Fast food

Friday, August 31, 2007

I can now add 'walking down the street' to the list of places I have breastfed in public.

DH and I took the boys on a walk while dinner was cooking, and about halfway through Bex decided he had to eat OMG RIGHT NOW! or he would spontaneously combust. We were still about ten minutes from the house, so rather than carry him screeching the whole way, up came the shirt. It would have been nice to have a sling to support his 22 pounds, but I actually did pretty awesome without one. None of the dozen or so people out in their yards even seemed to notice.

And. And! He nursed to sleep tonight. He hasn't done that in a looooong time. DH and I might actually get to bed before midnight!

ETA: I should just not mention sleep on here any more. He already woke up.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 10:41 PM 2 comments  

Do you know how hard it is

...to bite your tongue to keep from yelling at one child while you're nursing the other? Very, very hard. Because if I utter a word while Bex is eating, he'll pop off and try to get all up in my business, causing his face to be drenched in a spray of breastmilk.

So rather than giving him (and myself) a boob shower, I watched silently as Sam sat in his high chair balling up huge chunks of a burrito-sized tortilla and stuffed them into his mouth, moistened them up a bit, and spit them back out in order to finger-paint his tray in tortilla mush. Because one mess is enough to clean up at a time, thank you very much.

Oh, but you can bet I was shooting my angry eyes at him the whole time. I GAVE HIM ANGRY EYES REAL GOOD!

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 11:19 AM 3 comments  

TGIF

I see what happens when I brag about sleep on my blog. I get a baby that wakes twice during the night and decides to be up for the day at 6am. No more jinxing myself on here, that's for sure. He's sleeping again now though, so I won't complain too much.

Yesterday was overly stressful, yet again. Are you noticing a trend? I got an email from a customer politely asking about the status of her order, an order I had promised to have to her by tomorrow. An order I had totally spaced on and not even started when she emailed me yesterday. Yeah, talk about seriously kicking myself.

So after Cara and the boys left, I spent the rest of the day trying like mad to finish the order, in between Bex having a meltdown every time I moved more than an inch away from him and Sam spreading a can of French fried onions all over the living room, amongst other random mischief.

When DH got home, I shoved the package at him and sent him to the post office to overnight it to its destination. But of course, that couldn't be the end of it. It never is for me! The phone rang fifteen minutes later. DH, telling me that our post office can't do Express mail past 5pm and the location that can is 30 minutes away, and closes at 7pm. It was 6:36. Well, my DH is truly my knight in shining armor because he somehow made it there in time and saved the day. This was no small feat for him, considering he'd never been there before and is horrible with directions. Oh, and did I mention he had taken the baby with him? Yes, I love that man.

He also called after dropping off the package and asked me what was for dinner. Big sigh from me. "Well, go and, you know, take an honest look in the pantry and if you don't see anything.."

"Do you wanna bring home Subway?"

"That was an honest look, babe. What kind of sandwich do you want?"

Two of the many, many reasons I married this man: he has a sense of humor and he loves spoiling me. I'm lucky, I know. :)

Today I think I'll allow myself to relax a little, because it's Friday, and thanks to the holiday, we have THREE WHOLE DAYS with DH home so I can get caught up on orders. Maybe I'll take the boys to see Pappy if he's home. We need out of the house. Tomorrow I'm going to lunch with a friend and maybe doing some shopping afterward. It will be a test for Bex to see how long he can go with a bottle of pumped milk instead of me (I'm staying close just in case). Mama is in need of more than an hour away every once in awhile.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 9:19 AM 1 comments  

My posts always involve food.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's official: Bex is crawling three months sooner than his brother did. Five and a half months old, before he can even sit for more than 30 seconds on his own. My children, they are backwards. Sam would pull up on things before he could even roll over, which he finally did at eight months old, and then was crawling two weeks later.

I had been trying with him this morning, attempting to coax him with the television remote. That's what finally motivated Sam, so I thought it might work again. No, instead it was a Subway sandwich that lured him. Notice a food trend with my children? He crawled over to mine first and clenched a big chunk of bread in his fist, and then attempted to attack DH's, which is what you see in the video. Not so subtle at implying that he's ready for solids, is he? Just a few more weeks, kid. Slow down!

