Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just a tad bit late

Caches is nearly a year old, like I was in labor right now a year ago.. HOLY SHIT!  And while trying to gather my thoughts on what I want to write for his "12 month" post, it occurred to me that I never even told ya'll his birth story, or that I occasionally speak with a Southern accent.

First a tid bit of back story.  I had a super easy, normal pregnancy and was planning on laboring at home for as long as possible with our doula and then heading to the hospital with only a short time left remaining to push out a baby, end scene.   I prepped for natural childbirth with a ton of reading, exercises, classes, a supportive doctor, husband and doula.  Caches had other plans.  Foreshadowing anyone, anyone?

A day before my due date I had a doctors appointment.  He told me he was going out of town in a few days.  I had a breakdown.  Then I had a meeting with is partner who would probably end up delivering me.  I had an even bigger breakdown.  You see, his partner was NOTHING like him.  I LOVED my doctor and he supported me and my desire for a natural, uncomplicated birth.  His partners opening words were, "I have very strong feelings about post date babies."  He basically wanted to induce me, drug me and have MY baby on HIS schedule.  Um, no.

My doctor was scheduled to go out of town on Thursday afternoon, I went into labor on Thursday afternoon,; Typical.  This is a loooooong story, but I'll try to cut it down the the Reader's Digest version. 

It was 1:15pm and I had just finished scrubbing the kitchen floors on my hands and knees followed by eating a spicy chili dog.  What, I was desperate.  I was sitting on the couch contemplating getting on the elliptical machine when I felt as though I peed my pants.  I waddled to the bathroom and didn't exactly see what I was expecting.  After talking to the doula and the nurse at the hospital it was determined that my water had ruptured and it was full of meconium.  Caches shit his pants, and all over my birth plan.

You can read more about meconium here, but for blog purposes let's just say it's not a good thing and I had to go to the hospital way earlier than I wanted to.

We dropped the dogs off with my mom and arrived at the hospital around 4.



The next few hours were uneventful.  Ryan and I walked all around the hospital (with 20 min. on the fetal monitor, 40 min. off) timing my contractions. I leaked amniotic fluid on the gift shop floor, we played Old Maid, I drank some beet, carrot, spinach, juice and agreed to a hep lock in my arm because why the hell would I want it in my hand!?   Time passed surprisingly fast and before I knew it, it was tomorrow.  I had already been in labor for 12 hours.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.  You see, when there is meconium present you are on the clock.  24 hours to deliver.  And if the clock runs out they start talking c-section.



I tried not to think about that and focused on contractions, relaxing and moving around as much as I could.  Around 4am Caches started having what they call decels or heart rate decelerations.  I wasn't worried because I knew this was a normal part of labor, but the nurse was worried because of the meconium.  They decided that an amnioinfusion would be the best option and because of the risk of infection, I agreed.  Well...having an amnioinfusion also meant that I had to be hooked up to an IV and wasn't allowed to walk around the hospital, get in the shower, move on the birth ball or do pretty much anything that I had planned to cope with contractions.  FML



I did okay with trying to writhe around in bed and cope with contractions but to be honest, not being able to move during labor and being stuck in bed is the DUMBEST thing ever.  Who's idea was it to lay women down on their BACKS, against gravity and have them HOLD STILL while in pain.  I'm going to assume it was a man.  Anyway, I was doing fine until about 7:30am when the doctor came in.

At this point I had already been in labor for over 18 hours, tick tock, tick tock, and I wasn't progressing as quickly as they would have liked.  Again, not a big deal under normal conditions, I know labor can take a long time and I had NO desire to rush it, but that damn meconium was about to really fuck up my plans.  I don't remember how dilated I was at this point, but it wasn't enough for them to realistically think that I would naturally deliver by 1:30pm (24 hours from water breaking) so my doctor dropped the "P" bomb.  Pitocin.  One of the things I absolutely DID NOT WANT!!

He explained that he wanted to start a pitocin drip and really get things moving so I would be sure to avoid a c-section and/or infection.  At this point I felt powerless, like he was giving me an option but I really had no say at all.  I wanted to cry and get pissed off all at the same time, but because I knew that there were real risks involved with meconium aspiration and I did not want surgery, I agreed to the pitocin.  This stuff is no joke!


