Thursday, September 30, 2010

Care Bears, Clothes, and Crying

I had the opportunity to go shopping with my mom yesterday and look at whatever I wanted. The day started out rocky, as my mom was 2-3 hours later than expected - she didn't show up until 1:00 and usually, Fuss's naptime is around 1:30 (thankfully, she had slept in very late that morning and didn't need to go down as early as usual). But mom carried the baby around in her arms the whole time I was looking at shoes and clothes, so he was happy. I got a couple of new fall outfits that I'm psyched about, but she talked me into spending twice what I was planning to, so Daddy Fuss and I are discussing what, if anything, needs to go back to the store. But I'm kinda thrilled about getting some new fall clothes (fall is my favorite time of year for fashion. I should really live some place where there is - on average - more than 10 days of fall weather). I was hoping to find some silver heels to go with my black dress for my step-brothers' weddings and some silver earrings, but I didn't find anything in those categories that I loved, so... I was unsuccessful in that department. A trip to the mall is in my future, I think.

Daddy Fuss was reminding me of all the options on our Netflix On Demand for Fuss's viewing choices last night. Unfortunately, this morning when I showed her the options, she chose a Care Bear movie instead of one of the other, more educational (and less annoying) options, but I suppose we'll manage.

The last few days, the Little Man has been very fussy. He's having some pretty bad gas problems, so I know that is contributing, but in addition, he seems to just want to be held all the time. I was given a Moby wrap for him and I am psyched to use it, but he doesn't seem to like it long-term. I wonder if I am doing something wrong, since I would assume that the combination of being on me and being all cozy like that would make him happier, but not so much. I just want him to stop crying, poor little guy. But I cannot spend every hour of every day carrying him! I have things to do and another child to care for, so I have to come up with a viable option and SOON!

Our nights have been better the last 2 nights - he's going to sleep at least a little easier/faster after his 2am feeding, which is making mommy happier, so that's a good thing. He seems to like to lean on his side a bit when sleeping, so I've been using the hospital technique of rolling a receiving blanket up and propping him up slightly from behind. It works like magic.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just wait

I feel like I am constantly telling one of my kids to wait. Fuss wants a snack or a refill on her juice? You need to wait until your brother is done eating. The Little Man starts screaming because he's hungry? Just wait until I'm done with your sister's diaper change. There is only one of me, I only have 2 hands and I can only do so much at one time.

How on earth do parents of multiples handle it?

I feel like the little man gets the short end of the stick - he eats and we cuddle, but then when he's done I have to put him down to do something for his sister, get some housework done, go to the bathroom, etc. I know I snuggled with Fuss a lot more at this age - but that was also motivated by the thought that I was going to back to work in a couple of months and my lack of motivation for housework at that point in my life. (Now that I know what it's like to have a relatively clean house, I like it!)

I'm getting better at balancing every day life, but I feel like one or both of my kids is always getting shafted somehow. Please tell me this gets better.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

10 on Tuesday - playing catch up

Apparently, I posted last week's 10 on Tuesday. Now I have to do todays...

1. Growing up, what was one favorite item that you had to have with you at all times?
My mom jokes that I was a fan of the 3 Bs. Binkie, baby, and blankey. When I was older and had long outgrown binkies, etc. it was a book (so apparently, still with the B theme)

2. Being an adult, what is one favorite item that you have to have with you at all times, and what happens if you do not have it with you? Do you lose your sanity or just go back home to get it?
Either my cell phone or another book. I strongly believe in the philosophy "always carry a book." I don't usually go back for the book, but I usually will for the phone.

3. Where is your favorite place to be to just hide away from everything and breathe for a moment?
Currently, my new bedroom. It's my haven.

4. What is your favorite thing about your partner? (If you don’t have a partner, then someone who is very close and will always be in your life)
I don't have one favorite thing - he's awesome overall. I love that he loves to help people (especially me) and that he is generous and usually pretty calm, even in a crisis. I love his sense of humor. He can always make me laugh.

5. What is your favorite thing about your job? (If you don’t have a job, then what is your favorite thing that you do during your day?)
That I get to be with my kids.

6. What is your favorite lesson that your parents taught you growing up? Looking back, is it something that you want to use to teach your children when they reach that age?
Probably how to handle money (my dad) - but I abandoned some of what he taught me when I was in college and that is what got me into trouble.

