September 30, 2007

My butt still hurts like crazy, but the nausea is gone at last.  It has to be either that mega-dose of ibuprofen the doctor prescribed or possibly even the vicodin.  I’m guessing it’s the ibuprofen.  I’d love to be able to take some about now, but I’m not risking the nausea again.  I can cope with the pain better than the nausea.  I think M agrees.

The optimism started first thing this morning when I woke up to little hungry noises from the crib next to the bed, a full three hours after the last feeding.  He’d been perfectly happy since the last feeding, sleeping like normal people do when it’s night.  And he’d slept happily for three and a half hours before that, since his last feeding.  That’s how the whole night went: wake up to feed him, change a diaper, put him back to sleep where he’d sleep for a full three hours.  I feel better after a reasonable night’s sleep.  Let’s hope he keeps this up and that last night wasn’t just a fluke.

I knew the day was off to a good start when M woke up while I was feeding BabyN that last time before getting up for the day, and we had a fun, silly conversation.  Any time we’re both laughing hilariously before we get out of bed, that’s a good thing.

I’m not sure what else needs updating.  My life is kind of boring right now.  You don’t really want to hear about every single poopy diaper, feeding, or sleep complaint.  I guess I need to find other things to talk about now that I don’t have the pregnancy to consume me.  I guess it’s time for me to get a life again.  But until that happens, I’ll probably regale you with stories of a jealous toddler.  Better than poop stories anyway, right?

One Week Later and One Step Back

September 29, 2007

As of this morning, BabyN has been here for a full week.  It’s hard to believe it could be that long already.  Last night was the first decent night with him, too, at least without having nurses available to take care of him while I slept at night.  He actually slept well between feedings without waking up to be burped or just because.  He did have a long wake period at one point, but I happened to be pretty awake at the time, so it wasn’t as big a deal.  Unfortunately, he spit up all over the bed while I was feeding him around dawn, and I couldn’t go back to sleep in the wet spot, so I’ve been up for the day since then.

We also had our first blog-worthy poop experience earlier.  He pooped while in the middle of a diaper change.  Yuck.  I realized as I was cleaning it up that he had some diaper rash from all the pooping he’s been doing (every hour at least), so I was putting diaper rash cream on it.  And naturally, as my fingers were already a little too close to personal areas for my own comfort, he started pooping yet again.  He went through three diapers.  It was disgusting, of course, but I feel bad for him and that raw bottom.  It’s not possible to change his diaper after every single poop, so he has to sit in it for at least a few minutes before I can get it changed, even if I change it every hour.

The one step back that’s happened has to do with my own health.  I was glad to hear that I’m not the only one who’s had this painful tailbone thing, but it hasn’t seemed to help the pain any.  And to make matters worse, I’ve started getting spells of cold chills and severe nausea.  I thought at first maybe these were just the basic hot flashes I’d been warned to expect, but the nausea doesn’t fit with what I’ve heard.  Last night when I was hovering over the toilet watching the rest of my dinner disappear, I realized something must be causing the nausea in particular.  My best guess is that it’s the concoction of pain pills I was prescribed; they are both known to cause nausea.  To test the theory, I haven’t taken anything since lunch today.  I’m still a little nauseous now, but not like I was last night.  So now it looks like I have to decide whether to live with the nausea or the pain.  And while losing my meals repeatedly might give the weight loss a little extra boost, I don’t really want to go back to the early-pregnancy morning sickness phase.  I guess that means I’m living with a painful butt that makes it hard to move, much less sit.  Boy are things going to be fun on Monday when M goes back to work.


September 28, 2007

Sorry I’ve kind of disappeared off the face of the earth.  I think that may happen a lot over the next few weeks.  Even with M around, it’s tough taking care of a newborn, a toddler, and myself.  Fortunately, the kids are fairly easy–one at a time.  PJ seems to be having a bit of an adjustment period, doing anything he can to get attention.  M and I discussed this last night, though, and agreed that it was mostly my attention he wanted.  I’ve spent lots of time holding BabyN, and my playtime with PJ has deteriorated.  Already today, things have gotten better there as I’ve made an effort to put down BabyN any time he hasn’t needed constant attention.

