Laboring — In All Its Many Stages

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Earlier this evening I was waxing nostalgic because my sister-in-law is in the hospital AT THIS MOMENT giving birth. Here was my status:

Thinking about [sister-in-law] in labor right now kinda makes me want to have another baby. It’s just such an amazing and exciting time – the prospect of meeting a whole new person that you helped make, and who will have his/her own personality, and who you will spend a lifetime loving. A-mazing.

She commented back, You can take my place right now if you want! 😉 this is so not fun!”

In short order, my sister-in-law will find that everything she endured during labor was ALL worth it.

And I guess that’s something that, as a parent, you continually need to remind yourself of. Because as is wont to happen during child-rearing, you find yourself in a “stage” (and aren’t they always stages? It’s just a series of never ending stages?). We currently are in A STAGE with Bean. And if we don’t get out of THIS STAGE soon, I think I might have to go into her mouth and start pulling the non-protruding teeth out with a pliers. Because I’m just not so sure how long I can handle THIS STAGE.

Teething. Ugh. It seriously is nev-er end-ing. It was really, really bad about a month ago. And then it was better for a week or so. And now it’s just depressingly bad and annoying again. It’s the crying. The crying and the clinging and the crying. And the taking extra, extra long (along with extra time and attention from us) to fall asleep at night, the waking up in the middle of the night, and the waking up too early in the morning. Dear Bean’s teeth: PLEASE COME OUT NOW.

The fact that I was all nostalgic about having another baby, and then a mere 15 minutes after my “here and now” children arrived home I wanted to hide in closet with cotton stuffed in my ears, is just typical. Typical of what every parent goes through.

Even when you have the benefit of an older child, and you rationally know that these stages don’t last forever, it just FEELS like forever sometimes.

But, as in the case of labor during childbirth, the “labor” of raising a child is worth it (and this is oh so much clearer when your children are asleep, are not crying, screaming or otherwise clamoring for attention, and you are enjoying some free time).

Bye, bye, bye?

Speaking of stages, I spontaneously decided to wean Bean (hey, as Monkey would say, “that rhymes!” She has been rhyming some choice words lately, but more on that some other day) from the nuk tonight. You may remember we’ve been considering this for awhile. I wasn’t really planning on it. I was just annoyed with all the crying and carrying on at bedtime, and it just seemed like the nuk wasn’t helping. So why even bother with it?? We had experimentally cut the tip off of one of her five remaining nuks two months ago, just to see her reaction. It was pretty funny. She kept playing with it in her mouth. Taking it out, looking at it. Popping it back in. All the while not sucking on it. Her reaction pretty much mirrored Monkey’s when we did it to her.

So tonight, after my third trip into her bedroom to give her back the nuk she threw out, I decided to replace it with the one with the severed tip. She took it fine. Laid down. Played with it in her mouth. Of course I had to sit in the chair next to her crib until she fell asleep (because I tried to just hug her and leave three times and that sure didn’t work), but she had no issues with the nuk.

I honestly think she’ll be fine. We’ll keep giving her nuks with the tips cut off for the next 5-7 days, and I think she’ll just lose interest. We did the same thing with Monkey and finally on the seventh night or so, we just didn’t give it to her and she never even noticed. I’m hoping the same will happen with Bean.

I feel like Bean doesn’t even really need it like she thinks she does. She does more chewing on it than she does sucking. And it’s starting to become more and more of a crutch for us. Since she’s been so crabby lately, we’re starting to shove it in her mouth at the least provocation (aka, ALL THE TIME).

So we’ll see what happens.

Not much crying, but still teary

Speaking of the Beaner, her tear duct probe surgery turned out to be SO totally fine and not nerve-wracking at all. Thank you everyone who said prayers, wished us luck, or sent us positive thoughts.

