Monday, December 29, 2008

Hardest Things

It's my last day of maternity leave. I can't believe it's here. I can't believe it's 2:50 p.m. already. This is the saddest day ever.

Throughout my pregnancy and mommyhood - I have been through some of the hardest things I have ever gone through in my life. Each one seeming to be as bad or worse than the stage before it.

The first hard thing that I endured was morning sickness. Yep - little D (known as "Boogie" at the time) made me throw up on pretty much a daily basis for several months. I couldn't eat anything and I was miserable - but thrilled to be expecting. I didn't think I'd ever feel "good" again, and would just have to endure this nausea for the rest of my pregnancy or LIFE for that matter. Somehow I survived on mostly bread and cheese and applesauce, and Boogie grew and grew and grew - and I felt better!

The next hard part came in the form of stretch marks - yeah - I had great belly skin until about 2 weeks before my man came out. Yep. That just sucks...I guess it's just not that hard.

Of course, I was always under the influence that giving birth would be the hardest thing I'd ever have to do. In fact, I was terrified to give birth all my life. Throw into the equation the fact that my water "broke" (leaked) at not quite 35 weeks along and I was terrified. 18 hours of labor, the majority of which were drug-free was one of the hardest things ever. I endured the pain - and remember it being bad - but luckily you DO block that out. However, the physical act of it was terrifying and exciting and painful and just crazy. THEN add the fact that I was told I had to have a C-section after all that - and I was into hardship again. It was so not have a be "rushed" to surgery and only shown my baby for a second after birth was one of the hardest things to endure ever.

All these lead up to the hardest thing I've ever endured...having to have my baby taken away and hooked up to monitors and tubes and incubators for a week in a room away from me. Yes I got to see him and hold him - but never on my own time, never alone, never like all the other mommies there. I learned to just survive that week, living like Howard Hughes in a room I was sequestered to unless I was visiting D. I watched as my baby was stimulated from a Bradying episode which was the climax. I didn't know how to deal with the uncertainty of what was going on - or what to do for him. But I endured...and I got to take him home a week later on a monitor.

The monitor was another hardship - which has now become a crutch that I can't kick away. It was so hard to deal with, what I know now to be, false alarms. I freaked out not knowing if I would have to utilize the infant CPR I was briefed on...and was living in complete and total terror for the first full week at home with D. I couldn't take my eyes off him for 1 minute. I was convinced I would never make it. I thought that I was crazy to even have had a baby - and wished to have those nurses back full time...but again, I endured.

The most recent and lasting hardship has been breastfeeding. No one tells you how hard it is. It just seems so easy and natural and turn-key. It's not. Not even close. It's hard and lonely and unpredictable. It's worth it, but it's hard. I found my breastfeeding group - which made things easier - but now I'll not get to have that anymore. I don't know how to always endure this. I've spent an afternoon bawling with a lactation nurse not thinking I could do it in the past. I endured that. This weekend I had stomach flu and became dehydrated and now it's a huge challenge again. I'm enduring. What will I do without that weekly group though?

Now - the hardest thing possibly. I go back to work tomorrow. How can I do it? How can I start back and have someone else spend 10 hours a day with my baby? What if he becomes more attached to the babysitter? What if I miss all his milestones? I mean - he is just starting to smile and giggle and now I have to go away. I can't even think about everything else I will be missing. I know - tomorrow and Wednesday should be okay with me as my mom and mother-in-law will be watching him. But even's not me. What if he doesn't get soothed just by seeing me anymore? What if he doesn't want to breastfeed anymore? What if the babysitter can't calm him and he cries all day? He's not going to be given the undivided attention that I provide. This is the hardest thing ever. I know that I still get every night and every weekend...but it just seems barbaric...having a kid so that someone else raises him? I know I didn't do that - and I knew this day had to come...I always said I wanted to work. But - I had no idea it would be this hard. And now, that's what I'm left to endure.

Wish me luck...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Ho Ho

So we had a GREAT first Christmas with the D man! He was the hit of every gathering, and scored big time with gifts.
Oddly enough it was a very DINOSAUR Christmas! He got dinosaur clothes, stuffed animals, ornaments, toys and PJs from almost everyone - unintentionally! Crazy but perfect!

Anywho - here are a few quick pics from our Christmas...

D meets Aunt Nana for the first time:

Spending time with Great Grandma Chum:

Traveling clothes:

Hanging out in his rocking chair during gift opening:

Dain I, Dain II, and Dain III on Christmas morning:

Meeting cousin Kellen:

Getting ready to go home:

I head back to work on Tuesday...stay tuned tomorrow for a post.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Diapers and the Rule Of 3

Many things to report today...

D is up to 11 lbs. 14 oz.! Woohoo!

Well - my little man is a diaper-filling machine. For those who didn't know - we're using cloth diapers. We have several different kinds/methods. Prefolds with covers, fitteds (that are now too small), and one-size insert diapers. No matter what the kind though - D finds a way to pee through them - or poop - depending on the day.
Yeah - we're still experimenting with folds and inserts, so eventually we'll get to the right method for us.
I thought disposables were a bulletproof alternative for those times when we needed to stay totally heading to a photo session or going to the doctor's office. (I always have a few on hand). The answer...NOPE! Little man is just a diaper-loader...and it sneaks out of all types of diapers. Needless to say I do a LOT of laundry around here - considering I have to wash all his diapers too!

