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!!!

Things Have Been Said

A snippet of things I have said tonight…

“I cannot dance like a royal princess if you don’t turn Macklemore back on.”

“Stop eating the butter.”

“Let me get this straight, your head hurts because your thumb hurts?”

“NO!  I am not wiping your butt until I finish dinner!”

“NO!  I am not plunging the toilet until I finish dinner!”

Aaand face palm!!

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Time Change

This bastard.

This bastard.

Let’s just put it out there.  If you have kids, DAYLIGHT SAVINGS SUCKS.  It makes me swear.  It makes me yell.   It makes me put my kids to bed at 6:50 in the evening.  It messes with them and they in turn mess with me.

When I was childless, I LOVED the Daylight Savings.  Ohhh, the days are longer, more sun, happy happy joy joy.   One of the few pieces of legislation I supported that Dubya passed during his reign was when he made Daylight Savings longer.   Awesome!   Yay farmers!  Thanks for needing the light!  (See? I knew there was a reason to be one.)

Now, I dread it and for good reason.  First, I have to explain why we are leaving the house when it is still pitch black outside.  It feels like we are sneaking out in the middle of the night to start our day.  They freak out when I turn all the lights in the house off and shut the door behind us and we are temporarily blinded – guided only by the lights of the pre-started mom mobile.  Then after a long day, I get to explain why it is still light out when I am putting them to bed, thus making me, not the farmers or the government, the bad guy.  As usual.

Tonight was a prime example of how I hate time change.  You cannot MESS with my kids’ schedules.  They lose their freakin minds.  I have two awful weeks every year while my kids adjust.  Spring forward is the worst.  And once again, I am by myself to witness the devastation.  One day, and it will be during a time change week, I swear my kids’ heads are going to swivel all the way around.  Green vomit.  Glassy eyes of evil.  The whole shebang.  They cannot handle this.

There also seems to be a growing trend in my house that the sound of my voice is not at a decibel level that my kids can hear.  Apparently, only dogs and squirrels can hear my requests, demands, pleas and screams to pick up their plates/clothes/coats/bookbags, put their PJs on, wash their hands and so on.  Even questions as simple as what they’d like to drink for dinner and how was their day fall on deaf ears.

Today was the final straw.  A zen-like calm came over me.  I made up my mind and I stuck to it.  One too many, I HATE HOMEWORK AND I HATE YOUs.  The camel’s back was broken when the high pitched shrieking whine and hysterical tears came from the living room because she couldn’t find her Barbie’s shoe.  The bell was tolled after I put dinner on the table and they looked at it and whined, but we don’t like this!   It’s ravioli for the love of God.  It’s not like I am making them eat foie gras or duck l’orange for Pete’s sake.    They seemed to tag team with each other.  An unspoken bond made that one would be quiet while the other went in for the kill.

I had had it.  I put them in bed.  My six and four year old in bed for the night at 6:50 p.m.  1 hour and 10 minutes before actual bedtime, 50 minutes after we had gotten home for the day.  No stories.  No movies.  Light and sunny day still going on outside.

There was no yelling.  Just an eerie calm emanated from my body.  I didn’t raise my voice or stamp my feet.  There was no manhandling.  Just a calm, “Get into bed, this night is over.”  I was at my limit, but not fearful of losing it, I just knew I had had enough.  Time to assert who’s on the top of this food chain.

I am so proud of myself.  It’s not easy when they are whining, pleading, begging, bargaining for one more chance and how very sorry they are for what they said before and that they didn’t mean it.  They’ve learned and won’t ever do it again.  I stayed strong during red blotchy faces and hitching breath.  I won.  I fought a battle of wills with a four and a six year old and I won.

If you don’t have kids, you might think me weak for being so proud of winning one argument and sticking to my guns.  You might think, my kids will listen the first time, every time.  HA!  I thought that too, and I was very very naive.  These buggers are the most stubborn, tenacious beasts you will ever come across.  They will fight until you are in the fetal position hiding in your closet.  They know no fear.  They take no prisoners.  Until you have them and they are your responsibility alone, you cannot fathom how hard this job is.  How they suck every ounce of energy from your body, leaving you a flabby pile of mush at the end of each day.  I’m in the trenches.  I am writing my war story as we speak.  I will have battle scars, but this will make me stronger, a better parent, a wiser person.

I win.  Today.  Kids – 843 Mom – 1  I’ll take what I can get.