The nurse gave her some sort of liquid sedative, which she warned tasted awful, and Bean proved by spitting most of it out. But apparently all she needed was a little bit to take the edge off. And then miraculously, when the anesthesiologist came to take her, she went right with him!!! She looked out the door, interested in all the action going on, and never looked back at us. No crying, no fuss. I was happily stunned. Oh! And I didn’t cry at all either!

The ophthalmologist performing the surgery came out to talk to us about 10 minutes later. Yes, seriously. He was able to get the probe about 75% of the way through (he warned us in advance that if it became difficult to pass the probe he would stop and not force it). Since he wasn’t able to get the probe all the way through, the procedure doesn’t have as high of a success rate (80-90%), but still better than 50-50.

Another 10 minutes passed and the nurse came to get us, saying that Bean was awake and we could come and be with her. Much to the amusement of the nurses, when they woke her up and a female nurse reached for her, she burst into tears and reached for the male anesthesiologist again! I don’t know, she must have thought he was cute!!

By the time we got to her she had been crying kind of hard, but she calmed down right away. After a pulse and oxygen test, we were out of there. The procedure began at 7:30 a.m. and we were back home by 8:20. Crazy!

Unfortunately for us, I don’t think the procedure worked. The ophthalmologist said that we would know for sure in 2-3 weeks, and it’s been just over two weeks. So far, Bean is still tearing. Her eye isn’t getting as gunky, but it’s definitely still tearing. Argh. If it doesn’t improve in the next several days, then I guess we’ll ultimately have to schedule an appointment at Children’s to have a tube placed in her tear duct to keep it open.

What the ophthalmologist failed to mention the first time he talked to us about our options, was that in most cases, the tube can be removed through the nose in the doctor’s office — thus it won’t require two procedures like I’d previously thought. I really wish I had known this because I think it may have been in our best interests to just do the tube procedure in the first place. While I’m no longer a nervous nelly about the anesthesia for the second procedure, the probe wasn’t cheap, and I don’t want to have to pay for a second surgery.

The royal marketing machine. I mean, wedding.

I have a mild interest in the wedding of Prince Whatshisname? Right. William. I seriously had to think about it for a minute. I still couldn’t remember and I had to ask my husband. Prince William and Catherine (who will no longer be known as “Kate” post-wedding) Middleton.

So I’ve been paying pretty minimal attention. I’ve glanced at the occasional article on People.com, but the idea of getting up at 4 a.m. to watch it was ridiculous to me. And I certainly wasn’t about to DVR it, because I don’t have six hours to watch it at some later point at my leisure. More importantly, I don’t have enough space on my DVR. I do regularly keep up with pop culture, but I figured I would just catch some highlights and call it a day.

And then … I thought, but this is one of those things that happen in a lifetime. One of the (thankfully non-tragic things) that people will always remember and talk about it. This is a huge pop cultural event. I think I kinda want to see it live. Plus, who doesn’t love a good wedding?

But still. It’s just not that important to me that I want to drag my butt out of bed at 4 a.m. to stare bleary-eyed at my TV screen for five hours. I have to do something else with that time.

And then I realized there are any number of things I could do with my time if I did indeed decide to get up at 4 a.m. And watching the Royal Wedding would make those tasks a little more enjoyable. (I do have a history of working during the wee hours of the morning anyway, so what the hell.)

For example:

  • Paying bills and balancing the checkbook (I absolutely abhor this task and I tend to put it off; it MUST be done tomorrow)
  • Folding kids’ laundry
  • Ordering a swimming suit from Lands’ End
  • Checking flights to Vegas for my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party

I will not, however, be throwing a viewing party. Unless for some reason you wanted to come over and balance your checkbook too. Or, in case my favorite neighbors wanted to stop by with Starbucks and doughnuts. I’m just saying. I’ll make sure to dress appropriately. And by appropriately, I don’t mean with royal wedding-watching garb. I just mean with clothes on.

If you’ll be watching too, facebook me. And don’t forget the doughnuts!

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