Monday, July 18, 2011

Going through the big D and I do mean Dallas

Well, Henry went on his first trip as an outside baby beyond the OKC metro area.  To Texas.  I'm not proud of the destination of his first excursion, but he had to make a break for it at some point.  I joke.  Dallas is kinda awesome when you've been holed up in the OK for the last nine months (the last time H was in Texas, he was in Austin).  Margaritas were consumed, night swimming took place, pedicures at Bliss were had, the Dallas skyline observed from the rooftop pool of the W, browsing through Neiman happened, lunching at Central Market (without buying $500 worth of groceries - personal victory) and little H learned he loves guitar.  A good time had by all, all being me, H, Lacey, her bro, his wife and their parents.  Thanks to the big D.  Also, I learned that I can travel with a baby.  Well, one that's 17 weeks old (tear, I can't believe he's so grown up) and with three other people to help.  Now, if I could only find a million dollars and we could go on a real vacay... but until then, this weekend was pretty great!

P.S. I am an awesome mom and forgot to take any pictures of our adventure.  Yes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Zack Harrison Memorial Music Monday: Kidz muzak.

Baby H has been exposed to a lot of music since conception.  A lot.  K and I have music on all the time.  Impromptu Pat Benetar dance parties?  Check.   Blasting Rick Ross at unreasonable volumes in the car while rapping along like insane people?  Check.  Steady diet of all things indie via my old Noho radio station (WRSI - The River) at work?  Check.  Kid friendly music?  Not so much.  So, this weekend, I braved the forums and came up with a couple things that I'll be playing for Hank in the coming weeks.

1) Really Rosie: Not actually something new, but something my elementary school music teacher taught every year.  I love it.  Still.  What could be better than the combo of Carol King and Maurice Sendak?  Nothing.  Also, it's a wonderful story with valuable lessons. Kid music gold.

2)  You Are My Little Bird - Elizabeth Mitchell:  Looks like she's been on the kids music scene for a bit now, with several sweet albums.  I played most of this for H last night and he was absolutely enthralled, especially enjoying "Eliza Jane" - well, as much as a fourth month old (that's right, he's four months/16 weeks today - please make time slow down, please?) can enjoy anything.  So far, thumbs up on this one.

3) Original Friend - Lunch Money: I remembered hearing this group on NPR at some point and decided to give it a download.  Haven't listened all the way through yet, but so far, it's a winner.  Clever, not cloying.  Hip, but not hipster.

We'll see how the bambino likes these as his surely excellent musical taste continues to develop. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Welcome to my home*

*Brenda Dickson reference. 

When we learned that little H was on the way, we were obviously unprepared.  I spent the first couple of months (not of my pregnancy, when I learned of my pregnancy, which was four months in - I KNOW!) in shock, unable to really do anything aside from be in constant shock and disbelief in spite of seeing his wiggly little body on the big screen.  Eventually, I got my shit somewhat together and got to think about where the little stinker would reside when he arrived.  We have two extra bedrooms, one just off the living room and one teeny, tiny, itsy bitsy room closer to ours.  We decided to make the wee room for the wee one since it was closer and so that when he was wailing, we could still hang out in the living room.  We're thoughtful like that.

With the decision of where the babe would sleep made, I then turned my focus on how the fuck we would make the room habitable for a tiny dude.  Our nursery budget?  $0.  Seriously.  As previously mentioned, I'm the breadwinner and I don't make much.  So, in an attempt at being responsible for our offspring, I couldn't go balls out when it came to decorating as I normally would.  This actually turned out ok, I think.  See below:


We weren't going to paint the walls, that would've just put me over the edge, and I wasn't interested in a babyish theme that would dominate the small space, so instead, I opted for a mish-mash of bright colors that were at once playful and grown up, gender neutral and not matchy matchy.  The little wooden hutch was in my room growing up and was in my closet in my parent's house until I hauled it across town to hold H's little collection of handmade toys and books.  I'm all about home made stuff for the kiddo when I can.  On the shelf, he's got soft blocks (thanks M5K!), a robot pillow, bear made from quilt pieces, wooden toys and then some books, some mushrooms and a pictures frame that remains blank until I get my ass in gear and professionally document the kid.  Cost?  $30 for the robot pillow and mushrooms, everything else was gifted and thrifted. 

K's mom graciously offered to purchase the crib for us and suggested a convertible model that would carry H through the years.  In an act surely induced by pregnancy insanity, I gave K the job of selecting the crib.  Know what?  I think he did a really good job.  I registered for the Dwell Studio for Target rockets bedding set, which my grandmother purchased.  I thought it was boyish without hitting you over the head.  It came with a bumper and comforter, but those aren't safe for H yet.  In the crib he's got a group of his very favorite things: sleep sheep, musical glowing seahorse, dinos and ugly doll.  On the wall, I strung up a few things that were colorful and special to me in lieu of expensive prints.  I included an ultrasound pic (this was creepy to me at first, but I ended up being really comforted but his little face in the images), pics of my mom and dad and me when I was a baby, the invite for my shower, my mantra, darling letter prints for K and me, a string of elephants given to me sometime (can't remember) and a tile that was given to me as a gift for an internship I did at Smith.  The mobile is a flensted and the curtains are a work in progress.

The rocking chair was the same that my mom rocked my brother and me in.  The beautiful elephant blanket given to use by some friends.  The airplane lamp was K's when he was a kid.  The nighstand is an old stool.  The prints on the wall I picked up from Zulily for super cheap.  The box fan is integral to H sleeping.  The utility shelves were a last minute Wal-Mart purchase when I realized I was not driving my pregnant ass down to Ikea to get proper shelves and other storage.  But, I think they work great to hold some cheapo basket from Ross that hold H's burp rags, diapers, nursing supplies and other necessities.  We got the changing table from Craigslist one night for $25.  I'd wanted a dresser from Ikea that he could grow with, but this was cheaper and I think we can remove the rails along the top and repaint when he gets older.  Not pictures is the ottoman for the rocker, or rather, a wicker basket I found in our house that had a lid that I covered with a crocheted blanket given to us.  Works just fine.

