30 Jul 2008

Stuff No One Told Me About Regarding the Birthing of Children.

Written by sally @ 3:34 pm — Section: Uncategorized

Ever since I gave birth, lo these 14 weeks ago, I have been keeping a mental list of all the stuff I didn’t know that I wish I had known. I did a lot of bitching about this stuff to whoever would listen, because all the books in the world still overlooked stuff that I personally would’ve been reassured to know about beforehand.

Things to Take With You to the Hospital That No One Told Me About

1. I brought regular old elastic-banded maternity jeans with me to hospital to come home in, but since I ended up having a c-section, the elastic band was right over my incision…which hurt, and so I left the hospital in pajama pants. Which was a cute look with the top I was wearing. So I recommend you bring some super baggy drawstring pants that could conceivably be worn higher up on your body. I wore the hell out of a knit skirt with a high waistband the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and found that it was absolutely the only thing I owned that didn’t mash on me for the first few weeks postpartum.

2. Baby fingernail clippers. Spike came into this world with longish fingernails, which he delightedly raked across his face in the first few hours of life. You may be afraid to cut your new tiny baby’s fingernails, but you’re never going to be able to see them as well as you will in the harsh and unflattering hospital room light, so get to it early. However, you may be weird like my mother in law and want to, you know, just bite them off. I’m sorry, but that is weird. (What’s doubly funny about my mother in law telling me that’s how she cut her babies’ nails is that she has a habit of repeating stories….a lot….so I have heard this approximately 97 times now.)

3. Clothes for your baby. I brought a couple of things, but as a parenting novice I didn’t have nearly enough things. I also didn’t realize that gowns were the way to go. If I ever do this again, I’m bringing at least 5 gowns with me. Gowns keep little people warm and provide easy access for diaper changes. Plus most have those little fold-down hand covers for malicious fingernails-across-the-face types.

4. If you bring your own pillow (highly recommended!), bring extra pillowcases. There are various icky things that might get on yours.

5. Giant underwear. I recommend a bag of giant panties at least 1-2 sizes bigger than your normal size. Larry went to the store to get some, returned with a bag of big, but not giant panties, and was sent back for truly gargantuan ones.

Things Regarding Childbirth That No One Told Me About (WARNING: GROSS)

1. If you push your baby out, unless you have just had a colonic, an enema, or bowels of steel, you’re probably going to poop. I’m just telling you. NOT THAT IT HAPPENED TO ME OR ANYTHING, but from WHAT I HEAR, the delivery bed/table thing has a detachable bottom (you won’t need the bottom of your table, as your legs will be up in the air) and your nurse will put a giant red biohazard bag underneath you to catch whatever happens to emerge from your various nethers. Plus, you will not care. Believe me. If a couple of mice and a hamburger and the Declaration of Independence had come out of my butt, I would’ve been equally nonplussed. I mean, in theory!

2. Something a friend did tell me: that during an epidural your legs feel like hams. Giant, hot, unmoving hams. Had I not had this handy description, I wouldn’t have been able to ask my nurse to help me move my right ham when I tried to turn over. I would’ve just had to say “leg,” and that’s no fun.

3. If you have a c-section and find yourself unable to, well, do anything, including sit up in the bed, at least you can do this: put your hand behind your kneecap and pull yourself up this way. It is somehow magic and doesn’t put pressure on your incision.

4. Also c-section-related: let us consider a plastic baggie. When you open a baggie, take out some of the contents, then close the baggie, air gets trapped, right? This is what happens to your body as well. They open you up, take out a nice baby, sew you up, but in the process air works its way into your guts. And you will have gas, my friends, the loudest, most bizarre internal, rumbly gas of your life. I sounded like the “haunted house” track off of a Halloween soundtrack. I didn’t even find it embarrassing because it’s not like it was in any way a normal gas situation…and it wasn’t coming out, that’s for sure. If you mashed on me, you could hear a ghost weeping.

5. Speaking of mashing, after you give birth a series of mean nurses will come around and mash on your stomach. Supposedly they are checking the location of your uterus, which in theory is making its way back down to its homeland, but I have a feeling that mashing on people and hearing them yelp is one of the perks of being a health-care provider.

6. If you have a catheter, something I was dreading but oh MAN was the catheter my best friend (as it meant I no longer had to haul my ass and my IV pole to the bathroom), when one of the aforementioned mean nurses comes around to take it out, she may also hover over you as you attempt to pee. You will not care. You will be afraid to pee and having a pee buddy will be appreciated. Do not be embarrassed to cry a little in front of your pee buddy and tell her you are scared. She will understand and will whisper comforting words.

7. Buy yourself some cute pajamas that button up the front. You’re going to be breastfeeding and you’re not going to want to pull a nightshirt or a t-shirt all the way up in front of all your relatives. Target has all those cute Nick and Nora prints — I have several pair.

