Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Temporary Tattoo.

Curtis wanted a tattoo. Three. Days. Ago.
We have this little booklet full of them. Hundreds. Matt put on a few. George had on a couple. I think even Mitch and Brock had a tattoo. In fact, Curtis might have had one, but he wanted another. Seems simple enough? Just tear out the tattoo, get the wet paper towel, and hold it on there for about 30 seconds. The whole process takes about 1 minute, maybe two, depending on the location in the booklet of the selected tattoo. Which was a red sports car, in this particular situation. Not surprising, for our little, charismatic lady's man. I fully intended to get him his tattoo. Every single time he asked, I happily (well, more likely exasperatedly) said, "Yes, Curtis, let's get you a tattoo, but after...

...I finish feeding the baby."

...I clean up the dog puke."

...I finish fixing lunch (or dinner, or breakfast, or getting snack.)"

...I change Mitch's poopie diaper."

...I change Diana's diaper."

...I change George's clothes because he wet his pants. (And clean the carpet or floor or chair or wherever he was.)"

...I help George on the potty."

...I wipe George's butt."

... we got to the pool."

...we go to the park."

...I put in this load of laundry."

...I get dressed."

...I let the dogs out."

...feed Diana again."

...we go out to dinner."

...we go on a Spirit Walk."

...I find George."

...I do the dishes."

...I eat something. For the first time today. At 3:30pm."

...I finish monitoring the picking up of toys."

...after you clean up your room."

...after bathtime."

Before I knew it, it had been 3 days.  THREE DAYS that I had been putting off applying that temporary tattoo. With a newborn and 4 other, hardly self-sufficient and highly destructive individuals, a fun, cute, little tattoo falls really low on the totem pole. This realization was devastating. For so many reasons.

Mostly my heart breaks for Curtis. He wanted such a simple, fun, harmless thing that I would have been more than happy to provide for him, and he had to wait. He waited, and waited. This sweet boy will wait forever. He will move on and continue to be happy, despite having not gotten his red sports car. As a middle child, with 3 younger siblings and 1 older, this will be a pattern in his life. He will frequently have to put off his wants, desires and needs for the others, when theirs usurps his. An he will, because he is a peacemaker. He likes to be surrounded by happiness. Had this been Brock, I would not have heard the end of it until he got that tattoo. He has insane, awful, unforgiving persistence (and obsessions.) I would have caved, moved it up the list. Had it been George asking, he would have just "put the tattoo on himself". I put this in quotes, because what would really happen is that I would find George on the counter, or in the kitchen sink with all the pages of the booklet torn out, as well as multiple tattoos all over the counter sink, and in the garbage disposal, and probably a few tat's on his belly, arm and maybe even face. If Curtis were in a 1 or 2 child home, probably even 3, he would have gotten that tattoo within the hour. Or four. At the very least, before the next mealtime. Which leads me to another of those devastating thoughts... we have too many kids? I can't even give him a little tattoo, for goodness sake. At what point does the "large family" experience become a negative one. He will gain so much from his huge family. He has built in play dates, friends, support. He will never be alone. But, he will NEVER be alone. For a long time, he will share everything, including my time, abilities and attention. True, we have a newborn, and those are time-suckers. Very soon, a lot of my little spare minutes will free up again. We will get a fence so I can just let the dogs out, instead of walk them. Slowly, everyone is getting better about dressing themselves, Curtis can almost wipe his own bottom, George can almost potty on his own, Brock can serve his own drinks as well as some foods. Every passing day, more and more minutes free up (and then there are those days that take them all back.) Eventually, all the minutes will be mine again. At which point, I will probably say, "I should have had more kids".
Lastly, who says my priorities are right!? That tattoo was probably more important than quite a few things I listed. Sometimes I just forget to remember the little things. I'll try to do better tomorrow. And everyday. Tattoo's for all!!

