Friday, March 28, 2008

Birth Story Part I: A Tribute to LD as She Turns 3

Last night, I was weeping as I taped up cut-outs of Cinderella all over our house. I cried harder when I affixed a balloon bouquet to LD's chair at our kitchen table. I think there are still tear stains on the Cinderella napkins I'd put at her plate, ready for breakfast this morning. Why? My baby is three today, and I simply can't believe how much of a little person she is. Where did my baby go?

LD and I are a lot alike. Needless to say, the toddler stage was a little, well, wearisome for both of us. But lately we've reached this great equilibrium in our relationship. She starts conversations with me, gives me kisses and lovies for no reason, and tells me that I'm the best mom in the world. I'm amazed by her thought processes and can't get over how much she has grown. A potential Einstein? Maybe. But I'll settle for whatever she wants to be, because I've never wanted happiness for anyone in the entire world as much as I want it for her.

So, today, I would like to share my birth story of this incredible little human with you.

Sunday, March 26, 2005 was Easter Sunday. Hubs and I were at the traditional post-church family throw-down at my brother and sister-in-law's house. My due date was two days away, and I was bone-tired. I made my plate for lunch, complete with this taco-saladiness that my mom makes and I usually couldn't get enough of, especially when I was pregnant. (Come to think of it, the weekend LD was conceived, I think I'd had several servings of it at our BBQ. Ponder.) That day, the sight of it made me want to BARF. I should have known something was up, despite the fact that I really hadn't had much activity at the ob/gyn on Friday. My doc had pretty much convinced me I would pass my due date. FOOL.

Hubs and I got home in the early evening, and I gave him the green light to go out for a while with a buddy of his. It was, I concluded, his last shot at having a decent time out. He headed out and I slopped around the house in my pajamas. He came home at midnight. We got into bed. I rolled over and said to him, "This kid's coming tonight." He rolled his eyes and we went to sleep. Lesson to all men - WOMEN ARE ALWAYS RIGHT.

At one AM, I woke up. I grabbed his arm and said, "Don't move. I either just peed or my water broke." I stood up slowly, and it was definitely NOT urine I found, but rather fluid with meconium. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of this occurrence, I will put it mildly - pea soup and lake scum. Gross. And vile.

We headed to the hospital, and by 1:30 AM I had been admitted. The nurse who did my admitting paperwork was a bitch; every other nurse I had was AMAZING. Anyway, because of the meconium, I had every monitor in the hospital shoved up into my vajayjay from the get-go; they were not going to fuck around with this. My contractions would not fall into a regular pattern, so enter the PITOCIN. And I was all, "Hey, my Lamaze instructor said I can wait on that until I've had my epidural."

Denied. I was in a serious time frame, working against the clock now. So I got to go through labor with pitocin and no epi in sight because my dilation come to an abrupt halt at 2 cm. I breathed through contractions and focused on, of all things, the power button the DVD/VCR across my room. I am now a fervent believer that you do not chose focal points; they choose you. My chosen focal point, a tiny stuffed fluffy lamb, never saw the light of day from the bottom of my bag at the hospital. If it had, I probably would have mutilated it. Example: at some point just after sunrise, my dad came into my room and was chatting his ass off like it was fucking happy hour. I was in the middle of a contraction and (remember the evil stares in The Exorcist) turned to my dad and said, "SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP YOU ASSHOLE!" He announced that he would be going for coffee and didn't return for about an hour.

That said, upon dad's return, he gave hubs a break and took me through some contractions. He cried. That's what daddies do. And it was one of the most profound moments I've ever had with my dad.

Finally, around 8:30 AM, I was told I would have the chance to meet the man of my dreams - THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST! I did, yes I did, propose to him. I also asked if I could have an extra epi to save for this kid's first date (we still didn't know the sex of LD). Denied, but I did get a laugh.

The rest of my labor went really well. I was able to sleep, and hubs did, too. And of course, who doesn't love popsicles all day?

But I'd had enough as the sun started to go down. And apparently, so had the nurses. That's when the showdown began just a little after 6 PM Easter Monday. For those of you counting, you are correct - 17 hours of labor...

Monday, March 24, 2008

ER Paranoia. Also - Actuary Needed

With all of the ER visits I've heard about in the blogosphere lately, I have to admit I'm a LEETLE paranoid. Geez. Do I need to wrap my kid in bubble wrap? Yesterday, LD was jumping on her bed (NOT dressed only in Cinderella underpants and her purple snowboots as she was last time), and I had just reminded her of the time out situation about to occur when she fell and banged her head on the headboard. The headboard that is pointy in the truest fashion of 1970's/80's girly-girl furniture. I know you know what I'm talking about since most people I know had a similar version of my childhood furniture, which LD is currently using. So, after a brief inspection of the non-existent flesh wound, and LD pretending that she didn't hurt at ALL (despite the fact that her eyes were welling up), we avoided the ER. But you all are accident-prone, so maybe I should stay away. LIKE THAT WOULD EVER HAPPEN!

