Wednesday, August 19, 2009

slow but steady

Another minor milestone for me...

I've always had trouble saying "no", or being completely honest about helping someone. Allow me to explain.

I got an e-mail from John's sister, who is getting married in 10 days. It was addressed to me, her sister (Karla), her mother (Claudette), and her best friend (Justine). It said something to the effect of, "I'm picking up my wedding dress on Friday, I don't want to go alone, is anyone available to go with me?".

Of course, I'm completely guilt-ridden. I already had plans, with Heather, to meet at the mall in the morning. I knew that Justine probably couldn't go since she lives in NJ. Claudette just got a new job, and was probably tied up. Karla has 3 kids under age 5!So, figuring that Keri was going in the afternoon, I replied "I can go with you, assuming John can watch Lucas. I'll talk to him. I'm supposed to go to the mall with Heather in the morning before her tattoo appointment at 1:00. What time were you thinking about going?"

I got a reply that simply said "I have an appointment at noon". Now I'm stuck in a tough place because she already knows that I intended to go to the mall, which is clearly less important than picking up her wedding dress & being her support. However, what she doesnt know is that Heather and I were supposed to have a girls' night, which might not happen now b/c of schedule conflicts, so this mall trip may be in lieu of girls night. Not to mention, Heather has been on a few dates with an aquaintance of mine (I won't over estimate and call him a friend, though he did help me through a tough time, more than he may know). I really need some Heather time. But I reply to Keri, and decide to be honest. I told her that I would gladly cancel my plans with Heather, as family/wedding is my priority, but I explained to her that this was my first opportunity to get together with her outside my house since Lucas was born, and to let me know what the plan was for Friday.

My honesty paid off. She replied that Karla had offered to go with her, and was taking the kids along. I sent her another e-mail that laid it all on the line. I told her that I really wanted to hang out with Heather, but wanted to be sure that she wouldn't be upset. She completely understood and was not upset at all. At least I don't think so. I honestly feel like she & Karla should do this together, and have a sisterly bonding experience.

I know this may not seem like much, but this is huge for me. I never say no. I am never honest with people about what I truly want, for fear of upsetting them. I'm glad I put my best foot forward and was as honest as I could be. I'm going to need to learn to say no, or decline invitations graciously if I'm going to have any "me" time.

On another positive note, I've been truly enjoying my time at work. Deb (my boss) told me that I would appreciate giong to work after Lucas was born, and I thought "yeah right. I'm going to be miserable". She was right. While I hate to walk out the door, and leave Lucas behind, I truly covet the time I spend at work. It reminds me that while my world has completely changed with his arrival, some things will never change. I still have to work. I enjoy coming to work because it helps me maintain some normalcy. The twins have been a riot lately, and it's nice to spend time with older kids. I enjoy the activities we can do together. Today we spent 2 1/2 hours making necklaces & bracelets with pony beads. Too fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Finding me...

So Thursday night was our first date night since Lucas arrived. I called John on Wednesday afternoon, thrilled that Suicide File was playing in Boston the next night. He got on the phone, asked Karla to babysit, and asked Magann to order our tickets. I was so excited.
So Thursday came around... holy crap. Getting a baby ready to go to a sitter's house is a lot of work. Especially when your water is contaminated. I had to boil every bottle we owned, pre-fill them and pack them. Luckily Karla has tons of baby gear, so I only had to worry about diapers, extra clothes, bottles & formula. But by the time I got him all ready to go, it was time for him to eat, of course. So we left a little later than planned.
By some miracle we got off of the mass pike 15 minutes before we needed to meet Magann at his house, despite missing the exit and needing to turn around. But then we got lost. An hour and half later, after driving in circles, we arrived at the ICC church, and were ready for the show.
We entered for the band before Suicide File. Holy Hell was it hot in there! I was instantly soaked in sweat. The walls were sweating, the floor was wet. Ugh. We found a nice wall spot in the back that was safe , and I was thrilled. We stood through some terrible band. I found myself glancing around to observe the various behaviors. Of course most of the guys there were behaving the same way. Dancing/moshing around, testosterone pumping. If they were bird they'd be flufflking out their chest feathers & crests and showing off. But it wasn't their behavior I was intersted in. It was the girls. Most stood idly at a wall, casually bobbing their head at most. It was rare to see a girl move anything more than that. I made a mental note of the girl standing next to John. She could have been dead, or a statue at this point. She hadn't moved an inch since we walked in.

Then it was time for Suicide File. It was awesome. Just as exciting as it was the last time they played four years ago. I made a mental note to try to observe some female behavior, but I had a tough time doing that. I was so into SFs set, that I really only made note of what I was doing. I was somewhere between the bobbing head girls and the crazy show-off boys. I stayed in my spot, at the wall. But I certainly wasn't just bobbing my head. I was pumping my fists, hitting the door next to me. Screaming the lyrics with so much passion you'd think I wrote them myself. Then, after a fantastic set, it was all over.

