he rolls over

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Every night we find this little man in his crib with his legs and arms stuck out of the slats. And every time I find him like that it makes me feel like a bad parent…like I shouldn’t have had him there in that crib by himself in the first place. “He’s too little to be alone” I think. We only found him flipped over on his stomach in that crib once, a few weeks back…and I assumed that he was just kicking his legs so hard that he flipped himself (boy does he like to kick his legs!). Yesterday, he was playing on his back at work, and he was rolling from side to side, which I had seen before. Then all of a sudden, I look down at him and he’s on his stomach, halfway off the mat! And then when I flipped him back over, he did it again! So now I don’t feel like he’s so helpless, and I’m starting to think maybe I should put that crib bumper back on to keep him from waking up with his legs stuck.

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B is two months, and I’m now starting to feel somewhat human again…I realized EARLY this morning…ahemmm 3am to be exact…after having been peed on,  I was wide awake, it felt natural to be up at 3am. It could have been the shower of urine hitting my arm, but I’m pretty sure that my body has just now adjusted to a new motherhood schedule. Sleep with one eye open is my new mantra.

I could go on and on about the horrors of yesterday….1st round of vaccinations horrors. It wasn’t the whole “getting poked” scenario that I figured would be the worst. It came in the pain of fever and uncontrolled crying that went on for hours until he choked down some cherry flavored (it was weird putting something in his mouth other than breastmilk) infant acetaminophen. But enough of that. That was yesterday.

Today I’ve finally decided on some new year’s resolutions. Yes, it’s March.

1. open an etsy shop.

2. lose 30 pounds. (yes, I still have that much to lose and it would be nice if it happened in the next three months before Hawaii…but there’s a fat -no pun intended-chance of that happening…so I’ll take 15 by June.

3. Find a miracle bathing suit for Hawaii (o.k. not a resolution, but super important that mommy doesn’t look like a beached whale on baby’s first vacation.)

4. Don’t kill the baby.

5. breastfeed until new years eve.

6. walk at the beach weekly. This should be easy now that I’ve found some new mommy buddies who enjoy walking as much as I do. Thank you.

7. start shaving legs at least 3 times weekly. (I guess its kind of embarrassing that this doesnt happen already?)

8. finish putting together wedding album. Again, embarrassing.

9. invite new friends over to house for dinner party. We won’t even talk about how sad this is that it is on a list… but seriously people. post-graduation friend making is the pits.

10. get a professional family photo taken. (self-portraiting is too hard and I deserve to be in some photos with Bennett as a baby too!)

Bennett 2 Month

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today you are:

2 months

10lbs. 13.5 ounces

a fist sucker

a big open mouth smiler

a crib (and co) sleeper

a traveler

a sitter-upper. (you can mostly support your own head, but get tired sometimes)

Lake Tahoe

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We took B on his first trip this weekend up to lake Tahoe for a friend’s 30th birthday bash. He did well in the car, pretty much slept the whole time, though we did have to stop on our drive at 2-3 hour intervals. The 8.5 hour drive(s) took more like 12 hours.

Bennie met some of his “Aunties” who loved on him all weekend. He looks freaked out here, but I can assure you, he was as smitten with them as they were with him.

Mama & baby spent the majority of the weekend hanging out inside (no snowboarding for us!) visiting, eating, and drinking(milk!)

Mama & Papa (B was sleeping in the stroller) due to frigid conditions.

Just a man with a stroller.

 

It was sunny al weekend with a chance of snow on Monday, the day we were leaving. We should have left Sunday night, because when we woke on Monday the beautiful snowfall meant going and buying chains just to get down the friggen mountain. And after 10 hours of driving, we were 1.5 hours from home when we discovered that there was snowfall on the grapevine and that it was closed. So we had to drive around it, making a detour through Santa Barbara. THAT was the longest day of our life. B was a little trooper though, and he enjoyed seeing cows grazing in snow on the way.

 

Bennett’s Birth story

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So here it is, and I wrote it before he turned two months!

In a way, I wish Bennett had been a girl because he’ll read this one day and never really understand what it was like bringing him into this world. I had no idea how difficult childbirth really was, even after classes that certified us as “prepared”. You can never be prepared to have your first child…no matter how many times you scrub the bathroom floor or practice breathing exercises. You just don’t know.

