You Had One Job, Epidural!

Seriously. One job. I was supposed to kick back with my feet up while a baby gingerly tap danced her way through the baby canal. One. Job.

Yes. That’s right. Baby Princess Lady is here! And, yes. That’s also right. My stupid, lazy, failure epidural couldn’t do the one thing it was designed to do; relieve the bone and soul crushing pain of childbirth.

I went in on a Thursday morning for my induction. A few days earlier, I had decided that I was tired and just not interested in the trauma of birthing a child. I was all epiduraled up for the birth of my first but experienced the full horror glory of labor and delivery with the birth of our second and largest baby. There were aspects of both experiences that I appreciated but, having decided that I was tired, mentally prepared for birth with the epidural. Like, the minute I walked into the hospital.

Me, upon walking into the hospital: “Hey! I’m here for my epidural! I mean, to check in. But, seriously. Get my epidural ready.”

Honestly, I really do have a high pain tolerance. In fact, “labor” feels like nothing more than the last 8-10 weeks of my pregnancies right up until the transition period. Then, it’s not about pain tolerance anymore. It’s about me going ape $h:t crazy. I’m afraid of me. I am overcome with a Bravo reality show level of panic and drama and that is what I was not willing to deal with the third time around.

So, I waltzed in that Thursday morning fully prepared to sleep, text and paint my nails through the birth of our third child.


First of all, the process of getting an epidural is horrendous. I truly have no problems with needles. In fact, I’ve never even seen the epidural needle. I’ve heard it’s as long as Chris Brown’s arrest record but, like I said, that doesn’t bother me (best of luck, Chris Brown!). What does bother me is the fact that I’m supposed to arch out only the tiniest dot of my middle back and somehow tuck myself into a little ball all while contracting so this anesthesiologist-in-training can drill into my spine multiple times until she finds an avenue that doesn’t create the little lightning rod seizure things down my legs. No, thanks. Like, look. I know you need to practice on real humans but, here’s an idea. Why don’t you guys go practice on each other?! I’m in labor and, quite frankly, I don’t trust you one bit with your lack of experience and Godzilla needle. I want an epidural but not from you, dollface.

And, before you go nuts on me, let me just present you with the fruits of the newbie’s labor. SHE DID IT WRONG. The epidural didn’t even take. They do that first shot of numbing medicine before they start the epidural iv and I felt the slightest bit of tingle from that. Then, I just kept waiting and contracting and waiting and contracting until I thought, “Hmmm. This is kind of starting to hurt like a mofo. I should say something. Wait. Maybe they’ll want to run another epi line. Nope. Suffer in silence.” But, of course I am physically unable to keep any feelings to myself so I told Mr. Black. He then took it upon himself to advocate for me (always loving me and stuff, geez!) and my nurse brought a new and slightly more confidence-giving anesthesiologist to test some things.

“Here we go. Does that help?”

“Um, no.”

“Okay. This should do it. Better?”

“Not really.”

“Alright. Last try. How about now?”

“Ugh. Nope.”

But, at this point, my water had broken and I had gone from hours at 4cm to having a serious case of the poops (meaning, a baby head was coming) in a very short amount of time. The pain was bad but not nearly as terrible as with the Bear so my main issue was the raging anger stew that was coming to a boil in my chest over the audacity of that stupid, stupid epidural. By the time the new anesthesiologist told me he’d need to tap another line, I was calling the nurse to catch my womb fruit. (Oh, good Lord. But, they couldn’t find my doctor for a minute and the only other doctor available was the OB of my nightmares, one I had transferred away from with our first child. Thankfully, my angel doctor miraculously appeared at the last second.)

Princess Lady was born after a solid two minutes of pushing and ten hours of Pitocin before that.

adair    adair2        adair3

But, seriously. I hate you, epidural.

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.


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Dear Last Weeks of Pregnancy

Dear Last Weeks of Pregnancy,

I’m not a particularly chatty person. A woman of few words, I guess. So, I’m gonna go ahead and get right to the point.

I hate you.

My dad has always said, “Don’t say hate. Hate is such a strong word.” But, what about those times when the word “hate” just can’t get no righter (get off my back, grammar nazis)? I don’t like carrots. I dislike Richard Dreyfus as an actor (and probably as a human-his face, his voice, his overall persona, GROSS). But, I hate bees (you can get off my back, too, you weirdo bee lovers). I hate the sound of our beagle mutt barking at “dangerous predators” like butterflies and falling leaves. And I HATE the last weeks of pregnancy.

H-A-T-E. Hatey-hate-HATE.

