Tuesday, March 31, 2009

losing the desire

this will sound weird.

but i have been thinking a lot today about my screaming baby. the one who was not happy today from 12:30 pm until about 5 minutes ago. during the early parts of this long stint of time, there were moments where i looked at her resentfully, like she was doing this on purpose.

then there were moments where i looked at her little quivering chin, her lower lip stuck out, her little hands grabbing in the air for something, anything to comfort her. sometimes they found my neck. and pinched. ouch. as i rocked her, bounced her, cradled her, i would see her face writhe in pain and her stomach scrunch up as it gurgled and churned.

and i was able to come out of my resentment to form a realization:

she does not desire to be this way.

sounds simple, right? like you are right now saying, well yeah, i could have told you that.

but this is my second child with these same problems. the endless screams, the inability to sleep well, the inability to poop on her own. yep, i said that right. daily Q-tip suppositories are soooooo much fun let me tell you. but if they help, then i will do it.

it's hard not to blame the baby. in my sleep-deprived, food-deprived, shower-deprived brain it has tricked me into thinking that she has come to this earth to push me to the end of my rope. to torture me. she wants me to not sleep for the next 3 months. she wants me to get to 5 pm & realize all i have eaten is a yogurt & a handful of white cheddar cheez-its. she wants me to feel gross and stinky and frustrated that i can't even pick up the phone when people call because her screams are so loud i can't hear myself think straight, let alone hear someone else's voice.

for a while today, the bitterness swallowed me up.

but then like i said, i looked at her little face with tears streaming down her cheeks. and her tiny, perfect little body writhing in pain. and i knew.

she doesn't want this just as much...if not more...than i want this. she needs relief as much as i do. she needs comfort, a soft voice, a helping hand. something to let her know that she will not always feel this way.

and this is my job, what i have signed up and committed to do. and because i adore her so darn much, crying and all, i do it.

she is difficult to burp. when she does, it comes out like a deep rumble of an almost-erupting volcano. but that can often take 45 minutes before it arrives. i was up with her this morning from 1:30 am until almost 3am trying to get the darn air out of her belly because i knew if i didn't that we'd be in for it later.

then today, caleb drinks too much water. and burps. on his own.

and i remember there was once a day when i felt this exact same way about him. will this kid ever be able to burp on his own? go poop without screaming for hours before hand?

and now look at him go. a solid self-burper. it can be done.

i know there is a light at the end of this tunnel. unfortunately for me (well for all of us really), it will probably be a couple more months. and what's difficult is that i remember how i was during this same time with caleb.

i lose desire.

desire to eat well, take care of myself, have a social life, or look like a human being. all i desire is for someone else to take the screaming baby from me for a minute & let me sleep. uninterrupted.

so i guess what i'm doing here is apologizing. to those of you who have called & i haven't returned the phone call. or calls. for those who are deserving of a nice thank-you card for the sweet things you sent in the mail, or the meals you sent, or just for being great. for those who wonder if i have dropped off the face of the earth and keep emailing me asking if i'm okay.

the truth is, i'm not. but i know that i will be. my desire to live a normal life as a mother of two instead of as a hermit will return.

i am sorry for the things left undone and i am hoping that once this time passes, i will be able to play catch-up.

and also this is a thank you. reading your upbeat, cheery blogs has definitely become one of the highlights of my day. i don't always comment...mostly because i am holding a screaming newborn in one hand...but i love being able to read about friends all over the place and feel like i'm not so alone.

so keep up the good work, ladies! because i have a sneaking feeling that you are my social life for the next couple of months.

newest obsession

in the past two weeks chocolate soy milk has taken a backseat to these babies:

presenting.....the push pop. found at target in the freezer section.

why? let me count the ways.

1) they are refreshingly creamy.

2) only 90 calories.

3) i can reach for one from the freezer with one hand, unwrap it with one hand and eat it with one hand. (with a screaming child you learn one-handed foods get quickly pushed to the forefront of your "newest obsession list." and yes, in case you were wondering, i am typing this with one hand. i have also needed to go to the bathroom for 2 hours but can't quite figure out the logistics of doing that yet. UTI, here i come.)

4) they come in two flavors. raspberry sherbet, my fave. and orange sherbet. yum.

5) they take me back to happy times in my childhood. the schwann's man would roll up every other week in his yellow truck and ring our doorbell. one of the happiest sounds to me...think "polar express" with the ringing bells. and my parents would order either strawberry or chocolate push pops. and for the next two weeks, i would sneak one of them out of the freezer every chance i could. why was i a chubby child? i ask you.

