An Open Letter to the Preggos (This One’s for you, Anna)

Dear Preggos (Mostly you, Anna),

I wanted to write you a letter because I feel that you are about to go through something that no one can really prepare you for. Something that you will remember for the rest of your life. Something that will be the most traumatic, yet ridiculously beautiful thing that will ever happen to you and your body. And no one can tell you how profound it will be. But I am stubborn. And I’m going to try.

First off, I want to let you know that everyone fears childbirth because the idea of squeezing that little person out of your vagina is a big deal. And when I say “big deal”, I mean it. Because, and I’m not gonna lie, that shit hurts. But, don’t worry, you won’t even remember that part. I mean, you won’t REALLY remember it. Because the adrenalin makes you a beast of a person and it will feel like hell but it will feel like you could seriously move mountains if you wanted to. (They won’t let you attempt that, anyway. You are pretty much confined to a bed. But you are a strong ass bitch.) So, you will have this vague memory afterward of this pushing and this nurse yelling at you and you wanting to rip her face off. But in the end, you will have a baby. And, I mean, seriously, what is better than that? Unless you happen to give birth to, like, a suitcase full of money instead. Because, holy shitballs, that would have been awesome. Anyway…yeah. It hurts. But it is a small price to pay. So get over that fear and accept the reality that that little thing is coming out. Whether you like it or not. You will sleep easier. I promise.

Secondly, I feel it is imperative that you know that parenting is super hard. Like, harder than being pregnant. (Which, if you ask me, is the worst fucking thing EVAR, because you have all this stress and no one will bring you a cocktail.) You bring this little meatloaf home from the hospital and you, if you were like me, are totally clueless as to what to do with it. And I read everything. And it didn’t matter. I was a total wreck for weeks. Because just when you think you got this thing all figured out, it does something new. Like, changing its sleep pattern. Or growing a tooth. Or going from being the happiest baby ever, to being a screaming, inconsolable monster. Because all of that happens. And no day is the same as the day previous. Ever.

Thirdly, you probably have this idea of how you will raise your kid. You know, like you won’t use a pacifier because nipple confusion, blah blah blah. Or you will only breastfeed. Because, after all, breast is best. But that baby doesn’t care about your plans. Sometimes, you have to find some way to plug that baby’s pie hole long enough so that your head doesn’t explode. And sometimes, breastfeeding is harder than you had anticipated. And you might do it, and if you can, you are my hero. Because I couldn’t make it happen with either of mine for varying reasons. I did it. But not for as long as I wanted to. And not for lack of trying. Those babies just had other plans. And guess what! They both use a pacifier and drink formula. And they’re alive. And they are thriving. And its okay. And you might be disappointed in yourself for giving in or not doing everything the way you had intended. But…seriously? Shit happens. And you just do the best you can. And that’s all anyone (including you) can expect.

You are going to have some days where you will want to run away from home. And you will feel like shit about feeling that way. But believe me, it happens to the best of us. (In fact, early this morning, I almost escaped through my bedroom window while both of the kids demanded things as I tried to get ANY amount of sleep to prepare me for the day ahead, wherein they would demand MORE THINGS…) Sometimes, you will want to jam sharp things into your ears to stop the noise. And sometimes, you will consider crawling into the oven. Because, motherhood is not a joke. And its all okay. Because then, that baby will look up at you, totally helpless and totally beautiful and innocent, and you will fall in love all over again. And you will. Again. And again. And again. Because you are a mom. And that’s what that means.

Sometimes, when I am having a hard time, and it is the middle of the night and someone is refusing to sleep. Or someone has a fever. And my husband is sleeping and I feel like I am all alone and it will never END, I have to take a step back and remind myself what a beautiful thing I have done by having these babies. I have to remember the first time I saw their little faces and how much I loved them, even then. And how smart and amazing they are. Which is sometimes easier said than done when you are sleep deprived and frustrated and haven’t washed your hair in four days. But it is all worth it, you guys, seriously.

My advice to you (especially you, Anna) is to remember, through all the crazy and even if you feel totally alone, that it will pass. And tomorrow is a new day. And while this is the hardest thing you will ever do, it is the most important. And the most wonderful. And you aren’t alone. (And if you ever need reassurance of that, you guys, I will be right here, blogging about being puked on and having been up for 72 hours straight. Don’t worry.)

Good luck to you!

