An Open Letter to Baby L at 9 Months (Okay, 10. Sue Me.)

Dear Lilah,

You are WAY past nine months old now. In fact, you are ten months old, as of yesterday. But, as you know, your mother is nothing if she isn’t a total slacker. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy writing letters to you. Really. It is that between you insisting on trying to pound away at my laptop while I am doing so, and the miniscule amount of time I have without you attached to me, I am unable to do a whole lot of anything these days.

You are getting so big. I was at one of my check-up appointments the other day and there was a woman there with a baby who she “claimed” was 8 weeks old and weighed 11 pounds and I could barely remember you being that tiny ( say “claimed” because I swear to Cheesus, that baby was so small. SO SMALL). You are so full of personality now and you really are a little person and not at all like that little meatloaf that you were when we brought you home from the hospital. It is so strange to think you have changed so much. And also to think that, in just a few months, we will have another meatloaf. And this time it will have a tiny penis. Weird. Anyway, you shouldn’t concern yourself with such things. You just concentrate on being super cute and deliberately spitting on everything in a 20 foot radius of you.

You are not a crawler. And not because you can’t, mind you, but because having to crawl to get somewhere really pisses you off. I wonder if I am the only mom out there scratching her head on this one. I have seen you do it and I know that you are capable, but yet, for some reason, you would rather get in baby plank pose, scoot yourself about a foot backwards and then get super angry and start to screech. I am not as worried that you are behind in development as that you are going to be lazy until your brother is born and then take giant leaps when I don’t have the time or the energy to pad the entire house for you to fall all over.

You say things like “mama” and “dada” but I am pretty sure you don’t yet know that you are saying our respective names. Your dad, however, insists that you say “duck” when it is bath time. (You do have a rubber duckie or two that we have in there with you when Daddy bathes you, but I am not sure that I buy that you are yet calling them ducks. Not because I think you are a dummy, but because I haven’t heard this and your dad has a hearing problem. Meaning he hears what he wants to. And this applies to everyone, not just you.)

You love eating. You are indiscriminate completely about food unless I try to give you peas. Peas and carrots? “Sure, Mom! Bring it!” Peas by themselves? “No way, Mom, get that shit out of my face.” You should know that peas are delicious and you should eat them. Don’t listen to your dad when he talks about how gross they are. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You especially love strawberries, pears, and green grapes. All three of my favorite fruits. And we have them just about every day for a snack together and it is really amusing for me to watch you master your dexterity and pick up tiny pieces of slimy stuff. Half of the time, most of it ends up in your lap, but I enjoy watching you stuff your face on the off-chance that you make it in there. (You are totally getting good at it, though. At first, I doubted that you had gotten ANY fruit into your mouth, now I only find a couple of slivers in your lap and on the floor…Good work, my love.)

You are still a really weird sleeper. We attempted to do this thing called “sleep training” wherein your father and I would train you about when and how to sleep on your own. What ended up happening was that you ended up training me and your father on how to sleep with you wrapped around our faces. We are about to start this process again because it is really important to me to have you in your own bed/room before your brother gets here and keeps me up all night.  In fairness (to me), it would have been pointless to go full force with sleep training if we were just going to uproot you, which we just did when we moved to this new house. So…yeah. I don’t suck as much as it might seem.

You are also working on getting tooth number 7. And let me tell you, Lilah, teething is a total bitch and you OWE me for this. Like, when you turn 18, you are going to need to buy me a kitten for each tooth that you have. Okay, that’s not a good idea. But I will think of something for you to do. Because this shit is DUMB. (And also makes your sleeping WORSE. Yes. That is possible, it would appear.)

So, again, I am sorry that I was a slack ass during your ninth month, but we had a lot going on. I mean, be for real, we had to move so that we had room for your brother and so that you didn’t catch disobedience and general badness from your cousin. I’m just saying. By the time you read this, you will know exactly what I mean. No need to get too involved.  Either way, your father and I are very proud of you. You crack us up every day and you are so effing cute with your growing front teeth and your chubby, delicious cheeks. We can’t get enough of you. You are the love of my life. Duh.

Love always,

Mom

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The One Where I Rant About Maternity Clothes

Oh my GOD, you guys. I am so pregnant all of a sudden and I am not sure how this happened!

I went, about two weeks ago, from wearing all of my pre-pregnancy clothes (from before Baby L), RIGHT back into maternity pants. It, like, happened overnight! As did my cravings for all things chocolate. I am not a fan.

