Tuesday, August 28, 2012

{Girlytech on} Motherhood Week One

A week gone in the blink of an eye! I have no idea where the days went, though I imagine the sleep/wake cycle of 2-3 hours sleep, 1 hour up rinsing and repeating probably has something to do with that. I keep getting asked how I'm adjusting... I'm not really sure how to respond because it doesn't feel like I've adjusted at all. So, I guess well? It feels like Oliver has always been here. Although, on the other hand, it feels like I have so much to learn. Trying to get into some formation of a routine seems impossible, but I know that it'll be best for all involved if we're able to make that happen. I'm not too worried about it now though. My main concern is keeping Oliver happy and putting some meat on his scrawny little bones. He's up 4 oz from where he was on his first appointment - so doctor's aren't worried about that. He seems to have picked up his appetite as well as he's no longer sleeping as long as I'll let him but is up just about at 2.5 hours on the dot from when I put him down.

As for me, I'm healing up. There are a lot of gross things postpartum that no one really tells you about... I'm feeling good emotionally as well, minus a few set backs..but we'll get to that. Johnathan went all papa bear on the bedroom getting it cleaned up, and we've got Oliver established in his micro nursery. We need to get the video surveillance system... I mean, baby monitor set up in there, but that's about it. In the meantime he gets to hang out with us downstairs if we're down there for extended periods of time. It's great to be back in my bed and able to fall asleep quicker - helps me snag a few more of those zzzs that have been eluding me.

I really am feeling like I do not want to go back to work... although it's only be a week, so we'll see how we feel in six more I suppose. My return to work date is currently set at October 8th. I can't bear the thought of leaving Oliver for a second, maybe he'll have worn me out by then. Not like I have much choice in the matter anyway. Gotta work to pay bills and buy food and that good stuff. While it's close, we're marginally better with me at work even with the additional costs incurred with child care, etc than with me staying home. Just barely. But boy oh boy looking into that little man's face I'll do whatever I can to give him the best life possible.

It amazes me how people can be cruel to their children. I mean, it always has. I feel bad complaining or making reference to that abuse that happened in my home when I know that so many people, my husband of which included, had it so much, much, epically worse. But that's my reference point in my own life. As a child I failed to comprehend why these things were happening to me. I couldn't grasp it. Now it seems even more completely abstract. I don't know if people are born evil, maybe the stresses of the world get to them, maybe having a child is too much to bear... but there's no part of my being that could ever fathom hurting Oliver with the intention to do so. No way. He's precious and he's mine. I couldn't imagine beating him because he didn't want to finish his dinner or because he forgot to put a brush back in the bathroom when he was done using it, or holding him at gun point at the kitchen table. How those justifications, among the hundreds of others were made in my father's mind I'll never know.

Which brings us to a transition to add in the emotional low point of the past week. I was trolling around on Facebook and noticed my brother had commented on our relative's picture. Every once in a while I like to check in on the brother, make sure he's doing okay, etc. So I visited his page, and noticed a friend of his had commented he was going to be in Oregon soon. I thought that my brother was still doing is Air Force bit, so I hadn't let him know about Oliver or been in touch with him in a while. So I sent him a text letting him know that he was an uncle and that he could come visit whenever he'd like to. In response to that, I got a Facebook message from my "father" threatening me. It's so unfortunate that my little brother, though technically a man, is still controlled by such an abusive and hateful person. I guess I lost contact there with the brother while I was figuring out my own life. I saw him when he was a freshman in high school, we went to lunch a few times. He was going to come to the wedding, so everything was good there - although my "parents" intervened and prevented him from doing so. I'm not sure what happened in the last two years, but something must have because I received a response of "fuck you cunt" to my text the next day. So, either some major brainwashing activities occurred in the last couple of years, or my father has control of Alex's phone... either way that definitely struck a cord. My largest regret of my life was not fighting to take Alex with me when I was removed from my childhood home. I'm not sure why DHS found that I was okay to leave and he was not... but we were both getting beat around. My mother would generally step in front of blows for my brother and not for me, and perhaps that was why at the time, I didn't fight for him. I was a child, and hurt, and selfish. It is what is though, however unfortunate and there is no changing the past.

