Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fussy thoughts...

The fussiness seems so much better yesterday and today.  Lucy has taken naps alone in her crib and I have gotten laundry done and I've picked up around the house and I'm showered, and we went to church, we visited friends on our way home...Maybe in part because the Bubba is home helping.  I certainly don't want to jinx it by telling the universe, but it sure has been nice.  

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fussy, Fussy, Fussy

The fussiness has increased.  She's not colicky, not whiny, just fussy.  She gets tired, and refuses to let herself fall asleep.  If she's nursing, she'll wake up when I try to reclaim my rightful property.  If she's in my or Bubba's arms, she'll cry every time her eyes droop which wakes her up all the way and makes her mad.  If we try to lay her down, screaming. 

Last night I had to take over Bubba's midnight shift because she just wouldn't calm down, and he was just too tired to deal with it (poor thing had to go to work today too!).  After the first signs of fatigue when a little rocking or nursing would usually do the trick, it took about 2 hours to get her to sleep.  And then, of course, she's awake in another hour and a half because she's hungry!  What a night!

And then today she wouldn't even sleep in the Moby.  This is usually my secret weapon.  She's all comfy-cosy in there and she snuggles in and snoozes for hours.  Not so much today.  She just wouldn't stop fussing.  So I laid her down in her crib to have a break from the crying next to my ear, and I turned on the white noise machine and gave her a pacifier.

This is what happened when I went in to check on her:


And then:


I didn't even want to venture any closer to the crib for fear of waking her.

So what the heck?  How do I keep this kid from over-stimulating herself to the point of not being able to settle down or only sleeping for half an hour?  Even as I write this she's waking up already.  Probably because she's hungry.  She's been fussing and fighting sleep for so long it's been hours since she ate.  Sigh.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Too tired to be creative

For the first time since I started this blog, I am just too knackered to try to come up with a topic to write about.  It's been a tiring couple of days with a baby that is convinced she's about 4 years old and doesn't have to sleep during the day.  

So here's what's in my head:

I showered today.  That's exciting.  And Lucy got a bath too (a last ditch effort to try to relax her and get her to sleep).  So we're all so fresh and so clean, clean.

My sweet Bubba is home today and is currently making us lunch while Lucy (finally OMG, finally) naps all by herself in her bassinet.  It sure is nice to have help and company during the day.

I learned from the History channel this morning while I was confined to the rocking chair that FDR died in office.  I didn't realize that.

I got the birth announcements addressed and stuffed and now I need to figure out how to go to the post office to get stamps.

It's amazing how much laundry a tiny little human can generate.

The Democratic National Convention is little more than a glorified high school pep rally.  I was never really interested enough to watch it before.

I'm wondering what's going on in Manda's world right now, and whether her little one has come yet.  I can't wait!

Did I mention yet how nice it is to have an extra set of hands around these days?


And that's the extent of my deep thoughts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Lucy hasn't been sleeping very well the last couple of days.  Oh, wait, scratch that.  She's been sleeping GREAT as long as her mommy's holding her.  The second her butt hits the mattress (or swing or carseat), her eyes fly open and she lets out an indignant scream.  When Daddy tries to hold her, she goes through the I'll-sleep-just-kidding! routine until he's so frustrated I can hear it in his voice (my Bubba isn't one to betray any sort of emotion in his voice).

So, I decided to drive the Bubba to his annual work golf outing this afternoon.  I thought the car ride would get a good nap out of Lucy and it would feel to me like I was "doing something" - as in, not chained to the rocking chair alternating between breast feeding and rocking a sleeping baby.  As a nice side effect, the Bubba and I had 40 minutes together while we were both awake and while Lucy was occupied.  We had a (gasp!) conversation!

I have to admit, I'm a little jealous of a Daddy's role.  I mean, the Bubba plays basketball once a week, goes golfing, goes to work, and doesn't think twice about it.  He doesn't think about how the baby's going to eat or sleep while he's gone.  His life doesn't seem to have changed all that much.  Mine?  Whoa.  I spend 90% of my waking hours in a rocking chair.  I eat what's easy to grab with one hand.  I sleep not at all while the baby's awake even when it's the Bubba's "shift" with Lucy.  I've even gone to the bathroom with Lucy on my lap because I can't stand to hear her scream when I put her down.

At the same time, I have a special relationship with this little person that I absolutely revel in.  I get to notice all of her new developments.  Like focusing her eyes - that just happened on Sunday.  She looked at me, made eye contact, and I was all "Hey, girl, nice to meet you" because it seemed like she was seeing me for the first time.  Pretty amazing.  I can tell now (more or less) whether she's crying because she's hungry or because she's working on a diaper load.  And if the Bubba can't figure out what's wrong, he'll ask me.  Like I know.  But I guess, if you spend 24 hours with someone for 3 weeks, you're expected to have learned something.

