This Too Shall Pass?

I broke down crying in the pediatricians office last week.  Luckily, we have a wonderful pediatrician, one who listened as I expressed my concerns.  She didn’t brush me off or get impatient.  She made sure I felt good before she left the exam room.  She also reassured me by saying that my postpartum hormones are pretty much at their peak right now so all this turmoil I’m feeling will settle down.

So maybe that’s it.  Maybe its just hormones.  Or the fact that only one out of every ten meals I eat is actually a proper meal with something akin to nutritional balance.  Or the fact that even though my baby is really a very good sleeper (the best yet!) I’m still just tired.  Regardless of what’s causing it, the problem is that I’m terrified.

I have everything I’ve ever wanted in life and I’m absolutely fucking terrified.  I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I’m waiting for something to go terribly, horribly wrong.

I have a daughter.  A beautiful daughter.  My Marleigh.  She is sweet and smart and strong and I’m so in love with her I don’t know what to do with myself.  I tell her a million times a day how beautiful she is.  How sweet she is.  How adored she is.  I coordinate her little outfits with her little headbands and I love every second of it.  I tote her around, an extension of my body.  I feel kind of odd when I’m not holding her, even though I wanted a break.  I worry.  I worry about her getting sick.  I worry about SIDS.  I worry that even though she’s only 12 weeks old I’m somehow managing to ruin her already.  By telling her how beautiful she is am I somehow programming her subconscious to believe that her worth lies in her beauty?  Will she go to college seeking approval from people based on her appearance?  No.  Of course that won’t happen because she’s not allowed to go to college.  Ever. Because BOYS. But seriously, I want her to feel strong, capable, confident and incredibly beautiful.  I hope that everyone she meets loves her even a fraction as much as her brothers do.

Marleigh’s brothers.  My boys.  My heart swells just thinking about them.  They are so full of energy and life.  They are a thousand words on top of countless noises.  They run, jump, climb, balance and crash.  They adore their sister and live for the moment she smiles at them.  They smother her with kisses and sing to her when she cries.  They are the lights of my life, my first loves.  Their big ideas and sticky fingers make me feel young and old, all at the same time.  I worry that I’m not giving them enough these days.  I worry that I’m not taking enough pictures of them or playing enough Candyland.  I worry about being too strict and then I follow that up with worrying that I’m not teaching them all the right things: manners, compassion, perseverance and how to enjoy life.  I worry that I’m doing it all wrong.

I worry about kidnappings, car wrecks, freak accidents and vaccines.  I worry about tornadoes and fluoridated water.  I worry about having everyone I hold most dear ripped away from me.  I worry that worrying about these things makes me a weak person and a poor mother.

I look at my bright, healthy, happy children and feel utterly undeserving.  But, my god, I love them so much it hurts.

I want to wrap this post up into some neat, tidy life lesson.  I want to tell you that I felt all these things and then somehow, with great strength of character and a brilliant epiphany, I overcame and am a better person today.  Stronger.  That I didn’t lie in bed the other night hiding tears because it’s so fucking scary loving people this much.  That I didn’t think about deleting that last sentence because it sounds angsty and borderline stalkerish.

For better or worse all I have to offer you, and myself, is honesty.  Murky, complicated and incredibly unflattering honesty.

But that’s a start, right?

Breastfeeding 102

This post isn’t going to help you find a lactation consultant or give you loads of “breast is best” type stats.  The purpose of this post is to give you the secret, behind the scenes scoop on what it’s like to be a breastfeeding mom.  There is so much stuff that nobody ever tells you.  Classes and books are great for technical info. Magazine articles and the general public are great for scaring the crap out of you with their bloody nipple and starving baby horror stories.  Some blogs are known for rainbow and unicorn-filled “I love to nurse my baby!” stories – those are lovely.  We’re not doing any of that today.  Or probably ever.

Today, we are talking about all the random shit that makes up life as a nursing mother.  Starting with your wardrobe.  I’m sure most people have heard of nursing bras.  Very helpful and expensive little items to hold the girls in place until you suddenly need to feed someone with them…that’s when you employ the handy “trap door” mechanism and let your boob fall out for someone to munch on.  You know, it’s part of the deal with breastfeeding and I think the average mom kind of expects this.  What you don’t really expect is how this one activity renders the bulk of your wardrobe completely useless.  Say you’ve just recently had a baby.  You’ve been resting up at home but now you’re getting stir crazy and you’re ready to go out!  This is exciting!  You will see people who are not your husband and your mom.  You will be required to wear shoes.  This is a big day for you!  What will you wear?!  That super flattering maxi dress?  Nope.  You can’t get your boobs out of the top and clearly lifting up the entire dress to expose one nipple isn’t exactly efficient…or flattering.  Ok, what about those pants and that tank top?  Wrong again!  You can lift the shirt to nurse the baby but all of those damn nursing bras have straps that border dangerously on being sleeves, this is not cute in conjunction with regular tank top straps.  Anything that requires a strapless bra is out of the question.  Nursing and strapless bras are pretty much incompatible.  No tube tops for you.  You find another top that fits and will cover the ugly bra straps but the style of the neckline is such that you’d pretty much have to go up and over with the girls (as opposed to lifting the hem of your shirt) and while that’s not the end of the world, sometimes you just don’t wanna have an entire breast hanging out in the middle of Starbucks.  Or maybe you do.  (In which case, go for the tube top.  It would be like a buffet! For babies!)   Bottom line, I’ll never forget the day I saw a cute dress in a store, grabbed it off the rack then put it back immediately thinking, with genuine despair, “Oh this will never work.  How would I get my boobs out?!”   It’s an odd feeling to realize that you now evaluate every article of clothing based on easy breast access.  I thought I’d left all that behind in my 20’s.

