Monday, May 27, 2013

Brown Bear Brown Bear

Ok, it's a little long, but it's just so cute.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Picking up the Slack and General Awesomeness of Matt

It has now been four months since I have been able to take care of my child. While I have been able to get up and move a bit in the last 6 weeks or so, I still can't lift Samara, bend over or squat. Given the fact that she's two years old, all of these are required at some points to take care of her. I can't lift her into the bath, into or out of her crib, I can't physically make her i.e. brush her teeth, put her clothes on, pick up her toys.

In addition, it's been four months since I have had real responsibilities. I haven't been to work, though I have done some work from bed here and there. I have had very few places I had to be, very few social plans, no real responsibilities around the house. Again, I have been able to do (and I have enjoyed) some things, such as random grocery shopping, baking, cooking, social visits, going to the kid pool to play with Sam, I have absolutely loved being able to take her to and pick her up from school, random shopping for gifts for people...but all has only been what I want to do/can do, when I want to/can do it.

Put these together, and you have a very different Melanie than has been in existence for the last 35 years. While I was usually super busy, with things on nearly every night and definitely at least four things each weekend, social plans all over the place, yoga as many times per week as possible, work (even though it was only 3 days per week for the last 3.5 months that I worked). I am now a person who spends the majority of every day in my house and usually a lot of that time with my feet up in bed. I find that I can't comfortably do very much at all, and though I have now made it to viability (at nearly 30 weeks, we are going to have a baby!), I am absolutely not willing to risk anything, and it's still terrifying. We started on this ridiculous journey to try to figure out what was wrong with me and try to conceive a baby in July 2011, and I am just so so close. So, I continue to take it easy and not push myself. For the first time, ever?

All of this is fine and good for me - relaxation with few responsibilities - sounds like a dream for a working mom (I have had that response more than a few times), right? Well, it's actually quite hard to relax when you're not used to it (not to mention scary to be almost losing your baby for a long while), but even bigger than that is the pressure and extra responsibility that it puts on my partner.

Before, I was the one to leave work every day at 6, unless I had a pre-arranged meeting, to put Sam to bed. I was the one to get up with her on weekend mornings (mostly because I wake up anyway and can't fall back asleep and Matt can). I took her to play dates, the botanic gardens, tot shabbats and on long wandering walks. Matt traveled freely, and I had few business trips (probably ten total for my job in three plus years). I also organize a lot at home, including what we're eating, when, what to buy, etc. While we make a lot of decisions together and Matt is one of the most active and involved dads I know, I pulled a lot of weight that I am no longer able to pull (temporarily). This is not to disregard Matt's contributions before bed rest - he made it home to see Sam before she went to sleep most nights, he didn't travel NEARLY as much as many of my friends' husbands, he is much more involved in apartment cleaning than I am (ok, I'm not really involved in that at all...), he organizes our finances, makes a lot of travel plans, etc. - he also did a LOT. I'm just saying that now he really has to do it all. All the time. And boy has he.

Since January Matt has made it his responsibility to leave work as close to 6 as possible to give Sam her bath and put her in bed. He has made it nearly every night. He has gone on maybe four work trips (mostly super short) and said he is unable to do more, given our situation. He gets up on weekends, even though he really loves his sleep, and he gets Sam out of bed and all that goes with that. He has taken her to parties, play dates, walks, swimming and everywhere else she has been.

Not only has he completely stepped up with Sam, but he has been an incredible partner to me. You can imagine how fun a wife is who stays in bed all day for ten weeks (sorry to say, but with very few visitors during most weeks). I am also usually a super social person, so if I don't talk to people during the day, when he gets home, he has a lot of listening to do. He has gone out of his way on many occasions to get me food that sounded good, since I couldn't (hamburgers, Thai food, Japanese, Vietnamese...whatever I wanted). While he usually spent his evenings on the couch, he has transferred his routine to join me in bed, so that come 8:15 every night we are usually both in bed, reading, watching something, organizing, or just hanging out. He has encouraged me at all stages to relax, be selfish, and do all that I can to keep this baby safe and inside my body.

Yes, these last four months have been hard for me (though they're getting easier as I can do more,
the end is nearer and the baby is bigger...), but they have also been hard for Matt. And he's been totally incredible and the most supportive partner I could ask for.