Let’s Be Cliché

Indeed, let’s be cliché and put our New Year’s Resolutions out there for all to see. Actually, since you all have no way to amend this blog (barring comments, which I would LOVE to see containing your New Year’s Resolutions), this will just be MY list of resolutions. Or goals, as I have decided to call them this year.

Goal #1: I will exercise 3 times a week for >30 minutes and will ultimately be able to run a 5K without stopping.

HOW: (This is how it’s different this year, pardon the idiocy factor. I am making plans for how I’ll succeed, as opposed to just making broad generalizations of what I would like to accomplish.) I am halfway through the Couch to 5K program, so I need to keep up the momentum. And I need to recommit to getting out for runs in the morning, before 5 am, since that is the only time I really have to myself. (Though not tomorrow as it’s a 100% chance of rain. I can run down to 37° or so, but I can’t run in the rain. Yet. Give it time. And awesome run gear like I got from Jessie for Christmas.)

Goal #2: I will eat 3 balanced meals a day and I will focus on choosing healthful foods.

HOW: I know I am going to have to seriously work on weekend prep once I go back to work (less than 2 weeks!) . If I don’t have healthy options easily available, I won’t pick them – so a big Sunday prep for the week may have to be the new normal. BUT I think if I can get into the habit of doing so this will be my easiest resolution to keep as I actually like healthful foods and how they make me feel.

Goal #3: Cut back to one glass of wine during the week and two on weekends (defined as Fri/Sat/Sun).

HOW: No idea – it’s impossible. Just kidding… kind of … … I know it can be done as I’ve obviously cut back even farther while pregnant without deleterious effects. I think it will be a two prong strategy consisting of 1) Get fancy teas and other no- or low-calorie beverage alternatives so I don’t blow up like a blimp with non-alcoholic beverage calories and 2) Put off having said glass of wine as long as humanly possible, i.e. after kids are in bed. Which, as you all know, is an eternity, particularly when they are being very kid-like (read: absolute shits).

Goal #4: I will floss daily, with a minimum goal of 5 days/week.

HOW: Just do it. Actually, I should maybe start doing it in the morning and get that box checked for the day. Or at anytime of the day besides bed time. Because 45 seconds to floss when you are damn near dead on your feet after 9 pm is 45 seconds too long.

Goal #5: I will adopt a cash-only attitude and stick to a budget of $20 a week.

HOW: I will actually get cash out! And I won’t use my cards (except for gas or other crazy big purchases, like groceries). And I will stop going to Starbucks or Target just because I am bored and lonely and I would like to interact with someone besides the Itty Bitty Brewster, no matter how briefly. We have a latte maker at home if I get the itch and we certainly don’t need any more crap from Target. Cash only, Starbucks only with the Littlest Brewster as a “Friday Morning Tradition.” No deviations.

And there you have it. My list of 5 achievable, with effort, goals for 2017. Sure, I have a ton of other goals – yell at my kids less, write to mom twice a week, keep in better contact with Elise, Kristen, and Anne, text Jessie every day, don’t take out my random frustrations on the DreadBrewer, – but those are all vaguely nebulous and not necessarily achievable. And if there is one thing I have learned, the whole “Make sure your goals are SMART” (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) nonsense is actually not nonsense. So while it may make me feel virtuous to say “I’m going to yell at my children less!”, unless I can actually check a box or measure progress towards it, I’ll just get frustrated and give up. And probably yell more in the process.

So let’s start with some SMART goals for the year. And if by achieving these, I can perhaps yell at my kids a little less and email my friends a little more, I will be one happy camper. And if not, well, I’m human. And I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

Working On Acceptance 

This is me and the Itty Bitty Brewster this morning: 

I look like crap. (At least in my opinion.) 

And the reason I look like crap is that I had just spent a good 15-20 minutes crying hysterically. 

Why was I crying when I had such a cute armful of baby? Well, I’ll tell you. 

I was crying because I get angry and frustrated at being stuck at home with a tiny tyrant when I’m used to being able to go to work and do productive, adult, nurse-y things without worrying about anyone but myself. Because IBB has been really grumpy the last few days and I’ve essentially been living for when she’s napping or eating because otherwise I have no flaming clue what to do with her. Because I have no motivation to get anything done and I don’t want to bother anyway because the clean stuff will just get dirty and the clutter will just reappear and the clothes will just need to be washed again. And because I’ve been trying to run and eat right and I haven’t lost any weight beyond my pre-pregnancy level. 

