Saturday, October 14, 2006

10/14/06 3-hour intervals

Yay! Yesterday's all-day wakeups and fusses turned into a stellar night, with baby waking up every 3 hours or so, and going right back to sleep after nursing.

Our first truly pink thing: another "Aunt Helen" blanket. Aunt Helen sent us one from Land's End for Gabriel years ago, and it was my favorite blanket. So now another one for Katrina, and with her name stitched on it! It's so soft, I love it. I took some photos to include in the thank-you note I must write soon.

We attempted a family photo session, but the boys were being impossible. The best shot Ryan was able to get didn't include Gabriel. But Ryan got lots of other fabulous shots, as usual, and with a very old Canon point-and-shoot camera. Just goes to show, it's not the equipment, it's the operator.

To my surprise, taking Katrina outside doesn't instantly turn off the tears as it did with her brothers. Nor does motion. We went for a short walk today with Katrina in the carseat/stroller, and she cried until she fell asleep. I assumed the moment the fresh air touched her face she'd relax and look around at the sky. Nope. It's amazing how every baby is so unique from the outset, yet the newborn stage of life is when people have the most in common too.

Finally got a shot of baby smiling in her sleep. So sweet! I had a lot of opportunity to catch the smile reflex on camera since she slept a LOT today. I'm apprehensive about tonight. I don't mind her being awake, but awake and crying is no fun in the middle of the night, and so far most of her awake time is spent crying.

As brand-new-newborns go, so far she's the hardest of the three, but I am experienced enough to know that doesn't mean a thing. It's all ages and stages, and each kid will present his or her own challenges at various times in their lives.

I'm a long, long way from physically rehabilitated, but absolutely thrilled that I can do things like sit curled up on the couch, bend down to pick things up without swooning, change direction won't be long before I'll start exercising again. I can't wait!

Fingers crossed for tonight...


Friday, October 13, 2006

10/13/06 Katrina stays awake

Not a bad night, as they go...two three-hour stretches of sleep for me, not that bad. Then the usual long sleep in the morning, rudely interrupted by a pediatrician visit. 6 lbs 14 oz, gaining, not as fast as they like, but nothing to worry about.

Today though...ouch! Since about 1pm, Katrina hasn't slept for more than 45 minutes at a time. She's clearly tired but keeps waking up after falling what appears to be soundly asleep. I don't nurse her every time, it just hurts too much, and I know it's not hunger since she doesn't always finish a bottle either. As I type, it's 11:30pm and I know I only have a few minutes 'cause she's going to wake up any minute again. I just hope she's getting it out of her system during the day, and will let us sleep a little tonight!

I carried her in the sling today for the first time, which she didn't like at first, but after an hour or so she finally fell asleep. Then I put her down and gave my back a break, but of course she woke up 15 minutes later. Laura and Ryan got her to sleep a few times, more easily than I could have, but once again, wakeup just a few minutes later.

We went for a walk! I actually walked around the block, then to Starbucks (where aunt and uncle gush over their beautiful niece). I couldn't believe how easily I got out of breath, and had to walk slowly, and I feel achy now, but it was so worth it. A taste of freedom and of my newly liberated body! But it sure has a ways to go before it heals completely.

Julian a big pest today, but got some comfort from Aunt Laura after being banished from the dining room ... I forget why now, was it spitting, smacking the table, banging his fork on a glass, screeching? Could be any number of things.

Gabriel was an angel for most of the day, until nighttime when he hit Julian in bed, spit at me when I scolded him, and only caved in when he ended up banished to the garage. That kid is absolutely unbelievable in his willingness to field any punishment given him just to prove a point. But I should emphasize: he was really good today overall.

The boys are having a great time with Aunt Laura and Uncle Ryan, as are we!

And thank you to my friend Sandy (who also has a daughter named Katrina) for a wonderful dinner! I can't believe what nice and generous friends I have.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

10/12/06 Gabriel, Julian and Katrina get a visit

Laura and Ryan are here, yay!

Baby had me up all night long again, refusing to stay asleep for more than an hour at a time, and often less. After finally calming her, getting her to sleep and putting her in the bassinet, she'd wake up crying not 15 minutes later. This went on from 8pm in the evening until 9am in the morning, when she settled into a deeper sleep. And stayed so until 2pm, including through the racket of Julian's music class!

I plugged in a monitor in the room we're staying in (me, Dave and Katrina), which involved some crawling under a table, reaching for things, getting up and down off the floor and various maneuvers. While they're still difficult, slow and a little painful, at least I can do them now! That awful pregnancy is starting to become a far-away memory.

Oddly, I almost don't want this time to pass too quickly, I guess because I know it's one of those amazing times in your life that you'll look back on as being ... well, amazing. It's hard to believe I'd ever look back on anything about my third pregnancy with fondness or nostalgia, other than perhaps the swimming. But I guess in retrospect -- now that I have one -- it was an amazing time, if not in a pleasant way. But with a very, very positive outcome.

