I’ll repeat something I said on Twitter the other day–the more I think about it, the more I think Paul losing his job the week before I was induced is a blessing in disguise.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still bad timing, although at least we’ll have his severance pay, but we’re getting time together as a new, small family that we wouldn’t have otherwise. The original plan was for me to take my leave, and then for him to take a few weeks of FMLA to get some bonding time in. Instead, we’re getting most likely my whole six weeks together. Women always say maternity leave is not a vacation, and it’s not, but…it’s hard not to feel like I get six weeks to just hang out at home with my husband and newborn.

Last week was a whirlwind. After coming home and introducing him to grandparents and cousins in the early part of the week, he and I had checkups later in the week. He’s doing great and just needed to put some more weight on, so we’re now supplementing his breastfeeding with a little bit of formula.

The thing about breastfeeding is that I knew going in it would potentially be hard and that I’d have to be committed to it. Of all the moms I know, I can think of maybe only one or two who did it–and that’s not a judgment on commitment or parenting or anything at all, it’s just to get the point across that I know more women who struggled than not for various reasons. So my attitude going in was I’m gonna do it, but Charlie being fed is the most important thing and if my body just isn’t up for it, that’s fine. I wasn’t so hellbent on it that I’d get upset if I was told he needed a little boost, and I wasn’t. I had a few “Don’t get discouraged!” messages, which I appreciated but didn’t need. The pediatrician said he wasn’t gaining enough weight, so I said, “Okay.” Or I said it to Paul. Similar to my appointments since March, only one person is allowed in the office with Charlie, and being that I’m stitched up and moving slowly, handling a carseat with a baby in it isn’t the easiest thing for me. So I’ve been tagging along and waiting in the car while Paul takes him in.

Speaking of my stitches, I’m doing well, physically and mentally. I’m healing well and I feel good. Paul said I get around better now than I did nine months pregnant, and it’s true. And despite a family history of postpartum depression, I feel fine emotionally, and I’ve had a few people check in on that to be sure–Paul, Terra, and my mom, of course, but unexpectedly, a classmate from high school who I really only see at reunions sent me a Facebook message to check in, saying she likes to do so with new moms as she had postpartum depression herself.

We didn’t do anything for the 4th, which is probably for the best. If it wasn’t for having a newborn baby, we might’ve done something small. We weren’t invited anywhere, either, but probably wouldn’t have gone even if we had been, with the exception of something small.

On Sunday, we took Charlie to Paul’s parents’ house to meet his great-grandparents, and Jacob and Katie brought Arlo, finally after he was born right at the start of the lockdowns. The four of us kind of want to be on the same page with these things–it’ll make life easier for all of us–so we made sure they were going before we committed. The great-grandparents were all thrilled to see the babies, and it was a pretty nice afternoon with everyone. And the boys are adorable, of course.

And now…we have no other plans in the near future. Sure, there’s some things to be done ┬árelated to life with a new baby, but overall, we have time for me to recover physically and for the three of us to continue bonding. It’s one day at a time, and it’s kind of nice.

Charlie entered this world on June 26 at 10:51 p.m.

Paul’s sister Emily came over Thursday night to be around to watch the cats, and Paul and I got up Friday morning, around 4:30, made it to the hospital about quarter ’til six, and after some brief waiting and prep, we were in the delivery room, I was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and things, and before I knew it…I was asleep thanks to a dose of pain meds.

And honestly, that’s how the bulk of the day went, which is not what I expected. Doctors and nurses popped in and out–the sweet nurse with me most of the day came in the next day after he was born to see us–and from what I remember, the doctor was caught up in surgery. By the time she freed up, it was almost time to push.

In short, my epidural may have been a little too good. I couldn’t feel anything at all, which was great until I kind of needed to to be able to actually give birth to a baby. We took a break to lower the dose, and it seemed like all of a sudden, I was really feeling it. It was about two hours total before he was born, and in the end, I needed some stitches.

Now, not that anyone was judging me for how delivery went, but personally, I felt like I was almost wimping out. But then in the aftermath, apparently, I handled a significant tear pretty well–one of the nurses said women have cried over smaller ones, and I only asked for painkillers and such a couple of times. Even now at home, I’m not doing much for pain and discomfort.

We were in the hospital for about 2 1/2 days–they want the baby for 24 hours after delivery and leaving at like 11 at night doesn’t make much sense, so we were able to bust out Sunday afternoon after some checks on me and plenty of poking and prodding on him to make sure he’s good.s.

