Monday, September 30, 2013

Olivia's birth story: my 6 hour quicky labor

Since Mia was two weeks early, I was anticipating that our second little bundle might also arrive early. Caleb's grandmother's birthday was November 16, so I thought it would be really cool if that was new baby's birthday too, forget the fact that my due date wasn't until November 29. But November 16 came and went with nary a real contraction, and the entire next week, the week of Thanksgiving, was also uneventful in babyland. At my 39 week appointment on November 26 I was only 3 cm and having no signs of imminent labor. My OB stripped my membranes, which was, per my text messages to Caleb, "uncomfortable but quick", and we set my induction for the following Monday. After being induced with Mia, I desperately wanted to go into labor on my own this time, but since I'm seriously impatient, four days past due was about as far as I could push it. Anyways, after I left my appointment, I took Mia straight to the zoo to enjoy the precious few minutes/hours/days I had left with her alone, and I was also hoping that the walking might induce my labor. Nope.

Over the next couple days I lost a lot of my mucus plug, but other than that nothing felt different. I still hadn't felt the baby drop, and I wasn't crazy nesting. On Wednesday, I drove out to Franklin to meet Hannah to do a little Christmas craft for the grandparents, and on the way I started to have some uncomfortable contractions. Just as I was getting excited and about to call and cancel our outing, the contractions went away. *Frown* But at least something different was happening, and I figured if they hurt then they were probably doing SOMEthing. So not a total downer. I didn't have any more uncomfortable contractions for the next 24 hours, but then on Thursday night they started to hurt again. I was just beginning to prep Caleb that "this might be it" and then, of course, they went away. *Another sad face* With the two false alarms, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be induced on Monday.

Friday was our good friend (and Mia's godfather) Patrick's 30th birthday, and Kristi had painstakingly planned a surprise party for him with me as a contributing accomplice. Kristi kept checking in with me throughout the day to make sure I wasn't going into labor, and I kept telling her I felt totally fine. At 5:00 Friday evening I drove to her house to pick up the birthday cake and other party paraphernalia, and then went home to hang out until the party at 8:00. As I walked out her front door I asked, "Did you ever have contractions that made you feel like you had to pee?" The contractions didn't hurt, but they were REALLY strong. I don't remember what she said, but neither of us were concerned that I might not be able to fulfill my party duties.

I got home and took a shower and jokingly commented to Caleb that "this could be the last shower before the baby." I got ready for the party while he cooked dinner, and by the time we sat down to eat at 6:00 I suggested that we start timing the contractions. They were getting more uncomfortable and more frequent, but since they were irregular (like 3-3-10-5-10) I thought it was another false alarm. By 6:30 I was rushing to the potty frequently and was in a lot more pain. I called some friends for surprise party back-up just in case I couldn't make it. Since we were going out anyway, Caleb's dad was already planning to babysit, but when he saw me he made it clear he was not prepared to stay the night.

I finally called the on-call doc at 7:00, and when I told her this was my second baby she said "Don't wait too long to come in". I must have said something like, "but I have my friend's cake for her husband's surprise birthday party!" because to this day I am still known to this doctor as "the girl with the cake". I gritted and groaned my way through the bedtime routine with Mia, and as soon as she was down I begged Caleb to take me to the hospital. After a very pleasant (and greatly desired to be repeated) medicated birth with Mia, my biggest fear was not getting to the hospital in time to get an epidural. We don't live far from the hospital, but I was white-knuckling it the whole way. And we had to make a stop at the restaurant to drop of the goodies. Thank God the restaurant was on the way.

I was admitted at 8:30 and got really angry when the triage nurse wouldn't order me an epidural then and there. I was 5 cm when I got to the hospital, and an hour later I still hadn't progressed. At 9:30, my savior by the name of Anesthesia walked in. I made the desperate mistake of letting a CRNA student do my epidural and she couldn't get it, but her instructor bailed us both out and I was blessedly numb in T-5 seconds. The next hour went something like "POP-8-meconium-NICU-10" and I guess somewhere in there the on-call doc called my OB, because about 11 PM and 10cm Dr. B walked in.

