Thursday, February 28, 2008
What is also startling about changing a girl is when she pees on the table. Penises just shoot at you so it has taken me by surprise several times when she has peed on the table. "Hey, that's weird. What's all that water? Hey..." She's done this every couple of days since birth and it STILL surprises me.
Speaking of girl parts, Andy is fascinated with my "bleasts." When I'm nursing Meg or pumping, he really wants to come and stare at my chest. I am trying to play it cool and use real terms in the hopes he'll leave me alone, but I'll admit, as natural as it is, I do find it a little creepy.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The big drama last week was she had a couple of days of being really fussy/gassy. After talking with Maria who is helping us as nights, she diagnosed the problem as broccoli I had eaten earlier. I never eat broccoli, but it was in a casserole someone brought by (I love that people bring food. What a great gift! Now if I could just keep the big boys from eating is all.) After the broccoli episode on Thursday, Meg had a much better day on Friday. Serves me right for eating something green.
In the past month, I've gotten better about handling two kids at once. I marvel to think how really big families with five plus kids handle things because two just seems overwhelming sometimes. I slowly figuring out how to prioritize when both kids desperately (it seems) need something.
I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do about daycare and work. I have Meg tentatively down for a spot at a school affiliated with Andy's. I really liked the baby room, but the downside is it's a separate facility a 1/2 mile away meaning I'd have to make two separate stops. Not the end of the world, but not ideal. They also don't have a spot available until June when I really need something in May. Some soccer friends take their kids to a KinderCare around the corner and really like it (one family likes it so much they commute from Mt. Vernon to Burke every day). The downside there is that of the four kids we know who go there, they are aged four and two so Andy wouldn't walk in with friends in his class. The upside is it's really close to the house. I also want to investigate some in home care and possibly even a nanny. I would worry that Andy would be bored staying home with someone and the baby all day, but if it were the right person with the right outlook (and price), I would be persuaded.
Of course, in my sleep deprivation/getting through the day sane mode, I haven't followed up on any of this. Or scheduled Meg's six week check-up. Or scheduled my own six week check-up. Next week, hopefully.
Picture is of Andy's new house in the backyard, compliments of a neighbor who gave us first dibs before she offered it on Freecycle. We also ended up with a big plastic slide adding to the menagerie of plastic objects in our backyard.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
In her alert periods, I'm trying to remember what to do with an awake infant other than carry her around all day (her preference, not my back's). It turns out she likes her mobile and her little occasionally crossed eyes can now follow the animals for a bit. Andy also really likes the mobile and always wants to climb into the crib with her. Bjorn (foolishly, in my mind) taught him now to put his feet into the slats of the crib so now he knows how to do it. I am already envisioning a time when we move her to her crib full-time when he climbs in when we're not around and either hurts her while trying to hug her or falls out of the crib and cracks open his head. Yes, I do worry a lot.
Andy has generally been good about Meg, but I'm finding that if I am stuck nursing her for an hour in the evening, he finds that to be a great time to play with the electrical outlets or other off limit item despite my ever louder chorus of, "Andy, leave that alone. ANDY, put that down! I mean it, NOW, do you want to sit in time out? Please, I beg you, Mommy is stuck, just put that down already."
Meanwhile, keep this little baby who is exactly the same age as Meg in your thoughts. She's undergoing another surgery today. Yikes.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Andy had his three year check-up with the doctor yesterday. He weighs 33 pounds and is 37 3/4 inches tall, 75th percentile for weight and 50th for height. He passed all the motor skills and language challenges Dr. Staats posed him (as he flirted with her by showing his gymnastic moves while wearing only a pull-up and his green socks). They also asked him to pee in a cup. It seemed like an odd challenge to a kid who can't regularly pee in the toilet, but I took him into the bathroom and he surprised me by performing. Now, naturally after getting so much praise, he wants to pee in a cup at home, too. They also screened him for anemia and cholesterol. I was surprised by the cholesterol test, but apparently some kids have bad diets and need the early monitoring. He passed both tests with flying colors, scoring a 95 on the cholesterol test (under 150 is considered good, apparently).
