Thursday, March 31, 2005

Multiple Thoughts

1. It's a beautiful, almost summer-like day here in Northern California. So WHY ARE THE ANTS STILL COMING INSIDE MY HOUSE??? They're in the dishwasher, in the bathroom (going after a dirty diaper - yuck), all over the kitchen counter - WTH?

2. We are all still alive. Probably the biggest difference now that I have two is that I find my patience wearing thinner than usual by the evening. I love A. with all my heart, and I'm glad when it's his bedtime. I don't have as much patience for the pajama-wrestling game, the chases or the boob-fondling.

I also can't leave B. alone with A. so I have to cart him around with me when I go to the bathroom, to get the mail, etc. A. on the whole is very gentle with B., but he's just two and a half and doesn't get that you can't put all your weight on your baby brother when giving him a hug. He's also already tipped the car seat over once trying to "rock" him.

3. So far B. has cooperated nicely and napped when A. naps which means G. and I nap too. That helps a lot.

4. So does the fact that I can drink beer again.

5. A good friend of mine just had her first baby last Saturday. She said she was lucky - just a 7-hour labor from start to finish. I have to admit, when I heard that, my reaction was, "It's not fair! How come I can't have a normal labor?" I really wanted to have the experience of my body being able to give birth. I conceive and grow the babies OK, I just can't seem to get them out without surgical intervention. But, I'm also aware that the important thing is that both my boys are healthy, we all made it through the labors OK and I can't take that for granted.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Take a Deep Breath....

This week G. goes back to work, and Big Sister and Big Niece left this morning. A. went to our friend's house for the evening, which is what he's done since he was 4 months old. G. and I overlap our work schedules on Monday evenings, so our friend has watched A. I figured once I was on leave, he'd stay home with us, but his routines have been so messed up in the last two weeks, and he loves going over there so much, we decided to keep it up for a while. It also gives me a bit of a break.

But tomorrow is my first long (10 hours) day alone with the boys. I'm a little nervous, but I figure if we're all alive by the time G. gets home, I'll consider it a success. We may attempt an outing, I'm not sure. The advice I got from my friends with two babies was, "Don't be alone with both of them for the first six weeks." Ack. Not realistic. Fortunately, A. is a fairly patient toddler, and B. doesn't require much right now beyond feeding, sleeping and diaper changes.

Wish me luck. So begin the adventures of a mother of two....

Monday, March 21, 2005

Some Things I Didn't Expect...

1. To be so overwhelmed by my love for A.; to miss him so much while in the hospital; to grieve so deeply the loss of our "only child/mama" relationship.

2. To feel so close to G. throughout the ordeal.

3. To get as much sleep as I am getting - sometimes 3 whole hours in a row!

4. To feel sad leaving the hospital. These people were involved in such an intense period of our lives, and now it's "See you in 6 weeks."

5. To miss being pregnant, or perhaps, the anticipation that comes with being pregnant. Everything is leading up to the birth, we're just waiting, waiting, and then...what?

6. That B. would be so cute. Even if he is a brunette instead of redhead. He's got dimples.

Gotta add this:

On the second night in the hospital, the nurse came and woke us up to go feed B. in the middle of the night. G. (he was sleeping in the other bed) came rushing over to me panicked.

G: "Did you deliver??"

Me: "Um, yes. Yesterday.

G: "Where is he??"

Me: "He's in the NICU. C'mon."

G: (confused) "Oh. OK."

And the drama continues....

Friday, March 18, 2005

Let's Start at the Very Beginning....

I'm going to try really hard to make this concise, because I could really ramble on and on about everything that's happened. Just the facts, ma'am:

So from about Wednesday through Friday I was in pre-labor crankiness. I couldn't believe how "uncomfortable" it was. I could barely walk, I was crampy as hell and didn't want to eat. My Ob/Gyn didn't think I'd make it through the weekend.

Early Saturday morning, I was sitting up in bed around 5 am, trying to figure out which pains were real contractions and which ones were cramps, and if I had anything that could be timed at all. I felt a POP! GUSH! and my water broke all over my bed. G, being the thorough person that he is, had lined my side of the bed with a changing pad underneath the sheet to protect the mattress in case that happened. I rolled my eyes when he did it, but when my water broke my first thought was, "Oh no! I'm not sitting on the pad! The mattress is going to get wet!" I hopped up and gushed all over the "A Woman's VBAC Companion" book I'd checked out of the hospital library. A portentous sign. G. called our neighbors who came over to stay with A. until my sister could pick him up.

The hospital told me to take a shower and come in. I did. We arrived at L&D, and were escorted into one of their new remodeled rooms. We admired the DVD/CD player, the new furniture, and noticed how much nicer it was than last time. I was particularly looking forward to using the shower. By that time, I was having real contractions about 2-3 minutes apart. They hurt, and I was thinking, "So much for trying this without pain meds." We got settled in the room, but hadn't been checked in yet.

