Open Letter to Baby L at Two Months

Dear Lilah,

In two days, you will be exactly two months old. It is really hard to believe that you have been with us that long, but then, at the same time, ridiculous to think that it hasn’t been longer. You have become the center of our universe and I can’t remember the days before you came. This is not at all a bad thing. In fact, this is the kind of thing that I might have thought, as a single person in my twenties, I might have hated, but have realized that I actually really love and appreciate. You are honestly the joy in my every day.

A big part of that “joy” I mention stems from the fact that you have started to sleep at night. When it is appropriate. I bought you this new sleeping contraption (because all of the reviews were written by new moms whose children didn’t sleep ANYWHERE, just like you) which you seem to enjoy more than anything we’ve previously tried. And it is glorious and easily portable and it has saved me from life on the couch. As much as I appreciate that cuddle time that you and I shared on a nightly basis, I did not enjoy sleeping in the living room. (Which became infested with spiders right about the time we brought you home from the hospital. And, as I’m sure you will know by the time you read this, your mom is terrified of spiders. TERRIFIED. I hope you someday appreciate my renegade spider murders.)

Currently, your father and I are attempting to prepare to move in with your grandma, aunt and cousin at the end of this month. This is going to be a major event for me because I am not used to living with family and your cousin is only four and I still get super nervous when he is around you. We have decided, however, that for the time being, this is the best option for everyone (mostly you) because your father and I will be able to save money while I am not working and can stay home with you and not fret about bills. I’d always thought that if I ever had a child, I would want to be with her as much as possible and that I would want to be the one to teach her things and mold her into a caring, generous and kind individual and we think that this, for the next few months, will help us build a nest egg and a foundation for how you will be raised. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. But I would do anything to ensure that you have the best things that I can give you.

You are smiling all the time now and I am convinced that you think that I am hilarious and that you will laugh any day now. Your Grandma J seems to think that she will be the one who first makes you laugh but I am sure that it will be me. You coo and widen your eyes when I speak to you and you try to mimmick the faces that I make. Unfortunately, you do not like it when I try to take video of anything that you do with my phone and you immediately stop being the conversational little girl and start to whimper or fuss. Needless to say, I have many videos of you in which you are initially smiling and then, within seconds, you hate everything. I am hoping that this is not an indication of how you will be during moments like your first steps or things of that nature.

A couple of days ago, your grandmother, for the first time ever that I can remember, told me that she is proud of me for being such a good mom to you. At the time, although I’d fully heard her say the words, I couldn’t comprehend what she meant. And in thinking about it, I was reminded of what kind of relationship I want to have with you. I want to make sure that there is never a doubt in your mind that I am already, and always will be, proud to call you my daughter. And I hope that we will have the kind of relationship in which we will not only love each other, but respect and try to understand each other. Because what is most important to me is to have a part in the kind of person that you become, but to also get to KNOW what kind of person that is.

Your father and I are very much looking forward to every next day with you and every single thing you do is new and beautiful and exciting for us. We love you to the moon and back.

Love,

Mom

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On Sleeping…

I haven’t been very good at keeping you all updated on motherhood and that’s because during the time that I am awake, I am actually PRACTICING motherhood. And then during that time when I’m asleep, well, I’m trying to stay that way for as long as possible.

Baby L had a lot of sleep issues and gas issues and for the first weeks of her life. She was confused about day versus night and what to do during which period, which, as I mentioned before, forced Mommy to sleep on the couch for 5.5 weeks. Mommy was not a fan.

When I was pregnant and registering for things, I decided that, in the beginning, Baby L should sleep in our bedroom in a bassinet. Partially because I was still terrified of SIDS (still am) and partially because the guest room is such a clusterfuck after all the baby gifts and hand-me-downs from MB’s sister who has a little girl as well. I knew we were planning to move shortly after Baby L was born, so I didn’t see the point in setting up a crib/nursery when we would just be taking everything down in a few months anyway. So, I looked on-line for baby sleeping contraptions. And being that I was having a little girl, I wanted something cute. Not too frilly. Not too pink. But functional and pretty. So I settled on this plain white bassinet. It wasn’t anything fancy and it fit perfectly next to my side of the bed so that I could see the baby if I needed to (read: freaked out and started to be a total lunatic) in the middle of the night without having to get up and check on her (37 times because I think she might not be breathing). Fail.

