News roundup

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

*Happy one-month birthday today to Baby B!

*I started pumping last week, and so far so good–but boy do I feel like I’m a cow being milked sometimes! I’m trying to get at least four ounces frozen every day so I can build up a supply in the freezer and to help keep up my current supply on top of nursing each time now.

*Why does it happen that every single time I have both of my hands occupied with the pump, something on my face (usually my nose) ends up itching like crazy?!

*Baby B slept for the first time in her crib this afternoon. It was only a 15-minute nap, but it’s still a good step in eventually transitioning her from sleeping in the swing, which she still does every night. She won’t be able to do that when she starts at daycare, so we definitely need to work on that.

*Baby B has started to enjoy her activity mat a little more recently now that she can focus on objects a little better. I definitely get some genuine smiles from her when we’re playing together on the mat.

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Continuing the momentum

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight
5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)
28w (+3.6 pounds, +14.6 pounds total)
29w (-0.6 pounds, +14 pounds total)
30w (+1.8 pounds, +15.8 pounds total)
31w (+2.0 pounds, +17.8 pounds total)
32w1d (+0.6 pounds, +18.4 pounds total)
33w (-0.2 pounds, +18.2 pounds total)
34w (+2.4 pounds, +20.6 pounds total)
35w (+1.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
36w (-0.6 pounds, +21.6 pounds total)
37w (+0.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
38w (+3.8 pounds, +26 pounds total)
*******************
3 days post-partum (-11.8 pounds, +14.2 pounds from starting weight)
1w post-partum (-4.2 pounds, +10.0 pounds from starting weight)
2w post-partum (-2.0 pounds, +8.0 pounds from starting weight)
3w post-partum (-0.8 pounds, +7.2 pounds from starting weight)
4w post-partum (-0.4 pounds, +6.8 pounds from starting weight)


I’m ready for my close-up!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


An open spot

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This afternoon we went to visit a new daycare that’s opening on Monday about a block from my work. We were supposed to attend this center’s open house on January 27, but obviously Baby B had other plans and we had to skip the open house in order to go to the hospital. But, it may have been better this way because we got to meet with the director one on one and could better address any questions or concerns we have.

As of right now, just two of their eight infant spots are taken, so things look good for us to have a place to take Baby B when I return to work on April 23. We’ve done our pre-enrollment and have paid the deposit, so we’ve reserved a spot. We’ll have to start paying the weekly fee if all of their other spots fill up and we still want to keep our spot, so hopefully that won’t be for a while. It’s good to know that we have a spot at this place, because we’re still 11th on the list (even after they cleaned the list) at the other center we visited, and we look to get a spot at another nearby center when we have people living on Mars.

It’s hard to say how this new center is going to be because they don’t open until Monday, but the director said we can come back anytime after they’re open and meet the teachers and see how things are going. The big plus (besides them having a spot!) is that it’s so close to my work (and thus to home, since I work two miles from home), so my feeling is that we’ll give them a shot and see how things go. I do feel comfortable with what I’ve seen so far, and I have no reason to worry at this point. So, I feel much better about things, because I was really worried about what would happen if it came time to go back to work and we didn’t have anything lined up.


At a loss

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Still losing some weight, though not as rapidly as it was in the beginning. Still, I’ll take what I can get, and I do understand that my body might not want to lose that last little bit of pregnancy weight until I wean from nursing.

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight
5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)
28w (+3.6 pounds, +14.6 pounds total)
29w (-0.6 pounds, +14 pounds total)
30w (+1.8 pounds, +15.8 pounds total)
31w (+2.0 pounds, +17.8 pounds total)
32w1d (+0.6 pounds, +18.4 pounds total)
33w (-0.2 pounds, +18.2 pounds total)
34w (+2.4 pounds, +20.6 pounds total)
35w (+1.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
36w (-0.6 pounds, +21.6 pounds total)
37w (+0.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
38w (+3.8 pounds, +26 pounds total)
*******************
3 days post-partum (-11.8 pounds, +14.2 pounds from starting weight)
1w post-partum (-4.2 pounds, +10.0 pounds from starting weight)
2w post-partum (-2.0 pounds, +8.0 pounds from starting weight)
3w post-partum (-0.8 pounds, +7.2 pounds from starting weight)


We shall not part

Friday, February 16, 2007

It looks like I’m not going to be able to have my defunct gall bladder removed this year, after all. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have it done as originally planned during my maternity leave (for a couple of reasons), but I was still hoping to use my sick time (that I wasn’t allowed to use for maternity leave) and have it done sometime later this year since I’ll likely meet my insurance’s out-of-pocket maximum after the birth, meaning the surgery would essentially be free since 100% of charges are covered after you reach the out-of-pocket maximum.

