Wilson’s Birthday

Leading up to Wilson’s birthday, I thought a scheduled c-section would be less stressful than the emergency c-section I had with Gus almost four years ago.

I was mistaken.

Turns out when you’ve been in active labor for several hours without an epidural, and your baby is suddenly in danger, you don’t have much time to process what’s about to happen as you roll into the OR (and then almost sleep through the whole thing from sheer exhaustion).

This time I was wide awake, over-thinking everything, and walked myself into the OR past tables of terrifying surgical tools before getting my epidural on the operating table.

The actual delivery went well, but caught me a little off guard only because a few minutes before we got started they got word another baby in L&D might be in distress and they warned me they may need to go to the other OR for an emergency delivery (Been there! I’ll wait.)

The next thing I knew: the doors opened, doctors and nurses were everywhere, someone turned on the radio (raise your hand if “Despacito” was playing when your baby was born!) and they were just talking like it was another day at the office.

“Did you see Roberta’s haircut?”
“Who has the medieval torture devices I sterilized?”
“Let’s make the first incision.”

Wait, what was that last thing you said?

No, hello. No, we’re about to get started. No husband (wearing a beard cover) sitting patiently by my side. No, ready, no set.

Just, GO.

Mike was there a few minutes later, but surgery was well underway at that point. And while I definitely didn’t feel pain, the amount of pressure I could feel was so overwhelming that it was extremely uncomfortable.


Ultimately I needed two extra doses of my epidural during surgery, and three doses of additional pain meds while they closed my incision.

Recovery has been going well, and we’ve been home for four days now. Aside from the usual newborn woes (mainly not sleeping) this time has been a lot less stressful for all of us.

I already know how to breastfeed (even though my milk didn’t come in until last night), I’m sleeping as much as I can when I can, I’m staying on top of pain meds and physically I feel really good.

The biggest difference: my mom is living with us this time, so we have an extra set of hands to help with baby and Gus. When I think about one day getting this baby fed and out the door in time to get Gus to preschool on time, it makes my eye twitch but I know we’ll get there eventually.

Wilson is a pretty good baby, and Gus LOVES him. It’s only been a few days so we’ll see how long it lasts, but he loves to help with diaper changes, he kisses him constantly, and whenever he cries, Gus sings him customized lullabies (“Rockabye Wilson” is his go-to, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Wilson” is a close second).


I genuinely still can’t believe this beautiful, healthy baby is here right now, after everything that happened in the last year. And in a few weeks, we’ll celebrate Gus’ fourth birthday as a little family of four!

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T-Minus Seven Weeks.

The general consensus between my hematologist, the high-risk team, and my regular OB is that I should be induced no later than 39 weeks.

Which means, I’m having a baby sometime in the next seven weeks. And that — is insane.

I remember being just seven weeks pregnant like it was yesterday, and thinking the end was FOREVER and a day away, if I was lucky enough to even make it that far. And, then BAM! here we are.

Starting now, as a reward for a) making it to 32 weeks, and b) having gestational diabetes, I get to go to the hospital twice a week until Mr. Baby makes his debut for Non-Stress Tests (NSTs) and Bio-Physical Profiles (BPPs). NSTs monitor his heart rate and movements, and check to see if I’m having any contractions, while I sit in a recliner, sipping ice water and reading, with a bunch of monitors strapped to my belly. It looks like this:

nst

And yes, that sliver of skin is the maximum amount of my stomach that will ever see the light of day on the internet. You’re welcome.

BPPs are ultrasounds to make sure things are doing what they should be — he’s taking practice breaths (which is weird!), blood is flowing the way it should, his heart is doing what hearts do. You know, human body type stuff.

Mike & I spent the last weekend getting the nursery put together, a process we gradually started a few weeks ago: painting the room with my momma, and then painting some old/hand-me-down furniture to match the white crib we wanted. Only when we went to buy the crib, Ikea told us they didn’t have any until maybe October. Ummmm… thanks, I guess. So we’ll just wait? But Mike discovered they had the crib we wanted in stock in California — but Ikea only ships regionally. So some of our favorite Californians, Kelly & Brad, very graciously shipped the crib we wanted across the country for us.

Swedish crib, by way of Santa Monica to Maryland. It’s a very well-traveled crib.

nursery

It’s not finished, but we’re getting there — and at least I have a place for the wee one to sleep.

In the meantime, I do think my nesting instincts are kicking in — although my body has some strong opinions about that. Namely, that we should be laying on the sofa, taking lots of naps and bathroom breaks.