The bassinet, while pretty and functional enough, was not up to Baby L’s sleeping expectations. Turns out: the womb to bassinet transition was not going to happen.

So, Baby L slept in the swing. Or on my chest. And while I totally enjoyed the chest sleeping/cuddling, my back was starting to pay. So we were back to square one.

With our move very quickly approaching, and thus having to downsize, I was starting to get super desperate and went back to where it all started. Target.com. Back in the days of pregnancy, when I had absolutely no idea of what I was in for, I read reviews for this “newborn sleeper” thing. The reviews were mostly wonderful except those select few that mentioned that this contraption will give your baby (gasp!) “flathead syndrome”. Now, internet, to a paranoid, confused, and often hysterical, soon-to-be-mom, “flathead syndrom” might as well be read as “face cancer” or “third arm”. So naturally, despite the glowing reviews, I resisted buying this “newborn sleeper” thing. Until all of our attempts at a normal, bedroom sleeping situation failed and then I broke down and bought it. AND IT SAVED MY LIFE.

While she still has her daily fussy times and sporatic cranky-pants moments, Baby L is finally sleeping 4-6.5 hours per night. IN OUR BEDROOM. Meaning that Mommy and Daddy are sleeping IN THE SAME ROOM. Like, for more than 30 minutes at a time! Can you believe it, internet? I’m pretty sure that this thing is the best thing ever invented. So if you are having trouble getting your newborn to sleep, GO AND BUY THIS THING. For real. (Shameless Fisher Price plug. They should totally pay me for this.)

Anyway, so, that’s about how things are going for us right now. Finally getting some sleep but now, we’re on to packing for our move in TWENTY days. And guess how many boxes are packed, y’all! TWO! (More on this later…)

 

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Once Upon a Time (The Finale…Wherein I Finally Had a Baby!)

(I’ll have you guys know that I have attempted to write this a total of four times in the last few days and that once it was finally almost finished, I somehow deleted ALL OF THE TEXT…so…there you have it.)

So, when they finally had me start pushing again, it was about 6 in the morning, right before shift change. The night nurse, who had mistakenly mentioned that, once I was dilated enough, they could use a vacuum contraption to assist with getting the baby out, was now leaving and the nurse who admitted me 20 hours before, Shirley, was coming back on. Shirley was an older lady that I rather liked, except for the fact that sometimes when I would tell her things that were happening, she would either seem not to hear me or she would act as though I was making it all up. (Like, when I told her the pitocin made me puke all night, she gave me a weird look, almost rolling her eyes and said something along the lines of, “That’s weird, I’ve never heard of that happening before. Which, by the way, is interesting to me considering that even I had heard that before and I am, by no means, a labor and delivery nurse. Anyway…) When she came into my room to take over the “pushing assistance”, four or five other random people came in behind her. When I was pregnant, one of the things that I was totally against was having more people than necessary in the room during my labor and delivery. The thought of random strangers staring at my vagina (and under crazy bright lights, no less) was super disturbing for me. (I was aware that there would be a COUPLE of people there, as it would be their job to stare at my vagina, but I really didn’t think that there needed to be any extras, you know, like med students or anyone like that.) So, you can imagine how appalled I was when Shirley’s randoms came filing in and readied themselves in the vagina-viewing spot in my room.

I didn’t pay them much attention at first, because at that point, nothing mattered more than the whole thing being over. But then, some of the randoms, along with Shirley, actually started cheering me on. Like my own private random cheerleader ladies. And I was RIGHT THERE. It was about to happen and all I could think about was punching every last one of them in their stupid faces. So, I turned to Shirley and said, very seriously, “I need you all to STOP TALKING TO ME.” Shirley calmly asked the randoms to STOP TALKING but then continued to say things like, “You can do it! Push! PUSH!!!” and then I ripped the needle out of my arm and stabbed her in the temple. Okay. That didn’t happen. But it could have. This was not a joke.

I pushed for about 30 minutes before I asked the doctor for the vacuum contraption. Baby L was having trouble getting past my pelvic bone and, even though I couldn’t feel a lot of the pain because of the numbness in my lower half, I was still having a really hard time using my body as a tool to expel her and the pressure was becoming more than I could take. The doctor explained to me that we could attempt the vacuum, but that I would still have to push like hell and that if it didn’t work, I would have to have a C-Section. And I started to cry. And I said, “Do it.”

