Birth

I just called my Angel Boy to wish him Happy Birthday as he was walked HIS Angel Boy to school just like I used to walk HIM to school, holding hands and chatting nonstop the whole way, a full circle moment.

I’m not seeing him today so I didn’t send a lot of gifts because they’ll be here soon and I like the idea of multiple celebration days plus I can bake his favorite strawberry cake roll with homemade ice cream.

Labor and Delivery:

After being in labor all night, I finally entered the stage called transition and it seemed as if things were finally moving along enough for me to push my baby into the world.

At that point, his big fat head got stuck. l tried and tried to push (in agonizing pain) but he wouldn’t budge. I asked the doc to use forceps which he was firmly against for all the right reasons and after a few more attempts, baby’s heart rate slowed.

Between contractions, I remember the doc very kindly tell me there was no other alternative than a C-section, not for my health, but for my precious child’s.

I couldn’t stop crying. This whole experience had turned into a nightmare, not the soft focus natural childbirth fantasy I had wished for, a quiet delivery at home surrounded by my beloved animals welcoming this new human into our family.

I hadn’t prepared myself for any other ending to my story. I had lost all control.

The safety and health of this child I had loved and grown for nine-plus months was paramount. Like I said before, it would never again be all about me.

I remember my mom doing her extremely patient nursey thing with me, but at the same time, she knew more than anyone how every single dip in heart rate was compromising my baby, and I was finally persuaded to have the emergency C-section.

I’ll never forget the feeling of failure as they prepped me and injected the saddle block with the promise that it wouldn’t interfere with nursing, and they were giving me only enough to pull out my still stuck baby. I was awake and could see everything as it happened.

At 9:52 a.m. on March 23, I was finally able to meet my healthy Angel Boy. At 8.5 pounds, it was obvious that he was too big to have been delivered any other way and it’s true that the anesthetic wore off as I was being sutured which was painful on a scale I couldn’t imagine, but I refused additional anesthetic.

I can honestly say that it felt like someone cut out my heart and placed it on my chest. I was born too that day, as a mom.

Like I told him at his 21st birthday party (in front of all of his friends and to his extreme embarrassment) I have loved every single breath he’s taken and that’s 100% true.

Happy Birthday to the original curly haired Angel Boy! (No matter how he got here.)

A Whimsical Flower Garden Bouquet For ME!

Tomorrow might be all about the original Angel Boy as it’s his birthday, but today is all about me, so I walked around the garden and picked all the flowers blooming in early spring to celebrate myself.

Back in 1981, he was already a week overdue on March 22. I had walked my dogs, Sabrina and Beowulf, early in the morning where I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell down.

Other than being annoyed at my huge bulky belly that got in the way of everything, I didn’t think about it. I felt fine.

My mom came over to take me out for lunch and shopping, two of my most favorite pastimes (then and now). I remember exactly what I bought. She wanted me to have a pretty nightgown to commemorate the birth of her first and only grandchild. In fact, I still have that little rose sprigged lacy cotton gown, mainly because I never throw things away and besides, it’s a lovely reminder of that day with my mom.

As we were eating lunch, I excused myself to use the restroom. When I returned, I said to her, “It’s so weird, I don’t know why my pants feel like I wet myself.”

Well, my mom who NEVER freaked out, was always calm, freaked out, “Your water broke. Why didn’t you tell me? We need to get to the hospital. When did this happen?” “What other symptoms do you have?”

I told her about falling earlier in the day and she deduced that I had partially ruptured the placenta. I don’t remember much about driving home except for her repeating, “You might have introduced bacteria, you might have introduced bacteria. Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

Stubborn as I am, I did NOT go to the hospital right away, although I was having slight labor pains. I wanted to take a shower and walk my dogs again.

She and Daddy-to-be called my doc who agreed that I needed to get to the hospital to be safe.

I was extremely upset because for nine months I planned to have my baby at home with my mom attending. She was an amazing nurse, had worked for many years in labor and delivery and had brought home a sterile delivery kit, kinda sorta like Call the Midwife.

The fact that there was even the slightest chance that my baby was in danger caused my mom (and Dad) to refuse to allow me to play the role of Earth Mother and stay home. I had planned to have all my animals surround me to participate because their little brother or sister (we didn’t know) was being born.

