Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yule tide greetings! (Of the lazy variety)

Hi!  Merry Christmas Eve!  Today, I am going to copy and paste a holiday email I sent out to friends and family.  Because I would like to give a Christmas post, and I was thinking about writing about Christmas traditions and how having a baby is a time to consider all that stuff and talk about the research I've been doing into traditional Christmas things from Wales and Iceland (Mr. Adventure is basically a red-bearded Welsh Viking).  But I don't feel like it.  And I have a lot of work to do at work today.  AND I'm cooking a turkey tonight instead of tomorrow, so it will be my first time not brining.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

So, here is a copy of the email I sent out.  (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.  And pictures have been excluded to maintain Hamburglar's digital privacy.  And because he is so damn cute that you would literally die if you gazed upon his baby face).

"Hi people!

Merry Christmas Eve!

We didn't do Christmas cards, so I'm sending a Christmas email. I typically assume that people are just as busy as I am, and I am trying to show restraint and not bombard anyone with millions of baby pictures (unless you ask for it) because, well, who wants to look at pictures of a big fat baby face all the time? Especially when you can come visit me and see him live in all his neck roll glory!


A lot of things have happened this year. I had a baby in September and he already weighs 16 pounds. Because all he does is eat. If we really want to eat him, we should probably do it for Christmas. I'm pretty sure that by next year he won't fit in our oven.

Also, Mr. Adventure's daughter came back into his life, so it's almost like I had two kids this year. (I'm just really grateful I didn't have to give birth to the five year old). It's kind of crazy going from being well known for my impressive drinking ability to having a family. Like a house and a car that was manufactured in the past five years and two dogs and two kids (though we only have the 5 year old every other weekend).

Being a grown-up is hard work! But being sober after 10 years of drinking like my liver could pack up and leave any day is interesting. It's like being drunk in a whole new way! And I learned that I am physically and emotionally capable of just having a beer or two and if I only want half a drink, I have no qualms about dumping the rest down the sink! 5 years ago, I would have considered that blasphemous.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, for those of you who were worried about my drinking habits, you don't have to worry any more. At least not for the next 18 years... :D

Man! I should really plan out what I'm going to say before I start writing. Because I'm just all over the place here. That's okay I don't know what else to say anyway.

Merry Christmas everyone! Here are some pictures of young mister Hamburglar, in case you want a chubby baby to look at.

I'm glad I know you all. And, also, just so you know, I don't know if it's breastfeeding or new motherhood, but I'm turning into a total sap. NPR had a thing where they were playing listener submitted recordings of them singing Deck the Halls, and it made me cry.

Oh, and I'm planning a Seattle weekend in January.

Don't do drugs and stay in school.

That is all.

(Oh! And to KSK: I STILL have not mailed your birthday present, so I'm moving your birthday from November to January. xoxoxo)"

And there you have it.  Now, don't you all wish you were on my emailing list, too?

And by "list" I mean the handful of people I thought may possibly be interested in what is going on with me and my favorite baby.

Anyway, Merry Christmas!  I've got some trace metals data to analyze!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Compliments to the babe!

I went to a work-related cookie exchange last weekend and brought my favorite baby with me.  And it got me thinking about compliments and the weirdness of the compliments people typically extend to babies. And I'm kind of inspired now to start using these compliments on adults.

For example:
"Your neck muscles are so strong!"
"You're really good at holding your head up!"
"Look at you using your hands!"
"You grabbed your giraffe!  Good job!"
"Are you smiling?  You're so good at smiling!"
"Is that your elephant?  Can you grab your elephant?  Good job!"
Post-burp: "Good job!"

Granted, I deliver many of these compliments, but the idea of complimenting an adult on their head control cracks me up.  I wonder how my boss would take it if I went in to her office while she was writing an email and said, "Look at you!  Typing with two fingers!  Good job!"

In other news...

I stepped on the scale with Fatty McFatfat.  He weighs over 16 pounds.  He just turned 3 months old.  And I knew he was huge, what with his glorious neck rolls and whatnot, but last night I saw a 6.5 month baby and a baby that was born on August 27th.  They were both smaller than Hamburglar.  It kind of put into perspective how super giant my baby is.  But, one of my coworkers told me that her exclusively breastfed first born was 28 pounds by 6 months and then was 30 pounds at a year.  So I guess we will see what happens once Chubs McBabylegs starts moving around.  (Also, as a side note, I added McBabylegs as a word into my phone so I can Swype it now instead of having to type it out every time.  So that's nice.)

What else?  Christmas is next week.  And I got presents for Mr. Baby, even though he won't be able to open them.  It's all stuff I want to have for him between now and his next birthday.  So, on the Hamburglar McCloud Christmas list, we have...

Plan Toys Cone Sorting  The box says for 18 months or older, but a lot of reviewers said they wished they had had it earlier.  Probably not 3 months early, but whatever.

The Plan Toys Rattle Baby  I wanted to get him a rattle.  Silver rattles are expensive.  My dad gave us his old rattle from when he was a baby, and it's super cool, but I think McCloud is a bit too young to play with old, rusty bottle caps from the 1940's.  Maybe after he gets his first tetanus shot...

Triangles by Haba  I just liked the reviews.

Plan Toys Butterfly Mirror  Can you tell I like Plan Toys?

For Mr. Adventure's 5 year old daughter, we got:

A Lady Bug Tea Set (her dad calls her Ladybug)

Crayon Rocks for the stocking and colored pencils.  And a tiara.

This super cool rag doll  If she likes it as much as I do, we are going to get her the mermaid for her birthday next month.

This super cool book

I also got some books for the kids.  Including Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman.  And the Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey.  But that is more for me.

So, there you go.  Weird compliments and child/baby gifts.  Happy Christmas/Solstice/whatever.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Palm readers, cloth wipes and glorious neck rolls

When I was 18, I worked at the worst pizza place in Portland, Oregon.  It was on Hawthorne Blvd. and the pay was just as bad as the pizza, but the people that worked there were amazing.  And one of my dearest friends worked across the street at Ben and Jerry’s.  Free pizza and ice cream!  Madness!

I was working one day and one of the palm readers that hung out on Hawthorne came in.  He had a super bad headache and needed some ibuprofen, so I gave him some.  He was so grateful; he offered me a free palm reading when I had time.  He told me to just stop by.  He was normally sitting on the sidewalk across the street.

That weekend, I went to go see him before work.  I have had my palm read twice in my life.  That was the first time and he read my future.  The only part I really remember is when he told me I would have one child.  He said, “One child, maybe two, but definitely one and it’s going to be a boy.”  So I’ve known for a long time that Hamburglar would be born.  And maybe he will have a brother or sister.  We don’t know yet.

The second time I had my palm read was about 5 or 6 years later.  I was drunk in Dublin.  I refer to it as the night I was nearly kidnapped by a Pakistani Palm Reader.  Because that makes it sound really fancy and exciting.  I had been on a drinking adventure with one of my Irish friends, and we wound up at his friend’s house, who learned how to read palms from his mother, who had learned from her mother, who had learned from her mother and so on.  He told me he didn’t like to read the future in people’s hands; he preferred to read their past.  So, he read me my past as written on my palms and it was uncannily accurate.   It’s interesting how much of us is written on our hands.

