Nope, That's Not a Costume

October 31, 2009

Now that James is a big brother, we've been expecting a little bit of extra help out of the kid. He's four-and-half and tall enough to reach the buttons on the washing machine--there's absolutely no reason I shouldn't be using him for everything he's worth.

One thing that James has been doing that's proven to be ultra helpful is getting himself dressed. This seemingly small gesture saves me a heck of a lot of time, and a boatload of frustration.

It also keeps life fresh and interesting.

James decided that this Spiderman tank with matching ass shorts was a perfect selection for a chilly night in Maine. Well I couldn't agree more. Besides, this pajama selection gave me a strong and happy flashback to Halloween 2007--and who doesn't want to relive that night every now and again?

Guys, in all seriousness, if you've been reading this blog for any less than two years, you really really want to click that link. And I don't link lightly.

And here's a quick peek at this morning's outfit selection. I had nothing to do with the pop of that collar:
Dude, sweet socks.

That shirt was gifted to him by my college friend. She was like, "If your mother's too uptight to buy it for you, then I will." But the real crowning touch, the one that truly spells class, is the way his camo pants refuse to button.
Oh, he picks his sister's outfits, too.

A Little Bitty German Lesson

October 28, 2009

Remember? Back in your college days? When your roommate would poke their head down from the top bunk, give you a big goofy smile, and then puke all over your head?

I remember it, too. And right now the memories are especially vibrant--you know, since I seem to be experiencing it all over again. Except this time around my roommate is bald, hovers somewhere in the eight-pound range, and she's not able to mutter four-hundred drunken apologies all in a row.

Long story short, I've got college on the brain. And thanks to a set of these ridiculously cute babylegs (exceptionally thorough tutorial can be found here thankyouverymuch), my old roommate is really swirling around in there.

And no, she never even came close to barfing on my face.

I moved in with Sarah during the first two weeks of my seniorish year of college--I say seniorish because all total, college took me 9ish semesters to complete. Anyway, during the first semester of that year we had a third roommate named Krista, who was barely ever around. All in all, I remember three things about her:

1) She had a really nasty cat named Fisher.
2) She was rugged. If my memory serves me correctly, she was on the woodsmen team (yes, when you go to college in Maine, that's a very real thing), and her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend had a tattoo of a battleship.
3) The cops brought her home really late one night after an incident at the gas station involving the nacho cheese dispenser.

I really liked that girl.

At the close of the first semester, Krista decided to transfer schools and follow her boyfriend to the northernmost town in Maine--the kind of place where they grow potatoes, drive riding lawnmowers instead of cars, and live in underground caves. Or so I've heard. But really, it didn't matter where she was moving, we had to find a new roommate.

So we put out an ad.

And got a ton of responses.

And one of the responses was from a married German PhD student. A guy named Volker.

Sarah didn't want to live with a guy, and I knew my father would hang me upside down by the crack of my ass if I even considered living with a man, so it obviously wasn't meant to be. But we were really nice, and we didn't want to hurt Volker's tender, foreign feelings, so we invited him over for an interview.

Volker was a really nice guy. He was looking for a calm, quiet place to live for a couple of months until his pregnant wife arrived in the States. He was too old to be a partier, to meek to be a trouble maker, and spent most of his time riding around town on his bicycle--probably ringing the bell and waving to old ladies and babies.

But still, he was a guy. Not workable.

At the end of the roommate interview, something happened that I will never ever forget. Sarah goes, "So I don't know any German. How do you pronounce your name? Is it Volker?" And she said "Volker" exactly the way it's spelled, emphasis on the V, L and K.

And Volker was like, "No, it sounds like this: Focker."

And I snorted and immediately said, "Excuse me," trying to pass it off as a fart.

Sarah flashed me a glance that clearly said Help Me!, and I flashed one back that said Not a Chance, Woman!, and Sarah tried again. She goes, "So it's Vocker?" This time she put a whole lot of emphasis on the V.

And he was like, "No. It's Focker."

