Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stay Calm:

Ok, who has suggestions for how to stop panic attacks that don't involve medication? Speak up.
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Monday, May 29, 2006

The Olive Says:


"Thank goodness it's Memorial Day and I can start wearing my whites."

(Pic taken during 'Tummy Time', right after The Olive rolled from stomach to side! I can't find any evidence to support my theory, but I'm sure this is very advanced.)
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday Morning Randoms:

Will I ever be able to not cry when I hear about someone having a baby? Like on Law & Order? Or Brangelina?

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The Olive learned that her hand can go into her mouth yesterday. And she slurps on it. Why does this make me proud?

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When I think about how much I want this job, my stomach hurts. A lot. I try not to think about it too much, because I become a nervous wreck. I don't know when I'll hear, but I expect this week sometime.

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I do not know how mothers survived before the Internet. Really.
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Friday, May 26, 2006

One Month:

One month ago today, they placed The Olive in my arms after 18 hours of labor and my heart soared to places I didn't even know existed.


One month ago today

Things have only gotten better since that day.

I know a lot of new moms are overwhelmed with their newborns. Not to say that I'm not overwhelmed, because I certainly have my moments, but I've really been enjoying getting to know The Olive. Life has been a little bubble for me since her arrival- we spend most days just hanging out and loving her- and I don't want that bubble to end. Real life is starting to creep in- schoolwork, job interviews, tests, etc., and I want to somehow beat the real world out. This has been the most amazing month, and I already whisper to The Olive that I don't want her to grow up. I now totally get how people end up with big families.

I am already alarmed at how much she has changed in just a month. She has gained over 2 lbs., and grown a whole inch. Her eyes are big and open now, and she stays awake for hours at a time (AND only got up once last night- granted only once in seven hours, but STILL!) . A few days ago, she suddenly learned how to cry and has been breaking my heart on a regular basis ever since. When that face scrunches up and the mouth frowns and the wailing begins, it feels like being torn apart. I wish she never had an ounce of pain in her whole life. She is also able to smile a little now, and even if it is gas, well, I can't help but smile back. Seeing her father's smile on her little face is the most wonderful sight I have ever seen.

I interviewed for a new job yesterday- one that would allow me to work from home and have flexible hours. I want it so desperately- it would be the most amazing gift I could imagine right now. I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with this little person who has broken my heart right open.


I'm a big girl


Mama kisses those chubby cheeks all day
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Borrowed Time:

One of the (many, oh so many) things about becoming a parent that has surprised me is the sudden sense that I am always on borrowed time. Every time I get to set The Olive down to do something, whether it be in the carseat or in her father's arms, I know the time is short. She will fuss again soon or need to eat, and I must very quickly run through my list of priorities to figure out what to do with these few spare minutes. Of course, showering is always high on the list. Some days, if I'm really lucky (and I have been this week, through sheer chance and some friends and family being around), I will blow-dry my hair. Or, do a quick chore. Or, respond to an email, or blog, or- like today- go for a job interview or a manicure/ pedicure (I did both! Today! While coming home for some time in between, of course, but still...). But with every thing I decide to do, I am also deciding not to do a million other things. And through everything, there is this sense of running to beat the clock.

The other night, the Lovely Beausband and I made dinner (while doing a few other things) and when it was finally done, The Olive happened to be asleep. We put her down on a pillow and figured we had about 10 minutes of time to actually sit down and eat. 10! Whole! Minutes! Sadly, though, we kept forgetting things in the kitchen (napkins, butter, etc.) and at one point, after getting up yet again to get something from the kitchen, the Lovely Beausband looked at me with real anguish in his eyes and said "I'm wasting valuable minutes here."

And people? We do not have minutes to waste here anymore.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reason #1 I Want That Job:

When arranging an interview, they asked "Will you be bringing Olivia with you?"

Fingers crossed, people, fingers crossed.
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Monday, May 22, 2006

I'll Never Sleep Again:

Yesterday I was bemoaning to my mother the fate of living with not one, but two loud sleepers. If The Olive isn't doing her groaning moan, I can be guaranteed The Lovely Beausband is snoring away. Between the two of them, I said, it's looking like I'll never sleep in quiet again.

