UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
Body Image Jun 12, 2007
A letter to me:
I am doing everything I can here. Lay off, wouldya? You’re entirely too condescending of me, critical in front of the mirror, embarrassed to post the photos. I just created life, remember? The son you cuddle and enjoy? *I* grew him. And only three weeks ago we underwent major surgery to have him safely brought in to the world. Let me heal before you start judging. Let me get more than two hours of sleep in a row. Let me enjoy this time home with my family before you begin punishing me on the scale. And those three ounces of milk I’m making is something I’m proud of. I’m making food in addition to all the other things I’ve gone through so if you don’t mind, please don’t punish me for having a bit of a belly still and hanging on to those last 15 pregnancy pounds. After all, there are still three weeks left before we can be active again. Why not save your judgments for then?
Second verse same as the first… Jun 11, 2007
Two days after we brought Baby O home from the NICU, we had both kids asleep, the bills paid, and the mail sorted so we took a few minutes to sit on the couch and feel smug. “We rawk this parenting gig, don’t we?” we said to each other. “How awesome are we?” we nudged one another. “Everyone should be like us!” we humbly exclaimed.
It wasn’t until Saturday night (or, rather, very very early Sunday morning) that Karma came to bite our ass, as Karma is wont to do. The Little Man woke up, just as we thought he might, and stayed up all night long. Read: All. Night. Long. He’s pulling the night shift these days while LB pulls the day shift and between the two of them, I half expect my brain to explode in about four days.
During that time, very very early Sunday morning in the wee hours of the week where the Saturday night parties are still raging and the Sunday morning church-goers have hours upon hours left to dream, I cussed in frustration, “LB NEVER did this to us! I don’t think she was ever up ALL NIGHT LONG. MotherEffer!” Mommy brain and time are kind to the population. If we all remembered nights like that, we’d never do it again. And while I do remember her being fussy at times, I actually didn’t recall ever being up the enter effing night. This is why we blog, Internet.
I came across the entry where LB screamed all night. The starting sentence on November 8, 2004 goes like this: “I slept 2 hours last night. Two. Not in a row. ” I then recounted in painfully boring detail (that I’m ever so thankful for now) exactly how hellish that night was and exactly what we did to attempt to make her FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-ALL-THAT-IS-HOLY stop crying. I went to bed at 8AM that day.
I can’t believe I thought one child was hard. Because now? When the Boy Child goes to bed at 7AM? The Girl Child gets up at 7:30 and HAHAHA! Karma is laughing its ass off all the way to the sperm bank. All because two days after we got home we swapped hand-jives and ego boosters like a posse in some grade B film.
Wherein I scar several men for life Jun 09, 2007
If you ever think your marriage is going splendidly and your life is really very brilliant, you should take your newborn and your toddler to Babies R Us on a rainy Saturday morning with half of Seattle on a major sleep deficit. Make sure you do it right around lunch and nap-time so you all have a meltdown. And then, inform your spouse that it’s time to pump your (albeit very ineffective) milk producing teats and try to do so in public.
It only sounds like a made for TV movie coming out Summer 2008, but it’s my life.
I recently decided to make use of the battery pack for the pump so I wouldn’t be so tied to the “MUST BE HOME IN THREE HOURS” chain that we’ve been tethered to for three weeks. What I didn’t think through, was where I would actually be able to sit down and stick my sore, cracked nipples in to the flanges. In the NICU, there’s a mom pumping for her preemie every few pods. At home, I have a nice set-up upstairs that’s actually relaxing and enjoyable. (If I forget about the painful tug-tug-tug of suction and the pathetic amount of milk it produces, it’s almost like a mini-vacation. That is, if your mini-vacation didn’t include any alcohol and you thought someone pulling your teats to China and back simply for a drop or three of boob-juice was actually fun. But I digress…) On the road, however, there really isn’t an appropriate place to watch with joy as you leak milk in to a bottle. If you thought people got crap for nursing in public, you really should try milking yourself in public. You may as well saunter up to a farmer and start mooing. The pumps boast professionalism, but there’s nothing professional about being milked like the animals that crap in a pasture. A cow doesn’t need a stylish handbag.
We drove around looking for a parking spot that I could sit, discretely, with a blanket over the flanges for ten minutes that wasn’t right next to someone sitting in their car. Of course, the day we try to do this, there are several cars filled with one dude eating lunch. Naturally, all the open parking spots where next to someone with a perfect view of our front seat.
I thought I’d just go to the very back of the X-terra and sit there but that would entail moving the stroller, bags, toys and emergency kit. I couldn’t sit in the back seat because of the children. My only option, then, was to back in to a parking spot and pray nobody looked for a few minutes while I got set up. God wasn’t so much listening to that one.
Mr. Flinger helped get the pump set up while I put a blanket in the window. We tried to hurry and hook up the flanges and place the blanket over them before anyone walked by. Do you know how hard it is to actually center your nipples in those things? Especially when you’re not watching what you’re doing and are watching the man watching you in his rear-view mirror? Or how impossible it is to actually relax and “think pleasant thoughts about your baby, life-giving-thoughts about the food you are producing and the joy of motherhood” when you’re watching three business men walk up to your car in suits and one glances in? I’m pretty sure he’ll need therapy. He may never enjoy a good titty bar again.
My goal was to pump until I reach Baby O’s due date. I’ve been keeping a log of how much milk I actually produce and today I may reach three ounces.. Total… For the entire day of 8 pumping sessions. But three ounces is just enough to justify doing it for another week or so. Three ounces sounds like a lot when you’re talking Vodka. Three ounces, though, won’t get me through the public pumping sessions especially when I have to pay for the psychiatry bills I’ll accrue. I’m sure this image is disturbing on several levels. Thank god there’s not a mirror.