Every day the changes seem to affect me a little more and I realize a little more deeply that I actually have a baby.  That's mine.  That's here to stay.  

That's amazing.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Survival

We've made it through the "survival period" as our pediatrician calls the first two weeks of having a baby.  I'm under the impression we're still in the throes of surviving, though.  I guess we're a little more used to the "routine" (if it can actually be called that) of getting up, feeding the baby, rocking the baby, playing with the baby, sleeping.

It's crazy how little time there is for things like, oh, a conversation between my Bubba and me.  Today I made waffles for breakfast thinking it would be a nice treat for us while Lucy slept.  Ha ha.  Silly me thinking that Lucy would sleep through something so delicious.  We have eaten in shifts for the past 19 days, and today would be no different.

The conversations that we do have sound sort of like:

"Is Lucy asleep?"
"Yeah."
"I'm going to go lay down."
"K."

Or:

"What do you want for dinner?"
"Whatever."
"K."

I can definitely see how relationships change and some suffer with the addition of a baby.  I can see how this survival period can become a holding pattern.  We have to learn how to be really efficient with our no-crying-baby, awake time.

We used to show each other love by doing a particularly disliked chore, or making a really nice meal, or saying sweet things while cuddling each other.  Learning the Five Love Languages transformed how we interacted.  Now, our displays of affection involve putting an arm over or touching feet while sleeping or being the first one to get up and change the baby.  It's a different way of communicating, and I admit I'm not used to it quite yet. 

I usually go to bed around 8 or 9 with Lucy and the Bubba has been getting up or staying up for the first feeding around midnight.  All I want as I relax is for the Bubba to rub my back or cuddle me and tell me I've done a good job with the baby all day.  But I have to remind myself that he doesn't have the energy for that kind of interaction any more than I do.  I'd probably be insulted  and mad if he asked something similar of me.

The efficiency applies to taking care of ourselves too.  Getting a shower or being able to sit in silence with nothing expected of us - ahhhh, heaven.  Would it be more cathartic to lie down for 20 minutes or blog?  We have to learn new languages of communicating with each other and with ourselves.

I guess people aren't lying when they say that having a baby changes everything.  It's a very interesting transition for everyone.  I guess even as I knew it would blow our minds to have a baby, I couldn't have expected the extent.  It's a fun challenge, though, and it's a pretty steep learning curve.

And now for your daily pic fix:

Lucy helping daddy with his spreadsheets

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oblivious, Obviously

Lucy and I went out today.  For the first time just the two of us.  It was kind of a big deal.  Lucy had a pediatrician's appointment, and we were even on time.  I know.  I'm awesome.

In honor of this doctor's visit, the Bubba and I gave Lou her first bath-bath (not sponge bath) yesterday!  It was actually pretty exciting.

It started out all normal:


And then I decided that the open window created too much of a draft, so I closed it.  And dumped the potted plants along the window sill into the tub and covered Lucy with potting soil.  I didn't think to take a photo until it was already half cleaned up:

Poor kid, it scared her half to death - it's a good thing the pots didn't land on her, just the dirt...


All clean!!

Anyway, today was Lucy's two week doctor's appointment - she's 18 days old now.  She's 21 1/2 inches long, and weighs - GET THIS - 9 pounds 6 ounces!  She's gained a pound and a half in the past two weeks!  The doctor was pretty excited about that.  She's a good eater just like her mommy, what can I say?

Just as the nurse came in and instructed me to get her naked, Lucy performed the most explosive bowel movement I've seen yet.  It was a super impressive blowout.  Good thing this new mommy had stuffed a change of outfit into my bag as an after thought.  The nurse actually had a seat and waited for me to clean Lucy up.  It was pretty amazing.  

And then after the nurse weighed and measured Lucy and left, I threw the diaper into the trash.  Except I missed the trash and the diaper went onto the floor inside the trash cabinet.  Only then did I notice that there was a HUGE sign in capital letters saying NO DIAPERS.  Whoops.  So I tried to open the door to retrieve my mistake, but of course the doors are locked so the little kids waiting for the doctor can't play in the trash.  Sigh.  I just hope they wait until the very end of the day to open that so that they can't blame deer-in-headlights Lucy's mom.  Ah well, at least the diaper wasn't full of kid-eating-solid-foods poop...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic "Sports" and Fussy Babies

I haven't seen too much of the Olympics this year.  For the same reason I'm typing this with one hand.  I've been a bit preoccupied lately.

