Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

The Cloth Diapering Project September 27, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,We're parents? — arminta @ 8:57 pm
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As I mentioned before, I am cloth diapering. Again, not to save the planet, just my wallet (but, if the planet benefits, that’s OK, too). There is an awesome cloth diapering store near my home and I have been up there picking out covers and snappi’s and Moby wraps and the like. This has led me to learn some things:

– Thirsties are cheap AND work really well on my baby. I never got to buy the Bummi’s covers. The store had some issues getting them in, and some of the other covers in that style just didn’t fit Baby G’s skinny little ass (or lack thereof, poor thing, he has really white man’s butt). The other brand I like on him is Fuzzibunz. They are soft inside and don’t leave any red marks but are small enough for his truly tiny backside. I do have a BumGenius 3.0 that I expect will be better when he gets into the 12+ pound range.

– I like old fashioned flat diapers. There are so many ways to fold them! I like the Ro fold and the Origami folds the best. I do have pre-folds, and I do use them, too, but I prefer the flats…

– The extra laundry really isn’t that much. It’s 2-3 loads a week. I do them when I’m down to 2 clean covers. I am also using wash cloths instead of wipes as much as possible so I do sometimes need to wash because I’m out of cloths. Overall I’ve only had one “holy shit we’re out of diapers” experience and it was quickly remedied. I like folding and putting away clean diapers.

– Baby G is so cute in his nappies!

The cloth isn’t as labor intensive as I’d thought it would be, I actually really like it. Amazingly, diapering is going better than feeding, but that’s another post…

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Ways in Which I Suck

Filed under: Baby G,We're parents?,Why I Love the Hubs — arminta @ 1:16 am

TIME MANAGEMENT!

But, we all knew that already.

Sorry, I have been a piss poor poster since Baby G has come home. I could be an ass and blame the baby, but let’s face it, he sleeps a huge chunk of the day away… Mostly, it’s just me being lazy when he’s asleep. I have gotten some of my personal stuff under control, including keeping the house decently clean, so I guess I’m not being THAT lazy, but somewhat lazy. My farm and frontier have also been suffering 🙂 (Yes, I do play Facebook games.) To be completely honest, I have a hard time putting him down. I don’t want to. I want to just stare at him all the time. Of course, I regret this come playtime when I am drag-ass tired from sitting up holding a sleeping baby when he was napping and I could have been napping as well.

In big news this week, I officially resigned from my job. I am a stay at home mother now. My dream job. I feel guilty as shit every day when my husband has to leave for work at freaking way-too-early-o’clock, and I know good and darn well that baby and I might be in bed until 10am. Mind you, we are usually going to bed at 11pm and I am up about 3 hours between 11p and 10a nursing/changing/generally caring for Baby G (meaning in 11 hours I’m getting 8 hours of broken sleep) and I do attempt to prevent the baby from waking G. So, it’s not quite as bad as I feel. But, I do feel guilty that my husband busts his ass at work while I get to stay home with the baby. Because while it is hard work, it is so awesome I can’t complain about my job.

Which I think is part of the lack of posting (and subsequent FB game neglect). I’m not at a job that I don’t love anymore. Part of my super posting was that I was truly over my job (meaning: my boss) and I used blogging and FB games as an escape. Also, I was pretty miserable about the Womb of Doom and right now… this very second… not feeling so miserable about it. I do realize that if there is to be a #2 that will be hard and may involve more loss and I do still mourn my angels, perhaps even more so, now.

Now that I KNOW the feeling of mothering a living child, the losses hurt deeper. When I look at Baby G I do wonder if Bean would have had the same eyes, or if he would have had a sibling with the same golden hair. I mostly wonder about Bean and how he would have looked, and if he would have been such a good baby, too.

