Monday, November 29, 2004


Note: This post has very little to do with Adrian; so if that's why you're here you may want to read something else. This post does involve my breasts, but more in a discussion of function rather than form...
You've been warned.

My right breast is broken. Broken, I tell you!
I'm not sure if this is possible, but it feels like engorgement all over again. But not the whole breast, just a section of it. (For those of you not in the know, engorgement is the misleading term for when your milk comes in--I say misleading because the word does not begin to describe the pain that is created by over-full breasts. Imagine, if you will, squeezing into an outfit that is meant for toddlers. Then, apply a generous amount of swelling to your entire body which becomes rock-hard and incredibly sensitive to the slightest draft. That's kind of like engorgement, but not as painful.)
My right breast has been a troublemaker through this whole breastfeeding adventure--first it was a cracked and bleeding nipple, which healed after a week or so. Then it was a bruised nipple, courtesy of my beloved son and his misaligned suction-grip of death. Now it is the swelling and the firmness and the pain of it all.
If it weren't for ibuprofen, I'm pretty sure that I'd give up on breastfeeding altogether (despite the indignant screaming of my conscience).
So if you call, and I sound a little cranky...It's because I am.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Update: 4 weeks!

(photo) One month old! Posted by Hello

Hooray, hooray!
We've made it FOUR WHOLE WEEKS without any desires to throw ourselves out of the window or attempts to sell Adrian to the Gypsies.
Although I have threatened to shave the cats on more than one occasion...But that's neither here nor there.
Taking the lead from another blogging lady , I shall be writing monthly letters to Adrian which will be up for all to see.
Here begins the first installment of many letters to our wee man:

Sweet Adrian,

These past four weeks you have astounded me with your development. You are holding your head up, propping yourself up on your elbows, and your newest, favorite trick is to throw the lower half of your body around when I'm trying to change your diaper. You've nearly thrown yourself right off the changing table twice now, and you think this is great fun--as evidenced by your smiles.
Yes! You are smiling now, and I have to admit that my heart melts a little every time you do it. Of course, you're a surreptitious smiler, so I haven't been able to catch any on film yet.
Our days involve a wobbly routine of feeding, diaper changing, and staring out the living room window. You love to sit and stare out the window--I have no idea what it is that you find so entrancing, but it keeps you from fussing; so stare away, little man.
All in all you're not a big crier, you fuss mainly for four reasons: you're hungry, you're in need of a diaper change, you're lonely, or you're falling asleep. Man, do you hate falling asleep. The easiest ways to get you to sleep are to nurse you to sleep, or to rest you on my chest and rub your back. You are a very snuggly baby--and I enjoy it because I know that a day will come when you shrug off my hugs and kisses. At night, you sleep in the bed with me and are a complete bed-hog. I'm now competing with you and two cats for my side of the bed.
The cats have warmed up to you--Lunchbox more so than Jack. Lunchbox will spoon you when we sleep in bed together, and she checks up on you when you stir in your sleep. Jack will spoon with us occasionally, but he still doesn't understand that he can't sit on you like he sits on us. I spend at least 2 nights a week pushing Jack to the foot of the bed b/c he's trying to stand on you. This is part of the reason that I've threatened to shave him.
Your relationship with your father is funny and sweet. He is in charge of bathing you, as I couldn't stand your screeeeeaming in the first few weeks of life. You now enjoy the bath part of bath time, but don't like the cold nakedness that book ends it. Your dad is the one who carries you around in the baby-harness when we go out in public, or when you're tired but won't sleep at home. You guys hang out and nap together in front of the TV--it's very manly. He's been singing songs by Slipknot, Type O Negative, and Marilyn Manson to you...So I've tried to counter-balance with Taj Mahal, Jimmy Reed, BB King, Ani DiFranco, and Tori Amos. If nothing else, you're experiencing as wide a variety of music as we can manage.
We love you immensely, little man, and can't wait to see what surprises lay in store in the next four weeks.
P.S.--If you could just get your butt under control, that'd be great. This past Tuesday I had to clean your poo off the walls in a horrible ricochet incident involving an unguarded tushie and an open box of baby wipes.
(the horror!!!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A photo and a train of thought

