Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jim Is In Hospital - He's OK Though....

My baby boy is in the hospital tonight. His dad is staying with him so I can get some rest.

I took Jim for a sleep study at the children's hospital Friday night (last night). We wanted to check out an odd breathing pattern he was exhibiting, and to check him for sleep apnea (runs in both of our families).

They determined he does have a relatively serious breathing issue. He cannot seem to maintain a high enough blood/oxygen level while he sleeps. For your RN types, he is dropping into the mid/low 80's during deep sleep. For you non-RN types - that isn't good.

So, during the sleep study he had to be put on oxygen - 25%.

They told me to take him home after the study, and that my pediatrician would call me with further instructions, if any. The tech wasn't sure if they would order further testing, etc.

Just for the sake of being obvious - Jim is 3 wks old... He sleeps all the time! So, I figured waiting around until someone got the report was not in his best interest. I, being the proactive and protective type, called the Dr ASAP after their office opened.

My pediatrician DID NOT get a call from the sleep lab. No one was aware there was any issue with his oxygen levels.

Dr. WonderfulPed said they should not have discharged him. She called the children's hospital and got more info, then called me back and said to be back at the hosp in an hour, they were admitting him. Dr. WonderfulPed then answered all my questions and put me at some ease about what might be the issue. We were to go in for testing and observation, then we'd see where we were.

We took him back to the hospital. Admitted him. We met with the hospital's lead pediatrician. The first thing she asked is if I liked my Dr. WonderfulPed. I told her I did, and that she was very "on top of things.", the hosp Ped agreed. I figure you've found the right Ped Dr. when the hospital's Pediatrician compliments her and is impressed with her after one case.

So, she ordered a chest X-ray. It came back normal. She then had him monitored while sleeping, and reviewed the sleep study with the hospital's Pulminologist. They concluded that Jim has an immature nervous system, and so he breathes too shallow to sustain his oxygen levels (this was the"weird breathing" we were noticing). Score one for observant parents, eh?

They've put him on oxygen, and are monitoring him. Assuming this fixes the issue they will prescribe 1 month at home on oxygen during sleep.

He's staying in the hospital tonight, with Dad, and is expected to be released tomorrow assuming all goes well.

The good news, they expect he will grow out of this within the month. BONUS - he doesn't have apnea. He may develop it later in life, but he's OK for now.

For all the horribly scary and life-threatening things that could have caused this issue we are thankful that the solution so far seems to be simple. Also, after seeing all the horribly sick children in the hospital - all around us, we are thankful that the solution so far seems to be simple.

We are counting ourselves lucky so far, but not taking that luck for granted.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

22 Days or 3 Weeks 1 day - Sleepless Study

Ah, my sweet boy. Asleep. Isn't he just precious?!?! Gotta love'em.

However, Mommy isn't sleeping nearly so sweetly... I really need sleep... Tonight is hubby's night to take Jim. I hope I get a really good night's rest, but I realize that something could occur to make it less than restful. So, I'm going into it with the idea that just sleeping in my own bed will be a bonus. :)

Folks, getting time to take pictures, much less post pictures is HARD! Who knew one little, bitty baby could wreak such havoc on my life? Oh yeah, everyone that has had kids... So, in my world, that is everyone but hubby and I until a few short weeks ago.

I NOW understand why getting a shower is a HUGE challenge, and brushing your teeth maybe done with baby in hand. LOL

Today, for example, I begged one of the ladies that cleans our house (every 2 wks, for my sanity) to give Jim part of his bottle so that I could go to the bathroom without him screaming.

I know, I sound like a wimp, but his NEEEEEEED for a bottle coincided EXACTLY with my NEEEEEEED to pee! I haven't figured out how to go pee and hold a kid yet - at least as I prefer it, on the toilet - I'm sure I'll get there.

I CAN lay my son down, I really do not carry him all day. I just happen to have had no sleep last night, felt like hell, he woke up screaming, and I had to have help. Otherwise, Jim was destined to find out how our bathroom's tile flooring felt - up close and personal like.

