Stop! Give me 10!

One of the main complaints I’ve heard from moms is their lack of ability to work out with any regularity. Maybe for 2 months they can get into the gym, but then there’s a schedule change, another activity added, someone is teething… It seems like a wrench gets thrown into workout plans a lot. Working out is something easy to drop when one needs to attend to other responsibilities.

Today I decided that since I can’t guarantee I’ll ever get to the gym I’m going to change it up. I’ve started a program for myself that I’m calling, “Stop! Give me 10!” I’ve set my phone alarm clock to go off every 30 minutes during my guaranteed waking hours. Between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. my phone will buzz every half hour and I’ll have to stop and do 10 of some exercise. It doesn’t matter where I am, walking, the store, in the living room, wherever.

Because of my time spent in the military I’m reasonably confident that no equipment will be necessary. We just did things like push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, jumping jacks, and other exercises without any weights for an hour daily and were in pretty great shape. At least as a kick starter toward my post-baby goals, a daily total of 280 various repetitions of exercises should work out very well. I can increase the number of repetitions in a step pattern as I plateau. For the easier exercises, like the military press, I will stick with a military 4 count cadence to reach my 10 reps.

In addition to these exercises I intend to do some cardio activity every day. It might be a long walk to the park, cruising… *Alarm! Just did 10 military approved push-ups. All the way up and all the way down.* …up and down the hills in the neighborhood. If it’s rainy I can take the jump rope into the garage for 15 – 30  minutes during a baby nap. We’ll see, but I’m going to make this work.

I’ve made little tweaks to work around issues that may arise. 1. The alarms are on vibrate so that the sound won’t wake the baby if I’m just getting her down for a nap. 2. If I’m nursing I’ll hit snooze until I’m done and do the 10 repetitions afterward.

I’m taking photos of my body and I will post about progress if there is any. I’m not posting one right now though. :) I’m publishing this today, because if folks have read it maybe I’ll feel more accountable to actually do it.

This might be a ridiculous fail. It might not work at all. All I know is that it’s 280 more exercises a day than I’m doing right now and every little bit helps.

Wish me luck!

My “Baby On Board” Magnet or BACK THE FUCK OFF!

(Lots of cussing ahead.)

I’ve heard a lot of people say they hate the “Baby On Board” car magnets and stickers recently. You know the ones where parents alert folks that there is a “baby on board” inside of their vehicle. They legitimately rant that it infuriates them. It makes them want to drive worse around these people. Well I’m about to describe why I have mine.

images

I’ve always hated tailgating. It’s not necessary. You are not going to get to where you want to be any faster by being dangerously close to my bumper. There is another car right in front of me, you won’t  be able to get past them either. I don’t bother getting really angry unless a person is so close to my bumper that I can’t see their license plate.

Back before I got pregnant it was uncanny the number of animals that ran in front of my car, on the freeway, necessitating me to brake hard when someone was very close to my bumper. Hasn’t happened since I’ve had a little person to care for. Odd.

Let’s note right away that I am not a person who camps in “the fast lane.” If the lanes on the right are doing under the speed limit I get to the left and go faster than them. I will admit that I may even go 5 – 10 over if it’s safe. (Oregon is STUPID in that their city driving limits are 50 – 55. Come on. Really?) If I’m going faster than everyone to the right and someone wants to go REALLY fast behind me I do my best to get right as quickly as possible, but sometimes there isn’t enough space to do that. I’m not going to cut someone off just because you want to go 20 mph over the speed limit.

So you have these complete assholes who believe it’s their right to endanger the lives of others just so they can get somewhere a minute faster. Yeah. You. You’re an asshole. All those people in all of those cars could DIE if an incident happened and you were too close to safely brake. YOU’RE AN INCONSIDERATE ASSHOLE!!!

Since baby girl has been alive this hasn’t stopped. I’m a very responsible driver with her in the car, but sometimes circumstances don’t allow me to move for someone behind me. It’s even happened with semi trucks. It even happens in the middle lane! What the hell?!

I’ve had to call the cops (hands free of course) on a woman who tailgated me extremely closely for miles when the right lane was doing 10 under the speed limit. No way was I getting over. After tailgating me for a couple of miles, despite me waving her off, I got over for my exit. She sped past at an alarming rate, cut people off 3 cars in front of me, and took my exit. I ended up following her almost all the way home. She ended up living in my neighborhood. Oh well, I’d do it again you bitch with no regard for the lives of others. I hope I see you at a block party to tell you what an awful driver you are.

