Thursday, January 31, 2008


I've always liked the idea of one in theory, but it just seemed to be something that would not mesh well with my personality or my life. Well, I can honestly say that I have now been enjoying a baby-moon for the past week and I'll be very sorry to see it go when John has to return to work next Tuesday. Now, I'm not spending long stretches in bed getting to know Alexander while my husband waits on me hand and foot and visitors are discouraged from visiting us during the "bonding" period, but there have been some very nice things happening. After Michael goes down for the night, John and I just spend time together while Alexander marathon nurses or just sleeps on the pillow next to me with his head resting on my breast (have to take a picture because it is seriously the cutest thing ever). We've found that we are really re-connecting as a couple during those evenings and I hope we can continue to do so after he returns to work. It makes me realise exactly how miserable I was during pregnancy or how well my body is reacting to all of the hormones breastfeeding is releasing (probably a bit of both).

I know the fact that this is our second child is definitely playing into things - we don't have all of the paranoia that comes with having a baby for the first time. Michael somehow managed to survive his infancy, so we can't screw up too badly at this point. The fact that I am not in constant pain from the pinched nerve I had postpartum with Michael and that breastfeeding is going so well also play really big parts. At this point in Michael's infancy I had just gotten the nipple shield so he was at least on the breast most of the time, but I was also giving supplemental bottles and pumping after every feeding as well. Granted, Alexander is going through his first growth spurt and at 6 in the morning I'm practically in tears because I've been up for 5 hours with him already (the last two of which has been constant nursing requiring the use of both hands)- it's still loads better than my first nursing experience.

Here are some updates which require simple, declarative sentences so I don't cause the Messrs. Strunk & White to rise from the dead to hunt me down...

  • Alexander's weight check on Tuesday went well - he is up 4 ounces from Friday and that was just with nursing - Yay me!

  • Thanks to some handy help from K, I seem to have mastered using the ring sling, which is the only reason I am now posting to the blog.

  • Growth spurt - this too shall pass, it's completely normal and nothing is seriously wrong. You will once again be able to sleep (new mantra).

  • All of my friends and family seriously rock. I know I'm not great at actually taking people up on their offers of help, but knowing that they are there really means the world to me

  • Finally off the narcotics!

  • Michael is doing great - granted still having some "Serenity Prayer" moments, but all in all he's adjusting well and is finally starting to accept some of my invitations to snuggle on my free side while Alexander is nursing. I also left them alone downstairs for the two minutes it took me to race to the bathroom and Michael sang "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to Alex and was very happy to help. I'm definitely not going to push my luck with this one, but it's nice to know I can at least use the bathroom in relative peace right now.

  • My edema is definitely down. My feet still look very ugly, but it's definitely below my knees now and going down a bit every day. I'm hoping next week and some increased activity will help knock it out once and for all.

  • I can fit into my one-size bigger than pre-pregnancy jeans! My total weight gain for this pregnancy was 40 lbs, but all of it happened in the second half so a third was baby, another third fluid, and the last bit was actual weight-gain. I have a feeling I'll be below pre-pregnancy by the end of spring at the latest.

Last but not least, I have to say a bit about how happy I'm not pregnant any more. Constant pain really sucks and it's amazing how much energy is saps from you. John and I have been spending our evenings together for months now, but the fact that I'm not grunting from prodromal labor or wincing if I move makes a huge difference. It's getting late and lunch need to be made and a certain babe needs to eat again.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sleep does a body good!

I managed to get in an hour nap yesterday afternoon, THREE (yes that is right) hours of CONSECUTIVE sleep last night and another hour and a half this morning. I'm still way shorter with Michael than I'd like to be, but my incision pain is a lot less and I have so much more energy. We all took a walk across the street so Michael could run off some energy in the playground and then we hit the drug store for a few necessities. Alexander is sleeping all snug in the Moby as I write this and he was very comfortable there as I grated cheese and cut up some chicken for lunch (mmmm, nachos).

After I wake Mr. Man up to nurse, it's off to bed for my nap.

Oh, and his output is almost back to where it should be - yay! In fact I've been sprayed twice today.


I forgot to actually give his stats...

Alexander Francis
Monday, January 21st at 9:09 AM
10 pounds 2 ounces
21.5 inches long

Friday, January 25, 2008

The obligatory picture thread


39 week belly shot

on the scale

Jenn & Alex

Michael & Alexander

wooly goodness

Sleep deprived ramblings

I've done the math and it looks like I've basically been awake for going on six days now - I haven't had more than 2 hours consecutive or three hours total sleep a day since Sunday. This makes for some very interesting emotions, to say the least, and as a treat I am sharing my garbled thoughts with you, the internet...