7. What is your favorite song, that will always bring a smile to your face and make you think of something happy?
It's not my favorite song, but "So Happy Together" always makes me smile and makes me happy. Also "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"

8. What is your favorite things about being an American? (If you're not American, what are you proud of in regards to your country)
Freedom of religion. I love that I don't have to defend my desire to go to church (or not), etc.

9. What is your favorite meal that reminds you of being a child?
Ravioli? My mom's bread crumb chicken, maybe

10. Name 3 things that other people would say are their favorite thing about you.
I have no idea. I'm guessing my hair, my voice (singing) and - no idea. I'm obviously not that interesting.

10 on Tuesday

1. What’s the one thing you always do when you’re stressed?
Vent to my husband.

2. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for a friend?
I dunno. I can't think of anything right now, though I'm sure there is probably a list.

3. What cleaning supply could you not live without?
Lysol Wipes

4. How long do you plan on living where you currently reside?
I think we might have already been here longer than originally planned. But now... well, I've made some decisions based on my children's potential teen years, so... indefinitely.

5. Do you usually vote straight party, a mixture, or not at all?
Usually straight party, but not always.

6. What’s something that you love to do, but seem to never make time for?
Scrapbooking and/or getting my nails done.

7. What’s your favorite store to buy things for other people?

8. What’s the weather like around you today?

9. What’s the worst book you’ve ever bought and read?
either Wicked (not like the play) or Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory

10. What’s the closest thing to you that is yellow?
Legal pad

Monday, September 27, 2010

How It's Going

My boobs hurt. I'm 3 weeks, 3 days into this nursing thing, and they are just starting to really bother me, so I guess I've been doing good. I need better bras, but none seem to fit right (still/again - this is apparently a carry over from pregnancy). I have 3 with under wire (which they say you shouldn't do because it causes problems, but I didn't have problems last time, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this time) and 2 without, plus some nursing tanks. The 2 without under wire are much more attractive, but they cut low and after wearing them awhile, they shift and "my cup runneth over." I am leaking regularly, despite daily pumping and a better schedule of eating. I've already gone through a box of 100 pads.

I did a ton of work on Sunday in the nursery - we finally got the crib raised! I set up the bedding and his toys (that are specific to him) and it looks all pretty now. When Fuss asked what I was doing, I told her I was setting up a bed for the baby. She asked where it was. I told her that it was the crib. She said, "no, that MY bed." So I explained that a crib was a bed for a baby, and that while this crib used to be hers, now that she isn't a baby anymore and she has a big girl bed (which she's been in since January, but the crib has remained in the room, since I was pregnant and we didn't see the point in removing it) we thought she could give her baby bed to her brother. She thought about it a minute, grabbed a toy off of her bed and asked if she could watch a movie. We shall see what happens when it's time to move her brother out of our room (though we will have her moved out of the nursery before then, so...)

I put away my maternity clothes (or attempted to - I need more bins for storage). I'm very happy about that, actually, as much as I love my maternity clothes. I'm keeping out a couple of shorts and jeans since I'm not back to my pre-pregnancy weight/shape. (I saw myself in the full-length mirror the other day - oh boy! I'm gonna need to do something about the sag that is my tummy!) But I'm hopeful.

I'm tired, but I haven't been taking naps as frequently lately. He's sleeping better - longer stretches through the night and Daddy Fuss is trying to help me out in the mornings by giving him pumped milk in a bottle first thing in the morning, so I can sleep longer.

Overall, things are good. I'm starting to feel more normal. We're getting into a routine and I am getting into the groove. I am adjusting to getting out with 2 kids instead of one. I am even keeping the house in a reasonable order, so far. (okay, so it's occasionally messy, but it's able to be cleaned up in under 30 minutes, so I think that's pretty good for me!) I still have more organization to do and a lot of down-sizing to still do!

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 Quick Takes at the end of a very rough week

It has been a rough week.

1. Fuss was sick on Wednesday, but seems to have gotten over it quickly. Some people blamed teething - she's getting her 2-yr upper molars - but she rarely gets a fever with teething and isn't that usually a low-grade sort of deal? Hers repeatedly spiked to over 103.

