The Never Ending Labor

*Thanks for the post title, Stacey Red!*

We went to the hospital at about 12:45. We came home again at about 4. Good fucking times. I’d been nauseous all morning, but after lunch it got severe. And I’d been rocking the chills and the sweats since last night. Didn’t sleep much either. Lots of pain. So suddenly it seemed urgent that we go. The awesome nurse and my doc said I’d be able to tell. And I thought I could.

But when I got to the hospital the contractions seemed to stall a bit again. New Guy was doing great on the fetal monitor. They measured my amniotic fluid and that also looked great. The doc who did the measurements on the ultrasound asked how far apart the contractions were. According to the monitor (and to me) they were still about 10 minutes apart. She asked when they started. I told her Saturday afternoon. She looked at me and said, “I always feel so bad when it drags on like this.” I told her it hasn’t been a picnic. I seriously had no idea one could have pretty regular contractions for days on end, especially with a second pregnancy. But there is some progress. I’m at a solid 4cm dilated now. I’m headed in the right direction. Sometimes the contractions are stronger, sometimes they are weaker. And overnight they seem to get way further apart. The weird thing is I have a bit of a fever. But nothing else except for the nausea is going on, so they don’t think it’s anything serious. I got a fancy anti-nausea prescription and I just took the first pill, so hopefully that won’t be a problem for much longer.

The really nice news is as soon as we walked in we saw our nurse from Sunday. And she was our nurse for the main part of the the visit. As soon as we were alone in the room with her we told her that my Doc thought we made the right choice on Sunday and as much as we were ready for this to be over we totally agreed. It was so nice to have a friendly face there. Another nurse handled our discharge papers (my wonderful doctor told them to send me home-no crazy talk about breaking my water) and we told her how much we loved her colleague. She got a postcard thing for us, like a compliment card and said we could fill it out for the nurse. It’s already in the mail.

I wonder how many times we will visit our lovely labor and delivery department before New Guy makes his grand entrance. Anyone want to place bets? Anyone as bored of this as I am? Anyone as grumpy and uncomfortable?  

Z hasn’t been able to spend a lot of time with T over the last few days. So as soon as we got home they went for a walk. T took his baby. 

A couple of days ago my folks to T to the playground. He had a blast.

Quicky Update

New Guy stayed in until Monday and my doc is back at work. And for once I feel certain about my decision making, coming home yesterday was the right thing. New Guy clearly isn’t ready quite yet, but if we’d stayed in the hospital he would be born by now. And there is a good chance his birth would have needed to be forced because clearly my body wasn’t ready to go into active labor on its own. 

Yesterday afternoon into evening my contractions got pretty hot and heavy for a while, but by about 9pm they slowed way down. I was able to sleep better than I have in a long time, waking about 6 or 7 times from contractions. This morning I felt delightfully rested. And the contractions started coming again, but they weren’t as hard or regular as they had been on Sunday. It was such a relief to see my doc at the appointment. They had me on the fetal monitor and New Guy looks great. He did a quick exam and said I’m about 3 1/2-4cm dilated and 80% effaced, which is terrific news. I’m progressing from 3cm yesterday. 
Z and I were mum about the nurses who may or may not have had a little talk with us at the hospital. We told him we decided that we didn’t want my water broken and he said it was the right choice. He said when I went into active labor it was going to go really fast, so I’d have to hightail it to the hospital. But our place is less than a 10 minute drive away, so I’m not really worried about getting there. I told him the hospital said I didn’t need to call in advance because I’d already been there, but he told me they were nuts. He said if I didn’t call him when I was on my way he might miss the birth, he really doesn’t think my body is going to fool around. 
And he told me to go home and rest. He said there wasn’t anything I could do to make it go faster, and all the things I would do (take long walks, etc.) were a waste of my energy that I needed to store up because labor is hard work. We have an appointment on Thursday, but he said he doubts he’ll see me then. He thinks it’s going to be tonight or tomorrow. We’ll see if he’s right. I asked if it was normal for the contractions to start more than 2 days early for the second kid. He sort of shrugged and said, “It can happen.” I love his laid back attitude about this whole baby birthing endeavor. 
Z was able to go in and teach his first class of the semester. I took a nap this afternoon. I’m feeling pretty crummy right now, just in pain and tired and super grumpy. But I am still happy. It’s nice to have no regrets with the decisions we’ve made concerning this birth. Now all I have to do is actually have the damn kid! 
T is deeply in love with his grandparents. It has been so great to have them here this week. 

