Friday, June 19, 2015

Labor And Delivery Part 3! The Final Saga

(Part 1 and Part 2)

Oh, Henny.  My little Hen-Bo.  Chubby Henny Penny.

This small bundle of joy jumped into the world feet first and never looked back.  He screams and sometimes only dogs can hear it, it's so high pitched.  He smiles and the world is a happier place.  He scratches Luke's head while they're nursing and Luke just looks up and smiles at him.  They are best friends already.

So, where were we?

Oh yeah.  Luke arrived!  Or fell out, depending on who you ask.  And it was magical.  It always is.  I don't care how much pain you're in, or how stressful the situation is, the second that baby is out it is the best feeling in the world.  And so I looked up at Josh and smiled, both our eyes filled with tears, so happy it's ridiculous, and then a split second later I realized - there's another one in there and he has to come out.

The brief pause we had for Luke's birth was suddenly over and the OR erupted again into a flurry of chaos. People were yelling, nurses were flinging things, I'm pretty sure a maintenance guy was in the corner mopping an invisible spill. I still wasn't on the OR table, but it didn't matter, my doctor pulled the zipper up on her wet suit and dove into my vagina, fist first.

Oh, but not just the vagina.  (I guess I should take a moment to say, I'm not hiding anything, so if you don't want to hear certain words, just look at the cute pictures of Henry. Please and thank you.)

No!  Just the vagina would be too easy.  I'm on kid number four here people, and kid number two for the day, you could put a motorcycle in my vagina and I probably wouldn't care.  However, babies don't live in your vagina, they live way up there, and Henry was so far up he was practically in my throat. My doctor plunged herself in there, past my cervix, deep into my mother lovin' uterusand was trying to grab a hold of Henry to "guide" him out.

Let me just take a sec to remind ya'll the epidural they made me get?  STILL WASN'T WORKING.  That's not true, it was numbing a small portion of my right side.  So if an ant wanted to crawl on my right leg I woulda been cool, but since THAT'S NOT THE CASE WITH CHILDBIRTH I was definitely not feeling cool.  I was feeling like there was an adult trying to reverse-birth herself into me.  And she was yelling things like, "Get me the hook!", and I was like, "Uh, no. Don't get her a hook. Why do we need a hook on top of all of this?  Get her a Xanax or a glass of wine, NO ONE HAND HER SHARP HOOKED OBJECTS PLEASE."

But it was all good because the nurse was all, "We're all out of hooks!"

And then the doctor was like, "This is the OR, we're supposed to have hundreds of fucking hooks," (she said that with her eyes, not her words).

And the nurse who could read said looks said, "I wasn't set up for this to be happening yet, so all the hooks are somewhere else.

And I was all, "Could you guys please stop saying 'hooks'!"

And then my doctor was all, "It's fine!  I just broke his sac with my finger."  Because apparently she's like a mother bear in the woods breaking sacs with her bare fingers and teeth and whatever she can because the OR was not ready for my hyper-speed delivery of twins.  I half expected her to rip up her scrubs to pieces and start tying it around things to flag where she'd been at some point.

Meanwhile, Josh never lets go of my hand.  Not ever.  Not once.  Because he is the one I was supposed to love and have kids with and be partners with forever and ever amen.

Ok, so she rips the sac and I'm thinking, great.  Let's guide this sucker outta there.  But, and here's where it gets really fun, she can't find his legs.  And the nurse who's helping with the ultrasound can't find his legs, and I'm like, "I know he has legs, he's kicking the shit out of me!" and then the anesthesiologist leans down so close to my ear I almost think he's going to lick it, which would be weird, and he says very softly, and very gently, "Amy. . . can you feel that?"

"By 'that' do you mean the grown woman up to her elbow in me trying to fish out a seven pound baby?"

"Yeah, that's what I mean."


"Ok, great," he says.  "You're doing great."

"Fuck your face I'm doing great!"

