Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stuff We Actually Use

1) DwellStudio for Target 3pk Flannel Receiving Blankets Because these are thin and large enough to get a good swaddle on while still being a bit on the cozy side. Also: freaking adorable and cheap enough to buy in bulk.

2) Aden + Anais Superstar Blankets Because they are PERFECT as nursing drapes and the star design is totally cute but not cutesy.

3) Trumpette Argyle Socks Because they actually stay put on tiny feet.

4) DaVinci Futura Cradle Because we can use it in our bedroom at night then wheel it out to the living room during the day and it looks like ACTUAL FURNITURE rather than plastic baby crap. Handy for people like us who are house proud to a fault . . . we REALLY didn't want our place to look like Babies R Us barfed all over it when people were over to meet the baby!

5) Gerber Flatfold Cloth Diapers Because fabric that you are actually MEANT TO GET POOP ON is a pretty darn cool concept. I've used these as changing pads, changing table liners, burp rags, sun shades . . . I wouldn't leave home without one!

6) Bravado Nursing Bras for which I was actually professionally fitted. Because they may have cost $50 each and I may have swooned when told my size but once I started wearing them I was FINALLY comfortable.

7) Pampers Sensitive Because sizes 1 & 2 have the wetness indicator stripe, which spares me from having to come up with "other ways" to determine whether my baby's diaper is wet.

8) Moby Wrap Because, so far, this is the only carrier I feel safe putting the baby in and because he kinda likes it too. We've managed to go out to dinner with Rhys happily napping in the Moby the whole time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Snortle and I left the house today! By ourselves!! In a car!!!

Paul went back to work on Monday, which was a pretty sad day in my world, understandably. Snortle and I kicked things off with spitup of epic proportions. Let me tell you nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is so discouraging as a) watching your poor baby barf and b) watching your poor baby barf THE MILK YOU'VE BEEN STRESSING OVER MAKING FOR HIM. Later on Monday we tried to go out for a walk, only to discover it was raining. Lots of Fail, Monday, basically.

Tuesday was almost a wash due to Snortle's 4am par-tay.

So today, I planned on getting out to the Pump Station for a breastfeeding support group meeting but I didn't hold out THAT much hope that we'd make it. Snortle kicked things off by peeing on me, which was festive. I spent the next two hours trying to get us both ready while he demanded to be fed and changed and refused to nap, like, AT ALL even long enough for me to shower, OMG. Finally, 15 minutes later than I had any business leaving, he passed out and I took my opportunity. We were late, but we made it to that meeting, damnit, and it was AWESOME to get out of the house.

Of course, Rhys needed to be fed the second we arrived at the meeting, but by then we were already comfortably settled in the easiest place in the world to breastfeed in public for the first time.

The meeting was great . . . I got to ask all of my questions and it was just nice to be in a room with a ton of other new moms and babies. After, I took Snortle to be weighed. 10lbs 10oz, so he has officially "established weight gain"! I've been counting diapers of course and he has plenty, but seeing the numbers on the scale went a LONG way towards my breastfeeding confidence. We still usually supplement with one 2oz bottle a day, but sometimes we can skip even that and he certainly didn't gain 14oz in 9 days on those few supplemental ounces alone. HOORAY!!!

I also got measured properly for a nursing bra and, well . . . let's just say I'd been wearing the wrong size. By a lot. And I can't buy nursing bras at Target anymore because they don't sell them that big there. *dies*

Parenting so far has been a series of curveballs, and I do think that's going to be the state of affairs for quite some time. But we're getting more adept at taking the challenges in stride and I can safely say things are good. REALLY, really good.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The First Week Home

This last week has just been amazing. The hardest but the best of my life! Rhys is doing great . . . he's a perfect angel and YES he lets us sleep! I know that can change at any moment but for now I'm infinitely grateful. We can get him down for the night by about 1 or 1:30 am and he's up for a diaper change and a snack around 4 or 5, then out until 7 or 8, another diaper change, then more sleep until about 11-ish which gives me time to shower. Huzzah for daily showering!!! During the day it is an hour or two rotation of eat, nap, poop. He eats and poops like a pro. And even travels pretty well! Yesterday we went to the pediatrician (where we found out he's only an ounce shy of regaining his birth weight. WAY TO GO BABY DUDE!), out to lunch, to the post office, to my office and to the OB. A four hour outing and he was perfect and easy the whole time.

Breastfeeding . . . is going pretty well now. We got off to a rough start. Rhys was born on Friday and my milk didn't even start to come in until Tuesday. We had to start off supplementing because he's a BIG little dude and he lost weight too quickly for comfort at first. Things are going better now . . . he nurses like a pro and we're tapering off the formula. There were days where he'd nurse for hours straight and still be hungry (3 1/2 hours once. Not. Kidding.). We've had to be REALLY stubborn and REALLY persistent, but we're getting it done and I'm so happy it is all working out.