But last night I tuned into ... RACEWALKING.  When did this become an international sport worthy of Olympic fame?  These speed walkers have to go 50 kilometers or something ridiculous like that too.  What?  It reminds me of the high speed internet commercial where the dude is speed walking on the treadmill and the speed gets turned up super high.  These peoples' hips are replaced with rubber bands and tennis balls, I'm pretty sure.  They look so silly - I kept wishing they'd just jog.  Just jog!

Another sport that I thought "what the heck" before I watched it?  The trampoline.  But then I saw it, and I was all "this is awesome!"  They get like 30 feet in the air on those things.  Super impressive and not just a little scary.

So enough about that, now about me.

Last night was a no good very bad night.  Just as I was thinking, "Gosh, this can really work; I can do this!" about sleeping at night with Bubba on bottle duty,  Lucy was inconsolable last night.  From about 6pm to midnight.  Let's preface the story by saying that I was EXHAUSTED last night and we had a friend stop by to see the baby, and after dinner, I was DONE and ready for bed.  

The six hours went kind of like this: 10 minutes of sleepy baby followed by 20 minutes of fussy baby and 30 minutes of screaming baby.  Repeat.  I thought I'd lose it.  A couple of times, my Bubba had to take her from me and let me run away.  Right before Lucy settled down (finally) I started bawling because I couldn't handle it any more.  I wanted to giver her away.  I wanted to put her down and close the door and pretend she wasn't there.  I felt so bad about thinking those things, like I didn't deserve this little person because I don't have the patience for her.

And then she fell fast asleep and looked like an angel.  I was so upset about it all that I wasted the first hour of her sleep in the bathroom throwing up.  It was awesome, let me tell you.

Then the girl slept until 4!  The one time she's slept more than 2 1/2 - 3 hours  Sigh.  It's already almost noon, we basically just got up, and I could sleep all day today.  And really, I just might, because it seems like Lucy feels the same way.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two weeks

Two whole weeks we've known this little person.  I don't know if it's the sleep deprivation or what, but it seems like yesterday and forever ago that we were in the hospital...

Lucy in her crib - she ALWAYS kicks herself onto her side and snuggles up with her hands by her face.  It's so cute I could just munch on her.

Playing with daddy on the changing table - the quilt that Aunt Peg made us for our wedding is on the wall right by the changing table and is a source of unequaled awe for Lucy.

Sleeping in the Moby wrap.  Daddy took this photo a minute ago just so we could post it right now.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Daddy's home

We tried an experiment last night with one bottle.  I have to say that I agree with Maggie that pumping mostly sucks (haha, no pun intended).  But the sleep was pretty nice.  The Bubba did the midnight feeding, and I didn't have to get up until the 2:00 one.  It was so nice to get 5 hours of consecutive z's and not have to worry!  I think we might make this a habit... or at least try it a couple more times to make sure.

The Bubba is home for the rest of the week.  Since my mom was here last week, and since he left work so unexpectedly for the hospital, he went in to work three days last week to put things in order and solidify out-of-office plans.  So that means I get him at home for three whole days this week!!  It's so nice.

We had to go to the Ballard hospital for a follow-up PKU screening blood draw for Lucy.  Hate.  I can't stand them poking my baby and making her cry.  So the Bubba went with us and you know what?  Lucy didn't cry one little bit, and her daddy comforted her and lovey-ed her all the way through.  I bet if it were just me, she'd have screamed her little head off and i'd have left in tears too.  Thank goodness for daddies.

And now I am going to go make cookies (like I need them...) but I leave you with:

You can't even tell they're related, can you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sleep: the Hottest Commodity

I've been getting better at rearranging my schedule to sleep when Lucy sleeps.  Mostly.  It's still kind of hard not to put her down and think "I have a couple hours to myself!" and then do things like dishes or laundry and maybe even shower!  All this is well and good, and I can sleep when the baby goes down, but what happens when the baby just doesn't go down?

Sunday night was a rough one.  I was super sleepy all day yesterday.  Lucy didn't sleep that much - she just wanted to be up playing with me.  She'd cry and so I'd pick her up, but then she just wanted to be held and squeezed and loved.  Normally I'd jump at the chance to oblige such a sweet request, but it's two in the morning, child!  Sleeping is good too!

Last night, by contrast, was surprisingly ok, although I still am tired from Sunday night I think.  We both went to bed around 9ish, she woke up at 11, 2, 5 and 7.  Not too shabby.  Of course it takes a half hour to feed her and then another half to change her diaper (what goes in must come out) and get her back to sleep...  So there's work and time involved in there.

