Posts tagged ‘Babies’

The Full Birth Story

If you’d rather read it in parts, here are the links. I copied the four parts here so I’d have the enitre story in one spot.

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)

Some people imagine that their labor will be a lot like the movies, they’ll be doing laundry while their husband is in the other room. They get a giant contraction and yell, “Honey, I think it’s time!” They speed off to the hospital, make it to the delivery room just in the nick of time, and 2 hours later they have a beautiful baby with a perfectly circular head in their hands. Other people assume their water will break and they’ll spend the next 17 hours huffing and puffing in the labor and delivery room before they have a rough battle delivering their baby.

Not me. I envisioned some contractions, strong but manageable. I imagined myself on the couch with Stephen saying, “Call your doctor! Where is your phone, I’ll call your doctor!” while I sit there repeating, “Not yet! Please, just sit down, shut up, rub my feet, and watch the clock.” You see, I didn’t want to be the first time momma who rushed to the hospital only to be sent home to wait it out or, worse, left to labor in a hospital room with nurses constantly asking me how I‘m feeling. I’m a people pleaser, it makes me feel bad to tell someone I’m feeling bad.

The thing about life is that you can’t predict it.

August 31 is my sister’s birthday, it fell on a Tuesday last year. That Tuesday night we gathered at my brother’s house to celebrate with my sister. We ate roast and mashed potatoes and I moaned… a lot. I wasn’t feeling well that day. I felt like I had gained 10 pounds in 24 hours and all of that weight was on my back and lower abdomen. I was miserable and it was written all over my face. I’m not sure that I smiled a single time that night. (Sorry Lindsay.) I was 37 weeks along and I repeated to anyone who would listen that I didn’t think this baby was going to wait much longer.

Jansen and I had a deal going on. He wasn’t due until September 19 but I had a feeling he’d want to come early because, let’s be realistic, he knew that life with Stephen and me would be fantastic. I had politely asked him to wait until September 1. My SIL turned 30 and had a big birthday party on Saturday the 28th. I wanted to be there and I wanted all the discussion to be about her, not on her little nephew that was freshly baked at the hospital. The same with my sister. As much as both of them said they wouldn’t mind sharing their birthday with their first nephew, I didn’t want to steal anyone’s thunder. (Remember: people pleaser.)

In the car on the way home from my sister’s birthday dinner, I told Stephen that I’d like him to do some research on the stages of labor. When the time comes, I’m not going to have the mental capacity to have any clue if this is “it” or if it’s just the beginning of a very long, exhausting previews of “it.” Also, I decided it was about time we pack a bag. I had a few things in a bag for a couple weeks because I’m a crazy person. But Stephen would need some clothes and we’d both need slippers because everyone knows that you can’t have an extended stay at a hospital without slippers.

Right when we got home, Stephen pulled out one of the books. He studied labor until he was comfortable in his knowledge. He packed his portion of the bag, and we went to sleep.

The morning of September 1, I had my 37 week OB appointment. The previous week I was 2 centimeters dilated and after my appointment, I’d had a serious case of Braxton Hicks. I had a feeling that if I felt that bad after last week’s appointment, I was likely to feel worse after this one. Stephen had quit coming to my appointments with me because neither of us saw the point of him missing several hours of work if there was no ultrasound involved. But because I had a yucky feeling about this one, I asked him to come with me. Every Wednesday morning he has breakfast with a few guys from church at the local Einstein’s Brothers, so he went to breakfast and came back to pick me up with a bagel in hand.

I felt better that morning than I had the previous night. I no longer felt that Jansen was about to fall out. (Can you imagine if it was really that easy? If you were just walking along and your baby just sort of slipped out?) We arrived at the doctor at 8:15 and sat down. They called my name and we went back. My nurse took my blood pressure and urine, good as always. She weighed me and I had only gained one or two pounds since the previous week, which was shocking to me since I was eating Oreos with wild abandon. My weight gain was up to 38 pounds as of that morning, and I was certain I’d hit the 50 pound mark by my due date.

My doctor came in at about 8:40 for my check up. I was 2 centimeters the previous week so part of me expected to be up to 3 or 4, but I’d also been told you can hover at 2 or 3 for weeks before you have any progress. My OB had told me that any dialation before labor was great because it was just work my body didn’t have to do later. So I was welcoming a bit of progress in that regard. When she checked me, her eyes opened a bit. “Hmmm.” Stephen and I looked at each other. “Have you been having any contractions?” “No, not really. I think a bit of Braxton Hicks here and there but that’s it.” She looked at me and raised her eyebrows, “Really?” I suddenly became unsure, “Well. I mean, I don’t think so. I’ve been feeling a lot of heaviness, but not contractions. I’ve never had a baby though, so maybe I’m wrong.”

She stepped back and took off her glove, “Well you are 3 centimeters and quite effaced.” That statement didn’t really phase me, I didn’t think 3 centimeters was a big deal. I had heard of this “effaced” business but I had no idea it made that huge of a difference. “All of our beds are occupied this morning so I’m going to send you to the hospital so they can hook you up to a monitor and see if you’re contracting because you are really soft.”

Interesting.

Stephen and I got in the car, my hospital was only a couple blocks away. I texted a couple people at my office to let them know that I was headed to the hospital for a quick check, so I’d be in a bit later than I thought. I honestly can’t remember if I called my mom at this point. It’s likely that I didn’t because I really didn’t think it was a big deal. I just thought, “Oh good, so now we’ll be somewhat familiar with the labor and delivery unit for when we have to run in there screaming, “BABY! We’re having a baby!”

We parked and walked up to the doors. We were talking about how weird this was and if it means we’ll be having a baby in the next couple days instead of the next couple weeks. I saw a sign that mentioned valet parking, “You will be using that when we’re arriving for real! Don’t even think I’ll be making this walk when I’m about to have a baby!”

And THAT, my friends, is what we call foreshadowing.

We went to the third floor and checked in. “Are you coming from your OB’s for the prenatal monitoring? Go take a seat in the waiting room, all of our beds are full right now so we’ll have to wait until one opens up.” So Stephen and I went to the waiting room and watched some chef prepare a 5 star meal on the local morning show. I got a bed at about 9:45 and they strapped two monitors to my belly. One to track my contractions and one to track my heartbeat. I thought the monitors were pretty interesting but I constantly felt like they were going to flip off of my giant belly.

I laid in bed with Stephen sitting in a small chair by my side listening to all the beeps around us. There were four beds in this room since it was just for these sorts of tests. All of the beds had curtains around them so you could feel a bit of privacy. The nurse came back about 15 minutes later and asked me if I had any contractions. I hadn’t. She went to read the screen with all the results. I don’t remember the nurse’s face or the color of her scrubs, but I will never forget the way she looked at the screen and then turned to me and said, “Umm, actually you have been having them every 3-4 minutes.”

Listen. I’ve never had a baby before but I know that every 3-4 minutes is a big deal. That’s grounds for calling your doctor and high-tailing it to the hospital. Well I was already at the hospital so we could go ahead and put a check in that box. The nurse decided to go call my doctor to give her the news and ask her what the next step was. While she was gone, Stephen and I did a whole lot of looking at each other and saying, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.” We really just had one main question: WHO HAS CONTRACTIONS AND DOESN’T KNOW IT?? I mean, I’ve always thought that because I have experienced so many migraines that I have a higher pain tolerance than many people, but not that high!

