After rain comes sunshine!!!

After the appointment, I am completely drained. Driving home after an entire day at the hospital with our young daughter yet again in a bed hooked up to IVs, is like a fog. The baby boy sure hated the experience as well. But with no childcare available I had to bring him. What an absolutely exhausting experience. Entering the freeway I’m pretty sure I hit an innocent squirrel- just pile it on right (I really really hope I didn’t but am afraid I did).

This whole winter/early spring has really not been the best, as far as springs go. I have had better starts of years…
I know I’m an incredible lucky and blessed person so I try to look at the positives, and look forward. I really am!

My brother comes to visit in late spring with his family and his brand new baby boy (first time auntie over here holla!!!) and makes it to my littlest’s first Birthday party. We have a ton of fun, I haven’t seen my brother in so long and to see him as a dad is truly special. I have a busy schedule during the weekdays with my kids but we manage to meet up with my brother and sister in law for dinner everyday. We also grab the occasional coffe or lunch and make a couple impromptu shopping trips. We cook together, drink wine on the patio, share stories, splash in the pool and enjoy the kids-the sweetest little cousins!

Since my three kids all have birthdays in a row-the spring pretty much disappeared in some semi-chaotic (but totally fun) party planning and execution!

Our baby boy gets a big jungle celebration (just like his brother did when he turned one) with jungle music, decorations, cakes, cupcakes and fun gift bags! We have a bouncy castle, yummy sandwiches and tons of snacks…and bubbles…plenty of bubbles. Our baby loves himself some bubbles after all (second to food only). I can’t believe he is one, how did this happen? Stop robbing me of precious baby time already (why do the years get shorter not only the older you get but apparently the more kiddos you have?).

Our princess just wanted her birthday with family, a low key day playing with her new toys (first barbie and first lipgloss-did I mention the years are rolling by way too rapidly) and then dinner, ice cream and balloon animals (flower) at her favorite restaurant. Only three years ago, I was terrified that she would be okay and just look at her now! A smarter, more charismatic, pretty, little decisive three-nager you may never see!! The following day is a Minnie Mouse theme day, spent with grandparents and a BBQ and princess cake very fitting for our very special sassy girl!

Our big boy is turning 6 (did I mentioned somebody messed with the time..turning the dial onto rapid…I know I did and I know it’s cliche BUT how IS he six?). He has requested a “creepy crawler” party and the NAT (Natural History) museum gets to host us and 12 of his classmates plus six other friends and a handful of siblings. All these kinder kids were so great for about 30 of the 45 minutes planned lecture about lizards and snakes but then they decided (apparently telepathically) to hit the dessert table, run into the projector screen, and draw on the white board-all at the same time. No worries though, after a dessert break (having dessert before sandwiches) we got to pet some live (gasp) animals, play some games (competed crawling in snakeskin anyone!?). Then we sang for and had cake/s with the lucky six year old. Excitedly he told us after the party that he made “a new awesome best friend”. Thinking it was a classmate we asked him whom this might be as he proudly announced that it was the museum employee that had helped with the party!

Summer is fast approaching (what happened to spring? But as I said the winter months leading up to spring were arguably sucky…I will share but am just not quite there yet…) so moving on feels now kinda great!

We have some graduations coming up after all our birthdays! And then our summer can officially start!!

Drop off Disaster

I prep my oldest son even before we reach the school parking lot. He knows by now how to buckle and unbuckle himself and how to stand ready (hunched over) by the back “lift-gate” (we have been practicing). Okay, so maybe that needs some further explanation…
As you all know, I have three kids and we TRIED to put them all next to each other in the backseat of our new (oversized) SUV. Heck noo, did NOT work…
The oldest two were fighting like crazy, which made me frustrated and scream way too much. I was also worried about the tiny (okay not so tiny) baby back there.
After weeks best described as catastrophic, we had the brilliant idea to put the oldest in the third row!
It was a bit tricky with the big stroller and all the other baby stuff (car seat adapters, extra toddler seat and what not) but we made it work. We also had to teach our oldest to buckle himself. The problem is, I didn’t WANT him to be able to open the back liftgate on his own (way too dangerous). So every time he (we) went out of the car, I had to open it for him.

So back to the dreaded school car line…

As soon as we are on school property I yell for my son to unbuckle himself and to prepare with his backpack and such, for me to come open the back for him.

We have arrived early enough so that there won’t be a lot of cars…there still IS, but we are amongst the first in line (pat on back).

As we approach the green “drop off zone” I slow way down and then come to a complete stop in front of the school, I put the car in park (and apply the parking brake for good measure) and open the door…

As soon as I do this, cars (people of course but you know what I mean…) start honking (these are moms and nannys and the occasional dad, mind you) and by the time I’m in the back of my car there is also yelling (I’m not kidding).

When my big handsome boy jumps out with his backpack, I feel so proud of him but of course the moment is completely ruined by even more severe honks and yelling ( “hurry up”, “come on”, “unbelievable”, “must be a new mom”, “she will make me LATE”)…

As I rush over to the driver seat, a school “representative” runs after me screaming “this is NOT how we do things”.

Yet as I see my son struggle with his huge backpack I feel an urge to go help him out, to go steer him in the right direction, to show him the gate and his classroom. I swollow hard and manage a wave to the car behind me as I speed off away from the school parking lot.