Big smooch from Grandma. 

One of my favorite parts of how they interact with him is how silly they are. T gets up every morning and jumps on his Grandpa to wake him. Right after this was taken Grandma jumped right on T, so they made a crazy T sandwich. 

Our dear friend was in town all weekend. Watching me labor for 2 days didn’t make for the most fun trip, but we always feel better about life when he visits. And T loves it when his Uncle Kevin reads to him.

Labor But No Delivery

Turns out a lot of moms out there have no idea what it is like to go into labor on their own, moms who were induced, moms with scheduled c-sections, moms with major complications that lead to preemies. I was induced with T, so this is my first time waiting, waiting, waiting for the labor to start. Yesterday afternoon my contractions started to get more regular. At about 6 we began to time them. I called the doctor at 9 when they were 10 minutes apart and about 30 seconds long. Doc F and I decided that I’d head to the hospital when I felt like it. Maybe I’d be able to get some sleep overnight at my place, if they started being more frequent I’d go on in.

At about 5am I was up for good. At 5:30 I asked Z to shower and mom drove us in at about 6:30. T was up so we were able to give him huge goodbye hugs and kisses. They hooked me up to a fetal monitor at the hospital and New Guy was clearly doing very well. I could also see my contractions, which made me feel better. One the more charming side effects of my anxiety disorder is I’m convinced people think I’m a liar. So on my due date I actually was concerned the doctors/nurses/Z/my family would think I was making my labor pain up. Pretty crazy. And sort of sad that I pointed out the contractions on the monitor to Z. Along with a, “See! See! I really am in labor!” Um, he hadn’t doubted me for a second. Because a) I actually don’t lie much and b) I’m 85 years pregnant. Yes, so far to go in the getting well department.

Eventually a doc came to see what was going on with my cervix and it was 3cm dilated. At that point the contractions were between 5 and 7 minutes apart and about 40-60 seconds long. Things were progressing. The doc went to call Doc F and ask what she wanted to do.

I really didn’t want to go home. Leaving the hospital as a heavily pregnant woman is akin to taking a walk of shame to me. The idea that I don’t know my body well enough to make a good decision about when to go for delivery just feels humiliating. And if I’m all settled in I don’t want to go home and have to do another stressful ride to the hospital later. I wanted a one trip situation.

So, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble here. Not that I think my doc or Doc F or anyone at the hospital is aware that I blog. Or that they would check out said blog if they found out about it. But just in case, let’s just call the rest of this post hypothetical.

Let’s say that two nurses slipped into the room and closed the door behind them. And let’s say that they told me they were worried I wasn’t going to be getting all the info I needed. They said the resident would be coming back to tell me Doc F wanted to break my water. But if my water was broken and I didn’t progress I’d have to have pitocin, I’d be induced with no reason. And I was still carrying really high, so if my water was broken there’d be a risk for a prolapsed umbilical cord which would mean an immediate c-section. They said it was my decision and it was my right to go home and do the early stages of labor there where I could eat (if I stayed no more food and I was starving) and try to be comfortable. But if I stayed I’d be strapped to an uncomfortable hospital bed because of the fetal monitor and the antibiotic IV (no matter when I go into active labor I’ll get that IV because I’m Strep Positive) and the birth would run the risk of becoming unnecessarily medicalized. I asked what they would do if they were me, and they told me they’d go home until the contractions were so intense that I couldn’t read (what I was doing when they came in) or hold a conversation. Or when the contractions were 5 minutes apart and a minute long. Or if my water broke. Or if I started bleeding.

