Saturday, October 07, 2006

10/7/06 Katrina's first all-nighter

Ugh...not a good night. Baby awake and unhappy ALL NIGHT LONG. Nothing I did worked, and I got desperate enough to try putting her in the car and driving, and even giving her formula (which she didn't take, and I'm glad, I was completely irrational and incoherent by then).

Finally around 5:40am she settled enough that I could rest my head, and at 7am I was able to lie down....until 1pm this afternoon! So much for waking up babies to nurse, I was way way too tired. Still am. I'm the stereotypical new mom: unshowered, in PJs, hair a mess...but I'm not a new mom!

I did have a few minutes for photos. Here she is finally sleeping on our bed this morning (a brief moment of awakeness then zonk), then in the carseat in the afternoon. Actually, she's been sleeping all day and is impossible to wake up. But I'm going to try again in a moment.

Reminder to self: Julian did the same thing, I got no sleep for his first 3 nights. Ironically, the only cooperative newborn we had was Gabriel.

Peggy's here entertaining the boys and will help us with dinner.

I also think I'm getting thrush, so not what I need when I'm trying to calm a relentlessly squeaky newborn.

The boys absolutely love seeing and touching her. She doesn't reciprocate the sentiment yet.


Friday, October 06, 2006

10/6/06 It's a girl!

Introducing Katrina Ruth Doudna, born Thursday Oct. 5th at 5:55am at Community Hospital of Los Gatos!

Her brothers were very happy to meet her, talking joyfully about "baby sister" and both remembered her name. Gabriel got pretty mad when we wouldn't let him hold her and demanded to know why!

It would have made perfect sense for me to stay in the hospital one more day, since the soreness from the postpartum surgery makes it very hard to get around and lift things, let alone take care of little boys and baby. In fact, if Peggy hadn't been available, I would have stayed another night.

Ironically, we originally chose this Los Gatos hospital because of its relaxed "rooming-in" policies, but I ended up making liberal use of the nursery this time. I sent Dave home, and slept as much as possible the night Katrina was born, with the nursery nurses attending to her every whim instead of me. There was one constant disturbance though: a baby crying! The nerve! The walls are thin, and I was privvy to all the activity of the family next door, which included a whole lot of newborn crying. That, of all sounds, is one I can't tune out, even when I know it's not mine. The combination of noise and basic boredom made me want to finish recovering at home, where there's only noise.

Katrina has already introduced us to some common baby follies we escaped with the first two. Such as: gas. You can hear her little tummy rumbling about, and burping her actually produces burps (though not enough). Her nursing is mostly inefficient nibbling, and her brief alert periods are spent crying. That includes a high-pitched squeak which I think might be pain from gas, but I can't say yet.

The few times she's really opened her eyes and looked at things, she takes on a look of horror, especially when looking at my face (quite understandable right now!). Her furrowed, focused brow is exactly like that of her older older brother, and her newborn face shape and dark grayish eyes are also reminiscent of Gabriel. Let's hope she doesn't take after him in other ways -- one is enough!

SO many people have sent us well wishes and congratulations, which are so appreciated! It will take me days, if not weeks, to respond to all (and you know me, I want to!), but in the meantime it's heartwarming to receive so many genuine expressions of joy on our behalf. You all know this has been a hard road for us, and we are so, so glad to be moving on the next stage, and so grateful that the next stage is being ushered in among so much support from good friends and family.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

10/5/06 2-5 min

short, intense, erratic but start every 2-5 min
breathing heavily to break it up
want the epidural NOW
Kevin's on his way
this could be it
wait, a moment of I just want to go to sleep.
if so it'd be one heck of a false alarm
nope it's back OWWWWW

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

10/4/06 A makeover

This blog looks different now. I changed the template to one with longer lines. Any trouble viewing, let me know.

I look different now too. I got a hair trim today, breaking my usual once-a-year trend. Shorter is a little easier to deal with swimming, though that "should" only matter for a few more days. Really, my grand visions of myself with a slim, lithe body and looking stylish and confident includes shorter hair. Besides, I always get compliments from the haircutters and I could use the ego boost right now. Of course, it's in their best interests to gush over any customer, I'm no fool. But they always correctly observe that my hair never undergoes any treatments. It's apparently quite rare to run across a 43-year-old woman who's never permed or colored her hair, and doesn't use any products or appliances, even at a place that serves almost entirely men and charges only $8 per haircut. Inexpensive shampoo and conditioner, air dry, ponytail, a 15-minute cheap cut every year or so, that's it. For now. When the grays really take over, vanity will trump sloth.

