Sunday, December 4, 2011

Workin' It

Okay, so. I meant to write this post before it actually happened, but it's been over a month, oh well.

I am back at work. And it's kind of awesome, actually.

Everyone said it would be really hard, and you know? It's not. At all. I almost feel guilty about it not being hard. Almost. But not quite. I'm really happy to be back.

It helps that I was really ready to return. I was ready several weeks ago, actually. 18 weeks of maternity leave is quite a long time, and to be perfectly honest I was bored. My baby, while adorable and perfect and amazing, is a tiny dictator, and even though he is "good" (as if a baby could be bad) and not colicky or anything like that, he is very demanding and wants face-time attention at all times and only cat naps on my person, and damn if that's not draining. By the time Kyle would get home in the evening all I could say was TAKE THIS THING AWAY FROM ME! But, evening time is boob time, apparently, so no such luck. Anyway. Too much baby time for me. Not enough grownup time. And maybe it's stupid, but I was missing wearing clothing that I want to remain unsullied by baby vomit or doesn't necessarily allow access to my boobs at a moments notice and like, high heels! Sometimes, at least.

Maybe it's blasphemy, but I don't really miss him when I'm gone. When I pick him up at daycare or from Grandma sometimes all the missing him I should have been doing wells up the moment I see him and I get all misty, but during my actual workday I am fine. In fact, there have been n tears at all. I thought I would be a hot mess my first day back, and I wasn't. And I'm glad.

I was concerned about the breastfeeding thing, but so far that seems to be a non-issue. I'm able to pump enough while I'm away to cover his needs, and then some. I hate the actual pumping, but you do what you gotta do. And fortunately no one at work thinks it's a big deal either, since we share a single office, and I'm pumping (with a cover) in mixed company.

So work is good. We still haven't exactly mastered the home routine that goes along with two parents employed outside the home, so everything else is a hot mess, but work is good.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My very serious baby.


I have approximately five thousand posts up in my head that I need to type out, but babies, demanding, etc. Working on it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baby Fat

A year or so ago I signed up for weekly emails from Babycenter, because I was newly pregnant and excited and please, give me as much information as possible! They are kind of stupid and written to appeal to the masses, but who doesn't want to know what obscure vegetable her fetus most closely resembles this week? And apparently the emails continue after baby is born, letting you know what milestones he might be meeting this week. It's actually been nice, if sometimes a little lol, DUH, especially when a timely link to advice for travelling with an infant popped up. But this week's email just... I don't know:

3 questions about: Chubby babies

What if my baby looks fat? 

Obesity has become the health buzzword of the day. While it's unhealthy for anyone to carry too much fat, your baby's doctor is unlikely to be very worried if your baby is chubby. Some babies are born plump, others grow that way — but not because they have an unhealthy diet and don't exercise. It's because they haven't developed much muscle yet. This kind of baby fat isn't likely to stay with your child as she grows.

Should my baby go on a diet?

No. First, your baby's doctor will check to see whether your baby's weight and height are within the guidelines for her age. If she's too heavy, it's likely your doctor will simply watch to see how she grows. It's pretty rare for a doctor to be very concerned at this age, especially before solids have been added to a baby's diet.

Does this mean my baby will always have weight trouble?

No. A plump baby does not foreshadow an overweight teenager or adult. Many big babies slim down once they begin crawling and walking. They simply store their baby fat differently. As your baby grows, you can keep her fit and healthy by encouraging floor play. Feed her only when she's hungry, and avoid using a bottle to calm her when she's upset or stressed. Instead, offer her a toy or love and kisses.



WHAT THE FUCK?

I just... I don't even... REALLY?

Like many new moms, I worry. I worry quite a bit. Why is he crying? Could he be sick? Does he spit up too much? Is his poop the right color? Am I holding him wrong? Is my car seat installed correctly? Were those bitchy old ladies right about him needing a hat? Never has it even occurred to me that my baby might be too chubby. And my kid is the fucking poster child for chubby. Babies are supposed to be chubby. It makes me so sad and so angry to think that there are women that are already concerned that their babies are too fat. That this information seemed to Babycenter more important to us than the myriad other concerns a new mother might have. That we are so fucking afraid of fat that we worry about the health of a perfect, chubby baby.

I guess we can't even make it for four months in this society before we have to start worrying about our weight. And I find it very telling that they used "she" instead of "he" in this particular article. Fuck.




No cute baby pictures for this post. I will not sully my child's image with this bullshit.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rollin'

Hey guess what!


I can roll over now!


No big!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Change

Motherhood changes things.

