I highly recommend you give your doctor the giggles before he cuts you open.

Huck teething 2

So, let’s be honest. The Boss has a big head. Not as in ego, but as in actual circumference of noggin. Big. Huge. Adorable Charlie Brown noggin. get’s it from his dad. Huckleberry’s head is of a much more normal size, like his mama’s.

One of the perils of having a toddler boy is that you may sometimes get your face smashed by said toddler’s big giant noggin. Perhaps you might remember last year when the Boss dislocated the cartilage in my sweet little nose and I was all kinds of swollen and crooked? Well,  he clearly felt there was more to be done to my face because he gave me the headbutt of a life time and cracked the heck out of my mouth. My teeth weren’t loose and I didn’t bleed so I figured that despite the fact that it hurt like Hades we were pretty good to go.

Until about a week later I noticed what felt like a little hard ball in my lip right where my teeth hit. A trip to the dentist (a month later) I was diagnosed with a Hemangioma which I quickly named Chuck. As in Chuck Hemangioma. Get it? Ah well. The doctors thought it was funny. It was declared no big deal…but it needs to be removed and biopsied asap. Call Dr. L and he will take care of it tout de suite! So I did.

And yesterday good old Dr L in his denim scrubs numbed me up and we bid adieu to Chuck. Good riddance, bon voyage and all that! It took less that 20 minutes and was easy breezy lemon squeezy. I knew it would be but I was still in a grand state of panic.

Now I look like Angelina Jolie if Jennifer Aniston had punched her right in the fish lips (which I would totally have been behind btw) last night SUCKED as Huck decided he was not to be outdone by my stitched up and purple swollen lips and went ahead and started teething. With a vengeance. Oh, the pitiful and painful wails coming out of that tiny guy broke my heart!

A round of Motrin for everyone on me! *cheers*

Here’s hoping we sleep tonight.

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The thing about this guy…

The thing about this guy right here:

is that he is pure awesomesauce. Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog tails? Not this guy! He is made of little coos, snuggles and big old truck driver burps and farts that send The Boss into hysterical cries of “Tootie booties! Huckie had a tootie bootie!” followed by fits of laughter.

While The Boss never slept, this little angel has given me at least one 4 hour stretch every night since his birth. *knocks on wood, throws salt over shoulder, spins around to the left 3 times and spits* He does not like to be put down. Ever. Maybe for a little bit in the swing. And okay, at night in his little bed he is okay as long as he’s swaddled. But during the day? If he is awake? Oh you please, please, please PICK ME UP! He cries. And as soon as he is ever so gently against you all crying ceases and he is all smiles and coos and big truck driver farts again.

His favorite person in the world is me. Duh. I’m the milk truck. But besides his favorite food source, his very favorite person in the entire world is The Boss. And I’m pretty sure The Boss feels the same way. Every morning I go into get The Boss and we sing our morning song and after we are done he says “Let’s go see Huckie!” and he wraps his arms around his Snurf (aka Smurfette. Yeah, he got a Smurfette at Build A Bear and takes it everywhere, got a problem with that?) and hustles his little Lightning MacQueen training pantzed bootie into see his baby brother.

And this weekend, Baby Brother responded with his very first on purpose smile. So fitting it should be for The Boss. Just perfect.

I worried so much about how my heart would grow to love another. I worried about how The Boss would feel. I worried about everything. And let me tell you…it was for nothing. Huck was meant to be. He was meant to be ours. He was meant to be with us. He is completion. He is  heaven. He has healed us and brought us closer in ways I couldn’t have ever conceived of.

He is so kick ass I can’t stand it. It is PC to call a 6 week old baby kick ass? Cause he is. I’m in love. Different than my in love-ness with The Boss. But completely, swoony, gonzo in love with Huck. I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

I’m also slightly obsessed with his little feet and long monkey toes. Obsessed.

Part Three, in Which Hooligan Huck makes his appearance and my heart grows three sizes. Grinch style.