Since I hastily sold all of my maternity tops as soon as that shit was over last time (like, before I was even discharged from the hospital, it was all on eBay, you guys), I had to go shopping for new stupid pregnant lady clothes. And I ventured back into that dreaded “Motherhood Maternity” store where I had spent a small fortune just a freaking year ago and reluctantly dragged my huge pregnant ass right back into the changing room of death and stood under flourescent lights to examine my ever-growing BUMP.

AGAIN.

And then I puked all over the sales lady.

Okay, that part isn’t true. But I seriously wanted to do something equally gross to get her to leave me the eff alone, you guys, because I HATE MATERNITY CLOTHES. (Except for maternity pants, because I still feel like women should wear them always…which is why I still have mine. You know, in case I want to eat a lot of food one day.) I hate that they insist that pregnant women should wear HORIZONTAL STRIPES. Why in hell would we want to make ourselves look WIDER?! I am a firm believer in stylish clothing for those with-child but I am also a firm believer in making those same women feel like HUMAN BEINGS. Not giant, striped TRUCKS. Because yes, I feel like I am the size of a truck. And I am 22 weeks pregnant and have only gained 4 pounds. So…you can imagine how I will feel when I get bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And my only clothing options are horizontal striped tunics (read: mumus).

I am not really sure what this post was supposed to be about. I think I might have had something to tell you guys. I guess it will have to wait. I have to find some chocolate.

RIGHT. NOW.

Un-resolutions and Zero Goats

Guam beach

Guam beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Space Needle at Seattle Center in Seattle,...

The Space Needle at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I don’t make resolutions. Just, like, as a rule. Because I know myself and I won’t keep them. Because something always happens that gets in the way. Like, when I decided a few years ago to drink less vodka. Then I started drinking way more wine. So…that kind of defeated the purpose. Although, at the time I convinced myself that, you know, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I was the best resolution keeper EVAH.

Fail.

So, anyway, I don’t do resolutions. But this year, you know, in the wake of all the (more) crazy and the changing situation and everything, (Hello, unexpected baby!) I decided not to make resolutions, but to make some goals. (I just typed goats. I don’t make goats OR resolutions, just to clarify. I am pretty damn good at making babies, though. It would appear.) So I started making this digital vision board. Because MB told me that he made one once and that it actually helped him to stay focused and to make things happen. And being that it is hard to focus on anything other than my ever-expanding waistline, I figured it couldn’t hurt. None of my goals for my new family are terribly unattainable. I mean, some things might be a little more involved than others. But, you know. I think I am up for the challenge. And these are all necessary goals people.

So, here is the list of things that I hope to accomplish this year. And I hope that by my posting them here, I will get my ass in gear and remember that people are watching. You guys will be watching, right? I mean, even if you aren’t, I will pretend that I will really disappoint all of you if I don’t stick to my shit. Anyway, here it is.

1. Finally graduate from college. Okay, okay, this will just be my Associates degree for this year because I honestly only have two classes left and really just need to get the shit done. I am not going to say that this will depend on how my life is after this second baby or if we can afford it financially. Because if I say those things, I will give myself an excuse to never graduate. And then I will hold you all personally responsible because you weren’t keeping me in check. And you don’t really want that, do you?

2. Buy a house. This is the most important one. I mentioned before that MB and I were planning a cross country move for this year but have obviously had a change of plans because of Baby O. But it is IMPERATIVE, at this point, that we find a home. Because I sure as hell cannot live in this house with TWO babies. And honestly, I just feel like I will be better able to concentrate on being a kick-ass parent if I have a kick-ass home to call my own. So, this is a big one for me. I NEED IT.

3. Save some cash. I have a savings account. It is not super cushy. And I have a husband who is notoriously bad with money. Not because he is going out and buying ridiculous gadgets (like the iPad he bought me for my Christmas/birthday present) or anything like that…but because he is just too generous. He “lends” money to friends and family members all the time. People who don’t necessarily seem to think they have to pay him back. And my husband is amazing, but this makes me want to punch him in the throat. (He has gotten better and he knows that this is no longer an option.) He has agreed to let me handle the finances now that we are married. Meaning that money will actually be SAVED. Like in an account. Like for to DO THINGS with. It will be glorious. AND it will help us achieve several of these goals.

4. Have an amazing first birthday party for Baby L. This is going to happen. I don’t think I need to explain. I could be broke as hell and I would beg, borrow and steal to make her first birthday amazing. (Not that she will likely remember. But I will.)

