Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All Apologies

What's the phrase that ends " ________________ is never having to say you're sorry"?  I'm pretty sure it's not "parenting". "Parenting" means having to say you're sorry to everyone: friends, family, strangers. Well, you don't HAVE to say you're sorry, but when you've inadvertently flashed a boob at a crowd of homeschooling nuns (okay, that didn't happen) or walked into the men's bathroom (that did...) , maybe you should. Here's the short list of people I owe an apology to...
  1. Everyone who has emailed, texted, facebook messaged, carrier pigeoned me in the last 3 months that I have not responded to. I'm sorry. It's not you, it's me. Most likely, I read your message on my phone at 4 AM and promptly forgot about it. Was it important? If so, send it again, okay? I'll try to read it when I'm more awake, so.....roughly 18 years from now.
  1. To the guy in the Earthfare bathroom who I totally walked in on whilst trying to tell my husband that there is no extra outfit in the diaper bag and he's just going to have to change her diaper, take her outfit off (now covered in poop), and carry her out naked: my apologies. You probably thought you had the place to yourself and then in burst 2 irritated gingers: one frustrated and one screaming, covered in feces. (I'll let you, the reader, work out which was Russell). Anyhow, dude, I'm super sorry. I don't make it a habit to walk into the public men's bathroom.
  2. To the usher at the wedding last weekend, who I basically verbally assaulted so he'd get out of my way as I tried to hustle my baby to a window to distract her so she wouldn't completely lose her cool all over someone's wedding: so sorry. I know it was your job to stop people from going back there. But trust me, unless you wanted to see the complete shit show that is my baby when she's hungry, it was best that I get to the window pronto to appease her.  Also, I'm sorry for the eye-rolling when you yelled after me “Well, don't go in any of those rooms!!” Trust me, unless those rooms contained a bouncy seat and Baby Einstein on a loop, I wasn't going in them.
  1. To everyone who's tried to have meaningful conversation with me and gotten nothing in return: I'm so sorry. I have nothing to give. By the end of most days, the most exciting thing that's happened to me is either Claire's bowel movements or something to do with Real Housewives. Someday, I really hope to come back to the real world and have adult conversation.
     5. To everyone who has run into me in public: first off, I hope I said hello, at the very least. I am    so rarely alone these days that when I am, I find myself in some kind of parenting-induced trance, wandering the aisles of Target. So, I apologize if I didn't see you or looked right at you with no hint of recognition on my face. I also apologize if you tried to talk to me and I could barely form a sentence. See #4.

This week in baby-dom:
How old is Claire?: 13 weeks
13 weeks of sass

How Claire is eating: Just fine! We continue to do a combination of 80% breast milk, 18% formula, 2% bourbon. Just kidding! 3% bourbon.
"Knob Creek, Single Barrel please. On the rocks."

How Claire is sleeping: The bourbon has really helped with the sleeping! JUST KIDDING. Sheesh. But really, Claire sleeps pretty darn well – usually a good long stretch from about 10 pm til 4 am and then another short stretch from 5 am til 7 or 8.

Update on the harness: We are DONE with the harness!!! Praise the Lord, we are done. Claire had a check up with her orthopedist and he pronounced her “good as gold”. We'll go back in 6 months for x-rays, but NO MORE HARNESS. As much as I want to burn it (and I reeeeaaalllly want to burn it), I'm going to wash it and put it away, because I'm sure it will be one of those “Oh I can't believe you were this tiny!” things. In about 20 years.

How much Claire weighs: Not sure, but we're guessing between 11 and 12 pounds.

This is probably my 2nd selfie ever.
How much weight I've lost: After a few weeks of stalemate, my scale finally moved this week – I'm now down 37 pounds. 12 to go (to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight). I got some nasty motivation the other day at Target – I decided I had to purchase shorts, no matter the size, or I would cook in this hot Tennessee summer. I won't tell you the size I had to purchase, but let's just say it's a size that's never been on my body. Ouch. Also, nothing like a 3 way mirror to smack that Hershey's bar out of your pudgy little hands.

