Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oh yeah, just remembered I could post pictures.

Oh god the foot is back!

I have these posted on my Facebook page, but couldn't resist adding some color to my blog with some pictures of my favorite little baby.

I feel almost human

For the first time ever (AKA the last 24 hours), Silas has been sticking to 2.5-3 hours in between feedings, including at night, which means that I woke up each time to his cries feeling almost rested instead of ready to bargain anything for five more minutes of sleep. I swear that even though it was raining this morning, the sun somehow looked a little brighter and I'm almost positive everything I look at today looks a little friendlier. Am I in a Disney movie?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More sleep deprivation madness!

Let's start off with some Yooper humor... otherwise known as, I have no clue if this is funny to anyone unfamiliar with the UP.

You may or may not have heard of a tale of a whale written many a year ago. It is called "Moby Dick." My full disclaimer is that I have never read this book. I only know the first line of the novel, and that's only if my teacher wasn't lying to us.

For reasons unknown to my brain, the first line of that novel will often pop into my head when I'm trying to relax and concentrate on things that are not bills or spit up.

Except, last night, while I was trying to take a 15 minute nap, I kept misremembering the line as:

"Call me Ishpeming."

Um. Yeah. Hilarious, right?

In other news, I want to have another baby. I mean, like right now. I'm pretty sure this is also the sleep deprivation talking. But the way I'm looking at it is, I'm already really tired. How much more tired could I possibly be with another pregnancy and another kid?

My brain is all up on the rationalization of this, reminding me only of the easy parts of my pregnancy - I didn't throw up except once, the second trimester was easy, and I went into labor three weeks early and ended up with a healthy baby. Women everywhere are telling me I look great for having just given birth and it's going to my head.

CLEARLY, this all indicates that I should totally get knocked up again. Luckily for me, Smiley, though he is as tired as I am, is a bit more logical about this all. He's there to remind me of the countless nights that I woke up, sore and uncomfortable and desperately searching for my lost bottle of tums. He can remind me how in the first trimester, all I did was sleep and how I wouldn't be able to do that while taking care of Silas.

And then I say, yes, I understand. These are all valid points and I vaguely remember the discomfort of trying to walk in the third trimester. And then I look at Silas and at his tiny socks and tiny diapers and logical Dani is completely replaced by tired-and-hormonal Dani and I want to have another baby RIGHT NOW.

Never mind that I remember clearly stating that I wanted to wait at least 2 years as to space out our children as I figured it would be really tough on my body to go through back to back pregnancies. Forget about the copious amounts of shambling that I participated in those last few months. Even the fact that I sat down to write this post around 10:30 am, and then had to feed Silas at about 11am and that when I finished feeding him, burping him, and changing his diaper (it took about an hour all in all), he started to root around again in hunger.

So if you notice a crazy gleam in my eye, just know that there is a large part of me this moment that wants to have another baby and maybe you could take a minute to dissuade me from this madness! From these tiny socks! From the cutest expressions I've ever seen on a little baby and the cutest noises! Oh, madness. I am overcome.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wanna know how tired I am?

I had my baby on September 7th and since then, I have not had more than 3.5 hours of sleep at a time. I often wake up so tired my eyes are watering and/or crossed. But the physical aspects of being tired are minor compared to how my brain is reacting. For example, I humbly present this exchange between me and Smiley the other morning:

It was late in the morning, maybe about eleven, and I was feeding Silas. I was doing great until I opened my mouth to talk:

"Well, Silas," I said, looking at him in what I felt was a bleary but loving gaze, "At this rate, I won't have an official breakfast today. I'll have a breakfast lunch." I paused, and continued without thinking: "Too bad there's no cool word for a breakfast lunch like there is for breakfast for dinner."

I paused for another beat, thinking about what I said.

"Hey." I looked at Smiley. "Hey, did you hear what I just said?"

He shook his head no and I somewhat sighed in relief.

"I was lamenting that there's not a word for breakfast for lunch."

Smiley looked at me. "Maybe after you finish feeding him, you should go take a nap."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Two weeks = over two hundred diapers

Newborn diapers are tiny. They are adorably tiny, just like newborn shoes and socks and those tiny little mittens you put on a newborn's hand so they won't scratch the heck out of their own face.

I have changed at least a hundred of these tiny, little diapers - without calling any of them adorable after they've been used - and I suspect Smiley has changed likewise, probably plus three since when he's around at home, I let him have the wonderful privileged of wiping his son's bum.

These diapers get filled because the baby is eating food and the food is doing its digestive dance. Which brings me to my complaint of the day: breast feeding pads.