"Get some earplugs," my mom suggested.
"Earplugs?!?! Then I won't hear if the baby really starts to fuss or cry."
"Honey?" she said, "You WILL hear her fuss or cry. Whether you have earplugs in, or twelve pillows over your head, or she is 30 years old and home for the night, and has gone out to visit her friend, you WILL hear her come home. Trust me, you will always hear her."

Which both made me feel better and realize, Shit, I am never going to sleep again.
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Sunday, May 21, 2006

This is a movie I will actually see:

Twenty-five years ago, I got my first tape. It was of this musical, which I loved from the very core of my being. I didn't hear the soundtrack for many years (like twenty), but a few years ago I got the CD again and I didn't forget a single word. And NOW? Now it's going to be a movie! The world will- finally- sing along with me!
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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Go Speedwriter:

I pumped.

I left.

I lived.

Last night I tried the pump again, to no avail. I wasn't getting anything, one side wasn't working and I couldn't figure out what was wrong, and it hurt. A lot. The whole scene ended with me sobbing in the shower, feeling like the world's most crapasstic mother, and also wondering why this was proving so totally devastating for me. I honestly still don't know.
So I went to University of Google and got some pumping tips, and tried again this morning, having eaten oatmeal, drank copious amounts of water, and relaxed. And I got enough to see us through.

When I left today, I was ok after leaving. It's the preparing for leaving that gets me all fucked up. The being gone was ok, if you consider writing 12 pages in an hour and a half 'ok'. I do.

And the test? I really don't know. It's impossible for me to gauge writing tests, so we will see in a month. If I pass- awesome!- I can also teach high school next year, which opens up the job pool. If not, I can retake it before the school year starts and I will still be eligible to teach K-8, so I'll live. That is, if I even teach next year.
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Friday, May 19, 2006

The First Heartbreak:

I pumped for the first time yesterday. I did it because we have to get Olivia used to the bottle because I will be gone for three hours tomorrow to take this ridiculous test, and she will need to eat during that time. I put it off as long as I could, perhaps in a bit of denial that I would actually have to leave her for so long. I have left her twice so far- once to get my brows waxed (There was a serious issue there) and once to print out a bunch of paperwork for school and get it mailed off. Each trip was under an hour, and while it felt good to hop in the car and do something, it also hurt a little. Both times I left I would feed her before departure and rush back to her to give her a little boob action. While we all know breastfeeding is best for baby, it also sure gives mom a huge rush to feel that needed. And when you pump and introduce a bottle- well, that need is gone. Sure, you are still needed biologically, to get the milk from, but your actual presence is not as important.

I would be lying to say that it felt like anything other than a knife to the chest.

The Lovely Beausband is a fabulous dad and partner. He changes all the diapers when he's here, he consoles her, burps her, cuddles with her. The only thing he can't do is feed her, and now he can. You give up a lot of power when you introduce the bottle. And while it's great and wonderful to not have the responsibility of feeding 100% of the time, it also totally sucks. I won't even get into the actual process of pumping- with the elongated nipples and the sound of the milk splashing into the cups. Let's just say I didn't exactly care for it.

Add to all of this that no baby takes to the bottle immediately. There was wailing and discomfort and frustration, while I just sat here totally out of control. I couldn't be the one to fix this or figure it out- I don't need to learn to give her a bottle. My husband does, and he has to do it his way. I was really too traumatized to even speak.

But she took the bottle, a little, and also did not have the dreaded nipple confusion we are all warned about, and was fine breastfeeding later that night. So she will not starve to death while I'm gone tomorrow, but I will probably cry the entire time. Which I hear is really a great method for passing tests.
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Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Lovely Beausband calls it Mamatitis, which is actually rather appropriate:

I woke up from a brief nap yesterday evening with a taste in my mouth that reminded me of being sick when I was a kid. I figured it was sleep deprivation, but as I lay there, feeling increasingly hot and chilled, it occurred to me that I might have a fever. It took all my strength, but I managed to get up, get a thermometer and a sweatshirt, and head back to bed, where I lay shaking and freezing and burning up. My temperature was at 99, which doesn't seem good three weeks after giving birth. I called the advice nurse, who told me to take a motrin and call back in a few hours if I didn't feel better. An hour later, in which I spent in bed in total physical pain and misery, shaking and sweating and aching like crazy, my fever was at 101.7. And not going down.

I decided I needed to get to the Emergency Room and figure out what was wrong. Six hours, many tests, and a catheter later, it was determined that I have mastitis.

