Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Two Weeks

I can't believe that two weeks have flown by so quickly! We are home and adjusting well after a rocky start and admission to NICU. My parents left this morning, I am getting some decent sleep at night (usually two 3-4 hour chunks) and Henry is growing like a weed. I'm still worried about breast feeding. Henry is not satisfied afterwards and we are doing more supplementing with formula (after managing to pull back last week). I am not sure if he is hitting a growth spurt, if my milk supply is not enough (and if not, why), or if it is some combination of the two. I've been letting him feed longer and doing more switching back to first side if he is still awake to let him *finish* that breast. I am also trying to pump if I don't think he ate enough. Tomorrow I will try to pump between feedings to get things going.

I have been feeling pretty good. My goal for the week is to take daily walks with River of at least one mile. has been helping me track my *mileage*. Horner Park is my sanctuary. I don't care if it is cold, rainy, dark, or wet. Taking the time for a walk with the dog with no phone/music/talking has been invaluable. Running will have to wait till I heal up a little more. I also need to keep building my fitness by walking.

As of this morning, I am down 24lbs, so -1 from prepregnancy. I'd still like to lose another 15 to get back to my WeWa goal weight. The problem is that I am not hungry and know I am not eating enough. Is this why Henry is not satisfied after nursing? ugh. I am going to a breast feeding drop in clinic on Monday and hope to get some help there.

Friends came over tonight and brought us pizza and beer (for Allan). One is an amateur photographer and took lots of cute pictures of Henry. Allan and I looked like death, so not many of those will be posted.....

Monday, December 26, 2011


Allan called me a Scrooge today. (or maybe a Grinch?) I have completely cleaned up Christmas. Normally, I would wait a little longer to take everything down, but the tree was dying it was so dry and the clutter was killing me.

Henry's trick for the day was finding his thumb for the first time. I tried to take a picture, but Allan did not get to me with the camera in time. Given that I was a champion thumb sucker, I am not surprised that Henry found his early.

Rough night last night, lots of fussing with a GIANT dirty diaper in the middle of the night. We have already seen another today. I think the new schedule will be a day of poop, followed by a day or two of no poop!:)

Henry says to the Bears - better luck next year. He only had this on for about an hour or two before peeing all over it. Maybe he also takes after me in not loving football?:)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

My parents arrived Thursday, just in the nick of time. While Allan and I have been doing well with Henry, I think we both pretty much crashed when they came. It has been so nice to have the extra pairs of hands to hold Henry. At this point, pretty much the only time I am gaunted to hold Henry is when I am nursing him. Both my Mom and Dad have been fabulous.

We had a fun Christmas Eve yesterday and ended up in "the LF" for dinner with Allan's family. There were about 18 of us and it was a wonderful dinner, with pheasant! *yum* I had my Dad take pictures of us in front of the tree, but the flash did not go off and they were blurry. I am going to try to get some from a cousin that was taking pictures last night. This one is ok, but Henry looks like he is in pain!

Alan and I tried to sneak out to an 11pm church service but Henry started fussing and we left after about 15 minutes. Good thing that it was only 2 blocks to get home! I told Allan that we got credit for going!:) So much to be thankful for this year, I wanted to say a prayer in church to thank God for all of my blessings. I would not have minded Henry fussing, but it was not the family service, so I thought we should leave.

Henry gave us another Christmas present and actually slept for FIVE hours last night (yes, I forgot to set an alarm to wake him up). Having a longer stretch of sleeping time is priceless. We had a fabulous breakfast (featuring the famous "sausage ring with scrambled eggs" and opened presents! I am clearly blessed and loved - I made out like a bandit with a beautiful new watch, new running tights and compression socks, a pickle Christmas tree ornament, Angelina's hot chocolate and foie gras from Paris, and gift cards to Fleet Feet, Paciugo, and Pinkberry.