Rule of 3
Random realization of the day:
For those of you who don't know me...I get very attached to certain shows/movies that I can watch repeatedly. There are a select few - but they are there and I own the DVDs. Gilmore Girls, Felicity and Friends are the TV shows that I could watch on repeat...and with Gilmore Girls I frequently do. I have seen every episode a minimum of 5 times I'm sure...and could watch only that show forever.
I recently noticed that something/someone is causing my DVD's to disappear. Oddly enough - it's happened to all my favorite shows - and ALL in Season 3! I'm missing a DVD from Season 3 in my Gilmore Girls set, my Felicity set (I think, though Stephanie must confirm as she's got it), and I recently discovered the loss in my Friends set! WHAT? That's so weird! I never lose DVD's, and none of them are ANYWHERE. I've checked ALL my DVD cases, behind the DVD players, under the entertainment centers, and even totally random places that don't make sense. I think I have something with 3rd Seasons. This is bad. How do I replace those? Hmm...just an interesting thing I thought I'd share.

On the same line of the Rule of 3:
Pictures of D in 3's - look how the face angle is the same in these 3!

Sleepy (did I mention he slept 30 hours straight the other day, waking only every a few hours to eat with barely an eye open!)

Playful (he loves the play yard)

Serious (this was after a bath)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Two Men...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A List of Updates...

So here are several updates that I think are blog-worthy...

1. D slept for more than 30 hours, waking only to eat (but most of the time not even open his eyes) yesterday. I was honestly scared. Oddly enough, FACEBOOK made me feel better! So many people told me that their little ones slept constantly - - or just reminded me to not be stupidly complaining about a happily sleeping baby. I guess I should've shut my mouth. I was afraid he'd be up all night (meaning awake - I'm sure he'd lay in the bassinet all night with his eyes open just chillin, but I don't lay him down in there unless he's asleep because I would feel bad if he was in there and awake all alone!). However...this point leads in to #2.

2. He went for 6 hours between feedings overnight! Awesome! I got 5 straight hours of sleep - which hasn't happened since October 24th!

3. He's been to the mall with me, the grocery store, the library, CVS, and Old Navy. He's slept through all of them. (Side note - the car and the stroller put him straight to sleep - notice a pattern with this kid?)

4. We didn't make it to the daycare yet - we're going next Tuesday...I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

5. HE'S OFF THE MONITOR!!!!!!!!!! as of about 5:30 today. They came to download the info from the monitor the other day and sent the report to his pediatrician. They got the info this afternoon and said there have been no episodes and he can take it off! So, we go in for his 2 month appointment on Monday and they will give us the prescription to send to the company to come and pick up the monitor from me. He's done!

This is bittersweet almost. Yeah I'm thrilled to have him off the monitor full time, but he's been monitored full time (minus a few hours here and there) since birth. I've not had to worry about knowing if he was breathing...the monitor would have told me. I haven't had to worry about decreasing heart rates (like that episode I witnessed of his in the hospital that haunts me to this day). Now, I know he's okay - but I don't have that crutch, that back-up. Granted, I'm going to put the monitor on him for the next few nights while we sleep, just so I can rest easy and wean myself off this thing...but what will I do when it's gone? Will I ever sleep easy?
I know, I know - millions of women sleep without monitors on their babies every night in every country everywhere. However, they didn't go through my exact experience, and hey, they're not ME. I'm a nervous, panicky person by nature. Add a defenseless baby that is the most important thing in my life to that, and it's not a good equation.
Dain, of course, is celebrating the monitor's departure. He doesn't understand my need to put this thing on him in the night for the next few nights. But, I'm going to. I need to sleep easy. I need to have that security.
I really want to get a home sleep monitor called Angel Care. They're sold by Amazon and Babies R Us and probably other places. A girl in my breastfeeding group has one, and I just found out one of my friends got one when her baby was born as well. It's like $70 - and it's a panel you put under the baby's mattress that just monitors their breathing and goes off if they stop. I think this is important. Something that will help me sleep a little easier seems like a no-brainer. After all we've been through with this little guy - it makes sense. It's something we can keep for IF we have another kid too. Plus, you put no wires on the kid, and it may help my transition to him going to the crib eventually too. Just look at how much these people love it: Angel Care by Graco reviews on Amazon
What are your opinions? I know $70 is a lot of money for us right now - but it really means a lot to my sanity. However, if Dain thinks it's unnecessary - am I crazy? He's usually the logical to my illogical...but isn't peace of mind priceless? I don't know...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Overwhelmed...and for once it's not with fear or laundry...

Yep - the past few days I've just been overwhelmed with love. I am truly loving this motherhood thing.
I get to look at this beautiful boy all day every day and can't believe I lived 28 years without him. He is so perfect, and such a good baby. I'm so lucky.

All this is wonderful...but I think it's a result of the fact that I have to go back to work on 29th and I have no idea how this is going to work.
No - I have no idea how it works to leave your child with daycare all day. Granted, I'm going to visit the daycare lady tomorrow with the D man, so we'll get to the bottom of most of my questions. However, I'm talking about how to actually, emotionally leave my child for the day with someone that's not me, that's NOT going give him the attention that I do. Our daycare (in-home in Roselle) lady is great, but she won't be able to solely focus on my little man, as there are other kids there, including HERS. So, I don't know how it will work. I guess he's going to have to be more self-sufficient at the age of 9 weeks. Plus how am I going to be able to make it through my day without seeing him, or breastfeeding, etc.? Yeah I'm going to pump at work but this is just blowing my mind. I thought I would never make it through that first week with him - and now I only have a week and a half left. This sucks.

