Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No use crying...

... Over spilled milk.
Unless it's "liquid gold," aka pumped breast milk.

I've just done it for the first, and hopefully ONLY, time - I knocked over a tiny bottle of freshly pumped milk. And I will probably curse my clumsiness for the next WEEK...

It was just over half an ounce...

But I definitely cried. And would have impressed the entire Navy with my colorful language...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Farts are Funny...

...and other Stories!

"You WILL love this!"

We are gathered around the kitchen table - myself (less than a week out from the major surgery that is a c-section), darling husband E, and my mom holding Benjamin.
 We are Skyping with my brother and his 7-months-pregnant wife, just filled with praise for all that is parenthood, when Ben rips a fart so loud they could hear it on the other end of Skype from Washington STATE.
We all start laughing, which in turn causes me to immediately start crying (see "fresh surgery") and try to escape the giggle-fest by running to the kitchen sink, still in sight of the Skype cam.
E darts into the living room to set up a mobile changing station, because here goes my mom, checking up Ben's back for any wayward poop (more giggles and more crying on my part, tears of laughter/pain running into the sink.)

All this just mere seconds after telling brother and SIL that "it's no big deal, you're going to LOVE this!"

I can just picture the expectant parents after they closed the chaotic Skype session, as we're running around crying (me), pooping (Ben), checking for poop (Mom) and preparing for poop (E)...

and "Farts are Funny!" 

Around the same amount of time post-partum as the Skype-disaster (see above), the three adults (Mom, E and me) are seated around the kitchen table (wooden chairs - you'll see later why this detail matters) for a delicious pancakes+bacon breakfast.
For anyone who has had any kind of abdominal surgery, you know that, due to the type of surgery, you are very gassy for a number of days post-op.  Gassy to the point that they fed me Gas-X (or some equivalent) promptly every few hours while in the hospital (drug cocktail also included the lovely stool-softener for the all-important first post-partum-Poop!)
So the first few days home (as well as in the hospital) I let it rip, not about to be undone by some reluctant gas. (Coincidentally, E was not in the vicinity whenever a nice loud trumpeter blatted out.)

Until... the lovely afore-mentioned breakfast.

As I felt the gas start to travel south, inching ever so closer to announce its emergence to the world, I started to panic, and started laughing, and then crying, as I clutched the table and my stomach and the last shreds of my dignity...
"Oh god *giggle giggle, sob* I'm going to FART!" I blurted out.

Horrified, I felt It make Its way into the world - nice and loud against the wooden kitchen chairs, thereby breaking a seven-year-streak (*the entire time we've known each other!) of having never farted in front of my love (these things, these bodily functions - we like to pretend they don't exist!) 

And through the tummy-clenching tears, I could only laugh, because after all - Farts are Funny! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The O Word...

There's two O words we're touching on this post... the first, I was going to go with "F" word: formula.  But didn't want to make it sound like I think negatively or judge formula-fed, or anything like that.  Simply, I'm breastfeeding,  it's working well - and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

My in-laws seem to think it's shattered...
Every.  Single.  Time they are here (or we are there) and Ben cries, all I hear is "He's hungry!"
Even when I say, "he literally came off the boob seconds before you walked in the door..."
And they love to suggest supplementing him with "just a few ounces of formula to hold him over between feedings!" 1 - Like I'd let him actually go hungry, and 2 - SERIOUSLY, I'm just getting sick of it...
So I'm going with an O word I'd like to never hear again, and that's their Opinions.... Non-stop about how I should be feeding Ben, making sure he's full, etc.
(Can I stop to point out that E's older sister was so overfed when she was a (merely coincidentally formula-fed) baby that their pediatrician told them at her 4 month check up, put her on a diet?!)

It makes me nervous to leave Ben with Grandma for the night when I am in my friend Dee's wedding next month... I hate to not give them any credit, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear afterwards that he was fussing (hello, he's a baby - and BABIES CRY) and that, oops - the breast milk you left just wasn't enough so we went out and bought him some formula!

 But it's not just E's parents, it's nearly his whole family I'm hearing it from... Again, I had earlier today just tucked my Lanolin-covered nipple back into the nursing-pad-lined bra moments before his aunt came in the door to visit, and within minutes he fussed a little and all I heard was, "He must be hungry!"

And that I am going to "have to eventually supplement with formula because in a few months, he won't be getting enough breast milk!"

Oh have I learned how to just nod and smile, bleeding tongue and all, and say "I'll mention it to his pediatrician at the next visit, thanks!"

The other O word... My baby IS ONE MONTH OLD, how the HELL did that happen?!

He rolled over again (twice!) today...

He learned the required Jersey selfie "duck face"...

He enjoyed ok, tolerated baths, but enjoyed the post-bath towel-wrap-up with Daddy...

