Monday, September 30, 2013

Angry Phase?

Not sure if this is normal, but I've gotten into an angry pregnant-lady phase. In fact, I would say I've been way more angry than weepy with this pregnancy in general. People annoy me easily, and I tend to get frustrated and fly off the handle more quickly than usual. 

This past weekend, I was so angry that I was still pregnant! I was seriously contemplating calling my midwife to schedule a C-section. Kudos to any woman who has been pregnant over 37 weeks, because this is just killing me. I want this kid out...NOW. 

Yesterday afternoon, though, I realized that I just need to take things day by day and try not to let my anger get the best of me. After all, I'm really lucky that I could take the opportunity to go on maternity leave relatively early and have time to relax before baby arrives. So, I'm trying to focus on enjoying these last few days/weeks before we're a family of four (ack!).

One thing that adds to my anxiety is I keep thinking about the possibility of a still birth. I know that my fear is unfounded and that it's incredibly unlikely, but I know a few people who've had to go through this terrible, heartbreaking experience, and I just can't untangle myself from the thought of it right now. So, I just want Jelly Bean to be out, to be healthy, and to be safe.

This post seems random and blathering - sorry about that! My guess is that will be a running theme over the next while as I wait for baby.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Full Term - Now Get Out!

Today marks 37 weeks, which means Jelly Bean is now full-term! I'm not sure which of the three interventions (or combination thereof), if any, worked the magic, but I'm so happy to be at this point. 

Now, though, I'm definitely ready to meet baby. I've been pregnant for 2.5 weeks longer than with Evan, so even though I'm only 37 weeks, I feel like I'm overdue. That being said, I know the longer baby is in there, the better it is for him. I'm still hoping for a September baby, while DH thinks he'll arrive early October.

We are all ready for a home birth, as long as there are no complications (of which there are none right now - the pregnancy is considered very low risk at this point). Maybe at some point I'll write about how we came to this decision, but right now I want to avoid judgements/questions/etc. and keep our positive attitude about things.

So, now it's just a waiting game. Regardless of how long it takes, we're very excited to meet baby #2!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Madness

This is one of Evan's favorite things to do in the backyard lately:

Friday, September 20, 2013

At Least I'm Not Alone

Man, knitting baby blankets might be the most boring thing ever. I'm not alone in my feelings either --- even professional knitters find it boring. Good thing baby blankets are amazing things in the end, or it wouldn't be worth it!

I started this blanket back in April, and I still have four pattern repeats plus the border to do. I'm hoping to get it done before Jelly Bean arrives, but not sure how likely that is. Hopefully he's not waiting for it to be finished before making his debut.

 Fig. 1: The never-ending baby blanket (pattern - Sunny Baby Blanket)

To make myself feel better, I've knitting another hat for CLICK for Babies, and also a hat to get Jelly Bean ready for football when he finally arrives.

 Fig. 2: Football baby hat (based on this pattern).

I realize this isn't helping in finishing the baby blanket, but at least I'm finishing SOMETHING!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What's Next

I mentioned in my last post that there were still some work-related issues that were left unresolved. Basically, because of funding issues, it doesn't sound promising that I will have a job to go back to next summer when my maternity leave is over. A replacement was not hired for my position, and I was only on contract until March 31st, 2014 (so no, my employer is not obligated to have my job - or equivalent - waiting for my return). Me being a planner means that I will go into the next year assuming I don't have a job. 

I really enjoyed it for the most part, and it was exactly what I wanted to do after I finished my PhD. My favorite parts of the job were working with the K-12 students, learning more about education theory and practice, and creating new activities, presentations, and programming for students and the public. I think I was able to accomplish a lot during my 2+ years in the position, and I was also able to develop some new skills. 

So, what's next? 

Ideally, it would be great to stay in the education and outreach world, but the jobs in that area are really few and far between - especially when limited to staying local. I'll keep my eye out, but here are some other ideas dancing through my head right now:

1. Teachers College: I know teaching jobs are incredibly hard to come by right now, but this has been something I've been wanting to do for years. 2014 is the last year the local program will be only 1-year (well, 8 months, actually), so it would be a good time to FINALLY do it.  
Pros: something I've wanted to do for years, so my interest/passion is clearly there; getting a teaching job means great pay, benefits, and vacation time. 
Cons: 8 months of no work (read: no paycheck) and paying tuition on top of that; could take years to get a permanent position.

2. Not-For-Profit: I would love to take my skills in volunteer management and event organization into the not-for-profit sector. It would be wonderful to be more involved in the local community, and working with projects that are important to me. 
Pros: meaningful work; getting into a sector with more mobility; working with like-minded, passionate people.  
Cons: switching sectors can be difficult; jobs tend to be short term in nature; would probably mean a pay-cut.

3. Doula: Going through my own pregnancy and birth experience(s), and hearing those of others, really makes me consider becoming a licensed doula. Educating women about their birthing choices, and acting as an advocate for them during a very intense moment in their lives could satisfy both my need to help people and my interest in women's rights.  
Pros: amazing, rewarding work; certification can be done in a short-ish amount of time with relatively low expense; would be my own boss; gets me into medical world without huge amount of additional schooling; scheduling flexibility (can choose how many clients to take on, etc.).
Cons: would be my own boss (a bit daunting!); unsure of demand in the area (need to do research on this); always on-call.