I’m not sure why I woke up thinking about these palm readers this morning.  I just know that, when I think of one, the other tends to come with it.  I kind of want to find that first one again and ask him if my number of children have become more definitive.  But that’s because I hate making big decisions.  Well, it’s a love/hate thing.  When I first moved back to the country, I was thinking about joining a cult so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a job or making my own decisions, because living in the US has seemed far more complicated ever since I returned.  Part of that could also be due to excessive amounts of sobriety.

Anyway, enough of that.

I have started using cloth wipes to go with my cloth diapers.  I’m not sure why we didn’t do it from the beginning.  I mean, if we are going to be washing diapers anyway, why not wash other stuff, too?  I did a bunch of research and read everything I could find (of course) and I went to the co-op and bought two, 4-oz, glass bottles.  One blue and one brown.  The blue one holds water.  In the brown one I made a solution consisting of:

            4oz water
            1 tsp Dr. Bronner’s super sensitive/mild baby soap awesomeness
            1 Tbl olive oil
            And a little aloe vera gel, for funzies

I spray it on the baby and use baby wash cloths as wipes.  I received about ten million of them from baby showers and I bought a few more.  They are working super well.  Between the cloth wipes and diapers, our favorite baby hasn’t had diaper rash.  We use a disposable at night and, since he normally goes 8+ hours before being changed at night, I slather desitin on him as a preventative measure.  But, there you have it.  Cloth diapering and cloth wipes are working well for us.

In other news, Chumbawumba, aka Hamburglar McCloud, aka Fatty McFatfat, aka Chubs McBabylegs, weighs almost 17 pounds.  One of my coworkers has a son who is a year old and he weighs 18 pounds.  I’m pretty sure Hamburglar is full of dark matter.  Mr. Adventure is worried that the wee babe is too heavy, but I think once he starts crawling and moving more, he will slim down.

Speaking of moving… he is grabbing things other than my hair!  It’s all very exciting.  I bought him Sophie the Giraffe and he grabbed it out of my hand and was sucking on her face.

And, speaking of things that go in a baby’s mouth (whether they should or shouldn't), I read this hilarious list on Slate, Called “A 10 Month Old’s Christmas List”.  It starts with, "I am a 10-month-old baby, and I write because my mother has been sending out my Christmas list to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want.  I could give two s#*ts about receiving stacking cups."  And it goes on to become really funny.

I feel like I am getting dumber.  I wonder if every new mom feels like this during the first year or so?  Will I get smarter, though?  Or will I just not miss the brain cells I am currently losing?  It's hard, though.  I work 40+ hours a week using my science brain, then I come home and basically feed the wee babe until I go to sleep.  Hence his nearly 17 pounds of glorious neck rolls and wrist fat.  He's still exclusively breastfed, and I keep reading that you can't over feed a breastfed baby, so...

Mr. Adventure told me the other night that I used to be witty.  And he’s right.  I was god damned hilarious and clever and all sorts of awesome.  Now I’m just so damn tired.  All the time.  There is not enough coffee in the world.

In the world.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

If these walls could talk…

Our house was originally built in 1951 as a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom with two garages; one attached and one not.  I like old things.  I have a 1968 Volvo wagon and I have a 1951 house that is made out of lava rock.  It’s awesome.  The attached garage was converted into a bedroom/laundry room a while ago and a family room and second bathroom were added on about ten years ago.  We converted the family room into a master suite and it’s nice having a giant bedroom.  I like our house.  It’s one story with low ceilings, but we got a great deal on it in a neighborhood that I really like. 

The down side to buying a house that old is the forty plus years people spent smoking indoors.  The house doesn’t smell like cigarettes or anything, but the walls are kinda gross.  We were so excited to move in that we didn’t paint before we moved everything and, well, here we are over a year later and the only rooms that have been painted are the nursery and the main bath.

When we tore up the carpet in the nursery and chose our paint color, the guy at Lowe’s told us we didn’t need a primer.  Even though we thought we did since I had washed the walls in that room three times and grossness kept leaking through, we listened to the paint expert.  It has been several months since we painted the room, and the grossness still leaked through.  So, we are off to Lowe’s again this weekend to get some primer and some paint and we are going to do things right this time.  Yes, primer has more VOCs, but once the floor has the clear coat put on it, it will take 90 days to cure, so we probably won’t put Hamburglar in there until he’s two anyway.  Because that’s when the floor will be done and the walls will be painted.  Probably.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is that if these walls could talk, they would likely need a voice box.  Because throat cancer.

McCloud is now 12 weeks old. He met his first baby the other day because my brother and sister-in-law (SIL) showed up at my house with some 8 month old baby.  I guess it belongs to some 17 year old girl my SIL babysits for sometimes.  I don’t know.  What I DO know is that baby was LOUD.  And he liked getting into stuff.  So it was nice to get a peek into what life will be like once my favorite baby starts crawling.  It was really interesting watching him with someone close to his age.  He smiled at the other baby and was doing typical social niceties, until the other baby got all loud.  Then Hamburglar started scowling.  It was pretty funny.  But now I want to see him with other babies closer to his age.  I think I may set up a coffee date with Dog Park Girl and her baby.

Hamburglar is at the point now where he is getting frustrated that he can’t use his hands well.  He is starting to grab things on purpose, like the elephant on his bouncy chair.  He gets this super intense look of concentration on his face.  But he also grabs things like my hair.  And he gets his tiny baby fingers all woven into it and he cannot let go.  Last night I told him he needed to learn to let go.  Then I realized that is something many people struggle with throughout their lives.  And I was like, “Whoa.  That’s deep.”  And maybe some things are worthy of getting your little fingers all tangled up in, but sometimes you have to untangle them and set them free.  Or something.  I don’t know. 

His laugh is changing, too.  It’s getting cuter.  And Mr. Adventure says our favorite baby looks like me, but I see him in there, too.  Mostly in the facial expressions.  Hamburglar has his father’s scowl.  Although, I have been scowling a lot lately.  I’m trying to stop because I don’t want to get Botox between my eyebrows, but I also don’t want angry wrinkles.

You know how I have a new favorite blog/website pretty much on a weekly basis?  I came across this post on howtobeadad.com and it’s funny, so I read it to Mr. Adventure.  That got us talking.

Mr. Adventure is an only child and the only living relative he has is his mother.  I come from a pretty big family, but none of my brothers have biological children so far, and my brothers with bonus kids all have kids that are way older.  I’ve always kind of had a Highlander mentality when it comes to kids (you know, “There can be only one” and all that jazz), but I was visiting a friend of mine who echoed something Mr. Adventure had said and that is: when your parents are dead and you are an only child, you are all alone.  And at the end of this post on How to Be a Dad, the author says the same thing,

“But there is one thought that keeps me up at night.  It’s a bit morbid but I feel like it comes from a truthful place inside.  It’s the thought that one day, when Avara and I are dead and gone, my son will be alone.  Sure he’ll have cousins and uncles and people who cherish him but he won’t have someone of his own blood who knows him as only a sister or brother could.”

So, there’s that consideration.  I’m hoping we will decide by the time our favorite baby is about a year old, because if we do have a second child, I would like them to be close in age.  And I still plan on getting my breast lift when I’m 35, so I would like to be done breastfeeding before then.  Mr. Adventure says if we go again, it would be nice to have a girl.  I told him I don’t really care, but I think it would be nice to have another boy.  I think that mostly stems from the terrible relationship I have with my own mother, though.  But two kids in diapers sounds horrible.  So I don’t know.  Plus, my pregnancy was so smooth, I worry if I get pregnant again then all the horrible things that didn’t happen the first time around will happen the second.  Like, one of my friends has pregnancy induced carpal tunnel and super bad edema.  I don’t want that.

