Category: Olive Juice

Someone I’ve never met DM’d me a couple weeks ago telling me she loved reading my blog, thought I was funny and relatable, and that my bluntness “was a breath of fresh air.” I’m writing this 100% to brag to you, and have you guys know that someone out there thinks I’m funny. And that I’ve been compared to a “breath of fresh air.” No other reason other than that. So ya, that concludes this post.

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Just kidding. I got to thinking about the word relatable. So I looked up the word.

re·lat·a·ble

2 “enabling a person to feel that they can relate to someone or something: Mary-Kate’s problems make her more relatable.”

I’m not Mary-Kate, but I do got problems. So I hope that in some way I can ENABLE you to feel like you can RELATE to me. So this is my blog post today. It’s about telling you guys the truths of motherhood. And maybe it’s the truths you won’t say out loud, you just think them in your head. It might be the truths you feel you can’t say out loud because you’ll be judged as a mom. Or it could be the things you do as a mom that you would be horrified if someone found out. So I’ll say them for you. And you can judge me, just not out loud. Only in your head. Capish?

1. Have you ever considered (or actually given) giving your kid tylenol when they didn’t need it, only because the label said “may cause drowsiness?” Ya, me neither.

2. Kids books are boring. And so not believable. Like, you’re telling me this stupid hungry caterpillar ate chocolate cake, a pickle, a lollipop, salami, an ice cream cone, cherry pie, sausage, swiss cheese, a cupcake, and watermelon, plus all that fruit… and he magically becomes a beautiful butterfly? If I ate all that there would be very little about me that would be “beautiful.” A more accurate story would be that the caterpillar was a glutton and died of clogged arteries and diabetes. And that is why gluttony is a sin. And that kids is why you drink a green juice. THE END.

3. Do you ever worry your kid might grow up and not be smart? I’m being honest. It is a legit worry of mine. What if Olive sucks at school? I did. What if at parent teacher interviews you get the “Olive is a bright student, if only she would apply herself….” (I only know the wording because, well….. my parents kept my report cards). Whatever.

4. You are somewhat happy your kid can’t quite talk yet. Or her words to her dad might be “west ed” and “McDonald’s.”

5. Your kid is boring. Like, they’re cute and all, and you wanna kiss their cheeks…. but you can only play peek-a-boo so many hundred times in an hour before you start to wonder “Does this kid seriously not know that I’m not hiding?”

6. “Leave me ALONE.” DO you ever think that? I think that a lot. Like when I’m cooking. Or on the toilet. Or in the shower. Or at 6:00 in the morning. Or trying to eat. Or trying to enjoy a friends company. Or trying to make out with your husband. Or vacuuming. Or doing my makeup. Or doing my hair. Like I said… I think that a lot.

7. Wishing naps lasted all day. Or at least until your husband came home. I ONLY think that when I have a ton of stuff to get done (*wink wink*) But man, a 6 hour nap would definitely help a mother out.

8. Ever given your kid fruit snacks and junk food for lunch? Or completely forgot to feed your kid all together? Cool, me neither.

9. Used them as an excuse to not go out? “Olive is super tired, so I won’t be able to make it to the book club this month. And she’ll probably still be super tired for next month’s as well. Thanks so much for the invite though!”

10. Here’s the one that I probably shouldn’t admit. But Mary-Kate and me gotta stick together. I sometimes wish for my life before her. And I promise it’s not often. It used to be, but not anymore. But there are days that are really hard. And not physically. But emotionally and mentally you’re spent. You have nothing else to give. You’ve been screamed at, smacked, whined at, had food thrown at you. Been puked on. Had poo go under your fingernail. Had them “help” empty the dishwasher. Found your keys in the garbage (true story). Had a hard book corner hit you in the eye. Your arms are are tired from holding them. And you still have to clean up the trail of mess they’ve left and make supper. Those are the days where I think “what would I be doing 2 years ago?” I would probably have been baking. Or shopping (in peace). I could have watched a movie by myself. I could have hung out with a friend without lugging around 18 lbs of diapers, wipes, extra clothes, snacks, etc. I could have been organizing my sock drawer. Anything. And sometimes when I think about it I get the slightest of tears in my eyes. Like last week. When Olive sucked all my energy and I went into the pantry to take a deep breath and cry. And when I came out Dane asked why I was crying and I said “it’s the onions.” (luckily I was chopping onions right before).  It wasn’t the onions. It was Olive. Those days are hard. Those days I think back to two years ago. Before Olive.

