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Posts Tagged ‘Unmitigated Nuptial Bliss’

Two Septembers ago, in preparation for baby Ezra, we switched rooms with the kids, reclaiming the master bedroom for our own so we could share it with the baby and all the accompanying baby paraphernalia. *Backstory!: We gave Rowan and Keaton the master bedroom, which takes up most of our third floor, in May of 2009. It was awesome because it contained all the small people and their vast amount of toys upstairs, leaving the main floor to Bill and I who require a heck of a lot less brightly colored plastic crap to survive. I cannot tell you how much I liked this set-up, but alas. There was no way to fit the baby in the downstairs room with us so moving back upstairs was really the only choice we had as the association frowns on building outbuildings or putting a nursery on the roof. I did briefly consider getting an old VW van to outfit as a make-shift nursery in the garage but then I thought Child Protective Services might take issue with that. So! We preformed the great room swap once again and it all worked out okay. Since we plan to move in 2014 I thought we would all just stay put but sharing a room with a toddler who is ready to strike out on his own {what? He totally is. He told me so… with a very meaningful screech} was wearing on Bill and I. His schedule is predictable and he sleeps through the night so we weighed that against all the work the room switch would take and we decided that we should just tough it out. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, last week some asshole bee flew into my bonnet and, well, we’re going for it… bunking all three kids together upstairs so we can escape from them thoroughly every night at bedtime MUAHHAHAHAHA.

Okay, Internet, here is the play-by-play. I’ll either be mostly dead or really, really drunk by the end of today…

11:09 After waffling back and forth we decide it’s go time. Bill goes to the liquor store {NECESSARY}, I start work on the kids’ bookshelf.

11:21 Why do my kids have so many goddamn books? Who needs this many books? Reading is so overrated.

11:44 Bookshelf done! Reward: Baily’s in mah coffee.

11:54 SO MANY BARBIES AND STUPID BARBIE SHOES.

11:59 SO MANY AMERICAN GIRLS AND STUPID AMERICAN GIRL SHOES.

12:24: Break for lunch. Pray to enter some sort of time-warp/worm-hole where this is all over.

1:11: Ezra is up from his nap. We can now play the “keep the baby out of ALL the things game”.

1:16: Begin upstairs clean and dismantle.

1:55 Time to go pick Rowan up from dance, SEE YOU SUCKERS!

2:50 Back from dance. Brian is here helping carry beds and dressers up two flights of stairs. Sorry we suck so much Uncle Brian!

3:35 It has been determined that trying to switch around 70% of your house with three small people whining at you at every turn is not going so well.

3:50 Bill departs with boy children to dump them at grandma and grandpa’s.

3:51 I depart with girl child to dump her at a friends for an overnight.

4:12 God it is gloriously quiet in here.

4:14 Now where did that Baily’s go…

4:23 Bill figures out how to wedge the train table under the bunk bed clearing out loft space. We marvel at his genius.

4:26 Oh shit, there’s a lot of crap under there. I quit marveling at his genius.

5:03 Sit down to roast dinner that’s been cooking in the crock pot all day.

5:13 Lose will to do anything other than digest while drinking beer.

5:17 Back at it. Go time.

5:32 Do all the things

5:47 ALL OF THEM.

5:53 Up the stairs

5:54 Down the stairs

5:55 Up the stairs

5:56 Down the stairs

5:57 Up the Stairs

5:58 Down the Stairs

5:59 Place beer at top railing as incentive to keep climbing up and down all these fucking stairs.

6:00 Sweet! Beer! This was a super awesome idea.

6:40 Bill departs to bring boy spawn home.

6:58 Okay. Kids’ bedroom put back together. It’s just like the nursery in Peter Pan only less British and with more Legos.

7:09 Boys home. New bedtime routine attempted.

7:33 Ezra goes down, seemingly smoothly in his new corner of the room.

7:50 Bill reads Keaton a story while Ezra falls good and asleep.

8:09 Successfully sneak Keaton into room and…

8:08 COUCH COUCH COUCH SO MUCH COUCH.

