Saturday, December 30, 2006

Day 20

Wow, I can't believe it has really been almost three weeks that we have had Emelia. She continues to be a good baby which is a blessing from God because when she wails - like at bath time - it about kills me. I really don't know what I would do if she did that all the time. God certainly knows what each person can handle.

I am really looking forward to the one month mark because I will be more relaxed about taking her out. Next week I am going over to my friends house. She has a baby that is one month older than Emmy so we will have a play date. Okay so it is definitely more for the mommies than the babies but mommies need playdates to.

Jeff bought me a breast pump for Christmas. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. I was thrilled. I have pumped a few times and we are going to try to give her a bottle on Monday. Happy New Year!

The baby blues have pretty much disappeared. I still get weepy for no apparent reason, but I was like that before so why should now be any different. Next week will be tough because Jeff is going to go back to work. He has only worked two-three full days since Emmy was born. otherwise he has gone in for a few hours and come home. We will see how I do then. It seems like it might be time to feed again so I better run but I will try to write more soon.

Bottom line babies are good, hard, but good. Don't delude yourself to think that it is all sunshine and roses and warm bonds of love. It is trying and hard and joyful and sweet and did I mention hard?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 12

I can't type much as the bean is asleep in my arms right now and typing with one hand sucks. She is still a really good baby and I am still having a bit of the blues but they are getting better each day. Yesterday was a really good day. I have to remember to take pleasure in the little things like an afternoon cup of coffee or a sweet face from the bean. Her umbilical cord fell off which is a nice milestone. I have to measure some sort of progress and for now that will do. I will attempt to write more soon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day Nine

So we have had the bean for a week now and today is Jeff's first full day back at work. So far so good. I have showered, brushed my teeth, washed my face (with moisturizer application) loaded and started the dishwasher and picked up the random baby debris that litters the house and eaten breakfast.

I have to start by saying we are INCREDIBLY BLESSED. Emmy had her first pediatrician appointment yesterday and has already gained weight - lots of it. She weighs 8 pounds now which is back up to birth weight and then some. She had a hepatitis B vaccine (so now she can share needles with Tommy Lee and feel OK about it) and cried for all of ten seconds. I think Jeff had more to say about it then she did. The doctor says she is an amazing baby. The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy and Baby's First Year says the average baby cries for about 3-4 hours a day. Emmy has cried for about three hours in the whole week we have had her. She rarely cries - when she is hungry and I have missed the other signs or when we take a bath, that is it. She went four hours between feedings last night which is AMAZING. I am sleeping an average of 7 hours a night in two-three hour chunks. All of this adds up to one really good baby and a HUGE blessing for two scared new parents.

All of that being said I am still suffering from the baby blues. I have a great outlook in the morning and then in the afternoon I start to think what have I done today besides feed/change the baby? Then I start to think this is what the rest of my life is going to be like. Then I start thinking what if this good baby business is all just a fluke and she will start screaming uncontrollably tonight. What if I get no sleep? What if she keeps Jeff awake? (He has been great by the way!) Then I feel guilty for having these feelings because she is a beautiful and good baby. What is the matter with me, I don't deserve her. Then the whole cycle starts all over again. I talked to a friend of mine who is a doctor and she assured me this is all very normal that my hormones are trying to figure out where the middle is again and despite how good the bean is it is a major life adjustment. Thank heaven for friends with medical expertise. She made me feel much better.

I have decided to just wait it out for a few weeks and hope it tapers off. In the mean time I am trying to set small goals for myself each day so I feel like I accomplished something.

In the morning when I am feeding her and she makes silly faces at me I am in awe that God has given me a miracle. I just have to fight off the afternoon demons and realize that this is work and it is hard work and there are no clients or bosses to tell me how fabulous I am but that one day a happy healthy little girl will be proof enough for me. I have been very honest so please don't judge me. If you must, go ahead, just don't tell me about it. : )

Thanks for listening world...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Well She is Here

So she is finally here after all of the waiting and all of the drama. Here is the story of labor and delivery and then later I will post the story of the first week.

