June 09, 2010
what is in Finn's heart?
Finn has gotten really into making these little books. When he was home sick this month (and I was getting work done), he came up with the idea of making this book, called, "What is in My Heart?"
Inside, you'll see that this includes:
Mrs. Graves (his teacher)
Ruby (his girlfriend)
Kyle (friend from school)
Mr. Louridas (another teacher)
Bella (neighbor dog)
If you didn't make the list, don't despair. He had to stop when it was lunchtime.
December 01, 2009
a long-overdue Cormac birthday post
Oh, Cormac! I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to post about your very first birthday. My only defense is that having two boys, a business, and a life in general keeps one busy. (I'd like to issue an open apology here to the six or so friends who I owe phone calls to.) And that you're so darn amenable, I figured you'd understand.
You seriously have probably the best disposition of anyone I've ever met. How we got so lucky to have two such perfect boys, I'll never know. You are so quick to smile, laugh, and although you play it coy at first when you meet someone new, you quickly reach your little arms out to them.
And you really rarely cry, with one notable exception. (Night time.) I won't get too into that too much right now, but I wouldn't mind at all if you would start sleeping through the night since you are one-year-old now. But you're so darn cute and cuddly that it's hard to stay too annoyed at you, even if it is 1am. (And 3am. And 5am...)
The energy you have! You never stop moving. It's like you're training for a little baby version of the Iron Man. You crawl faster than I can walk, pull yourself up on anything you can find (ahem, Santos the dog), inspect every toy, and sometimes chuck it across the room just to see how far you can go. You are trying your darndest to walk (it won't be long), but for now you get where you want to go--and quickly--crawling. And expediency tends to be your goal right now.
I'm proud to report that you have inherited the robust Hazen/Baggerman appetite, and you're willing to eat just about anything. (Which is good, since you must be burning upwards of 5,000 calories a day with all your activity.) You long ago rejected "baby" food, though. You want what I'm having. And what she's having. And that guy over there--what he's eating looks kind of good. You eat everything--even if it's spicy. You consumed two spicy Indian samosas at our friend, Samira's baby shower, then fussed for more. (I distracted you only because I didn't want to be confronted with too crazy a diaper later on.)
But the best part is right after you eat. Then it's PARTY TIME. Feeling great, you dance, squawk, engage us in a spirited game of peek-a-boo, roll, laugh, throw the ball for Santos, and generally wear yourself out until you fall asleep.
You're starting to talk. "Dog" was your first word. Followed by "Da-Da," "Ma-Ma" (often said in duress, like "Mama! Get that milk over here!"), and now "Bruh-Bruh" for "brother." (Good job! That's a hard one.)
You really are the gold standard of babies, dear Cormac. Handsome, even-tempered, always happy, loving of all people, smiley, and just so darn irresistable. You are so bold in expressing your love for everyone. When you see Daddy, you squawk "DA-DA!", extend your arms, and pump your feet until he picks you up. When he does you, laugh. You clap when you see Santos. And a new game you like to play when you see me is to crawl up to me, then lay your little head (with its darling little ringlets in the back) on my lap and pretend to sleep. Then you look up at me and laugh your deep-throated baby laugh, like "AS IF it was time to go to bed, Mama!"
But the cutest thing is seeing this friendship develop between you and Finn. Don't get me wrong, you really do annoy him quite a bit. You're always knocking over his toys, pulling his hair, and generally plowing right through whatever he happens to be playing with. But he does handle you well--redirecting you to "your" toys and saying "No, no, Bebz!" (a nickname he made up for you). You love picking him up at school at the end of the day. When you enter Finn's classroom, you exclaim "Bruh-Bruh!" and he runs over to give you a hug.
You guys have started wrestling, too. I expect to see more and more of this. It starts when you crawl up to him, then kind of jump on his back. He knows that he isn't allowed to fight back, so you guys just kind of roll around on the floor in one big ball of boy until (usually) I get nervous that someone is going to get hurt and break it up.
On your birthday, Finn got up very early--Daddy and I could hear him rustling in your room. We were all ready to snatch him before he woke you up. But then he started singing Happy Birthday to you! And it was just about the cutest thing. He said he wanted to be the first one to sing it to you. (And he was--ever!) So we didn't mind at all getting up early with both of you beautiful boys on the occasion of your birthday.
