As 39 weeks faded into Full Term Forty, Ms. Adella Misunderstands the lack of progress in Friday appointments, falls into a spell, and nearly has her very own home birth, before a grand event and a changed world for the DINKs-no-More. A week of parenthood and nobody's dead yet... or are they??
Doobeeedooobeee Due Date
Haloo the Big Four-Oooooh.
I find the whole concept of "due date" strange. At least insofar as the "due date" is technically the apex of a range of likely dates. Meaning that only 50% of women give birth by their due date. Calling somebody "late" or "past due" when she's going with 50% of those who birth afterwards just suggests that at least we should revise that to "fashionably late to the labor party" if she gives birth in the latter half of the well-accepted window between 39 weeks and 41 weeks+6 days. I guess, technically medical sorts don't call "after the due date" late just yet. I'm ok to take this right up and abutting 42 to prove some kind of point here.
But, well, either way. We're arrived at "the big day!"
I am not currently in labor. That could change. Quite rapidly indeed. Or over the course of several hours to weeks. Who can say? Babies do not keep very organized schedule books and change plans quite spontaneously.
I feel like it's a milestone nonetheless - I am FULL TERM. And therefore it's PARTYTIME!!! Or "hang out at work until my upcoming Obstetrics appointment and then hang out at work some more time!!" Which is longhand for "party" of course.
At forty weeks, my wee one is pretty much baby-sized, although we can add one last watermelon or pumpkin to the mix.
I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to Halloween this year. Infant costumes! So many options! All so cute!! We were thinking maybe a bat this year, since we tend to think of her as a creature , one which is hanging upside down in my inner caverns at the moment.
And even if an infant is way too little to really participate in Halloween, having one is still an excuse to maybe actually celebrate myself. Maybe. If I'm not too terrified of goblin germs infecting my precious little incunabula. But new moms... costumes... I see potential for some kind of madness.
Speaking of new mothers and meet ups, I participated in my very first babysitting co-op experience. Kind of a sweet deal, really. Claudia - the other member of the group who is still pregnant as opposed to fully mommified - had offered to watch a baby in the group, but suggested it might be easier to have another mom. I suggested that two almost-moms makes a right and offered to co-sit.
Turned out that (1) baby Miles is ridiculously amiable, (2) Claudia is great with babies, (3) Claudia's husband Bill was also there and is also great with babies, (4) I basically got to sit around grabbing cute baby feet and being treated like a well cherished houseguest for a good two hours. All around, sort of a score.
I still suspect that babies ultimately like me a lot, but don't dig the way I hold them. Or maybe I just have a tendency to pick them up just when they're starting to fuss (and maybe bop their heads on their little mobiles while attempting to do so). Guessing I'll figure out how to do that better (or better my timing) when the beastie arrives and I've had more time with them. Maybe. Or maybe I'll just wrap our little baby to me as needed and allow Andrew to be the "other baby" holder.
At any rate, as of my but D-Date, I have a 9% chance of going into labor today. current probability of 7-8% for going into labor on any given day in the next week. And a 56% chance of going into labor within that week... So if by "due" we mean "do you really think you're ready 'cuz you'd better be" then I think we've hit it. Then again. That implies that there's a 44% chance I won't go into labor in the next week! Which is not entirely slim. Statistics how I love you and loathe you.
And ultimately find you irrelevant despite feeble attempts to garner a sense of control through predictability. Ultimately I'm just going to chill and see where the body oddities take me. And apply more cream to my thoroughly overstretched belly. Because it's getting itchy here!
Happy Friday all!!
Houston We Have a Watermelon!
We have a baby!
Chaya Lindsey Wright is 6.10 lbs and 19.5 inches and does not need around when she decides to be born. I was 9.5 centimeters dilated when I came in
After the due date check up I was certain we were a week out. I even had an ultrasund and stress test scheduled for the 21st. Just surreal how quickly it all happened.
I'd had a pretty uncomfortable evening on her due date. My mom can attest to an increasingly distracted mood as back pangs started to get more and more vigilant. Still I figured it was just a pulled muscle, and some irritation after the cervical exam. Assuming it would fade, I mostly tried to follow the books and keep distracted. The evening was fairly difficult, in that I woke at very regular intervals to experience these pangs, then would manage to drift back to sleep. Admittedly I started to wonder if this was at least false labor. But again, I shrugged and figured it was probably just some kind of bug or something.
