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!!!

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A View Through a Peephole

253395_532719740107150_224326385_nI have a pretty intense desire to be liked.  This has waned as I’ve gotten older, and I am not quite so devastated if someone does not take a keen interest in me.  That’s fine.  What really bothers me is when people form opinions of me that aren’t true.  You can honestly  dislike me because I’m a crazy liberal, have bad taste in music and books, and am fairly lazy.   I also try to be funny at all times, which can grate on people’s nerves.  I also complain a lot, am a bit of a gossip, swear like a sailor, quote bad old movies and don’t find Big Bang Theory funny at all (I’ve tried, I just don’t get it).  These are all things that I will legitimately own as my personality traits.  Take or leave em, that’s me, and after 33 years on this planet, I like me, so if you don’t like it you can suck it.

What bothers me is when people form judgments or opinions of who I am based on a very small sampling of my personality and life, and being an introvert, a snippet is usually only what  most people see.

See me snap at my daughter in a store because to you she’s being “just being a kid?”  Well this kid just told me she HATED me because I didn’t let her watch a movie on the way to the store, only because she asked when we pulled into the parking lot of the store.  Said daughter then proceeded to throw a screaming fit in the car, which put her in a coughing fit on the verge of throwing up and made us 10 minutes later than we needed to be, all just to run in to pick up one freakin jug of milk.

See me sitting on a park bench maybe sneaking a peek at my phone every once in a while my kids run gleefully in the playground?  Chances are, I am checking the time, not Pinterest (or maybe I am, what of it?), and have just spent the entire week living and breathing my kids and could use a breather.  Practices, lunches, doctor’s appointments, dinners, homework, building forts, blowing up various toys, replacing batteries in night lights at midnight, hearing their highs and lows of the day, disciplining, celebrating and so on.  Every. Single. Moment.  I am not married to my phone, it’s just I am too tired to run and play when my kids are perfectly content to play without me.

The problem with my parenting is that because I am introverted, I tend not to show the emotion, joy, happiness, and love I feel for my kids in public.  I am content to let them have the spotlight, sit back and cheer quietly, and quietly survey the area for child molesters.  My best parenting moments come when no one is watching.  I am calmer because there isn’t an adult judging my every action, wondering if I am coddling my boy or giving into my princess too much, or making everything a teaching moment.  When we are alone, we just have fun and we talk about life, about the good, the bad and the days where I wish I could lock them (or me) in a cage (just kidding, it would be a comfortable cage).  No one sees the crazy dance parties or my dead-on performance of Ursula from Little Mermaid (For some reason, I relish only the villain parts).   No one sees me struggling through a how to defend yourself from other stupid, mean kids discussion with my 6 year old, who’s just finding out there are actually people out there who don’t completely adore him.  No one sees me sit and do a puzzle with my G or playing Barbies, or my personal favorite, My Little Ponies, like a boss.

I know people judge because my daughter is always sick.  Yes, she’s in daycare, and yes, that’s a big part of why she’s sick, but am I solely to blame because I work?  No, the daycare is not dirty or neglected.  It’s as clean as it can get with 18 snotty, sneezy and wipey 4 year olds together every day for 8-9 hours a day.  Her caregivers love and care for her oftentimes better than I could.  And they are all freakin saints when it comes to potty training.   So, when my kids get sick, please don’t blame being in daycare OR the fact that I didn’t breastfeed them long enough.  Does everything have to be my fault?

I just get mad when people only see 5 seconds of my life and think they would do it differently.  Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t, but hey, what can I say?  At least I am here, in the trenches of raising kids, digging as I go.  I am present all day every day, even in the moments I get to be away from them AT WORK.  I mess up, I lose my temper, I let things go that I shouldn’t, I feed them crap food, let them watch too much TV, but I am HERE.  Cut a girl some slack will ya?

Wow, that got angry.  Just a vent piece.  Mark’s been gone for two weeks and comes home tomorrow.  Let’s just say I need a break.  I’ll feel better by Sunday.

Messin Around

One quick, funny, slightly mortifying story, and then this PMSy, tired mother is going to bed.

Like I’ve mentioned, Mark has been doing this new job for over a month now and we are getting a rhythm down, a routine established to help give some structure for our kids and for our weekends.  Therefore, weekends include a “quiet time,” which because they are 4 and 6, is rapidly becoming non-essential, and us parents are the ones who need some quiet time mid-afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays, not our dear offspring.

And it’s worth reiterating, we don’t see each other at all during the week, hence we relish our alone time.  So, we put them in their rooms, shut the doors and tell them to play quietly until we come to tell them it’s ok to wake up.   Most of the time, this works and due to their rooms being the only electronic-free rooms in our house, they usually fall asleep out of “boredom” surrounded by actual toys.  Well, we were going to find out they don’t always go to sleep.

I think we both intended to lay in our bed, do some snuggle bunnying and then grab a quick snooze in the quiet moments.  Well, thanks to ending a really good, really smutty book series earlier that morning (He fixes pancakes, I read.  Totally fair.) and the fact that my husband is a guy and I’ve never not seen any guy horny, let alone this one whom I’ve agreed to love, cherish and snog til death due us part –  snuggling led to some very heavy petting.  All under the covers, but a little ardent with maybe a dirty limerick or two being exchanged in the heat of the moment.   Well, apparently we got a little too consumed and did not hear our son’s door open, nor did we hear the footsteps pad up the hallway.  So into it we were (yes with the door open), we were not interrupted until we heard, “When you guys are done fooling around, can naptime be over?”  We look up to see our son standing calmly in the doorway asking a very prudent question.