So - to cheer us up - here's some photos of him...
After a bath...
Enjoying his play yard...
The butt of his Christmas outfit given to him by his great grandma & grandpa Meyer...
Enjoying his bath in the bathtub for the first time...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Update on D

So it's Monday - that means breastfeeding group! Yep, we went in and the D man is up to 11 lbs. 7 oz.! He's still growing and growing and growing!

Also - many people are asking me about the monitor that's on our boy. He's been doing fine - the onesy-twosy beeps we're getting are so few and far between it's ridiculous, and most of the time it just alarms that one of his leads are loose.

For those confused as to how this thing works - it's just two sensor-pads under each of D's armpits, and they're held in place by a sweatband headband (literally). These have wires hooked to them and they run along a long cord down to the monitor which is like a portable hard drive in a purse-size case. We feed the wires through the crotch of all his clothes. The monitor doesn't weigh very much but it's a big pain to haul around, especially with the long cord. I've always been jealous of everyone with the cord-free babies that they can just pick up and leave the room without a whole process...'s a pic of him before a bath last week, showing the band around his chest (and his HUGE belly!).

I called the company that does the monitoring today - as our doctor has ordered a download of his monitor report so that he can look it over before D's two month doctor appointment on Friday. If everything looks good - this thing is history!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ah Saturday

I love days when Dain is home. We've had a great day so far...just a nice relaxed day all together.

I got the pictures I painted finally hung up in D's room (pictures sometime soon), and I got the mobile bars painted, so hopefully that will be completed and hung by the end of the day too.

D has been pretty awake today (though now sleeping comfortably on Dain's lap). He's played in his play yard, slept in his swing, eaten a ton, and done a LOT of checking out his surroundings.

The best news of the day - my Christmas shopping is DONE! :) However, I'm not one of those people that dreads holiday shopping. I LOVE it...but I hate stores. (Does this make sense?) I love to think of that perfect gift for people, and as often as possible, I like to hand-make or even personalize it somehow. Either way, I'm done and I think I did a pretty good job this year.
Here's a photo from D's session that best describes how that makes me feel...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Smiling for the Camera

So D had his second ever photo shoot today (he had one in the hospital that I blogged on previously). We went to Sears and got some pictures taken - and it was so fun. He's so freaking cute.
Anywho - here's a little preview...we also took some Christmas pictures which you will receive as a holiday card if I have your address :)

He was barely awake for most of it - but that's okay. I was hoping to get him to smile, but no real luck there.

He has been smiling at us lately though. Every once in a while - and he gets smileyer (yes mom I know that's not a word) every day. In fact, last night...I got a tiny quick GIGGLE! Just a couple heh heh's...but it was ADORABLE!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chubby Cheeks

This is what it says on my little guy's outfit today- and he's up to 10 lbs. 13 oz. (with clothes on)! My little porker is so cute!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gassy Baby

Yeah - since the day D came home - he's been a gassy little guy. I mean - wall-rattling gassy!
In the past few weeks - he's really started getting red and upset every time he has gas - which is about an hour after EVERY single feeding (which is about every 2 hours these days!). I was talking to the girls at breastfeeding group about it - and they suggested getting Infant Gas Relief drops. SO - we got some. I just gave him some for the first time...we'll see if there are any results.

Monday, December 1, 2008

More D!

Here's some much needed photos of the boy...but before we get to that - let me tell you that at breastfeeding group this morning our little porker is up to 9 lbs. 13 oz.!

Now - here's the photos of my boy:
Here we are (almost 2 weeks ago) modeling an outfit sent by Aunt Nanny & cousin Joey:

That same day - with Grandma Denise:

Sleepy - but our first time in the bouncy seat:

Hanging with Daddy on Thanksgiving at Grandma Denise's house:

With Aunt Theresa at Grandma Susie's Thanksgiving:

With cousins Amelia and Adam:

Cutest baby ever! Though I must say he's much cuter in'll have to meet him!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Biggest Loser

Side note from the baby (who's doing great by the by)...

Does anyone else watch The Biggest Loser? Anyone else HATE Vicky?? Wowzer. That woman is pure evil.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weight Update

Went to breastfeeding group this little butterball is up to 8 lbs. 11 oz.!
He gained almost a whole pound this week!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Once Upon A Child + Bathtime

Today my parents came to visit! It was great to see them - - and I even ventured out of the house for an hour and fifteen minutes (not that I'm counting) with my mom while the boys stayed at home to watch the Bears. I had some errands to run and things I wanted to do that I couldn't have done with D. I'm not supposed to take him into real "public places" like stores until he's 6 weeks old.

On the agenda was Target (who, since the birth of D, has received an extraordinary amount of my family's money), Borders (for a "Baby's First Year" type book) and Once Upon a Child.

