Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The pink sleeper

So sorry for the radio silence. I've been busy here.

The company with whom I have my online t-shirt shops is undergoing a major upheaval. Along with making me a v. unhappy camper, it's also forcing me to expand to other vendors as well as doing some in-house rearranging. I'll be working hard to maximize my search engine placement including completely re-doing some of my websites from scratch. I'm anxiously awaiting Dreamweaver (Thanks, Dad!!) to that end.

I'll be pretty busy and distracted for awhile. Apologies in advance. If you're at all interested, I'll be trying to update the store blog to explain it a bit better.

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On with the baby stuff!

So my baby is blissfully sleeping, warm in his pink sleeper. Yes. His. Pink. Sleeper.

I think I picked it up when Bitty Girl was a babe, from my fave thrift store. It's nothing fancy: just a well-loved, terrycloth-like, cheapo sleeper. It's cuddly warm and soft as butter (after untold washings), and it has feet, so it's perfect for this drafty house.

Bitty wore it, then Bulk, and now Fiver has it. I don't sexually stereotype my kids, certainly not an infant. Every time I ever went out with Boy some old lady would bend over his carseat and coo: "What a beautiful little girl!" He was that gorgeous. And I always smiled and thanked them and pushed my cart on. I mean, it's not like I'd ever see them again, or like it was hurting my son any to be called a girl. Who the heck cares? These chicks who freak the heck out over folks calling their baby the wrong sex - going so far as to paste bows on their wee daughter's bare scalps - frighten me. I mean, don't you have something better to fret over, honey?

Anyway, I was feeding Fiver (we're doing quite well, BTW, thank you - and thanks to you) and I waxed teary-eyed over that damned pink sleeper. This is the last baby who will wear it. (Well in my house, anyway. I will re-donate it to the thrift. Hopefully some other mom will get it and enjoy it like I have.)

This is the last time anyone will be that wee, the last time I will breastfeed anyone, the last time anyone will be small enough to cuddle under my arm like a pink football.

I sometimes look at the baby gear (can you imagine the number of things I've accumulated over the years and the babies? No. You can't. It boggles the mind.) and I think, briskly: "Well, finally we can pass that on! Tired of looking at it standing in the corner!" Usually I am so practical. I like for things to be completed, wrapped up, tidy.

Then I start crying over a cheap pink sleeper.

Seriously.

Every time it gets worn I get caught up in a small detail: at some point, someone, embroidered a cluster of tiny roses onto this thing. Some mother or grandmother or friend took an item that costs, what, five or six dollars new? and carefully hand embroidered these flowers over the left breast for her little girl/granddaughter/friend's baby. How touching is that?

I've toyed with the idea of cutting up the sleeper when we're done with it and doing something crafty with the bit with the embroidery (help me out here, folks), but it 1) hurts my heart to think of destroying it, and 2) goes against my basic thrifty nature.

Perhaps this item, of all the things that has been passed down through all of my kids - and I have things that have been worn by all of them - should just go into my trunk to be gotten out and fondled in the future.

Oh, hell. Now I'm verklemt again.

I sometimes just want everything to freeze right here, right now, and none of them to ever age, ever grow up, go to school, leave home. Just stay static right here on this warm spring day with me.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:00 am   8 comments

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Halleluja! It's a miracle!

Well I broke down yesterday (pretty much at the insistence of Evil Genius Husband who is not generally an insistent guy) and rang my OB's office about the hives.

I spoke with Dr. H's wonderful nurse, Tammy, a tough, no-nonsense, always smiling, little lady who has been my willing confidant and support system for 6 years now. Every time I've done this over five pregnancies - waited, suffering with something because I, 1) figured it would resolve on it's own and/or, 2) didn't want to ring up and seem bothersome or needy, she has suppressed her sighs and helped me out.

Yesterday was no exception. My hands were swollen so badly that I couldn't pick up anything small, like a pencil, and so sore that I was having trouble lifting Fiver (I had to get Boy to help me drag Bulk onto his bed to be changed since I couldn't lift him onto the changing table and my knee prevented me from getting down on the floor).

First she told me to ditch the Loratadine and go back to the Sudafed and take it regularly. Those things are histamine blockers. They don't treat outbreaks, they prevent further ones and I wasn't taking them regularly and so was shutting the barn door after the horse had gone.

I saw immediate lessening of the itchies. She also got one of the docs to call me in a script for prednisone, a corticosteroid, which EGH picked up for me on the way home.

Sweet Mother of Stan Lee, the difference.

You take a large initial dose, spread out over the day, then less and less each day for several days. Well, if you get the meds late in the day, you just take the whole day's dose at once (or in big chunks).

Now, I have NO idea if it was psychosomatic, or if it was going to do this anyway, or if it was the prednisone, but by the time I went to bed last night my hands - which looked exactly like latex gloves that had been inflated - were noticeably less swollen.