Like the other side of the wall, I used twine and clothespins to hand a few things to entertain H while on the changing table.  Tiny clothing, sweet cards and pics of K with his dad (who passed away) and me with my mom (who has the same hairstyle today).   This was really the only way to get art up on the walls that I could afford.  Frames are expensive, yo!

Here's H during the photo shoot (you can see the ever present swing - it's seriously the best thing ever invented). He looks like a super chunk in this, but he's still actually kinda normal sized for going on four months.  He's got some thighs and some arms, but they still fit through his clothes, so we're all good for now.

So, there you go. The entire nursery was probably thrown together for less than $200 over the course of five months.  Not to bad with not much.

Friday, July 08, 2011

being and adult is hard and crap

This "blog" often becomes a cesspool of whinery and I'm not proud of that.  The two things I was most often reprimanded for growing up were whining and arguing.  Many a spanking and later groundings were had due to the combo.  But I like them both so very much.  Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in how I'm constantly being wronged, overlooked, left out, judged, ignored that I forget how good things are or that mine is often a common experience.  Being the financially responsible party in my tiny family is super stressful and then some.  I was so relieved to read an account that mirrored a lot of my feelings, the not so nice ones and the eventual optimistic ones.

So, here's to remembering that the present will not necessarily be my future and that the past is not the present.  Or something like that.  Time to stop being such a bitch.  The last thing I need is little H getting in trouble in first grade for excessive use of sarcasm.  Like I did.  My poor mom and dad. 

See, look. I'm already not making fun of this lame-o picture. Go me!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Guess what will happen in one month and a day?

I will turn old balls.  Or 30.  Yes, after bitching about it for years, it's actually happening.  Fortunately, I can cross one of my before 30 life goals off the list, being an unmarried single mother.  Woot!  I did want to have a baby when it was probably healthier for me, so I'm glad I got babe #1 knocked out before the big 3-0.  Other than that...  well, I have an adult job.  For now.  And adult debt.  So there's that.  And now, for the gifties.  Again, K is not a holiday/birthday person, so I won't be getting anything from him and I think when you're 30 and have your own offspring your parents can cut you off and since I'm poor, this will be a lean, mean (read nonexistent) dirty 30.  But that's ok.  Instead, I will daydream aloud...

Dyson vacuum - yes, when you get old, you want boring shit for your house.

Duvet cover - same one, but now $49!  I might actually go for this...

Tom's coral canvas wedges - don't know why, but I'm digging these.  I imagine them with striped shirts, skinny jeans and statement necklaces, none of which I should be wearing.

New pillows for the eyesore of a sectional that lives in my living room - I can't get rid of the couch due to budget restraints (more accurately, K loves the thing), but I could replace the sad pillows from years ago with brighter ones that make more sense with my undecor.

Nursing friendly dress - I don't foresee the pumping ending anytime soon, so my wardrobe has been severely altered.  This little number would conceal the lopsided boobage and allow for access.

A night in luxury - silly, as this is fleeting, but the idea of a well appointed bed, room service potential, within walking distance of an excellent bar that serves well mixed Hendricks and tonics... heaven.  The problem is I'd still have to pump all night and/or miss H too much to actually enjoy.  (They have cribs!)

Lululemon Groove pants - yup, I still want them.  And also the Bliss tank.  Could hold in the girls and cover the flab.  Win.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne - I'm obsessed with smelling good, but I kind of always smell bad.  Perfume just doesn't stick to me.  Also, now I smell like maple syrup thanks to the fenugreek I guzzle by the handful to boost milk supply.  Marry me!

Ittikid wardrobe for H-man - love.these.prints.  H needs them all. Especially the elephants.

KitchenAid Pro Mixer - yeah, I still need this.

Aveda spa treatments - nothing really removes the telltale sign of being a new mom (stringy, clumpy hair; sad, sunken eyes; terrible wardrobe choices; wan, sallow skin; I could go on), but getting some help from professionals would be nice.

So, there's my super selfish, completely unrealistic wishlist for the beginning of my downhill slide.  But really, I've got my healthy tiny buddy, my needy stinky puppy, my partner in crime (sometimes literally), my fam and friends, so, it's all good.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Oh, hey there.

Guess what.  It's been over a month since I last posted.  That's what happens when you spend all of your free time trying to devise a way to escape your baby's farts.  But seriously, he has the farts of a frat bro who ponged it up on Natty for 48 hours straight.  No, but seriously, I have zero energy to do anything but complain about H's farts and occasionally tend to him so blogging is not at the top of my list.

Actually, H man is doing great, growing like crazy (way too fast), pre-laughing, holding his head up longer and longer, grasping, batting, sleeping through every third night or so, it's pretty great!  What's not great is that I'm not adjusting to work well (it's super hard to concentrate when all I want to do is spend my time with the bambino and when I try to concentrate, my brain breaks down because it's been functioning on maybe two three to four hours spurts of sleep going on four months) and breastfeeding is fricking ruling my life (taking herbs, drinking tea, eating oatmeal, pumping every three hours, suffering boobs that are two completely different sizes, thus really restricting my wardrobe because I'll be damned if someone points out my exaggerated lopsidedness). 

Things that are making me happy include, but are not limited to the following:


Pinterest - 100% addicted
mom blog All things Alishan (she writes my brain)
our new, old car (2000 white Subaru Outback - holla!)
my new Frye sandals I found for suuuuuper cheap

Saturday mornings at the farmers' market with H
Hopefully what are the closing argument for the Casey Anthony trial.  Get off my tv.
Reliving awesome 90s music - behold:

And you better believe I tried to recreate those outfits. Puffy shirts and all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You have not lived

until you spill the hard earned 10 ounces of breast milk you pumped in your car at a conference in Tulsa today all over your kitchen floor in an attempt to transfer from collection bottle to freezer bag, then collapse to the floor in tears watching your hard work (not to mention missed presentations as you were in your car hooked up for all the grounds workers to see) spread across your sloped tile, only to be non-comforted by your babydaddy who suggests that next time you should be more careful.  Seriously, it's the best. 

