Monday, August 30, 2010

Project 365 and First Day on the New Job

For those who know me well, you all know how much I love taking pictures.  I wouldn't say I'm great at it in an artistic fashion, but I definitely am good about brining my camera everywhere, and forcing people to pose for pictures so that I can capture every moment.  That was the start of my other hobby, scrapbooking.  Well with a new baby, as you can only imagine, this love/obsession/hobby of mine has taken off in a ridiculous fashion.  Seriously- we've filled multiple memory cards with pictures, and the kid isn't even 2 weeks old yet!  I know first time parents go bonkers with pictures, and we are no exception.  I just think it's been magnified by my existing love of capturing "the moment".  So, I could bore you to tears with the thousands of pictures we've already taken, or I could introduce you to my streamlined project- Project 365.  My goal here is to take a picture of Cameron every day for the entire first year of his life.  I have no doubt I can squash this goal.  Everyone keeps telling me "they grow up so fast" and "they change SO much in the first year".  So my plan is to capture it.  All of it.  And when I get a spare moment to scrapbook again, I'll have plenty of material to work with.  So here's what we have so far for the project:

August 17- Happy Birthday Baby Cameron!

August 18- Sweet sleepy baby faces

August 19- Getting ready to go home.  (Mom has seen better days, but you're as cute as can be).

August 20- Our first day at home.  Mom's snapping pictures while you and dad are wondering what to do next.

August 21- Aunt Carrie and Uncle Andrew came to meet you.

August 22- Mom's favorite picture.  I'd like to believe you're actually smiling, but in truth, it's probably just horrible gas.

August 23- This is exactly how your dad slept as a baby. 

August 24- Happy one week!

August 25- Sound asleep on Dad's chest

August 26- This is one of mom's favorite sleepy faces.  It's in the middle of a series, so it's hard to capture on film unless you shoot in papparazzi mode.

August 27-  This is the day your belly button stump fell off.  It fell off while dad was out getting dinner.  He came home to mom crying in the rocking chair because your belly button fell off and he missed it. 

August 28-  Your Grammy came to visit you today.  She met you in the hospital, but there were about 30 people in the room, so she didn't get any good one-on-one time with you. 

August 29-  Today was your due date!  Dad got a cake and we celebrated (yes there's a picture of that too, but this one seemed a better choice.)  This picture is you getting your first bath.  Now that your belly button is mostly gone, it was safe to hose you down! 

In other news, Ryan went back to work today so it's my first full day alone with Mr. Cameron.  And yes, I'm absolutely terrified.  It's not technically my first day being a mom, of course, but it's my first day doing it all alone.  So I do feel like it's a new job where I don't know what I'm doing.  Wish me luck!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cameron's first week

Oh what a week!  We have officially had Cameron home with us for a whole week.  We still have no established routine or even a rhythm to doing things.  The first night was rough- both mom and dad wanted to be up for everything... right up until "everything" lasted until 4:45 AM with no break.  Then we figured out how to work in shifts.  Here are a few other lessons we learned from our first week with Baby Cameron:

  1. "They" tell you to put a washcloth over baby boys' diaper region for a reason.  Dad got shot in the face twice already.
  2. Mom is WAY more excited about poop than dad is.  (In her defense, mom has been watching the poop stages for progress.  There were concerns about C  losing too much weight at first, and diaper counts were the only real way to check for progress.)
  3. It's ok to challenge the doctors a little bit.  Especially when the best answer they can give you is "I don't know."
  4. It's ok to change doctors after only one visit.  Sometimes the vibe just isn't right.
  5. When you don't sleep for several nights in a row, parents can get cranky.  As long as you realize it's just a sleep thing, and still kiss goodnight (or good afternoon, if that's the first sign of sleep) it will all be OK.
  6. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to soothe your baby.  I read all the books, and I tried all the tricks.  But in the end, when you can't figure out what your baby is trying to tell you, there is no more heartbreaking and helpless feeling in the world. 
  7. There is no such thing as TMI between two mothers- especially new mothers.
  8. The world doesn't have enough diapers or memory cards for my camera.  I'm going through both at mock speed.
  9. The "silent" option on your cell phone was invented for new moms.  My outgoing message assures people that I am alive and well- just a little busy.  And I will return calls before C graduates from high school. 
  10. My aunt said it best in a card:  "The days are long, but the years are short."  So at one week, I haven't technically learned the "years are short" piece of that lesson yet.  But as I'm reading my friends' Facebook updates about how they can't believe their babies are in Kindergarten/First/Second grades, etc., I know it must be true.  My goal is to savor every single one of these sleepless moments.  Because one day, I'll be putting him on a bus and sending him off to school, all the while wishing he was this tiny and falling asleep in my arms again.