Csection recovery? Not so bad. I've been getting by on Advil and haven't needed any of my "good" drugs since I left the hospital. Those first 48 hours in the hospital were rough, but it is amazing how quickly I've healed since then. Paul and I have been going on walks, out to lunch . . . all sorts of things I didn't think I'd be able to do this early after Rhys' birth.

And the best part? We get to wake up to this face every morning:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rhys' Birth Story

Can I type a blog post with a sleeping baby on my chest? We're about to find out!

Rhys was due on 4/25. He was breech, so we knew he'd be delivered via csection. Luckily, our incredible doctor was willing to wait for me to go into labor rather than scheduling surgery; a plan I was infinitely more comfortable with. File this under "Things I didn't realize about pregnancy" though: After the 40 week mark, pregnant moms are subjected to once or twice weekly testing to make sure the baby is still doing ok. Nothing invasive, just a sequence of ultrasounds and heart monitoring sessions, but enough to make me question what we were really waiting for. As the days passed and I made no progress towards labor, I realized that Rhys was perfectly healthy and I wasn't willing to wait for something to go wrong to cue us to get him out. Paul and I tried everything we could to get me into labor on my own, but scheduled a csection for Friday morning.

We left for the hospital at 5am Friday. The fact that I was utterly exhausted and hadn't been able to sleep much the night before actually helped me keep calm. We checked in and got me situated in a prep room. And then all hell broke loose.

My blood pressure was high. Fairly alarmingly high. High enough that our nurse couldn't get an IV in me . . . my veins kept blowing. She tried twice then called in a second nurse. She tried three times then called in an anesthesiologist. He tried four more times, including one prolonged digging session in the bend of my right arm. Then they called in a second anesthesiologist and started talking about an IV "team".

Finally, finally the second anesthesiologist got an IV in me. He also took blood to run tests for preeclampsia, since by then everyone had started to worry.

The preeclampsia tests came back negative and from there everything started moving REALLY quickly. I was walked into a surgery room, Paul was told to wait in the hallway while I was given my spinal. The spinal wasn't so bad ... but for some reason I hadn't realized that it would make me feel paralyzed. I'd imagined the whole procedure but never considered that I wouldn't be able to feel my feet. When the feet started to go numb I kind of freaked out. Paul was still stuck in the hallway, I had about a dozen people in the surgery room prepping me and I was telling anyone and everyone who would listen that I "didn't like it", "didn't want to do this" and "WANTED TO GO HOME". The anesthesiologist asked if I wanted any extra medicine to calm me down and I said no and tried to relax. They'd told me that I'd be able to hold my baby while they were finishing the surgery and I didn't want to be too drugged to get to do so.

They finally let Paul back in the room and I found out later my OB had gone to see him in the hallway to warn him that I wasn't dealing so well with the anesthesia. Paul sat down right next to my head and I started to feel tugging and pulling. Fortunately I didn't realize those sensations were, you know, SURGERY until I heard my doctor say "He's a moose! And he's pooping! And peeing!". Paul stood up to take a photo and they lifted the baby high enough that I could see him over the screen. He started to cry.

The baby warmer was only a few feet away from me . . . I could see the doctors and nurses working on the (still wailing!) baby, but couldn't see his face since my table was lower than the warming table. Paul went over to take pictures. Someone asked if he wanted to cut the cord and he did, even though we'd talked about it before and he'd said he didn't think he'd want to. Paul came back over with the camera and showed me photos so I could see the baby's face. Someone said "9 pounds, 13 ounces" and I thought they couldn't possibly be talking about my baby.

Things get a little trippy at this point . . . I remember there being a mirror on the ceiling. Paul was sitting in a stool by my head holding the baby and I was watching them in the mirror because I could see Rhys' face better that way. I remember being worried that I might see myself on the other side of the curtain but I never did. Paul and I decided on his name . . . we'd been 99% sure going in but wanted to make sure the name suited him before we made it final. I asked the doctors how much longer and they told me just a few minutes . . . that they didn't want to leave any leftover parts. I said something about not being an Ikea bookcase.

Pretty soon thereafter the surgery team was moving me to a hospital bed. I had started shaking pretty badly and hadn't been allowed to hold the baby yet. I couldn't tell whether my legs were straight or bent. I asked and everyone laughed.

We were wheeled into a recovery area. My nurse offered me something for the shaking. I took it because I wanted to hold the baby. Paul handed him to me a few minutes later. To say he was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen would be a gross understatement. There really just aren't words, are there? I fell utterly and completely in love.

Annnd . . . with that much said . . . I've got a little tree monkey in my lap who needs to be fed. I'm going to going to go attend to that :)