Archive for the "Me Being a Mom" Category

Ruth’s Birth Story

Aug
14th
2014

I seriously thought I’d be pregnant forever. After almost 43 weeks in my belly (yes, you read that right), Ruth Margaret Gable is finally here!

Ruth Margaret Brand New

After that last post I wrote, I was sure I’d be going into labor at any moment. Like I said, since about 37 weeks, I had been having a ton of false labor pains. I’d sit through a few hours of contractions, getting more and more uncomfortable, sometimes I’d make a call or send a text to my midwife to give her a heads up, and then pfffffft. Like clockwork, they’d fizzle out and I’d go to bed with the sads. I had made up my mind since the very beginning though. I wasn’t going to get my little grubby hands involved in any way this time. I wanted my labor to start naturally and to have as little medical intervention as possible. I realize this might not be an option for everyone, so I’m very thankful for the chance to experience pregnancy, labor and delivery in the way I felt the most comfortable and in control as I was able. After two previous forced starts to labor (castor oil and pitocin), I really wanted a different experience. I have to fess up though… I did drink a bit of castor oil somewhere around 41 weeks in a moment of weakness, but most of it immediately came back up and gave me nothing but a bad case of gas for a few hours. Which, let’s be real… wasn’t all that different from every other day of the pregnancy.

On the morning of August 2nd, I woke up feeling a little off.  I was just sort of lounging on the couch all morning watching HGTV and was feeling some period-like cramps, which I pretty much dismissed as another bout of false contractions. I was going to be pregnant forever, remember? Around 11 or so, the four of us got up and around and took a trip to Walmart to get some plumbing parts for our leaky toilet. I said something to Justin about how funny it would be if I was really in labor and didn’t have a working toilet. HAHAHA, SOOOO HILAR.

Walmart was Walmart and I wanted to leave after about 3 minutes. I was more agitated than I had felt in a long time and was still feeling contractions, but I wasn’t quite convinced they were the real deal yet. On to Target we went.

It was about the time the kids were looking at a giant book about Legos that I realized. I timed a good handful of contractions with an app on my phone as we leisurely strolled through Target and they were about 45 seconds and 4 minutes apart. Welp, I guess it’s time to grab that gigantic tub of licorice I’ve been craving and skidaddle.

In the parking lot, I called my midwife. She had checked me out the day before and I dilated to about a 4, but after discussing it and considering all the starts/stops, we decided it’d be okay if she headed out of town to go to her granddaughter’s birthday party for a day. By the time I called her to let her know I thought this could be the real deal, she was already in her car with her husband and on their way. I had a back up midwife lined up if anything like this happened, so I wasn’t really worried. Plus, I kind of still didn’t really believe I was really in labor. I KNOW. Looking back and thinking about how I had to stop and breathe through contractions and how I even passed the makeup aisles without so much as flinching in their direction, HOW COULD I NOT HAVE KNOWN? This is the third time I had done this, for Pete’s sake. It’s almost like I needed it in writing, signed by the President or something.

My midwife suggested I go on home, take a bath and eat some lunch. Usually, relaxing a bit will cause false contractions to ease off, so that’s what we were trying to do. I did what she suggested and while I was in the shower, Justin was scrambling around the house, straightening up and making a bed for me on the couch. He also fixed the toilet at lightning speed and I am forever grateful. He was such an angel throughout this entire thing… More on that later.

So after being home for only about half an hour, I was starting to feel legit pains:

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(Apologies if the exposed midriff is causing you to stumble.)

After Justin took that photo, I had to use the bathroom like whoa, so I hung out in there for about 20 minutes (TMI, don’t you love it? Poop and labor = BFF). I could hear him pacing the living room and making some phone calls. My midwife, who was still on her way out of town, gave him the number for the back up midwife. He called her and she was 40 minutes away. Yikes. Next was a phone call to my parents, who were supposed to pick up Maddie and Jack at this point, but they were 2 hours away. Then a call to my doula, who was busy at another birth. I remember leaning on the bathroom counter and Justin came in to tell me that we were on our own for at least the next 40 minutes and we seriously just laughed. During the pregnancy, we talked about what would happen if he had to deliver the baby and they covered it in the home birth class, but we never formally planned for it to ACTUALLY happen. I can’t describe what was going on in my head at that moment, but even though everything I had envisioned was seemingly slipping through my fingers, I somehow knew it was going to turn out more than fine. The peace was indescribable… as were the poop pains. Back to the toilet, brb.

A few minutes later, I emerged a new woman — a woman in honest-to-goodness active labor. I ended up on my knees on the floor in front of the couch, leaning my upper body over the seat cushions. I have no idea how I chose that place to have the baby. I had tossed around a few possibilities beforehand, thinking maybe it would happen in our bedroom or bathroom. The tub, perhaps? Candles lit and relaxing music playing? The fact that I landed in one of the most random spots in the house without any recollection of consciously choosing it proves what I had heard about home birth and your instincts just leading you to settle in the right spot for you to birth the baby. Sounds kumbaya my Lord, but honestly, it did end up being the best place for me to have the baby. By the way, there was no time for candles or music. I labored to the soothing sounds of Jumanji on TV in the next room where my kids were hanging out. Screeching monkeys really puts you in the frame of mind for birthing, FYI.