I feel like total hell, but it should get better soon with the medications they gave me.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Teacher Testing, or Seriously?

This weekend I have to take the CSET in English. I have already passed two sections of the test, and have two more to pass. The first is Literary Criticism and Analysis. Ok, I'm a little rusty on this topic, having not really dug into, or even glanced at, any theory books since graduating college, but I think I'll be ok. It's essays and I can usually do a decent job of pulling shit out of my ass and making people believe I know what I'm talking about.
The second test, however, is going to be more difficult. It is about oral presentations (ok), media (eh), and performing arts (bad). Here is a sample question:

Complete the exercise that follows.

A director is staging a modern farce. The comedy depends on fast, clear-cut physical reactions, quick
repartee, a relentless tempo, and seamless transitions from one scene to the next. Halfway through the
rehearsal process, the actors are having trouble maintaining the rapid pace that many of the scenes
require. To address this difficulty, the director considers the following three rehearsal strategies:
a "speed-through" of the text (actors deliver lines at twice the normal speed with no movement,
pauses, or inflection);
a "speed-through" of the blocking (actors rehearse stage movement and physical business at twice
the normal speed, without speaking their lines); and
a "cue" game (actors must toss a ball to another actor on each "beat" of the text without dropping
lines or changing blocking).
Select one of the rehearsal strategies described above, and write a response in which you:
describe how this rehearsal strategy is likely to help the actors find an effective overall pace; and
explain why this rehearsal strategy is likely to enhance the comedy of the play.
In your response, be sure to address both of the tasks described above


Um, does "I have no fucking idea" count as a response? Because I don't. I am not a drama teacher, nor do I want to be. Why do I need to know this? I have no plans to start doing plays in my English classes. Also, I'm not so keen on tossing balls (and with good reason), so I hope that's not what they want me to do.
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Is this the three-week growth spurt we keep hearing about?

Last night was our worst night yet. The Olive generally sleeps in two-hour intervals from about 9 p.m.- 9 a.m. Now, mind you, The Mom does not follow the same sleep pattern. The Mom sleeps from about 11 p.m.- 8 a.m., and is awake for about 1/2 hour every two hours. Not exactly quality sleep time, but whatever. We all know that going in, right (although, like childbirth, you can't quite imagine the horror if it until you experience it)?

But last night. Oy. Up and inconsolable for hours, refusing to nurse. In fact, using the nipple as a megaphone in which to scream into. Not wanting to be held, or put down, or bounced, or snuggled, or changed, or burped, or fed. No, just wanting to be awake and LOUD in her discontent. For an extended period of time. As the boobs got bigger and harder and bigger and harder and there was a simple refusal to have anything to do with them.

And now the child remains awake. What happened to the 16 hours of sleep a day I was promised?

Edited to add: Immediately after writing this, I went in to change the child's diaper. And found much poop out of the diaper. In fact, all over her little tiny body. So now we've had a bath, changed clothes and blankets, and are happily nursing away. I don't even want to THINK about how long the poop was there for.
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Monday, May 15, 2006

Things I've Had To Give Up Since Having The Baby:

1. Clean sheets. That breastmilk, man. It just goes everywhere, including into and quickly out of the child's digestive tracks. I could wash the sheets every day, but what's the point?

2. Two-handed typing. I'm actually a very fast typer, when I can use both hands. It is so annoying to become a hunt and pecker.

3. Hair straightening. I never used to leave the house without straightening my hair. I had all sorts of neurotic issues around it. Now I feel lucky to bathe.

4. Sleep. Obviously.

5. Ever being caught up. On the dishes, laundry, emails, errands. The list is endless.

6. Eating with my right hand. This hand is only available when I'm not nursing on that side. I've become surprisingly adept at doing things left-handed.

