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orig post 9/16/10

Published September 16, 2010 by sarcasmica

A Bit Guilty

So now we adjust to life with two kids.
Did i just say that? ! I have two kids?
Yes.. and i did it on purpose, no less.
Before the baby was born, i joked that i was looking forward to having one that was not yet talking (back) and would go where i put her. How true this turned out to be!!
So now I’m juggling joy at our now complete family, a little anxiety about how to handle a newborn again, frustration with the sometimes behavior of the 4 year old, and then remembering i’m also a wife. I’m still processing these thoughts, so they are all pretty equal about now and i must say.. so far, i think it’s going really well.
But then there’s those moments.. those moments when my oldest says, “I don’t love her when she’s crying.” and i have to find the self-control which is buried way back behind ‘how to operate on 3 hrs of sleep’ and ‘which bills are past due and about to be turned off’ and find the patience to explain in a very short sentence why that’s not ok. Explaining using logic to him is pretty easy, but making him understand it is not. This child, like most his age, only see what they want, and will only accept it their way. I want  so badly for him to just adjust and be done, and i know that’s not fair. His world just got turned sideways, but she’s so darned cute! Can’t he see that?!
🙂
That’s how i cope. If i’m tired and sore from nursing and she is still hungry and gassy, she makes a baby coo, or stretches her little face, and i’m rebooted.
Apparently that doesn’t work for the other kid! Being a sibling myself, i can see why this is difficult for him. On the upside, he started school twice a week and he loves it. That’s giving him a very big sense of grown up purpose. He’s dressing himself very proudly now (yes, it’s taken this long.. don’t judge!) and I love seeing him find independence for himself.
On the flip side, when the baby is crying from gas pain and he is screaming in my face, “MAke her STOP!!” i’m not so proud. I turn into a 10 year old myself and want to throw something heavy and loud.
So this motherhood thing just continues to baffle my frazzled ill-rested mind. Every day is a rollercoaster of balancing everyone’s feelings, my own included. I guess i have to be ok that sometimes i’m not gonna like everyone all the time. It’s normal that i want to stick my head under the covers and scream sometimes. It doesn’t mean i’m less thankful or want anything done differently. It just means i need to swim my way out of a margarita once in a while!
Which I cannot wait to do again
Help is arriving tomorrow in the form of Gramma, and i’m so relieved to have help. I don’t know how single moms do it, I don’t know how most women do it. I guess it’s one more testament to our super powers as women

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From 9/15/10

Published September 15, 2010 by sarcasmica

Goodbye Modesty, Hello Baby!

