Monday, April 19, 2010

Brought to you by Kleenex

One of the great perks of maternity leave is the blessing to become a couch potato. When you have a newborn sleeping snugly in your arms, and the stress of work but a distant memory, you have full authority to watch whatever the hell you want. Don't get me wrong, I've been reading a ton as well--but sometimes you just gotta turn the brain off and nourish it with mental junk food.

So I've been loading up my DVR with all kinds of crap that I wouldn't normally watch: multiple Lifetime movies, "Chelsea Lately," "Slings and Arrows" (a cancelled Canadian series from the early '00s about a Shakespearean troupe), "Arrested Development" (catching up just a few years too late), and "16 and Pregnant"/"Teen Mom." Those last two are doozies, and should be required viewing for anyone who's hit puberty.

The other morning I watched Catelynn's story. Catelynn is a chipmunk of a gal from Michigan who, with the support of her adorable boyfriend Tyler, decides to give up their baby daughter for adoption. The poor kids realize what a crappy hand they've been dealt in life (unstable mom, jailbird dad), and unselfishly realize they want better for their child. So they choose a fantastic couple to adopt "Carly," and bide their time until the birth.

I sat on the couch, holding my baby girl, sobbing hysterically as Catelynn gave birth and tearfully handed the baby over to the radiant adoptive mom. It takes a lot for me to cry at a movie or television show (anything during pregnancy doesn't count), so this was quite a weepfest.

It started me thinking on what exactly provokes my tears when it comes to entertainment. There are certain scenes from certain movies that get me, no matter how many times I've seen them. Here are a few...

"To Sir With Love": Sidney Poitier's character endures a tour of duty teaching at a crappy English public school. He's decided to leave and take an engineering job, despite some significant successes, and the kids surprise him with a going-away gift. Overcome by the gesture, he goes up to his classroom, where he's accosted by two brats who inform him he'll be teaching them next term.

As they run out, "Sir" stands up, pulls out the letter of employment, and tears it to pieces. He picks up a flower from his desk, pops it in his buttonhole, and returns to the farewell party and his students.

"The Bridges of Madison County": After a torrid 3-day affair, Iowa housewife Francesca decides to NOT skip town with a hunky photog, Robert. About a week later, she's in the car with her husband when she spies Robert's pickup in front of them. The light turns green, but he doesn't turn...waiting for her to maybe, just maybe, jump out of her car and escape with him. She grabs the door handle...but can't do it. After an endless pause, he pulls away. She lets go.

"The Notebook": I absolutely refused to read the book, and hated 95% of this movie. I thought it was a complete cheesefest, horribly written, overacted, you name it.

But man...when the nursing home aide comes into Ally's room at the end, to find her and Noah wrapped in each other's arms...if you don't lose it at this scene, you're officially heartless.

"Juno": I first saw this delightful little gem as a new mom. I knew something was up with creepy Jason Bateman from the get-go, so I was thrilled when sweet Jennifer Garner got her little bambino at the end. But that birth montage set to "Sea of Love"..."He was never ours, he was always hers"...oooh, boy. I've already decided that if Teege ever gets married, that is the song we will use for our mother/son dance. He has no say. Sorry.

"Friday Night Lights": One of the best "inspirational teacher" movies ever, if a rather unconventional one. ( much as I love Mr. Keating in "Dead Poets Society," WHAT DOES HE ACTUALLY TEACH!?) The worst part of being a teacher, for me, is letting go of your students at the end of the year. When Coach takes the names off the roster, reflects on each player, and slowly tosses them away...holy cow. Emotional train wreck.

So which scenes turn you into a mess of snot and tears every time?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

She's Here!

It's a Girl! Kelly Genevieve was born on March 5, 2010 at 7:13 p.m.

The Labor Story...

On March 3, I went to the ob for my weekly checkup. I was huge. I was sore. I was bored out of my mind after two weeks of maternity leave.

And I was freaked out, because just the day before I'd been to the hospital for an ultrasound. The tech informed me that Baby Romero was eight pounds...fourteen ounces. Yeeouch!

So after my exam, my doctor pulled me up to a sitting position and said, "So how do we feel about induction?" I had really been against it--I just wanted labor to start naturally (since I'd always planned on epidural, maybe it was, it's bad enough I'm getting drugs to help with the pain, do I really need drugs to induce labor as well?)

I was also afraid that it would cause unnecessary stress. TJ was a pretty fussy baby, and I was always convinced that it was due to my 36-hour-labor. I so desparately wanted to bring this next baby into the world as peacefully as possible.

But the doctor talked me through it. The baby was nice and big, and was only going to get bigger. I was very close to my due date. But what finally sold me was this--he said this way, there would be no surprises. I could drop TJ off at my parents the next night and get him settled, then head on over to the hospital where they would start me on drugs. I would sleep for a few hours, and hopefully have the baby by morning. Best of all, if everything went well, we'd all be home in time to celebrate TJ's 3rd birthday on the 9th.

Sounded good to me!

So after conferring with my hub and mi madre, I went home, did some laundry, cleaned the house, and finished packing. It was SO nice knowing that Friday was the day! The next night, Nick and I took TJ out to dinner--our last dinner as a trio--and then spent some time with my family. We calmly drove out to the hospital (so different from the first time, where I silently cursed poor Nick every time he drove over a bump), checked in, and met with our adorable labor nurse, Amy. By 9 o'clock, I was all settled into the delivery suite, eating popsicles, watching "The Office" (oh irony of ironies, it was the delivery episode!), and waiting for the drug to kick in. I couldn't believe how relaxed everything was.

By midnight, contractions were in full swing, which meant I wouldn't even need the pitocin. I got my epidural (oh sweet pharmaceuticals, how I love thee), and just rested for the next few hours while they periodically checked on me. Around 6, Dr. Laveran examined me and said "Well, you're fully dilated--ready to start pushing?"

Oh crap. This was when they turned off my epidural with TJ--so I would "know when to push." I steeled myself and asked Amy, "So, are you turning off the epidural now?"

She laughed. "Why would we do that? I'll tell you when to push!"

Did she ever. After only 45 minutes of pushing (where, honest to God, I felt no pain--just pressure), out popped the bambino. I looked down to see what he/she was, but the umbilical cord was blocking the important part. Nick yelled out, "She's a girl!"

I almost fell off the table. I was CONVINCED that she was a boy; I'd mentally prepared myself for another boy. But a GIRL!?

Yup, a beautiful, happy, sweet-natured, mellow little girl. We now have "the millionaire's family." Very rich indeed. :)