Friday, July 29, 2011

Waiting, patiently

Every now and then, I have to re-affirm that I've been Darylized...

We saw this lovely dog when we were at Donner Park. He was sitting with his back to me, patiently watching his people pack up their stuff, getting ready to leave. I decided I needed a picture of him, and just as I was taking it, like he knew what I was up to, he turned around and gave me this sweet look. His owners spoke Spanish, and sadly, I don't, so I don't know his name...

Monday, July 25, 2011

fun weekend

We had a very interesting weekend... it was kind of cool.

It was MM's last weekend off before having to go back to work (after being off for almost a month) so I let him have all the control over our outings...
Sadly, Saturday found us at a Memorial Service for a friend of MM's. Lots of people there we knew, it was a very informal gathering, and turned out to be a nice time telling stories and meeting/seeing people.
One person there that I knew also had her 95 year old mother there. She asked me to come sit down with them for a bit so her Mom could see the baby. So, I did, and, in the end, this 95 year old lady ended up with Mustang Boy in her lap. He was sound asleep. The change that came over her was beautiful. She so enjoyed holding him, and talking to him, and telling me about her own son, when he was that tiny, and she could not have him at home until he was over 5 pounds... watching her, I could envision the young mother that she was. It was kind of awesome. He stayed calm and sleeping in her lap, for a good 10 minutes. Her daughter was more nervous than the rest of us were. One thing I have learned is that when you go into the public with a baby, you are an elderly person magnet. I had more people coming up to us to see him and "bless him" this weekend. It was interesting.
Sunday, we took a short trip to the Donner State Park. Its on a lake, with lots of walking trails and chipmunks. It was a nice get away that wasn't too away from home. It felt good to be out walking in the sunshine. We want to go back with a big picnic, soon! Mustang Boy did pretty well, but at the end of the day he was fussy and ready to be at home where he could sprawl out and stretch. Not in the car seat, or Moby wrap...
Tomorrow it will be four weeks since his birth. I can't believe how fast time is going. He has gained some weight, we are up to a whopping 5 lbs 6 oz now! Our newest preemie battle is unfortunately with constipation issues... not fun. But we are working through it, one of the pediatricians gave me some great tips Sunday morning on how to help him. Yes, I absolutely paged the on call MD sunday am, he was miserable. I was miserable. She didn't mind me calling at all...
and we got a package, from NYC! We LOVE the onsies, pictures will come soon, Daryl! Thank you so much!!!!!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Figuring it all out

So, Mustang Boy has been home now for 18 days. That just doesn't seem possible.

Life goes on, but at a slower pace for the moment. The days of being able to just grab keys and walk out of the house are over, now I have to make sure I have whats needed for he and I, load him in the car seat (which takes me some time, because he is already a wiggler) and THEN I can go. What has really been a wonderful blessing is that MM has been home with us since the birth of the boy. When it's all said and done, he basically had a month off to spend time at home getting to know his son, and help me through the hormonal minefield that is Post Partum life.
Speaking of hormones, I was half way expecting to have a slight Post partum depression problem. Happily, so far, knock on my computer, I've really not experienced that. Yes, I've had days where I cry over nothing. I had one memorable day where my emotions ran the gamut from deleriously happy to screaming shrew (thankfully we haven't repeated THAT), but all of that was within the first week, and, expected. I still get tearful kind of easily, but I can deal with that fairly well.
The fun thing is learning MB's cues to what he wants, or needs. Yesterday, he was fussy and not settling down, like he usually does after his belly has been filled. He was laying on my chest, and wormed his way all the way up, and then laid his head on the bare skin in the v neck of my shirt.
Now, when he was first born, every morning we would lay skin to skin for at least an hour. It soothes him, it soothes me, frankly. But lately that has kind of fell by the wayside, being at home means other things demand me. But he apparantly missed it, and needs that time. So I pulled off his onesie, and tucked him up under my shirt, where he immediately calmed, and then slept for a solid 2 hours, when he woke up ready to eat again. So, the moral of that story is for me to make sure he gets that time with me. Not a problem. And I was pretty pleased with myself that I was able to figure out how to soothe him.
We have one more week of having Daddy at home with us, and then, he goes back to work. :(. Mustang Girl is starting school in less than a month, and I will have to go back to work myself sometime soon. I am actually seeking to extend my maternity leave until Sept. 1st, just to make sure we are over our prematurity issues. I want to go back to work. But I know its going to be tough at first.
But We will figure that out, too...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Prematurity