November 10, 2007
Finally—here is the motherload photos from Halloween. Eight pages in all. I just updated it to include the whole shebang. As I mentioned before, we had a pre trick-or-treat party here where we tried to fill up the kids on good food (well, pizza) before hitting the streets. This was seriously one of my most delightful days as a mom. Finn just couldn't believe how awesome it all was. He was all like, "Wait--my friends are coming over to eat pizza? All of them? And we get to wear awesome costumes? And... let me get this straight... then we get to go to people's houses and they give us candy? Awesome." *
Don't miss the group shot photos, that start on page four. These are best viewed in sequence, as they show the delightful chaos of trying to get a group of kids psyched about Halloween to stand still for 10 seconds for a photo. Their wonderful energy shows the tone of the evening.
* After I re-read this, I realized that I had written the same thing, almost verbatim, in the original Halloween post below. My apologies. I blame my striking team of writers.
September 13, 2007
Finn's Birthday Party!
Here are some of the fun photos from Finn's birthday extravaganza last weekend. I've been dying to post them, but my stupid blog software crashed and I just now was able to rebuild the backend and restore everything.
You really don't know how much planning goes into a two-year-old's birthday party until you're actually planning one. The theme was Elmo (yes, our child has succumbed to the Elmo marketing machine--or rather, we have). We had Elmo balloons, red and white decorations, Elmo cupcakes, Elmo hats... It was like Elmo's World exploded in our backyard.
We were blessed that the weather was so accommodating, as there were about 16 kids there (plus 10 adults). We plied the adults with beer, and the kids with pizza and cupcakes. (Elmo cupcakes.)
I thought that Finn might be overwhelmed by all the kids and the commotion. But he really loved it. The party was in the afternoon, so we decorated while he napped. He woke up to this Elmo extravaganza and then his friends started arriving, and it kind of blew his mind that everyone was at his house. Then the pizza, the juice boxes, the presents? He was on cloud nine.
But the cutest part was when everyone gathered around to sing to him. He looked a little freaked out that everyone was singing to him. But then he joined in, enthusiastically blew out his candle, and started clapping. It was just adorable.
Happy birthday, my little two-year-old!
August 23, 2007
boy and his dog
Right now, Finn is a study in extremes. For example, this morning, Finn vehemently objected to wearing pants. So much so that he surrendered all muscle control, collapsing into a bag of bones—a screaming bag of bones. A bag of bones that took convincing, pleading, and outright manhandling to secure those said pants.
But tonight, there was a thunderstorm. And that little spitfire attached himself to me like a koala bear. He insisted on burrowing his head under my chin, getting under the blankets, and watching Sesame Street, with Tivo replay privileges.
Finn asked me in a tiny voice if Santos was scared of the thunder, and I told him that, unfortunately, yes, Santos was scared. (He was snuggled up against me on the other side.) That there was nothing to be scared of, but that he could cuddle with me as long as he wanted.
The snuggly moments with Finn are too few and far between. Most of the time, he has way too much energy to settle down for cuddles. It was heaven while it lasted. But as the storm passed, Finn got more restless and so did Santos.
The two eventually lost interest in cuddles and started wanting to play. Finn suggested that I take a photo of him and Santos and then ended up posing with him in these simply adorable photos. After each photo, Finn insisted on seeing it on my camera and then showing the shot to Santos.
Finn looks like a little ragamuffin here because right before the thunderstorm, he spilled an entire glass of juice on himself. But I was surprised that he actually knew out to pose for pictures. And how large Santos' head is. So, here are my two little brave boys.
July 01, 2007
Summer in Chicago totally rocks. We Chicagoans know that warm, sunny, days have a limited shelf life. (Ninety-three days, but who's counting?) That gives you the kind of feeling you get on vacation that tells you you'd best live it up. To get up early, stay up late, and eat all the ice cream you can. Because before you know it, summer will be over and you'll be beating down a snowdrift with a cheap Home Depot shovel.
We went to Foster Beach this weekend with BOYS, and Grace, Tulio, Lis, Dan, Emma, and Shannon met us there. It was absolutely beautiful there. One advantage to having kids is that you can get up and go early, before all the hungover twentysomethings arrive. I couldn't believe how much room we had to ourselves. We found some prime real estate right on the lake, built sandcastles, and splashed in the water.
