Saturday, June 4, 2011

6 months heart explodes

Pretty much the best and worst thing to happen to humanity. On one hand, nobody can function correctly without the appropriate "pinch" of it. On the other hand, it causes all sorts of problems. Like puberty. Then, pregnancy. Or like ME, weeping at the thought that one day my babies won't need me to put blankets on them at night. (Because I'm not a creeper like in Love You Forever. I'm not the mama who drives to my son's house, unstraps the ladder from the roof of the station wagon and climbs in his apparently unlocked window so I can rock him, singing a lullaby. I'm not that mama. YET.)
Yes, I'm blaming estrogen here.

Today (yesterday by the time I finish this) my "tiny" love is 6 months old. Not many people care. I don't mean that in a pity-me or any other sort of way. It's like telling people it's your XX-year wedding anniversary. You pretty much go, "Oh! Congrats..." and then go back to checking facebook and getting dinner ready. Unless you're this tiny love's mama. Then you look over at his chubby delicious cheeks and beautiful, God-sculpted smile and the estrogen damn near creates a supernova of warm fuzzy baby-loving intensity.
Watch out, world!

(Yes, I know that STILL only like four of you know Hunter's birth story. And I know, by how loudly you're all clamoring for the details, that like only four of you really care and maybe a couple more are mildly interested. Whatever. It bothers me that I haven't told you because I'm trying to be consistent with how I ooh and ahh over each child. I'm already failing, LOL. 'Cause you're not getting that story today!)

Dear little Hunter,

You are so sweet. You are truly a good-natured child. The skinny, womb-folded version of you gave way (soooo quickly) to the current plump version of you that causes estrogen supernovas in all the women in our lives. You eat like every meal is your last. Strangely I'm not getting any thinner because of that, so please don't be so very different from your brother that you take all the water and leave the calories 'cause I was banking on the passive weight loss!
Your knuckle-dimples make me cry (everything makes me cry) because they are fleeting, special, squishy. Your toes are like little caterpillars. Your eyes light up like a Christmas tree whenever someone acts foolish for your sake. Your smile explodes when Jack talks to you or runs around like a crazy person to entertain you.
I stop and close my eyes when I hear you babbling in the other room (I stopped doing that when you babble in the car, trust me...) because I want to take that moment and somehow fold it into a little square...a Viewfinder disc for later, complete with smells and sounds and feelings. I LOVE my life with you, with Jack, with Daddy. You are evidence of the fact that life goes by so fast that I can't catch up.
I hold you and feel your super soft skin and already notice how weathered my own skin is. Am I really nearly 30? How does that happen to a person? That's so...decidedly grown up and irrevocably adult. I am so happy that I have given this world two great lights so far, you and Jack. I'll do my damnedest to raise you to be wise and committed to God.
Hunter Cole, I love you. I love love love love love you. I love that you're here and that the Lord has given me all these hours with you. Sometimes I'm shaken with fear, knowing that bad things can happen to anyone, good or bad, Christian or not, and I squeeze you and your brother and Daddy, praying that I never have to go through losing any of you. It would be too hard to breathe.
Happy half-birthday, sweet one. I will sleep now and cuddle you in a few hours when you crave mama and milk and warmth and all things safe.

Love, Mama.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If I Forget To Write Things Down...(freakishly long post)

...then they just disappear forever. Seriously. I promised that my "next post" would tell you all about Hunter's birth story, but it won't. And Hunter will be 5 months on May you see how ridiculously LAME I've been about documenting our little lives here. I think, if we didn't have the internet (and I'm not BLAMING the internet, just my addiction to/reliance on it), then I think I could actually keep a written diary of some sort. That's the only way I'd have time. But then, I am typing this at nearly midnight just because, for the moment, NO MALES OF ANY AGE NEED ME RIGHT NOW. Unless Hunter wakes up. Or John realizes I'm not in bed and lumbers down the hall to make sure I'm not dead. Or the covers fall off of Jack. But not right now.

So. I am 29. John is 26. Jack is nearly 3. Hunter is nearly 5 months. We're all alive, well, and entirely too well-fed compared to the rest of the world. We are not even close to rich, yet our essential needs are met. We have family close by who invite us into their lives constantly and love our sons. We're so grateful. We have many friends, even though this thing called parenthood clog life enough that we don't get to see each other ever. We are on facebook enough that we could probably get a whole lot more done if we weren't. Feel updated yet?

