Monthly Archives: November 2012

Movember: Better Late than Mever

Let’s have fum and replace all ‘n’s with ‘m’s in homour of Movember.

Or not. I’m really too tired to consciously do that while I write. Also, it was a bad idea.

I originally had this great big emotional Movember post planned. You see, not only is prostate cancer a disease that hits close to home, so is men’s mental health. I always support Movember, but this years double focus makes it that much more important. My ever loved and always missed Papa Hy’s life was taken by prostate cancer almost 9 years ago. A dear uncle of mine, who I grew up in the company of but who I hadn’t seen in years at the time of his death, lost his battle with his inner demons a year and a half later when he took his own life. The loss of both of these men broke my heart. I was going to write a longer post where I shared more about them but guess what? Having a newborn is time consuming and I haven’t had a second to myself. My little monster is napping right now, but who knows. He could awaken at any minute!

Sleepy Monster

What I can say is that I wish said little monster could have met his great grandfather and his great uncle whose lives were cut short.

Each Movember my brother Jonah, a.k.a. Heath Ledgeberg, sacrifices his face to this worthy cause. He is very close to reaching his total fundraising goal of $1000. Almost half of that was donated this year alone. I really admire his commitment to the cause because let’s face it, it is a sacrifice. He allows his community to vote on which style of moustache he will sport and they inevitably band together to choose the most ridiculous and impossible style to grow.

This year’s style is The Connoiseur.

So, this is my plea to my readership (do I still have a readership!? I’ve been MIA lately). Every little bit helps. Please help my Mo Bro Jo grow his mo dough by making a donation here: www.mobro.co/jonahheath.

Jones and Baby H support Movember!
Added bonus: Visiting Jonah’s Movember page will reveal Baby H’s real name. I wanted to keep it private, but this cause is very important to our family and I couldn’t not do a post about it. Your support is so very appreciated.

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Don’t be a Fool, Fool: Things Not to Say to a New Mom

Being a new parent is wonderful, glorious, amazing, awesome, fantastic, sweaty, exhausting and stressful. New parents need to work as a team, whatever that means. Configurations might be different, but the definition of ‘team’ must be agreed upon by both. My definition of team is pretty simple: Don’t piss me off. I don’t expect J to be up with me all night. Firstly, he doesn’t have the boobies.

Unless I buy him some boobies? Hmm… possible Christmas present!

Secondly, he works long days and operates heavy machinery. If I want a team member and father for Baby H at all, I think it’s best that he sleep at night. Pretty simple I think.

So, based on the experience of my brief foray into parenthood thus far and convos I’ve had with other mommies, here is a list of advice for new fathers of partners with expectations similar to mine. I also affectionately refer to it as the ‘How to Keep Your Manhood* in Tact List’.

1. When you’ve been ships passing in the night for a few days and the only contact you’ve had with the exhausted and unkempt yet astonishingly beautiful goddess that just bore the fruit of your hairy loins, is a single text that reads: I’m so tired :( Do not write back, “I slept sooooo good!” [insert the deadpan expression on my face here]. Especially do not follow that text up with another one that simply says, “LOL”. You will be lucky to live another day. Trust me.

2. Do not ask how soon you can have sex again. When she’s ready she will let you know. If you ask more than once you may receive a kick to the nether regions, thus incapacitating both of you and preventing this question from being asked for [insert appropriate amount of time here… I don’t know. I don’t have any nuts to be kicked in and so can’t say how much time this will buy the ladies]. I imagine that this applies at least threefold to women who have had a vaginal delivery.

You will also be forced to wear this… it’s not something to be proud of

3. When it comes to the safety of your newborn just assume that your partner knows more than you. Seriously, do not challenge her unless you were the one going to prenatal classes without her and who spent the last 9 months reading pregnancy and baby books. I can’t speak for all first time parent couples, but from personal experience and from asking other moms I have learned that women become moms the second they see the second pink line on the pregnancy test, whereas men decide that they only have 9 months left of freedom and instantly become way more wild and reckless up until the day the child is born. I don’t care if you have a revelation when you see that precious child’s face. In your partner’s mind she has been taking care of and worrying about this baby for nine months already and you will forever be the guy that almost left him fatherless on multiple occasions. Yes, we appreciate that you have had that revelation, but it doesn’t undo nine months of stressing about your well-being as well as that of the child. It’s too much, so just shut up and listen.