I’m not going to lie. I was terrified. Not as terrified as with my C-section for The Boss. I can honestly say that was the most scared I have ever been in my entire life. Pure terror, right there. And it was not misplaced, the Boss was really wedged in there.It was awful, painful, scary and worth it. When they brought The Boss to me (as I was having a monster panic attack and hollering I have to get up!) I said hello to him and he reached out and grabbed my nose.

 

 

BOOM. Motherhood.

 

This time was very different. The spinal I had was different and I could feel my feet which was very disconcerting…and I could smell them cauterizing as they cut. OMG, people. That will stick with me for ages. Once TOTT was in the room I relaxed a bit more and with just a few tugs and pulls Huck was out. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. It seemed an eternity, the took him over to the warmer and I could see them rubbing him with the towel and suctioning his throat with a long tube. There was merconium in the amniotic fluid and they wanted to really clear his lungs.

Finally after three months of waiting he let out a tiny craggy cry. I’m certain it was maybe 90 seconds total, but you know if you’ve had a baby that moment after he/she enters this world and the when they vocally proclaim their arrival seems an age. He was proclaimed “perfect!” by the doctors and wrapeed up burrito style and presented to me.  His eyes were closed and he was swollen but so tiny and that’s when it happened.

Just like that I couldn’t remember a single thing I’d been worried about. I couldn’t fathom not being a mom of two. Two beautiful boys. My heart, it just expanded the way your lungs expand. Meeting Huck was just that….like a big, fresh, breath filling me up with life. My heart swelled and my stomach swooped the way it does as you head up a roller coaster, but there was no let down. Just the up. The up was Huck. Brand new to the world and us and yet it was as if he had always been with us. The only thing missing was The Boss.

Too soon they took Huck off to be weighed and measured and I quickly reminded TOTT that he was to never leave that baby’s side. The nurses took exceptional care of our little guy. I was put back together, Wizard of Oz Scarecrow style and wheeled back to my room for recovery. Once the baby and I were settled I would be moved from L&D to Maternity. Only then would I be given my baby. I felt so much better after this surgery than the last, I couldn’t believe it and so I kept after the nurses to move me faster. And they did.

Just like his brother, Huck latched on like a champ at the first attempt. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had been worried that nursing this time might not go as easily as last, but it seemed as if we were good to go. I’ve always thought God gifted me with easy nursing and a good supply since everything else pregnancy and delivery related was tough.  I can’t give birth the old fashioned way but I do get to nurse them. I love nursing. I love the nuzzling and little grunts. I know that if I formula fed I would still have these things, but there is something in me that is so very grateful that I am able to nurse.

We nursed and dozed off and on and before long Bob-Bob and The Boss came to visit! My stomach was jangling with nerves. How would this be? Would The Boss be happy? Mad? I needn’t have worried. Grandpa held Huck and Max tentatively leaned over, smiling his huge melt-my-heart smile and said “Hi Baby Huck”” and then Huck opened his eyes for the very first time. He not only opened his eyes but he focused on The Boss. It was amazing.

The Boss scrambled up on the green vinyl hospital couch and said “Sometimes Mommy let’s me hold the baby. I have to ask first. I am gentle with the baby. I sing a little baby song.”  lines from the book we had read every night for months about being a big brother. TOTT placed Huck in The Boss’ arms and he smiled and squealed “I’m a Big Brother”

And my heart grew three sizes. Grinch style.

The Guilt and the Lie. (Part two)

{Dr. TOTT.Available for all your birthing needs. As long as all you need is someone to make you laugh.}

There I lay cuddled in bed with my sweet boy, the light of my life. The baby in my belly gives a stretch, whoosh, more fluid. The Boss makes me laugh, whoosh, more fluid. I feel the panic rising in my throat, how to say goodbye to this…this precious just-him-and-me relationship right now. I know I need to get out of his bed and fast, it feels as if a whole swimming pool is escaping me.

And so I tell a lie.