Today Kyle and I took Tycho out to lunch with us, and then on a trip to Babies 'R Us to pick up some essentials. We had planned to stop at Target on the way home, but at the last minute Kyle decided he didn't want to do anymore "chores" and took us home. So then I went out to Target by myself, sans baby. And chores it was not. I bought myself a chai latte and leisurely compared different varieties of socks. A mundane trip to Target is now my me time, apparently.

And then I come home to this.


Friday, October 28, 2011

The Boob Post


I suppose I should write a post about my experience with breastfeeding, since it's how I spend the majority of my time. In fact, it's what I'm doing right now.

I think I should start off by saying that I am so lucky. This has come easily for me. Tycho is 100% exclusively breastfed, with a bottle of expressed breast milk here and there, but mostly straight from the source. I say this, though, without arrogance, as I've seen my friends struggle with supply and latch and pain and babies that just aren't growing, and I am grateful I haven't been faced with those challenges. For us, this has been very easy, or at least as easy as being a 24-hour-a-day on-demand food source for a (not so) tiny cranky person can be.

Tycho is a grazer. (Like mother, like son.) He eats for short spurts, all the time. It's rare for him to go more than an hour without a snack. I can't say I blame him, as I prefer to eat in much the same way, but between keeping him sated and his diapers dry, I rarely have a stretch of time long enough to do the dishes, much less any more time-consuming chores. Especially since I prioritize showering and my own meals over vacuuming.   So things are crazy right now, and I'm not thrilled about that, but this is such a short time in our lives... Sometimes I do feel resentful that he wants to eat AGAIN, and why can't my husband start lactating and share this burden? But I try to take a deep breath and settle back and enjoy the quiet moment with my son. It's not always easy, and I'm not always successful, but when I can stop myself from trying to reach out beyond our little bubble nursing can be an amazing, beautiful perfection.

We have nursed pretty much everywhere. When babies are hungry, they are hungry, and I try to get out of the house at least three times a week, so Tycho comes with me, and he eats wherever we are. I've nursed him at restaurants, at parks, at the zoo, at family reunions, at the doctor, in the hospital. Airports, airplanes, grocery stores, shopping malls, a birthday party, yoga class, in bed, half asleep. In front of my sister, my parents, my in-laws, my boss, summer daycampers, little old ladies, teenage boys, both mine and my husbands entire extended families. I don't own a nursing cover. I've used a muslin blanket a couple of times when we're outside in direct sunlight, and not for any sense of modesty. (After giving birth, I have none.) And I haven't heard one word about my public display of my breasts, except my father-in-law commenting after the fact on how none of his family members seemed to care. I worried, as I'm not exactly the most discreet, nor do I have any intention of trying to be, but so far I've felt nothing short of complete acceptance and encouragement.

Body issues are common, I'm sure post-partum. In general, I feel pretty good about where I'm at. I can fit into some of my jeans again, however they do look a little different. But my chest challenges me. Back during my pregnancy I had very little breast development, and I was concerned that it would lead to challenges with milk supply later. But oh how wrong I was. Finally I went for a bra-fitting at a local hippie/breastfeeding/cloth diapering/baby wearing store, and wow. I went from a 32A pre-pregnancy, to a 34E. E wasn't even in my boob alphabet. I'm still kind of shocked, to be perfectly honest. So while I can shimmy into pre-baby bottoms, anything on top is just hopeless, as you can probably imagine. And even with cobbling together a new, bigger wardrobe, I find that the style I have cultivated for years simply doesn't flatter my new voluptuous body. Add to that the need to find clothes that allow for easy boob access, and I'm really struggling with my style right now. Considering my career in fashion retail, I find this particularly difficult. Even when I return to work, I still need to have access for pumping. But what I wouldn't give to be able to wear a boat neck dress!

Speaking of returning to work, I go back full time in a month. (I have more than enough thoughts on this for another whole blog post, so let's keep it to breastfeeding.) I'm committed to keeping Tycho on breast milk, for at least his whole first year, and I know that it might be difficult for both of us. We started trying  to introduce a bottle when he was around six weeks, and it's taken until quite recently for him to accept it without a fight. We make sure he has at least one bottle everyday, so that he maintains his bottle-feeding skills, but this is very frustrating for me, more of the milk I am pumping goes to these bottles instead of into my frozen stash. I had quite a bit stored, but before we left town I gave it all to a friend in need, so I've had to start all over again. I'm hoping to have at least 100oz frozen before I go back, and I think I'll get there without too much trouble. I am, though, concerned with being able to keep up with Tycho's demands pumping at work. I do pretty well with the pump, but at home I usually pump from one breast while the baby nurses from the other, and I get a much better letdown than I would by pumping solo. But I'm trying not to worry about it until I actually have a reason to, if at all.