(photo) Read the shirt, dammit! Posted by Hello

The phrase "you are not the boss of me" no longer applies in this household.
My day develops around his schedule, and my activities are subject to his whims. To this I say "whee". The newest development is the screaming (with the red face and forgetting to breathe) before falling into a comatose-like slumber. I've taken this as further evidence that he is his father's son; as Aaron once said to me " If I didn't have to sleep, I wouldn't".
Not me, dude.
I love sleep. I'd sleep for 10 hours a night if you'd let me. I sleep now whenever the opportunity arises, and it's not nearly as delicious as sleeping in one giant chunk. Love the sleep. I believe that the work day should start at 10am so that nobody has to get out of bed before 8, if they don't want to. Mmm, sleep.
Napping with the little man is touch-and-go. If he awakens to find me sleeping, I get an earful of his outrage. So now, not only am I sleeping less, I'm sleeping lighter--the tiniest sounds of stirring from him and I am awake! and on the job!
These are the "joys" of motherhood that everyone mentions but you don't fully understand 'em until you're here. Feeling like a mom is synonymous with being exhausted, in dire need of a shower, and eating foods that can be prepared and consumed one-handed.
Here is where I publicly applaud all single mothers. (applause)
I don't know how you do it.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Update: Week 2 and 3 days.

Hello, Internet.
I am a tired, tired lady. I never knew that I could be so grateful for 3 consecutive hours of sleep.
You see when Adrian first came home, and I had the able assistance of my mother and my husband, he was on a schedule! A schedule that meant getting up only once in the middle of the night to eat.
Oh blessed schedule, where hast thou gone?
Now every day is different. Last night was the night of "every 2 hours I shall be fed, and it will take me an hour to doze off between feedings".
So today, we slept pretty much all day in between feedings that were 3 1/2 hours apart. Which means that tonight I should expect another wide awake baby.
I understand that he's growing and that his needs change on a regular basis. I know that there's nothing I can do but feed him when he's hungry.
But I'm only human, and as such I get frustrated when I can only sleep for an hour at a time...
That's when how cute he is overwhelms how unbelievably tired I am.

(photo) Behold the pie hat! (Thanks, Kathleen!) Posted by Hello

This nifty hat was knitted by my talented friend, Kathleen C. She and I have been friends for 17 years and she never ceases to amaze me with the stuff she can do.
We call this the "pie hat" because she told me she was making a hat that would make my baby's head look like a small fruit pie. I believe that it would be a blackberry pie if it were edible.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Big Weekend

This weekend, Aaron's family came to visit.(hi, guys!) We had an early Thanksgiving and played many rounds of "pass the baby".
Posted below are pictures of Adrian and his extended family, with the exception of his Uncle Spud (which I am currently working on in Photoshop).
That's right--Adrian has an Uncle Spud and an Uncle Buckethead.
How lucky can one kid get?

(photo) Adrian with Grandpa Gary. Grandpa Gary says "Go Hawks!" Posted by Hello

(photo) Adrian does baby yoga with Grandma Nina Posted by Hello

(photo) Adrian with Aunt Erica Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Yet another picture...

(photo) Adrian chillin' in the kitchen. Posted by Hello

Here's Adrian in his "Kick and Play" seat (Thanks, Courtney!). This chair is a miracle of modern invention. We actually got to eat dinner AT THE SAME TIME the other night because little Squirmy kept himself amused for 15 minutes in this chair.
15 whole minutes!
Also, I thought I'd show you that there are times when he's awake and not eating or crying because of gas pains.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

(photo) A piece for Adrian's room, in color. Posted by Hello

Putting my degree to work

(photo) A piece for Adrian's room. Posted by Hello

As many of you know, I have a degree in Art--how useful, no? I decided to do a pair of works for Adrian's room, and here they are. The first, in black and white, is based off of the theory that newborns enjoy looking at strong contrasts. The second, in color, uses the same shapes as the first, but is purely for color stimulation.
Tune in next week when I pull a rabbit out of my hat.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Have hat, will travel.