And he is. Every parent thinks their kid is perfect, but he’s so cute. We don’t really think he takes after one of us over the other at the moment, and in fact, some relatives think he actually looks like my mom and he sometimes reminds me of my brother. At the moment, he has very light red, almost strawberry-blond hair, and we’re anxious to see if that changes at all. He changed a ton just over the first day of his life, so we’re curious to see how that continues.

The hospital pediatrician wasn’t concerned about letting family come meet him despite coronavirus, so since Emily was gonna need picked up after cat sitting, we told both sets of grandparents to go ahead and come meet him the evening we got back. Today, he met my brother and Kelly plus his big cousin Eliana. It made for a nice afternoon enjoying our deck. He mostly slept, but Eliana was fun to watch not just with him but in general–she’s not at our house often, certainly not the yard, and she was having a good time checking things out and being a ham.

Tomorrow, he sees a pediatrician for a follow-up, and we continue to get the hang of this whole parenting thing.

My last weekend before officially becoming a mom.

Friday evening after work, we booked it to the local coronavirus drive-up testing site before they closed at 4. I need tested as a precaution. There was this big truck in front of us and I was trying to watch how their test went, but it was too hard to see anything.

It was kind of intimidating. The staff is completely suited up. I’m sure it feels a certain way for people who are more likely to have it–I’m almost positive I don’t, as I have no symptoms and have been shuttered at home for most of the last few months–but it’s strange to know that that’s the precaution they need to take. I’ve been taking it seriously the whole time, but it kind of drives it home.

The test itself was one of the most physically uncomfortable things I’ve ever experienced. They shove that swab so, so far up your nose, and they have to do it in both nostrils. It made my eyes water. Like, avoiding that test ought to be incentive enough to just deal with the social distancing for a little while until we get a vaccine or something figured out. You don’t want it, believe me, and that’s not even considering how uncomfortable and difficult the virus itself can be.

It was also my birthday weekend!

My birthday falls on Father’s Day every few years, and figures that it did this year, the first Father’s Day since my dad died. So there’s that, the pandemic, and being very pregnant. My appetite has been weird–mostly nonexistent–and I don’t feel comfortable going out, so my mom offered to make a birthday dinner of whatever I wanted. Naturally, I opted for one of my grandma’s recipes. My first choice was cottage cheese and dumplings, but somehow, neither my mom nor Aunt Gina has the recipe. So I went for my second choice, her rigatoni, and she threw in a batch of potato salad, too. Because my brother and I managed to both marry people who do not like pasta, she planned out a whole meal–she made Grandma’s stuffed peppers, too, plus good, old-fashioned mashed potatoes and corn, plus Grandma’s Jell-O dessert. Paul made a cherry cake with lemon frosting that morning, and the two of us and Brandon, Kelly, and Eliana headed over to my mom’s Saturday afternoon (a day early) for a nice homemade dinner and cake. It was a nice, low-key birthday, and I found it to be really nice.

Paul and I ran a very brief errand on my actual birthday. My original due date was July 3, so the big question was whether the baby would be here for the 4th, but now I’m being induced a week early. So I’d seen a “my first 4th” onesie on clearance on Old Navy’s website and decided to order it and pick it up. And then we decided to go home and order pizza. So my actual birthday was that plus two or three naps, and Paul got me a really pretty jewelry set. I think my birthday actually distracted from Father’s Day, as opposed to being the weird day I thought it would be.

We’re still working on last-minute projects to get the house ready for the baby, of course. We cleaned a lot of junk lying around our bedroom, and I’m still gradually sorting through shower gifts and getting the nursery settled. I’m starting to get a little nervous, but then I’ll do something struggle to get out of bed to pee for the fourth time in the middle of the night and I feel very, very ready. I have an appointment Wednesday morning, and I’m supposed to report to the hospital Thursday night. So the next time I pop over here, I’ll have a kid. Weird.

In the aftermath of the baby shower, the house looks like a disaster. It’s mostly because so I can keep track of things for thank-you notes, I left all the gifts in their bags and we kind of plopped it all in the living and side room and as I write out a thank-you, I go through everything and put it in the nursery. It tends to involve cutting lots of tags off of baby clothes and piling anything washable in a hamper to wash before he gets here.

Which will be next week!