Speaking of such a good baby… Baby G hardly cries. The average for a 4 week old is something like 90 minutes a day. We’re having a “bad” day if he cries 30 minutes total. Five continuous minutes of crying happen only when he’s gotten out of the bath. He loves to take his bath, but hates the cold of getting out of the bath, and lotion is from the devil. But… he often sleeps 3-4 straight hours on bath night, so the ritual remains! Also, he needs to be cleaned and hydrated, because he’s dry like Mommy. (Mommy is ME! I am still in awe.) In addition to being dry, he is also growing like a weed. Seriously, he went from newborn to 3 month old (not literally, obviously) overnight. He looks like a big ol’ plump infant these days. But, some of his newborn clothes still fit (but some don’t… which makes me sad). He has great head control and can swat  a toy on purpose and I’m so proud of his bad ass skills, and am overcome with grief at how quickly he’s developing.

We only get one shot at babyhood and I don’t want it to fly by so fast. But, I am powerless to stop it.

 

Our Week in Pictures September 20, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,We're parents? — arminta @ 12:49 pm

Met Grandpa

Had first bath

O-H-I-O! Go Bucs!!! College game day…

Who Dey!!! Pro game day…

What?!?! Another baby? Looks like it’s time to share the limelight…

I think I shall chill here while you go to the doctor, Mother.

I have to go?

College game day, again!

*******************************************************************************************

We’ve been busy this week. I am still trying to find that balance between just holding him all the time and getting stuff done. Hopefully I’ll be back to my regularly bloggy self soon. Topics bouncing around my brain include: cloth diapering, milk (milk and more milk, what do we do with all of this milk?!?!?), the MIL drama and feeling the sharpness of our miscarriages now that I really know what we lost.

 

The Birth Story September 17, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,The Evacuation Plan,We're parents? — arminta @ 5:30 pm

I have struggled to write this post for the last 20 days. It has been written and re-written several times in my head (and even a few times actually on WordPress). My problem is that even though I am thrilled to have my Baby G finally home with me, on the outside and safe from the dangers of the womb of doom, my birth experience was, frankly, pretty shitty. I am still grieving the loss of the experience we hoped for, because let’s face it, chances are good this is the only birth I’ll experience. It is what it is, and the end result is a healthy baby so ultimately it doesn’t matter how he came to be here. But… it kind of matters and I feel a little selfish for feeling that way. So, what did happen?

On Friday 8/27 I went in for an NST and prenatal appt. My blood pressure was up, my feet were so swollen I couldn’t bend my ankles and I felt like shit. I had a couple of contractions during the NST and the cervix was improving in favor-ability, and Baby G was still doing well so DW declared game over and said it was finally time to induce. G and I went out to lunch and I came back to the hospital to finally have my baby.

This would be the point where things started heading down hill. First, I was put on continuous monitoring. Meaning, I spent all but a small amount of time strapped flat on my back to the bed. I labored for 24 hours before the c-section was ordered (spoiler alert… I ended up having a c-section). 24 hours strapped to a delivery bed. Of course, I had been hoping for being able to walk, shower/use hydro-therapy for pain. I had been planning on playing games with G and watching movies and walking the halls and taking long showers. Instead… I was on a clear liquid diet, strapped to a bed and had to call someone every time I needed to pee. This was disappointing, but would be worth it!

DW used cytotek to ripen my cervix with plans to start pitocin in the morning if active labor didn’t start on its own. At this point I was still hoping for some amount of natural experience. I was still hoping that by pushing time I’d be able to try different positions and that maybe if we didn’t have to break my water or start pitocin I’d be able to do it without the epidural.

So, the cytotek was placed somewhere near my throat via my vagina and we waited. And waited. And bloody fucking waited some more. Strapped on my back. For six hours. Except when I got up to pee. Holding the baby’s monitor in place half the time, because he kept falling off. Then the second dose was placed (why they needed to go through my vagina to reach a nostril is beyond me), and I was checked… 2cm. FUCK! Then I spent two more hours strapped on my back, holding the monitor in place, waiting.

