Archive for the ‘The Rest’ Category

Introducing: Baby Lincoln!

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Lincoln Scott Davis
July 23, 2014
12:52 am
9 lbs, 21.5 inches

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(Doesn’t that baby look like the baby model that came with the announcement? THAT’S MY ACTUAL BABY.)

Birth story disclaimer: It’s a birth story, read at your own risk. Also looooong.

I made it 6 days past my due date with my “oh you’ll definitely go early” baby, which was the longest 6 days of my life. It was actually more like the longest 3 weeks of my life, since I was thinking I was about to pop ANY SECOND since I hit 38 weeks. Literally every time I left the house I planned in my head what I would do when (not if) my water broke. I had started psyching myself up for having a baby in the car or in my bathroom or at Target because obviously once my water broke the baby would basically fall out, right? I mean, I was huge. There was a ton of water. It was my 3rd baby and things are supposed to go faster.

NOT QUITE. I had an induction scheduled and then canceled because it was “elective” and the maternity floor was too full. Luckily E’s schedule was pushed back a few days (again) so I wasn’t AS panicked but I was still HUGELY PREGNANT. People who are hugely pregnant don’t like to be told they have to remain hugely pregnant indefinitely.

But I did get the one thing I wanted: to experience my water breaking spontaneously, like in a movie. Oh no, my water broke! Must be time to head to the hospital! Look at that adorable little puddle!

LIES! All lies. I don’t recommend it.

On Tuesday morning I woke up to a gush and thought “Oh! So that’s what that feels like!” And then I sat up and water poured out of me like a river and thought “Oh man, this is kind of unpleasant.” And then I shoved the towel I was keeping next to the bed between my legs and tried to waddle to the bathroom, still leaking everywhere but now with contractions on top of it and thought “Nope nope nope nope”. I ended up using every spare towel we had to half-heartedly clean up fluid before taking a shower and just hoping most of it was done draining out. (It wasn’t. I went to the hospital with a hand towel in my pants. I threw it away.) If it had happened in public you wouldn’t be reading this right now because I would have willed the earth to open up and swallow me whole.

Once we got to the hospital nothing happened. I had a non-stress test scheduled for that morning anyway, so they put me on the monitors. I should have stayed home longer so I could eat and walk around and lie on my couch, but again, I was pretty much expecting the baby to FALL OUT so when we got there and I was at 2 cm I was both shocked and disappointed. Since my water was broken (they didn’t even check, the doctor said “Yeah, you had so much water if you said it broke I BELIEVE YOU”) they did want to keep me though. so I tried to get comfortable and just enjoy the last few hours with my inside baby.

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It was pretty boring. E and I played cribbage, just like we did when I was in labor with Evan. He beat me every time, just like when I was in labor with Evan. By the afternoon I was still mostly just sitting there, contracting but not super painfully, and they asked if I wanted to start pitocin. I told them that was fine but I would need the matching epidural. The very nice anesthesiologist came and stuck me with needles and then the magic epidural made me feel totally drunk and I was MUCH HAPPIER. It was exactly the right amount of numb, where I can move my legs and feet but feel no pain. I think I updated Facebook and made a bunch of jokes. It’s sort of a blur.

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For a while (OMINOUS DUM-DUM-DUM). Now that baby didn’t have a swimming pool to play in, he started playing with the cord instead and every couple of contractions the monitor would register a deceleration in his heart rate. A few times it dipped really low and I got a rush of nurses in to rearrange me and ask me to roll on one side or another. It was sort of stressful on everyone and I started to get pretty worried I’d end up with an emergency c-section, although when I mentioned that to my nurse she said I wasn’t even allowed to THINK that word.

They eventually found a spot on my right side where the baby’s heart was happy but it meant that my epi started to wear off on the left. A lady from anesthesiology came and hung a new bottle and gave me a bump, but warned us lying on one side meant the other side might always get less medicine. My left side hurt more. And more. And more. AND THEN A LOT REALLY A LOT IT REALLY REALLY HURT. Then the baby’s heart rate deceled again and they made me get up on my knees and hang over the bed and I realized I wasn’t numb AT ALL on the left and it was wearing off on the right and my epidural had officially failed and OMG HOW DO PEOPLE EVEN DO THIS WITHOUT MEDS?!?!?!