And she was all, "Folker?" adding the L back in.

And Volker replies, "No, it's Focker. The V sounds like an F and the L is silent."

Well there's no arguing with that kind of explanation, love it or hate it, the dude's name was pronounced Focker.

And just like that, Sarah jumped to her feet, whipped open the front door, showed him the way out like a very attentive stewardess and said, "Well it was nice to meet you, Focker. Don't call us, we'll call you."

We never did.

(True story, I swear--Sarah'll vouch for me in the comments and she's definitely not the lying type. I still think we should've sued for some kind of rights when the movie Meet the Parents was released.)

Maggie Moo's Big Debut: Part Four

October 26, 2009

Now here comes the part in which being a VBACer had a major, major advantage. Apparently, in my neck of the woods, when a woman comes into the hospital, in labor, attempting a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, there have to be two things in place: 1) an operating room prepped and ready to go, and 2) an anesthesiologist ready to knock the woman out at a half a moment's notice.

So when I started screaming, as dramatically as I possibly could, to GET THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST! and GET HIM NOWWWWW! and NEVER MIND, JUST HURL ME OUT OF THIS WINDOW!, he responded pretty quickly. I'd say twenty minutes--give or take a few.

During those twenty minutes, however, I made a lot of progress. I went from a six to just about an eight--and rather than convincing myself that I could hold out, swallow the pain, and do it all naturally, I prayed and prayed and prayed that Dr. Smith would have me all numbed up before transition really set it.

Hey now, I've never claimed to be a hero.

As I waited for Dr. Smith, I continued to loose my noodle during contractions and apologize profusely in between. As soon as I'd get a break I'd turn to my OB and be like, "Oh gosh, I'm so sorry for all this drama. I'm not usually like this. I'm usually pretty fun to be around. Especially while riding a bike..." Remember, at that point I was still trying to preserve my reputation to the degree that I'd score an invite to my doctor's triathlon training group.

Thankfully, that's precisely when the very classy woman across the hall piped up. As soon as my contractions would end, hers would start and she'd be like, "Oh F*&#! F*&^! F*&#! F&^% ME! F&^% MEEEEE!!!!!" Except she was using the real word.

And that's when I stopped apologizing.

So Dr. Smith, that sweet, blessed angel of a man, appeared in my room about twenty minutes later, placed the epidural right where it needed to be--and just in the nick of time, too. As soon as the pain faded down, the contraction monitor went crazy. Transition. We beat that bastard, oh yes we did.

High fives all around.

I closed my eyes and caught my breath, and the woman across the hall? Well she just kept on going with her loud, persistent, and creative use of the F word--and I wasn't about to fault her for it.

So here's where I'd like to take a little aside, and talk about the epidural for a minute or two--and remember, this is only my experience and my interpretation. Just to be clear: THIS ANALYSIS APPLIES TO NO ONE BUT ME.

In preparation for this delivery, I read a ton of books, watched movie after movie, and listened to a zillion podcasts all about natural childbirth. Obviously, I learned a lot of very valuable things from those sources, but I also convinced myself of some additional little treats:

1) That I would feel like a loser if I took any kind of pain medication.
2) That an epidural would ruin my chances for a VBAC.
3) That the use of pain meds would leave me feeling like less of a woman.
4) That an epidural would make me lose all feeling and all use of my legs.
5) That my initial bonding with my baby would be minimized because of the use of medication.

In response to those assumptions, I'd like to say wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong.

For me (and again, this is only my experience), the epidural was an excellent choice. Not only could I feel my legs, wiggle my toes, feel a manageable amount of pain with each contraction, and change position easily (even to my hands and knees), but the epidural helped me enjoy the final hours of my labor by letting me feel awake, aware, and completely in control of everything. Loved it.

So, back to the story. Jared and I made small talk for an hour or so, and soon enough I was ready to push.

Now let me just put it out there: pushing is no joke. If there's any part of childbirth that can be compared to marathon running, it's definitely pushing. In fact, I pushed my brains out for an hour and forty-five minutes. Which is funny because my half-marathon PR? Yup, that's right, one hour and forty-five minutes.