Parenting Preparedness with Puppies

I’ve thought this for a while, but the last few weeks have really convinced me that I was right all along.

Dogs are excellent practice for babies.

Or at the very least, my dogs are.

There are the obvious reasons — some little thing is totally dependent on us for food and shelter. You can’t stay out all night, because you have to get home to feed the dogs and let them out. You can’t sleep in either, because the dogs probably need to pee.

But these two dogs? Oh man, they’re killing me lately. They’re so cute, and I love them — but lately I just want to make them live in the backyard. (Mothers I know and trust assure me this is very similar to the first year at home with a new baby, so I know I’m onto something.)

The little dog made our lives hell when we brought him home (he was skittish, and afraid of everything that moved, and had a lot of separation anxiety) but things got better after the first six months. Now he’s the most obedient member of the household, which I appreciate. But still:

He throws up everywhere, when you least expect it. It’s not really his fault. When you gotta vom, you gotta vom (which has become painfully obvious to me now that I’m pregnant). But he has the uncanny ability to spring it on you when you least expect it. About to walk out the door, and you’re almost running late? Blaaagh! Thinking about going to sleep in the next 20 minutes? Vooooommmm all over your bedsheets! Tired and worked all day? Surprise, look what I left you in the shag carpet!

He stinks, all the time. Jake’s favorite thing in the world, is smelling like shit. Or, I guess more specifically, urine. Or sometimes if he’s lucky, decomposing leaves. He will find the smelliest thing in the yard, and roll in it until he can’t see straight. Then he likes to run upstairs and roll on our bed, because he loves me so much.

He is happiest laying on top of you. Unlike a human baby, Jake does not like to be picked up. There’s a lot of scratching and flailing. But he does want to lay or sit on top of you, no matter what you’re doing. He is happiest right on top of your chest, with his stink-covered neck just inches away from your unsuspecting face. Then he falls asleep, and is so cute, you don’t want to wake him up even though you really need to use the bathroom.

The big dog looks sweet and innocent. And for the most part, this is the case. But she’s developed some new habits lately, that, well:

She refuses to go to bed. I’m not sure what happened, but after almost four years of the exact same bedtime routine, Daisy has decided that she’s just not doing it anymore. At first I thought it was some sort of summertime senioritis, or maybe she’s just an insolent teenager like I was. All I know is, she refuses to come inside at night, resulting in us chasing her around the pool and trying to herd her towards the backdoor. Then she avoids her crate like the plague. She tries to sleep on the sofa, or sneak upstairs to sleep in our bed (which she’s never done) or in the guestroom, like we won’t notice.

She ignores everything we say. Daisy, come here! Nope. Daisy, here’s a treat! Not interested. Daisy, if you don’t go to bed, we’re going to strangle you! I know you’re full of it, Mom. Daisy, I love you and I’m begging you to come inside. Screw you guys, I’m hiding in the bushes! Daisy, that’s not your bed. I DO WHAT I WANT!

She cries incessantly. This unfortunately, is not a new development. She is the squeekiest, whiniest dog I’ve ever met. She cries to go out, and cries to come in (unless, of course, it’s bedtime). She cries for attention, and cries when you’re petting her and she’s happy. She cries if someone walks by the house, or if she thinks she saw a cat. She never. stops. crying.

Luckily for both of them, they’re really cute.*

*I feel like this will also apply to Mr. Baby, come October.

Now What?

It’s slowly dawning on me that in about five months I’ll be someone’s mother.

We’ve been so focused on getting pregnant, and then staying that way — I haven’t given a lot of thought to what happens when it finally works.

It’s easy to be distracted by all the fun things. Decorating the nursery! Registering for ALL THE THINGS! Buying tiny little outfits! But, then we have to have a baby, and take care of it FOREVER.

I’m not totally unprepared (cue the maniacal laughter of parents everywhere). I’ve been around a lot of babies over the years. Feeding them. Changing the diapers. Unexplained hysterical crying (theirs and mine). But I always just handed them back to whoever was in charge when I was tired, or they wouldn’t stop screaming, or I wanted to eat something.

Now people are going to do that to ME.

I remember being really, really nervous about learning how to drive. Like, just terrified. For the record, it didn’t help that the first time I took the car out with the instructor I killed a squirrel. (I said, “Mr. Klein, there’s a squirrel!” And he said, “Don’t worry, they always move.” Incorrect, Mr. Klein!) Or the first time they took us out at night it was Halloween on dark and windy roads with kids EVERYWHERE, running into the street left and right.

