Category Archives: marital relations

I’m a mom again

We went, we delivered, and we are home. 🙂

It was quite an interesting saga, the lead-up to the birth. Because I have (albeit mild and easily diet-controlled) gestational diabetes, my midwives were itchy to get the baby out, and started talking an induction if I didn’t go on my own by my due date, as I have previously chronicled. I did my research and was OK with postponing any induction until Thursday, if needed. Well, Monday I had an appointment and midwife Sue was generally OK with the few days’ postponement, but we both agreed it would be reassuring to have a biophysical profile done (an ultrasound where they specifically check baby’s well-being, blood flow from placenta, amount of amniotic fluid, stuff like that). So I had that done on Monday as well, and while the baby was looking very healthy and everything else looked good, I was apparently low on amniotic fluid… which mostly means it makes it easier for the baby to accidentally wedge up against the cord in utero and cut off its own oxygen supply. Combined with the gestational diabetes, it was a good reason to not wait until Thursday, but given the baby’s otherwise very healthy status, Sue let me wait until Tuesday morning which also gave me an opportunity to drink lots of fluids and try to get the amniotic fluid up a little. I was told to report to the hospital at 6:30 a.m.

Well, long story short… some strong contractions woke me up at 4:30 a.m., and we left for the hospital at 6:15 a.m. I was, quite fortuitously, seemingly in labor, all on my own. Called the midwife from the car, told her we would be just a little late (there had been a little snowfall and the roads were a little slick) but that I was pretty sure I was in active labor.

Got to the hospital, got checked in and changed into hospital garb, my very awesome OB nurse checked, and I was already at 6 cm. That was about 7:30 a.m.

Continued to progress, got the all-clear to push around 8:40, which was good because I really really wanted to push. I think I was still only in transition because the contractions never let up. I JUST HAD TO GET THE BABY OUT. NOW. Her head emerged almost immediately, they got me to pause for just a second because she had the cord loosely wrapped around her neck, so they slipped it off, and I went about the very quick business of pushing out her shoulders. The midwife had me reach down and grab the baby and finish delivering, and lift the baby onto my own chest. So awesome!! She also asked me to do the identifying… “Lisa — what do you have?” she asked. My first delirious thought was “It’s a baby, duh!” but then I realized she was talking about looking for gender!! I took a very hard look, because even delirious I knew I didn’t want to make a misidentification, certainly my husband would never let me live that down. And once I was incredibly certain there was no penis to be found, declared “She’s a girl!”

She cuddled skin to skin with me on my chest until her cord stopped pulsing, then the midwife clamped it off and Frank did the honors of cutting it. I delivered the placenta and was just exhausted. I knew I’d torn a little (how could I not have, I delivered her way too fast…) and while my labor wasn’t very long, it was very intense. The OB nurse took the baby while I started to get stitched up and did all the weighing and measuring and other requisite birth things, and I took her back about 20 minutes later. She latched on at that point and nursed pretty well. I also decided, in an odd fit of whimsy, that we were going to keep the placenta and buy a new tree and plant it under the tree in the spring. Never even hearing of anyone doing this before, let alone with the complete absence of any discussion between us, my dear husband took these new plans in stride. 🙂

And our baby is, in a word, awesome. She’s a great nurser, she sleeps pretty well, she has amazing periods of quiet alertness where she just does her best to look around and see as much as she can (before her eyes cross from the strain, but then she just blinks a couple times and tries again). She is crazy strong, too… even the pediatrician at the hospital commented on it. If she’s laying on your chest, semi-upright, she can lift her head and chest up and do a little push-up. It took her about a day to pick up that little trick, mostly because it helps her look around better.

Since I avoid using real names for my kids on this blog I shall only give you her nickname, and that is Catie. She is perfect and I am in love. Her birth was a great experience and I am so happy and proud that I got to have another drug-free birth… but I am also quite pleased that I never have to do that again, since we have no intention of having any more kids.