5. Welcome Baby O into the world. Looks like this is happening. It isn’t really a goal, I guess. I guess the goal would be not hurting anyone while impatiently waiting his arrival. Because we all know how much I LOVE BEING PREGNANT. (All lies. B-T-Dubs.)

6. Take a vacation. Just me and MB. Yes, I know. We just went to Vegas and got hitched. But a bunch of people went with us. And we partied. Well, MB partied. I mostly felt guilty about my mom staying in the condo with Baby L and came home early. I want to go somewhere with sun and palm trees. Or maybe cabins in the mountains. Or maybe the Space Needle (I heart Seattle). Or maybe visit my dad in Guam. I mean, who knows? I just want us to have a getaway. And maybe this won’t happen this year while the kids are so small. But it is a good goal. And I’m keeping it.

7. Take more “me time”.  I would like to read more. And, no offense to any of you, but I mean BOOKS. (Taking suggestions…PLEASE!?) I don’t have a lot of time now, but I will have less when Baby O gets here.

8. Be healthier. Before I had Baby L, I was not a health nut, by any means, but I definitely ate better. Healthier. Smarter. And then I got pregnant and gave up wine and cigarettes. HELLO, CUPCAKES! So, I need to get back to that place where I am not stuffing my face full of weird shit like McDoubles and cheese puffs. Seriously. But this will have to wait until after June also. Obviously. Right now, I will eat whatever the eff I want, internet.

That’s all I got for right now. I wanted to post the actual vision board that I am making. But it isn’t done because I can’t find suitable illustration. You know, because my shit has to be PERFECT.

Phases

Parenting is tricky. And not just because you have to learn it all from scratch because every book you can read on the topic will tell you something completely different. But because being a baby is probably pretty hard. But they can’t tell you that. Because they are just babies, you guys. They can’t talk.

The minute you get used to that thing he/she is doing that is so annoying that you think you cannot take it for another moment, it stops. But then this other really annoying thing happens.

Take for instance teething. Teething is uber annoying because it causes the baby a lot of discomfort. And it can look like different things are happening, when really, your baby is just preparing for the ability to bite your fingers off. They pull at their ears. Which makes you think that they might have an ear infection. So you bring them to the doctor and their ears are fine. They could run a low fever. Which makes you think that they have a cold. They could stop sleeping. Because…you know…what is the most annoying symptom of ANYTHING? You guessed it. Not sleeping. And when the baby isn’t sleeping, you aren’t sleeping. And when you aren’t sleeping, you walk around like a mom zombie for days or weeks on end wondering if you’ve just left the toothpaste in the refrigerator. (I may or may not have done that. I can neither confirm nor deny.)

But teething isn’t the only reason that babies don’t sleep. They sometimes don’t sleep if they are too hot. Or too cold. Or in an unfamiliar place. Or there is too much noise. Or not enough noise. Or they are too far from you. Or too close to you. Or they napped too much during the day. Or they are overtired because they didn’t nap enough. Or because it is Tuesday. Or really any other day of the week.

This is currently how Baby L rolls.

I feel exhausted. And achy from trying to sleep with my really tall husband and really tiny baby in a Queen-sized bed. I feel cranky and overwhelmed and then ashamed of myself for feeling cranky and overwhelmed. And then I just feel more exhausted from feeling ashamed of myself. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

But it did get me thinking about these “phases” that babies go through. And how when she was first born and Baby L only slept about an hour and a half at a time and only on my chest or in a swing and I lived on the couch for 6 weeks. I remember thinking that I might never sleep again. And I might never know the joy of a bed. Or cuddling with MB. But then it ended. And we were on to the next thing.

And then it was reflux. And Baby L was miserable and crying and colicky and driving me absolutely mad trying to find ways to help her. And I remember having tried everything and one day, in the middle of one of the non-sleeping, crying hysterically days she was having, I sat down in the middle of the kitchen floor and sobbed. Because HOLY GOD, when will it all end?! And then it did. And now it seems like it was so long ago, I can barely remember it.

I have to be strong and tell myself every day that, “Yes. You will eventually sleep again. And no, Baby L will not sleep in between you and your husband until she is 37 years old.” And sometimes I have to tell myself these things at 4am when I wake up with a cramp in my side because I have been sleeping in the most awkward position for the last 3 hours and I cannot move my left leg. And sometimes I have to tell myself when MB is at work and I am trying to get Baby L to nap in her crib and all she wants to do is scream or play. But we all do it. We have to. It is survival.

