Monday, April 30, 2007
Unfortunately, I think we got the timing of her visit wrong. Last week I was still doing OK. This week may be a different matter altogether. Mallory seems to have hit that two-week growth spurt - she's a little late, but she's making up for lost time. She will not stop eating!!! I spent more time up with her last night than I did in bed, and my longest stretch of sleep was 1.5 hours. Several times I was up again just 30 or 40 minutes after settling her down. I fed her about six times between 7 a.m. and noon today. I know all this effort goes toward helping her grow, which in turns goes toward helping her sleep through the night, so one day it will all pay off...
...but today is not that day. Liam is napping now, so I'm going to go lie down - I have been waiting for this moment all day.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Over the past few weeks, I have spent an astonishing number of hours flopped out on the sofa with Mallory attached to me. (I guess this explains the staggering weight gain??) Anyway, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to channel surf and read over those many hours, and something that has surprised me to learn about is the rising popularity, once more, of the wet nurse. The link takes you to this week's issue of Time magazine. I've also seen segments on CNN and the Today show this week.
(This is one of those topics that would have grossed me out to no end before I had kids, but now that I’ve had them, almost nothing grosses me out anymore; those with queasy stomachs like my former self might want to stop reading for today.)
Although the idea of someone else breastfeeding my kiddo seems weird and gross and bizarre, I can see why people do it. It takes up a huge amount of time. It requires the sacrifice of a huge amount of sleep. And I understand that there are people out there who have trouble breastfeeding.
(OK. Actually, I don’t understand this. It’s hard for me to believe this when my own fountain runneth over, and when my kids are little pork chops who starting mowing down on Day 1 and never looked back. I know this makes me lucky and I’m not trying to insinuate that problems don’t exist, just that I totally can’t identify with them, and I’m happy not to.)
Still… $1000 per week? For that? Really?
I suppose that, on an hourly basis, it's not all that much. Considering that you'd basically be on call 24/7. And there are sacrifices to be made, too; less caffeine, less alcohol, far worse wardrobe selection. (Honestly, can anyone point me to a NICE nursing bra? Ick!!)
I don't have anything of consequence to say on the subject, really. I'm just surprised that I'm hearing about it as much as I am, and it's relevant to my life right now. It gets me half-wondering if I may be on the wrong career path. There's less opportunity for advancement, I'm sure; but I imagine there's also a lot less office politics to contend with.
Comments, Megan??? :)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Liam has rain gear to keep him dry, and although I don’t (where does a grown woman find cool rainboots, anyway?), I did manage to find a big old golf umbrella that was supposed to keep me dry (do you see where this is going???) After much deliberation, I decided to take Mallory in the old single stroller, rather than fuss with the weather shield on the new double stroller – something I have yet to figure out.
And so I had it coming to me when we got exactly half way around the block, and Liam decided he’d had enough of puddle jumping and worm watching, and he wanted to be carried home. After trying to talk him out of it, unsuccessfully, there was nothing left to do but sock the umbrella away in the cargo bay and oblige. It was quite a feat, let me tell you – carrying 30+ pounds of him in one hand and wrangling the stroller in the other. Liam and Mallory made it home dry and warm. I, on the other hand, was pretty much a drowned rat.
Live and learn. Tomorrow, when it’s supposed to be warm and sunny again, I am going to get out the weather shield and figure out how it works. The lesson has been learned.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Liam actually fell asleep like this on the couch and lasted a good half hour - 45 minutes before waking up and puking apple juice all over. Lucky there was a double thickness of towels there.
Anyway, by last night he was eating again, and this morning he was happy as a clam to go to Cindy's. I am slightly frazzled, but no permanent damage has been done. Mallory and I have managed to dodge this bug (please, please let this continue to be true for the next couple of days!) - today we have some more dirty laundry to get through, and some much needed R&R on the agenda.
Note to self: go out and invest in one of those cheap vinyl tablecloths so that I have something waterproof to put down on future occasions such as these. As it was, I made do with towels, and was down to the very last dry towel in the house by day's end. (It could have been worse, I suppose; at least my washing machine is still in running order, which was more than poor Dawn could say when it was her family puking a few weeks ago!)
