Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Uh oh. Now what?

I can't lie.  Since being home on maternity leave (and advised to stay still for 2 months before that), there is a significant possibility that I am going entirely stir crazy - sick of staring at these walls, tired of trying to find productive things to do, starving for interaction.  And it seems I'll take interaction of any type...

This is Franco.

Earlier this week, Franco appeared at my sliding glass door, put his paws up on the window, and politely requested some peanuts.

I of course obliged because what if Franco is actually my Nana reincarnated?

When I texted Hubby to warn him of my indiscretion he wasn't super impressed, but he also didn't think much of it.

Then, last night, Franco returned! And, to my great astonishment, Hubby encouraged me to feed him.

Hubby: "Get him some peanuts!"

Me: "Really? Ok..."

Hubby: "No, put them close to the door, so he'll come closer."

Me: "Alright... Who are you by the way?"

Hubby: "No.  Closer.  Really close.  CLOSE!"

Me: "Wow, ok, they're nice and close.  What shall we name him?"

Hubby: "Franco."

Tuxedo Cat: "WHOA.  SQUIRREL.  I'mma get it...  SHHHH, you guys.  Quiet.  I'm working here."

As Tuxedo Cat sat at the door stalking poor Franco, Franco simply continued to eat his peanuts with zero interest in the idiot cat staring at him.  I suspect that Franco is a seasoned squirrel - well versed in sliding-glass-door-peanut-eating, even when there are stupid cats nearby full of empty threats.

But then, this morning, I've recognized the error in my ways...

Ooops.  We knew this would happen, didn't we.

When I texted Hubby, he called me a few minutes later.  Uh oh.  This merits a phone call?

Hubby: "What. Have. You. Done."

Me: "ME?! You encouraged me! Put it closer you said!"

Hubby: "Get my BB gun."

Me: "Nooo! That might be Nana!"

Hubby: "...?  Um, I'm not sure where we go from here..."

Me: "Me neither."

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Speaking up wins again

I'm not a person who's afraid of confrontation.  I speak up.  I consider this a good quality.  Sure, sometimes it gets me into trouble, and sometimes I say too much, but overall I believe that speaking up is the only way to live.  Don't bottle that shit up, man.  EATS YOU ALIVE.

So last week when I was at the mall, I spoke up.

Baby Fraggle and I were in the Hallmark card shop. We were walking in, between two big rows of greeting cards.  (Well, I was walking.  Fraggle was happily riding in her stroller.) There was an old couple ahead of me, in their 70s, and there was another mom leaving the store, also with a stroller.

That's when shit got real, y'all.

The crazy old couple wasn't looking at me, they were watching Other Mom.  Other Mom was walking out, while I was walking in.

Crazies, not seeing me, started to back up to let Other Mom go by.  (They didn't have to do that.  Other Mom had plenty of room, as you can see from my very adept drawing.)

As Crazies started to back up, so did I, giving them room.  Crazy Man almost bumped into me.  I smiled.  But this wasn't good enough for Crazy Lady.

Crazy Lady: "Watch out, husband!" And then, under her breath, "These women - have to bring CARS into stores with them."

Umm, pardon me?  These women?  Cars?

No.  We are regular women, just like you.  And these are baby strollers.  You know, to safely and lovingly transport the tiny humans that we grew inside our bodies who are yet incapable of walking on their own.  What if you had a wheelchair or a walker, Sunshine?

So of course, in my speak up style, I said:

"Pardon me?"

*No response.*

"Hello?  Did you say something?"

*No response.  Starts to walk away. Ignores me completely.*

"Excuse me ma'am, I'm talking to you..."

By this time, Crazy Lady had walked around the other side of the aisle. I obviously continued to attempt to engage her in conversation, leaning on my tiptoes, looking over top of the giant shelf of cards.

"I think you said something.  Care to repeat it?"

*Looks past me like I'm a ghost.*

"Yeah.  That's what I thought."

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Dear Fraggle - Volume 2

Hello again my dear.  I wrote to you a few weeks ago, and here I am again because I have some new thoughts I want to share.

You will be nine weeks old this Monday.  NINE WEEKS.  I don't have a friggin clue how that happened, but here we are.

The first couple weeks with you were an impossible gong show.  The following four were pretty good - life abounded with small victories and I regained a small semblance of sanity.  You learned so many neat things...

