Sunday, February 20, 2005
Last night I dreamed that someone put Irina back in my belly for convenience's sake. And in a different dream, I was pregnant and shopping at a baby store and the clerk said that out of all the customers, I was going to be the next one to have my baby because I was the only one really close to my due date. So I agreed and said that since I had just had Irina, that yes, this one was going to come out pretty soon. Then she looked confused and I realized that if I had just had Irina, I couldn't possibly be having another baby so soon and that I was going to be pregnant for another 8 months. Then I got really depressed.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Irina is sleeping soundly, cutely, sleepily, like a baby right now. This is because it is the middle of the day. That's when people are supposed to sleep uninterruptedly right? Actually no, honey. Actually, a better time for that would be at night. Actually mama feels a little bit like a walking dead person right now because you've got it a bit backwards. If you want to wake up every 20 minutes for 6 hours and cry a better time to do that would probably be daytime.
It's not that horrible. It's not every night. It was just last night.
Look lady! Just buy the kid the Chef Boyardee! You can make yourself something else! All you have to do is stick it in a pot for 3 minutes! She's sad and you're horrible and that can is going to keep following you home to tell you that until you just give up and buy a month's worth of Chef!
Oh, tangent. It's 3:39 and I feel like it should be 11am. It's too dark.
I wanted to write about the movies we watched and then Pat made an entry about them. I'm going to do it anyway and I'll try to say different things so that I'm not terribly redundant.
I didn't like Lost in Translation, but I realized that I probably would have liked it had I been someone else. I mean, if I had watched it at 19 or 20, prekids, I think I would have liked it. But we have to squeeze our movie watching in when Saren and Harper are occupied with something else and Irina is well-fed and sleeping and often we have to pause in the middle to take care of something that one of them needs. So, in a situation like that to have to sit through a movie that is basically a bunch of shots of everyday, ordinary, boring life (regardless of how these shots are illustrating how isolated and out of place the main characters are feeling), it just doesn't seem worth it.
I did like Love Actually, probably more than I even thought I would. I think I was just expecting an enjoyable diversion but it was somewhat better than that. Also I like most of the actors that were in this film. And even though there were a lot of different story lines, it was easy enough for a milk-stained, sleep-deprived, brain-addled mama like me to follow them all. I had something else to say about this movie but I've forgotten what it was. Brain-addled.
School of Rock was an enjoyable diversion. It was as enjoyable as I thought Love Actually was going to be and slightly better than I thought it was going to be. I got it because it has been mentioned as a somewhat unschooling-ish movie. It is and it isn't. I think mainstream society has unschooling as a latent, unacknowledged ideal. People value all the things that unschooling comprises, but they think that actual unschooling is taking it too far. I know I'm not making much sense here and it seems like this doesn't have anything to do with School of Rock (there might be a The on that), but it's just what movies like this make me think of. Anyway, I liked it and it wasn't terribly crude, which was a worry. Saren watched it too and she liked it. Also, I'm all for sticking it to the man.
Annie! The girls and I watched this. Saren loves it and I've loved it since I was a little girl. Aileen Quinn as a grown-up person was on the extra bits and that was interesting.
Was there something else? I feel like there was but I can't think of what it may be.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
The memory of her birth is still strong, and yet it's also slipping further away. It was so amazing but simple. Extraordinary and ordinary.
I've been reminiscing a lot in the past week about when Saren and Harper were babies. 7 and a half years ago Saren was just as small as Irina. Back then I was in awe of the fact that I was a mommy. That just seemed insane. Now I'm a mommy of three girls. Now that seems insane.
Irina is starting to hold up her head better. Every time I hold her upright against my shoulder, Harper says she looks like a worm. It's actually very complimentary coming from Harper.
Monday, February 07, 2005
After that we went to my dad's so that he could put some spark plugs in our car. So that was our big first outing! I used the sling at Babies R Us and it went fairly well. I think we may need a little more practice to really get the feel for it though. She seemed to be in too scrunched up of a position, but she slept through it all, so I don't think she was bothered. I'm looking forward to getting some more money soon, so that I can make or buy a different kind to try out. Also, some different kinds of diapers. Whee!
