Um….I'll think of one later.

Whew. Minicorn is finally taking a bottle. Unfortunately, she still has quite the attitude about it and every day it’s like her memory is re-set and you have to kind of break her down again to take it. It will get better though. I do believe that. Monday she broke down and straight GUZZLED the bottle. In maybe a 4-6 hour span she drank TWELVE GOTDAMN OUNCES. Which decimated the cute little stash I had in the fridge. I also had 6.5 ounces frozen, of which she has taken 1.5 this morning. So now that I’m not stressing over her taking the bottle, I now get to stress over pumping enough milk. Sigh. A good pumping session will give me 4-6 ounces. But there are also times I’ll only get like 2-3 ounces. She will generally take 4 ounces in 1 sitting, every couple or few hours. So for a full work day she will likely need 16-20 ounces. I’m hoping now that I will be pumping more consistently, my supply will regulate and respond to the demand. Because I can easily see shortages happening. I have 2 weeks before I return to work and I will be pumping my ass off (that sounds horrible). I’m trying to pump once she goes to sleep for the night but her patterns are still a bit erratic so it’s hard to tell if she will stay asleep or not. And I’m just not ready to give up my hard-earned overnight sleep to wake up at like, 2 or 3am to pump. We’ll see though.

She took her 2 month shots like a champ. She weighed 10 pounds 3 oz as of the appointment last Monday so she is growing and thriving. She is hilariously vocal; I’ve gotten so many videos (a few on her blog). She’s a wiggle-worm; Gawd help us when she starts crawling. She’s advanced; snatching burp cloths off our shoulders and waving it around like a helicopter (no Petey Pablo). Babycenter milestones indicate babies her age have not quite mastered grasping so I get to smugly smile to myself about it. She has the biggest, CLEAR, PIERCING brown eyed stare. She gets an attitude when bath time is over so we have to cater to her LUXURIOUS ASS by putting her towel and pajamas in the dryer so they’re nice and warm when she gets out, and classical music playing, and drain the bathtub while I’m in it please, do NOT lift me out of the tub or you will pay. This baby.

Whoever said you don’t get your period while breastfeeding is a MONKEY ASS LIAR. I’m saying hello to my 2nd postpartum period right now, hi bitch.

Cloth diapering is so easy I wonder if I’m missing something. Bonus, not many poop blowouts, no diaper rash, she can sleep overnight with an extra insert for dryness, it’s great. I don’t have to worry about running out and buying more. Etc.

My mom will watch her 3 days a week (she works from home some days) and Crabby’s great-aunt will watch her the other 2 days so it’s a great relief to not have to worry/stress about childcare/daycare at this time. People I know and trust. Crabby’s aunt also watches his sister’s 1-year old daughter so they get to have that cousin time.

I don’t want to take her anywhere until flu season is over/it warms up a bit. Plus she can get so fussy; I’d rather not have us out in public stressing out. But at least *I* can now leave the house and do things on my own. Speaking of which, I should probably buy some pants for work now. I have none.

A Light Almost Visible

Phew. I’ve almost made it out of the dark woods boot camp that is raising a newborn. Minicorn is 2 months old in about half an hour. Around 7 weeks she started sleeping long stretches. She was doing 10pm-4am approximately, then would go back to sleep at 5 or 6 for a couple of hours. New Year’s Eve/Day she slept midnight to 7am. Last night she went down at 9, woke up at midnight, went back to sleep at 1, and slept until 7. She is currently taking her morning nap. But as Vinny and I said, DON’T GET COMFORTABLE. Babies give zero fucks about what all you are trying to do in life.

Take Christmas. I pumped milk so that Crabby and I could go see Django. I was so anxious (no Ginuwine) over whether I pumped enough milk for those few hours, since you can’t tell how much she’s getting while nursing. You know what never occurred to me though? THAT SHE WOULDN’T TAKE THE GOTDAMN BOTTLE! Yes, we saw exactly half of Django and had to go home because high-falutin Minicorn said bitch, please to a bottle.

I am trying not to STRESS THE FUCK OUT because I have 3 1/2 weeks of leave left and er um…I need her to be able to take a bottle while I’m at work. I’m also bummed that I can’t go ANYWHERE during my leave because she won’t take the bottle. PPD is real y’all, and being prisoner in the house fans those flames like whoa. We’re trying to offer the bottle multiple times a day every day while she’s calm. She’s gotten to where she’ll take a couple of sips and that’s it. I don’t want it to get to the point where we have to have a hunger standoff with her for her to take it by default while I’m at work so I’m just going to keep trying and hope it gets better.

She gets her 2-month shots Monday which at least means I can get out of the house WITH her and go places. But Shesus Christ.

