Vacation All I Ever Wanted...

The Go-Go's wrote that song about vacation. However it was really 'all they ever wanted,' because she was trying to get away and over a guy, and she thinks that the vacation was meant to be spent alone. I don't know, even if I was trying to get over a guy, I don't think I would want to be alone. And that really doesn't even make much sense, I mean what therapist would recommend you going away alone after a bad break up? I could see some reflection time, but a whole vacation alone? How boring.

It's good to know that most likely for the rest of my life, I will never be on vacation alone. That is what comes along with reproduction, the insurance that if you want to be with someone, you can be. It's quite comforting really. Our friends and I take it one step further and think it's tons of fun to accumulate as much of our offspring all together and 'hang out.' Mostly all of our offspring are under the age of 8. We think that this will distract our children, and be great fun for us. But what it really is is, 'huh, what did you say, I can't hear you over the 76 children screaming their heads off! Wait what? Where's your Mommy, go tell her. Stop tattling. I don't care if Ryan only took two bites, you are taking five. Where's Tate? If you don't take time to go potty and you pee your pants, we are going home. No, you are not taking off all of your clothes and putting on a dress up. Where's Tate? I don't know if that is your juice box, who cares, just drink it, you all share the same germs anyway. Shut the gate! Where's Tate? Are you whining, if this isn't fun, we can go home, we can whine at home. There is 4,000 toys to chose from, why are you fighting over the same one? Where's Tate?' All this while attempting to have 'adult conversation.' What gets better is taking it on the road.

So year two, we head up to Shawnee. This year it was only two families since we only had one home to stay in. So there was only 7 kids under 8. Nope, I kid you not. Yeah, that's manageable, and sounds like a vacation, right? 7 kids, 4 adults, two bedroom home. And you say, this is where I make the u-turn on the highway and head home. However, these kids, they must have some good parents, because for the most part, you never would have known they were all jumbled together expected to be nice and play nice, and clear your plates, and go to bed at night, and sleep in in the morning. Oh wait...they all may not have slept in, but they were good. And I say it like I am shocked, because I was. Every night I would think, ok tomorrow is going to be melt down day, and it wasn't. Most especially due to minimal nappage, but they acted like troopers.

But here is the thing about vacation with multiple children. It's the packing. I tell you the van actually looked like I just folded up the house and put it in there. When you have a newborn, you really do take just about everything. Placing it all in the van so it fits with 3 children is another feat, and it is like a puzzle, and I am a control freak sometimes, so I loaded, both times. The makers of vans act like they are so smart. They brag about the comfort it provides for larger families. What about the families things? They give you this little box sized space the size of maybe a cooler and expect you to be ok. Get the turtle for the top...how dorky. Because if you really fill up the seats, that would be 7 people, now where are you going to fit 7 people's things? If we have another child one of these things will be occurring, we will have to rent a u-haul to go away, take an additional car, or promptly admit ourselves to the psych ward at the local hospital due to all the screaming that occurs from the lack of space for legs, arms, etc. I could hardly see the child that sat in the back row of the van. I could just see a head, maybe, if I peeked in at a certain angle.

If I may, I will just offer up the week in pictures, with captions, because when you do go away, some nice people want to see your pictures, and Trista wants to see them too, because her poor children will have no keepsakes of vacations when they were young because their parents didn't take pictures. For all they know they sat in their flooding basement and ate all summer. ;)

The annual pose on the stairs, this is minus 3 of the children. The oldest of the bunch was, 'too cool,' for the stairs and needed to have a better place...coming up, one of the youngest was asleep in his stroller, and can't sit yet, and the second to youngest was screaming her head off being me strapped into a stroller because she wanted to climb the stairs, but is too little.

Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head
I don't know, if you have ever seen the movie Toy Story, you know who Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are. They are my favorite characters. They argue incessantly over the most mundane of topics because they are meant to resemble an old married couple. Enter, Gabby and Ethan. These two argued like this the entire week. At the time of this picture Gabby was asking Ethan in nagging tone, 'Why are you eating the green pop, you said you wanted the blue one, if you wanted blue why are you eating that?' And Ethan replied shouting, 'BECAUSE I CHANGED MY MIND!' And Gabby again,'but you wanted BLUE!!!!'