The nurse came back and said, “Well, I spoke to your doctor. Looks like you’re having a baby today!”

My eyes turned into saucers and my smile went from ear to ear. And if I’m going to be completely honest with you, the smile wasn’t from excitement, it was from nervousness. Nervous terror. I was just supposed to be going to the doctor. You know, a quick check with several it’s-getting-close’s from the nurses and OB. And now I’m in the hospital and you’re telling me that I’m going to have a baby… today? As in, this date? As in, 2.5 weeks early? NOW? 

The nurse checked me and I was now at 4 centimeters. (This was also the point in my life when I learned that there is a skill to checking someone’s cervix. My OB was so good at it that it never phased me. This chick? Not so much.) There was no need to rush me to a delivery room because there was still a lot of labor that needed to happen. It’s a good thing because every single delivery room was full. So our job was just to hang out and watch reruns of Home Improvement.

The nurse came back in to give me my IV and tell me about the strict “no eating or drinking” rule. It was about that time that I was cursing my bagel breakfast and wishing I had eaten 17 pancakes and a pound of bacon. I’d heard plenty of stories about people being in labor for upwards of 24 hours and the thought of no food until the next morning was giving me serious anxiety. (Remember, I was still pregnant at this point. The possibility of no food is a common fear in pregnant women.)

While I sat in my bed texting random people to tell them this new turn of events, Stephen stepped into the hall to call our parents. My parents were instructed to pick up our bag from our house and take care of our dog for the next couple days. We weren’t able to get in contact with his mom for a couple hours. She’d given us direction to call her cell phone when it was time. If she didn’t answer, we were to call the office. She’d told her office that she would be leaving work the instant she got the call. She works at a preschool and apparently the secretary didn’t think it was that important to get her. Or something. Not sure. The details are sketchy because honestly I didn’t care about anything besides the whole “looks like you’re having a baby today” thing.

Of course we told them all not to rush, that babies take their time. Do you think they listened? No. They all decided that they’d set up shop in the waiting room and sit tight until Jansen decided it was time to come. Since we didn’t have much real estate in that room (literally only had a bed and a small chair) they all had to come in one at a time to say hello. Throughout the next few hours, each of them came to keep me company and ask how I was doing. Remember that since I was still pregnant, I still had a pregnant woman’s bladder. So Stephen would have to help me out of bed and wheel my IV to the bathroom. It was all very awkward since I would have to try to hold the back of my gown closed while waddling and trying not to rip my IV out. (I have an irrational fear of IVs ripping out. It got better throughout the day, but at this point it was a pretty serious concern of mine.)  

By this time, I’d learned what a contraction feels like. I suppose they were getting stronger and that’s why I was able to feel them, plus I was laying still with nothing to do but concentrate on my stomach. Stephen would stand in front of the computer and watch the numbers (we didn’t know what they meant, but we knew that a change in numbers was likely a contraction). I would say, “Oh wait! I think this is one. Is it? Is it a contraction?” And he’d watch the numbers change, “Yeah! That’s a contraction! It’s still going, babe! You’re still having it!” It was a fun little game that would last several more hours.

Finally at 3:45 they wheeled me into a delivery room. It was much bigger and I was allowed to have 4 guests in there. That was nice since I enjoyed the company, plus I felt bad that they all had to wait out in the waiting room. (I literally JUST realized that they all had each other in the waiting room, so I was probably the most bored of everyone. I had only had one guest at a time. Hmm.) At this point the nurse checked me and I was still at 4 centimeters. The anesthesiologist came in to explain the process to me. (I knew I was going to get drugs even before I got pregnant. I know me. If I didn’t get drugs I would have been miserable, plus I would have given myself a migraine from the pain.) I didn’t really need to hear the details from him but I think they have to do that, although meeting him made me feel better about the whole sticking-a-needle-in-a-dangerous-place thing.

At this point, just about everyone had arrived. My parents, Stephen’s parents, Stephen’s sister from Fort Worth, and my sister. Stephen’s other sister came after work and my brother and SIL weren’t able to come. I think we were all pretty bored. Every now and then one of them would say something that showed how excited they were. I was nervous. And mostly bored. I watched several episodes of Cash Cab to try to keep my mind off things. Sort of like “a watched pot never boils”… a thought-about cervix never opens. Right?

We continued to play the contraction game. My dad was really into it. I’d tell them when a contraction came (they were much stronger now, but still not painful) and he and Stephen would run over to the machine to watch the numbers. “OH LOOK! This is a good one!” or “Man! What a weenie contraction!” Eventually he started trying to foresee the future. “Well you’ve had several strong ones recently, I think we’re getting somewhere.” It was a good way to pass time.

My OB came to check on me at about 5:40 that evening. There were several patients of hers in delivery rooms so she’d be hanging around for the rest of the night. She checked my cervix and I was “a good 4″ so she decided to break my water. I think she was ready to get the show on the road. I started having a panic attack. I had been at the hospital almost 9 hours and it was just hitting me that I was about to have a baby. Once your water is broken, there is no turning back. (Not that there was any turning back before that, you can’t exactly un-conceive a baby.)

For some reason I was terrified of her breaking my water. I think it was because I had read descriptions that said the doctor will take a long stick with a hook on the end and stick it in there to manually break the water. That was the scariest thing I had ever heard. All of my guests stepped out. I started sweating and begging Stephen to come hold my hand. My OB looked at me like I was a nut job, “It’s really no big deal, Chelsea. I promise. You won’t feel anything.” I tried to relax but I really just wanted to scream, “OF COURSE YOU’D SAY THAT. IT’S NO BIG DEAL TO YOU! YOU AREN’T ABOUT TO GET YOUR VAGINA STABBED WITH A GIANT CROCHET HOOK!”

But I kept my mouth shut and I’m certainly glad that I did because, well, she was right. It was no big deal. She broke my water and I’m sure that 17 gallons of liquid came pouring out of me. But I can’t remember that. I think I remember several towels. But mostly I just remember sitting there, wide-eyed, thinking, “This is it. I’m going to be a mom. I’m going to have a baby.”

After a much-needed trip to the restroom, I settled back into my hospital bed and allowed my visitors to come back in. Everyone was revived, renewed, ready for the next step. This was no false alarm, this was the real deal. I knew that within 24 hours, my baby boy would no longer be taking up residence in my uterus.

I’d say than no less than 30 minutes after my doctor broke my water, my contractions started getting more intense. You could see my belly tighten up and I could no longer ignore the pain. As you can imagine, this just upped the excitement of The Contraction Game my dad was playing. He was getting more and more excited as the numbers went higher. My nurse was fluttering around my room doing something productive, I’m sure, but mostly just being the most important person in my entire life. “Deanna. I’m ready for my epidural if my doctor says it’s okay.”

