Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Almost a month

She'll be a month old tomorrow. How is that possible?!

Things here are good. Busy, but good. Yesterday and today I managed to not only cook real dinners but get everyone sitting at the table for them at the same time (remember how I used to complain how hard it was to feed everyone dinner, and that was without a newborn?!) The baby (yes yes yes she will have a name soon) is a lot like Barak was at this age--fortunately I'm not like I was at that age. You won't let me put you down for more than sixty seconds at a time? Okay, I can deal with that. With Barak, another I-will-die-if-you-don't-pick-me-up-now baby, most of the sleep deprivation came from my own inability to sleep anywhere but lying down in a bed. Now I can pretty much sleep anywhere, anytime, and I can sleep with a baby in bed with me--it's not like sleeping under lots of blankets by myself, but it's a heck of a lot better than getting out of bed fifty times a night trying to resettle a baby in a crib (and failing). I can even sleep pretty well in a rocking chair with a baby tucked into a Boppy. I usually try to get her to sleep in her bassinet/bouncy seat once or twice at the beginning of the night, and then I take her into bed with me and we both fall asleep. Pretty predictable really. She has all day to catch up on missed sleep, and I don't. She wins.

I'm also much better at carrying a baby in a sling than I used to be, and more comfortable with doing more things with said baby in said sling. There are still limits though. I can't (won't) cook with a baby in a sling--it just feels too dangerous to me and I'm not going there. No hot stuff, no sharp blades, so that really complicates, oh, dinner preparations. It's also hard to do things like change diapers on recalcitrant toddlers, wrangle children into snowpants, etc. But--BUT--one can knit with a baby in a sling, which discovery has improved my mental state enormously.

I still have Asnat here for three hours in the morning, which is a huge huge help--I usually manage to get a nap in while she's here. I also arranged for Iyyar to spend 20 minutes every day in afternoon playgroup, which is all the time I need for my husband to come home for lunch and me to run get him (or for my husband to go get him if I am sound asleep when he arrives, which has happened lately too)--and this means I don't have to wake up Avtalyon if he's still asleep at 12:45, which he usually is. AND my friend's son, who rides the bus with Barak, is walking Barak home from the bus stop--this means I don't have to wake up any nappers, wrangle three children into winter clothes, and go out to wait for the bus every afternoon. Another very big help.

Anyway, so, things are finding their new normal around here. The boys are generally doing OK--Barak actually seems more relaxed than he has been in a while (which still isn't very, but that's Barak), Iyyar really likes the baby, and Avtalyon, well, Avtalyon is working very hard to be sure that he is not neglected in all the bustle, and generally succeeding. I kind of wish he hadn't thrown all those black beans on the floor, but Iyyar picked them all up for me so no harm done. It's 9:30 PM though and I still haven't managed to clean up from dinner, pack lunches, or put the laundry away, so I'd better get going.

Name post soon. Really. Sometime within the next month for sure. Bli neder.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Three weeks

The baby (yes, she will have a blog name, but that should be its own post, so you'll just have to live in suspense a while longer) is three weeks old today, and marked the occasion by coming down with an impressively awful cold complete with horrible cough and icky goopy congestion. At around 4 this afternoon she woke up with a coughing fit that actually turned her purple, at which point I called the doctor, asked them to squeeze us in (which they did), and called my husband to come home (which he did). Verdict: bad cold, yes, but her breathing is fine, and while we were there the nurse weighed her and hallelujah! birthweight plus an ounce, even though she hadn't eaten in a while (hard to nurse when you're that stuffed up). Eight ounces in seven days, so all that nursing is doing something. Doctor says keep an eye to be sure her breathing isn't too fast and she is at least eating something; right now she is contentedly snoozing in her bouncy seat and I am putting my first free moments not holding a baby to good use blogging. And I knitted a little bit, too.

Last night she didn't settle until around 4, even in bed with me, and I woke up at 7:40, which is way too late for the mother of a kindergartner with an 8 am departure time; somehow Barak got ready and out the door, I stumbled around in a haze getting Iyyar and Avtalyon dressed and breakfasted, and once Avtalyon was napping, went back to sleep with the baby at 10:30. Not setting an alarm, because it was 10:30 and there was no way the baby wouldn't wake me up by 1, when it would be time to pick up Iyyar. Right? Wrong. I was woken up at 1:30 by my husband, who had come home for lunch to discover (apparently) nobody home and messages on his voice mail saying "Um, is anyone going to pick up your son?" I'd slept right through all the ringing, of my own phone and my cell, as well as my husband coming home at lunch, walking through the house looking for me, and seeing no one here, going to get Iyyar himself, wondering if perhaps I had taken the baby to the hospital. I had been in my room with the light off and somehow he hadn't noticed us sleeping there.

