Tuesday, March 31, 2009

baby's first outing

While we were still at the hospital, the lactation consultant told me that I needed to keep a log of when I feed the baby, which breast and how long she nurses, and wet/dirty diapers.  She said I needed to keep this log and take it with me to her first pediatrician's office visit.  It's been hard juggling that with a squirmy baby who needs my full attention to latch on... and then not go to sleep, but for the most part I thought I was doing a great job with this documentation.

After our first night home from the hospital I called the lactation consultants again after an atrocious night.  They told me I needed to start feeding her every two hours around the clock.  These feedings are timed from the start of the last feeding.  So...  a feeding takes anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour by the time I wake her up four or five times, change her diaper once or twice, reswaddle and lay her back down - while I also search for the pen and write everything down.   This means that at the most I've gotten an hour of sleep at a time since the second day we've been home.

It's been an adventure.

Today was baby's first appointment with the pediatrician.  Since The Hater went back to work yesterday (and The Dorks went back to TN on Sunday), this was both hers and my first trip outside of the house in about a week. 

I got up about 9 this morning to nurse the baby.  Over the next 5 hours we juggled feedings with my shower and my lunch, not to mention packing her diaper bag.  Then off to the DO we went...

First, the updates:  She's 5 ounces above her birth weight, which is excellent.  She's on track and everything looks just fine.  And -- it looks like she's starting to take the fooler, which is great for us.

Next, the part that REALLY gags me...

He asked how breast feeding was going, which I took as my cue to get out my index cards that the hospital gave me to keep up with things.  He looked over them and asked me why I was writing everything down.  "Because they told me to write everything down," I answered, "They said to write it all down and bring it to my appointment to see you so that you could see what we're doing."  He shook his head and told me that I didn't have to write all of this down.  I corrected him and told him those were my specific instructions given to me at the hospital.  He answered, "They may be saying that, but you're the first Mom who has ever brought it in for me to see."

I didn't know if I should cuss or cry.

Then I asked him how much longer I'd need to nurse her every 2 hours, because the way things are playing out I was not getting much sleep at a time.  In short he told me I didn't need to do that, either.  That every 2 to 2 1/2 hours during the day was fine, but then she'd most likely sleep for 3 or 4 hours at night.

I cried.  And then I cussed all the way home.  I'm so gagged with poor instructions right now that I can hardly stand it.  I don't really understand why I would specifically be told to do specific things and then be told PSYCH! less than a week later.  


Monday, March 30, 2009

pictures, finally

Don't have long before this little one will want the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Tomorrow is her follow-up appointment with her doctor.  I think she's really close back up to her birth weight - it'll be interesting to see how close she's gotten.  I've considered getting out the kitchen scale to see for myself, but that would take far too much effort and time - two things that are commodities for me right now.

I hope everyone is doing well.  Thanks for your well-wishes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

and baby made three

Baby Girl
born Tuesday, March 24, 2009
at 10:19pm

8 pounds, 2 ounces
21 1/2 inches long

(pictures are forthcoming, but Blogger is being a pill and not cooperating)

We've not come up with a pseudonym for our little girl yet.  We'll work on that if we ever get to sleep again.

By the way, believe it or not,  our daughter shares a birthday with none other than the greatest QB of all time...  Peyton Manning!  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

unsolicited advice

Haven't you had that baby yet?

You're still pregnant?

Is today the day?

I have to believe in my heart that people who say such things are really just trying to show their concern - or, at worst, are not talented at leading the conversation.  But they're killing me softly.  I want to punch people in their face when they say such things...  mostly because it's the same people saying some variant of these phrases every blasted day.  

Every day.  

One of the people I work with is especially pushing my buttons.  She likes to ask me every morning, "You're still here?  No baby yet?"  I've spent the last 3 weeks hiding from her in my office so that I don't retort with my knee-jerk, honest answer.  Although people say that honesty is the best policy, the same people would doubtfully appreciate the answers I want to give.

You might think that avoiding one single conversation isn't worth seeking sanctuary in my office.  But that's not it.  It goes on all day long.  She's tricky, too.  She baits me into telling her that I'm tired, and when I do, she likes to laugh at me and tell me:

You don't know tired.  Just wait until this baby gets here.