It took 5 months of my little girl being alive, and this happening every single time I got on the freeway, for me to finally break down and buy the damn magnet.

  • No I am not advertising that I have children in the car for people to kidnap.
  • No I am not so proud that I’ve managed to do something extremely common, like create life.
  • No I don’t think it’s cool to have any types of stickers on one’s car unless it’s a parking pass.

I hate having that stupid magnet on my car. It’s there out of necessity. It’s there because of the horrible douche canoes in the world who JUST DON’T CARE that they could KILL PEOPLE. If you want to kill me, a 30-something-year-old woman who’s lived a really freaking fantastic and full life, you still suck ass. However, it’s not as bad as completely disregarding the life of my tiny little person who has yet to experience all the joys that the world can bring.

Most of you probably aren’t that asshole. Most of you probably responsibly drive safe distances between cars. Most of you probably don’t even cut people off by swooping into the turn lane right at the last minute slowing traffic behind you either. I bet most of you patiently wait the 10 minutes it takes to make that right or left turn from the proper lane.

This post is for the small percentage of complete loser, douchebag, idiot, thoughtless, death trap waiting to happen, drivers that have necessitated me putting a freaking magnet on my bumper in hopes that you see it and BACK THE FUCK OFF!

BABY ON BOARD ASSHOLE! BABY ON BOARD.

(There are fewer cuss words in this post than when I originally wanted to write it immediately following a woman driving a Cadillac Escalade deciding it was very important to be on my ass for miles. Had I written it right away the expletives would have trumped the other words.)

***Update. If you are that asshole and I hurt your poor little feelers I’M NOT SORRY AT ALL. Your actions could hurt other people’s actual bodies. You could be the cause of them NEVER HAVING ANOTHER FEEL AGAIN BECAUSE YOU KILLED THEM. You are an asshole. Admit it. Put on your big person underthings and stop it.

Jelly Doughnuts and Beaver Anus

There has been an elephant in the room for quite some time. As with most elephants, this one has been growing steadily over several years. It wasn’t crushingly large until recently. You know how everyone has catalysts? “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” Well this is a story about my oversized elephant, a jelly donut, beaver anus, and outrage.

My sister came over recently to see me the baby. In spite of the fact that I told her I had begun working off the baby weight the jerk brought a delicious box of doughnuts. She specifically ordered my two favorites, an old fashioned cake donut, and the raspberry filled jelly doughnut. (I bet some of you know where I’m going with this already.) We had a nice visit and I vowed not to eat the donuts, but thanked her and said Honey Bunny could have them.

I’d been tracking my calories all day. My workout and breastfeeding burned a ton off and I hadn’t technically eaten enough to sustain myself yet. So I went ahead and guiltily scarfed half of the old fashioned in about 2 seconds.

The next day the box was reasonably emptied since my darling husband discovered them and the same situation arose. At the end of the day I was able to treat myself to the other half of that old fashioned doughnut.

The box remained on the counter the following day. I opened the lid and looked at my 2nd favorite delicious pastry, the raspberry filled jelly, and just glowered at the thing. My rage was nearly palpable. I couldn’t bring myself to eat it! It’s not because I’d worked out less. It’s not because my calorie count was any different.

I couldn’t eat the delectable treat because of an article I’d recently read about raspberry filling. Artificial raspberry flavor is often made from Castoreum, which is obtained from the anal glands of a beaver. Yes. Beaver ass.

beaver

Beaver Anal Glands. Yippee!

Beaver Anal Glands. Yippee!

Was I so malevolently glaring at this donut every single time I passed it because I hated the doughnut? Did I hate it to the core of my very soul because I dislike beavers? No! I hate what it represents. Being incapable of eating this donut is just a slippery slope. A slope I’m not just about to slide down, no, I’m about to intentionally grab a sled and woosh down head first.

And I’m PISSED!

My internal dialog wen’t something like this:

“So what? *shrug* Beaver ass. If you were in the forest you’d eat a beaver.”

“Yeah, but what exactly did they have to treat the beaver ass with to make it taste like raspberries?”

