In our family we say we believe in praying to God, but I’m pretty sure that fairly frequently my kids pray at each other and even more often, they use their prayers as a chance to tell me off. [Read More at Parenting.com]
Archives for September 2009
Baby of Rage
I’ve written a new song for Wanda entitled “Baby of Rage.” The words are different every time I sing it but they basically consist of me singing to her in my sweetest voice about how she’s a Baby of Rage and I don’t know why.
Most of the time she’s a Baby of Sweetness but every so often, every day or two, she has a rough period of rage and physical turmoil that I assume is caused by digestational distress incomprehensible to someone whose intestines are as highly developed as mine.
We’re at the stage in her life where I feel directly responsible for any sickness she feels in her tummy. “It must have been those Swedish fish I ate yesterday. I’m so thoughtless! Tomorrow I will stick to a strict diet of steamed carrots and mashed potatoes.”
But then the next day I will eat the steamed carrots and mashed potatoes and sneak a bite of Magoo’s hot dog. At 1pm, Baby of Rage will surface and I will think, “What a feckless MORON am I?! I did this to her. Darn that meat product!”
In reality I have no idea what causes Baby of Rage to rear her pathetic head, squawking and grunting her way to burden-free bowels.
The composition and subsequent performance of the song reminded me of how much we enjoyed doing freestyle family rap battles back in the day, the rhyming, the flow, the hoodies and do-rags. When Wanda’s older, I hope she’ll be all up in hee-ya wid-it. Holla!
Alas. We need to work on getting her to freestyle her fecal matter before we proceed to anything more creative.
Open Letter to Wanda
I am the soft home whose walls you snuggled up against and occasionally tried to claw through, with the loud laugh and the voice that went on and on almost without ceasing. I am everything that’s surrounded you for the majority of your life. I am your world as you’ve come to know it.
And now the world’s changed. [Read More at Parenting.com]
Birth, Billy and Beyond
The delivery was awesome. Many of you followed on Twitter as I took my geekishness to new heights by tweeting one of my family’s most personal and dramatic moments. It was such a great way to keep our family updated all at the same time. I’m glad we did it but I’ll be deleting the tweets and moving them here so as not to leave a permanent record of Baby Wanda’s birth date up on the interwebs. (yes I know it will still be up there somewhere but I’d rather not have it on my active Twitter page.)
So, from some “mystery” date a while back, here are my birth tweets:
– 11:12 PM: No baby yet but my mom’s here to play. Get to start calling and begging the hospital for induction tomorrow. This should be fun.
– 6:20 AM: No room at the inn yet. Call back in an hour.
– 7:14 AM: AAAAHHHH!!!!! Headed to the hospital.
– 8:33 AM Just signed the forms that say “I may die here but I don’t mind.”
– 8:36 AM: Wearing the bracelet my friends made me with beads and good wishes given at my shower.
– 9:57 AM: Came in dilated to a 2 and 75% effaced. Waiting for petocin. Suddenly busy here so we’re napping till it’s our turn.
– 10:22 AM: Petocin started. It’s go time.
– 11:19 AM: Listening to old CarTalk podcasts and watching Wanda’s roundhouse kicks. No major contractions yet.
– 12:22 PM: Moved on to This American Life. Contractions picking up.
– 12:24 PM: Nurse must read same parenting books as us. I asked if I could have pudding. “Sure,” she said, “As soon as you have the baby.”
– 1:23 PM: Nurse just came in to check ma vitals. Said “Oh dear” at one point for apparently no reason. Back to CarTalk. Aye! Contraction!
– 2:25 PM: Oww. Mom. Very slow progress for the ouchiness. At least the nurses are cool.
– 2:49 PM: West Wing Season 1 is like a warm blanket to my heart. The epidural coming in 45 mins will be like a warm blanket to my uteris.
– 4:12 PM: I should have gotten that epidural two months ago.
– 4:25 PM: Water hath been broken which is normally painful but it’s okay because it feels like my lower body has taken a bath in Anbesol.
– 5:20 PM: Gonna push soon! Will update when baby is here!
– 7:04 PM: Thick dark hair, 8lbs 10oz, 20″, 15 mins pushing, so gorgeous!
– 8:27 AM: Here she is un-blue. So sweet. Slept all night (unlike the rest of us) and is eating well. Still no real name
The delivery went really smoothly. After the epidural and the water breaking, I went from a 4 to complete in less than an hour and it only took 15 minutes of pushing before she was born. She came out fist first, our little Ninja, causing us to briefly add “Norris” to our list of names in honor of his venerable Chuckness.
The doctor said, “I’ve delivered an arm,” and I said, “Oh good. Her head is out?” And he said, “No, just her arm.” But her head came out next and then the rest of her and that sweet squawky little cry and she went from being a bulge in my abdomen to a living breathing person whom I get to love, take care of and repress most cruelly for her own good for many years to come.