In the morning, I was hell bent on keeping up with the day right until I had to curl up on the couch and yoga breathe between contractions. I even brought up snacks and coffee for a regular weekend morning with Andrew. Not that I could even sit in the bed with him, being so uncomfortable that I chose to kneel forward instead. Not being one to assume more than informed, Andrew hoped I felt better but didn't make too much of it other than to cuddle with me as I lay a bit on my side trying to ignore the discomfort. Later in the morning, Andrew decided to stay in because I said I just couldn't tell if this would go anywhere. He was down in the basement with his bikes while I finally started trying to time contractions. This was after my mom had dropped by to pick up some mail and became fairly certain that I was laboring. She didn't quite insist on this to me, but told me that she would be coming back soon. By noon, I wasn't totally sure I was in labor (crazy pain, yes, but since it was a back labor, I was sure it wasn't a contraction or that I was timing them wrong) until a bit before going in. At which point I was sure I was timing them wrong because they were coming at 2-3 minutes apart.
Andrew was a little dazed and confused when I texted him downstairs that we should probably call in now. My mom was already there and they got most of our stuff together before driving me in. A that point I was polite to the outside world, but mostly burrowed into my own head and just starting to moan through the pain.
Hour and half! Most of this was spent at pre-admission with me hunched over and moaning guttural warrior noises in the waiting area, and then almost collapsing in the triage bathroom unsuccessfully trying to (1) figure out the hospital gown, (2) produce a urine sample. Gave up on both and finally got checked with the gown tied around my waist! I was sure they'd tell me to go home and wait longer. Instead, the triage nurse said "huh I can't find the cervix" and they were wheeling me into delivery murmuring in awe at the rarity of it all and something about my pain threshold.
Nobody had our birth plan, but it didn't matter. I went on my hands and knees for a while at my OB's suggestion. All that talk about interventions, positions, soothing and being able to walk around... not super relevant. Sort of like most of our hospital go-bag, which wasn't opened until late last night (darn, and I made an awesome labor playlist too).
The nurse said if I felt the urge to push, I could go ahead, and I followed her recommendations. Pretty soon, she got a look on her face and said "whoooah, um lets try to hold off for a sec," and went looking for the doctor. Andrew helped deliver and I actually saw our little fuzzy coneheads coming out over the last several pushes! Daddy keeps saying things like how we "lucked out" and what an "easy labor" it was. Mommy begs to differ and points out the several nurses who passed by muttering things about pain tolerance, the popped capillaries in her eyes/chest/face, and the bruises on her legs where she held them back. Daddy gets a pass this week, but future proclamations about "easy labor" will maybe seek to recreate what mommy just went through here. Because it was fast and furious to say the least. But oh so worth it.
Now our lives have officially changed with no going back! Goodbye sleep, but hello overwhelming love and unfathomable adventure!
Into the Baby-Abyss! Homecomings and Happy Hormones
Despite some panic, hewing, hemming and double checking that this was indeed the properly tagged baby to send us out with, the birthing center released us into the wilds of Wrightlandia with our very own Chaya-creature.
The ride home was... somehow... easier than the ride in. Shorter. Less full of reality rending road bumps. And Andrew was no longer insistent on trying to ask his moaning Missus about how to adjust various settings on her car in a semi-snit of judgmental preference for his Pathfinder. Moanin' Missus also was not climbing onto the ceiling of the car via the hand strap over the window on the return trip, but instead staring adamantly at the little beastie in that ever so meticulously installed carseat.
And home. Home, sweet slightly ransacked and thoroughly upended home. We seemed to have left in something of a hurry on baby;s birthday. Or so I can surmise from the moldy tea on the couch, the inches of maternity detritus that had been thrown from the hospital bag on our way out the door, and the smoldering reek of the coffee that had been brewing into a solid ash of coffee that would make Turkish coffee seem effete.
Andrew conquered his first dirty diaper to be followed by several more. Fanfare and trumpeting has lent way to seasoned laughter as meconium evolves into the less clingy more colorful and certainly more prolific baby paste. In tandem with his diaper mastery, my birthday bosom arrived in swellings on Monday evening. It is now a buxom baby dairy just in time for little Chaya to turn ravenous boob Beastie. Nearly hourly feedings in Monday night's first home return and we have most certainly entered that peculiar limbo land of kid time.
