Tuesday, June 5, 2012

36 Weeks Update

I'm still pregnant.  The Deuce is still alive.  Appears to be rapidly running out of room, judging by the simultaneously punching of my pubic bone and kicking of my ribs, but hey, at least we're head down!

I'm not sleeping very well.  (Not a complaint; just a fact.)  I wake up around 3am to pee and even if the Deuce is squirming around reassuringly, I have a hard time getting back to sleep.  I can't turn off my brain.  Sometimes I have to get my phone and do a kick count.  Other times I just get out of bed and go watch TV in the living room.  I can usually fall back asleep around 5am and get in a couple more hours before I'm up for the day.  Maybe my body is just practicing for being up and down with a newborn?  I hope so.


We took a big leap on Sunday and brought in some of Eliza's things that had been packed away.  After she died, we dismantled her entire nursery and packed away all baby things--I didn't want to see a single one of them.  It was also a practical move, since we have a two bedroom house and the nursery was quickly converted back to a guest room for my parents to spend some time with us over Christmas.  The guest room remains a guest room for the time being.  I will not set up a nursery until there is a baby to put in it.  But I decided that it made sense to go through at least some of the baby things that were all in storage bins.  We had labeled and organized them at the time, but nothing had been washed and so many things were still in packages with tags on them.  Part of me wanted to wait until the Deuce was born, but I don't want our first days home with the Deuce to be focused on sorting and unpacking baby things.  So I decided to buck up and go through the bins now.

I knew it would be hard, but it was even harder than I thought it would be.  To see all of those little things that belonged to her...  that we had purchased just for her...  that I had chosen so carefully...  I had been so happy, digging through consignment shops, counting the months to guess what size for what season so that I could buy ahead when things were on sale.  It brought back the memories of being so confident that she would come home with us, and what felt like a new shock of realizing that she would never, ever use these things.  Even though I think about her all the time, in a strange way it made her feel so real, to touch all of these tangible, material items that were hers.  Her little ducky socks, still in the gift box.  Her little Cardinals onesies.  I only got out the bin of unisex clothes, which were all smaller sizes, mostly all yellow sleep sacks and onesies with ducks on them, bought for our "Baby Duck" before we knew her gender (so confident that 15 weeks pregnant = baby to bring home!).  I was caught off guard in the cloth-diaper-and-wipes-bin by how many pink cloth diapers we had (I thought I'd mostly bought unisex colors but obviously had gotten excited about girl-baby pink).  And there was the softest little green blanket--the kind of baby blanket that David had when he was little and called his "hane," and we had laughed about how this one would be Baby Duck's hane.  So then I hugged Eliza's "hane" and ugly cried all over everything and ended up walking away and leaving the bins sitting in our dining room all day Sunday and most of Monday.

Yesterday evening, I took a deep breath and did some sorting.  I'm not dragging out cloth diapers yet (we plan to use disposables for the first few days).  I'm not washing crib sheets yet (because we're not setting up a crib--just a pack 'n play sleeper in our bedroom).  I'm not unpacking baby books, picture frames, nursery decorations, or toys (except for a couple of rattles and a soft duckie).

I gathered my natural childbirth books and threw them away (actually, I think David put them in the donation pile--I just told him I didn't want to ever see them again).  It's not that those books were wrong, or that I wouldn't prefer to have a med-free natural birth again (with a different outcome, obviously).  It's just that those books represent such a naive and smug moment in my life.  A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.  Makes me want to vomit.  This "thinking woman" never once thought her baby might die.

I threw away our workbook and folder from our childbirth class.  It felt good to toss that in the dumpster, as I still have a lot of resentment about how militant our class instructor was and all of the guilt and worry she made me feel during that pregnancy.  (I can promise you I'm not consuming 100 grams of protein a day, and Deuce is doing just fine).  Not to mention the fact that Eliza died halfway through the class and I think the decent thing to do would have been to refund at least a portion of our rather steep class fee.  (She did not do so.)

But I managed to sort out a pile of baby blankets and pack-in-play sheets, a pile of yellow and white baby clothes, and an assortment of baby slings, nursing covers, burp cloths, and little toys.  I even felt pretty good about putting the first load in the washing machine.  I want SO MUCH to use these things for the Deuce, and it brings me a lot of happiness to think about putting a baby in a duckie onesie (those I think are much easier for me to handle than the little girl clothes, which I didn't even look at).

As I was folding them out of the dryer, though, I felt another wave of sadness.  Like I was somehow erasing Eliza by using these things for her little brother or sister.  They wouldn't be put away, untouched, unopened, unused.  They would be worn and played with and spit up on and slept on by another baby.  And then they wouldn't be hers anymore.  And that made me sad.  I mean, she means so much to us but we have such fragile little evidence that she was alive at all.