This morning they almost look normal. I still have itchy wheals but it's just a slight thing - the grotesque swelling is gone. My feet - which were ballooned up and felt as if I was walking on chunks of glass - feel almost normal. Amazing.


In other news we're still battling the tail-end of the thrush. I ran out of the Nystatin oral suspension and so went a day without treatment. All in all, however, we're lookin' good. I've been faithfully eating my porridge (that's oatmeal BTW) and gulping water, both at y'all's suggestion, and my supply has indeed picked up. I'm feeling let-down now and noticing fullness on the side that's 'on deck' to be nursed next (I alternate boobs* - one side for one feeding the other the next).


And lastly, just in time to be included in the Fortnight From Hell: everyone seems to be getting the snots. Of course, at this juncture, a few little headcolds don't impress me. BAH! Bring 'em on!


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And now, baby pics! (Just to reassure you that I haven't neglected the kids too badly.)



When sisters attack II!



Devo? (Please note the grisly remains of EGH's chocolate poptart on Bulk's face. Gruesome!)

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* and would this also not be the perfect phrase for a woman who went back and forth between boyfriends?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:05 am   4 comments

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Or oncoming train?

(again, this post is late. This is from yesterday - Wednesday)

I cannot find fenugreek anywhere. Crudnuggets!

None of our smalltown stores have it so I'll be forced to journey to the 'big' city and the GNC, I guess.

You all would be terribly proud of me: I pushed water yesterday [Tuesday] (I must have drunk 6 bottles of the stuff) and I'm convinced it did help my supply a tiny bit. I'll keep up the regimen. It can't hurt me and certainly will help with the weight loss.

I really made a mistake stopping my pain meds (I know, I know, all of y'all are going: "well, DUH, honey!"). I was sooooooo miserable yesterday. As soon as I took one of the Motrin800s, I began to feel better (I also switched from Sudafed to Loratadine - which doesn't make you drowsy). Everything is still swollen, itchy, and painful, but at least it's bearable. I will even venture to say that these hives might be resolving.

With hives the wheals 'migrate'. They form, get better, and others appear nearby. Well the itchy wheals and the angioedema (deep tissue swelling - this is what's hurting so badly) have migrated to the soles of my feet (ouchie!) and the palms of my hands (double ouchie!!) making the four extremities puffy, stiff, and v. sore.

BUT, with the Loratadine and the Motrin it's bearable and all the other wheals everywhere else are fading. Is this the end? (Blimey, I hope so!)


So enough about me, let's talk about Fiver!

We nursed as often as he was willing yesterday (seeing as how I spent the majority of the day huddled on the couch and all). My right breast is virtually pain free, the left one is a bit tender but do-able (is that even a word? I always wondered.) I contemplated y'all's suggestions about mastitis. I just don't know. See, I had never considered that as a possibility because I am intimately familiar with mastitis ... in animals. (For those of you who don't know I had a grade B goat dairy and raised and showed Saanen and La Mancha dairy goats.) I have always seen it manifest in the same way: painful, swollen, hot, udder and stringy or flaky milk. You can get sub clinical mastitis with no outward symptoms except changes in the milk. But I'm a freakin' expert at checking milk and had examined my own pumped milk.

But, last time I checked, I wasn't a dairy goat so maybe I'm way off base. I do still have sort of stabbing pains in my left breast, but that might be the thrush.

PS: I want to thank all of you again for your help and support and suggestions. I know my posting has been spotty at best between being in pain without drugs or slightly dopey with drugs.

(PPS: A more coherent post later today and hopefully approaching a conclusion to our saga)

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:26 am   1 comments

Monday, March 19, 2007

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all*

V. tired today. We had a restless night. Well, I did, anyway.

I'm not so sure Fiver's getting anything at all from me. He'll nurse unenthusiastically on both sides then be hungry enough to take a bottle (of formula). I tried pumping yesterday after feeding to encourage more production (as per Elizabeth's excellent suggestion) and i got nothing. Just a few drops.

Of course, I didn't have the ideal pumping setting. I tried to find somewhere private (and warm, I'm still freezing to death all the time) where I could concentrate and relax to no avail.

I can't believe my supply has dwindles so badly. I didn't go that long without nursing. Oh well, I'm going to try to get some fenugreek this week and I enjoyed my wonderful** breakfast/lunch of a half a cup of porridge and a mug of bovril. Thank you, BTW, to everyone for your suggestions.

My latest conundrum is the allergic reaction that's causing these hives. Was it the antibiotics they gave me after the section? Or one of the painkillers? Neither has ever cause a reaction in me before.