No wonder most women opt for an epidural and childbirth in the US is such a one size fits all, medicated, hurry up and get the baby out process.  Contractions with pitocin are NOTHING like natural contractions and since most of the time women arrive at the hospital in early labor and we wouldn't want them just, gasp, sitting around hogging a room while they labor naturally, doctors order pitocin to speed things up.  Well guess what pitocin fucking HURTS and so it's no surprise that they want an epidural which tends to slow things down so go ahead and pump up that pitocin drip and bam boom here is a baby, next!

This is not even close to what I wanted, but once someone shits their pants, all bets are off.

I was okay with the pitocin and the being stuck in bed for a while but as they increased the pitocin I felt myself tensing up and considering the epidural.  More time and more pitocin.  I asked for the anesthesiologist.  He came in I have no idea how much later and started the epidural.  Long story short, he missed the first time and BLAMED ME!!  I don't really remember the exchange but Ryan was livid with him for speaking to me the way he did.  He tried again and told me he got it.  I did feel a small amount of relief and since I'd never had an epidural before I assumed this is what it felt like. I remember thinking why is this so wonderful?  Why do the women on A Baby Story act like it's the best thing ever, I can still really feel my contractions.  Oh, that's because he missed AGAIN!

More waiting, more pitocin, and being forced to stay in bed; super fun.  Finally the asshole anesthesiologist came back and told me that this was the last time he would do it and if it didn't work then I'd have to tough it out, thanks buddy.  I could tell immediately that this one was working, THIS is why women call ahead to the hospital and are like, yeah I'm coming, go ahead and send over the epidural cart and have it waiting for me.

Finally I got some relief and was able to relax and come down from all of the commotion of the morning.  Shortly after the third epidural I was fully dilated but because Caches was "distressed" I was not allowed to push.  They wanted him to just kind of naturally make his way down without any extra pushing.  Okay fine, but I can't feel myself breathing.  Am I breathing?  Turns out I was breathing but the medicine was creeping up my chest causing me to not feel my own lungs inflate with air!  I wanted it OFF, OUT!  No more epidural!

So now I'm sitting in bed, full of pitocin, no epidural and not allowed to push with contractions.  Now if you have never been in labor you are probably like, annnnnd your point is?  Not pushing with contractions is incredibly painful and seriously, almost impossible!  You are fighting mother nature, and she's a total bitch.

Finally I pretty much demanded that I be allowed to push with at least every other contraction, and I totally snuck in pushes when nobody was paying attention.   Then, after nearly 27 hours of labor, it was over.  He was here, and he was perfect.  He had no complications at all from the meconium and was able to go directly on my chest where he stayed for the next hour in perfect silence, staring, piercing my soul.










Ryan was concerned that I would be completely devastated because my birth plan, which was extremely important to me, was basically lit on fire and thrown out the window.  And I kinda thought I would be completely devastated too.  But I wasn't.  I was too in love to dwell on what could have been.  And while I will plan a natural, unmedicated birth with my next baby, I will not coulda, woulda, shoulda this birth because at the end of the day we are all healthy, safe and completely head over heals in love. 





And tomorrow marks one whole year. I. can't. even. believe. it!













Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Feed me candy

This morning as I was wiping fig jam off of the kitchen cabinets, wondering how a piece of strawberry ended up smeared on the foot mat, and yelling at Abner and Lilly to quit stalking the baby for his pancake, I had to stop and wonder; when did feeding the kid become so complicated?  Or is it actually easier now?  Should I just give him 347 crackers all day to appease him?  What the hell do you feed a baby when they won't eat what you think you are supposed to feed them?

He started out as a champion eater.  Kale, yes please.  Spinach, give me more!  He would pretty much down anything I put in his mouth or on his tray without much fuss.  Until I used a wire brush and battery acid to wipe his face and hands, of course.  Slowly over the course of weeks though, he has decided that he has an opinion about when and what he wants to eat.  Shit, I knew this day would come.