How Russell's doing: Russell started band camp this week (all my northern relatives who go back to school after Labor Day are shocked and appalled by this), so he's pretty tired. I also gave him an early birthday present: a jogging stroller. Russell's become quite the runner, so we're both excited that he'll be able to take Claire along for the fun. :)

Milestones this week: Claire is starting to be interested in some toys - she doesn't reach out and grab them, but if I put one in her hand, she'll play with it a bit. Well, she'll try to stuff it in her mouth. That counts as playing, right? We've been trying to do more "tummy time" (ugh, what an obnoxious phrase), but she HATES it. Maybe because it's called "tummy time".
"Tummy time's the worst."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What's a pirate's favorite life saving technique?

 C.P. ARRRRRR, of course! :)


So, it's official: I'm that girl. The one who has a baby and then all she can talk about is her baby and every picture on her phone is of that baby and baby baby baby.

I didn't mean for this to happen. I'm not even gonna lie to you: before I had one of my own, I was a little judgey about “that girl”. I was all, “how sad that she has nothing else in her life to talk about” and “if I end up like that, please punch me in the face a little.”

Well, I'm due for a face punching. It's just that I have no life. I'm not working. It's summer so the pace of life is pretty slow. And I have an 10 pound weight that keeps me pretty well tied down to the house. When I do leave the house, it's usually to go hang out with other people who have babies. Guess what we talk about. :)

The other day, Russell and I left Claire with my parents for the first time so we could attend an infant CPR class. In hindsight, NOT our best choice. We walk in the room and see another couple sitting at some long tables that are covered in these:
Um, I know why it's not breathing....it's face is covered in plastic wrap. Class dismissed!
BTW, I tried super hard to take a selfie with my dead baby look alike, but turns out there is not an appropriate time to do that during your Infant CPR class. At least not without looking like a total weirdo.

So then, we start watching the video in which the first scene is a baby who stops breathing in her crib. Russell and I just looked at each other like, “this was a baaaaaad idea”. The next scene: a baby choking. And from there on, who knows, because all I could do was obsessively check my phone and freak out over how my baby was home alone with people who hadn't watched a baby in 30 YEARS.
What I learned: infants are bad at CPR.
It all worked out fine and we did end up learning Infant CPR and the Heimlich. Just in case you're a little rusty, let me give you a quick CPR review:

Step One: “Check the area to make sure everything is safe.” Russell and I didn't quite get this step. On the video, the lady just looked to the right and the left. But I guess you're supposed to glance around to make sure the buffalo are done stampeding or there are no tsunamis on the horizon.

Step Two: “Try to get the baby to react.” In the class, we did this by tapping the baby's foot and yelling “BABY! BABY!” Awkward. In real life, you can just shout the baby's name. Or whatever else gets your baby to react – political injustice, the death penalty, the war on women, whatever. #yesallbabies

Step Three: “Begin chest compressions.” Using two fingers, right below the nipple line (which is super hard to find on your dead baby look alike, fyi), press down 30 times into the baby's chest about an inch and a half. Our instructor recommended we compress to the beat of Michael Jackson's “Stayin' Alive”. Yup. You read that right. Also, you've got to really dig in there. Don't be shy about those compressions. You're gonna feel like you're breaking baby's ribs, but guess what's worse than broken ribs? Being dead. #toughlove

Step Four: Put your mouth over baby's nose and mouth and give 3 breaths. You're going to feel (and look) like you're eating baby's face. Roll with it. When I was doing this part in class, the teacher walked by and said “Oh, you're doing so good. You're a natural!” Super. I'm a natural at fitting your baby's head in my mouth. #partytricks #hashtagsarestupid

Step Five: Repeat this process 5 times and then call 911. In class, we had to show this by picking baby up and announcing to the room “Now I will call 911!”, which made me giggle inappropriately every time. Just so you know, if this were to ever happen to me, I'd totally be calling 911 FIRST, not last. What can I say, I'm a rule breaker.

This week in baby-dom:
How old is Claire?: 9 weeks

How Claire is eating: Here's a nasty effect of adding formula to your baby's diet: constipation. Now, it's not really constipation as she's still doing the deed; she's just doing it less often and when it happens, watch out. POOPMAGEDDON. That crap (literally) is everywhere. We also switched almost totally to cloth diapers this week, which we love, except when I have to put the POOPMAGEDDON into my washer. Ew.
This. Right here. Is my. Poopface.