Two pushes later, and Baby L was lying on my chest and all of the punchiness had disappeared. Tears were rolling down MB’s face and I was so totally in shock that it was all over, I almost couldn’t even react. But then I looked at her. She was silent and her eyes were wide and she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. If you have ever had a baby, you know that it is impossible to put into words what that first moment is like. Because there is nothing like it in the world. You’ve made a perfect little person and you just met her…and you love her more than you ever thought you could love anything or anyone. And that moment was so emotional but so short and then they took her away to take her vitals and whatnot and I was awestruck. I felt high and cloudy and almost like I was out of my own body. And then the doctor reminded me that my work was not done and that I still had to deliver the placenta. This was nothing. In fact, I don’t think I felt anything at all and when she told me that it was out, I turned to her and said, “You can just throw that away, I’m not gonna eat it.” And then everyone had a good chuckle and seemed to forget what a heinous bitch I had been just a few minutes earlier. I guess they deal with that a lot. As I was told later, the randoms were surgical staff who were called in because no one thought I would be able to deliver vaginally and they were preparing to take me to the OR. I sure dodged that bullet.

 

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Baby L was born on May 19th at 7:22 am. She was 6 pounds 14 ounces and she was 19.25 inches long.

When I look back now, I can barely remember a time when I didn’t have her. I can’t imagine a world where I wasn’t so overcome with love and I can’t remember a time when I slept more than 4 hours at a time. The pregnancy that seemed as though it lasted an eternity, seems like it was just a spot in my memory (I’m sure that it wouldn’t feel that way if I went back and read this blog!) and my life before seems so trivial. And I can safely say, even after all of the resistance I had towards becoming a mom, I am the happiest I have ever been. I feel renewed and purposeful and elated that I have been given a WHOLE PERSON to love and to love me…FOREVER…

 

Yes, Another Half-post

We made it home! Finally!

We were discharged from the hospital yesterday morning, having scheduled an appointment for this morning with a pediatrician to re-check Baby L’s bilirubin level. There was concern that she would need to be re-admitted if her numbers didn’t stop climbing after the phototherapy as after many hours of being at home without it. Naturally, I used the time between discharge and our 10:30 appointment this morning to freak out and cry a lot. But we got good news from the doctor and it appears that Baby’s bilirubin is lower than it was at discharge AND there will be no readmission! We still have another re-check on Friday and, though it appears things are looking good, I am still nervous and hoping that everything stays GOOD! (i guess that nercous thing will probably last the next 18 to life, right?) Otherwise, baby girl is in wonderful health! Thanks again for all the comments and support and I will be back to posting soon!!! Xoxo!

Our little nugget on her way home from the hospital!!!

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Kind of a Big Deal

I know many of my readers are pregnant ladies ad many of you are aware that I was terminated from my employment just two days after announcing my pregnancy. I urge you to PLEASE read! Pregnancy discrimation is alive and kicking. Help stop it!

Come Check out Our NEW Site!

“Tina,” who is pregnant and works as a health aide in a nursing home, is told by her doctor that she should not lift more than 35 pounds.  Her job description requires lifting 40 pounds regularly, but lighter duty jobs, such as answering the phone and working at the reception desk, are available.  Nevertheless, her employer stops scheduling her for shifts and tells her she must take unpaid Family Medical Leave, which would run out before the delivery of her baby and leave her without the income she needs to pay the 50% of her medical insurance her employer does not cover.  Left with no choice, Tina loses her job.

“Jessica,” who is pregnant and works as a pharmacist’s assistant, needs to sit down occasionally throughout her day.  Chairs are available for customers, but the pharmacy does not permit the staff to use them.  As a result, Jessica loses her…

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FAIL.

I had sort of made up my mind, since the beginning of my pregnancy, that I would give birth on May 4th. Why? I have no idea. Did it happen? Hells no.

Alas, I am still motherfucking pregnant.