I don't know how these children do it a number of times a week and not jump off the trail in protest, but we make them hike from the home to the golf course while others are finishing golfing to meet them. It is not a long trail, maybe a mile total, but it begins with this steep hill, and usually there is only 2 of us convincing 7 kids that this is the greatest time ever! I bribe them with water and snacks. They can't have them until they reach the end destination with minimal complaining. I am all boot camp like that, don't call child protective services.

E on the hill, cursing his mother.

Then there was this child, who has grown so much in year. She thinks she has grown a lot more then that. So much so that at the age of one, she thinks she is an olympic swimmer and can be in the pool all by herself with swimmies on just like the other kids. This was the theme for her that week. Whatever the big kids did, she was doing too. You couldn't tell her otherwise, and how could you? Look how sweet she is.

My son, Mr. Potato, demonstrating for Mrs. Potato how not to get wet while wading in the water, because she, was not doing it properly. I got two words for this picture though in about 13 years...Black Mail.

My husband, my son, and my husband's really cool shades.

Trista and E. I do not think that Trista left the pool the entire time we were down at it, even after readily admitting her kids pee in it. Consider yourself warned!
The one that was too cool to pose with the 'little kids,' needed his own space and shot.

Ethan swimming by himself. Thank goodness for my husband teaching him how to swim alone with his swimmies before this vaca. My sanity appreciates it greatly.

Kendall and her dear friend.

One day another family of friends came up, with 3 children. So you know, now we have 10 children. But one thing we did not lack was food. And I must mention at this point that Jake ate four thick sliced pork roll sandwiches for lunch one day. I still can't decide if that is gross or amazing.

But they do have some pretty snazzy swimsuits.

E and his BFF who came up to visit for the day.

Apparently someone it is also uncool to get a photo with your mama.

Our little man, his Daddy, and his Daddy's really cool shades, again.
Stay Puff! I love chunky babies!

Waking from a nap in the sunshine...now that's vacation.

Gotta love catching them being silly.

So I am thinking 2 years into it, that going away on vacation with friends is a good tradition, especially when you find some friends you can live with in close quarters for a week and come out the other end smiling, knowing even more about each other, like who can and cannot do dive rolls. The memories the kids will have will be endless and silly. I hope one day one of them writes a book. I hope that they too cram as many friends as they can into a vacation home because if you look real closely, admidst all that chaos is smiling faces.


He might be a Giant!

So when does one become a little nervous about the eventual size of their child? I just have to wonder at 10 weeks old did Shaquille O'Neal's mom have a hard time bathing her child, because he no longer fit in the baby tub, but it was way to early to actually put him in a regular tub without him drowning or her killing her back?

As I look at these photos I envision the class photos with him in the back row on the end, looking as though he might be on stilts because he is 2 feet taller then his classmates. I think of his shins and feet hanging over the end of the twin bed because he is to tall to fit. I see him ducking through doorways or smacking his head on the ceiling fans.

This child is over the 100th percentile for his height at his age. What does that mean anyway? We know his brother is going to be tall, he already wakes up in pain in the middle of the night from growth spurts with his toes pointed yelling, 'my legs, my legs!!' But never in the 100th percentile. Will this child be like Andre the Giant? Will I have to build him a special house in the back yard like Emily Elizabeth did for Clifford? At least we know this for sure, that being in the 100th percentile for height means you will never get picked last in gym class.

But to me he is still a tiny little man, 10 weeks old. He still looks small and cuddly in his crib...for some reason I think, to me, it will always be like this super sized, or not.


'Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.'

I can attest that the first exciting thing about having a child is getting to name it. Something about that sheer control that not only has the power to display your personality and style, but also shape someone for the rest of their life. I mean you can pretty much name your kid Dorkus if you wanted to, and they are bound to be the nose picker and eater, I am sorry but they are. And my kids pick their noses and have been seen taking a little lick time and again, but its all about the consistency of it, and Dorkus picks her nose and eats it all day long. That's mean, but come on.

The above child has been watching to much 'Toddlers and Tiaras' for my liking, every photo taken is now a model pose. Like she may just win Best in Show.

Now when we found out we were having a girl, right away we knew her name was to be Kendall. That is the thing about the first born, there are names you pick out for your kids long before you have kids if you are a loser like me, maybe my name should have been Dorkus, but anyway, these are typically the names of the first borns.