At least when you're running a half-marathon you get cowbells, and cheering squads, and water stops, and Power Bars. When you're pushing out a baby you don't get much--just a mirror showing you the most unflattering view of your hoo-haa that the universe could possible muster up. Now apparently, it's very common to poop yourself during either of those events, which I'd like to clear the air here and now, I have never done. Really.

So, after almost two hours of major pushing, when I was least expecting it, Maggie popped out and was immediately placed on my chest.

I know that seems like just another sentence up there, but make no mistake about it--it was, by far, the most powerful, unbelievable, life changing moment of my entire life. I fell in love with my little girl immediately, and sobbed my eyes out to prove it.

Now I've known James for four-and-a-half years and believe you me, I've grown to love that boy with an intensity that's so strong it hurts. The crazy thing is, I grew to love Maggie with that very same intensity in about four tenths of a second. Honestly, my love for my children is a gift from God that I'll never understand.

With the exception of Jared, everyone left the room almost instantly. Maggie stayed in my arms, naked and new, for two hours and the whole time, all I can remember is a whole lot of tears and saying, "Look at her! Just look at her!" over and over and over again.


In conclusion, I'd like to highlight a few random points...

1) If you'd like to have a VBAC, definitely come to my hospital in Maine. Never, not once, during my entire nine months did a doctor or nurse say, "Oh, so you're trying for a VBAC?" It was more along the lines of, "Oh, a VBAC! That's excellent. You shouldn't have any problems at all." And guess what? During my labor, I only heard the term "VBAC" one time, and that was when they were checking me in.

2) Acupunture. It's the real deal.

3) Never let someone break your water.

4) Any woman who has a drug-free, natural childbirth should wear a crown everywhere she goes for the rest of her life.

5) In the end, a healthy baby and mom are indisputably the most important thing. As a mom who's had a c-section and a vaginal delivery, I'll freely admit that they both have their advantages. Woman who've had a natural childbirth can say, "I had a baby without drugs, I can obviously kick your ass." Woman who've had drugs can say, "I had all the experience and none of the pain." And woman who go the c-section route can say, "I've got a pocketbook full of pain-killers and a vajango that's perfectly in tact!"

See? They're all good things. Babies can't help but be good!

Oh, and that invitation to the training group? I'm still waiting.


Maggie Moo's Big Debut: Part Three

October 23, 2009

I'm having more fun than I know what to do with over here. Really you guys--dragging this out, annoying people with the delays, getting emails begging for the next segment (okay, only three of those). I haven't been this amped up since that pep rally sophomore year where the bleacher creatures started pegging the cheerleaders with cartons of milk from the cafeteria!

This. Is. Awesome.

I might just do this for every post from this point forward. I can picture it now:

What I'm Making for Dinner Tonight: Part 14

Sprinkle it with salt and bake for one hour.

...To Be continued

But, since I haven't cooked a single dinner since the birth of this baby, that concept is completely premature. So, without any further hesitation, I bring you something far more timely. the third part of the story:

Jared squealed into the hospital parking lot, jumped out of the car, swung my door open and said, "C'mon, I'll help you get in there."

And instead of saying something logical, like thank you, I said, "Jared, I can't believe you picked this parking spot! We're gonna get a nasty door ding from some redneck's truck and that's gonna be the only thing I'll be able to think about what I'm in labor. That'll distract the heck out of me, J!"

Well friends, in the history of all mankind, there's never been a more laughable statement muttered. In retrospect, there could have been an obese man, wearing golf cleats, doing Jillian's 30-Day Shred on the hood of my car and I wouldn't have given half a crap about it.

We waddled into the emergency entrance of the hospital, Jared still humming Yellow Submarine, and made our way to the elevator. We rode up to the third floor, and the moment the doors opened and I saw my doctor--all ninety-two pounds of her--the freak-out resumed.

