Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Movin' on up.

We managed to survive moving with two children and an over sized dog-beast. How, I'm not entirely sure. It could possibly be due to my belated birthday present.

Cut back to the Wednesday before our big move-out. Steve had rented a small U-haul to take down a load of boxes to the new place and get the keys from the realtor. He had only taken a half-day off from work to do it (or so I was told) so he came rushing back to the old house, changed and headed back out the door. Before leaving he said something along the lines of "Your birthday present should be here today but I won't be here to see it arrive." He'd been hinting at this amazing, top secret present for a month. It kind of drove me batty. So, naturally I rushed out to check the mail that afternoon. No present. Just junk. Fast forward to later that afternoon, Finn was taking a late nap and I was feeding Cabbie. Steve strode in at his usual time and said "Hey, they left your present in the garage. I'm gonna bring it in, but you have to close your eyes. No peeking!"  Like an ass I closed my eyes and wondered what in the world it could be. I was also slightly miffed at the post lady because she never bothers to leave my packages in the garage even after I leave her notes telling her to do so. And I wondered why I needed to close my eyes at all, wouldn't the packaging disguise what the actual gift was? So, I'm sitting there like a complete befuddled moron when I here the door open and shut. Steve said "Okay, open 'em!" And what did I see before me? None other than my favorite Canadian lady, Martini. 
After crying and calling them both every name in the book I learned that Steve had taken the whole day off and driven up to Erie to fetch her from the Greyhound station.  And she was staying with us for the whole weekend and helping with the move.

And help she did. From meticulously packing boxes, to helping to lift our mammoth couch to entertaining a screaming 3-year old she was a relocation saint. I seriously don't think we could have done it without her. I'm pretty certain I would have resorted to homicide if she hadn't been here (well I still almost did).  Next time she's here I owe her big time.  Cookies galore and possibly a full body massage.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Same but different

While in the hospital I made a choice that may cause a bit of a dilemma down the road for us. I was asked numerous times whether I wanted Cab circumcised. The first time I hesitantly answered "Yes" with a glance at Steve. The next time I replied "Not really, but my husband does." Then the final time I was asked I told them "No. Absolutely not. No." So Cab stayed intact much to my relief. Steve didn't put up a fight like I expected, but I think since I was the one who had just had major surgery he figured I should have the say in any other cutting that took place during our stay. But my decision places us in a curious position. When Finn was born I didn't think twice about having him circumcised. I hadn't done any research on the topic and even though I'd occasionally see a post from a crazy "intactivist", I didn't feel the need to. Steve is cut so our boy would be too. And on his second day out in the big wide world, that's what we had done to him. I was shocked when I saw his baby boy bits all bloody and swollen. I cringed each time I changed him and feared I would hurt him more. It looked far worse than the 7-inch incision across my abdomen. That sealed the deal with Cab. I'll never be a nutty anti-circ extremist, so don't worry about seeing rants about the topic. I just did not have the stomach to see his little bits all bloodied up. But how in the future do we explain to the boys why their penises are different? Do I tell Finn that I was stupid and didn't think before signing him over to the nursery that morning? I'm hoping we have a few years to figure this one out because I'm seriously perplexed at the moment.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Special Delivery