3 days and counting… I think

I was perfectly content to wait 12 days to find out what was going on in my uterus, just sit back and chill and try not to think about it.  We were scheduled to bunny-sit Lane’s class’ bunny over MLK weekend, but otherwise not much going on and I figure I could distract myself with things like housework and going to the library with Jake and whatnot.

Then on Wednesday night, right about when I was getting ready to head to bed, Lane comes wandering out of her room and is hanging out in the kitchen.  I go to direct her back into bed, and am just overwhelmed by the massive, disgusting smell of vomit coming from her bedroom.  She had puked on nearly everything on her bed.  Pillows, sheets, blanket, duvet, bedskirt… nothing escaped the wrath of her stomach contents.  The fireworks continued for about six hours, on a 15-20 minute interval.

Two evenings later, Jake and I both succumbed.   Sunday, Frank had his turn.  None of us were sick with the same frequency Lane was, but the adults also got to experience crazy diarrhea and chills.

Needless to say, I didn’t have to do much to distract myself these last few days.

And then yesterday, I spotted a little, and figured despite the ultrasound tech’s enthusiasm about our chances this month, that I guess my body still wasn’t ready to catch that train just yet.

And then I wasn’t spotting anymore for the rest of the day, and I woke up today to not a hint of anything remotely seeming like a period.  And words like “implantation bleeding” start bouncing around my brain.

On top of that, ever since being sick I’ve had little spells of queasiness.  I’m not sure if it’s all related to being sick, or if at some point it transitioned from being sick to something to do with my reproductive system.  You certainly lose confidence in reading your own body when you spent 6 hours puking and crapping your guts out a few days previous.  When I was pregnant with Lane, I started feeling queasy a full 5 or 6 days before ‘they’ say I could have gotten a positive pregnancy test, so by the time I got that positive pregnancy test it was really a surprise to no one.

So, that’s where I am right now.  Three days away from testing, not sure what the hell my body’s doing because it seems to have a mind of its own.  But…. it’s now 24 days since my last period, which is the longest cycle my body’s procured since Jake was born.  So if nothing else… that’s something.

Bigger picture, I’m turning 34 next month.  Not old by the relative standards of modern reproductive practices, but I had sort of had it in my head that I wanted to be done with all this babymaking business by the time I was 35.  I didn’t want to have to deal with the specter of ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE.   And Frank’s no help, at all!  When I started spotting, and told him that it looks like maybe I’m not pregnant, he was definitely more disappointed than relieved (especially because he thinks it would be mega-super-awesome if I was pregnant with twins).  So I say, “OK, do you want to try, then?”  And he gives me an “Ehhh….”  Not an “I really don’t want to” sort of Ehh, but more of a “I can’t decide, but I’m not against it” kind of Ehh.  Like I said, no help at all.

I think what this means is we’re trying, but I’m just not going to really tell him we’re trying.  Assuming, of course, this month’s a bust (and who knows about that).  He’ll get to participate, and I’m sure he’ll ask questions about my motivations on certain days, but I’ll spare him the minutiae of figuring out the best days to try.  Heck, that’s basically been the modus operandi for Lane *and* Jake, and he’s been pleased enough with the outcome.  🙂   So, assuming again this month might be a bust, I think I’ll give it about six months.  I also need to talk to the grad school I want to apply to, and find out if it’s possible to defer my enrollment if I do turn up pregnant.

By the way, we did still bunny-sit.  The bunny was way wicked cute.  🙂

Stuff happened, and is happening, and may or may not happen

Gosh, I suck at this blogging thing lately.  This even started as a draft two weeks ago and never got finished.

Santa Claus was good to us.   Frank got Rock Band 2 for our Wii (well, really, we all did) and I got… wait for it… a fiberglass rug for in front of our woodburning stove.

To make up for it, I’ll be getting a Motorola Droid for my birthday in six four weeks.  I have a closet case of iPhone envy.  But, I refuse to abandon our Verizon Wireless service.  It works so nicely and has always been really reliable for us, and I get a hefty discount on our bill because my old company feels no need to tell Verizon that I haven’t worked there for over two years.

