Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: MOOOOOO

  • Peanut is "cluster feeding" at night - basically glues himself to my boobs for 3 or 4 hours a night.  Pump?  Ha!  He is sucking me dry.  Before bed.  The only reason I get any relief is his night time supplement bottle.  Moooooo.
  • Downside to a public blog?  There is stuff I want to write about and can't.
  • STILL haven't lost weight...and with my needy child glued to me, it's damn near impossible.  Good thing I like cuddling :-)
  • A Moby Wrap is in the mail to me - hoping this helps with the above bullet point!  
  • Peanut is in newborn clothes and newborn diapers - can still squeeze him into the others, but that's what it is: squeezing.  Which leads to extra leaking.
  • I don't leak - it's weird to me.  No 
  • However, when he cries, instant aching nipples, LOL.  My BBs are sore like PMS or early pregnancy.  At the same time, I feel like I am JUST producing enough.  So the mix of formula and breast milk will likely continue.  Any breast milk is good, so you won't see me stopping any time soon.
  • I have to get better at taking my alfalfa and drinking my mother's tea - supposed to help with production.  I think part of it is that he just doesn't take that much at once - tiny belly.  But he also comfort nurses a lot.
  • I have never had a stye in my life.  Twice in the last 2 weeks, same eye.  How weird (and crappy) is that?
  • It is amazing how quickly time passes when I seriously do almost nothing but nurse and sleep. Hubby has been cooking more because I can't get Peanut off of me long enough to do it.  Again, hoping Moby helps out there as well.  
  • We died Hubby's hair dark like the one photo came out from our shoot.  He looks BANGIN'!  Took seriously 10-15 years off.  He is looking fantastic and we likey!  
  • Weather says 3 good days in a row coming up!  Hello walks!  Woohoo!  
Have a good weekend everyone!!!  Love you!!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

MYTH: Pregnancy will resolve your infertility. You'll no longer be affected by infertility.

Have you ever had to have a surgery that came as a shock?  The diagnosis scary, but options provide a solution?  And it is scary, and painful, and emotional?  You have the surgery and WHOOPIE!  All is well!  But time passes, and you have to have the surgery again?  This time, yeah, it's difficult, but you know what you are facing.  The pain is still there, the fears, but this time you are more mentally prepared.

That is Infertility after pregnancy.  We got our miracle.  We survived hell.  We are blessed, and know it every moment of every day.  Big sigh of relief.  The memories are there, but at this moment, a bandage is over the wound, and life is easier.

And then comes the question:

"Are you going to have more?"

RIP.  Off comes the bandage.

Hey, world, remember what it took to get here?  Our baby didn't cure anything.  To my knowledge, my husband still has a genetic condition and my tubes are still blocked.  Thus, STILL INFERTILE.

Don't get me wrong.  We are so incredibly lucky to have come through this relatively unscathed.  But our dream is 2 children.  Peanut's sibling(s) are inside a tube, stored inside a cannister of liquid nitrogen.  Held captive by money we don't have, and conditions that are far from ideal.

We can't just jump back in the sack, have a few drinks, and get pregnant.  The financial considerations don't end with affording an FET.  We now know going in that we would be considered high risk, and perhaps also Advanced Maternal Age depending on timing.  We have to consider months of me on bed rest, and whether we can afford that again.  Is it fair to my husband, to my child, to put them through that?  Is it healthy for me?  Physically, emotionally.

Most people have to consider financial aspects, yes.  But ours go so far beyond daycare.  And the potential emotional toll has to be seriously weighed.  Can we go through a cycle and handle it not working?  Right now we have these embryos dangling in front of us, hope the size of the head of a pin.  If we try, and fail, then all we have is a road closed to us.  Right now there are just potholes on that road.

So no, we are not cured.  We are in remission.  A tourniquet has been applied.  Moving forward, we know the risks, we know the path, we know the challenges.  We don't have to handle the diagnosis all over again, but the rest?  Still there.

"Oh, crap, I'm pregnant."
"You want my kids?"
"Be glad you don't have to go through pregnancy again!"

RIP.  Off comes the bandage.



