Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Have I ever told you about the time...

(Pre-script: To get the most out of this post, please scroll down to the playlist and turn on the songs "Good Intentions," by Toad the Wet Sproket, and then "Wide Open Spaces," by the Dixie Chicks., then come back...I'll wait... (...still waiting...)

Y'all know by now that I have been full-term pregnant and given birth 4 times, right? It's enough for anyone, really. And sometimes people ask me about it, like "Oh Michelle, darling, were the first two darlings such bliss, such blessed bundles of joy and delight and merriment that you just had to have a 3rd and a 4th? Because 4 kids, wow, that is really fantastic."


Excuse me while I clear my throat very loudly here...because peeps. that's not exactly how people usually react to the fact that we have 4 kids. Usually it is much more condescending, that we are contributing to overpopulation, that I am CRAZY, and the look on the face of the individual just learning of this phenomenon usually says loudly and clearly that he or she has just written me off completely. Well.
I don't have time tonight to answer all of the skeptics, except to say that I now know that:

3 is the new 2!!!

...but I never got that memo until after the 4th was already in existence. DOH!*
Y'all got me off on a tangent before I even got to the point of this post. (Why do you do that to me so often?) The story I want to tell has to do with the fact that in all of my pregnancies, I only threw up once. Pregnancy was relatively enjoyable for me**; I loved sporting the big round belly, loved dreaming up baby names, feeling baby kicks and rolls, loved the whole hospital ***experience,( I was not one of those who wanted to go home as soon as possible; I insisted on staying at the hospital the full 2 days postpartum.) loved the anticipation of meeting the new baby, the dreaming and imagining who this new person who has not yet seen the world will be...and then the baby is born, and he or she is nothing that you could have ever imagined.
Yeah. It was something like that for me. And, as I said, I only ever threw up once. It was fantastic. In my one experience of pregnancy barf, surprisingly, there was no nausea before the experience to warn me that something was about to happen...You see, I'd never experienced barfing without the preamble of nausea so painful I wanted to die, so really I should have been grateful to get to skip that part, and I think I would have been, if only Derek and I were not hours away from home, on our way from a wedding to the reception, without a change of clothes, and with our friend Renee sitting in the backseat.
What prompted the puking? It was simply that Derek told a joke and it made me laugh. We still made it to the reception, just with a stop at the first gas station we could find, to clean out the car as much as possible, and then to the nearest clothing store we could find, Clothestime, to clean ME up as much as possible. (Does Clothestime exist anymore?)
Y'all, I hope I haven't grossed you out TOO much. But sometimes a story just needs to be told, and today was the day for this one.


*...but we would have had that 4th baby, anyway.

**except for the LAST pregnancy, when I gained 80 lbs and couldn't sleep unless I was in an upright recliner, and then only sparingly, couldn't breathe, or feel my fingertips at the end...but it was the LAST pregnancy, and I knew that going in, so I endured with renewed assurance everyday that even if this last baby wasn't necessarily going to be the last one before, this baby was for sure going to be the last one now that I was enduring this misery...and then I labored and birthed that one, and that for sure sealed the deal that had already been sealed.

***Again, except for the LAST one...because I had her at a DIFFERENT hospital, which made the postpartum mothers share rooms. The nerve!


Meilei said...

I hear ya on the staying in the hospital the full 2 days! 2 of my girls were born at like midnight and so I technically got 3 nights in the hospital and the last time, I almost didn't go home. Seriously, I'd have another baby just to give birth and stay in the hospital! (btw, I am all about the epidural, that's why I don't mind the birth part as much!)

Michelle said...

Oh, I'm all about the epidural, too; I just got really scared about the process of getting it put in; that part hurts! And the last one didn't work; as I said, good thing she was the last baby...I would not be able to endure that again!

Renee said...

Oh man, that technicolor road trip was AWESOME. I am surprised we even made it to the reception we were cracking up so much about the whole mess, and you were so non-chalant. That will certainly go down in history, few people would believe it.

It aint all about the cabinets said...

Oh man, I totally forgot about that. That whole thing was too funny. You were such a good sport about it.

sarah said...

I definitely want to milk the whole hospital experience as much as I can. I mean, you have a NURSE who will take care of your baby as much or as little as you want! And when will you be able to rest up like that again? Pretty much not for the next 10 years, easy. So, I plan to milk it!! And definitely, most definitely, go with the meds.

Renee said...

This blog has been on my mind for several weeks. I know what you mean about wierd looks and comments. I teach middle school in urban Las Vegas. I can drive 1 1/2 miles and I am standing in the middle of the downtown strip. Whenever anyone hears what I do or where I do it - I hear it all. From "Oh my gosh you are so brave" to "How do you deal with those kids." Here is the thing. I LIKE IT!!! I PICKED THIS JOB. I have a Masters in Teaching with a certification in MIDDLE SCHOOL. I am in my 11th year and have never taught anything else. I could go to the suburbs and teach 3rd grade, but I have no desire to do that. I am where God wants me answering His call. I have long pondered why people act and respond this way. Same as the minimally articulate people who question your having 4 children. (Who are amazing by the way. Which one would they like you not to have had might I ask? Which would they have chosen to forgo?) Anyways, I think it is people's own insecurity with their lives that drives them to judge ours. They couldn't handle multiple kids or educating the hormonally challenged. They feel better by making an issue out of our ability to do it. I think people should step back and realize no one has asked them to do what we do, so there is no reason to be defensive and condescending. I am sure if they would stop long enough, there is something in there own life that only they can handle and do. We should celebrate and embrace these things, not chastise.