I might be going back to school in the fall, or at least eventually.  I had been informed by someone who should know better that I had all the education I needed to take the tests to get certified to teach high school business.  So I got that bee in my bonnet, and started thinking about getting certified, and even started registering for the certification process, and in doing so realized I didn’t really have all the right education lined up for it.  But the bee’s still in the bonnet, and the schooling wouldn’t be too intense.  I can’t really see myself going back to corporate work, and while I love doing it, I’m not sure I have the cutthroat mentality to make my photography business be my full-time gig.  (Mostly because I don’t want to lose all my weekends to it, and I feel bad charging too much money for my work, so my income there will continue to be supplemental at best.)  However — schools that offer a line of coursework towards certification as a business teacher are few and far between!  My main choices are in Westchester county (but with a very hefty tuition price tag) or a small private college in Albany, which is somewhat farther to drive but with a much more reasonable tuition charge, and a full time option.  It would be a rough nine months, commuting to Albany (or maybe even renting a room up there to avoid some commuting) but we as a family feel like it’s a really smart choice for us, even if it takes me some time to secure a full-time position — most schools around here want substitutes that are NYS certified, and they pay decently for them.  But that’s a maybe because….

We’re also not not trying to get pregnant.  If you remember, my body is acting a little screwy, and my new midwife (who I love!) wanted me to get things checked out, even though we both theorized that it was Jake’s continual (though less frequent) nursing that was making my uterus misbehave.  Blood tests all came back with normal results, so she also wanted me to get a pelvic ultrasound, which I did last Thursday.

But let me back up just a bit.  Last Wednesday (ie., the day before the ultrasound), Frank and I had intimate relations, as married couples are wont to do.  Afterwards, he asked if I could be ovulating.  I said, “Well, I suppose it’s possible, now’s the time when I would be, if I were, but I don’t think I am.  But I suppose I might have, and if I did it would be about now.”  Once he unscrambled his brains from hearing that statement, he asked what may be the funniest question ever.  “When you have the ultrasound tomorrow, will they be able to tell we had sex?”  As in, will they be able to see his little guys swimming around?  I assured him they couldn’t (it’s not done with a microscope, after all!) but even if they could, I’m certainly not the first woman to have an ultrasound the day after having sex.  🙂

So Thursday came, and I went for the ultrasound.  I wanted to ask a zillion questions of the tech as it was happening, but she assured me she was not allowed to tell me anything of a diagnostic nature.  But I was chatty and friendly with her, and told her about having sex and Frank’s funny question, and soon enough she was pretty forthcoming about the state of my ovaries.  She started looking at my right ovary, which she described as “quite plump” and full of healthy-looking follicles (where the eggs come out).

Then she moved onto the left ovary and said, “Oh, look at that.”

OHMYGODWHAT, IS THERE A MARTIAN LIVING IN MY OVARY?  I asked, or perhaps something that sounded less batshit crazy.  “Oh no,” she said, “but it looks like you very very recently ovulated, like yesterday or this morning.”  Oh!  Well, that’s unexpected but welcome news.  She continued, “Actually, I see two follicles that look like they just ruptured.”  (For those uneducated about the workings of the female reproductive system, one follicle releases one egg; two follicles means two eggs.  Which can lead to two babies, aka fraternal twins.)

I asked, “So… not only does it look like I ovulated this month, but that I may have ovulated more than one egg?” and the panic in my voice must have been a little palpable, as I imagined telling Frank we were pregnant with twins.

She said, “Well, often, both don’t take.  But this month looks like a really promising month for you, based on what I’m seeing and that you had intercourse yesterday!  Do it again tonight just to make sure!”

OK then.

Now, she’s a tech.  I understand she wasn’t supposed to tell me ANY of what she said to me, and she might be completely wrong.  But at the same time, I have to think she’s got a fair idea of what she’s looking at.