2. The little man has gotten into an evening routine that is... difficult? frustrating? complicated? He begins to cluster feed between 7:30 and 8:30, which means he wants to eat every 45-60 minutes until around 11, when we wrap him in his swaddle and all go to bed. He is clingy during this time and doesn't want to be put down, gets a little fussy/gassy, etc. He does then sleep 3-4 hours, usually until late in the 2am hour so I typically get a small amount of uninterrupted sleep at that point. He's hit or miss if he goes right back to sleep after he eats at 2 - there have been nights when I'm up for awhile and nights when he goes back to sleep immediately after eating (those nights are my favorite!). Then he gets up between 5-6, usually and wants to eat (we're trying to make sure I've got a little milk pumped off so Daddy Fuss can take that feeding and give him some milk in a bottle and give me a little more sleep) and passes out for another couple of hours. If Fuss wasn't waking repeatedly in the night, it would be pretty manageable. But that's another story.

3. I am still regularly plagued by headaches, but they have changed to mid-day stress headaches, I think. Also when I need to eat. They are mostly more mild and much more manageable than they had been.

4. Little man has some really bad baby acne on his face. My best friend's 3-yr-old pronounced him "Scary" looking yesterday and kept asking about the red bumps on his face. Fuss had it, but not nearly this bad. I feel bad for him, but of course, it doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest, just his mama.

5. I need a new outfit for my step-brothers' weddings in another few weeks. The only things I own that would be remotely appropriate are one-piece dresses that would require me to basically undress in the bathroom to nurse or - as my mom wants me to - pump while I am there. (she thinks we will need to leave him with a babysitter, but I'm thinking it's going to be WAY too long of an event - 2 ceremonies and a double reception, plus a long commute and all during his cluster-feeding time when my boobs are used to producing the most milk. I'm afraid my chest might explode - haha.) I'm hoping to find something cute and functional to meet my needs.

6. I love my My Brest Friend nursing pillow, but there are some minor flaws. I love the basic function of it - that it wraps around and connects by adjustable strap so that it stays in place instead of being able to slide away from my body like my old Boppy. But the back foam is a little thick to get comfortable in all sitting areas, and I wish the strap fed through the cover instead of being attached to the cover - I can't wash the cover (which of course has already had things spilled, dropped and leaked onto it) without losing the strap.

7. Tonight my husband and I are getting a night out - I've been pumping as much as possible for the last couple of days so that my SIL can handle the cluster feedings that he does and we are going to dinner. I am very much looking forward to it, as I seriously need a break!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mildly Chaotic

Was up for nearly 4 hours last night (before 2am until after 5) dealing with 2 kids who were feeling varying degrees of "off" apparently. Fuss was running a 103 degree fever and the baby was - I don't know. Really hungry? He ate a good long feed at 2am and then became unsettled within minutes of me putting him back to bed at 2:30-ish. By 3 we were both up, he was screaming and sweaty (though he seemed to return to normal temp after several minutes out of the swaddle - I didn't check w/ a thermometer, though) and he began to "snack" off and on for the next 90 minutes. I think it was, at least in part, comfort nursing, but he was getting some milk, so who knows?

Got to meet an online friend for the first time last week and yesterday we got our toddlers together for a playdate, while she and I visited and our babies wiggled and slept. It was a good time and Fuss didn't want to go home.

Today we are flopping around the house. I am doing boring household chores (laundry, dishes), Fuss is taking extra naps and watching TV and movies and whining. A lot of whining. (I forgot how whiny she gets when she doesn't feel well. I must block it from my memory, since it was only a couple of months ago that she had that last fever/tummy bug). The baby can't seem to decide what he wants - to be held, to sleep, to eat. Regardless, he's making the mountain of laundry I need to fold very difficult.

I am holding out hope that whatever bug she ended up with is short-lived. We have some fun plans for Friday, so I am hoping that those don't have to get canceled. I need more breaks than I'm getting these days - I'm starting to have dreams that lead me to believe that I need more help than I thought/am getting. (my husband is wonderful, but his job is quite demanding, and he works long hours)

Monday, September 20, 2010


There was a time not so long ago when I wouldn't have missed a sporting event that my husband was playing in for anything - no matter how insignificant the event (including a really pathetic softball league he played on for several mini-seasons) but now...

