Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lasts and Firsts

This morning, I woke up and heard the baby. I picked him up and started to nurse him for the very last time. It felt strange to know that we are done with this phase, and even stranger that barring a whole string of surprises, I will never nurse another baby.

And yet here we are.

Later, I got on an airplane for a business trip -- the first business trip I've been on for years without my husband and babies in tow. It is strangely quiet and surreal without them. I don't know if I can get used to it, although a few hours of blissful, solo sleep will help.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Second Baby

It was about this time last year - about 11 pm - that I realized that the contractions were finally getting stronger. I had been having them sporadically for weeks - through the blizzard! - but after a long day of work, 36 hours before my scheduled C-section, I was in actual labor.

I woke up my husband, we grabbed our bags and the kid - after all, my mother-in-law wasn't driving up until the morning- and got in the newly acquired minivan. We drove in to the city, to my office, so I could get my computer. After all, my labor barely progressed the last time, so I had plenty of time.

We got to the hospital, got checked in, and waited. They were getting me ready for a C-section - next, after the doctor finished another surgery. I was at 3 centimeters. My daughter, then 3 (and a half!) held my hand during the bad contractions, telling me it was all going to be okay. My friend came to sit with her. It was about 2 am.

They gave me an epidural. It worked for a little while. But then, like last time,  it stopped working. They prepped me for surgery. And then we waited. And waited.

Just after 5:30, they wheeled me in to the OR. They took one look at me and told me nevermind. I was ready to push. I said, "I can't do this." I was unprepared. I spent the entire pregnancy planning the easy non-traumatic birth I had been denied the first time, and they were taking it away from me.

They wheeled me into L&D. And, apparently, I could do it, just like generations of women have for all of history.

It all happened so fast: the baby was in my arms by 6:40. My handsome, healthy son was an unplanned VBAC. I should always remember that the universe just laughs while I'm busy making plans.

I was up walking within hours instead of days. My milk came in and I nursed. (Heck, I'm still nursing this hungry baby.). He stayed next to me the entire time, We were home in 2 days.

This baby. My second baby. My last baby. My son.

On the eve of his first birthday, he is about 21 pounds - so much bigger than his sister! He has the goofiest six-toothed smile and a contagious laugh. He has a sparkle in his big brown eyes that warns me when he is up to no good. He loves his dad, worships his sister, and makes friends wherever he goes.

Mostly, though, he is mine. And he doesn't know it yet, but he has healed me in so many ways.

Monday, July 4, 2016

This time last year...

In June of last year, I found out I was pregnant again after the miscarriage.  We were excited again, but apprehensive.

Then, on the third of July, I started bleeding again, just shy of ten weeks, just like the last time. I called the doctor, and she said that there was not much she could do. We'd have to wait and see through the long weekend. 

I pretty much cried for two days. I came as close to praying as I ever have. And then, we went for our ultrasound. 

The baby was healthy and perfect, despite the bleeding.

And now he's here, my handsome, happy boy. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Kid versus the alarm

Since the baby came along 10 weeks ago, everyone has been more tired than usual. (Go figure.)  

It has affected my daughter in a couple of ways. First of all, we have been more permissive about bedtime. I mean, when you are exhausted from dealing with a newborn, the last thing you want to do is fight with a threenager about her bedtime. Second, when I get up early to feed her brother, I let her sleep in.  And third, I'm on maternity leave, so unless there's an early morning appointment, there is not a lot of urgency in my schedule. 

When you combine these things with the time change, the abandonment of all naps, and everything else, my former early riser is now waking up at 9 am or later, and going to sleep at 9:30 or sometimes even 10. It's plenty of sleep -11 hours - but it needs to be shifted back a few hours, particularly as I go back to work soon. 

So, my husband and I came up with a plan. We would get her an alarm clock, figuring that she could use it now that she is starting to tell time, and also, it would wake her up. I wanted to buy her a kid's clock, but my husband really liked a pink-and-white old fashioned dual-bell alarm clock. I went along with it. 