No, for real, it sucked. Snaps for anyone who does even 5 minutes of natural/pitocin labor.

E fed me a delicious Italian ice to distract me, but when I started to actually cry during a contraction my nurse decided to page anesthesiology again. The first nice doctor who put the epi in came up to check on it. He ripped all the tape off my back to check the needle and was getting ready to give me another bump when I heard him say “The pump isn’t on.”

YOU GUYS. THEY TURNED OFF MY EPIDURAL. The woman who hung up the new bottle NEVER TURNED IT ON, so I hadn’t had any meds in HOURS. And my pitocin was at a 16 (on a scale of 2 being “meh” and 20 being “WARNING: BABY MAY SHOOT OUT LIKE A CANON BALL”). They turned the pump back on. Literally 5 minutes later I was fine again.

I have no sense of time from when the epidural stopped working until I started thinking “Hey, there’s that pushy-feeling! I should get the nurse!” but it was probably around 11:30 pm when the doctor came in to check me. Unfortunately, my giant baby refused to move down into my pelvis AT ALL, so I was at -1 and only 9cm.  It looked like I was still HOURS away from delivering.

Not that much later I was still feeling REALLY REALLY PUSHY. It also sort of hurt and I could feeling the burning ring-of-fire thing people describe so I told the nurse again I was probably about to have a baby. She called the doctor back to check again…and again I was at -1 and not fully dialated. I was the laboring woman who cried wolf, but no matter WHAT the doctor said I know what pushing feels like. I KNOW. So when I got the pushy feeling I might have pushed a little.

Me to nurse: It still feels like I should push.
Nurse: Don’t push yet.
Me to nurse (totally pushing): Ok, I won’t. But it really feels like I want to.
Nurse: If you’re not fully dialated your cervix can get all swollen and labor can be harder.
Me to nurse: Right, of course, I know. I’m not pushing. (MORE PUSHING)

Literally FIVE MINUTES after the doctor said I was at -1 I grabbed my nurse and said very seriously “LOOK, I’M ABOUT TO HAVE THIS BABY. FOR REAL. CHECK ME.” So she called the doctor back.

Guess who was right? I went from a -1 to a +3 in less than 5 minutes. My secret pushing worked (or, you know, just like my other 2 births when I get to the end babies come flying out of me). Luckily my doctor was aware of my short pushing history and everyone moved fast.

Then everyone tried to tell me how to push and I ignored them because y’all, I got this part. Four pushes later I had a baby. Then E said “IT’S A BOY” and my only response was “…..REALLY?!” Then they gave me my baby boy and I was like “Of course you’re a boy, I knew that. I know you!”

I really love that part at the end when you get a baby.

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And now I’m going to brag a little bit about maybe the weirdest thing anyone has ever bragged about – they took the baby to weigh him and said “Whoa, NINE POUNDS” and then the doctor (assistant doctor? midwife in training? Whatever, the chick that caught my baby under my doctor’s supervision) said “You didn’t tear at all! No stitches!” I’m pretty proud of my no stitches. I got up to pee like 10 minutes after I gave birth and it didn’t hurt.

E went and got the kids and my mom in the morning so they could meet their new brother. They were both excited…for about 2 minutes. Evan got bored because he didn’t do anything and Caroline just wanted to be the center of attention. She did a lot of dancing.

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The next day I entertained myself by taking pictures until we got to go home. For a minute.

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Just like his brother, Baby Linc ended up a little bit jaundiced. I dragged him all over creation trying to get blood work done on Saturday only to end up back in the hospital overnight. I’m not going to lie, that really sucked. I had a bad night staring at my baby under the lights (he loved them) and ended up asking the nursery to watch him so I could get a little sleep. It’s easier to mentally beat myself up for not doing MORE to force my newborn to eat and poop when I’m not quite so tired.