Despite a due date of July 3, I will be 39 weeks as of next week, and studies have shown there are benefits to inducing then, like a decreased risk in various complications. That information paired with my discomfort–the worst of which is pain through my lower stomach and groin when I walk and roll over in bed–led me to say let’s go ahead and do it. So we’ll head into the hospital next Thursday night and unless he really decides to be a pain, we’ll have a baby by Friday, maybe be home by the end of the weekend. I have one last appointment Wednesday to see how things are going, and I also have to get tested for coronavirus as a precaution, which I’m hoping to squeeze in tomorrow right after work. I’m almost more anxious about that than childbirth. At least I’ve had nine months to mentally prepare for childbirth. I’ve only had a few days to come to terms with a big Q-tip poking my brain.

So as part of baby prep, I wanted some more boxes to help organize our clothes. Our bedroom is a disaster–and small–so my original plan was to put him straight in the nursery, but I’m second-guessing that and would feel better having him closer, even in such a small house. So I ordered what I wanted online for pickup, which based on the line outside the store was brilliant. Plus we dropped off tons of recycling that had piled up in the midst of the COVID lockdown, so it was a productive trip. We went home for a little bit then headed back out for a brief Target run to use my 15% registry coupon on a few things we didn’t get at the shower, but I mean really a few. I wasn’t expecting so many of the big things we needed to get covered, so all we really needed was, like, crib sheets, baby laundry detergent, and a few other things. I’d also used a second website for my registry that gave me 15% plus a $10 credit, and I took advantage of that one to get the baby monitor I want. Frankly, I didn’t expect anyone to buy that one. It would’ve been awesome, but I didn’t expect it.

This weekend is gonna be a weird one–it’s the first Father’s Day without my dad, which also happens to fall on my birthday, and being induced means it’s also our last weekend before the baby comes, and it’s still during a pandemic, no matter how the country is behaving. I don’t want to go out for various reasons, which include a reduced appetite thanks to a baby taking up most of my internal space, so my mom offered to make me something. I opted for either my grandma’s rigatoni or cottage cheese and dumplings and maybe a small ice-cream cake, so it’s looking like that’ll be my Saturday!

Back in February, my mom took a ride out here and she I and I spent some time after work checking out this cute little tea house a few minutes away from our house as a potential baby-shower venue. I really liked it and thought it would make for something cute and different, so we were all set.

COVID-19 shutdowns hit the state a month, maybe month-and-a-half later. We held out hope things would be back to normal by the time we were looking to have the shower–early June–but as the weeks went by, not only did that seem unlikely, but if it happened, would it really be safe and would me and my guests really be comfortable with it? And the answer was no.

Moms-to-be in similar situations were going viral for improvising with virtual and drive-by showers. I wasn’t crazy about a virtual shower–it felt a little impersonal, and I knew it would exclude some older relatives. A drive-by shower wasn’t ideal for our house, given we’re kind of the odd ones out location-wise and the road we’re on really isn’t great for that. But my mom realized her neighborhood is kind of perfect for it. It’s small and the roads essentially just make a small circle, making it easy for people to drive up.

So we moved forward with adapting everything for the era of coronavirus. We wanted to make it worth everyone’s time to drive out and be as close to a traditional baby shower as possible, so we gave out a bag lunch. Jimmy John’s was the catering winner because they individually wrapped their sandwiches, and we donned food-service gloves and filled little blue lunch bags with that, a bag of chips, individually wrapped cookies made to look like adorable babies, and a little individually wrapped mint, as well as a bottle of water with a custom label. Normally, we’d have made our own cookies and aunts and grandmas would’ve chipped in, but we aimed to be as professional-grade as possible for safety reasons. We also had cupcakes individually boxed.

We also gave out little bags of favors, generally following a theme–they had little keychains, a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and a bar of soap that smelled amazing.

Of course, baby showers come with games, most of which can’t be done in a social-distancing version–and I’d found some neat ones. But we did what we could. We found baby-themed scratch-off tickets that we sent out with invitations, we had a car-decorating contest, and we decided we’d award a prize to every so many cars. We also awarded a prize for furthest distance traveled, which went to Julie, who drove down from Erie. Basically, a lot of people got prizes.

The turnout was mostly my side of the family, although a lot of Paul’s family lives about an hour away and I don’t blame them for not wanting to make that drive. My mom made the point that if it were her, she’d want to get out of the house. We had about 40 people come through in about 15 cars, which I was pretty happy with. It went well. People seemed impressed with how it turned out, and we got a lot of our baby needs covered. We have a few things we still need, so the plan is to head out this weekend and take advantage of coupons and gift cards.