Breastfeeding is great and all that shit, I know, but it is hard work, at least for me.  Pumping is a part-time job - storage, clean up, sterilization of parts, toting pump to and fro, timing, wrist fatigue from holding the damn things, nipple wreckage, labeling, organizing, watching it go to waste when someone feeds six ounces instead of four (he doesn't need that much yet!!!).  Dudes, it's liquid gold and just as hard to mine.  There's been oversupply, undersupply interruption of supply, changes in medications, severe engorgement, soaking through clothing, probable mastitis, drinking of disgusting lactation promotion tea and liter upon liter of water.  And the best thing is, your supply is negatively impacted when you're stressed.  HOW CAN YOU NOT BE EFFING STRESSED!?  You just had a baby shoot out of you, you function on zero sleep, you go back to work and now you have to be relaxed so that you can successfully pump and feed?  Blergh.  My boobs need a vacation and it's only month two.  It's going to be a long road to 12 months.

But, this is why I do it:


Also, fear of social ostracizing. No, really it's money saving.  Formula is expensive, yo!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tips for new moms returning to work.

1. Don't.

Memba this?  Baby Boom!  Diane Keaton is still wearing that suit, but now with gloves.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Chin up

In spite of yesterday's letdown, I'm resolved to quit being a turd and get over it.  I'm very lucky in so many ways.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

First Mother's Day...

Brunch and gifts for my mom, early dinner and gifts for K's mom, and for me on this first Mom's Day?  Texts and gifts from friends and family (thank you!!), but not a peep from K.  I try to understand his perspective on commercially manufactured holidays, I do, but it doesn't mean I like it and don't feel completely left out.  I'll never have another initial Mother's Day.  Sadcakes.

Oh, right, I do have a super cute little kid, though.  Hi Henry!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

In advance of Mom day

Bwahahaha.  Oh Mom.  This was taken in 2007, at least 14 years after fanny packs were acceptable (in Europe). 

Fanny pack or mini backpack, she's my mom and I love her.  It's weird now having my own offspring.  It's probably impossible for H to ever understand just how much work and sacrifice this has been even in just six short weeks (plus nine months), but he probably will once he has his own kiddo.  I know I do.  Actually, he probably won't get it because he's a dude and won't ever have a construction zone for a hoo ha or destroyed nips and hips, but you know what I mean.  Anyway, thanks Mom.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Momtrocity #2 (of a million)

The thing is, somewhere between birth and age 22, I lost my imagination.  Poof.  Gone.  I don't dance unless very inebriated, I don't make silly faces, I don't woop at sporting events.  I sit quietly and mind my business.  I don't DIY stuff around my house.  I don't sing along to the radio when others are in the car.  I don't sing aloud in public at all (again, unless inebriated).  I don't scream or make loud noises. 1000% boring.  And now I have a kiddo who will need to be entertained in ways that don't involve my inebriation.  Have you read kinderpendent?  Or stopped by SouleMama?  I'm effed!  No way will my sad little brain ever conjure up the creative schemes it should to make sure baby H develops into the genius he should.  Just today I had to read a post on babycenter to learn how to play with a newborn. (and it's taken me six weeks to do this...).  A typical day means me trying to keep him alive, let alone happy and stimulated.  Mama fail.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

So you popped out a kid, now what?

Well, I'll tell you.  Mayhem.  Absolute and utter mayhem.  To your lady biz and your sanity.  Here's what you should know if you ever plan to have a kid (ha, plan) or if you know someone about to expel one from her uterus.

So, Henry's been born and our families flood in to hold him, etc while K and I are still in shock and I'm covered in vernix and meconium  It's not a good look for anyone.  I read that you're supposed to try to nurse and get some skin to skin action almost immediately, but there's no way this is happening in this loud, bright room with tons of people and I'm ok with that.  I still need a few minutes to process.

(Oh, forgot to mention something.  My doctor who delivered Henry also delivered me.  I've been seeing her since I was 16 and she was so kind and understanding throughout this whole ordeal considering how freaked I was.  When she was done fixing me up, she went over to the warmer to check H over and kept saying how beautiful he was (I think so too) and decided that she needed to wash his hair before our families came in so he would look his best for them (my mom is still her patient too).  She took him over to the sink and lovingly washed his hair while my nurse readied me for guests (e.g. put the closed sign over my hoo ha).  My nurse and the nursery scrub tech person both came over and said they'd never seen her do that before.  I felt kinda special.)

Right, so everyone streams in and there are tears (not mine) and lots of photos, then one by one people head out leaving me, K, Lacey and my nurse.  H is swept away to the nursery (I think - hard to remember now) for his once over by that group.  Now starts the dirty work.  The nurse has to press on my abdomen repeatedly to make sure my uterus is already shrinking and to push out any clots (bodies are amazing, I tell you). It's incredibly painful.  Like take your breath away painful.  Like I haven't just been through enough and now you gotta do this?  And remove the catheter?  And pack my hoo ha with ice?  Yay!  Next, once she's satisfied with all that, it's time to get up and head for the bathroom to learn my new routine before being wheeled upstairs to my postpartum room.  I've been on my back for, what, 15 hours or so not counting my time in triage? Ugh.  Also, I just had a baby.  Double ugh.  I'd read about the mesh undies and the super pads and now I was confronted with them in real life.  I was afraid to even ask what had happened down there, so I just listened as she went through the supplies (squirt bottle with warm water, witch hazel pads, Dermoplast, two of the biggest pads you've ever seen and mesh underwear) and told me what to do: squirt, wipe, spray and load the mesh with the pads every time I got for like, you know, two weeks.  Awesome!  Because I'll have so much free time to hang out in the bathroom.

Your new best friend, the sitz bath.