I finish Ratatouille, say 1,2,3 STARS! Max’s stars! and turn off his light waiting until his glow in the dark stars light up and he says “mommy! It’s outer space, do you see the moon?” then I say “I do baby!” and I tell him I love him to the moon and back a billion times. He says “just wike big nut bwown hauh” I hug him so close, so close I try to transfer some of that beautiful Burt’s Bees bubble bath smell to me. I inhale his hair, I kiss those chubby cheeks, which are easily some of the yummiest cheeks in the history of ever. I try not to cry, simultaneously my heart is breaking to leave my sweet only child and thrilling to meet the little one who has been worrying me for so long. I know tonight I will become a mother of two and The Boss will become a Big Brother. A role I know he will be amazing in, but one that will force him to share the attention.

Now, The Boss?Well, his mommy and daddy are talkers so it’s no wonder that he himself, is into a late night chat. His falling asleep monologues are fast and furious until he tires himself out, snuggling close to me and his breathing steadies. Sometimes about space travel, usually about going to ‘guitar store’ and seeing John (Lennon’s) guitar and Paul (McCartney’s) bass. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day, and I know tonight I cannot stay for it. I tell the biggest lie I’ve ever told to someone I never want to lie too.

Mommy will be right back, I just have to potty.

He’s two, almost three and he knows how important getting to the potty is. He clutches at me, begging me to stay and I know I cant let him see how hard this is for me. I’m grateful that it is dark and we are lit only by the stars and his birdie nightlight. He can’t see the look in my eyes as I kiss him again, memorizing his sweet face one more time. He can’t see me wipe away a tear before it falls on his rosy cheek. I tell him to have sweet dreams and I love him and that I will be right back. Right. Back. Those words hurt. I scoot to the end of his big boy bed, whoosh, checking to see if his sheets are wet. Nope, still dry. Amazing.  As I sit to push myself up, whoosh! there it is. The very end of his bed get it. Oh, well…his feet can’t touch that. We will change his sheets in the morning. No reason to upset his routine anymore than usual.

I managed to hobble out of his darkened room, telling him I loved him and ignoring his plaintive cries to come back and snuggle. Went immediately into the bathroom, pausing only to say the sentence that sends men into a panic, second only to I’m pregnant is:

my water broke.

Suddenly we are starring in a 1950’s sitcom. TOTT has his hands on his head saying what do we do? I tell him to call my doctor while I go to the restroom to clean up, a useless act as the water just keeps coming.  I hear him on the phone telling her that my water broke and my contractions are two to three minutes apart, which they are and have been all day. Will we even make it to the hospital in time?

You’d think with three trips to the hospital behind us, we would have our bags all packed but nope! TOTT scrambles to get everything while I toss the last few things in my bag and before we know it we are in the car racing through the dark to the labor and delivery wing that we now know oh so well. It was so exciting. I went into labor with The Boss, but the C-section was already scheduled for the next morning and as quickly as my contractions started my denial started as well. This time, I was getting to do it all. Contractions (sure for two months), water breaking and I was hoping with all the contractions and pressure that surely I was dilating well and would be able to push this baby out the old fashioned way and all my birthing dreams would come true!

When TOTT and I are nervous we sort of, well we sort of become the Zach and Stephanie show. We are both performers at heart and we don’t know how to handle any stress other than to turn on the comedy.  By the time they wheeled me back to L&D and placed me on the scale, the same one I had stood on just three days earlier and weighed one pound less, I had all the nurses cracking up with a whole routine about how I could now scratch ‘go out in public with wet pants’ off the old bucket list.  As a Frequent Flyer I now knew almost all the nurses, most were amazing, two were not. I was scared I was going to get one in particular who actually made me cry three days earlier…thankfully she was a day nurse so I escaped her until well after Huck was born in which case she had to shut her whore mouth because THE BABY WAS HERE AND I WAS NOT IMAGINING THINGS. I hated her, but she was extra kind to me post delivery, maybe she will be nicer to the next mom who going into pre-term labor. Lesson learned, lady? We had a fun night full of contractions and laughs.  A quick check by the doctor announced that I was completely dilated! Nope. Sorry. Not dilated at all. I’d been a ‘fingertip’ for two weeks, which was reassuring before but was now frustrating! The contractions were getting so strong and I was starting to have to stop to breath through them, which was tough because that meant shutting up for a minute or two,and you know how hard it is for me to shut up!