September 08, 2006
Happy First Birthday, Finn!
Dear Finn, (shown surrounded by his birthday loot and wearing the T-shirt Daddy made him)
I can't believe it, but a year ago today, you were born. A huge 9lb. 1oz baby boy—in Berkeley, California. Here we are a year later with a significantly more enormous boy—23lbs.—and in Chicago, no less. I can’t really imagine how we got here so quickly. (Both literally and figuratively.) Especially since 11 months ago, I couldn’t picture a time when I would be using the bathroom without you peering up at me from a bouncy seat, much less your Daddy and I accomplishing a cross-country move with an infant.
Your first four months are a bit of a blur—a cycle of eating, napping, and crying. Especially eating. I wondered why I didn’t gain much weight while pregnant with you, despite having a three-pint-a-week Ben & Jerry’s habit. Little did I know, I was incubating an incredible metabolism machine. You literally nursed 7-8 hours a day, and even then we were supplementing with formula. You logged hours of your early life in your infant swing. A swing, that if outfitted with an odometer, would have rocked you the equivalent of the distance to the moon. We also had the stereo tuned to static to soothe you. Truth be told, you were kind of kicking our butts there for a while.
Something magical happened right around month four, however. You started sleeping for longer periods and crying less. You were smiling more. Nothing escaped your attention. Right around this time, you became this happy little guy, who would just hang out with me and entertain himself with his toys.
Today, you have more energy than anyone I know. I remember when you first turned over on your own, and thought that was pretty neat. Now, you’re hitting and exceeding milestones every day. You’ve always been chatty, but now you’re babbling in full sentences. Imitating every sound you hear, particularly sirens, horns, and cars (you’re a city boy, after all). You climb on everything you can, crawl at top speed, and experiment with standing alone. You eat—and eat everything—with absolute gusto.
You are constantly experimenting in your new world. Your pattern is this: pick up toy (or sometimes not a toy), shake it, drop it, pick it up again, throw it, taste it, discard and repeat with a different toy (or not toy). You take your job as a miniature gravity tester/item taster very seriously, and when you make it through your overflowing bin of toys, you look around for something else to test. You find the tiniest speck on the floor and go after it, the slimmest corner, and crawl into it.
You are also tremendously social. I was worried about taking you to daycare, concerned that you wouldn’t get the attention you seemed to need. But you have absolutely flourished there. You actually already have friends (I recently heard one kid call you “The Finnster”) and you kick and smile and wave with both hands when you see them. You don’t even look back when I leave—you’re too busy climbing into the group of kids and commencing your very important gravity experimentation. When we walk in the neighborhood, you wave enthusiastically at anyone walking the opposite direction and say “buh-bye” in the cutest little baby voice. Andwhen you see a dog? You’re pointing and exclaiming “ooooh”, while offering your mouth for kisses. (We are discouraging you from doing this.)
For such a young guy, you really do have a great sense of humor. Your taste leans toward the slapstick right now. For instance, when Daddy pretends to fall, that is hi-larious. When we make funny faces? A hoot. Other kids make you laugh in a way that makes me wonder if you have some secret language where you babies make fun of your silly parents together.
I’m so proud to have such a smart, funny, adorable, sweet little son. I wish I could keep you at this age forever, because every day, I think “This is the best stage! I just can’t bear to watch you get any older!” But this happens almost every day. So, just imagine how much I’ll love you this time next year. Happy Birthday, my Finn.
Letter to baby idea thanks to Dooce.
June 03, 2006
last, but not least
Remember when we moved out here, I blogged a photo of a rainbow right above our old place on Shafter right before we moved? Well, here's a rainbow in our new backyard. Hopefully a good omen.
So, I have a funny story about rainbows. About a year and a half ago, I was riding BART home during rushhour and saw the most brilliant rainbow out the window over the East Bay hills.
It was standing room only on that BART train. Everyone was totally absorbed in their reading material and/or iPods. But this rainbow was too great not to share, so I said to a silent, but crowded BART train, "Hey everyone! Look out the window! There is the most amazing rainbow!"
I have never been received as such a freak. The woman next to me inched closer to the window, the man across from me held his magazine over his face. Only one person, a diminutive gay man (ostensably out of pity), said "Miss, thank you for sharing your rainbow with me."