I had some indigestion. After the fifth contraction, the nurse came rushing in and I asked her if I could have some Maalox. She said, "OK" and rushed over to the monitor. Unbeknownst to me, the baby's heart rate had dropped dramatically. All of a sudden I had a ton of people in the room yelling at me to roll to that side, then to this side. She couldn't find the heartbeat. This was very different than when A's heart rate dropped and there were a bunch of people but they were very calm. These people were not calm. They kept yelling, "It's for your baby!" when I'd move too slowly. The midwife went to put in a scalp fetal monitor and said, "I feel the cord." That, apparently, is not a good thing.

Next thing I know, they're telling me to get on my hands and knees with my head down and my butt up. It hasn't registered why they're telling me to do this, so I'm thinking, "Wow. This sucks." I do it, and they pull the bed away from the wall and head down the hallway. The midwife is pushing up inside me, and it hurts like hell. Everyone else is yelling, so I start yelling too. "Stop pushing! Oooowwwww!" I yell as we travel. I asked G later after I woke up, "Um, so I was riding down the hallway with my ass in the air and her hand up me?" He said, "Well, she was in the way so you couldn't see anything." He's a nice guy. We get into the OR and they tell me to jump on over to the operating table. Riiiiight. I do my best and lie down. My OB shows up and says they have an emergency situation and have to do a C-section now.

More yelling. Apparently they can't get an IV in. I guess the stress is making me vasoconstrict so they can't get a vein. They also can't find an arm board for my left arm. Someone takes off my necklace. I hear, "Is she under?" and "I don't have an IV!" Someone ties my arm down, and just to show you how out of it I am about what's happening, I say, "Oh, can't we let my arms be free? I'll hold them still." They ignore me. I'm getting poked and I yell a few more times for good measure. I have the oxygen mask on, so I figure it's muffled.

Finally they give the anesthesia. Next thing I know I'm waking up in a recovery room. There's a woman next to me who I know didn't just give birth. I hear her mention gallbladder surgery and I wonder where the hell I ended up. My OB shows up and tells me something I can't remember now. She said later that I had had a very coherent conversation with her in recovery and how rare that was. I think she told me that the baby wasn't breathing at birth, but they resuscitated him and he was on a ventilator. G was outside the OR the whole time, poor guy, and a nursing supervisor gave him updates. Once they got B out, the supervisor told G., "He's out." That was all she could say, because according to a report I saw by accident later, he was "blue, floppy, unresponsive and limp." His one minute Apgar was 1, which means he got some credit for a very faint heartbeat. But, and it's a big but, his 5 minute Apgar was 8, so he recovered quite quickly.

I remember very little about the first two days, because I was on a morphine drip and more loopy than I realized. I got to see him later that day, after he was taken off the ventilator. I remember thinking that G was far more traumatized than I was by the whole thing because by the time I saw the baby, he looked pretty good and I was asleep for most of the procedure. I thought he was just in the NICU sort of as a formality because it had been such a rough start. I was feeling pretty good, considering. He had some tremors, which were concerning, but they thought that was low blood sugar. It took a couple of days to name him. (We're all friends here, I guess I can tell you - he's Benjamin).

They released him from the NICU to my room one night, and when the nurse came to check his glucose, she noticed that he was choking. He'd been choking right next to me and I hadn't known. He turned blue, and she called a code. He was fine very quickly, but it scared the hell out of me and I realized I'd been in some denial about the whole thing. He was readmitted to the NICU. I sobbed.

To make a long story just a tiny bit shorter, he's had all kinds of tests. Sonograms, EKGs, EEGs, numerous blood tests, etc. All have been normal. The neurologist came and evaluated him and said that he was very confident that there was no lasting neurological damage from the two "events," as they call them. The tremors did not seem to be related to his blood sugar after all, and every nurse who saw them said, "Wow, I've never seen anything like that." Thanks. But they don't look like seizures, and they have actually abated to the point where no one is worried about them anymore.

I was discharged on Wednesday, but because B. was staying in the NICU, we tried to stay in what they call the "Mother's Room," where moms of babies in the NICU can rest between feedings. Couldn't get in, so we told the staff "Oh, that's OK, if you can't find room for us, I guess we'll just sleep in the car," followed by a heavy sigh. They opened up the "meditation room" downstairs and let us crash there.

They were going to send him home after we took an infant CPR class at the hospital, but we convinced them to let him come home a day early. He's nursing well, his color's great, he's a brunette and while his face looks a lot like A., he has G.'s coloring. I guess that's fair, since A. has my coloring.

