Saturday, August 30, 2008

Three Weeks, 2 Days - This Too Shall Pass

The thing about newborns is this.

They're cute little bundles of chaos.

And I am not a chaos person. I thrive on routine, predictability and at least a little bit of control. It's not so much that I get overwhelmed by the many, many feedings, the fussy, gassy periods or the middle of the night wakings. All those things I expect and know babies just DO. It's that a person like me likes a PLAN - a plan to manage the day (not a schedule, just an order) and a plan for handling each little issue that arises.

But babies don't work in order, and they don't stick to a routine. They do things randomly (it seems like, anyway) and with little to no warning. Peanut's favorite little trick on me is that IF he's done the same thing at the same time for the past three days AND he recognizes in me a tendancy to begin relying on or feeling confident about his doing it again the fourth day, he MUST then not do it on the fourth day. He must do things very differently on the fourth day, so that Mama stays off-kilter and wary. And tired. For that is what tires me out the most - not the getting up 2 or 3 times a night, but the not-knowingness. The inability to predict. The life on the razor's edge.

And I know it doesn't last long. Things get easier and more rhythmic. I remember that. And I tell myself, "Just take it a few minutes at a time. That's the way to handle this period of time without getting tired and frustrated. Accept the reality of now and live in it flexibly." And sometimes I can and do and it's all good. But without warning my brain wanders out into the hours ahead and tries to hatch a plan. After we finish this feeding, he'll drift off to sleep for two hours, like he did yesterday and Thursday. And then I'll take a shower and get Bean ready for the day and we'll have breakfast and then it'll be time for him to wake up again and I'll feed him and then we'll all go for a walk to the playground.

And then I feed him, and in the middle of eating, he gets gassy and needs to poop and he cries and winces and I try to burp him and he can't burp and he keeps wanting to suck to help him poop but that doesn't help and then he gets hiccups from all the sucking and milk and he still can't poop and the "predictable" 30 minute feed runs into an hour, and then an hour and half, with burping and attempts to poop and crying and rooting around angrily and before I know it lunchtime's nearly upon us and we haven't had breakfast.

Or he feeds beautifully but instead of drifting off to sleep he remains wide awake and alert and peaceful as long as I HOLD HIM. If I try to put him down to take a shower or get dressed, he falls apart and wails pitifully, so I'm forced to just sit and hold him, which is fine in theory but still leaves Bean unattended and unfed and still in her pajamas, and me as well. And in less than two weeks I'll be needing to have Bean and me dressed and fed and out the door to get her to preschool by 9:30 AM. And I try not to project into those days (take it a few minutes at a time, I remind myself) but I can't help wanting to work us toward that goal a little bit at a time over the next days. It's my nature to want to have things organized and be prepared for what's ahead.

It's the age-old baby problem. It won't last long. I say, trying to make the simplicity and truth of the statement bring peace to my soul.

I just wish the me-ness of me didn't make behavior so fleeting and normal for my little man so frustrating and leave me feeling so completely out of control and behind.

I wish my own human limitations didn't cause me to sometimes rush away these early days with my tiny baby boy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

3 Weeks, One Day - Milkin' Honey

I feel like any day now I'm going to be able to sit down and write Matthew's birth story. In fact now, more than anything else, it's just the time factor vs. the "I have things to process" factor as has been the case up to a few days ago.

On the breastfeeding front - here's a funny thing! I remember reading and hearing while I was nursing Bean that other women could just THINK of their babies, hear them cry, see a picture of them or even just smell an item of the baby's clothing and their milk would let down. It never happened for me, of course! You could have stuck Bean herself up my left nostril with nothin' but her feet left stickin' out and I'da still been sittin' there affixed to my pump as it sucked away for a hour, producing nothing more than a bucket of sad tears.

But, dude.

Now all I have to do is think of the PUMP, and my milk lets down.

I do love that pump an awful lot, though.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2 Weeks 5 Days, On Breastfeeding So Far


Today started out so great - all peaceful and happy with bluebirds lighting on my shoulders and little woodland creatures dancing around me and my two little babies. We all woke up in great moods and I was even able to deliver everyone his or her hot breakfast beverage of choice, including Peanut, who nursed in bed, snuggled up with Bean and me.

Bean and I took a bath together while Peanut had a little time in his bathside swing, then we got dressed and all went down to the kitchen, Peanut asleep in his swing (a first!) and Bean and me all set for a great breakfast. We emptied the dishwasher and made breakfast and finished eating it just as Peanut woke up. Then I fed him again, got him dressed and cleaned up for the day and Bean and I brushed our teeth and we headed out with Peanut in his front carrier for a walk to the playground.

We managed a full HOUR AND A HALF of walking and playing at the playground and came home in time to feed the boy again, at which point he SHOULD have been ready to go down for a nice long nap.

But no. He remained awake until just a minute ago (3:15 PM!). Which messed up Bean's chance to go back out and play, my chance to have a minute to myself to rest and think and write a few of the 962 thank you notes I need to write.

Oy. It's a good thing I'm taking things 10 minutes at a time or I would be at my wits end right now.

Anyway now both kids are finally asleep. Peanut is on his TUMMY, which makes me a nervous WRECK, but he's been sleeping for 15 minutes without waking, which is better than he's done all day long so far.

I wanted to write about breastfeeding -- how it's gone from day one to now, because I want to capture how miraculous (mostly) it's been for my boy and me. How REDEEMED I feel because of the experience and how grateful I am to God for this second chance.

Matthew was born at 8:57 AM on Thursday morning. Unfortunately I don't know for SURE what time it was when I was out of recovery from surgery and holding my baby for the first time, but Al says it wasn't much more than an hour, if even that. I have little recollection of exactly what transpired when I DID hold him, other than that he didn't leave my arms again for HOURS after that, and he nursed for at least an hour on each side after he first latched. I also remember many of the nurses and medical staff looking at us together and commenting on how beautifullly we were doing with the latch and my holding him -- that we both seemed like "pros" already. When they'd ask about his feeding times and durations, I told them about the one-hour-on-each side thing and they were amazed. It didn't seem like a big deal to me, though - I was just lying there with him anyway, might as well have him nursing, right? And he was game, so we just kept going.

I nursed him off and on all day that day, for nice long stretches of time - maybe 30 minutes each side every two hours or so, and the rest of the time he was in my arms. Each time he nursed I would get a rush of sleepiness and doze off comfortably. Those moments were bliss! But then someone else would come in for another check of our vitals (Matthew left me briefly for each check, which I believe were on the hour for the first 12 hours or so but always came right back to me and was offered the breast the minute he was in my arms.)

