Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Saturday night . . .

I completely forgot about Earth Hour. But I did spend at least 20 minutes of it washing plastic plates from Will's party, plates that I had planned to throw out but was shamed into keeping for future use. So that's something.

The party was a success. It was smaller than I anticipated, and that ended up working out well. Both sets of grandparents came, one aunt and one uncle (one per side) and 3 cousins. There were just few enough presents that we let Will open them in front of everyone. She gleefully flung the (most adorable) clothes out of the bags and exclaimed over the owl, grocery cart full of food, tea set, train set and blocks.

The owl cake - in both its iterations - looked amazing. The first one was tall and a little skinny, perhaps unable to fly:

While the second one was so burnt I had to surgically remove the bottom. But it tasted good, and at least he got his wings:

And now I'm off to eat more lasagna, alone, and maybe watch "ER" or "Dollhouse" on the DVR. I can only assume that my husband has fallen asleep (for the second night in a row) while putting our daughter to bed. An unforeseen benefit - or danger - of the big girl bed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Two Years Ago Today: Part III

Saturday, March 24, 12:30 am
Dr. B does another exam. 8, maybe 9 centimetres. What? I am very disappointed. H is anxious again. It has been almost 40 hours since my water broke and the risk of infection is increasing. The doctor suggests waiting for a few more hours and then consulting OB. H advocates for an OB consult now.

12:45 am
Dr. B contacts the OB on call, who suggests waiting another 3 hours. We agree to wait.

12:50 – 3:30 am
I drift in and out of sleep. Nurse Meaghan also drifts in and out of the room, checking my temperature and BP, emptying my bladder, increasing the pitocin, replacing the epidural medication. She is quiet and efficient, and her presence is very calming.

Although I am still fairly comfortable, there are several points at which the pain in my back becomes noticeable. I “top up” my epidural with the pump more liberally and the pain recedes, but doesn’t quite disappear.

3:45 am
Dr. B returns to do an exam. I am fully dialated, except for a slight “lip,” the baby is almost “at spines” (in position), and most important, the baby is “left occiput anterior” or face down.

3:50 am
We meet the OB on call, who does an exam and confirms everything. Including the baby being appropriately face down. Right. She decides that we should wait another hour. It feels like we have been in this dark room for weeks. I don’t think we are ever going to have this baby.

4:50 am
I drink some juice and suddenly feel the overwhelming need to throw up.

“The apple juice isn’t sitting well.”

I gag and cover my mouth but the vomit spews out anyway, as H grabs for a kidney dish. Then he can’t stop laughing, saying it looked like someone throwing up in the movies. My “Hollywood vomiting.”

5:00 – 6:00 am
There is now a constant dull pain in my lower back, that gets more intense with each increase of the pitocin. I press my epidural button at every opportunity.

6:15 am
Dr. B returns for another exam. I am now fully dilated with the baby at spines. Finally. Half an hour to pushing.

7:00 am
Nurse Meaghan is about to go off shift. She gets me into position to try a few pushes. There is pain in my back but I can’t tell when the contractions come, so I try to guess. I push as hard as I can. I am desperate to know if I’m pushing “correctly.” She and H say that I am. I have already decided to be a good pusher.

7:20 am
The new nurse arrives and takes control of the situation. She is very clear, direct and efficient. She says I don’t need to watch the contractions and unhooks the monitors. She counts me through a couple of contractions and says the baby will definitely be born by 9 am. I think I say there is no way in hell I’m pushing for 2 hours, and that the baby will be born by 8, but I’m not sure I say this out loud.

7:25 – 8:45 am
Pushing. And pushing.

There is no pain where I would expect it, but every time I push there is excruciating pain in my back. With each push I claw desperately at H, pulling his hand onto my back for some kind of counter-pressure. I hear myself screaming, mostly: "My back! It hurts so much! My back!" I feel awful for making fun of the other women I heard earlier, thinking they didn't bother with the wonderful epidural.

The nurse is doing as much on her end to help the baby out as I am, but still it is taking forever. Now I am terrified that I won't be able to get this baby out, that they will have to do a c-section. Now I don't want one.

