Monday, September 14, 2009

Childbirth (PG-13)

You know how they're sure Christ wasn't Irish?
They couldn't find three wise men or a virgin in all of Ireland.

The husband is Irish. Come on, he's IRISH. They are good at many things, but they are experts at few.

1. Drinking
2. Fighting
3. Storytelling
4. Playing musical instruments
5. Being policemen

Ah.. so the littlest one is 3 now and the time is upon us that my husband is dying for more kids. We have 2 already. I'm down for having as many kids as he wants, as I want lots, too. I don't mind poopy diapers, teething, drooling, fevers, diaper rash, sleepless nights, mass confusion, delirium, etc.

Kids are worth every ounce of pain in the butt they can be. I have realized since having kids I would make a fantastic Marine. I can multi-task on no sleep, no food, and with someone screaming in my ear all the time.

I remember with the last little one I happened to go into labor during an evening when multiple tornadoes had spawned. Apparently my children insist on a grand entrance. I knew I was in early labor, so what, like any woman I decided to go shoe shopping at Marshall's. Turned out to be not such a great idea. I got to the store (through the tornado and torrential downpour) only to end up LOCKED inside the store. No joke. Their company policy is to lock all shoppers inside and move them to the back of the store away from glass during tornado sirens.

We were all herded to the back like cattle and at that moment I sort of raised my hand and said, "Um... excuse me. How long are we going to be locked in here?". The store manager who was NOT thrilled at this question just rolled her eyes at me.

It was then that I busted out the cell phone and as we all stood there in the dark I said, "Hi sweetie. Where are you? Oh you're at the jail with a warrant arrest? Oh.. uh.. ok..". The hubs knew something wasn't right so I broke the silence with.."Well, there is no reason to panic but I am in labor so I just wanted to let you know".

The store manager happily escorted me to the front of the store and led me out like an unwanted customer! I was never so happy. Can you imagine? Locked inside Marshall's in the dark in LABOR??

Anyway, of course when I broke the news to the hubs he drove like a madman through the next tornado to try to get home to me. Thank God for the police car that day.

He met me at home where I had the genius idea of trying to shower- in the dark- with NO electricity- in late JULY. Yeah, gotta love the pregnant brain. Then I rushed around trying to find my hospital bag in the dark. It was like 8,000 degrees in our house because apparently during the previous several-tornado-hours I was out shoe shopping, the power went out. Lovely. Just what I needed.

So we rushed to the hospital and went through the whole hours-long thing where they make sure you aren't some paranoid first time mother with gas, and then finally got admitted to a room.

For some reason I seem to have a life filled with Twin Peaks experiences. I got into the room and no joke the air conditioning was out. I thought it was strange and when I asked if it was just me noticing it was AFRICA hot in there, the nurse told me that all the power was out and that the hospital was running on generators. Yeah.. that's exactly what you want to hear while you're in labor in July.

So anyway... I was about ten days early and was really wanting to get things going so I tried to be a good student and put my Bradley Method classes to work. Ok, scroll up and remember I said my husband is IRISH. Bradley is a method of husband-coached childbirth. Seriously people, put down your drinks because you are going to either choke or pee in your pants when you read this.

As I began to writhe in pain, wishing for death, my husband decided to be a 'good coach'. He was taught in Bradley class that he should think of some really special, fond thoughts that could help me find a place of peace and relaxation. The teacher had suggested talking about a second honeymoon, visualizing the place, the romance, the relaxation, etc.

So what does the hubs decide to do? He leans over all sweet and snuggles up to my ear. I then hear the following words whispered into my ear: "Pretend you're riding your bike. It's a Huffy. You're doing a wheelie."..... I couldn't tell you what he said beyond that because I was laughing so hard the nurse outside in the hall thought I was on hard drugs! God love the man. He is just hilarious.

Labor was moving along and then I got hung up around 4 centimeters. The hubs was terrified of falling asleep during the lulls in my agony so he pressed on, delirious. He kept trying to tell me how proud he was of me and how wonderful it was going to be to meet our baby. So, like any good wife, what did I do?

I asked him to get into the jacuzzi tub with me in our room. And I proceeded to make the water 8,000 degrees. I was in labor and from all the sweating and agonizing somehow I became chilly and thought a hot bath sounded soo good. Here I am weighing in at a huge amount I shall not disclose because I am far too vain, and I look at him and ask, "Well, aren't you going to get in and rub my back?".

