Category Archives: Motherhood

convalesce

We’re on Day 5 or so of a cold.  Maybe only 4.  It’s funny how the days seem longer when either you or baby is sick, or both of us in this case.  It’s supposedly a very mild cold, but it’s still quite difficult when layered on top of what is not exactly a leisurely lifestyle.  Currently baby is sleeping on my chest.  I often try to do a little sewing at times like this, but I’m just not feeling up to it today, so my everlasting quilt is stagnating this week.  Not having sick days is very high on my list of things I dislike about being a SAHM.  If I were working, I would definitely have taken a couple days off this week to convalesce.

I’m currently going through a minor English Paper Piecing obsession.  As in, I’d really like to try it, but because I have almost zero free time right now, it’s a purely theoretical obsession.   I am mentally planning a very simple quilt with a *little* bit of EPP for my brother’s baby, expected in August.  (I’m so happy for him, as it’s a double rainbow.)   He and my SIL do not find out gender in advance, so it needs to be gender neutral.  I’m thinking squares on point, perhaps in white or mostly white, with a simple hexagonal flower appliqued on top, probably in blue.  Hand sewing is where it’s at for me these days.  I’m even contemplating doing some hand quilting.

This weekend is the marathon Olympic trials.  In my opinion, it’s the women’s race of the year.  (Men’s marathoning isn’t in a great place right now in the US.)  I’m more excited about it than the Olympics.  I’ll be cheering for Jordan Hasay and Sara Hall, not to mention all the sub-elite women who are living a dream by merely competing.

3 months

Saoirse is three months old.  It’s been a blur.  We had such a difficult start, and it’s gradually becoming easier and easier ever since, but it still doesn’t feel easy.  I guess as a general rule, caring for a three month old baby is not easy, no matter how things started.  S is now 11 pounds 6 ounces, which is between 15 and 20% for weight.  (We have an appointment at the doctor tomorrow for a weigh-in to find out exactly.)  We are still fortifying her food to 24 calories, and I still set alarms at night so she eats every four hours, but she is doing very well.  I am mostly pumping, but I’ve started breastfeeding her twice a day in the morning, and I’m going to discuss adding a third feeding with the doctor.  I’m not making enough milk to exclusively breastfeed (we supplement with formula), but I make the most in the morning, and so I can nurse at that time of day.  It still requires discussion, even if I make enough milk, since my milk is obviously not fortified to 24 calories, and whereas I can basically pour the bottled milk down her throat, I need her to participate and eat sufficient calories when she nurses.

When we got home from the hospital, it took me upwards of 90 minutes to feed her, sometimes 2 hours.  She needed to be fed every three hours around the clock, no exceptions.  You can see how this would be challenging.  H took one of the night feedings, giving me four hours of contiguous sleep, but it was still extremely hard.  My parents left (after staying more than three weeks to help), and I literally sobbed because I didn’t know how I could do it without their help with the girls.  Well, H took on most of the work.  He got them up in the morning, gave them breakfast, made lunches, worked with them on their homework, did the laundry, made the formula and on and on.  And I spent 12+ hours a day feeding her, took all the nighttime wake-ups except one feeding, dealt with the feeding tube, pumped and fortified breastmilk and so on, picked up the girls from school and put them to bed.  It was HARD for both of us.

Since then, we got rid of the feeding tube.  We started letting her sleep four hours at night.  We have fewer doctor’s appointments.  I feel so much better physically after struggling with blood pressure for weeks after her birth.  S also initially had her days and nights reversed, and that got fixed, thank God.  I’ve taken over homework and laundry and do all the night feedings four nights a week.  So, it’s still hard – easier, but not easy.  The most important thing is that she has been gaining weight, and the terrible fear and anxiety have lifted for the most part.  I was having nightmares about her funeral.  Those have stopped.

S herself is becoming more and more interactive.  She started smiling at 10 weeks and loves her toys.  She loves baths.  She loves animal noises and likes to be sung to.  She loves interacting with us and is generally a happy baby.  She cries if I don’t hold her for naps, but usually sleeps pretty well at night between feedings.  In general, she likes to be held.

She dislikes tummy time and being put down.  She hates hats.

We’re looking forward to another month.

a few words

So many things to say.  The first few weeks of S’s life were just so hard, I didn’t have time to come up for air, and I couldn’t bring myself to write about it.  The reality made me sad, and I didn’t want to document it.  I took no photos those first few days in the hospital when we were the most scared.