6) most importantly, they are keeping me away from these babies:

these have been an obsession since the moment they hit the market. i could eat them melted, frozen, or room temperature. i could eat them in a house, i could eat them with a mouse.

however, because i am trying to be good and rear back from the "i'm pregnant and can eat whatever i want" frame of mind (which we all know is a lie anyway but it comforts us during 9 months of torture, right?) i have not had one. i repeat, not one.

but just thinking about them makes my mouth water.......a moment of silence please.

okay, back to the push pop.

i actually found them when i was in search of these babies:

but they are MIA. where have they gone? did bill cosby pull them off the shelves? i don't want the new ones:

they just aren't the same. i want classic, familiar. i am a woman who doesn't like change. come on now, i don't think i'm asking much.

my bladder is now screaming. i guess i'll have to put leah down and let her take over the screaming bit for a minute. then i will console us both by swaddling her and treating myself to a push pop. emotional eating at its finest!

Monday, March 30, 2009

just FYI, the beginning episode looks a lot like the trailer, but as long as you see the names of us come up, then you're watching the episode. just go to:


and the first thing that starts playing is the episode.

the first episode is here!!

so if you're interested in seeing the online reality show that i was asked to participate in, go

here, then click on the little green square that says New! Real Moms Guide.

after watching it...to quote an old episode of friends,

"if the camera adds 10 lbs, how many cameras are actually ON you?"
(be kind, they started shooting 3 weeks before my due date!)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

today she smiled at me for the first time.

and it wasn't gas.

and she wasn't asleep with her eyes open.

almost made being up until 3:30 am with her crying last night worth it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

baring it all

this posting is going to be painfully honest. and probably long. but whatever, here it goes:

did anyone else watch on E! when they had a show making fun of stars who went out on the streets without make-up on?

at first i was appalled at the comments made by the sarcastic spectators. those haters. they just wish they could look like the stars. but as i got into the show, after time i turned into one of them. my thoughts changed from,

hey! leave her alone! she doesn't look that bad.


what was she thinking? i mean, if i were her, i would just know that i was being followed everywhere by paparazzi and should look perfect all the time. they're right, she needs at least some cover-up and some lip gloss. it's her own fault for being made fun of. she should know better. she looks like poop.

i looked at myself in the mirror today. i was getting ready to take caleb & leah out on a walk once caleb woke up from his nap. i hadn't showered yet and was hoping to exercise this evening. so, i wash my face, put lotion on, pull my hair up.

then stop.

should i put make-up on?

no, that's ridiculous. i'm just going outside around our complex. i'm in semi-workout clothes, my hair is pulled up. who cares what my face looks like? i turn to leave the bathroom.

stop again.

well, maybe just some under-eye cover up. it doesn't help that i hardly slept last night (leah did not continue her 10pm-5am habit from the night before. boo hoo.)

and how about just some light powder? a couple of new pimples popped up. due to lack of sleep, no doubt.

i sigh and think about it for a minute. so what if i have pimples? dark circles? who am i trying to impress? our neighbors who couldn't care less about me? the maintenance men who are out cutting the grass?

or is it myself?

i try to talk myself into just going bare faced and owning up to it...whatever that means. when we lived in spanish fork i used to go out on walks every day without make-up on and didn't give it a second thought. so what's stopping me now?

i guess it doesn't help much that caleb cares when i'm not wearing make-up. my 3-year old. i am serious here. for the past year, whenever i wouldn't wear make-up around him, he would run away crying. he wouldn't let me hug him or kiss him, and when i would ask why, he would say to me,

"because momma. you're not soft."

that's his description of me with make-up on. soft. isn't that funny? not pretty, or cute or any normal description. but soft.

i told ben about it and when he witnessed caleb running away covering his eyes yelling that i wasn't "soft," his explanation for it was that he felt it was because i was feeling self-conscious around caleb when i wasn't wearing make-up and that he could sense it.

absolutely not true. and i'm not being defensive here, i would admit it if that were true.

but at the time it started, this was coming from a 2 year old who poops in his pants! i loved him in spite of that, i figured it went with the territory that he loved me in spite of the fact that i occasionally get pimples and possibly look like a boy without mascara on. unconditional love, isn't that what it's called?

but if he's scared of me when i look like this, what would the general public think?

so bringing it back to the E! stars show.

you know what i started thinking as i stared in the mirror? those stars did know that they were being followed. they had to. for crying out loud, when your name is sarah jessica parker, and you're taking your kid to the park, you know you're going to have your picture taken.

but she owned it anyway. walked out of her ritzy home with her un-glossy lips and un-covered eye bags and pushed her son in a swing. (or whatever she did)

and probably knew when those paparazzi snapped away. and probably also knew that there was a strong possibility she would be made fun of in a few weeks when those pictures showed up in some dumb magazine (the stars! they're just like us! they look like poop and push their sons in swings!) or on some dumb show.

and yet i couldn't do it.

i'm not famous, will never have to worry about being followed around by photographers. but couldn't do it.

how sad am i.

as i dotted on under eye concealer and puffed on some powder i realized that my thought process about myself really is out of whack...