I wasn’t willing to play around. I didn’t want to have a situation where I went from 4 to 9 centimeters within the hour and the epidural was no longer an option. I’d have gotten through it, I know, but I would have been a wreck the next couple days. The pain would undoubtably caused me to tense up during each contraction, which would then cause some serious knots that would turn into a serious migraine. I was really hoping to enjoy the first few days with my baby, so a migraine wasn’t an option. Plus, I have nothing against epidurals and I didn’t (and still don’t) see any reason I shouldn’t completely enjoy my birthing process.

There’s something you should know about me. I’m terrible at understanding accents. I watched the entire movie Four Weddings and a Funeral and I honestly have no idea what the movie was about. So when my anesthesiologist, who was a small, soft-spoken Indian man, came in to my room to give me my epidural, I was pretty clueless as to what exactly was going on. Plus at this point my contractions were quite painful and I didn’t have the energy to focus on decoding the message he was giving me.

I planned to get through my epidural the same way I had gotten through my water breaking – by squeezing Stephen’s hand until his bones crushed to a fine dust. Unfortunately that was not an option. I don’t know if this is a nationwide rule, but at my hospital, husbands have to leave the room. “Why? Why? What? But why? He has to leave? WHY?” They told me something about it being a liability. That there was a case where a man was watching and he fainted and fell and hit his head. The doctor and nurse couldn’t help him because, well, you all have to be very still during the epidural so it’s done properly. So the woman was freaking out because her husband was laying unconscious on the floor. Anyways, bad stuff. And Stephen had to leave.

The second the door closed, I felt very alone. I was tired, hungry, hurting, anxious, and extremely nervous about the epidural. The doctor instructed me to sit on the side of the bed. I was to tuck my arms to my chest and then curl into my nurse who was standing in front of me. She wrapped her arms around me and I was instantly comforted. Don’t get me wrong, I was still tense and scared to death, but I no longer felt alone. I felt safe. The doctor started giving me the shots to numb my back. I have no intention to scare anyone here, but in an effort to be completely honest, it was not fun. Shots in your back are not enjoyable. And since I knew I had to stay really still, I was very tense. We waited a bit to let the pain killers do their thing. I figured the worst part was over so I relaxed a bit. My nurse, who was a woman in her late twenties with pretty hair and a sweet smile, talked calmly to keep my nerves in check. She was wonderful and I thought that maybe I should order her to-go so she could comfort Stephen and Jansen when they are sick and I’m not being compassionate enough.

It was time for the epidural. I rested my head on my nurse’s shoulder and tried not to think about it. I felt the pressure of the needle. No pain, just fear caused by the knowledge that there was a needle in my back that had the potential to cause a lot of damage. He injected the anesthesia. I could feel it enter my back and move into my body. The feeling was so uncomfortable that it almost makes me hurl when I think about it now. My nurse tightened her grip and talked me through it. And just like that (well, several minutes of “that”), it was over. They taped the line to my back and told me to relax and lay back down.

I consider myself a pretty smart girl but every now and then I shock myself with how stupid I can be. I understand what happens during an epidural (your whole bottom half goes completely numb) and I also understand how to deliver a baby (lots of pushing in the nether regions). But it never dawned on me that you have to have a catheter put in. Obviously I couldn’t walk to the bathroom anymore. And I’m sure my doctor had no desire to get peed on while delivering my baby. So when my nurse said, “Okay, now that your epidural has kicked in, I’m going to put your catheter in” I was totally taken aback.

She put it in and it totally freaked me out. Catheters give me the heebie jeebies. Not to mention how weird it was to see my line immediately fill with urine and go into my pee bag. Childbirth. It’s a beautiful thing.

Now that I was numb, I’d no longer be able to feel how intense my contractions are. And since they’d broken my water, they couldn’t just check my cervix anytime they wanted. Each time they checked, it would increase the chance of bacteria and infection in my system. So basically, it was up to me. They kept telling me to buzz them if I felt like I was going to have a bowel movement. Over and over they said this. I kept thinking that it was awfully weird that they were so concerned about my poop, but then I realized (after further instruction from my nurse) that when Jansen descends into the birth canal, it’ll feel like I have to poop. So really poop time is actually baby time.

Things were pretty easy at that point. Every few minutes my belly would tighten up. I’d hardly feel anything but a bit of movement but I would still try to guess if it was a big contraction or not. We had to make a lot of assumptions since we didn’t know how far I was. So we all just hung out and hoped for something to happen soon. At one point I could feel my epidural starting to wear off. Through a series of miscommunications, I got a double dose. My nurse was less than pleased, but I after I found out that it wasn’t going to kill me, I didn’t really mind the extra drugs.

Around 10:00 that night, my nurse came in and told me that I should try to get some rest. Whenever the time came, I’d need energy. I felt like saying, “Do you honestly think I can sleep at a time like this? Don’t you realize I’m about to have a baby??” But I didn’t. Instead I asked everyone to leave so that Stephen and I could close our eyes for a bit. There was a chair that pulled out into a twin bed, so Stephen put some sheets on it and laid down. I couldn’t move so I just laid where the nurse had left me and tried to clear my mind. We turned the lights down and tried to ignore the beeps and bum-bum, bum-bums from the monitors.

A few minutes went by and I heard Stephen’s breathing patterns change. He was resting up for the big moment.

The room was almost silent except for all the beeps and heartbeats coming from the machine next to me. There were heavy breaths from Stephen who had just dozed off. And then there was an occasional sound of a piece of paper coming from my sister who had decided to stay in the room and read a book. She said she wanted to stay because that chair was better and it was quieter, but I’m sure the real reason is because she wanted to be close to the action.

Then we heard it. A blood curdling scream. There were no words at first, just the sound of a woman in the next room in serious pain. Then came the words. “OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD!” We all looked at each other with wide eyes. “OOOHHHH. THIS HURTS LIKE HELL!” Screaming and more screaming.

“Screw the sleep, y’all. I can’t do this. No. This has got to go. I’m about to have to DO that. I can’t listen to that!” So I turned on the television which, in my memory, was located about 30 feet away. The remote was attached to the bed and the sound came out of it. I found something on television that didn’t feature any screaming, blood, pain, or babies and I turned the volume up and put it right by my ear.

A few minutes later my nurse came in to check on me and read the secret number code that was coming out of the machine next to me. The fetal monitor, my monitor, my IV bag, my epidural which was under lock and key, my pee bag, and my blood pressure stats. I felt like a freak show being attached to so many cords and wires, they’d even added a danger-red wristband that said “FALL RISK” to the collection I had around my wrist.

I looked up at my nurse with wide eyes, “Are you hearing this?” She looked back at me and with a sigh and a nice eye roll she replied, “That chick needs to learn how to breathe!” I thought she was being snarky (and I liked it) but then she went on to explain how all of her screaming was taking her energy and oxygen and blah blah blah, she was making her life a lot harder than it needed to be. That was the extent of what I was told at that point. The following day I learned that she’d gotten an epidural but it “didn’t take.” I don’t really know what that means but if I’d had my epidural for longer than 30 minutes and my legs hadn’t gone numb, you’d better believe my doctor would be in there jerry-rigging the heck out of that epidural catheter!

My epidural actually was wearing off and I was beginning to feel the strength of my contractions. They were totally bearable but I knew that it would continue to wear off and I had the worst of it yet to come. They gave me one more pump of the good stuff and I prayed it would last. I don’t know why my body doesn’t understand that painkillers are supposed to kill the pain. I will continue to blame migraines.

