Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Broken fairy wings at the foot of the bed. Purple filmy things purchased at the thrift store more than one Halloween ago. There they sit at my feet a kind of symbol of our crash. What will this total disruption of our lives mean to my Little Girl?

There are some days, like this weekend, that pass as if we weren't going anywhere. A beautiful, pleasant spring day at the park with good friends and good food, lots of laughter and conversation. Then there are the days like today where our strategizing seems to stall. The tentative plan wavers when I talk about how disappointed I am that Denver hasn't worked out in every aspect. My Man does not want to hurt me, or cause me sadness. He's been graced with some work which will aid in our endeavors to cash out here and start over elsewhere. There's some part of me that wants him to get so much work that we can stay—hope beyond hope?

I can be sad about this situation and still move forward. I choose not to drag the disappointment with me through the next stage. Heck, I can even catalyze some cheer around it if I can muster an energetic "Yes" to trust in god-the-universe's plan—even though I don't like The Plan all the time, I think I can still enjoy the process. After all, I use the phrase, "Always an adventure" I need to mean it.

As for my daughters, I know The New One most likely won't recall a thing about it. I feel for her though 'cause she's really been thrust into a family that, though we are loving and stable spiritually, we are under a considerable stress lately. But then there are worse situations for babies to be born into. Miss Monkey will have to give up a lot of her things, and The Man and I have discussed how to communicate this in the healthiest manner so as not to traumatize her. Repetition of "you are loved", and "you are safe", the obvious evidence that we are all giving up something in this process, she is not being singled out. Add the wonderful distraction of staying with The Grandparents for a length of time with some creatures—especially the horses—and lots of room to play outside learning new things...we think she'll be okay.

Baby E has been fussy the past couple of days, quite possibly due to new places we've been out and about, or it could be the 4th Trimester fussies (realizing in their infant way that they won't be going back IN), or maybe it's just that we're stressed and so therefore so is she. As a friend reminds me, babies don't have the choice to de-stress orally with food or the like, a pacifier is a reasonable solution to help. I spent the effort yesterday to find a pacifier for her, a Zoe B natural rubber binkie. As an infant Miss F didn't take to the pacifiers that much, she tended to spit them out rather quickly and eventually she found her thumb. Currently we attempt a "letting go" of the thumb (not the blankie) but with the baby's arrival and the upheaval about to happen it's not exactly a priority. So, Baby E has her posh paci on a leash and first time out she gave it what for, it's worked like a charm so far. It became obvious that she needed a suckle because 2 nights in a row in her fussies she took to my pinkie finger as a substitute to the breast. How grateful I am that my nipples can get a break now, and the spit-up might be mitigated somewhat as she won't be brimming over with mama-milk. Now that the Zoe B has had its first test run, I'll be smart and pick up another to have in reserve.

Pregnant then, pregnant now

Because it's been on my mind I want to compare these pregnancies in "print", the good the bad and the ugly—fair warning.

First trimester

Then: Felt SO good for a couple of weeks, literally like I was on drugs and Foodland's fried chicken breast was the best thing on the planet. Then I was knock-down drag-out ill, dry heaved for almost 8 weeks straight, not much honest vomiting involved. Onions were a particular nemesis, vile, most unclean. Cream soups were my friend and crackers. Whatever yoga & running I had been doing was put on permanent hold—I was completely disturbed. Total denial about needing maternity clothes, tried bigger sizes first, The Man took me to the sole Motherhood store on Maui and I cried.

Now: Immediately after my Half Iron Man race mid-August, I felt SO good again, and simply crazed with hunger. I mean HONGREE, I'd wake up at 3 or 4am and have to eat something or else I couldn't sleep and would suffer the consequence of low blood sugar. Made absolutely sure I eat >> protein every morning first thing, less sugar, more protein…possibly this cut back on the nausea though I still suffered some dry heaves, especially if caught hungry without food (but that wasn't too different from heavy volume weeks of triathlon training). Kept up some running, walking, yoga, strength train, swimming, once confirmed pregnant though I cut out the road biking, picked up some spinning here and there. Belly pops out faster with the second, so there was no denial about comfort this time around, I pulled out the maternity wear at first pinch of the pants.

