Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mama Brain

I've been afflicted! It's a terrible curse... I call it "Mama Brain". It's like pregnancy brain, but so much worse. After all, add in a little sleep deprivation, screaming baby, and a desire to just collapse in a heap, and you have Mama Brain.

Here is how I know I have it. I scheduled 2 doctor's appointments. For the same day. At nearly the same time. On opposite sides of town.

Yeah... stupid.

One is for Drake- it's his 1 month wellness check up. I think this one involves shots? UGH.
One is for me- It's my 2-week-post-staple-removal-check up. I really don't want to go. UGH

I'm calling my doctor to reschedule, because it is easier to get a different time or day than the pediatrician, and I am sure we will be there ALL DAY LONG anyway.

I haven't done much in the way of ...well... anything. I am still tracking and doing good. I eat a lot but hey, what matters most is I am being accountable for it. (I ate 70 points yesterday, for instance.) I managed a shower yesterday- first one in at least a week! Hey, that's pretty good when you consider I've been tending to the babe. I think I figured out a work schedule that works for everyone- I can get as many hours as I used to get, Brian still gets 6 hours of sleep, I get 6 hours of sleep, and Drake has us both about equally through the day now. Win.

Hope every one else is doing good.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weigh-In #1

My first week on Weight Watchers was interesting. It was only a half-week, really, starting on Wednesday and today is weigh in day.

Wednesday I ate too many points. Thursday I ate enough points, and Friday and Saturday, I did not eat all of my points.

Eating "meals" is really hard with the baby. What I like to call the Rule of Children comes into play every time. Every time I go to do something for myself (eat, in this case) Drake suddenly cries and needs me to attend to him. Of course this only happens when I am alone. I am getting used to it though, and I think I will need to become a grazer (a Point tracking one, anyway) for a few months.

I found the greatest success so far has been to set up my iPad to remind me to track my meals. If I am not near a computer or iPad, I do write it down on paper. Odd, I know, because I don't know the Points values for anything off the top of my head, but I do write down what I ate, then go back and add it in electronically when I can.

This time on Weight Watchers I am going to try to approach things differently. Instead of obsessing on the scale constantly- weighing in naked, first thing in the morning, or several times a day/week- I am only going to weigh in once on Sundays. I am taking a casual approach to the scale, and making sure to track like a fiend whenever possible.

That being said, I am proud to say I have lost some weight my first week! I officially weigh less than I did when I got married, and I am only 13 lbs away from losing the baby weight completely. It is nice to see that I am so close to being back to my pre-pregnancy weight.


My first "goal" is the standard 5% lost, which comes out to 11.9 lbs. I am down 3. Not too shabby of a start, eh?

Oh, and because Liz asked me where I did my shopping recently, it was at Old Navy online. They only carry their plus line on the website, and I found everything I have ordered from Old Navy, whether it was maternity or plus, to fit very well and to flatter both of my body shapes. I used a coupon code for 25% off, and since I spent over $50, I got free shipping too. Win.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Postpartum Week Three

21 days ago... holy crap! Drake is definitely changing! His little personality is beginning to emerge. He loves being changed- both diaper and clothes. It cracks me up, he can be screaming his head off that he is wet/dirty/uncomfortable... but the second I lay him on the changing table, he stops because he knows he is getting changed. Funny. He also is a very mellow, relaxed baby... unless he is hungry, then he becomes the DEMON CHILD THAT WAILS until he gets fed. It's that exact pitch that just sends shivers down the spine and makes your ears want to bleed... you want to just toss him off the balcony at that point. But of course, the second you stick a bottle in his food hole, he's fine. Reminds me a lot of uhm... me. He is also starting to stretch out too, his legs are almost always extended (unless he is sleeping) He is so so alert, and can push his head up and hold it for increasingly longer periods of time. It's amazing.

How am I doing? I'm okay. Lots of changes. I am losing weight rapidly, partly from not really eating as regularly as I should be (sleep is more important) and partly from pumping. I cannot keep up with Drake's feeding demands. I just don't produce enough, despite constant pumping and keeping up fluids. I'm starting to think it's an intake problem- I'm not eating enough to sustain the supply. I'll have to try better.

I'm back to wearing my pre-pregnancy fat clothes, well tops/shirts anyway. Pants are still maternity, but that is alright. I am happy to be able to wear anything I want again.

I decided to do something nice for me and possibly the nicest gift I could give myself (aside from sleep) was some new clothes. I bought two new tops and a pair of pants.




I fell in love with the tops :) I love a good sweater these days, simply because I am constantly cold. The crochet trim halter tank will look awesome under a cardigan and be perfect for those pesky doctor's appointments when I am required to get out of the house lol

My mental health is much more sound this week too. After getting the car taken care of, I have been fine, no sudden weepiness or anything like that. I may be over the hump of baby blues, or it could have been I had a lot of time outside the house this week. Probably a little of column A and a little of column B.

My skin is definitely affected by hormones. Every square inch of it is dry dry dry! The skin on my face is especially dry and patchy. It feels like a Brillo pad. I've been trying to remember to moisturize it, and it's doing better... but it's the worst it's ever been in my life. Which, still, isn't that bad.

I realized if I missed a dose of my iron pills, I feel like shit. I start getting really cold and I just feel really off. If I take my iron pills, I find myself very warm... probably how normal people feel. Our apartment is set at a warm 74 degrees, which is too warm for Brian, perfect for the baby, and not nearly warm enough for me. This could also explain my fascination with really hot showers too... I feel like a lizard, who constantly has to soak in radiant heat to regulate my body temperature. It's weird and frightening, really, if you think about it. I've set alarms and reminders to make absolutely sure that I take my iron. I do not want to be anemic any more.

I'm really starting to enjoy being a mom. I know that there are still days where it will be really trying... but I still love it. I enjoy my son so much. He is the light of my life, and I can't believe the little guy is here. I look at my husband and just sort of stare in awe that we created him and that he is ours, through and through.

Brian has the day off so I was promised that I could sleep all day to catch up on it a bit. We will see how that really goes, because it seems like I can never sleep anymore. I'm praying I will be able to.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Car Shopping and Doctor Visit

Today was incredibly, incredibly busy. I am soooo worn out.

Drake had his eye doctor appointment today. We were a few minutes late, because someone (me) had no idea where the dr's office was located. I knew the area, not the address, and couldn't remember the phone number. I blame being tired.

We waited nearly an hour and a half before being seen. I am so so so proud of my little dragon, because he did not really fuss at all. He did here and there, but quieted quickly. When we were finally seen, he sat on my lap in the chair and the dr checked out his eyes, put drops in (which Drake didn't care for much, but didn't complain) and then he left us in the room. Drake's eyes were dilating and we were left to contend with a baby growing increasingly fussy. We never hit meltdown point, because Drake gave up on being fussy and decided sleep was a better option.



We got the news- his eye is FINE! The worst case scenario is maybe he might develop a lazy eye, in which they would patch the good eye and force the lazy one to work harder. Which is like... nothing! Hurray! I must take this moment to say I am probably a terrible mother- because I stopped worrying about the welfare of Drake's vision when Brian totaled the car- but I know I am not a terrible mom, because I kept my baby calm and collected at the doctor's office and I knew his eye was probably fine anyway.

Which brings us to the next point- WE GOT A CAR!!! Hurray!!!! Not only did we manage to get a car in as little as a day, but we got a GREAT deal on it! It is a 2007 Chevy Aveo hatchback- Brian's been wanting one f-o-r-e-v-e-r, and it was a great deal and a great price. $7,000- 50,000 miles, 1 owner... it is a manual tranny though, which Brian did not know how to drive... but learned in the parking lot, and is a natural at it. We put down $1500 and got it for a better interest rate and lower monthly payment (by $20) than the last car.

Source
(PS how hokey photoshopped is that picture? I mean, seriously.)

The only terrible thing was somewhere between me counting the money in the envelope to paying for the down payment (a span of mere minutes) I lost $100. So instead of having $1500 in cash, I suddenly only had $1400. We looked every where for it. I counted 15 then only 14. We counted and counted and counted and it was only 14. So I put $100 on our debit card. Whatever. I don't care. I would gladly lose $100 extra dollars for a car. It wasn't a big deal to me. Also while I was sitting in the new car at the rental place and Brian drove the rental just next door to top up the gas, they closed the rental place and locked me in for the night, and Brian got back JUST in time to see the guy starting to leave!! Hahaha... weird.

Brian really got into driving the manual quickly, and only stalled out once (when we got home! haha) and we even drove it to my parent's house to show off. We are so impressed with ourselves. We totally feel like grown ups.


And, for the icing on the cake? I am back to my wedding weight. 238. Just 16 lbs to go until I am back to my pre-pregnancy/last WW weight! I am joining WW again too! Hurray!


The Irony

Today was an ironic day. At first, it had me laughing, but the more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off. Good thing my sense of humor serves me first.