And, this too, shall pass…

An Open Letter to Baby L at 6 Months

Dear Lilah,

Oh my goodness, how time is flying by. You are six months old today! (I know! It totally IS exciting that your slack-ass mom finally is ON TIME.) I was lying in bed staring at you as you slept last night, thinking about how I still can’t believe that I actually grew you inside of my body. And I wondered if I will look at you when you are 40 and still be so amazed at the whole idea. I can’t imagine ever not being mystified by this fact. But I am sure at 40, when you are a lot bigger (I hope) it will be even harder to imagine. Plus, you might even have kids of your own. And then I will be amazed at how YOU grew THEM in your body. Oh, gosh. All this thinking was really exhausting. But it came down to one thing. I made you. And that blows my mind. Every day.

You have been teething for what seems like an eternity and you have STILL not popped out a tooth. This is distressing because you are frustrated and cranky. And you are dripping with spit nearly every second of every day. And you want to chew on my fingers a lot. Which is fine, except that sometimes, I need to use them for other things. (Like blogging. Duh.) It seems like a tooth might occur within the next couple of days, though. You have one attempting to escape your bottom gums as we speak. It makes you furious. And it makes me want to run far, far away. (Of course I couldn’t do that because, even when you are crying and chewing at me, you are seriously too cute for me to put into words.) We are keeping our fingers crossed for some serious relief in the near future. (Please let it come today!)

Yesterday, your father put your crib together. And no, we have not been making you sleep on the floor since you were born. But the only place that you were content was in your sleeper (amazing sleeping contraption that saved Mommy’s life) until now and I really didn’t want to quit it. (I will never quit you, amazing sleeping contraption.) Unfortunately, your feet are starting to pop out of it. And, while this is super cute and hilarious, and you still seem comfortable, I think this means it has to be retired. Your crib is pretty pimptastic, though. And you slept like a baby rock in it last night.

Your father and I sing a lot of songs to you. Your dad’s approach is mainly to make up songs about whatever he happens to be doing or whomever happens to be in the room at the time. This is usually pretty comical. Sometimes he dances around and I like that because you are about the only person who isn’t embarrassed of your father’s dancing. I think it makes him feel better about his lack of “Skillz”. I, on the other hand, like to sing you a variety of classics. Because that is how I roll. I started out always singing you Beatles songs. Because you seemed to really enjoy “Penny Lane” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds“. Then, one day, I caught myself singing Primus  to you and I thought that might be a bit inappropriate. That, and I hate Primus and I have no idea why or how that even happened. But at least it only happened that one time. I sang you to sleep to “La Vie Boheme” from the “RENT” soundtrack the other day. Which may also have been inappropriate but I have decided that until you know what I am talking about, I will stick with what works. Mostly, and this has been a constant since you were born, I sing Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam to you. (Your father does too. Don’t let him tell you any differently, either.) I sing the chorus of THIS SONG to you CONSTANTLY. And you love it. Because the eighties, despite what you may have heard, were a fun time for music. I am sure that, by the time that you read this letter, I will have introduced you to Cyndi Lauper and you will know just how unusual she is. (And you won’t get that, because you don’t know that my favorite Cyndi Lauper album is obviously, “She’s so Unusual“.) Anyway, you like for your father and I to make jackasses of ourselves for your benefit.

I am not sure that I mentioned before that I refer to you as “Lilahkin Skywalker”, but I want you to know that this is catching on. And I hope that it is still commonplace when you are a teenager. (And it might be cool. Still. Again? Whatever. I guess I will find out when the time comes.)

As always, you rock my face off and I am so excited to get to be with you every day. When I think about how much I love you, I smile so much, I injure my face. And I hope you remember that if/when I don’t get you the car that you want.

Love always,

Mom

And…Now for More SNOT!

So, I don’t really get sick a lot. Sometimes, I go so long in between illnesses that I forget what it feels like to be sick and then when people around me have colds, I find myself cussing them in my head and calling them pansies. (Men, especially. But they tend to be exceptionally whiney when it comes to colds.)

Then, my baby got a cold. And then I convinced that she had everything from swine flu to whooping cough.  And then she got better. And eventually, even though she was still a little stuffy, she was back to her normal, cheerful self. She went back to sleeping all night and cooing at me all morning while we played with her toys.

And then I got a cold.

It started with a sore throat, which escalated to the point that it felt as though I had attempted to eat a few sheets of sandpaper and a headache that felt sort of like the top of my head was going to just pop right off. And a little clown was going to pop out. (I just pictured my head as a Jack-in-the-Box, in case you didn’t catch that…) And I was okay with having a cold, because 1. I had wine and 2. I am not a pansy.