BabyN is mostly an easy baby, thank goodness.  His needs are fairly predictable, and he doesn’t fuss much unless he needs something.  The problem is that he usually needs to eat more often than every three hours, and sometimes he acts like he needs to eat when he really just needs a good burp (or poop).  That can be frustrating at night when I’m already off my game from lack of sleep.  The last few nights have been really rough because of this.  And the sleep deprivation is definitely affecting my mood.

The sleep thing has gotten bad enough that I’ve turned to doing something I always swore I’d never do: co-sleeping.  The first time happened by accident.  BabyN wouldn’t quit fussing, and my warmth was the only thing calming him, so I had him in bed with me as I calmed him.  He got calm and I dozed off about the same time.  We haven’t slept with him in the bed on purpose yet, but I’ve stopped fighting so much if I think it might happen.  We just don’t have a safe set-up for co-sleeping, so it’s absolutely not in the plans unless things only get worse, which I doubt will happen.

The hardest part about the last week, though, has been my own health.  As time has gone on and the initial post-partum pain has faded, I’ve found that pushing out an eight-pound baby did more to my body than I remember PJ doing.  Apparently it did something to my bladder that makes me feel like I always need to pee–very uncomfortable.  Even worse than that is my tailbone.  I’m really starting to think I broke it.  I’m in excruciating pain all the time, which is only helped somewhat by the huge dose of ibuprofen my doctor prescribed.  It makes it very hard to breastfeed because I can’t sit directly on my rear or move easily from side to side (or walk or sleep or just about anything).  I’m really starting to worry about how I’ll handle things next week when M is back at work, if I’m still in pain and BabyN still wants to eat every few hours and not sleep well during the night and PJ still tries getting my attention by misbehaving.

I don’t want to end this on a negative note, but BabyN just woke up starving again (it’s been two hours after all).  Trust me when I say that things aren’t as bad as I’ve made them sound here.  I know things will also get better soon, and quickly.  Oh, and I’ve already lost 17 pounds of the 30 I gained with BabyN.  Seventeen pounds in less than a week!  Told you things weren’t all bad!

First Pictures

September 26, 2007

I’d love to do a good update blog about how we’re all doing post-partum, but I may wait until tomorrow for that.  It’s almost feeding time–again–and I just found out my dad is in town for business and planning to drop by this evening.  Things are going to be a bit busy tonight.  In the meantime, though, I finally went through all the pictures we’ve taken in the last four days.  Here are a few of my favorites, but be aware that I may be bombarding you with a whole lot more in the near future.

Our new family of four

Me with BabyN shortly after his birth

BabyN at four days old

His face up close

The Birth Story, Take 2

September 25, 2007

I still haven’t quite forgiven wordpress for deleting my post last night.  It was long and definitely the complete story, and I feel bad that you’re probably getting the more abbreviated version tonight because I don’t feel like typing it all up again.

Labor officially started right about 12:30 Saturday morning, just as I was crawling into bed to try to sleep.  M went ahead and dozed for two hours while I timed contractions, trying to decide for sure if it was labor.  They went from about ten minutes apart at first to three to four minutes apart by the time I woke him up two hours later.  We quickly finished throwing in the last few things I needed packed and contacted our neighbors who would be watching PJ.  I think it’s interesting that this whole time, we were both incredibly calm.  I was in pain, but it was tolerable, and we knew what was going on.  My labor was progressing by the book, which meant we had plenty of time to get to the hospital.

It was a slow night in labor and delivery, so they didn’t bother doing triage when they heard how far apart the contractions were and put me straight in a room.  Within minutes, they’d taken a history and put me in a hospital gown.  Then they checked me to discover I was already five cm along.  For a few hours, I coped with the ever-increasing pain pretty well.  I was talking and joking between most of the contractions, but we were noticing already that sometimes I wouldn’t completely recover from one before the next hit.  I think that’s why things got as bad as they did early in the morning.

