Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reality Check

Scene: Two days ago. Sascha and Wendy eating cinnamon rolls at 10am. Clutter and chaos reining all around. Ari watching Clifford on PBS, about 30 minutes away from his morning meltdown because he wants to "go out". Ally asleep in her infant chair, oblivious to the fact that her morning nap and post-nap nursing delays Ari's going out time indefinitely.

Wendy (looking around her): So. We really need to get our shit together.

Sascha (with wide eyes and mumbling around a mouthful of roll): Mmm-hmmm!

The above exchange basically means that Wendy needs to get the collective shit together.

The shit is still all over the place.

Because Wendy is tired.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Birth Story

I just want you all to know up front that I am skipping a nap in order to update the blog with the "birth story". So...if there are moments when I make no sense or misspell several words or let fly with a cuss word or two...please don't call me on it, just blame severe lack of sleep.

As far as the story of Aletha's birth goes...I guess that I'm not all that anxious to share it. Which is, perhaps, why I haven't as yet. Nothing out of the ordinary happened this time around, thank the good Lord. No hemmhorage, no going into labor in a parking lot, no breaking point at 8 cm and almost asking for the epidural. This time around we knew what to expect (a load of pain and a lot of mess) and for how long to expect it (at least as long as last time). We didn't go into this thinking I could "hypnobirth" my way through and smile as the "birth surges" passed (what complete crap). We weren't expecting a 5 hour labor because our birth class instructor said we could put our desire out into the universe and receive it in kind (again, what crap). We went into this expecting solid reality and that's what we got. But in a good way. No, really.

My parents flew into town three days before Ally's due date. My dad could only be in town for one week and as the days ticked by and I didn't feel anywhere near labor, a slight panic set in as I realized that he may have to fly home without meeting his granddaughter. Since we were naming Ally for my grandma (Dad's mom), I was not happy with this possible scenario. So. I had a little talk with our little fetus...No pressure or anything, kid, but you've had a lot of time to cook in there and we're all very anxious to meet you. I'm ready whenever you're ready. But let's be ready in the next couple days, 'kay? She was due on a Wednesday, we had our "talk" on Friday, contractions started on Saturday and she came sliding out on Sunday. Since a frank discussion worked with her, I'm thinking her personality is light years different from her brother's. Again, thank the good Lord...because I'm not smart enough for two of Ari.

So Saturday around noon I started feeling icky and exhausted and went to lie down. Some people get an energy burst before labor starts...I get an energy drain. I'm not kidding. Saturday afternoon random contractions started and Sascha and I actually got to take a walk by ourselves through them. I woke up at midnight with more contractions and got up and went downstairs to get things ready for the hospital (second don't have a hospital bag waiting weeks in's the night before). Around 3am I got too tired to stay up and keep the contractions going so I fell asleep for a while and woke up to stronger ones around 6am. After hanging out in the shower for a while with Sascha "timing" the contractions (i.e. "How long was that one?" "Oh, I forgot to look at the clock." Again, second kid.), I called in to the midwife on call and in response to his "What can we do for you, Wendy?" I said, "Yeh. We're coming in. Now." At this point, I had no patience for excess verbage.

Ari threw a fit as we tried to leave for the hospital without him and the only way we could get out the door was to give him the gift-from-his-new-baby-sister early...meaning, right then. So we left with tears dropping behind us as I muttered over and over "we waited too long, we waited too long" through the contractions.

In reality, we had not waited too long. I was only 4cm dialated when we reached the hospital, though it felt like 8. As soon as we walked into our lovely birthing room, I promplty headed for the bathroom and threw up (same thing happened when Ari was born). Yep, I'm a birthing puker. Some women scream and throw hysterics while bringing their children into this world. I moan loudly and throw up.

I'll spare you the details of the next nine hours. All I will say is that birthing tubs rock. Always, always, always ask for a birthing tub. And nurse midwives are the saviors of the birthing world. Always, always, always go with a midwife if you can. Our midwife, Rebecca, was fantastic...humor at the appropriate moments, wisdom at others and an endless source of tips and suggestions. She was truly "with woman" (which is the meaning of "midwife"...only intervening when necessary) in that she didn't deliver our daughter, she intead received her. Because Rebecca held to the true meaning of being a midwife, we felt that Ally, Sascha and I were in charge of our own birth process and it was just the three of us that brought Ally into this world. It was a wonderful thing and I have nothing but good memories from her birth.

Thank you, Rebecca, for standing by with patience and wisdom and for gently handing me my girl. Thank you, Sascha, for holding me when I needed to be held, breathing with me through the pain and for politely asking me to release your nipple as I blindly grabbed it during the "ring of fire". Thank you, God, for guiding us safely through our daughter's birth and for giving us such a beautiful gift.

And thank you, Aletha, for trusting us to be your family throughout your journey on earth. May we always do right by you.

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.
~Robert Munsch

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Aletha Marin, Our Sweet Girl

Aletha "Ally" Marin Freiwald
April 26, 2009 6:22 p.m.
7 pounds 4 ounces


Aletha: Wendy's grandmother's name, meaning "truth"
Marin: meaning "by the sea"


Noisiest baby. Ever. She's not even quiet when she sleeps.
(Despite the above noisy claim, you will have to turn up the volume for this video.)