Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Monday, August 31, 1:30 AM
Had a few mild contractions that woke me up and came about every 5 minutes for a few rounds - muttered something about stupid uteruses that fake people out to Rob and went downstairs to sleep for the night. This had happened a few nights prior and I'd stayed up for most of the night getting all excited, before it petered out and I had to go to work on 3 hours of sleep that day. This time I knew better. Mean old uterus. I was probably going to be pregnant for the next 2 weeks. I was probably going to have to be induced at 41 weeks like with Katherine - miserable and grumpy and defeated.

2:30 AM
Stupid Uterus woke me up. Shut up, Uterus. Go back to sleep.

4:30 AM
Stupid Uterus woke me up again. Shut up, Uterus. Go back to sleep.

6:15 AM
Alarm goes off. Mild contractions are still there - now about 10-15 minutes apart. I sit in bed and think for a while. How does one know if it's for real? Should I go to work? I don't want to suddenly be popping out a baby on the highway by myself, but I also don't want to go on maternity leave before I actually do have a baby to take care of.
I have irrational standards for taking time off work. I didn't want to wimp out. If I had it my way, I'd have my water break in between patients, and be rushed to the hospital in active labor.
My sister-in-law always almost gives birth in the car while her husband drives her to the ER. I always tell her that this makes my head explode worrying about her safety (and it does), but I am also kind of in awe of her strength.
I prayed about it, and I felt like God gave me the go-ahead to go to work, so I did.

8:15 AM
Still having contractions every 10 minutes or so, but I can ignore them and talk and walk through them. Still totally convinced that nothing is really happening, but I told my NP friend just in case. She got all excited. I told her not to, and that probably my uterus was just being overly dramatic and I would still be here for two weeks.

9:45 AM
Saw two patients and sweated through their visits. I swear I've been sweaty since John was conceived, but it was kind of hard to keep ignoring those contractions and talk & act like a normal person instead of pausing to acknowledge the existence of those contractions. That made me sweaty. If that makes sense?

10:15 AM
Called my boss, asked her to block my schedule after lunch so I can go home and contract uselessly in peace - but don't worry! I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow! Without a baby! The office staff get all excited. I reassure them that I'm going to be pregnant forever, and tell them not to get their hopes up.

11:45 AM
I take the 5 flights of stairs down to my car. My NP friend freaks out, but I'm having a contraction while she's freaking out, so I don't go into how our elevator's inspection certificate is expired and I've been glaring at it for 9 months while picturing giving birth by myself in a broken down elevator, and no thank you, I'd rather brave the stairs. She asks me to text her when I get to my car. I do, and she feels better. ;)

Walk in the back door and burst into tears to Rob.
"What's wrong? Are you upset because the contractions hurt, or because they've stopped? Because I can see the validity of either option."
I'm upset because I'm afraid that this isn't real, and I'll be back at work tomorrow without a baby. I'll have gotten everyone's hopes up for no reason, and they'll think I'm a wimp. What if this keeps happening for 2 weeks? I can't just keep canceling on my afternoon patients, that's not fair to them.
Rob points out that it's also not fair to see patients while having contractions, because while they weren't a big deal this morning, if this should ramp up, am I really going to be the best medical provider I can be? We decide to start maternity leave that day. We brainstorm fun things to do for the next 2 weeks as a family of three before I'll have to be induced.
So, decision made, I change clothes, and go on a long walk around the neighborhood. Periodically bursting into tears, feeling sorry for myself, and feeling embarrassed for going home from work. Also stopping for the occasional contraction that I was still so sure was nothing. I bet I was a sight to see. Thank goodness for very large sunglasses and stand-off-ish neighbors.

2 PM
Still contracting - like every 10-12 minutes, but still talking through them. Feeling less defeated now that I have a plan for maternity leave. Rob periodically asks me to compare these contractions to the previous hours contractions. I don't know. I don't really want to think about it. Or talk about it. I want to be left alone and clean the bathrooms. It's not so fun to be Rob for the next few hours.

4 PM
Contractions start kind of actually hurting - but in a, "Huh. That's different." kind of way, not in a "I might die" kind of way. Still like 10 minutes apart.

