Archive for the ‘post-partum’ 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…)

baby week 5: healthy lungs

Monday, December 17th, 2007

so, she cries a lot. i worry that there’s something wrong, since she doesn’t exactly fit the perfect pattern of colic, but i think it’s still colic. she cries about an hour to 90 minutes after probably 2/3 of her feedings. there isn’t any discernible pattern based on what i’ve eaten, although i’ve taken tomatoes out of my diet after learning that both my cousin and i had problems with them, as did our grandmother. most of the time she can sleep through the bad phase, but not always. most of the time a walk around our apartment to look at the lights will distract her into quietness, but not always. i think that’s the “symptom” that has me most convinced it’s either colic or some other “not a big deal” thing (which is really what colic is — a catch all for unexplainable crying that generally goes away after a while). i remind myself when i can’t stand to hear her scream that if it was a terrible thing, pretty lights wouldn’t distract her, nor would rhythmic thumping on her back.

sometimes the crying lasts until we feed her again (and often through the feeding), sometimes she’ll cry herself to sleep, and sometimes a pacifier works. the joke in the house the past few days is that the 17th thing you try is the one that’s going to work. sadly, the pattern seems to be holding. 

swaddling used to be a great solution to the fussy/crying, but she’s learned how to avoid swaddling. the girl has some seriously strong legs. some days she’s so anti-swaddling that any time you set her on her back (to change, to swing, or to cradle in your arms), she starts howling. this may also be belly related. i know when i’ve got bad acid issues, the last place i want to be is on my back. the best way we’ve found to trick her into swaddling is to feed her into a food-coma, burp her quickly and then wrap her up before the fog lifts. of course, dumping a breast’s worth of food in her belly pretty much guarantees that within a couple of hours, we’re going to have to de-swaddle.

they say that colic “peaks” around 6 weeks old, and we’ve definitely seen an up-kick in intensity and duration the past few days. here’s hoping the peak happens soon. 

other approaching milestones are on the horizon as well. she’s learning how to twist her body, which makes changing more difficult, but means that intentional turning over is going to happen soon. at least, once she figures out that twisting is good for more than just demonstrating displeasure when she’s being lifted by her ankles. when she’s not screaming and not sucking on a pacifier, she’s definitely cooing. she can make a few different sounds now, and we’re both consciously repeating them back to her, and also engaging her in a “conversation” when she does it. i haven’t noticed her recognizing me or ryan yet, but it seems that when she’s fussing in her crib and i call out to her to let her know i’m on my way, she calms a bit. she may just be taking a breath. she can see much farther than before as well, which means no more looming over the crib to see if she’s asleep. our presence on the edges seems to disturb her awake. it means she’s much more interested in her toys and swings and such, which has been very useful for entertaining her in this brief moments when she’s awake and not angry at the world ;)

and then there’s the smiling thing. while some people have insisted that she’s been smiling for weeks, i’ve yet to see anything that i’m 100% confident is a true smile. she’s getting quite close though. today while we were on the changing table (her favorite place to hang out and coo) she seemed to be enjoying herself while i cooed and tickled and smiled at her. i certainly had her attention some of the time and her face (lips included) was twitching as if she was trying to do something intentional, but without really knowing what or how to accomplish it.

breastfeeding is still going well. i’m struggling to find opportunities to pump. on some mornings when i’m feeling particularly “full” and she’s complying by sleeping in, i’ll pump a decent amount. the trouble is that for the rest of the day, i feel a bit empty and i worry that she’s not getting enough. logic (and dirty diapers) tells me that she is, but it still worries me.

she’s had a bottle a few times this past week, and gets some quality time with the pacifier almost every day, but i’m quite pleased to report that the breast is still her favorite. every so often it takes her a few sucks longer to get going, but the reinforcement of the let-down seems to be combatting the bottle and the paci just fine.

she’s had quite a few outings thanks to the colic. since the carseat and a drive are often the easiest solutions to her attitude, hopping in the car to head to drive through dinner, the mall, or some other shopping destination has been a sanity-saving solution. i’ve become quite a pro at breast-feeding in the back of the car while ryan watches over us in parking lots. i just wish it weren’t so cold/nasty outside so that we could take some afternoon walks.