Here I sit after surviving my first tandem tantrum. Things are just as glamorous as ever. Swollen boobs, still in PJs, only half awake. This part I remember well. The whole TWO kids screaming and crying thing.. not so fun.
So it finally happened! It’s a crazy common comment lots of new moms make, “I thought I would never go into labor!” and any sane person who has never had a kid in ear shot thinks, “Ummm, hello? What the hell are you talking about, of COURSE you’re gonna have it!”
No, you really don’t believe that. I had it set in my mind she was going to be born Labor Day weekend after all the commotion of dilation, effacing, mucus plug, blah blah blah. When it didn’t happen, in my mind that was it. I’d be pregnant until she was reading.
But lo and behold, early Saturday morning WHOOOOSH! Water breaks, and therein lies the beginning of losing all pretense of modesty and privacy. As my husband stands trying not to laugh watching me holding onto a beach towel with just my thighs, standing over another towel with this look of astonishment (i’m certain) on my face. It was amazing because a-Labor was imminent and b- my water ACTUALLY broke! No induction, no contraction and then a doctor having to break my water.. my body did it. Yay, baby!
So after an hour of running around like headless chickens.. apparently you can pack and think you’re ready to head straight to the hospital, but in reality, that just cuts down your crazy chicken race by about 12 minutes.. we headed to the hospital.. me, sitting on a towel.
We check in and more insanity ensues. I had to prove that my water broke. And the funny part was, i totally understood why. You get so desperate to go into labor at the end, you will pee yourself just to try and convince your body you’re ‘leaking’ and that’s your pass into Labor & Delivery.. i couldn’t act like that thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Hell, i was ready to sit in a puddle of slushee just to get things going!
So the nurse checks for evidence.. very CSI, there were rubber gloves and everything. And I was admitted.
HALLELUJAH! Home free!
Let the insanity commence
Then the tubes and wires started. I was being hooked up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Blood Pressure cuff, contraction monitor, baby monitor, eventually leading to INTERNAL monitors for contractions/baby heart rate, then the catheter, then the pulse wire, then the epidural line. … and i speak on behalf of every woman everywhere when i say i would gladly endure any electro therapy just to have that one itty bitty line. It was the smallest, yet THE most important and beloved.
The first clue things would be interesting was when the doc came with the epidural needle. Apparently women around Newport Beach run on the smaller, more delicate side. I’m not saying i’m a behemoth, but i’m sure comparisons to pregnant rhinoceros came into mind when she saw me. That’s the only explanation for why i had to feel every single step of the epidural process. The number didn’t work. Not only that, after taping the line down and waiting for it to kick in…. it never did. about 10 minutes of ‘no biggie’ contractions were felt, i had to call her back, to which i was told, “Well, this is just a guess because you are so tall, we don’t know how much medicine to give you.”
Bonus!
I endured the epidural process one more time… feeling everything along the way again. Whenever I sucked in a breath or did lamaze breathing she asked if i was having a contraction. , “Umm, no lady, i’m feeling that needle slide between my vertebra!” Seriously?! How’d she get this job?
I digress…
So now in happy land, everything slowed down which was a bonus, because it dropped my blood pressure enough to where i didn’t have to have Magneseum. Another blessing. For anyone who doesn’t know, if you have preeclampsia or are in danger of during labor, this is the medicine that prevents you from having a seizure. It’s not fun. I believe it opens up the blood vessels which allows lots of blood to freely flow in your head, which means a dark and nasty headache accompanies your delivery. Not to mention feeling groggy and slow and just weird in general… and it also passes through to the baby.
So i was mag free. yay!
I couldn’t get over every time someone walked into the room, first thing they wanted to see was my downstairs. It’s not a feeling i would ever get used to. (i’m happy to say) It was like Frankenstein’s baby was about to be born. I was starting to wonder if the tubes and wires would actually block the baby’s way into the world. And I won’t even go into the amount of goo and just disgusting things that are happening to that part of your body while the baby is on her rollercoaster ride outta the womb. Originally i was going to HIGHLIGHT this, but if you’ve been through it, you don’t want to remember that part, and if you haven’t had a baby and are reading this, i don’t want to scare you.
So after about 6 hours of contractions i wasnt feeling, it was time to push!

It was apparent i’d need leg strength to push the baby out. My nurse, my middle-aged, very sweet nurse got very worried that she’d have to be the one holding up these sequoia tree trunks while i pushed. They stopped my epi med and let me wait it out a bit.
I think she secretly sacrificed a chicken to make sure the medicine wore off enough for me to handle some of the pushing myself… poor thing. This didn’t help the rhinoceros image i had apparently set for myself either.
So my poor husband had to put down the camera and help hold my legs because this baby wasn’t waiting for anyone, or anything. It seems after 38 weeks, the baby is equally anxious to exit as we are to have them out. Who knew? The doctor warned us the cord would be wrapped around her neck due to the drops in heart rate that were occuring on the monitor.
After 6 pushes, the doctor was able to turn her in time to be born at 2:26pm and the cord was, in fact, wrapped once around her neck. Thankfully my doctor warned my husband about her color or he was going to leave the room looking for some dark-skinned anxious man that might be lurking behind a corner because this baby was not looking caucasian. More martian than anything, but beautiful from the start, nontheless! She was covered in goop, and goo, and all sorts of gunk, but it was the most beautiful thing that had happened to me in the past 4 years ( 🙂  Gage) and i couldn’t believe she was finally here.
The hospital stay from thereon out was uneventful, the healing is going great, the food in the hospital was amazing, more so because i didn’t cook it or clean up after it.
The whole experience has been magical, highlighted by the fact  this baby girl is our grand finale. No more pregnancy for me. Now we have the privilege to be on the newborn rollercoaster.
And let me tell you, i GUARANTEE there will be MANY more entries on the insanity of balancing a 4 year old and a baby. Already i’ve been screamed at by both at the same time. I did not appreciate it, and may have followed up with a tantrum of my own when the older one was out of ear shot.
The nerve!
So welcome to the world, baby girl! Thank you for coming early at 8lbs 5oz and not waiting until 40 weeks and being 9lbs. This alone explains the love you must have for me already !

