Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Long, But There Are Baby Pictures!

So, I'm managing to post before another week is up. I also managed to clean out the fridge and grocery shop already this week, so I think I must be getting back to normal a bit.

We have a new dishwasher. Old one decided to break a week ago, so Jim tore it out, only for us to discover that despite living in a town with about five different appliance vendors, and despite requiring only a basic, run of the mill, nothing fancy dishwasher, no one had such a thing in stock and it would be at LEAST four days to order one. Um, no. House with newborn and two preschoolers needs a working dishwasher. Or a maid. Or someone with a system already in place for handwashing dishes. We don't even have a drying rack.

So I had a minor meltdown basically summed up by THIS SITUATION IS UNACCEPTABLE AND NOT MY FAULT THEREFORE IT WILL BE YOUR FAULT BECAUSE I NEED TO BE MAD AT SOMEONE. Then I went to a little locally owned appliance store at eight o' clock at night, found one close to the one we had chosen online but pricier, went to Lowe's and procured a signed copy of their sale price on said model (which would've taken two weeks to order from them) and then went back to local store and got it price matched. Next day, the dishwasher was ours!

And dang it, it still doesn't dry plastic stuff very well. Stupid high efficiency, energy saving b.s. But at least I have a sanitize cycle now in case, say, we have company for dinner and then find out the next day that they all have come down with flu.

What else... Oh! We had our follow up meeting with our doula, and it went really well. She gave me the birth story she recorded, and I also watched the birth video finally, so I feel like the experience is clear in my mind again and I will be able to do it justice in writing now. She gave me some breastfeeding advise and sympathy (because holy cluster feedings, Batman!) and we took pictures together. I was so happy to see her again. It's a strange relationship; someone becomes so important to you in this very specific way, and after a third baby, I'm thinking, "It's possible I might never see her again!"

Even though I DO think I want at least one more eventually, I'm not counting on anything. My record of pregnancy success is still three out of six, so I am very grateful and content right now with what we have. I also like to end on a high note, so to speak, so the idea of trying again feels kind of like... tempting fate, and messing up the happy ending. But seriously. I'm twenty six years old, and have a condition which doesn't allow me to take hormonal birth control. What are the odds I never get pregnant again, even if we don't technically "try" anymore? Yeah. So I kind of imagine I WILL see our doula again, is what I'm saying. :) I just really hope the streak of failed pregnancies has ended. Even now, with a chubby cheeked newborn beside me, the memory of the night I thought I was losing him to miscarriage is vivid in my mind. It was the most horrified I've ever felt, I think, and I never want to feel that way again.

Um, whoops! Totally had no intention of going down that particular rabbit trail today. But that's where my mind went, so I guess in the interest of honesty I'll leave it. But here's what I sat down intending to share today, so without further ado:

This was immediately after the sibling photo shoot. Just wanted you to know he didn't suffer for long. But yeah, that was a failed attempt at a photo op, over all. Eli was furious at being forced to wear a collared shirt, and the baby was just plain furious, as he often and randomly is, so that shot was the best we could do.

Eli's been quite... difficult lately, to be frank. Every time we go to a store he ends up running from me. He's fighting with Addy constantly. And the last week or so he has been having accidents on a daily basis, most of them very obviously intentional. Like yesterday, when I told him he couldn't have Halloween candy for breakfast, and he sat down on Addy's rug, peed, and then looked up at me angrily.

I mostly am at a loss. I know pottying is one of the most common ways toddlers act out after a new baby arrives. I know that with a (coughcoughkind of grouchy and needycoughcough) newborn in the house, he's getting less attention and probably feels like the only time anyone talks to him is to scold him. I know I'm holding him less than I was just a few weeks ago, and that must feel very abrupt and confusing to him. Sigh. I also know that there is a limit to how much crazy I can tolerate in one house before I go straight out of my mind, so I need this phase to cease very quickly. Beyond being hard to deal with, it makes me very sad for him. I just want him to feel better.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

There Is No Possible Title For This Nonsense

Here's what I can't believe: Jameson is three weeks old and I haven't even attempted to tell any sort of official birth story, not even in the baby journal I keep for each kid while I'm pregnant. I especially can't believe it because I think he has such a cool birth story and it went beautifully and there is no reason I would be reluctant to tell it. I'm just so.darn. tired. is all. But I swear to you, one of these days my post is going to be called "I'm A Total Hippie Who Had A Baby In A Bathtub" or something like that, and it will be essay-length at the least and will have every detail I can remember. Because I really do want to write about it. Just as soon as I sleep for about twenty four hours straight.

I have gotten a grand total of two (2) naps since the baby was born, and he is just as rotten a sleeper as his brother before him was, so during the daytime I often feel like I'm just slogging through on autopilot. It takes me half an hour to get around to simple tasks like wiping a counter or switching a load of laundry, because about seventy five percent of the time I lay the sleepy little Jamie James down, he wakes back up and starts screeching for me.