As she led me into a delivery room I was like, "BABY. BLOOD. LOTS OF BLOOD. BABY. BABY. BABY."

Within one minute I was hooked up to a monitor, listening to the whoosh whoosh whoosh of my baby's heartbeat. I cried, Jared cried, and call me crazy, but I think I saw the nurse wiping her eyes, too. By that point I was four centimeters dilated, and according to my doctor, the bleeding was a fluke, nothing bad had come of it, and it was time to pull myself together.

And I really did have to pull myself together. For two reasons:

1) Maggie's heart rate was dipping from 140 beats per minute between contractions to 60 beats per minute during contractions.

2) My doctor is cute, sassy, and happens to be a fantastic runner and triathlete. I wanted to impress her with my smooth demeanor, my wit, my insane tolerance for pain, and ultimately score an invitation to join her training group.

So pull myself together I did. Within five minutes I was bobbing up and down on the labor ball, my breathing was under control, and Maggie's heart rate was right where it needed to be.

After an hour or so (?) on the labor ball, I decided I wanted to move into tub. The nurse casually said, "Well let me just check you before you move into the water." And when she did, her eyes widened and she was like, "Amy, I need to get your doctor, you're already at eight centimeters!"

And with that news, I locked eyes with Jared and said, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it! Jared! I can do this! I can really do this!" I'm sure it was a nice change of pace for him--you know, instead of, "Jared! You DID THIS TO ME! You FOOL! How could you do this to me?!"

So my doctor sauntered in, snapped on her rubber gloves, and doing her very best to avoid eye contact with me, she said, "Actually, you're at six."

And I was like, "Hey Jared? Honey? When you have a minute, can you grab me a frying pan and that pretty little nurse's head?"

And with the straightest of faces, he was like, "Yes."

With the exception of a really fudgy brownie perched behind an electric fence, I can think of nothing on this planet that's more discouraging than moving backwards during labor. And for that reason alone, I will curse that nurse for all the days of my life. (And then maybe we'll hang out in the heavens--because she seemed really, really nice.)

With that highly discouraging bit of news, I climbed into the tub. I labored in the water for two hours or so, and I've got to say, it really took the edge off of the pain. I'd feel a contraction starting, and the peak of it, the super painful part, would only really last for five or seven seconds--totally, completely manageable. Jared was labor coach extraordinaire, and I was finally back in the zone.

After two hours, my doctor came back in and asked if I wanted her to check my cervix. My answer was a resounding YES. I was sure I'd made a ton of progress in the tub, and I was more than ready to push that baby out.

Jared helped me to the bed, the doctor snapped on another pair of rubber gloves, and once again, she avoided eye contact as best as she possibly could. In fact, I think she did one of those tricky, little mask-what-you're-saying coughs when she declared, "Well, you're still at six centimeters."

People, there's a darn good reason why six is the number of the devil. I was frozen in the depths of my own personal hell, and it was all due to that evil, evil number. I swear on all things good and lovely, I still want to vomit every time I see a number six. Let me just put it out there--telling time is all kinds of traumatic these days.

And this, this, is where the story turns fun.

My doctor said, "Amy, we can do two things here. We can wait it out, let you walk around, get back on the ball, or we can break your water to move things along. It's totally up to you."
Feeling reluctant to wait anything out at that point, I was like, "If we break my water will it make it hurt more?"

And she said, "Well it depends on the person, but it will definitely make it more intense."

I reasoned it out in my very cloudy head, and decided that I could handle my labor being turned up a by a notch or two. After all, I'm the girl who runs marathons for fun. I'm the girl who eats high fiber cereal for breakfast even though I don't struggle with constipation. I'm the girl who's been married to Jared for seven years. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

And that's when I uttered my famous last words: Let's do it. Let's break my water.

I waited for the next contraction to come around, and when it did, holy hell I think my eyes rolled back in my head. Before I knew it, I was screaming like a crazed women in the movies. And by that I mean I was quite literally screaming at the top of my lungs.

