A Day in the Life

Life with three has been, how should I say this … FREAKING INSANE. I mean, I knew it was going to be a little more crazy, but I wasn’t prepared for this level of insanity. It might explain why it has taken me two weeks to get this post typed up. All I keep thinking is that one of the kids doesn’t do anything except sleep, eat, and poo at this point. I thought it would be appropriate to document the early days as a family of 5. I hope that I look back at this one day and laugh at myself. I’m also hoping that I will have figured things out at that point. On the day of this post Anna is 4.5, Luke is 19 days away from turning 3, and Abby is exactly 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 6, 2014:

1:40 – Abby wakes up and wants to eat. Alex changes her diaper and gives her a bottle of pumped milk. I pump and go in and out of sleep. It’s amazing how soothing, yet maddening, a breastpump can be. Anna wakes up, comes into our bed, and quickly falls asleep. I finish pumping, store the milk, and clean everything. I have a hard time falling asleep, so I do what every warm blooded person does and browse Facebook. I end up taking a stupid quiz about what our couple sleep style says about us. I don’t even remember what the result was.


5:15 –  Abby is up again. I get up and change her diaper and put her back in her Wombie swaddle. She reminds me of the sucker fish that clings to the side of the tank while she’s eating in that thing. I attempt to nurse her. She refuses (being a preemie, she doesn’t have enough energy to get all of her feeding from nursing, so I have to pump and give supplemented milk or formula. Getting it from a bottle is much easier than from the boob, so she has been refusing to nurse.). I feed her a bottle of pumped milk. I had gotten all set up to feed her and realized that I forgot my phone by the bed. Boo.

5:45 – abby is fed and back asleep. I’m back on the hooter hoses. Alex’s alarm goes off, he gets up to get ready for work. Anna wakes up. I look up to see Luke walking into my room. The older two run around while I finish and Alex gets ready. I change Luke’s diaper.


6:20 – Anna, Luke, and Alex head downstairs with the dogs. Alex fixes them breakfast and feeds the dogs. I grow an extra arm and bring the dirty bottles, cooler, breastmilk, clean bottles and Abby down. Abby goes in the Mamaroo. Anyone who is looking into swings – buy a Mamaroo. That thing is AH-MAZING. I rinse the bottles and put the milk in the fridge. I make a soda (caffeine is a must these days) and a bowl of cereal. I let Ethel in because she is small enough to squeeze through the fence and runs into our neighbors house through their dog door. Lucy stays outside (even though she barks) because she eats the kids food from the table. Sorry neighbors.


6:45 – The kids are done so I wipe them down and try to choke down the rest of my breakfast. Luke let’s Lucy in. She immediately tries to eat off the table and then notices that the powder room door is open (all you can eat buffet in the trash can). I chase both dogs around to get the diaper and paper that they have found before it becomes a bigger mess. I swear they purposely try to do things to make me crazy. The dogs are on my last nerve lately. I turn on some cartoons.


6:50 – Luke decides that he needs to go pee in the potty, so he goes into the powder room and takes his diaper off. Nothing comes out. He leaves the powder room with the door open when he leaves. The dogs attempt to eat trash again. I finish my breakfast and clean up all the dishes. The kids are in the living room playing and looking at Abby. Abby is sound asleep. I told you, the Mamaroo is magical.

7:00 – I try to look through a pile of mail. Bills needs to be paid (I’ll be putting that off for later). Luke asks for a cup of water. I fix it and go back to looking at the mail. Anna requests a glass of water. I stop what I’m doing and fix it. She decides she really isn’t thirsty after all. Instead they get into a fight over a Spiderman doll. I attempt to use the potty and end up with two kids, a dog, and the Spiderman doll in there with me.

7:15 – Out of my better judgement, I decide that I’m going to attempt some pictures of all three kids. Abby is quickly leaving the ‘newborn window’ that’s best for getting those early pictures so I’ve been trying to squeeze in all the shots that I wanted to get. It’s always a miserable experience because the kids of photographers are the worst to take pictures of. Plus, my patience is majorly lacking as of late. I get everything arranged in the studio and after multiple attempts of getting the kids to sit still and calm down, I eventually get enough images that I think I can composite one good image together. I then lose all sense of reasoning and decide to do another pose on my bed. My plan was to recreate our announcement picture that was on our bed with our dogs. So, I tote everything and Abby upstairs and get it all set up. I pose the older kids and dogs.


8:30 – Everyone is ready and as I put Abby into place, she gets hungry. The dogs scatter. I nurse on right side while Anna and Luke play ‘Chuck E Cheese’ with a coin in my bathroom. Why do we even buy them toys?


9:15 – Abby seems content for a bit, so I get everyone posed on the bed again. I snap a few shots. I’m not super happy with them or the lighting, but it’s going to have to work. The kids lose it and I’m at my breaking point. Anna and Luke are sent to their rooms to cool off which isn’t really a punishment because their rooms are filled with toys. I take the opportunity to give Abby a quick bath.


9:30 – Abby is cleaned, lotioned, and dressed. I go downstairs to give her a bottle. The older kids are allowed out of their rooms and they both apologize (I question their sincerity). Anna is wearing a bikini and Luke has a pair of undies over his diaper. Abby finishes eating and is passed out in the Mamaroo again.


10:00 – Time to pump. I feel like my boobs are constantly out right now. Anna and Luke run around and play on the 1st floor with one another. It’s only a matter of time before it turns into fighting. I try to decide if I’m going to take them somewhere to play since they haven’t been listening all morning. Not leaving the house means they will be horrible this evening (and therefore punishing me), but leaving is rewarding them for their bad behavior. I really need Nanny 911 on speed dial.