“Good point, which brings up another. If you’re so bent on not eating this donut because of beaver ass treated with chemicals why are you eating all of the other crap in your kitchen?”

“You’ve got me there. Why am I eating all of the other crap I’ve got in my kitchen?”

So you see! This stupid, evil, horrible, amazingly mouth watering jelly doughnut has just successfully broken down my chain of apathy. Up until this point I have been able to brush off the growing concerns of chemicals in my food by saying, “Life is a carcinogen,” and “We’re all going to die some day.” This jelly donut just ruined that for me! It’s the most evil piece of food on the planet!

Sure I’ve begun to cook A LOT more now that I’ve become a stay at home mom. We bought a deep freezer. We’ve purchased our current meat from a local butcher and will be purchasing portions of locally farmed, naturally fed, beef, pigs, and chickens later in the year. We’re way healthier now than we were. But now I can’t make the Paula Deen pot roast recipe we’ve come to love so much, because it includes a can of cream of mushroom soup. (If you haven’t been turned off of food by beaver ass make this pot roast, it’s amazing.) Sure it’s easily modified, and that’s exactly what I’ll do, but at what cost I ask you? The cost is this. If I modify that recipe, I may as well modify them all.

Just perusing my cupboards I’ve come across the words, disodium guanylate, silicon dioxide, monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, dimethyl silicone, supercalafragalist-ramalamadingdong-ioxatine-hexavalent-words-blah-glibbidygarbage… and the list goes on. Let’s not even mention the caveat ingredient on pretty much every box or can that says, “Natural Flavor.” What does that even mean?!

Look. I don’t know what these words mean. Spell checker doesn’t think they’re words at all. I don’t want to look them up. At this point I want to look at my food and know the total ingredients list is like one thing. Corn. Beans. Pork. Chicken.

Well here we go. Now I have completely opened this can of worms. If I need beef stock, or vegetable stock, or chicken stock guess where it needs to come from? It needs to come straight from my kitchen, that’s where. Those animals have to be locally farmed, raised on stuff they’re supposed to be eating, not full of unnatural grains, shot up with ‘roids and antiboitic’d like crazy. I’ve got to cook said animals, and make sure I specifically ask for/keep their bones so I can boil them for 1/2 of my life to make the ingredients for the delectable food I’d like to prepare.

This is the ENTIRE REASON for mass produced food people! So people do not have to spend 1/2 of their life cooking food to eat and cooking food to make ingredients for food to eat later! But then we come full circle. Those mass produced foods are mass grown and mass raised with all of the chemicals, then cooked/canned/packaged with tons more chemicals and preservatives. And side note about the word “preservatives,” frankly I’m surprised we’re not all living until we’re 200 by now there are so many in everything we eat.

So here I sit. No longer comfortable living my apathetic food bubble and it sucks.

My project for the weekend is not gearing up for the Superbowl. My project will be hitting up Ikea and buying as many sealable containers I can get my hands on so I can then shop at the local, organic, health food store and buy all bulk dried goods as a start.

It will also include donating all of my unopened boxes of Rice-A-Roni, canned goods, etc… to a local food bank. This, of course, also puts me into a shame spiral because now I’m foisting my unwanted, chemical filled, unworthy food on people less fortunate.

Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The rage!!!!!!! The rage!!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture of the offending donut. It actually looks like an ass. :)

Picture of the offending donut. It actually looks like an ass. :)

*I spelled donut/doughnut both ways throughout because I think it’s funny in case you were wondering.

**These aren’t proofread or edited at all really. I have a little baby guys. Seriously. I can’t be reading everything I write before I hit publish. ;)

It’s funny now, but then it was deadly serious.

One weekend morning, roughly half way through the pregnancy I woke up and got the urge. I had to clean everything in the house. I woke up every day for work about 6 a.m. anyway so this was about the time that my body just had to get the house clean. I was nesting. Prematurely I might add, because I didn’t do this much work on the house on any day the rest of the pregnancy.

The nesting urge was so strong that when I woke up I instantly went downstairs and began my tasks. I didn’t do anything else. I dusted everything on the lower floor of the house, the shelves, table, chairs, millwork around the windows, baseboards, fireplace, blinds and shutters. I washed all of the windows, mirrors, and the TV screen. Cleaned the fridge, cleaned the counters, cleaned the coffee and end tables. I vacuumed the couch and the floor. I swept, mopped and polished the hard woods. There was almost nothing that hadn’t been scrubbed.

