Archive for November, 2007

3 weeks old: colic?

Friday, November 30th, 2007

there’s something almost liberating with colicy crying and knowing there’s nothing i can do to stop it. sure, i do the requisite soothing, but past that i’m fairly free to go about my day. i just have a wailing infant on my arm the whole time :)

flickr update!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

I uploaded a bunch of pictures to my flickr account from the past few weeks. I even organized them into handy albums for you since they uploaded in such a wonky order:

post birth: 2ish weeks later

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

this is a hard post to write. i compose it over and over in my head while the days go by, but when i find a moment to actually type it up, i’m usually so drained or beat down, or just…not in the mood that it won’t come out right.¬†we are all very healthy. i think charlotte might have a wee bit of a cold, which isn’t too surprising, given all the touching she’s been exposed to in the last week. she doesn’t seem too bothered by it, other than the random fussing and sneezing. it certainly hasn’t affected her appetite at all. she was 8lbs 6oz at our most recent checkup/weight check, which puts her at over an ounce a day.breastfeeding is also going very well. as i said, she’s gaining plenty of weight. i’m also *mostly* past the painful part of the process. although we’ve mastered the basics, i’m still at a complete loss for how people manage to feed in public. any time i try to cover up as “practice” it doesn’t go well. how can you see anything?! i’m also struggling a bit with the pump. it works great and all, but finding time/opportunity to pump while also having enough milk for her when she’s hungry is a real trick. the whole thing still strikes me as a bit absurd when i think to hard about the fact that there’s a human feeding from a part of my body.and then there’s me.physically i’m doing…absurdly well. as predicted, i lost most/all of the weight i’d gained during pregnancy by the time we got home. granted, it was *only* 15 lbs, so it’s not all that impressive. as the water-weight drained away over the next week, i lost another 15 pounds. thanks to the breastfeeding, i’m still loosing weight. i weigh less now than i have since the first year we were married. before you go hating me too much, please bear in mind that i was very over-weight when i got pregnant, and still need to lose another 30 or so pounds before i reach a healthy weight. i’ve made some drastic changes to my diet since becoming pregnant, and so far, most of them are sticking.mentally, well…being a new mom is rough. i have days full of confidence where i think i can totally pull this off, but they’re interrupted by moments of intense self-doubt, which leave me pretty paralyzed and really distraught. i don’t think it’s much more than the standard “baby blues,” so far. it helps to have a very supportive and loving husband/father around to pick me up when i crumble *and* take the lion’s share of the baby care while i get over myself.the last few days have been especially trying. i think that we might have a colicy baby on our hands. if she’s not sleeping or eating, she’s been screaming her head off. there’s nothing wrong, i’m not eating anything funny to make her upset. yesterday she wailed for the bulk of the day (from about 11:30 to 3:30 when she finally went to sleep), and well into the evening/night (6pm – 2amish with very few breaks). today was a bit better, partially because she’d worn herself out so much, and partially because we knew what to expect. i ended up singing “amazing grace” for almost an hour straight today to try and stave off the fussies. tomorrow i think i’m going to try christmas carols. maybe a little silent night or away in a manger.she’s asleep now, so we’re going to head to bed. when i get a chance, my next goal is to upload a bunch of pictures from the past couple of weeks onto the flicker account, so stay tuned!

so how was your day?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

here’s a set of notes i’ve taken about my day:

1:30ish
2:12ish
4:00 – all right, some left
6:20 – left
8:30 – right
11:00 – left (short)
11:30 – right
12:00 – left + right
3:20 – right + left
4:40 – left (one hit)
6:00 – right (one hit)
8:00 – left (one hit)
9:15 – right (mini-hit)
9:40 – right + left

there was some concern at her checkup yesterday that she might not be eating enough (breastfeeding and milk prod are going very well. just had a minor delay in post-production) so i’ve been on an “on-demand or every 2.5 hours” schedule.

