Today we went by the airshow at Andrews, celebrating Don Meow's one-hundredth-and-first day on this earth by watching some very cool planes do some very awesome maneuvers in the air.
Your tax dollars at work, being awesome.
Earlier, I mentioned how I thought Barack Obama deserved a middle-of-the-road C for his suddenly-middle-of-the-road "progressiveness".
On the other hand, I think my little Don Meow deserves an A during his first one hundred days in Office of Cuteness and Cooing. And Poop. And I realize I haven't shared much of his birth story.
And a B, and a C…. oooh. An idea is born. An abridged idea, but an idea nonetheless.
A is for Apparently Amazingly fast labor, which truly started around 12:15 am when my waters broke, and ended at 3:57 am, when Don Meow popped out to say hello.
B is for Bouncing Baby Boy, which surprised me a little bit since I thought that the fact that this pregnancy was achier and more nauseated than the first could mean it would be a girl. But there was no doubt as they thrust his boy parts in my face, that he was, indeed a boy. Distinctly remember thinking, "Huh– a matched set."
C is for Crying, which dear Don Meow did upon leaving the vaginal canal, and lustily. Cry, cry, cry, and then make loads of noise. This child was quite the vocal aficionado from day one.
D is for Delightful, yet Disturbing array of crocheted and knitted baby hats provided by the Spouses' Club. We made off with an eyelet-looking one at first, but then a nurse also decided we needed a blue variegated one and a camouflage one. You know, so the child knows it belongs in the military family from day one. (hey, patterns!)
E is for Edibles, which we had by the diaperbagful, and were still not enough to Extinguish my Enormous Eatathon after giving birth. If you're pregnant and reading this, I cannot stress this enough: PACK SNACKS.
F is for Feisty Female. That would be me. I demanded to move around and be left alone, and I wailed like a Feral Fire-breathing Phoenix (humor me with the F-sound at least– I realize Phoenices do not wail) while pushing out the little Fat Fetus.
G is for Good God! Gushing (gallons of everything) and Gravidity Gone! Golly gee… what can I say? Giving birth is painful, it's true, but it's also a hormonal trip like no other. It's my second time at rodeo and I can confidently say that while it's nervewracking to think of what will come, once you're done it's a feeling like I can only imagine the most pure runner's high can feel; a feeling of accomplishment and elation and like you can walk out and take over the world while folding the laundry, if need be. Never mind that you crash a few minutes later– right after birth, your endorphins will take you there, wherever
"there" happens to be. Also, Going to the hospital once your bag of waters has popped was quite a trip (pun, I imagine, quite coincidental); it was kind of a walking-with-a-water-balloon-between-your-legs kind of feeling. Although I should retract that "kind of", now, shouldn't I?
H is for Hospital. Because although I thought at one point of doing the whole Home birth thing, Monsieur Meow was simply Not Sure about the whole thing. And if I'm being Honest, it was lovely to have someone to clean up all those Gs. Happy mother, she who doesn't have to boil Her own birthing instruments (but maybe I'm missing the point of a Home birth, and if so, I apologize to the Heavens).
I is for I.V. lock. I realize this is actually called a Heparin lock (Hep lock) but I think the H was better suited to the hospital. And this is part of why I didn't want a hospital birth: I resent having to have a catheter in place for that ethereal yet dangerous "just in case" gray area of life. I tried to delay getting mine put in as long as possible and I whined actively until it was removed, around 10 am that morning. And I guess that the lock didn't like me much either, because it was jammed close to my wrist bone and it chafed and hurt long after the catheter was gone. But really, if that was to be the extent of the medical intervention at my birth, then so be it and happily.
J is for Just five days short of his due date.
K is for Kegels. Just. Do. Them.
L is for Love at first sight. Little babies are Love anyway, but as much as the clichés seem to prepare you for it, nothing really does justice to when you first touch that fuzzy little head and let those little tiny quasireptilian fingers curl around your suddenly-gigantic one.
M is for Mommy, twice over. Man, they just don't tell you how much Motherhood again will Mess up your life (and ruffle the feathers in your Marriage).