Something else I feel you should know about is the overwhelming hunger and thirst you will experience.  Nursing burns through calories like crazy. It’s kind of like going to spin class for 20 minutes at a time 8+ times per day.  Except there’s very little actual movement involved and you can read or watch Food Network while you’re doing it. Also, you can (and will) eat while nursing. It’s my second favorite form of exercise.  There’s a little bit of a learning curve though.  First, you need to keep food stashed all over your house.  If you do not, you will find yourself trapped underneath an eating baby while slowly starving to death yourself.  You will not enjoy that.  So keep food nearby at all times.  You also need to figure out what kinds of food are good to eat while nursing.  As a general rule you’re going to want to avoid things that are saucy, drippy or gloppy.  Which, sadly, includes many delicious foods.  Like tacos with guacamole on them, for instance, are not really a good choice.  You will inevitably end up having to lick beans and guac off your baby’s head and that’s cool if your baby is bald but decidedly less cool if your baby has a lot of hair.  It’s hard to get a good lick in on a headful of hair.  Or so I’ve heard…ahem…  Oh yeah, and about the overwhelming thirst I mentioned: I recommend strategically placing fountains of water throughout your home.  If this is not an option, cases of bottled water will suffice.  When your baby starts nursing and your milk lets down you will immediately start to dehydrate very rapidly.  If you do not guzzle down buckets of water right away you’ll probably turn to dust on the spot.  It’s nearly happened to me twice.  Very unpleasant.

Yet another sweet and gentle aspect of breastfeeding is a little something I like to call “Taking Inventory”.  This is where you sit around looking confused and holding your boobs in an attempt to see which is heaviest and due to be nursed from next.  I find that this is where your partner suddenly takes an interest in the breastfeeding process.

Partner:  What are you doing?

You:  (gently groping yourself) Oh, just Taking Inventory.

Partner:  I see!  Do you need any help with that?

You:  Nope, I’ve got it.

Partner:  Are you sure because…

You:  No.  I’m good.

Partner:  Really, it would be no trouble.  I think I’m probably great at Taking Inventory.  I went to college.

You:  I see.  Thanks, but no thanks.  College boy.

And if that doesn’t bring you and your spouse closer together (how could it not?!?) this next one should do the trick…

The ever popular Wardrobe Malfunction.  Except in your case it’s not a malfunction it’s more like a way of life.  See, your baby is going through a growth spurt and is eating ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  Constant eating.  Around the clock EATING.  At a certain point you just give up on putting your boobs away.  There’s no point.  They really are a buffet for a baby right now and after you’ve resigned yourself to this fact you kind of…forget.  Hopefully it’s your college educated spouse who comes home from work to find a boob or two on display and not, say, the UPS guy at the front door.  Now I’ve never actually answered the door with my, umm…”buffet” hanging out but there have been some very close calls.  Like that time I finally got the baby laid down in her bed, went to the kitchen, had a little snack then beelined for the shower only to realize that I still had one boob hanging out of my shirt and nary a baby in sight.  I’ll be honest, it was a little disconcerting but I was too tired to care.

While we’re on the topic of crazy, constant, growth spurt feedings here’s another bit of advice.  Go to Sephora and ask them to give you the best under-eye concealer on the market.  I don’t care if it costs you $100 for a container the size of a quarter, just do it. Because when your baby decides that he needs to eat every 90 minutes for 3 days straight the dark circles under your eyes are really more like black holes.  Instagram hath no filter with which to remedy the likes of these.  You’re going to need some spackle or some putty or something.  Or at least some big sunglasses because you’re going to look like you’ve been punched in the face.  Repeatedly.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned here, shall we?

  • Replace all your shirts, keeping the phrase “easy access” in mind while shopping.
  • Buy lots of foods that are not guacamole.
  • Drink.  A lot.
  • Cop a feel from time to time.
  • Consider just going topless.
  • Invest in good quality makeup and/or sunglasses.

Bonus Tip: Get a charger with a really long cord for your smart phone.  You don’t want to have your phone die while you’re nursing your baby and pinning stuff at 3am, right?  How would you ever find that cupcake recipe again?!

Marleigh’s Birth Story

I love birth stories.  I like hearing all the nitty-gritty details of what it was like for other people to give birth.  I know some people totally aren’t into that and that’s ok.  I get it.  Birth is pretty gory and generally speaking, I’m not into gore.  But it’s also pretty amazing and that’s where I get sucked in.  It’s like watching the Olympics.  I’m not really into sports but show me a video montage of someone winning a medal they’ve dreamed about and shed blood, sweat and tears for and I’ll sit there riveted and sob like a baby.  Every time.

There’s also something reassuring about hearing birth stories.  Whether the birth was incredibly difficult or remarkably “easy” it’s always comforting to know that whoever is telling the story apparently lived to, well, tell about it.  I’ve always felt that if so-and-so could deliver a baby then darn it, so could I!  Presumptuous?  Maybe.  But also true.

Marleigh is my third child so I knew what I was getting into when it came to giving birth to her.  Sort of.  I mean, I had a general idea of how the process typically goes as well as the encouraging knowledge that I’d already survived the process twice before, so my chances were probably pretty good. I knew there would be an ebb and flow to the process.  That some parts would be fairly easy and other parts would make me feel like I was insane for doing this again.  I also knew that it would be oh so incredibly worth it.

I was induced on my due date for medical reasons with my firstborn.  My second child was an excruciating five days late.  I was trying to mentally prepare myself for going past my due date with Marleigh, even though I really really really didn’t want to.  However, as her due date approached I just kept having the feeling that she might come a little early.  I told that feeling to shut the hell up.  That feeling could easily turn me into a hysterical mess if I believed it and then ended up being overdue.  Yet, even as I was telling that little feeling to shove off I was also kind of hedging my bets by trying to get everything ready just in case.  I had been dilating bit by bit at my last few midwife appointments so by 39 weeks I was at 3 centimeters.  This made me happy because those were centimeters that I didn’t have to wait around for during labor.  I like to think of my cervix as being proactive.  I packed my labor bag.  Organized, sterilized and sorted things in the nursery.  Made The Hubs install the car seat. Then I just HAD to go to Target for some last-minute stuff.  I also had to pick up a gallon of some weird fish oil by-product from a friend in hopes of resurrecting my pitiful garden.  So I did those things.  I chatted with my friend about how yes, I was ready to have the baby any time but I was totally ok with going longer if needed.  I was being cool and calm about it.  Trying to show my baby that I could handle anything she threw my way.  I left my friend’s house, came home, ate a bowl of cereal, laid on my bed and felt a very distinct and forceful POP.  I froze.  (not hard to do when you’re basically an immobile, pregnant lump…)  Nothing appeared to be happening but I had to pee anyway so I got up and *whoosh* – water all down my legs.  Seeing as I’d been very confident in my continence up until this point I was pretty damn sure my water had just broken. (It was about 4:00pm and I was 39 weeks & 3 days)  I stood on the bathmat in my bathroom, intermittently trickling amniotic fluid  and determined that I was probably going to be having a baby soon.  I told The Hubs my water was broken and he jumped up, ran around getting dressed, putting on a hat (?!) and then finally asking what he should do.  It was hands down the fastest I’ve even seen him move, very impressive, but also kind of funny since by now he should know that this process takes hours.  There was more than enough hat-putting-on time left.  He was assigned to call our mothers while I called to talk to our midwife.  I was advised to just go about my business as usual for the next couple hours and wait for contractions to start, keeping in touch with my midwife via phone at this point.  It was a good plan.  But I was so shocked by the whole scenario that I was literally shaking.  I just never in a million years actually thought I’d go into labor before my due date.  Also, having your water break is sort of startling in itself.  It’s so completely involuntary and…drippy.  Very awkward.

