On life, labor and lululemon

The birth of my second son, who will be henceforth known as Baby Burrito (I just love the way they swaddle them at the hospital like a Chipolte sandwich), was filled with the randomness of life, a labor story to kill all others and of course, lots of lululemon.

First, the vitals. Baby Burrito was born on Friday, November 6 at 9:48 am. He weighed 8 lb. at birth and was 19.5 inches long.  For those dying to know the graphic details, I was induced at 2:30 am and pushed 6 times for a total of 15 minutes. Not so bad. His birthday came 3 days before mine, making the event even more special. What more of a gift could I ask for? (Except the diamond hoops I requested of my obliging husband, of course.)

ear

All I can give you is an ear photo. But the face is just as adorable.

And, he was born almost one year ago to the day of my worst day ever.  Life works in ever-so-interesting ways and Baby Burrito’s birth has all but obliterated any misery associated with being pregnant and having a healthy baby.

But, enough about that, let’s talk about shoes. Yes, shoes. Because that’s what I was emailing my friend about a whopping 16 minutes before I delivered the Burrito. Apparently the epidural worked so well I didn’t realize I was dilated to 10 and that the Burrito’s head was about to come out. All I cared about, and I quote, was that my friend was properly shoed and clothed. An excerpt of my words at 9:22 am (talking about what comfy but cute shoes to get to complement a stay at home mom wardrobe):

Hmmm such a dilemma! I saw these really cute sperry duck shoes in black patent leather. Also, minnetonka moccasins are a good shoe as are danskin black patent leather clogs.

You know you’re a slave to fashion when shoes are on the mind when a baby is about to come out.

And of course, my labor story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t plug my favorite pregnancy wear, now my savior for the post-partum waist. Lululemon did me well from the sweats I wore to the induction to the purple sweat top I wore home.  Now, I just have to figure out what I”m going to do with all those large-sized clothes. At least my shoes still fit.

Ghosts of due date past

The last time my due date came and went I didn’t know what to expect. All I know I was large and nervous as all hell about childbirth.

This time, as my due date (yesterday) came and went, I was a little more relaxed. I shopped around Nordstrom’s half-yearly sale (being 9 months pregnant is a great way to save money), and ate lunch at Fred’s at Barney’s with my mom. Sure, I was reading into every ache and pain, wondering if labor was imminent, but made it through the day nary a baby in sight.

Last time around, they made me wait ten, excruciatingly long days past my due date to have my son.

This time around, I was able to pick my induction date (late tonight/ early tomorrow.) There’s nothing quite stranger than having an appointment time to have a baby. But I’m a planner and this organized way of childbirth (as much as I can control the situation) suits me just fine.

Last time around I was wary of epidurals, coedeine, tylenol (hospital strength) and various creams.

This time around I say bring all the meds on. I don’t need to be a hero.

Last time I brought cute lounging clothes to wear at the hospital.

This time, I packed all black. And one cute lululemon sweatshirt to wear home and for photos.

Last time I told anyone who’s anyone to come visit me in the hospital.

This time, with H1N1 on the prowl, even my son may not be able to visit.

Both times, however, I’m equally excited.

H1N1 vaccine: Lucky to get one

It’s hard to put into words what it took for me to finally get the H1N1 vaccine yesterday, 38 and 6 days pregnant. There were the phone calls, the texts, the emails (yes, we’re quite the tech-savvy pair) to my OB/GYN office. There was the nagging of pediatrician offices (they had it for my son before I could procure one for myself, which is cool), other people’s (read: husband’s) internist for a dose. (They wouldn’t bite – only for patients.) I was like a reformed HFCS addict looking for a hit of a Twix. Where could I get my dose?

I didn’t really think it’d be that hard to obtain the vaccine while pregnant. I was at the top of the priority list according to the CDC and from what I’d read, they’ve been working on the vaccine for months. I figured by the time it came out, there’d be ample supply to quell my nerves about stories like these. Yes, I’m neurotic and yes, I wanted the vaccine before I delivered. (Can I throw a “dammit” in here just for fun?)

