It was two weeks before my due date. I kept waking up all night to go pee like fifty billion times. I just had a TON of pressure. Daniel snoozed his alarm for work and as we were laying there I was like, hmmm… actually, these are contractions. Regular contractions.
I slapped Dan’s arm and was like “Hey, I keep having false labor contractions.” Haha, so let me go into this: when I had Jack he came a week late. So I FULLY expected to deliver much later. Like I was seriously looking into an elective induction if the baby was going to go longer than his due date. My mom had bought an airplane ticket to arrive ON his due date and then stay the next couple of weeks after. Soooo “denial” is going to be a strong theme here.
Because my mom wasn’t coming for another two weeks, I was majorly stressed out about who would watch Jack in the event I had to go to the hospital. My dad had GENEROUSLY offered to hop on a plane moments notice if it came to that but Hey Man… I had better been pretty dang sure I was in labor before telling my dad to drop everything and fly to Pheonix. So as you can imagine I was preggy stress crying about it. Dan talked me down. He texted my dad just letting him know what was going on and then I sent him to work, telling him that it was “probably nothing”.
I took a shower and ate breakfast *just in case*. I still wasn’t super convinced that they weren’t false contractions, so I decided to lay on my side for a minute to see if they would go away. They most certainly did not. They were ten minutes apart and every other one sucked worse than the last. I called my dad because I was about to have a friggin’ panic attack on whether I should tell him to fly to Arizona or not. He said he had already looked into flights. (He was obviously more convinced than me.) My dad told me to call the doctor to see what he thought. I was super unsure about doing that, because OBVIOUSLY the doctor would just say, “Yeah? How about wait until they are five minutes apart lasting one minute for a whole hour and then just go to the hospital. Why are you bothering me with this?”
I decided to call the doctor and waste his time anyways. At first I got the emergency answering service which I thought was really odd because it was past nine and that’s normal business hours. The conversation went like this:
RECEPTIONIST: And what’s the purpose of this call?
ME: I’ve been having contractions all morning. They’re ten minutes apart. I just want to know what the doctor thinks I should do.
RECEPTIONIST: Okay, but is this an emergency?
ME: … … Um, I’m in labor?
So they send the page out and my actual doctor’s office calls me back. I told them I was contracting every ten minutes and they countered with hey, go to the hospital. I was floored. They told me it was likely I was laboring during the night since I had pressure. My doctor was already at the hospital doing a surgery so they told me I might as well go in and get checked.
I called Daniel at work like Hey I know you’ve only been there for an hour but come home and drive me to the hospital. Then I called my dad and told him we would soon know whether it was real or not.
So we get all checked in. I’m totally calm and like whatever, not even in any pain or anything. I was totally sure I was only a one. I packed my bag SO half-a$$ed because I was like oh, they’re just sending me home anyways. Like I didn’t even pack underwear or a hairbrush. So when they told me I was at a three, I was like… wut?
Me: Am I having a kid today?
Nurse: Let’s just keep you for a while and see…
At 12:30 she came back in to check. I was still at a three which was like, oh good, send me home I want lunch I’m friggin starving. But she kinda hesitated and was like you know what let’s just have you walk around for like an hour and see what happens.
(I should also mention that we had Jack with us this whole time. He was such a good kid! I was really impressed with him. I thought that he would be somewhere between being bored or traumatized, but he was super excited to be out of the house and playing with Daddy.)
We were given the green light to walk around the hospital and I immediately waddled my fat butt down to the cafeteria. Look. When you are at the hospital in labor, they don’t let you eat anything for a long time… and that’s rough because I’m a pig. So oink, oink. That’s what I chose to do, okay! I was SUPER big and pregnant in nothing but my flimsy hospital gown and socks walking through the cafeteria trying to decide what I was going to eat. It’s fine, I’m sure everyone knew why I was there and that I didn’t have anything contagious. I mean, only my husband could have given them what I had. ANYWAY I chose to eat a fruit cup, because even though I was starving this labor thing was getting pretty real and I knew that things would get intense later that night.
But I was wrong. Not about the fruit cup, but about things getting intense much later. Things got intense RIGHT THEN, REALLY FAST and REEEEEALLY painful. The walking just like dropped him down or something I don’t know, because it hadn’t even been ten minutes out of triage before I was feeling like I was about to die.