It goes on and on. I keep asking if I'm pushing the right way. Why isn't it working? Then I catch a look between the nurse and the doctor, and I realize I have landed inside the scariest episode of "The Baby Story" I ever saw: I know the baby is face up and the head isn't fitting properly. Dear jesus.

8:50 am
The doctor's hands off approach has become ridiculous. She tells me "we" will keep pushing for a while longer, but then it will be time to consider an episiotomy. I tell her to do it now.

8:59 am
She's out. I want to know if she's really a girl. H says yes. They put her on my chest.

I can't believe how awake she is. Her big brown eyes look right up at me. I can't believe she's really here. I can't believe I don't recognize her. I know her, but she's all herself.

9:00 - 9:15 am
They take the baby to be weighed. I push out the placenta. Easy.

9:15 am
I hear these words: "Call OB STAT!"

That can't be good.

A male obstetrician rushes in and there is a flurry of activity. They give me a shot of something in my leg, and there is a lot of tugging and pulling. What is most disconcerting is that the OB teaches my family doctor as he fixes whatever has gone wrong. See this here, yes? You lift that and . . . I don't like it, but everything seems to be happening so far away.

The activity stops as quickly as it started. They bring me back the baby. H says I hemmorhaged, that my uterus wasn't contracting the way it should have. "I've never seen so much blood."

I didn't see any of it, but apparently I lost close to a quarter of the blood in my body. No wonder the baby seems so heavy.

I am desperately thirsty. I drink as much water as a can and then the nurse brings me tylenol and motrin. Seriously. I'm about to ask her where the real pain medication is when I throw it all up anyway.

I've been cleaned up and propped into a wheelchair, brand-new baby on my lap. As we are wheeled through L&D on our way to the recovery floor, staff pop their heads out to see the baby who was born face-up, and the woman who delivered her. I feel a bit like a rock star.

And of course, I have this:

Happy 2nd Birthday, Will!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two Years Ago Today: Part IIb (The Long Day Cont'd)

Friday, 12:05 pm
The pain and nausea come back. I start crying.

Friday, 12:15 pm
H suggests we leave for the hospital right away.

Friday, 12:25 pm
It’s a beautiful sunny day. I don’t care. From the car, I look at the people along College Street doing regular things. I can’t believe they don’t know the world is ending.

Friday, 12:35 pm
I decide there must be a way to get a c-section. What can I say or do to get to an OR? Who do I need to speak to?

Friday, 12:40 pm
We leave the parking garage and make our way towards the main entrance. I am still trying to figure out the best way to get an immediate c-section. See a very pregnant woman leaving the hospital. Tell H there is no fucking way they are sending us out to walk around.

Friday, 12:45 pm
We meet Nurse Cathy again at triage. She sets me up to the monitors in the middle cubicle. Even with curtains it is very central. Two of the curtains do not quite meet and I can see the people waiting at the nurses’ station.

Friday, 1:00 pm
Cathy tells us there is a room that will be ready for us soon. I ask for something for the pain. She says she can get an order for Morphine, but that if I can wait 30 minutes, I can get an epidural. I decide I can wait.

Friday, 1:30 pm
I tell H I may throw up at any second and he finds a pink kidney shaped dish. I start vomiting violently into the dish. As I am throwing up I look through the crack in the curtains and hold eye contact with a woman sitting by the nurse’s station who is watching me. I don’t care. I continue to vomit.

Friday, 2:00 pm
The doctor comes to check on me. She reassures H that about the risk of infection because of my water breaking. She was actually an author of the major study on the topic H had pulled up on the Internet at home.

Friday, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
I clutch at H through each contraction. The back pain does not go away. The nausea does not go away. I can’t believe women do this every day.

Friday, 3:00 pm
We are finally moved to the Delivery Suite, where the rooms are tiny and clustered together, and do not have windows. During our tour this bothered me immensely. Now I don’t care.

We get settled into Labour Room #2 by Nurse Betty. I know this should be hilarious, but I can’t remember the details of the movie. She tries to place my IV twice, unsuccessfully. This doesn’t upset me the way it normally would. I focus on getting the epidural.

