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Archive for December, 2007

Bullet points bulletin

Thank you all for all the lovely congratulations!!  It was really nice coming back online to see all of your good thoughts for our little family.

Things have been – predictably – crazy around here.  Happily, M. is home this week; he may not burn the midnight oil with me, but he’s been working his butt off doing all the little stuff for me while I try to figure out C.’s schedule and merge it with the one we already had.

So this is going to be a quickie update – honestly, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do more substantive posts.  But here’s the lowdown:

– After a week plus of latching issues on one side (right) and pain that was bad enough to make me cringe every time C. wanted to eat, a nipple shield (now rejected) seems to have helped with both the pain and the latch.  C. hadn’t been gaining weight since we got home, but over the weekend he put on 4 oz., which was enough to get me emancipated from the lactation consultant at the pediatrician’s office.  Which was none too soon, since my mother HATES lactation consultants (she believes it’s a lot of meddling in something that should be more instinctive), and it was causing some stress between us.

– All of which makes me wonder what it is that will drive my kids batty when they’re older.  And if it’s inevitable that parents make their kids crazy.

– MM’s been doing very, very well with C. so far.  She doesn’t like his crying (but, then, he sounds like a baby hawk when he cries, so I’m not exactly crazy about it myself), but so far she hasn’t made it personal, so to speak.  She still thinks the baby is “cute,” and asks to hold him a lot.  She brings him offerings of small toys – that kind of thing.  And, in what seems to be an indicator of her overall comfort level, she once again had a poopy blowout this morning that HAD to have cleared out a lot of cumulative, um, stress.

– Beyond that…well, that’s pretty much the sum total of my days right now.  Unfortunately for me, C. likes to burn the midnight oil.  He’s a night owl – shades of his father – which means that I’ve been seriously sleep deprived.  BUT, happily, he has one very consistent, long nap in the mid-afternoon – roughly 1-4 or so – which happens to coincide with MM’s naptime, meaning that Mommy can get some sleep during the day.  It isn’t great sleep, but it’s sleep and I’ll take it.  My present mantra is “it doesn’t last forever.”

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There and back again

We’re one week and one day postpartum, and I’m finally starting to see little bits of my old new life there in the cracks of the insomnia.

We welcomed C.H.M. – but always affectionately known here as 2.0 – into the world at 10:01 am on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007.  He weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz., of which approximately 5 lbs. had to have been his head, and it turned out that he was so wedged into my pelvis (I knew it!) that they had to use a little vacuum suction to help him out.

The repeat c-section was happily uneventful, but I feel like the recovery is taking me a little longer this time around – no real surprise, I guess, given that I’m over 40 this time around.  But I’m getting there and I have to admit that, as hard as having two little people is, the baby thing itself is a hell of a lot easier the second time around.  I’ve been riding the hormone rollercoaster from hell ever since my milk came in, and it’s mostly triggered by cheap sentiment (which, you know, makes going through it at this particular time of year especially fun).  I’ll just be standing around minding my own business, hear or see something that triggers something else, and I’m off on a 20 minute crying jag.

On the plus side, C. is far more interested in my boobs than MM ever was, so I think we’re making a go of the nursing.  One side is a relatively easy latch; the other is frequently painful, but I’m hoping that that will abate as C. gets bigger.  He’s ravenous, though; as I pretty much expected, he came into the world unwillingly and, once here, starving, and he’s been eating ever since.  He also has a very low threshold for discomfort – does NOT like gas, does NOT like hiccups (which is a womb carryover) – and grouses in this kind of baby hawk cry whenever they show up.  But he poops and pees like a trouper, and we’re starting to make something of a schedule together, so I can’t complain.

But, without further ado, here are a few pics of the new little guy (and one of MM, who’s settling into her new role with relative aplomb – she did have one GIGANTIC poop a few days after we got home that made us realize just how much she had been keeping in, so to speak, but ever since then she’s started the slow path back to normalcy).  Enjoy, and more when the brain-fog clears a little.

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All systems are go

Had my last prenatal appointment before the scheduled c-section next Tuesday, and so far so good.  BP was behaving remarkably well – in the 120s/80s at the doctor’s office, which is next to unheard of for me – and I’m more effaced but not very dilated.  The doctor thought that, barring any sudden moves on the part of my body/2.0, we should make it to Tuesday.  Here’s hoping; we’re looking at the possibility of icky weather this weekend, and I’d just as soon not have to go trekking out into it to give birth.

In the meantime, 2.0 is still pretty active so far and that’s been reassuring.  His heartbeat was good at the dr.’s office – also reassuring.  I’ve been having a terrible time trying to sleep at night since we’ve been here at my parents’ house, but I figure it’s part general discomfort, and part subconsciously getting onto the New! Revised! Sleeping Schedule.  MM’s been doing better, though; she started off our time here on somewhat rocky ground (for her, anyway; she’s generally a roll-with-the-punches kind of kid, but she’s obviously been a little off.  Part of it was not pooping – something that resolved a couple of days ago, happily.  But part of it, I think, is knowing that something is up, and not being able to figure out/understand what that something is.  I think it will help more when Daddy comes on Saturday, but in the meantime she seems to be coming down from Defcon 5 a little).

So that’s the state of things at this point.  I don’t know how much I’ll be posting between now and then, but I’ll keep everyone updated on how things are going once they’re actually going somewhere.  In the meantime…wish us luck.

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For the record…

M. managed to get lost on the way home.

With the GPS.

