Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Oh George. Don't grow up. I don't mind you sleeping nearly 6 hours in a row. But don't grow up. I cannot take another child changing daily, right in front of me. I cannot take trying to keep up with all the new and amazing things you do, day in and day out. I cannot take the incredibly peaceful, serene moments a newborn provides, that will pass too quickly and I will forget in the future. Or the funny little faces you make, that change from moment to moment, that I cannot possibly capture. Will you always look like a silly old man when you start to cry? Will you always struggle to fall asleep, yet stay asleep through 2 barking dogs, 2 screaming brothers, and a rain storm? Just stay as you are, so I don't need to drive myself nuts trying to preserve your every little, adorable, newborn minute.
The cycle continues. Around now, I start to freak out because my baby is growing too fast. I start to fret that I have not taken enough pictures, and before I know it, George will be Brock's age. I will forget what it was like to have a sweet, adorable, innocent newborn. I then attempt to take some pictures of my own...which always makes me appreciate photographers. It is definitely NOT the quality of camera or the use of Photoshop. My husband has the creme de la creme of cameras, and it takes me about 40 images to get something somewhat decent. Then about and hour of finagling with Photoshop, before I give up, because I just don't have the eye for it. Something is not right with this's fine, but it doesn't have that extra special "pop" that makes you say, wow.But, no matter how many photographs you take, or moments you try to capture and describe, you will forget. It's just the way it goes. I can only remember teeny bits and pieces of Brock as a newbie. I forget so, so many of the funny little things he has said and done in his 3 years of existence. There is just no way to catalog all of it. And you can drive yourself crazy attempting to do so. Yet, I will continue to have my moments of panic. I will pull out the nice camera and try to take pictures...or I will force Matt to do so. I will write random blog posts in an attempt to reminisce about some funny, or meaningful moment in our short little life. And soon, I will really miss having a tiny baby around.

When does one decide they are OK with never having another little? When they just cannot afford another one? When they become too overwhelmed with the ones they already have? I sometimes wonder if I truly have the capability to be "overwhelmed". I have always thought I might be high on the evolutionary chain (after all, I was missing a wisdom tooth), which means my ability to adapt to change must be phenomenal. But I should take my significant other into account...perhaps he does have a limit. Though, more and more, I see that he is just as insane. He did marry me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

10 days.

How funny. It must take 10 days for my heart to swell to the point that I must let it spill over into others' lives by writing about it. Because, yet again, I find myself blogging with a newborn in my lap with the full intent to gush on and on about how wonderful this little addition truly is.

The first 2-3 days are spent in the hospital. Here I find myself nothing but amazed and running on pure adrenaline. Amazed at the perfect little human being that did not exist just moments ago. Amazed that he is a boy. Amazed that I carried and created him. Amazed that I delivered all 10 pounds 7 ounces of him. Amazed that he is perfect. Despite being my third birthing experience in little more than 3 years, this period of absolute awe remains consistent.

Then, the arrival home from the hospital. The first few days are spent with the mornings waking up with the "can-do" attitude. Adjusting to our new lifestyle. Introducing the little one to the dogs, the kids, the family, the friends. Taking things moment by moment. And slowly, as evening rolls around, the sudden doubts. Maybe even a moment of panic. Can I handle this forever? What have we done? Tears as I hug my oldest, thinking, am I expecting too much of you now? Tears as I hug my middle child, thinking, you are still my sweet baby. Tears as I hold my newborn, thinking, how can I love something so much already?

And, then, finally, a balance, day 10. Maybe that's when the hormones have leveled. Maybe that is just how long it takes me to fully adjust and come to absolutely love my new lifestyle. Maybe I feel completely healed and ready to move forward. Whatever it is, it is bliss. And even being home, alone, all day with all 3 boys, I am divinely happy. I once again get to breath in the smell of a 10 day old, I get to feel him lying on my chest, breathing, or snoring in George's case. I get to see him melt in my arms, and become completely relaxed because he is surrounded by the familiar safety of his mother. I get to admire his double chin and chicken legs. His nose and eyes that resemble his father, and oldest brother. His long, long fingers. His golden hair, and absolutely ambiguously colored eyes.
Lastly, I get to speculate and wonder about who he will become, and what his personality will be like. I was dead on with Curtis at his 10 day post, describing him as laid-back. Wish I could say the same about George...but he has a bit too easily distracted to be a Curtis. And is able to sleep through and ignore too many things to be a Brock. He seems a little bit on the serious-side to me. My little thinker.