Learn more about Infertility here: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW): http://www.resolve.org/takecharge

Monday, April 25, 2011

MYTH: It Isn't Your Baby

When you are faced with the reality that you or your partner's reproductive bits aren't doing their job properly, it is a shock.  It is devastating.  When you further find out that those bits are not worth their weight in gold to the point of not producing what they are supposed to produce, the devastation becomes even deeper. 

Being faced with no longer being able to be genetically involved in your child leads to doubts about the next course of action.  No one handles this news well.  And no one can tell you what to do.  The decision about the next steps, and the long-term effects of said decision, are huge. 

Questions abound, from friends, family, even strangers.  "How does your husband feel about the baby not being his?"  And so on.  I cannot speak for anyone else's reactions or feelings.  I can empathize with them, but I can only share our story.

Don't ever let someone try to tell me this child is not my husband's.  Genetics are only part of the picture.  Would you tell adoptive parents they aren't really the parents?  No.  At least, I hope not.  Parenting is not just about genetics.  There is so much more to it.

My husband was involved from day one.  We picked out the donor together.  He gave me injections.  He was there with me the day our embryos were transferred into my womb.  He rubbed my belly, he talked to the baby.  Every day.  For 8 months.  He rubbed my back when I threw up, rubbed my swollen feet, and catered to my every need when I wasn't allowed off the couch. 

And the moment our son was born, he became a man in ways I couldn't imagine.  The look on his face, his proud introduction: "This is my son."  The gentle way in which he holds him.  The silly talk to distract Peanut when I have to step away or when he changes a diaper.  His absolute ease and comfort with Peanut.  And more than that, the look on his face of pure love for this baby WE created TOGETHER. 

He is the man who will wipe Peanut's tears when he falls, teach him to ride a bike, take him fishing, read him bedtime stories, hold his hand to cross the street.  That is why this child is my husband's.  He will be there, every step of the way, with a love only a dad can feel for a son.  With strength when it's needed, hugs when they are called for, but always, the love. 

Are there challenges?  Absolutely.  No one can deny that.  Every time someone says he looks like me, it is a reminder to my husband.  He doesn't get to see himself in our child.  There will always be reminders.

But regardless, Peanut is his child, no doubt about it.  And don't ever think otherwise.

What Infertility Is: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW):  http://www.resolve.org/takecharge

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Due Date

Today was our due date.  Easter weekend, Spring in full swing.  It's so odd to think that I could have still been pregnant!  Instead I have a nearly 5 week old perfect little boy. 

There are things I haven't shared, feelings...and I feel that today, on this important date, is as good a time as any.  I want to preface this by saying that I do NOT feel like a failure, nor am I truly disappointed in the sense that it will affect me long-term, but it is something I am working through.

This may sound odd, but I really looked forward to labor.  There is good pain and bad pain...and I considered labor to be good pain.  And truth be told, for the VERY brief time I was having decent contractions, I was quite enjoying the process.  Yes, I was in pain, but it had a purpose, and I was INVOLVED.  I never got to transition, which I understand is a whole other ball game, but I honestly think I could have handled it had things gone a bit differently. 

As you know, that didn't happen...things took a drastically different turn.  And that is okay, because it was the best course of action for Peanut.  However, I think it really made it difficult for me to adjust to associating the baby I saw with the kicks and squirms inside me...I was removed from the process.  And because of my anxiety, needed sedation in order to not completely freak out about the surgery itself.  So I then lost some connection to the event.  I look at the photos of me seeing him for the first time, and the look on my face bears absolutely no resemblance to the thoughts in my head at the time.  It was sooooo difficult to wrap my head around it.  And my memory is fuzzy, and I hate that. 

I thought I was okay about all of it though.  Until I was watching "Knocked Up" the other day.  When she was in labor, she was so PRESENT, so part of it.  And then the baby is on her chest.  That's the part I missed.  Feeling as though I was actually a participant in my son's birth, seeing him right away, that immediate physical connection to the process.  Quite honestly, I cried watching it.  I will go so far as to say I grieved.  It's not something that is going to screw me up for a long time, and I don't feel like a failure.  I have come to terms with my idiot body.  Mostly.  But I needed to get it out. 

Has anyone else had this experience? 

