Bruce’s Birth Story

Today, June 30th, is my little boy’s birthday. I can’t believe a whole year has gone by! His birth isn’t much out of the ordinary, but it’s one I’ll never forget…especially since you were a week past your due date!

I had a pretty average, uneventful pregnancy. A few early labor scares, but nothing too dramatic. We ended up having to move to our current home a few days before his original date, and that was the only time I was legitimately terrified. Because when everything you have is stacked up inside a UHaul, attached to the back of your truck-you need to go in labor! But we did muscle through it, and I spent the next three days arranging his room (which was the first to get unpacked and settled before anything else!), and trying to get everything else in order before my son made his grand appearance into the world.

Those three days went by extremely slowly. I was beyond ready to have him. I’ve never weighed more than 110lbs my whole life. Before delivery, I gained a total of 50 with Bruce, which my doctors loved. My Ob said he usually either had to encourage patients to not eat so much and over-gain, or they didn’t eat enough. So although my gain was healthy, I never got fully used to the beach-ball in my stomach (but maybe no one ever does). By the due date, I could barely walk around my new home. I was anxious to have my son, now not experiencing any signs of labor or Braxton Hicks contractions, and the round ligament pain was unbearable.

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So over pregnancy

But he didn’t arrive. And two days later, I had an OB appointment. After checking to see if my cervix began to thin at all, she asked, ‘So, when do you want to have this baby?”
My answer: “Two days ago. on his due date.” No exaggeration. Because I hadn’t even started to thin out, she recommended that since inducing at 41 weeks, should he not come over the weekend, was just as risky as letting him stay in, I agreed on the induction. “Can we go visit my father-in-law in Florida? Or will that be too much?”

I’ll never forget the look on her face. “Do you want to have this baby in Florida?” My puzzled expression must have given her some answer. “Because if you go, that’s what’s gonna happen. You’ll end up in labor in Gainesville, and have him in some random hospital with a random Doctor. they won’t know you, and they’ll be mean to you.” I’m sure the last part was a joke, but it was enough to keep me home. I trusted my OB and Midwives, and I really didn’t want anyone else to deliver if I could help it. I sought out the best in town, dang it, I was going to utilize them.

So I spent the next five days doing what any mom-to-be would. We waddled around yard sales looking for home decor. Watched the entire first two seasons of “Orange Is The New Black”. Drank an entire bottle of hot sauce. Twerked in the shower. Even my husband did *his* part (nudge,nudge, wink, wink). But still, no baby.

Little did I know, since I was so used to the ligament pain, my labor actually started at around 11:20pm that Sunday night. We had orders to see my Doctor at 9am Monday, and if I wasn’t to be rushed across the street to the hospital (so convenient!), we would return that night to start induction. And, of course, that’s exactly what happened. So, taking the suggestion of eating as much as I wanted (because once admitted it was popsicles and water until birth), I polished off a lunch and dinner of giant BLT’s, I craved soooo much bacon during this pregnancy, took a long bath, and we went to the hospital.

They were surprised I didn’t want a wheelchair. I was surprised the birthing suite was so nice. My husband was happy he had a couch to sleep on. In retrospect, I should have taken advantage of the DVD player instead of settling for basic cable. Also, whoever left the plastic hook used for breaking your water, should it not break on it’s own-nice gag. It scared the crap out of both of us. We joked with the night shift nurses about the name of our baby when they asked what we were having. “Well, it;s supposed to be a boy, so we are naming him Bruce. Unless the ultrasounds were wrong. if it’s a girl, we’ll call her Caitlin.” That always got a laugh.

Pitocin was administered with South Park playing in the background. My mom visited. Later, my Dad, once he returned from work. I glared at my husband for eating tasty trail mix of which I was forbidden, and routinely sent him for popsicles.

We couldn’t sleep for the nurses coming in every thirty minutes or so to either check things or start other things, and it was a while before my dear husband drifted off to sleep on the sofa. I was just about to fall out myself, uncomfortable with the occasional contraction when all of a sudden…
Did I just F*cking pee myse-OMG! Yep. 4:00am on the dot, my water broke.

And that’s when the real pain started. Contractions came on strong. My Doctor was on staff and came in to check out everything and we discussed the future procedures. My husband looked terrified as he watched the monitor go off the chart with each contraction. They assured us that our baby would be making his grand appearance, most likely, around lunch time…

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SO unhappy right about now….

