The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘babies’ Category

In the early part of August, 2012, I got an interesting phone call while at work.
Daughter:  Mom, if you had to hear some big news, would you want to hear it on the phone or in person?
Me:  (at work, busy, surprised and happy to hear from the child.  Yet somehow I know exactly what it is she’s about to tell me.  I’m cold all over and am able to astrally project to her location and smack her on the back of the head, hard.)
Daughter:  Are you there?
Me:  What.  WhatWhat is it?  Just tell me.  (Even I can hear the desperation in my voice)
Daughter:  Well, (tears start) I took three pregnancy tests and they all were positive. 
Me:  (I’m unable to speak.  I fumble for my insurance card and touch it several times for comfort.)
Daughter:  Mom??
Me:  I’m here.  And if three tests say you’re pregnant, then you’re pregnant
Although I’m still in shock, I make the appropriate it’ll be ok noises through frozen lips and hang up to call the insurance company.  Oh, God.  Although marriage has been talked about, they haven’t made it official, and now there will be a baby. 
Babies are a blessing.
The next few months fly by and I see her figure blossom from a lithe, lanky camisole & tight jean-wearing 20 year old to looking like she was shoplifting a big pumpkin. 
Feeling the baby kick was new and magical.  The baby squirmed and pummeled her bladder mercilessly.  Privately, I alternated between crying, being excited, and giving thanks that the baby was healthy. 
It is a girl.
I want to tell my daughter all the things that would change when the baby came.  Number one on the list that will change: 
1)  EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO, EVERY DAY, ALL DAY LONG, FROM NOW ON, FOREVER. 
As you can see, it’s a short list.  As a new mother, running to the store, running anywhere, takes on a whole new dimension.  You can’t just hop in the car and go.  You have to orchestrate it just right, which means to say you leave once the other parent tags in.  You’re done sleeping.  You’re done thinking of things to do for the weekend because you already know it’s going to consist of diapers and formula. 
I also want to tell her that despite the lack of sleep, the endless feedings and diaper changes, the 200 pounds of equipment you need everywhere you go, there are also moments of absolute bliss and they far outweigh the bad stuff.  The sweaty, solid weight of your child against your collarbone.  Their unbelievably good baby smell.  The tiny, trusting hand resting on your chest as you rock.  The first smiles.  The first words.
I try to tell her giving birth is going to hurt but those of us who have given birth know it’s a pain unlike any other and therefore hard to describe.  I also don’t want to scare the living daylights out of her.  I needn’t worry.  She listens respectfully but tells me that the tattoo she has going down her side from boob to butt was really painful and if she can get through that, she can get through this.
I listen and laugh.  And later, privately, I cry.  She doesn’t know.
I’m so glad for her when she comes home after work on her birthday and there’s an engagement ring hanging off the Christmas tree.  They’re happy.  That’s a wonderful thing.  I help her paint the baby’s room, roam through Babies R Us, plan her baby shower, and fall a little more in love with this granddaughter I haven’t met yet with each ultrasound picture I see.
This latest picture looks exactly like my daughter.  Exactly.  Same cheekbones.  Same forehead.  Same nose, lips, chin, and hands.
Her due date comes and goes.  She’s so big that MY back and feet hurt to look at her.
at 2 weeks pregnant.  (Just kidding.  More like 29.)
I have been eating for two her entire pregnancy out of nervousness.  I don’t tell her all the bad things that can go wrong.  During pregnancy.  During delivery.   I find myself in tears now and then and pray for an easy pregnancy and safe birth. 
I’m scared in a way I haven’t been in a while.
Finally, her doctor has her admitted on a Sunday night to have her cervix dilated.  Twelve hours later, the dreaded pitocin drip is administered.
The word pitocin sends chills up my spine.  It’s not pretty.  I remember doing backbends in labor with the force of a pitocin contraction.
It’s not long before it kicks in, and I hear her low moans start up.  The daddy, me and my other daughter have all been in the hospital with her for almost a whole day.  I’m grimy and tired from spending the night in a chair.  She’s in more and more pain and I hunt down the anesthesiologist in the hallway, because he should have been in there half hour ago. 
My daughter’s in pain, I tell him.  I watch him like a hawk as he administers the epidural block.  He doesn’t want me to watch because he says I could faint.  I tell him I’ve had two spinals myself but he says it’s different when it’s your child.  He’s right but I watch anyway.  He cautions me that if I faint he’s going to administer New York CPR.  I’m not amused.  He says, do you know what that is?  I just kick you til you wake up.  It’s not funny but I appreciate the effort.  I only laugh at his feeble joke because she’s not in pain anymore.
We’re told it could be a few hours now, so my oldest daughter and I run home so I can shower and change clothes.  I take a hurried 2 minute shower and while dressing, I get the phone call that a certain someone is about to meet her grandmother and if I wanted to be there, I’d best get down there quick.  What happened to “it’s going to be a few hours now?”
We’re there in no time, stopping on the way to quickly buy three stamps and jam three state tax returns into the post office box so they’re not late.  It’s tax day.  Way to procrastinate.
They’re ushering visitors out of her room and into the hallway once we get there.  She is about to begin pushing and my other daughter and I each are in charge of a leg, as she won’t be able to move them very well because of the epidural.  We are given instructions to push her legs backward to help with each contraction.  Dad stands, wisely, at the head of the bed.
Everything happens quickly.  She is told to take a deep breath and hold it and puuuuuuuuuuussssshhhhh!!!!! 
Unfortunately we too hold our breath and push with her.  As embarrassing as it is, I believe I pee a little.  My oldest daughter, holding her breath and the other leg, almost faints. 
I’m amazed at how hard the obstetrician grasps the baby’s head and pulls with each contraction but before you know it; the little shoulders are slipping out.  The proud daddy cuts the cord with shaking hands.  I’m a snotty mess.  I have not only just witnessed the unbelievable miracle of birth but also the birth of my first grandchild.
The Alyssa bun, fresh out of the oven.
At 8 pounds 2 ounces of beautiful, little Alyssa Rose makes her way into the world.  I’m amazed at how roughly efficiently the doctor and nurses handle the baby.  They competently towel her little slippery body off, throw drops in her eyes, diaper her tiny butt, weigh her, wrap her in a blanket and give her a hat with a bow before handing her to her tired, happy mama.  I begin to take pictures with my phone and those waiting in the hall see pictures of her on Facebook before the child is even 10 minutes old. 
It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  My tears are streaming, uncontrolled.  I feel honored that I got to watch the birth.
The new mother tells me later that I kissed her big toe repeatedly during Alyssa’s delivery.  She seems to think that is hysterical.  I seem to remember that it was the only safe place to kiss during delivery. I felt I needed to help her relieve her pain in some way and kissing a safe area, i.e. the big toe with the freckle on it, seemed to be the only way I could do it.  It made me feel better, in any case.
Time passes quickly.  The baby is now 6 weeks old.  Each time I see her, I fall a little more in love with her.  It’s funny, because I told my husband that after I met him; I was done falling in love and I meant it. 