I still call him "her" on occasion.  Again, wouldn't change a thing, and I'm absolutely NOT grieving the daughter I thought I would have.  But have you ever watched "Charmed' the TV show?  The eldest sister is convinced she is having a girl her whole pregnancy because, like my family, girls are the dominant feature.  So, it's just odd in my brain still that there was a penis in me all that time, LOL.  This part is harder to explain...but it makes me laugh.  How utterly wrong my instinct was.  But I have the opportunity to raise a good man, and honestly, that is quite an opportunity.  I am honored to have it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: Need An Ark

  • This is a VERY rainy Spring here in eastern PA.  I swear we get one non-rainy day a week.  Come on, I've only got a few weeks left!  I'd like some outside time!
  • In the last week, the past has tracked me down.  Something I wasn't sure I wanted.  But 10 years is a long time.  And it's good to see some old faces, speak to people who know what greek I speak.  My closest friends from the Peace Corps have resurfaced, thanks to one tracking me down.  And one of my Namibian sisters.  And it feels right.  And it feels good.  A decade has passed...it is time to stop hiding.
  • To Heather: we did the Dependent Care plan as well - pre-tax savings rock.
  • We figured out why he was throwing up the formula!  He got too excited and drank more than he really could handle.  If we keep it to 2 oz, he is golden.  Yeah, 2 oz.  It's not much, but it's all he takes right now.  Yay for solving that! 
  • Nursing bras that fit properly, despite the cost, are absolutely magnificent!  Ahhhhh.
  • Baby colds are tough - I feel terrible.  He got it from me.  I spent all day Wednesday sucking snot out of his nose, the poor thing!  His poor eyes were all red and runny.  He is such a trooper. 
  • Fran asked where Peanut will be on Tuesdays.  He will be with Hubby all day.  I am jealous.  It might change a bit though if he gets summer work...if it's worth it.
  • Been hanging out with Pixie a couple days a week - glad we have all moved on.  Nice to have a friend in town :-)
  • Peanut has a "stork bite" on the back of his neck, so he will most likely have a bit of a remaining red mark after a while. I like the name :-)  It developed in the last week or so. 
  • Hubby has been working on our yard...which seems silly, on one hand, since we rent, but we are blocking off part of it (not a large yard) with a jury-rigged gate and fence to give the dog his area, and we will be tilling and reseeding the rest so that this summer Peanut has a yard!  We bought a little kids table w/umbrella and 2 chairs, plus a kids patio swing...he's way too small, but I couldn't resist, and we will have it for time to come.  It's going to be so cute in the yard! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Month Checkup

Today we had our first Well Baby visit! 

Stats:
  • 5 lbs even - that is a gain of 1/2 lb in 2 weeks.  It's not great, but it's a gain.  Given the issues with supplementing we had a couple of days, and the cold this week, I'm not worried.  And not supplementing more.  My production is really just starting to go up and his strength as well, so we are not worried.
  • 18" even - no gain.  That's fine.  He needs the weight.
  • 13.25" head circumference - 3/4" growth!  It's all going to his head!
  • Showed the doctor the video of him rolling over because he didn't believe me last time.  He said, "That shouldn't be possible!"  LOL. 
We are still squeezing into preemie clothes.  It's close, but there it is.  More and more awake time every day, during which he pretty much just STARES at us, at lights, at everything!  We can't wait to hear a coo, see a smile...

We have had 2 baths - luckily they are fast, because he is not such a fan yet.  And I really need to trim his nails again...worse than doing a cat!  But I'm not so much liking all the scratches on his face, and he is adept at pulling off those mits.  So I have to suck it up and do it. 

Mama's stats:
  • Still hovering around 145 lbs with 30 or so to go...20-25 would make me happy.  But I'm really just starting to be "fully" recovered, so it's on! 
  • Now that P is sucking harder and I'm pumping more, I am developing cracks on my nipples.  The one on the right is the size of the Grand Canyon.  Ever have your nipples pierced?  It feels like it's being pierced non-stop while he nurses or I pump.  Ouch!  And here I thought I escaped the horrid nipple soreness, LOL. 
We are so in love with him, and he is such a crowd pleaser, stealing stares, gawks and smiles everywhere we go.  I still think "normal" babies look enormous!  LOL. I wouldn't change him for the world.  We got a petite baby, and he's perfect. 

Hope these pics aren't repeats!  I just think they really show the entire first month of a baby...what they do...

Why???  I was happy in there!!!!

What the hell is wrong with you people????

OOOOOOH...what's that????

ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time In A Bottle

One month today.  One month.  How is that possible?  How is it that this little boy has already been with us that long?  How is it going so quickly?  Why can't they stay tiny?

I need more time.  I need it to slow down.  I have appealed to Father Time, but my pleas fall on deaf ears.  Time marches inexorably onward, without my permission. 

Change is good, the changing of the seasons, growth, change...but could I ask it to just move a little slower?  I want to always be able to hold him on my chest while we sleep, feel his warmth, his softness next to my skin.  I want him to fit there, for him to always take comfort in the beat of my heart against his ear. 

But I also want to see the boy he will become, know what his voice will sound like, what color his eyes and hair will turn, see the young boy, young man, man he will become.  I want to teach him to be kind, generous, loving, the kind of man his father is. 

But not yet. 

Can I bottle some?  Please?  It's a small request.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I WIN!

Today was a good day at work...and I don't even work outside baby time right now!  How is this possible you ask?  Well, I shall share!

First, I FINALLY got my leave approved for the 8 weeks this morning.  Although, minor heart attack, they sent me the wrong approval letter with the original 6 week date.  Luckily, they sent the correct one before I  got through to someone and ripped some poor person a new asshole.  So, official return to work is May 16th.  However...due to my schedule, it will actually be the 17th.  Huh...what is it about the middle of May??? 

Second, I bid for my shift today (I work in a call center, and our schedules change every 6 months or so - our choice of shifts is based on rank, so the better you do, the better shot you have at the shift you want), and I actually got my first choice!  Not bad considering I've missed a large chunk of time!  So, I will be working 9:30-4:30, Tuesday through Saturday.  It's a reduced shift, 32.5 hours a week, which might actually keep me sane!  I will have a large chunk of Sunday, and all of Monday with Hubby and Peanut. Woohoo!

Peanut will be in daycare Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, approximately the same hours I work.  An hour longer, actually.  Hubby will drop off and I will pick up.  I don't think I can bear to leave him there, but I will want to rescue him, LOL. He could probably go fewer hours, but Hubby's schedule is a bit erratic, so just covering our bases. Saturdays, Pixie will watch him 11-4.  I fear all the time I will miss, all the firsts, and that he will get to know his daycare providers and Pixie (who works at the daycare) more than me. 

The other good news is that we will be receiving a subsidy of $200 through work toward child care - covering just under half of our monthly daycare costs!  So that helps a lot!  Not with other costs, but it's a bit of a load off. 

So...a good day at work, without leaving the comfort of my couch and recliner.  Happy camper right here.  Yup.

Lastly, here is the last photo from the photo shoot.  God, I love this child!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: Saturday Edition

Yeah, I'm late, what of it?  LOL. 
  • Thanks for your kind words about our tax situation.  To answer some questions, filing separately did not help, and we actually didn't have enough medical to make a difference.  Blah.  We filed and will wait for them to contact us regarding a payment plan.  We could empty our savings paying it all, or we can do payments.  We are opting to do payments at this point. 
  • Frosties:  We have not actually made the decision to try for a 2nd child yet, but I am unable to let go.  There is still a chance we will donate them.  But I believe we will be paying the storage fee for a year to give ourselves time to make a rational decision - well, mostly rational.  There is a lot to consider, to be addressed at a later date.  Thinking about it makes me cry, so for now, basking in the glow of Peanut.
  • We figured out which bottle works best of the ones we have - Breastflow.  Pretty nifty. 
  • Of course, now that we figured that out, he started throwing up formula (definitely NOT spit-up), so we are on a formula break.  But it's fine - we still need them for when he starts daycare.
  • No, I still don't know if I have my 8 weeks.  I called nearly every day this week to the OB and the LOA team at work - turns out Wendy no longer does the paperwork, so I had been leaving messages for the wrong person and no one bothered to tell me.  Sigh.  Hopefully Monday I will finally get to clear things up.  Dear me, I'm not ready to be heading back in 2 weeks.  Fucking USA. 
  • We have NOT started cloth diapers yet - we have a few different kinds, but he's still too small for me to deal with it.  ADVICE NEEDED:  we need buckets for soaking, right?  Before we take them to launder?  And what goes in the buckets?  Just water??? 
  • Peanut is still in preemie clothes!  Though, anything with feet are now too short.  And happily, a friend from my old part-time job has a big box of newborn clothes for me :-)  Yay! 
  • Thank you cards are written, now have to address, and put together the birth announcements, too.  I have tons of stuff I have to send out, and gifts for some of you ladies to get out.  Hopefully will get that finished this weekend. 
  • And finally, I owe you nursery photos!  Long overdue, but we barely got it finished before Peanut arrived, and then the bed from our room was in there for 2 weeks, but now it is REALLY finished, so I present to you, the nursery! 