Since I was complete I started practice pushing, but they didn't want me to actually deliver until NICU was there because of the meconium. That was fine because I was doing a really terrible job of pushing effectively, but then I got in one good push and Olivia basically fell out- without NICU. Oops. The doctor later commented that "Olivia practically delivered herself." But all was fine, and I actually cried this time because I was so excited for Mia to have a sister.

Olivia Leigh, 11/30/12, 6 lbs. 9 oz, 19.5"
So Olivia, you're 10 months old today and still don't have a single hint of tooth popping through. You just started balancing on your own, and even take a tentative falling step or two. You're trying to talk and making some really funny sounds now. I love watching you and your sister interact and am so excited to see what great friends y'all become!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In which I fuss about fall, fashion, and finances

Transitional seasons are the worst, or maybe its just the transitions OF seasons that I hate. The weather is pleasant this time of year, but the inconsistent temperatures never cease to confound this human of habit. Early fall mornings in Nashville start in the upper 50's but creep up to the 80's before you know why you're sweating. When I went for my run Friday morning I had Olivia decked out in a sweatshirt and hat, but a short 2 1/2 hours later the girls were shirtless playing in the water table. Retail stores and consignment sales are pushing cold weather clothes, but here in the deep South it will be November before we can comfortably wear most of that fluff. The girls are busting out of their warm weather garb, but we still need the function of short sleeves. 
This outfit nails the need.
Great... I only need 6 more just like it.
Nutshell version: I don't know how to dress my kids this time of year! Hell, I don't know how to dress myself this time of year!

The Friday before last, Nonnie took the girls shopping, and though I'm grateful, it only served to inflame my fashion freak out. I'll spare you the transcript of the internal torment that played through my head for a few days following, but the end result was this: "LET'S HAVE A YARD SALE AND SELL OUR EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF CRAP!!!!"

So... I have spent the last 7 days going through e.v.e.r.y  room, closet, cabinet, shelf, box, bag, and bin and gathered an impressive pile of junk that's currently cluttering the living room.
Our sale is this Saturday, so I have five days to get this jazz priced and organized. My awesome sister-in-law who has slightly more than my zero yard sale experience has been giving me tips and is gonna be there for the sale too. I'm saying some prayers that we rake in the jingle jangle, because our bank account is getting pretty skinny and we've had a few things break: the light fixture in the playroom, the baby gate by the stairs, Caleb's car... But even if the sale is a bust, I have another fool-proof plan to pad our pockets. Stay tuned for details of JT's Message Board Business.

Friday, September 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes with Snails

I have two sleeping children right now! (Revision: I had two sleeping children for about 20 blissful minutes.) Since our last quest, Olivia has insisted on being rocked to comatose before being laid down and then requires that I perform full-strength CPR compressions on her mattress until she's good and non-responsive. Glad all that work buys me a 30 minute nap and a still grumpy baby. Time for sleep re-training.
I just finished reading Jim Gaffigan's book Dad is Fat. I laughed, I related, I liked. Some parts were unremarkable, but it was an easy read and I laughed out loud a lot. Thank you Sid for introducing me to Jim Gaffigan instead of helping me with my finance homework during grad school.
Mia made a "snail habitat" yesterday.

The kid loves slimy creatures; snails, worms, fish... She wanted to buy a tank for the snails and keep them in the house, but I told her they had to go back to their mommy and daddy so she was magnanimous and let them crawl away.
Every time, EVERY TIME, I leave Livi in the playroom for more than 10 seconds this is what I find,
Reason #137 why I despise having pets. And she's figured out how to climb up the stairs. I've tried to block it off, but she has the uncanny ability to ninja around any barrier I put up.

I succumbed to the 'Gram (@jenntemp18) because I really needed another piece of social media to entice me into taking more unnecessary pictures of my kids.

I love Old Navy's Rockstar jeans. I have a black pair and just bought a dark wash pair. And they're on sale for $19 right now!
On Jen's theme song question: In my bio, I claim "Livin' on a Prayer". (Please enjoy the '80's hair.) I'm not sure if I actually think the song fits or if it just makes me crack up, but I am surely living on a prayer, so, yeah. For you curious minds, I'm an ENFJ.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, September 16, 2013

And we're back!

The recent break in blogging was brought to you in part by "what the hell was I thinking scheduling three week-long vacations this summer" and the corporation for "I'm eating my words with a side of what I had said was."

