Thursday, October 4, 2012

Harvey's 1 Month Picture

If Pinterest had been around when Violet was a baby, I'd probably have 12 cute little monthly pictures of her chronicling her first year.  But I wasn't smart enough to figure that out on my own, so she missed out.

I considered doing it with Leela but always forgot to do it until after her monthly "birthdays" had passed and by then it seemed like cheating and like the picture would be terribly inaccurate.  Because I'd totally be able to tell twenty years from now that a picture was taken on the 21st instead of the 18th.

Today, I actually remembered Harvey's first monthday!

But I didn't take any pictures.

Because all I could think of was the girls finding a photo album a decade from now and seeing his First Year Album and asking why I took monthly photos of him but not them.  To which I'd have to reply, "Because I love him more.  Now move over, you're blocking my shot of him playing his Wednesday video games. *click*"

Instead, here's the first smile I was able to catch on camera, at 3 weeks!

"Mom, how come Harvey got a blog written about his smile and we didn't?"  Because Harvey smiled a month earlier than you two did.  And he also never let me sleep so I had to really play up that smile to keep me happy.  Now move over so I can take a picture of him eating breakfast.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Harvey's trip down the birth canal

I've written this about a million times because I can't find a happy medium between including all the details for my boring sake but keeping it entertaining.  Jeebus willing, this was my last time pushing another human out of me, so it's important to me to remember how much it effing hurts so I'm never tempted by newborn squishiness ever again how special it was to bring my boy to Earth.  Therefore, I apologize if you get bored to death at any time and I put a nice summary at the bottom in bold for your ADD pleasure.  Also, if you don't think you can read details about my bodily functions (allllll the bodily functions) and continue to look me in the eye, feel free to skip ahead to the bottom too.

So.  When I first found out I was pregnant, my first thought was "I get to give birth again!".  Despite Violet's 50 hour labor and Leela almost being born in the van, I was genuinely enthralled with the experience of their births and was especially impressed with the weeks-long "high" after Leela.

However, as my due date got closer, and passed of course, my anxiety over labor got worse and worse for some reason.  I'm a huge fan of natural labor, but I don't know what people are talking about when they say they forget the pain of labor.  Bitch, I remember, and it hurts.  I wasn't looking forward to contractions and I was really scared that I'd been too lucky with not experiencing the "ring of fire" with Leela and therefore my vagina would probably catch a flame this time as Harvey came out riding his umbilical cord Evel Kneivel-style.  I also tested positive for GBS which meant I'd need to labor in the hospital in order to receive antibiotics, and I was worried about coping with the pain with people all up in my pain space.  So for the last few weeks I heavily debated opting for the epidural so that I could relax and enjoy Harvey's emergence, even though I also have an irrational fear of being paralyzed by the giant needle being threaded through my spinal column.  Maybe that's not that irrational actually.

Anyway.  At the very end of Labor Day, I was part disappointed/part relieved (ok, mostly relieved) that it had not literally been a day of labor for me.  Joe and I decided to head to bed a little before midnight.  I stopped at the bathroom because I like to lie to myself and tell myself if I pee last minute before bed then I won't have to wake up in the middle of the night to unleash the floodgates of my bladder.  And then...

Blood.  I saw blood.

Not a lot, but the only other time I had ever bled any amount during a pregnancy, Violet was born 3 days later.

I told Joe and he got excited.  Not because he was excited to meet his son, but because he thought he was going to get to miss work the next day and sleep in.  I assured him he would indeed be waking up to his alarm and going to work, because it would be days until labor started, then probably more days until the baby popped out.  The second I started talking about the last minute things I'd need help with the next day, he conveniently got tired and started snoring.  I laid awake until a little after midnight, thinking about what did need to be done - bring the bassinet upstairs, set up the swing, make a little more room in the bedroom, most importantly I needed to pack the hospital bag.  I figured I had plenty of time the next day though and I finally rolled over and passed out.

About an hour later at 1:30am on Tuesday, I woke up needing to pee.  I cursed my bladder and stayed in my horizontal blanket cocoon trying to will the pee away (like, back into my kidneys away, not in my bed away).  After a few seconds, it worked, the urge disappeared!  I was so impressed with myself, I couldn't get back to sleep.  And then the damn pee urge came again.

And it kept coming again and again, and disappearing again and again.  It would appear for 30 seconds, then disappear for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse, repeat.  And I was so perplexed by this that I couldn't sleep.  Finally at 2:30, I realized...

These are not bladder feelings, these are uterus feelings, otherwise known as CONTRACTIONS, and I am the biggest idiot ever.

Suddenly I'm thinking, "Ok, do I get up and pack my hospital bag now?  I was supposed to be at the hospital in six hours anyway for my first non-stress test, and Joe's mom will be here in 5 hours, should I just wait until then?  Is there any way to stall this?  I really don't feel like going into labor.  God I'm tired.  Shit I have to pee.  Oh wait, that's not pee, it's a baby.  I've done this twice before, how do I not know the difference between pee and a baby?  Wouldn't it be cool if we could pee out babies?  Like if they turned to liquid then re-shaped into a baby on contact with air?  No nevermind, then I couldn't have my water birth.  Oh I can't wait to try laboring in that giant hospital tub this time!  What should I pack in my bag?  Should I go bake some muffins to take?  No, I really need to sleep while I still can.  This might not even really be contractions, I might not even be in labor.  Crap, I think I really do have to pee..."

