Friday, February 29, 2008

One Year

I'm realizing that one of my favorite things about living in Geneva is walking down, say, Rue de Marche and glancing in the window of one of the many chocolate shops and smiling b/c of whatever cute little chocolate confections the shop has on display to match the season. Yesterday it was little chocolate cars, some even with drivers, and a "GE" printed where the license plate goes. It took me a second to realize that this was due to the upcoming Salon de l'Auto, an annual event for which Geneva is famous (at least here in Europe).

And you know what I just realized? That our one year anniversary since we moved to Geneva just passed a few days ago. We have been here for a whole year. Has it really been that long? In some ways it doesn't feel like that's possible, yet when I think of all that we've done since then it seems hard to pack it all into 12 short months. I don't think I need to state what an amazing time this has been.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fussy Baby, Cleaning Lady, Flowers Maybe?

Last night Zach, mom, Donovan and I went to Bob and Aruna's for dinner. It went fairly well and we had a lovely time, even if I spent the latter part of the evening with Donovan in my arms and my pinkie in his mouth to keep him happy. He's been a bit more, um, demanding the past few days, which could probably be attributed to many things-- babies apparently get fussier at 3 weeks, he appears to be going through a growth spurt, and yesterday was a long day and could've been a bit much for him (aside from the nighttime outing we also had a cleaning lady come yesterday afternoon for the first time). Swaddling seems to help calm him down at times, and I may be breaking out the sling and introducing a pacifier before too long (especially once Mom leaves in a week). He did give me a very nice break by sleeping for 6 hours last night, and he's been nursing fabulously the past several feedings. Yay!

So yes, we now have a cleaning lady. We kinda made a deal a long time ago that when we had a kid we'd break down and pay someone else to clean house. See, Zach and I both kinda hate cleaning. We're just not good at it, and will resort to doing it when the house is a wreck. We figured that while we were child-free we couldn't quite justify paying someone else to clean for us, but now that Donovan's around we have less free time and that free time we'd much rather spend with him (or each other). So Zach found this woman through someone he met in French class and she came yesterday and spent 3 hours here and my lord do our bathrooms look nice now. She'll be coming twice a month, and at the approximate cost of a dinner out in Geneva for each visit, we're happy to stay in and cook for the trade-off (I doubt we'll be going out to eat much these days anyway).

By the way, I can't remember if I've mentioned this here recently but we are going to still visit the US this summer. We're figuring out dates still, but sometime in May or June looks likely, and hopefully spending a week each in Texas and CA. Gotta go home and show off the little guy. =P

I just looked outside and noticed hat look like the shoots of the flowers we had growing in the yard last spring. They're some kind of bulb (narcissus maybe?) and I haven't done anything at all with them so I had no idea if they'd grow and bloom again this year, but I see their leaves coming up which is very very exciting b/c they were really beautiful. =)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Into Town

Since Donovan's birth (3 weeks ago today!) I think we've had all of 2 days of cloudiness/rain-- otherwise it's been sunny and gorgeous. Today and yesterday it's even been much warmer, nearly 70F. I don't really know what to think of the weather, I'm loving it but keep expecting it to change back to dreary and foggy. We've been taking advantage of it though, taking Donovan out on walks nearly every day.

Today we went on a bit of an adventure, taking Donovan in for his first trip into Geneva. We drove in and then waked down towards the water along the Quai de Mont Blanc. It seemed all of Geneva was also out enjoying the weather. After walking up and down a ways by the water we tried to go find a place to sit and hang out for a bit (aka Starbucks-- no smoking!) but everything was packed, again people taking advantage of this rare spring-like weather in the middle of winter. Then I realized we were right down the street from Debbie's apartment and I gave her a call figuring she'd be home (she is on bed rest after all) so we stopped by and chatted with her and Gary a bit and showed off Donovan, then headed on back home. Zach was apparently expecting us to deal with a few minor catastrophies like diaper blowouts, etc, with Donovan's first big outing, but he actually slept the whole time in his car seat.