I didn't really say that, but I thought it.  I was not doing great you guys.  Not at all.  I was very grunty,  and whiny.  Like, not valley girl whiny, "Mawm, like why can't I like have BOTH cars for like my birthday?" but the kind of whiny you hear when a guy is stranded in a cavernous ravine and video tapes his final days, and he's strangely optimistic that he will be found on the first day, but by day fifty-one he's out of water and hope and just sort of groans before the battery dies and they never find him.  That kind of whiny.

And then just when I think it can't get worse, my doctor starts firmly telling anyone who will listen to her to page another doctor.  And then another.  And then she is rattling off all the doctors in her practice and quietly and gently not-yelling for someone to get them in the damn OR.  So a bunch of doctors rush in, and there's already about ten nurses, and extra people to . . . hold things? I don't know why there were so many people.  One of the doctors I've met before balls up both of her fists and thrusts all of her weight onto me, and my doctor finally finds a leg and starts pulling.

AND THEN she yells (but not a real yell, a stern command), and here's where I can't type this without crying. . .

She yells, "Page peds.  We're gonna need peds in here right now."

Peds, as in pediatric, as in there is something wrong with my baby.  My baby.  My baby who is not even out yet, she knows there's something wrong. And even though it seems impossible, suddenly I feel nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I am numb, and I am cold, and I am so laser-focused on her face, she is the only person in the world as far as I am concerned.  I am not even there.  I'm not floating above my body, like some people say, I am right there in my body, more aware of it than I ever have been in my entire life, and all I want, all I can think about is my doctor and helping her somehow get my baby out so that he can be ok.  And that's how it remains for the rest of the time, I feel absolutely nothing, and I can think about nothing.  It is me and her and Henry.  And I can see her fighting.  I can see her trying so hard to get him out as quickly and deftly as possible.  And then all of a sudden she does.  All of a sudden she's telling me to push harder and Henry comes out.

But it's not euphoric.  It's not a relief.  It's totally terrifying.

He immediately gets handed to the pediatric doctor who does a quick apgar and he scores a one.  Which is bad.  He's not breathing, he's not crying, and I can't see him.  I'm trying to get up on my elbows to find him, as if my eyes on him will help things, and I start to breath again and panic and suddenly someone is shouting and I want them to stop because it's so distracting and sad, and then I realize it's me.  I'm the one shouting.

"Is he ok?  Is he breathing?  IS HE OK?!?!"

And my doctor starting shouting back, "Amy.  AMY.  Look at me.  LOOK AT ME."

So, I do.

"He's ok, and you're ok.  Those guys are just cleaning him up and giving him some oxygen, take some deep breaths."

And I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait.

And he cries.

And suddenly everyone is smiling and my doctor says, "See, he's crying.  That's good.  He's going to be fine."

And I break and start sobbing.

Someone hands me Luke and he his perfect, and smells perfect, and I kiss his smushed up face.  Then the doctor comes by with Henry and tells me they need to take him to the nursery, give him some meds and oxygen, and do some tests and make sure he's ok and I beg to hold him, just for a second.  Like, I beg.  So, they hold him right up next to me and Luke long enough for me to kiss him and then he's gone.  And it's just me and Luke and Josh and a hundred hospital employees left.

And we are overjoyed and hearbroken.  We are relieved and anxious.

After that everything really was fine.  My doctor made some jokes, people high-fived each other, a nurse came up to me and said, "Well, that was a career first!"  Everyone was jovial and happy, and just as quickly as we were surrounded by an army of birthers, we were suddenly abandoned and alone and so grateful for the calm and quiet.

Henry turned out to be fine, and about six hours later I finally got to see him, and hold him, and smell him.  Surprisingly, Josh was almost more upset about all this than me.  Almost.  He was allowed to go in and check on Henry in the nursery because his legs worked (oh yeah, my epidural finally kicked in AFTER the whole thing was done), and every time he came back he was like, "You really need to see him.  He needs to see you." And I just nodded because every fiber in my body just wanted those two boys on me forever.  I knew I needed him.  I knew he needed me.  And he was great, and he nursed right away, and clung onto me and Luke, and that's where he has stayed ever since.

