Sunday Fun…er Sleepday

It’s almost 7:30pm.

I’m not entirely sure where this day went.

Yesterday I was on the go from 7am until 10pm: salon, birthday party, purge basement of toys, feed children, put children to bed, crash.

Today I paid for it. Today for the first time I thought I was going to fall asleep in church (and not because the sermon was boring, but because I was exhausted).

Cortney has been sick with a pretty bad cough/congestion thing. Yesterday I made him take a nap while I did the Toy Purge of 2014. Today I told him to stay home from church and rest–that I could handle the boys.

To their credit, the boys were very good, Sunday School went really well, and we all made it home without gnawing off any arms, but I had a pounding headache and tired aches everywhere.  As soon as Cort saw me walk in the door, he sent me to bed.

And I stayed there for two hours.

Like I said yesterday, this pregnancy is exhausting.

Since waking up, I’ve sat in sort of daze. My head still hurts, now I’m coughing, and somehow it’s 7:30pm already so it’s time to put the kids to bed.

The bright side is that Eddie and I only have two days of school this week and Charlie only has two days of daycare. Just two mornings to get through. Two.

We can do it.

Nesting and Resting

This pregnancy is so dang weird. I mean, it’s weird in the sense that it is really nothing like my pregnancies with the boys.

One way is that I am tired ALL THE TIME. When the second tri hit with the boys, I was all about the energy kick and taking advantage of it.  I felt great and I loved my baby bump that stuck out.  Other than the constant peeing and the partial placenta previa with Charlie that kept me on my butt a lot, I felt really great.

This time? I got nothing. I’m still completely wiped out all the time. It’s almost as debilitating as the first tri, just without the barfing and near-barfing. I start the days so tired I feel a little like I could fall asleep driving…even while blasting some righteous old school rap. I feel like I stop and sit a LOT during class time rather than roam the room like I prefer to do. By my prep hour (the last hour of the day), it takes everything I have to not just sit and stare blankly out of exhaustion.

Even with all the ways that Cortney picks up my immense slack, I still find myself falling asleep before 8pm while putting Eddie to bed. My OB checked my iron. It turns out I am just really, really tired.

Oddly, the other difference is that with the boys, I had no desire to nest. Ever.

In fact, Cortney asked me while I was in my last month of pregnancy with Eddie when the nesting thing was supposed to kick in because each day I got lazier and lazier. I wanted to do nothing but watch Sex and the City reruns, eat Cheetos, and sleep.

This time, although I am so very tired all the time, I feel itchy to clean and purge everything unessential from this house. I can stand to think about how much STUFF we have accumulated in closets and shoved in drawers. I want to take an entire box of trash bags and fill them up  and get rid of them.

Today I did just that with the toy room.

That room gave me all the hives, so even though I wanted to nap (Charlie went down for a nap, Cortney has a cold so he took a nap, and Eddie was quietly watching Netflix), I grabbed some boxes and bags and headed downstairs.

And let me tell you, I purged so much that when Cortney went downstairs to grab the boxes and bags and put them in my car before little eyes saw what I was getting rid of, he was shocked at how much better it looked. I wanted to continue into Eddie’s room and relocate his toys to the toy room (and maybe purge some stuff on the way) and go through the boy shoes and clothes that no longer fit Charlie.

But I ran out of steam. You know, being pregnant and lifting and bending and starting out all tired didn’t really help.  But I made a dent.

And tonight I will be falling asleep moments after I hit publish on this because holy cow…everything on my body is angry.

Did you get the nesting bug with your pregnancies? Or were you like me with naps and Cheetos? Maybe this nesting thing is because it’s a girl. Or because it’s my last.

Whatever it is, I’ll take it because I love to clean out and get rid of stuff.

Just don’t tell the dudes that live in my house…they get nervous every time they know I am going to tackle a new room. Ha!

The Last Time

I have been asked a LOT if, because we are having a girl, this will be our last pregnancy.

It will most likely be our last pregnancy, but not because we are having a girl.