You grabbed stuff - like really reached out and GRABBED it - and then you pulled.   Hard.

You started standing.  Ok, not standing, per se, but extending your legs and pushing off while we held you up.  Your little head and neck got so strong.  Hubby and I predict that you won't really crawl, rather you'll start walking around holding onto our fingers.  Mark our words.

And the piéce de la resistance:  SMILES.  You, my sweet little koalacorn, learned to smile.  You do it all the time.  You grin when you wake up and I lean over your bed.  You grin when I change your diaper in the front window sill.  You grin. At me. And then I melt.

Then the six-week mark hit.  One day I was saying to people "Nah, she never really cries..." And all of a sudden, well, you cried.  It's like you just learned how and you simply had to show off your new skill.  Huh. What a novel idea Mom.  If I cry you'll notice me?  COOL.

And so it went, you crying (and probably spurtishly growing) for 10 days straight.  Hubby and I thought we'd go crazy.  I mean, you were still cute as all-get-out, but holy hell girlie.

Here's the good part though.  After your 6 week vampire conversion, you were the sweetest little angel.  Your dad and I were over the moon having our lovely little darling back again.

For three days.  Three days you were a perfect little doll.  By the fourth day you made a pretty big life decision. No more naps, you said to me one day, and then you cried and cried and cried all the livelong day.

Now.  Here is some advice for you my sweet:

When you are old like me, you will adore, nay, RELISH, any single solitary chance to NAP.  You may nap on a bench in the sun during your lunch break.  You may nap at your desk in the afternoon, with your hand on your mouse so your colleagues think you're working.  You may nap at a friend's house.  You may nap on the bus.  You may nap on a couch, on a pool floatie, on a lawn chair at Home Depot.

When you are old like me, you will not only wish you had more time to nap, but you will wish you capitalized every previous napping opportunity as the precious gift that it is  because naps are cumulative, and priceless.  So nap now, my sweet.  Enjoy it while you can.

I love you Fraggle,

PS Please nap.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Kickin' ass and takin' names. Or not.

Today was going well.  Better than yesterday at least. 

Baby Fraggle woke at a decent time, and we were on track - on track for our newly created get-the-baby-to-nap-so-we-don't-go-insane plan.  She had a half-nap this morning IN HER CRIB (never mind the fact that I sat there with her) before we walked over to the grocery store and pharmacy. 

I was kickin' ass and takin' names.  These are big accomplishments, people.  Don't doubt me. 

Furthermore, on the way home I encountered an actual mail man at the actual mail box, with whom I had an actual conversation and he even mailed my actual letters. 

By the time we arrived home, Fraggle was still sleeping in her stroller (WIN), so we sat on the front step allowing me a precious 10 minutes to soak up the sun and tweet up something fierce.

Then something went awry...

About 15 minutes after coming inside, I noticed the front door was open. 

Fucking holy hell shitballs craphole dammit where are the fucking cats. 

Tuxedo was, as usual, under the shrub by the front step, since he's too damn stupid to venture far.  I spooked him, so he came flying into the house - covered cobwebby junk.   

Patches though.  Where was Patches?  I called her name, no luck.  I clinked her food bowl, no luck. 

Umm, uh oh. 

And a tiny human inside that I couldn't, ya know, leave alone. 

This is when it happened.  A matter of time, really.  The "turns out I don't love the cats as much as the child" moment officially occurred.  It's been coming for a while (such as when they are meowing like lunatics at 3am), but this was the true moment in which changing and feeding the baby was potentially more important than hunting for the stupid cat...

But then it wasn't. 

So back in the stroller goes the baby, and off we go, wandering through the neighbours' backyards, clinking bowls and shouting PATCH for everyone to hear.  The little shithead emerged from a backyard a few houses down, running for the food her clinking bowl seemed to indicate. 

Thanks to all that I missed the baby's "sleep window" so Fraggle is now accidentally sleeping in her swing, rather than her crib (but at least sleeping thank heaven). 

Oh, and I just unloaded the grocery bag and it turns our that I bought the wrong fucking coffee.

So, not acing this motherhood thing yet, eh?

Sunday, 1 September 2013

So much good happened today

Today was a good day.  Four things in particular made it better than average.

First, Hubby let me lounge in bed for an hour while he went downstairs with Fraggle.  I can't really accurately articulate how helpful this is.  If only he could be here to help me all the time, but noooooo, he needs a job.  Whatever.

