Monday, February 19, 2007

Due Date

Today marks the end of my 40th week of pregnancy. It would if I were still pregnant, that is. But Grace made short work of that nine days ago with her renegade decision to arrive early. That may have been the first time any member of our family has arrived early. For anything. Ever.

As proud as I am of her promptness, I hope she doesn't continue this trend for the rest of her milestones. I'm enjoying her too much right now. I love the way she folds her legs up under her body, her enthusiasm for attacking any object that might be suckable, and how she purrs and sings in her sleep.

Her umbilical stump fell off today. When Sam's fell off, I left it sitting on the changing table for several weeks, unable to discard what I saw as the last remnant of the physical tie between us. Finally, when Coach asked if I had plans for the withered tissue or if it was merely decorative, I cut the metaphorical cord and tossed the physical one. I didn't procrastinate my trip to the trash can this time. But I did gaze at my sweet Grace for a few extra moments, hoping that the sheer force of my will could keep her little a little longer. I'll let you know if it works.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentiny Celebrations

The scene: I am at home, using the computer. Coach is at work, using the computer. We meet for a midafternoon chat.

3:38 PM
me: It's valentine's day, and I don't have anything planned.
Coach: Me either.3:39 PM I was just trying to decide whether to buy you carnations from the hospital lobby (that I don't think are all that great) or get something somewhere else (and risk my life traveling there) or just do nothing and tell you I love you anyway.
3:40 PM me: I was going to get you this fabulous thing that would be part you and part me. And it would hold our memories and create new ones for us and make us fall in love all over again, what with it being so great and all.
Coach: oh yeah? Sounds like a tall orderme: And then I had Grace on the 10th instead of the 14th.
Coach: ha
well, she's less tall
But she's a pretty great gift.
me: How 'bout some discounted valentine's candy tomorrow instead?
Coach: Now we're talkin'.

That's about how holidays go around here. We have celebratory intentions, but stuff happens. Take, for example, Sweetest Day, a completely made-up holiday that people around here celebrate mid October. As far as I can tell, its purpose is to ensure that dentists stay busy through the holiday season. Just in case Halloween doesn't do the trick (or treat).

Anyway, Coach came home from his shift on Sweetest Day eager to celebrate. He decided it would be fun to really buy $30 worth of the yummiest candy we could find and EAT IT. Sam and I thought that sounded like a pretty good idea. And then we got to the mall, and realized we are too cheap to be that impulsive and frivolous. So we shared a couple candybars from Godiva. They were good, but not quite the delicious indulgence I was hoping for.

That outing was reminiscent of our anniversary celebration last year. We ate at Wendy's. Or, more precisely, we ate in our car, after purchasing our value-menu meals at the drive-thru. We'd have asked you to join us, but we didn't have enough coupons to go around.

It's my fault, really. I'm always raining on the Coach's celebratory parade. Last year for my birthday, he got me a pair of Dansko shoes. He'd seen a shiny red pair on a co-worker and thought I'd like them too, so he asked her about them. She raved and raved, and Coach was sold. I really liked the shoes, but I needed a different size so took them back to make an exchange. And I found out how much they cost. It felt too extravagant for a stay-at-home mommy who doesn't really spend that much time on her feet. So I left, and never picked out new shoes in my size.

For my 30th birthday, the Coach spoiled me again. First, I stayed up way too late playing Zuma, the addictive video game the Coach bought for my birthday. And then I got to sleep in while Coach and Sam ran some mysterious errands. At one point during my lazy morning snooze, Coach came in to get something from our bedroom closet, with Sam trailing close behind him. Unable to contain his enthusiasm, Sam exclaimed "cake, candles, candy!" Coach said, "I have no idea what he's talking about." Hours later, I came downstairs to a birthday bonanza unlike any in my previous 29 years. It was everything Sam (and I) could hope for in a party.

And I guess that makes sense. Because the Coach is all I could hope for in a Valentine, and all Sam and Grace could want in a Dad. And even when all I can muster to show him how much I love him is the promise of past-date candy, he loves me even more. It's a good thing, because I love you too, Coach. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Baby’s winter warmth
usurps the biting bitter;
Wonderful new life.

God’s Grace is present.
Trailing fabled glory clouds,
she is innocent.

Perfect happiness—
Baby with her sweet mother
cuddling softly.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A "premium" baby doesn't just happen...

"I think I might be in labor," she said. My bleary eyes couldn't quite be certain, but the clock seemed to glow 4:30 a.m. This felt just like being awakened on a call night--waking from a deep sleep with an immediate demand to think clearly through the grog.

"How long between contractions?" I asked. She wasn't sure, so we fired up the Excel spreadsheet and started timing. She explained that she hadn't gotten much sleep because of the pain, so she had started watching one of our library videos on childbirth. Except that the video wasn't actually on childbirth, it was on pregnancy... and therefore its relevance was a bit limited seeing as how pregnancy was fixin' to end. Boss did pick up one piece of sage advice from the video though: "A premium baby doesn't just happen."