Feedings are going better, although some days it feels like we take 2 steps forward and then 1 or 2 steps back. One he latches on and is drinking he does great, but sometimes it takes him a few minutes to get to that point-- I can't get him to open his mouth wide, or he'll latch on for a few seconds then pull away (several times just as my milk starts gushing and I literally squirt him all over his face). And there's times I feel like we have a great latch and technique and other times when I still don't know if we have it right or not. And perhaps right now I'm just feeling a bit tired and so more down about it all than I need to be.

Hmm didn't mean to end this post on a down note, but dinner's ready so I should go.

six word sunday: Beware, there be spies among us.

Beware, there be spies among us.

six word sunday challenge

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Milestones (sort of)

I shaved me legs the other day. For the first time in, um, 5 months? Yeah.

Today was the first day I was able to take a shower without having to turn the water pressure way way low b/c of the pain the water droplets would inflict on my tender nipples. I guess there really is something about the magical 3-week breastfeeding milestone, where things tend to get a bit easier (and less painful).

Donovan was doing some tummy time with Zach earlier today and he was holding his head up for a good 10-20 seconds straight. Pretty impressive. What's really adorable is when he works so hard to lift his head that he lifts his legs up too for leverage and he ends up with basically just his chest touching the ground.

Zach was feeling a bit upset recently about how Donovan kept peeing in the middle of when he was changing his diaper. Well, today we one-upped him. After feeding Donovan I changed his diaper, then just as I picked him up I felt something wet and looked down to see his leg and part of my shirt all wet. Apparently he'd picked that moment to pee himself a river, which must've then leaked out his diaper and down his leg and onto both of us. Mom was right there beside me when it happened, and after exchanging some puzzled looks we laughed as we changed his clothes again.

Which, btw, I was convinced we had WAY too many clothes for him, but we're going through them like there's no tomorrow. It's pretty amazing. That and burp rags-- get twice as many burp rags as you think you'll need. It's getting better now, but last week while nursing I was leaking so much from whichever boob was not feeding him at the time that I was using 2-3 rags at a time trying not to leak all over him, me, or the chair. NUTS.

Friday, February 22, 2008



I think I see a future in baby male modeling. What do you think? I mean, he's just so really really good looking.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Mom watched Donovan today while I went into town and met up with the girls for lunch. It was nice getting out on my own and seeing them again. Melanie even got me some very pretty flowers. =)

Somehow the outing left me utterly exhausted, though... and apparently Donovan, as well. After coming home from lunch I fed him around 4pm and then we both went to sleep for a few hours, then I finally woke him up at 8pm to eat again, and then he went right back to sleep again. I'm hoping this doesn't mean he'll be up late at night instead.

Sierra jumped up on my lap while I was feeding Donovan earlier this afternoon. Or, well, jumped on my knees, since that was the only part of my lap really available to her. She sat for a few minutes before jumping off again. It was very cute. =)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sleep! And a growing baby!

Last night was my first night of good sleep in a while. Not that it was the first time I was able to sleep for a few hours-- Donovan has been gracious enough to sleep for good 3-6 hour stretches at night (I KNOW isn't he great? We'll see how long it lasts...). However I have had a hard time actually sleeping restfully during those hours b/c my mind is racing with thoughts and questions of if he's feeding enough, and should I wake him up to eat? And I end up having these anxiety-induced-half-dreams that wake me up every hour (or more) feeling very disoriented and at times genuinely surprised that there's not an infant attached to my boob. Especially with him sleeping longer at night, and then he'd only get 7 feedings in during the day which my books clearly state baby must be eating AT LEAST 8 times a day or else he'll shrivel up and die. Nevermind that he seems to be a happy, satisfied baby who's pooping and peeing around the clock.