10:45 a.m., one hour and 45 minutes after I began my task, I finally realized I was hungry. My pregnancy diet at this point had me limited to just a few things due to insane morning sickness. The only things I ever really ate were saltines, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, egg salad sandwiches, and veggies. The smell of meat made me gag, Nick’s Lean Cuisine’s made me gag, well, let’s face it, I just couldn’t stop gagging.

We hadn’t been grocery shopping recently, but I knew I could find something. The thing my pregnancy cravings wanted most in the whole world at that moment was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We had that stuff. I’d seen it all during my cleaning escapades. Yay!

I get the bread and jam out then walk to the pantry to grab the peanut butter.

Wait…

What’s this?

This feels a little light.

I unscrew the top of the jar and look inside to find nothing but tiny little remnants clinging to the sides.

I lost it.

Instantly I burst into tears. Huge, wracking sobs were coursing through my body. Keeping hold of the jar I went up the stairs and into the bedroom, banging the door open loudly.

I screamed at Nick, “Wake up!” *Sob, choke.* “How could you do this to me?!” Thrusting the jar of peanut butter toward him.

Nick was still basically asleep at this moment. There was mass confusion on his face as he stared at his dirty, sweaty, blubbering, accusing pregnant wife. “What? What did I do?”

“You *sob* ate *choke* the last *cough* of the *sob* peanut butter!!! And then you put it back!!! I thought I was going to have a sandwich!!!” I wailed. “You know I can only eat like 3 things! I spent all morning cleaning and I didn’t eat anything and then I was going to make a sandwich and now I can’t!!!!!!!” It’s at this point that I collapsed on the floor in a heap of gargantuan tears.

Nick was up and ready for action at this point, “I’m sorry. I’ll go get you more right now. I’ll get you anything you want. Just tell me what you need.”

I instantly hopped up off of the floor and screamed again, “NO!” Throwing the empty jar of my coveted substance onto the floor. “You will NOT go to the store to get me stuff. I’m starving to death RIGHT NOW!…” I paused, rethinking this stance, “Actually yes! You will go and get me all of my pregnancy foods, but I’m going to McDonald’s! Now I have to eat a McMuffin while I’m pregnant!” My hysteria ensued.

I grabbed my keys, hopped in the car, and still sobbing drove the 2 miles to the nearest fast food joint where I bought myself a McMuffin meal. The window ladies were probably terribly confused since I wasn’t showing enough to tell I was pregnant yet. Then I took a drive to the river and sat on a log while eating my breakfast. Luckily for Nick there were sea lions catching salmon and it was so highly amusing I was perfectly full and pleasant with lots of good stories to tell when I got home. And the kitchen was full to the top of all the pregnancy friendly goodies he’d just bought for me. :)

This story was not funny at all until now, post pregnancy. I wonder what sort of emotional shenanigans are in store for the next pregnancy?

How to bathe a baby in 76 easy steps

Avery HATES the transition between warm bath and cold air. It is typically a huge meltdown event that ends once we warm her up. The key to this operation is… well we’re still trying to figure that out. This is a 2 parent operation.

The steps taken to wash our baby are as follows:

1. I nurse the baby until she’s topped off.

2. Ensure a good burp.

3. If the house isn’t already at 72, heat it to 72.

4. Turn on fireplace in the great room.

5. Go upstairs to get baby washing gear such as towels, washcloths, etc…

6. Turn on oven to bake.

7. Put 2 towels into the oven to warm.

8. Remember that since she’s getting a bath a new outfit is in order. Go back upstairs to get baby clothing.

9. Get tub from pantry.

10. Begin to fill tub.

11. Place clean diaper on couch ottoman.

12. Place diaper bag changing pad on the couch ottoman.

13. When tub is almost done filling undress baby and wipe up any diaper messes.

14. Check tub temperature for optimal baby comfort.

15. Carry naked baby brusquely, yet safely, from the living room to the kitchen.

16. Place baby in bath.

17. Tell Nick the water is too high.

18. Disagree for a minute.

19. Thwart his attempt to remove the baby and dump some water. Reason that our meltdown preventative measures will be useless if we take her out of the water. Encourage the use of a cup instead.

