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     It has been such an eventful week! From the exhilarating T-DAP vaccine (accompanied by a lengthy and painful reaction for this Mama) to my parents coming into town over the weekend for my first baby shower, life has been a whirlwind! It seems that overnight by stomach has grown at the same rate as the Grinch's heart when he finally learned to love Christmas. It feels as if Baby Boy is ready to bust on out of his current home with each punch and roll he makes, and by the end of each day, I feel thoroughly and utterly worn out. But I have to say, family time was just what I needed. My husband and dad stepped up and watched all the ragamuffins that attended the shower so that the mommies were free to enjoy some grown-up time and delicious food. It was so wonderful to feel such a large amount of love that day from family, friends, co-workers, and church members. My lovely friend who hosted the shower had everyone fill out a sheet that let each guest write down their wishes for Baby Boy Costa. And as I read through them later that night, I was filled with such happiness (along with many tears and outright belly laughs) knowing that this baby isn't even here yet and he is loved by so many.
     On Sunday I had to say good-bye to my family, which always leaves me feeling a bit empty inside for a few days. Luckily, I have to work such long shifts now, that I don't have time to think about such things as emptiness, sadness, hunger, or the constant need to urinate. I just go-go-go until my body falls into bed minutes after walking through the door at the end of the night. Thankfully, I had today off of work... which literally just means that I spent the entire day doing work at home that I wasn't able to do over the weekend or on the days I work long shifts, so, naturally, I pushed myself too hard and ended up on the couch this evening, elevating swollen ankles, resting my aching back, and warding off nausea. The kids' homework was done, dinner was cleaned up, and the little ones were actually playing together nicely upstairs for a change. Therefore, I felt justified to take a few moments to catch up on past episodes of A Baby Story that I had recorded earlier.
     Now, let me just say this. I find this show equal parts terrifying and gratifying, and I'm not exactly positive that it's a healthy thing for me to watch, since it causes my worrying mind to go into overdrive. But something about it is just like that car accident that you stop and stare at as you drive by super-slowly.... you wanna look away but it seems impossible to do so all at the same time. Tonight, I was halfway through the second episode when Taylor came downstairs and stopped, just in time to see the mother on t.v. begin her series of pushes. I watched her face, her little eyes as wide as saucers and mouth hanging open. "Oh. My. Goodness," she whispered to herself. I couldn't help but giggle as she watched the mother scream in pain, nurses hustling and bustling every which way. And then as she pushed the baby out and the doctor lifted the little boy onto his Mama's chest, Taylor's face burst into a huge smile. "Oh, wow! It's really a baby!" she said, still glued to the television. She was literally transfixed until the commercial break.... and that's when the questions began.
     "What was all that stuff on the baby? Where is the hole that the baby came out of? I didn't see a hole on the mommy's tummy... will her belly stay that big forever? When is our baby coming???"
     "Ok, ok, ok. First of all, that stuff on the baby was inside the mommy too, and it was keeping the baby nice and warm while he was in there. And there's no hole in the mommy's tummy because the baby came out of her privates. That's why girls have the privates they have, so that babies can come out."
     "Oh... that's just a little bit gross, I think. So, you will be naked when you have our baby?"
     "I won't be able to have pants on, that's right."
     "Oh my goodness.... so dad's gonna see your vagina???" (The shock was priceless.)
     "Uh, yeah. And the doctors."
     "But it's ok for doctors to see us naked, but NOT BOYS, MOM!!!!"
     "It's ok for daddy's to see mommy's naked."
     "Well, if the baby's gonna be naked, then everyone else can be naked too, I guess!"
     "No, not everyone, just me and the baby."
     "So, when's the baby gonna get here? How many more years?"
     "Not years... just about 2 more months. Remember, it's winter now, and the baby will come in the spring. You'll still be in Kindergarten."
     "I'm gonna be in Kindergarten for that many more years?!?!?"
     "No, Taylor, it's winter now. Then in spring I will have the baby. Then in the summer, you will be done with Kindergarten. It's only 2 more months, not years."
     "Are you gonna be old when you have the baby?"
     "No, I'll be 32 in two weeks and that's how old I will be when the baby is born."
     "Yep,  you're still gonna be old..."
     Thankfully, the commercial break ended and the show has fast-forwarded one month, showing the baby at home. I noticed right away that the parents of this particular episode named their little boy the same name that my husband and I have been contemplating. We haven't told the kids this name yet, because of their struggle with fixating on things and not liking change too much, so we've held out until we're certain. However, Taylor looks me square in the eye and tells me, "I like that name. I think we should name our baby that, too!" (And I have to say, I quite agree with her!)
     We decided to watch one more episode just as Cameron comes into the room. He takes one look at the woman on the screen and says, "Hey Mom, she's not even as fat as you and her baby is already coming??" Awesome. Thanks, Cam!! He quickly became just as transfixed as Taylor had, eyes glued to the screen, but with a much more confused look on his face than Taylor had shown.... and then the questions started all over again.
     "She's making weird noises... why is she making those sounds? It gross!"
     "Cam, she's just in pain. Labor hurts, Bud."
     "So she gets to eat ice cubes and drink juice?"
     "Yep, this Mama gets to. She needs it to help her get through the delivery."
     (Enter the tub for the water birth...)
     "You get to go swimming when you have a baby???" Taylor asks excitedly.
     "No, it's not a swimming pool, it's a tub, and some women have their babies in the water."
     "No fair! She gets to eat ice, drink juice, AND take a bath..." Cameron is actually pouting over the "fairness" of labor.
     "Cam, it's not like she's having a party, man, she's in pain, remember??"
     "Cameron, I'm not even going to TELL you why she doesn't have a hole in her tummy!" exclaims Taylor.
     And just then, with the final few pushes, the baby emerges into the water.
     "Hey, where did the baby even come from?" Cam asks, confused.
     "Mom!" Taylor whispers loudly. "Don't tell him the baby came out of the V-A.... Mom, how do you spell vagina?"
     "Taylor, you're so gross! Babies don't come out of there!" Cameron looked at his sister like she was utterly ridiculous.
     "Actually, Cam, they do. That's why mommies have the parts they have. God made us that way."
     He stares at me for a few seconds as if processing the information he's just learned.
     "Well, at least you get to have some juice." That was his final statement before leaving the room, probably to go hunt down some juice. However, at tuck-in tonight, he did ask me if he would be allowed to tie that cord into a bow and make the belly button. He was rather sad when I informed him that doctors went to school for 8 years to learn how to tie that special kind of bow, and that he wouldn't be allowed to do that part. So, as of now, Taylor loves the idea of labor (yikes) and Cameron finds it basically disappointing and unfair. What more could a Mama hope for, really?

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