As it turned out, my road to H1N1 vaccination took me Uptown, Downtown (ok, fine, the Loop) and was hard fought with blood, sweat, almost tears (not mine), and a potential to make some hard cash. (Twix are really hard to come by, apparently).

You can only imagine what I was thinking Tuesday morning after what must have been my 40th call in 2 weeks to the OB’s office. They had no supply. Oh, they had their “Top 20 list based on delivery dates” but NO SUPPLY. So I went on a mission. I called all above-mentioned health care providers. I checked the Chicago Board of Health site for updates over and over.

And when those didn’t work out as planned, (My attempts to blackmail their healthy care practices over Twitter, Facebook and my blog were met with silence on the other end. Kidding people.) I knew I had to take it to the streets. Literally. I looked up the closest Chicago City College offering the vaccine to my house, and hightailed it there faster than you can say swine flu vaccine. Or Twix. Seriously, people, I have only 7 days left to fully indulge my sugar cravings.

I thought trekking to Uptown to get in line at the free clinic by 2:30 p.m. for the vaccine would give me a prime spot in line and a sure bet to be vaccinated by at least sundown. Instead I was met with this:

h1n1line

And that wasn’t half of it. When the nice 16-week-preggers-who-considered-wearing-a-fake-bump behind me in line and I realized that we could cut the line because we are pregnant, we raced to the next zone of H1N1 in waiting. Mind you, I’m pushing my 3-year-old around in his stroller the entire time while he’s screaming “I’m not getting a shot am I mommy!?”

Yes, it was that pleasant. Only, in that room, we were met with this:

h1n1waiting

Hundreds of those “high risk” people just waiting for the vaccine, you ask? Oh, if only. I think I saw more elderly, low-risk ninnies in line than I care to mention. Oh, and protocol, you ask? By all means, there was none. And if you don’t believe me, you can read for yourself. I was number 373 in line, well behind the old man wearing the medical mask. How is it possible that he would get it and not my 39-week pregnant friend whose son has H1N1? Surprisingly I found a chair to sit on and stuffed my son’s blankie in his face. And then decided to make a call to change me from number 373 to number 1. My OB had a dose for me. Saved.

I’ve never hustled my 167 lb. (yes you read that right) ass so fast back down Lake Shore Drive to the Loop in my life. Sweating, completely out of breath with a dirty-faced toddler in tow, we showed up at the desk of my OB ready to go. Twenty minutes later, I was injected.

But I can’t stop thinking about that 16-week preggers I left behind. Did she get it? Did it all work out for her like it did for me?  That’s the problem at hand. Amidst the chaos, there were no good systems in place to ensure the high risk were put at no risk. I got lucky. My delivery date is imminent. But I know about the teacher at my son’s school who waited in line for 3 hours on her feet for the vaccine while my other friend’s low-risk over-50 years-old aunt got it for free at her internists’ office.

I’m not political, or vocal about much. But if we all want to fix what’s wrong with health care in this country, doling out medicine to those in need would be a good start.

This is the end

It’s clear the end of my pregnancy is nearing. With about one month to go, I’m getting those looks. The ones where people look fearful I may give birth on their store floor. Or, people are starting to give me hearty congratulations and wishes of good luck.

As I head into the home stretch I’m increasingly grateful and wistful at my *hopefully everything will go okay* last pregnancy. I’m not terribly uncomfortable, I have a lot of my energy back and am generally feeling good. I mean, I’m not gonna lie – sleeping is massively uncomfortable, I can’t wear my normal shoes and I haven’t worn anything but lululemon in the past 27 days – but holy cow, in about a month a new living thing is going to magically come out of my tummy! (That’s how I explain it to my toddler son.) I’m finally going to set eyes on the creature who punches, kicks and tosses and turns inside me. We’ll add to our family and my son will get a new brother or sister. I’ll go back to changing diapers, making bottles and practicing shushing, soothing and calming.

Holy crap, I’m nervous.

p.s. if you follow the “Opt-Out” debate and discussion, this NY Times blog post is a must-read. It’s definitely time to stop debating the details and try to figure out a solution.