I don't think words can do justice to the pain, but I'll try. After the doctor broke my water, it felt like a lion took a bite out of my middle and was chewing on my innards--except the universe didn't offer me the courtesy of going into shock.

So much for my display of sheer awesomeness. So much for the invitation to my doctor's training group. My reputation flew out the window the moment I screamed for the anesthesiologist. And then bounced off the parking lot, landed back in the room, and flew out the window again when I yelled my secret word: CHICKEN BURRITO WITH HOT SAUCE! CHICKEN FREAKIN' BURRITO WITH HOT SAUCE, JARED!

That was the code word Jared and I had established ahead of time. And let me tell you, it didn't mean Please get me a snack with some Mexican flare, my love. It meant, GET ME THE DRUGS THIS INSTANT OR I'LL RIDE YOU AROUND THIS ROOM LIKE A PONY!

...To Be Continued

Maggie Moo's Big Debut: Part Two

October 21, 2009

Gosh that title has a nice ring to it.

Anyway...where was I? Oh yes, dinner.

Dinner was excellent, the contractions stayed light but regular, and the conversation? Well it was out of this world. If I remember correctly, I had some kind of bleu cheese and walnut salad, and capped it off with a big, fat slice of lemon cake--soaked in heavy cream.

Hey now, cut me a break. I was like, "If these contractions mean anything at all then the diet starts tomorrow. So bring me the cake and try not to give me any shiz when I make a big production out of licking the plate."

After dinner we drove the 70 miles back home without so much as a drop of drama. I didn't pee in my pants, my water didn't break, the highway patrol didn't catch my baby--it was totally and completely uneventful, just as I knew it would be. But, based on my suspicion that the real dramatics would ensue momentarily, we opted to leave James over his Grammie and Grampy's house for the night. The last thing I wanted was a 45-pound, self-proclaimed superhero swooping in during my time of need (wearing nothing but his homemade cape and a sopping wet pull-up).

We got back to our house, and I swear on all things beautiful, that the moment I stepped through the door, the contractions picked up. They were coming about every seven or eight minutes, and although they were still weak enough to let me bitch at Jared right through the peak, they were getting stronger.

In between the contractions Jared and I would shoot the shiz about nothing much. I'd be like, "Why did Grey's Anatomy have to turn so stupid?" or "You should always get your hair cut by gay men--it turns out so much better." or "No, seriously Jared, I want to be the fresh, new face of acupuncture. I want to be the poster child."

And then during the contractions I'd be all, "Why don't you ever sweep?" and "Is it really so hard to close a cabinet door?!" and "I wonder how much money my ex-boyfriend makes as a corporate attorney in LA...." Jared was having a really great time.

Somehow, maybe around midnight? I managed to sleep for an hour or so--time started to blur, so I really can't remember. And then, sometime in the middle of the night, one-ish? Two-ish? The contractions were strong enough to wake me up.

Jared started tracking them on, I will freely admit, seems like an incredibly lame idea, unless you're in the throws of labor--and sure enough, they were five minutes apart and getting stronger every go 'round.

WARNING: And here's where the story gets a little bit heavy (and graphic) for a couple of paragraphs, but bear with me, we all know it has a super happy ending...

Somewhere in the middle of the very hazy time-space continuum, I had a really strange contraction. Strange in that it lasted for four-and-a-half minutes straight without letting up. As soon as it was over, I got out of bed and said, "J, I have to use the bathroom." And I walked down the hall while Jared stayed in bed.

To be quite honest, I didn't know if I needed to pee or needed to poop, I just knew I needed to do something--and unfortunately, it turned out to be neither. I sat down on the toilet, and had the strong sensation that everything in my abdomen was dropping, or falling right out. The feeling is really hard to describe, but I can tell you that the only other time I've experienced it is when I unexpectedly miscarried a baby at 18-weeks. Not good.

I looked down, and sure enough I was bleeding everywhere. All over the place.