7. Quick errands. As if anything is quick with a baby.

8. Feeling either full or hydrated. Good god, this breastfeeding gig sure takes it all out of you, huh?

9. Getting myself glasses of water. Not that I'm too upset about having The Lovely Beausband get them for me, but still.

10. The innocent time of not knowing how much diapers cost. Or how many a baby goes through in a day. Good-bye, college fund!
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Sunday, May 14, 2006

From the man who made me a mother, to commence this, my first Mother's Day:
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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Take me off the list for Mother Of The Year award:

I missed the baby's first doctor appointment. They told me when it was when we were leaving the hospital and- somehow, for reasons that are just inexplicable- I got the date wrong. Just two weeks old and already I'm a bad mother.
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Friday, May 12, 2006

Foucault would hate me:

There are a lot of things you can understand prior to having kids. People will tell you- and it is true- about the sleep deprivation, and the diapers, and the cost, and the total and complete love and adoration you will feel for your child. They will also tell you about the secret stuff (well, bloggers will at least, thank god for that) like the ring of fire, and the constipation, and the wanting to hurt your child (and not doing it), and how you will never get anything done again, and also that you probably won't care.

One thing I hadn't anticipated, and I don't recall hearing about, was how powerful having a baby will make you feel. It is as close to God-like (or whatever higher power) that I imagine a person will feel in their lifetime. I mean, hello? I made a person. A totally perfect person. And I- little, weak me, who hasn't had faith in her in her body in a good twenty years- pushed her out into the world. When I really didn't think I could. Also? She survives every day because my body makes exactly what she needs. That is some pretty serious power right there.

Some moments I just sit here and gloat.
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

They warn you about post-partum depression, but not about post-partum hysteria:

There have been a few times since we've been home (two weeks! already!) that have had me in laughter so hysterical that i cried. The first time was the day we got home and The Lovely Beausband & I tried to cut the Olive's fingernails. The massive incompetence of two adults trying to do a very basic thing really sent me over the edge and we had to stop because I couldn't breathe and was shaking from laughing so hard.

Yesterday was another hysteria-fest. The Lovely Beausband is in charge of diaper changes here (and he's quite good at it, let me add, even in the middle of the night, what a saint), and yesterday when she was fussing, he went in to check her diaper. Sure enough, it was wet and he went to change it. He got the new diaper on and before he could even lift her up, he hears her start to poop. He waits a minute, amused at the timing, and changes her again. And? Again, as soon as the diaper is on, pppffftttt. More poop. Three- count them, THREE, diapers in a five minute period. He was so frustrated and I was just doubled over, in tears from the laughter. Maybe you had to be there.

So later that day, I was recounting this story to a friend on the phone (Oh, you should totally call me! And I could regale you with such interesting tidbits of my daily life as well!), and as I was telling her- I kid you not- the exact same scenario played itself out.

Three diapers in five minutes. We are, literally, throwing money down the toilet.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I don't know why we didn't see this one coming:

Are you surprised to hear our child has become loud? Rather loud, as a matter of fact. Loud in a middle-of-the-night way. With her voice, that is (although her bootie is pretty loud as well, especially considering her size). And the loudness does not dissipate when she sleeps. Lo! It becomes even louder. She is a noisy sleeper. Now, the Lovely Beausband & I are both talkers- People Of The Word, if you will- so we expected to have a talkative child. But a child who just makes incoherent noises all day and night? Didn't see it coming.

Also? She has a new trick. This trick is another middle-of-the-night scenario. Now, you must bear in mind that the child has two very pressing needs. One, to eat. Two, to be held. All she wants, all day and night, is to be held. Which is fine and good and all, cute acutally in a distant way, but after a few nights of sleeping with a baby on top of you, and waking up with every single muscle in your body (including your fingers!) cramped up, you might also want to try something else. So I finally got her to nurse while I lay on my side and she lay on her side next to me. Brilliant! I thought. No more morning body pain rippling through me. As it turns out, this method doesn't really "work for her". By "work for her", I mean that when attempted, she refuses to latch on and just screams and hollers until I pick her up to nurse. And then? When she's nestled all snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug on my chest to nurse? She falls asleep, happy as can be.

And makes the goddamn noises all the night long, while lying right on top of me. So all of this is to say- yeah, I'm totally sleeping. It's great.
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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

On Bathing:

After finally losing that nasty-ass umbilical scab yesterday (where is the scab? I don't know and sort of don't want to, but I hate the thought of it just lying around somewhere for someone to find one day. Yuck.), The Olive was given her first bath.