For instance, we slept in yesterday but there seemed no reason that the day would not accommodate two recovery walks and at least as many mommy naps. In non-kid time there wouldn't have been. As it was, after formally waking around nine, we had almost made it out of several feedings at 11:30 when Molly texted asking if stopping by with little three month Lucy would be OK.
Ok we actually got out of bed shortly before she arrived when I rallied from my feeding stoop, located pants from a pile in the landing and decided that a baby in a boba wrap was more than sufficient as a shirt. We had plenty of time still after she had to go and pick up Emma. Plenty of time when mombossa came by with lunch and handily decorated the place in birthday finery while Chaya fussed over alternating boobs.
Plenty of time after we were left alone again. Plenty of time when Andrew changed a great poopy diaper. Plenty when he changed for a run and then took Chaya from me so i could locate a bra and a shirt. And we almost made that walk at 2:30... Which was inevitably when boob Beastie Started smacking her little lips and rooting until mommy took everything back off and sat back down and commenced the feed. Then there was napping rooting fussing time and another boob and it was three. We made one walk. Just barely before Chaya's first pediatrician appointment.
There had been grand intentions of bringing a diaper bag but we just managed to strap a diaper clad fusspot into her carseat, grab a onesie and speed on... Once the 4:30 appointment had moved past paperwork, it was, of course, time to feed again. And again after we returned home and grandpa Ian brought us frozen meals and witnessed Chaya debut her new trick- peeing on daddy once he's removed an offending diaper. She topped this last night by starting with a midnight diaper, peeing on daddy after he'd started the second diaper, waiting until she'd come back to nursing, and letting loose a rather juicy gastric fling into yet another diaper. She came back from this diaper a belligerent boob brute (all flailing arms and thrashing head) until after she'd spat up as well for good measure.
Last night continued the trend of "cluster feedings" with a few more dirty diapers for daddy and spit up for all (is it disturbing when baby spittle is the color of nacho cheese?) It's a pretty sure bet that Chaya's preferred evening involves boob-burp-snuggle-snooze-other-boob-rinse repeat. Some people have no appreciation for the awesome innovation of our awesome bassinet.
Mommy is sleep deprived and sore but still under the thrall of these wicked little bonding chemicals. However her English don't work too good for the talking here and now! At least she's mastered the one-handed cell phone use. So much for limiting screen time in front of baby!
Happy whatever day it actually is!
Wolverine Bandicoot and the Big Boobs of Abbadon
So mommy swelled up into a pretty decisive " guess none of my pre-maternity clothes are going to fit again after all " stacked and buxom. She is adjusting with the help of several sports tops, nursing bras, and lots of suspicious starting at her visage in mirrors. In response to this little birthday surprise, Chaya picked up her feedings. We're now at something like deranged badger baby. She is giving her daddy all kind of shocking diapers and baptismal piss-poo-spit up incidents. He's adjusting beautiful and we are both laughing about it... so far.
Except for one two hour spell yesterday afternoon (after which she fed for an hour straight), it's been "feed for twenty, pass out/poop/pee, move to next boob in a ravenous frenzy, and begin again" for the last thirty plus hours. I'm not saying it's her intention, but I do have to point out that these are sleep deprivation torture tactics. This morning I am feeling so relieved that she will occasionally give me a while forty minutes of straight sleep. It's a qualitative difference when you cross a half hour, truly.
I'm still not feeling the exhaustion as much as I likely ought to, but it's coming. So far my maudlin moments have mostly been of the teary-eyed (to outright dripping) moments of wonderment when the little tyrant is resting solidly between mommy's Monts Ventoux and I am getting so incredibly moved by her sheer existence. Yesterday morning, it was a thank you note to Dr. Cho (of Seattle reproductive) written one-handed with enough sniffles to wet both mommy and baby. See that sleep deprivation works. Definite Stockholm syndrome.
But yes. The new normal involves several little spells of twenty minute naps for a cumulative sleep of something I daren't tally. Because I'm on tap for some time, and its not likely to let up soon.
