I was going to launch right into our day-to-day life, but it wasn't coming out right, so, you know, like Vizzini says, when the job goes wrong, you have to go back to the beginning (oh, go watch The Princess Bride already...that is, if you're done with The Big Lebowski). Hence, the story of how the Boog began (don't worry, I won't include any gory details).
As I said in the first blog, the Boog does things every day that no one expects him to do. He was unexpected from day one. His initial presence, for example, was unexpected. The Boog's father and I, being reasonably intellectual and wise in the ways of the world and all (and one of us being a biologist) were aware that a creature such as the Boog could very well come visiting us, but I don't think we'd fully grasped the weight of the reality of pregnancy as opposed to the airy hypothetical idea of pregnancy. Let me tell you, it's heavy. When I saw those two little lines appear I felt like a family of very robust, but very lost skydivers had crashed through my roof and onto my defenseless little toothpick body. I couldn't even stand up for an hour or so.
I eventually became used to the metaphorical and increasingly literal weight of pregnancy, and then the Braxton-Hicks started. I was about 17 or 18 weeks pregnant and doing an embarrassingly peppily choreographed Denise Austin prenatal workout video and I suddenly felt my whole abdomen tighten up like a little boulder. It was a distinctly odd sensation like one's midsection had suddenly been invaded by some sort of squeezing demon (sorry, I've been watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer lately).
"Huh," I thought, "I bet that was a Braxton-Hicks," and stopped exercising for a moment. It went away, and I thought that was the end of it.
Over the next week, I began having them more and more often. At first, just while I was active, but eventually they began waking me up in the middle of the night - intense, slightly painful, tightening sensations that released after a little while only to start again. I talked to my doctor about it and she said to sit down and drink water when they happened and if I had more than 6 in a hour, I should call her.
More than 6 in an hour? She must be kidding, right? I often had more than 6 in 10 minutes!
One day, they were particularly frequent and intense and Dylan convinced me to call the doctor. I called. I was sent to the hospital. I was monitored for hours while forced to watch crappy soap operas and listen to the teen mom in the bed next to me complain about how much her Braxton-Hicks hurt and wail for someone to bring her pain meds (oh yeah...her ailment ended up being diagnosed as gas and not Braxton-Hicks at all. I've often wondered how she handled labor...). I was told I couldn't eat or drink but could have all the popsicles I wanted (let me tell you, I took advantage of that. Popsicles rock!).
Eventually, it was determined that yes, I was having very, very frequent contractions. In fact, the doctor on call was the first one to ever utter the line the Boog has now inspired dozens of times, "I've never seen anything like this." However, the contractions were having no effect on little fetus Boog, so I was diagnosed with uterine irritability, put on modified bedrest, shot up with terbutaline and sent home.
I continued to contract nearly constantly for the duration of the pregnancy. I got so used to the sensation that my insides felt weirdly soft for months after I gave birth.
Anyway, uterine irritability is not pre-term labor, but it is a significant risk factor for pre-term labor. Over and over my obstetrician said, "Be prepared. It could be any day now." She assured me I wouldn't make it past 38 weeks. Then 39. Then 40. When week 41 rolled around, guess what I heard for the second time as the obstetrician came in to monitor my post-term induction? "I was sure your little boy would be here by now on his own. I've never seen anything like this!"
19 hours later, out came Rylan Logan Dittrich-Reed. He was...well let's be honest, he was a squish-faced cheesy little monkey child, but even then, he was the Boog. At this point, I truly thought the hard part was over. We have a picture of the Boog moments after he was born throwing the first of his now trademark coy, mischievous, sidelong glances. I'm pretty sure he was saying, "Mom, you ain't seen nothin' yet!"