It's almost like my body is trying to fight an infection: the chills, my glands are swollen, where the hives appear (my feet, hands, and arms) is swollen grotesquely and painful. WTF? Seriously, my hands and feet are like balloons, my throat is sore and my jaw is swollen up.

And Dr. Google says this can take weeks to resolve? Ugh

I hate feeling like an invalid. It really sucks. I feel like I'm not doing the best thing for my family (because I'm largely ignoring them all). It doesn't help that I can't shake the baby blues.

I feel like a ghost in my own house.

Blimey I need to catch a break

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* Extra points for anyone old enough to remember HeeHaw and Owens and Clark's "Gloom Dispair and Agony on me"

**Actually I love porridge. I eat it in the British fashion: with just salt and butter (like grits) and I truly enjoy it. However, being on a severe diet where there's no prospects of anything else kind of takes any joy out of it.

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PS: edited to add that I broke down and took one of my Motrin800s. I was just miserable. Hopefully that wasn't the allergy trigger (I doubt it was - I took them in the hospital and when I came home long before the POX showed.

PPS: I just noticed all the bloody typos in this post. I'll correct it tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:01 pm   6 comments

Friday, March 16, 2007

A pox on you! A pox on me?

So, I made a foray out into the land of the living on Friday. The rather pathetically obvious shopping of a woman post partum:

-Huge package of pads for the continuing Gross Nastiness That Will Not End (I think this is the proper medical term for it).
-Huge pack of breast pads for boobie leakage because I was so engorged because my son couldn't nurse because of effing thrush.
-Cheapo breast pump to (hopefully) relieve said engorgement (it did).
-Prenatal vitamins for determined breastfeeder, thrush or no.
-Acidopholous capsules (see 'effing thrush' above).

Oh and let's not forget the tube of Gold Bond ointment because - in a bizarre well-of-course twist - I am manifesting what I finally determined to be hives.

WTF?

I have them on the inside of both arms, on both feet, on my upper thighs and belly. They are swollen and they itch. I've added Benadryl to my handful of drugs I take*.

I'm beginning to wonder if anything else can happen. I mean, what is this, a personal plague? What's next?

Blimey.

In good news (finally!) Fiver and I are soldiering on with the thrush. I have actually only had to pump twice so far. I'm a tough old broad and I've been gritting my teeth and trying to let him nurse both sides (and faithfully applying our respective meds). The right side is bearable, the left side is the one that's so bad but it has to be getting better - yes, both sides are still a mess but at least I haven't had to unlatch him.

Now my only problem (pause for laughter here) is that my milk supply seems to be down to nothing and I don't know what to do to help it. Nursing more is not an option right now with the pain - I'll try to feed more as I heal, though. I do know I need to be drinking more water. Ugh. I'm so bad at that.

I wonder if how much (and what) I eat affects my supply measurably?

I also have been freakin' freezing cold for the last three or four days. What's up with that? With all this insulation, you'd think I'd be warm as toast. Jeez. I swear I feel like and old lady. Oh wait ... I AM and old lady!

*snort*

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*Actually since I don't know what the trigger is (something I ate? Something I touched? One of the drugs?) I have stopped all pain meds save Tylenol. This has not made my life very pleasant (cracked and bleeding nipples - pain meds = very BAD), but, I swear, these hives are worse! *scratch*scratch*scratch*

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:57 pm   7 comments

Day two in Hell

Apologies right up front. This is one big ol' whine at 4:30am (Friday). Feel free to give it a miss.

Well this damned yeast is kicking my bountiful arse. As of this morning (1am, whee!) Fiver latching on was so painful I had to keep myself from yelling out and waking EGH. I can't go on like this. I have an unusually high threshold for pain and I was crying after a few minutes. I ended up having to unlatch him - something that has never happened; usually there's an initial stabbing/burning pain then I 'get used to it'. Not this time. He's getting more blood than milk from the left side.

I've just taken a load of my pain meds to see if I can make it through nursing the other side. I'll go out to the Wal Mart today when EGH gets home and get one of those cheapo manual breast pumps. I've used them before and they work well for me and I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to stop breastfeeding. I don't mind tossing in a little formula until we get over this and I absolutely cannot keep eating pain meds all day just to be able to feed.

I feel so bad. I'm just depressed in general with the daunting task of losing weight. It's 100% my own fault, of course, that I have it to lose in the first place, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. All the post-partum swelling doesn't help, making me gross and awkward like I was still pregnant. I also have no energy. I try to get stuff done and get so tired. I suppose all the Percocet isn't helping that. Bah.

I'm feeling and looking old, fat, and tired.

And since I've dragged you down into this sudden pity party, let me go ahead and say that all this crap makes me feel bad for EGH, too. Nothing like having an in-pain, half-doped, old, fat, tired, and crabby wife wandering about and complaining. Oh glee.