We ate quickly and I could barely even make it back to the room. The labor was insane. When I was in labor with Jack, I was having contractions that lasted five minutes a piece instead of the conventional ONE. Well. Yeah. That was happening again. When the delivery nurse came in to transfer me she took one look at my face and walkie talkied for the anesthesiologist to meet us in the delivery room. Which I was super glad about… well sort of.
WARNING!! If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you may want to skip this section of the birth story and just start reading onwards from 5:30. Horror story ahead.
So here’s another comparison to my first labor and delivery: with Jack my epidural was AMAZING. I didn’t feel it at all. It worked perfectly. It was like the golden standard of epidurals, really. With Casey. Holy balls. This was the worst thing about the whole entire delivery and when I say horror story, look, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
By the time the anesthesiologist came in, I was in full blown labor. I had escalated from a 3cm dilation to a 5… IN HALF AN HOUR. Things were nuts! I was like hysterical. It was crazy. I mean, ME, I was crazy. Daniel had left to take Jack to a babysitter out in the parking lot and I was bawling out of control saying stuff like, “Please don’t do anything until my husband comes back. I want my husband, I’m so frightened. I just want my husband!” He came back in, but the hysteria didn’t go away. I felt delirious. Like, I felt like I wasn’t even myself and I was trapped in this painful body watching myself go bonkers. They were trying to give me specific advice on how to sit and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tell right from left, the pain was just so overwhelming. I even remember yelling at the nurse, “I’m hurting so much that I can’t even comprehend what you’re telling me right now!”
They attempted to put the epidural in but it DIDN’T GO. I actually felt it stab me in the spine. Like I know what it feels like to have your spine STABBED from the INSIDE. It was a horrific pain… on top of an already horrific pain. Looking back, I don’t think that it was the doctor’s fault. I think it was because I was so out of it with the labor and like having a panic attack and stuff that I just couldn’t sit well enough for them to do it correctly.
It took 35 minutes for them to get my epidural in. They may not seem as bad as it is, so try to imagine this: You are having one of the most generally recognized worse pains in the world cramping your body for full minutes at a time and making you hysterical… while at the same time someone is behind you, literally stabbing you in the spine the same area where most of your nerve endings are. Okay, THAT is what it was for 35 FREAKING MINUTES. Like… an entire episode of The Office is 20 minutes. You could finish watching Diversity Day and I would STILL be getting poked with a needle on a hospital bed for ALMOST ANOTHER EPISODE MORE with tears dripping into my husband’s helpless arms.
But I will say this… Even with how painful that medieval spinal tap was… IT WAS STILL WORTH IT BY FAR. So I hope that tells you something about how hard it is to deliver a baby. And I also hope that you give your mother a phone call today.
After I got the epidural, things were calm, borderline boring. Jack was gone and well taken care of. My dad was on his way from the airport. Dan was working on projects, of course, because residents ARE SLAVES. If I had been delivering at his hospital, they probably would’ve made him do some rounds while he waited. Nothing too eventful happened here. I took a little video and hung out. I was basically paralyzed I was so numbed up, my back was still sore though.
At six or maybe even later, the doctor came in and broke my water. I was at a nine by then. The nurse said that they were going to wait until I could absolutely no longer take the pressure anymore and then they would have me push. She said it would be worth it to hold out as long as possible because then I would have to push less. So I just kinda sat there wondering if I was going to be able to feel it if a baby started coming out of me.
I felt the pressure pretty soon afterwards. They checked me, I was a ten. I remember the nurse said, “Yeah, there’s no more cervix.” Gnarly. I had the shakes so bad. They were like violent. I wasn’t hurting, but I was shivering like crazy.
MORE SEMI HORROR MOSTLY JUST GROSS DETAILS HERE. You can skip this paragraph too if you want. So I had to puke so bad. And this exact same thing happened when I was pushing with Jack. I was told that the before the baby comes out, his head rests on a nerve that makes you super nauseous. You don’t feel the pain of it because of the epidural, but the pressure wants to make you barf. Well I was trying so hard to hold in my DANG FRUIT CUP. And honestly, you know when you are trying not to throw up like you can’t even move or talk or breathe or anything. Finally, my nurse said, “Just go ahead and do it, it will help push the baby out anyways.” Hahaha! So I was like, yup, I’m there, and I let it all out. And she was freaking right, dude! I literally felt the baby get pushed down when I puked. You use the same muscles to throw up / push a baby out. ANYWHO. Not sure why I felt the need to include all that, but there you go. All the honest and disgusting details of birth.