I can't wait to see how you are when you're really tired because you've been up with the baby all night long.
But these aren't just one-time things, either.  Once she tells me this she likes to tell replay her quick reply to everyone who happens to come into the office.  It goes on all day long.

I deserve a sticker for biting my tongue.  Because what I really want to say is that this tired, although very real and very sucky, doesn't hold a candle to the tired I feel when my TSH is through the roof and I'm waiting for a treatment.  THAT is tired.  The problem is that when she pushes my buttons, the retort I want to give is always more colorful than that.

I'm very fortunate to work with someone who knows everything.  It's like I work with my mother-in-law, except I can't go home and beg The Hater to ask her to tone it down.  

I'm really looking forward to maternity leave; mostly because I get to hang out with the baby, but also because I can be away from the people with whom I work for a while.  I need that.

Even with a break, it's just a matter of time before she gets my official retort that I'm saving for well meaning grandparents who also seem to forget that not only am I not an idiot, I'm an educated registered nurse who has been around babies and kids since I was a teenager:

Thank you for your unsolicited advice.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

but can you prove it?

Here's a rundown of a conversation The Hater and I had last week during a commercial break.  I was pestering him and kissing (pecking, really) his neck where he's ticklish:

g:  Hey, guess what.  (How most of our conversations start...)
TH:  What?
g:  I read a study today that said men prefer to kiss open-mouthed and women prefer to kiss closed mouth.  They think men prefer open-mouth kisses because it lets them pass testosterone to the woman, which is supposed to help her sex drive. *
TH:  (laughs)
g:  Which do you prefer?
TH:  I don't know.  Stop tickling me.
g:  And the study also said--
TH:  You read a lot of studies.  I bet you come home at least once a week and start a conversation with "I read a study today that said..."  (laughs again)  That makes you a nerd.
g:  You read a lot of law reviews for your work; I read a lot of studies for mine.
TH:  I know you do.  It's okay that you're a nerd.
g:  Thanks.  It's okay that you're a nerd, too.
TH:  Our kid has no chance, do they?
g:  Nope.  They're destined to a life of nerddom.

Since then I've had a lull in the number of studies I've had to read.  The Hater has pointed out to me that I've not shared any other random bits of information since we had that conversation.  I told him it was partly because I was embarrassed and didn't want to flaunt my nerdiness, but it was also because I really had nothing to report.

Until today.

Believe it or not, I have another random study to report about the benefits of masturbation.  When working today I read a study about ways that men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer.  Apparently masturbation, especially when done during their 20s, can help protect men from developing prostate cancer later.  Here's a link with the juicy details, pun intended:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3072021.stm

I wouldn't dare say that one study is enough evidence to support making major life changes, adding specific mineral or vitamin supplements, or altering kissing styles.  However, these things amuse me and I simply must share them.

They still leave some questions in my head: **
  1. Why wasn't there some kind of booth on Career Day that talked about getting involved with random research studies?
  2. How does one write a grant proposal for such randomass topics?

*  Here's the scoop I can remember on that kissing study:  Kissing unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes.  It also encourages bonding in men, but not so much in women.  They think it comes down to chemicals in the saliva.  The researchers had two test groups - a group that held hands, and a group that smooched.  Testing was done before and after the intervention.  Both groups had noted decrease in cortisol (your body's stress hormones), but the kissing group had remarkably lower results.  So, when you're really stressed out, you should consider smooching to help decrease your stress.  The end.  (For the life of me I can't find the study to link to it here.  My bad.  For the record, I'm about 98% certain this was an American study.)

** (arguably the entire purpose of any hypothesis formation and testing)

Monday, March 16, 2009

pregnancy week 38

We're in the home stretch now...  pun intended.

I have no doubt that Squirmy will be born with the hiccups.  We get them at least every 2-3 hours.  The Hater's Mom says that means she'll be a thumb-sucker like he was (and like I was).  We'll have to wait and see if that comes to pass or not.

