Thursday, June 30, 2011

James DeWiley Cook*


Born 10:29 am on June 28, 2011.  8 lbs, 3 oz, 21.5 inches long.


I woke up on Tuesday with a PAINFUL contraction at 6 am.  At 7 am, I had another.  By 7:15, I called Tony at basketball and made him come home because I’d had three more.  We got to the hospital by 8 am.


Things were less chaotic at the hospital this time, compared to Charles’ labor and delivery.  I had time to get checked routinely and get an IV locked in.  Even though the contractions were much more painful than Charles’ ever were, I handled it all just fine through breathing.  I managed to get one bag of Penicillin through the IV before contractions were going so quickly that the doctor suggested that I try to push at 10 am.



Last pregnant photo!


It was so weird – the contractions really hurt, but I didn’t have the “urge” to push like I had with Charles.  I mean, if someone had told me not to push with Charles, I would have laughed.  When you have that urge, you can’t NOT push.  This time, though, my water hadn’t broken and I didn’t feel like I was having to bear down.  But I got into bed, got my feet up, and tried anyhow. 


Then my water burst like a balloon.  Wow.


I got to use the squat bar, or whatever they call it.  My arms, shoulders, and back are still sore from that workout.


I pushed.  And I pushed.  Then, the baby’s head got lodged in my vagina, about a third of the way out.  That’s when I started crying and invoking God.  I’m pretty sure I told the nurses that I wanted to stop, that I just couldn’t do this.  I had never experienced pain like that, ever.  I wanted to vomit, it hurt so badly.  I pushed for 15 minutes with the baby’s head lodged there before he finally slipped out, after a bit less than a half hour of total pushing and, if you’re keeping track (I certainly was), four and a half hours since the first contraction.


The nurse said that in her 20+ years of being an OB nurse, she had never seen a head lodged like that for so long. 


But!  Recovery this time has been soooo much better.  The afterpains have been worse, but overall, I don’t feel like I have been hacked with a chainsaw in my nether-regions (isn’t the miracle of life lovely?).


Jamie looks so much like Charles did at birth. 


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Baby James on the left, Baby Charles on the right.

James eats all the time, nursing like a champ, cluster feeding for hours until he passes out for a few hours (sleep time for meee!).  He is content to be placed on his back in a bassinet, sometimes for hours.  Hours!  Charles couldn’t stand to be on his back and didn’t sleep alone until he could roll over on his stomach.  Also, Charles didn’t really sleep.  Jamie sleeps.  He’s mellow.  Of course, I feel like I paid my dues with a tough pregnancy and oh, also, a first child who was so hard on us, but really, this is just so awesome, I can’t even describe it.  With Charles, we were already sleep deprived upon leaving the hospital.  Right now, two-and-a-half days after birth, I feel great (you know, for an immediately post-partum woman).  I didn’t know it could be like this.


I am so in love with Jamie.  He’s so beautiful, so sweet.  And Charles is such a great big brother, it’s made me fall in love with him all over again.




*DeWiley was my paternal grandfather’s name.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Plus 1

A whole 40 weeks spent counting down to yesterday. 


Today begins a new count: Due Date + 1


And a new set of fears.  The fear that I won’t go into labor at all and will have to be induced.  The fear that, by being induced, I won’t progress, and will have to have a caesarian section.  Or, given the genetic predisposition for large babies in this family, that the kid is now getting too big to be born vaginally (this is no dis on those of you who have been induced or had c-sections; but I’m guessing that probably wasn’t what you wanted, right?).


Worse, that the baby will run out of room and break limbs (or its neck), the placenta will detach, or the cord prolapse and I will deliver a dead baby.  Probably there are other scenarios related to past-due pregnancies in which this happens – please allow me to stay in the dark on those, as I can barely handle thinking about the ones I know.