and then the baby started crying.

another sigh. this is an issue i will have to tackle another day. but it will be tackled. mark my words.

and there you go. vulnerability on a blog. yet out in public, face to face? a different story.

updated pictures

lauren, your wish is my command.

here she is, happy as a clam.

and here she is, all dressed up with nowhere to go. she normally doesn't sport the bows at home, but she said she wanted to get fancied up for her photo shoot to impress her auntie.

this is my attempt at fitting her into 0-3 mos clothes. notice the rolled sleeves & rolled up pants. she is still a tiny lady, except for those cheeks. they will take over the world someday.

the close up.

she really is fun to have around, even if she is exercising her lungs a lot. we figure she can put those skills to use at a later time when she gets teased by her brother.

plus, let's be honest. her brother was no walk in the park at this age. so compared to him, she is a dream baby. just looking at the bright side, you know?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


sorry if i left out some people talking about the "online show." for the trailer, go here. to read the backstory on it all, go here. and as soon as it airs, i will attach the link to it.

i haven't seen the episode yet and have no idea what it's going to include. my awkwardness? absolutely. caleb doing his potty dance? let's hope so. ben being a goober? cross your fingers.

rejuvenated? or just insane?

so after a rough day with leah from pretty much 2pm until 10pm, i thought i was in for a rough night as well.

after she finished eating a 9:30 and we attempted to burp our konked-out child for at least 1/2 an hour, we finally wrapped her up & put her to bed at 10.

what to do?

normally i just stay up & get things done...also known as reading blogs, folding laundry, or watching TV while talking with ben...to wait for her to wake back up at 1am.

but instead, we were both exhausted and were in bed by 11. i think i was asleep by 11:01. i woke up startled at 2am, jumped out of bed to check & see if leah was still breathing. yep, she was just fine. i lay back in bed and tossed & turned because i thought she would wake up the minute i slipped back into my REM cycle and oooh...that just ticks me off.

boy was i surprised when she finally woke up to eat at 5am! a tender mercy.

i fed her, burped her, and she went right back to sleep. i tried to do the same. but i was wide awake. wide. finally after 20 minutes i got up and decided to make the most of my time. and exercised.

whu? (pronounced like "wha?" but i mis-spelled it on purpose so that you didn't think i was just so sleep deprived that i forgot the "t")

i am not a morning person, not by any stretch of the imagination. this was evident well before i had children, was pregnant, worked at the group home, or any other excuses i could come up with in my mind as to why i can't roll myself out of bed before 9am voluntarily.

but there i was, strapping on my gym shoes and pulling out a water bottle. wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

for a good 50 minutes i did a little bit of yoga, pilates, stretching, weights, lunches, punches. et.cetera. can i say how nice it is that VH1 plays music videos at 5:30 in the morning? yep, me and britney put on a show at the circus. and we're both making a comeback.

caleb rolled out of bed at 6:30 (have to mention here how absolutely adorable he is when he's all sleepy, dragging his blanket, bear, and toys of choice for the morning out of the room with him). usually he comes into our room and wakes ben up, who is nice enough to let me sleep in until about 7:30. but not today. i was wide awake and he was pleasantly surprised. aren't we both surprised, really?

i very well may fall flat on my face in my cereal bowl in about 10 minutes. but for right now i feel completely refreshed & also very proud of myself for accomplishing a task (known as exercising in the morning) that hasn't happened since 1996 when i did early morning swim team.

hmmm...early to bed, early to rise. who knew that wasn't just a load of bologna?

ps-online show starts in 2 days. ahhh! maybe this is why i can't sleep??

Monday, March 23, 2009

exorcisms and stun guns

the morning started out relatively well. at about 10:00am, all you know what broke loose.

caleb has been on about 5 time outs, all being led one-handed to his time out corner by his mother toting a screaming 3 week old. he finally screamed--not cried--SCREAMED for about 20 minutes in his room with the door shut while i listened to him on the monitor to make sure he wasn't in any imminent danger.

meanwhile, his little sister has been unhappy non-stop. holding her seems to help, but she still cries like i've just pinched her wrinkly little bum anytime i set her down.

at about 11, i texted ben just to vent to someone. no reply. i knew there wouldn't be, he was in class. the cycle of time outs, screams, and attempts to calm down continued.

it is now almost 1:30pm. about 30 minutes ago, caleb finally settled down. i went in and told him i still loved him even though he yelled several times that he was running away, slammed doors and punched me as i was hauling him to the time out zone.

but all that aside, once he apologized i said he was still a good boy in my eyes and that i forgave him. we hugged, i wiped away his tears, listened to him vent about how i was mean to him, and said i would see him when he woke up from his nap where we would both try again.

and walked back over to his sister who i (heaven forbid) had set down on the bed. she was now a nice shade of red/purple due to her screams.