He isn't so fond of eggs today, thankyouverymuch!  Isn't it fun to spit yogurt out and have it dribble down your chin!?  Feed doggies this, and this, and this.  Lilly lick my hand, SO funny!  Monday HATES raspberries, how dare I feed him this poison.  Tuesday, OMG I AM OBSESSIVELY IN LOVE WITH RASPBERRIES AND WILL EAT THEM UNTIL I GET DIARRHEA!  Spit out beans, give me some beans!!  Don't lock me in this torture device high chair and leave me alone!!  Mmm, what are you eating, mama?  I want some, I WANT some...GIVE ME SOME!!!!  Ewww, I spit it out.

Sigh, I know that this is totally normal behavior and he is simply transitioning into an opinionated toddler, but I needed to come up with a new plan.  Carefully cutting up perfect portions in a rainbow of healthy food only to have 99% of it fed to the blood thirsty vultures was not working!  So what do I do?  Well, first I had to get over the fear of giving my baby "junk" food.  It's okay for him to eat strictly carbs for a few days.  The world will not end if he ingests baby puffs or a wheat thin.  As long as I continue to offer fruits and veggies etc. I know he will begin eating the good stuff again.  So once my blood pressure normalized after giving him a hand full of baby puffs I knew I was on the right track.  Now I just feed him on the go.  He pretty much wants to snack allllll day, no clue where he got that from (totally me) so I just go with the flow.

I prep a bunch of different foods and just give him bites as he passes by.  Spit it out, fine.  I just toss it in the trash, a dog finds it or he eats it off the floor thirty seconds later.  Over the course of the day he gets plenty of variety and plenty of food. Is this an ideal situation, no.  Is this a clean compromise, no.  Do I enjoy sticky fingers touching everything and sweeping 4 times a day, HELL NO!  But it is way easier than fighting with him or trying to have "set" meal times.  Plus I know that it is a phase and just like his eating everything without protest, this too shall pass.  And I'm sure I'll have ample opportunities to discuss and argue about table manners with him in the future when he, ya know, understands English.  Until then we'll eat on the fly, and off of the floor.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Love

Last year I wrote a bit about what an amazing father I thought Ryan would be; I totally underestimated the love.  If you follow this blog with any sort of consistency, hell even if you have read it once, chances are you know that our son is not the easiest baby and parenthood hasn't been all puppies and ice cream.

I have been meaning to write a post dedicated to Ryan for months, in fact I have no less than 3 started, but I never finished.  Not because I don't know what to say, but because I have too much to say. 

Babe, here's to you for...

Those long nights in the early months when nothing would stop Caches from crying and I felt like a failure because I couldn't soothe my child.  You held me and we cried together.

 

When I ran away from home because I couldn't listen to the screaming anymore you stayed and rocked our baby.  When I came back you didn't judge me, you loved me.



The hours you spent bouncing on the exercise ball, walking the neighborhood, and dancing in the kitchen with your tiny clone crying on your chest.


All the times when I needed a break and without even asking you washed dishes after a 12 hour work day, took the baby so I could nap, or made me laugh when I was about to cry.



The months that you came home to no dinner and a screaming child.  Never once was there a negative word spoken.  You understood.



I wouldn't have made it through this year without you.



The joy in your eyes when your son squeals and reaches for you.


Your bright eyes playing peek a boo...again!



The skateboard rides



The wagon rides
 

The late night talks, early morning meltdowns, endless encouragement, positive attitude, hugs, and love...THE LOVE.


I am overwhelmed by your love.

The memories of this year fill my heart with so much joy.  It has been a rough year, but watching you evolve into the father you are today has been a journey I am blessed to have had a front seat for.

Sometimes when I can't sleep at night, or I'm having a tough time with cranky pants, I think of all the adventures you boys will have in the years to come and I just have to smile.  You make me smile.

A while ago I read a quote, "Never marry a man unless you would want your son to grow up
and be exactly like him."  I would be proud, honored, if your son did. 


Love you infinity, plus one.











Thursday, June 14, 2012

A post where I complain and you roll your eyes and I don't care

It has been a rough week.  I want to crawl into bed and not hear from a single sole for a minimum of 31 hours.  Because that is not an option, I have chosen to bitch and complain on my blog; And you can't stop me!  I suppose you could not read it and show me a thing or two, but I bet you are a little bit interested in my rant, right?  Or at the very least wondering if my brain is finally producing coherent thought and complete grammatically correct sentences.

