Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Mornings...

This weeks version of a Monday morning...

Let's start at the beginning...this morning I snoozed my alarm too many times so I was running late to start. I didn't iron my clothes last night because I forgot to ask Mike to do it. As soon as I step out of my car in the parking lot the heel on my shoe breaks off and as I am putting my stuff for lunch in the fridge, I realize I forgot the chicken for my chicken cobb wraps...yep one of those days. I was back at work after an amazing 5 day reprieve (I was out yesterday taking care of sicklings aplenty) and things were exactly thesame as when I left. Fires everywhere, people twirlingabout for ridiculous reasons, drama lurking in every corner…and you might wonder why I am already counting down thedays until the next holiday – MILESTONES BABY!!

Speaking of milestones - Thanksgiving was nice, we had a good time with family watchingfootball and eating. Parker was really cute in hisoutfit.

We had to leave early to put Parker down, so we missed playing a game.  There were some turkey mishaps, dog disagreements and football vs. boardgame debates, but what is Thanksgiving without a little drama, right? Then...everyone got sick. Mike and Hailey got it the worst, then me andthen Parker got a little something yesterday. Needless to say, I am exhausted. Ona good note though, yesterday while I was home, Mike and I had a few really good conversations about some parenting, relationship and career/life things that have been on our minds for a few weeks now. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate myhusband. He lets me be completelyhonest, even with the things that you never want to say out loud – and moreoften than not he knows what I’m thinking even before I am able toarticulate it to myself. I don’t alwaysremember that he is this awesome, but he usually finds a way to remind me. I guess I'll keep him around a little longer...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

3 Months

It's official: today Parker is 3 months old.  I no longer have a newborn, he is officially an infant - not that anyone thought he was a newborn anymore since he is freaking huge.

So here are a few 3 month updates:

November 22, 2011
The last time we weighed him (around veterans day so about two weeks ago) he was 15.6lbs, so I would say he's an easy 16lbs at this point.  Monster of a baby.  He is about 25in long and is comfortably filling out his 6mo clothing.  His little personality is starting to bud: he smiles and giggles A TON, he tries to roll but hasn't quite figured out what to do with his other arm yet, he reaches out for things (still very uncoordinated with it, but you can watch him thinking about how to move his arms to reach what he wants), he has starting cooing all the time and when Mike and I are talking he will chatter away and change tones like he's part of the conversation.  He has started to take more of an interest in the dogs and watches them often.  Overall, he is a great baby.

November 23, 2011 - 3 Months Old

After three months, I have lost most of my baby weight - 5 lbs left to be more precise, and it just seems to stick to me like glue, although being honest I have been really bad about exercising since I went back to work.  I have been eating really well though, and I am still slowly losing weight, just not as quick as I'd like.  I know people say to give it 9 months before you start to be hard on yourself, but I just don't work that way.  Before we found out I was pregnant, I was probably about 15-20lbs heavier than when I met Mike, so my goal is to lose about 20-25lbs from where I am now by next summer.  Right about the time Mike and I want to start trying for another one...hmmm, maybe I should rethink that plan.  The scene of the crime is mostly back to normal, thank goodness, I worried it would never be the same.  Work is still...well...its work and I would much rather be home with my baby than dealing with other peoples self-created fires.  But what are you going to do...my husband just doesn't love me enough to win the lotto.

Me and Mike:
Babies definitely change a lot in a relationship.  I feel much closer to Mike in one sense because we have this amazing thing in our lives that we made because we love each other, and that is really freaking awesome.  On the other hand, I see how easy it is to grow apart once you have a baby.  So much of my/our time is devoted to Parker that we really have to make an effort to carve out time for ourselves, and then we have the girls on top of that.  We try though, we could probably be better, but we try and that's a start.

He is still doing pools on Saturdays.  He seems to enjoy being Mr. Stay-at-home-Dad and does a great job keeping things together so that I have more time to spend with Parker in the evenings.  He has decided to go back to school to work towards an ecology/environmental science type degree in pursuit of becoming a park ranger or something along those lines.  He has shown a lot of initiative and excitement with this so I am hopeful that he will continue to be ambitious in this endeavor.

Hailey and Tristan:
Hailey and Tristan are good.  As I said a few posts ago, Tristan has asked to be with her mom more, and we are starting to get used to her being gone more.  Hailey wants to start soccer, so we signed her up last weekend and the spring co-ed season will start in March and I plan to coach - yikes, haven't been involved with soccer in a long while, but I am really excited to get back into it and have something to help me bond more with Hailey.   They are both doing well in school and have completely adjusted to life in the public school system.

