Farm Fresh

… Fresh on to the farm. Here is an occassional chronicle of a new family in a small town.

the day you were born, part 1, the night before

In other words, your birth story.  I write this because when you are bad, I plan on making you go to your room and copy this 5 times, because I never want to forget how much pain it was and also because it was a miracle and the coolest thing I have ever done next to meeting your dad. Cooler than hiking the great wall of China, directing a parade full of hippies, wearing a flame retardant suit and playing with a fire as tall as a 8 story building, cooler then slumming it through Europe and cooler then buying a house- way cooler.

I would say labor began for me, walking on the John Wayne Trail by our house. It was me and the dogs and you on the inside of course. And I was over it. For days now, I had been trying everything I could to induce labor. As according to one camp (the ultrasound and my midwife) you were due on the 11th and according to another camp (the last day of my menstrual period and my previous doctor) you were due on the 18th. This day, on the trail was the 17th and according to me, you were done! To ensure that we didn’t have to induce your labor artificially with pitocin and then quite likely end up with an unnatural birth, I had tried a number of things including 5 star thai food, sex, masturbation  (now, I bet you are already wishing you would have just done what I told you to!), walking, bouncing and most recently, acupuncture.  But I was feeling down on the trail maybe it was a case of the watched pot never boils and the anxiety of waiting had gotten to me, or maybe I was just plain scared of what had happened to my life and what was going to happen.  So I sat down in the middle of the trail and I cried, you could say sobbed. It was cool and slightly over cast and I leaned against a small hill and I wished for it to be over, for it to go well and for things to work out.  Luckily for me, I spotted some horses down the way and out of embarrassment, picked myself up, called the dogs and got moving.

I was grateful that night when some friends invited your dad out. We had run out of things to talk about, you were all we could think about, and we were over it, or I was.  Weeks now of calling him and your gramma to get “Is it time?” Weeks of waiting for my next cocktail, weeks of waiting for my new life to begin was wearing on me. Yes, go, get out of here, get drunk, get stoned! I thought maybe this would help me go into labor. That’s how desperate I was.  I settled in to watch some movies once your dad left, something scary I hoped would work.  I did feel some menstrual  cramps, but that was nothing new, little cramps had been coming and going for weeks. What I was hoping for was a pattern. Specifically 5-1-1. Contractions that lasted 5 minutes and were one hour apart. I already forgot what the other one was for.  Eventually, I did start feeling a rhythm and they were getting quite uncomfortable. So I texted your father, not wanting to alert him and called Judi, our doula.  She was not surprised to hear from me, I wasn’t the only one waiting. She was in bed and suggested I get some rest myself and try to rest between contractions.  I was secretly hoping she would say, get your bag ready, I’ll be right over. Instead, she said to call her if things started to get really uncomfortable but to focus on resting.  How did she know I wasn’t about to pop? I guess that;s why we hired her. To keep us in line. To keep me in line. Unfortunately rest was not an option. Your father came home at the tail end of my conversation with Judi and looked at me with that look. He was stoned. My plan had worked. I was sure  you would be born soon.  But when exactly?  Well, the next 8 hours, I forced your dad to stay awake as we timed the contractions.  A funny note is that although we each had timers on our phones, we could not manage to figure them out, but luckily for your father who I had delegated the task of timing, there is an iPhone application for such a thing.  Yes, we had to download and application. I still have it on my phone for giggles. Eventually, once Judi showed up, she told your dad to put it away.  This is what we did, timed the contractions, pretended to be able to get some sleep and waited for something to happen. Somewhere around 6:30am, I had finally decided the contractions were close enough and intense enough (although intense would come later) to call Judi again and to call Gramma Swann to begin her four hour drive back over.  She had already been here see, for your other due date, the one on the 11th.

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Growth Spurt

8am I hear your dad getting ready for work  and some rustling where you fell asleep last, which is right below my armpit. I think  I might have enough time to get in a diaper change,brush my teeth, make some- nope, you’re hungry.

8:45 You eat and I think about what I want to do today, which leads me to look up iapps for workouts.

9:15 Quick! Coffee, 2 frozen waffles. You’re fussing, oh, you needed to spit up on me I guess. I attempt a tidy and some sorting all while trying you in different positions- on your back, tummy time, in the bouncer, in my lap, on my shoulder. I manage to clip my toenails! You’re about to blow so I sneak in another diaper.