It was about 5:30 when I broke my own rule and mentioned the word epidural for the first time.  As I’d asked M to do, he suggested I wait fifteen minutes and see how I could cope during that time.  Fifteen minutes later, I was begging for the epidural and trying not to vomit the acid I couldn’t seem to control.  It was quickly getting overwhelming to me.  Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased when I discovered the bloodwork they had already taken had disappeared, and we had to wait to get more blood taken and analyzed before even calling the anesthesiologist.  Finally, an hour later the epidural guy got there, just minutes after I’d agreed to some IV drug to help “take the edge off,” as they put it (really, it just made me stop caring about the pain as much).

This was about the same time as what I call my purple haze.  I don’t remember many details from about an hour in there because of the pain.  Most of what I know is what M has told me since.  All I can remember is purple.  Weird, I know.  It turns out that the epidural didn’t go in easily, so apparently I was sitting up on the side of the bed for a really long time while trying to cope with contraction after contraction.  It also seems that I got a little rude during this period.  I’m just glad I don’t remember that part.

Finally, there was blessed relief.  M and I both took the opportunity to doze as we waited for me to dilate from 7 cm to the full ten.  The blinds to the window were open directly in front of me, and I watched the sun rise between sleepy moments.  Then all of a sudden, I felt a trickle.  I thought at first the catheter had leaked–I was paranoid about the whole concept for some reason–but finally convinced myself it was most likely my water breaking and called a nurse.

The nurse quickly confirmed it was my water and that it had meconium in it.  She checked me–9 cm now–and started debating with another nurse about how much extra help they should bring in for BabyN because of the meconium.  Suddenly I felt something large and round nearly fall out of me.  I tried not to panic that it was his head as I got the nurse’s attention and begged her to check me again.  She also immediately panicked that it was the head and called the doctor to get to the hospital pronto.  Of course, as soon as she had, she discovered it was actually the rest of my bag of waters that had suddenly fallen through and that BabyN’s head was still pretty high.

All along on and off through this part, they’d had me on pitocin, and that continued right up to the delivery.  They would put me on it to help me progress a little faster, but then BabyN’s heartbeat would drop too much so they’d take me back off it.  Every time I was on it again, the heartbeat dropped again.  Even the oxygen and frequent position changes weren’t making a difference, so they were at a loss what to do.

I think that’s why I ended up pushing at 9 cm to get that last centimeter to go away a little faster.  I pushed for a long time before the doctor checked me, since she was hanging out there anyway.  She discovered that although BabyN’s head had come down quite a bit, all the pushing had swollen me up too much down there and exhausted me.  She suggested that I stop pushing for a little while and let gravity and the contractions do what they could to bring the head down the rest of the way.

This was the most uncomfortable part of the delivery, post-epidural.  I could feel that constant pressure and need to push, even though I didn’t have the energy to push.  I tried to doze again while we waited, but it was very difficult with that pressure.  Finally the nurse came and checked again to find that BabyN really was right there.  And pushing commenced again.  By now, I was beyond exhausted and felt like I couldn’t make it through each push.  I felt like each push was less effective than the last, and I was getting very discouraged.

Then with one push, I could feel the head right there and I gave it all I had.  And there was another sudden rush in my room as the doctor hurried in and nurses quickly prepared the room for delivery.  One nurse was assigned to holding BabyN’s head in case he suddenly slid out and encouraging me NOT to push for a couple of minutes.  That was agonizing because I could feel how close relief was and I couldn’t do anything to help it.

Finally the doctor was ready and I could push again.  It was only one or two pushes and BabyN’s head emerged.  I desperately wanted to go ahead and push the rest of him out, but the doctor asked me not to.  They had to clear out his mouth and nose first because of the meconium.  The doctor and nurses were also amazed that they had to unloop the cord from around his neck three times.  Apparently that’s highly unusual.  I wasn’t pushing at all during this time, but apparently he kept trying to slide out anyway because they kept reminding me not to push.  When they finally told me to push again, I couldn’t get the right pressure to push him out, but regardless I had a baby squirming on my belly just seconds later.