TMI? Perhaps. If so, back away and come back to read tomorrow when I'll probably discuss something less potentially personal! If not, well, I'm not really going into any kind of crazy detail here anyhow. The word "nipple" will come up. Also, it's entirely possible that blogging while sleep deprived is not my best option.

I am not an expert with these pads. I grabbed the first box that seemed to have the most per dollar. (My husband might insist there was a bit more to it than that. He might be right. I might have checked each box to compare the cute baby pictures provided on each).

Anyhow, they're just little cotton pads used to keep everything clean between breast and bra. But I managed to have a complaint nonetheless.

Why do these pads have nipple impressions!? I'm pretty sure that nipple modesty is a thing here, what with most bras in all sizes being at least lightly lined to prevent the dreaded silhouette. But thanks to the wonderful world of these breast feeding pads, I can circumvent this in all situations!

Again, I've only tried one brand, so perhaps I just have bad luck. I guess that's what I get for picking the most for my money. Next time, I'll try again. And the whole world will get to see if it works out better.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Safety!

When I'm lying in bed at 3am, 9/10ths of the way asleep with a nursing baby in my arms, I swear I think of the most interesting blog posts in the world. Words and sentences swirl around in my mind, presenting themselves in unique combinations and thoughts. I think to myself, of course I will remember this! How wonderful my mind is!

And then I fall asleep the last 10th of the way, only to be awoken as the baby fusses for more milk. And anything I had thought of is gone and all I can think about is how my body feels surprisingly well rested-ish but my eyes feel like someone replaced them with sandbags.

So that being said, I have no unique perspectives to impart on you all today.

Let's talk about baby safety. I'm pretty sure it's been said before, but how DID people survive in the previous century? I haven't came across one piece of baby gear that isn't covered in more safety warnings than blank space. Our car seat alone has at least five - I say at least because I haven't bothered to flip it over, but I suspect if I do, I'll find another safety warning.

Everything you buy for babies can be used against them and those safety warnings let you know. Sure, you buy the car seat because it's the law and because it's the safest way to travel with your little baby, but then the car seat lets you know that it can kill your baby in several non-car related ways.

Or you buy a stroller. One false move and, that's right, dead baby.

Or a baby carrier. God forbid you don't use your baby carrier perfectly, because there's a wall of text assuring you that this baby carrier can, in fact, kill your baby.

Did it always use to be this way? I mean, I know that kids used to ride in cars without - the horror - seat belts! But besides that, were new parents always showered with so many scary possibilities of baby death? It just seems unkind.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Turns Out I'm Every Cliche Ever

I slept for almost three hours. I am feeling so coherent that I feel like I could jump to the moon.

Wait. That doesn't sound right.

Oh, yeah, I'm still tired.

Here's the thing. As I'm sure every parent before me has wondered, I'm feeling a bit annoyed about this whole "give birth and need a lot of recovery time afterwards but hey - recover while being awoken every 2-3 hours and while giving up a lot of your nutrients to keep your baby healthy" bit. I'm still sore from labor and delivery and that was almost two weeks ago.

My abs still feel like jelly, for example. Well, to be fair, that might be because they look like jelly. Turns out when muscles get stretched over nine months, they look pretty funny when you remove the reason for their stretching and they just sort of hang out. Also turns out that when your abs are jelly, they don't support your back like normal and then your back is sore, which leads to absolutely HILARIOUS instances of trying to stand up while holding my baby and then kind of crumpling to the ground in a slow motion fall when my back decides it doesn't want to support my weight at that particular moment in time, thanks.

My arms and legs are also sore. Picking up my seven pound, some ounces baby is actually challenging at times. And when I am holding him in bed and have to stand up? Well, give me five minutes to work up the energy.

So why, nature? Why the constant lack of sleep after giving birth? Is the delirium induced as to somehow cause me to love my baby more? Is there some sort of complicated hormone mixture released in absence of sleep? Because I know college students who pull a lot of all-nighters and I don't think they typically love whatever they're doing more because of it.

Here's the current list of cliches, for anyone playing at home:

During labor, I did, in fact:

Indicate that I felt that I might be dying.
Indicate that I couldn't possibly give birth to this baby and that it had to be cut out of me.
Said I'd go med-free and then got an epidural after some half hour of pushing. (Yes, this one is still really bothering me, as I managed all of labor without medicine but then apparently because the world's biggest wuss when it came to delivery).

After labor, I:

Exclaimed that my baby was the cutest baby ever.
Looked lovingly into my husband's eyes and said "we made this!" with a sense of awe and wonder, as I watched Silas cry for the first time as he was placed on my chest for cuddling purposes.

To be fair, (and this is probably a cliche as well, but I'm not sure) I think Smiley and I are doing awesome.