11. “If the baby wasn’t here, my life would be normal.” Ever have that thought? And then immediately think to yourself  “I can’t tell people that. I can’t say that out loud. If you say these things people will think you’re an unfit mother. Someone will try and take my baby away. They’ll put me in a mental hospital. Maybe there’s something wrong wth me? Maybe I’m actually a bad mom? Moms don’t think these things.” Well, I’m here to tell you that I don’t know if these are normal thing to think. I’m here to tell you that I don’t know if other moms think this way. I’m pretty sure (like 99.9%) that it IS normal, and that other moms DO think these things, but I can’t say for certain. I CAN tell you, that I, Claudia Redel…. think these things.

 

Olive has changed my life. I’m not gonna write “for the better.” Not yet. But she has changed it. I’ve become more patient. I have become more nurturing. I’ve somehow learned to run on no sleep. I’ve become more organized (most days that isn’t very apparent). I’ve become more understanding of what my mother went through (AT 20!) I’ve learned to trust my instinct more. I’ve become more sure of myself. I’ve become more confident (not in the mom bod department). I’ve become more protective of what is mine and my territory as a mother. I’ve become less judgemental of other women. I’ve become more compassionate to other moms. I’ve had to learn to stand my ground on what I think is best for my daughter.

I’m learning to juggle what it means being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Some (most) days I feel like I’m failing at all of the above. But I’ve kinda learned to not give a flying squirrel’s booty. Because Olive needs me more than anyone in this WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. And while that is some intense pressure, it’s also one of the most rewarding (so cliche, but also kinda true). Because when she sees me her brown eyes light up and she runs to me and says “MAMI!!’ Or when she grins with her teeth when I’m being a silly brain and she laughs at me like I’m literally the funniest person ever. Or when she puts her head on my shoulder and pats my back and says “Shh, Shh” cuz she’s trying to put me to sleep (nice try Olive). Or her little hand that insists on helping me put lotion on my skin after the shower. Or when she wants a sip of my drink she makes eye contact and bobbles her head up and down and points with her tiny finger and says “ya? ya?” Or when she needs help or wants something she shows all of her little teeth and says “peaaaassss.” Those moments are worth it now, when she’s asleep in her crib. But not in the bad moments. In the bad moments you just wanna scream so loud and cry so hard. (See? Honesty).

Hey Olive, have you changed my life for the better? Ya. You have. Thank you.

So I made a post last year with this exact title. Turns out, I still kinda suck as a mom a year later. Here’s the thing. Pretty sure we’re all gonna have sucky mom (and dads!) moments until our kids are adults. So this weeks edition of “I suck as a mom” is brought to you by yours truly.

1). I was at west ed on Monday, she didn’t wanna be in her stroller. So I let her walk beside me, but then she only wanted to be carried. So I carried her. Only to have her puke all over me and the mall floor. Right smack in front of abercrombie and fitch, you know… where all the teeny boppers go and are really mature. Shout out to the dude who made a huge dramatic face and covered his nose with his shirt. Bro, be happy you’re not the one with barf down your boobs and on your crotch (my daughter is talented in getting it in the best places). Joke was on him… he was wearing a Crooks and Castles shirt with a diamond stud I’m pretty sure he stole form his little sisters earring collection from Claire’s. I’ll take barf on me any day if my option were a). barf or b). his outfit.

2). Olive refused to eat the whole week.

3). On Wednesday I decided to have my monthly shower. I usually just let her in the bathroom with me. But today I didn’t wanna have a toilet brush, toilet plunger, toilet paper roll, or whatever else she finds thrown in the shower with me. All of these items have been thrown in with me in the past. So I closed all the doors to the rooms and let her roam the living room and hallway, free as a bird. I shower for literally 3 mins, and wrap my towel around me. *side note* Dane used my towel the night before because he’s constantly leaving his in our bedroom, so I yelled for him to bring me a new towel. He brings me the towel that I bought because it was “cute” and had tassels and pretty embroidery on it. It barely goes around me. So here I am in this barely there towel and I come out and start looking for Olive troll. I don’t see her. So I go into the bedroom. She’s not there. I come out to the living room. She’s not there. But the front door is wide open. I’m brown, I have the all year round tan going on…. but I’m pretty sure I looked like a white chick in that moment. I run out into the street (in my barely there towel) screaming her name over and over again. I can’t see her anywhere. I realize the gate to the backyard is swinging because it was raining and super windy that day, so I run back there somewhat relieved because she’s at least not on the street. But she’s not there either. So now I’m running back into the house to call 911. I can’t find my phone because that’s what happens in situations where you desperately need your phone. I start screaming her name again inside and I hear “mama, mama, mama?” I run to the pantry/laundry room and swing open the door. She’s not there. I’m just kidding, she’s there. She’s trying to get to her fruit snacks, and decided the best way to do so without getting caught is to close the door behind her. I grab her and my knees kinda buckle and I just hug her. I keep telling her she scared me, and that I’m sorry, and she just looks at me and points to her fruit snacks. I get it kid, I like them too.

