Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting in a routine

So it's been awhile since I posted anything.  This is due to the fact that I never have my hands free anymore and I can't seem to get the baby on a nap schedule.  Ideally I would like to get up at 8:00 a.m. after Mike leaves for work and then play with him until 10:00 at which point I would put him down for a nap and I would either nap myself or do other things around the house that need to get done.  Then ideally he'd wake up somewhere around noon and we'd go for a walk and play some more until about 2:00 when he'd go down for another nap, at which point (once my doctor clears me to exercise) I would do more exercise down in our basement with the elliptical machine and weights.

However, this plan is not working out because I haven't been managing to get myself up at 8:00 and because he won't sleep unless he's in my arms.  He slept for 8 hours last night (non consecutive, but 8 hours nonetheless) and only woke me up once for about 40 minutes.  Pretty spectacular.  So I managed to make myself get up at 7:30 while Mike was still getting ready to leave.  I let bitty boy sleep longer while I went downstairs to get my breakfast and planned to get him up at 8:00.  It is now 8:17.  I should go get him up, but I just hate to wake him when he's sleeping so well in his bassinet and I don't have to hold him while he sleeps.

Yesterday I was trying to put him down for a nap around 2:00 and he didn't go to sleep and stay asleep until about 3:30 when I gave up trying to put him in his crib and just held him on my lap and let him sleep there.  I swear, it was like I was pressing a "cry" button every time I would move him away from my body.  And it didn't matter how asleep he was because I let him sleep on my lap for like an half an hour and then tried to put him down and he still immediately woke up and started crying.

I don't really get it.  He has slept in the crib before.  And he sleeps in the bassinet every night by himself.  The only thing I can figure is that he's not swaddled tight enough in the crib and me holding him has the same effect as the swaddler we use at night.  It is the one the hospital gave us and it swaddles him really tightly and keeps his hands from coming out near his waist.  But it's wool and during the day it gets hotter in the house and I don't like putting him in the wool swaddler because I'm afraid he'll get too hot.  So we bought some cotton swaddlers but they're made differently than the wool one the hospital gave us and I don't think they swaddle him as tightly.  Either that or the way they swaddle him isn't as good.  They allow his hands to get free at his waist.  He never gets his arms totally free, but his hands get out and I think maybe that wakes him up.

Anyway, today I was planning on trying to enforce my routine plan with the 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. nap schedule, but put him in his wool swaddler in the bassinet in my bedroom, so it's like when he goes to bed at night.  Maybe eventually once he gets used to sleeping at these times I can transition him to his crib so I can leave the baby monitor in there.  I guess I'll just have to use the wool swaddler and turn the ceiling fan up high until it gets cooler outside.  Fortunately, the master bedroom tends to be the coldest in the house so I don't think he gets too warm in there.  I'm more worried about him in his nursery.  Anyway, we'll see how well my plan works.  So far nothing I've planned with him has really worked out, so I don't have high hopes.  But it's almost 8:30 now and he's fussing so I'd better get him up if I even want to try.  Here goes nothing....

Monday, August 9, 2010

You're So Vain....

So I had my first postpartum visit with my actual doctor today.  She seemed very pleased with the way my incision is healing up, so that's good.  I just wish it would stop leaking fluid and that the soreness would go away.  She seemed to think it shouldn't be leaking after another week.  I really hope that's the case because it's getting annoying.  As for the soreness, supposedly after 6 weeks things start to get better, so I have about 4 more weeks before it should be relatively normal.  I'm sure that total recovery will be longer than that, but I'd just like to get to the point where I can act relatively like a normal person.

Specifically, I'd like to start exercising.  We have an elliptical machine, but my doctor said no exercising beyond walking until the 6 weeks is up.  And, of course, given that it is hotter than the friggin Sahara outside, I can't really go walking.  Even if I wanted to deal with the heat for a short walk around the block, I can't take Elijah out in this heat.  Perhaps if I find a local indoor walking track I can take a few walks on the weekends, but is that really even worth it?