We did pick a name before we headed home from the hospital, put it on the birth certificate and everything. Here’s a list of the names we were mulling over on our giant spreadsheet in the hospital. You were all so good to share your ideas with me. This list includes all the names we seriously considered at some point during the pregnancy. One of them is the name we chose. So if you’re looking for baby girl names, have at it.
Anne, Jane, Ivy, Josephine (Finn), Eve, Lucy, Adele, Violet, Eden, Ruth, Gail, Estelle (Stella), Lynn, Daisy, Jean, Nina, Kathryn, Robin, Susan, Ruby, Amelia, Nora, Sally, Jill, Leah.
She is gorgeous and sweet and we love her, an amazing sleeper and a champion nurser.
There have been a few little things to work out, as there are with any baby. First, I’m working to find my emotional happy place, working with my people to get me to where I need to be mentally. It’s not the most fun but not nearly as hard as it was with Magoo when I didn’t know what was going on.
The emotional transition to third-time motherhood was complicated by the fact that 2 days after birth she developed some moderately bad jaundice and we were set up with a light box in our house that we needed to keep her strapped into whenever she wasn’t eating. A nurse has been out here every day since to take her blood and check her vitals.
It’s amazing how something seemingly small like that can send everything out of whack. Just watching her lay there on the florescent lights and not being allowed to pick her up or comfort her when she cried unless it was time for a feeding was much harder on me than I would have guessed. I guess I got the smallest taste of what it’s like for mothers whose babies end up in the NICU and they don’t get to bond with them in the typical way.
Holding and cuddling Magoo was one of the only ways I could soothe and calm my anxieties during his early life and sitting next to her light box, smoothing her hair while she screamed had just the opposite effect.
They also asked me to wake and feed her every two to three hours, take her temperature each time and record how many minutes I fed on each breast, what her diaper looked like and how many minutes I had her off the lights. They also wanted me to pump after each feeding and then give her a supplementary bottle for dessert, which meant I then had to wash and sterilize all the pump and bottle parts before going to bed before the next feeding, so sleep was rough.
My mom and Dan are here and doing everything they can to help but I want them to be at least somewhat fresh to make things seem normal for Laylee and Magoo during the day as I lay around and heal, nurse, and question my every thought, feeling and emotion to determine whether or not I’m “O.K.”
But today Wanda’s blood had improved a ton and the nurse called this afternoon to tell us we could take her off the lights and hold her as much as we wanted. This was good news, sort of tears-of-joy ecstatic news. This gives me hope for more restful nights and emotional calm in the coming days. I still plan on waking her up every three hours to feed just to make sure she’s pumped full of enough to get all the bilirubin out of her system.
So that’s where we stand. Newness, weirdness, sweetness and family. Everything feels very fragile and every minute very important. Her squirks and squeaks fascinate me and her gassy smiles melt my heart the same as if they were real smiles. I can’t get over how soft she is or how much her siblings adore her. I can’t get over how vulnerable she seems or how scared I am that I’ll never be able to keep this little person safe through adulthood. Suddenly the other two seem so fragile as well. There’s nothing like bringing a new baby into the world to make you wish your world was just a tiny, well-padded, time-proof bubble.
Rain is pouring down on our new roof but we’re safe and dry. The big kids are asleep. The baby is passed out on my mom’s chest and Dan is puttering on the computer. Ours is a good little bubble. Here’s to hoping you’re all staying dry and warm in yours.
Machines That Rule the World
Laylee continually finds new ways to boss Magoo around. Today they were playing in the ship they made and she told him to steer to the left. “No. I’m going this way,” he said, which was funny because he doesn’t know right from left. He just resented being told what to do. They picked at each other for a minute when Laylee finally said, “You have to go left because I said so and I’m the GPS.”
She’s smart enough to know who wears the pants around here, who has absolute and total power and control over our lives. It’s Diane, our GPS. She says, “Go right,” and we darn well go right. She says “Continue 3.5 miles,” and we continue. Sometimes she has to recalculate because we, in our incompetency, make a wrong move, but she always sets us straight with new directions.
“Okay,” Laylee continued to the acquiescent Magoo, “Turn left. Now keep right for 2 point miles. Now turn right and arrive at destination on left.”
Magoo continued to follow her directions.
“You know what a destination is? It’s the place you want to go.”
The place who wants to go? Huh, Laylee? If a GPS can boss Mom and Dad around, then the sky’s the limit really.
“I’m the GPS. Go get me a drink and polish my shoes peasant boy.”
Michael Phelps Method of Induction
Today I went to the pool and tried to Michael Phelps the baby out but she didn’t fall for it. 30 minutes of hardcore lap swimming left me tired and did manage to cause one contraction but I hardly think I can justify driving to the hospital and telling them I’m in labor based on just the one.
