Friday, February 25, 2011

The Long Over-due Story of the Under-due Birth, Part One.

This post may contain some TMI moments. Be ye therefore warned. (I won't feel offended if you skip it.)

It all began late in September. . . .

After my Monday appointment I had been told that I had mild preeclampsia and was told that I needed to be on modified bedrest. I didn't have to stay in bed all the time, but I needed to take it as easy as possible, so I arranged to borrow a computer from my place of employment so I could work at home for the foreseeable future, just as a precaution.

Thursday night we went to our prenatal class at the hospital, where we saw pictures of newborns and how they tend to look weird at first. My feet were swollen again. Still. Swollen feet was pretty much the norm in those last few weeks of pregnancy, but sitting in the hard plastic chairs in the classroom at the hospital tended to aggravate things.

Fortunately, the class got out about an hour early. The nurse who was teaching the class excused us and then said, "Next week we'll definitely take the whole time, though, because we'll be talking about breastfeeding, so be prepared." Thinking back on it now, I find this funny. Maybe if we'd been able to make it to that last class, it would have saved a lot of tears and frustration later on. Oh, well.

It was good that we got home early, though, because it meant that we had more time to set up the crib. We had originally purchased a crib from IKEA only to discover while trying to assemble it that the construction and design were sorely lacking in anything resembling common sense. The holes drilled for the pegs which attached the slats of the bottom of the bed to the frame were too small for the pegs actually to go in all the way, no matter how hard or how long we hammered away at them, so back to the store it went. We ordered a different crib off Amazon, but unfortunately cribs don't arrive in two days like all our other Prime orders do, so we had been waiting a bit for it to get there. It had finally arrived that afternoon and we were eager to get it set up so we could start getting the rest of the room ready.

I wasn't aware of it at the time, but Shallow Man told me later that he should've realized something was going on because I was acting really weird and out of it while we were putting the crib up. All I know is that it was taking longer than we thought it would (what furniture assembly doesn't?), that Shallow Man was getting grouchy (he tends to do that with furniture assembly that includes a lot of nuts and bolts in difficult-to-reach spots), and that I was tired and my feet felt like they were about to acquire their own zip code. So once we got the bed itself put together we decided that we would wait until the next evening to figure out exactly where in the room we wanted to (or could; it was a bit bigger than we'd thought) put it. This meant we also would wait until the next day to put the mattress and sheets in it. We also left all the packaging lying on the living room floor because we didn't want to haul it out to the dumpster in the dark.

The next morning, Friday, I stumbled over the boxes on my way out the door for my doctor's appointment. Shallow Man had already left for work (his co-worker drove him, as we only have the one car), and my appointment was at 8:50 so neither of us had had a chance to clean up at all.

I was scheduled for my 36-week appointment that morning and was told to arrive 10 minutes early so I could have my non-stress test before the appointment (by this point, because of the gestational diabetes I was having two NSTs a week). After waiting for about 40 minutes and seeing patient after patient arrive and get called back without my name being called, I checked with the receptionist. She explained that the doctor I was there to see had been called to the hospital to help with a c-section for a woman delivering twins, so they were a bit backed up, and would I be okay with seeing the nurse practitioner instead? I said that was fine, and sat back down to try and slog through some more of "North and South" (the miniseries is SO much better than the book). Finally my favorite nurse called me in for the NST, which went great. Everything was looking normal and the little guy was still healthy and active.

Then they took me over to the nurses' station to get my blood pressure. Based on the last few appointments and the new bedrest-ish issue, I was expecting it to be a little high, but nothing major. I was staring at the wall across from me when the monitor beeped.

"Oh, my." The nurse's eyebrows nearly hit the ceiling. I looked over at the display and then stared at the top number, which was 150. I couldn't even look at the bottom number.

"Well," the nurse said after a moment. "We'll try it again in a minute to make sure. But if it's that high, we need to send you to labor and delivery."