8. Be prepared for everyone to have an opinion on why your baby is crying, where he is sleeping, how often you are feeding him, what you are feeding him, who he looks like, what you should name him, etc. Take the advice that makes sense to you and ignore the rest.

That applies to the rest of this post as well. Good luck, mamas!

23 Jul 2008

In the Garden of Nuggets.

Written by sally @ 2:57 pm — Section: Uncategorized

1. NOTGLTY
HEDYD4U (thanks, Professor Fury!)

2. I had this sore spot on my shoulder and started picking at it a little last week. When I finally took out my contacts so I could see it up close last night, I had a mild heart attack because it looked like a textbook photo of a melanoma: ragged edges, red, etc. I will save you the gory details about discovery, excavation, et cetera, but apparently there was an item lodged in my skin that then became infected. Guess what it was? A baby fingernail. I know. Let us never speak of it again.

3. Daycare, despite (because of?) my worries is actually going really well. Today is the first day that I’ll be at work all day, and you know, I’m ok. When I go to pick Spike up he is always happy and also breathing. He isn’t sucking on old wooden blocks and does not have stains and dustbunnies attached to his person. The mornings get a little hairy, especially because Spike doesn’t exactly sleep through the night and it’s anyone’s guess what time he’s going to wake up in the morning. I have to tell you that my clothes planning calendar is really helping, as is the additional insanity I added to my life this weekend, which was putting all the outfits for the week together and hanging them at the front of my closet. I don’t even have to look for the pants and top! I am an organizational wonder! Also perhaps insane!

4. The food plan calendar is also good. Here is my tip for new mothers, or anyone who needs to cook dinner quickly. While someone else is watching the baby, like on Sunday afternoon or something, I chop up anything that needs to be chopped for the week’s meals, like onions. I am not ever going to be one of those people who cooks the month’s worth of meals and freezes them, but I can totally chop a few onions and put them in baggies in the fridge. I also discovered that when it was just me and I wanted to cook, I could get it done — just not all at once. A few weeks ago I was making goat cheese and garlic stuffed chicken, and while there are several steps, I did them when I had the chance: at 2:00 I pounded the chicken flat, then put it back in the fridge. At 4 I made the stuffing and rolled the chicken up. At 5:30 I put it in the pan, etc. It takes some getting used to, but if you’re like me and need to do the things you’ve always done in order to retain your sense of normalcy about yourself, it can work.

5. Because many* of you have asked, yes, Spike’s hair is still awesome. Exhibit A, although it’s kind of dark:

*none

18 Jul 2008

Note.

Written by sally @ 3:52 pm — Section: Uncategorized

I’m watching Jeopardy! and one of the categories is “Bubba Fete.” It’s all about Clinton-related parties. Other categories in this round were “Star Wars” (feuds between celebrities) and “Chewy” (candy).

Mostly Boring Things, Some of Which Are About My Closet. I Said This Was Going to Be Boring.

Written by sally @ 12:14 pm — Section: Uncategorized

So, you people watched Project Runway on Wednesday night, right? This show is so damn good. I relish everything about it, even the contestants I loathe…like the tiny tan man to whom I shall hereby refer as Mango. What was Mango’s “garment” supposed to be? I couldn’t even find clothes in that thing. If you’re like me, you thought Trash Bag was on her way out, but I have to agree that the yellow glove outfit was truly bizarre. No matter your materials, I think clothes should still resemble clothes. Not things Dexter would wear to work on his victims.

I go back to work on Monday. I know, I know. You’re probably sick of hearing about it. I went up to the daycare this morning to set up Spike’s crib (crib bumper, mobile, giant poster of my face so he won’t forget me, etc) and while everyone was sweet to us it was still really hard. I kind of hate it when I fit so perfectly into the grooves of a stereotype, but man: I was the boohooing first time mother preparing to leave her child at daycare. Luckily the folks there are used to it and acknowledged me, but didn’t make a huge deal of the fact that I was dripping on the play mat.

To make the transition from household sloth to working mother, I have done some preparation. I am almost embarrassed to tell you about this, but here goes: I have made two calendars to keep me organized. One plots out what I’m wearing to work each day and one has what we’re going to eat. The summer between 8th and 9th grade, my mother made me figure out what I was going to wear to school every day until Christmas. While this was insane, and also a way to keep me busy and out of her hair for a few days, it was awesome: with planning, I didn’t repeat the exact top/bottom/shoe combo until March. While I’m not interested this time in no repeats — I could care less what my coworkers think of my wardrobe (near the end of my pregnancy I wore the same green polo shirt twice a week) — I am interested in not standing at my closet door staring into the abyss for 15 minutes wringing my hands and hating all my clothes like I am wont to do.

