Monday, June 25, 2007

Where have all the widgets gone?

I had a few minutes to do a little housecleaning so I took down my tickers and widgets. (No danger of me doing any real housecleaning.) My blog looks so.... black without them. It's bittersweet to be done growing a baby. I'll never, ever do it again. I feel a little sad about that. But it feels GREAT to box up my maternity clothes! Can't wait to drop those off at the secondhand store.

Still here

I’m here. I won’t stop writing. Where else would I do all my complaining? Why, to my husband of course. Poor guy.

I’ve got lots of things to say and no time to say them. I remember the ol’ “okay I have a sleeping baby, do I have one minute to work with or three hours, what should I do first?” Things are different this time around because when I achieve that sleeping baby state I am likely to walk out of the sleeping baby room and run smack into a little boy that needs me to find the sword that his playmobil guy dropped when his sister bumped into him in the driveway. Okayyy, that doesn’t seem important to me, wouldn’t have made my list of the top 500 things I’d like to do with one minute or three hours.

Suddenly I am #4 on the list of people whose needs need to be met. Poor rocket man. He comes in last and he’s got all FOUR of us on his list before him. But he does get to get into his car everyday and drive the hell away from us for many, many hours. Thank god or otherwise he might try to leave all of us in the wilderness. Or he might pull a cartoon-action move where he flees the house, leaving a rocket man shaped hole in the door.

The baby is doing great. I marvel over her very existence constantly. I can hardly believe that she is here. Her brother and sister LOVE her. She is just starting to notice us. I imagine that she is thinking something like, "Okay, you people again, I get it." She is still sleeping most of the time, double-swaddled, looking like a tiny sarcophagus.

MOST IMPORTANT THING TO LEARN ABOUT NEWBORNS, BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOSPITAL: a good swaddle, scratch that. An EXCELLENT swaddle. If your swaddle sucks, despite your best efforts, then get the Kiddopotamus. It’s a little fleecy, Velcro contraption that goes over the blanket swaddle. All three of our kids have really dug the swaddle. And the swaddled combined with the little foam positioners that keep them from rolling over? Even better. And put the baby’s head up against the bumper or whatver. I have a burp rag making a bumper in my moses basket. She loves it.

Ooh my new favorite thing I have discovered: wearing a bra in the shower so my nipples, which feel like hamburger meat by the way, are protected from the piercing-feeling of the water. Otherwise I have to cover them with my hands which is both difficult and impractical. A tank bra works great. It is a little disorienting though and I often feel like there is a good chance that I have forgotten to take off my underwear.

I bought a tube top (the belly tube) at mimi maternity and wondered why the hell I spent my money on that? I thought I might use it to girdle my belly a little but I am using it in the shower for a bra and, even better, at night so I just have to pull it down to access a boob and the rest of the night it collects the milk that leaks out.

What else? I’m giving the baby, when I remember, lactobacillus to help her digestion and avoid the dreaded “3-5 a.m. grunting, squeaking, longest attempt to crap in recorded history.” I don’t know if it helps. Three a.m. was also a bad time for my other two. More on that later when i can complete a thought.

One of my kids has just returned from his last outing with my dad, who leaves TOMORROW AFTER SLAVING AWAY ON MY BEHALF FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS. The other has just gotten up from her nap and is about to tell me that she is hungry. Gotta run.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Where to go from here?

So… what do I do now? I will be faithfully reading your blogs, waiting for each of you in turn to have your long-awaited happy endings. I will also be reading about the new babies and how things are going in life-after-the-big-day.

I am trying to decide what to write about here. Maybe… how it feels weird to have finally had the long-awaited baby. This journey to live baby has been such a huge part of my life. What do I do now? Where will I place all of my free-floating anxiety?

Should I write about the birth in detail? As incredible as LS’s arrival was, I’ve been lamenting the parts that didn’t go well, like being in tremendous pain for days and not being able to get a handle on it despite everything I’ve learned about questioning medical professionals and advocating for myself. I’m tempted to give advice to those of you whose births are yet to come.

I also wonder if any of you feel guilty that you were disappointed in your birth even though the baby is beautifully perfect and healthy. Do I just need something to complain about or am I afraid that was my last chance to be taken care of as a new mom and I blew it by not being pro-active enough?

