November 27, 2012

when old things become new

i've long loved this song. it's been on many a playlist for me and the other day, while river and i were reading blogs and he started to get fussy, i opened my itunes and started playing this song to calm him down. you know it's a good song when he stops and listens for the entire thing. he, of course, did just that for this song. but while he was in a trance, i started singing it and then, i started crying. before i knew it, one verse in, it had an entirely new meaning for me. i wasn't singing this song to my husband that day, i was singing it to my baby boy. and save for a few lines, it fit magically. 

been up all night, staring at you, wondering what's on your mind. 

every word you say, i think, i should write down. don't want to forget come daylight. 

happy to lay here. just happy to be here. i'm happy to know you. 

have you heard this song, don't you just love it? 


November 18, 2012

a river runs through us: a birth story, part two

apparently it’s much more difficult to find the time to blog these days...but here we are, it’s birth story time again. if you forgot what happened to this point, check it out here.


i’m shocked that i’m not further dilated by this point. but i shake it off and focus on the fact that i get to stay and prepare myself for what’s to come. it’s more real now than ever and i’m so excited for what’s to come.

how much more intense will these contractions get? what will it feel like to push my baby out?

let’s. do. this.

i put headphones on, listen to my hypnobirthing cd and get in the zone.

now, time is hard to recall during this time. it was a blur during the day and it’s even blurrier in the hospital. i know i listened to that cd for hours. i know we sat in the shower for a long time. the hot water running down my back, my face, my belly, it was an amazing distraction. when my fingers pruned, i got out and went back to the room, strength regained for a short time.

they started to get the hot tub ready for me. it was something i had anticipated loving, something i was looking forward to for months. and then, i got in. immediately, i wanted to throw up. i felt nauseous and out of control. i hated it.

i feel like that’s such a great reminder that you truly have NO idea how any of this will feel once the time comes. you can plan and plan. you can prepare and hope but you just have no clue what you’ll actually want or need during birth. such a great lesson for the next time around. for me, at least.

so quickly, i got out. and because i was feeling so ill and because i was exhausted at this point, i asked for something to take the edge off. not an epidural but anything they had available to me in the birthing center.

the nurse brought my midwife in and she made sure that’s what i wanted. without a doubt, yes. give me something, please.

they put an IV in my arm, shot me up with some goodness and i immediately fell asleep. for 2 hours. it was heaven.

i think it was around 2am.

when i woke up, there was a lot of pain. new pain, stronger pain.

some hours passed as i walked around the room, bounced on a ball, breathed through each surge. they came in and checked me and i was at 6cm.



while she checked me (aka, had her lady hands all the way up in my lady parts) she broke my water inadvertently. and woah, hello water party! i kinda liked it and hooray for another milestone closer to meeting our little guy. i was excited!

the sun is out now and we’re well into friday morning. because my water had broken and things were progressing...slowly...they gave me the sexiest underwear i would ever wear. get excited about these ladies. made of stretchy gauze and bigger than any pair you’ve ever seen...

my undies bring all the boys to the yard.
and they’re like, they’re bigger than yours.
damn right.

so with my new outfit complete and a pool of water beside my bed, we got moving. there was a lot of deeeep breathing. a lot of pulling on bed posts and squatting down. a lot of sitting on the exercise ball. a lot of hand holding, hair rubbing, back massaging and a lot of encouraging words from all the lovely people in the room.

who was there, you ask? my nurse, my doula, my hank, my mom, my sister, my sister-in-law. and every now and then, my midwife with her apprentice.

it’s maybe 1pm now.

they check me again, curious about the progress i might have made.

i’m at 7cm.


i’m trying really hard not to cry hysterically.

it was then that the midwife, the doula, the nurses all looked at me with their most sympathetic faces and told me that it was time to intervene. their suggestion, pitocin.

at this point, i knew my body. i knew that i had endured a lot already and on very little sleep. i knew that i could keep going naturally but on pitocin - with faster, stronger contractions to face - i was going to need an epidural. i was going to need sleep.

they asked me twice, was i sure? is this what i really wanted?

it was.