K and L grab our stuff and I'm wheeled up (no way I was walking, no way) up to the room where we'd be staying for the next couple of days.  It's then that I realize I am fucking starving.  Like beyond ravenous.  However, I've heard a lot about taking it easy because the number two sitch is brutal.  I throw caution to the wind and L goes to Classic 50s (local Sonic like place, but better) and comes back with a buffet of delicious drive-in food.  Oh God, it was so good.  We all stuffed our faces until I then realized that I hadn't slept since Saturday night and it was Monday night.  The nurses gave me something for pain and I asked if they could bring H in only for feedings that night instead of rooming in so I could get some rest.  L headed out and then it was just K and I and everything seemed so surreal I couldn't stand it.  Had all of that really just happened?  I was in the hospital bed and K pulled out the couch bed, but it was too far from me.  I made him drag it closer and I buried my head into him across the divide, sobbing.  Oh hormones.  We drift off to sleep for about five minutes. 

Here's what happens.  A variety of nurses wake you up all night to perpetrate various indignities (aka just doing their job).  Up first is the nursery lady showing me how to feed a very wiggly, still kind of gooey H.  We get a good enough latch and he chows down with a vengeance for a bit, leaving my nip a shell of its former self.  That's done and he's whisked away where he can be cared for by professionals for at least a couple of nights before he's released into the wild (our house).  Next, I am poked and prodded all night long with iron injections, pain pill administrations, blood pressure checks, nurse pushing super hard on my belly and Henry feedings.  K sleeps through all of this as I familiarize myself with early morning TV - I'm now a human TV guide from 1 - 5am.  There was a special nurse to make sure I had peed, which I hadn't.  She came in three times that night to make me try to go, but I couldn't.  Finally she gave up and said I had until 9am the next day before we're talking about another catheter.  Awesome!  Eventually, I feel the urge and hobble to the bathroom.  That's when someone knocks and then opens the door.  It's my doctor and she's doing her morning rounds - at 6am?  Anyway, we have a lovely conversation as she stands in the bathroom door frame and I'm on the toilet.  This is when I realize childbirth really puts your life in a whole different category.  Your body is no longer yours, but public property.

Our (million dollar) hospital stay continues with visitors, the best shower ever (like the kind after you've been camping/hiking) feedings, nurse visits, little sleep and terrible food except for one night when K went and got Pei Wei, which was orgasmic at the time.  Delicious lo mein with tofu...  My stitches made things pretty uncomfortable and I had a hard time getting in and out of bed without the aid of some narcotics, then I felt silly for needing them and for being in bed (it's not like I was sick) and would overdo it then end up back in bed in pain because I am smart.  Finally, it was time to go home.  Hello terrifying, overwhelming fear!  But, we put H in some clothes, loaded him in the car seat and off we went.  Simple as that.  Too simple...

At home, the completely inconvenient, but necessary bathroom routine continues.  The sleeplessness continues as we figure out how to handle (literally, this was day three of holding a baby in oh about 20 years).  The walking around feeling like I'm in an alternate universe as I stare at the baby gear littering my house continues.  The pain continues.  The visitors continue.  The delivered meals continue.   However, my digestive system has been discontinued.  I'd gotten a talking to by my nurse before I was discharged about the whole number two biz.  Basically, she said it was going to be awful, but it had to happen by day five and it would be ok.  The stitches would hold and the hemorrhoids would heal.  Yes, these are things they skip over in the pregnancy books.  You are pushing something huge out of a tiny space with all of your might very close to your business end.  The result is only logical.  Ouch.  Also, they had pumped me full of iron and percocet.  All of this is a mixture for elimination failure.  Day five comes and goes in spite of generous doses of Colace (ladies, start taking that now.  NOW!) and other stuff, no dice.  I can be cool about it now, but seriously, I was beyond miserable.  That plus stress of a baby, no sleep, stiches, sore boobs and anything else you can think of just about put me over the edge.  It was a unique combo of physical and mental pain that I hope to never experience again.  Finally, K's mom, an RN, laid the smack down.  She said after each kid, she'd had to, uh, manually get things going.  Oh God.  Off she went to get rubber gloves and some lube and K poured me some whiskey, my first post-preg drink (not how I imagined it).  Fast forward to me feeling human again and never wanting to drink whiskey again. 

After one solid week of hell, I was feeling much better in all departments.  Six weeks out now, my body is feeling almost back to normal.  I'm back to pre-preg weight, back in my old clothes, my hips have kind of pushed back together and my belly skin is slowly returning to its previous state (let's not talk about what that was, though).  The moral of the story is, start taking Colace weeks before your due date, explain to your partner that you might be out of commission in the getting out of bed to get the baby department and they need to help with that, use Lanolin every time you nurse and take it easy on yourself.  No one's really going to give a shit if there's dog hair on your couch when they come over.  They only care about the wee one.  So don't break your back and blow out your stitches trying to clean.  Trust.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy me day!

This will (obviously) be my first Mother's Day.  Due to K's aversion to all things holiday, I will yet again be left out of the commercialized fun and vaguely disappointed (nothing I can do about it).  However, I can whip up a fantasy list of gifts I wouldn't mind receiving...

Audrey (you know, I've never owned nor desired a coach item until I saw this, now I covet)

New Balance WW850 (to get my toning on - I need it)

Henry necklace (you know, in case I forget I have him)

Pretty posts (since I fear the days of wearing my favorite ginormous F21 earrings are coming to an end soon)

Duvet cover (I like this one because I don't think you'll really be able to tell how wrinkled it would become with all of it's folds - genius!)

Watch (I have to time everything and digging my phone out of a diaper bag or bottomless purse takes forever)

Tory Burch Reva Flats (classics - I need to start cultivating a collection of classics rather than crapsics that are on sale at Marshall's)

Summer Dress (I've worn out my other Calypso St Barth stuff and need a replacement - well worth the $$)

Le Creuset (oh wait, Shain already got this for me!  i needed a way to publicly out him as a nice person in spite of his evil internet persona)

That's all. Not a big list, really. Also, I would settle for an Aveda mani/pedi. Or a healthy, happy baby boy. I suppose that's good enough.