(photo) Have hat, will travel. Posted by Hello

Today I had to go to the hospital to get the staples removed from my incision. When you get a cesarean, they stitch you up on the inside and staple your skin shut--I have a sneaking suspicion that this is done only because doctors like to use as many tools as possible in the operating room.
That means that today was Adrian's first trip out of the house since he came home last Sunday. I anticipated the total round-trip journey would take 3 hours--one hour of travel, one and a half hours of waiting, and half an hour for actual staple removal. So I packed accordingly: 4 diapers, a stack of baby wipes, 2 changes of clothing (he's really good at getting the contents of his bladder on what he's wearing), 2 receiving blankets (he gets pee on those, too), a changing pad, plastic baggies for soiled out fits, and my breasts. As we were getting ready to leave, Aaron looked at the diaper bag and asked, incredulously, "We're bringing all of that?"
The good news is we didn't need any of it. Adrian slept through the whole thing, including our stop in at Labor and Delivery--we took the nurses cookies to say 'thank you' for all they had done for us last week--where he was 'oohed' and 'aahed' over by the nursing staff who hadn't seen him yet.
Because, let's face it, he's a really cute baby.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

At six days old...

Adrian is six days old today.
Six whole days!
And in six days he has taught us that the greatest indignity is being naked. Any time he is remotely near a state of undress (bath time and diaper changes being the most common) he commences to screaming as though the sky IS falling and we, foolish mortals, had better do something about it now.
He has also taught us that just about any trauma can be fixed with a nice hot meal served pronto! Every time he settles down to feed, he raises his eyebrows and wrinkles his forehead as if to say " Hello breast, my old friend! Fancy meeting you here". And when he is done, he throws an arm over top and falls asleep.
And lastly, we've learned that potty humor is not just funny to toddlers. When he's filling his diapers, Adrian makes a face that says, with delight, "you will not believe what I just did in there!"
Of course that brings us full circle to the half-naked screaming diaper change. I'm sure he's wondering how long it will take us to learn that naked time is not fun time in the land of Adrian.

More Pictures!

(photo) Here's how Adrian spends most of his day. Posted by Hello

(photo) So hungry! Posted by Hello

(photo) Tiny hands! Posted by Hello

(photo) Sweet Dreams.... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The one with all the Pushing

Once Upon A Time, there was a girl (me) who was supposed to have a's how that went: (with apologies in advance for the changing of tenses throughout)

October 28, 2004

6:20 pm...My water breaks.
It actually goes "pop" before fluid gushes out...luckily I was on the toilet at the time, so there was no mess to clean up. I call the lovely Cinnamon to drive me to the hospital. Then I call Aaron and tell him to meet me at the hospital because it is go time, baby! Then I call staff duty to let them know that I am in labor and they need to extract my husband from the field and send him to the hospital. Then I call the hospital and let them know I'm on my way. After that I call my mom, who says "hallelujah" that my water broke.
By the time I had done all that, Cinnamon was at the door. She loaded my stuff into the car, and we were off! At this point I'm not contracting at all.

6:50 pm...At the gate to get on to Post.
Cinnamon tells the guard checking our identification to hurry up because we're having a baby. He responds with "are you serious?!", makes sure that our faces match the faces on the id cards and sends us through. As we're headed down the road, there's an MP coming the other way...who turns on his lights and wants to pull us over. He saunters up to the car and Cinnamon informs him that we're going to the hospital b/c I am in labor and he can write her a ticket there. He tells us to "drive safely" and then gets in his car, pulls ahead of us, turns on the lights AND sirens and waves for us to follow him. We get to go through a red light and Cinnamon's day is made. the hospital.
They check to make sure that my water actually broke (which is no surprise, considering I was starting to feel like Chicken Little), and to see what my cervix was up to. No change in the cervix, but the amniotic sac had definitely ruptured so I was admitted and put in Room 3. I get hooked up to all of the external monitors, and the contractions start rolling in. Painful like the ones from the previous Sunday, but not unbearable.

