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The Journey to My Liam

So on Feb. 28 of last year (2013), I looked like this:

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Yes, I was wearing flip-flops in the winter because my feet were so swollen. And no, I would not smile for the camera. For comparison, this was me right before I found out I was pregnant:

mollys iphone 288

Forty pounds later, I was ready to have my baby!

One year ago today was Liam’s due date and also the day I entered the hospital – but not because I was in labor. In fact, my body was nowhere near ready. My little stinker didn’t arrive until five days later on March 5.

I entered the hospital because it was discovered that I had pre-eclampsia.

When writing from my blog was published on CNN, I read through some of the comments. I had planned NOT to, recognizing the types of comments trolls usually leave, however, the editors asked me to engage with people who left comments to show that I am a real person. So I did. Wish I hadn’t. Live and learn.

This comment bothered me the most: “You have a baby! Just be grateful! You have no idea what some people go through to have a baby.” And you have no idea what I went through to have a baby. (Side note, what the heck about my article made people think I’m ungrateful for my child? Sheesh. Moving on.)

Over the course of the next five days I am going to be chronicling my journey to my Liam. It’s a journey that is amazing to me, sad, extremely happy, joyous, terrifying, and to this day, still traumatizing.

If I do bone-headed mom-things in the next five days I will still be sure to write confessions about them, but be warned: I plan to post confessions that are very dear to me and very heartbreaking at the same time. But I’ll keep them lighthearted and leave out the gross. I promise.

Starting now.

One year ago today at 10:00 pm I got a call from my midwife – it was confirmed – I had pre-eclampsia and needed to come in to be induced before it go worse. I was both pissed and relieved.

Pissed because I did not want to be induced. I had planned to have a drug-free labor and delivery with my midwife and my doula, championing my womanhood, birds singing, rainbows overhead, etc. etc. 🙂 Also I was pissed because WTF, MAN!? I had eaten healthy and worked out my entire pregnancy (kickboxing, running and lifting until 28 weeks, instructing kickboxing and lifting classes until 32 weeks, and then swimming laps to the end – in fact, I swam laps with my husband this very day, one year ago. I highly recommend pregnant swimming – you feel like a floating elephant, and it is awesome). I knew that pre-eclampsia could affect any pregnant woman, no matter of her health, but I was still mad and kind of felt like I had failed.

However, I was also relieved. I was relieved because OMG I was uncomfortable. And, I was excited to meet my baby, of course.

So we left the house and the journey began. At midnight I was hooked up to everything I hadn’t wanted to be hooked up to: an IV, external fetal monitor, and was started on cervidil because I was no where near ready for labor. We went to sleep that night with the anticipation of soon meeting our little one.

No one told me “soon” could mean five days later…

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Tubby-Time

I did it! I finally did it! Liam took a bath without the infant recliner! And he’s still living, so I can breathe a bit easier.

My son’s new anthem: “Cuz I’m freeeee! Free-tubin’!”

Yeah! Free-tubin’ (aka bath time without the infant bath recliner) is a hit! In fact, Liam loves it. We’ve done it twice now, and I only almost killed him once. The first free-tub experience I totally underestimated the ratio of slipperiness between him and the bathtub and almost dropped him on his back/head – the look of terror he gave me is indescribable. But I caught him, and he quickly went back to playing with his rubber duckies and splashing water into his eyes.

Things I  learned from free-tubin’:

  1. Don’t be a wuss – when your baby has outgrown the infant bather, dude, just put him in the tub. Bath time becomes fun-time!
  2. My son’s fascination with the water faucet is going to give me a heart-attack. Seriously, little guy, please stop trying to kill yourself on this large, metal object.
  3. Liam loves to splash in the tub water – but when he splashes water in his eyes he looks at me like “Mom, what did YOU just do to me!”
  4. And finally, bath water is most definitely for drinking. Oh wait, no, no it’s not. However, this cracked me up – Liam bent all the way over and sucked in tub water. Of course he starts gagging and coughing and gives me the “OMG” look. So what’s he do next? Bends over and sucks in more water. Repeat gagging and coughing. He is determined. I think he is going to repeat this every bath until he can successfully drink tub water without gagging. Gross.

I would end this post with one of the many free-tubin pics I took of my cute little guy to prove that I took the plunge and bathed him big-boy style, but I know that if I did, my son will grow up and one day seek revenge on me for posting his bare ass and cute Buddha-belly on the internet. 🙂 Sorry, but not sorry.

Until next time.

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Bye-bye-bath-recliner

Tonight I will embark on a new journey… a journey that is long over-due, but that I am still terrified of: I’m going to give Liam a bath without the baby bath-recliner.

liam and his duck

AHH! Seriously – I’m scared. I have this very real fear that he will be super excited in the water, tip over, hit is head on the tub and crack it open. (We all know how much he LOVES water, ha! But seriously, he got over the pool and loves the bath).

Anyway it’s time to ditch the baby-recliner. He’s a few short weeks away from being one year old (how the hell did that happen?) and besides, as you can see in the picture above, he has completely outgrown the baby bath-recliner… like months ago… but I’ve been too afraid to try anything else.

Correction – I did try one other thing. On the advice of a few friends, I bought him this foam duck mat thing to sit on in the tub. I hated it.

  1. I spent the whole bath time freaking out he was going to tip over (my friends are braver than me), and
  2. That thing sucked to try to dry – it was like a giant sponge and I could not for the life of me get all the water out. I only used it once and it still smells like old water stank.

So that’s that plan – tonight we bathe, sans recliner. We’ll see what he thinks. We’ll see what I think.

P.S. I may very well chicken out and put him in a laundry basket, in the tub. Other moms have posted this little “life-hack” on Facebook… I know, I know… he could easily tip the laundry basket over too, but if it eases this transition, I’m all for it. You have full permission to call me a wuss.