i pulled out my stun gun...also known as gripe water in a syringe...and slowly let her suck the 1/2 tsp down.


knowing i only had about 5 minutes before the gripe water wore off (is there anyone who would approve of me putting it in an IV drip to go straight into her veins?) so i pulled out a wash cloth, turned on the hot water, and washed my face.

in other words, me time. i might even throw caution to the wind and brush my teeth. really testing fate knowing that my stun gun is quickly wearing off.

and at just this moment, ben walks through the door.

about 2 hours too late, isn't he?

he's on the phone talking to his sister about when we are planning the baby blessing. he verifies with me that it will be in may.

from beneath my hot, wet washcloth that i have just set on top of my face i say,

"we don't need a blessing. we need an exorcism to chase the devil out of this baby. and while we're at it, throw caleb and i in the mix there. it seems to be contagious in our house."

is this something to invite friends and family for? to provide a nice luncheon afterward to celebrate? should i buy a new dress? take pictures of the before and after? not quite sure of the etiquette for exorcisms.

i am only half-joking.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

what's the point?

if you haven't noticed, i have recently posted the "followers" widget on the sidebar. why did i do this? i have no idea. what does it do? another unanswered question.

i was updating my profile and saw that i had two followers when i didn't know that it was even an option. i had seen it on others' blogs and whenever i see theirs, i usually push "follow" just because. i already have people plugged into my google reader so i'm not quite sure why i also became a follower but thought, what the heck? why not.

so i put it on my blog like 2 days ago. but then i realized that i have no idea what it actually is or why it is there.

can anyone answer these questions? is there a point to being a follower/having followers??

just curious.

Friday, March 20, 2009

reason #5,471

why i love this man:

because he stayed up with me until 2am with our little lady. then at 6am, when this boy woke up and started vomiting,

he got up, held him, rocked him, changed his sheets, did a load of laundry, and let me sleep in until the minute before he had to leave.

giving me another moment to wonder,

how did i get so lucky?

on another note, aside from the vomiting...
forcing this kid to sit and watch t.v. all day?

his idea of heaven.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

miracles happen

for the second time in one day,
she actually slept in her own bed
her earth-shattering screams before hand.

and then her mother the botard, who kept snapping pictures of this momentous occasion,
woke her up with the camera flash.

but at least i have the pictures to remind myself that it can happen.

3 year old etiquette

normally caleb is a pretty well-mannered boy. however the past couple of weeks he's educated ben & i on the fact that we are obviously slipping in some areas of parenting.

today caleb was food-deprived, tired and in a foul mood. as ben announced to him he was going to make him a turkey sandwich caleb yells out,


ben replies,
"i'm waiting for the magic word when you ask for something you want."

caleb says with a straight face,
"simon says: strawberries and orange chips!"

(a game we've played for FHE the past couple of weeks)

ben laughed and said,

we watched american idol last week together. caleb was in & out while playing with toys, he liked the music but otherwise seemed disinterested. at the end of the show, one of the last contestants performed a soulful song and the judge said to her,

"you're a naughty girl. and i liked it."

and what do you know that's the one quote caleb picked up from the entire episode? he repeated it several times. he's probably going to walk up to his primary teacher and say, "you're a naughty girl and i liked it." and we will be labeled throughout the ward as that couple.

and from madagascar 2...

you know that semi-inappropriate part for kids involving the big man hippo moto moto & gloria? well as we're driving home from the movie, what does caleb say to me?

"i like 'em big. i like 'em chunky."


ben & i try to laugh these things off but really inside, we are cringing. how does he know the exact inappropriate comments to memorize and repeat over & over?? we have done our best to not react when he says it because we know that will only ignite the flame. but seriously we are not raising a little pervert here. hopefully.

Monday, March 16, 2009

dana's pictures

so my fantastic cousin posted some of the pictures she took of leah on her blog. check them out if you'd like but try to ignore my double chin! blast it all, it's the black cloud that will follow me the rest of my life.

go here and scroll down to march 12.

thanks again dana!

going wild & a birthday shout-out

we were invited by our friends the goldings to meet them at the zoo. since we still aren't taking the baby out much, and ben had a ton of homework to do, caleb & i joined them for a fun day.

i seriously love the zoo! for some reason i get a kick out of looking at animals that i otherwise only see on t.v.

we had a great time as usual with pdge, drizzle, ez-e & ty. caleb took over their stroller after i had spent $8 of hard-earned money on a zoo stroller. (will be more prepared next time, but caleb you owe me 8 bucks! don't think i won't forget either.)

we checked out the animals, stayed just long enough for all 3 boys to cry at one point or another, rode the carousel, almost started a fight with a 10 year old pudgy kid who tried to ride caleb's beloved giraffe, and then decided to call it good.