Theoretically I know he knows where to go and that he won’t be lost (or gasp “stolen”) but I can’t help the moment of “mommy panic”.

As I drive off I feel sad and disappointed. Well that didn’t go according to plan! I almost want to call the school to make sure he made it to his classroom safely. I feel worried and stressed. I have to call my husband to relay the fiasco…
Well, that’s it!!! I will NEVER ever expose myself or my son to that car line EVER again!!!

Next stop kindergarten- part 1

Yes my son is starting kindergarten, he is starting school. I mean real school, actual school- School School (I know, I know you get it). It feels big and he is not ready…okay I’m not ready. How could I be? And clearly he is not either. He is just a baby!

My parents have just left and we are running around like crazy, trying to get last minute things done. I order an extra nice backpack online (worrying if it’s nice ENOUGH or if dinosaurs are geeky or interesting or gulp; childish…?) the one my son really wants. I go out and get a tall star wars water bottle because that is what the “instructions” say “tall water bottle”- not Star Wars of course-but that’s cool…right? And so IN with the kids right now…(said no cool mom ever…)

Our first born is excited, but a little apprehensive too I can tell (or is it all my nerves?).

I leave the two oldest with the nanny and grab the baby and a trusted friend (who has done this all before) to go “back to school shopping”. The list is about a mile long of stuff and school supplies not only for your kid, but for other kids as well and the classroom…and entire school (and you know basically the whole community). I have never had to do this before (and can’t believe all parents do this…and I heard it gets “worse” the older your kid gets). I’m confused as well-what the heck is a 3 ring binder? A size what? double huh? , an A1 pencil a quadruple something something? This is not as straight forward as you might think, if you know what I’m getting at. Thank goodness I have help-I have to return half the stuff and go for round two (and here I thought I was doing pretty well).

I take all three kids clothes shopping (oh the absolute joy!). I want brands that are trendy enough, that says “we care about what we wear…but not too much”. “We are in the know…but you know very laid back”. “We are not cheap but not careless with money…not tacky or thoughtless but not wasteful and spoiled…not”…ah you get it by now!
This is exhausting!!! Not that I’m spending that MUCH time, energy, thought…or you know money! It not like I’m trying to impress anyone, no way…or am I?

We are new here, new house, new neighborhood, brand new location and school for all of us. Even though I care way less than I used to (it’s an ongoing struggle), I do care you know, a little bit…or less…more like a sliver. But who doesn’t want to be accepted and even we’ll liked? I mean my son now of course… And have to admit, I desperately want them to like him!
But it could only help to have (a super cool…who of course doesn’t use the phrase “super”…which was “super cool” back in the 90s where I come from) a well-like mom!

The “meet and great” with the class doesn’t go great. I feel like the kids are taller and more advanced than him (but come on they are supposed to be five…aren’t they?). I can tell he is trying though, because he is extra silly trying to make the other kids laugh and it’s not that is doesn’t work but it’s not like it does either…which makes my mommy heart so sad. I didn’t exactly help him, like my plan was either. I may have laid it on a little too thick with the cheeriness (remember, I was the mom being called rude by the preschool moms…I’m trying here). Except when cheeriness is not your “normal” (come on, I’m pretty happy and sweet) it come of a little…strange. Wait is that MY laugh? I don’t do fake…

I actually feel like the other moms seem nice. At least most of them (it’s like I’m waiting for someone to yell “just kidding, we don’t like your fake smile or your childish son”). They don’t seem snobby or stuck-up like I have been warned. Most of them have older kids and some of them have several (older kids in the same school). Two of them strike me as warm and genuine-they ask about the baby and talk about how happy he is and marvel over how my two year old was a preemie and now looks closer to three (yep: I used the preemie card-so sue me!). It’s just myself and two other moms who have “oldests” starting school. One seems friendly…the other not as much.

On the other hand one  of the boys is already making fun of my boy’s height (all in good fun, I’m sure…) and he gets pushed roughly down the slide by another one (right in front of me…but again they are all laughing-including my son). But just in case they don’t love him now- I know he can hold his own and that his sweetness and quirkiness will win them all over in the end.

I feel left out by the snack table (hey, I know it’s not about me…) with my little baby in the carrier and my bouncy two year old in hand. I feel like the other moms are already forming clicks. I’m running out of cheeriness, but at least my son seem to have found a friend (at least someone to talk to).

By the end of the meet and greet my boy actually begs to leave-well kid, I hear you, I’m exhausted too! We just can’t wait for school to start on Monday!!

 

A Back-Firing Baptism…

The sun is blazing on the outside patio where we have set up chairs, tables, decorations and balloons. Way too hot for comfort (especially considering some of the guests are young babies and others 80 year old plus) It’s probably to late to change all the stuff around outside now however, we are already running around in a frenzy. At least the food is set up inside with the perishables and cake within reach in the fridge. We are still getting ready and struggling with nap schedules (or lack thereof) when the first guests arrive and we haven’t even poured the welcome drinks. My hair is wet and then the baby has a blow out diaper all over his special outfit (just thankful it wasn’t his baptism gown passed down by generations).

