Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
After much insurance rigamarole and a week-long delay, Peeper finally got her second Synagis (RSV) shot today.
She handled it about as well as one can expect a baby to handle a shot, and the most noteworthy thing to report is that she now weighs 8 pounds, 13 ounces!
That means that she's more than doubled her lowest weight of 4 lb 4 oz!
(Of course, we don't know if she needs to hit 9 lb 4 oz or 10 lb 8 oz to double her birth weight. Grrr.)
After the doctor's office, Peeper and I spent the evening at Democratic Headquarters, helping to hand out hot chocolate and cider and cookies and such, during the local ice festival. (Four days of ice sculptures downtown, businesses open late, some vendors, etc.)
Of course, I did more chatting with the guests and such than anything really useful, because I had a baby strapped to the front of me. (No ladling of hot liquids for me!)
Dr B (our OB) was walking past the office and saw me and Peeper inside, so she stopped by to say hello. It was nice to see her, and to show off Peeper, of course.
Shrike won't be home for another our or so, but Peeper and I need to get to bed soon, so that we can get up early (five-ish?) to head up to CapitalCity for her first statewide Democratic training/meeting.
Actually, the training sessions (and parties) were tonight, but we blew that off. We're just going for the business meetings tomorrow. We're riding with a friend of mine (the one who hosted our shower, actually) and she's picking us up around 6:30.
I know, that's crazy, but the meetings start at 8, so that's what we've got to do to get there in time. Ugh.
I usually chair a couple of meetings, but I arranged for someone else to chair one and got out of the other altogether, and I figure I can sneak out of other meetings if Peeper says so.
At last winter's meeting, I had told several people about our baby plans (by way of explaining why I wasn't running for delegate or looking for a bigger role in a campaign) and then I went to two meetings while I was pregnant (in June and September) so several of the folks that we'll see there have been following along since before Peeper was conceived, and they are anxious to meet her.
I was a bit ambivalent about going, but what finally tipped the scale is that I'd promised so many people I'd be there, and I hated to disappoint them.
Yeah, I really am full of myself, aren't I?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
So, as I said last night, Peeper nursed from about 12:30 - 1 am, and was asleep when Shrike came in from work.
I handed her off, and she stayed more or less asleep while I took a bath, and the two of them slept on the couch until about 3 am.
At that point, Peeper slept through a diaper change, and the three of us getting into bed.
She did some wiggling and whimpering from time to time, but nothing requiring more than a few butt-pats and shushes, until she woke up for real, ready to nurse, at seven thirty this morning!
Mind you, she typically goes to sleep around 2:30, and I generally get my first wake-up call between 4:30 (the past two mornings) and 6:30.
Scared the hell out of us!
Shrike and Peeper are asleep on the couch, and I know I should wake them up and take them to bed (well, wake Shrike up, and take Peeper to bed.) but I am revelling in the aloneness.
Remember the deal I offered Peeper yesterday? (day before, technically)
That I would be willing to handle an hour or so of inconsolableness all by myself if she'd get the yawping (a more accurate description than screeching, really) out of her system before Shrike got home, and then be happy for her?
Well, at least for today (um, yesterday), she seems to have taken me up on it.
We had three episodes this evening - most of an hour around eight o'clock, shorter around eleven, and another shorter period hmm, I think after midnight, when Shrike was on her way home, maybe?
When Shrike got in, Peeper was nursing (surprise!) and more or less asleep. When she finished nursing, Shrike took her, and she stayed asleep.
I took a bath, and I didn't hear one single "yawp" from her.
When I got out, they were both sleeping on the couch, and at least an hour later, I've still heard nothing from either of them.
(Okay, I'm back. They're both breathing. I had to check.)
Of course, in addition to luxuriating in the freedom of being two whole rooms away from my child! the other reason I've not woken them up yet is that I'm afraid that will set her off, and then we'll be up another hour or two trying to calm her down.
I am tempted, I must admit, to just sneak off to bed, and let them stay on the couch until Peeper wakes up hungry (could be in ten minutes, could be a couple of hours from now, could be seven thirty) but I suppose that Shrike will be more comfortable in the bed - and will be happy to not have to get up and bring her to me later, when she is hungry and crying.