For those of you unfamiliar - as my mom was - Once Upon a Child is an amazing kids resale store. They are located all across the country and gives people a chance to get gently used items at GREAT prices.
I wanted to stop in to get a few clothing items for the D man, as he's currently in between sizes - not quite fitting into some of his 0-3 months stuff, but too big for Newborn & Preemie clothes. Of course, he's growing into more every day...but I just wanted to get a couple quick, cheap outfits that he can continue to grow into but can wear a little big for now. We got 4 of the cutest things ever - and that place is BUSTING at the seams with children's clothing, toys, accessories, furniture, etc. I had been a few times before D's birth (as they're right down the road from my house) to look at their crib selection - when I wasn't sure what we were getting. Yes, they have cribs! They have everything! And, you can sell your stuff to them when you're done with won't make a ton of money - but you're recycling items for other people to use if you don't donate it to charity or have more kids to pass it on to.
I encourage you to check them out if you have kids - or are buying gifts. It's great.

EDIT: Just added, bonus video of Mr. D prior to his bath this morning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So yesterday (Wednesday/Friendsday - get it people?) was a big day for D. He had two visitors which were two new faces for him to get to know. It was great to have people from the "outside" come in during the day. I like to have company and get some "grown up" conversation going.

First up was my friend Grace. She and I used to work together at my old ad agency. She drove up to see us - brought Panera for lunch - and we chatted about her upcoming wedding, and the baby of course. I feel bad - because I'm not much of a conversationalist these days. I'm so focused on what D is doing, and haven't done much besides breastfeed and change diapers for the past 3 1/2 weeks, so it's not like I have a lot of "new" things to discuss. Either way - we had a great time. I love seeing Grace - and she spent some time with my little man...

After a couple hours - Grace took off - and just a bit later the doorbell rang - and it was Jeremy! J Po is a roommate of Evan's (Dain's brother) and a good friend. He's been wanting to see D since his birthdate (almost 4 weeks ago!!) - so he stopped over yesterday on his day off and got some face time in with the little man...

Good times.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Growing, More Photos

WOW - I just came back from breastfeeding support group at the hospital. It's a free weekly meeting in the garden room in the maternity center - where a bunch of moms and babies get together and talk about breastfeeding issues and just gab. I was hesitant to go - but the lactation nurse said that they bring the scale every week - and I can keep up with how D's weight is that's the reason I went.
It actually was a good time. Lots of babies - ranging from 1 week old to 13 months. It was nice to hear that another baby had explosive, audible gas - and that other moms are giving their baby a bottle after each feeding as well...

After a while - I got up to weigh D. His last weight was 7 lbs. 2 oz. at the doctor last Tuesday. Today - he was 7 lbs. 14 oz.!! (He did have a diaper on that weighed 2 oz. - weighed after removal) so that means he's up to 7 lbs. 12 oz.!!! Hooray for my growing boy!

Here's some photos we took over the past week - while he was doing all this growing!

D with Great Grandma Meyer:
Being held by his daddy:
He finally fit into one of the 0-3 month outfits! (sorry the crotch of the outfit is open - we were in the middle of a change):

Friday, November 14, 2008

Every 5 Years...

So - Dain and I have been together for more than 10 years. YICK right? Isn't that bizarre?

Our wedding anniversary is tomorrow. With the arrival of D - we haven't really realized it was coming up, and almost forgot that it's a bit of a "milestone" anniversary.

5 Years ago on November 15th (tomorrow) - here we are: We had been together just over 5 years when we got married. It was quite an amazing day, and remembering my anniversary makes me want to watch my wedding video!

I realized that every 5 years - something incredible comes along for Dain and I. After our first 5 years of dating - we got married. Then, 5 years later - here is what we got:

If every 5 years I can have something happen that's so amazing as the past two "anniversaries" - I can't wait to see what's next.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tough Day Turned Good

It's been a rough day - that turned into a good one.

I was SO tired this morning when Dain left for work that I nearly broke down for the dreaded 'nap' that I'm in such fear of. However, I stuck it out. I turned on the Jon & Kate Plus 8 that I had taped earlier in the week and held my baby in my arms and tried to fight off the tired with some Hostess Donettes that my mom left for me. It worked pretty well. D did get a little powdered sugar on his face though :)

After his next feeding and a few diaper changes and some snacks for me - we were sitting on the couch when the alarm on his monitor went off. 3 beeps - and this time it was for "Apnea" - which is supposed to mean he hasn't taken a breath in 20 seconds. I PANICKED. I looked down in my arms at my peacefully sleeping baby and realized he was just fine.
I immediately called Dain - in tears - which terrified him. Not the fact that the Apnea alarm went off for the first time - but the fact that I called him in tears. It was when I was on the phone with him that I realized that at 4:00 am his alarm went off for a "Loose Lead" - meaning one of his little sensors wasn't even attached right - and being that it was the middle of the night and the alarm stopped - I hadn't remembered to fix it yet. We thought this was the culprit, and I hung up the phone.
An hour later I was still panicked - so I called the hospital nursery (a number I've been encouraged to use since day 1 but haven't really). I told them what had happened, and the nurse told me to call the monitor customer service number. So - I did. The woman on the phone was SOO nice - and explained that if D was fine - there was nothing to worry about - and it could have been any number of things. She even told me that we don't even need to be recording (writing down on this chart we got) his beeps if none of them have been anything. She compared the monitors to smoke detectors in your house. A lot of people's go off all the time when they cook, etc. It just is a way to alert you that there COULD be a problem. I felt much better after talking to her.