...and just like that, what i envisioned for my birth was not to be. i was nervous and emotional. but the idea of not feeling the pain was also so exciting and i could barely wait to get that huge needle in my back.

a wheelchair rolled into the room and we packed our bags to move down to labor and delivery.
natural shmatural.

so things are very different in l&d. they immediately hook me up to machines and i have to be careful not to tangle myself in tubes and cords as i sit up for my epidural. within minutes, there is relief. they turn the lights down, close the curtains and i sleep for hours. i have no idea how many but it was marvelous.

my family will tell you that when i woke up, i was me again. i made jokes. i was able to speak! it was a new day and i didn’t even care how long it was going to take to get to 10cm. and good thing because it took a while. i took two more naps before they checked me again and proudly proclaimed, it was time!
you’re at 10cm and we’re ready for you to push now.

ahhhh! i couldn’t believe it was time. it was so awesome!

the midwife leaves me with the nurses to get started. i can still feel the pressure of the contractions and know when it’s time to push. they tell me to try and push 3 times with each contraction. sometimes, i’m even able to get 4 in. i want this baby out. i want to pull him out and hear him cry and see his little face.
the nurses tell me i’m doing a great job and that they can even see his head coming down, they’re going to get the midwife. ohhh man.

she comes and coaches me. she can see that i’m doing everything i should be and that he should be coming out. 2 hours pass....

she reaches in and tells me that he’s sunny side up. she tries to turn him, twice. it doesn’t work. BUT it does successfully push him back up to negate all of the progress i made to get him out.

um, thanks?

they do an ultrasound and see that not only is he facing up, his arm is hooked around his neck. as in, that is not going to fit through any holes i have.

she tells me that she’s going to get the doctor to come see me.

she doesn’t directly say what this means but i have an idea. and the sadness starts setting in.
a doctor i’ve never met comes in, introduces herself and says she’s going to try and turn the baby as well. she reaches in, tells me to push and does her best.

she can’t turn him and she says,
i know you’ve been through a lot and you’ve done such a great job but i think it’s time for a cesarean delivery.

i immediately start crying. balling.

i tell them, no, i can turn him. let me push on all fours. let gravity pull him around. please, let me try. please. i do not want a c-section.

they tell me i get one hour.

in retrospect, i know they did this to be nice. they knew then that there was no way i could turn him and that i had no energy to push anymore.

i turned over, careful again not to pull out any cords, and pushed and cried. and cried and pushed. nothing happened. nothing changed.

my fate was sealed. i was defeated. i told them to just fucking do it.

now the worst part for me at this point, besides the extreme disappointment and fear of surgery, is that i haven’t been upping my epidural meds at all since i started pushing. they give you a little button that you can push anytime you feel pain so that it’s manageable over time. well, i thought i was going to push him out quickly. i didn’t think i’d need to keep the drugs coming. and now, i can feel everything again.

except now, everything is at 10cm, without a water cushion, on full steam pitocin. so basically, every contraction is at full strength and without pause. they just come, one after another, after another. i watch the monitor and keep asking why it’s not going down? why is this happening? i’ve already done this. i’ve already endured these, make it stop.

it takes one hour for the anesthesiologist to get to my room.

during this hour, i am crying, gripping the bars of my hospital bed, sweating, counting. there are people at every side of me, rubbing my back, my head, my arms, my legs to try and distract me. they are crying too and there’s nothing any of us can do but wait.

wait for me to be taken into surgery. not exactly a comforting thought.

finally, they come, shoot me up with more drugs, make me sign my life away and roll me  into the third room i’ve seen since i’ve been there. this is the room where my son will be born, so far away from where i thought it would happen.

they transfer me onto this tiny metal table. they place my arms outstretched on either side of my body.

i’m on a cross. it’s cold.
i’m shaking uncontrollably.

they introduce themselves one by one and tell me my husband is on his way.

hank comes in and sits by my side. as soon as he’s there, they start and within 5 minutes, our son is out.
we hear him cry and they carry him past the blue sheet to the left of us. to a warm bed where they clean him up and get him ready for the inaugural cord cutting. of course, they’ve already cut the real cord from my body but still, they let hank cut the remaining part.

