Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to work

Just a quick update to let everyone know I survived my first day back at work.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm a crier. Happy, sad, proud, relief--many emotions evoke tears from me. So last night and this morning I cried and cried. I told Adam I didn't know how or when it was ever going to stop. I thought maybe I'd stop when I climbed into the shower. Nope. At least not right away. I was starting to tear up again when I thought of my Mom and heard her concerned yet stern voice: "You're going to make yourself sick!" She used to tell me this when I would cry for a long time (I've been racking my brain all day trying to remember what ever made me cry like this and can't remember. Weird.). And it was true: I'd exhaust myself and would often get sick shortly thereafter. Remembering that admonishment from my mother helped me settle myself. That, and imagining that my tears were using up all the liquid I need to make milk for Oscar!

Folks at work welcomed me back warmly and enthusiastically. I spent most of the day going through email and vmail. Adam brought Oscar by to nurse at 11:45 a.m. The little rascal wouldn't take much milk from a bottle at home; he also really struggled nursing. He did much better taking a bottle from Adam for the afternoon feeding. They walked in to pick me up from work just after 5:30 p.m. and we all walked home together, with a trip to the store on the way. Lovely.

Once home, I nursed Oscar while Adam made an incredible dinner of wilted spinach salad with all kinds of goodies in it and an equally yummy side of squash & onion sauté.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words, thoughts and support to both Adam and me as we faced and now are making this transition. It helps.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rattle update

Oscar's pediatrician assured us today that his lungs are clear and that his rattle is just saliva that sort of collects in his throat because he's a juicy little boy who doesn't yet know how to clear his throat. Whew.

For rattle-free bedtime, we can elevate the head of his bed a little and/or use a humidifier. Will try either/both of those things if the rattle continues.

Touch and go

I've been touch and go today because I go back to work tomorrow. For some of the day I've been necessarily oblivious to the fact. Tomorrow morning may not go smoothly at all as I haven't pumped in a couple of weeks and don't have a purse ready (I've been using the diaper bag as a purse for three months!). Other parts of the day, I've been struck by practical thoughts like, "do I have clean clothes to wear?" and "do we have food to make my lunch?" Much of the rest of my day has been spent mourning the end of this magical time we've spent together as a family and being grateful for my happy and healthy son and my incredible husband. Lots of tears and sighs, lots of time holding Oscar and playing with him, lots of sustaining hugs from Adam. A new chapter in our lives begins tomorrow. I'd better go get some sleep so I have a chance at starting off well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knotty boy

We've cut three knots out of the back of Oscar's hair. His hair thinned a little after he was born, especially up front, but he didn't really lose a lot of it. I know a lot of babies get bald spots on the backs of their heads from rubbing out their fine baby hair. Oscar likes to turn his head from side to side when he's tired, but his bald spot is going to be from us cutting out knots! Also, when he's nursing during the past few weeks, he will manage to get all four fingers in his hair with a pretty good grip.


Oscar and I picked up Adam at the airport last night. It was a joyous reunion.

This morning we're so happy to be back together as a family in our house.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The fists

Oscar's discovered that his fists are part of him, conveniently located at the end of his arms, which he has enough control over now to slowly and steadily move them so the fists end up in his mouth. Satisfaction!

I keep trying to get a picture of him focusing on his fists, but he almost always becomes aware of the camera before I can get a shot of the profound concentration on his face. Here's the closest I've come:


And just a happy baby shot:

Solo: Day 3

Today we hung around home almost all day.

Oscar's breathing has occasionally sounded a little ragged and I really started worrying about it today, so I called the doctor's office and spoke with an incredibly helpful, patient and kind nurse from Emanuel Hospital (the local pediatrician's office contracts with their nurse line on weekends or something like that). She asked a ton of questions and had me put the phone to Oscar's mouth a couple times so she could hear his breathing for 15 seconds. She also had me put my hand on his belly and count his breaths out loud to her, put him on his tummy for a few minutes to help clear congestion and then she had me make a saline solution and drop it into his nose and suction it out, all while she waited on the phone with me. He sounded better after all this and she told me to stay close to him (not a problem!) and listen to him throughout the night (I usually do this anyway). Tonight after nursing him and laying him down to sleep, his breathing sounded pretty rough. I carried him to the couch so I could recline with him on my chest and hopefully keep him asleep or at least from fully waking up. It worked really well. He's back in his bassinet, still sleeping and his breathing sounds perfectly clear. If he's rattly tomorrow morning, I'll take him in to the pediatrician office.

Our big outing today was to a barbecue at the Blairs'. Kobbi, Brian, Journey and Dixon were there, of course, as were Aaron and Alex, and Victoria. Beth even showed up a little later! When I put Oscar in his car seat to go to the bbq, he was pretty happy. He even cooed and laughed during the drive over. He's such a happy little guy. Once there, I left him in his car seat because he seemed perfectly content (and it was a little break for me to not hold him). He sat outside under a big tree, looking around and smiling at Journey and whomever else chatted with him. He was so mellow! We moved inside later and he even nursed and fell asleep. I thought he might be too distracted, but not so. It was really great to see everyone, be outside, eat a hamburger and fresh pineapple (not together), and watch Oscar starting to interact with others.

