Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28th

Sometimes I feel guilty for letting this blog sit for so long untouched, festering away, taking up space on the great Blogger cloud in the sky.  But, taking up space is what I am good at right now.  My blog is representing me well.

Week 38-39 of this pregnancy has been my least favorite.  I don't want to go into all of the details, but I will say that the discomfort that can come from thrombosed veins in ones most delicate of body parts is no laughing matter.  I know that childbirth is not for the faint of heart, but this situation has really tested me.

After taking the week off of work at my doctor's suggestion, I am feeling a lot better.  Shawn and my Madre have been taking good care of me and I have been able to stay off of my feet which has really improved my condition.  I go in for my 39 week appointment tomorrow and I will get to hear what my doctor is thinking.  I am hopeful that this will not affect my plans for delivery, but am definitely open to all options at this point.  This blood clotting business is something I am taking seriously.  Safe and healthy, that's my mantra.

I am still enjoying pregnancy despite it's unfortunate side effects.  My belly is super round and  this baby is taking up every square inch of it.  I love feeling the rolls and stretches even though they can be a bit much from time to time.  The injections that I give myself in the stomach do pose a bit of a challenge now, particularly if it is an active time of day or night for the baby.  Those kicks can easily knock my steady hand off balance while I am doing the injection.

The baby's gender has been easy to put on the back burner, but I am really starting to wonder about it now.  I am curious mostly for Violet.  Is she going to have a sister--something I've never experienced?  Or will she get a brother of her very own?  That we will know the answer in a matter of days is surreal.  These 39 weeks have simply been a blur. 

With so many unknowns for us in the coming weeks, I find myself revisiting the same daydream for comfort.  It is Thanksgiving morning.  Shawn, Violet, Baby and me pack up for the 1 mile drive to my Mom's where we will spend the day.  Thanksgiving is a relaxing day made up of parades, newborn snuggles, stuffing, football, nursing, laughing with my brothers and sisters-in-law, a glass of red wine, baby passing, pumpkin pie, more nursing, coffee, hugs from my mom, Violet on my lap, and all the things that make the unknowns so, so, worth it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From the Beginning

Hard to believe that in a matter of weeks, we are going to be starting from scratch with a brand new tiny human being.  A little over a month away from my due date and I am still intermittantly shocked that this is going to happen.  Multiple children have always been a part of the plan for me and Shawn, but the time it took to get this new one to come aboard is still in the forefront of my mind.  I didn't ever really believe that we wouldn't have a second child, but I still have moments when I forget that we are on the brink of meeting that second.  This pregnancy has been ticking by quickly and despite my best efforts to savor it, I still don't think I've done enough.

 Since this might be our last baby--the jury is still out on that decision, but I realize now that it may not be ours to make--I am trying not to get distracted by the shortness of breath or the sore back that has crept up on me.  Instead, I want to focus on the wonderful feeling of togetherness being pregnant provides.  I want to remember the way it feels to have a baby come to life, rolling and dancing around in my belly, when I lay down at night.  I want to always be able to revisit the feeling of anticipation that is alive in our house.   From Shawn's extra hugs and flower deliveries to Violet's snuggly, face-buried-in-belly hugs "for the baby," we are all aware that this is an unprecedented time for our family.  It has just been us 3 Pierces for quite awhile, forever as far as Violet is concerned, it is fun to wonder how the fourth will fit in.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Perfectly Content

The jitters (read: terrible worries) that accompanied the first trimester of pregnancy have dissolved and I am enjoying every freaking second of it at 26 weeks.  I think I thought I was enjoying my pregnancy with Violet but now I realize I was so preoccupied with the questions surrounding parenthood I don't think I really did.  "'What is coming next?" was my mantra through that pregnancy and I couldn't stop looking ahead to be in the moment.  There were so many things I thought I needed.  I spent my 9 months gathering the stuff of pregnancy and had very little time to focus on the state of pregnancy.  I haven't bought a thing for this one yet, (I saved the useful stuff from last time and realized much of it was  not so important as I thought) and so my attention has been squarely on this new person and how we are growing together.

