Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Guest Post: Jingles by Mitsi

22 Mar

Whine: I figured as the first guest blogger during Sarah’s “maternity leave” that there’d already be a baby around that I could talk about. I should’ve known better.

Cheese: He’ll be here within the week!  Yay Sarah!

My name is Mitsi and I’ve been friends with Sarah for 8 or 9 years now.  In that time, she’s made several people and has commissioned my “talents” [if they can really be called that] as an amateur jingle writer to make up songs about having babies for her entertainment.  Yes, really. 

Now, I don’t believe I have a skill on par with the “Stanley Steemer” people, it’s more of a Weird-Al-take-perfectly-lovely-songs-and-manipulate-them-for-the-amusement-of-self-and-others gig that I’ve got going here.  However, on more than one occasion, I’ve answered the phone to have Sarah or my good friend Jenny request that I croon out one of these beauties, often on speakerphone, and frequently to people who are complete strangers to me (including OB/GYNs and random assorted others).

So here for your reading pleasure, is a list of the current tracks on the Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum, and Trying to Conceive collection (the album needs a catchier title, I know).  I don’t know how these will translate without musical backup, so you may have to use your imagination.

Track 1: Mammaries

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Barbara Streisand’s The Way We Were.

Notes: I came up with this in 8th grade. I was an odd child.

 

Track 2: Bertha the Birthin’ Uterus

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Entirely original tune and lyrics.

Notes: Comissioned by Sarah in honor of the birth of Big Sis.

 

Track 3: Epidural

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: The Eagle’s Desperado

Notes: The jewel in the crown. Also penned for Big Sis.

 

Track 4: Circumcision

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Foreigner’s Double Vision

Notes: Written for the birth of my best friend’s son.

 

Track 5: Onward Luteinizing Hormone

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Onward Christian Soldiers

Notes: For anyone who’s ever peed on an ovulation predictor.

 

Track 6: The Signs of Early Pregnancy

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence

Notes: The most recent addition. A tribute to my own heartburn.

 

In honor of the impending arrival of Little Brother, here’s the full-on version of “Epidural”

 

Epidural,
You help to deaden my senses.
When my uterus tenses,
You’re there for me.
I may be contracting,
But with your help I’ll get through it.
I know I can do it
When you’re in my spine.

 

Master Mitsi (she insists we call her that  until she’s Dr. Mitsi) is a Ph D student who writes jingles and names other people’s babies in her spare time. Currently a dog mom to two little rascals (Murphy and Stanley), she hopes to increase her brood with some human offspring in the near future and put her Baby Compilation CD to good use.

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The Beauty of Baby Steps

18 Mar

Whine: I got puked on last night. I’ll spare you the chunky details.

Cheese: I got to snuggle a puny-feeling Lil’ Sis for an hour. Which is 59 1/2 more minutes than I usually get her to be still and on my lap. The price we pay for love, right?

I admit that Google Calendar has changed my life. I put all my important dates into it and it sends me a handy email reminder. Things like birthdays and credit card payments don’t sneak up on me quite as often anymore. So pretty much I’m in love and would run off to Tahiti with it in a heartbeat.

Except not so much yesterday. Because Google Calendar apparently does not know that under no circumstances do you ever, ever email a big ol’ pregnant lady to remind her that it’s her due date. Unless you want to die a slow and painful death. It’s a good thing I’m not an intrepid hacker/virus-designer or Google Calendar would have rued the day. Rued the day, I tell you.

And so we’re still here waiting for this kid to arrive. Every week when I go see my doctor, she measures various not-suitable-for-internet-reading things. And after a week of aches and pains and lots of not sleeping, I’ve progressed another centimeter. A measly centimeter.

But then I got to thinking about centimeters and the fact that when you’re in my condition, you only really have to get to ten. I know, I find the math versus the reality of a human baby very disconcerting, and I’ve already done this twice. But in the end, if you’re lucky, ten is your magic number. And very often you don’t go from 1 to 10 in just a few hours. (Although Lil’ Sis did her darndest to set a record — 5 centimeters in less than an hour. I don’t recommend it. Did I mention the two epidurals I had with her??)

