Thursday, August 31, 2006

What NOT to do with your 20 day old baby

It appears that Sophie has mastered the art of the quarter roll. Lying on her back, she throws her arm down over her tummy and rolls onto her side. She has being doing this for ages. Well, ages in the life of a 3 week old, which would be about 2 weeks. Until last night though, she always ended up right back on her back as she came up just a wee bit short of fully being on her side.

I lay her on the sofa as I always do, and went to get her sleeper off the other sofa. And then I heard the dreaded sound. THUNK. Followed by a second of silence and then the loudest scream I have heard out of her yet. When I turned around she was on her tummy on the floor. Yikes.

I think that all of my children have fallen off the couch at one time or another. But never at 3 weeks. Needless to say I was feeling terrible. She stopped crying the moment I picked her up and for the next two hours, everytime she fell asleep I would get all worried and eventually wake her up. I thought about calling the Healthy Beginnings number, but decided that I was being a complete eejit. When I took her up to bed I had a hard time falling asleep and kept touching her stomach to make sure she was breathing. She woke up at 3.30 and I was so happy she was alright that I wasn't even bothered by the fact that she woke up and hour and half earlier than normal. She ate and went back to sleep and I kept her in my arms. When she woke up at 7.30 I fed her while lying in bed, the first time she has done that. And that is the second best thing about breast feeding...not having to get up to feed. We then had a lovely lie in until 9.30 when Saoirse woke up.

She has been fine all day, no problems for her fall. It was our first Britney Spears moment with many to follow I am sure.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A little thing that freaks me out

I think she was 6 days old in this picture. I thought I would be so great at remembering the dates and whatnot but since I am currently lucky I remember the names of all four children (but not necessarily calling the right child by the right name) the chances of actually remembering dates is slim to none. The date is set on the camera, but I have no idea how to retrieve it. So I just think she was 6 days old. But she could have been 7, as her one week photos immediately follow this one. Ack! Tis driving me crazy! Must figure out camera.

But on to what freaks me out.

Sophie falls asleep in my arms. Like most mothers, I am sure, sometimes I just sit and stare at her. Sometimes, though, I read. It is the only chance I get these days. She quite often opens her eyes a wee bit and I watch her eyeballs roll back in her head. I know all babies do this, I assume that we all do it in our sleep. But it totally freaks me out. To the point where I make sure the phone is near by so that if I have to call 911 I can do it quickly.

Stupid? Yes. Irrational? Totally.

In my head I know she is fine. But every single time she does it I think of a girl I was friendly with years ago. She had a little boy, Matthew, back in October of 1998. I visited with her in the hospital the evening of the day he was born. She was eager to get home the next day as they had a 2 year old daughter she was missing. I said that I would take every moment they would let me stay. That's just me, I think, I rather enjoy being in the hospital. Excluding the fact that youget no sleep it's actually rather peaceful.

She went home the day after Matthew was born and all was fine. The next morning, at around 7.30, when he was exactly 48 hours old, she was holding him in her arms when his eyes rolled back in his head. I can not remember what else happened to him for her to know there was something wrong, there might have been something, there might not have. I only remember her saying "His eyes rolled right back in his head" as we talked on the phone, both of us crying. She called her husband, they called an ambulance, they tried to revive him on the kitchen table. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. I often wonder if he would have survived had they still been in the hospital.

Anyway, this is what I think of everytime I see Sophie's eyes start to roll. I know it's not going to happen to us, but I can't help thinking it. And every time she closes her eyes, and continues on with her steady (and somewhat noisy) breathing, I myself breathe a sigh of relief.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Time flies

This has not been the best week. I'd forgotten how hard it is with two babies, let's all be thankful I am not the mother of twins because chances are I would be on the psych ward right about now. I honestly don't know how those mums do it. And, yes, the dads too. I am not trying to be gender biased here, but I'll assume most dads are out at work and the mums are at home.

Sophie has decided that she is no longer willing to sleep on her own, in the cot right next to the bed. She'll go half the night, but once 3 or 4 hits and she wakes up, she ends up falling back to sleep in in my arms. Which equals two not so skinny adults, one toddler who kicks her father in the back all night and a two week old baby in the bed. Not so much fun really.

We are both suffering from a lack of a good nights sleep and unfortunately we seem to take it out on one another. I wish we were one of those couples that never said a nasty word to one another. Although I'd not trade him for the world. I just have to learn to brush off the bad moods. His and mine.