I thought I had a high pain tolerance…never have been very dramatic when it comes to getting sick or getting hurt. So I chalked this whole childbirth thing up in my head to be “not as bad as everyone goes on about.” At one point in “early” labor I thought I was going to die before the sun came up. Turns out I didn’t understand what being in pain was because I hadn’t every been in pain before. That has changed.

On Friday, Dec. 29 at about 1pm, Tim and I went up to Ojai to have lunch at a place called the Deer Lodge. Its an old biker bar on the outside of town as you head up the mountain. We took two cars because Tim had a meeting up the road from the lodge for work, and I was on maternity leave, just hanging out at home waiting for the babe to arrive. The service was really slow at the lodge, and before we even got our food, Tim’s time was up and he had to leave to go to his meeting. He thought it would only be a 15 minute meeting, so I had them wrap his lunch up and I would meet him down the road before he went back to his office. I sat outside the chase bank in Ojai with his lunch for 45 minutes and didn’t hear from him. The car was very warm, even though I was sitting in the shade with the windows rolled down. I started feeling sick, like I had stomach cramps…but they weren’t too bad…just kind of like I wanted to get home and park myself back on the couch. So I left Tim in the dust and took his lunch with me. Lunch with my husband was a bust, but I wasn’t really mad because I had this feeling that maybe labor was starting – it was the first time I had any feelings of anything happening.

Back at home, I spent that afternoon doing normal things…cleaning…walking the dog…baking cookies. I wasn’t really sure I was having contractions or not, and I kept going online and googling how people describe contractions because I had never had one before so how was I supposed to know how it felt? We slept that night, I woke up a few times wondering what was going on and if my boy would come the next day. The next morning things really hadn’t changed, just felt dull cramps every now and then, but I think I knew then that things were progressing…just had no idea how close or far off active labor was. It was all very exciting.

That night we had Tim’s grandparents over for dinner, and as we sat at the table over tri-tip, I remember thinking at that point I felt horrible enough and we were going to the hospital that night. Looking back on that pain that I initially felt is like comparing a papercut to severed hand. But I had no idea, how could I?

Tim and I had been attempting to Time contractions all afternoon long, but I found it really difficult to determine when a contraction started and ended because the pain kind of just lingered and they were all strung together. We were trying to wait until they were about 5 minutes apart, but sometimes they were like 4 minutes apart, and sometimes they were like 7 minutes apart. It was hard to tell how close we were, but at around 10:30pm we knew I was in labor and I was having strong contractions, strong enough that I couldn’t get comfortable. We jumped in the jeep and went to the hospital.

Checking in, I announced the the lady at the window “Hi, ummm…I’m here to have a baby.” We were proud, and excited, and I couldn’t wait to get up to the second floor and have my new year’s eve baby. After getting a little lost walking down deserted hallways and going up a wrong elevator, we found ourselves to maternity…and holy mother it was packed. Every pregnant woman in Ventura county had decided they wanted to have a New Year’s eve baby. I was informed that they didn’t have a room to put me in, so I was going to need to wait in the waiting area until they could clear something for me to get checked in. We waited for an HOUR. I paced the hallway, I practiced my breathing, I was fuming because I thought I was ready to have my baby right there in the hallway and no one was taking care of me. Boy was I wrong.

An hour after arriving at the hospital, they finally put me in some triage room to see how far along I was. I was informed that I was fully effaced but only 3cm dilated (not enough for them to admit me). So they kept me on the monitor for an hour in that dumb room where we waited to get checked again. Nurse came in and checked me again and told me that things hadn’t changed at all so maybe I should walk the hallway for an hour to see if that helped things move along. We did and I was really, really feeling contractions. Dumb nurse came in a third time to check me and told me that really things had not changed much and that I should probably go home where I could try and “sleep” and be more comfortable. At that point I was so beyond the possibility of comfort, and the thought of being sent home was such a let down. Looking back on it, I think they sent me home because they were literally at capacity and they didn’t have the room or staff to put me in, and I also think that I had been progressing at the hospital and I should have had someone else check me, because I was in soo much pain and the thought of going home…even getting in the car was unbearable (benefit of having a midwife or doula there with you at the hospital?)