No, most often you change a centimeter at a time. And then I thought about how babies grow from teeny tiny cells. One centimeter at a time. And how, like labor, I’m pretty glad they don’t start out at 9 1/2 pounds from the beginning. Imagine lugging that around for 40 (or 41, if you’re really lucky) weeks.  And even once they come out they change in minuscule little increments. Because how would we delicate Mommies stand it if they were in 0-3 month onesies one day and 2T the next? It’s hard enough to pack up the outgrown baby clothes after they’ve had a few months to wear and stain and get pictures taken in them. What if they just went to bed one night little and snuggly and woke up the next morning grown? It would be too much to bear. And a little creepy.

But still, it’s hard to wait for those exciting baby milestones. Giving birth, witnessing first steps (or second, because they always save the first ones for when you’re gone, don’t they?), or going to the park without anyone wetting their pants. Or other, non-baby but equally exciting ones. Paying that last student loan payment,  losing that pesky baby weight, or after five months getting your DIY project of a master bathroom back.

I’m tempted to look at my situation, especially my body and think that nothing is happening. I will be pregnant forever. FOREVER. I’m convinced that I will be the first woman in history to carry a baby in utero for 41 years. Although I could milk the pity I get from waddling around with a belly this big for quite a while. I mean, if I had to.

But deep down I know that change is inevitable and it’s happening right now whether I see it or not. In fact, if I knew how much was changing both in my body and in my kiddos right now, I’d probably freak out.  I bet Big Sis is secretly learning Chinese and Lil’ Sis is training for a triathlon this summer.

There’s beauty in the baby steps. Agonizing, heart(or back)breaking beauty, but beauty nonetheless. The longer I wait and the harder I work on those baby steps, the more I can appreciate that final moment of arrival. The moment I hold that little guy I’ve been growing  and talking to and carrying around without having to strap into a car seat for 10 months will be one of the best of my life, I know it. 

But in the meantime I can slow down a little bit (mostly because I can barely walk anymore) and snuggle my kids as they try to find space on my lap. I can eat one (or two, or three) more spicy meals without having to get up to nurse/rock/change an impatient baby. I can admire the hard work this body of mine is doing, whether I see it or not.

In the end, I’m grateful for the baby steps. For time to let the anticipation build, and to be really proud of finishing something that wasn’t easy. And for time to stop and smell the roses (or Johnson & Johnsons shampoo) on the way. But mostly I’m glad for baby steps because I’m pretty sure that if I had the option to take big giant steps through things I would, and as big of a baby as I am, I’m pretty sure it would kill me.

For some other people’s (much deeper) thoughts on beauty, click the button below and follow the rabbit trail. Enjoy.

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Big Baby

14 Mar

Whine: I have officially sunk to a new low. For the first time since college, I’ve gone out in public in my pajama pants. What would Stacey and Clinton say?? I don’t really care, I’d like to see Stacey rock those kitten heels with a watermelon protruding from her front.

Cheese: They are very cute pajama pants.

Friday I had a root canal.

Yes, you heard me correctly. I decided that the best thing for me to do at 9 1/2 months pregnant would be to schedule an emergency root canal. You know, sort of like a dress rehearsal of pain for what’s coming up here pretty soon.

Let me tell you something about myself, in case you didn’t already know: I am a whimp. A pansy. A big baby. When I had my last big baby (aka Lil’ Sis) I had an epidural. Ok, I’ll be honest, I actually had two.