Friday, 3:30 pm
We meet the anaesthesiologist, an Indian man who is friendly and unassuming, a little oafish. He has large, hairy hands. He too has trouble with the IV. Betty makes sure that he places it in my wrist, not the back of my hand. I have no idea why, but I like the fact that she is advocating for me. He finally gets the IV in place.

I sit on the edge of the bed with H and Betty to get the epidural. I am scared, but not as much as I thought I would be. I just don’t look at any of the instruments. This works surprisingly well. The worst part is the burning of the local. The strangest part is the cold sensation of the drug entering my back. So weird.

The doctor tells me there is no point in being in pain, so I should let them know if the drugs don’t seem to be working. I’m starting to really like this man. Then he shows me the pump: I can give myself an extra hit of epidural whenever I want. I had no idea this was an option. I am thrilled!

Friday, 3:45 pm
Oh. My. God. The back pain is gone. I feel incredible. The contractions are receding into the background. I can feel the tension being released from my body. Suddenly, Betty asks if I’m still feeling nauseous. I hadn’t even thought of that. I realize that the nausea is completely gone. This is fucking amazing. I consider giving the baby “Epidural” as a middle name.

Friday, 4:00 pm
The family doctor comes in and finally does an exam. To everyone’s surprise, I am 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced, although the baby is still high at -2 station. Things are progressing well already, so she decides to start the pitocin at a low level and increase slowly.

Friday, 4:45 pm
With the pitocin started and the nausea gone, I realize that I am starving. H goes out in search of some soup in clear broth.

Friday, 5:30 pm
H and I eat and chat. This is great. My legs are heavy but I can still feel them.

Friday, 6:00 pm
We meet Dr. B, the family doctor on call for the next 24 hours. She is young; H knows she was a resident just last year. She tells us she will be back around 8 pm to check my progress. H studies for his exam. I read and listen to the “labour and delivery mix” we created on the Ipod.

Friday, 7:15 pm
I feel a bit of aching in my lower back after the pitocin is increased. H warns me about using the pump too liberally.

Friday, 7:16 pm
I give myself an extra dose of the epidural. The sensation of cold going into my back is very comforting. The back pain goes away again.

Friday, 7:30 pm
Nurse Betty says goodbye at the end of her shift. She tells us not to allow the doctor to do an exam any time she wants. She also jokingly warns us not to be there when she returns the next morning. Famous last words. We meet Nurse Meaghan. She is young and very calm.

Friday, 8:30 pm
Dr. B arrives to do another exam. 7 centimetres!! That’s right on track, at about a centimetre an hour. The baby’s still high at -1, so she decides to increase the pitocin more vigorously. H’s convinced we will have the baby before midnight; I’m pretty sure it will be an hour or two into the 24th.

Friday, 9:00 – 11:30 pm
H and I hang out. I listen to music and he studies some more. H goes out for more soup. We wait anxiously for midnight, when Dr. B has said she will do another exam. I’m sure it will be time to push by then.

Two Years Ago Today: Part IIa (The Long Day)

Friday, 1:20 am
I wake up with a dull ache in my back and the occasional pain in my lower abdomen. Contraction? I try to pay attention to any pattern, but can’t even tell when the pain begins or ends. I try to sleep.

2:18 am
The aching in my back is making it impossible to find a comfortable position to sleep. I get up and write down every time the back pain is joined by an abdominal pain. 10 minutes. 3 minutes. 8 minutes. 13 minutes . . .

3:05 am
I try to lie down again but the back pain is too much. Sitting up is much more comfortable. I remember that I have taped “Grey’s Anatomy” and watch that.

4:00 am
H wakes up to find me up and out of bed. He realizes this is it. H gets up.

7:10 am
After showering and checking that all our bags are packed, we leave for the hospital. The contractions are not too bad, but the pain in my back is constant, so it is still difficult to “time” the pains. As we drive down College Street, I watch the people who are up so early. Waiting for the streetcar, opening up shops. Everything feels very serious.