The various encouraging signs I had been getting of impending baby have all seem to have faded. I was getting hopeful it'd be soon, but that this point, I have a bad feeling baby is going to hang in there until due date. Wah.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

10/3/06 39 weeks

Doctor's appointment today...all normal. At next week's appointment, if there is one, I'll undergo a sonogram and nonstress test to make sure we don't have an amniotic fluid volume issue again. My belly is measuring 37cm though, so there's no urgent concern as there was when I was at this stage with Gabriel. Next week's appointment is on my due date -- at that point, Baby# will actually be late!

I have such wonderful friends. Five of my mom friends have already brought us wonderful meals, and I've been making use of them! Shopping and cooking is really challenging, and completely impossible with round ligament attacks (which I'm sorry to say have resurfaced tonight). My friends are also really good cooks. And so generous. Thanks all!

I really don't like this new trend of kids' pants with "adjustable waistbands." They just don't work. The elastic is too flimsy, and they don't adjust well. i just got Julian three brand-new pairs of size 2T jeans from Old Navy, and I'm going to end up giving them away. I have to "adjust" them way, way down, but not only do they still fall off him, but then they don't flex enough for him to pull back up himself! To make matters worse, it looks like all Old Navy kids' jeans have this feature now. I'd much rather have the old-style elasticized waist all around. And if Old Navy jeans, usually fairly slim, don't fit Julian, then it's a hopeless cause for Gabriel, whose proportions are even skinnier. Old Navy does have "slim" sizes for boys, starting in boys' size 5, but I know better than that. Gabriel's butt is still barely a toddler size 3T. Trouble is, most 3T jeans are too short for him.

Gabriel had a long playdate this afternoon at Quinton's house. I am so grateful to Lisa! I dropped him off at Quinton's house around 1pm, and Lisa offered to bring him home. I told her to bring him home whenever she needed, and she ended up keeping him for dinner and bringing him home around 7:30pm. Wow! She said they Quinton and Gabriel played a lot together, though she did comment that Gabriel is indeed quite focused on one thing. I asked Gabriel if he had a good time and he said, "Not with Quinton, though!" -- right in front of Lisa! Geez, rude kid. Gabriel claimed he didn't like that Quinton likes to wrestle, though Gabriel wrestles all the time with Julian so I don't entirely believe that. And much of their playdate was spent playing togethe with toys (like Legos and a gear toy). I need to do more playdates, including here at home, so that Gabriel gets more one-on-one interaction. Certainly I owe Lisa a playdate!

It so happened that today, Julian sang and putzed around upstairs instead of napping, so not having Gabriel around until bathtime was perfect timing. Dave went to Tuesday Dinner tonight, so it was just me and Julian for dinner. I almost got a feel for what it'd be like just have one child -- so different! Indeed, the moment Gabriel got home, both boys got way rowdy and I was back to bark-instructions mode to get them through the bedtime process (which, incredibly, I succeeded in completing by 8:00). But then when they're calm and I read them a book, it's so sweet to have them on either side of me. And they were happy to see each other.

Stacey commented in email today that she's forgotten what it's like to have just one kid. That hit me -- soon, we'll forget what it's like to have just two. It seems SO far away, but at the same time, it's not soon enough!!


Monday, October 02, 2006

10/2/06 Mom has a great night

What a rare treat! I actually slept great last night. That's what a miserable pregnancy does: so many bad things have happened to me that things like poor sleep become secondary issues -- but they wouldn't be if that's all there was. Last night, I wasn't restless, I got right back to sleep if I woke up, and was actually relaxed all night. What a difference that made getting up this morning.

I should list the things that haven't bothered me in this pregnancy:

No sacro-iliac dysfunction, pain or problems
No sinus congestion
No nausea or vomiting (severe gastric issues, but not these)
No swelling
No serious problems (gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, incompetent cervix, premature labor, anemia, preeclampsia, bleeding, need for bedrest, etc)

In fact, for a while there, I was told all the time how "cute" I was pregnant (nothing's "cute" at this stage though). I never heard that with the first two. But I was hearing it every day, along with the comment that I'm "all baby." It's true that I'm carrying much differently this time, with my belly sticking straight out, and not many changes to speak of elsewhere. The rest of me has slimmed out quite a bit, actually. I'm down to a net weight gain of 18 pounds from my first pregnancy weigh-in at 5 weeks (though I started out heavy for me), putting me at the same weight I was at with my first pregnancy at this stage. Tomorrow I'm 39 weeks along, and I'll get weighed again. Something tells me my recently renewed Starbucks habit will manifest itself!