Let me start off by saying, I worked until 3 am yesterday morning and then I slept until 6 am. Brian was on baby duty, and then we switched off so he could get some sleep. He sleeps from 6 to noon, and I wake him up at noon. The plan was for me to sleep from noon to about 3, when my grandma was coming up to watch the baby while my dad and I went to the claims office for the insurance company.

Brian wanted to go car shopping, so he got someone to cover his shift. He suddenly has the day off. I am not tired, so I don't sleep. I'm all anxious about this whole check thing and EVEN THOUGH I called and double checked they printed it, I was still nervous that the mf-ers would some how eff that up.

Grandma comes up and then Dad, so Brian drives us to the insurance office, dad and I pick up the check and I ask the lady- "is there anything else I need to know or do from here?" Keep this in mind, it's very important to the story. She tells me no, and sends us on our merry way.

We drop my dad off who comes to visit the baby for a moment before heading home. Grandma tells us to go car shopping. We order a pizza for Grandma and then I get some things around and we go to the bank to cash the check.

We head inside the bank, sign the check and ask the lady to cash it... which she doesn't. Because she can't. Apparently, the insurance company does something called a "positive pay" which means that even though the check is dated for 1/23/12 we can't do anything with it (deposit it, cash it, lick it, whatever) until 1/24/12, which to me, sounds a lot like a post dated check. And that pissed Brian off. No one tells you this stuff, even when you ask. I guess you have to ask the right questions, which would have been "how soon can I spend your goddamn money?" but I digress. See why I was worried the mf-ers would mess it up? Because they did, just not in the way I expected.

We decide there is no harm in just going to look at cars, even if we have to wait 24 hours to cash the check and have the down payment, we can at least look. The one car I am really interested in, I called the guy at the dealership, can't legally show us the car today, because they are waiting on the bank for funds to clear, so technically, it won't be for sale until January 24th.

Do you see it? The irony, I mean. Even if we did get the check cashed, we still couldn't look at the damn car. But that is proof that everything happens the way it should.

Well, we decide that this whole day had been stupid, so we go to the mall to wander around and blow off a little steam. We then get a bright idea- let's spend a little money on ourselves, just for us, nothing baby related. Brian buys a new video card for his computer, and I buy some clothes from Old Navy online, because they only sell plus wear online. They double charged me, but it's still pending, so I will have to wait and see if the charge disappears, or if I have to call someone and get that fixed.

We then came home and tried to take a nap, but at this point, I'm still pissed off about whole car-insurance debacle and Brian is all geeked out over his new toy/having time to himself. We realized that we had not even been able to cuddle in bed together for 20 days- 2 days before Drake was born- because I was in the hospital. It was nice to hold hands and just walk around, also to snuggle up to each other without having to worry about the baby.

The best part of today? It gets to repeat for tomorrow, hopefully with different results! Oh, and we have an eye doctor appointment for the Dragon Boy at 9:00 am on the other side of town; why do I do this to myself?!!?! So hopefully we will get some news on that front.

I'm exhausted. I'm about to pass ou---zzzzzzzz




Sunday, January 22, 2012

At Least I'm Trying

I have a lot of thoughts running through my mind right now.

I'm trying not to stress about this car situation.
I'm trying to figure out how to be a parent (so far the general consensus is "wing it")
I'm trying to remember to take care of myself. To eat, to shower, to stay hydrated, to take all of my damn pills.
I'm trying to feel my feelings.
I'm trying to encourage Brian to do the same.
I'm trying to realize that it is okay to cry.
I'm trying to remember what it was like to poop without being in pain.
I'm trying to relish each moment of sleep.
I'm trying to take in all the little moments with Drake.
I'm trying to be a good wife and a good mother.
I'm trying to get used to the idea that I am a mother.
I'm trying to walk the path of what is right, not what is easy.
I'm trying to get used to the fact that I am bovine in nature- a grazer and a milk maker.
I'm trying to remember my own name.
I'm trying not to hold any expectations.
I'm trying not to let the moment get the best of me.
I'm trying not to let the hormones rule my emotions.
I'm trying to get used to the damn pump
I'm trying not to take the pump in vain.
I'm trying not to let other's opinions sway me.
I'm trying not to forget that I am not being given any more than I can handle.
I'm trying to believe that it will get better.
I'm trying to remember why I thought it was a good idea to work such late hours

All I can do is try.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday

Well I managed a bit of sleep, 3 and a half hours. That's pretty good. The babe woke up so we fed and changed and he peed all over my crisp, clean night gown. That was fun.

He woke up at 4:30, after I had attempted (foolishly) a dream feed at 4, which was a success, but I think it was too close to his waking time. I will have to try a more reasonable hour today. We are all trying to transition to a normal schedule. It's hard because Brian works 2nd and I work 3rd, and the baby has no concept of time.

Between the hours of 4 am and 5 am he had 4.5 ounces and this latest feed he had 3 ounces. We are already almost a third of the way through the day in terms of food hehe what a big boy.

Brian woke up early to go to the car lot to remove all of our possessions from the now-totaled car. The auto place is only open for 3 hours on Saturday, closed on Sunday, and they are taking our car away on Monday. It's a very small time frame, and Brian is the only one who can go and do it, being as I can't drive/lift anything anyway.

I can see why mothers choose to formula feed. Not only is breast feeding a pain in the neck, but pumping is too. I hate it so much. My boobs are so big that I have to pump one at a time, and that takes up to an hour to drain both sufficiently. I get a lot of yield, but never enough it seems to have more than a day's supply (at best) on hand. I have to pump more often but I often decide I would rather sleep instead of pump.

Meh. I'm going back to bed.

Apparently

...the EASY plan does work, if you manage to chart it all down. For instance, a baby Drake's size should be taking in 18-24 ounces every day. We are still doing half milk/half formula, but Drake managed 22 ounces in the last 24 hours. He also slept 16 hours with an average nap time of 3 hours. Textbook baby? I am thinking he is part TEXTBOOK personality and part ANGEL personality, with a touch of TOUCHY (when he's overstimulated)

(I am also using the Similac baby app that I Like Beer and Babies mentioned, which is great, because it shows it all in trendy little charts.)

....I need to shower more. I kept getting a whiff of something disgusting, like a dirty diaper or something around and could never find the source. It was in every room of the apartment. Apparently, it was me. Gross. I showered and feel a little better.

....Xanax is a life saver. With it, I managed to keep down a bowl of cereal and a popsicle! I know.

....I need more sleep. I've gotten 3 hours over the last 24. Hoping today I can catch up a bit.

Friday, January 20, 2012

EASY Method, Day 3

Day 3.... So far, so good. Reading the baby whisperer book is a god send. She said it would take about three days or so to see an improvement, and we have!

3:55 am Drake wakes up, Brian prepares a bottle. I get off work at 4. We prepare to switch off.
4:20 am Drake finishes his breakfast, 3.5 ounces. The new bottle is perfect (today).
4:35 am Mama has changed a diady, given him a wipe down, put lots of butt paste on, changed his outfit, and we played a little peek a boo, before swaddling for a nap.
5:00 am Drake is asleep- IN HIS CRIB!- and Mama only had to go in twice to reassure him she had not disappeared. During this time, I read more of my book and tweet. I chart everything down. I lay on the futon and browse the web. Daddy is asleep in the bedroom. I eat breakfast for the first time in two weeks.

 This marks the first set of EASY- Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time.

The second cycle of EASY was not as easy as the first one today- Drake didn't want to wake up. He is still in the habit of sleeping all day (and he was really fussy yesterday, meaning he is extra tired today).

It went like this

6:30 am Mama prepares a bottle and heats it up.
6:35 am Mama gets Drake and tries to wake him. I tickle his hands, and stroke his face, turn on lights and tell him it's time to wake up, he needs to eat. I keep a running dialogue with him. He eats 1 ounce and falls back asleep. No waking tactics work, so I don't try and force it. We go directly to the A- Activity.
7:00 am Change his diaper, he pees all over himself (including hitting himself in the face- ha!) so I clean him up and wash his face/head and change his outfit.
7:15 am By now, he is wide awake. Like a severely drunken person, he did not wake when he pissed on his own face, but when I cleaned him up. We switch outfits and fuss a little, but we are wide awake now! I decide to repeat the E- Eat, since he only had an ounce. We eat with vigor now, then fall back asleep. Total consumed- 2.5 ounces.
7:35 am He gets swaddled for his next nap. He is still asleep when I swaddle him and put him in his crib. He doesn't even wake when the drop side SQUEALS as it slides back into the locked position. (I need Brian to get some W-D 40 on it) I leave the room with a "Mama's still here, if you need me, just say so and I'll come get you." But it's not heard. He's dreaming of whatever babies dream of. Ever-flowing tits and Winnie the Pooh or whatever.

