Monday, October 26, 2009

A Love Story...

This is my nightly 20 minute vigil to make sure that Jacob is going to sleep and not crying or fussing, and this survey was posted on our message boards, so I thought it would be fun to fill it out. It's about my husband.

how long have you know each other: I think we met nearly ten years ago, but we really started spending more time together eight years ago.

where did you meet: At his apartment. He was my best guy friends' roommate for long enough that my friend's wife and I refer to them as "life partners".

love at first sight: Oh hell no! I thought he was a computer geek, and he thought I was loud and obnoxious. We were both right.

where did you go on your first date: Well, it depends on which date we're referring to. There were many nights spent visiting the roommate at his part time Pizza Hut job, but we were really just friends then. For Christmas the first year we were friends, he got me ballet tickets, roses, and I bought a new dress. I'd say that's a date, especially since I'm pretty sure we slept in the same bed afterwards.

how long did you date before he popped the question: Four years! Although there was a very sweet "secret" engagement done about 6 months in with a gumball machine ring.

how did he pop the question: The long story is a secret, and involves an unsuccessful first try. The real story involves a December carriage ride around our historic area downtown, with a stop at Krispy Kreme to warm up. I knew he was going to propose and was just waiting for the right moment. I remember sitting in KK looking at him, thinking "this feels right, I hope he does it now" just before he asked. He flashed the ring under the table because there were some pretty shady characters at the next table and well, our getaway car only goes about 5 miles an hour, so he didn't want everyone to know we were packing diamonds. We asked a lady to take our picture, she asked if we were from out of town. She laughed nervously when we told her it was a special occasion and said, "At Krispy Kreme?!" in a strange way. It was perfect. Afterwards he was going to take me to a lovely restaurant downtown but I wasn't hungry, so we ate hot dogs at Target.

when did you get married (if not married yet, date set?): November 5, 2006. Our third anniversary is just around the corner.

And our beautiful son is sleeping peacefully.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wonder what kind of face the cow was making back?

My son is growing so fast. He noticed these animal toys on his bouncer this week and has been staring that cow down for days. He smiles at the duck, but just does not like that cow!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mother Knows Best

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I have a wonderful husband who already has been a shining example of what a dad should be. Whenever I have been even close to my breaking point because of hormones, a crying baby, a neurotic dog, and a house that desperately needs an organization fairy, he has been there to swoop in, grab my son, and say, "you need a break. Go take a bath or a walk or just get away for a little while." He also takes every Friday night with the baby, getting up to change him and bring him to me in bed for a meal before putting him back to sleep. Sometimes this seems ridiculous because why should we both lose sleep, but you would be shocked how much easier it is to fall asleep when I only have to wake up for 15 minutes as opposed to 45. We also have an agreement that when I go back to work, he will actually do this Fri-Sun nights. What a saint. And every time I see the two of them together, I scramble for my camera because I am reminded how lucky I am to have these two boys that adore me and each other.

However, I learned tonight that even sainthood has it's limits. Like fingernail clipping. And the bedtime routine. ::Sigh::

Around 7, Jacob and I were happily playing on the floor, switching between tummy time and smiley time, when I decided that it would be a good time to clip his nails. Mistake...instant screaming and tiny little hands that were moving so fast I may have accidentally nipped skin. My dear husband got on the floor with us and for 7 blissful fingers kept baby boy occupied by talking, singing, and making faces. Then he quit...just stood up without saying anything and got back into his recliner. WTH? Haven't you heard the phrase "when you start something, finish it?" I let him know that I wasn't happy he quit on us, and asked him if he was ever going to do any of the hard parts of baby-raising, and he replied that he'd be happy to cut his fingernails if I would show him how. I reminded him that there was no instruction manual for these things and that somehow I, his brother, and anyone else that has ever had a baby just somehow figured out how to do it, so I'm sure he could give it a try sometime.

I think he was feeling guilty for not doing enough, so he decided to put Jacob to bed while I was cleaning the kitchen. Major FAIL. Poor dad...he tried so hard, but he just doesn't have mom's touch. Or her swaddling skills. Or her breastmilk. He came downstairs with a screaming baby, giving me a look that just breaks my heart. It's part sheepish, but mostly it's all full of guilt and sadness that he upset our son and added to my stress level. Thanks god he wasn't crying, because that would have dissolved me into tears as well. It made me think for the first time that for most men, it's got to be incredibly difficult to be a first time dad of an infant. He wants to be able to soothe Jacob and calm him down, and about 60% of the time he does, but deep down, there really is just something about mom that babies respond to.

I'll try to remember this when Jacob is twelve, telling me how mean I am and then running off to play Playstation with his cool dad.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Grass is Always Greener

My baby is seven weeks old (as of yesterday) and has been sleeping 7 or more hours at a time since we started him in his crib a week and a half ago. I should be over the moon, overjoyed, and estatic that I have a little boy that I can swaddle, lay down in his crib, and turn his lights and music rainforest machine on and he will fall asleep. And I am, I promise. I get to enjoy an hour or two with my husband before we snuggle into bed together. Last night I drank a beer with dinner because little boy was so tired that he went to bed at 7:30. I actually get to sleep with my husband again, and let my dog into bed with us to cuddle.

