Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy One Month

Happy One Month Birthday, Michael!

I'd sing to you, but you won't stop shrieking long enough to hear me.

And I'd write more on this blog, but see reason above...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the Name of the Father

On the second Saturday of our courtship, Manus and I, sitting on two barstools in Norman's Tavern on Miami Beach, named our children. Kathryn Anne was to be the girl's name, honoring Manus' mother (Catherine), my paternal grandmother (Kathryn) and my mother (Margaret Ann). Sure we were probably six Bud Lights into the night when we had this conversation, but I still have the cocktail napkin on which we documented our future children's noms de plume.

On May 16th, 2007 we fulfilled half our promise when our daughter was born. While we only just had our son on August 25th, we've known his name for 6 years.

Michael - Manus' father was Michael Walsh. He died when Manus was only seven. Both Katie and our Michael bear a strong resemblance to Brian, Manus' brother, who is actually Michael Brian and though this could be considered disconcerting to a less secure man, I joke with Manus that at least he can be sure he is related to his children. Manus takes after his mother's side looks-wise and I think Brian looks a lot like his dad, at least based on the pictures I've seen, so its nice to see some Walsh traits passing through our kids.

David - My dad's name is David (and my dad's dad's middle name was David too). I was always a Daddy's Girl. I think I still am. I find it difficult to have the heart-to-hearts with him, so I know that I don't tell him often enough, but I think he is amazing. I'm even having a hard time writing this. I hold his opinion in the highest regard, though he has always worked to make sure I create my own. My grandmother has a black and white photo of my dad as a baby and when I watch Michael sleep, I can see that picture in my mind's eye. I would be thrilled to have my son grow up to be half the generous and compassionate man that my father is.

Cornelius - When Manus said that he wanted to include Cornelius to the baby's ever-growing list of names, I was quick to agree. If we are honoring our fathers with this name, it wouldn't be right to leave it out. Cornelius (Niall) Walsh is Manus' step-father. As he joined the family when Manus was about ten, he didn't have much experience with young children. Until ours came along. Katie has Papa wrapped around her little finger. Picture a big, burly man, farmer by trade, quiet and reserved, lying on the floor with his legs kicking up in the air just to satisfy the whim of a two-year old. And Michael at one day old was certainly the youngest baby his hands had ever held. Michael will soon learn what Manus, Katie and myself already know; that we are so lucky to have Niall in our lives.

I love this picture of Papa Niall and Michael:

With so many names, you'd think we'd have no problem deciding what to call our boy. But I am all about the nicknames. Kathryn Anne is only Kathryn Anne when she is in trouble. The other fifteen minutes of the day she is Katie. And Katie is the perfect name for a little cute, happy girl. So what about Michael? He just isn't a Mike. I don't think he ever will be... But what is he?

Katie calls him "Baby Michael"
Manus plans on him being "Mick" when he is older. (not a racial slur when you ARE Irish)
So I'm thinking "Mickey" is super cute, but it just doesn't roll off my tongue when I look at him.
Little Mick?
Cousin Jenny calls him MDCW pronounced "mid-cue"
How about "Em-Deecee-Dub"?
Or Doctor CW (get the m.d. part...)
So maybe just "Doc"?
Uncle Brian has taken to calling him "Mickey Nail"
I like Mickey Dee...

I even think his greasy head smells like McDonald's fries sometimes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mick Pics

I know I am behind on my blog postings. I just don't know where the days go. My mom has been here since last Tuesday and it is amazing having her here. Katie only has eyes for Grandma and Grandma is eating it up! They have played in the park and in the pool and innumerable games of "Do that", Katie's new favorite activity where she basically bosses you around. It's fun. But only the first 50 times or so.

The only thing that would make her visit better is if my dad were here too. But, I understand that he couldn't come. I'm also trying to convince my mom to stay until oh, say, November but she keeps talking about this job thing that she has to get back to. How selfish.

So until I find the time to write more about "Life after August 25th", perhaps some pictures will keep you going.
Katie absolutely loves to hold her brother.
Katie and Michael on All-Ireland day. Up the Cats!
Katie loves her brother...
Or does she?
And that is why Mommy never leaves Katie alone with Michael...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

(Real) Labor Day 2009

So there I was last Monday night, lying in bed awake at 1:30 in the morning. Neither Manus nor I could sleep (as was becoming the norm - ever since the previous Monday night when we thought the contractions had begun...). Manus had taken a few Tylenol PM and was watching TV in the den, awaiting their effects. As the antihistamine drowsiness was starting to settle over him, he returned to the bedroom. As he entered I told him not to worry about being quiet as I was still awake. He joked, Why? Are you having contractions? Before I could launch into a diatribe on just how lacking in humor I found my spouse at that moment, I felt the most bizarre sensation in my stomach.