Also - any actuaries in the crowd? I need one. I'm trying to decide which body part would give me the most bang for my buck if I put it up on eBay. Why? Because Chrysler is being a pain in my ass. Those of you that remember the contract negotiation saga will love this.

Before I go any further, YES - I DO KNOW I CHOSE THIS LIFE FOR NOW. But, still, just let me get my whine in and I'll be done.

Anyway, hubs was laid off the entire month of January. They worked in February, and then he was laid off AGAIN for two weeks in March. Yes, he does get partial pay. The problem? The checks are delayed AT LEAST two weeks. And when one gets paid every week, which is already shitty, this whole delay thing totally bites the big one. So, again, any recommendations on which body part to auction? OK, I'm done with that.

Moving on. Why the hell did it snow on Easter? And not just ANY snow - HUGE-ASS POPCORN-LIKE FLUFFY FLAKES. Weird. Totally. Welcome to The Lou.

I'm going to grab a shower and head to Starbucks, courtesy of a well-timed gift card, and indulge my snot-nosed intellectual side by reading "The Ode Less Travelled." Need to do some brushing up; free verse has gotten the best of me lately. Anyway, cheers!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Your input needed here. That is all for now, but rest assured, you will be in the acknowledgements. As you were...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And FINALLY, the light goes on

OK, for those of you who know me, I've been preaching that really I think CFLs are exchanging one evil for another - energy misuse for mercury in the groundwater. And, finally, it makes the media. Better check this out and make sure you know what you're doing with those MERCURY-CONTAINING ITEMS IN YOUR HOME. This would be where that science degree came in under the PRACTICAL column.

I say, screw the CFLs and let's invest in solar or wind instead. And, look - that would be mercury free!

Edited to clarify: Do I think CFLs are a bad thing? Not entirely. But think about how many people you know throw batteries, smoke alarms, and other miscellaneous hazardous crap into the trash without thinking. We're by and large a country of people who don't think about this stuff...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Funny Bunnies

Mom, Dad: I'm Gaelic!

Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone! Hope you will find some time today to listen to some Flogging Molly and have yourself a green beer. Or just a beer in any form. I celebrated a bit this weekend:

And because I'm an awesome sister, when my little sis called me from a bar in Soulard, I did, in fact, go and pick up her DRUNK ASS. Here she is with a friend...

My husband also is quite the character, LITERALLY, when it comes to St. Pats. Here he is in all of his glory.

Yes, he made that thing. Cute. Also - fucking annoying.

Anyway, I'm off to get some corned beef and cabbage (which is an American thing, by the way). Yeah, I know. It's so stereotypical. What is with us Americans and our food stereotyping? Oh my GOD. Don't get me started on that one. Because I have SOUTHERN roots as well. Assume what you will about that, and you're probably right when it comes to the food.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The RESULTS: A Drum Roll, Please

For all of you who wanted to know (and for those who didn't) a little shameless self-promotion is about to go down.

In short, I've already mentioned I placed in the top three essays for the STL Writers' Guild contest, but I didn't know HOW I placed (first, second, or third) until tonight (incidentally, first place gets published in a paper with a circulation of 35,000+). And so, without further explanation, I won first place, and I'm telling you, well, I just can't. I'll let my free writing journal entry do it for me. And for the record, smartasses, I don't edit my journal entries. And my love of parentheses knows no bounds. ()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()

Also, a HUGE thank you to all of you who offered your insights into the piece that took the prize. Your support and comments were wonderful. Can I buy y'all bitches a beer???

I digress...

Wednesday March 12, 2008

It’s almost one in the morning, and I’m still awake. I’m still reeling, unable to really comprehend all that has transpired in the last six hours. I went to my first public reading tonight and read my material, my first-place essay, to a packed house. A crazy thing happened up there at the mic – I couldn't stop shaking. My voice was steady and appropriately dramatic (I am a sucker for the dramatic pause), my body relaxed – except for my damn hands. My hands shook as though I was having some crazy seizure stemming from holding a single piece of printer paper. Whether there were 200 eyes or two million focused on me, it wouldn’t have mattered; I’ve never been afraid of public performance. But my past experiences have always been with someone else’s work. This time it was mine.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the shop windows as I headed into the coffee house. For a moment, I had one of those “do I know you” experiences. Suddenly I saw myself, for the very first time, doing the thing I’ve always wanted to do. And it was amazing. I’ve been a closet writer since I was nine years old, too afraid to put my work up for anyone to see. And tonight, after nearly 20 years of self-doubt, I got to be the person I’ve always wanted to be – the one who wasn’t afraid to be honest about my thoughts, to read the things I think about when no one else is paying attention.