4. Do not ask for the television station to be left on some show with women running around in bikinis for ‘just a few minutes.’ Dude. That is way too transparent. Don’t be surprised if you wake up the next morning bound and gagged with the millions of bikinis your partner owns and may never feel comfortable wearing again because your giant child stretched her belly so badly that it looks like it’s a low hanging gelatinous map of purple rivers.

UNIMPRESSED

5. Your partner pretty much feels like her life is no longer her own. It has been consumed by a tiny, demanding, constantly hungry and poopy little alien. She loves this little alien, but life is suddenly so much more tiring. Do not suggest scenarios that could make life even more exhausting, such as, “Honey, wouldn’t it be funny/cool/awesome if next time it’s twins?” Uhhh…. FUNNY/COOL/AWESOME? This will earn you an emergency vasectomy right there on the spot in your very own living room, performed by your loving partner be she a surgeon by trade or a journalist. It doesn’t matter. You’re getting snipped and then she’s publishing a story about it in the paper. Everyone will know and the get well soon cards will come pouring in.

*Note: Manhood here can be defined as either the right, left, or both nuts; the whole package; and/or the general ability to produce children, whatever you believe that entails.

The Way it Went: Part 1

I’m not really in the mood to write at all right now. I’m tired, headachy and my boobs are killing me despite having been drained by the milk obsessed baby (I’m totally glad he wants to eat so much though, since his weight loss during our hospital stay created a bit of a hoopla and made me hate hospitals even more than ever). However, I have a minute to myself which is rare these days, so I’ll try to write about it, as uninspired as I am. I’m working on a more thorough version, but I don’t want to publish that. It’s more just for me, or us as a family really.

Deciding to do the c-section was very hard for me. I happen to believe that birth is a natural thing, not a medical procedure. Sure, sometimes instances occur where medical intervention is needed. After all, there is a reason that both mother and infant mortality rates have decreased with medical advances, but for the most part intervention is unnecessary and is just used to speed up the process.

Image courtesy of uvahealth.com

The hospital where Baby H was born is understaffed and there are no longer enough birthing rooms to support the growing population of the city so they have to keep people moving through. Why let a woman labour for 24 hours when you can get her out of there within 24 hours? But I digress… I chose the c-section because when presented with all the best available information on my pregnancy and the health of my little (big) fetus, it seemed the best decision. I don’t even want to think about what may have happened back in the day when sections weren’t an option.

On Tuesday Oct 30th I arrived at my doctor’s appointment thinking that he’d tell me I was on a wait list because they couldn’t get me a date, as his secretary had informed me the previous week. Nope. He whipped out his phone and said “How about tomorrow afternoon?” Uhhhh…

Image courtesy of inquisitr.com

I needed more time! So he found me a spot the following morning, Nov 1st, All Saints Day. I’m not religious but I figured it couldn’t hurt to be born on a holy day. It felt better than being born on Halloween anyway!

Needless to say I didn’t sleep for the next 2 nights, which made getting up at 4am on the morning of the 1st very easy. I was nervous all the way to the hospital and though I’m loathe to admit it, even had a little tiff with J about smoking. We recovered from that quickly though and he was amazing support for me from that moment through to the second we heard that first baby wail.

I have never had any kind of surgery other than having my wisdom teeth removed and back then I was so high on nitrous by the time they inserted the IV that I didn’t even notice. This time was noticeable! After taking several vials of blood quite easily the nurse found it very difficult to find a vein that would comply with the IV and I felt like a pin cushion by the time we made the walk down the hall to the OR. Here they separated J and I because I had to be given the spinal before the surgery. I can only imagine how antsy he felt in the waiting room by himself.

At least if he was panicking he had this disguise to hide behind

I felt totally out of it. The OR was full of nurses (I think there were three at the time, but it felt like there were people everywhere!) prepping the instruments and one to support me during the insertion of the spinal. I also remember being worried and then slightly pissed that my midwife hadn’t yet arrived since she’d said she’d be there during the spinal as well. When thinking about childbirth I’d always been more afraid of epidurals than the process of birth itself (epidurals are similar to a spinal, and more common for vaginal deliveries. Spinals are faster acting as the drug is injected directly into the spinal fluid and are more common for c-sections)!