But yesterday I got to take him in to the pediatrician's office to get weighed, the ultimate check to make sure he's been eating enough. He was last weighed by Natalie at 10 days old and he was 3.580kg (so just 20g under his birth weight). According to the books he should be gaining an ounce (30g) per day now, so I'd estimated that he should weigh about 3.730 kg for him to be gaining appropriately. Well, Donovan weighed in at a whopping 3.815kg! So I'm finally able to take my mom's advice fully and quit worrying so much and just let him tell me when he wants to eat. I think this also calmed my mind enough to give me a break last night.


In other news, I don't know if it's the novelty of these new items strewn all over the house or if Sierra actually likes the baby's smell or what, but she's been climbing into and onto everything he touches it seems. The stroller we got came with a bassinet which we've been using as his bed downstairs for daytime naps, and I caught her sleeping in it at least 3 times yesterday. She also loves to sit on his changing pads, blankets, even the waterproof sheet I have on the bed to keep my boobs from leaking onto the mattress at night (maybe she likes my milk smell?). Perhaps this is a habit we should stop, but Sierra never gets into his stuff when Donovan is already occupying the space, and we're hoping this will also help his immune system. ; )

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Baby Blues

It's been really something watching my moods fluctuate in these past 2 weeks. Sometimes I will feel completely fine, happy with everything, coping, etc. Then other times I feel so tense and anxious, weighed down by the responsibility that lies ahead of us now, worried about how we're doing, if Donovan is ok, and how in the world am I going to deal with taking care of him on my own when Mom leaves and Zach's at work (not to mention that Zach already has some business trips scheduled for April/May).

At least I'm able to step back and realize that what I'm feeling is often related to hormones, and not the situation. I find myself stressing out about breastfeeding-- is he getting enough to eat? Is it going well enough? Will my nipples always hurt? Is he latching/sucking well enough? Etc etc etc. And when I look at how things are going objectively, there's really no need for me to worry-- he seems happy, he seems to eat well, he's producing plenty of dirty diapers. And so I try to talk myself down from feeling so worried about it, knowing that there's not much reason for me to be upset. Zach has been great, he's been pretty tuned in to my moods and encouraging me to open up and talk and cry anytime I need to. He's kind of lost with this whole baby thing, he's had zero experience with infants in the past, but he's doing great and helping lots. He really likes taking Donovan out for walks in the sling. =)

I'm starting to think about how to meet up with people-- having friends over to see Donovan (and hang out a little bit), and even thinking about making trips into town with him. I'm a bit apprehensive of how those outings might go-- will I be able to find a place to feed him (since I don't feel comfortable feeding out in public yet), and will he eat well while we're out? Will he be happy or would he cry all the way home on the tram? But I guess you gotta try all these things out sometime. And I know it will be good for me to connect again with our friends, to know that while that aspect of our lives is drastically changed, it's not over.

Tomorrow I'll be trying to call the pediatrician's office to see about making an appointment. We saw the dr for a check-up when Donovan was 1 day old and we were supposed to go again at 4-5 days but we had to cancel due to the hospital/jaundice ordeal. I tried calling all last week, but it seems the office was closed-- last week was a school holiday and apparently that means all pediatricians in Geneva go missing. I'm not sure what they'll say about an appointment, if they'll want to see him or just wait till the 1 month check-up, but hopefully I can at least get him in to get weighed so I can be assured that he's gaining weight properly. All signs point to him getting plenty to eat, but the weight check would be a nice last (for now) confirmation of that.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Donovan's Blog

Yup, Donovan has his own blog. I've been working on it for a while, and now after a last few tweaks and updates it's ready for its unveiling. I think it'll mostly be a place to post pictures, updates, etc for family and friends... we'll see what it ends up evolving into, I guess.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jack Newman, Breastfeeding Guru

I came across this website the other day that has loads of very useful info on breastfeeding. One of the lactation consultants at the hospital had actually mentioned this guy to me while we were there, and I'd forgotten to look it up until I came across the link randomly. He has some videos up that you can watch to help with latching-on and knowing what kind of sucking motions to look for to tell if baby's getting milk, and also different pamplets with info. He goes a little overboard in my opinion as far as being very anti-bottles/pacifiers/anything other than the breast (sometimes a mom wants a break, ya know?) but I have already found this site incredibly helpful and have a much better sense now for how well feedings are going (how much milk he's taking in, when he slows down, how to tell when he's more or less done).