He also doesn't sleep well at nighttime unless he is physically on my body, which has been very difficult because I am not comfortable with bedsharing and therefore spend half the night propped on the couch, dozing lightly, with the baby swaddled and wedged in my elbow as safely as I can figure out. The other half is when I actually get him into his bouncy seat without waking him, then lay rigid on the couch, trying not to get TOO comfortable just yet on the very good chance that he will start wailing within five minutes and I, having just fallen asleep only to be awakened, will then want to kill myself/roll over and ignore him/barf from sheer exhaustion.

Also, Eli has wet the bed every night for a week. He doesn't react well to this, or to the resultant clothing/bedding changes, but he still adamantly resists the wearing of a Pull Up, and I certainly don't want to force him to wear what he equates with a diaper. On the other hand, I don't like that laundry has apparently become my new hobby.

But! Once I am actually awake and functioning again in the morning (usually by eleven, if we're being honest) things are okay. Jameson sleeps in his carseat pretty well, at least, though he still wakes up every two hours to eat, which has already led to two public nursing sessions. Interestingly, both were in TJMaxx, which leads me to think I'm spending too much time there. It's one of my favorite places to kill time/get out of the house before picking up Addy from preschool. I'm not actually spending much MONEY there though, because I just keep buying wall art and then returning it. I'm terrible at visualizing things, so I have to actually take the thing home and hang it up before I realize it doesn't match at all. Plus, obviously, I'm delirious, so that doesn't help. But at least I'm not spending all day at home in my pajamas, right? Just nursing a baby in the front seat of my car or in a dirty bathroom stall while my son plays with the feminine hygiene product disposal box. That's MUCH better.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


-I've had several pumpkin spice lattes in the last few weeks (half caf! most of the time!) and have noticed that sometimes they taste SCRUMPTIOUS and I think that I have never had a yummier coffee drink, and then other times they taste exactly like sipping on a gaggy-smelling scented candle. I think I'm going to chalk this up to my weird olfactory senses due to my worst case of hay fever ever, rather than assuming there is really that much inconsistency in the way the drinks are being made.

-Between me, the dog and Jameson, our family has made a grand total of six doctor visits in the last two weeks, and that's not counting the four bilirubin draws. When I was little and fantasizing about having babies, I had no idea how much of my job as a mother would be simply ferrying people to various medical facilities and signing under "guardian" on various forms for them.

-The one visit that was for me was for an injury I sustained during Jameson's birth- to my BICEP. Yes, that's correct, I have been diagnosed with bicep tendonitis, which presumably occured during the pushing part of baby's birth, when I was gripping metal bars on the walls above the sides of the tub. The bars are at kind of a high, awkward angle (you can actually see it in one of the pictures in the black and white slideshow, I think) and my doula and one of the nurses both warned me that some moms find them uncomfortable. I found it helpful at the time to have something to grab on to, though, and didn't notice any pain in my right shoulder/arm until about three days later, which not coincidentally is when I began weaning off the prescription-strength Motrin my doctor gave for cramping.

At first I thought I was having a bad reaction to the TDaP booster I got at the hospital (we've had some nasty pertussis outbreaks in our area recently) but when it didn't get better and was in fact getting worse, I finally went in to have it checked out. Bad news. Also, bad luck, 'cause there's not much to do for tendonitis issues other than physical therapy (don't have time for THAT right now,) steroid shots (can't do while nursing,) strong painkillers (ditto w/ the nursing issue,) and resting the effected muscle (kinda tricky with a newborn that constantly needs carried and breastfed!) So I'm just taking Advil round the clock, trying to ice it when I remember, and favoring my left arm as much as possible.

-We are finally running out of leftovers from all the food the Church Ladies brought us, which means... I will soon have to do a real grocery trip (as opposed to quick runs for necessities like Kotex and Peanut M and M's.) I am anticipating it with about the same mentality as I did labor: an extreme challenge both physically and mentally, and one which I have not undertaken for awhile, but from which afterwards I will hopefully emerge feeling spent and exhausted but triumphant and fulfilled.

Or I might just flee the store, covered in milk leaks and hormone sweat, and get takeout Chinese. Like an epidural, it's an option that I never like to ENTIRELY rule out. Just in case.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Oh, You Wanted PICTURES, Did You?

In preface let me just say, this is a whole lotta pictures right here. This is kind of for family, too, this blog, so I figure occasionally I owe everybody a post without my rambling and WITH plenty of pictures.

Probably never saw a woman look so downright cheerful in labor, huh? This was after being sent from the doctor's office over to the hospital, at five centimeters with a bulging water bag, but still not regularly contracting. So it was kind of party time for a while yet.

