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As I mentioned in my last post, I am officially on maternity leave.  When I was pregnant with Justin, my last day before starting my leave was my due date, March 5, 2008, he wasn’t born until March 19.  That was one of the longest 2 weeks of my life.

This time around, I promised myself I wouldn’t subject myself to that kind of anxious boredom and committed myself to working until labor started (fully aware that I would very likely run late with Miss Georgia as I did with Mr. Justin.  It turns out there’s a difference between working part-time with no kiddo at home and working full-time with a sensitive and ill-sleeping 4-year-old Autistic boy at home.  (Who would believe it?!)

So far, maternity leave has not been the burden it was last time, for which I am thankful.  I’m working hard to keep busy, not thinking too hard about being past my due date – and I’ve been successful.  This morning I actually had to count on my fingers how many days past my due date I am (3).  My kitchen is clean enough to cook in.  All the bottles, pacifiers, nursing support gadgets (nipple shells/shields, etc) are sterilized.  Laundry is caught up.  Heck, even my bed is made!  My kitchen floor is disgusting (swept, but needs about an hour with a magic eraser and some elbow grease) and my tub could use a scouring – both projects I’m sort of saving for the bout of hormonally induced nesting that is sure to find me in the next week or so.

The crazy part?  I was in bed last night for nearly 11 hours (minus of course the few trips to the bathroom and my 45-minute, middle-of-the-night cuddle session on the couch with my sweet boy at 4am).

My anxiety is as low as it can be and I’m as tired as a woman in her 40th week of pregnancy should be – as opposed to simply being an exhausted puddle of irritable grossness.  Sure, I have moments where I think, “What if my body will never go into full labor on its own?!”  But all in all, I’m actually enjoying being home and able to focus on getting and keeping my house in order, spending time with my Little Turkey and getting my head around the whole idea of having another little person in our home.

I have been, and will continue to try all the usual methods of encouraging labor to get going.  Many of the things I’m doing I did with Justin (fruitlessly), but there’s no harm in them so I figure, why not?  I’m also trying some new things too.  Here’s my shortlist of things I’ve been doing so far:

– Evening Primrose Oil

– Blue and Black Cohosh Tinctures

– Rest

– Walking (particularly carrying something heavy – like a bag of groceries)

– Red Raspberry Leaf tea

– Greasy meals (on occasion)

– Rebozo Sifting (oh man, that felt so good!  like a belly massage!  I’m so thankful to my doula for offering this!)
And things I’ll be likely to do in the next few days:

– Hiking the stairs

– Having my membranes stripped

– Balloon Catheter induction (which I’m going to push to have done early next week at the latest)

– Taking the new breast pump for a spin

Then finally, the ultimate natural induction technique:  tempting Murphy’s Law!

On Facebook today I tossed out requests for activity recommendations so that I can build a schedule for the next week or so.  I’m thinking that if I can build a full calendar of activities, then our little princess will have to interrupt with her arrival, right?  The trick is coming up with activities that don’t wear me out, cost a fortune, require childcare, or aren’t schedule-able.

So far I’m thinking I’m going to schedule a day to finally take Justin to the FIG at the Whatcom Museum (Friday), and go on a morning coffee date with Matt (Thursday while Justin is at school).  If we can arrange childcare for Justin, I’d really like to go see The Hobbit at the new theater in town, and go have my Red Robin Birthday burger (which might happen on the same day as seeing The Hobbit).  I’m thinking tomorrow would be a good day to give Matt the haircut he needs and finish the detail on the hat I knitted for Georgia.

I have a few things in my freezer for postpartum time, but I hesitate to trash my clean kitchen only to wear myself out midway through.  And there are a few other things that I could prep, but I wouldn’t want to just make waste by prepping too soon.  Plus, a lot of the deep-cleaning sorts of things won’t work with Justin around.  Hmmm…

Any other ideas for fun day-time things to do around Bellingham with a hyperactive kiddo?

Tonight Matt and I went on a date.  To see Iron Man.  Without Justin.  EEEKKK!!!

No, we didn’t abandon him alone at home.  I’ve been interviewing nannies like a mad woman this past week, and we decided that it was time to give the one I liked best a trial run. 

Matt did okay.  I was a wreck.  Justin did so-so – but to no fault of our nanny.  He’s never been away from me for more than two hours, and that was with daddy.  Alone with a total stranger was a bit of an experience for him. 

Helen came over at 6 so I could give her the more detailed this-is-how-we-warm-bottles-in-the-new-warmer-with-our-freaky-bottles/this-is-who-to-call-in-an-emergency speech.  At 6:30, we kissed Justin goodbye and told him we’d be back at 9.  I was a tense mess from the time I started the car on the way to our movie (we’ve been wanting to see Iron Man and thought a movie would be the best distraction for me in being away from Justin for the first time.) 

Being crazy (as I told her I would be these first few times), I snuck out of the movie to call and check in at 7:30.  Meltdown ensued about 5 minutes after we left as Justin discovered that Helen was most definitely not mommy.  Helen, being a trooper, tried all the things we normally do to get him to settle down but to little-or-no avail and ended up taking him outside to feel the breeze and listen to the birds.  This did the trick and he was firmly on the road to chilling down by the time I called.  When I called again at 8:30 (yes, I checked in every hour), Justin was enjoying his bottle.  When we arrived home, Justin was happily playing on Helen’s lap until he saw us.  Then he had to tell us that we were horrible parents for leaving him behind.  After a short cuddle with daddy, he stopped crying.  Until he got passed to me.  Then he really started crying, but after a little cuddling and the reward of snuggling up to a boobie, Justin was contentedly sleeping.  Poor boy wore himself out.  Truth be told, so did I.

Every five minutes for the first half of the movie I was checking Matt’s watch (as I’d told Helen when I’d call so she could be near the phone).  I sat on the edge of my seat (the movie was awesome, but that’s not why I was poised ready to escape at a moments notice).  After the 8:30 call, I was a lot more relaxed and had finally let go of my purse handles and sat back in the chair.  I’ll admit though, I was still pretty distracted.  Of course, the next fret was about getting back home by 9.  I flew out of the car and up the steps faster than I’ve moved in a LONG time, unlocked the door, and heard Helen sweetly telling Justin, “Justin!  Look who’s home!”

Yes, our first movie night was full of drama, excitement, suspense… though not necessarily the kind I was expecting.  I knew it would be hard, but I know that after it all, I’m gonna sleep hard tonight.  I know Justin is.  I think we’ll have to do this again so both of us can get used to it.  Otherwise, my first few days back to work will be… how shall we say?  “Special“.  After “chatting” with Justin and debriefing the nanny, I think she gets the job (background check complete, of course).  I may have been crazy, but she was calm and collected.  Needless to say, I was pleased. 

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