Monday, September 24, 2007

Guilty Secrets

Lindsey at Suburban Turmoil has started a sort of meme she calls Guilty Secrets
She has listed 5 things she considers guilty secrets about how she parents. She also listed 5 things she thinks she does well as a parent. She has challenged her readers to do the same.

Oh the shame!
  1. My kids watch a disgusting amount of TV during the day.
  2. We haven't been to the library in over a year. I still have overdue fees to pay.
  3. My kids don't get their teeth brushed every night. Sometimes not even every second night.
  4. Emm and Char know how to wipe up spills with their socks so I don't have to run for a rag.
  5. I shamelessly bribe my kids to behave in the grocery store and to potty train.
Yay for me!
  1. My kids are veggie lovers 90% of the time.
  2. I have/will make my own baby food from scratch.
  3. Even though we haven't been to the library in a year, the kids are read to every day.
  4. I teach Sunday School and will be running a playgroup soon.
  5. We are a very huggy, cuddly family.
How about it? What are your guilty secrets? What are your strengths?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Delusions of knitting.

Fall is definitely here. The leaves are changing, there is a real chill in the air in the morning, the sun is setting a bit earlier.

Fall is the time to put away the tank tops and capris and get out the sweaters. Fall is also the time I feel like I need to start a big project. A sweater. Something cozy.

Now, I know I have a big project on the go already. His name is Matthew. He has two accessories named Emmett and Charlotte who also require some extra attention right now. This is not stopping my fingers from itching.

The new Knitty just came out. There is a fantastic sweater in there for a new nursing mom. Flattering ribs and cables, three-quarter length sleeves, cardigan. I want it. I think Charlotte would look adorable in this.

Maybe I will take the edge off by starting this hat. It would make a great Christmas gift for my brother and I could feel some cozy wool between my fingers. Three months is a realistic goal for a hat, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Matthew, one week old.

Enough jibber jabber about about some squishy baby pictures??

"Momma's sad."

That's what Charlotte was saying as I was crying on my bed last night. Yesterday was hard. So. Very. Hard.

Matthew didn't go much longer than 20-30 minutes between nursing sessions yesterday. It makes it hard to do things like pick up your 4 year old from preschool and make lunch when your newborn has to nurse constantly. It makes it hard to pay attention to your increasingly jealous 2 year old when the baby is always on your lap. Char kept saying "Pick [me] up" and [Put that ]"Baby [in his] bed" all day. My heart was breaking. My stamina was gone. My nipples are still very sore. The house is coated in dog hair and the laundry needs folding. We did manage to get to the playground for a little while before supper, which helped the kids, but only made me more exhausted. When Richard got home and asked how my day went I cracked. I couldn't stop crying. The kids started running around, the dog started barking, and I couldn't take it anymore. I took the baby and went to bed. I stayed in bed until the kids were asleep, then I got up to nurse Matthew and watch a bit of TV, then went to bed again.

I feel so overwhelmed right now. I don't know how to do this.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I did it.

I went grocery shopping with a newborn and two preschoolers and made it out of the store alive. Matthew decided he was starving just as I was clicking his carseat into the van and screamed all the way home, but I am thankful the screaming didn't start in the checkout line. The groceries didn't get unloaded for a couple of hours after we got home, but I still count the trip as a success.

I realized as I was unloading the groceries that one week postpartum is still too soon to lift heavy things. Ouch.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Training wheels are off.

I am getting stronger and stronger every day. Matthew's birth was harder on me than I thought it would be. Carrying such a big baby and then pushing him out in such short order did a number on my abdominal muscles. I couldn't walk up and down the stairs without supporting them with my hands for the first few days. I spent three days battling horrifying breast engorgement--I got so big and hard I looked like I had bad implant surgery. I ran a fever for a day. I was in constant pain. Things are getting better now and nursing doesn't actually bring tears to my eyes anymore. The only thing keeping me going through that was the thought that if I stopped nursing I would get engorged again and be back at square one.

Tomorrow will be my first day home alone with the kids since I had Matthew. I am a little scared. Emmett and Charlotte have been acting particularly wild lately. I am not sure I will have the stamina to keep up with them and Matthew's marathon nursing sessions too. I guess the best I can do is secure the childproof latches on all the doors that have them and turn on some brain rotting TV while I feed the baby. I have to go to the store since we have no milk, but I think I will only buy that and leave the rest of my shopping list for Tuesday--I will have an opportunity to shop with only two children while Emmett is in school, or only one child when the respite worker comes in the afternoon. I may take respite time and sleep.

The kids are starting to act out--I have not seen them beat on each other the way they have since Matthew has been born. I suppose I should be happy they are taking their feelings out on each other and not the baby! I try to spend time with them individually but it is really hard to when all Matthew wants to do is feed.

