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More than halfway there

We're at 20w6d.  Over halfway there, especially if Junebug is like Sprout, who came along at 39w5d.


I've had months to become used to being pregnant, but what I'm not really used to is how different my mindset is this time around.  With Sprout, J and I both constantly wondered about what she (going to say "she" even though we did not know her gender until the moment of her birth) would look like, whose nose would she have, what color would her eyes be, etc. Wondering (and praying) about the baby's health is the same, but I think we are less anxious this time around now that we have succeeded, as it were, in having one healthy child already. I had two appointments with a midwife in France, and the last appointment really reassured me when we heard Junebug's strong heartbeat. In two weeks I'll have the 22 week ultrasound to check for growth, etc. but I'm very zen about it.

My biggest concern is what kind of mom am I going to be, already so tired and too often impatient with Sprout. Is the wonder of the birth going to be enough to pull me above myself, so to speak?  I hope so; I don't want to shortchange Junebug in any way.  But boy, the first pregnancy was super easy with only myself to take care of. A toddler in the house adds a whole other dimension.

But said toddler has taught us loads, and I know the things we will be doing again like breast feeding and raising another diaper-free baby, even if we do them a bit differently (and for the better) now that we have experience.

The type of birth I'm going to have this time around is of concern but not consuming me as of yet. I'd like a homebirth, but I really don't know if it is prudent, given that we could easily take more than an hour to get to the nearest hospital, even though it is less than 8 km away, depending on traffic... :-<  More to think about.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
You look so beautiful, even if tired ♥

You will be--are--an excellent mom. A mom who never loses her temper, who never has bad days, who's always sane and balanced isn't a blessing, she's a curse (or a robot. Or a robot curse.)

I'm so glad to hear you'll be doing breastfeeding again, and very encouraged and impressed to hear you'll be doing the diaper-free again--so in the end, that worked out okay?
Oct. 14th, 2013 01:12 pm (UTC)
Hehe. I started to read the sentence "A mom who never loses her temper" as being a statement of how I am. And I was thinking, boy, I must really give the wrong impression. :P

Robomom would be scary. And fake. And I don't want that. I'm working on being more accepting of my humanity. :P

I feel so remiss that I never made all the diaper-free posts that I wanted to make. It did indeed work out very well, and I honestly can't imagine not doing it again. I'm going to try to find the time to write up a post about it because I need to articulate some things for myself about how the process worked last time and how it might need to change a bit this time around.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 14th, 2013 01:13 pm (UTC)
"Seem" being the operative word here. LOL

In any case, if I'm aware of areas of improvement and committed to working on them, I will have to improve, at least somewhat, right? :P
Oct. 13th, 2013 09:51 am (UTC)
In my experience the challenges of motherhood really shift and change with each child. Some things that were crazy hard the first time around are no big deal the second time, but other difficulties pop up instead.

All of your kids are shortchanged in some way no matter what you do. An only child is deprived of siblings and therefore the opportunity to learn to share and cooperate, and the possibility of a deep lifelong bond stronger than any friendship. A firstborn child is "the experiment" who was raised by the most inexperienced parents of all the other kids. A second born child is deprived of the kind of attention and resources the first child got. You really can't win--but you can't lose either. No one has their childhood needs met 100%, and you know what? This is actually good for them, because struggle cultivates growth, resilience, and compassion. Especially if the family is basically functional and loving.

Moms often feel guilty when #2 comes around because they feel that can't be the kind of mom they were to #1 to either of them. I try to encourage them (and myself...) that a sibling is the greatest gift you will ever give your child. Yes, she won't get as much attention--but she will learn patience and independence from this. Yes, she will be jealous of the attention you're giving the baby--but she will also have the opportunity to help you nurture him/her and thus help her feel grown-up, important, and needed. (I really try to cultivate this as much as I can with my kids. I ask them to help me with simple things like fetching a diaper or a toy or rocking the baby seat--I don't pressure them or get mad when they refuse, I just offer them the opportunity, and very often they love to be the "helpful big brother".) Yes, Junebug will not have the kind of one-on-one time with you that S had, but guess what? S/he'll have one-on-one time with a sibling, which S didn't have :) It will be more of a struggle to carve out special time with each of them, but as they always say--quality, not quantity.

I can't promise you that Junebug will be born along with more patience. In fact, for a while you might have less. I struggle with this a lot. But you know, we can only be what we are, and we have to remind ourselves that what we are is enough. As someone else here said, a perfect mom would be a curse if she existed, because her children would always feel inferior, that they were failures if they ever faltered, made a mistake, or lost their temper. Thankfully, she doesn't exist. It was a serious revelation for me to realize that my kids seeing me lose it could be good for them in some ways. They have learned that I have breaking points. They have learned that it's okay to make mistakes and that you can fix them by being honest about them, apologizing, and trying to do better. They have learned that asking for help is hard but necessary and that it is not a sign of weakness.

I still have a lot of work to do in accepting myself and the mother I am, but at least now I know that that is my work, rather than trying to turn myself into the mother I'm not. Improvement will come through self-acceptance. I can't be patient with my kids if I'm not patient with myself first.

As for the homebirth--I think the important question is how fast could you get there in an ambulance? How fast is the response time and could an ambulance easily push through the traffic to get you to the hospital in 30 minutes or less? If so, I think it would be safe. If not, I would look at other options.

Oct. 14th, 2013 10:13 am (UTC)
First off, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your replies. They are always so thoughtful and honest and encouraging.

I completely agree with what you said, especially about how important it is for children to see adults dealing with their emotions. I did not have the best tutors in this when I was a kid, and I am really trying to model a different approach to S, especially the being honest and apologizing, and yes, asking for help.

in regards to the homebirth, yeah, the problem is Egyptians on the road. They are atrocious, selfish, aggressive drivers. They have no respect for other drivers, pedestrians, and not even, sadly for emergency vehicles. Because of their insane disrespect for traffic laws, three lane highways are almost always turned into 5-6 lanes, especially when jams start to occur. They take every available space, making it impossible to pass or squeeze by. People also like to equip their cars/trucks with fake sirens. So the real thing is routinely ignored. :( I have an appt with my gyno next Monday, and I already mentioned homebirth to her. I'm going to bring it up again and try to have a more in depth conversation about it.
Oct. 14th, 2013 11:35 am (UTC)
I am glad you find my insight helpful. I think it is amazing that you are able to be such a good, caring mom with your background.

Wow, and I thought Israeli drivers were bad... we have a similar problem out here in the West Bank with general lawlessness and lack of law enforcement both in the Israeli settlements and in the Palestinian Authority (with whom we share our main roads), but fortunately we don't have to drive through the areas with dense population centers (and within the settlements people tend to drive somewhat reasonably--if, you know, while holding infants on their laps and stuff...). Still, people do insane things on the road all the time. Honestly I'm much more afraid of the roads here than of deliberate terror attacks...

I think under those circumstances I wouldn't feel comfortable giving birth at all :P The idea of getting stuck in a 6-lane traffic jam on a road with only 3 lanes on the way to the hospital... :-/ I hope you find a good solution!

Oct. 14th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
It is really a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it comes to Egyptians and driving. When you meet people on foot, they are kind and helpful. Then get them behind the wheel and they transform into screaming meanies. Really astounding.

re giving birth, every time I see a mom with a young baby on the streets, i want to pounce and ask all sorts of questions like, "Did you give birth here? When? What time of day? Where? Problems getting to the clinic?" OK, maybe I would ask that, but my first questions are more about do they know of any doulas, birthing/relaxation classes, etc. :P
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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