Knocked Up #2

pregnant_silhouette_2It was a phenomenal stage in our married universe. At this point in our lives, the baby daddy and I were both working very fulfilling jobs and volunteer roles, our firstborn was around 18 months old and we had a respectable amount of quality together time going on. Other than our son not sleeping a full night by himself EVER, our bodies had somewhat adjusted to the new normal of functioning on MUCH less sleep.

Disclaimer: I’ve been subjected to the movie “Inside Out” (or what’s lovingly referred to as “The Pump” by my toddler) no less than twice a day for months. Disney movies plaque my illustrative brain these days. I am sorry OR you’re welcome!

I remember sitting at my computer desk one night in September 2007 and all of a sudden this wave of intense irritation consumed me.  There was no logical trigger. No valid reason to make me want to verbally assault innocent civilians or throw the remote into a glass door. Maybe I was fed up with having to watch another PAINFULLY BORING, colossal waste of my time, webinar. Perhaps I was coming down with ANOTHER virus my child had brought home from daycare. (You know most parents stay sick the first several years of parenting small kids, right?)

Maybe there was that little red guy from “Inside Out” that had taken over the master control board in my brain. Uh oh. Yep. I was about to voice any and every irrational opinion I could drum up to the baby daddy in 2 minutes or less. My lips began to part and the words flew out like lava.

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Consequently, the baby daddy, always the rational sort, said “What’s WRONG with you! Is it that time?”. Ugh…typical. The standard “go to” male comeback for a grumpy wife. Can’t a woman just be a heifer because she feels like it? What’s their excuse when they get short and sulky? It doesn’t start with a “P” and end with a “D” now does it?! Sheesh.

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I sat there in that chair fuming for no reason. Apparently, “Disgust” took over because rational, highly opinionated thoughts began running interrupting the anger. “Ok, what date is it?”  “You really shouldn’t have said that even though you are always right.” “Hmm…yep, it is a possibility. You should find that cheap test you got at the Dollar Tree. Seriously, WHY pay $20 for a pregnancy test when you can get one just as accurate for $1? First Response and EPT are way too proud of their ancient technology.”

That gave me short-term confidence that I wasn’t possessed by an evil entity and there was a legitimate reason for my temporary character shift. After only taking TWO tests this go around, the stick read “pregnant”. Or, in the case of the cheap dollar store test, there were two lines. Well alrighty! Here we go again!

The hubby and I called everyone. Mom cried…AGAIN.

I had to tell my boss. For many women, this is a nerve wracking event. Will he/she be mad since there will be two to three months lost in productivity? Will he/she completely change his/her tune for the worse? Fortunately, the conversation seemed to go well but I always felt I had to work harder pregnant than I did not pregnant. Something I completely put on myself. There was the line of thinking that I had to PROVE I was just as much an asset to the company knocked up or not. Furthermore, my fabulous partner had just relocated closer to family, which left me the sole worker in the territory. I knew my manager was stressing and I felt I needed to do everything I could to put him/her at ease that the work would get done and get done well.

telling your boss you are pregnant
telling your boss you are pregnant

I laugh at myself now because it was senseless to put that much pressure on a body that was working overtime to grow another human being.  I worked up until a few days before the scheduled C-section and remember fervently washing baby girl clothes in Dreft the night before delivery.

Back to being knocked up! There were no food cravings that I can remember but more food aversions. I was a little wiser to the world of “things that can go wrong” and, consequently, worried more. All in all, the pregnancy was very similar to the first. EXCEPT for one thing.

You know how they say that two women can’t live in the same body? Well, guess what? TOTALLY ACCURATE, in my case anyway. I knew from the beginning that it was a girl. I had such a short fuse. It was nothing like the sheer giddiness I had with my first boy. For example, there was this one time that “Bailey the Geriatric Maltese” (although not so geriatric at the time) was having trouble with consuming a large snack that the baby daddy had generously shared with him off his plate. As a result, I drug my elephant body over to where he was and reached for the food, attempting to break it apart because I LOVED him so much.

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Then, it came out of nowhere! What the what? The dog thought I was trying to STEAL his “precious” and whipped around and BIT ME. Drew blood, left marks, mama was FURIOUS! This guy showed up AGAIN.

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I chased that poor dog all over the house and let him KNOW his mama DID NOT APPROVE. I remember my husband looking at me in shock and disbelief and saying “Dang babe. You ok?”.  I screamed, “I am absolutely NOT okay! Do you see what he did?!” (showing him my bloody arm). Yeah, you better run buddy. DON’T even come barking up in my bedroom thinking you are sleeping in MY bed tonight!” Then, I marched over to that little snack that caused the insanity and threw it AWAY. Take that CUJO.