Welcome to the nursery!

This is the little rug Littlest found - right in the entrance.

This one is in the center of the floor.

Right side of the room - futon, and closet.

Wall directly opposite the door - that dresser was $5 at a garage sale,
and with some sanding and paint love, we have a gorgeous piece!  And
those corner shelves rock my world.  The chair rocks and swivels, and
was FREE.  Blanket courtesy of Nana :-)

Changing table was a donation from Frog and Pixie - sand and paint
love :-)  Masks on the left are from my time in Africa (well, 2 of them).

Dresser on the right was in my mom's garage and was icky.  Again,
happy sanding and painting!  Crib is convertible, and the framed art
above the crib is the poem "Tuesday's Child" or something like that,
done in Calligraphy by my aunt. 

So, that's the nursery!  There is also a play room leading to the nursery, but it's still a bit in progress.  I'm happy with what we did with our limitations :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Newborn Photos!!!

Once again, we went to our dear Rebecca Gotzon who powered through 3 hours of nursing, outfit and diaper changes, and a very cranky little boy to get us some fantastic photos.  I hope you enjoy them!  And she has her website up and running!  So go check out her work at Naked Lens Photography.  Lehigh Valley peeps, hell, eastern PA/NJ peeps, she's AVAILABLE! 

Without further ado, here are the photos! 

This is one of those little Easter baskets ... realllllly little.  He was
supposed to be born Easter weekend.

We are beach people and we thought this would
be a fun set up.  He hated it, LOL.

My little Monky!!!  Another Easter basket, and a blanket from Grandma
Sue.  I love this!

Phelan means wolf, which is Daddy's Spirit Guide, or
Patronus.  Grrrrr.


This is such a fantastic preemie photo - they are uber wrinkly.  This
is his Benjamin Button look.  I adore this photo.

Okay, these are actually hard to do!  He was soooo cranky!

I am planning on enlarging this to poster
size and hanging it in the living room.

How amazing is my child? 

An homage to Spring - Rebecca provided this prop.  It's actually one of those
door decorations!  Supposed to be an Easter baby who decided instead
to be a Spring baby.

My serious guzzler...always attached to my boobs, LOL.

Hanging out with Daddy.

I was wearing this scarf that day, and it was
not intended as a prop.  But I am so glad
Rebecca suggested it.  I am more in love with
this photo than I can tell you.




There is one more photo, maybe 2, that for some reason didn't save properly to the disc, so I have to scan them in by hand.  I am so happy with these.  All of them will end up on our walls somewhere.  Thank you, Rebecca!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nothing Is Certain...

...but Death and Taxes.  Who was that?  Mark Twain? Well, luckily, death isn't in the picture this week (KNOCKS ON LARGE PIECE OF WOOD!). Taxes, however, are. 

Boooooo.


See that up there?  THAT is what happens when the following events collide:
  1. You miss 4 months of work and your company fails to take out enough money from your disability payments.
  2. Your husband is self-employed and, because of #1, cannot put aside money for taxes.
  3. You don't realize that on top of the federal taxes, there is a Self-Employment Tax that is just as much as the other taxes. 
Suffice it to say we will be setting up a payment plan.  And one for next year.  And trying to find a way to consolidate all the medical bills. 

And pray for a miracle so we can use our frosties next year...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hold You In My Arms

It's 5:58 am, 3 weeks since you came into our world.  I am nursing you for what seems like the hundredth time tonight, but is probably only the 4th, your tiny hands resting on my chest as you contentedly suckle at my breast.  You won't sleep alone, and have spent the night in my arms on my chest, or next to me, the world beyond our bodies, this small space we inhabit, distant.  Light is beginning to creep in from outside, and the birds are chirping their morning songs.  Daddy is blissfully unaware of our many nightly sessions, and I watch him sleeping across the room, both envious and blessed.