Henry ended up buried in presents (what a well loved boy) and slept through the entire process. My parents were kind enough to watch Henry this afternoon and Allan and I snuck out for a "date afternoon" to see Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which I loved. I could not believe though how many people brought VERY young children (around 6 years old) to a very violent movie. Not appropriate in my opinion (hello Judgey Judgerson). Henry drank two bottles while we were gone (I TRIED to feed him lots before we left) and he pooped for them. I guess he wanted to give them the full experience:)

We also worked today on getting out holiday cards and I started cleaning up Christmas decorations. Tired, I am now tired and happy. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Week

Henry turned one week old yesterday. We are already seeing changes, he is more awake, more alert, is tracking better with his eyes and using his hands more. For the first time today, he actually got a finger in his mouth by himself! The other big change we are seeing is that his blue eyes are already turing brown:( They say that babies look like their fathers for biological reasons - Henry is no exception!

On my front, I am feeling better and better. I got on the scale yesterday and have lost 16 of the 23 lbs I gained during the pregnancy. Pregnancy clothes (pants) are already starting to fall off. One of my goals for tomorrow is to dig out some of my "fat" clothes for the transition. The bummer is that even having lost 16 lbs, I am still a good 20lbs from my WeWa goal weight. On one hand, I have not been that weight for years so don't know if it is realistic, on the other hand, I am actually motivated to work hard and get out running, so why not have a goal - to get back to goal?

I took a really nice walk with River today. I did not even care that the weather was miserable. It was so nice to be out and moving without pain. The Dr said no exercise other than walking for six weeks, which is fine. I just want to commit to taking the dog out for two 20-30 minute walks a day, especially while my parents are here and I can't even get near the baby anyway.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Terrific Tuesday!

I got the best news ever today! The maid has room to come and clean every week (as opposed to every other week). I realize that I am spoiled, but I will give up A LOT to keep the maid. Somehow, I can keep the place picked up, but then lose my motivation to clean. Having her come also helps me keep things picked up and cleaner. I am so much happier with an clean house:)

Now my "photo bomb"
Coming home from the hospital.

Tummy time was a great success! Henry had gas last night and we looked online for help. This worked! River wanted in on the fun.

Tummy time last night seems to have sealed the deal. River says "this is MY baby!".

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The "lost 24" hours, part 2.

After Henry was taken to NICU, I tried to get some sleep. Unfortunately, I was not able to settle down until after 4am. At 5:45 my OB came in to check on me. (talk about early rounds!). At 6:00, I took a shower - my first since Tuesday morning and we headed out at 6:30ish. Allan was actually off to a 7:10am Dr's appointment. We had been trying to get him in before the end of the year (and deductibles reset) and decided that he should just go. I headed to NICU.

I met an NICU nurse who was so nice and got me oriented towards the NICU. I had not been in an NICU since I worked at Rush over 10 years ago. There were "pods" and within a "pod" were six small rooms. It was like he had his own private room and we had privacy while we were with him. The good news was that she had gotten Henry to eat about 15ml, the bad news was that his sugar was still not anywhere near good. We decided (and agreed) that although breast feeding is important, getting good nutrition in Henry and his sugars up (so he could get out of NICU and come home) was the priority. I was able to feed him a bottle and he ate almost 2oz! I was thrilled to see him eat and felt that we were on the right track. I stayed for about 1hr 15 minutes and then headed back upstairs to try to go to sleep.

Honestly, at that point, I hit the wall. Allan got back to the hospital at about 9ish and had doughnuts from the Doughnut Vault! Yum! Having a donut made my day. I was so thankful that he had also run out the night before for Chick Fil-A since getting food became problematic. You needed to "order" it and it then took an hour to arrive. The problem was that you needed to be in your room and we were bouncing back and forth between NICU. We eventually found our system, but I did not eat all that much for Wednesday or Thursday.