How Claire is sleeping: Um, like a boss!! Claire is finally sleeping for a good long stretch at night – about 10 pm til 4 or 5 am. Not every night, but most, which sure makes a difference in my mood! :)

Update on the harness: Starting this week, we'll go to our final step with the harness: wearing it 6 hours a day. Basically, during her long stretch of sleep. 3 more weeks of that and then DONE!

How much Claire weighs:10lbs, 13 oz
10 lbs 13 oz of cuteness
How much weight I've lost: Oh this stupid stat and my need for full disclosure. Sigh. Well, I did lose 1 more pound this week, which is good. You know what sucks about weight loss? Well, everything, but what I was referencing was how dang slow it goes. I'm all “I had a banana for breakfast and ran .0002 of a mile. Pretty sure I should be skinny now.” Too bad that's not how it works, right?

How Russell's doing: Russell celebrated his first Father's Day last Sunday with lunch out, some new Keens, and one of those fancy water hoses that they show on infommercials. Basically the trifecta of good Father's Day presents.

"I am a Jedi, like my father before me"

Milestones this week: I read Claire's first book to her: “Pat the Bunny”. She cried at the end, presumably because she's a huge advocate for animal rights. Or, because she was hungry. Whatever.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This week, in reality and reality TV

 Well, it's been a big week at 'ole McCurdy Manor, because (drum roll please)......


Or is it the rabbit? The ninja? Shoot, I can't remember now. It's the fancy cable where I can record like 5 shows at once AND watch stuff on the DVR in our bedroom. Formerly, we could only watch DVR shows in the living room.

It's a pretty big deal folks.

This means a few things.

  1. Russell and I will basically never see each other again, except to pass the baby off.
  1. I'm at a place in my life where I really feel like I finally have room to open myself up to new people. By people I mean housewives. And by housewives, I mean real ones. Of New York City to be specific, 'cause of course I already watch Real Housewives of Orange County. I mean, the DVR now records 5 SHOWS AT ONE TIME. I'd be a fool not to!
See, I have HORRIBLE taste in TV. And this whole “stay at home mom” thing is not helping. The TV is on pretty much all day and since I'm breastfeeding, I spend a lot of time sitting in front of it. So, just in case you don't have the Rabbit Ninja, let me catch you up on what you've missed in reality. Reality TV that is.
  1. The Dugger's have 19 kids. They had 20, but the last one died and it was possibly the worst thing you can watch when you have a 2 week old baby, so watch out for that. 2 of their older girls are in “courtships” which is their word for dating. It means they get to go on dates, but only with a chaperone. Oh, and only side hugs are allowed in courtship. All that crazy aside, I kind of love the Duggers and all 19 of their herd. Sidenote- if there was a 19 Kids and Counting drinking game, it would be this: drink everytime a Dugger says “special”. As in, “It was just really special when I got to see my boyfriend and give him a side hug, all while my sister watched."
  2. Tori Spelling got cheated on by her husband and then filmed, like, 3 solid weeks of them fighting. It is an absolute train wreck and I didn't miss a single episode, even the “reunion” where said husband (Something McDermott? He's famous....for something...) showed his love for Tori by tattooing their wedding vows on his ribcage. Oh, and singing a pretty awful song. #TELEVISIONGOLD
  3. As I mentioned above, I currently watch the Real Housewives of Orange County. There used to be 5ish of them: 4 idiots and 1 intelligent woman. I felt super bad for the smart girl, except not really, 'cause she gets paid to hang out with the idiots. Now, they fired a couple idiots, and added another smart girl, so the first smart girl has a friend she can talk to using words with more than 3 syllables. I believe the last episode involved a chick paying her dentist to put magic crystals in her teeth, you know, for feng shui. I can't make this shit up.
  4. Lastly, there's the Long Island Medium. You'll probably think I'm a real idiot when I say this, but I totally believe she's the real deal. However, before you start saving your pennies for your own personal reading, let me just tell you what she'll say, since she says the same thing to everyone: Your loved one is at peace and they're super proud of you and whenever you feel your hair stand on end for any reason, blame it on dead grama/aunt/dad/cousin Frankie.

Alright, now you all know my dirty, dirty TV habits. We all have them, so put the gavel down, Judge Judy. (By the way, Russell has walked by as I type this and informs me it's the "Genie". Personally, I like "Rabbit" more.)