The ever lovely and mighty Maggie came for a visit yesterday afternoon (and brought stir fry for our dinner which was wicked awesome - I could thrive on other people bringing me dinner every night.  It's just so CONVENIENT and EASY and INTERESTING and DELICIOUS.)  She wanted to hear Lucy's birth story.  I just wasn't prepared for the interest people would have in the actual birthing process.  I myself have never thought of asking the play-by-play of a delivery before.  (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the attention, and I think our story is pretty entertaining complete with plot twists, villains, heros, and a happy ending involving a princess!)  But I guess, now that I know, I want to know other women's stories too.  

So Maggie and I were discussing sleep and the sweetness of it, and her experience breast/tube/bottle feeding Jack.  She mentioned that pumping was awesome because then her husband could help with one feeding per night.  THAT SOUNDS LIKE HEAVEN.  I was doing the calculations in my head: we could each get 6 hours of sleep at a time if we shared the night feeding!!  After a night like Sunday, I'm ready to listen to the virtues of pumping.

According to the breast feeding class the Bubba and I giggled sat through, if we're interested in pumping and bottle feeding, we should wait 4-5 weeks to ensure that the baby has a good relationship with breast feeding and will take both bottle and breast.  Another book that I read suggests that one could introduce bottles as soon as breast feeding is well established.  So, internets, when is the proper time to share nightly nosh-fests with a boobless partner?  

I'm thinking two weeks is enough for boobies exclusively considering Lucy has been teaching me about this breast feeding thing more than vice-versa.  Even in the hour after her birth she had a great latch and was showing me how it's done.  We've been pretty lucky in that department.  Do you think I'll screw it up by throwing a bottle in the mix?

Or will the sleeping be worth it?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Weekend?

Really?  There was a Saturday and a Sunday in the past couple of days?  I didn't even see them.  They didn't even blip on my radar.  Every day melts together in a blur of diapers and boobies and burp cloths.

Well, ok.  There were a couple of things that indicated weekend.  Like the fact that my Bubba was around all day for two whole days.  Saturday we walked to the library and then Lucy and I dropped the Bubba off at the gym for basketball.  And then of course, there was church on Sunday.  Showing the baby off and whatnot.

Which was weird, because I felt again like she wasn't really my baby.  Everyone (all our regs) came after mass and said congratulations and whatnot, and I didn't know what to do.  It was kind of awkward.  I mean, I think she's awesome and everything, but I guess I didn't know how to handle everyone wanting to see her and compliment her and hear our delivery story and everything.  Don't get me wrong, I like the attention.  I just wish I knew how to maximize the attention and come away looking awesome.  That means being prepared and not looking awkward...

Also, this has me befuddled, so tell me true, women who have had babies: What's up with the belly sag?  You all saw how freakishly large I got at the end of the pregnancy.  Well, now, that largesse of womb space is empty skin and copious amounts of belly fat it seems hanging over like trucker belly.  Have any of you experienced this?  Does this go away?  I mean, I realize that I had a 15 pound baloon of whatnot in there just, like, last week, but still.  I guess I'd like to know whether this is just brand new fat that has concentrated in the area of my gut that I need to work off as soon as I can exercise?  And what happens to all the jiggly skin?  Does it just hang out?   I can fit into my old clothes except for the trucker belly.  I'm more than willing to give myself some time to get rid of it, I just want your reassurance that it will, in fact, go away.  What do you say?

And now, what you've all been waiting for:  pictures of the Lucy-lou-bugga-boo.


Trying to show her dimples...


Very Zen Budda Master Baby in Lotus.  OHM.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Normal Schwarmal

I'm an imaginative person.  A dreamer and a hoper and a wisher.  Pregnancy is all about that.  Anticipating and imagining.  What's my baby going to be like?  What will she look like?  What will our life be like?

New motherhood is surprisingly not a continuation of all of this.

It's normal.  The baby is here.  She has needs.  We meet them.  And the world spins madly on (to borrow a phrase from the Weepies).  The baby's crying.  She's hungry.  She needs a new diaper.  She's sleeping.  Normal.  Tasks are completed.  Days go by.  The baby's a new acquaintance.  She's not some made-up person.  She's Lucy.  There's no more guessing and anticipating surprises.  

Sigh.  Does this make sense?  I'm tired.

And for sure I'm emotional.  I dropped my Mama-a-llama off at the airport this afternoon.  And I cried.  I got stuck in some God-awful traffic on the way home, and called my husband crying because the baby started fussing and I didn't want her to cry while I was crying stuck in traffic.  I eventually got home, nursed the baby and spilled a whole glass of water on my lap in our new leather recliner.  I cried.