All in all, it was a nice day, and as much as I wanted my original tea house, things came together well and I felt like I got my day–and baby, too! I appreciated everyone who came out.

I’m losing more and more time to…sleep, I guess. I nap for my lunch break and usually fall asleep after work–typically, I’ll last for an hour or so after my shift and will fall asleep around 4 or 5 and sleep until 7 or 7:30 at the latest. Today, by some miracle–probably my mom calling me twice–I maybe only dozed for an hour, and I’m kind of happy about it. I have shit to do! Like laundry. That’s gotten put off all week solely because I needed Paul to carry the basket to the laundry room for me. Could he have done the laundry instead? Probably, but I like pretending I’m functional.

I realized I haven’t touched my books in two weeks, which feels ridiculous. The last time that happened, I was working in the office and doing a lot of overtime, so it’s weird to think my evenings are shot to the point that I haven’t even carved out reading time.

On Sunday, we went to my mom’s to basically assemble favors for the drive-by baby shower–put homemade labels on things, bag things, that kind of stuff. It’s gonna be pretty cute, and I’m pleased with the expected turnout of about 40 people in about 15 cars. That’s definitely more than I expected. I don’t blame people for not wanting to participate, especially those who have a drive of like an hour, but I feel like they’re getting a good bit out of it. A bag of favors and a bagged lunch, essentially, consisting of a sandwich, chips, a cookie, cupcake, and bottle of water. I think for having to adapt, we did good, and I keep teasing my mom and telling her she should go into the quarantine party-planning business.

Maybe it’s the sleep, but the weeks are flying by at this point. We’re down to the last four weeks before my due date. The crib is assembled. We’ll see what I get at the shower, but I expect we’ll have a few gaps to fill. We have some mental prep to do, like the online birthing classes since they’re not being done in person right now. Instead of being freaked out, I’m actually calmer and kind of ready, as much as I think one can be. I’m tired of the discomfort, and as I’ve heard a few pregnant women say, I’m ready to have my body back to myself.

Paul’s taking tomorrow off in the hopes of tackling some yard work but also to take a break since his days there are numbered. He’ll be paid for his unused time, but we both feel like he might as well use it and have a couple of relaxing days at home. We’re gonna head to my mom’s sometime in the afternoon or evening and spend the night there to make shower prep easier Saturday, and then I get my own little parade of friends and family to help welcome the baby since the tea house I originally wanted is out.

Sure, my state is moving to the “green phase” and there’s a chance I still could’ve done it, but let me tell you how little I trust it. I think this country is pretending things aren’t as serious as they are, and it’s gonna bite us in the ass in about two weeks.

We increased our circle a smidge this weekend.

Since we still haven’t met our nephew, Arlo, Paul had the idea to see if it would be cool if we could do a drive-by visit, and Katie said that was long as we wore clean clothes, she was okay with us coming in for a proper visit. She and I have talked about this a little–among all of our little branched-out families, most of us pretty much aren’t leaving our houses, so we figure seeing each other is probably okay. I realize this isn’t quite in line with what the experts are advising, but I mean…I’ve left the house four times since restrictions started in March, and Katie’s situation is very similar.

So we visited for a little bit, then came home to our new writing group Paul’s sister Emily got going. The last one I was in dissolved–it was made up of coworkers, and all but two of us have moved or switched jobs or both. Although my contributions will likely be spotty for lack of time, I’m glad to be involved in it. We hop on Discord on Saturday nights and discuss.

This was also the weekend where the limitations of pregnancy made themselves painfully clear, literally. The goal was to really put time and work into getting ready for the baby. After a delay of about a week, the crib is supposed to arrive tomorrow, and my mom offered to steam-clean the carpet in his room. So the first project was getting ahead of the mess that the living room and kitchen had become, most of which turned out to be empty boxes. But normally, we split the work for an hour or so and it’s done. Now? I can’t, and I really didn’t expect that and was surprised by just how hard it was for me. At best, I’m moving a lot slower and get a lot less done than him, and at worst, I need to sit down after carrying something from one end of the house to the other. So that’s how Paul did the bulk of the cleaning on his own Sunday.