Didn't think so.

How do I catch up from this gap? The delivery of Hunter and the four and half month since...I don't know if I can! Well, I will try, but not tonight. Instead, I'm going to jump right in to today, to NOW. Because if I spend ten posts updating you, I'll still have missed documenting what's going on NOW. And I have an incessant, nagging need to document the now because it is flying by at a speed incalculable by human means. Seriously.

Jack looks more and more like a boy every day...and now that I have Hunter I can barely believe that Jack was once at that stage. Now that I stare at Hunter for hours a day, Jack's baby pictures look funny to me--a baby I once knew, but is now morphed into a tall, slender blond-haired boy with stinky feet who refuses to be potty-trained and smells all of sweat and none of baby goodness anymore. He is not even technically 3 yet and has just graduated to 4T clothing. He wears size 10 shoes. He stands on a stepstool to brush his teeth right next to me. He can fetch "baby diapers" and "Jack diapers" for me. He says "thank you, mommy" and "awwwwwww I love you, mommy."

But he's not an angel. Right now he's in a weird phase where he will smack himself when disciplined. Makes for great scenes in public. And he sasses back, which I haven't found an effective discipline for. I get a lot of "You no touch-a me, mommy!" when I try to hold his hand or "You no say that!!! (dinosaur roar)" And he physically runs from me when he knows he's in trouble.

Jack can't look for a toy in a toybox. He empties the whole box and spreads the contents around the room first.
Music used to be "mitch" then turned into "muse-kit." :)
I have caught him several times laying on his stomach with his face in the dog's water bowl, lapping at it with his tongue. Ew. He will also try to sniff things by putting his face down on the floor next to the item, then picking it up with his teeth.
His fear of flies "bees!" seems to have subsided from the epic proportions we had grown accustomed to.
He willingly goes to bed after a bath, teeth-brushing and 2-3 stories. We turn the hall light on and he can quietly sit or lie in bed with the books he was read until he wants to go to sleep.
He is constantly following me around to see how he can help me. "I help you? Djyou need help?"
He LOVES Hunter with an amazing passion. His first thought when he gets up is to run into our room to see if the baby is awake. He will open our door and check to see if Hunter or I am moving. If so, he'll bound onto our bed asking, "Baby awake? I see a baby? I kiss a baby?" Now he's also useful when I can't get to Hunter right away and he can sort of be the court jester, distracting Hunter with his words and dancing and toys.
He has seemingly limitless patience with Hunter so far as long as he doesn't grab one of Jack's toys.

Hunter is just...well, fat. LOL He's well over 20 pounds and wearing 9-12 month clothing. His torso looks like one of those roasting chickens you buy. His legs look like turkey legs. (Shut UP, I'm not a cannibal. These are just good visual examples. Despite how he looks, we are not basting him with butter. I'm out of butter.)

He is definitely, BY FAR an easier baby than Jack was. This, I'm sure, is a combination of me not being a new mom and him just seriously being more laid-back. A couple days ago we were all going home in the van and Hunter had decided to cry from the AV Mall all the way home to Challenger and I. We just kept driving home, but John and I had to chuckle for a moment because when Jack had done that sort of thing years ago, we pulled over so I could nurse or change him. Now we're fairly convinced that a baby can survive a few moments of crying, so Hunter got to wail during our drive.

Hunter JUST started rolling over from back to tummy--yay!!! BUT we aren't yet at the stage where he can roll back, so all day now he is rolling onto his tummy, then becoming FURIOUS because he's done with being in that position, I flip him over and he immediately flips back and starts the process again. It drives me batty, but I'm so proud of him growing up.

