Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sitting on his own now!

Little M was just run ragged today!

We went to my physical therapy appointment and he was really patient while V worked on my knee, but when she got to my lower back he decided that was enough attention for Mommy, it was his turn again! So we ended up with me getting ice on my knee and back while I was sitting up in a chair breastfeeding him. I have to thank my therapist, V, and the tech T for helping me get set up like that, and for not charging me for the time I spent breastfeeding, even though we were still tying up one of their rooms. You guys are so sweet. And a special thanks to P, for the warm greeting Little M and I always get when we come, you all rock! ( I didn't forget you, C (you'll become a convert to the baby loving masses eventually) and E, I just didn't see you in therapy today.

Then we went to the noon service at our church. Little M was awake and really squirmy all service until I let him sit, (yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, he's sitting!) on the pew beside me and play with his toys. He also had a lot to say during the service, and picked an especially appropriate time, during the prayers of the people, to be nice and loud, so it sounded like he was making his own prayer request. Go Little M!

When we got home, we had a nice surprise, Daddy was already there because he got home early! So Little M got to play with Daddy, who promptly handed him off when it was poopy diaper time. I'd have to say Big M has been avoiding diaper duty in such a sneaky fashion these days that I just noticed NOW that his tally is probably in the single digits for the past few weeks. Bravo, honey, for getting that by me.

So we then all piled in the car for a trip to Big M's foot doctor, who gave him another shot, told him to suck it up and walk on the foot, and to get weight lifting gloves to avoid getting caluses from the crutches. And we have to see him again next week. So then it was off to Walmart to get the gloves.

I'm proud to say we left Walmart with ONLY the item we went in there for, that has to be a first for this family! OK, we did get some cash back at the register, but that doesn't count!

Now we're home and Little M is watching the "Your Baby Can Read" videos. No he can't quite read yet, but he's starting to recognize some words, and some sign language, so he's definitely picking things up.

I feel bad for the kitties, they're SOOOO not getting the attention they were before Little M, and Little A even got locked in the coat closet from 9am to 2pm today. That's what she gets for exploring where she isn't supposed to be, but I really should have done a kitty count before I left for all the morning excitement. Big A and Great Big N were fine, but they're not as adventurous as Little A.

We had so much fun yesterday at the Mommies group, all the babies are growing so much! We can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Breastfeeding in all it's glory

I have a degree in Nutrition, so I know how good Breastfeeding is for baby and for Mom. I also helped teach a breastfeeding class for a job, so I know some of the tips and tricks. And before I was going to have to do it myself when Little M was born, I took the class at the local hospital.

None of these can prepare you for what it's actually like.

After I had Little M, I was in the hospital telling Big M to make sure the nurses didn't give Little M a bath before I had a chance to nurse him (the lanugo on the baby is supposed to help them find mommy). So we tried to nurse. We knew we were only dealing with Colostrum here, so TINY amounts of maple syrup consistency fluid, but it didn't seem like Little M was really getting it. It took several tries with the Lactation Consultant before we both really got how it was supposed to look and feel when he was latched on properly.

And then, two days later, my milk came in. All of a sudden I looked down and I looked like I'd been entered in the hospital's wet t-shirt contest. And it smelled like I was going a bit sour. I managed to dig out one of my nursing bras and some pads and got those on and that's when I was informed I'd have to try to nurse the baby, then pump to get my milk going. I thought they were insane, did they not SEE the soaking wet hospital gown I'd just taken off?

And then I was told I'd have to use a syringe and tube to supplement Little M's intake until my milk was keeping up with him. So there was Big M, mooing at me when I was hooked up to the hospital's breast pump. Then he'd sit next to me when I'd nurse and slip that tube in the side of Little M's mouth and we'd let Little M suck at his own pace. Which was strong and fast! That child could suck the pimentos out of a jar of olives in one breath. He had the 50ml syringes emptied one right after the other, we could hardly keep up with changing them out.

Fortunately he was able to build up my milk supply without too much pumping after a few weeks, and we've kept up with it by still doing the breastfeeding even though Little M eats some cereal now.

I just really like the quiet time I get to have with my son, it's just the two of us, and I can sing songs, and tell him stories, and just look into those sweet little eyes and thank God for giving us this little miracle. It will make me sad to have to eventually give up that connection.

Nowadays I'm pretty much a breastfeed anywhere kind of gal. I just want my son to get fed when he needs to be fed. I don't jump up onto a table and make a big announcement about it, but I also don't hide in a dirty bathroom stall to get my son a place to eat. I'm as discreet and I can be without feeling like I should be ashamed of what I'm doing. Because Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. It's the most amazing thing you can do for your child. And if that means the Daddy has to give up the fun part of Boobies until the baby is done with them, then suck it up guys, we had to go through the pregnancy AND labor, you can live with this.

Anyway, I know that some people try and just can't, either they don't make enough milk or some other problem, but I also know of some people that can and just don't want to try. I'd love to be able to help those people.

OK, eyes closing on their own...must end here...more tomorrow.

Little M - Mommy's Little Helper

Each day I'm amazed by something my sweet little guy does. It makes me so proud to be his mommy.

