Welcome baby Baxter!!

“I can’t feel my hands.  How can I sign the paper if I can’t feel my hands?  Also, I have to push. NOW”.  Scribble, scribble.

Surely the nurse at Mercy Hospital thought I was a huge b*tch.  But this baby was coming, and I wasn’t going to have it in the hospital lobby.

The morning had started like most of our Sundays, with breakfast and a long walk.  I went my parents for my birthday BBQ, leaving Fred and Charlotte at home to meet me later.  But within a few minutes of Fred’s arrival, he had me hobbling into the car with contractions that were 6-7 minutes apart, out of nowhere.  “This will take all afternoon” I thought.  I probably had just walked waddled too far that morning.  We drove 2 miles home and mentally prepared to hang around the house….but by the time I got up the stairs, we were turning right back around.

1:40pm:  “Call the midwife!  Tell her…..”  (woah, big one.  breathe, breathe, breathe).  “Tell her I can’t talk and I might throw up!”  She advised us to line up childcare for Charlotte (done), pack our bags (done) and get to the hospital.  This was just an hour after the first contraction.

Fred was breaking every traffic law he could, calling Aunt Julia and speeding through red lights amidst my urging to “go faster!”  Scarborough to Portland is a long drive when your contractions are 3 minutes apart.  Gripping the seatbelt and digging my heels into the floor, it was all I could do NOT to push.  We fled the car and left it (running) in the traffic circle at Mercy hospital, where a security guard sauntered over with a wheelchair.  “I have to push!”  I tried to scare him into moving faster.  Faster!

The moment I stood from the wheelchair, my water broke all over the floor.  “Just breathe through this one, and in between the next we will get onto the bed,”  Ellie the midwife soothed me.  Her voice was the only calm thing in the room.  All around me nurses flitted about and Fred nervously held my shaking hands.  I later found out that Ellie was already holding the baby’s head as I stood in the middle of the room.

Six minutes and three pushes later and I heard the sweet, hiccuping little cry of a baby–a boy!–as I struggled to lay down.  My eye caught on the clock next to the bed.  2:22pm, just 13 minutes after I’d shouted at the nurse who wanted me to sign papers.

Frederick Baxter Follansbee, known to us as Baxter, joined this world ten days early.  6 pounds, 10 ounces and 19 inches long.  Like most things (ok, everything) in my life now, this post took me forever to write.  Things just don’t seem to happen on time, or efficiently anymore!

Baxter’s birth was the last thing that happened quickly around here.  So quickly, in fact, that Papa has already dubbed him “Speedy”.  This boy was in a hurry to join the party, and nothing was stopping him.  But if given the choice between Charlotte’s 14+ hour labor and his 13 minute debut, I’d take his any day!  [click on the pictures to enlarge].

September 7, 2014.

To all the supermoms out there

[Let me preface this by saying that if you are a mom, I already think you are a supermom.  If you manage to do anything at all besides feeding and clothing your baby, you are a supermom.  If you work and have a baby, you are super.  If you find time for yourself and have a baby, you are super.  It’s hard, and it’s selfless, and it’s tiring.  So maybe I should have titled this post, “To all the super-supermoms out there…”  But I digress.]

There are times when Fred and I look at each other in disbelief, and say “I just don’t know how she does it!”  It sometimes takes all four of our hands to feed/clothe/burp/entertain the baby and still get dinner on the table.  There are days when I think we are so tired, we might drive right off the road on our commute to work.  There are moments when I wish that we had a nanny, or a housekeeper, or anyone at all who could feed the cats/vacuum the living room/pay my bills/write my lesson plans.  And there are two of us adults here in the Follansbee house, and only one baby.

When we say “I just don’t know how she does it”, we are referring to our handful of friends that have twins.  Not one baby, but two.  Two mouths to feed, two butts to diaper, and two sets of tiny little clothes that somehow make up a mountain of laundry (not to mention two sets of bottles to wash, two personalities to stimulate, and two different nap schedules to navigate.  Should I go on?)

These mamas of twins that I know are decidedly not going crazy, nor are they maladjusted hermits that live in a house full of spit up and poopy diapers.  No!  They find time to run and workout!  They create date nights with their husbands!  They work!  They cook actual meals instead of just popping the Trader Joes frozen bag in the oven!  They have people over!  And, above all, they have successfully breastfed TWO babies!

How do they do it?

I’ve gone around and around this in my mind, and I’ve decided that these mamas are just a tad more organized, a lot more patient, and blessed with a lot more energy (and milk) than me.  I have a fabulous husband that does 10,000 different chores without so much as a grimace.  I have the luxury of a summer off from work, and all four grandparents that live within a 10 minute drive.  And still I feel like we’re barely making it sometimes.  If I had to multiply that by two, I’m pretty sure I would be downing glasses of cabernet every night and never return to work.

So, to my supermom friends (and you know who you are), you are my heroes.  You are the people I think of when a little itch of a complaint begins to scratch at the surface; when I don’t feel like pumping at 5am; when I have to fold yet another basket of onesies.  You are the ones I picture when I suddenly find the time to run, but don’t feel like it.  “But she can do it, and she has two babies at home.  I best get my butt out the door.”

Although I know why you do it (those precious little toothless smiles), I do not know how (eating ice cream straight from the freezer? xanax?)  Take it from me, as a mom of just one, I am more than doubly impressed.