Archive for April, 2009

In Passing

While on the way to my mother’s house from Super Target (and blissfully not Walmart, the store I’ve been successfully avoiding for a couple of weeks due to the insanity bone it irritates in my soul) the other day, I nearly got out of the car to officially get ugly. My mom and both of the kids were in the car as we crested a hill in a residential neighborhood. A woman was unloading her car in one of the driveways as her little white dog ran full force in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes just in time to not pancake her wire haired family pet.

I didn’t leave any skid marks or give anyone in the car that ‘we-were-almost-in-an-accident’ jolt, but it was noticeable and, for me, heart lurching. I once hit a squirrel, the creatures I love to hate, and got panicky sad over it. I don’t like the killing and would feel especially bad if it actually belonged to someone.

Grocery Lady lazily called her dog back toward the house. I forget his name now, something two-syllabled and not especially original. She didn’t seem upset by the incident, but just sing songed his name as she kept unloading her trunk. I tilted my head after subtly shaking it in disbelief and started to drive when the dog ran at my car again. My windows were down and I thought about shouting something along the lines of “would you please restrain your dog?” when the lady yelled first.

What do you suppose she yelled? Something about being sorry? Something to attempt to get her puppy out of the way of bone crushing vehicles? Something helpful? Something kind?

Of course not. The woman yelled “You should slow down”.

Oh really? I should drive more slowly than this dead stop I am at while your dog attacks my wheel? Yes. You are right, Crazy Grocery Lady. I will go less than zero miles an hour now. You are so helpful. However, the next time your dog rushes my tires, I promise to give you advice that is impossible to complete.

Video Friday

Ants! from JudandKim on Vimeo.

Park This

Gideon straight up adores going to the park.  If you go outside of our house with him right this minute he will eventually and inevitably begin walking up the hill toward the place where he can see his friends (that’s what he calls all of those children whose toys he covets and at whom he will shriek in delight when they acknowledge his existence).  Last week the weather was gorgeous and so I thought I would brave the park with two children under two.  You can see where this is going, can’t you?  Yes.  Somewhere just south of there. 

As we have not yet purchased  a double stroller, I decided that I would put Piper in the stroller and Gideon could walk.  He is a big boy.  He likes walking.  He is good at following directions.  This shouldn’t be too bad. And it wasn’t.  On the way there.  He held onto the stroller or alternately, my hand until we were right by all the sand.  He played really well with all of the children – running down the hill together, pretending the jungle gym was a pirate ship (although none of them were Somali), asking permission, when prompted, to use sand toys of other children.  It was fun for him, if a little stressful for me since Piper woke up and started howling and I had to hold her for most of the time while trying to make sure that Gideon did not attempt to climb or dismount from any of the areas of the jungle gym that are still a little advanced for him. I was glad when it was time to go home to make supper.  

Gideon was okay with leaving too as he was getting hungry and hoping for a hot dog. I put Piper back into the stroller and she immediately began to scream that baby scream of hunger and anger. Since it was the very first day of nice weather; there were plenty of people outside to watch me push a stroller one handed while a toddler grasped the other hand and the baby inside staged her own version of a protest. I’m sure we were a sight.  

I’m even more sure that we were a sight when Gideon decided he’d had enough of this walking business and laid down on the sidewalk.  I tried convincing him that he would be in trouble when we got home if he didn’t get up ‘right-this-minute’ but it was clear from the look in his eye that he was not going to make it home.  He’d decided to die right there on that tiny slab of concrete.  It would just be easier. And then I did the thing that I swore I would not do.  

Sidebar: I don’t know why I’d swore not to.  I suppose it always just seemed like a weak thing to do.  And it is really.  It is a move staged from a position of weakness, when none of the power is in your own hands, when you must acknowledge your inferiority to mount the insurmountable.  I suppose it was a bit naive of me to think that I would not find myself in this same position one day.  And this.  This was the day.

“Do you want some M&Ms?” I ventured.

“Uh huh” he replied, with a degree of enthusiasm that no exclamation point can demonstrate.

“Then get up off the sidewalk and you can have some when we get home” I explained cheerfully.

He immediately rolled over and peeled himself off the pavement. 

 

We went to a park today too.  But this time, we drove.