So yep, that's us.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How far we've come...

Tomorrow Parker will be 3 months…on one hand I can hardly believe its already been three months and on the other I can’t believe its only been three months.  As I sit here – in the middle of yet another day of work fires – I realize I never wrote down Parker’s birth story.  So here it is…mostly for the sake of helping me to remember my experience.

Let’s start the week before:
Picture me – huge round belly and tree trunk legs because I am so swollen, only ever in dresses because nothing else fits – waddling from our house to my in-laws (about a half mile) EVERY SINGLE NIGHT in an attempt to self-induce labor, despite the caveat from my midwife that walking DOES NOT bring on labor, but it will definitely bring on contractions.  And every single night after this walk, I would have loads of contractions and Mike and I would time them and get all excited because as each day passed the contractions started to get closer together.  And every single night I thought to myself “this is it, this has got to be it!” 

Friday morning, we have an appointment at Kaiser to check how I am progressing.  At this appointment I am 2cm dilated and convinced that every little cramp is the beginning of labor.  My midwife informs me otherwise and schedules a non-stress test for me since I am almost at a full week late.  She says that at this appointment they will schedule an induction, if I even make it that far.

Sunday night, we once again take a walk to Dennis and Gloria’s because I am beyond desperate to get this baby out.  We have dinner and chat – and by chat I mean I complain for most of the night about how ready I am to have this freaking baby already.  The next morning, we have our Non-Stress Test appointment which I am excited for because it means there is an end in sight.  I have done my research as to the possible outcomes of this appointment (1: everything is good and they schedule the induction for some time in the next few days or 2: something is wrong and they immediately induce).  As I have had a very easy pregnancy so far, I assume that option number 1 will be the case and don’t bother making sure my bags are fully packed because I don’t think we will really need them in the morning.

Monday morning, we have to drop the girls off at Bethany’s and we are running late as always and completely forget the bag and breakfast and barely make it on time.  We check in and get settled for the test which is basically just an ultrasound.  The tech comes in and begins the ultrasound and is making all kinds of alarming noises.  This is the first point throughout this process that I have actually been really scared for my baby.  I ask her – choking back tears – what is wrong and she nonchalantly tells me that I don’t pass.  “What does that mean?”  I ask.  She responds simply with “well, it means you don’t pass this portion of the test.” No shit Sherlock, but what does not passing mean?   I ask again, “what does that mean?  For the baby? For me?”  “Well, it means that you can’t leave.  Do you have your stuff?  I am going to go call and see if I can get a bed for you now, we are going to induce you because your fluid is low.”  “What does that mean?”  “Well, there is not enough amniotic fluid and so we need to induce you to ensure the safety of your baby.” Ensure the safety of my baby? Now I am completely scared and definitely fighting tears.  She tells me that it is okay, the fluid level is not so low that the baby is in any harm, but that it is low enough that they don't want to let it go any longer.  I look to Michael, somewhat relieved by this statement and realize we don’t have my bag and I am starving because we didn’t eat breakfast, but we decide to wait until we get into a room to get food and for him to go get the bag since I can’t leave.

We call everyone and let them know what is going on and about an hour later we are in our room (which is more like a small hotel room than what I had expected, complete with couch, rocking chair, tv, etc).  The nurses come in and are introducing themselves and I ask where I can easily get food.  The woman gives me a sad look, “you can’t eat! You’ve been admitted, all you can have is jello and ice chips at this point”  my stomach gurgles.  So as they are getting me set up for the Pitocin, Michael takes off to go and get our overnight stuff.  They check me, give me an IV and start the meds just as Mike is getting back. 

The contractions are getting very close together now – that Pitocin works real quick.  The anesthesiologist comes in to talk about my option(s), though for me there is only one: drugs.  I decide that I can wait a while until the pain is really bad.  After about an hour on the Pitocin, I get a contraction that makes me burst into tears it hurts so bad and all of a sudden like 10 people are in my room and they are doing a bunch of stuff that I can’t see or understand.  A really nice doctor walks right up to me and holds my hand as he tells me it’s going to be okay, the baby's heart rate has dropped because I had so many contractions back to back and that it’s like the baby is holding his breath.  I am so scared at this point for Parker.  They tell me that they are going to take me off of the Pitocin for a while to give me and the baby a little break, but that they will be back in an hour to start it up again.