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But his numbers came up fast and now we’re home for good (fingers crossed).

And that is the LONGEST POST I’VE WRITTEN IN YEARS. If you finished it I probably owe you $14 and a drink for the time it took out of your life. Seriously, I can’t even bring myself to read it again for typos. But I had a baby 6 days ago so my brain is fried anyway. TOTALLY worth it.

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Waiting, Impatiently

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

It is 8:32 pm on July 14th. I am 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant, which is 5 days more pregnant than I ever was with Caroline and 5 days less pregnant than I ever was with Evan. That’s a nice balance. Good symmetry. Seems like the perfect time to have a baby.

Unfortunately, my baby does not seem to agree.

I’m not technically overdue yet (TOMORROW), so I know the complaining about STILL being pregnant is annoying. Plenty of people have been much, much more pregnant and I could end up being one of them. (I REALLY REALLY HOPE NOT.) But unfortunately I let myself think “Oh, I am totally having this baby early!”

It’s not entirely my fault. My doctors all said I was in danger of early labor because of my high fluid levels. I’ve had tons more Braxton-Hicks contractions than with any other baby. This baby has been measuring big for two months and I basically LIVE at the hospital between non-stress tests and scans and regular appointments. My children can literally walk into the ER entrance and get themselves to the maternity ward.

But I should not have gotten my hopes up. People warned me. I just did not listen.

WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN????

 

I swear if it was ONLY my comfort (or uncomfort) level that I was worried about, I wouldn’t mind waiting a little longer to meet my baby. I never went through this end part with Caroline (I was induced unexpectedly after super surprise pre-eclampsia) so I would probably still be anxious, but I would be OK.

Unfortunately, due to E’s work schedule, I’m on a deadline. If I go a week overdue, he won’t be here for the birth. The moment where we finally find out together if baby #3 is a boy or a girl just…won’t happen. I’ll have to send an email he probably won’t get or a Red Cross message that at least 3 other people will read before him or just wait until he’s home again. He won’t be here to hold my hand or cut the cord or change a single diaper. I won’t be able to scream “WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!” as I push out a gigantic baby.

I don’t want this to sound TOO dramatic – he’s not going to be gone for months or years. His current work schedule is crazy and unpredictable but it’s not a deployment. He might be on a submarine under the ocean but he won’t be At Sea for more than a couple weeks at a time. The baby certainly won’t remember that he missed the birth but I know E will be so, so sad about it I won’t even be able to give him a hard time for “abandoning me”. I’m still not exactly EXCITED about it.

It would sort of suck to be in the room with just my nurses and the doctor. My mom – who’s here to watch the kids, in theory – has said she’ll fill in and I have friends who would take the kids if I really needed them to, but I’m not thrilled with that idea either. Mom watching the kids makes me being in the hospital much more relaxing. I don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re being terrors, she has to deal with it and love them because they’re her grandkids. Leaving them with someone else would mean lots of worrying instead of soaking up brand-new baby time.

We knew this was a possibility. As much as we tried to plan this baby around the Navy’s schedule, the testing that E’s doing now was supposed to be done in December. The command actually said “Plan your vacations for July and August, since that’s when we’ll be around”. Every time it got pushed back I thought “Ugh, this could be inconvenient” but until literally THIS WEEK I refused to consider E really truly not being here. Right now things are just slightly difficult – he’s not reachable by phone anymore so I have to call some office and they have to get a guy to run down to the pier and find him and then he has to get someone to cover for him and drive back up here to the hospital. But his boat is still tied to the dock, which is good!

I have a non-stress test in the morning (9 am, so possibly as you are reading this) followed by a regular appointment where I’m going to strongly suggest I am interested in them getting the baby the hell out ASAP. I feel like I’m breaking a bunch of birthing rules by even considering an elective induction. Admitting that on any of the pregnancy message boards will get you called a zillion things, none of which sound like “good mother”. But this isn’t my first time around the baby block and I did have a good experience with my last induction. Plus I have tried every single other possible thing to make labor happen on it’s own*** and nothing is working.