Even with it being hours away, we called our list of people waiting for news at 5am…my Mom driving the 45 minute trip back to the hospital she had just left a few hours before. My Dad told me later, he was about to leave the parking lot when he caught his Son-in-law outside the entrance of the building, spinning around in circles freaking out because my water had broke. It took a lot of convincing by the nursing staff that this would still take a while. Me? I just wanted it over with.

When it got time to push, I was asked if a few interns and med students could be present during delivery. I didn’t care. My husband and Mom were there (my dad opted to stay in the waiting room) and that’s all that mattered. I lose track of exactly how many people came in and out of that room within that Hour. A marching band probably could have came through and I would have cared any less. I wanted him OUT. He was scaring his Father and Grandmother with every contraction.

My own mother had all three of her children via cesarean. She almost didn’t want to watch (probably out of sheer terror) and if my Doctor hadn’t asked her if she wanted to be there, she might would have ran out the door. But he is very good natured, always joking and taking everything in stride. He kept the calm of the room, assuring us of no present danger or need for any emergency procedures. He was always confident that I could deliver naturally…even when I wasn’t so sure.

My husband commented after 15 minutes of pushing, that he was surprised I hadn’t called him an a-hole like all the movies show the leading woman, screaming while in labor. After a few more minutes, I did muster one out, but it wasn’t nearly as serious as my fictional precursors. My Mom tried helping, but everyone noticed that at the beginning of that hour, she started at my bedside and slowly crept farther, and farther away with every push. My Doctor eventually left to do quick rounds. Various students wandered in and out. My baby wasn’t coming. It wasn’t until the last ten minutes of pushing that my Mom ran out the room. I thought we scared her off. She went to get my Doctor. I could hear her telling him, “You have to do something, he won’t come out…” and my doctor laughing his way to the bedside. then his expression changed. “You’re right. He’s NOT coming out!”

My ultimate fear had come true. Nothing life-threatening or serious. Just that my child’s head was literally too big. He was stuck. A quick episiotomy, and we were back in business. I owe a lot of unforgettable moments to my Doctor that I would have regretted if he didn’t make me do them. I didn’t want to feel his head as it started to crown because honestly, I was a little freaked out. But he forced my hand below and made me do it-so amazing what the human body can do.  “Hey mom, you’re all the way back there!” He joked, my poor mother now feet from the door. Then he told me I was going to have this baby-two more pushes, and I did.

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Bruce, just minutes old

8 pounds even, 22 inches long. I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face when his first sight was my Doctor, and then me; Terrified and confused. Trust me son, you weren’t the only one. Definitely wasn’t the only one screaming either. I screamed, my husband screamed, my Mom ran like a bat outta hell. But we did it. “Yeah, it’s a boy! See, look, there’s his nuts!” Way to break tension, Doc.

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Like mirror image

Since we had already discussed delayed-cord clamping, I had the awesome opportunity to hold my baby while we were still connected. My doctor let me hold the cord to feel the blood coursing between us, which I’m glad he did; not out of fear, but because I wasn’t totally paying attention. I was engrossed in this little human being I just brought into the world. I did notice my doctor threatening to dump a bucket of after-birth on a nurse’s head, but I never took my eyes off that baby. He was perfect.  And after nine months of creation, a total of 32 hours of labor (starting at home) and an hour of pushing (most of which was pointless because of his head!)…he looked just like his Daddy. *sigh*

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My Little Man

 

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24 hours old

So his birth wasn’t at all out of the ordinary, but was still what it was. We had no problems in recovery. No jaundice or anything of the sort, and we were both released with a clean bill of perfect health. Now here we are…one year later. Can’t wait to see what else is in store.

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The true, and rather uneventful, story of my son's birth

Dirty Laundry – To Air or Not To Air?

Should We Be Airing Our Dirty Laundry?

Social media has become a major factor of most people’s day to day life. We share our triumphs and defeats, our successes and failures.

But how much info is too much info? Especially when it comes to personal drama?

The Information Superhighway Has TMI!

It’s as if everyone has become a star of their own reality show, with their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you use it to connect with family and friends, and keep in touch with the updates of lives that matter to you. I know that’s why I certainly use it!

But how often is it you see sheer drama of the “Jerry Springer” magnitude, unfold before your very eyes on the internet?

I think it’s a pretty safe bet, that nearly everyone can recall at least one time where, whether they really wanted to or not, learned a little too much about personal troubles a family member or acquaintance went through, via social media. It’s often straight out of the horse’s mouth-from the person experiencing it right in the moment.

Social Media Connects People…Unfortunately, Sometimes…

Now, if I care about you, I certainly do want to know when you’re having a hard time. But does the world need to know? I will care when you find out, say for instance, your husband is cheating on you, or your child’s father isn’t paying child support. But that’s because I’m a friend…and most people on the internet are not your friends!