Whatever you are, I love you.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

George. Is Loved.

I was kind of sad for my third child. Not only is he a third, which by nature makes it seem less exciting, but he was a third BOY. Old hat by now. I don't need boys clothes. I don't need baby blankets. I don't need stuffed animals. I really don't need anything. I couldn't help but notice as I left the hospital, that poor little George did not receive one single gift. Just because I don't need anything, doesn't mean George wouldn't like some things of his own. Even I had bought only one new baby item upon finding out about this pregnancy (oh wait, 2 items, one was for a girl though.)

But slowly, the gifts and visitors have been rolling in. I am relieved. I want my boy to feel as special and loved as he is. I know, he's a newborn, so who cares about material things, but one day he might. In fact, Brock's Giraffee and Curtis' Blanky Bears are items that were gifted to them - one from Magra and one from Mimi. And those boys CANNOT sleep without their lovies.

My sweet George is loved. We love his squeal of a cry. We love his snorting, and snoring because of his tiny little nostrils and big round neck. Can a newborn have Obstructive Sleep Apnea? He still has me guessing at night. We have had a couple nights of waking up once to eat and fall right to sleep. A couple nights of snacking all night. And a couple nights in between. We love that he weighed 10 and half pounds at birth, but lost a pound and gained an inch and a half by his first doc's appointment 3 days later. (He was quite swollen at birth, and they must not have been able to stretch him out properly).

Lastly, I love that he is already making a little identity for himself. He will not just be the 3rd boy. He will be unique, and interesting. He will keep me on my toes. He will make me happy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Your shirt's on backwards.

Yesterday morning, I actually, kind of, got dressed for the day. Instead of walking around in pajamas, I put on a regular shirt...still sweat pants though. I was kind of proud of myself. And kind of uncomfortable. I had to keep adjusting the shirt, and pulling it down away from neck, and making sure it was still covering my not quite as large, but extremely flabby belly. Matt takes one look at me and says, "Is your shirt on backwards?"

It was. I knew it didn't feel right! Thank goodness, I was beginning to freak out that I couldn't wear normal clothes anymore. I switch it to the right way, and tell Matt, "Oh, this is only the beginning..." Let the "Mommy moments" abound. He just laughs at me, and tells me I am ridiculous.

Later that day, while Brock is at school, we take the other 2 littles out for lunch and to an Estate sale. As we wander through the house, me with the 5 day old, and Matt with the 15 month old, I hear a little old lady start talking to Matt. I am in the adjacent room, so I can't fully hear the conversation, and frankly, I don't care to, but I hear something about "Brock". I then hear Matt agreeing with the old lady that it is a "strong name", and "unique". So, I poke my head into the room and say, did you just say he was Brock (pointing to Curtis). And Matt looks at me, confused, and says, "Yes. He is Brock" (pointing to Curtis). I kind of start laughing, and say, "Really? That's Brock?" And at this point, I am sure the old lady is wondering whether or not she should notify the authorities, because a young couple has apparently stolen a couple of really cute babies, and can't even keep their story straight. Matt, still looking confused, starts to again repeat that he was, in fact, holding Brock, until he noticed I had teeny, weeny, baby George, who certainly, is not Curtis. Light bulb.

At this point, I cannot contain my laughter. Not one bit. And Matt tries to explain things to the skeptical old lady, who I forgot to mention, asked me if we stopped by on our way home from the hospital upon seeing the newborn. Ha. And he thought I was ridiculous for putting my shirt on backwards...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#3 is HE.

I took this photo on February 16th, the day I turned 39 weeks. The day I was scheduled to be induced, but called in the night before to cancel. Despite my claim that I was done complaining, I fully intended to use this photo to complain some more about still being pregnant. And I was going to complain, despite having the opportunity to evict my comfy tenant. Even though I KNEW I was carrying a giant baby. And my OB knew I was carrying a giant baby. And she suggested we induce earlier than later, I just couldn't do it. It doesn't feel right to me; choosing the baby's birthday. And I don't want to interrupt any karmic pattern (if such a thing exists - better safe than sorry.)

