Monday, June 30, 2008

Oy!

Jack, I'm afraid, is a colicky baby. Last night (and for the last three nights) I spent at least three hours tightly holding and rocking him, both of us sobbing uncontrollably, neither of us knowing what we needed for anything to be OK. I can't explain to you how heartbreaking it is for me to see him in such agony, without anything to do. We went through all of the baby books, tried different holds, hot water bottles, pacifyers, outside, inside, swings, etc.. When he finally calmed down- out of sheer exhaustion -we both slept for almost six hours straight. This morning he was back to his happy self, cooing and grinning, a perfectly sweet baby.

In other news, Jack had his first projectile spit-up on Saturday. And what a clever boy he is! He managed to get it all over my shirt, the back of my pants (I was seated), and between my toes. He didn't, in contrast, get any on him or his burp rag. Nice.

Also, pacifyers keep disappearing. We keep buying them and losing them. Either Casey Cat is playing a dirty trick, though I suspect he would rather Jack keep the pacifyers if it would stop the noise, or the same gremlin who comes in the night - the one that switches our sweet, serene baby for the unhappy, screaming one - is also a pacifyer thief.

I need to set traps.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shhhhh.

He's finally asleep. (exhale)

Jack was up all night, it seemed. Then he was up all morning and afternoon, and he was super mad. He seemed famished. I tried to feed him, over and over, if only to console him. We tried gas drops. I took him for a walk. I introduced him to plant life and flower petals. I rubbed the petals on his cheek to show him how soft purple petunias are. We sang. We danced. We rocked. And nothing seemed to work for long.

I tried to get the colic thought out of my head, and decided instead that maybe Jack is having a growth spurt. He is due for one, and he can't seem to nurse enough to be full.

But finally he is asleep and angelic. And I love him so much.

AND contrary to popular opinion, a Miller Lite and tube of Rolos are a perfect stress relieving snack.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Juggling

So last night around 3:30 a.m. I spent some time trying to teach Jack to juggle.

I wanted to give him a chance since he was about 5 minutes away from being sold to the circus..

In related news, we just survived a round of doctor visits, me and Jack. Mine was easy - I am healing nicely, the urine sample was much easier to manage without a belly in the way, and since I've weaned myself off of the pain meds that were making me ill, we had little to talk about. The only interesting moment was when the doctor asked about our plans for the next baby. After I caught my breath and wiped away the tears from the hysterical laughing, realizing that she was serious, I think I said, "Really? Oh. I don't know. We'd like to move to Europe."

This was puzzling to her. Observing her confusion I said, "I'm not ready to decide anything." She reminded me that nursing is not birth control, and it dawned on me what we were talking about. I've seen too many stair step babies conceived on accident in the months following a birth to be smug. OK, I didn't actually see them conceived, but you get my meaning.

And though Rich was in the corner biting his lip, I still maintained that I was in no condition, having had a baby two weeks ago, to decide if I wanted to be permanently sterile or not. I was handed a flier on different methods of birth control with a reminder about my "advanced age" v. baby having and am expected to make a decision by July 8th. That's in 10 days. (sigh)

Jack's doctor visit was a little unsettling. It began with the pediatrician telling us that Jack's age (2 weeks old) is his least favorite kid age (nice.), though he noted that 14 year old boys are a close second. He informed us that the hardest part of parenting was at our door step, that the colic stage was about to begin. He said that much to the dismay of all of the grandparents, we should not hold Jack all of the time; that Jack needs time apart from his Momma (especially when he screams); and that he is able to control one part of his body - he can hold, or really withhold, his poop which would, of course, make anyone scream. He said that we need to help Jack work on strengthening his ocular movement by putting him to bed in different positions, and we need to make sure that he has plenty of tummy time so that he can work on lifting his head and so that he won't need a head reshaping helmet.

Essentially we were told that our baby would soon be a monster - he would be inconsolable and our best method of defense would be distraction. Also, his skin would become scaly and peely and we would have to scrub him down periodically, without using baby soap - ever - since that would dry out his skin and make things worse.

The good news is Jack is gaining weight, which means the effort it takes to nurse him is worth it.

So there.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ick

Today we have to take Jack to get his heel pricked again for his PKU test. Can't we just run away to a country that doesn't require such tortures? Seriously. Who thought of this? He is only 12 days old!! I can't stand knowing that he will be hurt and he will scream, but I can't stand not taking him, too. I want to be there to comfort him, though I secretly believe that he will hate me for taking him, the start of a grudge list that he will mentally keep for the rest of his life. Let the mind games begin!

Honestly, though, it hurts me when he hurts and what's worse is I can't explain to him that it will be over soon. I can't take him for ice cream afterwards, and he doesn't even appreciate toys yet, so there can be no reward for being brave! . All I can offer is a shoulder to cry on and some breast milk - nothing new or special to him.

Maybe I should take myself for ice cream for braving Jack's PKU. Better yet, maybe I should steel myself with a pre-PKU glass of wine..
:(

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just so you know

Sometimes I am so glad that he is here - out of my body and here. And other times I can be in the same room as him and miss him so much that I can't get to him fast enough or hold him close enough.