So all in all, breastfeeding is going pretty spectacularly for us, and mostly I like doing it. It's so cool to look at Tycho and be able to say, "I made that."


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jet Set

Please excuse my absence, friends. We've been busy with travel. That's right, Tycho took his first airplane-type trip to meet his relatives in Ohio.


I stressed over this trip. I worried and ranted and ultimately researched my butt off on how to make things go smoothly. And on the way there, they did. I wore the baby through the airport. I was going to use the Ergo, since it's my everyday carrier, but at the last second decided to wear the Moby instead, since it seemed easier to sit in for long periods of time. (I packed the Ergo in my carry-on just in case, but ended up being happy with my choice.) We borrowed a Snap 'N Go stroller frame, popped in our car seat, and piled our luggage on top for easy airport navigation. I had to have some additional screening because I asked for my breast milk to be hand screened, but it was no big deal. We were able to gate-check our car seat and stroller, and we were seated in the very last row of the plane, for easy access to the lavatory for diaper changes. On the second leg of our trip our flight was only partially booked, so we were able to bring the car seat on board and give Tycho his own seat. I didn't specifically nurse him on take-off or landing, because he wasn't hungry during those times, but he didn't cry or fuss, and beyond the normal discomfort of sitting in a cramped airplane seat for hours on end, air travel was no big deal.

The trip itself was pretty lovely. The transition wasn't hard for Tycho at all; we co-slept at my in-laws just as we do at home, although he kept on his Seattle schedule, which made for some very late nights. But hey, vacation, we can sleep in. We left him with his Grandma and Grandpa a couple of evenings to go out with friends, and his first time(s) being babysat went as smoothly as you could imagine. And I didn't even stress out too much about it.

I think perhaps my favorite thing about the trip is this. We spent some time paging through old albums of baby pictures of Kyle and found something astonishing:


I seriously couldn't believe it. Everyone we showed it to thought it was a picture of Tycho at first. It really could be a picture of Tycho, if Tycho had a velour tracksuit. I need to procure him one. It's funny to me, because although it is obvious that he is his father's son, I really just see "Tycho" far more than I ever see either of us in him. But I am his mother and that is how it should be, I think.

The trip home was slightly more difficult, with delayed flights, rerouting, no layovers, many extra hours in the air, and Kyle and I being separated in middle seats in different rows. By the end of the second flight Tycho had had enough of sitting on my lap for hours on end with no time to stretch and wiggly and here I am sandwiched between two strange men with my boob out while my baby cries and spits up all over me. I'm still not completely over it, if you couldn't tell. But I supposed all's well that ends well, and we made it home in one piece, minus a little bit of a sleep regression, but that may be tied to some growth-spurting, too.


In other news, Tycho is three months old today. I can't believe how much he's grown, both physically (and how!) and developmentally. He is not at all the same baby we brought home from the birth center. He interacts with us now, he coos and shouts and grunts and he can stick his fists into his mouth and hold onto some of his toys and all of the sudden he miraculously will tolerate tummy time for more than three seconds. A couple of weeks ago this all really started to feel real and permanent for me. Before it just seemed like we were simply playing house, and sometime soon someone would come and take him back and things would go back to how they were before. But the new reality has solidified for me, and I truly feel like I am his mother, and always will be, and that is that. And that is nice.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Welcome!

Hi there. Recent data suggests that lots of people I know are reading. Or that lots of strangers that coincidentally live in several places I have friends and family are reading. Anyway, hello! Congratulations on your successful Google-ing. Sorry if you now know waaaaaay more about my cervix than you ever desired. You should comment, so I will feel less lonely.

Thank you for your time. Here is a cute baby picture:



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

End of Summer



I guess it's officially been fall for a few days now.  The weather has certainly been hinting at it. (Aside: navigating the rain with a baby is a whole different ballgame.) But the sun was out on Sunday, so we picked up some fried chicken (Oprah's Favorite!) and headed to Gasworks Park for a picnic, just the three of us.



I love my little family.





This morning we took Tycho to his 2-month doctor appointment. He is still exceedingly healthy and perfect and amazing, and he now weighs 15lbs, 8oz. That's the 97th percentile. I'm sure by our next visit he'll be off the charts entirely.

Tycho also had his first round of immunizations today. He took them like a champ, and he only seems to be a little extra fussy. Nothing some extra cuddles and kisses and constant boob-access can't cure. I think we're going to make it without any tylenol, and I couldn't be happier.

