Archive for the ‘obsessing’ Category

Baby Elliott: The Last Pre-Partum Post

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I’m being induced tonight.

I’m being induced tonight.

I’m being induced to– Nope. No matter how many times I see/say/think it. It still doesn’t feel real. (more…)

Week 35: “Are You Ready Yet?”

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I am not squeamish. I do not shy away from stories about pregnancies/labor where things have gone horribly wrong just because i’m pregnant and it might “jinx” something. i may jokingly cover my belly when someone talks about colic or other new-baby drama, but i don’t really think they’re giving Elliott any ideas. you can pretty much talk about any aspect of pregnancy/parenthood around me and i’m cool with it.

what i’m not cool with is any version of the following question/comment: (more…)

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Friday, April 30th, 2010

This past weekend, a few of my mom’s friends threw a shower/celebration for Elliott. I know what you may be thinking: A shower? For a second baby? It happens, especially if Baby 2 is a different gender than Baby 1. It’s basically an excuse for a group of women to get together and drink sangria and pina coladas and give Elliott the things they would have bought for him anyway. The crowd was limited to friends and family who would enjoy the occasion and for whom I wouldn’t blink an eye about attending a “second baby shower” for, either.

It was pretty fun as far as showers go. (more…)

breastfeeding: 3 months in

Monday, February 4th, 2008

i think the question of which is easier, breastfeeding or formula is pretty much a wash. i’m sure if you handed a breast to someone who’d been formula feeding they’d marvel at how there’s no cans to buy and no bottles to wash and it’s always right there when you want it. by the same token, all you have to do with formula is mix it up and go, plus you always know how much she’s eating and anyone can do it anywhere you go. plus, while breastfeeding seems normal, feeding her from a bottle seems all special.

i’m struggling with staying motivated to breastfeed. every time someone is surprised or unexpectedly impressed with the fact that i’m still doing it, what i hear is “nobody expects you to still be doing it.” even my aunt, who breastfed for over a year with her children, had assumed i had stopped by now.

i broke a few “rules” of breastfeeding. we use a pacifier to …well, pacify her. we probably wouldn’t have ever started, but thanks to colic, it was pretty much a necessity to keep us sane and her free from unnecessary distress. we use it less often now, but still a few times a day. charlotte also gets fed from a bottle on average once a day or more. usually this comes in 2-3 bottles/day shifts while i’m at work, so she has days where almost half of her meals come from a bottle. add that to the pacifier usage, and even though she’s well past the age where nipple confusion is a risk, she’s getting a bit lazy when faced with the challenge of a breast instead of a bottle. it’s something we can work around/through, but it means breastfeeding is becoming more work instead of less.

and then there’s the cardinal rule of breastfeeding survival that we broke: we’re supplementing with formula. i cannot tell you how many times i’ve read/heard the warnings against the evil powder and how i should put any formula samples under lock and key so that i’m not tempted during a weak moment.

basically, i was faced with a choice. either i’m attached to a breastpump or a baby for a very large portion of some of my days, or we trade out a meal or two a day with formula. even if she was only drinking breastmilk, pumping messes with supply. it’s manageable, but it’s rough. if it was just an inconvenience for me, it would be one thing, but with all the drama about her size, the stress of making sure i was producing enough would be my undoing.

well, thanks to enfamil dropping a few sample cans of formula on our doorstep, the choice became even easier to make. by my calculations, we’ll run out of formula sometime in april…when she’s almost 6 months old and likely ready to start transitioning to solids anyway. to get her acclimated, we’ve started giving her about 2 meals a week (4oz each) with formula, and i’ve encouraged her babysitters to give her a formula “snack” if she eats through the breastmilk before we get home and she’s very hungry. it’s all been in prep for my full days at work, which start this week.

i still want to breastfeed as much as possible until she’s 6 months at least, but i know that the more we supplement, the more difficult it will be to keep supply going long term, and “going back to work” is another key period where it gets extra challenging. i’m also self-aware enough that i’m probably doing a bit of pre-sabotage to try and control when i stop breastfeeding instead of having it fade on me when i’m not prepared.

i suppose i just need to keep focused on why this was the best choice for our family, and remember that buying formula, bottle maintenance, and most importantly, losing that bond are things i don’t really want to do yet.

baby week 9: digestion “issues”

Monday, January 14th, 2008

the internet tells me that babies that are breast-fed exclusively may not poop for days at a time. this is because breast milk is so “perfect” that most of it is used up, leaving little for waste, aka poop. while the expert articles suggest that 5-7 days is normal, the anecdotal evidence in the articles’ comments mention 10+ days to more than 2 weeks as being perfectly healthy.

