Tag Archives: love

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. 

At God’s Table

As I think I have mentioned before, Toughie was in classes for his First Communion this year. The Mass was on Saturday, and everything went wonderfully. I was a puddle of goo watching him at the altar rail, receiving Communion for the first time, and we all enjoyed a lovely luncheon afterwards.

The day before, the Pastor of our church spoke to the kids about how important this day is to the Faithful. He used as an example the Emperor Napoleon. Apparently, he was asked on his deathbed what he considered the best day of his life. Was it when he conquered this kingdom or that kingdom? When he won this or that battle? No, he replied, the best day of his life was the first time he received Holy Communion.  (Not to be cynical, but it was pretty clear his life was kind of on the downhill by the time he was on his deathbed.) Either way, it’s a good example of how important this moment should be.

Do kids “get it” that this is such a monumental milestone? I don’t think I did when I was his age. That’s probably why other denominations don’t put quite the emphasis on the First Communion that we do, nor do they insist it happen at such a young age. But that’s not why we do it now. They get it now so that they “get” that it’s important and because the mere act of getting it helps them to “get it” more as they get older. I hope that makes sense. It makes sense to me. I just… get it.

Here’s to the spiritual feast– may we always find abundance in ourselves and in each other.

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

Summertime…

…and the living is busy! (Sorry, Mr. Gershwin.) But there will be no electronic hypnosis this summer!

I sent Pint-Size Genius* to Pre-K for the last time. He had a great time, since it was the year-end party. When I came to pick him, he started to cry when he hugged his teacher, and collected himself quickly…but he cried for a solid half-hour when he got home. He’s going to miss his friends! Totally broke my heart. He didn’t even eat lunch… which is actually just as well, because he wouldn’t have wanted the tuna lettuce wraps I made. (They went over really well with The Regulator* and Toughie,* which surprised me!)

I decided to offer him a distraction by taking him and his brothers to the pool. It was Buttercup’s* first time in the bathing suit. Of course she looked great, but I gotta say: she really enjoyed being in the water! Splashing and giggling, she totally tuckered herself out. In fact, the boys are all tuckered out too.

We have all three boys in one room, and as such we used to put them all to bed at once, but since they’re getting older, they want to be treated differently. So now we have staggered bedtimes— each one a half-hour later than the younger. Honestly it’s easier on me, too: I only have to worry about one set of teeth getting brushed, one set of prayers, one tucking in at a time. 

Buttercup gets to go last, but that’s really because she naps twice a day. Sometimes, like tonight, she’s tired and cranky and singing to me the song of her people….but it doesn’t bother me. It bothered me when my oldest was a baby; but I finally learned that they can’t much help it, can they? So why complain? 

* I finally decided on nicknames for the kids; I’ll explain them in the next post.