Of course this announcement helped my blood pressure calm down. Riiiiight. The next measurement was 161 over something like 96. Definitely panicking now, the first thought that came to me was "But I can't go to labor and delivery! I haven't packed my hospital bag yet!" (I had made a schedule to accomplish the last few tasks needed to welcome a baby with the goal of being ready by the time I hit 37 weeks. Packing the hospital bags was scheduled for Saturday. Of course.) I had to work hard to pay attention as the nurse explained that the hospital would check me and depending on their results I would either be put on full bedrest or go home with a baby. She gave me a hug and wished me luck, and I went out to the waiting room to call Shallow Man.

The next hour or so are a bit of a blur. Shallow Man's angel co-worker brought him to the doctor's office to meet me, and then we drove the four blocks to the hospital together, but it meant that I didn't have to go into Labor and Delivery alone. While I waited for him to get to the doc's office, though, I stepped into the bathroom to calm down and keep myself from crying. Then I called my mother, and then I worried. In particular, I worried about my hospital bag and the face that the new camera Shallow Man had ordered was supposed to arrive that afternoon and nobody would be there to sign for it.

A very delayed flash of inspiration hit me. I called my sister, who lived in Springville at the time. Let me just say here that of all the angels there ever were, she is the most angelic and awesome. She packed up her two children and went over to our house, where, over the course of the next few hours, she did the dishes, picked up and threw away all of the packing materials from the crib, put the mattress in the crib, washed all of the baby clothes and sheets we had, put sheets in the crib, arranged for our camera to be delivered at our neighbor's house (she was headed to the Brad Paisley concert with her husband in Salt Lake later that day and couldn't wait for the camera herself), arranged for said neighbor to bring the camera to us at the hospital, and packed up a bag each for Shallow Man and I, and brought those and the car seat to the hospital.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .

Shallow Man arrived at the doc's office, we drove to the hospital, and we got me signed in. They put us in the biggest labor and delivery room they had, with a wonderful view of Mount Timpanogos (and an average view of the Macey's parking lot) out of the huge windows. I was told to put on the oh-so-attractive hospital gown and then they hooked me up with the fetal monitors and the blood pressure machine, just like a non-stress test only oddly stressful.

The doctor eventually came in and explained that if I were earlier on in my pregnancy, this is where they would do another 24-hour urine test to see if it was serious preeclampsia, but at this point, waiting that long would be a bad idea, so induction it was. He also explained that eclampsia (which comes after pre-eclampsia, go figure) involves seizures, "so we have to put you on anti-seizure medication. If I didn't you could sue me for malpractice."

So I was introduced to the lovely world of magnesium sulfate.

"And with magnesium sulfate, the way we measure how it's working is by urine output, so . . ."

And that, my friends, is how I got a catheter hours before my epidural.

I was barely at a 1 when I came in because I was so early, so they had to put me on cytotec before they could even start pitocin. It was about noon when they got me hooked up to everything and started the induction. Shortly after that, they let me have lunch, which, miraculously, included french fries and a milkshake. I felt like I was in heaven for those short minutes, and decided that if labor could pre-empt GD like that, maybe it was even worth the catheter. (It wasn't. It might have been worth it if the nursing student hadn't had trouble on the first try. . . .)

My sister brought our hospital bags over, and I had fun talking with my 3-year-old nephew for a few minutes before they left. Our neighbor brought over the camera when it arrived, and Shallow Man had fun playing with his new gadget for a bit after I made him promise not to take too many pictures of me. I had called my mom to let her know what the story was and she had passed the word around to the rest of my family. A quick post on Facebook had alerted most of our friends, and all that was left was a quick text to my good friend Megan. "Looks like I can't make it to your baby shower tomorrow after all. . . ."

And then all that was left for the moment, really, was waiting. The doctor had cheerfully predicted that while it probably wouldn't be over before his shift ended at six, it probably wouldn't take too much longer after that. "You'll have a baby before tomorrow!"

So we settled in for what we thought would be not too very long of a wait. Oh, boy, were we wrong on that one.

Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do you think they have a customer loyalty program?

I recently received the following email in my spam folder. My spam folder is a source of frequent amusement, and this did not disappoint:

I find several things interesting about this:

- The fact that Nigerian con artists apparently have found a way to get repeat customers. They are nothing if not resourceful!
- They are gutsy enough to put a warning at the end not to trust anyone else (but we're TOTALLY legit!).
- Judging by the total amount of money that has been set aside and the fact that "every affected victim" gets $3.4 million, only about 59 people have been affected. This is actually a lot better than my faith in the human race would have led me to believe.
- If you read the first sentence literally, it looks like the president of Nigeria is the one who rated his country the most corrupt in the world.