We did great until around 2:30 pm, and after that, it went all pear-shaped. I could not get him back to sleep. We ate a lot, and we did tummy time, and we did a lot of diaper changes, but he just would not sleep. I tried not to overstimulate him, but he became overtired anyway. He would WAIL every time he was not in my arms....

During this time, the insurance company called about the car. It is a total loss. The good news? They paid out $3800 for the car, $2500 of which goes to pay off my loan. Minus fees and whatnot, we get a check for $1150 Monday. There are all sorts of strings attached to this. My dad, who was the cosigner, HAS to be in person with me to come pick up the check. We have to sign a Power of Attorney statement, saying the insurance company can take the car. They are picking up the car from the auto shop on Monday, so Brian has to get all of our possessions out of the Malibu tomorrow. The rental car is due back Wednesday. That leaves us Monday, Tuesday, and maybe part of Wednesday to car shop....

...with a baby....
...around his work schedule....

Understandably, I am stressed. To make matters worse, it's snowing today and Brian was working. Snow plows just sort of gave up on keeping the roads plowed until it stopped snowing... which will be around 7 am tomorrow. Add in a bit more stress here....

Finally, around 6:30 pm, I got the bright idea to use the box fan on high and have lots of loud white noise to help the baby fall asleep. It went something like this

WAIIIIIIIIL WAILLLLLLLLLL WAILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL WA WA WA WAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLL *fan on* wa- wa- hmmmm hhmmmm henh henh henh.... henh.... *dead to world*

I have had ZERO time to pump since 4 am. I zonked out on the couch because that is what great moms do.

Brian gets home and the baby wakes around 10:15 pm. He slept a little longer because well, we were both tired and frankly, we needed it.

10:20 pm Brian feeds the baby and changes him, and then he becomes the baby whisperer himself and the Dragon is out like a light again not even 30 minutes later.



Sigh. Now I can devote my energies to finding a car, downing Xanax, and trying to keep all my insides where they belong because I feel so stressed out that I might physically vomit. I am so tired, cranky, stressed, and covered in baby vomit. We have an additional $700 that we could use for a down payment if we have to and we are looking for a car between $5000 and $7000 so I know things will work out... they always do... but it is just a stressful transition made a little more stressful on the fact of dealing with a newborn....not that the baby knows what is going on... he's just a baby, after all.

Okay, I need to pump and drown myself in some Xanax so I can at least calm down enough to eat.

(Aside from the 5 hour span in which my child was screaming uncontrollably because he was overtired and unwilling to go to sleep- today was a great day on schedule. It is getting easier each day. Although I have not had more than 3 hours of sleep all day.. so not too happy about that)




Two Weeks Postpartum

The hormones are killing me. I cry at literally everything. I cry when I get a nap, when Grandma comes over to relieve me, when Brian goes to sleep, when the baby cries, when the baby sleeps, when I *finally* get a chance to eat for the first time that day, when I read blogs, tweets etc.

I know it's hormones. I swear I am not really like this.

I had a melt down today. I was up since 5 am with the baby. It was about noon or so. The baby would not sleep longer than an hour, wouldn't eat more than an ounce at a time, and was just fussy all day long. Brian was awake by this time and holding the baby. I was supposed to be laying down, but I just couldn't stop thinking about the car and our bills and I kept trying to do the math to see if we would have enough money this month for the bills and I got different answers each time, none of them good.

I just lost it. Started crying. I was positively wailing in no time, so Brian held the baby in one arm and me with the other. I blew my nose on a wet wipe and took a couple Xanax. Yes, a couple. More than I ever had. Brian and I went over bills and etc, turns out we are fine.

Grandma came over because I begged her to. I wanted to get out of the house so badly. I am not allowed to drive for another 4 weeks. It was gross out today, snowy and slick, and she came anyway. We went grocery shopping (a huge endeavor) and had a lunch out. It was a lot to do for me today, since I am still recovering. We walked around Target and got groceries, different baby bottle nipples, breast milk storage bags, butt paste for diaper rash, stool softener (I take iron pills, which make me extremely constipated) Target is huge and overwhelming. I wouldn't have gone, but we had a gift card, so why not?

The new bottle nipples seem to work better. He is getting more in at each feeding, and he is not spitting up at all which is very good. In fact, he had two bottles full back to back, totaling 12 ounces. He must have been really hungry. I think the other nipples were making him cranky.

Despite that fact, the baby is just fussy. Has been for a few days. I am not sure what is different all of a sudden? Maybe he is just a fussy baby. I really have no idea. I am trying to tune into his needs but it is really *really* hard when he is screaming his fool head off, and refusing food, pacifier, swing, bouncy, rocking, cuddling, etc. Is he gassy? Does he have reflux? Not getting enough food at one time? Is he tired? Overstimulated? Bored? I am just bumbling through this. It's even harder on Brian, who really has no clue what a baby is and each time Drake cries, I can see how frantic Brian gets... the baby's cries are just the right pitch to grate on Brian's every nerve. Poor guy.

But I really really really can't do this alone, so Brian will just have to learn to cope, same as me. Thank God for Xanax

I'm not in any pain really from the surgery any more, which is good. I keep taking my Motrin and I never got my Percocet refilled. Once they took my staples out, I didn't need it any more. Stupid staples, flesh was not meant to be held together by metal. Although, the nurse gave me the best compliment, she said that my stomach was way flatter than hers was, and she delivered vaginally, and her baby wasn't as big as mine was! They were also impressed with how tiny my incision was, considering how big headed large Drake was/is. I still haven't seen my incision/scar. I can feel the scar tissue, and when I am able to resume normal activities, I am going to massage the area. Massaging even 5 minutes a day can drastically improve the appearance of scar tissue... trust me. I did it on my ankle. One side looks awful and painful, the other side looks like nothing is even there.

I am down a total of 20 lbs, more than half the baby weight has come off. I weigh 240 now and my pre-pregnancy weight was 222, so only 18 more pounds to go!  My feet aren't as swollen, I can shower unassisted (I had trouble getting in and out of the shower and toweling off from the waist down)

My boobs are so big and swollen now. Like I really needed them to be any bigger. The last bra I had bought, I bought big on purpose. I was a 46DD before, so I bought a 48DD and now it is too small! They leak constantly. I took a maxi pad and cut the ends off of it and shoved them in my bra to absorb leaks. Works like a charm. Why buy those expensive breast pads when you can just use up the rest of those horrid maxi pads you get from the hospital? Haha

I love that my belly is flat now and I can see my feet (if I moved my boobs out of the way first) and I can fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I haven't tried any pre-preggers jeans yet, but I am also still nearly 20 lbs heavier than I was, so I don't think they will fit. I got rid of all my "fat" jeans when I dropped a couple sizes.

Well, the baby is down for the count, Brian is decompressing by working on a commission (ha, weird that work is a way to decompress now), and I have an hour off between shifts, so I might as well play the resident bovine and pump some precious milk for my darling to eat all up tomorrow. Plus I want to try the breast milk bags. I got the Lansinoh brand- love/hate? Recommendations?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

E.A.S.Y. as Pie

I bought The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems based on the reviews of the book and also because Baby Dufour said it was working for her Ethan.

Now, the whole premise of the book is to get the baby on a routine, not really a schedule, since we aren't locked into time slots here, and it's basically a 3-hr rotation (sounds like a schedule to me, but I'm open minded). Basically, the baby follows a pattern.

E- Eat (~30 minutes)
A- Activity (20-45 minutes)
S- Sleep (1.5-2 hours)
Y- You (parent) time during the sleep cycle

It says the earlier you start, the better the results will be. Today was the first day of monitoring Drake's current habits. Man, what a terrible day to pick! He has been fussy ALL day. He slept pretty much all of Tuesday (Dad was home) and from 5 am on- he would not allow me to do anything. I couldn't feed him, change him, or get him to sleep. Finally I managed to grab a cat nap around 2 pm and then my grandma came over around 4:30 and let me sleep until 9:30. When I woke up, Drake wanted a bottle and then he fell asleep, grandma left, and I fell asleep too. Bliss.

We will try again tomorrow. Part of this whole E.A.S.Y. thing is I am not sure if he is getting enough to eat now, we discovered one bottle nipple he couldn't get it fast enough and the other type it was too fast. The Goldilocks nipples we had before were disposable, so I may have to go on a hunt for other nipples. Also, I'm out of diaper creme, and now his ass is red. Fantastic. I've been using Vaseline. But tomorrow, Brian is off, and I am soooo getting out of the house and going grocery shopping/errands. Grandma said she would come over to baby sit while we get some "us" time. I am so thankful to her for wanting to come over so often, it's a bitch of a drive from her house to mine.

Ugh what a terribly long and exhausting day.