It was one of those moments you are embarrassed about later and you know you overreacted to. But STILL..don’t bite the hand that feeds you, especially the hand that is attached to a body that is with child and plagued with excessive estrogen levels.

Moving on to the main event. Because of my first pregnancy resulting in an emergency C-section, we opted for planned surgery this go around. There were a few things that stood out to me. First, my daughter had the most beautiful ROUND head, unlike her brother that emerged with an impressive cone head. Secondly, she had the cutest little dimple on her chin. A dimple that her mother, father, grandparents, nor any other member of EITHER side of the family shared. Mailman? Finally, girlfriend was the size of a small pony! Close to nine pounds and was a week early.

Brother holding sister for the first time
Brother holding sister for the first time

In addition, my doctor loves to talk while he is working because he is a gifted multi-tasker. After baby girl was getting prepared to go to the nursery, he was observing my innards and conducting a thorough inspection. I’ll never forget him saying “My dear, you have BEAUTIFUL anatomy. Really! Your scarring is minimal and everything is pink and healthy.”  Say what? You have to picture the scene. I’m laid up on the OR table, arms strapped to the table, uterus on display and my voluptuous, post delivery body exposed for the world to see, nauseated, light headed and I can’t feel anything from my chest down. My response, “Thank you! I work out. In great shape. My six pack is to DIE for.”

Fortunately, there were no complications this go around, so we all returned back to the hospital room rather quickly. By the way, spinals make you itch like you bathed in poison ivy and then dried off with a towel of chiggers. 24 hours of intense fun. That is all.

Probably the sweetest moment for a mother with other children is the  first moment your older child meets the new sibling for the first time. My son smothered baby girl in kisses. I especially adore this picture. Look at her little face! Classic.

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Fortunately, my daughter is my one saving grace that I may be a decent mother with routine and disciplining. Or, maybe God sent her to us because he foresaw my “areas of improvement” I would always struggle to master. When I’ve spent a full day with my hard headed boys (who are gifted in their own unique ways), I mentally picture her on her best behavior for some comfort. For example, she is the only child that has slept through the night since birth (pending a nightmare here and there), organizes her things (although she could be classified as a high functioning HOARDER) and minds us the first time in most cases.

She is our introverted, sensitive, dramatic diva darling and enduring all that excess estrogen was completely worth the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” persona experienced while she was in my womb those lovely nine months. For the next four years, it would be man to man combat with our two offspring. Also, I’m pleased to report that his royal white fluffiness never bit his mama again. 🙂

I would also like to add that whoever came up with the following statement that goes something like “Going from one to two is the hardest but three or more is a breeze” is an ignorant fool and should be burned at the stake. But that’s another “Knocked Up” story for a different day.:)

The phenomenom of pregnancy and the pandemonium of parenting are beautiful chaos. As one of my good friend’s so wisely stated to me the other day, “Sometimes it’s more chaos than beauty but we are thankful for both”.

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10 Truths On Being Married With Children

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There is little that can prepare a couple for the changes that a child brings into one’s world. Don’t get me wrong, kids are beautiful, little miracles and we would never trade them for anything, BUT life does gets turned upside down. If you are without children, then read on for a reality check and attempt to prepare yourself.  If you and your significant other have already procreated, then take comfort and pleasure in knowing that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Literally, never alone.

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#1 – You couldn’t wait to get married so you could LEGALLY have someone’s hands on you 24/7. Mission accomplished! But those hands are now much smaller, hairless and frequently covered in multicolor dirt, sticky substances and bodily fluids.

#2 – COUPLE ALONE TIME becomes the stuff of Disney fairy tales.

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Think Bambi in the thicket, ALL ALONE, or Rapunzel in a tower, ALL ALONE. Just before your Flynn Ryder or fertile doe can reach “Happily Ever After”, some witch becomes obsessed with your hair or some Bambi Blaster ignites an inferno, causing you to evacuate the love shack. You will DREAM of having just 30 minutes ALL ALONE with your “person” ANYWHERE after you have kids.

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#3 – Dates nights used to be seemingly executed, biweekly affairs. Now, a night out on the town NEVER happens spontaneously, especially if you parent more than two children. Even if you plan to the utmost detail, something can always happen. Broken bone, sick grandparent, the flu, alien abduction, etc. You learn not to get too excited UNTIL you are in the car, 10 minutes down the road, with the “Lithium” channel blasting on your XM Radio. When you begin to see marriages struggling all around you, coupled with the fact that it’s an act of Congress to bring a date night to fruition, it’s gets down right complicated. For the sake of marriage and children, we do our best to make it happen dang it!

#4 – Potty breaks in private used to not be a big deal to you. Now, you would KILL for a potty break without “Mama, whatcha doing?” or “Daddy, he hit me!” or “Mama…LET ME IN!”, while the kids AND DOG are pawing underneath the door trying to get in.