To top it all off, he's having enough trouble at work with a few fellow teachers (who deserve the moniker that starts with a 'B' and ends with 'itches', but I'll be polite and not say that here *ahem*). These cows are of the sort (and I know all of us have worked with this type before) who are just never satisfied. They don't want to do any work but they don't want anyone else to be recognized or praised. They gossip and are nosey. They fight every policy change by undermining the administration, talking behind the Principal's back, going to the district office, yet they never present viable alternate suggestions for solving problems. All they do is stir the pot, stir the pot, bitch, gripe, gossip, and moan.

I hate women like this. HATE them.

Ya know, if you don't agree with something, then stand up and say so. Come up with a better idea on how to do things. Voice your concerns to everyone. Follow the chain of command. Do your freakin' job.

How hard is this?

If you're not happy with yourself, unfulfilled at home, or whatever, then too bad. This is your job. Suck it up, pull on your big girl underpants and freakin' deal with it. I say this almost every day: these women better be damned thankful that it's the sweet, polite, pushover of an Evil Genius that they have to deal with and not me.

Especially me with thrush.

(This is me. This is me with thrush. Be afraid. Be very afraid)
(How's that for mixing catchphrases?)
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PS: thanks everyone for reading this drivel. Sometimes I feel like you guys are the only ones keeping me sane.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 4:50 am   4 comments

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"What fresh hell is this?"*

Aaagh!

As if the whole jaundice thing wasn't sufficient, Fiver and I have thrush.

This is about the same time-frame that I got it with Bulk, if you recall, and boyohboy had I forgotten how bad it can be. Sweet Mother of Stan Lee but this HURTS. I actually look over at my sweet son with a touch of dread each time he makes a sound. Sort of an ohdeargod don't be hungry type thing.

That makes me feel bad. I hope we get over this soon.

The ironic part is that he has a perfect latch just like my oldest, Boy, did. I've not had a speck of pain breastfeeding him up until the thrush came along. Crudnuggets.

So, no new pics since he's got the purple-mouth (from the gentian violet. Actually he is using the Nystatin oral suspension but I'm doing the GV and it's purpling him up).

Here are two pre-thrush pics for you:

Still pretty orange as you can see, but doing great. BTW, I know you keep saying to yourself: "Where the heck did Blue get that adorable baby toy snake?" Is that not the cutest thing EVAR? Fiver loves it. He loves grabbing it and squeezing, making him look for all the world like wee Hercules in his crib. Well that, my friends, is a Zach and Brie's Mom original! Made for me by her own devilishly clever hand and given as a gift. I am sooooo jealous of her mad skillz!

And here's Li'l Momma: the Human Crash Test Dummy, the worlds most nurturing almost-four-year-old. Too sweet.

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*Bonus points to anyone who recognizes this line, spoken by the bioengineered parrot in Michael Crichton's Next

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:43 am   3 comments

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I'm looking out for the two of us

So, now ... the rest of the story.

My recovery was a breeze. All of my recoveries have been good - even after my first (emergency section with epi) - but especially the others. I get Astromorph, (lurve, lurve, LURVE this stuff! Considered naming one of the kids Astro Morph Thrifty-Evil Genius. Seriously.) so I fairly leap out of bed on day two and have a nice hot shower. I tidy my room and generally feel as if I'm 16.

The problem, of course, is that (like being 16) it wears off.

So day three (Wednesday for me) is the day I need to start my oral meds. They always have a go at Tylenol w/ codine, which does bugger-all, and we quickly switch to Motrin 800 and Percocet. Lovely.

The first night (Monday night) I always let the nursery keep my babe (gasps from all the romantic FTM and AP ladies*) after holding, loving on, and nursing from momma. Sorry, but they need to do their tests, baby and I both need our rest, and I know all my sweet bubs are in good and attentive hands.

So Tuesday I get up, ring for my boy, ring for my breakfast ("clear liquid" yuk), take a shower, read some more Stephen King **. Feeling good, not yet bored.

Wednesday I get regular food (the food at my hospital is pretty damned good, BTW, especially breakfast. There's some hefty, middle-aged, Southern woman running that kitchen, I just know it. The cheese grits have loads of cheese, the biscuits melt in your mouth, the sausage is satisfyingly greasy. Mmmm!)

I'm not so quick out of bed now, being on the oral meds that wear off. I keep having to ask for them. I was sure they'd always had me on a schedule. I do my typical thing and wait until I'm in eye-watering pain (which for me is pretty bloody bad) before I think to ask, then the perky nurse says: "You can have some now! Are you ready?"

*mute nod*

I did notice two things about Fiver. Oh, and some stuff about one of the nursery nurses.

I noticed that Fiver has what appears to be liquid meconium poo. Now, the meconium (the greenish-black first poo) should be about out of his system. He should also not be having liquid poo. V. loose, cottage-cheesy / yellow is the norm for boobie babies.

