Monthly Archives: July 2008

My Birth Story? You Want to Hear More?

Pull up a chair and let me tell you a yarn. You, or anyone else who will listen…

Here’s a funny detail I forgot:

Right after my water broke and I called the midwife and figured out how to not leak all over the place, I re-read the “When To Call” sheet from the midwives. It said that you should eat while you can, then you should drink liquids with calories. The examples they gave were fruit juice, ginger ale, milkshake… Milkshake? Woo hoo! I immediately called my honey, who was still at work.

“Get me a black and white milkshake.”

“WHAT?”

“I said get me a black and white milkshake. The sheet says so. Just go into the diner and say, ‘one black and white milkshake… STAT!'”

Her co-workers warned her against it. They said I’d regret it. They said I’d puke it all up and regret it later. They said she shouldn’t get it. Luckily, my honey knows me well. She replied to them, “You people don’t understand, I am not showing up at my house without that milkshake.”

About fifteen minutes later, I was on the phone with nethermede explaining exactly how they make a black and white milkshake — that’s half vanilla, half chocolate ice cream if you don’t know — when I had my first contraction. After which I said, “She’d better show up with that milkshake, or I’m sending her back!” A few minutes later, she showed up with the milkshake. That’s my woman.

I drank it. It was delicious.

Later, as I was puking it up (the only puke in my labor, mind you) I said to my honey, “Tell your friends I don’t– wretch — regret the milkshake!”

Hmmm. What else did I forget? Did I mention that the woman who drove us to the hospital was only driving us because she had offered in jest in a text to my honey that morning? Did I mention that her apparently-new car was so full of stuff, that we couldn’t put the suitcase in the trunk? We were back there with our suitcase and pillows and everything in the back seat. Poor Nelly was leaning on a gift bag with a Mikasa bowl in it for the whole ride. The ride was really crazy, scary and hilarious. I felt so bad for the driver that between the contractions I kept asking her if she was ok.

Nelly told me about her cab ride to our house when she came over the other day. She had heard me in the background when A called her and she said to herself, “Holy, $hit! It is on!” She deposited both of her kids with a former babysitter of hers who was working for someone else in her apartment building. She jumped in a cab, and began three part yoga breathing. She said the cab ride lasted fifteen minutes, but it was the longest 15 minutes of her life. (Followed by the longest 40 minute car ride of my life.) If she’d arrived even two minutes later, she would have missed the birth. And I would not have the first time I heard my baby cry and saw his goopy little body on a video clip taken by Nelly. A had told her to hold the cab, just in case she arrived before our other ride. So she was explaining to the cabbie that they were going to pick up her friend who is in labor and bring her to the hospital. the cabbie was quiet for a second, then said, “Oh, were you talking to me? I thought you were on a cell phone!” When she pulled up behind our other friend’s car and got out of the car, the relieved cabby waved and yelled, “Gooood Luuuuck!”

I know there was more I wanted to add, but it may have disappeared from my brain along with so many once-retained things like my password to this blog, if we need or don’t need to buy peanut butter, which day my mother will leave me and return to Florida, and how to dress myself.

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Filed under Labor & Birth

A B00bie Story

Doctors. Harumph

On one hand, they do great things like slide several-celled embryos into my invisible friends.

On the other hand, they work within a really bizarre system that doesn’t seem to have much understanding of human needs, it is so skewed toward avoiding litigation, it forgets about the fact that the potential litigants are humans. Humans trying to do things, like, oh, I don’t know, breastfeed.

I admit to having watched way too many episodes of “A Baby Story.” It became a favorite past time at the end of my pregnancy, to watch an episode, then make fun of the doctor’s not-seeming-entirely-necessary reason for giving his patient a c-section. Calling him or her (usually him) a jerk and an idiot. Then getting really pissed off on behalf of the mother. (Again, there are lots of necessary c-sections for which I am grateful that there are doctors who can perform them safely. I’m wondering if that sentence is grammatically correct, but I’m too tired to detangle it. Sorry.) After several episodes of “A C-Section Story,” comes one or two episodes of “Bringing Home Formula.” I mean, “Bringing Home Baby.” Yeah, you guessed it. This one gets me mad about what the doctors, nurses and families tell women about formula and breastfeeding.