I'll write more about the feelings and things that struck me during the week later. I have to sort them out a bit. I'm quite hormonal, but mostly, as G. says, "It's been a real heart-chakra-opening experience." It's been less than 48 hours, but so far so good. I took a nap today, he feeds every 3 hours like clockwork and sleeps in between. No PPD (Praise the Lord), I'm not deathly exhausted, and A. is doing OK. He's a little blown away by the upheaval, and is a bit more whiney and testy than usual, but overall he's doing well. He shakes B.'s hand and says, "Nice to meet ya!"

In a few minutes the header above will show the flowers that were in bloom in our yard the week B. entered the world.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I'm Back!

Short post - typing with one hand. Had baby. Half an hour after arriving at hospital last Sat morning. Involved bare-assed gurney ride. Quite a story. Baby in NICU until today. Baby doing great now. Mama doing well, too. Baby has name = "B." Will write more when have both hands free.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I Need a 12-Step Program...

...for digital scrapping. I have found the light. I am saved.

I was despairing of ever catching up before this baby is born, but you, Photoshop Elements, have had mercy on me and have shown me the way. I have done over 50 pages since I started two months ago.

No mess, I can use papers and ribbons and stuff I have as many times as I want. I can undo anything really quickly without scraping glue off. It's much faster. I can get pretty much anything I want in pretty much any color I want. And there is tons of stuff free on the internet. I've downloaded something like 5 GB of free stuff.

If you want to see my digital pages, e-mail me and if I recognize you, I'll send you the link.

It's my version of knitting, I guess. It's also my version of nesting, since I'm due in what, 4 days? But without cleaning - what could be better?

Friday, March 04, 2005

A. Needs a 12-Step Program...

...for boob addiction. Here's our conversation as I got him into his jammies tonight. It's getting more and more difficult to wrangle him into sleepers while he's trying to fondle me. If he can't get his hands up to my chest, he tries to get his feet up there. Dude, I'm your mother. Don't go getting all kinky on me.

A: A's boobs!

Me: Well, actually, hon, they're Mama's boobs. Put your feet down.

A: OK, Mama's boobs. I like boobs. A. grow boobs?

Me: Well, probably not. C'mon, leave 'em alone.

A: Yeah! Big booobs!! Big boobs for A!!

Poor guy, he's in for such a disappointment. But, they're doing amazing things with hormones these days.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Testing...Testing....Is This Thing On?

I know you're out there, I hear you clicking. Not one comment? The birth story? It was too long, wasn't it? (Well, yeah, that was sort of the point). No one wants to read that much detail about someone else's labor. Ah well, at least I have it written out now for A's scrapbook. Maybe I'll leave out that part about spreading my legs for the janitor. And stabbing the midwife. Nah, he's going to have to find out someday that his mother is a smart-ass.

In other news: I have had a fundal height of 34.5 for the last 5 weeks. What gives? I don't mind small babies, I mean, it's not like G and I are huge people. But no growth at all? Why am I still pregnant if he's done growing? What does he think this is? Kaiser San Rafael?

So we had to do an ultrasound last week to check the fluid and measurements, which looked good except that the technicians couldn't figure out how far along I was supposed to be (I guess my repeated reassurances that I knew how pregnant I was didn't hold much water). So I'm not sure how they could compare his measurements with what he was supposed to be if they didn't know what he was supposed to be. But hey, that's why they get the big bucks.

We get to do a NST tomorrow. Last time, when I was overdue, they did those and blasted a bullhorn thing against my belly if the baby was asleep. Personally, I think that's why I didn't go into labor. If someone blasted that thing at me while I was all nice and snugly asleep, my inclincation wouldn't be to come on out and enjoy this noisy intrusive world, either.

All pregnancy, all the time. You'd be exactly the same if you were 39 weeks and holding.

I do have an A. story: Because G. likes to come to the doctor's visits and we don't have a babysitter or grandma nearby, A. comes too. He's taken to saying, "That was fun!" as we leave the exam room, which makes the staff laugh. He knows the doctor's name and says, "That was fun - Doctor Gusta - Kaiser Permuh-ente." When he hears the heartbeat on the doppler, he yells, "Baby Brudder!"

He's also taken to pronouncing parts of the house, like the shower, the tub and his bedroom, "Mine!" So I think he does understand that something's about to encroach on his territory. With much head shaking and concerned face, he told me Baby Brudder can't ever sit in his high chair because he "doesn't fit." I agreed, for now. Hopefully by the time he's like, five, he won't want the high chair anymore.

He's still very attached to my breasts. "I like boobs!" is a common phrase used by my son as he pats and nuzzles against my chest. I don't hear that phrase from his father anymore because he knows it doesn't get him anywhere -I usually say something to both of them like, "Look, if I could take them off and give them to you, they'd be yours." I've begun explaining to A. (and his father) that when baby brudder comes, he's going to be using my boobs a lot. A. gets this very resigned look on his face and says, "Boobs for Baby Brudder. OooooKaaaaaay."

template by