The girls are so in love with Irina. Especially Harper. Every time Irina cries, Harper is right there saying, "Oh, don't cry uh-ween-uh!"
Saturday, February 05, 2005
The cloth diaper thing is going really well, I think. At first I was rather intimidated by them, but I'm starting to use them exclusively. I'm liking the way her bottom feels in a cloth diaper when I'm holding her as opposed to how the disposables feel. It's just so much... nicer. And I know her tush has got to like it better.
Irina's cord fell off today. I had read that doing absolutely nothing for the cord is actually better for it than the whole rubbing alcohol thing that they recommend in hospitals. It makes sense because what other animal in the world takes such care with a severed umbilical cord? And Saren's and Harper's cords took at least a week and a half to fall off, I think, while Irina's took 4 days.
I've moved toward more natural choices in a lot of things concerning babies since I first started having them. I'm going for cloth diapers, I've eschewed the medical model of birth, I co-sleep and I'm planning on wearing my baby a lot with the sling and keeping her in arms as much as possible. One thing I can't seem to let go of that a lot of natural-minded mamas do is pacifiers. Which we call nuks. I just, I don't know, have a fondness in my heart for them. My little brothers all had them and loved them and Saren loved her nuks. Harper hated them and that was okay cuz that was her bag. Irina likes em sometimes and not at others. It's not interfering with nursing and as long as she's good with it, I am. Nuks are cute.
Friday, February 04, 2005
Three days postpartum for me and three days in the world for Irina.
Here's my part. I'm feeling relatively great considering I had a baby 3 days ago. Compared to how I felt after Saren's and Harper's births, it's pretty incredible. My lochia (postpartum bleeding) has slowed to a trickle and I don't remember getting to this point until a couple weeks after with Saren or Harper. I did speak too soon about the afterpains being nearly gone. They're still here, but not too bad. Now mostly when I nurse and they are certainly bearable. I'm tired but mostly from sleep deprivation. I remember with both Saren and Harper my nether regions felt like they had been massacred for at least 2 or 3 weeks (longer for Harper). I was generally afraid of the whole area. But now, 3 days in, and it feels almost like I didn't have a baby at all. I'm not even really feeling bruised anymore. My main discomfort is from my back. Always my back. It didn't really start up until today. Saren asked me why I was still waddling like a penguin even though the baby is out. My milk came in last night. I don't know if this is due to having a UC or just having nursed Harper for so long, but I'm experiencing very little discomfort with this either. I'm not leaking and though my breasts are full, I wouldn't even go so far as to say there was any engorgement. All in all, everything is going very well and I keep marvelling over how much differently my body is reacting after this birth. I'm so very glad I was led to UC this baby.
Here's Irina's part. She likes to have her face and her head lightly caressed. She hates having her diaper changed (who doesn't?). She makes adorable little noises and facial expressions. She looks a bit like Harper in the face. Her favorite colors are purple and green. [/what?] She seemed to be having trouble latching on in the beginning, but she's nursing very well now. Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn't want anything but to be up and in a lighted room so she can look around. That's pretty much all so far. For Irina, life is sleep and nee-nee.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Secondly, I wanted to say that this birth story will be uncensored so if that bothers you I just wanted to let you know beforehand.
Okay, from the beginning. The 31st was Pat's payday so we needed to go to the grocery store because we were at the bottom of the barrel and had zero food. As soon as he got home we went to get some dinner and then off to the grocery store. I needed to go to the bathroom before we got started and when I did I noticed that I had some bloody show. Real live bloody show, which was different than anything from the previous several weeks of crampiness and occasional contractions. All of a sudden I was very nervous about being at the grocery store and I kept saying to Pat that I really didn't want to be there. But the brakes in our car were having some problems and we had already decided that we were going to stop driving it once we got home. And if we didn't get the food then, we weren't going to have another chance for a while.