Everything. EVERYTHING a new mom or mom-to-be reads states firmly that the healthiest thing to feed your baby is breast milk. Even ads taken out by the formula companies. The doctors say it. The women want to do it. They know it is expected of them. They want to do what is best for their babies. But guess what? It is hard. I don’t even understand how the human race is still around, frankly. If this is how we have nourished our young since the dawn of time? It sure does not come naturally to me. And I had a mom who breastfed both of her kids. And I have a huge circle of friends who breastfed their first child, including my honey. I mentioned my wonder at the existence of the human race to my friend Alli, who comments here from time to time. She said, “Oh, it’s that village thing.”

So, here you have a mom all ready to breastfeed. All of the theories have been thrown at her. Now comes the reality. There is no support. The doctors and/or nurses and/or family members and/or old lady next door tell the new mom that there is something wrong with her supply. She should supplement with formula. She HAS to. Or if it hurts too much, she can give the baby a bottle or two. Doctors are not required to learn anything about breastfeeding. So he or she may know a lot about it, or nothing at all. Soon there actually is something wrong with her supply because she supplemented. Soon she’s just feeding the baby formula. If she wanted to breastfeed, she feels like a failure.

Let me just stop here to say that I respect every parent’s choice on how to feed their babies. If you choose formula, go for it. If you used both formula and breast milk and it worked out fine for you, that’s great. I’m glad you got some extra sleep in the bargain! If you can’t breastfeed, or chose to do so for only a short while, or you adopted your kids and didn’t want to induce lactation, that’s cool. I’m not here to judge parents for their choices. I will, however, judge medical professional who advise their patients to do something, then don’t or can’t support them in their directive.

This brings me to my pediatrician. I normally adore the guy. He’s sweet. He looks like a man, a boy and a geek all wrapped up into a neat package in a cartoon necktie. The first time he held Cakie at a few days old, I knew I trusted him. I was excited to take Trucker there to show him off. Instead, I ended up kind of pissed off. Well, not kind of. Really pissed off. See, Trucker lost so weight. When he was born, he weighed a whopping 9 lbs, 3 oz. In the doctor’s office, he weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz. The doctor was too concerned with this fact. He wanted Trucker to come in for a weight check the following week. Luckily, I know my baby stuff.

“Isn’t a baby supposed to lose wieght after coming home?”

“Yes.”

“And what is the normal range of weight a baby can lose?”

“Ten percent of his body weight.” The doctor looked sheepish. That’s because, I’ll spare you the math, he did not lose anything outside of the normal range! It was normal weight loss. And he was acting alarmed. I said, “You know, he has the right amount of bowel movements and my breasts feel lighter after each feed.” (Not that he asked me those important questions.) He said something along the lines of, he knows Trucker probably lost more weight than he’s used to seeing because he is a bigger baby and it is better to be safe than sorry. Harumph. This is the thing… he was saying this to over-informed me. But imagine any mother, four days after giving birth, breastfeeding for the first time. Baby seems happy and full. All of the signs that breastfeeding are going well are evident. Then she comes in to the doctor and he acts like there is a problem, when the baby is within the norm. It hurt my feelings, but I could see how it would make a less-informed person really start to doubt herself.

I need to add a few more details. There was one sign that I had not perfected my latch. My nipp1es were a little worse for the wear. Ok, they looked like they’d been to a fight club meeting. So when I whipped one out to feed the baby in the doctor’s office, I’m sure somewhere in his subconscious, he thought “Woah! There’s no way enough milk is coming out of those!” I’m sure that was the real source of his alarm. That said, they did hurt and I did make my way to the lactation consultant’s office shortly thereafter, if only to triple ensure that Trucker would meet, no, EXCEED his weight expectations come time for the weight check. Which he did. Because he’s a baby rock star. He needed to gain 5 oz, and he gained 6.5. And my wounds have healed, as well.