10:10 – Anna and Luke are in time out.

10:20 – I’m done with the boob tubes. I store the milk and clean everything. Luke decides he needs to use the potty again (he wants the jellybean reward more than he actually wants to be potty trained). He gets 4 jelly beans if he poops on the potty, so he attempts to squeeze one out in hopes of a bigger bounty. He poops all over the potty seat and himself. Poop is smeared everywhere. I clean all of that up and wash everyone’s hands. The older kids want a snack. Anna eats an apple. Luke eats a banana. He throws a monster fit when I pull a piece of the banana out of the peel. He likes to eat it from the peel. I put ice packs on my boobs and eat some chips in hiding. Over my dead body am I sharing right now. Time feels like it’s going in reverse today.


10:45 – Anna is finished with her apple. She throws the core away but keeps one seed because she wants to grow an apple tree in our garden. We don’t have a garden, so I tell her that we will talk about it in the Spring. She wants to wash it first and she accidentally drops the seed goes down the drain. She makes me promise that I will wash the next seed so it doesn’t get lost.


10:45 – They decide it’s time to color so I set them up at the table. I use the time to do the dishes since my secret chips are gone.


11:10 – Anna asks me to color with her. So, I use it as an excuse to stop cleaning and color with her and Luke. They are thrilled. Anna has been really into coloring and drawing lately.


11:20 – Luke is using the crayons as darts instead of actually coloring. I give him a warning. He continues to throw the crayons so I take them away and tell him to go play something else. He throws himself on the ground into a monster fit. God, I love this age. It’s the best…

11:45 – I finish my picture (it might be my best work to date) so I tell Anna that I have to get a few things done. I head upstairs and pick up my bedroom and Abby’s room. Anna and Luke make their way upstairs and ‘help ‘ with Abby’s room. I upload the pictures I took this morning to my harddrives. The last thing I want is to lose the files after putting all that work into them.


12:00 – It’s time for lunch. I make PB&J for Anna and Luke with oranges and string cheese. I throw together some nachos with leftovers for myself. Both of them steal some of mine. Luke eats his entire PB&J and half of Anna’s. He asks for another cup of milk after I get everything wiped up and the dishes in the dishwasher. I swear the kid has a tapeworm sometimes. Anna eats a few bites and declares that she is full. Her piggy does a bit better, however.


12:30 – It’s been three hours since Abby has eaten. She’s still sleeping, so I have to wake her up to eat. Preemies tend to sleep through feedings, so it’s important that we wake her to make sure she gets enough calories in a day. I change her diaper while Luke gives her a check up with his stethoscope. Abby shoots poo all over the couch mid diaper change. Thank the Lord for leather couches. I wipe it down. Abby nurses on the left side. Luke’s milk cup spills all over the place. Anna sneaks upstairs and gets a bottle of lotion. The older two rub lotion all over themselves (including their hair). They look like greased pigs. Part of me thinks it’s funny. Part of me is upset because I know that I need to give them baths now.

1 – Abby is burped and switched to right side. Anna has disappeared upstairs. I yell up to her to see what she is doing. She claims that she is cleaning up her room. I have my doubts, but can’t investigate at that point. Luke rolls around on the activity mat before heading upstairs to ‘clean’ with Anna.


1:25 – Abby is done nursing but still takes 2 ounces by bottle.

1:35 – I hear screaming and tears from upstairs. From their exchanges, I can tell that Anna hit Luke. He comes to tattle and has a bow in his hair. I’m still feeding Abby, so I can’t help at that point. He fearlessly goes back up.


1:45 – Abby is all done, burped, and passed out from being milk drunk. I hear a loud crash from Anna’s room. I go up to find them in her bathroom playing with a big cup of water. There’s water everywhere. I’m not happy about it because we are constantly telling Anna to not play with water in her room. Abby goes in the Rock N Play in my room. I take Luke to his room and change his diaper because he’s pooped. I put him in his bed for a nap. Anna is told to stay in her room for a while to rest with explicit instructions to not play with the water in her bathroom. I have to freaking pump again. Anna keeps popping into my room as if nothing has happened. I keep telling her to go to hers. I’m ready to lose my mind at this point.


2:30 – Milk machine is done and parts are cleaned. I’ve showered, dressed, and finally brushed my teeth. The fact that I was able to shower is a small miracle in itself. It occurs to me that Anna and Luke haven’t brushed their teeth today. I’m exhausted. I check on Anna (it’s been a bit since she tried to weasel her way into my room) and find her in her bathroom, you guessed it, playing in the freaking water. She knows she was caught, but doesn’t seem to care. I inform her that she has lost afternoon TV time (it’s extremely rare that she will nap these days, so she typically hangs out downstairs while Luke naps). She is to remain in her room. I lay in my bed and attempt to somewhat rest with Abby in the Rock N Play next to me. Is it 5pm yet?


4:00 – Abby wakes up and is hungry. Anna fell asleep (apparently not listening to your mom is exhausting) and Luke is still down. Maybe the rest will help their attitude?!? I napped for about an hour and feel like a brand new person. Maybe I will make it through this day after all! I change Abby’s diaper and attempt to nurse in the chair in her room – look at me mixing things up. She refuses to latch so I give her a bottle of pumped milk. Whe she’s done, we cuddle for a while since the older two are still sleeping.


4:40 – Abby decides she’s still hungry and starts rooting again. I try nurse and she actually latches. It’s a small victory.