Well, that was the plan until my company decided to change insurance providers–and I had the baby on the old insurance. So, none of those birth costs will be on the new insurance, so I’ll still have to meet my $1,500 out-of-pocket maximum on the new insurance before procedures are covered 100%. We just can’t afford that anytime soon–as it is, we’re hoping for a good tax refund in order to cover the hospital bills that will start rolling in any day now–so it looks like my gall bladder will have to stay put. Not that I was particularly looking forward to surgery (and to another IV–yuck!), but I was looking forward to not having any more attacks. Thankfully I haven’t had any since my really bad one around 18 weeks, but I know it could strike at any time.


Confessions of a new mom

Thursday, February 15, 2007

*Part of me sometimes (just sometimes) misses being pregnant. The stuff in the beginning was very hard on me, but I’m fortunate that the last half of pregnancy wasn’t as bad as it could have been, so that’s naturally what is at the front of my mind. I’m so glad Baby B is here, but I do miss some things, like feeling her moving inside me.

*I have no idea how moms of twins do this without significant help.

*I like breastfeeding more than I expected to.

*I never used to understand why new moms would complain about not having time for a shower. “Just put the kid in the swing for ten minutes…he’ll be fine,” I used to think. But now I understand the constant attention that a newborn requires, and it’s not as simple as just putting them in the swing for ten minutes. That being said, I do make time for a shower when I need one, because I always feel so much more refreshed and prepared to tackle the challenges that await.

*Sometimes I go to check on Baby B, just to make sure she’s breathing. But then I end up standing there, just staring at her and daydreaming.

*I was afraid I was going to have an ugly baby. Not all babies are cute, you know. Maybe I’m biased, but I don’t think my baby is ugly. Whew!

*Despite never having changed a diaper in my life, I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m surprising myself by how much of a natural I am at some of this stuff.


Two-week pediatrician appointment: check!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Weight: 6 pounds, 5 ounces (25th percentile)

Height: 19 1/2 inches (25th percentile)

Head circumference: 14 inches (50th percentile)

I took Baby B to the pediatrician this morning for her two-week check-up (well, she’s actually 2 1/2 weeks), and everything went well. She’s gained a full pound since her last weight check two weeks ago, so the doctor was very happy with that, especially since she lost weight when she was jaundiced. He said that gaining about an ounce a day is really good, and she gained 16 ounces in a 14-day period. After examining her, he said everything looked good and there was nothing to be concerned about.

I asked about the fact that she won’t sleep on her back…as soon as I put her down, she rolls onto one side or the other. Right now it’s not that big a deal because she sleeps in her swing most of the time, but she does take naps in either the mini co-sleeper or the Pack N Play. The doctor said it’s nothing he would worry about, as long as she’s not sleeping on her stomach.

I also asked about when I should start pumping, since I’ll have to do that once I return to work. I know some doctors recommend you don’t start pumping until at least 4 weeks unless you have to, so I wanted his opinion on it, and he said it’d be a good idea to go ahead and start any time. So now I need to start researching double electric pumps (any specific recommendations from anyone reading this?) and get that purchased so I can get started doing that.

I’m nursing her most of the time, and then we’re feeding her 2 ounces of formula usually once or twice a day. This started originally when she had jaundice and needed the extra nourishment, but it’s been a nice addition to our routine, as it’s allowed The Husband to feed her at night and give me a bit of a break. I mentioned to the doctor that we were still including the formula in her diet, and he said he’s in favor of us keeping up with that if we want. He said that in addition to giving her a supplement to the nutrition she’s already receiving from me, it will also give me an occasional break if I want it and put me into a more relaxed mindset for taking care of her during the night. He said that would also be a natural time of day to get some pumping done (without having to worry about feeding her also) if she’s being fed with formula.