Now, though, S is doing great.  She was 7 pounds 3.5 ounces yesterday, up from a low of less than 5.5 pounds.  She takes more than 90% of her food by mouth, 95%+ most days, so I think we’ll be able to get rid of the NG tube in the next 2 to 3 weeks.  She’s also started sleeping at night, which is giving me my sanity back.  Feeding her is very time-consuming, and I’ve had virtually no free time, unless you count pumping as a leisure activity.

It’s been harder than I expected, but I know these early difficult days will pass soon enough.  It’s reassuring to see how solid and big and strong her older sisters are.

home

We are home!  We spent ten days and ten nights at Seattle Children’s.  Saoirse is finally gaining weight thanks to an NG tube we use to supplement her bottle feeds.  She’s now two weeks old!  It’s been a hell of a two weeks.  I can’t even begin to write about it yet.  Soon.  Right now, we’re just trying to adjust to being back home.

Saoirse

Saoirse Marina was born on Wednesday, 10/30 at 36 + 1.  We went home Friday, but she was not eating or gaining weight, so we are back in the hospital since Sunday.  It’s been the hardest week of my life.  We love her so much and are just so worried and hoping she will be home with us soon.

36 weeks

After my last entry, I had a couple of Bad Days.  When I’m not pregnant and wake up not feeling well, I assume I’m getting sick or ate something and will feel better either imminently, or worst case, in a week or so if I’m sick.  When pregnant, I have no idea why I’m feeling lousy or when I’ll feel better.  This time, it was a couple days, and now I’m just back to feeling large, awkward, and moderately uncomfortable, but not bad.  I’m still mostly able to sleep, with maybe one wake-up a night, which is nice.  By the end of my last pregnancy, I was up every hour to use the bathroom unless I took Unisom, so I’m kind of wondering if that’s coming this time, or what.

My parents will be getting here a week from yesterday, which will be great, as we’ll no longer have to worry about childcare if I go into labor.  Hopefully we won’t all want to kill each other by the time they go home.  If the baby doesn’t come until 40 weeks, it’s going to be a LONG visit.  She wouldn’t hang around that long, would she?  My last two surprised me.  I did not expect in any way that my first would get here early, and yet she did.  Perhaps this one will surprise me in the other direction!

In other news, I’m entertaining myself by boots shopping.  I ordered a couple pairs by Sam Edelman.  (At least one pair will go back.)

Thoughts?  I’m looking for footwear to go with skinny jeans that will also keep my feet warm.  (My only pair of maternity pants also happen to be skinny black jeans, so they will work prior to baby getting here.  The in-between post-baby nothing fits phase will be annoying, but in past, I’ve just bought stuff for cheap in larger sizes off eBay, and that’s worked out pretty well.)

In other news, I’m trying to decide whether to buy a cheaper desk off Wayfair for L, or sale-watch one on Pottery Barn, which would still be a bit more pricey.  Any desk recommendations?

I’m not getting any smaller, folks:

35 weeks

It’s funny how happy the weekly milestones make me.  For whatever reason, I’ve just had so much anxiety this time about the baby coming early.  Obviously, I don’t want her to come at 35 weeks, but I feel pretty good that she’d do very well if she did.  I think most babies don’t even require NICU time at 36 weeks, and that’s just a few days away.

I had two consecutive high BP readings at my 33 and 34 week appointments.  It’s a little unclear why.  Yes, the appointments stress me out.  In particular, my appointments are 3-part monsters these days, with lots and lots of waiting.  And above all, it’s the waiting that gets under my skin.  I don’t know why I can’t be more zen about it.  It just pisses me off.  When I had the first reading, I’d been waiting upwards of an hour for an NST after having already done an ultrasound.  And I knew I’d be waiting some more after the NST was complete.  In any case, the following week, I was worried about the BP reading, and that may be why it was high.  Thankfully, this week my BP was “much better.”  I didn’t even ask what it was.  At home, I have a very low BP (and verified my cuff with the doctor).  They have me monitoring BP twice a day and reporting weekly.  I’ve yet to even hit 120 / 80.  They initially asked me to restrict sodium, then did bloodwork, and found out (a week later) that I had low sodium, so thankfully I’m back on salt.  I am a very big fan of salt, and if the day ever comes that I have to cut it, I will be very sad.

Some days are obviously better than others, and I have my moments of extreme discomfort, but overall, I feel very good.  I’m still swimming 1500 yards a few times a week and generally feel quite fit, despite barely being able to walk.  I think I’m fitter than I was at this time during my last two pregnancies.  Being spared SPD this time has been really nice.  I do have some pelvic pain, but it’s quite minor, comparatively speaking.   Sometimes I wonder if the baby might come later because I’m feeling better, but there is a lot of time to begin feeling lousy in the next three weeks, so I guess we’ll see.