8:09 WAIT! I just had a great idea! I bet we could fit my desk in our room now! Free up loft space!

8:10 Bill cries angry tears of defeat and sorrow.

8:11 Oh, couch. I barely knew ye.

8:12 Bill cleans off the desk, swears a bunch and we carry it down.

8:22 I smile and give him a big fat wet one right on the lips.

8:25 I sit down and finish this post in my baby free room at my very own writing desk.

{Tomorrow? Closet and bathroom swap. Good thing we have leftover Baily’s.}

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I won’t say too much about the election last night, only that it probably wasn’t my smartest move {in our already sleep deprived state} to stay up until 1am for President Obama’s speech. Really I was mostly waiting for the results of the MN marriage amendment to come in but it was still too close to call, the last stats I saw showed that Vote Yes had slightly edged out Vote No and while I was happy with the President’s victory I went to bed with a sinking feeling that bad news would come in the morning.

Ezra woke up at 4am for a feeding and in my haze of Ohmahgahd Isotiiiiiiireed I grabbed my iPad and there on the screen was a little check mark  next to the Vote No.

We won.

My chest swelled with so many gooey emotions, magnified I’m sure by leftover pregnancy hormones, and I know this basically changes nothing but it also changes everything and just…wow. You know that scene in It’s a Wonderful Life when Jimmy Stewart runs through the streets of Bedford Falls proclaiming his love for everyone and everything? I was very close to jumping up and doing that exact thing through the streets of my city which would not have been the smartest move since in my advanced exhaustion I would totally have forgotten to put my boobs away and GOOD LORD nobody wants to see that.

Now I will be quiet about politics for the foreseeable future you’re welcome.

In even BIGGER news, Ezra had his first well visit today and because I just know you want to hear all about it I’ll give you the quick and dirty.

* He now weighs 8lbs, 7 oz. CHUUUUUBY. He was 7lb, 11.6 oz at birth and 7lb 7oz when we left the hospital so he put on 1 whole giant baby pound in 10 days. At least I know the pain of breastfeeding is paying off. {BTW I’m feeling about one thousand percent better today. I was prescribed an antibiotic and magical nipple healing cream so hopefully all this boob drama is behind us.}

* He is 20.25 inches, gaining a quarter of an inch in 12 days. {Or, they just stretched him out better at his check-up, whatever.}

*His head measured 14 inches. FOURTEEN INCHES. When I told his nurse that he only measured 12 in the hospital, she asked if he was pretty coned at birth and I said yes, he was delayed {read: REFUSED TO EXIT} in my pelvis for quite some time. So chances are he had this giant head at birth which didn’t help matters of evacuation and it was significantly smooshed in the process. And if you read that last sentence and DIDN’T wonder why the hell people go through this, something is very wrong with you.

Since pointlessly charting babies is a fun pastime, here are his stats:

Weight: 58.07%

Height: 41.23%

Head: 49.43% {So this isn’t that impressive a number on paper but when you consider what it had to go through to get here, I’m calling it HUGE.}

And that’s about it! He has had a gooey eye since birth so we were given an ointment to make sure it’s not caused by an infection. It’s probably just a clogged tear duct~ Rowan had one her whole first year of life, but we’re gonna try this just in case. He also is showing some signs of having reflux but we’re going to experiment with a few tricks at home before trying any meds out on him.

We’re so incredibly happy to have such a healthy little guy~ hopefully we’ll be able to steer clear of the doc until his next check-up at 2 months. Now I’m going to sit on my couch and eat fancy cheese and salami with my husband to celebrate a job well done, Minnesota. We’re incredibly proud.

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Not too shabby.

Eight years and 2.5 kids later… we may have gotten a few scrapes and bruises along the way and there might have been one or two times that I contemplated murder {but probably only for a few moments, I promise!} but I’m a better person because of the road we’ve taken and a better person because of you. Happy Anniversary.

