Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Even More Time Has Flown

My goodness. How does it go so fast?

Jessie is nearly six months old now. Happy, laughing, chubby. She is joy personified.

Keeping very busy with working full time and caring for Jessie. Not much time for anything else!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time Flies

I can't believe my last post was over a month ago!
Well, ok I can totally believe it!
Jessie had her naming ceremony on Saturday at Q's synagogue and we've had family visiting since Thursday, which has been great. It was so wonderful to finally see Jessie with Q's parents and his brother and sister. This little baby is well loved.

We had a scare at three weeks when Jessie got sick and was in the hospital with a urinary tract infection and low white blood cell count as well as a virus. She recovered but has a condition known as VUR or urinary reflux. Most babies grow out of this but it has to be monitored carefully because it causes infections and can cause kidney damage.

I return to work on April 25th and that hangs over me like a dark cloud. Jessie has been enrolled in a cooperative daycare and this week is transitional week so we can ease into this big change starting tomorrow.
I've been out of work for seven months. The time on bed rest seems far away and like a bad dream. So much has changed!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Is That Normal?

I find myself asking that question a lot these days.
I have quite a bit of experience with infants, even worked at a daycare taking care of them, but all that experience flew out the window once I was out of the recovery room and settled into the hospital room in the early hours after Jessie was born.
Sleep deprived delirium only enhanced my irrational fears of the baby choking or smothering and every hiccup, body jerk, change in breathing, cry, poop and pee has been fearfully observed by me as I expect the worst of nearly everything. Logically I know it's an unhealthy and irrational way to be but I can't help myself.
I'm unable to meditate but in the last day I've done breathing exercises and was able to observe how often my thoughts are drawn to Jessie and how worried I am. Sigh...

I thought I was an independent thinker in many ways. That also flew out the window as now I worry constantly about being seen as a bad mother and rely less and less on my instincts.
Today my husband called from his teaching job and put a student on the phone to ask me a question relating to Monet. Easy work for someone with a degree in Art History, but at first my mind was a blank. Then somehow, out of the murk, rose the answer, "Rouen." Maybe there's hope for me after all.

I spend all day alone with Jessie, and often the evenings, too. There are times when I am so weak from hunger and exhaustion that I think I'll pass out or throw up.
Breastfeeding has not gone well. For a time I was pumping, feeding by bottle and breastfeeding, but that was too much. The other morning, after another prolonged and difficult breastfeeding episode, I decided no more. I will pump and feed Jessie breast milk in bottles. We also occasionally supplement with formula and at night, Jessie lies next to me and takes the breast, primarily for comfort.

The past week has been one full of crying and gas pains but we may be past that as Q and I bought new bottles and nipples which seem to help a lot in keeping excess gas out of her tummy.

I like our pediatrician very much. We've had to return twice since our initial visit for weigh-ins as the doctor was concerned about weight gain (in part due to Jessie's jaundice). Weight gain has been a bit slow but she is gaining and we return tomorrow for what I hope is the last weigh in.

I'm not much of a television watcher and don't even have cable, but the TV is on all the time now broadcasting all manners of stupidity in order to calm my nerves and have some other sound in the house besides a crying baby.
The house is a wreck. I still have to deal with the insurance company about the car accident, and fill out paperwork to get Jessie on our health insurance but finding the time is nearly impossible. I can't get too worried about those things, I'll get to them when I can.

For the most part the weather has been miserable but we did get out the other day for a walk. I need to get out more and am eager for decent weather so I can walk and work on getting my strength back.

This is hard. Bed rest was hard. The delivery was hard. And now this test of emotional and physical endurance. The hormonal shifts come like a wave and it's so strong I feel it physically before the emotional response kicks in--crying, depression, frustration, loneliness.
But no matter how hard it is, I would go through it all again just to have Jessie with us.

Tomorrow I will be speaking with a postpartum doula that I hope to hire. Not sure what we can afford but even if it's just a couple of visits I think it will be a great deal of help to me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Famous Last Words

Boy, did things take a dramatic turn on Thursday!
When I last left you I was anxiously awaiting to hear when the cesarean was scheduled bu I heard nothing the rest of the day, to all our disappointment.
Later in the evening, I got up from the couch but it felt wrong to me. It hurt a lot and I felt something strange in my uterus. I walked to the bathroom and then the deluge! My water broke!
Q and I quickly finished packing our hospital bag and he drove us in driving rain to the hospital, in less than an hour I was in Triage, hooked up to monitors and having contractions every 3-4 minutes. They wanted to rush me into surgery but it became a game of hurry up and wait because an even bigger emergency occurred just before we were to enter the operating room, and the doctors attending to us were called in to save a mother and her baby.

But, by 12:19 am on February 25, Jessie had been delivered into the world.

7 lbs 8 ozs, 20 inches long. Beautiful. Overall a calm demeanor although she becomes very unhappy when we change her diaper or clothing. Loves to be swaddled and loves to snuggle close to me. Loves her Daddy's voice.

Needless to say we're exhausted. I had maybe three hours of sleep between Thursday morning and Saturday morning. And dealing with a cesarean is no picnic, either. And I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia after I delivered. Fortunately that cleared up quickly but the cure was worse than the disease.
But we're so happy and enjoy every second with our baby. I can't stop staring at her, kissing her, and I want to snuggle with her as often as possible--I still can't believe she's ours! Breastfeeding has its challenges but we made big strides today.
I'll be in the hospital until Tuesday and I really hope to catch up on some sleep before we leave. I feel there's so much I could write about but I'm simply too worn out.

The bed rest chronicles are over. The baby chronicles begin. (But first let me take a nap!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Waiting Anxiously

It's definite. I will be having a cesarean...within a week's time! I'm sitting right by my phone waiting for my doctors' secretary to call with the day and time. My primary doctor, the one who saved our pregnancy and who did the cerclage will be the one to perform the cesarean. I'm glad it's working out that way.

The doctor I spoke with today confirmed that due to the membrane issue it's too dangerous to move the baby, and because she is so adamantly sticking to her breech position, a C-Section is the best option. This particular doctor was so helpful, too. She has had four, yes four! cesareans and she really put my mind at ease about the recovery period. I had envisioned much worse. I really need to work on having a more positive outlook!

I'm excited and scared and running through a mental list, hoping we will be prepared for the baby's arrival. At the same time, there are some things we just don't know what we'll need until we're in certain situations, but the basics are all set. And ready or not, she's coming.

And while uncharted territory lays ahead of us, I am so relieved to finally know there will be no more shots, no more NSTs, AFIs, cervical exams, and all the pain and discomfort I've experienced will be over in a week's time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I wrote this poem a few years ago, just read it for the first in a very long time and it evokes for me a sense of freedom and exploration I haven't felt in quite a while.

Like van Gogh’s cedar trees,
Like a Wyeth field,
Reflections mirroring back
the examination of other worlds,
worlds within worlds.

A flower.
No bigger than my fingernail
yet within its closed petals,
thinner than an eyelid,
there are other worlds.
And beyond its stem and leaves, more worlds.

The endless cycle of birth and death.

This is just one small flower
in an ancient forest.
But what of me?
What is born and what dies
just in the space between breaths?
How many worlds within me?
And how many worlds will I discover
just by turning left when I meant to go right?
Who am I then,
to sit here alone,
a beggar at the banquet.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Here's some music I really like.