Sunday, May 23, 2010

Getting Better

In general, I think things are getting better on the two under two front. Despite a case of explosive diarrhea over the past few days, Jillian has been in good spirits and a little more willing to play on her own rather than with and on me. She has also been getting better sleep during the day and at night, which has cut down on the night terrors she tends to have with overly tired.

Hayden continues to prove herself the opposite of Jillian in terms of newborn behavior. Jillian never napped by herself for more than 15 minutes at this age, and had to be swaddled in the swing at full speed with white noise and a pacifier to sleep for a few hours. Hayden does the same sleeping in the crib with none of those interventions. For the most part she falls back to sleep at night right after feeding, and Jeramy wakes up with the girls in the morning letting me get a couple extra hours of sleep. I do get kind of grumpy at times though about any husband or dog related sleep disruptions, so I wouldn't say that I'm in good spirits all of the time. But it is getting better, and I have a good supply of caffeine on hand for when it is not better.

If anything Hayden's tendency to sleep all the time almost worries me. She is awake for feedings, most diaper changes, and then maybe two couple hour stretches during the day. I'd describe her as a lump at this point. Jillian was a surprisingly strong newborn. Her legs especially. I have a picture of her at two months old standing on the ground using only my finger as support. I'm sure Hayden is probably just fine, but it sure is a shock after Jillian.

In other Hayden news, it seems that she failed her routine newborn screening for cystic fibrosis. We are not overly worried about at this point for a couple of reasons. One, only a fraction of babies who fail the screening ultimately turn out to have CF. And second, both Jeramy and I were tested to see if we are carriers of CF by our RE. Jeramy who has a family history of CF (his cousin's son has it) is a carrier, but my test came back negative. Now that doesn't mean that CF is an impossibility as I could be a carrier of one of the rarer mutations that are not covered by that test, but it does greatly reduce the chances of me being a carrier. CF is recessive, so both Jeramy and I would need to be carriers to pass it along, and even if both parents are positive the chance of transmitting it is 25%. So all this means that we have to take Hayden in for the more accurate sweat test next week. Most likely, Hayden failed the newborn screen because she is a healthy carrier of CF like Jeramy. But I do admit that I'll feel better once we rule out her having CF completely.

Oh and have I mentioned that Jillian is all about her little sister? She loves to push her swing saying "weeeee" despite all of our discouragement. She also climbs up in our laps whenever we are holding or feeding her, and especially likes it when we let her "hold" her. For the most part she is very gentle with her although I dare not leave them along together. If I do "this little piggy" to Jillian she does Hayden's piggies at the same time, and she also spends much time pointing out all of her sister's facial features to me. These heart warming moments are important in offsetting the heart breaking moments when everybody in the house (myself included) is crying at once.

Well my afternoon break (Jeramy has Jillian and grandma has Hayden) is almost over. Hopefully I can report back next week with more positive news. Like a little longer stretch of sleep or in a few more weeks maybe even a smile.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Drive By Post

Even with a baby who fusses very little (still waiting for all hell to break loose) caring for a newborn and toddler is hard. Have I mentioned that I really hate sleeping in 1 to 3 hour stretches. Actually, I take that back. The 3 hour stretches are almost luxurious. The toddler makes it hard to catch a break though. Since we got home from the hospital, Jillian has had problems on and off with teething. First it was her last one year old molar causing pain and fever, and now her first eye tooth seems to be bothering her. Between her meltdowns and mine, our household is an emotional wreck at times.

I know it will get better. I know this blah feeling I have will eventually go away. I know that one day she'll grow bigger, sleep longer and learn the difference between night and day. One day she'll start hitting all those milestones that make me so happy. Smiling, laughing, sitting, crawling, walking. But man oh man, do the days move by slowly right now. And the nights can be even slower. Of course in a few months I will look back longingly and wonder how my maternity leave flew by so quickly. I wish knowing this would somehow make me handle this new baby stage better. *sigh*

I did promise pictures though, and I can deliver. We had our photographer, Keren Fenton, on hand for before and after delivery to capture some of those precious moments.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hayden's Birth Story

Nearly two weeks later, I am finally feeling human enough to turn on my laptop and write up Hayden's birth story. Granted I am doing it one handed with a newborn taking up the other arm. And it will probably be done over several days. But progress is progress, and my standards for accomplishment are low these days.

As planned, Tuesday the 27th arrived. I tried to sleep one last night with little success. I ceased eating and drinking at midnight as instructed. At 5am, my MIL arrived and we left the house full of expectation. Once at the hospital we went to triage where we discovered my blood pressure was high. Like 150-something over 100-something. It had been fine 4 days before. Urine showed no proteins. Blood work was ran and after the platelets count came back fine we moved forward with the c section.

Next up was the spinal block. I really hadn't thought much about the spinal ahead of time. Last time my epidural had been easy and effective. Unfortunately for me that was not the case with the spinal. For whatever reason I was a difficult case and the anesthesiologist had to try three times before getting it to work. The final (successful) time an electrical shock went down my leg so horrible that I cried out in pain. Poor Jeramy was sitting outside and could hear all the commotion but did not know what was going on. Luckily numbness kicked in soon after the shocks, and we were finally ready to go.

After that things moved pretty quickly. Jeramy came in. Dr. C got to work. Several minutes later Hayden entered the world screaming heartily and everybody in the room declared her to be a big girl. After she was cleaned up Jeramy brought her over for me to take a look. Lots of dark hair...more than Jillian had and darker. I think she looks a whole lot like her daddy's baby photos.

Soon afterward Dr. C told me that the blood work showed that my kidney and liver functions were impaired, which coupled with the high blood pressure indicated preeclampsia with HELLP syndrome. Considering that I had been fine when checked just days earlier, it seems that my c section was perfectly timed. Unfortunately this also meant that I had to be put on magnesium for the next twenty-four hours. Those familiar with that drug will understand exactly how much that sucked. It is a central nervous system depressant, and I have never been so horribly groggy and fuzzy in my life.

I was finally taken off of the mag by early Wednesday afternoon and began moving around. Dr. C kept me in the hospital until after office hours on Thursday to monitor my blood work. Since it was headed back to normal ranges, she released us and we got home late Thursday evening.

Hayden has been a very easy baby so far. She seems to be the opposite of her sister who from day one was very alert, did not sleep well and had tummy issues. Hayden, on the other hand, pretty much eats and sleeps. I should be enjoying this, but instead I am constantly on edge waiting for colicky behavior to set in.

Jillian has handled the transition fairly well. She picked up the word baby within an hour and usually treats Hayden with unexpected caution for an 18 month old. What has actually been tougher has been her teething. Within a couple days of arriving home Jillian developed a fever, began drooling endlessly, chewed her pacifier and became inconsolably fussy as her 4th molar started breaking through her gum. No amount of tylenol or teething tablets or orajel or ice seemed to make things better. She has seemed to be on the mend over the past few days, but will still sometimes meltdown for what appears to be teeth related reasons.

I have spent my time trying to feel normal again. Rather than tears, anxiety and a general blah feeling seems to accompany the hormonal craziness and sleep deprivation I experience after giving birth. Honestly I hate it, and I do not feel that I handle it well. Now that I am beginning to get out a little more and resume normal activities, I am finally starting to feel like I'm shaking those feelings. I think I am getting back to speed a little more quickly this time than last thankfully.

I've got lots of pictures to post, and I'll get them up as soon as I manage to get them downloaded from the camera.