Why Did I Even Get Dressed Today

Have you ever had this thought? If you’re a mom, I’m sure you have. Today was my day to ponder this. Actually, I was more wondering why I even bothered getting my kids dressed today. Here’s the story….

My two year old daughter is a little bit shy and withdrawn in larger social settings. On her own or in small familiar groups she does great but whenever I take her to a public place, with lots of kids (playground, zoo, library, etc.) she pulls into a shell. She stares at the other kids like they are freaky aliens and refuses to leave my side/lap/arms. In an effort to help her break out of this shell I’ve been trying to expose her to more activities. Last week we went to the library’s story time. I loved it, I loved the books, the silly songs, and watching the other kids–she didn’t. Oh no, I will not sit on the rug with the other kids! Oh no, I will not do the hand motions to the songs. Oh no, I will not take a shaker and shake it with the song…okay I will take a shaker but I will NOT put it back when the song is over. I’m sure you can picture how our story time went. All the while my adorable, laid back four month old sat sweetly in the stroller, never making a peep.

I was not deterred, however by last week’s theatrics. And so this morning I got us up and dressed and with books in bag we returned to the library. I had studied my enemy (newness) and prepared a strategy this time. We arrived early, perused the books and got comfortable with the surroundings and the other kids. Jennika was doing great! I was so excited as story time approached.

Then, it happened.

Not two minutes before story time started, my little man filled his pants…man style. I didn’t have time to check out our books, run out to the car with both kids in tow,  and change him. So I made the fatal error of hoping his diaper would hold until story time was over. Thirty minutes, just thirty minutes, please God!?! In we strolled to story time, Jennika still smiling, though a little uncertainly. She didn’t sit on the rug and didn’t do most of the hand motions, but she did listen to the stories and was having fun. Somewhere into the second story Korban started fussing. I tried distractions and movement but he wanted out of that stroller (who wouldn’t when they are sitting in their own poop?). I undid the buckles and scooped him up…then I almost dropped him as my hands felt icky, sticky poop all over his pants.

What to do? I glanced at the clock on the wall, still a good 15 minutes before story time was over. I glanced at the exit door and all the children and moms I’d have to weave through to get out. What to do, what to do. Well, some of you may frown and shake your head and I know I’m not going to get nominated for any Mother of the Year awards after this admission; I put him back in his stroller. For the next several minutes I distracted him any way I could, short of holding him. Korban handled his poopy pants like a champ…for about five minutes and then he was done. There was nothing I could do in that little library room to make him happy. So I apologetically pushed my stroller with screaming, offensive-odor-emitting child and carried my disappointed daughter through the sea of little hands, feet, and big mormon mama purses.

In the car, as I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned all that was poop-covered I wondered, why do I even bother? Why does it have to be so hard? Why can’t we go to the library for an easy relaxing story hour? Had any experienced mother sat me down before kids and told me just how hard, exasperating, and humiliating being a mother would be, if she had really and truly told me all, not sparing any of the gory details, I think I would have signed up sterilization that day. But no wise mother did, because she knew that the joys and the love wash over those moments when we want to pull out all our hair and scream. That those moments when we think we would willingly sign up for chinese water torture in exchange for just a few minutes of a normal life without food on our clothes and sleep-deprived circles under our eyes are really just one bitter drop in the bucket of all the sweet experiences we have with our children.

So though I am frustrated and discouraged, I will not give up. Next week we will go back to the library. And next week I’ll have better studied my new enemy (poop) and will have a strategy for victory (pants fashioned from plastic bags:-) ).

I have to go now…Jennika is standing on Korban’s tummy. 🙂

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Korban: The Birth Story

I know this won’t interest all of you, but some have asked for Korban’s birth story.

