Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

Today Barack Obama was inaugurated as our 44th president.  E was due November 3rd, and I lost my mucus plug on election day.  E arrived two days later.  Paul and I often joke that she had to wait to see the election results, and make sure they stuck, before she came out.  Had McCain won, I would probably still be pregnant. 

The Tigard Library hosted a viewing of the inauguration, so I packed up the Belchigator and we drove there to view it on the big screen.   It's hard to describe how I feel about this day.  I'm excited for our future as a country because I think that after 8 years, we finally have a competant president.  But more than that, I'm excited for my daughter to spend the next four, and hopefully eight years growing up in a country where, as a middle schooler from Atlanta said today, "Black people on the news will no longer all be bad guys."  It makes me proud to raise my child in a country where that same kid can say that he wants to be president when he grows up, and know that it's truely possible.  It makes me proud to raise my child, knowing that when she is my age, a black, or brown, or yellow or female president will be no longer be "history in the making," but natural and expected.

E slept through the whole thing, just like she slept through her baptism.  I tried to wake her up to see her new president, but she was not interested.  There was a man at the event with a good camera who took a picture of her with Obama giving his inaugural speech on the TV screen in the background.  I can't wait to see it.  That will be one for the baby book.  I've already printed out the transcripts of his speech and of the poem (written and read by another E) to put into her baby book.

In the midst of my pregnancy, Paul & I often wondered what kind of world we were bringing a child into.  We thought that we might have made a poor choice in bringing a child into the world -- that it was unfair to bring a child into this mess.  Today, I feel blessed that I have a child born in the era of Obama, and I hope that things get better for her, and every child in the country, and the world.

Barack and Roll, Baby!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Long Walks, Sunny Days...

The weather has been beautiful out here in the Pacific Northwest for the past few days.  It's been a little cold, but it's been sunny.  On Friday, I met up with a mom from one of my groups to go for a walk on the Fanno Creek Trail.  I figured we'd walk for about 30 minutes or so, because that's how long most people walk.  Since we were meeting at the library, I decided to walk there.  It turns out that this particular mom just happens to teach some exercise classes at the gym down the street, and we walked almost the entire length of the Fanno Creek Trail (at least to where it hits Hall Blvd. in Beaverton) and back.  I think it might be 4 miles each way.  Needless to say, it was a difficult walk back home from the library.  I was tired and hungry.  So when I got home, I nursed E and then went to Burgerville.  I figured I deserved it.  She didn't sleep as well that night as I thought she would.  She was up every two hours to nurse.  It was no big deal.  She slept 7 hours Saturday night, so I can't complain too much.

It's hard to believe how much she's grown in just 10 weeks.  I have a pair of shoes that Jim (the SLP I used to work with) gave me that were too big for her at 3 weeks.  I found them this weekend and put them on her and they were too small. Frown  Not that she really needs shoes right now, but still.  It's a bummer.  She can still fit into her 0-3 month outfits, but that won't last too long, and she's growing out of her small gdiaper pants.  We now have her in the medium pants with the small liners.  My firend Janet says that worked for her son when he was between sizes.  She hasn't had too many blow outs since then.

The nice thing about her growing up is that she's cooing more, anticipates activities, and doesn't cry too much.  Of course, she never cried too much to begin with.  We have begun a bedtime routine.  I learned that even though she doesn't really fall asleep until 10 or 10:30, we have to start the routine by 9:00 or she'll do nothing but scream.  We change her diaper, I brush my teeth, then we say goodnight to daddy and give him kisses.  Then we go into the bedroom and read a book.  Currently, the book is Playtime Peekaboo.  After the book, I put the book away, say "Goodnight, E" and turn off the light.  Then I crawl into bed with her and nurse her off to sleep.  It's a good routine, and in the time it takes for me to turn off the light and get into bed (about 2 seconds), she has already turned on her side, ready to nurse.

We're starting "Itsy Bitsy Yoga" this week.  There is a class at the SW Community Center in Multnomah Village.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I think it will be yet another good activity that will help her with self regulation.  The downside is that the class starts at 9:00am.  Who thought that was a good idea?  We're going to have to get up at 7 to make it to class on time.

She has started a new sound, too.  It's a hybrid between a laugh and a squeal.  I've tried to get a video of it, but as soon as I turn on the camera, she's silent.  How does she know this already?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Zoo & Birth Certificate Nightmare

Every second Tuesday of the month, the Oregon Zoo has $2 admission.  I took E with me and we met up with my friend Tina and her baby, C who is a month older.  She was born October 3rd.  It was a fantastic day.  Because we got there early, there wasn't much of a crowd.  And the BEST part was being able to see the cute baby elephant who was born in July or August last year.  He was so cute!!  It was a sunny day, which is a rare occasion in the Pacific Northwest in the winter, and E & C acted like moles, squinting their eyes and trying to hide from the sun.  I had found a pair of sunglasses for 99 cents at Gymboree a couple weeks ago, so E was stylin' in her shades.  I hope the weather is nice and sunny for next month's $2 Tuesday!

Yesterday, I met Janet & her baby, R (born September 30th) in downtown Hillsboro so we could pick up or babies' birth certificates.  Apparently, Meridian Park hospital is not in Washington County.  It's in Clackamas County.  It would have been nice if someone had told me this at the hospital.  All was not lost.  Janet had R at St. Vincent's, which is in Washington County, and we walked around downtown Hillsboro, which is very cute and quaint, unlike downtown Tigard, which is ugly, drab and inhospitable.  We ate at this super-cute tea house, where the decor reminded me of an old excentric woman.  There used to be a restaurant in Tigard called Pair au dux (I think that's how it was spelled), which reminded me of the same thing.  After lunch, we walked around Hillsboro, visited a cool boutique that sells items made by local stay at home moms.  And then we went to the yarn store, and I was good.  I did not purchase anything, even though I wanted to.  Paul was very proud of me.