quote of the day, from pdge,
"there's just something about seeing a middle-aged woman riding the carousel that puts a sour taste in my mouth."

and on another note, it's this crazy girl's birthday today!!

happy birthday andrea.
you are an amazing person and an even better friend.
i love ya, and it's not the vicodin talking!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

melt your heart

here are some sweet pictures from the past few days...

nap time.

bath time.

what stops the screaming.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"i wore the dress, and she stayed home."

props to whoever can name the tune from the lyrics listed above. (except for you lauren!)

my awesome sister came out to help me for a week and i enjoyed every minute of it. not only did she sacrifice by leaving her 3 sick kiddos, but she celebrated her 30th with us, and missed the official birthday of her little girl (they celebrated after she got back) in order to be here with us.

being as awesome as she is, she rang in her birthday by jumping in our apartment pool at 12:01. with her clothes on. (we couldn't convince her to do it in the buff, but it was probably for the best since i ended up recording it on camera)

we tried to make it a special day for her even though she was taking care of us the whole time. so for her present she got a massage, and then came home to our apartment decorated for her. complete with hanging toilet paper, compliments of ben. we party in style.

here are some pictures of her visit.

the birthday girl, indulging us by wearing the provided party hat & feather boa.

a rare moment of happiness from caleb who continually lamented, "i wish it was my birthday." what a good sport.

ben & myself.

snuggling with her namesake...leah (my middle name) layne (lauren's middle name)

we ate cheesecake, stayed up too late, went shopping, went swimming and talked and talked. and talked. she is so fantastic & i can't thank her enough for all of the help & support.

miss you already laur. come back soon!

Friday, March 13, 2009

breastpump shenanigans

on a happier note from my last post, the two fellas in the house have kept me laughing which helps me to regain my sanity during the squeals of the newborn.

the other day caleb was running around the house with my breast pump, calling it his "invention" and told me it would help block out baby leah's cries. a perfect photo op to blackmail him with at a later time. there were a few moments he actually was yelling into it & calling it his trumpet but i immediately put the kaibosh on that one.

"why?" he asks me, his never-ending question whenever i ask him not to do something.

"um...because it's yucks." i reply. enough said, it went back to his ear.


then ben cracks a joke that makes himself laugh. hard.

"what do you call a mother who doesn't want to breastfeed?"

"what?" i ask as i roll my eyes, expecting the worst.

"lactose intolerant."

pretty good i must say. i am surrounded by comedians.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the 2 week curse

it started yesterday.

i held my breath, hoping i was wrong.

i am not a hopeless romantic, thinking that there are perfect babies out there who never cry. babies cry. they cry when they're hungry, or need something they can't express in any other way.

but this is different. this is a cry of pain & discomfort. it causes her to wake up 15 minutes after being totally knocked out & in dreamland. wake up with an inconsolable scream and then continually go up in volume until she is held...just the right way.

at her 2 week appointment yesterday, she is back up to her birth weight which is awesome. i asked the doctor about her increase in fussiness and he says, "well if you're nursing you will want to go off of all dairy, chocolate and any caffeine."

and it starts.

i think back to almost 4 years ago, where the same inconsolable cry brought me to a diet of basically bread and apples. i couldn't eat any green vegetables, dairy, chocolate, spicy food, acidic food. where i lived my life strapped into a snugglie and paced the floors for hours at a time. great for shedding that pregnancy weight, but that's pretty much all it was great for.

but no amount of change in my diet stopped his screams. gas drops, the happiest baby on the block, babywise. nothing stopped the crying.

how is it that i'm told that what is natural, what i can offer these babies, is best...when i just feel like i am poisoning their little stomachs?

as i shopped the aisles tonight searching for the right formula i had a feeling of dread. i don't want to do this again. i don't want to become so sleep deprived and more importantly, peace deprived, that i resent this beautiful child.

i will start pumping tonight, giving the formula 2-3 days to tell us if that was the problem. if i was the problem. and truthfully, i hope that it is me. because that is a quick fix. i am willing to switch over to formula and fork over the cash if that is what will help her to feel better.

but if that isn't the problem, then heaven help me.

ben looked at me and said, "well, let's strap ourselves in for the ride."

and as i type this with my hormonally-charged tears in my eyes, i'm thinking to myself, "but what if i can't do this again?"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

update on big brudda

(pictures: oldies but goodies)

since i have been asked, caleb is adjusting to his new sister like we've pretty much expected him to. for the first couple of days, he did not want to come close to her but would look at her from afar & talk about her, but never to her.

luckily things have improved. for the past few nights he has asked when he goes to bed to have the baby come say goodnight to him & he gives her the sweetest, shy kisses. he still refuses to hold her but has touched her feet.

i tried a nap with all three of us on our bed yesterday and thought there would be more of a fight than there was from him. he still gets disturbed whenever she cries and will often put his hands over his ears while yelling, "TOO LOUD." which of course really helps calm us all down.

