About callmequirky

I'm a wife, Office Manager by day, Accounting student by night, CPA wanna-be, play adult competitive kickball, drink a little too much, am on the neurotic side, spend about 1/8 of each day ranting, and am new to the blogging world.

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

Complete Loss of Dignity. Meh. Who Cares?

I’ve heard over and over again from parents that once you have kids you stop being embarrassed or surprised by almost everything. There’s poop on your sleeve in public? Totally normal. Get puke in your mouth? Commonplace enough it’s not even worth telling your friends. 

Well I’ve learned from personal experience that pregnancy has created this same lack of embarrassment about my personal bodily functions.

Last week we went to the store to pick up the last of the goodies for my postpartum experience. I get the same advice about post baby necessities from every website, birth board, and mother I know. After a very long, and Braxton Hicks contraction filled, shopping experience I selected the line with the slowest checker ever. This was only a bother because I had to pee. Surprise, surprise.

She began to scan my purchases when a very young, probably high school aged, couple walked up. They couldn’t hide their disgust, fear, confusion, and nearly uncontrollable urge to laugh when they saw my inventory.

  • Tucks medicated cooling hemorrhoids pads.
  • Preparation H, hemorrhoids cream.
  • Preparation H, hemorrhoids wipes.
  • GIANT dark underwear (think hot air balloon).
  • Uber absorbent, overnight, extra-large maxi pad with wings.

Of course these aren’t the only things we bought, but I doubt they were astonished at the lamp or apple juice. I was aware of their discomfort, but didn’t care even one little bit. I could have been only buying a lamp and apple juice it was such a non event. It’s only in retrospect that I find my butt maintenance regimen on display for the world to see to be pretty funny. Definitely not embarrassing though.

Come to think of it I’d bet money that seeing a 9 month pregnant lady buying all of that scary stuff was the best PSA the young lady ever had about safe sex! I may just propose to the Oregon school board to give teenagers a list of pregnancy bodily functions and the remedies. The high school birth rate would drop by half in the first year!

Postpartum Recovery Kit sold on Amazon.com.

Postpartum Recovery Kit sold on Amazon.com.

I supposed if there are some folks who are still embarrassed by this they could just buy the postpartum recovery kit pictured above, online. I really do believe that most mothers-to-be are so completely over being pregnant they would barely blink if they cut one while in line to buy all of this stuff. They might add a pine tree air freshener to the pile if one were within reach, but probably not. :)

Big Fat Pregnancy Feet

Swelling during pregnancy is extremely common. Pregnant women have about 150% of normal blood volume to help support mom and baby. We also retain more fluids. Plus the uterus/baby/placenta/amniotic fluid temporary housing unit puts pressure on veins preventing them from returning blood to our core. The blood and fluid tends to pool in our extremities so we often get puffy fingers, feet, ankles, calves and faces.

Well for me this week has been epic in the foot swelling department. 38 weeks pregnant is no joke people. I’ve tried to combat “fat foot syndrome” as best as I can over the weekend. Here’s a pictorial story of my poor feet and the remedies I’ve tried.

After work both Thursday and Friday my feet were so big it was astonishing. They hurt less than it appears, but no one wants to see something that looks so much like Professor Clump’s cankles at the end of their legs. It’s typically impossible to see my feet around the belly, but that is obviously not the case. They could see these huge things from the space station!

Fat foot syndrome. Thursday and Friday after work this is what my feet looked like.

At first I went with the most traditional remedy for edema, elevating the swollen appendages. Of course one must do this in close proximity to a TV, laptop, kitchen, and bathroom to maximize the experience. The couch was perfect.

Pillow Pile

Remedy #1. Foot elevation on a pile of pillows on the couch.

This is generally a good remedy, but with the degree of swelling I had last week it didn’t quite do the job. I needed to continue on the search.

I Googled other remedies for swelling and saw that soaking one’s feet might help. Adding epsom salts into the mix is also beneficial. I don’t have an at home foot spa so Honey Bunny and I went to the garage to find a suitable alternative. A rubber storage tub was perfect for the task.

Epsom Salt

Soaking feet in warm water and epsom salts.

The directions said that if you have all over swelling you may need to bathe in the espom salts rather than just soak. Maybe I should have done that instead. By the end of my 1 hour foot soak my feet had actually swollen again a bit bigger than when I put them in there. I think it may have more to do with the fact that my feet were not elevated at all. I was sitting in the same position as I sit at work. It stands to reason the blood and fluid was pooling back in my feet even while soaking.

I remembered that the lactation consultant in my breastfeeding class said cabbage leaves were beneficial to help alleviate engorgement. Engorgement? Hm….. My feet certainly looked engorged, although I doubt they contained milk. It was worth looking in to. Voila! Wrap cabbage leaves around swollen areas and leave it on until the leaves get wet. Done and done.

My feet wrapped up in cabbage leaves with masking tape.