They call it "cluster feeding"although cluster f-ing mommy seems a little more likely. There's a point to the whole cruel cycle, so they say. Essentially, my breasts make as much supply as baby demands. We're very Keynesian, we post partum women. And demand is best felt through that lanolin lathered nip and owie. Since Chaya is on her way towards tripling her birth weight in the first year alone and is working from a poor partum deficit, all the suckling is a big old telegraph to mommy's body to make those Dolly Ps even bigger.
Don't know how such a little thing eats so much! But that complements some of her grander diaper table demonstrations in which I can't imagine how she produces such streams of yellowish fluids.
Incidentally, because all you can focus on say times like these are baby's main pursuits, new motherhood is also about the undying fixation on the magical mysteries under each little newborn diaper. And, yes, I will say things like " yay Chaya!"in full earnest when her daddy reports that her current diaper looks like Indian curry... That one kind that's yellow that he can't remember the name of. That maybe looks like - as some baby site put it - mustard mixed with cottage cheese! Yes, yes, Chaya, your baby book shall have reference to your fifty shades of crapola condiments, because although I'm batshit under your thrall right now, I still fully expect revenge on my future teenager... Never you worry!
This morning, Chaya is a whole five days old! It's so strange to realize that a week ago I was still pregnant and expecting to be so for some time. My belly almost immediately deflated after birth and I'm slowly regaining innie-status. As expected, I currently have the dreaded diastasis recti (basically the abs got separated and weak). When you have DR, you are supposed to avoid all motions that stretch or twitter the abdominals. That includes planks, yoga stretches, crunches, etc. Oh and heavy lifting. Meaning the last thing I should be doing probably is lifting up from bed in a jack knife holding our little baby. But there really is no other way to get her and me out of bed! Hopefully those abs knit back together. I had such a great core.
Of course I'm still recovering from the birth, which does a number on the body. My bathroom is a terrifying chamber of medical products.And using the bathroom is a complex protocol falling barely shy of CDC standards in the face of full scale outbreak. Despite walking for hours a day right up until birth, I'm not able to take more than a thirty minute walk without falling into extreme discomfort. It's weird being this inactive but since I'm on call to sit with the baby and the boppy so often, I guess it works out. My poor tush is not loving it.
Downsides aside, not being pregnant has its reliefs. There is that healthy beautiful child thing. The understanding that you no longer have to obsess over the coming labor. And flame ears have been quenched. Especially since I can't be very active, I've actually become the one who finds 77 degree rooms ,'not bad.' It was Andrew who suggested we hang it in the air conditioned bedroom yesterday! Granted it also helps that I've given up on clothing for the most part (a boba baby wrap IS a shirt damnit). But I've mostly left the fans off and the air conditioning in the bedroom is pointed away from me and set at 72. I even turn it off and open a window at night. My little boob beast was a thorough flame ball it appears. I also seem capable of sweating again, something that answered near the end if my pregnancy, perhaps cause or perhaps effect of constantly having and toweling myself with come water. It's strange either way
And sleep? Who needs that? Coffee on the other hand...
Enfamil Baby Crack and the Vitamin D-bacle.
Another day, another nonstop roller coaster rip roaring through the land of milk and "honey, Chaya made a nice stinky diaper just for daddy!!!"
The overnight viand vigil has persisted into day with some sincerely snoozy parents. Setting up for a very full (date I day engorged day)
Some were snoozier than others. Everyone advises the new daddy that since he cannot actually breastfeed, his early role might be to support the bosom bearer better than her nursing bra, doing all those things for her that she can't do while laid up with baby duties: grab her food and snack, help clean and cook, bring the baby to her... Naturally it stands to reason that "sleeping in an extra couple of hours... For her" counts as well.
But, no, as much as parental leave threatens to permanently undo all the work done to adjust hubba-hubby to morning personhood, it's best to have the cumulative sleep debt to the lowest possible minimum.
I did sleep in a bit, if such concepts as "bedtime" and "getting up" make any sense in this context. But I had a harder time staying in bed after so many conscious feeds and a well mustered appetite. Oh and Molly had texted me that she'd be dropping off big sister Emma at gymnastics and could drop by with Lucy around ten.
I planned to be up, dressed and fed by the time Molly arrived. Well laid plans. Of course the boob-Beastie had different designs on her morning. Just as I was about to wrap her on and start the morning, BWAAARP ... Fresh diaper required. I usurped slumbering daddy's usual role in the name of expedience, dealing diapers and strapping the Chaya beast into her boba before the inevitable post-diaper boob call.