It's less confusing for Oliver this way anyway, I guess. He doesn't need to know about all that happened, although I'm sure one day I'll tell him. I imagine that we'll have to go over it, how our family tree double backs up over itself. Or why I call his aunts my aunts and some of his cousins my nephews and nieces and others my cousins. I'd like to have a giant family meeting and tell everyone that I am the daughter of William and Leona as much as anyone else... but old habits die hard and I keep calling them grandma and grandpa anyway. Which makes things really interesting like in the hospital they asked who they were and I said my parents & nephews and then I'm calling them grandma and grandpa. I guess it works out since that's what they were becoming all over again, but still weird. It's been almost a decade since I became their daughter. I think the adoption was finalized in April of 2003. Time flies. Maybe when I've been their daughter for longer than I was their granddaughter, I'll be accepted by all as such. That's still four and some years off though.

Well, that's about it for the past week. Pumping and feeding, burping and changing, finally understanding why all those moms I know are doing laundry constantly...

Till next time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

3 days in...

Things you never thought you'd say until you have a baby... "Woo! We have poop!"

Poor little Oliver is having some issues feeding. I wonder about what they did for such things 100 years ago. I guess hand expressed and funneled it on down? Now we've got nipple shields and pumps and all kinds of things to help babies get the good stuff. Not to mention formula if they can't for whatever reason do so. Stupid nipples. As he's having such trouble I'm under instruction to feed the hell out of him this weekend (meaning pump and bottle feed instead of trying to rely on nursing alone) and I'm scheduled for another appointment at noon on Monday to check on his status and make sure he's regained his weight.

Other than that which has caused quite the stress all around, everything seems to be going smoothly. He sleeps so much it's not like there's much to do but set an alarm for every few hours, check his diaper, try and get him to eat, cuddle him, back to bed. Sleep when I'm sleepy, internets when I'm not. I've been pretty exhausted, go figure, and very sore from head to foot. Almost like I did a lot of work or something.

John is reacting to things about the way he said he would. No one believed him, not even me, and I married him... So here we are with John holding him only when necessary and/or to fake being human. He doesn't want to hold him or rock him or even stroke his head or kiss his adorable cheeks. Essentially, as far as parenting goes, at this stage I'm on my own. I think John feels bad though, which I guess is a good thing. He's being extremely supportive of me, making sure I have plenty to eat/drink, running errands, cleaning the house, doing laundry and coming to the appointments with me... I'm actually pretty worried about Monday when he's back to work and I have to face things on my own.

As for me, I feel... I'm not sure exactly. I love holding him and smelling him and cuddling and just looking at him. I get upset when he's upset, especially when it's due to someone else's intervention - like the doctors checking him out. I think I'm in a little over my head though, and no amount of knowledge can fix it. Perhaps that's the issue in the first place. For me, it's all very clinical almost. Step A, B, C. Everything you're supposed to do at this stage in development is pretty universally agreed upon (except for baby lotion, apparently) and so it's just following the guide books and calling it good. I imagine once there's play and choices in his upbringing and care it'll be different. What's best for Oliver, as opposed to what's best for baby.

I think that's what's led me to giving up the cats, knowing that it's best. The four of us in one small room isn't going to be healthy, especially when I'm sore and having issues just waddling around the house and putting on pants. Thank goodness our God mother's mom (God grandma?) is going to take them in. I'm not sure if she's doing it because she actually wants more kitties or as a favor to us, but...either way it works for me. She'll be able to provide them with a clean and safe home, take care of them, and give them plenty of love. Maybe if John turns into a real boy we can wiggle them back if she hasn't grown too attached. Here's hoping. Not likely unfortunately, but at least this way they're not going to some stranger on Craigslist or someone we'll never see.  Have I mentioned that along with being the best God mother ever, Melissa also comes with an awesome mom herself? Seriously, this family creation you guys...it's kind of unreal. Violet (Melissa & Josh's unborn daughter) is without a doubt going to be the most lucky kid out there.

Anyway, that's where we're at. Getting to know Oliver as he gets to know me. Hopefully he'll also get a chance soon to know his dad. You think the fact that Oliver is a John clone and so very his son (Mongolian spot and all) that there'd be something. . . Oh well, live and learn.

Thanks to all our visitors, and if anyone is planning on coming and wants to know what to bring us, we're pretty set on newborn clothes and the like. Dinners we can just reheat would be nice, and diapers are always in need :) Thanks for all the congratulations and support. I can't imagine trying to have done this all on our own.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

{Girlytech feels} Blessed

Friday, Saturday, Sunday ... "fake" labor pains. Annoying, but nothing unusual.

