Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Penguin

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

One year ago today, the fire alarm went off.

That is, the fire alarm in building of the furnished apartment where we were living at the time went off at about 3 a.m. thanks to a lightning storm... and kept going off... and kept going off... and kept going off...

Fortunately, Mr. Kluges and Pumpkin were able to sleep through it, but not me. I gave up and got up, and decided to blog to pass the time.

The alarms were finally silenced (seriously, it was like more than an hour, and the alarm was right outside our door), and I crawled back into bed.... be hit nearly immediately by the first of what were definitely the-real-thing contractions.

So I figured even if rest was not as good as sleep, it was at least better than being wide awake, so I settled into (as much as one can) a pattern of "(silently) Oh. Ow. OW. OH, OW! OWW! Ow. Oh. Ok. Ok. *breathe* That one's done. ... I wonder how much longer.... *just begin to doze off* ... (silently) Oh. Ow. OW. OH, OW!!!"

Once they started being often enough and strong enough that I couldn't do that anymore, I woke up Mr. Kluges and told him what was going on. We decided we might as well let Pumpkin sleep a bit more and we finished packing the hospital bags. My due date wasn't for two weeks, but Pumpkin had come exactly two weeks early, too, so I wasn't hugely shocked by the timing. Eventually, still in the early morning hours, we called the hospital and told them what was up. By this time we'd been timing the contractions, which were about 8 minutes apart, lasting a minute and a half or so, and required cessation of packing accompanied by walking and breathing only. They said it was up to us if we thought we should come in and I said I thought we'd better.

So we woke up Pumpkin, and called Gramma Yori, who was very, very recently retired (as of that day, in fact. We woke her from her first morning lie-in, and she said she just knew it was us as soon as the phone rang.) to please start the long drive as she was our planned babysitter. (Yeah, not a great plan to have your planned child care person a 6+ hour drive away, but remember - we'd just moved to the area 30 days ago from Ireland and, you know, didn't really know anybody or have a babysitter in the area!)

We woke and readied Pumpkin and loaded up the car and headed out.

Checking it at the hospital was a bit of a trip. Of course, they had to ask me questions, which was fine, except that about every, oh, 3 minutes or so, I'd have to stop mid-sentence or mid-word and walk in small circles and go, "whoooooooooo, whooooooo" with my breath. But by 8:20 am I was officially admitted, and Mr. Kluges, Pumpkin, and I, official plastic wristband and all, took the elevator up to the maternity ward.

Where by 9:05, Penguin was born.

No, that was not a typo or "just more than 12 hours later" 9:05 - that is a "45 minutes after admission" 9:05 birth time. Yeah. You might say we progressed quickly. So quickly, in fact, that there was no time for an epidural and I had only the tiniest bit of pain relief in my system when I would have happily HAD the epidural, had there been time.

Which there wasn't.

Because once they broke my water, the whole process went from a pace of, you know, somewhere around a metaphorical 50 mph (moving along at a good speed, getting there, but having a chance to see the sights along the way) to 180 MPH!!!!! (Which involves, I must admit, screaming, but does get one there in a hurry.)

And then it was done. She was here!**

And she was (and still is) wonderful, and perfect, and worth every scream and "OWWWW!!!" and "I DON'T LIKE THIS!" or "I WISH THIS WAS OVERRRRRR!" yelled out during a push, and every no-epidural-moment of the birth and heartburn-laden day of the pregnancy.

(Also, I'm sure she'll be worth every two-year-old tantrum, and teenage angst, and "I hate you, Mommy!" and every other heartache and exasperation to come. Because she's my little girl. And I love her to bits and pieces, backwards and forwards, and to the moon and back. And always will.)

Penguin, I love you!

Happy 1st Birthday, wonderful, lovely, tremendous Penguin of mine!

**In fact, almost before the doctor was done rescheduling his appointments and back in the room. I remember the nurse saying (with relief in her voice), "Oh good, you're back! I was starting to think I'd have to catch this one myself!" Or something similar. I'm not sure as my eyes were closed and I might have been saying something like, "ARRRGH! *pant pant pant* THIS HURTS!!!"

Because I was a yeller. Good thing they happened to put me in a room way at the end so I (hopefully) didn't terrify the rest of the parents-to-be or horrify the just-recently-parents during those 45 minutes.

(Not that the hurting was really a surprise, you know, after having had one already, but one forgets JUST HOW MUCH it hurts. Because there is not a font size large enough to hint at the amount of hurt and pressure and PUSH! that's going on.)

(Oh, sorry, TSB... I just remembered that you're likely to read this, too, and haven't been through it yourself yet. Well, just remember, the pain does end, and then you've got a beautiful, wonderful child who makes it all worthwhile immediately merely by their angelic (if sticky) presence. Really.)


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Penguin

and what a beautiful header this one is and so suitable for May Day

DiploWhat said...

happy birthday penguin!

You can tell you were a 2nd time mom on that one. Kind of like our secretary in Seoul who would periodically make funny faces one day. I asked her what was up and she shrugs and says "Oh, I'm in labor". She won't leave the office until work is done around 5:45. Has the kid by 6:30. Good thing there wasn't traffic that day!

Allknowingjen said...

Happy Birthday to Penguin!
That first year goes so fast :) You made me all sniffly there at the end.
(Love the new header too!)

DiploWhat said...

Oh yeah, forgot to comment on the header. It's super pur-dy =)

The Sexy Blonde said...

Happy Birthday, Penguin!

I did have a moment of, "gee thanks, Ms. Huis" when you described the pain. But it is what it is. I also got a teary eyed reading the rest of your post, which was lovely. It makes me want to buy flowers for my mom on next my birthday :-)

Pusher said...

Happy birthday to Penguin!

Mary Beth said...

Happy Birthday Penguin!

Mugsy said...

totally balling. Happy Birthday Penguin. Happy Birthing Day Ms. Huis!