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I’m fighting off a scratchy throated sickness that has sapped all my energy and that I am NOT allowed to be fully hit with until after Keaton’s birthday on Sunday {DO YOU HEAR ME, UNIVERSE?}, so in the interest of taking a nap instead of boring/irritating the Internet with my stance on sensitive political/social topics, I will just be posting this video, which says it better {and without the use of my extensive swearword vocabulary!} than I ever could.

Come on, World. Quit being a giant asshat. It’s time. {Had to get one in.}

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When I was younger, high-schoolish, I wanted three children, all of them boys. Their names were going to be Tristan, Julian and Aidan, they were going to be fathered by Brad Pitt and we were all going to be incredibly good looking and ridiculously happy, The End. Spoiler alert! That did not happen. Which I’m {mostly} okay with. Brad’s loss, etc. etc.

In college I didn’t really want children {or think about them much}… until all of a sudden, I did. After holding my tiny newborn niece when I was 22, experiencing my first small bout of Baby Fever, we got three cats and a dog to fill my need to mother small snuggly things but after those things just peed and threw up hair everywhere instead of love me back, I defaulted back to my Three Boys plan, thinking it was as good as any, and trust me, after my jaunt through adolescenthood, a girl with my DNA running through her would not be doing the world any favors.

One night five months into our marriage, after a few glasses of wine, I convinced Bill now was as good a time as any *WINKWINK* to start a family. Things had changed since my dad died, life seemed so much shorter. So much more precious. That five year plan we’d automatically recite to well-wishers when they asked the newlyweds when we planned on starting a family, seemed suddenly, way too long for me. Still, the morning after the wine had worn off and we had come to our senses, we gave each other a GOD I HOPE THAT DIDN’T WORK look and decided we better wait awhile to have a baby. We were making pennies, just starting out our careers and barely had a handle on how exactly to be a grown-up.

Naturally, I was thoroughly knocked up.

While I was pregnant with Rowan, even after I found out she was a god-forsaken female child, I was 98% sure I would NEVER be putting my body through that again. Like ever. Then she came and not only did I want 15 more babies almost immediately after, I wanted them all to be girls because she was the sweetest, most perfect thing I had ever seen in my entire life. {For the record, Bill was still okay with just the one, decidedly against 15, but was open to one or two more of the buggers.}  He talked me into waiting at least a year before trying for our second, which seemed to take forever. I was so excited to add to our family, specifically to give Rowan a little sister. I got pregnant almost immediately and was weary but overjoyed when I did not get sick at around five weeks like I had with Rowan. That relief turned to paranoia when weeks six, seven and eight passed with not one pregnancy symptom but everyone assured me it was fine.

But it wasn’t. At around eleven weeks, after not finding a heartbeat, I was granted an ultrasound and the doctor unceremoniously told me that the pregnancy was “not viable”. Naturally I was upset and asked if he could tell what went wrong. He coldly told me that the embryo most-likely never developed past six weeks, I would probably miscarry naturally {without need of a D&C} within a week or two and we could try again in two months if we so desired. He did not say he was sorry. He did not acknowledge that going from 11 weeks pregnant to nothing in a thirty-second span was incredibly difficult. Internet, if I had had pants on I would have stood up and punched him in his cold, unfeeling face parts, but alas, I had no pants and he left the room before I could form much of a coherent thought. Two days later it was over and I was devastated.

After two months we began trying again, and again I got pregnant almost immediately. Only this time I was not overjoyed, I was scared. And resigned to feeling that this would be the same as the last. And it was. Only mercifully it happened much sooner. By seven weeks it was over and though I was prepared for this scenario, I was again devastated. I didn’t know if I had it in me to go through another miscarriage in such quick succession. I quit taking prenatal vitamins, added caffeine and booze back into my diet and even started smoking again on occasion, which I rationalized because I had been doing all those things when I got pregnant with Rowan and Bill barely had to look at me for that one to stick. These were not smart choices but I was in a fairly dark place all around, unhappy with my job, completely perplexed and confused by my inability to stay pregnant, not to mention the fact that my previously even-tempered, smiley little baby had turned into the world’s fiestiest toddler.