Or maybe just because I'd feel too guilty about it if were to do that.
At any rate, when she was crying earlier this evening, I hit upon a strategy that seemed to work well (for now, at least).
I held her so that I could rub her tummy, and walked around and told her stories.
Not Mother Goose stuff, but stories from real life.
The first time we covered "How Mommy and Mama Met (minus some parts she doesn't need to know about) and Made Peeper" (from our first email to Shrike cutting her umbilical cord).
Next up was "The People In Your Extended Family," and finally, "Mama's Schools and Teachers, from Preschool Through High School."
I figure she doesn't know what I'm saying, so it doesn't matter what I say. She's being held and walked and tummy-rubbed and is hearing my voice, and I'm distracting myself from the crying baby.
I'm not thinking about "What can I try now to shut this kid up!" but rather "What the hell was my high school physics teacher's name?!"
(I remembered later. I can't believe I blanked on that. I thought I was going to have to email Anonymama or BabyBro to ask!)
I don't know if I just calmed myself long enough to wait it out in relative peace, or if the story-telling (and walking and rubbing) was soothing or if I just bored the tears right out of her, but as long as it's working, I'll stick with it.
Uh oh, there they are.
Peep's still asleep, but Shrike just handed her off to me, so she can get ready for bed.
I promise not to photo-illustrate our previous latest baby-song:
Do not shout and do not pout and do not flail aboutAnd I will try to refrain from posting any more pictures of our daughter's butt* on the interwebs for a while.
Let your poops and toots and burps come out, out, out!
*But it's very hard to resist, because it's such a cute little baby-butt!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Guess When?Peeper's Chin!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I decided to give the cloth diapers another try this evening.
LiPA (from whom we bought them) tells me that they started JuJu in them at around 8 pounds, and Peeper's likely pushing 8 1/2 by now.
We have certainly come a loooong way since this first test-run (when she was about three weeks old):
but the effect is still rather . . .
I know it's only been a week since my last letter to you, but holy crow, you are three months old today, and that seems noteworthy!
This is the view that I usually get of you . . .
And this is your (sort of) monthly panda photo:
(You're not nearly as happy about it as you were a couple of weeks ago.)
Your days still pretty much consist of eating, sleeping and pooping, but now there's much more awake time in between, during which you're likely to be hanging out on your changing table, watching your dancing panda mobile or listening to me or Mommy read a book; lying under your dangly toys flapping all your limbs about; squiggling around, trying desperately to connect your thumb and your mouth (are we bad for being so amused by this?); anywhere, staring at something you find fascinating for whatever baby-reason you have; in my lap, playing "stand up / sit down" or, perhaps, screeching your ever-lovin' head off.
You are still smiling and "talking" and interacting with us more and more each day, and at times you really seem to be listening to what we are saying.
We have learned some "baby signs" and are trying our best to remember to use them. You are starting to watch our hands, too, so maybe you are catching on that those funny movements - and funny sounds - we make actually have meanings, if you can just decipher them.
The biggest thing that happened this week was learning that your heart-hole has gotten smaller!
We're hoping this is going to be just one more of those things you've done to scare us, that's turned out fine. You do seem to have a knack for that.
We need to have a little talk about the screeching, though.
Does your tummy hurt, or are you upset about something, or are you just "blowing off steam" at the end of a tough baby-day?
More importantly, how can we make it better?
And if we can't, could you please pick a different time of day to do it?
I would be more than willing to deal with an hour a day of the screeching, one-on-one, if it meant you were happy in the evenings during the few hours that Mommy is home with us.
You two could play together, Mama could take a little break (no offense, kid, but Mama could use a break by the end of the day, even without the screeching) and everybody would have great time.
It's a win/win/win situation, really.
You should seriously consider it.
Or, you know, you could try not screeching at all. That would be good, too.
But mostly, I just look at you and can't believe how much you've grown and changed.
You are probably now double your low-weight, and although you're still the size of many newborns, you just look so mature and grown-up now.