I looked at Z and said, “Can I be honest with you? Doc F was my doctor and she delivered my son and it was sort of a disaster.” They told me they knew and that was why they were there to talk to me. Oh good lord, I was THAT patient. The one with the reputation and history. I told them I was so embarrassed that the folks at the hospital knew, but they said not to worry and pointed out that I might not go into active labor until tomorrow and if that was the case Doc A would deliver me. They said they knew him and that he always had the patient’s best interests at heart and that he wouldn’t break my water in this situation. And suddenly it didn’t seem so shameful to go back home. In fact, it seemed like a really healthy choice. Yup, I want an epidural, but I don’t want this whole business medicalized before that if it doesn’t have to be. I don’t want to get myself in a situation where I need to be induced or I suddenly need a c-section. And I don’t want to be tied to a hospital bed before I need to be.

I told the ladies that I knew they didn’t need to come talk to me, I knew they were sticking out there necks for no reason and I appreciated it so much. I brought up the nurse who knew something was wrong the first time around. She still works at the hospital, but wasn’t on duty. Even though I was supposed to be out of delivery two hours after T was born she kept me there for five, fending off the docs who wanted the room while trying so hard to get me help. It wasn’t her fault that no one would listen. And I knew I wasn’t supposed to say anything to the resident about the little visit from the nurses. They could get in real trouble. The hospital I go to is a bit on the shabby side. After delivery there aren’t single rooms like the hospital across town. There isn’t a natural birthing center. But I don’t give a shit. The nurses are incredible. I couldn’t feel luckier to have them, or more grateful for their care.

The resident clearly wasn’t crazy about the idea of me going home. She talked a lot about the risks of me not making it back in time. But even though I think of all doctors as authority figures and it was really hard for me I told her I was sure about my decision. So here I am in my own bed after gorging myself on food from my own kitchen and getting to play with my sweet son for a bit. The contractions aren’t speeding up, they aren’t slowing down. I’m going to take a nap. And then maybe a bath. And if I’m still home tonight we’re getting take out pizza, which means mozzarella sticks for me! Much better than being chained to a hospital bed. And if I need to go in tonight and be delivered by Doc F, well I’m doing it on my own fucking terms, thank you very much.

With T I packed a diaper bag to the gills to take to the hospital. With New Guy it’s part of a Babies R Us bag roughly the size of my small cat. 

Thought I’d document the grumpy lady in the mirror who I noticed after realizing I was in labor yesterday afternoon. 

The only fresh veggie Mr. Picky-pants will eat. 

Chowing like he means it.  

It is way better to be near this kid than it is to be in the hospital. 

Change of Plans

Sunday the 28th is my due date. Throughout the pregnancy I was absolutely sure I’d have New Guy well before then. Partially because classes start on the 29th for Z, and it would be beyond inconvenient for us to have the kid after the semester began. Partially because I just convinced myself he’d come early. But as of yesterday I really don’t want to go into labor before Monday.

Last week when I made the appointment for yesterday the receptionist told me my doc (Doc A) was on vacation this week, but not to worry, he wasn’t traveling, he’d be available to deliver me. I was totally cool with that. But yesterday the doc (Doc B, who we really like) told us she wasn’t aware that our doc was planning on delivering anyone this week. And then she told us that she’d been on call for the first part of the week and the doc that delivered T (Doc F) would be on call until Monday. And then I started to cry. She knew about my experience with Doc F, which was why she told us about the on call situation. She also said she’d call Doc A and ask what his plans were. She figured she just might have been out of the loop and he was planning to come in for my delivery. She said she’d call me later and let me know.

Doc A really is an amazing medical professional. Doc B has recently finished her residency. She’s about Z and my age and it is clear that she looks up to him as well. The other doc we see in the practice (Doc C, she’s part time and doesn’t have hospital privileges, so no chance of her delivering) is another younger woman who we like a great deal. She’s the one that gave us the news about the miscarriage so gently. And she also thinks highly of our doc. The fact that his colleagues both respect and admire him only makes us love him more. They have both told us how much they have learned from him, he obviously loves medicine and sharing his knowledge. On top of that he actually cares about his patients on a personal level. He is the real deal through and through. I was pretty sure he’d come through for me.