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#5 – Before kids, your spouse got most of your attention. Now you both go through times of feeling neglected because no human can sustain the 24 hour energy level required of raising well rounded children, plus tending to the dog, working (paid or not), attempting to cook healthy, getting everybody to extracurricular activities, changing diapers, never ending laundry, homework, deadlines, etc. AND throwing in back rubs, SLEEP (what’s that anyway), intellectual conversations, and undivided attention with long, passionate kisses each day of the week. Hang it up people! You strive for quality time not quantity time. You learn that, sometimes, a simple back rub is enough attention to get you to the next date night opportunity.

#6 – Married people with kids lock the bedroom door. It only takes ONE incident of rolling over to a small leg and a tiny voice saying “Mama, what u doing?”. Theoretically speaking, of course. 🙂 Not heeding this advice could lead to permanently scarring every member in your household. Enough said.

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#7 – Life is full of frustrations and that still rings true with children. Before kids, couples tend to have their hearts set on how their children will be when they emerge from the womb. Parents have certain expectations of their kids that aren’t realistic. For example, dad wants his son to be a dedicated golfer like him but son has other avenues of interest that he is more passionate about, like video games or kickball. Or, mom wants daughter to charmingly speak to random strangers on command because that’s just WHAT YOU DO but daughter is too painstakingly shy to even make eye contact or answer a basic question, like “How old are you?”. It can lead to major frustration for a parent when they realize that their child is polar opposite from them.  It can also be very freeing when a parent can accept their kids for who they are.

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#8 – “MY child will never…(fill in the blank)”, you used to say it before you got married, knocked up and birthed that pony.  Your kid would NEVER talk back to you, slap you in the face or have a meltdown in Wal-mart…at the main entrance…in full view of the security camera and all 568 customers. A word of wisdom. Just don’t ever go there. Your kid WILL act up and embarrass you and then other people will snub their nose up at you JUST LIKE YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE DID TO OTHERS making you feel two inches tall. Karma…TRUTH.

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#9 – In many cases, you married your spouse because your personalities were opposite or different enough to compliment one another. One must prepare for the fact that this can go south REAL FAST when facing the chaos of raising kids. Perfectionists experience a high level of anxiety  because the house is never spotless and maintaining control over one’s things is like parking your brand new soccer mom car right next to the backyard and waking up to it at the BOTTOM of your imaginary pool, EVERY DAY. Always drowning. Endlessly stressed. It can take its toll.

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Laid back types have little desire for control and rarely take action to obtain it, causing undue stress on the other spouse who’s SUV already sunk back at 7:00am when the coffee creamer was found all over the kitchen floor. Also, parents that demand order at all times and rule with an iron fist may find that life may be more organized than others, but the other spouse, who may be more of a feeling type, becomes distraught if there is little affection in the home. Parenting brings stressors that we rarely ever predict in advance.

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#10 – Down time. Bahahaha! What’s that?. Before having children, your down time was one of calmness, reflection and an opportunity to decrease those cortisol levels obtained through the work day. Afterward, you get the kids to school and a list of urgent errands awaits you. You put the baby down for a nap and the laundry is staring you down like a lion staring down its prey. It wants to consume the little fella but it’s too full from its last meal to pounce. Because parenting is survival of the fittest, you pounce away.

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You or your spouse come in from an exhausting day at work only to find that your living room is littered with every pillow in the house, goldfish crackers, legos, a stray diaper (it happens to the best of us), magic marker, dirty dishes and then screaming, crying, giggles…complete chaos. Also, you may find your spouse sucking his/her thumb is the fetal position, locked in the bathroom because it GOT REAL! You put the kids to bed and somebody wants to snuggle, is thirsty or has a nightmare. You then enter a REM cycle in it’s infancy stage and, AGAIN, somebody wants to snuggle, is thirty or has a nightmare. Down time is also the thing of Disney Fairy Tales.

In conclusion, this is just the reality of marriage with children. As I look back at pictures of my kids, I am reminded that the changes in the baby daddy’s and my relationship, although ridiculous at times, have been  completely worth the chaos.

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We realize how selfish we are. We hopefully learn that we must adapt ourselves to the change in tides or we will never keep the boat afloat. Then, we advance to the teenage years and the tides may turn into a tsunami. Oh man! Stay strong parents! We shall ride the waves of parenting like a pro surfer trying to outrun a Great White. Failure is not an option! We can do this.

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“It’s May, Kid…We are So OVER IT”

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Children! Only a few more days until your “perceived” FREEDOM from all responsibilities comes to a temporary end. Exhilarating isn’t it? What…you don’t know what “exhilarating” means? Just google it on your handy electronic device that your body has grown an umbilical cord to. The month of May is just too busy to even stop to explain. Now JUNE…that should be exhilarating! For the first two weeks anyway.

