Saturday, February 27, 2010


Finally, the fabulous Miss Em.

Too pooped to say more, except that this child had better stop falling asleep halfway through EVERY SINGLE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FEEDING. Ahem.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Two kids is more like what you'd imagine 72 kids to be. Oh my goodness. I'm writing an entry today because yesterday was awful, and today has been really, really good, but I'm still completely bushed.

I myself am doing quite well. The truly crazy hormones never kicked in. I'm a little anxious, and a little more prone to emotion, but there's been no lying in bed for an hour and crying for no reason. It's nice.

Em is a good sleeper so far, just like her sister. Last night she ate around 8:00, and then kept eating until 11:30. I thought it was going to be a very, very long night, but I put her down around 11:30, and she slept until 5:30 this morning. I got five and half consecutive hours of sleep! With a one-week old!

I would have gotten three more after that feeding, except that the idiot cat kept waking me up. Now, I didn't like this cat before. But we have always been able to ignore each other quite comfortably. Lately, though, she has taken to coming up to our bed at night and meowing for absolutely no reason. She has food and water and a clean litter box, and she definitely does not want to snuggle. I don't get it. But I do know I want to kill her.

Yesterday was awful because Grace whined nonstop for the entire morning. I don't mean that she was mostly okay and just whined a little more than usual. I mean that she followed me around the house like a puppy, whining and saying, "Ut! Ut! Ut!" I'd make my way to the nearest chair so I could pick her up, and she'd just collapse on the floor and cry for ten minutes. All morning. From 9:30 until 1:00. I had no idea what her problem was, since she got plenty of attention from me (poor Em sits in the bouncy seat WAY more than she really should).

Of course, today was the complete opposite. She's had almost no outbursts, AND she's started walking. And putting blocks together with ease (she could do it before, but only through brute force and persistence, and mostly by accident). And has two canines coming in. So I'm guessing it had more to do with teething and milestones than it did with the new baby. This is a relief. I was not looking forward to that; after just one day I started really disliking her. Imagine if it went on for a week or two.

The one thing I am sad about is that Em gets so little attention unless Grace is napping or in bed. Not that she cares, of course, but sometimes I just want to sit on the couch and stare at my new baby for a few hours. I could have done that with Grace, but didn't really want to until she was too old to be willing to sit still that long.

There is nothing exciting to report, other than Grace's walking (FINALLY). She's still unsteady and will psych herself out after a few steps, but she's taken 4-5 steps at a time at least ten times today.

Oh! Em went in for a weight check yesterday. Average weight gain for a newborn is about 1 oz/day. Em has gained almost 3 oz/day since we left the hospital. And after last night's unending nursing session, I imagine she weighs even more. She's been very sleepy today, too, so I'm guessing this is her one-week growth spurt. This means she might soon fit into all the 0-3 months clothing we have. James and I were sure we'd have another hefty baby, so we didn't bother with the newborn stuff again. Well, of course she arrives 3 weeks early at normal 40-week weight, and just swims in all of her clothing. This would not be so bad, except that everything wants to bunch up around her face, and she goes mad with the rooting and grunting.

I am starving, and Em will be soon, too, so I'd best be going. Not the most exciting entry in the world, but since I just had a baby I thought it'd be nice to let everyone know I haven't gone off the deep end, nor am I planning to. I'm just really tired.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Breast Pump Help! (may be some TMI, if you're squeamish)

My breast pump is croaking. That's a nasty surprise at midnight the day you get home from the hospital, let me tell you.

I hear the Medela talked up a lot, but I also know a lot of people who are less than impressed and think it's overrated, especially for the price. I was hoping for some recommendations here. I was also wondering about the Mii Pump. It's fairly inexpensive and portable, but it's also a newish product. I don't know how much I trust a product that hasn't had a decent amount of time on the market.

I'll tell you what I'm especially looking for and what features I don't really care about.

1) Soft flanges preferred, or at least having them as an option. The breast pump I have now has them as something you can attached to the hard shell flange, but they're actually made only for people with smaller nipples, something I found out only AFTER I spent a ridiculous amount of money on one. Feh.

2) Decent portability, but it doesn't have to fit in a purse or anything.

3) Must be electric.

4) A breastpump that is similar to a nursing baby creates 200-230 mm Hg negative pressure and cycles about once every second.