Last night was our HOA meeting.  I left E and Paul alone for two hours and they did well.  The first time I left them alone, E wouldn't take a bottle for anything.  Paul was shaking the milk into her open mouth as she screamed.  This time, it was much better.  When I came home, they were sitting on the couch talking to each other.  It was so sweet.  I love them.  At night, when we're all in bed together, the rhythm of their breathing puts me to sleep.  I can't imagine life without them.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Engorgement and Regulation

It was a great idea for Paul to take E for a walk.  They were gone an hour, and she slept most of the time.  When she woke up, she was ready to nurse, but wasn't as fussy as she had been all night and that morning.  She even let Paul take her so that I could take a shower and try to get my engorged left boob to empty.

I took the manual pump into the shower with me.  I've noticed that after a shower, my breasts will start leaking, so I figured it might help if I pumped while I was in the shower.  Maybe the warm water would help.  I'd been massaging my milk ducts and pumping all morning, and could only manage to squeeze out an ounce.  The last thing in the world I want to deal with is mastitis.  I've already had that -- during my first week out of the hospital -- and I don't want to do it again.

I got in the shower, pointed the hot water onto my boob and started pumping.  Within a minute, I had filled up the 5oz bottle attached to the pump.  At first I thought it had gotten so full because water dripping down my boob must have gotten into the pump.  When I felt my breast, it was super soft, so it was all milk.  Needless to say, since I was in the tub, I had to pour all that precious milk down the drain.  I wasn't in the most sterile of conditions.  I continued pumping, letting the milk fall into the tub.  I didn't need to pump, really.  When I took the pump off my breast, milk flowed from my nipple like a faucet had been turned on.  It was the sweet feeling of relief.

My boob still hurts a little, probably from the five hours of deep pressure massage.  I hope that heals up soon.

For the rest of the day, E was the perfect baby, playing with daddy while I took catnaps between feedings.  She got really fussy at 9pm, and until I took her to bed with me at 9:30 and she passed out in 5 minutes, I didn't realize it was because she was so gosh-darn tired.  I decided that we would start our bedtime routine at 9pm from now on.  Of course, I also have to create a bedtime routine...

Yesterday we took a walk to Costco with E in the sling.  It took us about an hour.  We pushed the stroller & car seat with us so we could meet Christopher there and he could drive us and our groceries home with us.  She slept the entire way there.  When she woke up, she was a little disoriented, not knowing exactly where she was, but she soon brightened up and spent the time in the store looking around at all the people and lights.  When we got out to the car, she didn't cry when I put her in the carseat, even though her diaper was so full, her outfit got wet.  She didn't cry when I changed her diaper before I fed her.  She didn't cry when she was hungry at 6:30 and our neighbor was still over chatting away saying 15 times "OK, I'm gonna go so you can feed her."  She cried, but she was easily quieted by Paul and her cries weren't nearly close to the same level and desperation as they sometimes get.

She cried when I took her to bed, but then she farted a bunch and destroyed a diaper, so that's understandable.

I took her on a walk to the library this morning.  I think that she needs walks to help her regulate herself.  She was extremely fussy this morning, and has now been asleep for almost 2 hours.  Walks in the sling are like a morning coffee.  She just doesn't feel like herself without one.

Who would have thought that the daughter to two long-distance hikers would need to take walks outside every day to feel normal?  I'm just glad we figured this out early on.  I've decided to take her on a morning walk every day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Last Night

Last night was a horrible night.  E woke up just about every hour.  She was very restless.  I don't know if it was a delayed response from the vaccination or what.  She would wake up, nurse for about 5 minutes then fall asleep.  All that nursing made me completely engorged and now my left boob is in so much pain.  I pumped 4 oz from it at 2am, and I've been trying to squeeze out some more this morning.  I've only managed 1 oz.  I've put her on it because she usually does a better job than the pump, but she just screams, probably because nothing is coming out.  It doesn't help that I'm sleep deprived.  Paul has taken her in the sling for a walk so she'll fall asleep.  I doubt that she will.  She's probably starving by now and most likely has a full diaper.  I wish they would come back soon.  I miss them.

Friday, January 9, 2009

First Well Baby Exam & Vaccine

E had her first well baby exam and vaccination last night.  She's doing very well - growing like a weed.  She's gained 3 lbs 4oz and almost 2 inches since birth.  She's in the 50th percentile for length, and 75th for weight.  She's also in the 50th percentile for length/weight ratio.

We're doing the alternate vaccination schedule listed in The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears.  Last night she got the DTaP vaccine.  She did very well.  I stuck my finger in her mouth to suck, so when she got the shot, she just got really red and gave me a look of shock, pain and betrayal, and sucked my finger harder for a little while.  I nearly cried.  It will be harder for me next month when she has to get TWO shots.

She seems to be doing well now.  She was a little fussy at bedtime last night, but she slept well - 4 hours, and then nursed and slept another three.  After that nursing, she slept another two while I took a shower and got some cleaning done around the house.  There's no swelling, and she was a super-happy baby this morning.  We played a little bit and she let out a couple happy shrieks for the first time.  That was really cool!

This afternoon we're going to Starbucks to meet some of the women from our playgroup that we attend at the hospital on Tuesdays.  That will be nice.