Second trimester

Then: Began prenatal yoga once a week for an hour, + massage minimum once a month, short bouts of walking. It's pretty warm on Maui most of the time, I think I started swelling a bit early. Felt better and kept gaining weight, too much weight as my doctor kindly reminded me every time I visited...as I said, I was disturbed, this constant reminder that I was FAT didn't help. Of course the kick azz pizza place, and the kick azz burger joint, and the kick azz taco stand just down the road didn't help matters. Add to those things the need to use cookies as a vehicle for all the milk I drank, well, not exactly ideal nutrition, no? Honestly I felt bad about myself every time I ate anything, but I couldn't not eat, 'cause then I'd be hangry (hungry + angry). Cruised, had a couple of total emotional breakdowns. As I will relate in person any time, "I didn't know I was a control freak until I got pregnant, and the only thing I ever really controlled with a compulsive constant (my body) went completely, awesomely, awry."

Now: Part of the weight rebound was most certainly post-race relaxation. I was pretty friggin' lean. This time though, my eating habits are well established from training & racing, there's not much to change really. Running became uncomfortable rather earlier than I expected, cycling most certainly off the table, swimming however becomes my saving grace. Some strength training periodically, and I even tried a body pump class but blimpish feeling would keep any pregnant woman out of those I think. In addition, the overheating I suffer sometimes was doubly an issue with pregnancy, as was eating during training. Found myself on more than one occasion whoozy after only 30 minutes of workout, and 'cause I'm slow catching on sometimes (read: stubborn denial) it took me a few workouts to just give in to eating for a simple 1 hour workout. Kept up some Fit Mama yoga and salsa dancing, a better workout than I'd expected, especially from a video. Made myself completely comfortable with maternity wear early, not going down that ridiculous road again. There's another Little Person around, and makes things a bit more challenging logistics, energy level, etc. I remember the day she gave me a hug 'round the waist ~5 months, we were standing in the bathroom and she had finally definitely noticed the change of circumference. Little Girl looked up at me, "Mama? WHY is your belly so big??"

Third trimester

Then: With the purchase of an elliptical machine I put workouts in on the porch at least a couple times a week, and walking, and natal yoga. One of my less than couth co-workers remarks, "Oh, wow, you look more pregnant than ffff…." His brain-mouth filter malfunctioning. "Fat? It's okay, dude, I understand." I continue working 40 hours a week, expecting my mom and siblings to visit around the due date. My husband is terrified of me, and for good reason, I was HUGE in a very real sense, and ridiculously swollen all over…shoot, I was freaked out and miserable. Everyone, and I do mean everyone had a wives tale about whether it's a boy or girl. Mostly heard votes of boy, maybe a handful of girl votes.

Now: Still eating well, the sugar cravings through the roof sometimes, "fatten that baby up!" said a friend. A salad a day, loving my veggies, the nutritional training that goes along with triathlon is super habit forming. Cruising along just fine up until about week 36, then hit a low energy wall. Having an almost 4 year old makes a big difference in what I'm able to accomplish in a day, and it daily becomes less and less. Now that I understand the "end game" of pregnancy, watching My Miss Monkey grow & develop, with the NEW person in mind—it remains miraculous that two people can produce different versions. If this one is a girl we sort of have a baseline, but they'll still be different. If it's a boy, wow, even different-er. Again, vast majority votes boy. I'm more-belly than I was last time, my center of gravity is completely outta whack. At > 38 weeks I'm pretty tired of heaving this belly around. Wanna know how I know I'm smaller though? Well, there are pants that barely fit me toward the end last time, that are still loose on my lower hips/legs this time—THAT is proof to me. Also, I haven't had to switch to XL maternity wear…L has been enough.