Gender bender

Have I mentioned yet here that yet, again, we didn’t find out the sex of the little darling that is occupying my insides like the monster in Alien? Sometimes, I really think something is going to punch and claw it’s way out of my belly button.

That aside, however, now that I’m 34 weeks along, I’m at the place in my pregnancy where people are having fun guessing the sex of my unborn.

“You’re carrying so high- it’s a girl!”
“You haven’t gained any weight in your face – it’s a boy!”

My husband even told me my ass looked smaller than it did with my son. Whatever that’s worth.

Problem is, I think my OB has already given it away. I’m pretty sure when he said, “if and when you get induced we should do it on a Thursday so that the bris isn’t on Shabbat” that he told me I’m having a boy. He’s kind of a planner, so I know he wants me to think ahead to “be prepared for whatever it is,” but now, all I can think is, well, it’s a boy.

It’s kind of the worst-case not finding out scenario. Did he really give it away? Will it still be a surprise? Needless to say, I haven’t picked out any girl stuff.

Good news that it’s only about 6 more (hopefully less) weeks, until I figure out for sure the gender-bender mystery.

That point

I’m almost 32 weeks along now so I’ve officially entered “that point” of being pregnant. You know, the point where:

  • People start staring at you like you’re about to deliver a whale on the sidewalk.
  • You don’t think your stomach could possibly get any larger, but as history tells you it will. Oh yes, it will.
  • You may start to waddle.
  • You officially use any public toilet available to you no matter the state of cleanliness. You don’t have the luxury about being picky anymore.
  • You need to get over the fact that your pre-pregnancy size M tank tops are just not appropriate to wear with leggings anymore. (Hence, the need for an emergency tank top run.)
  • You have to crane your neck to see over your stomach to talk to your child.
  • Seeing your feet is clearly a thing of the past.

belly32weeks

Are you at “that point” too? Let’s commiserate.

The great placenta scare of 2009

placentaYou don’t understand the power of the placenta until you think something’s gone awry with your unborn baby’s.

I know, I know. How silly of me not to realize the importance of the icky red organ. I always knew it provided the nutrients, oxygen and lifeblood to my baby, but what I didn’t know is that when you think something might be wrong-ish with it, just how dire that can be.

I don’t usually get so personal here, but what I experienced last week was so scary and dramatic that I am hoping to educate you with my good fortune.

Flashback to 20 week anatomical ultrasound: docs find a placenta previa. Not complete, but enough to put me on “pelvic rest” for now. (You can guess just what that means.) “Come back at 28 weeks to check it out again.”

Flash forward to last week, 29 weeks for follow up ultrasound.

“Well, good news is that the placenta moved, but now we are seeing blood vessels covering your cervix. This condition is called vasa previa. It’s pretty rare. Uhm… so you should be on modified bed rest, and we’ll get you in with the high risk OB specialists to get a second opinion and take it from there.”

Then of course I went and Googled vasa previa and went off the deep end. (Seriously, why do sites need to use the word “death” on the first page of their website?)

I couldn’t get in to see the high risk doctors until yesterday, when, in a blink of good fortune for my seemingly crappy/ dramatic pregnancy luck, I was told I was misdiagnosed. All is fine. Placenta moved, no blood vessels in the way of me delivering my child.

Behold the power of the placenta.

To tell you that this has given me a new lease on my pregnancy, and a new appreciation for the power of nature, second opinions, doctors who are smart and a wonderful support system in the event of imminent crisis would be understating it.

To tell you that being told I was allowed to workout again, and therefore went on a lululemon bender would not be overstating it.

G-d bless my placenta. I may just bury it in the backyard a la Matthew McConaughey.

Thing #443 to freak out about while pregnant

At first, I was going to write this post about all the scary things I’ve been reading about regarding endocrine disrupting chemicals and their affects on unborn fetuses. I mean, Dr. Karp told me personally to avoid nail polish and other beauty products in order to avoid being a phalate-carrying menace. Boy did that put me in a bad mood. Double-whammy for me is that this crap really matters in the first trimester, and since I’m almost at month 6, well, hell, I’m going to get my feet rubbed and scrubbed. (In all seriousness, though, Nicole of Nine Naturals did send me a link to this site, which is pretty helpful.)