Then there’s picking a name again.  Mr. Adventure hates the name Clyde, even though it is the best name ever.  Plus Clyde is a great name for a boy or girl.

Just kidding.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Your baby won't cry or vom forever. (At least I hope not.)

For those of you who don’t know, Hamburglar McCloud still likes to yell at his dad while I’m at work.  Mr. Adventure says the wee babe is yelling to let his dad know that he is displeased that dad is not mom.  

The text messages I tend to receive from Mr. Adventure while I am at work during the week are sad.  And funny.  And hilarifying.  Mondays are the best/worst.  For example:

Mr. Adventure: Baby hates me.
Me: He doesn’t hate you.  He just feels comfortable expressing himself around you.
Later in the day:
Mr. Adventure: Fuck yeah!  Puke in my ear.
Me: Nice!
Mr. Adventure: Oh my fucking God.
Me: What?
Mr. Adventure: He won’t stop.  It’s ridiculous.  When are you getting home?
Me: Around 3
Mr. Adventure: I’m going to cry.  Or bash my head against the wall.  Or both.

Don’t worry.  When I got home yesterday, they were both fine.  Mr. Adventure was neither crying nor bashing his head against the wall, but I could hear Hamburglar crying from the driveway and Mr. Adventure was sitting on the couch with a blank look on his face, bouncing the babe in his arms.  It’s the same look I wore when I couldn’t get our favorite baby to stop crying when we first brought him home from the hospital.  

Poor guys.

Mr. Adventure had been researching nonstop baby crying before I got home, and he came across a great post on the Pregnant Chicken website.  For those of you unfamiliar with Pregnant Chicken, I am in love with her.  She has great advice, like, “Shake a martini, not a baby!”  And the linked post talks about PURPLE crying, which is apparently totally normal and stands for Peak of crying, Unexpected, Resists soothing, Pain-like face, Long-lasting, Evening.  You should totally read it. 

I think that, especially when you are faced with a tiny being who is screaming himself purple and is inconsolable, it’s comforting to know that you are not alone and that it is, allegedly, normal.  She also gives tips on how to maintain your sanity.  From the practical (Put the baby down in a safe place and go pee.  Everything seems better when you're sitting on the toilet.) to the fun (Find one of those little old ladies that stop you in the mall and tell you that these are the best days of your life and give them the screaming baby.  Fun fun, Motherfucker.) to the hilarious (Draw a moustache with eyeliner on your baby's upper lip so they look like an angry dandy while they cry).  If you read that post, you will see why I am now in love with her.  And it's not just because she spells moustache the same way I do.

Through the pregnanct chicken website I came across another blog and a post on infant sleep.

I need sleep.  I like sleep.  The first couple of days after we brought Hamburglar home from the hospital and I wasn’t getting enough sleep were the worst.  As long as I get at least 6 hours and a cup of coffee, I am okay.  Pre-baby, I needed 8-9 hours, but was not a daily coffee drinker.  I think McCloud knows I need to sleep, because he sleeps at night.  And I am so glad. 

Infant sleep is one of the (many) things I didn’t really read about when I was pregnant because I figured I would do whatever came naturally to me.  But I also read.  A lot.  And I stumble upon things all the time.  I read an article a while ago that suggested sleep patterns are inherited from parents.  Mr. Adventure seems to have inherited his mother’s insomnia (he was allegedly an insomniac as a baby.  But he was a “good” baby, which I guess means he didn’t cry.) while the wee babe Hamburglar seems to have inherited my super awesome sleep patterns.  Why do you care whether infant sleep is inherited?  Because it helps lay the foundation for the realization that infant sleep “training” is bullshit.  Your baby will sleep when he sleeps and there isn’t really anything you can do about it.

I think SweetMadeleine says it way better than I ever could, though. “Infant/toddler sleep is erratic, unpredictable and doesn’t conform to our expectations. Children’s sleep habits have evolved to best serve the child, even if they don’t make sense to the parent. Adjust your expectations, not your child’s sleep habits (within reason).”

I’m super lucky. Hamburglar normally falls asleep between 7:30 and 8:15p. Occasionally he will stay awake as late as 9p. Sometimes he wakes up around 11p and needs to eat. Sometimes he sleeps until 1 or 2a and wants food. A lot of the time he sleeps straight through until 4 or 5 in the morning, which is when I get up for work and his morning feeding. Those nights are my favorite. Like this morning. I actually woke him up to feed him. Well, I did what’s called dream feeding, where I pick him up without waking him and start feeding him. He normally wakes up when I burp him, then I change his diaper and finish feeding him and put him back to sleep. It’s nice when I wake up before him because it gives me a morning without crying. On both our parts. And since I fed him a little to begin with, I have time to let the dogs out and feed them and pour myself a cup of coffee before I go back to feeding the baby his breakfast.

I’m a big fan of the Whatever Works parenting. Though, when Mr. Adventure and I had a disagreement about comfort feeding a few weeks ago, which ended when he told me I was “too educated and too liberal” to be a good parent. It got me laughing. And it is still my favorite thing anyone has ever said to me in an argument. Or possibly period. It’s funny, though, having a child with someone. I mean, there are all sorts of new things to discover you disagree on together. Before it was things like, “That’s a weird way to fold a towel” and “Dear Christ! Haven’t you ever folded a fitted sheet before!” (my fitted sheet “folding” is more rolling it into a ball and shoving it in the cupboard…).

We agree on the big stuff, like when to give your kid their first pocket knife and how old Hamburglar should be before we let him walk to the store or park or whatever by himself for the first time, but little things come up. Like the comfort feeding thing. I mean, Mr. Adventure clearly can’t comfort our favorite baby the same way I do. But I’m sure he will find something that works for him. For both of them, really. But it’s good to talk about things that bother you or things you don’t understand with your partner. I think, especially with all the social media going on, people just take for granted that everyone knows what they are doing and why. But people can’t read minds. At least, I don’t think they can.

This morning, after our typical text exchange of “what time did he stop eating/maybe he’s still hungry” after I asked what’s wrong, Mr. Adventure said, “I don’t know. He’s just angry.”

Me: He could still be hungry. He’s been eating a lot.

Mr. Adventure: Wow, he just fountain puked everywhere. Well that answers that…

Me: Nice. And gross. Love!

Mr. Adventure: Yup. Love

So, I guess, what I’m trying to say is:
  1. Feed your baby
  2. Don’t shake him when he cries.  Or when he doesn't cry.  Just don't do it.
  3. Find humor in the new things you disagree on
  4. Have plenty of burp rags for cleaning up vomit
  5. Use a mild soap so your skin doesn’t get irritated from all the showers you will be taking
  6. Love each other. A lot.
For realz, y'all.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2 month check-up and doctor-swapping

My favorite baby is ten weeks old.

He had his 2 month exam and vaccinations last week.  He weighs 14 pounds.  Or did last week.  He’s probably up to 20 pounds now.  I’m pretty sure he is full of dark matter.  Or it’s possible that he has the density of a dying sun.  Little man is HEAVY.