If you don’t have the link to her picture blog and want it, e-mail bohemianbahamian@gmail.com

She is EXTREMELY vocal, active, and will get a tude immediately if she’s not getting what she wants. She loves the ceiling fan, bathtime, music, and storytime. Now that I’m not as sleep-deprived, I’m able to really appreciate her adorableness even when she’s screaming her head off.

Until next (nap)time.

P.S. Cloth diapering is going smoothly (easier than I expected)

IMG_2238

How the Hell

How the hell do bloggers with newborns…blog?? I don’t know why I’m doing this instead of sleeping but I wanted to document some things before I forget.

So Minicorn is almost 4 weeks. I do not feel the least bit coherent so here are some random bullet points:

-She is extremely vocal and extremely alert for a newborn, everyone says. Smiles, cooing, “talking”, laughing in her sleep, making little Flipper noises or jungle-cat angry growls, holding her head up and looking around at everything, very focused eyes

-Breastfeeding. Jesus. I understand why so many women give up so early on but I’m here to tell you to PLEASE hang in there. It does get better. Her latch on the right side was off and my nipple was cracked and bleeding the first week or so. I pumped that side until it healed.

-THEN, nobody told me about gotdamn foremilk/hindmilk imbalance?! I had always read to only offer the baby the 2nd bewb if she finished the first one on her own. For a while she only took 1 bewb per feeding. Then she hit a growth spurt and got hungrier so I started offering her both bewbs. A few days ago she got REALLY gassy and screamed her head off, was nursing ALL THE TIME, like literally at least once an hour but often more, and started having frequent green poop explosions. I googled and discovered that she was likely getting too much foremilk (or the water/hydration part of breastmilk, it comes first when the baby feeds, full of sugar/lactose) and not enough hindmilk (or the entree part of breastmilk, the fat/calories that fill the baby up) so that’s why she was always hungry and gassy. I switched to block feeding yesterday where you only offer 1 bewb for a block of time (I did 4 hours) to make sure the baby is adequately draining the bewb and getting the hindmilk. Her poops instantly changed back to the breastfed yellow-brown, and the gassiness disappeared. She also slept longer because she was full. Crazy, isn’t it? Today I’m trying 1 bewb for 3 hours because 4 hours was stretching it as far as not much milk being left in the bewb. But amazing how that shit works. And I had NEVER heard of this issue. I’m glad I decided to google “green poop”, because.

-I had been afraid my diet would cause gassy issues with her because I eat a lot of stuff on the gassy/danger list like garlic, but she only has reacted badly to the one day I had broccoli. Woo lawd, never again! She SCREAMED like she was being murdered. No more broccoli :-(

-The hand specialist wants to do her surgery when she’s 9-10 months (to remove her unicorn horn/extra thumb). The surgery will last 1 1/2 hours and she’ll wear a cast for 6 weeks but everything should be fine.

-That feeling of pride when the pediatrician says you’re doing everything right and she’s gaining lots of weight from YOUR OWN MILK is awesome.

-Soothe and Glow seahorse and swaddling makes for blissful naps.

-I’ll let you guys know when I get her personal blog up and running.

-I can’t wait until she’s big enough for the cloth diapers!

-If you got me a gift, I have not forgotten your thank-you card. Just bear with me.

-I’m still in shock at how fast my labor went and how I had no complications. If you are pregnant for the first time, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! I never had 1 single Braxton-Hicks contraction. My contractions never followed the 5-1-1 rule (5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for at least an hour). They went from 7-8 minutes apart to 2-3 minutes apart and pushing. So don’t let your OB or midwife make you feel like you shouldn’t call until they’re in the pattern THEY want. Fuck around and have an unintended home/car birth like I almost did.

That’s all I can think of for now. Bye.

Hello Minicorn

So, I’m reading the last post shaking my head and laughing. When last I left you on November 1st, I was in “early labor”. I didn’t understand why it had lasted longer than 12 hours and I was still in “early labor”. Girl.

So the day went on, the contractions are getting more and more painful. There was a brief time where they were juuuust over 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, for an hour. We were watching Dexter. Then they spaced back out to 7-10 minutes apart but still painful. I’m sitting here thinking how the hell am I supposed to make it through another night with pain like this? I tried my breathing exercises, visualization, relaxing, etc. Still painful.