Did you know Starbucks serves coffee-free beverages? Yes? Well apparently I'm the only hermit who didn't realize that. My mom and I met at Starbucks to chat last night, where I never go because I believed they only served coffee. And since coffee reminds me of a cross between old cigarettes and stale cheese, I don't drink it. Well, they do in fact serve other things because I enjoyed an Orange Cream and we had a nice visit. It was a good way to unwind after the Conspiracy my children had plotted yesterday. I took home an iced vanilla coffee for DH (which STUNK very, very badly. How do you people drink that crap?)

My friend Cara came over today with her two boys, Logan and Lucas. Logan is Sam's age so we've been attempting to make them socialize. Well so far, they either play alone in completely opposite ends of the house, fight over a toy, or push each other down. Best friends, I tell you. I think I have converted another one over to The Dark Side though, aka cloth diapering. I sent a handful of Bex's old diapers home with her to try out so she can decide what she likes.

Tonight was another round of Guess Which Way the Baby Wants To Be Put To Sleep Tonight. We tried nursing, walking, swaying, strollering, outside-ing, bouncering, TVing, and Motrining. He finally conked out during car-riding. Poor chunk had bad gas and I could hear his belly gurgling around. I always feel guilty when that happens, although I don't remember eating anything out of the ordinary. Last night he woke up at 11:30 to eat and then slept til 5am, nursed again, and was back down until 7:30. Progress, maybe? Lets hope so.

He's asleep now though, so I think I might actually go to bed before 1am tonight. More than four hours of sleep a night is a novelty in this house.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 10:13 PM 1 comments  

Conspiracy

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

That's what this is. My children conspire against me. Seriously. When there's just one of them, it's pretty easy to handle. But when you throw a second one into the mix, it's like one says to the other, "Hey, it'd be pretty sweet to see Mom's head balloon up and pop off her shoulders. Lets act like Boston Terriers on crack, maybe that'll do it."

We traveled to downtown Indy today to have lunch with DH and some of his co-workers. I knew today was cursed before we even left, because Bex screamed like a banshee if I detached him from my hip, which made it real fun to try to get ready to leave.

We made it downtown eventually and visited a couple people in the office before heading to the mall for lunch. The Subway employees must have decided today was Move As Slowly As You Possibly Can Day. Honestly, I don't care if you meticulously place my two perfectly-sized tomatoes in a specific location atop the quarter-folded meat or paint a Van Gogh with the mayonnaise. Just make my damn sandwich!!

Everyone else was already eating their food by the time Sam's sandwich was made, and I still had to get Japanese for DH and I. Luckily Manchu Wok produces much more efficient workers than Subway, or I might have imploded. Lunch was uneventful after that. If you consider retrieving sippy cups and cucumber slices from under a stranger's chair and saving your toddler from a flight down the escalator uneventful.

Back to the office again after that to visit my mom, who works for the same company as DH. Got complimented on my hair by several of DH's co-workers. The ego inflation was nice, I will admit. Kids were getting restless and screamy so it was time to make our exit. They both fell asleep on the way home, and I of course had the delusion that I would be able to transfer them both to their beds and have some 'me' time.

WRONG!

Bex woke up as soon as I unlatched his harness. I put him in his rocker to contend with Sam, who I assumed would fall right back asleep when I put him in his bed. Not so. Ten minutes later I could hear his footsteps thundering above me. I went up to his room to scold him back into bed and knew as soon as I opened the door that he needed a diaper change. You see, my child can apparently poop on command. It doesn't matter how recent his last poop was or if I had just changed his diaper five seconds before. He poops because he knows it stalls nap time.

I changed his diaper and put him back in bed, only to discover that he had gotten into his closet where I had recently put his dresser, and dumped out all the drawers. Again. The child-proof doorknob covers that are peddled in the baby aisle at Target? Yeah, SO not child-proof, because my two-year-old most certainly can barge right through them. And he most certainly takes joy in emptying his dresser, which absolutely infuriates me. I also found that he had ripped open a beanie baby and was chewing on the pellets, but the damn thing had magically disappeared. Stowed away for the next time he needs to wreak havoc on me, no doubt.

He has a convertible crib that has been converted to a toddler bed, which means I can shove the open side up against a wall and he can't escape. I reserve this for those particularly hellish days when he decides to be anti-nap, and today most definitely qualified. So up against the wall he went.

You see, my child is not one of those that can have "quiet time" if he doesn't want to sleep. No, if he's not napping, he resorts to tipping over the changing table, shredding the pages of books (even board books, which he destroys with his teeth) and stripping his bed of the sheet and mattress pad. His room has been completely emptied for this reason, except for the dresser in the closet, which is obviously not safe any more either. What do they call those kids? Oh yes. "Spirited."