Labor

Firstborn: First contraction on a Monday 3 days past due, more Tuesday with a massage, Wednesday 1 cm dilated recommended I eat good birthday breakfast and then no roughage the rest of the day. Doc said if water broke to go to hospital, of not go to hospital anyway 'cause we're a full week overdue. Contracted consistently, more intensely, all night long then to MMMC super early Thursday. My mom is on crutches as she had busted her ACL in the shore break, at Makena beach. Once at the hospital, still only 1 cm. L So they dose me Pitocin in stages, I breath through every contraction, one at a time. My Loving Husband is there, with me, every step of the way. He's my man, I love him so much. Eventually, at the most intense contractions, just before the feeling to push, it occurs to me, "wow, this is really intense, maybe next time I'll consider drugs." *pause, read that again*
That's right, it says "next time", even drunk on pain, in that haze, I already knew I would do it all again. When I told The Man to report to the Doc & nurse that I wanted to push, he left a moment, returned wide-eyed saying "they're not that concerned! Wait 10 more minutes, they said." So then, after a cervical adjustment where I almost jumped off the bed, I finally got the go ahead to push. About an hour later, Miss Fiona Adelaide was breathing her first beautiful breath, squalling, turning pink. And today, right now, at this moment, she's dancing around the living room, purple fairy wings, singing random songs in her early birthday gift dance slippers.

Second born: After learning of my 1 cm dilation at my last check-up, discussing it, I decided that if I didn't labor by Sunday's due date then we'd induce Monday morning. Why continue being uncomfortable? We were to call prior to arrival in order to ensure there was a bed available. Now that I'm experienced I see that this is what my doc asked me to do the first time, too. The decision made me nervous, I didn't like it at all, I really wanted to do this without a boost. I started contracting Saturday, I figured okay, great, we'll be in hospital by Monday for sure. I called to cancel the induction, only to find out later that the young doctor ignored me…the hospital called early Monday asking where I was because they had orders for me, but no mama present. My contractions were sneaky, and had subsided. Monday afternoon they asked me to come in and sit with the monitors for a while. Later that afternoon I crawled around the backyard digging out dandelions, and the following morning I had some very real contractions very early. Then those subsided slowly also. Labor check at the doc's office reveals ruptured membranes a.k.a. water broken, and I'm sent to the Childbirth Center. After a nice lunch with Ms. M and soon-to-be big sister in the cafĂ© we head over and check in. Early afternoon I'm hooked into the Pitocin, around dinner time things got really intense, 15 minutes of pushing and the New One arrived at 8:08pm. At first the cord was around her neck twice, then she wasn't breathing right away, apparently had swallowed/inhaled some fluid. So she was only on my tummy for a moment before they took her to the bin to get her pinked up. In the interim I got severely chilled, and before they gave her back to me, at least I think that's what happened. One would have to ask The Man what order everything happened 'cause it's a bit blurry to me. So, a smooth labor, smooth delivery, and a healthy baby girl! Esme Caitlin has since thoroughly made her presence known.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rather discouraged at the moment.

I think it's a bit sad that our first outing together, the three of us, Mama + babies, was to the WIC office. While I would've enjoyed taking the sting out of that with a playground trip, the appointment having taken longer than I expected, without lunch packed, and a dying cell phone...I just didn't want to push the limit.

Because Broomfield is both City & County it has all the amenities a big city would have, but smaller, more accessible, and easier it seems to me. Thank goodness for small gratitudes. I can be grateful that I haven't been subjected to a big city WIC office, which--according to the "contract"--might be filled with persons of questionable character. Seriously, on the video and in the little contract it actually says BE NICE & BE HONEST but with more words, several times.

I am tired. The New One squawls a lot more than the other one did as an infant. At least from what I can remember, apparently I don't remember much. I'm not sure I've the stamina required to consider all the different ways to quiet a crying baby. At some point I feel I've given up, there's nothing I can do, and so she cries and cries and cries...even though I'm holding her, even though she's warm, even though she's just eaten, she's still crying. This is the hardest part I think. If I feel frustrated or withdrawn then she gets more upset. The only answer, the best answer is to give her to The Man (especially when he's the one who woke her) so I can get a break. It helps to have eaten, which I forgot, lunch-ish. Maybe the stress of the situation is getting to me.

We received our first very generous gift of food and money to put into to the New Beginning jar. There is other money to be cobbled together to make this fund reasonable, and there is still the question of consolidation loan versus bankruptcy. I'm really not sure which is the lesser of the two evils.