My mom came over to watch the boys for us.  While we waited for my contractions to get going we assembled the baby’s swing and did a few other miscellaneous tasks to kill time.  After two hours, at about 6:00pm, I started having contractions that were around nine minutes apart.  By 6:30 they had progressed to being about six to seven minutes apart.  At this point, while they were nice, clear, obvious contractions they weren’t particularly painful.  Definitely uncomfortable and definitely NOT just Braxton Hicks but still really manageable.  They were like the Dwight Schrute of contractions; big, annoying enough to be noticeable but definitely not scary in any way.  No need to stop everything and breathe through them, just kind of let them do their thing and note the timing.  At 8:00pm my midwife called to check in.  I told her my contractions were pretty regular at six-plus minutes apart but not particularly painful.  We agreed that I could labor at home a while longer but that I would call her right away if my contractions increased in intensity or got closer together.  I was still feeling really good so I was totally on board with this plan.  However, thirty minutes later my contractions suddenly went to being just barely four minutes apart and feeling stronger.  So I called my midwife back, updated her and we agreed to meet at the birth center within thirty minutes.  My mom and The Hubs were feeling much more anxious about this than I was.  I’ll confess to being a wee bit spacey between contractions.  As they were trying to shuffle me out the door I was pausing by the fruit bowl to assess the avocados.  I just wanted to see if I needed to put them in the fridge!  I didn’t want them going bad, I wanted to eat them!  This is totally reasonable behavior…except, apparently, when you’re in labor with your third child and your contractions are (at this point) three and half minutes apart. And just so you know, it appears to be unacceptable to pause and look for a particular pair of flip-flops or to load a couple of dishes in the dishwasher at this point as well.  People get all weird and twitchy… like the baby’s just gonna come jumping out of your body any minute.  Believe me, babies don’t just come jumping out.  Ever.

We finally start driving to the birth center.  Though I’d been having steady contractions less than four minutes apart for a while I didn’t have even one during the fifteen minute drive.  It is NOT fun to have contractions in a moving vehicle.  But suddenly not having them?  That made me nervous.  We arrived at about 9:15pm  and saw our midwife whom we adore and who also delivered Mason.  (and who we were not-so-secrectly hoping would be on call.)  She checked my cervix and announced, “I feel hair!”  Which was not at all what I was expecting to hear.  Oddly, this was very exciting and endearing to us.  The Hubs and I whispered to each other, “Awww!  She has hair!” several times over the next hour or so.  Oh, and I was still three centimeters dilated.  Not as exciting or endearing as the hair.  Since baby and I checked out to be healthy & happy and since my contractions had tapered off on the drive over, my midwife suggested that we walk.  We had the option of walking around outside or walking the stairs inside.  I vetoed the stairs immediately.  Outside we went!  We walked and talked.  Our baby has hair!  HAIR!  We can’t wait to see the hair on her cute little baby head!  Thirty minutes or so later my contractions were back to being about seven minutes apart and I was sick of walking in circles.

Inside the birth center we went upstairs to our room, checked my blood pressure, baby’s heart rate etc. and settled in.  I sat on the birth ball and The Hubs and our midwife sat in the chairs and we all just relaxed and chatted.  It was great.  So friendly and fun and if we’d been on a patio with margaritas it would have been fabulous.  But I was supposed to be having a baby and it was taking a lot longer than I’d anticipated so I was intermittently pissed off.  My contractions just weren’t getting much closer or stronger and while that made for pleasant conversation (honestly, we were having a really good time!  It was bizarre…and nice.) it wasn’t so effective for giving birth.  I felt so guilty.  My husband and the midwife were happily chatting away and I was just feeling so incredibly guilty.  Like I was wasting everyone’s time.  Like I needed to be doing something to get this show on the road!  People are waiting to see a baby and I just wasn’t delivering.  (ha! get it?!  I’ll wait while your roll your eyes…ok, ready?)  Seriously though, I was getting so frustrated and just feeling so awful about it.  I finally interrupted and confessed all this to the midwife and The Hubs.  They were nothing but positive and supportive.  Which made me love them all the more…and feel even more guilty.  It was about 11:00pm when my midwife offered me some herbs that would help bring my contractions closer together.  I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted to take them.  I didn’t say this at the time but I was just so determined to “do it myself” that I didn’t want to take something to help.  Sometimes, I’m a stubborn fool.  (Hi, My name’s Rachelle and I’m a Taurus.  Obviously.)  My midwife was so laid back and cool about my hesitation.  She just left the option open and let it go.  I spent another hour sitting, standing, rocking and on all fours guilting myself to death for not being better at having babies.  It was absurd.  At midnight, with no discernible progress, I finally caved.  I asked my midwife about the herbs and decided to go ahead and take them.  It was one silly little capsule.  It was like the freaking Matrix only you don’t get a fancy leather outfit and an instantaneous knowledge of Kung Fu.  You just get to lay down on the bed and assume that you’ll have a baby…eventually.