Friday, April 20, 2007
Since Mallory has arrived, of course, the photo ops have grown exponentially. I know I'm supposed to be getting lots of rest right now, but her newborn squishiness won't last long and this is my only chance to catch it before it's gone. So if I sometimes spend Liam's naptime taking pictures of her instead of sleeping, well... I will catch up eventually.
There's three types of photos: first, the typical snapshot... I've been trying to get a good one of both kids together, but so far not much luck. I may need to wait until I've got someone to help me bribe Liam into holding still in order to accomplish this feat on a more polished level: Then there are the photos that I put a little bit of thought/effort into. Mallory may just be lying on her change table in this One Week shot, but at least I made sure the blanket underneath her coordinated:And here, I pulled the blind up after realizing how horribly the red and brown stripes clashed with the bassinette: And then there are the Grand Poobah photos, the ones that require the right setup and waiting for the right time of day for the right light to come through the right window... exhausting to finagle and arrange, but these are some of my very favourite photos of all. Watch out, Liam Shrine - some of these are just crying out for a frame.I'm getting lots of good Liam material these days, too, which will get posted one of these days - so no need to worry that he's been cast aside.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
The good news is that, in the week since we left the hospital, Mallory has gained one pound and 3 ounces. She's going to be a little pork chop, just like Liam.
I am managing to get into a groove now... we spend early morning around the house, and head outside for a walk or playtime around 10:30 - 11:00. Then we all crash in the afternoon - for me, it's a choice between getting some rest, and getting some stuff done around the house, and I have to admit - the sleep is winning out these days (and the house is showing it!) This afternoon my crash time was interrupted by the service call from Cogeco. We're back up and running - hopefully my days of digital isolation are behind me!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
We’re into our second week with Mallory home, and all is going well so far. She’s a voracious eater and was back up to the 8-pound mark last Friday. In fact, her first few days home were a little too voracious; she was up every hour on the hour to eat. I can’t remember Liam doing this, though of course maybe I’ve just forgotten it all. Regardless, she’s now settled into a twice-a-night feeding schedule that suits me much better. The only problem with that is that the second feeding comes at 5 a.m. and as often as not, Liam wakes up while I’m feeding Mallory and then we’re all up for the day. He’s down now for an early (and probably lengthy) nap as a result, but it would be better if we could all just (go back to) sleep until Chad needs to get up for work.
She’s also a surprisingly even-tempered kiddo so far; my fears about having a firecracker for a daughter are so far unfounded. She doesn’t really cry unless she’s hungry. We thought Liam was a good baby, but we think even he was fussier than this. I know the fussing doesn’t peak for another month so maybe we’re still in for a rough time, but so far so good.
Liam is doing a great job of adjusting to Life As Big Brother. He likes to pet her hair and comment on her tiny hands. He is also my number one diapering assistant. He gets upset if I change her diaper without him; his job is to stand on his stool beside me and open the box of wipes and tub of Vaseline. Other than that, he still pretty much does his own thing, only growing alarmed if we’ve put her down and he doesn’t know where she is. Awwww!
We are halfway into the cloth diapers; they’re working out well so far, but in the middle of the night (when I sometimes go through four diapers at a time because she won’t stop pooping the minute I get her into a clean one) the disposables just seem a lot easier. It’s enough keeping up with the regular baby laundry because of this, let alone worrying about a daily load of diapers!
I have a hundred and one photos I want to take before Mallory outgrows her newborn-ness too much, but for today the nap is going to win out. She’s having one, Liam’s having one, and I’m on my way for one now, too.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Now I keep writing posts and they are being eaten... arrrrrghhhhh!!!
On Friday, Liam turned two. *sniff* I spent Thursday night being all weepy as I put him to bed. How did he get so darn old? I think bringing Mallory home this week really clinched it for us. We both nearly collapsed under his weight the first time we picked him up after coming home from the hospital. Anyway, time marches on... nothing left to do but make the most of it.