Think I might have been tired?

Anyway, the three-hour nap was awesome and I feel much more human; not only that, but a friend of mine sent us a (fabulous) dinner of takeout, the plumber, who is a friend of ours, fixed our bathtub and sinks today and LEFT WITHOUT CHARGING US (he just walked out the door--I thought he was getting a part but he never came back); and the dishwasher guy came and fixed my dishwasher (okay, he did charge us, but it's worth it--my dishwasher is working again!) Oh, and another friend took my toaster oven racks to tovel, so now I have a functional toaster oven again. Yay!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two weeks and a day

I took the baby in for her first pediatrician visit today. I know, I know, I should have brought her in last week, but like I think I said earlier, couldn't deal, and I thought she was doing great. I was a little surprised therefore to discover that she was nowhere near her birth weight. She was born at 7 lb 15, discharged at 7 lb 5, and according to the scale at the doctor's office was 7 lb 8.5 today. Hmm. She had, it is true, just had a massive dirty diaper and hadn't eaten for a couple of hours at that point but... still. It seemed weird to me because she's nursing all the time and where are all those wet/dirty diapers coming from if she's not eating enough? So when the doctor was done I fed her and then asked the nurse to try again on another scale. That one said 7 lb 13, although she was at that point in a clean diaper and undershirt. Because I am neurotic, I came home and weighed a clean diaper and similar undershirt to find out that that added 2 oz. So I could call her 7 lb 11 oz, which is not as bad, but also indicates that she only got 2.5 oz during what seemed to me to be a pretty long feed. Which means that I need to be paying more attention to how much she's getting, because it seems to be less than I thought.

Other stats: 20.5 inches, 23rd percentile for height. 56th for weight.

Random cute kid conversation of the day:

Iyyar was getting ready for bed, wearing his Justice League t-shirt. I asked him to turn off the light and he objected. "Now I can't see very well!" I told him that Daredevil can't see at all but still manages.

"He can see in the dark?"

"No, he can't see at all. But he has radar sense."


"He has a flashlight?"

"No, he has radar sense."

"Green Lantern has a flashlight."

"Right, Green Lantern does."

"Also the Flash. Also the Flash has a flashlight."

"I'm not sure about that one. We should ask Abba."

A lichtige Chanuka to you too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Two weeks

Two weeks today. Baby B"H seems fine; pediatrician visit tomorrow, which I put off a few days because I was bleeding so much the taxi trip/carseat installation just didn't seem like a good idea. Kids generally adjusting well, although Avtalyon is driving me kind of nuts with the competitive attention-getting and the innocent grabbing at changing pad on top of dresser while newborn baby sister is ON IT. (I was right there with my hand on her, but still--bad idea.)

Mostly I am dealing OK. Just, um, hungry. The baby is not fussy but wants to be held ALL THE TIME, day and night, and is nursing almost nonstop right now; this really does preclude cooking. Generally speaking when someone has a baby in this community people send meals for the first two weeks, but that hasn't really happened this time, for a variety of reasons. So... yeah. We did get Shabbos twice, and weekday meals I think three times. But I think that's all over with now and today at around 5 pm I started feeling dizzy and realized that the only thing I'd eaten all day was... um... never mind. Not adequate, let's put it that way. A friend just offered to pick up a few things at Trader Joe's for me and I'm thinking I'll ask her for some boxed soups and granola bars. The kosher grocery does deliver so I could at least get cheese and I do have crackers. MHH went to the produce store yesterday and got a ton of bananas, although none of them are ripe yet.

And YES, I know it is kind of stupid and petty of me to be grumpy about not getting meals when I make a point of making them for other people whenever asked, especially since I specifically didn't want to ask anyone. Yes. Stupid. And petty. But I'm still hungry. I got the kids red peppers and hummous and made some frozen corn and gave them that with crackers and they seem OK with it--there was just an awful lot of screaming today, and I'm not quite up for it yet.

So, in a nutshell: I am tired. The baby is cute. The kids are as kids with a new baby sibling are wont to be. And I am tired. Oh, and my kitchen is... uh... never mind.