...and the little one cries again...the bigger one is in the kitchen making a craft, blissful unaware.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The art of crying while breastfeeding

Don't worry about tissue, there's sure to be a burp rag or shirt sleeve near enough to use. This is post-partum, the In Between, when that fantastic natural dope that my body produced is wearing off. I understand how pregnancy can be an addiction, 'cause yesterday I found myself thinking about how soon I can get pregnant again—get some more of the good stuff. The baby is beautiful, baby smell is god-stuff. Miss Monkey is beside herself with big sisterhood, the adjustment has been rather easier than I thought so far, mostly because The Man has been home to help. And help he has, because as he said, he knows what to do this time 'round and he's been jumping in wherever necessary. It's been quite nice.

Life is happening. REALity has set in. The weekend my contractions began, my husband asked me if I had asked any of my friends for 'help'. Meaning financial help, incredulous I responded that I don't know anyone with money. And after another semi-weak contraction I thought "I just can't think about that right now, I have to give birth soon enough," and said as much to him. One thing at a time, no?

With my second daughter a week old, if he doesn't find a job in the next 2 weeks I will have to file for bankruptcy. Thanks to principles I've learned to live by in the past 5 years I'm able to feel frustrated anger and frightened sadness without going into full blown panic-mode. This is life. And it happens to everyone, whether we like the timing or not, and whether or not we're ready for it.

I'm left discussing the possibility that I have been living in a hopeful denial. There's some discussion about worry, how worrying about the future serves nothing, only to waste valuable energy. If what I'm worrying about comes to pass then I will have lived it twice. With practice I have learned to live in the present, and not to habitually think god-the-universe is out to get me. Is it failure to come to financial ruin? Only if I call it failure. Instead I will call it a learning experience, as with all of life. It's hard to remember sometimes, but it's worth the changed attitude.

We floated across the pacific and the mainland on a charmed balloon of self-will. Self-will alone does not a life make. Both my husband and I have lived that life and it's not what we want anymore. Colorado is beautiful, there's a triathlon network here, Mile Hi church is here, I've made many wonderful friends here that I am loathe to lose touch with…in short I don't want to leave. In the last 6 months though it seems that we are being shown the door, he can't find a job, the Cost of both of us working end-all hours only to make ends meet would be too great as far as mommin' is concerned, but we haven't ruled it out entirely. Rather than stick around this place, sucking the teat of the government (a massive pride swallow there), we will head to Texas, The Grandparents will have us while we hit the giant RESET button.

I'm disappointed. I'm infuriated that I alone cannot affect any change to remedy this situation. Worse still I'm aware of my near unemployable-ness. I've been out of my field for so long, even if I wanted to go back to engineering & survey there is only slimmest of chances that I make enough to be worth going back to the professional realm. The idea of completely switching careers has crossed both our minds, in an attempt to find some employment always in demand. Like funerary service or waste/recycle management.

Batten down the hatches, it's always an adventure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby


Esme Caitlin was born one week ago today, 11 May 2010
8 lbs 8 oz, 20.5 in, 8:05 pm MDT

According to pediatrician yesterday, she has more than gained her birth weight back at 8lb 10oz, we are both doing well, enjoying our cloistered bounding time.

And just like that everything is new again.
Baby Love.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mama Day


A sweet n’ simple Mother’s Day; I got breakfast, I got lunch, I didn’t have to cook or clean all day. My Lovin’ Husband even did the spring chore of getting the swamp cooler ready to go…just in time for it to snow this week. That’s Colorado in May!

I got to spend over an hour outside pulling up dandelions—for some reason had been bothering me. I’ve a need to complete the backyard and get to the front. A couple of dandelions in the yard, no biggie, but when they really start to take over it’s just too much, and we’re on the verge of having a solid dandelion yard. It’s really difficult to keep a small child from picking & blowing every single dandy-head she finds. This year, she’s older, it’s easier for her to remember instructions, and it’s easier for her to help. While I uprooted the plants, Miss Monkey gathered them up in her wagon and put them in a pile at the garbage cans. This lasted a good while until she got somewhat bored and went on to other things. I’m grateful at this point for something, anything to keep a little active requiring no special trip and no special clothing.