4:30 PM
It starts lightly raining outside and for hilarity's sake: The Power Goes Out. Rob freaks out because Rob kind of has PTSD about power outages. I start laughing and can't stop laughing except for when I'm contracting - which is actually starting to not be so funny. Rob jokes that I deserve the pain of contractions for laughing at his emotional pain. (Don't be horrified, this is how we joke - and it's a good coping mechanism for me - as you and our poor labor and delivery nurses will shortly eventually see).

5:30 PM
Power returns. Husband returns from The Dark Place (badumdum).

6-9 PM
Rocking & dancing through contractions now - 7-10 minutes apart. I finally acknowledge, grudgingly, that mayyybe this could be for real. But probably not. No one get their hopes up.
Rob calls his parents to tell them what's going on, and his dad immediately rushes down from Northern Virginia to pick Katherine up. I spew out a litany of disclaimers and ask if they're sure they really want to take her because that's a lot of driving for probably NO REASON AT ALL - we have local friends that had planned to take her, after all. They pat me on the head and take Katherine home.
Rob and I laugh at our new found freedom - especially since our anniversary starts in 3 hours. We decide to have a "date" to stay up watching late night talk shows - which we never do anymore, but enjoyed doing when Katherine was a baby. It seems appropriate.

Rob convinces me to maybe try timing contractions on my phone. By 1 AM they're about 5-7 minutes apart and they kind of suck, but they don't suck ENOUGH, and I want at least one of us to be rested, so I send Rob to bed. We're both pretty sure I'll be waking him up in an hour or two to leave for the hospital.

7:30 AM
Nope. Still pregnant. Contractions are still 5-7 minutes apart and they still suck - at INCREDIBLY slowly increasing levels of suckiness. I've been up all night walking around the basement, watching anything funny I can find On Demand because laughing seems to help me cope with the pain. Unfortunately, I ran out of funny things to watch around 6 AM, I'm exhausted, and I'm verging on the brink of Crazy Pregnant Woman State. I need a nap, but I've somehow convinced myself that if I take a nap and contractions slow down or stop, then I'll have somehow injured John or labor will never come back and I'll have to be induced 2 weeks from now. Rob talks me off the ledge and sends me off to bed. Bless him.

9 AM
Wake up to a"Holy Shit" contraction. And another one 10 minutes later. Get out of bed and by 9:20 they're 3-5 minutes apart and they suuuuck. As I'm bracing myself on the arms of a chair and moaning through a contraction, Rob snarkily notes that clearly I'm not in real labor and that nap was certainly the worst idea ever. I flip him off and give him a kiss.

10:45 AM
I note that probably this is when you're supposed to call the doctor to tell them that you're in labor, as my app helpfully tells me that contractions are now 3-5 minutes apart and lasting for about 1 minute. But maybe I'll call them in like an hour?
Rob says, "Or now?"
I call them and they tell me to come in.
"To the office? Do I have to? Can't I just go to the hospital in a few hours?"
No, they want to "check me". Rob agrees. I think they're all idiots. I think they're all trying to sabotage my labor, and that getting into the car is going to make it stop.
(HAH! HAHAHAHAHA! You're going to wish, Chica.)
I grab a very large bag of grapes from the fridge and some peanut butter balls to snack on. It's always good to have snacks.
Rob grabs the hospital bag. As I notice this, I say, "Wait. They're not going to let me go home, are they?"
Rob says, "Nope." avoids making eye contact with me, and ushers me out the door.
I stop twice in the driveway to have contractions before getting into the car.
It was such a pretty day outside - sun shining, big puffy white clouds. It was kind of weird to be in such pain on such a pretty day.
The drive SUCKED. Fortunately, Rob kept me laughing between contractions. We bitched about paying taxes for all these potholes.
Rob asked if we should use the (free) valet. I demanded that we park in the parking deck and walk. (With lots of stopping to hang on to walls/husband mid-contractions.) I handed him the giant bag of grapes.
"Can't I put this in your purse?"
"No." (contraction)
"Do they let you carry grapes into the OB's office?"
"I Don't Care. We're bringing the grapes. I'm in charge."

