And then I, the person who regularly gets infant poop on her hands without blinking an eye (because I fail at neatly changing diapers), nearly gagged. I didn't need to see that! Gross!
I also then missed my old, non-fancy, low tech dentist who just filled my tooth without the need to fill me in on what he saw in there. I think the pictures were an attempt at convincing me to floss more regularly (mission accomplished), but still, not needed!
This last one happened again last night, with his girlfriend using those window paints to paint a message on his car. Only, she did something that really pissed me off when I saw it this morning. She used the word "your" instead of "you're". Biggest pet peeve ever. I noticed it on my way to Target this morning and it took a lot of self control not to pick up some window paint to correct it.
Speaking of Target, I used to be quite good at avoiding going there and if I did, I was good at not buying too much. Enter baby, and we're there at least once a week spending more than we probably should. What is it with that store? I did pretty good this morning only buying two things that I didn't strictly need (mineral makeup and a jar of pasta sauce that was on sale), but that was mostly because I was pissed off after trying on clothes (do not want to talk about that, thanks, and yes I will still be wearing a maternity outfit to the wedding we're going to this weekend. Grrrr).
Anyway, someone seems to be waking up and I need to get to her before she starts yelling at me (not crying, really yelling) because she's starving hungry, and why didn't you feed me sooner, woman? Don't you know that I need you to cut my time between feedings in half?
Growth spurts are tiring.
Me (at Gabbie): Are you ready? Are you ready for some boob juice?
Him: Did you really just ask her if she wanted boob juice?
Me: It's like sleeping potion. My boobs get near her and she falls asleep.
Him: Well, they never put me to sleep, if you know what I'm saying.
Him (to Gabbie): Here comes the angry red boob! You mistreated it and it got angry. It's kind of like a Hulk boobie.
Me (in my head): Mastitis sucks! (no pun intended)
Gabbie can latch on, but the latching on process is painful and so it takes a minute to work up the courage to do it. Then there's positioning, which I suck at and which is made harder by the harness she has to wear (and the fact that I somehow did some nerve damage by . She'll usually suck for 2 to 5 minutes, far short of the supposed 10 minutes she's supposed to continuously suck. Then she'll stop sucking and stare off into space or fall asleep. Speaking of sleeping, it's nearly impossible to wake her up to feed like she's supposed to. We've tried all of the tricks they recommend to usually no avail, including wiping her face with a cool wash cloth.
Then there's the fact that it's been storming around here and so none of the phone numbers for lactation consultants are in working order, except the one at the hospital and they don't ever call back the same day, even though I just cried on their voice mail (which, super embarrassing, thanks).
I also don't feel a let down, which made me worry about supply, and I rarely leak that I can identify, but my supply seems to be adequate at the very least. I'm pumping whenever possible (which is about once to twice a day) to keep it up.
I don't want to quit, but I want it to work well. She's gaining enough weight, barely. We went for a weight check today and she gained about a half ounce a day (for a grand total weight of 8 lbs, 3 oz - still 2 oz. short of her birth weight). Babies are supposed to gain a half to a full ounce a day, so she's at the bottom end of the acceptable scale. She ate an ounce and a half during a half-frustrating feeding (meaning she ate well on one breast but not on the other), and we know that because we weighed her before and after she ate. I just hate how frustrating it is, how it makes us both cry, and how worried I am about her and making sure she gets enough to eat.
Every once in a while, and usually during the middle of the night feedings, she eats like a champ, gulping because my milk is coming down so fast. I get my hopes up that maybe this will be the turnaround time - from now on she'll eat well at every feeding - but then we have another frustrating feeding and I feel defeated again.
Aaron keeps telling me to stop freaking out, but it's much easier said than done. I'm a mom, it's my job to worry about her, right?
At my doctor's appointment I'm hooked up to the monitors, and I'm having contractions. Not big ones, but they're there and that's something different from the previous time I was hooked up to the monitors. Then, during the internal exam, my doctor tells me I'm a good 2 centimeters dilated, and then she strips my membranes. It was painful, but worth a try, I guess. She tells me I should have the baby by Monday. I have contractions all evening, but they go away when I go to sleep.