A few words of warning until summer rolls around.

#1 – Angel Wings in the classroom. Keep your “Summer-itis” in check. Your teachers love you with every fiber of their being but they are tired, stressed out, you kids are acting like chimpanzees on illegal stimulants and they won’t hesitate to send you to the Principal’s office, or even WORSE…make you stay in from recess. It’s May, kid…school teachers are so OVER IT.

 

#2 – Recitals and end of the year programs. Make it happen flawlessly. I KNOW you didn’t just throw your piano book on the ground because you didn’t practice enough or cry about your tutu because you thinks it’s ugly! You’ve only had nine months to get this perfect. Don’t embarrass us or make us regret all that cash we threw down for you to whine about going to something you BEGGED us to do in August. It’s May, kid…piano and dance teachers are so OVER IT.
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#3 – Sports coaches are busy dealing with their own kids’ crazy end of the year schedules. I know you just had an exhausting field trip in the sun and are too tired to perform your best but nobody gives a ratatouille! Get out there and hit a double dang it! It’s May, kid…coaches are so OVER IT.

#4 – Don’t you dare be tardy. Parents and bus drivers are already dreaming of sleeping in past 5am. I can’t be signing you in, busting up in the school office wearing my “inappropriate for any outing” lulu lemon workout shorts. I already have a reputation because we screech into school at 7:59:59 every morning.  And for the love of Grapthar’s Hammer, PLEASE deodorize yourself and stop yelling at me to get my attention as soon as the teacher shuts your door in car pool! Mama is not deaf! It’s May, kid…anybody driving you to and from school is so OVER IT.
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#5 – Fighting, yelling, crying, whining, raising voices for any reason, staying on your beloved electronic 5 seconds longer than allowed, not brushing teeth, not helping your mother clean on site, failing to pick up your trash, leaving dirty underwear or diapers on the floor, sneaking snacks then not eating dinner, not minding your father, etc. etc. etc., will lead to groundings, groundings and more groundings. Mama is stretched thin. Let’s not pop the rubber band shall we? It’s May, kid…parents are so OVER IT.

So there little angels. Hold it together for a few more days and we can leave academics, sports, piano, responsibility and our dirty house for a few stress free days on vacation. And just so you know, parents never really get a vacation if you are with us so you still have to keep yourselves in check. Now give mama sugar. Smooch!

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A Mother’s Day Poem For Your KIDS

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Happy Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

Maternals come in many forms. Regardless, we all care.

On our special day, we send a message loud and clear.

Dear children it is about time, to get your act in gear!

From the bottom of our hearts, we hope you understand

that you WILL get yourself together! Oh, let us expand.

When born, we thought “such angels”, cone head, 12 toes or not

Then the walking and the talking and all that whining as a tot.

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As you have grown older, we’ve taught you how to be

To clean up your stuff, respect adults and aim when you pee!

Sometimes we think you get it, most days it’s like a battle

Busy, dirty, sassy, messy. It’s like herding cattle.

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There is no good reason to have butter teeth, for real!.

You take the brush, get out the Crest and remove your last three meals.

Round and round and up and down, don’t forget the gums.

So help us child, don’t even get us started on your bums!

The house is always dirty and we need your help to clean.

You have two hands so use them. This is why we are so mean!

“Mom we didn’t hear you” or “That mess isn’t mine”

Cotton swab those waxy ears and do things the FIRST time.

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Adults need ALONE time, just an FYI

Stop sneaking in our rooms in the middle of the night!

It’s a gigantic feat sometimes, just keeping you alive

You know better than to go where lots of cars drive!

As tired as us moms are, every hour on the hour

We do and do and do for you, at LEAST you can shower.

You are getting hormones now and hope you someday marry

So USE the deo, put on clean undies and shave when you get hairy.

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Now that we have shared our wishes of how to help your mama

Remember you may be a parent and have the same baby drama.

Most of all you should know that we love you either way

After all you are the reason, we celebrate Mother’s Day!

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Skittles and Weeds

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I NEVER get headaches. There was an exception today. Took a nap, Advil, then Tylenol. Baby daddy and the eldest went to practice ball so I get moving because I have to. Trying to get some Teacher appreciation gifts ready for the week at my office desk. I hear yelling, crying, baby girl comes in my room and and locks the door.

I unlock the door, of course, because I don’t trust my three year alone for a SECOND. The damage has already been done people! An empty skittles bag, skittles ALL over the living room and these weeds he picked earlier…all over my floor.