This week in baby-dom:
How old is Claire?: 8 weeks

How Claire is eating: Well, we have a bit of a “supply vs. demand” situation currently: Claire demands and I just can't supply enough. So, we've starting supplementing once a day with formula. It was a hard decision. You know how the media has talked about “slut-shaming”? Well, there's definitely “formula-shaming” in baby world. But my motto is “you do what you have to do” and Claire just needs more than I can provide right now. I did, maniacally, research every formula under the SUN before choosing one. I'm still a neurotic, terrified, first time mom after all.

How Claire is sleeping: Claire is finally starting to sleep for a good stretch of time at night. We can pretty much count on 4-5 hours of sleep which is GLORIOUS. Last night, she even slept from 10:30 til 5 AM!

Update on the harness: She's only wearing the harness to sleep (from about 9 pm til 9 am) and doing generally well with it. 8 out of 10 times, she screams while we put it on, which is great because I've always found that it's easier to do a task when someone's screaming in your face. :)
This picture sums up my life right now

How much Claire weighs: We had to pop in to the pediatrician last week to check a little spot on her belly button and the scale there said 9 lbs, 13 oz. So, Ye Olde Bathroom Scale is a LIAR, as it said she weighed 10 pounds a week prior.

How much weight I've lost: I'm still stuck at -30 pounds. Russell and I have been walking every day and I attempted a teensy bit of running. It's amazing how big of a role your abdominal muscles play in basic exercise. I also took a Zumba class at my friend Kat's church which reminded me how incredibly out of shape I am :)

How Russell's doing: Currently, the only way Claire will fall asleep at night is laying on Russell's chest, so he's loving that!

Milestones this week: Claire had her first escalator ride, shortly followed by one of her first elevator rides after we saw the sign reading “no wheeled vehicles on the escalator”. Oops. 
Hi, I'm adorable.

Monday, June 2, 2014

7 Week Update

Hello world! Long time, no see, eh? Sorry it's been radio silence on my end for a few weeks now -turns out, having a newborn is time consuming. Who knew? Actually, I'll let you in on a little secret only us new parents know:

the first 6 weeks of your baby's life are freaking awful.

There, I said it. They're AWFUL. I know, I'm supposed to talk about the joy of motherhood and my precious bundle and how every moment is a new blessing. And it is. But DAMN, that is hard to remember when you've been up til 4 am for 3 nights running with a screaming baby who only wants to eat. And then spit up. And then poop on you, the bed, the nightgown, the god-forsaken harness, and everything else in sight. And everyone you see says, with a big smile on their face and surprise in their voice, “Wow, you look tired!”.


The good news is, Claire is 7 weeks old today! And we're starting to see the light! We're figuring her out and she's figuring out things like “how hands work”. It's lovely. She's sleeping better and starting to be a little less grouchy, especially in the morning. She's still pooping on any and everything, but I'm starting to care less.
Rockin' the harness at 5 weeks

Also, she's cute as hell and I'm crazy about her. Even at 4 AM!

This week in baby-dom:
How old is Claire?: 7 weeks!

How Claire is eating: Claire takes after me, meaning that she could eat all day, every day, and be totally happy. Russell continues to get up for the first feeding, usually around 2 AM, so we're both getting a decent chunk of sleep, which is awesome.

How Claire is sleeping: She goes down about 10:30 – in her crib. Back up from around 2:00-2:45, takes a bottle from Russell, then back to the crib. Up again between 4:45 and 5:30 --- my turn to feed her, then back to the crib until around 6:30 or 7:00. After that, it's hit or miss. Sometimes I can stick her in her bouncer, which we call the “Shakey Seat”, in between us on the bed, and she'll sleep for another couple hours. Sometimes, we're just up with the sun. :)

Update on the harness: We had an ultrasound at Children's Hospital last week (where a very judgey nurse made me feel bad that Claire doesn't take a pacifier. Sorry, nursey, she just doesn't. You try to reason with a 6 week old) which showed that Claire's hips are perfect! We got to FINALLY take the harness off on Thursday. It was wonderful! Claire had her first tub bath (which she hated), her first swaddling since the hospital, and (most importantly, ha!) got to wear her first pants!! Now, she only has to wear the harness at night for 3 more weeks, then 6 hours a day for 3 weeks, then DONE.
I got 99 problems but a harness ain't one

How much Claire weighs: About 10 pounds, according to Ye Olde Bathroom Scale.

