A Baby Story- Part Deux

I woke up at 6 a.m. feeling crampy.  With Maxfield, I never really went into “true labor”.  My water broke, but then they basically had to induce me to start the contractions.  This didn’t feel too bad, just like minor menstrual cramps. 

It was exactly one week before my supposed due date.  I say supposed, because that’s what the Doctors told me.  I knew better, however.  From a medical standpoint, it was difficult for them to pinpoint a date, because I had miscarried right before I got pregnant with Wyatt, and did not have a cycle in between.  I tried to tell them the date that “the deed” was done, but they told me that was impossible, it would’ve been too soon to conceive after the loss.  I tried to explain that Bill was out of town during the week in question, and I KNOW THE ONLY day “it” could’ve happened, but it was fruitless trying to convince them.  They had calculated the due date based on an early ultrasound, and they weren’t about to change it just because I said so.  Whatever.  By my calculations, Wyatt’s due date was exactly one week before theirs, so, nah-nah, nah nah nah….. Everybody knows you don’t go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and you don’t question a pregnant woman’s date of conception…

Anyway,  it was another Sunday, and I had already been trying to think of ways to get out of going to a baby shower on that day.  I’m all for a party, especially to celebrate a new baby, but I personally disagreed with this person having another shower, when they already had a boy so close in age, and thus, didn’t really need anything else.  I was planning on getting them a new baby gift, a shower gift on top of that just seemed frivolous.

So, I was half wondering if I was indeed in labor, or if I was just looking for an excuse to miss this shower.  Could I really have willed my labor pains?  Was I making more out of the cramps than I should have?  Like I said, they really weren’t bad, and they certainly weren’t regular.  All the books and childbirth classes tell you to call when your contractions are 5-1-1:  5 minutes apart, lasting one minute, for at least one hour.  I was all over the place, and really not that uncomfortable.  

Also, living in Florida at the time, we were nervous about leaving Max for his first overnight sleep over at a neighbor’s house.  We really didn’t want to leave him for a false alarm. Of course, it being a Sunday, there was no choice but to just go to the hospital, the office was closed.  Finally, around 4pm, we decided it would be best just to get checked… that way, if it was a false alarm, we would hopefully be back in time to pick Max up & put him to bed in his own room.

The hospital was Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando.  Brand spanking new– construction was completed only a month before, and the grand opening ceremony was literally just weeks prior to our due date.  We got to triage, fully expecting to be told this was false labor and to go home and rest.  I got into my gown, the nurse checked me and said, “You’re 5 centimeters, honey, you’re not going anywhere”. 

I was so surprised, but kind of relieved that I just avoided the embarrassment of being sent home.  When we were ready, they wheeled me onto the elevator to take us up to labor and delivery.  We got off to a complete ghost town.  Since the hospital was so new, there were entire wings that weren’t in use yet.  The nurse wheeled me past desolate nurse’s stations, and through the dark & quiet halls.  Oh, did I mention this hospital was in the round?  Yeah, some architect’s snazzy idea- it was completely circular, so there was no end to any hallway to give any indication of  where the heck we were.

It didn’t take long for us to realize the nurse was lost.  We actually got lost on the way to labor and delivery!  She laughed and admitted that she was not the one to normally bring people upstairs, and since the building was circular and new to her, there was no point of reference.  As we circled around and around, it was so dark & quiet, it felt like we were in a horror movie.  I was half expecting some Doctor in bloody scrubs & a chainsaw to jump out at us at any given moment.

We obviously did eventually make it to our destination.  The doctor broke my water to get things moving a little faster.  Of course, after the fact, they realized there was something wrong with the table I was on, and would need to move me to another room.  Did they put me in a wheelchair?  No.  It was just across the hall, so I could walk.  Well, any woman who’s water has broken or been broken knows that it’s not like it just gushes out & then it’s done with.  It keeps coming.  And coming.  And coming.  As if it’s not bad enough having to walk across the hall with my heiney hanging out, but I now had the added humiliation of leaving a trail behind me.  Nice.  And it’s not like a simple walk across the hallway is all that simple when you’re hooked up to IV’s, fetal monitors, and such.   Having a baby?  Check your dignity at the door, please. 