Oscar and me at the barbecue (thanks for the photo, Kobbi!)

Dixon, Journey and Oscar enjoy the barbecue in the Blairs' backyard.

The barbecue took a turn for the worse when Dixon (held by Kobbi) took a swing at Oscar (held by Vicki). The boys eventually settled down and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Journey was very sweet with Oscar. She made a lot of arrangements so she could sit by him to eat her barbecue dinner.

So we didn't make it to the store for more disposable diapers. I think I have three or four to make it through the night and early morning. Wish me luck! The cloth diapers are in the clothes drier now; they need to be washed and dried twice more before they're ready to wear...could be tomorrow, though!

We pick Adam up at the airport around 8:45 p.m. tomorrow. Sigh. It will be wonderful to be together as a family again.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Poop management

If you're not interested in reading about bodily functions, please skip this post.

Poop management. That's what we call it at our house when Oscar has a diaper blowout or there's a changing table incident. This morning's activity was beyond anything we've experienced thus far.

We got up to nurse at 5:50 a.m. and were headed to the changing table by 6:15. I'd heard a lot of diaper activity while he was in his bassinet so I expected a full diaper. And I wasn't disappointed. What I didn't expect was for the fun to continue. We staggered away from the changing table at 6:50 a.m.

The final toll: countless squirts of poop, 7 diapers, 4 wash cloths, at least 2 full-on fountains of pee, 2 blankets (changing pad covers that I kept folding over to cover the latest barrage), 1 diaper wipe, 1 bewildered mama, one exhausted baby.

I walked Oscar around, hoping he'd sleep more. We dozed and nursed 'til 9 a.m. Whew! I know what I'm doing the rest of the day: laundry and buying more diapers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Solo: Day 2

Oscar slept in 'til 7:30 a.m.! Unheard of. And oh so nice!

Here's the little sleepy head after breakfast.

He was fairly fussy throughout the day. Sure cure: going outside. We walked over to Salem Nurse Midwives to finally get a picture of Oscar with Karen Armstrong, the midwife who helped Oscar enter this world. I hadn't ever walked there and ended up taking a long route. Oscar didn't mind--he was zonked out in the stroller about two blocks into the journey.

Nurse Midwife Karen Armstrong and Oscar

Later in the afternoon, I was playing with Oscar, talking to him and loudly kissing his neck. He laughed like I'd never heard before. A full-on laugh. I kissed him again, he laughed and laughed. One more time, and then I burst into tears, holding him to me, struck to my core how much I love this little person.

Tears of joy

In preparation for our visit to Indigo Wellness Center to visit Tara, my prenatal yoga instructor, I put this "Om" onesie on Oscar. I knew the opening for the head was tiny so I stretched and stretched it before trying to get it on him. It was still a panic-inducing struggle and left a long red mark on his head! I promised I'd cut him out of it while he was sleeping tonight. I couldn't imagine taking it off him (the arms were difficult and I swear the leg holes were cutting off his circulation!). It's labeled 3-6 months, but it should be newborn. I was able to take it off without incident.

Chant "Om" in order to put on this onesie without personal injury.

Last, but not least, here's Tara, Oscar and me at Indigo Wellness Center.

While at Indigo, I also got to see Eryca, who's due today. Good luck, Eryca! And thank you for taking our photo!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Solo: Day 1

Today was the first full day Oscar and I were on our own because Adam's in San Diego for Comic-Con. We had a great day, due in part to the fact that we were both asleep before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. It also may have helped that I think I forgot to order my latte decaffeinated. Oops. I was so hung up on remembering to order it with soy....

Here are a couple more shots from our day:

Hello? Operator? Can you please ring my Papa? He's at table M9 at Comic-Con in San Diego. I gotta tell him I miss him!

I sang "Everybody knows I love my toes" to Oscar today and he smiled and laughed. It's a song we learned at Bilingual Storytime at Salem Public Library. I sang it in English today!

And, just for fun, here's a shot of Oscar on our walk yesterday.


Today's all about getting clean.

First up: Oscar enjoyed a swing session and then slept so I could do some laundry (including folding and putting away--crazy!).

Next: I gave Oscar a bath. It was my first solo attempt (Adam and I always bathe him together). So I was a bit nervous, but I couldn't stand the sour, spit-up smell he gets after just one day. It went off without a hitch even though I forgot to play our usual bath CD, Graceland by Paul Simon.

Finally: My turn! I got a shower while Oscar slept again (no pictures for this one).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chicago, Van Morrison and Prince in tha house

This morning as Adam was preparing to leave for a five-day trip to San Diego for Comic-Con International, I overheard him singing Chicago's If You Leave Me Now: "Ooo no, baby please don't go."