Eventually, though, I realized that wine does not cure a cold. And, though I still was not a pansy, I realized that, “hey. I feel kind of shitty. That’s no good.” and then I went to sleep. And MB’s mom watched Baby L for a few hours in the morning so I could bury myself in my down comforter and pretend that I was living back in those days when I still had time to bury myself in my comforter for several hours and sleep. When I woke up, I felt better. But still not quite human. There was no more sandpaper. And the little clown had kept himself contained.  I finished out yesterday feeling tired, but generally, you know, not like  a pansy.  And then about 1 o’clock this morning, Baby L woke up and sounded like she had taken all the snot from everyone else in the whole house and jammed it into her tiny face. And so I changed her, fed her, slathered her with baby chest rub and turned on that humidifier thing (that everyone tells me to use, but that seems to make absolutely no difference in the amount of snot that my baby keeps in her face). All seemed to be well (except for the fact that now, I couldn’t sleep because I could only breathe out of my left nostril and only if I was laying on the left side of my body, which I can’t do because that’s just not how I roll.  Oh yeah, and because I was obsessing over the possibility that Baby L would suffocate on all the snot.

Because Baby L sleeps through the night, I rarely panic anymore about something tragic happening while I rest, (this is not to say that I don’t sometimes check 47 times at night to make sure she’s breathing…but now it is only sometimes and not, you know, every night…) but let me tell you…after I got done with that bulb thing, I couldn’t imagine there being anything left in there…but there was, internet, there really, really was…So…I broke down at  4:30 when she woke up, practically snorting, and gave her Benadryl (before you get all crazy-pants on me, internet, this is what the doctor TOLD me to do…) and it helped. And she did super good until around 10:30 when she had her second bottle. And then the snorty screaming started. There were saline drops, there was nose-suckage, there were tears. (Many of which were mine.) And about an hour ago, there was another dose of Benadryl.

And now, either my baby is just high, or she is feeling better. Maybe a little bit of both. But how much snot does one person have to endure!?

On Motherhood

 So, since the birth of Baby L, I have literally written 37 blog posts about motherhood. You know, like, in my head. Where none of you can read them. Shockingly, between diaper changing and bottle washing, and being puked on, I haven’t really had a lot of time to actually type things. But lemme tell you, I’m a hell of a mind blogger. If only there was some way to hook up WordPress to my actual brain, you guys would have reading material FOREVER…

Anyway, so yeah. What’s up, internet? I’m a mom now. And it is INSANE.

I have to say, internet, that it honestly is one of the most rewarding things EVER to have a baby and to be someone’s parent but it is also terrifying. I have never felt so truly inept* at anything as I did the first few weeks of Baby

sleep

sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

L’s life. And I don’t say this to scare all of you preggos or to discourage those of you who aren’t yet on this path, I just mean to say that it is WORK. Granted, I would trade this work for any other work I have ever done in my life. Because even though I haven’t slept in my bed on a regular basis in five weeks, it was worth it the first time that little girl smiled at me. (Which may or may not have been because she was trying to poop, but you take what you can get at this age, because she is basically a meatloaf. A really, really adorable meatloaf.)

I knew that the sleep deprivation was going to be hard. And I honestly thought that, given the fact that I hadn’t slept well for several months anyway, (you know, because a ginormous belly does nothing for sleeping comfortably) I could rock the hell out of not sleeping. Because, I was in my twenties once.  (Hard to believe, but it is totally true.) I never expected, however, that my child would not sleep in or on ANY contraption that I purchased for sleeping. Because MY kid was going to sleep through the night right after birth. And she would do it anywhere that I put her, but she would MOST DEFINITELY love her bassinet.

FAIL.

Baby L likes to sleep one of two places: on my chest or in her swing. Period.