Justin called my midwife, put her on speaker and set the phone on the couch about a foot from my head. I clearly remember NOT wanting to talk or be helped in any way. I wanted to be done. I screamed, I cried a little, and she calmly coached me through it. She told me to put my pain to good use and bear down through the contractions. Justin was behind me (sorry, honey) and was doing everything my midwife instructed him to do. I’ll spare you some of the details there. Water had started leaking, he was checking for the baby’s head, you get it. I can’t remember exactly what he was doing that whole time, but he was encouraging and sweet throughout it all. And remarkably calm! I felt so safe with him there.

I felt the baby’s head move down at one point, then again during the next contraction. I was like, “ohhh craaaap, this is really happening” and my midwife could tell by my screeching what was going on. The baby was almost out. She said, “Okay, Justin and Morgan. I need you to look in each other’s eyes and agree that you still don’t want to call 911. Are you ready to do this?” Through blurred, mascara-teared eyes, I looked at Justin and we both said “Yes.” I’m sure I looked so hot in that moment. Like, irresistible even. Justin’s expression was the best though. I’ll never forget it. Excited, a little nervous about the unknown, but still confident. And dang cute. I think he looked the cutest he’s ever looked to me on that day.

You guys, it felt like I had to take the biggest poop of my life. I knowww, I’m sorry for the repeated mentions of poop, but it’s honestly what it felt like! The pain in my butt was literal and it was something I hadn’t felt with the previous epidurals. It. Was. Intense. But it didn’t last long.

I pushed once and the baby’s head came out. No time for 911 anyway at that point. Justin held it, as I was still leaning over the couch. Right at that moment, the back up midwife busted through the door, slid across our living room floor while simultaneously snapping on her gloves. It was kind of Matrix-y and awesome how she flew in like that. She put her hands down there to catch the baby as I pushed her out. She passed Ruth through my legs and I held her for the first time. Baby Ruth. She was here and she was perfect!

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Don’t be fooled by this picture. This was about 10 minutes after I had Ruth, I totally wasn’t wearing pants and still had to deliver the placenta. Buckets of fun! That part took three flippin hours and was honestly the most painful part. My back up midwife kept saying, “How do you spell relief? P-L-A-C-E-N-T-A” and she was not joking. Getting that thing out was the best feeling ever. Then I could actually take a shower, snuggle my sweet baby and eat some Chipotle.

Our sweet Maddie and Jack were in the next room the entire time, poking their heads in and out to check on me. Maddie even unlocked the door for the midwife and handed Justin a few things during the crazy part of my labor. Justin and I had done our best to prepare them, but I think my screaming kind of took them by surprise. They were incredibly sweet to the baby when she arrived though, and that hasn’t stopped since.

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More posts to come, as I’m sure I forgot a few details and I’ll have some questions to answer. I’ll get to that soon. For now, know that we’re in heaven with our family of 5 and are all enjoying every second with our precious Ruthie.

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“Dear Tooth Fairy, I can explain…”

Jan
28th
2014

My baby just lost her first tooth!

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Unfortunately, it was lost and, ahem, swallowed while she was eating a bag of Target popcorn. It’s all very fitting, really. So tonight, we’re going to write the tooth fairy a note and leave it under Maddie’s pillow, explaining the mishap. I’m sure she’ll understand.

14 Weeks – Baby #3

Jan
17th
2014

I have officially reached the stage of “Is she pregnant or is that a beer gut?” You know, where maternity clothes are still too roomy and your pre-pregnancy clothes don’t flatter. Or button. And you kind of expect everyone to just know that you are with child, but not everyone does, nor are they as obsessed with that fact as you are. Sometimes they might kind of get confused and don’t know what to say to you so they just avoid the topic altogether until you find a way to bring it up all nonchalantly in the conversation like, “Oh, I’m just on my way to pick up some lemonade at the store and DID YOU KNOW MY BABY IS THE SIZE OF A LEMON?” And then they’re all, “I thought you might be pregz! Congratz”, but you know that during your entire conversation, they were staring you straight in the eye and pretending to listen, but were really just having an intense inner-struggle over whether or not to bring up your belly.

Or you know, they just didn’t notice because you don’t look that much different yet and you’re just paranoid. (No, YOU’RE paranoid!).

Something I’ve noticed is that maternity clothes are only super cute when you’re not pregnant and happen to be walking by the maternity section. I walked through the section on the regular whenever I wasn’t pregnant and it was the same thing errytime… awww, to have a cute belly and dress it all cute and be all cute! When you’re actually pregnant, it’s NOT THE SAME and everything makes you feel 900 years old and 900 pounds. So I’m trying to stretch out the regular clothes as long as I can.

Enter, this item. I saw this cute-ish metallic-ish sweatshirt and wanted to see if it would work.

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I quickly learned it did not. ABORT. ABORT.