When I was pregnant with Charlie, Cortney made no secret about the fact that he would be perfectly happy with just two kids. Two boys. The Sluiter Boys. The Sluiter Brothers. A family of four.

I said I wouldn’t know until he was here, and less than two hours after he was born I finally looked up from staring at his wrinkly newborn face with tears in my eyes and said, “this can’t be my last baby.”

Within a month of finding out I was pregnant with Alice, after barfing for the thousandth time in a day plus running after two boys and breaking up bickering all day, I announced, “THIS IS IT. I can’t do this again. The first trimester is too dang exhausting. This is the last baby!”

And Cortney rejoiced. In fact, I had to tell him to maybe hold off on making any “appointments” until after the baby was here.

So the decision to be done after three was made long before we knew #3 would be a girl.

I thought I would be a lot sadder about going through my LAST pregnancy. I didn’t mind being pregnant with the boys once I got through the evil first trimester, but this time EVERYTHING has been different. For one, the first trimester ended and while I do barf less, I still get gaggy at random times–especially if I am congested and can’t breathe out of my nose.

I’m also just as exhausted as I was through the first tri. My doctor tested my iron, but it turns out I’m just exhausted. Working and having two kids at home knocks me on my butt. The eight hours of sleep I make myself get per night is not cutting it. In fact, I find myself struggling to stay awake while I drive to work at 6:45am, and when I get home I’m useless. I can’t bring myself to empty the dishwasher or reload it. Making dinner is a huge exertion, and getting Eddie to get his homework done, both boys to have baths, and both boys in jammies by bedtime takes all the strength I can muster. Then I almost fall asleep on the couch until I just go to bed.

And I can’t keep track of anything! I have missed appointments (even with the reminders); I have missed turn in deadlines for Eddie, and I have missed deadlines for myself.  I have had a blog that is half-broken for two months now and I just don’t have the energy to get anyone on the phone and crab about it because I will probably cry from being so tired and over it.

I am also starting to feel BIG. At 22 weeks, I caught myself waddling in the hall today. WHAT? Going up and down steps is starting to wind me and lifting Charlie (or too many books) gives me a cramp.

I know! This is a rant of whining!  Which is exactly why every time something hurts or I want to lie down and cry (or sleep), I tell myself: “this is it. The last time.”

What I will miss is the excitement of that ultrasound around 20 weeks. The feeling of the baby moving and grooving inside me. Of being one with another person. I’ll miss the help my students give me because watching me try to bend is too ridiculous.

I’ll miss the back rubs that Cortney gives me (without me even having to ask) and the way Eddie says, “bye mom and Alice!”

Even though I feel like my body is mad at me for being pregnant, I know it will be a little bittersweet once Alice is here and I know that I will never be a home for a growing human again.

Cortney and I always said we would know when we were done, and we just know.

Alice is the last piece of the Sluiter Family Puzzle.

We just know.

ramblings of a pregnant mother

I haven’t written much about this pregnancy.

Sorry, Alice.

In the beginning, when I had time, we weren’t public with it and I was sick as a dog. Once I was free to write all I wanted, I was so busy I wasn’t sure if I was wearing pants most days (I assume I was, or someone would have said something. I hope). Then when I was aching to write, my dang blog broke for almost a month.  It’s back. Sort of. I still can’t post pictures.

This pregnancy has been…different.

I am not sure how to put into words how it’s been different though. I was super sick in the beginning, just like with the boys, but it was different. Less puking, more inability to do anything.

With the boys, I worried about the typical things–probably more so with Eddie since he was my first pregnancy to make it past 10 weeks. With Alice, I have been a ball of anxiety. I was terrified they would find something wrong at the ultrasound.  I was sure something was wrong because I didn’t feel her move much (now she is out of control, just like Charlie was). Before that 20-week ultrasound, I couldn’t shake a feeling of dread.

Thankfully the ultrasound and the confirmation that everything looks “just right” from the OB has almost entirely wiped out that feeling that something is just not right.