By midnight, he'd fallen into that cry, cry, cry mode and since Al and I were both completely wiped out by then and I'd had major surgery, our nurse asked if she could take Matthew for a few hours to weigh him, bathe him and do his hearing screen. I acquiesced somewhat reluctantly and tried to sleep, but was unable to do so for more than 15 minutes at a time. He was gone for four hours, and by the third hour I was feeling very worried and wishing they'd bring him back so I could nurse him, and worrying that they might be giving him formula.

When he returned to my room, though, they assured me he'd had his bath and gone immediately off to sleep without so much as a pacifier and had slept the rest of the time he was gone. He was awake when they brought him in, though, and nursed well on both sides then dozed off again, as did I, briefly.

The second day (Friday) found Matthew a bit harder to keep awake, but we nursed when we could and he remained in the bed with me all day long except for some brief moments when Al or a nurse held him or changed his diaper. Still groggy, I didn't do a great job of keeping track of how often or how long he nursed, but apparently the staff asked me and I kept them informed of his eating activity because on day three the lactation consultant showed me his chart and pointed out that he was doing very well with his eating and his wet/dirty diapers. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday night was a bit of a repeat of Thursday night, with Matthew leaving me around 1 or 2 AM to be weighed and then staying in the nursery to sleep for awhile so that I could sleep as well. I would have preferred having him near me, but with him in that tiny hospital bed and me unable to move easily on my own, I couldn't sleep for fear I'd hurt him somehow. I was very worried during the longer separations that we weren't doing what we needed to be doing (nursing every two hours per Jemma's plan with Jove) to get my milk flowing properly.

Which is why, on Saturday, when I was finally feeling a bit more alert, having had several meals and plenty to drink and a SHOWER, I requested a breast pump to augment Matthew's nursing schedule and keep things going if he had another super long sleep or two that night. With the pump came the lactation consultant who was brusk about certain things (she seemed displeased that I had my laptop with me at the hospital), but completely reassuring AND very knowledgeable. I overlooked her bruskness and listened, which was tough for me to do, but since she clearly knew her stuff, I forced myself!

She helped me pour over Matthew's chart and all of his feeding times and durations and diaper changes, etc. and watched him latch and nurse and pronounced that we were doing EXACTLY what we needed to be doing. She said I didn't need to pump, but that if I wanted to, I could, and she left me with the pump and a kit (it was a Medela Symphony or something like that and it was AWESOME). She also instructed me to get a Medela Pump in Style ADVANCED pump and some Playtex Natural Latch bottles, nipples and drop-ins, all of which she wrote down for me, which is good because I was forgetting Matthew's NAME off and on at the time, such was my sleepy/groggy state. (Al went to Target got those things Sunday right after he brought Matthew and me home from the hospital. The Medela pump RULES. I'd recommend it to anyone.)

That day, Saturday, I could feel a change in my breasts and could see cloudy milk beginning to tinge the colostrum I was feeding Matthew. My milk was coming in. I remember telling Vera (the lactation consultant) that I figured it'd only be another 24 hours or so before Matthew would begin getting a nice little flow of milk and colostrum with each feeding, and she seemed to agree with me.

On Saturday night, I was prepared to finally get some sleep, somewhat easily allowing Matthew to go off to the nursery for his evening weight check and some sleep. I was comforted by my conversation with the Vera and feeling confident and capable and a bit more relaxed.

Unfortunately, that night's weight check revealed Matthew's weight had dropped 8% since birth, and my night nurse came in with him just an hour after she'd left and started talking (calmly and sweetly) about supplementing with formula.

I nursed him quietly, worried and crying, feeling so defeated and alone and so much like I remember feeling with Bean - that "here we go again" feeling that just took me somewhere dark and miserable immediately. After he ate, I called the nurse back in and she brought the hated bottles and formula and we painstakingly attempted to feed Matthew 15 ml of Infamil, which he flatly refused to drink. Inside I cheered and worried simultaneously.

I nursed him again on one side briefly and pumped on the other side and then away he went to the nursery. About 45 minutes later I was still awake and worrying about my tiny boy and just wanting to see him, so I dragged my aching self out of the bed and slowly staggered down to the nursery to look at him. He was sleeping away soundly and my nurse came out and brought me inside to be close to him. When he heard my voice, he immediately reacted, so I moved away to keep from waking him. The nurse told me she'd gotten him to take 15 ml of Similac with a different nipple, plus the tiny bit of milky colostrum I'd pumped for him at the end of his last nursing session, as well. I was mad he'd taken the formula, but glad he'd gotten my pumped goods.

When I walked out of the nursery, my nurse came with me. She knew I was worried and upset and sought to reassure me, and her sweet, gentle tones just loosened something inside me and I began to cry. There was so much going on inside me that had nothing to do with Matthew - this darkness and fear and defeat still left over from being so sad and stressed about my experience with Bean - I was back in that place again and it all just overwhelmed me. I cried and she just hugged me and said, "Don't worry, Megan. Don't worry. He's fine and this is not something to beat yourself up over - you're doing a great job. You are not to blame - it's all perfectly normal and he's fine!"

I went to bed but didn't sleep the rest of the time Matthew was gone. He was back in my room again and nursing when the pediatrician came in early on Sunday morning and she commented on his weight loss but said, "Oh, we don't really worry about it until a baby's lost 10% of its birthweight. He's doing fine."

Well, okay then.

Matthew had been born on Thursday weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz., and at midnight the night before we left to go home (Sunday) he weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz.

My milk REALLY felt like it was on its way in by Sunday, as I was very firm and full and could pump a little bit of milk if I tried - not much, but some. Still, we planned on supplementing him and took bottles and some formula home with us that day. I nursed him on demand all of Sunday, and he had very little interest in the formula after each feed except one time in the late evening, when he downed the entire 15 ml that Al fed him.

Monday my milk was fully in and I was leaking through breast pads and making wet spots on shirts every time I went longer than 2 hours without nursing. Letdowns were sharp, painful and long and I already knew things were very different from when I nursed Bean in our first few days. I knew this time Matthew and I had hit the proverbial motherload!

Tuesday at 10:15 AM we took our boy in to see OUR OWN pediatrician. She pronounced him beautiful and perfect and only slightly jaundiced and my beautiful boy'd already gained 6 full ounces, weighing in at 7 lbs. 10 oz.

I cried when the doctor told me what a great job I was doing and how beautifully he was gaining.