I had to reluctantly agree with them that it wasn’t all about me, plus the vaginal mucous plug or “show” had started to separate from the cervix which meant actual labor was progressing. We arrived at the hospital about 7pm.

I’ll save the rest of the story for tomorrow, because after that day it was NEVER all about me ever again–it’s always and will forever be about my Angel Boy.

Here’s me on March 22, on that final walk, taking a break with my beautiful Sabrina, a couple hours before going to the hospital. I’m really happy to have this photo. My sweet Sabby looks so old.

I’ve shown this pic to my other Angels and they get a kick out of seeing their Daddy inside Grandma’s body before he came into the world. “There’s Daddy!” And “Grandma, you love Border Collies so much, don’t you?”

But not more than you guys. Nope. Never more than you, my Angels.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me! Am I suffering from grandma-itis?

Sorry once again for posting the same thing on both blogs, but until I find a way to marry the two, I might be doing it a few more times!

1328928449733_1980393I was NEVER one of those moms or mothers-in-law that nagged at the kids to have a baby. You never heard these words spill from my lips,

“I need a grandchild.”

“When are you going to give me a grandchild?”

I’m not getting any younger, aren’t you EVER going to have children?”

I figured after ten years of being married that they had decided (privately) that it wasn’t part of their five-year plan (obviously) or even their ten-year-plan and it was their business and I might be obnoxious about MANY MANY things (I admit it) but I wasn’t the stereotypical Jewish mom in THAT way.

I was 100% totally OK with it, too.

So it came as a shock to no one more than myself how excited I was when my son and DIL told me they were expecting a child, and in our lovely TMI way—providing me with all the who-what-where-when details of the actual conception (my son is SO proud of himself; my son the overachiever lol.)

First, I screamed.

Then I said, “It’s about time!!”

And then because that’s the way I roll, I make everything all about ME.

Since that day, I’ve become OBSESSED with all things baby—I swear, hand to heart, it’s as if I’m the one who’s carrying this boychild and I know that sounds weird , REALLY weird if you think about it, geez, that’s my SON, but that’s how invested I am.

If everyone thought I was a helicopter mom before, all I can say is LOOK OUT.

I actually tell people I’m having a baby.

I mean I’ve told absolute strangers that I’m having a baby, and when they look at me skeptically—medical miracle and all that, plus my belly with no discernible bump- (well, there are definitely lumps but no bumps) I clarify that it’s my son and his wife who are having a baby, and they inevitably say,

“Ohhh, so you’re a first-time grandma, now I get it. Been there, done that. Best time in your entire life. Congratulations!

I’m a shopper.

I’m a shopaholic.

I’m obsessed with retail therapy.

I love shopping for myself.

I really, really do.

But there’s something wrong with me!

I drive to all my favorite stores and run my fingers through silk blouses and sparkly jewelry and high-heeled winter boots; and NOTHING.

I buy NOTHING. Not a thing. Nothing sparks my desire.

However, I find myself magnetically drawn to the baby department where I analyze and scrutinize newborn onesies, the softest little socks, nursery bedding, high chairs, and strollers.

Apparently the only stroller worth having in 2015 is a Bugaboo, which costs as much as a used car.bugaboo-buffalo-stroller-BK2015-BA-RBB-0

When my son was born, we had this pram, similar in design to this Milson used by the royal family, with big wheels and shock absorbers guaranteed to provide Angel Boy with a smooth ride. We found it at an antique store and I’m pretty sure no one else in San Diego County pushed their child in this kind of luxury.231265080

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.

In the past, I’d be happy because the office is near Anthropologie, J Crew, and Bloomies.

But now? 

I’m excited as can be because I can stop at Buy Buy BABY.

What the heck is wrong with me?

Have I been infected with that grandmother-itis I’ve been hearing about?

The high chair is used but very clean and only needs a new insert.highchair

Who could resist this sailboat onesie with matching hat?
highchair2

Yes, there’s most definitely something wrong with me.

And the winner is…XX or XY?

I’m bursting to tell, but first…

(I seem to repeat myself on both blogs and a big sorry to those who follow both cos you’re reading things twice, so I need to sit myself down and figure out how I can have both topics in one location cos this is driving me crazy. Well, crazier than I was, and now that the mothership (me) is obsessing about this baby, well, I’m at a whole new level of cray.)

