10 April 2015

Born On The First Day of Spring

When I went to see my midwife on my due date for my 40 week appointment I told her that I have two special talents: making cookies and having over due children. But, considering Greta was barely even a day over due, I'm not sure I can count the latter anymore. Cookies though? Yes, I am still good at those.

There is something about giving birth that makes you want to turn around and do it all over again. At least for me that's how it is. I remember mentioning this to Dan the first time, when it was sweet little Jude in the bassinet beside my hospital bed three years ago. I felt the same way after Greta was born. Oh the love hormones! If somebody sold them on the street, I'd be an addict. Who wouldn't?!

A couple of months before Greta was born I was talking with one of the midwives about how I wanted to have a natural birth but was still nervous about all it entailed. I asked her what some of the best coping mechanisms were because I thought Hypnobirthing was worth a fat pile of worms, and she suggested positive affirmations to help strengthen my mind- she told me I had to believe that I could do it. So for a couple of months before Greta was born I kept telling myself that I was strong enough, that I could do it, and I kept picturing what it would be like after she was born- me, Dan, and Greta all snuggled in tight in my hospital room (missing my Jude boy though, sad face). I had to believe that I could do it and I did. When all was said and done though, Greta's birth felt just like Jude's, only shorter. My epidural was ill placed with Jude and I felt it all 3 years ago as well. I'm still perturbed I couldn't get a discount on my anesthesia service, I mean, honestly. 

So lets get this down for the record. Thursday evening I was having mild contractions. I could talk through them and walk through them but I could also feel them. I say they were about a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale. I didn't even bother timing them until about 9pm as they were pretty erratic until about then. They were about 8 minutes apart, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. After timing them for 2 hours I called the midwife on call, who happened to be Wendy- the same midwife that attended Jude's birth (!), and she told me to time for another hour and see what happens. I thought I'd try to go to sleep, but they were juuuusssst strong enough that I couldn't sleep through them. So timed I did and they remained about the same. I called her back and she said she thought I would be having a baby tonight. Yay! Ouch!

We got everything ready that we hadn't yet, then woke up Jude to take him over to my sister friends house to spend the night. I was so grateful the contractions weren't incredibly painful yet, as it enabled me to leave the house without forgetting anything and gave me time to cuddle my Jude one more time before he became a big brother. A tender mercy really. Dan got Jude all settled in then we were on the way to the hospital. Dan called his mom from the car and I text all my family to let them know we were on our way. I thought it was kind of ridiculous to be going to the hospital in such a calm state because the last time I did this there was nothing calm about it. But to the hospital we went anyways, while mildly contracting, and the whole time we kept remarking to each other that we couldn't believe this was actually happening. I still can't believe it actually happened.

Wendy met us at the entrance and I got ready to get all checked out. Turns out those baby contractions got me all the way to a 6 and 100% effaced. What, what!!? Go body. It was wonderful to not have to really feel my uterus doing all that work. I mean, it meant I had to be 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant, so there are compromises, I guess. It's actually a compromise I'm happy to make because hello, birth is no joke. Because I was so far along I was readily admitted to the hospital. It took at least an hour to get all my paperwork done and all the while I was having small contractions, by this point it felt like at 4/10 on the pain scale. Once I was all checked in Wendy suggested she break my water and I was more than happy to let her do it. That was an odd sensation.

Wendy and all the nurses left Dan and I alone to pace around the room and wait for more progress. I swear, the second the room was empty my contractions started full blast. Holy freaking cow, I was in labor and it was intense. With every contraction I concentrated so hard to keep breathing, and I worked so hard to tell myself I was strong enough and that I could do this. Just like last time, I really didn't want anyone touching me or helping me... I just held on to the counter and breathed my best yoga breath until all of a sudden I started pushing and it was still just me and Dan in the room. Right before I started pushing I remember saying "I don't like this...". That must have been transition. Poor Dan, he asked me if I needed anyone and I really couldn't communicate. After the 3rd contraction of pushing I told him I did indeed need someone and then all of a sudden the L&D room was filled with nurses and Wendy and everyone was prepping everything really, really fast. It was so surreal I felt like I was in a movie.

The thing about pushing is it's really hard and it's really painful. I remember Wendy telling me she could tell I was fighting the urge to push harder. And I was! Ha ha, I totally remember thinking that if I just used my fabulous yoga breathing skills I wouldn't have to push and maybe my baby would come out? Ha ha, if only. She called me on it and helped me direct my energy to where it needed to be. Two more pushes and out came the sweetest little baby- an hour and 12 minutes after my water was broken. Not bad, body (and ps- I'm still so proud of you)!

