Friday, April 30, 2010

Pregnancy Number THREE

You can read about pregnancy number ONE here and you'll have to wait until June for the story of pregnancy TWO.

The summer of 1996 I had two children, seven and eight, and had given up the dream of having four kids.  We had long discussed permanent solutions to not spawning more children, but it was only recently that he had agreed to be the one to step forward for the procedure.  AGREED, he hadn't followed through yet.  Obviously.

In September I went with my two friends, Booty and Piranha, to Cancun to celebrate our 30th birthdays.  It was a grand time - four days of drinking, splashing in the ocean, getting sunburned and drinking and little more drinking.  On the last day I felt a little woozy but discounted it as something I ate.  I returned home still feeling woozy and bemoaning Montezuma's Revenge.

I couldn't shake the wooziness.  Days later a neighbor marveled at my glowing appearance and asked if I was pregnant.  NO!  She apologized profusely over and over and was horribly embarrassed.  The following weekend my husband left for a motorcycle rights meeting in Indianapolis and I started to notice little signs of pregnancy I remembered from the past.  My fingernails become incredibly shiny and every single joint in my body pops.  A lot.


When he pulled in, I remember standing on the back porch.  He called to me asking if I loved him.  I responded, "do you love me???"  This went back and forth several times until he finally yelled that he won a trip to Alaska.  I replied, "I think I'm pregnant."


I was at work when the doctor's office called with the test results.  I had to go to the school office to take the call and with little privacy had to process the emotions that swept over me.  Sitting in the nurse's office I bawled my eyes out and then called my husband to share the news.

I knew at the end of my second pregnancy that if I ever got pregnant again it would be high risk.  I had hung up any hopes for more children unless we adopted.  It explains a lot about my emotional reactions to the announcement - disappointment, fear, reserved excitement.

I left work for the rest of the day.  After a long discussion in the car, my husband and I picked up a few items from the store and hopped around to the grandparents to make the announcement, giving each a gift bag with a pacifier.

Our parents are slow.

Each one was baffled that we showed up in the middle of the work day.  They pulled out the pacifier and stared at it and we had to say the words that I was pregnant.  They took the news much better than we did.

Then we pulled Amanda and Keith out of school and told them the big news.  Honestly I don't remember their reactions.

I do remember my friends' reactions.  Booty and Piranha laughed their asses off.  What a dumbass I was, didn't I know how to prevent this?

Weeks later I received a garbled phone call from Piranha, crying.  She just found out she was pregnant.  Dumbass.  I grabbed a pair of baby booties someone had just given me and rushed over to her house.  Together we cried and laughed and plotted how to tell Booty.  Booty's daughter was 12.  She wanted more children but without a steady man in her life it just didn't seem likely.  We had recently celebrated that our five kids were finally old enough that we didn't have to tote diaper bags everywhere and wear spit-up on our shoulders.  Soon babysitters would be less necessary and we could pick up on our friend time unencumbered by children.

Not anymore.

Booty slipped into a deep depression.  She was not pleased that her two drinking buddies were both knocked out of commission.  She recovered just fine and our friendship is just as strong as ever, but there was a dynamic change in our friend world as she brought in new people to our circle.  This is a bigger story that I will write about at another time.

My wooziness continued and it was accompanied with full body aching.  Eventually I asked to change prenatal vitamins and felt a million times better.  This wasn't technically a difficult pregnancy, but it wasn't easy either.  This was the first time I didn't utilize a clinic and was able to see just one obstetrician.  And oh buddy she didn't like my pregnancy history at all.  I made her nervous.  So much so that several years later when I tried to schedule a tubal ligation and received a little grief from her office staff because I hadn't had a mammogram yet, I said tell the doctor WHO is wanting it.  Practically minutes later I received a call back with a little chuckling as her fervent breast health mission was sidestepped just to prevent ME from ever coming back to her with a fertilized ovum.

She sent me to a cardiologist who prescribed medication that was safer for my incubating baby than the other meds I was carrying.  Both doctors flipped out hearing that I had taken that other medication before knowing I was pregnant.  The child is a little off kilter these days, not in any alarming physical or mental way, but he's off - not sure if it's his weird parents, but it could be the combination of unrecommended medication and a four day drinking binge.  Hard to say.

More concerning were the bouts of rapid heartbeats I was experiencing.  The new medication worked very well for me - yay!  But I was also having quite a bit of premature labor.  Twice I rushed to the hospital for more drugs to keep my contractions at bay.

I don't remember a lot of being pregnant like I do with that first time.  I was working every day and had two kids with active lives.  I was busy being a mom.  We made way for a new little bundle in our world and excitement built as my belly grew.

I was working at the kids' elementary school so I was monitored by both staff and students.  Amazingly, I didn't have to do much explaining to the kids - they understood.  Most of them had younger siblings or had other pregnant family members.  And everyone had an opinion.  Seasoned in this realm I kept my snide responses to myself.  It was surprising to hear many of the annoying statements echoed by the students.

At the ultrasound I asked to know the sex.  As everyone prepared for a boy, I made sure if that if we had a surprise I was prepared.  I had heard horror stories of people having rooms painted blue only to bring home a beautiful baby girl.  Fortunately that wasn't necessary.

My coworkers threw a baby shower for me and the next day I went into labor.