Bane was about to play. Bane is not, and never was a favorite of mine. But for some reason, Bane seems to be THE crossover band. Anyone that wants to get into the hardcore scene seems to start with Bane. Now the behavior for this band was totally different. Granted 70% of the crowd left before their set, but of those that stayed, the behavior of the boys & girls was very similar if not the same. The girl next to John came alive. Moving, dancing, singing, chanting... it was really nice to see. I found myself envious of her. She came to this show alone. Stood alone throughout the whole thing, and then when it came time to see "her" band; the band she came to see, she went nuts. She clearly didn't give a shit what anyone thought of her.

I thought about that girl nearly the whole ride home. I used to be just like her. I never went to shows alone, I always carpooled with people, but I usually stood alone. I didn't care what anyone thought of me. That lasted about... 2 months and then I had this weird attack of self conciousness that never went away. I had fun for SFs set, but I was definitely aware of what I was doing. I didn't throw caution to the wind and go nuts. I can't help but wonder why.

It hit me when I got to Karla's. I can't act like a moron anymore. I can't run around at shows, moshing with the boys. I have a little boy that counts on me. I enjoyed myself, and did what I deemed appropriate. I had fun. I don't NEED to act like the boys to enjoy myself. I was suddenly at peace with my experience. I wasn't envious of the statue-girl-turned-hardcore-nut. I was happy.

...and then that little bugger smiled and cooed at his Daddy. The biggest smile/coo I had heard. I melted, and all was right with the world.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So in the past 24 hours, I have:
-Made plans for a girls night
-started researching for our anniversary/john's birthday weekend
(I'm thinking about going on a zip-line canopy tour/camping trip. 1 night)
-called john and told him to find a babysitter b/c Suicide File is playing in Boston tomorrow, and we are GOING!
-made a dress-buying date with John for Sunday. I love shopping with him.

These are all steps to get "me" back. Doing things that I want to do... and not feeling guilty about it. It's ok to get a babysitter & go out. It's ok to tell John that I want a girls night out, and he has to watch Lucas. It's ok to put my fears aside and do something fun & interesting for our anniversary.

Hopefully I can continue down this path! More about getting back to "me" tomorrow or Friday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Every time there's a major life change, I do this. I start a blog, livejournal, something. I inevitably name it something relevant to the life change. My livejournal names included "shows all she can", which was intended to be lyrics from a duran duran song, but proved to be quite prophetic about my college experience. I also coined "see for miles"... again stolen lyrics, but this time from The Who ... when new horizons opened up and life seemed to be outstretched before me. Then there was When we opened the skate shop, and retail consumed my life, and I found my love (but lack of talent) for photography. It then transformed into a pregnancy blog, and since I was CONVINCED I was having a girl, the name still fit and so I kept it.
Well. It's a boy. (more about him later) and now I'm a mom. And I find myself at yet another crossroads of life. This time, the search for identity has this new sense of urgency. So I decided, I'd take the plunge. I'll use my actual name, and transcribe my journey to find my actual identity; to find Nicole Romiglio. Not Mrs. Romiglio, the wife. Not Lucas's Mommy. Not financial liason for RAD Skate Park, LLC & Gorilla Skate Shop. Not Spooky, Joey & Peanut's owner. Not Sue & Gerry's oldest child. Not Stephanie's big sister, or Jackson's auntie. Not Bobby's older, wiser sister. Not so & so's friend, Not so & so's teacher. Not the Daly's nanny. and most importantly not the girl with the super random tattoos. Sure... I hold all these titles. To anyone trying to describe me, they would most likely use one of these descirptions. But none of them actually say anything about me. These are all roles I've been handed in life. Whether through choices of my own, or by birth right, they don't describe me. These are not character traits, but rather titles. I want people to hear my name and instead of saying "Oh. Nicole Romiglio? I know her... she's [insert title here]". I want people to say something about my character. Or to share an story about me, that they just "have to tell". I realize that's a rediculous request. It's an impossible feat. And maybe I'll just feel better about all of those titles once I truly know my identity. Once I find the things that make me happy.
That being said, I'm not saying any of those titles make me UNHAPPY. I love being a wife, mother, financial liason, nanny, pet owner, daughter, sister, auntie, and freak with tattoos. I embrace all of those titles and all that comes with them. I love my life. I feel fulfilled. But that's not all I am. I have opinions that go undiscussed. I have thoughts that are hidden in the depths of my mind. I have desires to fullfill. This is all part of my journey. A suppose this journey to find an identity is really just a journey through life. To have experiences. To expand my horizons. To push myself to new limits. To break through my insecurities.
Whether I share this blog with anyone is a decision I'm not ready to make. Inevitably once people can read it, I will censor myself in some way. I won't be able to vent about situations, for fear of hurting someone's feelings. I think the plan is to give it a few weeks. If my entries seem to be centered around my own journey & explorations and not a vent-fest, then I will share. If I have a tendency to vent, I will keep private. Or maybe I will just have some private, "my eyes only", entries to vent, and keep the others public. We'll see how that goes.

