Friday, February 29, 2008

It's a...


Even though I said I didn't have a strong prediction about the gender, my gut feeling was boy.

Surprisingly, I am not terribly disappointed that I will never have a daughter. Maybe some day, I will grieve the loss of that dream. Or maybe S will surprise me someday and agree to adopt a little girl. (We had talked about this possibility long ago, but he claims not to remember discussing it.)

KB gets a baby brother. I think this is what he wanted all along, even though he kept saying he wanted a brother and a sister.

We have to buy almost nothing, since I've hung onto all of KB's clothes and toys.

The only thing we don't have is a name. And there's plenty of time to agree on that.

Another boy. Another very active little boy. Gulp.

The big ultrasound is today

I have not blogged about the big ultrasound coming up today. I'm still feeling strangely detached from this pregnancy. Much of the time, I honestly do not even remember that I am pregnant.

The baby kicks quite a bit at night, so when I am going to sleep, I remember, and I smile, and I enjoy the feelings.

But during the day, I am generally so occupied by work, chores, and KB, that I don't think about it.

I feel bad that this baby is already getting the short end of the stick.

Anyway, any guesses about gender? I don't have strong feelings one way or the other. I have had only one baby dream during this pregnancy, and that was very early on (when we still thought we were having twins, although strangely, there was only one baby in my dream).

My heart used to be set on having one boy and one girl. Now, I am not so sure. I would be sad to never have a daughter. But having two boys who grow up to be buddies would be fantastic.

Will update as soon as I can after our 3:00 appointment. Will probably take KB to The Jungle and then out to eat afterwards, so update will be later in the evening, unless I can do something quickly from my phone.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Crappy mom, redux

Just yesterday, I got up and thought, Yes, my son gets up at 6 a.m., but how can I resist him as we're lying in bed, when he puts a hand on each of my cheeks and says "I love you, Mommy?"

Somehow, 5:20 a.m. felt a lot earlier this morning. KB woke up and started crying, then caught himself and started calling "Mommy! Mommy!" (I have been trying to convince him that calling me is nicer than crying, and I will still hear him over the monitor.)

I went into his room, picked him up from the crib, and told him through clenched teeth, "It's the middle of the NIGHT." Brought him into my bed and told him to close his eyes and sleep for a while longer.

No dice. He was having none of it. Unfortunately, by 6 a.m., it is obviously light outside. He sat up in bed and cheerfully announced, "I ready to get up now!"

Holy shit. I...lost it. I got out of bed and started yelling at him. For waking up early.

He burst into tears at my yelling and I instantly felt like the shittiest mom in the world. I hugged him and said "I'm sorry" over and over.

And then it made me feel even shittier when he replied, in his little voice, "I'm sorry for waking up early, Mommy."

Could I be a shittier parent?

Monday, February 25, 2008

So lonely (with a side of guilt)

I know, saying I'm lonely is a strange thing to admit when I just finished expressing relief at not having to host people for the weekend.

To me, though, there is a big difference between wanting to be with peers who understand what I'm going through and having to host people who have no clue.

Quite honestly, this is the worst I have ever felt during one of S's business trips. The couple that he made before KB was born were AWESOME. I could do whatever I wanted; watch TV or not; read without being disturbed, go to bed whenever I wanted, etc.

Now, of course, KB comes first and taking care of him is my top (sometimes only) priority. It is lonely and exhausting being 100% responsible for another creature, especially one with the whims and fickle nature of a 2.5 year old.

I have been feeling very guilty since S left -- guilty for being sick, guilty for not making more of an effort to take KB out (despite being sick and despite the never-ending rain), guilty for letting KB watch too many Pixar movies, guilty for not coming up with enriching activities for him on a daily basis.

This morning, when I dropped him off at day care (after we spent the last 3 days together), I felt guilty again.

I always thought I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. And for a while, I did. KB stayed home with me for 7.5 months. But then I felt guilty about not going back to work after maternity leave, so I went back for a few months. Then I quit that job for good, stayed home with KB for several more months, and eventually took a part-time contracting gig because it turned out we needed the extra income.

But I feel like the crappiest mother. I feel like I'm choosing to work over choosing to stay home with KB. And the worst part is, I don't even particularly love my job. It isn't something I look forward to when I wake up in the morning. But unless we move someplace with a more reasonable cost of living, I think we need whatever money I bring in.

Ugh. I'm rambling and not making sense. I just wish I could stop feeling so guilty about just about every aspect of my life. I don't know how to turn off that part of my brain.