Happy back-to-school for everyone who has kids going back.  This used to be one of my favorite times of year- it was a way to get a fresh start.  In a way, that's still happening.  We have a fresh start to our new family.  Instead of Trapper Keepers and pencil cases though, I'm organizing onesies, diapers, and wipes. 

But look at this sweet face... it's so worth it.

For those interested, my friend Shelby is doing a give-away on her blog for a lightscoop.  I don't know much about it, except it seems freaking cool.  Since we got our new camera and have been playing with it, I'd love to try one out.  If you are interested too, see her site for her give-away  here:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cameron's Birth Story

I will warn you now, if you are not interested in the labor and delivery process, you should just skip this post.  I have not posted any pictures, so you're not missing anything if you stop reading now.  Ryan is uploading more pics to the computer later today, so I'll post them separately to spare anyone who doesn't want to read about childbirth.  Not that this is particularly gross and gory, but some people just don't want to read about it.  So there's your disclaimer.  If you're still reading, here's what happened...

Monday I went in to my Dr for the regular 38 week check up, and some extra testing due to my BP.  I was monitored for a few hours, and it was determined that I could not safely stay pregnant.  Baby O had to come out.  So off we went to the hospital for round 2- this time though, we'd be bringing home baby.  We were oddly relaxed about the whole thing.  I guess the first fire-drill style trip to the hospital got us prepared for the real deal.  We decided not to call anyone until we had talked to the Dr on call, and had a plan.  The last thing we needed was 100 people camped out in the waiting room asking for progress reports while I was in labor.  So we sat around on monitors for several hours (again) so that the OB on duty could monitor my progress.  I was going to have a midwife do my actual delivery, but I had an OB watching me, just given my BP situation.  This sounds kind of crazy, but I felt like that offered me the best of both worlds.  (Or maybe I just liked the extra attention.) 
Finally it was determined that at 7 pm they would start Cervadil and that would go for 12 hours.  At 7 am they would start me on pitocin to kick-start my contractions.  I have heard terrible things about pitocin, and frankly, was not looking forward to that.  As luck would have it, 2 hours into the Cervadil, I started contracting on my own.  They were coming hard and fast- 1-2 minutes apart.  They had to pull the Cervadil for fear of causing fetal distress.  So by 9 pm Cervadil was out, and they were going to see what would happen.  My contractions were close enough together that they could not start the pitocin at that point.  By 11, contractions were so strong, and rolling one on top of the other, they let me get my epidural.  (Dr. King, I love you and am forever grateful for your awesome epidural!!)  I finally got to rest a bit.  The downside was that the epi slowed down my contractions a bit.  By 2, they were trying to decide what to do with me.  I was just really messing up their plans I guess.  The options were to start pitocin immediately, start the pitocin at 7 as originally planned, or break my water and see what happened.  As they were having this discussion, my water broke on it's own.  So that settled that little debate. And I settled in to see what would happen.  At that point, I was only 3 cm dialated.
By 6 am, I was 9.5 cm and they thought I could start pushing by 7.  Except that 7 is when they do the shift changes, so they then waited it out for a "fresh" set of nurses.  By 8, I was ready to rock.  The bad news is that my epidural wore off about 15 minutes into the pushing.  Baby Cameron was born at 9:49 am on Tuesday, August 17.  He weighed in at 7 pounds 5 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long. 
My midwife was awesome.  She got us everything we asked for in our birth- we wanted delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, and dad to cut the cord.  Check, check, and check.  She even let me help deliver little Cameron when it was time!  It was the most amazing experience.  Everything seems like such a blur now.  I feel like that whole experience happened 50 years ago.  I believe this is what my friend Helen refers to as the "gentle blanket of amnesia that motherhood wraps around you".  There are a few moments that do stick out in my mind.  The first is when my midwife said "OK mom, here he comes.  Do you want to help?"  I know Kourtney Kardashian did this and it was all the rage when that episode aired (I don't watch it, but I couldn't help but hear about it), and in that moment, I totally just sat right up, and reached down and pulled my little boy out.  I never ever thought I would do that, but I am SO glad that I did.  It was just the most amazing feeling to know that I was the first set of bare hands that felt my little baby.  He was completely alert and just looked at me like "OK, what now?"  So we snuggled, just like I'd asked him to. 
They eventually had to take him to clean him up, do his Apgars, and all that other fun stuff.  The most terrifying moment of the night up until then was when I heard the alarm go off signaling that my epidural was wearing off.  But when I saw them grab the phone for the NICU, I swear I almost jumped off the table to see what was wrong.  As it turned out, he was fine.  He just didn't give a good hearty scream like they like to hear, so they gave him a little boost of oxygen to make sure he was OK.  OK doesn't even begin to describe it.  He's just amazing. 
We do have a million pictures, and I will post some later.  We've blown through 2 memory cards already, so I just sent Ryan to the store to get another one, along with more diapers, of course. 
He's just such a sweet, sweet baby, and every time I put him down I look forward to picking him back up again.  And yes, it has been almost a full week since I have truly slept.  But I wouldn't trade one second of time with him for an extra night of sleep.  Not in a million years.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear Baby O