In between all this, I had been alternating between nursing Bex and putting him back in the rocker, pleading with him to go to sleep. But of course, this was a conspiracy after all, so he could do no such thing. He did a fantastic job of holding up his end of the bargain with his brother and ended up in his crib so I could have a chance to calm down and deflate my head.

I went and got him about ten minutes later, a sobbing, hiccuping mess. I am anti-CIO, but also anti-put my child on the porch with a "Free to any home" sign, so today he got to cry a bit in order to save him from the latter. I felt like Most Horrible Mother on the Face of the Universe and All of Creation after that, of course. As soon as I picked him up he snuggled into my shoulder and fell asleep. Poor chunk. Back into the crib he went, and ahhh.. finally some relaxation?

Or not. Sam was still belting out his opinion of naps at the top of his lungs. (He'll imitate me and say, "Stop! Take a nap! Lay down!" in the most stern toddler voice he can muster. It's actually pretty funny, on a day in which your head is a normal size and not on the verge of exploding.) Knowing I would become headless if he were to wake up Bex, I let him come downstairs and "WATCH-DORA-BASEBALL-GAME," as he says it. Several, several times, in a booming voice, just to be sure I heard him. Not annoying in the least bit, oh no. He is now crushing Cheerios into the carpet. But at least he's quiet.

And now I'm sitting here, banging out this post to vent my frustrations. Which has worked pretty well, actually. I think my head is almost back to its normal size. And to think, I thought all I had to blog about today was my Garnier Fructis shampoo for Works For Me Wednesday. My children, they do not disappoint!

Really though, I love my kids to pieces and I love that they give me the opportunity to tell such amusing stories about them. There is definitely never a dull moment in this house. Sometimes it would be nice if I had a pause button, though. Or, you know, maybe a padded room with a lock on the door, filled with chocolate chip cookies and Dora on a big screen. Either would work.

Movin' on up

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I have spent the better part of my morning scrutinizing Money Magazine's Top 100 Place to Live list. At first I was reading about each city on the list and marking off or adding to my own personal notes, but I found that much more interesting are the reader comments. I got many good suggestions from those and we have a lot of research to do. It's funny how drastically different real world perspective is to that of the magazine. The criteria this year was for small towns with a population lower than 50K, which I'm not sure is something I would want to move to.

Anyone who knows me, knows I hate it in Indiana and can't wait to leave. I've lived in both the Indianapolis suburbs (if you can even call them that) and in Muncie, which is about an hour and a half northeast. High crime rates and small minds are abundant in both places and I am finding that it is mind-numbingly boring, at least in our small corner of the city. Indianapolis boasts diversity, but that is admittedly not something that peaks my interest. I long much more for a friendly atmosphere and family-oriented city, as well as better school system and scenery. Indiana is ugly, the schools are atrocious and most of the people I meet here are incredibly traditional.

I mentioned going out the other night with my mom. What I didn't mention is that we tried to go to a bar and had to leave after 20 minutes because I couldn't stand the smoke. When we do move it will definitely need to be to a city that has a public smoking ban. Indiana is absolutely full of smokers (who get very defensive about their "right" to smoke, no less) and I hate it.

Reading more and more about the different parts of Central Indiana, I'm really kicking myself that we didn't do more research and instead just settled on a home in a subdivision with a horrid Homeowners Association just because the house was big. Stupid stupid stupid mistake on our part. Lesson learned the hard way.

I am lucky to have found a niche in a babywearing group, which has led me to several moms who share my philosophies. If it weren't for them, I would likely be much more miserable!

DH IMed me this morning with a couple different job listings, one in Westminster, CO and one in Needham, MA. The idea of actually being able to afford Massachusetts is laughable at best, but it sparked my interest and three hours later, here I sit with a 20-city long list of places we could move. We are fortunate in that DH has skills that are needed almost everywhere and he would not have much of a problem finding job opportunities all over the US. Which is both good and bad. Endless choices, but a very difficult decision!

The one thing keeping us in Indiana is my family. The thought of moving my boys (and myself!) away from my mom and the rest of my family is heartbreaking. But they have no plans to move until my sister graduates, which won't be for another six years, and I just don't think I can tough it out that much longer. She recently started a new job where we don't see her but once a week anyway, so that has helped me to get used to the idea of living away from them. That's growing up, I guess!