from 9/7/10

Published September 7, 2010 by sarcasmica

Obladee Oblada Pregnancy Goes OOOOON

I haven’t been inspired to write in a few days because … hmm .. let’s see… NOTHING’S CHANGED! I’m still pregnant.
I’m hearing lots of consolation advice like, “she still needs to cook longer”  “have patience”
BLAH BLAH BLAH
Lemme ‘splain. It’s not that i’m being kookoo and am obsessed with seeing this little creature that’s been beating me up from the inside for the past few months, it’s more that I want my digestive system back. I’m under no delusion that i’m going to get more sleep once she’s born, but you know what? I’m looking forward to sleeping without acid in my mouth, or having to pee 1 oz of pee at a time, or the Tum-Ta-Tum-Tum TUUUUUMS aftertaste, or the feeling that the single peanut, or flake of cereal, or, yes, hamburger is trying to make a midnight appearance. The “heartburn” is driving me insane because it’s what’s depriving me of sleep.
I can handle a fussy, poopie, hungry baby keeping me awake because i will love her. I do not love my stomach acid. Sure it has it’s place, but we do not hold hands and sing kumbaya by the fireplace. Nosiree.
Also, despite popular belief, I am not a svelt supermodel when not pregnant, so the extra weight is killing my body these last few weeks…. especially since throwing in the towel of hoping she’ll drop out at any moment, i’ve taken the world on as my buffet. I held out until my 9th month to do this, so i’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve come to understand the heartburn will come no matter what, so i’m making it worth the pain, damnit.
I watched “A Baby Story” today and cried. When the amazingly lucky woman who actually had the chance to birth her baby pushed out the little goo-covered miracle, i cried because a-hormones are nuts right now and b-i was emerald green with jealousy ! I’m getting so anxious to have that moment.
I feel as if i’ve gone back in time in some way. When we were trying to get pregnant, it’s all i could think about. There was no “2 months later i realized i hadn’t had a period, so i walked out and got a pregnancy test” No no, it was more like, 3 days before I’m supposed to be checking, i ran my bohemoth butt out to get a stick to pee on. I don’t do waiting very well.. actually ,i’m a hugely patient person, but i do not do anticipation well at all. At. All. So now, here I am almost 38 weeks pregnant and I feel like I can and should go into labor at any moment. The whole experience has been a bit strange and i know i’ve pretty much only written about this, but what can i say … it’s sort of all consuming right now.
With my first i was on bedrest and had a husband who was busy with many other things at the time, so our main focus was not “when will the baby come?!”.

I got a call at 38 weeks that I had a scheduled induction. I went from pregnant to ‘i have 24hrs to get mentally prepared for a baby’, and then BAM! there he was.