5) I don't care if it's a double or single pump. I know pumping both sides simultaneously is the most efficient, but I've never done it. I don't have enough hands, and I'm not going to go buy a special bra. I'd rather pay more for a higher-quality single pump than for a mediocre double pump.

6) This needs to be something I can buy at Walmart or Target or possibly Babies R Us (though that's the least convenient store for me to go to).

7) We're willing to spend up to $200 unless it's impossible to get a decent breast pump for that amount. Assuming we still want more children after this (2 under 2! Ack!), I'll probably use it through two or three nursing babies, about a year or more each. So it's worth it to pay for one that will last a while. At the same time, we also like to spend our money on a mortgage and food and other such luxuries.

Obviously not all of you know the exact specs or availability of good breast pumps, but I'd like to get a feel for stuff before I go looking at online reviews. There's just SO MUCH out there I'd like to narrow things down. I'd like to go buy this today because I'm just a wee bit uncomfortable, and my daughter, while a pretty good eater, is so small she just can't consume enough to give me relief. I'd like to pump instead of wait it out because I'd like to have a good supply of frozen saved up, something I didn't have last time, which was a pain in the rear when I wanted a social life. Thanks a lot!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

They forgot me!

Thanks for all the well-wishes! We'll be in the hospital 'til Sunday sometime.

Things have been mostly wonderful here. There are definitely some Crazy Hormones at work here, but most of them have been of the effusively happy variety, not the I HATE LIFE variety. Emmy has kind of a rough day yesterday and early this morning, which seems to have been mostly solved by two very incredible diapers (sorry, TMI). She's also a little slow when it comes to nursing sometimes. She's actually got a pretty good latch, despite her mouth being positively microscopic in comparison to Grace's gaping maw. But once she's latched she just sits there and stares, like, "Whaaat? What're you looking at? Oh, you mean I'm supposed to WORK for it now?" And she very strongly prefers my right side, no idea why (Grace was the exact opposite). One of the nurses showed me a trick for getting her going: touch my pinkie to the roof of her mouth until she starts sucking, then switch. It sometimes works. Sometimes it doesn't. This is because she is OBSESSED with her fists. I keep telling her they don't lactate, but she's determined to test that assertion until she proves it wrong.

Also, yesterday was a bit rough for me. I shooed James off for a half day of work. I want him to get things done while I have nurses taking care of me 'round the clock. Well, my one nurse left at 3-ish. I didn't see anyone else until 4:30. After I requested someone twice. And they forgot to give me my painkillers. Or forgot to tell me that I supposed to ask for them. Not sure which. And the lady in the room next to me was screaming and crying so horribly that I was certain she'd lost her baby or something. It was really upsetting. And even more upsetting because here I was selfishly wishing the walls had better soundproofing, when here's a woman who lost her child.

So I was stuck in a room with a baby who needed changes and attention and for me to be able to get out of bed, except that getting out of bed was really AWFUL, and that would have been not so bad, except that I couldn't get anyone to come to the stupid room.

This is really weird for this hospital. For my first stay, they were extremely attentive. They are less so this time, probably because I've done this before and seem to mostly have the hang of breastfeeding. I don't really expect the level of attention I got last time, and it's been kind of nice to be left alone. But they'd still been pretty awesome.

Anyway, a really sweet lady from the lab finally came in to do the heel-prick thing on Emmeline (I have now called her Grace approximately 43 times; I am no longer allowed to make fun of my parents for confusing the names of their five children on an hourly basis), and by that point I was almost frantic. I held it together okay, but before she left, I said, "Um? Do you know if it's been really busy on the floor or something today? I haven't seen anyone in hours, and I can't get anyone to come in here." She looked a little horrified and scooted out the door with her cart to get someone.

A nurse and an aid came in about a minute later with sweet, sweet drugs. The nurse was REALLY apologetic. I asked about the lady next door--not specifics; I know better than that--, but just if she was all right. Apparently she was fine (as in, had not lost a baby and was not in danger), but she was in really terrible pain. I said, "Oh! I thought she'd lost a baby or something! Oh, good!" Then felt like a jerk for that, but I'm pretty sure the nurse knew what I was talking about.