So, anyway. Where do you live? Do you like it? What do you like about it? I need ideas! My list so far spans the country, with places such as:

  • Texas: Carrollton, Keller, Lewisville, Grapevine and Friendswood
  • California: Claremont, El Dorado Hills and Thousand Oaks
  • Arizona: Surprise, Payson, Gilbert and Flagstaff
  • Colorado: Boulder, Louisville, Parker, Westminster, Ft. Collins and Durango
  • Utah: Logan and Utopia

DH and I grew up in Texas and we've always had a great love for the state, so moving there would be awesome. But I also think California, Arizona and Colorado are beautiful places with lots to offer. Having not traveled to many other places, it's hard for me to picture living somewhere like Washington or the East Coast. But I saw rave reviews for Naperville, IL, Edmonds, WA, Coeur d'Alene, ID, Berkeley Heights, NJ, Cary, NC, and Irmo, SC. How in the world do I even begin to narrow this down? Obviously job availability will play a big role.. but wow. It's easy to get overwhelmed.

I guess first I need to decide what is most important to us. Right now I would say affordable housing (in ratio to median income), plentiful leisure activities, job growth, school systems, crime rate and health care are at the top of my list. Not as important are diversity and weather.

Most of all, I just want to love where we live. I want to be proud of living there and involved in the community. I want it to be a great place for my children to grow so that we can move there and stay there for a long time. It sounds like such a pipe dream right now, but maybe some day it will happen.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 10:54 AM 2 comments  

Not my kid!

Monday, August 27, 2007


20070827_0153
Originally uploaded by sam&bex
Now that Bex is close to being mobile and therefore a prime candidate for becoming Toy Snatcher, we have been working on sharing. Currently, Sam does not share well. He is two, after all. But! He is getting better.

This morning he was building with blocks so I added the baby into the mix to see what he would do. Bex grabbed a block right away and started marking his territory by way of drool, and Sam quickly removed it from his hands.

"Remember, we need to share! Can you pick a block to give to Bex?"

He thought for a minute, but complied. The purple blocks were apparently Off Limits, but he relinquished two yellow blocks and one green block without a fight.

"Here, have yellow. Here! Have green!"

So, mission accomplished for today. I have a friend with a 4-year-old who is an absolutely horrid sharer. After seeing him, I've become determined to keep my child from becoming That Kid. You know the kind -- everything is His, He is the center of the universe, the other children are merely minions in His world. (He even will say, "This is MY world!" Charming, right?) Which is to be expected at the age of two, but four is pushing it in my opinion. Anyway! I digress.

I sat for awhile and just watched the two of them interacting. If you think watching your child play and learn by himself is amazing, try seeing your baby admire his older brother. There is no greater entity in his eyes than his brother. His face lights up the moment he sees him, and he could watch Sam dance and play for hours. He giggles at every word he speaks and is just mesmerized. I love watching them.

Speaking of Bex, he did much better in the sleep department last night. Only woke once at 4am, nursed, and was put back into his crib awake and fell asleep on his own with no tears. Granted, this was after a dose of Motrin at 11pm following two hours of failed sleep attempts, but hey! I'll take what I can get. He's napping again already so he's making up for it.

I'm beginning to think that it bothers him when I drink straight milk. I had cereal with milk yesterday morning for the first time in several days, and the result was a fight at bedtime. I've noticed the same thing when I've had cereal in the past, so I'm seeing a pattern. I'm cutting it out for a few days again so we'll see how he does. I'll mourn the loss of one of my main food groups (cereal is appropriate for all meals, after all!) but at least he doesn't seem bothered when I have cheese or yogurt or ice cream, so I can make the sacrifice.

Oh, I forgot to mention how last night's bath was cut short by the baby deciding it would be fun to poop in the tub. I take a bath with both boys together, so you do the math. And if you're familiar with breastmilk poo, you know that it's not a solid turd. Ohhhh no. It's a swirling, slimy mess. The bath tub needed bleached anyway so I suppose he was just making sure we did it sooner rather than later. Those of you without children, take note -- your child might poop in the tub with you and you should be okay with that prospect before having kids! I'll save the tales of fishing in the washing machine for grape skin remnants and corn after a cloth diaper load for another day. Wouldn't want to completely scare anyone off just yet.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 10:25 AM 2 comments  

My home waterbirth story

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I was reading over my birth story, like I often do just to reminisce, so I thought I would post it here. Enjoy!

