Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We can sleep when we're dead...

Ugh! I lost almost this entire post trying to edit it. Ergh! So here is what I have recovered. The beginning goes on and on about how we should sleep when the baby sleeps but why would we do that when it's our only chance to feel 'normal' again? And then I remark about how nice it is to have the use of bothe my hands as well as my boobs tucked neatly into my bra. Yada yada yada, here is the rest:

Cherish these days. These are the days that go by so fast that before you know it, your little one is drawing on walls, pulling books off shelves and refusing to poop in the toilet despite their adept skills at cracking the locks on the liquor cabinet. This is when a parent can put their little one in a bouncy seat and go take a dump with the confidence that when they return from the bathroom, their child will be in the same place they left them. Having a newborn is merely boot camp, it just gets us ready for what lies ahead; play-doh in the carpet, bubble gum in their hair and glue on your toothbrush. And that only gets you ready for the next set of phases, all leading up to "Mom, Dad, can I have the car keys?".

Friday, April 24, 2009

4:00 AM email from my husband

This is how awesome my husband is:

To my most dearest wife,

You are so wonderful! I love you more than I could ever express with words. I'll never understand how any husband could have taken you for granted or not have appreciated how amazing you are. I am so grateful that you are the mother of my children. I can't imagine a better co-parent than you. I learn so much from you every day about being a good parent; you are my best, most favorite teacher. I have never been happier in my entire life, and I will never be able to thank you enough for this most awesome experience and the wonderful, long life we have ahead of us.

All the love in my heart,
Your Husband

*wipes away tears* Damn I love him!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lactation Hell

Somewhere in the depths of Dante's Inferno there is a circle tucked away reserved for the mothers who foolishly think that this time breastfeeding will be different, this time it will be easier. How do you know you are in Lactation Hell? The first clue is when you ask yourself what would be more painful, letting your breasts dry up, or allow your lip-smacking baby another go on your chapped and bleeding nipples. My milk arrived roughly 24 hours ago and Jack took his sweet time taking advantage of the surplus, resulting in an overflow and a need to pump, which again leads to an even bigger surplus and the cycle continues.

It was 3 AM when he woke up, making the adorable fussy sound of a hungry baby. I was lazy and didn't want to sit up and work on a good latch. Instead I pulled him close to me in the bed and let him root around until he found me and then he moved in for the kill. Half asleep I jolted at the pain and tried in vain to get him to let go. I tried the finger sweep. No luck. I tried to startle him. Again, he would not let go. He was on me like a toothless pit bull, he showed no mercy in his pursuit to gum me into submission. It wasn't until I pulled myself free from his grasp that I was able to breathe. I scooped him up, changed him and sat down with him in a chair and gave him his fill for the night (yeah right, it will last him about an hour). At this point, there was no avoiding the pain. But he is asleep now and I am nearly there. Another night of tender boobs almost over and another day of engorgement soon to begin.

I learned my lesson; do not attempt to feed a baby while sleeping until you know for certain that the latch will be progressive.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our child is born!

In my determination to have an intervention-free childbirth, it escaped me that it might actually happen. We set a date to induce with the hope that I would go into labor on my own before the countdown would finish. It had occurred to me many times that I would most likely be plopping myself yet again, into a hospital bed and opening my veins to Pitocin and other yummy fluids to bring on another stubborn labor. While I knew of the possibility of Jack making his way out earlier, I really never considered it a true reality. Maybe that's why I waited so long to go in to the hospital. Maybe that's why I couldn't have known how it would take hold of me and run me over like a train.

The first clue was at 8:00 on Friday night when I sat down with the fam for our weekly movie night. I was having the typical night-time contractions that had been haunting me nightly for weeks. I decided to time them and was surprised they were about 8 minutes apart. "But I feel fine" I would tell myself. However, I could not wrap myself around the movie and I felt very distant from Nick and the kids; like they were in another room. My sister called at about 8:30 and I retreated to the bedroom to talk. She lives in New Zealand, so when she calls I answer. About 10 minutes in I felt a whole new kind of contraction, a whip on my back and a bolt of lightning in my guts. My conversation with her after that was brief as I had another one less than ten minutes later. I called the midwife and she suggested I take a shower, lie down and time them. I was familiar with this phone call. I had this conversation with another midwife on-call only the night before, and a few days before that. I followed orders, showered and rested. It seemed like even though the contractions were more intense, they were choppy in their presentation; some climbed my back like the claws of kittens and others were only glorified Braxton Hicks. But at 11:00 they started to get regular and more intense. I had had my hopes dashed so many times before I decided I would lie down and attempt to sleep through them. Nonsense! I called the midwife at midnight and she talked me through a contraction and suggested we come in. I called my mom to let her know we were bringing the kids over and arrived at the hospital at 1:10 am. By this point I couldn't go three minutes without a gripping contraction. The new hospital looks like a giant ski lodge, adorned with random sculptures and wrought iron details in the lobby. If you are in labor, this is where you enter. Needless to say, I felt very out of place when we made our way up to the receiving desk to check in. The man at the desk asked me if I was in labor and I was afraid if I said yes I would jinx the whole thing, so I said, "I think so..."

