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Superwife: Not so super for a while there… But I’m back!

Well, this is LONG overdue. Thank you all so much for not pressuring me to tell this story before I was ready… so, without further ado, here is Jamie’s beautiful birth story. And the aftermath.

I went into labor on a Thursday afternoon. I didn’t know it until about 6 hours later when my contractions had strengthened and become pretty rhythmic, so I spent the afternoon admiring my perfectly spotless house, eating macaroni and cheese for lunch, and waiting for my mom’s flight to get in. BTW, don’t eat mac & cheese the day you go into labor. Trust me, just don’t.

Anyhoo, my back was pretty sore around 7-8pm, so Ellie and I sat on the yoga ball and stretched/bounced for a little bit. Adam left to go get my mom at 9pm, and by the time they returned at 10pm my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and getting stronger. We left for the hospital at 11pm – my mom hadn’t even had time to take her suitcase upstairs!

Once we got to the hospital, I wasn’t admitted into Labor and Delivery for another HOUR, even though I was at 5cm. About half an hour after we got there, however, I made everyone leave the room because I was feeling SUPER nauseated. Adam of course was like, “yeah you guys should leave…” and I yelled through clenched teeth.. “EVERYONE. GET OUT.” Yep, I banished him to the waiting room along with my mom, my sister and her boyfriend, and my friend/birth photographer Kaile.

I got wheeled into L&D around 1am, where I proceeded to dry-heave until 3:15am when I got my epidural. The little bucket they gave me to hold in case my lunch came up was mangled by that time, because I was apparently using my super-hulk-strength to squeeze it with my left hand during contractions.  I allowed Adam back into the room when I was sure I wouldn’t barf on anyone, and then my water broke (read: exploded) all over the nurse’s shoes (luckily for HER it was only her shoes, because — no joke — 1 second before that she had her face in my vagina checking my cervix).

The doctor (not MY doctor, who apparently is never on call when I want to have babies) came in to check my cervix at 3:30 and immediately proclaimed that we’d better get everyone in the room because baby was coming. Four pushes later and out came a tiny, screaming little beebee.

6lbs, 5oz , beautiful baby girl Jameson Lea greeted us at 4:01am on Friday, November 16th, 2012. I was ecstatic, smiling, and laughing immediately. TWO GIRLS!!!! OMG!

Adam and I didn’t get to our mother-baby room until 7am or so, and we started getting visitors at 9am. Jamie was perfect, quiet, sleepy, and hey!– I remembered how to breastfeed! Everything went great. We even left the hospital as soon as they would let us — Saturday morning we were outta there!

Aaaaand then my life turned upside down and went all to hell.

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Some of you may remember my semi-public meltdown on Facebook… I posted daily little quips about how I didn’t think I would EVER be able to leave my house again, wondering how ANYONE ever had more than one child and had a normal life, etc. Starting on Day 4, Jamie cried NONSTOP. Unless she was eating or sleeping, the girl was SCREAMING.

I didn’t sleep. I ate like crap. I cried. A LOT. My house went to shambles. None of my clothes fit. I cried a lot more. I picked fights with Adam. I cried even more. I scared all of my friends who were thinking about trying to have a second child. I scared my sister and her husband, who were about to have their second child any day.

I beat myself up daily with guilt — I felt like I was neglecting Ellie, who had been my little #1 best friend for the last 2 years. All I wanted to do was put down this screaming, red-faced baby and hold my EllieBelle. I didn’t want my Mom to EVER leave me, and I didn’t want to see anyone else in my life. I was embarrased because I felt like a crap mom, like I didn’t have it together at all. I felt guilty for feeling guilty, which lead to a never-ending cycle of tears. I cried all the way through Jamie’s 2-week appointment, using a burp cloth to wipe my eyes while Adam did most of the talking to the pediatrician.

My best friend had had her second baby just eight days before I had Jamie, and she was making it look so easy! I felt like a complete failure. I felt… like I was drowning. And I absolutely could not get and keep my head above water.

My sister-in-law tattled on me to my doctor, who called to check on me the same day. I of course said I was fine… then I spent the entire day crying and wondering how I was going to get through a babyshower that night with lots of people who wanted to meet Jamie when all I wanted to do was crawl into Ellie’s bed and snuggle.

At my 6-week postpartum checkup, the nurse who took my bloodpressure asked how I was feeling. I jokingly said, “a little crazy, but that comes with the territory of having two kids I guess.” Then when my doctor came in, all she had to do was LOOK at me and she said, “Feeling a little sad?” … to which I replied by bursting into tears.

So, Zoloft it was. It hadn’t quite kicked in by the time I took both girls, by myself, on a plane to Idaho to visit my family… luckily I was able to keep myself calm enough not to flip completely out while traveling, though I did have one scary panic attack where I was thisclose to throwing up. I didn’t though, and the guy sitting next to me never had a clue how close he was to disaster.

My sister had her baby a few days after I arrived, and when she came home we had FOUR children in the house. FOUR. And she was so calm about it! My anxiety was through the roof, of course, and I had to actually focus internally on breathing so I wouldn’t pass out or throw up. And my Mom had the NERVE to LEAVE US! Sheesh.