How much weight I've lost: So far, I've lost 30 pounds of the 48 I gained. 18 pounds to go to get back to my pre-prego weight, which honestly, was the most I've ever weighed. Sooooo....maybe some more work after that :) I'm part of a Postpartum support group on facebook and we all did a weight loss challenge in May, which really helped me. This month, I'm doing a DietBet with the same group. In case you've never heard of that, DietBet is a website where you basically bet a small sum of money that you can lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days. If you lose it, you split the pot with the other winners. If you don't lose the weight, you lose the money. So, I'm hoping the threat of losing my hard earned $20.00 will stop me from eating my weight in biscuits.

C-section recovery: Well, I went to the doctor last week and he cleared me for all activities, which made me both happy and terrified. C-section ladies know what I'm talking about here. Yikes. I will NOT be updating y'all on how ALL activities are going, but let's just say that I think it's best to take it slooooooow.

I'm talking about running, of course.
How Russell's doing: Well, he's tired, of course. Other than that, I think he's doing really, really well. He's really good with Claire – she LOVES him and smiles for him more than anyone! He's also much braver and more confident than I am – he's ready to take her out and about and I'm like, “let's just be hermits FOREVER”. He's also really good at entertaining her. I've basically got 2 tricks up my sleeve (more like down my blouse, AMIRIGHT?), but he's always thinking up new ways to keep a newborn happy.

Came home from the store to find my daughter watching sports
Milestones this week: Claire went to church for the first time last week! We visited the church I grew up in – Erin Presbyterian. She chilled in the car seat until the sermon started: then she screamed bloody murder. This week, we went to Powell Pres. (our current church, where I'm the musical minister). She made it through “Welcome to church this Sunday!” before the screaming started. Ironically, the only part of the service she didn't scream through was when the choir sang! That's my girl!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A farewell to pants. Maternity pants that is

You may recall when I first outgrew normal pants. I wrote about it here. It was then that I was introduced to the wonderful world of maternity pants and bade farewell to nuisances such as zippers and buttons. I eventually outgrew that first pair of maternity jeans and went on to a larger pair I found at a thrift store. A beautiful marriage between sweat pants and jeans, they served me well. I never had to worry if my fly was down, since I didn't have one. I never dealt with “muffin top”, since my huge elastic pants went from my crotch to my boobs. And my maternity jeans never dug into my stomach leaving a judgey little red imprint where the button had been.

This week marked an important milestone: my return to regular pants. Now, let's not get crazy: these are not my pre-pregnancy pants. They're some jeans that a friend gave me specifically for after my c-section because they're 2 sizes too big. Or, they would have been before I got pregnant. Now, they barely zip. Damn you, bagels of days gone by!!

Anyhow, to commemorate this occasion: a haiku.

Goodbye preggers jeans

Elastic waist, no judgement

Hidden muffin top

This week:

How old is Claire?: 3 weeks

3 weeks old!
How Claire is eating: This week we introduced the bottle in hopes that Russell could take over 1 of the 3 overnight feedings. Claire took to it immediately and, thank you Jesus, has no problem going back and forth between the boob and the bottle. This means that I get to sleep for a luxurious 4 hours at a time!! Before having a baby, that sentence would have sounded crazy to me.

How Claire is sleeping: After a couple weeks of trial and error, we're starting to figure this one out. For now at least. Claire's actually been sleeping in her crib. It's funny- the crib is the last place we considered. For people my parents age, it was probably the only option, but after reading umpteen parenting books and the entire internet, we were convinced that she'd either need to sleep in some kind of cradle in our room or she'd sleep in our bed. We tried both of those (plus many other options), and then finally, in exhaustion, gave up and tried to the crib. And it worked! Now, it doesn't work every time, but usually she's in there at least half the night.