Brian took the car in to the auto shop and they ran an estimate. $2,000 to fix it- or it's totaled- depending on how the insurance company chooses to look at it. If they decide to fix it, we pay our deductible. If not, well we hope they give us enough money from it being totaled to pay off my car loan. I owe just over $2,200 on it. Then we would need enough money to buy a new car. Ugh. I don't really know what to do. We have a few options of course, but it all depends on what the insurance company says. We will know in two days.

Brian's on Dragon Duty now- Drake was screaming all day and finally, mercifully, passed out and seems to be in a deep sleep. Brian fully undressed/changed diaper/scrubbed poo off of legs & bum/redressed and moved the baby with out him waking. I can't help but be slightly jealous- why couldn't the baby do that for ME?- but mostly I am just relieved to have some peace and quiet. Poor Brian, he worked 8 hours today and when he comes home, I'm passed out on the futon and only woke up because I had a few hours of work.

We tried to do a "dream feed", where you don't wake the baby, but feed them while they are mostly asleep... and that didn't work out so well. Drake started sputtering and coughing and spitting up the milk (but not waking, of course) and then once he figured out it was a nipple, started sucking but not swallowing... basically using it as a pacifier.

Clearly, I need to read the rest of the book first before I try to put the practices into play, but it certainly doesn't hurt to chart his behaviors.

And that's all the exciting news from baby land. I was so flustered today, I didn't even take any pictures. Also, my iPad battery died.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Day Off

The morning started at 6:45 am. We had severe thunderstorms all early morning, making it impossible to sleep. Also, Drake pretty much refused to sleep without his pacifier. He would wake up, cry, suck on it, fall asleep immediately, spit it out, and repeat. For 3 hours. I eventually got so tired of getting up, plugging it back in his mouth, laying down and repeating, that I laid him on the futon in his Boppy and put my finger on his pacifier to keep it from falling out.

We drove to my hometown and got in the doctor's office pretty much immediately. My doctor loved the baby and gave me more Xanax, hurray! We stopped by the insurance company and dropped off the receipt for the tow, and finally came home. Drake slept through it all- sans pacifier, I might add.

We came home and fed the baby, changed him, and all three (four, if you count the dog) of us took a nap until 2 pm. Brian got up and cleaned. I was running a slight fever so I stayed put. (Slight fever = normal, from what I was told)

His parents came for a visit at 3 and brought us an outfit and a parenting book (How to Make Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours) They mercifully left at a quarter after 4 and I took another nap (being so sleep deprived makes me kind of cranky with visitors) and Brian took over watching the baby and let me sleep until 11:30. I had to wake up at this time because my breasts were so swollen it was hard to lay comfortable in any position. I realized I hadn't pumped ALL day.

I got that out of the way and managed a few hours worth of work. Wow it was so nice to have Brian home today so I could rest up and be ready to handle the wee hours of the morning (largely my domain, since Brian works most nights, I try to let him get unbroken sleep from about 4 am to 11 am)

Drake has been sleeping so well today. We were awake for visitors (because they woke him up, which sort of annoyed me) then he fell immediately back to sleep afterward. I think since we made the switch to purely breast milk, he has been sleeping deeper and longer. He is still a big eater, so I try not to worry. We do wake him occasionally to feed him, but he does well enough on his own.

Tomorrow Brian works from 4:30 until 11:30 pm. These days are so long, so so long. I am glad that he has lots of hours, because we definitely need the money, but it seems like the days just drag on and on... at least I have the little one to keep me company. I do love it when Brian is home though, so nice to communicate with someone who isn't grunting or screaming, or pooping.

One of these days, this blog will be about healthy living again. Right now, it's about healthy recovering and a bit of baby bragging. Did you know he rolled over again? Ah, what a proud Mama I am.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Metal Free

They removed my staples today and put some Steri-strips on them. Great, just what I need, more tape residue... sigh. They are supposed to last 2 weeks. I go back in on Feb 2nd for another check up.

I still have high blood pressure (from the anemia) but the iron pills are helping. I also have a low grade fever, normal for having major surgery. That could partly explain my chills I get too. I ran out of Percocet, but they prescribed me more. Since I had my staples removed, I haven't been in any pain. I went 12 hours without a pain pill. Hurray! I took one just to be safe not too long ago though.

I was reminded again not to lift anything other than the baby, not to do stairs (haha I live on the third floor!) not to insert anything into the vagina, no baths, no sex, blah blah blah for 4 more weeks at least.

I'm at a dangerous part in recovery now that I no longer have the staples and am in less pain, I am going to start thinking I am better now (I know I will) and may try to take on too much. But I have to keep being basically useless for 4 more weeks. All I can do is hold/change the baby and pump, with the occasional light cooking. I'm not allowed to put anything in the oven, just stove top. Sigh. 

Pumping is going great- seems like my boobies have gotten the memo and have stepped up production. I got 4 ounces from one, and was still going strong. Then The Dragon decided he was hungry. Not wanting to stop pumping (it's a pain in the ass to start and stop) I gave him the freshly expressed milk and he drank it all. Every last drop. I got 4 ounces from the other and an additional 2 from the first, so it was okay. I'm happy I can keep up now, we haven't had to give him any supplemental formula today.

I weighed myself for the first time since I came home. When I came home, I was 260 lbs, which was MORE than what I weighed when I went in to the hospital. I weighed 257 then. I was retaining a lot of fluids, so I tried not to think about it. I checked again today, and I am pleased to report the swelling is going down and all the extra water is moving the fluids out! I weigh 245!

New mom paranoia is setting in. I noticed Drake's normal eye was matted shut with eye boogers and I cleaned them away. Then it happened again, and again. I was starting to think maybe he had an infection? We did go to the pediatrician's office and there were a lot of sick kids there. Maybe he picked up pink eye? Or maybe the dog licked his face and he got something in his eye? I asked my mom, and she said it was normal- babies ooze all sorts of fluids from every orifice. Since then, I have noticed his eye only gets boogers in it if he is sleeping, when he is awake, it's clear. His 'dragon eye' never seems to get any boogers. I wonder if his normal eye is over productive? or maybe his other eye is under productive? I see the eye doctor on the 24th. I'll try to keep my panicking to a minimum until then.

I'm all hormonal too. On the referral to the eye dr, under "reason" they had put "evaluation and treatment of abnormally shaped pupil" and I started crying uncontrollably. I look at his sweet face and he looks up at me, both eyes wide, and I see his dragon eye and recall "abnormally shaped pupil" and start crying and apologizing to him. Let's get one thing straight: it's not anyone's fault his eye is like that and yes, it is abnormal. At least they didn't put "freakishly deformed" He can see with it and that's all that matters. I cry over everything. Stupid hormones.

I'm off to bed, I have a loooong day tomorrow today. I have a dr's appointment for more Xanax, we need to go to the insurance company to get reimbursed for our tow, we need to take the car to the shop to get fixed (and by "we" I really mean Brian, I can't drive still), and Brian's parents are coming for a visit. My day starts at 6:45 and it is 2 am. Night night.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lucky

I'm trying my best to stay positive during this whole car fiasco thing. So far, we have maybe $350 of the $500 we need... which is great! We can probably have it all by Tuesday, as long as I do some creative budgeting (ie put off some bills until later this month) we need the car fixed ASAP so bills can wait. It sucks to prioritize bills again... but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. We need the car to make money, so it comes first.

But today, I am incredibly lucky. The Dragon and I have been hanging out all day. Mostly, sleeping. I swear, since I stepped up production (thanks, boobies) the babe has been sleeping longer and deeper. It's a very welcome present! Even Brian got an insane amount of sleep (for a new parent anyway) he got NINE whole hours. 6 of them in a row!

Drake slept from noon to 6 pm tonight. Then he woke up, ate 4.5 ounces, needed a diaper change. Changed him, changed his outfit and while he was naked, he got a baby massage. He really likes those. Stretches out his little limbs and looks around the whole time, soaking it in. Then he zonked out and fell asleep by 7 pm.

Tomorrow morning I get my staples out. I have been looking forward to this all weekend. Two of my staples are pinching my skin really badly and I'm about to take them out myself! I won't of course. My doctor gave me a sterile suture removal kit to bring to the office tomorrow... is that weird? It's got us weirding out over it... like wtf dude, you don't have your own suture removal kits in the office? Maybe he's hoping the staples piss me off enough that I remove them myself? I dunno.

I love not being pregnant anymore. I have no heartburn. The pain pills are magnificent. Even the iron pills don't suck that much. I love snuggling with my little boy. I still feel like he is not quite mine... like how did the last 9 months sneak up on me? I sort of feel like he is a loaner baby to get me ready for my kid... but he's not, he's my babe through and through. Looks like his dad, acts like his mom. Lord help us, he will be a heart breaker for sure. I noticed too, that I am not always constantly hungry! I really feel like it must have been the baby, because now I have to really struggle to eat. It's like, oh yeah, I haven't had anything in 12 hours. I should probably eat this sandwich. I'm really trying to eat as normally as possible (hard to do with a newborn,even a lazy one like mine). I do fantastic with the fluids though.

