Taking the Scenic Route

Thursday January 12, 2006

12th January 2006

Thursday January 12, 2006

Zora had a weigh-in today.  She is 5 lbs 0.7 oz.  WooHoo!  I have also noticed the last day or so she has begun to unfurl herself and stretch out her legs.  Until now, she has pretty much always had her legs curled up to her body all the time.  Her legs are now poking out the bottom of the smallest of her preemie outfits (the ones Zach got), but still fits in all of the rest of her preemie outfits.  The next size up is still way too big. 

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11th January 2006

Wednesday January 11, 2006

For some reason I don’t seem to have my hands as free to post as I used to.    Zora seems to be following in Zane’s footsteps…she won’t sleep anyplace but in somebody’s arms.  She is probably going to outdo Zane’s ability to sleep through noise though.  She sleeps through not only the normal household noise, but her brother’s noise.  (and he can be very noisy).

I am also not very good at one handed typing, especially with how my keyboard is located in relationship to my arms…I have to pull it onto my lap to use it and my lap is now occupied most of the time.  (Zach is holding her now, which is allowing me a few seconds to post)

Thanks to Zach’s mom, we have our domain space back, so the links should work again.  Thanks!

I have pictures from Zane’s birthday celebration to post, but I have to get them off my camera and then resize them, so it will be on another post.

Today has been a good day.  You may all breathe a big sigh of relief with me….today was the day Zach picked up his financial aid money.  WooHoo!  The financial crunch is abated for a while.  Zach bough his books for the semester and paid the car tags.  We thought we were going to have money to pay them on the 30th, but we were mistaken.  His last paycheck was two weeks before that, so we ended up a paycheck shorter than we were anticipating last month.  Thankfully, we had a few people gift us with a combination of gift cards and money that helped us squeak by.  It was a rough month, made more difficult by the early birth, but now we are on to the next chapter.  We made it. 

We have also hit the Karmic jackpot for waiting in line the last few days.  Zach walked in to pick up his financial aid and ended up with only 3 people in front of him instead of 50 or 60 (or the time we went and started waiting outside the doors of the building…the line started on the third floor and wound down all the staircases, through the lobby and out the door).  At the tag office he walked in and there was NOBODY in line.  And, most amazing, yesterday, when we went to SRS office for our appointment the office was wall-to-wall people.  There were probably 50 people in the waiting room and several groups had already parked it on the floor because there were no more chairs.  I plopped down in the middle of the room since there wasn’t even an edge available any more and was getting Zora positioned to feed her.  I hadn’t even gotten my shirt lifted when somebody offered me an empty office to nurse in.  (I guess there are advantages to nursing in an area where it isn’t the norm to see people nursing in public)  I told her I didn’t mind, but realized it would be easier for Zach to contain Zane in an office, so I accepted (after making sure it was ok to bring Zach and Zane too).  A minute later, the lady who offered us the office space came in to find out who we were waiting for…and our case worker was the one who was looking for his next appointment.  She told him we were in the office and he came in, told us to just sit because he had our case file with him…we didn’t need to go to his office (which would have meant winding through a maze of hallways) and he sat at the desk in that office and started going through our paperwork.  Not only was he organized, he was in a really jovial mood.  We forgot to fill out a portion of the paperwork and he just laughed and handed us a pen.  He was absolutely the nicest person I have ever dealt with in that office.  He was also surprised we had been given such a hard time before since we don’t apply for anything other than food stamps.  (we are eligible for cash assistance and some other things, but choose not to because of some of the stipulations) The last worker kept grilling us on how we managed to survive on the amount of money we claimed…it was obvious that he thought we must be dealing drugs or something because ‘nobody’ can survive on so little.  This guy was older and I suspect had depression era parents…seemed more impressed and supportive of our choices and our ability to be that frugal.  An un-jaded social worker…who knew they existed?!?   We were back in our car at 2:20.  The appointment was at 2:00 (we were early, but still…we expected to be there until 3:30 at the earliest, and 4:30 or 5:00 when we saw how crowded the office was.)  We were almost stunned when we walked out of the office.  We were so dreading that appointment, on many levels, and it was almost pleasant.