Dear Baby O-
I regret to inform you that you are being served your eviction notice now.  Just this morning I went to the Doctor for your 38 week check up.  Because of my blood pressure, I have been getting some extra special care lately.  Today was no different.  My BP was sky high, and nothing could be done to bring it down.  That earned me a one-way ticket to the hospital.  Last time we came here, we monitored you, and checked on my BP to make sure that I was going to be OK to go home and lay around for a while.  We passed that test, and have been resting ever since.  Today, however, you are developed enough that they feel you will do just fine in the outside world.  And so, here I sit, in the hospital, waiting for your arrival.  Your dad wants me to watch boring TV and just relax.  But I want to do something a little different. 
I want to savor these moments where it's just you and me.  In a little while, you will be  your own person, and the whole world will know you for who you are.  Right now it's different- other people only know you through me.  They know what you like to eat, and what position you prefer to be in.  But they know that because I tell them.  Soon enough they will see for themselves.  Right now I can be selfish with you.  When you kick me, I just "know" it's because you think the joke I just made was really funny.  Or sometimes you're giving me a little nudge to be extra nice to your dad.  Or maybe you are trying to tell me it's time to eat S'mores Pop Tarts.  But whatever it is, I just know what you're trying to tell me.  Soon enough, I'll have to share those moments with the rest of the world.  I'm not sure I'm ready for that.  I kind of like having you all to myself (I do share these things with your dad, but to be honest, he never believes the pop tarts thing.)

I'm ready to meet you.  I'm dying to see what your sweet little face looks like.  And I'm kind of curious as to how big those feet actually are (though I'm afraid I already know).  But I'm not sure I'm ready to give up that precious "us" time.  So can I put in a special request baby?  Give your old mom a break every now and then.  Give me some special snuggles if you can spare some, so I can remember what this time was like.  I'm getting old and forgetful and I don't really want to forget this.
Looks like we'll be meeting you soon, so get ready to smile big- we brought all 3 cameras, just in case. 
See you soon baby.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

B is for Bedrest... and Boring

Last Wednesday I had my 36 week check-up for Baby O.  So far it has just been the usual- check weight, blood pressure, push on my stomach, ask if I have any questions, and send me on my way.  I was expecting more of the same for this appointment.  Boy was I in for a surprise!  It started out the same, but my blood pressure was a little high.  We had been running a tad late for the appointment, so I wasn't totally surprised that my little heart was racing (I HATE being late.  Hate it.)  The nurse checked again and it was still high.  We went into the room, and she had me lie down on my side.  When the doctor came into the room, she expressed concerns about my readings, and said she wanted to check my BP again since I had been lying down.  It had come down a little, but was still in what she considered the "danger zone".  The next question she asked caught me completely off guard for some reason.  "Are you still working?"   to which I replied "yes".  "Not anymore" she said with raised eyebrows.  Shocked I asked her, "wha... are you serious?"  (I don't know why I thought that this was a legitimate punch line for a Doctor's joke, but I really truly did not believe her.)  She looked at me like I was nuts and started talking about induction due to high BP.  I immediately burst into tears.  I was just not ready for that.  Again she looked at me like I was nuts- I suppose most women at 36 weeks are miserable to the point where they are close to begging for induction, so I definitely did not react like she was expecting me to. 

