Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beating the Dead Horse: Why Baby #2 Isn't THAT Much Harder

Lots of my friends are cornering me and asking in hushed whispers, "So...how is it REALLY with two kids now? Are you going nuts?"

My answer, thus far, is "not that bad!" I know, I know...my baby is a mere three weeks old. I'm sure when she starts spending more time awake and demanding more of my attention I will be eating my words. I'll be going out of my mind and then you can all laugh. But for the time being, I think it's pretty awesome!  True, I am sleep-deprived, and have no idea where I am ,or what I am doing half the time. Sometimes I even forget my baby's name. But I am happy!

So here are my Top 7 Reasons Why Baby #2 Isn't THAT Much Harder.
1. Your ass has already been kicked by Baby #1.  It feels like I took such a beating with my first baby, that there's not much left my second baby can do to me. It's like adding insult to injury, or beating a dead horse. The horse is already dead! Stop beating it!
2. Baby #1 has already turned your life upside down...in other words, you've already adjusted to being a mom. Being a mom to Baby #1 has taught you some important life-lessons, like you CANNOT go out drinking until 2am and expect to wake up at 6am with your baby and NOT throw up.
3. You know what the hell you're doing. Even if you haven't mastered the swaddle, at least you know how your breast pump works, or how to put together the Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym.
4. You've learned that babies aren't as fragile or delicate as you thought they were. I only bought kimono-style jammies and onesies for Marley, because I thought it was "too hard on her" to pull things over her head. What a loser! And I'd freak out and roll her on her back if she rolled over to her belly at night fearing she would suffocate herself in her crib. Yeah. IDIOT!
5. You take time for yourself. Well, at least to shower and pee. With my first baby I rarely showered, because WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO HER when I was in the shower freeing my body of bacteria, dirt and grime? I also would race to her nursery to feed her at night, practically peeing my pants in the rocking chair because I wouldn't stop to pee first. Because I could tell by my baby's cry, she needed food IMMEDIATELY and could NOT WAIT while I went pee!
6. Four words: Stroller Strides Meal Train! Hopefully you have joined Stroller Strides with Baby #1 and you get to take advantage of the force of nature that is the MEAL TRAIN. Three days after my baby was born the home-cookin' started coming through my front door! In three weeks I got 15 meals delivered to my house, no shit. From shrimp and tomato bruschetta to home-made gelato to tator-tot casserole, there was even enough for leftovers. God bless the MEAL TRAIN!
7. You finally realize that everything DOES go by so fast...and you treasure every little moment. "It goes by so fast!" Everyone tells you this when you hold baby #1. But you don't really believe them...you are so caught up in the moment and looking towards the next milestone. When will baby sleep through the night? When will baby start crawling? Now that you've done it before, you realize that this time is fleeting! Now with baby #2 you get to enjoy and savor each passing moment, because you realize they will be gone before you know it!

Thanks for reading! And can you think of any other reasons why Baby #2 is so much easier? If so, please share!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pushing Out a Nine-Pound Baby: Helpful Tips and Tricks!

"You know when I told you Holland might be the same size as Marley?" This is my doctor talking, as he is pulling Holland out of my vagina. "Well, I lied. She's BIGGER."

My new baby, Holland Giselle Van Tuyl, weighed in at 9 pounds, 1 oz. THAT'S RIGHT. I PUSHED A 9-POUND BABY OUT MY VAGINA. I don't know whether to feel intensely proud of this, like I scored a Purple Heart medal or something in battle, or if I should be embarrassed, knowing that everyone is inwardly wondering about the wrecked state of my vagina.

It all started on Friday, June 3rd at around 6am. I woke up with some contractions. I'd been having Braxton-Hicks all week, but these felt a little...different. More intense. My adrenaline started pumping and my fight-or-flight response kicked in. This was it! We were fleeing allright...straight to the anesthesiologist!


"Huh?" said my bewildered husband. "Do I have time to take a shower? My hair is DIRTY."

"NOOOO!" I hissed.

5 minutes later, Ian ambled out of the shower and Marley and I were dressed and ready to go, waiting by the front door. This was actually GREAT timing, because my doctor was scheduled to be on-duty ALL DAY. Baby Holland was right on schedule!

"Whoa, you're at least 7 centimeters, and your sac of waters is bulging..." said Dr. Nystul as he inspected the situation 30 minutes later in triage. "We need to order your epidural now if we're going to get it in time! And we need to get you into a room right away!"