My little lovey clinger.

His favorite spot.

My first two seconds with both of them.

Our first real meeting.

First time holding both.

So happy to be together finally.

He opened his eyes the second I picked him up.  
"What took you so long, Mom?"

Home and snuggy.

Brother love.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Catching Up

Well, I am not in any position to be writing anything right now after spending two looooooooong days in a car with four kids, then one week living in one room with all six of us, and a second week living in two bedrooms on an island where my kids refused to sleep, and then topped it off with another two loooooooooong days in a car where everyone hated the car and hated us for putting them in the car; so I'm not going to.

My brain is fried ya'll.

But it was so worth it!

My sister and Elspeth got married!

So beautiful. 
I can't even.

This is Addie's pose.  She's trying to show off her sparkly eye shadow, lip gloss and nails all at once.  It comes across very, very scarily gorgeous.

We went to Catalina the day after the wedding, because why not throw four kids on a boat for an hour across the Pacific to a place where you can wake the whole town with their screaming even with the windows closed?
Tula thoroughly enjoyed herself.  
We learned a few things about her on this trip.  Mainly that she is a force of nature.  And that it basically takes a village to make sure she doesn't escape/break something/break someone/eat posion.

Josh and I got our first alone time since the babies were born!  We chose to spend it hiking topless.  I put my shirt back on for the photo.  Josh is not so modest.  

My sister Rhonda, got the boys these TOTALLY adorable hats.  I mean, they could probably win the PGA just from cuteness alone.

Luke giving his sexy eyes. 

Never in my life have I wanted to murder something with my love as much as I want to smother these two because I love them so much.

Maddie, Addie, Tula, Penelope, Leah, Mikaela, Madelyn, Hailey.
Avalon Generation 2.0

Tomorrow I will FINALLY finish the birth story!  Henry needs his story out there too.  It was the most dramatic of the four that's for sure.  People I don't even know have come up to me in the grocery store and been like, "I was there for that.  That was. . . I've never seen anything like it." and then walked away.  And all I can think is, "Oh great.  Another stranger who knows what my vagina looks like."

Then, the wedding and road trip saga!  So much fun and tests of our will to survive.  Did I mention four days in the car with four kids under four?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi (Ce Soir)

I'm not good at a lot of things as a mom - my kids tend to run around like Helen Keller during meals, brushing their teeth is a really good thought but typically they just end up eating a lot of toothpaste, and I just gave Tula a stack of licorice so she'd let me type for a minute.  I love bribery!

But I am really good at getting my kids to sleep, and on a sleep schedule.  I'm militant about it.  Like, probably to an obsessive level, but my sanity relies on it people!  All four of them nap at the same time because Mama needs to have at least an hour of alone time during the day or I'll go crazy.  The days things go awry and naps get messed up are incredibly obvious due to the crying and screaming (mine), the mess (the girls), and the general please-save-me vibe I'm shooting from my eyeballs to Josh when he walks in the door all "I just spent a day talking to adults and using my brain for smart things, I even laughed today and went to the gym and had a coffee break, and not once did someone throw up on me or wipe their boogers on me, la-di-dah!"

A friend of mine recently asked me what happens if they aren't ready to nap at the same time, and I was all, "Huh?  Ready? My kids don't get a say regarding sleep. This isn't a democracy, this is a kingdom of sleep and I am the ruler and that is final.  NOW GO TO SLEEP."

Part of getting their sleep on requires me ignoring every maternal pull in my heart and soul to put the kids into bed with me, like ever.  I have never let them sleep with us, because I know that is a slippery slope to trouble land and I am a giant pushover when it comes to my babies wanting love.  So, they don't even know it's a possibility in the universe that people are allowed to sleep with their parents.  I actually once told Addie it was against the law.  She was 7 months old so she didn't really get it, but still, I put my foot down.

