Where I’ve Been (a Very, Very Long Update)

Well, I’ve done it again: I said I wasn’t going to vanish, and then I did.  You’d think I’d get better about this (well, I thought I would, anyway).

I’ve had a very long few weeks.  I realize that I seem to say this every time I go for an extended period of time without posting, but it really has been a very trying time period for a number of reasons.  I’ll try to be brief in summarizing where I have been and what I’ve been up to.

Life in general:

I have been doing my very best to keep busy over the last month or so because I find I am less likely to fret and worry about senseless things if I’m busy.  Big endeavours lately have been:

– I ate up a week of my time by attending driving school (though I still have the in-car lessons to do).  I’m a bit late to this, seeing as I’m 25, but at least it’s getting done… right?  I’m actually writing while I wait for my first in-car lesson at the moment.

– I volunteer 1-3 times a week for a local blood donor clinic, which has been a very satisfying experience.  I have actually been with them since February, but there have been an abundance of in-community clinics over the last month or so, and I have been covering a particular time slot for someone who’s out on vacation.

– I have been spending a lot of time online researching and preparing myself for a big new undertaking.  I’ve decided that I want to move towards much more sustainable living (getting rid of disposable products and putting extra focus on fresh, home-cooked food – no more processed junk and fast food), so I have been focusing energy on cleaning the rubbish out of my fridge and pantry to make room for cleaner living.

It’s been surprisingly hard, to be totally honest – you don’t realize how attached you are to TV dinners and bottled water until you stop buying them, and how hard it can be to pack your spouse a lunch without using plastic baggies and other disposable containers.  We’re still adjusting and transitioning, but I am definitely already noticing big changes in the way our household runs – and oh man, do I ever do way more dishes now.  I do feel good about all the trash I am keeping out of landfills, though, and I’m really excited for how inevitably good we are going to feel when we’re eating nothing but real, whole food the vast majority of the time. 😀  However, I haven’t even touched the probable biggest challenge of this style of living yet…

– I’ve decided that I’m going to try my very damnedest to cloth diaper our son.  This has been an immensely controversial decision and I have got a LOT of negative feedback from my friends and family about it already, but I’m determined to give it my very best shot.  If I am already going to great lengths to avoid adding trash to landfills, how can I, in good conscience, use disposable diapers?

It’s interesting to note that, when you account for the extra loads of laundry and the water/hydro consumed, cloth diapers aren’t actually that much greener than their disposable counterparts, but with a high-efficiency washer and a clothesline to dry (what I plan to do), it should still be the better option of the two.  Besides, cloth diapers are just so darn cute, and far more affordable.  I’m extremely thrifty, so the saved money is the biggest appeal for me, and I’m hoping that, since I will be home for the first couple of years anyway, the extra time invested in laundry and such won’t end up being a huge deal.  It can’t hurt to try, anyway, right?

– I’ve also been nesting like a mad woman.  I have been working really hard on our baby’s nursery and am finally starting to feel like the room is coming together.  I am sure I will do a full reveal eventually to share all of my hard work over the last several months (and more to come in the months ahead, I am sure).  I’ve also been nesting in other areas of the house, trying to get everything clean and organized.  It’s slow going, but I’m getting there.

Alright, I think that covers all of the basic stuff.  Let’s move on.

Health:

I’m 27 weeks pregnant today, which leaves me just over 11 weeks to my scheduled induction date – how crazy is that?  I’m now scheduled to see my OB every two weeks for biophysical ultrasounds and to check up on how I am doing physically and emotionally.  I had my first one last Friday and baby scored an 8/8 with a couple of minor side concerns (more on this later).  Overall, he is looking very healthy and happy, so we’re hoping this continues to be the case.  Here’s a nice profile shot we managed to snap of him at our ultrasound.

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Physically, this pregnancy has been a lot harder on me than the first one was (it would seem that my body isn’t pleased with me for carrying 2 pregnancies almost consecutively – go figure).  I obviously wouldn’t will to have our son debut any sooner than he’s ready to, but I am quite anxiously awaiting the finish line in the hopes that I will return to some semblance of feeling normal postpartum.  At this point, I’m rearing to get back into shape, and looking forward to maybe having a glass of wine once in a while.  Accounting for pumping time after Brock passed, I have had at least some level of diet restrictions for all but three weeks of the last 17 1/2 months.  That’s a really long time.  I truly feel I have done my time and need a break!