I had Van Morrison's Baby Please Don't Go looping through my head: "Baby, please don't go, baby, please don't go, baby please don't go down to [San Diego], you know I love you so, baby, please don't go."

Then I heard someone humming Prince's Take Me With U: "Don't care where we go, I don't care what we do, I don't care pretty baby, just take me with you." I traced the sound to Oscar, trying to stow away in his Papa's suitcase!

I wouldn't be surprised if Adam denies singing Chicago...I don't think he was aware of it. He wasn't singing the whole song, just that one line here and there throughout the morning.

And regarding my song lyrics choice, I just want to state that I am happy that Adam's going to San Diego for Comic-Con! Oscar and I will miss him terribly, but he's going to have a great convention and be home before we know it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Family

Wait, has it really been more than 10 days since I posted? Uh-oh. Life happens.

Here are a couple photos of our little family (the first ones to finally appear on my blog. Yea!).

This one (above) was taken by Aunt T.C. during her visit at the end of May. She made a good point: pictures of the whole family are hard to come by at this early stage. Thanks, Aunt T.C.!

And this one I took back in May, too. Looks like it's time for another family portrait!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Boozin' and snoozin'

Oscar's been hitting the bottle pretty hard this week. Here are a couple milestones: He took more than 1 oz. of milk from me (while stuck in I-205 traffic for 2.5 hours on July 3). Yea! Prior to this, Adam's always given him the bottle and I've left the house/area so Oscar couldn't sense me and reject the bottle in favor of the real thing. Because of some bank robber/high speed chase/police activity on the freeway, we were forced to consider other options while Adam was stuck behind the wheel and I was in the back seat trying to comfort Oscar in his car seat. On Saturday, Oscar took 3 oz. in one feeding from Adam. Yea! Prior to this, he'd only take an ounce or two and then play with the nipple and spit out mouthfuls of milk. Good job, boys!

Oscar's also been hitting the hay pretty hard this week. Friday and Saturday nights, he got up only once to eat! I can't remember the last time I slept more than 3.5 hours in a row. It was fantastic. I can't believe it happened two nights in a row. Last night, Adam and I were so thrilled with our well-rested selves, we watched half a movie (“The Usual Suspects”) before turning in for the night. We're not disillusioned, however. We realize it's probably not a pattern, just a pleasant surprise, and we're taking it for what it is.

Friday, July 4, 2008

2-month checkup

Oscar's two-month checkup was Wednesday and he's doing great. He weighed in at 12 lbs. 11 oz. (54th percentile); his length is 23.5 inches (51st percentile) and his head measures 41 cm/16.2" (56th percentile).

We're going to submit a stool sample next week because there is still a little bit of blood in his stool despite my dairy-free diet. His pediatrician isn't concerned because he's so healthy and happy otherwise, but she wants to make sure there's not anything else unusual going on.

We're foregoing his immunizations for now and will likely stick to an alternative vaccine schedule suggested by the pediatrician. We made the decision after discussing the issue with friends, coworkers, nurses, Oscar's pediatrician and lactation consultants. The main factors in our decision are that Oscar's exclusively breastfed and therefor has a more robust immune system than formula-fed babies and that he won't be exposed to many other kids because he's not in daycare, church, etc.

At Last

I was dancing and singing with Oscar in my arms on Wednesday afternoon in his room, seeing if he would drift off to sleep. I chose the wedding soundtrack that Adam created on iTunes for our wedding (we just celebrated two years of marriage Tuesday!). Oscar was enjoying the tunes "Joy," by our friend Dan Jones, "Message of Love," by The Pretenders and some others. Then the song "At Last," sung by Eva Cassidy, came on. His eyes locked onto mine and he stared and smiled at me during the entire song. He may have been tuning in to me more deeply because I was emotional--my eyes filled with tears as I contemplated the lyrics I was singing to my newborn son, and remembered choosing the song to be performed at our wedding because those lyrics spoke to Adam and me. And now they take on a whole new meaning. Here's an excerpt:

At last
the skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
the night I looked at you

You smile
you smile
Ooh and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
for you are mine at last

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bleb: Adventures in breast feeding

A bleb? Yep, that's what they told me I have.

I consulted about the small, white bump on my nipple at the B.A.B.I.E.S. breast feeding support group today and the diagnosis was bleb.

At least I haven't had cracked or bleeding nipples (knock on wood)!

Bottle feeding update

We're still trying to get Oscar to eat a full meal of breast milk from a bottle. We skipped a few days of trying and are now back at it. He ate a little bit yesterday, and we're going to try again this afternoon.

Hair that moves

Oscar has a knot in his hair, on the back of his head. We're going to have to cut it out, I'm afraid. I think it's because he turns his head from side to side so much (while lying down).

After Oscar's bath last night, Adam was telling him that he would have "hair that moves" when he grows up, and "that's something Papa never had." I'd never thought of hair in that way before.