Oh, late third trimester. How do loathe thee? Let me count the ways…

1) Your “Braxton Hicks” are “evil” and “painful” and “going to be the death of me.” I truly cannot abide another piece of fiction that suggests Braxton Hicks contractions are more “uncomfortable” than “painful”. Because, guess what. You are a “liar” and your shizz “hurts”. And, hey. You physically assault me all day and night from week 28, or so, on. Have you not met your quota? Is it not possible for me to get a small break from your onslaught say, I don’t know, when I pee? It’s bad enough I have to pee every five seconds but have you ever tried to empty your bladder in the middle of a contraction?! IMPOSSIBLE. AND EVIL. I HATE YOU.

2) I’m in an ice bath and I’m sweating. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get that it’s July and this area is essentially hell’s sweaty underwear but who else is sweating sitting mostly naked directly in front of a fan in an air conditioned house (set at SEVENTY-TWO) not moving or doing anything remotely physical at all?! Me and the other women due this summer. That’s who. And listen close. We hate you.

3) You are full of lies, tricks and deceit.

“Hey! You’re totally in labor! Freak yourself out and call your mom and pack your bags!

Jk, jk. Sit down. You’re totally not in labor.” LIES.

“Uh oh. Have you felt the baby move? You don’t remember? Well, aside from being a negligent mother for not counting kicks, your baby is in grave danger.


She’s huge and has no room and is sleeping. And sorry about the heart attack I just gave you. (But, not really.)” EVIL.

“No, totally! You can absolutely handle taking your other kids to the mall! Your body and mind are more than equipped to deal with the extreme heat, large crowds, screaming children and excessive walking!


Your pelvic floor feels like shattered glass, now, huh? Hahahaha.” I HATE YOU.

And I will cut you.  (

And I will cut you.

There is a well of other reasons why I hate you, last weeks of pregnancy, but allow me this opportunity to use what little filter I have left and keep those gems to myself. But, don’t worry. You’ll get an earful in the bleak hours of the night/morning when I can’t sleep because my hips are broken, hands are numb and I’m drowning in a pool of my own sweat. I’ll just let those truths stay between me and you.

Until then,

The Mom in Black (hates you)


Ten Birthday Truths by The Mom in Black

Today’s my 29th birthday (my first 29th birthday; according to Pinterest, every other birthday after that is just the anniversary of your 29th).

I am a fairly reasonable human being most days of the year. My birthday is not one of those days (neither is Christmas, the 4th of July and whichever day Pretty Little Liars is on but let’s work on the here and now). I understand that can be a bit confusing for the more traditional thinkers in my life. Being the mostly reasonable woman that I am, I feel it’s only fair to offer some insight to hopefully make my birthday (let’s be real; birthMONTH) a pill slightly more easy to swallow.

There are universal truths and then there are birthday truths. These are mine:

1) I don’t expect much. Just a gift, a card, a special dinner, chocolate cake, acknowledgements on all social media outlets, immediate birthday well wishes upon waking up and your choice of flowers OR a big breakfast (I’m not a diva).

That's all I ask.

That’s all I ask.

2) The Saturday nearest my birthday should be filled exciting adventures and another special dinner. Nothing extravagant but, yeah, you’re gonna have to take me out.

3) Chocolate cake has no fat or sugar. If you eat cake in my honor, you will ingest no fat or sugar, either. You’re welcome.

One day only.

One day only.

4) I don’t really mean to, but, at some point, you’re going to hear something along the lines of “Well, it’s my birthday so I’m gonna do whatever I want.” And, the thing is, I don’t even mean it in a dramatic, psycho, princess way. I’m probably not even throwing a fit when I say it. On July 10th, it is a completely emotionless, matter-of-fact statement of truth. There’s nothing I can do about it.

5) My hair and body must pay homage by washing themselves that day. I want to be clean and sparkly without any of the work. After all, it is my birthday.

6) If you are a bill or chore, you can sit down and shut your mouth. Ain’t nobody got time for that on my birthday.

7) On July 10th, the earth does not revolve around the sun. It revolves around me. Science.

8) Should anyone speak anything other than of my greatness, I simply will not hear it. My ears genuinely will not acknowledge that sound waves are passing through the air.

We hold these truths to be self-evident.

We hold these truths to be self-evident.

9) The lion and lamb will frolic together in fields of daisies in perfect harmony for this one day only.

10) Any other day, this would all seem like great vanity. On July 10th, it is just cold, hard fact. There’s little to nothing that can be done other than to submit to its’ truths.


Should you find these truths to be offensive/annoying, just go to bed early, today. Tomorrow, all will be back to normal. Well, okay. Sleep for a good solid week or two just to be safe.

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.


Happy Birthday to America, The Mom and Me!

As I believe I’ve said before, I live in a time warp. I very occasionally know the numerical date on any given day and forget about any remote knowledge of which day of the week we’re on. In fact, I set my mental calendar based on the Pretty Little Liars updates I see on Facebook and the Dominoes Pizza deal emails I find in my inbox.