It was getting late (around 11:30, I’d guess) so people decided to go home and get some sleep. They knew there was a chance that it could still be several more hours. My FIL went home for a nap, my sister and SIL’s went to my house for a bit, and my parents and MIL continued to try to nap in the waiting room. Stephen went back to sleep in his little twin bed and I tried to go to sleep. I found that it was hard to sleep while your eyes were as round as coke bottles and you were staring at the clock. I rested my hands on my belly, simultaneously begging Jansen to hurry up and also to stay put for the rest of our lives. I was so excited, but so very terrified.

At around 12:50 I thought I might be getting this elusive bowel movement feeling they warned me about. I wasn’t sure though and I didn’t want to cry wolf. I put all of my effort into debating the question, “Do I feel like I need to poop or do I not feel like I need to poop??” I felt a lot of pressure down under and I assume that meant that Jansen was beginning his grand entrance… or grand exit. The last time I’d told a doctor that I “just felt a lot of pressure” was early the previous morning (since we were now into Thursday at this point) and that pressure had actually been contractions. So when my nurse walked in on perfect cue, she looked at my screen and then immediately looked at me.

“Your contractions are really strong.” Uh huh. “Yeah, I think I have that bowel movement pressure you warned me about. And yeah, these contractions are really strong.” She gloved up and checked my cervix. “Ten centimeters. It’s time.”

Time. It’s time. Already? I’ve only been here for 1, 2, 3, hmm, like 16 hours. How is it already time? It can’t be time, my husband is asleep!

“Stephen. Stephen, wake up. It’s time.” Stephen popped up. He was a bit taken off guard and kind of in a half-asleep state but he tried to ready himself for the big task at hand. “Can I put my shoes on? I want to put my shoes on.” So he sat back down on his bed and put his shoes on. The same shoes he put on the previous day to go to work, but instead went to the hospital.

My nurse was running around the room preparing everything. Towels and water and whatever else was needed. Stephen stood up with his shoes on and sleep still showing in his eyes, “Deanna, can I go to the bathroom before we start? Please?” So Stephen went to the bathroom and bought me a bit more time. He was back before I knew it. And Deanna told me that we were going to do some “practice pushing.”

Good, I thought. So it’s not actually time. We’ll just do some breathing exercises and wait it out a bit. She started to explain the process to me. “So wait. I push? Like I really push? Like hard? Like I’m trying to push him out?” Okay yeah, there is nothing practice about this. It’s just real pushing without the doctor. The quick lesson and ease of breathing further proved to me that you don’t need birthing classes if you’re getting an epidural. Your nurse is a genius and an angel and she’ll get you through it.

The room was dark and I felt like I was watching all of this happen from the outside. My husband was on my left, holding my leg and speaking words of encouragement to me. My nurse was on my right with my other leg and a wealth of invaluable knowledge. As I felt a contraction hit, I’d begin the process. Breathe, breathe, push, breathe, push, breathe, push. Then the contraction would be over. We’d sit and wait for the next one, and do it all again.

After about 10 minutes of this, my nurse told me to stop and she paged my doctor. Within minutes, my room was full – or so it seemed. My nurse, my doctor, the pedi nurse, and some other woman who I imagine was there incase of an emergency. My doctor got set up with her tools, hair cover, and gloves and turned on the overhead lights. I immediately felt the urge to close my legs and grab a blanket. I’d had my fair share of people looking at my business that day, but spotlights? Really?

Finally they were all in place and it was time to start pushing again. My nurse continued to be my encouragement while my doctor had her serious OB face on. Stephen was gitty and overwhelmed. The real pushing started. It was all very awkward. Since I only pushed during contractions, we had minute or two breaks when there was nothing going on. We had small talk. We discussed the weirdness of the day, the fact that my doctor had already delivered several babies that night and would still deliver a couple more before she got to go home, the baby’s name, how thrilled we were that I didn’t need any pitocin, how my body was made for making and birthing babies, etc.

With the next pushes, the head started coming out. “Stephen look!” my doctor said. He was already looking but she wanted to be she he was seeing it happen. “Oh my gosh! Awesome. Chelsea, the head! I see the head! He’s coming!” He was sort of bouncing up and down as he stood there holding my leg. It was so fun to see his excitement.

I continued to push. It hurt. No amount of drugs can prevent your body from the pain of pushing a human being out of it. It wasn’t bad, it was just there. I was more concerned with the fact that I was pushing so hard I thought my ears and eyes were going to burst off of my face. My doctor’s words changed from “push!” and “good job!” to “keeeeep going!” and “come on, almost there!” I could tell we were getting close. And all of a sudden, at 1:37 am on September 2, 2010, she said, “Okay stop pushing!” I could feel the pressure ease and see a 7 pound 14 ounce red, white, and purple thing get pulled from my body. He immediately peed on my doctor.

She laid Jansen on my stomach and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. He was filthy. And I’m sure my hands weren’t clean. Could I touch him? Should I touch him? He’s very pissed and naked and not really that cute. What’s happening? I told my doctor that Stephen wanted to cut the cord. She seemed excited by that. The cord was short, she told him, so he’d have to be careful. He was nervous but he did it.

The nurse took Jansen to the other side of the room for a quick clean and all the other stuff they do. Stephen went with them. I laid there, wondering what I was to do. I thought I’d have to do the push/breathe thing again to deliver my placenta. But it just sort of plopped out with a little tug from my doctor. Stephen was taking pictures of Jansen like a mad man. I think we have 12 pictures of fresh Jansen screaming on the table with his legs wide open and his newborn baby junk exposed for the world to see.

Stephen came back over to me, probably so he could see the placenta with his own eyes. My doctor showered me with compliments as I’m sure she does with all of her patients. Regardless, it felt good. I only had one tear so the stitches and recovery would be minimal. Once she was done and I was all cleaned up, they brought my little bundled baby to me. I didn’t cry, I didn’t instantly fall in love. I was overwhelmed and tired and mostly I was hungry.

I knew it would take me a while to bond with that baby in my arms. I don’t understand the people who say, “I fell in love the second I laid eyes on him.” I’m sorry, I didn’t. Sure, I loved him. But he didn’t feel like my son. He felt like a stranger.

A nurse came in to make me try nursing. Everything is a blur at this stage. It was after 2:00 am and I’d just been through the most life-changing event in my life. When I think back to this time, I remember it so differently than I think it really happened. I’m sure I wasn’t sitting in a gigantic white room on a random chair in the middle of the room. But that’s how I see it now.

They eventually took Jansen away again for his check ups and real cleaning. Stephen went along to show him off in the hallway to our family who had all come rushing back. I was only a slight fall risk at this point so my nurse walked my to the bathroom where I proceeded to pee the longest pee of my life. In reality though, it was mostly fluids. She walked me back to the bed and asked me if I wanted anything.

“Food. Please, food.” She brought me some chips or crackers or something and the most delicious can of Sprite I have ever laid lips on. We waited around for another hour or so because there hadn’t been a room available, and at 4:45 they finally wheeled me down to the room I’d be in for the next 2 days. It was a shared room but we were told it would be private in a few hours when the other new mom left.

