not just pregnant, I feel FAT. I go to my workout class and I feel like a giant whale trying to move on land. I think the baby is making up for the fact that my fundal height was a little on the low side at my last appointment and growing exponentially the last few days. I'm in a constant state of discomfort, between my belly feeling so stretched and my back aching. And I feel like I'm hitting the point where I'm packing on FAT, not just weight, and I'm going to blow up like a freaking balloon.

And I still have 12 weeks (give or take) to go. Ugh.