On Being Green

Dear Gideon,

Yesterday was the very first time that it reared it’s ugly head in you.  Until then you had chosen to mostly ignore this new thing that has taken over my nights and impedes your ability to exert maximum force onto the ottoman in the family room. You could not ignore her anymore.  She clearly is not going to leave and you just came to that realization not 24 hours ago.  In protest of her presence you have yelled or whined the following things:

      Baby Down (complete with hand gestures to show me where she should be laid)

      No Baby (complete with furious head shaking)

      Nooooo (including a very pitiful look and possibly throwing your body onto the nearest floor, chair or sofa)

Let’s just say that you were not impressed by any kind of rationalizing I attempted and the only thing that really solved the problem was when Dada came home.  Well, that is, until he picked Piper up.  

I know you aren’t reading yet, but I thought I’d mark it down for you now anyway. This new baby has not diminished my love for you in any way. I wondered how it would all work out before she came, just like you are wondering now.  How is it possible to make room for another person to love?  If there are more little people around, won’t you have to love the other little person less?  How can everyone enjoy each other as much we did when there were only three of us?  I thought the same things. But I shouldn’t have worried and neither should you.  There is some kind of wonderful magic that makes it all possible.  I don’t love you less because Piper is here just like I didn’t start loving Dada less when you came.  I love him more.  I love you more.  And I love Piper too.  I’m so thankful that our capacity to love isn’t limited, there isn’t going to be a time when we run out and there’s never going to be a time when someone gets pushed out of it.  You are still my sweet boy and you are still wholly loved.  

So, now, please pick yourself up off the floor and calm down about the fact that your sister is touching a toy that you used to play with a year or two ago.  

Also, please tell Mama how you can remember that.  She can’t remember when she puts a cake in the oven – even when she can smell it and starts thinking “Hmm.  I wonder what smells so good?”. 

 

Thanks.  That's much better.

Thanks. That's much better.

Birth Story

This is now very over due.  I hope that the teacher will still accept it.  If not, then I’m totally going to need some extra credit.  Maybe I can make a diorama or something. 

Around 4:00 am on Friday morning I woke up to this thought “that contraction was damp.”  I got up from the couch, where I was sleeping due to Jud’s cough and cold (imagining myself with any kind of sickness plus labor makes me want to heave), and went up to the master bathroom.  With Gideon, my water broke first and so I thought if my water had broken again that I would know.  That seemed like a logical thought at the time, but instead of knowing, I just got confused.  My underwear were wet but I wasn’t leaking any fluid that smells ever so slightly like bleach.  I began wondering if I had finally lost the very last shred of decency I had left and had become incontinent.  Figuring this to be the case, I changed my underwear and trudged back downstairs.  Not wanting to be right about it, I slouched in the office chair and perused the  most reliable source in modern medicine – google.  WebMD wasn’t being helpful but then again, neither were all of the blog entries I read.  I laid back down on the sofa and drifted off to sleep.

Sometime later I woke up to another damp contraction.  I put on an adult diaper (Is that funny?  Probably.  Is it practical?  Absolutely.  A friend in Dallas who works L&D at Baylor told me to pick some up for post delivery ease and I found that while I didn’t particularly like wearing them after the fact, they made things easier on both sides of the issue)  because I’d graduated to believing that it was indeed amniotic fluid and not urine and then I went back to sleep. Jud’s alarm went off and I heard him turn on the water in the shower.  I gave him a little time and then went upstairs to tell him that we needed to go get a litmus test. I was feeling annoyed for not knowing and he was very calm and pretty sure I was not peeing my pants. I took a shower, got ready and then called the doctor’s office.

My doctor was out of town that day and I spoke with the doctor on call.  She said she’d call the hospital to let them know I was coming.  As we drove there, there was some discussion about the hospital’s location and which street it was on and even if I was right, I tried not to gloat. It’s terribly unbecoming of a person to be haughty about knowing the location of a building when  – 1. They cannot even tell you what is leaking out of their body and 2. They have no idea where to go in said building upon arrival.  I kind of freaked out about that last part as Jud pulled the car into the garage.  I hadn’t pre-registered!  I didn’t know which floor L&D was on!  I am not prepared to do this! Halp! 