I think my favorite thing about this message, though, is the fact that, according to my research, the current president of Nigeria actually really and truly is named Goodluck Jonathan. Well, actually, it's Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, but I think that only makes it better. (Unfortunately, Dr. Silver Okoli appears to be an illegal fiction.)

This is right up there with the one where the sender claimed God had revealed my name to him as someone who was righteous enough to help him out.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In Which Books Nearly Lead to a Disaster; or, The IKEA Incident

This is a story that should have made it into the 2010 in Review post the first time around, but somehow slipped my mind until now.

As you may or may not know or remember, our car broke down in November 2009. At the time we didn't have the money to fix it, so my cousin and his wife let us borrow her car (which they weren't using at the time) until we could get ours fixed in January, when we would have an influx of cash.

Along with fixing our car, we used a bit of said influx to get some badly-needed bookshelves from IKEA on which we could put our massive collection of books. And it occurred to us that Bertha (my cousin's car—I'm just going to refer to my cousin's wife as my cousin from here on out because it's so much easier and that's how I think of her anyway) was bigger than our car was, so it would make more sense to pick up said bookshelves in Bertha. Accordingly, we sallied forth to that great Swedish furniture store, which is located about half an hour away from our house.

At the store, we wandered through the showroom checking out furniture (half of which looked like someone hadn't gotten the memo that the seventies ended several decades ago), enjoyed a cinnamon roll, picked up the bookshelves we wanted from the self-serve warehouse, checked out, brought the car around to the loading zone, and started to fold down the back seat so we could load up our purchases.

It was at this point that our brilliant plan hit a major snag.

We couldn't figure out how to lower the back seat. We hadn't needed to lower it up to this point in our borrowership, and so it hadn't occurred to us to check on that prior to going to IKEA. Because of course the back seat would flip down—and it would be pretty self-evident how to do it once we started trying.

Except it wasn't. We poked and prodded and pulled and pushed (gently, as it was a borrowed car) on anything and everything that looked like it might be or contain or hide a mechanism for lowering the seat, all to no avail. So we called my cousin to see if she could tell us how it worked.

"Huh," she said when we asked her. "I don't think we've ever tried lowering the seat before in that car, so I really don't know." (Proving how amazing she is, she even offered to come pick us up in their other car, which we politely declined, as we were certain we could figure it out, and besides, IKEA, not to mention our house, is waaaaayyyy out of her way.)

The next step was, obviously, to call my brother and ask him to check up on the internet to see if he could tell us where the seat release was on the car. (Yeah, we don't have smartphones.) He said he'd look into it and call us back in the next five minutes or so.

Let me pause here for just a moment to mention that at any given moment there is a 75-ish% chance that Shallow Man has no idea where his cell phone is. Also, with the particular phone he had at the time, at any given moment there was a 90% chance that the battery was dead. I'm no statistician, but even I can tell you that this leads to a large amount of time spent looking for Shallow Man's phone with no way of finding it in the traditional way (i.e., calling it and following the ringing) because the battery has just died. This is what had happened earlier that morning, meaning we had one cell phone between us, namely mine. And right after I hung up with my brother, my cute pink phone gave out that ominous beep that puts fear and trembling into the hearts of strong men (and women): Low Battery.

I tried not to think about it too much, but as we continued poking and prodding while we waited for my brother to call back, it became increasingly apparent to me that his response would be unnecessary because I already knew what he was going to find:

This seat did not flip down.

It had never occurred to us that such a thing might happen. Bertha was a good 9 years newer than our car. Our car, even when it was new, had a definite paucity of features. Our car is not and never was (and, let's face it, never will be) the coolest, most tricked-out car on the block. So if our back seat folded down, obviously it was the most basic of features and would come standard on every car.

Apparently not on a 2005 Chevy Malibu.