Platforms like Facebook, for example, make it all too easy to notice things that the poster might not want the world to know-they might think what they are speaking on is limited to only a select few, and then forget their privacy settings, and before you know it; People you may only slightly met know all about your baby mama throw down with your new boyfriend’s ex. That’s not mentioning how the gossip train itself rolls through word of mouth.

It’s not good to air dirty laundry on the internet. Yes, it’s attention grabbing if you want to call someone out (discretely or not), but when it gives entertainment for onlookers to cast judgement, is it really worth it? Humans are judgemental by nature-a instinct built in to guide us as who/what to trust, or avoid. And even when you’re calling out the crimes of another, how does that make you look? Are you seen as a victim, or instigator? Heartbroken, or petty?

“Well, I don’t care what others think of me…”  
As a fellow giver of (very little) f*cks, I feel you. If you feel the need to vent and have a very extroverted personality, and the status update is your platform-go for it.

But honestly, if I feel the need to watch some drama, I have ‘Criminal Minds’ reruns to catch up on (too dark? I guess maybe Keeping Up With The Kardashians is a good tv equivalent to what I see scrolling through my feed. Or even old episodes of Real Housewives).

I try to keep as much bad energy out of my life, and away from my family, as possible. I don’t have Baby Daddy drama, and my husband always comes home at night. I don’t enjoy watching the demise and torment of others…even if they are so willing to share it via social networking. Entertainment is best left to film and television…and even if I want to relish some reality tv, I’d rather it be on tv. Honesty, the storylines are better and there’s usually always a happy outcome, unlike real-life drama.

Use Your Social Media Platform Wisely

I’m not saying everything should be sunshine and daisies, because life isn’t like that. But if every time you tweet or update, and it’s about how a man did you wrong, or a girl disrespected you, or something you’re angry about within your family…I’m going to ignore and eventually unfollow so your negativity doesn’t breach my firewall and attack. Because that’s what negative energy does. And I don’t find anyone’s personal drama that entertaining.

Unless Ryan Reynolds is part of it. Then by all means, please tweet the hell out of that!

Should we really be discussing disputes and grievances over social media?

Cork Art: Or, How I Copied Something From Pinterest Without Failing!

Pinterest is full of trial and error

I usually can’t do anything I see on Pinterest. I either screw it up, or figure out it’s impossible and a complete fail. Continue reading “Cork Art: Or, How I Copied Something From Pinterest Without Failing!”

When ‘Me’ Time Becomes “All The Time”

We all need alone time…

There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself some much needed ‘Me’ time, as a parent. But when does ‘Me’ time, turn into ‘All the Time’?

Now I cherish the short amount of time I get with my husband, or even just to myself, without the kid, as much as the next parent. it’s opportunities to catch up on work, relax a little, or (god forbid) even get to go out and have a little fun with friends during dinner. But my son is always first priority, and I’m usually more inclined to spend a night reading to him than dancing at a club with my girlfriends. Why? Because the club is always there-my son’s time as a little guy is getting shorter with each day. He’s almost a year already and I feel like I just brought him home! But if he’s visiting grandma, and I can get away for an hour or two, of course I’ll join a friend for a birthday celebration. Even let my husband take me out for dinner, which we never do anymore.

When is there too much “me time?”

But I know some parents who are able to find babysitters every weekend, and go out whenever they want. Envious? A little. But I still wouldn’t change my mind, even if I had the flexibility. I don’t want to miss out on that much time with my child. Is is a judgement on their parenting? Not at all-if it works for you, go for it. Some parents can, I’m just one of the ones who personally cannot.

But I’m bothered by a select few (who I’m sure everyone knows types like this) who are hardly ever spending time with their kids as a family. Who are always leaving them with a babysitter every chance they get, to party, to hang out with other adults. Who choose to forgo an opportunity to take their child to the beach, over going with friends to the beach. Who choose a night at the movies with girlfriends, over watching their kid in the school play. I was shocked when a friend of mine openly admitted she “didn’t have time for (cheerleading) practices”, but yet is at the club every weekend instead. Equally as shocked when learning that some of the parents I know won’t allow their son to play football, because it cuts into their time doing some other activity for themselves.

Again, I’m not judging their ability to wipe noses, kiss their kids goodnight, or provide for them the necessities they require for survival. But one thing I learned when becoming a mom, was that as the saying goes, “It’s a time to put away your childish ways, for your child’s ways.”