Back in the day, in the early days of reality t.v., on MTV there was this show Road Rules, and on one of the first seasons there was a girl named Kendall and I absolutely loved the name, I wished it was my name. You know you have wished for a name other then your own at some point in your life, I did this a lot, but when Kendall came about I was 16 or 17, and I decided that this would be the name of one of my little girls. I introduced the name to Andy when we were for sure that we were having a girl and bada bing, it was done. Now it is formally Kendall Anne, and Anne was an easy pick given that almost all of the first born girls in my mother's family's recent history has the middle name Ann. My mom messed a little bit with the tradition and put an 'e,' on the end of my Ann, so I did the same for Kendall. Once you mess up history, its imperative to keep it going, so that it eventually corrects itself, or the result is even better. Like I know what I am saying. I think my mom thought it was cool at 19 to give my middle name some flair, so she did, rebel I tell you. Now Kendall actually means; valley of the River Kent,and Ann actually means; gracious, so essentially she is named after a gracious river valley. Didn't really pay attention to name meaning on that one.

Above photo taken by the reigning Miss Prairie Ct. Supreme Princess.

Now Ethan was also an easy one. I love the name Ethan, love, love, love it, and that is really all there was to it. I just had to have Andy buy into it. And I simply said, won't it be fun to yell, 'Good hit, E!', from the stands at one of his games? Sold. I am really into boy names that have a nickname that is sporty and a little catchy, and E, is just that. However, he is occasionally referred to as Ebee as well. Quick background, there was a show Kendall watched when Ethan was first born and it's main character was, 'Ebee,' and there was a song, 'Ebee, Ebee, abee, abee, baby...,' and so on and so forth and I would sing this song to him. So when Kendall was learning to talk she referred to Ethan as Ebee, and she still does,let's hope for his sake, she stops soon. And with Ethan's name meaning I paid a little more attention, since my daughter is again, a river valley, Ethan means; firm, strong. Ethan's middle name is Thomas, which is my father in law's name, and I had no problem agreeing to his. Thomas is a good name when you are choosing to represent someones name in your offspring. Because let's face it, there are those that have father in law's with the name, Eugene, or Ralph, or Gaylord, or something, and I apologize, but father in law or not, no thanks. Thomas simply means; a twin, which neither of them are, but whatever, again it was a gesture of representation, recognizing Andy's dad. Just don't call him E.T.

Time and time again people who watch the soap, 'All My Children,' asked me if I too watched it, apparently two of the characters on the show are Kendall and Ethan. The answer for the 459th time is, no, just a coincidence, I had no idea. But wouldn't that be weird if I named my kids after my favorite soap characters?

Then we find out during this third baby that we are going to have a boy. Before I could even show Andy the ultrasound pic with the goods as clear as day, he states, 'we are going to name him Jacob.' I immediately get the image in my head of Andy as some Indian tribal leader holding my naked son into the air, proclaiming, 'his name shall be Jacob.' I am really all random like that, it's not just for show, I promise.

Jacob's middle name is Michael, my dad's name. Michael is a good middle name, because set alone as the first name makes me nervous. Every Michael, my dad included, I have ever know is trouble, a rebel if you will. I have no idea why the name in fact means, 'who is like God,' but you know what the interesting part is is that when the meaning is listed, a question mark follows and it is written, 'Who is like God?' Like there was a little hesitancy there, like; 'really, are you sure about this one, did you see what he did to the neighbors garden with his dirt bike, did you hear he stole his parent's car last night and went on some joy ride across the interstate with all his friends?' And I love my dad, that is why Jacob has the middle name Michael, but I can't just have a freestanding Michael, especially for the third child. I am testing fate even having it sit in the middle, I can feel the personality of the name wanting to jump out. My dad would totally agree.

Jacob is the name of Andy's closest friend, and I couldn't think of someone better to name my son after, and I immediately agree with the chief and his name choice. The name Jacob was never in the list of baby names, so no, it isn't a coincidence, we did in fact name him after Jake. This did give my son a lot to live up to, again no coincidence. We were naming our son after one of the most loyal and loving people we know. He is an incredible person, friend, father, and husband, you lucky girl Trista, how could we not let our son have this namesake? The actual meaning of Jacob, is supplantar, but to us it means something completely different. We of course will let our Jacob know exactly why he was given his name. Andy is so fortunate to have this friend who will stand by him and lift him up through anything. We have already begun to pray that our little Jake becomes a man of such integrity and humility as well.

