Tuesday, January 29, 2013

got work to do...

5 weeks postpartum
It's time to break a sweat.

Yesterday I pedaled nowhere slowly for a mere 30 minutes and it kinda kicked my {broken} ass.
Still, it felt good to put the Sidis on (yay...something fits!), even if just to "ride" the Spinning bike.
Although I was active throughout my pregnancy, the weeks following Maeve's birth left my body feeling completely wrecked (I mean, duh).
This week I finally feel physically able to do something other than walk...
I am yearning to sweat and feel strong again.
This is not about getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight or squeezing into my skinny jeans (okay, I do want to get into my favorite jeans) or being unrealistic about losing the weight quickly...
It's about moving and just feeling like myself again.
(the self that loves to climb big hills and charge through tricky rock gardens)

I need to start somewhere, even if that means a stationary Spinning bike in my living room while the baby sleeps.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"effective immediately"

I have two new bosses, apparently...
Max and Maeve.

I'm unemployed, but more on that later (maybe)...

It's okay because I freaking excel at being a stay-at-home (or venture-out) mom.

Friday, January 25, 2013

not a whole lot to say


catching up after work

"Please let me get in her crib...Mom, please...please."

me & my girl
but, we have been busy...

It's already been a month since we brought Maeve home.
We are settling in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

bad dreams

Every time I fell asleep last night, I was greeted with terrifying nightmares.
All. Night. Long.

As I lay awake, my thoughts turned to cyclocross...specifically, the Mercer Cup of years ago.
The fly-over.
The dirt section by the waterfront.
Richard Fries on the mic.
Watching the elite women stage during their call-ups.
Georgia Gould.
Mo Bruno Roy.
The plywood plaque/trophy.
The mud.
The mud the mud the mud.
My bike.
Big smiles.

I need to get back on a bike.
I need my tail bone to not hurt like this and I need to feel athletic again.
Baby girl is not the cause of my bedtime woes...
inactivity is.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

rough night(s)

I need to stop taking it so personally when she's having a rough night...
when the baby is uncomfortable or just can't settle down or wants to party all night long...
I have to remind myself she's still brand new.
As soon as we find a rhythm, something changes.
Whatever works for one night may completely throw off the next.

Oh, yeah...I remember how this goes...

I also have to remind myself that I did this once before...
and even back then, when a brand new baby boy magnified my insecurities and anxieties by a zillion, I still did pretty well.
(and so did he)
Even when you think you don't know what the hell you are doing...something kicks in, you figure it out.
Little by little, you figure it out.  
As long as the baby is loved and fed, everything else is a bonus.
Including sleep.
brother & sister

Friday, January 18, 2013

all about me (4 weeks postpartum)

The days of cowering on the corner of the couch, tears inexplicably streaming down my face are waning...
it's been at least a week since I cried over burnt waffles or tight shoes.
As for those tight shoes? Slightly less snug.
I still can't wear my rings.
I've lost 20 lbs (yay!), but still have about 15 to go (and I imagine that will be no easy feat at age 37, but I will get it done).
What else?
I forget how to dress...no, seriously.
Most of my winter clothes fit a bit awkwardly right now and I'm used to wearing scrubs Monday through Thursday. 
Where does this leave me on days when it's just me and Maeve hanging out at home?
While I'd love to stay in PJs all day (and we have had our share of those days, trust me), I know that's a slippery slope...(and I don't think Max would appreciate me showing up at the bus stop in pajamas)
So, for now it's two pairs of jeans one size up from pre-pregnancy and a few sweaters or soft shirts that won't irritate the baby's skin (because I literally spend hours holding/cuddling/generally marvelling at her cuteness and I have found that wool sweaters irritate her).

So, yeah...that's four weeks postpartum.
Not bad.
Not bad at all, considering just four weeks ago I was in the throes of a pretty intense combination of flu-labor-delivery-recovery.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

rough night

We've been blessed with fairly easy nights since bringing our baby girl home...
I expected extreme sleep deprivation, dark circles under my our eyes for the next eight or so years, and a general existence not unlike bootcamp.
The reality has been quite the contrary, much to my surprise.
Our sleep is briefly interrupted a few times a night for quick feedings, then the little one goes back down without any drama or nonsense.

Tonight was another beast altogether...(the beast meaning the night itself, not the baby)
Baby was clearly uncomfortable after her early evening bottle and fussed quite intensely for the next five hours.
After ruling out all the obvious stressors, I ended up holding/swaddling/rocking/cuddling her until we were both sufficiently worn out.
Now she is sound asleep and I am too keyed up, jaw clenched, to go to bed.

Add to this an eight year-old who may be teetering on the edge of a stomach bug (please don't be the flu please don't be the flu please don't be the flu)...and I'm feeling just a tiny bit overcooked.