Anyway, on to the other important news I have gotten in recent days… while he scored 8/8 on his BPP, they did have a couple of minor concerns they want to monitor going forward.  One thing was that his kidneys are just a little bit swollen, suggesting there might be some backflow of urine in his bladder.  It’s a relatively common condition, especially in boys, so they’re not terribly concerned at this time that it is anything major – and, in a lot of cases, it corrects itself entirely without intervention.  They might normally have some concern about a blockage if my amniotic fluid were also on the low side, however, I actually have too much fluid, so they really don’t think that that is the case.

Returning to that note about having too much amniotic fluid… it’s not in a particularly troublesome range, it’s just on the higher end of normal, which is sometimes indicative of other underlying conditions.  Their first suspect was the possibility of me having gestational diabetes, which I was then promptly tested for.  And… go figure… I failed the 1-hour test.  In my defense, I didn’t know it was being done that day, and I had just finished knocking back a big, slightly sweet tea when they told me I was scheduled to take it.  I suppose there’s some possibility that it interfered with the results, though I’m not too optimistic about that.

Either way, I have also since had my repeat 2-hour test (which is done with fasting blood), so I should have a definitive answer on whether or not I actually do have GD in the next few days.  I’d rather not have it, of course, but I’m just looking forward to having a definitive answer, regardless of which side it falls on.  I’m sure I will manage if it does turn out that I do have it, and that it will all be worth it in the end.

Emotional:

Holy crap, have I ever been a neurotic mess lately.

I think, until a couple of weeks ago, I went a solid two months without crying about Brock – there were sad, hard moments, of course, but they weren’t too hard to manage, nor were they too frequent.  Then, suddenly, it seems like everything caught up with me all at once.  My husband and I went out and bought a decorative trunk for his memorabilia (clothes, blankets, condolence cards and such) because we’d been keeping his things in a box until then, but felt he deserved something better.  I decided to move all of his things over a few days back when I felt that I was in a pretty good, stable mood… I bet you can guess how that ended.

I also ended up having a good cry in the hallway outside of my driving school classroom one day when we were being shown a film by MADD about drunk drivers, and a bereaved father got into a bit too much detail about how it feels to lose your child.  He was talking about a teenager, and I lost my son before he ever took his first breath, but the raw, base emotions are all the same.  When he started talking about how you can’t fathom the hurt you feel upon losing a child until you suddenly find yourself in that position, I left the room in a big hurry.

Setting up the new nursery has been a weird experience – it’s often therapeutic, sometimes frustrating, and occasionally really, really hard.  Of course, the big thing is that we’ve needed to go through all of the things from Brock’s old nursery, and it’s hard to decide which is too intimate to use for the new baby and which is okay.  There were some things which were specifically intended for Brock that I don’t know if I will be able to use, like an outfit that was given to me as part of an online baby shower for my old due date club.  I’ve decided not to rule much of anything out just yet, and I’ll make the hard decisions later on.  I still have lots of time to think about it.

Somewhere along the way, I also ran out of that weird, encompassing certainty I had in my gut that everything was going to turn out fine.  I don’t know when or why it happened, but I’m now super worried about a bad outcome all over again.  A couple times each day for the last few weeks, since the fear crept back into my life, I have been finding myself rubbing my belly and thinking, “Please don’t die.  I don’t think I’ll survive losing another one.”  I really don’t know that I would.  I try to take a couple minutes each day to just sit or die down and enjoy a few minutes of quiet with him, just to appreciate him moving and try to capture a few of the moments we’ve had together already… just in case.  Nothing in life is certain.

Closing note:

We are all but certain that his name will be Nathan.

27w

Here’s Nathan and I today, at 27 weeks (forgive the messy room, and the bored Corgi).  People keep making remarks about my size, asking me if I’m totally sure there’s not two babies in there.  I’m not tiny, but I sure don’t feel like I’m big enough to warrant questions like that, either.  It’s funny, though, because in the grand scheme of things, questions like that don’t even really phase or offend me… I’m usually glad that they’re saying things like that instead of asking me if it’s my first, or how old my first is, and so on.

I think I’ve written quite enough for now… ’til next time.