Tuesday, January 31, 2012

my baby takes the morning train

We were rejected from the hospital for the second time on Wednesday night. As I hunched over the triage nurse's desk, crying, she handed me an Ambien and told us to return if I felt the same way in a few hours. So I took the Ambien, a strong, freak dream causing sleeping pill. Ambien doesn't mess around. But, as it turns out, neither do contractions. So the following hours went something like this: I dreamt that I was the campaign manager for Gabrielle Giffords, who in this dream decided to run for reelection. And because the contractions were as strong as they were, they became a part of my dream. I, my dream self, understood that it was my responsibility as campaign manager to power through the pain. So every time a contraction came along (which was about every three minutes), my dream campaign team would yell "Do it for Gabbie!", and I would sit up, rock back and forth for sixty seconds, then lay back down until three minutes later. From Stephen's perspective, I was snoring, waking up every three minutes and wailing, then snoring again. This continued until four in the morning, when one particularly nasty contraction snapped me out of my political delirium, and I found myself sitting in a puddle of blood. Any other night and this would mean total terror, but at that moment I rejoiced, knowing that if there's anything that will convince health care professionals to let you stay at the hospital, it's copious amounts of blood. So we went in for the second time that night and the third time that week. As soon as the delivery nurses saw the look on my face they said "That's it. She's staying." And that's when The Worst Night turned into The Best Morning.
Yet another exam revealed that I was at a 7 and yes, well into labor. I spent the next hour asking how soon I could get an epidural, every time getting the same answer, "in just a minute". Finally that minute came, and slowly the pain turned to pressure and then the pressure faded away and then all was right in the world. A few naps later and it was time to push. Honestly, one of the coolest things I've ever done. I know that sounds like the strangest thing, but it was all so calm and happy. I imagined doctors and nurses rushing around, me sweaty and yelling, lots of blood, an all around apocolyptic scenario. Instead it was Stephen, Dr. Nelson and a nurse named Polly, gently coaching me through each contraction then telling jokes and making small talk in between. Ivy did her part and progressed nicely, then after an hour someone summoned the rest of the delivery team, and a group of scrub-clad cheerleaders watched the final fifteen minutes. at 10:10 Doctor Nelson said "Next contraction we'll have a baby." He was right. I gave it everrything I had and out she came at 10:15. "She's beautiful," Stephen said. "Look at all theat hair," the nurses said. A few seconds worth of nose and throat suctioning passed, then I heard her cry. Polly handed me the loveliest goop-covered seven pounds three ounces I'd ever seen.
The rest of the day was a surreal blur, as both Ivy and I went through all sorts of poking and prodding and Stephen and I tried to remember everything everyone was telling us. Next thing I knew I was trying to feed my baby in the middle of the night. She didn't quite feel like mine. She felt like someone's cute little creature that I was asked to tend for a while and I wasn't sure how. I bounced Ivy in my arms as she cried, laid her head against my chest and "Shhhh-shhhh-shhhhed" until she slowly ceased the screaming, peeled her head away from my body, looked up at me with huge blue eyes, and just stared. That was it. She knew me and I knew her. She was mine. She is ours.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Hey guys!

I'm Ivy.
I showed up on my due date. Aren't I punctual? I weigh 7 pounds 3 ounces and I'm 21 inches long.
Nice to meet you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

jump. shout.

Did you know that you can be in labor but not be in labor enough? It's a fun lesson we learned after being sent home from the hospital at 2 am last night. The instructions the nurse gave us were "Come back when the contractions are unbearable." I'm starting to look at being admitted to the birth center as very much like being let in to an ultra exclusive club, but instead of being unbelievably famous or beautiful, the requirement for getting through the front door is hunching over in agony, yelling expletives and turning blue in the face.

Monday, January 23, 2012

so many lemons

In the last week I've promised six different strangers that I would bring in my new baby to their workplace so that they can admire her. The three tellers at Key Bank, two different cashiers at Safeway, and the teenage girl who took our order at Five Guys. The interaction with the Five Guys girl was my favorite, because she added "Treat her like a princess and she'll love you forever." I don't know how sound that advice is, but it was sweet.
I don't anticipate missing many things about pregnancy, but I think I will miss the niceness bestowed by everyone everywhere I go. Even if the strangers don't say anything, they offer knowing, loving smiles.