4). Because she’s barely eating, and she clearly likes fruit snacks, I decide I’m gonna make some. You know, the healthy kind. So I scour Pinterest looking for recipes until I settle on one. Its got spinach, strawberries, no sugar, blah blah, healthy, you get it. I make a huge batch and wait for the pectin to do it’s thang and set into delicious healthy fruit snacks. My fruit snacks don’t really set and look like whale blubber. Dane pointed to it and went “Sooooo……. not really hey?” No. No Dane, not really. Not at all. I put them in baggies and he thinks they’ll be good in smoothies. That’s his way of saying “I saw all the organic crap you put in there,you’re not allowed to throw that out.” We’ll see how many smoothie get made.

5). Here’s the real doozy. I had to go back to west ed on Friday (it’s a long story. Ok wait, it’s actually not that long. I like shopping). So I had to go back. And that morning Olive cried for 3 hours straight and would not let me put her down. I thought she was just being whiny and I was getting super impatient with her. So at the mall I did what I had come to do, and on our way out, Afton and me just happened to sneak into Anthropologie for a quick gander. Afton was in line paying and Olive was getting fussy in her stroller, so I took out fruit snacks (not the whale blubber ones), and offered her one. She shook her head and said ” no!” and stared at me. It was in that moment white, chunky, smelly lava exploded for her mouth. Like SO much. And it wouldn’t stop coming out. I just stared at her in shock for a few seconds, and then I calmly went up to Afton and told her I’d meet her in the bathroom. She took one look at Olive and her eyes went all wide eyed and her mouth just made a huge “O.” I walked calmly to the bathroom, people giving sympathetic looks the whole way. I just smiled and gave “haha, just a bit sick… I’m fine, I’m fine, really! I’ve got it all under control” look. As soon as I got to the baby change area of the bathroom I may have freaked out a bit in my head. Taking of her barf soaked shirt was fun, when I pulled it over her head it got on her face, her neck, her hair. Her pants are covered, the stroller is covered. She managed to get it inside her shoes. It’s basically cottage cheese that reeks and is EVERYWHERE. Afton comes in and is slightly looking like she might also puke, but she runs off to winners and buys a towel, baby soap and wash cloths. So Olive had a bath at the west ed bathroom. In the sink.

6). We go straight to the walk in clinic and she gets seen right away. She has a fever of 39.4 and they tell me she has a chest infection. They prescribe her antibiotics and send us on our way. I give her the antibiotics against my better judgement (I’m the granola mom that doesn’t immunize her kid and isn’t fond of antibiotics. You can judge me and send me hate mail, all good!) After her second dose of antibiotics, my kid is COVERED in hives. Face, arms, legs…. covered. And I’m pissed. So turns out my kid is allergic to penicillin. I’m pissed because I didn’t feel comfortable when the doctor was rushed in seeing us because the clinic closed 15 mins after we got there. I’m pissed because she barley checked her and then said “I’m gonna say it’s a chest infection, but I can’t be sure. If she gets worse take her to emergency.” I’m pissed because I should have known better than to go against my judgement. I’m pissed because my baby has huge welts covering most of her body even as I write this.

 

Ok. Before I get death threats, calm your self. I 100% believe in doctors, and I am grateful beyond words for them (Uhhh… have you not read my post “The C- word?”) Will I take my Olive to the doctor? Yep. When needed ( I took her this morning to our family doctor!) Do I go to the doctor? VERY rarely, but yes. I go. My mom works for the health care system, trust me…. I’m not against them. Will I immunize Olive? As of right now, my answer is a strong no. Have I researched as to why I don’t want to? Yes. Do I judge people who immunize their kids and themselves? Strong no. Will I ever change my mind on immunization? Possibly! Like I said, I’m not against the medical system, doctors, nurses, antibiotics, none of it. I just have my OWN opinions as to when they are needed for MY child and myself. This post isn’t about immunizations, our health care system, doctors. It’s not about antibiotics, or political views, religious views, or whether you think unicorns are real or not. This post (and this blog for that matter) is about me being a sucky mom that is learning to have grace with herself, patience with her daughter, love and even more patience with her husband (he drives me bonkers), and maybe a good recipe or two. Or maybe even a good hair day, or if I find an outfit that doesn’t make me feel like a baby whale, I’ll post about that too. Stranger things have happened you know.