But the weather was nice, so I thought, “Hey, I know I need some exercise.” My original plan for this point in the pregnancy was to be walking on a treadmill at the gym, which of course didn’t account for a damn pandemic shutting the thing down. So we decided to go for a walk in the park, which I maintain was a good idea for the most part, but I ended up overdoing it. I needed to go slower and sit down a lot, but for the most part, I felt pretty good and felt like getting out and moving was helping. The problem was I misjudged my limit, so I was really, really struggling when we turned around to go back to the car. It didn’t help the aches and discomfort I was having, and instead, I ended up with aches and discomfort in other places from not being active lately.

I was still feeling it a bit this morning. We were set to finish the cleaning project, and while I did contribute, it was minimal. I just couldn’t. It was taking a lot of me, which was making me frustrated, and fortunately, I’m married to a saint who keeps telling me my job right now is to literally grow a human in my body and that’s it.

Weirdly, as of the last couple hours, I feel really good. Maybe it just takes over 24 hours to recover from exercise and for the benefits to kick in.

My mom came over and steam-cleaned the carpet in the baby’s room. For that being the least-used room in the house, it was kind of amazing to see how dirty the water was, and I’m afraid of how offensive my office and our bedroom probably are. Woof. But at least he’ll have a nice, clean room, for the most part. When the crib is up, I do want the cats to have some time to check it out and make some progress towards understanding in their little kitty brains that it’s gonna have a very different purpose soon.

This being Memorial Day weekend, somewhere around Friday or Saturday I thought we could head out to my dad’s grave today, especially since it’s so close to our house. I mentioned it in our family group text, and everyone kind of was separately thinking the same thing, so my mom spent the morning doing the steam cleaning and we drove out to the grave around 1, then grabbed some takeout and came back to the house to hang out a little bit.

Ordinarily, we probably would’ve had a cookout, even if just a small one where Paul did most of the work, so it was a little strange for it to be small and limited and not feel much like Memorial Day, honestly. But I guess that’s just how it is now, and I don’t see it changing–and at least we can see each other instead of being totally separate like we have up to this point.

I expect this weekend, we’ll stay in. Paul sounds like he’s gonna tackle assembling the crib during the week, and until the drive-by baby shower, we won’t have a ton of stuff to put in there just yet. What we definitely need to do is devote some time to the hospital’s virtual classes, since in-person ones are all canceled.

I making this point a lot, but it’s strange times to be a new parent-to-be.

Well, we knew it was coming eventually, but Paul got his 60 days’ notice at work. Finally, nearly a year and a half after first getting the news that his company would be relocating to Mexico, he has an end date–hilariously, right after my due date. Oh, universe, you are hilarious.

Obviously, this coming mid-coronavirus also makes for complicated timing and a lot of work in his field is moving overseas, but we’re not freaking out. He’s getting a decent severance package, and while my paycheck absolutely isn’t gonna be enough, I can grab overtime here and there and the timing does potentially solve our problem of how to handle me going back to work.

The news happens to come the same day his friend who moved to New York after the closure was announced found out his job is being eliminated, mostly due to coronavirus.

We’ll figure it out. It’s not the first time he’s lost a job. Yes, having a baby this time absolutely complicates things, but we’ve been here before.

In other news, I have no idea where my weekend went. It was the laziest, most unproductive one I’ve had since this all started, and I couldn’t tell you why. We spent some time clearing out what we had been using as a sort of guest bedroom to get ready for the baby. The crib should be arriving tomorrow, and the current plan is for my mom to steam-clean the carpet in there before anything is assembled. Currently, there’s still some old furniture in there, but it’s clearly making the transition. A few people have sent gifts, so those are all in there, as well as the stash of samples I’ve been amassing for the better part of the last seven or eight months. If a website offered me free samples of diapers or wipes or bottles or whatever, I signed up.

Eliana turned one, which was originally to have been marked with a whole birthday party. Instead, the grandparents and aunts and uncles popped by their apartment, except my brother being my brother, I was never told of this. And while being left out is, like, a complex of mine, I know him well enough to know he didn’t intentionally exclude me, he just…didn’t think to say anything. And at the same time, Paul wasn’t really comfortable going and neither was I, in part because some in attendance are working in healthcare right now. I trust that they’re all being careful, but being pregnant, I don’t see a need to expand the circle of people we’re seeing. I’d be okay with visiting some weekend on our own instead.