The great escape

Ah, somehow I managed to get through the ENTIRE weekend without any "help", company or houseguests!! And my stress level is back to normal -- whatever 'normal' is when I'm a pregnant, sick, single parent to a very active preschooler.

Saturday after I posted my rant, I sent V a text message and said that KB and I were still getting over being sick, and maybe we could try getting together on Sunday. She called me back when she got up (almost 9 am -- oh, the decadence!!) and said that S had been quite insistent that she come over and "take care of us." I scoffed and said that if S had really been worried about us, he wouldn't have left us when we were sick.

I don't think she really wanted to come down, because she didn't protest very convincingly when I said we were fine and would be OK on our own.

I told her I'd try to call that night or Sunday morning and we'd see how things were. She said they'd be happy to come down and bring us some soup or something.

Saturday night, I just went to bed after I put KB to bed. I really cannot seem to sleep/rest enough to kick this cold.

Sunday morning, we got up and both of us were pretty stir crazy after spending so much time at home. So I got us both ready and we went down the street to the light rail station. KB loves riding the train. We went to the Children's Discovery Museum and spent a good couple of hours there.

The place was a madhouse. Way too many people. Note to self: take KB during the week instead. But at least he got to run around a lot. He didn't spend much time on any one activity, but he seemed to have a good time.

We got home around 2 and I got him to sleep around 2:30. I, on the other hand, was completely wired and couldn't sleep.

Noticed that I had a missed call and a voice mail from V around 1:15. I still haven't checked the voice mail.

I know, it's completely bitchy and passive-aggressive of me. But I just was not in any kind of mood to have houseguests this weekend. Cooking for them, cleaning up after them, making sure the coffeepot was ready to go (it never gets used unless we have guests sleeping over), washing sheets and towels, trying to keep them entertained when KB was sleeping (when I really needed & wanted to sleep myself), etc. Not my idea of a "helpful" weekend.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Major dread

KB and I are about halfway through our time without S. So far, it is going pretty well, despite the fact that I still feel like death warmed over. It has been raining a lot, so I haven't felt compelled to try to get KB outside. We've been spending a lot of time indoors, playing, watching movies, and just hanging out.

When S was planning this trip, he had the bright idea of asking his cousin V to stay with KB and me during the full weekend he was gone. This sounded like an ok idea to me for about 2 seconds, until I really started thinking about what it would mean. Then I told him to not even bother asking her, because KB and I would be fine.

Too late. Not only had he already mentioned the plan to her, she had enthusiastically agreed. This was weeks ago, so I was hoping she had already forgotten about it.

Fast forward to just before S's trip. I casually mentioned, "If V hasn't said anything about staying with us for the weekend, don't remind her." Too late again. She had called about something else and she herself had remembered. Ugh.

Now, on the surface, this seems like a nice gesture, right? Someone to come over and "help" me take care of my child -- someone to give me a break from the unrelenting demands of my 2.5 year old? And perhaps I seem like an ungrateful bitch for not wanting it.

The problem is, I don't think it is going to be much "help" to me. What I struggle with the most during these solo parenting gigs are KB's night wakings and early-morning risings. No one who stays with us is going to help with those aspects.

If V were to come by herself for the weekend, that would be one thing. But she insists on bringing her live-in boyfriend, whom I've met a handful of times and whom I don't really care for in the slightest. He will be of absolutely no help with KB. He will sit on the couch and watch TV or flip through magazines the entire time.

The fact that both of them will come makes the weekend, from my perspective, much less about "help" and more about hosting houseguests. And that just adds more work, and more stress, to my plate.

The house is a wreck, the sink is full of dishes, and there are a minimum of groceries in the house. And I just don't feel like cleaning up frantically to host guests for the weekend.

V called last night at 9:00 to say they were planning to come down this morning. I was already in bed and didn't get the message until KB and I got up today. I seriously have knots in my stomach just dreading their arrival.

I desperately want to tell her not to come, but my god, the absolute shitstorm that would cause throughout the family. This particular branch of the family is so very sensitive to any perceived slight. I have in turn pissed off this cousin, her brother, and both her parents in the last few years, just by being honest about my feelings.

Ugh, I just want to spend the weekend with KB, continuing our low-key routine. I don't want to add houseguests to the mix.

Maybe they will surprise me. Maybe having them here will actually feel like help.

But I'm not holding my breath. I just have to suck it up and put on my fake smile for the weekend, all for the sake of family harmony.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Halfway point

I am 20 weeks today.

It's a bittersweet milestone because I know that, in all likelihood, this is the last time I'll be halfway through a pregnancy.

