Monday, December 31, 2012

The third week

Or, more precisely, 2 weeks, 6.5 days:

In case I seem totally obsessive, I doubt these weekly updates will happen once I go back to work, but for now they are kind of fun (at least for me).  It feels like he's going to grow up so quickly over this year (I can't believe my baby is 3-weeks old!  Where does the time go?) and that each week things really do change.  I don't have any new stats to report because Scott wont go back for another physical until he's 2 months old.  He's been eating like a champ, though, and I'm guessing we'll cross the 7 lb mark soon.

The major event of the week is that the last bit of his umbilical cord fell off to reveal a cute little belly button:

No, I did not save it.  It was pretty gross.  Also, not having it around makes diaper changing much easier.

Scott is also starting to wake up more now and have some alert periods after he eats and we've been trying to take advantage of those for singing with Daddy, tummy time, and reading stories*.  It feels like he's eating a ton lately, but fortunately we're becoming a better team, and he rarely still earns the nickname from his first two weeks of life: Chomps.

Sleep is getting better, but it's still hard to lay down knowing that we'll be up again in just a few hours.  Daddy changes Scott when he wakes up and then Mommy feeds him.  If we're lucky, we only have one iteration of each and we can go back to sleep within about a 1/2 hour.  If we're unlucky and there are multiple poops or the fire hose shows up or if Scott decides he's dining at a fancy European restaurant with multiple courses that require short naps in between, then it takes considerably longer.  Usually we get up with him 2-3 times at night depending on how early we go to bed.        

I'm both looking forward to seeing his personality develop as he gets older and trying to soak up every second of his "tiny baby-ness".  Speaking of which, I think I hear the dinner bell ringing.  Hope you're having fun on New Year's Eve.  I will probably be up at midnight...

*Well, I'm reading him a book I got for Christmas about Machu Picchu.  So far he doesn't seem to care that much about subject matter.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The day of reckoning

One of the best things about pregnancy is that you're supposed to get big.  One of the worst things about not being pregnant anymore is that you're supposed to get small again.  And that's where we're at, ladies and gentlemen.  I know that many women lose all of their pregnancy weight during the first few weeks postpartum, but it's not looking like it's going to go that way for me.  I'm still up 7lbs from pre-pregnancy and 17lbs (yikes) from my normal weight.  Plus I look like a deflated Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloon.

I haven't really worried about losing the weight up to this point for a few reasons - some are noble - I wanted to make sure I'd recovered well from the surgery and had good milk supply - and some not-so-noble - it was Christmas and I love junk food.  However, it's time to start the downward trend.  I'm pretty restricted on the kinds of exercise I can do (nothing vigorous, no lifting) until I get cleared by the doctor in the beginning of January, but I've been walking on the treadmill and trying to increase my speed and distance.  Unfortunately that means my #1 weight-loss method will be (ugh) eating healthy.  Not that I don't enjoy eating healthy food, but just like everyone else who has ever lived, I enjoy eating unhealthy food, too.  

I'm not planning to do any special routines or diets - just plain old calorie counting and trying to avoid "carbage".  I'll try to post about how things are going - not because this is the most interesting or important topic to any of my readers- but because it will *hopefully* be good for accountability.  And once I start actually working out again, I can write about that, too.  I did actually run - like races and stuff - once upon a time.      

On a completely different (and much more fun) subject... I love dinosaur baby clothes:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Scenes from baby's first Christmas

Scott's first white Christmas (and mine!)

Decorations on the tree

Baby's first Christmas ornaments from his grandmothers

Christmas outfit

"Playing" with toys

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Maybe it's the postpartum hormones talking. They've been saying enough lately - Eat all the chocolate.  Cry at pet food and life insurance commercials.  You will never sleep again - but this Christmas has found me in a sentimental and thoughtful mood.  As an adult I've never been much of a "Christmas person".  I've never felt an urge to play It's a Wonderful Life on a loop or decorate every inch of my house in a pumpkin pie and Starbucks gingerbread latte fueled flurry the day after Thanksgiving.  However, becoming a new parent - I'd even flatter myself to say becoming a new parent at Christmas time - has made me pause.  When I look down at my tiny baby in the middle of the night and feel the overwhelming flood of emotion and love a mother has for her child, I feel that by grace I have the tiniest bit of insight into that most cliched theme - the "real meaning of Christmas".  The Father's love for his Son.  A Creator's love for his creation.  A Savior's love for his people.