So, doctors… just remember who you are talking to and what they might be going through when you put up a red flag. I know that you get sued a lot and it is your job to ensure that your patient be as healthy as possible. But if your patient’s brand-new mom seems to be having trouble breastfeeding, how about having the phone number for La Leche League available? Or a lactation consultant? Or a nursing mother’s group? You know? Someone who actually knows the ins and outs of breastfeeding? Go to a breastfeeding convention yourself, perhaps? All we need to do is gather up that village thing and get some actual useful information to make this baby-nourishing thing happen the right way.

It has taken me four days to get this post up, guys. I’ll get my groove back someday. For now, no rush. I’ve got some baby nourishing to do.

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Filed under b00b food, Trucker

Cakie Talk, Big Brother Style

We did a pretty good job preparing Cakie for becoming a big brother.  At least emotionally.  He loves the little dickens.  He loves him hard.  I often have to intercept before Trucker becomes suffucated by Cakie love.  Here are some things he has said:

When we arrived home from the hospital with Trucker, I foolishly expected Cakie to run to us yelling, “Mommy!  Mama!”  Instead he ran to his brother, yelling his brother’s name.  His uncle took a video of the moment, which I got to watch later.  My son is leaning in to the baby, singing a song to the tune of that big purple dinosaur’s “I Love You” song.  His version consisted entirely of the baby’s name, I love yous, and ended with a rousing dancing on the Trucker!  It went a little something like this: Trucker, Tru-cker, Truck-er Truckeeeeer I love you my little Trucker, with a Trucker Trucker, dancing on the Trucker Trucker er er er er eeeeerrrrrr!

Here’s some other sound bites from my son’s first week as a big brother:

I really like Trucker.  I really like he.

He’s so sweet. (Pause.) He’s YUMMY!

He wants to drink mommy.  Mommy, he wants to drink you.
This one happens often if someone else tries to pick the baby up:

Hey! Dat my baby brother.  Dat my brother!
He was sitting next to my honey and he wanted to hold the baby.  Then he didn’t want to hold the baby.  A said, “Are you nervous that the baby will cry?  Because babies cry a lot.  It’s ok.”  He replied, “I don’t want to be nervous.”  And made it clear that he was not going to hold the baby just yet.

He likes me!
No teeth! No teeth!  Babies have no teeth!  Just a mouth and a tongue.

I’m sure I’ll get a bunch more.  We had only one moment so far in which he said, “I don’t want he.”  But that moment passed and has yet to return.

BTW– I give up on Smiles as a blog name.  It doesn’t stick.  He’s Trucker.  Just Trucker.  What a long strange trip it’s been…

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Filed under my second son, my son, Trucker

Trucker

Every time I try to post, something stops me. By something, I mean this guy…

That’s him fresh out of the oven. He was a little puffy from the speedy journey. Here he is after a few days of cutening up time:

Last but not least… what might rival in cool baby wear the Morrissey onsie? This shirt from my buddy lifebelowtheline. Under the picture is says, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

Here’s the thing. I try to keep the blog anonymous because even though I write about my lady parts and whatnot, I am a rather private person. That said, my children are not really in the position to give me permission to post pictures of them on the internet. So I don’t plan on doing it on a regular basis. Enjoy these. I couldn’t very well blog for a year about trying to make this guy and not share his beautiful mug and punk rock hair with you.

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Sorry for the Delay

I have a confession to make.

I haven’t uploaded the pictures to post for you yet because I needed to figure out how to get them on the computer without my birth pictures coming on my screen saver.  The birth photos are for private and select audiences, only.   We don’t need my hooo haa popping up on the screen while the sweet old lady from downstairs is visiting the baby.  So I finally figured that out.  Now I just need to find the damn uploading camera cord.

