Birthday Post #2

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So apparently I only write on birthdays.

8 years ago today, in a hospital in Washington DC, I birthed my baby boy.  Well, they surgically removed him, but hey, I was there, and it wasn’t a walk in the park that way either.

We started excited to get up and go that morning to head over to the hospital that was an hour away from our apartment.  We were told to call first to ensure no emergencies had happened that would push the surgery back.  We called and were told that my 11:30 had been cancelled as I had already had the baby via emergency C-section.

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Wait…what?  I looked down.  I was pretty sure I was still pregnant.  Nope, he hadn’t fallen out feet first since that’s the way he was positioned.

Turns out when you have a very generic name, thanks Irish husband, other Jennifers also give birth on that very same day.  Apparently, with the very same birthday as well.  Except for the year.  SHE was older.  But hey, once you verify same name, month and day, the year is just an oversight.  Didn’t matter, this kid was COMING OUT TODAY.  I was done being pregnant.  I hadn’t eaten all day and wanted to meet my son.

So they squeezed us in and by 3 p.m. Bear was born.  It was not fun.  Unknown to me at the time, I had placenta accreta, which meant that my placenta had attached itself to my uterine wall.  Bleck.  So, if my stubborn son hadn’t been feet first and unwilling to move, I would have been in serious trouble after delivery.  So kid, I owe you one.  You saved me that day.

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The birth was just the beginning.  I had spent an immense amount of time reading about MY pregnancy, MY body, MY delivery, and so on, that I kind of overlooked the whole taking care of a brand new person task that was now staring me in the face.  They pulled him out, he gave the best wail I’d ever heard, and my husband looked at me the same way I looked at him.  With wide eyed terror.  What had we just done?!  There was no going back now.  This little person needed us to keep him alive.  What the hell did we JUST DO?

I panicked, like all good mothers.  Realized that the idea of being a mother comes instinctively is total and utter BS.  I had no idea what I was doing.  No instincts kicked in.  I was totally and utterly knocked off my feet.  I guess literally too because the anesthesiologist must have gotten to go home that day, because the idiots left my epidural in for 24 straight hours, which at the time I did not realize was not normal because hey, I was new to this whole motherhood, giving birth thing.

So there I was, numb from the boobs down, trying to take care of my son and be mother of the year just a few hours in.  Mark and my mom were there, but there was no place to sleep, so each night they left me and Bear to drive the hour back to the apartment.  Go ahead, I can handle it I assured them.  I am SUPERMOM!  I can’t feel my feet, but I can take care of this baby by myself!  That was the first time I tried to handle motherhood all by myself and failed miserably.

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By the second night, I hadn’t slept a wink because I was convinced he would stop breathing at any given moment, and tearfully called a nurse at 11:30.  Will you…sniff hiccup sob…take him to the nursery…sob…for just a bit???  Sob hiccup…I’m not a bad mom…hiccup…I swear….hiccup…will you love him if he cries???  She assured me he wouldn’t be ignored in a corner, to get some sleep, and they would bring him to me when it was time to eat.  Sure enough, they did.  I slept a few hours.  He hasn’t gone to therapy yet for the separation, so I think it was ok.

On the third day, they kicked us to the curb and I was happy to go.  I had hubby and mom to support me 24 hours a day and the security and comfort of home waiting for me.

After some bumps in the road, he was breastfeeding well.  Until I got a raging UTI from the catheter being in so long and had to go on some heavy antibiotics for 10 days.  Pump and dump they say.  Sure, no big deal, I’m three days in, I’m a pro.  So, every two hours, I pumped two boobs empty, and dumped that precious tainted gold down the drain.  10 days later, all clear of painful peeing, I went back to nursing my 7 pound bundle of joy.  Who, by the way DID NOT drink the 12+ ounces of boob milk I had been pumping and dumping every 2 hours for 10 days.  I was in so much pain I think I would have fed anyone who asked just for some relief.  I could have seriously supplied much of a third world nation with the supply I was generating.  Needless to say, we got some backup supply while my body and I figured out what he actually needed.

So that was my first 2 weeks of being a first time mother.  How did yours go?  After all that, I wouldn’t trade a day of it.  My son is one of the smartest, funniest, most handsome boys I know.  I am blown away each day at his wit, brains, and thought processes.  He is crafting his own brand of sarcasm that will one day rival my own.  He asks questions that would stump Stephen Hawking, let alone get an answer from me.