So we did. On Friday morning when Liam woke up, we surprised him with his gift - a train set and matching table. When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said, Cheese! - so we compromised by picking out this gift for him, but also ordering a huge cheese platter for his party, and letting him eat (almost) as much as he wanted to. Luckily the train table was a hit, as we knew it would be. He received some of the Thomas cars for Christmas and knows them all by name, tucks them into bed each night (bed being behind the french door in the playroom) and runs them around his zoo, since he was lacking a real track. It was about time they found a proper home. He enjoys playing with the train table anytime, but the best is when dad joins in, they each have a train, and Chad chases him around the track. It makes him scream. It's hilarious.
The party itself was on Sunday, and we kept things easy on ourselves by ordering everything in. It turns out that Liam is not so much a fan of cake and ice cream, but of course chowed down on the aforementioned cheese and also loved the pickles, especially when dipped in the French Vanilla fruit dip. The kid is nuts.
Other big-hit gifts of the day: his new bike, which he is very proud of, but prefers to walk beside rather than get on and ride; more train gear to go along with the new table; and a storybook about a cat named Captain. The coincidence makes him laugh hysterically. Like, who would ever be silly enough to name their cat that?
Liam kept himself awake for most of the day, but finally asked to be put to bed late in the afternoon. By the time he woke up, all our guests had gone home. The first thing out of his mouth upon waking up was, "Where's Grampa Ralph?" Poor little guy - I think he enjoyed being the centre of attention.
I'm sure if I had written this immediately after the party, I'd have much more to say, but you know how it is... a few days go by, and then it's all a blur. I hope to be able to get online again and post more this week. The photo backlog I have right now is truly astounding. More to come (fingers crossed).
Friday, April 13, 2007
Anyway, my water broke around 2:30 on Monday afternoon, while Chad was out running errands for Liam's birthday party. I called him on his cell phone to let him know. It was lucky he even had his phone with him - I think we had both been on such high alert for so long that we had let our guards down, and I don't think he believed me the first time I told him why I wanted him to come home. I started having contractions within about half an hour of my water breaking, and they picked up in intensity a lot faster than they did with Liam (YAY!) By 4 we had called Chad's parents to ask them to come get Liam, and we left for the hospital shortly after 5. I was still thinking of last time, and how I'd made zero progress upon reporting to the hospital then, even though I'd been having contractions for 12 hours. I was really hoping to not repeat that.
As we walked in the revolving hospital door, Chad asked me if my position on the epidural had changed, and I said I still wasn't planning on having one. We went up to the maternity wing and the same nurse we had with Liam was still on duty at the desk. She knew we were supposed to be back for the induction on Tuesday morning, and when she heard I was already in labour she said they already had a room set aside for us the following day, so there was no waiting time in triage. She asked up front whether I was planning to have an epidural or not, I said no, and the subject never came up again. Which I think was good - it would have been a lot easier to take had it been offered, but it never even really crossed my mind to ask for it.
Needless to say, things moved a lot faster this time around. In some ways my labours were pretty similar (i.e. the puking, and the fact that the same nurse had to blow a bunch of veins again so that it took 4 tries to get the IV started) and in some they weren't (the gas seemed wonderful this time, and last time I hated it; I also had a lot more back labour this time around). I know time is supposed to dull memory, but I honestly do think this labour was more painful than Liam's. I don't know if that's because it was so condensed, because I don't really remember how bad it was with him, but I can say now that if I'd had Mallory before having Liam, I'd have been a lot less sure about not wanting the epidural for baby #2. It was wonderful having the whole process, from first contraction to last, over in less than six hours; but it provided very little time to regroup between contractions. There were long (at least to me) stretches when there was no break between contractions and I thought I would lose my mind. I remember the nurses asking questions at these times and being unable to comply with their instructions or even answer until the contraction ended.
During the first couple of hours at the hospital, progress seemed like it might be slow again, but the last hour was super quick and I felt the urge to push long before I expected to. I never had this feeling with Liam, but there was no mistaking it this time. It took about the same number of contractions/pushes for Mallory to be born, but it went by much quicker because the contractions were on top of each other. My first thought upon seeing her was how much she looked like Liam (right down to the big swollen nose). To me, she looks exactly as he did at this age, except that (a) her hair is straight instead of curly and (b) she has Chad's eyes and Liam has mine. In other words... she is the spitting female image of Chad. Heaven help us.