I know, you are thinking - lay him in the middle of the bed! Dummy! Yeah, I have a cat Humphries that's not pro-Jim. No deal. I haven't seen Humphries be aggressive, he really, really avoids Jim. However, that 5 mins in the bathroom could cost me a lifetime of pain if things went wrong.

Jim couldn't use the bouncer we had for him, it is too upright... Due to my need to park him, I had a friend recommend a bouncer that is sized right for our boy. So, I now have a place I can park his bottom for a few mins (it was downstairs during my need). The bouncy has already paid for itself - bigtime -- $44.00 for 30 mins of non-screaming baby. Goodtimes!!

Ooops - his royalness is awake - let the screaming commence!

BTW - I refer to him as screaming mostly because that is what he's been doing lately. We think we've narrowed the problem to his formula. We switched to a "sensitive" version, and hope that once it has had time to work through his system we will be back to happy baby.

Right now we have screaming time about every 2 1/2 hrs, with some wakeful time and more screaming between naps/bottles/changes. The screaming seems to be deminishing with the formula change - thank you God.

Oh, and I so totally am keeping my mouth shut about all of this with my few childless friends - I don't want to scare them away from joining me on this, our baby adventure. I mean really, little Jim NEEDS some playmates!!!

OK - so I washed Jim's hair... I laughed and laughed over the change in my baby's appearance. I love him, really I do, but this was too funny... See what you think?

With one wash he went from "Young Replublican Hair" to "Young Punk Hair". Ah! I should have read the darned label - Dry clean ONLY! Doh!

Monday, March 24, 2008

19 Days Old

Well, baby Jim is 19 days old today! We've gotten into some semblance of a routine, not by the clock per se, but Bo and I are starting to understand little Jim's signals. We are finding that as our comprehension expands the crying diminishes. :)

Nana really likes to hear from us each day, which makes me very happy. She doesn't call, because she never knows when a nap will be in progress, so I try to call her. I think we are both missing the closeness we shared while she was here. I wish we lived closer. Today Nana is doing an Easter Lunch for my brother and his family. I sure wish I could join them.

Right now, Jim is starting to squirm because he's realized I laid him down for a nap. They learn fast that they prefer to be held, huh? He tends to go on to sleep as long as he knows you are there (i.e. you give him his pacifier for the 3rd time), but he will wake up if there is no response from you. He's a smart one - knows how to test for your presence already.

Bo is amazing with Jim. He is simply head over heals in love with him and really wants to do anything he can to make little Jim's world better. He sings to him, feeds, burps, changes and rocks him with no prompting from me. He even takes him when he doesn't have to, just because he wants more time with his boy. It is really, really great. I can't ask for more.

At almost 3 wks, Jim is awake for a few hrs of fussy time before bedtime (anytime btwn 8 and 1 am). Then he seems to be OK with sleeping in 4 to 5 hr blocks for the rest of the night and on into morning. So far we have to leave a small light on in his room or he won't sleep. It is still pretty dark, and the light has a pink colored glow, but I'm afraid that we've started him on not liking the dark. I've tried turning the light off, but he seems to get really upset if he wakes and there's no light. Not sure what I'm going to do to change that... May just have to force the issue, or move to a smaller/dimmer light source.

I just got a call from Bo, he's pretty loopy... He did baby duty last night, and Jim stayed up until about 2 AM. He may be rethinking whether he can do nights while working. We'll see how it goes this week, then we may need to make some adjustments. Hee hee.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Updates To My Blog

I'm making some updates to my blog now that little Jim is here... For a while at least, I expect my blog to be all about new-mommyhood no infertility.

I hope all of you that read my blog will hang with me for the ride. I'll of course understand if you don't, but I'll miss you!

Fair warning: All future posts are likely to contain photos of my son. This being the case, I don't plan to put "baby picture below" warnings on all my posts. I've been grateful in the past to people that did use these warnings, but I'm not likely to remember to do so with my sleep-deprived brain.

I need to choose a new blog name, since "Nearlypregnant" is no longer really accurate. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave a comment!

Poll Outcomes:

What is the sex of the baby? Male, of course! The majority ruled!
20 votes collected:
male 13 votes - 65%
female 7 votes - 35%

When do you predict baby will arrive? Those that guessed the beginning of 39 wks were right on! Of course, I was hoping for earlier, but hey, it all worked out right!