While I hit the wall that morning, Allan was a champ. A lot of Thursday is sort of foggy for me. We went down to NICU for each feeding and the nurses were fabulous! The nurse that came in at 8:00am was also a lactation counselor (a step down from lactation consultant) and was a HUGE help in getting Henry to latch on with nipple shields and I felt like we were making progress. I would (attempt) to feed Henry for 10 minutes (we did not want him tired), and then would pump while Allan fed him a bottle. Honestly, it was wonderful that Allan could also be so involved in the process and get bonding time with Henry. The nurses were AMAZING with teaching us not only breastfeeding, but how to take a temperature, correctly diaper, hold the baby, etc. The bummer was that they had to constantly prick his heel for the sugar readings.

Our routine was as follows: Henry ate every three hours: 30 minutes before Henry was scheduled to eat, I would get up, go to the bathroom, etc. We would then leave to get to NICU and make sure we were there about 10 minutes before feeding time. We would change his diaper, take his temp, and the nurse would check his blood sugar. I would BF for 10 minutes, Allan would feed him his bottle while I pumped, one of use would cuddle/kangaroo with him, we would leave and get back to to the room with about 1hr 45min till we needed to get back down there.

By Thursday afternoon, we had our first "good" sugar reading (above 65). We kept at it and they started weaning him off the glucose IV on Friday at 1:00. I was discharged late on Friday night (11:15pm) and we were back on Saturday morning. We were discharged and took Henry home yesterday (Friday) at 2:00pm.

We are so thrilled to be home, but I still feel like 3:00am Thursday morning to midnight Friday were just lost. I am so happy to have a happy ending and have a healthy baby at home. I guess this scare made me appreciate him all the more!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The "lost 24" hours....part 1

The last day or so have been completely crazy but I am trying to write down what is happening since I can tell I am already forgetting things!

We did some "recovering" in the labor and delivery room and I started trying to breast feed. The nurse was helpful, but I never really got Henry to latch on or do any good sucking. We were moved to a room on the 13th floor and my new nurse was really helpful. She and I managed to get Henry latched and sucking on my right breast (now to be know as the "good breast" or GB), although I don't know that he got much. At our next feeding, at 8:00pm, we had less success:( As it turns out, my nipples are pretty flat and hard to latch onto. The nurse gave me some "soft shells" to try to get my nipples to pull out more and I started wearing them. I was not stressed though, I figured this happens to lots of people and that I could get a lactation consultant to come in the morning to help me out. Everyone says how hard this is, we just had to make it through the night. Unfortunately, the 10:00pm feeding did not go much better. The nurses took Henry off for a glucose check and told me that he was low (in the 40's). At about midnight, we were given a bottle and told that Henry's sugar was still to low and he needed to eat about an ounce/30ml and they would check him again. He needed to be in the 50's or they would call the NICU.

At 2:00am, his sugar was still not up. He had eaten a decent amount from the bottle, but I think he had ended up urpping most of it up (tiny stomach, first food). The nurse told me we could give it one more try and I went with her to the nursery and we got about 15ml of formula in him. He was just tired and not interested at that point. I left him in the nursery so they could check his sugar in an hour and went back to bed. Unfortunately, Allan had completely hit the wall at about midnight and while I could wake him up, I decided not to since he was so out of it when he was awake. At 3:00am, the nurse came and told me that his sugar was still not up, and was actually dropping. He was being taken downstairs to the NICU. :( I woke Allan up so we could both kiss Henry goodbye. It was really hard. Henry was awake with both eyes were open for the first time (that I had seen). After he was gone, I made Allan get in the hospital bed and cuddle with me. I am surprised it did not collapse under our combined weight.

I had been told to give the NICU nurse about an hour to get him checked in and settled down. I called down at about 4:00am and was told that Henry had eaten about 15ml and was sleeping. They were going to feed him every three hours, so his next feeding was at 7:00am. I was told that I could come down anytime, but that he was sleeping and the best thing would be for me to sleep as well and come down at about 6:30am so that we could get introduced to the NICU and be ready to go for the 7:00am feeding.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome to the World, Baby Boy

I took this picture last night and had intended to have a blog post titled "Induction Attempt #2" today since eggplant parmigiana is a time honored southern tradition for starting labor. We went to Topo Gigio on Wells after a basketball game and had our *last* dinner as a couple. I had been feeling a little weird all day but as Allan had been saying to me "you feel weird all the time", so I did not think much about it. I did feel the need to clean up before going to bed and throw stuff away, try to tie up some loose ends via email, etc.