Lucas the most perfect baby in the world. I want to jot down the whole labor/delivery story for myself. I want to be able to look back on it, and remember how I was feeling. I want to warn that there will be a lot of details, possibly too much info for some. Skip if you will. Not a big deal.

So the story starts at 7am. I woke up, and felt a trickle; almost as if I peed my pants a little. It felt different enough, however, that I mentioned to John that it happened. Now... an occasional "accident" of dripping a few drops of pee in the morning was nothing new. It happened a couple times a week for the last months of pregnancy. But this felt different. I went to the bathroom, as normal and went back to bed. Again, when I rolled over at 8 am to get up, same thing. But not enough for me to say "yes, that's definitely it". So we went to the skate park. It was a Monday morning and we had our big town meeting to discuss our entertainment license. So I was poking around the internet, returning emails & chatting with my brother on facebook when I got a more distinct trickle. So I decided, at 11:15 am, to call the doctor. They had me come into the office to have a swab test done. They told me to come in at 1:00. Since they seemed so unconcerned about it, I wasn't too worried. I really wanted to make it to that meeting.
So I was 20 minutes late for my appointment. The doctors were at lunch. The ride made me have to pee like something you read about; so I went. 3 minutes later they call me into the office, do the swab test and say -- nothing. No amniotic fluid. My water hadn't broken.
So I went about my day as normal - despite the fact that I had to change my pantyliner every 40 minutes or so. We went back to the park, did some work until about 5:00. Went home, showered & got dressed for the meeting. Meeting went well. The fire chief made a joke about the selectmen needing to hurry up before I go into labor. We walked out, chatted with some Mendon residents for a while and I started getting fidgety. We walked to teh car, and as I got in - my water BROKE. It looked like I peed my pants. So after we dropped Bob off at home, we went straight to the hospital. I called on the way and the midwife told me to go home and wait. I said no. I want to come in and at least know that my water really broke.
We get to the hospital and once we finally navigate our way to the proper entrance. We go to labor & delivery and they do the swab test. Sure enough, water is broken. Then they put me on the monitors. I'm having no contractions (that I can feel), but the monitors show braxton hicks contractions every 4-5 minutes. THe midwife, again, tells me to go home. I tell her no. Again. She says, it can be up to 24 hours after your water breaks before active labor starts, and even then, active labor can be hours or days. SHe also says that i'm "visually not dilated at all". I tell her, I don't care. I don't want to drive an hour home, just to turn around and come back. Keep in mind, by this point the waiting room is FULL of family. And I was 3 cm dilated on Friday, so it makes no sense to me that I was not dilated at all. Also, I know that my water actually broke at 7 am, and it just didn't ERUPT until 8 pm. I'm NOT going home.
So she explains to me that in order for me to stay, I need to be admitted. In order to be admitted, I have to agree to some form of induction plan. We decide that I will walk around for 2 hours to see if it induces labor. If after 2 hours I still am not contracting, I will have pitocin. So the relay begins. Karla and I walked a figure 8 pattern through the labor & delivery and maternity wards for 2 hours. Nothing.
Now it's time to get the IV thing put in my arm. I bleed all over that room like a bastard, and I'm thinking "Oh great, if this is any indication of how my stay is going to go, I'm really in for it!". And then we are escorted to my delivery room. I meet my nurse - whose brother I graduated with - and she starts teh pitocin. It is now around 2:00 am. The midwife tells my family that it will take "at least 10-20 hours for the pitocin to start making anything happen" and that they should go home. They wait until 3:30 and then go home.
At about 3:45 I can start to feel my contractions (I didn't know my family stayed... I thought they left at 2). By 4:30 they were painful enough that I woke John up and made him hold my hand. By 5:00 they hurt enough that I couldn't talk through them anymore, and I had to breathe through them. Now, the midwife had me convinced that it was going to be such a long time before I'm dilated enough for my epidural, that I decide to make a goal for myself. Here's the issue at this point. They can't check for dilation by an internal exam at this point because of the risk of infection. Once they check, I need to go into active labor within a few hours or I have to havea c-section due to infection risk. So I want to make a goal for myself before I ask for the internal. I want to "hang on" as long as I can so that I'll be dilated enough before the exam that I won't need a c-section. So the goal I set was 7:30am. I wanted to last 2 1/2 more hours before I let them check for dilation. Well... by 5:45 I was making a significant amount of noise through my contractions. At 6:15, I decided I was going to ask the nurse for my exam when she came back (she came in to check on me every 30 minutes) so I had to wait 15 minutes. The longest 15 minutes ever! So She comes back and I tell her that I'd like to be checked to see if I can get my epidural yet. She looks at me like I'm nuts, and says "Why don't be try to get you up and walking for a bit, and then we'll check you if you still feel like you want that". She explains that sometimes walking is more comfortable, or just changing positions will make the contractions more bearable. Well... WRONG. I get up. Go to the bathroom and make one trip to the end of the hallway. Grabbing hte wall for dear life every 60 seconds. On my way back to my room, I glance at the nurse's station and let her know to get the midwife in there asap. I want my exam and I want that epidural.
