Thursday, February 26, 2009

Boot Camp

1) Did you know that "bottle" is really spelled "boddle"?

2) Did you know when you put the letters L-O-W-E-S and T together, it spells "lowest"?

3) Did you know there is no such thing as a "schedule" when it comes to a small human being known as a baby?

Ahh, it feels good to be writing...of course I have wanted to write every day since this precious little boy came into my life, but he's had me focused 100% on Baby Boot Camp from day 1, and my body has needed my other 100% to recuperate. That's a lot of 100%...

  • That first week: I say this with all sincerity-no matter fertile or infertile, it's damn hard. Hardest week I've ever lived through. ALL worth it, but I matured in ways I never knew possible in those first seven days. As I said a few weeks ago, I don't know how I would have had a chance in Hades to make it through without the help of my stupendous mother and loving hubby.
  • My boobs as a food source: Ok, I admit it. I had a romantic notion of this whole breast feeding thing. I just figured: how hard can it really be? Ha...ha...ha. Goodness. Of course my milk didnt come in for a good 4 days, due to O-man coming early--so we did have to supplement in the hospital. I saw a lactation consultant each day we were there-we tried the SNS (hooking the small tube to my nipple to get him to latch), different positions, and all that STUFF. He's actually never had a problem wanting to latch or "root" but the little booger is a chewer...and his mouth is still small. Ow. So for the past 3 weeks, I've tried nursing off and on, but it just STRESSES me out each time I think of putting him to my breast...the pain is just so severe. So I've been a pumper. And while its definitely NOT ideal (having to wash bottles and equipment multiple times a day) it does help me a) know how much he's getting, b) lets Mook help and c) I feel like we are bonding BETTER because Im not crying in pain each time he needs to eat. I did go back to a lactation consultant earlier this week--she was very nice, and we tried to come up with a plan. I tried it for 2 days...still not working. Even though his latch felt better, I was STILL having to pump after he fed--I've had no supply issues. I want to be able to give him breast milk for as long as possible...but I think about quitting every time I hook up that freakin' pump. One day at a time for now. She did tell me it was OK to have 1-2 cups of coffee a day, so for that, I will be forever grateful!
  • Our lab and O-Man: She's definitely curious! Yet another part of "the book" that I didn't believe would really be an issue. But...she has since eaten another bar of soap, gone through my trash can, AND gone into the nursery trash can...yea, peanut-butter poop on the couch is not fun to wake up to at a 5am feeding. We will also need to replace our neighbor's swing they let us borrow--on our first outing as a family, little miss lab decided to eat the stuffing. God, I love her-but we don't need a rebellious "toddler" and a baby in the house. The dog crate has made a reappearance, so she will be crated each time we leave now until she starts to RE-learn.

  • My recovery: Hard...but each day helps. Im a bit scared about what is going on with my back-so I really hope with time and a good chiropractor that things will start to improve. As of now, I have gone to my acupuncturist and gotten some leg exercises to do to help strengthen my back as well as a needle treatment. Ill be able to see a chiropractor after my post-partum check up in a few weeks. My incision is healing well--I had to sleep in a recliner for the first week and a half, so getting back into bed felt sooooo good. I slept better, and just being next to Mook again was so nice (it had been a LONG time!) I've lost most of the fluid--still cant wear my wedding rings, but my feet are no longer Fred Flinstone size! I am actually back to my pre-pregnancy weight-just holding onto that fertility-treatment weight. I'm not concerned with the weight--this has just actually helped my back a bit more. AND I've shaved one of my legs! Yea, you read that right: just one. I've gotta take it one leg at a time...its taking some time!

  • Having an IVF baby in the time of "Octo-Mom": Interesting. I definitely look at O-man and thank God each day for the miracle of IVF and for the blessing he is to us. I just hate that anytime fertility treatments are put in a bad light because of bad decisions and where life is put in jeopardy--these children will be the ones to suffer. I just cant stand the thought of government getting involved...hell, I know that as crazy as it sounds, I wouldn't have turned down having 4-5 transferred (NOT IMPLANTED) back to give us a chance at having Oliver. So I do not condone her life decisions...but I don't want to be judged either for having made my fertility decisions. Just a hard situation...

