Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Singin' in the Rain

Watching the rain over the past couple of days reminds me of my own falling tears that came over the weekend.  I didn't cry for any specific reason but just because I was overcome with my situation and had to express that.  I live in a state of emotional, whether happy, sad, angry, or excited I am rarely in the in between.  I am glad that I live this way because it makes me feel like my life is being lived fully.  I would much rather be maxed out than save up my feelings for some event that never comes.

A Good Morning

I am up early but baby is still sleeping.  I have the fireplace blazing because it's cold, a chance for flurries even.  Christmas movies play in the background of my day.  Silas loved his first viewing of Frosty the Snowman yesterday and I loved my first viewing of him watching it.  Everything he does is a perfect little moment in my memory bank.  Someday I will go collect my saving and realize what a happy and perfect life I had.  I can't wait to start the day, with Silas Dadadaing and knocking over block towers that I build over and over.

My hat is too small and I have slobbers but aren't I cute?


Monday, November 29, 2010

But being momma is a job...

Well, I haven't said much about this because in the whole scheme of life it means nothing but because of financial issues (my husband being one of those that has a Master's degree but can't find a decent paying job) we are living with my in-laws.  I love them dearly and if I had to live with anyone besides hubby and baby it would be them but sometimes it is hard.  I think the hardest part is not being able to freely express myself during my crazy moments.  Sometimes I just need to vent about things without an audience.  Anyway, I was in one of those venting sessions yesterday and the response I was given was that maybe I should get a little job to make some extra money so we can afford our own place.  No, not from hubby but from some well-meaning family members. Honestly, I barely make it through the days without collapsing as it is.  I can't imagine dragging myself to a second job.  All of this has made me doubt myself but I know that I am meant to be a full-time momma to my baby no matter the sacrifice.  I could probably get a part-time job and scrape enough money together to get a small apartment but it would be at the sacrifice of my time with my beautiful family.  It may be silly or naive or immature but having money and even my own happiness will never come before taking care of my sweet Silas.  I say all of this now because I wish I would have said it yesterday instead of making excuses for my decisions.  I am sitting here now saying, without excuse, that no matter how difficult it can be I will continue to raise my boy in the way that I think is best and right now that means giving him the full-time care that he deserves.  These glimpses at our day are the reasons why:






I am so blessed that I didn't have to miss a single of these moments in his life!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I saw his face and now i'm a believer

People who say they don't believe in love at first sight must not have any babies yet.

Black Friday

I definitely got up at 1:20 AM for cheap pajama pants and a discounted video game.  i don't do it for the savings though (well, I guess I kind of do) but also for the thrill.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble

So very much to be thankful for but most of all, my little turkey.  On a side note he loves it when I gobble so I, without any shame, walked through wal mart and schnucks yesterday gobbling away while he laughed and squealed.  He totally made unbearable day-before -Thanksgiving shopping almost bearable.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Strange and Comforting Realization

I have always had this idea that I wanted many many children but I realized last night that I would be happy if Silas was the only baby that I had.  I don't think that things will go that way but it is such a comforting feeling to be content with what you have.

Screaming

No, not me this time.  My kid has woken up multiple times in the past couple of nights screaming at the top of his tiny lungs for no obvious reason.  The first time it happened, I just had to step out of the room for a minute because I was so overwhelmed in my sleepy state.  Then I held him and rocked his limp little body and kissed his salty cheeks until his breathing slowed and he drifted off.  I tucked him against my side and he slept peacefully for an hour but then daddy placed him back in his bed and the screaming picked back up again.  This has happened several times only at night and I don't know what to do.  I think this may lead to my own screaming if it continues tonight.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hormones?

I have been trying to figure out for some time now if I am still suffering from roller coaster hormones or if having my sweet boy in the world has just made me a total sap.  Not just a sap, but a full on emotional basket case. 

Case in point, on Saturday night we had Thanksgiving dinner with Drew and Randa and as we sat down to eat, we acknowledged that Silas was downstairs sleeping and Baby Dranda (as I have dubbed my unborn niece or nephew) is still a jellybean-sized fetus but they were both still a part of the celebration.  Well, as we bowed our heads to pray I started boo-hooing at this image of sleeping Silas holding hands with this little nubby fetus and playing a game of ring around the rosies with the angels in dreamland.  I realize that this sound like some kind of acid trip or something but it really got me going with the tears. 