IMG_3522 IMG_3519The pictures don’t do the scene justice. I just snapped a few, put on Mickey Mouse and got back to work😎🌱🍃 Think my headache MAY be coming back.😏

Aaaannnddd…Another Critter

IMG_3497Busy little boys and their unconventional toys! We get home around lunch today, let the dog outside to run around while we look for “f’owers”. He yells out “Mama I found a snake!”  Yay buddy. Actually, that little guy is called a SLUG. Let’s not hurt him. “Ok mama. I won’t. I just ‘pay’ (play) wit him”

I spend the next 10 minutes rounding up the Shinese pup from the cow pasture. I think how the baby daddy has GOT to get me a barricade to go in front of the dang farm fence! She smells like a cross between my preteen son sans deodorant and a three year old Diaper Champ. Basically, that’s what all three of my kids bedrooms would smell like now if it weren’t for Bath & Body Works Plugins.

So! We finally get back in the house where both creatures are contained. I warm up lunch and come into the living room to sit, eat and chill for a few minutes.

What awaits me? Bennett playing with his Firetruck and “Mr. Snail” surrounded by his freshly plucked supply of flowers…ON MY FURNITURE. “Wook mama. He on my ladder see? We working.”

 

“Baby gross! Slugs live OUTSIDE and don’t need to be brought into mama’s living room” I said.  “But he putting out ‘forwer’ (fire) wit me.  We got to work!” (followed by the infamous firetruck grunt)


I temporarily gave up on the matter because I was HANGRY. NO little “snail” could cause me to lose my appetite. Mom’s can change diapers with one hand and eat a sandwich with the other. Once finished with lunch, I return to see if the small child and snail were successful on their fire elimination quest.

Mr. Snail is no where to be found. “Mama, he died.”  Well where is he Hun?  “I don’t know!”  Gag me gross.  I MAY have just turned Paw Patrol on and walked in another room.😏 We pick our battles. Mr. Snail will eventually shrivel up to nothing and be suctioned up by the central vac (unless the kid or the dog ate him).

I mean, two weeks ago he found a freshly dead spider, put him in a GLASS cup of water and tried to make him swim. Not ONLY did he do that, but my oldest son caught him DRINKING water out of the SAME cup with the dead spider still in it! That is an example of when one must intervene and REMOVE critters from their grasp.


This is just the stuff of creative, little boys.  We have another baseball game tonight and WHO KNOWS what critter we will bring home. IF I even make it to the game with him. Mama still has a long “To Do’ list. RIP Mr. Snail. Know that those last 10 minutes of your life, spent slithering up that yellow ladder, helped fulfill a small child’s dream of extinguishing a fake fire with a two inch firetruck and his new, 3/4 inch friend.  🙂

KNOCKED UP

KNOCKED UP

Early into our marriage, I set a hefty goal of bringing FOUR children into this crazy world. When I shared that with my husband, he assumed the deer in headlights emoji face, shook his red head and wisely stated “Why don’t we start with one and see how that goes”. Like many high achievers, yours truly has been known to take on more than she could handle. Go big or go home right? I had never even changed a DIAPER but I was going to successfully pump out four babies in just a few years, get promoted at work, make six figures, be a devoted volunteer in the community and save humanity as we knew it. Totally realistic. Completely doable.

Therefore, you can imagine my frustration when the baby daddy and I had a hard time getting knocked up. Was something wrong with me? Was it those inhaled steroids I had to take as a kid for asthma? Was something wrong with him? Could we ever have kids? If not, could we adopt? Would he have to go to a specialist and study Hugh Hefner’s latest centerfold to determine if this was a possibility? Was I going to have to get on fertility medication and end up birthing a liter?  Then, could I get a TLC deal with my own reality show? Hmmm…I’d have to come up with a catchy name.  Something like “JAWS” to chronicle breastfeeding six kids.

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A year and a half went by and no zygote. Because I tended to share most everything about my personal life with my close friends and even random strangers on the street, word got back to the baby daddy’s coworker. She had experienced the same struggle as us, but had success after applying information she learned in the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility“.

"Taking Charge of Your Fertility"
“Taking Charge of Your Fertility”

She lent it to me and I eagerly started flipping the pages. It gave me a temporary action plan of which I had some control over. I would begin charting my temperature every morning for three months and bring to my next OBGYN appointment.

Let’s just say that sometimes TIMING is EVERYTHING. After two months of charting with that purple ovulation thermometer, a stress free week on a Caribbean Cruise and some divine intervention, we FINALLY saw those two pink lines every couple trying to conceive lives for. YES! Like any rational woman would do, I took 54 home pregnancy tests, including the “dummy proof” kind.

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First Trimester: I craved citrus, had mild nausea and was annoyingly GIDDY. I drove my coworkers, customers, family and anyone on the other end of my fabulous flip phone CRAZY.