Tonight at dinnertime I put him in his highchair, like I normally do. But I had a few things to do before we could get to his cereal, feed the cats, mix up the cereal, find a bib, etc. By the time I sat down with him to feed him you'd think he'd be upset and impatient, but not this kid! He was just sitting patiently waiting for me.

I grabbed the bib closest to me, then noticed it was not the bib I'd taken from the pile of clean bibs in the bassinet, so I looked to see if it was at least clean, and when I looked down to put it on Little M, he was bowing his head to help me put on the bib! It was just too cute.

I love that little guy so much, he is the best thing I've ever done in my life. He's helping me to grow in so many ways.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Story of Little M's birth (not for the squeamish) Part 1

So I'm up when I should be sleeping, so I'll tell you all the story of when Little M came into the world. By the way, this is what I remember happening, I'm told I have bunches of it wrong, but until Big M starts his own blog, this is the official story.

It was a lovely sunny day, the wind making it cooler, but a typical fall day for the area, a nice 70ish day when I waddled my way into my OB's office. It was two days before I would be 37 weeks, and I was exhausted, huge, and wanting some relief.

Like a typical office visit, my blood pressure was taken and I was weighed (always depressing, pregnancy or not). When the doctor came in I mentioned to her that I no longer was having to take insulin to keep my blood sugar normal with the gestational diabetes and she told me that if could mean that the placenta was no longer funtioning correctly, which scared the living daylights out of me. That had been going on for at least two days, what had I done to my baby??????? Between the nice gray palor on my skin, the elevated blood pressure and the non-functioning placenta, she told me to go right over to the hospital. We were going to be having this baby by the next day.

Now, she had intended to induce me a week later than that, so I probably should have been more emotionally ready for this, but I wasn't. I called Big M, who was in the middle of getting physical therapy for his back ("Do I need to come right over there????" "No, honey, finish your session and just meet me there"). Then I started to tear up (stupid hormones!) and went into my docs office. I told her I just wasn't ready for this and could she please tell me what was going to happen?

She was AWESOME! She walked me though everything, and when I got over to the hospital they were waiting for me and put me in a gown and a room, and I just had to wait for her to get there. They put several IVs in me, and started me on Magnesium Sulfate (apparently it is to make sure I don't have any blood clots before, during, or after the birth). And they put in a catheter, which I was so not happy about, but turned out not to be so bad, at least I didn't have to run to the bathroom every 20 minutes like that last month of pregnancy. And that night they let me eat dinner (hospital food that was actually good!) and put in whatever pill that was supposed to get the show going so that I'd be ready for the opening show bright and early the next morning.

The next morning comes, and they don't let me eat, except for "ice chips", which meant me feeling like the Sahara, and sneaking huge gulps of water whenever I could. I DO NOT recommend this to anyone, and I'll tell you why in a little bit.

My doctor comes in and keeps checking me, "You're dilated this much, so much effaced, blah, blah, whatever, whatever". Just tell me when I get to have the epidural, because I sure as HECK don't want to miss that window! So I get to have the epidural, they put another needle thing in my back for that, and I'm starting to feel better about the whole thing.

By the way, Big M stayed with me for all but one night in the hospital, bad back and all, he was a trooper.

So by around 2:30 in the afternoon the doctor tells me Little M is not descending into my pelvis. I could have looked down and told her that. And because of my rising BP, we have to get him out, so we'll have to do a C-section. I'm down with that, let's do it. There's a slot open at 3:30, so we'll do it then. Then the anesthesiologist (I'm just gonna call her ADoc) says we're good to go now (at 3 or so) and someone gives me something to bring down the BP. Only one nurse is in the room when all hell starts to break loose.

My BP drops too low and I start feeling faint. Then my stomach starts just churning and heaving and I tell the nurse I'm going to throw up. She gets this bag that sort of resembles that female condom and puts in next to my head then skeddadles out of the room to get someone who can help with something. I'm left alone with Big M who heroically jumps over to my shoulder and grabs the vomit condom.

I promptly heave the entire contents of last night's dinner into the condom, and he jumps at the force (or volume, I'm not sure which surprised him more) and proceeds to dump the entire bag down the left side of my face. This does not please me, and so I empty the rest of my stomach contents all over his favorite Mickey Mouse golf shirt. Well, he did get me first, I owed him.

So an attempt to clean things up is made while I'm wheeled into the operating room where everyone on the C-section team introduces themself to me. I'm still not feeling great, and I could not care less what anyone's name is, just make me feel no pain, and at the end, there had better be a baby to show for all this nastyness.

They put up a curtain between my head and my stomach and start cutting a line across my abdomen (from which they're apparently going to get the baby). I start moaning that I can feel the knife cutting me. Then as I realize no one is doing anything about this I say it louder, and finally Big M is yelling it across the room to the ADoc, who FINALLY does something about it and I'm back to being numb. I feel pressure on my abdomen as a nurse SITS on my ribs to try to get Little M to move down towards that line they've cut, but he's a stubborn one. (Uh, he's a man, they're all that way!)