After some relatively consistent contracting on Saturday, Sunday was rather quiet save a couple intense episodes in the evening. As of today we are +1 from 40 wk due date. I had called to cancel the Monday induction, but apparently the young doctor (by her admission) ignored my request. So the hospital calls the house this morning wondering where I am. I apologized, spoke to the charge nurse, and made a point to call the doc’s office when they opened. This afternoon they requested I come in for a non-stress test and a little peek-a-boo with baby in order to ascertain what was happening…if anything. Hooray for contractions! I’ve a poor habit of questioning my instincts, though I’m sure I’ve been having contractions since last week off and on, especially Saturday, it was really nice to see it on the paper printout. I was only supposed to be in the monitoring room for ~20 minutes, but as my main doc was busy (and quite possibly annoyed with me) I got to sit and relax with the monitors for almost 1.5 hours, clicking away whenever baby moved—which was a LOT. Almost immediately upon the nurse leaving me in the comfy chair, baby got hiccups for a solid 20 minutes. What’s more uncomfortable than just being full of baby? Add to big baby, hiccups + kicking + contraction + full bladder…really not comfortable. All passes in time, and I came home to a lovely crocked-chicken supper. Good news is big news, soon, especially as I'm having labor signs I'm less anxious about an induction boost.

Thanks to my Mom for bringing me into the world so that I could then go on my own big adventure. Happy Mama's Day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Too much Icing


The cup-cake Cake for Miss Monkey's birthday, lasted until this morning. When I saw the last cupcake had been stripped of it's icing, I immediately thought that The Man did it. But upon realizing his sincerity, I looked at my daughter, grinning, eating her egg sandwich..."What is it with you two and icing??" No wonder she was so keyed up this morning. Breakfast courses of icing, then a cup of yogurt will certainly put a small person in an agressively good mood.
The little birthday playdate was a success I think. Very glad to have kept it as simple as we did. I was very surprised to see that the cake was twice what we ordered...so, over 30 cupcakes, instead of the 14 I thought we were getting. Explains why my husband had a 3 day sugar hangover, and that last cupcake survived until this morning. We are very lucky to know generous and fun people. Fiona was gifted an entire set of various princess dress-up gear that she donned immediately. I'm very grateful for the new crown, as I'd heard just about enough about the "crown that doesn't fit anymore". It's tough on a parent to have to say, "well maybe one day soon, love, but not today." When I'm painfully aware that as she outgrows toys and clothes I've not a clue what the future will hold for us.


That rather fecund woman wearing a sheet in the middle? yeah, that's me, less than one week 'til due date, attempting to encourage everyone present to eat at least 3 cupcakes.

Happy Birthday to my big little girl!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

End of cake...

...as we know it. Seems there's been an overdose throughout the household. Bound to happen with birthdays so close together. The Child is currently in her room on a sugar-fueled tantrum because of her poor choice.

I came to enter my lackluster swim into my BeginnerTriathlete training log, and while I was briefly occupied I see her little head peep around the edge of the kitchen-way. "Oh, I hope you're eating your soup, 'cause if you're sneaking icing from what's left of the cake, you won't get to eat your last cupcake!" (Thank you mommie-psychic-ability.) Next thing I hear is sniffling. Rolling my ridiculous girth off the couch I discover her in chair, front of soup, icing smeared on the napkin, 'round her mouth, and all over her fingers. There had been a decent hand full of icing left, and it was definitely gone. I gave her a choice: finish her soup or go to her room, after wiping her face of course. I may have just discovered another trigger for myself...I simply despise dishonesty, and I felt a bit more than simple anger around this event. Fortunately for me (and everyone around me) I recognize this and consciously decide NOT to flip-the-f*-out. Why is it important? Because sneaking, and dishonest behavior is intolerable. And though I might feel the urge to waffle on this point---because maybe I wanted that icing for my brownie snack, or because it is cute she simply cannot resist icing, just like her Papa---if I laughed it off and made a joke of it, I expect that sneaking behaviors would continue. Hell, I already know they would because of my own behaviors and what I've witnessed in other family dynamics. Dishonest behavior is unacceptable, and can be dangerous, especially later in her young life.