So they get me ready to push. They basically had to hoist my BUM LEGS into the stirrups because I was so dead down there. I did three sets of pushing during contractions. (For your information, in between contractions is hilariously awkward. I was sitting there all spread eagle while my doctor stands at my hooha, hands on his hips talking about “how he knew I would beat the gal in nine because it’s my second time.” It’s all casual and every day for them. For me, it’s all naked and life-changing and this big medical trauma.)
That was a tangent. Hi! Okay, back to Casey.
Three sets of pushing and he was out. POP! It was like ten minutes of pushing. Maybe five. With Jack I remembered sobbing and being SO melodramatic and yelling, “My son! My son!”. With Casey, I was still in so much shock at his early arrival that I just stared at him with a stupid look on my face, feeling super confused at how the whole day went.
He was so pink and had lots of hair and chubby cheeks. He is this easy-going lovey-bug! And I couldn’t be more thrilled to have him as an addition to our family.
Sweet baby comes this month! Aaaah! In the past few weeks, I went from scared to peacefully accepting to REALLY excited! Not that the anxiety has gone totally away. With Daniel’s medical residency, being far away from family and navigating a clingy toddler, doubling my number of kids will definitely be a challenge but I’m just ready for it all. Ready to fall in love all over again.
Anyways, in honor of it being his birth month (well, month of his due date) here is the exact moment I found out he existed! Enjoy!
PS. Yes, I know this is 2018, but I’m a freaking grandma and I don’t know how to hold my phone horizontal when taking video.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but… I think I might have just stepped over to the Pinterest side of me that I didn’t even know I had. I started doing something new with my son, not having any idea of how it would turn out. And let me tell you, it was a BIG HIT.
Let me introduce you to “Sensory Bins”.
My sister has often mentioned the importance of sensory play. She’s a preschool special education consultant, so any advice she has to offer in way of cognitive development is going to be pretty valuable. It kept coming to my mind because I’ve been dying to try to find things for Jack to do. It’s too hot to play outside (other than swim) and this toddler NEEDED something new. BAD.
I started looking up sensory tables, knowing how ridiculous I was being since 1) I cannot afford to buy a sensory table and B) where the heck would I even put it. After some research, I found a new love. Which is sensory bins. And OH. MY. GOSH.
They are SO easy. You can find EVERYTHING you need at the dollar store. The only expensive problem is that I have too many ideas and I wish I could put together one for every week of the year. Seriously. I love these things. And not only do I love them, but you know who else does? MY TWO-YEAR-OLD.
He asks to play with them Every. Single. Day. As soon as he’s done eating breakfast he’ll walk over to the hall closet and point. “Bin! Bin!” When he plays… honestly, it’s actually quiet. Like NAP TIME QUIET. I am so obsessed with these, I don’t even know where to begin…
I guess I’ll start with the bins themselves. What the heck is a sensory bin? Basically, all it is… is a shoe-box sized container filled with some kind of material that a kid can just stick their hands in and feel! Texture is important. You can also put little treasures and toys in. Scoops, funnels, anything that will let them play around and experiment. It’s basically a miniature sandbox. (Actually, you can totally use sand!)
Is it messy? Yes. But isn’t everything else that a toddler does? Yes! In my experience, it hasn’t been bad at all and YOU are the one who controls what kind of a mess it is. YOU are the one who decides what kind of a bin it will be. You don’t even have to do it inside if you don’t want to!
So with that, let me show you what I put together, so you can get an idea:
I found these colorful packing peanuts. So fun. Despite the fact that he was the one who picked out the Styrofoam peanuts, this is actually Jack’s least favorite bin. I’m not too worried though because I think he’ll like it more as he gets a little older. I’ve hidden wooden numbers in there, which will be fun when he starts to learn how to count.