This makes sleeping in my bedroom impossible because I can’t sleep with her in the bed (believe in co-sleeping or not, when you are desperate, you are desperate) because MB is a giant and sleeps like he is even BIGGER than he is and is terrified that he will kill her and I can’t move the swing into the bedroom because it is huge and cumbersome and I need it to be accessible if and when I try to do things in other parts of the house. So, internet, I have moved into the living room. (Which, by the way, has recently become infested with spiders of all varieties, and I am totally phobic.This was remedied last week, but HOLY CRAP.) I sleep the first half of the night with Baby L in the swing, swaddled and comfy and after her feeding, she is changed, un-swaddled and sleeps on my chest.  I have to say, even though it means that I barely sleep at all, I rather like the cuddling. Because she is teeny and warm and adorable. And I grew her. So, there’s that…

During the first week, Baby L did not sleep at night at all. Evidently, she was confused about what to do when it gets dark outside and mommy is crying hysterically because she hasn’t slept in four days. Luckily, MB’s mom spent a few days with us after it became obvious that I might never sleep again and, since she works nights and was on vacation, she was able to hang out with the nugget while the parents actually slept. Together. In the same room. It has gotten gradually better and now she is sleeping, sometimes, up to five hours at a time after her bath and last bottle. Which makes mommy very, VERY happy. And if I weren’t so exhausted, I might even do a cartwheel or two about it.

MB has, however, been a huge help when he is home on the weekends and has even let me have the day shift while he sleeps on the couch at night so that I don’t get all delirious and start streaking through our neighborhood or something equally ridiculous. And the crazy thing about sleeping in my bedroom? I feel guilty about not sleeping in the same room with my kid. GUILTY! Can you believe that? (If you are a new mom, you probably can and don’t think I am insane. Evidently, this is a thing.)

Either way, things are getting better, and sleep is becoming something that I do sometimes. Which I enjoy.  And I have a bunch of amazing friends who have either come by to help me get some random things done around the house or have at least been there to answer their phones when I call them and freak out about the fact that the baby has just spit up into my cleavage and it was more spit up than I remember ever having happened before and OH MY GOD is that OKAY? Is my baby sick? Should I call the doctor on call? (Which, mind you, I have done on THREE, count ’em THREE occasions since we brought her home.Yep. I am a spazz. And I’m okay with that, internet. I don’t know how to work a baby! Give me a break!)

I should really get back to my kid now. But I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you ladies (and gent!) who have commented here, tweeted, emailed or come by to help, say congrats, or whatever. You guys rock my face off! (Special thanks to Kathryn for the cute goodies that I use daily because I MUCH prefer the adorable burp cloths to the gross white ones! I’m a burp cloth stuff elitist now, see what you’ve done?)

Okay, now which one of you is NEXT?!

*Except Math. I am super inept at Math.

Also, you guys should go here and buy some cute baby stuff! Expansion is coming soon, I hear!

Once Upon a Time…….(Continued)

So, where was I? Oh yes…proposing to the anesthesiologist. He laughed at me. The end. I am still engaged to MB. Which I suppose is as it should be…

After the epidural, the pain stopped altogether. I mean, I couldn’t feel anything from the bottom of my ribcage to the tippiest tips of my toes. And it was glorious. After about fifteen minutes, though, machines started beeping and a woman bolted into my room and stood in front of my heart monitor, looking clueless. At first, I thought she might just be lost. Or mildly retarded. But then when my nurse came in looking a little frazzled, I started to get a little concerned. Mind you, this is where things get a little hazy for me. Baby L’s heart rate slowed and my blood pressure plummetted to 70/45 and I felt weak and panicked and completely out of my mind. My nurse assured me that it was nothing to freak out about (SERIOUSLY?!) but I was convincing myself that one of us was not going to make it. And not because I felt like I needed to be all doom and gloom about the birth of my daughter. But because I had never had so much as a tooth pulled up until about two years ago and being in a hospital and hooked up to all these crazy things and all the beeping machines was the most terrifying thing that I could have imagined. After a few minutes of the “everything’s okay” and “these things happen” from the nurses, they dropped a bit of ephedrine into my IV.

Now I want you all to keep score here, okay?

First, they give me pitocin. Which I don’t want in the first place. And which evidently makes me puke.

Then, I get the epidural. Which is amazing because I can’t even feel this “pressure” that I keep hearing so much about, but which also, evidently, wants to kill me.

THEN, they basically dose me with methamphetamine. Which I am pretty sure was the reason that I was suddenly acutely aware of the growth of every, single strand of my hair.

That’s a lot of stuff…But, they aren’t done, internet…Oh no…

After about an hour of monitoring the bejesus out of my pulse, BP and baby L’s heart, and things had started to return to normal (all except for my pulse, which was ridiculously high, but probably because I was on METH), they upped the pitocin. Because, naturally, when someone says they DO NOT want something, the best thing to do is to give them MORE.