Some of the games start at 8:30 or 9:30 and they are a half hour away from home. Which means they are WAY too late for Fuss to be out at the ballpark running around like a crazy girl. We go to the 6:30 or 7:30 games (despite the fact that the 7:30 games still make it way past bedtime by the time we get home) but we just can't handle the later time slots. We'll be missing the game tonight, and I haven't been to one since the week before the baby was born. (there were a couple of weeks off due to the Labor Day holiday and a rain out last week)

It just made me think of all the ways our lives have changed since we had kids. There are plenty of obvious things, of course - more mouths to feed, little laundry to add to the pile, carseats, etc. But I think sometimes it's the little things that were so unexpected. And sometimes it's those things that I miss the most. Being able to just go out for ice cream if I feel like it at 9PM. Making overnight spontaneous gettaway plans.

I love having kids - I love being a mom. The good far outweighs the bad. But sometimes, I look back at my old life and there are things I miss about that, too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

7 Quick Postpartum Takes

It feels like it's been awhile since I did 7 Quick Takes. I know it's been a couple of weeks... and right now I'm too lazy to even check...

1. Fuss is still waking in the night, though not every night, and she's usually easy to put back to bed with a simple request (a drink, a hug, tuck me in) and somehow, since we're up and down with the baby anyway, it seems to be less of a pain.

2. Speaking of being up with the baby... he's basically down to waking once in the night w/ a late night before-mommy-goes-to-bed feeding (between 10 and 11). But I have the worst time getting him to go to sleep after he's eaten! Fuss was a "nurse to sleep" baby - all it took was a little mommy milk and she was out! But the Little Man needs to be nursed, then swaddled, sometimes nursed a little bit more (just a few sips, really) and then rocked. And often rocked and rocked and sometimes rocked some more. I was up for nearly 2 hours last night for his feeding and then-some session. Gotta work on that...

3. For the most part, nursing is going better. It's been a rough 2 weeks, I have to say. And it's not exactly easy at this point, but it's certainly getting better. I actually have a much larger post brewing on this subject...

4. I've been out of it for 2 days with a killer headache. It's at least in part hormonal - no meds were touching it - and I think, in part spinal again -and I was simply miserable. No progress on the house has been made since Tuesday, but that's okay. At the end of the day, the kids have been fed and cared for, are alive and happy and I - well, I'm alive.

5. I am having fun dressing my little boy - much more so than I thought I would. I already have a couple of favorite outfits and, oddly, they aren't all the ones I thought they would be. I do remember loving the Carter's "Speedy Exit Creepers" on Fuss for their functionality (plus, they were cute - ruffles on the rear and such) and I love those on him, too (no ruffles for boys, though!) but mostly the little preppy clothes are what are charming me. No shocker there. but he's smaller than Fuss was - the chubby baby thighs are missing (he has thighs, of course, but they aren't nearly as plump as his sisters were) and he can't seem to fill out all his clothes (I put him in a romper the other day and he looked like he was wearing football pads, so big were the shoulders on his little frame. Will be filing that outfit away until he's a bit bigger.) Oddly, he could probably fit those newborn clothes that I basically tossed off to the side... will have to pull some of those out...

6. I am not eating properly. I remember being voraciously hungry when I was nursing Fuss. I didn't always eat healthy, but I ATE. This time around, I seem to have to remind myself to eat most of the time. And sometimes other people have to do so... I tend to get headaches if I forget to eat, so that's a problem.

7. Fuss has been affectionate and sweet with both me and her little brother. She acts out occasionally, trying to get attention, but there is never anything negative directed toward her brother, so that's a relief. But she loves to give me hugs and kisses all day - even more so than she used to. That's a fun benefit!

For more Quick Takes, click here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

10 on Tuesday - On Thursday

I'm a little behind this week. And I can't seem to organize my brain well enough to put together any of the 3 posts I've been thinking about due to this insane hormonal headache (and a weird toothache/ jaw-ache) so I am going back to Chelsea's 10 on Tuesday and answering pre-made questions. (Chelsea just had a baby, too. Our boys share a birthday)

1. Favorite way to travel (plane, train, automobile, etc.)
Depending on how far and who I'm with. I prefer a plane for great distances (more than a few hours drive), but a car for closer (less than 6 hours) journeys. I'm not a big fan of train travel, but I've only ever taken tourist rides on a train, so I guess I don't know for sure.
I can handle any length of trip with Daddy Fuss, but with kids, it becomes much more of a challenge and with our families, it's a whole new ball-game. :)

2. Where’s your favorite place to travel to that you’ve been to?
New Orleans or Prince Edward Island

3. Where’s the place that you want to go but have never been?
Europe, Charleston, SC, Wine Country in Washington and Oregon.