4:45- Everyone is up and Luke is mad. They take turns sitting on my lap as I continue to nurse Abby. Luke drinks some water and seems to calm down. Alex calls and says he’s on his way home. Praise the lord!


5:00 – Abby is done nursing and seems satisfied for at least a little while. Alex is home to rescue my sanity. Anna is complaining about the backs of her legs itching. I put some cream on them and notice that she has a little rash. No clue where that came from. Anna asks about going to the spaghetti place (which is Pasta House for those of you that don’t speak 4 year old). We cave because neither if us feel like cooking. Alex changes clothes and we get Anna and Luke dressed in something other than underwear and swimsuits. Alex and Luke feed the dogs and let them outside. I get Abby and the diaper bag ready to go.

5:45 – We arrive at Pasta House. It’s the first time eating out as a family of five. After the day we’ve had, the kids did amazing at dinner! It was so refreshing.


6:45 – We are back home. Alex goes upstairs to change into PJs. He gets the older kids into PJs while I jump back on the hooter hoses. Anna and Luke get a piece of candy for eating a good dinner. Those two can put down some spaghetti.

7:15 – I’m done pumping so I store the milk and clean the parts. Ice packs go back on the ole boobies. Kids are watching Bubble Guppies. Luke is on a sugar bender from the candy. I check the mail and see that my new phone case has arrived. My phone went missing after an unfortunate shoe shopping trip. I accidentally left it on a bench and some asshole stole it. So, I had to get a new phone (thank god for insurance) and a new Otterbox for it. I open the case and am confused by the color. I didn’t think it was what I had ordered. Knowing that I was on Amazon half asleep ordering the case a few days ago, I checked the order in my email. Turns out I did order that color, but didn’t realize it at the time. I guess grey and lime green aren’t all that bad.


7:30 – Alex takes Anna and Luke to bed. He brushes their teeth for the first time that day. Their teeth won’t rot from missing one brushing, right? At least they have another set that will come in. The baby set is just a practice set… It’s time for Abby to eat. I wake her up and change her diaper. Alex feeds a bottle to her and Abby falls asleep on his chest once she’s done. I go into my studio and edit a few pictures. I really need to edit vacation pictures and the rest of Abby’s newborn pictures.

8:45 – Alex and I relax on the couch. We watch the latest Criminal Minds while I browse Christmas cards and birth announcements online. Decisions, decisions. I heat my boob packs and apply. Oh, my aching nips.


10 – Abby is hungry. I change her diaper and nurse each side. Alex assembles the bottles for the night and carries them, the pump supplies, and a cooler with pumped milk upstairs.

10:30 – Abby is done nursing, so Alex takes her upstairs to swaddle (welcome back, suckerfish) and feeds her bottle. I check on the older kids (how old are they when you stop checking to make sure they are still breathing) and then pump. Abby is topped off and is grunting and groaning like a little piglet in the Rock N Play. Alex gets himself ready for bed and lays down. I listen to my pump talk to me. Anyone who has pumped before knows what I’m talking about. Mine keeps saying ‘you’re a star’. Affirmations from the milk machine.


11:10 – I’m all done, milk is stored, parts are clean, and I’m in bed. I should go straight to sleep, but I screw around on Facebook and Google random things. I’m mentally going over my plans for the next day and trying to figure out how to handle three kids without constantly yelling. Trying to sort through some major mom guilt for yelling at the kids quite a bit. My eyes start to get heavy and I start doing long blinks. Abby is still fussing a little bit. I think her tummy is too full. She eventually calms down and goes to sleep.

11:30 – I plug my phone in and close my eyes. I’m asleep as soon as my eyes close.

2 – Abby is crying. Time to feed her and start the day again.


Welcome to the family, Abby!!

I woke up early on Thursday, October 23rd. I showered and decided to shave my legs that morning (I was unstoppable). I was 36 weeks 1 day pregnant – officially the longest I’ve ever made it in a pregnancy. The rest of the house wakes up. I do what I can to help get the kids ready for daycare and Alex gets ready for work. He goes to the bathroom and comes back telling me he doesn’t feel well. He decides that he’s still going to head into work, so he drops the kids at daycare and heads in.  At 7:45, I’m in my car heading to an ultrasound and appointment with my high risk OB. I get a call from Alex saying that he has a stomach bug and is coming home from work. I joke and tell him that I will probably go into labor today since he’s sick. He requests that I don’t. I even tell my mom the same thing when I call her. I get to the office and the ultrasound looks perfect. I have to wait a while to see the doctor. I notice I’m having some contractions in the waiting room, but they aren’t regular. I see my doctor and he decides that we should induce that weekend. We talk about a game plan for the induction and he checks my cervix. I’m at almost 3cm and 50% effaced. We talk some more and I notice that my cramps are getting worse. I head to my car to drive home. I needed to run through the bank and drop a letter at the post office. I notice contractions at 10am. Immediately I knew they were labor contractions because they wrapping around my back. I made some calls and texts to people that should be in the know if I was actually in labor. I picked up a Sprite for Alex and made it home.

I park myself on the couch to see what happens.  My contractions were coming about every 15 minutes and then every 8 minutes and then every 6 minutes. The contractions were kind of sporadic and not super regular. But, they kept coming so I kept timing and filling in my group of people. I kept texting Alex to keep him updated (and informed him that I was most likely in labor) because he was upstairs doing the sick thing and I refused to be around him at that point. He sent me a text asking if I would go get him another Sprite and a cup of soup. I informed him that I was in labor so I would not be leaving to fetch things for him and that he could come downstairs and make a can of soup for himself. He dramatically made his way downstairs and made his soup. He then proceeded to lay on the other side of the couch moaning. It was around 2pm and my contractions had moved to every 5 minutes. I had no sympathy for him at that point.

