Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hooray for nice nurses

Sarah had her 4-month checkup yesterday. I was getting her ready, and really wanting to appear to be Super Competent Mom at the doctor's office. Because it's so dry here, you're only supposed to bathe babies 2 or 3 times a week. It was bath day, so I was getting her all ready. I started working on her cradle cap. Hate the cradle cap! I think I've got it all, and then I'll see her head in a different light, and I'm horrified that I missed a ton of it. Mr. X thinks I'm obsessed. So, I was trying to loosen the cradle cap so I could get it off while she was in the tub. Finally, Mr. X said "um, she just has to be clean, right?" Fine, fine. Point taken.

So, I gave her her bath and got her all dressed. I grabbed an extra outfit because she did have a blowout once at the doctor's office, and I wanted to be the Prepared Mom. We finally made it (late), and I walked in . . . and realized I had left the diaper bag at home. Great. I really need to remember these when I want to impress people that that whole "pride" thing really doesn't work out for me!

The assistant weighed and measured her, and then, while we were waiting for the doctor, I nursed her. And then she pooped. Great. Thank God, I had extra diapers and wipes in the car. I ducked out of the exam room (with the baby in her diaper and wrapped in a blanket) and said to the assistant, "I'm just running out to the car. I have extra diapers out there, and she just pooped." The guy in the waiting room was laughing as I ran by. At least he wasn't laughing in a mean way.

So, she's 14 lbs. 15 oz. How serious are the bassinet makers about that 15 pound weight limit? She's in a cosleeper bassinet in our room (just for when I'm not in the room--when we sleep, she's in the bed with us), and then we have a pack-n-play set up as the bassinet, and she likes to look at the mobile and roll around in there every once in a while. But, of course, they both have a 15-pound limit. I don't know what to do in the bedroom once the bassinet's gone. Her crib's a little bit big to fit next to the bed. We've thought about just putting rails on the bed so that she can sleep on the bed if we're not in the room, but the mattress is soft enough that we worry about her being in the bed unsupervised. (When I'm in the bed, she lies on her side, right up against me. If I move even an inch or two away, she scoots over in her sleep until she's right next to me again. And she's still swaddled for sleeping, so she really can't roll in her sleep yet, since her arms are constrained.) Right now, I'm thinking of putting a firmer mattress (like a little pack-n-play mattress or bassinet mattress) on top of our mattress and then putting rails on the bed. Oh, well. We'll see.

She's also 25.5 inches long, which means she's long for her weight--and tall! Clearly, she takes after her father. She'll probably be taller than me by the time she's 10.

Today, I took her for her immunizations. Because of our insurance, we take the kids to the HMO instead of to our family doctor (my NaPro doctor) for their immunizations. Thank God, we got a good nurse. We're doing the Dr. Sears staggered vaccine schedule, so she's had immunizations at 2, 3, and 4 months now.

At 2 and 4 months, she's had the DTaP shot and the oral rotavirus vaccine. At the 2 month appointment, I didn't know what to expect, since I hadn't done this before. I had Sarah on my lap, and the nurse stuck the ampule with the rotavirus vaccine into her mouth, squirted all the liquid in at once, and then squeezed her jaw shut. The poor little thing screamed, and half the liquid came out, and the nurse said "that's fine. That always happens. She got enough of it." OK . . . Then, she had me put her down on the table for the shot, and she cried and cried.

Today, we had a different nurse. She squeezed a little tiny drop of the rotavirus stuff into her mouth and let her taste it and swallow it, and then gave her a little bit at a time until she'd had the whole thing. It took a couple of minutes, but she was happy and got a lot more of the vaccine inside of her. I mean, it's sugary, so most babies should like it if they get to actually taste it, shouldn't they? Then I held her on my lap for the shot, and she didn't cry at all! I couldn't believe it! Not one little tear. She immediately turned her head and started rooting, so she definitely wanted to be comforted, but there was no crying! What a difference! It really made me annoyed with that first nurse, though.