7:30 am
At triage, we see another couple from our prenatal super-weekend. We didn’t really like them during the class. We exchange awkward greetings. Another friendly nurse, Cathy, gets me set up on the monitors again, this time in a cubicle at the other end of the room. The pains are sporatic, but some are strong enough that I have to clutch H’s hand to get through them. I start to get anxious.

Friday, 8:30 am
The doctor arrives and calmly explains that while she would normally admit me at this time to start pitocin to strengthen my contractions, there is simply no room. The entire delivery ward is full. We are advised to go home for a few hours and return at 1 pm.

Friday, 8:35 am
We decide to go to Future Shop to pick up a portable DVD player, as there are no TVs (!) in any of the delivery rooms.

Friday, 8:45 am
The pain is becoming stronger, especially in my back. I just want to lie down.

Friday, 9:00 am
We arrive home and I curl up on the bed. The pain gets worse. We cancel our plan to go to Future Shop.

Friday, 9:20 am
I pull myself off the bed and heave myself onto the futon in the living room. It doesn’t help. I am starting to sweat. Everything inside me tenses up.

Friday, 9:35 am
I move the two feet from the futon to the couch. Not good. I feel incredibly hot and nauseous. I am also very afraid.

Friday, 9:40 am
I stagger from the living room into the bathroom and try to throw up. I can’t. The nausea and the pain are getting worse.

Friday, 9:45 am
I hurl myself onto the bed and roll around, trying to find a comfortable position. I can feel myself beginning to shake. My back is in constant pain and when a contraction hits I just want to grab at something. I begin to feel like I really will not be able to do this.

Friday, 9:46 – 10:59 am
I stagger between the bedroom and the living room, throwing myself on different pieces of furniture in different positions. The pain in my back does not let up. I am so nauseous, but no matter how many times I try, I can’t get myself to throw up. I find myself sobbing. I don’t know what to do.

Friday, 11:00 am
H returns from his Tim Horton’s run. I was had hoped that eating something might help the nausea. I take one bite of a bagel, chew it up and spit it back out.

Friday, 11:15 am
H starts to get anxious about the amount of time that has passed since my water broke. The risk of infection increases after 24 hours. It’s been 26 hours.

Friday, 11:30 am
The pain is horrible. I can’t remember how to breathe. I don’t know what to do. I can’t handle the pain, the nausea, the fear. I feel like a fuck-up; I thought maybe when the time came I would be calm and stronger than I expected. I am not.

I find myself apologizing: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I can’t handle this. I’ve failed labour. I can’t.”

H tells me this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

Friday, 12:00 pm
I finally vomit. I lie down and close my eyes.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two Years Ago Today: Part I

Before I get to Will's birth story (her birthday isn't until Tuesday, but the whole process took a full 48 hours. I know.) I have an update on the sleep situation.

Listen closely, because I'm going to whisper.

Will loves the bed.

That's all I'm going to say for now. But things here at the Lasha household have been much improved over the past couple of days.

And now, a recap of the events of March 22, 2007:

Thursday, March 22 – 8:40 am
I wake up and hear H (my husband) getting ready for work. I realize I have to go to the bathroom – no surprise. As I reach the bathroom I feel a small gush of warm fluid and I know definitively that this is not pee.

I calmly walk over to H, who is ironing a shirt. I tell him I think my water just broke.

He barely looks up: “I have to leave for work.”

I realize he isn’t ready to believe me and go back to bed.

9:45 am
Must have fallen asleep because I hear my phone ringing. I jump up to answer it and feel a bigger gush of fluid. In the bathroom I find what I have been thinking of as the title of a musical: “The Bloody Show.”

9:50 am
I return H’s call and tell him about the latest developments. He says he is coming home. I decide he must believe me.

11:00 am
H arrives home. We wait. The fluid no longer appears to be leaking.

11:30 am

12:30 pm
I start to doubt myself. But not really.

1:00 pm
H starts thinking he shouldn’t have left work. Wonders what to tell his colleagues when he doesn’t become a father in the next 24 hours.

1:30 pm
More gushing of fluid (I told you so!). We test the fluid with nitrazine sticks H has stolen from the clinic. Both are negative.

