I had the baby.
And thank goodness, because I was starting to worry I'd be like the woman I saw on TLC last winter who'd technically been pregnant for 60 some years.
She never delivered her baby and it somehow turned to stone inside of her.
Only in India.
Those last few weeks are brutal.
Things were swollen on me that I didn't even know COULD swell. Feet, fingers, eyelashes.
I felt like the Elephant Woman. Cloaked and hiding in a passageway.
Waiting to lash out and eat the brains of the next person who told me I looked like I was going to pop.
The idea of walking, (and I use that term loosely),
from the living room to the kitchen about made me cry.
The girls had taken to rolling in the ottoman from the living room and positioning it by the pantry to climb up so they could fetch their own snacks rather than even ask me.
They saw the look in my eyes.
They knew it meant not to mention Cheese-Its.
In the end, high blood pressure and low blood sugar won out, and
after a trip to Costco for a couple of rotisseries about made me pass out into the Turbo Tax display, it was off to the hospital for induction a week earlier than expected.
I thought I'd go in and they'd just monitor me for a bit, but an hour later and we were placing calls to try to figure out what to do with the girls and what on earth they'd eat for dinner now that Daddy was in charge of it.
It's funny the things you think in an unexpected moment like that.
I remember that I was just worried I hadn't packed my under-eye conceiler.
Justin was worried he hadn't finished the dusting.
The delivery was not my favorite of the four. It was long and dramatic with lots of nurses whispering things.
I have decided to name it "Horrors of the Epidural Space" because the epidural took two separate anesthesiologists and 8 different times of being punctured in the spinal column.
For a good time call: 1-800-Induction.
My back looks like I gave a woodpecker a piggy back.
I almost gave up and just told them to forget the epidural.
For anyone who knows my feeling on epidurals, this is a big deal.
I also did not mention the hitting of a nerve, sending my leg kicking out towards a panicked Justin and a feeling that I'd been shot through the body with a lightening bolt.
All this as the very MALE anesthesiologist asked me to hold as still as possible while he muttered things under his overpaid breath.
I'd like to see HIM try to hold still as a 9 inch needle is shoved in and out of his spine during strong contractions like a jackhammer.
I mean. I'd REALLY like to see it.
Like - He'd better sleep with one eye open after putting me through that.
After commenting, "Hmmmm. That's interesting"
as I described the pain that had shot through my leg.
BUT, after 8 hours of labor and a near cesarean,
Paige Allison Green made her debut into this world at 5:00pm on Friday January 27th.
Dark, beautiful hair. Big, puffy lips. Scowl just like her Daddy.
She is, of course, perfect in every way.
I had my doubts about this, however, the first two nights in the hospital, when she cried and farted and pooped every 6 minutes.
The nurses kept bringing her back from the nursery looking frazzled.
That really scared me. These are people who are trained to deal with all sorts of mayhem and Paige was wearing them out.
I was feeling pretty scared of what I'd gotten myself into.
I couldn't even sleep.
By the end of my hospital stay, I had had approximately 11 hours of sleep over a span of 5 days and even that was broken sleep.
I'd just laid there blinking at the ceiling for DAYS.
The nurse was rattling off a list of do's and don'ts with a new baby and I just stared right through her imagining her head to be a giant Starbucks symbol.
Yada, yada, yada, Lady.
This is number four.
The first days home are surreal.
You're getting in a flow.
Your p.j.s become a uniform.
Your kids are asking what's wrong with your hair and why you're walking "that way."
At least mine are.
Tessa's favorite thing is to tell me daily, "It's OK, Mama. It takes awhile for your tummy to go away."
Post-Baby Weight Loss Guru.
She is SO very knowledgeable.
All I can say is I am so thankful for my mom.
How do people even DO it without their moms?
She washed dishes and made dinner and answered the calls from the bathroom of, "I'M DONE!!!!" so that I didn't have to.
She massaged my feet and my neck and was just THERE.
Justin's doing well, too.
He's a great dad.
At least when he's awake.
He doesn't do so well with the middle of the night stuff, however.
The first night, as I finished feeding Paige and was re-swaddling her to put her back down, for a brief moment he opened his eyes and then he actually said the sentence,
"Babe, Can I get you anyZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ."
LOUD snore fully inserted into the sentence in the place of the word "thing" - which I had to just IMAGINE he was trying to say.
Had he REALLY fallen back asleep mid sentence?
I was feeling the love.
Feeling the support.
I had to laugh.
Out loud, actually.
Then, I had just laid her down and was about to turn off the light and his snores got louder. I nudged him to turn over, and he did. But he kept turning. Right out of the bed. He rolled to a stand like a martial arts expert and then just started walking.
Around the end of the bed. Around to my side. He started to reach for the baby. The one I'd just spent 2 hours getting down.
I said, "What are you doing?"
A look of recognition came over him.
A look of, "Oh. I'm not supposed to be here."
and he said, "I'm just coming to check on her." and then he walked back to bed.
She's been doing great, though. The worries of the first two days have proven unfounded.
Waking only once or twice a night to eat and then going back to sleep.
She's a champion.
I'm so grateful.
I'm too old for the shenanigans Chloe put me through all over again.
I was really worried about that one.
I guess all the "Please, please, please, PLEASE GOD - Don't do that to me again" prayers fell on listening ears.
I just CAN'T be driving around Santa Rosa in the middle of the night trying to get a baby to sleep.
A person can only watch so many 2am infomercials.
I'm slowly getting back in the flow.
I have now blow dried my hair for the last several days straight.
My legs are shaved.
I have at least 4 items of makeup on and 2 items of jewelry at all times.
It may TAKE me until 3:00pm to do all of that, and you probably shouldn't look too closely at my eyebrows, but it's getting done.
Next stop: Pants that button and zip.
I really can't believe we have ANOTHER one.
What on earth is THIS one going to be like?
One can only dare to imagine.
I look at her peaceful sleeping face and think,
"I'm not fooled by you. Tessa was peaceful, too."