Labor of love

I am 32 weeks pregnant, and at my last doctors appointment it hit me: this baby has to come out. I watched my ultrasound technicians eyes as she did some calculations… Then her eyes met mine and smiled as she said, “your little boy is weighing in at approximately 4.8 pounds”. My jaw dropped because according to my lovely baby application I read each week he is almost two pounds heavier than most fetuses his age. I was still trying to fathom the last sentence that came out of her mouth when she continued, “keep in mind he will gain about half a pound weekly between now and delivery”.

Even I can do basic math, and this means I am going to have Another BIG baby. So let me tell you the story of my first delivery.

I thought I pissed the bed. It was 5 am (the morning of my due date) and I was covered in a warm watery liquid. At the time I had moved home from college, and was living at my mother’s. After I realized my water broke and this liquid was not at all pee I panicked. I remember thinking “holy shit, holy shit, holy shit” as I tip-toed upstairs to get my mom. “Mom, my water broke” I casually said despite my internal freak out, “I’m going to take a shower”. I heard my mothers feet frantically shuffling around as she gathered her belongings and I headed back down stairs.

In the shower I took my sweet time, even shaved my legs! This is nothing like the movies I thought. After my shower I smothered my body in lotion, straightened my hair, and started applying makeup. THEN I got my first contraction.

“Let’s go NOW!” I screamed to my mother who had been waiting by the door for twenty minutes. From that moment every second felt like a minute. I couldn’t get this baby out fast enough.

The only thing I remember about the ride to the hospital were the crows. My mother slowed down for a couple of crows who were feasting in the middle of the road and I LET HER HAVE IT, ” they’re just crows” I screamed, ” go! Hit them! They’ll move”. For the rest of the ride I focused my pain on those damn crows, cursing them until we reached the hospital.

I’m a granola woman, boarder line hippie, and I was determined to do this thing naturally. After all, it’s what our bodies are made for right? WRONG! Nothing about that felt natural at the time, but by the time the doctor saw me I was way past the point of an epidural, and he kept reminding me in his overly soothing voice, “remember Casey, this is what you wanted”. So needless to say I got my wish even though I begged for an epidural.

At this point labor is full force and we are trying everything. The tub, the ball, this position and that position. I felt like a damn monkey in a circus. Her head was stuck, it wouldn’t come through my pelvis no matter which way I rocked it.

My poor mother, anyone else would have walked out on me. She tried rubbing my back and got a ” DON’T TOUCH ME” in return. She tried words of encouragement and I responded “STOP TALKING!”. Then she tried to step into the hall to give our family and friends an update and I snapped, “where the hell are you going?! Don’t leave!”. I apologize to her up to this day because I was horrendous. You’ve heard of Bridezilla right? I was mommytobezilla. She has given my fiancé a full disclosure for his upcoming event in the delivery room with baby number 2.

After five hours of very a very active delivery I was falling asleep between contractions. My body had had enough, and it desperately needed that 60 seconds between pushing to rest. I heard the doctor talking about a c-section and my granola instincts kicked in. My mother must have sensed them because she grabbed a mirror off of the table next to me and positioned it between my legs. I could see her head, and all of that jet black hair. The visual was enough for me to push again, and a couple of minutes later I was holding my beautiful baby girl on my chest.

9 lbs and 1 ounce. I, a smaller 110 pound woman, delivered that baby all by myself without the help of pain meds. I don’t mean to boast, but HELL YEAH I’m proud. It was the most empowering thing I have ever done. I grew that little, perfect human being and pushed her 21 inch head out of my vagina.

As empowering as it was I am still scared shitless to do it again. I thought that would be different this time around but it’s not. I still find myself thinking, “ohhhhh shit, this kid has to come out”. In fact, I think it’s almost scarier because this time I know what I’m up against.

Please, share your fairy-tale delivery stories so we can tell tell Hollywood to make a real delivery scene.

Did that just happen?

My alarm went off at six am for work, and our daughter woke up at the same time, instantly crushing her fathers long fetched dreams of sleeping in. We hear her talking to herself over the baby monitor, and play rock, paper, scissors to decide who is going to get out of bed to retrieve her. It was the normal Saturday morning routine. We lay in bed together as a family until I HAVE to get up and get ready for work. Then I stock her sippy cup with milk, and turn the television to Disney Jr, so her dad can slowly wake with the sound of Henry Huggle Monster in bed while they snuggle.

After my shower I was in our master bedroom’s bathroom curling my hair and I hear my fiancé Jake speak with clenched teeth, “Saylor your elbow is digging into my throat, are you going to lay down or awkwardly sit?”. His tone was soft, but it was obvious he was in pain. Then in the sweetest little voice she said, “shhhh Daddy” as she pointed to the T.V. Then without missing a beat or changing her position she answered her father’s question, “awkwardly sit”.

The bathroom door was open, and I could hear this conversation perfectly, and see them crowded towards the headboard. I laughed out loud and said, “Did she just say…” and Jake interrupted me as he moved Saylor’s elbow from his throat, “She certainly did”. I watched his face through the bathroom mirror and our eyes met. Together at the same time we realized just how much trouble we were in. Saylor Jade our precious little baby has become her own person. She has her own sense of humor, and it is a combination of both her father’s and mine. I’m not sure how I feel about this new discovery.

