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The Best of Baby Updates!

Jackson is here! He was born not long after midnight on July 25th, tiny and perfect. I had to take this picture quite close in order to make him look bigger. He’s seriously a little bitty peanut.

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Anyone who follows me on Twitter already knows this. It wasn’t exactly live updating (labour was short but INTENSE) but 140 characters and a photo is easier than actually remembering my laptop so I could write a blog post. As much as I considered early baby, and I tried my best to prepare everything beforehand, it still took me totally be surprise. ^^; I forgot my toothbrush, shampoo, laptop, and shoes.

Recovery is going to take awhile. My arthritis has flared up drastically, and this is my first time not relying on formula. So any time my underweight baby wants to eat, I’m the only one who can feed him. Underweight means that he eats basically all the time. But we’re lucky that there’s nothing wrong beyond his needing to eat more. I guess I just have tiny pixie babies.

I had originally intended to put up some kind of notice when I went into the hospital, but that didn’t happen. S’pose I shall have to settle for taking the week off and then resuming. I read a couple of books that had been on my list for some time. I also have SO MANY THOUGHTS about a lukewarm romance. Reviews are coming.

Also, with the arrival of baby Jackson, we’re overhauling our living space. Since I can barely walk (yay post delivery pain) I can happily focus on all of the good of this situation. Like getting a mini fridge! Seeing all the weird use of space and moving boxes! Sorting baby clothes! But the best part is a project that I have been wanting to get to for months: sorting the BOOKS. I’ve found myself missing books that I bought and had to put in storage when we moved ages ago. I’ve also read things I do not want to keep (Oh Seduced by Mr Right, how could I have known you would go so wrong?) and books that I will totally read someday but wouldn’t mind swapping storage status with something I want to read sooner.

There may be pictures if I can find some particular gems. I will certainly stop mid-work to read. In particular, I know I won’t make it past the first A Lee Martinez book I find. And Fly By Night needs to be found so I can reread it again and then put it next to Fly Trap. I may also have a second copy of the former with the original title.

It’s nice to be back. I’ll still be running on very little sleep. But I’m back. :D

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Hurry Up, Kid

Baby update: still not born. I’m not even in the hospital yet. On Sunday, I was having these crazy contractions and I was super sure we’d have to interrupt laundry day to go to the hospital. But no. I timed them, and they were irregular. Just Braxton Hicks. Coincidentally, I’m reading The Eyre Affair right now, and there is a character named Braxton Hicks in it. I kept waiting for there to be more of a joke to his name, actually.

I am on track, at least. I don’t think I’m going to go ridiculously past my due date, and I still have this sort of early feeling. But that might just be that I’ve gotten used to expecting to be early. Who knows. There’s a thunderstorm warning out today, which of course puts me in mind of how my first baby was born. Without warning! During a storm! Because of the storm!

He still is a storm, my goodness.

I’ve slowed down a lot. Tonnes of arthritis flare-ups and one of my knees is twice the size it ought to be whether I’m flaring or not. Jackson has dropped fairly low, so my belly is lower and crazy unwieldy. I drop things all the time. Klutziness abounds. Sometimes I can’t even read because I either cannot get comfortable, or because I pass out due to fatigue. Nothing so bad as when I was pregnant with Owen and I couldn’t get through Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. That remains my record for times fallen asleep reading.

Hospital bag is packed, Owen still needs an overnight bag, and I should really get through all of my library books…

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Baby update – 35wks

lethargic

I thought I posted this yesterday, but apparently I dreamed it.

Nick and I listened to Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, and it was quite an experience. I suppose it’s on the shorter side, but we still went through it in about two sessions of sitting, both in the evening. Every time I’ve seen Trevor Noah interviewed or any of his stand-up, it has struck me that this man has a powerful insight to share. Just about any time I hear him speak, I come away with something valuable–a fresh perspective, a desire to better myself in knowledge or the practise of compassion. When we weren’t listening to the audiobook (it’s something we did together, and I wanted to keep it in sync), I went back and reread what we’d heard in the Kindle edition. I loved this book.

Yesterday was a good day to hear the second half of the book. I had my 35 week OB appointment, which was my first one ever. It’s not as boring as my last appointment was. I’m apparently not rushing towards the finish line, which is kind of cool. This is the most pregnant I have ever been! I feel like a first-timer all over again. If I make it to Sunday, I am dubbing Jackson “The Patient One.”