So they end up using the vacuum extractor to get Little M out and bring him up to see me. I'm so exhausted and just empty, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that I don't really make the moment count, I just make sure that Big M remembers his jobs (1. Count fingers and toes, and 2. GO EVERYWHERE WITH THE BABY!!!) He does. Baby is fine, digit-wise. And except for the giant purple bruise on his head, he's perfect.

OK, falling asleep at the keyboard is probably a sign that I need to go to bed. I'll finish this tomorrow, everyone. Thanks for hanging in there this far!

Packing for an outing

I've found that trying to go anywhere with a baby is a major undertaking. There are just SO many things to bring, I feel like I'm packing for a weekend getaway even when we'll only be out of the house for two hours!

And I'm not even having to bring food or bottles because Little M is only eating cereal at this point and that's just morning and evenings. Also, I'm breastfeeding, and he won't really take it from a bottle, so I just have to bring the girls with me, and we're good to go. And although Big M would like me to leave the girls behind for him sometimes, that's just not a possibility. And I'm hoping that it's one that science will NOT catch up with. No woman really wants detachable boobs.

Back to packing. There's the diapers, the wipes, extra clothes, burp rags, pacifiers, and toys. And no matter what size diaper bag I use, it's always full by the time I leave the house. For tomorrow's outing we'll also need a blanket for him to play on, because God only knows what's on the floor of the room. And he's at the point where he sits, but sometimes rears back and will bump his head if I don't catch him, so I have to bring extra blankets to make a really thick pad for him to play on. And all of this has to fit in the stroller with him in the car seat. I'm actually looking forward to him being out of the car seat in the stroller, because then I'll have extra storage behind him when he's sitting up.

I just love how much fun he is these days. He laughs and smiles and coos and babbles. He was baptized a couple of weeks ago and was just so good during the service. He kept watching the priest like he was mesmerized. He's really good like that in regular church services too. People are always telling me how good he was that day. I know he wasn't being good just for that service, that's just how he is all the time, but I feel like that might be bragging. We are just really lucky to have this child in our lives, and Big M and I know it.

So I have all but the most important thing (the baby) packed up and ready to go for tomorrow. I have been trying to think ahead to packing for our out of town trip in May, but my head starts to spin when I think of the pack-n-play, the bath stuff, the baby monitor, etc. I know we're supposed to try to keep him on his regular schedule when we're out of town, but that's probably easier said than done. But we'll do our best. At least he'll be on schedule tomorrow, and we'll take the rest one day at a time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Starting with the Background stuff

So here I find myself, up late-ish on a Sunday night, having to run for the baby monitor that I left on the charger in the kitchen - BRB!

OK, no noise is good news, the little guy is still snoozing away the night. I should mention that my son, we'll call him Little M, is 6 months old, and is just a great little guy. I knew I'd love my baby no matter what, but this child is just amazingly good! For example, I put out some toys on the high chair tray for him to play with while I mixed up the cereal for his dinner, and he didn't touch them, he spent the whole time watching me make the cereal. And feeding him has been a dream! Most times he just opens the little mouth for the next bite, and doesn't get his hand in the way at all.

So right now this is my life, being a mom, and running the house. I ran the house before I was a mom, I was just working a full time job at the time. Now I'm home, and the hubby, Big M, is out slaving away for a paycheck.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom, I just didn't know I'd want to be a stay-at-home mom so much. Sometimes I miss the rush of being under a deadline, or the challenge of figuring out the logic for some java code, but I look at that little smile, and those little toes, and I'm totally in love with my son!

It took a LONG time to get to this point. I met Big M almost 10 years ago, and we got engaged 4 years after that. We went off the birth control and after 4 years of no pregnancy we got serious about trying. We ended up using Shady Grove Fertility's IUI process to finally get a BFP (Big Fat Positive on a pregnancy test for those of you unfamiliar with the fertility world lingo).

It was a rough pregnancy. I was overweight to start off the pregnancy, so I ended up having to deal with Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. My OB planned to induce me at 38 weeks, but when I came for my appointment at 37 weeks she sent me right to the hospital and said we'd get things started right away.

It did NOT go at all smoothly, but that's a story for another time. We ended up having a 5# 15 oz. baby boy who was 18 inches long.

For anyone confused about the title, I just wanted to have it reflect who I was, the geekgirl who got good grades, studied when she had to, and generally was a homebody. I've always been great at making friends, but not so great at keeping in touch with them. I blame that on the Navy. My dad joined with I was 3, so I kept having to make new friends wherever we went. And you never really had to keep in touch with people because you'd see them again when you moved to where they got stationed, or they moved to where you were.

Back to the geek thing. I love doing logic puzzles, reading books (always have) and I'm just SO not into the latest hairstyle, or clothes or makeup. I use the fact that I'm a new mom as an excuse to hardly EVER wear makeup. Little M doesn't care, as long as the boobies have milk, he's happy.

Anyway, I have a lot more to say about a lot of things I've just glossed over here, but that's what I started the blog for, people! I'm hopeing I can strike a chord with anyone else who might have similar thoughts, or feelings, or a situation. Because in my attempt to grow up, I've learned a few things, and have come up with a few pearls of wisdom that might, at the very least, make someone smile.