(I let him put the grapes in my purse in the OB's office as we walked in. I'm not sure why I was having a power trip over grapes, but whatever. The contracting woman wants what she wants.)

I'd barely signed in at the front desk and finished having a contraction in the waiting room before they sent me back to the OB's waiting room. I'd barely set my purse down before the nurse grabbed us out of the waiting room. Rob said, "I don't think they believed you on the phone, but I think they're all kind of freaked out now."

I had a hell of a contraction in the patient room. And promptly burst into tears, and laughed, and just generally lost my shit and had All The Emotions all at once because "I'M STILL IN LABOR DESPITE GETTING INTO THE CAR AND COMING HERE AND WE'RE MAYBE ACTUALLY GOING TO HAVE A BABY." Dr. Hirata walked in, gave me a hug, and said, "Excited? Scared? Happy?"

Yes. Very much. All of that.

4 cm, 80% effaced, and LOW. "Get thee to the hospital" she said (or something like that). So across the breezeway we walked - I said no to the wheelchair (sitting? are you kidding me??) - over to labor and delivery.

We walked into the labor/delivery room - which was like a gigantic fancy hotel room - and an old black and white cowboy movie was on TV. So appropriate, because Pop (Rob's grandfather, Ronald - John Ronald's namesake) loved those old cowboy movies. I felt comforted by that.

We talked through all the admitting information and my expectations/hopes for delivery. They got the Nitrous Oxide set up, and as things ramped up, they had me try it. There was a bit of a learning curve there, but once I figured it out, it did help me relax a bit through contractions. No pain relief, but it helped me keep my mind on the present instead of getting anxious about the future. Also, it gave me a job to do - which helped. AND moaning into the mask through contractions muffled my moans, so I worried less about freaking out all the other laboring women. Hah.

I spent pretty much all of labor standing up - bracing myself on the arms of a chair or the bed through the bad contractions. I kept my tennis shoes on - which I later learned made all the nurses laugh. Apparently everyone but me labors barefoot. I don't know, I guess I figured that arch support is important! Might as well have comfortable arches while your pelvis is being ripped apart.

Dr. Hirata showed Rob where to press on my hips during a contraction. THAT was awesome.

After an hour or so of using the nitrous, Dr. Hirata suggested trying the shower. I was getting shaky with the intensity of the contractions, and she thought the shower would help me relax. Mentally, I think the hot shower was just as good as the nitrous, but physically I think the heat of the shower kept my muscles looser. It surprised me how little I cared about being stark naked in front of EVERYONE - I'm normally modest to a fault. There were lots of bars to grab on to in the shower, and Rob stayed with me the whole time. He was so encouraging - and he kept me laughing in between contractions. I'd have stayed in there forever, but they eventually wanted me on the monitor for 20 minutes.

Laboring with Rob by my side was amazing. I'd read Mindful Birthing twice during my pregnancy, and I took notes the second time. Rob read those notes so he could be on the same page with me, and he really applied everything I wanted to try. He kept me focused and present, he was so encouraging. From 2 PM-4 PM I was having these awful contractions that sometimes would hit back-to-back. But natural labor was so much different than Pitocin labor. I had absolutely no pain between contractions. The nurse (who had obviously never really assisted with the whole natural labor thing), remarked, "I don't know how you're giggling and joking between contractions". I laughed and said, "Well it doesn't hurt in between these fucking things!" It was all very bipolar. I'd be actually sobbing through a contraction one minute, and then laughing at Rob's jokes the next, with really no transition. Once the contraction was over, it was over. Strange process. Strange pain.

Rob laughed at my language. My go-to descriptive words during contractions were: "Ouch. Ouch. Ouchie. Owieeee. Ouch. Ouch." I don't know. I guess I have a 3 year old at home. Perhaps most of my language has been scrubbed clean.

4 PM
The nurse convinced me to let the hospitalist, Dr. Love, check my progress. She was so sure that after all that hard work, I'd be close. I had my doubts, but I let her check.
Dumb move.
4 cm 80% effaced, and low.
No change.
I sobbed, and totally lost my focus. I'm a medical person and a numbers girl. I'd been in hard labor since 11 AM, and those numbers were defeating. I started to get my groove back with some very loud Pachelbel's Cannon via headphones, but then the nurse returned to try and give me a pep talk - bringing up those numbers again- and she just made it worse. My edge was gone. I tried for another few contractions, but I kept mentally coming back to the fact that the pain was going to get worse, it might last for ages longer, a giant baby head was going to plow through my vagina, and I was tired.
Dr. Hirata rechecked me, and agreed. No change.
I requested an epidural.
Best decision ever.

