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Friday, February 28, 2014

Baby Brez's Birth: Part II

Click here for Part I (the backstory and our harrowing drive to the hospital). 

WARNING! I'm your run-of-the-mill Catholic NFP lover and I am thus super comfortable discussing terms like cervical mucus, amniotic fluid, menses, cervix checks, and all things ladyparts/childbirth related. I look back on my childbirth experience and think it was beautiful, funny, weird, and crazy all at the same time. Even having spent an inordinate amount of time researching childbirth and reading what seems like every birth story available on the Internet, there were still parts of it that surprised me, which is part of the reason why I want to share all the details. Reader discretion is therefore highly advised!


After our little snafu with the check-in man, we took the elevator up to the labor and delivery floor. It seemed pretty quiet; I only saw two women being monitored on the screens at the back of the L&D desk. We gave the nurses my information, and told them the scoop: high blood pressure, normal labs, maybe some decreased fetal movement. Let's get monitored. The kind nurse, Melissa, walked us back to a room and had me change into a hospital gown (that, unbeknownst to me at the time, I would be in for the next two days - eww) and give her a urine sample. When I got back to the hospital bed, she complimented my blinding hot pink sports bra (stating "we only really notice bras and socks here!") and strapped me to the monitors: one to monitor the baby's heart rate and the other to monitor any contractions. She also checks my blood pressure. My first two blood pressures are again very high, diastolic in the 100s. Our nurse is intrigued ("not that I didn't believe you before!" she says) and tells us that we'll wait for the on-call OB (the one other doctor in our OB's practice) whom we'd never met before.

The on-call OB comes in and we discuss the high blood pressure readings. He basically has the same reaction as our normal OB; it may just be better to induce now to avoid further complications. He checks me and his eyebrows raise when he declares that I am 3cm dilated, 90% effaced, at +1 station. (For the remainder of our stay, all the nurses are super impressed that I'm 38 weeks as a first-time mom and already 3cm/90%. I feel pretty cool about it, I won't lie. NB, this was progress from my 37 week checkup just days before when I was 2-3cm dilated and 60% effaced.) The doctor does an ultrasound to check my fluid levels and they are all normal. The baby looks healthy and is head down.

After mulling it over and lots of conversation, leaving the room, more questions, finally the doctor finds those words we'd been waiting for: "What do you think about having a baby tomorrow?" Will and I take one quick look at each other, and shout "YES! UH HUH, WE'D LIKE THAT." We maybe suggest that the doctor not send us home in a blizzard. The on-call OB says he's going to call our normal OB to get his approval, but we feel strongly that he'll be on board. In fact, when the doctor walks out of the room, Will and I straight up high-five because we are mature like that. Melissa's shift ends at 7PM and she tells us there's no way we'll be sent home that night based on my blood pressure readings and offers us a confidence-building congratulations. She was sure we'd be induced. 

Enter our new nurse, Cara (the name we had picked if we had a girl - whose children are named William and Mollie!), takes my blood pressure again to begin her shift. Now of course it is curiously low! (And stays low the rest of my hospital stay - proof that God answered our fervent fervent prayers? We'll never know!) We were already staying the night for monitoring at this point, but Cara is much more skeptical as to whether we'll really be induced. She notes that my blood pressure is so low, that, had it been this low when I came in, I would have been sent right home. But, the doctor comes back in, tells us he spoke to our doctor, and we will begin our induction at 4AM the next morning. BOOYA! Will and I share another high-five and begin sharing the news with family. 

Because we would start the induction in the morning in order to get a "good night's sleep" (HA!), I got to eat some gourmet cafeteria food and watch HGTV. I even got an ice cream cone. My husband snapped a glamour shot for our adoring group-text fans requesting details where no new details were to be had . . . yet.

I guess I have no shame.