This was the most amazing moment of the day.  I was only inches from his face, and I watched as he opened his eyes for the first time and looked right at me.  I fell in love immediately and hated when they had to take him across the room to clean him up.

We still didn’t get the totally normal bonding experience after the birth because they wanted to take BabyN to the nursery to check him out after that traumatic birth sooner rather than later, but M got lots of pictures as they cleaned him up (and sewed me up–as the epidural was wearing off–ouch!) and we had a few photos with him before M carried him to the nursery.

And I could keep going with all the events after the birth, but it seems like a good place to stop for tonight.  Overall, it was a good birth experience, even if it didn’t go quite as I’d hoped it would.  What’s most interesting is that although I was really wanting a natural birth, I don’t feel the least bit of regret for caving and getting an epidural.  I’d clearly reached the end of my tolerance, and I can remember much more of the birth itself because of the pain medication.  It was a good experience, even if you don’t hear me lamenting I want to go through that again any time soon.

He’s Here!

September 25, 2007

BabyN arrived Saturday morning, 9/22/07, at 10:43.  He weighed 8 lbs, 2 oz and was 19 in long.  Story to follow when I have both hands free for any length of time again and when my frustration at wordpress for eating the one I sacificed sleep to type up subsides.  We are home from the hospital and adjusting to life with both a toddler and a newborn and loving it.

A Matter of Time

September 22, 2007

It’s 1:30 in the morning, and I’m already expecting not to get to sleep tonight.  I think it’s a safe bet BabyN will be born before he can be induced on Sunday night.  Especially since I’ve been getting contractions every 6-10 minutes for over an hour now.  I can still talk through them, but they are definitely different from the contractions I’ve been feeling for months.  It’s definitely time at last for him to be born.

Right now, though, I’m just killing time between contractions.  I’ve obviously got a little time before heading to the hospital, so I’m trying to let M get a few good hours of sleep first.  I wonder if I can make it another hour.  I guess once I’m done blogging I can go finish packing my bag for the hospital and any last-minute items for PJ.  That will save us a few minutes when it is really time to go.  I just feel bad about waking up the neighbors in the middle of the night.  Oh, well, that’s usually when these things happen after all, isn’t it?

I doubt I’ll be blogging again for a little while.  I’m planning to get M to post a quick something for me as soon after the birth as possible, but he may not feel comfortable doing that.  Either way, I suspect pictures and a full story will have to wait until I’m out of the hospital.  In the meantime, all you night owls be thinking good thoughts for me.  And probably the next time you hear from me, I’ll be a mother of two!  Yikes!

Crying Wolf Again? *Updated*

September 21, 2007

Warning: TMI 

I know I said I wasn’t going to write about this anymore, but it’s the only thing I can think about this morning.  I’m wondering yet again whether I’m in early labor.

It all started last night, kind of.  I was feeling kind of off, although I couldn’t explain exactly what was wrong.  I knew I was having more contractions than usual, but not often enough to bother keeping track.  Besides, they felt the exact same that they had for weeks, so it was unlikely they suddenly meant labor that time.

But when I got up to pee in the middle of the night, things were much different.  As usual, I was in the middle of a contraction.  As I peed, BabyN moved to fill the extra room left behind by my emptying bladder.  I remember a few seconds of agony as he found an unusual position before settling into a more comfortable one.  I also thought I saw more of my mucous plug, although I couldn’t be sure about that since I didn’t have my glasses on.  I also noticed I had had some dark brownish discharge earlier in the night.

I was awake for nearly half an hour after that, fighting lots of lower back pain and the familiar crampy feeling.  It was worse and lasted longer than it had in the past.  I wondered even then if something was going on, but I wasn’t willing to think about it as a possibility that early.

When PJ woke me up this morning with some loud screams at least an hour earlier than usual, I noticed I was still quite uncomfortable.  I’ve struggled with the lower back pain and crampiness ever since.  That’s still not enough to think maybe something is happening, though.  It’s more what I found when I took my morning pee.  I wiped and saw pink.  I know that’s probably kind of disgusting to hear, but it was exciting to me.  I know that can be a good sign that things are incredibly close to happening.  Of course, it might mean I would be going into labor sometime in the next week or so, but combined with everything else, I’m more inclined to believe maybe that’s not the case.