The Godmother is late due to an oven fire (yes, I’m serious, she sent me pictures of the fire truck and everything). I have no other choice than asking the guests for help (obviously my parents are already helping and my husband is trying to juggle the two older kids). Unfortunately my mom has hurt her arm badly and can’t use it properly, but mind you, is still running around helping and setting up, but hurting and unable to do so with her usual speed and precision (pretty dang close though considering her arm won’t even extend past the elbow).

As I change little man, finding him a brand new outfit, more guests arrive. I have to ask our niece to pour the welcome drinks and mix my special mango/peach mimosas without me. Our daughter has what we call “a no nap” meltdown and runs around screaming in her diaper, refusing her pretty purple dress and even though almost all guest have arrived we are missing two very special guests…

We have invited my Dad’s cousin-whom I haven’t seen for probably more than fourteen years. When I first came here, I stayed with him and his wife and they helped me settle in to my University. My parents have seen them a couple of times through the years at family gatherings in Sweden and have gotten updated about each other through other cousins but with me being so busy and life just getting in the way we haven’t been able to see each other. He did help me with a few things I needed as a newbie in this country (including chasing down somebody trying to steal my bright yellow suitcase and co-signing my first apartment contract) and has been nothing but nice.

I just recently decided that I really should re-connect with him. I wanted my dad’s cousin (my dad is an only child so cousins became closer to him growing up-some more like siblings) to see me now-sixteen plus years after he dropped off a young, anxious girl at a school campus far, far from home! I wanted to introduce him and his wife to my husband and my three children- but even though he had confirmed that they were coming they were starting to get seriously late and everyone else had already arrived. The godmother/one of my best friends had even arrived leaving her husband and two sons to deal with their oven being on fire. She even managed to get here without a speeding ticket this time! (Inside joke).

I have known this girl for fifteen years and we have been through a lot, she is really the perfect and obvious choice as my little baby boy’s sponsor and Godmother! While we wait for our (elderly) guests (increasingly worried they have mixed up the dates…or worse) she wants to go over a little speech I asked her to hold for the baby (just s few words of wisdom really or a piece of advice for the future). She tells me she has picked a poem and I’m thinking perfect, what can go wrong?!

It’s a beautiful old poem of encouragement and strength and she did a great job researching and finding this…except…

it’s also the speech held at every 12 step program meeting…

Thanks to my parents, my hubby’s parents (his mom helping with the food and guests and his father performing the ceremony which he has been able to do for all our kids, which is so so special), our chosen Godparents and all our wonderful guests we are finally starting to get close to what resembles a baptism (despite some food order mishaps-almost poising said “wonderful guests”).

In the end the lost guests arrive- better late than never (and it’s great to see them after all these years and introduce them to my new family) the sun is excruciatingly hot (but most guests are able to eat inside -and the food is a hit) and the ceremony is just beautiful (the Godmother is talking straight from her heart instead) and actually everything is close to perfect!

There is really no time for devastation after my parents leave (the trip was way too short) because my first born is starting kindergarten…

Happy friggin 4th!!!

Hubby is scheduled to fly out early morning on the Fourth of July and I’m not going to lie- it sucks!

But we are not going to let that keep us from the fun-oh no!

We have a full day of celebration planned this year. We are going to a parade (have never seen a real live American parade before and am really excited!!) in our neighborhood and fireworks by the beach (love fireworks) and we are bringing grandma and grandpa (and hopefully uncle, aunt and cousins as well) along! I have bought food for a family BBQ and festive paper plates, cups and utensils as well as quite a few Independence Day decorations! I have also laid out matching flag colored outfits for myself and all the three kids! The weather promises to be warm and sunny but not too hot. Maybe we can swim in the pool and grandparents can take the littlest baby so that I actually get to cool down and splash around as well. I can’t wait to spend some much needed quality play time with my kids!

I’m in high spirits; baby’s first fourth- lets do this!!!

And then darling daughter wakes up with a fever and then an extremely runny (smelly, leaky) diaper….
Which after breakfast leads to another…and another…with the mood to follow!
Can you say; complete toddler meltdown!

So yeah, we wave bye bye to daddy dearest (oh yeah; thanks for leaving me Hun!) as I rapidly begin to understand that nobody is going to want to hang out with us on this very special day…

Holiday or not, kids get sick and there is nothing you can do about it. I cancel all our plans with friends as well as family. It’s all good, we will make it work, it is just the crankiness and the overwhelming loneliness I feel when kid number two starts throwing up…

I order in food, but right now I only have one kid willing to eat and that would be the one without any teeth!

Its not like I have time to eat anything anyways, I’m running around like a mad woman, and strangely enough the idea of eating while people around me (and on me) are vomiting (and dry heaving) does not seem that appetizing…

I stream YouTube videos on the tv and keep changing diapers, smearing diaper rash cream, wiping butts as well as tears and pushing fluids.

I desperately stage some photos in memory of this “special” day of all my little kiddos in their outfits (good thing my “fancy” camera snaps dozens of photos in seconds because there are no willing participants and especially my daughter will not stand for it) on the patio- which turn out more sad than funny (keeping up the facade right…or not).