We bought a stroller today! =) All 4 of us went (Donovan included) shopping, I was a bit worried about how it'd go and if I'd need to feed him while in the store, etc, but he slept the whole time in his car seat and never made a peep. We went ahead and got this stroller package, which comes with a car seat which we don't need, but it seemed like the best deal and so we may try to sell the extra seat. I'm excited about being able to clip the car seat into the frame, and also to have the bassinet for these first few months. It's been fun taking him for walks in the sling, but it'll be nice having the stroller option, too. It may not be quite as light, etc, as the Bugaboos, but this set-up seems like it'll be the most useful for these first 6+ months at least.

Last night Mom baby-sat while Zach and I had a Valentine's dinner next door. The restaurant staff were excited to see me sans belly and even had a gift ready for the baby (a set of rubber duckies for bath time). We'll have to stop by and show Donovan off to them sometime while out on a walk... I would take him over for dinner, too, except I don't want my baby inhaling all that smoke. =(

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Last Visit

It wasn't until Nathalie was already here today that I realized that it's the 10th day past birth-- meaning her last scheduled visit. That feels a bit scary. I can of course still call her up for advice and help, but we're more on our own now... no one coming by every day or every other day to check and make sure we're not ruining the baby. ; )

She showed me how to give Donovan his first bath. I felt a bit overwhelmed, but it was also nice. He seemed to enjoy the warm water, though not to much the getting out of it part. But afterwards he fed well and is now sleeping. He's been incredible about simply going to sleep on his own a lot of the time, sometimes only maybe needing to suck on my pinkie for a few seconds to soothe, but then other times he'll need to be sucking on something for much longer or he wakes up. I've been wanting to avoid using a pacifier, but am wondering if he might need it sometimes.

Feedings are going pretty well, although I'm having a hard time gauging sometimes how hungry/full he is, and his feeding times can vary a lot. Sometimes he'll suck for only 10-15 minutes and then he'll go to sleep seeming completely sated, then other times he's still going at it 30+ minutes later and I can't tell if he's sucking to soothe or is still hungry. It doesn't help that I'm still battling some nipple soreness, so the longer feedings can get a bit uncomfortable... Nathalie did give me these silver cups today, though, which are supposed to be really good for helping heal sore/cracked nipples. I've never heard of anything like it before, but according to the website they're practically magical so I guess we'll see.

We took Donovan out on his first walk on Monday afternoon. It was a gorgeous day, so Zach put on one of the baby slings we have and we put Donovan inside, and he went to sleep almost immediately inside it. It was nice to get out in the sunshine and fresh air, and we got stopped a couple of times by other people walking who wanted to coo at Donovan. =) It was very cute. Mom got some pictures of us walking with him. Since then we've used the sling a couple more times, and I still worry a bit about him being comfortable but he really does seem to like it-- on more than 1 occasion we've put him inside it while he was screaming and he'd calm down in a minute or 2. We've had some mixed results with swaddling, but being cocooned up in the sling certainly seems to appeal to him.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Birth Story

I'll just pick up where I left off here.

So Zach went to pick up Mom from the airport, and I tried to get some rest as I figured I could be in for a long day/couple of days/next several years. At 2pm I decided to time my contractions again, to see what the progress was-- I sat through 4 that were all 7-8 minutes apart, then I walked downstairs to get something to eat and realized they all of a sudden were coming every 3 minutes or so... and stayed that way. Mom and Zach came back and we sat and talked for a bit, and when I realized it had been 45 minutes of every-3-min contractions I called Nathalie and she came over to check me. The first thing she said when I answered the door was "You look so calm, women are usually screaming and crying."