4. Do you deal with traffic well?

5. Ever had an emergency while traveling?
No, thank goodness.
6. Do you have a passport? What countries have you been to?
No passport, I've only ever been to Canada and I went before passports were required for travel into Canada.

7. Are you’ve light packer or do you pack everything but the kitchen sink?
Depends how long I'm going to be gone, but really, I'm more of a light packer. Though I've learned that there are always challenges in weather and accommodations that you have to consider.
8. Do you take the fastest route or the road less traveled?
Fastest route. I'm not into the actual travel, I want the destination.

9. Do any activities on the road? (like road games, reading, sleeping, etc. )
My husband and I talk a lot. Or I sleep, depending on the situation. But I can only sleep for small quantities of time in the car.

10. Use a paper map or GPS?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Clean and Organized!

With the move to our new room and finally getting my house back to somewhat normal, I am back on my organization kick. My mom helped me a ton already this week by helping me get ahead in my kitchen and getting my dining room back to working order. I still have to work on my desk and go through the bookcase and then there is the huge project of getting Fuss's new room together, which I have realized suddenly is a way bigger project than I initially expected it to be. Oddly, I had it my head that simply by moving out of the room and painting it, it would immediately be ready to move in her furniture and she could be in there quickly. There is way too much stuff in there, lots of cleaning to do, and I still have to do the detail painting I have been planning. But that's okay! It will get done, it will be fabulous and she will move in. The good news is, the baby seems to be happy in his bassinet in our room, so there is no major rush to get her out and him into the nursery.

But I'm still psyched to get more organized in general. I'm very motivated to get everything looking great around here. To get Fuss's toys out of crowding my living room (her new room will have a ton of space for playing - and more importantly, storing her toys.) I'm motivated to clear my beautiful IKEA bookshelf of the miscellaneous stuff crowding it and nearly falling off the shelves. (We've been using it as storage for random items since the construction began).

Now, if only the kids will let me sleep long enough to get my energy back!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New room

My mom decorated our new room yesterday. It looks fabulous.

She even found a piece of art that reminded her of me - and without her saying so, I had the same thought when she showed me...
Fuss is loving all the pillows. I've had to hunt for her a few times since she discovered them. Usually, she can be found here:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week in review

Have survived a week at home with a new baby. He is actually a fairly easy baby, though I haven't yet figured out all his cries and that is frustrating (to both of us, I think) and he still struggles to latch sometimes, especially when I'm very full and my left side starts to leak all over him (which happens occasionally, especially since that seems to be the side he won't eat very long off of... perpetuating the cycle, you know?)

My husband returns to work today (Monday) and I am not sure I am ready for that. Thankfully, my mom will be around for a couple of days, but by Thursday I will be completely on my own. I am starting the panic attack now.

I had high hopes for my week at home with my husband. Very little of my plans got accomplished. Part of that is due to the bouncing from Dr.'s appt to Dr.'s appt all this week. We had pediatrician appointments on Tuesday and Thursday (another today, since he seems to have still been losing weight on Thursday) and chiropractor appointments on Wednesday and Friday. The good news is, those 2 chiropractor appointments seem to have very much helped my headaches. (That and realizing that I really should eat regularly. Oddly, I have had little to no appetite this time around. When I was nursing Fuss, I ate non-stop. I ate junk, sure, but I ate. A lot.)

My dining room is still a disaster and completely inaccessible. My living room cannot seem to stay picked up for more than 4 hours. Despite the fact that we haven't really had to cook all week (take out, deliveries from church people and stuff I made and froze ahead of time) my kitchen is constantly a disaster, too.

I did get pretty much every item of clothing in our house laundered and dried and folded (a few piles still need to be put away) and we have moved into the new room (pictures after tomorrow when my mom decorates out there). There is SO much more work to do on Fuss's new room - I don't think I even remotely realized how much it was going to take to get it ready to move her in. Daddy Fuss and I will be working on this for awhile.