I change them out of their celebratory clothes right after our private little (disastrous) photo shoot scared any nasty fluids will make the nice outfits filthy (the washer and dryer already working overtime).
Of course my toddler throws another tantrum wanting to keep her red, white and blue Tommy Hilfiger dress on…

Let’s just say I’m in for a long night…

The kind of night where in between nightly nursing session (and they are plenty) I have to change sheets twice (we are now out of sheets that fit our bed), wrestle as well as share said bed with not one, not two, but three sweaty, germy kids (good thing I love them). I also have one of them throw up as I brush their teeth-after having thrown up…Hate when that happens!

I’m laying awake in our big bed (that suddenly feels small and cramped) when all the kiddos are finally asleep listening to each of their individual breathing patterns, (one arm around my beautiful daughter and another around my littlest man, while my big helper sleeps by my feet…for some reason) listening to their little whimpers and snores and my heart fills with so my love that I can hardly stand it…

Yes, they are a handful, and messy and smelly and oh so loud but at the end of the day I am just so so grateful to have them! Grateful that they are here with me, healthy and happy and whole (even with a nasty stomach bug) . They are my biggest accomplishments; who would have knows after my degrees and my diplomas that being a mommy would make me feel so important, so proud and so extraordinary!

Hope you had a great 4th of July this year everyone-I did despite it all (I have to admit it was pretty bad…and sad). I had a holiday I didn’t expect, one that I didn’t see coming and I was all alone to handle it all. But I think maybe that we have all been there one time or another and anyways; isn’t that what us mothers do…? We care and we fix…and we handle!

Too late I realize there in the pitch black room (while my five year old is mumbling something about Star Wars and transformers in his sleep) that I forgot to cancel the swim instructor-scheduled to come first thing in the morning…

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Pool Parties and Preschool Graduations

The last day of preschool approaches and the “class moms” (including the one that called me rude about a year ago) have organized a graduation party. I was able to get back into their good graces by smiling more (no more bitchy resting face-it IS a thing people!) and by being more chatty, engaged and interested (even though I’m so not..). I got mixed results, but one being, the other moms at least greeted me and would even throw out a random question here and there, and take some interest in my pregnancy and then newborn (not AS interesting since labor went flawlessly…am I’m being mean and bitter now…?) I did it all for darling son of course. But then said “darling son” goes and tells his entire class (12 boys and two girls) about his birthday party and that they are naturally invited each and everyone of them!…except they are not, not one of them. He has apparently told them all the details of his Pirate Pool Party so that the next time his teacher (miss butterfly in the butterfly class…) tells me I’m such and angel for inviting the whole, entire class! (Yep…angel!!!) and the class mom’s twin boys are dancing and screaming “pool party, pool party, pool party” jumping up and down with glee!
I try to get a word in but am very unsuccessful. After the fact – meaning AFTER the party where not one of his preschool class friends attended/were invited (WHAT? I’m not friends with these parents, I don’t know them whatsoever, we have just moved…into another community and our son is moving on to another school in another part of town in the fall…and truly we have enough with a large family and his little Swedish friends! Wait…are you still judging??) I lamely tried to tell the class mom and the teacher as said son said he had the best party EVER (well, that is just awesome…but…) that it was mostly just close family…
“Yes mom was worried because SOO many people were invited so we needed TONS of food, two cakes and lots of stuff…we had like 50 guests…” Ooookay!
Back on the s*it list I’ll tell you!

Our baby boy is already seven weeks and almost two months old, where did the time go? My oldest is now graduating from preschool which I guess it’s pretty big! I can’t believe he starts school next year (even if it’s only kindergarten, we didn’t think he was ready but he has matured so much and has so much language now, maybe it’s just his parents who aren’t ready…). Big boy wears a cap and gown (even if the gown is just a small white sheet…or hmm table cloth, with a hole for the head). First ceremony of many, it’s a little silly I know but I actually like this kind of silly, I like how Americans embrace celebrations and (sometimes) go over the top, and as I look around the church at this, my sons preschool graduation, I sob with the best of them (to my defense you not only get extra emotional while pregnant but also while breastfeeding!…google it! The struggle is real). The whole family dresses up so nicely and we are immensely proud of our boy-even if he does keep his head down, starring at the ground both as he walks in and out, shouts in the microphone and keeps asking his teacher what he is suppose to say (instead if answering questions about his favorite things to do at preschool etc ” WHAT DO I LIKE AGAIN?” .

This preschool graduation party at a nearby park went “so-so” if you know what I mean. I was “politely” told not to breastfeed so close to the kids, completely ignored after having answered the question where our son would attend kindergarten, and got many eye rolls for various things. I even overheard some moms taking behind my back about how I think I am “all that” “, so catty and also so not true!

I wouldn’t even care (I truly evolved in that department…from caring what EVERYONE thought…) if it didn’t affect my son. Even kids this young pick up on these things…
I even have the audacity to ask one of the moms to keep an eye on my oldest while I change a particularly bad toddler diaper in the park’s bad excuse for a restroom while my infant hangs low from the baby carrier as I try to wipe and change his sister (not the easiest task mind you). Even though my 5-year old is in the same spot where I left him (unfortunately being a little rough with other boys, at least they are being rough right back) I still get more eye rolls.