And I was crying because I get myself so freaked out that Itty Bitty is going to be needy and whiny and bossy all the time. And that not only did we ruin things by having another kid but we extra super ruined things by having one who is hard. And it’s somehow my fault and if I were a better mother I could fix her and make her an easy happy baby. Which is crazy, I know, because she’s 7 weeks old. She’s still brand new. 

And I was crying because the last straw was that I baked something in the oven and some grease on the bottom burned off and it stunk up the house. And that’s just the universe being cruel. 

The problem – as I see it when I can step back to see it (or when it is pointed out to me) – is that I’ve not really accepted where the Itty Bitty and I are on our journey. She is little. And she does need lots of cuddles and holding and time with me. And I need to accept that my days right now are drastically different than they used to be (and how I would prefer them). Maybe I spend most of the day on the couch, with a sleepy baby on my arm and Best Fiends on my phone. Maybe IBB has a day where she’s content to watch me sweep and mop and fold clothes from her bouncy seat and I get to feel more traditionally productive. Maybe both scenarios are good ones and I need to be a little easier on both of us. 

Motherhood is hard. And I don’t care if this is your first time, your third, or your tenth. Mothering a teeny tiny baby is really hard. And social media and society and my own inner voices telling me that I should be able to do it all and have a clean house and a fit body and a perfect family 7 weeks postpartum need to shut the hell up. 

So my goal for today is to work on acceptance. And cuddle Itty Bitty without acrimony. And beat the next level on Best Fiends. 

I think that would qualify as a productive day. 

Hello Baby!

The day after posting my Pregnancy #3 Update – Hello Due Date! I went into labor. Crazy, huh? Actually, crazy is my labor & delivery story but I’ll get to that after I tell you guys what you really want to know – Wally is….

… another daughter!!! 🙂 We now have three amazing girls and DB and I couldn’t be more excited.


Introducing the Itty Bitty Brewster!

And for a fairly quick (for me) rundown of the craziness of the Itty Bitty Brewster’s birth:

As you guys know, I decided to go ahead and start my maternity leave on my due date, Wednesday 10/19. I spent the day futzing around the house and ran a few errands (which DB yelled at me for, calling a Target run “not relaxing” but we all know that’s madness…). I had been having intermittent contractions for a few days, but nothing really painful or timeable or even consistent. Well, Thursday morning, around 1:00, I woke up with a legitimate contraction. I waited, and 5 minutes later, there was another one. I lie in bed for about an hour before telling DB that I was having contractions and that I was going to go downstairs to watch TV (since I wasn’t sleeping) and have some tea. I told him to stay in bed and get some rest.

From 2 to 3, I watched The Princess Bride and continued to have contractions every 5 minutes or so. Around 3, I went upstairs, told DB I was still contracting, and hopped in the shower to see if that changed my contraction pattern. After my shower, I was still having contractions so DB came downstairs with me and we discussed what our options were. Did we go ahead and call my mother-in-law to come over so we could go to the hospital and get checked out? Could I wait until the office opened at 8 so we could drop the girls off at school first and avoid making his mom drive in the dark? I really didn’t want to go to the hospital only to be sent home. Ultimately, we decided we’d wait until 5 to call his mom to come over, seeing how I felt at that point. DB went back upstairs to get some rest while I finished The Princess Bride.

By 4 am, my contractions were suddenly a heck of a lot closer together and a heck of a lot more painful. I texted DB that we needed to go ahead and call his mom so we could head in to the hospital. He asked if I had timed the last few and I hadn’t, so we timed a few to be certain and yep, they were every 2-3 minutes like clockwork. He called his mom and I called the OB on call and we got ready to go.

I wanted to wake up the girls and kiss them goodbye before we left, which was a good and a bad idea. The Littlest Brewster started crying because she was worried it would hurt for me to have Wally and because she was worried I “wouldn’t look like me” after I had the baby. She calmed down pretty quickly and was fine until it was time for us to go, at which point the Brewster-In-Training started to freak out. In fact, she’s sobbing hysterically in our last picture as a family of four.


We didn’t end up leaving for the hospital until 5:10 and it was a loooooong 30 minute drive to get there. Every time I would have a contraction in the car, I swear I felt every bump or ripple in the pavement. The DreadBrewer was great and talked to me the whole time, even managing to make me laugh a few times. I told him on the way that I was hoping I’d get there and be 8 cm, but that I was scared I’d get there and still be 2 cm like I was at our MD visit and get sent home.