Sometimes at night, when they're all asleep and I love them again after a day of raging lunatics, I'll lean over to Josh and say, "Don't you wanna just go wake them up and bring them into bed with us?"  And his response usually involves the f-word, which is really the only time he uses it. (He hates bad language whereas I find it satisfying, cheerful even.  Often my friend and I start letters to each other, "Dear C*nt Face..." because that was once graffiti-ed on my apartment elevator and it cracked us up.  Why the formality with the c-word?  That dude was properly ticked off.)

And I am always grateful he keeps me on track and doesn't let me put them into bed with us.  Even though at that moment it's all I want in life.

So, that is all to say that this morning I let Henry sleep with me.  But it was from 5am to 6am so it doesn't count.  And oh my God, I LOVED IT SO MUCH!  Baby smell, baby breathing, baby only being able to fall asleep if his face is smashed up against yours - Yes, yes, yes and yes.

You can't tell from this picture but he was really heavy on my face.  And I didn't even care, because ohmygoshhessofluffyI'mgonnadie!

I'm still not going to change my policy.  The bed is the last of the sacred places the kids haven't ruined.  (That's not true, they eat Cheetos in there and watch TV, and often I'll wake up to find a Barbie stuck on my leg) But at night it's still just ours.  It's like a lone island in a sea of child-lava. 

You can take my bathroom but you'll never take my FREEDOM!*  

Luke racking up the cute points.  Like he needs any more!

Not nursing.  Trying to vie for cutest instead.  
The cutest is the one who doesn't leave me engorged boys!  EAT NOW.

Has there ever been anyone more excited to be at the park?   She kills me.

Little monkeys!  
Parks are the best.

*Said no mom ever.  Because it's a lie.  Freedom goes out the window the second that baby is out of your body.  Kiss yourself goodbye and wish her a happy 18 years in whatever alternate universe she's living it, it's their world now.  Good thing they're so worth it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


This little beautiful fireball is two years old today!

Ugh!  I just love her so much.  In some ways its shocking she's already two, but in even more ways it's like - how has it only been two years?!  It feels like we've had her forever.  She is so full and bright and gigantic and hilarious and strong in her personality, she is a force to be reckoned with in the best possible way.  She brings laughter when we need it, and love and sometimes slight terror (girlfriend can chuck a can of soup like a professional).

Happy, happy, happy birthday Tutti!

Also, in prep for the birthday today all the kids were in the best moods yesterday:

Lately Henry is too in love to nurse.  He'll eat for a few minutes, realize I'm up there and then gaze at me lovingly until I look back at him and reassure him I am equally in love.

Luke is too busy laughing and telling jokes to nurse.  These boys have the best personalities ever!  They are truly delightful.  And I never thought I'd say that about babies, but it's true.  Even when they pee on me it's cute.

Addie is too busy having a dance party to go to bed.
She's also been in that outfit for three days.  

Tula is too goosey to eat breakfast.  Her new favorite joke is to try to eat with her nostril.  It doesn't work, but it's hysterical every time.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Molly's Granddaughter Through And Through

Having four tiny kids gives me a lot of free time to daydream maniacally.  Not like fun daydreaming that leads to creativity and epiphanies and the final completion of my Oscar acceptance speech (you're in there Mr. Cannon), there's no time for that; but crazed-lunatic-Jewish-grandmother type daydreaming.  I'll be nursing the boys on the couch and hear a loud thump followed by no sound and suddenly I've pictured Tula falling off the roof, landing on the back porch onto a kitten, then all my loved ones dying in a fiery car crash, and all of a sudden I'm crying and calling out for Tula to answer me damnit! meanwhile she's sitting right next to me watching The Gruffalo and now I'm pretty sure we have ghosts.