The Hubs and I got cozy on the big bed (advantage #78 to having your baby in a birth center) and prepared to take a little nap.  My midwife advised me that the herbs would take “at LEAST” an hour to kick in so I might as well rest.  I laid down on my side and dozed off for 20 blissful, drooly minutes before a pretty gnarly contraction woke me up.  I felt surprised but hopeful that maybe things would start progressing soon.  I tried to doze off again but another contraction kept that from happening.  Suddenly these contractions were all serious and shit.  No more la-dee-dah friendly contractions.  These contractions weren’t messing around.  I had to focus and breathe through them.  The Hubs, who claims to be a super light sleeper, snoozed his way through all my subtle writhing and not so subtle heavy breathing.  I finally decided to drag myself out of the bed to go pee before these contractions got totally out of control.  It was a good, sound decision and a total fucking beating.  As I dragged myself back from the bathroom I had to stop a few times to work through contractions.  I made it to the middle of the room, gripped the footboard of the bed, bent nearly in half and breathed like a laboring Darth Vader.  At which point my husband finally woke up and asked, “Are you having a contraction?”  (wait while I roll my eyes…ok, I’m ready.)  I did not curse at him because I’m a damn saint.  Or because I was too busy staying alive during that contraction to bother.  Maybe a bit of both.  He got out of the bed and helped me over to the birth ball because I wanted to sit down.  I sat and worked through a couple more really intense contractions before I told him to get our midwife from the next room.

It was 1:00am at this point.  She checked on the baby and I again and then sat with me while I contracted some more.  I held onto her with one hand and my husband with the other.  They just sat there patiently and quietly with me while I worked through what were now very strong and very frequent contractions.  They gave me sips of water and told me that I was doing great.  My husband started to say something heartfelt regarding his wedding ring and I shushed him because, CONTRACTIONS.  And as I sat there feeling battered by these relentless waves of pain I thought so many random things.  I thought about the irony of how I’d spent hours being frustrated that my contractions weren’t close enough or strong enough and now that they were I just wanted them to stop.  I thought about how my doula had told me (at Mason’s birth) that when I started feeling this overwhelmed that meant it was almost over and my baby would be here soon…and how I’d called her a liar…and how Mason had been born very shortly thereafter.  I literally laughed out loud at myself for thinking, “This was a terrible idea!”…because it’s *exactly* the same thought I’ve had at some point during labor for each of my kids.  I thought about how this moment was so similar to giving birth to my other kids.  The feelings of physical pain mixed with so many emotions: anticipation, worry, helplessness, determination and resolution.  Overshadowing all of those was the desire to see and hear and touch my baby.  My god, it was all just so intense.  So fucking intense.  I felt like all of this took eons.  In reality, it was about thirty minutes.  My midwife asked if I’d like to try going to the bathroom one more time.  I nearly cried.  In fact I’m 99% certain that I whimpered.  But I said yes because I knew it was a good idea.  So off to the bathroom we went.  All three of us.  It took a year – or five minutes – to walk across the room into the bathroom.  (Why the hell did I keep going all the way back to the far side of the bed?!)  I’ll spare you the details of what took place in the bathroom.  Suffice to say that I don’t even pee in front of my husband at home so this whole “crowd”  of people in the bathroom with me took some getting used to.  Even in my contraction induced haze I was not happy to have company in there.  But no way in hell was I going to let them leave.  When I could finally heave myself up from the toilet, they walked me back into the bedroom and asked if I wanted to lay on the bed.  This was another yes-but-no moment.  I DID want to lay on the bed.  Very badly.  However there was a lot of work involved in getting my huge, laboring body onto the bed that I wasn’t really interested in.  I would have preferred to levitate myself onto the bed.  Or maybe employ a crane of some kind.  Like those ones they use to transport whales and dolphins and stuff.  As it turns out, those options were not available.  So that sucked.  I did manage to climb/collapse into that bed eventually though.  And it was great for all of thirty seconds until a contraction plowed through me like a freight train.  Remember those early labor, Dwight Schrute contractions?  Kinda big, annoying and ultimately harmless?  Yeah, those were long gone.  These new contractions were like vengeful Liam Neeson; serious, relentless and scary as fuck.  They were here to get shit done.

I had about three or four contractions while lying on my side on the bed.  Then I felt the urge to push.  Which wasn’t so much an urge as it was an absolutely crushing need to push.  My midwife coached me along saying that if I felt like I needed to push that I could go ahead and do so.  I imagine she was taking her cues from the borderline inhuman sounds I was making.  (Hey, sometimes you just gotta let it all hang out.  I think giving birth is one of those times.) So I went for it.  I stayed in my side-lying position, let my midwife handle my legs (I can’t be in charge of *everything*) and pushed with all my might.  The Hubs was sitting up on the bed next to me, holding my hand and encouraging me.  My midwife handed him a sheet to cover himself with, commenting that she didn’t want him to get messy.  Side note: who wears white shorts to a birth?  The Hubs, that’s who.  God love him.

Meanwhile, I’m still pushing.

The advantage to this being my third birth is that I knew I had to just go for it.  No holds barred, full throttle yadda yadda yadda.  The more delicately or gently you try to push, the longer it takes to get the baby out.  That’s just how it works.  If you need to remove a ship from a bottle, take your time, use a little finesse, be cautious.  If you need to remove a baby from your birth canal, stop fucking around and push.  There is no need to prolong this process.

So yeah, pushing.  Because I’m babbling about it in retrospect here you might think this is taking a long time.  It’s not.  This is all happening pretty fast.  But not fast enough.  As I’m pushing I’m thinking to myself, “Ummm…this needs to be done.”  The conversation with my midwife is going something like this:


Her: Yes it is!  You’re doing great!  Just a little more…

The Hubs: Seriously honey, you’re doing so good!


Her: It is!  I promise it is!  She’s almost here.


Her: She’s coming.  You’re doing SO good…just a little more…

And what do you know?  She was right.  Marleigh came gushing into the world right about then. (It was 2:12am)  I realize I should have said something more reverent than “gushing” but I was there and gushing is definitely the right word for what happened.  My response was pretty reverent though.  I let loose with an ecstatic, “Oh my god!!” because nothing in the world feels quite as amazing as having your baby OUT of your body.  All that pain, all those crazy thoughts and intense feelings were suddenly just gone.  As if someone flipped a switch.  I felt amazing as my baby girl was laid on my chest.  She was all chubby cheeks and dark hair covered in vernix.  She was absolute perfection.  She was so calm, opening her eyes and looking into my face.  I couldn’t believe this glorious, goopy little creature was mine.  She was healthy!  She was female!  She made me so happy and proud just because she existed.  What a brave, strong, darling little girl.