She is stirring again, so I better close.   

ETA

It is amazing how much more quickly Zora and I are able to nurse in public than I was able to with Zane.  Today I walked around holding her while she nursed.  She was able to stay latched most of the time and I was able to so a little bit of shopping…even chasing Zane when he wandered off.  She is getting a lot stronger.  It also helps that I am not trying to balance a blanket over the whole thing.  I think I am going to get some of my snugger shirts and just cut open the bra area and wear another shirt over it.  I wore one of my lower v-neck shirts today and it sort of worked (not terribly comfortable), but if I just take a scissors to a few shirts it would allow me to have a whole ‘nursing wardrobe’ for no money.  That way my whole stomach is not hanging out when I pull up my shirt to nurse.

The only problem I ran into is that I have lost all ability to use my sling.  For some reason, I could not figure out the Maya Wrap to save my life.  My arm, and in time, my whole stomach, hips, and back hurt trying to just hold her with my arm alone for that period of time.  Some of that is being out of shape from such a long bedrest, but a large part of it is not having the weight balanced the way it is when you sling.  I hope I can figure it out again from my video that came with the wrap, but if not, I think I might be calling Bianca and begging for help.  I need to call her anyway…just need to find the number and the phone at the same time.  lol.

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7th January 2006

Saturday January 7, 2006

Our domain/host space expired tonight.  That means our ticker photos, all my links on the left side of my blog, some photo galleries, a friend’s personal site, and several other things we link to a lot are all dead links.  Hopefully we will have the money to pay for it and bring the links back at some point.  Dang.

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6th January 2006

Friday January 6, 2006

Zora’s 2 week pediatric appointment was today.  She weighs 4 lbs 11. 4 oz.  A pretty good gain!  She is also 18.5 inches, 1.5 inches growth from birth.  Everything looks good at this point.

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6th January 2006

Belated Christmas Celebration

Yesterday we had our Christmas celebration.  It was fairly low key, but Zane really enjoyed it.  We will have our larger family Christmas with Grandparents later this month.

The total booty.  The piano was from Grandma Zandra, the Peanuts books were from Grandma & Grandpa S, and Grandpa & Grandma Z sent the cash register, pajamas, VeggieTales video, chalkboard, and Good night moon game.  He seems to love everything he got.

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4th January 2006

Wednesday January 4, 2006

First, the good news…

She weighed in at 4 lbs 8.5 oz at yesterday’s appointment.  She is just a hair shy of her birth weight now.

12-23-05:  4 lbs 8.7 oz
12-24-05:  4 lbs 6.1 oz
12-25-05:  4 lbs 2.8 oz
12-26-05:  4 lbs 1.4 oz
12-27-05:  4 lbs 3.2 oz
12-28-05:  4 lbs 4.6 oz
12-29-05:  4 lbs 4.8 oz
12-30-05:  4 lbs 4.6 oz
01-03-06:  4 lbs 8.5 oz

From now on, barring any problems, I can just go to the office for weigh-ins, but don’t have to do the hour appointment unless I want to see how much she is eating at a nursing session.  (weighing her before and after a feeding to check the intake).  Great news!

Now the “I guess I need to get some hair dye” news…

While I was waiting for Zach & Zane to return from the playground (we don’t have cell phones, so we have to just guess when to meet up) I was sitting in the waiting room in the Maternal Child unit.  I can see the road from there and there wasn’t as much exposure to illness in that wing as the lobby.  While I was there a lady was pacing with her cell phone, talking about somebody who was in labor.  When she got off the phone, she noticed Zora asleep on my lap and did the normal ooohhhing and aaaahing over the baby.  Then she added “it is so nice that mom lets grandma hold the baby for a while”    I can not tell you how much I wanted to wake up Zora and start nursing her.  I know she was just nervous and wasn’t thinking, but still….I am not that old! 

Let’s think about something else now.

There are some interesting differences I have noticed between Zane’s newborn stage and Zora’s.