I struggled with more feelings of guilt and inadequacy as I watched my little sister seamlessly integrate her new baby into the family. She was *glowing* with happiness, and I was jealous. The only thing I glowed with was sweat from panic attacks about being a terrible mother.

Of course, I didn’t notice the Zoloft starting to kick in until about a month later. I began to feel lighter, less guilty, and more confident. Coincidentally, Jamie began to smile more, cry less, and calm more easily right around 7-8 weeks old. In the following weeks, I cheered up. I cried SO much less (actually, as of today I can’t really remember the last time I cried). I quit worrying about the house (so much). I spent the majority of my non-working time on the floor with my kids, laughing and playing.

So… here’s an update as of today: Jamie is now SIX MONTHS OLD. She is absolutely THE smiliest baby I’ve ever met. This girl has a perma-smile! The only time she really cries is when she’s hungry, or really really tired. I don’t feel like I’m neglecting Ellie anymore, because blessherheart she adores her little sister and spends as much time as she can with her. My house is kind of a wreck still, but I care much less about it. I focus on doing fun things with the girls, and making sure that I get in as many snuggles and giggles and kisses as I can. And I am SO happy.

I quit taking my Zoloft this week. I really feel like I’m over the post-partum depression and anxiety hump, and the plan was never to be on the drug for longer than I needed it. While I think it was time, and I’m not extremely worried about side effects other than headaches and slight dizziness… if you notice me having another public meltdown on Facebook, maybe let my husband know. 😉

And on that note, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Today is actually Mental Health Blog Day, which is what prompted me to get this on the page. If you know someone who seems to be suffering, please reach out to them.

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Ice Cream: The Miracle Cure

I know I owe you all a birth story about my brand new daughter Jamie Lea, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks here in the Fast household – cut me some slack, people, I have TWO FREAKING KIDS now! Anyway I promise, it’s coming. In the meantime, I thought I’d share another Ellie-ism…

So lately when Ellie gets a little diaper rash, I’ll put Desitin or hydrocortisone cream on it and it usually clears right up. When I’m putting it on her, I always tell her “Okay, gotta put some butt cream on!”

She apparently got confused somewhere along the line and now when her butt itches she says “Gotta put some butt ice cream on it!”. She loves ice cream, and butt cream always makes her feel better, so somehow she’s combined the two in her mind. While this is cute enough alone to be the anecdote, it gets even MORE ridiculously adorable…

The night I went into labor with Jamie, I was having regular contractions about 15 minutes apart. They were getting stronger and closer, and I was sitting on a yoga ball in my living room to ease the pressure on my lower back. At one point, I had Ellie up in my lap when I started to contract – so I gently put her down and told her “Mommy’s tummy hurts, Honey, I’ll pick you back up again in a minute.”

My sweet, adorable, smart little daughter didn’t even miss a beat. She just looked up at me with her serious green eyes and said, “It’s okay Mommy, gotta put some ice cream on it!”

*sigh*

Here’s hoping it’ll be a loooooong time before Ellie realizes that ice cream doesn’t cure everything.

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Let the public embarrassment begin…

Ellie has really never embarrassed me in public – I’m not the mom who freaks out when her baby cries super loudly in the grocery store (or on the plane), I don’t care if she has a blowout and the stink fills the room, and I think pretty much everything she says is funny or really, really cute.

Recently, however, she managed to make the color rise in my cheeks (even though I still thought she was cute and funny). During a quick trip to Target in search of new nursing tanks, I brought my little darling into the dressing room with me while I tried a few things on.

The rooms on either side of us were occupied, and Target was not playing any sort of background music over the store speakers – so everything was relatively quiet. Until Ellie ripped a ridiculously loud fart and then started cracking up… and then yelled the words “MOMMY TOOTS!”

Okay, so I definitely was laughing, but I told her “No, ELLIE toots. Mommy didn’t toot!” – but nooooooo, repeating the words “MOMMY TOOTS” over and over had her laughing like a hyena and me blushing to no end. And what the heck do you even do in that situation? “Um, excuse me, other people in the dressing room? It really wasn’t me, I promise! It was my kid! Really!”

Riiiiiiiight.  

I can’t help but think it must have been her DAD that taught her pass the blame like that. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.

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Toilet Training: Husbands vs Toddlers

We women have spent YEARS attempting to train our husbands (and boyfriends/brothers/fathers/sons) to put the toilet seat back down afte they pee. YEARS, I tell you. Have you been successful? Because I have not. I don’t even think Adam hears the words coming out of my mouth once he realizes it’s a “nag” statement.

It’s just ridiculous the number of times I’ve mentioned (and nicely, at that!) how it would be really helpful and much less unsightly if Adam would *PLEASE* just close the toiled lid when he’s finished. I’ve pretty much given up on that – hell, at this point I’m just happy if he manages to actually FLUSH the damn toilet when he’s finished…

…which is why I found it absolutely, knee-smackingly, pee-my-pants (literally, thanks to my currently being 8 months pregnant) hilarious when my husband and I recently had this conversation:

Adam:(calling to me from the bathroom) Hey is there somewhere for me to put this stupid Dora potty seat of Ellie’s?