Ok, I've looked this gift horse (Dragon) in the mouth long enough, I need to go take another nap while I can. Brian's working until 11:30 tonight, and we have an early day tomorrow, so I need all the rest I can get.

Some Like a Baby Nine Days Old

Last night, Brian called me. He had a collision while working, he had hit a wooden support for a hill. The front end of the car is smashed. We have to take it in the shop. The ironic part is, I just raised our deductible from $250 to $500 in an effort to lower our insurance premiums. Do you know what we save per year with a higher deductible? $14. Sigh. We have to come up with $500 to get the car fixed. Luckily, it's driveable, but needs to have a lot replaced. Thank God Brian wasn't hurt, and no one else was involved. Thank God also for full coverage insurance, as we were able to rent a car and get reimbursed for the tow (There's $50 of the $500!)

~~

My family came over today. It was the first time my parents had seen the baby after we left the hospital. Brian and I were shooed away to take a nap (thank God) and mom, dad, and grandma took over. Mom and Grandma cleaned the entire apartment and Grandma went to the grocery store to buy us some food. We had almost nothing in our cupboards, sad really. We just haven't had time to go to the store. I was so thankful for the clean house and the groceries. Dad checked out the car and saw that there was nothing mechanically wrong with it. We needed someone who knew something about cars to give it a look over, so we don't get screwed at the mechanic's.

Every one oohed and awwed over the baby. We woke up at three and had some cookies and diet mountain dew. It was so nice to sleep and not have to worry about what was going on with Drake.

~~

Pumping is going well, thanks to all the suggestions. I keep ice water with me at all times and suck it down with a straw. I have been able to produce 5 ounces on average per session. I am so thankful Drake can't latch on to me, because that kid has a strong sucking reflex and it would hurt. No, bottle feeding is definitely the way to go. We are still supplementing with formula, doing half and half... it seems to be working. Doing purely breast milk seems to go through him too quickly and he is eating every hour. But if we do half formula, he stays fuller longer and sleeps better. It's the best of both worlds. Eventually, he will be purely on breast milk, but for now, this is what is working for us at the moment.

~~

I do have some of the baby blues. Not postpartum depression, which I was worried about. Depression runs in the family, so I am glad that I have so far avoided PPD. I do cry at the slightest things. Drake "smiling" in his sleep; when I look at his eye; when I read the referral to the ophthalmologist, and it said "evaluation and treatment of abnormally shaped pupil"; when Brian comes home and I ask him to watch the baby while I take a quick shower/nap/make dinner and he sighs heavily. I can't help it, I just start sobbing. No warning. No build up. And as quickly as they start, they stop. So I know it's hormones/baby blues. Stupid hormones.

Drake is healthy and thriving, which is what all mothers want to hear and see.

Quietly contemplating his next poop

What a precious face! This is what I stare at all day long.

Hard to believe it's already been nine days.

~~

My pain is still there. All of yesterday and today, I felt pinching of two of the staples and it hurt really bad. Brian checked it out for me (I can't see the incision myself, thank God) and said that the two I thought were hurting were red and swollen. I think they are rubbing against my underwear. I have to wear underwear though, because I still need the pads. And that's all I will say on that subject. Monday I get the staples removed. Monday cannot come fast enough for me. I'm taking more Motrin than I am Percocet now, so I think I am in a transition period. Let's hope the pain goes away soon. Once it does, I know I will be a hundred times better... the pain pills make me twice as sleepy as normal, so it feels like I am constantly on "E" and I can never get enough rest. I feel fine until I have to take one again, then I get all sleepy.

Well, that's it for the update.

Friday, January 13, 2012

First Snow.

The first real snow of the season fell early this morning. How do I know this? I was up with the baby from 2:30 til 6:30 am until the little tyke fell asleep.

It was a long morning. The wind was howling and the snow falling. We got *maybe* an inch and a half. I got *maybe* two hours of sleep before Drake was up again.

Luckily, Brian got 6 solid hours of sleep, so he can take over until he has to go to work.

Me? I'm going back to bed. I'm only waking up to pump whenever Drake needs feeding. I can't keep up with his demands, so I am trying to pump pretty much around the clock. I'm just not producing enough yet, but I know the more I try, the more I will be able to meet quota. Supply and Demand, the basic law of breast feeding.

Right now, we have to supplement with formula. Sigh. At least he is getting *some* breast milk.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Been One Week

Since you were brought into the world little man


One week since my whole life changed. Wow, where did time go?


Today, we had his one week wellness check up. The doctor was VERY impressed with Drake. They actually said he was perfect! I said of course, I knew he was perfect!  He did not cry, fuss, or become too wiggly to handle. He just kind of looked around, very alert, soaking things in.

He weighs 9 lbs 1 ounce, so he should be back to his birth weight in no time. They were impressed he was such a big eater (4-6 ounces every 4-6 hours) and how good of a sleeper he is (we are fortunate enough to get 5+ hr stretches at a time) and how strong he is.

Did you know if you place him on his tummy, he can lift his head AND chest up off the floor? We were given the go-ahead to start tummy time because they believe he will be an early roller. Like, within the next week or two early.

Hard to believe he is only 7 days old.

As far as his measurements go, he is 81% proportioned correctly and if we lined up 100 baby boys his age, only 11 of them would be taller than him. He is a big boy :)

We were referred to an ophthalmologist to check out his eye. I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but he has a special eye... his pupil is keyhole shaped. We know for a fact he can see out of both eyes and that he can track things with them both equally, but we still need to check him out. There isn't any real concern about it, just a precaution at this point.

The Dragon Eye
We call it his dragon eye. Most people end up calling it a cat eye, and while it is rare, few people have permanent damage to the eye. It's a congenital condition and there isn't any "cure" or fix for it. I think it's adorable.

How am I doing? I'm doing great. I definitely need to keep up with my pain medication, otherwise I become so stiff and sore and useless. The pediatrician didn't recognize me at first, because I look so much healthier and better than when she saw me last :) That was the best compliment ever.

I get my staples out on Monday and I look like I am about 5 months pregnant still, but overall I am very happy with how I look and feel. I love being a mom, something I never thought I would say! I count my blessings every day.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Life After C-Section

Here is what I have discovered recovering from a c-section:

1) Take your pain meds every 4 (6, 8) hours regardless of how you are feeling at the moment. Keeping the drugs in the system make it easier to control the pain later, when it will really hurt. Waking up after a nap/sitting in one place too long can make you very stiff and very sore. You will be happy you woke up at 2 am to take your pain meds when you have to get up at 6 am to feed your screaming infant.

2) Take it slow and easy, but don't be lazy. A big part of recovering from a c-section is moving. Keep moving (slowly) and you will feel better and be able to do more and more each day. It's a challenge at first... that first day getting out of bed is a bitch, but it honestly gets easier the second and third time and so on & so forth.

3) Even if you didn't give birth to a 9+ lb baby, holding a baby constantly puts a lot of pressure on an already sensitive area. A pillow works great to help support your little bundle of joy. Also, having your spouse/grandma/BIL/any one with hands hold the baby for even 15 minutes is a welcome and much appreciated relief.

4) It is a surgery, so you probably won't walk out of the hospital weighing less than when you went in, even if you were kept on a liquid/clear food only diet. Normal body response to surgery is to retain and hold on to fluids to help replenish the damaged tissues. (for the record, even though I had a 9 lb baby and was on clear foods for 48+ hours, I actually weigh more than I did at my last prenatal appointment.)

5) Your medications WILL make you sleepy. So that whole "nap when the baby naps" thing is super important here.

6) Feel great about what you CAN do instead of what you aren't able to do at the moment. For instance, today I took the dog outside. We had to go really slow up and down the stairs and it required a lot of patience from both Max and myself, but we did it. I also took a shower! I felt super great after that.

7) It will hurt for a while, even after the staples are removed. I haven't gotten mine out yet (Monday!) but speaking from past experience, that area will still be tender even after the tissues have sewed themselves together again.

8) Check the incision frequently, but don't pick/touch. If it's clean-great! Suit up and leave it alone. If it's weeping/bleeding/crusty, call your doctor. An infection on top of a surgery on top of being a mom to a newborn would be pretty much the shittiest thing ever, so don't risk it. (Add "postpartum depression" to that list, and you're pretty much at rock bottom)

So there you go. If you are wondering how I am doing, each day gets better and easier. Brian is super super helpful. I feel bad being only able to do so much, but he says he worries he isn't doing enough. I laughed (which hurt) because today alone, he did a load of dishes, a load of laundry, took out the trash and the dog (multiple times) fed and held and changed the baby, AND he took a shower and shaved. He also works 8 hours tonight. So... yeah, he's doing plenty. :) He's adjusting to this whole sleep only a few hours at a time thing and getting better at it. I think the caffeine helps him too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Being a Mom

Holy shit guys, it happened. No, it really happened. I am a mom now. Sure that might have been obvious when they had to forcibly extract my child from my body.... but it's different now being home without the help of the nurses.