35 wks - end of week 0 (0%)
36 wks - beginning of week 1 (5%)
36 wks - end of week 1 (5%)
37 wks - beginning of week 1 (5%)
37 wks - end of week 3 (17%)
38 wks - beginning of week 4 (23%)
38 wks - end of week 2 (11%)
39 wks - beginning of week 2 (11%)
39 wks - end of week 0 (0%)
40 wks - 'cause I'm evil like that 3 (17%)

Day 12 with Jim and Living Through the "Baby Blues"

Well, we're all still here and still alive! ...much to my amazement.

Momma, Bo, and Jim are hanging out with Nana. She is leaving on Wednesday morning - we expect much crying and sadness. Of course, we aren't sure which of the 4 will be crying the most, but you should probably bet on it being me.

I'll try to post some more recent photos soon! I have a few on the camera now, but I'm not setup to pull them down right at the minute...

I'm mostly back to normal from the C-section. I can do mostly what I want, within reasonable limits - I don't pickup heavy things, and I bend and squat at the knees for any really low items, and I take the stairs only a couple of times a day, max.

I saw the OB today - he said all looks great with my incision! YAY!! We love great wound healing - we really do. I seem to be having a pretty fast recovery overall. I've been off pain meds since about day 5, with an added bonus that the withdrawals coincided nicely with the "baby blues". That, my friends, was a mistake... Not that I was missing the pain meds, but that I didn't keep taking them until the blues had passed! Geesh!

Oh, and why, oh why didn't anyone tell me that post-partum "baby blues" would be so freakin' kick-butt terrible? I mean really, these should be called the Baby Terrors or something! Baby blues is MUCH to benign for what I experienced!

I really thought I was going to go crazy for about 4 days. Had I re-read a description of the blues again during those days I might have had an easier time - I had a textbook case it appears. However, I was so "locked up" in my head that I couldn't get online, read a book, or even watch a movie. I did help care for the baby, but otherwise I was simply frozen with fear and anxiety.

So, I'm going to tell you all what happened to me - partly to record it, partly to work through it, and in small part I hope that someone will find it helpful...

Here is the textbook description from - "The [baby] blues affect 60 to 80 per cent of women shortly after labour, and many find themselves exhausted, unable to sleep, or feeling trapped or anxious. Your appetite can change (you may eat more or less), or you can feel irritable, nervous, worried about being a mother, or afraid that being a mother will never feel better than this."

As for me... I had 4 days of horrible "What have I done?" thoughts combined with anxiety and mini panic attacks. It seemed like scary issues were piled up a mile deep at my door. I couldn't imagine how I would take care of a baby; how I would give enough of myself, my time, my life to care for this little one 24/7 for the next X number of years. Let's just say that almost none of the fears were about "today", no that wasn't the problem, it was the rest of life and time immeasurable.

I could clearly figure out how to fix a bottle, change a diaper, or rock my baby to sleep. What I couldn't imagine was how I could manage to get him to daycare (note: this is 6 wks in the future at least), fix a toddler dinner he'd eat, get him off to school, or teach him to read.

There were times I wondered if there was some way to send the little one back from where it had come. Or maybe some way that I could pawn him off on someone, anyone. No, I did NOT act on any of these thoughts, and NO I do not want ANYONE to come take my little one. I love him very dearly! I would likely tear someone in two if they tried to take hime. Even so, these thoughts quickly passed through my mind, and you can't imagine how scary it was to feel that way.

At one point I was sure I was slipping into depression, because the only thing I could do was take a nap. For me, that is a BAD sign... I have been through a real depression, and I know the warning signals. Since I DID recognize the symptoms of slipping into someplace horrible I made it a point to talk to my hubby and mom about it. They were both terribly supportive and patient, and helped me work through the fear.

One trick my mom shared with me really worked miracles... When the fears started creeping up on me I was to pick a household job that needed doing and get off my ass to do it. No thinking about it. No stewing over the job. Just get up and do it.

Amazingly, this little mind/matter trick worked. By the time I had finished folding a pile of laundry or emptying the dishwasher I wasn't in the grip of the worst of the fear. As a bonus, my house got cleaner, which lifted my mood a little more. We all know how a dirty house can pull you down by making the work look bigger than it really is.

