2/23/2013

Road Trip!

Charlie's first trip to Omaha! We were going to leave Thursday, then Saturday at 8 am, then Saturday at noon then Saturday at 1:30 pm and finally got on the road Saturday at 1:50 pm. I blame the snow.

Fifteen minutes in and little hombre is snoozing. Hopefully it will last three hours...



2/22/2013

Light at the end of the single mom tunnel!

Well Charlie, we did it! We survived not one, not two, not three, not four but FIVE nights without dad, and let us not forget the foot of snow that came our way while he was gone. Here is hoping he actually gets home tonight. In hindsight, the week went decently fast. A big thanks to aunts Lindsay and Kate, uncle Kalin and Michelle for visiting. That helped speed up the days. I was not looking forward to the week. It's not that I didn't think I could do it or I was scared, rather it is (no offense to you), just kind of nice to have a break now and then. But you were a really good boy for momma this week, so thank you for that!

Now we just have to get to your doctors appointment this afternoon. I can't even believe you turned two months yesterday. I'm excited to watch you grow and turn into a little boy, but it's going entirely too fast!!

Tomorrow (was supposed to be yesterday) we are headed north to introduce you to the best city in the world--Omaha! Although you were born in Kansas (the first family member born here), we will raise you to be a Nebraska boy at heart. It really is home for all of us and we can't wait for you to experience it and especially for you to meet your great grandparents and the rest of our family and friends. A little snow can't keep us away!!

















2/21/2013

More mommy luck

I get all bundled up to go do a pass at shoveling. And then I realize I'm an hour off and it's time to feed Charlie and that's why he's fussy. So I strip down and go to feed him... He falls asleep instantly. Hasn't even attempted to nibble.

Oh where oh where should I book my spa weekend for?



Mommy luck

Daddy traveling for five nights, during which the worst snowstorm since 1900 hits the city. And while babe and I are normally fine cooped in the house for days at a time, we have to get to his doctor's appointment tomorrow. FML.

2/20/2013

Baby man boobs

Plus my favorite face ever. "You talking 'bout me?"



2/10/2013

Happy birthday, Charlie


I’ve been working on this post here and there as to try and remember all of the details from Charlie’s birthday.

We woke up on Dec. 20th – my due date – to the most snow Kansas City had seen in 2012. Of course we did! But all indications said we would not be having a baby that day and we’d likely be induced as scheduled on Dec. 26th. Or so we thought…

We had an appointment with Dr. Matthews that snowy afternoon and we went, expecting another pretty routine visit.  I had plans to Christmas shop after the appointment and snap my “40 Weeks” photo. Instead soon after we arrived I got the “what’s going on with your blood pressure?” question again from the nurse. It was high. She had me lay down for a while and later checked it, only for my BP to be lower. When Dr. Matthews came in, you could tell the blood pressure was of concern to her again. Nurse Ruth popped in to ask the doctor a question and Dr. Matthews had her check it again. High.

Sitting up was the culprit and Dr. Matthews started talking about our options. One was to wait until our scheduled induction on Dec. 26th to give me a little more time to progress (I was not dilated at all). That would mean bed rest for the next week, which I knew would be tough with Christmas and my family in town. The other option was to scoot on over to Labor and Delivery and have this baby! We were 40 weeks, baby was good size and there were no concerns from her on inducing that day. After talking through everything (using the BRAIN acronym we learned in class—benefits, risks, alternatives, intuition and what happens if I say no?) Dr. Matthews said if it was her, she’d induce that day. We decided to take the plunge and do it! She commented on how calm we were for deciding right then and there to have a baby. I think that’s a sign we were just ready. The only downside was Dr. Matthews was leaving the next day for vacation (and that was really her only reason for wanting us to wait until the 26th).

So, around 3:30 pm on Dec. 20th, we were off to Labor and Delivery…again. It was such a different feeling than when we went in November. Another sign we were just ready. We sat in the waiting room for about 20 minutes while they got a room ready for us and soon our nurse Kati came and got us. She escorted us to our room and got the party started. They did some blood work and hooked me up to the IV and gave me my last pregnant meal (mac & cheese, asiago chicken and pears. I remember it vividly). A little before 6 pm Kati administered Cervadil. That was not a pleasant process. In fact—that may have been one of the worst parts of the entire labor process. Cervadil starts the induction process by ripening the cervix. The plan was Cervadil for 12 hours and then start me on Pitocin.

Right after the Cervadil was administered, Trevor ran home to grab our bags (he kept saying “I KNEW I should have put them in the car before we left,”) so Lindsay came to the hospital to sit with me. I wasn’t a very friendly patient because almost as soon as she got there the Cervadil started kicking in (which was immediately after receiving it), and I started having contractions. Not light, minor, sporadic, contractions. More like one, steady, nonstop contraction. No ups and downs on that bottom monitor—just one straight line. Earlier that day Dr. Matthews said I had an unfavorable cervix and I told Lindsay “this is going to end in a c-section.” Speaking of Dr. Matthews, it was about this time she popped in to see how I was doing. She said she called all of the doctors on-call that weekend and told them to take good care of us; that we were her “favorite patients.” I was super bummed she’d be gone for this baby’s birth. We had shared so much with her over the last 40+ weeks!

Around 11 pm they gave me an Ambien. I thought that would knock me right out but I was not comfortable. I was having terrible back labor. I really didn’t want pain meds because I heard they made you wacko, but Trevor finally talked me into it because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to sleep. I can’t remember what pain med they gave me (I can’t remember if it was IV or pill form) but they did tell me it would make me out of it and boy oh boy did it ever. I remember laying n my bed thinking I and everything around me was made of gingerbread men. WTF? I had other random hallucinations too. I just remember telling my doped up self, “just be quiet. Don’t say anything.” Because I knew I wouldn’t be able to control what was coming out of my mouth.

I slept decently. I remember waking up to a random nurse in the middle of the night and asking her for more of the wonder drug. She obliged. Round two of crack head preggo Wendy.

I woke up around 5 to go to the bathroom and at this point I think they had removed the Cervadil because I couldn’t stop contracting and come to find out, the baby (Charlie boy as we now call him!) wasn’t liking it. I thought my water had broke but the nurse (our second nurse of this process) assured me it hadn’t. The minute I got back in bed, it broke. There was no mistaking that. So glad that didn’t happen at work or in public! 

For the next several hours I was on Pitocin and unbeknownst to me, the nurse, Faith, was busy monitoring the contractions, me, the baby, etc. and adjusting the Pitocin accordingly. What I wasn’t totally realizing early that day was how much the baby was not liking what was going on. (Looking back, I think I was pretty out of it that morning.) Faith talked about a possible arrhythmia with his heart and was constantly moving me around to make his heart rate go back up. At some point I had an internal heart rate monitor inserted to better track his heart rate. I also ended up with an internal contraction monitor to help better gauge the strength of the contractions. I was having contractions but not really progressing, so they were hoping that would help them monitor the strength of the contractions to get things moving. (Add the catheter I had after the epidural and I had a lot going on down there.)

I got the epidural around 11:30 am and man oh man those things are wonderful. I was really nervous to get the epidural but it was a total breeze and the anesthesiologist was super nice. I had to get it redosed a few times during the day due to the not fun back labor. And just when I’d get comfortable, Charlie’s heart rate would drop and they’d have to turn me on my side and the medicine wouldn’t help as much.

I really spent most of the day trying to sleep. I tried to watch Elf but couldn’t focus. We watched a little bit of our wedding video. I tried to surf Facebook but couldn’t even really concentrate on that. That’s how you know I was in pain.  Plus, everyone on FBook was talking about the end of the world and I was just thinking about how I was really going to be mad if I went through all of that labor and the world was going to end.

I was at a 4 from about 9 am through at least 3 pm. Things were not progressing. Pitocin went on and off all afternoon.

At 6 pm our fourth nurse entered the picture—Maggie. She was wonderful. Like Faith, she played around with the Pitocin.  At some point that afternoon, Maggie offered me a popsicle (sorry, ice cream client, but I ate it and man did it taste delicious).  With more hours passing, Maggie finally came to with us with a plan around 7:30 pm. She explained we needed the contractions to get stronger in order to get me to a 10. The issue was Charlie was not tolerating the stronger contractions well. So, they were going to crank the Pitocin as long as he’d tolerate it. We’d do this for about an hour and a half, see where we were and then decide how he was coming out.

9 pm came faster than I expected and I was 7-8. Maggie proposed keeping the Pitocin going or gave the option of a a c-section. The Pitocin was just so I had the chance to push—she said she believed this baby was not going to come out of my hooha.

It took us no time at all to agree a c-section was the way to go and as soon as we said yes—about 9:30 pm--they were in there prepping us. One nurse was putting a hair net and compression socks on me, one grooming me, Dr. Martinez came in to explain the procedure and sign my consent forms, the nurse anesthetist (who will be called Chris from now on because that is easier to type) was making me more numb and someone was telling Trevor to pack up our stuff and get in his scrubs and explaining his role in the operating room.

Soon we were leaving the confines of our nice Labor and Delivery room being wheeled down the hallway in my bed. (I was my own worst nightmare—walking down the hall of a hospital only to be passed by a patient being pushed in a bed. Yet I still watch Grey’s Anatomy…though opted not to the Thursday I was on the hospital for obvious reasons.) When we entered the operating room they transferred me to the table. I remember my head tilted down a bit and I had to ask if I was tilted or if I was feeling funny. Chris said he’d sit at my head the entire time with Trevor and that if I felt anything to just holler. He let me know as soon as they started cutting and I didn’t feel a darn thing—just a little pressure. The doctor and the nurses were chatting about their Christmas plans. (Just like in Grey’s—having a totally normal conversation over an open abdominal cavity.) Minutes after they started the procedure Chris said he was out and soon they lifted out little baby boy over the curtain for me to see. Trevor said, “he looks like a Charlie to me!” When they brought him over to me, I won’t lie—he looked a little alien-esque. And he was hungry—sticking his tongue out at me saying “FEED ME MOM!”

I remember everyone in the room congratulating us and commenting on how cute he was. It was so surreal—we had a son!! While the doctor and nurses south of the curtain were sewing me up, Trevor, Charlie and I were taking photos up North. I could turn my head to the right to see Charlie in his little bassinet with Trevor, while the nurses cleaned him off, calculated his Apgar score (8 at 1 minute, 9 at 5 minutes), etc. When they weighed him and announced 8 pounds, 1 ounce, I was shocked! We thought he’d be so much bigger than that.

I did puke at one point, bet vomit ever. Tasted like a cherry popsicle. Again, including all of the details in here for posterity sake.

Trevor and Charlie went off to the nursery for his first bath and they wheeled me to post-op. It was while I was in this room by myself when Maggie said, “Wendy, Faith is on the phone. Can I tell her about Charlie?!?” Our nurse from earlier that day had called to see how I was doing. How sweet is that?!?

When the daddy/son duo came back in, my heart melted. Cute little Charlie was in a Santa hat; it was the sweetest thing I had ever seen! I just kept saying “that CHIN!” It was cute and little and pointy and perfect, sandwiched between the most delicious, chubbiest cheeks ever. He was absolutely perfect.

The grandparents were the first to visit the post-opp room. I can’t describe it but I remember my mom’s face vividly. It was so awesome to get to introduce them to their first grandchild. Then came aunt Kate, aunt Lindsay and Uncle Kalin. They too were immediately smitten.

We got to our post-partum room around 2:30 am on December 22. My mom and dad and Kalin and Lindsay had stuck around and came and visited. I don’t remember much other from that night/morning other than being very very tired.

From this point forward, we had an amazing few days in the hospital. I had heard great things about the care at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, and my expectations were exceeded. Every person we encountered was absolutely wonderful, helpful, kind, etc. Our primary mommy/baby nurses were Jeanine (night) and Roxanne (day).  I can’t describe it, nor do I know why, but the hospital stay was an amazing time—despite the confinement to a small room, being fresh off of surgery, being away from home, etc. I was actually kind of sad to go home but that made for the most memorable Christmas Eve ever.





2/07/2013

Happy baby!

Today was one of those days where I could spend 24/7 with Charlie. He was a perfect angel! Now there are still 6 hours left in the day, but dad's home should a meltdown ensue. We napped, cooed, smiled, tummy-timed, happily swung while wide awake, let mom eat lunch, planned a Valentine's Day crafting party and more. Maybe it was starting our day at Starbucks? If this is the outcome, I'll gladly visit there evey morning!

Actually, maybe it's the fact his toots are actually being expelled with ease today. Lots of funny feelings and sounds coming from south of the border.





Mommy Luck

Finally getting the boy to like the Bjorn. Finally getting to eat an enjoyable lunch while baby is Bjorn. Getting a random bloody nose while son is four inches under you in Bjorn. Go figure.

2/06/2013

Outings

I took Charlie to the office today to meet my coworkers. I was worried the entire time he was going to have a meltdown. And he did.

Do I have a skewed sense of reality? I thought babies were supposed to sleep peacefully in their carseats during outings, and sleep through being passed from one person to the next. But it seems like my son wants to be awake when we go out and about, which at some point leads to crying from either being wet, hungry or over-stimulated. And then when the crying happens, I panic and it seems to make the situation all the more tense.

I can handle the crying, even wailing, at home. All my tricks are within arms reach. I can get him calmed down. But when away, it is just more stressful. I am at the mercy of getting things out of my diaper bag. We have stranger's, or acquaintance's, eyes upon us. I feel like a meltdown is a reflection on me as a mom. That he is THAT baby. That "fussy" is the first adjective that comes to people's minds when they think of Charlie. And this just makes me want to stay home and wait to run errands until I'm solo.

So, moms. Am I normal? Is he normal? Is he like every other baby out there or is he truly just a little fussy guy? I have no point of reference. For better or for worse, please tell your tales.

Photo: Feb. 6. Snoozing after coming home from the office. Precious moment.






2/05/2013

Maternity Leave TV Funny

Goodness gracious, the Oscar statuette is anchoring the 4 pm news.

2/04/2013

Blessings

This is my current view. Holding my little snoozing lovey in my arms. I should take advantage of this time and shower and make my bed, but I can't break away and put him down right now.

Charlie was supposed to have a second cousin or some version of that (my cousin's baby) just three weeks older than him. When we found out these little fellas would be so close in age, we were so excited for future holidays and family get togethers, watching these two little ones play and grow up together.

Unfortunately cousin Max man was born with some complications and spent just 28 short days on this earth.

My cousin, Max's dad, just posted a moving note about Max on Facebook. It was a reminder and perspective for me this morning. I thank God for Charlie everyday, but sometimes when he's fussy or won't go to sleep, it can get frustrating. (And I'd like to think if any new parent didn't admit that then they are lying.) But Charlie is here, healthy and happy and for that we are eternally grateful.

We never got to meet Max man but he left an impression on all of us. He is stronger than I'll ever be. We will never forget our little fighter Max and we will always be grateful for the miracle we have in our arms, Charlie.

2/01/2013

Mom lesson 2, 3 & 4:

1. Everyone will have an opinion. We were debating on giving Cman a pacifier in the hospital (see #2). Two doctors condoned it. Moments later, the nurse and lactation consultant condemned it. Parents have to do what they feel is best for their child and go with their intuition

2. Speaking of pacis, this lesson is never say never. Pre-baby, I was adamant about not using a pacifier. You can see by #1, we were already introducing it in the hospital. On the flip side, I've been considering cloth diapers, to which TFitch said "I never thought I'd hear that come out of your mouth," when I told him what I was thinking. The parent in you will likely surprise pre-parent you.