------

On March 16th, 2007, I had my 41-week appointment with my midwife. Up to that point, I’d had no signs of labor coming at all, so I was prepared to wait it out another week or two. Everything was normal at the appointment – baby was low low low in my pelvis and in position for birth. Wantina did note some blood in my urine, and said that if I hadn’t had any bloody show, it was probably a UTI. I definitely hadn’t, so we planned to stop and get some cranberry concentrate on the way home to treat it. She mentioned that it was possible that I could have some show in the next few hours that was causing it – but I pretty much wrote off that possibility. The idea of going into labor still seemed like nothing more that a dream at that point.

That night, I went to a friend’s house for a movie and we all pigged out and shared pregnancy stories. I joked that this baby was way too comfortable and I’d decided to just raise him in my uterus forever. I didn’t get home until around midnight and finally got into bed around 1am.

At 5:30am on the morning of the 17th, I woke up to pee for the 3rd or 4th time and noticed that I was having a bit of pain with my normal Braxton Hicks. I didn’t really think much of it and went back to bed. I couldn’t get back to sleep though, and the pains were still coming, so I decided to time them. That was short-lived, however, because there was no real rhyme or reason to them and I couldn’t really tell when they started and stopped. Shelby woke up at that point and I mentioned to him that I was in a little pain, but that it was probably nothing.

I never did get back to sleep, so around 7am I got out of bed and went back to the toilet. The pains were becoming more regular, so I used an online contraction log to time them. Around then is when I noticed a small amount of bloody show, and started getting excited. The contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds to a minute. At that point I posted to a couple online message boards and my journal that things might be getting started.

DH came in the bathroom to check on me, and I told him about the show and said he should go back to bed because he’d need energy later. I called one of the midwives, Brandi, around 8:30 and told her that I’d had some blood and was having contractions. She asked about the intensity and I said that they weren’t bad yet. She said, “You’ll know when things change. Call me when they do!”

A little while later, Sam and DH woke up and we came downstairs to start preparing. He cleaned up the kitchen and did other random things around the house. I tried to pick up a little but the contractions were too close together and getting more painful so I didn’t accomplish much. I called my mom at that point to tell her today was probably the day, and she said she would head over. Around 9:30, DH called Brandi and let her know that things were picking up and she said she was on her way.

I decided to get into the bath for awhile and see if that helped me relax. It didn’t really help much because I couldn’t get it deep enough to cover my belly. My mom and sister arrived around then and she came up to say hi. I put her to work making up my Labor-Aid drink and continued laboring in the tub for awhile longer.

DH came back up to air up the birth tub, and I decided to get out of the water and try the birth ball. It surprisingly made things much more painful, so I ended up kneeling by the bed and leaning over on a pillow with DH applying counter-pressure to my back. This worked well for awhile until my knees got tired. I moved to the bed, and was very surprised to find that the contractions were much less painful lying down. I had always thought that being immobile would make them worse.

Brandi arrived around 11:45 to find me still laboring on the bed. She listened to the baby and everything sounded great. Kelly, our pastor, arrived around then and came up and said a prayer with all of us, just like she had done when I was in labor with Sam.

I expressed to Brandi that I was concerned that lying down would slow down my labor, since it made the contractions less intense and further apart. She said it could, but that I would need the rest anyway so it couldn’t hurt. She stayed in the room for awhile and chatted about various things. I would stop every few minutes to breathe through a contraction, but it really seemed like things had slowed down. I was starting to feel silly and worry that I wasn’t really in labor. So I got up out of bed again to see if I could get things back on track.

My memory gets a little fuzzy at this point. The contractions definitely picked back up, and I was needing to hum through them. I moved back to the bed and told DH that I really wanted in the tub, so he started filling it with water. When it was full, I labored in it for awhile, but the water really wasn’t warm enough to help much yet. Brandi wanted me to try to eat, so I took a couple bites of yogurt and sipped the Labor-Aid. I really didn’t have any appetite though. My mom had brought me a Subway sandwich but I couldn’t eat it.

Everything started happening really fast. The contractions seemed to go from manageable to extremely painful in no time. They got really bad while I was still in the tub, and I threw up a couple times. That was the worst part of the labor, I think. Dry heaving in the middle of a contraction is NOT fun at all. But I remember thinking it had to be a good sign, because throwing up meant transition.