My first baby didn’t come quickly. I really wanted to have a natural birth but after thirty hours of intense contractions about every four minutes, regular vomiting, and no sleep, I opted for an epidural. She was born about four hours later. I’ve been told that your second delivery should take about half as long as your first. So I figured I’d be in labor for 16 to 18 hours with Korban…which sounded doable compared to 34 hours. Nevertheless I was encouraged in the birthing class (I took hypnobirthing) to visualize and focus on my ideal birth. So I focused on and prayed for an early birth date, he was due on the 25th and I asked for the 17th, about 8 hours of labor, and that he weigh between seven and seven and a half pounds.
Well, the 17th and the 25th came and went without any signs of labor. I was frustrated and discouraged by the first of June and trying really hard to have a good attitude. On the second of June, my brother called to say their baby would probably be born that day. Their baby was due May 29, four days after my due date. I prayed and cried a lot that day. I asked for a good attitude and joy for my brother and sister-in-law. I asked for my baby to be born. I asked for grace and that I wouldn’t be jealous. Then I cried and just felt sorry for myself. My mom, who was staying with us, awaiting Korban’s arrival, was wonderful. She listened, she encouraged, she took Jennika so I could sleep and she told me it was okay to have a breakdown once in a while.
On the 2nd I had another appointment with my midwife’s assistant. These were the routine weekly check-ups since I was overdue. I knew that after this appointment I would have one more and then face induction…which terrified me. At this appointment my NP recommended that I try taking an herb call Black Cohosh to see if that might move things along. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick it up. All that day I alternated taking that herb as well as a supplement that had red raspberry leaves in it, and evening primrose oil pills, all are supposed to help start labor. That evening we took a long walk down and then I took a warm bath.
At about one in the morning on the 3rd I woke with strong contractions, but this wasn’t new. Every night for the last three I’d have good strong contractions for about an hour and then they would just go away. So when they started on this night I was just too tired to get my hopes up. I didn’t time them, I just tried to sleep. They gradually got stronger and closer together and continued longer than an hour! A couple hours later, when I couldn’t comfortably lie down through a contraction I got up and entertain the possibility that I was in labor for real this time. For the next couple hours I tried to relax, listened to the relaxation cds I had from my class, threw up regularly, and tried to stay hydrated. At about 5:30 Kris woke up and asked, “Are you having labor?” I told him I was, that my contractions were about six minutes apart. His response, “Can I sleep a little bit longer?” I don’t’ think he was very awake! 🙂 I told him I’d wake him when they got closer together. I was thinking I still had a long way to go before anything serious happened.
By 8:00 a.m. my contractions were taking all my concentration and were about three minutes apart. We decided to head to the hospital. As we drove, I prepared myself for the check-in and what we’d learn. When we got to the hospital with Jennika’s birth I was only dilated to a two even though I’d been having contractions for nearly twelve hours. I knew, from my last dr. appointment that I was dilated to a two so I told myself I’d be happy if  I was a three or a four when we checked in. I also calculated how many hours I had been in labor and told myself we’d be doing well if we had a baby by seven that night.
At the hospital they decided to see how far along I was before calling my midwife, who would head right over when I was in active labor. The nurse’s eyes got big when she checked me and she excitedly told me I was a 6! I was so delighted I could hardly believe I was that far along. The nurses quickly called the midwife and started to get ready for the baby. My nurse said I’d be through the transition phase quickly and then be able to start pushing, but I didn’t really believe her. I was thinking I still had at least four more hours. As the nurses checked me in, Kris ran back down to the car to park and bring up our bags. By the time he got back up to our room I was feeling the need to push, actually it really wasn’t a need or anything I could really control, I’d have a contraction and just be pushing. The nurse checked me again and I was fully dilated! She encouraged me to not push until my midwife was there, but I really couldn’t not push. My midwife walked in a couple minutes later and I was relieved to not have to try to fight what my body was doing. I pushed for about five minutes and Korban came out, blue and tiny. Once he took a breath and started crying he colored up normally. He weighed just six pounds, three ounces and measured nineteen inches long.
As I stared at my little boy I could hardly believe he was in my arms already, at 10:10 in the morning, hours before I expected. Twenty minutes later I walked to my recovery room

P.S. Regarding my requests to God, I got one out of three…Korban’s labor was almost exactly eight hours long! 🙂