Up until the ultrasound I was just not letting myself engage in this pregnancy. It felt an awful lot like my first two pregnancies that didn’t make it.

It was not until I saw her–found out that she was a SHE–and saw that all her organs and limbs were normal. That my placenta was normal. That my cervix and ovaries all looked normal.  It was not until then that I settled in to the idea that Alice is our third baby. She is the last piece of the puzzle that is Sluiter Nation.

I began to think of pink and purple and ruffle buns and lace. I began to dream of a three generation photo with my mom, me, and Alice.

I still start to laugh when I remember that the baby growing inside me, wiggling and kicking and hiccuping, is not a boy.

The ultrasound tech had asked if we wanted to know the gender and we had said, “yes!”

She was busy measuring bones and checking organs. She was measuring the femurs and I knew that we would be able to see what was there (or not there) soon because we were in the lap region. At first baby’s legs were right together. Then suddenly they parted. The tech froze the image and said, “what do you think?”

“There are no boy parts there!” I almost yelled.

“nope,” she said with a sly smile.

“So…it’s a girl?” I asked all confused. I mean, I KNOW what it means to not have boy parts, but don’t we have boys? Isn’t that what we do? I was so confused. I had been thinking of my third boy for a long time.

“It’s a girl,” she confirmed.

I started laughing. Hard. I started laughing so hard, in fact, that my belly was jiggling and she has to wait to continue her measurements. Tears were in my eyes from laughter. I looked over at Cortney and noticed he was also wiping away a few tears, but his weren’t because he was cracking up. That made me laugh harder. Not at him, but because…a GIRL. A DAUGHTER. How could this be real?

It’s been almost two weeks and I still can’t quite believe that a little girl will be joining this family.

I have a lot of thoughts, both funny and serious, about this thing that I will be: A Girl Mom. Hopefully I will write them out.

In the meantime, I am going to go ahead and give in to my cravings for Skinny Pop popcorn, Oreos, and coffee.

Boy…Boy…??

Yesterday was the big ultrasound.

All was healthy and well.

And then we found out the sex of the baby.

And I laughed so hard that the ultrasound tech had to wait until my tummy stopped jiggling to continue.

Because there were no boy parts.

We are having a girl.

Alice Katherine Sluiter.

A GIRL!

(I can’t upload pictures to the blog right now, so if you want to see how I revealed it on the facebook, head over to my Sluiter Nation page).

No Guarantees

::Looks around::

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything here. That’s because my blog got hacked and I couldn’t log in and then when I hired someone amazing to help, she found buggy wonky files all OVER the place. It’s like my blog got Ebola. It was a process, but we think it’s all clean now.

In the past week or so, my mind has been in over-drive which means I was sort of an anxiety ball without my blog to vent on. Sure, sure I could have hand-written my thoughts or opened a document and typed there, but this little “new post” window has been my therapy couch for the pat 7+ years, and I just don’t do as well writing elsewhere.

I know. I’m weird.

Anyway, one of the big things on my mind has been baby #3.

Today is the day of the Big Ultrasound.

Everyone asks, “are you going to find out the sex of the baby?”

The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is, yes, but we are most concerned with the health of the baby.

I know everyone says that–shoot, we were those people with our last two pregnancies–but most people are first and foremost excited about seeing the baby and/or finding out the sex. Everyone knows that the real reason for the ultrasound is to check on the babies growth and well-being, but because it seems like the health of the baby by 19-20 weeks becomes presumed and just SEEING the baby becomes the bigger deal.

Like I said, even with the loss of pregnancies, we felt pretty safe by 20 weeks in our past two pregnancies with the boys. We were most excited to see our little baby and find out about his parts.  With Eddie I thought we were having a girl. With Charlie, I knew it had to be a boy from the minute I got the positive pregnancy test.

Once I made it past the first trimester, I wasn’t really that concerned that anything could go wrong.

A year ago, we lost my niece, Bella. She was born asleep because she had Turner Syndrome, something my brother-in-law and sister-in-law found out at their 20-week ultrasound.