3 bags of packing peanuts: $6
Plastic shovels: $1
ALL IN ALL: $9
I reeeeally love this one. BECAUSE IT’S FREAKING DINOSAUR THEMED!
Red kidney beans $1
White beans $1
Dinosaur play set $1
Plastic shovels (shared with the other box!)
ALL IN ALL: $4
This is my most recent one, I put it together for the fall time! Take note of the messiness in the background.
Corn Kernels: $2
Fabric leaves: $1
Set of Dump Trucks: $6
ALL IN ALL: $9
This one is the holy grail of sensory bins for my toddler. Honestly, he’s kind of obsessed… THE WATER SENSORY BIN. And okay, I know what you’re thinking. Yikes! But here is what I do. Knowing that I was going to try out a water bin, I got a towel from the dollar store (bonus! This one is a cool round shape!) I set it out in the kitchen and put a bath mat ON TOP of that. Double protection. Then I have Jack sit with the bin on the bath mat. We’ve had a bunch of spills but it was no big deal with this set-up. I will say though that the first time he did this, he got pretty soaked himself- so that’s something to think about!
As you can see, I started to switch it up by putting in a tiny droplet of dishwashing soap and giving him one of my slotted spoons. He adored it. He likes to throw in glass aquarium pebbles, stir them around with the spoon and scoop up bubbles. This has been a massive hit at our house. In fact: Tantrum Warning – may cause a lot of tears when putting away!
Aquarium rocks $1
Spoons and dishwashing soap: On hand
ALL IN ALL: TWO FREAKING DOLLARS
Today he also decided that he wanted to “wash” everything in my baking drawer. So prepare yourself for this kind of discovery/shenanigans.
I’ve been having way too much fun. I found an easy recipe to make fake snow. I think I’ll be putting together a winter bin in a few months!
Had an ultrasound of our new little boy the other day. He was moving a lot (per his norm) and even got the hiccups which was kind of fun to see.
He’s big. Which I kind of figured because I was really ballooning out but not gaining any weight. They told me that I’m measuring at 28 weeks and he’s in the 65th percentile for size. To which I was like, cool… I’m not even 28 weeks yet…
SOOOOOOOOOOOOO that’s going to come out of me in a few months.
But everything looks good. Everything is super healthy and going well! They were able to get some pretty detailed pictures so I wanted a chance to show them off:
Seeing my little boy’s face for kind of the first time made me tear up. (Although everything makes me tear up when I’m pregnant haha) With everything that has been going on, I haven’t really been able to spend a lot of attention on this new little one. (Middle child, much?) But getting caught up on ultrasound and seeing him so clearly, it made me feel really excited to meet him!
Hey, did you fall for the clickbait? Good for you! Curiosity is one of the most powerful traits of humanity. So just by clicking on this proves how naturally intelligent you are. Also you’re looking super good lately. Did you do something with your hair?
If you haven’t already scrolled down to find out the gender, you can. It’s intertwined with some funny stories and sappy stuff, which you’re welcome to read if you have the time.
Basically, I didn’t want to announce the gender until it was a FOR SURE thing. I was told my first born was a girl. Definitely a girl, the doctor said, 100% sure. So I immediately went to announce it the best way that I know… with some really lengthy written prose of course!
I wrote this super flowery Facebook post about how hard it is to be a girl and live up to society’s unrealistic standards. Everyone loved it. And shared it and everything.
And then I go to my next ultrasound.
Technician: Did you want to find out the gender?
Me: Oh, we already know it’s a girl.
Technician: Are you sure?
So then I had to go and retract my announcement like the over-eager failure that I am. Cool. That wasn’t embarrassing at all. We cut our losses and went out to Dickey’s to celebrate. THANK YOU, INTERNET! I’LL BE HERE ALL WEEK! *drops mic*
Soooo anyone about to do one of those fancy reveal parties? Learn from my mistake!
But this time we are very sure, pretty convinced, saw a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ on the ultrasound, almost positive that we are having…
So since it’s official that I will be very much a “boy mom”. I wrote a different sappy prose, this time addressed to my two darling boys.
You have come into this world two (devastatingly handsome, probably) white boys. With this comes a lot of privileges, but a lot of pressures and responsibilities. The world will expect that you try to make yourself a superhero… but what I’m telling you is that the world doesn’t know what a real superhero is.