And, trivial as it may be, I didn't want to pick the 16th, my nephew Xander's birthday. And I didn't want to pick the 18th, my brother Brennan's birthday. But if I was going to induce I might as well get it done, so I didn't want to wait until the 19th or later. What I really wanted, was the 17th - since the day I found my due date was February 23rd. I all but begged Dr. Martinez to induce me on her one and only day off that week, just because I liked the date. It was a Friday, perfect. It was between my family's birth dates, awesome. It was almost a whole week early, better yet.

So, as it were, Matt and I continued to deliberate about what day I would actually go in and have this baby. In the back of my mind, I just kept repeating, "come on baby, do this yourself, you can do it." Every single time I had a strong contraction, I would think, "please keep coming, let's have another one." In fact, on the 16th, as I sat at Xander's birthday dinner with my family, I exclaimed, "I just don't understand how one can walk around with this much pressure, and have contractions every hour for the past 5 days, and NOT be making any progress!"

I went home. Put the kiddos to bed (or, well, watched Matt put them to bed. Seriously, by 8pm, I was pretty much handicapped. I couldn't bend over. I couldn't lift my kids. I really didn't want to stand. Or sit. Matt has pretty much had 3 kids for the past few weeks.) And tried to relax and not get too disappointed that yet another day had passed without the arrival of Baby O #3. As I went to bed, and brushed my teeth, I was honestly startled when I looked in the mirror...I had labor lips! (For those who don't know, I am sure you can predict that a woman is going into labor in the next 24-48hrs by her lips. Long story.) I went to bed comforted by the idea that perhaps things would happen on their own. And did they ever...

...after falling asleep at 11pm, things got rolling. First, I woke up at midnight, to pee. Then again a bit before 1am, to pee. Then again before 2am, to pee. And at this point, I am thinking, do I really have to pee, or are these contractions waking me up, giving me the sensation that I have to pee? Oh well, back to bed. Up again at 2am, then 2:30, then 2:50, then 3:15. And at this point, I am certain I am having contractions, and they are getting painful, and there is no more falling back to sleep for me. Despite the pain, I kept thinking, please keep going. Please get closer together. Every 10-20 minutes is not going to get the job done. Finally, I wake Matt up around 4am, and tell him I am thinking we need to head to the hospital soonish, but I will try to put it off until 6am. I didn't want to wake anyone up too early, and I didn't want to get sent away since the contractions rarely were closer than 10 minutes together. I mean, how embarrassing would that be, I have triaged and delivered so many OB patients, and this is my 3rd, I should know when I am in labor, right? So, I get in the bath for 20 minutes or so, which honestly does help with contraction pain. But man, these baby's are getting painful. Finally, a bit before 5, the quality and quantity of pain suddenly changed and increased and I began to get concerned that I might deliver the baby at home if we don't get going. The contractions may have been spaced out, but they were doing their job.

We call Mimi. We pack our bag. We arrive at the hospital by 6am. And not a minute too soon. I am telling you, thank god those contractions were 10 minutes or greater apart. So, so, so, so painful. I have now switched from praying for the contractions to continue and get closer together, to praying and begging for them to space out and stop. At least until I get the epidural. I get check-in, settled, labs drawn and progress checked and found to be a good 6-7cm on my way...all the while, being told by everyone I was way too happy and comfortable to be in labor (it's not like you're in tons of pain between the contractions, so I was fine as long as I wasn't contracting, and, I was about to have a baby! Who isn't happy about that?)

Dr. Martinez came in, despite it being her day off, love her. And the epidural was placed by 8am, love it. And I napped, visited with my mom, enjoyed my alone time with Matt, and labored the rest of the way in peace. By about 11am, I decided there was enough pressure, I was ready to push. Baby's head was still up there a bit (not quite station +1), but I was assured that was normal for a third baby, and for a big baby. Four contractions, a knotted cord around the neck and baby facing sunny-side up later, at 11:17am, a huge, purple, bloated Baby O #3 arrived!