The week following that appointment my milk continued to let down nearly every hour and I could get 3 ounces each time I pumped if I just waited an hour and a half since Matthew had last eaten. Matthew nursed well as long as I fed him one side then changed his diaper before giving him the other side (if I didn't do the diaper change he was too sleepy to feed the second side). He pretty much emptied both sides at every nursing session, which were between 2 and 4 hours apart. If he slept 4 hours at night, I'd literally wake up soaked to the skin through nursing pads and clothing, sticky, wet and proud of myself. I still wake up that way, and I'll buy 50 pairs of pajamas and 90,000 breast pads before you'll ever hear me complain about it!

The formula went back in the cabinet, where it has stayed ever since, leaving his total formula consumption to date a mere 30 ml, and I built up a supply of breastmilk in the freezer with my 3 oz. pumping sessions at least once a day.

The following Monday, August 18 when Matthew was 11ish days old, Al and I took him to see Dr. Bettancourt again, and my beautiful, healthy, greedy little boy weighed 8 lbs., 4 oz. -- he'd gained a full pound in less than a week.

Since then, I've had a few scares. There are times now when Matthew cries and cries and roots around for the breast and latches on only to struggle and pull at me angrily as if he is unhappy to be there. Of course my first fear was that he was hungry and there wasn't enough milk for him, but after watching him pull off time and time again with a milk mustache and beard, and after leaving immediately to go pump and get an ounce or more from each side, I've determined he's not unhappy because he isn't getting enough. It's that he doesn't WANT anymore milkies! He's full! He just wants to suckle and enjoy closeness with his Mama, but he can't because she keeps making milkies and he doesn't have anymore room for it! So now he's using a pacifier here and there, which I don't love but seems to help him settle without getting too stuffed or having awful hiccups or spitting up great floods of milk.

Nothing's perfect - the boy has a really hard time with burping and sometimes takes forever to poop. His tummy is very finicky and hard to get right once it's gone wrong.

But his mother is making plenty of milk for him and for all his wailing over his gassy tummy, he's never had to wail over being hungry.

I pumped last night because at our 10 PM nursing session he could only finish one side, and then he was too full and sleepy even after a diaper change to do the other. So I pumped the un-nursed side.

Guess how much milk was there?


On one side.

It's a miracle. And I am so happy and thankful.

Mothers to be: Keep that baby in your bed with you after he or she is born (which means you have to stay in bed, too!). Nurse, nurse, nurse those first 48 to 72 hours. Do it. It's worth it. Get a lactation consultant to check your latch and your baby's sucking and swallowing and just keep working on it, and you will be rewarded.

And please, PLEASE do NOT listen to anyone, ever, who wants to tell you you can't do it. You can't make enough milk for your baby.

It's not true. You CAN do it. You need support, positivity, rest, time with your baby and plenty to eat and drink. And you CAN do it.

We all can.

Don't give up. Don't be defeated. Do your research and believe in yourself.

We were made to do it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Twelve Days Post Partem, Another Peanut Nurse-a-thon

OY, people.

Is it too late to go back to the hospital?


I'm fine, just really, really tired out and looking back at the past 12 days in a bit of a daze. My mom left a few hours ago with Al and Bean to go to the airport and then home. Which is fine - she was a huge help with the cooking and household stuff while she was here but it's time for us to start easing into being just the four of us, now, and I know my Mom needs to get home and get on with her own life in her new home.

But I could really use a day or two of bedrest and pampering, I think.

Peanut has been such a great little baby so far. Really different from Bean, although probably the difference is in ME moreso than in my two children. Peanut's had the benefit of a mostly calmer mother, a better start to breastfeeding, and even a sweet big sister to swing by occasionally to kiss and hug him.

I have so much to say about these first days - about this amazing emotional transformation I've been through since Peanut was born, about how incredibly happy I've felt, how much more ME now, in such a short time. There's almost a sense of enlightenment in my thinking, as if a blinder's been ripped from my eyes after nine months in virtual darkness. And it's not all about the physical discomfort of the pregnancy ending because really the end of the pregnancy was fine, physically, it's just the CLARITY with which I can now truly see the depression I was in, and how deep it was, and how completely it had pervaded my life and my thoughts. I have no real explanation for it other than, well, "Hormones!" I just know that now, comparing my feelings today with those I had two weeks ago, even, I am hardly the same person at all. I feel like I owe everyone around me a huge apology for being so down and lethargic and just ... pitiful.

I want to recount every minute I spend with Peanut, and with Bean and Peanut together.

I want to talk about breastfeeding - how much better things are but how even now the smallest little issue sends me crashing into fear and doubt all over again.

I want to talk about the nights - how Peanut (so far) has already been sleeping up to FOUR HOURS at a strech at night, so I can feed him once before I go to bed (between 10 and 11 PM), once in the wee morning hours (between 2 and 3 AM) and then one more time just as it's time to get up (between 5 and 6 AM). He sleeps into the morning after that last feeding, so I have time to get up and drink coffee and eat and get some things done before he's up again between 8 and 9.

I'm also anxious to get the birth story written and I've been working on it in my mind for the past few days, just trying to begin unraveling those hours in my own head. There's a lot to tell, a lot to try to sort out for myself in terms of timing and logistics, and so much to work through emotionally because as you can imagine, things didn't go at all the way I'd hoped or expected, and even though the outcome was perfect in the end, there were some moments that I know I'll have to mull over quietly and come to terms with before I can write though them here.

Today though, I just have to be content to get this much out and down on "paper" then rest and relax and wait for the right time to work on the rest. Peanut's had a rough day today, his first, really. He woke up in the morning at 8 AM and really hasn't settled well for another good sleep since then, and he's been wanting to nurse non-stop despite seeming quite unhappy at the breast when he's there. I finally gave him some Mylicon (gas drops) about 45 minutes ago and while I can still hear him stirring and grousing from time to time, he's finally drifted off to sleep starting around 2 PM. TOO LONG TO BE AWAKE for a little guy his age!

And the girls are protesting all the sucking in a big way, too.

Oh, and I've pumped at least once a day the past few days and gotten a full and easy 3 oz. each time, which is WAY MORE than I was EVER able to pump with Bean, no matter how old she got. So I was excited about that -- I just wish I could produce it fast enough to get Peanut all full up whenever I fed him, regardless of how long it's been since the last time, because Peanut LOVES to be completely stuffed before he goes to sleep -- nothing else will do for him! So when he stays up for such a long time, I have a hard time giving him what he needs when he's finally ready to go to sleep, because he's nursed so often and so recently.

But all the sucking today should make for a lovely, milky day tomorrow.

And the nibbles will recover in a few hours - they're amazing like that.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nursing. And Nursing and Nursing and Nursing

Oh, it is going SO much better than it EVER went with Bean.