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Mourning the Lady Parts

There was really never any question, after I found out I was pregnant again, that Baby O would be our last child. I was never really sure I wanted to have kids until I had Baby L, so when a second was coming, I knew I was done. At my first OB/GYN appointment during this pregnancy, I was already asking about birth control for after Baby O was born. Because, you know, if you are keeping score, BOTH of my pregnancies were accidental and I was on the pill when I got pregnant this last time, so I was pretty sure the pill wasn’t going to prevent Captain Super Sperm from getting me knocked up again. But I wasn’t sold on the IUD method because I just didn’t want some weird object floating around in there. And I didn’t want something so invasive as a tubal ligation. (Mostly because I am a total wuss and, up until I had my kids, had had almost NO medical issues in my life. Seriously, I had an x-ray once.) But I wanted the permanence of a tubal ligation. You know, without the incision. Gross.

At my first OB/GYN appointment, there was a poster on the wall advertising Essure so I asked about it. Seriously? Permanent? Yes. In-Office procedure? Awesome. No incision? SOLD. So, I had decided at 14 weeks that I was getting this shit taken CARE of. With a QUICKNESS, you guys.

So, yesterday, I had my “counseling” appointment. Which basically means that I watched a video of women and doctors and some women doctors talk about their experiences with it and how awesome it is. And then I signed a consent form.  There is a waiting period of 30 days before I can have the procedure done. Because, you know, I might change my mind and decide I want another kid. (HA! If I ever say anything like that, internet, please remind me how long it has been since I have slept or eaten a meal while it was hot. Or while sitting.) So, now we wait.

What I didn’t expect was that I feel sort of like I am having to mourn the loss and/or use of my lady parts. I mean, first of all, I never really wanted to use them. And they are definitely USED at this point. And I don’t want to use them again. But it is sort of sad to think about. I never really thought about how much of a privilege it is to be ABLE to have children. Even if you don’t want them and don’t plan to have them, you have the POWER to create life. I mean, how amazing is that? I still don’t want to have another baby, you guys, it is just a crazy thought that I won’t be ABLE to.

I’m not going to change my mind. Because even if I did go absolutely batshit crazy and decide that more kids was a good idea, I wouldn’t do it. MB and I had our boy and our girl and we are absolutely elated to have completed our family and so QUICKLY! (This might have worked out for us. It seems doable. Hard, but we got this. In your FACE, universe!) Really, this is the only way to go. It is this or Captain Super Sperm over here will have to just stay away from me until I am all old and stuff. Because, I don’t even trust a vasectomy at this point. My husband is no joke.

Uninvited

Before you ask: No, I haven’t had this baby yet. And yes, I am due in 6 days. And yes, I am uncomfortable, annoyed and generally ready to do the damn thang. (But yes, I am still having nearly nightly panic attacks about having another baby to take care of. I don’t think that’s going to change until I prove to myself that I am Superwoman. And this will hopefully occur sooner, rather than later.) But this isn’t really what I want to talk about today. Because if I talk about, I could get pretty profane. And, well, no one wants that. Right?

 

Who am I kidding? I am most likely going to get really profane anyway. Because this shit is pissing me OFF, you guys.

 

Okay, so MB, Baby L and I moved out of my Mother-In-Law’s house for several reasons. One was because, when we found out we were pregnant with Baby O, I envisioned myself actually locking MB’s nephew in a closet for several months so my kids would be able to sleep peacefully. And when you see yourself doing things like this, you know you are in an unfavorable situation. (And maybe it isn’t the kid’s fault that he is disobedient, loud and generally obnoxious. But it doesn’t matter. He IS those things. And I knew that if we didn’t move, I might start to get really mean.) I was so relieved to get out of there. Not because I didn’t like the family (obviously, I love them) but because I couldn’t stand living with people who were on different schedules, doing different things, at different noise levels, all when I was trying to get my kid into a sleep pattern that didn’t require me to be up all night and then cleaning up after everyone all day. This was not ideal. And I hated the side of town that we were living on.

When we found our rental house, I didn’t love it either. And it is on the same side of town. But the price is right. And the size is right. And guess what, you guys! My in-laws don’t live there! Score! So, I sucked it up. I gave in and agreed that, since I am not currently employed outside of the home, and MB is the breadwinner and this place is not falling apart and doesn’t come with built-in annoying children, I could do it. And I would grin and bear it until I go back to work, and can contribute more financially. SO…here we are. On a side of town that I hate, but no longer bitch about because I am grateful to be here. Alone with MY little family. And with my giant back yard.