I have a hard time with confrontation or disagreements in general.  And once I commit to something, it’s hard for me to walk away.  So I get all sneaky about it.  I’m telling you this because…

I’ve decided to go with another pediatrician.  Dr. Moustache is knowledgeable and he’s been a pediatrician for 30 years, but I’m starting to think that may be too long.  He’s tried to push formula on me twice now.  I don’t like that.  I was asking him about fussiness and explaining the McCloud’s new found love of spitting up all the time, and he suggested he is fussy because he isn’t getting enough to eat while I’m at work and that we should supplement with formula.   But he’s in the 90th percentile for his weight, so clearly he is getting enough to eat, otherwise he wouldn’t be such a chub and his glorious neck rolls would be far less glorious and maybe he would only have one leg roll instead of one thousand.  Also, Dr. Moustache was late for our appointment, then rushed through it.  There’s a reason I schedule the first appointment of the day and that is because my time is valuable.  So, goodbye Dr. Moustache.  I’ve found someone new.  We are transferring to Dr. Soul Patch.  Unacceptable facial hair aside, he seemed more compatible with me anyway.  And my midwife thought he and I would work well together when I suggested him as a potential pediatrician.

One of my friends who also recently had a son had a super shitty, c-section happy doctor.  She had a high risk pregnancy and was on bed rest at the end of her pregnancy and they were talking about inducing early because her baby was too big and that was the argument for the c-section or something, but the baby was born close to McCloud’s birth weight.  I feel that, as ladies, we often times don’t want to rock the boat so we just accept whatever doctor we have chosen because we don’t want to be rude or something, but I’m going to tell you all something very important:

You can do whatever you want.  You are paying these doctors, so it’s your choice.  You can switch to a different OB or midwife when you’re 39 weeks pregnant if you want to for whatever reason you want to.  Or you can switch pediatricians.  And you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.  Granted, I’m a big fat chicken-y chicken, so I’m not telling Dr. Moustache that I’m leaving him, but I also don’t think he would care even if I did.  What would I say?  “Sorry, Doc, I’ve found someone else with different facial hair.”

Back to Hamburglar’s 2 month exam, though: He’s in the 90th percentile for head circumference and weight, but right in the middle for length.  So, what I think the doc was trying to tell me is: he’s a giant headed fatty.  I’ve unofficially changed his names to Chubs McBabylegs.  And sometimes I call him Chumbawumba.  And I was telling Mr. Adventure all about how the band Chumbawamba went into the future and met our baby and that’s how they came up with their band name.  Because I like to make up stories.

Last night I was singing a song to the wee babe about how I was going to eat his head or how there is vomit in his neck rolls or something and I turned to Mr. Adventure and our conversation went something like this:

Me: How long do you think it will take for the wee babe, McCloud, to realize that I am completely insane?
Mr. Adventure: By the time he’s 6 or 7.
I thought for a moment, then asked, “What if I stop singing to him?”
Mr. Adventure: Then you probably have until he’s 9 or 10.

So, happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I’m thankful that my son is too young to know how batty I am and that Mr. Adventure and the dogs don’t care.

Friday, November 15, 2013

It's Almost Time to Eat!

As Thanksgiving approaches here in the US of A, my mind can’t help but wander to this image:

And from there, I start thinking about how Hamburglar McCloud is probably about 12 pounds now, which is a decent size for a turkey, but I think we may wait to eat him until he is a little bigger.

Just kidding.  We’ll eat him now.

Not really.

But I am planning on dressing him like a turkey and putting him in a roasting pan so I can get a picture.  I may even dress up the dogs like a pilgrim and an American Indian.  Because that's the kind of person I am.

One of my friends shared this post on babble and it is hilarious and well worth the 3 minutes it will take you to read it.  I read it the day before I brought the wee babe Hamburglar in to work to meet my coworkers.  The first coworker that held him had a baby last November.  While holding McCloud, she exclaimed how darling he is and how she wants to eat him.  She expressed particularly interest in wanting to eat his ears and his hands.  Now, as a chemist, I’m no expert in biology or in the best cuts of meat, but ears and hands seem like the worst part of an animal (or a baby) to eat.

But seriously, read that post on babble.  It is so funny, I just laughed while reading it again.  And I've read it at least ten times.

Things with the babe are going well.  From what I've read, I’m finally in the best/easiest stage of breastfeeding, for the next four months at least.  Dude and I have our routine down and my horrible wrist pain has gone away.  Though, my right breast DID pee the bed again the other night.  But that’s okay.  Though it does make me worry a bit that my supply may decrease.

We are exclusively breastfeeding the wee McCloud and I started back at work already.  I pump twice a day and bring it home so Mr. Adventure, who is staying home with our favorite baby, can feed it to the babe the next day.  For anyone else reading this that exclusively breastfeeds, I read this super helpful piece.  It states a lot of what we learned through trial and error (like, it IS possible to overfeed a breastfed baby from a bottle, and he will just vom all that extra milk right up onto you.  I think McCloud is going to buy Mr. Adventure some new shirts for Christmas…).

Part of how we are making breastfeeding work while I work is I feed the wee babe before I go to work in the morning (I’m blessed with a flexible work schedule and have keys to the lab, so I can come in to work any time between 5 and 8 am) and I feed him as soon as I get home.  Since we feed on demand, this quite often involves Mr. Adventure channeling all of his patience while a hungry baby yells at him for 45 minutes.

Speaking of yelling… it seems the wee McCloud is displeased that I go to work during the week now, and he expresses that displeasure by yelling at poor, Mr. Adventure.  I hear Mondays are the worst.  Mr. Adventure is such a great dad and I really hope those two work out the kinks and that things will be easier next week.  Keep your fingers crossed!

And, for those of you who are curious, the floor in the baby’s room is still not done.  All that’s left are the three coats of Waterlox, though.  I read a fable once that stated slow and steady wins the race, so we are winning the shit out of the preparing-the-nursery race.

McCloud (aka Chubby McBabylegs) has finally fattened up enough that he can wear the cloth diapers I bought!  I purchased a lot of 24 one-size pocket diapers off craigslist when I was pregnant and it is just now, at about two months of age, that he can wear them… on the smallest snapped setting.  With proper care, though, these will take us all the way through potty training.  And, speaking of proper care, I found this great post on cleaning diapers with hard water.  Calgon has made a huge difference.  To clean my diapers, I do a cold rinse with no soaps or anything (and I just throw the diapers in there without rinsing them and we are dry pailing, for the curious, which means we just throw the diapers in a bucket I bought from Fred Meyer for $3.99.  The other option is wet pailing, where you throw soiled diapers in a bucket of water or something, but that sounds gross to me), then I put in some Rockin Green soap (about 2T) and a cap full of Calgon water softener and do a hot wash with a cold rinse.  I don’t do an additional post rinse.  I just throw it all in the dryer and tumble it on low heat.  Be careful with your heat settings.  A friend of mine ruined her lot of cloth diapers when she was in Vegas by drying them in the dryer in their hotel, which was allegedly hotter than the fires of hell.

So that’s where I’m at.  McCloud is still smiling back and he gives me tons of smiles when I get home.  And he laughs!  It’s not like the baby giggles that come around 6 months or whenever, it’s a laugh that I wish I could describe in words because it is so funny.  It makes me laugh, which makes him laugh, which makes all of us laugh and it’s this whole circle of laughter.