I then called the lactation lady back at the hospital to report the good news of D's increased weight and my success with pumping and feeding. She was thrilled with how things were going and suggested that if I didn't have weekly weigh-ins with the doctor anymore - that I come to the "breastfeeding support group" at the hospital each Monday morning. They have a scale there each week and I can keep track of how he's doing better that way. And - I can see her each week that way too and feel better about my progress. Plus - she's a nurse and helps me feel better about lots of little things that have to do with D in general. She's so nice.

So - since then - I've felt good. I also have realized today - that I'm now D's soother. He will be fussy (or his little version of fussy) and all it takes is me picking him up and talking to him for a minute for him to feel better and go to sleep in my arms. (In fact, I've typed this entire blog while holding my little warm, sleeping bundle of fun).

FUN FACT OF THE DAY ABOUT D: His eyes, while still not to their "final color" are a GORGEOUS gray/blue right now. I seriously am envious of my child.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Growing Boy

So we have a beansprout on our hands!

At our doctor appointment yesterday - I learned that D is now 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 inches long! He's growing fast! He's going to be a tall boy I'm convinced.

Of course - hearing that he's doing "great" was enough to put me in tears of relief...and they told me to keep "doing what I'm doing". This means I'm going to continue breastfeeding and giving him a bottle with another ounce in it after each (most) feedings.

I'm going to continue feeding him every 3 hours too. And, letting him rest and poop and pass copious amounts of gas :) Of course I'm terrified that I'm not doing something right - but I guess you never know. I also am exhausted - but am too scared to nap when he naps because I'm afraid I won't wake up with him. At night I sleep okay - but it's because Dain is right there and provides a back up to me, the baby crying and/or the alarm clock. For some reason I'm just convinced I can't nap with no one else here. I don't know if this will ever change...

Every time he yawns - he makes a combo clicking/squeak noise that's adorable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More More More

My mother-in-law brought over a CD of photos from this past week/weekend yesterday - and I thought I'd share. It's always nice to have more photos of my little guy!

D is doing great. We're going back to his pediatrician today to get weighed in. We'll see how he's growing!

Here's D and Uncle Kohl last week:
Me and my new favorite person on the planet:
D in an outfit that's a little too big!:
D and his Aunt Marcy:

More to come!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

By Popular Demand

So I'm getting crap for not having enough photos of the little guy up. So, this is an attempt to remedy that. We haven't been taking a ton - just because it seems like we're always doing something with him that requires more attention than a camera.

We DID have a field trip yesterday to Dain's parent's house. It was nice to get out of the house for a while. D got to spend time with his grandma, grandpa, Aunt Marcy, Uncle Evan and even got to see his Great Aunt Connie and Great Uncle Ed. Of course, I forgot my camera for that - but Aunt Marcy took some pictures and so did grandma - so hopefully I'll get some of those.

Here's some photos in no particular order of D's first week at home. He's still doing good...pretty peaceful - just eats, sleeps and poops - LOUDLY (seriously our kid has extremely audible poops). We had a couple more beeps from the monitor - but I spoke with a nurse from special care nursery and she made me feel a lot better about it. I also spoke with a lactation specialist from the hospital and have been feeling better about his feedings too...although I'm still confused over how often I should indulge his seemingly constant request to feed. I guess that will come with time.

Okay - enough jabber - here's the photos...
A burp with grandma Susie:
Our first family shot -although I look like scary mommy:
Watching the Bears with his dad and his Bears blanket from the hospital:
Probably the face he'll make at me for the rest of his life:
And finally - for those of you curious as to how Penny is doing with him:

(She actually is pretty mopey around here - constantly trying for our attention. All she wants to do with D is occasionally sniff him - so it's so far so good. PS we only let her lay like that next to him for about 5 seconds to get photos...don't worry I'm not letting my kid ingest copious amounts of dog hair!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Beautiful Boy

If you want to see the photos they took at the hospital:
Click on WEBSITE
Click on CLIENT
Password is dain1025

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Blogger is Back! (Part 3)

Sorry again for the cliffhangers and days and days between posts. I'm officially a wreck, and have not made time for much else besides making sure every need of D's is taken care of.

Thursday should have been the best day ever - but it wasn't.
I got up that morning looking forward to the possibility of going home. I went down for feedings, showered, and got dressed in real clothes. That evening was supposed to maybe be "go home" time. D was ordered phototherapy (a light treatment where they basically look like they're tanning) to treat his jaundice that would start that day. He got his hearing test done (passed) and his car seat test done (passed) and even his circumcision (poor kid). I was then down for a feeding - after nursing him - and getting ready to start the phototherapy treatment I sat in the chair to watch. He had to wear these "goggles" that looked funny but made me sad to see him with a blindfold on. I watched as they placed him back in the closed isolette with nothing but his diaper on - and sat for a few minutes. I heard the little alarm he was hooked up to the entire time in Special Care start to go off for a lower heart rate - and in came the nurse. His heart rate was dropping - and so they rubbed his head, and picked him up to stimulate him. Sure enough, his heartrate went back up - but then started descending again (an issue known as "Bradying"). This happened about 4 or 5 times in a row - and I watched in terror - bawling my eyes out - while one nurse listened with a stethoscope and the other called his doctor.
After those few episodes - he was fine - and it didn't happen again. However, the doctor ordered an overnight "Fact Study" - where he was hooked up to more monitors and given another nose tube - and ordered an EKG, along with some bloodwork. Needless to say, we weren't going home that day.
The next afternoon (Friday) - the results came back. Everything was fine. The doctor had no explanation for what happened, and wanted to watch him one more night with one more night of phototherapy. Our doctor in the hospital (the neonatologist) recommended going home with a Sleep Apnea monitor for D as well. Basically it would show the same info the hospital monitors did - and let us know if he had a dip in heart rate or a delay in breathing. We agreed to it - it actually would bridge the gap in my mind of constantly being able to see how he was doing.
So that was Friday late afternoon. I was supposed to be kicked out of the "hospitality" room I was STILL in (I had been literally in the same room since the previous Friday morning when I came in - and since I was restricted by the MRSA - I had only been in that room and the nursery since). I felt a little Howard Hughes like, but the nurses gave me permission to stay the last night in the room so I could be near the D-man.