3:00 pm
We arrive at my regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment. I think about how the annoying medical student will be so happy to be there for my news after following my case for the past month. She does try to be calm, but very quickly gets my doctor when I tell her I’m pretty sure my water has broken. To our surprise, the doctor doesn’t do an exam, but sends us directly to L&D triage at the hospital.

4:00 pm
Knowing we may be at the hospital for a while, I suggest we get something to eat at the Subway across the street. There is some drama as the owner seems to fiddle with my debit card behind the counter. He is offended by our concern, but the week before my debit number (not the card!) was stolen and used across the city. We finish our meal and leave for the hospital. I am surprisingly calm.

5:00 pm
We arrive at triage and are greeted by Jillian, the first of many friendly and competent nurses. She hooks me up to the monitors in the corner “cubicle” and we wait for the family doctor on call.

5:30 pm
H becomes anxious about the lack of fluctuation in the baby’s heartbeat. The nurse checks the monitors. I shift onto my left side and the heart rate starts bouncing around.

6:45 pm
The doctor arrives with a ridiculous 2nd year resident and a nurse, who wheels a giant light into the tiny cubicle to do an exam. I feel like I am on display at the circus. They agree that the fluid is definitely amniotic fluid despite the fact that their nitrazine sticks turn up negative as well. H refrains from telling them about our earlier findings.

The doctor gives us the option of inducing right away or going home and letting things progress on their own. We decide to go home and return at 7:00 am the next morning.

8:00 pm
We arrive home with a pizza. H vacuums all of the rugs in the apartment.

9:00 pm
We go for a long walk around the neighbourhood, stopping at Starbucks for a blended iced-tea lemonade. We try to remember if there is anything we wanted to do before the baby comes.

10:00 pm
Back from our walk, H suggests we clean the apartment. We do.

We go to bed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pleasant thoughts

Well. The purple Dora bed extravaganza seemed to be the magical solution to all our problems for a couple of hours last night. Since then, not so much.

Instead of boring you with descriptions of how I am losing. my. shit. and wondering why anyone ever thought I could effectively parent this beautiful and intelligent but holy-hell stubborn child, some pictures from a more peaceful time:

Our hotel balcony at the Marshall House in Savannah. We had to climb out the window to get outside.


One of Savannah's ubiquitous squares.

The live oaks. Wow.

Azaleas. And summer clothes. In March.

Charleston. I would so live here.

Or here. I'm not picky.

Gratuitous shot of myself on the streets of Charleston.
Cold enough here to break out the new spring coat.

The balcony at our Charleston hotel, the King George IV Inn.

Plantation day. This house saved from the Union Army because the owner
posted notices that it was being used as a small pox hospital.
I need to pull out my "North and South" DVDs.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

True story

For a child who (always) already did not like sleeping in her crib, a week sleeping in a bed with Grandma did not bode well for the return of the crib. Even a temporary return.

To summarize the sleep post I have never written (I'm afraid of how crazy I will sound if I write it immediately after making my escape, and in the light of day everything seems strangely manageable): Will slept through the night at 2 months old. She stopped somewhere around 6 months old. This has not been a temporary situation. In other words, she has not slept through the night in 18 months.

Eighteen. Long. Months.

We tried exclusively cosleeping for a while, but her bedtime just got pushed further and further back and she became less able to settle at any time during the night.

I do not believe in crying it out. Period. So that was out.

We did finally settle into a workable routine in which she would start off in her crib (a hard won battle in and of itself, involving the Baby Whisperer's "pick up/put down" method) and then transfer into our bed at some point in the night.

Most of the time, she made the transition easily, but sometimes she tossed and turned and kicked and kept one or both of us up all night. This has increased as she has gotten older and bigger. And discovered the joys of sleeping with all of her limbs stretched across the mattress, something impossible to achieve in a crib.

We have only been home three nights from our vacation, but by this morning I thought I was going to lose my mind. No crib. Mama's bed. No this bed. No Mama's bed. Daddy! Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! But not here. No! Down! Mama! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

We ordered Will's mattress before facing last night's epic battle, but it won't be delivered for a week and a half. This morning I found myself sobbing on the couch as my daughter ate her oatmeal, and I knew I could not face another 10 nights like that.

