Saturday, August 30, 2008

A True Character

Everyone has that person (or people!) in their lives who just seems larger than life, a true character, who provides you with stories and tales that just seem too crazy to be true. In my life that role was largely played by my grandfather, Grandpa Tom. He was a very interesting person, very unusual, very over-the-top. Even though he wasn't a big part of my life for the last 10 years or so, the memories I have of him while we were growing up more than make up for his recent absence. We loved hanging out at the club when we were little and playing Space Invaders on the arcade machine in the basement. We used to go swimming at his house all the time in the summer, thinking his pool was really neat because it had a little fountain attached to a hose. He had a jar of M&Ms in the dining room and while regular chocolate covered Entenmann's donuts remind me of my father, the ones with little crumbs on top remind me of him. I also remember how pissed off he got when all three of his grandchildren decided to call him "Tom," rather than "Grandpa Tom."

My Grandpa Tom passed away last Saturday. I'm sorry that he wasn't able to meet his great-grandson before he died, but he did know that he was born and he sent flowers to mark the occasion. Although we've only gotten together a handful of times in recent history, the memories I have of his role in my childhood have always been with me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pregnancy and Vanity

As you probably gathered from my last post about my jeans, I'm over the moon excited that I'm fitting back into my old clothes again. I'm also very glad to not have any stretchmarks and to be see happy numbers smiling back at me from the scale. I always knew that I had some body image issues, but I'm surprised (and kind of disgusted) at how happy it makes me that I'm looking more like my old self again. I was so afraid that I would struggle to lose the pregnancy weight that I put on and so afraid that I would never look the same. I feel guilty in some ways for not embracing the idea of wearing my "battle scars" of pregnancy the way that some women are able to. I have never been more excited to get back into exercising and eating better.

I've never been one to fish for compliments and I don't take them very well at all, but I was in a wedding this past weekend and I really really enjoyed it when people told me they couldn't believe I had a 2 week old at home. Does that make me a bad person? I don't think it should, but for some reason I feel badly about it :(

Thursday, August 28, 2008

One Attention Whore Post

I'm back in my pre-pregnancy jeans!

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since this tiny creature entered our lives. I feel like I've known him forever. We're settling in ok, he's a relatively good baby. He only cries in the evenings between 6 and 7, right when we're trying to eat dinner. I think he feels left out, so we let him sit in his boppy seat in the kitchen with us.

In all of the emails I got after we sent out the news of Baby Charlie's arrival, one person asked how I was doing. I guess it really is true that once the baby gets here and you're "un-pregnant" the focus really changes :)

That's part of why I've decided to make a separate blog for Baby Charlie - I'm very happy to be "Baby Charlie's Mom," but I'm still an individual aside from that, and I still have things to talk about. The "fun" baby stuff and cute pictures will be on his page, the "mom" and "Jene" stuff will be here.

So how are we doing? I've been home from work for 3 weeks and home without Charlie for the last one. Things are going well, but it's definitely an adjustment. The first 2 weeks were spent getting used to each other as a family and getting into some kind of routine. Of course, once we got home we realized that we had no idea what we were doing and weren't really prepared for the myriad bottle parts and breastpump accessories littering the kitchen counter. Baby Charlie took an early trip to Target to get the things we didn't know we'd need.

Speaking of the breastpump, that's really the biggest challenge we have right now. We started off great with the breastfeeding but had to switch to pumping and feeding bottled breastmilk because we needed to track exactly how much he was eating. Three weeks later I still can't get him back on the boob, so I've become permanently attached to my Medela PISA. I think I'd handle the late night feedings better if I was just feeding the baby rather than feeding the baby, hooking up to the pump, then cleaning the parts and setting them up for the next session, then getting back in bed an hour later. Even though he slept for a 6-hour stretch last night (!) I still had to get up to milk myself in the middle. It wasn't so bad when the Olympics were on but now all I have is the DNC and that's over after tonight. I've been in touch with a La Leche League leader and if he's not back on by next week she's going to come by and help me out. I'm also going to the evening meeting of the group next week. Who would have thought?