Friday at my friendly dentist’s office was no exception. After much poking, prodding and trepidation over poking and prodding a woman as pregnant as me, (Um could you please not go into labor? Yeah, thanks.) the dentist injected me with some Lidocaine. And then some more Lidocaine. Then she poked me some more. Can you feel this? Yep. This? Yep. Really? Mmm hmm. . . And so she gave me some more. And poked some more. Still feeling it. She called the other dentist in, who repeated the whole scenario. At the end of the day, I ended up needed 5 1/2 shots of Lidocaine (which means six pokes with a needle longer than I’d really ever like to see anywhere near my mouth agan) just to get a quarter of my mouth numb.

Once they finally removed all capacity for feeling from my mouth (which took an hour) the rest of the procedure wasn’t too bad. Except the part where I was lying flat on my back like a bloated turtle. And the part where I had to stop the dentist mid-torture to waddle mouth stuck open with some torture-related device to use the bathroom because, well, I’m hugely pregnant. And the part where they told me how much the whole episode was going to cost me, which led to the part where I was driving home and had to pull over because I was hyperventilating.

Once I stopped needing paper-bag-assisted breathing, I got myself a strawberry milkshake then took a monster nap. When I awoke, I discovered the part of a root canal that gives it it’s horrific reputation. Yeah, it’s the after part. When you wake up from your nap and the whole left side of your mouth feels like a giant throbbing mass of horribleness. And when you try to eat a mushy banana and accidentally chew on the wrong side and it feels as if there’s a tiny little ginsu knife going down into your nerves. I felt like I should have pulled one of these to make the pain desist:

Did I mention that I’m a big baby? Like it’s not obvious.

Ok, maybe I’m not a big baby. Perhaps I’m just . . . sensitive. Yes, that’s it, I’m very sensitive. Delicate, you might say. If by delicate you mean getting upset and close to tears when I realize that the Old Navy coupon I’ve been saving until I can escape the confines of my home without my children who behave like wild banshees in clothing stores is actually expired and I can’t use it after all. Or that someone ate the last piece of corn on the cob and I didn’t get any (but that was totally fair because I was newly pregnant then and could barely eat anything without hurling and corn on the cob actually sounded good and it was just so sad because I really was just so hungry).

So maybe I’m a bit oversensitive, and, yes, perhaps occasionally a modicum of logical thought might be of assistance as I deal with real life instead of the cry until I fall asleep approach. But there are positive aspects to being a complete bleeding heart.  Like rescuing stray puppies (ok, can’t say I’ve ever done that) or empathizing so much with the team who didn’t win the Superbowl you need a Pepto (I have definitely done that). 

And tell me this, when you spill the two ounces of breastmilk it took you an hour to pump or your seventeen year-old cat finally gives up the ghost and you’re heartbroken even though you didn’t actually like the cat, who are you going to call? Your “logical” and “rational” friend who “doesn’t cry over spilled milk or old dead cats” or the one who’s guaranteed to feel your pain and then some? That’s what I thought.

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Post What I Want To

5 Mar

Whine: It’s 4 am and I am definitely not typing this in my sleep. Which means I’m awake about four hours too early on my birthday. Is this an omen of what this year in my life will be like? I’m sure it is.

Cheese: I have it on expert authority that insomniacs get more done. If by more you mean checking facebook in the middle of the night and watching Paid Programming on mute while I wish for sleep to come. Perhaps I should invest in a few new books so I don’t end up ordering the Simoniz Power Car Washing Kit again. Yes, I said again.

I love birthdays. I always have. I particularly love my own birthday. I get presents and cake. And I finally get one day a year when I get to be the center of attention without having to resort to attention-seeking behavior like getting stuck in windows or being too sick to walk. But I love other people’s birthdays, too. Any excuse for cake and a good party is fine by me.

As I get older and the birthdays seems to blow by, I realize that some birthdays come with lots of fun and fanfare, and some are barely acknowledged. Although this could be partly my fault, as I seem to have made a habit of being “due any day now” right around my birthday. Last time I was great with child, I was due the day before my birthday.  And so my birthday greetings that year consisted of many baby-related wishes. This one, from my friend Carrie was one of my favorites:

May no baby come forth today (unless you are miserably large)
So that you never have to share your birthday with another (unless you are selfless like me and do not mind.)