So, after the tantrum, after the rest of her soup (to balance the hand full of kiddie-dope she shoved in her maw), she comes to me and we talk about it. Why it was a poor choice, what would have been a better choice. I tell her I love her and I'm glad that she came to talk about it. She suggests that maybe after dinner she'll get her last birthday cupcake. That, my sweet offspring, depends on your behavior for the remainder of the day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lovely Day

A lovely birthday for me yesterday; I got to sleep in somewhat, I was treated to lunch by a dear friend, triumphantly devoured a Monte Cristo, delicious carrot soup, and a real chocolate ice cream milkshake. Then, a short nap and lite impending-birth shopping. Later, a super-duper-neato cake on fire from my husband and daughter. He really did succeed in fitting 33 candles on that smallish surface area, my sweet man.

As far as Baby Arrival goes, we are still waiting. I'm finding it difficult to relax around cooking anything else or eating anything (let alone watching anyone else eat) because I just spent 3 days cleaning and wince every time a crumb falls. I've had some contractions, thought certainly not consistent and barely breath worthy. I do find that my attention is drawn away from whatever I'm doing, internalized until these little ones pass.

I awoke this morning frustrated and disappointed. The house is going to get dirty again before this baby comes, and I'm rather irritated that I might feel the urge to RE-nest. This compulsion isn't really different than any other hormonally induced cleaning frenzy. But it's deeper, I see things that wouldn't normally bother me, crumbs in cabinets, carpets (despise), windows (outside surface), heating/air conditioning ducts. I almost made The Man pull the fridge out so that I could wipe the entire top rather than what my belly-shortened reach could manage. I talked myself out of that though, "how important is it?" ringing over and over. It started with the fridge in fact, pre-restock interior scrub and tidying/organizing the whole house. The next day it was detailing the kitchen, and finally the vigorous vacuuming. Then some more waiting and I felt as if I'd had a serious workout. The bathrooms a few days prior to all of this, so these did not bother me—that might change. I took my time also, since I'm not on a schedule it is easier to relax somewhat and not worry about a need to move quickly, which I'm utterly incapable of doing anyway. Three days of work and it might all be for naught if I don't go into labor soon. *sigh*

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I wanna have a baby…

...no, really, I wanna have a baby, like, today. We are a "Go" for Baby Arrival, whenever The Universe is ready. Gave Baby a talking to this morning, re: we are so excited to meet you! And we're ready to get to know you! No answer—being coy I suppose.


The 3 doctors at the practice I chose each have three opinions. The most senior doc is content to let me run my own scenario iterations regarding timing, and possibility of going into labor early, pleasantly smiling, she knows that babies arrive in their—rather, God's—own time. The second doc actually went as far as to say I might've labored last weekend—heh, nope, here we are still gestating. The third doc, the most junior, only said that I should try not to get frustrated until we actually go past the due date (9 May, that's little more than a week, right??), and then reminded me that women actually will carry upwards of 15 lbs of baby in the case of twins or triplets, and sometimes a single. She says this because though it was a 38 week appointment last week, The Belly measured just at 41 weeks. She also said that my own history is my best indicator. To my mind this means there is a full term baby in there, biding time, just getting bigger. I really would prefer not to go overdue this time. My only worry is that this babe will be *ahem* too big, that's a bit daunting.


After sleeping for what seemed an inordinate amount, I spent yesterday tidying the house, doing all the laundry I could find, dishes, making soups, grocery shopping. This morning I awoke feeling as if I'd had a rather serious workout, yet I know it's mostly due to the loosening and softening of ligaments. Lately, on good nights I feel fortunate if I get 4 hours solid stretch of sleep before I must move 'cause the side I've been sleeping on has become too sore. This is the part I remember most from the first time, the uncomfortable soreness at the very end. I think it's really sleep training, having to wake every 2 to 4 hours, just as when a newborn has arrived.


Miss Monkey asked me yesterday "what will happen with the belly after it's squishy for a while?"


"Hah, well, I hope it'll go back to the way it was…remember when my tummy was flat? When I was thin?" She thought about it, but there's no tellin' if she actually does remember.