Saturday morning finally came. I got dressed in real clothes again, and we met with my mom and the man from the monitor service to learn everything about the monitor that was coming home with us. We learned how to run it, what the alarms would mean, and got a crash course in CPR. I was crying through the whole thing. Terrified of the alarms going off...but terrified of what would happen without them.

We finally headed for home about 1:30 p.m.

Saturday night we had two beeps once for "low heart rate" which sent me nearly into hysterics, and then one beep a few hours later for the same. However, the beeps are supposed to last the duration of the event - so that means it just dipped quickly and went right back up without needing stimulation or that dreaded CPR that I now know how to do - but can't bring myself to think about administering.

Since then - we've been doing feedings and baths, my mom has been keeping us fed, and we have learned that the beeps have subsided. We've had about 4 other beeps since...just 1 at a time - a few for high heart rate and a few for low. Dain and my mom are not worried - but I can't help myself. We had a visit from a Delnor nurse, who was just concerned as he's lost weight - so we're upping the feedings to at least every 3 hours - which means I'm not sleeping, but that's okay. We also are giving D a little bit of my milk in a bottle after he's done nursing to help him pack on some L-B's.

My mom went home yesterday morning - so that Dain and I could have a couple days with D on our own. We went to the pediatrician - who was not at all concerned with the monitor issues - and seemed fairly relaxed about everything since day one. I guess that's a good sign - but I need regulation and direction...not this "well it looks fine" crap. Fine is NOT my favorite word. But, this all makes Dain happy so I'm living with it.

I'm now sitting on my couch with D next to me on a pillow, making baby sounds as he flails his arms (he loves to flail his arms). This is the most surreal experience of my life. I'm terrified every minute, crying the next, and just trying to figure out how I'll be able to do this on my own every day. Dain goes back to work tomorrow, but my mom is coming back tomorrow morning to be with us for Thursday and Friday so that I get a little more time to adjust. I've never loved anything more than my little family - and I'm terrified of screwing something up or of losing this amazing little guy. I know this seems crazy - but being a mommy is terrifying and wonderful all at once - and I will keep you posted as to how I am doing.

I apologize to everyone who I'm not getting calls back to. Don't take anything personally - the only person I've talked to since coming home is work. I promise I'll be better at this soon. I'm just still adjusting...and if you know me, and my anxiety level at a NON-maternal rate - you'll understand how I'm doing now that my hormones and baby have arrived!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Blogger is Back! (Part 2)

Sorry I have to do this in parts - - no Theresa, I'm not trying for cliffhangers - just trying to squeeze in some time for blogging when I'm not huddling over my baby or trying to eat and sleep and keep Penny the dog from getting too close to D.

At any rate - I was told I would have a c-section - and from there it was a rush of things going on. Dain was put in scrubs, my mom and mother-in-law were in the room waiting with me, and I was being prepped to be wheeled to the operating room. They said they'd come back for Dain. I was taken on a bed ride to the FREEZING cold operating room. Of course I'm in nothing but a hospital gown - and that's being removed for the incision. Doctors and nurses are rushing around, and I see the anythesiologist (I can't spell) by my head - telling me he's giving me more medication, and to try to relax as I was being covered partially with blankets and my arms were being strapped like I was being placed on a cross. The blue curtain went up right below my chin and they tried to wrap a towel around my head - but I told them I was claustrophobic and that wasn't a good idea. I notified the doctor that whatever they just gave me made me want to throw up - and they rummaged around for a "sick tray" but I couldn't wait - so the nurse just told me to turn my head, and I did - to have puke just running down my face, until my friend the pain doctor wiped it away for me.
After what seemed like an eternity - Dain walked in and sat down by my head and held my hand - and I felt like I was being tugged off the table, and like someone was sitting on my chest. Then I hear "here's his head" and then "here he is - do you want to stand up and see him dad?" Dain was hesitant, but stood up - and saw not only our baby, but me cut wide open...which I don't think he loved. Then, I heard a cry, and saw more rushing around and I just layed there waiting. Pretty soon they poked around the curtain holding up a white-covered baby that was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. He was born at 1:54 am and was 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 19 inches long. I saw him for about 10 seconds (literally) without getting to touch him, when they whisked him off to the Special Care Nursery with Dain, and I layed there more. My friend, the pain doctor told me he was giving me something to relax me, and the next thing I know - I was being wheeled back into my room where I saw my mom and mother-in-law waiting. I have no idea what happened then, or if I talked or didn't. I think I slept for a long while - and when I came to, Dain was back in the room with a video of our little man and footprints on the front of his scrubs. Apparently D had to have a bit of oxygen and other things done that were hard for Dain to watch - but were necessary.