I am mentally writing the Cakie-talk post and I’ll put it up soon. Oh, and I’ve had a baby on the b00b about every ten minutes.  So that has been kind of holding me up as well.

Good things come to those who wait.

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Filed under Post partum

Which Post?

Obviously, I don’t have as much time to write as I did five days ago. So here’s what I’m thinking:

I have several posts I want to write. I have a few people who have dibs on requests for posts as well because they guessed the correct birthday for Trucker, whom I will from now on refer to as Smiles (the midwife said he seems to be one of those people who looks like they’re smiling all the time; even when they’re mad.) I need to move away from the Grateful Dead image. It just makes me see a skull and rainbows.

So choose what you want to hear:

  • How Cakie talks about Smiles
  • A rant about doctors
  • The Trinity of Ouch, aka Postpartum Wounds
  • Stuff I forgot to mention in the last draft of my birthing story
  • What it is like being the second mom in the family to give birth
  • The Big Cry: The Day My Hormones Dropped

I know eggdropblogger has dibs on choosing a topic (it does not have to be one of the above.) I need to see who else guessed correctly. Oh, my mom. Grandma, you get to choose one, too. But I’ll also take votes.

As for the picture… I’ll have to work on that one. My honey needs to sign the permission slip first. I can say this much, he doesn’t look much like me right now. He does not have red hair, it is brown, almost black brown. It is also very long and straight and a little punk rock. His eyes are very dark, skinny little slits right now. His nose looks like a baby nose. Oh, and he’s covered with every harmless baby rash in the Dr. Sears baby book at the moment. I hope that will tide you over.

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Filed under blogitty blog blog, family

Birth Story (Revised)

Let me preface this by saying that it is my true wish that any woman who has to TTC for more than a year gets to one day write a story like this one.

Around nine in the morning on my due date, I decide to turkey meatloaf to freeze for post-baby time. I get the meat out of the fridge and see that it has spoiled. I’m wearing a big purple maternity shirt that makes me look like a concord grape and black shorts. My mom calls. I let her talk to the baby on my belly by putting the phone up to where his head is. I have no idea what she’s saying to him. I imagine his head way down in my pelvis and decide to do a yoga squat while chatting with my mom. It is 9:35.

My water breaks. Not a huge gush, a little one. So I rush to the toilet and let it gush. My mom is totally excited. I hang up with her and call my honey. She tells me to call the midwife. I put on a maxipad to get the “When to Call” sheet from my suitcase. The pad immediately soaks through. I remember ohchicken’s advice about the cloth diaper in your panties post-partum and stick one in there. It holds. I get the sheet and read it three times. My honey calls again. “Did you call?” “No, I’m reading the When to Call sheet. It says to call.” “Then call!” “Listen, I’m leaking amniotic fluid all over the house. Give a girl a break.” So I call the midwife. She says to call her back when I have a contraction. I must have posted to my blog at that point. I think I maybe put the Ipod with my five hours of music in the suitcase.

My friend nethermede calls because she read my post. We’re chatting, when I feel my first contraction. It feels like a menstrual cramp combined with a drum roll in my belly. It has a definite end. I start to get even more excited. My honey comes home from work just after I had my second contraction at 10:30. I call the midwife and tell her that I had the contraction. She says to call back when they have a pattern. I bounce on the birthing ball, while my honey gathers the suitcase and the car seat and the little bag of food and pillows. When I get off the birthing ball, amniotic fluid gushes all over the place. I don’t bounce on the birthing ball again. We don’t exactly slow dance in the living room. But we do stand and hold each other for a moment during a contraction when I was trying to walk to the bathroom to get a new towel or something to put in my panties. They start getting stronger and closer together REALLY FAST. I don’t get to jump in the bathtub and have a glass of wine. By 11:30 (that’s one hour later, folks… they are 6 or 7 minutes apart. It hurts, but I can handle it. I actually can. It doesn’t hurt for me the way people describe a stabbing or guts in a blender feeling. It feels like menstrual cramps that resonate through my body like a musical instrument of pain. I figure out that if I make a really low and loud moan, I can drown out most of the pain music.