I also noticed that he seems to sleep a LOT and that his colour is odd compared to my skin-tone. He seems more florid than I, sort of dark orange-y. I chalk this last up to the horrid fluorescent hospital lights and the fact that Evil Genius Husband has that ruddy skin.

I'm slightly peeved at one of the nursery nurses because I specifically asked to be called when Fiver was hungry (because I breastfeed). I do NOT have a problem with them giving my bubs a sip of formula if they're fussing and I'm asleep at 2am or in the shower. All of mine have done this in the hospital and gone right back on my breast next feeding without turning a hair.

But I rang the nursery Tuesday morning at 5am, was told that they were doing some tests plus the pediatricians would be by soon. I said, no prob, bring him to me as soon as he's done. The girl specifically asked me about the formula and I said: "Feel free to give him a swallow or two to tide him over."

Well, a different nurse brings him to me at 7:00 and when I ask to hold him so I can feed him she says: "He ate at six."

"He ate ...?"
"At six. I gave him a bottle."
"Oh. Oops! I'm breastfeeding!"
"Oh! You're going to try that?" (she actually looks at my boobs)

I literally didn't know what to say. My hospital has always been very pro-breastfeeding, has lovely lactation consultants, and generally supports you quietly whichever way you choose to go. This is no newbie, she's about my age, generally well spoken, intelligent-seeming nurse type person.

Now, I understand that each nurse is allowed to have her own views of breastfeeding (or circing, or whatever) and that most women don't really give breastfeeding a good shot (most who even attempt it just 'try'. And we all know what Yoda says: "No. Do, or do not. There is no try.")

And all of that is cool. To each her own. But your job is to take care of my baby. My breastfed baby.

Well, in my book it's irritating but no harm done, so I cheerfully go on. Fast forward to later in the day when I change a nappy and remember to ask about the poo. The same nurse looks at the nappy, shrugs, and says: "I think we just consider it a breastfeeding thing"

Yeah? Well, I don't. I've breastfed five babies under almost identical circumstances and none has had this.

I just keep quiet and bide my time.

Thus, lo and behold, Wednesday dawns and one of the pediatricians from my practice comes in bright and early to announce that Fiver's bilirubin count is up. Ah-hah. He's jaundiced. That explains the colour and the poo. The bilirubins that normally are shed as waste (and make baby poo that lovely yellow colour - ick) aren't being processed by Fiver's liver.

So out comes the Bili-bed, this thing that looks for all the world like a flat-bed scanner. There's a cover for it that you fit baby into and he lies on said bed - which has a light in it - and the bilirubens are whipped into submission via photo oxidation. Cool huh?



Problem was that Thursday morning, when I was jonesing to leave, Fiver's bili levels had risen. After much deliberation, it was decided to send us home with a Bili-bed. Here's Fiver at home:






(Notice the orange complexion. Also notice the paci which I never use. Nurse You-Know-Who gave it to him in the nursery "because he was fussing and SO hungry" and now he loves it. Le sigh.)


We had to drive back into town every morning (an hour's drive) to get his levels checked. Friday they were up some more and he'd lost weight.



Saturday - during emergency hours and when we could NOT see our own pediatrician - they were higher still and his weight was dropping significantly.



I was strung out by this time - pretty much driving and crying. We were getting up at the arse-crack O' dawn so we could dash out the door, leaving EGH to get the other sibs up and fed. My milk had just come in and I was nursing on demand but Fiver was lethargic and sleeping most of the time.



The doctor on call Saturday didn't help one bloody bit. He kept asking me if I was using the Bili-bed correctly (or at all). Well, yeah, it's a no-brainer. I keep him on it 24/7 unless he's nursing or getting his nappy changed. I keep telling you that. Do you think I'm either and idiot or doing something intentionally to hinder his getting well?



He demanded suggested strongly that I, 1) wake Fiver to nurse every 2 hours, and 2) supplement with formula. What he really wanted was for me to switch him over to formula entirely because Fiver obviously "needs a little more, here". He also said that formula had "more proteins for the bilirubin to bind with". WTF?


I agreed to the nursing schedule: I hate nursing schedules but needs must when the devil drives, eh? I also didn't bother to belabour the notion that my milk had just come in the day before and -at that point, about 12 hours later - Fiver had enough milk available for himself and several friends. A bottle of formula would be an embarrassment of riches.


So I headed home, grim but determined, and woke Fiver every two hours to nurse. We slogged back Sunday morning, pretty much dangerously sleep deprived. Fiver's little heels were both a mess from repeated sticks for the bloodwork and I was fully expecting the doc to tell me that he wanted him re-admitted to the hospital.


But we weighed him and his weight was up. Huzzah!


