Ahhhh, Penelopes. How I’ve missed you! I’ve appreciated all of your personal emails and well wishes, along with all the sweet notes, urging me to…er…get the lead out and start posting again. Makes me feel good to know you care.
So, what gives, you ask? What’s kept me away and silent for so long? I’ll tell you, but, bear with me, this post is lengthy. Feel free to skim.
Most of you have probably guessed it, so I’ll just confirm: my husband and I are having a baby!
A little background first. My husband has 2 boys from previous relationships, age 21 and 11. I’ve helped raise the 11 year old since infancy. I have one biological daughter, who is turning – ahem – 16 next Monday. Good Lord.
So, while this new little one is not our first time at the rodeo (and boy, is that phrase played out or what?) it is a first in several ways.
First, he’s the first one either of us got to actually plan. (Did I tell you he’s a boy? He is!) And that was weird. After so many years of trying desperately not to get pregnant, it’s a real mindfudge to actually try to get pregnant. I thought maybe we’d get stage fright, but we muscled through admirably. And I found that the planning part wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped. I actually wrote about some of the issues I was having here.
Second, this is our first baby together. First time both of us are in a happy, real, solid relationship when a child was created. That’s been wonderful. My husband’s been unspeakably amazing through all of this.
Third, this is my first baby, in, like, an ice age. Seriously, being pregnant at 20 and then 37 are two totally different things. Whooo baby. Different in some great ways and some not so great ways. (Want to take bets as to whether or not I’ll come home from the hospital, post-delivery, in my pre-pregnancy jeans. Ha! Yet, I did exactly that when I had my daughter. One laughs. And then cries.)
So, we planned this baby and wanted it very much. Then I miscarried on our first attempt back in August (and wrote about it in a veiled way here.) And that, my friends, is serious business. I think I knew intellectually that miscarriage was serious, but until I experienced it, I never fully understood the total gutcheck that losing a much-wanted pregnancy is. We got through it, and grew closer, but it threw me for a loop for a while.
Then, I got pregnant in November and – whoa Nellie – it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was super nauseous 24 hours a day for weeks and couldn’t remember a time when I liked food. And the fatigue. Wow. I didn’t experience it with my daughter. Maybe because back then I didn’t have an entire family to take care of and a company to run. But this time, I was tired in a way I never thought possible.
And I struggled against my Penelope self all the way through. I knew why I was tired, but the reality of being so tired and sick that I ordered a pizza on a Wednesday night, or that my kids had to eat cereal for dinner on a Tuesday, well, my ego took a major beating. I was so used to being able to do more in a day than others do in a week that I needed to really look at how I was valuing myself and why I thought others valued me.
Turns out, my wonderful staff still respected me, even when I was cranky with them. (They are a truly stellar bunch of Penelopes.) And my family loved me even when I didn’t cook dinner and do a million chores before the sun rose.
I think I needed that lesson. Actually, I know I did. It was humbling.
And I struggled with the paralyzing fear every day of losing this pregnancy. Once it’s happened to you, it feels so…possible to have it happen again. And the pregnancy feels so tenuous and tedious. All the waiting about drove me insane. Just crawling through those first few weeks was a feat.
Then, just as the worst of the physical symptoms started to abate a bit and we got through that glorious 12 week appointment and saw the heartbeat again and felt that things were proceeding at a good pace, another huge tidal wave hit: we decided to buy a new, larger home to fit our family.
And you know the toll that takes on your time and energy. Between the orchestrations of the escrow and the move, on top of the job and the family and the growing of the human, well, this Penelope was pooped.
So, I took a break. More out of pure necessity than anything. I just couldn’t do a single thing that absolutely didn’t have to be done.
I’ve missed the blog and, more, all of you, and am glad to be to a place where I can finally do some writing again.
I can’t promise I’ll go back to a normal posting schedule, but I am going to give it my best shot. I’ll try not to turn Penelope into a mommy blog (though I do love me some mommy blogs) but I will most likely be posting, along with the normal Penelope content, a bit more on baby-related items than I have in the past, just because that’s what I’m dealing with at this point. I hope you’ll be ok with it.
Again, my apologies for the radio silence and thank you for hanging around. I don’t feel that I deserve so much loyalty, but I appreciate it and thank you from the bottom of my Penelope heart.
Penelope PS: Since we’re always looking for ways to de-clutter and thin out our stuff: if anyone has maternity clothes and/or baby boy clothes in good condition for which you’re looking for a good home, send me an email and we can chat. I’ll be keeping everything in good condition myself and then will be passing them off to another Penelope later.
In fact, I’ve been mulling ways that we could use the Penelope community to facilitate this kind of swap. Anyone with ideas should email me on that, too!