To no surprise, Meg's sleeping continues to be a challenge. I actually don't mind getting up to do a super early morning feeding, it's when she refuses to go back to sleep afterwards that I wish I were dead. The smartest thing I have done this time around is hire a night nanny to come twice a week to help out. A friend recommended a woman who is a full-time nanny during the week, but who loves babies so she picks up some evening work taking care of newborns overnight. Maria has only been twice, but it's amazing the difference is makes to know that twice a week, I'll get a good night's sleep. Maria will give Meg one of the feedings and then wake me for the second so my boobs don't explode. She'll also do all the changing and rocking back to sleep. She's not cheap, but I figure my sanity is worth it. If only I were Christina Aguilera and could afford a 24/7 baby nurse. No wonder these silly celebrities talk about loving having a newborn since they have help that takes care of the baby while they go to premieres along with a personal trainer and chef.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Speaking of sleeping, Meg is waking up at least three times a night lately and sometimes more. The hardest is when I get up to feed her and then she doesn't want to go back to sleep after that. Bjorn has been a big help on that front as a few times I've had to hand her off after an hour or more trying to get her down. He's done the same a few times after he's gotten up to give her a bottle and then had her refuse to go back to sleep. We're working on trying to find some pattern to the madness, but every night is a new and different challenge, that's for sure.
Despite the sleep deprivation and maniacal crying she gives in the car periodically, it has been really special having a new baby again. She still has that new baby smell in her hair (which is sticking straight up after her bath earlier this week) and I just love it when she sleeps on my chest. She's not officially smiling back yet, but she's been flashing me a few test smiles and they do make up for a lot, like her tendancy to pee on the diaper table just after I've put on a new diaper and outfit.
Andy seems to have hit a growth spurt in his language development, which is good and bad. His new favorite word is "why" which accompanies just about every conversation. He has also developed some more advanced reasoning. He now tries to negotiate if he's not getting what he wants and even tries going to Dad if Mom doesn't work. Again, also good and bad. The hardest part of where he is right now is that he's getting stingy with the hugs. I almost have to tackle him to get a hug out of him these days. Little bugger.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
We soon met our fabulous L&D nurse Kelly who would spend the next 12 hours getting to know us really well. I changed into my gown, which naturally made me look thin and svelte. Kelly then spent the next hour going over my medical history and forms for us to sign. She also got me hooked up to an IV and generally got me prepped for my doctor who came in about 8:30 p.m. We chatted for a bit and she gave me a painful exam. She deemed that I was only 2-3 centimeters dialated, not the 3-4 that my other doctor had declared me just that morning, but I wasn't too surprised as I'd heard from friends that my first doctor is a little generous with the centimeters. She then hooked me up to a little pitocin to help get labor started for real.
The contractions started off quite mild so we watched some bad TV, cursing the writer's strike and the fact that is was a Friday night so there wasn't even a college basketball game on to mindlessly watch. After about an hour, my doctor came back in, performed another painful exam and declared me officially at 3 cm dialated. She offered the epidural then, saying it would take about 20-30 minutes to page the anesthesiologist and get one in place once I called for it. By then, they had upped the pitocin a bit so it was starting to feel less comfortable and I could imagine how it would be in an hour so I asked for the epidural. By then, it was probably 10:30 p.m. The epidural hurt worse than I remembered last time, but then, last time I had endured the pain of getting to transitional labor of 5-6 cm so the stick in my back was less noticable. The anesthesiologist also had a rather sour personality so I wasn't sad to see him go. The best part of this epidural was it came with a button that I could push every 10 minutes to give myself a bolus of pain medicine. I didn't need it then, but I sure would later.