20. Remove excess water.

21. Re-position baby, because in this short time she has kicked her legs repeatedly and pushed her head dangerously near the edge of her bath ramp thing.

22. Place 1 washcloth on the baby’s tummy.

23. Nick is designated the “cup man” so he starts pouring the warm water on the tummy wash cloth and her limbs. Continuous throughout the bathing process.

24. Use washcloth to wash her face, neck, arms, legs and head.

25. Have Nick lift baby to sitting position and wash her back and the back of her head.

26. Back into the lying down position on the baby bath ramp.

27. Wash her lady parts and butt.

Now the fun begins.

28. Remove towels from the oven and cool them, because now they’re too hot.

29. I take one towel and position with one hand in hood area, other in the anticipated body area.

29. Nick is the naked, wet, slippery baby handler. He picks her up and transfers her to me as if she were a stick of dynamite leaking nitroglycerin.

30. I catch the baby in the warm towel and say loudly, “Get the other towel on top of her!”

31. He turns in a circle a few times wasting precious time, finds the towel, then places it on the baby.

32. I walk brusquely, yet safely, from the kitchen to the living room.

33. Avery begins to scream.

34. I gently place her on the changing pad and we begin to dry her off using the two warm towels.

35. We remember she isn’t wearing a diaper.

36. Look for the diaper. Can’t find it.

37. Nick gets up and grabs a diaper from the Pack ‘n’ Play, which is just a few feet away luckily.

38. Put on diaper.

***She’s still crying.***

39. Continue operation dry off/warm up.

40. Look for her new outfit. Can’t find it.

41. I get up to look for it in the kitchen. Not there.

42. In a stroke of brilliance I think of where it might be and ask Nick to pick up the baby.

43. Find the outfit under the changing pad on the ottoman with the first diaper we set out. Of course.

44. Place crying baby back on the changing pad on the ottoman.

45. Attempt to get onesie on a distressed baby.

46. Nick repeatedly asking me why we need to wash the baby so much. His logic being, “It’s not like she goes to the gym or anything.”

47. Me pausing to remind him of the fact that she is covered in fluids like poop, pee, spit up, milk, dead skin, and sweat on a daily basis. Furthermore please look up the frequency babies should be bathed on the Mayo Clinic, Web MD, and Baby Center sites which is exactly what I’m following.

48. Realize we’re arguing about baby bathing while the baby is still upset.

49. Focus.

50. Avery’s head is in the onesie. Woo hoo!

51. Both of us grab an arm of the onesie and attempt to place her arms inside.

52. Realize there is not enough slack to put both arms in at once.

53. I take over the arms operation.

54. The crying subsides by .005 decibels upon both of her arms being inside the warm clothing.

55. Button the onesie.

56. Each of us put on a sock. This doesn’t require slack so double teaming works with this particular type of clothing.

57. I put on her pants.

58. Pick up crying baby and walk on my knees across the living room toward the fireplace.

59. Sit cross-legged in front of the fireplace.

60. Place her mouth on my boob.

61. Crap. She’s still crying and not taking the boob.

62. Tell Nick to grab one of the towels.

62. Nick delivers the wettest towel.

63. Tell Nick to grab the other towel that’s pretty dry.

64. Nick delivers the drier towel.

65. Have him dry her hair better while I attempt to get her to nurse.

66. Say lots of loving phrases trying to soothe her. *Actually we’ve been doing this the entire time anyway. **When we’re not arguing about how often to bathe a baby that is.

66. Crying is tapering down.

67. Avery latches on. Woo hoo!

68. It’s getting hot really fast by this freaking fireplace.

69. Somehow manage to hold the baby and go from sitting cross-legged to standing with no hands.

70. Walk to the couch.

71. Ask for the Boppy.

72. Ask Nick to place the Boppy in my lap.

73. Place baby on the Boppy and relatch.

74. Ask Nick for one of her baby blankets located across the room.

75. Place blanket around baby.

76. Listen to Avery grump at me with reproachful sounds that we made her go through this whole ordeal for the next 20 minutes until she falls asleep.

~The End~

Nick goes shopping again… or, commas are important.