the first three weeks are the hardest the first three weeks are the hardest the first three weeks are the hardest

labor/birth day report

Friday, November 9th, 2007

so many things have happened in the last 24 hours that are worthy of documentation, but i’m going to start with the basics. it’s about all i’ll have time for before charlotte comes by for her 12:15 feeding. after that, it is nap time for me :)

there are two kinds of induction stories. the first kind, as previously mentioned is the “omg did it ever suck and then i had to get a c-section anyway” kind. the second, of which i knew only one actual incident (detailed by deborah in the comments), is the “i blinked and i had a baby” kind.

allow me to add another :)

we arrived at the hospital around 10pm. after checking in, getting setup in the room, getting an IV and all that swell stuff, it was determined that i was *still* 3cm and 80%. they started me on a low dose of pitocin with plans to progress after 4am. we spent about 4 hours not-quite sleeping. i think i maybe got 10 minutes of actual unconsciousness out of the whole thing, but was lulled into a semi-sedated state by the rhythm of charlotte’s heartbeat on the baby monitor…when she stayed still enough for it to pick it up anyway.

around 4:15, my water was artificially broken and the pitocin was kicked up a notch. contractions (which had been relatively non-existent for the last 4), began in earnest. i understood what “not being able to talk through them” meant. i can’t imagine waiting for that stage before even going to the hospital. an hour later, the pain had sufficiently eclipsed my apprehension about an epidural.

by 5:45, i was all set up. epidurals are one of the greatest inventions ever. yes, the concept is freaky, and the installation was unnerving (missing story goes here), but once it’s in? wowsers. it’s like sitting in a jacuzzi, only without the water. my legs were warm and heavy and slightly tingly and i felt wonderful.

after a brief visit by the grandparents around 6:15ish, i was checked again. 4cm and 95% effaced. progress! we were told that they’d check up on us every so often (2ish hours) to see how we were doing. in the mean time, if i felt any pressure with the contractions, or desire to push, i should let them know.

at 7am we took a nap.

at 8 i woke up because i was feeling pressure.

at 8:15 it was determined that not only had i slept the rest of active labor (the 4-7cm growth phase), but all of transition (the awful, worst part of the whole process jump from 7-10cm). charlotte’s head was already making it’s way down the chute. after discussing the options (start pushing now, or see how much longer i can hold out), we decided to wait until the pressure/pushing urge became a bit stronger. since we were both doing fine, it would lessen the amount of time we spent in active pushing.

calls were made, waiting parents were informed that the baby would likely be coming in the next hour or so.

at 8:40ish, my doctor showed up to start her morning rounds. she assessed the situation and said “you’re having this baby now. i’m not even going to check on my other charges.”

at 8:50 we started the process up with a couple of practice pushes (there’s a breathing/pushing rhythm to each contraction). fortunately, my epidural was the perfect strength to feel the contraction coming, plus the pressure, but without any pain. it helped us time the pushing better than we would have otherwise.

she crowned on the first practice.

she crowned a bit more on the second, while the doctor was finishing setting everything up.

then we pushed for real.

then again.

about 1/3 of the way through the first push of the 3rd set charlotte’s head popped out. the rest of her would have as well, had the doctor not caught her and yelled “stop!” at me.

moments later, at 9:12am, she was born.

i’m still in shock over how fast and smooth the entire thing went.

there’s lots more to share about today…well, yesterday, but i’m fading insanely fast at this point and i need save my strength for the feeding that’s about to occur.