So that night, I could not even lie down, the contractions and pressure were SO PAINFUL. I called the on-call midwife at about 1 am telling her that no, my contractions are not staying in the 5-1-1 pattern  but I can no longer talk through them, I cannot walk through them, I cannot sleep through them, I AM DYING A LITTLE BIT PLEASE HELP. You know what this bish said? “Have you tried a warm bath and a glass of wine?” Bitch, I didn’t say I had a tough day at the office. She said it doesn’t sound like I’m in active labor so I should try to take some Tylenol PM to sleep through them. I COULD go to the hospital but I would be better off at home in “early labor”. Ok bitch fine, whatever, Ihopeyoudie GOODBYE. So I wake up poor Crabby and he goes to 2 different places, NO TYLENOL PM TO BE FOUND. He ended up getting some regular Tylenol from his mom’s house. I took 2. You think that did anything but piss off the contraction gods?

So, at this point, in the wee hours of the morning of November 2nd, I am seriously concerned. How am I supposed to endure a fully natural, unmedicated labor if I can’t even handle “early labor”? There was NO WAY I could stand this pain for another day. Now, that morning, I had my 39 week check-up at the midwives office at 9:15am. So around 6:30 am I’m all fuck this, we’re going in early. The midwives office is in the same building as the hospital, conveniently. So I go take a shower also hoping the water would help my contractions. LOL NOAP. I’m basically on the floor of the shower drowning helplessly every contraction. And I’m feeling waaaaaay too much pressure down below. Pushy pressure, if you will. My bladder and bowels had already completely emptied in the hours before, so what could that be?

I crawl out of the shower, barely throw on a t-shirt and sweats, crawl out, and tell Crabby we have to go NOW, RIGHT NOW. Crabby, who had still been asleep, assumes I mean to my appointment and is not really moving. I’m like NO, SOMETHING IS WRONG WE HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW. HURRY. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth. Crabby grabbed the toothbrush and toothpaste and we left. Never mind the half-packed hospital bag with my cute little tank dress from American Apparel that I was going to labor in and oh, EVERYTHING ELSE WE NEEDED.

I struggle to the car and we go. In morning rush-hour traffic. While having contractions. Contractions that were now about 2-3 minutes apart. At one point I took off my seatbelt and tried to climb. There was nothing to climb. It was bad. All bad.

We get to the valet of the hospital, they give me a wheelchair, and we go up to the 15th floor, aka the midwives office. I figure just in case I’m tripping and still in “early labor”, they can at least check me out there. We get up there and the receptionist is all, um, the midwives aren’t here yet. So we ask them what floor Labor & Delivery is on, because fuck all of that. Ain’t nobody got time.

They send us to L&D, 12th floor where we are told we actually need to go to triage on the 11th floor. Ma’am? They call the triage nurses to come get us because at this point I cannot sit in the wheelchair with the contractions and I’m just standing there moaning and rocking back and forth. I then tell Crabby mournfully, “I’m going to throw up.” And so I did. All over the check-in area of Labor & Delivery. The Thai noodles from way earlier the day before had never digested. RIP. So then I was thinking ok good, maybe they’ll listen to me.

Once the nurses came, it was like my body shut down. I let them lead me, take me, do whatever. I refused an IV and they did a cervical check. I am drifting in and out and the nurse says “I have good news” and I’m all “blerghdkaskdfje?” and she says “You’re a 9.”

*RECORD SCRATCH* MA’AM?

I call out to Crabby and my mom (who had met us there) DID Y’ALL HEAR THAT?? I AM 9 CM DILATED!

You mean to tell me I have been in active labor this whole gotdamn time at home?! That I am IN TRANSITION AND HAD BEEN IN TRANSITION AT HOME? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Somehow I end up in the delivery room. It was all a blur from there. A blur of hydrotherapy shower (that helped SO MUCH), time on the birthing ball, laboring in random positions on the hospital bed, Crabby’s hand applying counterpressure to my back, pushing against the pressure, nurses telling me that I am doing so well; they are shocked by what is happening.

So my midwife asks to break my water because there’s just a tiny bit of cervix left. I ask her if it will make my contractions worse and she says not at this point. So she does it and it seems like immediately I am pushing. They bring out the mirror. I can see her head. But now it’s time to focus. I think it only took 4 or 5 pushes to get her out.

Minicorn was born November 2nd at 9:59am. 6lbs6oz. We got to the hospital at 8am. Let that marinate.

Here she is. In all her brunette ringletted, gray-eyed glory. My little angel-dragon-unicorn baby girl.

She must have gotten too much fluid into her respiratory system because the NICU team came in and put her on oxygen, and took her away :-( but she did fine after a bit of oxygen and they released her to our room.

She has an extra thumb (clearly her unicorn horn, thanks La). She’s perfect. She smells so good. I can’t believe she’s here.

As for my recovery, it has gone so well. I think when you’re a person who researches the hell out of everything the way I do, you’re surprised when EVERYTHING POSSIBLE doesn’t go wrong. But I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. I am very proud of myself. Hearing my mom, MIL, Crabby, nurses, midwives say how strong I was, how well I handled everything, etc, feels really good.