5-6 PM
Well, for a while, from a medical perspective, it wasn't a great decision. My labor slowed and almost entirely stopped for a bit after getting the epidural. I can't say I really cared though. I was so over it. They could have told me I needed a C-section and I would have said, "Ok! Let's go cut this baby out!" I was just endlessly grateful to be out of pain. Rob was worried - and exhausted, too, but he hid it well and I pretended I didn't notice his worry.

Dr. Love rechecked, and I was at 7 cm. My water kind of maybe broke at that point, but it was a slow leak. I let her break my water more thoroughly to get things moving again, and that helped. The contractions on the monitor happily spiked back up, and I was blissfully not in pain.

6-7 PM
Rob and I got really, really bored. There was really nothing to do but wait on my cervix, and after the intensity of coping with every contraction, we were sort of at a loss. We laughed at the irony of feeling so bored right before such a momentous event. Fortunately, Theresa was nearby, so she came to visit and kept us entertained. She brought me lotion for my very, very dry skin - I'd turned into a raisin in the shower. That lotion was blissful. Thank you, Theresa!

7:30 PM
Dr. Love came back in to check my progress (and despite my offer to let her stay for John's birth since she was already here and all, Theresa got the hell out of there - haha). Dr. Love's shift was ending, but she said she wanted to stay to deliver John if she could. I thought that was so sweet! I was kind of in love with Dr. Love.

She pronounced me at "Like 9 and a half and really stretchy - almost a 10 - just the tiniest lip on one side". We negotiated. I really didn't want yet another new person to meet and then have deliver my baby. I'd already been through 3 nursing shifts and 2 doctors. "Maybe he has a small head?" I said - which made her laugh. She agreed we could try pushing and see how it went.
With Katherine, at a different hospital in town, this is when a million nurses descended on the room and started pulling things out of cabinets, throwing oxygen on my face, and creating a giant flurry of activity. That was kind of overwhelming.

Dr. Love just lowered the end of the bed, and sat on the bed with me. Rob held one leg, the nurse held the other, and I pushed through maybe 3 contractions. His head was out! He had hair! (I asked) - not red hair (Rob checked). Dr. Love asked if I'd like to pull him out at the end. "YES! THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!" I said. One more contraction, and she was having me grab John under his arms and I got to plop him on my belly! Someone blotted him off so he wouldn't be quite so slippery, which I appreciated.

Rob tells me that I kept trying to pull John up to my chest, but that, obviously, he was still attached to the cord and the undelivered placenta. I vaguely remember the nurse and Dr. Love telling me to stop pulling on him, but that part is all very fuzzy. Rob also tells me that apparently John shot out with a FLOOD of amniotic fluid behind him - completely soaking the bed, the floor, and anything else nearby. I didn't notice. I was incapable of paying attention to anything other than John. My whole world was John - this bright red, ridiculously loud, 8.9 oz of baby-fury. OUR baby boy. 

The nurses all remarked at how LOUD he was - they joked that we were in for it with him. Fortunately for us, we haven't heard a cry out of John that loud since then. He's such a chill little dude.

I told Rob that I didn't think I'd cry this time. He didn't believe me, but I was right. I was SO happy, but this time, not verklempt. I was calm-happy, not desperate-happy. Everything felt so acute with Katherine. With John, I felt more at peace. Some of it is having done this before, but I think the greater portion of it was that my pregnancy with John was so much easier.

We spent the next 2 days fielding an endless stream of family and medical providers, working through the kinks with breastfeeding, and cuddling. John likes to cuddle, and it's bliss. On the rare occasion that no one was in my hospital room, I would open the curtains, scoop John up, and dance him around the room to "Sweet Baby James" playing on my phone. I felt happy and high on love - love for John, and love for my whole little family. 

