Monday, February 25, 2013

The longest nine months of my life

Is it March yet?

During the summer, we were actively trying to conceive. I found out I was pregnant at all of three days in. Thankfully, unlike my first pregnancy, this time we’ve reached “full term” or 37 weeks. Bookended by those two facts, it feels like I’ve been pregnant my entire life.
People I haven’t seen in awhile are like, “You’re still pregnant?” Sometimes it’s fun to mess with those people and tell them I delivered two months ago and watch the horror crawl across their faces. But mostly I just smile, say that I have three weeks until my due date, and waddle away muttering obscenities.

Did I willingly sign up to be pregnant again? Yes. Was I aware of the gestational period length of our species? Yes. Was I prepared for the discomfort and inelegance of the last month? Most definitely no.
All manner of surprises have been waiting for me this time around. Weekly pelvic exams! More blood tests! More time for weight gain! Swelling! Yahoo! I’m beginning to think that delivering my first child at 35 weeks was a present, not the worst thing to ever happen to me. We’ve agreed that this will be our last child, so assuming that everything goes smoothly, this is the last time I’ll be pregnant. I try to remember this as I struggle for breath after walking across the room.

Kudos to all women who have gone the distance of a 40 week pregnancy. I never knew what an effort this last leg was. Hopefully my next post will be about how I went into labor at 37.5 weeks.
Thank you to my sister in law for taking the only belly picture of this entire pregnancy. I know I’ll enjoy looking at this at some point.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Adventures in Potty Training

Throughout Marryn’s short lifetime, people have continually told me that she will “do ______ in her own time”.

First was in the NICU when she wouldn’t eat. The neonatologists, nurses, speech therapists, pastors, parents, strangers, janitors, etc. all told me that she would start eating in her own time. The doctors described a “light bulb” that would eventually turn on. Sure enough, at about a week old, the light bulb turned on, and she ate continuously for a year. Come to think of it, she really hasn’t stopped yet.
Next came “sleep training”. Despite the advice of the 200+ books I read on the subject, I nursed Marryn to sleep for the first several months of her life. When I came to my senses, I remember worrying about how I would transition to laying her down for the night while she was still awake. I shouldn’t have bothered because somewhere in between the 8th and 9th month, she would quit nursing, sit up and gesture (for lack of a better term) towards her bed. She’s been going to sleep on her own ever since.

Fast forward a few months. As we approached Marryn’s first birthday, I worried about how I’d wean her. Was she ready? Was I? Should I do parent led weaning or child led? Every time I thought about it, I’d end up in tears. Frankly, I was about to let the dogs decide when to close the Mommy kitchen, and then she just quit being interested in nursing - all on her own.
I could give several more examples of coming to a milestone on her own terms…when she began smiling, saying Mama & Dada, crawling, walking/running/careening, and the list goes on. We’ll be going along with the same behavior for months on end, and I begin to wonder when something new will finally happen, and then it does - like overnight. Dad calls it the “stair step”, and it’s a fitting description.  

Why was I surprised then, when two weeks ago (after trying for SIX months) Marryn independently decided she would like to use the potty and put on big girl panties? I was so happy I almost cried. I tried to not get too excited about it. Maybe it was just a fluke. However, here we are, still going strong.  She’s even successfully worn big girl panties outside the house and used public restrooms – much to my delight and simultaneous horror. Thank God for Lysol wipes.  
I’m not saying parenting is easy, but sometimes you do luck out and things fall into place when they should. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that while I can’t force my child into the next developmental step, I am becoming more comfortable with waiting for her to reach it - all in her own time.

We've been doing a fair amount of car-pottying around here. When you gotta go, you gotta go.