I have come to the conclusion that it all boils down to sleep and Caches' sleep is at an all time low.  I genuinely thought that once he started moving around he would be so physically tired that his little body would just give in; I thought wrong.  I am at a total loss.  I mean, I'm not exactly surprised, but it was my last hope!  I know I set myself up for disappointment by dreaming of magical three or even four hour stretches of sleep by now, but at this point all I have is a dream.  I haven't slept longer than a two hour stretch in over 4 months.  And before that it wasn't all peaches and cream. We are talking maximum sleep stretch of 4.5 hours E.V.E.R.

It's all relative.  When Caches was tiny I thought I was tired.  HA! I was a fucking spring chicken!  I would love to be that tired right now.   Here is a little timeline of a typical night.  He fights going down but is usually asleep by 7:00.  7:30ish first wake up, 8:30ish second wake up, 9:30sih third wake up and I bring him into bed with me where he sleeps ON TOP of me.  If I put him down next to me he wakes up shortly after, if not immediately, screaming and crawls like a zombie out of a grave back ON TOP of me.

 He then proceeds to wake up and thrash around or nurse every 20-60 minutes all night until around 6:30 when he wakes up for the day with a huge smile on his face.  I hardly sleep.  Every night I reach a point of frustration and exhaustion when I swear this will be the LAST night I do this.  I swear I'm going to night wean him and I swear I'm going to kill my husband who is blissfully sleeping beside me.  By morning though I decide against all of those options, knowing that it would break the bobbie lovin' kids heart and I'd really miss Ryan.

I know one day I'm going to reach a true breaking point and we will night wean.  It will be an epic, dramatic SCREAMING MESS and the neighbors will probably call the cops thinking something is amiss, butttt we will probably all be happier for it in the long run.  Until then, you may call me a martyr, but I just think I'm a mom.  And for whatever reason no matter how absurd or complex, strange or simple, my baby needs me this much.  I KNOW that it won't last forever, even on those nights that feel. like. for. ev. er, but I need a vent, I need to complain.  I want to whine!

In case you have never experienced this kind of exhaustion let me give you a little taste of what it feels like.  Headaches that start out so intense that the morning light is like a dagger in my eye.  Usually by 9am I can shake the worst of it, but it is always there.  Loss of normal brain function including forgetting EVERYTHING!  Did I brush my teeth today?  I DON'T KNOW!  Loss of physical coordination.  I drop and/or spill SO many things that it's not even funny.  I also have a hard time picking them up, do not have near the balance I once had and can not type even CLOSE to as accurately or as fast as I used to.  My whole body aches.  

All I want to do is sleep but every night I struggle with insomnia.  I'm too tired to sleep.  I have also taken to eating way too many carbs and sugar as a way of coping with the exhaustion, it is not going well.  After losing all my baby weight only 3 weeks after Caches was born, I have gained about 10 pounds back and it makes me feel like shit.  On top of that I look like shit 99% of the time with dark bags under my eyes, dull skin and a horrid uniform of yoga pants and snot or food smeared t-shirts.  The worst part?  I don't even care.  I'm too tired to care.  And THAT brings up a whoooooole other can of worms.  Like feeling that I'm letting my husband down, ignoring things that need to be done and looking like a walking audition for what not to wear.

Sigh

   Rant over

      But damn, he's cute!



 


                       
                                          
                                             

















Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Comin' Up

A post about...

My first plane ride with Caches.  

The beautiful and talented Suzanne's baby shower.

My Los Angeles family FINALLY meeting Caches.

But for now...

I'm holding a sick baby 23.5 hours of the day



Fucking plane with its recirculated air


Friday, June 1, 2012

11 Months

Caches Michael,

Today you are 11 months old and honestly, I kind of want to cry about it.  What?  You cry all the time!  I just can't believe how the time has flown.  Lately I've been watching you, walking from room to room, playing, singing to yourself as you wander, and I have to stop and wonder, who is this toddler?  Where is my baby!?  I'm not ready!  Slow down!

