And Then There Were Three

7 12 2018

Every year around this time, I get nostalgic and reflective on the past year and like to think back over the changes that have happened. I don’t know…maybe all the family time puts me in a sentimental mood. This year, stopping to reflect has been easier than usual, as I had, arguably, one of the largest changes yet lying in my lap: I had a baby!

I gotta say, it was no easy feat. It felt like I was pregnant for YEARS. I ended one school year pregnant, survived a hot summer pregnant, started another school year still pregnant. I traveled pregnant, went hiking pregnant, walked a 5K pregnant, camped pregnant, marched a picket line pregnant, and squished into a swim suit pregnant. I finally went on maternity leave and my mom arrived from Texas, but that sweet baby was just too happy in his little womb-home. Giant and miserable and bursting out of even my largest maternity clothes, my doctor finally scheduled my induction at 41 weeks…and my water broke the night before we were to check into the hospital. My baby laughed in the face of my relief and still put me through 45 hours of labor before making his appearance – 8 days late.

pregnant profile

Whoa baby!

My long labor meant about a day and a half on the epidural, which equaled a day and a half without real food. No one warned me about that. The combo of drugs and IV fluids caused my legs to swell from the thighs down, turning them into mega tree trunks that devoured my knees and ankles and scared the bageebees out of me the first time I saw them. No one warned me about that. And after my labor progressed slower than a turtle crawling through molasses in winter time, my doctor declared it time to push – and I pushed for TWO WHOLE HOURS before she said he just wasn’t coming out and prepped me for my C-section. Which meant my body needed to heal from both types of labor afterward. NO ONE WARNED ME ABOUT THAT!!

new baby born

Poor child was battered and bruised from his fight into this world

But appear he finally did. I vaguely heard the doctor saying she was ready to pull him out, and despite warnings that he might not cry due to the trauma of his labor, his scream sliced through the medicated fog shrouding my brain. I immediately started sobbing. Thankfully, the drugs kept me from actually moving, but in that moment, I was flooded with so many emotions at once, I thought it would surely knock me off the table. (Instead, I fell asleep…) And people did try to tell me about that. How the first cry would be emotional and the first sight of him would be love at first sight, etc etc etc. And it kind of was, though I had to emerge from the morphine haze a bit before I could register what was happening. I didn’t have any idea what to expect regarding the C-section….I had never entertained the possibility that I would need one.

But thanks to modern medicine, I was fine, and baby was fine, and the weird shape to his head went away in just a few days. He latched right away and nursed like a champ from the get-go…once I was coherent enough to nurse. As I watched in amazement at this ancient, instinctual act that I was now capable of, I realized the time had come: we had to pick a name!

He stores up his sass in those cheeks

My whole pregnancy was filled with the Great Name Debate. J loved to scour the internet for Worst Names Ever, and I quickly created the hashtag #NOTYARGLE to add to my request for name suggestions. All our friends and family were in on the search, and even when we narrowed the list to actual possibilities, J and I decided to keep them a secret. We had two names that finally passed, and decided to choose which would be the first name and which would be the middle name once we met him in person. Although I had grown really attached to calling him Smudge, I knew we made a good decision when I saw it written on our door by the nurse: Zane Elliott. Perfect.

baby in a bear suit

I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine. He shall be my Squishy. ❤

Now I have this bundle of chubby cheeks and double chins to spend my days with. He is a fascinating creature, I must say. Every day he’s learned to do something new. Every day is a new experience for him. He makes funny faces and has no control of his flailing limbs and pees on me when I change his diaper. (I’m getting faster!!) Its an indescribable experience that leaves me exhausted and elated and constantly in awe of new life.

I’m even starting to get used to the more undignified aspects of new motherhood, like noticing my entire left side is soaked from leaking breast milk…while standing in line at the grocery store. Or opening the door for a friend who stopped by and realizing I haven’t showered in, well, I don’t even remember. Or finding myself smelling the mystery spot on my shirt to try to decipher it’s possible origin. Or making up song lyrics and wild dance moves to try to placate my screaming cherub at 2 am. And my favorite: changing a diaper only to have liquids start shooting out of one place or another…and catching them in my hand to try to keep the changing pad cover clean because I JUST washed it. Again.

new fatherhood

“Dad Talks” – deep discussions of the mysteries of the universe.

Despite the challenges, my heart bursts to pieces as I watch JBoo cuddling our tiny creation, explaining the world to him, or introducing him to Bob Marley songs. I never doubted for a second he would be a wonderful father, but seeing it in action really gives me all the feels. This new journey has already proven to be quite…an adventure. And its barely begun!!

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4 responses

8 12 2018
Kraft

Wow, what a labor! It’s all worth it but he really did make you work for it. Congrats!

10 12 2018
ksnapped

Thanks Brandon! It was pretty crazy but you’re so right – definitely worth it. I’m glad to hear Vanessa is alright after her scary ordeal!

10 12 2018
mamashakes

Congrats!!! Beautiful baby ❤️❤️

13 12 2018
ksnapped

Thank you! We’re pretty fond of him… 🙂

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