Sometimes I look at him in wonder and can't comprehend how we created someone so beautiful and cool. And sometimes I look at him and think, "Holy shit. What have we done?"

Translation

Babylonian:
"B'hat, b'hat, b'hat, ooooh ummm, b'hat."

English:
"Momma, I love you. May I please have a snack."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Birthday

I suppose I wouldn't be me if I didn't share all of the gory details about the day Jack took his first breath. And really, who doesn't want to know about such things.. That's why, I suppose, they have the surgery channel. But I do think that Jack's entrance was one of those moments that was somewhat unusual. And anyway, we want to preserve the memorie(s) for posterity.

It was midnight when I started to really feel the contractions. At 2:00, I woke up Rich and asked him to start timing, though I didn't really believe that what was happening was labor. It was, after all, Jack's due date and what baby is born on his due date? Plus my doc told me that if I could talk through the contractions, they probably weren't real or they were those pesky practice contractions. We noticed around 4:00 that they were fairly regular, but I still wasn't convinced. I told Rich that I refused to go to the hospital just to have them send me home, and anyway, I wanted to take a shower - which I did - in case they admitted me so that I would be somewhat presentable, and he needed to take one too - which he did to appease me.

At 5:00 we were en route to the hospital - a route that I would not have picked, by the way. I decided to bite my tongue (between contractions) instead of pointing out that the faster route is to take Matlock to Cooper as opposed to taking the highway we were on.. But I digress.

We walked through the emergency entrance, the hospital not being open yet, and the nursing staff asked if I was in labor. I said, "I think so." They put me in a wheelchair and took me up to triage where they assessed that I was in labor and dilating. They would admit me and that was sort of a victory to me.

All was as expected UNTIL:

A nurse proceeded to perform an exam -- one that included her hand and a very delicate part of my anatomy. She jumped back mid exam and screamed. She actually screamed, an action, as you may imagine, that is neither expected nor warranted when someone is that "close" to you with her hands in delicate places. She then turned to her fellow triage nurse and screeched,

"Something grabbed me!"

I'm not sure what the response of the second nurse was, seeing as I was mumbling some dumb ass comment about delivering an alien and how ironic yet appropriate that would be. But the screamer replied, "Well, all I know is it wasn't a head. That baby is not head down. Call her doctor."

Panic.

All of a sudden, things began moving very quickly. Vitals were assessed, sonograms performed, needles inserted, liability paperwork signed (priorities!), and the next thing I knew someone was wheeling me into surgery, not having even told me what was going on. An anesthesiologist tried to make some hilarious jokes as he inserted a needle into my spine while others moved in a busy blur around me. Somehow I lost track of Rich and kept asking for him. Someone around me mentioned something about him putting on scrubs. "Arch your back like a scared cat" the anesthesiologist kept saying. I felt tears running down my cheeks. I heard various clicks, buzzes, and beeps. I saw Rich come into the room, scrub laden. I remember the iodine - it wasn't the right color apparently. I felt something akin to people folding towels on my abdomen, only I was acutely aware that there were no towels, only skin and organs. I heard a crying baby. I looked left, my arms held down, but tried to reach for him nonetheless. The crying was all I could focus on. It occurred to me that c-section babies couldn't be held immediately, that there would be no nursing and bonding right off.

After all of the stitches and staples, and crying and praying, they finally put Jack into my arms, only to take him away again so that they could discuss what to do with me. There were no rooms available, so they would have to send me to a different recovery room, called PACU. I wouldn't be able to have Jack or Rich with me there. I would have to stay there at least two hours.

And there I was. Alone in PACU. Having had a whirlwind of a "procedure". All I felt was exceedingly empty. No baby. No husband. Just sterile walls, and if I looked up and out the window, moving clouds. I had the thought that it must be a windy day. Jack was born on a windy day. And I missed him so much that I could hardly breathe.

Fortunately, the time in PACU passed. The nurses had mercy on us and broke the rules; Rich was allowed to come and see me. He reassured me that Jack was OK, though he hadn't been able to hold him either. Eventually they wheeled me into a private room and brought Jack to me.

And it was a most beautiful, miraculous moment. Though I knew it was a reality, I hadn't, until that moment, realized that I was actually going to be a momma. And here he was - Baby Jack - gorgeous and perfect. And I am the luckiest person in the world.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A New Beginning

Baby Jack was born on a Wednesday, the most important Wednesday that ever was. His personal secretary.. er memo taker.. scribe?..personal biographer!..(I mean me, his Momma)has made it part of her life's mission to accurately record milestones of little Jack's life so that all of the PawPaws, MeMaws, Grand Schmobs, and Grandys (aunties, uncles, and friends) can participate in the goings on. Plus, I figure that this can double as (yet another) mommy blog where I can record all of my cheers and (certain) foibles of being a first time mom.

This is a site under constant construction, as mirrored by life, and as it comes into being, please enjoy, be distracted by, or completely ignore Jack's film demonstration on how to be 6 days old:

video