Life is good.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bunny Slippers

I've been meaning to post, but as I'm currently typing one-handed while nursing, it's not going to happen right now. But I do have something for you:


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baby-Making Music?

I worked really hard on my labor playlist. It's really lovely. Probably not for anyone but me, though. I listened to it a lot in the days and weeks leading up to Tycho's birthday. It helped me get to a happy, calm, zen kind of place, which was especially important when I was approaching that 42 week deadline.

But I didn't actually listen to it in labor. When I was hanging out at home I felt very content with the normal sounds of a peaceful summer Friday on our quiet dead-end street, so no music. And by the time we got to the birth center, all I wanted was to get into the damn tub, and no one even thought to plug in the iPod, so no music. Tycho was born into silence. Well, silence, plus all my screaming and moaning, of course.

I'm not at all upset about that. It turns out my labor playlist also makes an excellent mellow evening breastfeeding playlist. One night we were listening, and my mom came over to cuddle Tycho. She asked me why I was playing Cat Stevens, as Cat Stevens is not really my usual fare. I told her about the playlist. "This was on mine, too," she said.

We listened longer, and maybe half the songs I had chosen for my labor were on the mix tapes my dad made 26 years ago, that he and my mother listened to while I was being born. Lovely.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grandparents

Hi Blog!

We here at Science Experiments had a very busy Labor Day weekend. My in laws came from Ohio to meet Tycho for the first time. Originally they hadn't planned to make the trip out here, since we'll be flying back at the end of this month so that Tycho can meet the entire family, but I think once he was born they couldn't stand the waiting any longer.

Tycho meeting Grandma and Grandpa

It was a good visit. Unfortunately Kyle had various work-type stuff going on, so Tycho and I mostly hung out with the in-laws by ourselves. Not bad, but since they live on the other side of the country, I've never spent that much time with them, so it can still be a little awkward.


They left yesterday morning, and Tycho and I used the rest of the day to recover from the busybusy. We certainly needed it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

One Whole Month!

As of this past Tuesday, Tycho is a month old. A month! That is crazy!


He's doing very well. So well, in fact, that I'm kind of just waiting for the shit to hit the fan. After such an easy pregnancy and labor and birth, you think I'd get dealt a shitty card somewhere in the past few weeks. But really, he is awesome. Breastfeeding has come pretty easily to us. My letdown can be kind of overpowering, but it hasn't stopped him from getting appropriately fed, and at the very worst it's just a little bit messy. No big deal.  He does spit up all the time, but I don't think that's really that out of the ordinary. Sleep is still tricky, as he seems to still be semi-nocturnal, but it's improving, and that's all I can really asked for.


So much has changed in a month. He is growing like a freaking weed. He's in his 3-6 months clothes already. I'm glad I didn't really buy very much newborn or 0-3 stuff. He's getting much more interactive. He can stick out his tongue. And he's smiling for real now and it's amazing. Especially when you give him big sloppy kisses, which is my favorite thing in the world to do. And it seems to be his favorite thing, too.



Tycho had his one month doctor visit today. He weighed 12 pounds, 2 ounces, if you can believe it. That puts him in the 92nd percentile. And he's in the 95th percentile for height. I never would have guessed I would produce such a big baby, but I love how chubby and robust and healthy he is. Perfect.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Birth Story, Part Four: The Aftermath

They wanted me to try and pee before they stitched up my nether regions, so Tycho and Kyle settled in for a nap while I made my way to the toilet. Once I got there I was feeling very light-headed and nauseous. No wonder, since I had barfed probably fifty times during my labor. (I apparently won the award for barfiest labor ever, hurrah!) I am an expert at fainting (see: every time I donate blood), and I could feel it coming on, so I laid down on the floor next to the tub with a cool wet washcloth on my forehead.  After resting there for a while I tried sitting up again, but that quickly proved to be a bad idea, so back to the floor.

Nicole was really sweet and was trying not to be pushy at all, and asked me if I wanted some IV fluids. YES, PLEASE. While that was going on she fed me some yogurt. She asked if I ever imagined that my birth would end with me lying on the bathroom floor being spoon fed by my midwife. I said no, but if you had told me that, I wouldn't necessarily have been surprised. They did Tycho's newborn exam on the floor next to me while Kyle was napping. He was perfect.

After a bag and a half of fluids I was feeling much better, so after finally attempting to pee (great success!), I made my way back to bed to get my lady parts stitched up.  I had a second degree tear in my perineum, and two first degree labial tears. I think I got five stitches in total. It was very bizarre feeling. Not painful, as I was numb from the lidocaine, but I could still feel the thread getting pulled through me.