A real superhero doesn’t have this perfect beach body. He cares less about what others think of him and more about how he thinks of others. A real superhero doesn’t have to throw the last punch. He turns the other cheek. A real superhero doesn’t always have to get the girl in the end. He respects her as a sincere friend (even when that girl is really cute and you kinda lowkey wish you were more than friends). A real superhero doesn’t wear a mask. He isn’t afraid to be himself, and have emotions and be a REAL PERSON. A real superhero doesn’t have unbelievable super strength. Sometimes he gets up in the morning and faces the battles that people don’t talk about… and it’s okay. He’s still a hero.
When you stand up for someone, you’re a superhero. When you embrace your uniqueness, you’re a superhero. And when you understand your weaknesses, you’re a superhero.
And no matter what, you will always be a superhero to me. So you can just go ahead and trash what the world thinks.
But hey! You don’t have to be a boy or a girl to want a SUPER EPIC PARTY. If you’re looking to throw an event to top all other events, let me point you in the right direction. Epic Party Events brings an unforgettable experience right to your front door. They have a trailer that hosts 8 4k TV’s and 15 Game consoles. Not to mention photo booths, virtual reality, and yard games.
There is just so much happening right now that I’m not even sure how to consolidate this information into one post. So please forgive the scatter-brained mess this will be haha
Arizona is great and we love it. Even with the summer heat, (I think the highest it’s gotten so far was 113 degrees Fahrenheit?) But tbh, I live the hermit lifestyle anyways and the AC in my apartment is great!
What I would say to someone looking to move down here would be… you like strip malls? Because at least where I live in East Mesa, there are alternating strip malls and gated communities in between a lot of palm trees and cacti. The great thing about it though is you are always in a close radius to any store you could dream of. There’s a department store or grocery store every two blocks and anywhere you’re at you are by a freeway enterance. The design is really smart and this state has everything dialed in. Like OH MY GOSH all the roads are huge!
‘Kay, I don’t know if it’s just the area I’m in, but the people here are either big hit or completely frigid when it comes to friendliness. And (kiiiind of an agist perspective) I’ve noticed that it is totally dependent on age. Like, the younger people in my building complex. Lol… I will straight up make eye contact with them and loudly say, “Hi!!” And they will 100% snub me as they pass. On the other hand, I’ve had several old people stop and talk to me *just because I was smiling to myself*. It’s a funny dynamic. I’m sure my loud, young-person greetings pins me as an outsider even more than my translucent skin color and long pants.
Overall, this place is a big hit for Dan and I. Jack has adjusted very well to our new apartment and has been EATING UP all of the time he gets with Daddy.
Yeah! The pregnancy is going well. I don’t know how I always manage to be pregnant when we move somewhere and end up being the useless lump. Ugh. Carrying Jack is getting harder and I get a lot more tired than normal. But I think that has to do with all the running around we’ve been doing as well. This baby is SUPER SUPER active. I feel twists and turns all day and Daniel can even feel little kicks now. Trying to find a doc is a bit stressful, but everything is going great. Stay tuned for a gender reveal soon!
So if you haven’t seen my last update, my computer blew up. WRITERS. WORST. NIGHTMARE. I ordered a new computer and now I’m waiting for it to arrive. (Typing this on my phone still).
Fortunately, my novel is backed up and safe. If June hadn’t been so hellishly ridiculous I might have my fourth draft finished by now. Buuuuuut nonetheless I am incredibly close. I can see the finish line. Just another round of edits (Oh, just that?? That’s nothing. **SARCASM**) and then TA FREAKING DA, I’ll start beggining door to door for representation.
Here’s something cute: I was in the bathroom getting ready and could hear Dan on the phone with an insurance agent. (He didn’t know I was listening) When they asked what I did for a living, he very confidently responded, “She’s an author.” THIS DOLL I MARRIED WHAT THE HECK! He believes in me so hard! I hope he’s right. And I hope I can kick it back into gear when my new laptop comes.
Oh and PS the cute black laptop that died was named ‘Othello’. I’m considering naming this next one ‘Horatio’, since, ya know, he’s basically the only character that survives in Hamlet. And I’m really looking for a computer who can live to “tell my story”. Haha!