As it turned out the birthing center we'd originally planned to use was not available, but there was another one, a bit further away, that we could go to instead, so off we went. At first Nathalie had thought I was already at 4-5cm dilated, but when she checked me again upon arriving to the center she realized I was closer to 3-4cm. My contractions were getting more intense by this point, and when we got to the center the first thing I did was get into the bathtub which was heavenly-- I knew relaxing my muscles and body were key to helping deal with the pain, and as soon as I immersed myself into the warm water I could feel myself relaxing and loosening up instantly. I don't know how long I stayed in the tub, but eventually I got out as I started to feel too warm. I think by then I was closing in on 5-6cm, and Nathalie offered me the TENS machine for a bit of pain relief. It worked ok for a bit, and I tried out some different positions for dealing with contractions to see what worked best. Zach was great, trying to encourage me to keep moving and trying different things.

Eventually the TENS started to feel more like an annoyance than a relief, so I took it off and got back in the tub. I don't think the water helped much with the contractions themselves, but while in the tub I was able to relax more fully between them and let go of any remaining tension so that was pretty great. That is one nice thing about labor pain-- the contractions suck, but inbetween them you get a break and almost feel like normal. I mostly dealt with the pain by breathing-- taking deep breaths in, then blowing out slow while repeating "breathe" in my head, over and over until the contraction was finished. This helped distract me enough from the pain in my uterus and be able to wait it out till it was over.

I think Nathalie said it took me about 6-7 hrs to dilate fully from 3cm to 10cm. The last hour or 2 were pretty bad-- I stayed in the tub pretty much the whole time, and more than once I thought to myself how I never want to do this again. The most frustrating thing, though was when I got to 10cm-- all the books pretty much tell you when you get there it's time to push, and meaning you're over the hurdle and on the downhill slope as far as labor is concerned.

Except that Donovan's head was still not engaged, and was possibly turned a bit funny. I kept waiting for the urge to push to come, not really knowing what it was supposed to feel like, and we tried pushing even a few times, but it didn't do anything. So I had to keep laboring for another 30mins-1hr, I think, while Donovan got into the proper position and descended enough. Needless to say I was pretty ready for it all to be over by then, so it was frustrating having to wait longer.

And then everything was finally in place, and it was time to push. And, um, yeah, that thing about being "past the hurdle?" What a bunch of bullcrap. The pushing was the hardest part, and I didn't feel that prepared for it b/c I swear everything I read said the transition phase (dilating from 7-10cm) was the worst part of labor. I did not find that to be the case.

The urge to push, once it came on, was unmistakable. We got me set up sort of squatting at the edge of the bed, sitting partially on Zach's lap, and holding on to a rope hanging from the ceiling for extra support. My water finally broke during one of my first few pushes. Nathalie I think was concerned about the baby and his heartbeat and asked me to only push every other contraction, which MY GOD was that difficult to hold back. I can't remember how long the pushing stage went on for, somewhere between 30 mins and 1 hr. And then he crowned, and his head and body then all came out in one (very painful) push, and I was able to lay down and they out him on my stomach and I don't think I have ever been so grateful to have something be over before in my life. I then still had to push a few times to get the placenta out, which by the way... Holy crap I had no idea it'd be as big as it was. Zach was also suitably impressed, so much so that he took a few pictures of it, though I don't think I'll be posting those anywhere b/c, well, they're kinda gross.

Immediately after he was born I could not believe that this baby laying on me had actually fit inside my belly. Zach was incredible, he was head over heels in love at first sight. We cuddled with him for a while and did an initial feeding, and then Nathalie took him to get cleaned and checked. Then she checked me for tearing, and ironically my perineum was intact, but I wound up instead needing somewhere around 4-6 stitches for small tears around my labia (my first time to get stitches ever). After getting sewn up I tried to get up and was completely surprised by how lightheaded I felt... to the point where as soon as I stood up I had to sit right back down, and before I knew it I was being woken up from passing out. That was kinda crazy. So I laid back down and they brought me some food to eat and eventually I felt better and was able to get up and take a shower and then cuddle some more with Donovan and Zach. We stayed at the center for a few hours after the birth, then around 5 or 6am we came on home.