I am tired. The lack of sleep and interruptions to what sleep I do get, is beginning to kick my rear. I remember being surprised that I dealt so well with it last time - this time, not so much!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Baby Picture

I'm a little slow in uploading pictures these days, but here is a cute one from my husband's cell phone... doesn't he look pensive?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birth Story

We had a scheduled induction at 39 weeks. In addition to 9/2 being the exact date of my 39 week point, it was also my grandfather's birth date (he is deceased, but is still one of the best men I've ever known) and I thought it would be cool to have his great-grandson born on his birthday.

We had been told to check in by 5am (my midwife joked that we could show up early, but not late, so we made sure we had plenty of time, even at that low-traffic time of morning) and arrived at the hospital at 4:45am. The valet parking attendant was not on duty yet, so we cheated and parked in the ER parking lot next door and walked over to The Baby Place.

The security guard was very nice (apparently, the others on duty during our stay were not all so friendly or helpful) and we went right up after Daddy Fuss getting his name tag (I wasn't issued one, since my pregnant state allowed me to be identifiable enough, and I would soon be wrist-banded as a patient). While we were in fact early, they were not ready for us - they had been unexpectedly busy the night before (a fact that would be evident later in the day) and didn't have any clean rooms yet. So we waited. For about half an hour. No biggie, since I wasn't in active labor (though, ironically, I had about 4 fairly uncomfortable/strong contractions in the 30-minutes it took us to drive to the hospital - eveidence that my body was getting ready on it's own - induction or not!) but I would have felt bad for someone in labor waiting around for a room like that!

We got into our room and it still took awhile to get a nurse to stop in (my husband had to track one down to find out if I needed to pee in a cup or not) but she finally came by (and apologized for making me wait) and we did the paperwork, etc. and then she began to attempt to get my IV started. I mentioned that I was going to be a little picky about the placement, since I'd had a bad experience with the one I had when Fuss was born (it was in the side of my wrist and I couldn't bend my hand all day - especially annoying when I needed to boost myself into place in the hospital bed both before and after the epidural was put in). She said that was understandable and began to fish around for a vein. She blew the first attempt and had to bandage that one up pretty quickly. Her second attempt was so incredibly painful (burning that just kept getting worse and worse and she wasn't having any luck anyway) so we tried again elsewhere. She missed her 3rd attempt, as well and called in another nurse to try. And another. And another. I was stuck 6 times (I looked like a car accident victim - I had blood and bandages all over my arms. My husband's Facebook status was the picture of my damaged arms and a request for 2 of our friends - a nurse anesthetist and a paramedic - to come down and show them how to start an IV) and they finally got it - not in the most ideal place, obviously, but at least it wasn't incredibly uncomfortable like it was when I had Fuss. My Pitocin was finally begun just after 7am.

My day nurse came on around then - I can't remember who actually started the drugs. I loved my day nurse - she was terrific. I started responding to the drugs pretty quickly and I must have been wussier this time around, because I was seriously feeling the pain/discomfort even before my water was broken and I ordered my epidural before that happened (both the nurse and midwife had encouraged me to order it before I HAD to have it, since it takes time to get the fluids and get the anesthesiologist in, etc.). Around 9 my midwife came in and broke my water. It started gushing and kept coming. My midwife, Lucy, was even surprised by the seemingly neverending flow. She saw how much kept coming and said "wow" and nothing ever seems to surprise Lucy. They had to change my bed pads twice before she left to go back to the office.

The nurse anesthetist came in a little later to do my epi. My hospital kicks out the family so my mom and Daddy Fuss went to grab some breakfast. I have few complaints about this experience. My 2 minor complaints were a) she had to put the numbing agent in twice (she described it as "like novacaine in the dentist office" and it burned like all get out) and b) the pathetic excuse of a hospital bed pillow that the nurse gave me to hug while I was leaning over into the position the anesthetist needed me in to put in the needle.

It took a few minutes to kick in, which she said was normal. It was a very different experience from when Fuss was born. With her, I felt NOTHING after the epidural had kicked in. This time I could feel the pressure and intensity of the contractions, but not the pain. Since the pain was the biggest issue, it was fine, but a little weird. I was able to rest for a little under an hour and when I woke up, my mom was watching the contraction monitor. She informed me that the contractions were coming faster now - 1-2 minutes apart. We set up the DVD player we brought and turned on episodes of Veronica Mars. It turns out my nurse was a big fan of Veronica, too and she enjoyed talking to me about it when she'd come in to check on me.

