Valentine’s Day in Review

Disclaimer:  My husband is extremely hard to buy for.  Like, high school calculus hard.  But he gives really good, thoughtful gifts and is a good man who deserves a day where I take a breath to show him that I appreciate the husband that he is to me and the father that he is to our daughter. 

January 12:  Thinks to self:  Oh, I should get Craig something really good for Valentines Day.  He’s gone out of his way to get me thoughtful, nice gifts, I should do the same.  Oh, and I should get him something cute from the little one, since it’s her first Valentines Day and all.  I have a month and I used to be really good at this, I can come up with something.

January 26:  Thinks to self:  Only a couple weeks until Valentine’s Day.  I wonder if I should see if Craig wants to go out or stay in.  Oh, and I still need to get him something.  Maybe I’ll do something sentimental like a calendar with photos of our family or a nice frame for his desk at work.  Nothing expensive and elaborate just something sweet. 

February 1:  Sends text to the go to friend for advice: what should I give Craig for Vday?  She answers:  “From you, sex.  From the baby, the I Love You pictures are always a hit.”  She is so helpful.  Make mental note to charge the camera.

February 3:  Little brother calls me to find out where he should take his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day.  I make suggestions and think that it’s sweet that little brother is thinking ahead.  I make a mental note to ask husband if he wants to go out. 

February 5:  Finds out that Craig has games both Friday and Saturday night on Valentines Day weekend.  No big deal that we’re not going out.  Restaurants are always overcrowded anyway. 

February 6:  Look outside and see 12″ of snow.  Will not be leaving the house to drive 25 minutes to the nearest mall.  That’s OK.  I still have time to order something online. 

February 8:  Go to work and Google “Valentines Day gifts for him.”  Spend 4.2 seconds browsing before someone comes into my office with a fire for me to put out. 

February 10:  Ask Twitter for gift recommendations for a hard to buy for husband.   Think about running out a lunch to get a card but decide against it because I still have time. Besides, I want to get him a gift too. 

February 11:  Craig surprises me with diamond earrings (to replaces ones that I lost before our wedding) for me and a card for the baby.  I tear up reading C the card her daddy bought for her.  Fuck.  Now I really have to come up with something good for him.  I wish I had an idea.  Any idea will do at this point. 

February 13:  Wake up, make plans with friend to meet for lunch and shopping with our kids.  Decide I will find Craig’s gift at the mall.  Probably a cool picture frame and something electronic.  At 1:00PM, it starts to snow and as the snow falls so do my hopes of leaving the house.  I cry and think about how I used to be so much better at all of this stuff.  Before there was a job that consumed every second of my time between 8am and 5pm and a baby that consumed every second after that. 

February 14:  Beg Craig to let me make the grocery store run.  Buy him a card, two bags of Swedish Fish and a book. 

Wife Fail!

Please tell me you did better than me!  And give me some hints or tips for next year.

When Was My Last Time Out?

OK.  So my entrance into this (public) Mommy blogging thing is a little cautious.  I’m still a little unsure about my ability to entertain or inform readers; outside of my mother who tells me I’m fabulous at everything. 

Since deciding to change URL’s and “go public” two weeks ago, I’ve spent the time between the baby’s bedtime and my own perusing the interwebs finding and reading other Mommy bloggers for inspiration.   There are blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry, blogs whose titles or layout make me wish I had a teensy little bit of creative ability and blogs that give me an idea of what might be in store as C grows.  One of my brand-new favorites is ThetaMom and I’ve decided to join in on her Time Out Thursday blog posts. 

Instructions are to take one hour per month for yourself and then write about it.  That’s easy right?  The only rule is that the one hour must be something you enjoy and sans child.  “OK,” I think to myself.  “What have I done in the last month that did not include my baby girl and could be categorized as fun.”  I thought back over the last week and my mind went…. work, home, work, bath the baby, play on the internet, work, shave my legs, hair cut, work, home, bottle, diaper.  I’m not even sure there was a bubble bath in there.  So I went back in my mind a little further.  Same pattern except it includes a dinner out with my baby, my husband and my mom. 