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The big girl bed, Part II

We made it to my parents’ house (that makes it sound a lot further away than it is – about 30 min. by car, and that’s mostly because of traffic), and MM is successfully sleeping in the big girl twin bed here!! Up until now, she’s done naps (and sleepovers) in the crib, because we didn’t have a rail for the platform bed in the same room. I finally got my act together, had one sent here, and my mom installed it yesterday. I made a Big Deal out of the big girl bed (she’s still doing naps in the crib at home, too, because she kept getting out of the toddler bed and Mommy needs the nap), she climbed in, and then promptly climbed out. Only to discover that I’d put a gate up for the first time.

I went back up (ugh…stairs are getting hard), put her back in bed, made a joke about helping her get up so high (made her laugh and then say “I not cry anymore” – yes!), and then told her goodnight again. And THIS time, she went to sleep!!

If she can get used to sleeping in the big girl bed for naps here, I may have an outside chance of getting her out of the crib altogether at home. Which would be nice, since I’d like to use it for 2.0 naps and I don’t want her to feel like she got booted or something.

Other than that, I’m tired. Achy. It’s hard to move at this point – it’s not my belly, it’s my hips. For whatever reason, my hips are actively trying to kill me and they’re having some success. I can only take Tylenol, which is about as effective as waving a burning branch over them and chanting something unintelligible. So I just kind of hobble around and whine about how I miss being able to do things. At which point M. says “Welcome to my world” – yeah, yeah, yeah.

At any rate, we’re here, and the countdown is on. T-10 (11?) days and counting. And I believe we have a name, if M. doesn’t change his mind.

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Looking forward

As in, to not driving anymore.

Yeah, I know; I probably shouldn’t be driving at this point (37 weeks today – I’m officially more pregnant than I’ve ever been before, since MM was born at 36.6 weeks), but our family situation kinda dictates it.  We have one car.  M. can drive, but he’s nervous driving with other people in the car (pseudo-rational, given that part of that is just not wanting to be responsible for everyone), he’s from So. California and has extremely limited experience driving in winter weather (very rational, given that we got hit by more snow yesterday than they originally expected), he has NO sense of direction (pseudo-rational, since we have a GPS for this express purpose), and he’s, um, not to be rude but, not a great driver (rational, I think, because that would make me the passenger, and I am a reasonably good driver).

Generally, when he drives, we like to keep it in a straight line – the trip to his university is basically turn right, turn right, turn left, go straight for 20 minutes.  It works well.

My Dad at first didn’t even really think he could drive; or, rather, he asked how it was possible, given how M.’s legs work.  But he says it’s just more of a conscious kind of thing – moving the foot between the gas/brake pedals – than for ‘normals’.  More than his legs, it’s his eyesight that worries me a bit; when he was busy developing CP in the incubator (it’s assumed), he was also developing an eye situation that would eventually result in the loss of most sight in his right (“bad”) eye.  He can see out of it, but it’s weird sight with a big blind spot.  He apparently has depth perception, which is why he drives at all, but I don’t like him out and about at night much.

So, long story short, I do most of the driving.  And it’s gotten really, really uncomfortable.  I don’t even really know why; all I know is that every time I drive, 2.0 descends deep into my pelvis and those are the times I start wondering if I’d know what a contraction felt like if I had one, because the discomfort is such that, you know, I start wondering.

Happily, if I go out today to run errands (depends on the weather), it will be the last driving I do for awhile.  We make the move to my parents’ house tomorrow, and I’m getting chauffeured for the duration.  I’ve trained M. in the routes to/from the station, and if he gets called to the hospital from work, it’s a straight line from the station to the hospital (well, get on parkway, drive for 30 or so minutes, right turn, right turn, left turn, hospital).  The only dicey part for him will be making the trip to my parents’ house next weekend – they live off a hilly, narrow, windy road that’s scary for people who actually have experience driving in those conditions, much less for someone whose idea of complicated driving is maneuvering the traffic on the grids of Southern California.

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All the latest

I really, really suck at blog post titles.

So, we had our 36.5 week appt. today, and things are looking good so far.  BP still (still!) behaving, no protein.  I was glad to have showered, since I correctly surmised that today would be a cervical exam – thick and only barely effaced.  Which is good news – as ready as I am to get this show on the road, I’d really like to make it to the scheduled date if possible.  Did the GBS test as well; I tested positive last time, so I’m guessing I probably will again.  Although I don’t know how much this matters in the case of a c-section.

The doctor also told me about some study in Massachusetts, I think, that correlated head size with IQ.  We’ll see.  Since I’m having a repeat c-section, he didn’t seem very concerned about the ginormous head, and said that otherwise 2.0 is measuring pretty normal.

So now I’m in the middle of making a list of things I need to take with us to my parents’ house, including:

Clothes for MM
Clothes for me (much harder, since I have no idea what I’ll be able to wear once this is over.  I have a very reliable – if very religious-culty – denim jumper that will do, and button-down shirts should fit my belly again, so that’s what I’ll be basing my overall fashion statement on)
Clothes for 2.0 (I have them; in my utter superstition, I’m only planning to wash what I absolutely must have to start off.  Everything else can wait until we get him home)
Swaddling blankets
The breast pump
MM’s Little People
MM’s “new baby” doll, complete with layette and bottles, in hopes of easing the transition
My address book (for Christmas cards/announcements – they’ll be one and the same)
Laptop, and dissertation paraphernalia
MM’s books
All the Christmas presents I’ve ordered, since the plan is to stay at my parents’ through Christmas
The carseat and bouncy seat
Bottles, just in case
Infant diapers (my parents have MM’s diapers…although I should probably bring the pull-ups)
Maxipads
That lanolin stuff they gave me at the hospital last time for sore nipples (TMI! TMI!)
I know I’m forgetting something…oh, well.  M. can bring along whatever I leave here.

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