Monday, June 15, 2015



I am going to be honest. You weren't supposed to be so wonderful, and perfect, and beautiful, and {dare I say it??} easy. I needed you to do something that would make me not want to EVER even CONSIDER having another child, whatsoever. You tried during the pregnancy. I think I was in "early labor" for 4-5 days. Having managed and delivered a lot of obstetric patients myself, I could never understand why a woman would come into triage day after day, insisting she was contracting, in labor, in pain and extremely uncomfortable when she really "wasn't" (no cervical change).  Now I know. And had I not been trained in the medical field, with lots of obstetrical experience both as a doctor and a patient, I would have been one of those women. It was rough. Stand up - contraction. Sit down - contraction. Roll to my side - contraction. Think about contractions - contraction. I could hardly stand for more than 3 minutes at a time. I could hardly sit for more than 10 minutes at a time. Sleep? Hahahahahaha.  You did your darnedest to make those last few weeks so awful, that the thought of ever doing it again was pretty much gone.

Then, I went to see my doctor on Mother's day (11 days early) around noon, maybe 1pm. I was already dilated to a 3cm, which has never, ever happened before being in "actual labor". My OB was certain, that with a 5th child, and how my previous deliveries have gone, that I would simply go from a 4 to 10 in no time. So, to the hospital I went, due to "spontaneous rupture of membranes" (my water "broke"). Then we waited. And waited. And waited. The contractions never got closer than 10 minutes, and never got painful enough. We started the pitocin a bit before 4pm. They quickly became frequent, but still not strong. By 6pm, maybe 7pm, I finally had a few contractions that made me willing to get that dreaded epidural. I've really never had a bad experience with the epidural, in fact, they always work sooo well, that the actual epidural is the most uncomfortable part of labor and delivery for me. This epidural was no different. Before I got this epidural, I was still 4 cm. No progress. I was freaking're heart rate was dropping with each contraction (likely due to the cord around your neck) but this makes nurses uncomfortable, and unwilling to turn up pitocin. I texted my OB these concerns: that I will not progress because the contractions aren't strong enough and no one will turn up the pit. Her response? "It's typical of 3rd or more babies...I think she will be here soon...4 to complete then BAM!!" The plan was to let me rest with the epidural for a few hours and check again at 9:30pm. In the interim, my mom and sister showed up to visit. I didn't mind their presence, but was annoyed that I'd be having a baby at 4am and felt they had really jumped the gun in arriving. I was sure they'd now have to be here all night.

By 8:00pm or so, I kicked them out of the room to take a little nap...which I did. Sort of. I very soon began to feel slightly nauseous. And a bit after 9pm, I was awoken by a REALLY strong contraction, that actually hurt through the epidural. I looked at the moniter, and you did NOT like that contraction either. Your heart rate was in the 60's. Crap. No one is going to like that. They are going to turn off the pitocin. I am going to stall in labor. Oh my gosh. We are headed to c-section town. Sure enough, 2 nurses, and THE DOCTOR (never a good sign) come "calmly" walking in...I was already trying to turn myself to make baby "happier". I start to again voice my concerns to my OB, and she says, "Oh, you're probably just complete and baby dropped really fast." I laughed. Yeah right. I have never progressed that fast.
MAY 10TH, 2015 at 10:02PM

Sure enough, she checks and asks if I want to start pushing. What!? Call the grandparents. Get Leah in here (she was going to hang out for the birth). I was stunned. Simply stunned. And not really ready to push. And anxious to meet my baby, but in disbelief it was really happening. Before I knew it, I was pushing, you were coming out, and I almost lost consciousness! I totally missed the delivery, next thing I knew, you were all purple, and floppy and on my chest, and adorable, and looked momentarily, just like Mitch.  You were not the rigorous, flailing, strong newborn I was accustomed to, I was trying to rub and stimulate you to cry a bit and "tone up". You had lots of fluid (bloody) coming out of your I suggested suctioning. No one heard (or maybe just ignored me.) I said it again, trying to give you to the baby nurse, but they like to give baby immediate tummy time (which I LOVE, but not when I can tell it needs some fluid taken out of the lungs/belly). Finally, it was probably 90 seconds, they took over and continued to try to stimulate you...from afar, all I see is George in your little features and huge cheeks. And then they suctioned a good amount of fluid. You pinked up, toned up, cried a bit and came back to mommy more than happy to begin nursing {and never stop}. And now, you remind me exactly of Curtis.