Merry Christmas.  

Monday, December 24, 2012

The second week

This outfit makes him look like he escaped from Elf Prison
and was sentenced to do hard labor on the Candy Cane Highway.

Scott had his 2-week check up this morning and weighed in at an impressive 6lbs 6.4oz (up from 5lbs 12oz last week).  Otherwise he had a clean bill of health and won't go back to the doctor until he's 2 months old (the first shot appointment - eek).  He's started to pick up his head a tiny bit when we put him on his tummy and occasionally makes an involuntary smiling face, which melts your heart until you realize he's probably just peeing (but who among us doesn't enjoy a good pee?).   

Nana and Papa have been visiting for Christmas so he's had lots of cuddles and attention over the last few days.  We went to "Christmas Eve" service yesterday and took some pictures before we left.  Baby Scott is modeling a sweater and booties made by my coworker and an adorable pair of baby jeans that are absolutely huge on him.   

We still have no sense of routine, although we're trying to push feeding him during the day so we get longer intervals to sleep at night.  Usually we're up two or three times, but there was one night last week with only a single wake up.  He's spoiling us by eating and sleeping like a champ, and I fear what we will get if and when we have a second baby.  Those 3am wake-up calls - and perhaps worse - anticipating those 3am wake-up calls is tiring, but seeing his cute little face makes it all worthwhile.  

Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Scott's due date

1 minute of the cutest hiccups ever:

Today was Scott's due date, and I have to tell you, I'm glad he didn't try to come yesterday or today.  One of my pregnancy fears was that I'd go into labor during a snow storm, and yesterday we had a huge one.  Here's the view from the back of our townhouse:

Here's the accumulation on the back porch.  It's piled up as high as the seat of our kitchen chair.

The conditions were so bad outside - especially with the wind - that we really would have had to call 9-1-1 and started boiling water if Scott had decided yesterday was the day to make his debut.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baby Scott's Birth Story - Part 3

 We stayed in the recovery room for a few hours.  I got cleaned up and Scott got his first crack at nursing while Daniel called our parents to tell them the big news.

Note: my body temperature dropped during the surgery - that's why there's a blanket on my head.

Once it was confirmed that everybody was doing well, we were wheeled up to the hospital room where we would stay for the next few days.  The process of getting transferred from one unit to another seemed like it took forever.  I was exhausted and it seemed like we were given a million instructions about what would happen over the course of the next hours and days - how to log feedings and dirty diapers, how pain medication was administered, when I could start to get up and walk and shower, how often our vital signs would be measured (often!).

These are two more of my favorite pictures.  I'm exhausted by happy.  Scott can't believe he's been handed over to two completely incompetent new parents.

I won't say much more about the hospital stay.  The nurses were absolutely wonderful, and took excellent care of us.  Daniel was a trooper.  The first 36 hours were hard (physically) but after that I feel like I turned the corner and by Wednesday I was ready to go home.

Here's some other random pictures from the rest of our time in the hospital.

Baby Scott's first bath (hated it):  

One of my favorites:

The three of us:

Thanks to the nurse who showed us this magic soothing trick:

Our "celebration dinner" prepared by the hospital cafeteria:

Awake and alert:

On the way home:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baby Scott's Birth Story - Part 2

Daniel came in with the camera before the surgery started.  I could hear the doctors and nurses talking and feel some pulling around my rib cage but nothing that could be described as painful or really even uncomfortable.  Although it's a complication for a lot of women, I never felt nauseous.

Scott came out very fast - about 9 minutes into the surgery - and we got a glimpse of him (he was very blue) before he was whisked off to be examined by the perinatologist.  After an initial check, Daniel was allowed to go out to see the baby, cut the cord (again), and take pictures.

The very first pictures of Baby Scott.