I laid down and started dozing off while Stephen tried to make himself comfy on the new awkward chair-turned-twin-bed. We were asleep for about an hour before the nursery wheeled Jansen in to me and left him at my side. I had a slight panic attack that the people who were trained to handle babies would trust me with a newborn. Buck up, Chelsea. This is it. You’re a mom now and this little boy needs you. There’s no time for doubt or uncertainty, there is only time for parenting. And love, a lot of love.

I smiled and closed my eyes. It was a great day. It was shocking, long, and exhausting, yes. But it was the most exciting day of my life. It’s a day that I like to remember any time I have a free moment with my thoughts. And have no fear, it didn’t take long for me to fall hopelessly in love with this little boy. He’s pretty well wrapped around my finger and filling up my heart!

February 26, 2011 at 7:11 am 3 comments

The Birth Story – Part 1

This has been a long time coming. I think we’re almost to the point where none of you care anymore, but I really feel like I need to get this on the blog so it’s here forever and ever.

Some people imagine that their labor will be a lot like the movies, they’ll be doing laundry while their husband is in the other room. They get a giant contraction and yell, “Honey, I think it’s time!” They speed off to the hospital, make it to the delivery room just in the nick of time, and 2 hours later they have a beautiful baby with a perfectly circular head in their hands. Other people assume their water will break and they’ll spend the next 17 hours huffing and puffing in the labor and delivery room before they have a rough battle delivering their baby.

Not me. I envisioned some contractions, strong but manageable. I imagined myself on the couch with Stephen saying, “Call your doctor! Where is your phone, I’ll call your doctor!” while I sit there repeating, “Not yet! Please, just sit down, shut up, rub my feet, and watch the clock.” You see, I didn’t want to be the first time momma who rushed to the hospital only to be sent home to wait it out or, worse, left to labor in a hospital room with nurses constantly asking me how I‘m feeling. I’m a people pleaser, it makes me feel bad to tell someone I’m feeling bad.

The thing about life is that you can’t predict it.

August 31 is my sister’s birthday, it fell on a Tuesday last year. That Tuesday night we gathered at my brother’s house to celebrate with my sister. We ate roast and mashed potatoes and I moaned… a lot. I wasn’t feeling well that day. I felt like I had gained 10 pounds in 24 hours and all of that weight was on my back and lower abdomen. I was miserable and it was written all over my face. I’m not sure that I smiled a single time that night. (Sorry Lindsay.) I was 37 weeks along and I repeated to anyone who would listen that I didn’t think this baby was going to wait much longer.

Jansen and I had a deal going on. He wasn’t due until September 19 but I had a feeling he’d want to come early because, let’s be realistic, he knew that life with Stephen and me would be fantastic. I had politely asked him to wait until September 1. My SIL turned 30 and had a big birthday party on Saturday the 28th. I wanted to be there and I wanted all the discussion to be about her, not on her little nephew that was freshly baked at the hospital. The same with my sister. As much as both of them said they wouldn’t mind sharing their birthday with their first nephew, I didn’t want to steal anyone’s thunder. (Remember: people pleaser.)

In the car on the way home from my sister’s birthday dinner, I told Stephen that I’d like him to do some research on the stages of labor. When the time comes, I’m not going to have the mental capacity to have any clue if this is “it” or if it’s just the beginning of a very long, exhausting previews of “it.” Also, I decided it was about time we pack a bag. I had a few things in a bag for a couple weeks because I’m a crazy person. But Stephen would need some clothes and we’d both need slippers because everyone knows that you can’t have an extended stay at a hospital without slippers.

Right when we got home, Stephen pulled out one of the books. He studied labor until he was comfortable in his knowledge. He packed his portion of the bag, and we went to sleep.

The morning of September 1, I had my 37 week OB appointment. The previous week I was 2 centimeters dilated and after my appointment, I’d had a serious case of Braxton Hicks. I had a feeling that if I felt that bad after last week’s appointment, I was likely to feel worse after this one. Stephen had quit coming to my appointments with me because neither of us saw the point of him missing several hours of work if there was no ultrasound involved. But because I had a yucky feeling about this one, I asked him to come with me. Every Wednesday morning he has breakfast with a few guys from church at the local Einstein’s Brothers, so he went to breakfast and came back to pick me up with a bagel in hand.

I felt better that morning than I had the previous night. I no longer felt that Jansen was about to fall out. (Can you imagine if it was really that easy? If you were just walking along and your baby just sort of slipped out?) We arrived at the doctor at 8:15 and sat down. They called my name and we went back. My nurse took my blood pressure and urine, good as always. She weighed me and I had only gained one or two pounds since the previous week, which was shocking to me since I was eating Oreos with wild abandon. My weight gain was up to 38 pounds as of that morning, and I was certain I’d hit the 50 pound mark by my due date.

My doctor came in at about 8:40 for my check up. I was 2 centimeters the previous week so part of me expected to be up to 3 or 4, but I’d also been told you can hover at 2 or 3 for weeks before you have any progress. My OB had told me that any dialation before labor was great because it was just work my body didn’t have to do later. So I was welcoming a bit of progress in that regard. When she checked me, her eyes opened a bit. “Hmmm.” Stephen and I looked at each other. “Have you been having any contractions?” “No, not really. I think a bit of Braxton Hicks here and there but that’s it.” She looked at me and raised her eyebrows, “Really?” I suddenly became unsure, “Well. I mean, I don’t think so. I’ve been feeling a lot of heaviness, but not contractions. I’ve never had a baby though, so maybe I’m wrong.”

She stepped back and took off her glove, “Well you are 3 centimeters and quite effaced.” That statement didn’t really phase me, I didn’t think 3 centimeters was a big deal. I had heard of this “effaced” business but I had no idea it made that huge of a difference. “All of our beds are occupied this morning so I’m going to send you to the hospital so they can hook you up to a monitor and see if you’re contracting because you are really soft.”

Interesting.

Stephen and I got in the car, my hospital was only a couple blocks away. I texted a couple people at my office to let them know that I was headed to the hospital for a quick check, so I’d be in a bit later than I thought. I honestly can’t remember if I called my mom at this point. It’s likely that I didn’t because I really didn’t think it was a big deal. I just thought, “Oh good, so now we’ll be somewhat familiar with the labor and delivery unit for when we have to run in there screaming, “BABY! We’re having a baby!”

We parked and walked up to the doors. We were talking about how weird this was and if it means we’ll be having a baby in the next couple days instead of the next couple weeks. I saw a sign that mentioned valet parking, “You will be using that when we’re arriving for real! Don’t even think I’ll be making this walk when I’m about to have a baby!”

And THAT, my friends, is what we call foreshadowing.

(Parts 2 and 3 will be posted Wednesday and Thursday.)

February 21, 2011 at 7:20 am 21 comments

Every Minute

I mentioned that Stephen and I had a full weekend. Stephen and Jansen picked me up from work so we could head out of town. We decided to make a quick stop at Sonic so we could all have dinner. After feeding Jansen and then ourselves, I got out the diaper bag for a diaper change. I decided to open up the changing mat on the car seat incase Jansen decided to spray me while I was changing him. I have never needed to say “PRAISE THE LAWD” more. I opened the diaper and it was full. The kind of full that makes you gasp. So I wiped the little tushie and grabbed a clean diaper. More poop. Thankfully the dirty diaper was still there. Wipe. Wait. More poop.