Saw the OB today.  Things are looking good - progressing in the right direction.  

Parts of this have been fun -- but I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

sweet and sour throw up

I had to work late yesterday, and The Hater (who continues to put up a great fight for being nominated Husband of the Year) brought me supper from a new Thai place after he was able to leave work.  We ate together and it was very nice-- really good food, too.

He left to go home and I stayed at work to finish up my duties for the day.  Everything was honky-dorey for about 20 minutes or so... and then I started to feel a little sick to my stomach.  Friends, that escalated quickly to a mad dash to the bathroom, where I continued to throw up everything that I'd eaten.  Everything I had eaten.  

So I'm standing over the toilet, leaning as best as I can, puking up supper, and it dawns on me...  nausea and vomiting can be one of the first signs that you're going into labor.  

I have never been so happy to throw up.

Between heaves of vomit coming out and gasps of air coming in I start thinking about what we need to do.  First, there's nobody I can call to come finish up the thing that I still had to do at work.  I'd just have to wing it.  I figured that the contractions would come easy and slow at first, giving me plenty of time to do what I needed to do before going home to tell The Hater and pack the hospital bag.  That didn't bother me - it'd be fine.


After about fifteen minutes of visiting with Ralph on the big white telephone I called The Hater to see how his stomach was taking supper.  He, of course, was fine.  I told him I'd retched up my toenails but otherwise felt fine - I was going to continue with my day.  I did not tell him that I was waiting for contractions to start because I figured there was no need in getting him excited before it was time to get excited.

And I waited.  And waited.  And checked my clock, and waited some more.

Imagine my disappointment when I realized it was just a regular vomiting escapade, not one linked to the initiation of labor.  I was utterly gagged - both figuratively and literally.

On the way home I called The Hater to report the lack of contractions that I was sure I was going to have.  He displayed the appropriate amount of empathy that this cranky 9-month pregnant sow needed to hear.

Then, against my better judgement, I ate some ice cream.  It stayed down.  There were no contractions to report during the night.  

What a downer.

Friday, March 06, 2009

sigh of relief

I saw the endo a few days ago, and I've been trying to think about anything else but that since then.  She didn't feel any enlarged lymph nodes in my neck, which is obviously a good thing.  We drew lab and those results would determine if I needed a treatment immediately after the kid is born - or if we could wait a little longer.

Good news to report:  The lab came back within the range where we could wait until later this year to address the cancer.

So what does this mean?  This means that we can go forward with our plan to breast-feed this kid when it gets here.  This is good because babies like antibodies.  However, since this Mom has a complicated medical history, baby can only reap those benefits for 6 months.  At that point we have to wean so I can have another scan +/- a treatment (that will be decided this fall).

Whew.  We could have done it, but I'm glad that's one less thing we're going to have to juggle with a newborn.

Meanwhile, my back is killing me.  Mostly it hurts me when I sit down, but not when I'm standing.  However, my feet hurt after I've been standing for a while.  In short, the conundrum is that I'm not comfortable anywhere.  

Monday, March 02, 2009

moving in the right direction

(pun intended)

We're into weekly visits at the OB's office.  He checked me today to see how we're doing.*  Good news -- I'm 1cm dilated and 50% effaced.  Thank goodness -- because I would have had a fit in his office if I was 0/0.  

Looks like all the walking is paying off.

I've dropped, too.  I'm back to peeing all the time, and now my belly sits on my legs when I'm sitting down.  

Baby's heart rate was 140, right on target.  My BP is fine, 125/75.

This is week 36 -- technically we have 4 more weeks to go...  but I'm hoping she makes an early entrance.  Fingers crossed for that.  We're ready...  and I'm especially ready not to be pregnant anymore.

My back is killing me.  Baby has the hiccups again.  Zoloft, the cat, is curled up next to me on a blanket.  The Hater is talking on the phone to a friend about Titans football.

I'm ready for a hot bath.  That's about the only thing that helps my back feel better these days.  Too bad I can't work from the bathtub.  

*(btw - I'm more than a little bit pissed at all of my friends who have already had babies because nobody warned me how lovely that was going to be)