Archive for category pregnant

The truth about motherhood

Yesterday’s Oprah was the talk of Twitter last night.  I have to admit, I was napping because I’m on “vacation” (well, as much as one can consider vacationing in your hometown and sleeping in your childhood bed) The napping part is the vacation part.  But, since I have extra help this week, to me, that translates into sleep.  So, we napped…and I missed Oprah and friends talking about motherhood.  But I did have the chance to read and watch Oprah online and I found it so interesting.

Just like the moms said, there’s so much about motherhood that no one really vocalizes.  I mean, not just the bodily fluids, but the resentment, the guilt, the constant exhaustion, the new types of “flutters,”  the greatness of this love… But for real, I could’ve used that memo a year and a half ago!

  • No one ever warned me that EVERYONE else knows more about my child than me, you know, the person that they poked, prodded and yanked him from.
  • No one ever told me that not only would I not be able to go to the bathroom in peace, but that I’d never be able to change my clothes in peace, either.
  • No one ever warned me about the icepack to the ass.  Um, hemorrhoids?  That phase of pregnancy was an entire hemorrhage.
  • No one ever told me the guilt would eat me alive–not just the working mom’s guilt, but the judgmental guilt, and the am I doing the right thing guilt and as of late for me, the discipline-sometimes-sucks-so-bad-I’m-a-horrible-mom guilt.
  • No on ever told me exactly how much poo and the wiping of another person’s butt would be involved.  I knew there would be a lot, but one day, at the height of the fun–I think there was four poopy diapers in an hour and a half.  Holy crap–literally!
  • No one ever told me just how powerful the little boy hugs and sweet kisses can be.
  • No one ever warned me that getting pregnant wasn’t as easy as I imagined.  It’s easier said than done to plan to wait to have kids once “the time is right.”  When you’re ready, your body/circumstance/nature might think otherwise.
  • No one ever told me how rewarding it all is, you know, after all the poo, Tucks and lack of showering.
  • No one ever told me just how happy and content these two human beings can make me feel.
  • No one ever said that being imperfect is perfectly fine.
  • No one ever warned me about the magnitude of it all.

Jacky and mom
I could go on forever about what I’d wish I’d known about motherhood, but hearing all of my truths would surely get redundant and for some, a lot more TMI!

Based on the “expert” panelists on Oprah, it sounds like none of us are alone in this thing we call motherhood.  Among the “expert” panelists were some influential mom bloggers and writers including, Heather B. Armstrong from Dooce, Mindy Roberts from The Mommy Blog, Daphne Brogdon from CoolMom , BlogHer CE Karen Walrond from Chookooloonks. Heija Nunn from The Worst Mother in the World, Vicki Glembocki author of The Second Nine Months were all Skyped in.  Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile, co-authors of the book I’d Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper and actor Cheryl Hines, star of ABC’s series In The Motherhood joined Oprah in the studio.

While not everything was relevant, it was informative nonetheless.  Running out of diapers?  What?  We live 15 steps from the bodega and CVS.   I know nothing about that.  However, I’m sure not every mom can relate to the amount of discomfort I felt when my kid melted down on Park Ave. or the fury I felt the time not a single person offered to help me hoist our stroller up a set of stairs from the subway platform.

We all have different scenarios.  Some of us are rural, some are suburban and others are urban.  Some have calmer, less acrobatic children.  Others have help.  Some have the juggle down to a precision.  Others handle stress much differently.

And that’s why I put it all out there.  So much of what I do makes up what I blog, what I tweet and influences how I update my status on FB, just like many of you do, too!  I’m not perfect.  My kid is not perfect.  My husband?  Well, he’s close to it (or so I tell him).

But that’s it.  That’s what makes motherhood for our generation so intriguing.  Each mom, each family, each child has their own story, and combine that with the immediacy and convenience of the internet and social media, it truly makes the world such an interesting place in which to live and learn.  I learn so much from what I read online, especially from the people I know personally.  We all influence each other so much, which makes motherhood *that* much easier, or at least not as lonely.

I sure as hell don’t know it all, but it’s pretty cool reading and learning from other people’s experiences.

One of the most memorable quotes I got from the show:

Mothers need to know that if they can’t do it all—or if they don’t want to—that doesn’t make them failures, Amy says. “We need honesty,” she says. “We need to support each other more.”

