Friday, May 29, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes.

Bring it.

I have said it 100 times, and I will say it 100 more.

Pregnancy is not for sissies.

I have a small addage.

Labor is not for sissies.
Delivery is not for sissies.

That being said, labor and delivery should be something you do for and with someone you love. I learned a few things about the Cagles during our long forty three hour process to bring Eileen into this world.

We are better as a team than we are as individuals. Where I lacked strength to continue on after the magnesium zapped my energy and the epidural ran out (more than once), it took Husband telling me to press on to know that I could do it.

When the plan changes, the Cagles can change with the plan. We did not plan on giving birth Tuesday, May 26-- but we adapted. When Tuesday came and went without Eileen, we came and went with it. Two hours of pushing for a "normal" delivery (that "V" word gets used a little too much on this wing) proved that would not be part of our plan. 2am Wednesday morning found one Cagle being wheeled to the OR and the other Cagle getting dressed in OR garb to be with his wife. Having a C-section was not in "the plan" but plans change. Eileen was literally "fished out" at 2:47am on Wednesday morning, after a 43 hour process that started with plans of going home on Thursday and attending a wedding on Saturday, instead of having a 12 hour old on Thursday & getting discharged on Saturday.

Husband has felt the last two years have been wonderful, but also sort of a "waiting room" to life. Having Eileen come along not only gives her roots but gives us roots, too. Not to this address, not to this plan, but to each other.

Tomorrow, we pull the new car around to the entrance at MCG and put Eileen in the new carseat. We will take her to a place we have been preparing for her for the last 8 months and 2 weeks. She will be coming home to what we have been building for the last two years.

Will made me a wife.
I made him a husband.
She made us parents.

Such is our family, The Cagles.

no time for words... it's feeding time!

Friday, May 22, 2009

What starts out as average...

Days that change your life start out like any other day. I cannot remember the day I met Husband. But, from the moment I knew him, I never forgot him.

In hindsight, I remember the day he proposed to me. We were at our beach house and spent the whole day basking in the sun. We ate sushi at Islamorada Fish Co. and drank Natural Light in the middle of a horrible thunderstorm that kept knocking out the power. It was just… an average July day, that 15th in 2006. And it was as comfortable as when you were small and crawled into your grandmother’s lap to fall asleep to the scent of her perfume, Beautiful.

The day we decided that two should become three started like any other day. It was a Friday in late May. Husband was cooking on the grill and I had set the table outside with a bright plaid tablecloth and Vietri fish china with matching wine glasses. Appetizers of hummus and pita chips & a fantastic piece of seared tuna with sesame seeds. Not to mention the wine in the marble cooler. I brought it up. And the conversation was so calm, so intelligent, so pragmatic, so much something you would never imagine we were discussing the possibility of changing our picture perfect little life with just the two of us.

But picture perfect is boring. Broken china, handprints on the wall, and sleepless nights make for better stories and add character to your soul.

Yesterday started out like any other. I ate my Eggo for breakfast, enjoyed a haircut and lunch with Nancy. Husband was able to make it to my ultrasound and non-stress test. It was an average Thursday, like the past five Thursdays I have had in this pregnancy- hanging out with the 3Cs, IGOR, and Erin.

And what a surprising discovery we had in store for us in Erin’s office. This pregnancy was not going to make it until June 8th. This pregnancy will cease to exist Tuesday, leaving the Cagles with an Eileen. An Eileen we have been waiting two long years to meet. An Eileen we are very excited about. An Eileen that makes Husband beam and grin from ear to ear. An Eileen that promises me will be the greatest of adventures.

So, this weekend, I promised Erin I would take it easy- try doing that when you know LMC is a mere 80ish hours away. No problem… Husband is on call tomorrow and Monday. At this moment, life is the same and slowly moving forward. PETF (Patricia Eileen the First) will spend Monday night at the hospital with me & Husband will come straight to 7-West (L&D) at MCG as soon as he gets off-call in Aiken Tuesday morning. The Cagles & Husband’s grandmothers will be here around lunchtime (the grandmothers have had their bags packed for about a week; how precious is that?) & the day will end with one more person then the way it began.

Husband said words to me a week before I got pregnant, words that I carry with me, make me smile and make my heart feel warm, “You smell like sunscreen and the sea. You smell like home.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Down

And then there were three.

Catherine gave birth two weeks ago to bouncing Noah. Precious and adorable, I cannot wait to cover our fridge with more pictures of another nephew! That makes three babies for the Rouses. Three perfect little sets of ten fingers, ten toes, and two ears.

Mary Margaret, sweet and precious Mai gave birth this morning at 3:45 to Clayton. I saw and held him when he was less then seven hours old. Eli, stoic and fatherly, sat on the couch and watched us as we cooed and discussed epidurals, birthing, and all the unpleasantries that bring new babies into this world.

All that's left are Blake, Laura, and little ole' me. One by one, we are coming to the end. Of the three, my due date is the soonest at eighteen days. Laura trails by 7 and Blake by 9. Mai came a week early.

And sweet Faris is due in October, and Kristen in July, and and and and... it seems there is something in the water.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I remember being 6 weeks pregnant. No bump, drinking O'Doul's and no one knew.

I remember being 16 weeks pregnant. Broken foot, hellaciously uncomfortable and my, er, dare-ee-air was growing faster than my stomach.

I remember being 26 weeks pregnant. Still throwing up, getting more energy and Poppy was no longer a Poppy, she was an Eileen.