Friends and family have joked that I have been looking forward to this day since she was born, since it is common knowledge that I have a teeny tiny body cleanliness and hair removal issues (if you are wondering, I am, in fact, still getting in two showers per day with a newborn- don't ask how, it's nothing short of a miracle. But if you are still healing and also getting breast milk all over yourself every damn minute of the day, you might find the time as well.). So The Olive got her first bath, and I must tell you, I think she takes after her mother on this front. She REALLY seemed to enjoy it- maybe a little too much. She was placid and relaxed and happy as could be. The only time she fussed was when we took her out.

The good news is she didn't even ask for a razor. Yet.
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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Priorities:

The Olive is 11 days old today, and it's time I started looking at the things I need to get done besides nursing, nursing, nursing and oh, more nursing. Oh, and staring at the child in disbelief and wonderment, because she really IS the most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes on and I don't know how I got so lucky and I know this euphoria will subside at some point but for now please allow me to gush, thanks.

But you know I'm still a full-time student this semester, right? Right. And that even though I haven't attended classes in a few weeks, I still need to get some bullshit assignments done and sent out in the next week or so. Now, if you've read this blog for long, you might have sensed that I feel like this program is a complete waste of time and an insult to my intelligence, but still... a bureaucracy is a bureaucracy is a bureaucracy and I need to get some words on some pages quickstyle here.

But besides being a physical challenge- typing while holding the baby is a little rough- it is also a mental challenge, because dear god, I cannot think of anything I'd rather NOT do than type some bullshit assignments. To prove this to you, I will inform you that I had about an hour of free time today and what of the many, many things that need to be done did I do? Was it write the papers? No, it was to CLEAN THE BATHROOM. When you'd rather clean the bathroom... well, you know you have a problem on your hands.

So there is that matter at hand and also the fact that I need to take yet another test for this assbackwardsstupidfucking credential, and that test is in two weeks and do you know how old the Olive will be then? Only four weeks. And her mama has to leave her for three whole hours and if you ever want to feel like the worst mother in the world- well, there's no comparing yourself to me. I have to leave my child for three whole hours. I honestly don't know how this is going to happen, or how I will even be able to focus on a very important test the first time I am away from my daughter. It makes me sick to even think about. But I'm just trying to put one foot in front of the other these days and get what needs to be done, done. But I hold the state of California responsible for ALL of this, and I'm throwing in the lack of maternity leave there, too, so California? You have fucked with me enough.
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Saturday, May 06, 2006

This totally unsolicited advice is brought to you by the Ultimate Baby Wrap and Wood, who taught me how to use it:

Look! Two hands! How did you think I finally got that labor story written? It's the sling, the sling, the wonderful sling. Even though it makes me fear that I'm cutting off the baby's breathing, and she ends up with crumbs all over her, it's totally worth it. Free hands (also, wedding rings are back on, finally)!

Do you know someone having a baby? Are you having a baby? Go get a sling.

Also, this nursing tank top. Get a few, you will love them.

Also? Because I am full of opinions this morning? Try to get as much food stockpiled as possible. I had NO IDEA that I would be 100 times more hungry while breastfeeding than I was when I was pregnant. Dear god, the hunger. Even when morning comes and the Olive is still sleeping peacefully, and I should be, too, I cannot. Because my body is cannibalizing itself. There is simply not enough food in the world for me these days. When people come over and ask you if they can bring something, do not be shy. Tell them food.

Also? Pics of the Olive up with the Lovely Beausband.
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Friday, May 05, 2006

4.26.06:

So, after arriving at Kaiser at 7 p.m. for a stress test, which went beautifully, the doctor and nurse gave us a choice. They said we could either stay the night at the hospital and see what happened or go home and try back the next day, in which we would be a higher priority, being that I was a full 42 weeks pregnant, but there was STILL not a 100% guarantee we would get a room. The only reason this was even a question for us was because at this point, we were beyond exhausted and the thought of being kept awake all night by prodding nurses and potential contractions was a lot to handle. But we reasoned that we really wouldn't sleep no matter where we were, gave the nurses time to get the room ready by going and getting some sushi, and headed back to the hospital around 10:30 p.m.

They told me they would start me on a cervical softener if I wasn't really having contractions, but that if I was having more than three per ten minutes, they would go straight for the Pitocen.

I was having three per ten minutes, so it was off to the Pitocen for moi. Starting at about 1:30 a.m.

We slept for a few hours, until I woke up feeling like something was really going on. FINALLY! Labor pains! It's so exciting! We might actually have a baby!