And then I puked again. And again. And then again. And every time I threw up, MB called the nurse and told her. And she rushed into the room and handed me a weird, green contraption to vomit into and then she gave me more ice chips. (I never thought I could hate ice as much as I have grown to…)

At this point, I had been in labor for about 12-14 hours. And the contractions were getting stronger. To the point where this “pressure” that I hear so much about, was beginning to become “a thing”.  I was tired. I was cold. I was hungry and vomiting. And now I felt like someone was attempting to push a cantaloupe out of my rectum. Yes. So, they told me I could start pushing. And I thought to myself, “SWEET! This is almost over! Because once you start pushing, the baby comes out. And then they put the baby on your chest and you cry and then you get to go home.” (This is totally inaccurate, as it turns out…) I pushed and I pushed for a couple of hours and I even made some progress. There was mention of some sort of vacuum that the doctor could use to expel the baby, but I wasn’t progressed far enough yet for this to be used and it became evident that Baby L was warm and cozy and completely content to stay inside a little longer. So, the nurse told me to go ahead and rest for an hour or two and that she would be back to resume pushing around 4am.

And then I threw up again. Because who can rest when a cantaloupe is trying to get out of them?

After the last puketasm, the nurse offered to give me some Phenergan. Which, if you are familiar with medications, is an anti-nausea medication which has a tendency to make you VERY, VERY sleepy. This, on top of the meth and everything, made my mind…well? WRONG. Everything was wrong.

The ephedrine was making me feel like a crackhead, the pitocin was forcing the NOTHING out of my stomach, the epidural made me paralyzed completely, and the Phenergan made me so tired that I was actually mumbling incoherently in between the contractions. Which, by this time, were painful again. Not that I really had any idea what was going on or anything.

Then it was time to push. Again. This time, I, being on a host of medications which were very contradictory to each other, I couldn’t even remember HOW to push. Or make sentences. Or stay awake.

(AND…to be continued again…Sorry, ladies and gents, my kid is hungry…again!)

Once Upon a Time…(A Totally Incoherent Birth Story with a Lot of Parenthetical Statements…) Part One…

…I was able to write a blog post because I didn’t have a baby. I know, it seems unrealistic to think that I might have 4.5 seconds to check in with my bloggy peeps. Bear with me, I’m working on it!

So, I am here. But I must warn you, Baby L likes to be held. Like, all the time, and I am currently typing and therefore NOT HOLDING HER (gasp!) so this might get cut short.

I wanted to share my birth story with you before it became old news, but alas, with all the visitors (oh, so MANY VISITORS) and hours of cuddling and shushing my new spawn, I am a little slow getting to it. So, I’ll try my best (taking into consideration the many, many sleepless nights recently and my inability to form a complete thought) to tell you ladies and gents how it went down!

So, as you know, I was pretty anxious to get that little nugget started on “life on the outside” because I was tired of being tired and spontaneously vomiting and waddling around the house like a giant penguin and I was beginning to think that she was, despite all the spicy food and the yoga poses that no pregnant woman should even attempt and the everything else I could think of that might induce labor, never going to come. Of course, because I am nothing if not on a schedule (and when I say on a schedule, I mean that I always stress about being on time and doing things when they should be done, but am often a little late anyway and then I beat myself up about it even though the reason for my tardiness is usually just slack-assiness) and it wouldn’t have been right if my daughter didn’t inherit this trait from me. So, just like clockwork, I rolled over in my bed on my due date, May 18th, and felt a gush. Yes, my water broke first thing in the morning, on my due date. (Remember? Intentions of being on time…)

Because I wasn’t in any pain, I really also wasn’t in any hurry to get to the hospital, because, lets face it, internet, labor is long and painful, and why would I want to rush into THAT when I could take a nice, hot shower and maybe do a load of laundry? Okay, I didn’t do laundry. But I could have. And I did do some dishes while I was waiting for MB to get home from work and take me to the place where they pull that alien out of your pelvis. But anyway, my mom came over within minutes of my phone call to tell her that I believed it was “time” and she immediately started trying to make me eat food. Because if you know my mom, you know that this is what she does. And in such an exciting time, who wouldn’t be hungry? Right?! Shockingly, when you feel like you are peeing an ocean into a giant maxi-pad and anticipating the most excrutiating pain of your life, you don’t really want a hard-boiled egg or strawberry yogurt. Go figure.