We had a rough start at the beginning, but it was well worth the blood, sweat and tears.  He’s my hero.  And one day, we’ll live in his guest house in Malibu, because he loves his parents and wants to share his millions.  Right Bear??

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PS – Trying not to freak out, but I went back to insert pics tonight and couldn’t find anything before 2008.  MARK!!!!  The computer’s broken!!!

Bath Night

Sunday nights are bath night.  As I sit and let my daughter play with Ariel and her pal, hotter sexier Barbie mermaid, I brace myself for the upcoming fight.  The fight to wash her hair.  The shampooing she says she never needs even though her bangs have syrup in them and the top of her part has glue on it as a result of scratching her head during “craft time.”  I use this term loosely, as craft time is usually just cutting magazines into itty bitty pieces and gluing them on “paper.”  And by “paper,” I mean the back of the kitchen chair.

G - An oldie but goodie.

G – Before hair washing was an issue.

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Will – One of my most favorite photos of him.

I let her play a bit, give her a 2 minute warning and then I get down to business.  That’s when the screaming and shrieking begin.  Like I am trying to drown her on purpose.  MOM!  DON’T GET IT IN MY EARS.  OWWW!  YOU GOT WATER IN MY EYES!  Me, being the classic abuser, blame the victim.  Quit thrashing around like a cat stuck in a plastic bag then!!  The girl has more evasive maneuvers than the Air Force.   I feel like I am water-boarding my child every time I try to clean her up a little.  Dick Cheney would be proud.  She gets so hysterical and screechy, it’s a wonder the neighbors don’t call to make sure I’m not ripping her limbs off.

Sometimes I wonder what a Child Protective Service Agency would think if they heard only snippets of my child rearing skills.  Like what if Will told his teacher the conversation we had a few months ago.  It was during a particularly rough patch with Molluscum, a viral skin condition that gave him tiny itchy bumps that look like little zits all over his body.  After some advice from a mom who’d been there, we tried a homeopathic treatment called ZymaDerm, which is simply a topical you put on the bumps twice a day.  (Worked like a charm by the way, and for the bargain price of $26 for a teeny tiny bottle! And no, I don’t know which all natural ingredients are in it.  I choose to believe it was manufactured solely from fairy dust and angel kisses.)  Well my boy was a bit skittish about this topical, which to him looked like pure acid meant to burn them off instead of slowly and not painfully shrink them to nothing.  So, in order to ease his fears the first few times around, I would blow gently on the area where I applied the stuff.  You know, to neutralize the flesh-eating acid I was putting on him.  Now, some of these bumps were near (not on) his groin area, so yes, I blew there too.  Can you see where this is going?  One night, as we were beginning our ritual, he says to me very nonchalantly, “Mommy, I like when you blow on my pee pee. It tickles.”    “Uh….OK, thanks, I think?  Saaaay, how about you NOT say that to anyone else please?”  What the freak?  How do you explain to a kid why another adult would not want to know this particular comfort technique his awesome mom is using?  You don’t.  You just pray they never say a word and if they do, hope to God his teacher would call ME before calling Child Services.

Likewise, the problem my sister is facing at the moment with her 9 month old son.  Apparently, some doctors prefer to not circumcise boys the way they used to.   Some prefer to leave a bit more scarf to the kerchief if you know what I’m saying.  She was a bit worried that something was wrong down there, and being raised around 99% females, we are bit uneducated in this area.  Sure, we’ve seen ‘em, but not enough by any means to qualify either of us as experts.  And personally, I’ve never seen one with its hoodie still up.  I missed that when Will was born, being they did it before I got feeling back in my legs, which is a long story about lazy doctors and an epidural being left in for 24 hours after he came out.  Not a fun first birth experience, but a story for another day, and six years later, I’m still not sure how I’d make that story funny.

Anyways, how does one go about finding out what normal looks like?  Google?  How do you Google normal baby penises without alerting the authorities there’s a pervert in our midst?  What would you search to get scientific results instead of horrible images you could never erase from your brain?  Circumcision mistakes?  Nope.  Healthy baby penises (or is it peni?)?  I don’t think so.  Baby girth?  Who knows, no matter what you search, it’s not going to be pretty, and what if someone checks your hard drive down the road?  We’ve all seen SVU, it happens.  Lord help me if they check mine at work, because I swear I was looking for Dick’s Sporting Goods, nothing else.  I just didn’t realize you had to type in the actual full name of the store.

