Saturday, July 23, 2005


The house has gone officially BABY CRAZY!!! My Dad and I picked up my maternal Grandma from the airport yesterday and I swear that if I didn't have to feed my child, I wouldn't see him. My Dad has been hiding out in his bedroom and Zac is in the arms of two women that coo, smile, play, and volunteer to hold him for hours. My child's head has barely touched his cradle since his Great Grandma came into town.

All this leaves me feeling emotionally isolated. I've been having a hard time expressing these thoughts to any one person (what would they think of me? Would it make me a bad mother? A bad woman? A bad friend if I admitted that I'm feeling overwhelmed? After all, didn't I "ask" for this by taking the pregnancy to term?), so I've decided to share them with everyone in this semi-anonymous format. This is a tough post to write because I do know some of the people that read my blog. It's through my fear of judgement that I write instead of talk.

I know now why women blame themselves for not bonding with their baby fast enough (what is fast enough? There is so much pressure and anxiety involved with bonding that I can't even get around my own insecurities long enough to bond with him. Even as I learn what his physical needs are, he still feels unknown). Why there is so much guilt and fear involved in mothering. It's like, "If playing with him comes so naturally to other people, why can't it come naturally to me?" Why am I so worried about his (and my) future and not enjoying his present? Well, there is that sticky issue of money, lack of financial security, and lack of a life partner to help me share the responsibilities of raising a child and surround me in their arms when life is feeling too hard.

Rationally, I can see that Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers are released from this guilt: they just enjoy children and babies for being children and babies. They have raised their children and have seen the other side of mothering. The side where their children become independent and start raising children of their own. They have felt the pride at accomplishments and the swell of unexpected love when they smile.

I guess I have to wait it out and not expect to feel, know, and cherish every moment. Sleeping more might help.

No comments on this one. It is too close to home.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Boy do I have a weight-loss plan for you all! Granted, it comes with stretch marks, swollen ankles, and a belly that might never go back to "normal", but you get a really cute baby at the end. I went back to the OB-GYN today for a one-week checkup on my blood pressure and I found out that I had lost 44 pounds in one week. Yup, you read that right, 44 pounds. Jeez, no wonder I've been so frickin' tired all the time. It's hard work losing that much weight and keeping up the strength to provide Peanut with enough boob milk to keep him healthy and happy.

Speaking of boob milk, apparently mine must be working for him. Zac also got a clean bill of health today at the pediatrician. The doc said that he looked wonderful and was happy that he hadn't lost any weight since being discharged from NICU.

That is great news for me considering our first foray into breast feeding went very poorly. In the hospital, Zac latched on to my nipple like he was born to suck. I let out a sigh of relief knowing that he would be a productive nurser, but that was before my milk "came in". Three days after delivering Peanut my breasts swelled to twice their normal size and became rock hard. The baby couldn't latch on anymore. He would look at my nipple, get this horrible frown on his face, and start screaming as loud as humanly possible. It was incredibly discouraging to have a newborn reject my nipples. The next day, we both went to a lactation specialist to relearn how to breast feed. Who knew that such a natural process would be so challenging for both of us? I was given a nipple shield, which extended the length of my nipple into his mouth, and he started sucking again. Just for M., I'll post a picture of the prosthetic nipple soon.

Until then, I'm going to go pump my breasts, lay on the couch, and try not to lose another 40-odd pounds or so in the next seven days.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Right now...the baby is sleeping and I have a couple of minutes to write. I was stupid yesterday and tried to pick up the 40 lbs stroller when Peanut, Grandma, and I went to Babies R' Us. The pain in my incision is enough to tell me that I shouldn't try that again for a couple of weeks. My favorite part is when I sneeze or cough and I get this great burning sensation in my stomach. As my friends and family keep telling me though, I could have stiches in my crotch or near the other hole. On the other hand, have you ever tried to suppress a cough? It's not as easy as it sounds.

I'm posting a picture of Peanut in comparison to another object. The teddy bear is normal teddy bear size and the purpose of this picture is to put to rest the "Oh My God, your child is huge!" phenomenon. He is newborn size. He wears newborn diapers, newborn onesies, and newborn socks. Yes, he is 9 pounds, 5 ounces now (the NICU is pretty hardcore about beefing kids up fast. It's like baby boot camp in there for eating) and yes, he's 21 inches long (the average newborn is 15-24 inches), but to me, he's heartbreakingly small. As in, "How the hell did I get the enormous responsibility of taking care of something so small? (Don't answer that. I know how it happened and why, but you're not my subconscious speaking at 3am) Who authorized this? Don't they know that sometimes I sleep until 2pm? That I sometimes care more about myself than other people? This is a human here!!!!" Besides, if anyone gets to call my child huge, it's me. Not you. End of story.

My love and grateful thanks goes out to L. for talking to me last night and calming me down during the worst of my paranoia. Thank you. You are a great friend.


So much sleeping, so little time. Until 3am that is. Posted by Picasa


Peanut, six days old. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I wondered what would happen at this point in my blog....would I rename the blog, "Not-So Pregnant In Texas"? or maybe "UnPregnant in Texas"? All those months of waiting...of heartburn....of crying.....and of wondering what the perfect being inside me would look like has come down to this.

Zachary Russell. Zac. Peanut.

