Monday, November 29, 2010

Babies, Drugs and Proposals

 My sister and her husband just had their first baby!  And it's a girl!  Such a big event has made me nostalgic and I can't help but take a little walk (it's a slow one since I have crutches) down memory lane.

Here's a little secret you may not know.  You get loads of attention when you're pregnant.  People ask how you're doing - and they really want to know!  Granted, a number of them are paid medical professionals.  But I really felt like their concern was sincere.  And every time I went in for a "check-up" (or meeting for coffee as I liked to think of it) it was like seeing an old friend.

Except the co-pay part kinda ruined the feeling.  Made me feel like I was the only one who ever picked up the tab.  And also the part where they weighed me.  That made it feel more like Rush Week in a sorority, but I let it go.  I mean, after that dreadful part was over, we just talked and talked and talked...about me!

I had to have a c-section with my first little girl and while that was not ideal, it sure was great to be able to schedule the big moment.  Nobody could have been more prepared or relaxed than me and my husband.  I was freshly showered with just a dab of makeup - didn't want to look like I was trying too hard.  I could just picture the moment we met our baby girl.  They would swaddle her in a beautiful blanket and then lay her gently in my arms while Max* gazed at both of "his girls" with admiration and love.  Perhaps there would even be light applause from my medical friends.

I was wheeled into the OR and would be joined shortly by Max and my mom.  I was happy to have them both with me as I just knew that they would give me all the loving attention I would need during my ordeal. 

As I stared up at the brightly lit ceiling, a calm, musical voice said in my ear, "Hi, Melissa.  I'm Howard and I'll be your anesthesiologist today.  I'll make sure that you are comfortable.  Are you feeling nervous?"

Ooh, goody.  A new friend.  "Hi, Howard!" I said to the voice, "Nice to meet you.  I feel great!  Just really great!  Have you given me something?"

"Yes, Melissa.  I've given you a few things to keep you comfortable and calm."  said my friend Howard.

"That's just great, Howard, because I feel GREAT!  When will they start the surgery?"

"Oh, they've started already, Melissa." Howard said in that always cool and calm voice of his.

"Really?  That's amazing!  I feel amazing!  You're amazing, Howard."  Just from his voice I could tell that he was one of those guys who really listened when a woman talked and someone who actually cared about what you had to say.  I felt so good inside, almost ecstatic.  I just felt so positive about Howard.  "Hey, Howard?"

"Yes, Melissa?"  Really, his voice was amazing, just really lovely.

"Uhm..." Suddenly, I felt nervous.  I mean, I was 9 months pregnant, and here with my husband and mom and about to have a baby... "Oh, what's going on with the...well, you know...the baby situation there on the other side of the curtain?"

"Would you like to ask your husband?"

"Oh!  He's here?  I mean, of course he's here.  I just didn't hear him come in."  I look up and there is Max and my Mom standing together and smiling with tears in their eyes at something on the other side of the curtain.

What was going on?  Where was Howard?  "Howard?"

"I'm right here Melissa.  Feeling okay?" Ooh, goody.  He was still there. 

"Yep.  Still feel great.  I just want you to know that this is really fun.  You know, getting to know you, and all."  I look back up at Max and my Mom and now I see that they are full-on crying.  What's happening?

 "Max!  Mom!" I say, maybe just a bit hysterically.  They look down at me as if realizing for the first time that I'm even there.  The next thing I know, a nurse hands me a crying baby covered in white stuff and what I think may be blood.  She places her on my chest but since I can't move my arms I just look at her.

That sure is a nice baby, I think to myself.

Next thing I know, Max, Mom and the baby are whisked out of the room while the doctor and nurses finish up their work on me (no tummy tuck, unfortunately).  It's just me and Howard behind the blue curtain.

I stare at the brightly lit ceiling again, thinking, rather slowly.  


"Yes, Melissa."

"I just had a baby, Howard."

"I know, Melissa."

"Will you marry me, Howard?"

"No, Melissa."