The moral of this story, post, whatever you wanna call it is this. DO NOT BUY THE CUTE TOWELS. Buy the big Bertha (I was gonna wrote big, juicy Donna ones but then I got worried Donna is too much of a common name) towels. You know, the ones that wrap around your ENTIRE body. Also, if you have any good fruit gummy recipes that don’t turn out like whale blubber, please share.

 

DISCLAIMER/WARNING

One of the images you are about to see contains graphic content and may not be suitable for wusses, or for people who probably don’t have kids.

 

Picture 1). Olive snuck and got her gummies and has a mouth full. Picture 2). My “fruit gummies.” More like fruit fail.  Picture 3). No explanation necessary.

 

 

She turns 1 today. Am I emotional? No. I’m happy. I literally kept a human alive for a year, and thats a huge deal because I could barely keep my nano baby alive (does anyone remember those?) I’m not that mom that will cry and say “she’s not my baby anymore” or “she’ll always be my baby.” Either one. No. I know what the passing of time entails, and it entails your newborn becoming a month old, and then a 4 month old, and then pretty soon you have a 1 year old. And before I know it I’ll have a toddler. I’m not sad because if I’m being totally honest, which I tend to be, it’s that the baby phase was tough and I did not enjoy it as much as maybe most moms. I got mastitis twice, which then resulted in needing antibiotics, which then resulted in thrush twice. Second round lasting a solid three months. My milk flow sucked, so breastfeeding was torture (again, thrush with that was even worse). Olive was a tough baby. She only wanted me, she woke up every 2 hours though the night, and she was loud. Like, REALLY loud. But now she’s at the age where her giggle is the best sound I hear, her toothy grin is the cutest, and her personality is the funniest. She is a little turd, and everyone agrees. She has more personality than I thought a baby could have. She’s got attitude, spunk, she’s funny and she knows it. She can charm any watch off your wrist and slobber on it like nobody’s business. Enough about Olive, lets talk about me. Here’s a few things, tips and tricks I’ve learned in the past year as a new mom. A new less “ish” selfish human being.

  1. I can take a stain out of almost anything. Poop stains are my specialty.
  2. I have more patience I knew I had. Except with Dane. I think I have less patience with him now.
  3. I am totally fine with going to Costco with greasy hair, no make up, and socks I took out of the dirty clothes pile. (It was ONE time, and in my defence, my feet never stink…. so basically they were clean).
  4. I have learned to not longingly stare at people eating before me because I have to eat last due to a child that is whining and crying and is attached to me like an octopus (octopus sounded better than leech in my head).
  5. 3 minute showers, including shaving. Just buy bandaids. You’ll be fine.
  6. Take extra clothes everywhere you go. Even if you’re just going out for 20 mins. That’s when nature (nature is a poop explosion in case you’re wondering. Just thought I’d help you out) will decide is an opportune time to yell “TOLD YOU SO.” Just take the extra clothes.
  7. Take a plastic bag with you. For poop clothes. I once had to walk around the mall with poop clothes in the bottom of the stroller basket. People probably though I had crapped my pants. Also, shout out to GAP who refused to give me a bag because I hadn’t bought something. Clearly the $100,000,000,000 I have spent there on baby clothes doesn’t count as “something.”
  8. You can never have too many diapers.
  9. Baby food is disgusting.
  10. If you put something in your basket online and do the whole checkout process, but then don’t actually checkout, the company will email you within a few days with a coupon code. (This isn’t really baby related, but a very good life tip. You’re welcome.
  11. Baby Gap usually has a “One Day Only sale” every day. Just wait for the 40% off coupon codes. And its free shipping when you spend over $50.
  12. Buy sleepers for the first 3-6 months. So many sleepers. Your baby doesn’t wanna look fashionable. It wants to be warm and cosy.
  13. Buy yourself comfy clothes. You don’t wanna be fashionable. You want to be warm and cosy.
  14. NEVER underestimate how many wipes you will need. take wipes everywhere you go. Lot’s.
  15. Go with the flow. Roll with the punches. “You do you boo.” Flipping SURVIVE. That’s my last piece of advice. If that means crying until snot is rolling down your face, do it. If it means getting up before your baby to get stuff done, do it. If it means having a messy house because you are held prisoner by a baby, do it. No one should judge you. Unless they’ve walked a mile in your shoes… which why would they? That would be weird if a stranger just asked to borrow your shoes and walk a mile and then return them.