4 AM party at my house!
Update on the harness: Great news on the harness front this week! We went to KOC to see Dr. Crawford and he told us that Claire's hips “want to stay in socket”, which of course, is the goal. He said that if we were the kind of people who celebrated over a bottle of wine, that night was a good excuse! We are SO happy and SO relieved. We have 3 more weeks of 24/7 harness time, then an ultrasound which will hopefully show more progress, and after that..... WE GET TO TAKE THE HARNESS OFF FOR 12 HOURS A DAY. Praise Jesus. Seriously.

How much weight Claire's gained: Now, we're just weighing her using the scale in our bathroom, so this may not be accurate, but Ye Olde Bathroom Scale says Claire weighs 8 lbs, 8 oz (including the harness of course). Funny, she's nearly a month old and still doesn't weigh as much as I did AT BIRTH. Y'all, I told you I was big, but I didn't tell you I was actually the biggest baby in the hospital. I was so damn big, they used me for a bathing demonstration because I was visible from the back of the room. VISIBLE FROM THE BACK OF THE ROOM. My poor, tiny mom....


How much weight I've lost: Ha! Speaking of visible from the back of the room.....more like, visible from the Mars Rover. :) Actually, I can't complain because the weight really is coming off. It's starting to come off a bit slower, but I'm steadily losing. Currently, I've lost 25 pounds (of the 48 I gained).

C-section recovery: Going well! I'm off all the pain medication and just a little sore. Russell and I took the baby to World's Fair Park most days this week for a walk, and I could go a little farther each day, which was encouraging. Warning, this sentence is about to get gross, so if you're a boy or easily offended, avert yo eyes – I'm still dealing with some bleeding, which I notice gets heavier if I've walked a lot the previous day. Dr. Google says this can last up to 6 weeks, so I'm not worried – it's more annoying at this point.

Milestones this week: Claire went to her first party (Happy Birthday, Bethany!!) and we celebrated my first Mother's Day with Claire's first lunch in a restaurant. Lots of firsts!
My neighbor (who happens to own the best bakery  in town) brought us a Mother's Day cake!! Best neighbors ever!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I've got one hand in my pocket...

...and the other one's wiping spit up off my dress. Pretty sure that's how the song went.  Sidenote: did you know Alanis Morissette recorded an acoustic version of Jagged Little Pill in 2005? I was introduced to it the other night and it is legit. I mean, if you, like me, also spent much of 1995 holed up in your room, feverishly memorizing the lyrics to the original album...

When I was pregnant, I remember wondering aloud to Russell what stay at home moms do with all their time. Not wondering in a judgey way, but I read all these blogs where the mom stays home with the baby, and most of the time, she's lucky to get a shower in. Before I had a baby, I couldn't understand why. I mean, babies sleep all the time, right?

Um, wrong. Well, partially wrong.

Babies do sleep a lot. If you're holding them. But no worries, sometimes they take a break from sleeping for a meal......during which, you are holding them. The rest of a newborns time is spent screaming and you're usually holding them during that as well. Which presents a problem if you typically use your hands to, say, eat. Or do laundry. Or take a shower.

This brings me to a list I've made entitled, “Things I CAN do with one hand”

  1. Check facebook
  2. Pin crafts I'll never do on Pinterest
  3. Read scary parenting stories on the Internet, especially about the pavlik harness.
  4. Read “What to Expect in the 1st Year”, which, by the way, save yourselves the time. It's 900 pages long and I can tell you what to expect: CRYING. You. The baby. All the time.
  5. Drink water. Sooooo much water. Breastfeeding (big surprise) makes you crazy thirsty.

And of course, things I CAN'T do with one hand:

      1. Clean anything. Don't come to my house right now. It's a disaster and I'm not sugar coating that.
      2. Cook. :) Oh, who are we kidding, I couldn't cook with 3 hands.
      3. Laundry. This is why most of my clothes have spit up and/or feces on them
      4. Eat. Everyone said the baby weight would just “melt off” after she arrived. They didn't say it would be because of starvation.
      5. Shower. I actually have managed to get a shower in every day, but it's because I take it either very early, before Russell leaves or while she's napping in the morning. I know, I know, I should sleep when the baby sleeps. But when you're covered in bodily fluids, a shower looks a lot better than a nap.
      6. Drive. My doctor actually told me not to drive for “several weeks” and not until I was off painkillers, which I'm not, so I haven't been tempted yet.
      7. Return a phone call, answer emails, or correspond in any kind of timely manner. If you've contacted me in the last 2 weeks and never heard back, so sorry! Blame this baby :)

This week:

How old is Claire?: 2 weeks!