Yesterday was an awful, awful day. Drake would not stop crying. I fed him, I changed his diaper, I rocked him... I did everything I could. All of his basic needs were being met (or so I thought) and I broke down and started sobbing along with him.

My grandma came to the rescue and came over with a much needed fresh pair of hands. Brian was working ALL night, which I didn't know, and it was just a relief to have her come over. Thank you Grandma and God bless grandmothers in general :)

We finally figured out Drake is a Hobbit.

Yes, a Hobbit.

He is a big piggie baby and wants to eat a lot all at once. None of that 2-3 ounces every 2-4 hours bull shit for my kid. No, he wants 4-8 ounces every 2-3 hours. Once we figured out that he is just a very demanding eater, things went great. I got a little nap in, the kid zonked out and Grandma got a whole bunch of pictures and cuddle time with her first great-grandson.

I mean, Drake was up from 10 am to 6:30 pm screaming his fool head off the whole time. We didn't get a break.

My milk still hasn't come in so we are still on formula right now. Thank god the nurse gave us so much because I had no idea that my baby would be exactly like me.

It turns out I was the same way as a baby, I would eat until I puked and then wanted more. Drake doesn't puke, but he certainly demands a feast. Each feeding is a marathon feeding session.

It seems today we caught up on feedings, because he is eating 4 ounces at a time every 4 hours now, and sleeps in between. We already had a little bit of alert/awake time in which I regaled him with tales of fat rabbits eating carrots as tall as trees (improv at its finest). He also has the hiccups a LOT but what else is new? He had them lots during pregnancy so I didn't expect that to change.

It's so much cuter now though, since I can actually hear them.

I now know why women say they miss being pregnant: caring for a baby is HARD work. Not because babies are demanding (well, they are) but because you don't know what the hell they want! All they can do is cry and sometimes they cry for no reason.....


Today is a much better day though. We've been happy and having a lot of fun. Brian's off work today and has a short meeting with a friend for a website commission, but other than that, the happy trio are going to have a great day together.

No one would ever know we had a bad day yesterday from this happy face

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Dragon Born

Drake's birth story-

 Wednesday, January 4th, 6:00 am. We arrive at the hospital for my second induction. I had just scarfed down a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit from Arby's in the parking garage. We get settled into our room and the nurse tells me we will get started on the medication as soon as registration enters me into the hospital computer.

 8:30 am: Still no medicine. I'm starting to get annoyed, but they send up breakfast- blueberry pancakes with sausage. This is important, as it turns out to be my last solid food meal for the next 36 or so hours.

 9 am rolls around and finally things get started. The nurse informed me that registration had so much trouble because the computer would not accept me as a patient. Apparently it was already entered in the system that I had the baby the other day. My progress is slow and the gel they give me is not softening my cervix.

At 3 pm, my doctor comes in and checks me. He says my cervix is still too hard and high, but I'm dilated to 4 cm, and 60% effaced, so he breaks my water. "One way or another," he says, "we're committed now." I certainly don't remember him asking me or telling me he was going to break my water. He just checked me and asked the nurse for a hook and went to work. PS- Don't listen to their bull shit when they tell you it won't hurt to break your water. It does. It hurts a lot.

Pitocin is started at this time and the contractions are coming hard and fast now that my water is broken. I'm given Nubane (or whatever) for the pain but it's not helping.

At 7, I'm crying and begging for an epidural. The nurse on call is a talkative bitch who keeps telling me it's not that bad. I'm crying during each contraction and cursing the anesthesiologist in between. I try really hard not to yell/scream/get short with Brian, who is looking absolutely terrified at the amount of pain I am in. He tries to comfort me by placing his hand on my stomach, to which I screamed "Don't. Touch. Me!! Just hold my hand." He just held my hand after that.

   At 8 pm the anesthesiologist arrives and I am determined to get the epidural in place correctly on the first try. I had a huge contraction during placement and they asked if I wanted to wait. "No!" I choke out and they proceed. It goes in smoothly and he gives me the first dose and it was wonderful. The pain didn't go away instantly but the intensity lessened significantly and my legs started to feel warm and a little heavy. The pain slowly ebbed away over the next 5 minutes and he stayed to make sure that the epi only affected me from the waist down. I was given a catheter and some Ambien and we slept.


 Thursday 3 am, my progress was checked and I was fully effaced at the time and I was 6 cm dilated. We stopped pitocin at 11 pm the night before so we were pleased that I was making such great progress on my own! We went back to sleep, trying to get enough rest to prepare for the big moment.

 6 am rolls on and I am at 9 dilated. Things are getting exciting. I haven't eaten anything since the day before and have only been able to take small sips of water, in case I need to have a c-section. I have terrible heart burn. I take a Tums and bear it out. My mom and grandma come up.

 9 am and I meet my labor and delivery nurse, Jenny. Jenny is a 20-something, no nonsense spunky girl who knows her stuff. She checks me and I am almost a 10. We start practice pushes.

 At 9:30, after practicing every contraction, we decide it's time! The nurse has me push once more to engage the baby.... And she has me stop pushing and tells me to hold on, she needs to get the resident dr and the ultrasound machine.

 At this point, all hell has broken loose, but I don't know it yet. My mom and grandma are in the lobby waiting, which is next to the nurses station. Jenny is on the phone yelling about needing the ultrasound machine and needing a resident dr. She's going on and on about how the baby is breech and this just turned into an emergency situation. My mom and grandma hear the whole conversation and start freaking out. I have no idea. Jenny comes back in and they check, yep, I'm breech.

She rushes out again and calls my dr, the anesthesiologist, and the nurses all break into action. Brian is tossed some scrubs and told to get dressed immediately. My mom and grandma come in and wish me luck, taking my glasses and jewelry, and I'm carted off to the OR with Brian right behind me.

 10 am. Prepped for surgery, shaved, strapped down, hooked up to more monitors and IVs than I can count. A curtain is erected and I can't see anything. I keep my humor throughout the whole thing. I won't go into detail about the surgery, but here's what is important: I'm anemic and have been the whole pregnancy. No one told me. There is a real serious possibility I might hemmorage during the procedure. I don't, but I'm given an extra 4 bags of fluids.

 10:38 am- our son is born, feet first! He has huge feet. The nurses tell us this and also "There is no doubt, you have a baby boy!" apparently he's well endowed haha. They cart off Drake and Brian goes out to tell my family the surgery was a success. He calls his family, and I'm stitched up before heading to recovery. It's at this point that I violently vomit all over the anesthesiologist. Nothing but bile. I feel better, though I am shaking violently. I'm moved to recovery where I hemorrhage. I stay there for an hour or so to make sure everything is alright.

If it looks like I am about to faint... it's because I am.


 Once out of recovery, I'm moved back to the room and they wheel in Drake and everyone ooh's and ahh's.
I'm no longer shaking, but I feel very very drained and it's hard to keep my eyes open. Thankfully, mercifully, everyone leaves us alone and lets me get some much needed sleep.

New mommy and daddy with the baby 


Friday I get 2 units of blood. I feel much better now.  I'm checked every two hours on blood pressure and heart rate and temperature, all of which are really high. I'm kept under close observation and given lots of fluids. My whole body is swollen with fluid from losing a lot of blood and no one can find any veins for blood draws. My feet swell way more than they ever did (including my toes). I'm given Percocet for pain.

Drake turns out to be a pig, just like his mama was! He could not concentrate on breast feeding because my milk had not come in and he could not get the colostrum fast enough. After struggling with it for a whole day and everyone becoming frustrated (baby, mom, dad, and nurses) we all decide he needs to eat, so we go for formula. I cry in relief. I have them bring in a breast pump for me to stimulate my breasts anyway.



Family comes to visit every day. We were so thankful to have every one visit. My parents and Brian's parents visited multiple times (new grandparents- they couldn't keep away!) and Brian's aunt Marti comes by as well.

I'm so thankful to the hospital staff. Everyone was great (minus one bitchy talkative nurse) and I received excellent care. I am not upset about being induced breech, because with how big Drake was, there was a high possibility I would have had a c-section anyway. The scariest part was learning (too late) that I was anemic and that I had hemorrhaged and needed a blood transfusion. That's all behind me now though, and I'm taking iron supplements to correct that. All that being said, there wasn't any other way I could think of to have my son. Sure it was one hell of a ride, but he came into this world on his own terms, and made the grandest entrance he could. I think he's a lot like his mama in that regard :)


I'm doing great today and Drake is thriving! He was given a clean bill of health from his pediatrician and all the nurses were sad to see us go. We were something of a favorite around the birthplace. I was always told what a great patient I was, and this charming little guy just had a way with the ladies. Must get it from his father :)


Sorry this is so long winded, but it has been an incredible 5 days and so much has happened!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Update

Sorry for lack of updates. Here's the quick and dirty version. Drake Alexander Farrar Born 10:38 am via emergency c section on 1/5/2012. Weight 9 lbs 3 ounces Height 21.5 inches Perfectly healthy. I'm doing great, recovering nicely. I'll update with lots of pics soon. I'll also do a birth story post. It's a good one :) I'll be released tomorrow sometime. In the meantime, if you want a sneaky peek of the baby, check out my mom's blog http://www.mandatorybloghere.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All Packed Up

And ready to go, again.