I'm pretty sure The Serenity Prayer is going to be something said daily, if not hourly over the next several weeks/months/years. Right now the current last line (which isn't at all witty - sorry for misleading you earlier S) is, "and to not raise my voice at my child for his completely developmentally appropriate behavior." This should give a little clue on how well Michael and we are doing with the transition.

For whatever reason, I no longer feel like I'm a part of my due date club on my message board. I had a scheduled repeat section and I keep reading subtle judgment into every one's responses to how I gave birth. Yes, I know this is classic projection and it's just my usual way of finding something to beat myself over the head with. Despite the hair shirt I am determined to wear about the cesarean, the experience was everything I hoped for and needed it to be. So much trauma from Michael's birth was healed that morning, and I finally had the empowering birth that I wanted, despite it's surgical nature. I'll probably write up a birth story in the next few weeks so I can get all of the good and the bad out there.

We had Alexander's first visit to the peds this morning and it went really well. The ped isn't freaking about his weight loss (he's down to 8lbs 14oz from the 10lbs 2oz at birth) and we are both confident that he'll be back on track by next week. The LC visit last night was great as well - I learned some new positioning/latching tricks which are almost the opposite of what I was told by the LC's at the hospital, and Alexander is feeding well at last. We'll most likely continue with some syringe supplementation (10-20 cc's per feed) through the weekend until his output is back to where it should be, but I have a pump now and my milk is in so we won't need the formula any more.

After all that, it feels wonderful to be falling in love with my new little man. He just seems so tiny compared to my memories of Michael as a newborn. It's even more funny since their birth stats are pretty much identical - Alexander was 10lbs 2oz and 21.5 inches where Michael was 10lbs 3oz and 21.25 inches. It's all down to build, Michael was (and still very much is) a very solid kid, where Alexander seems to lean more towards lanky. I have a feeling that despite his high birth weight, he's going to be on a completely different growth curve from Michael as well.

This weekend, "sleeping when the baby sleeps" is definitely going to be a priority so I can break the hold the sleep deprivation has over me. The next post is all pics and then it's off to nurse and take a nap.

Oh, and by the way, I actually manage to nurse Alexander in the crowded peds waiting room this afternoon - the first time I've ever done it. Yay me!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This just sucks

or to be more precise - it doesn't suck effectively. John just went out for formula and a syringe and the LC has been called. Alexander's output is nonexistant and his latch has degenerated to the point that it's almost all clicks. I really hoped I wouldn't have to deal with this again - here's hoping we can fix it quickly.

We're home...

..and all is pretty well. I'm having my first postpartum crying fest so I'm feeling a bit dicey, but everything else is looking pretty good except for some mild dehydration and jaundice in Alexander.

I'll post some pics and such later today. Still feeling a bit fragile, so I'll probably be a bit scarce for a bit, but I wanted to thank everyone for their well wishes and support!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Finishing touches

In a mere 7 hours, the Bean will be here.

I had my freak out and got recentered stringing the beads from my Mother Blessing so John can hold them close to me while Alexander is being born. I just have to finish packing up my bag and then it's off to bed for a few hours until we get up at 5 to head out to the hospital.

Wish me luck - I'm going in....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What's doing...

It's 4.30am and I'm awake - hopefully I'll be able to scrape another few hours of broken sleep, but my hopes aren't too high.

It's a bulleted list, folks - 'cause HTML tags are easier than fleshing out sentences...

  • Made chicken soup, chicken & dumplings, and chicken enchiladas tonight (gotta love last-minute cooking). Only think left is jambalaya and Amnerican Chop Suey (a.k.a. beef-a-roni).

  • A pox upon the Website for America's Test Kitchen. I saw the episode with chicken and dumplings a few weeks ago, looked up recipe and loved it. Did not print up said recipe and couldn't remember exact proportions for dumplings. Winged it, ended up with cement balls in stew. Tried to look it up on website and no matter what I tried IT WOULD NOT LET ME - demanded that I give a credit card number for a trial subscription - not two days before I'm having a baby AND major abdominal surgery. End cooking rant

  • I little less angst and EMO and a lot more ass-kicking is requested in Naruto. I swear, if I had to suffer through one more, "he'll never understand me" montage in this fight between Naruto and Sasuke I'll most likely wake the babe when I am watching it next week. It's not quite at a DBZ level, but man it's skirting awfully close. End anime rant.