“Okay. The PLL page is posting about tonight’s episode and Dominoes is siren-songing me into buying pizza. It’s Tuesday. Got it. Good lookin’ out, guys. Also, you suck, Dominoes.”

I realize I haven’t posted much in the last few months and honestly, it’s primarily due to the time warp in which I live. I have very little awareness of time and space in this shanty in the woods and it’s quite easy to let weeks run together as if they were minutes. So, I’ll just go ahead and blame my lack of posting on that and not on the fact that I’ve been letting Monkey binge watch all 875 Power Rangers series on the one and only computer.

However, it’s July and July has always been and will continue to be a month of greatness. My internal calendar finally comes alive in July and I can mostly make heads or tails of my day. It is the birthmonth of some of the world’s greatest: America, this blog, our first baby lady and ME!!

Let’s begin with the motherland, America.

Dear America,

You are the greatest of all time in the history of ever. Your land is beautiful, your food delicious and your people obnoxious in the most patriotic of ways. And I-eee-I will always love youuuuuuu.

Not important.

Don’t tread on me with your details.

But, can we talk about your crappy fireworks for a sec? Okay, listen. You know I love you but those garbage fireworks you sell in grocery stores are a little shameful. Is it not the right of American freedom lovers to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to go nuts with deadly explosives in the privacy of our own homes/backyards (and potentially accidentally our neighbors’ backyards and neighboring fields/forests)?! Instead, we’re policed into little toddler packs of “fireworks” with names like Small Friendship and Pink Happiness (what does that even mean?!). If you won’t let us blow our faces and property up in style, the very least you can do is name your loser fireworks a little more appropriately. Next year, I’d like to see these on our grocery store shelves:

Big Disappointment

Cool Colors for Five Seconds

This One’s a Dud

Watch Out For the Short yet Ear-Piercing Whistle at the End

Not Even Your Toddler Will Be Impressed

Save This One For Last Because it’s the Least Lame

You Should Have Braved the Crowds to See the Real Fireworks

Better Luck Next Year


Next year, I expect to be able to make this happen from my findings on our local Food Lion's shelves. Thanks.

Next year, I expect to be able to make this happen from my findings on our local Food Lion’s shelves. Thanks.

But, anyway, see what you can do, America. Thanks. Love you.

Steph, American Patriot


Happy Birthday, The Mom in Black!!

Hopefully, you’ve made it through this year without the scarring experience of googling “the mom in black” and, if you haven’t, I sincerely apologize (but, in my defense, I did warn you). The Mom in Black is a full year old (and I only knew that because WordPress e-bombed me with domain renewal demands for several months). It’s been a fun year of rants, tears, poop jokes, reviews, giveaways, Freshly Pressed, humor awards and the occasional creepy blog follower. Thanks for hanging out and sticking with me through the time warp haze. Hopefully, I’ll get my life together (and go easy on the Netflix Power Ranger time).

The beginning of greatness.

The beginning of greatness.


The Advent of Baby Lady

She should be here in the next few weeks. I can’t even deal with it. Well, mostly I can’t deal with the giant belly, peeing every five minutes and being asked, “Is there REALLY only one in there?!” almost as often. But, seriously. If baby girl clothes were any cuter, I’d be dead. Can a baby have too many headbands? I vote no.

"How many do you have in there? Five?!" Yes. Five. I have one, two, three, four, FIVE babies "in there". Thank you, stranger.

“How many do you have in there? Five?!”
Yes. Five. I have one, two, three, four, FIVE babies “in there”. Thank you, stranger.


It’s My (Month-Long) Party and I’ll Eat Everything If I Want To (And I Do)

Baby Lady and I will share a birthmonth! And I’m not even mad about it (anymore)! Anyone that knows me or lives within a 50 mile radius of my house knows I loves my birthday. At one time in my life (and, by that, I mean like, a month ago), I didn’t want to share my birthmonth with anyone/thing. Maybe it’s the hormones and Sickers talking but I’m more than happy to share with such greats as America, my blog and my daughter, now. Also, I’m in charge of all parties ’round these parts so I’ll still make my celebration the longest/best.


So, Happy Birthday to all and thanks for hanging out and with me through the time warp. If anyone feels so led to send me a calendar for my birthday, I’d appreciate it.

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.


To Moms From The Mom

I remember sitting in church five years ago as the great grandmothers and grandmothers and mothers were asked to stand group by group. We had just lost our first baby a month before and my heart sank to my stomach for the billionth time. The extent of my motherhood was carrying that baby for such a short time and then watching it pass unable to do anything other than cry. I certainly didn’t feel like a mother and would have been so embarrassed to stand along with the ones with toddlers hiding under their dresses and middle schoolers rolling their eyes behind them.

But, that afternoon, I got a Facebook message from a sweet friend that said, “Happy Mother’s Day”.