On the other hand, it also made me sad that there was a sweet little "My First St. Patrick's Day" sleeper in with her things that my mom had picked up on sale (we don't actually have a strong Irish heritage or anything) that the Deuce won't be able to wear.  It's size 3 months.  It was just for Eliza, my winter baby.  And we may never have a baby to put in that sleeper.

I still have four bins full of baby things in the dining room because I only pulled out what I knew we would need at the very first, and it still felt like a very dangerous way to tempt fate.  But now I have teensy yellow clothes hanging in the guest-room closet, washed and ready to go.  I have blankets folded up in bins on the closet shelf.  (One thing about not setting up a nursery is that you don't actually have many places to put baby's things...  So we're getting creative with closet space until we bring in the baby dresser).

In the end, I'm glad I went through them.  It's not like ignoring them would have helped.  I cried a lot, but I'm glad I got it out of the way now, while I'm not distracted by the Deuce.  I know it wouldn't have been any easier or any less sad if I'd done it with a new baby sleeping next to me.  Yes, we'll be overjoyed to have a baby home with us, but it's not like that fixes the fact that we have another baby who isn't here.


We bought wicker patio furniture on Sunday.  It was a Craigslist purchase and we drove out to a nice subdivision in the county to pick it up.  The very nice lady selling the furniture asked if this was our first baby.  We were somewhat prepared for this because we'd had a similar experience just the week before when I bought a baby swing off Craigslist.  I told the swing lady, "Well, it will be."  And then I got in the car and burst into tears.  So this time I said, "No, it's our second."  And she followed up with, "Oh!  How old is your first?"

Dead for eighteen months, thanks for asking.

I told her that we lost Eliza at 34 weeks and she was very sweet and sympathetic and didn't say anything shitty.  Turns out she's a pediatric nurse.  She really was very kind.  David and I said on the way home that we totally should have gotten her to come down on the price of the furniture after that exchange...

Pardon the gallows humor.  Sometimes we laugh so we don't cry, you know?

(Unrelated:  She also asked David if he worked at Club Fitness.  WTH?  I'm sure he'll let that go to his head...  Haha.)


Yesterday we had a growth ultrasound and non-stress test for the Deuce.  Both went well.  Deuce is measuring in the 38th percentile, which my doctor assured me was fine (somehow you just want your kid in the upper half of everything, you know?).  My OB seems to sense this about me, as he specifically said to me that these percentiles are not grades.  (Oh, he knows me well.  Perhaps because he sees me twice a week every week!).  Deuce's head is actually measuring slightly above (in the 50s, a clear indication of Mensa brain, FYI) but abdomen and femur length are in the 30s and 40s (which is FINE, so says my OB).  One of my good friends had a baby measuring in the 20-something percentile on ultrasounds who ended up being a solid 8-pounder when he was born (on his due date), so I'm trying to remind myself that these are estimations, and that the Deuce is healthy and that's the only thing that matters.

The high-risk doctor who looked at my ultrasound told me he doesn't think I need another growth ultrasound.  In fact, he said, "The next time this baby is weighed, it will be on a scale."

It's hard to believe that we're down to a few weeks before we meet the Deuce.

We still haven't set an induction date.  My plan so far is to wait and see, and then re-evaluate if/when I make it to 39 weeks.  There is a big part of me that would like to set a date so that some of the responsibility is shifted somewhere else, but I feel more comfortable with closely monitoring and waiting to see if the Deuce gets things moving on his/her own.  I've started having really noticeable contractions, so I'm really hoping that the Deuce will come along right at 39 weeks and save me from having to make a decision (That would be June 24th, if you're wondering.  Anytime that week would be fine by me, actually.)  As much as I want to meet this baby, I'm hoping he/she holds out for at least another couple of weeks, since David has jury duty starting June 11th.  That's an additional complication that we do NOT need.


Other things I want to remember...

I'm obsessed with that Talenti brand gelato that Target carries.  The best flavor in the world is Sea Salt Caramel.

The chickens have figured out how to go in and out of their house to the pen (these are difficult lessons for teeny bird brains).  They strut around now, and Cooper is obsessed with them even more than I'm obsessed with gelato.  He runs circles around their pen, or quivers on point, his tail wagging, his tongue hanging out, just staring.  When they go back in their house, he sits and stares at the house.  For HOURS.  I've never seem him like this before.  We like to say that he is very devoted to his chikn sisters.  When they get a little bigger, we'll let them out in the yard and put him on a leash and introduce them.  I know they'll intimidate him with their wings and we want to make sure he is very respectful of the chikn sisters.

I'm feeling about 70/30 that it's a boy.  I really don't know, but if I had to guess, that's what I'd bet on.