ETA: after I wrote this, a friend of ours turned up with dinner AND the offer to make a Target run for me, which was gratefully accepted. So we had dinner after all and now I even have diapers and granola bars and paper plates and so forth. Today Ada came in the afternoon so I had fifteen minutes to cook dinner. One day at a time...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Six days

I feel this bodes well. Don't you?

(oh--and does it remind you of anyone?)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

If I were Julie, I would probably start this post as an IM conversation, or maybe a series of text messages, between me and my uterus. It would go something like this:

Uterus: u r in labor
Uberimma: no way. i have shingles.

Uterus: u r in labor
Uberimma: no way. kids are going to get chickenpox any day now.

Uterus: u r in labor
Uberimma: no way. not till 37 weeks. besides, no labor till pediatrician back from vacation.

11/10-11/29 (repeated daily)
Uterus: u r in labor
Uberimma: ok
Uterus: just kidding hahaha

Uterus: u r in labor
Uberimma: This is getting really annoying. Stop.
Uterus: No really. You're in labor.
Uberimma: Fat chance. You're like the uterus that cried wolf already.
Uterus: You don't believe me?
Uberimma: No.
Uterus: Okay, fine. But don't say I didn't warn you.

* * *

There's just only so long you can go to bed every night wondering if your water will break. There's only so long you can walk around having contractions before you start thinking, eh, it'll never happen. Even though logically you know that every passing day of this makes it more, not less, likely that you are in fact in labor... I dunno. That's not how my brain works, I guess.

So when I woke up at Monday morning with what felt like an upset stomach, I assumed it was, in fact, an upset stomach, because, you know, it'd been an upset stomach or just aimlessly meandering contractions for the last MONTH and I wasn't going to go paging my midwife or rushing off to the hospital for any of that. For some reason I'd overslept and my husband hadn't woken me up; it was 8:04 am, four minutes past the time I should have been out the door with Barak for the bus. This wasn't in itself a problem, though, since I'd been to check on Barak in the night and he'd had a fever. I went in to see how he was doing and he was still in bed, half awake; I checked his temp and he had 100.2 under his arm. OK, fine, you would've stayed home anyway. I gave him a kiss, told him to go back to sleep, and he just looked at me blearily and pulled the covers up a little higher.

I got Avtalyon out of his crib and dressed, got Iyyar his clothes and directed him to the bathroom while I got him Cheerios. And made a few bathroom trips myself. Ow, upset stomach. Got Iyyar dressed, got him more Cheerios. Ow. Husband must have overslept too; he's davening in the office. At around 8:45 I thought, you know, it's been a week since I saw the midwife, I should probably call her. And she'll probably want me to come in, so I might as well see if I can come in this morning, since I'm not planning on attempting any work and it's easier to go when Asnat is here. So I called midwife, at two minutes to 9, and got the answering service instead of the office. The person asked me if I wanted to page the midwife and without really thinking it through first I said yes.

My husband came out of my office at 9 and I asked him if he could take Iyyar to school, even though I knew that this would make him late to work; my stomach was really really upset at that point and I didn't want to go too far from a bathroom. He left with Iyyar, forgetting Iyyar's lunch, which I handed him through the door on his way out. Then I went to the bathroom again. Then I thought, huh. Maybe I should just... go into the office and get checked. I picked up the phone to call a cab, put it down, picked it up, put it down, and looked at it for a minute. Then I picked it up again and dialed. I asked for a cab to my midwife's office, which is across the street from the hospital.

Then I had a few more contractions and thought... huh. I wonder if... nah. Between contractions I thought it was probably nothing, and then I had one more that made me think that I might really be in labor. Then it stopped and I kind of dismissed the possibility again. The midwife still hadn't called me back, so I called again and had her paged again.

MHH came back and I told him I was going to the office to get checked. He asked me if I wanted him to come with me and I said, if you want, but I'm leaving when Asnat gets here. Asnat rang the doorbell at around 9:20; I opened it, she made a look of shock ("You're still here!") and I said, mid-contraction, yes but I am leaving NOW and then the phone rang and I saw that it was the cab company telling me that my cab had arrived. I got my bag and went in and kissed Barak and said, "I'm going to the hospital to have the baby and I'll see you in a few days." He just looked at me--I think he had sort of despaired of ever seeing the long-promised new baby too.

I put my coat on and was on my way out the door when my husband said something about needing to go get something; I didn't even slow down but called over my shoulder, "OK, but I'm not waiting for you." I saw the cab down the street and waved at him; he pulled up and I climbed in and I saw MHH running out the door after me. Good thing too, as it turned out.