Katrina slept soundly all day again, and is looking to start her antics again of waking up 10-15 minutes after we finally get her down. Please, not another full night of that!

No photos today.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

10/11/06 Katrina gets a bath

I'd forgotten how quickly a newborn's hair gets greasy. Besides, it was time for a quasi-bath anyway (we can't immerse Katrina until her cord falls off). She does not like this process! But consoled herself with a thumb afterward, though she didn't know what to do with the rest of her fingers.
After a nice visit with Lacy (who brought us a huge baked ziti and a whole bunch of adorable girl clothes from Gymboree, thanks again!), Katrina took a nap, with a blanket given to us by Sara and Saul (thanks too!). Her hair was so fuzzy and cute, though hours later it was all oily again.

Recently I tried to show Gabriel how to tie his shoes, in steps. Julian took great interest too, especially the first part where you cross the laces and put one end under the "tunnel" (before the rabbit-ears part). I wondered if Julian would take to shoe-tying more, as he tends to engage himself in fine-motor-skills sorts of things more than Gabriel does.

Well, this afternoon, Julian spent a good half hour tying his laces (the first 'X' cross that is, not the whole thing) again and again and again until he'd made a giant knot! Goofball.

Gabriel had another drop-off playdate on Tuesday (yesterday) afternoon, this time with Gavin and Cassie (thank you Stacey!). After great concern and excitement about Gavin's plastic, instead of wooden, train tracks (a GeoTrax set), Stacey managed to wrest them all away to the park to ride bicycles. They had a great time together! She said it was all she could do to keep up with them, but at least she was able to get a few pictures.

Ugh, the night doesn't bode well. This entire evening has been spent nursing Katrina every half hour, between which she sleeps fitfully for 10-15 minutes, then wakes up acting starved, rooting and crying inconsolably and won't be settled by any of our usual techniques -- except feeding, for a while. This cycle has gone on for hours tonight.

I just gave Dave a bottle to give her, which she sucked down immediately and is now snoozing peacefully in Dave's arms. But then, 15 minutes hasn't passed yet. Is she getting enough from me? Me and my "girls" are getting paranoid again.

Katrina knows me now though. If she's crying and Dave's holding her, when I take her she calms down immediately, at least at first.

One odd consequence of having a girl after two boys is that we have to get into the "she" and "her" pronoun habit. Even today, Dave referred to the baby as "him," and I've had to stop myself doing that too. Stacey told me that she and Scott did the same thing at first with their daughter. I guess you associate the pronouns of the sex of the first baby you have with 'baby" in general.

Argh, I hear baby-wakeup noises again. I'm never going to get to sleep tonight!


10/10/06 Katrina's due date

Gabriel...our meticulous little boy. Above is part of his "homework" -- he completely freehanded those words himself. He's slow, but very very precise, which is what makes him slow. I'm impressed his writing has gotten this good!

And the train track...sort of a yin/yang thing. I guess he saw a pattern like that printed on a train-track mat at Quinton's house and then reproduced it at home.

He also noticed that "Katrina" has 7 letters.

Meanwhile Julian likes to eat raw broccoli stems. He was supposed to be helping me with dinner by throwing away the parts of broccoli I cut off (my family is spoiled by nice bite-sized florettes). Instead, he chows it down.

And Katrina...who does she look like? It's hard to say. She reminds me very much of newborn Gabriel, the times she's alert and not crying, though toned down to one-tenth. Her alert times are far shorter (Gabriel from Day One with his hour-long concentrated alert times), but her expressions and faces remind me very much of her older older brother.

I was watching "A Baby Story" on TV, and was amazed that she responded to the sound of another newborn baby crying (by calming down and seeming to listen for it). I remember being surprised when an 8-month-old baby recognized other baby crying sounds, but a 5-day-old? I should know better than to underestimate babies by now!

We have to remodel our kitchen. The counter only fits four plates across for serving.

Night is not looking good, baby keeps waking up 5-10 minutes after putting her down asleep, and this time just after giving her a solid ounce of milk via bottle -- I've played my trump card for the night, now what?!


Monday, October 09, 2006

10/9/06 Gabriel's jeans

I made an incredible find on eBay: a pair of size 4 Slim jeans for the ULTRA-skinny kid. The seller even said she's selling them because to her amazement, the waist was too small for her super-slim boy. I smile knowingly at such statements, because I have yet to run into anyone with a healthy boy who can match Gabriel in the skinny department. And indeed, the jeans fit him beautifully. How nice to see him in pants that are long and slender enough for once. He looks like such a regular kid. Unfortunately, it's an obscure brand ("New Legends") that isn't easy to find. But if you do find some, snatch up as many size 4 Slim as possible!