  • I have ONE day left and about a week's worth of cleaning to fit into it. All I ask is that visitors please stay out of my kitchen and resist the temptation to straighten up in there - my mortification will far outweigh any enjoyment I receive from having a clean kitchen. I am, however, making the time to scrub the damn grout in the bathroom because I've been wanting to do it for months and if I can't have a pristine kitchen, I'm going to have clean grout in my shower.

I really have to attempt to go back to sleep. Sorry for all the vitriol, but it's got to go somewhere.

Last but not least - some prayers and thoughts out to two of my friends who are going through some rough times. I'll be thinking of you guys.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Just for fun...

86% Mike Gravel
86% Dennis Kucinich
82% Barack Obama
81% John Edwards
81% Chris Dodd
78% Joe Biden
76% Hillary Clinton
76% Bill Richardson
37% Rudy Giuliani
29% Ron Paul
29% John McCain
23% Mitt Romney
22% Mike Huckabee
18% Tom Tancredo
13% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What's been doing

I finally broke radio silence and called two of my girlfriends today. J actually got a care for the car share so we could go to our knitting circle tonight and it was wonderful - it's been weeks since I've left the house just for me and I so needed it considering it won't be happening again in the near future what with the newborn and all.

On the cleaning front - things are moving s-l-o-w-l-y. John has decided that I am to lay in bed tonight while he starts tackling the clothes-a-lanche in our room and I tell him what pile to put things into. We have to get this done so we can set up the cradle and the Bean will have a place to sleep since our bed really isn't big enough for cosleeping and I don't want to give Michael any ideas because he is just impossible to cosleep with.

On the cooking front, things are going much better. I made up a big batch of macaroni and cheese yesterday. It's not the best, but nothing a decent amount of Frank's Red Hot Sauce won't fix. Today I made 4 quarts of chicken broth and a big pan of ham and asparagus risotto. All that's left for today is to pick the chicken. Tomorrow I'll make soup and chicken enchiladas. Thursday will be meatloaf and grilled sausages with beef and Guinness on the menu for Friday. Last but not least, I'll get the jambalaya done on Saturday. I still wanted to make some sort of chicken stew in there as well, but I won't be too put out if it doesn't get done.

S is taking me out to Wholefoods in the morning so I can get my probiotics and Emergen-C so I can start bulking up on things before Monday and my sister is going to take me to Trader Joe's on Friday so we can stock the pantry with snacks and convenience foods fr lunches and such (I always forget to plan for food for myself).

In knitting news, I finished the Silky Sock Baby Socks with the toe-up gusset/rounded heel/short-row heel flap and all that's left is for them to be washed, blocked and sent on their way. I just cast-on for another pair of baby socks with some of the leftover Austermann Step. I'll take my leave to go and knit for a bit before I have to start picking chicken.

'Night all!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Crafts Update

It's been a while - but here is some stuff for the Bean and some stuff I made for another babe-to-be...

Coming Home Outfit

Koigu Baby Surprise Jacket

Orange Malabrigo Snazzy Pants Longies

Swap Package
Nature Wool Saartje's Booties
Araucania Nature Wool Saartje's Booties

Frilly Baby Socks
Frilly Baby Socks

Iro Gnomey
Noro Iro Gnomey

Swing Thing
Rowan Kid Classic Swing Thing

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gee, I feel so special...

Similac, out of the kindness of their hearts, decided to send me a package today probably chock full of "free" samples of their products and a handy-dandy guide on how to breastfeed.

Thankfully, Michael and I were napping when it arrived so all my postman left was the little slip telling me I have to walk the mile and a half to pick it up myself at the post office. I will be checking the "Refuse Delivery" box on the slip and leaving it for the postman tomorrow. It's not the giant "Return to Sender", "Unsolicited" and "In Violation of the International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes" that I had planned on writing on said box, but I'll take what I can get.

Wait, haven't I been here before?

Extremely short version...

B/P 150/90
OB says across the street - if it doesn't come down babe is coming today.
Mad scramble to find someone to take Michael since John is the only librarian at his branch today.
Girding myself for potential fight with OB about babe coming today - no way in hell unless there's some pretty definitive proof that it has to happen.
Win argument with nurse about straight cath to check for protien in urine - something my OB failed to mention to me, I wonder why?
Alarm goes off on the monitor every time it takes mt B/P because it's so low.
Labs come back clean. Get to go home.
Emotionally and physically exhausted.
Babe gets to bake another week and a half - I get to spend long stretches in recliner asking Michael "What are you doing?" when I hear strange things happening behind my back and receive the lovely response of, "Nothing," which will require me to get out of said recliner to see what he's getting into.