* This is a little rant-ish, but I wanted to get it out of my system*
So, Mustang Boy is still good. We are coming along...
But I am here to tell you, having him be five weeks early? Is a challenge in itself.
One thing I am already tired of is people telling me how "lucky" I am to have given birth to a small baby. Lucky, really? Because I felt contractions just like everyone else did. He came out, just like most other babies. And while they might think it was easier on me because he was only 4 lbs 9 oz, I can say I don't think its that much easier.
People don't stop and think about the fact that he is PREMATURE.
That means he was supposed to be still enjoying life on the inside! He wasn't quite ready for his entrance, and frankly? Neither were we! MM had to put together his furniture post haste, and his little clothes weren't even washed!
And, how about the fears that go with having a baby, early? I had a shot of surfactant, to help with his lung maturity, but I needed 2 of those shots, one 24 hours after the first one. I never got that second shot, so, there was a possibility he would need respiratory support. Being the star he is, Mustang Boy had a lusty cry right out of the uterus, and I have never been so glad to hear anything.
Then, there is the whole regulate the body temperature issues, because small babies don't have a lot of fat to keep them warm. Thankfully we had the boy during warm weather! Still, there were nights in the cold hospital where I had to beg the nurse to give us a little less air conditioning, but everyone else and their babies were warm. So we bundled up, and MB slept with me, in a hat, clothes, and at times, in 2 blankets....swaddled within an inch of his life...
And then, all the heel sticks for monitoring his glucose levels, and checking his bilirubin levels. MB still has holes in his heels, and he is 2 weeks old, already!
And the eating! Trying to get a preemie newborn to co-ordinate his suck, swallow breathe mechanism is hard work. And God Forbid the baby lose weight, or isn't getting enough breast milk or not pooping enough. We are still finger feeding him extra formula with a syringe and feeding tube to ensure that he gains weight, because I really don't want to have to go back into the hospital with him. Never have I worked so hard, and been so thrilled with a whopping 3 oz. weight gain! "Term" babies will lose a little weight, and it's okay, because they were bigger to begin with....
Why aren't we just using a bottle for that extra formula? Because.. right now he can learn one thing and be comfortable with it. Either breast. Or bottle. Not both. It would confuse him if we tried to go back and forth, until he is closer to his due date. I chose to breast feed. I'm not sorry. He will be able to go back and forth eventually, but not right now.
And his clothes that we picked out so carefully?
Don't fit him. Big time.
But we did get some cute preemie outfits, and he looks adorable no matter what he is wearing.
So do me a favor, if you meet a woman who had her baby early, don't try and tell her she is lucky. She knows she is lucky in a lot of ways, but, truthfully? Thats not one of them...
despite the challenge created by his prematurity, we are still really loving and enjoying our son, and as each day goes by he gets bigger, and stronger. We ARE lucky in that. Even when I went into labor, I just somehow KNEW he'd be okay. And he is, and he will be...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One Week

Almost to the minute.

One Week.
A week that has changed my life in ways that I could not have imagined or even remotely predicted.
I would not give this week back for anything.
You want the story, right?
I know you do.
Sit down, it might get long. I need to get it all out. And I am sure I will be laughing and crying while I write this post. Maybe you will be, too.

I will say, first and formost, because it will be torture if I don't. Mustang Boy is fine. No, he's PERFECT. He was born on June 28th, at 9:26 pm, and weighed in at 4 pounds, 9 oz. He is 18 1/4 inches long. He is small, but mighty. Right now he is napping on his Daddy's chest after a day of meeting his grandparents, Auntie Seattle, and Great Grandma.
So, from the beginning.....

