Party of Five

Trigger Warning: Mentions pregnancy and childbirth.

I’m not sure why I’ve been so reluctant to write about this. It’s life-changing. It’s something that brings me all the joy. It’s something that consumes my almost every waking thought. It’s the fact that Hubby and I welcomed our third child earlier this year. Like, who wouldn’t want to shout that from the rooftops?

If I’m being honest, I know exactly why I have had writer’s block about it.  This blog has only a paltry few followers, but I respect and love them all tremendously, and I know that a few of them have experienced loss recently.  I am so heartbroken for them, and it feels selfish (and hurtful) to broadcast my own happiness.  So, I just want to put it out there, if you’re reading this and it hurts you, that I’m sorry.  Everyone deserves the easiest, most pain-free road to building a family.

But, we did have a baby. We have three kids now. Three. Three, you guys.

I still have a draft post, last edited in May 2018, entitled, “Will we have another?” The title is a total cliffhanger, I know, but if I had ever finished writing that post, my obvious conclusion was that we wanted to have another kid. After experiencing infertility when trying to conceive K-man, I’m always careful when it comes to declarations about what will or won’t happen with my reproductive organs.  But, Hubby and I very much knew we wanted to have a third child, if it was in the cards.

At first, we thought we would wait until Ell-Bell was a little older. Maybe we would start trying after she turned two (which happened last December).  But typical me, I got all impatient. I started pushing Hubby with weekly requests to move the timeline up a little bit. Finally, I convinced him to agree that we could start trying in September or October 2018. And then July 2018 rolled around. And Hubby was like, you know what? Why not. Let’s start trying now. And so we did. On the 3rd of July.  In between his overnight shift and my frantic preparations for a 4th of July party at our house, in case you want all the sordid details.

A few weeks later, I was in a terrible, horrible place mentally. Depressed, moody AF. I had ordered like 100 Amazon ovulation strips and pregnancy tests in preparation for what would likely be at least several months, if not way longer, of trying to conceive.  The tests arrived a few days before my period was due, and while Hubby was out for a run, I snuck a test. Not because I thought I could be pregnant, but because I am an addict. Need to pee on all the sticks, need to scrutinize all the lines, need all the information.

Of course, I got the faintest second line. And you know how that made me feel? After months of begging Hubby to start trying for another kid? After months of obsessing about whether we would experience heartbreaking infertility again? I got exactly what I thought I wanted, and I felt … embarrassed. And honestly, I felt a little bit of dread. What had I done? I duped Hubby into having another baby, much much sooner than he wanted. And now that I got what I wanted, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to handle it.

And honestly, that’s another reason why I didn’t blog about the beginning of my pregnancy. I was so ashamed to feel the way I did. Truthfully, I have always (unfairly) judged other women for not being 100% ecstatic about a pregnancy.

I think a lot of my feelings about the pregnancy, in the beginning, were inextricably linked to the fact that I felt sick. as. shit.  I had never experienced so much nausea or fatigue with previous pregnancies, and now I was suffering through it while trying to raise two hellish and manic toddlers (love them so much).

As my “morning” sickness waned, so did my negative feelings. Thank god.  Dread was replaced with excitement and a sense of relief.  We shared the news with our family and friends, and they were all excited for us (or at least pretended to be).  I will say though, if you already have two kids — especially if you already have a boy and a girl — people tend to assume your third kid is a “whoopsie” baby.  Side note: why is it ever okay to ask a pregnant lady if her pregnancy was unplanned?  Why do you need to know? Also, why do you want to know? You sick perv. Anyways…

Because we already had a boy and a girl, I can truly say that I had almost no preference as to the sex of our third child. (I won’t lie to you, I’m a horrible person and had a strong preference with the first two.)  So, we decided to go “team green” and find out baby’s sex at birth. What a weird and fun experience! I thought maybe I would connect less with “Melon” (number three’s in-utero name) without knowing if he/she was a boy or a girl, but it wasn’t an issue. The only problem was coming up with two full names. Maybe I’ve blogged about this before, but Hubby is the.worst when it comes to naming babies.  He doesn’t like anything good! Also, he doesn’t like anything, period. He sucks.

I spent the first half of my pregnancy stressing over how Melon would be delivered. K-Man and Ell-Bell were both C-sections, so I knew that was the most likely result for Melon, too.  But a small part of me wanted to experience vaginal birth if I could, so I tried not to close that door.

Turns out, though, that the door was closed for me.  I couldn’t find any ObGyn in my city who was comfortable performing a VBAC after two cesarians.  Maybe if I kept looking, I would have gotten lucky eventually.  But every time, I had to transfer all my medical records, pay all the fees, schedule all the appointments, before I could even find out if a practice was willing to try.  In the end, given my history of early c-sections due to pregnancy-induced hypertension, I decided it was not worth it to continue down the VBAC road.