So. I moved everything away from the reading/rocking/playmat side of her room. I hoisted the (very heavy) queen-sized mattress from the guest bed and manouevred it into the empty space. Will climbed all over it and positioned her pillow and her babies.

Then we went to the mall and bought two sets of sheets for the new bed (Dora and purple swirly things), with pillow cases that can be used now. And three pillows in various sizes and shade of purple. One is even in the shape of a daisy. All I need now is some kind of purple quilt or "coverlet" (as the saleslady called it).

Will is napping on the bed right now. She has stirred, but seems to have settled.

You can probably here my cry of desperation: Please please please let this work. Please?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Transitioning to normal life

We're back from the South, the land where mac 'n cheese is considered a vegetable and everything comes with sweet tea and a biscuit.

I agree with my husband (an urban planner in a parallel universe) that Charleston is very much like New York City. It's shaped the same, and has a similar urban feel, amid the classic southern architecture and the sprawling live oaks. I loved it.

One thing that was a bit jarring was the narration on the ferry to Fort Sumter. The narrator's tone was just too upbeat as he described "the port of entry for millions of enslaved Africans, who were kept here in quarantine until free from pestilance and disease" Not to mention the former home of a Native American tribe that "has become obselete as a result of small pox, slavery and liquors."

I picked Will up from her grandparents' yesterday and she did really well until it was time to go to sleep for the night. She wanted to be in Mama's bed right away, and I figured that was fine (a chance to cuddle and the quickest way to get back downstairs and start catching up on all the TV we missed last week).

From that point on, things deteriorated. She needed to be reassured, probably by our presence and her routine, but I just couldn't get the balance right. We moved from bed to bed; she made requests for things she didn't even want (Pooh! more teeth! light on!) and got more tired and agitated and upset as time went on.

I do think bringing her downstairs to watch Dora at 10 pm was probably a mistake, but not the rest. I couldn't just force her into her crib, to sleep, our routine.

Finally, after we both had a major meltdown, she crawled into the middle of our bed and then pushed me away and told me to "GO!" At once, everything came into sharp focus. She was afraid that I would go, that if she went to sleep I would be gone. Even though she had a great time with her grandparents, she was worried that I would disappear again.

So I climbed into the bed and held my almost-2-year-old girl, and I told her I would be there in the morning, that I would always be there for her, and if I ever had to go away for a little while, I would always come back.

It reminded me of a piece of embroidered material we saw at one of the plantations in South Carolina. The embroidering said that the sack had been given to her grandmother Rose by Rose's mother, when Rose was sold away at the age of nine. It had been filled with a tattered dress and three handfuls of pecans, and Rose was told it would always be filled with her mother's love. Rose never saw her mother again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Walking on sunshine

Savannah is beautiful and, until this afternoon, hot. Which means that I have not only had an amazing time walking around the city in summer skirts and flip-flops, but found the necessary excuse to purchase said items (along with a summer dress and some cropped pants. And a couple of lightweight tops.) It will be summer in Ontario at some point, so they will go to good use in another month or two (or three).

I go on vacation so infrequently that it seems to have propelled me into a fantasy world where I can buy what I want and eat what I want with no consequences. I'm hoping the excess food intake at least will be balanced by the (literally) hours of walking I've been doing.

I love how you go on vacation and suddenly are willing to walk ridiculous distances you would never walk in your normal life. (Or am I the only one who does this?) Seriously, there will be a museum at Number 14 such-and-such street, another gallery at 612 on that street, a restaurant that sounds good 18 blocks the other way through a park, and then the walking tour meets in front of city hall back downtown.

No problem!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A little quiet

I am alone in my house. In the quiet of my house. I don't think I have experienced either of these things here before, let alone both of them at the same time.

Will is with her grandparents, playing happily with her cousin and wearing his extra pair of Clifford slippers.

The cats are hunkered down in my parents' basement, Oliver continuing to hide under the blanket on the couch.

Last night, we watched a complete episode of "The Amazing Race" without being interrupted by a bad dream or crib loneliness.

Today I will drink an entire cup of hot coffee. I will take a shower. I will eat lunch quietly, or maybe on the couch watching TV.