I still had a really hard time after that getting anyone to come in, but at least I could get out of bed and move around without wanting to throw myself out a window. And then James got back, and everything was much better. Twenty minutes later, new nurses came on, and! And! Mine was Joan! The one from last time who I loved so much. I was having a really hard time with Grace and nursing, and I think I was on the verges both of tears and of crazy when she stepped in and made it all better. And she did it again this time! With Emmeline and the lazy eating, I've been thinking I was doing something wrong. She watched us for a bit and said, "Well, you've obviously done this before!" Apparently Emmy is just being a baby, and I'm not doing anything wrong; who knew?

The nurse after Joan was the same one I'd had the night she was born, and she's even BETTER than Joan, if you can believe it. She loves babies and keeps exclaiming over how cute Emmy is, and she's taken her off my hands for a couple hours both nights. That's the only time I've really slept. She was also appalled about them forgetting me earlier that afternoon. She'll be back tonight, too, yay!

Emmeline is passed out face-down on my chest. She ate like a horse when Emily brought her in around 4:30, and then again an hour later. Been asleep ever since. So I think her extreme fussiness from yesterday is over with. I was starting to worry we had a colicky baby already! She's been quite content to smash her face right into my ribs, grunt and squeak every couple of minutes, and startle violently every five or ten before settling into some new and bizarre position.

I want to sit here and stare at her for another two hours, but I'm starving and need to order some food. I could wake James up, too, but I like for him to get as much sleep as possible so that when I need him to he can take the baby. He's been outstanding so far. I remember how bewildered we both were with Grace. With this one, there's been stress and some irritation--especially when she screamed and screamed, and we couldn't FIX it!--, but overall there's been a lot more laughter and happiness than snapping and irritation.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Emmeline Adele, now with (crappy) photo


Not a super great picture, but there she is! To me, she looks VERY feminine. That could just be that she's so tiny and delicate compared to The Child as a newborn. I can't stop staring at her. NEED TO GO TO SLEEP! Yarrr.

Born at 3:55 pm CST via unplanned C-section (I'm not anywhere near disappointed as I expected to be, don't feel like explaining here because I'm very sleepy), full head of dark dark fuzzy hair. Basically a very small version of newborn Grace with two weeks' less time to grow the full mop. 7 lb 14 oz, 19.5", has nursed twice like a pro, is so very tired now, please send her back into that warm, dark place, thanks.

I didn't have as long a labor leading up to the surgery this time, and the difference is like night and day. I'm awake and aware enough to just enjoy her and stare at her and then stare some more and then rub my nose in the top of her head. And oh my heck, she is tiny (to us).

Thanks for all the well-wishes. It was kind of a long, boring day, and coming back here to a few new notes every few hours was very nice.

Will post pictures when I get the chance.


Pretty sure my water has broken. Going to the hospital. This sucks. I know, WHO complains about having a baby AT 37 weeks, right?

Well, I do. My mom has taken her pills and gone to bed, so she can't drive over and spend the night. Jeremy's mom is sick, so she can't spend the night. So we get to wake Grace up and drop her at our pastor's house (OH MY GOSH I LOVE THOSE PEOPLE) and hope and pray she doesn't make their life a living hell tonight.

I have so much STUFF to pack, and I know I'm forgetting something essential, like pants or lipstick. ALSO. I do not have time to shave my legs. This is a crisis.

Update: Definitely the real thing. Was having semi-regular contractions for a few hours, and then pffft. Nothing. So now I'm on pitocin, lest infection set in. This calls for some anger. Because pitocin makes it hurt more.

Also, the more I experience of this room (the same kind I started in last time), the more furious I am that I got moved to a different room after surgery. I have a really bright idea. Let's move the lady who had MAJOR SURGERY into a crap room with a shower that goes from hot to cold and back, causing me to nearly fall and rupture all my stitches.

This room has a beautiful deep tub with JETS and actual hot water and hand railings everywhere. I couldn't fall if I wanted to.

THIS room is like a hotel. Well, except that hotels don't have strange beeping machines or beds this awesome (birthing room beds really get a bad rap; I LOVE this bed). And once again my nurses are just lovely creatures of light. I want to kidnap them all.

And finally, OUCH. Not typing anymore for a while. Wish me luck and for NO C-SECTION (unless necessary, of course; I'm not holding on to the idea of NOT having a C-section just to not have a C-section, and I know very well that in my case it was necessary the first time and may be again).

Friday, February 5, 2010

IQ: 32 and falling

I am not dead or sad or anything horrible.

