December 29, 2011

Yo-Yo Ma's wife, First Lady, or Beyonce?

We watched the Kennedy Center Honors on TV where Yo-Yo Ma, the famous cellist was being honored. Next to him was Michelle Obama. My mom said, "Is that his wife?" My husband said, "Emilie, don't you know the First Lady?" Olivia, our 5 year-old said, "No it's not, it's Beyonce!"

December 8, 2011

The Arrival

Noah has arrived! 8 pounds 10 ounces

Sorry for the delay but when I said I wouldn't get much sleep, well, I haven't had much sleep! Instead of watching zombie shows at night during the month of October when I was pregnant and couldn't sleep (I love the Walking Dead on AMC) I now look like a zombie myself. Oh and breast feeding, that's a whole other beast. So here's the story. With all the guts and glory.

On November 9th, I started having contractions before I went to sleep. On November 11th, at around 3 or 4 P.M., they got to the point where I needed to go to the hospital. I waited until I had to because I learned with my first pregnancy it's better to stay at home in a nice environment than to stick it out in a hospital.

When I arrived, the nurse told me I was dilated to 7 cm. She couldn't believe how relaxed and calm I was as I was making jokes, talking as if we had been friends for years. She told the other nurse, "Boy, she really has a sunny disposition for 7 cm." Well, in about 15 minutes, let me tell you, those mild contractions changed and I said, "Where is my epidural because I'm about to lose my sunny disposition real fast."

Everything went pretty well for the most part. The doctor came in and broke my water. If you are a guy, there is nothing like having a doctor ram his arm up you with some kind of hook to break your water when you have a baby. It gives a whole new meaning to pain.

And then it happened! The Ultrasound doctor has been telling me for several months I had a lot of amniotic fluid. My OBGYN doctor who was there told the nurse to get extra towels. Boy, did she not know what was coming! I had three times, yes three times the amount of amniotic fluid more than a normal pregnancy. It soaked up about six towels and actually spilled off the bed. Now, this may seem like "yuck" to some, but I actually in a weird way felt like I had my own little Guinness Book of World Records type thing happening. It was weird, gross and fascinating at the same time.

My husband pointed out Noah in the bible went out with a flood and our Noah came in with a flood. And considering that Sebastian (our baby who died) didn't have hardly any amniotic fluid, it's sort of ironic that this baby had 3x as much. Almost as if God or the world was making sure I had more than enough this time.

Another fact my husband pointed out - there was a full moon. For some reason, many women have babies during the full moon. As mentioned in a previous post, when I worked for United Airlines, we would always get the "crazies" calling for reservations during the full moon. So, I'm sure it has some relevance.

At some point, the baby wasn't coming out fast enough and the doctor decided to use forceps. As he was doing it, I had visions of the baby coming out with a squeezed head but it wasn't bad. He had a few bruises but the pediatrician said (a few weeks later) he actually had a perfect head and it looked like he was born by cesarean. So overall, it was a really good birth. Sure, I seriously hurt my back and it's getting better and the doctor had to use forceps but I had more good things happen than bad.

If you read my other posts, you know I was worried sick about having to be induced. Well, he came two weeks early at the 38th week so being induced at my 39th week didn't even come into play. I had prayed a lot about that one, hoping he would come early and he came at the perfect time. I still think he was meant to be born on 11/11/11 but the doctor gave me a drug to induce my labor a little (I'm not sure if he was tired of waiting or I think he mentioned he was worried about the baby's heartbeat) but Noah was born on 11/10 at 9:36 P.M.

And the aftermath? Let's talk about good ol' breast feeding. This paragraph should be entitled Whipping It Out. Now if a man whipped it out in public he would be going in jail, if a woman whips it out, she is sanctified in the halls of "good mothers" by the La Leche League and may have a few weirdo men stare at her as they walk by. Breast feeding is hard business and when you have to get up at 2 A.M. and whip it out to a crying kid, the kumbaya music and pat on the backs by breastfeeding mothers everywhere is seldom on your mind.

Now sure, I do see the part where it's nice because it creates a bond with your baby, and it is better than formula and it's the best thing to do. But Lord help me, there's nothing like having a wet shirt suddenly appear when you go to dinner (which I had and said, "Stephane, we have to go now!", or trying to figure out how to cover your hoo ha's in a public area with some kind of fabric contraption or the best part, having a nurse grab your breast at the hospital and maneuver it every which way to make sure the baby "latches" on. Yes, I'm being a tad been dramatic. The benefits outweigh the problems but I'm not sure I can keep it up. It really leaves you exhausted and you can't do pretty much anything else except be relegated to sitting in a chair and again, watching more zombie movies and late-night infomercials.

And another aftermath, circumcision. When people tell you to cover the penis because it can pee straight up, sideways and probably even create an art piece on the side of the wall if so inclined, they aren't lying. We couldn't cover it for the first week because he was raw from being circumcised. We were peed on a total of 12 times! I would hear, "Oh man!" from the changing table and I knew our baby had baptized my husband with his daily urination dosage. (We finally figured out why I had 3x as much amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid is made from the baby urinating in the amniotic sack and we found out, this kid goes like there is no tomorrow!) Now that he is healed, when we take off the diaper, there is a race to cover it and get the diaper on. A penis can do damage!

As for the good things, he is a great baby. He loves to be held and he is pretty relaxed as long as you don't put him down or change his diaper. So sleep is hard to come by. But we're working on it. I feel very fortunate to have him since many people have problems with having a baby and we lost one last year. In fact, he looks just like Sebastien which is a good thing and bad. It's nice because it reminds us of him and it's bad because it makes us miss him. When you have a baby die three hours after he is born you don't have time to see facial expressions, how he would look at you, little cute things he would do. So when I see it with him I wonder if Sebastien would have acted this way or looked like this when he smiled. For the most part, I don't think about it, just every once in awhile. You never forget the child you lose, it comes back to you at different times in your life but you live your life and you get through it.

So, even though this posting is all over the place I'm going to leave you with a few funny things my daughter said. She's five.
"Olivia, you have to go to bed in a few minutes."
"No, I want a hundred minutes."

We are trying to get her to sleep in her own bed in her own room rather than with us. I told her, "Shannon (her friend) sleeps in her own bedroom."

She said, "Shannon's bedroom is next to her mom and dad's room, mine is a half an hour away!"
At the hospital when I had the baby, the nurse noticed she was wearing a hat, the nurse said, "Oh, aren't you wearing a nice hat. Are you making a fashion statement."

Olivia looked at the nurse like she was crazy, "No, I'm wearing it to keep my head warm."

When we were preparing to have the baby I told Olivia she was going to stay the night with Shannon her friend. It would be the first night staying at a friend's house. I said, make sure you know where her mommy and daddy are sleeping so if you wake up and you are really scared you can go to see them. She said, I can't do that, it's inappropriate to wake someone up. (Yes, she said inappropriate.) How come that doesn't work when she wakes us up?
Last night, I ordered London Broil (steak) for dinner. She told the waiter, "I want Lemon Broil, too."