H modeling his recent H&M acquisition shipped all the way from Germany!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oh Lord, it's only Wednesday.

Allegedly, I have to return to work soon. Perhaps not.  A) no childcare yet - nothing is working out! B) I can't leave him!   In the meantime, I will continue my days of random naps, cereal binging, 10am showers, jammie wearing, boob proffering and general slovenliness, which means excessive time spent on the interwebs...

Baby blogs I'm digging:

Baby Sauce
Baby Mama Jams

Randomness worth mentioning:

Tom Haverfoods - must be Parks & Rec fan

Kristin  Chenoweth pimping the OKC Thunder on Ellen.  Rock on little lady.  Also, Thunder up!  Gotta beat the Nuggets tonight.  I got a t-shirt and everything...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SPOILER ALERT - graphic birth details ahead

So, now that we're a month out from the trauma (and it is absolutely trauma) of the whole birthing thing, I thought I would record what's left of my memory of the event before it's completely erased by lack of sleep and acquisition of new knowledge like finding the perfect BPA free bottle with the best nipple out of the 10,472 choices out there (so far Avent is in the lead).  It all began on Sunday, March 20th...

Early evening, K and I went over to my parent's house to watch the Thunder (now in the playoffs, what what!) and as we were noshing on very healthy snacks like potato chips and french onion dip, I felt faintly blechy, which was not unusual (read every single post since November).  When we were leaving, I was able to categorize the feelings as somewhat reminiscent of very light menstrual cramps, but didn't think much of it considering the tremendous pressure I'd been having in my lower pelvis for weeks as H had lodged his head pretty far down there and my hips and pelvis were splitting to accommodate.  We headed home and I can't remember what else we did that evening, probably my nightly ritual of bath (to soothe said hips and pelvis), donning of old lady nightgown (the most comfortable at that time) and the firing of up of ye olde heating pad before lowering myself into bed at probably 9pm or so.  But not before picking out my clothes for work - I was so excited to wear the Tucker for Target dress I'd picked up that weekend (still haven't worn it).  I left work on Friday completely convinced that I would be in the office Monday and kind of left a lot for myself to finish up Monday/Tuesday before I was going to give myself a break.  I am smart like that.

After lounging about in bed for a bit, I realized that the pesky crampy feelings were becoming more insistent.  A bit later, they were painful.  It then popped into my head that I have no idea what labor feels like.  Great.  So, how am I supposed to know?  I consult Dr. Oz's book (You Having a Baby) and What to Expect When You're Expecting and they have wildly differing accounts of what a contraction can feel like.  Then I think back to what people have told me (and man, do people like to tell you all about their labor and now I know why - it's a feat) and most said that contractions engage your entire abdomen, stretching from top to bottom and around the sides almost to your back.  These feelings weren't that.  It was an isolated cramp in my very lower abdomen.  This worried me.  In spite of having a completely normal pregnancy, in the span of three minutes I convinced myself that my placenta was detaching or some other calamity, which was causing the pain.  I decided to call my doctor.  But wait, my doctor doesn't take late night calls, by now it's 10pm.  Instead, you're supposed to go to the ER or the birth center for triage.  So, I call my other doctor, Lacey, who had just spent a month in L&D.  She asked if I was timing the space between and length of the cramps/possible contractions.  Why would I do that, I think, they're not contractions, they're cramps and indicate something is whack.  We timed them on the phone.  Two minutes apart and about 45-60 seconds in length.  I remember from (ridiculous) birth prep class that the rule is 411, which we were clearly ahead of.  I hang up with Lacey and try to figure out what to do. 

I thought these must be what my contractions will be like, but they're so close together and not yet unbearable painful, I'd hate to go to the hospital and not be dilated at all, have no change, then be sent home.  K however, was insistent that we go.  What if this is just what my body does?  Do I want to have him here?  No, I think and get in the shower.  Thank God.  Because I was to remain unshowered for quite some time and desperately needed to shave my legs.  K is becoming more panicked rushing around gathering up what we might need.  I'd pretty much prepacked everything, but I'd left out a few odds and ends thinking I'd have at least another week.  But, we got our crap together and headed out to the car with everything in tow, including Zeb.  We drove across town and dropped Z off at my parent's house.  By now it's about midnightish.  The hospital's only a couple of minutes from there and we pull up and prepare to get out.  I want to leave everything in the car since I'm 75% convinced they're going to send me home, in spite of the contractions being spaced so closely together.  K agrees and we start inside.  And then it happens.  The combo of sprinklers, grassless dirt in the median, my nervousness and recentered center of gravity results in me totally biting it right side down in a pile of mud.  Wet, stinky mud.  Oh, and in Oklahoma, we literally have red dirt.  So, red, stinking, sopping mud.  I am covered from head to toe.  It's in my hair.  It's in my mouth.  I am shaken and 100% certain I am not going in that hospital looking a hot mess.  NO EFFING WAY.  K thinks otherwise.  In my nearly first act as a mother, instead of ensuring the health of my unborn child, I make K drive me back to my parents house (against his protesting and my sobbing - also getting the car supremely filthy) and stealthily break into the bathroom to hose myself off.  I'm doing a fairly decent job of removing the mud from my clothes and feet (had flip flops on - there's now mud under my toenails - you're welcome doctors and nurses who will have to look at them later!) when I realize two things.  1) The only additional clothes I brought were for lounging about the hospital and were nursing friendly, oh well, and 2) I had gotten mud all over my mom's white carpet and if you know my mom, labor or not, she will not have that shit.  So, in my granny panties (more on these later) and bra, I'm on the floor of the bathroom breathing through contractions and cleaning carpet.  Basically, living the dream.  I finish up, put on the most ridonk outfit ever and run back to the car where K is fuming that this is happening, but I'm cleaner and that's what matters. 

