With the Little One, my water broke the day I was 38 weeks. (As an aside, reading that post still makes me cry) I did not have any time in this "any day now" zone. With her I had longed for more time as we needed to prepare the house and sort things out. With Bud, we got most of the essentials prepared. I am still contemplating making a labor mix and need to clean a few things, but overall we are more ready than before. I did not anticipate how uncomfortable I would be physically. I feel like I cannot really move without feeling a lot of pressure or pain or an awareness at how slowly I am going. My fatigue has also increased to the point where it is no long possible for me to run after the little one or fully participate in her imaginary games. We have been doing a lot of drawing, singing, and talking together which is good, but another shift in the relationship. I am also aware that these are our final moments as a family of three. It is hard for me to nap near here as I constantly move, but I was glad that we took a nap together today. When I woke up and saw her sweet face still asleep, I started crying.
I tried to explain to Partner that I was excited, but also nervous and sad about the changes ahead. How are all of us going to have family cuddle and nap time? He said that it will be different, but better. I had similar angst before the Little One arrived and I remembered a moment a few weeks after she was born where all three of us were in the bed together and I just felt such happiness. I should trust history that change can be challenging, but also awesome.
My parents arrive on the 10th. We have been half hoping that Bud will wait for them before making an entrance. I had some tension with them last time as I did not really know what to expect or how to articulate what I needed. I am hoping since there is less unknown with a newborn, that we will get along better. Plus, while I am ready in most ways for labor to begin, I would like to go see a movie with them before the baby arrives :)
Partner is scrambling to finish up his binder for tenure. I cannot believe that he is already up for tenure. He has to write statements related to his teaching, service, and research to submit along with supporting documents to his department and the college administration which make the case for why he should be tenured. I have never had as much confidence in anyone as I do him, but we both are nervous. The binder is due on the 15th and we are hoping that it will be finished before the new addition arrives.
I have written about my car at least a few times (actually more than I realized when I looked at the archives) on this site. I am pretty attached to Birdie as it was my first adult purchase. Birdie has driven with me across the country, helping me transition from Atlanta to Durham to Seattle to Natick with many stops in between. We had a few close calls where I was scared that the car would not recover and a few years ago, Birdie started to show her age. A few weeks ago, there was a horrible noise coming from the car and we found out that the time had come where the cost to repair Birdie was more than her actual value. Granted, I do not think that any monetary amount could measure the sentimental value. The time had come for me to let go of Birdie and get a car that was better for accommodating our growing family.
It has been 11 years since I went car shopping. At the time I purchased Birdie, I was looking for three big things: safety, reliability, and good gas mileage. I found all three of those things in a Honda Civic Hybrid. This time, we were concerned with safety and reliability, but also about space. We needed room for at least two car seats and space to accommodate grandparents and other visitors who are in town. We were so lucky to have research that J shared with us from his own car search process. I narrowed it down to a few cars to check out and went to dealerships armed with a stroller to put in the truck and my (at least to me) big belly with which I was going to get into the back rows of the vehicles. The process actually went much faster than I expected and a lot of the dialogue I had with salespeople focused on "mommy" cars. I thought that I would be really resistant to a minivan, but once I looked inside and saw all the space, I was awed. I also was impressed with the drive. The hardest thing to wrap my head around was walking up the vehicle and getting in; no offense to the many lovers of minivans out there, but I was not quite ready to full on embrace "the mom car image." When one of the salespeople told me that the minivan was a mom's dream car, I said that I appreciated that but I also wanted to be a hot spouse and wanted a car that would ease that transition. In the end, we got Big Red (a Honda Pilot) which is larger than the Civic and not quite as big as a mini-van. We put in both car seats and there is plenty of space. I filled the trunk to the maximum on a trip to Costco and did not feel like I should have practiced Tetras more to make everything fit. As technology has changed a lot in 11 years, Big Red is definitely fancier feeling than Birdie. While the car is safe and reliable, the gas mileage is not so good. I keep fighting the urge to put a bumper sticker on the back that say something like, "I recycle." I am sure adventures will come with Big Red and it will be nice to travel in one car when family comes to visit or there are events we would like to go to with friends.
When I went to pick up the car and had to leave Birdie behind, I had to fight back tears. In addition to adventures and transitions when I was single, Birdie has also been part of my love story with Partner. We had our first kiss in Birdie, became engaged, and took our mini-honeymoon from Seattle to Worcester in the car. When my water broke almost three (!!) years ago, Birdie was the car we drove to the hospital. While it does seem odd to be so attached to a physical object, I am thankful for my experience with the car.
I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and was told that I am basically full term which means that if I start labor, they will not stop me. I cannot believe that we are going to meet each other so soon. In some ways, I feel like I already know you. For instance, I know that you love food as you get excited and start to move whenever I seem to think about eating. You respond to people's voices, most especially your sister when she is saying hello or singing a song or telling a loud story. From ultrasound images, you seem both calm as you enjoy lounging and super active as it can be hard for people to find you to measure your heartbeat or get the correct view. You love afternoon naps, but are not so good at sleeping through the night.
When we found out you were coming and in the course of the first trimester, I felt like I was in major transition. Not just letting go of a terrible work situation, but thinking about my next steps and wrapping my head around the idea of your arrival. When we wanted a nickname for you, your Daddy decided on "Bud." We were thinking about a poetic version of this definition: "a compact knoblike growth on a plant that develops into a leaf, flower, or shoot." Thinking that you are something small that is growing into something new. After we started using it, I learned that Bud is also a term for some other things. Sigh, sorry about that. We have been obsessed with vetting names for you that pass both the playground brat and adult asshole tests; we think of every possible way a name can be butchered to try to save you from that stress. Neither one of us thought about checking the nickname we gave you while you were inside me.
I have had a lot of anxiety during our time together so far. The bar exam was incredibly anxiety inducing and stressful. However, I think that carrying you helped keep me grounded. I did not have marathon study sessions and you let me know when I had enough and forced me to do some much needed self-care. During the course of the pregnancy, I also got bitten by some unknown bug or creature which caused my face to swell. Fortunately, we found a treatment that was safe for both of us and while I have some scars, I am glad that there was no major long term effects. Sometimes, I feel guilty that I have not shown you as many wondrous things as I did with your sister. With her, I was at a job that gave me the chance to go to many exciting places and present in front of important people. With you, I have done a lot more figuring out and forging a new path. There has been a lot of self-doubt and worry about the future.
However, in these last few weeks, I have gotten to do something I did not get to do before: nest and rest! We have been thinking and preparing a place for you to sleep, bathe, and eat. We have washed and put away clothes. Our physical space is changing to make room for you and this makes me so happy. I am able to take a nap almost every day which helps to keep my energy up and makes me more present with your dad and sister. I hope that you are benefiting from this self-care and feeling my joy at the prospect of welcoming you.
In advance of your arrival, I wanted to apologise in advance for not treating you and your sister exactly equally. I have heard from several people that it is challenging to give the same attention and alone time to your second child. We will have time alone together and I will do everything I can to make you feel loved and treasured, but I know that it will not be the same as with your sister. One thing that you will have is the benefit of our experience. With your sister, your dad and I were so afraid and worried. We loved her with all of our might, but we were clueless and all of our motions had an underlying fear of messing up. With you, there is not as much unknown. We already love you so much and are excited to apply some of our experience. It is true that she made me a mother, but with you I already feel like a mommy.
Looking forward to meeting you.