**And cue the uncontrollable screaming**

Since I lost the baby last fall, I've heard every sad, heartbreaking, horrible pregnancy loss story that there is to hear--and honestly, with every fiber of my being, I was terrified that my baby had died. If nothing else, I've learned that anything can happen to anyone--I am no exception.

**And cue the loud, dramatic pleading with God**

Jared shushed me--it's the only thing he could manage to do--and called the hospital directly. My doctor called us back about four second later, and told us to come in immediately. There was no need to call an ambulance, but make no mistake about it, we weren't to let that speedometer drop one iota below ninety miles-per-hour.

And we didn't. In fact, we made the thirty mile trip in approximately twenty-two minutes--definitely a new personal record. But still, the longest twenty-two minutes of my whole, entire life.

As we were driving, the contractions continued to gain momentum, to the point that I could no longer talk through them. So, I did what any scared-out-of-her-skull, in-labor woman would do.

I took to humming.

At the beginning I was humming anything that moved me--tunes that I composed myself, and sue me for showing off here, but they were really pretty good. Then, within in five-or-so minutes, my ditties had clearly morphed into Yellow Submarine by The Beatles--not the chorus, just the verses.

I hummed and hummed and hummed some more, and then, in between contractions, Jared finally had the nerve to pipe up and ask, "Are you humming Yellow Submarine?"

And I was like, "YES!!!"

And Jared was all, "How come?"

And I was like, "Because... I FEEL LIKE IT!!!"

"Well then you should keep on humming," he replied.

"No," I spit. "You should hum FOR MEEEEEE!!!!"

He laughed.

And I was like, "HUM, DAMN IT!"

And he did.

But it wasn't good enough. He kept screwing up and humming the chorus.

Ugh. Men. Can't live with 'em, can't get your ass to the hospital without 'em.

To be continued...

Maggie Moo's Big Debut: Part One

October 19, 2009

I wouldn't say that life with a brand new baby is hard, it's just time consuming. I spend at least six hours a day staring at her little face. And really now, who can blame me? She's far beyond adorable, a real looker, much cuter than any of your kids.

Oh, you know I'm kidding with you. But I can 100% guarantee that she's not an ugly baby by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm sure at least a few of you have some gnarly looking newborns to contend with.

I've run the numbers, folks--I'm only speaking statistically. It's called the hard truth.

Anyway, I've had quite a few emails, asking me for a detailed account of the labor and delivery. I never realized the number of people who are interested by the ins and outs of my cervix, but apparently it's many, and I'm not about deny you the details. So without further ado, I bring you...

Maggie Moo's Big Debut: Part One
(James has dubbed his baby sister "Maggie Moo," and yes, you read that correctly, there are chapters.)

I'm really not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but my husband Jared pulls a couple of shifts a week at an alternative wellness center here in Maine. In addition to Jared cracking the backs, patients can access a naturopathic doctor, a massage therapist, an aromatherapist, a Reiki master, and an acupuncturist all under the same peaceful roof. It's kind of like a homeopathic super-store, or one-stop-quackery--depends on the way you view the universe I suppose. But either way you slice it, it's a place to whisper, like a library, or a church. Otherwise you'll drown out the wind chime/flute music, and that music's important, because dude, if I'm having a relaxing, out-of-this-world Reiki treatment, the last thing I want to hear is your fat ass mouth blabbing up and down the walls all about your new lasagna recipe. Save it for the parking lot, people--or the chiropractor. I hear he's really chatty.

So where was I? Oh yes, wellness center. Like I said, the wellness center employs an acupuncturist. She's a middle aged woman from California who has the slenderest of legs that extend up to her armpits. She looks beyond exquisite in cowboy boots, and may have been a supermodel in her former career. I'm too shy to ask.

A couple of weeks ago, maybe towards the end of September, when I stopped in to pick up Jared's check, the acupuncturist mentioned that she can induce labor in pregnant woman if they've gone past their due date. I was like, "Seriously? Well I'd like to set up an appointment for October 9th, I'm due on the 8th."