Magoo started preschool. So cute, so proud, I tell you. He clutched his little backpack straps and was all business as he went in and came out of the school. Normally when he goes to a play date or his little church class, I cannot drag any details out of him. Today he was all about the details, what they did, what they ate, what playground equipment they have, which kid misbehaved. He is BURSTING with excitement.
Or course it’s no surprise that Laylee’s SO happy to be back in school.
I’m thinking of Tweeting updates when I go into labor, whether I go on my own or get induced. It’s mostly for my family. I think the majority of people living on the interwebs do not care about every single living detail of my birth process but my family will appreciate the updates and if you care to find out, you can hit refresh on my site and watch under Twitter Updates or you can go to my twitter feed at Twitter.com/KathrynDaring. It’s very likely that the updates will be – “Headed to the hospital” and then I’ll forget to post anything from my phone and then “Had the baby two days ago. Must sleep.” But that’s something, right?
For now, I’m livin’ large with Dan and the peeps and waiting for Wanda to get squished out.
Laboring Through Labor Day
No, I didn’t go into labor on Labor Day — although that would have been downright adorable of me — but I did spend the day laboring with Dan and the kids. We spent the whole weekend working our butts off and now that we have no butts, we are ready to plunge full-force into the school year. [read more at Parenting.com]
That One Post
Today I wrote that one post, the one at the end of pregnancy where you’re actually considering removing the baby yourself by any means possible. It was 3.5 pages single-spaced in Word. It was whiny and self-indulgent and I meant every word of it. However it was also annoying and insensitive to all sorts of people who have actual serious life problems so I’m not going to post it.
Basically, my OB told me today that although I’m scheduled for an induction at 39 weeks due to the large size of the baby and how Magoo’s 10 lbs. 8 oz. did such a number on my body, it probably won’t happen because I’m not considered a priority to the hospital.
He said to be a priority you need to have the body of a woman, you know a body that’s capable of going into labor, all female-like. You can also be considered a priority if you or your baby is dying or showing signs of imminent death, if your blood pressure spikes or you suddenly grow a tail (this last part was not actually stated). The last way to become a priority is to go weeks past your due date. Since my mom’s coming to help with the baby a week early (because of my “scheduled induction”), if I go 2 weeks over, she won’t even get a chance to see that baby. What she’ll get a chance to do is push my pregnant butt around in a wheel chair and mop me up off the floor every couple of hours while I wait and cry.
I don’t go into labor, see? I don’t dilate. I don’t efface. I stay pregnant until someone at the hospital has mercy on me, which apparently is not likely. I’m having some of the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life and I’m discouraged, exhausted, ungrateful and not a little wenchy. A month from now I’m sure I’ll be over it but tonight… I’m not so much over it.
Defending the Young Man Hair
Since Laylee’s gone back to school, Magoo has become my little shadow, following me around everywhere, inviting me to join him in game playing and talking nearly nonstop. It’s like he couldn’t get a word in when Laylee was home and now he’s gonna let it all fly. He’s also pretty emotional. I think he misses her, while enjoying his new found, and soon to be cut short, alone time with Mom.
This morning he had a play date with a friend which was really orchestrated for my benefit so I could take a morning nap for a couple of hours. My friends are really good to me. After my baby shower last night I started feeling guilty about the fact that more than half the people in attendance had given birth in the last couple of years and I did very little to help any of them. They’ve all been taking care of me left and right and this morning through tears, that I’m sure have nothing to do with hormones whatsoever, I made a pact with myself to start helping people and being less selfish… and buy them cute onesies (for their babies to wear) and make them funny hats and stuff… maybe learn how to felt or quilt.
Anyway, Magoo sort of threw a fit when I picked him up from his play date which was not too distressing for me because it meant I could peg him as “tired” and give
me him an afternoon nap. We laid down together on my bed and he asked me to rub his back. I had him roll over on his tummy and started to rub.
“Here,” he offered, “I’ll open it for you,” and he pulled up his shirt so I could rub his actual back. After a few minutes, he rolled over and pulled up the front of his shirt.
“Boys don’t have breasts,” he declared.
“But I just have these two breast buttons,” he said, pressing on them.
“Those are called nipples.”
“Nope. Mine are called breast buttons,” he said matter-of-factly. “You have some too.” He reached for the neckline of my shirt. I held it in place.
“I know where they are,” I told him, “They’re kind of private.”
We lay there for a few more minutes before he looked at my arms and observed, “Girls have girl hairs on their arms and boys have boy hairs on their arms.”
I looked down at his arms and he got a self-conscious look on his face.
“Well you can’t see mine right now because they’re too small and tiny.” Then his face got resolute. “But they’ll grow.”
So at 4 years of age, he’s already defending his manliness… to his mom. Raising a boy is gonna be pure awesomeness.
Defining Themselves Musically
He’d say, “Don’t turn around and look at me unless you wanna see something really cool!” as though it were a warning, like perhaps his moves were too fresh for my eyes to behold. They were amazing, but never once did I faint from the brilliance of them.