As we leave the class mom with her mom pose yell out that they will probably never see us again now that we moved on to (dripping with sarcasm here) “bigger and better things”…
If my get away was smooth it might have been a good wrap up, but of course I have to stump my big toe on a picnic table (it freaking hurt) and then as I drive away I go completely over the high curb with my big new SUV…(very smooth)  Oh well, the kids thought it was cool (even if I almost had a heart attack and thought I hit something at the loud thump)…

We have such a long, fun summer planned ahead. Even if I know it will be a lot with a newborn and my husband’s busy, hectic work schedule meaning I will be alone with all three kids a lot, I know we will enjoy having those special moments together..

Clean bill of health, missed calls and appointments …

I have already missed a couple of phone calls and a handful of texts from my husband by the time I stroll baby and myself into waiting room number two on the fourth level. He is obviously worried that he will miss his next appointment and frankly at this point, so am I. I get called about fifteen minutes after my appointment time and sure if this takes less than ten minutes he could still make it…but somehow I doubt it. As I’m waiting in the room (slightly nervousness to see the “stupid” nurse, or rather the nurse I called stupid…several times…not knowing that she overheard, walking just a few feet behind me, again). I quickly text my husband to get to the fourth level parking and park his car next to mine to make the transition easier once I’m done (it will be worth the parking fee if he makes it back to work on time).

I hear the nurse getting my chart and telling the other nurse that she is ready to see me next. Great! Maybe we are in luck today and I will get cleared, and fast! I can’t wait to get back to “regular” life (well, you know as regular it can get with three kids five and under…) and for this to be an easy check-up without any drama, health issues or complications. It is about now my baby starts crying, well excuse me, wailing would be the more accurate term. The first nurse pops her head in the room to tell me that I am up next and to marvel over how huge my baby is! Since they are a speciality clinic for high risk pregnancies only, they are usually used to premature babies (meaning tiny, and he is definitely not that). Even though he is average in size they see him as ginormous being used to babies not fully cooked yet and I hear her telling the other staff how big he is, but also how cute! He would be even cuter if he stopped killing my ear drums, what do I do here? It’s kind of hard to feed him while you are laying basically naked on a “bed” legs  wide spread high up in the air…
This is precisely why I feed him BEFORE we left the car for this appointment.

I’m sure the next knock means nurse Stupid is ready for me…

But no, there she is again, the first nurse, telling me I have to pick the poor baby up, they can hear him all the way out in the waiting room. I try to tell her that he is fine, he has been feed and I’m really in a hurry, without sounding like the worst mom ever, but to no avail…
I can’t believe she is giving me the “always pick your infant up when he is crying speech” ESPECIALLY if he is under three months old…
“I’ll just be back after you have nursed him”…
“No wait, wait, wait, this will only literally take two minutes” (because my kiddos are fast eaters and you know, he HAS been fed)…

Two minutes obviously turn into twenty, I even go looking for the nurse (or anybody that can help me really) with my now perfectly happy , smiling baby! No one is willing to take a peak between my legs (hm, that is truly their job here and nothing odd mind you) to just give me a quick bill of health so I can get out of here and tend to my kiddos and release my poor (not so much) husband from his daddy duties. My hubby is naturally freaking out and have left another five-ten slightly hysterical messages on my phone. I quickly call him (under the huge “no cell phone zone” sign) in the little room to let him know that I haven’t even been seen yet!!
Well, now that was popular! He needs to call someone to cover his appointment but is still hopeful that he can make it for the end of it since he really apparently needs to make an appearance for this one!

I tell him to take both kids out of the car, to take the older one potty and change the younger one’s diaper while they wait for me to get done and then stay out in the hall- nobody want the two (three) of them in the waiting room!

Nurse “close your eyes or you’ll see it” finally shows up (she obviously saw another patient before me) and can you believe that the other nurse is telling her that I had a boy “you know she didn’t know what she would have, she didn’t find out until he was born!!…everybody was able to keep it a secret…” Really rubbing it in. I totally avoid eye contact and she is with me, ignoring the blabbering nurse who is no addressing how big my baby BOY is!

Since the examination room is so tiny we have an issue with the stroller. If I lay down on the bed with it extended we really can’t fit, two nurses, stroller and all and I’m not too excited about leaving my baby with another nurse. The two nurses in the room with us start rearranging the room as they apologize that they at so busy so that this is the only room available. I lay there completely naked under a sheet made out of tissue paper (that crinkles every time I move slightly) my legs pulled up to fit in the bed while they move stroller, chairs and the bed with me on it. They end up moving the desk and the chair out in the waiting room (I’m serious! …a couple of new missed calls from that husband of mine…and a text; they are apparently out in the hallways-kids running amok!)

When nurse “IT” is finally positioned in between my legs, the lamp she needs to see better doesn’t work. While the other nurse scrambles for a flashlight (you heard me), I tell her about the painful torn stitch and the excessive bleeding as well as having the bleeding come back after it completely stopped. She tells me she will look to see if everything healed, do a Pap smear and that it is absolutely not my period coming back since I just gave birth and I’m exclusively breastfeeding. She also gives me a heads up that if I get cleared, to not do anything (you know) without protection- since I’m refusing the pill due to the possibility of my milk going away. Because even if nursing makes it pretty safe (very safe actually) it is NOT a 100% and we are not ready for number four just yet…are we?

Here she is with a flashlight at the same time as my husband officially has missed his work appointment!

