Thursday, September 27, 2012

three and a half months later...

Remember when I used to be pregnant? Haha! Yeah. Good times. Like when I was 39 weeks to the day and told the doctor that a scheduled induction wasn't really my thing? Well, at my 40-week doctor appointment, I looked at dear doctor a bit grimly and told him I wasn't sure this was ever going to happen and I had a wedding to be in at the end of July with a lovely dress to fit and let's get this party started, shall we? My exact words may have been "Can you just reach up there and yank them out?"

You may be wondering what happened between 39 weeks and 40 weeks, and the easy answer is NOTHING. NOTHING HAPPENED. But the longer answer is that I had a conversation with Reese that I remember slightly differently than she does.

R: Well, let's face it, you're a big wienie.
A: ... Yes?
R: And unless things happen really quickly, you'll probably get an epidural.
A: Probably...
R: So if you're just going to have an epidural, why not go ahead and have the induction as well and just get on with it?
A: Hmm... you have an interesting point.

The more I thought about it, the more she was right on all counts: wienie (an accusation she denies she made, but is nevertheless true), probable epidural, therefore an induction wasn't so scary after all.

My mom arrived on Thursday June 14th, figuring she'd have a grandbaby by the morrow one way or another, and this way she could be available to watch Blake. Except I told her I wanted her in the room with me, and she got a little emotional until I carefully said that all I asked was that she limit her input to suggestions.

M: But I have great ideas!
A: You DO have great ideas and you are welcome to SUGGEST them. Please don't boss me around in the delivery room!

I called the labor and delivery ward at 5:45 in the morning on Friday and was outright relieved when they told me they were quite busy and could I call back at noon? We all went back to sleep. At 8:30, they called me and told us to come on down. By 10:00 am I had an IV in (getting it in nearly causing me to pass out because I am a fragile flower who is sensitive to needles and stuff and WHY WAS I DOING THIS AGAIN?!) with a pitocin drip and by noonish I was salivating over the sandwich Mom had brought Rob and was sneaking snacks of my own and negotiating with the nurse how long we thought it would take the anesthesiologist (side note: I spelled that word right on my first try. Thank you. Thank you very much.) to arrive vs. how intense my contractions were getting. Rob thought the monitors were really something and helpfully told me at one point, "Hey! You're having a contraction!"

We timed it perfectly, and I was having to really concentrate on breathing and relaxing through the increased pain in my front as the epidural was going into my back. At some point (2:00?), the doctor came in with what he termed "the eviction notice" and broke my water. Nothing like the sensation of uncontrollably peeing yourself. I think this was about the time I decided make-up was in order and delicately added liquid eyeliner and mascara to my peepers.

Throughout the day, Mom, Rob, and I all played Words with Friends on our various iOS devices and watched Modern Family. I remember turning to Mom at 5:00 or so and saying, "You know, it just feels like this day has flown by!"

She could not agree with me.

Still, once my water was broken, I dilated at 2 centimeters an hour and was pushing very shortly after that statement. The epidural was so effective that only a severe hip cramp indicated a contraction and that I needed to push. The actual delivery of a baby is a trip. There's about 90 seconds of intense energy, directing all your might to a very focused area, lots of vocal encouragement from those around you, then rest. Rest. Rest. But you're resting in a very, ah, alfresco position that is not at all restful. During one of the rests, Rob leaned in and said "All eyes are on you, sweetheart."

"Yes. That is why mine are closed."

Forty minutes later, at 5:52, V entered the world in a rush of "What did we have?!" and "A GIRL!" and tears and laughing and tears and holding her and tears and feeling my heart explode in my chest.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

bobbin' and bangin'

After last Sunday night's debacle of non-rest (I was a ZOMBIE on Monday), Vesper has largely slept through the night. Miracle! Blake is still wrestling with nightmares and spent the majority of those nights on the floor at the foot of our bed, but he's pretty good about not waking us when he creeps in. I remember having the same struggles about this age, so I'm inclined towards patience and encouragement and maybe another nightlight to help him through.

I also got a haircut. About ten inches off in all, and I have bangs again. My whole head feels lighter, and an additional benefit about the shorter length is that all the hair falling out post-pregnancy (it's a thing... a gross, drawn-out, yucky thing) is that much easier to deal with. And I can hide the "oh my gosh, IS THAT A BALD PATCH?" parts a little more easily.

