And so, the babe arrived.

It has been a little over three months since our daughter R was born. You are probably guessing that since I was once a homeschooling mom that I would likely choose to do something radical and anti-establishment, like give birth to the babe at home. How dare you make such an absolutely correct assumption.

It went like this.

For over four weeks, I had contractions that would start around nine in the evening and would last between an hour to three hours, about five to ten minutes apart. They were annoying as heck.

Random know-it all neighbor or friend: "Oh, La Mai, you having the Braxton-Hicks contractions again?"
Me: "Yes, I am." (#$$%@@#@@%@%$@%$@%$@#!)
Random know-it-all neighbor or friend: "Oh that's too bad. You being an older mother-to-be and all...."
Me: "Yeah, really, I'm OK."
Random know-it-all neighbor or friend: "And you're what...past your due date by over a week? You really should go to the hospital."
Me: "I will." (To see you recuperate after I punch your lights out.)

That's how my pregnancy went toward its final days. Lots of comments from well-meaning folks. Lots of "And my daughter was C-sectioned twice for breech babies" talk (I was working with not one, but two physicians who knew how to turn babies). No one knew that my hospital was located right at Beth La Mai Medical Center. It was a decision that my husband and I made after learning that 1) the C-section rate in New York City is probably higher than is reported at 30-40%, depending on the practitioner and/or hospital and 2) I would not be able to labor freely, as I had for A and 3) I was older, which would make any physician want to induce or section me for "safety reasons" and 4) if I went past my due date by two weeks, even if that due date was dead wrong, I would certainly be induced or sectioned. That last thing is standard procedure in all New York hospitals, and it is a regulation that is on the books.

As I approached and easily went past my due date, I held firm to my decision to go natural when the baby was ready. It was hard to wait and my mother was driving me nuts with her worry. My midwife asked me to stop engaging my mother in due date talk and gave me helpful tips on switching the subject. I learned the art of switching the subject rather well, as my mother called me from Florida three to five times a day.

After one month of fake-o contractions, again around nine in the evening, I felt something. Then it went away. But then it came back. And it hurt. We were watching a movie featuring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci (yes, that one) when suddenly, now nine days past my due date, I heard "pop" while sitting on the sofa.

Three and a half hours later, Baby LaMai was born.

[Note: I just found this in the archives. It is September 2014. Decided to publish.]


"Hi Mom, I'm leaving the college dorm now and coming back home."

This morning, A moved in to his new freshman dorm at university. The hubby took the responsibility of moving my son in to school, allowing me to rest after a full day of cleaning yesterday.

The instructions we received were "Move in from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m." Which to us, meant "Arrive by 6:45 a.m. or else." A arrived at his dorm before his roommate, a student from his B-school with whom he mutually chose to dorm, who was still traveling from Seoul, Korea. Nobody else had arrived in the two-room, four-person dorm, either. A picked his bed, his desk, etc. and then he and the hubby went to get an espresso at the nearby hip cafe that does latte art. They returned to the dorm, and left to the next location to promptly line up to obtain A's student ID.

As the hubby prepared to leave, something curious happened. They both decided to come home.

"Excuse me? He's coming back?" I ask the hubby.
"Yeah. He wants to pick up more stuff from home and take it back to the dorm."

I started making snacks and smoothies. Less than two hours after move-in, they were back home in 30 minutes flat.

I had anticipated tissue and Tylenol to get me through the emotions of separation today - what will surely be not more than two weeks' worth of empty-nest syndrome. Instead, I wondered, "Does A not want to be there? What do I do now?" The hubby assured me that A was clearly on a mission, and that it was just to pick up more stuff from home. I, on the other hand, was now surprisingly ready to walk around the house in my underwear - or even nude, if necessary - to demonstrate my readiness to have a few days of alone time, and to nudge the bugger back out of the house.

Now at the house, A put his guitar amp in his empty duffel bag. I put a few necessary items in the bag, too. Then he called up a friend from B-school who is attending the Ivy League school in our city, and declared, "I really don't think I need to go back to my dorm today."