We have, though, had two nights in a row now (and I feel certain we're headed into a third) of those lovely, lovely (sarcasm) cluster feedings that make me feel like my eyeballs are soon going to be sucked into my head and shot out my nibbles. Seriously. UGH. But the cluster feedings are doing the trick to get Mafew what he wants eventually as ZOIKS! the milkies let down frequently between daytime feedings.

Does anyone have a chart or easy reference of when the growth spurts most commonly happen for baby? I'd go look it up in Alice's diary, but that might take some time. Which I don't have much of. Because I am always nursing. Yeeps!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mama, Get You a Belly Band. Or Many!

Seriously, all of you lovely girls who are pregnant now -- and there are many of you -- I have a word to share with you.


More specifically, comfort in the boobage area.

Oh yeah.

Peanut's a week old today, and I've spent this past 7 days in and out of maternity bras and maternity tanks of every description and some of them are pretty good and some of them I will NEVER EVER WEAR AGAIN BECAUSE OH.MY.GOSH the misery and brow-pretzeling irritation!

Yesterday afternoon during a particularly lengthy Mr. Peabody nap, I took a shower and then dug through my vast collection of foundational undergarments to find one to stuff my GIGANTICALLY HUGE AND VERY UNCOMFORTABLY FULL (Can I get a heel-click on that one!?) girls into. I found one that's a nice large size and choked myself into it.

And then I died.

The end.

No, not really. BUT. It WAS awful. And no matter what I put on, it was still awful, and I have a LOT of choices and there were bras flyin' out drawers, hangin' off the ceiling fan, littering the floor - it looked like a maternity ward gone brothel in my bedroom and 20 minutes later I was still nekkid from the waist up and truly out of ideas.


I spied my trusty belly band (like a Bella Band, but I bought the store-brand one from Motherhood Maternity).

And I put it on like a tube top. And stuck breastpads on the inside. And AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Cue the angels!

Now it's not the most supportive of the undergarments, so you wouldn't want to wear it under your best tight sweater for a romp through the center of town, but under a t-shirt just knockin' around home until your girls figure out the proper ebb and flow of milk for your little nursling, a belly-band-gone-north works wonders. I wore mine under my PJs last night, too, and while it did slip a little as I slept (yes, I said SLEPT!), it was comfortable and definitely supportive enough for overnight, plus it was easy to just pull down for Peanut's easy access to his milky sources and then back up when he was ALL DONE!

Comfort, light support, easy access. Doesn't get mooch better'n that, y'all.

Go pick one up if you don't have one. If you're an ample girl upstairs, get a big one (you can probably even try them on in the store. Figure on getting one that fits comfortably to very slightly loosely now - that should house you quite harmoniously once you join me among the ranks of the Moo-mies.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Matthew, Day 6 - Poop and Mr. Peabody

I owe y'all a birth story. And me, too. A lot of it was such a whirlwind that it may be hard to get the facts straight, but I'll do my best. Soon. I know it'll be emotional to relive and write about. Parts of it were so-o-o-o hard and scary (whoops I'm tearing up just thinking about thinking about it) but I HAVE to say this - I've had a feeling it would go the way it went, starting many months ago. Not that I think I'm psychic, just that something inside me physically knew. I don't know how to explain it. But I knew. When the decision was made I'd have a C-section, I didn't feel surprise really - I just felt resignation. Not peace, though. I feel peaceful NOW, because my baby and I are fine. And that's what matters.

But I'm not ready to dig into all of that stuff yet. I'll have to do it soon or it'll all be out the window, memory-wise, but not quite yet.

For now, I have a few updates and facts to share. Someday, I think I'd like to write a pretty detailed account of the c-section and my recovery. I haven't looked for books on the subject but I don't see much in the way of "What to Expect if You Have a C-Section" information on the internet. I'd love to have found a day by day account of recovery along with a "here's what it is like to have a baby on the operating table via emergency c-section instead of in the birthing suite (or at home, etc. etc.)" to read the day after my surgery - to (hopefully) find out some of my feelings were normal and what the next days held in store for me. Obviously I have MORE days in store for me, too.

So that's why I want to write the blow by blow - for others to discover maybe and help them know what to expect. What I did find was SO general - just, "Most patients take about 6 weeks to fully recover from this major surgery." Well, okay but MORE PLEASE.

So anyway!

I'm healing pretty well, I think. I'm down to just Tylenol for pain now (I've been on Vicodin and Celebrex since the spinal block and morphine wore off) and really my surgery site/abdomen are virtually pain-free as long as I don't let the Tylenol dosing get too far behind. BUT - my back hurts worse than my front and it can get downright awful in the late day/nighttime. I guess that's from the epidural? I suspect that if I continue to take it easy and let other people do stuff for me I will feel pretty good within another day or two, which is a great thought to focus on.

I have finally POOPED! It took until yesterday afternoon (so nearly a week!), and Nana was getting a little stressed out about it, but it never bothered me - I mean I never felt like, "Ohmygosh I have poop in my throat, so full of poop am I!!" or anything.

Anyway. That "crisis" has passed. I know. Thanks for sharing, right?

My milk is in fully, although there's still a tiny hint of colostrum present judging from its color, and Matthew mostly nurses really well WHEN HE IS READY -- I am finally (after 5 days, I mean) figuring out his little quirks and tricks and the work-arounds for both. (He likes to nuzzle and nudge and snorfle a LOT, and sometimes doesn't want to nurse so much as he just wants to make out with my nipples while he contemplates life or tries to poop! Hee hee.) Breast pain is minimal, thank the LORD. Last night AFTER I fed him, I managed to pump THREE OUNCES of glorious golden nectar for storage. I am astounded at how accomplished and RICH that makes me feel. Maybe I can get my hair cut while Nana is here, even!

Bean has been a little bit attitudey but LOVES Peanut so much so far. She's helping a lot, is very involved and interested and loving. But she's also clingy and loud in turns, trying to capture my attention, and her normally gracious manners and politeness have slipped a bit. I'm trying to keep the discipline at a NORMAL level (not too high, not too low) but it's hard to get a good balance when I'm divided. I'll keep working on it.

Al's been good about helping too, when he's here. He gets up in the night with me and sometimes alone when there's nothing else we can do to please the little guy besides rocking or bouncing him. I got NO sleep to speak of Monday night, but last night I think I got about 4 hours, which felt like a LOT. I actually feel crazy-good today after "so much" sleep, hee hee.

Nana's running the household/cleaning-out/organizing things. And cooking. A lot. Which is nice! Because I am HUNGRY!