Don't cry, Momma!


This was not an isolated case, I cried on Halloween and many days in between at the most random thing.  I think that my heart is just so full of indescribable love that the love must pool in my eyes and overflow in salty tears of wonderment.

Sit baby sit...now stay

The days of leaving baby in the floor to play while I do chores are gone.  I can put him on his soft blankie with his little toys and will come back in the room to find him on the dirty floor with an xbox360 remote cord in his mouth acting as a teether (true story) so the question is how am I supposed to get things done now?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Christmas Time...well, almost

We have pretty much finished buying Baby's Christmas presents for his very first Christmas.  So far we have gotten him these:

I love these little guys.  They are called Sing a ma jigs and they are hilarious!



We also got him this because I am determined to make him a musician and he has the crazy personality of a drummer.  It is a Fisher Price Crawl-along drum.




                                                   


Daddy's Pick was a Little People zoo because he and Silas are both animal lovers!

We also got him some discounted halloween costumes for pretend play and I am going to try making him a little blanket with taggies on it so that he can have something handmade...we will see.  I think that this will be plenty of presents for a 7 month old especially considering he will be getting so many presents from our families as well.  I am trying to think of ideas for stocking stuffers.  I am going for things to make his face light up so that I can get some gorgeous pictures.  Having him here for Christmas will make it a Christmas like none other and will be the best present ever.

What the teething tablets?!

So, I knew that one brand of teething tablets had been recalled (thanks to http://www.theunglamorousmommy.com/search/label/Recalls ) but I had found another brand that was just fine but apparently so had everyone else in town.  There is a teething tablet shortage, the shelves have been cleaned out and I am scared of what tonight might bring.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful

It is not quite Thanksgiving day yet but we are celebrating for the next week and it never hurts to be grateful everyday so I am thinking about what I am most thankful for:

My husband going to a job he hates everyday so that I can do the one I love
Always losing at staring contests to Silas because he makes a goofy face and makes me laugh every time
Being back together with my friends and family for this first big holiday
Moving forward in life, even when I feel I am stuck
A new niece or nephew on the way- and a best friend for my boy
For being pushed to see how strong I am over the past year
For always being able to keep going

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Breastfeeding-ish

So, I pretty much knew that when my boy was born that I would breastfeed him and I am not ashamed to say that my decision was based mainly on the fact that formula is so very expensive.  Well, when baby was born early it was stressed by everyone how much more important it would be for him to have the sustaining power of momma's milk.  Of course, we were separated those first days and I had to pump and Wade would make a delivery each day to the nurses at the NICU and they were actually able to give him the milk through the feeding tue in his nose.  Once we were reunited I tried nursing him but he was so small and would tire out before he had enough to eat.  That is how we got to this point...the point where I have been exclusively pumping for 7 months.  I hate pumping, really I do but yesterday as I was preppping his solids I realized that it wouldn't be that long until he no longer needed my milk which feels a lot like he won't need me and that lead to tears.  I realize he is still so small but all I can see is how fast he has grown already.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fairytale

We sat in the Schnucks parking lot feeding you an overdue bottle between Christmas shopping stops and the bright sun pried at my squinting eyes.  I was annoyed at the brightness until I looked down and saw the rays blazing through your long lashes making them look like little feathers.  I smiled at the way that you make each moment feel like happily ever after.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

At First Sight

Anyone who has had a c-section knows that it is pretty painful to recover from but I had the blessing of distraction to get me through it.  On the day I left the hospital, I wanted to leave and immediately drive to Saginaw to see my sweet boy but was coaxed by Wade and my concerned in-laws that we might want to at least pick up my pain prescriptions before heading out (I was grateful for their urging later).  The drive over was like nothing I have experienced before.  The closest approximation I have would be the night before a vacation as a kid when painful anticipation makes your heart jump and your fingers jitter.