And then we're off to Savannah . . .

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lalala - not in public - lalala

We were out for dinner last night when I heard someone at the table next to us listing some of the character names from "Lost."

Then he started to tell his dining companion (my husband said it looked like his mother) the entire back story of the show.

I have never watched "Lost." But I plan to. I plan to enough that when I heard the first piece of crucial information about how they ended up on the island (which I'm sure viewers didn't find out right away, it was too strange) I literally had to plug my ears and hum softly to myself so as to not hear the entire thing.

I wish I had had the nerve to turn my chair around and tell him to shut it, that some people have not seen the show and - unlike your mother - do not want to be filled in on what's been happening over the past few seasons.

Just a suggestion people: do not discuss TV shows that rely on suspense when you are in public. Please. Some of us are just as clueless as your mother, but we don't want to hear the answers from you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Considering a sequel

I spent much of yesterday holding a newborn baby.

She was tiny and snuggly and five-weeks-old. She snuggled into my chest just like Will used to do, knees pulled up to her chin, head full of dark hair cocked over to one side. She sighed and slept, and Will didn't even mind, busy playing with her own best friend (and the new baby's cousin).

"This is nice." I announced. "Maybe I could do this again."

But then I remembered.

"Oh she's great during the day," the newest mama told me. "But she's up most of the night. Usually until 3 or 3:30. The other night until 5."

I remember even when Will was sleeping well, she'd get up at the crack of dawn to eat and then play. She always played for 2 hours, so even if I was exhausted I just had to wait that two hours and then we could go back to sleep.

"You couldn't do that with a toddler running around," my friend reminded me. "As soon as the baby was settled you'd have to be up for the day with this one."

Right. Those quiet hours of snuggling and sleeping with a newborn are reserved for first and only children. And the not-so-quiet hours don't disappear just because there is a sibling who will need attention in the morning, afternoon or right now. Now! Mama! Right! Now!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Last week my youngest sister and I arranged a lunch for my sister-in-law, who will be having her second baby at the beginning of April. Her son is 3 months younger than Will, so when this baby is born he won't be quite two.

I am thrilled and excited for her, of course. It was fun to talk baby carriers and strollers, tiny onesies and maybe dresses, if it's a girl.

But my overriding emotion was not jealousy. There was no soft light or sense of whimsy surrounding the mother-to-be.

I was just grateful that it was not me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On our date night last month I threw out the idea of a second child. I consider it a lot, overthinking all the possibilities. (Do I want to do this again? Could I deal with two? Can I imagine not doing this again? Is our whole family here yet?) I thought it might be a good idea to find out what my husband was thinking.

"Maybe when Will is 3?"

That was something I had considered. "To start trying."

"No. To have another baby."

"But . . . she's almost 2 now."

He shrugged. "It will probably take about a year."

"But . . . then we would have to start trying soon. Like now."


"But . . . I just lost 20 pounds!"

" . . . "

"But . . . I'm not ready."

" . . . "

"But . . . I don't even know for sure . . ."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The one thing I do know is that if we decide to have another child, I want to be excited about his or her arrival. I want the anticipation to be stronger than the anxiety (at least most of the time). I want to feel like I cannot wait to meet this new addition, to help this little person find its place in our family.

I can't say that now.

I am so not ready.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What makes me smile

1. A certain someone choosing "ponies" over clips every day.

2. My cat trying to catch the shadow of a bird perched on our mulberry tree, cast onto the ceiling of the living room.

3. The brilliant sunshine creating that shadow, despite the fact that it is beyond freezing outside today.

4. Finding out that the most adorable raincoat still fits, and finding matching rain boots.

5. Being asked to colour Dora's face "brown" or "blue," and making sure Boots' face is the same colour.

6. Using Harvey Karp's "Twinkle Interruptus" strategy to "trick" Will into a nap without screaming. (Even though that nap didn't last long enough. Then again, does it ever?)

7. The temperature in Savannah is currently 14 degrees celsius. It is supposed to be 21 degrees and sunny on Saturday.

8. My husband and I are going to Savannah on Monday. For a week. Without the child.