I could tell he wanted to die, right there in the hospital bathroom, right at that very moment. There was no way in hell he wanted to get any closer as he was already dying from the steam and the lack of air conditioning in the whole hospital. (Of course I had no recollection of any of this until watching the video a year later)

But since he is an amazingly awesome husband, he sunk into the tub trying to hide the fact that he felt like he was being burned at the stake. The nurse came in a short time later (notice how they don't really care if you are concerned with modesty of any sort?)

She must have noticed my husband falling unconscious or something because it was then she suggested we should get out of the tub. She said, "I think you've scalded your baby long enough..... and your husband, too". I know my husband wanted to give her a high-five, but he acted like everything was just great.

We meandered back into the room where I put on my ugly mu-mu gown and began bouncing on the exercise ball. I can only imagine how terribly unattractive this must have been to my husband. I looked heinous but he stayed by my side and made sure I didn't fall off and give myself a concussion. He was great. The contractions were NOT.

They decided after many hours and unsuccessful attempts to get me really moving to start pumping me full of pitocin. I would rather have my fingernails removed without anesthetic than go through that ever again.

My poor husband saw me do everything short of spinning my head all the way around and spit pea soup. It - was - NOT - pretty.

I wanted him to feel proud being the coach, the hubs, the tough cop who could handle anything. That's what the Bradley Method is all about. The hubs taking charge, the hubs running the show. My hubs... he wanted to run... OUT THE DOOR!

I was all screaming and crying and then thirty seconds later I would be fine and nearly dozing off to sleep.. only to be hit by another contraction and all of the savagery would start again. I probably reminded him of the worst bi-polar citizen he had ever dealt with while at work. It's the only way I know how to put it from his perspective. Sheesh.

He was getting used to dealing with my kicking, pushing, throwing, cussing, etc. (oh did I mention he had short change the day or two before labor? yeah worked midnights then switched to afternoons and wham I went into labor) The poor guy was barely conscious and trying to hold on..

but the end was nowhere in sight. Every time he would get comfortable I would start yelling about how I needed him to help me move my HUGE FAT BUTT into some other unattractive position so I could yell about my misery some more. And he did it all with kindness and compassion.

Soon a team of nurses made their way into my room. Seriously, I thought something must have been wrong. "Did I yell that loud?", I thought to myself. "Are they kicking me out?". Sheesh.

Nope, turns out it was a group of doctors and students who wanted to use my nether-lands as a practice arena. I was so mentally and physically exhausted I just said, "ok". I figured there I was sprawled out like a bad science experiment - why not?

The first gal "checked me", then the next, then the third.. by that point I was irritated and my husband was in complete shock. He had never witnessed anyone put their ENTIRE FOREARM into any part of my body and when we got to person number 3 he thought he was hallucinating.

I was irritated and I am not the nicest person when in that state so I made the following inappropriate, smart-alek remark, "Well gee folks, while we're at it why don't we set up a number dispenser in the waiting room and we can just let everybody have a turn".

Uh... yeah doctors don't share the same sense of humor as me. Didn't go over so well. But it did get them out of my body parts and out of my room.

Next thing you know I passed transition and was unconscious for a couple of peaceful minutes.. who knows, maybe I passed out from the pain. Anyway, it felt like sleep and I woke up to the doc coming in telling me to push. So I pushed and he asked if I wanted a break.. told him "nope" and pushed two more times. He told me to catch the baby.

I grabbed my baby, terrified he would slither out of my hands, and brought him up to my chest. I was expecting him to be ugly as sin like some kind of slime-covered alien, but he wasn't.

He was PERFECT. He was BEAUTIFUL.. and he looked exactly like the hubs. He had a little swoop of brown hair perfectly swirled into a quiff on the top of his head. All the nurses busted out laughing at how he was born looking like he had just come from the barbershop.

The hubs stood there in awe, crying like a school girl. I asked for a kiss. We hugged, we laughed, we cried. It was one of the best days of my life.

11 "Don't-Tell-the-Wife" Secrets All Men Keep

To all my gals out there.. I happened to find this hilarious and insightful. Hoping it will bring some humor to your day. Enjoy!