Finally, for all of you out there that want something (else) good to read, I read this blog/post on Elephant Journal called “To My Post-PartumSelf: Things I wish I’d known.”  It says great things like this:

"Don't Clean.  Your house will still be messy in five years.  I am sorry, but it's true.  So when your baby sleeps, take a nap.  Read a book.  Masturbate.  Look at pictures of clean houses on Pinterest.  Look at pictures of clean houses on Pinterest while you masturbate.  But don't clean."

And there you have it.  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What does it mean to be a good mother?

Shit’s about to get real, y’all.  

This post may even be kind of depressing.  I don’t know.

I think and worry a lot about what kind of mother I am/will be.  I read an article a few months ago about parenting and it basically said that wondering these things puts you on the track to being a good parent.  

Then I start thinking about my mother and my childhood.

Hamburglar McCloud started smiling reciprocally recently.  Mr. Adventure is better at eliciting these smiles than I am (perhaps it’s the beard?) but when I got home from work yesterday, the wee babe gave me this amazing toothless grin that made me feel like the most special person in the world.  It was a way better feeling than the dogs running to the window when they see me pull in to the driveway, then to the door to dance around me and lick my hands when I walk in the door.  I love that fucking baby. 

So I wonder: did our stupid baby face smiles melt my mother’s heart?  At what point did she decide that it was okay to start hitting her kids?  I can’t imagine a time that I will want to pull a 4 year old version of my baby around a camp site by his hair, or hit a 14 year old Hamburglar over the head with a boom box or throw an 8 year old McCloud’s birthday cake at him and tell him I wish I had aborted him when I had the chance.  Was she always this way?  Or did something change that made her think it was okay?  When did it become okay in her mind to hit her kids with vacuum cleaner extensions or to put a lock on the outside of the door to lock them in their rooms and bolt the windows shut?  Did she really think it was okay to try to run her 16 year old son over with her car, a move that landed him in foster care, which was probably the best thing that ever happened to him?

There is a reason my oldest brother moved in with his girlfriend and her family at 16, my other old brother moved in with my dad the moment he graduated high school, I barely lived at home from the ages of 14-16 (16 is when she finally kicked me out without turning me in as a runaway and I got my first apartment) and 16 is when one of my younger brothers wound up in foster care.  My youngest brother still lives at home, even though he’s 25.  Maybe by the time the 5th kid rolled around she had relaxed some.  I don’t’ really know. 

She was recently (I think within the past five years?) diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has been receiving treatment.  My father thinks this means I need to establish a relationship with her.  Although her diagnosis put my childhood into perspective and answered a lot of unanswered questions I had, I’m not interested.  I talk to her sometimes.  She keeps asking me when I want her to come out and help me with the baby.  I keep telling her I don’t.  I don’t trust her around my child.  I know firsthand what kind of mother she was.  She text me a few weeks ago and said something like, “Spoil the baby for the first two years.”  And I really wanted to respond, “And after that I should hit them?”  But I didn’t say anything.  Most of the messages she sends me go unanswered because I don’t know how to respond without being a jerk. 

Emily Yoffe, the author of the Dear Prudence column, wrote an article for Slate Magazine called The Debt in which she questions what adult children of abusive parents owe their abusers.  She talks about the effects of abuse and how it mirrors post-traumatic stress disorder, which I can see.
I’m 30 years old and I’m still afraid of my mother.

So, what does this mean for me being a mother?  I have a prime role model for how I don’t want to raise my child, and I have friends who are amazing mothers and who have amazing families.  I stumbled across this blog on the Stir and the author puts my question perfectly: “How am I going to be a good mom to my daughter if I don't know what it's like to be the daughter of a good mom?”  Although I have a son, the sentiment is the same.

All I can really do is the best that I can, but the thing is, I am 100% positive that my mother did the best she could, but her best wasn't good enough.  What if my best isn't good enough either?

I have the same fear the author of the above blog notes: “Thoughts of my daughter one day wanting to disappear, wanting to escape, wake me up at night.”

I used to fantasize, as a little girl, about being kidnapped by a family that just really wanted a daughter.  I spent the first part of my life feeling so unloved and so unwanted, it took me a long time to learn how to love myself because I thought myself to be so unlovable.  So I created a new family of friends in my teens and twenties and now I have Mr. Adventure and baby Hamburglar McCloud and I vowed the moment I became pregnant that I would never make my son feel the way my mother made me feel.  It would break my heart if I did something to make him feel the way about me that I feel about my own mother.

So, these are the things I think about when I think about my mother. 

But, you know, I love that fucking baby.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Breastfeeding is hard, guys

I spent so much time researching pregnancy and delivery and comparing the size of Hamburglar to different foods, I never really thought about breastfeeding.  I just assumed it would be super easy and super natural.  But it wasn't.  It was hard, guys.  Now, 5 weeks in, it's finally getting a little easier.  There are fewer tears on both our parts when trying to latch and I am getting him latched on the first try more than 80% of the time now.

I think, until recently, the easiest time I had feeding McCloud was in the hospital, right after he was born.  The hospital I delivered at has lactation consultants on staff and I met with two different ones and enlisted the nurses for help trying to get a good position and good latch.  One of the nurses was kind of creepy and kept talking about how soft my areolas were.  It was really awkward.

That first night, I tried so hard to get him latched on and I was so tired...  I had a bad a latch and I knew it, but I didn't care because dude was finally eating.  I paid for it for the next week with a sore, cracked nipple.  I think the first couple days were probably the hardest.  My second night home, I was trying to get him to latch and it wasn't working and I was so tired...  He was crying and I was crying and I had to lay him down and walk away so I could get my shit together and try again.  I've had feeding sessions where it has taken me 30 minutes to an hour to get him latched, with him crying the whole time and both of us just getting more frustrated.

Our first visit to the pediatrician (we went with the one who has the impressive moustache.  I couldn't take a doctor with a soul patch seriously) was 72 hours after Hamburglar was born.  Since he's my first and we left the hospital after 24 hours, they wanted us to come in and do a weight check and all that fun stuff.  He was down to 8 pounds at the first visit and the Doc asked if my milk had come in yet, which it hadn't.  He said if my milk wasn't in by that night or, at the latest, the following morning, I should supplement with formula.  Now, I'm really susceptible to peer pressure and easily influenced by others, so maybe it was him saying this, but my milk was in by that night.  I read somewhere that women who supplement in the first two weeks are more likely to give up breastfeeding all together.

Now, I'm not one of those assholes that thinks people who exclusively breastfeed are better than people who exclusively formula feed, I'm just stubborn and don't want to buy food for McCloud when my body makes it for free.  Plus, all that money I'm saving not buying formula can go to fund the breast lift I am planning to buy myself for my 35th birthday.

I feel like I went off on a tangent somewhere...

Anyway, my milk came in and, slowly, we have been getting more successful with breastfeeding.  I've started pumping, too, so we can give dude a bottle or two a week to get him used to them for when I go back to work.  I was worried that he may prefer the bottle over the boob or refuse the bottle all together, but he doesn't give a shit.  Little man is HUNGRY.  He tries to latch on to the dogs faces when they get to close to him.  It is hilarious.  And gross.  (Don't worry.  I stop him before he actually puts his mouth on the dog).