We go back to the hospital, I'm checked into triage and change into a gown (which, in spite of our educations, took some work on K and my part to figure out how the damn thing worked).  They check me and I'm still at 1 cm, but they do hook me up to a monitor to see what my contraction situation is and to make sure I'm ok after my fall.  The contractions are definitely two minutes apart and strong according to the monitor.  You can see the other women in triage on screen as well and I was kicking their asses, however, I was not changing, so after an hour, I was told to go home.  I knew that was going to happen.  They were getting really painful by then and I had this feeling we'd be back soon.  The doc on call was satisfied that my fall hadn't done any damage because H's heart rate was ok and there were no other signs of distress.  I was given a Lortab and sent on my way.  I was disappointed, but also so relieved.  Maybe I would go to work tomorrow, get caught up and have this baby when I felt ready, which would be never.

As we drove home, the contractions began to strengthen and were now far worse than any menstrual discomfort I'd felt (which having endometriosis is pretty bad).  I'm making audible breathing sounds and whimpering, which I swore I wouldn't do (not sure why, it helps).  We get to our house and a barrel into the couch thinking a soft surface rather than hard hospital observation table would decrease the pain.  It doesn't.  The only thing I can think of to help me hold on until a few hours when there might be a chance I'd dilated further (well, at all, really) was a bath.  K ran a bath, I stripped down, plopped in and man, did it help.  I was instantly calmer and the warm water really helped with the pain.  Also, K and I could see the contractions happening so we could keep timing to have a sense of any progress.  Still two minutes apart and 45-60 seconds, give or take.  And I think this was the issue.  I had been prepared for a long labor progressing through contractions becoming closer and closer together, but having a break in between to prepare for the next until toward the end.  This was not that.  As soon as one contraction ended, I was able to catch my breath for about thirty seconds then the next would begin.  It was awful.  Had they been 10 minutes apart, five minutes apart, I think I would've fared differently, but I was already mentally on edge dealing with the near constant pain.  I didn't sign up for that!  I signed up for half an hour between until I was way more dilated.  Stupid nature.  However, on the bright side, I was able to get the rest of the mud off of me, except under my nails.  Finally, I tell Keaton eff this shit, we're going back, I don't care what they do, I can't handle this because I am more of a baby than my unborn child.  So we go.

Back to triage, same routine, wait an hour, no progress, but wait another hour to see since I'd only go home and come back in that time anywhere.  After hour two, tiny progress.  After hour three, progress!  I can be admitted.  In the meantime, I have spent three hours in a triage room in labor, continuing to have powerful contractions (each nurse commented on the strength and rapidity) without a comfortable bed, water, pillow, anything.  Also, puking.  Yay!  They move me to a L&D room and begin doing all of that business, which includes signing my life away on a variety of legal forms - I find this really disturbing - I was totally under duress, duh.  K goes to get my stuff, I get IV'd, braceleted, poked, stabbed, blood drawn, all kinds of stuff and I'm so out of it (haven't slept in 24 hours now) and don't care what they do if they can make the contractions lessen, but I try to remain upbeat and polite, which was really hard, but I did it! (I could hear other ladies on the floor being total bitches - hey, it's not the nurses' fault you got knocked up, ladies.)  I'm asked if I want an epidural and I emphatically say yes and they say they'll call the anesthesiologist who will be here shortly to take care of that.  I steel myself to wait patiently.  An hour goes by.  To me, shortly doesn't mean an hour.  Oh well, I'm just slowly dying, no biggie.

Finally, the epidural dude arrives.  I hear him say that he's so glad he had a change to hit Starbucks on his way in.  I fight the urge to murder him.  It's about 6.30am at this point.  He does his thing and it doesn't hurt at all - I was kinda worried about that.  Roughly 10 minutes later, sweet, sweet relief and numbness washes over me.  Thank the Lord.  Also, a catheter because in spite of not having had any liquid, I'd had to pee forever and now that was all taken care of.  Oh science. 

This is where the boring part begins.  Me laid up in bed, hooked up to 10,000 tubes and machines watching terrible daytime TV.  My contractions march on, still two minutes apart, but now I can no longer feel them.  K decides to make the calls to let everyone know that today's the day (or maybe tomorrow since I'm going nowhere quick).  My mom texts that she's heading over to relieve K if he needs it.  He does.  I forget that he's never really seen me in any kind of physical pain before and were I him, I'd be totally freaked out by what I'd just been through.  It's awful to watch someone writhe around in pain and not be able to do anything about it.  He needed a break and went to get them breakfast.  Lesson for birth partners.  Do not eat McDonald's b-fast in front of your laboring lady who can't eat and won't be able to eat for hours and hours and hours.  TURD. 

And so it goes.  K takes a four hour nap while mom keeps me company.  Lacey will head down from Tulsa in a few hours.  Oh, I forgot something.  Sunday afternoon, we'd gone to lunch with K and his dad and stepmom.  His dad was leaving for Orlando for three days and I promised him there would be no activity on the womb front until after he returned.  I am a liar.  He was crushed when K called to tell him we were at the hospital since there was no way H was going to be here before his flight left.  But he was able to come by and see us for a minute and K's stepmom works at the hospital and was able to pop in all day to give him updates.  Of nothing.  Because nothing was happening.  NOTHING!  Right, so at about 9.30, my doctor comes in to break my water.  They discover that there's some meconium in the fluid, which is somewhat concerning, but no need to take action.  We all resume our positions of doing nothing for hours and hours and hours.

It's now about 4pm and I've dilated to a whopping five centimeters.  Not enough.  They've upped the pitocin (which I really, really didn't want to have to need) almost to the max, made me rotate positions, and still no action.  My third nurse of the day (the others had left their shifts early - what did I do?) breaks it down for me.  She suspects that my doctor won't let me labor longer than midnight that night and if I don't make any progress in the next couple of hours, she'll cut me off and we'll go the c-section route because clearly my body just isn't going to get the baby out this way.  My cervix just wasn't playing ball.  I am terrified.  I don't want a c-section for so many reasons (like, cost and I need to get back to work sooner and oh yeah, it's major surgery!).  I almost tear up, but she says she wants to try a few things before we get there.  Before she comes back I start feeling my contractions again.  WHAT?  I have an epidural, right?  I only feel them in a smallish window, but man, they are rough due to the pitocin.  Like ouch city.  I call the nurse back in to ask her what's up and she basically blows me off.  I don't understand this.  She says sometimes you can feel.  I say, but isn't the point of an epidural to make you not feel...?  Instead of listening to me, she begins rolling up blankets and pillows and contorted me into a really weird position to get my cervix going.  She cranks the pitocin to the max and walks out.  WHAT?  JERK!  I'm confined to this super weird position and in a fair amount of pain again.  Balls. 