[Not to mention what it does to your blogging…]
N is for Nursing, which Don Meow did right away while Nuzzling on my Neck, and has mastered very quickly. Nervous memories of Herr Meow kept me on pins and Needles, but in the end, it was all fine. And really, it was far more Normal than I thought the first time around, too. N is also for Nine, Number of ounces by which Don Meow exceeded Herr Meow's birthweight. Herr Meow was almost a half inch longer, however.
O is for Ob-Gyn, traditional sort. The woman who caught my baby was One such type of doctor, and while she felt a little uncomfortable with a Feral Female who refused to birth on her back and numb from the waist down, she was still genial, accomodating, caring, and very funny– and let us not forget she was awakened at 2 am in order to catch said baby. I will always hear her happy yelp of "IT'S A BOY!" in my head when I think of that night, and smile.
P is for Pirates– because Herr Meow says so. This house is all Pirates, all the time, lately. I'm not sure what that might have to do with giving birth, other than I guess the Privateer in my uterus is now sailing the seas of the living, or something like that. Also, Personality starts with a P, which Don Meow has slowly been unfolding. You can say that he is a Puckish, Playful and Piggy little baby: he so far seems to always keeps us guessing; he loves to interact and "talk" up a storm; and boy, does he ever love to eat, as can be evidenced by his overall roly-poly chunkiness.
Q is for Quintuplets, which thankfully I was not carrying. I am glad to have only borne one baby at a time, and my hat is off to people who are able to parent multiples with a Quickness to their step and no Quivering of their chins.
R is for Rooting, Reassurance, Rubber of backs, voice of Reason, and Runner– all Roles Monsieur Meow fulfilled excellently: Really glad he was there.
S is for Sensations– from the contractions that Seemed to last forever, and which Started irregularly a week prior; to the feeling that I'd be having the baby on Saturday, January 31st; and then on Monday, February 2nd; and then on Wednesday, February 4th; and Lo! Finally, after Seeming like it was forever, the moment finally came and went, fast and hard and gritty like a Sirocco. And I have not been able to catch up on Sleep ever since.
T is for Thursday night, after the beloved Thursday shows like 30 Rock and Bones (of course). It was about Twenty-eight degrees and I was freezing my Toes and everything else off– although there was little Time to focus on much anything other than my impending parturition. Incidentally, Twenty-eight degrees was a Temperature that would suffer a dramatic Turnaround on Saturday, when it was about sixty-five degrees and puzzlingly pleasant for the beginning of February (mean February 5-7 temperature is 36 ºF).
U is for the Umbilical cord, which feels bumpy, lumpy and odd as it comes out , dragging the placenta along with it. I believe I described it recently as a bit like having a very bumpy bowel movement, but out the wrong hole. I realize this is charming talk, but this time around both the Umbilical cord and the placenta remain very vivid in my mind– both the exit and the textures and the squishiness and the amazement in my mind that ALL THAT could come out of me, and I could still weigh 175 lbs (the horror).
V is for Visitors in the hospital– not many, just Herr Meow and Rev. Mom. And nothing prepares you –while we're at the whole "being prepared by life for momentous stuff" diatribe– for the moment in which your firstborn meets the one other being on earth with whom he shares more genetic information than anyone.
W is for Well baby, which Don Meow has been. He is well, round, chubby and very, very demanding.
X is for Xeroderma, a.k.a. dry skin. This is what happens when you lose a lot of fluids, have a baby, and spend the next day and a half in the drying chamber that is a hospital. All the lotion in the world was not enough, it seemed.
Z is for Zinger, meaning both a witty and caustic remark or a surprising turn of events or revelation. Don Meow is a zingerful baby, always with a WAH! or a GOO! or a BWAAAAH! to interject. I have been told that the younger child is usually mellower, but I am not exactly sure in which ways Don Meow will fullfil this dictum, since he is a veritable plethora of cute, tiny sounds and big sounds and baby zingers to fit every mood and manner.
And the revelation is that with the firstborn, the beauty is in the newness of every waking moment, and the dread that hangs behind every action and every perceived neglect. The second child and, I imagine, subsequent ones, let you enjoy life a little more because there is not the fragile balance of beholding raw miracles the first time around. You know this fragility, and you know this beauty. And you know the dread, too. So you can steal back a little time and you can play a little longer with and without the baby, and you can enjoy the highs and sweep more of the lows underneath the welcome mat.