But, here comes the bitching.

Several times a week, after I have spent an hour trying to get Baby L ready for a nap and then waiting for her to fight sleep and finally give in so I can go and EAT A DAMN SANDWICH, I walk back into the living room, take a bite of said sandwich and notice, out my front window, people walking up to my front door. (It is important that you know, internet, that we don’t use our front door. It is locked at all times, and can only be opened (even from the inside) with a key. Because we use the carport door. Because that makes sense. You know, because we park there. All of our friends use the carport. Everyone uses the fucking carport.) It happens before noon. And, because I have to, then, frantically search for my keys in order to unlock the door, these people typically have time to ring the doorbell and within ONE SECOND of doing so, add in a good banging on the front door. You know, for good measure. And then Baby L is screaming. And there is a rotund black woman wearing a giant hat, and a tall gentleman wearing a suit standing there, anxiously waiting to tell me where to find Jesus.

I KNOW WHERE JESUS IS.

I went to church for the entirety of my childhood. Never once was I required to knock on a stranger’s door to tell them about where to find Jesus. Because it seems to be the opinion of the people in the congregation I was a part of, that if you WANT TO FIND JESUS, you will do that. You do not need some strangers to help you. It is creepy that people will come to your house to tell you about this stuff. It is creepy because they don’t know me. I could be ANY KIND of person. I could be the kind of person who would totally shoots the kind of people who are not the same as me. I could be the kind of person who would be offended by their religious views. I could be the kind of person who has a one-year-old child who doesn’t sleep and who gets very hostile at 39 weeks pregnant when her baby is awoken by strangers who want to tell her about Jesus. I AM THAT KIND OF PERSON.

(And I am, honestly, a little offended when people try and push their views on me in the first place. That takes some NERVE to come to MY HOUSE and disrupt MY DAY like that without any consideration about how your views might sit with me. But I won’t get all on a religious or moral kick here. Because that is not the kind of blogger I am, and frankly, it doesn’t matter what I believe. Except that I believe that you should not come to my house unless you are invited. And, preferably, have brought me wine.)

After this happens, and I try my damndest not to seriously injure these people (who are likely thinking they are doing some sort of Godly work or something), I am seriously angry. I mean, ANGRY. It is the most annoying thing I can think of. Like, ever. MB had to stop me today, from putting a sign on our front door that said, “I know where Jesus is. Do not knock on this door. Thank you.” He said that it would be in bad taste. I think knocking on my door uninvited and waking my kid up is in bad taste. But maybe that’s just me?

What IS it with this side of town?!

Since I posted this, I’ve gotten some awesome illustrations:

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Notes on Week 38

Okay, internet, if you have been following along, you know that I am not a giant fan of pregnancy. And you might also remember that my first one was full of fun and craziness. You know, with losing my job, fighting with Medicaid to even get prenatal care and then just feeling generally miserable for THE WHOLE EFFING THING. I have been lucky this time. Baby O hasn’t given me nearly the amount of physical agony that Baby L presented me with during my pregnancy. You know, until NOW.

NOW?

Now I am not sleeping because, between trying to maneuver this giant belly and keeping Baby L from actually sleeping ON MY FACE, I have barely enough time for that sort of shenanigans. Sleep is for the weak, they say. They do say that, right? Anyway, if this is true, then I hereby declare myself, The Incredible Hulk of Insomnia. I do not turn green, though.

Except, wait. Yes, I do. Yesterday, I was taking out the trash and something smelled really awful and I turned green, and hurried and puked in the bathtub. Yep. 38 weeks and still puking. I guess there just wasn’t enough of that in the beginning of this whole thing for it to be over.

Then I took 45 minutes to effortlessly (read: with great effort and discomfort) ease on my maternity pants and haul my giant ass to my 38 week check up. Where I was told that nothing had changed. I am still pregnant and will remain that way until the time should come wherein…I am no longer pregnant. The good news is that my doctor praised me about my weight gain (only 17 pounds, which feels more like 850), which, you know, made me hungry.  And when I realize that I am hungry, I usually do so because MY CHEST IS ON FIRE.