week 40: killing time

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

9:30> woke up. got some food (toast and juice and a dr. pepper)
10:28> slammed the rest of my dr. pepper so that i could be finished eating/drinking by 10:30.
11:00> took a shower.
12:00> stared at the phone for a while. played some games. checked some internet.
2:00> painted my fingernails
3:00> napped. mostly just sort of thought thoughts for a while.
5:00> woke up
5:15> called per instructed when nobody called me by 5. was told i was next in line and that it should probably be another couple of hours. learned i could have cranberry juice.
5:16 > watched crappy tv. more internet. more games. started drooling over taco bell nacho bellgrande with chili, popeye’s chicken (although it was a kfc commercial), almost everything they showed on tv. started getting my usual evening contractions.
7:00 > america’s next top model
7:49 > got a call. still next on the list. still going to be a couple of hours. apparently nobody who was supposed to have their babies this morning felt like it.
8:00 > gossip girl because private practice was pre-empted by country music awards.

now > distracting myself with this blog entry. finding cranberry juice filling, but less satisfying by the hour.

next > …no clue. hoping to get a call by 11pm. may lay down again. at least all this waiting is pushing frustrated to the top of the emotional list, diminishing my anxiety down to near-nil.

week 40: the last day?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

so today, random scheduling conflicts at the hospital notwithstanding, we’re going to have a baby. she probably will not be born until sometime thursday morning, but the show will get started today.

i’m pretty scared.

i know inductions happen “all the time” and that most of the books i’ve read have at least a slight bias against them, especially when they’re elective, so i’m trying very hard to take all the perils they describe with a grain of salt. i just wish i had more stories of good inductions. so many of them (okay, maybe 3 of 4?) go along the lines of “omg, it hurt so bad and then i had to have a c-section anyway”. i’m worried about the stress my body’s going to go through. i’m worried about the stress charlotte is going to go through even more.

i don’t know how much of this is really related to induction, though. i’m sure at least some of it is simply labor-related anxiety. i do not handle unknowns well at all, even good ones or “no big deal” ones. monday’s visit to the hospital was uneventful, it at least killed one of the primary things that was concerning me. i’ve been to the hospital many times to visit folks. i walked my husband through the doors when he had to have his gallbladder removed, but i’ve never been a patient myself. as silly as that sounds, not having any experience checking in, having to put on a gown, and being the person in the bed was sort of freaking me out. at least now that’s behind me.

so, my plan for today is to finish up my breakfast/only meal of the day, which consists of 2 slices of cinnamon raisin toast, a hearty glass of cranberry juice and a can of dr. pepper. from 10:30 on out, it’s clear non-caffeinated bevvys for me, which pretty much means water.

at 11, i’ll take a shower. who knows when i’ll get another one, so i’d like to maximize how clean i feel as long as possible.

at 12, we’ll just wait for the phone to ring. there’s tv, the internet, and if we’re feeling very ambitious, dishes in the dishwasher that can be put away.

according to the most recent set of instructions, if nobody calls me by 5pm, i need to call them.

and that’s about all i can control at this point, which will have to be enough.

week 40: there and back again

Monday, November 5th, 2007

3:00 am: i call the doctor because i’m having contractions 6-10 minutes apart. they aren’t *bad*, but they’re close together. she tells me to head in.

3:20 – we head in.

4:00 – we check in. it’s determined that my pre-registration didn’t take, so i re-register. i get gowned up, inspected, etc. we watch charlotte’s heartbeat and my contractions on the monitor for a while. charlotte is fine. it’s determined that i have not budged (still 3cm/80%)

5:00 – 6:00 – we walk the halls of the L&D, NICU, WeU (Women’s evaluation unit), and try to shake some progress out. contractions get steadily worse and regular.

6:00 – i still have not budged. they discuss sending me home, but the uptake in contractions means we wait to see if there’s been progress.

6:30ish – still no progress. charlotte is still fine. they talk about discharging me.

7:15ish – the discharge nurse comes in. gives me a pep talk. points out that i’m just not budging and i could stay there and be miserable for 7+ hours while i wait, or i could go home and nap and eat and such. am given a list of distinct signs to look for (not being able to talk, broken water, really-real bloody show) to come back. contractions are now more painful than any menstrual cramping i’ve ever had and are anywhere from 3-6 minutes apart. am told to ignore that.

