One Fish, Two Fish

Brotherly Love September 4, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Mom and Dad,Sam — leighnut @ 8:35 pm

We had a family bonfire tonight. It was a breezy, beautiful evening, requiring sweatshirts and chairs pulled close to the heat of the flames. After Anna went up to bed, Sam was marching along the edge of the patio, trying to keep himself awake. I said, “Sam, do you remember what your life was like before Anna came to our family?”
Sam: Yes.
Rob: What was it like?
Sam: Good!
Rob: And what is life like now, with Anna here?
Sam: Good! Before Anna came, I didn’t like her. But now that she’s here, I like her.

I asked if he and Anna will always be friends and he said, “Mmm-HMMM!” I’m so glad he feels that way. It’s what we dreamed for them.

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A Surprise Treat April 3, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Firsts,Mom and Dad,Month Two — leighnut @ 3:44 pm

Guess who has slept through the night three nights in a row? That’s right, our resident princess Anna! She has slept six, then seven, then eight hours. It’s pretty amazing for Rob and I to sleep that many hours in a row. Since we’ve been in Appleton, Anna has been sleeping in a crib with a real mattress, instead of a Pack N’ Play. It may be a coincidence, but Rob said that if she doesn’t repeat the long hours at home, he’s setting up the crib in our room. “She’s a rather stout child, ” he said, “she may just need more support than the Pack N’ Play can provide.” Whatever it is, it’s lovely. What a treat!

 

O Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me? March 9, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Mom and Dad,Month One,Sam — leighnut @ 10:24 pm

We’re settling in to life with two kids. Sam’s snark factor is generally lower, though the days that Rob goes to work in the mornings seem to be a free-for-all. Sam’s listening ears aren’t so much broken as they aren’t even in the house. He tests me the whole time Rob is gone, knowing that I can’t jump up and stop him from getting into things when I’m nursing Anna. He’s too smart for his own good sometimes. I get where it’s coming from, but boy does it make me want to tear my hair out!

The nights are still rough. It was really bad the first two weeks. No one was sleeping. Anna was up until all hours of the night, eating every two hours throughout the night. And Sam quit sleeping through the night! He’d wake up at about 4:00 a.m. every night, needing a snuggle, a new diaper, reassurance that we’re still in the house. Rob would go in and lie with him for about an hour while I fed and changed Anna. We were desperately tired by the end of those two weeks.

Things are looking up in the sleep department, though. Last week, Sam started sleeping through the night again. He is convinced that Rob and I are here to stay 24 hours a day. That makes Rob’s nights much easier. (The first night Sam slept straight through, Rob woke up at 4:00 a.m. anyway, ready for the snuggle time that never happened. Poor guy!) And although Anna is still wakey until about midnight, she only wakes up twice to eat — at about 4:00 and 7:00, give or take. This makes my nights better. I’d give anything for her to go to sleep for the night at 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., but have you ever tried to wake a sleeping newborn? It’s impossible! She’s a little limp lump that won’t wake for anything. 🙂

 

Heart Beat February 28, 2011

Filed under: Doctor-rama,Mom and Dad — leighnut @ 9:43 pm

Oh hi, my heart is fine. Everything resolved itself, just like Dr. Williams and Rob predicted (he is a doctor, you know). I’m supposed to wear the heart event monitor until the end of March, but I took it off this weekend. I am a noncompliant patient. My blood pressure is back to normal (I weaned off the BP med at my OB’s suggestion) and my heart rate is out of the 40’s, back to high 60’s to low 70’s. So, although it was a blip on the radar, it still makes the list of reasons why we’re not having any more children. 🙂

 

Anna’s Birth February 27, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Birthday!,Doctor-rama,Hospital Life,Mom and Dad,Photo — leighnut @ 4:46 pm

Everybody says that no two birth experiences are the same. Even the same person can have a radically different experience from one delivery to the next. Let me tell you, this is most certainly true. Anna’s birth went more quickly, felt more intense, and was easier (in some ways) than Sam’s birth. I’m not going to give the blow by blow of every detail and how it was different than the first time. You’d be here reading until next week. I’ll just tell a little story of how Anna was born.

It all started Wednesday morning, February 16. I had called the clinic the week before and asked to please be induced at week 39, so Baby Girl wouldn’t get any bigger than she already was. They agreed and had me come in that Wednesday morning to see if I had progressed any more, in order to decide how to proceed with the induction. I was 2.5 cm dilated and 100% effaced (meaning the cervix had completely thinned out) and Dr. Williams said to come in that evening. Before we left the clinic, we had a long talk with Dr. Keeton about the risks of delivering a big baby. There was risk for me — significant tearing, bleeding, etc. — and risks for the baby. She told us again about shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s shoulders are so big they cannot come out. There were three options for delivering a big shouldered baby, some requiring twisting of the baby as she was delivered, certain body positions for me to widen the pelvis as much as possible, and the last resort — breaking her little collarbone to get her out. The twisting movement had the potential to cause nerve damage to her arm, resulting in a palsy that may be permanent, like a “dead” arm that has no movement. We didn’t know Dr. Keeton as well as the other two members of the team, so Rob finally said, “Dr. Keeton, please don’t beat around the bush. Are you trying to help us come to the decision to have a C-section, because that is the safest thing to do?” She assured us that was not what she was saying, but that we needed to know the risks involved with delivering a giant baby. Needless to say, I went home with a lot more to think about before heading back into the hospital.