Next office visit: March 27, when she gets her first major round of vaccinations. Maybe I’ll let The Husband take her to that one!


They don’t cover that in the parenting books!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We gave Baby B her first tub bath on Sunday night, and boy did she not care much for that! We were actually doing pretty well, though, despite her occasional thrashing and had just started to wash her hair as the last step before finishing, when we heard some underwater gas. My first thought was, “Heh heh…she farted in the water!” But then just an instant later, I realized, “Oh no! I bet it wasn’t just gas!” Sure enough, a check of the water revealed baby poop starting to permeate through the water.

You know, in none of the books I’ve read, nowhere did they cover “how to clean up after your baby poops in the bath water.” I guess parents just have to figure out some things on their own!


What do you mean there’s no return policy?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yesterday was–by far–our most challenging day since we’ve been home. Baby B was extra fussy and needy, and all she wanted to do was eat from about 5:30 a.m. until midnight. If I wasn’t feeding her (which was about 75% of the time), I was constantly burping her, changing diapers, cuddling her, trying to console her, etc. I wasn’t able to put her down all day until The Husband got home. Finally around 7 p.m., I was able to take a shower for the first time since Saturday. Until 7:30 p.m., when my best friend brought dinner for us, I’d had only a piece of pound cake that served as a combination breakfast/lunch. I tried all the usual tricks for consoling her crying, but nothing would work. When I took her for a ride in the car during the afternoon, I briefly pondered returning her anonymously to the hospital nursery because she was being so frustrating. (I’m just kidding, for anyone who thinks I was serious about that.) I resisted, however, and decided to keep her, after all. 🙂 Thankfully, after a better night’s sleep last night, we’re both doing better today. Baby B is much happier today, and I feel better able to tackle her curveballs just for having finally gotten my shower last night!

We go to the pediatrician tomorrow morning for her two-week check-up. I’ll update sometime after we get home.


Weigh in

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Down another two pounds for this week. Yay! I’m convinced it’s not really nursing that’s doing the trick…it’s having my entire day occupied and not having time for those little snacks that slowly pack on the pounds and inches. (And hey, I’m sure the nursing on top of that doesn’t hurt, either.)

All is well in Baby Land, but I don’t have much time to write at the moment since I need to get some things done around the house while The Husband is home. Baby B had a little growth spurt this week and wanted to eat pretty frequently during the daytime, so that left me with little time to get much else done.

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)
28w (+3.6 pounds, +14.6 pounds total)
29w (-0.6 pounds, +14 pounds total)
30w (+1.8 pounds, +15.8 pounds total)
31w (+2.0 pounds, +17.8 pounds total)
32w1d (+0.6 pounds, +18.4 pounds total)
33w (-0.2 pounds, +18.2 pounds total)
34w (+2.4 pounds, +20.6 pounds total)
35w (+1.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
36w (-0.6 pounds, +21.6 pounds total)
37w (+0.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
38w (+3.8 pounds, +26 pounds total)
*******************
3 days post-partum (-11.8 pounds, +14.2 pounds from starting weight)
1w post-partum (-4.2 pounds, +10.0 pounds from starting weight)
2w post-partum (-2.0 pounds, +8.0 pounds from starting weight)


Oversensitive arms

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I’ve had the strangest thing happen several times in the past week. Some background: I sleep with a stuffed golden retriever in my arms at night. I’ve had him for several years, and before that, I slept with a koala bear. So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve slept with some sort of stuffed animal.

Well, during the past week, I’ve woken up about four or five different times with my stuffed dog in my arms and in my confused, sleepy state, I thought that I had fallen asleep with Baby B in my arms. I don’t even lay in bed with her, because I don’t want to succumb to the temptation of sharing a bed since I’m not comfortable with the potential risks, so I know it’s not even possible for that to happen, but each time I’ve had the overwhelming sensation that it’s her–and not my stuffed animal–in my arms. For a few seconds, I’m utterly confused as to why she feels so light and limp. One time, I even went as far as placing the stuffed dog in the mini co-sleeper that’s next to my side of the bed because I thought it was really the baby. Weird, I tell you.


The due date

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

It’s funny to think that Baby B wasn’t even due to arrive until today! We’ve had her for just ten days, but it’s already hard to recall how things were before she was here!