As I basked in the glow of my gorgeous daughter, the midwife took the opportunity to tell me that she had been born with her arm up by her head.  For those that don’t know much about giving birth, the ideal scenario is that only the baby’s head comes out first and all the other body parts follow after.  The head is quite large enough, thank you.  No need to go adding to its girth.  It is, then, less than ideal when the baby decides to bring out extra parts along with the head.  I was not amused.  Though it did explain that whole “THIS ISN’T WORKING!!!!” feeling I’d been having while pushing.  I said as much to my midwife and she nodded, saying that she’d been inwardly cringing for me as she encouraged me to just keep going.  If that woman’s Poker Face is anything like her Assisting a Birth Face she needs to take her cute self to Vegas immediately. I had no idea that there was anything other than textbook perfect crowning baby going on down there.

After happily chatting, getting checked up and cleaned up I was able to settle in with some snacks and just enjoy our new baby.  It was blissful.  A sweet, healthy baby girl.  A loving husband.  Two fun little boys waiting for us at home.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I truly have everything I’ve ever wanted in life.  And it was worth every single struggle, heartbreak and yes, all that blood, sweat and tears to get here.

There is a quote by Martin Luther King Jr that says, “Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained…their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”

This moment, was one of those.

I Don’t Mean to Brag but…

Our newest family member, Marleigh Juliana, was born just over two weeks ago.  On her older brother’s birthday.  Because she has no problem asserting herself.  She is sweet, chubby and cuddly.  Everything a newborn baby should be.  Her brothers absolutely love her.  Max is thrilled to pieces each and every time she opens her eyes and looks at him.  Mason, whose birthday she so boldly took, literally cannot be in the same room with her without touching her; kissing her, gently patting her head or poking her tiny feet.  It’s pretty adorable.  Overall, I would say both boys are adjusting very well to having a little sister.

As for me, well, I think I’m doing ok too.  When people ask me how I’m adjusting to life with three kids, I’m not always sure what to say to them.  How do you know you’re doing well?  There’s a pretty wide range of success markers to gauge yourself with.  Anywhere from “Well, We’re All Alive” to “Why Yes, These Are My Skinny Jeans and I DID Just Churn That Butter By Hand”.  So I started taking stock of my recent successes to see where I stand.  I think you’ll be pretty impressed.

  • I have washed my hair three times since giving birth.  This is right on par with my pre-baby hair washing average.  A clear win.
  • I have not peed my pants even once.  (If you’ve ever had a baby, you totally get this.)
  • All three children have been fed daily, multiple times per day.
  • I did not scream, “HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS!!!!” every time Marleigh latched on to nurse the first week.
  • I’m pretty sure I got very nearly three hours of sleep the other night.
  • I have cooked fish sticks, salad and blueberry muffins.  Not all on the same day, obviously, that would be crazy.
  • I remembered to order diapers from amazon.
  • I have managed to get all my kids fed, dressed and out the door before 9am on three separate occasions.
  • I’ve gone grocery shopping and remembered pretty much everything.  For the most part.  Sort of.
  • I only broke down sobbing twice when literally EVERYONE in my family got sick and/or got pink eye right after we brought Marleigh home.
  • I did not completely lose my shit when our air conditioner went out pretty much the moment that everyone in the family was finally healthy again.  Because that wasn’t frustrating at all.
  • I was told by the nurse doing my post-partum exam that I have “…really firm abdominal muscles…” and “…a remarkably fast-shrinking uterus!”  I assume this is all underneath the generous layer of squishy tummy that I’m sporting right now.  Regardless, I’m clearly a fine specimen of human female. Don’t be jealous.
  • I have brushed my teeth every day.  Except one.
  • I can change a diaper in the dark.
  • The baby has only peed on me twice. So far.
  • I have cut the baby’s nails without injury (to her) or panic attacks (for me).
  • My one-handed Pinterest-ing while breastfeeding skills are pretty epic.

Also, I managed to write this blog post in under a week.

I think I’m getting the hang of this.  My next goals are to shower daily and actually FOLD the laundry.  At that point I should be able to qualify for the Motherhood Olympics.  I’ll probably win.  Unless there’s a swim suit competition.

A Special Kind of Crazy

Tomorrow will mark my 39th week of this pregnancy. I feel like I’ve been pregnant for WAY longer than that. Not because I’ve had a bad or difficult pregnancy, just because growing a tiny human seems to take a long time. A long, booze-less, smoked salmon-less, awkwardly chubby time. I’ve written about the weirdness that is pregnancy a couple of times (here & here) but there is a very special brand of crazy that hits once you reach those last couple weeks of pregnancy. I like to think, or maybe pretend is more accurate, that I’m not subject to the wild ups and downs of hormonal fluctuations. Mind over matter…or some crap like that. I consider myself to be a fairly even-keeled person. I think even my close friends and my husband would agree that’s generally the case. Or at least they’d agree that I’m good at keeping my crazy under wraps so I seem level-headed. All that to say, I’m caught off guard by the thoughts and emotions of very late pregnancy EVERY TIME. You want to know what the worst of it is? I have absolutely no idea I’m being crazy until it’s all over. The damage has been done but it all seemed so sensible, so right in the moment.

A classic example of this comes from my first pregnancy. The Hubs and I were planning to order pizza. There was a disagreement regarding what coupon to use. By disagreement I mean a no holds barred, screaming, cursing, locked-myself-in-the-bedroom-and-sobbed-like-an-angsty-teenager fight. The likes of which had never been seen before (or since, for that matter) in our home. I honestly felt like my husband was being completely unreasonable and just plain mean. He wanted to order pizza with a coupon that included a 2 liter bottle of coke. Well, I can’t drink coke, ASSHOLE! Do you see what I was dealing with?! He was clearly trying to lord his caffeine drinking privileges over me while I carried HIS child inside my body. Insensitive prick. It was a relief when he finally came to his senses, stuck his head ever so slightly through our bedroom door and told me to order anything I thought I might want and that he would love it. I mean, I felt a little bad about the utterly traumatized look in his eyes and the way he flinched every time I tried to speak to him throughout the evening but if he hadn’t been so mean in the first place…

My second pregnancy was unique in that I was also raising an infant at the time. Our kids are only 12.5 months apart in age so that first year of fumbling around trying to figure out how to care for my firstborn was also spent being pregnant. Not a combination I’d recommend for the faint of heart but it did result in a pair of wonderful boys who, despite being total opposites, are very close and have so much fun together. I wouldn’t change it for anything but it was incredibly challenging at the time. I only had about 4 months of being not pregnant before I was pregnant all over again and I think that really took its toll on me psychologically. By the time I hit 38 weeks pregnant I was done. Oh so unbelievably DONE. I cried like a baby at each and every midwife appointment until Mason was born. (of course he was nearly a week late.) And by cried I don’t mean shed a little tear or two while talking about my feelings. I mean sat in the chair and ugly-cried insisting that my baby was just “…never ever going to be born.” and that, “I will be the only person in history to stay pregnant forever and I’ll spend the rest of my life fat, ugly and partially baby less…” I’m pretty sure the midwives thought I was completely losing it. I remember one of them staring at me with a slightly wide-eyed look that clearly indicated she would have tranquilized me if that option were available to her. In the end she told me to go home, take a bath and drink a glass of wine. I would have preferred scotch but beggars can’t be choosers so chardonnay it was. And yes, it helped.