So we got through that and went home and though I was still feeling crampy and contracting and having a lot of bloody show, I still didn't know if birth was around the corner or a ways off. Everybody went to bed and I got up around 1am like I had been for the past few days because I was unable to sleep through my contractions (they got worse at night). I watched TV and went online for a bit and tried to doze. The contractions got stronger and started coming about every 7 minutes or so. They were only lasting about 30 seconds or so though. I was going through my mind what I was going to do about Pat and work. This labor and pregnancy had been so different from what I was used to that I still wasn't really sure about whether the baby was going to come or if the contractions were going to taper off and we would have to wait another day. In the end I decided that I would tell him that I wanted him to stay even though I couldn't guarantee that we would have a baby by the end of the day. I waited for 6am when his alarm was going to go off and then I was going to tell him. By the time 6am rolled around, I didn't even add anything about not being sure, I just told him that I wanted him to stay. At that point my contractions were bad enough that I was breathing hard through them.
As soon as Pat woke up, I asked him to make me some toast and bring me some orange juice. I ate that and then I got in the shower while Pat cleaned up in the livingroom. As soon as I got up and started trying to do move around and do stuff, things really really picked up. I had maybe 6 or 7 or 8 contractions that just took my breath away while I was in the shower, drying off, and getting prepared. I couldn't decide at that point whether I wanted to labor in the bedroom, where I had set up a waterproof bedsheet on the floor with some old flannel sheets on top of it already, or if I wanted to move that stuff into the livingroom. I had originally pictured myself in the bedroom, but the girls were sleeping in there and in the end I decided to move it out to the livingroom. I set it up in front of the loveseat so that I could lean over it during contractions. I also brought out the candle that I had burned on the night of my grandmother's funeral and put it on top of the entertainment center and lit it up. I needed it there because I knew she was going to help guide the baby into the world.
I settled onto the floor and alternated for a while between having contractions on all fours on the floor to leaning over the couch. I was trying very hard to relax my stomach muscles while I was contracting because that hurt less, but it was a difficult thing to do. A couple of times Pat sat down and was looking at me and I had to tell him to stop because I didn't want to be watched. I told him to watch TV. I also grabbed a blanket at some point and draped it over myself because I was uncomfortable with my bare butt hanging out (go figure). Eventually I was only wanting to be leaning over the couch while I was contracting. They were getting very intense. I started vocalizing some when they came. As one came on, I would start breathing hard/blowing, then moan/scream, then move back to breathing hard/blowing, then trying to catch my breath again when it was over. It was probably about 7:30 at this point. Saren came out when I was still leaning over the couch. She looked at me and seemed groggy and a bit awestruck to me.
I was getting very tired. I started thinking that I just wanted to go to sleep and that I just wanted a little break to nap for awhile and then I could do it again. I kept remembering when I was in the hospital with Saren and Harper and how with each of them I had been given Stadol, which made me sleep in between contractions. I was remembering how I had been lying on my side back then, and I couldn't stop thinking how good it would feel to just lay down. So I asked for a blanket to use as a pillow and I layed down on my left side, just as I had been in the hospital. It did feel good to lay down, but the contractions didn't slow down and I didn't get any break. I think I almost thought that just the act of laying down would make my body take a break. The contractions were still very strong. I decided to start really vocalizing through them, really yell. While doing that I was thinking about how I hadn't done so with Saren or Harper, maybe because I just felt much more inhibited in the hospital, I'm not sure. I remember feeling really free while yelling and just thinking, "Go ahead and scream. Nobody's going to stop you." I did, and Harper woke up and came out. She says she was plugging her ears, but I don't remember that. She laid down next to me in between a contraction and I rubbed her back a little and held her. She asked for some cereal and I told her that I couldn't and she started to look very upset and like she wanted to cry.