So, here, I share my rainbow with you. No judgment.
And since you've asked, here are my favorite things in Chicago, and what I miss about the Bay Area:
What I'm loving about Chicago
What I miss about the Bay Area
March 28, 2006
home, sweet home
I think everyone knows this by now, but WE'RE MOVING TO CHICAGO! In a month! Yes, yes, I know--it's very soon. Please don't remind me. And to those of you who keep telling me how cold it is there, that's only in the winter months. In the summer, it's so hot and humid that you dare not come within 20 feet of another mammal, lest you absorb any of its residual body heat.
This is the house that we just bought, pending inspection, surviving escrow and coming up with enough money to make my head spin. (But not enough to blow it off altogether, Bay Area-style.) Have a peek inside. We're thrilled! We can't wait to sit on the heated, glassed-in porch in the winter months, on the deck in the summer months and set Finn up with all his toys in the basement.
Shawn starts work May 1st, so we will be moving the last weekend in April. Finn and I are flying to Chicago and Santos and Shawn are driving cross-country. We'll post more developments, including the all-important goodbye party details, when we have 'em. More soon.
February 28, 2006
look who rolled over!
Now, I'm sure someday I'll wish that I could plop Finn down in one spot and know that he'd be right there when I return. But it was so thrilling to see him meet his most exciting milestone since his first smile.
January 16, 2006
four months old
Unfortunately for me, four months (plus a few days) means that it's time for me to return to work. My generous maternity leave is maxed out and I'll be working four days a week (three in the office, one at home) starting tomorrow. Our nanny, Fuey (pronounced "Fay") came over today to train--Finn really seemed to love her. She was the recipient of lots of his signature toothless smiles and animated coos. Tomorrow, I'll most certainly head to work with a big lump in my throat, but in the Bay Area, cost of living dictates that both mama and papa need to bring home the bacon. (Or in this case, the milk.)
Although it hasn't always been easy (and sometimes not even close to being easy), it's always been a blessing and an absolute privilege to be with this little guy during his first months on this earth. And as I mentioned before--I can't believe how far the two of us have come in just four months. There were days early on when I waited expectantly every day for a smile or some form of recognition (beyond rooting for my boob). And now? Well, let's just say you get a grand kicking and squealing reception when you walk in the room (and a indignant squawk when you leave it). I can usually tell just by looking at Finn if he's hungry, sleepy, bored, or just being a fussbudget.
When I went into work last week for a meeting, I realized that I was still instinctively listening for Finn's cries, peeps and squeals. I was careful when I crossed the street (like I would be if I was carrying him, not the daredevil free agent I once was) and my lap felt sadly empty of a little diapered behind and squirmy body.
Wish me luck as I return. I know Finn is in good hands--it's me who I think will take this hard.
Confidental to Santos: Don't think I won't miss days with my favorite mangy mutt. You were the one who kept me company while I waited for the baby to arrive and protectively fended off suspicious people from your hugely pregnant mama on our neighborhood walks. You were our first baby, dog version.
January 11, 2006
"Mom! Stop posting naked photos of me on the Internet!"
Next Tuesday marks my triumphant return to Chronicle Books, and I'm feeling very conflicted. On one hand, I am much less likely to get barfed on during the course of the day and I'll almost always get to use the bathroom by myself. On the other, there's no one there who is going to light up and kickkickkick when I walk in the room or who is likely roll over for the first time in my presence. Although I have a great job, what can compete with that?
Five months later, maternity leave ends very differently than it started. After a brief nanny shakeup, I've spent the last few weeks interviewing the person worthy enough to care for Finn. (Let's just say there were over a dozen interviews.) We've secured a wonderful, experienced woman who didn't blink once when Finn fussed through her interview, and hope to have a family to share her with by this weekend.
We've come so far in four months. Yesterday, Finn and I went grocery shopping, clothes shopping, walked the dog, had a bath, and cooked dinner--all milestones that individually seemed completely out of our reach just four months ago. (And three months ago and two and, for that matter, last month.) I'm going to miss my little drooling daily companion terribly, but will treasure the time we do spend together even more. (Sob!)
