All present and accounted for

Coffee? Check.

Baby sleeping? Check.

Itunes on shuffle? Check.

Digg, Facebook, Tumblr, Hotmail and Twitter open? Check

Dogs sleeping on the couch? Check.

This is my normal morning routine. I’m integrating a walk here and there, spending more time bonding with Isaac, now that he’s opening his eyes more and trying to act like a human. I know I have lamented it a TON this week but I am not quite into the maternity leave thing yet. Day to day it’s good and bad. But then again, this is life in general so maybe I ought to just get the hell over it, right? Ok, ’nuff said.

SO, moving right along. I pre-ordered Dead in the Family, the newest installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I haven’t read that stuff in a while and moved onto other vamp novels so it’ll be interesting to get back to that plot.

I mowed the lawn, as I promised myself, yesterday. I also nearly shed a tear when, returning from my afternoon walk, I noticed that the neighbour’s lawn service FINALLY trimmed the hedge between our properties. I tried to but it’s too tall and I bemoaned the fact that it looked like garbage but no one would ever freaking trim it. But they did! I was so happy to have my lawn looking normal again. Plus, the four houses around me all got mowed so I HAD to, for posterity.

I’ll be trekking to the comic shop this Saturday because it’s Free Comic Book Day, which – if you don’t know – is a Big Deal in the comic world. I never really go for whatever free stuff they give but more for the local shop’s deals on back issues. Not that I should be spending money while on leave and not bringing in very much.

Going to get the babe in the stroller and get my exercise on before it rains. Hope everyone’s having a good Friday!

Oh, and here’s a baby pic:

Goals and objectives

I was reading a friend’s (psuedo-anonymous) blog and it seemed a good idea to round up some of my recent goals as well. As mentioned, maternity leave is a strange limbo time that can afford one the time to accomplish many tasks or break down their will to go on and render them useless unto the late afternoon HGTV programming. So, here’s a semi-complete list of shit I gots to get done.

  • Mow the damn lawn. And trim the hedges.
  • Find and organize all “important documents”. They’re in a file folder now but I think I can do better. (Have you renewed your driver’s license lately? In Florida at least, they want about 6 documents from you.)
  • Finish Isaac’s baby book. I got it pretty much near complete but it needs a few birth pics.
  • Acquire and read the next installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series (May 4th!)
  • Begin an exercise routine. If nothing else, walk with Isaac at least once a day for 15 minutes. Build up to running.
  • Make coffee at home. Stop spending 3 dollars a day after dropping Elliot off at school.
  • Take at least one picture a day, no matter what of, but preferably the baby :)
  • Watch Carnivale, which I got on DVD for Christmas.
  • Wear the baby more; he appears to like being upright.
  • Write, write, write!

Diversions

  • We finally got Inglorious Basterds in the mail; it was a “very long wait” and they weren’t effing kidding. But as with all Tarantino films, there’s a huge build up and then you watch the film and leave feeling like it lacked somewhere. It was… OK. Nothing special. The dude who won best supporting actor definitely deserved it but I see why the movie didn’t win best picture.
  • I opened all the blinds so sunlight can come in and I won’t feel so unmotivated. It seems to work.
  • I uploaded cool pictures to my tumblr, which I had been neglecting.
  • My new favorite HGTV show is Color Splash. That David Bromstad is adorable when he gets excited about designs.
  • I made brownies two days ago and then yesterday, I realized how little I actually feel like eating them.
  • How soon after childbirth should I start working out again? The elliptical calls to me.
  • I just ate the heel of a loaf of french bread with butter. At 9 o’clock in the morning.
  • Making lasagna later in hopes that can be my 3-5 PM activity to stave off the apathy.
  • Going now to feed the beast known as Isaac.

More thoughts on staying home, etc.