In the meanwhile, Mike and I play cards and read and I indulge in television (since we don’t have cable).

4 hours later…they finally come back.  The anesthesiologist comes and gives me an epidural – which is not nearly as intimidating as everyone makes it out to be.  Yes the needle is big, but it’s not that bad.  They give it half an hour for that to really kick in and then start up the Pitocin again.  At this point I am 4 cm dilated.  It is at this point that I also realize that I am SO HUNGRY. I ask the nurse if I can get some jello but she tells me that because I just had my epidural I can only have ice chips from this point forward *insert sound of heart breaking here*.  I get some ice chips and munch them as the pain steadily increases despite the recent injection of highly numbing pain meds – my utmost respect to those women out there who deliver drug free.  Mike has a 15 minute timer set so that we can hit the “more drugs” button as soon as possible.  About an hour after they reinstate the Pitocin, the nurse checks and I am 6cm dilated and tells me to call her if I need her.  It’s about 8:30pm at this point (not completely sure because the clock was broken in my room).  I have to have the anesthesiologist come in several more times to give me a little something extra in my IV because I am in so much pain.  I am just laying there in the bed balling as a squeeze Mike’s hand.  Within 30 minutes I have this sudden urge to push and I tell Mike to get the midwife.  She comes and checks me, but I am still only about 6.5cm dilated.  She leaves and says she will check on me again in 30 minutes.  10 minutes later, I tell Mike he has to get her again because I NEED TO PUSH.  I start pushing because it’s the only thing that alleviates the pain in any way.  The midwife comes back and checks me again, I am 9.5cm dilated and she says that its go time.  She starts to direct me in how to push.   

And the pushing begins.

Roll this way, push push push.  Roll that way, push push push.  Roll again, push push push.  The problem is that the baby is facing the wrong way (at this point I can’t remember if it was up or down, but in any case it was the wrong way).  I am in so much pain and so tired because it’s been forever since I ate something other than ice chips – which Mike is feeding me every few minutes.  Two hours pass and I am exhausted.  I ask the midwife how much longer they are going to make me push before they move to plan B.  She says at this point I just have to keep pushing.  It has now been two hours and just under forty-five minutes and in sobs, I ask her again “how long are you going to make me keep pushing?  I can’t do this anymore.”  By “this” I mean the roll, push, roll push routine.  In the middle of all of this, Mike has become her second set of hands.  He is simultaneously letting me squeeze the crap out of his hand, holding my legs up as I push, helping me rotate every few pushes, feeding me ice chips and telling me it’s okay and will be over soon.  Just as they are going to get the doctor to prep me for a c-section, another midwife walks in and determinedly tells me we are going to do this here and now.  She pops up these hand grips from the bed and has me pushing as hard as I possibly can.  Within minutes the baby’s head is visible and I keep pushing.  After probably ten minutes of solid, no screaming allowed, non-stop pushing, I feel the ring of fire and the baby’s head is out.  Deep breath, bigger push, the baby is out and on my chest and I am instantly in love.  I take a deep breath and am in awe of the little crying blood and goop covered ball on my chest.  They take him, cut the cord and start to clean him up as they have me continue to push out the placenta.  Once that is out my words were something along the lines of “oh dear God, I feel so much better, the pressure is finally gone.”  Then my next question is “is it still Monday?”  (We were hoping that he would be born on Monday so that there was a little bit more time in between his and Hailey’s birthdays, but he had a different plan)  The midwife tells me that I have torn and that she is going to stitch me up after she gives me a little extra pain medication since it seems my epidural has worn off.  She finishes up after about an hour and I get to hold Parker for the first time.  Pure happiness and elation.  I tell Mike that this is probably the proudest moment of my life and that I can’t believe I actually did it because towards the end, I really didn’t believe I could. 

The three things I remember most but can’t really describe are the ring of fire – which must have been when I tore, the feeling of Parker on my chest and watching Parker getting cleaned off as they stitched me up.  He was born at 12:19am on Tuesday August 23rd, weighing 7lbs 10 ozs and measuring 19.5in in length.  Perfection.