And now we return to today’s post…

how-to-have-a-baby-girl

Don’t hate but here’s a truth; when my son was in elementary school, I’d pick him up every day after school and we’d walk home while he chattered away about what what happened during the day, what he learned, and sometimes this:

“Mom, Mom, guess what? I have EXTRA CREDIT!”

Yes, my Angel Boy looked at additional schoolwork as a gift —and why would anyone want to rain on his bliss?

Always the overachiever, it’s not surprising that he performed over and above in this category too, because he and DIL are having a…

wait for it

wait for it

oh, I can’t wait.

IT’S A …

BOYseashells

*Squeeeee!!*

Can you hear me screaming for joy?

DIL’s already referring to him as Angel Boy 2.0…here’s a pic.

He looks exactly like the Original Angel Boy with that big head!

AB2.0 BLOGpic

The first thing this yummy grandmummy did was to rush out and SHOP!

babygifts1

Next on the list is painting the nursery a lovely vintage yellow. I’ll decorate with an animal/nautical theme.

Lots of animals.

Nautical + animals but NOT a Noah’s Ark vibe.

Of course lots of love.

Cos that’s really all you need.

All you need is love. heartconstellation

I Fell Down and a Baby Popped Out.

In that order, but it took a whole day to achieve my life’s greatest accomplishment.

In 1981, March 23 fell on a Monday.

This year, my Angel Boy is in New York at a conference at NYU. My BABY boy is not a baby anymore. That’s a hard concept to grasp…

The day before…
I took my dogs, Beowulf and Sabrina, out for an early morning walk.

My mom was going to come over around noon and take me shopping — see, that’s where I get it from!

It was a full week past my due date and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions were terrifying me on a daily basis. My mom was the head RN of Women’s Surgical at a local hospital. She thought a bit of retail therapy (see what I mean?) would take my mind off of that discomfort.

At that time, my son’s dad and I lived in an older part of San Diego; Hillcrest. The sidewalks were deteriorated with huge cracks and fissures.

With my big belly full of Angel Boy blocking my view, I tripped and fell — not hard — but with sixty extra pounds on my normally one hundred pound frame, I was more than a little ungainly.

I remember being super embarrassed for anyone to watch my feeble attempts to get up. Luckily, no one was out that early. I leaned on Beowulf (one-hundred-pounds of Akita/Husky/Wolf) who stood about thirty inches at his shoulders, and he was a sturdy support to help me up.

I continued walking home — just a few blocks — and didn’t think much about my fall, but I did tell my mom when she picked me up to go to the mall.

She knew everything there was to know about birthin’ babies.

She reminded me that she had told me a zillion times not to go walking alone this late in pregnancy, but I replied like I always did, “Blah, blah, blah…I’m not listening to a word you say.”

We stopped at a lingerie shop and she bought me a beautiful rosebud sprigged shortie nightgown.

As we were leaving the store, I whispered to her, “Mom, I think I wet my pants.”

(Dumb me, who had read every single book ever written about pregnancy and childbirth, didn’t comprehend what had happened.)

My mom instantly went into what we always called her “nursey” mode.

Quizzing me non-stop about any other symptoms in a very calm voice, we cut short our shopping day (darn) and drove home.

I don’t want to be too gross here; let’s just say other things were leaking out of me, too…

Suddenly, those Braxton Hicks contractions became the real thing.

I called my doctor. It was time.

All during my pregnancy, I had planned to deliver at home, au natural, with my mom as midwife.

Toward the end, it became obvious that my Angel Boy was too big for that to be possible.

I hate hospitals.

I didn’t want that atmosphere to be the first memories implanted in my baby’s precious brain. With reluctance, I agreed that his health was more important than my hippie chick desires, and hubs, mom, and I all went to the hospital.

The doc examined me, concluded that the fall had merely torn the amniotic sac and the potential for introducing bacteria was a concern, so I agreed to let him completely puncture it to speed up the process.

And oh yes, speed it up it did. The mild contractions intensified.