That’s about it. Blech. Sorry. At some point I’ll get back to normal with this blog and put out more embarrassing stories.
Have you ever seen the movie Pure Luck? Because let me tell you… this move to Arizona has been some of the worst luck I’ve ever had. It’s been so ridiculous in fact that you wouldn’t believe it unless I made a comprehensive list.
So here you are:
We got a late start getting out on the road because one of our drivers disappeared at Walmart for an hour
U-haul’s system went out nationally and double charged us for the trailer
Car’s AC went out as soon as we hit Mesquite
We tried to see Hoover dam. It was closed.
Our other car wasn’t put on the trailer correctly and almost fell off in the middle of the desert
Our credit card stopped working because of the unusual location even though we informed the bank we were moving
Got to the Air BnB late, misunderstood where the entrance was and got chewed out all day for trying to break in
Got locked out of our own gated community as we were trying to move in
Brought an air mattress for our helpers… didn’t bring an air pump
Got two replacement mattresses and a pump… that pump was broken
The flight we purchased for our helpers was delayed like three hours. Didn’t know about it until after they had gone through security
Someone in our building was smoking and it was blowing into our apartment
It took 4 trips to the DMV to get registration done because of random misunderstandings
Caterpillars keep crawling in through the bottom of our front door 🤷🏻
Our pool turned green
Jack had diarrhea for the first week
And then because of the diarrhea Jack had bad diaper rash the second week
I spent like 15 minutes picking out the most gentle face wash/moisturizer I could find at the store. I was allergic to it.
Dan’s bike got stolen off our porch
After fixing the AC we took our car to get tint put on the windows and our MECHANIC’S car broke down and he couldn’t get to it until the next day
We went to three different restaurants because we had gift cards. NONE OF THE GIFT CARDS WORKED
The ONE thing I was madly pregnancy craving does not exist here in AZ
The radiator in the OTHER CAR broke down
And literally as I was typing up this list, Dan came in to tell me that the plug on my laptop just SPARKED and EXPLODED. So I’m trying to write this post on my phone.
This probably all sounds made up. IT’S NOT. Hopefully, a meteor isn’t about to fall on us. Um… Help?
Okay, so I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but sometimes when I dream it’s not about myself… That is to say, that sometimes I dream in a “movie format” with it’s own characters and plot twists and everything. This especially happens when I’m sick. And if I’m sick and pregnant, the story-dreams are even crazier.
So I started writing them down as if I were pitching them to agents as book ideas. Here they are for your enjoyment! (Forgive the conspiracy thrillers. It’s been a rough first trimester.)
Retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, but the giant is made out of pulled taffy.
A family of four tries to escape a mall as an active shooter works his way towards them.
A cheerleader is forced to spend time with some of the grossest and geekiest outcasts of the school (stylized as a 1980s John Hughes comedy).
A down-on-his-luck father is hired to work for the United States’ most extensive underground mob.
Four amateur and bumbling criminals decide to rob a bank accidentally at the same time as four violent and capable criminals.
A woman takes down a group of terrorists on a cruise ship by using an animal-shapeshifting superpower.
Queen Elizabeth is let in on a secret plan to assassinate one of her own government officials right before her daughter announces that she’s fallen in love with him.
A group of young boys find themselves trapped in a house with strange and mysterious properties, competing for the only exit.
A lonely high school kid is granted the ability to become invisible for a day. He uses his new skill to learn that his fellow students have their own demons.
A high school girl begins to accurately dream the future the day before her premonitions become true. At first it’s all fun and games, until her dream predicts that she will somehow become hopelessly lost in the dark woods.
“Morty’s Fun House of Outrageous Revoked Licences: The Strangest Reasons People Have Had Their Driver’s Licenses Taken Away” (I flipped through this book in a dream haha)
A doctor is hired by a corrupt pharma company to pretend that he has a specific degenerate disease in order to falsify research.
BONUS: I dreamt that my husband and I were contestants on The Bachelor/Bachelorette but living in the same house. We made a vow to give up our roses for each other
Which one would you read as a book or go see as a movie? Do any of you creative people have out of control dreams like this?