Things are going well here at home. She’s feeding more often during the day, then about every three to four hours at night (I have to set my clock and wake her up as opposed to waiting for her to cry for food at night), so I’m actually able to get a decent amount of sleep so far, and I feel pretty good.


And I didn’t even yell at The Husband once!(aka The Full Birth Story)

Monday, February 5, 2007

(Note: Contains TMI descriptions of my labor and delivery experiences. Consider yourself warned.) 

I went for my 38-week appointment on Wednesday, January 24 and was still at 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced, no change from the previous week. My doctor went over the plan for what would happen induction-wise if I went late, so I wasn’t expecting much to happen soon. But, I also knew things could start happening at any moment.

On Friday, January 26, I started feeling more of a wetness during the late afternoon/early evening hours, so I began to suspect that my water might be leaking. I’d also started to get some bloody show during the day, enough for a pantyliner. But, I wasn’t convinced enough to call the doctor about it. The Husband and I went out that night, stopping to get some litmus paper at a hobby store so I could check if the fluid was basic, which would indicate it was indeed amniotic fluid. (Yes, I’m a dork for getting the litmus paper, but hey, it was cheap!) We went out to dinner and got home around 10 p.m. and I checked the pH, but it wasn’t showing up as basic, so it didn’t appear to be amniotic fluid. I just figured my discharge was starting to change in preparation for labor. Soon after we got home, I had quite a bit of diarrhea, which was yet another sign (especially looking back) that labor was going to start soon. Around 11 p.m., I started getting really strong, constant menstrual-like cramps in my lower back that sometimes were in my lower abdomen, as well. I knew from reading that this is often how labor starts, and since I hadn’t had any cramping during pregnancy, I really started to suspect something was up. I went to bed around midnight that night and started getting mild contractions during the night, but nothing major.

I woke up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, andThe Husband and I dropped off The Dog at 7:30 for his previously scheduled grooming appointment. I let them know that I was likely in early labor and checked to see if we could board him there if it turned out I really was in labor. They said that wasn’t a problem. (So glad we had the appointment for that morning!) The Husband and I got home around 8 a.m. and the contractions, which were mostly in my lower back, were definitely painful. I wasn’t 100% sure this would be the real thing, but I went back to bed to get some rest just in case it was. I had to take my heating pad to bed because my back hurt so much from the contractions, which were about 15 seconds long and probably 8-10 minutes apart at this point (though we weren’t timing them quite yet). I slept until about 10:30 a.m. and got up. We started timing contractions around 11 a.m., and within an hour, they were 3-4 minutes apart and lasted about 45 seconds. We decided to get ready to go to the hospital. I took a shower while The Husband finished packing our last-minute items. By this point, my contractions were painful enough that I had to stop whatever I was doing in order to breathe through them. Leaning over onto all fours so my belly was hanging helped take some of the pressure off. The pains were still in my lower back mostly and sometimes wrapped around to my lower abdomen. I never really felt any contractions high up.

We left for the hospital around 1:30 p.m. and arrived at 2 p.m. We went to labor and delivery and got checked in, then they took me to the labor and delivery room. I changed clothes, used the bathroom one last time, then was asked a ton of questions (mostly health/pregnancy related) by the nurse. They checked me internally and said I was still only 2 to 3 centimeters dilated and about 90% to 100% effaced.

Around 3 p.m., they were ready to put in my IV, which was the worst part of the whole thing for me. It took three nurses and four tries to get in an IV–the first three veins blew–and I was bawling from the experience. Around 3:30 p.m., just when I was filling out my consent forms for the epidural, they injected Stadol into my IV to help take the edge off the contractions, which were becoming more painful, though staying at about the same frequency. I felt the Stadol nearly immediately, as the words on the pages in front of me quickly started running together. I was really surprised by how fast it took effect. It didn’t really take away the pain (I still had to breathe through the contractions), but it definitely made me care less about the pain!