Anyway, it was about 2:30 a.m. when we got home from the hospital and Tim fell asleep in the guest bedroom while I stayed in our bedroom and paced around, got in and out of bed, attempted to take two baths, vomited, had horrendous bowel movements, cried, and finally woke Tim up at about 5a.m. to go back to the hospital. Being in the jeep the second time was SO much worse than the first time, and having to check back in to the hospital and walk back up to the second floor was excruciating. indescribable. I should have asked for a wheelchair. But we got there and the dumb nurse was the front desk, which I was NOT happy about. Luckily, her shift was ending so we had someone else check me, and then I was 5cm dilated and they had a real room for me. Pretty quickly our labor nurse (who was awesome mainly because she wasn’t the nurse who sent me home) asked if I wanted an epidural. We didn’t have a plan for an epidural, because I had no idea if I would need one or not. Now having actually felt “pain” for the first time in my life, I wanted nothing to do with it and didn’t even think twice about saying yes to the epidural. She informed me that the anesthesiologist might not make it in for an hour or so because of the morning shift change, so she suggested I go with a low dose of stadol to “take the edge off” before he came in. I went with it, and for the first time in 9 months, I felt inebriated..and it felt good.

I was able to talk to Tim a little bit, and really felt so much more calm. Before I knew it, the anesthesiologist came in on his motorcycle, with the wind blowing through his hair to save the day. (Literally though, the man had a leather jacket on when he came in the room, and made sure to use the sink and mirror to fix his hair before he left the room…so funny). The epidural saved me (drugs! I love you) I actually dozed in and out of sleep soon after, and felt absolutely nothing. It was a miracle. I thought the worst was over for me. Again, boy was I wrong.

at about 11am, New Year’s day,  Dr. Keats came in (who was not one of our 4 doctors because it was a holiday) and checked me. We were ready to get pushing! I felt golden because the epidural was still going strong..and I thought all I had to do was push with all my might and then our baby boy would be here and magical rainbows and glitter would fill the room and the end. wrong. after about a half hour of pushing, I started to realize that I was feeling contractions. So I asked the nurse if that was possible, and she said “oh yes, it wears off after about 4 hours.” This was fine because I could tell from the monitor that my pushes were strong and everyone kept saying “that was a really good one,” over and over so I really thought I was minutes away from meeting him. minutes turned to hours and I was exhausted. I declined the mirror because I had so little energy I was sure that the shock of what my vagina looked like would take away any concentration I had on getting that baby out of me. I felt like I had just run a marathon and someone had strapped me to a treadmill to force me to run afterwards. Tim fed me green jello and ice chips and stayed on my left side the whole time. The whole time = 3.5 hours. Pure torture.

after about 3 hours, of pushing (and every time I pushed I really was under the impression that it was going to be the one) there was talk of the baby being posterior. So of course, all the stories of posterior babies and last minute emergency c-sections… and I thought to myself, “oh, hell no I did not just experience all that pain to have them cut me open.” so then, as if I had not been giving it very ounce of strength I had for the past three hours, I attempted to self-combust. Sweat was pouring down my neck, and as I discovered days later, I pulled a groin muscle. But, I did it. Bennett was born at 2:39 pm. After the Doctor caught him, they gave him the once over, and put him directly on my chest for a good minute. Because he had a single umbilical artery, the NICU team was there in my room to check him out for any obvious problems that he might have. We were blessed with a healthy, milky white, squash faced baby and they sent him back to my arms very quickly. There he stayed for the next hour. It was amazing how great I felt right after his birth, I was so so so tired, but I kind of felt good, like I had gone into survivor mode and was just numb (again probably the drugs there.)

Of course I tore, and the blood…oh my the blood. Horror.

We got into our postpartum room and settled in. As much as we wanted to close our eyes, and never wake up, there was this christmas morning feeling dancing about and we had this perfect little baby in there with us, and he was ours and we were a family…we became three! It was all so much to take in. You’d think that being pregnant for 9 months that you would know you’re having a baby, but you just don’t know…not until you have him…until his perfect little hand wraps around your finger….then you know what having a baby is.

So many nurses in and out, some visitors, many shifts and tests, and horrible trays of hospital food that all smelled of blood…we were wheeled out of that hospital and out into the world. The three of us together, it was the first day of our life.

It is going to be quite a few more months to let the baby outweigh the pain in order to even think about the possibility of another child. At the moment, I just don’t know if I could willingly put myself up for that much torture. But he is worth it, because he’s a piece of me and I see all of my hopes and dreams inside of him – it is as if suddenly all I’ve ever wanted is to be his mama, the best mama. And I get to be.

 

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