She comes back about an hour later and checks me.  Six centimeters!  I'm getting used to the pain and she does the whole pillow/blanket thing again and tells me not to move.  She comes aback in an hour.   Nine centimeters.  It's baby time.  That lady knew what she was doing.  I get why she ignored me now.  I think I needed stronger contractions to get things going and her odd contortions did the trick.  Or so I choose to believe.

This is when shit started getting real.  I was shaking all over because in a matter of hours (because pushing can take 20 minutes or four hours, you know, no big deal) I would actually have a baby.  No turning back now.  The nursery and scrub techs are called in and get the room ready.  By now, there are like 10,000 people in my room who are all anxiously awaiting this whole thing.  I only want K to stay, which I've made clear from the beginning, but there's still some disappointment among the ladies, but sorry.  It's my vagina, my baby and my babydaddy.  When they turned the warming table on for the baby, I think my heart stopped.  Seriously, this was happening.  Oh shit.  I had to actually go through with this.  Fuck. 

Nurse change (again?!) and legs in stirrups (awesome - not) and it's time to push.  The nurse gives perfect instructions for what she wants me to do and I do it.  Maybe three times.  They say that it feel like taking a giant poo, but I wouldn't say that.  There's a lot of pressure, but it definitely felt more in my lady business region than my other region.  Right, so K's up with me, but fortunately/unfortunately, you can see everything in a reflective ceiling tile, so I pretty much watched the whole thing.  I'm glad I was still somewhat drugged up.  Ok, so pushing a few times then the nurse says to stop.  Ok...  We've got to wait for my doctor to finish up her clinic hours and drive across town before we continue.  Oh, cool, I think.   I'll just wait here with my legs spread and a baby almost falling out for however long that takes.  It takes a looooong time.  I don't have the urge to push because I can't completely feel the contractions, but I do feel the urge to get this over with (since him staying put forever isn't an option).  She shows up and gets down to business.  Scrubs on, the nurse and K hold my legs back, I push twice and she throws a wriggly baby at me.  That was it.  I didn't cry, I didn't do anything, I just smiled, I think.  The nurse asked if K wanted to cut the cord and yelled yes, then she asked for our camera (which was my mom's since I'd been pestering K to get ours ready and he kind of never did...) and prepared to snap pics as soon as the kid was cleaned up.  Meanwhile, the last part of the whole thing was happening.

H had pooped my uterus (speaking of poo, I was terrified of pooping the table and bugged my nurse about it and she said that since I hadn't eaten in forever and if I hadn't gone already, it wasn't going to happen - relief!), which made the whole delivering of the placenta tougher than normal, maybe.  He was ok, they sucked his nose and mouth, but he didn't need any other respiratory help, but my doctor was having a hard time getting everything out of me.  My placenta wasn't all in one piece and there were bits of unborn baby poo.  She had to work for probably 45 minutes to get that all taken care of, plus stitch me up since she cut me (she's old school).  That was just as painful as anything.  She literally fisted me and dug around before she sewed me up and after my epidural had worn off.  Holy balls that sucked. 

And then, she was done and then they gave H back to me.  Our families wanted back in, but we asked for a minute or two before the onslaught, mainly so I could remember I needed to look happy and to pull my hair back into a pony tail again so as not to scare everyone.  And there we were.  The three of us.  Super weird.  Kind of awesome.  Completely exhausting.

Postpartum nonsense some other time.  That's honestly the worst part.  Don't let anyone forget to warn you about that whole thing before you experience it.  Knowledge is power.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Here's what you should be doing today:

go to your local book store (which in the case of Oklahoma is Barnes and Noble since there are no local bookstores and Borders is on its way out) and buy the Bossypants audio book (or go to iTunes or Amazon like I do for everything because I am exceedingly lazy*).  Insert/import and enjoy the dulcet faintly Pennsylvanian tones of T-Fey recounting bits of her life including hi-larious musings on breastfeeding and the kind of poop that goes up a baby's back.  You know what I'm talking about. 

*I'd like to mention that I'm not suggesting that you get the audio book because I'm even too lazy to read.  No, Tina's delivery of her work is critical for maximum enjoyment.  Funnypants.  Also, when listening to an audio book, you can do other things like rubbing lanolin into your nips, hooking yourself up to your freedom machine (what I call my breast pump), cleaning up aforementioned back poop, eating lunch in 2.5 seconds with one hand, peeing (the only time you spend alone each day, if you're lucky), running your 22nd load of laundry for the day, wrestling a $17 baby toy out of the jaws of your dog, speaking of which...

Read Tina's prayer for her child here. I mean it, read it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't make me turn this car around. Because I will.

And by car, I mean my quickly growing baby and by because I will I mean I can't.  One month old yesterday!  I can't believe it.  I won't believe it.  Time flies when you have no idea what time it really is, what day it is, and which boob was lunch.  Don't get me wrong, I want him to grow and all that good stuff, except I don't.  I want him to be my teeny, tiny gentleman forever.  AND EVER!  Instead, he's getting longer, getting heavier, staying awake more, grabbing my fingers, focusing in a little bit when I put my head right near his, filling out his newborn clothes a little better (I think it's only a week or so till we move into the 0-3 month range - no!) and, today, feeding from his first bottle since I'm slated to return to work in two weeks and we've got to get the whole pumping/bottle thing down before I skip out on him (no, I don't feel guilty at all, AT ALL!).  Needless to say, I cried as K fed him with a bottle instead of me.  H was only too happy to comply, which is great, of course, since there doesn't seem to be a chance for nipple confusion and all that other stuff that Dr. Sears and scared me about, but that only made it worse.  He doesn't need me anymore.  Just my lactation abilities.  Sadness.  (And maybe some happiness - I can almost see you, freedom.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh hey. Just some pics of my wee one.