In other news, I've progressed pretty much not at all, and it looks like my due date while come and go whilst Ivy remains in utero. We were discussing her arrival during the ultra sound today when Dr. N said, "Look! She's showing you her middle finger!". Coincidence?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

time may change me

Hey Ivy,
Real quick, I just want to show you the latest additions to your room. Both curtain and bunting courtesy of your Grandma Mary:

So you have that to look forward to.

Ollie seems to be under the impression that the rocking chair belongs to him. I'll let you two work that out.

So today is the day we scheduled for you, or for me I guess, to be induced. But we cancelled an hour after scheduling. When I requested the procedure, I was at my rope's end. I'd heard one too many horror stories about full term losses, I was uncomfortable, and I was all around tired of having absolutely no control over the situation. But then after coming home and talking it over with Stephen, I realized that that's kind of how it's always going to be, right? You're your own person and you're going to make your own decisions and as much as it will probably drive me nuts and as often as I'll find myself at the end of my rope and unable to control whatever given parenting situation, I have to trust you. Which is what we're doing now. You'll come when you're ready, right? Just know that we're ready for you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

o.r. they?

I tried to upload these at the same time as my lovely portraits (See: Monday) but blogger was being grouchy. So here they are today for your pleasure and further Walter family humiliation:

Further proof that either:
a) Marriage is rough
b) Colorado has not done us any favors aesthetically
c) That DMV photographer hates humanity and has unleashed on the city of Longmont a scourge of really terrible driver's license photos, much like Pandora opening her box in legend old.

My money is on c.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ooh you think you got it

I might be starting off the relationship with my daughter on the wrong foot.
When I wake up every morning at 5:00 for a bathroom trip, I panic when I don't feel her moving. Yes, I panic every morning. You would think that after nine months I would learn that she just doesn't move before the sun rises, because like any sane person, she's sleeping. But no. I haven't learned, nor is it likely that I will in the next week or so. Instead I drink a cold glass of water and poke my stomach until I feel a kick. Imagine sleeping peacefully in your bed, hours before dawn. In walks your mother. She throws a glass of chilled water on your head and pokes your bum until you move. Would that not make you mad? And if she did that every day, would you not be dealing with some serious resentment? Do you think Ivy will forgive me? Or will she hear my voice for the first time outside the womb and scream, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU CRAZY LADY?!"

Monday, January 16, 2012

remind me later

Look at that young, bringht, cheery, thin Utah driver with the hair that's doing just what it's supposed to do. It's too bad that one of the only two good pictures ever taken of me was merely the size of a quarter and not plastered on a billlboard somewhere. But the miniature nature of the portrait stop me from feeling a boost of confidence everytime I was required to pull out my ID. Yes, that's me, I'd reassure the cashier/bouncer/highway patrolman with my eyes. No, I don't model, stop it, you're making me blush (all said with my eyes). Lest you think my vanity is getting the better of me, I guess you're right, but let me remind you that this is one out of only two good photos ever taken of me, so I had to milk as much pride from it as possible until the time came to take a new license photo. Unfortunately that time came last week. 

It could be the 25 pregnancy pounds, the expired hair cut, the muggy DMV air, the rule against tilting your head sideways in the picture, or the photographer who seemed vexed by my very existence, or all of these factors combined that turned that bright, young Utah, driver into an unkempt 58 year old woman who still has yet to change her last name to that of her husband's (MY BAD).

As far as baby arrival is concerned, I've made exactly the same amount of progress as I had made at the last doctor's appointment. So it looks like I'll be pregnant forever.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

i asked her her name

Kelly, my pedicurist, asked what we plan to name our baby. When I told her Ivy, she said "All of my friends named Ivy are very pretty and very wild. They like to go to the bars and are very sexy." I find it incredible that she has more than one friend named Ivy and that they are all sexy drinkers. Seriously, guys, this name is turning out to pack a serious punch. Not only was it revealed on Gossip Girl (Spoiler alert) that Serena's "cousin" is actually the evil Ivy from Florida, who maybe isn't really evil but is at least deceptive, but also apparently, according to these reliable sources (click) I.V.Y. stands for Illuminati's Very Youngest. If I learned anything from the DaVinci code, besides, you know THE FACTS, it's that the Illuminati is sketchy. So are we, by naming our daughter after what we thought was a plant, dooming her to a life of Beyonce baby overshadowment, cultdom and wild partying? I don't know any more.