I had a natural, unmedicated labor and birth MOSTLY AT HOME. Until I was 9 cm dilated. I did not take any birthing classes. I wanted to try it on my own. I didn’t tear, didn’t need any stitches. I bled heavily only that first day. A week later, the bleeding has pretty much stopped. I took no pain meds after delivery. My soreness was gone after Sunday or so. I started nursing in the hospital (they gave Minicorn donor milk while she was in NICU). My milk has come in full force and I’ve almost completely gotten the hang of this nursing thing.

This was all the prep I did for labor. For contractions, I thought “surrender to the pain”. I pictured ocean waves coming in with each contraction. Other times I pictured a flower blooming during the intense pressure. I breathed in slowly, out slowly. I relaxed my body, made sure it didn’t tense up. I relaxed my facial muscles, jaw, etc.

As for the birth plan, episiotomy was never mentioned, my water was broken at 9 cm which helped bring Minicorn here (my concern was breaking it too early, which ended up not mattering at all), Crabby cut the cord after it stopped pulsing (I am really glad we did that now since she had trouble breathing. It could have been worse if we had cut the cord earlier), the stripping membranes would only have come into play if I was overdue (HA), there was certainly no time limit on my labor (HA), I didn’t do perineal massage but didn’t need it, and I only pushed when I felt the urge. I was also careful to push slowly when I felt her crowning (yes, the Ring of Fire is real) so that I wouldn’t tear. Hear me roar, bitches.

Anyway, Minicorn has quite the personality to be so young. She is SO alert and vocal. Her facial expressions are hilarious. She is awesome. I am so excited to see this special little girl grow. I am excited to teach her. I am excited to see what she will teach me. I am overwhelmed seeing this hybrid of Crabby and I.

I am thinking of making a separate blog dedicated to just her. I don’t want her name linked to this blog. E-mail me and I’ll let you know when it is set up. I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement, the kind words, the cards, the gifts, everything. I am amazed that I have this kind of support system in you all.

If you have any questions about my labor/birth/Minicorn please feel free to drop by the comment box. Let’s chat!

She’s a week old today! Gah!

39 Weeks 4 Days

I woke up about 2am because of stomach pain. Went to the bathroom and saw a spot of blood. Called the midwife on call; she said my cervix was effacing and dilating, and to try to get some sleep. After I got off the phone with her, I began having what I suspected were contractions. I started timing them (there’s an app for that) and they averaged about 7 1/2 minutes apart. More blood; more than spotting, but not full on active bleeding. I didn’t see any mucus so I was a bit concerned that it was something other than the mucus plug/bloody show. Talked to midwife late morning, she verified that I wasn’t leaking fluid or anything and said that it sounds like I’m in early labor. Keep track of Minicorn’s movements. I asked, so I should just keep my appointment for tomorrow? She said well, if you don’t have a baby today! I read early labor lasts approximately 8-12 hours. It has been past 12 already, so I’m just sitting here breathing through the contractions, taking care of odds and ends, and resting. We’ll see what happens!

The contractions feel like sudden menstrual cramps and extreme pressure (especially in my bottom) that has a noticeable peak and fade-out. I’ll update when there’s something more to update!

39 Weeks

Well, I made it to a personally important milestone-39 weeks. Supposedly, it is ideal to get to this point for brain development and other things. I really thought Minicorn would be an October baby for a while, but it’s time to lay those bones down and welcome November in. I now feel that she will go past her due date (which is this Sunday). We’ll see. I’m working from home and patiently waiting. As of my last appointment last Friday, the cervix was softening, her head was moving down, and I was a fingertip dilated. We’ll see what they say this Friday. I know the average length of pregnancy for first-time mothers is around 41 weeks and 3 days, but literally nobody I know who has given birth in the last few years (including this year) has gotten to their due date, let alone gone over. So it’s weird that I may be in that “average”. Interesting data though. Well, scratch that. One of my friends just had a baby boy past 41 weeks this month (hi Alex!). So there is precedent.

Clothes and cloth diapers are washed and ready. Hospital bag halfway packed. Everything is ready. Now to go learn Mandarin or something while I wait.

38 Weeks

Last week my feet started swelling. Cankles. Girl. Total weight gain as of last week’s appointment: 18 pounds.

I don’t know if I’ve had any contractions. Every now and then I’ll feel some lower back pain with mild cramping but that could be due to any number of things. My practice doesn’t do cervical checks unless “necessary” according to 1 midwife. Another midwife said they don’t do them until 39-40 weeks. I’ll be 38w5d at my next appointment so we’ll see.

Just trying to get everything together at this point. Today is my last day of working in the office; I’ll be working from home until it’s time.

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