And there goes a month
September 29, 2008
Wow, time flies. This living in the present business is sort of exhausting. It is hard to write about the present. It is hard to see if time is passing quickly or slowly, if babies are growing, if children are adjusting, if I will ever buy groceries again.
The scale says that Arabella is gaining weight. She left the hospital at 5 lb 7 oz. The pediatrician's office at 9 days said 5 lb 12 oz. And my home baby scale (yes, I did buy one, what's it to you?) says 6 lb 14 oz today. (20 days).
The calendar says that Bella is 20 days old. I have the birth announcements ready to go out, if I can somewhere to buy stamps. I even have her baby website done. I have enough perspective to know that I will not keep updating her site, any more than I did the baby sites for Miranda or Henry.
Time will tell whether Bella was an easy baby or a pretty easy baby. I can't see how we will think she was hard, unless <knock on wood> we get a colic infestation. She sleeps during the day and usually during the night. She eats and she likes it. She likes baths. She tolerates the car. She doesn't demand walking or pacing, but she does like to be held. I think I even had a point when I started writing this, but the moment has passed. Onward October (plus a day).
Notes from 1 week
September 18, 2008
- First: Yes, it is 9 days, not a week. I started thinking about this (but not writing, no, not writing) 3 days ago. It has taken 3 days to find time to type this. And who knows when I will post it? So #1, everything takes longer.
- I have about 5-6 days of sleep surplus before I start feeling like I am losing my mind and overtired. So we are on day 3 of overtired. I also have a headache. I've lost my appetite. I dug out my reading glasses for computer time. My eyes hurt. Is this all connected? We had our inaugural visit to the pediatrician. I know why I liked him. He is so calm. It did not help my equilibrium that he wants me to watch my headaches. But he agrees, it is probably nothing serious. Like allergy season flaring. Or that lack of sleeping thing.
- Really. Arabella doesn't sleep poorly. I have been strict enough with the idea that she is a tiny one and she should eat every 2-3 hours. And like every baby, her long sleepy urges are not at night. She is pretty sleepy. She cries very little. She is just occupying a huge part of my brain, parts that normally think about world peace or curtains or when I last vacuumed. You know, parts of my brain I hardly ever use.
- Five pounds is so tiny. She was 5 lb 12 oz on the doctor's scale and left the hospital at 5 lb 7 oz. (But the scales at the hospital need calibration. The OR put her at 5 lb 8 oz officially. Then an hour later in the nursery she weighed 5 lb 11 oz. So fine measurement of her weight cannot be studied.) I met a mom at the doctor's office today who tried to tell me a 9lb baby would still seem so small. She had had a 5 lb and a 9 lb baby and they seemed the same to her. Miranda and Henry were 6 lb babies, so I can't really judge that. But that extra pound, I think it showed. Bella is tiny.
- Henry is hitting the typical developmental sibling milestones. He wonders when the baby will be leaving. And why is she staying? And how old will he be when she leaves? And why does he need more than 1 sister? He is a little punked out by the whole thing, but not violent or vile or malicious. He wants more attention RIGHT NOW. In contrast, Miranda seems to be rolling with the new baby. Either that or 2nd grade is occupying so much of her brain she can't be bothered by things like a new family paradigm.
- I hate the infant car seat we bought. It doesn't latch into the van. We just got a new stroller in the mail yesterday. It seems a tad bit wobbly. I want to try to tighten it all up. The bright spot of mail order has been my diaper bag! Somebody loves me and Bella. Yay!
September 10, 2008
And yesterday was a banner day. Our new daughter, Arabella Louise, was born! I started contracting, but not quite by the book contractions. I wrote them down. I called my OB when I noticed they were steady 6-9 minutes apart and not slowing down despite eating. And I couldn't sit down. Lo and behold, my dad drives Henry and me to the OB's office where Rob meets us. I am 4cm. I am 36 weeks. We're not stopping now.
Welcome Arabella Louise!
5lb 8.5 oz
19.5 inches long.
Big Brother Henry and Papa and Arabella
Miranda and Bella
Mom and Arabella
More to come. I was too excited to sleep last night. So it will be in spurts. We're over the moon with happiness!
18 days and 0
September 8, 2008
I had my 36 week appointment today. I am 0 cm dilated. I am 18 days until the scheduled section. The baby, after flirting with breech birth, is head down. Very head down. Her head is pressing firmly into my cervix and my bladder, I guess. My hope is that she'll stay that way, even if the pressure is intense. Today's quickie ultrasound still showed girl parts, so the pinkness should be OK.
My OB still seems slightly nervous about my placenta, but she's decided to cut very quickly and deal with the blood as she needs to. And to have a partner help her. If I go into labor in the middle of the night, I am supposed to tell the person in the call center to to call her right away and stress that she wants the call and that she wants a partner there. The subtext I read into that is that they wouldn't normally call her right away? As I have had limited success at convincing L&D nurses that I am in labor when in fact I am in labor. I am not too optimistic about this part of the birth event.
Today Henry and I discussed pirates and breastfeeding. He hopes pirates don't kill us. And that dogs don't eat our neighbor's house. And the whole idea of feeding a baby with my breasts...kind of weird to him. He told my mom yesterday that he wanted to bring milk to the hospital for the baby. We realized that he probably hasn't seen anyone breastfeed obviously in a while. And I realized today that pretend breastfeeding his doll was slightly awkward. I do trust the baby will be more than 8 inches long.