Lets be honest friends, the lack of sleep, that’s to be expected.  But listen, there’s a lot of poop involved–literally and figuratively.  But it’s so damn worth it.

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Opposites and faith

It’s been a week of catch up and clean up around here.  I’ve been busy with my projects, Jeff’s been busy with work and Jack, well, he’s been busy hiding important objects–keys, iPod, magazines, bananas.  Good times.  In between all of that I’ve been copying and pasting some old files which made me all nostalgic.

Since getting married in 2003, I’ve been part of this wonderful online community over at MSN.  It stemmed from a bigger message board and became very much a part of my day.  The girls became such great friends and every now and then we’d even get to see each other.  On that board, I kept a very private blog that only they could read.  And with MSN shutting down that service, it’s the end of an era.  Even though we’re all moving on to another message board, it was fun to look back at the different phases in life that were documented on that blog.  While some of the stuff is best kept private, there are some entries that I thought would be fun to share. (Because nothing says fun like sharing your heart and soul for the whole world to read!) It was like reading my childhood diary, minus all the-I- hate-my-brother.-He-sucks-rambling.

For the record, my brothers don’t suck–well, at least not all the time. :)

Since this blog started out as a way to document my pregnancy and musings as a new mom, I guess you could say that my other blog was my prequel.  For those that may not know, it took about 2 years for us to get pregnant, which was an emotionally trying time. But above all, that adversity tested our marriage and reinforced so much more.


Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.

A lot of people don’t know or realize (or care) that Jeff and I are complete and total opposites.
Take last week’s election for example:  I was vehemently opposed to our Republican candidate for senate, not because he couldn’t represent us well, but because I thought his views on certain things were quite absurd and weak.  I have a hard time voting for someone who can’t make his own mind up, but instead can only offer negative feedback as his prime line of defense on his opponent.  If he can’t stand behind his own conservative stance on things, why should I trust you to make decisions for me?
Albeit fueled by a Tuesday night at the bar, after voting, Jeff and I had an extremely heated debate.  Jeff doesn’t think it’s right for us to play God– no matter if it’s stem cell research or reproductive endocrinology.
Even though we constantly have strong opinions for separate views about everything, it always makes for an intellectual and thought-provoking conversation.  It’s who we are.
On a more direct and personal level, we’ve always wanted something similar– but we’ve always had that strong opposing view on how to attain our goals.  He’s more direct, by the book.  Me, I’m more unconventional and sometimes unrealistic; backed by research, I’m headstrong and usually take a let’s-do-it-my-way attitude.  My passion in certain scenarios inhibits progress, I’ve found.
I hate to make such a severe analogy here, but it’s really the only way to accept the way things are between us.  I’m so far from his conservative views, I couldn’t get any bluer in the face.
Since late 2004, I’ve had a stack of books on my bookshelf– 8 to be exact– on stories of conception, understanding IF and the latest technology when dealing with IF.  My own research and proactiveness in this extremity has proven so futile, I know.
What’s taking so long?  Why has this been so frustrating?
Well, there’s a myriad of conclusions.  But, the simple answer is:  we’re a team and my team partner wants to take a very different and let’s be patient route.
Complex answer:  it’s about faith.  Faith in ourselves, faith in our destiny, faith in us.
I’m guilty of questioning my faith. a lot.  Not my spirituality, but my faith.  And that’s what’s made all of this so hard.
And so, today, I’m we’re at a new crossroads.  For the first time in a while, I feel so empowered.  I can freely say and believe when I say, God only gives us challenges that he knows we’re strong enough to handle.
I’m glad Jeff and I are channeling this questionable energy into something more positives and uplifting.  I truly hope we’ll be able to find a home within the next few months.  I’m even more excited about our next consultation next weekend.  I don’t know what it’ll all mean, but having him there with the facts/possibilities verbally expressed will make a big difference. (I hope.) We have so many exciting possibilities in front of us.
Today, in an email exchange about a consultation with a new specialist next week and excitement about a future home purchase, I told Jeff that our dreams of winning the lottery shall never die.
Jeff says:  Don’t need the lottery. We are going to live the American Dream and own our own business. we will also have 2.3 kids.
tears streaming down my face and laughing hysterically I reply:
WE are.  I know it.  2.3?  We can’t even have one that easily.  where will the 1.3 come from? Malawi?
…Valiant proof of our crossroads and visual proof of our faith and humility.