  • O-Man: I love him. Plain and simple, but it encompasses so much. I am amazed and thankful every day: even in the exhausted moments! Not to jinx anything, but he truly is an Oliver: PEACEFUL. He's so good natured. I love watching him...he makes these sounds like Pee-Wee and it just makes me giggle. I may be a terrible mother, but I laugh most times even when he's throwing a fit--not to be mean, but I just love everything about him. Don't get me wrong-hearing a screaming baby can stress anyone out, but I try not to let it get to me. Can't tell what color his eyes will be yet, but they are so inquisitive--he furrows his brow a lot like he's trying to figure out where the heck he is. He makes this adorable little O-FACE when he's hungry. Mook and I have both been peed and pooped on numerous times, and the worst is when it lands on our face or mouth. Yea. Not pleasant. O-man can poot with such force that it scares HIM. Just makes mom and dad laugh! His cord fell out last Friday, and I cried HARD. To me, it was that last little piece of "something" connecting me to Oliver's birth...and how much that CORD kept us connected--through all the placenta issues. Hormonal much?! He's about 7lbs 4oz and his jaundice is getting better each day. Still has that full head of dark hair! He has yet to be introduced to a pacifier: Im not against it, just nervous that once he has it, he'll need to have it...thoughts?

  • Life goes on: It does. And it goes fast...he will be a MONTH next week. There are still bills to pay, taxes need to be finished, sleep needs to be had, meals to be eaten, friends to keep up with. I do a little each day-and try not to let it get to me at the end of the day if I dont get a list checked off. Like this morning: I had every intention of staying up after the 6am feeding to get things done, but Oliver and I ended up back in bed-and slept until 11. And that's OK. I am a person who NEEDS sleep...I cant do anything to change it. No amount of caffeine will ever be enough. So I follow the rule of sleeping when he sleeps as much as possible, and try not to let guilt creep in. A productive day includes doing anything more than just pumping, feeding and changing diapers! Im even trying to have dinner ready when Mook gets home--just call me Suzy. Im also thinking of so many of you out there in blog land: babies due soon, painful times, celebrations, medical procedures, waiting...and I think of you each day. You WILL see my comments of support again soon!
Whew, if you've made it through-thank you! I am really going to try and not go so far in between posts-but you know who's boss, and although he's tiny, I sort of have to do what he tells me. I've already been thinking about the path of this blog...and I even missed my 2 year blogaversary! Thanks for those who stopped in on the 9th to remind me! The sub-title of my blog has always been "One couple's journey to pass on the family jeans" and we have been blessed to do so...I want to continue writing about our journey. I know the audience will shift, but I will never forget or neglect the path we took to get here. I'd like to stay here in this place where I have made such a home--I hope those of you who want to stick with our journey will continue to do so, and that this will still be a place for those dealing with infertility (esp male factor) will come to read about the hope that exists with the help of fertility treatments. O-man, Mook and I will always be grateful for the community that has opened its arms to us, and we will always give back what we have received.

1) We kept a feed-journal for a few days, and in my exhausted state, I wrote boddle instead of bottle-Mook just roared in laughter.

2) There is a new Lowes Home Improvement commercial out, where they are showing the letter "T" after the Lowe's sign, and for the LIFE of me, I could not figure out what the commercial meant--so I asked Mook one night to help me figure it out. Obviously, it spells "lowest"... I think he almost called the doctor--he was a bit concerned. I just felt stupid. Ahh, much for brains

3) O-Man is the boss. There is no longer JJ or Mook control in the house.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Week In

Loooooooooong sigh....

That loooooong sigh encompasses SO much.

Bliss, love, terror, tears, euphoria, sadness, fullness, loneliness...all felt to the tilt.

To look over to my right and see that I have a week-old son, just fills me with so much emotion that I can't even begin to explain.

Where to even start...I will definitely post the "Birth Story" to cover all the nitty-gritty, so we'll save that for next time.

First, let me thank my mother and Mook: having the support and help has meant more to me than I'll ever be able to express. Not having total control of my body has been hard on me--not that I expected to jump up the day after the c-section, but it's been tougher than I expected. Like, how to sleep at night. How to get up after sitting in a chair. How to put my pants on! We finally decided to move a recliner into our room so I could sleep in the same place as Mook-I've really needed to be close to him, and since I cant get in and out of bed quite yet without help, at least we are in the same room.

My mom has just been fantastic: not only for the "taking care of baby", but for taking care of JJ. I've definiiiitely had the hormone fluctuations--a lot of crying and self doubt about this new part of this journey. Feeling like a milk machine and nothing else. Worried about Mook wanting to spend time with me. Scared that my body will never heal. Wondering if my feet will ever stop swelling. Being able to openly cry and get it out without feeling crazy with a capital C has helped so much.

And of course sharing in the many GOOD things: watching Oliver's facial expressions, hearing him burp like a champ, cooing at him during our cuddle time, smelling and feeling that baby-skin. Feeling his hands touch my face is beyond surreal, and I'm forever grateful for those 10 tiny fingers...