Why couldn’t this baby just COOPERATE, YOU GUYS?

Please send me lots of outside baby thoughts and keep your fingers crossed I’m so close tomorrow the doctor says I’m basically IN labor already and that my husband’s boat stays just broken enough that they stay in port and he’s right there with me when we find out if our Team Green baby is a boy or a girl. And so I can yell “WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!” as I push out what is probably a truly enormous baby.

I’m scheduling this to post at 7 am on Tuesday. Let’s hope that right now I’m already in the hospital having my baby and posting boring Instagrams of my IV all over social media (soon to be followed by adorable baby pics!)


*** The only things I haven’t tried are castor oil and black/blue cohosh. I’m not sure I can handle the side effects of castor oil and even Googling cohosh makes the internet freak the hell out about safety. But if my OB says “Sorry, one more week before we’ll talk about induction” I see a castor oil lemonade in my future.

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Don’t Forget

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Evan is 5 years and 3 months old.

He refuses to let me cut his hair, even though it is getting long and shaggy and gets stuck in his goggles when he tries to swim. Swimming is the only sport or activity he wants to be signed up for, although he said in the fall he’d like to try football.

Evan loves cereal more than any other food. He would rather eat cereal than ice cream or candy or soda or anything else. Sometimes it’s understandable (who doesn’t love Lucky Charms?) but sometimes it’s something really random, like Honey Bunches of Oats. This week it was Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which he had never actually eaten before but INSISTED I buy at the grocery store. He ate 4 bowls between noon and bedtime.

He is a really good helper and will try to do anything you ask, even if he’s not physically capable of doing it. But he is willing to TRY and then ask for help if he needs it. It’s such an amazing grown up skill that even a lot of real grown ups struggle with.

If you ask him to describe himself, he’ll say he’s a ginger and he’s brave.

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Caroline is 3 years and 7 months old.

She thinks all “3″s and “C”s belong to her personally, so when she sees them on signs or in stores she wants to take them home.

All of her toys have basically the same name. Her toy horse is called Horse. Her zebra is named Zebra-Zeeb. A stuffed duck is named Ducky Duck Duck. The only exceptions are her two baby dolls, who are named Baby Memba and Baby Jesus. Obviously.

Caroline calls herself a “curly girl” because people are always commenting on her beautiful hair. Then she finger-twirls her curls because she’s in an invisible contest for the cutest child ever.

Today she told me that “duplicate” is when there is more than one of you, like when you look in the mirror.

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Both children have no fear or strangers or people. They will ask to be friends with anyone and get sad when their “new friends” (aka the girl they met in the waiting room, the bagger at the grocery store, a random guy who held the door at the mall) leave.

They ate 3/4 of a watermelon today. A real full size watermelon.

They are best friends. They often try to kill each other. I hope nothing changes.

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Dance Mom

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Caroline had her first ballet recital on Friday night. She’s taken 13 weeks of classes and she’s only three and half, which means about 75% of the performance was her staring into the wings to watch the teacher and 25% was her screaming the words to “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” with a giant, dramatic point at the audience for every “Texas!!!!!!!”

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That was pretty standard for the entire class, although there were a couple of girls who you can imagine on So You Think You Can Dance in 15 years (or whatever the 2030 equivalent is – So You Managed  To Not Let Technology and Common Core Ruin Your Life And Are Capable Of Expressing Emotion With Your Movement Directly Into Our Brains??). They’ll say things like “I’ve always loved being on the stage” and “I can just feel the music and connect with it naturally.”

Caroline will probably not be that girl. I mean, this is a really early prediction and far be it from me to crush her dreams in any way and if she wanted to spend the next decade in dance classes I will be NOTHING but supportive. But I do not thing dance is going to be her thing.

Dress rehearsal was…long. And a little stressful. The class is through a local town’s parks & rec department but the instructor REALLY wants the kids to do a good job so she can be capital-I Intense. There may have been some yelling because the 3 year olds didn’t have the laces on their ballet shoes tucked in. There was some public scolding about an improper hair clip. The teacher is basically a SAINT for dealing with. like, 100 kids whose parents don’t care enough to pay for fancy dance but want a recital anyway, but even saints lose their shit a little bit right before curtain.