2 months after this entry, I found out I was pregnant with Jack.

2 years later, I’m screaming things like, DO NOT CLIMB ON TOP OF THE TV!  NORMAL PEOPLE WATCH TV FROM THE FLOOR!!

Oh, and we’re still looking for a new home.

good times!

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A million reasons

Jack and I had a lovely day in the City today.  We met up with two of my friends from my old job, which reminded me how much I miss all of them.  Besides seeing my very cool friends, I had a chance to window shop and enjoy the scant amount of foliage in the city.  Fall in NYC is a thing of beauty for me; hell, all seasons in the city are awesome.  Today was a great way to punctuate an unforgettable week.

Madison Square Park

Macy*s windows in progressDespite the whole ball joint fiasco, the news of unemployment reaching a 14-year high and all the other ominous current events that continue to loom, this was one of the most memorable weeks I’ve experienced to date.  I’m sure there’s never an easy time to be a parent, but I’m sure I speak for many to say that it’s daunting to be a new parent at a time like this.  Instead of thinking, ‘what will Jack and his peers do for college, jobs, etc. with the way things are going…’ I’m hopeful that maybe things will look up in time.  So, based on the way this past week has transpired, I consider myself fortunate to be part of this whole Reason to Believe school of thought.

But while we were in Herald Square today, I noticed how Macy*s is in the process of decorating for Christmas.  So, if I may, let me throw out an analogous scenario [pairing a literary device with Macy*s--I'm sure I make my English professors proud ;) ] At a time like this, the famous window displays might have been a work in progress, but it was the theme that had such impeccable timing.

Millions of Reasons to Believe

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The Transformation of America

Election Day= family eventThe boys and I started this monumental day like most other Americans, we made our ways to the polls to submit our vote.  It’s been an exciting day to watch history unravel, and of course, be a part of it.  All day, I kept telling Jack how he’s “witnessing” history.  His response was always, “YABBA MAMMA MOO.”  Either way, history will be made, and I can’t wait to see the outcome. (I’m writing this before the President-elect is announced)

In our home, we’re passionate about many things, but most of those things we don’t always agree upon.  Ahnold and Maria we’re not, but somehow, we make it work.  Red and Blue all the wayIt’ll be an interesting road once Jack is older and can understand topics like this.  As parents, I hope we can eschew our contrasting viewpoints and provide a foundation for him to make his own decisions, much like my parents did for my brothers and me.  Regardless of our opposing political views, like everyone else, with this new president, it’s imperative the parties work together to make sense of the mess THEY made.

Ok, I’ll step off of my soapbox now and tell you about ICE CREAM!

We got our free ice creamJack knew something was up today, so he refused to take his afternoon nap.  After 3 hours of fighting with him over it, I threw my arms up and packed him up to march down the street to get our FREE ice cream.  Democracy IS sweet, ya’ll.  We practically sprinted the 10 blocks to our local Ben and Jerry’s to take part in the freebie.  We practically pummeled other small children to make our way to 2nd in line–it was great.  Sadly, they didn’t have mama’s favorite and the very relevant, Americone Dream.  Instead, I had Whirled Peace, which, my friends, is exactly what the outcome of this day will hopefully bring.

One day…

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Report: Want a boy? Eat Bananas.

Very interesting. According to various news outlets,

Women can influence the gender of their child with what they eat before they conceive, according to new research that lends scientific support to age-old superstitions about pregnancy.

The study of 740 women showed that higher calorie intake led to a higher probability of a male birth.

The discovery shows higher calorie intake prior to conception can significantly increase the chances of having a son while women on restricted diets are more likely to produce daughters.

“We were able to confirm the old wives’ tale that eating bananas and so having a high potassium intake was associated with having a boy, as was a high sodium intake,” research leader Fiona Mathews, a specialist in mammalian biology at Exeter University, told the Guardian newspaper.

Cereal and bananas, huh? FYI, I don’t like bananas. I wonder where sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches fall in this research .

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First Blogaversary!