The contractiony thingies continued for hours.  They weren't painful at all - as I said, they felt more like downward pressure in my bladder.  I didn't struggle through them and my breathing didn't change, they were just a nuisance a couple times an hour.  It kinda felt like that uncomfortably full feeling after you've eaten enough Thanksgiving dinner to feed a small nation.  I continued in my state of denial that I was pregnant, muchless in labor, and assumed I was only up peeing literally every five minutes because I had discovered the delight of iced coffee and had entirely too much liquid during the day.

I only finally conceded to reality after the tell-tale Laborfest "pipe-cleaning".  That happened around 3:30.

With reality set in once and for all, I decided to delay the mad rush to pack my bags and get things situated for just a little while longer.  Things were still painless and not very intense, I didn't get the feeling that things were moving along very quickly at all, and I knew Joe's alarm would be going off at 5:00, so for that hour-and-a-half-or-so, I just laid there and felt the baby squirm around inside me.  To be honest, I've never been a fan of the feeling - I think my parents let me watch weird alien horror movies at too young of an age - but I do have an affinity for the strangeness of life, and I knew it wouldn't be much longer that I could poke my belly and be touching a completely separate human being that is inside me.  I felt around to try to identify all his body parts for the last time, and accepted that I will never be able to tell the difference between a fetus elbow or heel or butt.  I squeezed my belly a little and thought about how bittersweet it was that these were the last few hours that I'd be the only one holding him.  I silently apologized to him in advance for the days he will smell all womanly and flowery after the grandmas hold him.  I gave my belly a good rub all around and over to my hips and back, and gave it a little love tap for housing my babies.  I also silently apologized to it for how flabby and disturbing it was going to look in a few hours.

I was trying my best to focus on the positive.  I thought about the physical process of birth a lot.  Knowing about joints and muscles loosening to allow the baby to travel down, knowing certain hormones play different roles to activate contractions or facilitate labor or reduce pain, knowing the baby somehow knows to wiggle here and turn his head there, knowing what my body knows... usually that stuff calmed me and made me excited for labor, but I was still stuck in anxiety over it.  The fact that I had only slept an hour and couldn't calm my brain long enough to even nap certainly didn't help.  I didn't want to feel the pain of transition ever again, and decided I was going to get the epidural.

Joe's alarm went off at 5:00.  Usually I give him a few seconds to stop ignoring it before I smack him in the side, but this morning I didn't give him a chance.  As soon as it stopped chiming I told him it was his lucky day, he wasn't going to work today.  He asked if he needed to call his mom to come early and I said probably not.  We talked a little bit, I bitched about how tired I was and how I was feeling like I couldn't do it and was probably getting drugs.  He said it didn't matter to him as long as I didn't give birth in the van.  I bitched a little more about how many times I had been up to pee and how I didn't understand how I had been able to pee out the contents of Lake Michigan from my one measly bladder.  I went to roll over to bitch in another direction I guess, when I felt that familiar gush.  My water had broken.  I thought I had heard and felt a little pop on the front of my belly an hour earlier, so I guess that's what that was.

Because I was GBS+, I called my midwife to see if I needed to go in to L&D.  I told her I'd been in labor for about four hours, contractions were still 8-15 minutes apart, I was not in any pain, but I wanted to make sure I got my antibiotics this time for peace of mind (I got to the hospital too late with Leela and never got a single dose and was worried I'd given her a death sentence, she turned out fine though obviously).  She agreed we should head in and said she would meet us at the hospital in an hour at 6:30.

I hung up and started packing my hospital bag.  THIS WAS IT!  I was finally packing my hospital bag!  What the hell do I pack in my hospital bag?  I couldn't figure out what I needed, besides clothes for me and Harvey to go home in, and my trusty Kindle and phone.  So that was all I ended up packing.  I had this huge duffle bag with about a grocery bag of contents.  Totally forgot my birth plan and my Hulk hands.  This is why people pack these bags in advance.

Joe called his mom and asked her to come early.  Somehow she made it there by 6:00.  It takes 15-20 minutes to drive from her house to ours, and she didn't look like she had woken up and gotten dressed in just 10 minutes, so I was convinced she had been spending the last week sleeping fully clothed and made up with her phone attached to her ear just waiting for the baby alert.

I answered the door when she got here, and she opened her eyes wide and said she hadn't expected me to answer the door (when she arrived while I was in labor with Leela, I was screaming and howling and cussing up a storm by that point and was in no shape to welcome anyone into the house).  I explained that I hadn't had any pain yet, but I was pretty sure my water had broken, and I just didn't want to be in the car for any painful contractions this time.

A quick shower to shave my ankles and my pits, some dilly-dallying from Joe and some rushing him along from me, and a quick peek in the girls' door later, we were on our way to the hospital to have a baby!  I only had two or three contractions while strapped in to the seat, and I was happy about that because the upright position and lack of mobility seemed to make them feel a little worse.  Joe wanted to stop for Dunkin Donuts, but I wouldn't let him.  My anxiety was too high and I wasn't sure why but I was just in a rush to get there as fast as possible.  In retrospect, that was probably a good thing.

