After one of the roughest and exhausting nights in my nursing history when Wolf nursed almost every hour on my completely sore and exhausted nipples (and howling as if the world was ending if he didn’t receive any – “I really really want NAN!”), Wolf cheered me with a lovely conversation about me not going back to work.
His Dad asked him, “How about Mom goes back to work and then we have more money to buy you more toys?”
He looked at me and said, “No, I want Mom to look after me. I have enough toys. See,” gesturing to his stuffed animals on the cot. “I have so many friends.”
Then he hugged me. :`)
The whole of this last month, almost as if he suspects his throne will be usurped, Wolf has been nursing feverishly every night and every morning almost like a newborn. It has been undoubtedly exhausting and excruciating and I get up every day parched and absolutely beat.
I try to encourage him to stop, hugging and praising him when he unlatches, and I find that the times I am calm, he will be too, but the times I am angry and frustrated, he will pick up on my mood and cry for milk more. Still it is hard to be calm every morning when one is sore, in pain, having Braxton-Hicks, and the sorts.
As mothers we do the best we can with the knowledge we have, and I remind myself constantly that to a child, it is almost akin to us wives having to accept a second wife. It is that painful and traumatising. So I must be patient.
Well, it is almost that time now. 4 days more to the due date. Braxton-Hicks are frequent (although strangely enough none today) and I can almost feel my ligaments shift to prepare for the birth. I worry most that Wolf will cry for me at night when I am at the hospital, not so much the pain or discomforts of childbirth, and I hope that I have prepared him enough for the changes to come.
Recently I’ve been too beat to get up – that 38 week exhaustion – but Wolf, now almost 3 and wired like an Energizer bunny, loves to play. Here’s how I’ve been coping, all achieved lying down:
1. Read to toddler in bed
Cuddle together with a bunch of books he picked and read to him while he lies under your arm.
2. Play hide and seek
Round up his stuffed friends and man one of them. Stuffed friend hides in the blankets, pillows, anywhere easy to find, within your arm’s reach, while he seeks. Then they can take turns.
3. Play the Zoo game
Round up his stuffed friends again and discuss with him which ones can pretend to be zoo animals, the rest can be visitors. Make the requisite ooh sounds when the visitors see the zoo animals. Zoo animals can show off by swimming or prancing.
4. Play educational games on iTouch
There are a ton of great educational games on the iTunes app store for a steal. Some he can play by himself, others like Hidden Everest, he can play with you. You could doze or enjoy a fun treasure hunt or cheer him on as he wins in a game.
I just read in one of my pregnancy books that around the 35th week (and that’s when it began) the hormones will turn expectant mothers into aliens. Yes, this post is proof of that. Unnecessary worrying, strange cravings (for sugary food – yuck!), preoccupation with unnecessary things (finishing the courtyard! and maybe sewing some stuffed animals), excessive purchasing of baby things. Heck, I even started Wolf on cloth diapers (bumGenius – not bad at all but for the PUL), and have ordered some wool diapers after I read that PUL could be an endocrine disruptor. Dang.
Meanwhile I am still figuring out this cloth diapering thing. Prefolds, doublers… heck, I just bought an all-in-one. Then I found out that they take a while to dry if I don’t wring them out properly and air every bit of it. They’re expensive too. $30 a pop (or poop) and we’ll need a lot when the little one is born. Currently Wolf just uses it once a day and we change it whenever he is wet during this feeble attempt to toilet train. I haven’t had to wash out poop yet so maybe that’s why I am still chipper about the whole thing.
Even bought the Seventh Generation size 3 diapers which looked so small and thin I haven’t dared to put them on Wolf yet. They are supposed to fit a child of weight up to 13kg but they look small enough to fit only Kaku! I better try them soon though. Wolf’s growing like a weed. Or maybe I can save them for the baby. Hmm…
The courtyard project is almost complete. The glass roof is leaking in 2 places so that’s gonna be fixed soon – clothes can’t hang there yet but I have populated the place with some sun-loving plants, including a sweet basil that freshens up the place a bit. I’ve given up on Boston Ferns which have all but died on me. Ivies too. They hate the heat. Only 2 survive and I am giving them as much TLC as I can before I pop.