About 11 p.m., the contractions started to get more intense (or so I could see on the monitor, I couldn't really feel them). The other thing I noticed was the pain medicine was making me really itchy. Apparently Virginia Hospital Center's type of epidural includes a morphine-based pain killer that can make people itchy. They gave me a Benadryl intravenously to control the itching, which also made me really sleepy. It was sort of surreal to be in labor and be nodding off in the middle.
At mightnight-ish, my doctor came in to check again and I was at about 4 cm and was progressing on schedule for a delivery, she predicted, at around 6 or 7 in the morning. I was generally feeling okay, just sleepy except for a pain in my arm. Nurse Kelly had tried unsuccesfully in the beginning to find a vein in my left arm and was met with resistence so she had to try the right arm. Unfortunately, that really bruised my arm which hurt every 15 minutes when they took blood pressure.
At the 1:30 a.m. check, my doctor was stunned to find that in an hour, I had gone from 4 cm to 9 cm. That meant that in another 30 minutes to an hour, I'd be ready to push. Bjorn and I were definitely getting excited that it was going to be sooner rather than later. Immediately after that, the different nurses came in to set up a surgical table with all the surgical instruments. I began to think this baby was going to come rather quickly, but instead it took probably an hour to get all the way to 10 and to have everything prepped and ready, including my doctor putting on special disposable scrubs to cover her legs, shoes, head and torso. I must say that it's a little unnerving to watch your doctor cover herself in waders to protect herself from all the blood that is going to come.
The idea was to let me get as close to delivering the baby on my own as possible with just the contractions alone so that when the time came to push, it wouldn't be so difficult. In preparation for the pushing, I began to hit the bolus every 10 minutes regardless of if I felt any pain. With Andy, I felt a lot of pain through the 2 1/2 hours of pushing so I was hoping to stock up on the anesthesia to avoid that. I did a really good job though because when they finally did tell me to push, I was so numb I couldn't really tell what I was doing or pushing. I just did what they told me and that seemed to work.
I pushed for about 15 minutes and was starting to get really tired when my doctor was paged. She gave me a couple of minutes to catch my breath, which was the best thing for me. When she came back in about 5 minutes later, all it took was another 5-10 minutes of pushing and Meg was born at 3:09 a.m. They immediately put her on my chest and we were in awe. She just looked so big and healthy and at the same time so small and perfect. She was also completely covered in the white vernix. After a couple of minutes, they took her away to wash her, weigh her and give her a quick exam. It was then that I sent Bjorn over to make sure she really was a girl and that she did indeed have 10 fingers and 10 toes.
It was a pretty overwhelming moment. We were just so happy and relieved that she was perfect. And that labor was over and everything had turned out well. I had worried off and on that while I'd had a million prenatal tests, you just don't know about all the stuff that can go wrong until it you get there. We kept saying grateful we were to be so lucky.
P.S. Blogger spell check is not working so I apologize for any obvious typos that I can't seem to see.
I asked Andy to pick out shoes to wear to the park and this is what he brought me. He looked like a good German boy with his sandals, pants and green socks.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Today Bjorn took her for her doctor's appointment where her bili count was down to 17.6 from 18.1 yesterday. Apparently once the counts start to go down, they rarely come back up so she should be home free from jaundice. Jaundice certainly isn't that big a deal, nothing like what's happening over here, but it was still a little scary and we're glad it's over. Our next appointment isn't for another week.
While Bjorn was at the doctor's, I took Andy to our regular Friday playgroup to try to get some one on one time with him. It was good for both of us to see our friends and check out some more Thomas books. This time as we looked at the books on the shelves, he kept saying, "We have that one," to just about every title. I do believe we have read every Thomas book in the entire Fairfax County Library selection at least half a dozen times so it's funny that he's just NOW catching on to that fact. I suggested we pick another type of book and he said no and opted for two Thomas books instead. You can't blame a guy for knowing what he likes.