  1. Zora doesn’t go through nearly as many clothes.  Zane threw up all. the. time.  I went through 12-18 outfits a day and stacks of burp rags because of how much he threw up.  (we eventually found out he had GERD).  With Zora, she will still be in the same outfit in the evening that I put on her 8 hours before.  I only need to change her when her diaper leaks.  (can’t wait to get her in cloth…disposables always leak more for me, plus, the preemie dipes are still too big for her).
  2. Zora goes through a lot more receiving blankets.  I was declaring before that I had way too many blankets.  Zane hated being swaddled and many of the blankets were too small to do it anyway.  Zora does better swaddled and we are actually using all of our blankets with her.  I finally understand why people say you can’t have too many receiving blankets…a concept I thought was silly with Zane.
  3. I am actually sort of scared to sling Zora at this point.  With Zane, I had him in a carrier a few days out of the hospital, but she is so small I am freaked out about slinging her at this point.  Zane was so much stronger and bigger that you knew you were carrying a child when you had him.  She is so light and small that I have to look down to see exactly where she is before I move around.

She is stirring, so I gotta go.

I just wanted to add:  now that she is out of danger, I am really enjoying having such a tiny baby.  I almost feel like I missed that stage with Zane.  He looked several months old when he was born and I never really got the “look how tiny” giddiness that people have when they see little ones.  Instead I got “he is only a week old?!  Dang, he is big”  Both are unique experiences and I feel so lucky to get both ends of the spectrum.

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4th January 2006

Wednesday January 4, 2006

The standard size changing pad has turned into a very useful item.  We took it off the changing table and set it on the dining table and it has become a great place to both change her and let her nap.  It works better than a bassinet because I can glance over to see if she is breathing and such.  It has sides on it, but they aren’t high enough to obstruct my view.

Getting rid of the last vestige of the hospital stay, the security tags.

 

We needed a place to keep her safe while Zach helped me care for my incision.  She is far too small for the bouncy seat and the bathtub (which I used for this purpose when Zane was a baby…without water of course)  A few towels in the sink held her securely to keep her safe for a few minutes.

 

Somebody gifted me some preemie clothes that actually fit her!   It was such a nice thing, especially since I am not supposed to be out in public until she gets bigger.

 

Zane compares foot sizes.  (please ignore the dirty toes. lol)

smaller than Zach’s thumb

 

We tried the baby bathtub first, but she was just too small.  The bathroom sink lined with a towel worked a lot better for her bath.

 

These aren’t the most flattering pictues of me, but I like them anyway.

 

Grandpa & Grandma Z sent some newborn size clothes.  I think it may be a bit before she is able to wear them.  (I do love them though)

 

Reading Hello Baby

 

Dancing Boy

Ornery little bugger!

 

Sleepy Girl

Serious Yawn!

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3rd January 2006

Tuesday January 3, 2006

Finally!  I finally got to see my favorite boy.  I thought my heart would burst waiting for him.  I was worried that he would be mad at me for not being there and ignore me for a while, but he came running up to me and hugged me.  It made my heart feel good.  He then quickly noticed Zora in her bassinet and declared “Baby Sister Zora!”.  It was such a neat moment.

He opened up the birthday present from Dawn’s family…a Bob the Builder Lego set.  We played with that and some of the play dough while Zach went through the car seat installation inspection.  It was great to just sit and play with him again.  I really missed that.

Grandpa drawing Zane a Versatile Tractor

 

The basket is an heirloom in my family.  Every baby since my Paternal Grandparents first child has come home in this basket.  Of course that is more literal for the pre-car seat generations because we just use it to carry them from the car to the house.  My dad was baby #5, I was baby #11, my brother was #12, Zane was #25, Zora is #27.  Unless my brother decides to have kids, Zora is probably the end of the 3rd generation.  My cousin’s oldest kids are in their mid-20s, so it will probably go to that generation in a short time.

 

Zane was too big to sleep in the basket by 2 weeks old.  I don’t think that will be an issue for a while this time.