My cold/flu (whichever it is) is still very much in evidence. Sometimes it knocks me out like a tonne of bricks, and other times I swear I’m almost better. Then I’ll run a fever and throw up. I checked the calendar–it’s been almost four weeks. This thing better pack its bags before I do.

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June 11, 2013

Owen was born five weeks early. He is beautiful and perfect.

On Tuesday, June 11, I woke up at 5:05, a normal time for me, and started to get up to have a shower. As is quite normal for someone who is eight months pregnant, I was in need of the loo.

Also normal was an achey reluctance to get up and do that right away. But after dawdling for a second, I realised that the sensation was a little different. Pardon the ickiness, but I was certain that I was leaking. I did a quick search on this feeling with my iPad while I made my way to the bathroom.

There was some pink fluid that rather frightened me. I woke hubby, who called his mum after I spoke with mine–whom some may recall was out of the state. I showered, dressed, took medicine, and then we went to the hospital.

None of us–least of all me–thought that I’d stay. We all expected me to be sent home. But then a nurse did a test to see if my water had broken, and before I knew it, I was being whisked out to the Women’s Pavillion to be admitted.

I was shocked and worried about my mum being in Phoenix. She caught a plane (spoiler, she made it in time) Originally, she was going to be back that day, but had had to change her plans to stay for a funeral.

Hubby was exhausted. My contractions didn’t start right away, but once they did, I tried hard to go without pain medication. Jeromy took the day off work to be there as the representing Jones (Stephanie and Abbie had to stay in Phoenix), which is one of the nicest things. I love my family.

My doctor was not on call, so I had a different one–a partner/colleague -type person. She was nice, and good at her job.

The pain got really bad. I had intended to forego an epidural, but gave in eventually. It was a good thing, too. Even with the epidural, I was in agony. Numbed the crap out of my legs and made the labour a little harder, though.

Owen was not enjoying labour. He was under stress, and decelling, which IIRC, means that his heart rate would decrease after a contraction. That’s not supposed to happen. I had to keep changing position, which would often be nearly impossible, since I couldn’t move my legs. The doctor called him a stinkpot, and I agreed.

Throughout all of this, I was rather quiet. I put mysef in a sleepy state and moaned quietly or whimpered when I had a contraction. Twice, even with the epidural (!), I cried. But I never screamed or raised my voice above a speaking volume. I’m both surprised and rather proud.

Twice, they told me I might have to have a c-section. Mostly because Owen was stressed. The second time they warned me, the doctor said we’d try pushing, and then move me to an OR if it was a no-go.

Two contractions of me pushing, and he was already crowning. They made me stop (holy heavens the pain!!) and then bustled around like crazy getting everything else in place. Someone moved the ceiling mirror so I could watch.

One more contraction, and Owen just flew into the doctor’s arms. This is apparently amazing, because no one seemed to have seen a baby do it before. Including the doctor, who had just made the obligatory “catching” joke. I believe my son is a superhero.

Unfortunately, he is a tiny one. 4.8 pounds and 18.5 inches. Likely thanks to our preeclampsia scare, which resulted in shots to help his lungs develop faster, Owen has been breathing on his own since birth. This is immensely good. Because he was born premature, he went straight to NICU, where they are still taking care of him.

He is able to breathe and regulate his temperature on his own, which are two of the things he has to be able to do in order to come home. He developed a little jaundice, which is quite normal even for full-term babies, so he’s gettin phototherapy. Right now he is working on eating and gaining weight. Premies don’t have a lot of energy, so that’s one of the really hard things.

I was discharged two days after giving birth, but they let us “board” for an additional two days in order to stay close to him. Those additional days are up today, and my heart is breaking as I prepare to go home without my son.

He is here, and we love him. We are optimistic that he’ll get to come home soon.

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Pain, the Great Demotivator

When I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be a hard day. So far, I’ve run into a larger number of speed bumps than usual. It took me nearly ten minutes to stand up. This includes psyche-up time, of course. Although I managed to get through my morning ablutions, I only got the most essential pills. I needed a benadryl and my prenatal pill, but there was no way I could have gotten a bowl of cereal put together and carried it anywhere, and it’s not like I could stand in the kitchen long enough to eat.

Basically, I needed hubby help almost immediately upon waking up. Good thing I woke up at 6:00. Unfortunately, that does mean I couldn’t get in the shower and refuse to come out until 10:00. I can probably do that now, though.

My hands and wrists are so swollen that I have to take a break from typing about every 5-20 seconds. Something horrible seems to have happened to Freerice, so I can’t do that part of my normal routine (listening to a narrator reading while playing Freerice), which I find a bit upsetting. On a range from “vaguely” to “derailed morning”.

