Deciding what baby really needs.

Once upon a time when I was nineteen, unmarried and pregnant all this stuff was pretty simple. Read some books about pregnancy and labor. Figure out if Adam and I liked/loved one another enough to commit to more than just being parents together. Let work know when I wanted my last day to be. Buy what we could afford and pray we'd find those we couldn't second-hand. Pick a name.

I think the hardest parts of the whole process were getting up my nerve to tell my mom I was pregnant and convincing my boss I couldn't work after Thanksgiving even though I wasn't due until December 11th.

This time around you would think it would be even easier. I've already done the pregnancy and labor part once. Adam and I will have our 10th anniversary the month we're due. We can certainly afford most everything we need for the baby and this time we know what crap we definitely do not need. I don't have a job with a boss to worry about.

Yet for some reason this time I feel like we have a lot more to worry about. With just three more months of pregnancy to contend with I am certainly feeling a bit of pressure.

With a child about to start fourth grade I have a lot of worries about how he will adjust to not only the new school year (this year marks a lot of transition from little kid to big kid academically and socially) but how he will adjust to being the big boy at home. You can tell that Arik already loves our baby, we've tried very hard to make sure he is involved in as much of the pregnancy as we can. I do feel like I might be frustrating him a lot with how poorly I've felt at times between the morning sickness and the recent onset of headaches, back pain and misery from the heat. Only time will tell how he copes with being the 'other' child. I have no doubts in my mind that we can't love both children equally so much as that he won't see it that way. In the long run I forsee him being a very affectionate and protective big brother.

I also have concerns about how our blended family dynamics will become more complicated. The story of Miyah and how she came into her parents' lives is very long and fraught with the mistakes of teenagers. When Adam and I met they were no longer together and Miyah wasn't yet born. In ways it's a strange comfort to have been part of her life since before she came into the world. When she was born it was a very tumultous time for the relationship I had with her dad. I still have times when I feel a little bit like my presence in his life then kept her from having her dad more involved in her life even though we all know that the relationship between Adam and her mother would never have been happy. I am definitely worried about when she hits her teens and finally says all those sorts of hurtful things she will need to say. I am even more worried now that if Adam and I are blessed with the baby girl we're hoping to have together it might cause feelings of alienation and resentment. As with Arik, only time will tell how she feels and reacts to having another sibling. Afterall, she and Arik are so close together in age (eleven months) that most people assume they are twins and so she wasn't old enough to know what was going on when he was born.

In addition to the obvious worries about our changing family dynamic I have health concerns this time around I didn't have before. When I started having complex partial seizures seven years ago I thought they were just anxiety attacks. It wasn't until four years ago when I was having as many as eight a day every day that I began thinking I should do something about them. But I didn't want to admit I was that stressed out by the things going on in my life. A grand mal seizure landed me in the ER and I've since been stuck taking medication to prevent further occurances. I haven't had one in almost three years but I've been taking a medication that has really helped. The only problem there is that antiseizure meds can cause birth defects and it is not recommended you breatsfeed while on them. And I am a devout breastfeeder. I know lots of women who can't/won't breastfeed but for me formula is not an option unless the doctors believe it will harm the wee one. We're still dealing with this one because it requires multiple opinions. So far my online research has been a bit promising but I think in the end it will fall on me to make the decision. While I think logic says there's no reason it's less safe than taking the meds during pregnancy it does worry me.

As I sit and worry over these and other issues I've been doing my best to get ready for the baby's arrival. We've got most of what we'll need and want picked out, we're just waiting on a better idea of the gender to lead us to our final purchases. I feel a little bad that with Arik everything was handed-down or second hand for the most part and this one will be getting mostly new things. I remember I so badly wanted to buy him the John Lennon baby bedding from Carters with the cute little line drawing animals. Unfortunately it was very pricey so I splurged and bought him a little outfit with it and settled for the Blue Jean Teddy crib set which I honestly never really cared for. I figure if we get a boy this time I want to go all goth... okay joking there but I found these cool crib sets that are black and white geometric type stuff. For a girl it will be harder to resist the allure of a set I found online that is whites, pinks and green and had unicorns and frogs! Could I have asked for a more ME set?

I'm hoping to drag Adam out to buy the carseat this weekend. I have two picked out. One infant seat that can be popped in and out of the car and one seat that works from infant to booster which would be the better buy in the long haul but with as much in and out of the car as we will have (and possibly needing to put baby in Grandma's car) it makes sense to get both. I've also decided that whether we find out what the bambino is at our next ultrasound or not I better just buy the crib and get it over with. I had hoped to go with one color for a boy or the other for a girl (to match the themes I chose) but at this rate I won't be buying the crib until after the kiddo arrives. I'm very much in the mood to get some of this going already!

Speaking of babies and baby stuff... since I have no friends (:P) I guess Adam's co-workers are throwing a shower for us. I really wish we could wait and do it in October or wait until November and do it after the baby comes along but I think it will be next month. I can't complain because with school clothes and supplies, Halloween costumes and then Christmas I completely understand no one wanting to be buying baby gifts later in the year. Still, a little part of me is excited about having a "Halloween baby" and would loooove to have a Halloweeny theme for a baby shower. I mean, we literally have a Thankgiving baby and a Christmas baby why not throw in that too. Guess we shall have to wait and see what the gals Adam works with come up with. If we weren't in a shoe box of an apartment I'd just throw my own shower, as unbecoming as that is. Why? Because I actually reeeally love throwing themed parties.

I wish there was also a way to set up a shower with my family back home but there just isn't. So those of you wanting to send a gift either in time for the shower or whenever just let me know and I will give you our address, registry info, etc.

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