I kept closing my eyes and picturing my tiny little wonder finally filling my arms.  When we arrived at the hospital my in-laws dropped us at the door, knowing how desperate that I was to take off in a sprint to the NICU.  I let Wade guide me to elevator and up to the 3rd floor.  We walked to the little phone and announced that we were the parents of Silas Christian and were there for a visit.  We walked to the industrial sink to begin our three minute scrub that we would have to do every three hours until the day that we were released.  We walked down the hall toward Nursery 6 which was almost at the end.  We walked in and he was in the first isolette on the right. 

They had a blanket tossed over the top to shield the light and on the end was a laminated piece of construction paper that had his name spelled out and little dinosaur stickers dancing around the edge.  As I stepped around and looked at him, I couldn't believe this was my baby.  I had a lump in my throat because I didn't have an instant knowledge that this was the wiggle creature that I had carried for so long.  The nurse walked over and asked if we wanted to get him out for a few minutes.  Of course I wanted to but first we had to change his diaper.  This doesn't seem like a big deal but when you are holding little tooth pick legs up with each arm in a separate hole in the isolette and wiping off sticky, thick meconium it was a challenge.  Also, his little preemie diapers were still huge on him and had to be tucked and folded to make a suitable cover. 

After we had him secured in his little pamper, Wade instructed me to put a gown on over my clothes.  He opened the isolette hatch and wrapped his bundled body in my arms and truthful that weight I had been anticipating was not there.  He also did not fill my arms even nearly.  It was like holding a doll with lots of blankets.  I smelled his head and held him tight and knew that this was my baby and I can't say for sure but I think that he knew I was his mommy.  My biggest concern while being kept in my separate hospital was that he would not know me.  I feared that his recollection of my voice would fade and my scent would be unfamiliar after staying in the sterile hospital wing, but I think that he knew who I was.  I just kissed him and cried, cried to the point that one of the nurses actually shushed me but I couldn't help it.  I had never been so happy in my whole life.  As I sat there with Wade beside me and my baby in my arms I felt whole for the first time in my life.  I finally got my moment of love at first sight that most women get just seconds after their baby's birth and because I had to wait so very long I savored it in ways that I wouldn't have under normal circumstances. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Silas's Birth Story

My pregnancy was not even close to being that glowing and miraculous event that many women describe.  I was sick, very sick from about the second that I got pregnant.  Of course, I didn't at first know that I was pregnant because it had only been weeks before that my doctor had told me that it would be "impossible" to get pregnant.  I was not trying to get pregnant but also didn't feel the need to not not try and it lead to where we sit today.  Anyway, that whole being sick thing was the stuff of nightmares.  What began as morning sickness, lead to be called hyperemesis which is just really bad morning sickness.  I was losing weight rapidly and was in and out of the ER for fluids and a random smattering of anti-nausea meds that did not help at all. 

On Thanksgiving Day (heh, thanks a lot, baby I don't know yet) I awoke with the worst pain that I had ever felt in my abdomen and called my mother-in-law at about 3 AM to ask her if this was normal.  She said probably not.  Off to the ER we went, where they reluctantly drugged me up and gave me a diagnosis of having a bum gallbladder.  Anyway, the next several months went on this way with lots of pain and vomiting and spending days at a time without getting out of bed.  Once I hit about 7 1/2 months the nausea eased up and I feasted in ways that only someone growing another person can imagine.  Things were going pretty well until I was about 34 weeks pregnant.
This is a story I have told to others at least a dozen times and to myself at least a thousand but I still fear forgetting each painful and joy-filled moment and crave writing it down so that I can release myself from the need to keep reliving it.  I write this story with tears, even after the knowing the outcome, it conjures up pain that I can't ever describe to even those who know me best.
On Wednesday morning I woke up and my bottom lip was puffy, and I knew that I had laid off the bar fights during the pregnancy so I had no explanation.  I had also been experiencing some other weird things like seeing sparkly lights and getting dizzy.  I was feeling a tugging in my mind that something was wrong so I finally broke down and called the OB and they wanted to see me.
Wade left his work at the writing center to take me in.  From here, everything moved very fast and it gets a little harder to remember all of the details.  I went in and they checked my blood pressure which was high and there was protein in my urine.  I had read enough to know that this was adding up to preeclampsia.  They monitored me and sent home to stay on bed rest.  I was back the next day with worsening symptoms and at this point they said that there was a good chance I would have my baby that weekend. 