So, now when Josh gets home from work and I've had a fun afternoon of doing a million tasks I've done a million times so my brain has checked out into Ridiculous Territory, he'll walk in and I'll likely scream something like, "I'M NERVOUS ABOUT THE FUTURE!" and then start crying while I take a swing from coffee I'm hoping is only leftover from the morning and not some other morning.

So, yeah, I'm in a bit of a crisis about my future. My future in five years. Specifically my career.  In five years all my kids are going to be in school, and I am in pure panic about what I'm going to be doing with my life then.  I know it seems ridiculous, that five years is a long time, but it's not.  Five years is gonna go by fast. you know how I know? Because TEN years ago I was twenty-five and I thought I might want to be a doctor.  I started taking science classes (and acing them out of the mother f*&king park thank you very much).  But instead of doing that my heart and my vagina got together and decided I should devote myself to some really bad relationships instead.


Major fail. And I know they say men are usually the ones who think with their penises, but I have definitely made some horrible decisions because someone was a really good maker outer.  And to me, really good making out usually leads to me falling in love (I'm super easy) so thus the outcome of my heart and my vadge doing stupid things together like a weird Thelma and Louise. (My vagina is Louise, obviously)

(Luckily, sometimes when the team gets together they make good decisions, aka Josh.)

So, anyway, this time there is no danger of me falling in love with the wrong guy and ditching all life plans to be in love with him, which, as it turns out, is not actually a full time job, despite what rom-coms may make you believe.  I am a smart girl, like I previously stated, I at one time could name all the periodic table of elements in order and what they did, I know not to take rides from strangers, I'm pretty good at crossword puzzles, and I've read most of Anna Karenina, but when I was in my twenties and falling in love I literally lost all brain cells.  *sigh* So, cliche.


Like I was saying, there's no chance I'm suddenly going to be twenty again (thank God), and now the reality of 2020 coming at me like a fireball is starting to sink in and I need to figure it out.  You may not worry yourself to the point of sheer panic about what sort of career you'll want in five years, but then again you may not have my Bauba's blood - Queen Worrier (and simultaneously the person with the best sense of humor I've ever met).  Have you ever had a Jewish grandma?  The stereotypes are true people.  All she wanted to do was feed us, worry about us, and kiss us so hard she was just shy of leaving hickeys.

I have no ending to the post because I'm still worried.  If anyone has any strong thoughts on my future I'm willing to take suggestions.

I just asked Addie what she thought I should do for work and she said, "Make money." And then when I pressed for a little more she said, "Be Maleficent.  The good Maleficent with lipstick, not the mean one from the drawing movie."  So, according to her I should make money and be the Angelina Jolie Maleficent.

We're off to a good start.

It's like they're twins or something.

Twins who really like to help with chores.

Good moms put down the phone and catch their daughter falling off the table.
Great moms take a picture first.

Addie is getting really good at putting on lipstick.

Tula has stopped sleeping with her heels on, but now she wants shorts.  For the breeze.

The boys just discovered looking at each other.  They are so amused with each other its amazing!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

They Weren't Lying About The Magic Part

Well, I said the words "Don't touch me while I'm pooping," three times to two different people yesterday.

So, that happened.

And I didn't even blink.  Because that's how I roll now.  It is not uncommon for me to walk into the bathroom and find my partner in the middle of his business.  I turn right around and scream for effect, Is it so hard to close the door!?  But yes, yes it is.  Because Tula knows how to open doors now and even locks are no match for her brute strength, and trying to get a moment alone is like an alarm magnet for kids to stop what they're doing and come harass you.

Sometimes I stop and think - how did we get here?  How am I sitting here on the toilet with a toddler on my lap, a three year old applying lipstick to my knee, little twins starting up at me from their bouncers hungrily, and their dad asking me if I'm almost done from just outside the door?

Oh, yeah - sex.  Sex did this to me.

Isn't is amazing how something so sexy can turn you into something so unsexy.  Yay evolution!

Meanwhile Josh has abs, and arms, and the V (Alex you know what I'm talking about), and I'm on the toilet being poked by kids who want to know why my belly button is so jiggly.  Men are such bastards.

