Oct 15 2015

Pumpkin Patch Redux

Pumpkin Patch Redux

So we tried again.

This past weekend, we drove alllll the way back to the pumpkin patch for a redo. It was important to me that P be able to replace her “yucky” memories with new ones — and I needed to do the same. Part of phobics’ irrationality is that we tend to associate completely unrelated things with the sick event, even though we know they don’t really have anything to do with anything. (i.e. “I wore this outfit the last time someone threw up. Better not wear this outfit anymore.” Or we might remember the exact date of the last time we got sick and then become uneasy around that same date every year. Ridiculous, right? We know.) Anyway, since the pumpkin patch threatened to become a semi-scary place, I forced myself to go back ASAP.

What a relief to see the happy, non-feverish version of P! First stop: the face-painting clowns. She chose the glittery rainbow option and sat exceptionally still. Continue reading

Oct 8 2015

Confessions of a Parent with Emetophobia

Confessions of a Parent with Emetophobia

It’s October, which means it’s almost Halloween, which means I’m allowed to tell you a horror story.

For most of you, this will not be a horror story at all. This will sound like a standard, Duh-You-Have-A-Toddler-What-Did-You-Expect? story, and if you have kids, no doubt you will have been there, done that. But I am a parent who has an irrational fear of throwing up, and I can only see this experience through that lens. Continue reading

Sep 21 2015

Waxing Nostalgic: 9 Tips for 9 Months

Waxing Nostalgic: 9 Tips for 9 Months

If you graduated in the late ’90s, you might remember “Wear Sunscreen,” the faux commencement speech by columnist Mary Schmich. It was so ubiquitous that Baz Luhrmann even turned it into a song and all the radio stations ran it on repeat. The advice is timeless; I played it for my sophomores every year during our mini unit on aphorisms, and they always connected with several “truth nuggets,” as I called them. (The kids’ overwhelming favorite: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”)

The whole thing is a laundry list of beautiful suggestions, but the speech cleverly concludes with some advice about advice: “Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia.” And it’s right around now — when the joy and amazement and pain and fear surrounding the birth process has started to fade — that I start to miss being pregnant.

I always do.

In the middle of it, sometimes it seems to take forever. So many months with no alcohol, so many uncomfortable symptoms, so many nights wondering if you will EVER sleep again or if you might as well just move into the bathroom because you literally have to pee again AS you are flushing. Continue reading

Aug 31 2015

And Then There Were Four: B’s Birth Story

And Then There Were Four: B’s Birth Story

The induction was scheduled for 6 AM.

6 AM. Clearly the medical profession had lost its fool mind. They said the maternity ward might be full — because, you know, births are unpredictable like that — so I was supposed to call the hospital an hour prior to check if there was space for me. The night of my due date, I finally finished packing my hospital bag, spent some special family time with Peaches, and set my alarm for 4:57.

Well, births are unpredictable, all right. I never made it to 6 AM. Or 4:57, for that matter. Continue reading

Aug 5 2015

The Waiting Around Game

The Waiting Around Game

Because of what happened with Peaches, I kind of assumed I was just a 37-weeks-of-pregnancy sort of girl. She was due in February but was born in January. This one is due in August, so I figured he’d arrive in July. But nope…here we are! August it is. At 39 weeks, I’m more pregnant than I’ve ever been in my life, and here I am waiting for baby.

It seems totally strange to just WAIT for something so life-alteringly important. I mean, this could really happen at any time, and in a million different ways, and it’s unsettling (and kind of exciting? Maybe? Sort of?) to not have any control over any of it. It might take forty-five minutes from start to finish, or I might have to endure a days-long labor. I might eventually have to get induced, or my water could break during dinner tonight. What time will everything happen? Who will be around to help me? Will I be able to get an epidural this time? Will I give birth on the side of the road? Continue reading