We went home scared but excited, calling our friends and family 600 miles away to tell them the news.  I was reeling and felt the strong need to prepare the house for the baby we would be bringing home in just a few days.  Wade went out in search of preemie clothes and all of my little tools that I wanted on hand for my labor and delivery, none of which ever got taken out of the suitcase.

On Saturday morning, we went in at 8:30 AM so that I could be put on the monitors.  I was feeling awful and was starting to shows signs of the neurological symptoms of the preeclampsia, with my jerking muscles.  They quickly got me into a gown and into a labor room.  Through all of this, I managed to stay calm, imagining holding my sweet boy that I had seen only in ultrasound images.  My amazing doctor, who I had first met on that Thanksgiving trip to the hospital and who I will always be thankful for, came in and discussed our next steps.  I agreed with her that a long labor and delivery process would be impossible in the condition that I was in.  She also discussed the fact that our hospital did not have a NICU so if things went wrong our little newborn would be taken to one of two hospitals, both of which were roughly an hour away.

Wade and I had an ignorant confidence that our baby would be just fine and would stay put with us.  In what seemed like minutes, they had called a team of doctors in for my c-section and for the care of my coming newborn.  They wheeled me in to the OR and before the epidural gave me a sedative.  I remember rambling about feeling weird but saying that it was okay because Wade was also weird and then prophesying that our baby would also be weird.  I don't remember the procedure or the fact that they brought my sweet boy to me to see for the first time. 

The first thing that I remember is being wheeled to the recovery room and someone placing my baby's first picture in the palm of my hand.  I have vague memories of excitedly telling the nurses in recovery about my 4 lbs. 2 ozs., baby.  I am not sure how much later it was but I was taken back to the maternity ward, fully expecting to finally get to see my baby.  Wade was there armed with the digital camera which he had used to document the beginning of my son's life without me.  He was so tiny that the picture of his hand gripping daddy's finger shows that his fingers could not fully encircle the very tip of his appendage. I was in awe of his scattering of blonde hair and his bright red skin, all of which I was seeing on a one inch screen on the rear of the camera.  He was so beautiful but I longed to touch his skin and breathe in his baby scent and feel the weight of him in my arms.  I couldn't wait to nurse him and give him the nutrition he needed to start growing right away.  I finally saw my sweet baby about 8 hours after his birth and that was only through the case surrounding him in his little isolette, equipped to ride safely in the ambulance to another hospital.  I knew that he would only be one hour away but it felt like a million.  As they rolled him out, the emotions only served to further exhaust my already broken body.  I was very out of it for the couple days after that because of the medications, sadness and exhaustion that turned out to be exacerbated by a huge blood loss.

Once I was given transfusions and was getting energy, I was desperate to get out so that I could see my Silas and hold him for the first time.  Wade was driving to see him each day, taking to him the tiny drops of milk that I had managed to pump and bringing back to me new pictures and burp cloths that held the scent of my baby.  The nurses encourage me to look at his picture and take in his scent to aid in my milk production.  They probably thought they knew how painful that was but there is no way they could understand the emotions coursing through me when I dwelled on the beauty of my distant baby.  Only on the fourth day was I released and able to see my precious son and hold him for the first time.  That is another story and one that I am now too exhausted think about at the moment. 

Tonight, I will hold my boy a little tighter and complain a little less about waking in the night to care for him because all of this has made those wounds new again but the touch of his tiny hand and his smile that starts in his eyebrows, spreads to his ears and then finishes on his lips only help to ease the pain of the loss of those first hours with him.

In the Beginning...

I have toyed with the idea a writing a blog for sometime but I was afraid of the commitment.  I have decided that it is one that I am willing to make for myself because I never want to forget any of these precious moments that are passing by so very quickly.  I want to look back and have some documentation so that I know it was all real.  Each day feels like I am muddling through some sort of maze to keep everything in balance but in all of that confusion there are glimpses at true love and the knowledge that life is made up of puzzle pieces that, when placed together, create a portrait of a miracle.