They say to sleep when the baby sleeps. Well, he’s asleep right now for – really – the first time all day and yet, I am doing laundry and washing dogs and, obviously, blogging. We’re about to enter what Sundry referred to as the “the long dark tea-time of the stay-at-home-mom soul”. God is she ever right. I admit to going back to her archives and reading them because it makes me feel a lot better. She also has two boys, about the same ages apart and to be honest, I feel like I think in a lot of the same ways. Kind of goofy to admit, I know.

I want to avoid the feelings I have during the 3-5 time frame: listless, anxious, angry. I know I shouldn’t be; for the most part, maternity leave is pretty cool. A much deserved rest after the nine months of carrying this thing around. I was even happy when I was bending down to wash a smelly Boston terrier and realized I could do it without hurting. For that, I was thankful. But the days do kind of drag now and then. What begin as gung-ho motivated mornings end up being ticking seconds of eternity by the time the late afternoon rolls around. I have these grand ideas of breakfast on the deck, beautiful breezy mornings and a hint of jasmine scent on the wind. Toast, tea, a book. And Isaac in his little seat, enjoying nature and our quiet time. This has yet to happen, of course.

Today’s weather isn’t helping me; it’s gray and cloudy but I don’t think it’s going to rain.  To boot, my internet is being wonky; it’ll be fast one second then pages will time out the next. Thanks, Comcast, you piece of trash provider. Not really sure what you’re providing me with right now.

If not for internet and reading, my downtime would be… I don’t know what! And I hate to say that because I want to believe I’d be fine doing some kind of craft or project or you know, actually writing for once. Again, depending on the day, lack of motivation. But all in all, emotionally and hormonally, I think I am basically back to normal. It took A LOT longer last time, that’s for sure. I can see how it would get easier with each subsequent kid, but I am definitely in the no more kids camp, for now. Even though labor was far better this time, it was still traumatic in ways. Ways that make me say no way in hell will I push out another one of these leeches. (Sorry, Isaac, I don’t mean it. Really.)

So this week my goal is to really find a routine that I can be happy with and deal with the stuff that can’t be stuffed into time slots – feedings, fussiness, etc… It’s really only the second week of this so I’ll get the hang of it. Then, by the end of next week? My running/losing weight routine begins!

Watch your teeth, the end here’s covered in sugar

Isaac was born 12 days ago but it feels like a lot longer. I feel pretty damn good now, physically, and it’s amazing how that can change my attitude. Do you even know how much laundry I got done yesterday? A literal ton. Oh, but there’s more. Always more. The point is that it got done and I felt good about it. Isaac had a particularly inconsolable morning yesterday and then slept basically all afternoon. Too bad Elliot did not. He had gone to bed late on Saturday night because we decided to watch Finding Nemo as a family. In turn, he woke up at 9:45 on Sunday and because of this, there was no time, really, for a nap and it messed up our entire day. He was a downright pill of a toddler and I honestly considered at one point throwing him out in the yard, where it’s overgrown with God knows what  and a minefield of dog crap. I just needed him out of my hair and I couldn’t bring myself to plunk him in front of the TV, even though he would have loved nothing more. We struggled through; I made spaghetti, Elliot went to bed, Ash went out in the yard to rock climb with the guys, and I folded laundry and rewarded myself with writing. Much deserved writing. It was, in a word, fabulous.

I do sort of feel like my channel is tuned to all baby – all the time. I try to find diversions: Sneezies on my iPod, music here and there, rereading the Midnight Breed series (I’m about to read #4 again with my favorite character, Rio. Grrr ;) ). Ash has been playing Magic at home with some people lately and I want to play as well but something always holds me back. Usually exhaustion or the desire to do something selfishly for myself instead. Possibly once the newness of maternity leave wears off, I’ll be chomping at the bit for more human interaction – rather, adult interaction – and join them.