I know I said I would write up the story of how Cab came to join us, but after starting it and only getting to half way through the first day I realized I don't recall all the details. And that 50 or so hours of labor are way too many to document. So, I guess I'll cut to the chase.
After laboring over the entire weekend, I along with Steve and our doula Amy (who I will be forever grateful for) headed to the dreaded hospital Monday the 7th  around 4 AM. My contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I was exhausted and getting shakey, and I know both Steve and Amy were tired as hell as well. We were all certain that I was progressing nicely. But after an extremely uncomfortable exam we learned that I was no more dilated than I had been a week earlier. I felt completely crushed. And even more tired. Then when the doctor on call came in (remember I hadn't met any of the doctors in the practice at all) she dissected my birth plan and made it pretty clear that she wouldn't budge on anything. I wanted to punch her. Especially after she insisted over and over that I wasn't even in labor. That what I was doing could go on for weeks.  I wanted to scream at her that I knew what my body was feeling, that it was her practice that told me to come in when I was having contractions exactly as I was at that point and that damnit I was in labor.  But I didn't. I sat there and held back tears. They kept me monitored to see if I would progress any more and the doctor was going to come back to give me my options. I already knew what they were. Go home with an Ambien and try and get some sleep; stay, get pit started and re-live the awfulness of Finn's labor, or opt for the c-section. When the staff was gone from the room and told Steve and Amy that I was done. That I just wanted the section and wanted it to be over.  They were both concerned since it was the complete opposite of what we had envisioned for the past 9 months. Steve asked what could make me change my mind. I told him that unless he was somehow going to get Ellen to meet us back home and have the baby there that I was completely done.  When the doctor came back in I told her my decision and she seemed shocked but accepted my decision (of course she did, it's much more money for her). Then started the prep work. The IV was put in, the handsome anesthesiologist brought in a stack of consent forms, and I had a very awkward shave.  Before we knew it I was wheeled off to the C/S OR. Which was unbelievably crowded since it was in a temporary space due to the regular room being flooded. I was a trooper getting the spinal inserted, but when I was laid back down I started feeling a little of the panic that I experienced with Finn coming back. And nausea. They quickly killed the queasiness, but I still struggled to hold back the anxiety and feeling of claustrophobia. I felt a little better when Steve was allowed in, crammed in with what seemed like a million other people. Then the pressure and the pushing and pulling. I felt sea sick. Steve alerted someone that I was woozy and they gave me more of the anti-nausea drug. I remember silently pleading for everyone to stop touching me, to hurry up and get the baby out so the touching could stop. Every touch made my skin crawl. Luckily, we soon heard "We have dark hair!" and we both got excited. Then "We have chubby cheeks!"  and one of said "Of course!"  Then someone asked "Umm, how big was your other baby?" Steve told them 8 pounds. The same person replied "Oh, this one is bigger!" I thought, "Well, duh. Of course he is."  I heard Cabbie squeal and then cry out in what would quickly become his signature noise maker cry.  They brought him around and all I could see was his dark hair and his perfect little face. I held his chubby little hand and kissed his head before they swooped him away. I got really panicky again and wanted to lift my hands up to tear the oxygen line away from my face. And the touching needed to stop. They were stitching me up and I knew it would be over soon, but the touching could not end fast enough. I yelped for the nearest nurse and she took away the oxygen line for me which helped some. Finally I was popped back over to the bed (again more touching that made me want to scream) and wheeled to recovery.  I wanted so badly to get out of there ASAP and be with Cab. I kept silently willing my toes to wiggle so that they'd give me the all clear. No such luck. That spinal stuck around for a good three hours.  And when I was finally given the okay I arrived in my room to find Steve and Amy semi-worried because no one had told them what was going on. Then they brought in my handsome little boy. I hated that I had been kept from him so long. He was clearly hungry. Steve said that he'd had his little hands jammed in his mouth, ferociously sucking the whole time.  Amy helped me get him latched on for his first meal, which was no easy feat considering I had an IV taped up my left arm, was shaking and still couldn't move much.   I know I cried (happy tears). Amy got a little teary. I think Steve cried too. I was so stinking happy to have him safe in my arms. It was truly surreal to realize that our little family had gone from 3 to 4.  My mom brought Finn in towards the evening to meet Cabbie for the first time. While he was interested in the baby for 10 minutes or so eventually the tropical fish in the lobby won out. Nothing can compete with clown fish as far as Finn is concerned.

Hmm....I don't really know where to go from here.  Describing the hospital stay seems silly. And the few other things I wanted to add will be better as separate posts.  Drats.  Sorry to leave with a crappy ending.  Next post will be better I pomise.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh, by the way...

