The more you know…

I am taking a break from moving (which, can I just say, IS THE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE EXCEPT THIS NEXT THING I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT) to bring you a very important PSA for everyone who doesn’t watch Downton Abbey and isn’t already freaked out about it.

A year ago today Buddy was six days old, and I was pretty sure I was dying. Or at least, I was pretty certain I wanted to die, because I couldn’t imagine living one more night like I had been feeling. Since the baby was born, I’d been feeling pretty awful. But it was my first pregnancy, so I figured I was supposed to be feeling like that. It was also historically the hardest annual day in our marriage, so I figured that had something to do with it. And the whole newborn baby thing- that’s stressful, right?

Then the nausea started. So much nausea. I literally could not sleep for even five minutes for two nights because of the nausea, and I threw up all night so violently that I introduced a lot of other complications that I won’t write about here because blood and ickniness but, hey, it made me call the doctor. My head felt like it was in a vice. It was horrible.

This morning, a year ago, I got scared by the actually innocuous bloody and ickiness stuff, and called my doctor. She was remarkably blase about the whole hemorrhaging thing, but asked, “Do you have a headache?”

Uh. Yeah.

“Okay, you should probably get the emergency room as soon as possible.”

Oh. OKay then.

Turns out I had undiagnosed postpartum preeclampsia- yes, the same thing that killed Lady Sybil on Downton Abbey (the crowning achievement of my life- being diagnosed with the same disease as Lady Sybil. And my master’s degree.)

(Oh, and what I thought was a pinched nerve in my back from holding the baby weirdly was actually the beginning of seizures of my heart muscle. Oh. Good.)

I’m not trying to be dramatic, really. I was fine after a course of magnesium and rest, and I know enough now to be proactive in any possible future pregnancies (which will most likely demand bedrest in the case of any hypertension because I don’t produce the protein that they usually use to diagnose you.)

But my doctors (and I’m guessing a lot of doctors out there) didn’t mention ANYTHING about this. I was discharged from the hospital and told not to use tampons for six weeks. Okay. Awesome. Nothing about swelling (my EYELIDS were swollen) nausea, headache, all the minor problems that Buddy had that probably were related to the preeclampsia- nothing. Just no sex and no tampons.

Not. Helpful.

So. Pregnant women or women who are thinking about becoming pregnant- STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES. If you’re nauseated, or sick, or HAVE A HEADACHE tell somebody. Or if you’re stupidly discharged with incredibly high blood pressure (for you) MAKE THEM KEEP YOU.

And seriously- swelling. I know labor is hard, but you are not supposed to look like this:

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When you normally look like this:

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AND CALL YOUR DOCTOR.

(Also, no tampons for six weeks.)

(That’s apparently the most important part.)

11 Months

Dear Buddy,

You’re 11 months old today. As in, almost a year. As in, you’ve been here and a part of our family for ALMOST A YEAR. I cannot believe that.

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You, for one, seem to enjoy this whole almost-toddler thing. You aren’t walking quite yet, but you’re, like, thisclose. You can get yourself up on your walkie toy and get all over the house, even turning around, which is relatively new.

You may notice something about the pictures this month. None of them are of the front of your face. BECAUSE YOU DON’T STOP MOVING. And CLIMBING. And OOH WHAT IS OVER THERE THAT I CAN HURT MYSELF ON?

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Today you knocked over your sister’s yogurt bowl (spilling it ALL over the house. Like, under furniture.) Then you upended the table, and started chewing on one of the legs. When I took it away from you (you know, in case you impaled yourself and I’m a good mother like that) you scooted over to the folding chair and climbed up ON it, and tried to stand up. ON A FOLDING CHAIR.

Seriously, Buddy. I know I drank during pregnancy, but only a little. You shouldn’t be that stupid.

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But you’re not stupid, you’re so smart. You’ve figured out so much about the world, and you have so many likes and dislikes. You’re just a boy and those likes all involve MOVING SO FAST AND SO HARD and the dislikes are all safe, soft, quiet things. And peaches. You really hate peaches.

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You love pears and applesauce (as long as it’s not homemade, that made your face break out) and you’re getting better with textures. You love Cheerios, like, so much. And you’re okay with cheese. It’s okay. We’ll work on that. You can drink water from a straw now which, can I just say, PRAISE JESUS. I had to fight so freaking hard to get every single drop of liquid in you that you’ve consumed over the past eleven months and I really thought I’d have to come along on your honeymoon and spoon-feed you soupy oatmeal so you didn’t die of dehydration on your poor new wife.

But now! You can drink on your own! And I can stay home from your honeymoon.

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That’s silly, though. Because I’m not going to let you get married. You’re growing up way too fast, and Grandma Susan is totally right- I miss each and every stage with you, even though I love the new one so much.

I’m not really a baby person. I love you more than life itself, but the whole bottle, diaper, scream, wash, rinse, repeat thing isn’t really my idea of a good time. So I totally thought I’d prove her wrong and be all, “Bye, babyhood! See ya, pregnant suckas! I’ll be over here getting a good night’s sleep!”

But I’m not. I find myself wanting to stop pregnant women and tell them, “No, seriously, it will go so fast. You might not enjoy it. You might think it’s awful. You might wish you were dead.  Your hormones might make you think awful, dark things that you will never, ever speak about, not even to your husband. But when your little boy stops cuddling you during naptime because there are so many, many more things for him to do? You will miss it.”

And no one will ever, ever love you as much as I do. So you’re never getting married. That’s where I was going with that. Anyway.

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Let’s see. What else do you do? Well, today you pooped in the sink during your bath. That was fun for the whole family. Mostly because it required the whole family to clean it up. You love tubby time, though. I’ve put you back in the sink, even though you’re big enough for the bathtub. I can’t get the water deep enough in the bathtub for you to have fun without it being dangerous, but in the sink you can splash and play and have a gay old time for as long as you want.

Which is good, because you’ve also taken to playing with your food and then smearing it in your hair. And my hair. And all over the table. And anything else you can reach. So you get pretty frequent baths.

You have a few tricks all worked out. You do high fives, and can almost clap, and when I say, “How big is Buddy?” you put your hands up. That’s pretty adorable.

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You’re not crazy about a few things. Being held isn’t great for you anymore. If you’re tired, you’ll still cuddle. But I can’t get you to sleep by holding you anymore. Which means I’ve had to start putting you in your crib for naps. You’re doing okay with it, but it’s not great. I think the problem is that you still need a short morning nap, but you refuse to settle down for one. So you’re overtired and cranky by the afternoon and won’t settle down for that one. But as you REFUSE TO SIT STILL, I think we’ll just have to white knuckle this one for the next few weeks until your body catches up with your unbelievably active brain.

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You’re, in short, you, buddy. Just you. Just a little twenty-pound bundle of curious energy that I love more than anything else in the world.

I love you, honey.

Love,

Mommy

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Turns out 2009 me was oddly prescient.

As it happens, I am the worst pregnant woman ever.

Yup. All that anxiety that I thought I was going to have? TIMES A BILLION.

Because in 2009 I was just being snotty. I had no idea the thousands of horrifying outcomes and well, yeah, they say you don’t miscarry in the second trimester but my cousin’s sister’s neighbor totally did. And I’m going to tell you about it. For science. And stuff. Why are you crying?

Now I do. And oh, it is not pleasant to live with me. Last night I informed Buzz that I only had two days left where I could technically miscarry, after that it would a stillbirth. He told me I was crazy and to go sit down and try to be happy.

It’s going to be a long time until July.

(I can have more coffee than I had previously assumed though. That’s a plus.)

(Still no Nyquil. Boo.)