It is the first name out of our three children that holds a deep meaning and purpose to us, not just because it sounds pretty, or because it has a cool nickname. I mean I hope that Kendall and Ethan both love their names, I think they are pretty nice. But I hope to raise them to be people that hold names that other people choose to name their children after, beyond tradition, or juniors, or because it was my great great grandfather's name. We chose to name our baby Jacob because that is how much we think of Jake. And ok, so 'Awesome pass Jake!', does sound pretty good when yelled from the sideline.


Part Deux

And so it continues...

At this point one may become very relaxed. Third delivery, control of the tv remote, the newest edition of People Magazine to read, all that is missing is some food, and I was getting hungry. To all those preggos out there, my one piece of advice is to get yourself something to chow down on after you give birth. I don't mean like, call someone after you are all settled in recovery, and you are holding your sweet child that just tore up everything in the netherlands. I mean bring it with you, or have someone on call that once they have heard you have popped that sucker out they are in route with the goods. (and doing 95 mph, in route to the hospital) The hunger that overtakes your body is unreal. It's like some hungry beast has taken over your stomach and it will not calm itself until it has eaten a 12 inch hoagie, a bad of chips, some pickles, and a diet pepsi, because you know, you have to start the weight loss at some point.

Now once you are all in the birthing area and a few hours before, you are not allowed to eat. Now I lied and said I had nothing that morning, but really, I had a banana, they looked so good. And if I was going to have to have a c-section and vomit and then asperate on a banana, it was a good one at the very least. But that was oh, 9 hours ago, and I was in this in between stage where they were pumping the pitocin and all I was feeling was a little tension every few minutes, but nothing that would overtake the hunger. And in the corner of my eye I see the bag, and there they sit, my birthing team, chowing down on some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. And I will go ahead and say it 'WTF!?!?!' Uh, hello, kind of in labor here. Don't mind me or anything, you just go ahead and eat your snacks like you are watching TLC from your couch. We are live people, and I can't eat!?!?!' My sister looks at me, and just asks meekly, 'did you want me to go and get you more ice chips?' I mean they are good and all. They were the ice chips that get all crispy on the outside and you can chew them bc they are a little mushy like that, but they were not Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Some team.

I was watching the Boob Tube and reading my mags once I promised to give them all sucker punches once I was allowed up again, and kept seeing previews for the Oprah of that day. It was the one with Laura Bush being interviewed. And for some reason I am intrigued by President's wives and children, and I wanted to see it. And I pronounced that I wanted this baby out so that I could watch Oprah that day.

Then my doctor, the 8th dwarf, comes in for the first time. I am at 6 centimeters and have been at 6 centimeters for 2 hours. He tells the nurses to keep pumping the pitocin up and up. He comes in an hour later, nothing. 6 centimeters. He starts to get a little concerned, he isn't going to make me sit there for 5 days like this, and if nothing was happening, well there might be a c-section. My contractions are not consistent or long enough. And I ate that banana! He tells them to keep pumping it up. I can now start to feel more and more pressure and some pain. Uh oh. I hate it when an epidural doesn't work like its supposed to. I want to be paralyzed people until that baby is all wrapped up and nice and clean and the placenta is planted in our front yard. But the baby's heart rate looked good, and he was showing no adverse side effects to the high level of pitocin, and I had come this far. This kid was coming out the vag, no turning back. They kept asking me how I was feeling, and I was getting queasy, but in no way was I going to tell them that the pitocin was getting to me. If Baby Jacob was sucking it up, so would I.

And then it was 4 p.m. Oprah. Laura, hello. Barbara, Jenna, so nice. But it wasn't all that nice, because the pain was getting worse. The highest level of Pitocin is 30, and I was at 28. And then just as Oprah is about to say her goodbyes to the former first lady, it occurs to me that I feel like I have to poop. Like let all my insides out poop and that I need to massively push, NOW! The nurse comes in I tell her, she goes to get the 18 year old, and things start buzzing around the room. The ceiling opens bringing down the mega light. Now when the mega light comes down you know it is time to give birth. So when you see this light, if you don't know or cannot feel anything, I am here to tell you that you are going to give birth shortly.

