Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear Fynnie Fynn,

My name is Mama. I get that you're new to this world and haven't quite figured out the language yet, but "Mama" does not mean "chew toy." I thought it was cute two days ago when you started acting like you were going to suck on my chin. How we went from that to the way you now clamp your gums like a vice on my chin or jaw bone and shake your head back and forth like a pit bull puppy is not clear. What is clear is that Mama now has bruises along her jawline and on her chin. Not pretty and it hurts. Yes, I'm glad that you somehow use this new skill to work out any gas you've been saving up, but there has got to be another way. Let's put our heads togeth... scratch that... how about we check out frozen washcloths first thing in the morning.

I love you so much and so much,

Your onliest Mama :+)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today I had my annual physical.  It was sort of wrong on many levels.  Yes, I'm going into them all, so you may want to click away now.

1) The conversation during said exam centered around sweet potato recipes.  Doc favors a candied yam with brown sugar, peach liqueur and a ton of butter, but two of his family members keep kosher, so he was modifying.  I do a baked sweet potato with orange juice and zest and whole cranberries.  Doc thinks he might try it with Cuantro. 

I'm easing you in here, can you tell?

2) The appointment was scheduled during the typical time of what I'm going to call my morning constitutional. I really had to go right before the exam. After debating the added discomfort of not going versus the effort trying to make sure I was as tidy afterward as before, I decided to wait. Not sure if I made the right decision, but I did not embarrass myself.  I do, however, wonder what a woman looks like when trying not to embarrass herself.

3) After doc was done with his part, I realized I've never mentioned to him that I think I may have been stitched oddly after Fynn was born.  So I reached right down there, fumbled around until I found what I was looking for and tried to point it out.  He didn't see anything right away, so I had to do it again.  He felt around and finally found what I was talking about.  Turns out I have a sebaceous cyst that he's going to leave alone for now.  Greaaat.  (Uh, not that I want to be lanced or anything... I would really prefer the magic wand treatment, please.)

4) After he said, "See you next year!" I mentioned that we may have to switch insurances (from one type of giant to another) next summer.  If so, I won't be seeing him.  He hugged me and said he would miss having me as his patient, and that he wouldn't miss all of his patients.  All very nice, but as he hugged me I thought about the fact that I was wearing a very short pink cotton cape backwards and had a large pink square of fabric covering most of my lower half.  I was basically naked.  I've been smelling his cologne all day long.

Well, that's it on my end.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Skipping Around

Despite a backlog of partially written posts, I'm going straight to this past Friday. Cuz I'm wild and crazy like that, that's why.

Friday was our fifth wedding anniversary, or what I consider our five year + five and a half anniversary. Just think, next year the number of years we'll be married will exceed the number of years we were together before all hell broke loose and he had to snap me up! Unlike previous years, when getting ready for our date or weekend away was fun and relaxing, this day was chaotic.

I got in the shower about 45 minutes before we were supposed to leave. As I was shaving up to there (okay, my knees, but let's just be glad I got to shave at all, 'kay?), I could hear the kids over the monitor in Madelyn's room. Specifically I could hear Fynn crying, Mad fussing and Corey, after 35 seconds of dealing with it, saying, "Mom, I know you're busy but I need you."

Sometimes I wish we had a 2-way speaker system. Sometimes it's good we do not.

Getting dressed, the girls ready and the car loaded with people and things took about an hour.  The good news? I was able to wear pants I have only dared to try on since getting pregnant with Mad. And they have these stupid obnoxious "cute" little button details on the waist that I was finally able to tighten back up. My ass may still be fat and jiggly, but I'm making headway.

The major delay at the end was Mad's repeated refusal to use the potty even though she was doing the pee pee dance and didn't want a diaper for the long car ride down to Grandma's. After she finally went and tried to get away with three M & M's for her success, we got out of the house. It was a few minutes after we were supposed to be at my dad's.

I dropped Corey at Mom's and headed to Dad's ("Grandma's house," according to Mad). While carrying Fynn in the carrier, the diaper bag and Mad's jacket, and helping Mad, who had tripped, I managed to tweak my shoulder. The only thing that could have made things worse by then would have been hot, humid weather. Thankfully it was low 50's and I wasn't starting to glisten or smell like a rhino.

My dad and Margaret gave us our anniversary present. It was a card with a note saying that the gift for five years is wood, and wood comes from trees and paper is also made from trees, so it's wood. And they gave us an amount of money that was suspiciously similar to the loan they'd offered two nights before so we could be sure to buy Christmas presents for the kids. (What's that? I didn't tell you how my employer has now decided that they aren't paying half of my pay for the time I'm taking after my maternity leave ended? Or how they decided to take it all out of the only check I'll get between now and Christmas? Reader's Digest version is that, after I expressed to them quite clearly that they put the original plan in writing and that I've been having stress-induced palpitations as we try to prepare for the next in a series of financial hits because of their antics, they compromised, so we will not be destitute for Christmas. Angry and bitter with them, yes, but there will be presents and love amongst mi familia.)