We went back to the pediatrician again after a week because Dr. Moustache wanted to make sure Hamburglar was gaining weight okay.  He was ten days old and had gained 6 ounces since our visit the week before.  Dr. M. told me not to worry about waking him up to feed him any more (even though I wasn't doing that at night.) and yeah.  Dude has been getting heavier and giant-er since.

And I found this video of a latch trick that works really well.  I just found it last week, but I wish someone had suggested it in the beginning.  I've had other poor latches since that first one and I think this could have helped.

Anyway, dude is waking up and he is very unhappy about this.  I just wanted to say that breastfeeding is hard.  And maybe warn people who hadn't thought about it.  But I read that it gets way easier between 6 and 8 weeks.  So, to anyone struggling with breastfeeding, hang in there.  It does get easier.  I'm at week 5 now and those first nights that we struggled so hard are becoming a distant memory.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Birth Story Part 2: Delivery!

So, I'm a big fat lying liar.  I did not post this later the same week that I did part 1, but I'm doing it now... like 3 weeks later or something,

I forgot to mention in part 1 that I also ate an entire pineapple, except for one slice, but it didn't work.  According to one article I read, you would have to eat 7-8 pineapples to get any kind of induction effect, and I don't know anyone whose mouth could handle that kind of acid intake.

And now the exciting conclusion of my pregnancy!

Monday night, nothing continued to happen, so I went to bed.  I woke up Tuesday, took the dogs for a morning walk (we were lazy and just did the 1.5 mile loop).  I came back to the house and rubbed more cary sage oil on my induction points, mostly the ankle ones.

After a couple hours, I started feeling a little uncomfortable, but I didn't really think anything of it.  I wasn't in pain or anything, I was just kind of antsy.  Mr. Adventure went out to run errands and wash the car.  It was lunch time and I wasn't very hungry and it was about 12:50p on Tuesday that I thought I might be in labor, but I wasn't sure.

I kind of figured being in labor was like having an orgasm... if you have to ask, it's not happening.

At 1:00p, I decided to call Mr. Adventure and see how long he was going to be.  He guessed it would be about an hour and a half before he was done and back home, and I let him know that I thought I might be in labor, but he could go ahead and finish whatever he was doing.  I kept hearing stories about 40+ hour labors, and I figured that shit was kind of just getting started and that we would have plenty of time to do things like bake cookies and shave my legs or whatever people do in the first stage of labor.  But, he thought it would be best if he came home sooner rather than later.  (For the curious: the car has still not been washed).

I decided to take a shower, because I read somewhere that if it is practice labor, then moving around and showering will make it go away.

Showering did not dull the pains I was starting to feel.  If anything, it made them more intense.

Mr. Adventure came home shortly after I got out of the shower, and I was having pretty regular, painful contractions about every four to five minutes.  I think it took me about 45 minutes to get dressed because of the pain.

At 2p, I told Mr. Adventure that we should probably go to the hospital.  It was at this point that we (meaning he) finally installed the car seat.  I had been saying I would do it for a month, but why do something that you can put off to the last minute?

At this point, my contractions were coming really close together... I think about four minutes apart and nothing was decreasing their intensity.  The poor dogs were all up in my face trying to be helpful and lovey, but I didn't want to be touched by anything or anyone.

A short while later Mr. Adventure called labor and delivery to let them know we were on our way.  (The midwife told me that if I could only make one call, to call L&D to warn them we were coming so they could be prepared and make sure they had the proper space for us.)

The car ride to the hospital seemed to last a lifetime and the road seemed extra bumpy.  Mr. Adventure was trying to ask me questions but all I could do was blurt out one word answers and choppy hand gestures.  (He later told me I was rude during labor, which I still find funny.)

After 3 million years, we finally arrived to the hospital downtown.  We never did a tour of the labor and delivery wing (due to extreme levels of procrastination) so we didn't really know where to go.  Mr. Adventure had to call and ask them and they were really bad at describing their location.

They have valet parking at the hospital, so we pulled up to the curb where Valet Guy was shooting the breeze with someone picking up their car.  After what felt like an eternity, he finally directed his attention to me and I told him I was in labor.  I swear he was talking in slow motion.  But, he directed me to a wheel chair and took the car keys and gave Mr. Adventure the receipt/ticket thing for the car and I was wheeled in to the labor triage/assessment area.

One thing I found surprising is that I had to fill out paperwork.  I pre-registered, so you would think that maybe I would have to sign something, but I had to fill out several things and, I was so far in labor, I have no idea what any of those things are or what they said and I don't know what I signed.  Maybe I signed a document giving wee little Hamburglar away?

Anyway, after what seemed like another million years, we were taken into the back where I was weighed and my blood pressure was checked and they hooked me up to one of the electronic fetal monitor things that goes around the belly.  They asked if I wanted a port for an IV in case I needed it and I told them no.  Then I think they called my midwife to double check that that was okay.  They had me change into a gown and the nurse doing the assessment checked to see how dilated I was.  If I remember correctly, I was at a 6.

We were hanging out and the nurse was doing something and I was having contractions and lying there and I had to lie on my back and I really didn't want to but I had to for the fetal monitor then we heard this *pop* sound and there was a gush of water from my lady parts.  All 3 of us heard my water break as amplified by the electronic fetal monitoring thing.

It was at this point that I was actually admitted to the hospital and was moved to a labor room.  I walked over there because it wasn't very far and they gave me these fancy disposable cotton underwear to wear.  I don't think I was wearing shoes.  Mr. Adventure was keeping me hydrated and keeping track of my possessions.

When we got to the labor room, we met the nurse we would be working with and she told me I had to lie on the bed for more fetal monitoring but after that I could get up and hang out on the birth ball and do whatever I wanted.  I asked if I could lie on my left side because my contractions were slightly less painful that way.  So, I was lying on my left side with my eyes closed and another nurse who was undergoing orientation/training came in and she introduced herself.  I was lying there with my eyes closed and told her I would have no idea what she looked like because I couldn't open my eyes.  She said, "All you need to know is that I'm really cute."  So I opened my eyes to look at her.  And she totally was!  She even had a cute name like Ashley or Allison or something.

Mr. Adventure was sitting kind of off to the side in the room while the two nurses got me all ready.  They had called my midwife after my water broke and she was on her way.  I had a really big contraction and I kind of started pushing without even realizing it.  The whole time I had been pretty quiet and was just doing what I felt like I needed to do, breathing through my contractions and whatnot.  And after I realized I had pushed, I said, "I think I started pushing, I hope that's okay" all apologetically.  The nurses were awesome and they told me to just do what I needed to do.

I found out later the nursing staff had been teasing the nurse Ashley or Allison or whatever about how she was going to have to catch a baby eventually and she was very nervous that it was going to be mine.

I heard my midwife come in, I heard her voice, I was still lying on my side and I wanted to roll over into a different position, but I couldn't move.  When I accidentally pushed, they cut my fancy disposable cotton underwear off of me.

The rest of the story of labor itself comes from what other people told me (meaning the nurses and Mr. Adventure) I was so out of it at this point and everything sounded like it was coming from really far away.

My midwife got there with just enough time to put on gloves before the baby started coming and I started pushing for real.