So needless to say there is a lot of adjusting going on around here...

  • We were BOTH discharged this past Saturday--he actually got "his papers" before me! Unfortunately, I had to go back on Sunday--my swelling and back pain were truly unbearable. The fact that Im still having back pain post-O Man means some investigative measures will need to be taken after a few weeks. Right now, thank GOD for pain meds...

  • Working on a night-time routine--Mook is a great help. We are still figuring it all out, and probably wont ever have an exact science. My milk came in good and strong only yesterday, so we've had to do a combo routine with my milk and supplements. And since little man's mouth is still a bit small, pumping is the way Im going for now-it was becoming WAY too painful

  • O Man is sunning during the day=) The fact that he did NOT have to have any NICU time is a blessing--we do have to do some home-remedy to keep him growing: keeping his billirubin in check, and making sure I feed him every 2 hours--he lost about a pound in transition, so we have to keep him fed and tan!

  • Men could never do this. Good God, a woman's body goes through so much-it's worth it--really it is--but dude.
  • And I miss you need to explain further. I just really do...I owe so many emails and thank-yous, and some phone/text messages. Please know EACH one has helped me so much. As MUCH as this is a joyous time, it can feel lonely too--and I cant quite explain that one yet, but I hope that makes sense. I'm working my way through all of it...
My ding-dong-milk-alarm just went off, so I must obey--but THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all your good wishes and welcoming "Our Jeans" that we have loooonged for. Remembering that my blog started 2 years ago (thanks for those anniversary wishes too!) is an amazing thing to think about...

Lots and lots of hugs from this household...

Friday, February 6, 2009


Everyone is doing great.
JJ is getting a little stronger every day and continues to keep her chin up with the long road of recovery. She is getting a little more comfortable with the pain and certainly with the new daily routines.
Little man is also getting stronger everyday and is still over achieving at every test thrown his way. So far, he has passed his hearing test, blood sugar tests, heart rate is strong an normal and his stomach functions are working perfectly. (believe me)
I have transitioned to calling Oliver by a new nickname, which has double meaning. I call him Juice. Obviously, and in no way linked to his initials (OJ) and doubly due to his mothers constant and unending thirst for apple juice in her time here at the Hotel de Hos-pi-tal. She literally drank the entire hospital dry twice... I've never seen this lady drink so much apple juice! It was like an appleholic... AA meetings may still apply once we get her back out on the town; I'll keep you posted - ha, that's a pun!

So, back to the topic/title at hand.
Yeah... I got peed on. This was my first experience with such a thing and I have to say, it caught me by surprise. Total shock and awe. Dude is a sharpshooter too... like a sniper he hit me dead on in the center of the chest; not once but twice!
I also had my first experience with a dirty diaper. I know, I know. You? Mook, such a world traveler and modern age scholar, this was your first experience with a dirty diaper? Yes, it was... and I have to say, I am pleased with my progress. I held my urges to lose my lunch and dove right in and did the deed!
Four changes down and ten million to go!
I also had my first experience feeding; Since Juice came a little early, the real juice hasn't... We are having to supplement with some fake stuff to keep him fat and happy. Its a lot easier than I thought but still a challenge. He's not quite got a handle on this breathing, suckling, and swallowing all at once. But hey! He's new here! Give the kid a break!

How freakin' cute is he???? It's ok, we know!

Oh, if you have the time, go ahead back to college and get your degree in child safety seat set-up. Cause, damn! I feel like a flippin' idiot every time I touch this thing. Luckily, the fire department here will do a check and an installation display for you... I guess there are more people out there just like me...

On a side note, please keep BeeCee in your thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow is a big day for her and her husband.
All three of us are thinking about you and wish you the best!

Baby daddy Mook, out -

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My baby, had a baby!

Happy, proud, baby daddy, Mook, reporting in -

He's perfect!
Scored 9 on all APGARS out of 10
6lbs, 12 ounces
19.5 inches long
and without further ado, may I present to you...

(explanation of the name: the olive variation means peace and tranquility brought to our lives; think we are dropping hints to the kid or what? and the middle name is representative of the long journey that JJ and I made to get to this amazing point - geez is that a guilt trip already?!?!?)

As of usual, JJ had the roughest of it; She's doing great and making a strong and steady recovery. OB called the placenta a "formidable foe."
JJ required 2 shots at the spinal anesthetic, ended up losing quite a bit of blood in the procedure, and is just plain pooped.
She is currently in the process of a blood transfusion (thanks to the donors of the world!). Despite the pain and the drain, she could not be happier!