We arrived at Mercy and parked in the garage.  I didn't mind walking but didn't want to walk too far, so I demanded Joe drive to the top of the garage so we could get a space close to the elevator.  The contractions were getting slightly more intense as we were walking to L&D - I now had to make the choice between walking or talking during a contraction, and they were getting just a teensy bit painful now.  Still totally manageable though.

In true Joe and Kate fashion, we got there well after our planned 6:30 meeting time.  It was closer to 7:00 when I sat down at the L&D admission desk to sign all my papers and have all my cards scanned and get all my bracelets connected.  While I was signing my first paper, I had a contraction.  It wasn't anything too bad, but I was finding that I had to actually give them some attention now.  I scooted forward in my seat a little and leaned my pelvis forward and continued writing my information.

The nurse scanned that paper and printed the next one to be signed.  I was having another contraction, and this one also required a little pelvis rocking, but I continued writing my information.

The nurse scanned that paper too, then paused paperwork to go on a rant about city parking and night shift.  Joe being his ever-friendly self, engaged in her rant and went on his own rant about city driving and the Grand Prix.  Meanwhile I'm thinking, Why the fuck is this discussion going on right now?  Can we just fill out this fucking paper work so I can get my drugs already?  Shut the fuck up both of you and scan my shit already lady!  Another contraction hit.  I scooted forward to rock my pelvis but it wasn't enough for this one.  I had to stand.  I walked around the back of my chair and leaned forward on it.  Finally Nurse Whineypants hands me my next paper and I write it out while leaning forward and waving my butt side to side.

Joe left the room to check out the view and left me with this lady complaining about who-knows-what while taking six years each to scan my signed papers and whatnot.  I have another contraction and assume my ass wiggling position and put my head down to concentrate on not stabbing this lady's face with my pen.

Paperwork was finally all done a little after 7:00 and I joined Joe in the waiting room.  We sat facing the wall-to-wall window, directly across a building with construction workers doing their thing on the roof, one story higher than we were. Another contraction hit, and it did not feel good, and we were the only people in the waiting room, so I went buckwild with the pelvis rocking on the edge of my seat.  Now I was so glad I had rushed Joe to get to the hospital and I couldn't wait to get an epidural.  When the contraction ended, I thought about how I was going to break it to my midwife that I was wimping out.

Before I could figure out what I would say, I was having another contraction.  It hurt even more this time, and I thought back to what had worked to alleviate the pain during labor with Leela.  I squatted down in front of a chair, put my elbows on the seat of the chair for stability, and started moving my hips around in any way possible.  It didn't matter how I moved as long as I moved.  I moaned out a few "fuckfuckfuckfuck"s for good measure.  Joe brought my attention to the big open window with all the construction guys looking down in my direction.  I nodded, acknowledge that I looked like an idiot, but I didn't even care.

This contraction-squat-cuss routine went on for half an hour before my midwife, Kathy, finally came to collect us in the waiting room.  I had been trying to relate the contractions I was feeling at the moment to those I had felt in labor with Leela, and figured I had about 4-6 hours left before Harvey would make his appearance.  I was so physically exhausted from not sleeping, and so mentally exhausted from being a psycho over-thinker, that the second I saw Kathy I just blurted out, "I want an epidural!...".  Right as I was saying that, another contraction hit.  I had to stop in the middle of the hallway and bend forward with my hands on my knees and do the ass wiggle.  I tried to continue my previous thought.  "...I'm just... having... too much anxiety... and... I can't relax... epi me... now!"

Kathy has probably been delivering babies for as long as I've been alive, so she knows her shit.  She has this way of talking to you like she already knows exactly what's going on and she is telling you what is happening with your body.  Or maybe she's telling your body what to do.  Like she sold her soul for some supermagic midwife power to talk pregnant women's bodies into doing her bidding.  Wow, anyway... so I'm contracting in the middle of the hallway with my ass in the air and I've just confessed that I want drugs in me now, and she asks how long my contractions have been coupling on top of each other.  I hadn't even realized they were so close together and were lasting for a pretty long time.  "Not too long" I told her.  "Well, we'll have to get you into your room and get you checked before we can see about that epidural," Kathy tells my uterus.

I knew where she was going with this.  I didn't want to accept it, but I knew exactly what she was thinking.

I got into my room and was handed my gown and a pee cup.  I went into the bathroom and made my deposit.  As I was sitting there I realized I was feeling very labor-ish.  I had this haziness about me and a buzz going through my body and I was hyper-aware of all my muscle movements and visceral functions.  I felt like I had to poop and was about to take care of that when a doozy of a contraction hit instead.  I couldn't sit through it and sprung up to bend over the tub ledge.  We meet again, hospital birthing tub.  I hope you're ready for me this time because I'm going to give birth in you.  I'm going to give birth in you so hard.  I finished up the contraction, lost my clothes somewhere on the bathroom floor, and donned my sexy new hospital gown back out into the birthing suite so that Kathy could check my cervix.