Pat started walking with her to the kitchen to get her some cereal, but before they were there, a contraction started up and I felt my water break in a gush. Right on top of that was a huge, overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to push. Not even really an urge to push, my body just kind of started pushing. I was nervous because I was lying on my side and my legs were together and I didn't feel very much like I could move into any kind of good position for the baby to come. I had wanted to be more upright. I said, "Pat! I need you!" and he came over and I could tell he didn't know what was going on (I was actually still covered by a blanket) and I could only say, "Baby!" I pulled the cover off and said, "Need up!" He helped me pull my upper body into more upright position and to lift my leg and I could feel the baby moving down and my body pushing her, pushing, pushing. It felt so good to push. She was moving out fast. It only took a couple of pushes till she was crowning and then a few more to get her completely out. Probably less than a minute from when I said, "Pat" to when she was out. Ironically, my thoughts about laying down and the hospital turned out to be a good thing because she shot out so fast, I'm afraid if I had been on hands and knees she just would have slipped through Pat's hands and fallen onto the floor.
I immediately saw that she was a girl and was a bit disappointed about it. Not that she was a girl, but that my intuition was so off. Pat said, "It's a girl" and we were both holding her slippery, warm, wet little body in our hands. She was immediately pink, I don't remember her being purple at all. She cried right away, but was a bit gurgly, so I had Pat put her on my leg on her tummy and we both rubbed her back for a few seconds. The cord was very short and we couldn't bring her up to my chest, so I sent Pat off for some scissors and the string that I had made to tie off her cord. I had intended on not cutting it, but since it was so awkward and she was breathing perfectly, we went ahead and tied it off and cut it.
I waited for the placenta and honestly thought it would come right away. However, it took two full hours. During that time, I held the baby a bit and tried to nurse her, but she wasn't very interested. She was very alert and very calm. She didn't cry anymore after having done so initially. She just looked around at everybody. Pat and the girls held her more during this time than I did because I was so very uncomfortable from the placenta not having been delivered yet. I tried just pushing every so often over a bowl, but it just wasn't coming. It just needed a little bit of time (and some very uncomfortable contractions) to detach itself. Finally, after a biggish crampy contraction, I felt like it was ready and I pushed it into the bowl. I felt a million times better.
I took a shower and cleaned the baby a little bit, put a diaper on her and finally called my mother.
Here are some differences between my UC and my other births. Things that stand out right away. The best thing for me was that moment when she came out. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of a slippery warm infant just out of the womb. The feeling of our bare hands on her body was just amazing. I was telling Pat that at the hospital, it was almost like there was an invisible wall between my vagina and the area where the doctor was. As soon as the baby passed through that wall, she became the doctor's. It's different when you are handed a cleaned, poked, prodded baby than when you and your mate are the only people there to own that experience, to touch that baby. I keep remembering that feeling, the way she felt in my hands, fresh from my womb. It was amazing. I also feel like I was way more lucid during this birth. Maybe it was because there were no drugs involved, or maybe it was because active labor was only an hour and 51 minutes, or maybe it was because of my surroundings, I don't know. I just can rememeber so many more details from this birth than I can from Saren's or Harper's births. I'm also less in pain in my nether regions. I am a bit sore and I think I may have overstretched (not torn) an area in the front because it stings when I pee, but overall, I feel really great. There's less postpartum bleeding, I think. My afterpains were doozies (I contemplated asking my aunt for prescriptions drugs from her hospital), but they are pretty much gone now and I think it took much longer with the girls.
All in all, it was amazing. It was the most amazing and simple and extraordinary thing I've ever done. I'm thrilled with myself and I'm thrilled with this birth.
That took about forever to write. I'm pretty sure that's all I had to say, but if I think of anything else I had wanted to say, I'll try to remember it for tomorrow. Also, I'll have more photos by then.
Happy, happy, happy!
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Sunday, January 30, 2005
I lost my contraction pattern. Now they're just pretty much random. Here's my latest lame prediction. I think the baby will be born on February 7th. Let's see how that works out.