This time around things are a little different. I don’t feel that same overwhelming, slightly panicked urge to give birth. Thank god. That was miserable. However I have noticed myself being a little more whimsical and worried about things lately. I know, whimsical and worried, it doesn’t even sound possible. Oh, but it is. I can go from daydreaming about how magical it would be if peaches were in season year-round and I could live in a little cottage nestled among giant trees and read books and eat peaches every day and it never gets above 70 degrees outside and my hair miraculously styles itself and always looks amazing and….yeah. I go from that little mental paradise to worrying that an evil spider is going to break into my house and bite the boys while they’re sleeping and I’ll have no idea and when I wake up and check on them they’re already in some sort of coma and the doctors can’t do anything and I’ve essentially just lost both of my boys in one fell swoop. Which is a horrible thing to think about but what makes it worse is that I don’t dismiss this idea as obviously outlandish. I dwell on it and worry about it and wonder what the actual chances are of it happening and is there anything I can do to prevent it and on and on and on. I can be happily thinking about having a baby girl and wondering what she will look like and all those sweet little things you think about when you’re having a baby. Then in the next moment I find myself worrying that she’ll be born sick or with some sort of devastating incurable issue and I’ll feel sick to my stomach over it and use all my will power to keep myself from laying down and sobbing on the floor for an hour. I’ve, more than once, considered ordering Les Miserables on demand so that I can sit and cry for a few hours without being questioned. And the fact that this seems like a good idea just drives home the point that I’ve truly lost my mind. But then I’ll remember how delicious chocolate milk is and suddenly things are looking a little brighter. I wish I could say this was all exaggerated but it’s not. The upside is that since most of this craziness is in my head I’m not tormenting my husband or my midwives with it. The downside is that my mind is a mess. I need to have this baby so I can move on to being too sleep deprived to worry about anything.

In the meantime, I plan to take a lot of deep breaths, enjoy the more lighthearted side of my imagination and happily look forward to meeting my baby girl.

Also, I will probably eat far too many donuts. There are some perks to being hugely pregnant and a little bit crazy.

Peanuts & Cracker Jacks

If my sons ever doubt my love for them I will remind them not of the months I spent carrying them in my body, the hours I spent giving birth to them (9.5 and 7.75 respectively…not that anyone’s counting) or even the countless hours of sleep lost caring for them (approximately one billion).  No, I will be reminding them of yesterday.  The sunny, blue sky filled Sunday in June when we took them to their first baseball game.  Why?  Because I fucking HATE baseball.  I LOVE my children but baseball…just shouldn’t exist.  It makes me angry.

In fact, if we were to make a list of things I believe should be banished to the underworld (where are those angry Greek deities when you need them?!) it would read something like this:

  1. Nicki Minaj
  2. Baseball
  3. Nickelback
  4. Spiders
  5. Oreos
  6. Orange Flavored Anything

So how exactly did I end up going to a baseball game on a hot Texas day at 38 weeks pregnant?

I was tricked.  Tricked by cute little people.  It started out so innocently…


Max: Hey Mom, one day I want to go to a baseball game with Daddy and Uncle B.

Me: Awww…well that sounds nice.  I’m sure Daddy and Uncle B would love to go to a game with you.  Maybe we can work that out.

Max: Yeah, that would be so fun.

Mason: Yeah, we would like to do that.

Me: Ok.  (This sounds adorable!  I’m totally going to buy them tickets!  For their birthdays!)


So as I was working out all the details for this little outing – thinking the entire time that maybe I’d go get a pre-baby pedicure while the boys were at the game – my husband suggests buying the fifth and last ticket in the row we were on.  He made it sound so reasonable.  What if we want to invite one of our dads to go too?  What if Uncle B’s wife wants to go?  What if the boys want me to go?  I pretty much stopped listening after the part about our dads so I just clicked and paid for that last ticket and didn’t give it another thought.  Until we told the boys about the game and the first words out of Mason’s mouth were, “Mama!  Do you want to go to the baseball game with us?!  You can sit in a seat with all the other grown ups and watch me play baseball!!”

Oh dear.

Two major problems with this scenario.  First, NO I do NOT want to go to a baseball game.  Ever.  I would prefer to stay home and scrub every tile in our house with a toothbrush.  Second, my son thinks he is going to be playing in the baseball game.  Of course I can’t tell him I’d rather torture myself than go to a game with him.  Especially since I’m going to have to break his little heart about that whole “only the professional players are allowed to play at this game” thing.  In an effort to soften the blow, I agreed to go to the game before I attempted to explain how attendance at sporting events usually works.  Which, by the way, is borderline impossible to explain to a stubborn very-nearly-three-year-old.  He pretty much ignored everything I said and moved straight on to requesting that I take to him buy a “baseball hand” (aka baseball glove) so he could play at “his game”.  This conversation was repeated for the better part of two weeks.  Which wasn’t frustrating at all.