since about new year’s day, charlotte’s pooping habits changed. instead of almost always going (every diaper change was both wet and dirty), it was like someone fixed the leaky faucet. she’d go once, maybe twice a day, sometimes 36 hours between poops and the rest of her diapers would be wet but clean. then the big break happened. charlotte pooped last saturday night (1/5) and again the next morning. then she went on a poop strike. on thursday i called the pediatrician. i wanted some verbal confirmation that the internet and its experts weren’t lying to me. the nurse said that it was perfectly normal since she was happy and eating regularly. she told me to call back on monday (today) if she still hadn’t gone, but that they would likely just tell me to keep watching her if she was still happy and healthy.

so we waited and she farted (super-stinky farts) with increasing regularity. saturday night (day 6ish of the poop-strike), she demonstrated that everything was still working by dropping a dime-sized amount. then nothing. had the nurse not told me she wasn’t going to be concerned and if we didn’t have an appt. on thursday already, i might have called today. as it was, i didn’t have to.

there we were, minding our own business, playing “how strong is my neck” (pulling her into a sitting position slowly by her arms) and the poop-strike was over. she of course gave no indication that anything different was going on, and would have been content to keep playing, regardless of how leaky she’d become. one very dirty diaper, several wipes, an impromptu second bath, and a new onesie later and she was happy as a clam. i also changed clothes.

as if we weren’t having enough fun, we’re fairly certain she’s on the cusp of teething as well. she has two bumps in her mouth where her lower canines might grow. when you rub them, she clamps down on your finger and is content. when she’s cranky at night (a different sort of cranky than colic), she’s content about 10 minutes after you give her a shot of tylenol.

we have a doctor’s appointment on thursday to verify that she’s gaining weight steadily enough. i’m glad she pooped today instead of closer to the appointment. it’ll give us time to fill her back up ;)

baby checkup: 2 months

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

okay, so she’s not 2 months until tuesday, but she had her two-month checkup today, so it still counts.

charlotte continues to be healthy. we chatted about various things like developmental milestones, cradle cap, dry skin, and the fact that she kicks like a fiend. the doctor assured us that she was perfectly normal. she also doesn’t have pink eye. which makes one of us ;)

she’s of average length (22.25 inches), but a bit small (9lbs 12 oz). we’re hitting all the numbers (feedings, dirty/wet diapers), but since she hasn’t gained weight as rapidly since the last appointment as she had for the two before this one, there’s some slight concern. it’s likely that the last week’s bought of sickness on my part has caused some of this. turns out dehydrated mommies don’t make all that much milk. we’ll be going back in a couple of weeks to make sure that she’s still growing at a decent clip.

in the mean time, we’re going to make some slight adjustments to her feedings. she’s been averaging about 6 – 8 feedings a day, but when she gets fussy between feedings, we distract her with other things instead of giving her a boob (which *always* works, at least while she’s attached). we’re going to stop doing that from now on, at least when i’m around. i’m also going to always offer both boobs at each feeding, no matter how sated she looks after draining the first one. i stopped writing down all the ins and outs early last month, but i’m going to start it up again, just to prove to me that we’re still on track.

then it came time for the vaccines. one by mouth (with a bit of tylenol to start us off), went very smoothly. i wasn’t too surprised. she’s easily distractible by new/different sensations, especially in her mouth (vitamins, gas drops, etc). then there were shots. two in each thigh in very rapid succession. while it was happening, charlotte and i had a good talk about how they hurt, but it was okay, and they were good for her, so it needed to be done. i’m not sure how much she understood, but it certainly made me feel better. she let out a few cries after the shock of all 4 shots was over that hit completely new pitches and volume levels, but that was about it. she fell asleep before we had made it back to the waiting room to schedule her new appointments. perhaps the colic has taught us how to soothe her quickly, and taught her that pain is temporary and she’ll be fine soon. she slept until we got home and cried a bit more when she woke up. once she had food, however, she stopped caring again.

she’s not any more fussy than she normally is as far as duration or tone, but the intensity of the wails is a bit sharper this evening. it’s like she’s maximizing the capacity of her newfound range. her legs seem a wee bit swollen, but i think that’s largely my imagination.

it’s odd, really, and a bit anticlimactic after all the “just you wait” warnings we’ve received from all of our baby-having friends. i expected all of us to be much more upset over the whole thing.

maybe at her 4-month set?

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!