Image courtesy of theadequatemother.wordpress.com

Anyway, the anesthesiologist applied the local freezing, but then we had to wait for my doctor to arrive before inserting the spinal. He walked in 5 minutes later so they had me sit up again to prepare. The next thing I knew three people were yelling at me to lie back down. I hadn’t even felt a damn thing! They were concerned that I wasn’t lying down because the spinal takes affect very quickly and I could have fallen off the table.

I lay there staring at the ceiling as the numbness started to creep up my legs. The first thing to go was my feet. My brain kept sending out commands like, “Wiggle your left pinkie toe” or “Flex your butt cheeks.” It’s the weirdest feeling to have your brain insisting on things that your body can’t fulfil.

Before I knew it the curtain that blocks the patient’s view of the procedure was up and J was seated by my head. At first I didn’t even realize the surgery had started. The doctors and nurses were nonchalantly chatting about plans for the weekend as they passed sterile tools back and forth over my belly. Then J began saying reassuring things to me so I figured my guts were probably splayed out on the table by then and I couldn’t feel a thing. SURREAL. I don’t know how else to explain it. But J was talking to me about our future, how great our life was going to be together, how much we’d love our kid, so I just let myself get lost in that, which was probably a good thing because at first I didn’t notice that the doctor had stopped the inane chatter about his recreational time. Apparently he’d tried to get my little Baby H out with his hands, but to no avail. The kid’s noggin was just too big. He attempted a vacuum extraction but it popped off three times. Then came the forceps and finally out came the baby at 7:19am EST. He wailed right away. The doctor held him up for me to see, and I just remember feeling so strange. There was my child, the little boy that had been a part of me for 9 whole months, out in the open air of the OR… but I hadn’t brought him there. A man had cut me open and extracted him from my womb and although I was so thankful that the baby had good colour and was crying I couldn’t help but feel a bit empty. I cried from joy and grief in tandem. And then they placed him cheek to cheek with me as I lay there getting stitched up and the grief mattered less and less with each passing minute. It’s cliché to write it, but truly in those first moments I knew that I’d never loved anything so much. It was obvious to me that daddy felt the same. How do I know? He cried even more than I did… but don’t tell him I told you.

Cheek to cheek in the first few minutes of Baby H’s life… poor bruised baby :( Those forceps did the job, but they left their mark.

Proud Papa

More on the hospital stay later.

About the Belly at Negative 6 Days

Well my fellow bloggers, loyal readers and poor unfortunate souls that stumble upon my blog by googling things like “crunchy dinos eating kibble” and “four leaf clover to kill leprechaun” (true story… btw, I’d really like to know… WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE!?), I have been absent for a while. I’d love to say that it was because I went into labour and had this beautiful experience where I lay in a birthing tub surrounded by candles, Enya’s soothing music playing in the background, my doting husband at my side as I entered a deep trance and Lamaze breathed my way through a perfect labour and delivery. You may think I’m being facetious, but I’m really not. I’d actually love a birth story like that. I could easily be the author of that birth plan.

Image courtesy of privatemidwife.co

That is, of course, not at all the way it went. I’m not going to sit around here steeped in breast milk (hello double Ds! -also, I officially wish to announce that I have more in common with a stripper than ever before. My boobs are huge and everyone and their uncle (perverted or not) has seen them-), wishing that I could have pushed this giant baby out of my special place, had him placed directly on my breast naked and squalling, me crying from relief and J telling me that I’m his hero and that he loves me and by the way, will I marry him because I’m clearly the strongest and most beautiful woman he has ever met… no. I accept that things went the way they did. In the end, the outcome is the same. My little angel is sleeping safe and sound in his bassinet, happy as a clam and healthy as a horse.

The rare but real Happy Healthy ClamHorse
Image courtesy of shannonreallyneedstolearnhowtousephotoshop.com

 

Nevermind that just an hour ago I was pretty sure he was possessed because he wouldn’t stop crying… I am going to be writing my birth story. I’m not sure if this is the place to post it, but if you don’t find it here there will be a link to it. I’ll be sure to write a post including that at least. Or I may change my mind and let you all read the g(l)oryy(ious) details right on this very website. Advanced warning though, there will be no shenanigans in that story.

And so, without further ado, may I introduce Baby H, born Nov 1st at 7:19am EST, weighing in at 9lbs 5.5oz and measuring 21 inches long (please explain how that fit inside of me… I’d really like to know).

I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy

P.S. About the belly? I still look at least 7 months pregnant. And no, I won’t post a picture because it horrifies me. I knew that’s how it would be, but nothing can really prepare you for the jello belly.