Someone had snapped a rubber band against my insides causing a sharp pain and a warmish splash in my pants. Could it be? No. Only 10% of women start labor that way! So I got up and went to the bathroom. I peed. It was sorta a pee plus. Maybe there was more liquid that came out. Cant be sure. Back to bed. Lie down, thus disengaging baby's head/plug from birth canal and proceed to wet the bed. Jump up, back to toilet, underwear around my ankles in a splashing puddle of amniotic fluid. Clean up in aisle nine!

An hour later, we are at St. Luke's Hospital. The contractions have begun; mild annoyances. The TENS machine is in place on my lower back, sending electrical currents to, ostensibly, scramble the pain messages to my brain. (Remember, I'm doing this au naturale ) I'm on my third pair of pants as, little known fact - you never stop leaking. The body continues to make more amniotic fluid and every time you change position...douche!
Look! Real contractions... At this point, about 6 minutes apart.
Manus and I were planning on having this baby by change of shift in the morning. Katie was born at 8:58am and we thought it reasonable that we would have our Michael at the same time. Our nurse was gentle as she broke it to us that there was "No fucking way I'd have the baby that quickly." Ha! What does she know?

We were moved to our birthing suite. It rivaled anything at Baptist Hospital. We were duly impressed.
Like, where else do you get a view of a castle from your hospital room? Dude! This place rocks.
We put some cool tunes on the stereo and waited. I was supposed to rest, as we had a long day ahead, but I was determined to stay upright and walking as that was what was going to speed early labor along. Remember - Manus had taken Tylenol PM earlier. I was expecting a scene straight from Father of the Bride Part 2, but he was a champ- stayed awake and cheered me on.
That quickly became this:
OY VEY! the pain! It was five hours later and change of shift and my check showed I was barely 1 cm dilated. Plans for au naturale were finito totalmente. I was screaming "EPIDURAL!"

They use something here called Entenox, also known as 'Gas and Air' (which as coincidence will have it, is the name of our groovy family band - Michael proving to be the breakout star of this Farting Foursome). Entenox is oxygen and nitrous oxide that you inhale through a tube. Basically, its a whippet. They convinced me to try it before going for the epidural. It made me feel really funny and did nothing for the pain and after I tried it for the morning nurse and ended the contraction in a bawling, hyperventilating, snotty mess, the nurse too was screaming "EPIDURAL!"

Long story short, as Manus' tweets do tell the tale -

epidural in ->
Malinda sane once again ->
contractions slow ->
no dilation ->
hours pass ->
doctor consulted ->
pitocin begun ->
contractions remain slow ->
no dilation ->
baby no like pitocin - decreased "variable decelerations" (apparently important to have)->
doctor consulted
hours pass
no dilation
baby still unhappy as per heart rate monitor
no change, no change, no change.... Cesarean Time!

At this point, I don't care. I'd had my labor experience, now its time to keep baby safe. Once the decision is made, it is a whirlwind of activity - sign here, drink this, put these on, this monitor on, this monitor off, move, move, move! When we bumped another stretcher doing down the elevator calling priority for the "emergency c-section" I started to cry. No one said "emergency" before... (they could have told me that any unplanned section is referred to as emergency...)

But then: bada bing, bada boom -

A baby is born.

So, as it turns out... After the surgeon made the cut into my skin, he moved aside my bladder and there was Michael. My uterus had dehisced (de·hisce (dĭ-hĭs') Medicine: To rupture or break open, as a surgical wound.) The exact reason VBACs are a risk. Also the reason my labor was never going to progress. The contraction message begins at the top of the uterus and must work its way down the muscle. A break in the muscle interrupts the message. Had we continued with the pitocin (which we stopped because of the baby's heart rate troubles) I could have burst the thin membrane keeping Michael where he belonged and not floating, tangled in my guts. So, in the end you realize things happen for a reason. Trust your doctors, trust your nurses, trust your instincts, trust that your baby just might save you both.

(I also choose to believe that the rupture was causing the contractions to be more painful than "normal contractions" and thus the reason I had to wimp out and get the drip... I could ask the doctor if that's plausible, but it might ruin my defense. Why mess with the truth when fiction and possibility fit your needs so well.)