We saw a three-week-old baby last week, and her birth weight was much higher than yours, but she looked tiny compared to you now, and so young, all red-faced and scrunched up.
You now feel so solid and sturdy to me.
You (mostly) have your head under control now, so unless I'm lifting you from flat on your back, or putting you there, I really don't even "spot" you.
Your hands, although they are still tiny, seem so big now, compared to when you were born.
And you are doing more and more with them each day.
I think you are going to be a "fiddler"while nursing. Your top hand opens and closes, and pats and flaps around, looking for something to do.
Sometimes, you are content to hold my finger, or my shirt, or occasionally, a handful of flesh. Othertimes, you just keep flapping and flapping, searching for who-knows-what.
And the mouth. Oh my.
Of course, you've always "eaten your hand" when you were hungry, but that was just more or less rubbing your mouth with your fist, and maybe gumming at it a bit.
Now, though, it seems that you are trying desperately to get either your thumb or some fingers, or anything into your mouth to suck on - but you just can't quite make it happen.
The two main problems seem to be lining up the hand with the mouth, and uncurling your fist.
Either your hand is in the right position, but your thumb is still tucked in, or your fingers are splayed out but the heel of your hand is at your mouth, or your thumb is sticking out and you get it into your mouth, but it goes between your upper lip and gum.
And the other hand is grabbing at the one that's aimed at your mouth, as if to guide it in there, but it's no more cordinated than the first one.
It would be hilarious to watch (okay, it is hilarious to watch) if it didn't seem to frustrate you so.
We really must get some video of these antics soon, before you figure it out and sticking your thumb in your mouth becomes as automatic as getting my nipple into your mouth.
(And who'da thunk, a couple of months ago, that I'd be saying that?!?)
I know I say this over and over, but it's still just as true.
You are still such a tiny, new, little person, but you have grown and changed so much already.
It seems like yesterday that we were bringing you home from the hospital, but that also feels like a million years ago.
It seems that we just met, but I can barely remember what life was like before you came.
There is nowhere I'd rather be than here with you, and nothing I'd rather be doing with my days than just being your Mama, but you're not much of a conversationalist, you know.
The days here alone with you do get long, but my God, the weeks - and now the months - are going so fast.
You are so, so different from that terrifyingly tiny little popcorn shrimp of a slimy, scrunched-up little babylet that the midwife plopped on my belly three months ago, it's hard to believe that you are the same person.
And to think that you will change that much again - or more - in the next three months is just almost impossible to imagine.
But I know you will. I'll blink twice and find myself writing to you as you turn six months old, and nine months, and a year . . . .
There are so many things that I look forward to as you grow, but I also know that I'll miss this stage with it's passed. Hell, I already miss (a few things about) those very early weeks.
I know your baby days will go by quickly, so as much as I look forward to the future with you, I will just try to stay in the now, and savor each new phase and each step along the way and each moment as it comes.
Except the screeching. That can stop. Any time.
I love you, my Sweet.
Hmm, I tried to send this photo from my cell phone as we were preparing to take off to return from home from our trip Texas a few weeks ago.
I never saw it show up on the blog, but didn't think much of it. Then I saw a message sitting in the "outbox" of my phone and told it to send.
Here it is.
So, this is Peeper all strapped in and ready to take off, twenty-two days ago!
Monday, January 26, 2009
This is what Peeper looks like when she's coming down off a crying jag.
She had several episodes of inconsolable crying while we were in Texas, but straightened up pretty quickly after we got home, so we figured she was just out of sorts because of the traveling and such.
The past couple of weeks or so, though, she's started it up again, usually at least once a day.
Like many babies, or so I'm told, she seems to have a grumpy time of day, which, a of course, is right about the time poor Shrike gets home from work.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I took this with my phone while we were visiting with Shrike's family this evening.
I believe this is the first time that she's worn actual shoes - because they finally fit!
And look at her sitting up all by herself.
Okay, maybe not so much "all by herself."
Maybe she's propped against the back of the couch, and strategically positioned at the crack between two cushions, to keep her from tipping over sideways.