I don’t think the true weight of becoming the mother of two boys has really sunk in yet. And it probably won’t until Isaac starts hitting those “milestones” and I’ll remember how concerned I was when Elliot did or did not. And then it’ll all seem too real; the first time Isaac holds his own head up, or sits unassisted, or starts pulling up. And someday, he’ll be where Elliot is now and oh my, won’t our life be crazy then?? It’s more than I could ever ask for. :)

The obligatory “Two kids” post

You knew it was coming; it was only a matter of time. I will not sugar coat it though. Having two children is HARD. But only at certain times. If Isaac is awake when I am trying to make dinner and Elliot and Ash have just gotten home, then it’s like a circus up in here. Otherwise, it’s just handling Elliot that is the concern. But after having dealt with a mostly mute tiny creature all day, Elliot’s like a bull in a china shop when he gets home and I feel stressed out. Plus, the post-partum emotional roller coaster – for me- kicks in around this time so I run the gamut of emotions as the sun draws nearer to the horizon. Give me until about 8 o’clock and then I level off.  I remember that with Elliot; right around 5 or 6 I would feed hm in the recliner in the nursery and look out on the setting sun and just weep. I couldn’t tell you why… I just felt off. And I have been that way a few times the past couple days and I think I am most in amazement at how I can go from feeling so happy and full one minute to low and utterly lost the next. Human hormones are a crazy mystical thing.

I was busy this week with doctor appointments and necessary errands so I don’t think I have yet eased into or settled into my maternity leave. Somewhere in the back of my mind I keep feeling like I have this thing to do that’s going to take away my Isaac time. But there’s not. I have until June 28th. I’m excited that I am feeling better health-wise, though not 100% yet, but I am waiting for the time when I really find my stride here and can maneuver through a day without mishap. Admittedly, I know more of the fundamental baby-caring techniques now but I often refer to the many books I own still, to remind myself if I am doing it “right”.

For the most part, things have been manageable. Ash has stepped up in terms of helping with Elliot, which he already did a lot of. The two will run an errand while I take the baby to the store. Or stay home and feed him while they go to the park. It’s working well so far. The best thing about this time is that I have found a way to focus on everyone. I fully admit that with Elliot, some weird mom instinct took over and I worried about that baby alone. And my relationship with Ash suffered. As you know, if you have a vaginal birth, sex is banned for 6 weeks after. I took this to the extreme last time and, thinking only of myself, didn’t even help Ash out. This may be more than you’d like to know but things are definitely better this time.

I think Isaac actually saw me for the first time last night. Ash was at Magic and it was around 10 PM. I was feeding him in bed and after that session he was particularly awake. Babies don’t see very far or clearly but there was a moment when I think he saw me. It was a magical little moment.

His eyes are open more now. Honestly, I am looking forward to the month mark. I go back through Elliot photos and remember the stages at which I marveled. I don’t want to forget about that with number two; so many things already get left behind. But I can tell you this: if ever there was fear of not connecting and/or loving a second boy, that’s all gone by the wayside. I see now that I have room in my heart for all the men in my life. And it feels really nice to say that.

Birth story part II

… I was discharged around noon on Saturday and I specifically remember feeling very annoyed and just out of sorts. I wasn’t necessarily happy to be home; I wanted to get right back to my normal life. But I didn’t feel right. The first night was fine in terms of Isaac. I got up a lot but I don’t really remember feeling tired. Sunday, my mom decided that they were going to go home, even though they’d planned to stay until Tuesday. I think my dad was stressed about something and that made my mom freak out and begin her Chinese water torture ways of picking at every little thing and that made me annoyed by it, etc… It was a relief when they were gone but by 5 PM, the true hardship of suddenly having TWO CHILDREN came crashing down upon us. Dinner plans were interrupted and Elliot acted up and I suddenly began having chills and felt awful. The chills progressed and my fever spiked;  I ached. I called doctors for help but all I got was shuffled from recording to on-call nurse who told me to take Tylenol. Gee, thanks! That’s why you make the big bucks, eh? SO…

Chills the entire night; I kid you not. Since Ash was home with me Monday, he got Elliot off to daycare and I admitted that I needed to be seen. My doctor’s office had no actual doctors IN the office so they sent me to triage… where I waited an hour. And just as I was feeling like death warmed over, we actually saw one of my friends. UGH. But she was also in for a bad thing; hadn’t felt her 20 week twin boys move in a few days and was leaking some kind of fluid. So just as I thought my life was total shit, I realized that it can always be worse. Luckily, she was just fine. For me, however, I spent about 6 hours in triage with an iv and antibiotics. I had a temp of 102.8!

