Monday, February 28, 2011

No, I'm not dead, just a human snack bar

Wow -- I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I posted. I think about doing so all of the time, and have the best intnetions, but well, things (like feeding, changing and sleeping) get in the way.

Case in point, I wrote the first half of the above paragraph two hours ago. And now, after some consternation on Benjamin's part, I have a sleeping baby in a bouncy seat next to the desk.

And nope-- now I am holding him. Someone has a tummy ache. So I will proceed with my non-dominant hand.

I think the biggest surprise and challenge so far is breast feeding> I don't want to complain or whine, but it is hard. No shit hard. (fwiw, I just took another hour break. This stomachache is really messing with napping today.)

Yeah. And then I took a break for 4 more weeks. Because I wrote the above on February 18th and today? Today is March 14th. Its not that I don't have time, or a lot to say, but just that I use Benjamin's down time as an opportunity to do mindless things like eat, watch TV or sleep.

But anyway, where are we now? Things are, by and large, awesome. We love our little man and think that we have drawn an especially good card from the deck -- he sleeps for up to 6 hours some nights, he is alert and happy for several hours each day, during which time we can play, and he can pretty much put himself to sleep when we put him in his crib awake -- he just hangs out until he falls asleep. So, yeah, it appears he is an easy baby.

That said, this is tiring and, well, hard work. And feeding the little one still is a source of stress for me, because he still is not latching great and when he does, he is having a compressing issue. By that I mean that he mashes the living crap out of my nipple leaving me in some amount of excruciating pain. So we are trying to sort through the balance between my desire to breastfeed and my own survival instinct. Today we are on a pump and bottle plan and that's going just fine.

There's a lot more to write about breastfeeding, about my feelings about it, and about how I thought it would all work but yet isn't really, but if I embark upon that longer post, this will NEVER see the light of day. Or at least not until April.

So here's my highlights, in no particular order:
- I have never felt so totally overwhelmed with emotion as I do when I look at my baby boy.
- My DH is more in love with Benjamin than he thought possible.
- My husband has been an awesome father so far. It's been really wonderful to work together on meeting our little one's many, many needs.
- B is an easy kid -- he can be put in his crib awake, he can hang out there awake for a while, he is generally easy to soothe, he is often awake and alert for an hour at a time after he eats, and has only had one or two episodes of inconsolable crying.
- Breastfeeding is not as easy as it might be. And when it hurts, it really hurts.
- Pumping makes me feel like a cow.
- C-section recovery isn't so bad.
- Yes, I do talk about poop and farting all the time. And I'm convinced it's fascinating.
- Motherhood is better than I could have imagined.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Life with baby -- birth

Wow -- I've tried sitting down to post about 100 times, and yet never quite make it (and now should be napping, but...).

I'm totally in love with my son. Heart-stoppingly, life-changingly in love. It is more amazing than I could have expected, and just thinking about how lucky I am and how grateful my husband and I both are for the opportunity to have this child -- our child -- makes me cry.

So how did I get here? After my routine 36 week sonogram showed very very low fluid levels, I was admitted to the hospital and hooked up to an IV and fetal monitor and basically let alone until the next morning. Note that, at 36 weeks pregnant and being pumped full of fluids, I became quite adept at moving through the cramped double room to the bathroom with the IV pole. I probably slept no more than one hour, because, well, I had to pee over and over and was terrified that they would have to deliver the baby early.

My OB came in at 730 the next morning and did another sonogram and, to our dismay, there was still low fluid. No good reason for it (I was drinking HUGE amounts of water every day), but so low that it could have led to cord compression and danger to the baby. So we started to prep for an 11.30am delivery time. And I started to get really really nervous. Apparently I hid it well, because my husband was not aware of how terrified I really was. The Boy arrived at the hospital at 9 and we both began the pre-op process. Even if the baby hadn't been breech, he would have had to be a c-section, because with such low fluid, contractions could have harmed him.