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After a handful of items that did not fit the bill (and having two melting down children in the dressing room with me) I just went with my cami for the shot.

14 weeks

P.S. The rubber band trick is totally the rage with my pants right now. And it happens to be one of Maddie’s tiny little ponytail holders, so I expect it to snap at any given moment.

The Beast

Dec
20th
2013

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You know that scene in The Sandlot where they’re having a camp out and telling the scary story? At one point, they’ve reached complete unity in their understanding of this foul creature, and simultaneously they all eerily whisper, “THE BEAST.”

That.

I’ve used this special cart before and I guess it was like childbirth, in that I completely forgot how painful and grotesque the experience actually was. “Sure, kids! Hop on!” says I, Cool Mom. I mean, I could have carried a handheld basket because I really only had to buy like 2 things, but oh please. Too simple!

Pushing this over the yellow bumps of death at the entrance was enough to leave me gasping for air. I had to take a breather at the Dollar Spot. From there, it continued to spiral down into a pit of despair. Despair and surprisingly, laughter. This thing is like, 9 feet long, and with the Christmas crowd out and about, it took extreme caution on my part not to run over everyone in my path! I kept busting up laughing because turning corners was just ridiculous. I have no other words to describe it. And I was getting stuck on racks of clothing and and and… the list goes on, my friends.

The best part of the experience was noticing who gave a turd about my misfortune and who didn’t even mind. I think I ran over about 9 toes and no one got annoyed. I had a few moms laugh along with me, nodding their heads in sympathy, but my favorite was an older Asian man in the canned food aisle. We were at one end and he turned and began walking toward us. I was already trying my hardest to move the cart to the right side to make enough room for him. As he got closer, he started laughing and smiling with THE most sincere expression I’ve ever seen. It was the sweetest thing. He’s like, “That looks like a tough one!” chuckle chuckle. I bet he’d make a good grandpa. I kind of wanted to hug him. He might have called security at that point, but yeah.

Anyway, this thing? Funny, but never again. I brought it up on Facebook and all my friends chimed in with their own stories. Everyone knows the legend of The Beast.

 

Who I am outside the crop box

Sep
09th
2013

Update: A few friends and I have started tagging our photos on Instagram that fall #outsidethecrop. Take a look at what others are posting and if you’d like, include your own. :)

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I posted this earlier today on Instagram with this caption:

Was going to share some of my drugstore beauty buys for fall and then saw dead Spiderman and all the lovely power cords in the distance. Just a reminder of who I really am outside the crop box. #momlife

I immediately thought, “Dang, I need to write about this!” I realized how often I’ve posted very strategically cropped, staged, planned photos and pretended they were my real life. I think we’re all guilty of it in some shape or form. Raise your hand if you pause to grab “the cute mug” and make sure there are no chips in your nail polish before snapping a shot of you drinking your morning coffee. I get it! We all like pretty things and it’s inspiring to see that type of stuff. I mean, how boring would life be without cute nail polish? Uh, VERY. But I started thinking about myself and the whys behind my perfectly planned shots. Why am I painting this picture of myself? Why did I force my kid to smile and stand still? Why do I care about the spacing between my new lipsticks? I’m telling ya, it got pretty deep in my brain parts for a few seconds there.

I’m not the first one to talk about how Instagram/Facebook/the internet is a place to pretend (oh how I love some of those Instagram parody videos). There’s a reason the crop box exists. We can pick and choose what to reveal to the world in that tiny square and that’s totally okay. It’s YOUR life, after all. If that photo above had a pair of my underwear crumpled up the background, you best believe I would leave that out. Or like, a dirty diaper or body hair or something. That’s a no. Too real. I’m just realizing that for me and what I put out for the world (or my 10 friends) to see, I do like showing the whole, real picture sometimes. I think it’s important to show that my house is messy and my kids can be complete brats and I have a double chin if I don’t tilt my head a certain way and some days I totally mess up when I’m filling in my eyebrows and other days, they look fantastic. That’s LIFE, man. And we’re all living it imperfectly.

I have a friend who jokes with me when she comes over to my house. She’ll say, “Did you frantically mop the floor before I got here?” because she knows me. I have struggled with that ‘perfection’ thing my whole life. Did you know I took gymnastics as a kid? No? That’s because it was ONE class and I never talk about it. I sat there and watched the older girls who had been going for years, doing flips and all this circus craziness and I couldn’t even walk a straight line because I was so uncoordinated. I ran out of there crying to my mom and told her I never wanted to go back. Why? Because I didn’t even want to try if I wasn’t going to do it perfectly on the first shot and I didn’t want to fail in front of everyone. Issues, much? As my Grammy would say, “IT’S A CLUE!”

I’m so thankful that I have friends and family who know the real me and love me anyway. I’ve played pretend and strived for perfection for too long. Newsflash: It’s unattainable. I’m the one with the dirty kitchen floor who hates to mop and I won’t freak out if you drop by my house unannounced before I get a chance to clean… anymore. I will make you wait outside until I hide my underwear though, because that’s just sick.