Tag Archives: baby

It started with a bookcase….

Yesterday was The Regulator’s birthday (Double digits!! Woop Wooooop!!!) And every year I tell my kids how they were born. So here’s his story:

I got pregnant about 2 months after getting married. People think that’s weird, maybe even wrong. I was in my early 20s, teaching at an all-girls school for not-a-lot-of-money, and the Hubs was working part-time at the local supermarket, having just lost his job. We lived in a dinky one-bedroom apartment over some lady’s garage. But the boy was on his way (not that we knew it– he wouldn’t show us “the goods” at any of our ultrasounds) and we had to do what we could. Thankfully a lot of stuff fell into place: we found a great 2-bedroom apartment in a nice suburb for a good price; the Hubs got a full-time job with benefits; the raise at the all-girls school kept me going another year; and even a premature baby was healthy and happy.

The day before I went into labor, I looked at the bookshelf in the living room and wanted to scream. See– the Hubs and I love books. A lot. In the “olden days” before the Kindle, we had to buy books that we loved and store them on shelves. But we have So. Many. Books. And they were in no order whatsoever. The Hubs had sort of just thrown them up on the shelves when we moved in, and while it was something that always bothered me, I realized that day that something had to be done. I took down all the books, sorted them by author and divided hardcover from paperback. It took all day, but I was very proud of myself. I went to bed knowing the next day I was going to be taking my students to see a production of Romeo and Juliet. But baby had other plans…

I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling… ick. Nothing hurt, no fever or anything– I just had to use the bathroom except it didn’t feel like having to use the bathroom. I soon realized that my water must have broken. I wasn’t due for another month, so I quickly proceeded to freak out. Called the doctor, who asked about contractions, of which there were none. So he told me to try to get more sleep and meet him at the hospital in the morning. I packed a bag (with stuff I never used, as most women will tell you) and tried to sleep. Yeah– that worked.

Went to the hospital, and the nurse did the usually exam. It was determined that my water indeed had broken, which can create an infection risk for the baby. I was admitted and given a Pitocin IV. If you don’t know, Pitocin will spark contractions, and that’s what I needed. The doctor told us that it wouldn’t be long now. Time, as we all know, is a relative concept. I was in the hospital bed the entire day waiting for the labor to get into high gear. Lemme tell you– it was boring. Like, really boring. Then it was painful… like, really painful. I got an epidural (which didn’t work, btw) and kept at it. It honestly felt like nothing was happening. I was 20 minutes away from a C-section when suddenly it was GAME ON. I was pushing, nurses were monitoring, the Hubs was reassuring, and the doctor was catching. Nearly a full day after my water initially broke, at 12:36 am, I had my first son, all 6 lbs 3 oz. of him.

Since he was premature, there was a concern that his lungs would not be fully prepared to start working. It turned out we had nothing to worry about, since he was screaming within minutes of birth (he started out grunting, which is disconcerting). We all went home two days later, and have been enjoying life as a family ever since.

So Happy Birthday, Regulator. Here’s to all things fair and even. Because that’s the way you like it. 


And now for something completely different…

One year ago yesterday, I started having contractions.  Right on time, if you ask me. The doctor said the due date was the 4th, but I was sure I wasn’t going to have to wait that long.  So when labor started, I was ready.
But when I checked into the hospital,  the doctor disagreed.  He started pumping me with saline, and he was almost right: the contractions slowed down. And then they picked right back up…. boy howdy, did they ever!
I was kind of on the fence about the epidural.  I’d had one for my first delivery, and it was awful. I felt everything,  and it was a general disappointment. But it had been four years since I’d had a baby, and I just didn’t want to face it without help. Thankfully, Mrs. Legal Lawyer had told me how her epidural had nearly been messed up,  so I knew how to make sure it was done right. And oh, it was glorious. I was even able to take a nap. Did I mention that I was in labor nearly all night? And that the hubs and my mom stuck around for the whole thing?
When it was time to push, the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck, but it was a non-issue. Buttercup was born at 4:31 am. (None of my kids were born on a 5-minute mark…) She was amazing. And she has been amazing every day since.
Even more amazing was how great I felt; it was almost as though nothing had happened to me. You don’t have to take my word for it: my bestie came to visit that afternoon and said as much.  Confidence booster, if ever I heard one.
So happy birthday,  princess face. You made me more fully the mom I was meant to be. And I love you always.