I was monitored all through the night because of the high blood pressure. This meant that each time I needed to use the bathroom, I had to unplug the two monitors, wrap them around my shoulders with my right hand, tightly secure the back of my gown with my left hand, and slowly shuffle to the restroom. It was quite the hassle as I was shuffling back and forth often thanks to my pea-sized bladder (pun intended). On the return of one such trip, I thought my water broke (for the zillionth time) when I had just peed and there was a stream of unidentified fluid down to my left ankle. The nurse checked me with a pH strip and it was ambiguous, so she called the doctor in to check me (intrusively). And, yes, I was wrong about my water breaking for the zillionth time. Pregnancy cervical fluid is no joke (and yeah, you know I warned you about my cavalier use of terms like cervical fluid). 

This is my "sorry for makin' a fuss" face.

Around 10PM, we moved rooms to a larger, more favorable, birthin' space, preferred by all the nurses, with the "nice cot" for Will. We would start the pitocin at 4AM. I was given half an Ambien at about 10:30PM to try and sleep, promised a second half in an hour or two if I needed it. Will had taken like three naps by this point, not that he was offered Ambien, but he sure didn't need it. I was jealous of his ability to fall asleep so easily. A sentiment shared by all the greatly pregnant, I'm sure. 

Nap break to check the Twitter.

It wasn't long before I requested the rest of the Ambien. I guess I eventually fell asleep, but I was woken up by Cara at 1AM. She told me that our doctor changed his mind and wanted to start me on pitocin now instead of at 4AM. This got me excited, and I was in and out of light sleep for the next few hours. As a result, I was very sleep deprived and was up for the day at about 5:30AM. 

That morning, we took one last belly pic in front of the bed where our son would be born. Here I was hooked up to the monitors and the pitocin drip, all of which I had to conveniently drag to the bathroom approximately 50 million times.

With a face that says, "Thanks for nothing, Ambien."

The rest is probably best told in timeline fashion, reconstructed through text updates from Will (or myself, actually, post-epidural) to family/friends, because - coherence and open eyes - me not have that. (I think it goes without saying that these times are approximate!)

7AM: I finally started feeling contractions. I started on the pitocin drip at 1AM and it was increased every thirty minutes, if I remember correctly. I sat on the birthing ball and breathed through them, but they really weren't bad at all. I was so excited to actually be feeling something (which honestly felt just like the false labor I'd been complaining about beforehand!). If I hadn't been strapped to all the lines of monitors and IVs I probably would have preferred to walk around, but birthing ball it was.

9AM: My doctor came and broke my water. I'd expected the huge warm gush and the overall disgusting feeling of fluid all over the bed. I wasn't expecting how painful it would be! (It was like a pap smear from hell. I never really had pain during checks before that, except for the night before when the other doctor was realllyyy feeling around. Even still, this was way worse.)

I was at 4cm when he broke my water. I was pretty surprised I was only a 4 because I'd been on pitocin for 7 or 8 hours at that point and had only progressed a centimeter. Not that my contractions were really even painful, but they were there. I knew that inductions could take a very long time, so at this point I thought we'd meet our baby in the next twelve hours or so.

Wrong. Very wrong.

Here is where the contractions got REAL. I resumed my position on the birthing ball leaning against the bed. Will was putting pressure on my back and rubbing my shoulders through each contraction. Seriously, before they broke my water, the contractions were what I would describe as uncomfortable pressure. Now they were downright painful, but I was handling them. I'll also note that with each contraction amniotic fluid gushed out of me. I was so surprised at how much fluid there really was. Basically, I was really dumb for thinking my water had broken so many times before. Oh and it was just not a nice feeling having my lower half completely soaked.

The nurses had asked me a couple of times whether I'd be having an epidural, and I told them I had a wait-and-see approach. (I did, in fact, sign all the epidural paperwork and waivers the night before just in case.) I handled the pre-water-breakage contractions just fine. No problem, really. I thought maybe, just maybe I could get through labor without the epidural.