I have mixed feelings about my labor and delivery. On the one hand, everything went according to my plans and wishes. I'm so glad that I chose to use the birthing center, as I am fairly certain that I could not have continued on unmedicated in a hospital setting. The center gave me the freedom to move around and keep trying new ways to deal with the contractions, and the tub helped so much too. I also know that anytime I had to lie down horizontally it made the contractions that much harder to deal with. I cannot imagine having to labor on my back in a hospital bed. I'm proud of myself for having done this and done it the way I wanted... at the same time I think of doing it again and cringe. It was hard, and it was painful, and I'm sure when it's time for baby #2 I'll go the same route for the same reasons I did it this time, but I'm also quite happy waiting a good long while before doing so. I think this labor, and particular the difficulty with the pushing, traumatized me somewhat, or certainly took me by surprise and knocked me on my back.

I was surprised at how relieved I felt at the end of it not to be pregnant anymore. I think most of that relief was in knowing that at the end of pregnancy comes the birth, and the birth was now behind me. Maybe I had been more anxious about how everything would go than I had realized.

I don't know if I'm doing a great job of putting into words how I'm feeling about the whole experience, probably b/c it is complicated and there's positives and negatives and they can be hard to explain. I wrote this post out over several sessions (when I had the time) and I don't think I've done the best job of it, but at least it's all written out and recorded.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I think the biggest take-home message I have gotten from the past 8 days is that I can't ever really know what to expect, to take things one day or even hour at a time b/c they're constantly changing. Yesterday Donovan seemed to hardly sleep at all during the day, wanting to nurse often instead. Today it seems all he wants to do is sleep, leaving me with engorged boobs and worries that he's not getting enough to eat (or that my milk supply will be affected by his not eating as much on this one day).

And so I'm trying to take in this lesson and not worry, figuring that he'll wake up and eat when he's hungry and that his little body knows what it needs. To instead enjoy the 1.5 hr nap he just graced me with, knowing that this, too, very well may change and his behavior and demands could be completely different yet again tomorrow.

As a funny aside, it does seem like I'm having a 2nd engorgement period today, and when I went to nurse Donovan this morning I realized after a few minutes of feeding him from my right side, that my left side was leaking so profusely as to wet the entire left side of my shirt through my breast pad, and all onto his clothes. I freaked out a bit b/c some of it got on his umbilical cord stump which is supposed to stay dry to heal properly, but other than that... yeah it was a ridiculous and comical moment.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Baby's First Hospital Visit- The Extended Version

(Not sure how many of you really want to muddle through this whole story, but I felt the need to record it so here it is)

Nathalie, our midwife, had been a bit concerned about Donovan looking a little yellow. To add to this he was losing weight, which is normal, but he wasn't pooping or peeing as much as she'd like, either, and we weren't sure he was getting enough milk which can contribute to jaundice. So Wednesday she decided to take some blood and do a test to check his bilirubin levels. This happened to also be the day that my postpartum hormones decided to go way outta whack-- I'd already cried once that morning, worried about him not getting enough to eat and looking yellow. You can imagine what I felt like when Nathalie called me back at 2pm saying we'd need to take Donovan to the hospital for a minimum of 2 days to get treated.

I must say most of the staff at the hospital were great and very friendly. However the first nurse I got when we got settled into our room (tiny thing that we shared with another mother and her 9 month old daughter, just enough room for our 2 cribs and 2 chairs that could lean back for sleeping in) was not very helpful. She had me feed him before putting him under the blue light and when she weighed him she saw he'd only gotten about 5ml, and pretty much said we'd probably need to give him formula while he stayed there since he clearly wasn't getting enough from me. Luckily there was a lactation consultant on staff and she came to help me out with the overnight feedings, which got better- 20 to 30ml each which made me feel great, until the next nurse came in and informed me that even those amounts were still not good enough. It was at that point that they brought out the breast pump and had me try to feed him by breast at first, would measure how much he ate, and then would give him whatever else I could pump to go with it. This way he was able to at least get closer to 40-50ml per feeding. Meanwhile the poor guy was probably dehydrated, still not pooing or peeing much at all.