For those who want the technical details, keep reading. For those of you that would rather not, skip ahead. My labor was supposed to be chemically induced on Wednesday, July 7th at 7pm, but lo' and behold, there were no beds available in the hospital. This event reminds me of: (a) 1st century Jerusalem. "Sorry lady, there are no rooms in the inn, but we have a stable around back." (b) 20th century Soviet Union bloc countries and protectorates. "Oh. Batbold. You can't check in the hospital today because the govenor's cousin is sick and the hospital needs wood for the winter. If we don't take his cousin, the governor won't give us wood." or (c) 21st century Friendswood, Texas. "This area has just outgrown our labor and delivery capacities."

Finally, at 5am the next morning and a completely restless, sleepless night, I got the OK to come to the hospital at 7am. I checked in with my Mom, my labor coach, at they inserted cervicil, which is kind of like a tampon thing with a whole lot of chemicals to ripen my cervix. Cervicil can also jumpstart labor and cause a crampy, menstrual like feeling. Twelve hours later and one centimeter dilated, they inserted another cervicil...this time without any lubrication. It was so painful to have that nurse's hands up my vagina that I blurted out, "I'm never having sex again!" I'll speak to that issue at another time.....

My Mom and Dad went back to their house for the night, thinking that most of the action would happen the next morning when they started pitocin, but at 1am, Peanut got things rolling. I woke up and knew that these weren't ordinary cramps. I had started in active labor, contracting every 2-5 minutes. I thought for about three minutes about not calling my parents and waiting for them to return at 6am...then I called. From this point on, my Dad gets the short end of the stick. Occasionally, I was aware that we was in and out of the room, but really, anything outside of my uterus and my Mom has a hazy, blurred quality. Between 1-3 am I had the most painful back labor that I can possibly describe. With every contraction my Mom would jump up, rub my back, and look at the fetal monitors to tell me when the contraction was at its peak. I peed three times and vomited once. After they got me back into bed, they checked my cervix and found that I had gone from 1 cm to 5cm in two hours. The nurses looked at each other, shocked, and asked if I wanted an epidural. My answer of "Yes, please" was shouted before she even finished her question.

Then the man of my dreams who I can speak no ill of, my anesthesiologist, came in and inserted the epidural. Note to all: epidurals don't hurt at all compared to labor. I passed out and woke up around 7am, at which time my cervix had dilated to 8cm, but there was still no sign of Zac. He hadn't dropped into my pelvis yet. Every Debbie, Angie, and Cheryl that shoved their hands into me on exploratory missions to find the baby came back bare-handed. When they broke my water around 9am, they found meconium in the liquid, which means that Peanut had had a bowel movement in the womb and possibly swallowed some of the liquid. Vaginal birth was no longer an option.

At 12:30am my Mom scrubbed up to go into the OR with me and although they gave me more medication, I could still feel the contractions and I had feeling in my legs and feet. They wheeled me in and strapped my arms and legs down to the operating table. I was scared. I started crying and threw up, which isn't easy while strapped down in a sterile environment. I felt most of the surgery. The doctors kept saying, "It's just pressure, just pressure," but I know the difference between pressure and stabbing pain. When they said that his head was out, I was in shock. They took his body out immediately after, but all I could see was the nurses. He was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he was blue. My Mom saw him, but as soon as the baby was out of my body, they flooded me with pain medication and when my Mom turned around to talk to me, she found me snoring on the table, finally comfortable, but without a baby to hold.

I woke up back in the labor and delivery room and was told that Zac was taken to the NICU for oberservation. I couldn't go and see him because my incision prevented me from going in a wheelchair and he couldn't come to me because of his respiratory problems (see the article "Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn" thanks to Aunt Jen). We saw each other for the first time the next day and once again I cried....this time out of relief and happiness.


Naked "turtle" glory. Posted by Picasa


Gram, Grandpa, and new Mom outside of NICU. Posted by Picasa


Zachary Russell. One day old. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 08, 2005


This is Dad. Peanut isn't a peanut anymore, at least as of 1:15 pm cdt today. At that point in time Peanut became Zachary. He checked into the world via c-section, weighing 9 pounds exactly and 21 inches in length. Compared to most of the babies we saw, he seemed fully developed and possibably looking for the car keys. Both he and mom are doing fine. Zach did develop a problem related to rapid breathing, and will be kept in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to completely make sure everything is OK. The doctor is not worried, just being careful. The down side is Mom hasn't had a chance to hold him yet. That will change in the morning. She can't wait. Hopefully we will be there to enjoy the moment.

Monday, July 04, 2005


While I'm thankful that we aren't governed by the British anymore....I always have mixed feelings on the 4th of July. I think today I'll just let my Dad speak for me. Only two more days to go.

Sunday, July 03, 2005



I can't write for long because the numbness in my fingers and wrists is really bothering me today, but I wanted to update and let everyone know that the doctor has set a date for my progeny to come into the world. I will go into the hospital in the evening on Wednesday, July 6th for a ripening procedure (....will they leave me out on the counter overnight....maybe put me next to some bananas.....rub me with coco butter and throw me outside until I'm "done".......) Alas, the procedure isn't nearly as fun as any of those things. I'll get a softening medication rubbed directly on my cervix and then wait twelve hours for the magic to happen. Let me just say that cervixes don't really liked to be touched. They are up high for a reason.

Then on Thursday, July 7th, provided everything has gone well up to that point, the doc will administer pitocin through my IV at 7am. Then the fun really starts. Anyone who has any vague knowledge of pitocin tells me that it is one knock-down-drag-out-kick-you-while-you're-down drug that doesn't take any prisoners. Contractions? Here I come.

Only three more days until the human that I've carried for nine months comes out and becomes his own person.....I'm scared shitless.