Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Thing 2 is born

While I’m doing Thing 1’s birth story, I should do Thing 2’s too. I don’t think I’m going to be able to fill this journal in sequentially, but figure I’ll just write it as I think of it. And while I’m thinking about it, here’s Thing 2.

I think Thing 2 was conceived in Seattle. Hubby went to a conference called Oopsla the first part of November. Counting November 7th to the 24th of July is just short of three months, and seeing as how Thing 1 was early too… I suspect that’s when she was “begun.”
It was a more uncomfortable and maybe even difficult pregnancy. It seemed I was sick a lot, I had a head cold through most of the last trimester. I gained more weight with Thing 2, which helps toward the general discomfort. A lot of that was because the summer when I was pregnant with Thing 1 we were in cool comfortable Alameda, and, frankly, I just didn’t get as big. Also, because I was working from home up until the last month, I’d just go upstairs and take a little nap about the time I figured the people I was working with back in Salt Lake were having lunch. I took my phone with me so I’d always be there to answer when they called, but it was tough to always sound “awake” when they woke me up.
With Thing 2, I already had Thing 1 running around keeping me busy. I could nap when she did, in theory, but the problem with that is I was usually trying to catch up on other things, housework, laundry, email, whatever when she was napping and so I didn’t get the naps my body wanted. And when I was just ready to collapse, I couldn’t just go take a nap because there was this charming little toddler who wanted my attention. So it was a different pregnancy.
Salt Lake was having a warm summer, which was also hard on me. When Thing 1 was born I wanted her to stay in for another couple of weeks. With Thing 2, I wanted her out.

That summer my mom and Aunt Janet co-hosted the family reunion in Park City. The reunion date was something like two weeks before my due date. I thought it would be cooler in Park City but the problem with that was that it wasn’t particularly any cooler, and because it usually is cooler up there the condos we were staying at didn’t have air conditioning. I was pretty hot. There were a couple of afternoons when the family would come back to Salt Lake to do some activity and I would escape back to our house in to take a nap with the air conditioning on full blast.

Thing 2 didn’t wait the full two weeks after the reunion. I think she was born exactly a week after it ended.

I don’t remember having warning contractions this time. And based on how fast Thing 1 came, the doctor wanted to induce me so we could control it and I wouldn’t have this baby on the floor of the grocery store. Turns out Thing 2 was much slower than Thing 1. There could have been several reasons for that but we’re not going to go in that now.

I went into labor about 1:00 a.m. I think we had just gotten to bed an hour or so before and had just dropped off to sleep when I woke up with a contraction. Hubby doesn’t get near enough sleep, neither do I, but I wanted to let him sleep. I couldn’t do anything about my sleep, but I didn’t have to wake him up yet.
I tried to doze between contractions but it usually takes me about fifteen minutes to go back to sleep under the best of circumstances, and waiting for the next labor contraction does certainly NOT qualify as good circumstances. I don’t think I slept very much at all. I think I finally woke Hubby up around 3:00 or something. Turns out I probably could have let him sleep longer, but I was nervous with how fast Thing 1 came that this baby would come fast too. Also, unlike the circumstances with Thing 1’s birth when we just loaded ourselves up in the car and drove to the hospital, this time we had to get Thing 1 somewhere comfortable instead of just waiting for the contractions to get five minutes apart and then sprinting to the hospital. Instead of calling Mom and Dad to sprint down in the middle of the night we took to Thing 1 to North Salt Lake to my brother’s house before continuing on our way to the hospital. Ironically, we drive right past the hospital when beginning the 20 minute drive to North Salt Lake…
My brother was out of town, incidentally, and we called my sister-in-law at 3:30 and told her we were on our way over. She didn’t get much sleep that night either because apparently Thing 1 was sad to be dumped off at someone else’s house. SIL very kindly sat up and rocked and cuddled her until morning. They have a big recliner lounge chair in their front room for just such an occasion.

Another difference was this time Hubby wasn’t pushing his fist into the small of my back to control the labor pains. He had a lot farther to drive, besides I’d been in labor for several hours already and he hadn’t been doing it then.
On our way back to the hospital we had to cross the route for the 24th of July Marathon. We were diverted around our path several times to avoid the marathoners. A bit of a challenge for a laboring woman, I wish we could have just told the police at the barrier that I was in labor and we just REALLY needed to get across that street, but instead we were routed down and around to get back to the hospital eight or so blocks away from our house.

I figured I had already proven myself with Thing 1 that I could have a baby without drugs, and agreed upon checking in that I would please like an epidural please. It made the labor completely different. It was quite pleasant, actually. We were in a nice room, with a rather comfy pull out single bed for Hubby. With Thing 1, Hubby didn’t have any time to sleep. With Thing 2, he pulled out the chair and took a nap.
I could have too because it didn’t hurt, but I was too busy trying to pick out a name. The nice nurses let me borrow the baby name books from the nurses station and I was furiously perusing those books while time passed and we waited for my body to do the work.
Which it didn’t. Time passed and I didn’t dialate. Finally they put me on Pitossin to hurry things along. She just wasn’t in the hurry that Thing 1 was. Thing 1 was born less than ten hours after the first contraction. Thing 2 was still a quick labor by usual standards, but if I count the first contraction at 1:00 a.m. or so, she was a fourteen and a half hour labor. The real beauty here is since I had the epidural, those extra four plus hours weren’t so bad. And as far as epidurals go, it seemed really nice to me. I could still wiggle my feet, and vaguely feel some things if I remember correctly, but the action area was numbed up.