Because he'd spent the last 9 months with his feet in front of his face, he was somewhat reluctant to change the situation once he was on the outside.

Yoga baby:

I'm planning to have this one blown up to hang on the wall for his senior prom night.

After he was cleaned up and given the OK by the perinatologist, they wrapped him up and brought him over to me to hold while the surgical team finished putting me back together.  It was really cold in the delivery room, so he needed to be bundled up, but I remember wishing that I could have seen more of him in those early moments.

One thing I love about those pictures is how his little hand is sticking out.  Scott loves to have his hands up by his face, and no swaddle can contain them.

Here he is after he'd been cleaned up but without all the blankets.  It's one of the first pictures where I think he really looks like himself rather than "crying baby" or "set of eyes with a hand".

Here he is having his footprints taken:

After the surgery was complete, we were off to the recovery room.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby Scott's Birth Story - Part 1

Editor's notes: 
1. I promise not to write anything too personal or gross.
2. In the spirit of the new Hobbit movie, I'm planning to take a short, simple story and stretch it out into a 3-part high-frame-rate 3-D I-MAX spectacular series - roughly before, during and after his birth.

Most birth stories start with labor pains or a dropped pickle jar in the supermarket aisle to mask water breaking and end with the congratulatory cheers of nurses or a cab driver, but Scott's was quite a bit different.

His birth story actually started about 6 weeks ago when, during an ultrasound for something completely unrelated, it was discovered that his weight gain was lagging far behind where it should be.  Long story short, I spent the rest of my pregnancy being monitored very closely by doctors, knowing that the baby could be delivered at any time if he showed any signs of distress.  Because no one knew why he hadn't grown normally or when the delivery would be, we decided to keep the news mainly to ourselves except in cases where we had obligations that we needed to break in case the baby was delivered much earlier than expected.    

Scheduling Scott's delivery was a day-by-day, week-by-week decision, but he continued to grow and seemed happy on the inside.  However, because of concerns about stress on the baby, my doctor did not want me to go into labor on my own and, at a routine appointment on Monday, December 3, we scheduled his delivery for Monday, December 10 at 3:30 pm.  Not many mothers know when their children will be born that accurately or that far in advance!  It was a strange week counting down to becoming a family of 3. It also put Baby Scott on deadline: turn head down in the next 7 days or come out Macduff-style.  Meaning that he was (and always has been) in a breech presentation and would be born via C-section if he didn't flip into the correct position.  We did ask about a 12-12-12 delivery, but my doctor was on call on the 10th, and later we were told by a nurse that they didn't schedule any Cesarean deliveries for the 12th.   

The week before Scott was born was very busy at work, which was actually a blessing because it took my mind off anxieties about the surgery and being ready for parenthood.  Friday and Saturday evening we went out to dinner, and we spent our last child-free weekend doing some cleaning and preparing and Christmas shopping.

Monday morning I got up, walked on the treadmill for the last time, ate some breakfast, and tried to busy myself by finishing up last minute details around the house and at work.  I guess someone has to be the 3:30pm C-section delivery, but I highly recommend getting it out of the way first thing in the morning.  I was a basket case for the first part of the day.  At least that made it easy to fast for 8 hours before the surgery.

Here's the second to last picture of me when Baby Scott was still Fetus Scott:

We arrived at the hospital at 1:15pm, and started the slooowwwww process of getting ready for the delivery.

Just chillin' - for now
I had blood taken and they started an IV.  We checked baby Scott's position and determined he was still head up so I had to sign the elective C-section papers, and the anesthesiologist came in to talk about the spinal block.  The nurse did a medical history and put the fetal monitor on.  This whole process took forever with a stream of people coming in and out of the room.

We were finally getting ready to move into the operating room when the nurse looked at the fetal monitor and saw that the baby's heart rate had dipped into the 60's and stayed there for several minutes before returning to normal.  I don't know if this was a real sign of distress or if the monitor got moved when I had to move around a bunch at one point, but all of a sudden the speed of the medical team went from "old ladies baking pie" to "NASCAR pit-crew".