Finally, game day.  I’m right in the middle of being hugely pregnant and feeling very nest-y and the last thing I want to do is go to this darn game.  There are baby blankets to fold and muffins to bake!  But I love my boys and they are excited, so I go.  And here’s what happens:

  • I pay for this game with MONEY and I attend this game SOBER.  The first sporting event I’ve ever attended in my life that didn’t involve kick ass free seats & free booze on the company dime.  I firmly believe this is the ONLY way to attend any sporting event.  Little League is going to be a rude awakening for me.
  • Upon arriving at our seats, both Max and my brother step in gum.
  • Max gets his foot stuck in his seat and drops his $50 pretzel on the ground.
  • Mason also drops his absurdly expensive pretzel on the ground…and attempts to pick it up and eat it.
  • Both boys get bored after approximately seven minutes.
  • We take them to a playground within the ballpark (genius) where they play happily until a little girl in line for the slide in front of them pees ALL OVER the steps, walkway and slide.  They were not happy when we made them climb down instead of letting them happily prance through and slide down the trail of urine.  We’re awful parents like that.
  • We attempted to console them by taking them to buy “baseball hands” at the gift shop.   The gift shop that was SOLD OUT of baseball hands.  And gloves, for that matter.  They settled for some small bats.  I anticipate a game of Beat the Crap Out of My Brother with My New Bat to commence after breakfast tomorrow.  At the latest.
  • We hawk a piece of jewelry in order to go buy hot dogs and hamburgers.  They eat three bites before managing to drop these on the ground too.
  • They start asking for popsicles.  There are no popsicles to be found at the ballpark.  Ice cream cones are a completely absurd substitution and we are idiots for suggesting them.  Dippin Dots are finally agreed upon.
  • We settle back into our seats just in time for a fly ball to come literally curving around the net straight towards Max’s head.  Seats that we very deliberately chose because of their low likelihood of fly ball traffic.  Luckily I’m married to a freaking ninja with crazy fly ball catching skills; he caught that damn thing before it shattered my kid’s face.  He was so excited to have caught a fly ball.  I was ready to beat that player with his own fucking bat for nearly hitting my kid, scaring the shit out of me and taking a solid eight years off my life.  I think my blood pressure is back to normal now.
  • My feet are now swollen.  This irritates me.
  • The game finally ends!
  • We work our way to the end of a seriously long line so that the boys can “run the bases” down on the ball field.
  • Parents are not allowed to accompany their kids.  We watch our babies hike all the way down the stadium and onto the ball field without us.  I completely cease breathing.
  • We watch our boys run with gleeful abandon around the bases.  I almost cry.  They’re so focused and so incredibly happy.  They look a little nervous coming back up the stairs towards us but they’re little champs, so proud of themselves.  Giving us high fives and hugs like crazy.  (fuck…I’m crying right now just remembering it.)

As we drive away from the ballpark, they are exhausted and quiet.  I glance back to see Max’s eyes sliding shut and his mouth curving into a sweet, sleepy smile.  At home, we put them to bed and they insist on sleeping with their new baseball bats.

I still fucking HATE baseball.  And I would still prefer slurp up cold (free) beers if I have to attend a game.

But I am madly in LOVE with my children and if sweating and swelling my way through a stupid game is going to make their childhood just that little bit more magical, then I’m in.


Wherein I Do Not Cough Up A Baby

Once upon a time, there were two adorable boys sitting at a kitchen table eating breakfast.  The boys were cute.  Very cute.  And still quite young, only 2 and 3 years old.  Their names were Max (the three year old) and Mason (the two year old).  Because of their cuteness, their youth and the fact that they were supposed to be eating breakfast quickly before preschool, their mother was not at all prepared for the conversation Max initiated.  It went a little something like this…

Max:  Mommy?  How does Baby Marleigh come out of your tummy?

Me:  Well, when she’s big enough she’ll be born.  Then she’ll be out!

Mason: Yeah!

Max:  Yes, but…how does she GET out?  Like all the way out?

Me:  Oh.  Ummm…well…mommies have a special part of their body for babies to be born from.  So when it’s time, she’ll just come out of that part.

Max:  Ok…so…will she crawl up your throat and come out of your mouth to be born?

Me:  (WHAT. THE. FUCK. That’s…terrible.  Like I’m going to just cough up a baby one day?!  That’s possibly the ONLY thing I can think of more traumatic than vaginal birth!  Although, it IS kind of funny.  And really, he’s smart to think of that since he believes that the baby is in my tummy and he knows that throats connect to tummies, blah blah blah…)

Haha!  Well, no.  She will definitely NOT do that.  That’s just not something that is possible for babies.

Mason: …or safe!!

Me: (laughing…a LOT.)  Yeah, you’re right Mason.  It probably wouldn’t be very safe for babies to be born through throats and mouths.

Mason:  Yeah.  I know.

Max:  So then how will she be born?

Me:  You know how I said that mommies have a special body part for babies to come out?  Well, she will just come out of there when it’s time.  (Seriously?!  Am I going to have to talk about vaginas at breakfast?!  We’re leaving for school in five minutes.  What if he goes to school and starts telling all his friends about vaginas?  Will all the parents be mad?  Will his teacher wonder what the hell we’re talking about at home?  Where the hell is their Dad?!?!?!)

Max:  Ok.  So maybe you mean she’ll come out of something else, like…your belly button?

Me: (Realizing the kid is serious.  He will not be put off any longer.)  No honey, not my belly button.  Though I can see why you think that might make sense.  *sigh* Actually, you know how you have a penis and mommy does not?

Max: Yeah.

Me:  Well, the part that mommies have instead of a penis…that’s for having babies.  That’s where the babies come out.

Max: OH!!  You mean the black part?!

(I’d like to interject here.  I’m a natural brunette.  I DO keep certain things, ummm landscaped but I’m not so much a full brazilian wax kind of gal.  So, reading between the lines, perhaps you can see where he was going with that little comment…*ahem*….pardon me while I die a little inside…)

Me: (utterly defeated) Yes, you’re right.  The black part.  That’s where the babies come out.  (How is “the black part” better than vagina?  I should have just said, VAGINA! Now he’s going to be referencing pubes at school instead of genitalia.  Great.)

Max: Ok!   

Mason: Mama?  Did you put yogurt in my lunchbox?!

Me: Yes.  And I put bourbon in mine.  Now go find your shoes.

And that is how NOT to explain childbirth to your preschooler.

Roller Coaster

Things That Have Brought Me To Tears Recently:

  • Feeling overwhelmed by my children.
  • Hearing Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga on the radio.
  • Seeing my weight on the scale at my last two midwife appointments.
  • An episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
  • The inexcusable lack of baby bedding in the specific coral color I’m envisioning.
  • Feeling too old and mom-ish to even consider attending Bonnaroo.
  • Noticing, yet again, that my floors only look clean for about six minutes after I’ve cleaned them.  There is no discernible difference between ten minutes or ten days worth of messiness.  It makes me feel defeated.  By tile.  What the fuck.
  • Realizing that the baby is due in about 10-ish weeks and literally nothing is done in her room.  NOTHING.
  • Seeing mayflies outside.  They are the harbingers of doom.  Once you see a mayfly you know the rest of the bugs are on their way.
  • That poor, poor dead basil plant in the garden.
  • That “Slow Burn” yoga class that I thought was going to be fairly easy.  It wasn’t.
  • Craving a hot fudge sundae from Dairy Queen and feeling too tired, lazy and guilty to go get it.
  • Feeling dumb for crying about dumb stuff.