I also chauffeured Paul around to run errands. My car battery has now died twice because it’s just sitting in the garage, so after getting it charged back up, I suggested we run errands and I’d drive and he could go in, as he has been, and handle the actual purchasing and human interaction. And man, it felt so good. I was having fun. I offered to just drive on weekends when we need something so I can get out of the house without actually, like, doing anything.

Because I’ve left the house so little–I believe that was outing #4, and the previous three were doctors appointments–seeing people just wearing masks in public is still really, really weird to me. It’s very dystopian sci-fi, while everyone else is used to it. Mostly, I guess.

Pennsylvania’s current approach is color-coded phases–red, yellow, and green. Most of the other end of the state, out near Philadelphia, is still in the red, while we moved to yellow on Friday. In my opinion, there’s not a huge difference between the two. It seems to be that yellow allows for additional retail to open. The outlets, for example, are open because it’s an outdoor mall, and anchor stores at regular malls are allowed to open. Malls themselves aren’t. But for the most part, social distancing and mask wearing is still the norm.

Reactions in the area seem mixed. There has been some push to reopen, with my county joining a couple others in suing the state and some people definitely agreeing with that decision, but I’m not one of them, and neither is anyone I know. My friends are all pretty much on the same page that there’s no way this is gonna truly end anytime soon, and we’ve popped on Zoom a couple times to chat. My immediate family is pretty much the same way, and my mom in particular is being very careful since my drive-by baby shower is at her house. She’s frustrated with some extended family for seemingly ignoring all guidelines completely and opting to have a small get-together next weekend.

Things feel split along political party lines, and therefore to a certain degree age, which is ridiculous to me, especially considering there’s still so much we don’t know about the virus. I’ve felt for a long time that this distrust of the media and science was a problem, and this is exactly why–we’ve now got large groups of people who either don’t understand or are straight up ignoring that this is legit and that some of us are relying on ┬áthe bulk of the country to just chill and do their part to limit exposure. If I wasn’t already working from home, my doctor told me that they’d have me start my maternity leave two weeks before my due date solely to quarantine.

Looking ahead, our weekend is likely gonna be some baby prep with more of…whatever we’ve been doing to kill time. I kind of wish I wouldn’t nap so much, but I truly can’t help it at this point.

 

Last week progressed like normal–work, sleep, repeat.

For Mother’s Day, we decided to defy the stay-at-home order a smidge and have a takeout dinner at my mom’s. I was comfortable with going–only Brandon and Paul are leaving for work, and my mom is going out only as needed and is very thorough and meticulous when it comes to wiping down anything that goes into the house, so I was fairly confident we could see each other safely. We did agree to wear masks, although that got abandoned fast. Once we were done eating, we kind of forgot about it. I did wear one when I held Eliana, though, and that was interesting to navigate. She’s about to turn a year old and I didn’t want to get close to her without a mask, but I didn’t want to freak her out, either, especially since she hasn’t seen us in two months. But she did really well. She looked a little confused at first, and then was like, “Oh, right, you’re the weirdos I FaceTime with.”

Normally when we go home from my mom’s, I intend to stop at the local dairy farm for milk and just kind of end up not feeling like it, but having my mom deliver a gallon of milk and a pint of ice cream reminded of the quality of it. So I had Paul stop and pop in on our way home and threw in a request for chocolate milk and a shake, too. My main major craving is still specifically cherry icees, but any frozen beverage will do in a pinch. And I forgot that their chocolate milk truly tastes like melted chocolate ice cream. It’s the best. I’ve got one or two glasses left to get out of the quart Paul grabbed, and I’m gonna miss it when it’s gone. I could ask Paul to get a bigger jug, but I don’t blame him for not wanting to load me up on sugar.

On that front, I joke that he’s policing my diet and that Reddit would rip him to shreds, but I’m glad he’s considering healthy options the way he is. I started this pregnancy off okay, focusing on healthier choices, but the longer I go, the easier it is to cave to whims. He nudges me a certain direction but doesn’t, like, keep me from giving in to some junk food, and I think it’s a good balance. He’s also cooking for me as much as possible, considering we now work different shifts.

This week has been rougher so far for small but annoying reasons. Just enough at work to end up working late a few days. I’m grateful for the overtime, but at the same time, physically, even just sitting in a chair for the regular eight hours has its struggles. I don’t feel tired most of the time, but then I’ll start to get sleepy and feel like I need to lie down, and that continues in cycles over eight hours (or more) plus back pain and the other discomforts of growing a human. I don’t know how pregnant women manage to work more physical or more demanding jobs.