Dave and I both think we made a mistake with the color of our new closet doors and the surrounding trim. Photo: on the right is the current color: white with white MDF trim. What we think we should have done is paint the doors the wall color, with the wood-stain trim (poorly mocked up on the left with my meager Photoshop non-skills). Just what we need at the tail end of a remodel, and a baby due any day: changes.

Mom asked me today about how I felt about a boy or a girl, and if I felt any advantages to a girl (of course). But though it's not rational, and certainly not relevant, it's just easier to imagine having a boy again, because boys are my day-to-day reality. A girl seems like just a theory right now, as any baby does before they're actually here, a brand-new twist to life that's impossible to truly envision until it's tangible. Boys, on the other hand, are a constant, completely present and real to me in the most mundane and immediate ways. Neither Dave or I have any strong feelings one way or another about the sex of the baby, but it's far easier for both of us to picture another boy, naturally, because our lives are all about little boys right now. And that could get flipped on its ear at any time now!

I realized today swimming (which is when I get my best thinking done, as my mind is liberated from my body) that this pregnancy has physically isolated me. I can't hug anyone, not well. I'm constantly assuming a defensive position if anyone gets close to me, prepared to ward off any contact that will create pain or pressure. At night, if Dave snuggles up to me, or even so much as rests his hand on my shoulder, most of the time I push him away, unable to handle any more sensory input. If the boys need a hug, I brace myself, wince, reposition them so they don't push on me, and end the contact as quickly as I can. How awful! Of course, when the baby's here, I'll be in physical contact with another body all the time -- famine, then feast. But at least then I'll be able to really hug my family again.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

10/1/06 A strange night

Last night I woke up around 4:30am, feeling a distinct cramp. I was very restless, couldn't get comfortable, was alternately too hot or too cold, and every time I started to drift off, I'd feel another cramp. They were all accompanied by the nasty hard-lump feeling of a Braxton-Hicks contraction, so I wasn't convinced labor was starting...or was it? Could it be?

Unfortunately, no. I finally drifted off to sleep around 6am, was awaken twice more by the crampy sensation, and then it all went away. I did feel yet more pressure in the pelvic area today, and am increasingly uncomfortable walking and standing, if that's even possible. Well, minus the round ligament pain -- that trumps all discomforts and pains in walking or standing. But none of that since Monday, I think -- thank goodness!

I took the boys to Erin's birthday party today, a sweet affair in which Kristi hired a mobile petting zoo. They set up a fenced area with rabbits, pigs, and goats; and have a pony to ride too. The boys were mildly interested in this, but quickly got distracted by the fun play areas, including a slide setup and a playhouse.
It was interesting watching Gabriel interact with the other boys -- well, mostly boys, plus Gina, as usual. I was chatting with Benny (Lisa's husband, and father of Quinton), when I saw Gabriel push and knock over Quinton. I've never seen him knock over another kid. Benny said that Quinton had pushed Gabriel too, so we went over to scold them for pushing and make them apologize. Quinton said that Gabriel said he wasn't going to be his friend, something Gabriel says often. I told Gabriel that sort of thing isn't nice to say, and Benny told Quinton that while that's not nice, he can't push. Both boys apologized.

But we both knew it all fell on deaf ears, and it wasn't long before conflict over a ball turned into a multi-kid pileup. I was told later that Gina and Gabriel had teamed up together, and were either taking the ball or defending it from another team. All normal play, though we have to instruct our kids not to hit or push, intervene when it gets out of control (after the pileup, Lisa confiscated the balls, to everyone's relief), and otherwise just let it happen. For the most part, they all played pretty well together. As is so often the case, the running and ball competition was all boys, plus Gina -- who's also the tallest and heaviest of the group. I've never seen the sweet birthday girl, Erin, in such a fray!

Gina was so sweet and kissed Gabriel good-bye, then he ran back to give her a hug, then Julian had to also...though both Betsy and I were anxious to sit down in our cars (she's pregnant too after all), we were glad to see this little lovefest.

I'm actually starting to lose confidence that I'm ever going to have a pain-free day again. Will I ever get used to this heaving, lumbering body?! I'd better, 'cause I'm starting to think it's going to be like this forever!