The fact that I am just now, on February 4th, getting to my Last Year Wrap-Up should tell you something. Way Out Mama is one busy mama. Let’s backtrack to… hmm… let’s say September.
September 2013 marked the beginning of the 2nd “Busy Season” for anyone in a wedding/corporate band. Now, let’s also remember that I was 8 months pregnant just going into it this year. I was booked solid- every Saturday and Sunday in September. I also had gigs every Saturday/Sunday in October, one was two days before my scheduled C-Section. Would I…. could I…. do this?
I was pretty confident up through September. I was leery of the first 2 weeks of October. I mean, anything COULD happen. Based on my last pregnancy/birth, I had no reason to believe this baby would want to come out of my body without help (40 hours of labor ending with a C-Section and a baby who was 10lbs 3 oz for those keeping score from the first time!). This baby was also trending big, so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t go into labor. As a “just in case” I brought my mom along on the last 2 gigs- just in case I needed someone to take me to the hospital! Both gigs were 2 hours away so I thought it was smart to have somewhat of a Plan B.
The last gig before the birth, I was having some fairly severe pain in my abdomen. It was really just the baby’s position, but WOW. I was a little worried how I would get through it. But, as per usual, once the music starts going, and I get to singing- all things physical resolve themselves. It is amazing, the things I have sung through, but this one was up there!
Thank goodness, because the following day I said, “I’m glad this is the last day, because I can’t take much more of this. I could hardly walk. I could hardly lay down, my sciatica was at level ELEVEN.
The birth couldn’t have been more night/day from the first one. I went into the hospital fairly rested and had eaten just before midnight (as opposed to 40 hours before the birth). Walked myself into the delivery room with my favorite doctor of all time and came out with a beautiful new baby, this time an hour earlier than expected! It was so much easier and relaxed than before. I even got our good family friend Kim as my nurse afterwards, which was so nice. We came home and started our lives with this new little girl- Mary Elizabeth- M.E, (pronounced “Emmie”).
The birth itself was amazing. I will never forget when they held that little kitten (she REALLY sounds like a cat- even still!) over the curtain, covered with goo, screaming her head off… wow. What a beauty!
They did get her cleaned up quickly though… and we got to see that hair… that CRAZY HAIR! Nobody in my our immediate family has had a kid with hair like this. I had a cousin or two… but this was not the bald baby I was expecting!
Her hair was really almost black at first. It’s settled into a nice brownish/reddish/blondish mix at three months, but much of it has fallen out. It’s so wild that every morning I swear I’m waking up to Nick Nolte’s mugshot. We’ll see what happens. I have a feeling the second the sun hits it, it will get all super strawberry blonde. Can’t wait for summer!
Patrick has been doing great with his sister. He’s not so happy with me all the time, but loves the baby. 🙂 It’s ok. We’ve pretty much worked through it. But he welcomed his sister with open arms. Always so concerned about her well-being. “Don’t worry, Baby M.E. It’s ok. It’s ok.” What a great brother. I’m so glad they have each other.
The second C-Section was so much easier to get over. I think for a combination of reasons. For one, having had one before, a lot of the nerve endings in the abdomen are dead. Good. Who needs ’em? Secondly, there was no 40 hours of trauma beforehand. Thirdly, I did not have the breastfeeding complication I had last time (an abscess which took an entire month to heal- something from which I still bear a scar). I’m happy to say we’ve been exclusively breastfeeding for going on 4 months, and this baby is growing and growing! Amazing what our bodies can do, ladies. To grow a baby and then keep growing them once they come out. They say that even though it didn’t work the first time, it really paved the way for things to work out smoothly this time. For that, I am thankful.
The next gig was a week and a half away, and thank goodness we had someone to cover for me. Though the day of, I started off feeling so good, I would have been tempted to do it. But then a terrible headache took over for the next several days. I was dehydrated, as it turned out. Not eating/drinking nearly enough. But it’s the last thing you are thinking about in between feedings, diapers, a 2 year old running around and oh yeah, no sleep. I got back on track quickly, and it was a good thing because I had so many gigs to do between the band and the church, I was booked a few times a week for much of November- starting Nov. 1! I’d just had major surgery on Oct. 13, and here it was Nov. 1, and I was playing a wedding with really no trouble at all. The baby came along with my mom and I’d feed her on breaks. We did a good job of keeping it under wraps, too. I know my bandmates thought I was nuts, but oh well. One of my biggest fears is to let anything stop me from playing music- even kids. Thankfully, everyone has been very understanding- husband, family, bandmates one and all!
In the midst of all this, I managed to make my “Oh Little Town of Laurel” video/song, get airplay on Laurel Cable Access, and get written up in the local paper.
The band ended up getting a few last minute corporate events, which was great and perfect timing at Christmas. I even got a free Christmas tree with lights at one of them! Thank God for small gifts!
Christmas Eve I was able to sing for nearly 10,000 people (divided between 2 masses) at the Cow Palace in Timonium at the Fair Grounds for Church of the Nativity. What an incredible experience and such a blessing to play with such amazing musicians. This year featured a string section that was so good, I could easily get lost listening to them. 🙂
Christmas was great- M.E.’s first Christmas, Patrick’s first that he actually “got”. It was really a wonderful day. Patrick is a great big brother- loves his Baby M.E..
To wrap up the year, I finished two more songs for The Rhythm Surf Monkeys… with baby in tow. I’ve been doing a lot with her in tow! Rehearsals, sound checks, gigs… talk about “no child left behind”. She seems to really love the music. At rehearsal, she only stirs when we are talking in between songs. But, really, she spent all her life up until birth surrounded by music, I guess it makes sense. What a great way to start off.
Well, that’s “all” for now. I know it’s a long one. Back to the drawing board with the blog. Can’t believe it’s 2015. FEBRUARY 2015. This year is already flying.