My recovery with you was by far the easiest. You were only 8lbs 5 oz, in contrast to your brother George who was 10lbs 7oz!! I have been up, walking, playing with your brothers, continuing to try to organize the house and various other things since our release from Shawnee Mission Med Center. Our little stay in the hospital felt like a mini-vacation, with all of our favorite people visiting, in and out of our little room. You sleep like a champ. Better than any of your brothers, and Curtis gave you some stiff competition. Honestly, I am still in disbelief. I am finishing up the final edits here at 5 weeks, and despite my being sure "the ball will drop" so to speak, and you will become fussy and inconsolable, it hasn't. I take a picture of you almost every morning. Your beauty and perfection, and calm newborness, is irresistibly wonderful. The way you breath, take comfort in my voice, smell, and warmth fills my heart to a breaking point. To say my cup spilleth over is a gross underestimation. My cup is a fountain, or waterfall even. You smile, you have been since about 3 weeks, and as Matt put it, you have "happy eyes". You are so patient, and happy, and maybe the sweetest little babe that has ever existed in all of time. Simply, THE BEST, Mother's day gift I have ever, and will ever, receive. If you are my last, thank you for ending my reproduction career on such a high note. Thank you for earning all the doting that you will surely receive for the rest of your life, baby girl, Di-eena.

Welcome to this crazy home, to your many brothers, and to this incredible thing called life. We hope you enjoy it all.

With the greatest of all love,

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

So many LITTLE things make me one BIG happy.

I am not just referencing my so many, little children. But they are a big source.

Our Zoo plans with friends got cancelled by this obnoxious rain, but we still hung out, had coffee, and our kids got to play. I will drop almost anything when I am home to hang out with friends, and their kids. Getting texts, emails, calls, seeing their photos on Facebook and Instagram and staying in touch daily with these people that I have chosen to stay in touch with, because they enhance my life in some way, makes me really happy. Happy to have them, and happy they choose to have me.

I feel like I am in a coffee shop, sitting in my own dining room. The rain is helping the 3 little ones soundly nap, and the two older ones are engrossed with a Netflix cartoon on the iPad. I've brewed a fresh pot of coffee, and have lots of food options, as I have gone to the grocery store and Costco very recently.  Coffee. Blogging. Calm and sleeping kids. Not only a fully stocked kitchen, but the fact that I have the ability to have a fully stocked kitchen, ALL make me so very happy.

Getting prepared to travel to Michigan with my mom and daughter, on a girls trip, to reunite with a lot of my girlfriends, to witness one of my best friends get married, makes me happy. Happy because I know I am leaving all my boys with their dad, and no one is better suited to take care of them alone (except maybe me. Or Kerry.) Happy, because I love the people I will be with for the entire drive and weekend. Happy, because I know my family at home in KC will be hanging with my boys as well.

Getting my nails done. All twenty of them. While Diana snoozed along side me. Makes me feel refreshed, put together, and beautiful. This makes me happy.

The boys filled Mitch's bed with all his toys and stuffed animals this morning to make him happy. In turn, I am happy.

The basement flooded from this stupid rain, and Diana was starving, and the dogs had to be let out, yet I was down there picking up ruined boxes. I think all my childhood artwork is now officially the "trash" it might very well have been already...but I came upstairs to find 3 boys still sitting at the table, happily eating their lunch. A safe and warm, albeit starved little baby. A snoozing toddler. A caring husband who called to check in on the status here, so despite my 20 minute moment of anger/frustration/sadness, I am totally over it. Instantly, I am happy.

The boys give their baby sister a kiss every morning. And afternoon. And throughout the day.

I have a job I love. People think my 4 week maternity leave is short, but I don't. I want to get back to my patients, partners, co-workers. I want to stay home too. And I can do both. I feel very balanced. I have a trustworthy and able nanny. I have a huge family support system. It all works out, and for this, I am thankful, and, well, it makes me happy.

Matt, Diana and I went to dinner last night. We got to talk (while consoling a baby) and enjoy a good meal, served directly to us. No clean up afterward.

We drove to Hays, KS with little incident. The boys stayed in a hotel. Now they point out every hotel they see. They loved a simple weekend away, in a simple town, in a simple hotel. I don't think I need to say it, but happy boys, means happy mom.

The rain has forced me to stay in and do my laundry. FINALLY.

I could fit into a lot of my "regular clothing" at 2 weeks postpartum.

I have a wonderful house, in an even more wonderful neighborhood.

Perhaps, I will add to this list, as I think of it. But I'm pretty happy with it.