In the car I texted Cecilia and told her I was going to the hospital; I just looked at my phone and that was 9:37 AM. I called a couple of people to see if they could come look after the kids that afternoon but didn't get through to anyone; then my midwife called back, and told me she'd never gotten the first page. How far apart were the contractions? 3-5 minutes, I said. Had my water broken? No. Any other signs of labor? I hesitated and said, "I'm in the cab." There are certain things you really just don't want to say in hearing of a cab driver when you are 9 months pregnant, you know? She said, OK, I'm leaving now and I'll meet you there. That was when I told the driver that actually I wanted to go to the hospital, women's hospital entrance. He said OK. I remember passing a certain intersection and having a contraction so intense I couldn't sit still, and thinking, yes, this is definitely it, but even then I had no feeling it was going to be anytime soon soon. It wasn't really all that bad.

(Don't worry. I did not have the baby in the cab.)

We got to the hospital, we got out of the cab, I remember having left my purple bag on the seat and my husband reaching back in to grab it. We walked in to L & D and I was for some reason walking a little bit ahead of him--he was talking about the statue of the extremely skinny woman cum baby in the lobby and I told him my midwife referred to it as the French au pair. We walked in to L & D and I remember the heavy double doors opening electronically; I went up to the registration desk, told the lady my name and the name of my midwife, and then had a contraction and a flash of very unpleasant memories and said to her, "Can we just skip this part? Can we just go straight to the baby?" She laughed or gave me a sympathetic look, I don't really remember, and said she wished it could be that easy. I asked for a room with a tub and she said she'd given me one; the nurse walked us both back there and started checking my vitals and the rest of it.

I know we got there at 9:58 and there were certainly a few minutes spent registering and getting into the room; I walked around, looked at the tub, put my bag down, and then told the nurse that this time I wanted drugs. I wanted an epidural. As soon as possible please. She said OK but I have to get you registered first, and I went to the bathroom and came out and looked at the tub again and asked if I could get in the tub and she told me it took a while to fill. She checked the baby's heartbeat and said something about if you want drugs you have to be on monitors and I didn't think I could sit still for that. So I went to the bathroom again. And then told my husband to move the bags on the floor away from where I was going to trip on them and thought dark thoughts toward my husband, who always catches the brunt of it when I am not feeling, ah, up to par. At this point I was really really in pain and thinking, "I cannot do this. I cannot possibly do this again," and my midwife came in and I told her I wanted an epidural, I'd done it naturally twice and I was NOT doing that again. She said, okay, but let me just check you first. Then I went to the bathroom again and she stood outside telling me she really needed to check me and that was when I called out through the door to my husband that he could leave now.

"Um. Okay. Is there anything specific you want me to be doing?"

"Just leave."


Then I got walloped with one of those contractions that made me remember just exactly how awful having a baby is, and my midwife told me she couldn't do anything about that one contraction so I'd have to just wait till it was over, and I said I couldn't and she had to make it stop. (I know, very rational, etc.) Then the next thing I knew I was on the bed and she was saying to me, okay, you're ten centimeters and ready to push. I think I screamed once with the next contraction and she told me, very sternly, "No screaming. Just push. With this next contraction you're going to push your baby out."

And I did.

It was 10:16.

So she handed me the baby, and she was fine and gorgeous, and after they got me a little cleaned up my husband came back and they told him it was a girl and after about sixty seconds of being surprised he looked at me and said, "You totally knew, didn't you," and I 'fessed up. I was bleeding too much so they gave me pitocin; my midwife said I had a first-degree tear but didn't force the issue with stitches; I cuddled the baby and I nursed her a little bit and she thought that was great.

At some point we went up to my room and stopped at the nursery first for the baby to get checked. She had a lot of little red spots on her face which were probably from how fast she was born but because of the antigen E issue the nurse in the nursery paged my doctor to see if he wanted to get her platelet count, which he did (it turned out to be fine). She was talking with one of the other nurses about it and as they were discussing it and saying she, her, her, she, I was honestly and genuinely confused--as in, whose baby are they talking about that is she and her and she?

And then I realized. Oh yes. She's mine.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I can hardly believe it myself

Not only am I no longer pregnant...

Not only is the baby not jaundiced...

Not only was it the quickest labor imaginable...

But IT'S A GIRL!!!