At 4:30 p.m., the anesthesiologist (thanks, Dr. Bennett!) came in to administer my epidural. (I was already pretty sold on the epidural beforehand, and knew with certainty I would get it once I felt those early contractions.) The Husband had to leave the room, so he took that time to call my parents, who wanted to come to the hospital, and his family, who all live out of town. (We wanted to wait until I got the epidural since we didn’t want to tell them I was having the baby and then have it be a false alarm.) I was still under the effects of the Stadol when I had the epidural inserted, so I think that helped relax me. The numbing shot kind of stung at first, but I didn’t feel any pain after that. I could feel the catheter being threaded in, but it didn’t hurt. They also sent a small electrical shock down my left leg to ensure proper placement, but that didn’t hurt, either…just a weird sensation. From start to finish, the procedure took about 10 minutes. My epidural took effect immediately, and I didn’t feel any contractions from that point on. My torso was very numbed, but I could still feel my legs for the most part and could even move them quite a bit. It was weird because I had the sensation of itching sometimes on my upper legs, but scratching didn’t help make it go away!

The nurses had had a hard time finding my contractions on the contraction monitor, so they ended up putting in internal monitors for contractions and for the baby’s heart rate once I had the epidural. They also inserted the catheter at this time, which I could feel, but it didn’t hurt.

My doctor wasn’t on call that weekend, so I met one of his practice associates when he came in to check on me around 5 p.m. I really ended up liking him a lot…he had a good sense of humor and was just real laid-back. He checked me around 5 p.m. and I was only at about 4 centimeters and 100% effaced. He also broke my water at that point, which I couldn’t feel, but I did feel the warm sensation of the gush when it came out.

About 5:15 p.m., the blood pressure of both me and the baby plummeted from the epidural, and my temperature dipped quite a bit, too, and I started shivering. I was still feeling the effects of the Stadol, but I do remember them inserting blood pressure medicine into my IV a couple different times in order to stabilize me. I also was given oxygen to breathe for about an hour, which wasn’t so bad except the mask didn’t come close to fitting on my face, so it was annoying more than anything and I had to keep moving it around. I came really close to vomiting at that point and gagged a few times but managed to avoid actually throwing up. They finally got the vitals looking good for both of us and then started a pitocin drip in order to really get the contractions going. My parents arrived around 6:30 p.m. and chatted with us while I labored.

Around 8 p.m., the nurse told me to let them know if I started getting a sensation of pressure, especially in the rectal area. About five minutes after they mentioned that, I started getting that exact pressure and called in the nurse. The doctor came in again to check me around 8:15 p.m. and said that I was fully dilated and it was about time to start pushing. I was actually kind of surprised because I figured it would take longer before I started pushing. My parents went to the waiting room since I wanted it to be just me and The Husband for the delivery, and the nurse got things ready for delivery, including getting the bed adjusted into the right position, getting out supplies, and getting the stirrups in place.

I started pushing around 8:40 p.m. In the delivery room were just me, The Husband, the doctor, and one nurse. My epidural was still turned on, but I could feel some pressure at the start of each contraction. The doctor did good with telling me how to push. My first couple pushes weren’t great, but after he corrected me and told me how to make it better, my pushes were more effective from then on. We did three pushes on each contraction, with either The Husband or the nurse counting for me. The doctor would start talking/joking about random things in between contractions (and sometimes during contractions! LOL), like my career field and state politics, and I really think that helped distract me when I needed it. A couple times, though, the other three got into their conversation so much that they forgot to finish counting for me. I pushed as long as I could, then jokingly yelled, “Thanks, guys, you stopped counting!” At one point, the doctor asked if I knew what the vacuum was and started going over pros and cons of using it. At the next contraction, apparently I pushed even better than I had been, because he said, “Yep, mentioning the vacuum always makes them push better.” Perhaps not a sense of humor for everyone, but he really was amusing.

The Husband was able to be both by my side holding one of my legs and could see all of what was going on. (This was fine with me. I’d told him beforehand that it was completely up to him regarding how much he wanted to see himself.) He was fascinated by it all, and I’m actually glad that he was so into it. About 20 minutes into pushing, I suddenly started getting the overwhelming sensation that I was going to throw up, so they got the bedpan for me. I threw up just once (mostly just water since I’d purposely not eaten much that day in anticipation of labor and knowing that vomiting isn’t an unusual occurrence) and felt better after that. Before my last couple of pushes, the doctor went ahead and put on his delivery scrubs, and they called in the baby nurse, who would take care of the baby once she was born. I asked to reach down and touch her head once it was sticking out, and I’m glad I got to do that. Pushing to get the rest of the head and shoulders out hurt a little bit (but still not as much as the stupid IV hurt!).