Nine centimeters.  Would you fucking believe it?  Nine goddamn centimeters means no epidural, no antibiotics, and no birthing tub.  I could hear the tub laughing at me from the next room, "Now you'll never get your water birth, biiiitch!"

I was in complete shock because my contractions hadn't hurt that bad yet.  I'd rate my pain up until now at a 7-8 at the most.  As I learned throughout this entire pregnancy and labor, denial is a helluva drug.  Knowing I was doing this au natural after all gave me an immediate adrenaline rush and left me so clear headed, the next contractions actually managed to hurt less.  Apparently the female body has a way of shutting some things down.

I had a few more contractions standing and bending over the bed.  I could feel him working his way down and decided I'd better hop up on the bed just in case I had a Hulk contraction that sent him flying out of me. There was no way I was laying down through contractions though so I elevated the head of the bed and leaned forward on it while I had my knees on the lower half and my butt facing Kathy and my nurse.  I had a few more contractions in this position, all the while holding on to the back of my gown with one hand to hang on to my last little bit of modesty.

After a few contractions, my adrenaline rush must have worn off.  It started to hurt a lot out of nowhere.  I didn't feel like doing this anymore.  I just wanted these contractions to end and this baby out of me.  So I started pushing.

At first it wasn't bad.  I just pushed lightly and mostly let my body do the work for me.  But then came in Kathy with her Jedi cervix tricks again, and she told me to lean forward with the next contraction and push harder like I had to poop.

And that's when the shit hit the fan.  Er, that's when the shit hit the bed I mean.  Yup, it happened.  I was so sure that since I had previously birthed two babies without pooping that I'd be in the clear again this time, but nope.  I knew I should have gone back to poop before I left that damn bathroom earlier.  At this point though, the contractions were intense and my desperation to get this baby out of me was intenser, so it was only about a third as humiliating as I imagined it could be.  I was even able to look Kathy in the eye later, after she had so humbly looked into my brown eye.

So, pushing continues.  I'm still on my knees, bent over the head of the bed, Hulking out on the mattress and bending it underneath me for leverage, burying my face into it to muffle my roars, when I decide to take a breather through one contraction and look around the room.  Behind me is Kathy with what felt like her entire arm inside my vagina, checking baby's position, stretching things, putting pressure on other things.  Beside her is the nurse rooting me on while she's getting everything ready for the baby.  Joe is up by my head on my left, patting my back, offering me water, and trying his damndest not to pass out.  On the far right of the room is some random nurse woman standing by the open hallway door.  I'm still not sure what she was doing besides checking out my naked ass.  Then I notice the windows.  The windows in my birthing suite had the same configuration as the windows in the waiting room - big ass 6 foot tall wall-to-wall windows, facing that same building with the construction guys, and the shades up.  This is how little shame I had at this point.  I asked Kathy if they could see inside.  She told me the hospital staff insists they're completely blacked out on the outside and you can only see out.  I decided I didn't even care if they could see me at this point.

I pushed for about 15-20 minutes total, roaring the entire time, occasionally screaming "I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS".  Joe told me I didn't have a choice.  Thanks, Joe.  With one contraction I felt him finally slip over my pubic bone and I knew there wasn't much work left.  This was the one time I was ready for the next contraction, I wanted this over with so badly.  I had one brief moment of panic knowing that I was about to find out if I'd feel the "ring of fire" that I had such terrible anxiety over for 9 months, but the second the contraction started I forgot about it.

When I felt the urge, I started to push.  I felt like I was going to give birth to my eyeballs I was pushing so hard.  But I was determined to get him out with this contraction.  I kept pushing and pushing and pushing and could feel he was so close but wasn't quite making it.  Just before I resigned to giving it on more contraction, I gave one last push with all my oomphs and then some.

After only six and a half hours of labor, only an hour of which even felt like labor, at 7:54am, little Harvey flew out of me all at once.  I felt the emptiness, heard him screaming, and just fell forward.  Kathy was yelling something about flipping me over but I was just so oblivious to anything but the fact that my baby was out safe and my legs felt like toothpicks holding up my giant beastly body.  I did finally "come to" after a few seconds and rolled over to sit on my butt.  I had to lift my leg over the umbilical cord and in the process I felt it for the first time.  That was... interesting.  They threw my baby boy onto my chest and I gave him a kiss right away, with all that yucky vagina and birth stew all over him still.  I had been too grossed out by the previous two to touch them too much before their wipe downs, so this was unlike me.  I also managed to take a tour of the placenta this time too.  So many firsts for my last baby!

I did, once again, have a tear.  I was so optimistic that I'd come out of this birth unscathed with pushing in an upright position.  Nope.  It makes me wonder if I'd gone natural with my first delivery, if maybe I wouldn't have had that initial tear, then maybe my second two wouldn't have ripped me a new one too.  My recovery was fantastic this time though, so I really can't complain.  I felt completely back to normal everywhere by a week and a half postpartum.  Sitz baths ladies, do em.

Now that I'm a few weeks out from labor and I'm reflecting on it again, I'm a little sad I didn't have a more positive attitude during the whole thing.  And I'm definitely upset I didn't get to use that damn tub like I was so determined to do.  But oh my god am I so happy to move on to the next phase of life!