While I’m doing some pretty impressive yoga moves in the tiny room and finally gets a clear bill of health, baby starts crying again and as I meet up with the rest of my family, my husband seem close to tears as well…

It seems to be less about his missed appointment and more about having to take care of some pretty crazy kids…

Lumber jacks,being outnumbered and best comment after pushing a human being out of your body..

imageimageSirens are wailing and I don’t know if I should start panicking or what? I’m pretty drowsy after you know a “little bit of childbirth” (besides, I’m starving) and the nurse looks around at the big guy who is maneuvering the enormous bed towards the elevator. He is actually laughing asking her “what, are you new here?”‘ I don’t get it? What in the world is he smirking about? What kind of alarm is that?

The nurse looks so ashamed as she quickly types something on a stationary computer near the delivery wing’s exit doors at the same time as she hurriedly whispers something in her walkie talkie phone. We back up, me and my brand new son get wheeled backwards through the exit door again in the giant bed. I don’t get it until I overhear her apologizing about it. Each newborn gets an alarm around their ankle (their very own ankle bracelet…not very fashionable by the way). My nurse has totally forgotten to disarm the “low jack” (not the lumber jack which I later call it, creating some confusion with my husband.)

We have a long night ahead. Baby is unusually “aware” for just being born, already refusing to sleep alone and crying a lot…
I couldn’t have made it without the nicest nurse (opposite from the old nag who I get the next day-trying to tell a mother of three -that’s right!-what to do with her baby)
This one lets me go to bathroom (because I really have to go and my catheter is out) even though my epidural hasn’t worn off completely yet (I swear I can feel everything-this is a piece of cake…) She half carries me to the toilet even if I insist I can walk. Then she lets me sit there for an hour (honestly) because the thought of my acid urine coming anywhere close too…well you get the point…terrifies me! She even gives my tiny boy a bath while I sit there squirting warm water with a plastic water bottle in my neather regions to make me pee “comfortably”.

The next day the two siblings can’t quite contain their excitement as they come tumbling into the hospital room. Their daddy tries and mostly fails to keep an eye on them as they both want to hold THEIR baby NOW! Big sister keeps screaming MINE. Grandma is there to help me keep them from pushing buttons, not sitting on me (ouch) or grabbing their quite defenseless little brother from his plastic see through crib (he won’t have it easy with these two as siblings).

We take tons of pictures (I look pretty darn awful in most-if not all of them) and the proud big brother (“mama, I tooold you it was a boy in there”) and the curly haired big sister with the huge innocent blue eyes (let me tell you:not so innocent that one) get plenty of cuddle time with our new addition!
When the newness wear off, it’s back to stealing my hospital food (I finally got some!), pushing buttons, trying to sit on me (not my lap!!!!) and the very funny curtains by the door (let’s see how fast we can open a shut them by running like maniacs!).
It’s about that time-goodbye time (now if they could only bring the baby too so mommy could get some sleep! Ha ha:kidding!!, sort off…eh…)
As they leave (and I hate to admit I’m relieved to get another night of alone time and care to recover some more- but I realize that it’s also good to have time to allow myself to get excited about starting life as a family of five- mommy being very outnumbered- TOMORROW!!!)
My big boy exclaims “eh, mama, if the baby is out, how come you are still FAT?
Best comment after pushing a human being out of your body-EVER!!

I forgot how much you bleed and how much having stitches hurt, how little you can do (lifting stroller out of car, carrying car seat, lifting toddler-sitting on a chair: all definite no nos) and how big the freaking pads have to be in your sexy see through mesh hospital “underpants”. The celebrity that recently said “I had no idea you have to leave the hospital in diapers just like your baby” (or something like that) was spot on – didn’t mean to be funny there-because none of this is fun really except of course the “getting to take home a real human baby as a price for your efforts” so that’s pretty worth it and you need to see it that way, and remember that, otherwise it’s easy to get extremely emotional (you will anyways-totally unavoidable btw) and a little swept away by the total messiness that is blood and mucus and clots (“as long as they are smaller than golf balls-trust us, you are completely fine- totally normal!”) and regurgitated sour milk and blow out yellow seedy poop and you know cracked, bleeding and sore nipples, leaking boobs (that if brushed against something like any piece of clothing for example will make you suicidal… As well as homicidal should someone come near you) and the fact that you cannot pee without crying…

I’m not sure I would have survived without my own mommy! She literally does everything and more!
She cooks and cleans and organizes and decorates and washes and soothes and wipes and …well you get it. She takes care of our house, and our dog and our kids AND me!

Baby boy is now already 4 weeks old, it’s insane- these weeks have flown by. The more kids you have, the faster they grow I guess because a month seems like days. So far he is a pretty easy going little guy, sweet and good natured (not at all like the other two) he has however inherited his siblings’ intensity and lack of patience, if he wants something, he wants it RIGHT AWAY! (That “something” is usually food!! Meaning ME)…
I know that the “honeymoon phase” with baby has also worn off,  and not sleeping at night is getting old (really old, I’m too old for this dang it)! It’s not as charming to be feeding this little (very lovable during the day) creature every single hour during the night and watch him sleep like a good little boy during the day (sometimes for hours at the time). My littlest one sure turns from human baby…to something else entirely during the night (I won’t get into how frustrated I can get but don’t worry he still gets plenty of attention, kisses and yes MILK-seriosly: don’t you worry) but somehow I manage to still keep him close and full-despite the three hour cry attacks at 2:14 am where nothing helps (not even food-gasp!)