After an hour of every 5 minute contractions, we decided that I was going to have my mom pick me up and drive me to the hospital while Alex stayed at home, moaning. The plan was that he would come up to the hospital if we got the word that I was actually in labor and that we were going to be having a baby. I called my mom and she was out the door in a flash. She told me later that she was sitting with her purse by the phone. She made it to my house and we were off to the hospital. Apparently I was the first person in active labor that my mother has ever driven to the hospital. She drove 5 miles under the speed limit and cussed at anyone who passed us. Driving Miss Daisy responsibly delivered me to the labor and delivery floor around 3pm. I walked in looking like the after school special with my mom and no wedding ring (the ship sailed a while ago thanks to some serious swelling). I was taken to a triage room and hooked up. My contractions were coming every 2 minutes and increasing in intensity. My blood pressure was high (around 150/100) which wasn’t surprising, but it wasn’t decreasing when I was laying down (like it would normally do at my previous triage visits). The floor doctor came in pretty quickly and seemed concerned. Blood was drawn and they left me alone to monitor my contractions, BP, and baby’s heart rate. Around 4pm, the floor doctor came in and checked my cervix. I was a 3/4 and still 50% effaced. She had spoken with my OB and the decision was made that I would be moved to a labor room and would be having this baby.  Alex was called and he made his way to the hospital. Surgical masks were waiting for him. I asked if there was anything that could be given to help with the pain. My contractions were every 1.5 to 2 minutes and they were getting to the point that I needed to breath through them. I didn’t have any downtime and was getting really uncomfortable. The nurse replied that the only thing that was going to take the edge off was to get the epidural.


I made it to my labor room, an IV was started and I got a first dose of antibiotics for group B strep. I ask the nurse to request an epidural. Alex arrives and complains that people were avoiding riding in the elevator with him because he had a surgical mask on as if he was an Ebola patient. He takes a seat in the recliner and continues his moaning. My contractions are making life pretty miserable. I tried to focus on breathing through them until the anesthesiologist arrived when Alex complains that his back hurts because he’s been laying around not feeling well all day. I either just stared at him or I told him to fuck off (my guess is that it was something closer to the latter). If I could have moved, I probably would have ripped his face off. If men were the ones to have babies, the human race would be extinct.


Much too long later, a lovely man named Charlie arrived and told me that he was going to be giving me my epidural. I could have licked his face I was so excited to see him. I signed all the paperwork and assumed the position. My OB walked in and gave me a big hug. He told me that he was going to break my water after my epidural was placed and then he left to see another patient. My nurse held me in place while Charlie got started. He numbed one area, inserted the needle and started to thread the catheter. I had a shooting pain down my left side. I can only describe it as like a lighting bolt going through my hip and leg. I started moaning with my face in a pillow. Charlie removed the catheter and tried again. No luck, it actually got worse. My body was involuntarily jerking with the pain. At one point I screamed for him to stop. It was really intense and by far my worst epidural experience. Apparently my OB walked in during this part and immediately left because we were having such a hard time. Charlie ended up moving to another spot on my spine and redoing the whole process. He was able to get it placed and I immediately felt some relief. While Charlie was cleaning me up and taping everything off he apologized to me and told me that he didn’t mean to hurt me. I was apologizing to him for moving and carrying on when all of a sudden I started sobbing crying. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop. I was a mess. My nurse wiped away my tears. Around 6:45 my epidural was really taking effect and I was loving life. I started feeling a little loopy and my heart was pounding. My blood pressure went from 150/100 to 80/50. The nurses started panicking. They had me lay on my side and Charlie arrived back in the room. He ended up having to turn the dose down so my BP would increase a bit.

Around 7pm, my mother-in-law arrived with Anna and Luke. We lucked out because Alex’s stepsister had a planned c-section to deliver her baby (Abby’s cousin) that morning. So, Alex’s mom and stepdad were in town when I happened to go into labor. When we knew that I wasn’t leaving the hospital until I had a baby in my arms, she stepped in to stay with the kids at our house. Anna and Luke were so excited that the baby was coming (we’ve been talking about it for what seems like years) and were incredibly curious about everything that was going on. Anna was staring intently at the machines and wires and asking me what everything was. She asked me if she could touch me. When I told her she could, she patted my arm. I got teary eyed. Luke pooped. The nurse came in and said that she needed to place the catheter (PARRR-TAY). My mother-in-law leaves with the kids. Luke was extremely upset to leave and Anna was excited to come back to meet her sister the next day.


Pee tub is placed and my doctor arrives around 7:45 to check me (till a 3/4) and break my water. It was the first time my water ever had to be broken for me – really odd experience. My contractions space out a bit, but I’m numb from the epidural so I can’t really tell. My cousin, Rita, arrives to visit. That we know of, she’s the 5th generation of Rita in my family with my mom being the 4th and Abby being the 6th. I just love my cousin. She’s been at the hospital for all three of my labors. Around 9pm, Cousin Rita leaves and Alex pauses his moaning to take a nap in the recliner. The poor guy was just beat…


At 9:30, my nurse comes in to check me. I’m a 4.  The plan was to start pitocin, but I ask to wait a while so we can make it to midnight. I didn’t want Abby’s cousin blaming me for him having to share a birthday. Plus, my sister’s birthday was the next day and we thought it would be neat for Abby to share a birthday with her aunt. I was doing everything I could to make it to midnight. My doctor wasn’t thrilled that I’ve turned down the pitocin (probably because he didn’t want to get called back in the middle of the night), but he agrees to have the nurse check me at 11pm and then hang the pitocin. I’m feeling good about my chances of making it to midnight. Around 10:30, I call my sister (she was traveling for work). I start feeling pressure with each contraction. At 10:50 my nurse checks me again. I’ve jumped to a 6 and am 100% effaced. Take that, pitocin! She informs me that she’s going to run to the cafeteria to get something to eat. I tell her to take her time because, after all, we aren’t having this baby until after midnight. At 11:15 a different nurse (with 3 friends) come in because Abby’s heart rate isn’t showing up on the monitor. She decides to check me and place an internal monitor. I’m fully dilated and Abby’s heart rate is decelerating with each contraction.