Long story short:   The day after Labor Day, I went into labor and used denial as pain relief. Early in the morning I thought my water broke, so I called my midwife and she said to head in so we could get the antibiotics in for at least 4 hours, even though contractions were still far apart and I wasn't in pain at all. Got to the hospital and sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes and all of a sudden it HURT! As I had already been having horrible anxiety over labor and couldn't get myself to relax, the second my midwife showed up I was like EPI ME NOW. She asked how long I had been in pain and having contractions like this, and I told her "Not long... what the hell are you getting at?" She checked me, and my bitch cervix was 9cm already. So I missed out on the antibiotics again, and the epidural. I decided I had to get it over with so I started pushing right away with my ass in the air and the window shades opened. Pooped everywhere, but I had no shame anyway. Harvey made his appearance shortly thereafter!

And now, pictures!

Harvey Douglas, 8 lb. 1 oz., 21 in.

The view outside my hospital room!

The view inside my hospital room :)

Big sis's kisses

One week!

Leela pointing out his "eye-ba"s.

So peaceful

Two weeks!  Mooommmm, don't take a picture of me in a pink blanket!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Interesting method there, Nesting Bug

Here's a list of things that need to be done by time the baby is born:

  • Organize, wash and put away 2 years worth of baby boy clothes
  • Clean bedroom and create a space for baby to sleep
  • Set up bassinet in that tiny, but clean space
  • Wash my sheets so the baby will have clean ones to spit up on while co-sleeping
  • Remove toy piles and decorative Goldfish cracker crumb rug from car
  • Move around car seats and install infant seat
  • Vacuum/sweep and mop all floors
  • Dust ALL the things
  • Wipe ALL the surfaces
  • Clean cobwebs from ceilings
  • Vacuum behind furniture
  • Set up swing or bouncy chair

Here's a list of all the things that I have successfully completed as of today, two days shy of 41 weeks:
  • Organize, wash and put away clothes
  • Clean half of the bedroom - the half that the baby and I will be on
  • Removed enough toys from the van to eventually vacuum the cracker rug
  • Mopped my kitchen floor for the first time in a month
  • Bake and freeze double chocolate muffins
  • Bake and freeze chocolate banana cookies, half with walnuts
  • Bake and freeze peanut butter banana muffins
  • Make and freeze a dozen bacon, egg and cheese breakfast muffins
  • Never cook dinner for my family
  • Last minute trip to the zoo
  • Last minute trip to the beach
  • Last minute trip to a bunch of playgrounds
  • Wash the hospital bag and the things that will probably go into it, but not actually put it together
  • Write a bogus birth plan

Apparently on the third go-around, my body has figured out that babies really don't need a clean house for the first 4-6 months, until they start crawling, and by that time it's really no use trying to create the illusion of cleanliness with a 2 and 4 year old running around, as long as there's nothing for anyone to choke on.

Nope.  According to my body, baked goods and good QT with the girls are the most important things to bringing a baby into this world.  While that's probably true, my mind would appreciate the motivation and energy from my body to get rid of all these things that are stressing me out.

Maybe it'll kick in when I hit 42 weeks.

Violet's growing a chewy bar baby in hers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Planning birth.

As my due date is approaching (next week, egad!), I'm starting to freak a little.

My house is still a mess and nesting has only kicked in enough to make me hyper-aware of the dusty corners of the baseboards and the wrinkles in the window sheers.  And the lack of clothes or sleeping space for the future baby.

I'm also feeling doom at the impending labor.  I've been wavering between indifferent and pretty excited about birthing a human being, but now that he's big enough that I can feel the size of his limbs and booty and fully realize the fact that yes, that is a human being inside me, and he's coming out the same way he came in, I'm having crotch-winces at the thought.  I keep picturing this baby Hulk inside me, and he's getting pissed off at the contractions so he takes his not-so-tiny infant fists of fury and claps mightily at his escape route, and I just literally explode in half from around him.  That was the best scene in any movie ever, by the way.  When the Hulk clapped that motherfucking fire out?  I yelled out loud from the audience, FUCK YEAH!

So anyway, that's not going to happen, but I am nervous about labor.  I've never written down a birth plan before because the first time I wasn't picky, and the second time the plan was "just get to the hospital quick before she's born in the van".  This time, I'd like to arrive at the hospital before the baby is crowning, and I'd like to labor in blissful hydrosolitude (aka I'll be in the birthing tub in the bathroom, everyone else will be... anywhere else).

Here's the plans I've got so far:

Going with the Hulk theme.  Picture this.  You, a nurse, enter L&D Patient Drescher's room to check her progression in labor.  You see an empty bed and a red-bearded burly man seated next to it, bouncing the birthing ball against the wall.  From the bathroom you hear a roaring reminiscent of the constipated bowels of Hell.  You know where to find your pregnant lady.  You walk past the red-bearded burly man who simply nods to you to imply "I wouldn't do that," but you've been given the task to check on the pregnant lady's well-being.  As the bathroom door opens, the walls and floors begin to quake, and the sea of birth tub stew slowly parts and rises around a ginormous figure.  The figure adjusts its paper hospital bracelets that are growing tight on its bulging wrists, and surfaces from its kneeling position within the tub.  "How... how are... Miss Drescher?, are you ok?", you timidly ask.  The figure, now ascended over the tub, heaving and wild, answers.  "You're making me angry.  YOU WOULDN'T LIKE ME WHEN I'M ANGRY!!!"   Then you see the beastly figure is wearing a silly pair of these.  You assume your pregnant beast lady is ok and do not attempt to bother her with your cervical checks or your ice chips or even your small talk.  The wild Hulk woman then claps her might Hulkette hands together and triggers a sonic boom that throws you out of the bathroom.  VAGINA SMASH!

