Archive for Newborn

02 May 2011

WhY Chromosome? WhY not?

22 Comments Family, Newborn, Pregnancy

This is what I wrote for Listen To Your Mother. The show was yesterday and it was a blast.

When I found out I was pregnant, I prayed for a boy. “Please, God. Please let it be a boy. I don’t know what I’d do with a girl. I understand boys. Please, God.” Girls scare me. They always have. Where boys are filthy little balls of energy, girls are judgy, cliquey little bundles of emotion. And I’m pretty sure they hate my clothes.

For the 11 weeks before genetic testing was to take place… Yes I had genetic testing. I was 35. My eggs were 35. And I had to make sure the kid was my husband’s. So for the 11 weeks before the genetics test I danced back and forth between desperately wanting a boy and feeling guilty for not wanting a girl. But then telling the girl to stop being such a little princess and get over it. “Oh God, please make it a boy.”

When I finally went for the genetic test I realized I just wanted a healthy baby… boy. Shut up! I’m being honest. The test was horrible and terrifying and I held my breath for the next 48 hours, praying that nothing had gone wrong or hurt the beautiful boy who was growing inside me.

A week later, I got a call from my doctor. My heart raced as I pulled the car over to call back. This is it. This is it! “Lisa?”, he started out. “YES! I’m Lisa!” “First of all”, he said, “the baby seems very healthy. Everything looks good.” I started to cry. I had a healthy baby inside me. I hadn’t expected that to hit me so hard. A healthy baby. Oh my god. I was going to have a baby. Only two years previous I hadn’t wanted anything to do with it. I didn’t even really like kids or understand what to do with them. I didn’t get why parents thought their filthy little monkeys were so cute or interesting or anything but petrie dishes and snot monsters and little bags of flesh who ruined my restaurant experiences on no less than 13 occasions. And now, here I was, in my car in Toluca Lake right by the Trader Joes, on the phone with my doctor who just informed me that my pending snot monster was healthy. “Do you want to know the sex?”, He asked. “YES!! PLEASE!” “Well… It’s a boy.” OH  MY GOD THANK YOU SO MUCH I HAVE TO CALL MY HUSBAND!!!!! I screamed into the phone and hung up.

I immediately dialed my husband’s phone, knowing he was in a meeting but praying he would answer. “Hello?” he said. “RUSS?”, I said. “YES.”, he said. “IT’S A BOY!!!”

Now, at this point I was apparently hysterical and insane and so all he heard on his end was, “IT’S A MWAH!”

“WHAT??”, came the reply.

“IT’S A MWAH!”, I repeated, completely perplexed at his lack of understanding. Clearly the kid was already hurting our communication.


I took a deep breath. “It’s. A. Boy, honey. We’re having a little boy.”

His jubilation on the other end made up for the incredibly frustrating previous 10 seconds. We celebrated, he went back to his meeting…… And I called my doctor back. The receptionist answered and I asked to speak to my OB. “He’s with a patient.” “Can I just ask you a favor? He told me my baby is a boy, but now I’m afraid I heard him wrong. Could you just look at my file?” The 26 seconds that followed felt like at least 38 seconds. When she returned to the phone, she assured me there was a boy in my uterus. I thanked her and hung up so I could thank God for answering my selfish prayer. “God, thank you for my healthy baby. Thank you for my beautiful husband and this glorious day. And thank you for knowing that I’m ill equipped to deal with a little girl. I’ll spend the rest of my life proving it.  Oh, you know what I mean.”

On September 18, 2007, I had a perfect little boy. He has made me something I never knew I wanted to be: A Mom. And to be a mom is to be an emotional wreck, an anxiety-ridden freak, a goofball, a nurturer, a chef, a story reader, a story writer, a bather, a lecturer, a teacher, a friend. To be a mom is to step aside, to create confidence, to cheer from the sidelines, to pray harder than you ever have. To be a mom is to know such great happiness that it physically hurts sometimes, and to want more than you have ever wanted for someone other than yourself. I am more fully who I am now then I ever knew I could be. I am Garrett’s Mom. And I am blessed every day.

But God help the bitch he brings home. I do not deal well with girls.

06 Oct 2010

Don’t Touch Pregnant Women and Newborns. Okay?

2 Comments Newborn, Pregnancy

The title says it all.

I hate that people think they can just walk up and touch you because you have a baby in your uterus.  It’s never made any sense to me.  I mean, I guess I understand the draw. It’s cool and interesting when a normal-sized woman is all of a sudden carrying thirty pounds of extra weight in her belly, and it’s hard and smooth and odd… And there’s a living being inside of it.  I get it.  It’s neat.  I’ve ASKED pregnant women that I know, or at least have been introduced to, if I can feel their belly.  It sort of feels like you’re getting in touch with a new life force… Or something.  But I would never touch ANYONE without asking them.  Ever!  ESPECIALLY a stranger!

When I was pregnant, I perfected a “get the f**k away from me” look that scared everyone within 10 feet of me, whether or not they were planning on touching me. If I was in an elevator and someone even looked like they were interested in the fact that I was pregnant… Forget about it, Chuck!  I shot them “the look”.  At my baby shower I had to remind myself to not give “the look” to my friends and family who were there to support me.  I think I may have scared my niece at one point.