Once again this operation had to be performed on the couch so I could be simultaneously entertained. I also had to walk in my cabbage shoes 2 times. Babies have no consideration for their mom’s bladders. The cabbage can shed, but it’s hard to bend over and pick up after myself with a giant bulbous tummy in the way so I left that to Honey Bunny.

Believe it or not the cabbage actually worked pretty well. Mine was fresh, but other schools of thought say to cook and cool the leaves first. Well, I’m no expert, so don’t take it from me, but the leaves are worth checking out for yourself.

By the end of Saturday my feet weren’t completely down, but were doing much better. I just kept those feet up for the rest of the evening on the pillow piles and went to bed elevating my feet slightly with pillows as I slept.

Here’s Sunday morning.

After Feet

Normal human sized feet and ankles. Woo hoo!

This is all way too much work. My next baby I will make sure and stop working 2 weeks prior to the due date. Spending my whole weekend trying to shrink my feet seems like a huge waste of time. Ah well though, she’s still worth it. :)

Still pregnant, but not for long.

And……………. it’s almost been 5 months since my last post. Wow! Okay, well everyone knows my excuse and I’m going to exploit it. I’m very pregnant and this pregnancy hasn’t exactly been “easy.” No, no, it hasn’t been the worst one ever either, but pleasant it was not. I’m not posting just to complain though. I figure I’ll make it kind of an update post. So here we go. (Long, but with pictures.)

Last time I posted (March 13th, eek!) we were still in the land of morning sickness. The hurling 834,506 times a day continued until 18 – 19 weeks along, maybe a bit longer. (Don’t worry, it kicked back in on a much lesser scale after only a 2 month respite. It even came out my nose twice at work last week! Awesome.)

Oh, immediately after I posted last time about thinking stomach trouble was kicks she actually did begin kicking and hasn’t stopped since. It’s one of the only pure joys of being pregnant. Even if it’s a kick straight to the lady parts that could bring tears to the eyes of a marble statue I love knowing she’s in there wiggling around and thriving. I can’t fall back asleep in the middle of the night until I’ve felt her move around a bit. It’s wonderful.

3/13/13, almost 16 weeks, same day as my last post. Wouldn’t really know I’m preggo.

April brought us the happy news that our little baby is going be a girl! Woo hoo! Little Miss Avery Miranda. Even happier news was that she was very normal and average in every way. Dead center of the middle of all of the measurement scales. This mama has never been so happy to be completely average in her life.

20 weeks along.

April also brought additional insight into the way kicks can feel. It’s really distracting when someone is kicking you from the inside at work. Avery has a few different moves she’s working on. 1. The Double Punch, straight forward into the abdomen. 2. The Mary Katherine Gallagher, where she somehow manages to get my belly button, bladder, and booty simultaneously. 3. Vibrate Setting which makes no sense, but it’s like she’s an electric toothbrush until some point when the vibrations end with a huge explosion and I think she’ll be jumping out of my stomach Alien style.

Less fun April news, about 20 weeks along I was diagnosed with mild gestational diabetes. The first thing I learned is that GD can happen to anyone regardless of health, age, body type, etc… The placenta starts making a hormone that blocks out your ability to process insulin correctly, that’s it. The second thing I learned is you have to eat a pretty freaking strict diet to make sure your baby stays healthy and sometimes that doesn’t even work. Complications to the baby can be excessive birth weight, preterm babies, hypoglycemia at birth, respiratory distress, jaundice, and possibly type 2 diabetes.

Luckily for Avery and me I have been able to control my blood sugar levels with diet and exercise the entire time, but this isn’t always the case. Some moms need to take oral medications or even injections of insulin. For the last 4 1/2 months I’ve been poking my fingers and testing my blood sugar 2 – 4 times a day. I spot check if I want to eat something super tasty/naughty too. Because every body is different, a diet regimen for one person may not work for another. I found that the babycenter gestational diabetes group was a lot of help and actually the key to complete regulation for my diet/exercise. They helped above and beyond my dietician and doctor. If you found this post because you’re just learning about your GD I suggest joining that Babycenter.com group.

21 1/2 weeks. Can you believe that in this picture a baby is big enough to kick me and I can feel it so well?! And we know she’s a girl at this point. The reproductive process is so crazy and cool!

May was a pretty fun month. We flew back East to visit Honey Bunny’s family. It was a great trip. It was especially neat being able to see our nephew at 15 months old. Now we know just how potentially adorable this little girl will be when she’s walking, talking, playing, and interacting. What a cute kid!!! On the flight there my legs decided to swell up to what I thought was epic proportions. All I can say for you travelling mamas out there, COMPRESSION SOCKS!

Fat ankles from flying cross country. The foot was stuffed in a shoe so it didn’t get that big. Please note that in the 3rd trimester this looks comfortable by comparison. Think Professor Clump.

The May baby updates were all more of normal and average. Woo hoo! Love it. I absolutely loved Fridays by now. Friday is the day when I roll into the next new pregnancy week. There are about 1 trillion baby websites and books out there that tell you what’s going on with your baby and your body every week. Fridays I would spend about an hour reading up on our weekly progress. So much fun.