we’re so overwhelmed. with all that has happened and now our son is here and he’s ok and healthy and beautiful.

i try so hard to feel happiness and relief. to focus on my child. but i can’t because i’m still on the operating table, wide open. i feel immense pressure everywhere. i imagine them moving organs around and stuffing things back in. i feel my body being moved from side to side, up and down, in and out. i’m still shaking.

it takes about 20 minutes for them to close me up.

i hear them do a tool count, twice. making sure they left nothing inside my body. i hear one doctor say to the other, nice job on my incision closure. i hear the anesthesiologist tell me that i’m ok, even though i tell him i’m starting to feel things down there. i hear hank tell me that river has 10 fingers and 10 toes. i hear people move me onto another bed. i hear them ask me to push the button to play the song that a new baby has been born. i hear myself tell hank that no, im not ready to hold our son. i hear it all but i don’t feel it.

i am not present.

hank says it was almost an hour before i held river.

when the midwife came in and said that i must try and breastfeed him, i did. i took him into my arms for the very first time and he immediately looked for me, for my breast. i don’t know if i cried then but i’m crying now. he knew me and he did exactly what he needed to do to survive. such a good boy, such a smart and capable boy.

he had tons of hair and big eyes and perfect lips. and he was ours. we made him.

after all that, he was here and it didn’t matter anymore. because those moments were gone and this one was here and we had made it. together.

we love you so much, river henry.

a million times, xo.

November 14, 2012

see ya later month two

little river man turned 2 months last week and we're saying heyhey! to all sorts of new things already.

where month 1 was all about surviving, a feeding and sleeping fest, month 2 was about getting to know each other. and for us specifically, learning to deal with his newly acquired reflux.

when before he would sleep after eating, now he would cry because of tummy gas. he would vomit all over his clothes and ours. he would arch his back and clench his fists.

a little zantac has made it much better. not all better but much improved for sure. our poor little man.

the other things, when reflux wasn't monopolizing our attention...

learning each of his cries.
and how he likes to be held.
and how long he needs to eat to feel full.

there are so many new things every day and the more we learn, the better we all get along.

i love to watch him on the monitor or from behind a piece of furniture. to see him work things out or take in what's around him. it's all about recognizing his cues and learning how to respond to them so that he's happy and content. and it's amazing.

this month, he learned to smile and laugh. he holds his head up like a champ. he always wants to face out and see what's going on in his world. he talks a lot and laughs at his reflection.

he still has not decided what chupi he likes best, if at all.
he stops crying every time we play with his crinkle monkey.
he sleeps an average of 6 hours a night.
he has one dimple on his right side.
he hates his car seat and red lights.
loves eating his hands.
loves bath time.
doesn't love hats.
doesn't love tummy time.
he does love diaper changes. we're about to start wearing size 2! holywut.

he weighs 12.5 lbs and is wearing 0-3 and 3 month clothing.

i could go on for a long time like this but i'll spare you more oogling from the mom corner.

p.s. i'm a mom. whaaaaaaaaat??


November 4, 2012

a singing video

the follow-up to yesterday's post here.

me, being patriotic.
and just in time for the election!


so there you have it.

also! before this, i spent some time in the penalty box with rachel buehler.


well if you don't know who i'm referring to, she's a defender from the u.s. women's soccer team. the team that won gold in the olympics. she had her medal with her and um, i held it.

gold. it's heavy.


November 3, 2012

ohhh say can you seeeee

you know this song, yes?

welp, if you're bored or happen to be in the area, i'll be singing the national anthem at the sd sockers game this evening. in about 3 hours to be exact.

i know, short on notice.
but that's how i roll.

good news is...while i was googling the lyrics earlier today, i came across xtina's performance. ya know, the one where she sang the wrong words.

kinda made me feel like i got this.

wish me luck!



November 2, 2012

our lil bunny turned giraffe

if you've been here a while, you might remember how baby river was always bunny. bunny baby in the womb. who knew he was actually a giraffe!?

though, giraffe doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well, now does it?

oh, that tail.