The first image I have of this baby, is it's profile. And I exclaim, "Whoa, now that's an O'Laughlin!" Seriously, it was kind of creepy, I felt like I looked down to see myself delivering Matt. My next thought? This better be a boy, because, well, if that huge, manly looking thing is a girl, then it's a bit unfortunate. And sure enough, on the verge of happy of happiest tears, Matt exclaims, "it's a boy!"

They lay him on my chest, I poke at his quadruple chin. And everyone in that delivery room, is saying, "let's get him on the scale! He is huge. How much does that baby weigh!?" I watch as the grams shoot straight to the 4000's, and keep climbing. I see 4700+ grams, and in my mind think, "holy s*$t, I just delivered a 10 pound baby! He is over 10 pounds." They convert to 10lbs 7ozs. Matt and I look at each other, and he comes over to my bedside, still a bit teary and says, "I think he's a George." I agree. Definitely a George. (Not the name we had settled on during the drive to the hospital.)
Soon, thereafter, the meet and greet begins. George meets his 2 older brothers, as well as a few aunts and uncles and grandparents. I am surprisingly content, and relaxed, and not overwhelmed by the chaos of 3 children in a tiny hospital room. And it felt so natural to have another little boy. I am sure I would be just as happy if I had a little girl right now, but now, having met George, I wouldn't want it any other way. He is the perfect #3. He has managed to outweigh his slightly older brother, yet has the chicken legs to contest with his oldest brother. He is sleepy, but so alert during those few moments he decides to stay awake. He is a bit distract-able when it comes to nursing, but sleeps through the madness. And he is mine. All mine. And I look forward to getting to know him more and more. Everyday. As Matt said, almost 9 months ago, when we found out about our wonderful little surprise, my love has just increased by 50%. Perhaps, even more.
George Edward O'Laughlin
10lbs 7oz, 20 inches
11:17am on February 17th, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Indeed.

Sitting isn't comfortable.
Standing isn't comfortable.
Sleeping isn't comfortable.
Walking causes worthless contractions, which REALLY isn't comfortable.
And food aggravates all of the above.

Isn't it called depression when you don't enjoy the things you once loved. You can't sleep. You can't eat. And you don't want to work?

The only thing keeping me within a step of sanity is knowing it is all temporary. This has been the. longest. two. weeks. of. my. life.

Make it stop.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Our 5th wedding anniversary was absolutely nothing like I dreamed it would be. Now, I don't generally get mushy. I don't celebrate Valentine's day. I don't really get overly sentimental about too many things. But for some reason, my wedding anniversary is extremely meaningful. Matt and I got married on the 10th of February in 2007, we started dating on the 8th of February way back in 2001. This time of year comes around prompting me to reflect and look back at all the happiness, love and beauty meeting one person has added to my life. It gives me an excuse to have one night, alone, with my biggest, oldest and favorite boy.

When we met our wedding photographers, over 5 years ago, I already started planning, in my head, a little 5 year anniversary photo shoot. I thought I might get a hotel for a night, have some old, crazy looking tux or suit from a thrift shop waiting for Matt to change into. I would have found a dress, gotten my hair and make-up done, and we could go out around town and take "trash the dress" type pictures for our anniversary! But, as it turns out, when you are 9 months pregnant with your 3rd child while in residency, the time, motivation, and desire to be photographed has disappeared. In fact, I was so busy obsessing about how miserable I am, and just barely able to take things day by day, that I didn't even get Matt a gift. Nothing. Not even a card. I did set up a sitter for the night. So, I guess, technically, I gave us dinner (though, he paid.)So, I went on with my horrid work day. Filled with having to do more than just sit. I had to try my hardest to put a smile on my face while interacting with co-workers and patients, when all I really wanted to do was cry. All my patients showed up in clinic, which never happens, which means I am insanely busy. People kept asking me "how are you", and as I have expressed before, I have a hard time lying, so after a long exasperated, obviously annoyed with the question sigh, I would say, "oh, fine." Most of the time they didn't believe that response and got the message to discontinue conversation...but a few wanted details. So, I listed off all the reasons I am not currently fine, to which the most common response was, "just a couple more weeks." Great, thanks for the comfort.