Monday morning contractions were 10 minutes apart for 2 hours so I figured this was it as per my literature from my doctor but, they said to be at home, take a nap and wait until they were 5 minutes apart for an hour. So I took a nap, woke up and... no more contractions. I figured that 2.5 hours at work weren't really worth it so I ate some lunch and went back to sleep until I needed to leave for my regularly scheduled doctor's appointment. There, I had more protein in the urine (a reoccurring issue) and high blood pressure (noticed at the last appointment as well) so Dr. Lim suggested doing a 24 hour urine collection to make sure that there was no preeclampsia as those are the symptoms for that infection. Then she measured his heart rate and measured me and... 32cm when I was 36 the week before and should be at 38 or so. So, no good. She called in for an ultrasound machine and noticed that there was very little fluid surrounding him. No cushion for him = no good so... to the hospital you go! She scared me a bit with her saying there was no time to go home to get our go bags or anything just to go straight there.

We got to the hospital at about 2:30 or so and got checked in and shown our room. There were apparently a lot of babies being born and everyone was super busy so it took a while to get the order put in for the induction. They went with something to 'ripen' the cervix first before stimulating contractions. Once they got that in at 5:00 I started having contractions all on my own. At first I rated them at a .5 on the pain scale, and then an hour later they were at a 5 and they just went up from there. They were scheduled to give me another pill for cervix at 8pm, but as my contractions were 2 minutes apart at that point and I was 4cm dialated, they decided to wait another hour and see what was up. A bit before 9pm the contractions got very, very painful and I was having a hard time breathing through them, it was nearly impossible without John applying counter pressure. I got a dose of Fetenol, which took the edge off... for a while. The grandparents arrived as contractions were super painful and piling on top of each other. I was having a real issue with the pain and coping mechanisms... they just weren't working. I tried to hold out, but nope, I got an epidural and let me you tell you I would kiss the person on the mouth that invented that magical spinal contraption. It was a little uncomfortable at first and totally not pleasant going in, but oh my goodness that relief. I fell into a twilight from 4cm to 10cm over the next few hours as they gave me the Picotin to help stregnthen contractions (because apparently oh my God worst pain wasn't strong enough). The midwife came in to see how things were going at 2am or so and I was feeling a ton and a half of pressure... Turns out that what little water I had left had broken without me even knowing, I was fully dilated and effaced and it was time to get going on the pushing.

Yeah... that was an event. I don't remember screaming or crying...but apparently I did. All I remember is it was so much work and it felt like everything down there was both ripping apart and turning inside out. Yeah.... 28 minutes later, at 2:40am, I had my son in my arms. We had an hour of skin to skin goodness before they took him for analysis, Vitamin K, and a bath. And...noticed he had pooped all over me. Everything from the waist to breast was covered, my hands, arms.... it was a mess. But apparently a sterile one. Once everyone was cleaned up I got my hands on a sandwich and some OJ and we got transferred to our post partum room. Nothing much of note, he was running a bit cooler than he should have been so we did some more good time snuggling...but they did end up having to take him and stick him under the incubator.

Thank God for godparents! Melissa was there a lot during the time we were in the hospital. She brought me a robe and nursing top, additional bathroom supplies, presents, candy for the nurses, and kept Johnathan with food in his belly. I don't know how we would have carried on without her. Seriously not sure how I can repay her. I guess she gets the baby and the money if John and I die, lol. Josh and Melissa are seriously the best friends and most selfless people, we got lucky as all hell that we met them.

But yeah, that's about it.

Oliver Alexander Addison. 20.5" and 6lbs 7oz. with a 12.5" head was born 8/21/12 at 2:40 in the morning with his grandparents and papa to greet him.

All because two people fell in love.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Impending Labor

Oh yes, it's coming. There's nothing I can do about it either.

Birth plan has been written.

Still need to pack a bag...but...

My joints are softer. Oliver's head down and dropped. I'm dilated, effaced, and losing bits of mucus plug. Yes, it's gross. I can feel myself dilating more (I think...something scratchy is going on down there). I've got Braxton Hicks like there's no tomorrow, tiny twinges of cramping, tons of downward pressure, and the tummy of someone who just ate a pound of crazy Indian food. I'm irritable beyond belief, can't focus on anything other than all that's going on internally, and today I've started sweating like I'm sitting in the sun. All that's left is the "bloody show" and my water breaking to really seal the deal. I may need to try out all those old wive's tails of inducing if he doesn't make his way out soon, this is not a very comfortable predicament to be in.

So yeah....that's what's up in Stephanie Land.