For so many other reasons, this time is different.  The biggest reason it is different is because of Violet.  Her very being has proven to me that trying to predict "What is coming next?" is futile.  Luck and love have gotten our family of 3 pretty far and I am trust that will continue to work for us.  I also can't get over how very little control I have over anything.  When we married, I thought I would get to design my family to fit my desires.  It turns out, I have as much say in that as I have over what Violet wears each day.  Which is to say, I can lay out an outfit, plead the benefits of the outfit, and then still end up seeing a Hello Kitty tutu skirt paired with rainbow leggings.  And it bothers me at first.  But as the day wears on, it bothers me less.  And who knows when a costume change might come, anyway?  No use in getting too upset.

I feel the same way about this baby.  I wanted this baby sooner.  There are a lot of reasons why a smaller space between kids would have been better.  I could have gotten back to a full time job sooner.   Just as Violet's need for me is lessening, I'll be starting over with a new person.  Having a newborn is going to be delicious, and selfishly, I love that I am going to get to savor it and not chase after a toddler.  So, financially it doesn't make the most sense.  Oh, well.   Logistically, 4 and a half years isn't perfect.  But it is growing on me.  Violet is so wee still, but so independent.  She is already in love with her new sibling and hearing her describe in all of her four-year-old glory how she will sleep with the baby, rock the baby, snuggle the baby, and give the baby all of her discarded toys is priceless.  The only slight "What is coming next?" type feelings I have surround introducing Violet to this new person.  I cannot describe how thrilled I am to watch them meet.  Better than Christmas.

Physically, I am feeling wonderful.  I thought the daily shot in the stomach to treat my clotting disorder would put a damper on this pregnancy.  I am such a pro at it now, it doesn't even phase me.  This second trimester is blissful.  Feeling the baby's movements is the most wonderful kind of togetherness I have experienced.  I know the coming months will bring some discomforts--and they should--being pregnant forever shouldn't be any woman's goal.  For the time being, I am going to continue enjoying this ridiculous good luck I've stumbled upon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

pierce addition

I've thought dozens of times about writing this post.  I dreamed of writing it two years ago, when Shawn and I first decided to start trying for another child.  I prepared to write it each time I found out I was pregnant before I found out I wasn't anymore.  I wondered if I'd ever write it when month after month went by with no signs of life.  And for the last 100 some days I tried to figure out when it would be the right time to write these words so publicly.

I am pregnant.

Since February 17th, I've thought about little else.  It still doesn't seem real, somehow.  I've been begging my body to behave and the baby's to grow right.  Waiting for the other shoe to drop, I've wondered if I would ever be able to relax. 

And then yesterday, quickening;  tiny, unmistakable movements beneath my belly button.  And I breathed deeply and felt that things just might work out.  I might even be able to enjoy this.  I'll never have the same naive comfort level that I possessed when I was pregnant with Violet, that has been broken during these years.  But I am cautiously aware of the miracle that I'm being allowed to participate in for a second time.  Seems like a waste to worry the whole thing away, especially since I know how hard it is to come by.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Our lovely girl is aging quickly.  I love taking the time to look back on how she's changed every year when I put this montage together.   It is really racing by...

Monday, January 30, 2012

To Whom it May Concern

Dear Second Pierce Child Who Refuses to Be Conceived,

I get it. You won't be rushed. Unlike your older sister, you aren't in any huge hurry to meet me and Shawn. So be it. We will (continue to) wait.

But just in case you're wondering about things around here, let me tell you, it's good. It's all good.

We aren't novices anymore, not like we were in 2008 when Violet came along. We get babies now. At least we did. Not trying to pressure you or anything, but we might actually be a bit rusty if you don't come pretty soon. I promise I'll remember enough that I won't fret over some imaginary baby schedule or worry about following advice from an article in Parents magazine, but I'd still like it if you'd try to get here soon. I don't think your Daddy has changed a diaper in over a year, so expect a brief re-acclimation period there.

