You are going to fall in love with this last guest post. Kelly is a breath of fresh air. She is straight forward and down-to-earth with a biting sense of humor. And even when things aren’t that funny, she makes life with kids and chaos not just bearable, but enjoyable. I’m not going to lie either, I am insanely jealous that she is living in my home state of Texas while I freeze my butt off up here in Michigan. Her whimsical and honest style of writing makes you feel like you are listening to a close friend. One of these days dear Kelly, I am going to have to look you up while passing through that grand state of ours.
Check out Kelly’s blog Dances with Chaos, where you’ll get to know her family and life through the humorous eyes of a talented writer. And for an added bonus, check out her sister blog that is all about writing, called Writing with Chaos.
A Little Bit About Kelly
I’m a former Iowan who transplanted to Texas in 2003. I have an addiction to Mountain Dew and popcorn. I write in an effort to keep the few strands of sanity that my children have yet to bludgeon into early onset Mommy Brain. I have been a Stay At Home Mom since my son was born in February 2007 and dream to someday be a paid writer.
After accidentally stumbling upon the first draft of my WIP in January 2011, I can no longer ignore the drive to try and – in the classic words of Tim Gunn, “Make it work.” To that end, I now also have a separate writing blog: Writing with Chaos.
My Foreign Pajamas
Heavy, my head drooped low, my neck completely hidden. My eyes fought to stay awake as oxytocin flooded my body, combining with no sleep the night before to render me nearly unconscious.
The tiny bundle in my lap snuggled around my waist, curved like a crescent moon around my recently emptied abdomen, swaddled in white hospital given blankets that were peppered with rainbow-colored dinosaurs. The pink and blue striped knit cap hid all but a few dark brown silky wisps of hair that escaped the back. The only part of her exposed was the left side of her head displaying rosy cheeks and the bright red angel kiss shaped like a check mark on her forehead – so very similar to the “V” her older brother had in the exact same spot.
I glanced at the clock that hung on my hospital room’s wall, the ticking of the hands thankfully the only sound, her cries quieted once again.
I looked down again, my hospital gown billowing around me, foreign to me twenty hours ago and now my daily uniform following the birth of my child. The left shoulder was unsnapped, exposing the breast attached to her voracious mouth. Even in sleep, she refused to release me – any move on my part unleashing the high-pitched Pterodactyl Cry capable of shattering ear drums.
“Babies always sleep after we do this: (insert evil, most likely needle involved procedure here),” the nurse had told me two hours ago, as she rolled my sweet sleeping child out of my room – one of the few times she would ever leave my side during my stay.
Already, my girl was the exception, not the rule.
Everything had to be on her own terms.
My second child, everyone said she would come quickly, faster than my son’s five hour long labor.
Hers was eight hours, the finale after a week of false labor.
The nurse determined my labor would drag on forever so I requested an epidural. My daughter immediately decided to pick up the pace as I went from 5 cm to birth in less than an hour, nearly forcing the nurse to deliver her as I shouted obscenities for daring to speak the words, “don’t push.”
My husband stood beside me, his face in awe, as she entered this world, the first “Put me back where it’s warm!” wail a balm to any worries. Quickly wrapped in a blanket identical to her current one, she was handed to me; her face still streaked with goop as the doctor repaired the damage left behind.
She was beautiful.
I unsnapped the carbon copy of my gown, oblivious to anyone in the room, as I laid her directly on my skin, warming her in the frigid air of the delivery room. That same air was too hot for me mere minutes ago as transition labor slammed into me, struggling to hold absolutely still as the epidural was placed into my back.
Fingers so delicate and tiny, grasped my pinky when offered, their slight bluish tinge waved off as “perfectly normal” by the medical professionals.
“Let her cry,” they told me, “she needs to get the fluid out of her lungs.”
I glared at them, but listened, and ceased my words of comfort that had silenced her before.
I just held her, skin to skin, while my husband looked on, waiting patiently for his turn to finally hold his daughter.
I relinquished her too early, recalling how he’d had to wait over four hours to hold our son – my greediness and the only long nap he’d take for the next two months thwarting his plans. I handed her over, as I watched her quickly ensnare my husband’s heart.
She is going to be a total Daddy’s girl, I thought.
Soon, she was back in my arms, on my chest, being warmed by my body again. I quickly latched her onto me for the first time, an old pro from seventeen months of nursing her brother. Still, I grimaced at first, no longer accustomed to the vise-lock pressure of a tiny jaw.
Forty-five minutes passed in a blur, as what would be our only uncomplicated and pain free nursing experience went off flawlessly. My husband had another quick turn to hold her before our time was up and she was whisked away for clean up and the warming bed.
With a quick snap, I jerked my head upright as I continued the Sleep Deprived Oxytocin Laden Head Bobbing Dance.
My eyes were gritty, desperate for a few solid hours of sleep.
“She hasn’t fed for four hours? You need to try to wake her up and feed her,” the morning nurse had said as my angel kiss slept off the post-labor exhaustion.
I wanted to shout and scream, “No you idiot! She’s sleeping! Don’t you know I have kids that eat when they’re hungry?!” Instead, I obeyed, the diligent mommy, and wasted forty-five minutes awakening her from her deep sleep – when we both could’ve napped – to feed her for five.
I was paying for that now, my daughter on a cluster-feeding roll since late that afternoon. Not even twenty-four hours had passed, and I was already sore. With Vicodin.
Slowly. Carefully. I eased my finger into my daughter’s mouth, breaking the latch.
Before I even stood, a wail of displeasure pierced the air – she wanted me, no hospital bassinette would do.
Beyond exhaustion, I turned out the lights, crawled into the hospital bed, and spooned with her, her face next to my chest, my right arm beneath her.
She quieted, finally drifting off to sleep while not latched on to me.
I did a mental flip off at the nurses, so concerned about liability, they heavily frowned upon co-sleeping.
I smiled, eyes closed as I breathed in her sweet baby scent, and drifted into a much needed sleep.