Category Archives: Near Disaster

the second time around

Let me start by saying that this is exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me, and I mean that in the nicest, most self-deprecating, kindest way to my own self.

But seriously, Palluzzi, get it together.

What happened was this.

As you may remember, when I had Theo, he was a few days late and I was in labor for one million hours, approximately. I labored at home, I went the hospital, I walked laps, I had an epidural, I had some Pitocin to get me to move faster, I met every medical professional there, I pushed for four hours, I finally had a beautiful baby like two whole days later.

And while I forgot most of the things about that first labor that traumatized me (poor JW wasn’t as lucky), what I did remember was that it just took so long.

This time around, everyone reminded me that it wouldn’t take that long. I nodded my head at them, but thinking yeah, maybe it won’t take a million hours this time, maybe it will only take like half a million hours. 

I was convinced I had time.

So last Thursday, five full days before my due date, I woke up, felt a little cramping (I googled it, this apparently is a thing that can happen before labor starts with your second baby), but decided to wrangle the boys and head to work. I got to work, finished a few things, had a meeting in which, looking back, I was likely in labor for, ate some lunch, and decided that even though I most certainly was not in labor, I was going home because I didn’t feel great. I could work from there.

That was at 12:30.

I got on the train, because like, why wouldn’t I? Once I got off, I headed to my car, noticing that these “cramps” were becoming almost rhythmic, but knowing that they weren’t labor because this felt nothing like when I was actually in labor with Boo.

I drove home, pulled out my computer and turned on some Real Housewives, and then decided that maybe a bath would help.

I climbed in, felt better for like ten minutes, and then as the “cramping” started back up, a light bulb came on, as I realized that perhaps I was actually in labor. I crawled out of the bath, put on the weirdest outfit ever, and texted JW that he should maybe come home.

Should I jump in a cab? He asked.

Maybe, I replied.

That was at 2:15.

It was at this time that I realized that there was no perhaps, and that 2 things were certain:

  1. I was in labor
  2. I was definitely going to die.

You’re not going to die, my very wise friend Michaela’s voice piped into my head. She’s a labor and delivery nurse, and she’s super calm, and she’s always right.

She basically had told me this would happen.

She was also at that moment on a plane to China and so remained only a voice in my head.

JW walked through the door a little after 2:30, and I got into the car. He drove as fast as he could- straight into a Cubs’ traffic jam.

We better win the World Series this year.

By the time we got onto Lakeshore Drive, it was clear to me that I was not only in labor, but pretty much actively delivering a child. I told JW we weren’t going to make it to the hospital, and he called 911 and pulled off the highway.

A fire truck showed up and tried to ask me some questions as I yelled through some contractions and then an ambulance showed up. Four burly men threw me on a stretcher, loaded me into the ambulance, and headed to St. Joseph, a lovely facility that also happens to not be my hospital.

During this time the EMTs told me not to push while I alternated between screaming and laughing at them because chickens, you can’t just not push when a baby is coming out of you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, even if they’re medical professionals and you’re just a lady wearing yoga pants and yelling like a maniac.

We got to the hospital, thankfully, and I squeezed my eyes shut and headed into the ER on a stretcher. We made a move for the elevator to head to labor & delivery, when I realized that my child was about to be born in an elevator and told them it was too late for that and to please turn around because the baby was coming (this is the polite version I’m sure, but I can’t actually remember the words that came out of my mouth).

Ellie was born one push and thirty seconds later in the ER, and while technically a doctor made it downstairs to witness her birth, I wouldn’t say that anyone really delivered her, per se.

She’s an independent woman. She delivered herself.

That was at 3:30.

Ellie is perfect, obviously, and she actually showed up in much better shape than her brother did, likely because she did it on her own terms.

The people at St. Joseph were a delight, and while it would have been preferable to have my own doctor there, you know, things turned out great and I’m feeling good five days later, to which I credit my not-on-purpose quick and all-natural and drug-free birth.