Matthew had his first tummy time today - it was pretty short but I had him lying with his head on a burp cloth that had some breast milk on it and he turned his little head and started rooting and bobbing around trying to figure out WHERE THAT SMELL, THAT HEAVENLY HEAVENLY SMELL was coming from, which did require major neck and head control. He actually ALREADY holds his head up very well - he did from the beginning. He's amazingly strong, but then we knew he would be, didn't we, from all of that strong movement and pushing he's done since I could feel him.

And he is beautiful, and oh so sweet. I just adore him - his tiny little flashes of smile when he looks into my face, his little birdie mouth poking around for me when he's hungry, his sweet little chicken wing arms and legs (the poor thing got so skinny at first, more later on that -- but he's gaining well now!) his fuzzy little head! He's SCRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUMPTIOUS.

More later. (Not later today though!) But soon, I promise!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Milk's in! Matthew drunk and dopey and happy ... Mama relieved and tapdancin' on the inside.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

39 Weeks, 5 & 6 Days - A Peanut is Born

I last updated at 10:30 PM to announce that Al and I were headed to the hospital. I'd called Dr. Howey's service around 10:15 PM, and she called back, her voice groggy with sleep (she'd delivered several babies in the wee hours of the morning prior to my appointment and looked pretty beat earlier in the day. I felt sortof guilty calling her when I did but I figured best to call at 10:15 PM rather than 3:15 AM, right?) She asked me about my contractions, which were, at the time between 3 and 4 minutes apart but only lasting 20 to 30 seconds, and they weren't horribly painful but they were getting stronger and I was feeling them more as the time wore on.

But prior to calling Dr. Howey, Al and I had put Bean to bed together and said goodnight to Nana, then I'd taken a nice hot bath with Al sitting on the floor beside me checking out college football standings online and telling me how our favorite teams ranked. I couldn't have cared less at the moment, but I listened and commented as he read. Before getting into the tub I went to the bathroom and discovered a lot of bloody show. This was a lot more blood than what I'd seen all throughout the day since Dr. Howey had stripped my membranes - that had a lot of mucus with it. This was mostly blood.

Dr. Howey asked about bloody show and I told her I'd had a significant amount of bleeding within the past hour. That seemed to sell her on sending me to the hospital. I was still not fully convinced at the time that this was real labor, as the contractions were short and not overly painful, so I took my time doing some last minute packing and we were out the door by 11:00 or so. On the drive, the contractions did feel more painful than they had at home, probably because I'd been standing up and walking around and busy while at home and now was sitting still and didn't have much to focus on besides the pain. I couldn't find anything particularly relaxing to listen to on the car stereo, so Al gave me his iPod to fiddle with as we drove, and I think I finally found some Indigo Girls tunes to listen to, but not until I'd occupied my hands and mind for most of the trip trying to figure out how to work the iPod.

We arrived at the hospital at around 11:30 or so and the regular entry was closed, so we had to drive around and find the Emergency Room entrance, which took some time. As we found a parking space, I started a contraction and Al had to stand outside the door and wait for it to end before I could get out. We decided not to take anything with us except my purse and the cameras, so convinced was I that we wouldn't be staying. We walked together into the Emergency entrance and up to a counter where a young woman started with, "How may I...?" and finished her own question by saying, "OH! (smile) Giving BIRTH!"

She directed us to a little booth across a hallway from her, where a very nice older woman stood and smiled and greeted us. Within seconds the first young woman arrived behind me with a wheelchair and helped me into it. The second lady, who was apparently in charge of admitting, very kindly and cheerily collected my information and sent up for a nurse from OB to come down and collect us.

Angie arrived moments later and pushed my chair to the elevator and up to the maternity ward, chatting the whole time. She would not be my nurse that evening, but she'd been free when the call came from admitting so she came on down to get us. I liked Angie immediately for her smile and cheerful nature and felt sad she wouldn't be my nurse, but then again I didn't think I'd be staying anyway, so it really didn't make a big difference.

On the 8th floor, we got off the elevator and met Kate, who would be my nurse. Kate was older than Angie - maybe in her 50s? She and Angie showed us to our room and as I got out of my wheelchair to take my gown into the bathroom to change, they remarked on how little and cute my belly was and laughed that I had on heeled, strappy sandals to come to the hospital to give birth.

I changed into my gown and gave a urine specimen per Kate's instructions and was then shown to my bed where I was placed squarely on my back and strapped to fetal and maternal monitors. The room was ICE cold, which Kate acknowledged, and she brought us both a couple of warm blankets which we immediately wrapped tightly around ourselves.

The monitors showed decent but short contractions, just as I thought. Shortly after we got settled, Kate came in to check my cervix and found it at about a 1. Since I'd been at a 1 at Dr. Howey's office, this wasn't great news in terms of progress. After a little while Kate reappeared to report that we didn't need to stay at the hospital since my cervix hadn't changed and my contractions didn't seem very organized. But that we could SLEEP there overnight if we wished. She seemed to feel we should go home, although she didn't state it outright. There was just something in how she presented the facts at that moment and on other occasions throughout the night that made me think she felt we should leave.

The thing is, at about the time we were trying to make the decision to stay or go, my contractions began to feel VERY strong and were getting increasingly painful, to the point that I was having a difficult time relaxing at all through them. The offer to "sleep" at the hospital became moot, as I knew I wouldn't be doing any sleeping with this kind of contraction coming still 3 minutes apart. Al wanted to stay, as he felt if we left we'd likely have to turn around and come right back. I didn't want to be a nuisance to the staff and so was thinking we should leave, but then I knew I WAS in labor by this time and didn't want to face a 30 minute car ride as the contractions continued to get more and more painful.

I asked to be unhooked from all my monitors and wires so that I could get up and walk for awhile, to see if changing my position would make the contractions die down. Al and I slowly wandered down the hallway together, wrapped in our blankets, stopping every three minutes for me to try to breathe through a contraction. We returned to the room after one trip down and back because it was too awkward just stopping in the middle of a hallway for a contraction - I felt exposed and strange and wanted to be sitting. In the room I found a stool I could sit on. I'd remembered a few weeks prior we'd taken a trip to Babies R Us and I'd gotten tired of walking and found a similar stool to sit on that felt wonderful on my lower back and hips. I wanted to feel that same relief (on a grander scale!) - it was sortof automatic, this pull to sit on that stool.