Oh - and for the deja vu aspect, did the exact same thing with Michael, just a few weeks earlier. Guess I need to get my bag packed, either that or I didn't bring enough knitting with me this morning.

Note to self - ALWAYS eat a big breakfast before going to the OB's - scale be damned, at least you won't be starving with shaking hands because you've been NPO all morning (didn't get to eat until 1pm).

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The day isn't complete

Without a call to Poison Control.

Everything's fine - Michael is being a typical 3 year-old and I'm in no way prepared for it.

God help me when there are two of them.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happiness is...

A husband who goes to the drug store to get his pregnant wife Tumms, Benadryl, and a Tastykake cherry pie.

My crunchy cred be damned - I want to eat fake cherry pie and sleep tonight without this damned GERD.

He's pretty great all around actually - but tonight he is truly wonderful.

Thrown for a loop

Just coping with lots of emotional baggage right now and it has completely thrown me off my nesting groove. I am currently sporting the "bitten to the quick" fingernail look and if I got any sleep last night I'd be really surprised. Of course, I was planning on taking Michael out to the park to see K and Z this morning but I ended up unable to move off the couch for most of the morning. At the ripe hour of 1pm, I'm just now starting to feel human and ready to tackle the decluttering in our bedroom, which needs to be done - desperately. S is bringing over a whole slew of baby things tomorrow morning and I'm hoping to get a bunch of stuff over to Good Will so it's out of my house.

In knitting news, all of my gnomey hats are done but the one I washed for my swap package still isn't dried yet so it's going to have to wait for tomorrow which will make it an even 20 days late. I am so embarrassed but at least my partner is domestic at she'll have it by the weekend. I am planning on getting out of the house tonight for my knitting circle, especially since it will probably be the last one I'll attend for a bit. Lets hope the Bean is happy to sleep on mama so she can go out an knit once a week.

Off to get dressed and walk to the corner store for lunch.

Here's the swap package (still drying and awaiting buttons)...


Monday, January 07, 2008

Crunch Time!

I just added about a half-dozen things to my Ravelry project page to be done in the next two weeks and that is not including the couple of machine-sewn things I want to get done over the next two weeks. My DDC swap package is right now soaking in wool wash and will be wending its way across the country tomorrow. I've been obsessing about the contents endlessly, but John assures me that even as late as it is, it's still more than enough.

Knitting needs to be blocked and lunch eaten. I hope to get pics up on the blog and Ravelry tomorrow, and even the latest U/S pic of the Bean.

Wool waits for no woman...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Getting there...

This is probably the most active I've been all week. I went over the birth plan with my OB and all seems to be well - thankfully the SOP at the hospital I'll be delivering at is pretty liberal so my requests aren't that far outside the norm. I sent out the tentative schedule for the Bean's birth week to friends and family and I just finished setting up a special blog for everyone to use to communicate. I'm planning on doing some decluttering tomorrow morning in preparation for K to drop off the pack'n'play I'm going to be borrowing for the Bean to sleep in. I'm *almost* done the knitting for my DDC swap and come hell or high water I plan on blocking things tomorrow night so they can be mailed on Monday. I am so embarrassed to admit that it's taken me so long (it's almost two weeks late) but I haven't even touched my own work let alone something for someone else. All I can hope is that she'll understand and the extra stuff I'm adding in will make up for my extreme tardiness.

Lastly - thank you to all of my friends and family who have repeatedly told me not to worry about the fact that their Christmas presents are still in the planning stages (although I did ball the yarn for S's). I will eventually believe that it's OK.

Michael has what I have now and it's not fun. I really have to stop this whole cup-sharing thing because we've been trading way too many illnesses this past year. Here's hoping he'll be back to his usual self soon.

I'm off to bed all...'night!

Did someone not get any handknits for Christmas?

I have no idea where the vitriol comes from, but seriously - someone has way too much time on their hands. Take a gander at these columns from the Philadelphia Weekly...

The Rise of Adolf Knitler
Yarn Die

Wading in

This afternoon I'll be bringing my cesarean birth plan with me to my OB appointment. I'm certain that my doc has probably never seen a birth plan for a scheduled cesarean and I feel my requests very reasonable, so lets pray it goes well.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Insult to injury

The broken record continues...

Now I have a sore throat, swollen glands and a bit of a back ache. Knitting is just going to have to wait. I'm going to stay up long enough to get some hot lemon water with honey into me and then to bed I go.