Even though things quickly turned from uncomfortable pressure to pretty painful,  I remember turning to Will and saying, "I'm glad I didn't get the epidural and am able to experience these REAL contractions!"

Famous last words, you guys.

9:30AM: Things were really picking up in intensity a bit more quickly than I expected. I don't know how I had the wherewithal to check things out on the monitor's little strip of ziggly lines next to me, but I see the lines monitoring contractions go from upside down Vs (with short peaks of the contractions), to upside down Us (longggg peaks of the contractions), with little break in between. Ouch.

I think about how my water was broken not long ago (I thought it had been an hour, but really it was more like thirty minutes), surely I had hours of this to go. I turn to Will and say, yup, I'll be needing that epidural. Without missing a beat, Will is off advocating for me. (He was really the best - THE BEST!) I overhear him talking with the nurses about how the anesthesiologist was in a C-section and couldn't be in for another fifteen minutes. I think they thought I might die because he couldn't be in for fifteen minutes. They were all very apologetic for having to wait a measly fifteen minutes. I thought, that's fine, I can definitely make it fifteen minutes. Having a concrete timeline of when relief would absolutely come was enough for me. The nurse decided to turn down the pitocin a little bit (it had been at full steam for a couple of hours).

At this point I was sitting on the right edge of the bed squeezing Will's hand in my left hand and the poor nurse's hand in my right. (I sadly don't even remember her name because I was so out of it.) I was moaning through each contraction, through the entire contraction. Basically, you see, I was moaning for fifteen minutes straight, as there was very little break in between contractions. I remember I could seriously feel the baby moving down inside of me. I visualized his little body making his way down my birth canal through each contraction. Not that it helped with the pain in any way, but it's what I did.

Now, I thought I had a pretty high threshold for pain. I've handled a lot of bumps, bruises, and broken bones in my tomboy/athletic career. But here I was just thinking DO NOT CRY DO NOT CRY DON'T BE THAT GIRL THAT BURSTS INTO TEARS AT A 4. I thought I felt my body start to push, but I was thinking I had to still be a 4, or a 5 max. I mean they just checked me when they broke my water. I really thought there was no way I could be ready to push, so I kept it to myself.

Here, the nurse noticed some decelerations in the baby's heart rate and tried to have me lie on my side through the contractions. I wasn't all that surprised based on the intensity of my contractions, but I was thinking, ARE YOU CRAZY? I CANNOT MOVE. I kind of made it through one contraction lying on my right side, as instructed, but basically I was like, This lying down thing is not happening. Let me get up or I will FIGHT YOU.

I tried all the relaxation techniques I read about, rasberry lips, low moaning, and attempted to relax my whole body. It all went right out the window! And I was definitely not in a place of prayer or offering up my suffering in union with the passion of Jesus or any of those lovely holy things. I was very much focused on physically enduring the contractions in the very moment, knowing it would all be over very soon when the nice man with the needles arrived.

The nurse gave me some sort of narcotic to take the edge off while we waited for the anesthesiologist. I never thought I would agree to this beforehand, but I was pretty desperate, so I said fire away. It took the edge off for approximately one and a half contractions. BUT, I will say, for that one contraction when I was all loopy and hopped up on straight street opiates, I was turned to Will and professed, "Ooohhh, this stuff is the sh*tttttt" (excuse my French, but it's a 100% accurate quote) and then it faded as fast as it came.

The anesthesiologist walked in, honestly, sooner than I thought he would. I was thankful. However, he then did a couple of things that made me angry. First, he said something to the effect of, Oh, I thought she didn't want an epidural. My interpretation: Boo you for giving up! (False: I'd said I'd "see how things go" but I knew full well that pitocin contractions are crazy and I didn't have my hopes up for going pain med free.) Next, he notices Will's Seminoles National Champion t-shirt and starts bantering with him about college football. Alas, he's an SEC man! Those ACC Seminoles stink (despite being national champions, I suppose)! If I hadn't had my eyes shut in pain the whole time I would have been shooting daggers. Don't mind me laboring here struggling to keep my back arched as you instructed me to do as you entered the room before you started carrying on small talk. (When I brought this up to Will, he told me he was definitely uncomfortable with this conversation going on in front of me and really tried to avoid the chitchat.) Despite my rage, I still managed a "hail to the Redskins" in the five free seconds I had between contractions. 