As normal, I did not sleep well. Lights out at 11:30, up to pee at 1:30. I was lying in bed, listening to Allan snore and felt something *funny* and then felt lots of liquid. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom where it felt like I was peeing out a gallon of water. Totally clear, did not smell, I just kept peeing. Even after I was done, I kept leaking. Yes, my water had broken. Allan and I called the Dr., packed up, made a few (dog related) phone calls, walked the dog, and were at Prentice an hour later. I was definitely having contractions, but nothing terrible or that painful. I NEVER would have gone in to L&D or even called a Dr for these contractions, even though they were about 5 minutes a part.

We were checked into triage, they established my water had broken, and we were put in a room, waiting for a room on the L&D floor. The good/amazing news is that MY Dr. was the Dr. on call for the practice and he was going to be the one to deliver me!:) Happy Days! Unfortunately, the storm that came into town had also brought many other women into labor and our short wait for a room, turned into a three hour wait. This would have been fine except my nausea came back with a vengeance after my water broke. I finally ended up taking one of my own zofran (the nurses wanted me to wait to get upstairs), but it was to late. Before I was sent up stairs, they established that my cervix was dilated to 2cm - up from the 1 it has been for the last 10 days.:(

We made it to the L&D floor at about 5:00am. The Dr. came in and started me on Pitocin. I was a little against this but understood his reasoning, we needed to get the contractions going more consistently to get the baby out of me since my water had broken. I had been told,....if they do anything to speed up your labor, get the epidural first. (good advice, take it if you are ever in this situation). I actually asked about an epidural at that point but was not in much pain so the Dr said to wait. Things progressed and by 7, I wanted the epidural. It was weird, it was not that I could not tolerate the pain, it was that I did not want to. Part of it was that there was no end in sight. The other thing was that my blood pressure had been VERY high since I was in triage and there were concerns regarding pre-eclampsia. The whole point of waiting for an epidural was that I would be able to move around, they were worried about pre-e so I was not allowed to get out of bed.

Unfortunately, by the time I asked, someone else was in line ahead of me and by the time they were in the room and setting up, it was 8:00am, I was VERY uncomfortable, and spent most of the process throwing up. Not pretty. Allan was kicked out and I told him to go get some breakfast and take a walk. He later told me that he was scared by the sounds I as making when he left. The good news is that I thought the epidural was GRAND, and felt soooo much better and in a nicer mood. Then nurse upped the pitocin and I was very bummed to hear that I was still only at 2cm at 9:00am when they checked me.

I spent the morning in a daze, watching tv, looking out the window, talking on the phone a little. At 9:00am I realized (or processed) what they were telling me. While my water had broken, my body was not ready to go into labor and that was why they were really pushing the pitocin. Essentially, they were forcing my body into labor. I was also made to realize that this would be a LONG process. At that point, my goal became to have the baby before 5:00pm when my Dr. went off call and a new Dr. would deliver me. It was determined that the baby was "happier" if I as on my left side, so I pretty much hung out there and felt my legs getting numb.

I sent Allan out to get some food before noon and walk around. A new nurse came on shift at noon and we talked a little about the process. Again, I settled in for a long term, first pregnancy labor. Allan got back at about 12:20 and we hung out. The medical student came in, and at about 12:30 a resident came in to introduce herself and check my progress, which I thought was great. I had been told they don't check you that much because there is some risk of infection - which made sense, I just wanted to know if I had made any progress since 9:00am. The nurse had told me at noon that they would wait for me to tell them when things felt different....which I thought was crazy, because I had an epidural! I had a hard time shifting around in bed so she could check. Things had been feeling a little different for the prior 30 minutes, but I figured it was just the contractions getting stronger. I could feel the baby getting lower and the nurse had to keep moving the monitors down.