As I gaze down at you with love I didn't even know it was possible to feel, this song comes on, and all I can think is, "My cup runneth over."  Because, my darling boy, I could hold YOU in my arms, forever.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: Yay! I Can Move!

  • My kiddo is growing like a weed!  He will be too long for the full length preemie onesies soon, but not the short ones or the pants.  And he's still skinny, LOL.  He eats like a horse.
  • PETA can suck my dick.  They said they removed the "in honor of" part, but they still left it up that it their stinking campaign is during NIAW. 
  • Hubby and I have worked out an agreement (well, I basically told him how it will be, LOL).  Since I feed on demand and am often up multiple times at night, if Peanut gets all worked up and won't stop fussing, he is on soothing duty.
  • It is challenging figuring out what bottles work best for his little mouth for the supplementation.  We end up mopping up a lot, LOL. 
  • Babies do NOT like to be changed six times and put in weird positions for a photo shoot.  His binky features prominently.  And we may be celebrating the cranky, honestly.  Babies aren't always placid and cute, so why not tell the true story, right?  We shall see what our dear Rebecca Gotzon does with what we got.  I can't wait!
  • Peanut's umbilical stump fell off during the photo shoot!  Kinda cool!  There was still some sort of pus-y looking stuff, but that seems to have dried up as well.  I sense a real bath in the near future.
  • I can finally move without discomfort - which means I can start doing things around the house and  going for walks to work on this 30 lbs I still have to kick. 
  • I have figured out how to keep up on blogs!  I may not be commenting on every post, but rest assured, I am in fact reading again!  Android phone + touch screen + BFing = BLOG TIME! 
  • I am battling for my full 8 weeks of maternity leave and pissed that we only get that much and ONLY because I had a c-section.  Our maternity leave policies in this country are absolute crap and I am already dreading leaving him.  It's too damn soon...
  • Lauren is coming up today!  Her ET is tomorrow, and she is coming to meet the Peanut today!  Woohoo!
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

PETA - You Know The Story

I haven't had a chance to write a letter to them, but I DID sign the petition.  For those of you who have NOT heard about this yet (I don't know how!), the inestimable Keiko sums up the article, her response, and THEIR response on her site. 

Every response by PETA that I have seen has staunchly defended their actions.  And here's the thing.  I understand the thought process, just not using NAIW to support it.  It is misdirected, AT BEST.  I am all for protection of animals, spaying and neutering, all of it.  I ate no meat for half my life.  And I try to be conscientious about the meat that I do buy.  And I fully believe in responsible reproduction because of the population issues. 

All that aside, it is NOT okay to link our community so disrespectively to such a campaign.  And we need to let them know it's not okay.  If nothing else, go to Keiko's page and sign the petition. 

So, go.  Go on.  Go do something about it. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Love At First Suck

Have you ever seen a baby bird, mouth agape when Mama bird comes back with food?  It looks like this:



A baby rooting for the breast looks much the same.  Mouth agape, head turning side to side seeking out his source of nourishment.  It is a baby at his most vulnerable, visible proof of how much they depend on us, on their mamas.  It is a deeply biological drive, one that we cannot change, only respond to.

My body has fought me every step of the way - getting pregnant, staying pregnant, giving birth...if there was a symptom or side effect, I had it.  The whole 9 yards.  To say I was nervous about breast feeding is an understatement.  Having a late preemie didn't help that nervousness.  It is often difficult for them to learn to latch and be an effective suckler.  But it was something I very much wanted to do, and hoped I would enjoy.

My amazing kiddo figured it out within 36 hours, impressing everyone.  So did I.  And I was born to do this.  I LOVE IT.  I lucked out, probably due to his preemie status, and never had horrendously sore nipples.  By the time we came home I was pretty much over that.  I have the majority of a tube of heavy duty lanolin sitting unused.  It has not been without challenges, but those are related to needing to supplement (not due to my production, but rather his need for extra calories) and fitting that into the schedule and pumping and whatnot.  The actual breastfeeding has been amazing.  Perfect.

I love the closeness I get with him.  It reminds me of him inside me (which still seems sort of surreal).  I read a line in a book by my favorite author, Barbara Kingsolver years ago.  The book is The Bean Trees.  I dug it out today to find the quote I was thinking about. 