10AM: RELIEF! Finally. I'd just gotten the epidural, at which point the anesthesiologist I formerly despised had just became one of my A+ favorite persons ever.

Strangely, the epidural line sounds like little birds chirping. I thought I'd finally become aware of some birds chirping outside like I was some princess in the wooded fairytale land. Was the epidural that magical? No, the nurse informed me that the epidural tube was just squeaking away by my left ear.

10:10AM: Now I can definitely feel my body pushing because I'm otherwise able to relax through the contractions. When I state such, the nurse thinks to check me. Lo' and behold, I am fully dilated! (Essentially the labor I just experienced was pitocin-induced transition. Oh goody.) While she is checking me she asks for a couple "practice pushes" and tells me to stop after my first try. Yep, I have the pushing thing down. We await the doctor and give time to allow the baby to come down the birth canal. My body is definitely still pushing on its own.

At this point I can still move my legs through the epidural, but I feel lots of burning (not just pressure - there is a difference) on the right side of my ladyparts. I ask for them to turn that epidural juice up. After upping the dosage I have total paralysis from my lower back down, with still a little pain/burning, but much more tolerable. I continue to feel my body pushing the baby down, but I close my eyes and try to rest up for what would surely be a long bout of pushing.

11:45AM: We get my legs into the good old birthing stirrups and the nurse checks me again. The head is right there, she can see it, and he has hair! I start to get lightheaded so they take my legs down (I had no control whatsoever) and we waited for the doctor to arrive before putting me back in the stirrups. I ask for a mirror because everyone is talking about the baby's hair and I want to see! Someone is sent to fetch the mirror. Meanwhile, while we wait for the doctor, I am texting friends and family about the wonders of the epidural and voicing my excitement that we would be meeting our baby any time now!

12PM: The doctor arrives, right on schedule. I believe there is more cheering, probably more high-fiving, when he walks in. We are about to start pushing for real. The mirror is wheeled in and I can see the baby's head begin to crown and yep, there's that hair!

I push through two contractions (three pushes per contraction) and the baby's head has crowned. The doctor has me stop pushing to help me stretch slowly in the hopes it would minimize tearing. I did not want to stop pushing. I just remember yelling, It burns! It burns! I just wanted to push through the pain so it would be over. I remember the nurses coaching me through the pushes and everyone, especially Will, cheering me on. The excitement was palpable!

I remember being a little annoyed that the doctor and nurse were blocking the mirror! I couldn't see, but no one seemed to care! In hindsight, this was because they were getting ready to catch the baby. But I didn't really realize at the time that he was that close to being born! As is the theme of this birth story, I'd always thought (erroneously) that I still had a long way to go.

I pushed through just one more contraction. I really put my all into those last couple pushes, screeching sounds, labored breathing, and all. And just like that I feel the baby's bony little body slide out and he's handed to me!

12:10 PM: As our doctor would jokingly say at every ultrasound, "IT'S STILL A BOY!" And just like that, we met our firstborn.

There was really a baby in there!!!!???!!!

One of the nurses announces the time and my little purple naked boy, all covered in vernix, is handed over to me. Will (super aware and awesomely) told the OB to allow the cord to stop pulsing before cutting it. (Will did later cut it.) Then, not even joking, all the medical professionals in the room marveled over the baby's perfect umbilical cord. It was super long and thick and basically looked like something out of an anatomy textbook.