By Ty Wenger

I was in the ninth grade when I learned a vital lesson about love. My girlfriend at the time, Amy, was stunningly cute, frighteningly smart and armed with a seemingly endless supply of form-fitting angora sweaters. And me? Let's just say I was an adolescent Chris Robinson to her budding Kate Hudson -- and well aware of my good fortune.
Then one day, as we stood in line for a movie at the mall, Simone Shaw, junior high prom queen, sauntered by. Suddenly Amy turned to me. "Were you looking at her?" she asked. "Do you think she's pretty?"

My mind reeled. Of course I was looking at her! Of course she was pretty! My God, she was Simone Shaw! I paused for a second, then decided to play it straight.
"Well, yeah," I chortled.

Five days later our breakup hit the tabloids (a.k.a. the lunchroom).
There comes a time in every man's life when he discovers the value of hiding the grosser parts of his nature. He starts reciting the sweet nothings you long to hear: "No, honey, I play golf for the exercise." "No, honey, I think you're a great driver." "No, honey, I wasn't looking at that coed washing the car in the rain."

We're not lying, exactly. We're just making things...easier. But Glenn Good, Ph.D., a relationship counselor, disagrees, and maybe he has a point. "These white lies are pretty innocent, but they can turn confusing," he says. "Many women think, If he's lying about himself, is he also lying about something else? Is he having an affair? To establish trust you have to tell the truth about the innocuous stuff."

And so, in the interest of uniting the sexes, we've scoured the country for guys willing to share the private truths they wouldn't normally confess. Some are a bit crass. Some you've always suspected. Some are surprisingly sweet. (Guys don't like to reveal the mushy stuff, either.) But read on, and you may discover that the truth about men isn't all that ugly.

Secret #1: Yes, we fall in lust 10 times a day -- but it doesn't mean we want to leave you
If the oldest question in history is "What's for dinner?" the second oldest is "Were you looking at her?" The answer: Yes -- yes, we were. If you're sure your man doesn't look, it only means he possesses acute peripheral vision.

"When a woman walks by, even if I'm with my girlfriend, my vision picks it up," says Doug LaFlamme, 28, of Laguna Hills, California. "I fight the urge to look, but I just have to. I'm really in trouble if the woman walking by has a low-cut top on."
Granted, we men are well aware that our sizing up the produce doesn't sit well with you, given that we've already gone through the checkout line together. But our passing glances pose no threat.

"It's not that I want to make a move on her," says LaFlamme. "Looking at other women is like a radar that just won't turn off."

Secret #2: We actually do play golf to get away from you
More than 21 million American men play at least one round of golf a year; of those, an astounding 75 percent regularly shoot worse than 90 strokes a round. In other words, they stink. The point is this: "Going golfing" is not really about golf. It's about you, the house, the kids -- and the absence thereof.

"I certainly don't play because I find it relaxing and enjoyable," admits Roland Buckingham, 32, of Lewes, Delaware, whose usual golf score of 105 is a far-from-soothing figure. "As a matter of fact, sometimes by the fourth hole I wish I were back at the house with the kids screaming. But any time I leave the house and don't invite my wife or kids -- whether it's for golf or bowling or picking up roadkill -- I'm just getting away."

Secret #3: We're unnerved by the notion of commitment, even after we've made one to you
This is a dicey one, so first things first: We love you to death. We think you're fantastic. Most of the time we're absolutely thrilled that we've made a lifelong vow of fidelity to you in front of our families, our friends and an expensive videographer.

But most of us didn't spend our formative years thinking, "Gosh, I just can't wait to settle down with a nice girl so we can grow old together." Instead we were obsessed with how many women who resembled Britney Spears we could have sex with before we turned 30. Generally it takes us a few years (or decades) to fully perish that thought.

Secret #4: Earning money makes us feel important
In more than 7.4 million U.S. marriages, the wife earns more than the husband -- almost double the number in 1981. This of course is a terrific development for women in the workplace and warmly embraced by all American men, right? Right?

Yeah, well, that's what we tell you. But we're shallow, competitive egomaniacs. You don't think it gets under our skin if our woman's bringing home more bacon than we are -- and frying it up in a pan?