At this point Stephen and I were cracking up. Jansen was looking around, oblivious to the disgustingness he was producing. Over and over. And over. I removed the diaper and started to put the new one on. What do you know… more poop. All over the changing mat. (Insert “Praise the Lord” here.) Y’all, I have never seen so much poop in my life… and I just visited the Houston Zoo a few weeks ago.

We used an entire travel pack of wipes on this particular blow out. It was madness! But as you can imagine, Jansen was the most peaceful baby the rest of the night!

That night we drove to New Braunfels. The next morning, Stephen participated in a bike ride called Tour de Gruene in Gruene, Texas. He woke up at about 6:00 that morning to go ride in the 37 degree (!!!) weather and I did my best to sleep in. Jansen woke me up at 8:00 for breakfast and then we spent the rest of the morning staring at each other and laughing. Part of me wanted to go back to sleep for another hour, but one look at the smile and I was wide awake.

My parents and their care group happened to be in the next town over for a weekend getaway. Since Stephen and my dad were on the bike ride, Jansen and I went to hang out with them for a few hours. The house, oh my word. It’s in the middle of nowhere, Texas with a 40 mile view over the Texas hill country. It was amazing. I ate some of their food and had them change my baby’s diaper, and then took my two boys and left.

Next city. San Antonio. I had important business to tend to. Here’s a story, see if you can follow: Stephen spent three of his high school years in San Antonio. While he was there, one of his high school friends had a girlfriend named Molly. Stephen and Molly didn’t get to know each other that well but they had a few run ins… one may or may not have involved Molly slapping Stephen. In college, Stephen and I met a guy named Eric. He started dating a girl named Christine, who happens to know Molly. They fell in love and got married. We were at the wedding, Molly was in the wedding. I met Molly for approximately 5.7 seconds. Fast forward a year. Molly and I found each other’s blogs through Christine and we secretly started blog stalking each other. We finally announced ourselves and became blog friend. And then email friends.

And Saturday evening, we became real life friends. It was a long time coming, but we finally really met. We had a great time getting to know each other’s families. We both have awesome husbands and cute baby boys. I think we should be neighbors.

Onward. Sunday morning we woke up, got ready, visited a bit more with our new real life friends, and then headed to the next city. Austin. I co-hosted a baby shower for some friends of ours who were in town for a week from Germany. It’s always so fun to see your friends with baby bumps! And it’s always fun to dress your son like a pumpkin even though you aren’t actually at a costume party.

When the shower was over and everything was picked up, we finally headed home. The weekend was madness, yet wonderful. Lots of friends, beautiful cities, and several exploding diapers. I came out of it with poop on my jeans and love in my soul.

Weekends like that tend to wear me out. I don’t like to do it often but I’m so glad we did it. Time has been flying lately and I don’t want to miss too much. I need to make the most of every minute because things are changing all around me, look what can happen in a month.

One Month

Two Months

November 4, 2010 at 7:14 am 15 comments

Like It Is (Part 1)

(I chose not to blog about Biggest Loser this season. It just seems unreasonable for me to try to take it on. But incase you want to know my thoughts and feelings on last night… I thought it was the worst first episode ever. I think it’s cruel to give people the hope that they are chosen and then rip it away. I wish it had been a real episode. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.)

Many people have told me that they love my Pregnant Pause posts because I’m honest and tell it like it is. I see no point in hiding the fact that pregnancy causes stretch marks and constipation and sore feet. I think you should all know what you’re getting yourself into when you decide to expand your family. Yes, babies are cute and they are a blessing… but your thighs are going to blow up. And your butt? It gets it’s own zip code. And did you know that there is a stage in your pregnancy when you can no longer fit into your maternity clothes?? Yeah, that’s a fun time.

But I’m past that stage. Now it’s newborn time. So I thought I’d share some honest info with you about childbirth and these beginning stages of motherhood. If you are a male, feel free to leave. Also, I’ve been compiling this list for about a week and it got to be pretty long, so I’m going to post this in two parts.

1. Movies lie.

2. Not all contractions are brutal and not everyone’s water breaks on it’s own. It is totally possible that you could be having “good” contractions and you have no clue. (Yeah… More on that when I post the birth story.)

3. All nurses have the right to see and touch your lady parts. Be prepared for any nurse on duty to come “check” you… And on that note: Not all pelvic exams are created equal. Some are just awkward but some hurt like hell. Apparently there is a skill to it.

4. This is also true once the baby has made his arrival. Several times a day a nurse will come mush your belly and look in your panties. They act like this is a normal activity, it’s best if you act that way too.

5. A nurse even had me roll over so she could check to see if I had hemorrhoids. Thankfully she found nothing during her search. Her name was Pam, I will never forget.

6. Labor is pretty anti-climatic when you’ve got the drugs. It’s a waiting game. Once they break your water, they try not to check you unless it’s necessary because with every check comes the possibility of introducing bacteria to your Ladyness. So you just lay there and watch crappy shows on their crappy television that only goes channel up and only produces sound from a small remote attached to your bed.

7. When they say “Tell me if you feel like you need to have a bowel movement” what they DON’T mean is “Please don’t poop on the table.” What they DO mean is “When your baby is descending, you’re the only one that will know. So pay attention and let us know immediately. No pressure.”

8. Once you have the epidural, you lose all ability to hold in a fart. In fact, you will have no idea that you need to fart until you let out a “pfffft.” The first few times are shockingly, hilarious, and embarrassing. Eventually, you get used to it. Be sure your family is aware that you have no control over this. Your nurse won’t care.

9. The epidural sucks. SUCKS. Be prepared to repeat the prayer “Please relax me. Get me through this.” Over and over while tucked into your nurse’s chest. I hated it and I’m already dreading it for my next baby. However, I’m confident that it sucks less than the feeling of a human being coming out of my vagina. So I’ll take it! (More thoughts on epidurals during my birth story.)

10. When your nurse says that it’s baby time and you’re going to do some “practice pushing,” be aware that there is nothing “practice” about it. It’s real pushing, just without the doctor there.

11. I guess I probably should have realized this based on knowledge of what an epidural is, but you have to have a catheter. It sucks at first but it’s nice to not have to get up to pee every 15 minutes.

12. Another thing I should have known? When you have an epidural, you only push during contractions. Did y’all know this?? Okay so here’s the run down: You have time for three pushes during each contraction, then you have to wait. So…. breathe, breathe, push, breathe, push, breathe, push. Wait for 3 minutes. Repeat. What do you do during those 3 minutes? Nothing. Nothing at all. You twiddle your thumbs and try not to think about the fact that you are completely exposed under bright lights with 5 strangers and your husband in the room.

13. Breastfeeding sucks as much as people says it does. It’s also as wonderful as people say it is. I love that it’s MY time with Jansen… but it also hurts like hell.

