Archive for ◊ September, 2006 ◊

29 Sep 2006 Just a minute….
 |  Category: notes to self  | Comments off

Today is Eric’s last day of paternity leave. I’m sorry to have seen this time pass by. It went so quick. I’m sure he must feel he same way. Work has been busy, even with him being home.

I got Emily off to he bus today and yesterday. It went okay. Today I slept in a little long, but I know that will get better. As Eric says, worst case, I’ll be driving her to school. Tha’s not a big deal, overall, but something I’m hoping to avoid.

Emily is begging to decorate for Halloween. I’ve declined. I don’t decorate for halloween early. But it IS time to decorate for fall. Lots of people have been making Pumpkin Topiaries and I’m thinking of making a few myself, but using the Fake pumpkins. i think overall, the cost will be lower and I can keep it for next year, though I may use baby pumpkins o make some for indoors and I have plans for Emily and I to make leaves to hang from the dining room light and archway.

It sounds like we’re going to go apple picking this weekend, so stay tuned.

27 Sep 2006 While Cadence is sleeping….
 |  Category: Cadence, Momdom  | Comments off

just a quick update.

Our little family is doing well. Everyone is adjusting and enjoying our new little girl. Emily is in love and a great big sister. She gives lots of hugs and kisses to Cadence and can’t wait to get home from school to see her.

She’s been holding her too now that her cold is getting/gotten better. :o)

Cadence is well. Her jaundice is gone. We’ve had a couple of rough nights that I think correspond to a consumption of tomatoes during the day (my bad) so I’m going to swear those off for a while. she’s eating more often than she was, so I’m a little sore. I’m able to pump a decent amount as well, so we’ll get some milk in the freezer and hopefully Eric can take a feeding now and then to give me a little break.

Speaking of Eric, his paternity leave is over soon. I’ll miss him during the day. Not that we’re doing much, but this help and company is much appreciated and I think he’ll miss being home too.

I’m a little nervous about next week–I’ve only been up once this week at the time Emily gets on the bus, and I was feeding the baby. We’re going to have some big adjustments ahead of us.

18 Sep 2006 Cadence’s story….
 |  Category: Cadence, Momdom  | Comments off

Cadence is nearly a week old. That doesn’t seem like very much, but in he space of week we have changed so very much. It’s amazing. Cadence being here still feels like a dream. I told Eric last night I’m afraid I’m going to wake up pregnant and babyless. He said, no way. I hope he’s right. ;o)

Emily is adjusting fairly well. Thankfully our friends and family have worked hard to help us include her. They’re bringing gifts and making her feel special and I think that’s helping out a lot. She is having a pity party here and there about favoritism (turns out, she didn’t really know what it meant to be a favorite, so we explained that to her and hopefully she understands that Cadence isn’t out favorite any more than she is..they both are or no one is depending on if you’re an optimist or not).

The Birth
To say I was anxious on Monday night wouldn’t have begun to cover it. I was BEYOND anxious. My and Cadie’s health was good at my appt. and my doctor expressed surprise at the fact that I made it to my appt. I wasn’t surprised. I was weepy on and off all evening. Overwhelmed, I guess, at the entire situation. The change I knew was coming.

Eric woke me up at 6:30 so I could shower and dress. Since we were prepared this time there was no packing on running about. We ate breakfast and got into the car. It was rainy and foggy and we were the only ones who managed to show up at the hospital at our scheduled time.

They got us into our room and I changed into the fabulous hospital issue gown (blech) and my blue stripey socks. They spent about an hour “processing” me (for lack of better words) and Cadence, true to form, wasn’t cooperating with them and the fetal monitor. She’s not interested in that crap, thanks.

They finally got her on the monitor and got my pitocin started. It was then I realized that I was going to be stuck in bed, for the most part. I asked if I could get out of bed. Sure, to go to the bathroom.

Um…no. Can I get up and move around.

You can sit if you want to.

Um….i see where this is headed. I had the feeling it was going to doom me to an epidural (which it did. Mind over matter?) because when I feel out of control the worse thing to happen is for me to be contained. I need to pace and be restless and that wasn’t going to happen flat on my back.

Anyhow, my contractions started at nine. There weren’t too bad. Easy to breathe through and manageable. Eric and I watched t.v. and talked (Oprah) and I joked with the nurses.