Parenting Isn’t Easy

Being a parent requires a certain level of sacrifice. I sacrifice sleep, time to use the bathroom alone (or at all), hair appointments (yes, I rock Mom hair, no shame), and a lot of other things, so I can devote more time to my child. I’m not saying cut out all of your hobbies and pleasures altogether. That’s where time management comes in. But it saddens me when I see parent’s choosing themselves over their kids like this. Yes, my son might only be 11 months old, but when it’s time for him to want to play a sport, there’s no question which will come first: Baseball, or my spin class. If they are scheduled at the same time, guess what I’ll be doing? Spinning my little car to the diamond field so he can practice pitching. When he has the lead in the school play, or even just as a member of chorus, I’ll be there at every production – happy hour or not. And if all my friends, childless or not, are going to the beach? Move over so my little boy can get in between us and build a sand castle.

It saddens me because our time with our kids is so very limited. They are only children for so long. And they have lives, too. Lives that are better enriched by activities. It shouldn’t be a hard choice to pick your child over your own social life. Your work schedule is a different story, but when it comes to “Personal Me Time”, I don’t think it should be more than the time you spend with your kids. And I don’t think they should suffer because their lives conflict with yours.

Family is what really matters

Sometimes my husband and I do things for ourselves as a couple, or we separate and do things as individuals. But it’s seldom. It’s not at every opportunity to dump the baby at Grandma’s. I’m not saying anyone is a bad parent for doing these things, but this is how I look at it; those club nights add up. The missed after-school activities add up. The chances to go with Mommy and Daddy to the theme park, add up. What do you think your child will remember most?

I don’t want my son to remember that he didn’t get to participate in karate, because it conflicted with my yoga class. I don’t want him to recall growing up spending every non-school night at his aunt’s house because “mama needed to get her drink on.” I want him to remember that not only did he get to play sports, but I was there for every game. I want him to remember the time I declined girl’s night, so me and his father could go out to a family dinner and movie date.

I don’t want him to ever think that “Mommy’s time” was more important than he is.

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Jealousy: The Good & Bad

Everyone’s Journey in the Pursuit of Happiness, is different; with varying pitfalls, highs, and obstacles. I can say with confidence that after 28 years, I’m a pretty happy person. I can’t say that for others I know, but at least I can about my journey.

It’s an unfortunate fact, but some people will always be jealous of you. Maybe their journey is a rockier road. Or it’s not turning out as well as they thought. But some people are always looking in someone else’s lane.

Now, there’s good jealousy and bad jealousy. The Good kind of jealousy can motivate you. Push you to be a better person. It can inspire you to reach your goals. And then there’s the Bad kind. This is the type of jealousy that can occur at any time, over any little thing; and usually it’s within the person least expected to be jealous of someone else. But that’s because things aren’t always what they seem.

I used to envy some of my girlfriends, For their husbands, families, houses, wardrobe…you know, the basic stuff one can be envious over. Until I really started working on my own journey. Once I met my husband, all that melted away. Now I had a goal worth investing in; our family, our house (my own wardrobe, but you get the picture). That’s the Good kind of jealousy. And there’s nothing really wrong with that if you can use it as a motivator.

But sadly, there’s some people that will look at your success as not only their failure, but a personal curse. I think everyone has an idea of this type of person: They can’t stand for anyone to be on top, but them. Always quick to remind you of setbacks, harsh realities, and even your past. Whatever it takes to steal the spotlight. I’m genuinely happy for people I know that are doing well in their life. Sadly, not everyone is like this.

So what can you do about it?

I try to be as understanding as possible with someone who is like that. It’s the only way I can not only tolerate their feelings, but try to inadvertently help them at the same time. For instance: my friend’s who poke at me for being skinny. Well, none of them are my size-actually, quite heavier. Yes, it’s childish to comment on someone’s weight, no matter what it is. And that’s what I remind myself-along with the possibility that maybe they just make rude jokes because they are struggling with their own issues, and that’s how they deal. It’s easier to attempt an understanding and shrug it off, rather than to get angry about it.

There’s really nothing you can do about it but shrug it off. Keep doing you. Like I said before, some use jealously as a healthy motivator. It’s not your fault that it’s turned into something bad. And it shouldn’t keep you from completing your journey to happiness. And maybe one day, after seeing you still happy and content with your life goals, whomever is exuding that negative jealousy towards you, can turn it into a motivator instead. By continuing on your journey without allowing them to slow you down, you are giving them the best inspiration possible, to change their lives.

The worst thing you can do, is let the inevitable (jealous people) stop you from achieving.

mexico