But she stayed there for a long time, and was happy as could be!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I've recently "discovered" Facebook, and although I don't quite understand the thrill of throwing a virtual Barack Obama at a friend, I am enjoying reconnecting with old friends, staying connected with current friends, and keeping up to date on what they are all doing.
If you know me in real life (or at least well enough to know my real name), please feel free to look me up and "friend" me!
Currently, there's a "25 Things About Me" going around and I just finished posting mine.
I'm pretty sure that I've already blogged about all or most of these things, but what the heck, I'll share anyway.
(Edited a bit for the sake of anonymity, of course.)
I'm not going to bother tagging anyone, but if you feel so moved, and decide to post your 25 things, please drop me a note in the comments so I can go read them.
(Or post them there, if you are one of the blogless few.)
- I have a daughter named Peeper, born 10/27/08.
- I've always wanted to be a mother, but never believed it would really happen.
- I still can't believe it - and she's right here!
- Right now, I'm a stay-at-home (work-at-home-a-bit) mom, but I've had several jobs in the past:
- I taught middle school science for 9 years, in Texas.
- I worked as a web developer for 6.5 years.
- I worked for the BlueState Democratic Party in the 2006 election cycle, then was unemployed for 6 months.
- I worked at a Learning Center for 18 months - first as Director of Education, then Center Director.
- My partner, Shrike, and I met on the Internet and have been together almost 11 years.
- She is my best friend.
- She is Peeper's genetic mother. We did IVF using her eggs and donor sperm, and I carried her.
- I am so glad it worked out that way.
- I would wish we'd not wasted so much time/money before IVF, but then we'd have some other baby, and not Peeper.
- Peeper was born 4 weeks early, weighed less than 5 lbs at birth, had several preemie issues that are now resolved, took 6 weeks to learn to breastfeed and has a congenital heart defect which we're hoping will resolve without surgery.
- Peeper is perfect.
- I hold leadership positions in the Democratic Party at the county and state level.
- I also hold a leadership position in the state Democratic LGBT Caucus.
- Peeper will be attending her first statewide Democratic Party event soon.
- I blog and find it very therapeutic.
- I post photos of Peeper every day.
- I have a lot of "free" time on my hands.
- "Free" = nursing, changing poopie diapers, holding sleeping baby, photographing baby, playing with baby, consoling crying baby, etc.
- I am obsessed with my baby, but I'm supposed to be, right?
- I have lots of other responsibilities and I am (more or less) fulfilling them, but I really can't care much about anything other than Peeper and Shrike.
- Did I mention that I have a baby?
Happy Heart News #1:
LadyKay's testing went fine and her heart is "as good as the day she was born."
Happy Heart News #2:
Peeper's heart is better than the day she was born!
The echocardiogram showed that her ventricular septal defect (VSD) has gotten a little bit smaller. It started out at, I think, 4.4 mm x 6 mm and now it's more like 4.4 mm x 5 mm.
Dr. C says that "We're not out of the woods yet," about the possibility of surgery, but as long as it's getting smaller, he'll "drag his feet" about bringing a surgeon into the picture.
You may remember that, when the VSD was first diagnosed, he also told us that she has an atrial septal defect (ASD) "but I'm not worried about that."
We asked about it tday, and it's still there. We honestly don't remember if he said it had changed in size or not.
If she did end up needing surgery for the VSD, they would fix the ASD at the same time.
Or, even if the VSD fixes itself, there could still be ASD surgery down the road, (Years down the road, I think?) but he is really not concerned at all with it right now.
He was happy with her weight gain, eating, and everything else, too.
Their scale weighed her at either 8 pounds 6 ounces or 8.6 pounds. (It said 8 lbs last time.)
When we saw the weight, I first took it to be pounds/ounces, but later realized that I wasn't sure it wasn't pounds/tenths.
I would rather it be 8.6 pounds, which should be around 8 lb 9 oz, because a nine-ounce gain over sixteen days is a lot better than a six-ounce gain.
Of course, we've seen wierd things from their scale before anyway, and at best, it tends to weigh a few ounces higher than the pediatrician's scale, so I'm going to wait and see what theirs says.