I decided I wanted to move back to the bed. I think I was hoping it would slow things down again and give me a break. Brandi urged me to try to go to the bathroom and do another rinse (as a precaution since I didn’t get tested for GBS). I tried to, but laboring while standing up was awful and it seemed like when I moved, the contractions were constant with no breaks. Sitting on the toilet was absolutely excruciating, so I rinsed as fast as I could and jumped back up, crying that I just wanted to lay back down.

I made it back to the bed and ended up staying there for the duration of my labor. I’m not sure what time it was or how long I laid there, but I know Wantina arrived around 3pm and came in to see how I was doing. I was yelling during the contractions at that point and feeling pretty helpless. I would try to relax but it was hard. Everyone kept reassuring me and telling me how great I was doing. I remember telling DH I never wanted any more kids and that the home birth was a dumb idea. I told my mom that I just wanted to go to sleep and finish later, and that I changed my mind and didn’t want to do it at all. That was the extent of my irrational thoughts though, and I never cussed, so I’m pretty proud of myself for that!

All I could do was yell and shake through the contractions now. I threw up a few more times. I remember thinking, what if I’m only 5cm?! I couldn’t imagine doing it any longer. I sent DH down to tell Wantina that I wanted to be checked because I had to know how much longer I had to go. She came up, and we waited for a break in the contractions. But every time I would move, another one would come. Then I got a cramp in my leg while she was checking me and was wailing in pain. She was able to tell that my water was bulging and the baby was right there. Wantina asked DH to pray with me while she went to get my mom, and he said a sweet prayer while holding my hands.

They kept asking me if I was feeling “pushy,” but I couldn’t tell. I just felt lots of pressure. Then my body started pushing on its own during a contraction and I yelled, “I think I’m pushing!” Brandi said, “I think so too!” and Wantina said that if I wanted a water birth, I really needed to move to the tub. I said that I didn’t care and just wanted him out. But every time I’d try to push, I’d get a cramp in my leg, so when I got a break I shot up off the bed and got into the tub.

The first couple pushes in the tub were excruciating. I was squatting, and trying to push, but then my body would take over and it felt like it was pushing the baby out through my belly button. I’d yell out, “It HURTS! This isn’t right!” because I knew it shouldn’t feel like that. Brandi said I might have a lip of cervix left that was keeping the baby from coming down, and if I got out they could try to move it. I asked if they could just do it in the tub, because there was no way I could get out. She said probably not, but that I could try to do it myself or just try not to push through a couple contractions.

I breathed through one and it was terrible, so with the next one I had to push to relieve the pain. I tried to direct the pushing downward as much as I could and it seemed to be working. I reached inside and could feel his head right there, and that was the motivation I needed to keep going. My legs started getting tired so I had to lean back against the tub, and did a couple pushes in that position. I was starting to feel burning, so I knew he was close. Then I got another cramp in my leg, and they urged me to flip to my hands and knees. I did, and it was such a relief.

I know I was moaning through the pushes, but it really wasn’t as painful as I expected it to be. The contractions were much worse as far as pain. Pushing was a relief. It only took a couple pushes and I could feel that his head was almost out. Brandi told DH he needed to move now if he wanted to catch the baby (he was up by my head and I was squeezing his hand) but I yelled for him to just stay there. I wish I would have let him move, because he ended up not seeing the baby come out at all.

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I felt a bit of burning and then just relief – the head was out! I heard Brandi say something about the cord around his neck and I think she unlooped it (they later said this is probably what was holding him back when I started pushing). I was getting no urge to push and had to wait a couple seconds to deliver the rest of him. Which was good, because it allowed my mom to get an awesome picture of his face under water. The next contraction came and I pushed as hard as I could, and felt his shoulder, arms, body and finally legs slide out. I sat back and the next thing I knew, a slippery little baby was being passed up through my legs. I pulled him up out of the water and cried, “I did it!”

I seriously couldn’t believe I had just had a baby. It was so surreal. I kept saying “Oh my God, I did it!” He let out two small cries and then was quiet and content. I rubbed his back and said, “Hi, Baby!” Brandi and Wantina were on each side of me, suctioning him and making sure he was pinking up. My mom asked what his name was, and Wantina said, “Are you sure it’s a boy?” I checked, and he was still a boy. So I got to finally announce his name after nine months of keeping it a secret. My dad, sister and brother who had all been downstairs came up to see the baby. DH brought Sam up, and he was amazed and kept saying, “Baby crying!” I kept saying how tiny he was, and DH asked Brandi her guess on weight. She said around nine pounds, which I laughed at and guessed seven. He seemed so small to me.