At 10 o’clock they turned up the pit. and broke my water. It had merconium in it, which worried me more than anyone else (typical). My contractions settled into a better pattern and Eric came to sit next to the bed and report on what was strong and what wasn’t. ;o) Still manageable, still breathing. Making jokes about things freaking hurting at this point.

At 11 o’clock they upped my pit again. Not happy about that. Things were starting to pick up and hurt. I’m still stuck in bed. I’m doing multiplication tables in my head during contractions to try and distract myself. It works for a little while.

By noon, I’d had enough. I asked to get up. Was offered an internl montor so I could. I agreed. The nuse decided to check me. Announced she couldn’t even “reach’ my cervix and said i was at four.

Four.

FOUR!

FOUR?

I was at four at eight a.m. I was at four MONDAY. How in world could I be having contractions for three hours..the last hour non-stop every two minutes–and only be at FOUR

That’s it, I said to Eric. I want an epidural.

Are you sure? He asked. Let’s get someone else to check you. She couldn’t reach your cervix. She was guessing.

I’m sure. Or maybe I said I’m fucking sure. Or maybe I said “whimper, whimper whimper….Epidural PLEASE!” but the nurse sent for the doc. Eric left the room at about 12:40 to await the epi. being put in.

That was a long several minutes. Attempting to curl up in some odd position while someone was trying to rip out your insides (or so it felt like) was so hard to do. But I made it. I got settled back into bed and rechecked by another nurse.

Oh…btw? I was at six.

Great.

At this point, I’m tired. Eric takes off to get some lunch while i nap. I’m at eight before he’s even back. He’s surprised when he comes in that I’ve progressed so far, so fast and said while he was eating, Justin suggested he get back to the room so I didn’t have the baby without him.

I dozed on and off until about 3:00 when the nurse announced that I had just a little lip of cervix left. At 3:30 she asked me to start rolling from side to side every fifteen minutes to help bring Cadence down and to push, if I wanted to.

At 4:30 the doctor came in to check my progress and break the bed down. I started pushing with her and continued with Eric and the nurse (who were gabbing so much I had to clear my throat and announce my contractions). The doctor was in and out of the room until abou 5:30. She came back in and we really got down to serious business. Cadence was close, but needed some help to make it the rest of the way, so out came the vacuum (a much better deal than the lady next door who got FORCEPS!!!)

The doctor threatened me with a c-section at about 5;45 and Cadence was born at 5:50. Because of the merconium, she saw the neonatologists first, but was born with an Apgar of nine. They placed her on my chest and she and her Daddy and me sat together. She was awake and alert and seemed to want to nurse, so we called the nurse and got help latching on. She nursed on and off until it was time for me to change rooms and her to go for a checkup and a bath in the nursery.

The AftermathGlow
We are in love. All of us. Even the dog. I hate saying i this way, because I never want to negate Emily’s birth and infancy, but this is different.

Just different.

Maybe I’m a different person now.
Maybe it’s because I’m older.
Maybe it’s because I’m already a mom.
Maybe it’s the zoloft.

Whatever it is, it’s different. I’m more patient. If a feeding takes an hour, it does. If Cadence is up for two hours overnight, she is. If she poops, gets changed and then poops again, it doesn’t matter. With Emily i would have been frantic about the lost sleep, lost time, lost diaper, extra work and now, I’m just not. It doesn’t matter.

Cadence will be this size for a minute, maybe two. I remember little of Emily’s early days. They were stressful and exhausting and frightening on top of joyous and wonderful. But all of that emotion seemed to overload my memory and I just don’t remember her. It’s sad, really, that I don’t remember. I’m sure i slept with her on my chest like I do with Cadence, but I don’t remember now because it happened in a haze of doubt and elation and exhaustion. With Cadence, there is just acceptance. No questions, no books, no experts, no Internet, no comparison, no doubt. It just is.

Emily has taught me, I guess, that children need what they need. If they need hugs instead of something else that you “should’ be doing, it just doesn’ matter. You give the hug or read the book or play the game because your changes to do this are few, really, and before you know it your newborn is in first grade, doing spelling tests and math. So, who cares if feeding takes an hour. one day very soon, it won’t, and you’ll be glad you didn’t while away the time anxious or overextended. Maybe your house is messy and your husband is eating cold pizza and wearing dirty jeans, but you have forever to cook and clean an do laundry. kids exist as they are for just a second and you’ll be glad you took the time that you did.