Now, because I've already told you far too much about my lady parts, I may as well finish up with a funny over share. You've made it this far already so why not. I was really hoping that I wouldn't tear with this birth, but well, I did. What can ya do? As I was snuggling my fresh little one and Wendy was putting me back together again I felt lots of pokes and pulls which is never fun. I think by this point I was nursing Greta and at the next poke, I said "Wendy, there are only a few things that I like happening down there and this is not one of them!". Everyone had a good chuckle and Dan got a little shy ;). The jokes, they just never stop.

Once everything was finished up and we took our pictures, it was just me and Dan drinking in the magical high of giving birth to a fresh soul.  Finally holding that brand new baby in your arms that you worked so hard to make and so hard to birth is the most surreal and spectacular feeling I have ever experienced. I truly wish that everyone who wants to feel it gets to. And I know this sounds crazy, but I'm kind of jealous of all those pregnant mama's who get to give birth- there is absolutely nothing like it.

So welcome to the world my sweet Greta Girl, my sweet spring bud! I had fun growing you and now I can't wait to raise you.

{I'll add some pictures soon!!}

30 March 2015

The Day Before

Dear Jude,

The day before you became a big brother was a Thursday. We woke up that morning just like we do every morning - with you coming into my room asking me if Daddy is home. Of course he was already at work so we continued downstairs for "dinner" after I got some pants on and brushed my teeth. We ate and watched a show and then retired to my bed for yet another show and a "regular" milk so I could take a shower. I took a nice hot shower, which made my 40 week pregnant body even more puffy but I didn't care. So what if I couldn't bend my fingers afterwards, at least it was relaxing. As I was getting ready I kept checking on you and you didn't even spill your milk! It must have been an omen that today was going to be a good and special day. 

Once we were both ready we played and played downstairs. You wanted to get all the pillows and put them at the bottom of the stairs and jump off the third step up, because that is the highest I'll let you go. We collected pillows from wide and far and then you jumped and jumped, each time checking with me that you were on the right step... "is this the one Mommy?". After the jumping we played the "cover Jude in pillows and try to go to sleep" game. I'd cover you up and then try to lay down on my pillow bed but it would always start giggling and jiggling. Then you'd pop up and laugh and laugh, asking to do it again. So we did. I'm not gonna lie, I took a few selfies too, because my hair looked good, and then I realized it was time for my Midwife appointment. 

You burned through a couple snacks on the car ride there and then through a couple lollipops once inside. They took my vitals and then you asked if I needed to go pee pee in a cup again, and yes, I did. You always think that's funny... probably because it is. Then we got to hear your sister's heart go "ba-boom, ba-boom" and you patiently watched a show while my Midwife put her hands all up in places that aren't too comfortable to have hands in. Oh well. 

On the way home you recognized The Mall and asked if we could stop at the park just in front of it. We still had some time before "dinner" so I said yes as we turned right. Of course I took the wrong exit so we had to circle around the whole darn mall all the while you were asking me "mommy, why we go this way? did you make a wrong turn?" Ha ha, I did, but we got there. You ran and ran and climbed and slid. Besides having to stop to change a poopie diaper on a park bench mid play, you had a great time. I let you stay longer than usual because there was just something about this Thursday that I knew was a little different, a little special. 

Dad was working form home that afternoon and I wanted a burger so bad I could taste it, and you wanted french fries and water. A quick call to Dan to let him know I was brining home 5 Guys for lunch and we were set, fries and burgers it was! We ordered it to go which you were not happy about. French fries and water should be eaten AT 5 Guys, not at home. You cried all the way home because I wouldn't let you eat where you wanted. I mean, kid, I can only do so much. Once you saw your Daddy at home you perked right up though and joined us for some "dinner" followed by a much needed nap. 

The thing about Dad working from home is that I actually need to get you out of the house because you cannot leave the guy alone, which I understand. When you woke up we went for a nice long walk and you were actually really excited to sit in the stroller the whole way there and back. We stopped at Starbucks for a cookie and some water (I know, I know.. lollipops and cookies.... it was a special day, okay?) and you were a perfect gentleman, climbing behind the arm chairs and trying to have sword fights with stir sticks. On guard indeed! Again you let me push you all the way home and I started having little baby contractions. 