Nick has been gracious enough to do a lot of the grocery shopping since it’s much easier for him to pick up a few items than it is for me to get Avery ready and navigate the store. I’m very appreciative of this. 

That said he is still a source of endless entertainment when it comes to this task. 

The other day I asked him to pick up some items including things like milk, OJ, tomatoes, peaches and cream oatmeal, fenugreek tablets…Lucky for him he called and the conversation went as follows:

Nick, “Where are these peaches? I can’t find them anywhere.”

Me, “What are you talking about? They’d be in the produce section, right?”

Nick, “They aren’t here.”

Me, “Wait. I didn’t ask for peaches.”

Nick, “Yeah you did.”

Me, “No I didn’t. I’m looking at the text.”

Nick, “Me too.”

Sure enough. He was about to come home with:

Peaches,

cream,

and oatmeal

oatmeal

when I had clearly asked for:

Peaches & cream oatmeal.

quaker-peaches-cream-oatmealThe moral of this story is do not creatively add commas or move the word ‘and’ around in your brain whilst reading text messages.

He also forgot to bring home tomatoes at all. :)

Ah, I love my Nick stories.

Welcome Avery. Our birth story.

We are so happy to announce the arrival of our amazing, beautiful, incredible, (insert every positive adjective known to man here), baby girl Avery to the world. She is better than expected in every way. We never knew we could love another person so much. Of course all of these sentences sound cliché, but clichés exist for a reason sometimes.

Very first born.

Personally motherhood is better than I expected. It’s not easy and yet it is. There are so many challenges like lack of sleep, crazy changing hormones, pain in all sorts of places and a new degree of worry that I’ve never experienced before. Regardless of these it’s easy to wake up, push through the pain, and smile through the crankiness for this little one. She makes every decision to put her above myself easy.

It’s pure bliss watching her sleep with her chubby cheeks and her pouty lips. I absolutely live for her to wake up so we can interact, make eye contact, snuggle, and get to know one another. Every time I wake up at night my first thought is of her, then I grab my phone and use the glow to verify that she’s okay lying next to my side of the bed in her bassinet. Even in the middle of the night I instantly do the quick math on how long it’s been since she was last fed and changed. This little one has consumed my whole soul.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Birth Story (here’s where we get graphic people):

Avery was past due and we were scheduled for induction due to my Gestational Diabetes. We arrived at the hospital at 8 a.m. at 40 weeks and 6 days along. We were admitted and a course of action was decided upon. My cervix had not dilated at all and I was only a little effaced upon admission. I was given Misoprostal, a hormone placed near the cervix that softens and dilates it. There is a hope that it will kick start natural labor. Over the course of the first 4 hours I began to contract regularly at a short time interval, but only dilated to 1 centimeter and maybe 70% effaced. They elected for 1 more round of the Miso before trying Pitocin as the next step.

12 hours old.

The next 2 hours were more intense. My contractions had increased to about every 3 minutes lasting more than a minute each. My blood pressure began to rise to near preeclamptic levels, but my protein was just fine. Between contractions my BP was very elevated, during contractions it was dangerously so. I was having trouble seeing, feeling very dizzy, and struggling to have a coherent thought or get out a sentence. I was able to convey this information and the docs were on top of things.

They removed the hormone pill, I was at 1 1/2 cm. My mom arrived around this time, and I loved the support she lended. I never had to ask twice for a sip of water with her and Nick around, nor was I in want of entertainment. The contractions continued at the same cadence as before, but at some point started to get quite painful, probably around 8 p.m.

12 hours old.

I hate, hate, hate hard core pain killers, they make me feel awful, itching, vomiting, woozy, tired, you name it. I asked for Tylenol for the pain. The nurse tried to convince me to take Fentanyl, a stronger pain killer, but I wanted something else first. By the time the Tylenol arrived I was in so much pain I was begging for an epidural. She convinced me to try the Fentanyl first at a 1/2 dose. Sure enough, I got the 1/2 does, it didn’t help much, and I went for another 1/2 a dose and things were still hurting. On top of that, just as predicted, I started to itch and feel sick. I had to puke right in the middle of all of these contractions. I asked for an epidural again.

While waiting for the epidural I felt wet at which point the doctors found my bloody show. They checked my cervix and in the course of an hour I had dilated from 1 1/2 cm to 5 cm. That also accounted for some of the puking, it seems that dilating that much in that time frame can cause nausea.