We didn’t do it again that night.  But Frank and I aren’t panicked either.  I guess neither of us really felt the need to increase our chances beyond what seemed pretty good already.  🙂

So, right now, it’s T-minus about twelve days until I could maybe register positive on a pregnancy test.

A day in the life

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but here it’s lovely.

Much has been accomplished. My garden got the bejeezus weeded out of it, and I planted some more radish & carrot & spinach seeds, and re-routed some strawberry runners. Everything got a good watering.  I ate my first salad from it.

Frank tried to fix our attic fan, but discovered that instead of a bum thermostat as we originally suspected, the motor is blown. The standard home improvement stores did not carry a replacement. Bah.

I had my neighbor friend over for margaritas on my deck, which thanks to a bunch of potting and a few purchased accessories feels very homey now.

Jake took a three hour nap.

Lane’s been playing at the neighbor’s for the past two or three hours.

I’m still buzzed from the margaritas.

Life is good.

Off my butt

I’m getting off my butt.  I had been sorely lacking in the exercise department for most of the winter.  Our house came with an older-model-but-pretty-nice treadmill, and we finally got it set up a few months ago… and there it sat.  I think I used it once, my brother used it a few more times, and then it just kept on observing us from a corner of our family room.

I’ve got stuff coming up — I’m going to be shooting three weddings in the next three months and would like to have the stamina to do it.  We’re going to Aruba again next April, and I would love not to be embarrassed for myself in a bathing suit.  I’m generally level-headed enough to only care a tiny bit about what I look like in a bathing suit — mostly it is what it is, and while it’s been a long time since I’ve even been a tiny bit pleased about my appearance naked or sparsely clothed, I don’t have huge hangups about it.  I won’t NOT go swimming because I don’t like how I look, you know?  But mostly, I just want to be and stay healthy.

This week I’ve been good about getting the lead out.  I used the treadmill in the morning three of the last four mornings.  Monday, I just walked for a half hour.  Tuesday I did some jogging too.  Wednesday I skipped, and it honestly affected me negatively the whole day.  I really liked how I felt Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday I just felt off.  If I can keep myself in the habit of going to bed a bit earlier so I can get up and get on the treadmill, I think it’s going to be a very positive thing.

I’m also watching what I put in my mouth.  I had a bit of an epiphany not too long ago about my eating habits.  I found myself allowing myself to snack whenever I wanted because — well, not because I deserved to have the snack — that’s not quite the mindset, but it’s close.  I think it’s more like I felt like I was denying myself something I wanted if I tried to steer clear.  Then the blatantly obvious epiphany happened — maybe I was being permissive with myself in the now, but at what cost?  What was I denying myself down the road?  Smaller clothes sizes and the escape from my current purgatory of being not quite a plus size, but not quite a misses?  More energy?  Better health?  How many healthy years of living and enjoying my kids and grandkids?

[NOTE: This post was interrupted at this point by the need to clean up an entire bottle of pancake syrup that Frank left on the coffee table — can the man PLEASE just leave condiment bottles in the kitchen??!?  The rest of us seem perfectly content with adding relevant accoutrements before bringing our plates into the dining room or (occasionally) the living room to eat.  I was typing the post and Frank left the room without putting the syrup away, and I didn’t realize it was there… and Jake emptied the contents of the 3/4 full bottle on the coffee table and carpet.  Yay fun.  Thank goodness we have a Hoover SpinScrub carpet cleaner and I cannot begin to rave about its complete awesomeness.]

Anyway — so about the snacking.  With a better mindset I’ve been able to cut it out quite a bit, and with being more active I’m less inclined to eat anyways.

I can’t say with any certainty how well this will all stick — but it feels a bit different this time.

Historical repository

I bought a new purse today.

I do that about once a year, though I think it’s been about 18 months since my current pink number hit the scene.  The new one is a rich brown crocodile bag, a little bigger and definitely more sophisticated than Mr. Pink.