Back in February when I was restless, optimistic, delusional, and freezing, the thought of a September beach vacation was pure ecstasy. Cut to the first of September after two other trips to the beach, a wedding in Louisiana, and three lake trips, and my travel tank was overflowing. But oh my sh**, Caleb still had another week of vacation that we planned to take with his sister and her family. Despite my big talk, I actually function better with simplicity and routine, so the entire week before we left my attitude was so glowing I was thinking of formally changing my name to Oscar. I typically only accomplish one or two productive things a day, aside from keeping the kids alive, so the tankers full of time we had already burned by traveling had put me too far behind to cope with the idea of more time away with any semblance of grace. But annnyways, we had the plans, Caleb had the time off, so vacationing we went. For lotsa reasons the beach in particular didn't pan out, so we decided to go to the lake instead.

The first weekend we went to Poppee's lake house and took the fattest baby in the world.
He was thoughtful, and let his parents come too. Olivia decided that sleep is for suckers and that the pack 'n play was invented by the devil, so we slept a total of ~10 hours over the three nights we were there.
at 9 and 12 and 1:30 and 2:30 and 5:30...
You can imagine that my sunshiny disposition was greatly improved by lack of sleep, but drinking beer with some of our best good friends and shredding on the ski made it all worthwhile.


We came back to Nashville for exactly 48 hours to try to fend off a tri-female meltdown, and then drove down to Uncle Wes's lake house. The sleep sitch wasn't a whole better, but we muscled through with coffee and adrenaline.

photo cred: Mama P
another Paula shot
On Friday we watched Aunt Bev break steers. Mia got to ride a horse by herself, and I have never seen her happier.
watching the calf roping with cuzzy wuzzy Weston

Aunt Rachel, Uncle Russell, and Nonnie came down for the weekend, and early Sunday we all headed for home.

I'm definitely feeling the crushing weight of my to-do list magnified by the glory of re-entry, but even though it was tough, I had fun on our trip(s). But. But... if we are so blessed with another summer of the infant, I think we'll dial back the travel just a boatload.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Five Favorites: more rant, less rave

Since it's been four days since I last dazzled the audience with my profundity, quality be damned, its time for an update. For actual worthwhile reading, go ahead and skip on over to Hallie's.

1. Mia went back to school today after nearly 6 weeks off, and with her return, preschool days got promoted from love/hate to love/love.
 I am such a professional photographer! *SNORT*
Of course I still miss my little girl and wonder how she's doing and if she needs me, but I am a much better mommy when we have just a little bit of space from one another. As the current caboose in a long line of strong-willed Polish women, Mia has generations to thank for her sass and spunk, and I can only point fingers at my own (and my mother's and my grandmother's) crazed tendencies when I wonder where in the H-bomb this relentless little person came from. 
2. I bought an Ergo on Sunday! I'm not ready to commit to calling it my favorite, we need a little more time together, but I do like it. And so far it has well served the purposes for which it was purchased. I'm pretty ticked though because I got totally ripped off! I found it on Craigslist where it was listed for less than retail, but once I got it home I found the original price tag from TJ Maxx, and I overpaid by THIRTY FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS! So... was the seller an immoral thief or is that just shrewd business? (Yes, the real question is whether or not I can upsell a TJ Maxx Ergo to make a little green myself.)
I've given two shout outs to this guy in comments in the last couple weeks, so he's obviously due his own line item. I have read from four out of five of his series, and though I am fairly unskilled in describing why I appreciate a piece of literature, his books are charming. Totally, completely, undeniably, all-encompassingly charming. And it's light reading without being banal or insulting to your intelligence.
4. Yesterday was a really tough day. There were a lot of tears, several tantrums, and one loudly raised mommy voice. All day long I was unsettled and agitated, and judging by her behavior Mia felt the same. I kept blaming her bad attitude for my bad attitude (FAIL!!), but finally as I was falling asleep it hit me-- if I'm tired and cranky from our over-filled days and late nights, then surely my preschooler will be too. Her behavior is just a 2-year-old's way of saying, "Dangit Mom, I'm overwhelmed and I need some down time." You got it, babe.
5. Olivia slept through the night the last two nights! This is of course following a night where she was awake from 10-3 and in which I formulated a blog post entitled "The Agony in the Nursery", so maybe she's just making up for lost zzz's... But regardless, we're on the right track.