So, then I think.  Holy shit.  I may not be able to play this game after all.  BUT WAIT!  Hold on…  let’s go back a little itty bit further.  There were a few blissful hours when we traveled to DC that my MIL stayed with C, while Craig and I went for dinner and drinks.  That, my friends, was on December 29th.  Almost an entire month ago. 

I have a dear friend who is full of fabulous parenting, relationship and style advice.  And she preaches about date nights.  PREACHES I tell you.  “Once a month,” she says.  “Once a month you must ditch your kid and go out with your husband.”  How did I miss this?  How did I let an entire month go by without any time out with my husband but without our daughter.  The three of us had a wonderful day last week shopping and going to lunch, but there were three of us in the car.  Therefore it does not count. 

I hear my friend in my head again, her voice is getting louder as she says, “Date Night, Krista.  DATE NIGHT.”  Okay.  Message received.  So, on this Time Out Thursday I am committing that by the time it comes around a month from now I will have a date night with my husband to blog about.  Or maybe drinks and shopping with previously mentioned fabulous friend.

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…and may all the wishes you wish come true…

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!
~Irish Blessing
 
I love making wishes.  I make wishes on stars.  I make wishes when the clock says 2:22 or 11:11 or 3:33. When I find an eyelash on my cheek, I make a wish before blowing it off of my finger.  And, the wishbone of a turkey? Oh yeah.  I’m all over that. 


Or, I was.  Until all of my wishes came true.  Now I’m trying to get better at being grateful for my blessings.  Today (even though it should have been yesterday) I count them:

  • I have a husband who I love with all of my heart
  • A baby I love more than that and who brightens every moment of every day
  • Parents who are not only loving and helpful but who are a source of inspiration in my marriage and in parenthood
  • In-laws who live close and are supportive enough to babysit when I need to work, shop or go for the occassional drink – thus allowing me to feel like the person I was before I became a mom
  • Girlfriends who were mothers before me and now provide me with an unending source of advice on sleep schedules, product reviews and date nights.
  • Siblings I would do anything for, especially now that I see them as an aunt and uncle to my daughter
  • Friends who over the years have offered me their shoulders to cry on, phone lines to burn up with phone calls or texting, or a seat next to them when having a drink became the obvious solution
  • A job that challenges me and has given me an opportunity for professional growth.

So, when I realize that I have all of that in my life, what’s left to wish for? 

Two Years Ago….

2 years ago today, he wanted to decorate his Charlie Brown of a Christmas tree. She thought it was too early for that kind of nonsense and wanted to go out for wings and beer. But he convinced her that they should mark the end of football season by preparing for the beginning of the holiday season. “Fine,” she said begrudgingly, partly because she felt bad that the season had ended so soon. “We can decorate the tree quick, but then can we go for wings?”


The final ornament that he handed to her was a gazebo with two miniature people ice skating. She can still remember the music it played. He made a promise that some day they would be decorating a bigger tree. She smiled and as she placed the gazebo on the tree and then noticed the hidden drawer. Inside the drawer she found a ring. With the ring, came the declaration that she had been waiting for and the question she thought she’d never hear. She said yes.2 years ago, I promised to spend the rest of my life with this man. This man who had always had sort of a wall around him, who never made plans for the future and who professed his belief in letting things happen. This man has since become my rock and my support. He encourages my dreams and ambitions. He fights for what he wants and what we deserve. He is the one who literally held me up when we said goodbye to my pap. He is the one who wiped my tears when I cried during the second ultrasound, worried that something might be wrong with our baby. He is the one who stayed calm when I nervously checked into the hospital to be induced seven weeks ago. And, he is the one who melts when our daughter cries and lights up when she smiles.

My daughter is a lucky girl to have this man in her life. I only hope that she grows up to realize that a person who doesn’t look at her with this much adoration,

or make her feel safe and secure

or snuggle with her on demand,

is not worth her time. If she grows up and finds a man just like her daddy, she will have everything she needs.