And I loved every minute of it.

The shaking? Well, my best guess is that it was something psychological – or maybe spiritual - like holding my own words in my hands to give them up to other people was like giving birth. Now that I think about it, I haven’t shaken like that since I went into labor with my daughter. And the shaking wasn’t out of fear then, or now – but perhaps out of a sense that my life is changing in ways I couldn’t have dreamed, going in a direction I always knew it should go, but was afraid to pursue.

Some people may say that this is only one contest. To them, firstly I say FUCK YOU – I conquered my fiercest demon. How about you? Secondly, I say that tonight in some sort of metaphysical way, I became myself, not because I won anything, but because I’m being true to myself, to my soul. And that really is all I need to be at the end of the day, no matter what anyone else says or thinks about it.

So now, it’s official – I’m a published writer. And, man, does it feel good. Damn good.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Love Song for You

Is this as funny as I think it is? 'Cause I was rollin' on the floor. A Friday dedication to all the average Whiteys and the Fake Hispanics, too.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I can't believe this!!!


Sorry it took so long for this post to show up. Apparently, Fana is at home and doing well. The contractions were stopped and she was NOT leaking fluid (wow - we're not too bright are we???). The whole fiasco was stress related and momma and baby (still on the inside) are doing just fine. Thank you all for thinking of her! But next time you stop by her blog, make sure you tell her NO STRESS, LADY!!!

URGENT: Prayers for Bananafana and Baby Needed

Hey, all. Just wanted to pass along some information for all the Who Needs Sleep readers. Fana is my best mom friend and I don't know what I'd do without her. She could use some serious prayers, whatever your religious standing may be.

I got a call from her around 1 AM and she had been having some weak contractions. Her husband K was snowed in at a hotel by his office, so she was by herself and a little nervous. We started timing the contractions and after a while I went to her house (she only lives 2 miles from me). She was leaking fluid (we strongly think), and the contractions were becoming more frequent, so she called her doc and he sent her to the hospital.

Fana is only 33 weeks, and although she's one of the strongest people I know, she's obviously very nervous. Because she had complications with O, she was really hoping for a normal, as natural as possible delivery this time around. I am holding out every hope that she will still get that scenario.

At 4:45 AM, I just received word that she made it to the hospital via her dad (I stayed until her folks showed up at her house because her son O was sleeping) and K is meeting them there. They've been at the hospital about 15 minutes, but we don't know anything yet. Her mom is staying with O and I will be in touch with her in the morning to see what has transpired.

Please keep Fana, K, O, and baby in your prayers. I will let you know when I have news.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


What's up, everyone? Well, we're under several inches of snow here in The Lou, and LD is out playing with hubs constructing some semblance of a snowman, which is actually a snowpile with a carrot nose and the requisite hat and scarf.

There's been a lot going on around here lately. OK, admittedly, a lot of it has been going on in my head. But I've not had the same snarkiness that you all have come to expect in my bloggerworld, so I've refrained from posting lately. I miss you guys, though.

So what's up with me? Well, actually a lot. I've been pretty introspective as of late which brings out all sorts of crap from the deep recesses of my head, and really doesn't make for good blog fodder. Stuff about marriage, soulmates, the direction (or lack thereof) for my life, career changes, etc etc. BAH. So we'll leave it at that for now.

On the YAY front - I've registered for the Nike Half Marathon. We'll see on April 1st if my Dirty Thirties and I will actually be running in San Fran, since Nike's gone to a lottery system of entry. I'm not Catholic, although St. Sebastian is getting a few messages from me as of late...

If you will recall, my Dirty Thirty girls and I recently celebrated our collective birthdays in San Diego. As a reminder, the half-marathon crew will be these fine people:

Not that we have a collective drinking problem or anything. I'm just saying. Beer anyone???

My sister and I are thinking about doing the St. Patrick's Day run here, although it doesn't start until 9 or something. I'm Irish and may have pounded some pints by then, so I guess we'll have to see...

P.S. An update on my neighbor - she's been in the hospital fighting off some pneumonia since the day after the fall. I've been in touch with her grandchildren (who actually are really great people), and we'll see what happens...