Second, Fraggle fell asleep for a whole two hours this morning while I watched - wait for it - The Fast and the Furious.  The original.  This movie makes me happy.  It perfectly balances worst movie ever made with fun and cheesy.  Plus, it reminds me that I need to use my serious driving face more often. We should never forget the value of a serious driving face.

Third, the three of us made our way downtown for some lunch and wandering.  It was pretty spectacular - sunny day, friendly people, happy baby.  The best part of our outing? Driving into the parking lot and being stopped by an exiting driver who offered us his parking pass.  Yes, that's right, a stranger did us a kindness.  WEIRD.  Which we totally paid forward on our own way out of the lot.  Y'all need to do this. It's easy and it totally makes somebody's day.

Finally, and most importantly:

I had wine.  Well, a wine spritzer, but wine nonetheless. Since Fraggle came into the world, I have had a couple light beers, but I've been saving a glass of wine for the best possible opportunity.  Although the perfect giant glass of pinot will have to wait for another time, this was the sweetest tasting cheap spritzer in the history of the world.  Not gonna lie, I got a little tipsy.

So between the lazy morning, the so bad it's good movie, the free parking and of course WINE, today was basically the best day of all time.

You don't have to read this

I wasn't going to write this because, well, nobody gives a shit.  But then I remembered my rule about this blog:  write it for ME, and don't leave anything out.  Ultimately, this is a creepy online diary which I fully intend to read years and years into the future - and what woman's diary doesn't include her birth story?


I wake up on Monday July 8th - two days after my due date - around 6am, with ridiculous back pain. This is the same back pain I've woken up with for the past several months.  Hubby is busy getting ready for work and I'm busy propping up 50 pillows so I can lean over them like a drunken hobo.

By 7:00, Hubby is about to leave, making a bowl of cereal, when he hears from upstairs: "Ahhh!  HUUUuuubbbyyyYY!  MY. WATER. JUST. BROKE!"

Which it did.  In the bed.

Aaaannnnnddd... PANIC.  Because that's what I do.  It's kinda my thing.

Hubby calls the hospital.  They say we should come in, but we could probably have breakfast first.  We jump in showers, wolf down cereal, pack last minute crap in our bag, climb in the car, and of course STOP FOR GAS because Hubby's goal in life is to make me crazy.

We arrive at the hospital around 8am.  I'm having regular contractions but they aren't much different from the constant Braxton Hicks I've been having for eight weeks already.  Problem is, I've learned, even if you are in labour, no medical professional will even look at you until you're screaming.  There are six screaming women ahead of me.

So we sit.  And wait.  My contractions are getting worse, but I'm breathing through them.  Maybe I won't be one of those screaming woman, maybe I'll be able to breathe through it, at least until my epidural.

We finally see Smart Smiley Nurse.  I'm three and half centimeters dilated.  Progressing, but still early enough for MORPHINE.  Shoot me up, doc.

We go sit in the "Early Labour Lounge."  How charming.  Hubby gets snacks and I call our car dealer to ask him to hold the car I've been trying to buy.  True story.

A couple hours pass, I keep leaking, but pain is fine.  I try to pay brain games but I'm loopy from the drugs.  Bonus.  Hubby discovers a cereal spoon in his back pocket that he apparently brought from the house.  You know, in case he needed it.

By noon the pain is getting worse.  Back to Smart Smiley Nurse.  Five centimeters!

Time passes. OUCH OUCH OUCH.  Epidural please!  NOW.

Funny how they start paying attention to me.  Now I'm the screamer. Seven centimeters.

Oh, the anesthesiologist is in surgery? Oh, he can't come and drug me up? Oh, I have to keep enduring this pain?  Oh, you can't find a wheelchair?  Oh, FUCK YOU.

Somehow I get to my delivery room, screaming every minute or two.  It's getting worse.  WAY WORSE.  Where is that godforsaken anesthesiologist?  I'mma kick that mofo in the shin.

I remember staring at the wall, trying not to lose my fucking mind, smacking my lips as a signal for Hubby to feed me ice chips.  I remember wondering why the hell we attempted that pinky toe massage reflexology shit the night before to encourage labour because it apparently worked and I totally regret it.  And I remember the worst part: when each contraction begins because I know what's coming...