Coloring time was interesting today.

Going with the donut theme.  This plan is not nearly as elaborate or faux-violent as my Hulk plan, but it's under consideration.  There will need to be donuts there anyway, so I figure I could throw the nurses and midwife a little appreciation pastry as well.  And more importantly, god knows I love a lame pun, so what better interception between me and nosey hospital staff than a box of donuts strategically placed in front of the bathroom entrance, with a sign saying "DONUT ENTER UNLESS ADMINISTERING ANTIBIOTICS OR MONITORING INTERMITTENTLY".  But they're not getting the good Fractured Prunes.  They can fight over the Boston Kremes from Dunkin Donuts.

Threatening, right?

Short and Sweet Combo.  Maybe if I keep the birth plan short, the labor will follow suit?  I originally just wanted to write on a piece of paper, "Don't talk to me, don't touch me, don't even enter the same room as me," but I figured that would be rude.  A friend sent me her pretty genius birth plan and it was short and sweet, but I think I have decided to combine all three plans into the briefest and nicest threat imaginable.

If that isn't the sweetest "Leave me the hell alone" ever, I don't know what is!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

3 year old innocence + 37 weeks hormones = Mom mush.

Today I convinced Violet to curl up on my lap and watch Max and Ruby so I could have a quick snooze.  I sat with my legs stretched out on the couch and my head back on the arm rest, and plopped her down on my legs with her head resting on my chest just below my neck, with my arms wrapped around her and resting on her hip.

I woke up about 45 minutes later to feel drool running down the side of my face.  I'm such a charming sleeper!  I also found that Violet had passed out along with me.  In my sleep I had semi-reclined to an almost horizontal position and Violet took the opportunity to stretch out on me.  Her head was still high on my chest, but she had rolled her belly over halfway onto my belly and stretched her legs out long.  First I noticed how big she is all of a sudden - her feet were resting on my shins!  She used to fit inside of me and now here she is taking up two thirds of my body!  And for the love of Maury Povich is she heavy all of a sudden.  The right side of my body was half tingling and half numb and I couldn't even lift her enough to army roll out from under her.  Then I saw how peaceful her little freckled face was and decided I had to lay there until she woke up, even though my neck felt like it was the only thing holding up a big fat pregnant lady (oh hey, it was).  It's not often during these 3-year-old days that I get to see her looking like an angel.

My right arm was still wrapped around her (I couldn't feel it but I could see it) but my left one had migrated to rest on little Harvey's butt.  He was kicking and rolling all around and moving my arm up and down and punching Violet in the gut.  Of course she had no clue but I got a kick out of it, imagining a year or two from now when he's going to be purposefully punching her in the gut because she stole his Handy Manny doll.

Watching her interact with her baby brudder has been the best part of this pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with Leela, she noticed my belly bulging and kissed it if I told her to, but she didn't get that inside there was The Destroyer of Only Child-dom.  She wasn't all that interested in Leela after she was born either.  Actually sometimes I still don't think she's Leela's biggest fan, but she deals with her now.

With this pregnancy though, she's really taking notes.  She talks about baby brudder and talks to him.  She swears she can see him through my belly button and apparently he drinks a lot of orange juice inside there, and once he was driving a bus (maybe he is, it feels like it sometimes).

She has tried helping with his name.  For a long time she said his name was Harvey Harrison Fullerton.  Now he's just Baby Brudder.  I'm hoping that when (if) Joe and I come up with a middle name or two that we like, we'll let her be the deciding factor.  As long as she doesn't try to suggest something like Muno instead.

One day, I caught her walking around with one of her baby dolls head down between her knees and asked her what she was doing.  She told me "A baby brudder popped out of my hooha!".  It was a magic moment for me for some reason, to know that she gets that there is an actual baby inside of me and he is actually going to come out of me and then be her baby brother.  We'll have to work on understanding that she will not have any babies coming from her for a long time though, ha.

Another day she was in the shower with me, playing with her mermaid while I was rinsing my hair.  She needed to rinse her mermaid's hair but my behemoth belly was hogging up all the water.  She very matter-of-factly looked my belly straight in the button and said, "Scuse me baby brudder, you're blocking all the water."  I love how polite she is to him!  She says she can't wait to help get him dressed and change his diapers, I hope that doesn't change.  And diaper time should be especially fun with the whole penis thing.

It seems like she's genuinely excited this time.  Whenever she sees her baby cousin, she goos and gahs at him, mimicking how she sees other people with him.  That's the cool thing about 3 - when I see her acting all lovey dovey, I know it's because me and the people around her act lovey dovey with her.  Although I hope her complete impatience and intolerance to Leela being near any toys ever is not a reflection on me.  We'll pretend she got that from some kid on the playground.