14 Sep 2006 Cadence is here. :o)
 |  Category: Cadence  | One Comment

It took only have the time it took to give birth to Emily, but the result is just as good, don’ you think?

I will post a birth story later, for now, I’m off to be with my girls. :O)

11 Sep 2006 Tomorro is D-Day…
 |  Category: Emily, Momdom  | Comments off

Delivery day, that is. After many long discussions, Eric and I decided to take our doctor’s offers to induce and Cadence will be born sometime tomorrow. We have an 8 a.m. at the hospital to get things started. Since I’ve managed to make some progress on my own (nearly 4 cm now) hopefully tomorrow won’t be as long as Emily’s birth was (18 hours from water breaking to birth).

The house is ready. The clothes are washed, the bags are packed, the bassinet is set up, the swing is ready, things are washed, the film is loaded. We have some last minute things to do today–packing Emily for her time with Grandma. Making sure the house is tidy.

It was bittersweet last night, tucking Emily into bed. The clock is ticking now and tomorrow we won’t be a family of three anymore. While I look forward to Cadence and bing a family of four and seeing Emily be a sister. I’ve loved us as a family of three so much and it’s a little sad to see that pass by us. That who we’ve been for six year plus stops tomorrow. And that sort of change is a little overwhelming to say the last.

i think Emily is lamenting that a little as well. She’s trying to be happy, but I think she has mixed feelings about what this new person will do to her life. I can’t blame her. As much as we reassure here that not everything will change, we can’t tell her that everything is going to stay the same for her. And she’s smart and she knows that.

Yesterday morning Emily hopped into bed with us to be monkey in the middle. I told her that, even with Cadence, she could still be monkey in the middle. She accepted that and said, yes, but Cadence will be here too. And she’s right.

The next time we post, it will be with pictures of our new girl and our girls together. I can’t wait to take that picture.

Wish us luck!

07 Sep 2006 Oh Cadence, Cadence. Where for art thou Cadence…
 |  Category: Baby, Baby, Baby, Love in every stitch, Momdom, She's Crafty  | Comments off

1 week and 1 day to go until my due date and I’m now officially tired of being pregnant and totally impatient. It’s time. It’s past time. I’ve been pregnant forever. I feel like a moose. or a whale. Or a manatee (a sea cow!). Something large and clumsy that has trouble rolling over in bed. I’m restless, anxious and antsy. I feel like pacing all the time, and yet can’t get interested in any task.

Eric starts paternity leave next week. I’m nervous that we’re going to waste a whole week of leave with no baby.

I did finish the moses basket. It was a nightmare…

The lining was too big in some places and too small in others. I ended up stitched the lining to the basket to make sure it wasn’t too bulk inside and didn’t smother the baby. I got stuck by pins and needles so many times working on that, but it’s pretty and just what I wanted. The ribbon matches Cadence’s coming home outfit and I’ll be using it on her birth announcements too.

Here’s a close-up of the nursery rhyme toile. I adore it.

Jack however, isn’t interested baskets or toile..waiting or dates.

06 Sep 2006 Lament…
 |  Category: Heavy Stuff, Momdom  | Comments off

When Emily was 18 months old, we gave her half of a peanut butter cookie as a treat. We were in Traverse City and Emily had just ridden the merry go round at the Grand Traverse Mall. She was only 18 months old and we declined the lollipop the attendant offered us because of the choking hazard. The attendant asked if Emily could have a cookie instead. We agreed.

After accepting the cookie, we noticed it was peanut butter. Eric and I had a brief discussion about whether or not she should eat the cookie because of advice recommending delaying peanut products, but we deicded it would be okay and let her have half of a cookie. Within minutes of having the cookie, both Emily’s eyes swelled shut. We left the mall and headed towards camp. We stopped at Meijer to speak with the pharmacist and he recommended Benadryll which we gave her a the store. She threw up the first dose and we redosed her. It took four days of treatment with Benedryll for her eyes to return to normal.

At her next pedi. appt. we talked to her doctor about what had happened. He cautioned us not to blame the peanut butter too quickly because itt was too difficult to pinpoint what she REALLY had gotten into. He recommended avoiding peanut products just in case and seeing what time brought.

We did that. We had a minor incident, though, regarding some kung Po which caused a great big swollen lip and more benedryll. We continued to avoid.