I both look forward to and dread migrating my life from the old purse to the new one.  On the negative side, it’s never just a dump-and-go job… it takes FOREVER.  My purse, near the end of its useful life (meaning near when I’m just dead sick of looking at it, since I’m not a change my purse with my outfit type; I carry one purse until I’m ready to burn it) has usually accumulated a veritable smörgåsbord of an historical record of the life the purse has joined me through.  There are papers of all sorts to sift through; 95% of them will hit the recycling bin or shredder but I’ll look at every one and remember when I acquired it, and what I was doing, and who I was with.  Oh, sure, the more mundane ones, like the gas receipts, tend to melt together into a general memory of standing there pumping and making goofy faces at the kids through the car window, but they often have dates and locations printed on them that remind me of road trips taken.   There will be tons of other receipts in there, too, many with specific memories represented.  And all the odd crayons I’ve collected off restaurant tables after boisterous meals with my kids, those will be deposited in the miscellaneous crayon bin for further enjoyment and artful purposes.  All this stuff, these remnants, sort of get bound together by time in my purse, and to go through it the whole thing must nearly be peeled apart, like peeling away the rings of a tree and seeing the history written inside.  Granted, my purse barely rivals the remaining Civil War-era trees at Gettysburg in the historical significance of the events unfolded in their presence (yet), but it’s still pretty historical in the grand scheme of me.

Future purses will yield unto me yet untold treasures: movie stubs, graduation programs, used tissues, unused coupons for products not yet even dreamed up, business cards of people who will come and go, invitations for parties yet attended, doctor’s appointment reminder cards for pregnancies and babies yet conceived.  I’ll hopefully find it all… and with any luck, many times over.

And yet, it’s just a purse.  A vessel for carrying the sundry things that life sometimes necessitates.  When Frank realizes I’ve bought a new purse, he will roll his eyes at my frivolity… because, spending $27 (thank you Marshall’s!) to replace something I bought for $24 a year and a half ago (thank you, TJ Maxx!) is naturally frivolous in his eyes.  (I cannot get him to grasp that a purse is more than functional.  He seems to compare it to his wallet, which since it’s not falling apart at the seams he sees no logical reason to replace it.)  So, yeah, he’ll roll his eyes and question what is wrong with the dozen other purses accumulated in my closet, and I’ll just roll my eyes right back at him and tell him he just doesn’t get it… just like I do when he mentions the mess in my purse.

Can’t you take a hint?

Kitchenaid has this lovely accessory for their stand mixers — it’s a bowl you can use with it to make ice cream.

It came out a couple years ago, and I’ve wanted one since I first discovered it.

I’ve told Frank, repeatedly, I’ve wanted one.  I’ve talked about how fun it would be to make cinnamon ice cream to serve with the apple pie I make for Thanksgiving.  I have dropped subtle yet consistent hints that this would be a total winner of a gift for me.  I want it.

Yet, somehow, the man who I married, who is in nearly every other way is A Very Smart Man, has repeatedly ignored, blocked out, forgotten or otherwise discarded these hints.  Birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries, Valentines’ Days, Arbor Days, Breast Cancer Awareness Weeks, March of Dimes Walk-a-Thons have come and gone and I still do not have this frigging ice cream bowl.

The obvious solution would be to buy it for myself.

But the MOMENT I do that, I will be scolded for “not saving anything” for him to buy for me and how will he ever come up with a gift idea NOW???

So I am stuck.  I want desperately to make my own ice cream, yet I lack the necessary tool.

I suppose I have done it unto myself.  Hints do not penetrate that cranium of his very easily, so by hinting so subtly, I have only created my own situation.

I have thus resorted to more direct approaches.

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Him:  Where are we going to spend Christmas?

Me:  I don’t care, as long as I can make my own ice cream when I get there.

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Me:  What do you want for Christmas?

Him: I don’t know.

Me:  I desire the ability to create creamy frozen confections at-will.

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Him:  Where’s the remote?

Me:  I want the Kitchenaid ice cream maker for Christmas.

Maybe I should use signage too.