Let me back up here for a moment and let you all know that I had three goals or intentions for this delivery. 1) I obviously wanted to come away from it with a healthy baby and a healthy me. 2) I wanted to have a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, or VBAC. James was breech, which necessitated a c-section, and it wasn't something I was interested in repeating. And 3) I wanted to go for a natural birth--meaning no drugs, no pitocin, no epidural, no fun.

So when the 8th came and went with no baby to speak of, I didn't call on my MD to induce me with pitocin, I went to my 11:30 appointment with the acupuncturist thinking, "Oh my word, what a thoroughly crunchy way to kick off an all natural birth."

The acupuncturist checked my tongue, and according to her, it was purple enough to deliver a baby. Well okay then! With that encouraging news, we began.

By 11:45 I was sitting in a very comfy chair, with needles sticking out of my neck, hands, wrists, feet, ankles, legs and ears, watching the river and the cars wiz by. By 11:50 the needles were hooked up to electrodes, which were hooked up to a 9-volt battery--you know, to really stir up my inner life force and such.

A half-hour or so later, the acupuncturist unhooked the electrodes and pulled out the needles. She placed a whole mess of needles in the lower back and had me lean forward against her desk.

She was like, "So basically, to induce labor I put needles in every single part of your body that's contraindicated during pregnancy. Are you feeling any contractions?"

And I was like, "No. No contractions, but I'm feeling something."

"Like what?" she asked.

"I don't know," I replied. "It's really hard to describe."

"Well try. Just tell me what it feels like."

And although I felt like a total, unadulterated douche bag, I obliged. "It's a windy, swirling feeling in my low back," I said, waiting for her to double over laughing at me.

But she didn't. She was like, "Good. That's your Chi and it's all stirred up."

"Like stirred up enough to make a baby fall out of my you-know-what? I am 3cm and 80% effaced you know."

And she was all, "Yes." And she sent us on our way.

Jared and I ran a couple of errands--went to bank, filled the car with gas, watched the ugly parade that is otherwise known as WalMart--and what would you know? Exactly one hour after we left the wellness center, light but regular contractions began to kick in. They weren't painful by any stretch of the imagination, but they were definitely noticeable and they were coming every fifteen minutes.

Jared and I headed home, and we did what any reasonable in-labor couple would do. We got in the car and drove 70 miles South to meet my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for dinner.

Whaaaaat???? My mother-in-law was paying. And I was hungry. And wanted an appetizer.

So, since the hospital is roughly 30 miles North of our house, we were approximately, mmmmm let's see, 100 miles from from my health care provider.

Did I mention that my mother-in-law was paying?

...To Be Continued

Maggie Pics: For Real This Time

October 14, 2009

And now, without any further ado, I give you the fabulous Miss Maggie Lawson!

The caption could go so many way with this picture:

And this is what happens when you let your four-year-old son pick his little sister's coming home from the hospital outfit:

The full and complete birth story will be ready to go in a couple of days. The men are gonna love it.

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie!!!

Isn't she awesome???

She's Here!

October 12, 2009

Maggie made her big debut on Saturday morning at 9:45.

7 pounds 5 ounces, and just shy of 21 inches long.

She's perfect and healthy and a really calm baby so far.

I'll post pictures later, but right now my memory card is being completely uncooperative.

Unsolicited Advice

October 8, 2009

So, today is October 8th. The day I've been anticipating for months and months and months.

Sure it's my due date, but pffffft, who cares about that little thing? Not only is it Jim and Pam's wedding on The Office, but it also happens to be the annual Pajama Library Party at James's school tonight--and let's get real for a minute, those are the things that matter in the grand scheme of life.

I'm off to do some work, but in the mean time I'll leave you with a little snippet of advice: No matter how lazy you're feeling, never let your four-year-old eat three Fiber One bars and six plums for an afternoon snack. They will, most definitely, poop the bed. Twice.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Old Wives and the Stupid, Stupid Tales They Tell

October 5, 2009

By this point, you've probably realized that I'm due to have a baby this Thursday, October 8th. But we all know, that in reality, due dates are nothing but a giant pot of poo and lies. What October 8th really means is this: I could have had my baby six weeks ago, or she might come just in time to enjoy the festivities of Hanukkah--it's really hard to tell.