Ornery after 8 months of changing cat poo, DH banished Boy to the back with the other cats after he peed and pooed indiscriminately outside his pan after the workmen traipsed all over the area. Surprisingly he’s doing quite well and only Tux seems upset about this new arrangement (maybe cos he is now half Boy’s size and the change in hierarchy since Sam and he broke off and Sam grew bigger than he has affected him somehow). Boy nabbed a nice spot on a chair with a soft towel and seems happy there. I do miss petting him in the kitchen.
Wolf has been clingier than normal, especially at night. And that has been so hard cos it hurts ever more now to nurse. Thankfully it is mostly the first minute then the pain abates. There’s still tons of milk, although it looks more like water to me. Wolf swears it tastes the same. “Nan is the sweetest”, he chirps. And then sings me a song he made up about the joys of nan nan. How can I not give him any?
Back to the feeling alien thing. I think it is the girl hormones. There’s been weeping. Lots. Especially during sad Buffy moments. When Angel left. When Joyce died. All very sad. Even when Riley left! The only other time I cried during a movie or TV show was when the guy Lou Diamond Philips played died in La Bamba. Anyway. Hope I’ll feel more myself after baby is born. And that the labour is short, painless, and safe…
It’s been an interesting pregnancy to say the least. And I have not been myself. Much.
Hang upside down and I still upchuck my food, I cry at a drop of a hat, and I wilt under the hot sun. I worry unnecessarily, eat too much junk, and can’t walk round the zoo anymore. Very not me.
Still, my dear friends and family take me and Wolf out and cheer me much. Today my sweet friend Carol buoyed me with a lovely story of how she rescued a turtle from being cooked in a Hong Kong restaurant.
I feel distinctly hippo-like although I have been told I look “compact” (by strangers largely). Friends and family have told me I look much bigger. I’ve gained 16kg and as of 33 weeks, my baby girl is 2.1kg. A good weight, the doctor says. She’s growing well.
After a meal I feel like throwing up. Yes, even in the third trimester. My back hurts constantly. My pelvis feels like an elephant is sitting on it. I move like one too. And that awful insomnia is back. Doesn’t help that Wolf senses baby is coming and has been waking up more often at night for milk.
The thought of an epidural frightens me some still. I’d be lying if I wasn’t feeling a little eww about THAT CUT again. The prospect of a potential C-section is terrifying. The indignity of the enema is well, undignified. Thing about labour is no one can predict what it will be.
Still, I’m looking forward to the birth in 6 weeks (plus, minus). Of meeting this little girl who has been growing inside me and hoping real hard all the stress from the whole pregnancy won’t have affected her, nor the potential poisons – pollution, smoke, pesticides, etc – I have unintentionally exposed her to.
I hope she’ll have the resilience of my mother, the memory (literally – he has a memory like a computer) and reliability of my father, the different smarts of her parents, her Daddy’s charm and steadfastness, my nose, and my mother’s eyes. She has the prettiest eyes in my whole family.
And Wolf? He’s growing like a weed. 1m tall already. A genius with the iTouch. He spies the new games I download for him in a flash. Last night he discovered a yoga app I downloaded for myself and proceeded to copy its moves. His Dad and I had a ball of a time watching and instructing him. He continued his yoga practice this morning. :p
He’s sweet, smart, funny, and a sheer delight to be with. He’s the reason why I decided to have a second. Ready for his sister (somewhat), he is prepared to share only one boob with her and has agreed to allow her to sit on his lap while nursing.
It is going to be an interesting 6 weeks to come.