After admiring the baby for a moment (he did not look anything like I expected - though I had no idea what to expect I guess), I brought him up to my face and Will and I kissed him at the same time. (I saw this on A Baby Story on TLC and told Will that I wanted to do the same thing. Totally nerdy, but it's pretty beautiful that the baby's first kisses are from both parents at the same exact time!)

I immediately ripped my sports bra off (I was asking the nurse to just cut it off, but they helped me get it over my head - they really seemed to like that hot pink sports bra), so that the baby and I could have some skin to skin time. The nurses cleaned him off and did his Apgar tests (8 and 8) from my chest and he remained there with me the next hour or so.

When the placenta all but plopped out a couple minutes later (I really don't think I even pushed, though maybe my body did on its own) I proclaimed, "That was easy! I heard the placenta can be the toughest part of pushing. That was sooo easy. I'd totalllyyyy do it again! I can't wait!" to which the doctor responded, "Well, just wait at least 6 weeks!" and began talking about his eight children. HA! Catholic pro-life OB for the win.

The doctor told me I had a small internal tear, which he began stitching up. I asked him how many stitches and he told me, "Oh, it's just one long one." (Upon - ahem - further inspection I'd say the tear was about an inch long. It hasn't bothered me at all though since I was about two weeks postpartum.)

The lactation consultant, Nancy, arrived and began helping me nurse the baby for the first time. I'd read up on breastfeeding and watched some YouTube videos, but Nancy's methods were very new and different to me. Basically, she put the baby's head to my breast a tad more violently than I would have attempted. I had carpal tunnel and sore arms and hands just from how firm she had me hold him to my body that first nursing session! (She was a great help, though, and really helped me through those first couple  horrendous days of nursing before my milk came in.)

2PM: Baby Will was weighed, measured, and all that. 7 pounds, 11.3 ounces, and 20 inches of perfection!

The weigh-in shot, done tastefully.

Then Will got to spend some time holding the baby while I snapped the photos, despite my hands being pretty shaky from the epidural. (My hands shook and my teeth were chattering for the next thirty minutes or so while the epidural wore off. I was wayyy too excited to care. And I still managed to snap some decently non-blurry photos!)

What a gift! We are still astounded and humbled that God chose us to become co-creators of this bouncing baby boy. As for my birth experience, I'd prepared myself for the worst, hoped for the best, and experienced something even better than I'd hoped for! I was ecstatic and still am. Despite being so close to the end, I'm still very happy I went ahead and got the epidural. I was in such pain I was totally unable to open my eyes and definitely wouldn't have been able to see my baby being born or even aware of my husband standing next to me. I was glad to have that awareness come pushing time, so that I could really experience what was happening with my husband, rather than just within myself. I still hope to tackle a birth pain med free, but as far as birth stories go, I wouldn't have asked to have experienced anything better.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baby Brez's Birth: Part I

Here I am staring at my perfect little boy making weird noises (from both ends) as he sleeps. I can't believe it has already been three weeks since he's made his debut, the story of which I share with you now. The only disclaimer for Part I of the birth story is that I want to remember every detail in all its glorious drama, so this post is lengthy. All the gory labor deets are saved for Part II, where the disclaimer will be slightly more resolute, so you have that to look forward to (or not).

And so . . . how did we come to meet this special guy?:

It goes as follows . . .

We'd been hoping as early as the previous fall for an early arrival of our son. Our due date was February 19, but my husband, Will, was slated to begin nine weeks of JAG School in Alabama on February 18, leaving on February 17. We discussed with our doctor the possibility of an elective induction at 39 weeks (February 12) should the baby not come on his own before then because as they say in the biz, "if you were there at conception, you should be there at the birth!" In the meantime, I was doing everything in my power to encourage labor naturally, but to no avail.