7:30ish – when i get up post-peptalk to change back into my clothes, i discover i’m bleeding. and not post-exam like. bloody-show like. discharge nurse comes back in. frowns at the blood, checks me out again. i still have not budged. i’m still going to go home.

7:45ish – leave the hospital knowing i don’t get to come back until i can’t talk through a contraction or my water breaks, no matter what else happens in the mean time. am pretty confident that i’m going to end up giving birth on the living room floor. hope that amniotic fluid makes a good floor polish. as predicted, really horrible awful contractions start to taper off a bit. instead of engaging in conversation through the contractions, i “prove” i can still talk by reciting warmup exercises from theatre. “What a to-do” gets me mostly through each contraction if i take it slow. consider switching to sonnet 116.

8:30ish – arrive home via morning rush-hour traffic. sleep. it is difficult at first, but then comes easier. get up every couple of hours to pee, drink water, feel these fun contractions. faux-show tapers off to normal post-inspection style. have lots of dreams where i’m carrying heavy things and assume they’re coinciding with contractions.

now – heading to lion’s choice for “breakfast.” still contracting fairly regularly, but it doesn’t even interrupt typing, much less walking or talking. :)

week 40: Labor day?

Monday, November 5th, 2007

So….

the last … 3 contractions have been less than 10 minutes apart and all not-weak. still not something i can’t walk/talk through, but strongest yet, certainly. long enough that i can feel them start, peak, and back off, which is pretty new, too. before that we had a run of 15ish minute deals, with varying intensities.

i think this might be the start of “it” :)

i have one concern right now: charlotte. (i mean, duh, but a specific charlotte-related concern) she seems a little freaked out. not in a frantic “call the doctor if the baby is in distress” sort of way (which, btw, is complete bullshit. how do you know that?!). she’s just sort of squirmy. even if i’m totally projecting, it bothers me that i can’t tell her it’s going to be okay. that i know she’s freaked about what’s going on, but it’s supposed to happen and that it will all be over very soon, and that it has to happen and that it’s for the best.

anyway, this is my version of nervous chatter that i can’t really do right now because ryan’s in the shower (i just got out), and i’m probably just past the point of being able to nervous chatter anyway. only my fingers are capable at this point.

back to the game!

week 40: the stupidest day yet

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

so…what’d you do today?

know what i did? i sat on the couch, almost entirely engrossed in a video game next to my husband who was doing the exact same thing. occasionally we’d get up to eat or do laundry or something. sounds like an idyllic sunday, right? (okay, maybe video games aren’t your thing, but you’ve got a thing you’d love doing all day on a sunday instead of being productive)

it was not.

through out the day, every 30 minutes or so, but with a few hour long breaks, i’d have a contraction. sometimes they were weak, sometimes they were not-so-weak. sometimes they’d be 20 minutes apart for a while, sometimes almost 40. they were never bad enough that i had to stop talking or anything. none that were as bad as one i had a few days ago, but for the last … 2 hours or so they’ve been consistently … not-so-weak.

we even had a two hour period where nothing was happening, and then we realized that nothing was happening. not even a peep from charlotte herself. after calming down and waiting patiently/rationally for some sign, she eventually woke up (i’m sure she was tired, too), and moved around enough to calm me down. i’m still not sure ryan’s calm about it.

waiting like this it is the dumbest thing. we’ve had days where there’s been 2-3 hours or so of this. we’ve had nights where we’ve given up and gone to bed in hopes that i wake up screaming in pain or with a ruined set of sheets (don’t worry, the mattress is protected). we’ve not had an entire day where we’ve been teased this mercilessly.

today is the official “due date” and it’s 10:30pm. there had better not be a baby born today, but i sure would like to be going to the hospital before the day’s officially over. neither one of us is interested in going to bed until this either dies down for a few hours, or it’s obvious we’re going to go someplace. i can’t imagine waking up tomorrow and sending ryan to work, if tomorrow’s going to be anything like today was, and i suspect it will.