Since I’m an artist by nature, writer by trade and scatterbrain by heart, I’m notorious for starting projects and well…uh, never finishing them. Over the past 8 years or so, I’ve started a handful of blogs and lost interest or lost passwords. Since the driving force behind Babyrific was so different, I amazed myself that I even kept up and somewhat flourished.

I keep promising myself that I’m going to change the layout, join mom networks, do this, add a blogroll, blah blah blah… The day I don’t fall asleep watching Access Hollywood is the day I’ll actually get to it. I swear!

Today also marks the day I found out I was pregnant, and the whole reason I started this blog in the first place. It’s a year later and with a bubbly 3 month old and a lot of gray hair to show for it, things sure have changed. While I don’t anticipate any new family members any time soon (much to Jeff’s chagrin,) I’m hoping for more new  developments in this next year … and a whole new set of reasons for me to believe again!

Thanks for keeping up with me!


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Brownies and baby weight

I have a secret.

I ate brownies for breakfast this morning. I’m not talking like one square. More like, half the freaking pan. I’m not apologizing or anything. I’m just sharing because they were damn good.

traderjoesbaking3.jpgLet’s get something straight here: Before I got pregnant with our giant baby, I never ate breakfast. Instead, I had 2 cigarettes and 2 cups of very potent coffee to wash it all down. Healthy, right? So, once the whole world advised that I should eat healthier, I obliged…except, the healthy stuff kinda got lost in the mix. Oops. At least I gave up the cigarettes and actually ate breakfast. (the baby “craved” sausage, egg and cheese on a roll from the deli.)

So, now that I have Jack and nurse him EVERY 2 hours on the dot, I’m always huuungry. I eat everything in sight it seems like. But can I brag for a second? My voracious eater is my best weight loss regimen EVAH.

During my pregnancy, I gained almost 40 lbs. And between us, I weighed A LOT.  I thought for sure that I’d be featured on Maury one day and Jeff would have to hire a crane to remove me out of bed.
Much to my surprise, I am happy to report that a few weeks ago, I got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Yay me.  Seriously though, that’s not saying much. Actually, that’s not saying a damn thing!! I still have a long way to go before I don a bathing suit, or a skirt for that matter. The weight is generously redistributed thanks to gravity. Jeff’s been saying that he’s watched the weight just melt off. As sweet as he is, when you’re in sweats all day, how can you tell? So, when I wore a non-maternity dress for the first time this YEAR over the weekend, I actually felt good in my own non-pregnant skin.

I’ve been secretly patting my back since I shed all the baby weight even though it hasn’t been that ‘easy.’ Breastfeeding on demand for 2 months has been the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life, ya’ll. (Again, can you tell we just got back from Va. with the ya’ll.) Mama deserves a brownie or 5!

I’ve got a long way to go and now that I have the ok to go back to the gym, I hope to continue losing the excess weight. We’ll see how it goes.

Back to those delicious brownies…since I was in an especially Christmassy mood last night, I decided to bake! So, right before the Rockefeller Tree Lighting came on, I whipped up a batch of Trader Joe’s Truffle Brownies since our kitchen is bare. It’s like heaven in a box. Everything from TJ’s is awesome, but those brownies blow Betty Crocker out of the kitchen.

If you go to Trader Joe’s I recommend stocking up before I buy all the boxes myself– on the way to the gym of course!

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Itchy scratchy

Remember how my OB said Jack’s True Knot indicated good luck? um, yeah. I don’t think that good luck stuff goes into effect any time soon. Actually, to be accurate, it seems my/our bad luck is back, but with a vengeance!

Let’s backtrack a little here. After I had my c-section a month and a half ago, I had a somewhat difficult time with recovery. Not only is my threshold for pain pretty low, but it was pretty difficult functioning on little to no sleep and taking pain meds. Plus, I insisted on doing too much almost all the time, and of course my body punished me. So yeah, my recovery was somewhat tumultuous. Thankfully, the abdominal pain is gone, but lucky me, I have new ailments to replace it!

About 3 weeks ago, I had an itch above my incision, but below my belly button. Since I was too scared to look at the scar, I figured it was my incision healing. A few days later, the itch intensified, as if I had a village of fire ants setting up shop under my skin. Gradually, as the days went on, I’d scratch a little harder and of course, the minor rash spread to a full blown “skin condition.” As I always do, I went to the internet and did a preliminary self-diagnosis and prayed that I was jumping to conclusions.