I don't remember how long or in what order things happened exactly, but some other nurse came in to check me and told me I was 7 cm. Shortly after that, I started to really feel the contractions - I had to breathe through them and it reminded me of the hard labor pains I felt when in labor with Fuss. Wow. They were strong. Was confident I was glad I had the epidural at that point. I guess this is what they referred to as transition - I don't remember it at all with Fuss, since I wasn't feeling anything then. It just happened SO fast. I wasn't watching the clock or anything, but I swear, from the "you're 7cm" point to "okay, let's push" was like 10 minutes. My mom told me to change positions while I was dealing with the pain, because she noticed the baby's heart rate was going down. A few minutes later the nurses came in and basically said the same thing and gave me an oxygen mask to up my oxygen level. They called Lucy, who was on her way over anyway since it was lunch time and she wanted to check in. I started feeling all this pressure and she told me that I'd need to let her know when I was feeling the next one and we'd push. She had me lay on my right side while breathing the oxygen. She got a call from one of her partners about then and he must have asked how things were going ("we're about to start pushing") and then if there was any food around the office. Just about then, I was really feeling the contraction, so I rolled back onto my back and she abruptly told him no and hung up on him. She and my nurses and Daddy Fuss coached me through some pushes. I felt awful. Holding my breath and trying to push was REALLY hard. And I felt it all. And I couldn't seem to catch my breath in between pushes.

Daddy Fuss had to sit down at one point (he gets queasy in medical type situations) and Lucy told him she'd just step over him if he went down. I was glad he sat when he needed to, because I'm afraid I would have freaked out if he had actually passed out. The student nurse in the room took over holding my leg for him. My mom had my other side. There was also a special forces soldier in the room getting some observational training by shadowing Lucy (she had asked my permission to have him in the room earlier and I said "why not?" I barely noticed him until it was over and she was showing him how to feel my belly to make sure it was all passed.) but I don't really remember much but trying to catch my breath and suddenly having some nasal congestion (random!) and not being able to breathe well in between pushes. They had me roll back to my side and wear the oxygen mask in between contractions. I pushed for about 20 minutes. I felt him crown (I have always been terrified of the concept of "the ring of fire" and I am especially glad that I had my epidural, but there was a great feeling of relief when his head came out. Another couple of pushes and I suddenly felt a HUGE release/relief and he was out. Time of birth, 12:40PM. The first thing Lucy said about him was "He's a Moose!" which was hilarious since my husband and my mom and I all have this weird thing for moose and we call each other "moose" all the time and there was a running joke about this baby coming out with antlers.

They put him directly on my chest and wiped him off from there. I am always shocked by how purple babies come out. Fuss was the same way. They had to suction a bunch of mucus out of him, but he started to cry and yell. He was beautiful.

He hung out on my chest for awhile. I tried to get him to latch since all the books talk about the first hour and how they'll latch right away if given the opportunity. He played with my nipple a bit, but didn't seem to want to suck.

Lucy and the soldier helped me deliver my placenta ("you're gonna feel a big relief when this is done!" she said. Lucy is always right.) and other than the major pain/discomfort when they began to press on my belly, the worst of it was over. I got a tear of some sort - she said it wasn't exactly a tear from delivery, and I can't remember how she described it, but it's almost like a tear from strain. It's a 1st degree tear and I have 6 stitches, which she said she didn't HAVE to stitch, but I'd be more comfortable ultimately if she did, otherwise I'd be "flapping in the breeze." So she sewed me up.

I cuddled with my baby for a couple of hours. The nursery worker came in and weighed him (8 lbs, 6 oz, 20.5" long 9/9 on Apgar) and did all that stuff. Then the lactation consultant came in and we worked on getting him latched. He eventually did and began eating. I sent my husband to the cafeteria to get me some lunch and someone brought me some cranberry juice (OMG was it GOOD!) When he was really eating well, I started to feel funny. The contractions from the nursing were awful. I wasn't moving - was in fact still reclining in bed - but I started to feel SO dizzy. I mentioned it to my mom and the LC and they called in the nurse. She hooked me up to the BP monitor and started to take my BP and I started to feel even worse. They kept asking me if I wanted them to take the baby, but he was eating and didn't seem to be bothered by my problem, so I kept him. My vision was starting to fade a little, and there was lots of air-sounds in my ears and my mom said afterwards that my speech was slurring a bit. My BP got down to 89/60, which is even low for me.