Friday, May 23rd
Aaron stayed home with me, because I'm having more contractions. Not anything regular or strong, but, again, they're definitely there. Then there are some gross things that happen (I'll spare you the details, but lets just say that it had to do with my mucus plug), and I freak out. I'm still contracting on and off, and the gross stuff keeps happening. That night during my kick count, the baby moves six times in 2 hours, which doesn't meet the cut-off, so we headed to the hospital.
Once there they hook me up to the monitors, and see that I'm having contractions every 1 to 3 minutes, but I'm only at 3 centimeters, and the baby is doing great, so after a couple of hours of monitoring, we're sent home. I thought I'd be disappointed, but it was late at night and I wanted to be in my own bed bad enough that I was actually happy to be going home. Since my contractions are happening so often I'm instructed to come in if they get stronger (I can't talk through them or concentrate on what someone else is saying) or if my water breaks. I'm still in disbelief that I'm ever going to give birth.
Saturday, May 24th
Again, I'm having contractions and gross issues on and off all day long. We're counting the contractions, but they never really become regular or stronger.
Then, at 5:30 in the evening, I go to the bathroom and notice a small trickle of fluid when I stand up. Since I have to go the bathroom about every 10 minutes, I notice that this becomes a pattern, and after about an hour say something to Aaron: "Honey, I think my water may have broken."
In order to be super sure that it's broken (because I really don't want to go to the hospital and be sent home again - how embarrassing!) I suggest we take a walk to see if I can get more to come out. We go for a walk and nothing happens, but I notice the trickle after peeing yet again, so I decided to sit on a towel in bed and wait to see what's happening.
At around 8 pm, Aaron comes in and informs me that the hockey game is about to start, so maybe I should check again to see if I'm leaking fluid before he gets settled in to watch the game. I stand up, go into the bathroom, and flood the floor.
"Yep! My water is definitely broken!"
We gather all of our things, still packed and ready from the night before, and head out to the hospital. Between the time my water broke and the time we make it to the car 10 minutes later, my contractions come on strong. On the way to the hospital I contract hard every 1 to 2 minutes.
"This is going to go fast", I think to myself. But no such luck. We get upstairs, they check me, and I'm only at 3-4 centimeters. Since my water broke, though, I'm staying and having the baby. My contractions get stronger, and are still happening about every 1 to 2 minutes. The doctor suggests that since I'm not progressing and am so uncomfortable, that I get the epidural. He must have asked at the exact right time, because even though I was going to try to go completely natural, I agree.
(As a side note, Aaron and I both noticed that between the resident on call on Friday, and the one I saw on Saturday, there are some ridiculously good looking male OB residents at our hospital. I reassured him that he didn't have to worry; at that point Johnny Depp could have been my doctor and I wouldn't have given him a second look.)
It seems like about five minutes later, I'm in my room and the anesthesiologist comes in (I spelled that right the first try!). It takes him about four (painful) tries to get the epidural in, during which I'm contracting every minute or so. Since I felt pressure in my left hip while he was putting it in, I have to lie on my side for the rest of labor. I'm also hooked up to an IV with a saline drip, the monitor, and a blood pressure cuff at this time. I feel like I'm hooked up to everything and its brother.
Sunday, May 25th
It's about midnight when we're finally settled in the room and all hooked up. The resident announces he's going for a nap, and we should do the same. I try, but two things prevent me from sleeping - 1) I HATE the epidural (it makes me feel altered because my legs are tingly and heavy), and 2) the pure excitement. I think I got about 40 minutes of sleep all night long, and Aaron didn't get much more. I had to call for the nurse any time I needed to turn over or if I needed to pee, which given the amount of fluid they were pumping into me, was pretty frequently.
At 4 am, I get checked again, and I'm at about 5 centimeters. The epidural pretty much stopped my progress. Awesome. The doctor decides it's time to hook me up to pitocin to get things moving again. Yet another tube is hooked up.
My contractions speed up again and get stronger. By seven in the morning I feel the need to push, badly, and the epidural is wearing off. I start pushing, and feel every second of it. About an hour later the doctor comes in. Thirty-nine minutes and some strange gutteral noises later, we have our daughter.
(The cone head was almost completely gone by the next day.)
We're exhausted but exuberant, so incredibly happy that she's finally here.
On her birthday:
And two weeks later:
I'm so in love.
Here are a couple of moments from those two weeks, and a birth story is coming up soon.
We've made a few newbie mistakes, but are learning things about our daughter rapidly. Things that she changes just as rapidly.