Anyway you slice it, I'm close enough to ready that every person who's lucky enough to lay their eyes upon me does a double take and says something extraordinarily witty like, "SOMEONE GRAB A CATCHER'S MITT!" And I'm all, "Trust me sir, you're not nearly handsome enough to see my vajango." And then I shrug and walk away. In the middle of the Olive Garden.

I guess this is the fun part.

On Friday morning, as I was getting ready for work, I had one of those really odd moments where I was feeling completely happy with the way I look. Christina Aguilera's "I Am Beautiful" was playing on the radio, and I just just couldn't help but agree with that dirty girl. I was like, "You're right, Christina! These stretch marks, this cellulite, these extra forty pounds are FRICKIN' BEAUTIFUL!" So I decided to forgo my normal makeup regimen and wear nothing but my pregnancy glow (and some really gigantic clothes) into the office.

I was sitting at my desk, busily playing some online Scrabble, when my office neighbor Karen walked in. She took one look at me and said, "Wow. You look like sh*t today, you should go home and have this baby." And then she proceeded to tell me one-zillion old wive's tales about how to go into labor and why it would most definitely happen sometime during the next two days.

She's a former midwife, so I bought it hook, line, and sinker.

She was like, "First, you've dropped like crazy. Second, you're already dilating and effacing. Third, we're supposed to have thunder and lightning tomorrow night. Fourth, there's gonna be a full moon on Sunday night. And fifth, you look like sh*t. There's no reason you're not having this baby this weekend."

"Furthermore," she continued, "if you keep drinking your pregnancy tea, eat some super spicy Indian food tonight, and can convince your husband to have sex with you, you'll definitely have your baby this weekend."

I nodded.

"But it might be hard to talk Jared into it. You seriously look like sh*t."

And I was all, "So Karen, do you think I look like sh*t today? Cause I'm confused."

She nodded, handed me my purse, and said, "Oh yeah, total sh*t. Good luck with the sex thing."

So off I went--to have a baby, dang it!

After much pondering and Googling, I was convinced that Karen was right--between the pressure change of the storm, the tidal pull of the full moon, the fact that Mercury has exited retrograde, my unexplained need to buy Cocoa Dino-Bites at the grocery store, a short bout with diarrhea, and four thousand irregular contractions, there was no way I wasn't having this baby.

I even--and I kid you not--hopped up and down my street like a bunny rabbit, four times, in the rain, under the full-moon just to seal the deal.

Every time I hippity-hopped by the driveway, Jared was all, "I don't know why you want this to happen so badly! You know it's gonna feel like you're going through a wood chipper, Amy! Don't rush this thing!"

And I was like, "Yeah, but an empowering wood chipper of womanhood, ya a-hole!"

And he was all, "Or a double decker bus filled with fat people."

That's my Jared. What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty, mighty good man.

Jared even drove me a couple hours from home, to a ski resort in the middle of nowhere, to ride up the ski lift and enjoy the foliage. Honestly, I couldn't have cared less about some red and yellow leaves--I just thought, "Ya know...If anyone in this world would deliver a baby on a dinky, little ski lift it'd definitely be me. Let's do this thing."

Well guess what?

That's right. I'm still pregnant.

So today I'd like to send a message out to Mother Nature, the old wives who tell these tales, and Karen:

You're nothing but a bunch of super-skanks. You suck. All of you.

But for some strange reason, I still love Jared.

The end.

39 Weeks

October 1, 2009

Well it's a good thing I have this ridiculous belly to draw the attention away from that make-upless face and the big, furry box on my head. Seriously, who's gonna be like, "Girl! You need a hair cut!" when they can be like, "Girl! Pick your stomach up this instant, it's dragging all over the sidewalk!"?

As of yesterday, I've officially placed myself into the "full blown spectacle" category.