Mind you, my husband, out at the bathroom. Yeah he is all on top of it like that. In his defense I was 6 centimeters when he left 10 minutes before that and all talking about the Bush's Texas Ranch, but in comes the resident and I am 9 centimeters, and I tell her, I am pushing. In walks speedy the 8th dwarf, and with the next push I am 10.

Here is my philosophy. They are going to turn your epidural down as you are giving birth so that you can sense when and how to push. So you better get as much as you can out of it while you can, and I push like a freakin' mule. They tell me to do two sets of 8 counts, I do three. That kid is moving. I grab onto the hand rails and show no mercy. My sisters are holding on to my legs and Andy buzzes into the room, saying, 'what we are pushing already?!?!' Was he not ready for me to push 3 weeks ago, now it is already?

He stands at my head and then goes to my feet, cheering me on like veteran he is. I then feel it. The burning! Everyone is cheering that they can see the head, and the burning. I feel like a forest fire is erupting, send in the helicopters with the giant vat of water to pour on me. I ask them if I am almost done. Mistake. 'No, sweetie keep pushing, the head is coming!' What? I am feeling all this and you are telling me that basically you can just see a tiny fragment of the baby's head when I push. I then start flipping out, and I am back to Ethan's birth. Nope, can't do it. Pack up my things, I am out of here, the baby is not coming out. Then my doctor tells me to push like I am mad at Nancy. Nancy is my nurse. And he wants me to push like I am mad at her? Why would I be mad at Nancy, the woman who has stood faithfully by my side all day? How about you for making me push!?!?! I am now screaming at everyone. It is when I look back on this that I think of the poor girl the next room over in labor for the first time, and she hears me yelling that I can't do it and it hurts so bad I want to die. Some mentor I am.

Then he tells me to stop pushing. This is the point where I want to push and finish off my imminient demise. A little turn of the head I am guessing, he tells me to push one more time, and there is Jacob, coming out, being lifted under the grand light, and being placed on top of me. Andy is handed the scissors to set him free, and there is my little man. And all of it just goes away. Everyone in the room, all the pain and there is my Jacob.

After a bit, they take him to his little baby area to clean him up and do his little testing. He is 8 pounds 15 ounces, and is 22.5 inches long, and he was born at 5:34 p.m. A good little steward, he let Mommy enjoy her Oprah before torturing her.

My sisters and my Andy were great coaches, they got to witness the birth of my little man, and pulled me through, and promptly gave me my Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and a diet pepsi, remember, post baby diet starts when you deliver the placenta...right...until...

My parents were called and the order for a Dairy Queen Blizzard put in. Which by the way was gigantic! My dad told the girl to give her the size she would want if she had just pushed out a 9 pound baby. Yeah, I ate every last bite.

And then in came the big sister and brother. Instant pros and instant sibling rivalry and love. 'I want to hold him,' 'No, I want to show him his toy!' 'I want to sit with Mommy,' 'No, I get watch Mommy feed him.' 'He is so cute!' 'Can we take him home now?'

My sister the next day texted me with, 'my arms are killing me,' from me pushing against them. I quickly text back, 'my vagina is killing me,' then prompt response, 'ok you win.'

Kendall and Ethan have over exceeded expectations and they have gone on with a few bumps, but no potholes, and are in love with their brother, and Mommy's big helpers.

I would like to comment on the disinterest upon the face of the child above. Like she is doing some terrible chore! And then comment further on the length of that baby, see his leg way over there? This kid is going to be huge. He will be taller than me in Kindergarten.

We are a family of five now, well plus our furry mascots, and although we are busy, we are content.

To those about to go through it, don't worry you forget the feeling of the pain...I forget it the instant I see the baby, and it is without a doubt, my most personal and best experiences of my life.

The Chubbiest Cheeks in America and that visual proof of the Lyons chin going on and on...poor family tree...oh yeah, and in the background is a little piece of my awesome Vera Bradley Diaper Bag, compliments of my really awesome P-Court Posse. Yes, I did just refer to them and use the word, Posse. And the really sweet blanket that my aunt made that I am pusing on Jacob to be his blankie. It is reversible, one side Phillies, one side Eagles, you know whatever fits your fancy.


Birth Story Part One: The Birth of the Child with the Chubbiest Cheeks and the passing on of the Lyons' Awesome Chin Gene to Another Generation.