She was not amused at this little jumble of lettering, beginning her new favorite head butting root by the time I'd located pants and started the coffee. I resigned to my fate before breakfast was finished, but remained able to at least (1) unlock the door for Molly (2) grab some lukewarm coffee. Chaya stayed pretty permanently attached during most of Molly's visit, finally yielding herself to the boba as Molly left and mombossa arrived bearing take out lunches and some extra grocery items. No that's an exaggeration. She spent a lot of that time thrashing, falling off, fussing over having fallen off and otherwise beating delicate exposed skin with her little knees.
She is not super sociable sometimes. I'm afraid Lucy might find her a dull playmate, but Lucy seems pretty able to amuse herself and any one else around her. Amazing that Lucy's only a few month's Chaya's elder. She is so qualitatively more baby and less newborn!
I should give credit, Miss Monster stayed tucked in her boba long enough for the first of Adella's oh so ambitious post-partum walks around the neighborhood and an actual ingestion of lunch!
I would pay for it later, of course, as we neared nap time and extra feedings stretched into the hours range, but shockingly she managed to stop long enough for me to head up for a forty minute nap (the indulgence!). This was a nap begun shortly before Andrew's dad and grandfather came by and a nap truncated when Andrew woke me bearing a thrashing little boob Beastie.
And that follow-up feeding session took roughly another ice age while Chaya spurned yet more of our guests to alternate between boob and diaper change. I did eventually get to come downstairs and see said guests. I even got a second walk on the trails with them before the evening's excitement.
Which was... Exciting.
So vitamin d supplements for babies. Our doctor prescribed the "new standard" recommendation. It comes in a bottle and is fed to baby with a dropper syringe. Other than the vitamin d, it is basically sugar (well glycerin) water. Despite my stated skepticism, we tried the surprisingly hefty dose after a feed.
The syringe of sticky D-goo emptied into a sleepy milked-out mouth. Within a taste, baby's eyes shot open and her little body jolted into a greedy consciousness. The whole dosage did not make it into her mouth, forming a preemptive drool down her tacky cheeks...
Straight sugar frenzy ensued. I expect to find our baby tomorrow covered in donut dust and freebasing Twinkies. Seriously, she was tweaked the frig out! For a good hour or two after the incident, our sleepy little milk guzzler was bug eyed and twitching. And she did not care for it. She spat up extensively at her post dosage diaper change. During dinner, she began to rock back and forth, root with a Metallica head bang, whimper, and try to scratch her way through her patent's chests towards yet another feeding after two more diaper changes.
Perfect timing for her first video chat with her grandma Lisa. Really our baby is not some kind of fiend... Ok she is but usually not this kind of fiend. She was too upset to eat for an hour or two, although she continued to try in increasing frustration. Finally I decided all that bashing and smacking was getting nowhere and we just went ahead and finished dinner with the little tweaker buried in the boba.
Thank god, she did start to mellow out. And eventually she was able to eat. A lot. Stress eating herself into a full on stupor. Though not one to leave well enough alone, she managed to make up for lost cluster feeds with a good hour of satisfied demands! and then by following me up to bed and demanding yet another hour of solid come-down juice.
Yes in my head I envision little Beastie floating towards me up the stairs, mouth first and leading D-drop spit up... Like ghostbusters or the exorcist (depending on how much sugar D is in her little system at any given time). In reality, daddy might have aided and abetted.
Following a long respite (just an eensy bit over an hour so maybe a full fifty minutes of sleep), I woke up to the murmur of stirring baby. As I emerged from the lower oceans of consciousness, a wet sensation on my right arm bloomed. Oh lord, I thought, did I leak? Drool? Oh no, a moment of semi-conscious panic, the baby! I've slept on the baby! In actuality, it was a piece of gum that had mushed into the milk stained pillows. While gross, no doubt, it is a fair relief and a sign that deeper sleep then those thirty minute windows are just asking for trouble.
She relented a bit this last overnight, giving me a handful of hour long breaks. Because all things are relative, I feel pretty darned energized and awake as a result. Going to carpe the heck out of this day. Well I will once the gremlin is done with this feed. Really.