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Archive for the ‘ziggy’ Category

…and here i am writing something. i sincerely apologize for the lack of words around here. every day, i’ve meant to put something down–there is so much i want to talk about–and every day, i miss that small window of time and energy when writing a coherent thought becomes possible.

so, let me sum up the past month like this:

    a family full of sickness and back woes
    car repairs
    house-cleaning in fits and starts
    wading though enough boy clothes for 17 babies
    learning how to be present with jude in her every waking hour
    continuing to grow what has become about an 8 lb baby

i’m still trying to find words to describe what it has been like to transition, very quickly, from being with jude on weekday mornings and evenings, as well as weekends, to being with her all day every day. it’s not been difficult in an “i don’t know how to do this” sort of way. it’s just a new way of relating to each other, and as a person who feels compelled to chronicle everything so nothing goes forgotten…i’m still adjusting. so much happens every day. everything new all the time. words and phrases and emotions and games and it’s all so raw and messy and real and lovely. every day, my little girl is growing more and more into her own self, and already i feel the push and pull of how she separates from me, and then run backs for reassurance. this is a post unto itself. one that i vow to write soon. for now, let’s just say that my goal of being home long enough to savor our final days with jude as only child has been overwhelmingly met and exceeded.

i wanted to put something down here about the aforementioned 8 lb baby that happens to be due in 16 days. i’ve been very silent about him lately, even with myself. sure, i talk about him all the time–he’s a very obvious conversation topic–but when i think back to these final days of pregnancy with jude, i had a lot more…what was it? time? energy? to contemplate what was about to happen. sure, i wasn’t keeping up with a toddler, and i was on the threshold of becoming a mother at all, and that is a very different thing to contemplate.

honestly, my fear about giving birth this time around is a lot more concrete than that mystical fear i experienced last time. you know how “they” say mothers forget the pain of childbirth? yes, it’s true, i’d forgotten a lot of the hard moments for about two years, but now that i have constant braxton hicks contractions, as well as a grinding baby head on my cervix? i remember. i remember the firebelly of transition. i remember the long, nasty recovery. i feel it all again. of course, i also feel and remember what it was like to normalize the fire of each contraction, to go to that time-out-of-time laborland, and how i was able to simply let my mind bear witness to what my body was doing all by herself. i remember that quiet well.

and yet, i’m still afraid. more afraid than i thought i’d be.

with jude, there were prenatal classes, lots of conversations about birth plans and centering techniques. i spent hours reading other women’s birth stories. with ziggy, there have been no classes, the birth plan is agreed to be the same as last time, and i haven’t felt compelled to scour message boards for really inspiring birth stories.

i’m rambling. losing focus. it’s hard to write about this. i entered into the birthing experience with jude wanting to give her the most sacred entry possible. i knew that this experience was a rite of passage for both of us. and right now, birth doesn’t feel that way. it feels like something to get through in order get on with it already. i don’t want to shortchange my son. i don’t want my heart or body to be less open to the wonder and mystery of what it is to bring a new life into the world. i want to exhale my fear and worry and wounds from my last birthing experience. i want to hold on to all that was sacred and peace, and let him inhale it all with his first breath. that is my birthplan.

here’s his little face from our final ultrasound a week ago. his left kidney remains dilated, but it hasn’t worsened, so the dr isn’t too worried.
did i mention that we are clear for takeoff, delivery-wise? developmentally, he’s ready to be born. the countdown has begun.

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a brief synopsis of today’s ultrasound: mister zig weighs about 5 (FIVE!) pounds, is measuring a week ahead in size (today is 32w4d), and is expected to be an 8-9 pounder like his sister. he remains head down. (stay boy, stay!)

everything looks perfect, save for his left kidney, which is measuring 9ish mm today. (10mm is the magic number when normal becomes abnormal.) so. another ultrasound is scheduled for 37 weeks.

we actually saw the dr today. my midwife delivered his baby at home. for this reason alone, i like him. he doesn’t seem to be doctor intervention-irrational-freakout man. he is not worried about zig at this point; he really thinks everything will be okay in the end. he doubts surgery will be necessary, but wants to stay on top of it all just the same.

and so, for now, i’m just trying to enjoy the sneak peeks of my son, and trying not to dwell on something i cannot at all influence until after he is born.

here he is, again with the hands:

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conversations.