One of the biggest blessings of this whole thing was that, due either to the jaundice making him sleepy, or perhaps magical powers of the blue-light ("baby rave") bed, or simply nature knowing what's needed at that point in time, Donovan was incredibly calm and would just sleep and eat. I knew we could only take him out from under the blue light for feeding, and I was terrified I'd have to sit there and listen to him scream without being able to soothe him. Instead I was able to try to get some sleep inbetween pumping and feeding every 3 hours.

Mom stayed with me in the hospital the first night, which may have broken a house rule but no one seemed to care much. Zach and Mom then came and went during the day, trying to alternate sleep time. At the beginning of the 2nd night our 9-month old roomie started vomiting... I was already worried about Donovan catching something else while at the hospital, and now I was praying and praying that he wouldn't get some stomach bug on top of everything. I was quite happy when the hospital staff moved the girl pretty quickly to another room to protect Donovan.. and even happier still when we got to keep our room to ourselves, and they wheeled in a cot for me to sleep on.

Donovan responded pretty quickly to the light treatments-- they took him off completely in the middle of our 2nd night there. We still had to stay for another 12-24 hrs while they made sure his bilirubin levels didn't go back up. Friday afternoon the doctor came in to tell us we could go home... only to then come back half an hour later and change her mind, saying she wanted him to stay one more night just to be sure. I was devastated, though now I'm glad we stayed b/c it was this last night that he all of a sudden started eating well, something we would not have known for sure without having the scale to weigh him on before and after feedings. Knowing that he was eating his fill and getting what he needed from me without me having to pump lifted a HUGE weight and worry off my shoulders. We got to finally go home Saturday afternoon.

In all I think Donovan lost about 8-9% of his birthweight in his first few days, which is normal but had me worried anyway, but now he's been gaining weight back on incredibly fast. Babies are supposed to gain about an ounce a day starting on day 5 after birth-- well, on day 5 he gained nearly 3 oz, day 6 he gained 2 more, and yesterday he'd gained just over 3 more oz for a modified weight on 3.5kg (birthweight was 3.6kg). WOOT! I've been making sure to feed him every 3 hours at the most, which unfortunately often meant having to wake him up for feedings, but yesterday since he's been gaining so well Nathalie gave me permission to let him sleep up to 4 hrs at a stretch (up to 5 at night)... of course wouldn't you know that all afternoon he was waking up for feedings every 2-2.5 hrs. ; )

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Just a quick note to let everyone know that we're all home now, and everything's great. I think this whole ordeal was much more stressful and traumatic for me than it was for Donovan, thankfully-- he was an absolute champ, slept through pretty much everything and hardly even fussed. I am also extremely pleased that after several days of attempting breastfeeding and pumping afterwards to make up for what he couldn't take himself (due to poor latch/sucking skills and being so zonked from the jaundice) Donovan is now also eating like a champ which makes Mom SO HAPPY and relieved. I was so worried I'd end up having to pump most of his meals for a while, or not produce enough for him, etc. However in the past day or so he's really gotten the hang of it and is quickly and easily taking his fill. I've been faithfully applying lanolin after each feeding, too, which seems to be helping a lot towards keeping me from getting too sore.