Let me tell you: taking care of a newborn and being sick is the ultimate suck. I didn’t care about anything. My brain produced horrifying dreams. My body buzzed in weird ways and convulsed with the chills so bad I couldn’t stay still if I tried. Luckily, all that seems to have passed now. I had a follow-up appointment today with the same doc I saw Monday and she listened to my lungs; thinks I could have been headed down the road to pneumonia but the antibiotics should be warding all that off now.

The first week of Isaac’s life has been very difficult for me and I feel terrible that I was not able to give him the attention he really deserved. I can move forward now and really enjoy this maternity leave and my new son.

The Birth Story – part 1

***Now hat I am finally settling in, here’s how it all went down***

The famed Braxton-Hicks didn’t really visit my uterus the first time I was pregnant. However, during this one, I experienced a lot of the practice contractions. Maybe around week 30 or so they would come and go throughout the day then I would go a few more days without any. However, starting on Monday April 5th, I started having them multiple times an hour for 8-10 hours a day. This concerned me but I knew I wouldn’t just go into labor so soon. A part of me may have suspected it though, since Elliot came soon after 37 weeks. I felt like I was on alert for so many days and nights and I imposed this upon the people who were waiting for me to have this baby. Mostly my mom and those who may have to watch Elliot should I be rushing to the hospital at 2 AM. It felt like a kind of torture, as I wrote in previous posts; like I was being mentally tested because once I passed the 37 week mark, I started to feel as if I were entitled to go early and dammit, I don’ wanna carry this kid to 40 week: whine! The next Friday, the ninth, I was having contractions that were coming 3 minutes apart so I told Ash we needed to head to triage. Indeed, I was having contrax and was dilated 3 centimeters. But my body was not ready to give birth. The awful triage nurse had me walk for an hour but when nothing down there changed at all, I was sent home. And it was heartbreaking. Because when you’re ready to be done, you’re oh-SO ready and the rejection – from both the birthing experts and your own body – is painful and pitiful. The thing is, I had my mom come up this weekend because I was pretty sure that something would have changed. Alas, nothing happened until the wee hours of Thursday morning, the 15th. I had been having contractions all night long but none so rough I could not sleep. I woke, got the boy ready but decided I shouldn’t go to work because it was difficult to walk and these contractions felt more “real”. They were lower down, radiating into my back. I took Ell to to daycare and went into my office to secure some final things. I knew this was the real deal.

By 8:30, Ash was home and we were on our way back to the hospital. I felt alright but they were certainly coming faster now. By the time I got into a room in triage and hooked onto the monitor, the contractions were only about 2 minutes apart and I was 5 centimeters. I was in pain by then and Ash was doing the best job of calming me, keeping me level. I found myself, at one point, losing my control and confidence. Luckily, I regained it, found a focal point and managed not to trn inward but to listen to Ash’s encouragement. I kept working through them. The best position was standing next to the bed and laying my arms down on it, swaying my hips. I would like to thank the girl who taught my prenatal yoga class for not making me feel so stupid about doing the “hippy dance” because that worked like a charm.

I told the nurse who was helping me that I was feeling the need to push and when she rechecked, she found that my bag o’ waters was bulging, hence that irritating feeling. Of course, they told me I certainly couldn’t push yet since I wasn’t in L&D yet. All in all they worked really quickly to get me in that room, I must admit. So I got into that room and all the other nurses came in to get me situated. I had begun to sweat really bad for some reason so some people were swabbing me with cold cloths while others asked if I wanted medicine. Last labor, the pain med made me throw up so this time, they have me something for nausea and then the Nubane (sp?). Though they claim that it “only takes the edge off”, I was perfectly fine working through each wave of contracting pain. I was quiet and  controlled, working to focus on my breathing. I told them that I indeed wanted an epidural but this is my one regret, if I could have changed anything. I asked for it because I had been in pain for weeks and I was certain I would be in labor for a long time. From the time I got into the labor and delivery room until he was born was, honestly, only three hours and twenty one minutes. But we live and learn. The pain mounted but was quelled by modern science. I did, however, think I felt more this time; as if the epidural was less effective.

