Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Mama Says. . .

that Brook-Brook looks just like me.  I see both Chris and me when I look at her, but there's not much question about the eyes.

Let Me Help You, Kewwen

Compassion is one of those things that I most hope my children display.  I have found Elliott standing over Kellen several times, pulled up a step stool, and cooing to him.  I explained yesterday that we needed to have Kellen spend time on his tummy to help his head get strong.  My rule-following son took this to heart and was ready and willing to entertain. This has melted my heart.  Far more important to me than knowing "E starts with my name."

All Wrapped Up

Special K had his first adventure in the Moby Wrap today.  He was a big fan--asleep within 3.5456 minutes.  This allowed time for Elliott and me to make Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares.  Score.

Friday, September 21, 2012


It is a sure change of life events when I look forward to Friday nights because my husband will stay up late with the baby and let me sleep in on Saturday morning.  I am having a glass of wine to make it seem more like I'm living it up.

My husband is pretty awesome.  Especially on Friday nights.  And Saturdays.  The rest of the week I stare at him in the wee hours of the night while he is peacefully sleeping with hate jealousy in my heart.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm Still Standin'

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Oh wait, I just slipped into 80's music recitation.  Please forgive.

I'm two weeks into this mom of three gig and let me tell ya', it's not for the faint of heart.  Mainly I think that's because I suck at sleep deprivation.  The Coup de Gras was spending a whole day by myself with all three at home.  Mmmhmm.  I even got a NAP.  I felt pretty amazing.  Unfortch, the lack of sleep is a cumulative thing and leaves me feeling dull and a bit maudlin.  It also makes me understand how people with less support and less life experience shake their babies.  My solution is to be topless the majority of the time (sorry if that's TMI) and put that baby in bed with me.  It's about survival.

So this has turned from a post about being the mom of 3 under 4 into a post about how I am not a fan of the newborn stage of life.  Blasphemy, I know.  As mothers we're supposed to being a blissed-out haze of love with our wee ones, but in my life I am disheveled, chronically exhausted and ever-waiting for some kind of reinforcement that this little being that is dominating my life actually appreciates my sacrifices.  I'm not talking about a well-worded note, I'm just saying a smile would be nice.  Until then, I'll be plodding along in a sleep-deprived haze trying to find something half-way intelligent to relate in adult conversation.

I've started a campaign like that for LGBT teens, only for moms of newborns:  "It Gets Better."  Okay, really the campaign is only for me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Our sweet Kellen Paul made his arrival early Sunday morning.  3:54am, to be exact.  I had lived on pins and needles for the sign that would signal his impending arrival.  I had contractions off and on all night Thursday and  most of the day on Friday, only to have them come to a halt when I finally put my feet up to relax and do as little as possible, as suggested by my doctor.  Saturday was more lounging on my part--Chris let me sleep in, we went to the pool, I took a nap with Elliott and we went to dinner with my parents to celebrate my dad's 65th birthday.  I felt good.  I felt relaxed.  A little crampy, maybe, but nothing like the contractions of the day before.  We decided to take advantage of my parents' offer to have the kids spend the night based on all of the "what ifs?" surrounding me and labor.  Quite frankly, I figured this was all overkill, even though Dr. White had predicted labor within 24 hours on Friday around noon.

At around 1:20am, I got up to use the restroom and felt a contraction.  One that hurt a little, even.  "Could just be because I needed to pee," I thought.  I laid back down with some nervous energy fizzling down my spine.  I closed my eyes, determined to go back to sleep.  Contraction #2.  My eyes flashed open.  Maybe? When contraction #3 struck by 1:45, I knew.  I shoved nudged Chris awake and told him that I was certain I was in labor.  We got up with relatively little words and gathered our things, I knew with rooted certainty that I was having a baby.  Soon.

To the car.  I blasted the a/c.  Called my mom.  Called Stephanie.  Put in my earbuds and channeled some inner-calm with the Hypnobabies track for the first stage of labor.  I opened my eyes just a couple of times the entire trip, none of the clinging to the handle above the passenger seat as before.  Just calm.  Focus on breath.  On opening.  On excitement to meet my baby.

Sometimes things go just as they should, or just as one might hope.  That was certainly the case with my nurse for this labor and delivery--Whitney.  She was undaunted by my desire to have a natural childbirth, only providing corny jokes and a calm attitude.  I donned my hospital gown, focused inward as conversation between the nurses, my husband, Stephanie & my mom swirled around me.  IV in.  Fluids started.  Questions answered by Chris.  I labored quietly, remembering to focus on the word "peace," to keep my jaw relaxed and to focus on the good work my body was doing to bring this baby into the world.

After many promises of being able to get up "soon," it was finally deemed enough time on the monitors.  I used the restroom.  I faced contractions by standing, hands braced on the bed in front of me, swaying my hips.  Movement, so important.  No reclining.  I sat and rested in between contractions.  This continued. . . for a time?  Time was not quantifiable in this period.  It just was one contraction at a time.  Chris provided pressure on my back.  I had to make noise.  Words of encouragement from Whitney, nurse divine.  "Stupid," I thought.  "What made this seem the right path? Why did Ina May lie about this just being pressure?"  Oh the self-doubt of transition, that stage of final opening from 8-10cm.  I tried to cling to the words of my friend, Kim, "Just when you think you can't handle anymore, it's time to push."  "Oh, please let this be true," I thought desperately to myself.

I remember the urgent question of Whitney:  are your contractions more intense?  do you feel pressure?  She knew.  I climbed back into the bed to be pronounced complete--10cm.  Perhaps a few minutes before they had called the doctor?  Nurses rushing around.  Whitney telling me not to push yet.  Impossible, I told her.  Too satisfying and much like telling the Earth to stop rotating.  This was happening.  An internal pop and a geyser of fluid soaked the bed, the floor, the nurses.  So much fluid Stephanie had to mop up the floor with towels for safety.  Relief, followed by pressure.  "Hold your knees together," Whitney commanded.

"I.CAN'T.HOLD.IT!" I grunted/screamed.  Two pushes.  And with that, Kellen made his way into the world.  Right after I commanded someone to catch my baby.  No doctor.  He was quickly placed upon my chest, after emitting one single cry.  Such relief.  Calm. Alert. Perfect.  Okay, maybe a little gurgly, some suctioning was needed.

Eventually the moment came to weigh this sweet boy--he tipped the scales at 9 pounds, 4 ounces.  The nurses tossed the term, LGA around.  Large for gestational age.  Ha.  Yep.  "Well-insulated," Dr. White had deemed him at the 36-week ultrasound.  He was a nursing champ.  The doctor finally arrived for the less-glamorous work--placenta arrival and stitches.  The placenta was giant and immediately provided a final wave of relief with its delivery.

THIS.  These are the moments on constant replay in my mind, just as with the previous two births.  The high.  The careful attention.  The power of a woman's body to give life.  The power of MY body to give life.  I suspect this would never get old to me, even as my body tires with life with a newborn.  I want to sear these memories so deeply into my brain as to remain until they are the last muted-colored photos pulled forth at my end.

Childbirth.  Often spoken of in hushed horror.  Pregnancy.  Often spoken of in tones of wonder.

I defy the standards.  Pregnancy?  It is okay, miraculous, but overall brings lots of aches and pains in conjunction with all of the anticipation.

Childbirth?  I love it.  It is a gift of immeasurable worth.  To experience it three times, so lucky.

Welcome, Kellen Paul.