It's been almost 2 months now, and we're still so very happy. I have one more month of maternity leave bliss planned, and I feel totally spoiled. John is such a good baby. There are middle-of-the-night feedings, early morning feedings, and grown-up naps at strange times of day. There are sore nipples, industrial-strength sports bras, and sometimes there's baby gas drama. But he still loves to cuddle, he's a fan of my boobs, he's starting to coo, and he's giggled at Rob. My Instagram account is all JOHN JOHN JOHN (and Katherine). 

I'm totally biased, of course, but I'm pretty sure John is the second most beautiful baby of all time (after Katherine - I'll let Katherine win that prize). We suspect he has curly red hair - which makes us laugh. Rob's joked for YEARS that red heads are trouble - the occasional red head pops up in his family from time to time. He's always vehemently declared that if we get one, we're putting it back. I laughed. God has a sense of humor, I think, because that fluff on my baby boy's head is looking awfully orange. 

I kind of thought we'd drive each other crazy, all being home as a family of 4 for 12 weeks of maternity leave, but it's been WONDERFUL. We watched the entire Star Wars series in a 24 hour period BECAUSE WE COULD. We all pile into the car and go on random shopping trips as a family of 4 just to get out of the house and enjoy each other's company. Babies are needy, but all babies should come with a 3 year old Katherine. She ROCKS at fetching diapers/wipes/pacis, turning on the bouncy seat vibration, and singing educational songs at her brother. 

We're so very lucky. Thank you for joining us, John. Thank you for being my sweet baby boy.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

John's Nursery

I love John's room.
I am possibly the only one who fully appreciates the madness.
But that is ok! Really, a child's room is mostly for the person suffering through the early days with that child - not anyone else.
Yes, I said "suffering".
This long-standing infertile chick - said "suffering through" In reference to her second miracle surprise baby. I know.

Katherine's first year was HARD.

For a year postpartum, I had ridiculous neuropathic pain in my feet from carrying Katherine in my belly.
I wanted so badly to breastfeed my baby - and my baby hated my boobs - she screamed at them while I cried. So I pumped all day every day for 5 months - until it was a question of starting Zoloft or giving up (I gave up).
My friends had schedule-able children. I had an insomniac.
I waited for 5 years for a baby to hold - but that miracle baby wanted to be swaddled, propped up, and not touched. (This is what can happen if you marry the least cuddly human being on the planet - just because your baby spent 9+ months cuddling with your uterus doesn't mean she will want to cuddle outside your uterus! Just FYI... haha).

It got better (SO much better!) when we surrendered. We swaddled the crap out of her. We let her pick her bedtime (11 pm after Conan). We bought formula. I could breathe.

No two babies are the same, I hear. My friends reassure me of this daily. I believe it. John dances, hiccups, and kicks all day long in my belly. Katherine would grumpily wallop my insides only often enough that I didn't have to worry about her. I was swollen EVERYWHERE with Katherine. With John, I have 4 weeks to go and I'm still cankle-free. I had one emotional breakdown the other night over something that was marginally legitimately deserving of actual tears and Rob was so surprised by my outburst that he almost laughed. With Katherine, at this stage: I was a wreck. So, perhaps John is a golden-boy fetus, and maybe perhaps some things are easier the second time around. I know I am easier on myself this time around. I will fight the good fight, but if John hates my boobs after 6 weeks, we're buying formula and I'm done. If John wants to be swaddled and left alone, that's fine. I will snuggle my 3 year old - who finally likes my cuddles. I know I'll never sleep again. That's ok. There's coffee. I know how to drink coffee this time - Katherine taught me that. I have a list of TV shows and movies I'd like to watch at 2 AM. I've been hoarding non-perishables and informing everyone I know that I'm not traveling for 1 year (Maybe with the exception of Thanksgiving. MAYBE.) I've learned how to say "no". I have lower expectations - both of babies in general and of myself. Life is good.

So, John's Room.

Proposed themes (a la Rob) have been:
"An Acid Trip Through Boy Themes"
"Picnic Blankets as Crib Sheets"
"I don't know anything about Boys, So I'll throw in all the boy things."