This time, nooOOOoo it’s been totally different. First off, we tried for 7 months to GET pregnant. Then the time pretty much flew by until that 36 week check I was told I had started to dilate and was effacing.
Whoa, really?! Wow… so i’m not counting down ’til the end of September? Watching my husband turn 3 shades of white at the news i had begun to dilate was interesting.  Then the next week it was , “Oh, i lost my mucus what?”  So certainly labor was imminent, no?
No.
THEN I had contractions on a Friday before a 3 day weekend. Totally prepared to have this baby at this point, right?
Nope. Go ahead and wait a bit longer… no biggie. And to top it off, come back Saturday to lay in the DELIVERY ROOM bed in front of the empty bassinet so we can check your blood pressure and Non Stress Test the baby to make sure she’s ok. … for 3 hours. (amazingly, this was the highest BP readings i’d gotten.. go figure!)
*sigh*
So therein lies my the source of my bitching and moaning… and yes, we are lucky, we are blessed, the kid will go to term and lessen any health scare we might have
blah blah blah.
Logically I know this, but emotionally ( and it’s what i’m going on these last 2 weeks ) I have to go with how i’m feeling, not how i’m logically thinking.
So if you encounter a pregnant lady in the store who is staring blank-faced down the diaper aisle twitching and foaming a little at the mouth, don’t judge.
If you see a big round body resembling that of a pregnant manatee caressing a box of starter bottles alternately laughing and crying, just smile and keep on moving.
And whatever you do, don’t make eye contact! Just remember those days before you gave birth to your own child.. or remember back to when you were 6 years old counting the cartoons ’til Christmas morning… have empathy and don’t judge too harshly I know I will get my sanity back eventually … if only the painful, amazing, terrifying labor experience would start, THEN i’d be happy!

from 9/2/10

Published September 7, 2010 by sarcasmica

My Body Does WHAT?!?!