That evening was pretty normal, "dinner" (again ;) ), a bath, play time, stories. The whole time I was having little baby contractions but I was still able to be present and have a good time with my favorite Jude Boy, so I did. After we put you to bed I started timing my contractions around 9pm. They were nothing terrible and completely bearable so I waited a couple of hours before I called The Midwife. Once we decided tonight was the night, I text my sister friend and told her you'd be over soon. It was a real treat to leave the house that night experiencing only mild contractions so we could get everything ready without having to panic. I held you in my arms in the living room, stood still, and cried. It was the last time we would leave the house as a family of 3 and to be truthful I was all torn up over it. 

For 3 years Jude, you have been my whole world and it has been the greatest pleasure I've ever known. Our last day together of just us was so so so special, I'll never forget it. 



10 March 2015

Extended Cuddles

Everyday I savor what I think are going to be my last moments with just one sweet Jude Boy to take care of. I cuddle him extra long. I take him to the library on the way home from errands just because he asked and I let him play for two sessions on the timed library computers instead of just one. I read him an extra Superman book. I make him giggle just a little bit more as I tuck him in for his nap. I just can't help it. I never expected to like being a mother as much as I do. It is something that has truly surprised me. That little boy...  gosh.... 

As excited as I am to add another sweet little one to our family, I am also equally as sad. Jude is my little buddy. He's been my sidekick for the past three years nearly 24/7. As I was cuddling him extra long today before his nap my emotions overtook me because who knows when I'll have the chance to sneak in those extra long cuddles again. I think it will all be okay though. I think he will love being a big brother. I think he will love helping his little sister. I think I'll have time again to cuddle him extra long. I think I will love having two kids.... I hope.... Saying goodbye to the last three years of just us has been such a paradox. 

We did throw him an awesome (early) 3rd birthday party though, so kid, remember that when things might suck a little bit in the near future ;). And all the aforementioned extended cuddles.....  

Things are happening so fast!!!!

04 March 2015

About Almost Having 2 Children

My days are almost accomplished my friends. I cannot believe it. Whether this little girl be early or late, all will be well, and I will still be in denial. Everyday I frantically look around to see what else I can organize, bake, cook, or snuggle and get right to it, and on the double. Well, as on the double as I can... I had bronchitis last week.

About six times every day I am so tempted to call Dan and tell him I'm in labor even though I'm not. Ha ha ha ha ha. It's such a good joke. BUT, I think this is something I probably shouldn't cry wolf about because labor ain't no joke. I told Dan the other day about my temptations and his response was so classic. He said it was such a Patience thing to do, which, naturally, I took as a compliment. When he came home from work today he asked me "so how many times did you want to call me and say you were in labor?" "Oh about five," was my reply. Now that he knows, the opportunity for such a joke is minimal at best, which is probably a good thing. I wonder if he will actually believe me when it happens. (He just said he probably won't.)

I think that OBs/Midwives are really missing out on a certain market. Maybe a comedy routine or a coffee table book... I don't know. Don't you think they would have a lot to say about the state of a bikini line during the 3rd trimester? I mean, whatever your method is, try as you might, it's just the blind leading the blind at this point. I keep meaning to ask my midwife at my weekly appointments what trends they see in the late 30s but darn it I never do. Next week!

22 February 2015

3 Weeks Left!

Jude is really cute.

Walking all the way to the complex dumpster 9 months pregnant with an empty DiGiorno pepperoni frozen pizza box for recycling is pretty much the worst walk of shame I've ever been on. Don't look at me!! I try not to eat crap but you know, it happens. With all the snow in these parts there were a lot of people in the parking lot digging out their cars this morning... just looking at me... with their eyes... staring at my pizza box. Oh the shame. Last night it was cold and dark and the snow wasn't stopping. Instead of keeping warm in bed like we should have been doing (it's just so awkward these days for that (I'm so pregnant)) we popped a frozen pizza in the oven and started 'Boyhood' in preparation for this evening's Oscars. I guess there could be worse walks of shame, or maybe not. I'm trying to forget about it. When I got to the dumpster though there were like a million packages of empty razor starter kits, which I thought was pretty weird. How many people are you shaving anyway? And all at once? I don't get it. So maybe that person felt the walk of shame too. Maybe I'm not alone.

I was kept up last night with memories of bringing Jude home from the hospital. Those first few months of nursing all night long, forgetting to brush my teeth, being sustained mostly by PBJs.... oh it's gonna start all over again. Someone give me a 6 month old! Or perhaps just a night nurse. I'd take that actually. Can you even imagine?!! Oh, to be the 1%, and to maybe have some family around. Waaaaaaaaaahh. 