The moral of the story is twofold, you guys:

  1. Always listen to Michaela (I already knew this, I don’t know why I never learn).
  2. You maybe don’t have the time you think you have.

It was a little scary and a lot dramatic, but chickens, look at what we got for our trouble:


Welcome to the world, Eleanor Grace. Thanks for letting us know who the boss is.



Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster

rapid fire

A couple quick things on this morning, since Boo is desperate to be on my lap reconfiguring my computer:

1. Yesterday Theo and I spent the morning together, since he had a checkup (that lasted all of ten minutes- star patient, over here). This interruption in routine caused him to run to the door at 7:30, turning the knob and yelling “Bye bye!” as loud as he could, until finally, I decided we should go for a walk to try and placate him. So I was the only mom taking her baby for a long walk in the 45 degree weather on the first day of June.

He’s a mover and a shaker, chickadees, and as soon as we made it to daycare he took off without a glance in my direction.

I totally get it.

2. I just watched a clip on Sesame Street that featured a Macaroni-saurus that was tamed by a giant meatball. It was followed up by a video featuring the different kinds of macaroni shapes. I feel like as an Italian-American I should be slightly offended, but instead, I loved every second of it.

3. It’s supposed to be over 60 degrees at some point today- c’mon summer, I know you’re in there somewhere.

And now it’s off to make the commute, and try and find a parking space among the dreaded Street Parking restrictions. Pray for me, chickens, that I don’t back into too many cars out of frustration (and mediocre driving skills, of course).

Enjoy it!

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Filed under Near Disaster

copping to the less than ideal.

All right chickens, I know I’ve been fairly absent lately. Things are jam-packed in my neck of the woods, and I’m finding it tough to find a time to write when Theo doesn’t decide that he would like to use all the keys on my computer, yes please.

This week has been unendingly long, and also one that’s been fairly unpleasant.

I cringe even as I type that because it’s my nature to keep it positive, and to understand that in the grand scheme it’s all good (and yes, I know it is, really), but last night the last thing I did before I went to bed was step in actual, for real, shit, (but you guys, it’s funny this morning, right?) and so I feel like maybe it’s time for a safe space rant.

Things that I would like to put out into the world as a result of this week’s events:

1. Plumbers are expensive. So are people who set up crazy, industrial-sized dryers in your baby’s bedroom and then say we’ll be back in four days for these.

2. 45 degree weather in May is a bummer.

3. People should just be nice on a baseline level. I’ve been trying to be all Four Agreements and remember not to take things personally, but man that is tougher than it sounds.

4. The thing you (I) have to remember about people who maybe aren’t acting nice on a baseline level is that they’re probably not nice to themselves either. At least we don’t have to be them, right?

5. Sleeping in one bedroom as a family sounds sweet, but is actually the worst. If you do it you will be a zombie.

6. I have never been happier to greet Friday morning.

And with that, I’m off to tote Boo to daycare and get some work done. I’m 100% positive that the long weekend will make up for the less-than-ideal week I seem to have latched onto, and that I’ll return on Tuesday with a better attitude and a sunnier outlook.

I’m off to listen to T. Swift in an attempt to hustle that outcome along.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it (and I’m getting it, chicks).

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Filed under Near Disaster, Reflections

long stretches.

Morning chickadees!

After a string of actually warm and sunny days, the rain has started up again.

I’ll try not to take it personally.

We’re already at Tuesday, somehow, after a weekend that included long walks, Derby parties, sunning ourselves, and making good use of the deck and the grill.

So essentially, all of my favorite things.

This week is fast moving and all business, since I have two flights (one of them at 13.5 hours) at the end of it.

In order to combat my growing anxiety about being in the air that long (yes, I know it’s irrational, and so yes, I have a prescription), I’ve begun researching the most efficient ways to pack as though I have never flown before.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

The plus side to my mania: I will not run out of plane snacks, books, or movies.

I’ll be reporting back on whether or not I cover my face with a scarf and spend half a day with my knees in my chest.

