Wordless Wednesday: The nursery

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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Close-up: The Big Sis

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

*We are only three weeks into this, so I can’t make long-term predictions, but so far The Big Sis has adjusted well to having a sister, I think. The two biggest challenges we have with her right now — not listening to us (and having to repeat ourselves 10 million times with her) and resisting bedtime — were issues that we had with her before The Little Sis’ arrival, so I think it’s more a result of her age rather than the change in our family.

*She is incredibly helpful — so helpful, in fact, that there are times when she’s at preschool during the day and I sometimes wish I had her here with me! (She still goes to preschool each day because I want her routine to stay the same, and they’ve started the school-year curriculum and I don’t want her to miss out on learning opportunities. I do pick her up early some days to give her bonus baby time.)

*She LOVES to hold The Little Sis, and she’s actually pretty good at calming her down if she gets upset when being held.

*The Big Sis burps the baby better than I do.

*This week we let The Big Sis give her sister a bottle at bedtime, and she’s loved doing that.

*We’ve made an effort to give The Big Sis some special time, with both of us as well as with me and The Husband individually. You’d think she would love this, but her first complaint is that The Little Sis isn’t there with us.

*I’m realizing just how much The Big Sis can do for herself now that I’m largely unable to do many things for her. For example, on bath nights, I run the water and turn it off, but she gathers her towel and washcloth, picks out undies and pajamas, gets undressed, gets her hair wet, then I wash her hair. I also lather up the shower puff for her to wash her body but she does that and rinses by herself, then opens the drain, gets out, towels off, and gets dressed on her own. She did much of that on her own before, but she does a great job when left to do most everything by herself.

*After spending each day with a little baby, everything about The Big Sis looks huge. Especially her hands for some reason.

*I wasn’t sure how The Big Sis would do with her sister using most of the stuff that we’d used the first time around with her. I thought there was a chance she’d be possessive about it, since she does know it was hers before, but she has been great about it. In fact, she’s been so great about it that she insisted she wanted to give her sister her favorite stuffed animal, a pink, orange, and yellow dolphin we got in Florida last year. We told her she really didn’t have to do that, but it remains in The Little Sis’ room.


Close-up: The Little Sis

Monday, August 29, 2011

*The Little Sis is just wonderful. I think we’re going to keep her.

*On Friday night, she put in 5 1/2 hours of consecutive sleep, went right to sleep after her feeding, then got another 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I’m not expecting this all of the time, of course, but it’s nice to see.

*She really is a pretty good baby (knock on wood!). When she cries, she’s pretty loud, but generally she calms down once we fix what’s wrong (feed her, change her, etc.).

*She is very resistant to taking a pacifier and chooses to use me as a pacifier instead. Over the weekend I was able to get a pacifier in her mouth and she kept it there for maybe 5 minutes, and this happened a few times, so that was a success. (Usually I can’t even get it IN her mouth, and if I do accidentally, she makes a face that indicates she feels as though I dipped it in raw sewage.) I’d say she still refuses it from me about 90% of the time, though. (The Husband is a little more successful with it, but she still refuses it more often than not with him.)

*She is starting to have more moments of alert time, and she’s starting to notice things around the house, especially lights.

*The Little Sis does spit up, but it’s not very much at this point and it’s more likely to happen if I didn’t get a good burp from her after a feeding. The Big Sis had reflux, so I’m really hoping that’s not something we repeat this time around. What’s funny is that she’ll make noises that sound like she’s for sure spitting up, but nothing is there. But then when she does spit up? It just comes out unexpectedly, with no warning sign.

*Following in her sister’s footsteps, The Little Sis currently sleeps in the swing at night, swaddled in the Miracle Blanket. We’re practicing sleeping in other places for naps during the day, but I generally only get about 15 minutes of sleep out of her then. Still, that’s how we started with The Big Sis, and we eventually worked up to her sleeping in the crib overnight.

*A lot of people have asked me how it is being a second-time mom. I can definitely say that I’m more confident this time around. I still might not know what I’m doing at times — a lot of it is just such guesswork — but I think I know better the kinds of things I need to check and go down the list of possibilities faster. Also, I am forever thankful that my oldest is capable of doing most things for herself, though. That really does make most things much easier.