So now I'm doing what any normal new mother would do with such an afternoon.  I put the now-sleeping baby in the bassinet and I'm eating pie.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Week

A whole lot can happen in a week.  You can be pregnant one week and have a one week old baby the next!  This week has been a blur.  The first day in the hospital, my Bubba and I were jokingly asking when this infant's parents were going to come pick her up.  And as we were putting her in the car seat and getting ready to come home, we felt like announcing it like someone was going to stop us.  "We're getting reaaaaadddy....  We're going to the eeeeelllllleeeeeevvvatttors....   We're leeeeeeeeaaaaaavvinggg!"  As we slowly and deliberately stepped toward the door.

I don't know that the reality has set in altogether yet...  

My milk finally came in on Monday, and Lucy has been considerably happier since.  The first couple of days she would sleep only for 30-40 minutes at a time.  I was pretty ragged!  We even supplemented with some formula on Sunday because I was just emotionally and physically exhausted and so sad that I couldn't feed her.  But now, last night for example, she slept from 11 to 2 and then from 3:30 to 5:30.  So nice to get entire cycles of REM sleep before shocking awake to the realization that there's a baby crying in the room.

My mommy leaves tomorrow.  I've been trying to convince her to stay another week or move in, but she's not hearing it.  She's been an awfully nice help around here.  I highly underrated the importance of emotional support.  I kind of wish we lived closer to family for situations like this.

Lucy's going to miss Grandma cuddles!

Lucy seems to change so much every day.  She's gaining weight and is more alert between naps:

Daddy fixed my hair.


Stretching on the bed with her Sonic the Hedgehog 'do

One week old today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

L & D the Third

Now to the good stuff...  And hopefully you're not all so bored you stopped reading halfway through the first post...  I'll get to baby stuff.  I promise! 

My BFF Claudia assured me that the antedote to slowing things down with the epidural was Pitocin, so I was golden and should in no way feel bad about getting it.  At that point, I wondered if it would be an inappropriate time to ask for her hand in marriage.  When Adam was in the bathroom or something, of course.

At noon on Thursday, a doctor from my OB's practice came in and declared me "wonderful" and the progress I was making too.  I learned a couple of things (mostly through flattery).  She confided after I buttered her up telling her how highly recommended she came and mentioning some people we know in common, that my OB was so shook up by the state of my amniotic fluid/placenta that she was considering giving standard ultrasounds at 40 weeks to avoid this kind of thing.  That sorta freaked me out - and I realized that my doctor did a really good job of NOT overinforming for once in our dr/patient relationship.  So there's that!

This doctor also broke my bag of waters to encourage forward progress.  Nothing came out.  Doctor went back in a couple times to make sure it was actually broken, and she said "Well, it must be because I feel hair."  Adam and I looked at each other like, "Hair?  Maybe there IS a human in there somewhere..."

And progress and progress...  I'll try to shorten this story up.

A couple of times the baby ended up laying on its umbilical cord, and we had to switch position quickly and I had to suck on an oxygen mask.  All of this had the potential to be terrifying, but Claudia was awesome and I was hardly even stressed out about it.

And evidently, I have a real propensity to put everyone else at ease in a stressful situation.  (Mike, I write this purely for your edification) I kept asking my Bubba how he was feeling and how he was doing and if he needed anything.  A couple of times a contraction was starting when he offered me some ice and I said "no" and after the minute of contraction I followed up with "no, thank you."  Bubba said, "You can say 'no' to me, Lizzie.  You need to concentrate on yourself right now."  But it happened over and over - and the teacher's pet syndrome kicked in with Claudia too.  I kept suggesting how I could make things easier for her.  Could I change position?  Could I hold this IV tube? 

At last I was fully effaced and fully dilated and Claudia suggested we start some practice pushing so I could learn how to do it effectively.  Thanks to yoga, I was able to bring my feet up to my chest and my head down in kind of a butterfly stretch, and we did that with almost every contraction.

Finally the doctor came back after I had been pushing for a good two to two and a half hours.  I was pretty fried by that point.  Lucy was having a heck of a time "getting around the bend" and it didn't seem much to me that we were getting anywhere fast.  The doctor said "sorry, I would have been here sooner, but I got caught in another delivery.  This woman was in labor for 40 minutes and the baby was out in two pushes!"  I'm sorry, what?  I actually said out loud "Who the hell invited you to this party?"  And Claudia assured me that it was probably the woman's sixth child.

At this point, Claudia's shift was over, but she stayed with me through the delivery.  I definitively wanted to take her home with me by then.  Because Young Nighttime Nurse came back and changed my pushing technique effectively saying "You're doing it wrong" with her attitude.  I turned to Bubba and said "I didn't like that very much."  