My brother finally called back (I'm sure it was a much shorter time than it felt like to me) and confirmed my suspicions. I thanked him for helping us and then asked if by any chance he could bring his SUV and come help us out. I felt bad for even asking because he lives about 20 minutes away from IKEA in the opposite direction from our house. As it turned out, though, he was watching the kids and waiting for his wife to get back from grocery shopping and couldn't come right then anyway. So I called my mom and dad, who live maybe 3 minutes away from my brother.

They weren't home. My little sister, who answered, told me they had gone to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," and that the show had started maybe 15 minutes earlier so it would be a long time before they were done.

I was getting a bit nervous at this point, and tried calling my cousin back to take her up on her offer of a ride after all.

No answer.

To recap:
We are, at this point, 30 minutes away from our house, with three large Billy bookcases (say hello!) and other assorted purchases, a back seat that won't flip down, no rope or bungee cords, the only people who I know for sure have cars big enough to help us are unavailable, and our only means of communication with the outside world may die at any moment.

So we do what any self-respecting people in our situation would do:

Call for backup.

Lost in Translation and her husband live just past the halfway point between our house and IKEA and also happen to be awesome.

I took a deep breath, said a little prayer that my phone wouldn't die before they answered, and dialed.

When LiT answered, I said without thinking, "Hey, would you guys be able to come bail us out?"

Stunned pause on the other end.

I realize my mistake. "No, no, we're not in . . . I meant figuratively bail us out, not literally." I explained our plight, and she said they'd be there as soon as possible.

I thanked her profusely but tersely as my phone beeped again, and told her, "Yeah, my phone may die at any minute, so if you call and no one answers, we're just waiting in front of the store at the loading area."

It took them a little longer to arrive just because they had to clear out the trunk of his car, but they got there soon enough and then all that was left was to wrangle three bookcases and assorted other purchases (I think this was the same trip we got a new desk/table for Shallow Man's office, but I can't remember for sure) into their little-ish hatchback and our unexpandable trunk. I don't know how—maybe Mary Poppins or Hermione Granger was watching over our cars—but we managed to squeeze it all in. LiT ended up riding in our car with us because the hatchback was packed to the gills (not that a car has gills, really; maybe if it was an amphibious vehicle. . . .) with bookcases. This was harder on her, just because it meant she had to listen to our repeated thanks for the 30-minute drive to our house.

We ended up taking them to dinner at our favorite Italian place as a token of our appreciation (we're always glad of an excuse to eat there anyway), so it all turned out okay in the end. My phone had continued beeping at intervals during the entire time we were waiting in the parking lot and on the drive home. It finally died as we pulled back up to our house after dinner, and I have no idea how it lasted that long. (This actually led to another adventure, when we discovered that when Shallow Man's phone had walked off it had apparently taken the phone charger with it, so we did end up being incommunicado for the next couple of days until the charger turned up.)

So the moral of the story is: Having a back seat that flips down really should be a standard feature on all cars. Also, LiT and husband are awesome.

Or maybe it just means that there is such a thing as having too many books.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

2010, at last.

Yes, yes, I know I'm a month late for the year-in-review game. Just live with it.

Here are some of the awesome things that happened in 2010. As I suspected, it was a MUCH better year than 2009. (Although, let's be honest, it wasn't hard to do.) As always, if I didn't list something you thought was awesome, it doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it; I just can't remember everything.