January 10, 2006
that's one strong mother
I told her that I wouldn't really call myself "amazing," especially since I frequent the slowest lane, even when not pregnant. And have been asked on more than one occasion to move from the medium lane to the slow lane by the teenage lifeguards.
She seems to think I'm being self-effacing and asks, "You used to swim Master's, right?" I tell her that I did, (for only about three months, and once again, slow lane, barely keeping up). She tells me, "Well, I like to watch you swim." Which is odd, but it is kind of entertaining, especially when I'm getting asked to leave the medium lane for the slow lane.
And then the New York Times did a story on Bay Area athletes, and lo and behold here's the real Lisa Hazen, renowned swimmer. The caption reads, "Lisa Hazen rises at 4am to train and skips lunch to lift weights." (click to enlarge)
Let me assure everyone here that the only thing that I rise at 4am for is to feed a little fellow. And I never skip lunch. Otherwise, I can understand how one might confuse us.
Thanks to Stacey for clipping this out for me!
December 23, 2005
who needs naps?
What followed was a nearly three-hour battle of wills. I'm talking the most mournful, pathetic, hysterical boo-hooing of Finn's short life. I tried calming him with a bath, white noise, the ever-effective swing, nursing, sleeping in my arms--nothing worked. I started to worry he might be sick, so I changed back into my housepants and T-shirt, cancelled my meeting, and put Finn down while I pondered calling the pediatrician.
These photos were taken shortly afterwards. As if to say, "Gotcha!", Finn proceeded to smile, giggle, and play like all this boo-hooing had never happened. The kid had been awake for six straight hours by this point, and was acting like he had just awakened from the most refreshing sleep. He let out the most ebullient toot, (to punctuate his point) and proceeded to stay awake for another two hours.
I rescheduled the meeting for next week.
December 13, 2005
yes, that is drool all over his shirt
In terms of milestones, he's all over the map these days. Last week, he slept for TEN WHOLE HOURS in a row, a phenomenon that had me up, checking him every few minutes to make sure he was still breathing. But then last night, he decided to mix it up and squeal at 2, 3:30, 5:00, and 7am.
He's almost rolling over, readily smiling and squealing, and chewing his darn fingers all the time. He loves looking in the mirror and batting at his toys from his bouncy seat. But we're holding out for another ten-hour night soon.
December 09, 2005
moments after going through airport security
Then you are expected to reassemble said parts while holding said infant and refrain from snapping at the people swarming behind you whose laptops are slamming into your items from the conveyor belt.
I was dreading the security screen more than any other part of the travel process. Especially since getting Finn in and out of a carseat is like detonating a bomb. (Bad analogy, I know.)
But look at this photo I snapped with my phone moments after going through security! The child practically slept through the entire process! The same kid of the infamous Old Navy Incident! The same one who WON'T WEAR A HAT.
I'm not sure this is my child, but I'm keeping him.
November 26, 2005
In family news, I got interviewed by Redbook about budgeting with a new baby, and this is the photo they will be running. Look for it in the February issue (since it's Redbook, does that mean they will automatically have Kelly Ripa on the cover?). I really don't remember exactly what I told them, so the article will be a surprise to me. I vaguely remember mentioning that Shawn refused to greenlight the purchase of a Bugaboo stroller ($750, but oh-so fashionable!), which will sound very shallow when, in the next breath, I state that I'm afraid that with childcare costs and my part-time salary, we will be cutting out all luxuries except Tivo (of course!) and batteries for Finn's swing.
November 23, 2005
November 17, 2005
Finn at 10 weeks (double digits!)
When the doctor asked me if he's smiling yet, I told him that he's so far beyond smiling that he actually flirts with anyone who will make eye contact with him. I distinctly heard a giggle this week, and he now has control over his hands. Thumbsucking can't be far off. And don't get me started on his exceptional neck control.
To calm him through his afternoon fussy time, I've been experimenting with a variety of methods. Today, I broke out the iPod playlist* that I listened to constantly when I was pregnant ( titled "gestational jams") to see if this would soothe the savage beast. And to my surprise, he seems to have an instinctual affection for old school rap (Run DMC), talented Scientologists (Beck), and moody alt-rock (Bright Eyes). That second photo is him listening intently to The White Stripes' "My Doorbell." Doesn't it look like he's trying to remember where he heard that song before?