In case anyone is thinking that I'm still waddling about hugely pregnant....
I'm not. I've just been busy with this little (big) guy. Calloway Meloy Mankoski. Born March 7th at 9:05 AM.  8 pounds 15 ounces and 20 inches long.  I'll write out his birth story at some point, I swear. It didn't go as I'd hoped and prepared for, but in the end I'm satisfied with having a chubby, milky-breathed pudding cup of a baby in my arms.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finn- Year the First

My no-good-very-bad-day in a nutshell.

I went in for my 39 week check yesterday morning. The CNM started off by asking me if I was thinking of being induced. Obviously I told her "No way. Absolutely not." She said something along the lines of "We try to wait as long as possible with VBAC moms anyways, before inducing."  Well, duh. So then she checked me and found I was "still only 1 centimeter" (because that means so terribly much) and that I measured a 1/2 centimeter bigger than last week (she's been having a student measure me every week and quite frankly, he doesn't know what he's doing.) After a disapproving look she turned her back to me and said over her shoulder, "Before your next appointment I want you to have an ultrasound. You know, just to check the fluid level, the size of the baby and his position. That sort of thing. Of course you can avoid that by making sure you have this baby by then!"  I was dumbstruck. Ultrasounds performed this far along are incredibly inaccurate at even estimating such things. I know that based on Finn's size at birth if I do agree to the ultrasound that they're going to try and play the CPD ("cephalopelvic disorder", for all you non-birth junkies)  card and insist that this baby is too big for me to give birth to. Which is nonsense. The only way to actually diagnose CPD is to take an x-ray of my pelvis while I'm, get this, in labor.  And no one in their right mind is about to attempt that. Anyways, I get all dressed and stumble to the receptionist to make my next appointment, barely choking back tears. Then she tells me that the CNM has also ordered that if I don't oblige and go into labor by Saturday, that I'm to go to the maternity ward every three days for a non stress test and "to keep going until you're so sick of the NST that you pop that baby out."   This is also ridiculous since they've been having me keep a kick count chart for the past two weeks, and can easily see that he's not stressed out in any way, that he's amazingly active in there. Coupled with the fact that his heart rate is never below 140, I'd say he's the opposite of stressed.  I was handed a stack of papers and an appointment card and once again reminded that I could bypass all this fuss if I would just make sure that I go into labor before the weekend.  Once I managed to calm down and stop the urge to puke I called Amy, who managed to talk me down off my ledge and reiterated everything I already knew, but just needed someone else to say out loud.  So enormously thankful I had her to call.

Oh, wait there's more.

Finn and I managed to have a pretty pleasant day after all that.  Little grocery shopping, little play time, had some lunch together.  But once we got home and Steve ran our rent check over to our landlady, we all got bitch smacked.  She's kicking us out. We have until May 1st to find somewhere else to live. She's "doing us a favor" by extending our lease until then because she feels bad for me and the kids.  Right.  Good-bye garden. Good-bye big yard. Good-bye best neighbors in the world. And possibly good-bye Harley, since finding a rental that allows for pets at all is harder than hell, let alone a dog his size.  

If the universe's plan is to somehow stress this baby out of me, it just might work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Call me crazy, but I'm actually excited about experiencing labor. I've been having steadily increasing, but irregular contractions all week and I'm pretty much tickled pink to be going through pre-labor.  I've been reflecting on my experience with Finn and realizing that I never had a single sign of impending labor with him. He never "dropped", there were never any cramps or weird hip looseness.  And even at what was, according to the evil doctor, my 41 week check up I showed no signs of thinning, softening or dilating. Which again makes me think that I was correct about his actual due date being later in February, not the beginning of the month. So you'll understand why I was thrilled at my check up this week to hear Laurie say "Looks like you're softening a bit and thinning out nicely. And you're at one centimeter."   Obviously, Cab isn't going to be tumbling on out of there at one centimeter, but to me it's proof that my body can do this on it's own. It doesn't need to be tricked into it with drugs or a pokey little stick.  If I just relax and let everything go, he'll come on his own terms and he will be healthy and perfect and wonderful.  In the meanwhile I'm going to enjoy these pinchy contractions, sore back and feeling like my hips are popping out of socket because it means my body works and that is pretty damn awesome.