However, on the up side, the combination of giving birth and breastfeeding has caused me to already lose 20 pounds from my third trimester weight.  In just the last week I lost approximately five pounds, most likely just due to stuff shrinking and the breastfeeding.  It makes me wonder why every woman doesn't breastfeed (assuming that you can).  Aside from the crazy amounts of benefits for your baby, it really does help you lose weight.  I mean, I haven't been exercising and it's not like I'm on a completely rabbit-food diet or anything.  I do need to try to eat a little better and that will probably help me lose quicker, too, but I'm very pleased with how the breastfeeding is helping.

This probably sounds like I'm completely vain and obsessed with my weight.  That's really not the case, although I do think I look hideously fat when I look in a full-length mirror.  It's more just a money thing.  I don't want to spend money on new clothes and right now I basically only fit into sweats and nursing tanks.  My maternity clothes are too big and my regular clothes are obviously too small.  It's like my incision.  I don't really care that much what it looks like.  It's in a place that only Mike and I (and possibly medical personnel) are ever going to see it.  But I would like it to heal faster so that I can go back to being normal.

On a completely unrelated note--but still an amusing one--today when I was in my doctor's visit, Mike was outside watching Elijah.  And Elijah wet his diaper, which Mike had not put high enough up on his bottom and not tightened enough.  So Mike ended up with pee on his work slacks.  Fortunately, they're machine washable.  And even though it kind of was Mike's fault for not putting the diaper on properly, I still felt bad for him standing out in the waiting area looking like he wet his own pants.  "No, I swear--my kid did it!!"

Friday, August 6, 2010


So one of these days I will post a blog that isn't depressing in some manner.  At least I hope I will.

Today we had to take Elijah for an echocardiogram, at least I think that was what they called the procedure they did.  Basically when we were in the hospital, the on call pediatrician heard a heart murmur and then when we went for Elijah's first checkup, his regular pediatrician listened and heard the same thing.  Both of them acted like it was most likely nothing and that we need not worry, but that just as a precautionary measure, we should schedule this echo procedure with this cardiology specialist guy at Children's Mercy to check it out.  I was determined not to worry unless and until someone said there was something to worry about.

We arrived at 12:30, but didn't get out of there until past 3:00.  First, they hooked him up to this machine that monitored his heartbeat for awhile.  Then we had to wait for the doctor to come in and tell us that his heartbeat looked normal, but when he listened to Elijah's chest, he, too, heard the murmur and wanted to do an ultrasound to check it out.  So then we had to wait for the ultrasound tech to come in and take us into the ultrasound room.  Then, of course, they performed the ultrasound which took much longer than any ultrasound I had while I was pregnant, but I guess his was more important.

After that we went back to the exam room to wait for the doctor again.  By then it was time for Elijah to nurse again so I got out my cover and other equipment and began to nurse him.  Incidentally, it is very hard to nurse with that cover thing on because I can't see what I'm doing.  Plus, I don't think Elijah likes having it over his head.  But, I'd rather not flash everyone, particularly the cardiology doctor that we just met.  We were almost done nursing when he finally came back, though.

The doctor said he had two problems: small ventricular septal defects (VSDs) and an atrial septal defect (ASD).  The VSDs were just tiny holes between the left and right ventricles that he seemed to think would close up on their own, so there was no need to worry about them.  However, the ASD was more serious.  It is a hole between the left side of the heart and the right atrium that was supposed to close on its own when he was born, but it did not.

The doctor still tried to downplay it, as if a heart defect wasn't anything to get upset about.  I suppose if you work in a field where you see heart defects all the time, maybe this one seems like nothing.  But this was my two week old baby and hearing that he has a heart defect that won't necessarily fix itself was not nothing to me.  The doctor said it was possible that the defect would correct itself, but if it did not then when Elijah is about five, six, or seven, he'll have to have a procedure to correct it.  He said most likely it would not need to be a surgical procedure, instead they could likely do a cathertization procedure that would correct it.  Again, I suppose the reassurance that my baby would not need surgery was supposed to make me feel better, but it did not.

After that we got to go home, but I was wracking my brain to try to determine if I had done something while I was pregnant that caused this.  Had I not eaten enough vegetables?  Not drank enough water?  Drank too much caffeine?  Or perhaps the zofran I took for nausea--and was supposed to have no side effects on the baby--caused this.  But how could I ever know?  And even if I could know, there was nothing I could do about it now.