So I get into the room, get myself into bed (John is being extremely supportive and helpful through all of this). I feel like my contractions are right on top of each other. I feel like one starts before the other one ends. John confirms this feeling my watching the monitors. The valleys are getting shallower by the minute. The midwife comes in. It's now 6:45. (all of that, in 15 minutes.) She explains the risks of checking, again. And asks me if I'm sure. I tell her, I'm sure. She checks. and her face says it all.
She looks at me with a look I'll nevr forget. It's the look of a mistake. I'm devastated. I'm sure that I've made a big mistake, and sealed my fate. A c-section it is.
"You're 9 centimeters. I can feel the baby."
WHAT?!?! 9 cm's?? What happened to 10-20 hours? SHIT! John, call your mother. Get everyone back here.
"You may not have time for your epidural"
Excuse me?! Call that anestesiologist and get his ass down here.
Epidural is ordered. Contractions are SOOOO painful. Like nothing I've ever felt in my life. However, the midwife is here with me now. Talking me through them. And somehow, though the pain is more intense, her explinations of how to cope have made them much more bearable. 20 mins goes by, no epidural yet. I hear the nurses panicking. "Where is he? Why isn't he here yet? Someone call him". To top it off, it's now shift change. This wonderful woman that is talking me through the most painful experience is leaving. What the hell am I going to do?! While holding John's hand is comforting, he doesn't know how to talk me through a contraction. Not his fault, he just doesn't know. Although, if he tries to take his hand off me, I will cut it off.
The midwife begins to say "ok, at some point you are going to feel this incredible urge to push. as if you are going to have a bowel movement. your body will tell you, and you will know. it will feel just like..."
Oh shit! where the fuck is that anesthesiologist!?! It's 7:45!!! Oh there he is. "SOrry, I went to the room next door and gave her an epidural" (She was 4 cm's. ugh)
They ask me if I'm sure I still want the epidural. "You could push this baby out without it. You're doing great'.
Give me the fucking drugs. I'm too nervous. I know there's more pain around the corner.
So they sit me up. Tell me bend over (yeah bend over despite the watermelon in your stomach and the pain splitting your body in half). So I do. Keep in mind, I'm involuntarily pushing with each contraction, which are still milliseconds apart.
Epidural stint in... medicine being injected. It's 8:00. My legs are numb. I lay back down.
"How do you feel?"
Much better. I feel my next contraction coming. They say not to actively push this time, but to get a feel for what they feel like.
I have a 30 second break... next contraction. Ok, time to push. 2 pushes for each contraction.
John is taking pictures. The transition to the new midwife is seamless. Old midwife stays. She takes the camera from John so that he can enjoy this experience. I hear the clicking of the camera. I hear the encouraging words.
Ok another contraction. Push again (2nd time). "OH ZMY GOD!"- John. "I can see hair! Is that a head"
Sure enough. There's "her"head. I'm still calling my baby "her".
4 more rounds of pushing, and the babies head is out. John's face says it all. I feel no pain. I feel a bit of a pinch with the head coming out, but not pain.
The midwife tells me that with the next contraction to push very hard, and before starting my 2nd push, to reach down and I can pull my baby out. I do as she says. Push once, shoulders & arms come out. I reach down and as I give my 2nd push I pull "her" out at 8:34 am.
AANNND, she has a penis. She is not a she at all.
And he's perfect. absolutely perfect. He's 7 lbs 5 oz, 19.5" long. He cries. I melt.
John cuts the cord, and they take him to clean him up a little bit.
One more round of pushes for the placenta. What an odd feeling that is. And then it's time for the stitches. I can feel the stitches. Doesn't hurt, pinches. I'm euphoric. I can't feel pain - but I know the epidural effects are wearing off because I'm aware of my legs now.
They stitch me up, check him out, and I get to eat!
Family comes in and visits, and I'm content eating my breakfast.

From that moment on, I don't want to put him down. Ever. 6 weeks have past, at this point, and I still want to do nothing all day but snuggle him.

I'm back at work, however. That adjustment will probably be the topic of many posts - so I'll save it. This motherhood thing is so natural yet so foreign. I want to relive this experience a million times.