And I guess I was screaming.  I have a vague recollection of my midwife telling me to be quiet and breathe, because with that first real push I was just screaming and not breathing.  After that, Mr. Adventure said I was more grunting.  Including my unintentional push, I only pushed 4 times before he came out.  Poor Mr. Adventure had planned to be up near my head, holding my hand and giving me support, but it all happened so fast, he was on a bench off to my side, trying to stay out of the way of the nurses and he saw the head pop out of my vagina.

Hamburglar McCloud caught me with an elbow on the way out and I had, what is attractively referred to as, a skid mark but no tearing.  My midwife caught him and tossed him up on to my belly.  I'm not really sure how he got there, but he found my nipple and I started nursing him right away.  He ate forever.  We opted to do delayed cord clamping because of all the things I read, it seemed like the best thing for us.  My midwife asked Mr. Adventure if he wanted to cut the cord, he declined, then she asked me.  I said, "No, that's what we're paying you for," because I think I'm funny.

Mr. Adventure got a washcloth at some point shortly after delivery while the nurses were cleaning everything up and wiped my face.  He later told me I had meconium on my face and he was wiping it off.  I guess McCloud pooped a little on his way out.

Hamburglar McCloud was born at 3:46p on September 17th, just 25 minutes after my water broke.  His poor little face was all bruised up because delivery happened so fast.  He looked like a boxer.  He weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and I don't remember how long he was... I think it was 21.25 inches.

I labored most of the time on my left side and that's the position I was in when I delivered.  After I got home from the hospital, I was reading a book called Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn (I'd borrowed it from a coworker but never read it because, you know, procrastination) and on page 276, where it talks about short, fast labor, it says:
"In a rapid labor... you may have the urge to push before the hospital staff is ready.  If this happens, lie on your side... Doing this will give your birth canal and perineum more time to stretch, will decrease the likelihood of tearing, and will help protect your baby's head from being pressed through the vagina too rapidly."

So, there you go.  I just went with what felt right and it was right and it worked for me.  I had a completely medication free birth.  I didn't even take ibuprofen or anything.  But the hospital stay... ugh.  I never want to sleep in a hospital again.  We were admitted on Tuesday at 2:30p, dude was born at 3:46p and we were out of there on Wednesday at 4p.  They made me wait for a wheelchair and it took forever.

They brought a little tray with juice and fruit and crackers and cheese post-delivery while we were waiting for a room on the maternity ward to be ready.  My brother had downloaded Season 3 of Walking Dead for us and Mr. Adventure put on an episode and fed me cheese and crackers while I fed our son.

And I'm not really sure where to put this, but other than the labor and delivery nurses we had, all the nursing staff were super rude to Mr. Adventure.  They didn't acknowledge him when they entered our room, didn't look at him if he asked a question... I mean, I know it's all about the new mother or whatever, but that doesn't mean you should be rude to the new father.  And also that chair thing that pulls out into a bed for the new dads that want to stay in the room with their partner and child... that chair pull out bed thing was terrible.  I was so excited to get home and get some sleep.  And I did.

And there you have it.  That is the story of the birth of my son.  I'm probably forgetting a lot of things, but maybe I will remember them later and post them or maybe they aren't important. What is important is that I have an amazing partner, two great dogs and a handsome, healthy son that eats like a horse and who will be a month old tomorrow.  And who is also sleeping.  Which means I should probably finish this up and get some sleep myself.  He's been sleeping in 5 to 7 hour stretches at night.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that tonight will be 7 hours...

That's all.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Birth Story Part 1: Get this baby out of me!

So, in case you were wondering, Hamburglar McCloud was born last Tuesday afternoon.  I was going to post on Monday, then decided to put it off until Tuesday, but then I was busy being in labor and giving birth, so I decided to post the first part of the story now while dude is sleeping.

My midwife had my official due date as September 10th.  On the 9th, I was at work and I started having contractions.  I hadn't had any Braxton Hicks or anything throughout the pregnancy, so I figured shit was about to get REAL and I should probably make my way home before Mr. Baby was born in the trace metals lab.  (The metals lab is super clean, but still).

On my way home, I stopped and got a pedicure and I called Mr. Adventure to let him know what was going on.  We were both pretty excited.  Then nothing happened.

At all.

For the rest of the week.

I decided to wait until I saw the midwife on Wednesday to go back to work, and my blood pressure was super high, so she did some blood work on me to make sure I didn't have HELPP.  I guess it's like pre-eclampsia's cousin and is super dangerous.  She also checked out my cervix and told me I was 100% effaced, 1cm dilated and thought it would be a good idea to do a membrane sweep since my blood pressure was so high.  She also said I was a 9.5 on some scale that I can't remember the name of.  (I've been assured that my short-term memory will resume around the time my son turns 3).

She said the membrane sweep would encourage my body to go into labor within 48 hours, if my body was ready.

It was not ready.

But I was all anxious about dying because of high blood pressure, so I didn't go back to work.  I took the rest of the week off which, looking back, was probably a terrible idea.  I mean, sure, I got the bathroom painted and got some really good napping in, but I didn't really have anything to do other than wonder when in the hell the baby was going to come.

Sunday, the 8th, we went to a street fair and wandered around.  I had been drinking red raspberry leaf infusion (about a quart a day) for a week straight, walking for 2+ miles a day and spending all my sitting time sitting on my exercise ball and rolling around.  We walked around the street fair until I got a horrible side cramp and concluded I was going to die.

Still nothing.

Monday, I woke up and started doing more research about natural induction methods.  I was a week overdue and ready for Hamburglar to get the hell out of me.  And it's not because I was terribly uncomfortable or having a hard time walking or anything.  I still felt really good.  I was just irritated because everything else in this pregnancy was so smooth... I just figured Dude would be born within a day of his due date, so I was cranky that he wasn't.

I have a friend in Portland who does Acupuncture, and I asked her about induction points.  She told me about the ones above the inner ankles, the webbing between the thumb and forefinger and the shoulders.  My inner ankle ones had been super tender and I kept making Mr. Adventure push on them until he got hand cramps.  Because I'm a jerk.  Then I read something about rubbing cary sage oil on the induction points and that was supposed to help with induction, so we went on an outing to Whole Foods to buy some.  Then I decided we were going to drive on this super bumpy gravel road for an hour to try to get things "bumping."  (Yes.  I just wrote that.  I'm sorry!  Blame it on sleep deprivation or something).

I'm not sure how much cary sage oil I rubbed on my induction points, but I kept doing it all day and I smelled a lot like I did in college... like a filthy hippie.  The lack of desire to shower could have aided in that, too, though.


I also lost my mucus plug over the weekend.  Like, for real.  There was no mistaking it.  And there was no blood.  I never really had a "bloody show," but my mucus plug, for the curious who chose to ignore the above warning, looked like a disgusting, yellow snot slug.  Without the antennae of course.  I was horrified and disgusted by it.  Because, well, natural is not synonymous with beautiful.  Sometimes, nature is nasty.


At 41 weeks, the baby was definitely the size of a baby.  So, here is an Uncyclopedia article on how to cook children.

It looks like Hamburglar is about to wake up, and he has The Hunger, like in that episode of It's Always Sunny when Frank convinces Dee and Charlie that they ate human meat...  If he keeps eating like this, he will be 6 feet tall by his first birthday.

Part 2 to come later this week!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jackfruit and a turtle on its back

I decided the beached whale idea is played out when it comes to being giant at the end of your pregnancy.  And, as established in an earlier post, I hate cliches.