Warning... TMI part of the story: although Mallory came out super fast, it took a long time to deliver the placenta, and it came out in bad shape. As a result, Dr. Bailey expressed some concern that I might have retained some fragments and might be facing a D&C in the near future. They told me to watch out for any flu-like symptoms or for my milk not coming in as signs. I think we are out of the woods now... I was not exactly looking forward to another hospital stint this week.
So... there you have it. We spent Monday and Tuesday nights at the hospital, and came home early Wednesday morning. Mallory was pretty drowsy, which has been nice for us - I think Liam missed us while we were gone, and her sleeping so much is allowing us to spend some good one on one time with him. But she's coming around now, so the real fun begins. :) She is feeding well and is back up to 8 lbs as of today. Liam is doing great (so far - I realize this might not last). Whenever she is out of his sight he asks where she is. He hasn't woken up at night when she cries yet. He likes getting up on a stool next to her change table to help change diapers. He also repeats things he hears people say... he is always commenting on how small her hands are. I don't think he came up with that one on his own. :)
I have had another good recovery (again, so far) - no damage, no need to be sewn up again afterward. The afterpains have been excruciating at times, but just as the books predicted, they eased up after the first 48 hours. Thank goodness!!
Today is Liam's birthday so I'm off now to play trains with him. We got him a train table and wooden track set and so far he's loving it. There is such a huge difference between a newborn and a two year old!!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
Anyway, before all that happened, we had spent most of today at the hospital. Went in for the non stress test at 9, which gave good results, but when Dr. Bailey came in at 9:30 she said I was still only 1 cm dilated and that nothing short of dynamite was going to get this kid out. And I had also reached the point where I'd had it, and agreed to be induced. Knowing I was still not thrilled with the idea of induction, Dr. Bailey recommended starting out with a Foley catheter rather than Cervidil (i.e. a mechanical means of getting things going, rather than chemical, which she thought would have less risk of requiring the additional chemical interventions I didn't want down the road). The idea is that this catheter gets you dilated to 3 cm and then falls out. I agreed to come back two hours later for the procedure, then went home, Googled it, started freaking out, called a friend who'd had it done, freaked out even more after hearing her experience, then met Chad back at the hospital with an impending sense of doom.
So we're at the hospital all set to go with the catheterization, and I'm sitting there literally wringing my hands over what's about to happen, when I notice that the gloves the nurse pulls out come out of a package that says POWDERED LATEX GLOVES. So I say to her, hey, it says in no less than six places on my chart that I am allergic to latex... are those really latex gloves? And she says, oh thanks for pointing that out, I missed that, not only are the gloves latex, but so is the whole catheter. This would not have been so funny except that she was the same nurse who was on duty the night Liam was born, and Chad and I had just had a lengthy conversation in the waiting room about the comedy of errors we recalled from that night. So the nurse starts rummaging around for a non-latex catheter, and she can't find one. Soon there are no fewer than five nurses in the room, all going through drawers and cupboards and trying to find one, but they can't find the right size. The doctor shows up then (an hour later than our appointment time) and they are all passing the buck, blaming each other for not reordering non-latex catheters when the last one was used. The doctor (not Dr. Bailey, but one of the staff OBs) is looking for something to do in the midst of the confusion, so she starts taking my medical history and checks the baby's position, etc. And then she says, well wait a minute... you are already 3 cm dilated. We don't even need a catheter. And with that she strips my membranes and I'm told to get dressed, go home, and come back Tuesday morning for the Pitocin drip (i.e. the chemical induction I didn't want.)
I could either take this as very positive (i.e. I went from 1 cm to 3 cm in 1.5 hours without even feeling it) or somewhat negative (does Dr. Bailey even know what she's doing? How could she have been so off? Or was it the other doctor who was wrong?) Regardless, in the past 20 minutes or so I've had 3 good contractions. So the induction is a moot point now, for one reason or another.
Anyway, I'm off to finish packing. Hopefully you hear very little from me for the next day or two as I will be otherwise engaged. :) I am pretty much scared to death right now - somehow this all seemed less nerve-wracking last time...