At my 6-week postpartum appointment last Friday, my dr. confirmed exactly what I was afraid of: I have postpartum PUPPPS. ugh. Why me!!?!! I suppose, if I had to choose, I’m somewhat glad that I have it now rather than during my last trimester when I was miserable for a million other reasons. I really could NOT imagine scratching my eyeballs out when I was that big and uncomfortable. Of course, that’s not to say that I’m any more comfortable now, but at least my body is back to its almost original size and I don’t have an enormous belly to contend with!

So, back to the itching: For those that don’t know, PUPPPS is Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. Essentially, it’s an annoying skin condition that primarily affects pregnant women and is nothing short of annoying as hell. My dr. attributed the rash to hormones and how my body is trying to deal with the changes. According to what I’ve read and what the dr. said, it’s not harmful to me or the baby, just annoying and painful. As I mentioned, my rash started on my belly and unfortunately, it’s spread like wild fire to my hips, breasts, back side and up and down my arms. As much as I don’t want to, I itch constantly and the rash spreads even further. It feels sort of like poison ivy or the hives, but probably much more intense.

When I showed my dr. what was going on, his eyes lit up and was like, “oh wow, that is bad.” um, ya THINK? The dr. prescribed Clobetasol cream, which so far has been excellent other than the fact that I can only use it twice a day–possibly because of the ingredients and me breastfeeding. But when I went to go get the prescription filled, I couldn’t believe my eyes. They gave me a tiny tube of this cream. I’m talking tiny– like smaller than a travel sized toothpaste. I took it out of the box and mouthed “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Did I say that my rash is ALL OVER. and did I mention that it’s on my back side too. My dr. should’ve prescribed 2 years worth based on the size of my back side alone!!

But seriously, the prescription is working ok. In between the prescription applications, I was advised that I could slather on Benadryl and whatever else that made me comfortable. I bought an anti-itch lotion called Sarna that’s been miraculous because of its cooling effect. I’d give anything to soak in a big tub filled with Benadryl and Sarna. Other than that, warm baths with Aveeno soap and sipping on a cold beer after the baby has gone to bed have comforted me. The dr. said that PUPPPs usually goes away after you deliver. Well, considering I did that almost 2 months ago, he assumes I have a month left of suffering!!! God help me!

Having to deal with all these new transitions, the hormones, the lack of sleep AND a debilitating rash is so overwhelming. I must have hit the pregnancy ailment and complication lottery! Who gets a pregnancy rash almost 2 months LATER. oh, me!! I asked Jeff last night if Crackheads who get pregnant get these pregnancy and post partum ailments too. I mean, they probably don’t, right? Well, Jeff’s answer made me forget about my latest misery and itching for a quick second.
“All our suffering and now your new condition brought us Jack. If we didn’t go through all of this we wouldn’t have this perfect little guy.” I don’t know about perfect ;) but coming from his mama, he’s pretty damn close.

I gazed at Jack who was peacefully asleep with his disheveled hair, crooked head tilt and half-opened mouth and I smiled. He might keep us up at nights and eat like a Barracuda, but not surprisingly, Jack overshadows all the misery, rashes and itchiness that have come our way.

…Ask me again at 3am when I’m slathering Benadryl in between feeding our constantly hungry child!! :)

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One month

Exactly one month ago, after several years of trying, many months of anticipation and a grueling delivery to boot, Jackson finally made his arrival. His grand entrance was a memorable one, and one we’re told was rare and should bring us good luck. ha.

It’s been a long but oddly a very short-lived month, one where patience was tested, lessons were learned and of course, many hours of sleep were lost…but still a month of unbridled happiness and immeasurable joy.

Just the other night, while I was enduring yet another one of the 3:00a.m.  breastfeeding sessions, I heard the crazy drunkards hooting and hollering on our street. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic and remember that WE were 2 of the many crazies (maybe not screaming) but drinking one too many for our own good. And then I looked down, saw our little man smirk back at me, as if to say, “I’m so worth it.”

And then, that nostalgia quickly turned into bitterness because dangit, who goes around yelling at 3am in the morning when people are trying to tend to their children. haha.

