Tag Archives: birthday

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. 


It’s your day, sweetie

(Pint Size Genius’ birthday was Monday. I’ve posted birth stories for two other kids, and I shouldn’t quit now).

I had packed up everything I needed, gotten all the boxes of stuff that would be useful and prepared myself as much as I possibly could. I started my maternity leave from my teaching job expecting to have about a week at home before my due date.

Well… when you let nature take its course, stuff like that doesn’t go according to plan.

I woke up at about 1 o’clock in the morning and all I could think of was the classic episode of “I Love Lucy” when Ricky was doing the dry run of taking Lucy to the hospital by walking into the living room and declaring, “THE TIME HAS COME.”

But the time hadn’t come– not exactly. I already had a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old, so this was all quite familiar. I realized the contraction wasn’t very strong, and my water definitely wasn’t broken, so I went back to sleep. It was Sunday and I was determined to have as normal a time of it as I could. I still remember when I was pregnant for the first time, a co-worker said that she always labored at home as much as possible (“Why go to the hospital where you’re stuck in a bed and getting poked at the whole time?” It makes so much sense). When we all woke up to go to church, I told my husband that the contractions were starting. He, having way more sense and experience than Ricky Ricardo, helped me get my bag together and dress the kids.

While at Mass, the contractions got stronger. The hubs’ sister and the Legal Lawyer’s wife noticed and had a sense of awe about the fact that I was in labor right in front of them (my sister-in-law isn’t married yet, and Mrs. LL goes the C-section route).

After Mass, The Hubs called his mom and had her meet us at the hospital to pick up the other kids. I checked into the hospital and got situated in the delivery room. The one L&D nurse informed me that I HAD to have the baby before 6pm. I told her that I would, because I wanted to watch the Giants playoff game, too. Then I told her that my first delivery included an epidural which was awful, the second had nothing, which was quite awful as well, and asked if there was something in between. She came back with a needle. Suddenly everything was just fine… unless there was a contraction. Then I would look to my husband expecting moral support… to find him watching TV. (Afterwards, he told me that I was dead asleep between contractions, and that it was getting kind of boring.)

I had been going to an OB/GYN group of about 4 doctors… and NONE of them were on duty that day. So a guy I had never met was checking “under the hood”. Faboo.

And then he had a look of concern. Like, a real one. The Giants fan nurse suited up in surgical gear and had to help the doctor, whose face still showed concern. (I don’t do mirrors and the doctor might have explained it all but the drugs would’ve prevented me from grasping any of it.)

My Pint-Size Genius was born at 2:16 PM. He watched the Giants win the NFC Championship that evening.

I won’t go into detail about what caused the concern, but there was swelling involved and 24 hours with an icepack took care of it with no further issue. We went home two days later and have been having a wonderful time of it ever since.

Happy Birthday, Pint Size Genius. May your height, your personality and your vocabulary continue to grow. 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