We attempted nursing one more time while they cleaned me off and he managed to suck for more than a few minutes. I cuddled with my new family in the quiet of the morning while Nicole and Tara cleaned up the room. They dressed Tycho while Kyle loaded up the car, and then we were on our way home, as three.

Tycho is amazing, and I'm really loving my new normal.




Prologue | Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Seven Years!

Something a little bit different...

Today is exactly seven years from the day Kyle and I met, like, for real, in person. I am normally not one who celebrates anniversaries of inane bullshit, and I haven't made any effort to remember this one, but August 19th is stuck in my head.

Seven years isn't really that long, but it is my entire adult life, so it's significant for me. Anyway, I'm really happy that Kyle took a chance on an internet romance and did really come to see me in Seattle seven years ago. It changed my life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birth Story, Part Three: The Pushening


I pushed for just under three hours, alternating between the birthing stool, and various positions on the bed. Most of the time Nicole had her hand all up in me, pushing back the lip of my cervix. It was not fun. I had heard from a lot of  people that after a tough first stage of labor pushing was a relief or even felt good, but for me it was the worst part. I was still puking through all of it, but it actually felt better and helped make my pushes stronger. It was all water by that point anyway, which makes me feel better about it splashing out of the bowl onto Nicole.

After struggling on the bed for a while I asked to move back to the stool, because my pushes felt much more effective there. Gravity, and things. Kyle sat behind me on the bed and made sure I had access to water and chapstick.  After a bunch of contractions we finally got him past the lip of my cervix. Nicole kept asking me if I wanted to see his head in the mirror or reach down and feel him and I was completely uninterested. I just wanted him out of me.

It was really intense when he was actually in my birth canal. At that point I stopped waiting for contractions and was pushing pretty much continuously because it hurt too much not to. My moans were turning into screams, and Roxanne had to remind me to keep things low. It felt like my clitoris was ripping in two! I was not prepared to feel pain there, and I was scared that I might be doing permanent damage to it. But in between all the pushing and the screaming I would look around at my birth team and my mom and Ashley and I felt very supported and amazing.

It was such a relief when his head was finally out. His cord was around his neck, so Nicole had me breathe through a contraction while she slipped it over his head, no big deal. The rest of him was easy in comparison.

He had apparently passed some meconium during labor, so they had to suction out his mouth before they handed him to me. I was totally agog. Looking down at him he seemed way too big to be a newborn baby, and instead of love I felt disbelief that something so huge had just come out of me. He didn't cry at first, but after a few seconds of holding him and stroking him and talking to him he started whimpering and then let out a healthy wail. He was born at 2:30 in the morning on Saturday, July 23, 2011.





I barely even remember birthing the placenta, but it certainly was no big deal compared to my enormous baby. We got into bed with our son, and my mom called my dad and my sister to announce Tycho's arrival and have them make their way over to the birth center. Kyle called his parents to tell them the news.



Everyone was shocked by how big he was. (Two days previously they had written in my chart that they expected him to be around seven pounds.) We all made our guesses on how much he would weigh, and Nicole was right on the money: nine pounds, two ounces.

I apparently had a pretty huge placenta, too. Nicole did her examination of it and showed us all of its parts. We tried to get Tycho nursing, but he must have been overstimulated, because he would only latch on for a minute at a time.  After some more visiting, everyone left to go home and get some sleep. 



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birth Story, Part Two: Centered


We ended up driving to the birth center with me kneeling over a yoga ball in the back of our SUV. It's about a 25 minute drive, and in the back of my mind I was worried that  we might get pulled over. Kyle talked me through the drive, telling me how close we were and reminding me to breathe. My midwife Nicole and the student Tara met us there. BFF (and photographer!) Ashley and my mom made their way in as well.

I was still doing pretty well when we got there, and everyone was worried that I wasn't really that far along. After listening to the baby through a contraction Nicole checked me and I was 6cm dilated, and my cervix was paper thin. Victory! It was so reassuring to know that my instincts were right and I had already done most of the hard work, and I was still under control. I could totally do this!


I got into the tub almost immediately after they checked me. It felt wonderful, and reset me a little bit. I was breathing through my contractions, in a world of my own. I was mostly doing well, although baby boy had a mean habit of thrashing about just as my contractions were dying down and I started to relax. Everyone laughed  when I kept shouting at my belly for him to cut it out. But besides that, things remained manageable for me. We had spent so much time in class talking about when you can no longer handle contractions and your partner needs to swoop in with his take charge routine, but I never really got there, and I kept wondering when it was going to happen. 