By the end of rehearsal, when all Caroline had left to do was the Hokey Pokey with the rest of the little kid classes, she lost it. She was the kid – the only kid – who ran off stage crying that she wanted her mommy and didn’t like dance anymore. I left Evan to misbehave in the audience while I tried to coax Caroline back on stage.

When I say “coax”, I mean I tried every single thing I could think of that didn’t involve physically dragging her on stage and leaving her there. I told her she needed to be a big girl. I told her she could quit if she wanted to and we could go home. I told her she was being ridiculous. I promised her ice cream if she would JUST STOP freaking out. I told her everyone got scared before they went on stage and it was totally OK and I loved her no matter what. I told her dancing was FUN and she LOVED dancing and why didn’t she want to do some FUN DANCING on the stage?

I don’t really know what my parenting style might be called, but it is definitely not “consistent”. I have no idea what I am doing.

The next night, before the actual performance, she threw a fit again. I was supposed to drop her off with her class back stage but every time I tried to leave her eyes filled with tears. There was an incident with her hair bow (apparently it was on the wrong side and needed to be moved despite the fact that no one had EVER said ANYTHING about WHICH SIDE it needed to be on before WHATEVER I DON’T CARE) and she started crying again. I went back to comfort her (mistake!) and she started the clinging/crying/yet insisting she DID want to dance cycle all over.

I left. I sat in the audience with all my crossables crossed that she at least WENT on stage, even if she just stood there.

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And she did great! Once she was out on the stage under the lights she performed and hammed it up and blew kisses. She loved the applause and the cheering and being the center of attention. She did both routines as perfectly as I could have hoped from a 3 year old. It was adorable.

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But even though it ended well, I’m not sure how I feel about signing her for more classes. I don’t want to be the mom who pushes her kid to perform when she doesn’t want to. I didn’t like snapping at her not to mess up her hair or smush her skirt. I am embarrassed that I was embarrassed when she was upset and even though she knows I am SO proud of her I don’t want her to feel disappointed in herself if she messes up. I loved dance class when I was a kid but never really loved the recital part. To this day I have that nightmare where you show up backstage and realize you have NO idea how the routine goes.

I am probably (definitely) overthinking this. Caroline is 3. If she says she wants to take ballet again in the fall, she can take ballet again in the fall. If she DOESN’T want to do the recital next June, she doesn’t have to do the recital. I do not have to have a philosophical discussion with myself over Intro Ballet or Beginner Tap and whether or not I am turning into a crazy Dance Mom after ONE recital. If you ask Caroline right now if she liked performing she will say “YES!” and shout at you about the stars at night and their largeness and brightness. That’s really what matters. But I think I learned something about myself and my parenting I am not sure I’m totally sure I like what I learned.

Let’s ignore my poor parenting and just squee over how adorable my daughter is instead.

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Adorable cowgirl themed finale costume handmade by me…HAHAHAHAHA NO, I bought it on Etsy. I could have tried to find her some jeans and a bandanna but this was easier to do from the couch.

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Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I decided a little while ago my goal for 2015 is to apply for Pro status over at ClickinMoms. That gives me all of 2014 to improve and build a portfolio of work I love and am proud of – and because I just said it here, now I have to follow through. I’m also currently taking a class with the very talented Sallykate Photography so my camera is coming with me EVERYWHERE for the next few weeks. I’m hopeful I’ll have a newborn to practice on soon (PLEASE GOD LET ME HAVE A NEWBORN SOON) so I hope you like baby pictures.

These are all from two Sundays ago at Rocky Neck State Park, taken with my Nikon D600 and 50mm 1.4 Sigma lens. Editing in Lightroom only.

The beach was actually SUPER crowded and the water is brown because it was full of seaweed. It was also freezing. Neither kid cared. Also, Caroline loves sand. LOVES it. Rubbed her face in it. Weirdo.

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