Second Trimester: I LOVED being pregnant, all food tasted EXQUISITE and  I was still OBNOXIOUS. Over dinner one night we read the ultrasound card together of what our child would be. “It’s a…BOY!”  The baby daddy was thrilled. A kid to carry on the family name.

Third Trimester: I ate my way through the holidays and gained too much weight. Doc scolded me. Eh, oh well. Then I learned my pelvis was unfortunately small and he seriously doubted I could birth the baby without some surgical assistance. Do what? Then the back and abdominal muscles began stretching with discomfort, major heartburn, unsightly kankles, a lone varicose vein, Braxton Hick’s, thought I was in labor but got sent home, the “You’re HUGE” comments, his head bouncing on my pelvic bone, mood swings, etc. Get this thing out of me!  Not so giddy NOW.

D-Day: It was a Saturday afternoon in mid March.  Our parents were hanging out at a local park celebrating a Spring Day event. The baby daddy had grilled out and we were having a lazy afternoon. I stood up, started waddling and POP! “Um, babe I think my water just broke.” Confidently he stated “Naw, you aren’t in labor hun.” I guess he thought if I wasn’t clawing his arm off from pain or cursing his prior “Y” chromosomal possession that I was, in fact, NOT in labor. And he is the medical professional. Go figure.

My doctor wasn’t on call. Of course, right? I remember thinking how huge my nose was when I was wiping away the tears. All would be fine though.  We were assigned a wonderful substitute in his absence.

I made it to 4 cm dilated when they offered me the epidural. I could handle it at that point but 4 was no 10 and who knew when they would be back around. I pulled the O2 mask off and yelled “Heck to the YEAH! HOOK THIS SISTER UP.” The only time I ever used Lamaze was when that needle was going in my back. My “happy place” was me as a size 4, laying in a hot pink bikini, looking 18 again, on a Jamaican beach, under a cloudless, sunny sky.  Like THIS…ahhhhhh.

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Fully effaced and fully dilated, I pushed for a little under two hours. The zygote turned zebra was stuck at +1 in the birth canal and it appeared he would be a permanent resident of my internal structures if we didn’t proceed to a stat C-section.

Alrighty then! Delivering at the same hospital where my husband worked meant that bringing our baby boy into the world would be like one big party surrounded by friends who had our backs. Except that the party stage would be my uterus and the only thing party goers could NOT see would be, ironically, my back. Before I could dwell too much on the weirdness, the party had started. I hear “Ok dear. You’re going to feel a lot of pressure” and VIOLA out came my first child!

You know how most birth scenes go down with the kid screaming his or her head off? Well, not my son. He whimpered a little and then got COMPLETELY quiet. And so the never-ending phobia known as “Mother Worry” began for me on a Sunday morning in that cold operating room. “Is he breathing?” “Is he alive?” “What’s wrong?!” He was just a curious kid and was taking it all in. Mothers worry about anything and everything I have come to learn.

Speaking of worrying, it was about this time that the baby daddy brought the curious bundle over for us to formally meet for the first time. I was so amazed that I didn’t even realize the cone head he was sporting from being wedged for so long. I remember he said two things to me. 1) “Hey, do you mind if I go walk with the nurse to take the baby to the nursery?” (Leaving me ALONE with my uterus on the table) and 2) “This baby is HUNGRY! You better get ready!” Oh man.

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Next thing I knew, I began feeling a hot sensation on my right side and it was getting worse. “Um Alan (my CRNA). I think my epidural is wearing off”.  Morphine administered. Check. Fist bump.

I kept thinking why the surgery was taking so long? Later I found out that I was the proud recipient of a cervical tear during the C-section and had lost a significant amount of blood. That explained why I had so much trouble staying awake after being rolled back to the room. However, I forced myself to stay awake long enough for the little piraña to latch on…every 1-2 hours…for FOUR days…because I was not yet equipped to provide the liquid gold he so desired. Barely born and already DEMANDING something from me. Three days later and several hormonal meltdowns, we were discharged to begin our life as a family of three.

In conclusion, being knocked up was a wonderful experience for me, until the very end. I mean, who really ENJOYS that last month anyway right? I quickly learned how to change a diaper, found that I had the ability to mass produce liquid gold and realized this was to be the hardest job I had ever held. On the job training is the best kind of experience though.