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

It's true. I know nothing about boys. But after a lot of Pinterest research, I gather they like: Cars, Airplanes, Camping, Navy Blue, Bears, Army Men, Cowboys, Indians, and Shooting Things. Trains and Dinosaurs have not yet made it into the room, but rest assured: I will work on that.

Things that make *me* happy about John's room:

1) The Giant "J" that I cut out of a J. Crew box I had in the attic.
2) The faux bois fabric I used in making rail guards for the crib.
3) The infamous "Picnic Blanket" crib sheet. Everyone in the entire world has snorted at this crib sheet. Whatever. I love it. John has to have red crib sheets because my pale, pale daughter looked BLUE against her green crib sheets in the middle of the night. Hopefully, my Mom-Anxiety will be better this time around - and maybe John's skin won't be quite so lilly-white, but if not, these crib sheets will give John a nice, healthy pink hue. ;)

4) The Mushroom Footstool I made out of some old sweaters, a paint bucket, and some cushion foam (All random scraps from the attic).

5) This Black Teddy Bear was sewn for Baby-Rob by his Great Grandmother. I freshened him up with new fluff and embroidered eyes. I chose Black and White because Katherine found contrast SUPER exciting as an infant. It'll be interesting to see what John thinks. 

6) The WATERPROOF changing pad cover I sewed. I hear boys like to pee everywhere. Looking forward to that. Good times.

7) The couch. For collapsing on in the middle of the night because infants are evil.
8) The fleece-backed quilt and pillowcase I patched together from an old sleeping bag, a super soft coverlet that had been loved into shreds, and some scraps of fabric.
9) The Boppy Covers I made out of Goodwill Outlet Sweatpants.
10) This Green Rug. One of Rob's groomsmen brought this rug back for us as a wedding present when he drove an ice cream truck from England to Mongolia. True story.

11) My deer-head-with-glasses embroidery project. Because at 3 AM, it's good to remember that hilarity exists. 3 AM is hard.
12) The $1 wall lamp that Katherine and I scored at a yard sale. It had to be stripped of paint, coated with Rub N Buff, and required a new lampshade, but it was TOTALLY worth the effort.
13) The curtains - sewn from some madras-print women's bermuda shorts and a sheet - both found at Goodwill - and backed with the blackout curtains that previously hung in the room.

14) The airplane flying through the poufs, stars, and clouds. Rob's grandfather, Ronald, made it for Rob. Now it's flying above John Ronald's crib. ::sniff::
15) The Antique Mountain Prints that my mom gave me for John's room.

16) The tree - cut from that same J. Crew box. I was obsessed with this fabric, but couldn't stomach the price - so I fashioned myself a solitary tree in homage. Caroline pointed out that since we discovered we were expecting John on Christmas Day, it was highly appropriate to have a Christmas Tree in his room. :)
17) The Pinewood Derby Cars and Arrow from Rob's boy-scout days. 
18) The Odd Bird oil painting I found at Goodwill Outlet. I love that place.

19) These shadow boxes - backed with faux bois tissue paper that came in a baby shower gift for Katherine. I saved it thinking: "If we ever have a boy, I want to do something for his room with this paper." (Sometimes crazy hoarding works out!) The boxes were left over from our mad Ikea kitchen renovation - our spice jars came in them. I figure that their contents can be changed out as John develops opinions about what he likes. I used a Sharpie marker to draw a frame around them on the wall.

20) The stars on this swing - to match the stars above his bed. Katherine LIVED in the "Snugabunny" version of this "My Little Snugamonkey" swing until the motor died when she was 6 months old. I replaced  the creepy monkeys on John's swing with pretty stars. 

So, I think John's room is officially done. If you need me, I'll be twiddling my thumbs and going to bed at fantastically early times for the next month. ;)

Monday, April 27, 2015


Meet John Ronald Meyers. :) 

I teared up and struggled to keep my shit together after the Ultrasound tech told us that, indeed, everyone was right, we're having a boy!!
"Are you happy?" asked Rob (who was glowing and hasn't stopped glowing ever since).
"Uh-huh!" I sobbed happily before summoning all my Mommy powers to get said shit together and apologize to the poor ultrasound tech.
Katherine looked at me worriedly.
Whatever it is, they don't pay ultrasound techs enough. ;)

Learning the gender of the tiny person I'm carrying around will apparently always make me dumb for 12 hours or so. With Katherine, I could barely string two words together. With John it was no better. After our ultrasound, the OB asked me how old I was and I debated out loud for ages before landing on a still incorrect answer. I got lost on my drive home. If we're blessed with a third child one day, someone please remind me to take a break between the ultrasound and any further human interaction. Take me to church to pray in silence, and don't expect me to boil water correctly until I've had 8 hours of sleep.