The only time I snapped at the Bubba was when we started pushing with my knees up instead of my ankles.  He would grab my neck with one hand and my leg with the other and help me curl.  Well, the first time, he ended up grabbing the IV in my arm while he squeezed me.  I screamed his name, and he jumped back!  I said "Maybe next time, you could hold my foot instead?"  He and Claudia thought it was hilarious that I was so polite.

During the 3rd and 4th to last pushing contractions (according to the Bubba - God knows I wasn't that with it at that point!)  Claudia said even though the baby's head kept slipping back up the birth canal after my pushes, that we were giving the baby a good head start.  I asked her if she intended the pun - she was so surprised that after 3 hours of pushing that I could still quip like that.  Yeah, anything to make everyone else comfortable!  

Then there was the Great Meconium Scare of 8/7/08.  The doctor thought maybe Lucy passed meconium in utero so I had quite a crowd of people witness her birth!  It sure was a party.  I don't even know at that point how many people were in the room, only that it was a little bit obnoxious with people talking and Young Nighttime Nurse yelling "Push! Harder! More, moremoremoremore!"  And me hating the Young Nighttime Nurse and the doctor for my 3+ hours of pushing like it was their fault.

Nevertheless, my baby was born, I saw the doctor hold her by the neck and suction her mouth - there didn't end up being meconium, so the NICU people cleared out directly after her birth.  

The Bubba has since said that seeing the doctor pull the baby out by the back of her neck was like when you catch that big walleye, hook it by the gills and drag it onto the boat.  I love it.

She was deposited on my stomach, the Bubba cut the cord, and we all three of us cried.


And this is what she's doing right now:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Labor and Delivery Part Deux

Side note:  Can I please brag that I just woke up from a 3 1/2 hour nap?  And that I haven't slept that much at one time since last Tuesday when I was still pregnant?  I love sleeping.

My nurse started the Pitocin drip at 4am on Thursday.  My Bubba was just rousing from a snooze and we were pretty relieved that we could start with the Pitocin and get started with the actual labor and birth process instead of having to have more Cervidil for another 12 hours.  

The Pitocin was in a pump hooked up to my IV and every so often it would say "click-whirr" and I knew things were starting!  Bubba and I were joking around the mild contractions, we were really just so happy to have things started.  When I'd hear the "click-whirr" of the machine, I'd say "Thank you, Mr. Pitocin."  And we sat excitedly as the contractions got strong and close and and longer.  I did my relaxation breathing during these contractions and was relatively comfortable despite being place bound by the fetal monitor and uterine activity monitor and IVs and whatnot.  Bubba did an awesome job of keeping lip balm on my lips and regulating ice chips and being present and supportive.  

The night nurse was a young thing.  She didn't seem to be old enough to be candy striping much less nursing.  Does that mean I'm getting old?  Anyway, I didn't love her.  She didn't have a great attitude.  Everything was curt and short and almost an order.  I even tried to ask her questions like where she went to school because my niece is interested in nursing, and where she was from and if she and her husband had kids....  She just wouldn't warm up.  The only time I liked her was at the end of her shift at 7am when I was starting to get more uncomfortable she asked if I'd like to labor in the tub.  Hell yes.  

And then an angel came in the room.  Her name was Claudia.  She was wonderful.  I wanted to squeeze her and take her home with me.  Thank God for amazing nurses, because my experience would have been totally different if night nurse had been assigned to me from start to finish.

All of a sudden, around 10 am, the Pitocin made things VERY UNCOMFORTABLE.  And by that, I mean I kind of wanted to die every time a contraction came.  There was no relaxing the muscles through them.  There was no anything through them.  Instead of thanking the pump, I heard the "click-whirr" and said "F*&%! you Mr. Pitocin!"  Claudia asked if I was interested in an epidural.  I have always been open to the idea of pain management, but I really wanted to wait as long as I could.  I guess because I thought that an epidural slowed down labor, and I really wanted to hurry it along if I could.

Then I tried some Fentanyl.  My goal was to wait until noon when the doctor was due to check me again to make a decision about the epidural.  They say Fentanyl just takes the edge off the pain and helps you relax better between contractions.  Wow.  Let's just say it *bleep*ed my *bleep* up.  I couldn't tell the difference between what was in my head and what was actually going on.  Talk about being out of control, it's exactly what I didn't want.  

So I waited for that to wear off, and as it did, Claudia asked every so often if I was ready for the epidural.  It started with "I can wait 10 more minutes" and evolved in three subsequent butt-kicking contractions to "I'm ready now, how long does it take for the anesthesiologists to get here?" at 11:30.  So much for waiting until noon.

to be continued...


Monday, August 11, 2008

First Things First

Bubba and I showed up at my OB appointment Wednesday 8/6 bright and early.  I love the early appointments, it seems everyone is fresh and helpful and happy.