And the guilt.  Oh, what part of motherhood is without guilt?  Except for my mom, of course (who is so damn sure of everything that I am convinced she has never experienced guilt over her decisions), I think all moms experience guilt in some fashion, but it has sure come to head for me this past week.  I do nothing.  I mean it.  Nothing.  Tony works full time and is now the #1 parent.  I don’t clean.  I don’t cook.  I don’t even brush the dog.  I didn’t go into work today because I am so swollen and tired that I can’t concentrate, and besides, the intern is doing fabulously.  I feel guilty for checking out.  I feel guilty for being incapable of more.  I feel guilty for taking Charles to preschool and then coming straight home to relax. 




We had an eventful Saturday, one that ended with a trip to the hospital – but not for me/baby.  Rather, for Charles.


We went to a birthday party and he and a friend were playing with a large, round sandbox toy.  Charles tried throwing it like a frisbee, so his friend tried to do the same thing.  Only, the friend didn’t let go of the disc and smacked it straight into Charles’ face, where it shattered.  He had all sorts of cuts across his nose, but he calmed down after being cleaned up and we couldn’t see anything wrong with his eyes, so we sent him back to play. 


He fell asleep on the way home (of course.  It’s really the only way he naps on the weekends anymore).


When he woke up, he screamed and screamed, and wouldn’t stop screaming.  Tony managed to see a quick glimpse into his swollen right eye and thought he saw a cut or a flap across the cornea, so off to the ER we went.  2.5 hours, some luminescent eye drops, some antibacterial opthalmic ointment, and a dose of ibuprofen later, and we were back home with a diagnosis of a corneal abrasion.  This type of injury usually heals within 48 hours, and we have a follow-up this afternoon to check progress. 


I think I lost a few years of my life in the ER as I flashed back to my brother’s eye injury.  I had visions of going down to Seattle Children’s for eye surgery, of having to deal with a newborn and a kid getting used to operating with one eye.  Oh, God.  It’s amazing how fast my brain can get to the worst possibly outcome.


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In the ER, feeling much better after some drops in his eye and a snack (we were way past dinner time).


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Couch cuddles (pre- eye injury).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A New Day; Links

Still here, no baby yet.  Every evening, I have a series of contractions that make me think, “Is this it?” and then… sigh… they go away.  But maybe I’m warming up?


Anyhow, I’m feeling a bit brighter today, perhaps because of all the sleeping I did yesterday.  And I’m feeling brighter despite the epic tantrum Charles threw this morning (of course Tony had already gone to work).  The boy is impossible sometimes.  But!  We made it through, he’s at preschool now, his favorite place in the whole world, and I got some important work done at the office before taking my leave to put my feet up.


Also!  I just found out via a lovely email from a dear friend/sister that we have cause for visiting France next year!  Yes!  May 2012, and you can bet that I’ll be excitedly planning that trip for the several months leading up to it.  More details to follow, I’m sure.



With that, I’d like to link you to some of the things that keep me occupied for as long as I can sit at the computer during the day.  Oh, I have my Kindle, and I breeze through books very quickly (speaking of, any book recommendations will be highly valued at this point, so bring ‘em on), but I also read other things, too. 


  • I’ve been working my way through this list of “Nearly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism” and they’re really quite interesting.  Especially this one about spies written by Malcolm Gladwell.  By the way, I really like the name Malcolm, but it was rejected by Tony. 


  • Do you like random YouTube videos, weird stuff, pop culture news?  Check out The Daily What


  • I like Top Ten type lists, especially when I learn something weird (and often totally useless).  Cracked is a pretty good resource for such nonsense.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Blog, My Soapbox

I don’t have a whole lot of dignity left.  Perhaps that’s a good thing, as I know that a whole team of people will be in my junk sometime soon, watching me do one of the most horrifying things a person can do (Tony’s rule: shoulders and up are safe). 


People are pretty rude when you’re pregnant, seeing it as license to ask all sorts of questions.  And even when the questions really aren’t that prying, they are rude and prying if you’re a full-term pregnant lady who is in pain and can only focus on one thing: getting that baby out.