I started to feel a little better. They gave me some fluids, but that started the contractions a little more intensely, and the dizzy feeling came back. My mom asked if they could turn off the fluids again, and they debated the cause. The nurse tried to get me to pee in a bedpan, thinking that that may help, but I couldn't feel enough down there to do it, so she had to cath me. I filled up the cath and the bedpan with more than 800 ccs of fluid (a lot by any measure, apparently) and I started to feel better again. Just after my bladder was emptied, I passed a huge clot - it filled the nurse's hand. It was creepy.

They continued to monitor my BP all afternoon. The Mother/Baby unit was full and it took more than 8 hours for me to get a room. I ordered my dinner and was hoping it would have to get sent to my new room, but alas, no. I was still there. My husband and my MIL went to the cafeteria to get some dinner for him, too. My SIL, J, and I were hanging out with the baby when one of the nurses who couldn't get my IV started that morning came in. She had been the roughest and most abrupt of all of them. She actually walked into my room this time introducing herself as "the nurse who couldn't get your IV started this morning." I was hoping that since she seemed to be joking around now, that maybe she was going to be more friendly. So I quipped "well, there was a list of people, so..." she then bossed J and I around to get us moved to the other unit. She was practically throwing the baby around and I was very happy that she let me hold him on the way to the Mother/Baby unit instead of just tossing him over her shoulder or something. I was quietly praying that she wasn't my night nurse!

We were finally brought into our room, the rude nurse hung out and hooked up the baby's security anklet (and she did it WRONG) when he was frustrated cause he was hungry. But she wasn't my night nurse, so it all worked out.

He loves to sleep. In contrast to Fuss who liked to eat as much as she liked to sleep and didn't discover that she liked to sleep until the next day. This little man wants to sleep more than anything.

He's handsome and sweet, though. And it looks like he might be a redhead. His eyes are a dark, rich, blue. He's so cuddly. He loves to be held.

Sometimes I can't believe I have a son. And he's got my heart.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

My plan is to put up my Birth Story soon - hopefully even today (the amusing/irony of posting my Labor Story on Labor Day), but it hasn't been written yet, so... but hopefully this week.

Meanwhile - loving my baby boy, not loving this awful headache. Fuss is madly in love with her brother, though we've had a few minor moments where she began acting out - not necessarily in direct reaction to him, but definitely to get some attention. And she's been getting up multiple times in the night, which has been inconvenient at best and really frustrating at worst.

So... off to work on my birth story. Hope you are enjoying your day off - or more importantly, I hope you HAVE the day off - or at least a nice change in routine!

Friday, September 3, 2010

He's here

Baby Fuss (better nickname to come) born 9/02/10 at 12:40 pm
8lbs, 6 oz
20.5' long
Handsome and healthy
Looks like he might have red hair like his mama (though not the same color)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Baby Day


I'm in the hospital, getting ready to meet my baby boy! Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Almost there

My OB appt yesterday revealed 2.5cm, 80% effaced, a cervix "like mush" and the baby's head "Very, very low." She estimates we will have a baby by lunch time on Thursday. She thinks it will be very fast and easy. Of course, she may just be telling me that to boost my confidence, but I'll take it! :)

I have some stuff to do today - and I know not everything is going to get done before we leave for the hospital in the morning, and I'm currently feeling okay with that. My mom called this morning and was giving me grief about the schedule for the move into the new room. My dad told me last night that he didn't want any furniture moved in tonight, he wanted those extra couple of days that I'll be in the hospital to finish some stuff and the furniture would be in the way. My mom is impatient and wants everything perfect to set up while we're in the hospital. I understand that she wants to be all "HGTV" and everything, but this is real life, not a TV show.

She then suggested that we just wait until the following week (more than 10 days later) when she is taking time off to help me with the baby and Fuss. She doesn't want to put up the curtains until the furniture is in there "because they need to be cut off and you can't do that until the furniture is in" - I'm at the point where I want to move in as soon as logically possible and I'll hang dark sheets on the windows if she'll just put up the hardware, if that's what it takes. Grrrrr. I'm frustrated. I kept telling her I wasn't going to stress over it and she kept telling me she didn't want me to stress over it and then putting more pressure to get it done to her schedule...

I am one day away from delivering my son. I am incredibly excited. I can't wait to meet him!