So, finally, I get in the car to head home. I just start crying. I get home, to an empty house, and continue crying. I am waiting on Matt to finish meeting with a potential wedding photography client, and trying to get my act together. But it's not working. I am not hungry. I am never hungry anymore. So my lovely, relaxed, gourmet, usually wine-filled dinner is not even something to look forward to this year. Matt gets home, understands my situation and feelings without me having to explain my tears, and happily suggests a place for dinner.

We drive to Oak 63, and have to wait in the car for a few minutes while I try to pull myself together and stop crying long enough to look reasonable. But as soon as we get in the restaurant, and I sit on the hard wooden chair, and can't scoot up to the table, I can feel tears brimming at my eyelids. Matt looks up and says, "Oh great, this looks awesome." And I can't help but laugh. Here I am, obviously pregnant, a few days before Valentine's day, on a Friday night, out to a nice dinner with a man, and I am other explanation than he is leaving me!

The evening continues and despite my embarrassing show at the restaurant there is a moment during dinner when Matt just looks me in the eye and says, "There is just something about the combination of good food and good music...with you, that makes me really happy". And I just smiled. No more crying. Just smiles from that point on. I mean, how can you pity yourself, or your situation after that statement? I have more support from one person, than most people do from an entire family or community. Anniversary, a success.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mommy Mobile

You don't have to tell me all the perks of a minivan. That's why we got it. In fact, the only reason we got it. It definitely wasn't for it's high class, or good looks. With three kids aged 3 and under, it's the only thing that makes sense. We can slide the 2 captain's chairs side to side, leaving room for Brock to get in and out to the backseat. I can easily reach in to buckle him up back there. We can move the now middle captain seat forward so I can easily reach my soon-to-be, brand new crying baby without swerving all over the road. The DVD player has convinced my 3-year-old that he is in a transportable movie theater. There are more drink holders than one could possibly need. There is a back up camera, and mirrors throughout. There are sun guards, so Curtis doesn't need to cover his face with Blanky Bear all the way to daycare. With the push of a button the doors open. In essence, it's almost as if it has given me a third arm.On top of that, it has seat warmers. Leather seats. Navigation. XM radio. A hidden 6 disc CD changer. Separate heating controls for the driver, passenger and rear end. On the inside, it is a luxury vehicle. It makes my life just that little bit easier. How can I not like it? I do, I guess, for what it is. I am a logical person, if we were going to get a new car because of the third addition, then why not get the one that makes the most sense. And honestly, I love ANY car more than the Buick.

So, maybe it's not so much the vehicle itself that I don't like, but the connotation of a minivan. I think Matt can happily, and confidently drive around in a mini because people see him and think, "Oh, someone's on mom duty today". They assume he is driving MY car. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a mom. In fact, I often find myself thinking, "will I ever get to the point where I say, absolutely no more kids, no way." Even when we decide our family is complete, I feel like I would be ok with an "accident" for a long time afterwards. But just because I LOVE being a mom, does not mean that is how I identify myself. I am me. I am a mom. A wife. A doctor. A daughter. A sister. A coffee lover. An ice cream lover. A puzzle doer. A million things. Which all just make me, Erin. In the minivan, I am just mom. I lose my own identity. This is really the best way I can explain it.

Yes, in many ways, I am ruled by my children. But I never feel that way. I think overall, I am in control. Buying a minivan, was purely because of my children. Without them, I would never even consider it. Never. There is no denying it anymore. Mom is my over-riding identifier now. And this mini makes that obvious to everyone.

There you have it. I don't hate the car. I just don't want to be judged by it.

Friday, February 3, 2012


I am getting to that point. Where I can't wait for coffee to taste good again. For sleep to be satisfying and comfortable. When I can go for a walk and not dread every step. Perhaps I could even workout. Or enjoy a beer. And kiss my husband without gagging from bad breath. And lay next to my 3 year old and read him a book at night. Or pick up my giant 15 month old and hold him for more than 3 seconds. And tie my shoes without almost losing consciousness. Or just get dressed without needing to rest in between applying each individual garment. And NO MORE INDIGESTION. Or restless legs.