They inserted my catheter and then the anesthesiologist arrived. She had to wait for me to puke again. Nick was coached on how to make sure to keep me still while my mom was outside somewhere eating or talking on the phone to family for updates. The contractions were so close together it took a few contractions to get the timing down to insert the epidural, but she was a champ and was in and out in record time. The epidural didn’t work completely, but did numb things quite a bit. It also had the super bonus effect of dropping my blood pressure. That was a big relief to me. I had begun to get pretty worried about myself, no thanks to Downton Abbey thank you very much.

1 week old. My ladybug. jmjphotog.com

In the short time it took for the epidural to be placed I dilated from 5 to 7 centimeters as checked by a resident doctor on my team. By the time my attending doctor arrived to double check, about 10 minutes later, I had dilated another 1/2 a centimeter. I started to shake and feel sick again, and sure enough, got sick. My blood pressure was shooting up again too. No wonder, because in less than an hour I had fully dilated. I wanted to push so badly, but the docs thought if I could hold off a bit it would be best to reduce tearing.

About midnight I was completely over holding her in and said I was going to push. My team of docs and nurses assembled and started to coach me on how to push. I wanted to stand and really tried to convince them I could, but the epidural prevented this. I had maintained the ability to use my legs to lift and move myself during laboring, but probably not quite enough to squat like I’d have preferred. We used the squat bar and lowered the end of the birthing bed to accommodate my tall(ish) frame as best as we could. I still think the whole apparatus is made for tiny people. We had a mirror positioned so I could see the progress of each push which was really interesting. Those little baby skulls sure do squish down into some interesting shapes! Although the epidural did take the edge off of some of the pain and got my blood pressure down a bit, it didn’t get rid of it completely. I still felt the aptly described ring of fire, it also felt like I was pushing out the biggest constipated poop of my entire life. Frankly, immediately before my last push that got her out I literally changed my mind. I stopped trying and wanted her back in. Yes, as is typical and another cliché, I declared to Nick that he was the reason I was in so much pain. I even informed him that he would not get a second child until I was allowed to shove an orange up his butt. :) (I won’t really hold him to that.)

After about an hour of pushing Miss Avery, aka Wiggle, was born. At birth Avery was wrapped 1 1/2 times in her cord, once around the neck, and partially around the body. She was a lovely shade of lavender when she was born, but pinked up almost immediately right before my eyes. Oh! Yes I did poop on the table. It happens. Don’t think it doesn’t.

1 week old. Smiley baby. jmjphotog.com

I still don’t have the courage to watch the birth video my mother so graciously filmed for us. My memory of the evening is somewhat fuzzy because 1/2 the time I was on those pain killers and I guess birth just does that to you. Thank goodness for that, because if I were destined to remember every detail of the pain of that night I would not have another baby.

After I had time to love, snuggle, and nurse her for a bit the docs took her away to do their measurements and such. Nick and Mom took off with the baby while I was left on the table to deliver the placenta, as well as be checked, stitched and prodded some more.

At 8 lbs, 1 oz, and 20 1/2 inches long she was exactly the dead center of 50th percentile for height and weight for a baby born at 41 weeks along. This followed the  normal and average trend of all of our Mama/Baby checkups and was something Nick and I had predicted since her conception.

I had a 2nd degree vaginal tear that was repaired with stitches. The odd part was that although the epidural was still in place I could feel their touches just fine and it tickled. I couldn’t stop laughing and had a hard time not squirming around or kicking my legs. On top of that I could still feel them stitching, which hurt. They had to use lidocaine to numb me over and over again because it kept wearing off.

Next up was the horrible fundal massage. Ugh, is that the worst or what? After all of that hard work now people have to squish down your uterus for you, pushing out blood clots and making sure you are on the right track to full recovery. It sucked so badly.

Eventually I had my wonderful, gorgeous, amazing, incredible, (more positive adjectives) baby girl back in my arms. Every single moment was worth it. Looking at her right now I can honestly say I would do the entire rather difficult pregnancy and delivery over again. I would accept worse if I had to. In my eyes she is the single most amazing person that has ever existed.

1 week old. Our family. We are so in love. jmjphotog.com