The poor resident started to check me and pretty much went white. She asked how I felt and when I said ok, she said that I was 10cm dilated and she could see the baby's hair. It pretty much started a crazy fire drill where they told me not to push (it now felt like I needed to) while they found the nurse, Dr and got things set up. By 12:45 they had me ready to go, less than 4 sets of three pushes later, Henry was born at 12:58pm! 7lbs, 15oz, 20.5 inches. Lots of black hair!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cookie Exchange

I have friends that have a cookie exchange every year. You bring 4 dozen cookies and take turns going through the cookie line "in rounds", usually ending up with over 4 dozen cookies. Last year I made cookies that tasted good, but were not all that pretty - and they were clearly not high on the "desirable cookie" list I was determined to do better this year.....

Another requirement of the party is that the cookies have to be homemade. At 38 weeks pregnant, I decided to bend the rules a little..... Here were my ingredients.

I ground up the candy canes and sprinkled them on top of the cookies just before they were done in an attempt to add some Christmas cheer( and make the cookies look less ""break and bake").

Again this year, the cookies tasted awesome, but were still in the "cookie dog" category. I guess I need to be content to be best in show for cookie eating, not baking.

Monday, December 12, 2011

39 weeks

I realized that if I open the shades in the bathroom, I don't need a flash and the pictures will be better.....duh

The Tree is Up!

I already posted about putting the tree up last week (and River's hatred of it), but had not yet posted a picture (and wanted to since I blog as a journal). I think we went a little small on the tree this year, but like it. I especially like all the ornaments and how each means something different to me. Where did I get it? Who gave it to me? How long have I been hanging it on the tree.

Good times. I only wish I could have been drinking while while putting up the tree this year! I don't even have that excuse for the fact that it is crooked!

I just cleaned the oven....nesting or sick of smelling smoke when I cook? :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Self-Induction Attempt #1

Pineapple! I have heard that eating fresh pineapple is one way to self induce. Since I like pineapple.....I figure why not!

It was a great addition to our breakfast of bacon and chocolate chip pancakes. I told Allan that all meals from now on need to include either a fruit or a veggie. For some reason, this has been hard lately (even thought it should not be).

Trying to stay healthy, one meal at a time.....

To the three people who read my blog....any other tips to self induce? I have heard:
eggplant parmigsain
McDonalds Big Mac with extra special sauce
castor oil (yuck, no thanks)
crawl around like a baby/clean on your hands and knees
spicy food - can't do it with the nausea and heartburn.

I am ready to go at this point!

The Cookie Diet

When I weighed in at the Dr's office on Friday the nurse told me I had lost a little weight. I told her it was the non-stop cookie diet I had been eating for the past few days. Here is the deal - in my 38 weeks pregnant world, if you replace meals with cookies, you won't gain weight!:)

The cookie diet started at P.E.O. on Wednesday night. As normal at the December meeting, I sat next to the cookie table where people were leaving all the cookies they had made and brought (for snacks and for the cookie exchange afterwards). I discovered years ago, that if I sat by the cookie table, I could eat cookies through the meeting. How smart am I?

There were lots of good cookies, but by far, my favorite was "White Trash Toffee" which was brought and served out of a cool whip container (I kid you not). My friend and I ate a good 1/3 of the container before the meeting was over and I was seriously tempted to just take the container and hide it before the meeting ended (and all of the other vultures came to eat cookies).

See recipe below......
White Trash Toffee
40 saltines
1 cup of light brown sugar - packed
1 cup butter
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1 handful plain roasted almonds (chopped)

Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with Pam, spread the saltines next to each other other on the pan.

In a saucepan, bring butter and sugar to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, until thicker, but not to caramel.