Fortunately, I never saw Howard again.  However, this experience taught me a few important life lessons that must be shared:

1. No matter how well planned, a birth never goes as planned.  


2. Drugs work really, really well on me.

*names have been changed to protect the identity of my husband who insists to this day that he was not "full-on crying"

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Real Story

Sadly, no one ever called to interview me about the Mom Saves Kids From Mountain Lion story.  I thought this whole blog thing was supposed to make me a star.  Ah, well.  The kids would have ratted me out anyway with the real story.  At least two of them could corroborate what REALLY happened.  (Not that they can even spell corroborate, yet.   But I can - thank you, spell check.)

Plus, I think I went overboard with the whole lean, toned arm thing.

Anyway, so here's the real story.............the dots are for dramatic the actual story lacks any drama.......

I was on the phone with my mom.  When suddenly, my 2 1/2 year old boy continues screaming at the top of his lungs about something or other.  It eventually reaches my ears.  Unfortunately, my one superpower was all used up.  That superpower is what I like to call my "Mommy Patience."  When I use this important power, my voice gets very high but my blood pressure remains low.  I am able to look a tantruming, gravity-fighting, 2 1/2 year old in the eyes, with a comforting smile on my face and calmly explain the consequences of said behavior.  Or, I am able to swiftly REDIRECT the boy to a positive activity so effectively that he actually forgets to yell and scream and be generally upset for at least 2 to 15 minutes.  It's very Supernanny of me.

Sadly, these powers must be fueled by coffee, a good night's sleep, perhaps some mommy time the night before, a date with my husband, a good breakfast, well-behaved children, some form of exercise, general happiness and most importantly, a non PMS time of month.  Oh, and Kryptonite, of course, will destroy these powers.  Or if it's after 3:30 PM.

Unfortunately, this tantrum was occurring at 4:00 PM.

And there might have been some Kryptonite close by.

I had no superpower left.

Instead of channeling Supernanny to help the boy calm down, I channeled my inner 2 1/2 year old and promptly threw a "Missy Fit" as my mom was fond of calling them.  I yelled, "It's time for swim lessons!"  And picked up the tantrum, swim gear and snacks, and stomped down the stairs, walked to the door when.....(dots are good here).....heard and felt a large CRACK!

And that's it.  I broke my foot while walking.  I did say walking to the ER doc, not stomping, because let's face it, does it really matter???  The end result is the same.  Me with crutches, sitting here with my foot up while my kids stare at me and ask me repeatedly when I'm going to get up. 

The best part:  After explaining that we were not going to make it to swim lessons, I brought the kids back in the house.  I realized I could not walk up the stairs so I crawled.  While crawling up the stairs, I look up and there is non-tantruming boy at the top of the stairs watching me.  He looks me in the eye and in his very patient voice says, "You a wittle baby.  Crawl to me wittle baby."

Guess I deserved that.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mom vs. Wild

Mrroww!  I heard the growl.  Out of the corner of my eye I sensed movement quick as lightening.  There were my three babies, ages 6, 4, and 2, just feet from the jaws of the large, prowling mountain lion.  My ferocious maternal instincts kicked in and I sprang into action.  I swept up my children in one strong, yet lean and lightly toned arm and swung them away from the dripping jaws of the angry cat.  I pivoted swiftly and with my right, freshly manicured foot I punished the hard as rock jaw of that beast with a "Hi-yaa!" kick.

The mountain lion whimpered and looked at me as if to say, "Well done, loving and patient mother of three.  Well done."  And with that, he ran off into the woods.  My children hugged me tight telling me (and not for the first time that day), "We love you so much, mommy.  You are our hero."

This was a story for Oprah...or at least the local news.

And that is exactly how I broke the 5th metatarsal of my right foot.  Exactly.  And it is the reason I decided to start a blog (not because everybody I know seems to have one and it seemed like a shiny new toy that I didn't have).  Because I knew I just had to share my amazing story.......

By the way, on an unrelated question, do people fact check blogs?  If so, then you should also know that as a mother of three young children who leave toys and shoes EVERYWHERE, walking in your house can be very, very dangerous.  And could easily lead to injury, like, for example, breaking the 5th metatarsal of your right foot.