Next week, Nicholas has to have his second dose of H1N1 vaccine and the varicella vaccine. Ugh. He's really good about getting shots, but I hate to see him cry after he's had the shot. He's amazingly tough for such a little guy. He cries, but only for a few seconds, and then he's back to his happy little self. But, especially since he hasn't been home for very long, I hate to hold him while they give him the shots, because I feel like he's just learning to trust me.

So, wow--two posts in one day! Pretty crazy. I should run. The kids are asleep, and I want to make some progress on the screen we're making to cover the railing in our living room where the spindles are too far apart. Here's hoping for a good night's sleep!

Birth Story Part I

When I went to bed on Wednesday night (July 22nd), I was really hoping we'd be going to the hospital the next day. My induction was scheduled for 6am on Friday, and I really, really did not want to be induced.

I woke up at 4am. I had been having contractions off and on since the 10th, but the contractions were finally starting to feel uncomfortable. I decided to time them. I dozed off and on while sort of timing contractions until 4:30. By then, the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. I got up for water and to see if changing position slowed them down. It didn’t. I got back into bed with the Bradley method book to check out the signs of labor. Mr. X half woke up and we had the following conversation:

Mr. X: Are you OK?
Me: I think this might be it. The contractions are uncomfortable, and they're three or four minutes apart.
Mr. X: OK (rolls over and goes back to sleep).

Hmm. Clearly not really awake.

I kept on reading the Bradley manual and timing contractions. Then, at 5:05 I felt a sharp pain. It felt--really--like the baby had punched me in the cervix. Then I felt the water come rushing out.
This time, I woke up Mr. X for real and told him “this is it—contractions are 3 or 4 minutes apart and my water just broke.” I managed to scoot myself out of bed and walked like a penguin (with my knees together, that is) to the bathroom and into the tub. I managed not to ruin the mattress or the carpet, thank you very much.

Once I was in the tub, I was a bit concerned because the water was light brown, like weak tea, and there was a lot of it. It really broke with a gush. Mr. X called the doula to let her know what was up. I talked to her, too, and called back a few minutes later because I was concerned about whether there was too much pink in the fluid—she told me it was normal and that we should wait for a good pattern of active labor before going to the hospital. In spite of all my reading, I wasn't sure what that actually meant. She told me that, at that point, I wouldn’t be able to talk to her while I was having a contraction.

I hung up and got back in the tub. I was a bit worried because I hadn’t felt the baby move in a little while, and I wasn’t sure if she had moved since my water broke, so I started drinking a root beer in hopes that the sugar would make her move around. I started to feel her move pretty soon, so that calmed me down a lot. Mr. X brought me a stool to sit on in the tub. After each contraction, more fluid came out. I realized that my fears that my water would break and I would think I only had wet my pants were groundless, since there seemed to be tons of it. (Apparently, the body keeps producing amniotic fluid until the baby's actually born--I didn't know that before.)

Mr. X brought me a chicken sandwich and a sports drink so I’d have some energy, and I ate them in the tub. After a little while, I showered and put on the clothes I had put aside for labor—yoga pants and a t-shirt—and got back in bed. Mr. X started timing contractions. The contractions got to be stronger and more uncomfortable, but not closer together. During the relaxation practice we did for our Bradley classes, back rubs and guided relaxation/massage (where he would say “you’re in a hot shower and the water’s running down your arms . . .” while massaging my arms, and that sort of thing) were what I liked best. Mr. X did some of that in between contractions, but during contractions I was OK with him just keeping a hand on me, not doing anything that would jostle me at all. Between 9 and 10, we decided to get ready to go to the hospital. Mr. X loaded the car and called the doctor and the doula. The hospital’s about half an hour away. My parents were all excited and decided to follow us to the hospital after a little while, expecting there would be a baby by afternoon. It turned out to be quite a bit longer than they expected . . .

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