Tom and I went to a Peruvian restaurant we haven't been to since Mad arrived. Dinner was fabulous. We started and finished with beef empanadas and the best chimichurri sauce. Seriously. There's one left over in my fridge right now and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I'd eat it, but I'm pretty sure Tom wants it. Although, he did eat most of the other one... hmm...

Anyway, the food was excellent, wine was just as good as I remembered and the conversation never lagged. Considering Tom and I were wiped out before leaving on our date, that's impressive. Or maybe it was the wine.

From what I can tell, Peruvian time moves much more slowly. So dinner was nearly a two hour affair. It's always like that at this place, but the food is definitely worth it. However, it meant that our second plan for the night, seeing a current movie in an actual theater, was no longer an option. It was, like, 8:35 people! And the next time our movie started was over an hour later. Add in the time for the movie, getting the girls, nursing Fynn before leaving, getting Corey and the schlep home and that was not happening.

We headed to a bookstore with a coffee shop, where we bought a few books for the kids and some hot drinks. As we sipped our drinks I gazed lovingly into Tom's bleary red eyes. No, it wasn't too much wine. It was 10:00 at night. Almost. I suggested we call it a night. Tom resisted until I mentioned we still had to get the girls and Corey and drive an hour home. We dashed to the car.

While I was nursing Fynn before leaving, my dad gave me one more present that night. He told me he'd had a dream about my biological father, Russ, someone I haven't spoken with in seven or eight years now. In his dream Dad asked him what he was thinking with the choices he'd made and did he have any idea what he was giving up? Most people only get one father, and a lot of people get mediocre to crappy to absentee fathers. I don't even know how I got so lucky.

By the time we got home last night it was about 12:30. Fynn wanted to nurse again, so I sat here and cuddled her in the dark. Tom crawled into bed. We talked for a minute and he told me I looked nice tonight. And then he fell asleep. Forty-five minutes later I joined him. It's not exactly the big shebang I think we'd envisioned for our fifth anniversary even as recently as last year. But it was fun and loving. Last year we made a baby and this year I got to eat a meal with two hands and without someone standing over me holding the baby while they "wait for me to finish." I'll take it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is He On Drugs?

What other explanation could there be?

Corey:  Mom, can I go clean my room?

Me:  Hmm?!

Corey:  Can I go clean my room?

Me:  Like I'm gonna say no to that?

Corey:  I thought you were upset at first.

Me:  I didn't think I'd heard you right.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mini Cooper

I've mentioned my birth board a few times.  It's been a source of many things, from stress relief and (big) belly laughs to high blood pressure to, occasionally, comfort.  

In January when I joined this board for woman who were due in the far-off days of August, I was just looking to connect with other mamas.  And I have.  I've gotten a bona fide friend from there.  There were also three babies whose stories have pulled me in.  Two boys were born back in April have taught me about perseverance.  Another, a girl, was born on time, but with a host of conditions to be dealt with.

One of the boys and the girl are home with their families.  The other boy... the "middle child", if you will, has only left the confines of the hospital once... as a gift to him and his family right before he had open heart surgery last month.  He came through it well, but things did not stay good.  This little boy who should be Fynn's age has finally found his way out of the wires and tubes and beeping electronic equipment today.  He, Mr. Mini Cooper, will stay in my heart forever.

Perhaps you all can send up some love for this little boy's family tonight.

To Recap

I started out the "weekend" (Thursday night) absolutely sure I was getting my first period in a year.  An event for which I'd apparently saved up a years worth of moodiness.  Tom was sent out for good chocolate.

Had the surgery.  Got hit with trapped gas.  Spent Sunday afternoon trying out various remedies.

Sunday afternoon is also when I was suddenly struck with the knowledge that I had been shaved for the procedure.

So last night was spent in a room with my poor innocent daughter, who is too young to get away for long, as I spent the evening trying not to scratch my increasingly itchy crotch while attempting to expel as much gas as possible.

Cue the music:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Under Pressure

I have trapped gas from the surgery.  That is a whole lotta painful!  This morning Fynn woke up to nurse around 4:00 (old time... our clocks got changed about three hours ago). She was zonked out and in her crib by 4:30. Everyone in the house was asleep. I was tired and laid back down. It was painful enough that I gave up what turned out to be three extra hours of sleep. What mom of a three month old does that?

So this afternoon I consulted Dr. Google and my mother-in-law for remedies. The more solutions I read and try, the less my body wants to give up the gas.  I may explode.