We ordered the clock and it arrived yesterday. The kid was in love: she played with it, learned how to switch it off, and proudly put it near her bed. It was Friday night, so I set the alarm to wake her with plenty of time to get ready for her Saturday morning gymnastics class. 

In the morning, I woke up and started feeding the baby. I looked at my clock and realized that the alarm was about to go off. All of a sudden, I hear the bell, both through the walls and the baby monitor, followed closely by a blood-curdling scream. Then "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! MOMMY! I am SCARED! It's too loud! MAKE IT STOP!  AAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

I ran in there with the baby still on my boob, half laughing. I turned off the alarm and calmed my daughter down. 

Tonight, she made me take the alarm clock out of her room. I promised her that it was off, but she doesn't trust me anymore. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Appellate Jurisdiction

The other day, the kiddo was watching TV (Disney Junior) and saw something she wanted on a commercial -- I am not even sure what it was, but I can guarantee that she already has something similar, in the piles of toys that have eaten the family room. Whatever it was, she told me she wanted it, and I said, "Do you have money to pay for it?" She said, "No, but you do. Buy it for me."
I stuck to my guns and said no. I don't remember exactly what she said after that, but the gist of it was that she did not believe me and wanted to appeal my decision to a higher authority. I told her she had two choices: Santa Claus or Grandpa. 
Of course, the smart kid says, "I want to talk to Grandpa's face!"
On the one hand, I think it's great that she wants to talk to my dad.  On the other hand, he will probably buy her what he wants.  He used to be really good at saying no, but with the grandkids, seems to lack the same resolve.

Now I just have to teach a 75 year old how to use Skype.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Pre-Halloween Halloween

The week before Halloween, we had gotten a notice from school that they would be having a Halloween/Fall Festival on October 31. Then the kiddo -- who is so not a baby anymore -- was out of school for a few days with a little cold and a low fever.  She went home Tuesday afternoon when it started -- and because we've now reached that parenting point that having to drop everything to go get her in the middle of the day is more disruptive than just keeping her home in the first place -- she didn't go back to school until Friday morning, October 30.
Costume 1

Apparently, while she was out, the school posted flyers everywhere that they were going to have a Halloween parade on Friday morning, in addition to the festival the next afternoon.  So, without advance notice that there was going to be a parade that day, I brought a kid to school without a costume. I should have assumed that there'd be something, like every other school everywhere, except the ones that think Halloween is evil -- but I wrongly believed that the reason they gave us notice about the Saturday event was to keep us from sending kids in costume on Friday. Oops.
Costume 2
When we got to the threes room, almost all of the other girls in the threes class were dressed as princesses.  (One was Spidergirl, and I give her mad props for going against the relentless tide.)  Only my kid and one other -- her friend Melanie -- did not have a costume at all. The other princesses all gave me a hard time because my kid did not have a princess dress -- it seems that even preschoolers hold their friends' moms to very high standards.  
Costume 3
The two costume-less girls were so sad when I left -- the other kids were sitting in the circle for story time, and the two of them were sitting outside the circle together, with the most dejected looks on their faces.  I got in the car and started driving to work, but then I felt really guilty. So, I turned around, drove to the house, grabbed two princess dresses from the dress-up bin, and brought them to the school. Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel were very happy princesses, the teachers think that I am the best ever -- and I was very late to work.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Two ... and a half

Two-and-a-half is a complicated age.

Two-and-a-half means constant motion, constant dialogue, constant arguments.  She has her own opinion about everything, and she cannot be dissuaded.  She will argue to the death that something is pink even though everyone else says that it is red. Our conversations go something like this:
"Here you go, Mommy.  Fix it please."
"Why did you put the little blue lizard in the kaleidoscope?"
For the record, it is blue and has a tail -- it is certainly not a frog.  I still think it is a lizard, though I could be convinced that it is a newt.

She is a picky eater. She is bossy.  She throws a temper tantrum at the drop of a hat.

She is energetic.  She is funny.  She is sweet, when she wants to be.

She is the best thing ever.