*I’m pretty sure The Little Sis has a blocked tear duct, which should be helped by squirting breast milk in her eye. That’s something I never thought I’d be doing ever. Check that one off the ol’ Bucket List. LOL

*We tried to give The Little Sis her first real bath last week. That was a pretty big FAIL. We got everything ready, put her in the warm water, she cried for a minute, I lathered up the sponge and started to wash her belly, then there was poop in the water. Abort! Abort! I got her out, The Husband went to clean the tub, then we tried again. Put her in the water, she cried for about 30 seconds, then more poop in the water. Abort! Abort! I declared that good enough and said, “Eh, babies don’t get THAT dirty.” We shall try again tonight.

*I love her little squeaks and coos.

*The Little Sis is still basically a little mini-me of The Big Sis, which is kind of freaky.

Next time will be Close-up: The Big Sis.


The scoop

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

*The Little Sis’ umbilical cord stump came off during a diaper change yesterday at 16 days old. Her first real bath is the plan for tonight!

*In an effort to prove that we are brave/stupid, we are planning a trip to Maine in mid-October to visit The Husband’s grandmother and aunts (and hopefully his dad and/or brother can make the drive up there too). The idea of traveling with a ten-week-old kind of terrifies me, but I can’t let that stop us. We haven’t been to Maine in two years, and it’s unlikely that any of them will come down here to visit us anytime soon. I know they will love having a delicious little baby to adore. Airfare is still ridiculously expensive, but The Husband got an unexpected bonus at work recently, so I think that’s a good way to use the money, and it’s likely our only real expense for the trip (aside from long-term parking and baggage fees).

*For some reason I expected to not get as many baby gifts this time around, seeing as the second child is often not as celebrated as the first, but we have wonderful family and friends who have sent us some lovely things for The Little Sis. We are so fortunate!

*Speaking of fortunate, I had someone from my parenting board offer to send us hand-me-downs of her daughter’s clothes when she outgrows them. With newborn clothes alone this has significantly expanded our options, and I’m so excited to receive some hand-me-downs, as this is the first time we’ve ever received any. The clothes are both cute and practical, and I’ve loved going in and picking out something new-to-us each day.

*The Little Sis seems to think I am her pacifier, and I cannot get her to take a regular pacifier (despite trying four or five different kinds now). One word: OUCHIE!

*The Little Sis has been giving us stretches of three or four hours of sleep, which isn’t too bad for 2 1/2 weeks old. She still will sleep only on our lap/chest or in the swing at this point, though I’m trying to lay her down other places during the day so she can get used to it.


Wordless Wednesday: You’re never fully dressed without a smile

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

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Out and about

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One of the things I wanted to do differently this time was not be scared to go out with a baby. With The Big Sis, most of it was the fact that it was January and I didn’t want her to catch winter germs when she was so little, but then once she developed reflux, going out was a messy endeavor, so I often skipped it when given a choice. And truth be told, part of it was that I was just scared of being out in public, having her cry, and being judged by others for not calming her down quickly enough.

But I resolved to do things differently this time, and so far so good. The Husband and I took her out the day after we were discharged from the hospital, and when she was six days old we all attended a birthday party that The Big Sis was invited to. Most days I’m able to get out for a walk around the neighborhood with The Little Sis, and you know what? If she cries, she cries. She’s a baby, and that’s how she “talks” to us. It’s not the end of the world, and if we need to cut our walk or errands short, that’s what we’ll do.

I took a big step on Friday night and decided to take both girls out alone when The Husband had to work late that night. We picked up The Big Sis from school, then went to her favorite playground, thankfully avoiding the rain that was showing up on the radar. I attempted to nurse The Little Sis while there, but that was a fail because sometimes she takes a long time to latch on, and I couldn’t manage to make it work with her under a blanket. The solution, however, was to nurse her in the car, where I had a little more privacy, so we made that work fine. We left the park briefly to pick up some sandwiches, then went back to a picnic shelter and enjoyed a picnic dinner together before deciding to head to a nearby self-serve frozen yogurt place. On the way home, we stopped at The Husband’s office to say hi (and so I could see his new office for the first time), then we went home and I got both girls to bed quite easily. (It didn’t hurt that The Big Sis was worn out. And putting The Little Sis to bed just involved nursing her and having her sleep on the Boppy on my lap.) However, I would call the evening a success all around.