How Claire is eating: Like a champ! Now that we figured out a new hold for breastfeeding, she does really well. I haven't yet figured out how to breastfeed without flashing everyone in a mile's radius, so that's a goal for later.

How Claire is sleeping: Um....yeah. Not so much. In the hospital, we swaddled her and she'd conk right out (pretty much). But the harness makes swaddling impossible. Right now, we basically put her between the two of us, on her back. I hold one hand down and Russell holds the other one until she falls asleep. It's not ideal, to say the least, but it's working.

Update on the harness: We've become pros at diapering with the harness on – I'm still learning how to take change the onesie underneath the harness. Russell's really good at it, thank God.

How much weight Claire's gained: She's up to 7 lbs, 8 oz!

How much weight I've lost: Sigh. You had to ask. :) Well, my grand total for weight gain was about 48 pounds. Yikes. At my first doctor's appointment, I'd only lost 14 of those, but now, a week later, I've lost 20 total. Another 28 to go....

C-section recovery: is slow, but steady. At the beginning of this week, I was still taking one prescription pain pill each morning, but now I've switched to just Motrin and I'm still doing fine. Getting out of bed is slow, walking is slow, but considering I had major surgery last week, I'm feeling great! Russell and I took a “walk” the other day – I made it to the end of our block before I had to sit down, which was a kind of a bummer. But, while we were walking, a neighbor who had a c-section 7 months ago ran by with her dog, so that gave me some hope that eventually, I will move at more than a snail's pace. :)

Milestones this week: Claire's already trying to hold her head up. Sometimes, she'll be asleep on my chest, and then all of a sudden, she'll just lift her head up, look right into my eyes, and then plop it back down. Pretty cute.

You thinkin of puttin me down? I don't think so.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My top 8 reasons why my c-section was not too bad.

When I was told I needed a c-section, I have to be honest: I wasn't really that bummed. I was past my due date and scheduled to be induced, which made me really nervous. I'm just not sure how I feel about Pitocin and I didn't want to end up not progressing and being forced into an emergency c-section after umpteen hours of labor. Plus, I've always been a little queasy about the whole “pushing a watermelon through a water hose” situation.

So, when the doctor informed me that there really weren't any other options for my breech baby, I was a little relieved. Now I knew exactly what to expect and I didn't have to make any more decisions. I'd be able to get a good nights sleep, shower, show up at the hospital, have a baby.

Overall, I'd give the whole “c-section experience” an 8 out of 10. I'm deducting 2 points for pain, because with any major surgery, there's gonna be some of that. But honestly, even the pain hasn't been unmanageable. The day of the surgery, I had about half an hour where I was like, “BRING THE MORPHINE FASTER”, but beyond that, I've been able to manage it with the pain meds they prescribed me. Oh, and walking wasn't too pleasant at first, but I found a way to fix that, which we'll talk about later (Hint: his name is "abdominal binder" and he's basically the love of my life). 

So, here are the top 8 reasons why my c-section was not that bad:
  1. Free bikini wax, kinda....

    So, before you can have surgery, they have to “shave the area”. This means that a sweet little nurse has to come in your room, hike up your dress, and bring out the “clippers”, as she called them, which made me think of these:

And let's be honest, bikini area grooming was not high on my “pre-baby” checklist, so she probably needed the big guns.

Also, file this experience away under “things your husband can't un-see”. On the plus side, aside from the huge Frankenstein scar and jiggy postpartum belly, WHO'S READY FOR BATHING SUIT SEASON???

  1. Complimentary nightie!

     Basically as soon as you walk in the door, the hospital wants you to change into a gown of theirs. It's got a couple interesting features like a “peekaboo” back (you too can flash your family!) and what I'm going to call a boob pocket. Right at boob level there's a slit, presumably to breastfeed through? It only works if your boobs are flat enough to fit through the slit though. I don't know, maybe you're supposed to put the baby up to the slit and force your boob through? As fun as the gown was, I changed out of it as soon as possible.
Right hand: pointing at the sign. Left hand: frantically holding the back of the gown together.

