So last week while I was sweating out all of the IV fluids that were responsible for my postpartum hobbit feet and oh, by the way, my milk was also coming in, Iris busted her face open on a swing at the park. Her perfect little cupid's bow was cut wide open in a vertical fashion, so that a plastic surgeon had to be called in to do the repair. Iris, Phil, Ruby and I waited many hours in a tiny ER holding cell. Me, sweating and leaking milk, and Phil in his awesome face mask. In addition to the ouchiness of her booboo, Iris hadn't eaten anything since breakfast and missed her nap also so she was not in great shape. Also, she was dirty and unkempt-looking and pretty much straight ragamuffin which is always the way it happens when you take your kid to the ER, is it not? Despite all of this, she hung in there like a little trouper.

The surgeon had to put her under anesthesia since the cut was on her face and he needed her to be completely still while he did her sutures. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see her like that. Just to get back at us, she decided to keep sleeping for two hours after her procedure. So it was a lovely seven hour visit. With sweat. And milk.

When we left she was still loopy from the anesthesia. Phil and Ruby pulled the car around while I carried Iris. When she and I got outside I told her we would go home and have a movie night and she could eat popcorn for dinner. Then I asked her if she wanted some juice with her popcorn and with her little swollen lip she said, "Juice? Oh, Mommy, thank you!" And my heart just broke into a thousand pieces right there. The ride home was full of proclamations about the sky (Did you know it's bluuuuuuuuuuuue?) and some worry about how my baby would fare overnight. But slightly less sweat.

All stitched up.

The little lady went back to the plastic surgeon's office today to get those stitches taken out. We're hoping the scar will fade within a year's time and if not the doctor said he can revise it if we want to do that. The biggest takeaway, at least from Iris's perspective, was the apple juice and cookie. And you should have heard her chatting up the nurse. Iris told her all about my pregnancy ("I have a new baby sister and she was in Mommy's tummy and then she came out and her name is Ruby and all she does is sleep...") and her injury ("I just hurt my lip at the park and I pushed the swing and it hit me..."). She's such a delightful little person.

After the stitches came out. And all hopped up on apple juice.



It's probably wildly inappropriate that I titled this post after a Britney Spears song about a threesome but the dang song has been stuck in my head all day so I couldn't resist. Plus, you know, sleep deprivation. And... three kids OMG.

Realistically I do not have time to blog but I'm letting the art project mess sit right over there on the table so I can record the latest news from casa de crazy before it all slips away in a postpartum fog, never to be remembered. And it should also be noted that this post will probably take days to complete, as I'm doing much of my typing one-handed, between feedings.

First, the birth story for all of you birth story junkies, like myself. Ruby Carroll arrived on April 29 at 12:13pm. Eight pounds, ten ounces and 21 inches long. Sounds straight-forward, right?


My due date was April 20, so already I felt awesome as you can imagine. Contractions started at 2am on the 28th (full moon!) and things started moving at about 4am. I called my parents at 5 and they came over. Then everything slowed down. I was still having 60-second contractions but they were only coming every 4 minutes instead of every 2. Things started picking up again at about 9am and I called the midwife who suggested I come in and get checked. Long story short, I was at 2cm and not at all effaced so we went home to rest and eat. By the time we got home everything had stopped. I ate, we went for a walk and I took a nap. It was about two hours later that my contractions started up again and I had to get serious about them. At 10pm I knew it was time to go in and sure enough I was 6cm.

I decided a few weeks ago that I have suffered enough over the last couple of years and I didn't really feel like bearing any more crosses so the anesthesiologist was called and I got a spinal/epidural combo which took care of that pesky back labor as well as all of the sensation in my legs. I did listen to my Hypnobabies "Come Out Baby" CD and just as it finished, my water broke. I thought for sure things would move quickly from there but seven hours later I was still at 7cm and Ruby still had not made any type of move. Her heart rate also kept dipping pretty low at the top of contractions and the midwife let us know that the cord was probably around her neck but it happens a lot and they would take care of it quickly once she was born.

