Wednesday, October 31, 2007

my super powers

Little D has been fussy all day long-and I have no idea why. Which is so incredibly frustrating, you know? I just want him to be happy so when the boobs don't work, I'm sad. They make milk! They sustain my precious little rhino! Doesn't that mean that I have super powers? Super powers that have not been at their peak today. So he's still fussy and I have no idea why. sigh.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

he laughs!

I was sitting here marveling at my ability to breastfeed and still have both hands to type when the little guy finished and I could unwind my legs from their crazy contortions. Yay to me, though, right? Very proud of myself right now.

Anyhow, there he was laying in my lap, sleeping the sleep of the full stomach baby-you know the one-open mouth drooling, breathing deep, arms akimbo-and he laughed! As in "heh-heh-heh." It wasn't all too audible but there was a huge grin on his face and a slight escape of breath. I am amazed! He laughs!
And the laughing is much better than the all-night grunting. Is it gas, I wonder? Whatever it is I find myself awake and sitting up, away from the cozy covers of the bed way too often to find him still asleep and not ready for feeding. Two hours of sleep only to wake up to find him and the DH still asleep? Ugh. Is it sad that I'm learning to love three hour stretches of sleep? Mmmm....sleep.

On another note J goes back to work tomorrow. And I officially start my time as a stay at home mommy. Holy poopie diapers, Batman! It's something I knew would come but it still feels too soon to begin. Will I be ok? What'll I do? How does this SAHM-ness work? And WHERE are the other moms around here, because I could use a few mom-friends to share horror stories about exploding diapers and gassy nights. Who else would appreciate hearing about little Rhino's enormous toots and burps? Or celebrate the fact that I got more than 4 hours of sleep in the night?

Will have to search for moms tomorrow. Right now the little Rhino and I are going to pretend to get some sleep. Ok, he'll sleep. I'll just try.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

welcome baby d

welcome home
baby d
october 5th
4:45 am
6 pounds
7 ounces

October 4: J and I loaded up the car Thursday afternoon with our two pillows, suitcase, purple bouncy exercise ball, and a canvas bag filled with things to pass the night away. See, were were thinking that Thursday night would be slow and incredibly boring-seeing as I wasn't going to start the Pitocin drip until Friday morning. (The Pitocin drip, for those of you not in the know, was what would start the contractions.) Thursday night was for "ripening my cervix." That's what they said-like I'm a plum. So my plum butt was ready for a slow night.

We got to the hospital late-blamed it on traffic-and were filling out paperwork when my Dr. walked into the office looking for us. It took another hour to get settled into the labor and delivery room-which was gorgeous, really-hardwood floors, dim lighting, and a nice couch for the helpers-which J didn't get to enjoy but the at least the option was there. I undressed and put on the horrid hospital gown, plum butt waving in the wind, and sat on the bed and got hooked up on both of the monitors and the IV. With so much attached to me I was worried that I wouldn't have the freedom of movement I wanted if anything started. But, hey, nothing was going to happen until the next morning, right?

I was given the pill that would "ripen" me up and J and I sat about watching TV and joking like we do. We were nervous and excited but relieved that we had at last started our labor. About an hour after the tiny, tiny white pill I started to feel some small contractions-nothing big or scary but enough to make me pause a bit. Still, in the back of my head I had the feeling they would just go away. So I was scared they would end but excited to start feeling something-anything! Truth be told I made a deal with my body that if it was ready I was rearing to go. And it seemed like I was ready.

Four hours after the pill I was dilated to 5 cm. Another two hours after that I was at 10 cm. That's right, people, six hours from 0, zero, zilch, nada to 10. On the monitor recording my contractions I remember seeing them go from three minutes apart to mere seconds. I also remember crying out about needing more time in between them. Otherwise I was pretty quiet, it was very much an internal struggle. Definitely like nothing I've ever experienced and like nothing I can think of. I will say that at one point I just had to focus on the moment and whatever would help me get through the next contraction. Everything else fell away from thought. It was just me, J, and the contractions.

It helped to march, of all things, not sure why. It wasn't something we learned in our Childbirth ed. classes but it felt right and good to march. March from the bathroom door to the bed, march next to the bed, march in the shower, just march. By marching, swaying while holding onto J's back and using this counting and breathing technique we learned in our classes I got through most of the labor sans meds. It was at the point when I was watching my contractions go from a minute apart to a few seconds and they weren't letting up that I started to think about the epidural. I have to say that J and the nurse were great-they never once pushed the epidural on me. J said later that I looked like I was dying and I know he was worried. He was, I have to say, absolutely wonderful, better than wonderful. Supportive and loving and always at my side-like always. He held my hand, swayed with me, stood in the bathroom and held the IV while I marched in the shower, and didn't say a thing when I pooped during pushing.