As planned, we started talking to the doctor about inducing labor perhaps Friday 8/8, but I was still leery of the idea, and I had cold feet.  I was willing to undergo the cervical ripening cream that she suggested we start on Thursday, but I really wanted the opportunity to change my mind if I was scared to go through with things on Friday.  The doctor agreed that we could wait until Monday at the latest.

Then we started talking about the baby's growth and her changes in movement in the last week or so.  It seemed that her movements had gotten less regular and more in the lines of a bump here and there, but nothing like before.  I had marked it up to there being no room in my skin.

Doctor got the ultrasound machine out and started taking measurements of Tad.  She explained everything she was measuring, the pockets of amniotic fluid, the position of the baby.  Bubba and I were looking on and chatting, comfortable that the baby was still doing well and we could wait to induce.

Then doctor said as she wiped the ultrasound gel off my ginormous belly, "Well, there's been a change of plans.  I want you to go get your hospital bag and report to 5 South as soon as possible."  I looked over at Bubba with wide eyes and he immediately made a "don't freak out" gesture with his hands.  The doctor explained that the baby's placenta wasn't working very well anymore and she had very low amniotic fluid.  The induction would have to happen as soon as possible.

I didn't really feel much as I left the doctor's office.  Just that "Well, I guess it's today, then!"  But at the same time I was feeling everything.  Nervous and anxious and worried and scared. 

Bubba and I came home and made a list of things to do before going to the hospital including Take Out the Trash and Eat Lunch.  We didn't talk much.  I think each of us had a million things going on in our heads.  Too much to even have as much stimulation as a conversation.

When we reported to the hospital, we were ushered into an ante-partum room and started on Cervidil at 3pm.  They put in a heplock IV and Bubba and I wiled away some time with cards.  They then moved us to a labor and delivery room where we got comfy for the long haul.  Bubba got some Z's but my contractions started to kick in around 10pm and I got all excited about the baby coming.  I didn't sleep much more than an hour or so.

The doctor came in and checked my progress at about 3am when they took the Cervidil out and deemed us ready to start Pitocin.  That's when the party really started.

to be continued...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lucky you ... Saturday update!

We got home this afternoon.  We had to stick around the hospital until Lucy was around 48 hours old because she and I had a fever when she was born.  They wanted to make sure that it wasn't some sort of infection.  Fine by me - I wouldn't know infection from inflection!  But it sure is nice to be home.  My bed!  My chair!  My refrigerator!  (I haven't eaten much in the last 4 days....)

And since I know that you just want to hear about Lucy, here you go:

She's freaking awesome, guys.  Bubba and I are in absolute awe every time we look at her.  Every time I snooze and wake up I have to go through the emotions and the awe again.  Is it possible that I even deserve this?  Is God really this good?  My goodness.

Stupid blogger won't let me upload photos.  Sorry.  You'll just have to wait!

I'll get back to my labor and delivery maybe on Monday.  I have some good and funny stories to tell!

Friday, August 8, 2008

IT'S BABY DAY!!!

Guess what, guys?

Lucy Rose joined our family last night!!!


I KNOW!  I have a very vague recollection of 31 hours of labor and 3 hours and 15 minutes of pushing.  Oh, ok, it's still very fresh.  BUT LOOK WHAT I GOT!!!

I was going to post about everything, but I'm just too damn tired, so you will have to wait for the nitty gritty details.

Right now Lucy is sound asleep on Bubba's shoulder - she sure is a cuddler.  

And I now have a family.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Day Four

The thought of induction is starting to sound more and more attractive as the frustrating false contractions that end with nothing but a worked up Lizzie screw with my psyche.  Well-meaning people repeat "You won't be pregnant forever!" or "She has to come out sometime!"  While true, these are so not comforting at this point.

Every evening I see the vamp up to the Olympic opening ceremonies and think, "Maybe Friday wouldn't be bad."  My doctor last Wednesday mentioned that she wouldn't like this pregnancy to go past Friday.  I guess for a couple of reasons - the first of which is that she still thinks the baby is on the big side.  Like the baby already weighs 8 1/2 lbs.  Which isn't huge, but she thinks the baby's ready...  

Last Wednesday I wasn't ready to talk about inducing labor.  I've heard nothing but horror stories about how much more painful labor is with pitocin and how much longer it takes.  Frankly, it sounds like torture.  But there's no real guarantee that natural labor would be much different...  My doctor wanted me to sign the papers for everything at my appointment that day.  I wouldn't.  I was just certain that this sweet little amenable baby girl person would cooperate and come out last weekend or early this week like was expected of her.