So here i am, 37 weeks pregnant. I’ve never actually gone through the process of going into labor on my own. My first pregnancy resulted in an induction at 38 weeks. So it’s like i’ve never done this before, esentially. With my first pregnancy I watched any and all birthing shows i could find just to search for any/all information I felt i didn’t yet have. I’m the type of person that wants to know what kind of war she’s stepping into before jumping off the plane. If i see other women handling certain situations, or I can see how they handle it/what choices they make to move ahead, I feel I’m better equipped than walking into something and not even realizing whatever that potential situation is could happen.
And still, there was information left out. I had no clue with my first labor that it was not possible to get an epidural in a timely manor because there were so many women in labor at the same time with only one anesthesiologist. Thankfully my husband and I did the labor prep classes and learned the breathing/lamaze technicques because there I was, going all the way to 9.5cm with no drugs, on pitocin, screaming my head off. Screaming. It got to the point the nurses shut my door. I was “that woman”. I did not grow up with a close circle of family members that shared everything, i didn’t have sorority sisters that compared wedding stories, and I had virtually no experience with babies before Gage, let alone labor. So here I am about to burst with my second kid and i’m STILL learning things! Like the infamous “muccus plug”. I’ve read about it, i’ve heard about it, i’ve even heard stories of real life women experiencing themselves. However, i still had no idea what the hell it was until today. And oh boy, does it just make the whole birthing experience that much more alien. My first reaction, “Don’t tell James until i know what this means.” I immediately called my OB. For some reason from the get-go, i’m embarassed. These people deal with laboring women as their career, and here i am stumbling over the story .. hardly even able to form the words, “So I went pee and …. ”
God bless the receptionist for having lunatic women call all the time, she was very patient and just took my info and said someone would call me.
Second step, of course, is to call my very best friend who sees this carnage and gore on a daily basis, and even then i didn’t go into detail .. just ‘i think this is what happened.. ??” and she reassured me i’m normal and that there’s not much pleasantness to labor until the end when you get your gooey baby plopped onto your glamorous hospital gown… and then everyone is snapping pictures not minding the giant blood spot on the chest, or the goop smeared across a blanket.
But the mucus plug is what had me grind to a screeching halt today. Logically, i knew this just meant another step had passed and i’m on my way sometime soon… still, i walk around with every step thinking, “Oh lord, is my water gonna break now?”  “Is the baby gonna just fall out onto the tile?”
Knowing fullwell the answer is “No, stupid.” but still feeling these things.
Then it occurs to me on a drive later, what if men had to deal with this?
*pause for hysterical laughter*
Just from the get-go of being pregnant, can anyone really imagine a man going through it? The constant nausea while you clean, cook, do laundry, lay on the couch, do anything BUT have sex. Then you have the physical exhaustion, regardless of anyone else needing to be taken care of in the house, things must still get done. … without calling your mom in for back-up.
The heartburn, the charlie horses, the peeing every few hours at night (although, i understand this is not uncommon for the geezers later in life)
Just those ‘minor maladies’ associated with being pregnant would drive my husband up a wall. He’d be the most paranoid hypocondriac ever!  I love the man, but any small tweak or strain and it’s broken or torn or ruptured.
So add to that this last stage of pregnancy. The baby dropping down into your pelvis and still trying to walk. The jabs and kicks and pushes CONSTANTLY because the critter has no room left.
I cannot fathom a man handling this with no less than a medal pinned to his chest.
I think had my husband peed, wiped, and seen elephant snot on the toilet paper, he would have screamed like a 5 year old girl just before dropping to the floor unconcious.
And then the black hole of anxious waiting after that … nope. Women were born to have children, not men.
On the other hand, to be perfectly fair, my husband has seen his fair share of births… god bless him. He’s recovered from each one and gone on to make even more children somehow. I could not stomach looking at the mirror during my son’s birth, let alone be right there in front of the mess watching it unfold – so to speak. Had i witnessed a watermelon pushed out of my husband’s butt, i don’t think i could easily recover from that… at all.
I credit keeping my sanity through my first labor totally to my husband. I was ready to climb the walls from pain and terror, and because he had the stregth to look past his wife’s head spinning, vomiting, cussing, he breathed me through until i got my blessed spinal shot.
I have no patience for putting 3200 nuts and bolts on the floor, grabbing a screwdriver and creating a safe bed for an infant out of the mess, that’s up to him. Sure I can deal with supporting the cussing and throwing of said tools and ranting and raving, but in the end, i’d give up and pay someone to do it, whereas he is a man on a mission to create this thing himself, and he succeeds every time.
I am always in awe of what women handle on a daily basis. One child, or multiple kids, we get things done usually with patience, a lot of times with love , and even some teaching along the way. Throw a grown man at a tantrum-having 3 year old in a store and you get 2 screaming beings. A mom can walk up and handle it usually with minimal tears, some uneasy blushing, but everyone walks out together, and the groceries are bought to boot. We can’t call in sick when we have a runny nose, you simply wipe and move on with no bitching, because certainly your 4 year old does not care that you have snot.
In the end , i guess i’m admitting men need women, and women need men. On a basic level, we balance each other out. I take the 40 weeks of discomfort and weird wacky revelations at what the human body does just to top it off with labor and all the pain and excitement, and ickiness that come with it because I know my husband will be with me and we will both be in awe of the end result. Our little bundle of miracle. And through that experience, I get to wear the motherhood badge with pride, and my husband can bow down a little to what I am able to do with my body besides laundry, dishes, bathing the kid(s), and grocery shopping. Just as I appreciate all the patience, hand-holding, and love he provides. … ah yes, and the fact that he works so  i can stay home and wipe noses and butts!  (and love almost every minute of it)