I think.

Actually I think that I am crazy and could still be lying down to sleep some more. After all, it's not quite yet my 10am wake up time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My mornings apparently start at 10 now

Or 2 am, or 4 am, or possibly 6 am, depending on how you define "the start of the day." I'm usually up at those times feeding the baby currently. I count 10 as the start of my day because that's usually when I'm up for good. Except for maybe a nap when Silas goes back to sleep, but usually not because I've found that my body appears to be producing some sort of adrenaline rush telling me to clean my house while Silas sleeps.

It's kinda, sorta working out.

So, for the first week of life, Silas was considerably jaundiced. They let him out of the hospital so obviously it wasn't too bad, but we did have to hook him up to a biliblanket for a few days. Smiley is off returning that now, because his bloodwork from yesterday came back fine. Woo!

I'm hoping this is all coherent, because the sleep deprivation is pretty killer. I think I started crying last night when the baby woke up to eat, but I can't quite remember, because I might have been more asleep than awake as I tried to convince Silas that my arm was incapable of providing him with sustenance.

But, as I've seen from experience, I know this part gets better, so I'm not worried. Just tired.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Plus Baby!

Well, quite suddenly, Smiley and I now have a family. I do want to write up a birth story for anyone who's interested in reading the "experience" but for now I just wanted to post something. I don't have any pictures, myself. Smiley took a bunch on his phone and I'm waiting for my dad and my friend to use their super fancy cameras to take world-class pictures to post.

In any case, our new baby is just adorable; you'll have to take my word for it.

In another case, I do have to say that while I've loved being with Smiley - I really found that my admiration and affection for him easily doubled during the whole process. I mean, my due date wasn't until September 24th and that's what we were planning for. So when I went into sudden labor and my water broke and I wasn't quite sure how he'd react, well, he reacted exactly as I should have known.

He just did exactly what I needed and wanted and did not complain and even as I attempted to tear his hand off and rip his back apart during contractions, he did not complain. When I shouted unintelligible phrases at him, it was though he read my mind and rubbed my back exactly how I wanted, and told me that I was doing good.

Even now, as he's holding the baby so that I can type up a quick post in between feeding sessions, it's just wonderful to look at him and see the way he handles any situation with humor and knowledge. I am thankful to know and be with him.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

11 work days until maternity leave!

It's not that I'm counting down the days to my maternity leave because I hate my job or anything - heck, despite what my paperwork says, I'll be doing my best to show up at work until I'm giving birth so that I don't miss a day with my (guaranteed to be adorable) baby.

But that aside, I am counting down the days I have left until my maternity leave because, well, sitting in an office all day really hurts. I feel for all pregnant women who have to work until their due date or as late as possible or however they do it. Whether you're standing all day or sitting all day, there is just a lot of pain involved.

(By the by, if you're a pregnant woman who worked on your feet or sat all day and didn't have pain, please share all your secrets.)

I've found that the best way to deal with the random back pain, sciatic pain and general achiness is a good combination of movement, sitting, and standing. I've also found that coworkers look at me weirdly when I randomly half jump out of my chair when the baby kicks (or punches?) me in the sciatic nerve. And I've further found that if you shamble your way to the bathroom enough times in a day, people will start asking you if you only have a week left and make apologetic sounds when you assure them that you have until the end of the month, and that's IF he decides to come on time.

Which, coincidentally, he won't, because he's going to be stubborn like his dad.

And his mom.

Still, I can't help but hope that his little baby lungs are getting all matured up in there, because I am really tired of complaining about my pain to anyone kind enough to ask how I'm feeling. I'm trying hard at this point to be a model pregnant woman, capable of doing anything and feeling great, but it's not working.

And I know for a fact that being complain-y in a non-humorous way (see above) will not get me internet famous, so I'm going to go lie down.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Other Day, Our AC Broke

I'd like to think I've done a pretty good job of not being THAT pregnant woman who is never comfortable and who is never content, but when our air condition unit went out this weekend, I briefly considered giving myself a pass to become a whiny, hormonal mess.

It all started on Saturday. Smiley was outside working on the truck and I was inside, relaxing and browsing the internet for funny articles to read. I noticed that I was somewhat uncomfortable and went to go turn down the thermostat a degree or two.

Our thermostat (and air conditioning unit) are both quite ancient, but they got the job done. Until now. I noticed that the thermostat was reading at 82 degrees, which was quite a bit above the 78 degrees I had set it at. I tried turning the dial to 76 to trip the unit on, but heard nothing. Curious, I pushed it down further, all the way to 70 degrees and listened.


A little nervous, I went out back and checked the outside unit to see if it was running. It was.