But no, really… while I do miss the craziness and spontaneity that we seemed to thrive on, all of that prepared us for what really matters– us. As in, the THREE of us.

Our first month together has been an unforgettable time filled with lots of family, friends, misadventures, pee, poop and barf. All the essentials in life. Every morning when I wake up to Jeff snoozing at my side and Jack, whether he’s groaning or ‘singing,’ my heart melts and I’m reminded how blessed we are.

And so, as we’ve sacrificed temporary things like sleep and late night trips to the bar, and fill our home with dirtied burp cloths and bulky baby paraphernalia, the baby smiles and hey, even baby toots make it oh so worth it.

1st month mosaic

The stats and misc. one month milestones:

  • at one month, Jack is 12.5 lbs and about 23 in.
  • Mom has reluctantly packed away all newborn clothes, most 0-3 clothes.
  • Jack is comfortably wearing 3m clothes.
  • He’s wearing size 1 diapers and about to transition into size 2.
  • Jack has been nursing well for about a month and takes a bottle when we travel or when mom needs a break.
  • Jack has been introduced to almost all of the family and to a few of our friends.
  • His first road trip was to West Chester, PA to visit the Schmidt family.
  • Jack’s first big trip will be to Va. for Thanksgiving, where he’ll meet the rest of the family and friends.
  • Jack has been to NYC a few times–ridden in a cab, ferry, but no bus or train quite yet.
  • Jack and mommy (sadly) spend a lot of time in the laundromat.
  • When he hears daddy’s voice, Jack’s eyeballs light up.
  • Since day 2, Jack has loved to pop his head up on his own. Now, he tries to maintain his posture, which makes him look like a wobbly turtle. (a very cute one)
  • When he’s mad or hungry(or when mom takes too many damn pictures) he turns a vivid shade of angry!
  • Jack has a few distinct coos…all of them sound like birds. His owl coo means mom or dad are doing something right.
  • Jack has started to smile more consistently, especially when he sees the milk machine mama.
  • And even though he’s currently congested and sometimes uncomfortable, Jack is one tough, but easy going baby.

Happy one month, kiddo!

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Road to Delivery part IV

Jeff said he sat in the empty birthing suite in his scrubs for 15 long minutes as they continued to prep me in the OR.

It was definitely a long 15 minutes. Not having a hand, specifically his hand, to hold at the scariest, most painful time in my life was much more than I could comprehend. While I laid on the operating table, I kept my eyes closed but would peek intermittently to see if the anesthesiologist had arrived to save the day yet. Considering I’d never had surgery or even stayed at a hospital overnight, I remember thinking that the OR was exactly how it’s portrayed on TV. It was sterile and white– exactly the way I’d imagined it would be. Actually, it was THE only aspect of my birthing experience that was just like it’s shown on tv. And finally, when I peeked again, I heard an unfamiliar voice among all the counting of the surgical equipment. It was my savior– the anesthesiologist! He had to measure stuff, ask me questions then finally after all the moans and groans, he topped my epidural off with some good, strong stuff, enough to hold me off for the C-section. He didn’t have to inject anything directly in me since I had the epidural already wired in. Within minutes, the excruciating, imploding pain had subsided and then I could focus on what was going on besides my pain. I heard my dr’s dialogue with the anesthesiologist, basically implying that the medicine needed to hurry up and be administered because we were on a tight time table. I then realized that beyond the nurses, my dr. had another OB assisting in my surgery.

And then, what was probably the weirdest thing ever, my dr. had to do a test cut to make sure the meds were strong enough. He did a quick slice, starting on my left side. I felt the sensation of the first cut, but not the pain. Dr. said I wasn’t quite ready but would be within the next 3 minutes or so. I felt the urgency in his voice. And then finally, he told the nurses to go get Jeff. Once Jeff arrived, I was even more relaxed…well, considering the circumstances!