I started having contractions on Saturday morning but nothing ever happened. I walked and I vacuumed and I played board games. Nothing. Went to bed Saturday night and still felt the contractions. They were intermittent. I was trying to time them but I was sleeping through half of them. Finally at about 4:15 I got up and walked around. They started coming every three minutes. I woke Jeff up and told him to shower and get ready to go to the hospital. We were admitted around 6:00 a.m. I was dilated to about a 3 which was pretty good considering I was a nothing on Thursday. But then the contractions sort of simmered down. I walked around the hospital. The bummer of it all was I was hungry I hadn't eaten since 6:00 Saturday night. They wouldn't let me eat, only a popsicle. They put in an IV and started some pitocin around 8:00 or so. Jeff and I watched Monster's Inc., the contractions started to get stronger. About 10:00 the pain got pretty bad. I stuck it out until 11:30 or so. I wanted to wait to get the epidural until I was dilated to a six or so. The nurse convinced me there was no reason to wait, I was almost a four. So I took her advice. Thank goodness. I was in an awful lot of pain from about 10-12. The epidural kicked in and then you could have dropped a piano on my legs and I wouldn't have felt it. At 2:00 they broke my water and I was a six. I asked them to scale back the epidural a bit because I felt too numb. At this point I had been on and off the pitocin. Things would go good on the pitocin and then they would take me off because my natural resting state was too high and things would peter out. Around 5:00 or so they said I was an 8. I was starting to get discouraged. This was the second time the tears came that day, pre-epidural was the first time. They said this was fairly normal for first time moms, a centimeter an hour, but that the last two centimeters would go pretty fast. At this point I could feel the contractions, not painful just immense pressure because the baby was so low. At 7:00 they decided I was 10 centimeters and ready to go. They gave me a test push to see how quickly that would go, decided this wasn't going to take long and called the doctor. At 7:15 I started pushing for real, I pushed through 4 contractions and at 7:31 she was born. She was great and the whole experience was pretty darn good. So far I feel incredibly blessed but am still having a bit of baby blues which I will write more about later. For now here are some photos.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I Think I Can... I Think I Can

Well, I think I am in labor. No seriously. About 3:45 this morning I had to go to the bathroom - shocking - and I felt bad cramps. I thought I just had to go poo but alas they did not stop. As a matter of fact when I thought about it they seemed to come every 10 minutes or so. I told Jeff, I think this is it, he said do we need to go to the hospital because you know they say to wait. I said no, we can wait until they are about 3-5 minutes apart and until I wash the bathroom rugs. I am pleased to report the contractions seem to be about 8 minutes apart and the rugs are in the washer. We will see what happens from here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Different Point of View

So as of today I have been home about four days. There is not one single chore left to do this weekend. The house is clean, the laundry is done, the groceries have been purchased and the ironing is hanging in the closet. I suspect Jeff is pretty excited. I am too, but I don't know what Jeff and I will do with ourselves this weekend. Maybe we will just watch a lot of football to catch up from last weekend.

Our power finally came back on Tuesday night as we were about to pack up for night two at Korri's house. What a blessing Korri was - her house was perfect because we could put both of the pets in the basement with us where we had a bed and a TV - A TV PEOPLE! - and a bathroom. Jeff came home Tuesday to find me sitting in the dark playing solitaire on my phone. We had just put the last of the supplies in the car and were getting ready to go get dinner when we saw the lights come on. It was as though the sky opened up and God smiled right on me. We were so excited. I continue to pray for people here in Missouri and Illinois as some people still don't have power.

I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday and the bean still seems quite content in her little world. I have not dilated and am about 80% effaced. (I never thought I would speak of my cervix so freely and often with the whole world.) I have a stress test and an ultrasound on Monday if the baby has not come. If everything looks fine we will probably schedule an induction later next week.

I don't love the idea of being induced as supposedly it makes for longer and more painful labor - just what I was hoping for - but if that is what it takes to get Emmy to come out than I am good with it.