Did I mention I'm only working part-time? That's a perk Violet didn't get until she turned 1, but you could have it from the get-go. And I think we can get the same awesome babysitter for you that we've had for your sister all these years. You'll call her Grammy and she'll be WILD for you!

We honestly don't have a preference on your gender. Penis? Vagina? Don't let that decision hold you up. Bring it. I think your sister would like you to be a girl, but that's only because all of her baby dolls are girls and she doesn't have a boy name picked out. If you're a girl, she'd like to name you Lucy. Should you decide you'd like a penis, we'll love you just the same. And Daddy would be excited to tip the gender balance of the house back in his direction.

Now, I cannot promise you much in the way of material things. We have a nice, comfortable, cleanish house. You'll get a room in the house when you're ready for it. You'll always have clothes and toys and a bike and I know that because I know your grandparents. You'll get fed regularly; nursed for as long as we both care to and a pretty good mix of healthy and yummy vittles after that. No, you can't drink soda.

Your Dad has really come into his own in the last 3+ years. He is relishing being the daddy and I know he will scoop you up and never look back. We promised to stay together forever and I can tell you neither of us has changed our minds about that nor will we. So that's one thing you won't have to worry about.

Will we embarrass you? For sure. Your Daddy probably won't make you cringe as much as I will, but I'm sure from time to time we'll both have you rolling your eyes. We already love your as-yet unmapped chromosomes so very much that we can cry just from longing for you. So, yeah. Get ready for it.

You have no idea about the host of people who are over here for you when you come. I already mentioned your grandparents--you'll have 3 waiting when you get here. There is also a whole host of aunts and uncles, a slew of cousins (such fun for you!), and more friends than you can count! And I know I keep talking about Violet, but, that's because she is quite possible going to be your biggest fan. Unlike you, she was quite eager to join our family and she's eager to get you here, too. I can't say for sure, but I think she'd even be willing to give up her coveted spot sleeping between me and your Dad for you when you get here. Don't hold me to that, however. I do know that you'll love her to pieces. If you manage to learn from her even a fraction of all the amazing things she has taught me, you'll be the envy of the playground.

Speaking of playgrounds, we go to them quite often. Picnics, too. And we like to swim and bike, camp and cook. We'll take you to the drive-in and dance with you in the kitchen. If you're into art, I'll make sure you always have plenty of paints and a blank canvas. Trips to the library, walks through the neighborhood, feeding the ducks, museum visits galore, classes and snow angels; we'll see to it you get to do all of that.

Daddy and I are doing what we need to be doing to bring you here. If it's the coffee you don't like, just say the word and I'll nix it. But I'll give you a really crappy middle name. Just kidding, of course. If being a twinkle in Daddy's eye is really so hard to give up, maybe it would help you to know that he's going to be taking well over 100,000 photos of you before you turn 3. Not so different from being a twinkle, really. Except unlike being just a twinkle, you'll get to experience real hugs from the 3 other Pierces currently waiting on you. You just can't get that as a twinkle.

So at the risk of going completely Mommy on you:

Get over here right this instant. And I mean it.


Your Terribly Impatient Future Mommy

Giving Due Credit: Stole the lovely idea to write to a pre-baby from this blog: It worked for her.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Relief from Worry

I had an ultrasound on Monday. That's the second one in two months, if you're counting. And it was the second decidedly un-fun ultrasound of my life. During my routine annual exam two weeks ago my doctor felt an abnormality while she was palpating my abdomen. She pressed down twice on my right side under my rib cage. "Hmmm, that's funny. I can feel your liver." She guided my hand to the area, had me breath in and let me feel it too.

To save space, I will just tell you that most people's livers are completely contained by the ribcage and only occasionally can a normal liver be felt under the costal margin (below the ribs). My liver function blood tests came back normal, but to be sure, I was ordered to have an ultrasound to rule out "tumors." Not my phrasing but the doctor's.