14. When your milk comes in, your boobs turn into bowling balls. This is no exaggeration. They get about 4 times larger than normal and are hard as rocks. This is about the time you curse yourself for deciding to breastfeed. If I had been on the fence, I would have quit. It was frustrating. As my angel of a nurse said, “Well he is trying to latch on to a basketball, it’s almost impossible.” This stage only lasts about a day, if you can get through it, you can get through anything. (Note: This is a good time to learn to work your pump. It’ll save your life, your sanity, and your surroundings from an exploded boob.)

15. Also learned during this day before my wonderful nurse was on duty: Not all nurses are helpful.

Consider yourself educated… or at least halfway educated. The rest will come tomorrow.

September 22, 2010 at 7:29 am 25 comments

Pregnant Pause – Week 17

Holy moly, 17 weeks! If any of you have any special ways to slow down time, please send me the “how-to” on that. Okay, thanks.

This weekend we went to south Texas for little Sophie’s 1st birthday party. There were several babies at the party, plus Sophie and Avery. I thought it might encourage my little one to kick around a bit but I guess the Hurstling wasn’t interested in meeting any friends. I was told by a couple people that I “definitely look more pregnant than the pictures on my blog.” So take that for what it’s worth.

When I got home on Sunday and went to pick up Rookie from my parents’ house, my sister greeted me by saying, “Well hello baby bump!” I swear this thing grows by the second.

This morning I woke up with a sore spot on my abs. It’s on my left side, right below my underwire. It hurts to touch it. I’m assuming its from a weird movement in my sleep that caused my already-stretched-to-their-limits abs, to stretch to even more uncomfortable limits. Has anyone ever experienced that? I haven’t looked it up in The Book yet. It’s not terribly uncomfortable, I only notice it when I touch it. And it’s not in a spot that would make me concerned about my uterus or my baby.

I’ve attached this week’s picture, I apologize for the yellowness. We will retake it tonight so it looks normal. Also, sorry about my eyes. Since we take these photos in the morning, my eyes aren’t completely open.

Hellllo belly. According to The Bump, the baby is the size of an onion now. The skeleton is hardening and the fat is building up. Which is great because not only do we like solid bones, but we also realllly like baby fat! My niece has the most precious baby fat in the world. She has arm rolls, leg rolls, wrist rolls, neck rolls. Everyone likes to grab her and squeeze her. I got to sit by her in the car on the way to the party this weekend. Before she fell asleep, we played the smiling game. It goes a little something like this: Avery looks at me, I make a face, she smiles and looks away, repeat. It is the most fun game I have EVER played. I caught a bit in a picture… just for you!

Today will be one of those days that I revisit my blog over and over just to get a glimpse of those dimples and plump fingers. Oh how I love her!!

And it also cannot go without saying that today is my mother-in-law’s 50th birthday!!!! So everyone give her a huge happy birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAUREEN!

(ToT questions are posted!)

April 12, 2010 at 9:06 am 14 comments

Dogs and Babies Aren’t Exactly The Same

Today is October 6. We are approximately 42 days away from my 25th birthday. (It’s November 17th, for those of you who aren’t good at counting.) I graduated from college two and a half years ago. I started a job a few weeks after that. I married a very handsome man a month or so later. Which means I have been married for a little over two years.

That handsome man and I bought a house almost two years ago. November 16, 2007 to be exact. I changed jobs a few months later to do work that didn’t make me want to jam a pencil in my eye. In January of 2009 one of our clunker cars bit the dust and we spent a long (ha!) 48 hours carefully deliberating and test driving one vehicle and visiting one dealership before purchasing our first SUV, also known as a baby-mobile.

Do you see where we’re headed? Most people do. Graduated, jobs, married, house, car… what’s next?

My blog. In the timeline of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hurst, the blog actually came before the SUV. But it has taken on a whole new life and is now a much bigger part of my life than it was 9 months ago. So I would say that Roots & Rings is the next big event in our lives. But obviously blogging isn’t really on most people’s “Things To Do As I Grow Up” list. Most people’s next step would be a baby.

No this isn’t the post where I announce to The Internets that I am pregnant. I am not. So settle down and just read my story.

Stephen and I have been in open discussion about babies since we got married. It was never a talk that scared us. We figured we’d wait about two years and have a baby. (Incase you already forgot the timeline, we are 3 months past the two year mark and we don’t have a baby. Sometimes people don’t know what they are talking about when they set goals.)

A few months ago we went to Home Depot. In the back of the parking lot was a truck with a dog crate next to it. They had a sign propped up against the truck that said “PUPPIES.” We got out of our baby-mobile and intended to walk into the doors of Home Depot but somehow found ourselves walking toward the truck. As we were walking across that parking lot, Stephen enthusiastically said, “Oh! We could get a puppy!” I laughed at his ridiculousness and told him, “Okay. You have a choice. You can have a baby or a dog.” I could see the grin on his face, “Fine! A dog!” I knew his dirty tricks, “I don’t mean that you get one now and one a year from now. You get one. Period. And you don’t get another until the other is gone.”

Meaning this: Unless the Lord thinks I can handle twins (please, oh please Lord, don’t think I can handle twins!) I will not have two babies at once. I will not have a baby and get pregnant immediately afterward so that I have kids extremely close in age. I know my stress and migraines and massive knots in my shoulders- I know I can’t handle that. So this also means that I will not get another dog (Rookie was already part of the family) and then have a baby. The dog would have to be gone by the time I visited the idea of a baby. Are you following me?? The Hurst family will include a man, a woman, a dog, and a baby. Once that baby turns into a little kid, we’ll visit the baby idea again. But another dog does not fit into this equation unless the baby doesn’t, or unless the other dog doesn’t. I can’t see either of those happening. Hence, my proposal to Stephen which I will repeat now because this was quite a tangent and your eyes are probably glazed over. “Okay. You have a choice. You can have a baby or a dog.”

We played with the puppy but chose not to get it. Partially because we’d rather have a baby. And partially because the puppy was a pit bull and I will NEVER have a pit bull and a child in the same house. I don’t care to hear your thoughts and feelings on the matter. This is my opinion and I can choose that. Moving on.

Every now and then we experience what it’s like to have two dogs. My mom’s dog comes to visit often. Our pups play and sleep and bark and have a merry time. The two dogs have two separate potty rituals and two separate morning rituals. It makes me more responsible to have two of them around. My dog is chill. She sleeps when I tell her to go night-night. She eats when I say “good girl.” She potties when I tell her to go potty. She’s easy. Molly is different. She’s tiny and prissy. She sleeps when she feels like it. She eats about once a day, one kibble at a time. And don’t even get me started about her potty.

Molly is more like a baby than Rookie. She needs more attention and love. She can’t be alone long. If you’re not watching her, she’ll put anything in her mouth. And she’s scared of storms. She stayed at our house over the weekend and it rained the entire weekend. It was good baby practice. Or maybe good birth control? (Just kidding, mom. Please let her keep visiting us!) 

I love cuddling with her and cradling her like a soft little baby. When I do this it makes me think that maybe we could just get a tiny puppy to cure our baby fever and postpone the expensive step of expanding our family. But then I wake up in the morning to find out that Molly is so scared about the storm that she’s pooped a pile of tootsie rolls in my closet. At least I know my future babies won’t do that!

October 6, 2009 at 8:45 am 18 comments

Babies Make Everything Better

A common misconception is that people who own houses have money. Why does this make sense? Please tell me.