The drugs made me feel 10000% better than I felt half an hour earlier. I remember getting pretty inquisitive. Since the anesthesiologist was sitting by my head, I kept asking him questions, like he was the tour guide for C-sections.”So, what does it feel like?” I asked him “Well, many women have said that once the baby is pulled out, it feels like a giant elephant sitting on your chest.” he told me. I’m glad I befriended this doc because all the questions I asked him made me almost forget what was going on. Even though there was a tarp like thing hiding the surgery, I was within earshot of the drs and nurses. I heard my dr. telling the other dr. that he had to do something quick because the baby was so far down in the birth canal. I even heard the dr. realize part of the reason why the baby wouldn’t descend. And then I tried to focus on the different sensations and tugging that was going on. I didn’t want to miss the baby’s first cry. So after a minute or two of forceful pulling, my dr. finally pulled the baby out and the giant elephant sat on my chest. Wow. He wasn’t kidding about that analogy! That’s exactly what it felt like. It was right about then when my dr. asked Jeff if he wanted to see his baby boy. He told Jeff he could stand up, but could not touch anything sterilized that was in blue. Jeff stood up, saw our alien-like squirmy newborn and was completely smitten. Jeff also said, as he sat back down, the dr. shifted and then he could see my “insides” just sitting on the table. mmmmm. nice.

After Jeff sat back down, I could hear that the baby was finally here. And it was then that I first heard him. I knew they had to flush his system a bit to remove fluid, so it took a moment for him to cry. But once he let out that first cry, my heart thumped a lot louder and the tears began to flow. I couldn’t see him yet, but I knew I loved him, just from the sounds of it. The dr. continued with my surgery. It felt like he was rearranging my organs and cleaning up shop and even rattling my vertebrae just a bit. It was quite uncomfortable to feel all that movement going back in. I felt him sew up the insides and then do stuff to the outside. I also heard a blow torch thing?? and smelled a strange burning thing. I still have no idea what THAT was, but whatever. It took another 10 minutes for all that to finish up.

While he was sewing me up, the dr. started to tell Jeff and me that we made the right decision at the right time. He said we didn’t have just 1 thing going against us causing the distress, but we had basically 4 factors that could’ve created a different result, had we gone another route. The dr said, first his size was an obvious factor. We knew he was big, but nobody really doubted that he’d have problems coming out. UM, I KNEW! Secondly, the baby had meconium stains on his face which can be very serious. Meconium stains indicate distress during delivery and if too much is swallowed, it can create a lot of problems. Then the baby had the umbilical cord around his neck almost twice. While it’s almost common to see this among babies being born nowadays, that too can create problems. And then the big one– the baby had a true knot in his umbilical cord. Since Jack was so active in utero, he created an actual knot in the cord. The knot could have created circulation issues and even resulted in a cord accident, but thankfully things worked out in our favor. We were told that with the cord around his neck combined with the true knot, the umbilical cord was like a bungee cord for the baby, so I could’ve pushed for 2 days, and he probably would have never completely descended on his own. My dr. said the the true knot is so rare that it only occurs in 1 in every 10,000 or so births. And basically, it means good luck. WHAT! good luck? haha. you’ve got to be kidding me. After all that? Now you tell me I have good luck. We could’ve used the luck before the birth!
We didn’t really need luck afterall– we made one quick decision that ensured the safety and health of our beautiful boy. And that’s all that matters.

After all the serious talk, I asked, what day it was? I couldn’t figure out if it was Wed, Thurs or Friday at that point. I wanted to know when Jack was born, as well as all of his stats. I was so excited and drugged up, I had to know right then! The drs told me they had to take the baby right away to the nursery to do all of his stats and the initial testing, so I wouldn’t be able to see him for long. But thankfully, they brought him around to show me. I kissed my boy, sobbed a lot and glanced at my husband, who beamed even brighter. Even though it wasn’t the way I envisioned my birthing experience, it was still the most unscripted and seemingly characteristic way to welcome our first born. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. From going overdue and then finding out that his umbilical cord could have created long term, even fatal problems, all we could think was how blessed we were to be able to finally meet Jackson Foster. Jack measured at 21 inches, 8 lbs and 14 oz. and was officially welcomed into the world at 10:34 on September 27th.

The nurses kept saying, wow he’s a big boy. Yeah, he’s really big! In fact, he was the biggest newborn in the nursery during our stay. haha. go figure.

All it took was just a few seconds and I immediately (well, temporarily at least) forgot about the years of heartache, the 9 months of morning sickness and discomfort, the 27 hours of difficult labor and 2 painful hours of unsuccessful pushing.

In just one instant, I was so completely in love and he was FINALLY all ours.


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