4. Midwife: Similar reasoning to #3, but this would require 4 years of schooling minimum. If we didn't have to worry about money, and lived in a city where a program was offered, this might be my top choice. Unfortunately, those are two HUGE strikes against this option, and I don't think I can put my own wants above those of my family for such a long time. Perhaps #3 could lead into #4 in the future though?

Thankfully the timing of all of this works out nicely so that I have about a year to do some research and make some decisions, while getting paid through maternity and parental benefits. I will definitely submit an application to teacher's college for 2014, and then can make the decision whether to go or not later (so at least I have that door open). I also would like to do some volunteer work during my maternity leave to create more contacts in the not-for-profit sector. 

Seems like I'm writing these posts every couple of years. I'm more excited than nervous this time around though - I feel very blessed that I'm in the position to have the opportunity to switch gears and do something different again.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Last Day

Yesterday was my last day of work. It's a bit surreal. I don't think it's actually sunk in yet that I don't have anything to do next week...or anything I'm obligated to do, anyway. It's a lot different than last time when Evan came before my maternity leave was to start. Most things were wrapped up nicely, though there are some job-related issues that are still up in the air (more on this soon).

Nothing like leaving to feel acknowledged and loved, though! My office-mate planned a going-away lunch, which was attended by about 20 staff and students. A group of them even got together and had one of their mom's sew me a beautiful, space-themed, blanket for Jelly Bean. One of my bosses said some very nice words about me at the first planetary science gathering of the year, which was followed by audience applause. I had multiple drop-ins to my office, lots of hugs, and another nice gift from a group of ladies working down the hall from me. All in all, it was a very nice send-off.

Now, I really hope to have at least a week or two to just relax at home, make up a bunch of meals to freeze, and get ready for Jelly Bean to arrive. 

Evan will be starting part-time at his daycare - going three days a week and being home with me the other two days. Honestly, I'm not sure how I'm going to keep up with him while 35+ weeks pregnant, but we'll manage!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Purple Hats for Purple Crying

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) hosts a knit-a-thon each year, called CLICK for Babies, to bring attention to the Period of PURPLE Crying.

Many newish parents may be familiar with the Period of PURPLE Crying - it's a peak in crying that begins to rise at about 2 weeks of age, peaks in the 2nd month, and then falls in month 3-4. It can be frustrating for new parents because there seems to be no explanation for the crying. The NCSBS brings awareness to this period of heightened crying to help avoid infant abuse, particularly shaken baby syndrome. Learn more here.

To help bring awareness to this common problem, CLICK for Babies brings together knitters from around the world to knit preemie- and newborn-size hats in various shades of purple to give to new parents (along with information about PURPLE Crying) during the month of November. 

I've made one quick hat, using this pattern, and hopefully can do more (though I still have Jelly Bean's blanket to finish, and I'd like to make him a hat too).

Fig. 1: Simple purple cap. Note to self: need to learn how to take better knitting photos!

If you're interested in helping out with this great cause, check out the locations where you can send or drop-off knit/crocheted caps.

Friday, September 6, 2013

PG Milestones

Here I am, with one week to go before going on maternity leave. There are some job-related things I'd like to blog about, but think I'll wait until after I'm on leave for that. 

My near-term goals right now are all baby related. Here are the milestones I hope to reach:

34 weeks (yesterday!): at this point, I can be in the care of my midwife regardless of where I give birth.

34w4d (next Monday) OR 35 weeks (next Thursday): When Evan was born (34w4d according to ultrasound dating, or 35 weeks according to my chart), so we'd have a good idea of what to expect if this one comes at/near the same time.

35w1d (next Friday): my last day of work, and our 5th wedding anniversary

37 weeks (Sept. 26th): full-term, which means I can decide to have a home birth if there are no complications. 

Oct. 17: Estimated due date. At this point, we'd start thinking about when to induce.

I desperately want to make it to 37 weeks this time, but baby can come at any time after that date. Ideally, I'm hoping for a late-September or early-October baby. But, who knows, this time baby might decide to totally surprise me and come late!

What is your guess for delivery date?

Monday, September 2, 2013

End of Summer

Well, it's the Monday of Labour Day weekend - what I always consider the last weekend of summer. So, looking back at our summer bucket list, how did we do?

- Plant a garden - Yup! Though not many things grew very well. A green-thumb, I am not. But, we'll try again next year.

- Get deck built - Yes! This was done in May, and we're very happy with it. 

- Furniture, planters, and flowers for deck - Partial check. We got a patio set, but are waiting until next year to do planter and such. 

- Paint and decorate Jelly Bean's room - check!

- Thomas the Train event - nope. Decided it was too expensive.

- Vacation at a lake with the ILs - yup.

- Swimming at the local pool - yes! We went to the public pool once, and got invited to friend's homes with pools a couple times. He really enjoyed it, and I wish we could do this more often.

- Pick strawberries - yes, and blueberries too!

- Chalk-board wall in kitchen - no, but it's on our to-do list.

- Garage sale - yes! We did okay, and we ended up selling more online afterward. 

- Beach visits - yes! We went to the beach twice this summer, and Evan loved it!

- Visit 5 new playgrounds - yes!

- Farmer's market - not specifically, but we did buy produce from local fruit/veggie stands, so I'll say yes.
- Local festivals - Yup! We hit up a few of them, and will do another today.
- Fly a kite - didn't do this. Maybe in the fall!

- Go for bike rides - we tried a couple times, but Evan is still a bit young for this. 

- Finish knitting Jelly Bean's blanket- not yet. I'm about 60% done. It might end up becoming a Christmas present at this rate :S

What were the highlights of your summer?