Fast forward to 11:30am. I was propped up in a squat, sobbing my eyes out from exhaustion and hunger and aaaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh. The spinal had worn off twice (it's really disconcerting to suddenly feel every bit of transition when you've been blissfully unaware of such things for the last umpteen hours) and I was ready to be the crazy lady screaming, "Just cut me open!" It had been 31 hours since that first real contraction and I kinda felt duped, this being my third baby and all. I seriously thought she would just march on out flashing a peace sign at 39 weeks.

My wonderful, beautiful midwife came in at noon and checked me, then suggested I push the baby out. Excellent idea. Ten minutes later, Ruby was born. She did have the cord around her neck, and she was blue and not breathing. They took her to the incubator and tried to get her to cry but she was limp and unresponsive. Zillions of people came rushing into the room and started working to get her to breathe. When she finally took a breath and cried she was wheezing, so they decided to take her to the NICU for observation. Just before they left they asked if I wanted to hold her and I said of course, but only if it's in her best interest. They thought it was and so she and I got to cuddle. Almost immediately her color improved, the wheezing started to subside and her breathing got more regular. The white coats decided not to take her to the NICU, but would continue to observe her breathing to make sure she was okay. It was scary, but she is fine and I am so, so thankful.

Oh and also she had a belly full of amniotic fluid which she later projectiled all over a nurse at 4am. What a delicate little flower. See?

I know... I have no idea where the brown hair came from either but it makes me feel like this one might actually be mine.

Now for the name.

Our kids all have significance behind their names. Ocean's name comes from Amos 5:7-9 in The Message:
Do you realize where you are? You're in a cosmos star-flung with constellations by God,
A world God wakes up each morning and puts to bed each night.
God dips water from the ocean and gives the land a drink.
God, God-revealed, does all this.

Iris is Greek for rainbow and comes from Genesis 9:13-16.
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

And Ruby comes from Isaiah 54:10-13.
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
"O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace."

And her middle name, Carroll, is my dad's middle name, and was his dad's middle name also.

Now a few quick notes related to babies and birthing and pregnancy. First of all, I have a new law. Never say anything to a pregnant or postpartum woman that you wouldn't say to a non-pregnant or non-postpartum person. That means no comments about her body or her shape. I'm small-framed and short-waisted so I carry my babies right out front and yes, my stomach gets quite large. For some reason people feel that they can make comments. RUDE comments. It's not okay. I have belabored the point on Facebook so that's all I'll say about that, except for two stories which illustrate the point. The first is when I was in labor and thought, Finally. No more ass-hat comments about how huge I am or how I'm carrying. I had just checked in to the hospital and we were walking to my room from triage with the nurse when we passed another woman in labor, with her family. Her mom looked at me and said, "See, honey? She's a LOT bigger than you are! And it's definitely a boy!" Second story. At Ruby's one week appointment the nurse took us back to the exam room and asked how old Ruby was. I said one week. She looked at my stomach and, I kid you not, said, "You're not pregnant again, are you?" There are so many things wrong with this that I don't even know where to begin.

On the subject of postpartum bellies, I have been doing this belly-binding thing and it's amazing how much faster things are going back to normal. I still looked 7 months pregnant a month after Iris was born and now, at least according to one nurse, I apparently only look a week pregnant. I do have a significant diastasis which I plan to start working on in a week or two. And aside from re-injuring my tailbone during delivery I feel pretty good now. (And may I just say Benefit's Lemon-Aid helps with the emotional side of feeling good, and it should be given out in labor and delivery units along with those coffee table-sized pads and peri bottles. I'm not being paid to say that, I just really think it needs to happen.)

I have one final thought for today: 36D. So breastfeeding is going well.

Stay tuned to find out about Iris's first (and hopefully only) plastic surgery. She is fine; I still haven't quite recovered.