at least now though he is talking to her & when she cries he says in a soft, high-pitched voice, "it's okay baby, momma's coming."

slowly but surely we are becoming a family of 4.

just don't count on those sweet sibling-holding-the-new-baby pictures for a while.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

the torture begins

my cousin dana came over to take some pictures of leah & we got a little creative. sticking the baby in a bowl on top of a table may not be the kindest thing you can do to a newborn.

but i think it goes with the territory of smelling her bum in public to see if she's pooped, picking her boogers out of her nose in front of her friends at a playdate, smooching her on her cheeks as i drop her off to school, grilling her dates before they step out the door with her, and bawling my eyes out at her wedding with snot running down my face.

the torture has just begun, little lady. you might as well get used to it.

look how fat she looks in this one! hilarious, she's really not chubby yet but it looks like it. and you still can't see the dimples but they're there, i swear it.

ps-these are my unprofessional shots, dana's are MUCH better! will post when i can.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

a gory story with an allegory

without further adieu, here is the birth story: (warning, it's detailed)
  • we went to the hospital at 3pm to get the 1 hour cervical jelly procedure done & then go home. caleb was at my friend vanessa's house (one of our many lifesavers of the day, thanks again!) and we thought we would be picking him up in about 2 hours. well things didn't turn out as planned....
  • as i lay down being monitored, i had some irregular contractions which i'd been having for weeks now. but the nurse came in to let me know that with each contraction, the baby's heart rate was dropping down and was worrying them.
  • they gave me a small dose of pitocin to force me to have 3 contractions in a row that they could watch closely. the baby's heart rate continued to drop, indicating distress.
  • i was then given a shot to stop the contractions and was told that i would not be leaving the hospital. the baby would be coming out, and to plan on a c-section since my cervix was not close to ready, the baby had not dropped and i was not even a smidgeon dilated.
  • um, awesome.
  • we got on the phone to try to make plans for caleb and our second saving grace of the day...ben's aunt kathleen...answered her phone. she said she could pick up caleb & take him back to our apartment for the night where she would stay with him.
  • here i am just waiting for the action to begin, still feelin' groovy.

  • i was told i would stay in the triage room & be monitored for four hours, then i'd given another cervical softening procedure and monitored for another 12 hours. 12 hours! keep in mind that i had not eaten since 3 pm and by now it was about 8 pm. they wouldn't even give me ice chips.
  • i repeat, not even ice chips.
  • ben went home for a little bit to get caleb to bed & help aunt kathleen find her way around our apartment.
  • we had called the producer of the online show to let her know what was happening. she & a cameraman came to the room & we just talked for a couple of hours about random things, (ben had the opportunity to diagnose the octomom. but then again, haven't we all?) then she went home & we said we'd call her if any action happened.
  • at this point i was having more consistent contractions and when the nurse came to torture me... i mean, check me...(i screamed it hurt so badly) i had dilated to a 2 or 3. because i was dilating, i was told we were just going to let my body go & see what came of it. the baby had still not even dropped yet.
  • about 1/2 hour after this, the contractions started to HURT. H.U.R.T. there was some crazy sharp pain coming on in my abdomen combining with each contraction where i already had major back labor. i tried to take it for a while, but then as soon as i heard they were actually moving me to a labor & delivery room, demanded some reprieve.
  • my knight in shining armor, also known as the anesthesiologist, showed up. it's always fun when they say to you, "well i've been doing this for 25 years and you definitely have an interesting spine. one of the more difficult epidurals i've had to do." nice.
  • but the moral of his uh, compliment, is that it worked. the pain was gone. ahhhhh. unfortunately, the baby's heart rate continued to drop. it was scary to hear her heart all normal one minute bum, bum, bum, then with each contraction we would hear it slow down to bum.....bum.........bum. and become softer. so, on went the oxygen mask. a little resemblance of anthony hopkins, don't you think? fava beans and a nice chianti. but at least i am smiling.