  1. Concierge service

     Otherwise known as your wonderful nursing staff. There are some things you don't consider before you have a c-section. Like, afterwards, you can't bend over at all. So, anything on the floor is off limits. Let's take a moment and name some things on the floor! Um, how about....your underwear, after the mandatory first shower! And who is gonna help you get said underwear to its rightful spot? Your sweet nurse, that's who. Also, after you have a baby, there's quite a lot of blood loss (I know, ew.) So much, in fact, that for the first day, you'll just lay on a bunch of towels. Who's going to change those towels? :) Nurses. And who's going to hold them in place during your (horrible) mandatory 1st time walking? You get it. Nurses = Saints.

  1. Access to the VIP room

          Unbeknownst to us beforehand, our hospital has a room that's set aside for new dads called the “Nourishment Room”. Why they didn't just call it a kitchen, I'll never know. It was a little kitchenette with a few basic provisions: cereal and milk, crackers, soda, coffee, etc. And y'all know that free food will get me outta bed any day, so you better believe that the first time I ventured out (realllllllly slowly) to the hallway, I “hightailed” (re: at a turtle's pace) it to the Nourishment Room.


         My testimonial: “Before my c-section, I tried many diets on my own, but could never get the weight off! After only 4 DAYS in the hospital, I lost 16 POUNDS!!! And, I got to eat whatever I wanted (off the hospital cafeteria's sugar and salt free menu) and I only exercised TWICE (walking up and down the hallway.....once to get free food). All it took was having a human baby removed from my abdomen via major surgery. And for 40 weeks of pregnancy and one easy payment of between $500 and $1000, you can have results like mine! IT'S THAT EASY.”
  1. Room service!

         If there's one thing I miss the most about our stay in the hospital, it's the little red button on my bed that called a nurse to my room, most of the time with Percocet. :) And every time the nurses brought me my painkiller, they were like, “oh, you should take this with food. I'll bring you a snack.” Um, amazing! Helloooooo access to unlimited generic saltines and no-sugar added peanut butter! Also, that same button is the one you push when, at 3 am, you can no longer listen to a newborn scream. A smiling, sweet, wonderful nurse will come take them from you, so you can get 2.5 blissful hours of sleep. Nowadays, I wake in the night, sweating, feverishly grasping for a button that my fingers will never again find.  Sigh. It's my Vietnam. 
  1. Do you know the muffin man? No, but I know his wife.

    Here is the most magical thing about having a c-section (besides the obvious: bringing new life into the world): the muffin lady. Every morning, at around 7 am, a little hispanic woman would come into my room and bring me 3 things:  a banana, a teensy container of juice, and a muffin. The first morning, I was confused, mostly because I was in a haze of pain killers and exhaustion from a newborn that wouldn't sleep. I assumed it was breakfast. The banana was what you'd expect, as was the juice. But guys, THE MUFFIN. SO GOOD. Seeing this woman became a highlight of my day. By the last morning, I was up at 5:30, sitting in my chair, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, awaiting her arrival. And the best part: that wasn't even my breakfast. They'd bring that around 8:30. The muffin was like a little breakfast appetizer. Man, I miss the muffin lady. 

    8. Beware the complimentary "massage" 

    One of my favorite pregnancy terms is “fundal”. It's the measurement from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus and doctor's use it to see how big your baby is. After you deliver, your fundal height is supposed to go down an inch a day. To check this, the nurse comes in and gives you a “fundal massage”. Don't be fooled, it is NOT a relaxing event. I actually managed to avoid it for the first couple days, but by day 3, apparently my uterus wasn't contracting enough, so I too got my first fundal massage. It is unpleasant, to say the least. Turns out, when you've recently had your uterus sliced open, you don't want anyone massaging it. I kept trying to work in the phrase “You put the fun in fundal!!”, but since my teeth were gritted together in pain, I couldn't quite spit it out.
So, as you can see, having a c-section is basically one long trip to the spa. In all seriousness, we had a really great experience -the nurses were WONDERFUL, the food was actually pretty decent (there was a pot roast one night that was amazing!), and let's not forget that we got a happy, healthy baby out of the deal. :) All in all, I'd do it again. Not anytime soon, but maybe someday!

"My name's Claire and today, I'll only sleep if I'm being held! Also, I can poop 10 times daily, no problem!"