Somebody pray for my unsuspecting seat mate.

And with that, I’m off to pay some attention to the tiny man who’s wedged himself next to me.

Apparently he’s got some computer work of his own to get through before the morning commute.

Enjoy this one, chickens!

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Filed under Near Disaster

picking up the pace.

Morning, chickens.

We moved the desk into the living room, making for an easier user experience, as every night after 7:30 it became unavailable as Boo had to go to bed.

A brillant idea.

Except that Theo now spends his mornings hanging off my leg, pleading for me to pick him up, which is super cute until I realize that all he really wants is to type (read: smash keys) on the computer.

And yet, I fall for it every time.

I’m a sucker, you guys.

This morning, I convinced him to try something different by handing him an old phone of JW’s that we found the charger for–great parenting.

However, I suspect he’s disappointed that it’s not an iPhone, judging from the fact that he’s now playing with his shoe instead.

Other items: we made it through Monday (mostly) alive, I’m still slogging through library books, and I started playing soccer again.

I am far too old to play soccer, as I actually moved out of the way during the second half of the game when someone was coming at me and I thought I really don’t want to break my glasses. Or my body.

I still loved it.

Welcome to your thirties, chickadees.

And with that, I’m off to consume the amount of coffee necessary for me to forget that I spent half the night on my couch while Boo spent half the night in my bed.

It is so key to his survival that he’s adorable.

Enjoy this one!

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Filed under Near Disaster, Reflections

the road to recovery

Ok chickadees, it’s finally Friday.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Boo’s been sick, and when I picked him up Wednesday, A told me he hadn’t had a great day and wasn’t feeling very well.

We just gave him medicine, she noted, as he came teetering over to me and face planted, drunk-toddling a side effect from the Motrin, apparently.Since I am a responsible mother, I picked him up to comfort him and only snickered for three seconds first.

We discussed his symptoms as a circle of three-year-old swarmed me, trying to hand me various objects of T’s to bring home.

This is his water, one said.

And his pacifier, another said, shoving it at me.

My godson tried to climb into Boo’s car seat with him.

I’m fairly certain that the toddlers think I am their peer and not a mom.

I’m not sure how I feel about that, so please don’t ask me until I’ve had more time to consider it.

I decided that daycare was maybe not the best place to calmly recover from a cold, so Boo spent the day with his Auntie J yesterday, demanding to hold her hand all day and getting all.the.attention.

That’s usually what it takes around here to get back to wellness.

And with that, we’re off to get through one more day and then celebrate the weekend, even if it just means movies on the couch.

Especially if it means movies on the couch.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it, chickens!

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Filed under Near Disaster

If I ran the zoo

So my tiny, adorable, snuggly little baby is almost one year old.

And he is still adorable, but he is less snuggly and more, well, you guys, I’m basically living with a zoo animal.

It’s just the truth.

I say this for the following reasons. Theo is always into something (for instance, one of his favorite activities is putting a bucket over his head and then squealing wildly), he has no sense of fear (which I most recently noticed as he tried to catapult backwards off of the couch, with a smile on his face), and he prefers that his breakfast is tossed onto his high chair tray in the form of clementine wedges and banana slices.

His latest trick (aside from refusing to abide by my walking timeline of doing it by Saturday) involves waking up for two hours in the middle of the night and attempting to get me or JW to play with him.

This, chickens, is even worse than when he woke up as a newborn, because at least then I knew he had an actual need, and so could pull myself out of bed to nurse him. He was hungry, after all.

Now he’s just out of control.

We don’t play at 2am.

As much as I have made it my parenting pledge to not negotiate with tiny terrorists, I find myself laying still and letting him climb on top of me and pull my hair, thinking that maybe he will get bored and fall asleep.

You can guess what my success rate has been there.

In any case, as we glide into the weekend, the idea is to take a hard line with this little monkey and gain back some sleep (and sanity).

Wish us luck, chickadees. We’re softer than we think at this.

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Filed under Chicago, Near Disaster