I honestly don't know what happened over the next 24 hours. I know I got to go see the baby FINALLY at 11:30 the next morning. I got to hold him and couldn't believe it was real. I honestly don't know when I started pumping, or how the next few days went by. I know we started going to the nursery to feed him - which was through an NG tube in his nose, and we literally held up a syringe to watch it go down. I know I ate, and I watched TV, and had visitors, and spent as much time with him as possible. I know that his lungs were fine really quickly, and that he was doing okay, but he was in the isolette to keep his body heat regulated, and I couldn't hold him all the time - which was all I wanted to do.

I had to be wheeled to the nursery the first few days - and the first time I got up to shower I wasn't told to leave the door open or make it brief, and when I got out ring for the nurses help to dress my wound - I passed out. Then as two nurses walked me back to my bed - I passed out again. Good times.

Dain had gone back to work each day - so I spent my days back and forth to the nursery, taking cat naps, and talking to work to get things straightened out. I was technically supposed to be out of the hospital on Wednesday - but due to "hospitality" I was allowed to stay 2 more nights as I had a baby in Special Care. This was all well and good - as we were maybe going to go home Thursday anyways...

Then came Thursday...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Blogger is Back! (Part 1)

Here I am - all home and a mother.

I have to my absence - Dain has been a wonderful writer. I cried while reading his entries (although I am crying at the drop of a hat these days - and feel like I should be dangerously dehydrated since the birth of D). Now everyone sees who the true writer is in the family...he's truly gifted and makes me feel like I shouldn't even be allowed to grace the keys of this keyboard.

But - I'm back. We're home!

Seeing as I'm malnourished, exhausted, and hormonal - this may not make a lot of sense...but deal with it.

What an experience this has been. It has simultaneously been the best and worst week of my life. I keep saying that - and it's so true...but I'm not a bad mother for saying that - I've just been through the ringer.

Starting a week ago Friday - I thought I was just being sent to the hospital as a precaution...and learned within a few minutes of an amniotic fluid test that I would be giving birth that day (or the next) and that my baby would not be staying with me in the room, and probably not be going home with me. Dain rushed back from work to be by my side - and get me things from home - as we hadn't packed a bag.

Soon - my mom and dad were there and my in-laws. I was hooked up to an IV and given pitosin to start my labor progressing. I was also told that I tested positive for MRSA and would have to have the nurses putting on gowns and gloves every time they came in the room. All my visitors would have to do the same - although that made me angry - so I told them not to follow that rule.

My dosages were slowly increased and though I wasn't really dilating - I was starting some contractions that were on and off pain that was relatively tolerable - - sometimes even laughable.

Hours and hours passed - slowly increasing my contractions and pain. I have no idea how long I was in the horrible pain - but let me tell you - it was terrible. We waited a long time for the epidural to come - it felt like centuries - but I somehow made it...then spent hours contracting in peace...I think I slept a lot. Then, came the hard part - them coming in the room saying that I was dilated to 6 or 7 - and he was at 0 station. I was getting ready - - and then his heart rate dropped and I was told we were having a c-section, and would I please sign the form...

(Part 2 to come)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Many Faces Of Dain III

Dain II here again. Marie is now in the "hospitality" phase of her time at the hospital (I am just now seeing that "hospital" is part of "hospitality"...I'm not sleeping much these days), meaning she is able to stay in the room she's been in, but no longer is receiving any care from the nurses. She's on her own for getting food, dispensing her pain meds, and so on. But, she's roughly 50 feet from our son, so given the choice of staying at Delnor or coming home really wasn't much of a dilemma. She may be coming home tomorrow (Thursday), like it or not. Obviously, if it's up to us alone, we'd rather she stay, but who knows the limits of Delnor's "hospitality".

To update health-wise, she continues to recover from her surgery, having her staples removed today. Little D is also doing well...he's eating directly from the source, so to speak, and has had the incubator (or whatever they call them) top of his bed removed. Basically, at this point he's in a plastic bed covered in blankets, so the doctors are trusting him to regulate his own temperature. He apparently is a little jaundiced, but after doing some brief research, I've come to learn that this is completely natural and happens even to full-term babies, so not a big deal. Tonight also featured his first bath given by his parents (well, Marie did most of the work). Not his favorite activity, as I really heard for the first time what an unhappy D sounds like...which is pretty much like an irritated infant. But, he cleans up pretty nicely, so he'll have to learn to cope.

So, here goes nothing. I've successfully downloaded video from our spankin' new camcorder (thanks again Dan and Suzie for the early Christmas's been great) to our, the challenge is to upload said video to this here blog. Wish me luck (results should follow directly below this sentence):


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Run Extended Due to Overwhelming Popularity

That's a little theater terminology for you all. Being married to an expert in the realm of the performing arts has apparently rubbed off on yours truly. Due to an inability to figure out the wireless internet of Delnor Community Hospital, I (Dain II) will once again be filling in for Marie on the blog.