So sit I did. Al sat in a chair and watched as I eased my way down onto that stool with my legs wide apart, closed my eyes, rocked my hips and rolled my neck. I didn't say anything to anyone, I just decided that since it was on ME to prove I was in labor and on ME to prove I was progressing before I could have any pain meds, then I would do something to show them progress. I concentrated on my pelvis, imagining the birth canal opening and the baby moving slowly and easily into it. I hummed quietly and during contractions I breathed in and then chanted out quietly, "Down down down ... Down down down."

I know Al thought I was crazy. He seemed confused and at a loss, to me, as to what I was doing, and asked then demanded several times that we go home, or I get back into bed and put the monitors back on. But I knew I neither could nor should do either. I continued doing what I was doing - rocking, invisioning, breathing, humming and chanting quietly, for about an hour and a half. At some point, Kate came in with a birth ball and I attempted to use it briefly but my body just wanted to be on that stool. So back to the stool I went.

Al finally demanded that I get back in the bed and let them look at the contractions on the monitor. I didn't want to - I wanted to keep doing what I was doing and I wanted my cervix checked again for I KNEW it was progressing now. I submitted to Al's wishes and the next time Kate reappeared I moved back to the bed and she hooked the monitors up. The contractions were more steady and stronger but Kate still seemed unimpressed. Then she volunteered to recheck my cervix and sure enough, I'd moved on to nearly a 3. I'd guesstimate it was about 1:30 AM by then, maybe 1:45 AM.

At some point before this second check of my cervix, Kate had suggested per Dr. Howey's request that I go ahead and let them start Pitocin to speed things up. If I allowed them to start Pitocin, I could also have my epidural. I really thought that the Pitocin was unnecessary at that point and said No thanks. Somewhere in that discussion, I think, Kate got the impression that I didn't want any kindof medical intervention. All I meant was that I didn't want Pitocin. I DID want pain meds, but all they kept offering me until the second check of my cervix was "something to help you sleep." Again, I knew I wasn't going to be sleeping anytime soon, so I refused those drugs, for I didn't want my head to go all groggy.

Once the second check revealed progress, I stated clearly, "I am not sure where you got the impression I don't want pain meds. I DO want pain meds. I really, really do." And Kate, bless her heart, said, "Okay! We can do that."

However, apparently we had to do it very slowly. I lived through another nearly two more hours of contractions as I signed consent forms and waited, had an IV started with multiple attempts at finding a vein (typical for me), and waited some more. I finally asked Al, "Will you please write down somewhere that my first pain meds were administered at 3:10 AM?" He didn't write it down, but I definitely remember that I got IV pain meds at 3:10 AM on August 7, 2008, because it was one of the happiest moments of my life. No kidding.

But a lot more happened in between there. I mentioned once I got back into the bed earlier and had proven I was progressing that I felt feverish. Kate took my temp shortly thereafter and it was nearly 103. I'd been feeling nauseous for awhile and sometime before the first pain meds were administered I vomited several times. Also during this time, Matthew's heart rate began to excelerate with contractions and Angie appeared with Kate to take a look. They were really displeased about the fever and Matthew's heartrate and stayed in our room almost constantly from that point. Eventually Angie gave me a Tylenol suppository, with lots of apologies, which I told her were completely unnecessary because when you come to the hospital to have a baby, you know to check your dignity at the door anyway, and with a fever of 103 and vomiting, I could very easily see that a Tylenol suppository was indicated for me, and STAT.

The Tylenol worked quickly and I felt better for awhile, fever down and pain meds dripping away. I was still queasy, though. Angie checked my cervix and this time I was nearly a 5 AND I was leaking amniotic fluid. I immediately said I was ready for my epidural.

After another half hour of consent-signing and drumming up the anestheseologist, he appeared. The IV pain meds had worn off by then so I was back to having to breathe and chant and sway through contractions, sitting up hunched over on the bed as the epidural was inserted. At 5:10, it was done and I lay back and waiting for sweet relief. My cervix was checked again - and I was at an 8. I got a lot of praise from Angie and Kate for making it this far. Angie, I believe, declared me her hero and said, "You, my dear, are a TROOPER."

Sadly, the expected relief from that epidural never came. An hour and about a million painful contractions later, we repeated the process and I finally stopped feeling contractions by about 6:45 AM.

We should be ready to push in an hour or less. Dr. Howey had come in around 4:45 AM and showed up in my room shortly after the second epidural was in.

And then the real fun started.

Starting between the two epidurals, Matthew's heartrate dipped with each contraction, enough to cause the nurses and ultimately Dr. Howey concern. We changed my position from side to side, and nothing happened. I stopped dilating at 8 cm. Dr. Howey checked my cervix and asked me to push several times, saying that Matthew felt like he was in the right position to descend, and if he did I'd dilate the rest of the way immediately, but the pushes I tried did nothing to budge him. We waited another hour plus, with constant monitoring and periodic checks of his position, but he just stopped moving down. Dr. Howey prepared us for the possibility of a C-section. She wasn't comfortable trying Pitocin to move Matthew down because of the decels in his heartrate with contractions. If my "normal" contractions were distressing him, we couldn't make them stronger without putting him at risk.

Angie and Kate were to have left at 7 AM - the end of their shift. I met my new nurse, Gretchen, shortly after 7.

At around 8 AM, I suppose, Dr. Howey came and sat on my bed and said it was time to do the C-section. She was very kind and visibly disappointed herself, although she maintained a smile and her usual straightforward, non-dramatic, calm attitude. I think she said something to the effect that she was bummed we'd gotten through the whole pregnancy and everything had gone so well and now she was having to do a C-section.

I was bummed, too. And scared. And numb, physically and mentally. As soon as Dr. Howey left the room, the hustle-bustle of preparations began. Gretchen came in an very apologetically shaved my "belly." (Ahem.) I met the surgeon who would be assisting Dr. Howey with the section and the anestheseologist, Dr. Ippolito. Al was issued his scrubs and put them on, and then Gretchen wheeled me to the "Special Procedures" room. On the way down the hall, I began to cry quietly. I really am not sure, even now, exactly what I was feeling. I suppose it was a mix of fear and disappointment and just ... finality? Also, I was very, VERY tired, and still so nauseous and gross-feeling. I didn't want to vomit again and I knew the possibility of doing so was very very strong. I knew that I'd be able to feel some of what happened during the surgery and that made me feel even more nauseous. I also knew my arms would be strapped down, and that made me feel panicky inside. (I never knew I had that fear, but apparently I do!)

Gretchen asked me, "Megan, are you crying because you're disappointed or scared?" "Both," I whimpered.