We got to the hospital about two hours after my water broke and I still wasn’t having any contractions. And I was okay with this, internet, because I really felt like I was gonna coast through this labor thing like no woman ever had before. I really believed that the lack of pain was a total indication of my impending EASY LABOR and DELIVERY. And then, once I was strapped to the bed and bound by an IV of pitocin (which I adamantly stated that I did NOT WANT, but was told that because my water had broken, I had no choice…) and my cervix was checked, the pain began. I wouldn’t even say that it was that terrible, but definitely not too much fun. Because when you go from just feeling like you’re constantly peeing on yourself to pretty bad menstrua-like cramps every six minutes, it is not only uncomfortable but sort of…well…terribly annoying. Things went on like this for about four hours. I contracted, I squeezed MB’s hand and whimpered until the shit stopped, and then I braced myself for the next one. When the contractions started getting more painful, I mentioned the epidural to my nurse and, since I was only about 2 centimeters dilated at that time, she thought it would be better to wait about an hour before calling the anesthesiologist. And I didn’t argue, because I was still coherent, my hair still looked decent and I wasn’t yet dehydrated or starving. But then the vomiting began. And when I buzzed the nurse to tell her that I was puking up the ice chips that I was using to keep my mouth from feeling like I was eating sandpaper, she immediately called the anesthesiologist. Literally, within five minutes of my first puketastic event, I was getting a needle stuck INTO MY BACK. (This is where the crying began. And not because epidurals hurt, because they don’t, those of you who are scared of them, but needles scare the bejesus out of me. And even though I never saw it, I KNEW WHAT THAT GUY WAS DOING BACK THERE…and I was terrified. But seriously, ladies, if you are scared of the needle, don’t be. You will propose to the anesthesiologist as soon as your feet start to tingle. Promise.)

And now…I have to say…

TO BE CONTINUED…The spawn is waking up and will be demanding nourishment momentarily. But, I’ll be back. I swear…

An Open Letter to My Daughter (Just Minutes Before Her Birth)

Dear Baby L,

I want to start by being honest with you hear and telling you that you will not be born in mere minutes. You are perfectly content to continue to reside in my uterus and according to the doctor that I saw this morning, will remain there for several more days. The title of this post is mainly just to send a signal to the universe (and you, I suppose, letting you know that IT IS TIME, and lets get this show on the ROAD.) But before you do grace us with your presence, I wanted for us to have a little talk, you know, our first mother/daughter.

If you have ever read this blog, then you are well aware that I was not really totally excited about becoming a parent. I didn’t really trust myself to be someone’s mom. And, to be honest, I am still not so sure I know what the hell I am getting myself into. I was pretty open about how crazy and horrible and beautiful making you was and you might be offended about the fact that I sometimes cussed at you here or called you a parasite. But seriously? Let’s face it, girlie, you kind of WERE a parasite. (Just sayin’.) You’ll understand all that when you have kids. But I want you to know, nonetheless, that even though I may not have been ready for all of this crazy that has happened or to become your mom, I am pretty sure I am ready now. And I am going to do the best damn job I can. But if I do happen to put your diaper on backwards or forget to put those weirdo mitten things on your hands and you scratch yourself in the face, it is NOT because I don’t love you. It is because I am a completely incompetent parent and am totally learning. I swear, it will get better. (Until I have to talk to you about boys and/or puberty. Then I just might totally fuck you up. And yes, your mother just said “fuck” because you aren’t born yet and cannot repeat everything I say like a parrot.)

Secondly, we should talk about your father. You may notice that he is a complete softie for you. And you may also have noticed that if you bat your eyelashes enough, you can pretty much attain anything your little heart desires. (This works for me too, by the way, and I rather like it. Don’t screw it up.) You should know that he already loves you more than anything in the entire universe. And your father has the biggest, purest, most amazing heart anyone could possess and you should treat him with respect. Because he is moral and loving and generous and will give of himself in ways that most people cannot. He is a gift to the universe and his kindness is rare. And he helped make you. And I have NO doubt that he will someday embarrass the bejesus out of you, and you will want to run and hide from him, but that’s normal. Just try and remember how special he is and be kind to him (and to others) because if not, you will break his heart.

I would like to explain the rest of the family to you here, but I just don’t have that kind of time. You will encounter some really interesting characters and some of them you will totally adore and some of them will make you want to shove sharp things into your eardrums. And that’s okay. I will warn you about those ones on a private and individual level.

Just know that, in these final days of your hostile takeover of my body gestation, your entire family is looking so forward to meeting you. Your father and I have everything set up for you, including 47 potential places for you to sleep, as we were not sure where you would be most content once removed from my body. We love you infinitely and we will do our best to avoid turning you into a psychopath or a douche canoe.

Love and kisses,

Mom