The contraction timing was equivocal, so we decided to wait. We didn't have much in the way of experience to compare it to, since last time we were hustled into an L&D suite to be induced and spent 3 days enduring all manner of labor inducing medications.

Boss spent the morning with her mother at a baby shower. She explained the pained looks she occasionally had by saying, "I might be in labor." Apparently whenever you make it tentative at all, people assume you must not be. When you're in labor, you'll know it, is the rule.

Home from the shower we timed the contractions again and made a call to the obstetrician. He said to head on in. We did and the triage folks were in no hurry, based on the Boss' calm demeanor. However, when they finally got around to checking her and found she was 5 cm dilated, things picked up a bit.

We settled into the L&D suite listening to some Bach and, well, laboring. It wasn't long until the epidural was in and Boss was able to rest a little easier, as seen here.

There was a short dispute regarding whether labor should be augmented with pitocin. Boss hadn't even been checked twice, so there was no evidence that things weren't progressing and I'm not a big fan of interventions for intervention's sake alone. But we acquiesced in a show of good faith. But before the drip could even be started, the nurse checked her and she was at 9+ cm. From door to delivery was 3-4 hours. Contrast this with the 3 days from door to delivery last time. I think Boss did well.

Grace had her eyes open taking in the world before she was even all the way delivered. When her chest was free she made a single cry to fill her lungs and then went completely silent. I was worried for a moment until I saw her pinking up nicely. Apparently, Grace just didn't feel that making a fuss would improve the situation any. She's practical like that. She's what you might call a premium baby.

Grace also wasted no time rooting around looking for food. She knew that was her immediate job, and didn't want to waste any time. Boss and I looked on in shock as Grace did everything that her brother never did--deliver after about 5 minutes of pushing, promptly breathe, immediately latch, fill out her own Apgar forms and sign her name in cursive.

We're pretty pleased with the results of this pregnancy, even though we managed to get a premium baby without the timely help of our library video's advice. Congratulations Boss and Grace!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

God's Grace

At about 7:15 this evening, God gave us Grace. She weighs 7 pounds, 6 ounces and is 20.5 inches long. The delivery was without complication and mother and baby are both unbelievably cute.

We have pictures, but no USB cable, so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

That's my boy

The Boss has been anticipating some hard adjustment for our little guy when his sister gets here. To help head off anxiety and discord as much as possible, she's checked out a baby girl doll from the library and encouraged Sam to be nice to said doll. The doll has been trying out the baby furniture, recently rescued from storage. And Sam seems to enjoy tucking in the baby at bedtime.

I have to admit, I've been a little bit alarmed to see him sleeping with and poring over the creature comforts of a foofie little pink doll.

So today I was quite pleased during nursery to see him pushing around a stroller not with a foofie dolly in it, but a toy computer. Oh, precious precious electronics. That's my boy!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Extreme Akim Update

I don't plan to do this every day. Keeping up with daytime television is YOUR responsibility, and I can't always be picking up the slack for you. But this one time I'll make an exception, because I hate to think of any of my loved ones missing out on the most hilarious courtroom drama ever.

Here's the rundown:

The plaintiff (we'll call him Myron, cause I never get to use the name Myron in real life), sues the defendant, Jezeboob (not her real name), for $5000 to cover the cost of breast implants paid for by Myron on Jezeboob's behalf. Jezeboob, who has since become engaged to someone else, maintains that she and Myron were "just friends" and that Myron paid for the surgery as a gift without, uh, strings attached. For his part, Myron claims that Jezeboob led him on to trick him into paying for her implants.

Onto the scene comes Jezeboob's witness: her new fiance! He decides this courtroom appearance is the perfect opportunity to kneel on the ground and present Jezeboob with a large diamond ring. So romantic. So ridiculous.

With so much drama before him, the Honorable Akim retires to his chambers to deliberate. In the meantime, the courtroom commentator polls the audience. Most respondents agree that Jezeboob's personal enhancements were obtained under false pretenses.

Upon his return, His Honor rules that Jezeboob owes Myron for the cost of her boob job. To facilitate payment, he has his bailiff confiscate the engagement ring just given to Jezeboob by her (now) incredulous fiance. But instead of handing the ring over to Myron, Judge Akim orders that ring be tied to a chicken, which the breast-obsessed plaintiff and defendant must chase. Whoever catches the chicken with the ring gets to keep it. The ring I mean. Oh yeah, and the chicken too.

What follows is probably the most comical two minutes of television ever filmed. The plaintiff and defendant, each in chicken costumes, enter a pen with a couple dozen chickens. They divide their time between tripping/tackling/impeding their human opponent and chasing chickens, who don't particularly want to be caught. There's a lot of pecking and squawking and biting. And the chickens are making quite a stir too.

And then ... when time is almost up ... Myron finds the chicken with the ring and holds it in the air--victorious! Proudly, and without irony, Myron tells the courtroom commentator: "Now I have my money and my dignity back."

Amen, my feathered friend. Amen.