And then there was confusion about an appointment I was supposed to have today. Back when I scheduled, I remember them specifically saying it was going to be a telemedicine appointment, and they sent me home with a blood-pressure cuff. When they called to remind me of my appointment, they said it was in person. Not a big deal, honestly, but I was worried about the possibility that something got mixed up and decided to call to double-check–and given that my car battery died last appointment, I also decided to make sure that was functioning. And…it’s not. So when the office confirmed they had me down in person instead, I had to reschedule. I’m on for Friday morning instead and had to take a half-day, and hopefully my car battery will be charged back up by then. If not, I can take Paul’s car, which is why I scheduled the way I did, but I’m annoyed about having to do it at all when I’m positive I was supposed to be chatting with a doctor from the comforts of home. That said, everything is chaos right now and I don’t think I’ve had appointment scheduling go smoothly and be normal since probably February, so I don’t entirely blame them. Besides, it’s not like I have a lot of telemedicine time left–soon enough, I’m gonna need to be seen in person until the baby is born.

As annoyed as I am about the entire circumstance and much as I hate to request time off work on short notice yet again, I am glad I’ll have a half day Friday, and we all just kind of have to deal with it. They can’t exactly do anything about it, and frankly, neither can I.

This weekend will be another spent at home. I’ve had a very unproductive week, probably thanks to many naps, so I’m hoping to catch up on some things and feel a little less lazy, even if I have a good excuse. I may just have to accept that at this point, my body’s working hard and if I need to sleep, I need to sleep, but I’m not enjoying it.

All is well with baby and I (and, of course, Paul, but he doesn’t come to the doctors appointments anymore because he’s not allowed, so…). Next appointment is in three weeks–well, two now–and they’re going with telemedicine for that one. They sent me home with a blood-pressure cuff so I can do that myself. I suspect I’ll only have a few of these appointments before they want to see me in person again, since I am in the third trimester (!) and my appointments will be more frequent and more involved.

I took myself to Starbucks after. I’ve been dying for a tasty beverage, especially one I can’t get at home. Of course, I’m watching my caffeine intake and have to be careful about herbal teas, but I still have options.

It was also the first time I’ve really been out, particularly since the state mandated wearing masks, and man the one Paul made irritated the shit out of me. I mean, it’s functional, but it fogged up my glasses and wouldn’t stay in place and I felt very silly, even if everyone else is using them, mostly. My mom did see someone get kicked out of a store for not wearing one. The woman said she wouldn’t shop there anymore, and the cashier who wouldn’t wait on her told her if she doesn’t wear one, she’s not gonna be shopping anywhere. I just ordered two online, and the homemade one can be a backup.

Work is still going for both of us. Word is now Paul’s company’s move to Mexico, announced last year, may not be finished until the end of next year yet. Our workload has changed in interesting ways–we’ve lost business (temporarily) in some areas but gained in others in ways I didn’t really expect but do seem obvious is retrospect, and we were busy enough this week that they offered overtime and I was able to pick up a few hours. I know some of my co-workers practically rely on overtime and we’re not on that level, but knowing my next paycheck will have a little extra to throw at bills is nice. Especially knowing I’m gonna have to use FMLA when the baby is born, meaning I won’t be getting paid.

Neither of us gets any kind of paid leave, in fact, but we’ve thrown around the idea of using staggered FMLA–I take mine first to recover, obviously, and then he takes his after to get in some bonding time. That way, even though we’ll be down a paycheck in both instances, at least something is coming in and he gets some time at home, too.

This weekend, Paul made homemade flatbread again. He was getting into bread baking pre-lockdown, but now he’s even more into it, and the flatbread last weekend was so simple and turned out so good that he did it again. This time, we used it for tomato sandwiches. Meanwhile, I made these really simple three-ingredient lemon bars.

We did a family FaceTime with Eliana twice, the second time in part for Brandon and Kelly to help me flesh out my baby registry. I’ve been saying since I got pregnant I wanted their help on that, although I thought maybe it would happen sitting around at my mom’s house with Eliana. Instead, it was virtual, but Eliana was very awake and smiley and chatty. Meaning it took way longer than it needed to, but who cares?

This week brings my last Saturday working for the month, then back to a normal schedule. And…another week locked down. Again.