They took his blood sample and, while we got ready for the several-minute-long wait for the results, I had this odd convo with the pediatrician's nurse:

Me: "I'm going to feed him while we wait."
Her: "OK"
Me: (realizing that she didn't understand) "Will the doctor be OK with that? My breastfeeding?"
Her: (with a startled look) "Uh ... depends on who it is. Dr Formula might not mind, but Dr Unknown definitely wouldn't want to see something like that."


See something like that? The man's a pediatrician for Eff's sake! I'm not proposing dropping my ample drawers and flashing my cootch at him. I'm just wanting to feed my kid. You know, the kid who benefits from being fed often to clear out the excess bilirubins? That kid?


I can only hope that nurse twinkie was just totally off base and that, in reality, all of the doctors in the practice are totally cool with whatever healthy choice a mother makes for her child - even if it means doing it briefly in the actual office. I know that my baby's own doc, Dr Clemson, has walked in on me breastfeeding in the exam rooms and doesn't even blink.


So I digest this bit of weirdness while awaiting the blood results. A few minutes later, Dr Formula comes in. Now, on Saturday, he quickly took on the slightly manic attitude of someone who feels as if he's dealing with a psycho. He could tell then that I was stressed, sleep-deprived, and generally grumpy. This morning he didn't get too close and eyed me warily while opening the chart.


Dr F: (exclaims over Fiver's new weight) "What did you do?!"
Me: "What?"
Dr F: "His weight is up ... what happened?"
Me: "Erm, I fed him every 2 hours like you said."
Dr F: (incredulous) "Breastmilk?"
Me: "Yeah. I ... eh ... didn't get a chance to pick up any formula yesterday."


Turns out his bilirubins were down half a point as well. Go Blue's boobs!


So I have strict instructions to discontinue the Bili-bed and bring Fiver in Tuesday. Honestly, I feel like this whole thing was over-dramatized. Jaundice in the newborn is common, especially in big babies. It's also seen in breastfed babies. I'm not a doctor, but I feel like the whole thing just took it's natural course: big baby, jaundice appeared on day 2-3, mom's milk didn't come in until day 5, bilirubins peaked on day 6, etc, etc.


I also feel like I would have been MUCH less worried if Dr Clemson had been there every day. If I could have seen him in the hospital and over the week-end my anxiety levels would have been much lower.


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Here's a pic of Fiver on Sunday. Yes, that vast orb of flesh in the lower part of the pic is my actual boob. A breast! On the internets! Providing sustenance for an infant! Shriek in horror! MySpace folks, quick, cover your eyes!




And here's a gratuitous cute pic to cleanse your brain of that horrible, horrible pornographic pic above:


He looks slightly more pink and less orange, don't you think?

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And just for giggles, here's a silly pic that he provided last night. Just in case you were worried there was a switch at the hospital:


Yep. He is One Of Us.

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PS: Sorry ... the last post title and this one are from Foreigner's Long Long Way From Home. Meant to put that on here last time.

*First Time Moms and Attachment Parenting ladies (no offense, I'm just pickin')

** Lisey's Story, BTW. Pretty good, I thought. Not exactly scary, but creepy and interesting in a bored-in-the-hospital-and-need-something-to-read kinda way.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:12 am   8 comments

Friday, March 09, 2007

It was a Monday, a day like any other day ...

(Sorry for the delay. I'm not trying to be dramatic, just been overwhelmed. Thank you, everyone, for the well wishes! Here's the whole birth story for anyone who may be interested.)

So Monday arrived ...

I'd not gotten much sleep (as you can imagine), Mother got here pretty much right as we needed to leave, so we felt a bit rushed. We did last minute instructions, kissed everyone, and left.

Check in at the hospital was uneventful. It's the most dreadfully boring bit - that beginning part. At least when you're in labour, or being induced, you get to get the ball rolling doing something. Preparing for a c-section is just dull. You get hooked up to monitors, stuck in a particularly juicy vein, read a long list of questions ... then you wait. They push two bags of fluid before you even get to consider thinking about maybe going back.

The only amusing thing that occurred was the rather tired (by now) warning from the triage nurse (while gesturing at my facial piercings): "You know you have to take all those out, right?" and my carefully rote reply: "No. No, I don't" followed by explanations.

So we wait and wait and wait. Fiver kicks the heart rate monitor off repeatedly and bounces my Steven King book around so much I can't read. Evil Genius Husband goes through all the comics he brought, makes forays down to the gift shop and the cafe, and we wait some more.

Here's EGH looking like a Mad Scientist or perhaps an actual doctor:



Finally, after (literally) hours of waiting, I got wheeled into the OR. As usual the OR team was bustling about, lying out what they need, and chatting. The anaesthesiologist arrives and was a tad off-puttingly brisk, his nurse anesthetist, however, was quite warm; an older, motherly lady.