Speaking of my closet, it has magic properties. At any time, I can reach in and come out with a bag full of gross things for Goodwill. A few weeks ago I went through again and came out with the following:
58 shirts
12 pants/jeans
8 skirts
5 dresses

58 shirts, people! This does not include my favorite maternity items I put away for if I ever do this again and the decent maternity shirts I am giving to a preggo friend. The thing is, I give away stuff all the time. It’s my favorite thing to do! I love to watch Clean House and then get in my closet and throw everything away. I think my clothes are either like Gremlins or else the closet is Narnia.

15 Jul 2008

Stuff. You Know.

Written by sally @ 8:58 am — Section: sally

I am pleased to report that Spike did great on his road trip — he slept the whole way there and back. I have a feeling it was because I fretted and worried and gnashed my teeth all week. Go gnashing! It worked. Larry’s mom had 35 of her closest friends over on Saturday for baby oohing and ahhing, and Spike received his public like a champ. He was propped up on the couch chatting with the ladies and squealing for the entire two hours. I think I love him.

Dudes, Project Runway starts tomorrow night!

Last night I made a coconut curried chicken dish, and after I went to all that trouble I took one bite and thought: um, no. I ate a banana split instead.

If you are a fan of Frank Melton — Jackson mayor, wielder of sledgehammer, lover of tiny boy children — this photo is a gift for you.

9 Jul 2008

The Return of the Nuggets.

Written by sally @ 3:37 pm — Section: Uncategorized

1. I have a friend on Facebook who was born in 1923. Question: is this weird or cool? Discuss.

2. Friday we are headed to Memphis for the weekend — this will be Spike’s first road trip. It’s usually a 3-hour drive. It’s safe to assume it’s going to take us 5 or 6 hours, right? I can’t wait until he’s older so I can make him pee in a cup in the backseat like my parents made me do. He will have a slight advantage in terms of success. My father also limited how much liquid I was allowed to consume. Um. Is that child abuse?

3. On the television front, I have been watching Wipeout and heartily laughing my ass off. Sometimes I rewind to watch parts again. I’m not proud.

4. GOTFATH

5. We were going to a white trash party the other night, and I really wanted to wear some of those crusty Billy Bob teeth (I actually had some that were made of gum, but they melted). I consulted my costuming expert, Mrs. Floon, who sent me to Party City. They probably had some, but I wandered around and didn’t find any and then couldn’t bring myself to ask. Please ma’am, where do you keep your false hillbilly teeth? Instead, I bought a single clip-on gold tooth ($1.99). Of course I had to wash the thing before sticking it in my mouth, and while I was rinsing it off WHOOSH! it went down the drain. I don’t know if you believe in ghosts, but all I’m saying is that 1) one of my Grandaddy’s front teeth was gold and 2) he’s dead.

6 Jul 2008

Work It, Kewpie Doll.

Written by sally @ 7:48 am — Section: Uncategorized

If you enjoy crinkly baby eyes and smirky baby lips, there’s something you should see. (more…)

4 Jul 2008

Brain, Brain, Go Away.

Written by sally @ 5:29 pm — Section: Uncategorized

So apparently I can only post once a week now. That’s how it’s been the past few weeks, anyway. It’s difficult to write a post with one hand, which is usually how I’m conducting any computery business these days, but right now Spike is asleep and Larry is peeling some potatoes and I am sitting at a desk like a big girl and typing with both hands. Victory! Let freedom ring, &cetera.

I have to go back to work in a couple of weeks. To say I am unenthused about this is an understatement. However, I am sort of excited about dusting my brain off and using it again. The extent of my brain activity these days is trying to remember how the current episode of Law and Order ends, since I have seen them all 500 times. I had this chat exchange a few weeks ago:

Me: omg
Friend: what
Me: I am watching 27 Dresses and I just thought to myself “this movie is brilliant”
Friend: time to go back to work!

Even my Netflix queue has turned stupid. I watched 27 Dresses (which I did think was kind of brilliant, actually, in terms of the set up [although it stole from like, every romantic comedy ever, including The Runaway Bride, which is kind of saying something in terms of lameness] and in terms of the fact that I have a huge crush on Katherine Heigl) and P.S. I Love You (which I did not love, mainly due to what Hillary Swank was wearing when they first met in Ireland; geez, that was a terrible outfit) and right now I have Enchanted to watch. I am confident that the adorableness of Amy Adams will prevail over any major stupidity.

I’m reading The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, which could possibly be the exact wrong book for me to be reading right now. So far we have gone through how the main character couldn’t have possibly left her tiny defenseless infant son in daycare ten years ago because she thought he may die without her. Huh. I don’t know anything about feeling that exact way all the time and dreading going back to work to the extent that I have been a teary mess and it’s still two weeks away and everyone on my gmail chat list better be available for chatting on July 21 because I plan to hide in my office all day with a Kleenex stuffed up my nose.