Our little Lu-Lu is now three years old. We've spent the last two days having an extended celebration due to the fact that Adam wasn't getting home until this afternoon. I was quite happy with telling Talia that today was her birthday (she doesn't know the difference) but the olders were insistent on her celebrating her birthday on.her.birthday. So she got to pick two birthday dinners, have two different birthday treats and generally have twice as much celebrating. Last night we had friends over for dinner, Talia picked hamburgers and hot dogs for her special meal and cookies as a dessert. Then tonight GDaddy came over, Dadd was home (!) and we had Mac and Cheese and a bear cake, that is a cake in the shape of a bear.
Back in the day when Elie had her birthday, Talia declared that she wanted a bear cake. She was a bit unclear on the details, but got it in her head that she wanted a bear cake. But then a couple weeks ago she started telling me she wanted a different kind of cake. First she wanted a forest cake, then a princess cake like Elie's, then a motorcycle cake and sometimes she wanted a bear cake. ARGHGHGHGH. I finally got her to settle on a bear cake again. But then I had to create a bear cake. Which I managed to do, last night at midnight.
The reason for the late hour being that the last few days were the confluence of a few very important, time consuming situations. The first was Talia's birthday, the second was that I was reading Torah at synagogue this morning and lastly that Adam was coming home today. In addition, I foolishly thought that I could have friends over for dinner and not add to my stress level. All these events (plus the added unpredictability of small children) made for a rather late cake creating session last night.
I made the cakes ahead of time, Thursday night. But instead of taking them out of their pans before I froze them (freezing makes it easier to frost) I was lazy and just left them in the pans, covered them and stuck them in the freezer. Fast forward to Friday night. I fell asleep with the kids because I was so doggone tired. I woke up to the faint sound of Isaac crying hysterically and discovered that he had woken up, but gotten confused and wandered to the basement looking for me. I ran down stairs, picked him up, took him to our bed and then Leila woke up, so I went and got her and took her to our bed. I nursed Leila back to sleep and got Isaac back to sleep too. Then I went downstairs where I had to finish the dishes from dinner in order to start making icing for the cakes. I got the dishes finished and started to take the cakes out of their pans - big problem. They all stuck, really, really stuck. I had a momentary really large panic and then I pieced it back together and started creating the bear. Once I got through that, it went really quickly, but I still didn't make it in to bed until 1:30 this morning.
Anyway, most of that is neither here nor there. There was a cake at this evenings celebration. It was a cake in the shape of a bear and Talia seemed pleased. She is so funny, our little Lu-Lu. I can hardly believe that she is three. She was born in this house, upstairs in our bedroom. And now, look how time has flown. She is cannot wait to go to school, do her own hair and learn to read books. She is sweet and oh-so-funny. Her little blue eyes sparkle with impish glee and she is so easy going and fun. Not to say she isn't trying on her share of unpleasant behavior, but for the most part she tries hard not to rock the boat. She is still my cuddle bug and, while she has gotten much more secure about her place in this world without me constantly by her side, she still clings occasionally. I can hardly believe she is three.
I never wrote her birth story down anywhere, either. So here goes. Don't read anymore if you don't want to read about moaning, barfing, pushing, laboring women. But do read more if you want to read a cool story about our little Lu-lu joining our family.
Talia's due date was the 15th of May, a Sunday. Two Tuesdays before I had woken up early in the morning, with some contractions. I thought for sure that it was time. I woke up Adam, we called the midwives. But by the time we called them, my contractions had petered out. We took a walk while they hung out, but there was no uptick in intensity. So everyone went home. We took a nice long walk that afternoon and tried to get things going, but no dice. That day was not the birth-day.
Fast forward to Sunday the 15th. I woke up having some contractions. I just thought it was more prodromal labor and didn't pay very much attention to them. We took a lesiurely breakfast and then decided to drive into Arlington, to the commissary at Ft. Meyer. I was somewhat worried that the periodic contractions might turn into labor, but we decided that it wasn't that much of a risk. We made it through the commissary, though I was having contractions the whole time. We got home, we unloaded the car and we decided to call some friends of ours and ask them if they wanted to meet us at the park. Off we headed to the park, with me having contractions the whole time. Sometimes they were hardly noticeable and sometimes I couldn't sit through them, but they were definitely not regular and so we were not very concerned with them. We played at the park with Elie and Isaac for quite a while, then our friends came over to our house for dinner. I remember I was so concerned that there would be dessert, that I ended up whipping up a batch of cupcakes. We had a nice dinner of pizza, with cupcakes afterwards, but by the end I was having regular contractions and was needing to breathe through them. Our friends left and I went upstairs to hang out in the shower.
I got out of the shower and was still having fairly regular contractions, but these were confusing to me because they were so different from my contractions with Isaac. With Isaac I was having contraction on top of contraction on top of contraction; there was no break in the middle, just a lessenning of intensity. But these contractions were the contractions that you read about in all the books; less intense, very intense, less intense, nothing, repeat.
I was so incredibly mentally unprepared for this type of labor. It seemed so onerous. It seemed to go on forever. We called the midwives around seven-thirty and I think they arrived around eight-thirty. I was already sitting down in my rocking chair, waiting for my body to kick into high gear so I could get in the zone and get this baby out. No dice. I sat and rocked and sat and rocked and the contractions continued. I remember that I threw up. I remember that I asked if I *should* get up and walk around. I remember being oh, so incredibly tired. I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep. At some point Elie woke up. At first she just wanted to sit in the room with me while I labored, but I did not feel like I could mentally handle that. I could not ignore her presence. Adam got her settled in the basement with one of the birth assistants and came back up to be with me.
My back labor was getting mighty intense. I got up on our bed and tried to get comfortable on the excercise ball. But that didn't really work. Nothing felt comfortable or relaxing. Elie wanted Adam and so the birth assistant brought her up to him, but I sent Adam and Elie back downstairs. I felt pushy and started to bear down while I was moving to the end of our bed. My water broke with such force that I remember hearing a loud pop. I scooted to a standing position at the end of the bed, grabbed handfulls of the bedsheets and pushed with all my might. They called Adam and Elie back upstairs, but by the time they got from the landing up the five stairs to our bedroom, Talia was already out. It was 12:44 am, Monday May 16th. She weighed 8lbs 9oz and was 20 inches long. I remember holding her up against me and seeing her little rolls of fat on the back of her neck. It was so amazing to see a little person so incredibly chubby. (Elie and Isaac were such skinny babies.) How rolley and precious and soft she was! She had black hair and she was so incredibly beautiful. Happy Birth-day, little Lu-lu!