My BH contractions started to intensify over the last few days, however, and I was sure that this meant that I was going to go into labor AT ANY MOMENT. And then when I started to actually vomit (AGAIN?! SERIOUSLY?! WHEN DOES THIS END?!), I was SURE that the wait was over and little Baby L was coming. I was positive that I was effaced and dilated and that, like my mother, I must just not be able to feel the contractions yet (she literally had NO IDEA that she was in labor for me until, like, an hour before I was born. We should all be so lucky.) and that I should ready my hospital bag immediately. But then, after the ONE BH contraction which was slightly more uncomfortable than the last, there was nothing. And then there was more nothing. And then, this morning I had an appointment with the doctor, who confirmed that, well, NOTHING IS HAPPENING.

20120507-133913.jpgI can’t say that it is complete nothing. My cervix has thinned a bit, and I am dilating, however, not even ONE CENTIMETER YET…which makes me sort of want to punch someone in the throat. (In fact, I would sort of like to line up some really annoying people and punch them one by one. And then eat a bowl of ice cream. Because…well…I am still, after all, a pregnant lady.) If anyone is interested in putting together a lineup, hit me up, I will send you a list. Some of the people might be SLIGHTLY unattainable (I am sure Phil Collins is busy doing something really obnoxious and will not be available for throat punching), but I will accept look-alikes or any approved equally annoying substitute.

Anyway, that’s where we’re at. Preggo and punchy. Any other way just wouldn’t be right.

 

 

On Showering

Well, internet, I survived my baby shower and didn’t even have to punch anyone in the throat for molesting my “baby dome” (as MB is now calling it).

The big party was last Saturday (and pardon my absence here but there have been piles of goodies to sort through, appointments and a lot of eating. You know, because…well…eating is EATING.) I woke up Saturday morning (at 6 am), for the first time in a long time, completely sick. And when I say sick, I mean FIRST TRIMESTER sick. I felt ravenously hungry but totally nauseated and disgusting. I felt bloated and horrible and UGLY. So, as you can imagine, I was not too thrilled to have to try and make myself presentable to see all of my nearest and dearest. But, out of this disgusting funk came one of the best, most hilarious moments of my pregnancy thus far. I don’t know if I have mentioned to you, internet, that I can no longer reach my toes. In preparation, last week, for the shower, I attempted to paint my toenails. RED. (Why? I have no idea. My toenails are always done, but they are also always done in a french manicure because…I am really good without stencils and/or a huge belly.) I’m going to cut this short and just tell you that this was the longest process of my life and I believe I may have broken a rib. So, on Saturday, I asked MB (who had offered several times before) to help me to use a glorious salt scrub on my piggies so that they a) didn’t look so heinous and b) didn’t feel like sandpaper. (I know you guys are really intrigued by the state of my feet, so I will go ahead and tell you that, no, they are not yet swelling.) I am weird about feet and people touching mine (or having to touch anyone else’s) and am extremely ticklish, so I kept maintaining that I could scrub my own feet, until the broken rib happened. So I agreed to let MB help me out. OH. MY. GOD.

I situated my gigantic ass on the side of the tub and braced myself, but I swear I started laughing hysterically before MB even touched me. And I laughed like that and squirmed around for an entire 10 minutes while my wonderful, amazing, fiance attempted to beautify the piggies. I told him later that I wished that I would have had the whole thing on video because it was exactly the kind of thing that I would want my daughter to see when I explain to her what kind of man she should pick. One that will attempt to scrub your feet, even if you are dangerously close to kicking him in the face. That, my friends, is a good man. But I digress…

The shower started at one, and despite all of my pleading with friends and family to properly RSVP, many more people showed up than anticipated which turned my mom into a raving lunatic. I, even though I felt like a total crap bag, was pleased that so many people showed up and were so ridiculously generous. My mom and sister (and even my step-dad, who painstakingly fashioned a beautiful banner welcoming Baby L) did a really cute job decorating and the food, I hear, was divine (thanks to my Uncle/Personal Chef) and mom and sister. I was disappointed that I didn’t even get to eat, partially because I was afraid that I might not be able to keep anything down and partially because the house was so crowded, I wasn’t really even able to get TO the food. (Except the cupcakes, because HELLO. CUPCAKES.) I have to say, it was pretty unlike any baby shower I have ever been to (for me) because a) there were men there, which made me feel better about the universe, and b) the only part of it that felt even remotely shower-y to me was the opening of the gifts. (Which took a really long time, but my sister was clever enough to distract guests with Bingo cards, so not only did people pay attention to the gifts, but they weren’t pissed off about having to sit there and do so for hours on end. I highly recommend…I felt less like I was the center of attention and more like I was working at the nursing home again, where I used to call Bingo for the Alzheimers patients. Not that I am comparing my guests to Alzheimers patients. Well…I mean, most of them are not at all like Alzheimers patients anyway. Either way, they didn’t really care about ME, they just wanted that bottle of wine. Can you blame them?) To be honest, though, the whole thing is kind of a blur. It was a really great day shared with really effing amazing people and I really appreciate all of the love we received (in the form of hugs and gifts and belly rubbing).