Take the due date question, for example.  “Hi, nice to meet you (I’m exaggerating this here, because no one says that, even if they have seen from across the street that you are massively pregnant and are shouting through traffic).  When are you due?”  I sometimes feel like this conversation has multiple sides, none of which are good at this point.  You want to know how many weeks ago I slept with my husband and conceived a child.  You’re asking me when I had sex last fall, if you think about it.  You want to know when I am going to push a giant baby out of my vagina.  My vagina!  You want to be able to say something like, “Oh, I thought you looked about due!  Get your sleep now!”  Thank you for the wild compliment, stranger.  You want to speculate on the sex of the baby.  Guess what?  You, along with everybody else, have a 50/50 shot at being correct.  Don’t act so smug.  If I don’t have a clue, how can you?


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First of all, I have looked “due” for the past two or three months, but I’ve dropped recently and now I waddle, so yeah, there’s no mistaking that I’m due.  Secondly, who sleeps when they’re this pregnant?  I went into work for an hour this morning and I’ve been napping uncomfortably pretty much ever since and I am STILL EXHAUSTED.  Finally, June 26th is not a magic date.  I will not suddenly give birth on June 26th because that is when the baby is finally ready.  I HAVE BEEN FULL TERM FOR A WEEK AND A HALF NOW.  I am THERE.  DONE.  A due date is 40 weeks from supposed ovulation and conception (which is an educated guess anyhow), and a healthy baby is born two weeks on either side of this date.  Will everyone please stop telling me I am almost there?!  I am there. 


And if I give birth tonight, the baby isn’t early.  Charles was born almost two weeks before his due date, but I think we can all agree that he wasn’t early.  Hell, at 9 lbs, 3 oz, if he had been any later, he might have had to come out through a window instead of the front door.


And yes, I know I should enjoy my Charles every day and savor these last weeks with him as my only child.  What do you think I have been doing?  I love the little punk, much as he throws epic (and typical) two-year-old tantrums, but you know what?  I don’t think a new baby is going to make me love him less.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to give him more “lap, mommy, lap” when I am done birthing his brother or sister.  Right now, I am so uncomfortable and so huge that I can’t exactly give Charles the kind of attention he craves.  When the baby’s finally born, at least I will be able to hand it off to Tony every once in awhile to dote on my firstborn.


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Honestly, he’s one of the biggest reasons I want to give birth already.  Can you imagine his fascination with a baby?  I can, and I want to witness it.


But right now I’m just so damn tired.  Please baby, I can’t handle much more of this.  I am a currently a horrible mom and wife due to the exhaustion and pain, and I don’t get to do anything fun anymore, so just, please.  Any time now.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dese Guys

Charles is hoping for a spot on the Seahawks’ roster:


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The neighborhood kids enjoy dogpiling on our front lawn, especially when Tony is in the mix (I think because he throws them around – at one point he had a kid hanging from each arm and was spinning).


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And this is what happened on Father’s Day:


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The boys slept in, I made blueberry banana pancakes for everyone, and then I went to church alone.  A nice, little Sunday. 


Still no baby.  But I do have sausage fingers, incurable heartburn, and I can no longer sleep in my own bed because my hips and pelvis are threatening to disintegrate, so I’m on the couch.  Think good thoughts for me, I am unsure as to how much more I can handle before giving up sanity entirely.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Difficult

There’s a kid at Charles’ school named Nicholas.  He has some problems… I don’t know what his home life is like, but I do know that his parents smoke and that he entered preschool at age 3 with some severe social problems and speech delays, and he is now almost 5 years old.  Nicholas has decided that he doesn’t like Charles.


Everyone likes Charles.  Charles is the kid in school who makes friends with everyone, and I hope that never changes.  It’s tough to keep that up, but I honestly hope he will forever be a social chameleon, finding ways to relate to anyone in any situation.  It’s a trait Tony has and that I envy (I’m a bit socially awkward, whereas Tony will eagerly enter into conversation and find common ground with ANYONE).  Charles is, for the most part, a great playmate.  He’s happy to follow others’ leads, he’s not bossy, and he doesn’t steal toys… much.  I am really proud of him, but also a bit annoyed that the only place he seems to act out is at home.  I mean, really, kid, cut me some slack.  I weigh a million pounds, I’ve been pregnant forever, and you just told me you wanted chocolate milk.  Now you’re throwing a fit because you don’t want chocolate milk?  Time Out.