Did I still doubt I was in labor? Yes. Was I prepared to go ahead and have a baby? No. In all my anxiety to get things moving, I was still scared shitless! We passed labor and delivery triage, which was my second clue; we were not stopping to "check", we were going straight to a delivery room. I passed my midwife, Patricia (who is awesome, by the way) and she said, "You're a bit smiley for someone in labor", I told her yes, because this is what I wanted and then in the back of my mind I said to myself, "Are you sure?"

My body reacted to the delivery room like a cat to a can of tuna; labor hit hard before I had my hospital issued socks on. This is where it all blurs together. At some point she checked me and I was dilated 6 centimeters! Soon after that I was leaning on Nick, who was also not entirely convinced until now that this was it. We both "danced" in the room, he rubbed my back while I buried my face in him and moaned. Then the moaning turned into groaning and soon I was in a bed and I was wailing. My mom arrived shortly after and while Nick prepared to catch the baby, he supported me in every position possible. My mom was on fan duty (damn that room was hot!) and keeping the wash cloth cool and wet. We tried squatting, tried lying sideways and finally I was on my hands and knees. My hair was dripping with sweat and stuck to my face while I pushed with every ounce in me. My cheering section assured me I could do it, so I pushed continuously for what ended up just under an hour before his head was clear. It was then that we learned he was a big baby; a baby with the shoulders of a line-backer. Jack arrived like toothpaste from a tube, his shoulders pressed together under his chin. And he of course couldn't leave the womb without offering a parting gift and took a giant dump upon his arrival. There was meconium in the water and who knew what condition his shoulders were in, so he was taken to the NICU station just behind me and Nick was right by his side while they suctioned him and checked his joints. It took some work to get him to cry a good cry, but despite his dramatic entrance, he is in ship shape (although a little red and scaly from being late) and his shoulders are intact. I had a bit of a tear and required a few stitches, so that way I'd have something to bitch about for a few days. He latched on very nicely, but I am afraid it has been hard to tear him away from Nick for very long ever since. Daddy has a serious case of perma-grin!
Jack was born on April 18th at 4:10 am weighing in at 9 pounds, 12 ounces and stretching out at 21 inches. Who knows what he would have weighed in induction day!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh childbirth!

Sweet, non-intervention childbirth! I thought I would never really know you. I had doubts from the moment you appeared. I looked you in the eye and shuddered. But after two hours of "singing" through your pain, my little Jack came weighing 9 pounds, 12 oz. So alert, so content in his new world. I feel like I can fly!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eviction notice!

Jack has been given his one week pay or vacate notice. I have been renting my body to him for free for 41 weeks now. Unless he can convince me to take a bribe, he is coming out on the 21st via induction. It pains me to think if it; EFM, Hep lock, laboring in a bed, on my back. No bath. No shower. Please babe, put down the book and head for the nearest exit, I swear this building should be CONDEMNED! It's old and rickety and I don't care what the midwife says, I need you to get out so I can board it up for good.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


My countdown to baby app is going in reverse now! With each passing day it is telling me I am farther and farther away from my due date. It's a living nightmare, like Groundhogs Day played backwards! Jack, if you can read this, please, please, I beg of you. Have mercy on your poor mother...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Today would be a good day to have a baby...

But I think he has other plans. So as a distraction, I will post some of the pictures my mom took last week for my belly shoot.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nursery nearly done!

We're ready for Jack save for the painting ladder still occupying the room. We also have a border to put up that matches the rug, but I'm certain he wouldn't notice if it went up a little late. The way things operate in this house, it will be up in time for us to move.