Friday, November 05, 2010

How Are You?

I'm sterile!

Very funny to Tom and I.  No one else seemed to laugh nearly as much as we did at the surgery center today.

Everything went very well.  I love my OB (and yet I'm still glad he never delivered my girls... go figure).  Love that he spent about five minutes chatting with us about Chicago and the ratio of Jews to non-Jews in his last two years of medical school (71/1 both years... one year there was an Italian and the next year there was a Chinese man... oh, and one brave, but odd woman in his graduating class way back in the day).

Found it odd that I now have high quality before and after shots of my tubes, as well as the bonus shots of my ovaries.  I was very impressed at how "clean" everything was, for some reason (drugs).

A bit disappointed that my request for a complimentary boob job was declined.  Ah well, winter's coming and maybe I'll appreciate my armpit warmers more over the next several months.

I was surprised by how much pain I was in when I became aware that I was waking up.  Apparently I'd already assessed my pain at a nine in the half hour before that.  It was "only" a 6-8 from when I remember.  (For context, when I was in labor with Madelyn and stuck at 8+ for over three hours, I was also at an "8" on the pain scale.)

I'm grateful my dad and Margaret live so close to my doctor and the surgery center (at the same hospital where I delivered my girls).  We'd planned on getting out of surgery, getting a bite to eat, grabbing the girls and being home by Mad's nap.  Instead we went straight to my dad's, where I pumped (let someone else handle the act of dumping) and then slept for a few hours.  When I got up, I repeated the process.  We got home just before 7:00 this evening.

So I'm also grateful to my mom for hanging out with Corey (she spent the night last night and said she'd stay until we got home... we did have dinner with her before she left).  Then she offered to follow me up the stairs in case I fell.  Love her for that.  I'd totally take her out if that happened, but it was sweet.  And she offered to come back any time this weekend or Monday and Tuesday if I still need help getting around.  (However, this puts me in a bit of a pickle, because Margaret also offered once she found out about the surgery.)

I'm still in pain and still walking like it, but it's getting much better as the hours pass.  Totally expecting to be fine by Monday.  I've been pre-scolded not to overdo things by a few people, so that's well-covered.

Fynn and Mad had a great time with Grandma and Papa today, and I think Mad especially enjoyed having four of her favorite adults together, even if two of us couldn't maintain consciousness.  All in all, not a bad day.

My eyes, in case you are wondering, are burning, but I think it's just because I'm tired.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Face In the Mirror

I remember looking at myself in the mirror right before I left the bathroom to go have sex for the first time.  And I remember inspecting my face later to see if I'd changed.  Was it as obvious to everybody else as it was to me?  Were my eyes giving me away?

I'm not sure if I remember the answers now or if what I recall is really just a fantasy.

For the past few days I keep finding my face in the mirror again.  No, not because I'm about to have sex for the first time after Fynn.  We're currently practicing the Bristol Palin method of birth control.  I understand it didn't work so well for her.  Maybe she didn't read the instructions.  (Or maybe she didn't fall asleep so fast?)

No, I am now at the far end of the womanhood spectrum.  Not that far, although I have joked I'll be going straight from maternity to menopause (please let me be joking!).

Friday I'm going in for my laparoscopy tubal sterilization.  I feel like they could have come up with a better name.  What's wrong with ligation, anyway?  Sterilization makes it sound like I'm the black sheep of the family.  Trust me, as weird as I am... this sheep ain't the black one!

It's easy to let myself get distracted, and maybe I should let it go with that.  Because the focus is this:  Today I could have another baby if I chose (okay, yes, and could stay awake... sticklers!).  Tomorrow, too.  But when I get home on Friday afternoon, that will no longer be true.

Do I want to have more children?  No.  Not really.  I know why we wanted to have a third child, and I am so glad we got Fynn out of the deal, but I could have easily stopped after Mad was born.  We were supposed to stop before she was conceived.  She was just very intent on joining us and improving our lives.

Add to that my 10 days early daughter.  Corey and Mad were born the day after and the day before their respective due dates.  It's cool that I got to experience the whole water breaking to kick off labor, but I do suspect Fynn came early because of my age.  After she was born I heard that early water breaking is most common among teen moms and those of "advanced maternal age."  I'm not up for risking anything else.

And last, I'd like to ingest as few chemicals as possible, and that includes birth control.

So I'm not looking for a way out of the surgery.  At this point I'm still not freaking out about it (although I did make a pact with my friend; she'll tell my kids every day that I love them if something happens to me... I'll remind her husband not to let his sister watch their son if something ever happens to her). 

But I do look at myself and wonder if I'll see a change. Will it be as obvious to everybody else as it is to me?  Will my eyes give me away?
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