Me. Preparing. To. Get. Naked.

But seriously, I realized that the new roommate's absence left A, a social butterfly, a bit...bored. And maybe...uncomfortable? "Why not go back and wait for L. to arrive? I'm sure he'd appreciate you being there."

With that, I disrobed and went to bed. Then the hubby did the same.

And my college student returned to college.


Check, check and check.

List of A's move-in to-do's this weekend:

A's tuition deposit paid to university: check.
A's immunization forms sent to and approved by university: check.
A opting out of school insurance because they already accept ours: Not yet checked. We have until Sept. 15.
A's dorm linens ordered and en route to dorm: check.
A's surprise welcome kit paid for: check.
A's clothes cleaned and readied: almost check (one last batch of clothes to go).
A's storage from B-school heading to new dorm: check.
Has A RSVPd to all welcome events at school?: Yes, check.
A's shopping at IKEA for dorm room done today: check.
A's new laptop: check (he's taking the one I just bought for myself, which is fine).
A's posters for dorm all purchased: Not yet checked.

List of Thumbelina's arrival-to-the-world to-do's for around the same time that A moves out:

Baby furniture: check.
Lambskin: check.
Midwife: check.
OB/Gyn on standby: check.
Doula: check.
Birth kit: check.
Vitamin K drops: check.
Towels, bucket, plastic liner thingy, and more towels: check.
Olive oil: check.
Balsamic vinegar: just kidding, but yes, check.
Zip code that will get Thumby in French school by Kindergarten: Not yet.

That is all.


Almost Home Free...

Alex starts university in 2 1/2 weeks.

I will give birth to our daughter in about 3 1/2 weeks.

I could have been enjoying empty nest syndrome. But...no.

Let the games begin. All over again.


They're all in (well, almost)

And here they are:

1. Art School on the West Coast.
2. Big/Our Private University in NY.
3. Nonesuch Yowza University in NYC.
4. Jesuit University on the West Coast.
5. Private Big Name Liberal Arts College on the West Coast.
6. Big Name Arts School in the South.
7. Artsy-Fartsy Yoko Ono Liberal Arts College in NY.
8. Awesome Public University in Florida.


Liberal Arts College in the Midwest (please please please let him in)


Tulane (seriously?)
University of Texas (seriously? Just because the transcript arrived 7 days late? Ouch.)
USC (You guys didn't care about Steven Spielberg the three times that he applied, and we don't care about you guys, either).

So that' it. Blood Sweat and Tears Application Time has now transitioned to Blood Sweat and Tears Financial Aid Lock-Down.

And in the thick of my Financial Aid Lock-Down bleeding and seating and... erm...crying, A has just informed me that he would like to take a gap-year off.

Yes, folks. A Gap. Year. Off.

Transitioning to Blood Sweat and Tears Gap Year Plan.


More college acceptance updates...

Another update. So far we have --

1. Art School on the West Coast
2. Our (Big) University, private university in NY
3. Awesome public university in Florida
4. Nonesuch Yowza University, a private university in New York City
5. Jesuit University on the West Coast with the oh-so-spectacular views (and yes, there are Buddhists, Muslims and Jewish students there :)


Progressive Liberal College in the Midwest


U Texas (seriously?)
Tulane (seriously?)


Acceptances - Updated

Another update. So far we have --

1. Art School on the West Coast
2. Our University, private university on the East Coast (OK, it's in NY)
3. Awesome public university in Florida
4. Nonesuch Yowza University, a private university in New York City.

One rejection from U Texas, because the B-school transcript and SAT scores arrived one week after the application deadline (even though A applied by the official deadline, they refused to accept supporting documents after deadline, even on appeal. Yes, they're like that).

Our University (on the East Coast, see below) e-mailed A with an acceptance. Phew! That's one official university acceptance from a school that A is really really interested in.

Plus the Art School on the West Coast, which has offered a substantial scholarship.

Another university on the West Coast also recently wrote that after viewing A's portfolio, they have submitted a strong recommendation for acceptance to their school.