Does everybody have birth disappointment to deal with? I don’t remember having much with Thing 1 and Thing 2. I didn’t want to leave the hospital they took SUCH good care of me.

Is somebody going to tell me to fuck off because I am complaining again ALREADY? I hope not because I am a little emotional already.

I could write a bit about being bummed that RM’s time at home is over. After our stay in the hospital and one short week at home, which he had to use vacation days for, RM is back to work tomorrow. I will have help for a few more weeks, thank God, but his leave time has ended. I was hoping that we, the five of us, would have some relaxing and even idyllic (what a fool I am), moments reveling in our new family member. Dumb.

I KNOW very well that I have a problem with high expectations and the nearly inevitable disappointment that follows. I tried to be realistic about RM’s leave time. For the most part it was hectic and frustrating and stressful. There was always something that needed to be done and rarely time to just hang out. The free moments that we did have were at let’s see… a pool party where RM juggled two non-swimmers, one who was constantly bitching about the splashing and the other who needed to jump into the pool at least 50 times with zero ability to keep herself afloat. I was busy with LS who has snapped out of her constant slumber in favor of constant nursing interspersed with fussing. Then Thing 1 fell on the stairs and scraped himself up, producing an EPOCH hysterical fit that lasted 20 minutes. He didn’t care at all that all of his tball buddies, were watching from the pool where there were swimming independently. I am so glad that he wasn’t ashamed of his fit or his non-swimming at nearly age six but still. He wears a big, spiderman suit/flotation device.

It was a pretty stressful party, partly because I was so stressed at what a shitty time RM was having. Between the two of us, we don’t handle much without one of us getting worked up. We need to get a collective grip in order to survive having three kids, especially if we ever want to have a decent time. It might help to remember that they wont be little forever and what a special time this is. It would help more to hire a part-time nanny.

I could write about breastfeeding and the importance of a good latches. HUGE! But a blog about parenting and breastfeeding and other such things? I’d have to change the title and probably the black background. Would anybody read that? I have learned a thing or two about being a parent but still.

I could finish the story of LC’s birth and the next deadbabydisaster but is that what I want to focus on? Probably not.

I could write about how I wish I could be more grateful and focus on the myriad good things in my life instead of the disappointing things. That’s not to say that I am not thrilled that our baby arrived safely. I am awe-struck by her and Things 1 and 2 are loving her and basically everything is going well.

It’s just that I have always been a glass-half-empty person. Actually it’s more like why-didn’t-somebody-help-me-fill-the-glass. No that’s too whiny. It’s more like the-glass-is-half-empty-and-I-am-taking-it-personally. I’m probably not making sense. What’s the situation with your “glasses”?

Hmm. I am tired of being disappointed by people in my life. On the outside I am tough and irreverent and outspoken. On the inside, really deep down, I am fragile and I take everything personally and I let the things that are missing or lacking overshadow the many gifts I have been given. It’s time for me to grow the hell up but I don’t know how to do it. It takes something like the fulfillment of my heart’s desire (LS’s arrival) and finding that I am still the same person who dwells on the negative to make me see, once again, how much I need to learn about grace.

It’s not enough to read about the struggles of others; that produces only temporary gratitude. How does one really become a grateful person who sees and feels the positive in life? Is there a book? A mantra? A tattoo? A… church??!! An upbringing? Is it too late for me? Electroshock therapy?

I want to set a good example for my kids. I want to bring my husband up instead of down. I want my obituary to say really nice things about me that are completely true. I want to find grace or for it to find me.

I hope this post isn't met with a big, fat silence.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Here she is!

Here is my sweet girl! LS has been sleeping her tiny butt off. She pretty much sleeps all the time with short breaks for nursing and having a look around. I wonder what will happen when I go off the pain meds. Yikes. I am kind of, a little bit getting used to this. I do my thing and she sleeps in her Moses basket. Neither one of my other kids was this easy at one week of age.

One week. LS is one week old today. I really want to post her name. Her name is so beautiful. Email me at if you really want to know her name.

Today is the first day that I am not in quite a lot of pain. Until today I've been on 2 percoset/every 6 hours around the clock. I hate the idea that she is getting some of that in my breastmilk but up until now I haven't felt like I've had a choice. Seems like it is time to suck it up a little, not that I am going to let myself suffer. No worries there. I am reminded of my friend Victoria's line, "Get off the cross woman, somebody needs the wood." Somebody needs the wood and I need to be relatively pain-free.