Charlie and I celebrated our 3-year anniversary on Tuesday and cloth diapering is going extremely well. I'll tell you all about it next time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Charlie's Got a Brand New Blog

I've decided to keep this blog about me and continue on talking selfishly about my own feelings and thoughts. I've given Baby Charlie his own blog for pictures and stories.

More to come soon, on both pages! Baby Charlie has awoken!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 13th

One week old today! It went so fast! I was sick today so Baby Charlie spent the whole day with dad.

Tuesday, August 12th

Baby Charlie got another bath today and didn't like it any more than the last one. He peed in the tub three times! He also got to meet his other grandpa today, who was nice enough to occupy his attention while we ate some dinner.

Monday, August 11th

We had our appointment with the pediatrician today and he said that Baby Charlie looks great! He's back up to birth weight.

We took our first walk around the neighborhood today and he slept the whole time, but I think he likes the sun.

He also tried out some tummy time with dad but he didn't seem to like it all that much.

Sunday, August 10th

Baby Charlie had his first bath today! He definitely didn't enjoy it - he screamed and cried and scared Einstein, who came out of hiding to see what the commotion was about. He was very concerned for the baby.

We also started cloth diapering today. So far so good! Here's Baby Charlie sporting a chinese prefold and Imse Vimse cover.

The other cover is a little big...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Coming Home - Saturday, August 9th

We were cleared to go home on Saturday! The pediatrician was very happy with the progress we had made, so we got him dressed in real clothes and packed him up for the ride home. He had his first trip outside and really seemed to enjoy the sunshine. He didn't cry at all on the car ride home. The neighbors were all outside when we got back and everyone came over to say hello. We introduced him to Einstein, showed him his new room, and hung out together as a family for a few hours until the Gs (Charlie's parents) got here from Virginia. He spent his first night in his crib and even though it was a little rough that first night we were so glad to have him home!

Baby Charlie's first Yankee shirt

Ready to go!

We're home!

Getting some sun with Einstein

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baby Charlie's Birth Story

So in the hours after I made my "stubborn baby" post I started noticing mild and irregular contractions but nothing bad enough to make me think that I'd be having a baby within the next 24 hours and nothing bad enough to make me leave work. I had already decided that it would be my last day because I was uncomfortable and bored out of my mind. So the day went on and the contractions continued.

We went out to eat because we were both too tired to worry about cooking. We talked about all of the things we wanted to do the next day to get the house ready for the baby, assuming we would be induced later Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. We wanted to clean the kitchen floor, pick up a few more things that we realized we needed, put the laundry away, just tie up the loose ends. We went to bed around 9:30 but Charlie was up until past 10:00 messing with the stand-up fan that decided it wasn't interested in keeping us cool anymore.

Around midnight I woke up feeling definite contractions and started timing them on our alarm clock. After a half hour or so I decided to move downstairs and watched some ESPN while timing contractions on (which is a fantastic invention!) and bouncing on my yoga ball to get through the more difficult ones. By 2:00AM they were 3 minutes apart and pretty much unbearable, so I decided it was time to wake up Charlie and call my OB. We showered and packed some last minute supplies, and the OB called back and told us to head to the hospital. We left the house at 2:30 and the drive there was pure hell on earth. I thought contractions at home were bad, contractions in the car with nowhere to go were even worse.

We got to the ER by 2:45, and Charlie didn't have to run even run any red lights. A few minutes after we got there another couple came in. The 15 minutes we spent waiting to be transferred to L&D felt like a freaking eternity, and I think I scared the poor woman who came in after us because she was sitting in her wheelchair very calmly while I was cursing up a storm, writhing in agony, and puking my guts up.

When we got up to L&D they had me change and asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 and wanted to know if I would take an epidural right at that moment if they offered me one. I was in between contractions at that point and said that I would wait a while longer to get the epidural. I was 3cm and she went out into the hallway to call my doctor. In the 2 minutes that passed while she was in the hallway I had another contraction and decided that maybe I'd like the epidural right now, after all.