When it was time to push, the doctor on call – Dr. Dixon – only had to be in there a short time. After one contraction, his head was out. In fact, they had to tell me to stop pushing so he could be siphoned and whatnot, I was such a champion pusher! On the next contraction, Ash literally got to pull our son from my body.

Isaac Samuel was born on Tax Day: April 15th at 1:21 PM. He weighed seven pounds three ounces and measured 19 inches long.

Recovery wasn’t bad but  I ran a fever and the first night, I had hot and cold chills the entire time, making feeding him and all very tiring. My family visited a lot and brought stuff but I mostly tried to rest and not get too down.

Light at the end

I didn’t need to remind my doctor of what he’d told me weeks ago; when I saw him this morning, we had a very down to earth conversation about the possibility of inducing me on Friday when he is on call. Though in some ways I felt that I was throwing in the towel on this pregnancy, I think the choice I made to do it is what needed to be done. After a week and a half of physical and mental pain, I reached a point where I had to do something… something for myself. Maybe it’s selfish but I have been in a state of in-between for too long and I realized I was no longer enjoying my pregnancy or almost anything else, for that matter.

So on Friday morning at 6 AM, I’ll be going into the hospital. I hope to have pictures and all that good stuff up for you, the loyal ones who I know are out there, even if you don’t comment.

I was never very good at tests

This must be some kind of strange, cosmic mental/physical test that I am being put through. From the regular 4-5 minute contractions early Friday morning to the fact that my body stalled out by Saturday to the resurgence last night and the fact that there’s still not active labor today… some force of nature or spirit is putting me through the wringer. I am mentally exhausted from thinking how much EVERYONE is just waiting for me to have this baby. My mother came up Friday anyway, just in case. And though she says she doesn’t mind – because being at my house she gets to hang out with Elliot and doesn’t have to do all the junk at home – I feel terribly guilty; like I am holding up her life. She has coverage of her class until Wednesday but I still have this overlying feeling that I am somehow at fault.

Weeks ago, when I was at an appointment and talking to my doctor, I told him I never wanted to be induced but asked how he feel about such things. He told me that if I were to come in at my 39 week appointment and be dilated and /or miserable, he’d have no problem breaking my water and getting things started. Tomorrow, at 8:30 AM, I have my 39 week appointment. I am hoping so very much that this will be the end. I guess it’s pretty hard to put into words how frustrating/sad/uncomfortable this entire weekend has been, despite the fun things we did. Saturday morning, we all went to the downtown marketplace and walked around, got some produce. Then we ht up the playground and had lunch at Japanica. Yesterday, my mom and I had a nice lunch outside while Elliot napped and then we did some shopping in the afternoon. All that walking must have started something because I was in a lot of pain last night. And all to no avail.

I guess I didn’t realize that pre-labor stuff could go on for so long. This child seems reluctant to come out and my patience is being pushed to its all-time limit. BUT, I cannot sit around and just wait for things to happen. That’s not me. It just really sucks to be living each day – hell, each hour – thinking this might be it. I even came into work just until 11:30 today because I feel like if I sat around the house, I’d go insane. My mom and I plan to have lunch then walk around Target. Supposedly all the walking helps him get more into place. I have utilized so many natural induction methods: pineapple, walking, spicy food, sex/orgasm, etc. All seem to have thinned out my cervix some but nothing has actually brought labor. I have never been so ready in all my life.

Hopefully, the next time you hear from me, I will have another little baby boy and all will be right with the world. One can only hope.