I also spent that birthday in the doctor’s office for a routine exam. And if you’ve had a baby before, you know that a “routine exam” at 40 weeks pregnant is not really the most exciting way to spend your birthday. Unless awkward discomfort is your cup of tea. In which case, you should find another cup of tea, really.

But because I have the Ritz-Carlton of wombs, there was apparently no danger of Lil’ Sis arriving anywhere near her due date, which meant I wouldn’t have to share my birthday with her. Here is what I looked like on my birthday in 2008.

2008 or 2010? Doesn't matter, I look exactly the same.

I was going to post the picture of me showing my belly, but I thought seeing that amount of exposed skin might cause extreme discomfort/nausea for some of my more sensitive readers. Although, it was (and currently is) a sight to behold.

I was looking through pictures from my birthday last year and felt a twinge of longing for my old body. I mean I could wear pants. With a button and zipper. And I had a cheekbones and an actual chin. My how I miss my chin.

 

It's been so long since I've looked like that, I didn't recognize myself.

But chins (or lack thereof) and pregnancy and infomercials aside, I’m looking forward to my birthday today. Because a birthday is a great excuse to get away with eating lots of cake. And as long as Baby Boy stays in for another day or so, I can have my cake and eat his, too. Now that’s a birthday.

Some People Never Learn, Part II

27 Jan

Whine: I took two crabby cats to my local superstore to get antibiotics for them both. After all the hassle of parking in another state and waddling a cart through the throngs of other cheapskates, all the way to the pharmacy, they had the nerve to look me in my tired eyes and tell me they didn’t have the medicine. Because ear infections are rare conditions and it must be hard to acquire the exotic medicine required to treat them, right?

Cheese: Don’t worry, though, I didn’t leave empty-handed. Luckily for me, the Girls Scouts were standing at the entrance selling their crack cookies. I felt it was my civic duty to buy at least a few boxes. I don’t want to be a jerk to the Girl Scouts, do I?

In a recent post I highlighted that I am a slow learner. I might learn your phone number the first time I hear it and remember it for the rest of my life, or learn the name of every designer on all seven season of Project Runway, but when it comes to things that are actually useful, I tend to require extreme remediation. As is evidenced by the fact that I have on more than one occasion let my children run amok with bare bottoms and then had to clean up the consequences. Here are a few more things I wish I had learned the first time instead of the second, third or fourth:

#1) Markers should be put away in a cabinet that is way up high and cannot be reached by four year olds who prefer to express themselves creatively with body art.

Side note. The other day, during supervised marker time (I’ve finally learned), I turned my back for all of thirty seconds and she wrote all over her legs (because of course she wasn’t wearing any pants, we clearly don’t believe in pants in this house). When I scolded her, she began crying and rubbed her eyes. Dark blue marker streamed down her face; she looked like she should be singing lead vocals on Karma Chameleon.

#2) Do not serve spaghetti on the same day in which you have mopped your kitchen floor. You are just setting yourself up for an extra dose of Futility Frustration (which is in high enough supply when you have small children). It’s kinda like getting your car washed when the forecast calls for rain. I suppose you could also solve this problem by never mopping your floor.

#3) Some things should be left for people with actual skill. Like predicting the weather, diagnosing my kids’ various illnesses (just say NO to Google MD), but especially sewing. Straightly sewn lines evade me like the Holy Grail evaded King Arthur and his knights. I would save a lot of swearing and frustration if I would remember this before embarking on a highly-complicated project like sewing a pillowcase or cutting fabric into straight lines.

#4) Sugar is not my friend. A box of Hot Tamales is not the solution to my droopy eyes, and in fact is the cause of the other parts of me that may or not be droopy. A better solution to my droopy eyes would be to stop playing solitare after the 50th game and get my droopy parts to bed.