Everyone was aware of my midnight goal, so they set the room up methodically but not in a rush. My stand in nurse informs me that there’s no way I’m making it. Poo on her. We start to wake Alex up. He’s not the easiest bear to rouse from hibernation. I’ve had several encounters in the middle of the night where he’s been half asleep and doesn’t recall our conversation the next day. As I yell at him, my mom starts kicking his foot. He opens his eyes and I explain what’s going on. He asks me if he has to get up right then. I yell at him to stand up so that he fully wakes up. Nothing would have sucked more than for him to be half asleep and miss the birth of his third child. Eventually he’s fully present and standing next to my bed.

My doctor is called and arrives in my room at 11:30. Myself, the room, and the bed are prepped. My doctor gowns up. The pressure is really painful. I ask why it hurts so much and they explain that my epidural cartridge is out and that there’s not enough time to replace it. This is not what I signed up for. I got that B for a reason. My doctor explained that he would have no issues sitting on the couch for 20 minutes until we could get to midnight but since Abby is having decels, he needs to get her out quickly. I agree. Obviously her safety is most important. The NICU team arrives (because she’s preterm, a NICU team has to be present for delivery) at 11:37 and my doctor tells me to push with the next contraction. The pressure is so intense right now I would have cut off my thumb if he told me it would help. A contraction comes and I start to push. The pain and pressure is horrible. I scream as I push, not because I want to but because my body just takes over and does whatever it can to get through it. They tell me her head is coming out as I experience the ring of fire. Johnny Cash can go to Hell. Next thing I know I can feel her shoulders trying to come out. It hurts like a son of a beach until her shoulders are out. The next thing I know the rest of her slides out like there’s Dawn dish soap on a slip and slide. Abby Rita Rose arrived after pushing through one contraction at 11:39pm (I missed midnight by 21 minutes) and instantly started to cry. It was instant relief for us. Alex is able to cut the umbilical cord before she is passed off to the NICU team for assessment.


The pediatrician determines that her APGAR scores were an 8 and 9 and that she is healthy enough to stay with us. It was the best news we could have heard (besides being told that I didn’t poo all over the table while pushing)! Abby is measured (20 inches long) and weighed (6lbs 15ozs). The pediatrician is shocked when we tell him that she is our biggest baby to date. He makes a comment about how he can tell we’ve been down the preemie road before by the questions we were asking. I explain that the preemie road was the only one we knew. Meanwhile, back at the murder scene my doctor banks my cord blood for donation. I’ve been given pitocin to help deliver my placenta. My hamburger steak, I mean placenta, comes out and my doctor proudly shows it to us. I have a second degree tear (most likely from her coming out so quickly) that has to be stitched up. I explain that I could feel the delivery and that I definitely don’t want to feel someone repeatedly sticking a needle in my taint. After doing a test poke, my doctor numbs everything up with local anesthetic and fixes me up. He fills out all of his paperwork and (per my request) signs the frame we are going to hang in Abby’s room. Before leaving he gives me a giant hug (I just love my OB) and then heads home.





It’s past midnight at this point. Everyone has taken turns holding Abby, so the nurse explains that it’s time to breastfeed. Latching is difficult, but she ends up nursing on both sides for 15 minutes. I call the nurse because we have to take blood sugars at every feeding for the next 24 hours (it’s a preemie thing). Her level is a 32 (it needs to be above a 40). We end up feeding a bottle to get her blood sugars up and she sucks down an entire ounce. Alex is back in the recliner and sound asleep. Abby passes out on my chest so I take the moment to sniff sweet baby head. At 1:45, the nurse takes Abby’s temperature, gives her a bath, does another blood sugar (her level went up to 63), and checked her respiratory rate (it was normal). Just after 2am, Abby is all cleaned up and resting under a warmer. The nurse grabs a wheelchair and cart in preparation for changing rooms. I wake Alex up so he can load the cart. My nurse draws blood for the cord blood donation kit. The adrenaline of the evening’s events started to wear off. I could barely keep my eyes open as I ate some graham crackers and took some pain medicine. Around 2:45, I could fully feel my legs and it was time to use the bathroom for the first time. She unhooked everything except the IV and helped me walk to the bathroom. I sat in a pathetic heap on the toilet while my brave nurse cleaned my back, hands, behind, and snap dragon. I had officially hit rock bottom. I used the peri bottle for the first time (which is a little slice of heaven for those that haven’t shot a watermelon out of your lady parts). She then whips out a pad the size of a Volkswagon van and a slinky pair of mesh panties. Get in line, fellas. My nurse walks me to the wheelchair, removes my IV, and changes my gown. Alex has fallen asleep yet again, so I yell at him to get his ass in gear. The nurse dressed Abby, swaddled her, and added a sweet hat with a bow. I held her as I was wheeled to my postpartum room. I was like the dad in Lion King when he held his baby up for the whole kingdom to see. I was a proud (albeit exhausted) mother.