The next step out of the darkness was talking to other moms. I confided in my mom-friends about my fears, and they opened up about their own experiences. It was amazing to me that all of the mothers I know had been through this darkness too. They recounted, very frankly, the fear and pain, the "locked in" feeling of being so scared.

Some of the strongest women I know seem to have had the "baby blues" the worst... They got to the darkest parts, and were just as alone as me. I wonder if being a normally "in control" type person makes you more likely to be confronted by the "trapped" feeling. For me, and a few of my friends, the "What have I done?" fear seems to have stemmed from a realization that our lives were now owned by this little one we had created. How we missed that this was the end-game of being Mom, I don't know... Seems kind of logical to you now, doesn't it?

You might be asking... Does she really expect that this narrative of the blues will help someone avoid it? The answer is no. But, someone might just read this and in a dark, dark moment realize that one of their friends was there too, and there is a bright side on the way.

I now seem to be a good way through the fears, but I'm not convinced they won't come back from time to time. If they do, I plan to keep talking to my family and friends, relying on help, and cleaning my house until the sun shines again.

Hope you all find your way through too... And, if you have a "new Mom" friend, feel free to recount my story to her to help her out of the darkness some.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Home at Last...

We brought little Jim home Saturday afternoon. There were snowflakes swirling in the air and our yard was in full early-spring bloom, with hyacinths and daffodils everywhere. My own Daddy was standing in the driveway, video camera in hand, to capture little Jim's coming home. It was a very touching sight.

We came in and immediately began filling up the house with baby paraphernalia. Who knew you needed so much stuff to take care of one little butt?!?!

Dad (aka Bo) put together Jim's swing and Grandaddy carried in all of the things from the hospital. See, I did need a Sherpa, and I got one! I couldn't believe how much stuff we left with - just crazy I tell you! And, we've needed every bit of it since we've left, too.

While we were in the hospital, my Mom had washed most of the baby clothes and blankets we'd received as gifts. So, part of the evening was spent trying to find all the needed things, then put these things into the drawers, closets and cupboards closest to where they'd be needed.

We spent the rest of the evening running around taking care of baby. For some reason it took 4 grown adults to keep one 4-day old baby comfortable. :) I say "running", but after this C-section I can pretty much guarantee that I'll not be running anytime soon, although I can move reasonably fast.

I will recount his delivery and stay in the hospital when I have a free moment, which seems to be few and far between these days!

First pictures of baby Jim below:

Hello Jim, welcome to the world!

Mommy and Baby meet for the first time.

Oh how much I love you...

The new man in my life

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

He's Here!

Our little one is here!

David Jamison IV

Known as "Jim"
Born into this world at 9:20 AM, March 5, 2008
Mom, baby (and Dad) are all fine!
8.7 lbs 20" long, and a big, big, big 15" head!

Thanks to all for your love and support! We didn't get here alone!

I'll post pictures a bit later - gonna go take a nap right now...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tomorrow We Go For Launch!

Yikes! Tomorrow! Eight hrs from now I am supposed to be heading for the hospital!

I am just a little nervous... I am sure we are making the right decision about the C-section, and my Drs agree. I'm just scared of all the changes that come with the sunrise tomorrow.

It's kinda amazing that tomorrow I'll be going through major surgery, and if all goes well I'll be coming home with a baby by the weekend. I'm glad to be nearing the end of this pregnancy, and happy to be here, really. It is just a little unreal still, I'm guessing many of you can imagine.

I've spent the afternoon working with my Mom on where this and that goes, how our appliances work, how to take care of Humphries (our cat). She probably has no idea how much I've enjoyed the distraction... LOL

Well, I'll work on posting an update as soon as I can. I'm off to bed!

Monday, March 3, 2008

2 Days and Counting...

Baby delivery plan update...

I met with the Perinatologist this morning - they updated the baby's measurements and said they don't recommend I try an induction.