Amazingly enough, the woman at the front desk knew exactly where we needed to go and sent us up the elevator where a ton of nurses were hanging out just waiting to birth some babies. I handed them the pre-registration forms that I’d filled out months ago but never sent and they escorted us into a room. Then they made us switch rooms. I did not care which room I was in while I disrobed and put on the lovely hospital gown.  I only wanted to know if this fluid meant I was going to be staying in the room for a while.  A middle aged nurse came in and listened as I recapped the whole mystery fluid story.  She took the diaper and tested it.  There was a tinge of blue.  Not enough to get excited.  She checked me out.  No blue.  Great.  Mystery not really solved.  

Doctor S. popped into the room shortly thereafter.  She came in wearing a smart purple and black flowered suit, spiky bleached blond hair and sparkly purple eye shadow.  She seemed like fun.  After a quick peek she pronounced me broken but it was too high and small to get the ball rolling and needed a little assistance.  She then broke my water…again…only this time I knew it was broken because she’d shoved a pokey thing in there and jabbed a bunch until a ton of fluid ran out.  No mistaking that.  

I was still not dilating but was nicely effaced with contractions 5 minutes apart but not strong enough to make me care, so they hooked up the pitocin.  By the time I got to a four, the nurse suggested that if I wanted an epidural, I’d better get one now.  The pain wasn’t super intense yet, but I figured I might as well, so they called for the anesthesiologist. It took a while for him to get there and by the time he was free, I was very very glad he was coming. In came a former Husker football player who swabbed my back and poked around and eventually I wasn’t feeling anything but good.

Shortly after it was in, I told the nurse that I felt like I needed to sit up. She told me I couldn’t sit up much more because the anesthesia would pool in my legs.  I said okay.  By then it was lunchtime and our nurse called another one to come in and watch me while she went to eat.  In Dallas, our nurses all just checked in from time to time, which I think I liked more, but Jud appreciated that the nurses stayed with us, probably because while the main nurse was gone, I got a little loopy.  As he chatted with the new nurse about food and what to order for lunch, I started feeling really weird.  It was hard to take a breath.  My vision started tunneling.  I couldn’t speak.  I could think just fine but I couldn’t make myself say anything.  I was falling asleep.  As my eyes started to close I remember thinking “this is what it feels like to die.”  The new nurse looked down and noticed I was drifting off and had lost all the color in my face. She propped me up onto my left side a little more and took my blood pressure.  It was low but not alarmingly so.  The old nurse came back from lunch. 

The old nurse listened to the story and decided I had too much pressure on the main artery that runs through the back.  I told her that it might be the epidural, that I was still feeling ‘funny.’ She was pretty sure it was the artery.  After awhile she was about to leave to go get something when it happened all over again. She reacted much quicker and with much more decisive action.  Before long the former Husker was back in the room and dialing down my epidural from a 9 to a 6.  Yeah.  I’m not a 250 lb man.  I don’t need the 9 on a scale of 10.  I mean, come on dude.  Anyway, I felt a lot better once it was cut back.  

The nurse kept me propped up on my side for a while and then switched me to the other side. It was only about a half hour after that when Doctor S. called to find out how things were going.  The nurse was just about to check to see how dilated I was but the doctor told her just to wait until she got there.  A few minutes later, Doctor S. came back in, took a peek and pronounced me ready to push.  They got everything set up and I psyched myself up for pushing.  As soon as the next contraction came, I pushed.  I pushed three times total on that one contraction and out she came, squirmy and screaming and shedding hair like crazy.  Both of my babies have been pretty hairy at birth but she was more so than Gideon. The nurse actually came over to show us all the hair that was coming off as she held Piper. Jud took video of her getting cleaned up and she looks pretty red and smooshy.  She also looked a whole lot like her brother did when he first made his grand entrance. 

It’s almost six weeks since that day now and she is still just as awe-inspiring.  She’s been smiling at us for a few weeks, especially at Grandma Paula who has some kind of magic  She stares at Jud as if he is the most interesting thing she’s ever seen and he has a magic touch to get her to stop crying and settle down to sleep.  She already cranes her head around to watch Gideon playing.  She’s wonderful and we’re incredibly, inexplicably blessed. 

 

How could you not just eat this up?

How could you not just eat this up?

 

She is getting so big. It's happening so fast.

She is getting so big. It's happening so fast.

Easter

Jud’s bronchitis came back so our Easter picture was slightly truncated.  easter3

 

easter2

Quick

I keep intending to write up the official birth story for you but somehow I get sidetracked by diaper changes and feedings.  One of these days I’ll actually tell you how she got here, but for now, you can just enjoy her sweet face.

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