Kathryn (Katie) Alexandra was born at 9:09 p.m., after pushing for about 30 minutes, and weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 inches long. She had a rash on some of her face and most of her body, so they wanted to take her to the intake nursery soon in order to make sure it was nothing to worry about. They got her cleaned up and then I got to hold her for only about 10 minutes before they took her. They had my parents come in from the waiting room so they could see her before taking her. I ended up with no episiotomy, and just one minor first-degree tear that did not require stitches. We’d done perineal massage at the recommendation of my doctor ever since my 36-week appointment, so I’m not sure if that’s what helped, but it certainly couldn’t have hurt.

The Husband cut the cord (he was unsure if he wanted to, but the doctor had convinced him to do it and he later said he was glad he did), and then the doctor delivered the rest of the umbilical cord and placenta, saying, “And now you are officially not pregnant any more” when it came out. I was under the impression that delivering the placenta took longer, but it was fully delivered within just a few minutes of Baby B being born. The doctor put it into a bowl and showed it to The Husband then inspected it before setting it down, but I asked to see it, too, since I really was curious. It was turned inside out, but the doctor turned it back out for us so we could see what it looked like in utero. Yeah, it was kind of gross, but I figured I don’t have many opportunities to see something like that, so I might as well! I’m really glad I did. I believe they said Baby B’s APGARs were 7 and 8.

They took Baby B to the intake nursery to check her rash (which ended up being fine and was mostly gone by the next day) and to give her a bath and check all of her vitals. My parents and The Husband went to watch through the viewing window, and my best friend showed up just as my parents were leaving. They got me cleaned up, removed the epidural catheter, and around 11 p.m. they wanted to see how well I could feel my legs to know if I could be moved yet. I still felt a lot of numbness in the left side of my torso and in my lower back (that numbness lasted most of the rest of the night), but I could hold my weight and walk (with some help) just fine. They moved me to a wheelchair to take me to the mother/baby wing, where I would spend the rest of my time in the hospital. The Husband and best friend carried all of our stuff to the new room and they got set up there while the nurses helped me pee (I really had to pee once I could feel again!). I was able to sit down and get up off the toilet fine, and the nurses cleaned up a lot of the blood and gave me the mesh panties and pads to wear. They also showed me how to squirt warm water after I was done peeing in order to keep things as clean as possible. I walked back to the bed mostly on my own with some steadying from the nurse; they were surprised by how much I could walk on my own at that point.

I got back in bed and visited with my best friend while The Husband left the room to make phone calls to family and friends with the good news. They started me on two bags of pitocin in order to get my uterus to shrink back, and the nurses came in periodically to check and massage my uterus and keep an eye on my temperature (I’d developed a fever at the end of labor) and blood pressure. My best friend left around 12:30 a.m. and The Husband and I just sat and talked for a bit while we waited for them to bring Baby B to our room. She finally came around 2 a.m.–the first time I’d seen/held her since the short time I had her after the birth. We tried breastfeeding immediately, but it was kind of frustrating at first. It felt like everything I’d read about what to do went out of my brain, and of course she didn’t know what to do immediately, either. By the second day, that got easier, but it was certainly frustrating those first couple times. It also didn’t help that I was so tired and just not in the right frame of mind to be patient with breastfeeding, so I decided we’d get a fresh start the next day. We sent her back to the nursery around 4 a.m. so we could get a few hours of sleep. My bleeding was still really heavy at that point, but less than it was right after delivery. It was more manageable by the second day and much like period bleeding after that.

We had Baby B in our room all day on Sunday, January 28. I was definitely sore in the crotch, like someone had kicked me hard there, but I imagine it would have been worse if I’d had tears or stitches. Still, getting in and out of bed really hurt. The Husband did all of the diaper changes, and feeding went better that day. My best friend and her mom came to visit us that afternoon after church, and the whole day felt like a parade of people who came into our room, one after another…nurses obviously to check on us, but then the hospital photographer, the lactation consultant, the pediatrician, the on-call obstetrician, the birth certificate/Social Security person, etc. I finally got to take a shower around 8 p.m. that night and felt a lot better after that. My best friend came back later that night with her fiance to visit and stayed for about an hour. We sent Baby B back to the nursery around 10 p.m. so we could get some rest (with instructions to bring her back during the night when she needed to be fed, which I did around 1:45 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.). The Husband and I took a walk around the halls for a few minutes, which was the only time I got out of the room since I was so sore when I walked.