I’m being sarcastic for humor’s sake, it really wasn’t that bad.  Oh, except when the need to push was so great I could barely stand it, and I was told the doctor was still completing a C-section next door, could I just hold on for 10 more minutes?  Or when I was in full glory, feet up in stirrups, giving it my all, and I overheard a group of nurses down at my feet say, “Oh, she does look a lot like Patty!”  Again, nice…

I had waited so long to push, that when they finally gave me the go ahead, Wyatt was out in less than 7 minutes.  Great, but a little scary to think how quick the next one could be….  I actually had a dream last night that I delivered at home, alone, and 9-1-1 wasn’t answering!  I guess that’s a little indicative of my state of mind.  Part three is still to come, although the chain of events that happened this weekend has already begun that story…. stay tuned for more fun!

A Baby Story- Part 1

It was an unusually warm Sunday in February. The 29th, in fact…. Leap Day… my due date with my first baby. I wasn’t worried, however, that I’d go into labor that day. I did my homework. All of the books practically hit you in the head with statistics that say most first pregnancies will go a little late. I was confident I had another week or so to prepare.

Up until this point, baby Maxfield had cooperated beautifully with staying in the womb so that I could finish working before going on maternity leave. Due to my length of time at the company, and some other strange rule, I needed to work until EXACTLY my due date (the two dates just happened to coincide) in order to get my full requested leave time, plus a pay bonus that was due to me. Since my due date was on a Sunday, the powers that be accepted Friday as my last working day. If I had gone even one day early, I would lose my bonus, plus 3 weeks of my paid leave. Not the end of the world, but to new parents-to-be, it seemed like a really big deal at the time. Talk about pressure!!

Needless to say, in the days leading up to my leave, there was many a joke about emergency trips to the hospital, water breaking at my desk, etc. I kinda felt like a walking circus show. Finally, my last day came, I had made it, Maxfield was already such a good little boy. I was looking forward to enjoying some time at home tidying up and relaxing before the big day. I was so convinced, in fact, that I had at least another week before “B” day, that on my actual due date, I decided to go shopping. Alone. After all, statistically speaking, less than 5% of babies are born on their actual due date… shmue date.

Strolling through the Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I bumped into old neighbors, who looked at me with shock & surprise.

“How are you feeling?” asked the misses.

“Oh, just fine,” I replied.

“Aren’t you due TODAY?” she asked.

“Yeah, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got some time”.

They looked at me like I had two heads and said, “Well, take it easy, and, uh,…. good luck!”

I thanked them & went on my merry way. As I said before, it was an unusually warm day in February. Right at that time of year when, in the Northeast at least, you’re so desperate for winter to be over and to feel the warm breezes of spring. Since we lived in a very picturesque neighborhood at the time, when I got home, I suggested to Bill that we go for a walk. He agreed. We started up the hill, waving to neighbors who were out doing yard work, also enjoying the warmth and sunshine. The whole neighborhood seemed like it was buzzing with activity. We were feeling really good, relaxed, walking hand in hand, no need for jackets that day, me in my white pants, chatting about when the little one would make his grand entrance. We barely made it halfway up the hill when I felt it… that unmistakable warm gush. I stopped dead.

“Oh. My. God.” I said, as an uncontrollable case of the giggles overtook me.

Bill immediately knew what happened. “Did your water just break?” he asked, in anticipation.

I couldn’t even answer, I was giggling so much… I just nodded my head.

Now, anyone who is up on pregnancy statistics should know that the dramatic, out of a movie water breaking scenario only happens in less than 8% of pregnancies. It would seem I was 3 for 3 at that point. As I waddled back to the house in my wet white pants, I tried to look as casual as possible, so as not to call attention to myself. I really was not keen on the idea of the whole neighborhood watching the circus freak as she made her way back home.

As we approached our house, our next door neighbors, friends of ours, were just pulling in their driveway. “Oh, HI!! Wait a second, S…. (their daughter) wants to say hi!”