Around 5:45 we went in to the Emergency Department entrance and were immediately wheeled up to OB Triage. Surprisingly enough, the RN who checked us in was a former patient of mine who was on duty the night the Littlest Brewster was born (though she wasn’t my nurse that night, as much as I wanted her). I got my gown on and got up on the stretcher and hooked up to the baby monitors and we started going over the admission questions. I had sort of been hoping she’d check me right away but instead we talked about past medical history, due date, how my contractions had been going. My first recorded set of vital signs was at 6:00 am (remember that).  Finally, I said, “I’m having a lot of pressure with contractions. Can you check me?” So she gloved up and got ready and…

The guy from patient registration walked in to get my ID and insurance!!! Gah! Luckily, DB took care of that stuff pretty quickly, the guy left, and the nurse was able to check me. And I was 8 cm dilated, 100% effaced, with a bulging bag of waters and Wally at 0 station. At that point, she started moving fairly quickly. She called Dr. Smith and the L&D nurse to let them know where I was labor wise and that she would be wheeling me right over to a delivery room.

I had a few more contractions on the stretcher on the way over to L&D and, as best I can figure, we rolled into that room around 6:15. There were about 4 nurses in there getting things all set up and they helped me over to the delivery bed. Dr. Smith came in and did one quick check and I was complete (10 cm, 100% effaced), Wally was at +1 station, and my water was still intact. So the MD broke my water, I had about 2 more contractions, and then we got down to pushing.

I started pushing at 6:25 and pushed really, really hard through 2 contractions and Wally was born at 6:31. Once the baby’s head was out, Dr. Smith had to cut the cord because it was wrapped around the neck so tightly, but he left it really long so DB could still trim it. And once the rest of the baby was out, DB investigated and told us we had another daughter! Hooray for girls!

(Quick side note: I could not have done this without the DreadBrewer. He was so good throughout the whole whirlwind process, staying calm and positive. He rubbed my back when I wanted and stopped touching me when I wanted and was just generally awesome. I don’t think I could ask for a better labor partner.)

A few minutes later, the placenta was delivered (which I anxiously made them assure me was intact, so thank you Elise for that deep and abiding fear of retained placenta) and Dr. Smith made sure that I had no tearing and didn’t need any sort of fixing up post-baby.


We got a whole hour of skin-to-skin before they took the Itty Bitty Brewster (IBB) to weigh and measure her. DB and I both knew right away that she wasn’t as big as the other girls had been – I guessed 8 lbs even and he guessed 8+3. She surprised us both and clocked in at 8 lbs 8 oz and 21″ long. Making her my longest, fastest, skinniest baby.

We’re both still in total shock that it went so quickly. Roughly 46 minutes from the time we arrived to the time I delivered her. If we ever have another, I think we’ll have to head in to L&D with my first contraction.

There’s still more that I could write, about pretty much insisting on being discharged 24 hours post delivery to the differences between 1st and 3rd baby post-partum to how the big girls are handling the transition, but I’m out of time for the moment. But I’ve got plenty of maternity leave ahead of me, so stay tuned!

Pregnancy #3 Update – Hello Due Date!

I’ve officially made it to 40 weeks. Officially reached the point where strangers start to look a little nervous when I come near them, as if I may pop like a puff ball at any moment. Officially reached the point where my dad, God love him, asks every single time we talk, “Any rumblings down there?” Officially reached the point where I am more tired of being pregnant than I am terrified of adding another child to the mix.

Yep, I’m ready.

Anytime now, Wally!

Anytime now, Wally!

I had my 40 week appointment yesterday, which included a non-stress test (NST) to check and make sure that Wally is still thriving in there. It took forever to get enough movements (with accompanying heart rate changes) tracked for them to be happy – we ended up having to bribe Wally with a Diet Coke and some snacks just to get him/her to move about a bit. But as I pointed out, I’m typically on my feet at work at 10:30 am and Wally is fast asleep, rocked gently by my walking. If they wanted lots of movements, we should have scheduled the NST for 8:30 pm when I finally sit down for the day and Wally has a dance party. Once we finally passed the NST, the doc checked me out, pronounced me 2 cm dilated, and offered to do a membrane sweep.

Call me crazy, but I declined.