I figured out this morning that BabyN might have dropped in the middle of the night when I peed; that would explain the weird discomfort as he found himself a new position.  It also explains the sudden decrease in heartburn I’ve noticed recently.  I’ve heard that with second babies, this often happens pretty much as labor starts, so I’m hoping that holds true for me.

I called M as soon as I got up today to warn him of my suspicions.  He’s already taking time today to prepare for taking a week off, since he’s taking off next week no matter what (since I’ll be in labor before Monday either way).  I just wanted to warn him to make those preparations a little earlier in the day if he can; there’s a chance he may not even be able to stay there through the day.

Of course, I keep changing my mind about whether I think anything is really happening.  Between crampy, achy contractions, I feel mostly normal, and at those moments I’m sure I’m making a big deal out of nothing.  And then another contraction hits, and I think maybe something’s going on after all.  I just don’t know anymore.  I’ll try to update once later today, either to tell you we’re headed to the hospital or to say it’s yet another false alarm.  Right now, I’m expecting to say it’s a false alarm.

Update: I’m continuing to be in the same discomfort, although it’s coming and going a bit more than this morning.  Most everything feels pretty much the same.  I’m still thinking that it’s going to happen soon, but it obviously hasn’t yet.  The one change that’s happened is that I’ve definitely lost more of my mucous plug, and it’s definitely like you guys described it.  Yuck!  You were right when you said I’d know when it happened.  (For the record, I still think it’s been going for the last week, but today’s installment was much different.)  I hope that means labor is imminent.  Either way, my body will be more primed for labor on Sunday night if nothing happens between now and then.  I’ll continue to keep you updated if anything changes.

Get This…

September 20, 2007

1. My mom has wanted to make it here for BabyN’s delivery ever since I expressed a desire to have her in the delivery room with me.  The only problem was that it wouldn’t be able to happen during the week since she has one of those nuisances called a JOB.  She’s also taking off about a month (November-ish) for her hip replacement surgery.  And, oh yeah…she doesn’t live too close.  It would mean that there would be enough time for me to call her and her to immediately make the four or five-hour drive before BabyN came–and all of that at just the right time for her to be able to come on the weekend.

Well, with the scheduled induction that changes everything.  Assuming we do go ahead and induce on Sunday, my mom can make some solid plans ahead of time.  She wants to be here enough to take the day off work on Monday (with the blessing of her boss, thank goodness), and she can get here in plenty of time to leave for the hospital with us.  Or she can stay here with PJ instead of leaving him with the neighbors, which has become a real concern of M’s.  Or, more likely, she will do some of both, leaving him with the neighbor to make it to the hospital in time for BabyN’s birth.  M feels more relaxed about the whole process now that he can feel secure in PJ’s care, and I feel better because I’ll have my mommy there, and my mom feels better because she’ll get to be with us to see her next grandson enter the world.

2. M and I are signed up for one of those sites where you take surveys and accumulate points, and every so often at the end of a survey they ask if you want to receive a sample of a new product for free to use and then take a survey about it.  Duh!  I always tell them I will.  Today I got a surprise package with a package of diapers in it to try for the next week.  It’s great because we were pretty close to out of diapers for PJ.  The only problem is that I am supposed to be the only one to use them on him for the next week, and I think it’s safe to assume that won’t happen.  I’m not going to worry about it, though, because I should have enough of an opinion about them from the days I do get to use them, and I trust my mom’s and M’s opinions about them as well.  Either way, it made for a good morning to have such a money-saving surprise arrive on my front porch.

3. Remember how I told you that my MIL was calling every single day to find out whether we hadn’t told her any major news?  We were going to pre-empt that call the other day when we found out about the induction, but just as M was dialing her number, she called him.  Of course he told her the big news anyway, but now she probably thinks the only reason we told her was because she called him.  I think it would be funny to tell M’s grandma the big news first once he’s here and let her pass on the news to the family (because she will, the huge gossip).  I’d never really do it, but it appeals to the mean streak in me.  Either way, we’ll probably make sure both my parents know the news first, even if only by a few minutes.