Like all excited first-timers, we took this opportunity to employ some of the techniques we learned during our labor classes. We would walk the halls! We would bounce on our yoga ball! We are in high spirits! Cause we're having a baby!

Cut scene to three hours later, where I am curled in the fetal position on the bed, moaning in pain. Why did they ever tell you that contractions were five minutes apart? These are two minutes apart and the pain is at TEN! TEN! NURSE, WE ARE AT TEN! GET ME THE EPIDURAL!

Epidural lady comes in and wants to talk about how it's going to feel. I don't want to talk- I cannot talk- I just want the feeling to go away. I am, however, nervous at the thought of the epidural. Not because of the needle, but because I fear the side effects and the feeling of being numb. I hate being numb. But at the same time, I cannot bear this pain. I am sweating and she sets me up on the headrest and tells me I cannot move. It is EXTREMELY hard not to move, so I start chanting "DO NOT MOVE, DO NOT MOVE, DO NOT MOVE" at the top of my lungs, while I grasp the nurse's arm. It is the only way I will get through. She lets me claw her arm and when I sit up, the headrest is covered in my sweat. They say it will take a few minutes for the epidural to kick in- about 20 because I am tall. I wait, as contraction after contraction comes and I still writhe in pain. Then, suddenly, they dissipate a bit and then- I am totally numb and just watch the contractions on the monitor.

I can talk again. The lovely beausband calls the mothers and tells them I will be ok after all. I think maybe I will sleep, if my teeth would stop chattering.

My mom and stepdad show up. We chat a bit and I am feeling fine. I eat a little fruit. The lovely beausband gets to leave to get a bite to eat, my stepdad goes to walk around, and my mom stays with me. We talk about my birth. Then, suddenly, I'm not feeling well. Not well at all. I think I'm going to throw up. I tell my mom to get me something and I start puking. And handing her full containers of puke and having her hand me empty ones. Poor mom- shows up for 15 minutes and has to deal with this. But now I feel better. No more fruit for me.

I spend the next few hours telling anyone who comes in about the puking.

The next four hours or so are spent with me dilated to a four, and trying to sleep. I am never even able to doze off, though, as the nurses come in to turn me over every half hour, and people are just coming and going. Also, being numbed sucks. But I'm not in pain, and I think I could stay this way for awhile. No need to change anything here, folks, we seem to be fine. If this is labor, I'll take it!

The doctor comes in and breaks my water. Within a minute, I'm at five centimeters. But still, I feel nothing, so whatever.

Then I'm suddenly feeling something. Something like pressure. I tell the nurse and the doctor comes in to examine me. I'm at seven centimeters. The pressure continues and my mom and stepdad are back, and talking. I tell them all they need to be silent if they are in the room- the pressure is starting to really hurt. They leave. The nurse examines me. I'm at nine. Then I'm at ten. It's time to push.

The nurse and the lovely beausband tell me to push. I push. I feel nothing, thanks to an upping of the epidural. They tell me I'm doing a great job. I think they are jokers, because I feel nothing. I'm not even doing anything. This goes on for about an hour- me pushing and feeling nothing. I want to feel that pressure again, because at least then my body knew what it was supposed to do. The doctor comes in to see where we are. He, too, applauds my pushing. I want to tell them all that I know they are lying, I am clearly not doing anything, and that they can stop pretending now. Pushing is exhausting, but it doesn't hurt or anything.

An hour later, and I would give my right arm to feel nothing. Literally. The doctors are back- two of them- and suited up. The pressure is becoming unbearable. And the baby's heartbeat is going down every time I push. I am beginning to freak out. The doctor tells me that they may need to use the vacuum to get the baby out if I can't push her out soon.

The pain has now reached unbearable. I am screaming. I am practially unconscious. I am yelling at them to get it out. I do not care if they cut me open right there, I cannot bear this anymore. All day, they cared about my pain being on a one through ten scale. Now we're at 100 and nobody cares. They keep telling me to push. I do not think I can do this. I scream that I cannot do this. These people are insane to think this is possible. I have never felt anything so horrific in my life. Why didn't anybody warn me about this? I think I am on fire, and also that somebody shot me. They tell me to keep pushing, but I can barely hear them. I'm pretty sure I'm going to die right here. But somehow, against my better judgment, my body keeps pushing and then.