The Anesthesiologist was immediately irritated that I couldn't sit cross legged on the table (I can't physically bend my right leg past 90 degrees because of my bad knee). I reassured him that I could, however, squinch over to his satisfaction (having done this before) even straddling the table.

Less than 15 minutes later the spinal is in and Dr H comes smiling in followed by EGH.

I always warn the Anesthesiologist of three things prior to surgery: my positive Beta Strep (just in case), my asthma, and the fact that the morphine makes me retch (this is common).

Unfortunately, the last little tid-bit proved to be troublesome. I didn't just gag and carry on - Sweet Mother of Stan Lee - I was hurling like a dedicated St. Patrick's Day party-goer.

The Anaesthesiologist stood well back, asking me at intervals if I was Ok (do I LOOK ok?) and the nurse anesthetist was left (literally) holding the bag for me to puke into. At one point I realized someone was gently holding my hand and I said: "EGH, is that you or am I loving on Dr. Off-Putting?" It was EGH, thank goodness. The anesthesiologist was standing well back out of the fray.

They finally loaded me up with enough phenergan so that I could take a breath or two without blowing groceries and I realized that Dr. H and staff were still working. Cut, cut, snip, snip, hack, *suction*, cut. Four c-sections worth of scarring and adhesions was making for slow going.

I was fine, just having a bit of trouble breathing since they have you lying with your head tilted down. Between my asthma kicking in (the phenergan doesn't help there) and my wee Fiver pressing back on my lungs, I was reduced to taking little sips of air.

They finally got to the prize and he was wedged up under my ribs like his biggest sister had been. As with her, it took two people pushing and two pulling to get him down and out of the incision. At one point I heard Dr. H say dryly to the nurses who were supposed to be (and already were!) pushing: "Any time now would be great."

Usually, the time between my feeling the baby-weight lifted out and hearing the baby cry is like an eternity. I know it's not that long in reality, but it always feels like it. I may be paranoid because of my first, Boy, who was in distress and had aspirated meconium. It did take them a second to get him cleared out enough to cry.

No worries with Fiver. They barely had him out when I heard a hoarse, outraged cry. And it didn't stop. He was NOT happy. This was no 'I'm cold', 'I'm frightened', 'WTF?' sort of noise. It was the full-on, 'Put me back in, you arsewads!' bray of the truly effed off.

Here he is, Y, The Last Man*:


He got here at 1:30 pm on Monday the 5th and weighed in at 9lbs 130z. I asked everyone several times to confirm that weight. I was convinced that he'd be much smaller. In reality he is my second biggest baby, smaller only than Boy (who was 16 days overdue) and an oz larger than The Incredible Bulk.

Here are the nursery pics of the other four for comparison. It seems people are going to be rude comparing my children to each other (is that a large family thing? Why can't they just be their own individual people? I know mothers of twins want to Hulk out on folks who do this). My mother cried, "He doesn't look like any of the others!" (Number one, who cares? Number two, he looks JUST like Bitty and Bulk to me.)
Oh, sorry, he was over 21 inches long and EGH's first assessment of him was: "Stringy!" LOL.

ANYway ... more later. More pics, my hospital story, and the Jaundice Adventure (an ongoing story)!


Stay tuned.


*For all you non-comic heads, this is the title of a v. cool post apocalyptic comic by Brian K. Vaughan. No real connection, except Fiver's name starts with a Y and he's the last baby (and it sounds cool).

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:01 am   11 comments

Monday, March 05, 2007

Head 'em up, move 'em out!

Rawhiiiiiiiiide!

Sorry, couldn't resist. Do you remember Billy Crystal's character in City Slickers singing his version? I almost snorted Diet Coke out of my nose:

"Rollin', rollin', rollin', keep them dogies rollin',
man my ass is swollen, Rawhide!
Get 'em up, move 'em out, wake 'em up, get 'em dressed,
get 'em shaved, comb their hair, Rawhide!
Tie me down, tell me lies, pull my hair, smack my thighs -
with a big wet strap of Rawhide!"

-----

OK, yeah, so I'm in kind of a manic mood this morning.

Well, we're headin' out in a few hours for the hospital. I'm packed - double, and triple checked - and we're green to go. The actual section is at 1pm.

Evil Genius Husband (who is as cool as a cucumber in the shade of a big leaf over there in his chair this morning, playing City of Villains, totally calm, nay ... phlegmatic) has strict instructions to post pictures as soon as he is able. If he forgets (or, most likely, can't remember my Bloggoogle log-in) then I'll be back Thursday or Friday with pics of Fiver.

Have a great week, everyone!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:14 am   7 comments

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Last OB Show

My pre-op appointment went swimmingly. I had a brief battle of wills over whether or not I was going to get an internal check (answer: NO. I have never dilated or effaced in my life. They had me on a pitocin drip for ten hours and I managed one centimetre, and that's being optimistic. No way I'm shedding my knickers for anything other than sex or a bath at this point, Mmmkay?)