Eat + eat + eat = grow!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Little Sis has been eating quite a bit over the past couple of days, so I was not surprised to find out at the pediatrician this morning that she had an 11.5-ounce weight increase in the past seven days. The Pediatrician was very happy with this increase — he said he looks for about one ounce of growth per day — and said it’s clear that she’s eating well. Everything else checked out well for her too, so we don’t have to go back until the two-month checkup in October.

Her stats:

Weight: 7 lb., 3 oz. (25th percentile, five ounces above birth weight at 11 days old)

Length: 19.75 inches (25th to 50th percentile)

Head circumference: 13.5 inches (25th to 50th percentile)

 


Wordless Wednesday: The obligatory sister pics

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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Eating my words

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You know, I should really know better than to jinx myself by telling multiple people that things are going well and we’re adjusting just fine, thanks. Because then it brings about a night like last night, where it’s the complete opposite of how things had been going. All day yesterday, The Little Sis was asking to eat quite frequently, so my first thoughts were either growth spurt or she just wants to use me as a pacifier (she’s not really taking the paci from me). Okay, fine, not a big deal. However, last night she also decided she wanted to sleep only after nursing, and only while still touching me, so I was largely unable to move her elsewhere after feeding her, which isn’t particularly conducive to me getting sleep. But then she kicked it up a notch overnight, somehow forgetting how to get her latch and waving her head around acting like there’s not a nipple right in front of her mouth, so hello, take it and drink! Then once she would latch on, she’d come off a few seconds later and pretend not to know what to do again, to the tune of doing this for a good five or ten minutes before each feeding — not a particularly fun treat for my still-sensitive nipples.

I thought this morning would be my redemption. The past two mornings, The Little Sis and I have said goodbye to The Husband and The Big Sis as they’ve left for work/school and then we’ve gone into the bedroom, laid on top of the covers, and she’s nursed and then dozed for two or three hours, allowing me to sleep as well. No such luck this morning. She kept acting like she’d never latched on before in her life, then pulling off when she finally did get it. I started dozing just a bit when the phone rang, with a reminder from the pediatrician about our appointment tomorrow. Repeat the whole latch confusion thing, and I finally began dozing again when the phone rang again, this time it was daycare telling me that The Big Sis’ shoe broke and I needed to bring her a new pair of shoes.

Are you freaking kidding me? I give up. No sleep for me today, apparently.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that somehow yesterday I mysteriously pulled a groin muscle despite the fact that 98% of my day was spent sitting in a recliner. (I suspect I overcompensated when briefly carrying the infant seat when picking up The Big Sis from school). Thankfully that feels mostly better today, but certainly didn’t contribute to any comfort overnight.

On a good note, I’ll have some cute pics for Wordless Wednesday later, if I don’t fall asleep getting them ready.


You make me feel like a natural woman

Monday, August 15, 2011

As I wrote here, I declared that The Little Sis was welcome to come anytime after lunch on Saturday (August 6) because we all had haircuts that morning and then I was going to my pedicure and manicure at the pregnancy spa. So the haircuts went well, then The Husband dropped me off at the spa while he and The Big Sis went to see the Smurfs movie. My appointment was very nice (thanks to The Husband for the treat!) and I was waiting outside the spa for him to pick me up when I thought I felt that my water had broken. This was around 1:30 p.m. Now, I’d had several times when I thought my water had broken, but that turned out not to be the case, so I wasn’t 100% sure at first. I felt another gush. Then another. And I was pretty certain that I wasn’t just randomly peeing myself. I went into a store to use their bathroom and sure enough more water came out. I got out my litmus paper (such a nerd) and sure enough the red paper turned dark blue, just as it should have if it was my water. I called The Husband from the bathroom and gave him a heads up that my water had broken and let him know that we needed to go home instead of going to lunch as planned. I went back outside, shorts fairly soaked (thankful that I’d worn black shorts so it wasn’t super obvious), and got in the car when he arrived. We didn’t really talk about it much on the way home because I didn’t want The Big Sis to know what was going on until we got home.