And I say that in the most loving way.

(Here's the V I'm talking about for those of you who aren't Alex)

(You're welcome in advance)

Mmm hmm.

Oh, what?  You don't see it?  How about this?

Not yet?  Yeah, it is a little hard to see in that picture.  What about this?

Not close enough?


Oh, Channing Tatum.  I don't even like beefcakes but mama likey.

And I don't even say things like "beefcake" or "mama likey", but that's what happens when you stare into the Vortex for too long.  It's like a dumbing drug for women who don't remember what it's like to make-out without a three year old asking you if this is a kiss of true love and if it will wake Mommy up from her cursed eternal sleep. You've been warned.

Ok, so moving on. . .

Sometimes the boys need to be carried at the same time while I need to clean up, so this happens.  They love it.

Tula has been demanding she go to sleep in heels lately.  She's so fancy in her sleep.

During the day though she's pure badass.

A badass who projectile pukes on me.

And while Tula is throwing up, Addie is dressed like this.  Because why not.
We are a lot of fun at the park.

Happy ladies in the morning.

Oh, and this was four days ago.  
Hi, spring. Thanks but no thanks.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Well, I was just going to write the 3rd part of the Labor and Delivery story, but THEN I GOT SOME NEWS.

So, let me back up for a minute and let ya'll know that about five years ago my OB in California told me she thought I was going through early menopause and she didn't know if I'd be able to have kids.  I wasn't having my period, I had cysts on my ovaries, and I don't know maybe my uterus looked a little mean or something.  So, I tired a few natural things that may seem weird, but I am all about weird.  I started drinking soy milk, I gained some weight, and I rubbed my big toe to stimulate ovulation - and then out of nowhere, BAM! 4 kids in less than four years.

Lying doctor of lies.

Up until now I was pretty sure it was the Starbucks and the toe rubbing, because I'm logical.  But then my husband called me and let me know that his sperm are direct descendants of Super Man and Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.  (Oh my God what if Daenerys and Clark Kent had a baby?!  IT'D BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BABY EVER.)

So, he got a vasectomy a few months ago.  Because four is enough, okay.  Four. Is. Enough.  I'm afraid if we had anymore I'd have some sort of psychotic break and run away to Mexico with my favorite to live on the beach and drink margaritas all the livelong day, but I can't decide who my favorite is so I'd be all, "Ok, I'll take Adeline.  And Tula.  And Luke.  And Henry.  Damnit now I have all four in Mexico and I'm pregnant.  This didn't turn out well.   *sigh*   At least they'll all speak Spanish."

After a while they have to do a fun little test to make sure there are no swimmers left.  Because 1 in 1,000 vasectomies fail.  So, Josh got the test and guess what happened?


And what I screamed on the phone before I got on my knees and thanked the lord I was on the pill was, "I KNEW IT!"

Homeboy is like the Michael Phelps of baby making abilities.

And now we're facing the possibility of him having to do a second vasectomy.  Pretty sure after that one the opposite will happen and he'll be able to sneeze on me and I'll get pregnant.  Sperm will shoot out of every orifice he has and will just melt into skin and find it's way to an egg to invade.   My morning omelets will get pregnant before I have time to scramble them.

If we have to go through a second round and it doesn't work again I'm afraid we'll have to kiss our sex life goodbye.  At least with each other.  And then we will have to kiss Josh goodbye because if he has a sex life with someone else he'll turn up mysteriously murdered by me.

Ah love!

And now, some pictures that have absolutely nothing to do with this post!

My little helpers!  Is this not the best?
It only lasted about thirty seconds before they both tried to shove the babies off their laps so they could go watch Big Hero 6 for the hundredth time.

Addie summers in San Tropez.

Discussing yoga on the neighbors lawn.

My Mom is a professional baby wrangler.

Sleeping twins.  
Ugh the love is ridiculous.  I am overwhelmed every single day.