And when Doc B called last night she said his plan was to do what he could to deliver me. If I go into labor this weekend I’ll call the after hours number and speak to Doc F. She will call my doc and hopefully he’ll be ready to go. Doc B made it clear that nothing is 100%, and I totally know that. I also appreciate that my doc is on vacation and he is really going above and beyond for me. And Doc F is a colleague to the other docs, they all know about my experience, I feel like a turd for putting everyone in a difficult position. I’m sure that Doc F has been a great doc for hundreds of women, but sometimes people fuck up, and she did with me. But just the thought of talking to her makes me break out in the cold sweats. Should I have left the practice altogether? Z and my folks think not. Last night when I was freaking out a bit they pointed out if I went to another practice it would have been a shot in the dark. I changed to my doc because he helped me when I was at my most vulnerable. He made me feel listened to at a point in my life when I was truly terrified and he got me help.

But I do not want to deal with Doc F, especially when I’m in labor. And I hate the idea of interrupting my doc’s vacation. Hence, I’m cool with keeping this baby in until Monday. No more complaining. It’s only 3 days away. And one of our best friends in the entire world is visiting us to get away from the hurricane this weekend. I can’t wait to spend time with him. I’ll be surrounded by people I love and who love me. My folks are here, Z will be home, friends will be in and out, and of course there will be T. It will be a great weekend. So what if I’m a tad bit uncomfortable? And if labor does start Z will have my back for sure. If Doc F delivers New Guy I’m sure she’ll be a hell of a lot more careful than last time.

Last Christmas Mom and Dad gave T these awesome Star Wars sheets for his big boy bed. We didn’t have room to get them home then, so they brought them up and we got them on the bed the day they arrived. And no, we aren’t putting toddler safety rails on the bed. T doesn’t move that much in his sleep. And my mom said she just threw some pillows on the floor for us when we were little and we lived. Yes, he did fall out the first night. But it didn’t tame his enthusiasm for the bed and it hasn’t happened since.

T was suitably impressed. You can’t really see, but his t-shirt has a big X-wing on it.

I told Z I was buying a bookcase for T’s room and he had this made almost immediately. It’s the first furniture he’s built specifically for T that T will be able to use into adulthood and I absolutely love it.

He was able to source some waney-edge boards that came out of a tree sequentially. 

The room is really starting to come together. Z tried doing green/yellow trees on this wall, but we don’t like it. One of the millions of things I’ve learned from him is it’s only paint and we can always re-do it. So he got some chalkboard paint and the current plan is to do the whole wall with that. Then he’s going to paint white silhouettes of trees on it. If we hate it we’ll figure something else out.

On my parents first full day here we went grocery shopping. After we loaded the trunk Dad grabbed T and threw him in there, too. Then he closed the door. He opened it half a minute later and T was cracking up. “Again!”, he shouted.

Two Unrelated Things On My Mind Today

Tomorrow afternoon my parents arrive to help out with the baby I’m starting to believe is never coming out of my uterus. So today is the last full day we have as a family of three. This makes me pretty melancholy. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I fully understand how lucky we are that my folks will drop their lives for weeks on end to help us out. T absolutely adores them both, and having them here is going to help smooth the transition for him from being the center of our lives to being a big brother. My mom has trouble sitting still, she’ll be cleaning, cooking, and running errands like a wild woman. I’ll be even more spoiled rotten than usual. There is not a single part of me that wishes they weren’t coming. But it always saddens me when a chapter of our life ends. I wish I was a glass-half-full gal. I’d be able to focus on the beginning in front of us. And I know the change is going to make me all of our lives richer. Hell, I want this baby as much as I’ve ever wanted anything.