 

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2nd January 2006

Monday January 2, 2006

This is where it starts getting rough.  The sleep deprivation is taking a toll & I am really missing Zach and Zane.  Her blood sugar is getting worse and I am faced with the decision to either formula feed or have an IV put in her to hydrate her and stabilize her blood sugar.  Her ability to nurse is starting to deteriorate because she has no energy and I am constantly either nursing or pumping to try and get up my milk supply and make something for her to syringe feed with to try and gain enough energy to eat effectively. 

One rather amusing note during this time:  When the doctor (young, a few months out of school) came in earlier in the week to announce that it was time for us to consider supplementation, she did so with the obvious expectation for me to just go with it.  When I calmly said absolutely not, she looked at me like I had two heads.  She literally became speechless for a moment.  She said that I could continue to pump to increase my milk supply and they could avoid bottles by doing syringe feeding.  I told her that I would be willing to pump the other breast while feeding and use that to supplement but I was not going to supplement with formula and she would need to find a solution that did not involve formula.  I was told by the rather amused nursing staff that she spend a LOT of time after my pronouncement sitting at the computer researching how to handle the situation.  The nursing staff told me later that her solution was exactly what the doctor I was scheduled to have attend her would do, but it was cool that she spent the time researching the answers for herself.  I was impressed that she took me seriously and cared enough to find a solution. 

Unfortunately, the solution involved putting her on an IV.  The morning of the 26th is when they decided it couldn’t wait any longer.  It was the first time I broke down and cried.  My mom reminded me that this IV might end up saving her years of needles and hospital visits for the allergies that run so heavily in my family (including some members with really bad milk allergies, which is my biggest concern with formula at this point).  The logic center in my brain knew it was the best choice, but it was so hard at the time. 

They managed to get her with the first stick.  Truly amazing considering her size.  The nurse kept apologizing for the tape job (which I was actually oblivious to since I don’t see IVs very often) but they had tried to put a board on her arm but didn’t have anything small enough for her. 

Dawn & Zyg stopped by again on their way back to KC.  The girls were at their paternal grandparents, so they weren’t there.  Dawn brought me a bottle of Fenugreek and a package of instant oatmeal to help with my milk supply.  Seeing her reminded me that the situation could be so much worse.  I stayed with her in the hospital when her middle child was 6-8 months old for her heart surgery.  This pales in comparison to that experience.

In general, the nursing staff was great.  There were a couple of nurses I really connected with.  One was a 50ish lady who was so kind and gentle.  I am wondering if she is the person who’s hand I grabbed in the OR, but I am not sure.  She couldn’t come see me the last day of my stay because she was caring for an infectious mother and couldn’t take the chance with getting Zora or me infected.  She just had such a generous spirit.  Another was one of the night nurses, partially by virtue of me being a night owl and the only awake patient on the floor.  (heck, there were times that Zora and I were the only patients since there weren’t any scheduled c-sections or inductions during the middle part of my stay and nobody happened to go into labor).  She was the one who helped me with the weighing/feeding marathon that last night that I talked about in this entry.

The other nurse I really connected with was one who had the perfect experience to really help me.  She had spent 20 years in the NICU at the large regional medical center (Wesley) and was very knowledgeable about preemies and near term newborns.  Before she worked there she spent years working with a midwife in Maryland and has even worked with Ina May Gaskin.  You could not have asked for somebody so in tune with the struggle I was going through to deal with the interventions of such a medicated birth.  She was the person who initially started the Lactation Consultant position at the hospital, stepping aside when she decided to home school her kids.  What a wealth of knowledge and experience there!  She understood better than anybody why I was grasping so hard onto the few natural things I had left to be able to give my child through the birthing process, especially breastfeeding.  Not only was she supportive of my desire to do a more kangaroo style care (lots of skin to skin contact, specifically laying Zora on my chest after feedings instead of laying her in the bassinet wrapped in blankets), but she was involved in the big study that helped prove the value of that style of newborn care.  It just felt like God put her there just for me…it could not have been more perfect. 

 

 

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2nd January 2006

Monday January 2, 2006

My OB

 

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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 19 years and 22 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 15 years and 26 days old
  • Random Quote

  • I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. — Maya Angelou

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