My Labor Story

Before I forget the details, I wanted to get my labor story documented…
First of all anyone who knows me knows that I did not want to be induced. Remember the post where I laid out my labor plan… To go into labor on my own – on or before the 23rd of September; go without an epidural and not have a c-section. Well one out of four isn’t bad, I guess.
At our 40-week and 1 day appointment, the doctor scheduled an induction for September 30th, which would have made me one full week over due. I never thought I would actually be that late or need that appointment, but apparently the baby had another opinion. So at 7:45 on September 30th, Craig and a very pregnant me walked into the hospital and knew we would be leaving for a baby. On the way to the hospital Craig talked to the baby about putting me into labor right-this-very-second and I joked that I would be OK with it if they checked things out and discovered that I was in the early stages of labor and sent us home with instructions to come back later. Neither of those two things happened and at 8:30 I was still barely 1cm dilated, not effaced enough to break my water and hooked up to pitocin to start contractions.
For the first hour or so, the contractions weren’t that bad. They just felt like good old fashioned cramps. Then they started getting a little stronger and were a little harder to breathe through. I asked for some pain medicine around 10:00 and before the nurse gave it to me she checked to see how I was progressing. I was 2cm. Barely 2 cm. She gave me some pain medicine to take the edge off, which it absolutely did not, and increased the pitocin. A little while later, the contractions were really, really painful. Craig tried to help by telling me to breathe deeper – (thanks honey!) and I realized there was no way I was getting through labor without the epidural. When the nurse came back in to tell me the woman in the room next to me was getting an epidural, I told her to send the doctor to me when he was done with her.

They put the epidural in around 11:00. That was probably the most uncomfortable and awkward part of labor. Trying to hold still, sort of curled up in a ball, with a nurse standing between my legs holding onto me to make sure I didn’t move while having contractions that felt like like the baby was having her own version of ultimate kickboxing. I was surprised at how long it took to put the epidural in and that it didn’t take effect right away. After they finally got it all in and I laid back down on the bed, I did start feeling some relief… on my right side. On my left side, however, I was still feeling each contraction. They had me lay on my side for a while and that helped the numbness work its way over.
At 12:30 the doctor came back to check my progress, break my water and (after making fun of me for having the epidural when I had said for weeks that I didn’t want it) announced that I was fully dilated. I politely asked her if the drugs they gave me went to my head or hers. I didn’t quite believe her. This wasn’t the way I thought it was going to go. It was early afternoon, not late at night or mid-morning. I remember thinking that I wasn’t quite ready for this yet. She told me that I could start pushing when I was ready.
A nurse came in and turned the warming lights on for the baby and said that we could start pushing. Because I was still so numb from the epidural, she had to brace one leg and Craig took the other – breaking the strict “stay shoulders up and don’t look down there” orders. I tried pushing for about half an hour but it wasn’t really working. I couldn’t feel anything and was almost falling asleep between contractions and pushes. The nurse turned the epidural down and told me to relax for a while. I fell asleep for about an hour.

When I woke up, I started pushing again – this time with a roomful of doctors and nurses. Besides my OB, there were two nurses helping me push (Craig was on camera & phone duty), a nurse for the baby and a doctor from the neonatal ICU to make sure the baby was OK because there was meconium in the water when they broke it and they were afraid she had swallowed some. So, with the team of medical professionals talking me through the pushes – I could feel pressure but not pain – I pushed for about 20 minutes and at 3:33, my baby girl was born.

She cried her little head off while they wiped her off and laid her on my belly. Craig cut the umbilical cord and then they took her, cleaned her off and pronounced her healthy. When they wrapped her up and handed her to Craig to hold, I thought my heart would break from happiness. I will never forget the moment of seeing him fall in love with his baby girl.

All in all, I really couldn’t have asked for a better labor experience. I had a doctor that I trusted completely and who acted like a real person, a nurse who was comforting and walked us through the whole process, and a husband that didn’t do or say anything stupid. That being said, I have discovered that the reason the pain of labor is quickly forgotten has less to do with the love for your child and more to do with the fact that it’s replaced by the pain of recovering from labor – sore boobs, a crotch that feels like someone took a baseball bat to it and cramps from a shrinking uterus that are worse than any PMS I ever had. As I type this and look at my now 2-week old little girl who I love more than I ever thought possible I can say with conviction that it’s all worth it. Maybe someday, I’ll even think about doing it again!

Well that was scary….

We had our regular 34-week check up yesterday. I joked with Craig on the way there that hopefully we would get right in and right out… I had things to do at work, he wanted to get in some pool time and I was hungry and was planning on a milkshake after the appointment. The getting right in part worked out… we got called back pretty quickly and then we waited… and waited. Finally we heard Dr. Sterlin’s voice in the hallway and knew that we’d be back to our regularly scheduled days in a matter of minutes.