Shortly after 3am we were in the postpartum room and Alex had quickly tossed our bags on the floor. We had requested a cot for him (the standard couch bed doesn’t cut it when you are 6’6″), so Alex did some rearranging to make it fit. He set it up and was quickly asleep again while we waited for my new nurse to come in. Poor Alex, what a rough day he must have had… About 15 minutes later, my postpartum nurse enters and starts rattling off information. If this hadn’t been my third time going through it I would have completely missed it all from sheer exhaustion. She went over the alarms, bracelets, badges, and the tests and checks that would have to be done on Abby since she was a late term preemie. She took my vitals, pushed on my water bed (I mean, belly), got an ice pack for my undercarriage (those things are the shit), checked my stitches, and took Abby’s vitals. Abby’s blood sugar had dropped to 42, so I was a little concerned that we weren’t out of the NICU woods yet. The nurse kept glancing over at Alex, who was now snoring. She assured me that husbands fall asleep all the time even though the wives are the ones that have been through the ringer. It’s time for Abby to eat again, so I nurse on one side and she latches and goes to town. The other side – not so much. She completely refuses. I call the nurse in to let her know. Abby is sleeping soundly, so she wraps her and (by my request) takes her to the nursery for the night. I’m so tired that I’m seeing double, but also deliriously happy that my new baby is here and healthy. Just before 5am I fall deep asleep.


I clocked a good hour and a half of sleep when I hear a knock on the door. Before I could say anything, Anna and Luke (with my mother-in-law) burst through the door demanding to see the baby. While we wait for the nursery to bring Abby to us, Anna asks to see my belly. The entire time I was pregnant, she thought that to have the baby my belly was going to explode and that the doctors were going to put my belly back together. We never corrected her because I’m not ready to have that conversation just yet. I show Anna my belly and she seems quite impressed with how well the doctors ‘put me back together’. Eventually Abby arrives in the room and the kids are completely and totally in love with her. It was seriously the sweetest thing to watch.


We were surprised, to say the least, when we found out that we would be adding a third child to our family. It took some time to sink in and for us to fall in love with the idea. We prepared the house, bought a bigger car, prepped the kids to have another sibling, and mentally wrapped our heads around becoming a family of 5. We had endless conversations with the kids about the baby and I spent countless hours at doctors appointments and ultrasounds. All the medicine and injections and contractions and bedrest and pain from delivery – it was all gone in the instant I saw all three of my children together. I’m not saying that we are having another (we are done, done, DONE), but the overall experience doesn’t seem as bad now as I remember it being while I was going through it. It’s amazing how quickly you forget the unpleasant moments of a pregnancy and delivery once you are holding a baby in your arms. It was all completely and totally worth it.



A Day in the Life

Right now, I’m living the dream. Let me emphasize – LIVING THE FREAKING DREAM.  On the day of this post, I am 36 week pregnant with #3.  I’ve been on bedrest in some form for 7 weeks now.  Initially it was due to me having too many contractions. Now it’s because my blood pressure has been rising.  I’ve made several trips to labor and delivery already and won’t be surprised if I end up there a couple more times before the big day.  I went to my OB’s office on Monday and my blood pressure was 162/110 (I’ve developed pre-eclampsia, so my blood pressure will continue to rise until I deliver. No amount of relaxing or being calm with lower it, it’s just how my body responds to being pregnant. Medicine can help and I’ve been taking that for a couple weeks now. The only ‘fix’ is having the baby.) and I’ve had this headache for a week now that won’t go away.  After doing the rest of his checks, he sent met to good old labor and delivery to be monitored.  He told me that based on the results, he was either inducing me or admitting me.  It was a bit intense.  Turns out that even though my pressure is high when sitting up, it lowers enough when I’m laying down that my doctor is comfortable with it for the time being.  My blood work and fluid level was good and the baby looked good on the monitor.  There was no medical reason to induce at 35 weeks, so the solution was to send me home sticking to strict bedrest and close monitoring by both of my doctors. The goal is to make it to 37 weeks and then induce if I don’t go into labor on my own before then. I’m exactly 36 weeks today, which is when I delivered Luke. If I make it to midnight, it will be the longest I’ve ever been pregnant.

So, I’m at home with orders to lay around all day long. I’m not even allowed to drive my kids to school. It sounds super sexy, but it’s miserable. Like, incredibly miserable. I’ve been benched for almost two months of my year. TWO MONTHS, people. Time doesn’t stop because I can’t do things, especially when you have kids. They have had a difficult time handling it. On top of all the end of pregnancy aches and pains, my headache has been pretty constant for a week.  I was given percocet with instructions to use that to control the headache, but who wants to be a narc daze all the time? I certainly don’t. The high blood pressure makes me feel overall crappy. It almost feels like I have the flu. I’m dizzy and rundown. My entire body just feels off. My hands and feet are really swollen and itchy. Plus, I’ve had all the signs of early labor – baby has dropped, I have a backache, cramping, increased contractions, lost the old mucus plug (go ahead and swallow the throw up in your mouth), and so on. See, I’m miserable. And if you ask Alex, I’m being a bit of a bitch. I apologize to no one right now. NO ONE. Anyway, without further ado, here’s how my day looked:

October 22, 2014: 

2:30 am – I wake up to potty. It’s pretty standard at this point. I potty and make my way back to bed. It takes some moving and grunting to get comfortable. It happens and I’m able to fall asleep pretty quickly.

5:09 am – Up again to potty.  I lay back down and realize that I’m having some contractions. So, I time them for a while. They aren’t consistent and eventually die off. My headache is back. Lovely.