So we got home and did tell her what was going on, and she was beyond excited that her sister was going to be arriving soon. Since contractions hadn’t begun yet, we had plenty of time to finish packing our bags, The Husband installed the infant seat in his car, and we even planned to go out to an early dinner together as long as I was still feeling okay. The Husband and I both took showers, as well, and we headed out to a Mexican restaurant because that’s what we had the night before The Big Sis was born; we just thought that might be fun. Of course, I’d continued to leak quite a bit all during our time at home, so I left the house with towels to sit on, as well as extra pads and underwear. I’d say I went through probably 10 pairs of underwear in that time. It was definitely more fluid than I was expecting. We enjoyed a wonderful last dinner together and then stopped at Dairy Queen for some ice cream before going home to meet up with The Awesome Friend who was going to be staying with The Big Sis for our time at the hospital.

Around 8:30 p.m., we headed to the hospital, but first we shared the name with The Big Sis, because I was adamant that I wanted her to be the first one to know the name. Her reaction: She thrashed back and forth on the bed with a huge smile on her face, so she seemed pretty happy about it. The Husband and I left for the hospital, since The Midwife wanted me to come in within about 6 hours after my water had broken, even if I wasn’t having contractions (and I still wasn’t).

We arrived around 9 p.m. and checked in at the business office. We asked for the room with the tub (just in case I wanted to use it), but it was quiet enough around there that they had already assigned me that room. Score! We went in there and they had me get undressed and did the intake assessment that consists of a million questions. They checked me internally and said I was at about 2 to 3 centimeters and 50% effacement, so not that much different from what I’d been at my midwife appointment two days earlier. Because my membranes had ruptured, they wanted to check me as little as possible to minimize the chance of infection, so it was pretty much a waiting game to see if contractions started. The nurse wanted to start an IV, but I stood my ground and said I didn’t want one unless absolutely necessary. She tried to get me to do a saline lock, but I insisted I didn’t want that either. The nurse checked with the laborist (the OB on call overnight at the hospital, not associated with any specific practice) and they looked at my veins (to see how hard it might be to get an IV in quickly if needed) and agreed that we could wait on an IV. They asked about when I might want to start Pitocin, and I pretty much told them that I was willing to wait as long as they were. The laborist said she was okay waiting until sometime late the next morning, so I felt better about that. I really, really wanted to avoid Pitocin if possible.

They wanted to hook me up to the monitors the whole time, but I also spoke up about that and said I’d rather avoid that too. They agreed to let me roam free, but I had to return to the room for 15 minutes of monitoring every hour, as long as the baby was doing okay. I was okay with that. At this point, the goal was to get the contractions to begin naturally, but as it was getting late, we also had to factor in saving our energy. So our general MO was to walk the halls for about 30 minutes, then get an additional 15 minutes of rest either before or after my 15 minutes of monitoring. I don’t know how many miles we walked in the halls that night, but it was a LOT. (And side note: I’m pretty sure the nurses were eating something at the nurses’ station every single time we walked by.) Contractions that I had to breathe through finally came around 11:30 p.m., so we continued our method of walking and resting. More walking, more resting.

Finally around 4:30 to 5 a.m., the contractions started getting much stronger. Most of the time I was coping with them on my hands and knees, leaning over the back of a chair in the room, with The Husband giving counterpressure on my lower back. Other times I would lean against the wall or use the yoga ball, but the chair seemed to be best. (The yoga ball was good for lessening the pain in my lower back, but it seemed to amplify the pain in my lower abdomen. Same deal with squatting, so that wasn’t a good coping technique either.) Speaking of The Husband, he did great with supporting me. A few times here and there, he’d do something that I didn’t like (touching me somewhere other than my lower back, for example, or even just talking to me when I had to concentrate to get through the pain), but each time I was very good in redirecting him in a nice way and then letting him know how he could help. I think our communication was good during the whole time, and I never yelled or snapped at him once. Yay me!

The nurse wanted to check my dilation before the next shift came on at 7 a.m., so we planned to do that around 6:30 a.m. My contractions were much stronger (and my vocalizations much louder) by this time, so I was hoping I was farther along than the 6 centimeters and 90% effacement that I was (and baby was at -1 station). However, shortly thereafter, I knew I was hitting transition because I started throwing up. A LOT. Like maybe 15 or 20 times total within a fairly short amount of time (30 minutes?). I’m a pro at vomiting (unfortunately), so I was very businesslike about it, and I tried to remind myself that it was a good thing because it was likely indicating progress. They checked me again at 8 a.m. because my contractions were feeling different (stronger) and I was at 0 station and 7 centimeters. Once again I became quite nauseated around 8:15 a.m., and things really started picking up then.