Other than the unrelenting pain, which didn’t respond to that stupid Lamaze class training, I remember my son’s dad watching “Patton” on the wall TV in the birthing room.

I will always hate him for that.

After being in labor all night, my mom and the doc had a consultation.

Apparently, my baby had a head the size of Plymouth Rock and it was stuck.

It just wouldn’t come out.

I was so upset I couldn’t stop crying.

I had failed my first test as a mom.

So…at 9:42 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 1981, I had an emergency Caesarean Section.

I was wide awake and watched it all.

In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter how my Angel Boy got here.

He was beautiful and healthy; 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches. He scored a 9 on the Apgar Scale; a high achiever from the beginning!

Happy 33rd birthday, Professor Angel Boy!

happyballoons

babyJ
sailorsuitJ
batJteddybearJ

I Fell Down and a Baby Popped Out.

In that order, but it took a whole day to achieve my life’s greatest accomplishment.

In 1981, March 23 fell on a Monday.

The day before…
I took my dogs, Beowulf and Sabrina, out for an early morning walk.

My mom was going to come over around noon and take me shopping — see, that’s where I get it from!

It was a full week past my due date and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions were terrifying me on a daily basis. My mom was the head RN of Women’s Surgical at a local hospital. She thought a bit of retail therapy (see what I mean?) would take my mind off of that discomfort.

At that time, my son’s dad and I lived in an older part of San Diego; Hillcrest. The sidewalks were deteriorated with huge cracks and fissures.

With my big belly full of Angel Boy blocking my view, I tripped and fell — not hard — but with sixty extra pounds on my normally one hundred pound frame, I was more than a little ungainly.

I remember being super embarrassed for anyone to watch my feeble attempts to get up. Luckily, no one was out that early. I leaned on Beowulf (one-hundred-pounds of Akita/Husky/Wolf) who stood about thirty inches at his shoulders, and he was a sturdy support to help me up.

I continued walking home — just a few blocks — and didn’t think much about my fall, but I did tell my mom when she picked me up to go to the mall.

She knew everything there was to know about birthin’ babies.

She reminded me that she had told me a zillion times not to go walking alone this late in pregnancy, but I replied like I always did, “Blah, blah, blah…I’m not listening to a word you say.”

We stopped at a lingerie shop and she bought me a beautiful rosebud sprigged shortie nightgown.

As we were leaving the store, I whispered to her, “Mom, I think I wet my pants.”

(Dumb me, who had read every single book ever written about pregnancy and childbirth, didn’t comprehend what had happened.)

My mom instantly went into what we always called her “nursey” mode.

Quizzing me non-stop about any other symptoms in a very calm voice, we cut short our shopping day (darn) and drove home.

I don’t want to be too gross here; let’s just say other things were leaking out of me, too…

Suddenly, those Braxton Hicks contractions became the real thing.

I called my doctor. It was time.

All during my pregnancy, I had planned to deliver at home, au natural, with my mom as midwife.

Toward the end, it became obvious that my Angel Boy was too big for that to be possible.

I hate hospitals.

I didn’t want that atmosphere to be the first memories implanted in my baby’s precious brain. With reluctance, I agreed that his health was more important than my hippie chick desires, and hubs, mom, and I all went to the hospital.

The doc examined me, concluded that the fall had merely torn the amniotic sac and the potential for introducing bacteria was a concern, so I agreed to let him completely puncture it to speed up the process.

And oh yes, speed it up it did. The mild contractions intensified.

Other than the unrelenting pain, which didn’t respond to that stupid Lamaze class training, I remember my son’s dad watching “Patton” on the wall TV in the birthing room.

I will always hate him for that.

After being in labor all night, my mom and the doc had a consultation.

Apparently, my baby had a head the size of Plymouth Rock and it was stuck.

It just wouldn’t come out.

I was so upset I couldn’t stop crying.

I had failed my first test as a mom.

So…at 9:42 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 1981, I had an emergency Caesarean Section.

I was wide awake and watched it all.

In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter how my Angel Boy got here.

He was beautiful and healthy; 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches. He scored a 9 on the Apgar Scale; a high achiever from the beginning!

Happy 33rd birthday, Professor Angel Boy!

happyballoons

babyJ
sailorsuitJ
batJteddybearJ