*In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably admit there is some Justin Timberlake and "Hollaback Girl" on there, too.
November 05, 2005
the finn hazen comedy show
He really gets cut up when you make funny faces at him, and earnestly tries to engage you in what appears to him to be the most hilarious stories from his bouncy seat.
Here is a slideshow of a typical comedy routine by Finn. The boy just may have his father's gift for comedy.
October 30, 2005
finn in motion
So, Finn just started smiling and cooing and really showing us his personality. Doing adorable things that can't adequately be captured in still photographs. We made this little video so the world at large could see how Finn is even cuter now that he's started talking to us. Click the photo to launch the movie. (You will need QuickTime.)
October 14, 2005
- Mr. Magoo
- Boo Boo Bear
- Sir Poopsalot
- Lord Butteryham* (pronounced with an English accent: "butt-ry-hem")
- Doo-Doo, Baby Version (Santos is Doo-Doo, Dog Version)
- Shay-Shay Jzu Jzu
... It's early yet, but we will be adding to this list throughout the day.
* "Butteryham" originated because when he needs a bath smells something like butter meets ham. Or how we imagine buttered ham might smell.
September 29, 2005
view from the nursing chair
September 28, 2005
Here's a little Polaroid time-lapse of Lisa's Incredible Expanding Belly: finnhazen.com/belly.html -> Shawn
September 26, 2005
Finn's Birth Story
Anyway, here's the recap. Keep in mind that I'm currently very sleep-deprived, and currently consider making it through an issue of US Weekly an intellectual feat. So here I go piecing together the whole thing as best as I can.
Afternoon of September 7: I am huge, hot, swollen, and no longer enjoying the state-subsidized disability leave. I am also one week over my due date. Bring it.
5:00 p.m. Shawn and I go to the doctor's. I'm 3 cm dialated, which I learn doesn't mean anything. To induce labor, he strips my membranes (which is as fun as it sounds) while asking, "How would you feel about having this baby tomorrow?" I remain unconvinced that the kid is going anywhere.
7:30 p.m. We return home with Thai food and Arrested Development on DVD (Jason Bateman: who knew?) I am crampy, but figure that is due to the stripping of the membranes.
8:30 p.m. I'm not as amused as I should be by the Bluth family antics. In fact, I'm really uncomfortable. But this still doesn't feel like what (I imagined) contractions would feel like, so I chalk it up to the doctor's appointment and (now) the paad thai.
10:00 p.m. Maybe this is something. Shawn has my cheesy NIKE stopwatch and is timing my "cramps" just in case. They seem to be coming quite often. I'm getting increasingly belligerent.
10:30 p.m. Things quickly change. Call the doctor. Get the bag. I am in agony. Everyone has told us that it takes hours of labor before the hospital will admit you. The thought of hours of this is too much, and there isn't a consistent rhythm to the contractions. Shawn emails his work into Apple, which is very conscientious of him, but conscientiousness gets you nowhere with a pregnant, laboring wife.
11:30 p.m. I don't care how long my contractions are or how far apart. We're going to the freaking hospital. I'm barfing, pooping, and am exhibiting the all the charm and grace of Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
12 a.m. We arrive at the hospital. The admissions guy takes one look at me and waves me to the third floor.
12:30 a.m. Things are now a blur. I remain in agony. We are lucky to have a very sweet nurse who talks me through my breathing, helps me calm down, and most importantly, promises me pain medication. She checks me and I'm 5cm, and can be admitted. She leaves my side for one minute and I try to rip the monitors off me during one hairy contraction. I worry they will tie me to the bed.
1:00 a.m. I am admitted to a labor and delivery room, which Shawn notes is nicer than some hotels we've stayed in. I get hooked up to an IV, and they administer something that makes me feel like I've just had a pitcher of margaritas. The pain still comes, but suddenly, I don't care!
1:45 a.m. Margaritas wearing off, I was just about to go off on someone else when the wonderful anesthesiologist comes in. I never thought I'd be so happy to have a huge needle in my spine. I swear to you, the guy looked just like George Clooney, and within minutes, I feel about 100% better. My mood is suddenly much better and I'm able to laugh and joke and for the first time since arriving at the hospital, stop asking when my epidural is coming.