Oh yeah, that's a whole 'nother thing.
There's much confusion between our two insurance companies about who's covering her, who's primary or secondary and the such, so her Synagis (RSV) shot that she was supposed to get on Thursday hasn't been approved or delivered.
We're hoping for Monday.
As I've mentioned a few hundred times, Peeper's got an echocardiogram scheduled (later) in the morning, and the results are likely to provide a much clearer picture of what the next couple of months may hold for her, and us.
Coincidentally, LadyKay is having some cardiac-type testing tomorrow (this) morning, as well.
And, on an unrelated-to-me note, I believe that blogger Amalah's dad is scheduled for coronary bypass surgery tomorrow (today).
So, a heapin' helpin' o' healthy heart help would be highly helpful.
(PS - Some baby-be-quiet-and-go-to-sleep-we-have-to-get-up-early-and-drive mojo would be good, too.)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
From the National Zoo's Panda Page:
Let the 13 - 27 week wait begin!
The giant panda mating season began early this year! The Zoo's animal care team noticed increased interaction between our adult pandas, including distinctive vocalizations that are associated with mating season. Staff immediately began monitoring Mei Xiang's hormone levels in her urine, which allows them to predict the exact moment of ovulation. Throughout the day on January 15, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian attempted to mate.
Zoo staff carefully observed the panda's activities and because competent mating did not occur, Zoo scientists and veterinarians performed two nonsurgical artificial insemination procedures over the weekend. Both pandas were anesthetized, allowing Zoo scientists to collect sperm from Tian Tian and insert it directly into Mei Xiang's uterus.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Two hours, nine minutes until Barack Obama is sworn is as the 44th President of the United States.
(Thirty-eight minutes until I'm supposed to be at Democratic Headquarters, setting up chairs and such for our gathering to watch it all on TV!)
Enjoy this historic day!
Monday, January 19, 2009
You are twelve weeks old today, and you're just doing great.
Of course you are, developmentally, more like the eight-week-old that you were suppose to be at this point, but that's to be expected, and we can see you growing and changing almost daily.
We're getting smiles from you more and more often, and the occasional coo-ish type sound.
You're fascinated with lights, anything high-contrast and, especially, the dancing panda mobile over your changing table.
(Diaper time is now playtime!)
Your gross motor skills seem to be a little more advanced. (Maybe because you have been out and dealing with gravity for the full 12 weeks?)
You're holding your head up really well now - we don't trust you with it completely yet, and still spot you a lot, but that's probably more our issue than yours, at this point.
You nurse a lot which can be kind of tough on both me and Mommy at times, but given where we started out, I won't complain.
In fact, you haven't had a bottle in over six weeks, and have now been nursing exclusively for longer than you got supplements, either from finger-feeding or bottles!
I guess now that we've reached that milestone, it's probably time for me to stop counting the days since the last bottle, huh?
Let's see, what else are you up to these days?
Yesterday, you had some boogies in your nose and I was trying to get them out with the snot-sucker.
Not only were you not crying and fighting me, you were kind of smiling about it. Maybe it tickles your nose?
I've never heard of a kid thinking the snot-sucker was funny, but you're kind of a funny kid.
You enjoy taking a bath in the big tub with Mama, but you're not so keen on getting out when we're done. In fact, I think it's safe to say that you hate that part.
Mommy and I are working on figuring out the best way to keep you warm and happy while we get you dressed, but don't quite have the system down yet.
Please be patient with us, we've never done this before and we're still learning.
You're continuing to grow well, and you are really packing on the ounces. I know that you'll be over eight pounds at your next appointment, which is coming up on Thursday.
I'm sorry that appointment's going to include a shot, but it will only hurt for a minute, and it's a lot better than getting RSV.
(And now that we know that the doctor's office has a special goody room, we'll head right over there as soon as the shot is over!)
On Friday, you'll be seeing your cardiologist and getting another echocardiogram.
I'm sorry about that one, too. I know you hate having the echos done, because you have to lie still while they rub that thing around on your little chest and get that goo all over you.
