Friday, May 30, 2008

Birth Story

I am pleased to say that Willow's birth story is not as exciting as Michael's birth story. After all the drama and worries of his birth, it was nice to have a scheduled C-Section that went very smoothly. We went into the hospital at 7 a.m. on April 24th. The nurse attending me was very nice and gentle with the IV (one of the things I always dread). We waited in the recovery room for our scheduled time. We even heard the first baby born that day via scheduled C-Section (out in the hallway, being wheeled out with his mommy). Once I was wheeled into the OR, the only complication was finding a good place for the spinal. For what seemed like FOREVER, I was hunched over, holding onto the nurse, while they kept jabbing me with the spinal needle. FINALLY, they found a good spot, and AWAY we went! The operation was pretty quick, I felt some tugging, but not much else. I saw Willow almost immediately, my husband held her and said how beautiful she was. I was holding her in recovery.

Recovery was pretty quick...although so quick, that I started feeling like I could eat the soft liquids right away. They offered me raspberry sherbet and I took it. They offered me raspberry sherbet a second time, I took it. The third time was for "dinner". When visitors and family were gone, the nurses helped me up to walk around for the first time and besides the dizziness, I felt sick. And then came the throwing up of raspberry sherbet. I do not like raspberry sherbet anymore.

The rest of my hospital stay was pleasant. The nurses were wonderful and Willow was brought into my room whenever I wanted her (and whenever she needed to feed). I chose to not have her room in, as I knew this was the last time for a while that I would get any type of sleep. The first night there was hard, being alone and in some discomfort, and being in an unfamilar place. However, by the second night, I had a routine down pat. Visitors/family would leave about 8 p.m., I would take Willow back to the nursery and rest for about an hour, she would come in to breastfeed, I would watch our favorite programs and my husband and I would call each other during the commercials. Then I would go to bed, with interruptions from the nurses and Willow--at 3 a.m. the nurse would come in and offer to make me some wheat toast. The first solid food I had was that wheat toast, and it was wonderful!

I was able to walk around pretty quickly, and the only snag came the second shower--when some of my dressing came off, and I had to have my OB staple up part of my incision. My last day of at the hospital, I took a walk down to the cafe and had ice cream with chocolate sauce. The next day, Willow and I were dressed and ready to leave!

And here are some current photos:


These are pictures of Willow in an outfit that JJ sent us:






Michael holding Willow (she wasn't crying until I took the picture):


First born doing something he rarely does--Nap!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Book Tour: Water for Elephants

The book for this tour was "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. It followed a character as he worked in a circus during the 1930s. It was very interesting and a good read, especially for the many details of the inner workings of a train circus. Only towards the end did I find it a bit rushed, as I wondered about the fate of one of the characters (Walter/Kinko) and why the main character (Jacob) did not try to find out more fully what happened to him. Other than that flaw, I would recommend this book for a nice summer beach read.

Below are the questions for this tour:

Originally forced to share quarters,Kinko (Walter) seems to have an intense dislike for Jacob. One day, Jacob helps Kinko's dog Queenie and Kinko becomes his friend because of this small act of kindness. Has someone performed a simple act of kindness that changed your feelings toward them? How did this small act affect you? Can just a small and simple thing have a profound effect?

I believe many times that a small act of kindness will lead to even bigger acts.

We moved 800 miles away from our family and friends when we finished college. Being so far away, it was hard to meet people and re-establish ourselves, and I have found the people who became our friends here have become our "family" by the many small acts of kindnesses that they have done for us. Often those small acts are reciprocated, and was built upon so that now, there is nothing that we would not do for the other.

What does the title mean to you?
Why do you think Sara Gruen chose it as the title?


I find the title refers to an act that is impossible (you can't bring water to elephants, it is better to bring the elephant to the water). The fact that a murder is done by an animal (and supposedly knowingly) would be the impossiblity that she refers to. That is the obscure meaning I take, but the more literal meaning would be that it is a common phrase concerning circus's.


On page 109, old Jacob complains about how his family keeps secrets from him: "And those are just the things I know about. There are a host of others they don't mention because they don't want to upset me. I've caught wind of several, but when I ask
questions, they clam right up. Mustn't upset Grandpa, you know... Why?
That's what I want to know. I hate this bizarre policy of protective exclusion, because it effectively writes me off the page. If I don't know about what's going on in their lives, how am I supposed to insert myself in the conversation?... I've decided it's not about me at all. It's a protective mechanism for them, a way of buffering themselves against my future death..."
Reading this, I could see myself in both Jacob & in his family members, both in respect to our infertility situation and other matters.
Whose viewpoint do you relate to most in this passage and why?


I would be agreeing with Jacob, as I prefer people to be up front with me and not to protect me. I tend to be a type of person who would rather not couch things for the "protection" of the person. (Not that I don't sometimes do that myself, I just would prefer not to). When we were dealing with infertility and IVF, I preferred to deal with it frankly and truthfully--and most of my family and friends know that is how I am.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: The Empty Picture Frame by Jenna Nadeau (with author participation because she's a blogger!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Things I Can't Get Pictures of...

Yesterday morning, at 5:30 a.m., Michael coming into the bed while I am finishing feeding Willow. We all get into bed, husband, then Michael, then me holding Willow. Michael reaches his arm over and hugs both Willow and me.