“I’m going inside…”, I said to Bill, mortified, “…tell them whatever you want!”

I went in to call the doctor. They confirmed I should come to the hospital. I changed, we gathered our things, and made our way out the door to a small crowd of neighbors that had gathered outside.

“CONGRATULATIONS!” They seemed to all say in unison, clapping, and smiling ear to ear. Maybe this sounds mean and ungrateful, and I don’t mean it to, but I wanted to crawl under a rock at that point. We pulled away as everyone waved and cheered…. circus freak status completely established and intact.

Looking back, I guess it makes for a funny story, but I did, quite frankly, want to die. I am not the type of person that likes to be the center of attention, especially when there is amniotic fluid intermittently gushing from my loins in broad daylight. Several hours later, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy, not technically on my due date, but two hours into the next day. So I guess that’s one statistic that did prove true in our case. I think it would’ve been cool for his birthday to be on Leap Day, but now, he’s in the 1st of the month club, which is pretty cool, too. It’s hard to believe it’s coming up on 5 years now…

Stay tuned for part deux…

It Just Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This:

Max:   “Mom?”

Me:   “Yes, sweetie?”

Max:   “I love you”.

Me:   “Aw, I love you, too, buddy”.   [hugs]

Max:   “I love you so much that I have a hundred hearts”.

Teacher Gifts– Check!

Another item checked off the list:  Max’s teacher gifts– jar candles with hand-embroidered cozies:

Not too “Christmas-y”, so they can (hopefully) stay out year-round…

 

Have a great weekend!

 

🙂

Countdown

Thanks for all the support on my ever-growing list, and your kind comments about the photo of moi…  I have fortunately been able to check off a few items, and I haven’t really added anything new, although I know there is more stuff lingering that really should be on there.  There is definitely a lot to be said for making a list and physically checking things off…. even if it’s not happening as fast as I’d like it to, it makes me feel happy and like I’m actually accomplishing something. 

One of my checked-off items:

 

 

I love this bag– I want to keep it!  At least it’s staying in the family….

 

Here’s another item checked off:

This was actually the very first shot they took.  This kid was SO GOOD!  Yeah, the hair is a little crazy, but I tried…. it’s got a mind of it’s own.  Let me just say, having one child is SOOOOOOO much easier than two when it comes to stuff like this.  Max stayed at home, since we already had his picture done at school.  I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been out with only one kid, and I was surprised to find that a funny thing happened….. my stress and patience levels returned to normal, and we actually had an enjoyable morning out!  Being able to give one child your undivided attention makes a HUGE difference for all involved.  I guess I can’t really get used to that idea for too long, but it was nice while it lasted–  🙂

So, I guess the countdown has begun… will I get it all done?  Which will come first, Christmas or the baby?  Anyone care to take a guess as to the date/time?  My due date is technically 1/4, but let’s face it, this is #3, and I’ve felt like a walking time-bomb for weeks now…. and I really don’t think I could possibly get any bigger.  To steal a quote from Steel Magnolias, my belly looked “like two pigs fightin’ under a blanket” last night.  And although it felt like it could happen at any moment, I’m happy to report I did not wet the bed…

Crafty Folk and a *Little* List

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of getting together with some local crafters for a little holiday trade party- such fun!!  Traci of Tremundo hosted, and it was a really fun way to meet some of the other members of the Philly Etsy Team, & acquire some new art/craft. 

And… our little encounter is featured on the Philadelphia Etsy Team Blog today…. imagine my surprise when I go to the site, and my big, fat pregnant  face is the first photo– Oh, photogenic I am NOT!!  And what’s up with that hair? Ok, I’m done being vain for now….

All in all, I think I made out.  I traded some of my humble house ornaments, a onesie, and a couple of hats for some original art, notecards, earrings, a necklace, a felted hedgehog & owl, a crocheted Christmas ball, and a mini-tote bag.  Oh, and I stuffed my face, too- not a bad way to spend the day  🙂 

If you’re local and looking for some last minute gifts, searching “Philly Team” on Etsy can bring up lots of great local artists who can probably still ship many items in time for the holidays. 