Just before T was born I felt the same exact way. I mourned the loss of Z and my relationship as non-parents. The responsibility we were undertaking seemed completely overwhelming. Last night as we were bathing T he was cracking us up with his adorableness. The thought that it was our second to last bath as a family of three kept intruding on my enjoyment of him. It’s the moments when my participation in our life is hindered by the sadness that accompanies my emotional problems that really frustrate the hell out of me. As much as my shrink insists there are upsides to being excruciatingly over sensitive, anxious, pessimistic, and insecure I’d much rather not be a crazy person. Even if it made me a less empathetic individual. I mean really, how far is an abundance of empathy going to get me in this world? I’d kind of rather enjoy my current kid while being super excited about my kid on the way and not give a shit that the door is closing on one phase of life and opening on another.

————————————————————————-

So who knows when New Guy will choose to make his appearance. Today would be nice. It’s my favorite Aunt’s birthday. I’d love to have the baby share that day with her. His due date is my best friend’s son’s birthday. That would be pretty awesome as well. I’ve talked about how healing September 3rd would be (please god, don’t make me wait that long). I’m trying to be more roll with the flow and have a “he’ll get here when he gets here” attitude.

But here’s the thing. I’m fucking terrified. As T’s birth was sort of a shit show I should have listened to Z and taken a birth class or prepared in some way for this time. But I did what I usually do and ignored the thing that scares me the most. In my brain I think if I don’t acknowledge something I wont’ have to deal with it. Can you believe that line of thinking regularly backfires on me? Now that the labor part of things is imminent I am out of my god damned mind with fear. What was I thinking? I’m going into this situation as blind as I was was T. There are a few things that will make this time better, Z and I will both speak up if we feel like something is wrong, and we both completely trust my doctor to do right by me. But the pain part? When it was time to push with T I told everyone in the room I simply couldn’t do it. It hurt that bad. The pressure was so intense, I’ve just never experienced pain so acute before. I don’t do well with pain, even the little stuff. And this is in no way little. So I’ve known it is coming for nine months. What is my strategy? To not have a strategy. To probably beg for an epidural the minute I get to the hospital. To walk the line between not making a huge fool of myself and completely freaking out in front of a bunch of strangers. Hell, I am freaking out here and labor hasn’t even started. Freaking. Out. Also, I’m an idiot. Wish me luck.

T fell and cut of the inside of his mouth today. He loves the idea of having his picture taken (execution- a bit harder, he doesn’t get the “hold still” part yet) and I was trying to cheer him up.  

He’d recovered at this point, but then climbed on the chair, started crying, and called “Mama! Boy bonked mouth!” It’s been a refrain all morning. 

But I think he’ll live. Distracting him is pretty easy.
The melancholy part of the post had me looking at old photos of T. Wasn’t he just this size? What the hell happened? His round baby face just slays me. God, I miss him.

Think I’ve posted this one before. It’s one of my all time favorites of my two guys.

Emotional Pregnancy Garbage

The physical changes during pregnancy are completely overwhelming. But they are so in your face that it is easy to write and talk about them. The emotional changes are a bit more tricky and, of course, unique to each person. Successfully capturing the emotional toll of pregnancy has been alluding me. I’ve tried to write this post several times, and I’ve really struggled to get it right.