Belly parade: me, 37 wks. and 3 days; my sister Laura, 24 weeks; and Jess, 17 wks.

My water is broken now. Much less enthusiastic smile.

My mom.

First family photo shoot... Addy was not in the mood. But there's always one, right?

Our doula, Stacy.

Jim's dad.


Sadly, the mohawk has gone down now.

My sister Rachel.

Jim's sister Jenn.

She seems to have forgiven him for stealing her thunder at the birthday party.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Not A Birth Story

...Because wow, having three kids can really take it out of you, even with a wonderful support system and a super helpful husband and very nice friends bringing so much food that Jim finally catalogued it all in a list so that we could REMEMBER what we had to choose from without staring into the fridge for a full five minutes.

It appears, upon rereading that paragraph, that it is the world's longest run-on sentence. Ah well. No time for rewrites!

We are all doing quite well, overall, except for our poor dog, who chose this point in time to develop a raging eye infection that we first assumed to be a cataract. By the time we'd noticed he was having trouble, he was half the time not even using his bad eye, just letting it close or roll back in his head. Ack. But vet says its just a bad infection (well, actually something else besides a run of the mill infection that neither of us can remember the name of, but) and that he should recover with vigilant eye-dropping three times daily. Because we're not doing enough disgusting things round the clock right now; additional thrice daily dog-face wrestling sessions were exactly what we were hoping for.

Anyways! Enough about the dog, GEEZ. The BABY is so adorable and smells so scrumptious, and the kids are being so gentle and sweet with him. The only moment of detectable jealousy I've seen so far is when Addy's friends from down the road came over for a belated birthday tea party, but spent most of their time ogling the new baby and ignoring the birthday girl's requests (ahemwhinyDEMANDScoughcough) to play dress up with her. It got a bit ugly, frankly, and by the time they left Adelay was actively crying. "It is MY birthday and they just want to look at that BABY!" she sobbed. It was very very sad, and I was very sad for her. There just wasn't much to do to make it better, though. So Jim took her for ice cream, which turned out to be pretty healing.

But yeah, relatedly, Addy's birthday was Sunday, and we had a family party planned for Saturday and went ahead with it... Which was maybe crazy but everybody brought food over, and my MIL cleaned my house and my sister made the cake and overall that went off pretty well, though having a house full of new baby paraphernalia AND new birthday stuff makes for a very cluttery house, let me tell you.

Addy also started dance class last night, and everyone yelled at me for being out and about after just giving birth a week ago. They were kind of right, but also, kind of wrong, 'cause dang if I don't feel pretty ok most of the time already. Not to spoil The Birth Story or anything, and also not to put too fine a point on it (sorry guys and squeamish girls,) but there's a big difference between going home with a newborn AND a giant rip in your body and going home with just the newborn part. You might feel so shockingly normal you find yourself crazily asking to go home from the hospital a day early, which is in hindsight SUPER DUMB of you now that you're remembering what tired really feels like.

Not that Jameson is so fussy or such a dreadful sleeper, but his bilirubin levels were high and rising, so each morning for four days after we got home I had to take him BACK to the hospital to get a heel prick blood draw, which is an excruciating process on a newborn, especially one with the skinniest feet you've ever seen, not an ounce of cushiony fat to spare. I'd have to sit in another room and wait while he screamed, and then they'd bring him to me to nurse him back to sleep. Four days in a row, plus two doctor's appointments already. So between that and the girl's birthday parties and dance class and preschool and the dog's eye, my brain and body are both a bit taxed. But thankfully his levels finally started going down, right before we were about to start the dreaded lights.

We're also weaning him off the formula supplements, which we were offering at the doctor's insistence to try to help flush the bili out. Now that he's without those occasional ounces of formula, baby has been nursing like a rabid wolverine, hours at a time sometimes, so that's fun too. I honestly don't know how I'd be managing right now if Jim weren't working half days still and my mom wasn't available to drop Addy off at her preschool. I sort of feel pinned to the couch much of the time, which is totally normal of course, and I love the snuggle time and the fact that he's such an eager nurser, but it's a little stressful with two wily opportunists lurking around, bent on killing each other or eating jumbo bags of M and Ms every time they see you sit down and pop the boob out.

Speaking of, just had to go rescue the saddest little newborn ever (seriously, I forgot how their little cries actually sound just like they're saying, "Waaah!") and am now typing one handed, so that's it for now. More from the frontlines soon!

Friday, October 01, 2010


Jameson Beckett Isaac arrived on Wednesday morning at 11:15! He was 6 lbs, 11 ozs, and 20 inches long. His birth and all the details of the first day (and never ending night!) at home will follow soon, but for now there is this awesomeness, thanks to my wonderful friend Jess: