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October 30th, 2010
the birth of the peanut

If you are in any way offended by some gross details, feel free to skip this one.

I was supposed to be induced September 30th, around 7AM. So on September 29th, we went out to dinner, worked late and hardly slept. At 5AM the hospital called — a lot of women had actually gone into labor (bitches!) and I was being pushed back. I went back to sleep (after telling my mom to get out of the shower, as we weren’t going yet) and at 9AM they called to tell me I wasn’t going to be induced.

Sigh. My mom took me for a mani/pedi that afternoon, which was a brilliant idea — the fluid that causes your feet to swell to the size of a troll had been paining me for weeks and the Chop was happy someone else was rubbing them for once. :)

October 1 (Friday) I called the hospital and they told me not to come in, but they’d call me later. Oy. Once you are past your due date, every day is really long and all you can think about is when is this baby leaving my womb. At 40 weeks, your stomach is massive. You ache all over, sleep is elusive, you feel twice the size you actually are and people KEEP ASKING if you’ve had the baby.

Plus, my mom was here and she kept smiling at me. And if I groaned or moved funny or grimaced (which frankly happened all the time, the Chop wasn’t even bothered by it anymore), she’d look over, her eyes would light up and she’d be all, has it started?

Sigh. Yeah. No.

Around 3PM the hospital called. “Did you think we’d forgotten you?” she asked. “Um, haha, kind of…” I replied. “Can you be here in an hour?”

Sure, I said, quite stupidly as we still had to load the car, drop off the dog and get lunch.

The Chop and my mom were both on their phones, so I went into the bedroom and started putting everything together. The Chop came, still on the phone, and asked what I was doing — we’re going to the hospital, I said. He got off the phone. :)

We dropped off the dog at daycare, picked up lunch at Panera and arrived at the hospital around 5PM. There was a bit of traffic (and a car accident RIGHT at the hospital exit), but we actually drove there in pretty good time.

We checked in, got our fun bracelets and headed to our labor and delivery room. Our first nurse, Yanna, was Russian. She was very sweet, but was concerned about getting my IV in, so she called an IV nurse — it took two weeks for the IV bruise to go away. She ran through her checklist of questions, and they started the pitocin drip.

I expected instant, painful contractions, but got nothing. As it turns out, pitocin can take awhile. By 8PM I was blogging and my mom was getting ready to head home to sleep. I had some mild cramping, but in general, was feeling OK. The Chop and I watched Blue Bloods (I love Donnie Walhberg, he’s a fantastic actor) and NCIS reruns.

Around 11PM they checked to see how far I was dilated and stripped my membranes again — fuck if that doesn’t hurt like hell. They’d done it the week before, at my doctor’s office, but this time it was twice as long and twice as painful.

Then they offered me my first pain meds. A drug cocktail, one in the IV and one “in my bum.” Um, no, I said. I’m all for the IV, but I don’t want one “in my bum.” Yanna was confused and said, but that’s the one that lasts longer, you need them both. No, no, I said, I don’t want that one.

She left to get the drugs (and the doctor) and I looked at the Chop. He agreed, none in the bum.

The nurse and doctor came back and she again offered me the one in the bum. The needle is small, she said. Needle, I said?

As it turns out, the Chop and I both assumed that “by in the bum” she meant a suppository. Why, you ask? I don’t know. The way she said it? The accent? Whatever it was, I was not keen on a suppository, lol, and the Chop was in agreement. The needle comment was what gave it away. “In the bum” meant a shot in the ass, lol.

So first came the nubane in the IV. Magical, wonderful and my only drug of choice, it’s like getting smashed on vodka, without the hangover or the nausea. You’re just instantly (and I mean within seconds) floating on a happy cloud (and apparently slurring, according to the Chop). The world is very hazy and your body feels wonderful.

Then of course came the Demerol shot (in the thigh instead of the ass, incidentally), which really and truly hurt like hell. But the next four hours I was in a drug induced sleep, feeling next to nothing at all.

Around 3:30 they offered me the epidural, and by then the Demerol had worn off and the pain was starting to be a problem.

The anesthesiologist, with exceedingly cold hands, did a great job getting the epidural in. It was definitely uncomfortable, plus hands on my back make me jump, but the Demerol shot had been far more painful. It was just weird, and disconcerting, having a tube inserted in my spine. Thinking about it now, I still shudder a little.

Once the epidural kicked in, I went back to sleeping. Sadly I was woken up regularly to ask how I was doing (I always forget that sleeping in hospitals is impossible — you sleep for what seems like five minutes and then someone comes in, repeat ad nauseam).

At around 6AM the doctor came in to see how dilated I was. Sadly it was just a few centimeters, 4 I think, but they broke my water and I went back to sleep.

The rest of the day was basically a haze of being checked on, being drugged and sleeping. The Chop slept in some, got up and showered, went and got lunch; my mom called, but was waiting to come in until the labor really started, so really I just dozed in and out.

Around 5PM the nurse checked and I was 8 centimeters, finally, so the Chop called my mom to have her come. By the time she got there, around 6PM, I was being checked again. OK, the nurse said, it’s time.

The next three hours were some of the most excruciating of my life. The epidural didn’t make me completely numb — I had tingling in my legs, and the “pushing pain” (an overwhelmingly painful feeling of needing to void something) was in no way lessened by the drugs. Due to the baby “possibly” being too big, they didn’t want to use forceps or the vacuum, so in order to get him out, I had to push with no assistance—and if I couldn’t we had to move to C section.

I have honestly never been in so much pain in my life. The contractions were coming 2-3 minutes apart and the pain was indescribable.

At 8PM I wanted to give up. Demanded a C section, started crying uncontrollably and frankly just wanted to die. 10 more minutes, they kept saying to me, we can see his head!

FYI, they’d been saying “we can see his head” for over an hour at this point. Apparently you can see the head for A LONG FUCKING TIME before it actually comes out.

They brought in the anesthesiologist to give me “an extra boost” down the epidural, and somehow I managed to pull it together for the next 50 minutes and get him out. There must’ve been magic in that boost, because I’m still surprised I didn’t die. Especially when he crowned. They call it “the ring of fire” and it truly is like having a white hot poker swirled around down south — it’s like, no, it can’t get worse and then OMFG IT JUST GOT WORSE.

Once his head was out, the rest kind of whooshed out in a massive flood of liquid (gross I know—apparently it was the most disturbing part of the whole thing for the Chop—well, that and the “stretching” he said) and the relief was fabulous. He had the cord around his neck once, so he came out greyish-purple and I only held him for a quick second before they whisked him away to do his tests and get cleaned up. He pooped on me, of course.

He arrived at 8:50PM exactly four weeks ago, on October 2. He was 8 lbs, 4 oz and 21 inches. And he came out completely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

The Peanut, shortly after birth, being weighed.

The next thing I know I’m being stitched (and FEELING IT, FUCK) and a nurse is beating the shit out of my uterus. Stop, stop, I cried, why are you doing that?! We have to get the blood clots out, she said, unless you want the doctor to stick his hand up there to get them out — and trust me, you won’t want anyone to stick anything up there.

So there I was, being beaten by a nurse, while the Chop and my mom had deserted me to hang across the room with the baby. Eventually they came back to my side, my mom holding him and telling me “thank you for my grandson” multiple times, and both of them sending picture messages of the little cutie to our friends and family.

My mom holding him about 10 minutes after birth — notice how I am ignored in the bed next to her!

They took him out after that, to do whatever it is they do with babies, while I got cleaned up. Then I realized I was starving. To death. I am not kidding. I have never been so hungry in my entire life. I ate Chris’ leftover lunch (turkey wrap, piece of cake), my mother’s chocolate candy bar (Hershey’s with Almonds) and then we ordered a pizza and salads (hello, did you know labor and delivery stocks take out menus for this reason?).

We were moved to our maternity room around midnight, by then my mom had gone home and the Chop and I were dead exhausted. Chop went and checked on the Peanut in the nursery (before we crashed), but he wasn’t brought back to our room until 3AM.

We spent the next two and a half days in that room, the Chop only leaving to go to the cafe or the kitchen. We were visited every shift change, and sometimes in between, by nurses. My OBGYN came every day, as did the Peanut’s pediatrician and the lactation specialists (they really are very full service). My mom brought Starbucks every day, too. My favorite part of being there was getting three meals a day brought to me, lol. I was really hungry every single day and it wasn’t until we were home a week or so that I wasn’t starving constantly.

In his bassinet in our room — wearing his Gloworm hat :)

The day we left, bearing flowers and awesome cupcakes—and an adorable baby—the Chop and I spent 20 minutes attempting to get the car seat buckled in while the car was idling at the front door. We finally moved the car to a parking spot (we felt very conspicuous) and realized we had been trying to put it in backwards.

Mmm, cupcakes from our friends — so very good.

Great start, we decided. :)

10 days old — and yes, worth it. :)

December 31st, 2009
ode to 2009

2009 has been equal parts awesome and awful. I can’t remember any other, aside from perhaps 2006 (sick, but met the Chop) and 2003 (my Nana died/my sister got divorced, but moved to the East Coast), where there was such an equal amount of good and bad.

We elected a new president, and although it hasn’t been all roses, I’m still glad he’s it.
We started planning the wedding and getting pressure for our “no gift” policy. Sigh. And I lit our oven on fire.

We picked our wedding spot, caterers and photographer—and they all turned out to be absolutely perfect.
A dear friend lost her husband.

We went on vacation in Ireland, which was amazing. Even though I have a little bitterness about not moving there, lol.
My dryer crapped out, three of our favorite restaurants closed and, oh yeah, that 15% pay cut. Damn the recession.

We went and saw David Sedaris, the world was introduced to Susan Boyle and the Chop and I decided to start house hunting.
I had to go to Vegas for our conference; we put an offer on a house that turned out to be the lemon of the century (hello $30k in fixes)… and so we pulled out.

Went to a very entertaining wedding of a good friend—and on the same day, found the house we would buy.
We house-hunted every weekend.

Bought our house, switched states and marked four years of blogging.
Moved out of my favorite place and left my home of four years.

Quit one job and got another. Kept the other job as a client for more money and less pain—win, win.
The dog decided to inaugurate the house by using the basement as her personal toilet—very. bad.

Oh god, the wedding planning. And the DMV. And the lack of air conditioning. August was rough.

Convinced my parents I should be able to wear red at my wedding. Built the wedding website.
Wedding planning. Hell. Went dress shopping. Double hell. Worked like a dog.

Went to TX, where my awesome godmother made my VERY RED dress!
Worked like a dog. Went to ME with my mom and sister—where we fought constantly. Tried to convince Chop that we should elope already goddamnit.

Went back to WA for a bridal shower, where my awesome cousin surprised me, which was lovely. My family came for Thanksgiving, which was also surprisingly lovely.
Counted down to the wedding, with all the insanity and annoyances that came with it. Worked like a dog.

Got MARRIED—now I get to wear an additional shiny, shiny ring. Went to MN for Christmas and had so much fun. Am planning to spend New Year’s happily ensconced at home, with my husband.
Went through so much insanity during the week of the wedding—and the wedding. Dealt with every possible crisis that could come up. Am still exhausted from the entire year.

Very happily got married, which made the entire year worth it.
Isn’t my husband the cutest?

July 23rd, 2008
five years

It’s been five years and I still feel like it was yesterday my Nana passed away.

How time flies.

We miss you still.

posted in: memories,sad — @ 2:03 pm

April 6th, 2008
cinnamon roll goodness

I’m leaving on Thursday to go hang out with my parents while my dad’s at a conference in Philly. While we’re there, my mom and I will be traveling to her hometown, putting flowers on the graves of my grandparents and visiting my Nana’s best friend Emma… who is in her 90s and still kicking.

I was trying to think of something we could do, or bring, this amazing woman who lives alone in the middle of nowhere, and I remembered a conversation I once had with my grandmother.

Every time she came to visit, she made cinnamon rolls from scratch, and I am telling you, they are the greatest things in the world. She’d get up early, mix up a batch of dough, let it rise for a few hours, then roll it out, spread the different ingredients on, roll it up and let it rise again for another few hours before she baked them in a brown sugar-butter syrup. One of my fondest memories of when I was young was eating the “ends” off the raw cinnamon-sugar-butter dough roll-ups before she placed them in the pan to rise and bake. She always made six pans (oh the deliciousness, normally two were gone on day one!), and I asked her what she did with them when she was at home (she had lived alone for over 20 years).

Oh I give them away, she said. The neighbors, your aunt comes and gets a pan and then I always give one to Emma. She loves my rolls.

So yesterday I shopped, and today I got up early and made the dough. And this dough? Not easy. For some unknown reason my mom and I have horrible luck with yeast, LOL. It’s either old, or our water is too hot, or the bowl is too cold, etc., but yeast is the bane of my baking existence. Amazingly, the yeast worked this time… granted, I bought it fresh yesterday, heated the bowl and used a thermometer to measure the water, but I was still stunned.

Now I’m waiting for it to rise and missing my Nana.

Update: Finished product!

March 7th, 2008
of smells and ski trips

Driving to yoga tonight I ended up behind a tow truck, whose noxious fumes caused me to hold my breath and breathe through my mouth.

And suddenly my mind flashed back a dozen years, Kathy Troccoli was playing in my head, cold air was wrapping around my legs and the smell of exhaust annoyed my nose.

Then I started laughing, and debated calling my sister to see if she remembered our weekly bus trips to the mountains during the winter. (I’m sure you do, right?)

For a few years (I honestly can’t remember how many), my parents signed my sister and I up for weekly ski trips to the mountains. Our Dad would wake us up at 5AM on Saturdays, feed us breakfast (favorite being the refried bean and egg burritos, yum) and drive us to the bus pickup, where lots of other kids joined us to drive the two hours north.

We’d ski/snowboard for a few hours, have lunch up there and drink cocoa, ski some more, then pile back into the buses around 4PM, the smell of car exhaust and the cold being the predominant things I can recall.

I don’t remember enjoying it as much as I thought my sister did, but I was going through my try-to-be-the-best-Christian-possible-and-maybe-I’ll-actually-believe-it phase, so I didn’t talk to a lot of the other kids on the bus, tended to ski alone and wore my headphones on the rides to and fro (hence the memories of Kathy Troccoli, lol).

We finally stopped going sometime when I was in high school. It was always so early (for a Saturday, sheesh), and I think they finally trusted us to do what we wanted on the weekends… granted, that ended up involving jobs and boyfriends and late nights, but it was way more fun. ;)

Still, whenever I smell bus exhaust (particularly in the winter when it’s cold), I remember those trips and smile.

posted in: memories — @ 9:47 pm