4. Totally unrelated to the rest of the post…anybody know of a good public place to have a birthday party for a two-year-old?  In November?  (We’re doing another huge family party since PJ doesn’t really know any other kids his age, so we’re doing it when everyone is around for Thanksgiving.)  And a place that will at least somewhat appeal to said two-year-old but isn’t overrun with snotty-nosed kids and toddlers?  The majority of the group will be adults and newborn babies.  Because of my mom’s surgery that will have happened only a couple of weeks before the holiday, we don’t want to have her give up her house to hold a party for the masses that will be coming to the party, and we kind of want a neutral zone to make things a little less tense between M’s mom and everyone else.  But I haven’t been to a kids’ party since my younger siblings were little, and I have no idea would work well.  So…ideas?

Rambling Thoughts

September 19, 2007

I hope nobody’s checked the blog today and assumed that because I hadn’t blogged yet that something was finally happening.  What really happened is that I got so distracted by the exciting news at the doctor yesterday that I totally forgot my dad was coming into town for the evening.  He just left for the second half of his business trip a few minutes ago, so I didn’t get a chance to blog until now.

It was cool hanging out with my dad.  I knew I missed having my mom around with all the pregnancy stuff, but I didn’t realize how much I missed my dad too.  It was great watching PJ with him.  Early on, my dad was reluctant to spend much time with PJ.  We attributed it to his newborn-ness and that my dad didn’t know how to interact with someone that young.  Now that he has a granddaughter, though, we’ve learned that his hesitancy with PJ had more to do with his prematurity and how fragile he looked and felt.  He’s fine with normal-sized newborns.  Because of that awkwardness he had early on with PJ, it’s particularly special to watch him with PJ now.  I never noticed how naturally good with kids my dad is.  PJ was immediately drawn to him and didn’t want to leave his side for a second.  It was heartwarming, and I knew my dad loved being idolized like that.  It’s a good thing he’ll have a reason to head back down here before long.

Along those lines, I’m now in a race with my SIL to see which one of us pops out a kid first.  If you remember, her due date is in early October, but she found out on Monday that she’s already 2 cm dilated.  My mom really didn’t want to tell me that when we talked yesterday, even when I specifically asked.  It is her first kid, so she could easily stay 2 cm for a couple of weeks.  But I doubt that happens.  I think BabyN is going to end up the youngest of these three cousins, even if it’s only by a few days.

If I hadn’t gotten an induction date yesterday, I think that would bother me, like my mom thought it would.  Knowing my SIL, who should deliver two weeks after me, actually beat me to it, and with no end in sight for me, would have been too much for me to handle.  But this situation with her going early within a couple of weeks of her due date and me going basically past my due date (even on my due date) will actually be kind of neat.  I will end up with a little more of the attention at the time, which is something I’ve worried about some since this is her first baby; I’ve wondered if BabyN would end up lost in the mix.  I’m not sure how things will work if we go on the same day, but I think the cousins sharing a birthday will share lots of attention, too.  And yup, you guessed it: I’m an attention hog.  It will drive my other SIL who is much more of an attention hog crazy.

By the way, thank you for the comments yesterday about the induction.  I needed to be brought back to earth about the whole concept of induction.  You guys are right; I really would rather go on my own.  I probably would have remembered everything you guys told me eventually, but the immediate reminders will help me know what I’m getting into if I make it to the induction on Sunday.  What’s funny is that I’m less worried about a c-section as I am about not being able to labor however I need to.  I remember doing a lot of walking and pacing with PJ, and it will be tough to suffer through it while attached to the bed.  I’m afraid I’m going to give in to the epidural a lot sooner than I’d consider it otherwise.  But then again, my family is known for short labors (the ones I’m genetically connected to anyway), so maybe that will hold even with an induction.  I don’t really know what to expect, and I’m trying to keep an open mind about all the possibilities.  Still, I’d rather have the more natural non-induced labor.  Besides, we all know I’ll do a little better with every less day of waiting I have to suffer through!