5:45 am – Anna makes her way into our bed and immediately cuddles up with Alex. Fine by me. I don’t want to disrupt my pillow arrangement anyway.

6:30 am – Alex is up, showered, and dressed for work.  He feeds the dogs and lets them out to potty.  Anna makes her way downstairs.  The TV comes on and Alex fixes her a bowl of cereal and leaves for work. I get up and pull some clothes on. Actually, I hobble around trying to put my pants on without tipping over. I brush my teeth and puke in the sink. I manage to not pee my pants while heaving, so I add that to the win column. I grab clothes for the kids and head downstairs.


6:50 am – Anna is eating cereal at the kitchen table. I make a bowl for myself and join her. She wants to ‘share’ which really means that she wants to eat my cereal. I give in.


7:00 am – Luke putters downstairs and immediately start asking for milk. He then requests chocolate donuts. I give him both because they are easy and he’s now happy and quiet. No judging, people. These are desperate times we are living in.


7:30 am – I plant myself on the couch and get the kids dressed. They somewhat listen, and we manage to get it done.

7:35 am – My mom arrives to help out. She gets their lunches packed, brushes their teeth, and plays with the kids for a bit. For anyone who doesn’t appreciate your mother, I should kick you in the throat. I should, but I can’t get my leg that high right now. I take a potty break.


8:30 am – Mom leaves to drop the kids off at school. I park myself on the couch and turn on an episode of The People’s Couch. It’s a show where you watch people watch TV. It sounds crazy, but it’s hilarious. Seriously – it’s my new favorite show. I crack open the laptop to work on some emails to clients and to send in a print order.  I take another potty break.


9:30 am – My mom is back (she brought me a tea) and is not that impressed with The People’s Couch. She obviously doesn’t know what’s funny. I turn on the end of Kelly and Michael and then take another potty break. Mom proceeds to clean out her purse.


10:00 am – Kelly and Michael is over. I’m still working on my laptop, so I turn on an episode of Criminal Minds. I love Criminal Minds, but it’s making me think that we are all destined to be murdered or abducted. I’m paranoid enough being a parent, these crime shows just totally get inside my head. We’ve been watching quite a bit of them lately, so that may have something to do with it. My mom snaps green beans. I use the potty again.


11:00 am – Criminal Minds is over. My mom pretends to not like it, but I know she secretly does. You’re welcome, Mom. I turn on The Price is Right. It’s not the same without Bob, but what can you do? I take the time to clip my finger nails. Glad I was able to squeeze that into my busy schedule. The tea hits me and I pee three times in 20 minutes.


11:30 am – My work is done on my laptop, so I change things up a bit and start a crossword puzzle. It’s getting crazy in here!


11:40 am – I take another potty break and watch my mom vacuum most of the first floor. I’ve been sitting around watching the dirt pile up on the floor and it’s been driving me batty because I can’t fix it. So, Mom steps in and gets it done. I instantly feel calmer. Moms rule.


12:00 pm – Alex comes home for lunch. He works really close to our house, so we eat lunch together most days. He asks me more than a handful of times if I’m having contractions.


12:15 pm – Mom heads to pick up Luke a bit early from his school. He has a hearing test that we didn’t want to reschedule.

12:45 pm – Alex heads back to work and I go potty again. I let the dogs out to potty too. Potty breaks all around! I go back to my most pressing concern, my crossword puzzle.

1:30 pm – I’m a total badass and complete the entire crossword puzzle. Boom. I waddle upstairs and take a shower. I put on clean clothes – yoga pants and a shirt. Why get fancy? Heck, I didn’t even wear underwear yesterday. Remember, we aren’t judging right now.


2:00 pm – I’m back on the couch. Surprise, surprise. Mom called to let me know that Luke passed his hearing test (awesome sauce) and that they are headed home. I closed my eyes for a bit while I waited for them.


2:20 pm – They are back. Luke fell asleep in the car, so Mom carries him to me and lays him down to cuddle on the couch with me. I squeeze on my boy and smell his hair. It’s equal parts sweet and dirty – exactly how you expect a boy to smell. I close my eyes. Mom puts the green beans on the stove, cleans some smudges off the back slider and around the front door, and then vacuums the floor in the kitchen.


3:15 pm – Luke starts stirring and wakes up. He instantly wants a cup of milk. Mom brings him some and he downs it within seconds. He then demands that I take his pants and shirt off. The kid refuses to wear clothes at home.


3:30 pm – Mom heads out to pick Anna up from school. Luke requests to watch Bubble Guppies. I turn the stupid TV back on (I’m totally over TV at this point) and pull up an episode of Bubble Guppies. I play on my phone for a while while Luke learns invaluable life lessons.


4:00 pm – Mom is back home with Anna. Anna fell asleep in the car as well, so she is also carried in and finishes her nap on the couch. I take another potty break.


4:15 pm – One of our sweet neighbors pops in to drop off food for dinner. We have the best friends, family, and neighbors. Being out of commission for 7 weeks has been really hard on everyone, so having people help out has been a lifesaver. I’m not sure how we would have gotten through without people helping us. I’m not trying to be dramatic. We literally would have fallen apart at the seams.

4:30 pm – Mom spends some serious playtime with Luke.  First they sword fight and then they roll a ball back and forth on the floor. I go potty … again.


4:50 pm – Alex walks in through the garage door, he feeds the dogs, changes his clothes, and then relaxes on the couch. Anna wakes up and eats an apple.


5:30 pm – Luke decides that he needs to go potty on the toilet, so he takes himself into the bathroom and drops this undies and diaper. Alex finds him sitting on the toilet putting tiny pieces of toilet paper in the bowl. Luke gets up, so I go in to use the potty again. Alex finishes getting dinner ready.