With the Littlest Brewster, we had our OB do a membrane sweep at my 40 week appointment and my water broke with a slow leak 3 days later. BUT labor with her was a loooooooooong (27 hour) process, in part because I don’t think my body was actually ready to go into labor, my water just happened to break which put me on the clock to deliver. So I’m a little leery of having it done again, even if the doc thinks its a good idea. I’ll just wait and either go into labor on my own or have this baby evicted like we did with BIT.

And we have an appointment for an eviction date! Dr. Bernstein, whom we know and love and who delivered the Littlest Brewster, is on call Tuesday 10/25; even though it’s one day shy of a full week past due, we requested to get on the books for an induction that day and they said okay. We’re supposed to get a call between 5:00 and 9:00 am that day, letting us know if they have a spot for us and if so, when to come in. I’m hoping and praying that we get the call closer to 5:00 than 9:00. I remember when I was induced with BIT they had me call the hospital to check at 7:30, at which point they said they were busy and to call back in an hour. Those 60 minutes were the longest of my life! I was convinced that they were going to say they were full and put me off until the next day. (Thankfully, that didn’t happen.)

Otherwise, at this point, I’m doing pretty well. Weight gain as of this morning was 21.8 lbs, so right on track with my last two pregnancies. I’ve still got heartburn at night and I’m still not sleeping for more than 90 minutes or so at a time, but nothing too terrible, symptom-wise. I did finally decide to go ahead and start maternity leave from work as of today. Monday afternoon I was exhausted and actually having some contractions and the thought of going into labor already tired from working all day was enough to scare me into calling it. I feel like a wuss and a slacker and like I’m letting all of my coworkers down by not working through the end of this week like I had planned, but that’s all in my head, not in real life. They have been nothing but supportive and kind and excited for us to finally have this baby.

(Speaking of supportive and kind and wonderful, I asked the DreadBrewer if there was anything he needed or wanted me to do for him today while I’m out of work and he said, “Yes, but I know you won’t do it.” I got kind of hurt, thinking he was being mean, and demanded he tell me what. And he says, “I want you to relax and put your feet up and take it easy.” Sweet, sweet man. Though he’s right – I’m not very good at just relaxing…)

So now it’s a waiting game. The doc yesterday said she didn’t think I’d make it to my induction date; I tried not to scoff because I’m pretty sure I will. But I’m okay with that. Because one way or another, by this time next week Wally will be here!



Pregnancy #3 Update – 38 weeks

*This will be a super short update, as I’m very, very pregnant and very, very tired.*

Well, I’ve officially made it to full term. Wally can supposedly come any day now, though I find it highly unlikely that will happen. We’ve ventured into the arena of weekly doctor visits, complete with checks for any sort of progress towards labor. And as I jokingly told the DreadBrewer, my uterus is like Alcatraz. Nobody is getting out any time soon. I have been having Braxton Hicks like crazy but no real contractions and no other real signs of impending labor.

And most days I am very, very okay with that. When I have a really long, really tiring day at work, I am a little less averse to the thought of going into labor and starting maternity leave. Though I know just how much work newborns are and I am certainly not deluding myself that maternity leave will be a “vacation” or a “break” as some people at work have referred to it.

Weight gain has stayed steady for the last few weeks. As of this morning, I’ve put on 21 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I doubt that I can pack on more than 4 or 5 pounds in the next two weeks, even if I start eating with wild abandon (which I can’t do due to extreme lack of stomach space), so I feel pretty happy with how that went for this pregnancy. I feel like I look enormous, but I’m pretty sure it’s all in the belly area.

Officially huge

Officially huge

I’m sure I’ll feel even huge-er by the time 40 weeks hits. I am down to 2 pairs of maternity scrub pants that don’t leave an angry welt across the Wally bump, neither of which are regulation colors at my job but I’ve got two weeks to go and I’ll be darned if I’m going to buy new pants at this point in the game.

Other than feeling huge and unwieldy, things are going fairly well with pregnancy #3. I’m exhausted and I’ve got swollen feet and I’m short tempered, so yep. I’m extremely pregnant. I am trying to enjoy (as much as I can) these last few days/weeks, given that this will most likely (99.999999% positive) be my last pregnancy. But it is hard some days to remember that and not just focus on the parts of me that hurt.

As for getting physically ready (i.e. bottles, etc), all we have left to do is put the car seat in the car. Crib, bottles, diapers, and formula are all ready to go. I guess at this point, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. And I am starting to get a little anxious to meet Wally and find out if he or she is a he or a she. So, come on labor!