Barring some huge change of heart on S's part, our family will be complete after #2 arrives.

I have more to say, but I'm too tired to come up with the words right now.

I will say that I wish I could enjoy this pregnancy more. A huge part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hope this changes once we have our big ultrasound next Friday.

Have been feeling the baby kick since Feb. 12. Makes me smile every time. Don't know why these kicks don't reassure me more. Am I really doomed to be an eternal pessimist?


Running on about 4 hours of sleep.

KB was up every hour between 11:30 and 2:30. The first few times, he just needed to be covered with his blanket and patted back to sleep. I finally fell asleep for the first time after his 1:30 waking.

At 2:30, he woke up crying "Daddy! Daddy!" When I went into his room, he was standing up in his crib. Brought him into bed with me and we both slept soundly until he woke up for the morning at 6:40.

So painful.

The crappy sleep with no ability to recover is, for me, the absolute worst part of these "single parent" weeks. My patience is woefully thin when I've had so little sleep.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

5 years

5 years ago today, I had my first miscarriage. It's hard to believe it's been that long. I had to really stop and think -- yes, 2003, 5 years ago.

The last couple of years, the anniversary has passed unnoticed. For some reason, yesterday it struck me that it was just after President's Day weekend that I miscarried.

While I'll always remember the joyful innocence of that pregnancy (how naive we were, telling our parents and siblings pretty much the minute we saw a positive pregnancy test!), as time passes, I do not mourn the loss as I used to.

If that pregnancy had been successful, my due date would have been around October 1, 2003. KB was conceived in October, 2004. KB would not be here if not for that first loss (or the second, for that matter).

I know it is trite to say it, but I honestly cannot imagine my life without him. I cannot remember day-to-day life before he was here.

So, I remember our first pregnancy with some sadness, but honestly, it is tempered by the overwhelming joy of having KB in our lives.

Monday, February 18, 2008


And now there's diarrhea.

KB, not me. Yet.


When it rains, it pours

We returned from a week in Arkansas last Saturday (9th?). KB had a blast playing with his cousins all week. He is especially enamored of my younger nephew, BK, who is 6.

Got a phone call from my mom on Monday saying she was returning from the pediatrician's office. Both boys were diagnosed with the flu. Great.

Took KB to the pediatrician on Tuesday for a "JIC" consult. I didn't get any of us the flu shot this year. I highly doubt that getting the shot on Tuesday would have helped given the recent exposure. Moot point anyway as KB had a fever of 100.5 when we were in the office.

Early Wednesday, 1:15ish, KB woke up burning with fever. 102.8. S stayed home with him while I went to work.

Thursday we switched. Friday S stayed home with us because I had started getting sick too.

I really don't know what KB has -- mostly his symptoms are fever, runny nose, croupy cough (which has improved greatly since Wednesday) and some vomiting. His appetite is pretty non-existent. One of the few things he is enthusiastic about is popsicles. He would be happy to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I would let him.

S was supposed to leave for Manila on Saturday night, but I asked him to consider postponing his trip since both KB and I were sick. He postponed it until today; we dropped him off at SFO a little before 10 this morning. He will be back next Thursday.

I am highly annoyed. I had told him after the last trip that I wanted it to be the last one. These trips are very much under his control. Except for the very first one he made, back in October, 2004, I don't believe anyone has asked him to go back. He always volunteers.

He has left us when I was sick before -- one time I especially remember was KB's first Thanksgiving in 2005. We were at my parents' house in Arkansas and S left directly from there to go to Manila. I guess he figured since I was with my folks, they could help out with KB while I was sick. And they did; my dad was awesome about keeping KB in the mornings so I could get some much-needed rest.

But now, here, we are on our own. My strategy is to sleep as much as possible (i.e. , whenever KB sleeps) and do my best to muddle through.

Oh, and one more item to add to the mix: my dad was admitted to the ICU back home on Saturday morning. He's been having chest pains and a lot of general malaise lately, so Mom finally forced him to see a doctor last week. He was diagnosed with pneumonia as well as some heart weirdness (his heart rate was 167 bpm at the doctor's office!!)

On Saturday, after 3 days of antibiotics, Dad was still feeling pretty rotten, so Mom took him to the ER. After an EKG, he was immediately admitted to the ICU for IV antibiotics. He has some inflammation and fluid around his heart. The doctors are still trying to figure out exactly what is going on.

Dad's not eating and he's throwing up quite a bit (probably from all his meds on an empty stomach) and according to my mom, he is a very crotchety patient.

Still waiting to hear today's update from my mom.

Needless to say, the stress level around here is pretty high.