So obviously, when we quit trying in earnest, I got pregnant once again and while I was barely hopeful, it did feel different from the start. Then, at five weeks, two days {the exact same time frame it took with Rowan} the puking commenced. And I cried tears of absolute joy and tears of Jesus Christ Not This Shit Again. Then came the news that he was not a sister for Rowan as sisters don’t go full frontal at the tender gestational age of twelve weeks with a penis hanging out for all the world to see. Then he came, a real live baby, one that I had waited and hoped for, for what felt like forever at that point.

You already know how awesome Keaton’s first year of life was so I won’t go into details but this was why we came up with A Plan for number three because OF COURSE my dumb ass wanted to go through all this again. Bill did not really want three kids but as Chief Familial Officer of our family, he deferred to my wishes. This was a very Serious and Binding Plan that had the following parameters, 1. We wait until both kids are in full-time school so we are better equipped to deal with my sickness and/or a screamy baby from hell, 2. we needed to move to a place with more livable space and 3. we needed time to get over the very serious state of PTSD that Keaton’s infancy left us in.

So we were looking at late 2013 to 2014 which we felt was a doable time frame to accomplish the parameters of The Plan. And things went along just fine for over three  years when BAM… it happened. You all remember my goal list, right? The one I devotedly checked in on with you month after month after month until I just sort of…stopped? Surprisingly it wasn’t {just} because I got lazy or bored…no really! In truth I came down with a terrible sickness called Baby Motherfucking Fever and I had it bad. As I sat down to check in on those goals every month, many of them seemed off. Insignificant. But I couldn’t quite figure out why. They just didn’t seem all that important anymore. In my defense even I didn’t understand what was going on. I had been assaulted by adorable babies on other blogs, in real life and every time I opened facebook without feeling ANY need to produce one of my own but then all of a sudden it was all I thought about.

I knew Bill wouldn’t be on board so I kept quiet for a number of months but it was seriously eating away at me. I thought about why now was actually the perfect time for our family to grow and finally decided to approach Bill about it, which I did with an arsenal of lists, a rehearsed {but heartfelt!} speech and everything short of a dramatic enactment and a powerpoint presentation, {which I honestly briefly considered}. {Because I am lame.} I was so nervous to tell him, afraid he’d only see our small house, the cost of another kid, my getting sick and a screamy infant. Of course I completely underestimated him. It’s true he did see those things, but he also saw how much I wanted this, how the timing was pretty good as far as his job was concerned, how with a little rearranging we could find space for another little Gunter and how much love a baby can bring to a house. He was on board.

So it began. Last June I had my IUD removed, but before I did I researched possible ways to help prevent both early miscarriage and hyperemesis. In both cases there was no definitive answer, but since western medicine won’t help you until you’re already afflicted with disease, or pregnancy in this case, I decided to try the eastern route. I saw a herbalist/acupunturist who gave me tons of advice about getting my body ready for pregnancy. She told me that my miscarriages were either caused by chromosomal abnormalities, in which case there was nothing anyone could do or hormonal abnormalities, in which case acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine routes could be highly effective at helping me sustain and be healthy during pregnancy. I drank the kool-aid, so to speak, and began acupuncture treatments, a number of western and eastern supplements and started eating a very healthy diet. I was active during the day and sleeping a healthy 8-9 hours at night. I quit drinking anything but water and blueberry juice, besides a measly 4-6 oz cup of coffee in the morning that I sometimes just skipped in favor of a fertility boosting tea. I was determined to be the valedictorian of getting pregnant this time around, so sure that if I did everything right, everything would work out.

I have no idea why I thought this. If my previous two sustained pregnancies had taught me anything it was that I needed to smoke, drink, eat like shit and sit around all day, but I thought THIS TIME. THIS TIME. It’s going to be perfect. I’M going to be perfect and the universe will have no choice but to reward me with a perfect little baby. I was so, so sure.

