You want to know what complete bone-chilling-I’m-going-to-die-and-I’m-not-even-wearing-a-bra feels like? I’ll piece together the scene for you… It’s dark, cold, and raining. You’re outside on your deck attempting to light the grill on this dark night in your rain soaked flip-flops trying to get that puppy started before hypothermia sets in. A few choice words have been mumbled in an attempt to coax the beast to life…but no luck. Feeling defeated, you start towards the door accompanied to the sound of your squeaky flip-flops but a sound interrupts your forward progress stopping you in your tracks. “Click…..click….click…”. Looking in the direction of the noise you see nothing… The sound picks up in intensity “click…click..CLICK.CLICK.CLICK.CLICK”. Suddenly a child’s size lawnmower goes racing by leaping to it’s demise off the five foot drop into the lawn below. Standing there, completely frozen in place, it takes you a moment to realize that you are all intact including operational feet, you go running inside with eyes the size of dinner plates (or maybe just a saucer) to the rescue of your husband who has been watching the whole scene unfold from the comfort of a warm, well lit dining room. Unfortunately your dash to comfort and safety is met with a husband bent over in laughter…and I am talking the gasping-for-air, can’t-hear-him-laughing-but-I-can-see-his-body-convulsing type of laughter.
I swear, children’s toys are possessed. The miniature lawnmower was by far the single terrifying encounter with one of the boys’ toys, but I’ll tell you…the darn talking potty is not far behind. Every time I shower that thing starts singing “toilet paper, toilet paper…” right as I am rinsing the soap from my eyes, which I can’t seem to do fast enough considering I know that thing has sprouted arms and has a knife about to kill me all the while singing about toilet paper. Why there aren’t more horror movies involving children’s toys is beyond me. Although, come to think of it, I think every mom would boycott such movies attempting to avoid explaining to the kids why they shouldn’t be afraid of the dark while surrounded by stuffed animals in their cozy bed. Screw monsters under the bed, it’s those creepy toys you need to watch out for!
Oh and by the way…since the last time I wrote a blog post, my sister and her family came to visit and we traveled around seeing castles, celebrating Oktoberfest (and you bet I wore a dirndl…with my big pregnant belly), eating chocolate covered waffles while being attacked by birds in Amsterdam, and Liam fell for a blond dutch girl more than 5 times his age. The day that they left we began packing and moving into our new home, and so far, we are all loving it. Then came the furry of holiday photo sessions, Thanksgiving, and preparing for the arrival of my parents.
My parents spent 40 days with us here in Germany, and I am thankful for every moment with them. They helped us welcome our newest family member into the world; Otto. For 40 glorious days, I didn’t have to do laundry. That in itself, was an awesome Christmas present. Thanks mom!
Otto’s arrival was completely unexpected. After being told for months that he would be early, he actually arrived 5 days late, and only after a mild induction. No Pitocin for this lady…not allowed in Germany if you’ve had a c-section previously. After several hours of nothing happening I was feeling rather defeated. We had been at the hospital since 9am and come 10pm we went to bed expecting to do another round of induction meds or come to a decision about having another c-section. Around midnight I woke Sean up asking him to time my contractions since they were becoming painful. We quickly realized it was time to buzz the midwife (they don’t have nurses in the L&D departments here in Germany, only after the birth did we have nurses tend to us). Upon her arrival I was quickly hooked up to a monitor but as the intensity of the contractions picked up she then asked if I was ready for an epidural or would I prefer to do some laboring in the tub. Ummm no. Epidural, NOW! I mean…please…. With the decision for an epidural (NOW!) we were ushered back to the delivery room I had previously been in for HOURS waiting for the induction meds to kick in. HOURS I had spent listening to other women scream in pain thinking, that won’t be me…I mean, I didn’t once scream while trying to push with my boys. I was sooooo wrong. I had been checked when arriving in the labor room, 1 cm…15 minutes later I was at 8cm and my water had broke. I was screaming bloody murder by this point, and I didn’t care. Sadly, in those 15 minutes an epidural had been delivered and the paperwork signed but because we have private insurance I had to be seen by the attending doctor, not the resident who was available to give the epidural.
Here’s where it took a turn for me. Upon the arrival of the attending doctor, and my water breaking, the midwife and the doctor seemed to be having an argument in German that I couldn’t understand, but the argument resulted in me not getting an epidural because my contractions were too close together to safely administer the epidural. Even with drugs to stop the contractions temporarily, it wasn’t long enough to get the epidural in. I was in so much pain, and there was nothing to be done about it other than get the tiny human out. At one point my screams of pain got to be too much for Sean and he excused himself to dry-heave into the nearest sink, and promptly take a break…on the floor. Thankfully he collected himself, and with his encouraging words, and strong man hands that held up to my bone crushing squeezing, Otto was born at 3:58 in the morning, weighing in at 8 lbs 14oz. Oh, and also thanks to my midwife and the other doctor who I can’t recall his name or even what he looked like, for letting me brace myself against your hip while pushing.
Even without the epidural, it’s an experience I wouldn’t change, simply because my husband whispered these words in my ear as Otto was placed on my chest: “You’re my hero.”. That right there was probably the single most special thing to have ever been spoken to me.
There are so many special moments I am missing from my delivery experience, but frankly…its hard to remember them all. Complete exhaustion will do that to a person. Thanks to my mom, I can relive the moments through photos….and Michelle, I’m sorry if I scared your kids…screaming over Facetime. And for making you cry. All happy tears right?
Ten days after Otto’s birth we all packed up and headed to France to photograph a special wedding, but I’ll tell you all about that in the next post.