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They all left then so I could deliver the placenta. Brandi said I could push when I felt the urge, and I remember saying, “The placenta is easy, right?” She laughed and said, “No bones!” And it was easy – just one little push and it was out. A couple minutes later, they handed me the scissors and I cut the cord – something I had been wanting to do in order to feel like I had really done it all by myself. It was amazing. I felt on top of the world.

Someone had set up my rocking chair by the tub and had it ready for us, so we got out and dried off and sat down. He latched on right away and nursed happily while DH fed me the Subway sandwich and sips of water. I was amazed by how the pain was instantly gone and I felt completely normal again – and starving! Kelly came up at that point and prayed and rejoiced with us again. I nursed Bex for 20 minutes or so, and we then moved to the bathroom to take our herb bath. Brandi left at that point to try to make it to her son’s birthday party – leave it to my baby to be born when it’s not convenient for the midwife, lol.

I got in first while DH held Bex and Wantina checked him over. She took a couple sets of footprints, measured his length – 20 inches – and weighed him – 8 pounds, 13 ounces!! I could hardly believe it. They put him in the bath with me then, and he was completely peaceful and alert and just looked around wide-eyed. We got out awhile later and moved to the bed so Wantina could check me for tears. I was amazed and so proud to hear that I had none!! Just a tiny bit of road rash that doesn’t even burn when I pee. Such a radical difference from not even being able to sit down after Sam’s birth and being on pain meds for two weeks while the stitches healed.

As of today, three days later, we are doing wonderfully. The only discomfort I’ve had is some sore muscles in my back and shoulders, and the after pains when I nurse. They’re not pleasant and I’d have to say that’s probably the toughest part about this recovery. But hey, I’ll take that any day over the mess of my first birth. The first night, I got the shakes really bad from some of the pains and Shelby ended up calling Brandi. She suggested that I try pushing on the toilet when I got a pain, and I passed a huge plum-sized clot. The shakes went away after that.

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Bex is a great nurser so far, although he likes to snack and fall asleep too soon, which means he’s up every hour wanting to eat. We can work on that, though. I’m just glad I haven’t had much pain – no cracked and bleeding nipples this time! He has a good latch and my milk came in yesterday – only 48 hours after birth.

Sam loves his new baby brother and gives him kissed and hugs. He hasn’t acted jealous at all, which was my biggest fear. DH is also amazing and goes above and beyond to take care of us. Bex fusses a lot when I hold him because he knows I’m the food source, but falls right asleep in DH’s arms. Last night he cooked dinner for all three of us while holding Bex the entire time!

This birth was everything I hoped and dreamed of, and so much more. I have not a single regret. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect experience than this.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 6:13 PM 7 comments  

Baby Kisses

One of the top questions on the List of Completely Irrelevant Things To Ask a New Mom is, "Is he sleeping through the night?" I never know how to answer this question because if I say no, I get bombarded with oh bless your heart!s and you know, sometimes babies need to just crys and I gave my baby formula/solids/Oreos and that's when he started sleeping!s. Also known as UHIPA: Unsolicited How I Parented Assvice. But if I say yes, then I'd be, well.. lying. (For the record, I usually just say yes.)

Bex is 5 and a half months old, and no, he does not sleep through the night. He has never slept through the night once in his life and I don't expect him to start sleeping through the night for quite some time. I am okay with this, although apparently random strangers at the grocery store and post office are not.

Last night he was up for the second or third time and DH had brought him back into our room because he was wide awake and having no part of being in his crib. DH laid him down on the bed and as soon as he heard my voice he contorted his body around sideways so he could see me, and proceeded to cling onto either side of my face with both hands and bury his nose in my cheek. This is his version of Bex Hugs and it is seriously one of the cutest things I've ever witnessed. He presses his face to mine so hard that I'm sure it's impossible for him to breathe, but I absolutely love it. He is showing more attachment to me every day and it seriously is the greatest thing.

Friday night I had gone out with my mom, leaving DH equipped with some pumped milk in a bottle. Going out for any length of time is a new privilege for me, because for the first five months of his life, Bex refused to eat from anything but the tap. Flattering, yes, but extremely tiring. So I was ecstatic when I finally found a bottle he didn't outright refuse. However, it also means that I still worry the whole time I'm gone, so after a couple hours I tried calling DH and when I got no answer, we stopped by the house.