Are you one of those moms who missed their baby an hour after they go to bed? I am. As soon as The Boss is sweetly asleep and I’ve had 45 minutes to myself, all I want is my baby again. Even if my ‘baby’ is almost 40 pounds of non-stop Beatles and Green Day! I miss him. In between contractions TOTT and I talked about The Boss and how he has the book I’m a Big Brother memorized. We reminisced about his birth and talked about how this was going to be good for him. A sibling is a blessing. But still my heart was heavy. I lied to my boy to escape to birth his brother. Something that will rock his world in a good way and force him to change the way he sees the world and his family.

I labored all night,turning down pain meds with stubborn hope that I would push this baby out drug free. The doctors were nervous about it, with The Boss’ C-section I had been cut both horizontally and vertically because he was so tightly wedged in there and this upped the chance of rupture. But they allowed me to give it the old college try. After 8hours I had made absolutely no progress and due to the fact that I had been contracting for so long and there was merconium in the amniotic fluid, plus with the previous C-section that we would go ahead and do another. I knew this was a possibility and honestly all I wanted in the end was a healthy baby and to go home to my beautiful Boss, so the choice was a sad but good one.

I have never been more scared in my life than my C-section with The Boss. I had good reason to be scared, it was a rough c-section that reminded me clearly of the last scene of Braveheart. You know the one, where they rip his guts out? My recovery took ages. I was in so much pain and had so much internal bruising due to his position that the idea of going through that all over again was not something I was looking forward too. But baby was starting to need to come out, and quickly so off they wheeled me into the OR and we prepared to meet Baby2ElectricBooglaoo and make the Boss a Big Brother for real.

 

Part three on Monday!{I swear!}

 

You say good bye and I say hello.

I am terrible at good byes. Just awful. The day we left Los Angeles I practically clung to Sister Dub screaming and wailing.  Getting in that car was the hardest thing I have ever done. I’m still sad about it, and try not to think about that. But this post isn’t about my weeping and wailing at leaving my home.

It’s about the night my beautiful Hooligan Huck was born.

Now, Huck isn’t an actual hooligan. So far he is just as sweet as a hot fudge sundae at the Cheesecake Factory, which by the way is the best hot fudge sundae around. Justsoyouknow. But I like to make the Boss laugh, and when Huck shakes his little fists like the Notre Dame mascot I like to do my very favorite County Clare Irish Lilt whilst telling him silly tales about Hooligan Huck. Oh, that great toddler laugh!

The idea of saying goodbye our time alone, Just The Boss and me, was too much for me to bear. I spoiled him, I cuddled him, I knew that our days just the two of us were dwindling to a close. But how to mourn the loss of that time while thrilling to the addition of a new tiny one was simply mindboggling to me.

The second time I ended up in the hospital I spent a half an hour snuggling him, trying to tell him over and over how much I loved him that I was proud of him and that he was reason we wanted another baby. Reassuring him that no matter how big he got he would always be my baby.  I left him and we raced to the hospital thinking Huck was on his way and praying he would be safe and healthy. But I left part of my heart behind, snuggled in his big boy bed with squishy guitar and big squishy guitar. It was bittersweet. And then Huck stayed put. The Tuesday before Huck was born we had a regular appointment with Dr. H. My contractions were two minutes apart and she quickly sent us off to the hospital. Again. Thankfully TOTT was with me that day, so he and The Boss headed over to the L&D floor where the ‘babies come from’, this was great as The Boss now had a visual of where Mommy was going and where Huck would be arriving.