After a while of peacefully lying in the tub and breathing through my contractions, I think I hit transition. I suddenly NEEDED to change positions, and started to vomit at every contraction.  I leaned over the side of the tub, and Kyle made sure that I was drinking in between my contractions to keep hydrated.


I was starting to feel kind of push-y but I tried to ignore the urge. I did okay for a while, but all of the sudden it was getting to be too much, and I wanted OUT. OF. THE. TUB. Nicole checked me again. I was almost completely dilated, but I had a small stubborn lip of my cervix. I tried to breathe through a few more contractions, but the urge to push was getting really strong.



Monday, August 15, 2011

Birth Story, Part One: Handling it at Home


I slept pretty well that night after my midwife appointment, although I started waking up in the early morning to pee an awful lot, and looking back, it was probably contractions that were waking me. Friday the 22nd, I finally really woke up and realized what was going on around 8:30. I got out of bed around nine and started counting contractions. In the next hour I had seven, and while they were still very mild, they were definitely a completely different ballgame then any of the "practice" contractions I had felt before.


I woke Kyle up because the internet was down and I needed to do something to distract myself. I let him know what was going on, but then let him go back to sleep, because he had a very late night and I wanted him to be well rested and not grumpy later. When he finally got up around one or two we went to the store to get provisions for the birth center, and tuna fish sandwich makings for me. (P.S. By the time I got around to making the sandwich I no longer wanted a sandwich. It made a great post-partum snack, though.) Contractions were still super manageable and I was feeling really good and really excited.


When we got home we started getting the house in order, doing laundry etc. I decided perhaps I might want to time my contractions, and they were between 3 and 5 minutes apart, and getting closer together. This was when I was supposed to call my midwife, so I did. I apparently sounded super calm on the phone, so she was pretty incredulous that anything major was happening quite yet. I was told to call back when they got more intense. We called our doula, Roxanne, around 5pm, and she said she would start to make her way over, but she told me later that she didn't think I was super far along yet, so she took her time getting to us.


Can I just say that I was LOVING labor? At this point contractions were contractions and I had to stop what I was doing and breathe through them, but it all felt so natural and it came easy to me and after each one I had this natural high. I am so not all crazy-hippie-fertility-goddess, but that's how labor made me feel. It was pretty awesome.


Around 7:30pm I felt my water break with a pop. Very very strange. I didn't have tons of gushing fluid, as baby's head was probably corking me up, but the intensity of my contractions really started to ramp up. We called the midwife and made plans to meet at the birth center at 8:30. Roxanne arrived just after we got off the phone with the midwife. She watched me through a contraction and told me that I looked like I was handling things really well, so well that she was worried that they would send me home from the center because I hadn't progressed enough. I shrugged her off; I had been doing this all day and I knew that things were changing.



Prologue | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birth Story, the Prologue


I guess we should start well before my labor actually did. My due date was July 13th, but I was so sure I was going to go early. Kyle and I were both early babies (3 weeks, and one week), as was my sister, and my dad and all of his siblings. There was NO WAY I was going to make it. Emotionally either. By 39 weeks I didn't think I could handle another moment of pregnancy. But my due date came and went and I was still pregnant.

I was on a cycle of about two days of acceptance, one day of complete breakdown. Kyle said it was like I was going through the stages of grief, except that I couldn't hold on to the end, and always broke down and started over again. I tried to keep myself busy with one active, out-of-the house thing everyday, but it was hard to get myself going, and find people to do things with, and not just retreat into bed for the rest of forever. I was sure that if I made it to my 41 week, 1 day appointment, that I would be a complete and total sobbing mess, and made Kyle take the day off so I wouldn't have to go alone. 

But when I lost my mucous plug at 41 weeks I started feeling much better. I knew it didn't necessarily mean that I was going to go into labor like, RIGHTNOW, but it was a sign that my body was still in fact working up to birthing this baby, and had not completely abandoned me. I was pretty sure that I would have a baby before the end of the weekend.

At my midwife visit the next day I had my first vaginal exam of my entire pregnancy. (Side note: thank goodness my midwives don't do them on the regular, because they are TERRIBLE.) It was so reassuring to hear that I was 50% effaced and two centimeters dilated. I was thrilled, but the midwives were slightly less optimistic, as I didn't have much blood in the mucous I had passed, and scheduled me for a biophysical profile ultrasound and then an appointment to discuss natural induction options for the next week. But I was in such a good mood I even let Kyle take me to lunch at the Olive Garden afterward. (I would need another whole blog post to explain his obsession with the Olive Garden.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

2 Weeks!

Tycho is two weeks old today.


I can't really believe it.  So far motherhood is very surreal. I feel like this is all make-believe, or maybe some kind of lovely dream.