That's okay.
Because all I have to do right now is take care of my kids.
I'll nap when the baby naps tomorrow.
Laundry can wait and she won't be small enough to snuggle into the crook of my arm for long...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

it's almost time...

Every day I get a little closer to getting back on the bike...
it's not a big deal/it's such a big deal.

My dad and I walked the paved path over at Harmony Hill yesterday.
He pushed the stroller and we talked about cross nationals, the weather, building new trails, an upcoming concert...
I can't wait to ride with him again.
I can't wait to ride my bike.

I remember what it was like to get back into it after Max was born...
the lack of fitness was frustrating, but it was so great to find that joy on two wheels again...
the little piece of me that is separate from anything or anyone else.


Friday, January 11, 2013

3 weeks

The baby is sleeping (for a while), so we are sharing a Golden Monkey and watching "Ted."
We had waffles with Nutella for dinner and popcorn for dessert.

This is Friday night.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Last night, we were watching The Simpsons with Max and he wanted to hold his sister.
She burrowed into his chest and dozed off.

That's all.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

recovery (part II)

My son hates me.
The sun will never shine again.
My ass is broken.
I'm going to have to walk up every hill.
Winter lasts forever.
My Cheerios are stale.

These are the absolutes that rule my world and bring me to tears, without warning, lately.
Unpredictable, totally irrational...thank you, hormones.
Thank. You.

Tonight we Bill cooked an easy dinner for friends...they brought beer and salad and chocolate cake.
We sat in the kitchen and talked about baby stuff and other grown-up (and not so grown-up) stuff, too...
We enjoyed a few beers (okay, I enjoyed one, which is about all I can handle right now) and I laughed like my old self.
(the old self that's not a basket case over how dangerous and terrible the world is and how vulnerable a brand new baby is...)
A little less raw and anxious, a little more easygoing and relaxed.
(or at least a pretty close approximation of normal)

Eleven days postpartum...
better than I expected.  

stale Cheerios...
NOT the end of the world.  

Friday, January 4, 2013


On facebook, there was chatter about a ride Sunday.
I considered chiming in and joining the ride.
Which is crazy...
I'm nowhere near ready to (literally) get back in the saddle.
I'm walking around with what feels like a broken ass (sorry...my tailbone is inexplicably causing me a ridiculous amount of constant pain).
I'm worn out from walking my son to the bus stop (which is probably less than a quarter of a mile).
I'm clearly not ready to ride (let alone join a group ride).

I sure am thinking about it.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

12/21/12 (our birth story)

After my 39 week appointment on December 19th, I came home a bit dejected and bummed that I wasn't going to be in labor any time soon.
No signs, no action.

I lazily spent the day catching up on blogs, watching bad daytime TV, and drinking tea.
By bedtime, I was running a pretty high fever and couldn't get warm enough.
By midnight, I was growing concerned over the baby's decreased movements (in spite of drinking cold Gatorade and laying on my left side) and my worsening fever.
By two in the morning, we were being escorted to the Labor & Delivery floor at Chester County Hospital...
"I'm not in labor, just sick," I assured the triage nurse.

Upon being hooked up to the fetal monitor, it was soon determined that the baby's heartbeat was irregular and I probably had the flu.
By the following morning, our doctors and Maternal Fetal Medicine concurred that the best thing for baby was to induce labor.
"Let's just get the baby out..." is what the doctor calmly said.

It's going to be okay. This may end up in a C-section...the baby is okay...these arrhythmias usually sort themselves out after delivery...it's going to be okay.

After spending the night in triage, I asked the nurse if I could brush my teeth and wash my face before the induction process began.
Instead, she brought me warm towels and toiletries and offered to let me shower...it was exactly what I needed to feel normal and in control, even if just for a few minutes.

At 10am, my OB inserted the Cervadil, which was unquestionably the most painful part of the entire process.
I squeezed the nurse's hand, cried like a baby, may have even uttered "what the FUCK?!" a few times...
I wasn't off to the prettiest or most composed start.
She explained that the Cervadil would be effective for twelve hours and sometimes a second dose is necessary.
"So, we pretty much just wait for twelve hours, maybe I'll dilate, maybe I'll start having contractions?"
Yeah, pretty much that.
So much for, "Head to the hospital when contractions are about seven minutes apart...Your second baby will go much faster!"