Tonight we are going to a formal holiday party for the Pujols Family Foundation. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous and attractive than maternity tights and a cocktail dress from the maternity store. I will try to compensate with hair and makeup but I am going to have to pull out some serious stops to make up for the round factor. I plan to start getting ready 2 hours before we have to leave mostly because it will take me 20 minutes just to put on the tights.

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's Electric Part II

By now you may have heard that the "midwest" was hit hard by an ice storm last Thursday causing approximately half a million people in St. Louis to lose their power. I am one of those people. It sucks...Bad. Now we lost power in July due to a freak thunderstorm and it was not good but overall it could have been worse - it could have been like last night. Last night was one of the worst nights of my life.

We are now on day 4 of no power and our house was 42 degrees when I left this morning. At 3:00 I woke up and just wanted it to be morning so I could get in the shower and get out of our house. Why are we still staying there you may ask? A couple of things...

We stayed Thursday night and it was fine. We stayed Friday night and it was cold but not to bad. We slept in our bed wearing hats and scarves and gloves and so many other layers that rolling over was a futile attempt. Saturday it was pretty cold so we stayed at friends but left both the dog and the cat because our friends have a dog and Murphy does not do well with other dogs. I was worried sick about them. I realize they are pets and they have fur coats but still...

Yesterday we had eight different people from our church, some I had never even met before, offer to let us and the pets stay with them. My friend Korri said we could stay with her so the plan was that if the power was not back on by 7:30 we would pack up the dog and go. We aren't sure about the cat at this point because it may be more traumatic for her to go somewhere else than to stay at home and curl up in the linen closet. Then at 7:45 we saw a sign from above - a power truck. Men with flashlights and trucks and radios and such spent the next two hours on our street. Then they drove away and our power was still not on. We thought for sure it would only be a matter of minutes so we laid down on an air mattress in front of the fire place to wait it out. The power never came back on. At 2:00 I woke up and just cried because it was so cold. My feet were frozen and my hips were numb from laying on my side, it was awful. This morning Jeff and I got up and put all of our clothes in the bathroom, took a mercifully hot shower (God bless our gas hot water heater) and left the house as fast as we could. I blow dried my hair from the vents in the car and took all of about fifteen minutes to get ready. I kept trying to think about all of our blessings and how glad I was not to be going through this alone but I will confess it was hard.

As of lunch Jeff went home and checked and we still have no power. I WILL NOT SLEEP IN THAT HOUSE AGAIN TONIGHT! We are hoping Korri is still good with us coming over and if not I will sleep in the car or something.

I definitely know they have lots of crews working on it and I have all the respect in the world for the guys freezing their tails off in the hopes that I don't have to freeze mine off one more night. I have been checking the City of Kirkwood's web site for updates all day and as a former PR person I wanted to give counsel to the City of Kirkwood. First, when you change the update time, change the language of the update. At least make it look like you are making progress. Second - someone needs a lesson in spin. Here is what their web site had to say.

"Approximately 600 of Kirkwood ElectricĂ‚’s customers remain without power. A 5-man crew from Hannibal, Mo, arrived this morning to assist Kirkwood Electric crews with power restoration. Kirkwood Electric crews have been working nearly around the clock since last Thursday night to clear storm damage and restore electric service. Because fatigue and exhaustion are concerns during outages such as this, the city is grateful for the assistance from Hannibal to aid our crews so that work can continue safely for all involved. "

You mean to tell me you have 600 customers without power which translates to about 1800 people and you got FIVE guys to come help? You have the nerve to tell me about the concerns about fatigue and exhaustion and then tell me you magnanimously brought in FIVE guys from outside. Seriously, I could have rounded up FIVE guys myself. Really it should read like this....

Approximately 80% of Kirkwood Electric's customers have power fully restored to their homes. Our crews have been working tirelessly so we have called in for reinforcements from outside the area. The additional workers arrived today and should help expedite the power recovery process for the remaining 600 customers without power.

Okay, I believe I have vented enough. The really great thing about the power outage is I have forgotten completely about being anxious about the bean coming. As Jeff says, my water can't break because it is frozen. : )