*The new year began with what was probably the best party we've ever had or ever will have at our house. New Year's Eve: Geek Style brought awesome Jenga, lots of laughter, great conversation, and just enough craziness to ensure that none of those present will ever be elected for public office.
*Beginning the final semester of law school and feeling great about my schedule, even though it involved an 8:00 a.m. class three days a week.
*Actually making it to class on time for the first several weeks of class.
*Getting Baby (our car) repaired after she sat in the cold and snow for a month and a half after the big break-down in November '09.
*Having to repair a flat tire in the snow and gunk of our parking lot before we could actually take Baby in.
*Steve's Intermountain is the best mechanic's shop in Provo. Just sayin'. He's honest, doesn't talk down to me just because I'm a woman, and is genuinely nice.
*Staying home all day one Wednesday while feeling sick and crampy and reading.
*Aubrey's wedding with Kat and KEY.
*New red coat, yo.
*Rejoining ILMR and editing a really horrible article, but at least the head editors were much better.
*Working at WSP with an awesome team of editors and friends.
*Geek Night X. The second-best party we've ever had here.
*Making Mario cupcakes with KEY for Geek Night X. Yeah, I'm still proud of those.
*Shallow Man finding the trauco in an old box while KEY and I were decorating said cupcakes.
*Our already-decrepit fence blew halfway over in a major windstorm and we had no choice but to pull the rest of it down to avoid damaging the siding.
*More Just Jane, including the expansion to 10 members, with the inaugural meeting of the new, improved club also being the first non-Austen-themed, but still Jane [Eyre].
*Lunches with KEY, when they happened. And even when they didn't, the weekly "I'm so sorry for being a flake, but . . ." conversations.
*Starting to feel a little weird the last week of January/first week of February, but knowing it wasn't what it felt like.
*Buying cruise tickets with the Cruise Crew on Friday, Feb. 5th.
*Taking that test on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 6th, just to prove to my body that it wasn't pregnant so it could stop acting like it.
*Ten minutes later, when I could think again, wandering dazedly into the bedroom and, after staring at the ceiling for several minutes, saying to Shallow Man, "So . . . I think I'm pregnant."
*Driving to Walmart that evening to buy another test just to make sure, and having the car start acting really funny again as we drove there.
*While shopping, thinking of the most hill-free route to take home to save the car from going up any hills while it was on the fritz, then getting out to the car and finding out that it would no longer shift into reverse. This officially bumped the two days of Feb. 5th & 6th, 2010, into "Most expensive weekend yet in our family."
*Riding in a tow truck.
*Our ever-growing collection of Steve's Intermountain keychains. Finding out it was not the whole transmission, thank goodness, just the sensor. FINALLY having a functioning car, but being afraid to accelerate or go up hills for the next (okay, I'll be honest) three months.
*Walking to the Student Health Center on Monday afternoon to get the blood test and trying to figure out how far along I was.
*Getting the quantitative results back and wanting to sing.
*Feeling great until placement break (of course!) and then getting hit with morning sickness, big time.
*Working from home. A lot.
*Missing a lot of class. (My professors were all in on the secret and very supportive.)
*Going to a lot of different wards (our 9:00 a.m. meeting time didn't gel with my hours-that-I-am-not-hunched-over-the-toilet schedule).
*Julie and Julia for Valentine's.
*Telling the rest of my family (my parents already knew) at my birthday party. Much rejoicing.
*The tree in our backyard had to be cut down before the HOA would replace the fence (we at least got them to pay for the removal). It ended up being removed on the morning of my birthday.
*And thus we were introduced to the power of the pregnant sobbing. (Confession: I would have cried about the tree anyway. But I wouldn't have been reduced to blubbering.)
*Trying to make dinner for one of the pregnant sisters in the ward without looking at any of the ingredients, all of which made me sick.
*The saddest day of all: Baby decided not to let me eat bacon for the rest of the first trimester. This is especially sad when you consider that I had just discovered The Pioneer Woman's Fancy Macaroni the first week of February.
*Shallow Man took me to see 12 Angry Men performed at PTC in Salt Lake for my birthday. I snuck in trail mix and managed not to get sick during the performance. Lots of fun!
*Olympics! So much fun to watch. Also, they helped me discover the joys of pregnancy emotions (I have never cried so hard during a commercial).