As I have just finished writing this, I am reminded that children are gifts that keep on giving. Why you ask? Because that same child that I just described being knocked up with 10 years ago just snuck out of bed to “snuggle”, the second just had a nightmare and yelled for me and my third just snuck out of HIS bed and crawled into mine. There you go. I didn’t realize that becoming knocked up ten years ago would alter my goals, motivations and life direction. A REM cycle is foreign to me, I get very little down time, being knocked up destroyed my rectus abdominals, but I am needed, loved and we have a king sized bed.:)

Silence Is Golden…Unless You Have A Toddler

For a parent with small children, silence is GOLDEN.  The constant noises of crying, whining, hitting, slashing, jumping, electronics, Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse, CARS, biting, passing gas, “Mama I need…”, “Mama I pooped in my butt”, “Mama he hit me”, “Daddy” “Mamma!”, etc. can leave the most together of parents frazzled, grumpy and ALWAYS exhausted.  With my first child, I was a naive girl that thought I could prop my feet up and relax when my toddler would play quietly.  Don’t believe those Johnson & Johnson commercials.  Those little angels turn into escaped convicts when they get alone and quiet.  Often times, they are considered armed and dangerous.

Silence is golden fellow parents or parents to be, unless you have a toddler.  Looking back on my old pictures, I realized that I was able to bust my youngest child with the camera so much more than the other two.  Why?  I can think of three reasons.

#1 – I worked full time with my first two

#2 – Technology: Cameras versus smartphones

#3 – My handling of the mischief. “Wreck-it-Ralph” mom versus “Frozen” mom (Let it go)

Uh hum…I present to you a few of my favorites collected thus far.

MARKERS

Toddlers love to color EVERYTHING.  I remember my oldest got ahold of a black permanent Sharpie when he was two and marked up my ENTIRE KITCHEN.  Think wooden cabinets, expensive tile, doors, etc.  My boys don’t do anything half way.  Fortunately, “Goo Be Gone” and a few magic erasers helped to get most of the ink off.  I still have a few spots left to remember that moment.  I recall being furious and shedding a few stressed out tears.  I’ve mellowed out quite a bit since then. My youngest has colored himself every day for the past week and even got my floor. Tasmanian devil strikes again.

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DRESS UP

This primarily applies to my daughter.  Her claim to fame was getting into my makeup and emptying out all my bandaids for “dress up”.  At least it wasn’t ruining permanent carpet. 🙂

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DOG FOOD

This only applies to my oldest two.  Bailey, the Geriatric Maltese, was an avid lover of Kibbles ‘N Bits.  I tried all the healthier options on him but only this brand would do.  Consequently, dog food bowls are generally just the right height for a toddler to help themselves.  They looked like chipmunks feasting on acorns and would run, full mouth and all, through the house to hide from me.  Gag me gross! You learn to develop a tough stomach.  My oldest also ate BUGS but, unfortunately, I was too alarmed to get a picture of THAT.

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BUBBLES

You walk out of the bathroom for five minutes and you will return to a “Toddlers Gone Wild” scene.  Bath water everywhere, bubbles overflowing, random objects in the bathtub with them, etc. Don’t let your camera get wet!

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THE KITCHEN

Salt, salad, pantry, party in the laundry basket, etc. Need I say more…

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THE DRYER

They all LOVED that dryer.  What was especially alarming about my youngest is that he liked to climb into the dryer and SHUT THE DOOR.  I distinctly remember putting a load of laundry up in my closet and not being able to find him! Frantically, I rushed outside to make sure he hadn’t wandered off and then paced from room to room with no luck.  All of a sudden, I heard this little, whiney voice coming from the laundry room.  “Hey mama. I in heewer.”

 

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In conclusion, silence is golden for a parent with small children, but not so much if the child isn’t actually ASLEEP.  For what it’s worth,  I’ve learned to capture the moment as a humorous one instead of a frustrated, assume the fetal position, suck my thumb in the corner one.  These are snapshots of innocent creativity (well SOME of them) and I choose to laugh.  Life is short and we can’t take our Sharpie stained cabinets with us when we leave this earth anyway.  Memories, however, are timeless. 🙂

Top 10 Baseball Park Lessons Learned To Date

The baby daddy and I have spent the last seven years with our eldest playing baseball at the ballpark each spring.  My husband has served faithfully as an assistant coach through 2 years of T-ball, 3 years of Coach Pitch and is now in the second year of Kid’s Pitch.  I’m the party mom and cheerleader WHEN I actually get to WATCH the game.  Some have it worse, some have it better.  Either way, here is what I have learned this far.

“Top 10 Baseball Park Lessons Learned To Date”.

"Top 10 Baseball Park Lessons Learned To Date"
“Top 10 Baseball Park Lessons Learned To Date”

#10 – T-BALL IS HILARIOUS!  I mean, the kids could just stand out there on the field and be adorable.  They swing a million times before they make contact with the ball, they run clockwise versus counterclockwise around the bases and run in the SAME direction when a ball gets hit or thrown.  Furthermore, they play in the dirt, pick their noses, throw dirt at EACH OTHER, wave at family in the bleachers, and they are still ironing out their coordination skills.   For example, my all time favorite of my eldest was watching him learn to run to first base.  Y’all…I wish I had a video.  Imagine a cross between a marathon runner, a British Guard and Ace Ventura.  Now picture a version of all three of these movements combined but completely UNCOORDINATED.  EPIC.