During T’s pregnancy my state of mind really bothered me because I had no idea what would happen when the baby came. I felt no connection to him. The only thing that comforted me in the “am I fit to be a mother?” department was I knew despite my reservations I did not want to lose the baby. I knew a miscarriage would be devastating, so on some level that meant I must want the baby. Several friends had warned me that I might not bond with him immediately, and judging from my prenatal feelings I was sure that would be the case. It was a delight to fall deeply and immediately in love with him.
When I got pregnant last summer it didn’t bother me at all that I felt no connection to the baby, I knew I would when he or she got here. To find out there had been two embryos and that I’d lost them both was even more devastating than I anticipated. So in a really straightforward and predictable way this pregnancy has been difficult emotionally. I’ve wanted this baby so intensely, but the experience with the miscarriage has meant I’ve lived in fear that something terrible is going to happen. Other moms who have had miscarriages have told me the fear passes when the baby quickens, but that hasn’t been the case for me. I’m scared I will hemorrhage, he will be stillborn, I’m slowly leaking amniotic fluid and don’t know it, and a million other things each more far fetched than the last. I don’t know if my fear comes from my anxiety disorder or not, but it has been my constant companion. I still don’t feel bonded to the new guy. But that doesn’t bother me at all. I will fall in love with him. Even if I don’t immediately I trust that I will eventually. 
All that emotional garbage feels pretty normal. The frightening part about this and the other pregnancies is how isolated they make me feel. It is very similar to how I felt when I was in the middle of my breakdown. My limited comfort in my own skin has been removed. I’ve never been good at sharing, the truth is I really resent it when someone else is relying on my internal organs. My body no longer belongs to me, and I feel very stingy about it. The only control I have it how the rest of the world interacts with me. I don’t like to be touched by anyone and the feeling intensifies as the day progresses. In the morning I seek Z out for our hugs, but by the evening I actually shrink away from being touched.
I hate it. Because if I am comfortable with the person I adore physical affection. And with Z it is more like a necessity. A basic part of what makes me me is gone. But the thing that scares the shit out of me is I don’t feel like a stranger. This is what life was like when I was rockin’ that borderline personality disorder. I feel like that girl. And let me tell you what, things were pretty bleak then. Thankfully, it isn’t all the time, and it isn’t anywhere as severe as it was. Every morning I wake up in decent shape and my emotional state deteriorates throughout the day. By the time I go to bed I feel like I’m becoming that person I used to despise. In the morning she’s gone, and if this transition to postnatal is anything like last time she’ll be gone for good after I get the hang of breastfeeding again. Except what does gone for good mean? Gone unless we decide to have a third? Gone until I relapse? That’s my biggest fear, especially now that I’m a mom.  
I don’t have the ability to describe how awful life was in the middle of my breakdown. When I got better, but I was still so close chronologically to the events that nearly destroyed my marriage, I would get the cold sweats every time I thought about how things had been. How could that have been me? How do I make sure I never ever go back there? The longer I’ve been better the less I think about it, but it is always there. I will never be free of the fear that I’ll suffer a clinical depression because if it happens there is nothing I can do to prevent it. Mental illness isn’t something you can control or completely prevent. The only thing you can do is manage it. I do not believe it will ever be as bad as it was. I don’t believe I’ll regress into a borderline personality disorder again because we know better. We would get me help and we would never let it get to the point where I would be so desperate.

I do wish that pregnancy didn’t bring me so close to who I used to be. But the absolute truth is it’s temporary and it’s completely worth it. I love being T’s mom. And I can’t wait to be a mother to New Guy. 

Today was overwhelmingly humid, and little man’s curls were going crazy. As a stick straight hair gal I was green with envy. 

I was doing some hardcore cleaning in the kitchen (nesting, nesting, nesting) when I heard the dulcimer. I’m still not sure how he got the thing on his lap, but I advised Z to put it somewhere T couldn’t reach it in the future.

My boys clinking glasses and saying “Cheers!” Z and I have a million little unobserved traditions like the frequency with which we toast each other. The thing is, they are observed now. And T wants to take part. It’s pretty damn cool.

Battle of Wills

I don’t have a lot of intrest in being friends with T right now. When he doesn’t need constant monitoring I do want to be pals, when he grows up and the day to day parenting is done with I dearly hope we will be close friends, and the best parts of my day are when we have enormous amounts of fun together. But I am in charge of teaching him to make his way through this world as a kind and responsible member of society. Friendship is a sacred thing, and it’s very much a two way street. It makes me nervous when parents talk about the friendships they have with their kids. How can a two year old participate in that reciprocal relationship? And frankly, I feel like the parent-child relationship, while different from friendship, is every bit as rich and fulfilling. I can’t be his friend right now, I need to be his mom. All that said, I really don’t want to be his adversary either. I absolutely do not want to engage in a battle of wills with him. It’s something I’ve observed parents do since I babysat back in high school. And it confounded me then. Isn’t the parent in charge? How is the kid ever going to respect them if they let themselves get so caught up in a situation that they obviously care about who is “winning”? Kids are going to push back, shouldn’t firm boundaries be set, and if the kid crosses the line previously discussed repercussions be handed out?