But no, not even after trying to find a safe, toulene-free nail polish (although OPI brand does not use formaldehyde anymore), I gave up and started worrying about something else entirely.

I’ve lost the desire to shop.

It’s scary, I know. I have no interest in perusing stores, browsing online or gasp, even going to the low-hanging shopping fruit known as Target.

I should have known something was amiss on Friday, after I got my haircut downtown and had no desire to make the three block walk from my salon to H&M. I always like going to H&M.

But the pregnancy hormones have overtaken even my frugal shopper hormones (remember when I was supposed to be all about being frugal here?)

I’m not even a frugal shopper anymore. I’m an abstinent shopper. I don’t have the drive or the will. (Or the money.)

Maybe the winds of Fall will also bring my shopping mojo back again. But until then I’ll be high and dry and wearing my old, elastic waist duds.

Small

I’m just starting to appreciate the joys of being pregnant again. I’m halfway through now, the heartburn is a’ ragin, and the comments are a’ comin.

You know, the, “oh you look so cute,” “are you excited?” “what are you having?” kind.

And then, the one that irks me the most.

“You look really small.”

Normally, a pregnant lady would be happy to be called small. I gained 40 pounds with my son and although I am tall, I still looked akin to a person who swallowed three giant watermelons. So no one was saying I looked small the first time around.

But this time, for some odd reason, I’ve gained less weight and have worked out more and am feeling better and, well, I guess I’m smaller. But it’s bugging me.

5months

I know in 4 months I’ll wish I looked this big.

With everything that went wrong with my last pregnancy, the last thing I need is feeling anymore insecure.  And when people tell you something that’s not typical about your pregnancy size, it can make an agitated and neurotic pregnant lady (hello, me!) a little more nervous.  And, as some of us know, pregnancy brings out the worst commenters in all of us.

On that note, we didn’t find out what we were having gender-wise. We like the element of surprise (although I like the element of planning as well, but I gave up that fight.)  But you can’t imagine the annoying conversations I’ve had to endure about the gender of my unborn.

I guess this is the dirty secret of pregnancy. When you have a boy first, everyone assumes that you want a girl second. It’s like if you are only going to have two kids, (hello, me again!) you must have one of each to have the “perfect” family. One mom last week, when I told her everything was okay and healthy with the baby (which to some of us IS the ONLY thing that matters), told me “I’ll pray for a girl for you.” Huh?

Since when did gender and the apparent disappointment that comes with it become such an issue? My OB even shared a story with me about a patient he has who is pregnant with her third boy and became hysterical at the news. Really? Hysterical?

Maybe I’m jaded because of my previous loss, but there will be no crying here whatsoever the gender of my unborn may be. Only tears of joy. And the occasional hormonal crying outburst that has been happening from laughing too hard at old episodes of How I Met Your Mother. (Which, by the way, if you’re not watching yet, you are TOTALLY missing out.)

Here’s where the story ends. And another begins.

There are so many ways I could tell you all about what’s happened in the past few weeks, but it’s easier for me at this point to say it, get it over with, and move on.

I lost the baby two weeks ago in my fifth month.

That’s all I can or want to say about the whole, horrible experience. 

Really, it is.

Writing about it will only dredge up painful memories and right now what I need to do is move forward and not look back. Thanks for understanding.

In fact, in an effort to spruce up my lacksidasical blogging efforts and create a diversion for myself I’m going to change the focus of my blog a smidge.

Amidst our country’s worst recession, my husband and I feel we have no choice but to alter our life and cutback and conserve where we can.  Now if you know me at all, you may laugh at the notion, but even my spendthrift self needs to learn how to save money.

I’m going to join the frugalista movement and save and budget like no self-respecting spoiled mom who drives a Lexus has ever done before.

Really, I am.

I even gave up my favorite Dermalogica face wash last week for an Aveeno one.  It wasn’t so bad. 

Ebay, craigslist, coupon clipping here I come.  Hope I can entertain you all until I get back on that pregnancy bandwagon or fall off the conservation one.