Now that I have mentioned the belly rubbing, I guess I should touch on that, since I was fairly certain that it would occur whether I liked it or not.

I have to say, I was actually surprised at the lack of belly rubbing. There were only a handful of people who actual dared to rub the dome. And to be totally honest, the people who did, did not offend me. My old friend TC, who I never get to hang out with and with the help of another of our friends, has now ousted me from the “No Babies for Me” Club, was the most belly-happy of the guests and, even though she probably knows and doesn’t care, (she’s a bad ass like that) that I didn’t want anyone touching it, she did it numerous times. And I didn’t even THINK about hitting her. It actually wasn’t as awkward as I thought it might be. But maybe it just depends on who does it. In fact, my mom has only attempted touching my belly ONE TIME. So, how the hell should I know how I am supposed to feel about it. After the shower was over, however, came the real belly extravaganza when my sister, Fish Head and her husband, Mr. Fish Head cornered me in the garage and while Mr. Fish Head attempted to rouse Baby L by singing Phil Collins songs or quoting Hitler (I think this was an attempt to really piss her off), my sister pressed her entire face to the other side of my belly. This, my friends, was a mite awkward. And really, if they hadn’t been Mr. and Mrs. Fish Head, I am pretty sure they would have been swimming with the fishes. Even that, though, really wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen. It was definitely less annoying than stretch marks. So…there you have it. Maybe I am not anti-belly-touching altogether. Who knew?

This used to be our spare bedroom. And then it exploded with baby items!

Anyway, I do want to thank all of the lovely people who came to celebrate our new addition. Sometimes, and I think this is common in people, I forget how many wonderful people I have in my life and not because I don’t appreciate you all, but because there might be distance, or our every day lives have made it hard to be together. You all just reminded me how truly lucky I am and how truly loved Baby L is already. THANK YOU. Each of you for all the love, and the loot!

 

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Better Late Than Never

Today, at nearly 30 weeks, I had the anatomy scan which should have (and would have, if the system hadn’t tried to kill my baby) been done about 9-10 weeks ago. This being able to go to see doctors thing is pretty rad, I must say. Everything looks good so far, but of course, Baby L is stubborn and, just like last time, wouldn’t roll over so we could get a decent look at her face. The tech did manage to get a few decent shots, though, and I will go back in four weeks for another scan, just to check up. It feels good just to know I haven’t been abandoned.

20120307-135011.jpgThe last three months have really worn me down (and OUT). I think that this has been the most trying period of my life. I have stayed awake at night, my mind racing about what I would do if I never got some assistance. How I would pay. Where I would go. I have forgotten how to relate to people at times. I have been so consumed with worry that nothing has mattered. And the attempts at easing my mind by MB have been appreciated but have mostly failed. I had forgotten how to breathe. How to sleep. How to interact. Since my appointment last Thursday, I have gotten some of my normalcy back. I have laughed outloud. I have remembered to breathe. And mostly, I can sleep again. I can actually rest without the panic that loomed over me for so long. And I am telling you, all of that pent-up panic sure does wear a person out, I could likely sleep until the end of this pregnancy at this point. (Relief is the new Ambien, people.)

I still worry about unemployment. And I still harbor a good bit of anger about being fired after announcing my pregnancy and knowing what kind of morons and wastes of space are still employed there (but aren’t pregnant, so they get to stay) but I am working through that. And am certain that the parties involved will get what they deserve for what they did to me and my unborn baby. I try not to harp on the absolute absurdity of the whole thing and I try not to harbor any animosity and am certain that karma is a bitch, but, it is hard to take the high road when your child (whom you haven’t even met yet) could suffer from the insensitive and discriminatory actions of another person/entity. Just saying. I still worry things won’t work out. But I am faithful. And I am sure that they’ll get theirs. And I love being witness to karmic bitchslaps.