"So throw away those Lamentations,
We both know them all too well.
If there's a Book of Jubilations,
We'll have to write it for ourselves.."

-Josh Ritter

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big Day!

Today is Ellie's due date. I for one am glad to not still be pregnant and to have been snuggling my baby for nine whole days. I think the rest of the family feels the same. That's not to say that it's been an easy nine days, of course.
Ellie has been a bit, um, tough on me. She's nursing and has been taking For. Ev. Er. to eat. Big deal, right? Well, it kind of is when she eats for an hour, sleeps for fifteen minutes then wants to eat again. She hates her crib and cosleeper, leaving me sleeping in a recliner with her on my chest. She also seemed to like biting many times a feeding, something I was less than entranced with. And I'm talking about clamping down and not letting go until I pried her hard little gums apart. After Nora, who was an efficient eater to say the least, Eric and I were finding ourselves at a loss about it.
Then, last night, I gave up and left her where she was happily sleeping in her swing. I slept next to her- for 4.5 hours without her waking up or grousing. that's how it occurred to me that she hates being laid flat...like a baby with reflux would. When I mentioned this to Eric, he agreed and thought that maybe eating actually hurts for her. So, we made one change- don't lay the girl flat.
I gotta tell you- I haven't been bitten all day. Freakin' awesome.
Also awesome was her first doctor's appointment. Far from allowing a little thing like constant pain get in the way of eating (perseverence! That's my girl!), she has gained 11 ounces since discharge from the hospital. She only had to gain 5 ounces to regain birth weight (the goal), so way to go, Ellie!
We got a referral to PT to fit her for a wedge to prop her up safely in her crib, potentially allowing me to rejoin the adults in the master bedroom again. How novel.
Ellie also suffered the indignation of a bath today. Hence the fuzzy-headed little imp at the top of the page. When she's pre-bath, she has a tendency to get a little greasy. None of us can keep our hands off that hair. During said bath, she lost her umbilical cord. I had no idea that was so enraging.
Nora still seems to be coping well with our divided attention. She is certainly thinking hard about the implications of the new being in her life. But she hasn't complained directly about Ellie. In fact, she likes to read her a bedtime story and give her kisses every night. I'll work on getting a video of that one for ya.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome, Ellie!

It's been pointed out to me by numerous people that this blog has not been updated in an embarrassingly long time. I've used many excuses for that in the past. This time, I think I'm going to go with the feeling that complaining about the discomfort of pregnancy, the behavioral issues of a four year old dealing with change and anticipation of a new baby makes for pretty poor prose.
Sure, there were good times- a wonderful trip to Grand Marais, a happy, growing belly and a lovely summer in Duluth. None of that can compare to the last week. And now, I find myself with something to write about and the time to do it.
I woke up in the middle of the night Monday night and the contractions that had been increasingly painful, but never more often than 10 minutes apart were lasting longer and were stronger. Thinking I was still in the irritating latent phase of labor, I took a Benadryl and a couple of Tylenol and tried to get back to sleep.
No dice.
Since residency, I've had the idea in my head that there is a lot of labor that just doesn't require medical intervention. Even having had a baby before, I hadn't had much practice with that (Nora was an augmented labor, to say the least). And the doctors tell you that you shouldn't even think about going to the hospital until your contractions are 5 minutes apart, last for 60 seconds each and Have been doing that for an hour.
So, trying to follow that line of thinking, I decided to get in the bathtub, read a book and time my contractions. Then, I would just see what happened. Well, what happened is that my contractions were pretty irregular. When I got in the tub at 3:30, they were averaging 9 minutes apart. An hour later, they were every four minutes. I wasn't sure what to do, but dreaded calling the neighbors, waking Eric and making the uncomfortable trip down Duluth's bumpy roads in the middle of the night- only to be sent home. I thought about trying to wait until daycare opened at 6:30. I thought about calling and talking to the OB on call. I thought about taking a shower and brushing my teeth.
In all, I thought for about 10 minutes before deciding that I needed to call the hospital and let them know I was on my way. I had to be in some kind of active labor, right? Surely, they wouldn't send me home when I was so obviously uncomfortable.
I did manage to brush my teeth and comb my hair before I woke Eric up. I had to get him to make the phone calls, since I couldn't seem to make it through those contractions and still breathe and talk and stuff. Eric didn't know the number for OB, so he called the main operator. They asked for his call-back information, at which point he responded, "REALLY?!?!? You call me all the time." They were less than amused by that.
The much-anticipated bumpy roads did seem to make me contract more. By the time we made it the 5 minutes to the hospital, I was contacting every 2 minutes and continued to do so through registration in the ER, the ride up to the OB floor and getting put in a bed. I must have looked impressive, because there was a resident in the room in minutes.
Even with some experience delivering babies, I was not expecting to be told that my cervix was 9 cm. My first thought was honestly that the resident must have over-estimated. However, we were checked in at 5:35 and I delivered without a hitch at 6:41 on Tuesday, August 16, 2011.
For my FP/OB friends, it was a perfect delivery. No drugs or instrumentation (no time for it!), no trauma, baby on the belly and nursing while still gross, Daddy cut the cord. It was beautiful.
And this was the view out my hospital window:
I want to remember that forever.
And that is how Evelyn Lark Lauer ("Ellie") joined our family. She is lovely at 7 pounds, 5 ounces with lots of dark hair. Of course, Daddy and I are head-over-heels in love with her. This was more of a surprise:

I've never seen a look like that on Nora's face- or any four-year-old's for that matter. I think that when she asked for a sister, she actually meant it! Now, let's see how long that lasts...