Not to sound like the biggest hormonal vagina ever, but seeing her laying on top of me and Harvey today and thinking about how almost 4 years ago she used to be the one looking like a Bingo roller inside me and now she's joking about birthing baby dolls, it pulled at my heart strings just a little.  Four more years from now she's going to be building solar system dioramas for school and Harvey will be the one making goofy fart jokes.  And I'll be growing an ice cream baby, lamenting my bygone baby-making days.  It's fun to watch them grow and each have their own role in the family and learn to treat their brother and sisters with love, but it's sad knowing in the future there will be hilarious things Violet said or cute faces Leela made or weird Michael Jackson fetus moves Harvey did and I won't be able to remember every single one.  Seeing Violet's sudden growth today reminded me that I need to laugh harder and play louder and cuddle softer when these moments arise.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What the hell kind of people are reading my mom blog?

I just noticed blogger keeps a "Search keyword" history to see what sort of searches bring traffic here.

My shit is BIZ.ZARRE.

Here's a list of the weirdest ones:

heart shaved vagina
gun into her crotch
my size barbie sex
women long nipples
potty shot of girl with a bulge
alien baby with hair
weird mucus from vagina
fuck life size barbie doll
your diaper is showing
jelly fetus

Actually, some of them are quite disturbing.  And then others make a disturbing amount of sense.  I was worried about my dad reading my overshare, but apparently who I really need to be worried about is giant Barbie fetishists who like to stroke the heart shaped box with a gun.

The internet is a fun place.

I googled "jelly fetus" and this was one of the top pictures that cracked me up, so I will now proudly be forever connected to this other person's blog.  I wonder what sort of weird search hits they get.

So, am I the only one who thinks NYC's Latch On Campaign is kind of crappy?

I was surprised by the complete lack of discussion on NYC's Latch On Campaign earlier this week, but I guess either everyone agreed with it or they just didn't see it.  Or more likely they were all busy performing chick fellatio on their Facebook feed (argh, guilty as charged).

In case you didn't hear about it, NYC has put forth the initiative to support breastfeeding mothers by... hanging posters, and locking up formula.

Not that I think it's a horrible idea!  Not automatically handing out the formula swag bags casts a certain vote of confidence on a new mom - "Go get em Mom, your boobies' got this!".  And I guess a few moms riding the subway will see the campaign posters and think "Oh hey, breastfeeding reduces the risk of diarrhea?  I don't like diarrhea!  Maybe I'll try that out!"

But that's hardly the same as support, which this campaign claims to be about.

When I gave birth to the big girl, I wanted to breastfeed but wasn't too sure about it.  I wasn't as educated as I should have been and I figured I'd just stick her on my boob and we'd be good to go.  I was also worried it would feel creepy feeding someone from my lady lumps, which had been purely for show for the previous decade.  Needless to say we had latch issues and I requested to see a lactation consultant.  By time she got around to stopping in my room, Violet had ripped my nipples a new butthole, and I was in tears, so she suggested I try out a nipple shield.  At the same time, the nurses set me up with some supplemental formula because Violet's bilirubin was too high and apparently she wasn't eating and pooping enough.  It was my first time even holding a baby muchless taking care of one, so I blindly followed the nurses assuming they were steering me in the right direction.  It was the perfect storm - I was too annoyed to get up and clean the shields in the middle of the night, I never figured out a good, painless latch, I never got a decent supply in, and Violet was fully formula fed by time I was back to work at 6 weeks.

I had read enough to already know the benefits of breastfeeding, so that wasn't the problem - posters wouldn't have helped.  It was the nurse's decision to supplement the baby with formula due to her bili levels, so locking up the formula wouldn't have helped.  Sending me home sans free formula might have made me try harder, but then I would have just gotten some free formula from the pediatrician instead.  Pllrrrrrbbbbtt.

While pregnant with the little girl, I decided to redeem myself from not boobfeeding Violet.  I watched videos, learned all about latch techniques and different holds, and I picked a different hospital to birth at - one that touted its mom-and-baby-friendliness.  Like what hospital doesn't think it's the best for mom and baby?  But this hospital really was so much better!  My midwife helped me latch Leela on right away, the nurses throughout my stay asked how it was going and even made me keep a log of how often and long I was feeding her, and several lactation consultants stopped by my room without my begging to see if I needed help figuring anything out.  Leela's bilirubin levels were also high for longer than they would have liked, so they had me sit her in the window and nursenursenurse.

The second hospital was the picture of support.  Support is not about locking away the formula behind closed doors.  It's about knowledgeable staff spending time with the mother, being hands on, visiting frequently, and giving her the tools and knowledge she needs to be successful in feeding her baby the natural way if she wants to.

I appreciate the sentiment, but NYC's Latch On campaign is not supporting breastfeeding mothers, it's shaming formula-feeding mothers.  All the PR money would be better spent on extra lactation consultants, and education for nurses on what to do in situations such as mine in the first hospital, and on literature to send home with moms.  And the posters - showcasing the benefits of breastfeeding is great and all, but the real problem is the attitude toward breastfeeding.  Those posters won't do squat unless they're showing boobs doing booby things and getting the public comfortable with bare chests feeding babies instead of jiggling for dollars.

