A new celebration.
July 31st 2013
My 34th birthday.
23 weeks pregnant.
Last week I had a dream that Dori delivered her baby on a Friday. I don’t remember all the specifics of the dream, but starkly remember the day being announced more than once. So, when I had lunch with Dori this past Thursday (nearly a week past her original due date) I informed her that she should have her baby the next day. She was happy to hear it, as she had just about reached the part of pregnancy where she was ready to be done. She looked great and was in good spirits. Something I have always admired about Dori is her ability to look good, regardless of the situation. It’s a bit ridiculous. Anyhow, we parted after lunch with me touching her belly and saying, “See you tomorrow, little man.” And then, that’s how it happened.
Dori delivered her beautiful son Paul late on Friday night, after nearly 12 hours in the hospital. She thankfully didn’t experience any problems, other than having a long labor. I was so excited to hear that she hadn’t needed to be induced, which was the plan if she went past her 41 weeks. The baby was adorable right out of the womb. You know how some newborns are all squishy and strange looking? Well, he wasn’t. He looked like the perfect miniature combination of Dori and Jesse (her husband). I was relieved that he turned out to be so immediately cute, because I think it would have been hard for me to fake it with Dori if he wasn’t. I didn’t get a chance to see him/hold him until the next evening. When I arrived, I found Dori to be looking really well (no surprise there) and Jesse to be very excited and happy about his new son. I held little Paul and while I wasn’t completely overcome with emotions (if Amanda was there, she would have been crying), I was once again shocked and amazed at how he was a perfect little person. He was pretty chill and Jesse gave me a valuable lesson on how to swaddle a newborn, which I really enjoyed.
photo by gchapinstudios.com
Dori said that the pain was stronger than she had expected and she’d chosen to have an epidural. I think even if she had resisted the epidural at first she may have been advised to get one later, simply due to sheer exhaustion. She seemed to be doing really well considering she had just given birth to Paul the night before and was working hard to develop a good breastfeeding latch, as we had both discussed many times how much we want to breastfeed our babies. While I was not there for her labor, and can’t imagine exactly how she felt, it seems that her experience was substantially different from my friend Ellen’s in many ways. I can only hope that the birth of my son will fall somewhere in the spectrum between the two. I am fearful of a terribly long labor, as I don’t handle things well when I am exhausted. I am also fearful of any unexpected complications, which was the main reason I decided to deliver in a hospital with the midwives, instead of at home.
Dori and Jesse waited until their son was born to choose the name Paul Anthony. While I completely respect the choice to wait, I have been adamant about us agreeing on a name as soon as possible. And finally, I think that we have one. Our son shall be named Wilder James Rue Tipton. The name Wilder was first brought to my attention by an article that my co-worker Cody had sent me, describing a girl’s true life coming-of-age love tale. Both he and I immediately agreed that it would make an amazing name. So when I became pregnant I mentioned the name to Andy and Lee Kyle. No surprises here, but one of them really liked it and the other one didn’t. After we found out we were definitely having a boy, we re-visited the name list and Andy said that he could support Wilder if James was the middle name. Rue is a family name in Lee Kyle’s lineage, so we wanted to include that. My son will have my last name in hopes that he will carry on the Tipton legacy, since at this point I am the last one.
Andy finally moved all of his things into the new house. He had been living in the new place since the 4th of July, but still had his rent paid at his old place till the 1st of August. Even though it was sweltering this past weekend, he moved the final boxes and large items, with little help from me. This was one of the few times that I’ve found my pregnancy to be a boon. The spare room is currently housing all his extra stuff, while we try to organize and reduce the crap we’ve been storing for years. I still need to go through a lot of my own boxes, but I just get so overwhelmed when I try to begin. This definitely pushes back any plans of having a housewarming party anytime soon, though, because the clutter is embarrassing. I am really glad we are both completely moved into the new place. I was worried that Andy may feel some sort of depression at the finality of his move, but he didn’t. He was relieved to have it completed. Also, as happens nearly every August and December, crime is on the rise in New Orleans. My old neighborhood has recently been one of the hot spots, with several home invasions and carjackings. It saddens me deeply that many of these crimes are being committed by very young men. While there are aspects about living in the Marigny that I already miss, having a driveway and the sense of security that comes with not having to walk a few blocks from my parking space to my house is something that greatly relieves me. I love my city, but sometimes she brings me down.
Speaking of parking and cars, I discovered what is wrong with mine. It appears that several GM models have had problems with the steering components. There was a recall but unfortunately my VIN number did not qualify. Apparently the power steering intermittently goes out on these vehicles at random moments. It has been deemed that the car is a danger to be operated, and when I called GM and they informed me that they would not be covering in any part the cost of the repairs, it was highly recommended that I not operate the vehicle until it has been repaired. We took the car to Cacamo’s in Mid-City and they did some research and called the GM dealer about the parts. They determined that parts alone would run nearly $900 and, while they could install them, the car would still need to go to the dealership to be re-programmed after the installation. Their recommendation was to get a different car, because apparently the problem has been known to persist after changing out the steering components, requiring more work to be done. My friend Kelly called her buddy who works at the GM dealership and explained the situation to him. He said the repairs would cost between $2,000 and $2,500 with all parts and labor. Andy and I talked it over and we are considering purchasing a new car. I am just tired of pouring money into a car that has nearly 75,000 miles. I started doing some internet searching to narrow down the time we will need to spend on car lots. Although buying a new car should be exciting, I find it to be terribly daunting.
Today (the 31st) is my 34th birthday. In the past I have thrown myself lavish parties that involve a lot of drinking and bad decisions. This year, due to my pregnancy, I had chosen to have a small dinner instead, mostly because I didn’t want to watch all my friends get completely intoxicated while I had to maintain sobriety. I’ll save that scenario for the baby shower. I made reservations for twelve of us to have dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse. I know what you’re thinking: a steakhouse for someone who doesn’t eat red meat? I chose Morton’s for three main reasons: 1. The service is impeccable. 2. Their blue cheese dressing is the stuff fat-girl dreams are made of. 3. They serve several delicious seafood dishes. Also, as a bonus, most of my friends are meat eaters. Although on the morning of my birthday I had felt a bit depressed, my spirits were quickly lifted. Realizing that this was the first birthday where I was the only living member of my nuclear family had me somewhat blue, but Cody surprised me with several boxes of baked goods from Breads on Oak when he arrived at work. The day flew by and when I arrived home Andy had gotten me a beautiful flower arrangement. Dinner turned out to be a huge success with all twelve guests attending and having a wonderful time. I felt a little bit guilty over the cost of the meal, but no one seemed to mind. I am so fortunate to have such amazing, beautiful friends. Not only did they shower me with love and affection, but many of them brought thoughtful gifts for me and Wilder. While I can’t say that a tiny part of me wasn’t pining for the unpredictable craziness of past birthdays that ended in drunken orgies, I am unbelievably grateful to have developed such a kind, caring and loving community (all of which would still probably participate in a drunken orgy if asked). It was a new type of celebrating, but don’t think that just because I’m going to be someone’s mom, it will be the only type of celebrating in the future.