Well, this is long enough. Let me wrap it up with my customary love notes:

You are such a joy with your goofy grin and your imagination. Today I told you to eat your dinner and you told me you couldn't because you didn't feel good. I asked you what hurts (expecting you to tell me it was your tummy or throat or something). You told me it was your leg where you had a teeny tiny scratch but scabs currently freak you out a bit. That's why you couldn't eat your food. Over a scratch. I love your love for all things boy: trucks and trains, dinosaurs and dirt. I'm so proud of you. You make me feel "bree-full-o" everyday.
Love, Mama

You are such a chub of amazingness. I can't believe it's been nearly five months. Ridiculous. Of course, now you weigh enough to equal three of you at birth, which is shocking. It is so wonderful to again have a baby because it's a real confidence booster for someone to grin and coo and giggle and have a full-body glee spasm just because I walked into the room! (Daddy loves me and all, but after six years we're a little more comfortable with each other for that sort of behavior. Hee hee!) Having another baby makes going to the store a very tiring event, but I love taking you out because everyone who sees you just loves you! I'm so excited to watch you grow and for you to be a little playmate for Jack! I love you, "tiny" love. I'm all twitterpated over you.
Love, Mama

Sunday, January 9, 2011

41 weeks: Everyone needs to quiet down!

Okay, so I'm writing this waaaaaaay after week 41. Say, week 46ish. But I have GOT to catch up. It makes me very sad that I haven't kept up with this documentation of Hunter's little life...well, of all of our lives. And I know that, try as I may, I won't remember so much that has gone by already, even if I document some of it.

Week 41 was very difficult for me. No, not because I was late. I wasn't worried about being late. I was worried about everyone ELSE being worried about being late. Because the later it got, the fussier people got. Ironically, after NINE MONTHS of waiting, every day after my very-rough-estimate "due date" was TOO LONG TO WAIT!!!! TOO LONG!!! You know, I'd read about fudging the due date to, telling your friends and family that you were one week "earlier" than you were, so no one got a chance to bug you because the baby came "early"!
Yeah, I should have done that. Because I had to quit facebook at one point just to stop justifying myself and feeling like I was failing when I had no reason to feel that way.

I can't even point out any specific remark (aren't YOU all grateful!) that put me on edge. Honestly, it was the combination of my own anxiety with anything anyone said, good or bad. I was worried about Hunter being late because I was having him in the hospital and doctors are (sometimes understandably) fussy when your baby seems "overcooked"...but often it's a liability issue.

Now, Dr. Kurian was WONDERFUL at the birth (as you'll read in another post). SIMPly WONDERful. But his nurse asked me if I wanted to schedule an induction. Before I was due. I was actually 39 weeks. And healthy. No complications except Group B Strep Positive, which isn't an issue really. So it irritates me GREATLY that they would encourage scheduling an intervention so routinely without there being any cause whatsoever. I get it if I had gestational diabetes and was going blind. That I get. But for a healthy mom with a healthy baby, who could naturally give birth (as I did) at least two weeks after her "due date." Grrrrr....

But I digress. Or complain. Both, probably.

So on Wednesday of week 41 I went in for a non-stress test. "Non-stress" is definitely a misnomer for me. Because I was beyond stressed. Not because I was worried about Hunter. I had no signs to indicate that Hunter was unwell. I was worried that perhaps Hunter would not put on a "good show" and make people worried when he was really doing just fine.

So, for the first time during my pregnancy at any doctor's visit, my blood pressure was really high. Then the nurse had me lay on my back, which hurt my hips and lower back like you can't even believe. Then they can't get a good reading off one machine. Like, it just broke. Then they wheel a second machine in. Which stops printing. Thankfully, Dr. Kurian came in, looked at the results on the monitor and deemed everything fine. But I would have to come in the next day for an ultrasound to monitor amniotic fluid, then again the day after for another non-stress test.

That night I felt little pains that came sort of regularly, which I "walked off" around Jill's pool table after dinner. But it tapered off. I woke up the next morning to Dr. Kurian's office postponing the ultrasound to Friday, which suited me just fine. I'd been drinking LOTS of water to make sure my fluid was good, but it's not like that would hurt me. I just had to pee a lot!

I kept feeling little pains off and on that day, which was exciting but I tried not to get too excited. I knew it could stop and I didn't want to get disheartened. So I tried to test Murphy's Law. I started making poultry stock with turkey and chicken carcasses. It takes six hours to make poultry stock and I figured that if this was real labor, it would interfere with my six hour time period and I'd much rather sacrifice a pot of stock (sad as it would be) in order to get the baby out! Around 3 p.m. I decided to start keeping track of the contractions seriously!'ll have to find out the rest in the next post! *grin*