The heartburn has returned. And with a vengeance. I am not a fan. I am not a fan at all. I can’t even drink WATER without wanting to kill myself. Water = sandpaper. Bread = fire. Hot sauce? Well, hot sauce is expectedly hot. But since I love it and it has the same effect as ANYTHING ELSE EVER, I eat it. Have I mentioned to you, internet, how before I was pregnant, I got heartburn like ONCE PER YEAR and now I have it 36 times per day? No? Oh. Well, yeah. That’s what is happening in my esophagus. You’re welcome for the enlightenment.

Baby O is officially kicking me in the ribs. This is the kind of discomfort that one can never describe to someone who has not experienced it. I never had this experience with Baby L and, up until two days ago, had not had any trouble with Baby O. But now, he loves my rib cage. LOVES. That’s all I am going to say about this. Because it is so annoying that I feel like if I talk about it too much, it will happen again and I will either cry or punch something. Or both.

I am WAY too emotional. I have cried three times today and two of the three times were about nothing. I mean, probably not nothing exactly. But definitely stupid things. Like, that I didn’t have any more bottled water in the refrigerator and all that was cold was Dr. Pepper which, (if you can IMAGINE) gives me super bad heartburn. Then I decided, since my mom had my kid for the day, and my husband was out doing man things (or getting a massage. Yes. Seriously.) I would finish watching “Sophie’s Choice” (because I have this fascination about WW2 and the Holocaust and things of that nature, because I am a total dork and that stuff is interesting) and then I watched Meryl Streep have to CHOOSE between her CHILDREN. And then I had a breakdown and felt the need to punch a German soldier. Luckily for them, there aren’t many German soldiers around my neighborhood. And MB wasn’t home. (Sidenote: I did have a flash of the diploma that hangs on the wall in the house of the old man that I take care of sometimes that states that his middle name is Adolf. But I didn’t punch him either. Come on, that would be mean.) I am tired of crying for no reason. And I am tired of wanting to punch imaginary Nazis. (I mean, I would probably want to do that anyway, but I am WAY too serious about it today.)

(Another sidenote: Is there some reason that “Beaches” is ALWAYS on? I mean, I loved this movie when I was a kid (which may also be weird, but my best friend loved it too…) and I have a really hard time NOT watching it when it is on but how many times can a pregnant lady watch “Beaches” without sticking her head in the oven? Honestly.)

Also? The PEEING. I cannot stop peeing! That is all.

My point, internet? I am SO READY to feel like a normal person again. But I am SO NOT READY to have a baby. I just need a pause button. And that pause button should not only pause the progress of this pregnancy when pushed, but sort of make the pregnancy nonexistent so I can have beer. You know, until I push play again. I swear, I would push play again, you guys, I just need a break. Then I would need a bring me beer button. Because that would come in handy forever.

 

Milestones are Stupid Bastards

Since Baby L has discovered that, not only does she not hate her walker, but that she can move freely about the house without anyone chasing her and removing her from dangerous spots, she has become a fiend.  But not just for the walker. For standing and cruising and being mobile every way that she possibly can. Like, all the time. Even while sleeping.

I’ve read that it is normal for babies, while going through developmental changes, to have sleep disturbances. And that sometimes, with all the new stuff they are learning, it is difficult for their little minds and bodies to slow down enough to sleep like they had been used to doing. And man, internet, are we learning this or WHAT.

Baby L is a giant asshole when it comes to sleeping troubled sleeper.  She always has been. She wants to be on me. Or near me. And sometimes, she even manages to be curled up AROUND me. And she hates being put to bed. Generally, with a bottle and darkness and nature sounds, she will fall asleep in Daddy’s arms and stay asleep while he puts her, ever so gently, into her crib. Where she will stay for just a few hours before we start the “putting the baby to bed” process all over again. (We, decidedly, meaning me.)

But now, getting her to stop moving and go to sleep, even after the bath and the bottle and the quiet time with Daddy, is more and more like wrestling a tiny alligator. Or possibly even a regular sized alligator. I don’t know, you guys, but it is effing HARD. She fights and screams and can’t seem to stop her legs from just GOING. And really, she is just doing a bunch of kung fu all up on your ass. And it is TOTALLY FUN. And not at ALL uncomfortable with this giant pregnant belly I am currently sporting. And then, once you think the kung fu has finally stopped and she is finally in that place where the squirming has gotten to the point where you think that you might be able to put her into her crib, you attempt the transplantation from arms to bed. And then her giant, blue eyes pop open, looking offended and the kicking starts again. And this time, it might be accompanied by screaming.