At 1030 they took me to the OR and yes, I was still scared. Scared that the c-section itself would hurt, scared that there would be something wrong with the baby, scared of being so completely mentally and practically not ready to have a baby that day and how we would manage.

Anesthesia was not bad (remember, we are all good with needles, and this one I didn't even have to see!) and my OB who I love love love basically hugged me as the anesthesiologist put in the local and then the spinal block. Then the nursing team and OB sprang into action and started prep for the procedure. At this point the curtain was set up over my chest and so my husband came in. I swear I have never held anyone's hand so tightly for so long. And I kept my eyes either closed or on him -- for some reason looking up at the lights or at the curtain just amplified my anxiety. But talking to him about what was happening -- that we were about to meet our baby -- made it much much less scary.

The team was great about telling me what they were doing and when, and were very forthright about the fact that there would be "pressure not pain" -- I honestly couldn't even figure out what that meant until it was happening. But once I was opened they really started compressing my belly up near the top -- there were a couple of very big pushes into my chest so as to move the baby down so that he could be brought out. It didn't hurt, per se, but was just a very foreign and not entirely pleasant feeling.

And then, after only about 10 minutes from the time the procedure started, he was out. And it -- the mystery baby that we have talked to and hoped for and loved -- came into the world and we got to see him. And finding out that the baby was a boy, and knowing that our names were all picked out, was just wonderful because there was this one moment where the baby went from being a theoretical "it" baby to being a our son with a name.

And so they showed us Benajmin, all covered in goo, and then took him to be cleaned up and checked out. And we cried, because he cried loudly and healthily, and because we were so so lucky that he was not very small and was breathing without trouble. He scored brilliantly on his Apgar test (9.9! Yeah for slightly premature babies exceeding expectations) and so was deemed healthy enough to avoid the NICU entirely and go to the well baby nursery. He weighed in at 6lbs 1oz and 20 5/8th inches -- he was clearly on track to be a big baby!

And then they brought him back to my husband and let him hold him while they put me back together, and we all reconnected about 30 minutes later (really, I have no idea of the time -- there were drugs involved) in the recovery room. And I got to hold him and touch him for the very first time and it was magic.

It wasn't at all how we had prepared or planned, but it was wonderful all the same. Because all that is really important is that Benjamin entered the world and that he is here and is healthy.

More on the days after in a later post.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Benjamin ....

its a boy!!! 6 lbs 1 oz, 20 5/8 in.

Born 1122 on 2/2/11

thats 1122 on 2211 cant make that up!

More to follow!

happy birthday to...

I'm having this baby today.

I'm both excited and terrified, but the baby looks great on the monitors and it appears that out is better than in. So I have to trust my doctor and the staff here to take good care and make the right decisions.

More later!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Best laid plans

I was intending to write a post about my shower this past weekend and how I felt so loved and special and like I was just wrapped in a big hug the entire time. And it was wonderful and I had a simply perfect weekend.

However, I've got other stuff going on - I'm in the hospital. I went for a standard, scheduled sonogram to check on baby size and position. All looks good with le bebe - still breech, about 6 lbs - and that is a huge relief.

The problem? My amniotic fluid volume is very very low - like 1.5l instead of 5l. And so I'm here, hooked up to an IV and spending the night.

But heart rate is good and there's tons of movement, so no one is worried about the baby right now. But this is likely something I'll be fighting for the next month, if the IV does the trick.

The plan is to measure me again tomorrow, and if the levels are still low, I'm having a c-section at 1130am. My OB gives it about 60% probability that tomorrow will be the day.

I had actually already come to grips with the c-section since this baby was breech, so that's fine. But we are NOT READY and the baby is still very very small. So I'm kind of freaking out, trying to be more centered and calm than anything else.

But mostly, I'm just dealing with things like furniture delivery, buying clothes over the phone and washing sheets.I think my brain can't take the fact that tomorrow there may be a baby.

Did I just write that? Holy mother of g*d, there might be a baby tomorrow!!!