What else? We are just organizing and prepping for this little girl. Cleaning out closets, stocking the freezer, buying all the onesies, deciding what to spend my Target gift cards on, and going over my positive affirmations to get my mind ready for labor. I tried hypno-birthing last time and those ladies are just high, I decided. I have a few more things I want to sew but the material I want is never on sale and all those stupid coupons don't work for what I want. Seriously, Michaels and Jo-Ann's Fabric, just stop with the coupons. Price your merchandise at coupon price for the love because it is such a pain in the ass to wait for your stupid coupons in the mail or on your phone. Does the coupon marketing really work that well for your company? When I'm pregnant I just don't hold back, Dan likes to remark. 

06 February 2015


The main thing about being this pregnant is my aim. Just the other night Dan was lounging in our bed talking to me and I thought, how about I go in for a cuddle? So I take aim and then fall back only to miscalculate all together, landing roughly on his abdomen causing him to yelp. Then we both laughed at my pregnancy induced clumsiness. I take aim and I try, but calculating this much mass on a body that is not used to it is actually quite difficult. Good thing the uterus is so protective or else this poor child would come out a little black and blue, I'm sure. I feel like a missile whose coordinates were entered incorrectly and who knows where on God's green earth it's gonna land. Your guess is as good as mine! Watch out friends, I'm a little wobbly and rough around the edges and you could be my next victim. 

What else. We have been sick sick sick this past week. It started with Jude getting some super stomach bug that caused disgustingness for almost 5 days. For the love. Then I got it and it only lasted about a day for me. Dan still has not fallen ill to it and I'm hoping he doesn't because we have an early Valentines/Anniversary date tomorrow morning at a quaint little all-you-can-eat brunch place in DC that I've been looking forward to since I started medicating my heart burn. Hold those cookies down Dan, at least until Sunday. 

Jude of course is still really cute. He is almost THREE years old. He talks and talks and loves to ask "why?" all day long. My tactic with this is to ask why back to him and it's fun to see what answers he comes up with. He graduated to a Big Boy Bed last week and is loving it. He takes great pride getting into bed and out of bed himself. If we help him it ends in tears and he has to start all over again. He's really into Paw Patrol these days and has requested that theme for his birthday when previously he wanted Batman. Batman is so much easier. Ghaaah. He listens to everything and then repeats it or asks what it means. Jude is still our little cuddle bug and gets giddy if we let him cuddle in bed with us in the mornings, especially if his Dad is still home.  Jude loves to hear stories about his uncles and could play pretend all day long with you if you have the patience. His memory rivals his fathers and he is constantly telling us about things that happened a year ago. It's freaky. And you know, he is just a great little guy and we love him so much it hurts is about it. 

29 January 2015

A January Update

Oh hi I'm back. So guess what. I'm going to be having this baby girl in SEVEN freaking weeks. I'm still in denial. I know what's coming and I'm like, just hold on little lady and trust me girl- things are better on the inside than on the outside. When Jude was a week overdue I just rolled around in bed being angry, crying, and refusing to answer phone calls or text messages from anyone. Ha ha. So dramatic. Now I'm like, honey, you take your sweet time, Mama's not ready. There are so many things to do but I'm too damn pregnant to get them done. Someone send me a sister! Why the eff did I move so far away from everyone who loves me? I'm an idiot is why. Oh well. Life is about decisions. And heart burn.

Just this morning I was cuddling with Jude and he says "can I feel mine sister kick?", then he pulled up my shirt and put his little paw on my tummy and she actually kicked for him.  It was really sweet. Then he gave my tummy a kiss and asked me to keep playing his tablet game with him. Now those are brother-sister relations I can deal with. What I can't deal with is trying to nurse a newborn all the live long day while a toddler wants to go outside, go to story time, see his friends and go to Chick-Fil-A. Life is really going to suck for a little while so this girl better be just as cute as Jude to make it worth it. Because I feel like I'll be cheating on him! My little buddy, my side kick. Oh Jude I'm sorry!!!!! There is a perfect emoticon for this. It's on the second page of smiley faces, second row down and third in from the right. The second one in from the right would also work, in a pinch. 

The main thing different in this pregnancy than during Jude's is one, I'm medicating my heart burn which is the best decision I've ever made, and two, I am so freaking thirsty all the time. I cannot get enough ice water. I drink at least 72-96 ounces a day. Good grief. If you see me out and about I'm probably on my way to the bathroom so don't interrupt me. 

So that's that. Christmas was great as well and I'm also enjoying this new year, you?