We were transferred from triage at 3:30 and the anesthesiologist came up by 4:15. Getting the actual epidural wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be and the pain relief was pretty much instantaneous. At 5:00 I was at 4cm and they broke my water. There was meconium in it, which really freaked me out. From that point on, the baby's heart rate dropped every time I changed position and took a while to climb back up. They decided it would be best to use an internal monitor and put some fluid back in for him to float around in so he wouldn't be compressing his cord.

We watched Mike & Mike all morning, and when the day nurse came in at 8:00 I was at 6cm. Baby still wasn't responding well to movement and he was facing sunny-side-up, so she had me try a few positions on my stomach for a while to get him to flip over. It worked, and by 10:30 I was at 9cm. Charlie tried to get some sleep but I was too excited to rest, knowing we'd finally be meeting Baby Charlie in a matter of hours. I was also dying of thirst and the ice chips weren't cutting it. I was still throwing up pretty regularly, so that made it even worse. I don't think I've ever wanted a drink of water more in my entire life.

At 12:00 things were ready to go, but because of the heart rate issues they decided to call in an OB from my practice in addition to the midwife who was scheduled to deliver the baby. We started pushing at 1:20 and they decided to use the vaccum to expedite the process because he wasn't responding well to the contractions. I ended up with a 2nd degree episiotomy only because they needed to get him out quickly. His shoulder had been pressing on the cord. He was born at 2:21PM and we were so happy to meet him! Parts of it were a little nerve-wracking, but he's here safe and sound and we're all happy and healthy.

First diaper change for both Charlies!

Baby Charlie in his "hopper"

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Everyone is Home and Happy

We finally made it home right around noon today. Baby Charlie's weight rebounded well after we changed the feeding/pumping schedule around some, so we were discharged this morning. He's still a little yellow but not nearly as much as he was yesterday, so we'll keep an eye on it this weekend and then he has his first pediatrician appointment on Monday morning. More pictures soon!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Quick Update

Baby Charlie hasn't been discharged from the hospital yet, so we're still here with him. He lost a little bit too much weight in the first day and he's a little yellow, but they're very optimistic all three of us will be back at home tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Baby Charlie is Here

Arrived yesterday, August 6th, at 2:21 PM. 21 inches, 7 pounds, 4 ounces, so much for the "small baby" they thought we'd end up with!

One picture for now:

More to come later!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We Have a Stubborn Child

But I guess that shouldn't really surprise me, I mean, look at his parents, after all. I asked the Nesties to sign a petition for me to convince Charlie that we needed to get Mexican for dinner last night, in hopes that it would bring on labor. It didn't.

I'm at the end of my list of Old Wives' Tales that I'm willing to try. I had the spicy food, Mexican food, bounced on my yoga ball, walked myself to death, went through a full moon, and a few other things that I'm not going to share with you, but none of them work for me. I have an appointment tomorrow morning, so we'll make our plan then.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why No Ice Cream?

I decided that maybe the Minion is enjoying his cozy little home a bit too much. Perhaps he's staying in there so he can continue to have ice cream. If I go on an ice cream strike, maybe he'll decide it's not worth it to hang out all cramped in there. Yes, I'm reaching, but I feel like I've been hit by a truck and I can't believe I'm back at my desk in my office.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Have Pretty Toes

But no baby yet.

41 Week Picture:

My pretty toes and I walked the mall this afternoon hoping to get things going. No such luck. I'm sad that I'll be going back to work tomorrow, but I'm planning on spending my lunch hour walking the mall again.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy Due Date to Me!

Le Minion n'est pas ici. Charlie asks me multiple times a day how I'm feeling (when we get up in the morning, when he calls at lunch, and when he picks me up) and I'm starting to feel bad when I tell him that I feel fine :(

I'm going to get a pedicure today and then do nothing. I remember my Aunt Jeanne got a pedicure the day Danny was born, so that's the next thing on my list to try. I'm definitely stopping shy of the castor oil!

Friday, August 1, 2008

PSA: Baby Charlie is Not Here Yet

It was brought to my attention last night that I caused quite a commotion yesterday when I posted later in the morning than I normally do. Just so everyone is fully aware, the lack of a post first thing in the morning doesn't mean that I am in labor, just that I had other things to attend to. Don't worry gramma, I would have called you if there was important news! :)


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