  • ben went to sleep. snored like a bear.
  • did i? i tried. it was about 2am and boy was i tired. but each contraction brought a nurse shooting in the room to check me & the baby. i do remember having a dream that brad pitt (not molestache brad pitt of the more recent days, think "a river runs through it", all slicked up. nice.) was sitting at our dinner table, telling us a joke & we were all laughing. i woke up, wondering how much time had passed. oh, about 2 minutes & 20 seconds.
  • suddenly, the pain began again. not in my stomach, not in my back, but down in the nether regions. i called for the nurse to ask about the epidural. she gave me another shot of it but it didn't help. i couldn't lift my legs, couldn't feel contractions, couldn't feel my own belly. she checked me and i was at an 8.
  • i asked what was going on, why i was hurting so badly down there and then she said these magical words. "ohhhhh, you had the cervical jelly didn't you. yep, that will definitely make it so the epidural doesn't work down there. um, you might feel some pain because of that. i hate that cervical jelly stuff."
  • WHAT???
  • i began to panic.
  • i woke ben up, several times...because he would raise his head and look at me with his bloodshot eyes, and i would say "ben i'm at an 8. get up." and he would say, "okayyyyyy." and then his face would fall flat back on the mattress.
  • i gave him a couple of minutes. then finally yelled,
  • "BEN, WAKE UP RIGHT NOW!" and he shot up out of that bed like his pants were on fire, scrambling around frantically, perhaps looking for boiling water and hot towels because he thought he was delivering the baby himself.
  • we called the producer again, when i got to a 9. by this point i was very uncomfortable. i felt it all.
  • my mouth was so dry, i asked for ice chips and was finally granted my wish.
  • 10 minutes later, i threw up all 8 of the ice chips i had eaten. and dry heaved like that baby was coming out of my mouth. sorry, i said it would be gory.
  • the funny (as in, un-funny) part of it was that i had to sit up to throw up so i wouldn't just gag on my own vomit. as the nurse & ben helped me sit up, and as my stomach muscles contracted, the baby moved. down. and it hurt. the nurse checked me after the heaving subsided and said, "um, if you throw up one more time, we're going to have a baby fall out on the bed."
  • not the words you want to hear after you've already had a baby fall out on the bed (caleb came into the world this way) and you know what that experience is like.
  • i was at a 10 and had to wait 25 minutes for the doctor to arrive. seriously! but at this point i was so scared to push because i knew i was going to feel it all, that i was willing to hold on & be patient.
  • the doctor showed up right as the producer & cameraman showed up. as i heard shay (the producer) coming into the room, i yelled, "NOOOOO!" and am sure i scared the poor lady. they waited outside the room, where the door was still open.
  • this is when things turned a little primal.
  • i was told to push and holy mother of pearl, i felt my insides coming out. i screamed. quite loudly. it was the craziest feeling, one that i don't think i could forget even if i come down with old age dimentia.
  • i pushed twice, and there she was. 5:53 am.

  • i bawled. louder than she did. ben cried.
  • i remember crying because i had been so unsure of my own strength, that i could actually push this child out while being so sleep deprived and in so much pain. i cried because it was over and i had done it.
  • i cried because i could see her. i could hear her. i could feel her.
  • and i cried because suddenly, she was real.
  • all throughout my prengnacy, part of my brain teased me that this baby was a figment of my imagination. that i really was just suffering from a bad case of indigestion. sounds crazy, i know. but ben was the same way, we would often look at each other and say, "ummmm, we're going to have a baby?" and even speaking it out loud wasn't enough to believe it.
  • but we were holding her all gooped up & wrapped in a blanket (which is something i swore i would never do, it grossed me out so much) and there were her fingers and her toes and her double chin, just like her mom's.
  • i was overcome.
  • we took about 20 minutes...i got stitched up, passed the placenta (another craaazzyy feeling, ew!) heard her apgar scores (9,9) and held her after everyone left.

  • then we let the producer in with the camera. they stayed for a while, took some camera footage (by this point i have no idea what i was saying, should make for some fun times) and then called the family.
  • i was moved after about an hour to a recovery room, where i got to order anything i wanted off of the menu 24/7. it almost made up for the lack of ice chips in the beginning. almost. look how happy i am ordering my food.

  • i must say, i had some spectacular nurses helping me, but no one was better than ben. aside from having a hard time waking up, he was the best. coach. ever. so supportive, so helpful and just perfect for what i needed. it was so great to go through this experience with just him. and the staff of course. but really, he made me laugh through the pain and held my hair when i vomited. so we can chalk up another bonding experience to add to our 6 years (technically 7, but 6 married) of history together.
  • i love him.
  • i am glad that the pregnancy is over. the recovery from labor was much less painful than the last 9 months have been. i know that sounds dramatic, but it is true. i realize i am not one who loves...or even likes...to be pregnant. tired, yes, but all the back pain, stomach pain, indigestion pain, is gone.
so this is where the allegory comes in.

i think pregnancy is like life, just wrapped up in 9 months.