5:40 pm – For some reason, I’m not hungry. I can feel that my blood pressure has gotten high, so I lay on the couch while my family eats dinner.


6:00 pm – Dinner is done. Alex gets the kids ready and goes outside to play. Shortly after, they come tromping back in because it’s too cold to play outside. Luke is being really fussy.  Two/almost three is such a fun age (can you detect the sarcasm??). They head to the basement and I stay laying on the couch.

6:45 pm – A major fight breaks out in the playroom.  It started with Luke kicking Anna’s dollhouse.  It ended with Anna on top of Luke punching him on his back. Major disciplining ensued and more crying happened. Maybe one day they will get along. Right?? Alex makes them hug it out and then marches them upstairs to immediately go to bed. They lost story time as one of their punishments.

7:00 pm – The kids are in their rooms. Alex and I are laying on the couch (story of my life). We talk about renting a movie. He finishes watching one of his stupid car shows. Anna tries to weasel her way downstairs. I stop her in her tracks and make her go back upstairs.

7:27 pm – We decide to rend Million Dollar Arm. Since the Cardinals aren’t in the World Series and we don’t have baseball to watch, the next best thing is watching a movie about baseball. I only had to potty twice during the movie and Anna only tried once more to come downstairs. Not too shabby.


9:18 pm – My contractions start up again. I start timing them thinking this might be the start of something. It wasn’t. The taper off yet again.

9:30 pm – The movie is over. Great movie – you should watch it! Alex clicks over to see what’s happening with Game 2 of the World Series. Not that I’m rooting for the Royals, but it makes me happy to see them creaming the Giants. I can’t stand those f-ers.

9:45 pm – Alex is tired and decides to go up to bed.  I’m not tired – most likely due to the fact that I haven’t expended any energy during the day. See, bedrest sounds fabulous until you realize that it totally screws you up. I turn on a recorded episode of Ellen.

9:50 pm – Ellen cuts off because of a special news report. I am really over TV right now, but it still annoys me.

9:55 pm – Ellen resumes. I watch the rest of the episode while I finish up this post.

10:45 pm – Ellen is over so I turn off the TV for the night. (Until we meet again tomorrow, old friend). I make my way upstairs, brush my teeth without incident, and crawl into bed. I have a full day of laying around tomorrow so I need my rest. I also know that I will be up every 2 hours to potty during the night, so it’s probably best to get an early start with it. On the upside, it looks like this will be my longest pregnancy so all this crap seems to be worth it.

Naming a Kid is No Joke…

When we were naming Anna and Luke, we were pretty lucky.  We opted to use family names for their first and middle names.  Anna was named after her great-grandmother (my father’s mother’s mother).  Her middle name is mine and my mother’s middle name – Elizabeth.  Easy peasy, we quickly set our first born’s name.  When we found out that our second child would be a boy, we tossed around names.  We knew that his middle name would be Eugene after Alex’s father who passed away several years ago.  Our question was what his first name would be.  Alex initially thought that he would like to name our son Alex, but since we were using a different middle name, he wouldn’t have been a junior.  We would have had two Alex Parsons in the house and I was worried that it was going to be confusing.  One day, Alex told me that his grandfather (Eugene’s father) was named Luke.  I loved the name and we both decided that our son would be Luke Eugene. Done and done!

After Luke was born, I was doing our first Christmas card as a family of four (Alex, Lisa, Anna, & Luke) and I realized that we had inadvertently created a bit of a pattern.   We each have a four letter name that either starts with an ‘A’ or an ‘L’.  And, the ‘A’ and ‘L’ alternate down the line.  Heck, our dog is even Lucy.  I swear we didn’t plan this out.

When we learned that we would be adding another bambino to the mix, we were perplexed about what to do about the name.  Do we stick with family names and say screw you to the pattern?  Or stick with the pattern and explain why our third child doesn’t have a family name like her siblings?  We are out of family names that are four letters and start with an ‘A’.  If we were Alex, Lisa, Anna, Luke, & Charlotte – who was the surprise?!?  We opted to save on future therapy bills for our youngest child and stick with a 4 letter ‘A’ name and use two family names as middle names.  Best of both worlds, huh?

Once we learned that the baby is a girl, we decided on the name Abby.  Well, we Googled ‘4-letter A names for girls’ and worked our way through the short list of names.  It actually made picking a name rather easy.  Alex and I instantly fell in love with Abby.  It just fits.  ‘Anna and Abby – the sisters Parsons.’ ‘Anna, Luke, Abby – clean up your rooms!’  It rolls of the tongue.  Plus it passes the resume test.  ‘Abby Parsons has been named as the next CEO of Apple.’ It is everything we wanted in a name and we absolutely fell in love!  For the middle name, we wanted to honor my mother’s side of the family.  My great-grandmother (mother’s, father’s mother) was named Rita Rose.  She was one heck of a woman and it’s an honor to pass that legacy along.  The other interesting piece is that Abby will be the 6th generation of Rita (that I know of) in my family.  My great-great-grandmother was Katheryn Rita.  Her daughter (my great-grandmother) was Rita Rose.  Her daughter (my great-aunt) is Rita Helen.  Her niece (my mother) is Rita Elizabeth.  Her niece (my cousin) is Rita Marie.  And now, we can add Abby Rita Rose to the list.  Personally, I think it’s pretty awesome.  I love the tradition of family names and passing them along.  Plus, with so many amazing women who were named Rita in my family, how can Abby be anything but amazing?!?