I just worry constantly about being misunderstood.  Adults think crazy things, and they should, there are some crazy horrible people out there.  It’s just that I’m not one of them.  Most of the time.  I’ll admit that first nice spring day when I open all the windows I completely forget I have to keep my yelling to a minimum.  Who knows what the neighbors think when they hear me yell, “Will wipe your own butt!!  I’m trying to get the nail polish off your sister’s lips!!!” 

Please don’t rat me out.  Most of this I can explain.  It just won’t be much fun and will still make me look like an inept parent.  A loving, nurturing, but utterly inept, parent.

 

Confessions…of a Parent

I am a bit of a lull after only two posts.  Awesome I know, but I have something I want to write that I can’t share here yet and it’s taking up all the brain matter that is not currently covered with melted chocolate, unpaid bills, and smutty books.  Mainly because it’s about sex, and only my family reads this so far, so it would just become awkward at family functions, so I’ll wait a bit.  But, I might submit it in secret somewhere and fingers crossed, just might get published writing embarrassing things about myself.  I’ll keep you posted, if there’s anything to post, which most likely there won’t, so you’ll all be saved the embarrassment of picturing me naked.  Shudder.  If you do, picture it 10 years and 40 pounds ago please.

Anywho,  I thought I’d give you some parenting confessions to entertain you and make you feel just a little bit better about your life.

At 2 years old, Will dropped the F-bomb completely in context.  He comes running up to me and says, “MOM!  Michael’s fuckin around.”  Like I should do something about it.  NOW.  Let’s just say I freaked the fuck out and made him repeat it at least five more times to verify he did in fact say what he said.  Then I got angry.  What horrible bastards are saying this shit around my kids???  The daycare?  My in-laws?  My sister?  WHO??  Then, I realized.  Shit, it was me.  Driving to daycare that morning, I realized I had yelled, with my children in the backseat, to the driver beside me who was slowly merging into traffic to “Quit fucking around already.”  Yep.  Pretty epic parenting fail.

BTW, I haven’t quite learned my lesson, as this Sunday at the breakfast table, I told Mark to “Quit being a douche,” which apparently is just as funny to them as it is to me, and no, I will not explain what a douche is, other than their father was being one at the moment.

Likewise, my kids recently “made” up a word that they think it hilarious.  The word?  Twat.  Yep, now, I admit, I tend to swear like a sailor at times, but frankly, this just isn’t a word I choose to use on a regular basis.  They seriously put the constants and vowel together and made up what they thought was a funny word and then proceeded to sing-song it all the way down the aisle at Target.

I worry that Gracie might be a stripper.  She really likes to dance and take her clothes off.  Scares the bejeesus out of me.

I am secretly overjoyed that Will and Gracie both know the Single Ladies dance by Beyonce.  Honestly, it’s adorable.  Next up, vogueing.

This is a confession from Mark.  I know you hide in the bathroom to play video games.  No one can poop that much in one day.  Seriously.  I’m on to you honey.

I used to hate the grocery store.  Now, if alone, I will stay there for hours.  Pick the longest line to wait in.  Watch the fish like some crazy lady by myself.  Walk the organization aisles like I am actually going to organize my house one day. Maybe read a chapter of my book in the car before I even go in.   The longer the better.

I know I am not the only one who does this, but I hide the good food from my kids.  Oreos?  Mine. Good ice cream?  Mine.  Brownies?  Hidden until they fall asleep.  Sometimes, when I can’t wait for them to go to sleep, I hide in the corner of the kitchen with the lights off and shovel Oreos into my mouth at what I am sure is a world record pace.  Wait, that sounds sad.  Nevermind.  I don’t do that.

Mark and I play this game with a vengeance.  It’s called pretend you’re sleeping until the other person gets tired of hearing the kid scream and gets up.  Oh don’t get all judgy, you all do it.  Not the blood curdling, something’s wrong scream…the scream that says, I peed/pooped/threw up all over the room and need you to clean it up, or I want to play at 3 a.m.  with no intention of going back to sleep for the rest of the day scream.  I’d say we are equally good at it.

OK – enough confessions for today.  Got any to make me feel better?  Please don’t call Child Services.   I do love my kids and they are well fed, not neglected and honestly turning into pretty decent human beings.  I promise.