Of course we cannot go through a month without Mama getting a little bad news. Pregnancy anemia. Again mild, not as bad as some, but yes…. iron pills. If anyone knows anything about taking extra iron they know that this completely messes with your digestive tract. Think poo made of black tar or black rocks, there is no in between. Suffice it to say that I have upped my steak, burger, and liver intake in addition to cooking in my cast iron skillet often to avoid having to take those awful, awful pills of constipated glory.

26 1/2 weeks, end of May. There that bump is. Now she’s starting to get bigger. A little less than 2 lbs and about 14 inches long here.

June was actually pretty great. The weather was nice in Oregon. I got to socialize with friends more than I had in a while since I was feeling a bit better. The bump was growing nicely and all baby appointments were nothing but normal and average. I didn’t even get any more bad diagnoses. We ordered Honey Bunny Avery his her new car, a 2014 Subaru Forester XT. IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus baby! Yeah!

Oh, June was the first month that I started getting intense Braxton Hicks contractions though. If you don’t know what those are, they are a completely normal and natural part of pregnancy. Lots of times bodies practice contractions and they can start pretty early. Sometimes those practice contractions get intense and close enough together to warrant seeing a physician. Well….. Yep, I went in the first time at about 29 weeks. Because I find it annoying going to the doctor all of the time I’ve avoided it most of these contraction days, but I’ve spent a lot of time talking on the phone to labor & delivery triage trying to ascertain whether or not I should go get monitored since then. They happen at work the most often. I’ve had as long as 6 1/2 hours of my work day be every 5 – 10 minutes contracting. Intense, but not quite intense enough to go to the doc. Holy heck!

June and sunning the bump on the No Dude’s Cruise. 29 weeks along.

July was very, very busy. We had a ton of baby/pregnancy classes to take, the maternity shoot was early in the month, both of the baby showers were in July. What I noticed happening was that every Sunday I was too tired to do anything. Saturdays were all so busy that Sunday I had to stay on the couch while Honey Bunny went and played kickball.

The doctor’s appointments were all normal and average and July was my last month of appointments every 2 weeks. August began the weekly visits. :) Getting closer!

Below is a gallery of some of the maternity shoot photos taken on the Oregon coast by Jaymie Manning of JMJ Photography. She’s also our engagement and wedding photographer.

July 27th, 35 weeks along.

Now that brings us to August! THE BABY IS DUE THIS MONTH! On or near 8/30/13 we expect our wonderful little girl to make her appearance to the outside world for the very first time.

This month has already been pretty busy. Since the baby showers are all over and done with we’ve been able to finalize decorating baby girl’s nursery. We’ve installed car seats, and baby mirrors, cleaned everything there is to clean in the house, and purchased almost all of the last little items she’ll need. No joke people, this baby will survive living in our house for at least a week to 10 days.

August has its own complications, in that she’s much, much, much bigger. We’ve reached 37 weeks, “early full term”, which means she could come out any time and the doctors would no longer try and stop her. She’ll be just fine by all accounts. She’s also more than 6 lbs and about 20 inches long. This is crazy to think about because between her, placenta, uterus size increase, and amniotic fluid it’s like I’m wearing a 15 lb bowling ball inside of my abdomen! (Yes, as a matter of fact, I have had Nick sit with his bowling ball on his stomach to watch TV.)

Avery and I are both experiencing typical end of pregnancy woes. On her side she’s beginning to be squished. She’s just loading up on baby fat now since her organs are all pretty much developed and intact. It’s making her less comfy. She shows this to me by stretching a lot. Typically I have one baby body part lodged up under my rib cage (this feels similar to a crow bar prying it apart). Her head is frequently pressing down hard on my cervix, bladder, and colon, which are all uncomfortable in their various ways. My abs no longer support her quite as easily as they once did, so it feels like the underside of my stomach is going to rip in half if I stand/walk for too long without some sort of elastic support. Swelling has forced me to remove my wedding rings and by the end of the work day my feet no look very much like Professor Clump’s as I previously mentioned. Ya know, I could probably make these late preggo discomforts a 20 page post of its own. Maybe I’ll spare ya for now.

In 19 days(ish) we’re going to be parents. It’s insane to imagine. Honey Bunny is more confident in his abilities than I am in mine. My psychotic neuroses are, of course, making me picture worst case scenarios non-stop. Not to the point of crazy anxiety all of the time mind you, but to the point that I’m probably planning too much, spending too much time on the interwebz, and reading too many baby how-to books.

Over the last couple of months we’ve also spent a lot of time bonding with her while in utero. We talk to her every day so she gets used to our voices. There is “Daddy/Daughter time” where Nick tells me about his day at work while sitting near enough my stomach for her to hear. We read her the same two books daily so she’ll have familiar stories she recognizes when she’s born. We play her music to see what she likes. So far she moves the most to George Michael, “Faith.” We can’t figure out if her response means she loves it or hate it. Ha ha.

So I’ll try and post a little bit more in the next couple of weeks and definitely update when she’s born.

37 weeks. Early full term. We’re just about done.