*Bar applications. Yuck.
*Hire's and the Roquefort Bacon H. "Whatever that is."
*Cousin party and Rayman's Raving Rabbids. Whoa.
*Going to the first doctor's appointment in March and having everything look good. But, just in case, he scheduled a sonogram for the next week.
*Coming back to work after that appointment just to find out that the company had apparently imploded (not literally) in our absence and that all but a handful of employees were being laid off.
*We were not included in that handful. Actually, everyone from me down.
*Which meant that I got to break the news to all of my friends that they were being laid off. This included going to the homes of two of them who hadn't been in the office to let them know before they heard it from somebody else.
*Fortunately, seven horrible days later, we saw Baby for the first time, and heard the most beautiful sound ever: a strong, healthy heartbeat.
*Spilling the beans to everyone and seeing all our friends get so excited for us. (I put it on Facebook, and then it was true!)
*Viewing party for New Moon (mocking commentary mandatory!) and the Team Jacob t-shirt.
*Morning sickness escalation and the first prescription, which made it worse. Lost five pounds in one weekend alone.
*Getting the second prescription and starting to feel human again.
*Except for the only being able to eat Easy Mac part. But HEY, if that looked appetizing, it should give you an idea of the amazing effectiveness of that second prescription!
*Going to Cracker Barrel because spoiled pork chops made me cry. (Yeah, not fun.)
*SLA night II, which ended up being me, Motion deSmiths and Megan watching "She's the Man." Awesome.
*Going in for our 12-week appointment the day before my last law school classes. I had nightmares for the whole week leading up to it about the last time we went in for a 12-week appointment. But he found the heartbeat instantly. I may or may not have cried.
*Holy cow, I do not even know HOW I finished that last semester of law school. But I did.
*Last class of law school.
*Last final of law school (which is the closest I will ever get to living that nightmare where you have to take a final for a class you didn't realize you were enrolled in).
*Substantial writing, aka Major Paper (neigh!). It nearly killed me, but I did it.
*Last papers of law school, for the most useless class ever, and the professor who I'm pretty sure gave me a lower grade because I had the audacity to be pregnant while taking his class, even though I can't prove it. He was the only professor who wasn't 100% supportive and willing to work with me. He did work with me, but under protest and not without accusing me of unprofessionalism first. Blech.
*Graduation! I am so glad we got to walk in the Provo Tabernacle! We were the last class to be able to do so, as there was a fire in December and the roof collapsed.
*Partying, relaxing, and lots of sighs of relief.
*Hitting the second trimester two days before graduation, and briefly thinking that the morning sickness would stop. (It did leave me alone for graduation, thank goodness.) This turned out to be a lie—the sickness wasn't going anywhere for the next few months. But at least I could eat bacon again.
*Being re-hired by the publishing company as a part-time independent contractor.
*Mother's Day wasn't traumatic for the first time in several years.
*The toilet of lost souls.
*"Aw, hell."
*Cruise director Gary.
*Dennis, our waiter. ("Denniiiiiiiiis!")
*I ate escargot for the first time ever.
*Only having to send one plate back because I nearly gagged just looking at it (roast beef, of all things, which I love. Weird.)
*Cruise ship entertainment. ("You can't pay money for those shows!") The big talking purple couch.
*The Land Whale. ("Freeeeennnnnncch Toooooooooast!")
*Our seven-year anniversary, spent in Grand Cayman, with the most beautiful beach I have ever been to.
*The group excursion in Honduras—snorkeling, good conversation, yellow fish, not enough sunscreen despite reapplying frequently and liberally.
*Feeling Baby kick for the first time that I could definitely say was Baby and nothing else while standing waist-deep in the beautiful blue water at the beach in Honduras.
*Banana slug blisters. Apparently my pregnant skin does NOT react well to sunburn. (I haven't blistered since I was maybe 12, and never like THAT.)
*Magic shows with lame final tricks that rely on fictional sob stories.
*Piggy banks made out of coconuts, discovering ice cream and cinnamon, and an amazingly choppy boat ride in Belize.
*Karaoke and attempted dancing.
*Delicious food in Cozumel.
*Floppy hat!
*Trying to figure out what the heck the towel animal of the evening was supposed to be, and sometimes feeling glad that we didn't know.
*Renting a van and driving around Miami.
*Horrible service at Bubba Gump's, which I didn't notice because Baby had started the first-ever round of kick the bladder.