It's over. It's out. The pain is gone. The doctors bring her to the table to make sure she's ok. The doctor keep yelling "7:25", as if I care about the time. I keep asking what it is. I'm gripping the lovely beausband.

They tell me I have a daughter and immediately my emotions rise again. Because I was so sure it was a boy. But I have a daughter! They bring her to me. And she is the most perfect thing I've ever laid eyes on. We decide immediately that she looks like an Olivia, as if we can see anything through our tears. This is the greatest moment of my life. I have never been so proud of myself. I cannot believe we made this amazing person.
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Changes:

Wow, having a baby sure changes the meaning of 'sleeping in the wet spot', huh?
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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Every post from here on out could rightly be titled "Who Knew?":

Life here has quickly devolved into a ridiculous routine involving Tucks, giant pads, easy boob access, diapers, stool softener, Motrin, and snippets of sleep at odd hours.

I also think I am going to have really buffed arms in like a week.

Who knew they nursed so much? It's sort of like when they tell you contractions are going to be five minutes apart for one minute each and you think "Great, four whole minutes of a rest in there", and then you actually experience contractions, which are two minutes apart for 90 seconds each and that 30 seconds is spent coming off the last contraction and nobody told you THAT. Nobody said they nursed 12 times a day and that each nursing session lasts an hour and that in between they will be asleep in your arms and you don't want to wake them because oh god, they are the most beautiful thing you've ever seen and also, what if they wake up? Gah. But you really need to get a new Tucks pad, and also drink a gallon of water because dear lord, the food and water just enters you and quickly leaves via the boobs.

Today I am trying to learn to leave her alone for a few minutes when she makes noise because, again, who knew they made so many little sounds but that they don't all need to be immediately tended to? It turns out this is true, and also it is true that I am a neurotic first-time mother who is also trying to learn how to get out of the house every day and use the car seat/ stroller without having a nervous breakdown each and every time. Most days when we go somewhere, I end up wanting to just bawl when we get home out of sheer relief at having made it out and back in one piece. My stamina is, shall we say, a little low. Also, there might be some hormone issues happening, but who's to say? I mean, that would be a total fluke, no?

So I never have two free hands for more than a minute at a time, which is why I have one paragraph of her birth story written, and also why I have a list of people to call back and email. The hands are really full these days, to say the least.
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Now here's a situation I don't know how to deal with:

So back when I was pregnant (thank god THAT part is over) I had to be on anti-nausea medication for my "morning" (ha) sickness. It is a very expensive medication ($50-$100 per pill) and I have like 20 pills left. People who are undergoing chemo also use this medication to help with their nausea. I don't want to just throw away the pills, when certainly there is someone out there who doesn't have insurance and is paying an exorbitant amount for these meds and would love them for free, but how do I find said person...?
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Two Thoughts On Day Six:

One- Oh god, if you ever thought you were in love before, try watching your husband curled up with your sleeping baby daughter in his arms and tell me- TRY- that your heart is not going to burst right out of your chest. Mine did, right there, and it is still on the floor.

Two- Olivia went for her first stroller ride today. She enjoyed it, as evidenced by her immediate crashing out as soon as we started walking. I was a paranoid mess the entire time, constantly having to see her and touch her and make sure she was ok, all the while my stomach being tied up in a million knots because THIS IS SO NERVE-WRACKING, ACK! How am I ever going to put the child in day care?
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Monday, May 01, 2006

I could talk about my bodily functions for DAYS- literally- but I don't think we want that, so I'm going to get cheesy instead:

The night that Olivia was born, I was struck with the feeling of wanting to give her the world. Not in any sort of material sense, but in the sense of wanting to give her safety and love and opportunities and adventures and security. It was (and continues to be) an overwhelming desire- every time I look at her little sleeping face, I want EVERYTHING for her.

After thinking this, I thought about all the women out there who feel the exact same way and yet cannot give this to their children. If you live in a place that is war-torn, or you do not have enough food for your children, or you cannot give them opportunities, or security- well, this must be the most horrific feeling in the world. My heart just broke right into a million pieces as I sat there, thinking about all the women who want so much the exact things that I want, but for reasons beyond their control, cannot give those things to their babies. It makes me want to pull everything apart and start the world over. It makes me feel like the luckiest person alive.

Clearly, this mother thing is making me soft.


The world is my oyster!
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