Probably, my mind is most restless of all. It's a strange thing to not look forward to anything but one single event. Honestly, I am not complaining, just simply stating a fact. There is NOTHING I look forward to right now, except for the birth of this child. It is all consuming. At a HUGE 37 weeks and some change, nothing is enjoyable anymore. Food sure isn't. Sleep definitely isn't. Work, well, if it ever was enjoyable, it is now the opposite (as in I dread it). Even sitting here typing is uncomfortable and unsatisfying. (Now replace "sitting here typing" with a different, slightly more inappropriate/over-share type word, and we've got that in the mix too.) Now I remember why I cried every night for the 10 days prior to Brock's birth. It's just bothersome to know that the kid is fully cooked, but something keeps it in there. Perhaps it is set up like this, so when the baby comes, wakes up at all hours, spits up, poops constantly, and runs you ragged, you don't care. Because ANYTHING is better than being pregnant at this point.

I am assuming these feelings hit at the same time during the last 2 pregnancies. Though, originally, I thought it started MUCH earlier, so I thought I was getting by easy with this third go. Now, I think it's that these last 2 weeks drag like you wouldn't believe therefore giving the illusion that this torture lasts for weeks and weeks on end. And to add to that (and the last 2 were the same way), I contract a lot. Just randomly. But pretty uncomfortable. And sometimes, 2 or 3 will come in a row, just enough to get my hopes up. Talk about your Chinese Water Torture. It really isn't as bad with #3, because I learned my lesson from the previous 2, but you can't help but hope.
But the end is getting so close in sight. I bought some size 1 Swaddlers today, as well as Johnson & Johnson baby wash. I might actually wash and clean the infant carseat tomorrow. Afterall, even though the last 2 made it well past 39 weeks, every kiddo is different. For now, that is the glimmer of hope I hold on to...or is thinking any day could be the day, torture as well? Who knows.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lots and lots of sighing.

I cannot wait, can't wait, can't wait, can't wait for this baby to arrive. I think my whole little family can't wait for this baby to arrive. My already on the short side temper is constantly boiling just beneath the surface. And maybe I was having an extra pregnant-looking day, but every. single. person. I even had the potential to make eye contact with had something to say, ask, or express to me about my huge belly. The "when are you due?" question I have gotten over. I just simply state, "3 weeks". Which these days, is often, annoyingly, greeted with "you're not going to make it that long, honey". And the, "any day now, huh?" type questions have got to stop. Because it is not any day now.

And, you know what? Most likely I WILL make it three more weeks. The same things that makes me a "cute pregnant person" are the same things that keep these kiddos in there. My body doesn't seem to mind pregnancy. I don't swell up. I've only gained 20lbs. My blood pressure does not increase. I don't have contractions (lots of braxton hicks). The baby is still rolling around, un-engaged. I don't think I have ever "dropped". 3 weeks from now, I will most likely be scheduling an induction to avoid going 2 weeks overdue and having a 12 pound baby. Yes, with Brock, my water broke 4 days prior to the due date, but, guess what? I still wasn't in labor. I still had to go through the whole induction process to get him out of there; 27 hours after my water broke. Curtis was induced, completely. My body is capable of birthing these kids, it just doesn't care to. Ever.

Though, comparatively speaking, this pregnancy has been far better, symptom-wise, than the other two, I can't say it has been less demanding. Working long hours, chasing around and lifting 2 kiddos and all the laundry and cleaning and dishes that go with them has done me in. I can't even pretend to be comfortable. And I HATE to complain, out loud to people. And I am a really awful liar, possibly even incapable of doing so. (People get the impression that I am pompous because I am always saying I can do anything...but they fail to notice the times when I admit I could never do something - like become an actor, singer, performer of any type.) I prefer to give the impression that I am happy and life has never been better at all times. Because, honestly, if I stop and look at it, I am happy, and life HAS never been better. There is a saying, "If everyone were to throw all their problems out into one pile, you'd grabs yours right back". I truly agree, I know I am blessed. I love my life. And that, my friends, is why I must resort to blogging. So, I can express my true feelings thoroughly, so as not to give the wrong impression. And to save Matt from a little bit of big, uncomfortable, pregnant-wife whining.

From here on out, just don't ask me how I am doing. I don't want to lie. And I don't want to whine. Just know, I will be happier with the kid on the outside. And, let's get real. It's pretty apparent from my ragged, worn appearance, and the constant sighing what my answer to that question is anyhow. I know you all have the power of observance, use it.

Let's hope my next pregnancy update will be one with a picture of a newborn included...