First, an update on Marie and Little D (we're giving this nickname a trial appreciated). Mom is recovering well from the C-section. Her doctors feel everything is healing well and the staples holding everything together will be removed tomorrow (Wednesday). She's still a little sore, but is moving around well and trying to stay busy. To pass the time in the hospital, Marie has developed a routine that has been quite effective. I'll let her describe it in full detail when she gets home.

As for the bundle of joy, he couldn't be doing better. When he first was admitted to the Special Needs Nursery, the nurses explained that he would need to clear a series of hurdles before we could take him home, with an expected completion window of a week. It was interesting to learn that these hurdles were to be completed in succession, rather than concurrently...babies literally teach themselves how to do the most mundane things that most of us take for granted. First, he had to show that he could breathe on his own, which he was having trouble with when he first arrived. He was given some medicine to help lung development, and his right lung wasn't inflating properly. After a day, the lung was almost completely inflated, and by day two, x-rays showed that breathing was no longer a problem. He had been receiving oxygen to this point, but it was removed at this point. Next, he needed to be able to digest his food. Apparently babies don't require food for the first day or so, so he was able to transition directly from the learning-to-breathe stage to the digest-formula/breastmilk. He had a couple stops and starts in this area, but now he's eating like a champ, and without the benefit of what Marie referred to as the "nose hose" (feeding tube). He took to the bottle like a natural, and when he isn't eating, he's sucking on a pacifier. I'm not thrilled with this development (not a huge fan of the pacifier), but I'll cut the kid some slack since he's had a pretty tough start. Finally, D must master the fine art of maintaining body temperature without the aid of an incubator. Apparently this is the easiest step...the nurses predict he won't need artificial heating in no time. So, things are going well.

Personality-wise, it's remarkable to see him already exhibiting traits passed on from his parents (at least, we interpret what he does that way). For example, he's a stubborn little help him with his digestion initially, they put him on his stomach or side (which is OK...he's being monitored constantly). Just like his mother, if he wasn't satisfied with his positioning, he made a stink until a nurse (or he himself) got it just right. Also like Marie, he's a big believer in personal space...not a big fan of being messed with too much, and he'll let you know with a slap or a kick if you're violating his comfort zone. He seems to have inherited his father's sleeping habits; i.e., constantly and with mouth gaping wide open.

OK, updates over. Now to the good stuff. You'll notice he no longer has that nasty tape and tube on his face.

Having dinner, prepared by mom, served by pops:

A little size perspective (that's my hairy wrist and hand):

Flashing the signs of the gang he and his fellow nursery-mates have apparently formed:

If only we could all feel as peaceful and relaxed as he looks (and I'm insisting he looks like his Great-Grandpa Kohl here...Steph, back me up on this):

So, that's tonight's update. The ETA for his home opener is still Saturday or Sunday, but of course we're holding out hope it will be sooner. Coming tomorrow: A Motion Picture Debut (if I can figure out the camera).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Very Special Episode of "In the Wings", Guest Starring Dain(s)

Hello friends. Over the past 7 or 8 months you've been visiting this blog to read the musings of a woman experiencing the joys (and pains...and nausea) of being pregnant. The lovely and talented Marie did her best to give everyone insight, from her obviously unique perspective, into the thoughts and feelings of a pregnant woman who definitely lives her life in her own way. Whether it was the Great Crib Argument, the Diaper Bag Decision, or the Cloth Diaper Husband-Persuasion (still not buying it, by the by), loyal readers have come to get to know my wife (yes, Marie is not typing this), myself (yes, Dain is typing this), and even a little about the personality of a little dude known as Boogie.

So, guess what?

Dang, wrong picture. Although not a bad one. Here we go:

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Dain Stanton Meyer III, the little guy once known as "Boogie" and henceforth known as "To Be Determined". He was born at 1:52 AM on October 25th, 2008 at Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva, IL. He weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz and measured 19 inches of length.

And he was 5 weeks early.

I'll have Marie fill in the details when either (a) we figure out the wireless Internet at the hospital or (b) she comes home, but needless to say, his arrival was a complete shock. Basically, Marie's water broke (unbeknownst to her) around 4 AM on Friday, 10/24. She called her doctor later that morning (like around 7), and the doc thought it would be best that Marie go in and get checked out. 20 hours, several bags of labor-inducing fluids, 1 epidural, and 1 c-section later, we have the man you see above (the little one with the full head of hair).

Little D (current frontrunner in the nickname sweepstakes) was born early, so his lungs aren't quite where they need to be. They had to help him breathe when he was first born (I felt terrible that Marie wasn't able to see him or be with him right away, but I'm glad she didn't have to see that), but eventually he got the hang of it and now, 33 hours into his life here on Earth, he's breathing just fine on his own. He'll probably need to stay a week or so before we can bring him home, but all of his doctors and nurses are pleased with the progress he's making (in fact, his pediatrician stopped by on rounds yesterday and wondered why he was in the special needs nursery due to his size and health).

Marie is also doing well...she had a pretty rough day Friday into Saturday morning, but agrees that the happy ending was worth it. She'll be in the hospital probably until Tuesday morning, at which point she'll be discharged. Knowing her, she'll probably spend about 5 minutes at home before turning around and heading back to see the boy. There are some unique circumstances she's forced to deal with, but I'll let her fill you in on those details.

So, he's here. Didn't want to wait a year to trick or treat, I guess. He's awesome: never cries, sleeps like a champ, and has the potential look of a billionaire Nobel Prize Winner / Superstar Athlete.