The first time we left the house with her after arriving home from the hospital, we were about halfway to our destination before we realized that we forgot the diaper bag. We looped back around and picked it up, and of course didn't end up needing it, but still. What a rookie mistake.
Gabbie has a penchant for peeing as soon as she gets her diaper off, is wiped clean and the dirty diaper is removed to make room for the clean one. She can't get anything on her harness, so we've gotten really good at quickly scooping her up and letting her pee on the table. I don't know what I'm going to do the first time she does this and I'm home by myself though. Luckily, while it was a close call this morning, it didn't happen.
My mom is still here and had run out to get a coffee and a second harness (just in case she gets better at the surprise pee and we don't pick her up quite quickly enough) this morning. I was trying to wake Gabbie up from her nap because it was time to eat, so I tried our best weapon: the diaper change. (I apologize if this story is gross to anyone out there, but this is my life these days; maybe don't read on if you can't handle baby's bodily functions.)
So I unsnap the onesie, open the diaper, and start wiping her down. Then she passed some gas, and in the process, a little bit of poop that got on my finger. While wiping her down after that, she started pooping in the diaper. At least it was still the dirty one, right? Then as I'm wiping her down from that, she started to pee. Still lucky enough to have the diaper under her for the pee, and it didn't get too far out of where we needed it to be.
Finally cleaned up, I put on a fresh diaper, put her down in her bassinet, and go wash up. When I went back to scoop her up? She pooped some more. In the clean diaper. So, we change another diaper, get her snapped up, and sat down to start our feeding session. As soon as I get her into position, she pooped some more! Not wanting to get all settled in again, I nursed her and figured I'd change her when we were done with that side. My mom came home in the meantime, and happily changed the diaper during which she peed again.
I'm guessing she's getting enough food, because that's a lot of output from such a tiny little baby!
I wanted to say thank you so much for all the wonderful comments during the past couple of weeks. I'm sorry I haven't responded to them as possible, because, basically, it hasn't been possible. But I do appreciate all the kind sentiments!
(Also, Cassie - can you send me your email address? Mine is mrs.jessie.ca [at] gmail [dot] com. I'd love to respond to your comments but can't find out how to contact you!)
Finally, I would love to post more pictures, but the computer we use for that is, of course, on the fritz at the moment. She looks so different from the first couple of days, and I'd love to show her off! I'll get some posted soon, hopefully.
Of course, now it's a reasonable time of day, she's conked out on my chest sawing little baby logs and looking so adorable I can hardly stand it.
We haven't had time for pretty much anything except for the daily doctors appointments we've had to endure. Although my little girl is practically perfect in every way, we are having some issues with her hips and so not only have we had to drag her around town for all kinds of appointments, she's also in a harness for the next 4 1/2 weeks to help her hips align properly. I'm getting more used to this reality. It was so incredibly hard at first I can't even explain. The pediatrician put it into words for me: it's not that she's not perfect, she is, she just has a problem and it's not what I envisioned when I was imagining my baby. Every day gets better and in reality this is just (hopefully) a very short period in her life that we will definitely get through. It does add some stress though, and will require checkups as she grows to make sure it doesn't turn into a long-term problem.
Gabbie has been a pretty good nurser from the get-go. We suffered a little set-back when she had to start wearing the harness, and we had to work on latching-on again. She also would prefer to sleep rather than nurse most of the time, which is pretty worrying for this new, anxiety-ridden mom. It takes a good while to wake her up to eat and then we have to remind her to stay awake while she's eating too. However, at her weight check yesterday she had gained 4 1/2 ounces in four days, out-pacing what was wanted from her, so I'm guessing she's getting some nutrition.
My recovery is, well, going if not going well. On Thursday night my back went out and then, when I went to my OB-suggested chiropractor, it got worse. I'm supposed to go back for a second adjustment, but I'm scared out of my mind since last time my legs gave out when I got up off the table. Fun times, fun times. I also am not sleeping, not eating enough probably, and thought I busted my stitches yesterday (I didn't). Childbirth - it is not what I'd call easy.
Anyway, I need to go eat breakfast before we head out to yet another doctor's appointment. It's the last one for this week though - thank goodness! We could definitely use some more time at home to sleep and stare at Gabbie while she sleeps. She's just too adorable and I can't help myself.