Monday, July 30, 2012

Baby Brother is HERE!

Baby brother arrived on Tuesday, some time between 11 am and noon (we didn't really pay attention; I guess I'll find out the exact time when I get his birth certificate), weighing a whopping 7 lb 12 oz. He is healthy and gorgeous and delicious. My OB pulled out one leg first and the first thing she commented on was the chunkiness of his thighs. He also has very delectable cheeks.

My recovery from this c-section has been incredibly easier than the last time. I think it's because (1) I didn't have ANY systemic narcotics--no PCA pump (at my current hospital they don't do that anymore for cesareans--there's a long-acting narcotic in the spinal which just affects your lower half, and then when that wears off you get an NSAID in your IV for a day or so and then only oral meds thereafter), no Percocet, just some Tylenol 3 for the first day or two after surgery and then ibuprofen afterward. Without the heavy-duty narcotics I didn't have any nausea or grogginess, and I felt emotionally more stable too. (2) I got up and moved around as much as possible--last time I barely left my bed for the first 3 days and it really took a toll on my overall mobility and healing. (3) I ate and drank like crazy--I was eating a full meal of solid foods 6 hours after my surgery, where last time I was supposed to be on clear fluids only for the first 24 hours and I barely touched those because I was so nauseated and emotionally wrung out. I forced myself to eat the terrible hospital food and I downed food from home and takeout on top of that, and I drank pitchers and pitchers of water. (4) I went home a day earlier--it makes such a difference to sleep in your own bed.

I got to go home after 3 days because we made the decision to be proactive about supplementing Baby Brother with formula. He was nursing great--latched on in the recovery room like a pro, sucked like a champ--but on his second day he stopped pooping and the pediatrician agreed that given the family history of severe jaundice, it made sense to proactively supplement. They also tested his bili level earlier than normal, and while it did get a bit high, it never reached the levels that Bat Girl's did, so we were able to get away without treating him as long as we promised to keep supplementing at home so that he would keep pooping out the bilirubin.

I did shed some tears over the supplementing at first, and over my breast pump when I decided to break it out at home. But my milk came in a full day earlier than it did with Bat Girl (again, I think because of everything I did above), and stronger. It's still clearly very scanty, based on the output of the few pumping sessions I've put in, but I get engorged and Baby Brother latches and sucks well at every feeding. We give him a bottle of formula afterward and he's fine with both.

And I made a decision: No herbs, no meds, and most of all no crazy pumping. I don't care how little breast milk Baby Brother gets as long as he's getting it mostly from the breast. I've pumped once every evening before bed (and gotten just a few CCs each time) just so I can get away with sleeping through one nighttime feeding (though I've been waking up painfully engorged so that luxury might have to stop), but I will NOT pump just to build supply. The baby takes what he takes from the breast and that's fine with me. I hate that pump and I won't be chained to it again. This time I have a baby who DOES actually nurse and I'm going to enjoy that as much as I can.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go nibble on some baby cheeks.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012


I'm now not just more pregnant than I've ever been in my life, I'm a whole week more pregnant than I've ever been. At this point with Bat Girl, gestationally speaking, we were already home from the hospital. So I figured I should probably update one more time before the big day.

We're still on for Tuesday, and at my last OB appointment on Wednesday, my doctor was pretty confident that I'd make it until then. I've been having tons of contractions, as is my tendency--long and hard ones too--but they're still erratic and the baby is still high and my cervix still long, though I'm fingertip dilated. I had thought I would work all the way up until the end, but the week before last I threw up my hands and just couldn't do the commute anymore (and frankly, couldn't muster up the energy to give a shit about work anymore), so I started my maternity leave a week early and was glad to be hiding out in the air conditioning during last week's heat wave instead of dragging myself on the subway.

And it turned out I needed the week to do a bunch of nesting. So now the crib is made up with cute new sheets, onesies are folded in the dresser, stash of baby carriers is organized, bottles are washed and formula stocked (and pump parts sterilized and nursing pillow covers washed too, I've got all my bases covered), diapers and wipes all set. I've even packed my hospital bag and stocked up on oatmeal. I did NOT realize my ambition to finally finish Bat Girl's baby book (really just a photo album of her first year; I'm so not a baby book person) before this baby is born, but oh well.

I feel fairly crappy physically but am doing OK mentally, other than being rather more irritable than usual. I'm ready to meet this baby and become a family of four, though I tried to spend this last weekend really concentrating on Bat Girl and enjoying our time together, hard as it was yesterday when she was being a real asshole, frankly. When she's not being an asshole I'm just constantly marveling at what an amazing kid she is, and I hope we're half as lucky with Baby Brother.

I am feeling a sort of vague freeform dread about the c-section. You'd think that I'd be less scared of it knowing exactly what to expect, but it's just the opposite. I keep going to these terrifying worst-case scenarios in my head, and I have to remind myself that the odds of any of those things happening are incredibly low, and that I'm going to be getting top-notch medical care in one of the best hospitals in the world.

Wish me luck. I can't promise I'll post right after the delivery but you will hear from me on the other side.

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Sunday, July 08, 2012


That's right--full term, baby! And somehow still going, despite 100+ degree heat and a move AND the fact that I'm still working full-time. Most of the living room is still in boxes and I don't know where half my stuff is, but yesterday my husband painted the baby's room (zero-VOC paint, come on people, you know me) and set up the crib. I sorted through the glass baby bottles I saved and ordered new nipples and collars. We have a car seat, though I haven't taken it out of the box yet. I bought some gigantic maxi pads for the aftermath of the birth. I just have to wash the crib bedding and a bunch of little onesies and buy diapers and wipes and formula, and we're pretty much set.

I feel like total hell but I only have two more weeks to go. July 24 is the official date, unless of course I go into labor before then.

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