We're watching the 3-part Hatfields and McCoys series that was on the History Channel.  Last night a bunch of Hatfields killed three McCoy boys.  Mr. McCoy was visiting his cousin, who asked him how Mrs. McCoy was doing after the death of her sons.

Mr. McCoy said, "Poorly.  How would you expect?"

The cousin replied, "Women are fortunate to get special consideration.  If I curled up into a ball at every tragic event, I'd never get any work done."

McCoy stared at him and said, "Quit talking like an imbecile.  You've never lost your sons."

That conversation might not be historically accurate, but McCoy's words are still true.


  1. It kind of amazes me how much we're on the same timeline with everything. Welcome to the final month...

  2. Shitty timing for jury duty! I am guessing given his profession, if it's any sort of criminal case he'd be excused just on that. But he should also be sure to mention his wife is 36/37 wks pregnant and high risk...bet that gets him excused too. And lol on the club fitness.

    If you want to borrow our infant carseat till you decide what you want to buy, let me know. (It is neutral, not expired and has not been in an accident, I'm pretty militant about car seat safety.) The fire dept. is good about checking the install. Do that soon, just in case. (Remember my water broke with Luke at 36+2...)

    I have used a lot more of Olivia's stuff with Luke then I thought I would. It is hard and bittersweet at first, but now it feels good to let them be siblings in that way. But I also am adamantly against using some of her stuff. And some of it I would like to someday use with another daughter, but I don't know if we will get to do that. Do whatever feels right.

    Oh, you are so so close! I can't wait!

  3. Going through the baby things can be so very hard. We used some of Teddy's things, and kept some in boxes, as felt right at the time.

    I have a copy of the Thinking Woman's Guide somewhere in our basement, too, along with a Bradley Method book, and some others. I don't know where N put them, but when I was pregnant with Dot, they just didn't feel relevant.

    Thinking of you and hoping hard for you and the Deuce as you get through the last few weeks.

  4. I had those same sleeping patterns in the late weeks of pregnancy. It's mildly frustrating when you can hear the voices of strangers in your head saying "sleep now before the baby comes!" Bah.

    Thinking of you and sending lots of love!

  5. I find it interesting you think boy, I'm feeling Deuce is a girl (I think I told you about that dream I had a while back, right?). :)

    David needs to get out of that jury duty, and I hope he does. Given Brandy's induction, then my moved-forward section, I have a strong preference for unexpected baby arrival at less than convenient times. :)

    I'm proud of you for getting the laundry started and some things sorted. I have that same St. Patrick's Day onesie (except ours reads, "I'm dad's lucky charm" or something equally heartbreaking) which Grace clearly won't be wearing and I don't know that any future McBabes will either. Crushing.

    Thinking of you as Deuce's arrival approaches.

    Ps. I think you should have received a partial refund too, for what it's worth.

  6. How exciting! Maybe the Deuce will share my sons birthday, June 25. He also measured small and I had to have multiple growth ultrasounds... At 39 weeks he was 8.5lbs and 22.5in... so its definitely a guesstimation. :)

    Ps: I think its a boy too!

  7. Cale's birthday is June 28th, but I hope you don't have to wait that long.

    Did you have a mind explosion when he said the next time the baby would be weighed would be on the scale!? How friggin' exciting and terrifying all at once.

    You're so close. Will be sending prayers, positive thoughts and lots of hope for the Deuce's safe arrival.

  8. I'm glad you were able to do a bit of sorting and washing prior to bringing home baby. It was crazy for me having to do it all after K was home, not to mention the added stress. I was crying a lot bc I was so overwhelmed.

    Some of the things that K is wearing/using that I purchased for Hayes or were gifts for Hayes make me think of Hayes, and I view them as handed down, not erasing. Hoping it will be the same for you.

  9. I agree with Molly that second babies are of course going to get lots of hand me downs and that is okay. In our time with Bear, we told him how we had everything we needed for his brother or sister and he would have to share. :)

  10. I haven't gone through the box of baby things yet. No need to, no baby on the way (yet, hopefully someday. even that feels weird to write). But we did give away her stroller, the one big purchase we made, to my SIL. I thought I was okay w/it, until I saw a picture of my niece in the stroller and ugly cried my face off for a long time. But now I'm trying to think of it as our Maggie's present to her cousin. It's helping a bit. Those things are Eliza's gift to the deuce, her way of being with her brother (or sister)?

    Thinking of you & the Deuce.

  11. I haven't gone through the box of baby things yet. No need to, no baby on the way (yet, hopefully someday. even that feels weird to write). But we did give away her stroller, the one big purchase we made, to my SIL. I thought I was okay w/it, until I saw a picture of my niece in the stroller and ugly cried my face off for a long time. But now I'm trying to think of it as our Maggie's present to her cousin. It's helping a bit. Those things are Eliza's gift to the deuce, her way of being with her brother (or sister)?

    Thinking of you & the Deuce.