Now, today's Tuesday.  Day four of the count-up.  And while I'm still antsy and anxious, I get a little more numb to the raw disappointment of not having a baby every day.  Tomorrow is my OB appointment.  We will again talk about inducing on Friday.  Here's my dilemma:  WHAT SHOULD I DO????

Pros
  • Have a baby on Friday (or Saturday)
  • Be able to plan everything for the type A part of my personality
  • THE WAITING WOULD BE OVER!!!
  • The cervix-softening cream I get on Thursday could make natural labor happen on its own
Cons
  • Pitocin may be the devil and I really wanted a natural childbirth (until she took way too freaking long to bake in there)
  • My doctor is out of town on Friday and I'd have to have someone else deliver me (I'm not sure what the chances are that my own Dr. would actually be on call if I deliver naturally.  And I do like everyone in the practice..)
  • My mother is flying into Seattle at 2pm on Friday (I was supposed to have the baby last weekend and she's coming to help!) and she'd have to take a cab directly to the hospital (KINDA PRO: Mom would be there for the birth!)
What do you think, guys?  Please weigh in on my list!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Post Countdown Count-up.

We've gone from ___ days to go!  to 1 day over...  2 days over...  3 days over....

It really doesn't look like that much.  Except that eh mah gah it seems like weeks have gone by since Friday.  The Bubba and I didn't talk too much last night.  I think we were both pretty disappointed that we don't have a baby yet.  I had a good cry.  It's hard when you expect something for so long to just change your mind.  I know very well that this is my stubborn little girl who is going to come when it's the least convenient for me for her first willful act as my daughter.  I just have to let go.  Sigh.

Being overdue now, it really seems like we're running against the clock.  Saturday we said "Let's stay in bed and hang out and read books this morning even though we're both awake!"  And we did, and relished it.  Yesterday we said, "One last time!  Let's meet friends at the spur of the moment for lunch at a restaurant!"  And we did.  It seems like we're stealing time together now from some secret source that makes us giggle and really appreciate it.  So at least we have that going for us!

And I've still been a knitting fiend.  I've been trying to whittle down my stash (yeah right!) before Tad comes because it's gotten kind of unruly, and besides, I have so many nice yarns for nice baby things.  But as my mom put it "How many sweaters does the baby have now?"  The answer is quite a few.  But I was kinda smart!  I mean, I made them in all different sizes so she's set for sweaters until she's, like, two.  Here's the latest:

You can't see the lace pattern in the sweater, but it turned out so cute even with the variegated yarn.  I wish I had the patience to make one my own size.  Love this one.

And I leave you with your moment of Zen (a la Colbert):
 
3 days over: I'll give you two guesses where I'm hiding the baby.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Patience Is Not One of My Virtues

The funniest thing happened this morning!  I woke up ... pregnant!

I was supposed to wake up to an infant crying in a bassinet with distant memories of labor and a hospital.  Evidently God didn't get my memo or the eight ka-zillion requests I sent up with it.  Or maybe He threw it out thinking "Pshaw!  This is a wonderful teaching opportunity!"

I am not what you would call a patient person.  Well, let me define my parameters here.  I am not an impatient person fixed on instant gratification.  Nor am I someone who can focus on a goal that is more than a week away.  I have life goals that spread over years, but I need to relegate them to the very recesses of my mind or become obsessed with the fact that I'm not getting there by next Sunday.  I need small manageable bites of all the elephants I try to eat.

Something that always strikes me in Yoga is when my instructor says "Stay in the present."  I don't know about you, but I am always thinking about the next thing.  The mess in my house or the work project that's half done on my desk or what I might want to make for dinner.  I would love to stay in the present all the time and take things as they come.  That's something that my Bubba is really good at that I'm trying to absorb.  I try to stay in the present, but I have a wandering mind that somehow likes to worry about "what then" and "what if".

Pregnancy meant I had to give up control completely.  I have no say when and where and how things happen.  I've been forced to go with the flow and manage.  I guess that's one of the first lessons of parenthood.  The lesson that maybe this isn't about me anymore, and instead about something bigger.  I have been surprisingly ok with things like heartburn or insomnia or swollen feet being out of my hands, considering my relatively low adaptability quotient.  I've not made too many plans or struggled for control.  Until there were no other short term goals.

The week-by-week pregnancy book is read and finished.  I was addicted to that book because it gave me a week's worth of stuff to think about ( I skipped all the bad, scary things) and it made me look forward to Sunday nights when the Bubba and I would lay in bed and learn about what's going on this week.  There is no more.  The baby's done.  No more benchmarks, no more little goals.  I can't handle this time ambiguity!!  When are you coming!!!!!

So God, I know that You're probably trying to get me to let go of this one last thing and learn a little bit of patience and faith in Your will.  But I might be learning disabled in that respect.