Saturday, March 27, 2010

Distracting myself

I'm having a lot of contractions today. Now, I have a lot of contractions as a general thing ... for the past few days they've been every 15 minutes pretty much all the time. Maybe that means I'm making progress -- but maybe I've just been under a ton of stress and been on my feet a lot.

In any event, my pregnancy book says that it's a bad idea to focus too much on the contractions, trying to figure out if they're "the real thing" or not. Instead, I should distract myself by continuing on with my daily activities. My usual Saturday activities include taking a long bath and napping, but I already finished those. Then I sorted baby clothes and baked garlic knots. (Delicious! It's just pizza crust in a knot shape, with garlic.) The baking was not as unstressful as I meant it to be ... the fire alarm kept going off, which had me running around waving a dishtowel at it, because there seems to be no override button on this one. (We have three horribly sensitive fire alarms, plus an oven that manages to make smoke out of nothing.)

Anyway, what with the contractions and all the running around, my back is killing me, so I'm trying for something a little more sedentary. Besides, I have been neglecting you lately, dear readers -- seeing as blogging in my head on the way to work doesn't count.

My state of mind keeps changing. I've been so anxious and excited for awhile ... just counting down the days till school ends, and then till the baby's due date. Wanting time to pass faster so I can get to the good stuff. Then I hit 37 weeks -- the magic number when the baby is considered "full term" -- and began to feel more hesitant. After all, life is going to change pretty drastically. John and I are not going to have the time or freedom we had before ... will this mean less time for us? Plus, I do (despite all my complaining) kind of like my job, and very much like the kids. I won't get to see them anymore once I'm done. I even like some things about pregnancy -- mostly just the kicks. I love feeling baby kick. I realize I'm going to miss this time ... I shouldn't be wishing it behind me.

So, I had a day or so of perfect contentment. "Baby can come whenever," I said to myself. "I'll just enjoy my time till then."

Then the next day at school was perfectly awful, and I found myself counting the hours till I could be out of there. I couldn't imagine why I thought I could ever miss the kids -- they were HORRIBLE! Plus I was exhausted -- I went three days running with very little sleep, because I kept waking up at night and not being able to go back to sleep. I wanted to be done with work, and done being pregnant too. "At least," I reasoned, "I would be awake at night for a good reason."

Well, my last "real" work days are behind me now. Next week I proctor their standardized tests for three days. Hope we can handle it! Personally I think they're quite unnecessary at this age, and overstress the kids, but on the other hand the questions themselves are really easy. And then, Wednesday at noon, I am completely done, save for a promise to "come back and show them the baby if I can."

So, I should be back in my state of holy indifference, right? Well, no. There's been other news -- good news. John got the job he's been trying for. He applied back in January, and we thought we'd never hear back. But they finally did get back to him, give him a phone interview, and then make him an offer very soon after!

The job is in Washington, D.C. This jives well with our dream to live in Virginia, at least "for the time being," because it is a nicer place to raise kids in than Philadelphia (most places are) and we have lots of friends there. It is for a company that contracts for the government. And it's one of the few, rare jobs open to someone with library experience who doesn't yet have a masters in library science. Basically, it's just cataloguing -- turning a vast card catalog into digital records. John has three years of experience with this from back in college, and he really enjoys the work (which would probably drive me bats -- but to each his own).

This job allows us to fulfill all our dreams, like remaining financially solvent and not going on welfare. Though it doesn't pay what we both made together this year, it comes fairly close. And it pays much better than the bank does -- while giving him weekends off, something he hasn't had in six months. It also makes it possible for us to afford John's grad school, if he manages to get into it. He wants to do an online program to get his masters in library science and be a real librarian. This has been a dream for awhile, but he began the application process without knowing if he would be able to pay for it. We should find out in another month and a half or so if he gets in.

So, tons of happiness and joy -- but one catch, where it affects my peace of mind and contentment. They want him there starting April 19th. Baby is due April 16th. If baby is born on time, all is well. If necessary, John will go down there during the week and come back on weekends until we manage to get packed up and move. But if baby is late for his appointment to meet the world, we risk my going into labor without my husband there. I do not want this at ALL. So I'm back to worrying about how long this is going to take, counting days, counting contractions, and giving baby little pep talks about how nice it is out here and how he is grounded for life if he shows up late.

There's also a bit of sadness about going. In the past couple of weeks, I have had two very touching baby showers, one from our choir and one from the moms at school. I'm realizing how much I have been welcomed by the people here, even though they aren't always very expressive of it. It is sad to say goodbye. I'm glad Virginia is not so far away we won't be able to come back. I know it won't be often -- seeing as we wanted to visit Virginia often while we've lived up here, and barely did at all -- but I'm hoping we can come once in awhile and sing with our choir.

So, is it any wonder that all I want to do is count contractions?


Katie said...

Sheila, I recently discovered your blog, and I enjoy reading about your adventures in pregancy, cooking, and striving to be a thrifty homemaker (probably because I'm going through all three myself!). I hope you don't mind that I read along.

You may have written about this already, but have you considered cloth diapers? I'm pretty sure Sam and I are going that route, because it seems like you can save so much money. I, however, have never actually used a cloth diaper, so I'm a little nervous!

I hope God blesses your final weeks of pregancy abundantly! (BTW, I like your point that this is a time to savor, even though it can be hard waiting for the little guy/girl to make his official appearance. Good thought for me to keep in mind as well - thank you!)

--Katie Phillips

Sheila said...

Hi Katie!

Yes, we're planning on using cloth diapers, though we'll start out with plastics for the first little bit just so we don't overwhelm ourselves.

Luckily, I've had a lot of experience with cloth because my younger siblings all used cloth diapers. They are a little tricky when you're starting out -- it's much harder to fold and pin a cotton diaper than to stick the sticky tabs on a plastic. (This gets much harder when they learn to try to crawl away while you're pinning!) Of course there are fancier kinds with velcro, but we're just planning on using plain cotton prefolds with plastic covers over the top. This is the cheapest way to go, that I know of.

As for washing them, I need to go over my mom's notes that she sent me. I believe she washes them once in cold water with bleach, and a second time in hot with no bleach. The plastic covers shouldn't be dried in the machine.

The one thing that clinched the idea of cloth diapers for me was John's promise that he'll wash them. Hope he keeps up with it! Because I will have plenty to do just keeping up with the baby.

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