My 37 week checkup was on Friday, January 31. The nurse took a routine blood pressure reading and noticed it was high, 130/100. The doctor informed us that my blood pressure had been slowly rising over the course of my pregnancy. I had no idea and was caught completely off guard. (I didn't even know which one of the numbers was considered high when the nurse read it off to me. I mean, what's a blood pressure?) I was checked again about thirty minutes later, and my blood pressure was again high at 130/98. We discussed induction with my OB for high blood pressure and/or preeclampsia. Induction was already pretty favorable because I was 2-3 cm, 60% effaced. I would monitor my blood pressure over the weekend, have blood tests run, and do a 24-hour urinalysis on Super Bowl Sunday, but because we were already thinking of inducing, the doctor thought we might as well induce week or so earlier to avoid the development of any complications from the high blood pressure.

I think it goes without saying: no Super Bowl party for me. I was stuck at home pouring my pee into a jug on ice. Just another day in the glamorous life of the greatly pregnant. The next day I dropped off my chilled peepee at the lab on base, the jug completely drenched in melted ice and condensation. (The lab attendant was not amused at the sight of the fluid strewn across the lab's reception desk, as you can imagine. I told her to relax - it was just water. I don't think she believed me.) My blood pressure, as monitored at home over the weekend, continued to be elevated (diastolic in the 80s and 90s), but not too high. 

I was a little scared of being induced, but was excited at the thought of meeting our baby sooner than expected, so that Will could have some time to bond with the baby before heading to 'bama. We kind of got our hopes up that an induction was imminent based on the conversation had with our OB at our 37 week appointment. The doctor assured us that the baby would do just fine, post 37 weeks, but thanks to those two studious chapters I'd read in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, I was worried about the effects a long induction would have on breastfeeding, yadda yadda. For the most part, though, I was excited at the prospect of being induced. (Meanwhile, I'd been having frequent, painful Braxton-Hicks contractions through Sunday night. A gal can dream . . . .)

On Monday morning (February 3), I was informed that my blood work came back normal. After a bit of painful, torturous back and forth with the nurse at my OB's office, I received a call that afternoon informing me that I should just sit tight and continue to monitor my blood pressure. Will and I  convinced ourselves we'd be told to come right in to L&D, so it was pretty disappointing. And stressful. (Will would have had to call in many a work favor if he was going to be out.) Not good for the blood pressure.

On Tuesday (February 4), I took my blood pressure with my at-home monitor and saw this:

The OB told me to call his office if the bottom number was 105 or above. Distrusting of my $30 Walmart blood pressure monitor, I took it again. It was lower. I tried the other arm. Still lower. I decided to wait until I could talk to Will to decide whether to call the doctor's office. Will was in trial, so I knew I'd just have to wait until it ended, which would be who-knows-when.

As Providence would have it, the nurse from my OB's office decided to check in on me that afternoon. I thought this was pretty unusual. I hesitantly told her about the high blood pressure reading and she was concerned about it, of course, despite the subsequent lower readings. She told me she would speak with the doctor and see what he said, but maybe I should head to L&D. As experienced the day before, there was the torturous back and forth phone calls and waiting. 

Cue crazy blizzard.

It started snowing . . . hard. I texted Will a photo making fun of our neighbor stuck in his driveway, BMW wheels spinning, engine roaring, unable to make it into his garage. Karma, or something, because the nurse calls back and tells me to go ahead to L&D for monitoring. Better safe than sorry.

maybe, kind of panic, thinking that we had to drop the dogs off at the kennel before making the (usually) 35 minute drive to the hospital. But the snow was piling up and Will was in trial, and just my luck, was totally unavailable. I didn't have a car, the kennel closes at 5, and I did not want to drive through a blizzard in the dark.

Friggin polar vortex.

In such a situation, we discussed how I would just call his office and have someone go into the courtroom to wrangle him. Well, two words: Early Release. Meaning: Everyone in his office had left early for the day because of the snowstorm. 

Panic sets in.

Blood pressure steadily rising higher.

And higher.

And still higher. (Along with the snow accumulation.)