2:00 a.m. I chill and let my body do its contracting without fighting it. I sleep. Shawn even curls up on the couch next to my bed. It's actually quite cozy. I can totally do this! The lights are dimmed and it is peaceful.
3:30 a.m. My nurse informs me that the baby's hearbeat isn't varying as much as it should be with the contractions. They are worried and my epidural bliss is gone. My doctor is paged and comes in from home. A specialist comes in with a huge, scary-looking contraption that will be able to better gauge the heartbeat. Everyone looks grim as they waits for her to get started. I am no longer feeling peaceful.
3:45 a.m. God bless the specialist and her scary contraption, because it verifies that the kid is still thriving in there. They make the mistake of telling me the range of beats per minute in the average healthy heartbeat. I sit there and offer constant commentary. "Oh, he's up to 50 beats! And now back down to 38. That's OK, right?" (It is.)
4:00 a.m. We're back to being peaceful, and I'm now up to about 7cm. They tell me to get some sleep, send the doctor home and keep checking on me.
6:30 a.m. Party's over. I'm stuck at 8 cm, and need to get a move on. Pitocin is administered.
8:00 a.m. We're back in business--10 cm and good to go. My nurturing, sweet nurse has left her shift and been replaced by a tough-love, Bobby Knight kind of nurse. She's not here to coddle me, she's here to get that baby into the world.
8:15 a.m. Where the heck is my doctor? I start pushing. Bobby Knight gives me the tough talk. ("You call that a push? No! Try again!") And Shawn is the cheerleader. ("You're doing great! Just keep going!") Truth is, he looks as terrified as I do.
9:00 a.m. Still pushing. Bobby Knight gets more focused and Shawn looks more terrified. I'm told that the baby has moved down the birth canal and is crowning. And that he's "vacumable" at this point. Where is my doctor?
9:15 a.m. There he is. He comes in from a meeting downstairs, and frankly, looks a bit grumpy. He starts talking about how he hates these Thursday meetings, while I think, "Um hello? I'm pushing out a baby here!" Hardly the place for small talk about hating meetings. What's next--Mondays?
9:30 a.m. Enough with the pushing. I'm not getting anywhere, but more importantly, neither is baby. Out comes the vacuum. And before I know it:
9:36 a.m. ... Welcome to the world, little Finian! Before I know it, there is a little squirmy baby on my belly. This is surreal! Look at him! He's got hair and long fingers (and fingernails! Howard Hughes fingernails!) and toes, and... He's crying and the nurse wraps him in a blanket and suctions out his nose and throat. Then Finn just kind of looks at me, and I look at him. It's amazing! This is the little fellow who was squirming in my belly for 41 weeks? He's, he's... huge! Did someone say 9 lbs. 1 oz.? Are they kidding me?
9:40 a.m. Shawn and I make awestruck smalltalk with the little guy. ("Welcome, Little Finn! We're happy to meet you. We sure hope it wasn't too stressful on the way out... How was your trip?") The doctor and nurse are still down at the foot of the delivery bed. I ask if I tore at all (thanks to my pal epidural, I haven't felt anything!) and the response? "Let's not talk about that right now." I get a little faint.
9:45 a.m. It's confirmed that we have a genius baby when he aced his Apgar tests. The nurse cleans him off and puts him back on my belly and Shawn and I continue to hold him and talk to him while I get pieced back together. This takes quite a while and I get a bit squirrelly as this is happening. While I know the epidural is some magic stuff, I also know that I won't get to take it home. I try to forget and focus on the baby. I'm high on adreneline and can't believe that I just birthed this baby. I figure it's a good metaphor for motherhood--if I can do this, what can't I do?
And thus, I end on a sappy note. We love you already, Finn!
September 06, 2005
an open plea to Baby H
I don't know if it is the incessant news coverage that I've been watching that makes you think that staying put might be a good idea. (I'll stop!) Or maybe the fact that we've had a good time together on maternity leave, swimming, eating, walking the dog, eating, reading, eating. But at this point, I'm a bit concerned that you will weigh 40lbs when you are born and already be able to walk.
I've posted this photo of your room as inspiration. It's so cozy! You have no less than 10 stuffed animals to cuddle, four homemade blankets, and a dresser full of adorable clothes. Not least of all, a bunch of people can't wait to meet you, most of all, me.