By noon they go from being 6 to 3 to 2 minutes apart. She calls the midwife. She asks how far apart they are. A tells her. She says, “Is that her moaning in the background? You need to be on your way. How far are you from the hospital? You need to get here.” We forget everyone on our list of driving friends and call one of A’s co-workers who had offered a ride in a text message that morning. (The poor dear.) I ask A to call Nelly, my birthing superhero and luckily, a professional photographer. A exquisitely times me getting downstairs between contractions. I leak amniotic fluid all over the halls of my apartment building (don’t worry, we got out the mop when we got back home!) I also had a contraction in the lobby in front of this older lady from the fourth floor who dresses a lot like a lesbian. She looked like she wanted to help, but didn’t know what to do so she got on the elevator.

We finally get outside as the co-worker pulls up and Nelly, miraculously, pulls up in a car service right behind her. I’m on all fours in the back seat over a towel. My honey is behind me putting pressure on my back. Nelly is in the front seat turned all the way around telling me to breathe. We DO NOT have an uneventful ride to the hospital! Traffic. Stress. I don’t notice birds over the river between contractions. I don’t notice the colors of the lights on the Empire State building. I notice only the blue towel under me… and how slow the car seems to be going and I try not to notice where we are because I don’t want to calculate in my head how much longer it will take to get there. All I really notice is how much stronger the contractions are getting. My super low moans and actually-helpful ohms falter into curses and “Why the Fuck IS THIS CONTRACTION LAASSTING SOOOO LOOONG?” To overhearing my circle of women discussing finding a police escort. To feeling like I have to poop. Which feels to me like maybe I have to push. I say, “I think he’s coming out! I think he’s coming out!” They’re like, nooooo, he’s not coming out.” But they can’t feel what I feel in my pelvis. We’re about five blocks from the hospital when the pushing happens. (Yes, I pushed twice in the car.)

We finally FINALLY pull up to the curb where my midwife is standing in scrubs with a wheelchair. I am grateful I had no contractions during this part because it was HILARIOUS. My midwife wheels me, running, to the elevators and yells as a door opens, “Unless you people want to witness a birth on the elevator, GET OUT!” They get out. The elevator proceeds to stop on what seems like every floor. Is it Friday (yes?) Is this a shabbos elevator? No. We finally get to where a clean room awaits us. I say to the midwife, “What do I do now?” She says, “What ever you want! Have the baby! Push!” So I push. Guess what she says? “There’s his head.” I push a few more times. His head goes in and out and in again. I decide I want gravity on my side and ask for the birthing stool. My midwife looks at the nurse and says, “Don’t bother.” So I just kneel resting my arms and top of my body on my honey. I push really really hard. I feel the ring of fire. They should call it this ring of sting. And I feel him coming out. I feel myself tearing a little, but I don’t give a shit. I push. Hard. And they shout, “He’s here! He’s here!” And there he was.

He’s fine, we’re fine, we all fall asleep in the bed together. Nelly offers to run out and pick up some stuff. I ask her to get me that roast beef sandwich.

Let me run that down for you again:*

9:35 — water breaks

10:17 — first contraction

noon-12:45 — all hell breaks loose. Contractions go from 7 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart.

1:20 –we get on the road.

2:05 — we arrive in the birthing center.

2:29 — Trucker is born

* results not typical!

I’m not going to post his name (sorry). But it means “merciful,” and I think we really picked the right one because he came out right when I begged him to.

Here’s the kicker: Quite some time after the chunky little guy with two-inch-long black hair was born, they put him on the scale. My midwife actually yelled “Holy Shit!” The boy weighs 9lbs, 3 oz!

So, I guess I’m grateful she swept those membranes.

I’ll try to post a picture soon. Right now I need to go make my b00bs hurt some more. Thanks for your patience. We’re totally pooped over here at oneofhismoms’s house. XOXO

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Filed under Labor & Birth