I am very uncomfortable. How has no one invented a 9 month chair for pregnant women? I have not figured out what position is comfortable. Laying down. Eh. Sitting up, eh. Standing is OK, but not for long. Sitting on the floor puts my feet to sleep. 18 days. 18 days. 18 days.
September 7, 2008
As my belly waxes, my attention span wanes. Or is it my energy level? Work ethic? Focus? Maybe attention span is right. So some things bouncing around my mind, almost like rants, or maybe just curiosities:
1. Elective c-sections
I am now 9 months pregnant. If today is the 7th of Sept, then I have 19 days until the scheduled c-section date. I suppose this is an elective c-section. It is planned, which if I made a dichotomy of c-sections, I might go with planned versus emergency. My first for Miranda would then all into the emergency category, but really, it wasn't an emergency. I went into labor, she was breech, we didn't know, then we did, then we went to the OR. I went into labor with Henry, too. I was going to try the VBAC. And we tried, but failed. That wasn't "urgent" either. This time, I suppose we might have been able to consider a VBAC. I didn't purse the question as I had read that virtually no hospitals were attempting VBAC after 2 C's.
Having an endpoint on pregnancy is enormously comforting. I did not expect that. Yes, a due date is an end. A vague 2 week plus or minus end. If Santa brought Christmas presents sometime between December 11 and January 8...let me tell you, more people might believe in Santa. And fewer kids would stay up all night waiting for it.
I could make a paper chain for my kids to break off a paper link for the next 19 days. There is a certainty...like the fact that the election season will end Nov 4. Well, after 2000, maybe that isn't a true analogy. And the amazing part is that the baby could come earlier. Miranda and Henry both came 2 week early. This was a huge surprise both times and sort of knocked our socks off. Because we were looking at the range. And being natural pessimists, we didn't think we'd jump the line. The elective C gives you an ounce of control in a breath-taking, wild, emotional, terrifying journey to a birth. I've read about the convenience factor in women's requests for an elective C. That seemed like a scheduling call...arrange child care, settle insurance issues, no wild ride in the night, husbands and family prepared and in place. But I don't think I have read about the mental freedom that having a closed end date can bring. I didn't expect that. And if she does wait until the 26th (I am trying to both stay aware that she could come early and jinx it so she'll wait), I will be sad not to have gone into labor. But I am not sure I would trade that.
2. Responsible children
I dislike the molding of parents by the schools to create responsible children. 2nd grade has brought about a daily snack fee, a daily reading and math log, and an assignment notebook I have to sign. I have enough trouble making sure Miranda wears her glasses to school each day. She is the one penalized if I forget any of these things. But our power imbalance is way too high for her to be able to make me do any of them. She can read and do her assignments...but if I don't record it, it doesn't count. I don't think it is teaching her any responsibility. I can't think of another good lesson from this, except life isn't fair? And the suburbs eat your soul. In quarter size dollops.
3. Preschool curricula.
I was shocked to see myself write 3 academic goals for Henry on his preschool intake form. He is 4 1/2. I think he should be in school, a public, taxpayer-supported school. I don't think that school should be overly rigorous, onerous, test-driven, or full day. His preschool is darling. It will be fun and caring and he will learn many things. I hope. He seems to be at a window of academic knowledge. He can pick out letters and numbers. He spells his name, even when a new friend asks. (sadly, when another 4 year old asks you your name and you say H-E-N-R-Y, he doesn't know your name). On the TiVo program list or on the computer, he can find words, like "Play" and Ninja Warrior. And yes, there are good design cues in the games, but TiVo? They're not that good. The words surprise me. The easy math he does in unison with Miranda's homework, that surprises me too. It just seems to me that if he is at a point where all of that knowledge will seems natural and easy to expand and build on, I don't think it should only happen at home.
If I weren't pushing an idyllic kindergarten program for him, I'd be worrying about school adjustment this year. I can usually describe Henry as kind, good at sharing, making friends, playing with other kids, funny. I think Henry is pretty upset about pregnancy slowing me down and the unknown baby intruder seeking to disrupt his life. He has been bored by the time between camp and school. He is pugilistic in his approach toward just about everything, especially me. Weekends are a little better; he has Papa to rough house and Grandma to chase. The happiest he was around me this weekend was in his swim class. He didn't do more than 10% of the things the teacher asked, but he held on to me. Wrapping his legs around me. We were in 4 ft of water. He could sit above the belly. I could carry him. He didn't try to drown me once. Strangely the definite end point doesn't seem to be helping Henry as much as it helps me. I do hope the new baby will show herself to be mild at first. And I will be able to bend over again and help him with his shoes. And his equilibrium will be restored.
4. The right way
If I ever write a statement of belief, several pages in, or at least after the 5th paragraph, I will state that I believe toilet paper should go over the roll. It is right. It is good. It makes more sense to me. It pleases me. And I have been frustrated by our 1/2 bath for some time. Double rolls of paper don't turn well. It is far more effort than it should be. And one day, someone put the roll on wrong, toward the bottom. And I shudder to admit this, but it works. I've experimented since this discovery. And this particular toilet paper holder works with the paper toward the bottom. I still may have to restore order to the universe and replace it.
I can only hope I will sleep well tonight, having dumped these thought from my brain.