I was rushed into the delivery room and my doctor held my hands while the anesthesiologist did the spinal block.  At this point, Daniel was in the other room getting cleaned up to come in for the delivery.  My legs slowly got warm and heavy and they lay me on my back with my arms stretched out to the side and put a paper screen in front of my face so we couldn't see what was going on.  Even though I was completely awake and very nervous, being numb from mid-chest down made me feel detached and sedated during the surgery.  The doctor asked if I "felt that", and when I said no, she said, "Good, because it was sharp."

Dun dun dun... cliff hanger.  Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!


Monday, December 17, 2012

The first week

I can't believe that this time last week we were on our way to the hospital for Scott to be born!  This has been an exciting, joyful, sometimes frustrating week of transition for the three of us, but on the whole I think things are going very very well.

Scott at 1 week old:

Height and weight:
Birth - 6lbs, 20in
Leaving the hospital - 5lbs 7oz
Newborn check (today) - 5lbs 12 oz

Scott has been a champion eater since the very beginning.  The nurse latched him on to me in the recovery room when I basically a dead body with a groggy brain attached, and he fed eagerly all on his own.  Because he's so little and because he's not a baby who demands to be fed RIGHT NOW, I've tried to be attuned to his hunger cues - especially in those very early days - to make sure he's getting enough to eat.  I'm also pushing the nursing sessions during the day to try to get him full before bedtime so we have fewer wake-ups. We had his newborn check up today, and the doctor was very happy with how much he'd gained since we were discharged.  He also pointed out Scott's man-boobs as a sign that breastfeed was going well because he was getting estrogen from me (really!).

Scott's fussy time is from about 7pm - 1am.  It can be a constant cycle of feed, diaper, soothe, feed, diaper, soothe, feed, diaper, soothe over and over and over again before he finally settles down and really goes to sleep.  But after that, he sleeps through the night (with normal breaks for nursing and diaper changes) and naps well during the day.  At first he slept on my chest or between us on a pillow or the Boppy (I know... don't call child protective services), but we've since migrated him to the swing at the foot of our bed.  He naps just fine downstairs in the pack n play and seems impervious to noise, which I hope will last.      

While we used the Pampers provided by the hospital because we didn't want to bring home extra laundry, we've been using cloth ever since and I really like them.  Just like everything else, there's been a learning curve to using them but we're starting to figure out what works.  After a couple juicy diaper blowouts that left us with an entire load of laundry and no clean diaper covers from the service, we made a trip out to the diaper store Saturday to get some extra (cuter) covers and some tips on keeping things - ahem - contained.  We - especially Daniel - are becoming experts, though, and I'm planning to do a whole post on cloth diapering later.

In addition to a trip to the diaper store and Target, we went to baby's first ugly sweater party on Saturday evening.

Our first awkward family photo
On Sunday we made it to church and then to a short portion of our singing group's Christmas potluck.

Today we had baby's first physical, which went really well.  As I said, the doctor was happy with Scott's weight gain and said everything else looks normal.  He examined his hip mobility and said that looked good, which is a minor concern because being breech carries and extra risk of hip dysplasia (yeah.. like dogs get).

As for me:
I'm feeling pretty good.  I go through waves where I feel great and waves where I feel exhausted and emotional.  I'm gaining energy and mobility day by day, and I'm trying to slowly cut back on the amount of pain medication I'm taking.  My incision still looks Frankenstein-ish (although not as much as when the staples were still in - ick) but the edema in my middle is starting to go away.  It's no fun to post pictures of my belly anymore, but I'd say I look like I'm about 4 months pregnant.  I'm still wearing maternity clothes because I think the waist band of regular pants would irritate my incision, and there's no way my old XS-sized tops will fit while I'm nursing.  I'm going to have to do some serious wardrobe evaluation in the next couple weeks...


Friday, December 14, 2012

What would have been 39 weeks of pregnancy

Is now a beautiful baby!

This is approximately how baby Scott would have been situated if he were still checked into his womb (haha) at the Hotel Me.  He'd be a bit more squished together, but he was sleeping in this picture, and I didn't want to risk waking him for the sake of anatomical accuracy.