At the end of mom’s stay I’m squeezing in a haircut (beyond necessary) and a much needed girls’ brunch! I’m so grateful to my mom I can’t describe it with words and now she is leaving in a week…however will I handle my life…?

 

 

VENTI decaf Java chip Frappucino!!!

“Is HE okay” I keep questioning as I can’t get a good look myself while they are working away in between my legs- there is quite a bit of blood and apparently some sewing and cleaning up going on. Catching my breath after the great delivery I silently pray that nothing is now wrong! Please God!

We have worried for months now (ever since that terrifying twenty week ultrasound) I just want to know at this point, please, please!!
I’m panicking slightly as my mom stalls with the answer…

I need to know!

“As far as I can tell…he is PERFECT!”
As sigh of relief!
His face?
“I think so…”
“Think?”
“Yes, most definitely yes!”
“The rest of him?”
He looks great, he really does, crying, red, BIG…
Perfect
The emergency people keep dropping off, leaving the room one by one.

A successful delivery if I ever saw (more like experienced) one! There are tears of joy in my eyes as I finally get to see him up close, holding him tight, cradled to my chest! He immediately stops crying his eyes big and dark, dark blue. Then he starts rooting, searching for milk. Such a good sign I just want to laugh with pure happiness. I just can’t believe how healthy he looks…and feels. Nobody has taken him yet, they haven’t even cleaned him, but he seems pretty clean, alert and yes big, I can’t believe how big he seems compared to my other two. They were both whisked away before I could hold them. This is my dream delivery, the one I wished and prayed for. The one I was “due” to have and deserved!
And my mother got to experience this all with me.

Instead of stealing him away they wrap him up in the standard stiff blanket with the little pink and blue baby footprints while he is still laying on me. My legs start to feel wobbly I can now completely feel my right one again. The doctor is finishing the stitches sewing away (my mom later tells me she ones drops the needle exclaiming “ops!”) and although I can feel some pain, the warm feeling of an amazing delivery of our beautiful baby boy overshadows everything else. My mom tells me “good job” smiling and beaming as we both laugh over this awesome shared miracle experience.

They haven’t even weighed or measured the baby’s height yer but this time I’m not nervous, not in the least because I can tell there is nothing to worry about. Baby boy is breathing fine, his color is great, he is the perfect size and so sweet, resting after being in such a hurry coming out and then getting to exercise those lungs (screaming: check!)

This is when his daddy decides to show up, opening the door and then the curtains to the baby already in my arms. Not a lot of things shocks or surprises my husband but his voice says it all, he really can’t believe it!!

“Wait what??” “You weren’t kidding…I thought you meant the baby is coming…as in its coming in the next couple of hours”. I smile serenely from the bed snuggling with our brand new family member and my mom giggles.
“Guess what it is” the nurse asks him
“Hm”, my husband steps close to my bed to get a good look at the baby and guesses loudly (and proudly) “a BOY!”

It is not even ten o’clock at night when baby has been toweled off, weighed and measures (biggest baby at 3 kilos), I am all cleaned up, the towels (rags) have been counted (so gross but necessary so that they don’t, gasp! Leave one behind; you know as INSIDE you) all the pictures have been taken of baby with mama, with daddy, with both (and without) and of course with grandma! and my food has been ordered when I tell my mom and hubby to leave. They will be able to go home and get a good nights sleep after all, and come to think of all of our discussions on who would be taking the night shift with me while I would (obviously right!?) still be in labor, who would stay over on the uncomfortable couch (sad excuse for a bed) thing and who would take over in the morning. What can I say; I like to get my boys out there fast (and they like to vacate in a hurry!), my daughter- not so fast but then again, she wanted to come eleven weeks early! Luckily settling on six!

How ever much I marvel at how it’s all over and how lucky I am to have another miracle baby in my arms…I am also starving (and shamefully hoping someone…anyone will please take this baby for just a couple of minutes so I can rest and eat something).

Unfortunately this (very sweet calm and really great under pressure, great gender guessing) nurse is about as good at calling for food as she is the anesthesiologist, meaning; not at all…

All I keep thinking about is that decaf frappucino I will be getting in the morning. And it better be a VENTI (extra chocolaty!!) I soo deserve it!
There will only be crackers and strawberry yoghurt for me tonight and hours later.

I flip on to the huge traveling bed with wheels like a pro (it really helps that I regained all of the feeling in my right leg and the left one is already tingling and responding to my directions (move!).

They do that pressing on the tummy thing so that the stomach will contract and blood and goo come out, sorry about that vivid disgustingness- before they roll me out towards recovery!

This is when an alarm sounds so loud it’s even startling my sleeping baby, shaking the entire hospital floor…

Close your eyes or you’ll see it…

We make it to the hospital (even if hubby has to parallel park, leaving the passenger side car door wide open). When security asks where we are headed we both yell “triage” and when he asks if it’s an emergency we answer “YES” at the exact same time.
I can barely walk, between the contractions coming every few minutes and the constant excessive leaking it’s fair to say that I’m a complete mess. I laugh one minute (slightly hysterical) and cry the next (more of a moan really). The elevator floor gets wet and I leave a trail behind me as we first enter the wrong floor. Despite of all of this, I’m only four centimeters dilated when they check. There is no questioning whether what I’m leaking is amniotic fluid however (the whole thing has now definitely ruptured) and since the contraction are so strong and close apart I get bumped up on the list to get a room. I tell my husband to hurry back to the house to get my mom as I wait on the narrow bed alone with my frequent contractions.