    

Things are simultaneously  far easier and far more difficult than I expected. Even though I've never been a baby person, caring for him just seems natural and organic.I'm lucky that he seems to be an easy-going little man, and that we've gotten underway with breastfeeding with only minor hiccups.

At the same time, though, I seriously underestimated how much this would take out of me. Between labor and being his sole source of nutrition, I am spent, and not in the sleep deprived way I was expecting, either. My body just feels totally run down, and even small excursions are leaving me exhausted.


I'm working on typing up my birth story, but it's slow going when I only have one hand 90 percent of the time.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

He's Here!


Tycho John Boddy, July 23, 2011 at 2:30am. 9lbs, 2oz, 23 inches long. I love him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another week?

Why hello 41 weeks. I thought for sure I would be greeting you with a baby in my arms instead of in my uterus, but apparently not so much.



The last few days have been... tumultuous. To say the least. I made it 22 hours of Kyle's birthday being a good, un-irritating, scarce wife... but then I had a complete, sobbing on the bathroom floor nervous breakdown, obviously. I can't even really recount it now, since once you get out of these episodes it's really hard to remember where your head was when you were in them. But some combination of being totally tired of being pregnant, feeling like my body wasn't working right, total terror at the unknown of (dun dun dun) INTERVENTIONS that I hadn't really thought about because I was sure I wouldn't need them, something something hormones, emotional crier, yadda yadda.  Even though I can't (and have no desire to) get back into that headspace, I can tell you that it was a scary, dark place that was as bad as I had ever been, where my only coping mechanisms are really breaking things and hurting myself. I managed to refrain from both of these things, but yeah.

Kyle says it's like I'm going through the stages of grieving. Yes, except for that once I reach the acceptance stage I can't seem to stay there and head back through the cycle all over again.

Today I feel pretty good, not least of all because I lost my mucous plug/had some bloody show this morning. I know it doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it at least goes to show that my body hasn't completely abandoned that baby-birthing project, as was my fear. Also, TMI, but SO. MUCH. MUCOUS. Really, I had no idea. I've also been having seemingly more significant contractions for the last two days, but they haven't really seemed organized enough to matter, so I'm mostly just giving my belly the side-eye and waiting for things to be more definite.

Today also marked my very last day at work. Possibly FOREVER, but at least for the next 12 weeks. Very strange. Tomorrow morning is my midwife appointment omg scary times, but I'm feeling pretty optimistic about it, what with recent developments. I feel pretty confident, at least for the moment, that things are not going to end all scary scary doctor hospital needle scalpel DEATH. Whee positive attitude! I try.

Monday, July 18, 2011

At least today is somebody's birthday!

Today will be an experiment in how to not completely irritate your husband on his 28th birthday when you are also 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant. It might be tricky. Plan so far is to get the fuck out of the house and get a pedicure, because I am sure I am far less annoying when I am not here. We'll see how it goes after that.

I love you, Kyle.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another day

Today is a better day. Yesterday was pretty okay, too, actually. I haven't cried since Friday, but I cried way a lot on Friday, so I guess it all evens out. But at least a little bit I think I'm learning how to live at this new pace that is the end of pregnancy. Living slower is making me feel like I'm not doing quite so much impossible waiting. I'm sleeping in and taking leisurely showers and generally not clock-watching and probably moving half as slow as the rest of the world, but I think that's for the best. The only hard part is that no one else is on my new schedule, so it can get kind of lonely. Everyone else also has lives and jobs and things, and I think are reserving their time for later, because it's much more exciting to hang out with a newborn baby than a bitchy term pregnant woman.

However. Kyle and I wandered and ate our way around the Bite of Seattle yesterday, which is pretty much the perfect event for a pregnant woman, and today BFF and I did some mall-walking, Frappuccino -drinking, and nursing-apparel shopping. I am a much happier person if I get out of the house and do something, anything, at least once a day. Tomorrow the only thing I have planned so far is a pedicure, but that is something at least. And beyond that, who knows. I'm having a hard time thinking more than one day ahead at this point. Everything seems far too uncertain.

I am starting to feel like I'm living in some sort of dream world. The longer things go, the less real anything feels. Kind of like the early weeks of my pregnancy where in between bouts of nausea I wouldn't have any symptoms and my body hadn't started changing yet and I would feel like I had imagined it all. Obviously, I am huge and clearly pregnant, but the reality of getting a baby sometime in the next week and a half seems to recede further and further into the distance. A week ago I felt like labor was imminent and I was ready, and now... it all just seems impossible. I feel like I am sitting in a nursery decorated for no one, and that I'm going to turn into a crazy lady pushing around an empty stroller. It is very strange and surreal.