 

Right after Stephen and I bought our house, a few people casually said things like “Oh, well you have money, you just bought a house.” Sorry, wrong answer. Do you know how much it costs to buy a house? The check I wrote for our down payment was more money than I had ever seen in my life. Put together. (Not really put together… but I’m trying to make a point here.) After we signed our names a bagillion times, I had never had less money in my life. Well, maybe back in 3rd grade when I spent my full allowance on Laffy Taffy and nail polish from Eckerd…

 

You may also be misled if you saw us driving our new (to us) car. It’s pretty awesome. If you saw us drive by in our pretty Merlot colored Murano, you may think that we are one of those well-to-do young couples that has all their ducks in a row and can afford things like trips to Europe and DVR. You’d be wrong. We are what they call “house poor” and “car poor”… oh and “student loan poor.” Pretty much all of our income is accounted for. (So if you happened to see me shopping at Ross last night, it’s not because I enjoy their dirty dressing rooms and angry customers with shopping carts the exact width of the aisles… it’s because according to my new blog friend, Lauren, they are cheap and worth the effort. For the record, she’s right. It was a close call though- When the dressing room attendant yelled at me because she didn’t count how many items I had, I had to have tough skin! … This is the longest usage of parentheses of my life.)

 

Our other car isn’t so fancy. Praise God we are able to carpool to work! I don’t want to say too many bad things about “the green car” because I really do appreciate the fact that it continues to start. I don’t want to anger it. The main problem is this: the AC doesn’t work. We live in Houston, Texas. No AC in a car is the equivalent of being slowly burned alive. This isn’t usually a problem for me though. I very rarely drive this car.

 

Last Saturday was the furthest I’ve ever driven it. I was going to San Antonio with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law. I needed to drive into Houston to meet at my in-laws house and then we’d all ride together. I didn’t want to leave Stephen with the green car while I was gone, so I took that one. I had the windows down and was doing just fine. Until I got stuck behind a wreck. It was terrible. At 10:00 on a May morning in Houston, I was stuck on the freeway with no breeze and the scorching sun pounding on me. You may or may not know this about me, but I don’t sweat. I’m sure there is something wrong with me and maybe I should get that checked out, but that’s not the point. The point is that I was sweating. Not much. Not visibly. But I was.

 

I finally arrived. I refused to hug anyone. I didn’t really want my husband’s family’s “death by stench” hanging over my head the rest of my life. So I downed a bottle of water and my MIL got me a Frappucino. It was grand!

 

But you want to know why that drive was really worth it? Because I got to meet this sweet baby girl.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Riley Grace!

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Riley Grace!

June 4, 2009 at 9:31 am 5 comments

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

You know that whole phenomena where you don’t notice things until they apply to you.. and then it’s everywhere? Like you don’t ever see certain cars until you’re in the market to buy a car. Then, all of a sudden, you see Nissan Muranos all over the place. You can’t even see street lights because the Nissan Muranos are taking up your entire vision field.

 

This happened in college. Senior year I was anticipating a proposal. Stephen and I had talked about getting married after we graduate. I knew after dating him for 2 months that he was “the one.” Waiting to get engaged was more for yall’s sake (oh yeah, and that money issue). We didn’t want any of you freaking out about us “rushing things.” So we waited. Starting at our one year anniversary, I began the anticipation. Being the female side of the relationship, I knew what had to happen in order for us to have our wedding the summer after graduation. These things take time to plan. (Not that I would know…. Thanks mom!) So the one year anniversary came. No ring. My birthday, no ring. Thanksgiving, no ring. Christmas, no ring. New Years, no ring. His birthday, no ring. And, of course, everywhere I looked were weddings. Commercials, girls in my classes with bling, people asking, etc. It was mid-January. We were graduating in 4 months. Weddings don’t get planned in 4 months. When Stephen proposed, I think all of those ads went off television. I think those girls stopped coming to class. Either that or I couldn’t see or hear anything over the beauty of my ring.

 

We are currently going through this same thing with babies. They are everywhere! I had the great joy of holding a precious, week old baby girl last night for the better part of an hour. I don’t know how anyone can hold a newborn and not believe in the amazing power of the Lord. Babies are perfection. They are so tiny. Their ears! Their toes! And their squinchy faces! Their bellies! Those little baby sighs. Oh dear. I’m in for it…

 

Well that’s just one baby, you say. First of all, holding one baby is enough to consume your thoughts. Secondly, there are more. I just got sidetracked talking about baby toes. Moving on. I have gotten two emails from Stephen about pregnant women at his office. (Baby count: 3) A girl from my high school and now blog-friend, Amanda, had a baby a few months back. He’s so stinking cute! Click on her name and scroll through her blog for pictures. You’ll want to drive to Austin just to squeeze Ian’s cheeks! (Baby count: 4) A girl from my community group in college now has baby #2 on the way. (BC: 5) A couple at our church just had a baby in January. (BC: 6)

 

Tonight after work I’m heading to good ‘ol Alice, Texas to visit my cousin and her baby girl, Sophie. (Oh looky there, Baby Count: 7) I am beyond excited to meet her and hold all 6 pounds of her tiny preciousness! And I will do everything in my power not to squeeze her and cuddle her! I can’t even imagine a mother’s love. I’ve never met Sophie and I love her so much! I would post pictures of some of these babies but I’m sure there are a lot of mom’s out there that aren’t as eager to exploit their babies as I will be. Oh, and did anyone see The Office last night… just saying. Also, a gret friend of my sister-in-law (Courtney) just had a baby. (BC: 8 and 9)

 

No, this post is not leading up to me announcing my pregnancy. But it is leading up to me showing you this picture (BC:10)!

 

Onesie says: Grandbaby On The Way! Can't wait to meet you. Love, Baby Rosenhagen

Onesie says: Grandbaby On The Way! Can't wait to meet you. Love, Baby Rosenhagen

 

Congratulations to my brother and sister-in-law! We are all so excited about the news! I can’t wait to see Laura gain weight! I can’t wait until the little miracle is here! I can’t wait to see you as parents! I can’t wait to see your dogs go into depression! Also, congrats to mom and dad! (Do you think I’m over-doing the exclamation marks?! I’ll try to control myself.) You’re going to be grandparents. (!) And congrats to my sister, Aunt Lindsay. And to my grandparents who are going to all be great-grandparents. And to all of our aunts and uncles and cousins… nobody is really sure what you’re going to be called but it’s still exciting. (!!) I think, as I’m typing this, that I truly understand the meaning of the term “my cup runneth over”… my Joy Cup has spilled all over my keyboard and is taking over!

 

Oh. Blessings. Blessings. What a joyful time to be me!

 

(I hope I didn’t miscount or leave out any babies. I’ve had to edit this twice because I’ve remembered more babies!)

 

Sidenote: Isn’t my family hot? Seriously, good genes! Too bad you can’t see my dad’s cool plaid shorts!

 

**Below photo added so Jim could see the shorts.

Is my dad too hip to be a gandpa? We better call him something cool like Poppi or G-Pa!

Is my dad too hip to be a grandpa? We better call him something cool like Poppi or G-Pa!

May 15, 2009 at 9:44 am 10 comments


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