orig post 9/1/’10

Published September 1, 2010 by sarcasmica

Daddy Dearest

Holy Goodness. I wonder how many women have to monitor the relationship between their husbands and their sons. From the beginning I feel like i’ve been the referee.
I had a conversation with a friend not too long ago and her take on resemblance was that on a basic biological level, she feels children must bear a strong resemblance to their fathers so the father can feel that responsibility and link to the kid. Why then, couldn’t Mother Nature also insert a bit of estrogen just to sprinkle some tolerance and patience in there too? I’ve come to understand this is not uncommon with my own family. Even thinking back to the limited relationship my brothers had with our dad, it was strained and unpleasant at best. I wonder if men will ever see the irony in that. They wont ever ‘get’  how difficult they can be even when it’s reflected right there in a 2 or 3 or 4 year old tantrum.
“If it’s not my way, it’s NO WAY!”
am i speaking of my child or my husband right there? .. hmm ?? can’t tell, right?
I’m not saying as women we are fault-free or perfect, but my goodness! Such head-butting and relationship management isn’t necessary with mom’s and their kids.
(because who would monitor it?!) – thank God for Moms groups and friends and coffee places!!
I’m looking forward to all the different experiences i’m going to have raising my daughter… right up until high school, then i’m getting my riot gear and gas mask and all bets are off. i already know what’s comin’ down the pike because i remember being that nightmare moody, bipolar, dark, brooding 15 year old who thinks her mother knows nothing. I’m expecting doors slammed, names called and fingers being flashed on the opposite (and safe) side of the door… and she’ll probably be doing some nasty things as well!
But what is it with the father/son thing? I don’t fault my husband 100% or my son, but it’s both of them being intolerant of the other at the most random times.
One of those mysteries of life i suppose… mysteries that we, as moms, must wait to solve because right now the kid needs to finish his dinner, or shower, or bath, or the husband needs to just get to work already. Maybe once the kids are in school this mystery can be further reflected on and possibly resolved… after the giant lunch time margarita.

orig date 8/30/10

Published August 30, 2010 by sarcasmica

Needle Me This

As if being pregnant at 36 weeks isn’t quite enough as far as poking and prodding – we get it from the outside AND the inside! – but to have a lab (QUEST) be completely unprofessional and just plain lame about taking your blood is inexcuseable !

I went in last week. The man looks at the doctor order for which tests. Starts mumbling about , “Oh, they don’t specify how to send it .. ” on and on with the bitching and moaning, finally goes to ask the new girl .. and i use the term ‘girl’ loosely. She was more like a raspy waterbuffalo.

He gets instructions, comes back, draws 3 vials and i’m done.

Next day: *ring ring* “Hello, turns out one of the vials was refused so we need you to come back in”.
Fantastic ! Just what i wanted to do with my 4 year old in tow AGAIN. I go in to a different location after Chachi the handyman finally finishes up his 6 hour job on the house. The tech i get sits me down and then pushes and pushes and pushes and pushes and pushes and pushes on my arm until the crease is nothing but pink. I don’t know if she has some sort of weird heat vision and can’t find a vein any other way or what.

She does the same thing to the other arm. Push push push push push push. She puts the needle in, nothing comes out.

This has never happened! as it turns out i actually have blood in my body that is normally very easily accessed. (hopefully no vampires are reading this right now!) She pulls the needle almost out. Not quite all the way, turns it, and slides it all the way back in, still no blood, pulls it out just to the end, turns it, and slides it back in. She does this a total of THREE times. I wince; “Oh, does that hurt?” “Ummm, it doesn’t feel GOOD! Please get help if you aren’t comfortable with what you’re doing. I’ve already been through this and no one has ever had a problem finding a vein.” “I’m so sorry”
Yes.. actually, you are. Go practice on a balloon, honey, you aren’t ready for the real thing. Honestly!

She gets help, the woman looks, pushes ONCE, sticks me, and VOILA blood. Imagine that. It was there all along.. who knew? !  It’s like i have a heartbeat or something!

As a treat, i got to go grocery shopping afterwards with my kid who was, thankfully, a very good boy. Now i’m off to pretend to make dinner in the form of turkey sandwiches and salads…. yes, i  know, i am not a domestic diva as some may think. *gasp* But seriously. It’s not fast food, i don’t have to turn on the oven, and there will be minimal dishes to clean up. At almost 37 weeks pregnant, i think i’m doing a fantastic job !

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