But I guess it will all be over soon. This is the last month I will be pregnant. I will have a baby in the next couple weeks. This will end, and I will have my new reality and it will be good. I just need to remain calm and patient. I'm doing okay at that today.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Overdue

I've been putting off writing this post,  as it feels a bit like admitting defeat, but here I am. Still no baby. My due date has come and gone and nothing really has changed much. Baby boy shows no signs of being ready or willing to come out ever.

40 weeks, this past Wednesday
I am.... barely holding it together. There are lots of tears. LOTS. I think I am dehydrating myself from crying so much, actually. I have a wicked headache this morning. I'm trying to rein it in and get more fluids in me, you know, in case I have the occasion to need to buttload of energy in the near future, but I'm really no match for my hormones and emotions right now. Yesterday Kyle decided that an hour of hysterical wife sobbing was a reasonable excuse not to go into the office and took me to lunch instead. And before he went out in the evening for baseball-related activities, he had me invite myself over for dinner at my parents. They thought it was hilarious that he was having them "babysit" me, but it was probably for the best, since I likely would have otherwise sat at home in the dark crying. Yes, I know I am pathetic.

I also got myself a Frappaccino yesterday afternoon and walked around the lake listening to my labor playlist, and it was very nice. 2.8 miles and it only took me an hour and twenty minutes. It was actually lovely, even though it started raining a couple times. The headphones means that no one talked to me and I got to get some alone time without it making me feel depressed and isolated and helpless. And you know, the walking thing, that's supposed to help, right? I think it's going to be a regular afternoon activity for me until baby boy decides to show up.

My sister is also back from France now. She got in Wednesday night. I'm happy she's here, of course, but I was really hoping to have a baby before she got here, so I haven't been as joyful about it as I perhaps should be. I love my sister, but she can be somewhat emotionally draining for me, and I'm spread thin already as it is. And she doesn't understand why I am so short and so angry and so quick to fly off the handle, that I'm not really ready to spend a lot of time with her quite yet. Unfortunate.

I really want to have a baby soon. If I make it to my next appointment on Thursday I have to have a non-stress test and we'll sweep my membranes and schedule an ultrasound and I really want no part of any of it. Please please please please please let me have a baby first.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Still here.

Oh hey I am still pregnant. I guess that's not super surprising, since my due date isn't even til Wednesday, but I feel like I've had this baby inside me for pretty much forever, and there's only so long you can go without completely losing your mind.

I think this would all be a lot easier if I could really give into just living in the moment and not worrying about how much longer I have and what plans I have for this week and whatever, but unfortunately the rest of the world doesn't exactly work like that, so it's really hard to just let everything else go. I still have to worry about when I am scheduled at work, and who I have to call to make sure the world doesn't end if I can't come in and that my sister is coming back to Seattle in a few days and that Kyle has a baseball game later, and good lord everything is so damn inconvenient when you are a term pregnant woman working with an even that can happen anytime in a five week stretch. Although I guess at this point I only have to worry about two and a half.

Once labor truly begins, though, time really can stop mattering for a while, and I am so looking forward to that. Once we get there, the only thing that will really matter is what is currently happening, and I no longer have to worry about the rest of the world's schedule. It will just be me and my body and my husband and my baby and our family going at the speed that works for us, and while the world is obviously not going to be stopping also, we can for the most part happily ignore the artificial scheduling of everything. I can't wait for that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

39/40

I am 39 weeks pregnant today. Woo-freaking-hoo. I am absolutely done being pregnant, but unfortunately my dear little fetus doesn't really give a crap that I am done. So, in my body he remains. Hopefully not for much longer. I have a good feeling about the next couple of days, but it is just a feeling, based on nothing in particular, and as such has no merit at all, and at this point I should just resign myself to being pregnant for a full 42 weeks, so I can be pleasantly surprised if baby boy shows up any sooner. But really, like, RIGHT NOW would be just GREAT.

The good news is that he keeps dropping in small increments such that I am actually interested in eating meals again, instead of a steady diet of milkshakes and bowls of cereal. Although, now that I think about it, I am going to go get a bowl of cereal.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An invitation:

Dear Baby,

Hey baby boy! How are you? I am incredibly uncomfortable.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I don't have any plans for tomorrow, so if you're not busy either maybe you'd want to hang out with me? We could meet up at the birth center. I'll even invite Daddy; he can drive. Let me know if you're interested. You know where to find me.

Love, Mommy

Saturday, July 2, 2011

37 Weeks, 6 Days

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