  12. Deuce! You're rocking this, baby. We cannot freaking wait to meet you.

    I understand why you'd do the ugly cry looking through Eliza's things. It's just a really crappy reality and it's not fair in the least.

    I have no "feelings" about what the Deuce is, for the record. But in order to split our email chain into 50/50, it would logically be a girl. So since life isn't logical in our procreating lives, it's a boy. Hah. Very scientific, I know.

    That book makes me want to vomit, too. :/ Not that natural and thoughtful birthing is bad (just the opposite!), but the implication that Eliza died because you weren't that thoughtful mother you ARE.

    Loving you, David, Eliza, and the Deuce no matter what.

  13. oh Brooke. I simply cannot wait for your baby to be weighed on a scale while he or she squirms around.

    the stuff. the stuff.

    i too threw out my groovy natural childbirth books and still get annoyed and jealous when others do it that way.

    email me if you want to talk about 39 weeks and induction and ALL of it!

  14. I completely understand getting rid of the "natural childbirth" books and prenatal class material. I have done the same. It simply does not apply. Something so focused on the mother and the birth experience when our primary focus is on simply on everyone's survival.

    Ahh, baby items. I understand those women who throw out every item, and I think if my daughter had used them I would be more inclined to feeling that way. I view baby items as a way of tying these two munchkins together. I can't imagine Ava wouldn't want Beta to use these items, Ava loves Beta, they are siblings. I have spent many hours in the nursery crying, screaming, packing, repacking. I think being sad about the onesies, blankets and sweet toys is simply okay.

    I am holding my breath reading your posts, you are so close. Deuce is so strong and doing well. Our thoughts are with the four of you.

  15. i can relate so much.

    i had a hard time going through Julius' things. i kept putting it off, but the with a few weeks left to go, D started getting worried that she wouldn't have anything to wear. it was hard as hell. and i ugly cried too. i had to put a lot of things away as they reminded me too much of him. but there is a sweetness to it when she puts on one of his old outfits. i always tell her that she is wearing her brother's outfit. not that she understands.

    i also gave away all of my natural childbirth books, and class material. i'm so sorry that your instructor didn't refund at least part of your $. i have issues with my instructor as she caused me to worry about the mental health of my midwife because of some drama that was going on with one of my midwives then apprentices that she let go. it was this huge drama, and my instructor dragged me into it and caused me to worry. i was so mad that she did that to me at 36wks. but then after Julius passed away, this resentment grew because she tainted my son's pregnancy.

    we had a u/s at 36 wks with our girl, and i wish i had never done it because it caused me to worry. the doc kept commenting that she was a "tiny" baby, and i took that to me that something was wrong with her and started freaking out. she was a tiny girl. but i think she's just a shorty. and when they measured her at her 4 mo appt she was in the 15th percentile for height. and again we got worried, but they weren't. those #s are just #s.

    Deuce is doing well, and that's wonderful news. i seriously can't wait to see pics. i know he/she will be beautiful just like Eliza.

  16. I can picture you going through the bins and having to walk away...so much tied up in clothes that were never worn, mist specifically because they were never worn.

    I always bank on a boy vs girl the actual statistical ratio is 51/49 so it's a better bet.

    36 weeks- so close and way too far. I am jealous of every week farther along Another mama is to meeting her baby. You know as well as I do how much we want to be done with the pregnancy and just have our baby alive in our arms. I am 12 weeks behind you.

    When people ask Daryl what highschool baseball team he plays for when wearing his coach uniform I always want to throw up in my mouth. I can see his head grow about two hat sizes. Hahah I got a good kick out of the lady asking David about the gym. BARF!!!

    The lower percentile of weight and length is so annoying. Sure perfectly healthy but can't the kids be a little more cooperative?

    We have books and workbooks and folders. I don't get 100 grams of protein a day. More like 65. I know Daryl thinks that maybe if we did Bradley method religiously like we did with Kai that... Who knows... Our perinatologist reminds me that people in Africa who get one meal a day still have living children. ( he's from Africa).

    Sending agiant hug to you.

  17. (((HUGS))) Maybe you can set aside a couple of special keepsake outfits just for Eliza that won't be shared with her brother/sister (the Deuce or any subsequent siblings)? I know a few people who have made gorgeous shadow boxes with some of their baby's things. One had her husband build one for her. I'm not kidding, it's the size of a window.

    For what it's worth, I'm getting boy vibes too. ; )

  18. Thinking of you and baby deuce. Sending u lots of positive vibes..

  19. Your posts have an uncanny knack of taking me back to my pregnancy with Angus. So many familiar thoughts and feelings. I too ditched the books. And in the end ended up with a very lovely elective caesarean. Not what I would wanted first time around, but it didn't matter this time. They got him out alive.
    Thinking of you SO much.