I came inside and the house was dark, but I could see DH standing in the living room with the baby, awake. As soon as that boy saw me (I actually think he just sensed me, either that or he has night vision), he literally LUNGED for me, his two bottom teeth front and center in a huge ear-to-ear grin. When he smiles, he smiles with his whole face -- and his face was definitely happy to see me that night. In the past I was convinced he only loved me because I was the food source, but when I tried to feed him he only played around and was much happier just grinning at me and pulling my hair. So hey, he really likes me!

Anyway. The not sleeping thing. As I said, I don't really mind it because he usually just nurses and then goes right back to sleep. Last night though, as he has been doing more recently, he decided he'd rather stay up and play instead. Now, I will say that I am probably the luckiest woman on this side of the Mississippi in that my husband gets up with the baby at night. I feed him, but if he's not sleeping, it's DH that contends with him most of the time. It's what works for us (although I don't know, I suppose DH would argue about how much it's actually working, lol). Last night he was having a particularly rough time and I told him Bex just loves him so much that he wants time alone with him after Sam is in bed. I don't think it helped the sleep deprivation much but it did make him smile.

Lately I have been striving to Not Sweat the Small Stuff and find the joy in everything my children do, even the things that seem to move me one slot higher on the waiting list for the mental institution. I recently stumbled upon RachD's blog through a friend of a friend, and reading her blogs about the loss of her sweet girl Hannah has left a lump in my throat for days. I know it sounds cheesy and cliche, but her story has definitely changed me. The way she journaled her daughter's life and now, her passing, made me long for the same chronicle of my own children's lives. I look at things so differently now and I want to write every little smile and laugh down in this memory book. Because you never know. You just never know.

So no, I don't mind that my baby still wakes up at night. It's just one more snuggle and kiss, one more face smashed up against mine, that I am blessed enough to experience.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 9:35 AM 2 comments  

Here goes.. something?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

So. How do you even begin to write the first post in a fresh, blank blog? This empty white box is so intimidating. I suppose I could list my reasons for starting this blog, but really, why does anyone start one? Maybe I could keep answering my questions with questions?

Now that we've established that I massively suck at intros, I'll tell a story about my two-year-old, Sam. Stories are good, right? Anyway, like any two-year-old, Sam is curious. Although 'curious' seems like the understatement of the century, sometimes. Case in point: yesterday. Okay, so as much as I would love to spend every waking second of my day following him from room to room and recording every move he makes to memory, there are things to be done. Like, you know, cleaning bananas and raisins from the kitchen floor and refilling the couch cushion with its lost stuffing for the fourth time in one day. Fun stuff like that.

So yesterday, I was trying to get ahead with one of the dozens of chores that needed done, when I noticed the telltale sign of a toddler getting into something: silence. I pause and listen. Shuffling. I put down my Pampered Chef stone scraper, wipe the bits of dried cheese and tortilla from my hands and peek out into the living room. Sam looks up from behind the recliner and grins, displaying bits of yellow powder in his teeth.

"Mmmmm, Mommy! That's good!"

As I come out of the kitchen to get a good view of the rest of him, I'm confronted with a pile of the yellow powder molded into a volcano in the middle of the chair. (Our recliner is black. Do you know what yellow powder does to black fabric? I do!) Empty Jiffy corn bread box on the floor. And there stands Sam, holding an opened half-eaten tub of Dolci Frutta chocolate that he has filled with corn bread mix, which he then proceeds to dump into his mouth.

"I get snack, Mommy!"

Not even remotely surprised by anything any more, I grabbed a dish rag and the Dust Buster and went to work. Apparently he didn't want bananas and raisins for breakfast.

Food is a common theme in Sam's mischief, like the time he ran to me in the office and told me, "Mommy, Bex get cereal, Bex get bite!" I came out to find my then 4-month-old making a bewildered face at the red Fruity Cheerio Sam had placed on his tongue. Or the time he jimmied open the tub of Crisco and tried finger-painting the walls with it. Yes, this child loves food. I wonder where he gets that?

I suppose this is when I can say I should look on the bright side: maybe he'll be a chef and be on The Food Network and hobnob with Racheal and Giada! Or.. maybe I should install a lock on the pantry.

Blogged by Making A Modern Family at 10:32 PM 3 comments