so, the other topic of interest brought up in the comments was about how we’re preparing jude for being a big sister.

i’ve talked a bit about the ongoing conversations here from time to time, but basically, it all goes like this:

every day, we discuss the baby. conversations usually begin after jude once again attempts to body slam my big belly, and i have to remind her to be gentle with mommy, because of the…? beebee, she says. yes! the baby! perfect icebreaker, right?

she loves to blow raspberries on my belly, to say hello to the beebee by speaking loudly into my belly button, and she’s now graduated to offering the beebee “big hugs” as well.

we ask jude if she is a baby. she usually says no, and backs it up with an emphatic head shake: she is a big kid. did she used to be a baby? yes, she concedes, she once was a baby. and so i bring up the topic of breastfeeding: how mommy used to nurse jude, but she’s a big kid now who drinks milk from a cup. sometimes she wants to check out the old restaurant, as it were. she asks to nurse. i remind her that i do not currently have milk (which isn’t entirely true; it’s colostrum time, folks!), and won’t till the baby comes. she understands, but pushes: try, mommy? jude try? so i let her try. and she doesn’t remember how to do it. (whew.) on most days, she’ll give up her attempt to nurse ask for a cup of milk. two days ago, however, she kind of lost her shit.

i gave her an ice cold cup o milk, and she threw it at me. and then she smacked me. then kicked me. then screamed, threw some toys and ran out of the room in what can only be described as a tizzy. i gave her a few minutes to calm down before approaching her. i asked, jude, are you angry? she nodded yes. i asked, are you angry because mommy doesn’t have any milk, and when she does again, it’ll be for the baby? yesh, she said out loud. then she broke eye contact from me and looked at my belly. sorry bebe, she said. big hug? and she gave my belly a big hug.

i was momentarily surprised that she was mad at the baby, and not me, but i also realized that she understands there is a person inside me with whom she can be angry. that makes me think she’s really getting it, as much as she can.

for the next half hour or so, jude pretended to be a baby, which she has never really done before. she developed a pretend baby cry; a perfect whah, whah. h and i shrugged our shoulders and played along. we asked aloud what we could do to comfort the baby, and she supplied us with several suggestions. we took turns cradling her like a newborn, burping her, singing to her, etc.

then her gabby and pop pop arrived at our house, and the game was over. she was jude the big kid again. she hasn’t reverted since.

so yeah, that is where we are with prepping jude for big sisterhood. we’re talking talking talking all the time, and letting jude do what she needs to do to communicate and cope with all this change.

[translation: we’re winging it. and wondering how she’ll actually be when ziggy is actually born.]

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so, you may remember that there was some concern about the development of my son’s kidneys at his last ultrasound. yesterday was our followup ultrasound, wherein we found out:

1. his kidney fluid levels have remained pretty much the same as last time, which is a good thing. we’ll have yet another followup in 4 weeks to ensure continued stability or improvement. WHEW.
2. ziggy is still very much a boy. a boy with intimidatingly enormous junk. no further questions here.
3. he is fond of keeping his hand next to his head in the exact same manner of his sister. sweet LORD, i hope he puts that thing down before exiting my womb. his hand placement made a profile pic for the family album pretty impossible, btw. i may post one of the u/s pics just to confuse you, though. it’s damn near impossible to identify him as an actual baby in them. he looks like a blurry handface.
4. he appears to have lips like his sister’s. we watched for a brief moment as he opened and closed them. they’re lovely. i can’t wait to kiss them, in (hopefully) 11 weeks.

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kidneys and belly

in honor of zig’s followup “come on kidneys, be properly developed and functioning!” ultrasound today, here is a (mobile) belly shot:

28w4d

rawr.

[note: duck face intentional.]

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milestone

at 20 weeks, i can see my belly move as ziggy somersaults about. whoa.

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good morning, son.

i promise it has not taken a week to find words about the reality of having a son. that took about a day, honestly. the subsequent days have slipped by with little time to reflect in words. but here i am now, five days on.

ultrasound day was a blur. that morning was a regular prenatal appt with m. my friend james, an email from whom i once wrote about here, has been staying with us for the past six weeks, as he finds some firm ground in austin. he accompanied me to my appointment, and recorded the galloping horses heartbeat of my baby. i asked m if she had any final guesses as to zig’s sex, and she said, “based on heart tones today, a girl, but my original hit was boy, so i’m sticking with boy. team boy.”