That's right. Poop. In front of people. I admit this was something I was dreading-the embarrassment! The horror! Truth is I didn't even notice. I think I saw myself poop in the mirror while I was pushing and I remember looking over at J and apologizing-damn my politeness. But I was pushing so, gosh darnit, who cares? I pushed for over an hour before I stopped because D's heartbeat was falling with every contraction. The nurse tried putting me on my left side, my right side, and back again but it wasn't helping and his heartbeat continued to fall with every push. He was also face up and still had to get through the smallest part of my pelvis so the Dr. on call felt it would be safer for the baby if we had a c-section. Turns out he also had the umbilical cord around his neck. At the time I just wanted him to be ok and after looking at J for reassurance we agreed. Now I wonder how often this happens, and if we really needed to-but what's done is done and, like I said before, I just wanted us all to come out of this healthy and happy. No use thinking about, or feeling bad about, what we thought was best at the time. And I refuse to feel bad about it.

Half an hour later we were in the operating room listening to the troop of people chat and crack jokes and ask about each other's weekend plans, all the while some adult contemporary radio station played Dido. J was told he had to sit on this stool, in case he decided to faint we guess, and a few minutes later there was D. He cried the second he was out-a sound I will never forget and will always cherish. From that moment on all I wanted, with everything in my being, was to see and hold him. J walked to the corner where they cleaned him up, weighed and measured him, and went with him to the nursery for the short time they had him there. I was put back together and carted to the post-op room where the nurse kept asking me if I could move my legs yet and I kept willing my little toes to move. J came in a few times with pictures on his iPhone and I kept pining to hold D. Finally! The nurse said they could bring him in and there he was-I admit it, I cried. He's beautiful. How could I not?

And such a serious face, too! We stayed at the hospital for four days while we both recovered. I was ready to go home the next day but oh well. It wasn't my favorite time, but I'm incredibly thankful to all the great nurses at St. Joe's who helped me out while I was there. And after a bad day of jaundice we got to take D home.

The first two weeks have been tiring and fantastic. My Mom was here and was an enormous help the first week and a half; she cooked, she cleaned, and was supportive of everything we were doing. She was so terrific I cried several times in a hormone induced sadness when I thought about her leaving. I'm still sad she's not here. So I end up calling and emailing her a lot instead.

D's wonderful, so it helps when the absolute terror that this little being is in our charge hits me. We've had a few scares: jaundice at the hospital and the day D pulled off his umbilical cord, but otherwise our lives has simply become a cycle of nursing, pooping and sleeping. And that's pretty great.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

come out baby, come out!

My grand plans of inducing naturally? No such luck so far. Ok, so watching the Top Chef marathon all afternoon wasn't part of the list, but it was distracting fun. Now we have until tomorrow afternoon to try to get this baby out on his own but I have the feeling he's perfectly happy where he is, thank you. And if he stays where he is, like I'm sure he will, we'll be on our way to the hospital at 4:30 to start the labor. I kept telling myself that I didn't want to be induced and here we are at the tail end of this pregnancy, about to be induced. It's kind of a let down, not having the surprise of my water breaking in the middle of the grocery store or the hours staying at home to labor in relative comfort. But I don't want this one glitch to ruin my ideal of a good birth. I think as long as the baby and I come out healthy and happy, it was a good birth. At least, that's my most important goal now: a happy healthy baby and a happy healthy Momma. Now if I can only distract myself enough to not be so damned nervous about going in to the hospital tomorrow. I hate not knowing what to expect! Ack! Do I really have to go?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hi there! How are ya?

I spent the day waiting. Waiting for the rocking chair we ordered. Waiting for phone calls. And the BIG WAIT-Waiting for the baby to decide he wants out. Sure we're only two days overdue, no big deal; but we're scheduled to be induced on Thursday so I would love it if the little guy decided to speed things up naturally before then.

How I've tried to lure the baby out:

-bouncing on the exercise ball
-visualizing my body expanding and opening up

Kind of gross, right? The only bad thing about visualizing the birth is that it usually ends with a cartoon like explosion. It doesn't help that Jim adds sound effects. Eh, makes me laugh at least, and I can use that. It's better than worrying that the baby isn't moving enough, or that my low amniotic fluid levels will lead to complications during the actual birth, or the fact that we're having a baby this week! People! I only have a few more days to worry about him inside before he comes out and I start the worry from the outside! haha

If you've been pregnant yourself you'll see all the worry that's heaped on you by books, friends, family or even random strangers on the street. It can be hard to shrug it off when everyone and everything is telling you to be afraid of, well, everything. I've done a good job ignoring most of the craziness, but my own worrying is still there. My goal for the next few days? I need to relax.