And it worked. By mid-September I was ecstatic when the test was positive, the due date being at the tail end of May. It was the late spring baby we so, so wanted, giving me enough time to bounce back before Snoreface’s late July wedding, and giving us a whole glorious summer full of tiny baby in tiny onesies. I was determined to be optimistic, a state I’m not at my most natural in. But after all, it had been almost five years exactly since my miscarriages. They were a weird fluke! A blip. I was taking such good care of myself.

And then, because of course there is always an And Then when your dealing with optimistic idiots, I started cramping at five weeks, and within twenty four hours they had me doubled over in pain. This went on for 4 days, but I had no other symptoms of miscarriage and every site I looked into said cramping is incredibly common at this stage because your uterus is being assaulted by its new tenant, who is trying to make room for its future limbs and/or stereo system. I tried to relax but the cramping didn’t feel normal. So I did the only thing I could do at that point which was wait. And drive myself batty by consulting Dr. Google twice an hour. My clinic won’t see you until you are eight weeks along so I had no choice. Two weeks went by and nothing else happened. No more cramping but also no pregnancy symptoms which in my case meant, no sickness. After I passed the fateful five weeks, two day mark and I wasn’t puking I knew it was over, but hope, that stupid bitch, was always niggling in. Always telling me that maybe this time it was just different. I had worked so hard for it to be different.

It wasn’t. When I finally hit the 7.5 week mark I called the doctor’s office and they brought me in for a blood draw to check my hormone levels. At seven weeks pregnant your hCG level should be between 7, 650 – 229,000 mIU/ml. Mine was at 5.8. Anything below 5.0 is considered not at all in the slightest bit pregnant and since I knew my conception date, I knew what a number that low meant. They couldn’t get me in to confirm with an ultrasound for over a week which I scheduled, but because my body has a terrific sense of timing {and a very dark sense of humor} I started spotting later that afternoon. Only this time the miscarriage took weeks and was intensely painful, something I hadn’t experienced with my previous two. For whatever reason my body did not like going through this for a third time, and ho boy, it let me know it. It was a pretty shitty time, to put it mildly, compounded by the fact that my computer was exploding with pregnancy announcements every time I opened it. Did everyone wait to get pregnant or have their baby just to rub it in my face? I was 99.76 percent sure this was the case for awhile there. {I am of course super happy you’re pregnant, Internet. And I love your baby pictures. It was just hard there for a time, to learn that ALL OF YOU, EVERY SINGLE ONE were with child all at the same time, which was what it felt like.}

I struggle sharing this part of me. For one, I have two beautiful, very healthy children and that’s nothing to shake a stick at. For two, there are so many worse ways to lose a pregnancy, to lose a child. I sort of feel like I’m not really allowed to be sad about this, which I know, STUPID- as I would tell anyone going through early miscarriage that they’re allowed to feel whatever they want. But there it is. It’s an intensely personal experience that I wasn’t ready to share. But sometimes putting yourself out there, if not for more than the thought that You are not alone in this suckiness. I am not alone in this suckiness, and it’s hard and that’s OK.

All this to say… We made a plan. A plan that hasn’t worked out so well, but one I’m not willing to give up on just yet. This has been an incredibly messy few months, an incredibly messy, sad experience that, trust me, has made me question continuing on. But we are still here, still grateful for all that we have and still willing to keep trying. We humans can be pretty dumb like that sometimes. So Operation Gunterling is still on and while I don’t plan on going into explicit details on our journey, I will keep you updated and hopefully {there she is again, that whore} I will get to share some good news with you one day.

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I know I joke a lot about my family but really? This thanksgiving I’m thankful I have a family to joke about. From my wonderful husband who on my whim re-does our whole downstairs and doesn’t even divorce me for it, to my sweet little gunterlings, to my strong, passionate sisters, to the DCFI, to my nieces and nephews, to my mom who cooked a humongous, fabulous meal for all of us crazy birds. We are big and we can be a bit messy but we are a family and we are love.

After a whole, long day of that though…I’m mostly thankful for this…

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

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