I have to keep an eye on those two, especially when they're supposed to be Tummy-Timin' it... Daddy loves to just cuddle:

But I successfully executed the one-month photoshoot (minus a quick tear or two:

...and with some quick hands and posing from Daddy - some size reference for Little Peanut:

All the time, I watch him when he nurses, and I still can't believe that he's really here...
One month...

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Magic Trick..

The past three weeks have flown by, the smoothest magic trick I've ever seen - they passed in the blink of an eye...
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Week 1 - Appreciating the Grandma-made hat... being held by my niece...

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Week 2 - Enjoying the patio and fresh air... post-lunch burp session...
 ... restin' easy... enjoying a first bath in a foggy and warm bathroom
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Yesterday, Benjamin was three weeks old, *Ha - see, I started writing this LAST THURSDAY... so actually, day after tomorrow he will be FOUR WEEKS OLD!!!!
and this Saturday marks again last Saturday marked the first full three weeks we have been home...

He's enjoyed tummy time and a first bath... he has rolled over three times in a row (what?! my kid's advanced I guess... lol)
He has lost his umbilical cord (hello belly button!!)...
He has started to grin - and yes, it's most likely gas-induced pleasure, but we'll take it!

Last Thursday was my first day alone with him - E has been back to work since last Monday (requests HOURLY pictures of his son and no longer works a minute past 5pm...) and my mother just flew back to Texas on Wednesday...

What an INCREDIBLE experience it was to have her here, and how tremendous of a help she was... She was able to do our loads of laundry that I intended to do before Benjamin's arrival (I couldn't get up and down my stairs for days...) and she was able to keep the house (somewhat) clean - from the first hour home, there's been random socks, mitts, blankets, burp clothes, and nursing pads popping up around the house...

Breast-feeding has been going well (after a somewhat rocky start... I could only get colostrum and a good latch on my right breast in the hospital the first 24 hours and did NOT use any Lanolin... made for a very PAINFUL and scabby nipple, so I took a 24-hour break on that one breast with a bottle of pumped breast milk to supplement the left side... best idea.  EVER.)

So the nips have healed... last night E let baby suck some water off his finger and this morning was telling me, "holy cow that kid sucks hard!"
... YEA.


Ben is averaging 3 hour sleep sessions and has from the beginning - some nights we get a four hour stretch!
Despite the good (oh what a relative term!) sleep we get, I've become a coffee-convert: at least 1 cup before getting the day started, and possibly another 1-2 throughout the day...

Oh and did I mention - my job called me a mere seven days after I gave birth?

Yea, I've logged almost 20 hours so far, for which I will be billing them as a consultant once my disability is officially over...

Nothing like leaving work to go give labor on the same day, and returning to at-home-status a few weeks later...

Now - sending good labor vibes to Katherine at GrowBabyGrow who is being induced tonight and (probably late to this party) to Kristy at Strength, Hope and Everything InBetween who was scheduled for her c-section yesterday... Hoping for healthy babies and mommies, and can't wait to "meet" LauraKate and Eva!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A new normal

~Birth Story Part III~

Recovery can be a bitch...
Recovery from alcoholism. Recovery from a drug addiction. Recovery from an accident...

After my csection, I spent the first few minutes in recovery with the soft skin of an itty bitty body against my chest, a tiny little back rising and falling under my hand with sweet baby breaths...

After they weighed and measured Benjamin, we finally arrived at our Mommy&Baby room that would cocoon us for the next three nights and days...

A few minutes later, a weary crowd of family that had been waiting since the csection verdict hours before tiptoed into the room.. a grandma and grandpa met their very first grandchild.
Three aunts met their nephew.
 An uncle met his nephew, and precious godson. 

I could feel the Proud Mama glowing from within, as I sat and watched each face take in this new being with awe..

Going with the flow..

~Birth Story, Part II~

People with kids just laugh when you say, "Well I had planned to do such and such before the baby.."

I have definitely learned, you cannot plan a damn thing..

I had big plans for Thursday, the day between my last day of work Wednesday and the csection Friday. I was going to do the 5 loads of laundry that had piled up, and clean the house (our downstairs bathroom was absolutely filthy with toothpaste on the mirror and a scuzzy bathtub), and prepare some freezer meals like lasagna and casseroles..

Those plans changed drastically Wednesday afternoon when I was informed that baby boy was arriving in just a number of hours..

The nurse brought in scrubs, a scrub cap, and shoe covers for E to change into..

She jump started my IV for pre-op hydration..
We were told to hurry up and wait, as each department involved kept changing their go-time..
And then the anesthesiologist was ready for me, and E was directed to a chair outside "csection room 1" where he was to wait while I was prepped and received my spinal and foley catheter.
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How strange, how utterly bizarre it was, to look down and see an OR nurse propping up what seemed and felt like someone elses legs to insert the catheter..
They called E into the OR, the lights went up, the curtain raised, and the show began.