…meanwhile, on the ziggy poll, the boy voters had nudged ahead.

right about this time, i was pretty convinced i was having a girl. and i said it out loud to myself. my months of guesses culminated into the following philosophy: i may have had boy hunches, i may have thought of a full boy name, but no matter my thoughts, i am bound to have a girl. it is what i do. it is what my family does. we are girls who birth girls (with the occasional boy). so, hunch away, self; you’re still having a girl.

h had similar thoughts. hers had gone further, though. the boxes of baby jude clothes carefully packed away in the attic filled her head with baby girl dreams. sisters. the girls. that was going to be our future. our family was going to look like a house full of girls.

fast forward to the ultrasound. i’m lying on the table, elastic-waisted jeans pulled and rolled down low on my hips. jude begins to wail in terror at her mommy being in such a position, especially once the goo is applied. h sits next to me, jude on her lap. i ask jude if she wants to hold hands. she says yes. she calms down. when she gets scared again, she pushes her favorite doggy stuffed animal to my face for a kiss. it tickles. i try not to sneeze or laugh. i can’t see the big screen in front of me, where the silent sonographer takes ziggy’s measurements.

soon, jude becomes excited about the wriggling fetus on tv. beebee! beebee! beebee! she shrieks loudly, an excited mantra, over and over. sonographer says, “how old is she?” with not much interest for an answer. “22 months,” i reply, and then answer her real question: “yes, this is how she is all the time.” meanwhile, sonographer is spending a lot of time measuring ziggy’s kidneys. and unless prompted, she doesn’t answer any questions.

finally, the big reveal. ziggy’s legs are modestly placed together, and sonographer pokes around a bit with the transducer until something appears between the legs. something which turns out to be a penis. a boy. a boy. a boy.

sonographer is done. i ask if we can have a profile pic, you know, for the family album. she says yes, and annoyed, she finds ziggy’s–my son, ziggy’s–profile, and takes a couple stills. she then hurries out of the room, saying the dr will look over the measurements and let us know that everything is fine with our boy.

a few minutes turns into twenty. the doctor is performing a procedure of some sort. we wait. jude eats a pb&j, rolls around on the floor, takes off her shoes, whines about the baby not being on tv anymore, wants to play with all the instruments in the room. h says she is getting worried about how long this is taking. uncle g busies himself with jude. i am numb, trying not to worry about the fact that we’re still waiting in an exam room. i am trying to get my brain to understand that i am growing a boy, a son. my son. my boy.

sonographer comes back at the end of eternity, with news that ziggy has fluid in his kidneys. they like to see fluid levels be under 6 (mm?) and his were something like 5.4 and 5.6. this is common in boys, she says. it usually self-corrects. we’d like to schedule another ultrasound in 10 weeks. i don’t know how to interpret this information. i say, if this were really bad news, the doctor would be talking to us right? she says yes, that’s true. this is nothing to worry about…for now. we’re ushered out the door.

later, i call my midwife. she jumps up and down with joy about my boy, about her correct guess. and she tells me, very specifically: hear me, listen to my words. this happens all the time. i have NEVER seen it NOT correct itself. EVER. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THIS.

…i am reminding myself of this every day. worry not worry not worry not.


that night, h and i talked a long time about grieving the fact that we’re not having a daughter. the grief does not diminish, in any way, our joy about having a boy ziggy, but it was a real grief, and one that needed to be honored. we talked about our fears of being two women raising a son. i know what it means, what it feels like, to be a good woman, we agreed. i don’t know what it feels like to be a good man. and then we followed with the tentative conclusion of: we both know what it means to be a good person, and that is enough.

we rejoiced in the fact that uncle g and his dad, pop pop, will be two present and extraordinarily good men in zig’s life. if he grows up to be like them in spirit and kindness, we will have succeeded as parents.

we talked about circumcision, about which we are on the same page.

and then we cuddled into sleep, our hands both on my belly, and tried to swallow and understand the wonder of our son.

baby sexy leg!
chomp chomp chomp
sucking on fingers.
aka jack the pumpkin king.
look closely: boy
boy?  boy.