How could you NOT love this little face?



But you can fall in love again.  I was wrong.  I didn’t know how a grandchild could make you feel.  How hard it hits you in the stomach when you lean in close and croon, “How’s Grandma’s girl?” and you’re rewarded with adorable crinkly eyes and a big gummy smile.  Ermehgerd.
Between then and now, I bet I’ve taken 1000 pictures or more.  My friends and family and coworkers can back me up on that.  I say I’m taking them for my family who lives south of Rockford, but it’s not true.  I just can’t believe how amazing and perfect she is and want everyone to see her.
 



say Cheese!!

I believe she is easily the most beautiful child ever birthed, and although I am certain I am not the first grandmother to think that, I am the only grandmother who’s actually right.

A friend of mine confided today her heartfelt wish that the Feminine Product Makers would combine the power of a Shamwow with a tampon.  It would be called a Shampon.  Mary is a genius and when she makes a zillion dollars from her invention, I can say I knew her when.
Today, I wish I had a box of Shampons.  This girl stuff?  For the effing birds.  My uterus is throwing an absolute hissy fit because there’s not a baby in it, and I am dealing with the homicidal and bloody aftermath.  At 46, I neither want nor need a baby unless it’s covered with fur and has four legs and comes when it is called.**
The cramps I have today?  Breathtaking.  Meaning I take a breath and gasp in pain with any movement, including my own heartbeat.
I was going to go work out at lunch time today.  I have my “instant witch, just add candy” t shirt, tennies and sweats and my secret lucky fob to get in.   Mother Nature nixed that idea.  Her ideal workout for me today takes place in a dark room and involves climbing up on the couch with a blankie, heating pad, a cup of hot, strong tea and a viewing of the Practical Magic movie which I have never seen.  After that movie, another cup of hot tea, chocolate, and the movie Twister which I have never seen either.***



ok, I’ve seen it once or twice.  And this picture might be in my bedroom, maybe.



For now, however, I’m swallowing ibuprofen like tic tacs, plastering a fake smile on my face, and trying to just make it through the day.  I would complain to my mother but I already know she would tell me to just “put your big girl undies on”.
I would do that except they’re soaking in peroxide.
                                                                                             
**plus, I will be a grandmother soon and will hold her so often that I will be able to trick my own hormones.
***This is a filthy lie.  I have seen Practical Magic so often that I can recite it word for word and have the soundtrack completely memorized.  Ditto for Twister.  I love me some tornados.

