Monday, March 26, 2012

Two Things You Should Know Before the Third Trimester

Somehow we are in the midst of the 32nd week of this pregnancy. Monkey will be with us in a matter of weeks. It’s hard to explain how mind-boggling this is.
The process of getting pregnant with Monkey had all sorts of things in common with getting pregnant with Yogi. Excitement, fear, total consuming preoccupation. Then we were pregnant and the all sorts of things in common came to a halt. Being pregnant while parenting a toddler is not at all like just being pregnant. At least not at my house.

This time around there has been no cozy weekly reading of the What’s Happening with Your Pregnancy. No late night conversations about what it will be like when the baby comes. No laying around on the couch at an embarrassingly early hour because we just felt so tired.
In fact, things are so different this time around that I’ve managed to miss some pretty important stuff. If you’re considering a second pregnancy I have a few suggestions. Here are a few things you should probably know before the third trimester. Perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
1. Where the Baby Will Sleep

A little background here. Our house has three bedrooms, with one downstairs and two upstairs. We use the main floor bedroom as a guest room and the three of us sleep in the two upstairs bedrooms. When the impending Monkey news was official we were clear on two points. The first, we were not comfortable with Yogi sleeping in the downstairs bedroom. The second was that Monkey would sleep in our room (in a bassinet) during the early weeks. There was some conversation about how lovely it would be if the kids could share a room, but there was no real logistic heavy discussion of the idea.
Fast forward to Monkey’s 30th week.
The main thrust of the conversation went like this, “Oh s%&^, where are we going to put this baby?!!!”. Panic ensued. Once the panic passed we got down to business and made some decisions. The overarching decision was that we needed to add a bedroom on the second floor. 
Fast forward to the present.
We are in the midst of a significant remodeling process that has meant many large men in muddy-tracking shoes, endless sheetrock dust, hammering and nail guns during nap and Yogi sleeping in our bedroom. Apart from the general upheaval and dirtiness, the bad news is that sleeping (for everyone) has gone to hell. The good news is that Monkey will have her own room by the end of the week.
2. Whether Your Wife is Planning on a VBAC

So, this one is harder to explain. Somehow, until early last week, I was under the impression that my wife had decided on a c-section. As it turns out, I was wrong. Embarrassingly out of touch, no?
We’ve talked with the OB about a VBAC from the beginning, but I had thought that the increased monitoring she had described made the prospect less appealing. Before we knew that Yogi was breach, we had established a relationship with a Doula and were gearing up for a stay-at-home-as-long-as-you-can, natural, drug-free labor. By the time we got to Monkey and the doctor started talking about the need for constant monitoring and the immediate placement of a just-in-case epidural (initially without drugs), I definitely felt disappointed. So disappointed that I could have sworn we were leaning towards c-section.
During our vacation (BabyMoon?) earlier this month we finally took the time to discuss it and panic ensued. Why panic? Well, I am talking about my response and unfortunately panic is high on my frequent response list. But.... in this case I think it’s reasonable. Finding out that your wife will be delivering a baby with as little medical intervention as possible in a matter of weeks when you know NOTHING about what it means to be an effective labor partner is totally panic-worthy. 
Happily, I’m not doing this alone. This community responded just as thoughtfully as always when I sent out a desperate plea for resources and now I’m in the middle of two incredible (and inspiring!) books about childbirth. I’m past the panic and into the excitement and I have many of you to thank for that, so thank you!
Of course, there is one thing about this pregnancy that is exactly the same. I can’t WAIT to meet this baby!

* You're right. The shocked baby above is not Yogi. It's just a baby who can't believe how behind he is. ;)


Wow, you are hardcore with making a sleeping space! I can't believe how little time you have left before Monkey arrives!

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