I am now 40 weeks pregnant!  According to 3-D pregnancy, the baby is the size of a baby!  I'm assuming it's a rather small baby, but who knows?  Other websites say Hamburglar McCloud is now the size of a jackfruit.  Having no idea what a jackfruit is, I decided to look it up, and I came across this website that not only details where jackfruits are, but also how to prepare them from an amateur perspective.  Being an amateur myself, I like that.

I woke up the other morning at 3am with a super sharp pain in my left side that made me kind of want to die.  I'm assuming it was either a contraction or my stigmata was acting up again though, traditionally, my stigmata has been more known to effect my right side.  Or maybe I'm just dying.  As a non-medical professional, that is my best guest.

I am still working and some people are surprised by this.  I'm not uncomfortable and my job isn't physically demanding, though I have become preg-tarded and even clumsier than usual, which could be hazardous (like the other day when I spilled 500mL of concentrated hydrochloric acid all over the counter in the lab... ugh).  I also only work about 8.5 miles from my house, and my house is about 2 miles from the hospital, so it's cool.  Though I do plan to leave a bit early today so I can go get a pedicure.  I think I'm going to go baby blue in honor of my soon-to-be son.

I amused my midwife last week by talking about the paradigm shift I am currently undergoing.  I explained to her that, throughout my twenties, people were interested in my vagina mostly because they wanted to put their penis in it but being pregnant has brought to my attention the insane number of people that are interested in what is going to come out of my vagina.  That's weird to me.  And I am getting asked a lot of really dumb questions.  Like, "Are you still pregnant?"  Um... fuck you.  Are you still an idiot?  Obviously I'm still pregnant, I'm at work, asshole.  If I was having a baby or had just had a baby I would probably be napping.  Or staring at my baby thinking, "Holy shit!  What am I supposed to do with this?  What did I get myself into?"

Friends have told me newborns are easier to take care of, but it is very tiring staring at them and making sure they don't die.  I guess I will find out soon!

My cervix started doing labor-related cervix-y things today, for those of you who are curious, which is another reason to leave work early.  I'm guessing Mr. Baby will come today or tomorrow, but the internet told me I can be in pre-labor for a week or longer before shit gets real.

I have also developed a theory that the closer I get to having the baby, the harder it becomes to get out of bed.  I groan like an old man when I stand up, and it takes me what feels like an eternity to get out of bed the 300 times per night I am getting up to pee.  So that's awesome.  Sometimes, I feel like a turtle on its back and I just lay their and think about flailing my limbs about in the air, but that seems too difficult, so I don't.

Also, heartburn!  I would like it to stop already.

One of my coworkers told me a story about being downtown with his wife shortly after their second child was born and there was this 40+ week pregnant woman doing cartwheels in the park they were sitting in.  Apparently she was trying to kick-start her labor.  Hilarious!  I've never been able to do a cartwheel, so that method won't work for me, but I figure if I go to ten days past due, then I will start standing on my head, underwater, drinking raspberry leaf tea and offering lamb sacrifices to the Greek Goddess of labor and delivery or something.

Also, I found a black widow in the laundry room.  I have since been wearing shoes when doing laundry.

Guess who is finally done staining the floor in the nursery?  That's right!  Mr. Adventure!  Now he just needs to do three coats of the Waterlox polyurethane coating.  It takes 30-90 days for the floor to cure properly after the Waterlox is applied, so I'm putting Hamburglar's dresser in our room and we will move his stuff into his room just before we move him in there.  I love the stain on the floors, but I don't know if I like the way the light sage walls look with the floor now.  It makes them seem yellow.  Maybe if I change the light bulbs?  I know the baby doesn't care, but I do.  Maybe a nice tan or something would be better.  I don't know.

And my favorite pregnancy website has this to say, "Choose new, exciting names and avoid the ones that might upset your child later on."  And my partner is supposed to assure me that everything is wonderful.  All I know for sure is that I am going to be ready for roller coaster season next year and it is going to be awesome.  Dollywood, here I come!

Oh!  I wanted to share this with any of you who are pregnant.  It's this blog called Birthing Without Fear and it is amazing!  I wrote my master's thesis (in education) on education without fear or coercion, and that's what I want my birth experience to be as well, so there you go.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

39 weeks!

Well, since I’m late posting this week, it’s 39 weeks and 3 days or something.  But who’s counting?  :D

I had a weird nightmare the other night and, much like I have done the few other times I have had nightmares, I woke up and made a loud yelling sound.  I do this partially to make sure I am awake.  Mr. Adventure was in the front room entertaining guests/nerding out and he heard me and came running.  “Do we need to go to the hospital?!  Is it the baby?!”  It took me a second to respond because I just woke up, and when I told him it was a shadow bear he looked very confused.  I didn’t know how else to describe what I had seen.  Later, his friend Smash told me she had never seen anyone move so quickly.
So, I guess he is ready whenever Hamburglar and I are.  I should probably pack a hospital bag.  But what will I put in it?  I think the only thing I really need is my phone charger, and I don’t want to pack that.  And some snacks.  We also need to install the car seat.  Someone asked me the other day if I am “ready” to have the baby.  I figure I’m as ready as I’m going to be.  I could definitely be more prepared/organized, but I really don’t think the baby gives a shit about organization.  I mean, theoretically, I don’t even need to clean the house because he won’t be able to see very far in front of his face, right?
In other news…
Mr. Adventure has started staining the floor!  It’s halfway done and using the Minwax wood conditioner has made a huge difference.  He was trying to use a gel stain before and these darker spots were appearing and I have been spending more time than I ever thought possible at Woodcraft the last couple of weeks and reading a lot about hardwood floor restoration.  I learned that conditioning the floor first is supposed to even out any spots, and it is working!  We went with Candlelite for the stain color and it looks really nice.  I can’t wait until it’s done!
And one of my coworkers bought me a Boba carrier!  I was going to buy it this week, but he beat me to it!  That was the last thing I really wanted before the baby comes, and now I have it!
At 39 weeks pregnant, Mr. Baby is the size of a watermelon or a rabbit.  Or maybe a rabbit stuffed into a watermelon?  If you are not pregnant, I advise you to make a booze melon to celebrate the end of summer.  To do this, cut a hole in your watermelon, all the way into the flesh, shove a funnel in the hole and pour in the vodka.  It takes a while for the watermelon to soak up the booze… 2 cups takes about 2 days, so you should leave the melon in the fridge.  And I’ve heard it is extra delicious if you use lime vodka, though I have never tried it.  When it’s ready to go, just slice it up and serve.  If you are pregnant, just eat some watermelon.  I’ve never had or made rabbit and I wouldn’t know what to do with one, so no recipe for that.
In other other news, I am still working.  And I am trying to finish this huge project that was dumped on me last week before I have a baby.  It’s going well so far, but I think I will need to come in Saturday.  Luckily, there will be other people in the lab this weekend. 
Also, the baby was head down a week ago, but he still hasn’t dropped and he keeps moving around.  I’m hoping it’s normal.  I just keep assuming that whatever is happening is what is supposed to happen.  I see the midwife tomorrow and I figure she will let me know if anything weird is going on.
Oh!  And I met dog park baby!  She’ super cute.  But dog park girl told me about her 40+ hour labor in which she had her membranes ruptured and then had to have pitocen to induce on top of it and whatnot.  I’m hoping for a labor that lasts far less than 40 hours.
That is all.