(sorry, the text goes whacko here, and i can't get it to calm down. i am not yelling at you.)

some have a difficult time conceiving. some never can

some have crazy bad morning sickness, where they are strapped to IV's and on chemo medication.

some get enormous, or end up on bed rest, or develop toxemia, or have other high-risk problems.

some have horrible, traumatic labors.

some have newborns who immediately have health problems.

some have very difficult recoveries and complications after they've given birth.

some have colicky, hard, hard newborns.

some have crazy toddlers.

some have nerve-wrecking teenagers.
but in the end, it seems to even out.

for those who have a difficult time conceiving, the joy is that much greater when that pregnancy test says "yes."

for those who can never conceive receive blessings in other ways. ability to adopt a baby who deserves a better life than what it would be living otherwise. i must say, after working in the group home where 90% of our kids had been adopted to wonderful, amazing families, i realized how special and important adoption is.

those who get deathly ill may have the easiest time conceiving. or they may have extremely easy labors or have amazingly easy babies.

do you see where i'm going here??

there have been so many times that i have looked at someone going through a trial and said, "they are so strong. i can't believe what they're going through. i would have
never been able to handle that." and at other times, they are looking at me and saying the same thing.

sometimes i look at blessings of others and wish for those. sounds ungrateful, right? i know. i am working on that. this is part of letting go of that first traumatic year with caleb. we have to let go of those times, to realize our blessings and be grateful for them above the trials or we will become bitter and hardened.

we go through our trials and we experience our blessings and we struggle and grow and change. we stretch. we get stretch marks. :) we get pushed to our breaking point, scared out of our minds we are going to fall over the ledge. sometimes we let out primal screams, or beg for mercy
(and tell our husbands we will never be doing this again so don't even think about it!).

but in the end, we realize that the path we have taken has shaped us to be better. and what eventually comes out of that trial, is a gift straight from God. you see the blessing, or the baby, and reconsider what you've just told your husband.

because it is all worth it.

and that, my friends, is what it's all about.
(funny, all this time i thought it was the hokey pokey.)

okay, enough soapbox for one day. i'm off to enjoy the sunshine & my sweet family.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


i have no idea how i lived before this little lady came into our lives. i have been soaking up every minute with her these past few days and even though i know it has to happen, i don't want her to change.

i remember friends who have said to me, "i love the newborn stage" and i never agreed with them...mainly due to my experience with caleb. the constant crying, the pumping for 6 weeks, the weekly--sometimes daily--doctor's visits to check his weight, the unending need for sleep though when i would lay down, it would never come. i was traumatized.

my reply to them was always, "i would love to skip the first 6 months." and knew how that must have sounded. bitterness.

i have to admit that i felt cheated & robbed of my chance to enjoy being a new mother. i felt like i was in constant turmoil and was in a large sea barely treading enough to keep my head above water. but there were many times i felt i was drowning. honestly the only thing that saved me from going under was the support of ben & from loved ones around me. that and getting on my knees any chance i could to pray for more strength to keep going.

when i found out i was pregnant this time, i prayed to God that this time it would be different. before caleb was born i had wanted a large family, my goal was 5 kids. then it all changed as i had to take a step back to really look into my emotional well-being and be realistic about whether or not i could handle 5 of caleb's.

please don't get me wrong, there were so many wonderful things that came from that small boy. this was where i first learned the true meaning of unconditional love. i also learned that i had a strength inside of me that i had never known existed. i learned to rely on others and mainly, my heavenly father, my testimony and faith grew so much during that time. most importantly i learned how to be extremely grateful for those moments that were good. each moment was magnified and so much sweeter than it would have been if caleb had been a healthy, happy, easy baby. i clung to those moments.

i also learned my limits and accepted myself for them. there are some women who can handle stressful situations without flinching. i am not one of these women. even when i was away from caleb...a rare moment...my mind and heart never left him. i would stress myself out, call ben a million times, want to know every detail. i drove myself crazy. i knew i needed to let go but didn't know how to. i still struggle with this.

it is so difficult to have a child with health problems. and to have it be your first child can really throw you for a loop.

getting to the point here...

i have had the opportunity to just hold this little bundle for 5 days now. to watch all of her hilarious expressions and enormous yawns.

to hear her tiny hiccups and sneezes. to feel her little fingers wrap around mine in a vice grip. to stroke her soft fuzzy head and smile every time her dimples appeared.

i am in love and i am so, so grateful.

and i am now a mother who can say,
"i love the newborn stage."

thank you, leah.

thank you, God.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

more than you need

we came home yesterday even though we had the choice to stay until today. it felt so nice to be in our own space again after being interrupted about every 20 minutes by the lovely hospital staff. they really were great and very attentive, but i am telling you if i never see the blood pressure cuff again, that will be just fine with me.

i think the fact that all of the doctors come in to start their rounds at 6am is a mean joke. the moms barely sleep a wink all night, only to be woken up to get the full monty check-up bright and early.

other than the usual complaints of net underwear, stitches healing in the nether regions, a mean headache that comes and goes and my feet swollen up to about 4x their natural size due to all of the IV fluids (at one point i wondered if you can contract elephantitis during labor), i am feeling good. i get these crazy surges of adrenaline at odd hours so to those of you wondering why i'm blogging so soon, that is why. i don't know what else to do with my time at 2am.

will write about the birthing experience soon, whether you like it or not. but until then, here's some visual enjoyment, probably more pictures than what you need.