*Worst ever TSA experience at Miami international.
*Weather delay in Miami led to missing our flight in Dallas. After a mad dash across the airport on what ultimately turned out to be a wild goose chase (more Kick the Bladder ensued), we and the Smiths were given vouchers to a surprisingly nice hotel.
*Finally getting home, and the cats gluing themselves to our sides for the next day or so. ("Never leave again!")
*Early morning Spanish.
*Helping friends move.
*The most awkward dinner visit we've ever been forced to endure. (If you're reading this, it wasn't with you.)
*So much Gloria's.
*Camping for Memorial Day with our AWESOME NEW AIR MATTRESS. Seriously, it's amazing.
*Motion deSmiths left us. How we wept, precious!
*The Ultrasound on June 3rd. Despite having a feeling that Baby was a girl the whole time, as well as having a girl's name already picked out, baby very clearly showed us that he was a boy. He also was sitting curled up like a potato bug, blocking the technician's detailed view of his heart, thus necessitating a follow-up visit six weeks later (oh, darn!).
*Family camping trip. Lots of fun with Kick the Bladder and pit toilets. Wind so strong we felt like our tent was going to blow away with us in it. Being the cool hangout for our nephews because with the huge air mattress our tent was like a carnival bounce house.
*I remember we got our oil changed in June because the sticker they left on our windshield said that the date for our next oil change was the day Baby ended up being born.
*Southern Culture Night. Hands on a Hard Body. Lots of good food. Very Yes.
*I finally finished reading Great Expectations, and it was better than I had expected.
*Lots of fun trying to change our car battery. Riiiiight.
*But we got the car inspected and registered and such WAY before the end of the month. No sneaking around backroads like last year.
*Fireworks with the family for the fourth.
*Bar study all the time. Post-traumatic stress and such.
*Follow-up ultrasound, where everything still looked perfect. :)
*One year later, and thinking what a long way we'd come, and being happier on that day than I would have thought possible a year before.
*Actually getting to go to my mom's birthday party this year.
*Having to get a doctor's note in order to take food into the bar exam. ("Because not all pregnant women need to eat.")
*The Dreaded Bar. Two days of UNGH in which my feet swelled up to ridiculous sizes.
*BUT—my magic spreadsheet predicting the essay question topics was pretty much spot on. The only one I didn't predict was Property, but that was okay because it was still an MBE subject. Yeah, I felt good about that.
*IT'S OVER!!!!
*Dinner at the Mayan with Megan and Mr. G, just because it was there. It's still as cheesy as I remembered, although I was greatly angered that the chocolate pot was no longer a dessert option.
*Finding out that E was pregnant and S was adopting, and we were all having boys. Hello, three musketeers!
*Being able to say that we were now "After the Bar."
*Failing the other test I took that week. (Nasty glucose test.)
*Failing the other nasty glucose test I took the next week.
*Hello, gestational diabetes.
*Hello, sore fingertips.
*Possible pre-eclampsia (what is with these whale-sized feet?). Fun sample collecting.
*Celebratory post-bar pedicures. (So at least the whales had cute toenails.)
*Inception. Twice. Even though my feet hated me for it later.
*We bought a car seat and stroller! That felt like a major accomplishment, somehow.
*Trying to find a suitable crib.
*Trying to figure out what the heck to name the Little Guy.
*Tensions between Barrie and Joyce.
*Weekly and sometimes bi-weekly non-stress tests, as well as another couple of ultrasounds. Which do, incidentally, help ME de-stress, because I get to see the Little Guy and hear his heartbeat on a regular basis. We find out baby has a big noggin.
*Reunions and birthday parties.
*Reading The Hunger Games Trilogy and being very glad, as I hit the end of the second book, that I waited until all three were out before I started them.
*Pre-natal classes with uncomfortable chairs and videos.
*Blood pressure acting sketchy.
*Geek Nights, Just Janes, more tense moments.
*Bar results come out and WE BOTH PASSED. Holy cow.
*Baby shower!
*The crib FINALLY arrives and we start putting it together Thursday night after our class.
*Friday morning I go to my 36-week appointment, planning to run some errands afterwards and then wait at home for the delivery man to show up with the new camera we've ordered. Instead, the nurse looks at my blood pressure and sends me to labor and delivery.
*Did I mention I was planning to pack my hospital bag later that day?