I had an interesting Facebook conversation with a friend/instructor/co-worker of mine. It turns out she had a c-section and she said it wasn't that bad and the recovery time was not as long as she feared. She had never had any previous surgeries, either, so I can safely say that it would not be awful for me if I end up going that route either. She did give me loads of advice, just in case. Such as, set timers for your pain meds and get an app for baby feedings/diaper changes- it will be critical to your drug and sleep addled brain.

I'd like to say I am confident going into this this time, but the truth of the matter is, I'm not. I know I'm in good hands and that's all that really matters. I just have to trust. It's such an awkward time... I know in a few months I will laugh at how silly I sound now, how insecure I am about this whole process.

Right now, I am seeing the trees, not the forest. I know in time that this will all just be a part of the experience, so I am trying to focus on that.

I did something odd. I am one of "those". I decided to do my hair and make up before going to the hospital. Not so I look ab-fab for photos, although that is a plus.

I did it because it wastes time and focusing on myself for a little bit distracted me. Also, after I have a baby? I'm not going to even find time to brush my teeth let alone do the whole get up. Don't worry, I'll still find time to brush my teeth, even if I have to set an alarm on my iPad to remind me every day.

It's interesting getting ready to leave for the hospital again. I am grateful that I have an appointment and not just going in when I go into labor naturally (if that ever happens!) because there is a LOT of ice on the ground and I am terrified of falling. Falling + pregnant = bad.

Anyway, by the time you are all reading this, I'll already be there and checked in (hopefully admitted too, they don't officially "admit you" until you hit 4cm) so keep sending us your warm thoughts and prayers. Hopefully the next update will be all about the baby being born.

As always, you can follow us on Twitter (nothing TMI) @christiefarrar and @befarrar we will both be using the #babyfarrar hash tag :)


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts on Tomorrow

Tomorrow we are going to the hospital again. I still haven't told any one what time just that it is "tomorrow" simply because I want to avoid a lot of the emotional drama that we had last time. I could have not told anyone that we were going again... but still, family does need to know when someone is going to the hospital, just in case. And I have no problem saying that we are trying it again.

I just don't want anyone to tell me that "you should have waited for labor to start naturally" or some other bull shit like that.

It was the one thing that hurt the most, when we were told that. Actually, we weren't even told that to our face, but rather, it was posted online that the "baby will come when he wants to, not because it fits some doctor's time table"

WTF.

I wasn't the one to see it, Brian was. But he told me (days later of course, bless his heart. He had the sense to wait until I was more myself) I'm glad he waited a few days to tell me, because I probably would have went off.

I don't have to justify why my doctor wanted to induce me. If that's how that person feels, fine.

This is why we haven't told anyone what time we are going in. We don't want to deal with the drama again.

It is STRESSFUL to go to the hospital and have nurses thrust their hands up you and give you medicine and the constant monitoring, the lack of progress. It is STRESSFUL. I know I look like I'm having a great time laid up in bed with my feet up and sucking down a milkshake, but that's only because they were injecting me with pain medication to take the edge off and it also helped my anxiety. When it wore off, my heart rate and blood pressure accelerated.

Pitocin gives you hard, painful contractions. Even if you aren't dilating, the contractions are coming. They are frequent, and painful. It's like being in full blown labor, but only at 2 cm. I don't know what full blown labor feels like, but the nurses have told me that is what it feels like. I know that at 2 cm and being on a IV drip for 8 hours SUCKED and they wouldn't give me an epidural until I hit 4 cm- hell, I wasn't even officially "admitted" to the hospital until I could hit 4 cm- but they were able to give me Nuban to take the edge off.

I tried hard not to take it. I really did. I did great for about 2 hours with no pain meds of any kind. And it sucked. I decided then and there that I am going the epidural route. I cried for about 15 minutes, alone, before calling the nurse to give me the shot. I had to be given sleeping meds too, so I could sleep.

I was on Pitocin for 2 days and was also given suppositories to ripen my cervix. I just had to efface all the way and they would have broken my water for me, to really get things going. After 2 days of medication and painful contractions/pelvic exams I was still not effaced. They couldn't reach my bag of waters to break it.

That's why I was sent home.

And now, I get to do it all over again, tomorrow. Fun, fun. Let's hope a few days of rest gave my body the chance to do what it couldn't last time and that things will go sooooo smoothly this time. I hope I get there and they check me and then WHOOOSH my water breaks naturally and weeee I'm in labor! Or, I hope the medication works this time.

I just hope I don't have to go home without a baby again.

Ahhhhh.... the countdown starts. Time for a Xanax and some more Dual Survival. I'm not going to worry about it, because worrying just makes it worse.

Pray for us. We need it. Everyone should chant "We want the baby!" and maybe your good ju ju will be sent my way :)


Monday, January 2, 2012

ramblings

Winter is finally here. It started snowing yesterday, but was not sticking to the ground. Today, it's an entirely different matter. The roads are slick (according to Brian) and people are driving like idiots (according to Brian.) I have no car and no where to go, so I can't say if he's right or not... but he probably is.

Things are kind of weird around here. First there was a crow calling. Just one. Odd, since it's snowing, but whatever. Then another crow joins in and catches our attention. Then more and more start joining in. It sounds like something straight out of The Birds and I tell Brian not to go outside lest he wants his eyes pecked out. We check out of our blinds, and the tree is filled with crows. Cawing, flapping their wings, and making a racket. My dog is terrified (some guardian he is) and I quickly run from the window shuddering.

It was a scene straight out of The Birds. You know when all the black birds are lined up on the telephone poles and playground? Uh, yeah... Except imagine being nearly eye level with them in the trees. Creeeeeeepy.

Not that I am really one to judge the creepiness factor, I'm terrified of seagulls too. I'll tell you that story another time. It's hilarious to everyone who isn't me.

I woke up with a migraine, something that hasn't happened in ages and no amount of headache medicine/sitting in a dark, quiet room/ ice /heat would get rid of it. It was in the worst place too, right above my left eye. So I was pretty much gimped up in bed all day. I slept a lot and prayed it would go away. It hasn't. It's moved to the right side of my head, and it's a lot duller but it's still there. Sigh. Oh well. It's nothing compared to the pain of being fisted checked by the nursing staff.

I made my "famous" chili this morning at 5:30. I knew it was going to be a cold cold day and putting it in a slow cooker was a perfect solution. Brian loves my chili and always gets excited like a little boy on Christmas when I make it. Since it finally started acting like winter, I figured it was time to start making winter foods.

I'm struggling with the idea of going back to the doctor in a couple of days for another scheduled induction. I am very apprehensive, almost scared by it. The last one failed and certainly wasn't any fun. I did make great progress the first 24 hours, but the second day I barely made any. Since I've been home, I've had very few contractions, but other things have been happening down there. I can only pray that I am finally fully effaced and dilated by the time I go in.

 I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to have this baby naturally now, because I am so scared of this next induction failing. Where will that leave us? Well... if it fails, it will probably result in us going home (again) and waiting for it to happen naturally (again) while we put another induction on the schedule (again) or it will end in a c-section. My doctor does three separate inductions before a c-section unless the following criteria are met: 1) I'm over 42 weeks OR 2) Something is wrong with baby/me.

Thank goodness Baby and I are both healthy and we haven't had to go that route but it seems like each passing day I am getting closer to a c section anyway. Thursday will be 41 weeks.... so I really hope that I can pop the kid out sometime this week.

I sort of knew I would have a difficult/more complicated delivery because of how easy my pregnancy was. I am "even Steven" when it comes to things... it all balances out. An extremely easy pregnancy + complicated birth = average. So that is what is happening. Happens to me all the time in every other aspect of life. Roll with it.

When I say "complicated" I don't mean "life threatening". I mean exactly what complicated means... not easy. So I don't think baby and I will have any serious issues going on, I just think that things won't be natural. I have to sort of resign myself to the fact that a c-section is very possible at this point and be faced with the challenges of raising a newborn and recovering from major abdominal surgery.

I'm a tough cookie, so I know I can handle it! :) But the unknown... oh the unknowns. Anyway, I'm off to eat chili and crochet some snowflakes! Bye bye :)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 in 2012

I feel loads better today. I came home, slept and woke up for the new year. Went back to sleep, woke up for a few hours, then went back to bed. Finally it is 8 pm and I am in a vertical state once again.