Speaking of the holidays, still on my “to do” list, in no particular order:

  1. trim/decorate the tree
  2. address/mail holiday cards
  3. finish decorating the outside of our house
  4. finish shopping for 2 kids, a baby, a husband, various other family members, friends, and their kids
  5. finish a few orders for hats, a bag, pillows, and shirts
  6. finish a quilt
  7. figure out what I’m making for Max’s teacher gifts
  8. have a baby
  9. wrap gifts for 2 kids, a baby, a husband, various other family members, friends, and their kids
  10. make a pear & gorgonzola foccacia
  11. pull out all the baby clothes from the attic & do several mammoth loads of laundry
  12. various Dr’s appointments
  13. get Wyatt’s 2 year picture done (yes, I am 6 months late– but this way, I can call it his 3 year picture, too- see?  Pretty smart, huh?)
  14. bake, bake, bake
  15. attend Max’s pre-school holiday show
  16. move all of Wyatt’s clothes into Max’s room, and move all of baby’s clothes into Wyatt’s room
  17. have bunk beds delivered/installed
  18. have a bathroom vanity/cabinet/light fixture installed
  19. paint & trim said bathroom
  20. paint/trim kitchen back splash & grout tile (I think living with it for a year half-done is long enough)
  21. finish curtains for the baby’s room & Max/Wyatt’s room
  22. clean, clean, clean
  23. make gifts for my own kids, which originally included heat pads, puppets, felt play food, new hats, and treasure boxes, but at this point may have to be pared down a bit.
  24. attend a Hanukkah celebration
  25. get my hair done
  26. pack my overnight bag
  27. clean off the rear-facing car seat, pack-n-play, and bouncy seat
  28. vacuum out the car & put third row seat back in

Wow, typing it all out really makes it seem like a lot.  This list should make anyone out there who is feeling a little behind feel a whole lot better!  I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff, too.  Maybe I won’t get it all done, but I think I have a better shot now that it’s in black & white.  How is everyone else doing- are YOU ready?  🙂

2 Weeks Late and Decorating 4 Year Old Style

I know Thanksgiving was weeks ago, but the celebration we attended was so big that by the time the turkey made it’s way to me, I had already eaten too much other stuff and thus did not get my turkey groove on. We were fortunate enough to be the recipient of a free turkey courtesy of Giant Food Stores, since we’ve spent most of our retirement savings there over the past month or so.   Anyway, Bill, in true Bill fashion, picked the biggest turkey he could find (20 lb.), which, for a family of four with two kids that don’t eat turkey, should last us just about until the New Year (think Forrest Gump:  turkey gumbo, turkey kabobs, sweet & sour turkey…) .  Needless to say, it only took about a week to defrost, and yesterday was the magic day:

 

 

Not bad for only my 2nd turkey evah.  Of course, the baby wanted candied sweet potatoes, so that’s what he got:

 

 

Mmmmmm….You can pretty much throw a butter and brown sugar sauce on just about anything:  bread, dirty dish towels,  buffalo chips, and I would eat it.  They were SOOO yummy!  The boys wouldn’t touch them, so…. more for me and baby 🙂

Ok, now that we got Thanksgiving finally out of the way, the boys “helped” me get to some holiday decorating this weekend as well… if you can call furiously digging through the half a dozen or so boxes of ornaments,etc and leaving them randomly scattered all over the house,  helping.  It was like Christmas came early for them- who knew decorations could be such great entertainment?  When the garland and fake pine needles finally settled, I had about half of my ornaments left (our boys don’t exactly have the whole “gentle” concept mastered yet), but, hey, I’ve been meaning to pare down anyway…. 🙂

So, although we still haven’t gotten our tree up, here are a few of Max’s executive decorating decisions:

Although a little unorthodox, this lamp was just screaming for some embellishment…

And the bike plate that never made it onto the bike?

 

…. is now one of our favorite ornaments:

 

I like it!  Happy decorating, everyone 🙂