Thank you all so so so so much for all your calls, e-mails, thoughts, prayers, etc. etc.  Even though I've been out of the loop (what time is it exactly?) giving you updates, I do truly appreciate knowing that we have so many people out there who care about us.

Very briefly (because I currently do have a crying baby who just had his diaper changed - the horror! - and is hungry for third lunch), although he was on the small side at birth, Scott is healthy on all measures and was able to be with us at the hospital and come home with us when I was discharged yesterday.  (If that last statement was confusing and cryptic to you, I will explain a bit more later)  I'm recovering well from the surgery, and - after spending several days interning as a personal care nurse for two very needy people - Daniel has decided the computer science is the career path for him after all.

There are a million more things I want to write, but I really need to go!  Back soon (I hope).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


To baby Scott Alan Myers.

Born on 12/10/2012 at 3:39pm.  He was 6 lbs and 20 inches long at birth.  So far he's been a very sweet, easy baby.  He's a great nurser and has only cried when he's gotten his diaper changed.  I'm sore (he was born via C-section) and a little bit tired (I think I probably had about 3 cumulative hours of sleep last night) but I already can't imagine life without him.  More to come over the next few days.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

168 hours recap

The results are in (they were in two weeks ago, but I hope you'll let that slide).  Of my 168 hours, I spent:

  • 42.5 hours working
  • 40.5 hours asleep (gotta stock up for when the baby arrives - at least I'm going to keep telling myself that...)
  • 19.5 hours doing miscellaneous things (going to the doctor, talking to my parents, writing thank you notes, reading etc.)
  • 14.5 hours eating or doing food prep/clean up
  • 9.75 hours exercising
  • 9.75 hours watching TV (yikes)
  • 9 hours commuting
  • 9 hours getting ready (showering, putting on make up, drying my hair, packing up for the next day...)
  • 6 hours doing internet-related things (reading blogs and working on this one)
  • 5 hours doing housework (surprising exactly no one who has ever been to anyplace I've ever lived... I'm a pretty terrible housekeeper)
  • 2.5 hours practicing the keyboard (1/2 hour 5 days a week)
In pie-chart form:

Take-home points:
  • I was really surprised at how much cumulative time little "filler" activities like loading the dishwasher, packing my lunch, getting dressed to work out (especially when it's cold out) and going through the mail take.  If you add up all of those activities - miscellaneous, getting ready and commuting - that is what I actually spend most of my life doing.  Looking back through my time log, this wasn't wasted time; it was all stuff that needed to be done.  Maybe it could be streamlined to take less time, but I'm not sure.
  • I'm very lucky in the work and (for now) the sleep department.  I'm fortunate that I have a job where I can usually leave everything behind in the evenings and on weekends, and I know once the baby is born I'm not going to see sleeping 8 hours a night again for the next 18+ years.
  • I watch too much TV.  I could get worked up about it, but I guess that's a problem that will go away on its own once the baby was born.. Really, those hours just represent a couple episodes of Downton Abbey and Foyle's War, but I wish the TV and piano hours were flip flopped.  
  • You can't tell from the data presented above, but I tend to be pretty productive until about 7pm after which everything falls apart.  Rather than spending the last two or so hours of my day doing something productive, that's when I find myself watching TV or reading, and it's definitely the time I'm going to have to reclaim to keep life in balance once we add the baby to the equation.     
It would be interesting to do this activity 6 months from now and see how things actually do change once the baby is born.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

38 weeks


Even though I'm still getting bigger, I think the baby must have dropped at least a little bit because I'm so so so so so much more comfortable today than I was last week.  I feel like I've got a bit of lung capacity back, and my heartburn... well... it's still there, but I feel less like a fire breathing dragon.  My feelings move from being so so so so excited to finally meet the baby, to overwhelmed with the thought of becoming a parent, to disbelief that - even after all this time - I've actually got a baby growing inside me and I didn't just eat some suspect Taco Bell.

Here's a little pregnancy retrospective.

8 weeks:

To 38 weeks:

If there's radio silence on this end for a chunk of time (other than over the weekends - I don't typically post then), know that I'll post baby pictures as soon as there are baby pictures to be had.