He loved it. Soon enough TOTT took The Boss home for a nap and I stayed in L&D room 4 watching bad cable tv and contracting away. 37 weeks exactly. It’s a lot less scary at 37 weeks than it is at 30 weeks, I’ll tell you that much! But my heart was heavy. In The Boss’ little life I am the one who puts him down for every nap, every bedtime. I do most of the meals…even on bedrest I would climb from my bed into his to read Llama Llama. There was many a night when I was exhausted and bitter that I wished TOTT could do just some of it. But the truth is that I set it up that way. I made sure I was the one who did everything because I am selfish and I want The Boss all to myself. There I admitted it. I waited so long to have a baby, I wasn’t even sure I could have one and then here is Max (The Boss) and he is so amazing. I am jealous when he wants Ma to give him a bath or Bob Bob to take him out to swing or Daddy to play guitar with him. I love having a break but I want to be the only star in his sky. Selfish of me.

I never would have turned over care of him if I hadn’t been forced. And you know what? It turned out brilliantly. Daddy is fantastic at putting him to bed and they are closer than ever.

I never would have given up nursing him if I hadn’t been forced. And that turned out okay as well. He cuddles me more now that he isn’t boo-ing.

But the thought of saying good bye to his only child-dom loomed over me. How to close the most profound period in my life? How to say goodbye to the two of us versus the world? Even knowing that something beautiful was coming that would make our lives even more spectacular didn’t ease my sadness over the closing of this chapter. Yet at the same time I was thrilled to be pregnant, to have another precious boy, to give The Boss the gift of a sibling. Opposite yet equal emotions waged war in my heart at all times.

On Friday I was having contractions like mad. I even told TOTT these seemed different. I was so used to contracting at this point that only the big monster ones even caught my attention. These were painful and felt as if they were pushing down. That was new…but I didn’t worry. I had been told this was the way it was going to be until I really went into labor, my water breaking or dilating.  So business as usual! Although I did tell Ma the baby was coming today, just to tease her since she was going out of town!

That night The Boss and I snuggled in his bed giggling and going over our day before starting to read our books. Three a night, that’s the routine. Halfway though book one I felt (and heard- I swear to God!) two little pops like rubber bands breaking and then – oh heavens, what was that?

Well. Water. Broken. And boy did it break! So there I am reading, and thinking that I better get out of this bed or The Boss is going to be sleeping in a wet bed and it won’t be his doing.

Decision made, out of my hands yet again.

 

{I’m breaking this up because holy long post Batman!}

On Demand.

The On Demand feature on both of these has been widely employed this past week:

{Tiny peanut!}

He seemed a great deal bigger when he was in here:

Forgive me taking the week off last week. I was, y’know, in the hospital until  Wednesday and all sore and drugged up the rest of the week. Plus I really just wanted to snuggle my boys (my.boys! boys! two boys! mine. ALL MINE!)  and tweet silly Percoset induced tweets, while watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Tell me, you’re watching the crazy right? My summer is made with that show and the new addition of Ice Loves Coco. You guys? I think Ice really does love Coco. *wipes tear*

We are settling in, and I am working on Huck’s birth story today, what I remember of it. I am missing a big chunk of time but it’s okay. He is here safe and sound and that is all that matters.  And THE BOYS? Are getting along famously. The Boss is amazing. Just amazing. We’ve had a few little jealousies, but far and away he wants to hold, kiss and play with his baby brother. I think the picture from their first meeting says it all:

Huck hadn’t opened his eyes yet. Not once. Until The Boss came in the room and said “Hi Baby Huck” really softly and what do you know? Huck opened those baby blues and looked right at The Boss. The entire family pretty much died of cute right then.

As for me, I am sore but happy. Tired but euphoric. But if someone could please tell my right boob that we only had ONE baby it would be greatly appreciated. I’m currently rocking one left boob that is just the right size, and one right boob that looks like Coco’s. And it hurts. A lot. I resemble a badly botched boob job, and in fact I’d take a picture but that would mean getting dressed. Or just posting pics of my junk on the internet for all to see and since I am not a Senator or Congressman I’ll spare you. ( I mean except for the belly shot…belly shots don’t count right?)

I’m sure you can imagine. But there is hope for me, I mean if Ice really does love Coco, and I think he does…TOTT can surely put up with my freakish appearance for a while, non?

And also there is this…

{power to the tiny people}

 

And he is SO worth it. So, so worth it.