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Edward Scissorhands

There are times your children will show you just how much you DON'T pay attention.  I thought I kept on top of their activities and whoa, buddy, was I wrong.

I came home from the grocery store and started to lug the bags in through the backdoor, our typical entrance for that particular house, and I spotted a few clippings of hair.  It was the familiar color of my daughter's blonde hair.  Alarm bells went off in my head and I rushed inside.  An immediate look at her three year old head did not show any glaring snips missing from her head, but as I got closer, yes, there it was.  She had cut her bangs with a very lopsided left-hand whack, but it was hidden as she did not clip all of her bangs, a good portion fell over and hid her handiwork.

Upon questioning, she totally fessed up.  What makes it worse, the deed was done the day before.  Yes, I had been looking at my child a full twenty-four hours and never saw that she had cut her hair.  The only give-away was the fleeting locks already hiding among the leaves and cutter on my back porch.

When had she found scissors?  When did she slip outside?  How long did it take her? - all questions that remain unanswered.

But I did find out WHY.  Edward Scissorhands.  We had watched the movie just two days prior.  She was inspired.  That damn, Johnny Depp, the man she would years later claim is "not too bad looking for an old dude," had influenced my child.  I think maybe he owes me an apology - not that I hold any responsibility for not properly supervising my own child or securing sharp objects from my preschooler?

A more observant person would immediately see the handiwork.   We needed to fix it.  A friend took up the cause but it was a hard cut to repair.  We ended up giving her a perm.  With her quick growing hair, the perm soon grew out and was long enough to repair properly.

Curly Sue

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sex Ed

WooHoo... school sent home a PARENT GUIDE for sex ed.

I get it.  I understand WHY they do crap like this, but really?  And it's great that they're discussing personal responsibility and maturity, but I don't want a BOOK of talking tips for my teen.  I've always resented discussion guides, can't explain it but I do. 

So we had a quick sex ed discussion.  It went like this - don't have sex.  And then I said not to touch anybody's boobies or their hoo hoos.  And then I realized maybe I should cover ALL aspects and quickly added to leave boys alone too.

He burst out laughing.

Like I was joking or something.  Dude, I'm serious.  No boobies, no hoo hoos.

CRAP!  I forgot to tell him about condoms.  Well, we should be okay since his dad and step mom hand them out in Christmas stockings.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just A Few Gray Hairs

What are the things that scare you?

Me?  I can't stand watching my kids ride bikes.  I love riding.  It's been a few decades, but I've always enjoyed it.  But watching my own children???  OH HELL NO!

I was useless trying to teach them how to ride.  I was a paranoid mess and their dad had to step up and take over. 

All three are proficient riders despite my paranoia, not that I can really attest to it not having witnessed much riding.  As you can imagine, there aren't many pictures.  This one was taken as part of my nature walk a few days ago.  It abruptly ended when he started the no hands stuff.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter Wrestling Match

We had a splendid day, celebrating Easter this afternoon.  The kids dashed out the back door for an egg hunt then we settled down for grilled hot dogs, real holiday food, no?  Then a few Wii games of tennis and bowling - I suck by the way.  A few rounds of Scattergories - Garlic, unfortunately, does not qualify for seasonings that start with J

Keith, the usual wrestling instigator, had to leave for work, leaving Amanda and Ian to fill the void. 

He thought he could pick her up

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Is Still In The Works

It's turning out that holidays are multi-day events in my world.  Celebrate here on the day of, celebrate there yet another day... or actually the other way around.  Or something like that.

The kids have had their Easter with their dad and his family this weekend and I will be doing festivities next Sunday.  We could have pulled everyone together last night but they would have had to leave another celebration early, and really, I'm not doing anything big, so no reason to make everyone scramble, right?

In reality I've been seriously scarred by the logistical nightmare of five Christmases in 36 hours.  Several years in a row.  With very small children.  And all of the accompanying accoutrements necessary for any journey away from home over 30 minutes with very small children.  And then lugging home all of the crap adoring grandparents gift to the spoiled brats.

I just won't be part of that equation for my own children.  I want my time with them to be fun and light hearted and drama-free.  Nobody should feel forced to choke down another meal after feasting just hours before somewhere else.  Nor should they rush through this meal so they can flee to yet another.  How maddening!  How UNfun!  Where are the happy memories in all of that?

Some of my most stress-free holidays with my kids were Easter with my ex's mom.  With scheduling conflicts of two nurses in the family, trying to get all of the grandchildren together at the same time never happened ON Easter.  She wanted all of the kids, even the big ones, under the roof at one time.  She and the dearly departed "Bob-Bob" would get a ham, all of the side fixings, set up a beautiful buffet and open the house for the kids.  People were everywhere.  After we ate off plates perched on our laps we would gather in the yard and all of the kids under 18, including tag alongs not related to the bunch, were given a bag with their initials.

In the yard were a specific number of plastic eggs with coordinating initials.  Adults had to help the littlest kids find their booty and then we retired to the livingroom to open the eggs.  It was fun and easy and no demands, other than "show up."

Like I said, Easter never happened ON Easter.  One year it was celebrated in the front yard IN AUGUST!  Yes.  August.  An egg hunt.  And we totally ignored the passing cars, drivers staring at us.  Because it was fun.

Holidays should be fun.  And memorable.  They aren't about the day, but the togetherness.  And that, folks, is my focus.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Up For The Hunt