I know, I know, I'm being a bit redundant with all the, "where has my baby gone?" business, but it just happened so fast.  It's as if you were perfecting all of these big boy skills in your sleep, just waiting for the right moment to put them all to use and transform. No wonder you are up all the damn time!

That, and the two giant top teeth which have decided to join the party this month.  Those rat bastard teeth have caused oh SO much drama and oh SO much drool!  Were they not so important in your ability to chew I would have pulled them out and buried them in the yard long ago.  Anything to stop the whining and drooool!   They are pretty cute though, poking through your little baby gums with absolutely no direction or style.  Sometimes you flash a smile so wide that they peek out and say hello.  I melt.



This month, along with the teeth and walking, you have finally decided to crawl.  I honestly wasn't sure you ever would, but we had a play date with a baby who crawled up and down stairs and apparently you were jealous enough to figure it out.  You sat perfectly still, that NEVER happens, and carefully studied him.  The next day you crawled.  And I'm pretty sure you were pissed off when you discovered that we don't have stairs.  You still prefer to walk, but every once and a while crawling will do. 

Caches, you still sleep like a tortured abstract artist who has taken one too many hits of blow.  I'll explain what that means later.  You wake a minimum of eight times a night and INSIST on sleeping not just next to me, but ON TOP of me.  And why would I expect anything less, you don't do things halfheartedly, it's all or nothing.  And just in case you are wondering how uncomfortable it is to "sleep" all night with a +/- 20 pound, wriggling, thrashing, whining, nursing, eye poking, squishing my bladder baby on top of you, I'm sure Abner would love to curl up on top of YOU for the night.



Oh Abner, your "Buh," your friend.  I knew the two of you would hit it off and sure enough you are in love.  Each morning you crack open your eyes, smile widely up at me and put your downy blonde head on my chest in an attempt to absolve yourself of the sleep torture you have inflicted on me for the past ten hours.  It totally works!  Awe, so sweet, moment over and you begin to look for your Buh. 

Usually he has already snuck into bed knowing that I won't kick him out and risk waking you up so you don't have to look far.  Your eyes light up and you offer him a paci, my phone, your fingers, a paci again...and again.  Why don't you want this paci, doggie!?  Maybe Lilly wants it.  Nope.  Mama?  Dad?  Okay, I'll take it.  And you crawl around the bed and squeal and chat with the pillow, the picture on the wall, and occasionally the kitty.  Once you have made the rounds it's time to start the day.

 

The instant your little toes hit the floor YOU. ARE. NON. STOP.  A typical morning looks a little something like this. Touch rocks, touch water, touch mama's coffee, touch tree, touch toy, touch curtains, touch dogs water bowl. Feed me.  Pick me up, put me down. Touch chair, touch wall, touch toilet, touch kitty, touch TV screen.  Try to run out the back door.  Touch hamper, touch dresser, touch bed, touch washing machine.  Try to run out the front door.  Feed me, pick me up, touch mama's coffee, put me down, HOLD ME!! PUT ME DOWN!!!

I wonder if this ball wants to take a swim in the toilet.  Perhaps this toy wants to live in the washing machine.  Feed me, hold me, feed me some more, pick me up, touch mama's coffee, put me down, touch TV, that gets a rise out of her.  Feed me again, hold me, put me down, touch plant, touch dog bone, touch dog bowl, touch mama, PICK ME UP! 

By 7:30am I am ready for a nap but you, you my child who needs no rest, are ready to party.  We go outside, inside, take a walk.  Play chase, hide and seek and have a talk.  I try to sit and read a book but your body is so busy that you can't even look.  Eventually I catch you in a yawn  or notice that you aren't quite as feisty and we spend the next 20-30 minutes playing the, "I don't need a nap, mama." game where I insist that you do and you insist that you don't.  Sometimes you win, but you don't play fair!



Caches, this month has been our best yet.  We still have our struggles, I'm sure we always will, but the good times FAR out weight the bad.  And while I want to stop the clock, turn it back even, I am so excited for what the future holds.  Adventures upon adventures!  I just know we will have so much fun touching paint, crayons and glue; rocks, dirt and sand.  So please, stay a baby as long as you'd like, sweet boy.  You have your whole life to be a big boy. 

Love,
  Mama