Things That Have Made Me Want To Punch Someone In The Face Recently:

  • Feeling disrespected by someone via text.
  • Approximately 94% of all things posted on Facebook.
  • The absolutely disgusting smoothie I bought after a work out.  Like drinking strawberry chalk except I got to pay $6 for it.  Yup.  Still angry.
  • GMO’s.
  • Ordering a newly advertised sandwich at Whole Foods for lunch only to be told that it wasn’t ready and they couldn’t make it for me.  Never mind all the signs throughout the store touting its awesomeness.  Whole Foods should know better than to tease pregnant women like that.  Get your shit together WF.
  • Being elbowed in the stomach by all three of my children simultaneously.
  • Doc McStuffins.
  • The article I read about “optimum child spacing”.  Complete and Utter Bullshit.
  • The song Midnight City by M83.  If I hear that damn song one more time…
  • Listeria.  I want to eat a ridiculous amount of lox and the fear of contracting listeriosis is the ONLY thing standing in my way.
  • All drivers other than myself.


Things That Have Made Me Insanely Happy Recently:

  • Chocolate milk.
  • Yoga.
  • Listening to my boys chatting and playing together.
  • Watching my husband happily and patiently playing catch with the boys after a long day at work.
  • A new chocolate cupcake recipe.
  • That half glass of chardonnay I drank over the weekend.
  • The boys’ new found love for “basparagus”  (translation: asparagus)
  • Finally very nearly perfecting my friend’s epic roast chicken recipe.
  • Watching Max’s eyes light up when he felt Baby Marleigh move.
  • Bacon-wrapped Dates.
  • A batch of biscuits that turned out PERFECTLY.
  • Reminiscing about my first date with the Hubs.
  • The song Tribute by Tenacious D.
  • Being able to hold my yoga poses longer than the uber-fit, incredibly muscular guy behind me in class.  I know it’s not a competition but my clumsy, pregnant self felt damn good about it.  Damn good.
  • Watching my crazy baby girl wriggle in my belly.  So freaky.  So glad she’s happy and healthy in there.
  • My perfect blood pressure.  I’m like the Michael Phelps of blood pressure.  I own that shit.

Things I Never Thought I’d Have to Teach Another Person

When you become a parent, you know that one of the biggest parts of your job is going to be teaching your child.  You imagine singing the alphabet song, chatting about colors, sorting shapes; all those fun things that Gymboree charges you $700 per minute for.  Of course you imagine teaching life lessons too.  Talking to them about kindness, generosity and how to smile and nod at whatever asinine crap their boss says.  But there are some things I never thought I’d be teaching my kids.  You don’t realize just how many rules there are to follow in life until you have to teach ALL OF THEM to someone.  Rules like:

  1. You can’t just send all foods you don’t like hurtling to the ground at dinner.  You are not Andy Samberg.  Throwing stuff on the ground is totally NOT funny when you do it.
  2. Speaking of dinner, standing on your chair in order to bang on the light fixture with your fork?  Generally frowned upon in polite society.  And here at home too.  Cut it out.
  3. People don’t want you to lick their face.  Usually.  Err on the side of caution.  Don’t lick people.
  4. Nobody likes it when you put peas in their wine.  This is a universal truth.
  5. The same rule applies to golf balls and sangria.
  6. Actually, just stop putting shit in my drinks.  I hate it.
  7. It is not necessary to lock everyone out of your bathroom just because you’d like to use a different one for a change.  If you want to use another bathroom in this house please, feel free.  You don’t need to test our lock-picking skills in order to validate your choice of toilets.
  8. Speaking of toilets, rocks do not belong in toilets.  Ever.
  9. For the most part, people don’t like it when you “roar like a dragon” two inches from their face.  This is especially true of three year old girls.  Well, all girls really.
  10. It’s truly not necessary to hip-check everyone that you walk past in the hall.  I promise.
  11. The cat does like to play fetch.  The cat does not like to play sit-still-while-I practice-spitting-on-you.
  12. While we’re discussing the pets, I can assure you that you do not need to throw everything within a 50 yard radius into the koi pond.  The fish do not want: sippy cups, golf balls, water guns, baseball bats, sidewalk chalk, tree branches or that large spatula from the grill.  A handful of their food will make them quite happy.
  13. Swiping the cheese off someone’s pizza is a total douchebag move.  Seriously.  That shit will not fly.  People with less self-restraint than your mother will punch you in the face for that.  

The Big Reveal!

Our third baby is due in June.  We were looking for a fun way to celebrate this new little person and really liked the idea of a gender reveal party.  With two boys in the family already there was a lot of speculation about whether or not baby #3 might be a girl.  Suspense, opinionated friends and family and cute baby stuff; it seemed like the perfect recipe for a fun party.  And it was. While it was incredibly difficult to keep the baby’s gender a secret once we found out, it was so much fun surprising our friends and family with the exciting news.

I had planned to take tons of great pictures of the party.  I even remembered to charge the battery for my camera!  So of course I completely forgot to take pictures until the party was nearly over.  Luckily a sweet friend snapped some photos on her phone for me and I did manage to snap a few of the decor a little later in the evening.

The party was a blast.  We feel so lucky to have people in our lives who are as excited about our baby as we are.

Our “Baby Betting” table.  Guests could buy into a baby pool and fill out ballots with all their predictions.

Once the baby is born, the guest who predicted most accurately will win the pot!


A little data to help guests make their predictions.


This was one of the most creative ballots, submitted by a friend’s daughter.

Not sure which part is most intimidating, 14 pounds or 1 yard long!  Eek! Too funny!


The Super Secret Cupcakes.


Junebug wine.  Because I couldn’t resist the idea of coordinating the wine with the baby’s due date.  That’s normal, right?


Pink icing inside the cupcakes = GIRL!!!!


First Official baby girl outfit!


Although, I may or may not have picked this up at Target as soon as humanly possible after our sonogram.  Pink!!


Homemade taco seasoning as party favors.  Because TACOS.



That bump is what nearly 22 weeks of baby + a LOT of artichoke dip looks like.