In the past week our little princess has developed a vocabulary that seems to multiply by the hour. I’ve had more “Did that just happen?” moments in the past week than I have in my lifetime of 25 years. The most valuable lessen I’ve learnt in the past week… ALWAYS think before you speak especially in the presence of a two year old.

10 more weeks of this?

This morning while I was struggling to put on my socks my two year old blurts out, “Mommy, you can’t even touch your toes”. As if I didn’t know I now had to hold my breath in order to complete the daily task that was once so easy. “Yes Saylor, I know… Here, help mommy put on her socks “I say with a squeamish smile as I hand her my sock. She’s lucky she’s cute because if her father would have muttered the same words my response would have been much more dramatic, and it’s likely something would have been thrown in his direction.

What feels like 20 minutes later both of my socks are on and I hear my cell phone beep. It’s my baby bump application with my weekly update. Big letters flash, “30 WEEKS PREGNANT” across the screen after I click on the widget of the ugly baby face. I almost spoke to my phone the same way I answered my two year old when she stated the obvious… “Yes, I know”. Instead I scrolled to read this week’s symptoms, “fun” facts, and need to have baby items. The update was very similar to last week’s post. I believe this application is supposed to be uplifting, and enjoyable. However I’ve found it is an awful reminder of how invasive and long pregnancy really is. Yes, children are beautiful, but pregnancy is not.

Here are my ten reasons pregnancy is not so beautiful:

1. LACK OF SLEEP- One would think that your body creating another human being is the perfect reason to drift off immediately into dream land. Instead, it’s the exact opposite. During the first trimester I was too busy puking to sleep. During the second trimester I was too busy playing catch-up on all of the household chores I neglected during the first trimester to sleep. I finally had some energy back, and took every opportunity to enjoy Saylor (our two year old) while she was still an only child and before I felt the size of a whale. And now the third trimester… my favorite (feel the deep embedded sarcasm in the word favorite). Now, I AM the size of a whale. My legs tingle every time I lay down, strange dreams creep their way into my head, and my back constantly aches, so it’s obvious sleep is out of the question until this mini human decides to come out… then of course we have a newborn, so scratch the sleep all together. I can sleep when I’m dead.

2. THE WADDLE- waddle, waddle, waddle. The random customer at work comments on it, my mother comments on it, HIS mother comments on it. Everyone finds it necessary to tell me how funny my pregnant walk is. As if I wasn’t aware that I now walk like a constipated penguin.

3. WARDROBE MALFUNCTION- I refuse to spend mega bucks on maternity clothes. In fact, I pride myself on my ability to make cute maternity outfits out of the clothes I already own. My first daughter was born in August, and the summer months made this task easy. Baby number two (little man Hendrix) is due at the end of March and this winter pregnancy has not been so friendly. I find myself living in leggings, and wearing many layers with the under layers unbuttoned because of my protruding belly.

4. ZITS- Aren’t I supposed to be glowing?! If you get bored feel free to play connect the dots on my face. I have never once had a pimple on my back, until now. There is no glowing here, enough said.

5. THE $300 GROCERY BILL is a bi-weekly occurrence. At first I thought it was a one or two time thing. I made excuses, but I have found I cannot step into a grocery store without filling a cart, or two.

6. MOODY IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT- Sometimes I can’t even stand to be around me. One second I’m happy, and the next minute I’m crying because of a toilet paper commercial. I need some stability in my moods before I force everyone around me into a mad house.

7. STUPID QUESTIONS- “When are you due?”, “You’re so big, How much longer?”, “How much will daycare cost?”, “Are your breastfeeding?”, “Why are you breastfeeding?”, and the list goes on… forever. People are so nosey.

8. OPERATION PREPERATION- I am a list person, I put things on my to do list even after I’ve done them just so I can cross them off of the list. It’s not until the item is crossed off of the list that it feels completed. However, even I am tired of making list. I’ve made a list for the hospital for me, for him, for the baby, and a bag for our two year old for when the big moment finally does happen. I’ve registered… which is one big list of things we need. I’ve made a list of things to do at work to prepare for maternity leave. You get the idea.

9. I’M NOT ONE FOR SURPRISES- No matter how much I prepare, and how organized I am none of this is in my control. Baby number two will come when baby number two wants to join this crazy world, and I have no say about the matter. I’m sensing a middle of the night arrival (possible in the middle of a snow storm), which would really interrupt the call list I’ve created to let everyone know the moment has arrived!

10. PREGNANCY NAZIS- It starts the first day your pregnancy is announced. Everyone is pushing their opinions and parenting advice down your throat. I thought this would fade with the second pregnancy because of the whole idea that I’ve already been through this before, and I am no longer a rookie. However, it does not fade, not even the slightest. Everyone is still very eager to share their ideas, and to do so without any filters. “Don’t drink coffee” they say, “Never color your hair” they comment, and again the list goes on. The pregnancy Nazis are everywhere and they are relentless.

I feel better now. However, I am still wondering how I am going to make it through ten more weeks of this awkward sharing my body with a little human escapade. I want to hold my little human, and have my body back to myself again.