Around 9:30 a.m., the baby had a decel on the heart monitor that the doctor didn’t like, so they wanted me hooked to the monitors all the time at this point. They also mentioned that I may be dehydrated (even though I’d been drinking a ton the whole time) and said they might have to do an infusion of fluids for me to get the baby perked up some. But first they said I could try lying on my side and breathing oxygen before doing fluids to see if that helped her, which was around 9:30 a.m. At this point I got pretty upset and started crying, because I had the thought of one intervention leading to another and ending up with a c-section after all I’d gone through already. Dealing with contractions on my side was pure misery. Maybe even torture, as I just couldn’t get to a position to alleviated the pain at all, so I felt everything. They also checked me again and said I was at about 8 or 9 centimeters and the baby was pretty low. I don’t remember how long I was on the oxygen (that time is pretty fuzzy), but they said it was helping the baby, so they finally told me I could move around to different positions.

They’d told me to let them know when I was feeling rectal pressure with contractions, which happened soon after, around 9:45 a.m. My screaming and vocalizations during contractions was pretty off the charts at this point. They checked me again and said I was at about 9.5 centimeters…that last half-centimeter was the fact that her head was tucked up above the lip of the cervix, but just barely. I had one contraction that was so unbearable that The Husband called the nurse back immediately, and all I could do was scream. Because my contractions were so painful at that point, they decided to let me go ahead and push. They got the stirrups into position at 10:10, and the pushing began.

I was secretly hoping I was going to be one of those stories where I did two pushes and the baby was out. No such luck, mostly because of that lip thing on the cervix. Pushing was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Instinct makes you want to push away from the pain and almost tense up against it, but you have to push toward it instead. At one point the OB (the one from my practice who was on call that morning) tried to manipulate the cervical lip herself, which made my pain and cramping even worse. The nurse that was with us was very encouraging to me, and she’s one of the big reasons I got through it. Actually, the OB and The Husband were great too, and I felt like I had awesome support. Finally they told me she was crowning, but the pain was so bad that I was nearly hyperventilating and was screaming like nothing else. (Too funny is the fact that there was a couple next door that had a sign on their door asking others to be quiet because they were using hypnobirthing techniques. I suspect my screaming was not contributing to their peaceful environment.)

Several times I said that I couldn’t do it, though obviously I knew I had to. Since I was crowning,Β  I really tried to be brave and just get the job done. Stopping, while it was what I wanted to do, just wasn’t an option since it would only prolong the pain further. Indeed I felt that “ring of fire” as her head came out, then another couple of smaller pushes had the rest of the body out, born at 10:41 a.m. I looked down and there was my sweet girl, who at first glance looked exactly like The Big Sis did when she was born. My newest daughter, was born on Sister’s Day, of all days (and I’ll point out it’s the day I hoped/thought she’d arrive). They put a blanket on my chest and laid her down on me.

I felt relief, I felt exhaustion, I felt a little of everything at that point. Eventually they took her over to be cleaned off, weighed (6 lb. 14 oz.), and measured (19.5 inches) while I was being stitched (I did get a first-degree tear and needed one stitch), then they brought her back to me for some skin-to-skin contact. We tried nursing but she wasn’t particularly interested, but we still snuggled plenty. After about an hour of spending one-on-one time with her, The Husband got to have his turn holding her while they got me cleaned up and ready to move to the mother/baby unit, where we transferred right around noon. I felt pretty good overall. A bit beat up, perhaps, and definitely tired because of having been awake for more than 24 hours, but I was able to maneuver around just fine. We were sent to the new section of mother/baby, which has Tempur-pedic double beds in most of the rooms, so that was a nice treat for The Husband, who had to stay on the uncomfy chair/cot thing last time.

We ate lunch, then The Awesome Friend brought The Big Sis to the hospital to meet her sister for the first time. They arrived when she was receiving her first bath (in the room), and The Big Sis was certainly enamored. I’d say that first meeting went both well and poorly. She loved being able to hold her sister, but she was having trouble with the many new rules we had to establish for being around and holding a baby. However, I expected that might be the case, so at least I was prepared. (Thankfully subsequent meetings have gone much better and she seems to be understanding the rules just fine.)