*Shallow Man's wonderful co-worker brings him to the doc's office and we head to the hospital. My angel sister heads to our house and packs bags for us, arranges for a neighbor to sign for the camera and bring it to us (she was headed to a concert in SLC and couldn't wait for it herself, which only increases her angelitude in my opinion), and even cleaned up the boxes from the crib (which we were too tired to throw away the night before) and fed the cats. At some point in the next few days she even did laundry for us, and I don't know what all else. Let me take a moment again to emphasize that she is amazing and an angel. Thank you so much, sis!
*The short version here is that after 30 hours of labor, I had a c-section on Saturday night and the Little Guy made his entrance to the world. Shallow Man and I fell instantly in love with him and it's only gotten better.
*Adventures in hospital staying. I found out that morphine is awesome. And I have never been happier to eat a milkshake in my life.
*Finally made it home the next week, although I had to get a prescription for blood pressure meds because mine was still higher than they liked.
*Having a moment of panic when I had to sign the "Parent/Guardian" line on the hospital release forms.
*Near-daily visits to the hospital lab for bilirubin counts. We were nearly on a first-name basis with the nurses there.
*One night with the Little Guy on bililights and I hope I never have to do that again.
*A fun trip to the emergency room for me because my blood pressure was reading something like 201/120. Yeah. When we got there and it was only reading 175/105, they couldn't understand why that made us so happy. Meds were upped and things turned out okay.
*Tripping down the stairs one of my first days home alone with the baby. Not recommended.
*Shallow Man having to work till 11 p.m. most nights the week after we came home. Also not recommended.
*Much pain and suffering and frustration and tears (on both ends) trying to figure out the whole nursing thing. Thank goodness for the lactation clinic.
*Being sworn in as lawyers and actually getting to go to the ceremony. Wahoo!
*Oh, losing, like, 40 pounds in the first three weeks after the birth. I was back in pre-pregnancy pants two weeks after he was born. I don't know how it happened, but I'm not complaining!
*Making a Hiccup (from "How to Train Your Dragon") costume for the Little Guy for Halloween, even though he maybe should have been Mount Vesuvius.
*The arrival of two more geeklings (one before, one after the Little Guy, and both girls).
*Slowly and gradually healing.
*The Little Guy's blessing day. I've been waiting for that one for a long time. (Yes, I cried.)
*Going to the funeral for my great-aunt, the last surviving member of my grandmother's family. Losing one of the Little Guy's socks at the graveside service.
*Thanksgiving. And pie. But mostly thankfulness for being so blessed.
*The Little Guy's two-month appointment. He is a string bean—long and skinny, but very healthy and cheerful.
*Completing 30 blog posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo.
*Going to the Christmas party for Shallow Man's work at La Caille. Delicious food, even if the atmosphere is a bit silly. Two of his team members (sitting at our table) won prizes. We enjoyed the juxtaposition of our car being brought up by the valets at the fancy restaurant.
*The failed attempt to see my sister's quartet perform, and the encore just for us.
*Getting to see Red and Harry Potter in theaters when awesome people baby-sat the Little Guy for us.
*Finally leaving the publishing company for good and all.
*Working with Shallow Man again, only this time he's my supervisor, sort of.
*Little Guy's first smile.
*Little Guy's first laugh.
*Little Guy just being awesome in general.
*Another cousins party at the end of the year, this time with three new babies. :)
*We are a three-stocking family now!
*Spending Christmas at my parent's house along with my sister and her family because they were moving out of state on Christmas afternoon. Packing up their house in the days before Christmas.
*The best Christmas ever.
*Also the most tearful as we all gave our last hugs and goodbyes and my sister and her family packed up and drove off for four years of school in the South.
*One wonderful week of having a bread maker before it died.
*First eye appointments since the beginning of law school.
*Oddly, all of our invited guests for New Year's Eve ended up having to cancel, so we rang out 2010 as a family, with just the three of us. It was a good end to a good year, and I think the vast difference between the beginning and the end of 2010 were in keeping with the other surprises and changes that came along the way.

Yeah, all in all, I think 2010 is my favorite year yet. As the Little Guy grows and develops even more of a personality and gets even cuter (if such a thing is possible), I'll be excited to see what comes next!

You're on notice, 2011. You've got a lot to live up to.

I have to say, seeing as this post is a month and a bit late, that so far 2011 has not disappointed. Onward and upward!