Al followed us down the hall and gave me a kiss before I went through the doors of the OR alone. I met more nurses, a pediatrician, and was reintroduced to the surgeon and anesthesiologist, but I don't think I said anything to them. I was crying and felt so awkward and alone. Dr. Howey came in and I don't remember what she said or did, but I do remember feeling a small bit better for having her in the room - someone I knew - a voice of familiarity among all of the new, strange voices and faces and surroundings.

I watched and listened to the final preparations as much as I could. My arms were in fact strapped down. Al came in and sat down beside my head, the drape was put up between my head and my abdomen. I could hear everything, hear Dr. Howey asking for suction, talking about the incision, hear the nurses responding to her. I felt a lot of pressure and movement in and around my abdomen but no pain. I tried hard to focus on what was being said, but much of it is lost now in the haze of drugs and sleep-deprivation.

I do remember that when the surgeon pulled Matthew's head out, Dr. Howey said, "Megan the cord was around his neck not once but twice!" and that someone called for Al to take a picture, and then called again louder because Al didn't get up. He finally did get up and take a quick shot and then sat down immediately. Oh, how I wish he'd taken more pictures and perhaps some video, too, because I feel I missed so much, but he says he was afraid he'd disturb the doctors with the flash.

"It WAS major surgery, Megan."

Yes. I suppose it was.

The actual c-section. That's me! And Peanut!

Soon after Al took that picture, I heard everyone exclaim, "Here he is, Megan! He's so BIG!" Dr. Howey said, "I told you he was a big baby!" and then everyone said, "Oh, look how cute he is!" and Dr. Howey said, "I knew he would be. You should see his sister." And then he was out and lifted around the side of the drape for Al and me to see. He was purple from head to toe but he was, indeed, very BIG, to me.

Peanut gets weighed. The nurse said if we'd weighed him prior to the large poop he expelled on his way out of Mama, he'd have been over 8 lbs. Al is mighty proud of his son's large post-birth poop.

Matthew Daniel's time of birth was 8:57 AM.



Immediately after I saw Matthew the first time and he and Al were whisked away to the nursery so Matthew could be checked out, I vomited again and blacked out briefly. At some point though, I remember hearing all of the nurses and Dr. Howey and Dr. Ippolito talking about my belly and how the minute Matthew was out, it went right back to being normal and flat again.

(I'm only documenting this because it's a GOOD thing that happened at a time when a lot of BAD things were happening. Well, scary, anyway.)

Dr. Ippolito, who had been standing by my head, who had caught and cleaned up the vomit, and who was peering over the drape at the time, said, "Did you say she's 40? She looks like she's about 20!"

I felt a darn sight better after that.

I'm just sayin'.

They asked him if I'd heard what he said and he brought his face back over the drape to look at me and said, "Nah, she's out."

But I was on my way back in.

Aaaaaaaand back out again.

I remember being wheeled back to my room again and watching through a haze as Gretchen and Al and Matthew and a host of other people filed in together.

Angie had stayed on, past the shift change.

"What are you still doin' here?" I asked her. "I couldn't leave. I wanted to see him and make sure you were okay."


Al called Nana to tell her Matthew had arrived and we were both fine. Everyone was smiling and happy. I was happy too, if exhausted and out of it.

I held my boy for the first time, although I don't remember it nearly as vividly as I wish I could. I'd heard everyone exclaiming at his birth how long his fingers and toes were, and they really WERE long! I noticed immediately that he looks exactly like Bean did as a newborn, only slightly more masculine. He didn't seem so huge to me all swaddled and wrapped and folded up in my arms.


We moved quickly from Labor and Delivery out to a corner room in the Mother/Baby care area, where we met Anne, our nurse for that day. Matthew and I snuggled together in bed together and he nursed off and on for hours. I'm sad I don't fully remember a lot of details of the afternoon, but thankful that when Nana and Bean finally arrived at the hospital around 1:30 or so, (Al left and went to pick them up), Al took some video of Peanut in my arms, Bean seeing him, Nana holding him, and Bean giving him his first bath, with Anne.

Bean thought Mafew was SO ADORABLE. She helped bathe him the first time with Nurse Anne.

I honestly have no regrets that I had a C-section, and here's why.

I know me.

I know what happened after Bean was born. I didn't give myself a single day to just rest and hold that baby and let someone else take care of me for awhile. Looking back I've always regretted that, but I doubt I'd have been able to do it any differently this time, had I had a vaginal birth with no complications. It's just not my nature.

Peanut with Dr. Howey.

So I feel like God found the way to make me do what I needed to do after Matthew was born. And despite the longer recovery and the extra discomfort, I feel it was totally worth all of that to have no other choice than to stay in my bed, with my precious son in my arms, for three full days. I cherish those days with him, in the quiet stillness of a hospital room, with Al and a team of helpful, willing, supportive nurses and a pretty darn awesome doctor to take care of all three of us. I got my quiet time, my rest time, my time for reflection, and my tiny new boy got a slow and sweet transition from life inside his Mama to life at home with a bustling family.

And I am so very thankful for that.

And I'm happy to have a tiny scar, for life, to remind me of Matthew's scary but ultimately perfect arrival, and the blessing it turned out to be for both of us.

A miracle, really.

39 weeks, 5 days - 10:30 PM

Leaving for hospital (I called the doctor). Firmly suspect I'll be sent home, but better safe than sorry.

xoxo -


39 weeks, 5 days - 9:30 PM

Still contracting and they are definitely getting more painful. I can still walk and talk and do stuff through them but they hurt, for sure. They're 4 minutes apart but not even 30 seconds long. Just went to the bathroom and had LOTS of bloody show. Wondering why they're so close together but not longer.

Al repacking his bag. (Eyeroll.) I'm going to add some last minute items to mine and then lie down and drink some water.

I really don't know what to think. This is not like it was last time, so it's hard to know what I should be doing with somewhat painful contractions 4 mins apart but only 20 seconds long.


It's never cut and dried, is it?


39 weeks, 5 days - OW.

So I went to the doctor today. 1 cm dilated and very soft. She said something else but I can't remember it because at the time the deafening roar of AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH had me fully distracted. I let her strip my membranes. YEOWCH.

Since then? Mucus plug gone. (Well, of course, you know.) It can certainly put itself back though. I bet it will. Very sore everything down there. Achey, pressurey, contracty, crampy.

And now I'm timing the contractions because they do hurt a little right now, BUT! They sortof come and go. THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. DO NOT GET EXCITED. They're only a little bit painful. I just want to document this on the off chance it does turn into anything, which it won't, but just in case. JUST IN CASE, I SAID.

They started while Nana and I were in the kitchen this evening - she was working on dinner of steak and gravy, rice, broccoli, sliced tomatoes and sweet corn. I was making banana bread for Al to take to the office tomorrow.