I guess I just have to be patient. New routines take time and it has only been a week, right?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Homebirth, sweet homebirth.

So, it has been five days since Matthew joined our family. Want to know how it happened?

This is the point where if you are not interested in birth stories you should go check out some other blog to read.

Go Fug Yourself is always amusing.
If you are a foodie, Chow is fun to read.
Did you miss Big Brother this week? Go check out Television Without Pity then.
Still with me?

When we last left this tale I was having Braxton Hicks contractions for two weeks. My Ultrasound-confirmed due date came and went. My originally estimated due date was right on the horizon. I was getting tired. I was very cranky. I wanted to get this show on the road. Two doses of castor oil didn't do it. I thought I would be pregnant until Christmas.

Sunday morning the contractions started getting more intense. Not regular, but they were getting closer and closer together. I tried not to get my hopes up and continued with my regular routine. I baked an apple pie. The best one I have ever made.

By dinner time the contractions were 5-10 minutes apart so I decided to go for a walk. My neighbour and her daughter walked me all over the neighbourhood. That made the contractions come every 2-3 minutes. I called the midwife, thinking that I could be in real labour. She came and checked me out. I was dilating (2-3 cm). I was effacing (60-70%). I was not in established labour. She left. I got ready for bed. The contractions slowed back down to 5-15 minutes apart. I slept fitfully through the night and at 0600AM decided to go for another walk before the family woke up. I got the contractions to come every 2-3 minutes again.

I called the midwife again. She came by around 0900 and discovered I was a teensy bit more dilated (2-4 cm) and a lot more effaced (70-80%) than the night before, but STILL not in established labour. Since I was progressing, albeit at a snail's pace, we decided to take matters into our own hands. She told me to have a bite to eat, a rest and a walk. After lunch she would come back and break my water and we would have a baby. I called a friend and made arrangements to have Emmett and Charlotte dropped off after lunch. I did laundry, wandered around the house, and found out my contractions were getting stronger and stronger, but nothing I couldn't handle. I knew they weren't lasting long enough to do much good, and they still hadn't established themselves into a regular pattern.

Around 1300 I started taking a homeopathic remedy to regulate my contractions per the midwife's orders.

Around 1400 the midwife came back, found out I was fully effaced, 8-9 cm dilated. I made all that progress just puttering around my house!! At 1430 I laid down on my bed and she broke my water. I did two laps up and down my stairs, having contractions that stopped me in my tracks. I would have to stop and lean on whatever or whoever was close and moan through them. The back up midwife was called and told to hurry. At some point (things get blurry here....) I started pushing a little with each contraction. My midwife noticed me pushing more and more and she hustled me back into my bedroom where we tried to find the best position for me to push in. I ended up standing beside my bed, leaning on it and doing deep squats with each contraction. The pain was unreal. I was fighting the urge to push because it hurt so much to think about. My midwife coached me on and on. After a while my legs started to get tired so the midwife helped me onto the bed where I finished bringing Matthew into the world at 1602.

My boy came out purple and a little floppy--he was given an Apgar score of 7, which is not bad, but not great either. After some vigorous toweling and general jostling around he pinked up and bellowed himself to a 9. I got a shot of oxytocin and a couple of sutures. Richard was waiting outside the door the whole time, and while Matthew was being dried off and checked over he came in and laid down in our bed with me.

I snuggled with him and he held me while I gave Matthew his first meal. After we were cleaned up and tucked in together the midwives cleaned up my room, made tea and we all had a slice of pie together while Matthew's and my postpartum vitals were monitored.

Around 1900 the midwives were gone and it was just the three of us in our quiet house together. My mom picked up Emmett and Charlotte from my friend's house, took them to my Grandma's house and I was given one night alone with my new little boy.

What do I remember the most about the homebirth? How comfortable I was. I got to wear my own ratty t-shirt instead of a hospital gown that ultimately gets in the way. I gave birth in my own bed and was able to snuggle with my new boy and husband right away. That is what I loved the most. We got to connect as a family in our own home. Everything was so relaxed. I loved that we all hung out and ate pie and drank tea and chatted while my vitals were being monitored. Nothing was cold and clinical. I wasn't a patient. I wasn't a chart with a number. I really felt (and still feel) cared for and nurtured by the midwives. Even when things were at the most intense and painful I never got scared. I knew I was in good hands.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How was your long weekend?

Want to know what I did on Labour Day?

Here's a hint.......

Matthew Hamilton
Born at home on Sept 3, 2007 at 1602 pm
9 lbs 2 oz 21-1/2 inches long

Once I showed him where the food was he settled in and hasn't really stopped eating since. Everyone is in the tired happy haze that a new baby brings.

There aren't a lot of pictures yet because he is almost always at the breast and I don't want my naked chest on the internet!!