100 Things I am Grateful for- Baby Edition- Part 1

by - Sunday, December 14, 2014

Oh boy, since the weeks I have missed included the birth of my child and Thanksgiving, coming back on a grateful foot seems appropriate. I promise this isn't becoming a mommy blog, where all I do is talk about how I am raising my spawn (and how you should do the same).

My vision for the blog now is for it to demand the space and interests I notice lots of people give up when they have kids. Plus, BBG isn't existing for your entertainment or consumption, no offense, so he shouldn't be a constant topic.  But this week, he will come up a lot, because other than my new passion for coin collecting (I kid), I haven't had much else going on. So, here goes:

1. This Lady- She shows up, everything is fine. Like a superhero who is habitually late ;o)
2. Ann Taylor Loft- Finally found a clothes store she likes. This was a huge accomplishment, and I don't want it covered up.
3. Walking around Downtown- The second to last day of my pregnancy, I went to SAM for an interview and then we walked around downtown. It was really stinking cold, so we bought emergency headgear. And dried pasta and flowers.
4. The third floor of Lowell's- Genuinely awesome view and actually kind of quiet on a Thursday afternoon. I recommend the hot chocolate, but not the BLT. It's a tough place to split a sandwich with someone with seafood allergies.
5. Hot chocolate on a cold day- Great feeling. Glad it is that time of year and that Seattle has actual seasons/ cold.

6. Lobster Ravioli- I didn't have many cravings or food weirdness while prego, but once I had something good, I just wanted it again. We took J Cro to Macaroni Grill when she visited in October, because she can't get it on the island, and I wanted this again ever since. God bless my Mother, who just told my husband she wanted to go again so I could get some. And no one feel bad for them, they had yummy food and lots of wine.
7. Counting contractions on restaurant tablecloths- Macaroni Grill is one of those chains where you can write on the table. We counted my contractions and the length between them while we had dinner. Because life is weird.

8. The poor staff at the Lynnwood Build a Bear- We owe them some respect. You know you have given this poor man a hard time if you can see in his eyes that he just wishes the toddlers would come back. But we had so much fun making the baby a present.

9. The power of accessories-The bear we made was like 15-20 bucks, but you can pay extra to have his heart play Katy Perry songs or to dress him up like Spiderman or one of the sisters from Frozen. Even more for both. Some bigwig at Build a Bear is a genius, because the bear is really just a blank canvas for (expensive!) accessories. Maybe everyone else knew this already, but I never caught on I guess.

10.  Tipsy Target Runs- I think we bought folders and a rice cooker. So pretty typical trip to Target.
11. Pumpkin Pancakes- Delicious.
12. Marsha and Marshall Langmen-May have been laughing at them when my water broke. /Life is odd. 
13. Just how ginormous you are by the end-You think it won't be you, but it will be. It is pretty shocking just how far out your stomach can go. Now that he is here, it is somehow also surprising he could have fit, yet he did.
14. Reception music- One of the songs we heard on our way to our wedding reception played on the radio on our way to the hospital. How cool is that?!?

15. Hospital socks- I didn't love everything at the hospital, but their sock game is on point. Warm and sticky enough to keep me upright.

16. This is your Book by Ryan Maconochie- I had trouble finding a baby book with the proper sense of joy (why do baby things always seem to be shooting for serene?), but this book by a graphic artist entertains you and manipulates your lack of current event knowledge, Never have I felt more insecure about my lack of nuclear arms knowledge than filling out my child's baby book. Just as it should be. It was fun enough to be a good passtime in our endless labor.
17. The weird calm before the storm (depending on your labor)- It's not like the movies. So much nothing happened before anything did.
18. Summer Sanders Labor Lunges-Funny. Not effective in moving along labor.

19. Nerf guns-Perfect addition to my labor surprise bags. If nothing else, it kills time to try to find the darts.
20. Watching Jeopardy with our doctor-If you can't debate contestant personalities with the person delivering your baby, you have made the wrong choice (side note: we were at least a shift away from the doctor who would actually deliver my baby).
21. Swollen feet and hands- They just look funny.
22. Learning how to help someone with the shakes- Weird thing about labor: the adrenaline and nerves can make a person literally hake through the whole thing. Hold their arms at their side and put your weight on them. It seems weird, but it feels amazing if you are the shaking person.

23. These two people-Don't they look good in scrubs?
24. Pirates of the Carribean sequels- A reminder that there are longer and more painful things than labor.
25. Lady lady doctors-My mom did both of her labors with male doctors (one was an old friend of her mom's). Having a baby is one of those times that I am so grateful to live in an urban area, because I have choices. I chose a practice of almost all women, and I went through 3 great doctors, all of whom actually listened to me, over the course of the adventure.
26. Making small talk while completely naked laying on a metal table-Life is weird and awkward, but it's also nice to know that even when you fly off the rails of your plans, you mostly just deal and it's fine.
27.Picking fights with the anesthesiologist on the table- We also fought him before we got in there, but in prepping me he accidentally hit me in the face. I don't remember everything from the OR, but I do remember tattling on him to my mom (should I be disturbe that even at that moment my instinct was to mess with someone?) and how impressed and supportive he was after the baby was born. it's nice to get some propers from someone who underestimates your toughness.