In 2004, we decided it was time for the allergist after Emily had two reactions we couldn’t directly link to the consumption of peanut butter. She was tested. She was REALLY allergic. We were sent away from the office with an epi-pen, fact sheet and contact number for a support group. I ws scared to death. We removed all peanut products from the house. We left a pen with a parens and I carried one with me at all times. Her preschool was already peanut free, so we weren’t concerned about that, but Kindergarten was looming large and it was frightening. No two ways about it, but Emily’s school was ready and it was comforting.

When we moved to IL Emily’s new school was less prepared. Even after meeting with the teacher, etc we weree still having problems translating the seriousness of Em’s allergy to her. She claimed she was unable to monitor the snacks the children brought into the room. I provided a letter home and documentation about peanut allergies, the increase in peanut allergies, the pervasiveness of peanut allergies and what could happen during anaphlaxsis. It took a meeting with the Principal (and a steamed off Kindergarten teacher) before we got any action. Eric handled it well and the school promised to have a plan for Emily in place by first grade.

But that meant another trip to the allergy doctor. Another blood test and a 45 minute office vist while Emily sat with peanut butter smeared on her arm. What we learned was that Emily IS very allergic by blood, but thankfully doesn’t react severely. It is a blessing.

We communicated with the school, dropped off all of our paperwork and got Emily’s plan back in July. It was pretty easy. Her classroom, for snacks and parties, would be peanut free. Her lunchroom wouldn’t be, but thanks to Emily’s particular situation, she wouldn’t be segregated from her friends and could sit at the regular tables. She would have to carry a fanny pack containing an epi-pen an benedryll wherever she went inside of the school, which was agreeable.

My lament, though, really doesn’t have to do with Emily. What is there to lament? She’s fantastic. Smart, funny, capable, kind. Cuter than crap ;o) (inside joke). It really doesn’t have anything to do with her school. That’s been good. At this point, it doesn’t have to do anything to do with the parents of the classmates we deal with.

In the past several years, since Emily’s diagnosis, I’ve noticed a great deal of venom directed towards peanut allergic children and their parents. Apparently, if you would like your children’s classroom or school to be peanut free, you’re not doing your job as a parent. You’re not responsible. You should never let your child out of the house. You should homeschool. You should stop relying on others to care for your kids.

The whole sentiment is sad and exhausting. That these children’s lives aren’t worth the replacement of peanut products in lunches and snacks. And really, as the parent of a child with this condition, that’s what it feels like it boils down to. Emily (or any given peanut allergic child) just isn’t worth it.

And deep down? That hurts a lot.

I’ve always been a bit of a Suzy sunshine. I’ve always believed that with a few exceptions, people really do want the best for each others. That they want to help and keep people safe. That they care for children and old people and poor people and sick people, but when I read these tirades about how unreasonable it is to ban peanut butter because of ONE person (irregardless of who that one person is) it kind of erases a bit of that faith in humankind. A lo of it actually, that a .99 jar of Jiff matters more to people than life, regardless of whose life it is.

I hate the insinuations that we don’t self-police. That we don’t try. That we don’t do our part by asking for some extra help. That we’re odd or bad parents. That we haven’t taught Emily how to care for herself or defend herself. It’s bull. That we want everyone else to line up and do this all for us. It’s nothing like that. We’re just asking for some help. Simple help. Help that I would think nearly every other person in the world would want.

That’s my lament.

01 Sep 2006 She’s crafty….
 |  Category: Knitty goodness, She's Crafty  | One Comment

…oh yes I am.

Cadence’s coming hom ensemble…

All knit by me. :o) I’m so happy to have this done. It’s really beautiful and I hope not too chilly for her to be in it. I packed a just in case blue outfit, perhaps I should pack a just in case warmer pink outfit too.

The dress is a pattern called Crumpets. It only sized down to a six month size, but with a ruler and a little math, I created a newborn edition that seems to be sized perfectly to the sleepers I have here. :O)

Bonnet and booties to match of course.

I have finished one of Emily’s nighties. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I tossed out her old yellow one becuase it was more green than yellow and stained and gross and torn. She got her wear out of them. I sewed that for her when she broke her arm last year, so she’s gotten a good year of wear out of them. I have some other material here I’m hoping to sew into another nightie so we can toss the princess one too.

And, last night I finished the first of Cadence’s hat and bootie sets….

We’re getting close…I’m working on the moses basket today with hopes to have that finished soon.