3. I will ensure the following things are in my hospital bag for baby #2 (that's right, I'm not scared off.) All ended up being super helpful to have while at the hospital with Charlie:

- Mouthwash. If you labor for a while, or you simply can't get out of bed, a little Scope in the mouth helps you feel a little bit cleaner. This should not replace regular toothbrushing, but is a quick fix. Speaking of toothbrushing, be prepared to brush in bed. For me, this required TFitch pre-rinsing my toothbrush and applying the tooth paste.I had a glass of water to rinse with and an empty glass to spit in. When you're bed bound for nearly 48 hours like I was, this is a good system, 48 hours brings up lesson 3b: catheters rock.

- Pre-moistened facial wipes. For the same reason as the mouthwash, these were amazing. I asked my SIL to bring me some and she opted for an Aveeno brand. Loved them. It's amazing how much better you feel with a little facial refresh, even though deep down you know you are a disgusting, smelly woman.

- Button up Jammies. Once I got out of the hospital gown, I was not getting back in one. I had purchased two pairs of soft Simply Vera jammies from Kohls and they were perfect. Easy to nurse in and cute. Still sport them.

- I packed day and night outfits for the hospital. My reco: don't. Cute jams can be worn day and night. You just gave birth. People will understand. I wore three outfits during the 4 days I was in the hospital: gown, one pair of jams and the random hodge podge of clothes I wore home.

More learnings from the past six weeks coming later. Off to feed the machine.


Mom Question #1

If everyone talks about that "new baby smell," why does my son always emit an odor of breast milk, spit up, pee and/or poop (which one book calls sweet smelling. I know what they are saying, but let's call stank stank regardless of if it has a hint of "sweetness." It's still shit.) And yes, we bathe him often.

Mommyhood

There was a period in time when I thought taking care of a newborn was easy peasy. This phase coincided with when my mom* was staying with us, and was doing the laundry (lots and lots of laundry), making my bed (I love a made bed), making us meals, running my errands (grocery store, Walgreens...oh, the infamous Walgreens run), tending to Macy, and more. She was taking care of me and the house so I could take care of Chuck. Of course, she also was able to keep an eye on him when I showered to make that more productive for me.

But now, it's been just Charlie and I for the past few weeks and I've realized how little time there is to get these household essentials done. And if the basics do get done--laundry, dinner on the table, bills paid--some extra curricular activity hasn't happened...painting nails, exercising, calling a friend. Just getting to eat breakfast and lunch is a challenge. And snacks for mom are rare.

I don't think I'm doing anything incorrectly or inefficiently; I think feeding, diaper changes and getting them back to sleep takes a lot more time than it sounds like. But I wouldn't change it for the world. As a person who used to be go-go-go and always thinking of her next project, sitting on the couch holding a sleeping baby is a far departure from days of past. But I'm surprisingly great with it.

I'm reading a fun little book for rookie moms, courtesy of Annie, (appropriately titled "The Rookie Mom's Handbook") and one of her tips was to forgo the to-do list and make a "got-done list." On any given day for me, it may look a little something like:

1. Changed 10 diapers, 4 of them very poopy.
2. Gave Charlie a face and butt bath.
3. Dressed Charlie in morning.
4. Changed Charlie's clothes in afternoon after blowout.
5. Swaddled and rocked Charlie to sleep for three naps.
6. Fed Charlie 8 times = about 6 hours with burping and rests.
7. Administered gas drops 6 times.
8. Beat Shannon in Words with Friends. :)
9. Played with Macy. Let her outside numerous times.
10. Made the bed.

When you look at it that way, maternity leave days are chock full of productivity. It is not sitting on the couch catching up on the DVR. So I'm challenging myself to not get down if it is a day where I am in sweats until 5 pm or the dishwasher only gets half unloaded. Instead, I'm relishing my time with my little Bubba and this smile, as the days are already going so fast and I know soon enough maternity leave will feel like the distant past.

In closing, I would just like to say that for numerous reasons, I have a new appreciation of Mother's Day. To all the mommas out there, we truly do have the hardest but best job in the world.

* My mom does everything the best. Folds clothes the best. Makes beds the best. And then turns DOWN the bed at night and turns on the bedside lamps. Amazing Everything she did around the house reminded me of her special touch that I don't quite have. Why did I ever move out 15 years ago? (That makes me feel very old.)