We had a few more conversations, and yet another BP reading, which was predictably horrible, since I was sobbing like a 2 year old in the middle of a temper tantrum.  Then she took me to the Ultrasound room.  She wanted to make sure I had plenty of amniotic fluid around the baby (I did) and wanted to check the placenta for calcification (it looked normal for 36 weeks) since that can start to be a problem with high BP.  I thought these were all good signs (and they were) but she sent me straight to the hospital.  Well, not straight to it- I did get to swing by work and pick up my stuff, and go to the house and get my hospital bags.  My mind was just racing.  SERIOUSLY?!  I was going to the hospital?!  When we left the Doctor's office she told me that one of two things would happen at the hospital.  I would spend the afternoon being monitored, and based on the results of the monitoring and some blood work, I would either be having my baby that night, or I would be sent home on bedrest.  There was about a 50/50 chance of each. 
So.  Ryan got to test out his hospital driving plan.  Once we got there, they checked me in right away, and got me back to a room.  I got to wear my first lovely hospital gown, and got to be hooked up to monitors.  I say this like it was an honor, but you know I was less than thrilled with how my afternoon was going.  And there I sat.  For hours of monitoring, with the BP cuff inflating every 15 minutes, I stayed right there.  The Doctor and nurses came in to check on me a few times, but really, my job was to just sit still and stay calm.  Eventually the Doctor came back to review the results of my hard work.  (I actually never thought lying around remaining calm would be so difficult, but it was.)  When he came in, the Doctor said that my BP was decent with rest.  I was hoping for "awesome" but "decent" would have to do this time.  My labwork came back and did not indicate any problems with toxemia or pre-e, so he was going to release me.  BUT (and you knew there would be a "but" involved, didn't you?)  I would be on bedrest, needed to take my BP at home every few hours, and would need to follow up in the office on Friday. 
Thursday I worked from home- I stayed in a semi-reclined position so that I still followed the bedrest rules, but I was not quite ready to start my leave.  I know.  I'm a fool.  But I had a few things I wanted to wrap up still.  And that is just what I did on Thursday.  When I logged of on Thursday, I knew darn well that Friday's Doctor visit could very well take me down for the count.  So I made absolutely certain I had everything done that HAD to be done by the end of the day Thursday. 
Friday we went in.  I was so nervous, I thought for sure that my nerves would ruin the BP reading in the office.  And it did.  But I talked the nurse into giving me a second reading, after a few calming breaths.  And I got another decent one.  That, along with my BP logs that I had recorded at home were enough to keep me out of the hospital.  My bedrest was extended through the end of my pregnancy, which is winding down, so I really shouldn't complain too much.  I'm sure in a month or so I would trade my right arm for a day or two on bedrest, so I'm trying really hard to savor it.  And here I've sat ever since.  I do try to make rotations- from the couch to the bed, and occasionally I do a bit of time in the recliner just for variety. 
During the work day it's ok.  I can focus on work and I can actually get a lot done without interruption.  I do find that I miss people.  I really miss talking to and interacting with other people.  In fact, a co-worker called me yesterday to ask about one of my clients and in hindsight, I feel really sorry for him.  Considering he's the only real person I've talked to other than my husband in days, I think I might have talked his little head right off.  I don't think he'll be calling me anymore. 
I find the evenings incredibly boring though.  There is nothing good on TV during the summer (Shark Week was last week, so that's really it for TV until September), and I don't have any good books to read because I was thinking I wouldn't have time to read with a baby coming!  But alas, I'm surviving.  Baby O is still here and is doing fine.  We have another appointment tomorrow.  I think that I will live in fear of each upcoming appointment- each time I am sure that will be the one where Baby O's Eviction notice is issued.