I picked Charles up from school yesterday and he was outside with his class running around playing “fishing.”  The playground at his school is fantastic: 2 play structures, an old speedboat filled with sand, an airplane-shaped teeter-totter that seats, like, eight kids and teeters and totters in multiple directions, some climbing tubes, logs, and two playhouses.  Charles had finished playing fishing and ran over to one of the playhouses where Nicholas was playing with another little boy (the other little boy is a particular friend of Charles’ – close in age and energy level, from what I gather).  Nicholas closed the half door in Charles’ face and said, “Go away!  I don’t like you!”


Charles’ posture slumped, his smile wiped right off his face, and his feelings crumbled.  He started to cry and run toward me.  This was crying like I have never seen him do before – his feelings were hurt and he didn’t understand.  He buried his face in my shoulder and after trying to get Nicholas to apologize, the teachers explained a bit about what was going on and we left.  I felt like my heart would break.


It’s impossible to explain to a two-year-old that some people aren’t very nice.  That some people are mean to others because of various reasons.  Maybe Nicholas’s parents are mean to each other or to him.  Maybe he is mean because he doesn’t have any control at home.  Maybe he has a chemical imbalance. 


Oh, but I wish I could take the hurt away.  I wish that wiping his tears was enough.  Because I can’t be sure that Nicholas won’t be mean to him every day, and even though I know he has to learn to deal with kids like that, I wish he didn’t have to.  And I hope that it doesn’t turn him into a mean kid in turn.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summer Time

Thank God for this lovely weather, am I right?  Somehow, things are just easier when we can be outside and my small person can wear shorts and run around (Charles loves shorts – at first, he called them “daddy underwear” because daddy wears boxers).


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And also, this happens, because being a kid outside in good weather is exhausting (so is being dad):


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And yes, I’m still pregnant.  38 weeks, 2 days.  Which is further than I got with Charles, and I don’t think I like it.  This baby is much more active in the womb than Charles was and it is OUT OF ROOM, completely.  Feet in ribs, nose rubbing cervix, other limbs pushing out with alarming strength.  This is not comfortable at all.  I try to tell myself that it will all be over soon, but each day is an achy, exhausted eternity of creaky hips, nausea and indigestion, sugar and fruit cravings (seriously, it is not fair that I want to eat all the fruit that I can get my hands on because I always suffer unpleasant consequences!), naps, and trying not to complain too much.  Could this really go on for another THREE AND A HALF WEEKS? 


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Still growing…

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oh, Baby

There’s this point in late pregnancy where you almost can’t stand it anymore.  The wanting.  The needing to have your arms filled with the one that is still in your belly GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT.  But you don’t really have a choice in when this baby violently pushes its tiny self (except when you’re thinking about head-to-vag ratio, and then babies are NOT TINY, NOT AT ALL) out of you in a burst of wrath fit for a, well, a two-year-old, now that I know what two-year-old wrath is like.  And you really want and need this baby right now, even if you are scared sh*tless about having another child in your life, another needy newborn who will suck all your time and don’t you have another kid to love and parent and a business to run and a household to keep O. M. G.


I think that last time, my thoughts ran much more to the “oh holy jeez, what am I going to do with a baby” variety that they overshadowed the want and need for the baby in my womb.  Now, not so much.  Observe:


Crib fixed: check.

All gender-neutral clothes washed and folded: check.

Car seat clean and ready: check.

Nursery complete: check.

Nursing clothes clean and ready: check.

Hospital bag packed: check.

Diapers cleaned, resized, folded: check.

Bottles, nipples, pump ready to be sterilized last minute before use: check.

Garage remodel finished: check.



I’d like to be able to tell you that I feel like it’s going to happen soon, but labor doesn’t work like that.  At least in my (one) experience.  I didn’t have a days-long buildup to expelling Charles.  I felt a bit funny a few times earlier in the day, but didn’t know I was in labor until contractions started around 4pm, and hey, he was out before 10pm.  So the inexperienced guys at my office keep asking me if I will be there tomorrow, or Monday, or next week for a meeting, and How Should I Know? should probably just be written on the front of my t-shirt at this point.  I do know that the baby has dropped a bit, but sometimes he or she likes to creep back up, so that’s not definitive or anything.  I do know that I can’t wear my wedding rings anymore, but that might have more to do with the hot weather than the impending doom of late-onset pre-eclampsia.  I do know that I have days when I am so exhausted and achy that it would seem I was mere hours away from going into labor (yesterday), but I also have days like today, in  which I feel relatively good and cheery and awake.