You know how they measure the baby and tell you what percentile the baby is in? Well, this baby's head is measuring "off the charts" according to Dr. LZ. He said the baby's body isn't so big compared to the chart now (I got kudos for good diabetes management), but the baby's head circumference is in the 99th percentile, which is way out of normal. He said there didn't appear to be anything wrong with baby's brain or head structures, so nothing to worry about, just that we've got a big-headed baby.

So, he did tell me I could try to deliver normally, but that he had very little hope that I would be able to get further than dilating. With that being the case, we are just going to go for a C-section Wednesday as planned.

I'm soooo glad to finally have a definite answer to "What to do?", and I'm quite relaxed about the whole thing.

I've started making a list of things I should shift downstairs so that I'll be comfortable after I come back home. I've been told to plan to stay off the stairs for about 2 wks. I can go up for occasional showers, but that's it. My parents plan to be here, and Bo, so I know I can get stuff brought to me. I figure there are some things like sheets for the downstairs bed, jammies, hair ties, toiletries, etc that just make sense to relocate BEFORE I'm in pain. :) If anyone has any must-haves to suggest, please do!

We have our pre-op appt tomorrow with the OB that is doing the C-section. Then it is just a waiting game!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

3 Days and Counting... Updated...

Today is a BEAUTIFUL day! I'm considering going outside to do some very light yard work. I'm giving myself until my laptop battery runs out to blog, and not a minute more. I'm not sure exactly what work I'll get into, but probably nothing too earth shatteringly useful. :)

The baby is definately doing some downward sliding... It feels so strange. I can't tell if baby has actually "assumed the position", but it seems to be much lower to me. It seems like I've stopped having any strong contractions as of yesterday, so I don't know that dropping means anything at this point. Maybe the proposed excercise will convince baby to come on already!

We have tentative plans for dinner with our best friends DD and Baloo tonight . I'm looking forward to it. They are supposed to join us at the hospital after baby is here, and I am really looking forward to that. I know I don't mention family and friends here too often, but let me tell you a tiny bit about DD and Baloo.

DD is like my sister in every way except blood. Neither of us has sisters in reality, so we have found this bond quite comforting. We seem to have a "special connection" and tend to think of each other when there is a crisis. I've often gotten a phone call from her just when life has swamped me - kinda spooky, but also kinda nice. I've also returned this favor a number of times. When it happens it is like an overwhelming urge to "just check in". Our mothers seem to understand our bond too, and even call their "other daughter" and send greetings and gifts for major events and holidays.

Baloo, DD's husband, is just about the sweetest teddy bear of a man on earth. He is a big guy (over 6 ft), broad shouldered, imposing looking, and yet is as gentle as a lamb. He loves me dearly, and he makes sure I know it. One Valentine's Day after I had experienced a horrible break-up with my then fiance (not my current hubby), Baloo did the most wonderful thing. He brought me roses and a custom-made chocolate box filled with chocolate. He told me that he would always be my Valentine, and I could always count on it. BTW - He thought of this on his own and ordered the custom gift! Rest assured he did get his wife's permission a few minutes before giving them, but he was pretty darned sure DD would understand. :) Thank goodness she did! LOL

DD and Baloo are always there for me, I love them dearly, and Bo and I can't wait to share their niece or nephew with them.

Subject change warning...

We did see "The Other Boleyn Girl" last night, it was really good. However, the book is much, much better in my opinion, mostly because it goes into the details of all the intrigue and backstabbing that went on. The whole sordid thing was better than any modern day soap opera, I assure you.

The movie totally leaves out Cardinal Wolsey and his part in the whole Church of England mess. That is like doing a movie on the Declaration of Independence and leaving out Thomas Jefferson! Actually, as I understand it, the Cardinal was directly responsible for Anne ever being available to marry the king. Her marriage to a noble, Lord Percy, is stopped by the Cardinal, not by her Uncle and Father, as the movie portrays. If she had been allowed to stay married to Percy she would have NEVER been able to be Queen, so Elizabeth the 1st would have never been born, the Church of England might have never existed because the king wouldn't have broken with Rome to get an annulment, and the whole of Europe would be a completely different place, most likely.