Once we got there, we were greeted by the staff and the residents who said that the original plan was to ripen the cervix before starting Pitocin. But because my cervix was already completely effaced, they checked with Dr. Williams and skipped that step. We started Pitocin around 8:30 p.m., as well as having my water broken. It didn’t take long for the contractions to start intensifying and I soon found myself rolling and bouncing around on a birthing ball. It didn’t do much for me in the way of pain control, but it was a nice distraction from the contractions. I’m fuzzy on the timing, but I dilated to five relatively quickly, then sat there, stuck at five for a while. I did get an epidural at this point, though it wasn’t a magical moment like the epidural I had with Sam. (I think because Sam was posterior, or facing backwards, the epidural provided amazing relief from the back pain I was experiencing. Not the case with Anna.) It was so strange to actually have abdominal pain with this labor, since I felt none with Sam, because of his position. The senior resident came in to check me and said she felt the scar tissue on my cervix. She broke that up and both Rob and I said, “Now would be a good time to call Dr. Williams in. If it’s anything like last time, this isn’t going to take long to start pushing.” They said, “Oh. Yes, well, every labor experience is different, etc. etc.” Sure enough, a short three minutes later, I was dilated to 9 — almost 10 — centimeters and feeling very ready to get the party started, so to speak.

Suddenly, the room was filled with residents and an attending MD, our nurse, and a few other people who are blurry in my memory. They said I could start pushing, then asked me to stop when they saw that there was no way Dr. Williams was going to make it in. So I sat there, breathing through contractions, waiting until they said I could start again. Finally, I think I mentioned something about wanting to die rather than wait any more. “I feel like I’m on fire.” One of the residents said, “Oh yeah, the ring of fire.” (Then all I could think of was the part in the movie Finding Nemo where the Tank Gang is initiating Nemo into their club. They shout, “The Ring of FIRE!” a few times.) So I started pushing.

This is the part where time stands still. It felt like an hour had passed pushing Anna out, but in fact, it was nine minutes. Nine long minutes. Because she was so big, there was no time to leisurely push her out. It had to be one semi-fluid movement. I yelled at everybody in the room. I yelled about everything. Not screaming, just yelling at people. Dr. Williams was teaching the resident as she delivered the baby and I heard the word “dystocia.” I shouted at her, “Don’t say dystocia!” Dr. Williams assured me that everything was fine, she was just teaching. I yelled back at her, “I don’t want my baby to have a dead arm!!” In real life, I’m not a yeller. I felt like someone else during those nine minutes. Someone out of control and yet, in control at the same time. Like I was two people.

And then — just like that — she was out and on my chest and we were marveling at her hair. Long, thick, dark hair. I nursed her right away — she was a champ right from the start — then they took her over to check her out. She scored a 9 on the Apgar — healthy and happy and screaming like a pterodactyl.

The best part is that I remember everything. There was no magnesium to cloud my memory of the event. And I didn’t puke. That was a plus, too. 🙂

She’s my little rabbit and I love her to pieces.

 

Where’s House MD When You Need Him? February 23, 2011

Filed under: Doctor-rama,Hospital Life,Mom and Dad — leighnut @ 1:43 pm

The lack of new pictures on this blog is unacceptable. I know. But we’ve had another little adventure here on Wildwood Court. It wouldn’t be a pregnancy with me if there wasn’t adventure to go with it. The short version is that I spent another night in the hospital with an extremely low heart rate in the 40’s and really high blood pressure (187/110 at home). All of my blood work, chest x-ray, and an echocardiogram were all normal. They sent me home with meds to lower my blood pressure and an assurance that I can live happily for 1000 years with a heart rate in the 40’s, even though it feels uncomfortable at times. There is no answer for my symptoms, no diagnosis to hang our hats on, just a “Huh, that’s weird.” My OB said she’s seen this one other time in her career with a recently postpartum woman and that it resolved itself in a matter of days. That would be nice.

So. Pictures are forthcoming. We are really, really low on sleep here and pictures have not made it to the top of the list of things to do. But we have them and they are cute!

 

Family of Four February 19, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Baby,Mom and Dad,Sam — leighnut @ 10:56 pm

We are home. The time in the hospital was lovely, as hospital stays go. It was restful (as restful as can be with a newborn) and healing (as healed as one can be 48 hours after childbirth), but we are glad to be home. Together. Sam is delightful and energetic and tries really hard to remember to be gentle when he gives snuggles to Anna. He wants to hold her all the time, even if it’s just for a few seconds. He was proud to be the first person to hold her when we got home this afternoon.

There will be pictures soon. For now, we are basking in togetherness and finding our way in this new family of four.