Try not to hurt yourself.

On this day, 7 years ago, I was at a pool party, celebrating my brother-in-law’s graduation from high school. It was a pool party, but I wasn’t going in the pool because I was pregnant and didn’t see a need to spring for one of those maternity bathing suits. I was due July 12, but was confident that I’d go a month early like I had the first time.

I spent the entire day walking– sitting– standing– leaning– sitting– walking. Couldn’t get comfortable to save my life. But no contractions, so it couldn’t possible have been labor.

My 2-year-old made the hubs stay in the pool the whole day, and when it was time to go home, he volunteered to give the little regulator a bath. I thought I would lie down for a little bit. That’s when the uncomfortable feeling became a crampy feeling… and moved around to the front.

Ever heard of ‘back labor’? ‘Cause I hadn’t.

So we called my mother-in-law, with whom we had made a deal to call when we knew it was time to go to the hospital…. only to find out that she had gone to the movies. The hubs called her cell, hoping she hadn’t turned it off like they tell you to when you go to the movies.

Thank goodness the movie they wanted to see had sold out, so they were on line looking for another movie. Thank goodness again that the movie theater they went to was right next to our house. Lil’ Regulator was in bed when MIL got there and we headed off to the hospital.

We get there, and the contractions were pretty rough. Turns out a ton of babies were born that day and because they were coming up on a holiday the staff was a little slow on the cleanup. I was sent to a Recovery room, usually for moms who had just undergone C-sections. I was not having fun at all. They cleaned up a nice big room, which didn’t matter to me because the hubs and the medical staff were the only folks I wanted in the room.

It was the room with special lighting and plenty of extra space; it was, clearly, the room that would be used if TLC was taping an episode of “A Baby Story.”

The doctor came in, I asked for the epidural, and the doctor looked “under the hood” and said, “Too late– start pushing.” Six pushes later…

My little Toughie was born at 9:59 pm, all 7lbs., 14 oz. of him.

(I later learned that an associate of my father-in-law’s has a granddaughter with the same birthday…. except she didn’t wait until Mom got to the hospital: she was born in the front seat of the car on the side of the highway.)

He is my little sweetheart, who always thinks of others and gives and shares. He has the Irish twinkle in his eye, so sometimes he gets up to no good, but never with malice aforethought. He’s very physical, and sometimes that results in cuts and bruises that never slow him down. He loves to play with friends and cousins alike. He doesn’t follow his older brother, but they get along quite well. And I love him to bits. He is my heart, now and always. So happy birthday, Toughie.578_1337442730-297x300

These are the days…

… that make me say, “meh– having 4 kids ain’t so tough!”

I’ve been fighting a hint of the sleep deprivation. It would be easy to blame the Peanut; she routinely wakes up between 4 and 6am. But the fact that I stay up until midnight watching television might be more of the problem.

So it was pretty exciting for me to wake up at 7 with a still-sleeping baby in her crib. She had gone to sleep about 10 the night before, so a solid 9 hours is a sweet deal. Sent the older boys off to school, and had my breakfast. The hubs and I checked on the baby a couple times; she would shift position, but on she slept. 

She woke up at 9… that’s ELEVEN HOURS after going to bed. And she wasn’t complaining about being hungry. I had taken the Pre-K one to school, so her usual first breakfast food was not around. She sat on her daddy’s lap playing and making faces at him (which he totally loves). I’d swear she’s taller than she was yesterday. 

I got home, fed her, let her play, fed her again, let her play, fed her some more….

And she fell asleep. This happened over less than three hours. I went to get the Pre-K one. She was back in bed when we got home. I took advantage of the time to do the grocery shopping.

She woke up at FIVE. PM. Yeah, I can’t believe it either.

So I’ve fed her and let her play. She seems to be good for now, checking out the basket of unmatched socks.

Meanwhile, the Pre-K one is using a busted old cell phone, pretending to make sales calls or something while the older ones watch Hercules with the hubs. I might not have gotten everything done that I wanted to do… but hey– do I ever? 

Hooray for good mommy days.