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Today we spent some sanity-saving time out of the house at the annual Easter Egg Festival. As it turned out, there was not a lot of Easter stuff at this event. The big winners in Liam's book:
* The police car, fire truck and ambulance parked at the entrance for the kiddies to get into, climb on and gawk at
* The Schneiders mascot (it was an elephant) - he spent half the day getting up close to this guy, and then when given the opportunity to say hello, would get all bashful and hide behind Chad's leg
* The pony rides were pretty cool
* Chaos in general.
Seriously, we got there 15 minutes after the event started, and it was already packed with thousands of kids and just as many parents yelling at them. We might have stayed longer, but the sheer numbers were driving me bananas. I didn't know that many kids even live around here.
Liam didn't seem interested in the Easter Egg hunt, having his face painted or the petting zoo (complete with super cute bunnies)... so we made an early exit. It was probably just as well. The pony rides were set up as one of those things where the ponies are all attached to a central mechanism and walk in a circle. Chad walked alongside Liam to make sure he didn't freak out. He took off his glasses on account of the snow and stuck them in his pocket... sure enough, when we left the pony rides, his glasses were gone. Somehow he managed to get back to the ponies and retrieve his glasses off the grass, still in one piece - what are the odds of that, given that these ponies are pounding the exact same ground over and over again? I think we pushed our luck enough for one day.
And speaking of pushing our luck... no, no baby today. :)
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I was all set for my appointment with Dr. Bailey yesterday. When she came into the room she asked what I wanted to do. I told her I was still reluctant to be induced but really, really want an end to this. We decided to see how things are going before talking any more, and lo and behold discovered that (a), the baby has dropped another 2 cm, and (b), I am dilated 1 cm. Which doesn't sound like a lot, until you put it into perspective: it took me 14 hours of labour with Liam to get to 1 cm. So this seemed very celebration-worthy and again caused her to declare it could happen any minute. Ha - you'd think I'd know better by now.
With such good 'it must be any time now' news, we decided to hold off on induction plans until after the weekend. The drop-dead induction date is next Wednesday, which is 14 days overdue by my last ultrasound, and 16 days overdue by my actual due date. I go for a nonstress test at the hospital on Monday to make sure things are still on track, and that's probably the earliest I would be induced at this point. Dr. Bailey will be around next week after all, so there's no worry any more about speeding things along to cover off her absence. I feel better about letting nature take its course than I do about an induction, though of course as I sit here now, more than 24 hours after my appointment, with nary a uterine twitch I think: if I had gone ahead with the induction plans yesterday.... this could all be over by now. Ah well... too late for regrets.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Anyway, I can only claim credit for a couple of these photos (guess which ones?) - but I've seen the others in various places over the past few weeks, and thought I would share. The link on Andrea's site has a bunch more.
April 3 still belongs to Chad (and Marlon Brando, Eddie Murphy, David Hyde Pierce, Jennie Garth and Alec Baldwin)
I did go for a massage yesterday, which was awesome, but it doesn't seem to have kick-started anything. I also started spreading mulch around the back yard. That's what I did the day before I went into labour with Liam - let's see if it has the same effect.
If not, well then, I have that membrane strip to look forward to, right? Ughh. I'm cringing already.
Just about to start drafting my list of questions for the doctor (the hows, whens and whys of inducing) and then start getting ready to set off for her office.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Even though it's not how I want things to happen, I think I am going to agree to go the induction route if I make it to Wednesday's appointment and nothing is stirring. I am just so, so ready to be done with this, and I know Chad is, too. At least then we can get on with things. I hate the idea of all the additional risks and I am pretty much resigned to the fact that an induction likely means an epidural. I was hoping to avoid it, but let's face it - I am no superwoman.
I have done pretty much everything at this point as far as home remedies go. Wait, I guess there's still the castor oil - haven't tried that one - but it doesn't sound like something I want to pursue! I did wind up making an appointment for a massage tomorrow, and I plan to go in and ask my RMT to start pounding on all the pressure points she's been so carefully avoiding for the past nine months. I don't really think it will do anything, but it can't hurt to try, right? I am also starting to work up the courage for another membrane strip on Wednesday. I know it's going to hurt, but faced with the choice of the strip or the pitocin - I think the strip is the lesser of two evils.