Anyway — I don’t remember who, either my mom or my stepdad, but one of them told me, “Try not to worry. Stupid people learn how to drive all the time.”

The implication, of course, is that I’m a genius, so I’ll figure it out. (Excellent parenting, by the way. Making a note…)

So, I just keep reminding myself that stupid people have babies all the time too (they certainly don’t have any trouble getting pregnant, amiright? Please refer to your Facebook feed for examples), and most of them don’t grow up to be serial killers, hookers or crime bosses.

I’m sure we’ll be fine.

It’s a … BABY?!

1) Surprise, I’m pregnant!*

Like, kind of super pregnant.

As in, I’m halfway to giving birth to a human child.

thatsmyboy

We’re not the type to take a pregnancy test and start shouting the results from the rooftops. As far as IVF is concerned, I’m a champ when it comes to getting pregnant — I just don’t have the best track record staying that way.

So, in the beginning, we waited for some good bloodwork, and then only told family and close friends. In the past, I’d never made it to the first sonogram, so that was a big deal. Six weeks in, we saw a tiny, flickering blob, and were told it was perfect. Two more weeks, and we could see a little dancing gummy bear with waving arms and legs. (One advantage to fertility treatments AND being high-risk? I get a lot of sonograms.)

Months later, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. We’ve had some wonky blood work, and no one can really explain it, and follow up testing has been inconclusive — hence our delayed announcement. But everything seems fine — Mr. Baby is growing on schedule, has a consistently strong heartbeat, dances around like his momma, and is definitely a boy.

It’s hard, given our track record, not to think “well, if we stay pregnant,” or “if we have a baby this time,” but we’re finally to a point where we just said — screw it. Being nervous nellies with twitchy eyes is soooo 2012 — I’m ready to be excited, and buy some damn baby stuff already!

2) Wait, it’s a boy?!

Yes, a male child. This is exceptional news, if we are not related — because the last boy born in my immediate family is almost 27, I think. That’s 27 years of nothing but girl babies. People are already referring to him as “The Little Prince,” which I’m hoping doesn’t stick. My cousin immediately started screaming, “BUT I SAVED YOU ALL THESE SUNDRESSES!” Because that’s just how it is — we make girls… until now, apparently.

Hopefully he has at least some of my personality or that child will never, ever, get a word in edgewise.

3) Pregnancy sort of suits me.

But not really. Like, I didn’t have terrible morning sickness (I don’t think) but I did lose my appetite completely for about three months (and sort of counting, it’s getting a little better). All I wanted was ice water with lemons (Mr. Baby is really well hydrated) and a plain soft pretzels. My first trimester I think I lost 15 pounds, and I’m still a few pounds under where I started in February.

As a result, I’m barely showing. Well, maybe I’m showing? But my boobs are so huge, I think it’s impossible to tell. So I can still wear all my regular clothes, my skin is awesome (thanks, water!), and my love affair with food appears to be over, for good.

In other news, I have heartburn that could stop a grizzly bear in it’s tracks, I haven’t been able to brush my teeth without dry heaving since March, and every fan in our house has been on full blast since February. But you won’t hear me complaining (unless you are my husband).

4) Boo! I’m due on Halloween!

Perfect timing, if you ask me, because October is the best.

And now I get to register for stuff! And be super-duper pregnant during the summer! And there’s a nursery to decorate!

AND OH MY GOD, BABY CLOTHES ARE ADORABLE.

*This is probably not a surprise if we are 1) related, 2) bffs, 3) pinterest friends

Just Like Me.

Since I was approximately 12 years old, my mother has told me repeatedly that she hopes I have a child who is just like me.

She seems to think this would be some sort of poetic justice, and I will be punished for all my alleged sins (I was, and still am, the perfect child).

I think it sounds like the awesomest baby ever, so I’m not really worried.

Recently though, she’s changed her tune. Now she thinks it would be a terrible thing to happen …to Mike.

“He’s just such a nice guy. I wouldn’t want to do that to him.”

Gee, Mom. Thanks.

Last week, a few days after our embryo transfer, Mike was getting a little sassy (in an adorable, jokingly smartass way that I appreciate and encourage) and I don’t really remember exactly what he said, when I told him that I hope both babies stick, and I hope they’re both girls, and they’re each tiny little Ashley clones — and he’s stuck with three of me.

He said that is literally his worst nightmare.

I think he was kidding.

I guess we’ll just cross that awesome bridge when we come to it.