No, I am not necessarily afraid that our baby has Turner Syndrome, but I have been reminded that getting to the 20-week ultrasound is not a guarantee of a healthy baby. Just because my check ups have been find–we hear the heart, I’m measuring correctly (ok, a week early…but that was how it was with both boys), and I feel ok.  That is still no guarantee our baby is healthy and Ok.

This entire pregnancy has felt different, and for me “different” means bad. At least that is where my brain goes. It’s strange because I was WAY sicker with Charlie and way more moody with Eddie, but somehow this pregnancy makes me nervous.  Maybe it’s because we keep saying it’s the last, and I am afraid that I am jinxing it (even though I don’t believe in jinxes). Maybe the baby isn’t a boy (like I predict), so the pregnancy is different.  Maybe it’s all in my over-analyzing head.

Whatever the reason for it, I am nervous for this ultrasound.

I quite honestly do not care if we are having another little dude or if we are getting a girl (although truth be told I will be SHOCKED if it’s a girl). I really just want to know everything is Ok. Everything looks normal.

I’ve been afraid to get any baby stuff out or look at what we need or what needs to be cleaned, because I am scared.  Even as I type this I can feel that little guy (or girl) moving around, so why can’t I shake the worries?

It will all be cleared up at 3:30pm today, though.

And I will share here…after we let family know.

So far I think boy, Cortney thinks boy, Eddie is hoping girl, and Charlie doesn’t want a baby to take his room.

Someone will be right. Let’s pray it’s not Charlie.

even more changes

I’ve mentioned that there is a THING that has been really blocking my writing lately as well as making life, well, a bit difficult for me lately.

We’ve known about this THING since July 5:

2014-07-05 12.17.11

Because of my history of miscarriage, we kept it quiet from most people other than family and very very close friends until August 1st when we saw this:

2014-08-01 15.37.32-1At 8 weeks, healthy as can be with a heartbeat of 177.

And then we were still quiet because I wanted to tell my new principal before he found out via the social media grapevine.

But now he knows.

And so do you.

12.5 weeks and healthy, although the first trimester was full of nausea and vomit and exhaustion (I am sure that explains some of my cancelled plans, facebook statuses, and lameness over the past couple months).

Due March 13 (yes, Charlie’s birthday), 2015.

 

plus one

I have always dreamed of having four boys.

Cortney is happy with the two we have, but is willing to go for one more baby.

Eddie wants a sister so badly that he begs for one daily.

Charlie hates to share and is fiercely jealous when another baby is in my arms.

Three against one, Bird. Sorry.

I guess this means Sluiter Nation is currently in negotiations about increasing the population from 4 to 5.

Of course with me, it’s not as easy as “we want to have another baby, so let’s get pregnant now…weeeeee!!!”  Unfortunately we have a million things we have to consider; the first of which is when would my maternity leave fall in the school year and will I have enough sick days that I can take the full twelve weeks off paid?

We really can’t afford for me to be off unpaid, and mentally fewer than twelve weeks of maternity leave are just not Ok, Charlie’s birth date was idea since the twelve weeks off butted up against twelve more weeks off for summer break. Six months home with my little guy was perfect for me.

We also have to think about my medication. Currently I am on a pretty high dose of Celexa for my depression. My OB would like to see me cut that dose in half at LEAST until my 12th week of pregnancy. We already know from when I was pregnant with Charlie that I can’t wean off completely. I guess I’m going to be discussing this with my therapist at my next appointment and then with the prescribing doc if necessary.

And of course there is my age. I’m thirty-five, almost thirty-six, which means that I am now considered “advanced maternal age.” On top of all the other risks and issues I have with staying pregnant, there is now a higher risk of the baby having issues.

Yet we feel our family is not quite complete.

I have SO many thoughts and feelings about what this will do to our family and the changes we will have to make. I’ve discussed with my therapist all the depression stuff that could (probably will) happen with another baby. There is a lot going on in my heart and mind…and probably Cortney’s too.

But we agree: it’s almost time for another.