And now, three months later I think about how far we have come from that point.  How far we have come from gently passing him back and forth like a china doll.  How far we have come from sleeping on the big chair in the living room for three nights straight when we first brought him home because it was too uncomfortable to move from the stitches, etc.  How far we have come from being scared that I wasn’t feeding him enough before my milk came in and therefore letting him nurse for 5 straight hours until my nipple actually started bleeding.  How far we have come from waking up every hour to feed him.  I am so proud of myself and so proud of Parker for all of our accomplishments over the last three months and am so excited for everything that is ahead of us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The world is getting scarier...

Yesterday, in our staff meeting a book that my boss and I have recently read came up.  It's titled 'Super Sad True Love Story' by Gary Shteyngart.  It is a great and terrifying modern satire of the famous book '1984' and when I say terrifying, I mean it.  I read this book at the end of last year, and it continues to stay and haunt me throughout my everyday actions.  In this futuristic world, scantily-clad fashionistas have flooded the mainstream, smart phones broadcast every facet of your being from your credit score to your so-called 'f**kability' for everyone to hear or see posted on towers throughout the cities.  No one reads books, they are relatively obsolete and viewed as historical artifacts.  The story follows a man who has not quite learned how to adapt to this fast-paced technology driven world, though he desperately wants to fit in and be admired.  He meets a much younger girl and becomes almost obsessed with her.  It follows their disfunctional relationship amidst growing international debt and terror crises.
I often think about this book when I go on facebook and see the ridiculous amounts of personal information that people choose to share.  I think about this book when I see young kids masterfully navigating their parents iPhones, slowly being molded into another iSlave drone.  (Don't get me wrong, I love Apple and own many of their products, but nonetheless view them as a corporation that has preyed on the minds and wallets of consumers desperate to feel as though they are part of the in-crowd.)  I think about this book when I read about the 'Occupiers' and their efforts to enact change through passive and practical inaction.  As they destroy public property, vandalize locals business and overall bring havoc to their local neighborhoods...I wonder to myself if Mr. Shteyngart has more than just a gift for writing...but a certain clairvoyance.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fatal Distraction

In the midst of so many recent horrible things happening to children, I have become completely paranoid about the safety of mine.  Every night I wake up with a start and retrace my actions before bed, reminding myself that I did in fact check that all of the doors were locked and that everyone was safely tucked in their beds.  I never imagined how heavy the weight of the responsibility of keeping a child safe.  Last night I was telling Michael how overwhelming it can be at times for me.  Then I get in to work and read the newest post on Baby Rabies and am once again flooded with fear for my baby’s well-being.  The article referenced in the post called ‘Fatal Distraction’, a Pulitzer Prize winner, recounts several instances where children have been forgotten in their parents cars.  After reading it, I feel so strongly for these parents.  I can’t even imagine the utter despair and grief that would come with accidentally killing your child.  I look at my own personality – type-A for sure, with a strong need to control my own environment – and I worry that one day I too will forget my baby in the backseat on a hot day.  It gives me the chills.  I am thankful that for now Mike is home with Parker and I don’t have to be the one to take him to day care in the morning and pray that when that day comes, I will never be in their shoes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Mornings...

So after my husband gave me crap about how boring my blog is…with just random sparse updates…so I have decided to try to step it up a notch.  I have recently started reading two other blogs that make me crack up (Baby Rabies and HowToBeADad.com).  Some people do a great job of highlighting the hilarious parts of everyday life, and these two blogs definitely make the list.  Hopefully I can at least come close. 

Today at work, the speech writer that everyone despises is finally moving downstairs to another office…thank god.  This means we are moving…ugh.  I will now be the person in the front…as if I have nothing to do and can just sit around and entertain people.  And it means Corinna gets the actual office…which I knew would happen, but I am still completely jealous.  In any case, life at the zoo continues.

On another note, Tristan has decided that she no longer wants to spend weekends with us because she wants to spend more time with her mom.  Which works for us, it’s what we wanted anyway, but I have to say that it definitely hurt a little bit since we have done so much for her over the last year.  I guess this season has come to an end and it’s time to focus on Hailey and Parker. 

Speaking of the little man…yesterday was Parker’s first sick day and boy was it awesome.  I know that sounds really bad, but it was great to just cuddle all day – after I cleaned up the puke in my bed.  He was feeling a lot better by the evening, and by bath time he was splashing around like crazy…back to his usual self.  The girls and Mike were playing in the front yard and I came out with Parker so that Mike could hold him for a bit.  As I walked away he started screaming and regardless of what Mike says, I am convinced he said ‘mama.’  It was awesome.  We think he might be teething…which is not so awesome. 

And now it’s back to Monday morning…