Pour over saltines, bake for about 3 minutes, it will come out bubbly.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the saltines and put in oven for 1 minute.

Take out of oven, spread chocolate over the saltines, sprinkle with almonds.

Allow to set in the freezer for about an hour, break into pieces.

Hoard carefully.....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Soon this beautiful hat will be mine!

I logged on to Google Reader today and Another Mother Runner showed up as having a new post. I logged on and saw that they had announced the winners of their "humpday giveaway" for Wizbang Hats. I saw my name jump out at me from the page! I am a winner!

I have been following Another Mother Runner (Dimity and SBS) for at least a year now. Stalking (um, following) running blogs has become somewhat of an obsession since I got pregnant. I have also been reading lots of running books and watching lots of running movies. At 39 weeks, pregnant, I am ITCHING to get back out there, even if it is just walking the dog and running a minute here and there.....

Just one more plug for Another Mother Runner. Here is what I love about their giveaways: You don't have to "like them on facebook", "like the company on facebook", email three friends that you love both the blog and the company, and jump through three other hoops. You just need to post! Horray and thanks again Another Mother Runner and Wizbang Hats!

Monday, December 5, 2011

38 weeks - blah Monday

My camera is either dying or I need to clean the lens (which I just did). I feel like I look MUCH bigger this week. Maybe it is that I am not wearing black? Perhaps I should have Allan take pictures of me instead of relying on the guest bathroom mirror? I like the way my hair is looking these days, I am sad it is all going to fall out post baby (at which point I will chop it all off).

Another good weekend of doing stuff, but not to much stuff with plenty of rest. I hope to take pictures of the tree tonight to post tomorrow. Poor River is terrified of the tree and is now spending most of his time in the box and looking at me with a forlorn expression on his face. This is an improvement in that he is now staying on the same floor as the tree for longer than 3 seconds. Poor baby:(

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Case of the Black Eye

Picture from Thursday

Allan got bonked in basketball on Tuesday evening and called me Thursday, telling me he had a black eye. This has been the case for much hilarity and my attempting to claim credit!:) It is fun to look at it every day and see it getting more dramatic.....

Remember - it is not what actually happened, it is the story you tell....

Picture from Saturday

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Favorite Thing

So CVS had a deal on Black Friday - buy a Starbucks Double Shot, get $1.69 back in "extra bucks" (so it was pretty much free). Of course I bought one with my card and another with Allan's. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE I am now sad that I have already consumed both and am trying to justify going to buy more....maybe I could buy them using the "extrabucks"? I have to go back to CVS today to get a script for Allan filled...

I am completely obsessed at this point.

Thankful for Thursday

Wednesday is my busiest day of the week so when Thursday rolls in, I am usually thankful. Partly because I don't have to be at work till 4pm! A big part of this is because I am still scaling back for the impending baby landing. I need to remember that I am NOT lazy, just getting ready. Exciting plans for the morning include: laundry, cleaning, picking up crap, etc. Then off to meet Amy for the One of a Kind show at the Merchandise Mart before heading to work.

It has been an interesting week so far. Baby was VERY active most of Sunday, Monday and 1/2 of Tuesday. Then he went almost silent - to the point that I had to lay in bed on Wed morning and actually feel for kicks. At that same time, I got crampy, crabby, and pretty sick. I thought it might be the calm before the storm but slept GREAT Tuesday night and last night and am feeling really good today. We shall see.

Yesterday I took some 37 week pictures in the guest bathroom (19 lbs gained). I am constantly impressed by both my mad blogging and photography skills. *snort* I have also decided that ALL pictures of me need to be taken from above (compare the picture from Sunday night with the ones here).

These "front" shots kinda mystify me. I feel huge but don't even really think I look pregnant in them....must be a combo of the black (slimming) and photography angle (super slimming:).

NOW I see it! People at work yesterday were saying I looked bigger and lower. Hopefully I can keep this baby cooking for another 7-10 days!