I won't rehash the entirety of my thought process from the last two weeks, but I can tell you I have picked out the one of my friends that I'd like Shawn to marry when he's ready to take another wife. She's adorable, likes country music, and most importantly would be a wonderful step-mother to Violet. I know she would love her as if she were her own and never make Violet feel like a step child even if she and Shawn went on to have more children together.

So, yeah. I've been pretty worried.

I love my fucking life.

Just as it is.

Violet's hair is getting so long.

She's never had a school picture taken.

Seeing the mall makes her excited.

Stories about the day she was born are some of her favorites.

She just dropped her first f-bomb. ("Come on fuckers!" as we waited in the car at preschool drop off line at her Catholic school. Eek.)

She likes Indian food. All of the people she draws are smiling. She is delightfully literal but starting to pick up on sarcasm. She calls hummus "thomas." There is a girl in her class who Violet is convinced is named Elf. When someone is sick she brings them a glass of water. She regularly tells me, "I love Daddy."

Having a shadow, a hint, an outside chance that something would come between me and being this kid's Mommy for a long, long, time is unacceptable.

My liver is not going to be that something. The ultrasound tech told me I have the most beautiful anatomy she's seen in a long time and the doctor confirmed her findings. All those parts seem to be in acceptable working order, thank heavens.

This whole thing has really reminded me that nothing is permanent. Even the things that should be givens, should be exempt from life's shitty rules, sometimes are not. Parents lose children. Kids lose parents. We are all working under the assumption that it won't be us, and that's probably for the best. But every now and then, it is worth it take a second and squeeze a bit tighter to that little hand, just because.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It

The first week of January has been, much to my surprise, wonderful. Not tolerable, not manageable, not even just okay; it has truly been a great week. Shocker.

In December, I started a new job working for a small non-profit that provides support groups for young people experiencing grief. This was my third week and I am starting to get over my newbie jitters and see how much I am really going to enjoy being involved with this organization. The mission is so important and the kids in the program are receiving a service that just isn't available anywhere else in our area. We serve kids from the age of 3 all the way through young adults and it seems that being with other kids who have lost a loved one is the best therapy for them. I am working part-time as the Volunteer Coordinator and so far I really feel that I made a great decision when I changed jobs.

I am not the only one who has made a change in 2012. On January 4th, Violet had her very first ever day of preschool. We visited several schools in December looking for the right one. In the end, both Violet and Shawn and I decided that we'd send her to the same school where both of her cousins already attend. It's a parochial school and is the parish where Violet was baptized. Though we aren't what you'd call active parishioners, we do feel connected to the community there and I think the grade school is one of the best choices in our area. Nonetheless, I was nervous.

Starting on New Years Day, Violet started abiding by her first real bedtime. Since preschool begins at 8am, we didn't want her to be a little basket case when her first 7am wake up call rolled around. I am amazed at how easily our night owl transitioned to a more reasonable bedtime. The night before her first morning of school, she fell asleep around 8:30. I was the one who tossed and turned. I kept dreaming that I had left her in a crowd by herself. No Freudian interpretation needed on that one.

Though Violet did have some jitters on that first morning as we walked in, she was braver than I ever would have imagined. She complained a few times that her tummy hurt--nerves no doubt--and I did stay with her for about 30 minutes while she warmed up to her new classroom. But by about 8:35, she was reluctantly coloring at a table and I sneaked out unnoticed. When Grammy and I picked her up at 12:30, she was all smiles. Her teacher said she did wonderfully and Day Two was even smoother.

The weather this past week has also been unseasonably warm and sunny. We've gotten to take Violet on several wagon rides and have spent more than our share of time outdoors for any Hoosiers in January. Cold, gray, days are usually all that Indiana has to offer those of us suffering from a holiday hangover but this year she actually managed to cheer us up with some blue skies and 50's. I know it won't last, but I am going to take it for now.