So while I was still wallowing in sadness and guilt, our pediatrician called my cell phone to ask how things went.  I was very impressed that she went to the trouble of calling us to find out how it went, especially since she would get a report from the cardiologist in the next few days that would tell her everything.  I told her as best I could with my layman language what we were told.  She, too, seemed optimistic and seemed to think that we shouldn't worry.  However, at least she acknowledged that no one was really okay with their baby having any kind of invasive procedure.  And she explained that if he had to have the cathertization procedure, they would thread the catheter up through his leg.  And I know it would be when he's somewhere between five and seven, but he might as well be a baby.  How am I supposed to sit by while they thread some kind of tube up my baby's leg and into his heart?  The only thing I can hope is that it will correct itself.  But given how things have gone thusfar, I'm not holding my breath.  And I am no longer determined not to worry since I think I have ample reason to worry now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wiz and Worry

So my sweetie is almost two weeks old now.  Last night we had to wake him up several times to get him to eat and I got so worried.  Back in the hospital his sleepiness was what kept him from gaining weight and kept us at the hospital extra days.  Up until last night we'd been doing much better with not having to wake him.  He generally would wake up on his own and fuss and let us know he was hungry.  But last night he just wanted to sleep and sleep.  So naturally, I panicked and thought this was the secret to SIDS.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep well all night.

We called the pediatrician's office this morning and I felt a little better when the nurse didn't totally poo poo my fears.  She said she thought it was most likely just that he was sleepy and not hungry and so there was no need to constantly wake him to eat, but that she would call back in a little while to see if he was still having this problem.  So, of course, then he was acting hungry at 10:30 and when I went to nurse him, he fed perfectly and I got to feel like a paranoid first-time parent when the nurse called back.  She was nice, though, and didn't patronize me for it.  I'm sure she deals with paranoid first-time parents all the time and I doubt I'm the worst of them.  Anyway, the positive aspect of this was that she said there was no longer any need to wake him at night if he wants to sleep.  Now, whether we'll ever get another night where he wants to sleep for long periods of time without eating or needing a diaper change, who knows.  But if we do, I guess there's no need to freak out.  I hope I can manage not to.  No promises, though.

I find it very difficult to simply let myself be happy with him.  It was such a struggle for us to get pregnant and then my pregnancy was very difficult.  I was nauseated through the entire nine months.  I was even starting to think the nausea was in my head and so it wouldn't go away after I had him, but apparently it was really a pregnancy symptom because it was gone immediately after he was born.  Suddenly the foods that grossed me out sounded good again.  Weird how the female body works.  Anyway, all of that combined with the difficult birth I had and the difficult time we had with him in the hospital where he wouldn't eat and lost too much weight makes me extra paranoid that this isn't really meant to last.  Or that I'm fighting fate and so soon it's going to be taken away from me.  I guess that's a rather ego-centric way of thinking.  But I admit that I am a little afraid of letting myself be happy for fear that it will get snatched out from under me.

On a lighter note, we have also been having issues with urine.  You would think that when we take his diaper off, we get a lovely little shower, and that has happened more than once.  But the biggest problem is that he manages to pee down the back of his diaper and get his back wet over and over.  And, of course, this not only ruins whatever he happens to be wearing, but it also soils the bassinet sheets or the changing table cover, whatever he happens to be lying on.

I believe, though, that I discovered the cause of this problem as well.  When Mike changes his diaper (which, since he is an awesome daddy, he does frequently), he tends not to put the back of the diaper as far up his back and not to tighten it as much as I do.  I think maybe he's afraid of hurting him by making it too tight.  But I think it's causing his diaper to slip down enough that when he pees, it goes up his back and leaks out of the diaper.  Boys and their pee, it never ceases to amaze me.

Fortunately, I think we have resolved both problems.  At least for the time being, we're back to "normal", whatever that means.  Of course, next Monday I'll be doing this all myself, so totally new ball game.  And it would be really nice if my darn incision would heal.  It would make everything involving taking care of him so much easier.