Some strange tugging and pulling, and next thing I knew, the anesthesiologist was pulling a large mirror into view above my head- I raised my eyes and watched them deliver my son, feet first of course, stubborn little guy..
I heard his first cries, and over the curtain he peeked, wailing and all "River Monster" as E likes to say..
 The camera clicked furiously (after video recording the River Monster's arrival) and eventually the anesthesiologist became photographer as E watched them clean and record the foot prints of his firstborn.
After helping cut the umbilical cord, he was handed the teeny bundle and carried it over to me, and as the doctors stitched me up and closed up where he had lived snuggled close for the last 39weeks, I met Benjamin Ryan.

Always Expect the Unexpected...

Ok... so, post-tastic today now that I finally have all the pieces of my birth story written and I am finally getting the pictures pulled off of our memory cards... Sorry you're getting blasted with all parts at once, and then even more posting - because this kid has kept us busy! much going on! much to post about! (Especially while awake at 3am and he's HungryHungryHungry!)


People always get a kick out of the fact that I worked up until I gave birth... Like, I was at work 5.5 hours before Benjamin was born.


Here's how all THAT went down:

I don't tell this part clearly to many people, because how akward is it to explain to someone that you were sitting on the toilet for a bowel movement and felt a slight gush and wasn't sure if it was amniotic fluid or urine?  And then have to explain the difference and why it's important to know? 
(Hint - It's only akward if you let it be...)

So yea, Tuesday night, I was on the toilet and felt a weird leak of fluid - unlike urine leaking out, and upon close inspection (I know some of you will be nodding at this thinking, Yup I have so done that...) it was completely clear and odorless (sign one and two for amniotic fluid.)

But after a funny story from another pregnant momma where she was unsure and L&D tested, said she peed herself and sent her home, I debated for over 12 hours on whether to call the office/OB nurse...

It wasn't until I was sitting in the parking lot of the pediatrician Wednesday morning (the pediatrician that I had finally picked out, yes 2 days before what was supposed to be baby boy's delivery date via c-section) that I picked up the phone and called the nurse and explained what had happened the night before...

(I still felt akward and had to repeat that it was during a "bowelmovementtuesdaynight" when I spoke too quickly the first time...)

I had been thinking this whole time that I'd be able to just come into the office and pee in a cup and they could just dip a little test into it that would turn some pretty color and be either positive or negative for traces of amniotic fluid...

Well two hours later, I was at my desk trying to get things organized for what was my last day of work (thinking I'd be there at least til 6pm tying up the last minute loose ends like changing my voicemail recording (oops - I just realized that was never done...))

My cell phone rings, and it's the nurse, who only says: "Well - Dr. B is at the hospital, she'll wait for you there - you're to head to L&D so they can check everything out."

I was silent for split second, and then responded with an "umm..uh. wow, ok yea... ok, thank you..." and sat frozen, just glancing around at everything on my desk in small piles still waiting for a few minutes of attention before being ticked off The List...

It wasn't until I was in the car about 20 minutes later that I thought to call E.  And said something like, "So I think, but I'm really not sure, that my water might have, but probably didn't, but possibly could have leaked last night when I was on the toilet..."

(I skipped the whole "bowelmovement" line with him...)

I ended with, "I guess, if you felt like it, you wanna meet me at the hospital?  They're gonna tell me it's pee and we'll sit there for a few hours, but you know - if you wanna meet me there..."

So off the elevator he came, as I sat in a waiting room for the out-patient admissions clerk who was finishing up a c-section patient's registration... and I kept saying how I felt slightly stupid with each minute that passed because I was so sure they'd say, "Ma'am you just peed yourself, which is certianly not uncommon at this point... Go home, we'll see you Friday morning. And thanks for all the extra paperwork."

All while completing the admissions process and gowning up (Do I keep my bra on??) I kept wondering how silly I was going to feel getting redressed a few hours later.. So my OB finally came in the room and they dropped the edge of the hospital bed, took a swab for testing, and declared it negative for amniotic fluid.. of course.

 And then, the monitor they had strapped on "to record anything in case it happened" started recording something.
 That something was a contraction.
And then it recorded another one five minutes later.

And then another one.

And eventually, they were four minutes apart, going on two hours.
And they were untouchable, even from the two liters of IVs they thought would help.. E sat and watched the print out from the monitor, just like in the movies, and so considerately warned me "oooh you should start to feel another one start any. second.."
 The doctor returned, took one glance at the mountain range and said there was no way she could let me go home, with a labor pattern of contractions starting on a "double footling breech."
(When doctor did a cervical check, she also discovered that I was 1cm dilated, and said she could "feel a foot right there..."   yikes!)

We were getting a csection in less than two hours...
 The last "Bump Photo!"