I'm just so so sooooo tired. All the time. I get nine hours of sleep a night, and I'm still tired. This makes my writing kind of suck. I've written, oh, four entries in the last week or however long it's been, and scrapped them all because they make ME roll my eyes and gag over the boringness/whininess/stupidness of them. And I'm pretty willing to post just about anything.

People keep asking me how I'm doing. Honest answer:
  • I'm exhausted all the time. *With your first kid, you can nap whenever you want during pregnancy. It's glorious! With your second, you can nap when she naps... maybe. Except that her naptime is the only 2-3 hours of the day in which you can do whatever you want, and why waste that sleeping? Even when I do make myself try to nap, I just lie awake thinking about the fun stuff I could be cramming into my day instead of lying awake in bed. Moron.

    (But really, if I hear, "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" one more time, I might punch someone. That only happens when I'm out of my mind with exhaustion.)

  • All of the muscles in the front of my body from about mid-thigh to my belly button have given up. They are cranky and sore and at least one them screams every time I stand up. This happened with Grace, too, but I thought it was because of those stupid bees that chased me around the front lawn, and maybe I pulled a muscle. No, actually. This just happens. Super!

  • The remainder of my energy is spent feeling guilty about how little attention The Child is getting. The first five hours of the day are endless. She's delightful and beautiful and happy and funny, but I'm too tired to enjoy it. This makes me feel like the most awful mother ever. Especially since, every night after she goes to bed, it dawns on me yet again that I have only a few more weeks of just her. From now on, it will always be multiple children with seven different demands going at once. It seems so stupid that I'm too tiiiiiired (waaaah) to just suck it up and enjoy these last few weeks with her.

  • There are, of course, other, ickier things that I won't go into here, but that most women who have had children know all about. Basically, at the end of pregnancy, everything is squished or stressed, and that causes many different processes to go completely haywire. People, pregnancy is totally freaking bizarre.

    (I am telling you people, when you do get pregnant for the first time, I highly recommend cornering you most honest, crass friend (like me!) and forcing her to tell you all the things that nobody talks about. Nobody talks about them because it's rude to offer unsolicited advice, but I so very much wished sometimes that I had more rude, pushy people in my life. Some stuff is much easier to handle if you have forewarning.

*I actually waited tables until I was 6 months pregnant, then we were fixing up and moving into our house (which was a trash-out, so really filthy and lots of work). It wasn't all cozy naptime. But it was still so much easier for me than this time. I'd go to bed at like 2 in the morning, wake up at like 5, raring to go, and then crash midday for hours. It was weird.

The funny part is that I have it easy. I really do. Pregnancy is a breeze for me, compared to others. Which is why I don't ever give an honest answer. Because it's annoying to hear me whine. It's like when your classmate in high school with flawless skin harps on and on about that single stupid zit that's half hidden in her hairline, while your entire face is blotchy and yuck, half of it so oily its shine is visible from space and half of it so dry you look like you have leprosy (thanks, chlorine!).

So that's where I've been. Tired. And trying to come up with an answer to, "So, how are you doing?" that is neither a lie nor a laundry list of complaints. I think, "Great... for someone who is 36 weeks pregnant!" works out okay. Maybe. Or is that still too whiny?

In less whiny news, The Child is finally starting to walk. Kind of. I mean, little shuffling steps here and there, one or two at a time. For a kid who is just about fearless in every other way, she's extraordinarily cautious about walking.

Earlier today, I watched from across the room as she climbed onto the couch, placed a throw pillow on the floor next to the couch, and then calmly dove head-first back onto the floor (I don't know why the pillow; it didn't look like she was aiming for it). She lay there, silent, for about ten seconds, like, "Oh! Oh my! That really hurt! I'm rather... surprised..." and then the wailing began.

She stands in her high chair seat and dances, will climb just about anything (if she feels like it), but walking? Are you kidding me? I might fall! On my diapered bottom! On soft carpet!

We are going to move her room to the guest room so that the baby can have the room across from ours. The better to wake me up in the middle of the night. I am pretty sure we will have to disassemble the crib to do this. And because I am made of genius, I lost the directions about, oh, 15 months ago.

As usual, there was more, but I've completely forgotten it all. This child has robbed me of the last shreds of my intellect. Once she's born, I'll probably have to just lie in bed all day, drooling on myself, waiting for people to bring me the baby, and then have to have them latch her on properly.

So, instead of writing something fun and interesting not at all related to children, childbirth, or pregnancy, I'm going to end this awkwardly.