So I look at this nine week old and I think, 'where did the baby go?' He is cooing, he is smiling, he is jibber jabbering. Which is my favorite thing to do. Have a conversation with a jibber jabber. You can make up any old story and they will make noises and sounds that seem to follow suit. I was sitting next to another mom the other day with an 8 week old, and she was watching Jacob and I. She leaned over and said, 'is this something he picked up in the last week. because my baby doesn't do this.' A genius I tell you! Baby Jacob is advanced and the smartest baby on earth! No really, I gave this explanation, and it is simply this; Jacob is the third child. It is noisy as all get out in our home, therefore he needs to chime in to keep up. It's merely a survival skill. Whomever is the loudest clearly gets the most attention. I also will admit that to keep my sanity, there are moments when he and I go off to some quiet corner and I tell him all my troubles, and he answers me with sweet smiles, and jibber jabber, and it is very therapeutic.

I suppose I need to add a birth story or it will be awkwardly late to add one I think.

Jacob, the moose, was late. I marched into my first overdue doctors appointment 5 days after his due date, and exclaimed, 'I do not care what you think, I am uncomfortable, this baby measured large, therefore he is large, he is past his due date which I know for certain is his due date due to going to a fertility specialist, and I want him out!' The doctor looked at me, it was the first time I had seen this doctor in my practice, and I think she wanted it to be the last time she saw me. In her Jamaican accent she asks me, 'Is this your first child?' To which I reply exasperated, 'NO!! My third, I know when the goose is cooked!' She looks at the ultrasound I had gotten two and a half weeks before when I was certain they were taking me that day, and she says, 'you poor woman, yes, yes, lets get him out of there.' Uh, hello? Where was she in the middle of April!?!? That is what I have been trying to tell you people!

I go to check out, with instructions to schedule my induction with the girls up front. I am 2 days, just 2 days away from being 41 weeks, and she says, 'oh that is too bad, we could take you tomorrow, but you aren't 41 weeks yet, your insurance wants you to be 41 weeks to induce unless there is an emergency.' I look at her and say, 'Just click the delete button, and put me at 41 weeks, I won't tell a soul.' She didn't, but assured me she was making the call, and would have me put in early the next week, since inductions did not happen over the weekend. She then gave me a pep talk saying, 'I bet you will go over the weekend anyway.' Apparently she had not met my uterus. My uterus is as thick as a concrete wall, there ain't nothing come out of there unless you have got yourself a jack hammer.

She calls, first available date is Tuesday, but the doctor who will deliver Jacob, Speedy, the 8th dwarf, wants me to go for testing on Monday, and to get my cervix covered in some cream that was going to "help me dilate". Mind you, uterus of steel, same dilation since 37 weeks; I was sitting pretty at maybe 2 centimeters. Well, pretty might be a stretch, I was sitting fat, swollen, and miserable at maybe 2 cenitmeters.

We go to the testing at 8 a.m., baby is as snug as a bug, and not in the slightest bit of distress. We then go back to the hospital at 6 p.m. for the cream. Andy wanted them to take me right then and there. He was ready for this baby to be out 3 weeks ago, and his patience was growing thin. I really think he wanted some time off work, and hey a baby is a pretty good reason. The delivery rooms were a wall away and when you are that close to the finish line, when it comes to my husband, come what may, he will get there. Apparently he does not get my anatomy while pregnant. No matter what modern science has come up with, I will not go into labor until my body is good and ready, or has given up the fight against nature, and just releases the beastly thing, which takes a really long time.

We go home to my parents house, because they were going to watch the kids and were much closer to the hospital. I start having contractions, pretty strong ones. But they sit 6 minutes apart maybe lasting a minute, and they never get more consistent, and they never get stronger. I give up and go to sleep. So much for the miracle cream. I think it was just Vaseline and they put it on to make whiny mom's shut up at least until the next morning.

The next morning the hospital was going to call anytime from 5 am to 9 am for me to come in. So I am piddling around, and Andy is pacing. Waiting is not really a strong suit of his. He can't even wait for water to boil. Every 5 minutes he would ask, 'did they call yet,' to which I would reply, 'are you not in the same room as me? Did you hear my phone ring?' I go to get a shower and at 8:30 they call. The Hallelujah chorus begins. I am at the hospital by 9:30.