We called my folks to come down and pick up Thing 1 while we were still in the labor room. My sister-in-law had her four girls to take care of and couldn’t really watch Thing 1 full time for the next couple of days while we welcomed home the new baby, besides Grandma and Papa wanted to dote on her a little.
Hubby called into work, I remember, to tell them where we were… the residents and nurses came and went, it was just a more relaxed, casual atmosphere. Not that I would have done Thing 1’s any differently, but the struggle without the epidural just changed the whole experience in different ways than I would have thought before.

In fact it’s almost more of a blur for me, because it was longer and it was less intense. I remember wishing I could sleep because I hadn’t slept the night before. I was jealous of Hubby who did get a couple of naps in.

Finally it was time to push. They asked me if I wanted a mirror rolled in so I could watch her coming out of me. My sister-in-law had told me that she had watched her fourth daughter being born and it was cool, so I decided to too.

It was cool, though I couldn’t believe it was actually her. The top of her head looked all wrinkly and gray. I thought it must have had the umbilical cord wrapped over it like lattice on a pie but no, that was the top of her head after being squished together. It is different pushing when you’re not feeling pain, just pressure… but I watched Thing 2 being pushed out into the world, and I think this time I was more moved because I wasn’t hurting so much. I could enjoy it more.

Thing 2 was born at 3:30 in the afternoon on Thursdsay July 24th. She wasn’t quite in the pink, and was a little cold. She was healthy and everything but they wanted to warm her up a little and the lights in the birthing room didn’t seem to be doing the trick. So they didn’t just hand her over to us and leave like they did with Thing 1, they were a little more concerned and hovered around more.
But we did certainly get some time to admire her and count her tiny fingers and toes.

Grandma and Papa came to the hospital to get the car seat for Thing 1 from our car, and arrived about ten minutes before Thing 2 was born. The nurses asked them if they wanted to come in for the birth, and I had said it would be okay, but my mother doesn't think that's appropriate - in fact, this was the closest she'd ever been to an actual birth, not including the three in which she was directly involved.  She doesn't believe in bringing germs to the newborn, it's bad form to barge into the hospital.  But this was the last grandbaby she'd ever have, so she was willing to make an exception, besides they were already in the area.   But that did not include marching into the actual birth.  So right after the baby was born, after Hubby and I had held her a little and the main part of the birth was over, we told them to come in.

I think they cried too. I know Mom did, I’m not sure about Dad but I think he’s kind of a softie, and it is so amazing to be in the same room with a minutes old baby… before they even wipe all the cream cheese off of her.

The second time around everything seemed a lot easier. I surprised myself with how much I have forgotten, and of course every baby is different, but in general I just wasn’t stressing things like I did with Thing 1. I left the hospital as soon as I could after they cleared me to go because I’d learned my lesson that you’re much more comfortable and likely to get some real rest at home.
We did leave the hospital without a name again, and agreed to call it in after the weekend.
As with Thing 1, we kind of had two front runners for Thing 2's name. Zoe and Abigail.
The thing is, with Thing 1 I liked Madelyn but wasn’t so fond of Maddy.  I liked the full name, not the shortening of it. With Thing 2 I was considering Abigail but would probably call her Abbie because I wasn’t so fond of Abigail. It’s too much an old lady name.
Zoe name seemed like an unusual name to a lot of people. Quite a few people just stared at me blankly when I told them it was one of our top names, my dad said “isn’t that what they call a kind of fish?” Turns out I think he was thinking of “Roe” which is a kind of fish eggs.

I don’t think Abbie lasted very long, though. Zoe had been one of the star names from fairly early on, I just seem to want to take my time and see the baby before deciding. My arguments with Zoe were mostly in spelling. I would probably spell it Zoey, since to me you spell Joe J-o-e and hoe is h-o-e… so wouldn’t Zoe rhyme with Joe? Hubby insisted no, Zoe is the proper way to spell it. I might have won an argument for an umlat or something and going with a Zoë, but the idea of having to figure out how to get that little double dot to show up above the e every time I typed it seemed like a pain, as did going back with a marker to fill it in every time. So Z-o-e she is.

Thing 1's name shows up on babycenter’s popularity list as #31 the year she was born.  Thing 2's shows up as #31 the year she was born. 
At least we are consistent. We don’t want an overused name, we want the thirtyfirst most popular name.

Thing 1's name was, by the way, up to number 22 in 2002 and up to 14 by 2003. In 2004 Grace was 16 and Zoe was 33. Last year Grace was 17 and Zoe was 32. So they seem to have found their popularity niches for a while. By the way, in 2003 while Madelyn spelled that way wasn’t on the top 100 list at all, numbers 10 and 11 were Abigail and Madeline.

So.  After we brought Thing 2 home, Thing 1 was hangin' with the grandparents, and we had the house to ourselves.  Me and the baby were doing some power napping, and Hubby is left at loose ends. 
He decided to clean the garage because he was kind of sitting around without much to do – kind of the daddy’s lot in life, the mommy and baby sleep and daddy putters around – anyway he was out in the garage cleaning up and he decided to put the old 15 inch wheels to the Passat into the eves of the garage. I think he climbed most of the way up the ladder, lugging this wheel along behind him, and then he kind of lobbed a wheel up – not noticing that the plywood ceiling of the garage didn’t actually completely cover the area over where the car was parked…. So he hefts the wheel up onto the garage attic, and this 30 or so pound wheel bounced out of the box, and down between the rafters, and down onto the Passat below, hitting it on the trunk. I think it was damaged badly enough that we couldn’t get the trunk open.
Boy was he sheepish when he came in to tell me about it.
Poor guy. I suspect he’d rather I didn’t remember that.

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