Blood pressure excellent, Fiver's heartbeat great, weight ... I'd gained 1/2 a pound. I'm telling you, I'll be surprised if this kid is much bigger than 8lbs.

I encountered an interesting specimen of female in the waiting room beforehand.

I was flipping through one of the baby magazines in the waiting room ("Birthday parties for two-year-olds: are 40 guests too many?") She sailed in, about as old as my car, manicure and pedicure, hideous Prada handbag, maternity shirt that fit like a sausage casing and low slung jeans that exposed a crescent of cute little soccer ball belly that she clearly felt everyone should be honoured to see.

She went up to the desk and gave her name and the receptionist couldn't seem to find her file. She searched about while Miss Priss looked about in a bored manner and checked her cellphone (which was supposed to be OFF as the sign on the door clearly stated).

Finally the lady behind the counter finds the file - in a different stack - she looks in it, looks at the clock, frowns. It was 20 minutes past the hour.

"Yeah," Miss Priss bubbles, "I'm late!" Then she giggles as if she's just the cutest thing EVAR.

The receptionist says, just a touch tightly: "Well, you're pregnant, so we'll forgive you."

Another loud giggle from Prissy who twirls and sits close to me. She takes a moment (after checking her cell again) to stare slowly and rather rudely around the room at the rest of the patients.

A moment later a rather harassed looking young man shows up, finds Miss Priss, sits. He clearly had been parking the car, having dropped her off at the door (bless her heart, she can't be expected to walk, she's pregnant!) Prissy immediately begins whispering to him. Since she's so close I can discern that she's talking about the other ladies in the waiting room*. She even points a few times.

This goes on for a bit.

At this juncture I deeply regret that I lack the ability to fart loudly at will.

I don't know whether Fiver sensed my deepening disdain or what, but he picked that moment to begin thrashing about like an 8lb bass (those of you who have been pregnant know this one - where you can see the random knee or elbow bulge out alarmingly) and I did what I always do when he starts his calisthenics: I patted my belly and murmured: "Settle down in there, boy."

This arrested Prissy in mid-whisper. You'd think I'd started stripping my clothing off or had attempted to swallow my own arm. This chick was gawping at me.

I looked up at her - she was still staring at me, open mouthed - and gave her my sweetest "eat me, you ridiculous waste of carbon" look (now with eyebrow lift!)

Her significant other - bless him, he'd apparently not noticed my grievous social faux pas of speaking to my own belly - smiled wanly at me, I smiled back, and Prissy immediately dropped her gaze and engaged him in conversation. Cuz, ya know, we can't not be focused on her.

I went back to my magazine ("Drop that last five pounds of baby weight and look normal again!") and I overhear one last exchange before the nurse comes for me ...

"When I came in," Priss enthuses in a loud whisper, "I said I was sorry for being so late and she said it was ok cuz I'm pregnant!" (Giggle! Giggle!) Then snappishly: "God! I wonder how much longer it's gonna be?"

Uhm, honey? You did NOT apologize for crap. Do you remember the chick** in You've Got Mail? The one who was dating Tom Hanks's character? You are that person, cupcake. You were a portrait of self-absorption and disregard for every other person in the room - including your poor, poor husband - and I wish you were reading this blog right now, although you probably wouldn't even recognize yourself.

Get a clue, sweetheart. In a while your baby will be here and the universe will no longer revolve around YOU.

That and I'm honing my fart-on-demand skillz.

* The worst part was that the young man was clearly embarrassed by her overt gossip report. He was fairly squirming in his seat.

**Played perfectly by Parker Posey (say that three times fast). Remember the scene in the elevator?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:00 pm   3 comments

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Gratuitus baby pic post!

(Sorry! this was supposed to go up yesterday, but I got busy!)

Since, in one week, I'll be breaking the internets with pics of my newest bub, I thought I'd post a bunch of pics of the rest of The Brood now.

In addition, today is Bitty Girl's 3rd birthday! I'll try to get her b-day pics up before I go into the hospital, but no promises. Here's a good pic of my big 3-year-old girl:

Here's one of those I'm-sorry-but-I-couldn't-resist photos:


Redneck Bulk!

What do you think, send him to Auburn, Clemson, or Va. Tech? *snort*spit*

Bouncing 'baby' Boy ...


Next day: why you should listen to your mother when she says: "You're gonna put your eye out with that thing!"


Ouchie!


The Sisters of Weird:


My evil mini-me, The Human Crash Test Dummy. "My way or the highway, honey!" I think I should use this as my avatar.



Pre-op doctor's appointment today! I'll try to get at least one coherent blog post up before Monday!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:57 am   1 comments