Story of the day: today we went to Calgary with my friend. I wore a white shirt with a white lace kimono. Olive wore her baby jeans with white lace and the cutest white lace top. We were adorbs. I got hoison sauce on my right boob at lunch from my lettuce wraps. Just under that was a black tire stain from trying to fold out the most possessed stroller of all time. My left side had something green on it. She then decided to hurl her glass bottle in the middle of the mall, have the bottle shatter and have milk go everywhere. Right smack in the middle of where people walk. Olive then decided to have “nature” (refer to #6) happen on the QE2, which resulted in having “nature” up her back, in her arms (like HOWWWW??) in her hair, all over her car seat. Afton was of wonderful help. You know, with the gagging and commentary: “that is foul.” “Oh man, that is rank.” Thank goodness for wipes and extra clothes (not this day nature, NOT this day). When washing her clothes in the sink in a dingy bathroom on the side of the road, I got my left side of my shirt soaking wet. SO I had a disgusting dirty, white shirt with a soaking wet left boob. Attached to my hip was a child that was not wearing the same clothes she left with, along with a slight smell of “nature.” Just go with the flow. Roll with the punches.

 

Olive Rose, today you are one. Olive Rose, today I celebrate you. I celebrate your 5 teeth, your perfect fingers and toes. I celebrate your grin and your dark eyes and dark eyelashes. I celebrate your tiny ears, chubby cheeks, your infectious scent. I celebrate your round belly, pouty lips, your dark hair. I celebrate your dimply bum, your stork bite on your lower back. I celebrate your laughter, your sweet kisses, your eyes that smile at me with love, your arms that always are held open for mine. I celebrate the way your breath still smells of sweetness and of innocence. I celebrate how you only see me as your protector, not as the flawed human that I am. I celebrate the gift I was given one year ago today, the gift I take for granted, the gift that changed the course of my life. The gift that will never let me be the same as I once was. I celebrate you little one, my little love, my little bug. I love you. I love you. And I love you. I will love you until I can no longer. Happiest of birthdays Olive Rose. You literally have no clue what today is, but I will still celebrate you and your first year of life on this earth.

 

You’re 9 months old today Olive, and I can hardly believe that soon you will have been in my life for a whole year. You cut two teeth, your bottom two middle ones. You’ve started to crawl (mostly face plant). You have learned to give kisses (getting you to do it is another story). You like to tense your arms like you’re flexing, and do this deep growl, and it might be my favourite thing you do. You let me know when you don’t like a toy (you glare at me and bat at my hand and grunt). You can laugh hard now, and it’s this tiny, deep cackle, and hearing you is the best sound. You like strawberry cereal puffs, you can eat almost a whole banana, you like mashed potatoes, and you love to drink cold water. You hate socks on your feet, you hate getting a shirt pulled over your head, or put on. When you’re angry or frustrated you chuck yourself back as hard as you can and wail (I’m waiting for the day you do this on something other than a bed. That’ll be fun). You despise having your nose picked, but love having the inside of your ears rubbed. You have discovered your lungs, and sometimes you just let out the loudest screech and then smile at me, clearly pleased with yourself.

You are the reason to my frustrations, my tired eyes, my long nights, my early mornings. You are why I have poo on my face, barf on my clothes. You are the months and months it took me to finish a book, you are the reason why my diaper bag has everything except the kitchen sink in there. You are shoulder pain from carrying that bag around, you are why my left arm could probably beat Dwayne Johnson in an arm wrestle. You are 20 lbs and something ounces of Olive Rose.