It's been hard work on my body the last couple of days, both physically and mentally. I feel more myself today (my ever-swelling pregnant self) which is great.

I thought of a list of things I wanted to do in 2012.

1. Have a baby! Hahaha okay that one is really a joke.

Seriously...

1. Crochet 20 projects from my crochet calendar. There are over 120 to choose from, but I am going to start with the first one of the year, which is a beautiful doily. It's rated "easy" which means I should be able to knock it out soon. I'm hoping I can bust out 20 projects altogether, but we will see.

2. Project 365. This will probably be the most challenging of all the goals for the year. I want to take a picture every day of my son and have it all compiled into a digital scrapbook (or at least, computer folder). I know a lot of moms find it easy to take and post pics of their kids, but I think the real struggle will be EVERY DAY. I'm not especially fond of taking pictures, but I imagine that will change when I have a beautiful child to look at all day. At least, I hope.

3. Get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. This year isn't a year about hitting my goal weight, it's going to be a year of learning how to be a mom and focusing on that. I'd be happy if at New Year's Eve 2012 I was at 222. Of course, I wouldn't be disappointed if I was less than that ;)

4. Take my family's health more seriously. Not weight related at all, but more along the lines of making sure we have adequate insurances (health, dental, vision, life) and keeping our routine care up to date. This is especially important now.

5. Pay off my car. I owe $2445 on my car and the loan matures in January of 2013.  I pay $190 a month for it. I'd really like to pay it off sooner. To pay it off a month early (Dec 2012), I'd have to pay $203 a month, or an extra $13 haha... okay. We can do that.

6. Build a savings. The hardest part of being broke is not having any money to fall back on in case of emergency or life's little Murphys. This will probably be challenging, because who can remember to put 10% of every dollar away when you have a screaming baby in your arms all night long? But we will try.

7. Do a 5k Walk/Run. Whether I walk, run, or crawl, I really want to do and complete a 5k. I wanted to last year and was preparing to do one late in 2011, but life happened and I ended up competing in a marathon instead... a pregnancy. So this year, I'm going to take it easy. Hahahaha.

8. Reach out. Hermit by nature. I really want to learn to reach out to others and connect with them. I've made some great friends on line but I can't really expect my infant son to do the same... I could always plop him in daycare/at a sitter's when he's older but I think it would be beneficial for both of us. I just have a hard time connecting with other moms/women in general as they all seem so fanatical. I think the support would be invaluable and also fun to try... and if it doesn't work, well, at least I tried.

9. Try 2 new types of exercise. Last year, I discovered I liked the elliptical a lot and I could do 14 days straight of 30 Day Shred. This year, I want to try two new types of exercise and see if I can't find something that fits me. I'm going to try 2 new things this year and see if I can't find The One Exercise to Rule Them All.

10. Watch more movies. I'm not a huge movie fan, but now that I've got a kid (hopefully this week!) I know that lots of movies are in my future. Brian loves movies too, and I am always hesitant about them. I'm going to try my hardest to watch more grown up movies and I know I'll have no problem watching kiddie movies :)

11. Once a Month Date Nights. Critical. I should really put this as number 1. But my goal is to have at least one date night a month for the whole year. Something fun where Brian and I can drop the baby off on Friday night at Grandma's and just have a great night to ourselves and pick him up on Saturday. Let's just pray the baby isn't colicky, so I get more than one of these date nights haha :) (Colicky babies... oh the poor parents.)

12. Keep track of blessings. I try and do this now, but I am really going to try and focus on it again this year. There is so much in life to be thankful for and I am going to record it. It's easy to get caught up in the now, but I know that things happen the way they should, and I could not be more thankful for that. Let's keep this theme rolling for the new year as well.

So there you go, some generally specific goals for the new year. I don't know if I will accomplish any or all of them, but it's good to have goals!

Seems like this year, the central theme for me is family. What's yours?

New Year's Eve 2011

Everyone will be doing posts about what they want their new year to be like, so I figured I'd skip that.

I wanted to reflect on some of the feelings I have had the past 24 hours. Feelings both understandable and ridiculous.

When we came home last night from a failed induction, that was probably the worst feeling of my life. I had no idea that an induced labor would not end in a baby. After all, the name sort of implies that a baby is the end result, not just a possible result. That just goes to show you that things don't always go according to plan.

I am not upset at the doctor or the failed induction. My nearly-48 hour stay in the hospital was very enjoyable for the most part. Every nurse (and I met several of them) were very friendly and so eager to help. They did everything they could to help labor progress.

I went in Thursday night, completely closed and not dilated/effaced at all. I came home last night at 3 cm dilated, but not completely effaced. Which means "thinned out". I found a non-graphic graphic to kind of explain what it means...


Basically, what the doctor and nurses were saying was I am dilating fine, but my cervix isn't getting any thinner at the top, so they can't feel the baby when they check me.

I am making progress- very good progress, according to my doctor. He was really pleased with my progress Thursday-Friday, and then everything sort of slowed down Friday-Saturday. The big event that happened was a partial passing of my plug... that's all I'll say. Google it if you really want to know... but you don't. Trust me.

I continued to have the contractions, some of which were very strong and painful. I went through 2 bags of Pitocin/Oxytocin on drip, 2 bags of just fluids to keep me from getting dehydrated, and I even took a nice spin in a whirlpool.

I was sort of disappointed in the whirlpool. I thought it would be more like a hot tub, but it was more like a regular tub with a space-age door and a faulty drain. Haha.

I was alternated between a clear diet and a regular diet. I was not overly thrilled with the chicken broth diet, but the regular food was pretty good. On either diet, I was allowed ice cream and milkshakes, so Brian kept running out and getting me something tasty haha :)

The experience in the hospital was great, overall. The staff was attentive and knowledgeable and I never once felt uncared for or just another patient. I felt like I pretty much Queen Bee.

When the doctor came in (after 6 hours of waiting for him on a Saturday- the only bad part) he told me that the induction had failed, which happens occasionally. My options were either a) go home for a few days or b) have a c-section.

I wanted to avoid a c-section if it was unnecessary, so we were sent home. We were given a time and a date to return and try again, along with the reassurance that this happens on occasion and that there is nothing wrong- the baby is plenty healthy and has been the whole time. I'm doing great too, no health issues cropped up.

I was fine until I got home. I was pretty sad at the hospital but took a Xanax while I was changing back into my street clothes. I shed a few tears of frustration, but held it together until we got home. I was alright when I saw how clean my apartment was. Kayla cleaned every square inch, bless her heart. She washed our sheets and blankets, made our bed, cleaned all the baby bottle stuff, scrubbed the kitchen and the living room, and the bathroom, and she wrote a note to our son and left it on the fridge.

I was okay when I got home and my brother in law was here and asked how we were doing. I held it together until I saw the baby bassinet in our bedroom. It was the first time I had seen it. It's a beautiful one my grandma bought for us and brought up Friday. Brian brought it home while I was at the hospital and set it up. It's beautiful. And then I lost it. I cried so hard.

So so hard.

I was so upset. I thought we were going to have a baby to bring home. It was disappointing living the hospital again without a child. I felt helpless and useless. That my body couldn't do the one thing it was supposed to do with medical intervention... and tired and frustrated that I had spent so much time at the hospital, that I went through such a stressful time and had nothing really to show for it. Except for a bruise, where the IV was. I know my body isn't useless. I know that I am capable of this, but it is frustrating and exactly how I felt. That I was not able to do the one thing that really mattered.

It feels nice to be home now that I have settled down and gotten the frustration out of my system. I hate how high strung this whole thing has made everyone. Not just me and Brian, but our families as well. If we had known that this would have not resulted in a baby... well, I think we would have prepared everyone a little more for it.

So this time around, yeah we are going back in in a few days. I am not going to say what time we will be there, because who knows at this stage? And now that I am showing lots of progress, there is always the possibility that I could go into labor at any time.


We celebrated New Year's for the last time as a married couple alone. We grabbed a couple of bottles of sparkling juice and we ate a fried chicken dinner. I fell asleep and gave Brian strict orders to wake me before midnight so we could ring in the new year together. He woke me at 11:58 with a glass of juice and when the clock struck 12, we toasted.

"To health, wealth and Baby Farrar."

Back home.

We were sent home. No baby yet. Apparently my cervix is dilating slowly/backwards. I'm dilating at the bottom of it (opening to the birth canal) but not at the top (where the babys head is) I'm 3ish cm. it looks a bit like a cone, small on top, wide t bottom. Sent home til Wednesday morning. I was ok about being sent home.... Until I got home. Then I had a major melt down. Sleep made it better. We entered 2012 with the hopes of a baby and we will get one. Baby is fine so there was no reason to do a c section. We wait and see what Wednesday brings.