I finally decided to call one of Will's coworkers (who was out of the office on account of said Early Release) and asked him to get a hold of Will somehow. Finally, about forty minutes and three inches of snow later, I got a call from Will who was out of trial and on his way home. Hallelujah. 

Once he arrives, Will runs upstairs to change and I load up the car. Will understandably wants to give me the run-down on his trial, but all I can think about is getting on the road before it gets dark. "Um, can this wait? We'll talk in the car," says I, calmly. (Just kidding - I was way meaner and more urgent - along the lines of "Seriously?!? TELL ME ABOUT IT ON THE WAY, YA FREAK." NB - Will, darling, I love you.)

We get on the road and not five minutes into our drive we see our first stranded car.


We dropped off the dogs at the kennel (which took way longer than expected, so glad I wasn't really in labor for that), and then made our way out onto the road again, only to see more stranded cars. 

Stranded car numero dos. Me thinking, errrmahhgerrrrdddd.

About 40 Hail Marys later and just a few minutes from the hospital, this song came on the radio, and all was forgiven with Mother Nature. Surely good things were to come! We finally made it to the hospital around 5:00 PM, taking twice as long because of the weather. The very last ounce of sunlight greeted us as we walked inside.

Neither of us had ever set foot in this hospital (we had to bail on our scheduled hospital tour - tisk, tisk - I know), so we went to the front desk to ask where L&D was located. The nice man at the reception desk asked for "the patient's name" so we gave him my name. Hmmm, he couldn't find the name in the system, he stated. Will and I looked at each other . . . "umm, I'm the patient," I said pointing to my belly underneath my stylish "Got Monks?" sweatshirt and unzipped North Face fleece. The man's eyes widened in comprehension and told us to head to the third floor.

To be continued . . . Part II!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hospital Baby Photos

Before the baby came along I was pretty convinced I wouldn't need a professional photographer to take any baby photos. After all, I'd been working on my own photog skills for over a year. Well wouldn't you know it, a sweet, young Bella Baby photographer stopped by our postpartum room the day after baby Will was born, asking if we'd like to have a free photography session. After all, packages start at only $45! We thought, Sure, why not? and had her come back a couple hours later to take some pictures. I thought if the photos were good enough, maybe the grandparents would go ahead and order something, but no, not me! My resolve was strong. 

Twenty minutes after the photo shoot, I received an e-mail linking us to a slideshow of the baby photos, set to the tune of this song (which still makes me tear up --- oh, the hormones . . . the humanity!), and all my resolve melted away. 

Dang it. 

I reluctantly forked over the cold, hard cash and bought all the photos. (Obviously not $45. Not even close.) But at least now I get to share them with all of you! And have them on display throughout my house. And hand them out to random strangers on the street . . . ? It's my prerogative, and we'll be making the most of it. 

Without further ado . . . 

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Monday, February 17, 2014

A Post About Poop

Will left for JAG School today in Alabama and will be gone for two solid months. Thankfully, my mom is here to help out with the baby and the dogs and so far, I've made it almost 7 hours without my partner in crime, the babe has slept in 2+ hour increments, so we are calling it successful day so far. 

Grandma comes and saves the day.

Our stance on that? We're neutral. ;) ;) ;)
End of sappy, beautiful baby photo array. And down to the nitty-gritty.

I'm coping here like any other mature adult. With humor. Not just any humor you guys, but poop humor. Writing material abounds. 

I have to be brave. 

What can I say? I thought the farting figure skater was the funniest thing to happen to the Internet since Charlie Bit Me (autotuned).

The prime culprit.

Secondary culprits.

Reader discretion is obvious. This post is literally about poop. 

First off, I was worried when I was still pregnant that I bought too many newborn diapers (100+) because we thought Will might be a big baby. Gaining 40+ pounds makes one hope so. (Two weeks early, 7 lbs. 11 oz., so I think we weren't too off base here.) Well the kid sharts every 15 minutes. (Excuse my French.) I'm obsessed w/ the baby tracker app and he spent SEVENTEEN DIAPERS the other day. SEVENTEEN. 