Turns out the hospital was FULL. The wait for the anesthesiologist was bound to be long! I instantly panicked. My worst fears were coming true. I wasn't going to get my epidural in time, and I was going to have my baby in the hallway! For fuck's sake!

Luckily, they were able to get a room for me, and they wheeled me in there. They didn't want me to walk in case my water broke before they could get me the epidural.

My doctor came in few minutes later. "Whew," he said, sinking into a chair. "It's crazy out there! It's like a bunch of jumbo jets, all trying to land at the same time." Apparently FIFTEEN PREGNANT PEOPLE were there, all trying to have their babies that morning.

Just then, the anesthesiologist walked in the room. "I'm here for the VIP," he said.

"Are you here with the epidural?" I instantly perked up. "If so, then yes, that's me, I'm the VIP!"

Turns out my doctor had messaged the anesthesiologist to haul-ass to my room, claiming that I was a "VIP." Yes!  Just then, a SECOND anesthesiologist showed up, again saying he was here to help the "VIP". 

Lookie here, I thought to myself. I have not ONE but TWO anestisiologists in my room! This is awesome.

Anesthesiologist #1 informed Anesthesiologist #2 that he was assisting the "VIP", and that it was all getting taken care of.

"Why is she a VIP?" asked Anesthesiologist #2.

"She's a friend of Nystul's," said Anesthesiologist #1. Yes folks, that's why it's helpful to get in good with your doctor! Needless to say, the epidural was administered, and my mood improved drastically. Maybe this wasn't going to be as bad as I thought!

20 minutes later, my doctor came in and checked me again. "Whew," he said. "Yup, you're ten centimeters. Are you ready to have a baby?"

So, I had my baby. I pushed through FOUR contractions, and out she came. No episiotomy and only a few stitches. And very little pain! Honestly, I've taken poos that hurt worse than this. I couldn't believe it!

Meanwhile, my husband was in a far worse state, huddling over the chair next to my bed, with the oxygen mask on his head. Luckily, he didn't pass out.

Soon Baby Holland was in my arms, like she had been there all her life. I had made it through labor and delivery! GREAT SUCCESS!

Anyway, based on my experience, I know consider myself an bona-fide expert on pushing out 9-pound babies, and have compiled a helpful list of tips and techniques.

1. Think you might be in labor? Get to the hospital. Now! It's better to get their early and get sent home then to delivery your baby on the side of the road.
2. Get in good with your doctor. Become a "VIP," and OWN it. It helps to wear lipstick, and maintain an aura of mystery. You COULD be a VIP. What do they know?
3. Get your drugs. Get them early. As my anesthesiologist said, "press the button early and often." Don't--under any circumstances-- forget about the epidural button. I forgot about the button the first time and boy did I pay for it.
4. Do not attempt this at home. Are you crazy?
5. Only have your baby when your doctor is on-duty. Do not attempt this delivery with a stranger.
6. Do NOT attempt to push out 9 pound baby if it is your first child. Wait for baby #2, after everything is a little more stretched out.
7. Make this your last baby. Unless you are sadistic, consider making this your last child. They say babies get progressively bigger with each one. What, you want to try pushing out a ten-pounder? You're in the wrong spot...go find a blog for crazy people.
8. Don't be afraid to ask for more drugs. After you've pushed out the 9 pound baby, there is bound to be some wreckage down there. You might be a little more uncomfortable. Don't be afraid to act like a weenie and request MORE DRUGS.
9. Don't even think about wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes yet. Your baby was 9 pounds. What, are you high??? Wait for that shit to settle down a bit. Rome wasn't built in a day!

I hope you have found these tips and tricks helpful should you find yourself in the precarious position of pushing out a plus-size baby. Good luck, may the force be with you!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

...and Baby Makes Four!

Introducing Holland Giselle Van Tuyl, born Friday, June 3rd at 10:30am...weighing in at a robust 9.1 pounds! (more on that in the next blog post!)

As you can see, Holland has a full head of black hair!

Marley is a rockstar big sister! Fetches diapers, nipple cream and Motrin on demand.

And Ian is of course the wonderful and doting husband and Daddy. Thank goodness I married him!

So far, Holland is the sweet, mellow baby that I ordered. We'll see if it sticks! :)

As you can imagine, not getting a lot of sleep right now, but everyone is happy and healthy. I'll be back soon with the grisly, first-hand account of delivering a 9.1 pound baby!