Oh, Pop, you've made us so very happy. We are so. incredibly. blessed.

"Where is John?" Rob asked Katherine tonight, quizzing her.
"In Mommy's belly!" she pointed, matter-of-factly.

So it's real. There's a baby boy in my belly. His name is John and he likes salad, cold cereal, and dance parties.

"Now, John at the bar is a friend of mine..." Billy Joel crooned on my way to work this morning.
John in my belly kicked enthusiastically.

As I've emerged from the haze of knowing who this little person is going to be, I've been wrapping my head around A BOY! A Boy! Oh my, I know nothing about boys.

I get to buy boy clothes! And it's yard sale season! (Score!!)
I'm going to get pee in my face while changing a diaper. (Hmm.)
I get to do a boy nursery!! (Yes! Let's focus on that!)
Sarah: (showing Rob my Pinterest board of nursery ideas) So, this is what I'm thinking...
Rob: I don't understand. Why is there cow hide and weird wood-print fabric?
Sarah: Because he's a BOY!
Rob: Yes, but is he a COWboy?
Sarah: MAYBE! I'd rather him be a cowboy than a rap artist!
Rob: (snort) Sarah, Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
Sarah: They're in my uterus.
Rob: That would have made the song way better.
I'm dragging Katherine to approximately 12 yard sales this Saturday in search of 50 cent Things For John. I'm DYING to pull out the crib and start sewing. I currently have my feet propped up on a can of pale gray paint for the nursery. It's going to be a fun summer. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I woke up with a start. It was dark. I checked the alarm clock: 3AM. It was quiet. No crying toddler. No reason to be awake.

Except... Pop, my husband's grandfather, was standing at the foot of our bed, looking at me worriedly.

The awake part of my brain negotiated with what my eyes were seeing,

"Pop is in hospice in New Jersey. You must still be asleep. Wake up."

I blinked. Shook my head.
Pop stayed.

I blinked some more.
Pop stayed.

My heart raced. I gasped and turned on the light.
"What's going on??" Rob said.

Pop was gone.

"Um. Nothing, sorry. " I turned the light off, decided I was crazy, and we went back to sleep.

An email arrived at 6AM. Pop had died at 3 AM. 

I emailed my sister-in-law:


Sarah MeyersFri, Dec 12, 2014 at 8:45 AM
To: Caroline Meyers 

I swear I saw Pop in like ghost form in our bedroom at 3 AM last night. I even turned on the light because it freaked me out.

Caroline Meyers Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM
To: Sarah Meyers 

Not out of the realm of possibility.

I love you.

I felt less crazy.

I told Rob why I'd woken him up at 3AM. He said, "Well, it's not like you're prone to "Visions". Seems legit."

I processed that for a few hours.

Pop was a worrier. He always wanted everyone to be "safe". He was practically beside himself with worry when Caroline and I had the audacity to be pregnant AT THE SAME TIME 3 years ago. (It didn't help that Caroline would do things like BUILD IGLOOS while pregnant... haha.)

Pop died... and appeared at the foot of my bed... on what the Creighton Method would call the "Peak Day" of my cycle that month. It was late (Day 20) even for my lazy cycles. Normally, I'd have not even bothered to get my hopes vaguely up with such a late Peak Day... especially knowing that I wouldn't even actually ovulate until day 23 or so. No one conceives that late. There's no time for implantation at that point. And I wasn't taking any fertility medication to improve the odds that month.

But Pop had been worrying over me. Why would Pop have been worried? I was in great health, I was starting a FANTASTIC new job, my family was doing well. There was no need to worry!


"I know this sounds crazy, but maybe Pop was worrying over me because I'm going to conceive this cycle." I told Rob.
"Maybe." Rob said, cautiously.