And of course, I have a few other ideas for their posters if they need them!

Whoa. It's coming.

It still hasn't 100% sunk in that I'll have a third baby soon, but I just had a mini freak out when I looked and saw it's only about 3 weeks until my EDD according to my midwife.  Then I felt a little better because I know I'll have a few extra weeks to prepare... but that's still only a long month!

My house is still a gigantic mess, although I'm hoping to get the bedrooms in shape over the weekend.  And I'm still clueless on his name.  I'm liking Harrison more and more, but I still want to call him Harvey so it seems dumb to not name him that.  And shit, he might just not have a middle name.  He'll have tons of clothes though!  Tons and tons!  If I ever get them washed.

I'm sitting here eating a 5 pound bag of baby carrots right now, disappointed every time I bite into one and it doesn't taste like chocolate.  But my midwife was not as impressed by my 7-pounds-in-3-weeks weight gain as I was, so I need to lay off the sweets a little.  I'm like The Juggernaut!  Except I bust through pans of brownies and pant sizes instead of walls.

It's time for September to be here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What the hell are you doing here? SURPRISE!

I semi-reluctantly headed to my brother's house today for a graduation party. It's hot out and I'm fat and pregnant and thought everyone would be hanging out in the back yard drinking their cold beers while I was stewing in my swollen pregnant lady suit, but I hadn't seen everybody in a while so I wanted to at least make an appearance.

I got there and no one was outside or by the pool.  I took note but didn't think it was weird for some reason.  My sister-in-law led me down the stairs into the basement where she said everyone was.  I saw some cute blue "Thank You" lollipops on top of a blue table cloth and really regretted listening to Joe when he said we didn't need to stop for a card for the graduate.

Then I saw my BFF since birth, who knows my family but isn't someone they'd usually invite to their parties...

I asked her what the hell she was doing there and then I saw all the WELCOME BABY signs the IT'S A BOY pennant and blue tableclothes and blue diaper pins and blue baby bottles. 


I had no clue they would be throwing me a shower for my THIRD baby, especially after all the hand-me-downs I've gotten. Total. Shock.

I was getting kinda bummed recently that this kid wasn't going to have any new clothes (I bought the hoodie and some consignment clothes and he has the hand-me-downs). It's not a big deal, as long as he's clothed and warm is all that's really important, but I still wanted him to have a little something special to him. Now he has a metric butt-ton of something!

I don't deserve to be so spoiled!  I'm not the most affectionate person ever (in case no one noticed, *cough*) even though I am deeply grateful for the people around me.  So to everyone, thanks for loving me and my babies anyway!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pregnancy dreams

When I woke up this morning there were a bunch of random little kids in my house and I looked outside and apparently school was only a half day because it was a "Hurricane Day", like a snow day but with a hurricane...

So anyway I'm yelling at these kids and then the parents come in and I'm like "WTF GET OUT OF MY HOUSE" and I started beating them up.  Then while I'm on top of the lady about to break her back I have a moment of clarity and say "Wait, am I mentally ill?  I don't have any kids do I? Is this my house?" and she told me no to all of the above but I didn't believe her.

So I jumped out of the 3rd story window and followed this homeless looking woman down the fire escape stairs (my house is only 2 stories in the suburbs, mind you) and on the way down I realize I'm Mark Wahlberg.  I follow the woman into the basement apartment and it's some super snazzy futuristic bachelor pad with futuristic coffee makers and Slurpee machines and giant fish tanks everywhere - something straight out of The Real World.  There's these 3 guys telling me I'm not doing my job protecting some mentally ill woman who thinks she has children but actually doesn't.  Great.  Patton Oswalt was one of the guys - I'm not sure of his significance but I like him so it's cool I got to meet him.

So I find out the crazy lady throws these "swinging" parties for hip urban parents, where they "swing" their children, like switch children for a month at a time because they get bored of whatever age range their kids are in, or whatever.  And to get to these parties, the families have to somehow enter through the washing machine.  I discovered this when I saw a family of owls fly in through the window into the washing machine and followed them.  This had never occurred to anyone else as weird before... Uh huh.

So Patton and the other guys are all like "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU FIGURED IT OUT FINALLY, YOU'RE SO AWESOME!  HERE, I HAVE THIS RANDOM PILL THAT WILL TURN YOU INTO AN OWL SO YOU CAN ENTER THE PARTY AND SAVE ALL THE CHILDREN!"  So I turn into a vulture instead, but they said it's all cool even though I was nervous I'd be found out, and I went into the washing machine.  

There's all these parents shackled to the walls and the crazy woman (me!, but not me because I'm still Mark Wahlberg vulture) is dressed up like the Sun Baby on Teletubbies, sitting on a stump in the center of a menthol field (which looked suspiciously like marijuana) and she's reading The Stinky Cheese Man to all the kids.  Except all the kids are Violet and Leela clones, like hundreds of them.  I realize Violet and Leela are mine and I need to get them back, but I can't figure out which ones are the real them and I'm calling out their names over and over.

And that's when Violet woke me up from the dream with a fun and relevant surprise that I will get around to blogging later today.
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