I love that I now have two different birth experiences — one epidural and one med-free — each with their pros and cons and each being one that I don’t regret. Someone asked me if I’d do it med-free again, and while the experience is still recent enough that I can’t declare with full confidence that I would do it that way again (because holy hell it hurt!), I can say I’m glad I did it. I chose to do it that way for a variety of reasons, both practical and not, and I came out successful in the end. My body might not have done the natural thing to achieve conception, but it came through for me with the birth.

It’s interesting, though, that my second labor was NOT shorter than the first, despite that being a common trend. With The Big Sis, I had about 10 hours from first contractions to delivery; this time it was about 11 hours. Both times I was pushing for about 30 minutes. (Another interesting similarity: They were both born at 38w4d. Also, if you add up the digits of each of their birth dates, they both add up to 17.)

I will share the name once here, as I did with The Big Sis, but will refer to her as The Little Sis everywhere else (and ask that you do too). We named her Amber Victoria. Amber comes from Ambrose, which was the first name of the man who brought The Husband’s family to the U.S. from England in the 1600s. Victoria is the Roman goddess of victory, and after such a difficult time conceiving this baby, she really is quite the victory for us, so her name reflects that. Very appropriate for what I long called our mythical child #2, who has truly completed our family.

I love this pic because it truly captures the emotion of the moment:
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First family pic:
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So much to say…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

…but so little time to write it out!

One definite difference between having one child and having two: With The Husband and I splitting baby duties, there is occasional non-baby time for each of us, but now that time has to be devoted to The Big Sis (as opposed to chores, rest, or computer time, for example).

Anyway, some random bullet-point notes:

*I haven’t taken pics yet to compare (but will soon), but I am fairly certain my belly is already down to its pre-pregnancy size just a week post-partum. As of this morning, I was about 2.5 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. Now, I haven’t tried on pants yet (yoga pants are just fine right now, thankyouverymuch), but I’ll certainly take it!

*Nursing has gone so much better since my last post. She gets her latch on the first or second time, and my nipples are sensitive, but no longer cracked and bleeding.

*The Big Sis has adjusted well so far. She was a little resistant to our baby rules on the first day they met, but ever since then, she has respected the rules and all has gone well. I know we’ll have some bumps in the road along the way, but so far so good. She is immensely helpful, so I’m already appreciating the 4 1/2-year age difference.

*My dad did end up coming to meet The Little Sis in the hospital, and both my parents came to our house to visit on Saturday. I am very glad they changed their minds about coming.

*The Little Sis is just perfect. She has filled in that missing hole in our family; she has completed our family puzzle. In a weird way, it’s almost as though she’s always been with us, as it seems strange to think of life without her — even though she’s been here with us just a week.

*The infertility scars are still there — and maybe always will be in some form — but they are much less obvious now. We’re only a week in, but she was definitely worth everything we went through. (Though I have whispered to her: “Hey, kid, you cost us a LOT of money!” πŸ˜‰ )

*The Husband was able to take off all last week to be home with us, which helped tremendously. With The Big Sis, he had to return to work the day after we came home from the hospital.

*I’ve got so many pics I want to post, but so far haven’t had time to get them ready to post. I’ll try to get some more up soon.

*I’ve almost got my birth story written out and hope to get it posted sometime this week maybe. It’s quite long and extensive, but there are a lot of things I don’t want to forget about the experience.

*The Little Sis still looks exactly like The Big Sis did at this stage. I know that’ll change at some point, but for now, it’s a bit eerie.

*This week I’m on my own with The Little Sis for the first time. (Well, all day, at least.) We still plan to have The Big Sis go to preschool every day, though occasionally we may have a day here and there that we keep her home for extra bonding time.

*Posts may be bulleted like this for a while, but I’ll do my best to post when I can. πŸ™‚ Bulleted posts are better than no posts!


Some firsts with the second

Thursday, August 11, 2011

After just an hour of sleep last night, The Husband and I got up this morning and tookΒ  The Little Sis on her first neighborhood walk. In hindsight, it was probably a bit too long for me, as I’m pretty sore tonight, but it was nice to get out on such a gorgeous morning.