I had my home help in on Wednesday. She took Saoirse and Taylor out and Sophie and I slept for 3 hours. It was fantastic! She's due to come two times next week. She says she will make meals, so I might take her up on that. I may have said before that there is nothing I hate more than cooking. She was quite nice, it seems like an interesting job, she works with all sort of people; from seniors to new mothers to child welfare cases. I was starting to wonder if there was another reason as to why she was visiting me, other than c-section/toddler scenario; perhaps the maternity ward had actually charted my minor breakdown? Who knows. Anyway, she visits teen mums, new immigrants and drug addicted mums among others. It wasn't until she said something about a teacher "like you" (as in the c-section/toddler scenario) that I realized I was not being watched for some massive case of post partum depression or something. Hmmm...perhaps they should be watching out for a massive case of paranoia.

Sophie had her 2 week check up yesterday. She weighed 8lbs 8oz at it, which I think is a bit high as she did not have a new nappy on, and there was probably a bit of weight to the one she was in. She was marked as a healthy 2 week old, and won't need to be seen until a week after her 2 month shots. She wasn't officially discharged from the hospital, or so I had thought. Usually a doctor will come in and talk to you, and all of the others were checked out by a doctor in my presence, but Sophie was looked at by a resident while she was in the nursery I assume and he did not come in to talk to me. I didn't know this until the doctor showed me her chart. I was a bit pissed off about it, not to talk to the mother seems not a great way to practice pediatric medicine. Taylor had hip dysplasia and had to wear a Pavlik harness for a few months. It was caught at that first check by the doctor and if I had been more together on that last day in the hospital I would have questioned why I had not seen a doctor in regards to Sophie. I guess I can finally throw that harness away, I have saved it all these years in case I ever had another baby with dysplasia and now there is no need for it. It was $130 11 years ago, I hate to think of what it would cost now.

Blah...I have gone on, haven't I?

On to the cute...Saoirse seems to think that since everyone else can pick Sophie up, she must be able to as well. Right now she is content to just put her hands on either side of her while someone else does the actual picking up but today she did manage to pull her down the sofa a wee bit so it looks like we'll be keeping a close on her. Sophie is the queen of the dirty looks, I am trying to get a picture of it, but have not managed thus far. She furrows her brow and just stares at you, I wonder what goes through her head. Today she looked directly at Liam when he talked to her. She had to lift her head and roll her eyes up to do it, as she was lying in my arms and he was at my side. It was very sweet. And that's about it for cuteness this week, other than that there's a lot of crying and pooping.

She's a pleasure though.

Sleeping, and not in my arms!

A comparison with Cookie Monster, Saoirse's big sister gift. Either he's very big or she's very tiny.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Weight and See

I took Sophie and Saoirse over to the health clinic about 6 blocks away from our house. They have a program for newborns called "Weight and See" which you can use until the baby is 8 weeks old. They weigh them, obviously, and help you out with breastfeeding or whatever. Sophie weighed 8lbs at birth and was 7lbs 9oz at 3 days. Today, at 12 days, she is 8lbs 3oz. They were pleased with this as they expect them to be at birth weight by 10 days. I had no questions about breastfeeding, although she still doesn't have the perfect latch, but it isn't hurting and obviously she is gaining.

I booked her shots on my way out. They are scheduled for October 11th. Poor baby, I feel for her already. I was going to have Saoirse weighed as well as I think she has suddenly put on a lot of weight but that could simply be because she seems giant compared to Sophie. Needless to say, she was in no mood to be weighed.

I am supposed to be having someone come out to the house for 3 hours tomorrow afternoon. This is another program offered by Capital Health. Because I had a c-section and have a toddler at home I am entitled to 15 hours home help. They will come out and clean or watch your kids. I don't know why I said yes, I am not one for making converstaion with strangers, plus as I pointed out to her I would have to have my house clean prior to her arrival, not have her do it. She said "We don't like to see a clean house, then we know you've been doing too much." My main floor is fine, God forbid if she were to go upstairs where not one of the four bedrooms is completely unpacked. So I really have nothing for her to do. I don't want her doing my laundry, Saoirse would not stay alone with her so that I could nap (and I would LOVE a nap) and I have nothing else to be done. I don't have a number to cancel it though.

Other than that, all is well with the baby, she is actually sleeping on her own which is astounding as most of this week she will only sleep near me during the day. Mostly doing well at night, slept from 9-4 last night and again from 4.30-8.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Loving Sophie

It's been a week. I have fallen madly in love. There were moments throughout this pregnancy when I wondered if I would resent her because the timing seemed so terrible. I wondered if either William or I could love her as much as Saoirse. There is a Family Circus strip from years and years ago where a woman asks the mum how she divides her love amongst four children and she says "I don't divide it. I multiply it." How very true this is. I can not imagine my life without her. And I'm even glad she's a girl.

I do wish we had called her Aisling though, or Caoimhe, or something that did not start with an S because I am constantly caling her Saoirse. The poor girl will have a complex. Plus the whole name is so very, very English. Which pleases my mother to no end. And should pacify my grandfather somewhat when he finally finds out about this as yet unknown of eighth great grandchild.