#5) Pregnancy makes me extra tired. Extra hungry. Extra weepy. Extra large. I am surprised by this every time. You’d think I’d have this down by now. When I am pregnant, I should know better than to: stay up past 10pm, eat a salad for dinner, look at baby pictures of my kids, or walk any distance further than the couch to the refrigerator. Yet I try one or more of these things every day and am shocked when I’m exhausted, starving, sobbing and out of breath (usually at the same time).

And as an additional word of advice (this one’s a freebie) one should avoid watching Steel Magnolias (or A Baby Story or telethons of any kind) during this time. Ocean’s Eleven, however, is highly recommended, especially when in labor.

#6) Whatever it is, it won’t last forever.  Kids eventually learn to use the potty, to keep their food on the table intead of under it, and to do things all by themselves. So the sooner I learn to laugh it off, the more I can find the good parts of stuff. Like learning to find the humor in the fact that I have to get off the phone with my sister because Lil’ Sis won’t stop pulling down my pants (darn you, elastic waistband!).  Or enjoying getting to see Big Sis explore her “mad scientist” alter ego even though it always involves lots of yarn, at least one roll of tape and tons of clean up because soon she’ll be headed to school, and I won’t get a front row seat to the inner workings of her unusual little mind anymore.  

And clearly I’ll never learn, as typing that last paragraph is enough to send my tired, weepy self on the hunt for a box of tissues, or Hot Tamales, whatever’s closer.

The spider has caught a lil' fly in her web. She's a mad scientist, I tell you.

That’s What You Get

23 Oct

Whine: You would think that a 3-inch elastic waistband and a growing belly would be enough to keep my pants up. You would be wrong.

Cheese: When you’re wearing strechy pants, every meal is all-you-can-eat.

 

I’ve been working with Big Sis lately on idea of choices. You know, things like “If you choose to put your stingray in the bathtub, then you can’t choose to take it with you in the car because it will be soaking we.” (True story) Or, “If you choose to whack your sister on the head (again), then you will spend the next twenty years (give or take) in time out.” (Again, true story.) You get the idea.

Unfortunately, the world of choices and consequences and decisions is not limited to the under-five set. Nope. We all get to play by the same rules. You would think, however, that years of making choices and reaping the benefits/consequences would give us the upper hand in decision making. But one glance at YouTube or daytime TV or in the mirror, for heaven’s sakes, tells you that even grown ups make some baaaaadddd decisions.

I’ve made some doozies myself. Like the time (this morning) I ate a Nutty Bar (oh, how I love you, Little Debbie) and a Diet Coke for breakfast. Or the time I was locked out of my house late at night and decided to crawl in the window and subsequently got stuck. One leg in, one leg out, four feet off the ground. While baby Big Sis sat in the car. I hear you asking, “Did your mother not teach you ANY common sense?” Of course she did, that’s why I used my cell phone to call her to come get me out of the window. She (wisely) sent my stepdad, who was very understanding and non-judgemental about the whole thing.

But seriously, I often hear my poor mother’s voice in my head when I reach the end of a particularly foolish path saying “That’s what you get.” I’m not sure my mother actually ever said that to me out loud, but I sure gave her plenty of chances to do so.

Recently, my track record has been stellar. I thought I’d share a few of my recent “That’s what you get” episodes for your enjoyment.

 

That’s What You Get. . .

. . . for starting a blog.

       I started my blog one year ago tomorrow. Happy Blogaversary to me! My little spot on the WWW has brought lots of unintended results. Guilt being one of them. I wish I blogged more. It’s definitely not for lack of source material. I like telling y’all the stories that keep my life interesting. And I like keeping track of all the ways in which my family has put me on the advanced track to aging. But life in a house full of crazy people sometimes limits my free time, and I’m learning to be ok with that. Especially because often, if I were to blog, my children would be giving me “source material” at a rate that I couldn’t handle. (As if I can handle the rate they’re at now.)