They hurt and I do have to stop what I’m doing and concentrate on breathing but it isn’t worse than me managing to text friends and check e-mails and social media in between them.

I answer all the nurse’s routine medical questions, briefly re-living my two previous births and deliveries, sending a wish above that this one will be easier!
The nurses get a laugh from my “pink or blue, either will do” dress.
My blood pressure is just slightly elevated and all my vitals seem fine, so far so good!

The nurses let me know that since my contractions are picking up we don’t have time to wait for my husband to come back with my mom before we head to the delivery room. They actually run me there in a wheel chair, I am six centimeters and things seem to move fast, I’m actually in quite a lot of pain by now.

I get a Russian nurse who is so stern and matter of fact, it’s quite stereotypical and actually exactly what I need right now. She orders me around-go to the bathroom, undress, put on gown, catheter is next-and I just follow her barking orders in a blank pain induced haze trying not to think about how it will get worse before it gets better…

The Russian nurse smacks her lips shaking her head as she reads my pregnancy and birth history. She tells me if anyone deserves a good delivery it’s me (I couldn’t agree more)! My doctor made good on her promise to have an OR prepped even though the nurses checking me in actually tells me that the scheduled Caesarian hasn’t been changed in their computer system (I’m glad I’m able to tell them that the plans have changed and my doctor is able to back me up, I actually feel really good about getting to try another vaginal delivery), she also has a team ready should anything go wrong with my delivery (baby or myself).

I feel so much better when mom finally shows up! I can still talk in between contractions but am not able to once they hit. How come you never remember how bad they really are?
The answer must really be the cliche that then you would never have another baby…ever!

Mom, husband and I share some laughs and talk about boy names before it gets really bad and I return into my fog of pain and there is really nothing else I can focus on, gripping the side rails of the bed tightly as one contraction replaces another.
All I want is my friggin epidural- this time I am all in and I will NOT be denied one that’s for sure!!
The Russian promises that I am next on the list and that anesthesiologist is finishing up with a patient as we speak. Before there is a nurse shift change (I’m sincerely sad she is leaving) she exclaims loudly; “girl; you are BOOMING those contractions”.

Not sure what the word means but 100% agreeing with her I wait while she gets the new nurse (a pretty, petite, brunette American) up to speed, covering my previous pre-eclampsia, baby’s broken clavicle, premature rupture of membranes, premature delivery, baby’s Brady’s, premature lungs and kidneys, the recent hospital stays, leaking, heart palpitations, preventative shots…everything…

The nurse agrees that mom and hubby should eat now while we wait for the epidural and hurry back because the pressure is intensifying and she is guessing that this baby will probably show up before midnight (thinking we have a couple of hours only). She is betting the baby is a boy while my mom bets a girl. As my family leaves my new nurse heads out to check on the anesthesiologist- seriously what is taking him so long??

Turns out, he was waiting for my nurse to call him and he had been done a while ago, now he threatens that it might be too late for the pain meds I so desperately need. While my husband and mother are getting a quick bite my pain level has sky rocketed but luckily this nurse is in my side, apologizing profusely for not calling the epidural guy sooner and rooting for me to get the shot right away.

He mercifully agrees and as the medicine takes affect things calm down and I feel some bliss and a much needed break only now realizing how exhausted I really am.
I haven’t been checked in a while but it is the nurse’s opinion that the epidural slowed things down enough for me to rest some and for husband to go home and put the kids to bed.

Okay, so yes, she is wrong! I can tell that she is wrong (oh I can tell alright), the pressure even WITH the epidural is out of this world. I realize of course that I can’t remember my other two deliveries completely and that you forget, ignore and deny the pain but this is crazy, freaking insane pain. It has to be-must be the worst pressure I have ever felt, it feels like I’m being ripped apart. I can’t communicate, it feels like I’m going to throw up (or you know die..) shatter and break. I’m so pale shifting in green my mom actually gets worried, they give me oxygen and keep checking my pulse and pressure, I’m shaking like a leaf (on a particularly windy day; read hurricane warning).

So no, we don’t have a few hours, no hubby does not have time to go home (forget about saying good night to kids and then come back) we barely have a few minutes. I am ten freaking centimeters! The nurse rushes around prepping the room (my mom later tells me the far end of the room fills with “emergency people” should anything go wrong), the OR is called just in case and the doctor on call is paged.

The doctor barely makes it in time to “catch”, I’m talking three to four pushes here! Fastest delivery ever! I WAS due for one of those!

The baby is out, she expertly turns the shoulder so it won’t get stuck. My mom experiences it all-telling me later that it was quite extraordinary and completely amazing! The dad of this baby hasn’t even made it home as I text “the baby is coming” so naturally he misses it all.

I yell for my mom to see if there is anything wrong with the baby but all we both see at first is “IT”, oh yes there is no denying this…

I have just delivered a screaming, red and shivering baby BOY!!!

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