When I was a babysitter I cared about the kids, but my emotional investment wasn’t huge. I calmly made the rules and if the kids didn’t follow them I calmly dealt with it by following through with what I said would happen if they didn’t listen. And I shamelessly told the parents everything. Easy right? What could be the problem with your own kid?
Again, what an idiot I was. No one can get under your skin like your kid. Particularly when you are the one spending the most time with them. Particularly when you are trying to teach them right from wrong, how to be safe and how to treat others. We are in the middle of transitioning T to his big boy bed. He’s actually doing much better at night than he is during nap time. It is taking him longer to wind down and fall asleep, but a big boy bed is a pretty exciting thing so it totally makes sense. 
Z has been the last one in with him at bedtime. He sings songs, gives T sips of water, and down T goes. His first night in the bed was Sunday, it took him over an hour to fall asleep, and last night he was asleep in 5 minutes. Um, the intense jealousy I feel when Z sets up parameters that encourage T to succeed while I am stupid enough to lay down a really rigid set of rules that no two year old could resist disobeying shall be explored in a post sometime in the near future. I’ve been doing most naps. And yup, my poor judgement insured that T and I would be tangled in an epic and hugely frustrating battle of the wills.
We have a video monitor. I told him I was watching him and if he got off the bed he would have to go back to his crib. He made it clear that he didn’t want to go back into the crib, but it has been impossible for him to resist testing me to see if I’m looking. He hangs off the bed, feet dangling near the stool he uses to climb in, eventually lowering himself on to the ground. Then he hops back into bed in the hopes that I’ve missed it, gives it a few seconds, and the cycle begins again. I set up the rules, so I’m left with no choice but to go in and tell him to cut it out, the next time I SWEAR he is going in the crib. I went in three times yesterday and he finally did fall asleep. Even though I realized I was causing the problem today I was stupid enough to again warn him I’d be watching. After the third time I did what neither of us really wanted and put him in the crib. 
Needless to say it wasn’t a popular choice. He sobbed hysterically, he begged me for his big boy bed. But I’d backed myself into a corner. Yes, he needs to figure out how to sleep in his bed. No, it really isn’t the end of the world if he gets out of it as he is settling down. But for some reason I decided he needed to do this nap thing perfectly. I put an enormous amount of pressure on him and basically set him up to fail. It wouldn’t help matters at all if I suddenly didn’t follow through with what I told him. He had to go in to his crib today. And it sounds like he has fallen asleep. But tomorrow I’m not saying a damn word about watching him. Even then it might take a while for the damage to undo itself when it comes to him horsing around at nap time. And next time I need to remember that my two year old isn’t going to be perfect. And if I set up expectations that he should be it’s just going to lead to frustration for both of us.

I want to do right by him so badly. And again and again I fuck up. The only option is to try and be aware of it, pick myself up, dust off and do better tomorrow. I still believe setting firm paramaters is important in a lot of parenting situations, but I need to do a much better job of differentiating between situations like keeping him away from a hot stove, or grabbing a sharp knife compared to the big transitions like big boy beds or potty training, where extra stress is only going to make the situation worse. God, I hate the days I feel like a shit mom.

In other news, my cervix is still tightly shut.

The bummer is we had an awesome morning playing with play doh before the nap time debacle. He thought it was important to use a hammer and chisel to beat the play doh into submission.  

I made some play doh tools, which he seemed to enjoy using as much as his toy ones. 

He asked to have his “ear muffins” on. I love how safety conscious he is.

Sleepy guy chewing on grilled cheese. 

Less than a minute later he is out. Yup, dude was that tired and I managed to screw up nap time anyway…