Speaking of, a little someone's calling my name.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Baby's first... visit to hospital

Hello All,
Marcy's husband, Zach, here. Marcy's had to take a break from blogging because we had a baby first yesterday: First Visit to the Hospital. Little Donovan's liver is getting up to speed, but it wasn't filtering out bilirubin effectively enough causing jaundice. Now, it seems everything is going to be OK. There is nothing wrong with him. But he needs a little help from some friendly blue light to break down this byproduct. Think of it as a baby rave party with goggles on, some house music, and a blue glow in the hospital room. It is more tough psychologically than physically and we should be home Friday night or Saturday morning. But it is enough. Wish us well.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Day 2 of Parenthood

We took advantage of a happy, sleeping Donovan after coming home from the pediatrician's office to take our first family picture. Notice we even got Sierra into it. She's been doing quite well with the baby, by the way. She was pretty wide-eyed and cautiously curious yesterday after we came home. She's seeming a bit more relaxed now, she'll come up to him and sniff close to him but doesn't show any signs of aggression or much distress, really. She did jump about a mile in the air earlier today when she was sniffing his foot and he moved. She did also decide last night that Donovan's car seat would be her new favorite napping spot. We had it up in our room, and I guess she figured that Donovan had taken over her bed, so she might as well take over his car seat.

The rest of us are doing well. Donovan's been pretty calm and easy so far. He's spared us any really ear-piercing wails so far (I'm sure those will come with time) and when he does cry it's actually pretty cute b/c his bottom lip quivers really fast. He and I are working on the whole breastfeeding thing, we've made significant progress just in the past day and a half, though he's still having a bit of trouble opening his mouth wide enough to latch on well, and he also does this thing where he sucks on his own top lip and tongue which is absolutely adorable to watch, but can be frustrating when he's supposed to be sucking on my nipple.

I need to write out a post of the labor story, and I'll do that soon, but for now I'll just say that the birthing center experience was lovely, I'm not sure I could have managed an un-medicated birth in another setting. It was so nice to be able to move around and have space and options and use the tub. It was also really great to have mom and Zach there to help me out. I have to say, though, I'm not exactly looking forward to doing that again anytime soon...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

six word sunday: 21 hours later, this popped out:

six word sunday challenge

Meet my son, Donovan (aka "Loki"), born this morning at 1:30am-- all 3.6kg of him (that's just 1 oz shy of 8lbs-- Zach's quite proud). He's got gobs of black hair, blue eyes (for now), and the cutest dimple you ever did see on his right cheek. He's also obsessed with his tongue and sucking on his own lips.

I'm tired and quite sore, but otherwise doing well. Donovan's been pretty low-key so far so I'm getting to rest up, but did have to put up a quick post to share the news. =)

I can't believe I'm a MOM!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

And so it begins...?

The past few nights I've noticed that I seemed to have a fair amount of braxton-hicks contractions during the nighttime-- these are ones that were not uncomfortable at all, I could only really tell I was having them b/c I'd feel my belly (say, when getting up that 3rd time at night to go pee) and it would be very round and hard. I've also felt the dull ache of something similar to menstrual cramps off and on the past few weeks, way down at the bottom of my belly, but usually not accompanied by the contractions.

Then this morning I woke up at about 4:30am and realized that I was having that same crampy feeling, except this time it would come on and intensify up to a point, and then slowly melt away and go away completely. And then it would happen again. And it continued like that for about an hour as I lay in bed wondering if these were real contractions and what I should do. Eventually I got up and went downstairs to get something to eat and drink, and try to time them out-- they were fairly irregular, coming every 4-10 minutes and some were longer and more intense, others short and mild.

It's kinda kept up like that since then. They don't feel too bad yet, mostly just uncomfortable and only a little painful. I have noticed that lying down makes them worse, so I'm trying to stay upright. I've talked to my midwife, and we're waiting to see if the contractions will become more regular. It isn't uncommon for women to have a few "false starts", series of irregular contractions in the days before actual labor, we'll see if that's the case or if these turn into the real deal. They may be irregular, but have been steady for 9 hours so far today.

I have to say, as I laid awake in bed this morning trying to get rest between those first contractions, I thought of Loki's good timing-- he waited till I finally got around to getting her hair cut (yesterday), had most things ready, and Zach is off right now to go pick up my mom from the airport (her flight got delayed and re-routed till this afternoon). What a considerate child I have. =)

(though perhaps I should wait till after labor's over with before saying that....) ; )


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