Olive Rose, you are my light. You are why I wake up in the morning (literally). You are my joy, my best gift I’ve ever received, my happiness. You are the reason why my eyes stung with tears when you leaned in ever so gently to give me your first ever kiss on the lips (a lot of slobber, but I’ll take it). You are the reason I open my eyes in the middle of the night and kiss your cheeks over and over again, risking my sanity in case I wake you up. You are the smell I crave, your scent is my comfort (and your dads cologne). Your toes and your stubby thumb are the cutest things. Your eyes and eyelashes are enough to make me cry when you look up at me with the sweetest, most humble look. Your smile lights up a person’s day. Your life Olive, has so much meaning, so much value. You are, without a doubt, my blessing. And I love you. More than you might ever know. Thank you growing in my belly, and thank you for being mine.


I dunno what to do. I wanna cry, I wanna yell at Dane for telling me having a baby was good idea, I wanna tell Tara to stop being so nice because it’s making it hard to be a cow, which is all I wanna do. I wanna tell the nurse that came to hang out that she should have been an anesthesiologist instead of a nurse, I wanna tell my mom to stop rubbing my leg, I wanna scream and tell Olive that she’s being a real brat and she needs to come out NOW. I wanna be doing anything but feeling pain. Which is crazy right? Cuz who doesn’t like feeling pain?

Tara suggests maybe jumping into the shower while we wait for Mr. “emergency C-section” to get his little behind in with the drugs. So I waddle over to the shower. I can’t stand anymore because the contractions are too strong and I wanna puke. So I lay down in the tub. Tara sits on the edge of the tub and with the shower handle pouring hot water over my belly, and It kinda helps. KINDA. Like a really big KINDA. But it helps. Then I get this brilliant idea that I’m gonna start pushing, but I know Tara won’t let me and tell me it’s a bad idea. So I tell her that I really want Dane in here for support. He comes in all not sure of what to do, and he sits where Tara was. Then I start pushing down and making who knows what kind of face. He looks at me like I’m insane and says “what are you doing?! I don’t think you’re supposed to be pushing until you’re completely dilated….”  I give him my wife look, which basically every wife has (you know the look!) Basically means do NOT tell me what to do right now. I’m getting this baby outta me. So I try that for awhile, but no baby comes flying out. Tara comes into the bathroom around 11:30 pm and tells me that the anesthesiologist is going to be here soon, so I need to be ready, on the bed with my sports bra off. Having to get up and out of the tub, honestly, was one of the hardest things I had to do that day. And that’s not really an exaggeration. I have been in labour for almost 2 days, I’m exhausted, I’m scared, and I just want to sleep. But I get up. I go to the bed, and trying to take off a soaking wet sports bra, well flip, I might as well be having twins. Dane has to help me wiggle out of that thing, and if I wasn’t exhausted, and in pain, I might have almost cared. Because a 9 month old woman wiggling out of a wet sports bra very well could be the most unattractive thing you might ever see. Picture a hippo trying to do up a belt with only his teeth. Thats about as graceful as one can look.

The anesthesiologist waltzes in at 11:45 pm, all chill and I wanna punch him in the face. I’m sarcastic, I know I am. But my sarcasm got to a whole new level that night. He asks how I’m doing and I look at him and go “buddy, how does it look like I’m doing? What the heck took you so long?”  He thought I was funny cuz he chuckled. My mom was horrified, because young, polite ladies don’t talk like that. I ain’t no lady today Momma. (Did she not see the hippo trying to do up the belt?) He tells me that I have to be extremely still while getting the epidural.  Because if I move and he hits somewhere else I could be paralyzed, die, my husband would divorce me, my dog would probably get run over, and I could possibly lose all my possessions, blah blah blah, with some other side effects. So I tell him he better know what he’s doing, and he laughs at me again and says he’s done at least a couple before (Mr. emergency c- section is trying to be funny now). So I sit as still as possible, and then I feel the needle go in, and of course that’s when I get a contraction. So he pulls the needle out and tells me I need to be still. Dude, my contractions are less that 90 seconds apart, and you’re being slower than a turtle trekking through molasses, what the flip do you want me to do? He goes in again and it works. But then I see Dane’s face and I get scared. Because he looks like he’s about to pass out. (He told me afterwards that the guys hands were covered in my blood).