We had The Little Sis’ first pediatrician appointment this afternoon, and everything looks good. They were impressed with a good weight gain from yesterday (discharged at 6 lb. 6 oz. and was 6 lb. 7.5 oz. today) and said usually babies haven’t started gaining weight by this point, so that’s good. The Pediatrician said he saw some evidence of jaundice but decided not to do another heel stick today since she’s gaining weight and having plenty of wet and dry diapers.

We followed up the visit with The Little Sis’ first time in a restaurant, as well as our first time at the grocery store.

Now if I could just get her to get a good latch each time so my nipples aren’t cracked and bleeding, that would be wonderful.


Homeward bound

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

After being under lights all night, The Little Sis had a blood draw early this morning that showed a drop from 16.7 to 11.5. I just met with the pediatrician, who is beginning the paperwork to let us go home this morning. Hooray! We’ll have to come to the lab tomorrow to do a blood check to make sure it doesn’t rebound, but with my milk in as of last night, feedings are going better, so here’s hoping the bilirubin is out of there for good soon!


Update

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Little Sis’ bilirubin actually went UP this afternoon (to 16.4 or 16.7…I can’t remember now), so we were sent to Pediatrics, where she’ll remain under lights all night and have another test in the morning. I’m not sure how much of a drop they want to see before we’ll get to go home. I’m staying at the hospital with her since I’m nursing, and The Husband is at home with The Big Sis. They have me pumping here to help stimulate supply, so I’m bummed about that, as I was hoping to delay pumping a bit more. Grrr. However, the good news is that The Little Sis is nursing so much better today, and she’s had a good dirty diaper (crucial for getting the bilirubin out of her body), so hopefully more will follow.

Will update when I know more tomorrow.


Paging Billy Rubin

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We were set to be discharged from the hospital today, but The Little Sis’s bilirubin levels are just high enough that they want her to be under lights to get it down (hers was 15.2, and they do lights at 15 or higher). She’ll have another draw this afternoon, but I suspect she and I will be staying here overnight. The Husband has to go home to stay with The Big Sis, though they’ll come up around dinnertime to visit for a bit before going home. She’s done great under the lights so far, so here’s hoping that continues through the night since I’ll be on my own caring for her.


Double take

Monday, August 8, 2011

Still not quite up for a full post yet (we’re still at the hospital), but I was able to find some pics that show how similar the girls look (at this point, at least). Also, introducing their new blog names:

The Big Sis:
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The Little Sis:
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More stuff coming soon, though understandably nothing too in-depth quite yet. I’ll do what I can, though. πŸ™‚


She’s here!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

As of 10:41 a.m. this morning, we are the parents of two sweet daughters. We are doing well, but I’m exhausted after a long unmedicated labor (yay me! but holy hell it hurt at the end), so I’m headed to bed.

The vitals: 19.5 inches long, 6 lb. 14 oz., a little dark hair, blue/gray eyes. Pretty laid-back personality at this point.

Will update more as I can, including the full birth story eventually.


Non-update update

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Still no real contractions to speak of, so we’re headed to the hospital per The Midwife’s instructions. Will update when I can.


Gushing

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My water broke about 2 hours ago, just when I was waiting for The Husband to pick me up after my spa appointment. (And we’d already had our haircuts earlier.) Thanks for waiting for that, baby girl!

I have some lower back pain, but no contractions at this point, so we’re just waiting it out at home for now. My midwife wants me to wait no longer than 6 hours before going to the hospital, so we’ll head there by 7:30 or 8 if nothing happens before then.

Looks like it’ll be either tonight or probably early tomorrow. I’m still hoping to hold out until tomorrow for Sisters’ Day. πŸ™‚ We shall see!


Loose ends, here and there

Friday, August 5, 2011

*Nothing like waiting until nearly the last minute, but we finally met in person today with the two people covering for me while I’m out at work, and we got a tentative schedule worked out between them. I’m glad that has been worked out, yet at the same time, I really don’t care anymore. They’ll figure it out.

*My mom informed me last night that neither she nor my dad will be coming to see us in the hospital when I have the baby. (They live in town. Her only issue, as far as I’m aware, is that she doesn’t know how she’s going to feel.) I could make a whole vent post about this, but I will just leave it at the fact that I’m not surprised, yet I’m severely disappointed in them for this.