The interesting "O" that Willow makes with her mouth while she is making a BM.

The many Spike Jones stylings of my husband, the Baby Charmer, who calms Willow singing "Pass The Bisquits Mirandy"

The many yawning poses of Willow.

Michael's wonderful look when he sees his sister when I pick him up from after school.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

One Month

Willow is one month old today (thanks to Zoloft, she has baby acne):


And, thanks to Zoloft, here is something I can do now--sleep during the day!


Willow is doing well, being more wakeful and starting to use those neck muscles.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some type of Routine

Getting into a routine of sorts and it certainly helps with the depression. The med has kicked in too, so all in all, things are going well. Michael is back at school, and his routine is almost back to the way it was before--weirdly, he was the one I was worried about being affected by the new addition, and he is the least affected. He gets to play a bit more video games lately, but otherwise, I am starting to get the hang of juggling a newborn and meeting the needs of an ADHD 9 year old.

Willow is doing very well. Right now she has some baby acne, and she still LOVES scratching her face, no matter how many times I trim her nails. Basically breast feeding on demand, which is wearing me down as sometimes that means every HOUR--esp. in the early evening, but seems to keep her happy and healthy. During the day she is still mostly sleeping, although she is having more and more wakeful times (when she is not demanding to be fed). She is totally into faces (esp. her mom, dad and brother)and her hands, learning to clasp them and suck her fingers. She is still not fitting in most of her clothes, but have received more as gifts--can't wait to see her in some of the cute outfits (some are kinda girlie--I'll deal).

I am doing pretty well. As long as I schedule out my weeks, and have somewhere/something to do, I feel pretty much in control.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Safety Net

Today is my first day without someone home with me. I have two appointments, one with the Pedi and one with my therapist, so getting out of the house is not a problem today. Today the hard part will be coming home and then picking up my son and dealing with the two of them. Routine is slowly, ever so slowly, coming, but my anxiety levels are still high sometimes and every so often that pit in my stomach rears its ugly head. But, I think the med is starting to kick in, and I am coping. My therapist wanted me to come up with a schedule this week, including people I was going to visit, errands I would do, etc. Keeping a routine and getting out of the house and not being alone are the goals. The good news is that unlike nine years ago, I do feel like I have support if I need it. I am going solo, but I have my safety net at the ready.

I'll update with news from the Pedi--if constant breastfeeding is any indication, I would say she is having a growth spurt and I fully expect her to be at or above her birth weight...

UPDATE: Willow is now 3 oz. above her birth weight (she is 7lbs. 6 oz.), an inch longer and thriving.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Driving

Got to do my first real driving today since the C-Section. In doing so, I found a sense of normalcy and freedom that I had not had in the last couple of weeks. Aside from the reason for driving (to go see a therapist concerning PPD), it was nice to open the window and feel the wind and think of nothing but driving.

Coping well (although haven't been alone yet)and therapy seemed productive, esp. since she specializes in Post Partum Depression and hormonal problems with women. Med hasn't kicked in as of yet (that I know). Meeting with therapist twice a week for now...

Willow is doing well, learning to use her hands and suck her fingers. Michael likes to hug her and touch her little nose.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Desparately Seeking Zoloft

Saw the OB today. Impressed with their quickness and responsiveness. I have a prescription of Zoloft, have had my husband told not to have me be alone (making him freak out--not really my intention), and I am getting an appointment with a therapist.

Right now I have an intense headache, but don't want to take anything else with the zoloft. It will take about 2 weeks for that to kick in.

As for me being alone, husband going to try to take some time off, but its a touchy time at his work. I think it might be time to cash in those favors from some friends of ours...I frankly hope that the zoloft kicks in sooner rather than later.

Hmmm...I still hate hormones...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ahh..the hormones kicking in...

Got my first taste of the "baby blues" today. Feeling overwhelmed and freaked most of the day--luckily MIL was here to take the brunt of baby today, as I went out with husband and son to "Iron Man" movie. It's been rainy here since I got home from the hospital, and I am sure that hasn't helped my mood, but it definately was the same feelings I had last time when I had postpartum depression. I have been fearing this for some time since the pregnancy hit third trimester and I could see we were actually going to have her. The first six weeks of Michael's life, I was a total mess emotionally and since postpartum depression was not even talked about during my preparations for my first child, I was totally sideswiped when it hit me and did not seek any help. This time I am a little more prepared for it, but I was actually hoping that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't be hit with it. Because of my depression, I can't seem to sleep during the day, but so far the sleep depravition has not set in yet,(mainly cuz husband and MIL are here--not sure how I will cope next week when they are not here). But, it seems I am going to take my MIL's advice and contact my OB office on Monday to see if I can help forestall this...at least I know to get some help this time.

I hate hormones! :-)

Physically, I am doing fine: my incision is looking good, down to my normal menstrual pads, feeling some energy coming back. Things that also add to my mood--I hate not being able to exercise or drive my own car! I hate not being in control!

Willow is doing fine--sleeps during day, wakeful at night...(damn!) She's found her hands and loves to suck on her fingers. Does the cutest "O" with her mouth.

Michael is very cute with her, loves to pick her up, feel her sucking on her pacifier, etc.

Trying to get my pictures off of my video camera...hope to post more pictures of Willow.