Last night I was up late wrapping little week-by-week gifts for my son and daughter-in-law as they count down their last trimester of pregnancy with their baby girl. Some things I’d made, some things we’d bought (by we I mean Michael bought her an adult coloring book with a Dr. Seuss theme. Totally not age-appropriate! I’ll rein him in at some point. Probably when he wants to buy her a pony. After all, she has a Great Dane mix, and if she needs something larger I prefer a llama. I could use it to do an outdoor reading of the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney and then ship that sucker down with some nearby horses headed that way. We’re in Kentucky, they’re in Texas. Grandparenting trumps all – I can get them a llama delivered.
As I lay in bed at midnight, package (freakin’ huge, heavy package! Do NOT try to pick it up, Catherine!!) sealed I remembered the cedar chest. The one my in-laws gave me and in which I’ve preserved family memorabilia. I dug through it today and found the beautiful white booties and sweater my sister-in-law had crocheted for Aaron, his favorite stroller toy, and (sob!) the adorable outfit my best friend brought in from Atlanta and that we took him home in.
Actually, I was a bit surprised at how big it was! And I have the hospital picture of it, fitting him nicely. YIKES! Aaron was 8’9″ at birth, and everyone in the room laughed when I asked if I’d had to have an episiotomy. (To my credit, I only asked for an epidural after I started planning my husband’s murder.) The doctor who was able to speak first said, “There was nothing further we could cut!” Yeah, that’s comforting to a first-time mom, nurse or not!
So I sent a picture of the outfit to my daughter-in-law, emphasizing that having a baby a couple of weeks early (if your doc suggests it) can be a good thing!
Of course, I have to say that my younger child’s birth (even though he was a week early and 3 oz. smaller) was more difficult and stressful. THREE ounces. That’s a shot and a half. If you are pushing a bowling ball out your va-jay-jay a shot and a half doesn’t matter unless it’s alcohol you ingest shortly beforehand.
With my youngest my amniotic fluid was like pea soup, they insisted I be on the monitor all the time (quite reasonable), and then when it came time for me to push some blonde woman hopped up, knees on the bed, and started shoving on my belly. This was not covered in nursing school when I graduated in 1988. It was like she was performing CPR about 18 inches too low on an awake, alert, annoyed person. The me of today would have yanked her hair and screamed, “What the F are you doing?!” Since I was still nice then I just kept pushing. I also found a sweet card from that nurse in the cedar chest.
Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting your first child are hot topics. By hot I mean everyone has a story to share, some advice to give, and at least one urban myth to impart (there was a twin behind the other baby on every view – we had no idea! – Umm, your ultrasound tech needs to cut down on the breakfast drugs.)
Scream and jump if someone touches your belly unasked – word will get around. Smile and lie your a$$ off for your own entertainment. Tell them you are having a litter, and only just found out when your belly started growing. Tell them it’s an alien and ask them to back away slowly and silently. Tell them you are a surrogate and currently carrying a celebrity’s baby, but you’ve signed a confidentiality agreement. The guy with you? Your personal assistant. You might as well get a few laughs out of someone using your bladder as a trampoline, right?
My eldest’s coming-home outfit – which I’d forgotten I’d kept. What melts your heart these days? Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop
my newest baby-centered activity!