Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cormac's Birth Story

Cormac was a week late. It was the longest week of my life. I wanted to stab forks in my eyes. Seriously. I stopped working a couple days before my due date, and so there was a week in there where I had nothing to do. If nursing weren't so freaking physically demanding, I probably would've asked if I could keep working until I went into labor, but I was way too tired. So I had nothing to do other than sit around the house and be angry. The only thing I could watch on TV without getting annoyed was sports, which wasn't a huge problem because the World Series was on. All my friends were trying to be supportive, but I only wanted to talk to and be around people who had kids, because if you haven't experienced pregnancy (and being ready to have that baby), then you just don't get it, no matter how empathetic you are.

So when I woke up with contractions that Sunday morning at 3:30 am, I was mostly annoyed. I figured there was no way I was in labor, and so I was mad that I wasn't sleeping. I think I managed to doze on and off until about 8:00 am when I finally just got out of bed. (And had I known that staying in bed until 8 am would never happen again, I might have tried to enjoy it a little more). I kept having contractions every 10-15 minutes throughout the morning, but didn't want to say anything because, again, why would I be in labor? At that point I was hoping this kid would come sometime before Thanksgiving.

But, if I was in fact in labor, I wanted to keep it going (dear god, please just keep having contractions!) so we went for a long walk. And when we got home, I was still having contractions! And they were closer together! So I did some laundry (I know, weird, huh?). As I was putting clothes away, it started getting hard to talk/concentrate/fold clothes during contractions, and I finally decided that I must be in labor. Finally.

But I had a long way to go. We gave our midwife a heads-up call (her biggest fear was that we wouldn't call her early enough), let my mom know that she should make her way over, and sat down to watch game 4 of the World Series. Well, I alternately sat and stood, as it was rather uncomfortable to have a contraction while sitting. Everyone got there at about 8 pm, and after some initial excitement/shock (wait, seriously? You're in labor?) we settled in for a long night.

The next several hours are a bit of a blur; I went from the tub, to the bed, back to the tub, to the birthing stool, all the while watching a chicken with its head cut off running around my head.

I look at the clock. It's 2 am. I decide not to look at the clock anymore.

I'm in the tub. I finish a contraction and start to relax into the warm water, when suddenly another one starts. "Oh for f*@$k's sake!" Everyone laughs. I'm not sure what was so funny.

I'm on the bed, feeling nauseous. "Grab that bowl," I say to Chris. He quickly picks it up off the floor and holds it up to my head. I yak. "That's another centimeter," says the midwife. Excellent.

I'm 9 centimeters dilated. And I really want an epidural. Which I realize is ridiculous because we're at home, getting into a car to go to the hospital at this point would feel terrible, I wouldn't be able to get an epidural even if we were at the hospital because I'm too far dilated, and I don't really want an epidural. But I want one a little bit.

I'm on the birthing stool with a towel around my shoulders. I'm almost ready to push, and I'm feeling totally overwhelmed. I pull hard on the towel to channel some of that anxiety. RIIIP! "Oh, geez. I ripped the towel." "You're a strong lady," the midwife says.

I'm almost done. I'm lying on the bed with Chris behind me. Cormac is halfway out and I reach down to grab him. "Just a second," says the midwife, "we've got a cord around the neck." "Oops," I say. She slips the cord over his head and I bring Cormac up on to my stomach. He looks around for half a second and starts to scream. He is pissed.

It's pretty amazing how quickly this year went by. I can't believe that the screaming, squirming, slimy little man I held on my stomach a year ago is now a laughing, babbling, toddling, little man. He is no longer slimy, but sometimes he does scream and squirm, mostly around nap time. And now I'm torn between wanting to see what he's going to do next and wanting him to stop growing immediately and stay my baby forever. However, the former is winning, as I would really like some freaking sleep.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bacon Flu

It's all Chris's fault.

The man came home last Tuesday complaining of feeling "gross." By Saturday, the entire family was passed out on the couch, coughing up lungs left and right, and moaning to no one in particular. Actually, it wasn't technically the entire family; Morris spent all day Saturday prancing around the house with his toy trying to get someone, anyone, to play with him. His attempts ended in failure, so he channeled his energy into harrumphing around the house, every now and then joining us in a collective moan.

Saturday morning started off with a bang. Chris and I felt like death, and according to Cormac's wails, so did he. To try making one of us happy (I won't say who), we went downstairs to watch some visual baby-crack aka Noggin aka Nick jr. (as it's now called, apparently). No sooner had we come downstairs to begin our malingering, than Cormac vomited all over himself and me. You'll be happy to know, however, that nothing got on the couch, making cleanup immensely easier. As for the rest of the mess, I decided to multitask by filling up our big tub so that Cormac and I could wash off at the same time.

I guess for Cormac a bath is also a form of baby-crack because he was suddenly happy the second he got in. He even started to splash. The bath relaxed him so much, in fact, that he pooped. In the tub. With me in it. And it wasn't just a regular-size poop; it was a monstrous, ginormous, I-can't-believe-my-kid's-intestines-could-contain-that-much poop. So, yeah. How do you clean up massive amounts of poop from a tub, you may ask? With a sieve. Yes, you heard me. Chris fished around with a sieve to get all the big chunks out, we drained the rest of the water, and then the tub got a good, hard scrub. And so did Cormac and I.

There were no other fireworks that day, besides the occasional sound of barking seals coming from our living room (who let those in?). We just napped on the couch and watched a combination of football and Yo Gabba Gabba all day. Cormac actually perked up a little bit that afternoon, and in addition to his usual path of destruction, found great delight in the kleenex box and a tube of chapstick. So now it looks like a kleenex box with chapped lips and a penchant for baking spewed all over our main floor. And it's probably gonna stay that way for awhile because no one has any energy around here. Except Cormac. Curse you, child.

So the Guxton family has survived the swine flu of '09. We're not too much worse for the wear, which is more than I can say for our tub.

P.S. Any future dinner guests can rest assured that the sieve used to fish poop out of the tub now has a bright future in the garbage.