On Monday, January 29, they brought Baby B back to our room around 8 a.m. and we waited to be discharged, which they were hoping to do around noon. The pediatrician came and gave his okay to discharge Baby B (though we had to take her back to the doctor two days later since she looked jaundiced), but we were still waiting on my obstetrician to come talk to me and give me the okay to leave. We thought he would come while doing rounds before his office hours, but he never came and the nurses didn’t know where he was. We gathered up our stuff and watched TV while waiting for him. He finally came around 1:30 p.m. and sat down to talk with me. He said he’d been doing a c-section that morning, then had another delivery in the late morning, on top of keeping up with his office appointments, too, so at least there was a good reason for why he was later coming to see me. He asked me how things went, and I said that everything went way better than expected and that the IV was the worst part for me. I said that maybe it was a good thing hearing everyone’s horror stories because maybe that made things better for me! He started going over instructions on care for my stitches, but I told him that I hadn’t had any stitches. He looked surprised, checked my chart, and said, “Wow, you’re right.” I know it’s not the norm to not need stitches, so I really do count myself lucky there. I started asking a few questions about exercise and some other things, and he said that the only rule I had was that intercourse and tampons were forbidden for six weeks, but other than that, I could proceed as I normally would. He told me to continue my prenatal vitamin for as long as I was nursing, and to keep up with my iron supplement for about three months. He said I’ll get a reminder in the mail soon from his office to schedule my six-week post-partum appointment.

All in all, I really think things went extraordinarily well. From the start of the initial cramping, my labor was techically about 22 hours, but it seemed like less than that since my real contractions didn’t start until the next morning, and I delivered only seven hours after arriving at the hospital. I was prepared to push for a lot longer than 30 minutes, since I know it’s common to push for an hour or two (unlike what you see on TV and in the movies!), so I’m very glad that wasn’t the case. I really don’t think I could have asked for a better delivery, despite the few unpleasant parts about it.


My kid is sooooo much more advanced than your kid

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Husband and I like to complain about parents who are constantly trying to one-up other parents when it comes to their children. You know the ones–their kid is the best soccer player ever, their kid spoke their first word at some insanely early age, or their kid is reading at a high-school level in the 2nd grade. I understand this mostly comes from being proud of their kid’s achievements, but the constant “my kid is better than your kid” gets annoying real fast.

So we’ve had fun joking about how advanced our newborn is. “She spoke her first full sentence earlier today,” I’ll tell The Husband when he gets home from work. Just funny, ridiculous things like that.

But my favorite way I like to say that my child is “so advanced” is that she just knows when I’ve laid down and started to drift off to sleep–whether she’s in the same room as me or not–because that’s precisely when she starts to cry. No joke, every time. The kid has an uncanny ability to sense this.

Isn’t she so advanced?


The quest to lose pregnancy weight

Saturday, February 3, 2007

In an effort to keep myself in check, I’ll continue to post my weight loss/gain (hopefully just loss!) each week, at least until I reach my pre-pregnancy weight. As of this morning, I’m down 16 pounds total and have 10 pounds to go.