Me: Yes, Honey, there’s a hook on the side of the toilet. Just hang the seat right on it, please don’t leave it on the floor.

Adam:(coming out of the bathroom) Well I guess it’s cool that it came with a hook. Hey, you know what we should do? We should train Ellie to put her seat away when she’s finished using it.

Me: Oh, so it won’t be so annoying when the next person goes to use the toilet?

Adam: Yeah, it’s such a pain in the ass to have to deal with that every time I pee. I mean, she’s old enough to learn how to put her seat away, right?

Me: ONE WOULD THINK.

He still doesn’t get the irony.

 

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Girl’s Got Aim

I’ve shared some of this on Facebook recently, because, well… I continue to be so shocked by my daughter that I have to immediately upload photos and explanations so people can get a good chuckle. Here is the (developing) story regarding Ellie’s latest “potty adventures”:

Since we’ve started potty training (approx 6 weeks ago), Ellie has massively impressed me. She got the hang of everything right away, and now she’s to the point where she doesn’t even use her little potty chairs. She just uses a cute little Dora the Explorer seat ring on the big potty… well, that and a few other interesting “venues”.

Exhibit A — Dora’s Potty

A few weeks ago I heard Ellie say “potty” in the living room so I ran around the corner to investigate. She was sitting on her pink potty chair by the couch, proudly telling me she had peed. As I cleaned her up and emptied the chair, I noticed she had a little bit of pee on her leg. I mentioned to Adam that maybe she had missed a little before she made it to the potty, and we didn’t really think twice about it. A few hours later, while cleaning the living room after I had put the Pee Queen to bed, I found out where she had “missed” — apparently she had tried to sit on the TEENY TINY potty chair for the Dora Potty DOLL I had given her. When she realized it was uncomfortable/too small/ridiculous, she moved over to her own potty chair and finished. Apparently. How she managed to hover over that thing and actually pee into it, I’ll never know.

Exhibit B — “Dump” Truck

This is actually a little jungle truck, but I think my title is more fitting. Last Saturday night, just before bed, Ellie was running around our living room like a little naked banshee. She got out this truck and started trying to sit on it, which already had us cracking up. When she finally did manage to sit her little butt on top of it, and just as Adam jokingly said, “hey, don’t poop in that, Honey” – she ripped the biggest “toot” and actually grunted. I laughed so hard that I almost peed MY pants (it’s a miracle I could pick myself up off the couch to get her to the bathroom while I was in hysterics).

Exhibit C — Potty Snacks

Again with the naked-banshee-nighttime-playing, but in the kitchen this time. Adam had a buddy over and they were drinking a beer and chatting, when all of a sudden I hear, “Hey, what is she DOING?” — only to run in and see Ellie ACTUALLY SITTING on this tiny little snack container saying “potty time!”

Size Comparisons:

I guess I’ve got to hand it to her — the girl’s got aim. Unfortunately I’m realizing now that I’ll have to check ANYTHING ANYWHERE EVER for pee, since she’s apparently the Secret Pee Ninja.

But really… potty training is going great. I promise.

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I swear, we’re not trashy parents.

During a recent visit to “Gwama and Poppa’s” house, Ellie impressed everyone with her extensive knowledge of body parts (such a show-off, that one). My mother-in-law was almost in tears (of laughter) while sharing this story with me…

Apparently, Ellie was sitting up on the kitchen counter talking with her grandpa, pointing to his nose and saying “NOSHE!”, his eyes (“EYSH!”), her feet, her toes (“TOESH!”) and all of the other parts she knows. After showing off hair, fingers, legs, knees, teeth, elbows, etc, she pointed at her crotch.

  “KITTY!” she exclaimed, with a huge smile on her face.

Completely stunned, Grandpa stuttered and sputtered and uncomfortably asked Grandma “uh, isn’t that a little inappropriate?”

Thankfully Adam and I don’t have the reputation as TOTALLY trashy parents, so Grandma knew to investigate the situation a little further. After lifting Ellie’s shirt the tiniest bit, she realized that Little Miss Thang happened to be wearing Hello Kitty panties. Cute little white panties, with the tiniest little Hello Kitty right on the front.

Yep, smarty daughter-o-mine, that IS a kitty.

Nope, Grandpa, I won’t be teaching her any vagina slang for a few more years. (For the record, she calls her vagina a ‘gina.)

Superwife Lesson Learned: Where children are involved, ALWAYS clarify. They really are *usually* innocent. 🙂

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Security Blankie

My beautiful daughter has a white hand-crocheted blanket that she is in love with – it’s her “security” blankie. It was made with love by her great-aunt Jana, and Ellie is absolutely enamored with it.

On mornings when she hasn’t quite woken up enough, or when she’s having a “mommy” day, or just when she’s feeling particularly vulnerable, I let her bring her blankie with her to daycare – she always feels better when she knows I’m going to let her take it in the car, and I can tell she feels somehow “safer” away from me when I drop her off .

Tomorrow marks Day One of my father-in-law’s murderer’s court trial…

Do you think Ellie will let me have her blankie for the day?