I'm still in full-on baby bliss here. She is so incredible. I marvel, when I get the chance, at every face she makes. I marvel at how, when her arms and hands go waving around, she looks like a tiny wizard casting a spell. Her butt is so small; it's pretty bony and red and saggy with extra skin that will soon be grown into. A butt only a mother could love.

She's incredible. My left boob is killing me. I'm hungry for some SOFT, gooey, possibly bacteria-or-whatever-the-hell-laden CHEESE!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

At last, some quality time with my computer

I have just turned on my computer for the first time since the baby's birth. I apologize for the lack of an update. There was no internet access at the hospital and I needed RM's help constantly since I couldn't do anything besides nurse the baby.

The baby (LS-I feel weird about posting her name since I haven’t posted my other two kids’ names) is perfectly perfect in every way! She is teeny tiny and so beautiful. We brought her home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon and were welcomed with signs, balloons, streamers, and a crew of family and neighbors. I've waited so very long for the day when we would bring a baby to this home. It was everything i hoped it would be and more. Leaving the hospital with her in the backseat was quite a moment!

For her first two days at home, little LS decided she wouldn't nap unless she was being held. So RM and I were holding her constantly. We were a little scared of the newfound bad habit and I had flashbacks from three months of carrying my older daughter in a sling all day. Thanks to the advice of a friend, she is now sleeping in her Moses basket and freeing us up to take showers and check email. Whew. She is sleeping great at night! It's way too early to make the call but so far she has been quite mellow.

My kids are overjoyed with their baby sister. We were taking bets on when they would want her to be returned to the hospital. My almost-five year old son surprised us by being the first to request that we return her. She was only home for two hours when he announced that he no longer wanted a baby sister!! I think we've recovered from that and my daughter shows zero signs of waning enthusiasm. One of my favorite moments was, at the hospital, my daughter was admiring LS she said, "Can I live with her?"

RM is keeping busy taking care of all four of us. My recovery has been alot more painful than I expected so I am not much help. I have abandoned the couch in favor of RM's new chair; much more comfortable for nursing and a welcome change of scenery.

My dad has gone on a well-deserved vacation with my mom and will return in 2 weeks. They'll stay for a week and then return to life as they knew it before we launched Operation Get Baby Here Safely.

The birth was as wonderful as a C-section can be. I got to listen to my "Delivery Mix" on the ipod which kept me in a happy place as the surgery got underway and while I got stitched up. (My doctor was able to remove the cerclage so I won't have to go back for another epidural and surgery to remove it- thank God!!) The C-section is a pretty weird way to go; pretty clinical and scary. Fortunately I had RM and Charlotte holding my hand and it wasn't long before I heard that beautiful cry that I'd been waiting for. Then I joined in with a huge snotty cry of my own. The baby's cry sounded like a cat's. She was loud enough to reassure me but not so loud that i wondered if we'd have another holy terror on our hands. She was put on my chest after a few minutes and I got to admire her close-up as she pretty much went back to sleep! Amazing!

Our five days in the hospital were harder than I had expected. I've been in alot more pain than after previous C-sections; I have heard that this might happen with subsequent surgeries. Months of bedrest are probably contributing to my discomfort There were several missteps with my pain medication which didn't help my case at all. That part was a bummer but having a beautiful, sleeping baby to marvel at made it all better. At least we got a nice, big room and plenty of quiet time in between visits from our kids! We also had long-awaited meals of the best sushi ever, lox bagels, and champagne and caviar!! Yum!

It still seems a little surreal. LS sleeps so much, for now, that I need to go and look at her every now and then. When she actually wakes up, I marvel over her very existence all over again. She is so tiny but so much a little person. She looks around, looks at me for a few seconds, her little arms go waving around. She is just incredible. It’s even more fun to have her brother and sister sharing the incredibleness. They’re all, “Look, she touched my arm” or “Look, she yawned!” It’s a whole different experience with two of them. Not that it isnt challenging to have to reign them in as they try to wake her up, touch her eyes, elbow me in the boob as I am nursing her, etc. I will definitely be cherishing my time alone with her.

There is so much more to say but I’d figure I’d get this up for now. I’ll put up a picture in the next day or so.