FYI: Kermit nor Rizzo made an appearance in the OR; but of the 14 people in the room with us, one of them did look like Ernie from Seasame Street. I was hoping he wouldn't talk to mebecause my only thought was that I'd say, "Ok, Bert!" Good thing he was there for little man and not me... that could have been awkward.

Happy, proud, baby daddy, Mook, out -

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mooks Muppet Vision

So... I tend to think... Ok, daydream...

I think a lot in Muppet. I know... its sad but I've had this vision for the last few days and I can't shake it.
I have been thinking about JJ and how I want this to go so smoothly for her. Muppets seem to make things go smoother... they are like butta in that way...

I was envisioning JJ all sprawled on the gurney tomorrow.

One of the doctors there was Kermit. He's making his normal scrunchy face along with the little elongated hums of an inquisitive nature.

Fonzy is over in the corner gassing himself and dropping "Wakka Wakka" bombs and his own bad jokes.

Rizzo is holding a catchers mit at the end of the bed; ready and waiting for little man to pop on out.

Gonzo is hanging from the cool overhead light that moves to any direction--simply by the sheer breath from anyone in the room.

Animal is holding all the surgical instruments while Beaker and Professor Bunson Honeydew are wrestling them away. Beaker of course, gets frustrated and throws his hands up in disgust.
The Swedish Chef is just hanging out in the background, he wants us to name little man "Smorgy Borgey"

Can you tell Im a bit anxious?

-Mook (the soon to be poppa) out-

Eviction Notice

Hi, my name is JJ and I'm in denial.

After being on bed rest and in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks, do I really get to give birth to Ron tomorrow?

These nurses keep coming in and prepping me for what tomorrow will be like: the prep, the c-section process, the recovery, where Ron will go, what Mook's responsibilities will be.

And I swear, the look I feel that is on my face when they are talking is: "Umm, you must have me confused with someone else."

You can either call it a blessing or a curse, or a bit of both--I have had to spend so much mental energy on just making it through each day, that the thought of having an end in sight with such a beautiful gift just blows my mind. Not to mention the fact that I am going to be a mom. I know that this last leg of pregnancy for a lot of women gives them time to think/prepare for what happens, ya know, after the baby is born--but I feel a bit green in that department. I'm gonna be flying by the (hopefully no longer SORE) seat of my pants. But I've waited a LONG time for this--so I WILL figure it out, and do the best damn job I can.

So I never got to write too much on my feelings about having a c-section. I'm OK with it--it's obviously medically necessary for me to have one. Im not doing this for convenience--as I learned so many people just assume. I just stopped telling people I was having a c-section--the comments got to be too much. I did fire back most of the time: I just want him here safe, and I'll do whatever I need to do to make that happen. Yes, I know my body is built to handle and go into labor. Yes, it probably is a beautiful experience. Yes, blah blah blah. But this is not something I have a say in. It is what it is, and the point is to bring Ron into this world.

And now some closing thoughts before I end up somewhere over the rainbow:

-First, I would write a novel but : a) Im too emotional b) Hunting for keys while almost flat on my back is difficult and c) Mook! He has quite the audience--Im sure he'll be sharing thoughts again soon--he loves hearing from each of you.

-Im quite sure I could win major prizes on The Price is Right-Ive seen every game they have in the past 2 1/2 weeks, and I would love to spin the wheeeeeel!

-Anyone else been watching The Bachelor? Can you believe he got rid of Stephanie and her 10 pounds of makeup? I have no clue who he'll end up with--but he kind of annoys me.

-I will be forever thankful for the nurses Ive had--has anyone ever done anything for their nursing staff? There are a select few that I want to come back and visit and express my appreciation.

-Did you all know that anyone with previa has a higher chance of having to have a hysterectomy? Yea, I didnt know that until yesterday's visit from my OB. I know he's just making me aware of everything, but that scares the poop outta me.

-ONLY thing I would change about this whole experience: not having to check my TP in fear EVERY time I went to the bathroom. Im positive I saw a grey hair yesterday. I would go through this all over again-I know it will be worth it.

-And we cant say it enough: the fact that we have this community to support us makes a HUGE difference-both Mook and I are so grateful, and Ron will know all about each of you one day

-Mook will most likely update twitter first tomorrow, since that will be the fastest access.

-I unfortunately need to go back to laying down, so know Ill be holding onto each of your thoughts tomorrow, 24 hours from now!

-Ron has come such a long words to describe how I feel to be at this point