The good news is that I got my hair did, my toe nails are lovely, and I even splurged for a manicure. Because what's more important than being well polished while giving birth?
The bad news is that I'm still pregnant. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm not gonna diss you on the internet, cause my momma taught me better than that

When I learned that Beyonce was pregnant, I cried. I cried because a) I'm pregnant and I cry about everything, b) I really like Beyonce and feel like I would get along with her if ever we were to meet, and c) I really like Jay-Z and the idea of him and Beyonce together and the the idea of them giving the world the gift of their offspring. For the past few months it's been fun to have something in common with someone as awesome as Beyonce. I just didn't realize how much we had in common. Have you ever met anyone named Ivy? Ever? In your life? Me neither. Which is why we thought Ivy was a safe choice as far as originality is concerned. Little did we know that Beyonce and I share a brain wave. On January 7 She and Jay-Z welcomed their baby girl Blue Ivy into their lives. And their baby Ivy is already way upstaging our baby Ivy. On the 7th the Empire State Building was lit in blue. No joke. And Jay-Z has already dropped a single about his daughter. Sorry, our baby Ivy. We haven't chosen what color of Ivy you are or made any arrangments to light up any buildings and we're not quite finished writing our rap about your birth yet. But I did wash all your onesies if that counts for anything. We're sticking with the name. Because, well, we called it first. And there were four Megans in my second grade class. I lived.

In other news, I'm dialated to a 1. And baby's head is low. My hospital bag is packed. Camera charged. Playlist made. So...we wait.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

like some cat from Japan

Dear Baby Ivy,
So listen. It's been 37 weeks. And what a 37 weeks, amirite? It's been a real pleasure serving as your dwelling these past nine months. But it has been nine months. And as of tomorrow, you are totally in the clear to make your big debut. Girl, it's time. Are you nervous? Don't be. I promise we don't care if you're bald. And while I can't guarantee that we know what we're doing, I can offer food, shelter and a whole bunch of pink clothing. Let me entice you with materialism for a moment, if I may.

Look what your dad got you for Christmas:

Look at the view from your crib:

Look at these shelves filled with YOUR stuff:

Plus we have a Play Station. And a dog. Beats a placenta and cramped womb if you ask me.
Still not sure? Ok, I didn't want to bring this up, cause I don't want to give you any sort of body image issues. But the truth is, you're gaining weight, which is really great, but not so great for my maternity tops that don't fit any more or the aching back that wakes me up once every hour.
So you just let us konw when you're ready. We'll be here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

and whiskers on kittens

I had high hopes for my doctor's appointment today. I imagined Dr. N taking one look at me, exclaiming "GADZOOKS! Get this woman to the hospital! There's a baby on the way!" Instead he said, "See you next week." Yargh. Never before in my life have I looked forward to pain. But now every twinge, every shooting sensation and every back ache ignites the hope that maybe labor is on the way. I rejoiced when I threw up, knowing, just knowing, that contractions would start soon. Nope. It was just a bad sandwich.

I should not talk to strangers, and not for the safety reasons Officer Friendly covered in elementary school. I should not talk to strangers because I am psychologically/physically incapable of carrying a conversation like a normal, well-adjusted human being. While in line at the airport, the girl behind me asked where I got my shoes. I should have told her where. Instead I told her where, why, my feelings on the particular brand of shoes, my reasoning for buying said brand, when some online sales occur, and how to best keep them clean. Then, having nothing left to say, I turned around to face forward again. Then, realizing just how strange this behavior was, I decided to hide in the bathroom for seven minutes, wait for that section of the line to pass, then rejoin the line in the back. Better to lose my place in line than try and think of any possible way to convince the shoe-admiring stranger that I am not afflicted with sharetoomuchthenpretendweneverstartedaconversationitis.