#9 – BRING CASH.  Once your kids get a whiff of any deep fried, high fructose corn syrup, sodium loaded GLORY it’s on like donkey kong.  Some moms are real sticklers for healthy food and super strict with their kids.  My personality is one of picking my battles, opting for fun memories in moderation and throwing an extra fruit serving the next meal.  To each her own.  In addition, I might get 10-15 minutes of sitting on the bleachers if I fork out cash for the dang corn dog, french fries and blue slushy.

#8 – YOUR KID WILL GET HIT WITH THE BALL  It’s inevitable.  It’s a devastating thing to watch your little slugger go from a confident batter to a timid one who steps out of the box and starts striking out frequently.  This happened to us and has continued into this season.  We have begun a more competitive environment, competing for positions with younger kids that have invested in yearlong travel ball.  This is the timeframe when ball might not be very much fun for a parent or a child.  It should also be the time, in my opinion, for development of a child’s ability, not playing the same players in the same positions just to win or to promote certain players.  When your child comes homes from a game with tears in his eyes and says “Mom, I’m just not that good” or “I asked to play this position but I don’t get to”, and they put in the extra practice time, it’s rough.  Parenting gets stepped up a notch at the ballpark folks.

Parenting get stepped up at notch at the ball park folks.
Parenting get stepped up at notch at the ball park folks.

#7 – YOUR KIDS’ BOWELS COME ALIVE AT THE BALLPARK.  Never fails.  They eat ALOT, run around…BOOM!  Code brown.  Tonight at the ballpark I had one tugging on my shirt for 10 minutes to go potty.  I see my son at bat, wait another 15 minutes for potty time with that kid and then I come out to locate the third.  Which brings me to #6.

#6 – YOU MAY LOSE A CHILD  My three year old is so fast. So fast that I can literally look away for three seconds and he’s GONE.  I’ve considered a leash, taser, shock collar, etc.  Tonight I FINALLY exited the dreaded park bathroom with child #2 to return back to the game.  We are winning. Yay! Where’s the wild child? Uh oh…thought the grandparents were watching him.  Mental note made for handcuffs and a shock collar for next Thursday’s game.  And this leads me to #5.

#5 – MAKE FRIENDS WITH ALL THE BALLPARK MOMS YOU CAN.  Case in point…right before that panic attack almost set in because I couldn’t find my child, I see one of my mom friend’s running towards me.  “Are you missing a child?” she says. “Oh I knew where he was!  Did he run around towards your way?” I joke.  She gets it. “Yes! Please tell me you have his crazy self.”  He had wandered over her way because he wanted to go play on the playground.  I then take him to the playground where I am subjected to code brown #2.  “Mama, I pooped in my ‘biaper’.” Sigh…I get his bag. Dang it! HOW am I out of wipes?!?! Oh yea…the push pop.

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#4 – ALWAYS PREPARE FOR THE INEVITABLE.  Diapers, wipes, mosquito repellent (if applicable), band aids, Benadryl, Xanax, antibacterial gel, Lexapro, bloody nose, etc.  Don’t do as I do, do as I say.  You’re welcome.

#3 – A CHURCH LADY WILL GO ROGUE.  For anyone reading that is not from the south, this happens a lot down here.  They are the first ones to say how blessed they are and invite you to their bible study but then as soon as a ref makes an unfavorable call or a coach disses their baby…HORNS I SAY!.  The HORNS come out! I remember recently, one lady was SCREAMING across the ball field about how the game was “rigged”, that the coaches were “cowards” and on and on.  Some have terrible things to say about the opposing team members. They are just babies. This brings me to lesson learned #2.

#2 – YOU MAY GO ROGUE AND GIVE NEW MEANING TO THE TERM “REDNECK”.   For the most part, I am too distracted to go deep southern.  However, sometimes I hear an opposing coach talking NASTY to a kid and mama bear is ready to POUNCE. I may not know the coach or the kid but grrrr.  lt can happen to the best of us.  Count to 10.

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#1 – BASEBALL IS JUST A SPORT.  Most kids will not go on to be the next Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron and it’s OK if mine doesn’t.  I’m not going to let him quit because he is scared or backing down from good, old fashioned, hard work but it’s OK if he has other interests he is more passionate about.  Children are their own individuals and have their own unique abilities and journey.  It’s our jobs as parents to help them find their way.  So if my son strikes out the next game he is still AWESOME.  He will be successful.  Maybe an engineer, a boy bander or an outside salesman.   Just make sure your daddy gets the ESPN channel and take me to the hair salon son.  I WILL die a brunette. He knows we will always be proud of him, strike out or homerun. 🙂