Day 33 - Christmas day - I took a test. It was faintly positive.
Like, "You conceived 10 days ago and there's a impossibly tiny zygote-baby burrowing in there" barely positive.
Rob found a Walgreens and bought a fancy EPT. I dehydrated on purpose and waited several hours to pee.
Holy. Shit.
Except, it was CHRISTMAS DAY, so you really shouldn't be profusely mentally swearing, right? Being the logical Catholic I am, I sang, "Oh, Holy Shit..." to the tune of "Oh, Holy Night" in my head all day long.

I sat on the couch staring at a positive pee stick for most of the afternoon. Apparently this is how I process pregnancies. This time no one bothered to try to get me to put the pee stick down. ;)

This miraculous "Day 23 Baby" I'm brewing is a gift from Rob's grandfather. Apparently, Pop arrived in heaven and said, "Hi, God! Sarah and Rob need another kid." all in the same breath. If it's a boy, he'll be named "John Ronald Meyers" after Ronald Krajewski. 
Rest In Peace, Pop, and thank you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Day 23

While walking to my OB appointment at the hospital this week, I noticed little old ladies giving me The Look

That knowing Look - usually syrupy sweet, sometimes with a head tilt and a half grin. Always the same expression - and always with (I'm imagining) the Mental Rose Tinted Glasses of Old Age. I don't think Little Old Ladies choose to remember the sleepless nights, the horrible breastfeeding nonsense, the crying (oh, God, the crying!).

At first I was confused. Usually The Look is bestowed upon Katherine ...though less so lately - now that she's gone and grown up WITHOUT EVEN ASKING MY PERMISSION. She's practically a teenager. (sob) But I digress...

So there I was, wandering around all by myself, and I was getting The Look. Clearly senility had set in on all of Richmond.

Finally it dawned on me, "OH RIGHT! I'm PREGNANT!"

You'd think this would have been my first thought, given that I was on my way to an OB appointment and all. But no, I was probably thinking about hair products, or my last patient of the day, or what's going to be on TV tonight, or some other such nonsense. My head is a busy place.

So, yes. I'm pregnant! I did absolutely nothing to earn this privilege for a second time. I was being the most non-compliant fertility patient of all time because I was just weeks away from changing jobs/losing health insurance for a month/freaking out. It was not exactly the moment *I'd* have picked to have life miraculously appear in my womb. But fortunately, *I* am not the one in charge of that. God is good, and He knows what He is doing.

And ok, I wasn't taking the pills I was supposed to be taking, but it's not exactly like we were avoiding the opportunity. I have how many years of infertility drama under my belt now? 7? 8? I will probably never pass on a stretchy cervical mucus situation. Beggars can't be Choosers, right?

So, last summer, I did this crazy ultrasound series that showed that not only are my fertile days late... my peak stretchy mucus days and the smiley face ovulation sticks aren't positive until day 18 or so ("normal" is day 14)... I actually ovulate REALLY late. My lazy-ass ovaries don't actually release an egg until 3 (or so) days after that peak. My Pituitary Gland says, "Hey, Dudes! Release an egg!" and my Ovaries, in between smoking doobies on the couch, say "Yeah, man! Sometime soon, k?" and then they eat Little Debbie cakes and take a nap. (Assholes.) Luteal Phase Defect Type II: I haz it.

This makes it nearly impossible to conceive - ESPECIALLY if you don't know that's what's happening. So basically, we've been sending sperm on suicide missions for 7 years.
Poor Sperm. I swear, Little Commando Guys, the intel. *I* had said there was an egg in there!
RIP, Spermies.
3 days later, the Egg arrives in all her Shiny, Dolled-Up, Miss Piggy-esque glory only to find her adoring crowd is... dead.
The drama in my Fallopian tubes. All unicellular entities involved need some serious PTSD counseling.

But conceive we did! This time on DAY 23.
DAY 23.
NO ONE conceives on day 23.

There was some very serious divine intervention happening there.
The kind that makes your Mother In Law weep tears of joy, and makes you wonder if you perhaps need some kind of psychological evaluation.

And THAT is a crazy story for my next post.