28. Not remembering much of anything after they put my baby on my chest-All the cliches are true, but it's hard to be too hyperbolic about having a baby. It really is weirdly one of the worst and best days at the same time. Once BBG got here, I mostly lost track of all the stuff going on in the room (but don't let them trick you, because there are still some horrors to be seen) and just enjoyed skin to skin with my baby.
29. Apple Juice-After 25 hours of labor, I was hungry. Almost hangry. We got back to the room and started talking food, only to find out I had at least 12 more hours of no eating. Grandma Tarell (our day nurse) is the worst, but Shelia (the night nurse) let me have as much apple juice as I wanted. Never has someone loved apple juice more.

30. My Mother-in-Law- I've said before it is tricky business to talk about her without sounding like a suck up, plus she recommends never putting anything in writing, but man I was happy when she got here. And The Boy was even happier. Nothing like having our moms around to make everything feel like it will be fine.
31. The Boy's Remarkable Ability to Sleep Through Everything- It's a miracle, basically. God gave him a powerful tool to block out all noise.
32. Watching the sun rise- You know what you never get to do when you are a normal person? See the sun rise. I don't need to do it all the time, but it was kind of neat to do it that first morning after being up the majority of the night. The whole hospital experience felt like we were in some sort of still, casino-like time warp, so those 5 hours of Seattle sun were really good for the soul.

33. Daytime TV- Gah, we watched so many people find out whether they were the baby's father while sitting around in that hospital. Paternity Court remains my favorite, as it makes no logical sense (why would a judge read out medical test results? Poor Lauren Lake!), but The Boy also really loved Hot Bench, where there are three judges for absolutely no reason. Really makes me regret giving up cable (I kid, no one needs to see Maury and the like on a daily basis).
34. Being able to deliver my baby safely- Getting an unexpected c-section can be a real bummer, if only because the bounce back is way slower, but I am grateful to live in a time where they could figure out there was a problem and react effectively to keep our spawn safe and healthy. Let's face it, we are not dealing with a future NBA player here, so we need to take care of that brain. The Boy's mom mentioned it is amazing they can't just test whether the cord is around the baby's neck, and that does seem surprising, but I am just happy they could tell at  all.
35. Great nurses-Swedish Ballard has a great set up where you have one nurse and they focus only on you, so you really get to know the people helping you. I had one nurse I loved at night and one I was less fond of in the day. Shelia was the bomb; not too alarmist but didn't treat me like a child. Just on point all around.
36.That you can still get flowers across the country- This is going to sound silly, but it never occurred to me that people could still send us things like flowers from so far away. I was pretty resigned to the fact that there wouldn't be a ton of contact with the world while we were in the hospital, and I felt fine about it, because we had our moms (I mean, what else could we need?!). Anyway, it was such a sweet surprise to get flowers from my Aunt Ann and from The Boy's brother Carlo. It made me feel like they were there with us in spirit!
37. Skin to skin-Ballard also takes skin to skin contact very seriously, so for the first hour or two after the birth, BBG just hung out on my chest. Such a nice way to start.
38. Never having to separate from our little parasite-They also leave the baby in your room at all times. The Boy even got scolded for trying to leave the room improperly. We probably got less rest than you would at a hospital with a nursery, but I really loved the set up.

39. Subway!! You don''t know how much you will miss something until it's gone. I was just so happy to reunite with food and especially these horrible sandwiches.
40. My son's deep love for boobs- He gave us a hard time being born, so it feels fair that he was the easiest nurser in the world. He loves to eat, and he loves boobs. When he can't find his friends broob or bloob, he will mistake elbows (elboob), noses (noob), and hands (doesn't tword as well) for his to best friends until the situation is rectified.
 41. How horrible help with breastfeeding is- First of all, what is it about lactation consultants that they want to stuff your baby into your boob through your nipple? Why are they so rough? Why do they hate babies?
42.Janet and Jeneane: Food Posse- When I would tell people both our moms were coming in the beginning to help with the baby, they would say "Oh" like I told them I was buying gold from Glenn Beck or thinking of getting a face tattoo. We weren't at all concerned for ourselves; we like our moms, but we didn't know how they would do. They had a blast, and I am pretty sure they went to Safeway every day after the baby was born. Mmmmm Safeway cookies (and a chance for a break from your high strung children? Just a guess).From the first night, we could tell they were really enjoying their time together, and it just became another layer of sweetness in an already wonderful time.
43. Baby fingers- so cute and little! Though the parasite was born with some serious wolverine nails.
44. Hospital baby hats- I think we stole like 4 of them. They helped our baby's epic conehead.
45.  Not having to pee every 3 minutes- Pregnancy is over!
46. Our moms- Have I mentioned that our moms are the best?
47. BBG's first mail- A blanket from my Nana! It was cute to see his name on the package.
 48. Finally getting to go home- We were really really ready to be in our own space at the end; our nurses had switched over, and it just felt like time.
49. Balloons-When we got home, we saw our moms decorated and got balloons for the baby! So cute! I personally love balloons, because I am not too cool for anything.
50. Fresh Eyes- Every so often, The Boy and I are hanging out, or out at a restaurant, and I suddenly notice just how cute he is, as if I am noticing for the first time. People say one of the pleasures of being a parent is seeing them experience things you take for granted for the first time. One of the really early joys of being a parent is that every time you see your baby, you feel a bit like you are seeing them in a completely new way. Part of this is just how maleable and changing their little faces are. The child spends the majority of the time looking like an anxious, sleeping raisin, yet they can also be the cutest thing ever. 

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