"The baby's suckling at her felt good, as if he might suck the ache right out of her breast."

This is the best way I can describe it.  Which sounds sad, but it's not, not for me.  I mentioned the Baby Blues before.  Add my normal emotional issues on top of that, and exhaustion, and, well, there is definitely an ache.  The let-down of no longer being pregnant.  The shock at the love I feel for this being.  The love itself.  The ache I feel in my chest when I see Hubby with his son.  There are so many emotions.  Nursing him...it's right.  It's real.  It's something very physical that I can count on, to reel me back in from the crazy.  The sight of him once he is satiated sleeping using my breast as a pillow.  His milk goatee when he is finished.  The absolute need he has for me to provide something that only I can provide him. 

My body got something right.



And I am ever so thankful.

Monday, April 4, 2011

2 Weeks!

So we have good news!  We went to the Ped today for a weight check....and we are doing better!  We have regained his birth weight!  YEEHAAAAAA!  Mama breathed a sigh of relief. A big one.  Phew!

So, as of today, he is back to 4lb 8oz.  He has also grown an entire inch in the last 2 weeks!  Holy growth spurt!  Actually, more like a week and a half.  Can you imagine if we grew like that all the time?  Holy shit!  Head circumference up 1/2" as well. 

To give you an idea of how "big" our little man is, here are some comparisons: 
  • Pick up a 5lb bag of flour.  That's him fully clothed, swaddled, etc.  Maybe still a little heavier. 
  • Pick up a softball.  That's his head, essentially.  He's actually 1/2" larger around now, but still, gives you an idea. 
So, that means a bag of flour+softball = Peanut.  LOL.  New math.

As far as milestones, that's tough.  He seems to be on target even though he's preemie.  His neck is pretty damn strong, and we did some belly time yesterday.  He pushed himself up, and, I shit you not, ROLLED OVER.  Twice!  (Because I had to see if he'd do it again.)  Ummm, he's not supposed to do that for months yet.  Obviously totally accidental, but I'm gonna keep testing it and video it if I can.  Pediatrician didn't believe me!  LOL.  Anyway, he's a strong little bugger :-)

We asked for no newborn clothes...and so only have a few hand-me-downs.  We broke down and bought some preemie clothes (and received a couple as well), but it's difficult to keep up.  My fantastic neighbor has kindly done baby loads for me so we aren't at the laundromat 3x/week.  Soooooooo....today we went to Carter's.  I should not be allowed in there.  $250 later, we left with pretty much every preemie outfit they have (it's not that much) and some newborn ones.  Yes, he's growing like a weed, but he'll still fit the preemie stuff a bit longer.  And I don't want to have to wash every 2 days. 

Thursday is our newborn photo shoot with my dear Rebecca Fuhs Gotzon who did the maternity shots.  So excited!!!  I hope he cooperates, LOL.  Don't worry, you'll get to see them as soon as we have them back.

And, 2 weeks postpartum I am finally in normal undies (though still quite limited in movement/lifting, etc) and am down 14 lbs with 32 to go.  I cannot wait to be able to be more active!

On another note, one of the biggest lessons I have learned in the last 2 weeks is to NEVER say never.  Why, you ask?  Well, let me tell you!
  1. I was NOT going to be induced.  Whoops.
  2. I was NOT having a c-section.  Hmm, tell that to my son.  My body said, "Get out."  He said, "Hell, no!  It's cozy in here!" 
  3. I was anti-pacifier, at least early on.  That lasted a whopping 40 hours until the photographer came and he wouldn't calm down.  It's still only a calmer, and I will never let it become an addiction for him, but yeah, lost that personal battle pretty quickly. 
  4. I wasn't going to have him in the bed with us while sleeping.  Yeah...tell that to me after I fall asleep regularly nursing him, no matter what position we use.  Then I wake in a panic.  Sometimes it is because he simply won't calm down unless he is on my chest...in which case I sleep semi-propped with him on his back between my BBs. 
  5. I was staunchly anti-formula.  Whoops again.  We need to pack the weight onto him, so we are supplementing.  But my milk comes out fast enough that using the SNS overwhelms him, so onto a different topic, I'm supplementing by BOTTLE.  Ugh.  At least he will be used to them by the time I return to work. 
So, never say never, LOL. 