Yesterday's nap time in a pilfered hospital blanket.  Sorry, Norman Regional.  On the other hand, I think I earned it/paid for it.

Look at my face.  I have total and complete confidence in the people who are purportedly taking care of me.  For serious.  NOT.

Post bath time happy time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Momtrocity #1 (of millions)

So, I thought I was being a sentimental parent and all that crap by succumbing to my desire to get a framed birth announcement print with Henry's stats for his room.  Yay me!  I ventured onto trusty Etsy to see what was out there and found an adorable template that was affordable.  Yay me again!  So, I placed my order, convo'd the artist and anxiously awaited the arrival of the announcement - I even got a frame!  It arrived and it was perfect.  Or so I thought.  I showed it to L and she mentioned right off the bat that Henry was actually 20 inches when born, not 21 as was printed.  Well, I thought, there must be a mistake (that I didn't make), but after checking the email I'd sent, I had in fact written that H was 21 inches instead of 20.  In my defense, he'd gone to his two week check up the day I ordered it and measured 21 inches that day...  Also, I'm not getting it reprinted.  Henceforth, Henry was 21 inches at birth.  Truth.

It looks like this.  Adorable, no?  If you know someone who needs a birth announcement, this is a winner.  Just make sure you know the kid's real stats...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I want, I need.

I am an expert in coveting.  I covet like nobody's business.  If I had a phone from this century, I'd create the iCovet app. All of this coveting makes me happy for a second, until I remember I am broke, broke, broke and will never fulfill my insatiable need for all things material.  What can I say, I'm a child of the 80s.  When attempting to babyfy the room Henry will eventually sleep in, I came across tons of stuff I needed for him, but fortunately (and unfortunately) the space is literally the size of a Ford Fiesta, so I couldn't really fit more than the necessities (I'll post pics of his space soon, I'm still waiting on someone - K - to hang the mobile).  However, this didn't stop me from spending tons of time searching for adorables and bookmarking them to torture myself and my debit card.  So, today I bring you the Oklahoma themed stuff I need.  When I say need, I mean want.

 Oklahoma alphabet print - via.

Oklahoma poster - via.

Oklahoma pillow - via.

Oklahoma natural wood teether - via.

Be still, my bank account.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Dear Baby, now known as Henry,

Thank you so much for allowing a night of reasonable sleep.  Dude, you rock.  Yeah, it's the first night since you've been around that this has happened, but I'll take it!  I didn't wake up feeling hungover (which is so sad since there's still no alcohol in my life) and I somewhat unjumbled thoughts and can almost speak in complete sentences!  Yay!  Also, since you're blissed out in your carnival ride of a swing (I swear it goes too fast and too high- scary), I'm able to freely peruse the internets on the ol' comp using two hands!  Nice.  I found this, which will hopefully answer that time old question I ask at least once a week when I feel guilty about all of the take-out we've been shoveling into our faces.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

In which in spite of my constant bitching, I really enjoyed and kind of miss being knocked up.

It was kind of over before I even had time to think about it.  Since I didn't find out until a wee bit later than your average lady (long story, not going into detail, but needless to say, I was minutes away from being featured on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, however, in my defense, I had no symptoms and didn't really show at all until mid month seven), it really did fly by too quickly.  Just when I was getting good at it, my contractions started and off we went.  24 hours later, no more bump and a baby.  Sniffle.  One of my biggest regrets is not taking more photos of us.  I just didn't think of it by the end of each long day when I'd finally get home and beach myself on the couch, feet up to prevent the dreaded appearance of cankles (which I think I only had for one day or so - not bad!).  And now, my body's back to normal.  I'm actually down a few pounds from where I was pre-baby.  Weird, no?  In any case, check out this darling video I saw on Spearmint Baby.  Sniffle.  I wish I was creative and responsible.  Alas, I am run of the mill and lazy.  Maybe next time.*

An Incredible Journey Begins from David Stanfield on Vimeo.

*Ahahahaha. Next time. NEVER!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Week 42 Update: Gas Leak Edition*

Yesterday, we took Henry to his two week check up to see how his stats add up.  Good news.  He's back up to his birth weight, grew an inch and seems to be in working order.  Huge relief.  Not that I thought anything was up, but you never know and there's nothing like hearing a medical professional giving you the go ahead to keep doing what you're doing.  Not that I know what I'm doing.  Luckily, H does.  He tells me when to change him, feed him, rock him, swaddle him, etc.  He's a champ. 

I've been attempting to take a picture a day, but the day flies by so fast, I often forget and only catch H when he's passed out.  Seriously, it's like we've got a perpetual gas leak.  We all move super slowly and can fall asleep at any given moment, especially Henry and Zeb.  It's ridonk.

Look at that belly!  I should really stop feeding him so much beer.

I think this was seconds before I picked him up and he'd peed all the way through this adorable little robot number.  Oops.

My own little Snuggle fabric softener bear!

 Rocket man.

Well, time to go rub some lanolin into my nips.  That's my new life.  I wish my new life included Bossypants, Tina Fey's book that just came out.  I woulda registered for books had I remembered just how crappy daytime TV is.  Really, it's abysmal.

*Arrested Development reference.  Dang, I miss that show.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Zack Harrison Memorial Music Monday: Baby H Edition.

I made H-man a little low-key playlist to listen to instead of constant TV chatter while nursing, staring off into space, making inadvertently hilarious faces, farting, burping, sleeping, and all of the other things H likes to spend his day doing.  Now, these songs are not baby friendly, of course, just soothing sounding, to me anyway.  Also, I've totally crapped out in the new music department, so these are all old.  Prepare to be lulled into calmness.

Yeah.  114 songs.  I know.