Oh, and the movie portrayed Henry VIII as being sort-of caught in the middle of things vs. asking his cronies to make his desires reality. Specifically his desires for one Anne Boleyn... We know from historical record that he demanded obedience, he was rarely at a loss for what he wanted. I'm not saying people didn't use the king's desires to get what they wanted, but Henry VIII certainly was not incapable of understanding what was being done under his nose.

Ah, I should say, I am not an English scholar, and I haven't looked into what records exist to support any of the books assertions. I'm OK with the surface stories, and am happy to know something about the time. It's OK with me if it isn't all exactly true, it is still a good story.

That's my take on it - you guys are more than welcome to form your own opinions and tell me what you think! :)

OK, my battery is dying... I'm going to go get myself some sun...

Update -
I got about 4 hours of sun and fun today! I raked an area of my backyard - very slowly, don't worry. See, the same thing happens every year. The leaves fall and we leave them alone beacuse we have no grass in our backyard - too shady. However, when it rains the leaves tend to migrate down to the fence and gate, thereby blocking the entrance to the backyard. We are talking a significant amount of leafage.

Well, every year I've been the one to undo the monsoon-created mess. This year, I didn't give it one thought. Wonder why. :)

So, today while the leaves were dry I went out and "shushed them" as my Grandmother would say. :) I gently moved them from in front of the gate to areas that were sans-leaves where they can act as a mulch against dandelions and weeds.

Then I washed out our recycling bins. They really needed it. I went out onto our deck with a bucket of suds and another of clean water. All of the bins are now squeaky-clean.

YAY! I've been productive!

Baby is in the doghouse at the moment. It is now nowhere near dropped. It is back curled up around my ribs! I can feel the difference everytime I take a breath. I am looking forward to the time when it no longer has control over my body and my comfort. Meh. I've told it, in no uncertain terms that it only has until Wednesday. So, it will just have to deal - hiding under my ribs is not an option. LOL

Saturday, March 1, 2008

4 Days and Counting...

Well, Bo and I figured out last night that it was possibly the VERY LAST Friday that we will be a childless couple. It kinda freaked me out that we had no plans of any kind. We were simply going to hang out and putter around the house! We did get a few things done around the house, granted, but we decided to make today more about us being a free to "go do" as we wanted.

We just got back from a scrumptious lunch of BBQ Pork, mac n' cheese, and REAL Banana Pudding. If you've never had homemade banana pudding with meringue on top (NO, fakey instant banana pudding does not count) then you have officially not lived. At least, you cannot convince me that you have as far as desserts are concerned. :) LOL

Tonight, we are planning to go see a movie. I want to see "The Other Boleyn Girl". I have read the book and it is absolutely fabulous. I hope the movie will do it justice. I was hoping that we'd have some friends to join us, but looks like they aren't up for a dramatic movie this evening. :( However, I think we'll still go with our plan. Yay! Hmmm... Think I might have kinda played the pregnancy card there, but I'm OK with it. I've got one Sat left, I'm going to be stingy for once.

As for the rest of you... Even if you have no desire to see the movie you still might want to read the book. It was written so well that the characters and places seemed to leap off the page and exist in my mind. The story itself quite amazing as well - it deals with the Boleyn sisters and their time in King Henry VIII's court, before and during period where the king overthrew the Catholic church and defied the Pope. Wow, what an amazing point in history, and until reading this book I had no idea how intriguing it could be. Some of the story is fiction, but a lot of it is based on the records of the time. Go out and get it. ***done schilling for the movie/book***

Let's see, what else... Oh, I think the baby might have dropped. I had one major contraction this morning, and it seemed to cause a back spasm. After a good 5 - 7 mins of hurting I called hubby in and had him rub my back. Afterwards I noticed that the baby seems quite a bit lower (aka I can breathe!) and the movement feelings are very different now - don't know how to describe it other than I'm surprised how low in my pelvis I can feel it wiggle. Very strange.

Anyone with experience please help me out - is this about right? Did it drop?

I'm aware that the baby can drop weeks before it comes, but I'm excited none-the-less. Natural progress COULD keep me out of the OR. Come on baby! Momma and Daddy are ready for you to make your grand appearance! Momma especially, which is important because if Momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy.

OK - now I feel like I'm rambling... Hope everyone is having a good weekend.