…Or not… When listening to the heartbeat she got a bit of a concerned look on her face and listened and listened and listened – longer than she normally does. When she put the Doppler down she told us that she was getting an irregularity in the heartbeat and she wanted me to go for an echocardiogram. That it was probably nothing and would heal itself but to go get it checked out. The receptionist tried to make us an appointment for sometime in the next week, but the ultrasound folks didn’t have any openings so they told us just to go right away.

Craig, practicing his night of labor driving skills, gets us to the doctor’s office in record time where we sit in the ultrasound office and wait… and wait… (Really, we could have stopped to get something that milkshake and still had time to spare.) For the record, I’m doing pretty good at this point… A little bit excited that we get to see the baby again, joking that maybe he or she would reveal his or her gender to us after all, playing with my phone – looking at Facebook and returning emails. All in an effort to stay distracted. Finally we go back and the ultrasound tech measures Munchkin’s head, shows us the face – the baby’s mouth was moving like he or she was talking to us, and then starts looking at the heart. At which point I think the fear kicked in. To just be laying there knowing that there could be a problem, not knowing what it was, what she was looking at, whether she saw something… Wanting so desperately for everything to be OK. Wanting to take back every time I complained about my back hurting or getting up four times a night to pee. Wondering if the chocolate I ate, the sugar in the lemonade or the beers I had before I knew I was pregnant was causing this. Thinking about our family histories of heart disease and missing Pap. Wondering how it was possible to love someone that I never met so much and feeling helpless to protect her. Turned out that while everything isn’t “OK”, it’s not terrible either. The baby has an irregular heartbeat caused by premature atrial contraction – a fancy way of saying that one side of the heart ‘fires’ before the other side is ready which causes an irregular beat every now and then. Apparently it’s pretty common and usually clears itself up on its own before birth or within the first few months. I have to be careful not to drink caffeine (not a problem) or eat chocolate (slightly more challenging, but totally worth it), make sure to count kicks and movements and the doctor will monitor the heartbeat a little more closely.

All in all, it’s the best news we could have gotten after discovering the irregular beat. Craig is convinced that the baby’s OK and I’m choosing to believe him. His or her kicks not only get my attention they give me a bigger feeling of security, we have new pictures of our little one now and we did still make it out of the room without discovering the gender. That’s good too… I suppose! 😉

A Wild Year

I have this to-do list running around in my head… things we need to buy, things I want to pay off, practical things we need to do and fun things I want to do all before the baby comes. But today, all it’s hard not to think about a very different list that was running around in my head a year ago. If memory serves, around this time of day, I was on the elliptical with my “wedding day timeline” trying to figure out if I had forgotten anything, wondering if everyone knew when they were supposed to be where, and hoping like hell that the rain would hold off until we were at the reception. (It did)

Sometimes it seems like our wedding day was years ago and other times it seems like it was five minutes ago. In the last year we: got married, started construction of the house, my job changed significantly, moved out of our apartment and into Craig’s parents house, found out we were having a baby, moved into our house, and started the pool and landscaping project. Quite a change in pace from our six-years-of-dating days, huh?

When I met Craig I was so not interested in dating anyone, but somehow he snagged me and I became all sorts of smitten. I try now to remember the moment I fell for him and I don’t know when it was. It could have been when we took my little brother to a Curve game, or the first time I saw him coaching and he was completely in his element, the time I saw him walk off the field with the graduating seniors after the last game of the season and the heartache for the kids that showed in his eyes still the next day, the first time I saw him hold Benjamin or play with Bryant. Or maybe it was the way he refused to let me be negative when I was frustrated about something, or how he’d find a way to be involved in something that was important to me, the way he’d tickle me until I’d almost bust, how even years later when I answer the phone he’d often greet me with “hi, beautiful,” or maybe it’s the consistent way he’d kiss me every time I walk into a room or before I’d leave.

I guess if the last seven years have taught me anything it’s that some things are worth waiting for, and that sometimes things do just have to work out in their own time. The waiting game for Craig and I continues as we wait for the arrival of this baby in a few months… but this time I have no doubt that it’s worth waiting for.