And so we pray for that little one who we do not yet know.

I mean, there’s room on this couch for one more, yes?

adding one more?

noise

There is so much noise lately.

It comes from every direction.

No one told me being an adult is so hard on the senses.

I’ve found myself complaining of headaches and backaches and neck aches a lot lately.

I think it’s from the noise.

Even when I turn everything off, it’s still in my head. So loud.

The noise is loudest when it’s quiet, I find.

During the school day when teenagers are being teenagery and in the evening when a preschooler is being preschoolery and a toddler is being toddlery, the noise isn’t so loud. It’s drowned out by immediacy of life.

But in the quiet of my planner period, my commute, my quiet time lying with Eddie while he falls asleep, my head fills with it.

Noise.

Static.

Yelling and shouting and vying for attention.

Anger and frustration and joy and excitement and overwhelm and worry and pride and anticipation and grief.

Oh the grief.

Memories are loud.

They scream in your heart and make you feel all over again the things you thought were past and gone and not coming back.

The pain, the writhing, the labor for…empty arms, empty heart.

Grief is the loudest of the noise.

Scratching and tearing demanding to be the center and then just sitting there in the middle of it all like dead weight.

Resurfacing to drown me.

The noise is so so loud when you’re an adult.

I want to go back to that warm place of being a child where the noise of the adult world is so far above me, it doesn’t make it to my ears or heart.

That place with dinner waiting on the table, two parents tucking me in, and no note of death or pain or worry in my ear.

I want the safety and silence of childhood back.

Because being an adult is too loud.

It hurts too much.

In honor of Infant Loss and Remembrance Day, I lit my candle for the two I have in heaven (snuggled there next to a picture of their little brother, Eddie) and for my niece, Bella. Who went home too this past week.

In honor of Infant Loss and Remembrance Day, I lit my candle for the two I have in heaven (snuggled there next to a picture of their little brother, Eddie) and for my niece, Bella. Who went home too this past week to be held in the arms of her Papa Steve in Heaven.

***Updated (9:21am 10/16/13)*** I just got word that Arabella Elizabeth Sluiter was delivered at 2:20am this morning weighing 1 lb, 3oz. She will always be loved and remembered.

Bump, Bump

Yesterday was Eddie’s birthday. I don’t have my mind sorted out yet about how in the world he could already be four, so I can’t talk about that yet.

What I can do, is travel back in time with you.  Back to my days when Eddie…and Charlie…still called my uterus home.  When they used my organs as soccer balls.

Two summers ago, when we were trying to get pregnant with Charlie, my friend, Shell, did a link up called Rock the Bump, so I showed everyone what I looked like pregnant with Eddie.

She is doing it again this year, so I thought I would do a bump comparison of sorts.  You can watch the ever-changing picture/decoration behind me too.

 

And so it begins.  I look so much more excited and not so tired while pregnant with Eddie.

And so it begins. I look so much more excited and not so tired while pregnant with Eddie.

Six months...poking out a bit more with Charlie.

Six months…poking out a bit more with Charlie.

 

Oh dear. I was just not good during my pregnancy with Charlie. It's like I am wearing that antenatal depression right out there.

Oh dear. I was just not good during my pregnancy with Charlie. It’s like I am wearing that antenatal depression right out there.

8 months is apparently the month where I give up. Also? HOT MESS.

8 months is apparently the month where I give up. Also? HOT MESS.

 

BAM! 9 months! I start to resemble a person again...but only because I know the end is so darn close!

BAM! 9 months! I start to resemble a person again…but only because I know the end is so darn close!

The night before Charlie was born.  I am READY!

The night before Charlie was born. I am READY!

I think the moral here is that you are more tired with the second pregnancy because you have the results from the first pregnancy running around under your feet.

Want to see more glowing pregnant mommas?  Clicky the badge below and check them out!

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I’m also over at The Writer Revived today talking about the things I realize about becoming a stay at home mom for the summer. I would love it if you would head over and give it a read!
Don’t forget that Google Reader is going away July 5! 

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