(Believe me, Mama understands - but at least I was getting to see pictures of you when they did it to me! And at least both our doctors warm it up. Sometimes its reeeaaallly cold!)
This is a pretty big appointment for you because, depending on how your little heart hole is looking, Dr. C might decide to start talking to the surgeon about fixing it.
We sure hope that you're getting it all healed up yourself, but if you can't, and you have to have surgery, we'll be right there, holding your little hands, and taking care of you.
On the one hand, I wish that you were old enough to understand why all these various medical things are happening to you (or might happen), but on the other hand, I'm glad that you won't remember them.
Sometimes I wonder, though, if you will remember, on some level, and what affect that might have on you.
If so, I hope that you will remember that Mommy and I were always there, and that we did everything we could to get you through it all with as little trauma as possible.
And if not, I guess you can talk to your therapist about it, when you're not talking about all the other things we did to screw you up.
But I promise, we'll try to keep that to a minimum.
I love you, my little schnoodle,
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Evidently, I'm a freak. It says that "0.20% of the 66614 people who have taken this quiz are like you."
Take the quiz and share your results in the comments, or on your blog, or both.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
All new parent have questions, I'm sure. These are some of mine.
- What is she dreaming about, and why does the plot move so quickly?
- When she laughs in her sleep, is it at us or with us?
- What exactly am I supposed to do with her, when she's not nursing, sleeping or getting her diaper changed? It seems like there should be some sort of educational or mentally-stimulating activity going on. Or is it okay to just stare at her?
- Where the hell is she putting all that milk? Does she have a little teeny hollow baby-leg?
- Does she have freakishly short arms? We have to turn up the sleeves on almost everything she wears, even when the legs seem to be okay. (Our little baby T-Rex!)
- How does she get so much fuzz between her teeny little toes in one day, when she's wearing a completely non-fuzzy outfit?
- Are you sure that we can't "spoil" her yet? Because we're trying our damnedest.
- How long is our window for bumbling around before she starts remembering our screw-ups?
- What is so damn fascinating about ceiling lights?
- What's with the poopy-dancing? I've seen the poop. How hard can it be to get that out?
- Acoustically speaking, how is it possible for an 8-ish pound baby to burp as loudly as a grown man?
- Ditto for the farts.
- Furthermore, where does she store all that gas and poop before it comes out? No wonder her little tummy seems to hurt sometimes.
- Are you sure she's not flipping us off? She certainly seems to stick that finger out a lot.
- Will she grow up to love licorice (gripe water) and bubblegum (Captopril) flavors or hate them?
- Is it bad that we change her diaper probably once an hour all day long, but then not at all during our sleeping hours? (Her butt's not red, so I say let sleeping babies lie, but that diaper sure is heavy by morning.)
- Seriously? You're hungry? Again?
- At what point should we stop assuming that she has no idea what we're saying, and start spelling the bad words?
- How could we possibly be so lucky?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Just moments ago, I was nursing Peeper (as usual) when I heard the dogs raising a ruckus.
I unlatched her, tucked away my breast, and took her with me to go check on them. Nothing seemed particularly amiss, so we came back to finish her meal.
As I was sitting down in front of the computer, she coughed, and I looked down to see a little bit of spit-up on her mouth (she's not much of a spitter at all - in fact, everytime she does it, we're shocked).
I held her up to get a better look, and she coughed again - spraying droplets of spit-up all over my face.
Granted, I squirt her in the face (nose, eyes, head, etc) with fresh breastmilk on a daily basis, but somehow this was different.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Remember the giant stuffed panda that we bought, so we could "take pictures of Peeper with it every month!"
The only problem with taking pictures of our baby with the same stuffed animal every month?
We. Have. A. Baby.
We're doing good to keep her fed and in cleanish diapers.
How the hell are we supposed to remember something like that?
So, we're running a little behind.
We have the first photo, full of all good intentions, taken moments after arriving home from the hospital, at five days old.
(Note that I'm holding her (still wearing my hospital band) because she wasn't at all propable yet.)
And we have this one, taken today, at ten weeks, six days old.