Thirty-five weeks in, and thirty-five days to go. I am so plumping for Owen to be three weeks early. It’d make his grandpa happy–Dad’s birthday is the 22nd.

My blood pressure actually seems to have gone down, as yesterday it was only 143/95 according to the little machine that I can’t help distrusting. I’ve been feeling Braxton Hicks more often, which is interesting. I’m still fussing over baby movement, but I’m not really worried. I’m just a fusspot.

At a standstill on many things. When I’m hurting this much, it makes it hard to work on Desiderata, and I can’t use the iPad at all, nor read any paperbacks. Good time to get a superlight Kindle. I use it with one hand and occasionally pass out on the couch. The only thing I have trouble with is the hold button.

Today might be a nothing sort of day. I just hope that I can get myself feeling well enough to walk around for a few minutes, for the sake of keeping my knee from relapsing.

I wish I had a more interesting topic for blogging today, but I hurt too much to really think.

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Slow in thought and action

Didn’t get to bed until roughly midnight. Dither set up the couch so I could sleep in sitting yet reclining postion. It was mostly glorious. Only ‘mostly’ because I missed him being rght there through the night. Little lonely. In fact, it made it kind of hard to sleep because at first I just felt like I was in a darker version of waking up early.

But as I had finally reached 200 gold, I could read on the Kindle Paperwhite. Either the backlight is as powerful as Superman, or it was really dark, because I had the backlight at its lowest possible setting and could see/read quite well. A sincerely ringing endorsement.

I picked a sample I’d picked up a while back and passed out before reaching the end of the firt chapter. Woke up around 3:00 and then managed to fall asleep again. On the couch, feet up on my rocking (literally) ottoman, with a big fat comforter to keep me from tilting or tipping onto my side. It still seems kind of weird, and I was up again at 6:00, so I just showered and got some water.

Later, I read until I passed out again, so I can officially sleep just fine this way. And I probably will until Owen’s arrival. It’s so nice not to dread bedtime.

Still have two library ebooks to read that I can only access on the iPad or my phone. Oh, epub. I have used this fomat so extensively for so long. It feels a bit wrong to go properly mobi. That turn of phrase also sounds stupid.

I’ve started quite a few book series this year, and for some of them it’s about time to continue, or I’m fair into them.

Mind is wandering, and typing on the iPad is getting annoying, so I’ll stop here.

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Another early start

Not quite as early thought. Quarter to five this time. And I went to sleep around half past ten or eleven last night, so I’m pretty sure I got a decent night’s sleep.

Which is why I’m mystified by my sudden spike in sleepiness just now. I was set to not take a Lortab today, but then the hurt settled back in and I reasoned that there’s no good reason not to keep it at one a day. So that could be part of the drowsiness. Then there’s the usual reason. And I’ve been a bit moody past couple of days. Hmm.

Yesterday was rather productive, considering I spent so very little of it asleep. I burned through my daily tasks as I keep track of them on HabitRPG. These are a mix of health things and just stuff that I feel I ought to do, like taking a prenatal pill (I used to forget sometimes) and putting time into FreeRice.

But I also managed to put about an hour of work into Desiderata while listening to the audiobook version of And Then There Were None. Yeah, I just read it, and I think I actually started the audiobook later that same day. I like the book. Also, it’s read by Hugh Fraser, which is terrifically perfect.

Dither made the maps that I had been bugging him about, so I am happily empowered to finish the quest I started the other day. It doesn’t offer any reward (at least right now, that might change) but it’s a fun bit of dialogue and cutscenes. Without those maps, it would have been left hanging by one. I’m going to try and do that one today.

With new maps in place, I have to populate them with NPCs. The first one is about… I’d say half done, in that regard. There’s the quest-y lady in it, which I have not started on, and then about six around her.

Finished reading Abarat. For some reason, every time I stopped doing other things to read it, I got really sleepy. It’s also good enough that I focus and read slower–and one of those books that really, really ought to have been edited better. Clive Barker has a strange relationship with grammar that I occasionally find irritating. It’s why I read The Thief of Always as a graphic novel first.

Now I’m on the Hunchback Assignments. I had an audiobook for that ages ago, when I was still working at the post office. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it. Seems I just needed a print-ish version (library ebook). And to skip the prologue.

Anyway. Still feel sleepy, so I’m either gonna read and keep nodding off, or just lie back and be a couch tumour for a little while.