My husband asked me the other day for a Christmas list.  I hemmed.  I hawed.  I wrote a total of:  two things.  One, a good pair of silver hoops for everyday wear (read:  days when I’m too lazy to look at my earring “shirt” and find something color coordinated) and also a soft, comfy black cardigan.  Oh, I may have mentioned “a ring” too.  In that silly, girly, breathy I-want-sparkly-jewelry sort of way. 

Are there other things I want?  Sure there are.  However, I’m the one who does the most Christmas shopping (I’m a control freak) and when I see something around Christmas time that I want, weeeeeellllll, pretty much I get it. 

Case in point…ordering from Kohl’s online today.  Got everything I needed for other people but WHAT’S THAT???  Pajama pants with penguins on them?  Yes, please.  Click!

I’m a procrastinator.  I don’t do my Christmas shopping like a lot of people, which is to say that I do it much later.  As of right now, I’m only about 50% done and instead of being out shopping right now…I’m writing.  And thinking seriously about a glass of wine.  But really, my kids are old enough now that they would rather have gift cards.  And how long does it take to go get a gift card?  They don’t run out, they’re always the right size, and the kids really, truly appreciate them. 

I buy gift cards as opposed to the jeans or shirts I would get them once upon a time that would sit in their closets, tagged, until they were outgrown and given to Amvets, mostly because those ba$tards at Plato’s Closet buy everyone else’s stained, torn clothing but not my new stuff that has tags on it.  People at Plato’s Closet, pay attention.  Stop buying crap from your friends. 

I buy gift cards for the kids because I don’t have a personal shopper.  Because I am not very good at picking out things that my children would actually wear.  The only things I’m pretty safe buying for them are camisoles (for the girls, and maybe one for me) and funny t shirts (for the boy, and maybe one for me).  I don’t really have any sort of sense of style or color matching ability.  What this means is I wear black pants a LOT.
 
Popular gifts for the youngsters:  McDonalds gift cards.  Victoria’s Secret gift cards.  Walmart, or Target, or Plato’s Closet gift cards (for those children who like Abercrombie jeans without the Abercrombie price).  Gas station gift cards.  A gift card at virtually any store that would actually prevent me from picking out actual clothes, thinking, “Oh, (fill in name of unfortunate child) would just love this.  It would look so great on them.  So smart.  She/he could even start a fad.”*

*Note to my mother:  nothing that you said would start a fad actually STARTED a fad. 

And of course, in their Christmas stockings, it’s pretty standard:  candy, scratchoff cards, body wash, a Christmas Pez thingie.  An orange.  A candy cane.  Hope they’re not looking at this because then they’d know what’s in their stocking.  Again.  For the fifth year in a row.

(Actually, thinking about this, why the orange?  Why, because my mother used to put one in my stocking.  Sometimes we’d poke the candy cane IN THE ORANGE and suck out orange juice.  We were hardcore like that.  I also remember my sister and I getting Leggs.  Remember?  pantyhose in the egg container?  Good times.)

No matter what you gift your children with, or how soon or late you shop, it’s a wonderful time of year for sharing with friends and family.  That’s my focus.  In the hustle and bustle of baking, shopping, holiday parties, etc, it’s really easy to lose sight of that.

And that leads me to remember one more thing that is on my Christmas list, every single year…that my family stay happy and healthy.  It is really the most important thing in the world to me.  Every year I hug my family a little tighter.  And next year, there will be a little granddaughter to celebrate with!  I am literally quivering with joy.

Merry Christmas!

As promised, here are some pictures that go along with the Infinitely Sweet article (part one.)  For some reason, the Examiner.com website is not allowing me to do a slideshow, which I planned out meticulously, and then am unable to use. 

The result is that I’m going to photobomb my blog with pictures and link this up.

Let’s start, shall we?
 

Squeal!  Rockford Sock Monkey clothes!!! 

 This side of the store makes me want to go get a bunch of babies and dress them up in these adorable clothes.  Is there anything cuter?

Check out these headbands:



these little girl headbands are absolutely DELICIOUS.   And quite artfully displayed, as well.

And these socks!  Can you believe all of these socks?  Could these things be any more adorable?  I wanted to buy all of them.  Thankfully I had the small car so I wouldn’t have been able to fit them all in.  Plus, I just rearranged my own sock drawer. 

And these!  There are little dresses of all shapes and sizes and colors.  Not to mention, there are accessories to match.

Hair bow, anyone?  How about a hat or a barrette?



 At any rate, I am doing an article in a couple of parts on Infinitely Sweet.  I really love going in that store, both for drooling over all the baby clothes and seeing what’s in style for the fall on the teen/tween/junior side. 
But that is a story for another day.
****Examiner…get your slideshow uploader to work.


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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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