and then there’s me, i suppose. i’m learning and trying my best to remember that i’m not just at home and have to tend to a baby, but that the baby is my job right now. it makes me more focused on actively interacting with her and making sure i’m doing things to encourage her development. i struggle on occasion with feeling normal. even though we go “out” most nights, i go from loft to garage to building and back again. i’m never really outside, and never far enough “away” from charlotte to feel like i’ve gotten a break. sadly, even when ryan is “in charge” of her, i can’t shake it. it’s not until i do something that is a physical separation that i even realize i was missing it. then again, when i go more than a couple of hours without holding her (either because we’re running errands or because we’re visiting with folks who won’t put her down) i miss having her in my arms. i think there really is something to that whole bonding/hormone thing ;)

speaking of, i’m going to start back at work after the new year. there’s still some kinks/details that need to be worked out, like how much i’ll be working and exactly what i’ll be doing, but it’s pretty much a done deal. i’m looking forward to the opportunities for “normal”, even if it is work stress, but i’m also a bit worried about being away from her on a regular basis, especially when i start working 8 hour days. fortunately, my commute is about 15 minutes on foot, so i won’t be gone for more than 9ish hours at a stretch. i could easily even see her on my lunch breaks if i need a fix.

this is a really rambling, disorganized post with no real “end.” i blame the mush of watching too much television and the new-mother fatigue that makes me not care enough to muster the energy to fix it :)

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!

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.

looking ahead

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

things i’m looking forward to once the pregnancy is over …besides the standard “having my daughter, being a mom, etc” stuff, which is also all true, but i’m talking mostly about all the “me” stuff.

  • sleeping on my back –haven’t done this since april-ish. i’m not actually much of a fan of back sleeping. it leads to snoring and sleep paralysis, but i’m so done with side-sleeping.
  • sleeping on my stomach –where i actually want to be sleeping, although i suspect breastfeeding will continue to make this uncomfortable for a while.
  • less acne –this is thankfully already starting to fade. i think that means my progesterone levels are starting to drop, which is a cool thing because less progesterone means labor is on it’s way
  • no more moles and skin tabs –i may have lucked out in many departments, but omg, did my skin freak out.
  • finding out how much i weigh a week later. –due to starting overweight (borderline obese, actually), making some fundamental eating habit changes (no fake stuff, hella water, better balanced diet, etc), and generally lucking out, i haven’t gained all that much weight. i think i’m going to end up weighing less a week after i’m done than i did before i started.
  • being able to get in and out of cars/bed/chairs/couches without needing help
  • being able to bend over and pick something up without needing help
  • alcohol –man do i miss wine. and vodka. and rum. i plan on using the “pump and dump” and “if you’re sober, so are your boobs” methods so nobody needs to worry about charlotte.
  • *not* having an alien in my belly –oh sure, i’ll probably miss it when she’s free, but charlotte didn’t read the “after the 37th week, the baby’s movements become limited” note. less room seems to simply mean i can feel it when she blinks. and it *hurts*.
  • getting off the couch –i’m sure i’ll miss the days when i could sit down for more than 5 minutes at a time, but right now, i’m kinda over “limited activity.”
  • my old clothes –or, buying new, non-maternity clothes because my old clothes don’t fit anymore ;)
  • my old shoes — please god, let my feet de-expand a bit so i can still wear them
  • breastfeeding –since this is the “me” list and not the “motherhood” list, i’ll just point out the 500ish calories a day bit ;)

and finally: being on the other side. even now, 37+ weeks into the whole thing, i’m still leading up to something. leading up to labor. leading up to a body that’s been ravaged by labor. once that’s passed, i’ll be on my way down. back to normal. less brand new unknowns (about my body, anyway) and more going back to normal. the walk back is always easier than the walk to, since you know where you’re going on the way back. oh sure, breastfeeding’s going to open up a whole realm of new fun, but after the first few weeks, even that becomes routine.

don’t get me wrong. it’s been a crazy, fascinating trip, and i’ve done a lot more mental documenting than i’ve had opportunity to do on this blog, but there’s so much about being me that i’ve forgotten about, since i’ve been the pregnant version of me for so very long.

i’m looking forward to finding her again, and seeing what she’s like as a mom. (aw, see, i did get a little sappy there at the end)