The point of this all is that I am mentally and emotionally as prepared as I could get for this child.  If only that were enough.


Here’s what 37 weeks, 5 days looks like:


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whoa, mama!


And here’s what Charles looks like, in case you forgot:


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sleeping after a long day in the sunshine…


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A blur of activity at Jungle Playland

And a few sidenotes:


Today is my mom’s birthday!  She is so wonderful, I had kinda hoped I could give her a grandchild for her birthday, but she’ll just have to wait, I guess.


My nephew, Jack, broke his leg.  In Sarah and Andy’s position, I would probably welcome prayers (my guess is that they need them more than Jack, who will likely heal quite nicely).  Head on over to Landonville to show your support.


My poor intern.  So much has been thrown at her in the past few days that I am left feeling very sorry for her and also hoping that she doesn’t end the summer (or even the month of June) by regretting her decision to work for us.  If there’s one area of my life that could use more time before baby, it’s work and training her up.  She starts fulltime on Monday.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Video Monday

This is a couple months old, but still funny (and still a marvelous example of Charles’ spirit), so here you go:



And our young man is talking ever so much more since he moved up to preschool.  Full sentences, nearly all the time.  A vocabulary explosion (which leads me to believe that he always knew these words, just wouldn’t say them).  He’s still defiant and strong-willed, but better communication on his end has sure helped us to anticipate and meet his needs and wants a bit better, making things slightly less stressful as we prepare for a new helpless being.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is It Friday Yet?

The days are crawling by soooo sloooowly… I can hardly stand it.  I am uncomfortable, as you might imagine one would be at 36 weeks pregnant, I am tired, and I am experiencing the worst heartburn ever.  I know I’ll make it, but I might be a royal mess if I carry this baby to June 26, or (horror of horrors!) beyond.  No one wants a pre-term baby, but right at 38 weeks would be lovely.


There are a few really unattractive times during pregnancy.  The first is when you are green and barfing all the time.  Then, when you are fat, but don’t quite look pregnant yet.  For a while you have the “cute” stage where even though your arms are getting flabby, you have this nice, not-too-huge baby belly to rub and have people exclaim over and all your maternity clothes fit and you are “glowing” and happy.  Then, you reach the stage I am at now.  None of my clothes fit, they are all too short in the tops and too gappy in the bottoms.  My face is huge and my eyes have dark circles under them.  I look wan and wasted, I can’t eat a full meal, and very few things taste good.  People look at me as though I am a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any second.  It’s awful.


Our garage project was pushed back to next week (inciting only momentary panic! because I don’t honestly think I’ll have this baby before it’s done, but we’re still cutting things awfully close), but I did get the carseat cleaned and another base ordered.  I have started packing my hospital bag, which has begged the question: what can I possibly wear post-partum that will not make me look like I am wearing a giant diaper walking out of the hospital?  Oh, it’s incredibly vain to be thinking that, but seriously, the pads they give you after birth are MONSTROUS.  I think I am settled on a comfy skirt, nursing tank, and light overshirt.  It is, after all, June.  The crib is now at the correct height, but we lost the bitty parts needed to make it safe for the baby, so we’ll have to get those sent in soon – Tony’s on it, I believe.  And now I have to find an adorable unisex outfit for the baby to wear home.  I also need more “other” clothes for the baby, as Charles’ hand-me-downs are still MIA.  Time for onesie shopping!


There’s just too much to do, in between shopping and doctor’s visits and entertaining a toddler… all I want to do is sleep and eat leftover birthday ice cream cake.


Here’s a question for you, friends: should I go swimsuit shopping now for post partum swimwear and guess at a size, or should I wait until afterward, when I will be in hate with my post-partum flab?  I can’t quite determine which would be less bruising to the psyche.