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this morning was ziggy’s first photoshoot. and aside from the nasty looks given to me by the receptionist for not having bloodwork done to do genetic testing, the whole experience was delightful. (she couldn’t fathom why we would want an ultrasound without having the genetic testing done.)

in the ultrasound room, h wrangled jude. jude pointed at the big tv screen a lot and said “hi’. uncle g sat silently taking it all in. and i lay there, reminding myself to be present to the reality that i was watching my baby, my son or daughter, skooch away from the transducer. right in front of me was my baby’s face, arms, legs, heart beating 163 bpm. jude was staring at her sibling, my 2nd child. all of this–the pregnancy, the hopes, the fears–is so very real.

dear readers, meet ziggy, at 12w2d:

waving hand:
waving.

headshot:
ziggy's first headshot.
(that nose! those lips!)

full body shot:
full body profile.

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best laid plans

i fell down the stairs this morning, holding jude. i tripped over a stubborn cat, lost my legs, and landed hard smack on my tailbone. i screamed from the immediate crack of sharpsharp pain. i did not lose my grip on jude. she didn’t even cry, though my screams scared her. she’s spent the rest of the morning giving me reassuring bear hugs, while saying “awwww”.

i think i’m okay. i may have out-dooced dooce with a possible broken tailbone. i immediately called my midwife. she recommended i skip the doctor at this point; even if it is broken, there’s not much that can be done other than give it time to heal. i really don’t want an xray while pregnant. i’m worried enough about ziggy as it is.

michele reassured me that this fall was likely not even felt by ziggy, and the impact wasn’t enough to cause harm. yes, i am cramping. it’s pretty mild, but definitely present. she told me not to be afraid if i spot a bit from this. and to treat myself as if i’m newly postpartum for the next 3 days. i.e. i need to stay down and let my uterus quiet itself.

so that is what i’m doing right now: lying on my side in bed, icepack on my ass, and trying to shake the shakiness of dissipating shock. my whole body hurts. and i’m holding out all the hope i have that my midwife is right, that ziggy is okay. i already have an appt on weds to hear ziggy’s heartbeat. she’s willing to see me sooner if the worry consumes me. i’m so grateful for her availability and care.

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ugh and such.

wow, it’s been awhile. how are you all?

me? it’s been more of the same. as it turns out, i had a sinus infection for awhile, and the pressure in my head, behind my ears especially, made my nausea hella worse. after a week on antibiotics, i am, on the morning sickness scale (which, you may remember goes from one to pregnant-with-jude), about a solid 7. i’ve only missed one day of work, and i am able to push past the funk and be a productive chicken every day.

thanks be to God.

i really must take a belly shot soon. because my bump is pushing forward with much enthusiasm. my clothes fit funkily, and i’m wearing even baggier hoodies and comfy pants than usual. i am frumplestiltskin. also, have i mentioned that i haven’t had a haircut since AUGUST? unacceptable. time for some sassy maternity wear (target, don’t fail me now) and an effing haircut already. i feel like a modest, but nice house that has gone to shit. my theory is that i’ll feel less nauseated with a proverbial fresh coat.

let’s see, what else is happening in my little world of pregnancy and toddlerhood?

two weeks from tomorrow, we’ll get to hear ziggy’s heartbeat for the first time. also, i scheduled a 12 week ultrasound on 8 march. i’m still not convinced there is only one ziggy in my belly. it’ll be such a relief to simply know.

i am getting boy vibes from this baby. not as strong as jude’s girl-vibes were, but definitely present. i’m not committing to anything here, but if i give birth to a boy, i won’t be surprised. that’s all.

my judechild is still calling me daddy. sometimes h gets it, and uncle g as well. but mostly me. some of you asked in the comments of my last post whether i’m okay with that. the answer? totally okay. it’s hilarious to me. we’ve never introduced the word daddy to her vocabulary, so it is something she has picked up for herself. i’m not sure if it has anything to do with the lack of someone named daddy in our home, or if it’s just a term she likes. in any case, it’s damn cute.

incidentally, my official name is ‘mommy’, and sometimes she’ll say it when prompted. that’s the thing: she usually has to be prompted to call h and me by any name whatsoever. until she started calling me daddy, she didn’t address me at all. she usually gets my attention by suddenly appearing in my lap, between my legs, or by grabbing my boobs. so. being called by any name at all is a delicious sort of experience.

so that’s all really. i apologize if you’re bored by this post. i want to tell you stories, but all i’ve got are sporadic sentences. maybe trimester two. in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for a belly shot, or maybe even a grainy video soon.

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