Coming soon - the requisite BFing post.  Speaking of which, Peanut is currently face down in a boob bigger than his own head, arms resting on it above his head...so he looks rather like a mini Superman who face planted into a boob.  LMAO. 

I leave you with a photo (just one, I promise...I'm behaving!)

Remember I said when he is in REM he shows all kinds of emotions?  I managed to capture
the smile...I cannot wait for this to come out in response to US.  HUGE grin!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bloggy Love!

Just a quick post to say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to my dear Foxy Popcorn on her BFP!  I am so pleased for her.  Her ET was only hours after our little Peanut arrived, her mom made his coming home hat, and I believe our children are now forever linked by an amazing 1st 24 hours of Spring.  Please go wish her congrats and hugs, as she is a whole lot happy, a bit in shock, and not a little bit scared.  I love you my Foxy Lady!

Also, another dear friend, Lauren, has her retrieval early tomorrow morning and has TONS of follies.  She is sore, excited, and, most likely, a bit terrified.  Go wish her luck!  Love you, honey.  As soon as I can drive I will come distract you :-)

Thanks ladies! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Out-takes From The Hospital

I mentioned in my birth story that I spent my time there cracking up the staff.  I thought I would share some of it with you in the interest of making sure you know everything they DON'T tell you.  Enjoy!
  • If they tell you that eating anything other than clear fluids/jello/popsicles during labor, they mean it.  Don't talk Hubby or SO or anyone into sneaking you even a few bites of food.  Now, it could have been the epidural, but whatever. DON'T DO IT.  Explosive vomit will ensue, and then you will have to pray they don't ask why your vomit looks and smells like shredded fish.  Ahem. 
  • Your hospital bag should include the largest socks you can find and unless you want to leave in hospital underwear (cuz let me tell you, they are UBER sexy, those mesh things - still wearing some in fact...don't knock it.  My regular underwear will sit right on my incision...no thanks!), go buy the largest, highest waisted underwear you can find.  Such as the ones your grandmother wears.  I mean it.  The reason for this is that if you thought the swelling in your feet was bad while you were pregnant, you were WRONG.  I looked like I put on Eddie Murphy's fat suit from Norbert or whatever that movie was.  All the way to my hips.  And all the bits in between...including THOSE bits. 
  • I became known as "the swollen one."  I got used to hearing, "Are you sure you didn't push?"  Yeah, I'm sure.  My girly bits were the size of a softball!  NOT COMFORTABLE.  OB: "Hmmm, yeah, you've got a bit of swelling there."  Me:  "A bit?  I've got elephantitis of the crotch!"  I took pride in showing it off! Every time there was a new nurse I would ask if she wanted to see.  LOL. Hey, it's not every week you get to baffle doctors and nurses alike.   We had to leave my catheter in an additional 36 hours for a total of 2.5 days of foley funness because I was so swollen peeing was out of the question.  Actually, they did remove it...8 hours later I was begging in tears for it to be put back in.  I am soooo glad I couldn't see the crazy swelling.  Feeling it was bad enough.  Brings a whole new meaning to "engorgement."  Actually...that was the benefit of it - when the nurse squirted water over my bits, I was so swollen that it was REALLY pleasurable.  Like, ummm, my reaction was a first for that nurse.  Ahem.
  • In case in your particular journey through IF managed to leave you with some of your dignity intact, get over it.  Fast.  Not just the internal exams and the delivery and all that.  After.  If you are breast feeding, plan on having your tatas manhandled by more people than you thought possible in such a short period of time.  And you know, I have been missing having someone else wipe me after using the bathroom since I was, you know, 3.  And you know what?  You won't actually care.  At all.  Which is kinda cool!\
In short, take your sense of humor with you, and all the weirdness will be overcome.  It's worth it.  It is.  Oh, and pack food, or have someone bring it as soon as they allow it.  I went 24 hours without food, and there was no way hospital meals were filling me up.  Contraband food is key.  AFTER they say you can.  Otherwise, see bullet point #1. 

And now, for some more smiles, the video I promised!  My son has REM sleep that is FASCINATING.  Every feeling in the world seems to cross his face, and it's so cool to watch.  Luckily it happens many, many times a day.  Best part?  His future smile comes through, uncontrolled, and it is such a great peek into the future...I hope you enjoy! 

video