Never was the end in sight.

I am 36 weeks pregnant. If Husband breaths the word waddling, he knows death is imminent.

At 6, 16, and 26 weeks though, there was a difference.

I was not contracting.

A gander in my uterus revealed LMC was hanging pretty upside down, hand still in front of her face, kicking the sides of her fishbowl, and letting Christy (the ultrasounder) know that she was not pleased to have someone sneaking a peek inside. Afterwards, we headed over to IGOR's domain. Ange has been coming with me to my weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests as Husband cannot take that much time away from work. He meets us in Erin's waiting room afterwards, which I appreciate- especially today. IGOR (Ms. Fran) strapped me up to the cold, hard disks, found her heart beat and set me up for the thirty minutes. Mom and I talked about an upcoming wedding, her beach trip, and the paperwork we had to go over. At 21 bars (21 minutes) Husband walked in for the last blip on the tape. IGOR looked at the tape and asked me a simple... correction... a very simple question.

"Did you feel that?"

Before she said anything else, I knew what that was. Not a word slipped from my lips.

"It's gone. Did you feel that?"


"You have had two contractions since you sat down. And, based on your answer...(or lack there of)... I am going to say you did not feel them."

Silence and the color drained from my face and hit the floor.

Calm your nerves, be still your beating heart, and let your vapors subside-- two very important words go with these contractions:

Braxton. Hicks .

Validation! For days I thought I felt something, but nothing that was what has been described to me. More like a flutter and far less like a mule kicking me in the gut. Dainty?

Done with IGOR & kisses to Patricia Eileen The First... we head back to see Erin to make a surprising discovery...

I was up two pounds last week and down the same two this week! Weight gain is holding steady at 14 pounds.

Astounding. Absolutely astounding to me. gd-GD... every day I realize you are what the doctor ordered. Extra ultrasounds, a safe and healthy weight progression, confirmation of what the ticks are and those stupid non-stress tests that are anything but stress free.

Contractions? What contractions?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Bag.

There are things I wish that someone had told me before I was thrown into the fire...

I wish someone had told me that it would not be cool to wear your first sorority t-shirt to your first sorority function. Wear something way cooler than you should. Even if you are just going bowling.
I wish someone had told me to have a bad-ass speech prepared for your brother's wedding.
I wish someone had told me to pack for the honeymoon before the rehearsal dinner instead of after the wedding.
I wish someone had told me baking soda on a sunburn is a very bad idea, not a good one.
I wish someone had told me pewter should not be cleaned with silver polish.
I wish someone had told me you should never use cheap blonde hair dye from a box. EVER.
I wish someone had told me that there is a difference in Italian sausage & Kielbasa sausage, as it will definitely effect the taste of dinner.

But, I do know one thing without being told: before you go to the hospital, you pack your bag.

This...bag... is something of an enigma to me. I have talked to other girlfriends who are currently pregnant and our recent conversations are not about 3d ultrasounds, swollen ankles, or the how we would kill for a piece of sushi or a glass of red wine. Our conversations are about...The Bag.

First, it has to be a cute bag, as you want the nurses and your doctor to know that, whilst empire waste shirts and elastic pants are fine for 9 months, you actually have good taste and can look sexy in high heels and shorts skirts or that you can be super pretty [preppy] with a Lilly sweater tied around your neck and a tennis skirt. "Where's your mallet?" can be answered with, "Who plays croquet?"

So you toss the Eddie Bauer duffel bag that is perfectly convenient & functional back in the attic. It worked going cross country, it works going cross-state, but it is immediately deemed not acceptable for the 2 mile trip to MCG. You bust out Vera. Perfectly pretty and completely pocketless and totally NOT travel friendly, Vera.

And then, what goes in Vera?

Underoos. Lots of 'em.

That is as far as I have gotten.

I hear that I need to pack nightgowns, but not nice ones. I did not ask why they should not be nice. I did not want to know.

An outfit to go home in. What the heck? Are you telling me that whilst I only have about 5 outfits that currently fit, I am to take one out of the rotation and stick it in an overpriced, quilted bag for it to just SIT THERE for 4 weeks? With underoos, socks, and gross nighties?

Real cool, Clark.

Toiletries. Check.

An outfit for Eileen to go home in. Crap. I'm taking a baby home?! Isn't she going to Mom's for about 18 years, give or take? That means we need a car seat. Wait, that's outside of The Bag.

Something to keep you busy. You mean other than the child? Call me crazy, but I do not think she goes in The Bag.

A digital camera. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Snacks. Okay, LMC is not due for 5 weeks. And I am pregnant. With a bag upstairs in our bedroom... with snacks in it. The only thing that keeps me from eating in the middle of the night is the fact that I have to get out of bed, cut off the alarm, walk down the creaky steps (holding on to the hand rail), find a snack... fix the snack... and bring my belly back up the creaky steps, cut back on the alarm, and crawl back in bed. Those snacks would not last 5 days in The Bag upstairs, let alone 5 weeks.

Some websites said sandwiches, but I said gross. A 5 week old sandwich just sounds like too much for me. And my nausea is doing just fine on its own, thankyouverymuch.

A white hat for the nurse to put her footprints on... I'm not touching that one.

So, there is much to contemplate what goes into The Bag, much like a magician decides what goes in his hat or a sorority girl will put in her VB for mountain weekend. With far fewer outfits.

And underoos. Lots of 'em.