K and I are taking our first trip with the baby. We decided to take a quick, mid-week jaunt to go visit my parents, who live on Lake Michigan about 4 hours away. We are continuing to cloth diaper while we’re away, which meant a ton of preparations so that I felt confident that we wouldn’t run out of any necessities. Even though we’ll have constant access to laundry facilities, I don’t particularly want to wash diapers at my parents’ house.
… to me! I celebrated my first Mother’s Day with my guys, mostly lazily at home, but we also went to the local annual plant sale, where K bought me some lettuce and hens and chicks.
This was Baby E’s first outfit of the day. He promptly spit up in it and has been spitting up all day since. We’ve already gone through four outfit changes and, at the last one, he and I each required baths because he sprayed about an ounce of formula all over both of us. His doctors are hesitant to prescribe anything for his acid reflux since he’s still steadily gaining weight, but I am tempted to threaten to stay there until they prescribe something. I just can’t continue getting sprayed with tocopherol, as I recently started getting some rashes on my neck from the allergen. *sigh*
Motherhood sure is glamorous.
I’ve been clamoring to draft a blog post for almost three weeks but have been too busy to do so. I wanted to check in to say that we’re all still here!
I temporarily suspended my maternity leave after we got home from the hospital because of the large fundraising event that was on the horizon. I knew that my coworkers would have been completely screwed had I decided not to come back to help and, while it would have been my justifiable right to do so, the guilt would have eaten me alive. My decision to go back to work for two weeks translated into the most chaotic mayhem and lack of work/life balance I’ve likely ever experienced.
I felt like I did my very best to maintain as much of the baby-related work as I possibly could while working 50-60 hours in a week. K took most of the nighttime feedings and diapering duties, letting me sleep as much as possible so I could be lucid enough to work. I was able to conduct the majority of my work from home and at all hours of the day or night, but this past week required me to be at the workplace more frequently. I thought that mommy guilt was going to eat me alive – and mommy guilt was pretty much the only thing eating, as I certainly wasn’t consuming food.
The event took place this past Thursday and I’m happy to report that we all survived. I think it went as well as expected. I now have a couple of work days next week that will be solely focused on event wrap-up, then I will resume my maternity leave. I am looking so forward to doing just that – spending time with my guys, bonding as a new unit, taking walks and naps, and learning what the new normal of our family will look like.
Looking back at these past few weeks, I can honestly say that I couldn’t have made it through without my family. Waking up with E’s milky breath in my face, seeing his sweet face and knowing that I could count on my handsome, loving and hardworking husband was my fuel.
Right now, I have a load of diaper laundry in the wash, just completed washing bottles, and am catching a rerun of Law & Order while E sweetly naps at my side. I’m waiting for him to wake up for his next feeding, then will change his diaper, and run a few errands while he sleeps a few more hours. I’m still very much in a place of amazement about my new mommyhood status, but I’m loving it.
I promise I won’t be such a stranger in the coming weeks!
C and I have been adjusting well to parenthood. Because Falco arrived so early, and C is really dedicated to her job, she’s postponed her maternity leave until after the 26th of April. She works in fundraising/development, and there is a very large annual event that takes place on the 25th. She plays a huge role in making this event happen, and didn’t want to leave her co-workers or the agency in a lurch. I respect how hard she is working, while still doing as much as she can at home to help me out. She’s seriously worked about 60 hours this week already. It’s rough. It’s been a little challenging for me, home alone with the little guy. I feel cooped up here and a little emotional and miss having her around to reassure me when I’m afraid I’m doing everything wrong. C is totally the calm one right now….but I’m hoping that is just the pregnancy hormones and I’ll relax a little more soon.
Cloth diapering is going really well. I have to admit I was a little scared of the poo and the poo sprayer! (Since we’re bottle feeding the poop is not water soluble like breast milk feed babies). But it really hasn’t been that bad at all, especially since we have this Spray Pal. I highly recommend it!
The most challenging thing so far has been feeding. Falco has some reflux and it’s a slow process to feed him and difficult to watch him uncomfortable and struggle while eating. The pediatrician isn’t too worried about it since he isn’t having any trouble gaining weight.
And now for some pictures!!
Baby E is snuggled in his swing, Mama is taking a nap and Daddy keeps thinking about writing a blog post. There’s so much I want to say about our first week as parents, but instead, I just keep looking down at him and tearing up. I can’t really find the words except to say that I had no idea how intense this love could be–for him and my amazing wife.
I promise less sappy stuff and more fun photo filled posts soon.