I'm thrilled with how well the others have taken to her, especially Saoirse. We expected a lot of jealousy but she has been pretty good. She always gives Sophie a kiss and hug when she goes out or up to bed. She is still Daddy's girl though and we will have to see if she lets Sophie join that club.

To our lovely Sophie....happy 1 week birthday. We look forward to the next 51, and all the weeks after that.

The first picture is at one day old.
The second is Sophie at 3 days with a comparison picture of Saoirse at 4 days old. See how much bigger Saoirse was in the face?
The third was at 6 days, they both fell asleep on the sofa and were looking pretty freaking cute. And yea, I know the sofa's a piece of crap. Ignore it. I am aiming for leather, which is at least washable.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My baby does the hokey pokey

Well, alright, Sophie doesn't do the hokey pokey. You might get Saoirse to put her left foot in or something and she will definitely shake it all about. What Sophie can do, though, is get up on all fours while lying on her tummy.

What she can also do, and what quite thrills her very tired mummy, is sleep through the night. Yes, my daughter slept through the night at 4 days old. She slept from 10-5, woke up for a feed and nappy change and was back asleep by 5.30 and did not wake up until 8.45.

I have probably cursed myself for saying this. Other than the first night when she was awake from 2 until 6am she has been a pretty good sleeper, but really she is only 5 days old and 4 good nights might mean nothing. But still, I'll take that 7 hours. She fell asleep at 9 tonight so here's hoping she goes until at least 4.

My three girls.

I find it a little hard to believe I am actually posting a pic of myself, there's something about letting the real you be seen that is a wee bit nervewracking. Of course, if I were a skinny wee thing I'd be sticking photos of myself up on a daily basis. Anyway, this is the first picture of all three of my girls together. I have a few taken of all 6 of us but either I look like total shite (yep, worse than that!) or Liam has his lips pursed like he is some rapper. Awful.

Crap, I just previewed this and I really do look like a fat slob. With massive bags under my eyes which are even worse now, since I have officially slept only 15 of the last 117 hours. I pray to God I normally look a bit better than this. Rather, a lot. Ah feck it. When I come to my senses I may delete this post, but for the moment I'm saying the girls look cuter than I look shite.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

So English it's frightening

Sophie Victoria Lily arrived at 11.29 am on Thursday, August 10th. She's quite lovely but I am her mother and therefore honourbound to say that. But even if she wasn't mine I'd still say it. She's the image of a newborn Saoirse, just leaner and with more hair. She's 8 lbs. and 20". When they held her up I said how tiny she was, I figured she only weighed about 6 lbs. The moment they pulled her head out she started screaming and has done so quite often since. I asked for a dummy as she sucked for 4 solid hours from 2-6 am the first night and then again from 11.30-3 on the 11th. It helped, as she slept way better. I did not. I figure I have slept 9 of the last 88 hours. So needless to say I am fairly miserable at the moment. I spent an hour crying at the hospital and they wanted me to stay another night because of it. Ah no thank you. I am sure that the health nurse will bring it up when she comes by tomorrow. I have much more to post about the whole experience but will leave it for another day.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Almost here

It is almost 5am. I think I slept less than 3 hours tonight. I will have a shower shortly and then wake up William.

Although I am no longer dreading today I am still not happy with the decision to have her today. I will always wonder if she would have arrived on her own time if we had waited another week. Probably not. Though it seems I can get pregnant easily enough it appears that my body has a big X on it when it comes to giving birth. Oh well.

I have to be at the hospital by 7 and my surgery is scheduled for 9.30. So in 5 hours I will have another daughter. Who I think we actually have a name for. One thing I was not at all prepared for was that my catheter will be inserted before I receive the epidural. Um, yikes. My friend tells me it is uncomfortable, but not painful. With my negative pain tolerance it is essentially one in the same. I have watched old ladies scream during the procedure and that's what will go through my head.

My friend Shelley called the hospital last night to find out who the NICU nurse scheduled for my surgery is. She says I have a very nice nurse, and she asked that they put down that I am her friend. Hey, I'll take anything I can get. It always helps to know people and to know that they will keep an extra eye on the baby should it be needed is a great thing. Of course, she should be fine. I would have loved to have had Shelley be the one who was there, but crappy timing...she's on holidays. Her cell phone bill will be mad, she's been calling everyday to find out what's going on.

Anyway, better shower! God, I'm nervous.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Birth Day: 10 August, 2006

I had my doctor's appointment today. I gained a pound and a half. I don't know what my blood pressure is...this new girl tells you nothing. I could check my papers but that would mean walking all the way over to the front door and my bag.

Wait, that's what 11 year old daughters are for. 128/72. Nothing to worry about. I am sure it is sky high at the moment as the rest of the appointment totally stressed me out.