       But I’ve also made new friends and kept up with some old ones. I’ve heard your stories, too, which I love. And I’ve gotten to know that my foibles, accidents and fabulous life choices amuse the rest of you. Which pretty much makes it worth it. So if that’s what I get for starting a blog, I’m glad I did.  And as a special Blogaversary present to you, I’ve already written a post for Monday, so check back then for more riveting action!

 

. . . for buying a fancy-schmancy printer.

      My very old, very cheap printer had been on the fritz for months. So I finally broke down, found my coupons and headed to Office Depot. Mr. Office Depot expertly assisted me in my selection, down to the other things I would need to make the printer actually work that I wouldn’t have thought of until I had already spent fifteen hours yelling at and kicking my new printer.

      I decided to reward my very sedentary nature and purchase a printer that prints wirelessly so that I would not be so inconvenienced as to have to take my laptop into the other room and hook up a USB cord in order to print. But just as I was bragging (yes, bragging) to my sister about my labor-saving ways, I realized the da*&%$ thing was no longer printing. (And this after an hour on the phone with HP to go through the religious rites of set  up.) So I called HP again, and Carlos was, in fact, very knowledgeable and helpful, but it still took him an hour of remotely controlling my laptop from another continent (VERY CREEPY) to fix the problem.

       So, in total, I’ve printed ten pages and scanned two pictures with my new printer, all from the comfort of my couch. But I also spent approximately seventeen hours in setting up and repairing the darned thing. That’s what you get. Worth it? Totally. Cause now I can sit on my couch and scan pictures of my babies. (see below) 

 

. . . for trying to make dinner.

        I’ve barely cooked a meal in the last four months. So when I gingerly approach my kitchen to cook something other than frozen pizza/french fries/chicken nuggets, I expect wild applause (from Mr. Dad) and complete cooperation (from the children.) Yesterday I started dinner well before 8pm, and it included actual vegetables and potatoes not previously frozen. But as I’m chopping and stirring and seasoning, I am interrupted by a confusing scene. Lil’ Sis has lost that reddish glow to her hair; it looks a little darker. Upon closer inspection, I discover that someone else in the house has been doing some seasoning of her own. Wait for it. . . wait for it. . . uh-huh:  Big Sis has liberally applied a large coat of pepper to the top of Lil’ Sis’ head and shoulders. Apparently she decided the “salt and pepper look” was more fitting than “carrot top” for her sister.

 

. . . for insisting on knowing the gender of your unborn baby.

      Last week we went to the doctor for a sonogram. The Sonogram. The one lots of my friends go to and cover their eyes so they can be “surprised” when the baby is born. Weirdos. I go to that sonogram with only two questions on my agenda: “Does everything look ok?” and “What private parts does this baby have?” Sue me, I’m a planner.

      So the sonogram is going ok, except that Baby Lahdee (as Big Sis has named him/her) will not be still. But somehow our expert sonographer manages to get the requisite pictures. Good, round head? Check. Long, bony spine? Check. Big, ravenous looking stomach? Check.

       So then it’s time to get to the good part(s). Except that on the way to those parts, she pauses on my right ovary and says hmmm, apparently you have cyst there, which is no big deal, except that it explains the occasional stabbing pain in your right side. Good to know, I say, now GET ON WITH IT. Except at this point, Baby Lahdee is simultaneously cruching his/her legs together AND swimming in circles with all his/her might. How this is possible, I do not know, although it makes me eager to meet this child.  

       Eventually she determines that Baby’s bottom is right next to my ovary/cyst and the only possible way to determine the gender is for her to repeatedly punch, jiggle and jab me in that very tender area with the sonogram thiny-magiggy. Here’s where my true dedication kicks in though, and I decide to take one for the team. Breathlessly I tell her to keep going till she gets some nudie shots of this baby. And she does.

       After we left the doctor, them walking, me stumbling in pain, we headed to Target to pick out a gift for the baby. I must have looked a little funny clutching my stomach and limping, but I didn’t care. I had just gotten to see my healthy–and very active–son.

 

Isn't HE cute??

Isn't HE cute??