"My wife and I are both reporters at the same newspaper," says Jeffrey Newton, 33, of Fayetteville, South Carolina. "Five years into our marriage I still check her pay stub to see how much more an hour I make than she does. And because she works harder, she keeps closing the gap."

Secret #5: Though we often protest, we actually enjoy fixing things around the house
I risk being shunned at the local bar if this magazine finds its way there, because few charades are as beloved by guys as this one. To hear us talk, the Bataan Death March beats grouting that bathroom shower. And, as 30-year-old Ed Powers of Chicago admits, it's a shameless lie. "In truth, it's rewarding to tinker with and fix something that, without us, would remain broken forever," he says. Plus we get to use tools.

"The reason we don't share this information," Powers adds, "is that most women don't differentiate between taking out the trash and fixing that broken hinge; to them, both are tasks we need to get done over the weekend, preferably during the Bears game. But we want the use-your-hands, think-about-the-steps-in-the-process, home-repair opportunity, not the repetitive, no-possibility-of-a-compliment, mind-dulling, purely physical task." There. Secret's out.

Secret #6: We like it when you mother us, but we're terrified that you'll become your mother
With apologies to Sigmund Freud, Gloria Steinem -- and my mother-in-law.

Secret #7: Every year we love you more
Sure, we look like adults. We own a few suits. We can probably order wine without giggling. But although we resemble our father when he was our age, we still feel like that 4-year-old clutching his pant leg.

With that much room left on our emotional-growth charts, we sense we've only begun to admire you in the ways we will when we're 40, 50 and -- God forbid -- 60. We can't explain this to you, because it would probably come out sounding like we don't love you now.

"It took at least a year before I really started to appreciate my wife for something other than just great sex; and I didn't discover her mind fully until the third year we were married," says Newton. "But the older and wiser I get, the more I love my wife." Adds J.P. Neal, 32, of Potomac, Maryland: "The for-richer-or-poorer, for-better-or-worse aspects of marriage don't hit you right away. It's only during those rare times when we take stock of our life that it starts to sink in."

Secret #8: We don't really understand what you're talking about
You know how, during the day, you sometimes think about certain deep, complex "issues" in your relationship? Then when you get home, you want to "discuss" these issues? And during these "discussions," your man sits there nodding and saying things like "Sure, I understand," "That makes perfect sense" and "I'll do better next time"?

Well, we don't understand. It doesn't make any sense to us at all. And although we'd like to do better next time, we could only do so if, in fact, we had an idea of what you're talking about.
We do care. Just be aware that the part of our brain that processes this stuff is where we store sports trivia.

Secret #9: We are terrified when you drive
Want to know how to reduce your big, tough guy to a quivering mass of fear? Ask him for the car keys.

"I am scared to death when she drives," says LaFlamme.
"Every time I ride with her, I fully accept that I may die at any moment," says Buckingham.
"My wife has about one 'car panic' story a week -- and it's never her fault. All these horrible things just keep happening -- it must be her bad luck," says Andy Beshuk, 31, of Jefferson City, Missouri.
Even if your man is too diplomatic to tell you, he is terrified that you will turn him into a crash-test dummy.

Secret #10: We'll always wish we were 25 again
Granted, when I was 25 I was working 16-hour days and eating shrimp-flavored Ramen noodles six times a week. But as much as we love being with you now, we will always look back fondly on the malnourished freedom of our misguided youth. "Springsteen concerts, the '91 Mets, the Clinton presidency -- most guys reminisce about the days when life was good, easy and free of responsibility," says Rob Aronson, 41, of Livingston, New Jersey, who's been married for 11 years. "At 25 you can get away with things you just can't get away with at 40."

While it doesn't mean we're leaving you to join a rock band, it does explain why we occasionally come home from Pep Boys with a leather steering-wheel cover and a Born to Run CD.

Secret #11: Give us an inch and we'll give you a lifetime
I was on a trip to Mexico, standing on a beach, waxing my surfboard and admiring the glistening 10-foot waves, when I decided to marry the woman who is now my wife. Sure, this was three years before I got around to popping the question. But that was when I knew.

Why? Because she'd let me go on vacation alone. Hell, she made me go. This is the most important thing a man never told you: If you let us be dumb guys, if you embrace our stupid poker night, if you encourage us to go surfing -- by ourselves -- our silly little hearts, with their manly warts and all, will embrace you forever for it.

And that's the truth.