The adage goes that one should sleep when his/her baby sleeps. After the ordeal that K and I went through to welcome our little guy into the world, I should definitely be following that advice. I can’t help myself, though. My schedule is completely topsy-turvy from all of the excitement.
K started magnesium sulfate, a smooth muscle relaxer to combat his surprise pre-eclampsia diagnosis, on Saturday evening. Fun side effects of this drug include major nausea, vomiting and hot flashes, and since it is such a major muscle relaxer, the protocol includes being confined to a hospital bed that’s been fully equipped with seizure pads, insertion of a Foley catheter, and the inability to eat anything beyond clear liquids. Needless to say, these factors meant that we were automatically in for a complete diversion from our preferred birth plans.
That same evening, they started K on three rounds of a cervical ripening medicine and began pitocin the next morning to stimulate contractions. The nursing staff closely monitored all of K’s vitals and he was hooked up to not short of NINE cords while nurses slowly increased pitocin throughout the day on Sunday.
K was a total champ, naturally managing pain through horrendous, chemically induced contractions, despite being almost completely stripped of the entirety of natural labor coping techniques. Our doula was shocked, stating that she had never worked with a birth parent using pitocin who didn’t also have to use pain meds.
Unfortunately, after all of this effort and a complete lack of sleep for days, K’s cervix wouldn’t budge beyond 4 cm and 80% effaced. Docs tried rupturing his amniotic sac but baby was far too high to safely accomplish this.
In the wee hours of Monday morning, the doc on call decided to turn K’s pitocin all the way down to the minimum dose overnight to try to further ripen his cervix, with the goal of increasing pitocin again later that morning. Our OB started her rotation after a few hours of K being back on the increased dosages of pitocin. She did a cervical check and discovered that there still hadn’t been any cervical progression. She explained that our options were becoming pretty limited and that she believed the magnesium, which was relaxing K to keep his blood pressure from skyrocketing, was working hard against the pitocin, which was trying to get his uterus to contract and progress labor. She gave us the option between continuing on pitocin for the day or delivering the baby via cesarean section.
Obviously a csection was never something we’d hoped for, but after battling uphill for so many days in succession, it felt like an empowering relief to make the decision to go that route. Within a matter of minutes, a flurry of medical professionals were in and out of our room, prepping us. I barely had enough time to call K’s mom to calmly explain what was going on and what we could all expect, before they whisked us back to the operating room.
I sat by K’s head, holding his hand, stroking his arm, and telling him how proud I was of all of his hard work, while a gigantic team of professionals presided over the birth of our son. I was given the option of watching while our doctor pulled our baby from K’s uterus. When he emerged, he sent a mighty stream of urine in an arc above the surgical team. It was quite the momentous debut.
Pediatricians and nurses quickly assessed our little guy’s health (he’s perfect, btw) while the surgical team continued working to deliver the placenta and then close up K’s incisions. They handed me our warm, cooing baby, whom I held by K’s head. We all stared at one another in complete awe.
I went with the little guy to recovery while we awaited the completion of K’s surgery, and he joined us there several minutes later. We were in recovery for two hours before being wheeled back to our labor & delivery room, where K will stay hooked up to the magnesium and related paraphernalia for the next 24 hours.
It has been an ordeal but it makes sense that our little guy fought his way into this world. He’s our kid, after all, and his parents are fighters. I present to you, dear readers, Baby E, born 4/8/2013 at 12:42 p.m., 8 lbs, 2 oz and 18.5″ long:
I’m also happy to report that K is now slumbering peacefully for the first time in days. I know he’s dreaming about our little guy and finally being able to eat real food again tomorrow night.
After hanging out in a hospital room for a very uneventful 24 hours in order to collect his pee, it has been determined that K has pre-eclampsia. Neither he nor the baby are in immediate danger, but doctors rightfully take this stuff pretty darn seriously and K is being induced.
We were transferred over to a less glamorous labor and delivery room, where even less glamorous things occurred to K’s body. He was given magnesium to try to relax his body, as well as meds to ripen his cervix. Early in the morning, he’ll begin pitocin. The magnesium gave him the world’s worst hot flashes and he projectile vomited. The nurse was eventually able to reduce his dose of magnesium and K now feels a lot better.
Since K was already somewhat dilated and effaced, the nurse thinks we will likely be hugging our sweet Falco sometime in the next 24 hours!
Since I won’t be able to personally reply to your well-wishes and words of encouragement, I want to say in advance just how much we appreciate them. I’ll be sure to post photos as soon as I’m able!