10:15 Time for second breakfast (yours). And I guess I’ll try the blog thing as I’ve been meaning to come back to it and also document your feeding in one day. What’s next? Shower? A walk? Yoga? It’s a beautiful day and I’ll be depressed if I don’t get out there.  Goals for today: J and R’s present, exercise, shower, research store, Keith’s thank you, pump, make easter plans.

10:48 I motivate into yoga pants, throw you in a hoodie and the bjorn and we’re off. We get in a 30 minute walk! you fall asleep half way and continue to nap through the squats .  I was ambitious enough to think about situps and a shower. You wanted third breakfast and a diaper change.

11:45 You eat, I email.

12:30 Ambitiousness sets in. I destroy my  bangs, take a shower (you are in the bouncer). I shave my legs but forget the pits- again. Thank god gramma Joey gave us soup. I put it on the stove, your fussing builds, I discover a big ol’ blowout down under and put diaper to soak in time to feed you lunch. Mine awaits on the stove top.

1:18 You have lunch. And so do I, careful not to spill soup on your outfit. I really don’t want to change you again.

1:36 You fall asleep. Could this be true? Do I risk moving you? Bad idea. The next 30 minutes are an attempt to curb the blood curdling screams coming out of your precious lungs. We change your diaper, I sing, we dance, we go outside…

2:06 Nothing will do- you are eating again. I research 5 week old eating patterns again to reassure myself this is normal. I read you should be eating anywhere from 6-12 times a day (more for breast-feeders) for 10-40 minutes at at time. I can see why people bottle feed with formula.

2:36 You fall asleep for 10 minutes, wake up, cry, diaper change. I think we will eat again!

4:00 A watched pot never boils. You fall asleep! Dishes, laundry, coffee, write a thank you card.

4:48 You’re up, fresh diaper, I guess I’ll resume watching the Shipping News. By my count, this is your 7th meal today.

5:45 Rinse, wash, repeat.

Time runs into itself. We eat dinner attached, company comes by, we watch another movie, a few more diaper changes; your dad does some research to conclude you are going through a “growth spurt”, this is normal and I am a wonderful mom. I think he’s afraid I might snap. This is probably because I said “I might snap if this goes on.”  But it doesn’t. You fall asleep around 12:30am and sleep until 5am and I live to finish yesterday’s saga while you, well, while you eat second breakfast.

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Thursday

All dolled up for our follow up appt with our doula Judi!

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is he a good baby? are you enjoying motherhood? how is it going?

Porter-

Will you remember these days? Filled with so much tenderness and yet so much doubt? So much love for a person we barely know. We’ve put our lives on pause to see what you will do to the mix. We’ve made changes, or so we think, to our priority list.  We’re scared. We don’t know how to go the grocery store with you, how to sleep, where to put you while we’re in the shower. You bring tears to my eyes when they come to yours. They also come during moments when I feel chained to you, as though I’ve lost my freedom. But maybe I don’t know what that means.  I vacillate between pain and pleasure while you are on my breast. Your dad says “oh my goodness” a lot when you make a face- any face.

Are you a good baby? Am I enjoying motherhood? How’s it going? Questions from a friend.  Above is an answer to the son I’ve had- like it or not, I love him.

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diapers arrive today

Oh dear. Yesterday we got our delivery of cloth diapers in. You are wearing one now. Your father and I are not enthused although I had been wanting to try them all along. One of your fairy godmothers  (as Grandma Joey calls them) Karen Johnson got us the order and now we have to put her money where our mouth is.  I mean they are bulky and you need pins and a cover, and in short, they seem complicated.   I think it’s going to be challenging enough just going out in the world by ourselves without wondering where I’m going to lay the pins down when changing you in the car, ouch.

We want to be responsible parents see.  And part of that I think means responsible “citizens of the world” and that means to us, not filling up land the size of new zealand with wasted toys, outfits and diapers.  But oh the drama of the poo and pee and sleep deprived parent.  Up until now, we have only researched our earth friendly options and made due with the disposables.  We were at an impasse. Stuck between convenience and the growing number of options out there for those parents willing to invest time and money into the bottoms of their children to save the world.  Our options were, and suppose still are, as the jury is still out on the cloth diapers:

1. GDiapers: A washable cover with compostable inserts
2. Disposables
3. Cloth
4. All in one washable cover, diaper

So far the disposables are most convenient but the cloth make me feel the best about what we’re doing.

You don’t seem to mind them.

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