I'm going to look like a Troll doll when the lost stuff starts growing back in. I can hardly wait.

Monday, September 17, 2012

that's what he said

I got home from a quick errand to find Vesper in a new outfit.

R: She had a major blowout up her back.
A: Did it make it to her hair?
R: (incredulous look, probably thinking "It can get to HER HAIR?!")
A: Sometimes it's so bad you just cut the clothes off and hold the kid under the shower to rinse off.
R: (horrified, dazed look)
A: You did great.

A: I wish I had your stomach. It's all flat and toned. (sigh)
B: What's your stomach like?
A: Jelly. I just had a baby and haven't exercised the muscles yet.
B: Well, and I eat healthy.
You want my stomach? I want your nose. (runs over, grabs my nose, and runs off) GOTCHER NOSE!

B: (stretching out on his bed) Mom, look at how tall I'm getting.
A: (wistfully) I know it. You're huge. You used to be this little bundle I'd haul around, just like Vesper. You and me. You were my tiny little buddy, and now look at you! I can hardly pick you up any more, you're such a big guy. What am I going to do with you?
B: (wrapping his arms around my neck and snuggling in) Well it's a good thing we can still love on each other.

And then I cried every time I told this story, because he was being perfectly sincere and completely serious.

A conversation I have not witnessed, but one I'm confident has taken place:

B: Vesper, we need to team up. Mom is far too on her game. We need her past any exhausted tears into simple resignation.
V: I'm in.
B: You keep her up until midnight or so (but let's be honest, she usually does that to herself), then I'll come in at 2:30 after a nightmare. You're on again at 4:00, no later than 4:30, and make sure you're tuned up good and loud so she can't pretend she doesn't hear you.
V: For sure. I can eat about then too, so that works for me.
B: I'll sleep at the foot of their bed, just to be sure you're keeping up your end of the deal. She has to get up with me at 7:00 for school, so for bonus points, go ahead and act like you're up for the day around 6:20 - too far ahead of her alarm clock to feel good, but just close enough so that she'll never get back to sleep. Make sure you're really cheerful and chatty, so she can't be mad.
V: Diabolically brilliant.
B: We'll have her eating our of our hands in no time.
V: Wait... she already does that for me.
B: You're playing the long game here, V. This one's for me, but I'll totally be there for you when she gets all tough in your direction.

This all occurred last night. I would take a nap when she does this afternoon, but I have to put her down to sleep in her car seat so we can go pick Blake up from school together (without disturbing her sleep too much). I think they are winning, but I haven't cried today. Yet. The day is young.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

one big recessive gene pool

After two women who will not be named warned me of the dangers of NOT giving Vesper a bottle ("My daughter is 18 months. When I tell her it's time to stop nursing, she just grunts 'Uh-uh.' I haven't been anywhere without her since she was born."), I came straight home and pumped a bottle for Rob to give her. She took right to it and was PISSED OFF when he stopped halfway through to burp her.

 Sweetly sleeping bebe. Her hair gets lighter every time I wash it, and I've hopes for a redhead with curls!

 Mom came up for a grandie fix, and we spent some leisurely time on Reese's front porch. Gunnie and VB are largely unaware of each other, until we force the issue.

 Two of my favorite girls. Vesper is obviously filling out (as one friend kept saying, "What a HEALTHY baby!" ... yeah, I hear you, calling my kid fat.), and her cheeks and double chin are awfully kissable!

Vesper, 2012: "Uh, Grammie? Why are my pants on my head? Is this a necessary part of changing my diaper?"

Blake, 2005: "Apparently, yes. I don't think she can help herself."

Morning snuggles are pretty sweet. Right up until she spits up on MY side of the bed.

Me, circa 1980. Rob sees a resemblance, but I think he's just trying to make me feel better about producing children that are little carbon copies of their fathers. Maybe in the nose... which is not good news for the poor girl!

Monday, September 3, 2012

i call them all "attila"

Eleven of the thirteen remaining Huns, enjoying the lot just beyond ours (ours is delineated by that line of green grass in the foreground).