So, you have no choice but to start again.

Don’t worry. Even though this process seems like it is very time consuming, the whole process takes about five minutes. But, because you repeat it several times and have to wear protective gear, it can seem like an eternity. But eventually, she will fall asleep. And she will stay that way while you put her little ass into the crib. Where she will stay for an hour or so. And then she will start to grunt. And you will be able to ignore the grunting because you are watching “Hannibal” with your husband and eating ice cream. But then the grunt turns into a whimper. And the whimper into a cry. And, if you wait too long, a full blown scream that will wake the dead. But, if you let it get that far, you have waited too long. And you are starting from the beginning. If you catch her at the grunt, you can place her pacifier into her little mouth and she will roll to her side and start to snore. I mean, usually. But now, she isn’t lying down anymore, guys. She is half-asleep, standing in her crib. Eyes closed. And when you pick her up, she will look surprised that you are even there. And confused about why she has been standing. And she will be, surprisingly easy to settle this time. She will go back to sleep. She will stay in the crib for 3-4 hours until she wakes up, stands in the crib and is ready for play time. PLAY TIME, you guys! At 3 in the morning! What in holy hell is going on?

I have tried to explain to Baby L that, while I know that she is super excited about her budding skillz, this walking thing she is trying to do can ABSOLUTELY wait until the sun comes up. Because, I say, this is when normal people walk around. And, I tell her, I will have no problem chasing her around the living room all morning if she just goes back to sleep now. I bribe her with the coziness of Mommy and Daddy’s bed where she gets all nestled in between the two of us and gets to cuddle with me and pull my hair freely. But it doesn’t work. She tries to stand on my face. And then I eventually bring her into the living room. Because now she will cruise for around for the next 2-3 hours before I try one last bottle and bedtime routine and finally succeed.

This is not a good gift for my first Mother’s Day, Baby L. Not at all. I am trying to be patient with you. But I am going to tell you right now that, if you think that this shit is going to fly in a month when your brother is here, you are sorely mistaken. You need to learn to walk RIGHT NOW and get all this crazy, kung fu ridiculousness out of your system. Thank you.

35 Weeks and a Reminder of Things to Come

Last night, I decided to stay up a little later than usual to get some “me time” and watch a little “SVU” and play Candy Crush Saga (you might be familiar and if you are, you know that playing this game might as well be a full time job and that it will take over your whole life if you let it) so that I didn’t go completely insane from all the baby-chasing I’ve been doing. So, I took an hour. I relaxed. I watched some good TV drama and I headed to bed. And then, as I was lying down next to my snoring hubby, it hit me.

I have to deliver a fucking baby again. In, like, FIVE weeks. And I don’t want to deliver a baby, you guys. I know, I know. I have done this before. And I rocked it. But I also REMEMBER it. So, that whole, having experienced it thing? Not such a comfort. I am not necessarily scared. But I am not necessarily NOT scared either. I don’t want to vomit into that weird green container again. And I don’t want to spend 22 hours sleeping in 4 minute increments between contractions. And I don’t want to eat nothing but ice chips (which will make me vomit MORE).

I started having these horrible flashbacks of gushing water and hospital beds. And pitocin. And nurses who made me want to break things. (Namely, their faces.) And I guess this has all started to set in now because I usually am so preoccupied with trying to lasso Baby L into standing still for 45 seconds so that I can hoist my fat ass off of the floor that I forget that I am actually going to have to DO THIS THING. The fact that I have to hoist my fat ass off of the floor in the first place is somewhat of a reminder, but it is fleeting. Because I have a 25 pound outside-the-body baby to attend to.

But, I have definitely entered crunch time. I have also definitely realized, despite having just done this less than a year ago and knowing what to expect, I am totally not ready for this new meatloaf. I don’t have my bag packed. I don’t have a plan on what to do with Baby L when I am in the hospital (besides, you know, freaking out that she won’t be with me for SEVERAL DAYS! What the hell will I do?!). I haven’t toured this hospital that I have to deliver in. I don’t even know where the maternity unit IS. I need to get ON this, internet. I need a big slap in the face and a “GET IT TOGETHER, WOMAN!”

First, I’m going to have a cup of coffee.

Until I return, if you need a refresher on my first birthing experience, you can read it all here, here and here.