Monday, June 20, 2011

Belly Love

It's hard to know how much Riker understands about 'the baby in mama's belly' but from very early on he became very affectionate with the belly. When asked about the baby in mama's belly, he frequently comes over to me, lifts up my shirt and gives it a hug. This is adorable unless he wants to see the belly and point to the baby (unprompted) while he's in the shopping cart at the grocery store, which is just a little embarrassing :) When asked where the baby is, he points either to my belly (and sometimes to other people's bellies) or to himself. Too cute.


I finally just managed to go back to blog archives from 2009 to compare what my belly looked like then to how it looks now. For comparison, here's the post I did in 2009 from 25 weeks. Not surprisingly, I think I look a bit bigger this time around.  Feeling pretty good all in all.  Riker is sleeping well at night and it's making a world of difference to my levels of both patience and energy.  Hooray!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Big Helper

I recall our friend Majikfaerie once telling a story about how she never allowed her daughter to do the dishes. She always told her that washing the dishes was a very special task reserved only for grownups and that one day she'd be old enough to help. Then on her daughter's seventh birthday she told her that the day had finally arrived when she was big enough to the dishes and the seven year old proudly did all the washing up that day. I love this story, but as you can see in the following video, our current approach is more along the lines of, if he wants to help (or pretend to help as the case may be), let him! Some days excessive cuteness just isn't enough to earn one's keep :)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Baby #2 Ultrasound at 21 Weeks

We've recently had our first (and probably only) ultrasound peek at this bubby and I thought you might like to see the images. Here are the favorites:


This is an image of the blood flow in the heart.  I just liked that it was shaped like a heart :)





The other favorites, of course, are those showing the complete four chambered heart, skull and various important organs but those are somewhat less interesting to look at than the ones above.

And now for the plot spoiler warning. I will reveal the gender below for those of you who wish to know. If you'd like to be surprised, stop reading now!

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It's another boy! I'd post the ultrasound image that led the technician to say "if that's not a boy, you come back and tell me!" but I have a policy of not putting photos of my children's genitals online and these were pretty revealing :)

We're not terribly surprised that it's a boy. Brian, his brother and his male McMillin cousins only seem to produce male offspring. This baby makes the tally nine for nine. I kept saying that if anyone was going to break that mold, it would be Brian! Ah well, now we'll have to decide if it's important enough to us to try again for a girl! We're delighted either way and are very pleased that Riker will have a little brother.

Which of course leads us back to the name game again. If it had been a girl, she would have had a name for nearly six years now! As you might remember, poor Riker didn't have a name for nearly three weeks and it's not looking much better this time around. Suggestions welcome! You can find our criteria from last time HERE.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

To Write or Not to Write

I'm sure you've noticed that there are often large gaps of time without posts where I'm either too busy or too overwhelmed (or both) to write about life at that particular moment. Sometimes I write something and then, wondering if it's too personal or too depressing, I stare at the screen pondering whether to click PUBLISH or DELETE. Lately you may have noticed one of those long stretches of blog silence. I've been struggling with lots of things and while I've composed many posts in my head (mostly while lying awake in the middle of the night wishing I wasn't blogging) they all get the virtual DELETE in the morning.

But sometimes it seems worth sharing the fact that life isn't always as shiny as it might appear in the online edited version of my life. For example, much of this pregnancy has been challenging. Riker still wasn't sleeping very well at the beginning of it and I was exhausted with first trimester fatigue AND up multiple times a night with a wakeful lad. I thought I might crack. And I must have been close because just then we managed to night wean quite easily. He began to sleep longer stretches and is now sleeping quite well. Better than I am in fact. Having been up every couple hours for so many months has rewired my body clock thus making me, for the first time in my life, a serious insomniac at the very time I am most in need of rest. Thankfully, that's been getting a little better each week.

Then, just after we'd told our families that we were expecting our second child (and before I'd told any friends), I got the news about my sister in law. To say that cast a shadow over life would be an understatement. I still struggle to find compassion for her decision and whatever circumstances led to it and I am left with little but an empty kind of anger. Anger at what she did to my already small family, anger at leaving my brother to spend his life without his partner and anger at the black cloud over my pregnancy. To make matters worse, within the same two week period, we lost two other family members on Brian's side of the family who had both been fighting long battles with cancer. They would have given anything to have had one more day with their families, yet the loss I've been grieving had been a choice. More anger. You get the idea.

This pregnancy has been challenging for other reasons as well. With Riker I spent many beautiful hours thinking about his entrance into our lives and bonding with him in utero. Now, with the demands of toddler care, this baby has received little more than a few passing thoughts most days, making that bonding time difficult to find. I’ve also had to deal with the fact that, due to pregnancy hormones, my milk has now almost completely dried up, thus forcing Riker to wean. I had wanted him to wean only when he was ready, but by spacing these pregnancies somewhat closely, I have taken that away from him. While I knew this was a possibility, it was a risk we were willing to take for the big picture and I am actually somewhat less upset about the actuality of it happening than I would have expected. However, it still marks a major transition for he and I which sparks a variety of emotions in an already tumultuous and hormonal time.

I am coping. I feel as if the clouds are beginning to lift somewhat and things are looking a little brighter. But it's been a bumpy ride these past few months; hence the blog silence and the difficulty in deciding when to post and when to hide. And so the big question now arises. To PUBLISH or DELETE?