Gasp.  Shrivel. Panic.

“Uh, in a little bit buddy. Mkay?”

Ga!  Forget college.  We have a therapy fund already started, but really then maybe not, he really didn’t seem all that bothered – but then he could be repressing the whole thing and will be waking up in cold sweats at 16 wondering why rhyming anatomy words creep him out.

True story.  OK – maybe our dirty talk doesn’t rhyme, but go with me on this one.

PS – Check me out on Goodreads, where you can find all the books I allude to.  <—-

Kind Of Deep Thoughts By Jen….

Yeah, I wouldn't take advice from me either.

Yeah, I wouldn’t take advice from me either.

“MOOOOMMMM!”  ….   “Whaaat?”  ….  “MOOOOMMMM!”    My oldest is screaming through the house, while Dad’s on the pooper and I snuck downstairs to clean some cat poop while the chokeable Dora is making its evening run.  Quit staring at me, answer your own questions!  It’s creepy.   Is something wrong I think?  It’s only been two minutes since I was last upstairs, but this sounds frantic.  So, I stop scooping and run upstairs.  “What?” I huff out of breath, because you know, 13 stairs are a toughy.  “What’s 5 + 2?”   Of course.

 

 

So, I’ve been MIA for a few days.  Been in a bit of a mood.  Either pissed off or sad for no reason.  Yep, you’re right men, it’s totally my period.  (Really it kinda was.  Even Mark left me alone.)  So, I decided to stay quiet.  Didn’t want to write something snarky and mean, although trust me, it would have been entertaining, and I did write some feelings I was having about the fact that cancer seems to rearing its ugly head EVERYWHERE, but Mark said it made him want to jump off a cliff and could I end on a happy note?  At this point with that subject, no I can’t, so I’ll save that little gem for another day.  Let me know when you’d like a good depressing, there is no hope, is there a God and if so, WTF is His plan post.  Never?  Yeah, I thought so.

 

 

Hold on, I’m getting some pretty detailed instructions on how to wipe a butt.  Apparently, there is a procedure and very detailed rules…..

 

 

OK, I’m back.  I think I did it right.  God that kid scares me.  He is about six months away from being smarter than Mark and me, or maybe he is already at 6 and I am just too proud to admit it.  And yes, I wipe my 6 year olds butt, but I’ll take that stigma over track marks and itchy assholes any day.

 

 

I wonder if I’m hovering, if I’m one of those so-called helicopter parents.  Maybe a little.  A few weekends ago, Mark was with the kids at a function without me, and he came back with a story that Will was being punched and kicked by another kid during some rowdy play that got out of hand.  My mother bear instinct came out and I was ready to go right then, but Mark told me that while he kept an eye on the situation, he wanted to see how Will would handle it himself.  Apparently, he did great.  He stayed calm, didn’t freak out and told the other kid that he wasn’t playing by the rules.  Not sure what happened after that, but my guess is they went back to being friends and playing their game.  Now if I had seen that happen, you’d bet your ass I’d be up and in the middle of it.  Mark did the right thing and took a breath and let Will spread his wings a little.  It all turned out OK and maybe Will learned something about how to handle a situation that might be uglier and intentionally meaner next time.    That’s why I keep my husband around ladies.  As he would say, clearly, he’s smarter.  Until you ask him to spell ridiculous and then he yields his greatness to me for a bit.  We all have our strengths.

 

 

Then Gracie’s teacher tells us she wishes she was more assertive, and she was glad that just last week she stood up for herself for the first time.  And all this time I thought she was a bulldozer who let no one get in her way.  Apparently, that’s just her brother, or me.  Not her dad, cause he’s wicked fun, but even he loses a few battles now and again.  She lets kids take her toys and tell her to do.  NOOOO!!!!!  That’s the downfall of having a bossy older brother.  That’s how I was growing up, and while I didn’t get picked on so much, I did let those that I loved around me get picked on while I tried to fade into the wall.  I also let these strong-willed people define me as a person, and it took a good 20 years before I realized those people have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, they’re just louder.

 

 

So, what’s next?  Homeschool?  Yeah right.  I am a horrible teacher.  I’d just end up assigning them homework and then doing it for them.  They’d end up hermits who couldn’t conjugate verbs, let alone balance a checkbook, because I would skip math completely.  So, I’m not sure what to do.  I guess face my own fears as they grow up and teach them to be the kick ass person I always wanted to be.  Somehow make them comfortable in their own skin, in love with their uniqueness and quirks.  Aware of their appearance and proud of it, but not be obsessed by it.  Mess them up just enough so they can be funny.  Help them to focus on what’s important and what’s not.  And most importantly, not let the loudmouths define who they are.

 

 

Ga!  See??? I got all bummer at the end.  What’s my deal????

 

 

Until next time…now I have to go make a Christmas list….Grrrr…  How much are maids and full time chefs????