They say it’s your birthday Jun 08, 2007
Today is the day my C-section was scheduled. I almost made up the birth announcements a month early leaving the weight and length as fill-in-the-blank like a Mad Libs. “Baby O makes his debut in to the world on June 8, 2007. He weighed [number] and was [bigger number] inches. Mommy, Daddy, Baby and LB are doing well.” I’m really glad I didn’t. This is why I don’t do my own illustrations.
I’ve played over the events of May 19th and 20th a million times. I’ve marveled out loud with Mr. Flinger over and over how I’d still be pregnant. “I’d still have three more weeks! Two more days! One more night!” We talk about how strange it was to walk in to the hospital thinking we’d be leaving in three hours and not leave for over three days. The world doesn’t stop when you go in to labor and we left the hospital without our man on a sunny Wednesday evening and waited in line on the freeway ramps behind the commuters going about their daily business.
It was surreal.
We left and I was no longer pregnant. We had a baby who was not in the backseat. We had a daughter I hadn’t seen in days. My world was just as rattled as hers was.
I’m not sure who decided it was time to evict you, Baby O. I’m not sure if it was my body that simply gave out or you deciding it was time to meet us in person. I’m not sure why I went in to labor walking around U-village or how immanent your birth was when I came home and told your dad “my body is finished.” I didn’t know I’d have you 12 hours later.
I’ve finally stopped replaying that weekend and the week of your NICU stay in my head. I’ve stopped obsessing about what went wrong and why you didn’t stay in long enough to finish cooking. I’ve stopped thinking about what I did to make you want to come out. It doesn’t matter now. I’m glad you did. Because we’ve had three more weeks with you than we thought we’d get. We have three more weeks of photos, of knowing your quirks, of learning who you are. We have three more weeks of finding out how amazing you are and how much you belong in this family. Three weeks might be forever to you, Baby O, but to us it’s the best possible forever.
Instead of being born June 8th, you had your own plan. And I’m ok with that. I’m sure this won’t be the last time you carve your own path in the world. I’m certain it won’t be the last pleasant surprise you give us.
Happy Non-Birthday, Baby O.
The baby? He has come out of his stupor. And he is pissed. Jun 04, 2007
You know how your baby sleeps the entire time they are in the hospital and they wake up pissed off about four hours after you get home? And you know how you tell people, “I have the BEST BABY EVAH!” when you call them from the hospital and they laugh, ask how old she/he is and say, “oh, just wait…” because they know? And then you know how about a week later you call those people back pledging your life if FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY the baby would stop crying?
Yea. I remember. Now.
So, in place of actual posts, you get pictures. PICTURES! WHEE! Because, quite frankly, I’ve started three actual posts and they all end up with “Shit, baby is crying, gotta go.”
And who needs that? Here! Pictures! Looksy!
And more because shit, the baby is crying.
Birth control they should include in sex education for 13 year olds Jun 03, 2007
I just spent 20 minutes massaging my son’s rectum with a warm wash cloth to relax his sphincter to alleviate his constipation…
..... then cheered when it worked.
A Whole ‘Nothah Level Jun 01, 2007
I thought I’d be a much more relaxed mom this time around. I had visions of taking our new baby boy to bar-b-ques with friends at the local park, drinking a lovely cold beer and watching our youngins throw rocks in the water. I thought I’d be a lot better with the over-protective side of me that took almost a year with LB before I felt confident I could leave for the weekend and she’d still be alive when I got home.
It was a lovely thought.
Instead, I brought home a preemie, one that came with a pamphlet of instructions from NICU nurses, pediatricians and lactation specialist. If there’s one thing I am not lacking, it’s information. We have information on the dangers of his little lungs getting sick. We have information on the scary-ass NICU stay that would be inevitable should he so much as get a cold. We have information on why I ABSOLUTELY must try to pump my milk and why he ABSOLUTELY can not sit in a sling/carrier/car-seat/swing. We have all the information we need. It’s worse than google.
These professionals literally scared the living shit out of me with their warnings. I don’t think they’re aware they’re talking to a Type-A hypochondriac that just so happens to worry about SIDS, choking and purell eating. I’d never leave a child unattended on a table or bed, I’d never leave him in the bath water, I’d never set the carrier up high. I know this about myself. So when they heap on “DO NOT LET HIM GET SICK. DO NOT GO IN TO PUBLIC PLACS. DO NOT PASS GO.” I admit, it got to me. Just a wee bit.
Then Mr. Flinger got strep throat. The SheChild sneezed on her brother. My antibiotic-infultrated breast milk won’t come in and when I try to take the herbs, I have an allergic reaction. We try to make a simple run as a family to the park and I start bleeding like last night’s pre-cooked steak dinner. It seems as if the more “they” pile on, the more the Universe fights back. Stay well? Public places? A life?
And so here I am wondering why I thought this was hard the first time around with my full term baby and her fully cooked little self. I’m wondering what I worried about so much with her and why I would watch her sleep at night. I’m wondering if I had any perspective at all, if I would’ve been a bit calmer with the whole new-baby thing. Maybe not. But I wonder.
Then I hear my husband and our daughter playing ring-around-the-rosy upstairs, the baby is sleeping, the sun is poring in our kitchen window lighting up the bottles and pump paraphernalia from the night before and I think it’s not so bad after all. That I can do this. And that, right there, is a whole ‘nothah level of comfort I never thought I’d reach.