So I settled on a practice I liked, and we scheduled my c-section for 39 weeks.  I somehow managed to make it through the whole pregnancy without hypertension, so Melon had a completely uncomplicated cesarian birth right on schedule.  When they delivered Melon, the baby began to cry right away.  Hubby was standing there peeking over the surgical curtain, and asked me to guess whether it was a boy or a girl.  “That sounds like a boy cry!” I exclaimed.  Now obviously, that makes zero sense, but I was right anyway! Melon was a healthy baby boy, weighing 7 lbs 5 oz and spanning 20.5 inches long. (He also had the most ginormous baby scrotum you’ve ever seen, but don’t worry, that’s calmed down quite a bit over the past few months.)

Melon (who will hereinafter be called “Finny” for the purposes of this blog) was the sweetest baby from the start.  Something about him gives me an incredible sense of calm. He is so easy going and happy, which is kind of a big deal, because his brother and his sister are a TON of work these days.

If you can believe it, Finny is going to be 7 months old already tomorrow.  He’s rolling, planking, sitting, chirping, and trying his darnedest to crawl.  I can’t wait to tell you so much more about him. And also, about the rest of my life.  Things are happening, people!

More soon!



Birth Story Jealousy (#NaBloPoMo Day 5)

It’s Day 5 of my NaBloPoMo, which means we’re already 1/6th of the way through November, folks.  I’m having a blast exploring topics like how my husband is a doofus and how working for biglaw is like working for the devil.  Today’s NaBloPoMo theme is Jealousy, that beautiful green-eyed monster.  Ugh, why does she have to be so beautiful?

Confession time: I struggle with birth story jealousy.  Is it just me, or do people classify birth stories based only the the level of perceived bad-assery?  If you had a vaginal birth after 105 hours of drug-free, doctor-free labor, you are a warrior.  And if you had a c-section after 2 hours of laboring on the good stuff, you are a wimp.

Well I think that dichotomy is really fucking stupid, but I still can’t help but feel jealous of women whose birth stories resemble the former rather than the latter.  I guess I want to be regarded as a warrior, too?

My birth story jealousy started before I even gave birth to my first kid.  I had a “we’ll see” mentality about the epidural, and I was most definitely planning to have my son in the hospital.  But, I was surrounded by women who had the most natural of natural births.  Both my mom and my sister — six children between them — birthed at home without epidurals or doctors.  I mean, my sister freaking squat-pushed her first baby out onto her living room floor.  Even if I didn’t want to do that, I felt incredibly inadequate because I wasn’t willing to try.

As much as I yearned to tell an epic, amazonian birth story, I was actually terrified of —  and grossed out by — the idea of childbirth.  Maybe even a little bit hopeful that I would end up with a c-section? Is that awful?

So you can probably guess from the preamble that both of my children were born via c-section.  With K-Man, I developed hypertension and suspected pre-eclampsia at 37 weeks.  I was induced with pitocin, but failed to ever progress past 1 cm after about 20 hours.  So when K-Man started having decelerations, I was taken in for a somewhat emergent c-section.  With Ell-Bell, though I was hoping for a VBAC, I developed that darned hypertension again at 37 weeks.  My OBs didn’t really want to induce me for a VBAC when I was not even a little bit dilated, so back to the OR I went.

In case you were wondering, both of my c-sections were actually great.  I was awake and lucid, I experienced overwhelming love when my children came into the world, and my recovery was A+.  But I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed that I was “just” a c-section momma — like I had copped out somehow.  (Why did I feel like that? I was fricking cut in half, is that not badass?)

It didn’t help that my sister-in-law (SIL) had both of her children at the same time I had both of my children, and that both of her births were, well, warrior status.

A few weeks after after I had K-Man, SIL was overdue with her first born and developed actual eclampsia.  When her doctor prescribed her magnesium sulfate — the supposed death knell for any natural birth plan — her midwife reportedly cried.  (Major eye roll.)  But of course, SIL powered through, labored forever, refused the epidural, and had a vaginal birth.  Of course.

And a few months after I had Ell-Bell, SIL accidentally had her baby at home.  Like, she didn’t make it to the hospital. I guess her cervix was just too ripe (why even is that a thing that I am jealous of?)  But seriously, how gross is it that when I heard my precious niece was born, my first reaction was a jealous “ugh, of course.”  I’m a bad person.


But anyways, I know — I know — it’s time to let this jealousy go.  There is a much bigger picture here, which is that that I am so incredibly lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children.  Who cares whether they came out of my vagina, or my abdomen, or some other woman’s body?

Until next time,