I am dropped off at the door while Andy went to park. I am excited about this silent walk to the Labor and Delivery part of the hospital, the last time waddling anywhere and to collect my thoughts. But almost every other person I pass is a woman, saying, 'oh been there,' or something of the sort, or a doctor asking if I need a wheelchair, or someone giving me the silent smile, that holds the expression, 'yup, know just how you are feeling,' and then I would have to give the same smile back. Like a soldier going into battle passing the soldier that just left the battle or will go in after you are done. It is similar to the wave that one person that is riding a motorcycle gives to another. Which always cracks me up. Seriously. I am thinking of maybe when I pass another van of the same make as mine, squirting them with a juice box and vice versa, as a recognition that we are both listening to whining kids, and the same songs over and over again, while sitting on snack crumbs and driving with sticky fingers from the juice that spilled on the car seat buckle two weeks ago, and driving the same van. Look out Cherie!

I get all dressed up in my really hot hospital gown and those fun scratchy socks and waddle my way over to the bed. Andy comes in right after that. 'Did they hook you up to the pitocin? Where is the pitocin? Let's get this show on the road!' You know, checking my vitals, giving me some fluid, getting the proper supplies, all not valid reasons to my husband as to why I was not on the pitocin, contracting, pushing out a baby all in 20 minutes of arrival. Again, the whole waiting thing, not so much a fan of it, try living with him.

About an hour later, in prance my sisters, Meghan and Michelle, the last two members of the birthing team. I had given them the option when I got pregnant with Jacob to be in the delivery room if they wanted to. I had never witnessed a live birth before having Kendall, and I kind of wish I had, to kind of know what to expect. You know I like to start with my best foot forward, and I didn't, and I was a royal mess with her, and had no idea what was going to happen to me next. So I graciously presented them with this option of witnessing a gory mess that produces a beautiful child. My sister Meghan had been prepped by my mother for a week or so before hand, 'Meghan, if you feel like you are going to pass out, step away.' See my sister has this whole fainting thing going on, and she isn't really a fan of blood and bodily fluids, not so much an m.d. candidate.

So like I said, the prance in, and they sit, and they look at me in all my birthing glory, hooked up to monitors, wearing a hideous garb, and basically just a big fat blob. It is written all over their faces, 'wonder how long this is gonna take.' If this experience taught them anything, it taught them that birthing a child is no episode of 'Baby Story,' and over lickity split. This is an all day process, make yourselves comfortable.

So I get hooked up to the pitocin at about 10 am, and things start going, and it is a little mind game I begin to play with myself. Let's see how long I can wait before begging for the epidural. I see the computer monitor, I see the mountains going up and going down.

Then a resident comes into break my water. Welcome to the Big Show girls. The resident is with a medical student who looks like she is 16, and she is going to assist a girl, the resident, that looks like she is 18, with breaking my water with what looks like a knitting needle. My sisters come over to the bed to hold my hand, and the 18 year old begins her journey to my cervix, and twists and turns as I writhe in pain about to kick the 16 year old in the face, and then 'pop!' The floodgate is opened, and I am about to tell everyone to hop on the bed and grab life jackets on the way out because this water came rushing out in mad force, I thought we were going to be floating down Old York Rd. within seconds.

By 11:30, I am pissed about the pain. People are asking me questions and I am pissed that they even bother asking me how I am. How dare they even talk to me!?!? When in pain I am one of those crazy people that wants people around them but doesn't necessarily want the people addressing them or the issue at hand. I want them to be concerned, but not ask me what they can do to help. It's a little twisted, I know. But it's pain, it is my cervix that is going crazy, and it is my vagina that is going to birth a child the size of a large watermelon. I agree with my mind that I am going to make it to noon, and then ask for the epidural. Not so sure why I had to play this mental game with myself, its like I was trying to prove to myself that I am in fact She-ra. So at noon, not a minute later, I ask for the epidural. At 12:45, the anesthesiologist that my husband almost knocked out comes in. (long story, but in the end he conceded to keep his mouth shut, which was a good idea since the man was about to stick a needle into my spine) By 1 p.m., I am in another land, a peaceful one with no pain or unhappy endings.

To be continued...Birth Story Part Deux, The Birth of the Child with the Chubbiest Cheeks and the passing on of the Lyons' Awesome Chin Gene to Another Generation.