Stay tuned!

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Of dogs and babies

If I could write a letter to my two huge, adorable, loving, and protective German Shepherds, it would go something like this:

Dear Dogs,

I appreciate your enthusiasm for childcare and knack for cleaning, but my son is not a walking smorgasbord nor is he your puppy. The baby loves you too, but please refrain from:

  1. Using your agile tongues to clean his little teeth;
  2. Providing real-time food cleanup by sticking your noses into the leg holes of the high chair;
  3. Cleaning the ear wax out of his ears;
  4. Patrolling the nursery door during nap time and barking at any sign of movement;
  5. Grooming his little head of hair into a mo-hawk, held in place with copious amounts of slobber; and most of all
  6. Humping the baby. Just don’t. That is all.

Teddy and Rosie: Protect and serve.

Teddy and Rosie

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Baby-proofing

Is there really such a thing? I mean, seriously…

Now that Liam is walking like this adorable little bobble-head, I have come to this conclusion: You either baby-proof everything, or nothing. There is no in between. 

We are the nothing-ers. Well, except for those little plastic outlet covers – but I’m not sure that counts. We also have one baby gate installed, but it’s not for the baby – it’s for the dogs. These two things, however, are nothing compared to actual baby-profing, which includes tactics such as:

  • Mounting furniture to walls
  • Installing those little stoppers on cupbaords and drawers
  • Baby gates at every stairway or door
  • Plastic edge covers for sharp edges on furniture 
  • Rubber matting on hardwood floors
  • … ummm, I ‘m probably missing things because as I mentioned, we are the nothing-ers when it comes to baby-proofing.

Here’s what I figure:

  1. Liam is 11 months old. He’s never going to be off chillin’ by himself or exploring the house. One of us will always be with him.
  2. We want him to learn boundaries – of course there are large pieces of furniture that would be awful if they tipped over, but if we mount them to the wall and let him climb all over them, how is he ever going to learn he’s not supposed to climb all over them? 
  3. We can move cleaning chemicals, etc. away from floor-level. Honestly, I’m just too lazy to have to deal with child-locks on all my cupboards.
  4. We have hardwood floors. They are hard. Liam is going to have to learn they are hard, just as he is learning about gravity while practicing walking.

We can’t cover the whole world in rubber for him. And even if we could, I don’t think we would – how would he ever learn about the world if mom and dad continuously sugar-cote it for him?

When I was in elementary school in Northern Minnesota, I remember my parents telling me never to stick my tongue to metal on the playground during the winter. They told me it would stick. I heard them loud and clear – but how did I really learn not to stick my tongue to metal? By sticking my tongue to metal. It got stuck. I freaked out and pulled it off and my tongue bled and it sucked. But I had to learn that for myself. Had my parents covered all outside metal with rubber, I never would have learned this.

Of course, there are exceptions to all my baby-proofing “nothings.” And as my son becomes a toddler we may need to change up our tactics a bit, because obviously, we want him to live to adulthood. That is priority one.

My dad once told me he is amazed little boys grow up at all, because all little boys seem to have death wishes by climbing things, jumping off of things, and flipping over the handlebars on their bikes. But until we get there with Liam, I just plan to continue following this little dude around all day. And loving it. 🙂

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Poop!

WARNING! This post is about poop. Like the entire thing. I shit you not. Read on if I haven’t soiled our relationship yet.

Do you ever find yourself being just a bit too curious about things? I do – like all the time. Take tonight for instance:

We use cloth diapers (go BumGenius, go!) – so that means that every night before I go to bed, I go through the diaper wet/dry bag from daycare and dump all the poop in the toilet. How I got this job, I don’t know… probably because my husband has to deal with the poop in the yard of two giant German Shepherds – we gotta keep the shit around here equal.

Anyway –

While I’m dumping Liam’s loads, I notice that his favorite food (peas) is pretty much rolling off the diapers into the toilet, because he’s pooped them out whole! WTF!?

 

What is the meaning of this? Also – gross. 

I jump into action – internet research! My mind is racing – is my son’s digestive track not working correctly? OMG – am I going to have to stop feeding him the normal food that he loves so much? Finally, I leave a message on one of the mothering FB groups I’m part of – other mothers assure me that this is normal, and remind me that even adults poop gross things sometimes. Baaahahaha. I love it, because it’s true.

Everybody poops. I just never thought so much or so hard about poop until I became Liam’s mom. I leave you with one of my all-time favorite pictures of me and Liam. He was about two or three months old. We were at a reunion of the families in our Bradley Method birth classes. I had just finished bragging to the other mothers about how awesome our cloth diapers were and that we’d never had a blow-out. And that’s when I noticed the baby poop dripping down my leg and on my feet. Thank you, Liam. 🙂 Loves you!

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Free at last

This weekend I did something glorious. Something so freeing and magnificent.

I got out of the house for almost five hours BY MYSELF. Two of those five hours were spent driving, which in itself doesn’t sound amazing at all. But, ohhhh…. it was. Because I was ALONE. It took me about 20 minutes to realize the full magnitude of what this meant, and when I did, I took full advantage. 

I turned on the radio and blasted rock music louder than I have in almost a year. 

I felt free. 

I felt alive.

I felt AWESOME. 

Rockin’ out in the car is one of those things we don’t appreciate until we have little people with little needs, little ears, and BIG voices in our back seat who cannot tolerate loud music, in so many ways. 

During those two hours of driving, I felt like this:

Even though I really drive a Corolla and feel accomplished if I shower on the weekends. 

Bahhhahaha – you get the point. 

It was nice to step outside “myself” for a bit. So the next time you’re out, by yourself, with an empty car seat in the rear view mirror, seriously – crank the volume on your tunes – you will be glad you did.