William came with me today, along with Saoirse. He thought she looked sad as he left the house. He's a sucker for a pouty lip apparently.

So I see the doctor. Baby has not moved a bit, cervix is still pretty much closed up.

"I really think we should induce, Emma."

"I'd really like to wait."

"The longer you wait the more difficult the labour will be, the more likely you will end up with another cesarean."

The same conversation we have had the last few weeks.

I look at William. No support there, I am sure he can't wait until my pregnancy whinging is over. "Let's do it."

"Do I have to be induced? Can't I just have the section?"

She'll have to see how busy they are at the hospital she says.

I was to get dressed and wait in the waiting room.

Right away she tells me it's currently scheduled for Friday. This is not a terrible thing. It will be Saoirse's 21st month birthday. I have to fill out some forms.

As I am filling them out she comes over to say that it will be the Thursday. She fills it on my form. 10-08-06. "That's interesting." she says. Sure, I guess whatever you can take.

I am devastated. I said to William that if he hadn't of been there I think I could have said let's wait another week.

Why didn't I? This is my life and my body and if I want to wait until I am 12 days overdue to give birth can't I? The baby is healthy, still active, I don't think she is the concern.

I will tell you why. I am a wimp. I am afraid of authority figures. I should have said no.

All I want to do is cry.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Still no baby

It's true. There is not a baby. It appears no baby has any intentions of arriving. Perhaps this pregnancy is a figment of my imagination.

The chafing however is not.

As my stomach has grown slightly larger than normal (read hugely larger) and my boobs, never perky at the best, have gotten slightly bigger it appears that boobs and stomach have decided to meet and hang out together. My skin is not enjoying this meeting of body parts at all. My bras are in revolt and are refusing to allow me to wear them. Unless it's absolutely necessary and I have to go out in public. Although wearing one yesterday was such a terrible experience that I took it off as discreetly as humanly possible in the middle of a croweded park.

So I am begging this baby to arrive soon so that my stomach can go back to its somewhat flabby state, but at least it will be away from my breasts.

Plus I'd kind of like to see her.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The biggest myth of all: Childbearing hips

Pre or post pregnancy you might say this about me:

a)Look at that voluptuous girl with the lovely childbearing hips; or
b)Look at that fat bitch.

Yes, I am a fat girl. I openly admit it, though I do find the word voluptuous much more appealing. Because although I may be slightly overweight I do have a very hourglass figure. My only blessing I suppose. Minus the tummy that has carried four children.

Growing up, even when I was thin* I had hips. My aunt used to say what a breeze it would be when it came to giving birth. Hah! I think childbearing hips were meant only to keep that child comfortable in utero for as long as humanly possible. As in 40+ weeks. Why would any baby want to leave the roomy nest my hips provide? Foolish that would be.

I actually was starting to believe this child might decide to arrive completely of her own volition. I have been having painful contractions and great difficulty moving once I am in bed. I don't recall either happening before and why not assume any difference during the pregnancy may lead to a different sort of birth? In fact I am so desperate for any difference that I am going to reveal something that I would never normally talk about. Cover your eyes if you don't want to hear about my bodily functions people. I have, for the last 2 days, been the queen of bowel movements. Constantly going. Tis terrible. Wondering if this was some sort of sign I looked it up on the handy internet and I came across some British site. It took me a while to find because in England apparently a bowel movement is called a bowel motion. Anyway, it said that it is often one of the first signs of natural labour as the cervix and part of the bowel share common nerves. So as the cervix becomes more active the bowel is stimulated causing faster movement of food and and more frequent, looser bowel movements. Now aren't you thrilled to know all that about me? My doctor said it could also be a sign of the head dropping further into the cervix, but not necessarily that I am about to go into labour.

The doctor's appointment was alright today, a longish wait as when I got there she had just left to go to a delivery. I read 2 magazines...Chatelaine and Macleans. Both from June, so not terribly outdated. My blood pressure was 122/78, not bad at all and I gained half a pound. When I got into the room the doctor came in before I even had my pants off. I am sure I looked like an eejit going down to cover up, as really she has seen mine and many others many, many times. I have gone from measuring 39 to 37, and the baby has dropped to -2 station. I might even reach 0 by next week. I am 1 cm dilated. She asked if I still wanted to wait and I said yes. I was not at all ready to go into the hospital tomorrow morning. I haven't even packed a bag. She wanted to see me either next Tuesday or Wednesday, a sign to me that she will be suggesting induction for Thursday or Friday if the wee miss has not yet arrived.

In my current frame of mind (which, granted, can change at any given second) I am willing to wait this child out for another 15 days.

Oh my god, in 15 days I will have a child. Yikes. At a maximum I mean. August 18th is baby's deadline. Who knows though? I could go into actual, real labour with broken waters and all tonight.

Or not.