*I’m at the point now where I continue to assume that I’ll be returning to work the next day — yet at the same time I make sure loose ends are tied up before I leave at the end of the day, just in case that turns out to be my last day.

*I feel like no matter how much sleep I get, I’m always sleepy during the day. Of course, this will not be getting better anytime soon, but just a note I thought I’d add here.

*I am sleepy now, so I’m headed to bed!


38 is great

Thursday, August 4, 2011

From my 38-week midwife appointment this morning:

*Blood pressure = 98/60. She said it’s the lowest she’s seen around there in a while. (But it’s about my norm, so not worrisome or anything.) No swelling noted.

*Measured 38 weeks.

*Still 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced.

*Heart rate = about 163. Good accelerations in response to movement.

Not really much else to report, as it was a nice, quick visit and we’re pretty much just at the waiting game stage at this point.

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I think we’ve basically ensured this baby will be born on Friday or early on Saturday, as we’ve planned a bunch of appointments for Saturday morning: 9 a.m. – haircuts for me and The Husband; 10 a.m. – haircut for Baby B (her first in more than two years); and 11:15 a.m. – pedicure and manicure for me at pregnancy spa. I’d really, really like to make it to all of these appointments, so she is welcome to come anytime after lunch on Saturday. (Ha ha! I’m fully aware that I don’t get to dictate when it happens.) Though, if she doesn’t listen to me and comes before then, at least I’ve got a great reason for canceling those appointments. For the most part, though, despite feeling like I’ve been pregnant for years, I really am in laid-back, patient mode about it. I don’t know when she’ll come, but I do know one thing: I’ll happen when it happens. πŸ™‚

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Still feeling pretty good. Still have weird twinges and pressure occasionally. My lower back and pelvic bone hurt a lot at times. And it’s hot. (Have I mentioned it’s hot?) But all things considered, I really do feel pretty good, so I’m certainly fortunate in that regard.

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Like last time, I will do my best to update the blog before we head to the hospital. And we should be able to update, even if just briefly, sometime after she’s arrived.


Wordless Wednesday: Color me ditzy

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

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Feelin’ hot hot hot

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Not much new to report…it’s hot outside, it’s hot in my office, it’s hot at home.

But I’m doing well.

And I have a funny Wordless Wednesday for tomorrow. I thought I’d managed to escape the whole “pregnancy brain” thing, but apparently not! Amusing proof tomorrow!


Hangin’ around

Monday, August 1, 2011

I guess I’m at the point now where I need to write at least a little something each day to indicate that I’m still here and still pregnant. I can’t guarantee they’ll be in-depth, thoughtful posts, but I’ll do my best to get something up each day if I can.

*After a lot of hard work this weekend, we finally have most of a functional nursery in place and ready to go. I’m going to wait until we get stuff on the walls before I take pics to post, but I’m very happy with how this is turning out!

*Just a few more things to do to get ready (install the car seat bases, decorating touches in the nursery, etc.), but I think we’d be in good shape if it happened at any moment.

*I’ve apparently reached the point where my co-workers comment on the fact that I’m “still here” when I show up in the morning. This doesn’t really bother me, however. Not at this point, at least. If I go past my due date, that may change. πŸ™‚

*I am relieved that we made it to August without a baby here quite yet. Before August 1, The Husband was still on my health insurance, meaning hospital costs would have been calculated by the (higher) family deductible, meaning we’d have to pay more ($3,000 vs. $1,000). Beginning today, however, The Husband is no longer on my plan, so we’re back to the old deductible, which is still four times higher than what it was when Baby B was born, but it’s better than the $3,000.

*For the past two or three days, I’ve been feeling random things throughout the day — twinges, brief cramps, pressure, etc. — that have been out of the ordinary. It doesn’t mean anything is going to happen soon necessarily, but it’s sort of a nice feeling to know that my body is mostly likely trying to do its thing.

*No real guesses as to when she’ll be born. My RE’s due date is August 17 (going by the IUI date and an early ultrasound), and The RE’s due date is August 19 (going by LMP and an early ultrasound). The full moon this month is on August 13, however I’m kind of partial to August 7, which this year isΒ  Sisters’ Day. πŸ™‚