And I've written down three now.

They do have a regular pattern.

CALM DOWN! It's a false alarm.


Monday, August 4, 2008

39 weeks, 3 days - Not Quite So Impatient

Okay, so, nothing going on today, labor wise. Just thought I'd get that out of the way right up front. Still some MASSIVE BH contractions that make me feel like my lungs are going to shoot out my ears, but nothing to lead me to believe I'll be holding a Peanut in the next 24 hours.

Which is good. By this time tomorrow (earlier, actually), my mom will be in da house, so to speak, and that worry, the one about GETTING HER HERE, will vanish, along with the challenge of getting Bean to a neighbor's house before we can get to the hospital. My mom, however, has notified me that she's tired out from her house closing (she closed today on her new house, yay!), etc. and will not be ready for me to go into hiding when she gets here. It's okay though, it'll just be nice to have someone around for moral support, even if I still have to be in charge a few more days.

Bean woke up in the night last night with a bad cold and was a little less than her normal whirling dirvish self for part of today, plus we had pretty strong thunderstorms in the morning, so we were blessed with a nice, cozy morning in bed together, just watching PBS Kids and snuggling. At one point, I was tickling her and she squealed, "Peanut, come out here an' save me! I'm bein' eated by a alligator!" It was pretty cute. She couldn't do that snugglin' in bed thing all day (I certainly could have) but in the afternoon we watched Mary Poppins and played board games and she danced around to some music which was pretty low key and easy to manage. Hopefully she'll sleep well tonight and I won't be up with her again. Taht is TIRING.

I'm huge. I just am. This baby is just CRAMMED into me now and when he moves it hurts. I never felt that with Bean, so I know he must be substantially bigger than she is. I am so ready for him to come out. I don't want him to be too big - not just because of what it would mean for birth, but because I want to see him all teeny tiny and get to dress him in teeny tiny clothes and see teeny tiny little feet and stuff. I know even if he's an 8 pounder he'll still be teeny tiny, but for me, the teeny tinier the better, I guess.

I feel a little bit less irritated and frustrated and annoyed now. Tomorrow is the 5th. We'll get there. Yes, T, and Tracei, the 8th would be a lovely birthday. Now that it's only 3 days away, I don't nearly boil over with angst thinking that might be it. But please, Lord, not two more weeks.

Oh, and my doctor's appointment isn't until Wednesday this week. I was so confident last week I wouldn't have to keep it. Now I bet I will. Oh well!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

39 weeks, 2 days - Impatience squared.

I just came to whine. Click away! Click away!

Today's been particularly difficult, impatience-wise. As has happened several mornings over the past week and a half, I woke up in the wee hours with cramping and pressure. That lasted about 3 hours this time - which felt pretty promising, but I tried hard not to get my hopes up anyway. Gradually the painful part went away, leaving in its wake just a bunch of long, extremely strong BH contractions. The kind that make me feel like I can't breathe they're so strong. On and on they've gone and occasionally I get a tiny little pang of ouchiness down low, but nothing at all to make me thing I've got anything started. It's just annoying, without any promise, you know?

And what bugs me most is that I'm still not even at 40 weeks yet. I guess I feel labor could - no scratch that SHOULD - start any time now because it did with Bean. But really, my labor with Bean means virtually nothing to how or when my labor with Peanut will be and it's asking for frustration for me to believe anything else. I know that intellectually, yet my default position when I'm not MAKING myself face that fact is to feel like I'm THERE now and expect to get started laboring ANY MINUTE NOW.

I'm just so frustrated. Isn't that ridiculous?

See what I mean - I'm just whiny. Ugh.

I'm also worried now that of all days I'll go into labor Tuesday, the day my mom arrives, and we won't be able to pick her up at the airport, and we'll hire a limo to pick her up but she's never been picked up at the airport by a limo before and she won't know where to go to meet it and her arrival will be stressful for her and I'll be stuck at the hospital worried she's having problems and can't call us because she doesn't have a cell phone. And that has me all worried and wishing I could just get on with labor and birth so we'd know Mom would be fine. Or wait until after she's here and then that means - UGH! - another three days of waiting and wondering or MORE.

Yeah, I need to stop this. I'm driving MYSELF a little nuts.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

39 weeks, 1 day - Impatience!

I didn't update yesterday because there wasn't anything to say. Boo hoo! But it WAS the first day of August, which we can safely assume will be Peanut's birth month, so I should have. I just know that any update from here on out gets everyone all excited and then to have really nothing exciting to say, well... no fun.

But we're one day into week 40! Whatever that means! Maybe nothing! I suppose on the bright side is the fact that every day that passes gets us closer to the day he'll be here. Out.

I spent some time last night reading the pages I bookmarked back in the first few weeks of this pregnancy about breastfeeding and re-committed myself to the notion of just staying in bed the first several days after Peanut gets here, with him, skin to skin, soaking him up and letting our bodies do their supply/demand thing together. I hope I can just relax and do it and enjoy it. I was such a nut after Bean was born. I hope I can just finally have learned my lesson. I also hope to GOODNESS that Peanut isn't so late that my Mom has to leave shortly after he's born, because then I'll be in the same boat I was last time, only with an extra (demanding) passenger! ACK. Y'all, if I am on here bragging about being up and at 'em 2 or 3 days after this child is born, I fully expect you to ASSAIL me with comments and emails reminding me that this is my last tiny baby and my last chance to get nursing right and demanding that I stop it immediately. Please? I'm serious.

Peanut is so squished up now... I can't bend over anymore - he's giving me GREAT posture as I have to sit and walk with my back completely straight or I have feet or bummy or whatever jabbing up into my ribcage/lungs. The poor boy barely moves at all now. I mean he's moving and alive and all that but I can tell he has no room to really do anything beyond just a little shove here or scoochie there. He's just too big and his Mama is too small. I'm still sleeping okay until 4 AM or so and then my back just starts to ache from all the heaviness of this belly and I'm usually up for the day, tossing and turning from then until Al gets up at 5:15. Which makes for some long and exhausting days. Poor Bean. I just hope none of this is messing her up, poor child.

Really haven't had any contractions beyond the near-constant BH I've been having for awhile now. Occasionally I'll get a little pain down low in my belly or back and think "YES?" but so far, nope. Cervix hasn't changed since early in the week and there's been no spotting or anything, so. I was so hopeful we were getting somewhere last weekend but now, a week later... Nothin'.

And so we wait! I wish I could do something to speed things along, but babies come when they're good and ready and this one, apparently, is not.

My Lil Family