I went back inside and checked to make sure I wasn't just tuning out the a/c noise. No, I wasn't.

So I went out front where my husband was dealing with the truck and told him that the a/c wasn't working and could he come take a look at it?

It didn't take him long to see that there was something wrong. He checked and replaced the filter in the wall and checked the outside unit, which was running correctly. But no air was coming inside, so he had to pull down the ladder to the attic to check the air handler part of the unit. I waited nervously in the garage, trying not to think about how warm it was in our house and how much warmer it must be up in our attic.

Eventually he came down and declared that most likely, a certain part of the unit was broken. He started calling around to find a replacement part. I listed to his side of the conversations, alternatively fanning myself and staring into space, trying to ignore the humidity and the voice inside my head that was yelling things about how much it could cost to fix this and how miserable it was to be this humid.

He was able to get the part. It took a simple drive across town (I went along, of course, to partake in the beautiful car a/c) and then he was back in our toasty attic, putting the part back in.

When he called down to me to start the unit inside, I went dutifully to the thermostat and clicked it to "on," holding my breath.

There was a horrible, awful metal on metal sound as the a/c unit clicked on and started to somewhat blow air into the house. It sounded like something sort of scraping against something else or maybe a piece moving too fast or too slow; I didn't know. It just sounded awful.

I went out into the garage and told him that it was kind of working but the noise was ridiculous. He agreed. He wasn't sure what was happening. We ran the kind-of-working air condition for a bit to try and reduce some of the humidity before bed, but the noise and the worry that we were damaging something worse made it impossible to run for long.

Now, trying to sleep when it's hot and humid is not a pleasant task to begin with. Toss in being almost 37 weeks pregnant, and I thought I was going to cry. I had never felt so huge and uncomfortable at any point previously and I could feel my fingers swelling. It was harder to move my fingers. The pillows that normally felt great supporting my back and legs now felt like little personal furnaces, taking my extra body heat and just keeping it right up against me.

Finally, I got up and grabbed a bowl of ice and used the slowly melting ice water to rub on my arms and face. It provided a few moments of comfort. The night became a cycle of feeling ridiculously awake and ridiculously warm and like I would never fall asleep and then I would fall asleep when my body could no longer keep me awake. I almost immediately fell into REM sleep each time, having weird and annoying dreams that felt quite like I was still awake at times.

One time, I thought I heard something loud fall outside our window, like a branch. But when I got up, I saw that part of our neighbor's fence had fallen down and a woman was staring at me. I knew it had to be a dream when she came into our yard and walked though the window and started telling me her story. I woke up feeling so confused as to whether I did actually hear something fall or if that had all been part of my dream.

Another time, I had been awake for ten minutes or so, and I could have sworn up and down that someone came into our room and was standing there. But I couldn't move to wake up Smiley. After a few agonizing moments, I opened my eyes and - no one was there. I was awake again.

This repeated over and over until the sunrise, at which time I finally decided to get up again. I figured I'd open the windows and try to cool the house down some. According to the weather channel, I had about two hours before it would be ridiculously hot again. I tried not to think about it. I tried not to think about how much it could cost or how long we could be without a/c.

My husband wasted no time it getting back up in the attic while it was still "cool-ish" from the night air. I alternatively sat in each room in our house, moving when my body heat started to warm the space, knowing that shortly, the bright sun outside would heat up the air too much to have any form of comfort. I thought about how I would go to a store, maybe, and hang out there. But then I felt bad, because I couldn't leave my husband behind in the hot attic working on our a/c. But then I felt worse, because I didn't want to be so uncomfortable.

Finally, I heard the words I was dying to hear - "Hon, I think I know what the problem is."

Smiley had taken the fan out of the air handler and brought it down into the garage to check it out. By lucky happenstance, he had noticed that when the fan blades moved, they made the awful noise we had heard (albeit, at a much slower and quieter rate than when they were being powered by the motor) and that when the fan was at a certain angle, it didn't make any noise at all.

The fan had simply come unbalanced! I could have danced for joy as he explained that he was pretty certain he could make the fix. He brought the fan back into the attic after messing with the fan and started to put it back together.

I'll admit, I did climb up the ladder at one point and went into the ladder to give him some tools, which I guess is kind of a no-no at this point, but I would have done anything I could have to get our air conditioner working again.

And by george - when he gave me the all clear to turn it on again, it turned on.

There was no extra noise, no metal on metal - just cool, wonderful, beautiful air. Smiley was drenched in sweat from sitting up in the attic, putting the pieces of the unit back together. I was reminded yet again why I am so lucky to have a husband who knows his stuff.

And then I took a nice, long, relaxing nap. What a weekend!