Monday the 27th found us at our usual. Mustang Girl and I at home doing things. Mustang Man at work. He came home, and we decided it was a good time to go get groceries. Oh. And some Mexican Food for dinner before we went. Away we went. I sat down to some very excellent Enchilada Suiza that I can ALMOST still taste they were that good. Damn good. MM was paying for our fine meal, and I headed to the bathroom. Curse of the pregnant woman, you know... Halfway there, All the sudden, my pants were wet.
Oh My God.
And I knew, it wasn't urine. Sorry if that grosses any of you out. But its what I was thinking. So, I haul to the bathroom, where I panic,laugh, and oddly, debate what I want to do. (Like I had a choice, right?). I came out, looked at Mustang Girl, and said, Get my purse. Get your Dad, my water just broke.
Oh, did I mention the full restaurant? Yeah...
We make our escape, and reality is setting in. We are all excited. We were probably all scared, too. For those of you keeping score, this meant that our boy was early. By FIVE WEEKS. Not horrible, but not really ideal.
A few minutes later found me standing at the locked door that leads to the labor department at my hospital, ringing the doorbell to get in. At change of shift, no less. Still having intermittant gushes of amniotic fluid. No doubt about it. MM was doing his best to get me attention before I started leaving puddles on the floor. I got in,got into a bed, and it was confirmed, I was indeed a PROM. (premature rupture of membranes). My good Dr. D was not on call, and a Dr. I don't really care for was. He told me that they would start an IV, some antibiotics, and watch me for the night, and Dr. D would see me in the am. He tells me he doubts anything much will happen, and as long as I am getting the antibiotics, we can let things progress.
Then, the contractions started. In my back. I had some hum dingers, too. All in my back. Time went by, and I just wasn't progressing much, despite the pain. My mom and sister came, warm showers were taken. Curse words were bandied about, tears were shed. The boy stayed rock steady throughout it all.
Then, after not progressing all freaking day, Dr. D started to mention the C word... Caesarean Section. But he had one last trick up his sleeve. One last dirty trick.
PITOCIN. Medication of the devil. Satan invented. My last chance for progression.
So they turn it on, and turn it up. And up. Then up some more. And I contract, contract cuss, and contract. And my contractions? No break between them, I was stacking five of them one on top of the other on top of the other. And that nurse turned the Pit up MORE. Damn it. She says to me that it will put me into an organized contraction pattern.
Organized my ASS.
I went from 4 cm dilated to 10 cm dilated in 1.5 hours. And because of that? I didn't get my intra-thecal for pain relief. We tried some fentanyl in my IV, but it was no use. I stopped asking for it.
And that nurse?
Told me to push. But not to make noise while doing it. Yeah, that didn't happen. I needed to make that noise. So I did.
Then that nurse?
She told me to pant, not push anymore. You see, Dr. D wasn't there, yet, and she said he would get mad if I delivered without him. She didn't want to deliver him.
20 minutes later?
That nurse delivered him.
Because I had panted a lot more than I thought I could. He was not gonna wait.
Then Dr. D walked in.
Sweet relief, all the way around.
My back pain? Gone. I got to have the baby with me, on my chest, for a good 20 minutes, he was doing so well. Then he got weighed and measured, and his Daddy got to hold him, and bring him back to me. A sweeter moment I will never have. Mustang Girl came in, pictures were taken, tears were shed. People went home, and I got up, went to the restroom, cleaned myself up, then WALKED to my post partum domain, pushing my son in his bassinette.
Yes I did. Because I am woman.
We spent 4 nights in the hospital, extra because of his tinyness. We've had evil lab tests that involve the poking and poking of his heels, my poor boy. But he has passed them all with flying colors. We have a few hurdles, mainly eating related, but we are doing well. He is growing and changing every day.
Family has come to oogle and admire and argue over who gets to hold him next. MM, MG and I have had some seriously good quality time bonding with him, both at the hospital, and at home.
Baby furniture was quickly assembled, clothing washed and sorted through for outfits that would fit his tiny frame.
Hormones have gone WILD.
more tears and curse words have been shed.
But through it all, our focus is our boy.

We are in love. He is all we couldask forin one tiny package.
And we are eternally grateful.