They tell me to lay down and relax, I’m hooked up to an IV now pushing fluids through me, and I can almost handle the pain. My contractions slow down and get further apart. It’s close to 1:00 in the morning now. Tara tells my mom and dad and brother to go home, get some rest, because I’m not having this baby till the morning, at least 7:00 am she tells them. So they say their goodbyes and leave. As soon as they go, my contractions start to feel super strong again, basically just like before. And I start to FREAK. OUT. “Tara, this feels just like before. I don’t think the epidural did anything.” She tells me I need another dosage because the first one wasn’t enough. She goes to the front desk to see if Mr. emergency c-section can come back. He comes back pretty quick- probably because he doesn’t anymore lip from me. He tops me up and leaves, and I start to relax in like 15 mins. And then in like 20 mins I tell her I’m ready to push. My parents have literally just left maybe half an hour before, and Dane is trying to get sleep because “I’m not having this baby till the morning…” At least we thought. Tara is knitting, and she doesn’t really think I could have dilated to the full 10 cm in that short of time. So she tells me to relax and get some sleep. So I grab the hand rails of the bed and start pushing like I have never pushed before. Not really the sleeping Tara had suggested. She rushes over and checks me, and her eyes go big. “Your mother is going to KILL me. I sent her home. You’re ready to push. Holy crap. Dane, call her mom, tell her to come fast.” Dane calls my family, they were just getting home. He tells them I’m ready to have this kid and they better come fast. They all jump in the bugatti (we’re loaded like that), and drive all the way back. My brother and my dad wait in the waiting room (for obvious reasons), and my mom comes stands at the end of the bed. Not even Dane ventures that way.

I feel every contraction. I knew when I had to push, I knew when the contraction was over. It was brutal. I swear that that epidural wore off, even though I’m sure it eased the pain. Tara coaches me on how hard I need to be pushing, when to ease off, when to go hard, all to prevent from tearing. It takes everything I have to not just bear down and give it all I have. I keep yelling at her that I feel like I’m taking the biggest poop, and she tells me I kinda am. It’s just a baby this time. Now is not the time for jokes Tara. I remember my mom saying she can see the babies head, and in my mind that means her head is out. I ask how much of her head they can see and Tara says “like the size of a toonie!” I wanna cry. A TOONIE?? I thought her head was out! I almost lose it there. I feel like crying, and I hear myself ask “can’t you guys just like…. pull her out??” The nurse, Tara, my mom, and Dane all laugh at me. I wasn’t trying to be funny. I legit was asking if they could pull her out.

I can go on about the pain, and the pushing, and I can get graphic, but here is the short, pretty version. I closed my eyes, put a damp cloth over my face because I knew my face about to do things that might possibly give Dane nightmares. I felt this strange wave of strength come over me. I knew that this was it. I knew that this next push was going to make me a mother. No more Dane and me. No more of just him and me doing whatever we pleased. This next push was going to be the most life changing push, and I closed my eyes and asked for a little help from above and I pushed. I pushed when I could feel myself getting light headed. I kept pushing when I wanted to stop. I kept pushing, and I kept pushing. I could hear Tara “she’s almost here. c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, you can do it, she’s almost out! You got this.” I pushed until I felt relief and I knew it was my baby, my daughter whose head I had just brought into this world. Tara tells me to reach down and touch her head, and I do. It’s soft an squishy, and slimy and warm. I close my eyes once more and I bear down and there it is. This swoosh of relief, of warmth, of adrenaline. I just brought a life into this world. I fall back and I wanna sleep. You thought I was gonna say I cried didn’t you? No. I closed my eyes, and the exhaustion is like not other feeling I’ve ever felt.  They put her on my chest and she cries. Her first gasp of air that this child has ever taken, and it was on my body. That is something that sticks with you for a long time.

I don’t feel much of anything, other than relief and tiredness. Olive is sleeping on my chest, and she feels slimy and warm and like a baby bird that’s all skinny and dangly. I ask Dane for juice box after juice box. I chug 3 juice boxes in less than 2 minutes. They leave her on me for about an hour and half, and it still hasn’t hit me yet, that this life is my child. We lay there, Olive and me, and she starts to root looking for milk. How is it possible that this baby, only and hour and some old, already knows where she will get her nourishment from? I suppose the same way I know when I see them golden arches.

My labour plans didn’t go according to plan. I should’t be surprised, my plans usually suck. But she’s here, and she’s eight months old, and she’s the cutest kid I’ve ever had. If you’re expecting, do yourself a favour? Don’t be too hard on yourself if your plan doesn’t work out. And thank you for reading this if you read the whole thing. That’s pretty crazy. I conclude this very long post with “On May 24, 2016, after forty-four hours of labour, Miss Olive Rose Redel came into my life.”

Thank you for everything Olive. Your Momma,

Me.

Blurry picture, but still one of my faves.

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