Mofo Anesthesiologist arrives.  Once upon a time, I was afraid of the needle-in-the-spine process, but now I'm just terrified that I have to STAY STILL for ten minutes, through a few contractions, while he does his work.

I lean over Friendly Nurse André's shoulders begging her "You. Have. To. HELP. ME."  Hubby sits helplessly nearby.

Oh, that's better.  Hey Mofo Doc, they should pay you more.  I mean, I know you make a lot of money already, but you deserve more.  Hubby, get my purse.

Clearly, I'm feeling much better and acting less insane.  New Nurse is putsing around the room, and informs us that it may take a few hours to get to 10 centimeters.  Once I do, we'll wait TWO MORE HOURS before pushing, so the baby can get closer to her grand entrance on her own. Baby will probably arrive around 10pm or midnight.

Huh. Clearly New Nurse has not met my baby.  My baby is in a rush to join this world, or hadn't you heard? But ok, you're the professional.  I trust you.

Hubby goes to grab dinner.

All of a sudden, a skippy dude doctor waltzes in.  Apparently Fraggle's heart rate has been too high for a while...

Doctor Skippy:  "I'm just gonna check you.  If you're fully dilated we're gonna start pushing.  If not... well, let's check before I scare you."

Yes he said that.  And no, Hubby was not there.

He checks, I'm fully dilated, and Baby Fraggle is blowing New Nurse's estimated timeline out of the water.

Oh great.

"Let's try pushing."


"Just try a push.  I want see how you do.  If it's tricky, we'll do a C-section."

WHAT THE FUCK.  Uhhh... ok... here goes...

"Oh, you're doing great.  You push for a while and I'll come back in a half hour."

Hubby returns, hearing from Doctor Skippy that I'm pushing.  "Not my wife" says Hubby.  YEP, YOUR WIFE.

New Nurse is panicked because she was too stupid to set up her baby table.  I'm begging her to warn me when I'm having a contraction so I know when to push.  She says she will, but she never does, so I end up pushing whenever the mood strikes.

And here's where it gets really nuts.

Apparently I'm a rock star pusher (something for the resume).  This baby is coming out, and she's coming out NOW.

From across the room, New Nurse is counting to five instead of ten on every push, and Hubby and I are concerned that there's nobody there to catch the child when she slides out of my body.

Finally, Smart Smiley Nurse returns and makes this seem fun and exciting instead of TOTALLY FUCKED UP.

We do a few more pushes and everyone praises me for my skills.  Hubby looks at all the hair emerging from my vagina.  Everyone says "So much hair!" - a phrase I've been hearing on a daily basis ever since and, for some reason, take great pride in.

Smart Smiley Nurse adjusts our pushing pattern, counting to TWO instead of ten.  I push a couple more times.

In total, I push for 17 minutes, mostly miniature pushes.

Baby Fraggle arrives at 7:40. ("Arrives" makes it sound like she danced into the room.  Let's be clear: the tiny human is pushed out of my loins through an even tinier hole.)   They plop her on top of me.  I think whoa, she's bigger than I thought. Hubby cuts her cord, I don't notice.

They take her away for a second to clean her off (damn meconium), then bring her back.  She's 7 pounds, 8 ounces.  She's round and cute and pink and LOOKING UP AT ME and HOLY FUCK WHAT IS HAPPENING.

New Nurse gives me a shot in the leg, I don't notice.  Smart Smiley Nurse grins and pushes on my tummy, I don't notice.  Doctor Skippy marches in (a bit late there shit head) and Hubby gets a rundown of the placenta.  He does not eat it. I wouldn't notice if he did.

I puke.  Then Student Doc somehow squirts my blood all over the walls and ceiling.  Seriously.  It looks like a CSI scene in there.

Doctor Skippy parks himself in front of  my vagina and goes to work like a mechanic or a painter.  I pay very little attention, but I do notice.

After a couple hours, Young Hot Nurse helps my broken body into the shower.  "This is a weird part of your job," I tell her.  She doesn't seem to mind.  Of course she doesn't - she looks great.

We spend the next two days trying to breastfeed, trying to absorb fifty different "expert" opinions on breastfeeding, trying to sleep, and trying to crack the code of this tiny child who is totally and completely dependent on us being at least somewhat competent in caring for her.

In the end, I could totally do that again for the reward.  It was survivable.  Pregnancy SUCKED, but if you could promise my next labour would go like that? Sign me up.