At that stage of grief, I wasn’t able to acknowledge my motherhood. I felt like the mark of motherhood was carrying and birthing a child, cleaning and feeding, never sleeping and running yourself ragged. I had done nothing other than fail to keep my tiny baby safe in the few months I had with him. That certainly was not a mother in my eyes. Even so, upon receiving that message, I could do nothing other than cry. To this day, I’m still unsure if the tears were happy or sad.

On this Mother’s Day, I was awakened by the babbles of a happy baby at a not-so-happy hour. Little Bear was joyfully chanting, “Mama! MAMA!” over and over from his crib. As I sit in the quiet of our little living room, he keeps offering kisses and snuggles (as well as the occasional face slap and chest scratch). My heart is full when I look at my home. My big Monkey man is fast asleep with his dad. My baby Bear is gleefully dumping water from some unknown source (I should really check on that…brb). My first baby girl is doing her morning stretches in my belly.

But, when I think about that Mother’s Day five years ago, I think about the other women in those shoes today.

What constitutes a mother? Is it carrying a child in your womb? Then, what about adoptive mothers? You wouldn’t dare tell the family with fertility issues that have graciously opened their hearts and home to children once abandoned that their “mother” wasn’t a mother at all (because, if you did, I’d gut check you). Is a woman less of a mother if her children don’t live with her full-time? Or if they’ve had a falling out and haven’t spoken in a while? What about the mothers-in-spirit? There is a woman in our church who has been like a mother to me in such an impacting way that she will never fully understand yet she has no physical or legal children of her own. And there are many others like her.

Motherhood isn’t as simple as labor and delivery. It isn’t just the physical and practical. Motherhood is a condition of the heart.

So, whether you’ve lost a million children and held none, whether you’re children are close or far away, whether you’ve opened your arms to the unloved, whether society never labels you a mother, if you have the heart of a mother, happy Mother’s Day to you. I know who you are even if no one else does.

september 13 again 012

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.


Pooping Should Be Easy

Yes. This post is about poop. All about some poop. If you need to leave, I understand.

My three year old is currently writhing on my lap whimpering the phrase “I don’t feel good” over and over. We’re going on-I don’t know-week 5? of poop issues and I’m starting to lose it (starting? Let’s be real. I’m waist-deep into the sea of Losing It.).

We hit potty training real hard about two months ago and he’s been a champ. No pee accidents and no intentional average size and consistency turd-droppage since week one. That’s awesome. What is not awesome is the physical and psychological battle that’s waged every time little man needs to take the Browns to the Super Bowl. We’ve been on a constant rollercoaster of average bm’s, constipation, constarrhea and straight-up-good-old-fashioned-down-the-legs diarrhea. I’m at my wit’s and cleaning supplies’ end.

Get it, James.

Get it, James.

Granted, EVERYTHING is a battle at three years old. I’m not sure why I feel entitled to hassel-free toddler pooping but I DO. I feel like I fought to get him dressed, I waged war against the battery powered toys that just HAD to come into the bathtub, I battled through three entire and entirely miniscule bites of dinner. I don’t know how you feel about it but I feel pretty confident that I earned some stress-free poops in there somewhere.

And here’s a fun story. I started this post yesterday but was forced to stop to attend to some motherly duties. Please, just for fun, take a guess as to what those duties (0r, should I say doodies) were. Just a quick guess…


Yep. Mid poop-blogging, I had to stop to help my anxious toddler poop. Naturally. It was beyond traumatic. He had a rough time, too. ;) I basically had to put all my big-mama’s-house weight down on him to keep him from flinging his little body off the toilet and running through the house leaving a turd trail in his wake. Meanwhile, he’s weeping and screaming and I’m sweating and trying not to cry. He did eventually move those stubborn bowels and then wept with a smile on his face repeating, “You’re so proud of me!” over and over. Thankfully, the smell of the constinuggets was so pungent that it distracted me from what I really wanted to do which was weep like a constipated toddler on the bathroom floor.

It's not easy being Dubya.

It’s not easy being Dubya.

Since that evacuation, we’ve had 2 more successful rounds of dropping the kids off at the pool and far less “My body hurts!” whimpering. Thank the fiber-eating Lord because I need a few days to recover.

And please, for my sanity and his bowels, please share you favorite colon cleansing remedies. Everyone in this house will be eternally grateful.

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.




Weecycled Winner!

Berit A is our winner! If by same crazy coincidence your name happens to also be Berit A and you have not received an email from me, you are not the Berit A I’m looking for (but you should totally hook up with the other Berit A because how many Berit’s are running around out there?!).

Thanks to all the Weecycled folks who liked The Mom in Black on Facebook and TMIB people that liked jumped over to give Weecycled  a like. We all appreciate it!