Gabriel suddenly has decided he wants to pronounce "sp." Out of the blue, he went from saying "soon," "sider," and "sot," to "spoon," "spider," and "spot." We can't figure out what prompted this change. Most likely, he just decided to do it. When will he do that for night-training?

From an article in the 10/8 Sunday NY Times Magazine: "The concept of yetser hara, the bad impulse within us that is a source of passion and an impetus to creativity, and the yetser tov, the good and proper impulse." Applied to children, this says that "your child's worst trait is also the seed of his best traits." That's Gabriel to a T.

The boys absolutely love seeing their new baby sister, almost too much. It's all we can do to keep their fingers and faces out of her face. No jealousy at all, just far more interest than a newborn baby can provide, as she's not awake all that much. In due time.


10/9/06 Katrina goes to the pediatrician

I had such an amazing moment last night, prefaced by a really bad one. I tried pumping breastmilk, and was barely able to eke out a watery 1 ounce. No wonder Katrina had been crying and rooting after nursing, and her diapers were nearly dry -- I'm starving my baby! I irrationally felt terrible. Of course I know that my baby isn't going to starve, but the most fundamental thing a nursing mother can do is feed her baby, and it seems I wasn't.

After my disheartening pump attempt, she woke up and I nursed her. Then soon after, she woke up crying and rooting again. So I gave her a bottle with the meager ounce that I'd pumped. And she sucked most of it down in about a minute! Poor hungry baby!

Then she looked at me. Really looked at me, first with crossed eyes, then a furrowed brow. Then she looked at me for about 15 minutes, actually smiling about 3 times. It was amazing. I know the smile was just the classic newborn reflex, she does it in her sleep too. But she wasn't asleep, she was looking right at me. She even tracked my face with her eyes if I moved back and forth. It was the first time she was alert and happy with me. If there's an actual moment when a mother falls in love with her new baby, this was it.

But is she getting enough from me? I was glad we had a pediatrician appointment today. And all is well! Dr. Zetis was wonderful and warm and reassuring. Katrina's put on 2 oz since her weight dip at the hospital (from 7 lbs 2oz at birth to 6 lbs 10 oz 24 hours later), up to 6 lbs 12 oz. Her color and demeanor are excellent. Dr. Zetis agreed that perhaps she should have had a breastfed-baby BM by now, but Katrina took care of that later in the day. So all looks well. Whew!

The simple joys are returning to my life. I'm still tender from surgery, but healing steadily and thrilled that I have some mobility back. I actually took a shower today - a real stand-up shower! I had some tea. I had some apple slices. I stepped over things without having to lift my knee up with my hand. Soon I'll be able to concentrate on the important things in life: baking, making Halloween costumes, going to the park; rather than my day being completely controlled by pain management. Hooray!

Katrina gets a LOT of comments about her beautiful hair. It is a lot of hair, long in the back, and very fluffy. Odds are it will all fall out and grow back differently, of course. Oh yeah, I get to live through that joy again -- postpartum "bangs." Yippee.

I love this photo because I caught her with the adorable crossed feet that fames her younger older brother. I didn't catch on camera the adorable "whistle face" of her older older brother, I'd forgotten about that! Newborns are so amazing.

Maybe because it was such a good day (starting with a good night, a great pediatrician's visit, a nice visit with Stacey, a very happy non-fussy baby, and Dave doing all the little-boy care), but it struck me today that I am so glad I have three children. Already I can't imagine it any other way. Check in with me on that the first time I'm alone with all three!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

10/8/06 Katrina gets visitors

Last night was better. Katrina was still awake for much of it, but in the first part of the night we got some sleep.

I see a bad pattern emerging in which she wakes up and roots heavily, seeming like she wants to nurse, but then only nurses for a few minutes -- just enough to fall back to sleep. Then 20 minutes later, same thing. This is not good. For me, it just makes me very, very sore. For her, she isn't nursing long or well enough to get the good stuff, I think. I haven't seen a lot of wetness in her diapers, the real indicator. She nurses a lot better when it's been a few hours, as I can hear her swallowing. But what else do you do when your newborn baby is crying and rooting?

Today we had a nice visit from Sara & Saul (2 months old), then Tonya and her kids, and Kristi (who delivered us a yummy chicken casserole that we had for dinner -- thank you!), AND we talked to Bonne Maman on the phone. Whew! Katrina slept through all of it. A busy day.

Still, I think the visit she liked the most was the one with her older brother.

Gabriel was very cooperative about washing his hands and then sitting quietly while I got Katrina on his lap, where she was very content, and actually awake for once, for about 10 minutes.

After I took her back, he said he'd wait there in case she wanted to sit with him again. Awww!

Mom always said she loved fat baby legs. Not here! Katrina's legs are skinny, skinny, skinny.

We're bracing ourselves for a long night.