However, and I don't want to jinx myself here, I have to go back to work in less than 3 1/2 weeks, and it's hit me that if my kid is going to bed between 7:30 and 8, I will only have about 2 hours with him every evening. What?! So, as much as I love being able to sleep for at least a four hour block each night, and as much as I love knowing that my son loves being in his crib and is advanced enough to put himself to sleep there, some part of me, the mommy part that starts crying while I'm watching him fall asleep with his perfect little lips puckered, sort of wants him to cry a little.

Just enough that I can swoop him into my arms and rock him to sleep. Because he just had a bath and he smells so wonderful and the feeling of his tiny little hand rubbing up and down my shoulder is the absolute greatest thing I've ever felt. And because walking away when he's smiling up at me is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sanitation Station

Say what you will about hand sanitizer. (Yes, I'm looking at you, hippies, and all the stats about how it makes you less immune to germs and all that junk.) When your baby is born during the H1N1 flu pandemic, and your husband was born to a mother that wouldn't allow them to touch "anything" in public restrooms (and also shared that when she was growing up her mom would stand them on the toilet seat to pee in public restrooms so that no part of them touched the nasty parts), then hand sanitizer is a must. At least for the first two weeks...we've gradually slacked off since then.

I was a little surprised that most everyone was okay with the over-cleanliness required to hold our new baby boy (maybe I'm dirtier than I think?) Especially the fact that my stubborn dad seemed to take it in stride. However, there was one family member (and I love him dearly and he knows it so I hope he doesn't get offended) who had a raised eyebrow and actually talked back to my husband! Now, my brother in law is very laid back and easygoing, and totally oblivious to what anyone thinks of him. He goes with the flow and assumes that people like him, and to his credit I don't know anyone that doesn't like him, but he was skeptical about the cleanliness test. "Do I really need that? I just washed my hands," he said as he eyed the hand sanitizer in my husband's hands, ready to pump. "He's only about a week old, so yes," my husband replied. "Well, dude, this is going to be the cleanest baby in the world." I almost died internally. It amazes me that these two guys are so different yet get along so well. Mostly because their wives are total opposites and like to be at each others' throats. (We have an excuse...we're sisters.)

The nice thing about the story is that this is one thing that my husband and sister (who are usually waiting to see who will pick the next fight when they're around each other) are on the same side in this one. For one of the only times I can remember in the eight or so years these boys have been in our lives, I saw my sister defend my husband when she said, "sweetie, he's a really little baby and he can't even fight a cold yet, so it's not unreasonable." At that moment, I really was like a proud mama bear watching her cubs help each other out. Not to mention relieved that I didn't have to mediate another fight between them.

Ain't family grand?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mommy Brain -vs- Pregnancy Brain

Today is a busy husband and I are going on our first alone date night since baby boy was born and we're very excited for hockey and beer. But I have time for a short story.

When I was pregnant, my husband went to a conference for work one morning where he could not be reached. This particular morning also happened to be the time that I thought my work keys were inside my purse, which was locked in his trunk. Since I had the car keys, I called my boss to let her know I would be late and hopped in the truck to try to drive around the parking lot of this hotel in Raleigh trying to find my car, and the sacred keys. Halfway there I realized how ridiculous this plan was, and then started really thinking things through. I could remember bringing my purse in the night before, so they couldn't be in the trunk, right? I turned around 10 miles in and decided to check at home first. Sure enough, when I opened the door to the house my purse was hanging on the banister. Keys inside...

I thought this could not be outdone as a pregnancy brain moment (keep in mind I was hysterical the whole time). Until yesterday.

My son is usually hanging out in his bouncer seat next to the shower when I bathe every day. Sometimes if he gets really upset, after I'm finished bathing I'll bring him in with me and let the water run over his back, which works wonders to soothe him. Well, yesterday I did this and got out of the shower, making sure to wrap him in his towel and keep him warm. After I took care of him and he was settled in a safe place, I started to get dressed, only to realize that I had never actually bothered to put a towel or robe on myself, and I was dripping wet. I seriously forgot to dry off! Who does that?

I guess it proves that once you have kids, you literally do not think about yourself anymore!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I've Had an Epiphany

I'm not going to give my whole, emotional, drawn-out "birth story" on here, but let's sum it up in the fact that my body refused to co-operate with the plan I set out for myself. I wanted to have a natural and med-free birth, but at 41 weeks and 2 days I was induced, labored for 9 hours, and ended up having the dreaded c-section.

At the time, I was pretty torn up about this. I felt like I had failed, and at the same time as though mother nature had cheated me out of the experience of bringing a child into the world the way she intended. Over time I have learned that what matters is that my son is healthy, and my healing process went as smoothly as I could have ever expected no matter what way the kid was delivered.

And then yesterday, the chilling strike of realization that if I was going through this experience 100, 50, or even 30 years ago things would have been so different. I would have never known that my amniotic fluids were low and that my baby had stopped growing. I may have gone on carrying this child for two more weeks while he was getting no nutrients. He likely would have been stillborn, or killed both of us in the birthing process. The thought of that just scares me. How did women deal with that? How do women in other parts of the world deal with the fact that just because they carry a baby for ten months doesn't mean they will be a mother in the end?

I never thought I would think of "medical intervention" as such a good thing, but in my time of deepest need, it was there for me. And it's the reason I am here, typing this blog one-handed as my perfect 6 week old baby boy lies sleeping in my lap. I would not trade that for a natural birth story any day.