Then two things happened… my mom showed up (although I had asked for no visitors, but I’m glad she did) and the nurses changed shifts. This was awesome because the new nurse took pity on me and let me out of bed for an hour! A whole hour! So, I walked the halls with mother and dropped a deuce (let’s face it, we know those pooping rumors are true so why not try to empty the track anyway…). Then I was strapped back down, for the foreseeable future, but at least this time I had Ambien. This meant I could sleep, but I couldn’t hold the monitor in place. So, the nurse came in a lot to adjust the monitors. This nurse was kickass awesome, by the way.

At some point in the night something changed. I went from having fairly irregular, light contractions to having very regular contractions. They seemed very close together, but I wasn’t really timing them myself, because I had monitors to do that shit for me. They also seemed kind of strong, but, aren’t they supposed to be strong? I was finally in active labor. No pitocin!  A break! I was having contractions that peaked at 50-60 on the monitors every 2-3 minutes. I was 4-5cm dilated. (Apparently this meant that my uterus and my cervix were not communicating on schedule and timing. But, no one told me this.) My super awesome nurse let me off of the monitors for 30 minutes to stand under the shower for pain management. It was helpful. I probably could have done it on my own if I could have been allowed to use the shower/tub.

When the morning nurse came in she reviewed my tapes and said she was calling DW. While we were waiting for him I got shaky and threw up. Yup, transition was upon us! My contractions started creeping up into the 80’s and getting a bit jagged. The baby was coming! The baby was falling off of the monitors… I couldn’t find him and hold it in place all of the time anymore… My water was still in tact. Not to worry! DW wanted to place an internal monitor on Baby G’s head. So, he broke my water and placed it. My next contraction was off the chart. Literally, the tape measures pressure from 0-100, the monitor was recording the peak at 115. It fucking hurt. Don’t get me wrong, the 50’s and 80’s weren’t comfy and the 80’s hurt. I was using my Hypno-birthing coping techniques for those. I was OK, but in pain before he broke my water. After he broke my water IT FUCKING HURT. Bad.

Apparently the Hypno-birthing was working though because the nurse was astounded that I wasn’t screaming or asking for pain med’s. But, I think she saw the writing on the wall, because after a 120 she sat down next to me and said “These are going to get worse. He is going to start pitocin soon because the baby is moving down fast and you’re only 7cm. If you think you MIGHT want an epidural let’s go ahead and get it placed now (they don’t have to put any medicine in it), because you don’t want to get to the point where you NEED it and you have to wait on anesthesia.” So, I caved and let them place the line.

20 minutes later my contractions were peaking in the 130’s and I had no rest in between. None. One stopped, the next one started. Long ones. I remember one was 2 minutes. So, I told her to put the med’s in the epi line. I couldn’t take that much pain for that long with no break in between. FYI… I was promised a break in childbirth classes. The relief took about 5 contractions to set in. But, I still had pain on the left side. No matter, it was 75% less pain overall, and I could deal with that! We were back on tra… baby’s heartbeat 90. SHIT!!!!!

The nurse called DW, then she had me change positions. His heartbeat came back up. Whew!

Baby’s heartbeat 68…

Change position, back up. Where is DW?!?!?

Baby’s heartbeat 87…

Change position… change again… change again… DW is here.

The baby is in distress. We need to get him out.

So, he checks me. 8cm. 8cm. After all of that hard ass fucking labor. (I only had about an hour of epi, the rest was all me.) Also, baby’s head is down. Baby is trying to squeeze through, but cervix ain’t budging. DW tries to open things himself. DW let’s me push, which does nothing.

DW says: We have to get the baby out, that means c-section. Now. Dad, go tell the family (who were in the waiting room despite my assertions that they NOT BE).

As he’s speaking the nurse is prepping my bed and unhooking me from stuff. This is literally happening RIGHT NOW.

They wheel me back to the OR, G is gone. They ask me to help move to the OR bed. Which I was able to do. With my epidural. Apparently I should not have been able to move myself so easily. They then start taping me down, taking off my gown, spreading betadine on my belly, placing masks on my facing, cutting. FUCK!!! I can feel cutting!!! To be fair, I could only feel it on the left side. But, I was already freaked about being tied down, with a mask that wasn’t giving me any air on my face and I could feel the cutting. But, something wasn’t working right, because I COULDN’T make myself say anything. I was just staring up, tears running out of my eyes, scared shitless and freaked out. G is still not here. Finally, someone noticed I was crying and asked me what was wrong. I told them I could feel the cutting and I was claustrophobic. So, they removed the mask and pushed more drugs. I could still feel it. I heard DW say something about using a topical. I could still feel the cutting. And I could smell my own burning flesh. I was going to be sick. Then another anesthesiologist came in and put a blue sheet over my face. I kind of screamed (it was muffled by the sheet and gagging in my throat). The first anesthesiologist said “She’s going out DW” and put the mask back on, but this time there was gas. In two breaths I was out.

I woke up later in the recovery room. No G. No Baby G. All by myself.

Then G came in carrying the baby. I cried and cried. It was finally over. I got to hold Baby G for a few minutes, but I felt too shaky. Then a whole parade of people came back one by one to see us. Then magically I woke up in a bed in a real room.

Neither G nor I got to see him emerge. His cord was clamped long before it stopped pulsating. There was no immediate skin to skin. No immediate nursing. I didn’t get to see the placenta. I don’t remember a lot of the time between that first waking and the second. We didn’t get that 2 hour bonding time just for us that we had asked for.

In short it was the exact opposite of what we had planned for and wanted. So, yes, while I am thrilled that Baby G is here sleeping soundly in his seat, I mourn the loss of the birth experience I had wanted for him. He arrived to chaos instead of of calm. Confusion instead of order. The sterility of medical professionals instead of the warm embrace of Mom and Dad. I wish I could go back and give him that experience. But I can’t. And, ultimately, he won’t care. But, I want him to have the best and his first few moments were not. I can’t help but to wonder if that’s what he sees when he’s sleeping and frown lines cross his face?

 

Life is Good Today September 7, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,We're parents? — arminta @ 12:40 pm

Today is G’s first day back at work. I was a little nervous, but Baby G & I are doing just fine. We learned a new fold for his diapers (origami fold), he’s had a lot of booby juice and now he’s  doing this:

Must be having a good dream.

So far the bf’ing is working out. I’m changing a dozen diapers a day to prove it.

We started cloth yesterday because his umbilicus fell off Sunday. So far, so good.

He sleeps pretty well at night, 2-3 hours at a time, but he usually goes right back to sleep after a diaper change and a nip of the boob juice.

He lunges at my breasts like a shark when he’s hungry.

Big C is still grossed out by the boob in the mouth thing.

OK, Mommy needs a shower and some food…

 

The Days Are Too Short September 6, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,We're parents? — arminta @ 2:22 pm

**post was written on 9/4 & never published…**

and, they’re running together 😦 I want to remember everything right now, but I can’t even distinguish last night from Thursday afternoon. Time is divided into “hospital” and “home.” Home has definitely been better.

We did visit the pediatrician yesterday, and things are much improved on the health front. Highlights:

  • His weight is up to 6lb 10oz. Which means he’s gaining about an oz a day. On breast milk! Doc expects no problem returning to bw by 2 weeks!!!!!
  • Doc is very supportive of the breast feeding initiative and is encouraging me to work with him on feeding at the breast, more on this to come.
  • Doc feels his highest jaundice reading was a lab error. He says that it’s easy to get a falsely high bilirubin with a heel stick. He feels it was probably more like 12 than 15 (still high enough to demand lights, but not nearly as worrisome).
  • Doc was very complimentary that we seemed like a happy family and that Baby G seems very content. He’s getting enough to eat, his circ (more on this, too…) is healing perfectly, he is very alert when awake, in all he is doing well. We are doing things right.

OK, now an update on breastfeeding. HE GOT HIS LATCH BACK!!!!!! I had resigned myself to exclusive pumping. I was letting him play with the boob but not expecting anything to come of it, basically, it was just a paci. But night before last while we were waiting for a bottle to warm from the fridge he was fussing a lot and so I thought I’d try giving him a little boob paci to calm him while we waited and he latched. And ate. For 20 minutes!!!! He has only taken two bottles since then. He also has only taken a grand total of 3oz of formula between the hospital and home. He is thriving nearly exclusively on my milk!!! The only true issue we have right now is that my production far outpaces his demand. So the lactation consultant has me pumping for 5 min on each side when I’m letting down but he’s sound asleep. This is plenty to build up a supply in the freezer for later.

Daddy did end up deciding to have him circumcised. I really wasn’t on board with it, but he has his reasons and we did decide it was his decision. I don’t have a penis after all, so I don’t get the locker room comparisons or the need for Daddy’s and sons to mach etc… He had decided against it, but changed his mind at the last minute. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. It’s not good. I still wish it hadn’t been done, but, it really doesn’t seem to bother him.

 

Day 5: Home Sweet Home! September 2, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,We're parents? — arminta @ 10:45 am

I am still working on the birth story and first few days. It’s hard. Partially because remembering those times is like remembering high school. The days before him seem SO far away, even though it’s been less than a week. Also, though, remembering L&D and the time he was sick (that’s right WAS) is hard because I had to change A LOT of my plan for birth and after.

We are home now and he actually slept in his bassinet at my bedside last night. Daddy G helped a lot at the 2am waking so I could rest. I finally got sleep. That was nice.I felt really bad last night because a nurse duped me into taking a whooping cough vaccine!

Baby G’s jaundice is completely gone. Which is AWESOME. Turns out that my having a c-section was a good thing, because had I delivered vaginally I would not have been able to stay at the hospital with him during his photo therapy. Also, I wouldn’t have been forced to place him on a schedule and seen how doable that is, even for a newborn. His photo therapy worked perfectly. He went from “very high risk” and being pumpkin orange to very low risk and back to normal in just 24 hours.

My boy flippin’ jaundice the bird!

Part of the fast improvement was due to my compromising on exclusive breastfeeding. My baby was sick and dehydrated. He needed volume more than nutrition to help move that bilirubin out. So… I pumped. But, my milk was not in yet. So… I gave him formula. My lactation consultant (who is AWESOME, by the way) helped me. He was so sick and lethargic that I had to finger feed him. I do not wish that experience on anyone. But… he got 17cc’s down. Then he got 20cc’s down. Then, my milk came in. I pumped every cc out that I could get and he was able to switch to mostly breast milk. I spent all day Tuesday crying over him being in the light bed and the formula situation.

But, I no longer feel bad about the feeding situation. I have decided not to continue trying to force him to latch to my giant, flat, pancakey nipples and to pump exclusively. If something comes up and I have to supplement with formula… I will supplement with formula. It’s not worth the stress to fight with getting him to latch to boobs that just weren’t made for breastfeeding. And, while I think my milk is what’s best for him, when he’s hungry he needs food. If we don’t have my milk available, he’ll get the food that is available. (Thankfully, Similac has graciously given me a shit-ton of free formula to sway me to the dark side…) There is no reason for babies to starve in this day and age over something as silly as bad boobs.

I’m ready to go home now.

That said… I produce milk like a fucking dairy cow. I got 2.5 oz out this morning! That’s like 40cc per boob! Which is enough to feed twins if I do it often enough. So, the plan for today? Pump, snuggle, pump, sleep, pump, snuggle, pump, sleep!

More things about being home… long skinny babies are hard to dress. He is 6.5 pounds (newborn) but 20 inches (0-3 mos) so none of his clothes fit. Also, bassinets are colder than Mommy, one piece sleepers are good. I need more. Also, boy babies can pee into their own eyes WITH A DIAPER ON. Putting him down is HARD. I was pretty happy to have to change his bassi sheets so many times last night (because it meant he was no longer dehydrated), but I can see that getting old fast.

Things I want to remember… he is so good. He hardly cries or fusses. If he does, it usually means he’s hungry. He slept like a champ once we got his belly full and turned on his rain forest soother. I wish the rain forest soother had a continuous mode. I had to push the button in my sleep because he would stir every time it stopped. His first night at home went really well.

I love him so much.