Because of that miraculous look, no one uninvited ever touched me in the entire nine or so months I was “with child”.

Speaking of being with a child, when Garrett was born it started all over. Creepy, stinky, freaky, weird people would zombie-walk toward us moaning something unintelligible like, “Me touch baby!”  Then they would just… TOUCH HIM! It was all I could do not to scream, “Get your filthy friggin’ hands off of my baby, you sicko!” Instead I would sneer, pick him up and politely say, “He’s pretty new.  Please don’t touch him.”   “The Look” did not work as well once the baby was outside the uterus. I’m not sure why.  So I perfected a new, meaner look.  That seemed to do the trick.

Here’s the thing.  Just don’t touch.  Fight all of those instincts.  Or, here’s a novel idea… ASK!  Say, “Can I touch your tummy?”, or “Can I put my grubby hands on your infant?”  Maybe you’ll get a yes.  If not, just politely walk away. And if you’re the pregnant one, or the new mother, start practicing your look. You’ll need it.

30 Sep 2010

Little Things to Make a New Mom’s Life Easier

8 Comments Newborn
Let’s face it, when you have a baby, it’s like half of your brain comes out with the placenta.  I believe this is God’s way of protecting you from thinking too much about the fact that you are now responsible for a little human who relies on you for everything.  With this in mind (or half a mind), I compiled a list of the things that made my days a little easier that first year:
SEVENTH GENERATION CHLORINE FREE WIPES:  Not only are these better for the environment, they’re much better for butts.  Because there’s no chlorine in these wipes, they’re much gentler on your babies bottom and you’ll find there’s less diaper rash, too.  I even used their chlorine-free diapers for a year.  But diapers are a very personal choice.  Keep trying until you find the ones you love.
SNOT SUCKER:  Every single new mom you meet will tell you to beg the nurses at the hospital to let you go home with at least one of their snot suckers.  I’m telling you, I would’ve given up Garrett’s college fund to get my hands on one of these, if I hadn’t already had one.  There is NO OTHER snot sucker that actually works.  I promise.  So, take one home!  You will need it every day.  If you forget or you have a mean nurse, you can get one on line.
COTTON PADS:  For years I used these to remove my eye makeup, but I found they also worked great for quick baby cleanups as well.
ALCOHOL SWABS:  I used (and still use) these to clean and disinfect EVERYTHING! From thermometers to nose suckers to small toys and everything in between… I even use them to clean my cell phone!
AQUAPHOR: I believe this stuff was originally created to heal burns, but I use it for everything.  It’s good for chapped lips and noses, diaper rash, and dry skin.  It’s like a less greasy version of Vaseline.
FEEDING PILLOW:  These things make feeding your baby so much more comfortable!  I breast fed, but this is also helpful for bottle feeding.  A lot of people love The Boppy but I returned mine and got My Brest Friend.  It wraps around you and velcros on, so you can even walk around with it if you have to.  (Just make sure you’re holding on to the baby!)  Garrett and I were always very cozy and comfortable during feedings… Well, except for all the harsh boob sucking.
FEEDING APRON:  If you do choose (and are able) to breast feed, I believe in a bit of modesty.  This feeding apron really helped me out.  I was able to feed Garrett in private and I could check on him without lifting the apron up.  They cleverly made it so you (and no one else) can see in through the top!
FACE AND BODY CLEANING STUFF:  I am not kidding.  This is the shiznit!  I used this once at my friend’s house and was instantly hooked!  This Mustela Physiobebe No Rinse Cleanser smells yummy and removes any grossness from your baby.  No rinsing required!  Oh, here’s one of the reasons you’ll need those cotton pads!
CLOTH DIAPERS:  No, Silly!  Not to use as diapers… To use as burpies! You will use these all the time.  Throw one over your shoulder and keep it there!  Perfect for spit up, throw up, spills, and everything in between.  You’ll use about five a day, so get a lot!  Now we use them as rags to clean the house!
SIDE SNAP SHIRTS:  When Garrett was a newborn, I’d do anything to avoid putting a shirt on over his head because I always felt like I was going to break him!  These side snap shirts are hard to find, but worth the hunt.  You’ll be saying “Hallelujah” every time you put one on your baby.
CHANGING PAD COVER:  You’ll definitely want to put one of these over your changing pad.  It makes it more comfy and extends the life of the pad.  It’s washable and I believe you can find ones to match your room’s decor.
CHANGING PAD PAD:  Yup.  You need these too.  These keep you from having to take the cover on and off all the time to wash.  Instead, just change these out every day or two and wash them!  They’re easy and clean and they keep your changing pad cover from wearing out.  I’d even pack one in your diaper bag in case you run into a yucky public changing situation!
DIAPER CHAMP:  A lot of people like the Diaper Genie, but I was quite happy with my Diaper Champ.  I put a trash liner inside and it rarely smelled.  Of course, you’ll want to change the liner frequently and put super stinky diapers in baggies.
DIAPERS.COM:  This site saved me.  I never ran out of anything, because if I was low I’d put in my order and it would arrive two days later.  Shipping is free over $49 and the prices are as good or better than anywhere else!  I know!  I couldn’t believe it either!

Let me know if these tips help, and please post some of your own!