Weight loss/gain:
3w5d starting weight
5w (-1.2 pounds)
6w (-3 pounds, -4.2 pounds total)
7w (-2.4 pounds, -6.6 pounds total)
8w (-1 pound, -7.6 pounds total)
9w (-2 pounds, -9.6 pounds total)
10w (-2.6 pounds, -12.2 pounds total)
11w (+1 pound, -11.2 pounds total)
12w (+3.6 pounds, -7.6 pounds total)
13w (+1.0 pound, -6.6 pounds total)
14w (+1.2 pounds, -5.4 pounds total)
15w (+3.4 pounds, -2 pounds total)
16w (+2.0 pounds, no change total)
17w (+2.0 pounds, +2.0 pounds total)
18w1d (+2.0 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
19w (-1.0 pound, +3.0 pounds total)
20w (-0.4 pounds, +2.6 pounds total)
21w (+1.4 pounds, +4.0 pounds total)
22w (-0.4 pounds, +3.6 pounds total)
23w (+3.4 pounds, +7.0 pounds total)
24w (+0.8 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
25w (+0.0 pounds, +7.8 pounds total)
26w (+4.2 pounds, +12.0 pounds total)
27w (-1.0 pounds, +11.0 pounds total)
28w (+3.6 pounds, +14.6 pounds total)
29w (-0.6 pounds, +14 pounds total)
30w (+1.8 pounds, +15.8 pounds total)
31w (+2.0 pounds, +17.8 pounds total)
32w1d (+0.6 pounds, +18.4 pounds total)
33w (-0.2 pounds, +18.2 pounds total)
34w (+2.4 pounds, +20.6 pounds total)
35w (+1.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
36w (-0.6 pounds, +21.6 pounds total)
37w (+0.6 pounds, +22.2 pounds total)
38w (+3.8 pounds, +26 pounds total)
*******************
3 days post-partum (-11.8 pounds, +14.2 pounds from starting weight)
1w post-partum (-4.2 pounds, +10.0 pounds from starting weight)


Bilirubin is a funny word

Friday, February 2, 2007

The doctor called a little while ago with Baby B’s bilirubin number from this morning’s blood draw: 14.4. So, that’s good news that it’s going down from 17 yesterday, and things look to be okay. We don’t have to have any other follow-ups on this matter unless we notice her skin yellowing again. Her next regular appointment will be on February 14.

I had my first time away from Baby B last night when my best friend came over and watched her so The Husband and I could go out and do the grocery shopping and grab some dinner. I’m glad we had that first babyless outing pretty early on, because it might have been harder had we waited and grown even more attached before venturing out as a couple again. I did pretty good about not thinking about her and missing her until we were in the checkout line at the grocery store and I smelled my hands–which smelled like her. I think we did pretty good, though, even if it was only for about three hours.

Had a better night last night, with getting four hours of sleep in two two-hour stretches. It doesn’t sound like much, but I feel incredibly refreshed. I’m looking forward to this weekend, since that means The Husband will be at home and can help me out with things. I think the first week went pretty well, especially considering I’ve been on my own during the day and he’s had to sacrifice sleep while still going to work. We may figure out this whole baby thing after all. 🙂


So that’s who was kicking me

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Introducing Baby B:

The Dog giving a puppy kiss to his little sis:


All the time in the world, yet none of it available

Thursday, February 1, 2007

I’m awake for 22 of the 24 hours of the day, yet I have time to do nothing but care for this little person who was inside me just a week ago. And that’s fine, because that’s what being a mother is all about, but it sure leaves less time for blogs, especially since I’m the sole caregiver during the day.

Just a quick update:

*Baby B (Kathryn Alexandra, for those curious, though here I’ll probably still just call her Baby B) is doing well. We went to the doctor yesterday, and she was a bit jaundiced, but nothing to be alarmed about yet. She had blood drawn again this morning, so I’m waiting on the doctor to call me back with that number to see what we do next. If it’s down, we do nothing. She did gain 2 oz. since yesterday, so he’s happy about that and suspects the jaundice is already getting better.

*I’m doing well overall, but I’m exhausted. I’ve already had a couple of 24-hour stretches of being awake, but I know that will get better with time. Hey, at least things are really freaking funny when you haven’t had much sleep! I think I laugh more than ever now.

*We love our little Baby B so much! She’s just the most precious thing, and she gets prettier and prettier every day! There are frustrating times when I don’t know what she wants when she’s crying, but that’s more than overshadowed by all the fun times when she coos or squeaks, opens her eyes real wide, or just snuggles into my chest as I hold her.

There’s so much more I could write about, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. We are all doing well, though, so I didn’t want to leave you hanging. I’ll post when I can, even if it’s not as often as I want.

***UPDATE*** Baby B’s blood work came back with increased bilirubin levels (17 compared to 16.4 yesterday), so I have to take her for another draw tomorrow. The doctor still isn’t concerned and doesn’t think she’ll need light therapy (they usually do that if it’s above 20). We’ll see how things look tomorrow.