7:30ish...Aaron arrives...
All stinky and unshowered from the field. He gets to shower and change, and then Cinnamon leaves us. :( The nurses and resident doctor check my cervix again, declare no change yet. The contractions start to get worse....eventually they're so bad that I'm cursing up a storm at the end of each one.

11:20...Enter the nurse anesthetist!
And it's epidural time! It's unbelievable how well that thing works--and for those of you who believe in doing without--I applaud you, but your way is not my way. I can finally relax enough to sleep in between the vital sign checks that occur every half hour. And the occasional cervix cervix decided to efface before dilating...the effacement took about 2 hours and then it was dilation all the way.

October 29, 2004
5:00 am...cervix check....
We were declared ready to push! The baby was at a plus one station (at plus four they're out), I was dilated and ready to go....The nurses called the on-call Doctor who said to hold back on the pushing until she was actually in the I wait, and the epidural starts to thin out. Not so much that I'm in pain, but enough that I can tell what my contractions are doing--when they happen, how long they are.

I push. And I push and I push some more. The baby makes it to plus two station and stalls....the on-call doctor comes and checks me out to see what's going on. The baby is looking sideways (at my right hip) while trying to descend through the birth canal. Everytime I push, he swings his head a little in the right direction, but always manages to get back to where he was by the next contraction.

At this point the epidural is useless. I've pushed the button, it doesn't help. All I want is to push this baby out-out-out. Every time I have a contraction, my ears start ringing and all I can do is bear down. At this point I'm so tired I can only push to a six or seven count. The on call doctor is right there and declares that this baby isn't moving, despite all the pushing. She has an 8:30 OB-GYN clinic appointment because as of 7:30 she is no longer the on-call doctor. The new on-call doctor shows up, declares "prep her!" and all the various delivery tools are unveiled on their carts:
shiny silver instruments against a sterile blue backdrop.
The new doctor tells me they're going to attempt to help with the delivery using a vacuum. I only get three tries before our only option becomes a c-section. I push like a marathon runner with the finish line in sight. The baby does not budge. I remember hearing the words "inadequate pelvis" and signing the release form, all the while thinking "somebody please get this baby out of me and make the pain stop". The anesthesiologist comes in and switches from an epidural to a surgical block while the doctor stiches up the tear I suffered as a result of the vacuum....(I'm curious as to how bad it was, but I'm too chicken to look).
The surgical block was lovely--I was so tired all I wanted to do was drop off to sleep, but I WAS NOT going to miss the birth of our baby. They wheeled me back to the operating room and prepped me while Aaron put on his scrubs. Then Aaron came in and sat beside me while they started the procedure. I could feel tugging and hear the clanging of metal instruments (which I later deduced to be forceps), then someone pushed down at the base of my rib cage (popping a rib back into place). I felt a huge release of pressure, and then I heard our baby cry for the first time.
And I cried--I couldn't believe that he was actually here (hands down, one of my top ten favorite sounds, ever). A few minutes later, a nurse came around and asked Aaron if he wanted to go take a look. He went around the drape and I heard him laughing while the nurse said to the baby "are you peeing on me again?"
Then Aaron's standing next to me holding this tiny little pale person in his arms. He was so lovely! I guess not having to travel through the birth canal saved him from looking like a boxer at the end of a losing fight, but I hadn't expected him to be so lovely!
After I was stiched back up and wheeled back into the room, they gave me morphine for the the rest of that afternoon comes and goes in pockets. I remember watching Aaron hold little Adrian like he'd done it all his life and realizing that (like the hallmark cards I had mocked many times over) I had never been so in love before.
Adrian arrived at 9:49 a.m. He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21 inches long. His head was 13 3/4 inches around--which was apparently too big for me.
So that's how that happened. You'll notice I left out all the parts having to do with catheters (if you get an epidural, you get a catheter), funny bodily noises, and the gory details of recovery. The recovery story will be chronicled over the next few weeks, I'm sure.
In the meantime, I promise that pictures are forthcoming....

Monday, November 01, 2004


He's here!

Adrian Christopher arrived on Friday October 29 at 9:49 a.m. via c-section (that story will be told later)
He weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces; 21 inches long.

and he's now awake and hungry...

pictures to follow soon!!