Luckily, my body started cooperating after only a few hours and I began experiencing very intense contractions only two minutes apart.
I sent Bill home to eat something and shower.
When he returned about an hour later, I was pleading with the nurse for pain relief.
At this point, my blood work revealed my platelets were even lower and certainly too low for an epidural.
With steady and strong contractions, a high fever, and flu-like symptoms, I began to worry completely freak out about facing labor naturally, especially feeling so ill.
Bill rubbed my lower back during every single contraction, every two minutes for hours. And hours.
He was so calm and focused and all I wanted was to be tough and get through it.
See what a badass I am??
Except, I wasn't.
Meekly, with every contraction, I'd beg, "Please help..."
Labor is no joke. I forgot how painful it is. (yes, I am stating the obvious...we all know labor is hard, but Jesus...it is really, REALLY hard)
My dad stopped by with Max during the brief reprieve I had from pain thanks to a nice shot of Stadol.
I think I was offended by the fact that Bill had a burrito and may have sent him out of the room to eat it, but maybe I was just high.

"mom had a baby and Bill had a burr-ITO! mom had a baby and Bill had a burr-ITO," Max would later sing/taunt on Christmas morning...

After the stadol and two doses of morphine wore off, the anethstesiologist arrived to administer my epidural.
I had only dilated 1 centimeter after twelve hours of  very intense contractions and the doctors felt the benefit of having the epidural outweighed the risks associated with low platelets.

The epidural finally afforded me (and Bill) some much needed rest and relief.
It had been a day and a half since we arrived at the hospital (to get monitored, not have a baby...or so we thought) and we were both considerably worn out. 
Several hours later, I woke up feeling a completely different kind of pressure and contractions again.
The nurse checked me and I was 8 centimeters.
In a matter of minutes, I was complete and feeling a very strong urge to push.
Bill woke up and was by my side...our baby was almost here.
Another nurse came in and told us to hold off, as the doctor was finishing another delivery.
"Maybe twenty minutes," she said.
"Um, no." I shook my head. "Don't you guys have back-up?"
Our nurse, Danielle, confidently assured me we could keep going, she could see the head, and she had done this before.
There was no stopping me and I pushed with every contraction.
I could feel everything...I hadn't experienced this with the birth of my son.
I heard the music behind my bed (so thankful to have my ipod to drown out the screams from next door), I heard Bill and Danielle encouraging my every push, my every breath...
Mostly, I just remember following my body and doing what made sense, what felt right.
Every push, every breath was nothing but purposeful and all I knew was I had to make every ounce of energy count.
Surprisingly, there was no drama, no f bombs, no grunting or screaming...Bill didn't go pale or woozy, I didn't lose my cool even when I started imagining the worst.
The doctor came in and I knew we were close.
"Do you know what you're having?" the doctor asked.
"No." we answered.
"Dad, are you going to call it?"
I remember she handed Bill the clamp to cut the cord and instructed him to place it behind my pillow.
I remember we said, "Maeve if it's a girl, William, I think, if it's a boy."
Two more pushes and our baby was here.
Screaming and screaming and SCREAMING with all her might, our baby was here.
"It's a girl!"
I laughed and cried and reached for her tiny, slimy body.
Shaking, I was afraid to look at her...I was afraid after all we'd been through that something must be wrong.
"Is she okay?"
"She's perfect, she's fine."

12/21/12...doomsday my ass

 She is perfect, she is fine.

As for the aforementioned Ipod, here is the playlist:
High & Dry- Radiohead
Sweet Disposition- Temper Trap
Laredo- Band of Horses
Someone Great- LCD Soundsystem
Home- Edward Sharpe
Falling Slowly- Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Blue Ridge Mountains- Fleet Foxes
Strange Overtones- David Byrne
Sunshower- Dr. Buzzard (I'm fairly certain she was born during this song...the playlist was on shuffle)
All Eyes on You- Diego Garcia
For Emma- Bon Iver
Lovely Day- Bill Withers
Skinny Love- Bon Iver
Be Thankful for What You've Got- William DeVaughan
Undertow- Warpaint
The Blowers Daughter- Damien Rice
Nothing to Hide- Diego Garcia
All My Friends- LCD Soundsystem
Home- LCD Soundsystem
You Were Never There- Diego Garcia
Mellow Mood- Bunny Wailer
Moth's Wings- Passion Pit
(Nice Dream)- Radiohead
the Seed- the Roots
More Than This- Roxy Music
This Must Be the Place- Talking Heads

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012...hard to beat

So, I rang in the new year with the final episode of Girls (season one) on demand while the boys slept soundly and the little one finally calmed down...
I considered having a cupcake, but I am far too exhausted to move from my post on the couch.
Baby girl was a mess tonight...
Too much excitement, too much noise.
Even I was out of sorts...too distracted to finish a token glass of champagne.

2012 was a big year...I married Bill & we had a baby.
My son became a big brother.

I sure didn't expect any of this, but it just makes sense.

Doesn't get much better than that.

so, cheers & thank you for reading!
Wishing you a happy 2013...