That doesn't even include the diapers that met their demise before ever being strapped to the little man's bum. We will change him then literally when we strap the diaper on we will hear the dreaded wet fart. And he's going down for a nap so we have to change him. Then he'll pee all across the room on that next change. (Proud mom moment when I realize the indoor/outdoor area rug is not only fashionable, but functional as well. AKA urine wipes off easily.

TRUE STORY: Yesterday I was changing Will and big Will was in the room, so I jokingly said to the baby, "you pee on me, and you're disinherited!"

You know how this story ends.

Obviously, he's a lawyer in the making. He knows a child cannot be disinherited by verbal declaration. There rather must be a notarized document signed in the presence of two or more witnesses. He knows I'm too lazy for all that right now. Oh and I have no property to bequest.

Projectile poops. Yeah, I'm going there. Just when I thought I got the "open air accident" pee situation under control (using a burp cloth fashioned into what I call a "pee turban" much like a peepee teepee), we start seeing the "open air accident" poops. 

The other night at about 3 in the morning I was changing baby Will's diaper and ppfffffffffthhhhh . . . 

. . . and what I call a "gold rush." From this here changing table (right) to the cube organizer (left). And all over the wall. How is this even possible? I don't know. I screamed for Will to come in and assist - the baby was poop hemorrhaging - and we leave no man behind. Will took to wiping the soiled (formerly clean) diapers, changing table, cube organizer, wall and diaper genie (not pictured). 

The next day, in the revealing light of the morning sun, round two of cleanup commenced. We are all still recovering from the trauma.

Postpartum poops. Yeah, I'm going there, too. Lovingly referred to as the PPPs or "triple Ps." My mom warned me and I was able to combat the constipation tide with copious amounts of Colace. My sister (who gave birth two a perfect little girl just four days after me), was not so lucky. 

"More painful than pushing me out!" - MJ Whitehead
:) :) :) 

Finally, I don't know if it solely has to do with the weather, or the fact that Daisy has more and more unencumbered access to fecal matter in the back yard these days, but Daisy loves her poopsicles. She comes in from doing her business with the distinct scent of poo on the palate. I try to keep an eye on her when she's out there, but I can only be so vigilant. Insistent scolding and a semi-violent toothbrushing leave her undeterred.


And now the baby is stirring and it's back to the trenches. 

Wish me luck!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Will's First Days

As you can see by the title, we settled on the nickname Will for baby William. We'd been throwing around all the various options, William, Will, Billy, Bill, Willy, Liam, Crazy-face, and settled on Will (Crazy-face was a close second) . . . because the kid looks just like his dad. I have yet to hear someone say he looks like me, other than when he was making his super-grumpy just-born face. 

Thanks, Mom. Though I do see the resemblance here.

Not to sound cliche . . . who am I kidding --- I do not care at all . . . I am LOVING this motherhood thing. It's seriously so much better than I could have ever imagined. I was certainly anticipating his arrival (if you couldn't tell from the dramatic shift in content of this blog), but I wasn't one of those people who felt bonded with the baby when he was in the womb. Websites would say things like, "Cooo, motherhood, la la la, this week, you should talk to your baby in your belly and bond with him! He must know your voice before he comes out or he won't love you, ever!" (Paraphrasing.) Yeah, talking to my belly felt RIDICULOUS. Will felt the same way. It just wasn't our thing. 

Up until the doctor handed him over to me on his birthday, I was still skeptical as to whether it was really a baby in there kicking my ribs and pushing on my bladder. I guess you could say it didn't feel real. 

But it sure does now. 

And it's the best feeling ever.

Now I leave you with this short photo spread to curb your baby Will enthusiasm for a little while,  during which time I will pen my birth story. 

It is sure to be a 50 part installment, which is to say you may just want to come back for more pictures. That's okay. Stay tuned. 

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