And I have to start doing it soon because although it is in May, I’ll be delivering his sister end April, if she decides to be on schedule. Which means I’ll need to plan his 3rd birthday before I deliver or it probably won’t happen because I’ll be too exhausted to organise anything in the 3 weeks after birth.
My lazy plan is to order a party set from an online birthday supplier like Birthday Express. They provide birthday party supplies, basically everything from invites to napkins to balloons to party favours (saves me the hassle of buying and packing those little things) to even thank-you cards (really for the parents!). And they promise on-time delivery. I like that.
Wolf loves the party favours we’ve brought home so far and although his little sister’s 1st month will be a week or two after his birthday, I think I should keep both parties separate just so they both feel special. Well, Wolf really. He’s at the age where he knows what parties are and knows to enjoy them.
He’s been singing Happy Birthday to Wolf since his grandma’s birthday last year so I think he’s ready for his very own party. A small one with less than 10 friends, a cat cake (cos he loves cats), party favours for sure, and all his loved ones around.
Since I’m ordering one party pack, I might as well order one for his baby sister’s first month too. Planning two parties so close together must have its benefits! I don’t think I have the energy to do it all myself, like I normally do. Meanwhile I’m getting more fat and unwieldy. Sigh…
I was really sad to read that stress during pregnancy can affect one’s baby, as evidenced here, here, here, here, and here.
I’ve been through an immense amount (to my reckoning) of unneeded stress through the tail end of my first trimester till today with virtually no support from anyone. Hence I worry about my baby girl’s brain development. Trying to stay positive has been an uphill battle.
Advice from the first article: people needed to develop greater sensitivity to pregnant women’s needs.
Yet most people are insensitive to pregnant women’s needs, simply judging from a poll taken among friends. Worse if you’re having your second. I’ve been accused of being a bad mother, lazy, negligent, emotional, overreactive… the list goes on.
It doesn’t feel like there’s any solution.
The little one showed without a doubt today that she is a girl. The sonographer declared it so, very emphatically, showing us (grandma, Wolf, and I) the folds of the labia. I never knew babies had such pronounced ones!
She’s doing well, very active, and moving around a lot.
Now all I have to do is take good care of us and choose her a nice name.
Allegedly normal, I have been having heart palpitations daily since some 5 days ago following an extended period of stress and the addition of new potential stress.
Still, it is alarming to experience it and it has caused me some sleepless hours at night because of it. And yeah, anxiety worsens it. Let’s see if it goes away after I give birth. Meanwhile I feel like a squashed cabbage. Sigh.
As those who know me know, I can be stubborn as a mule. There were violent protests when I told everyone I’d be nursing Wolf even during pregnancy but the toughest part was not the critics but the soreness of my nipples.
A yelp-worthy pain, for the first 10 seconds or so, and then it is okay. But with toddler teeth, especially with a half-asleep baby, it can turn into scream-worthy agony when he bites down unintentionally, like he did tonight. I begged him to let go and in his sleep, he did! Nipple is still stinging though.
At 2.5 years, Wolf is not quite yet prepared to wean. He does release the nipple most times and says, “enough” and rolls over to sleep by himself, so maybe he is partway to self-weaning (the most ideal way). It must have been his 5 day bout of the flu that kickstarted his back-to-back nursing again.
There’s really no solution to it but deep breathing, grinning, and baring it. I’ve been doing that since I got pregnant and the soreness is not abating. In fact some articles say it might get worse in the 2nd trimester! Still I’m not giving up, but I am going to try some gentle negotiation during the day and try to be more positive about it myself. (Bought an iTouch with hubby’s blessing to distract during long and painful nursing sessions.)
I’ve been lurking at the KellyMom boards and found some really helpful advice as well as a link to a great article at the LLL about Love, Limits, and Tandem Nursing. Just had to share it.
On a separate note, I just realised that aside from IncomeShield, I have no other health insurance since my corporate one lapsed when I left my last job. Here, maternity insurance is real hefty, so I think I’ll take my chances with the good and competent staff of our government hospitals.