Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Five Year Family

Today is the five year anniversary of this:

When I look at that picture, I still get the same feeling in my chest that I got the very first time I saw it.  It's not as immediate, or as strong, but it's there.  I remember feeling like all the air sucked out of the room, that I was never more shocked in my life, but also never thought any other result was possible.  I remember bursting out laughing for no reason two hours later.  I remember a week or so later, stopping into Gymb0ree and buying a package of onesies, because I was so excited to buy something for my Very Own Baby.

Tomorrow is the very last OB appointment of my life.  (How perfect would it have been if it were today?  so close...only I would think about something so stupid.)

Five years, three kids, two houses later, here we are.  This is our family. This is how we will always look.  No more unknowns.  Well, okay, yes there are.  Of course there are!  But in terms of who makes up our family: this is it.  Two girls and a baby boy, which is exactly what I always wanted (embarassment of riches is the phrase you're looking for.)  (well.  Not really.  Close, though.  I bet there's a perfect word for it in German.  They have the best words.)

Five years is a really long time, and I can hardly even remember the person I was before these three nuggets dropped into our laps.  But I look at that picture, and I totally cannot believe it's been that long.  For five years, I have been pregnant or breastfeeding.  Eleven months from now, I will wean my last baby, and my body will be mine and mine alone for the rest of my life.  And most of all?

I really, really need to buy new clothes.  Seriously.  Damn.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

One Midnight Gone

grr.  I fixed this in photobucket.  it's still messed up.  you get the idea.
I said it before, but I'll say it again: I know I'm supposed to say, "OMG, I can't believe it's been a month, where did they time go?!!"  But.  Yeah.  it's been a month.  It's definitely been a month.

Don't get me wrong.  James is a giant peach.  He is snuggly and lovely and his cheeks, ohhhh man, those cheeks.

Like all the members of our team, he is rather fussy- he must be held at all times, and occasionally, you must be upright, preferably walking around.  Occasionally, in the early evening, he just wants to sit and look around, and he doesn't much care what you do.  He is...not a great sleeper.  Not terrible, but not great.  He is usually awake from at least 10-11:30 in the evening, and when he wakes up a little after 4, I know he's up for at least an hour, if not longer.  He is an obligate bed-sharer, which is sooo not my favorite thing, but it's that, let him sleep overnight on his stomach, or die of exhaustion.  It seems like the least of all evils, but I do let him nap on his stomach (I don't let him play with forks and electric sockets...YET), and I have seen him turn his head from side to side and even lift his head and shoulders off the bed, so we'll see how long the bed-sharing lasts. 

(why can't I get those side by side?  someone smarter than me chime in here.)
His sisters both love him.  Really, they do.  One of them is having a much harder time appropriately demonstrating that than the other.  Three guesses which one...yeah.  Gracie sees him open his eyes and oohs and ahhs and says, "ohhh, look at that little boy, he's so cute!!"  and gently strokes his hair.  Katie is...well.  You know how you can't read the newspaper with a cat in the room because they will obsessively, compulsively step on it, knock it away, sprawl out in the middle of it?  That's Katie.  No matter what she's doing, if Jimmy is in my lap, she will fling herself between us, pick at his face, tug on his eyelids, pull at his ears, pinch him, poke him, try to kick and hit him.  She cannot and WILL NOT be stopped without physical force.  Time out has become a game for her.  It's...a pickle.  This morning, he napped in the pack n play for an hour or so after the girls woke up and she was her little angelic self, sitting on my lap, talking to me and telling me stories, snuggling up with me and watching tv.  But the minute he woke up, it was the return of Angelica.  Poor kid.  It'll get better.  Or, I mean, it won't, and they'll fight until one of them leaves for college.  It'll EVENTUALLY get better, though.

He is nursing like a champ and growing like a weed, and I know that I am going to blink and he will be four years old, with long muscle-y legs and a tremendous vocabulary and I will wonder what the hell happened to all the time.  For now, though, a month seems about right.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

That One Time James Had Impending Respiratory Failure

For reals.

So last night, Jimmy was awake allll night long.  He woke up every few hours, and then woke at 4:15 and would. not. go back to sleep.  He was fussy, nursing poorly, and generally full of piss and vinegar.  He's been pretty fussy lately- nothing we can't handle, being the seasoned fussy baby veterans that we are (no wimps in this house), but generally crabby.  Still, this was unusual.  He slept poorly the night before, and then was wide awake through the girls' naps, so I was pretty wrecked when I got out of bed this morning.

Stephen got G off to school, and shortly afterwards, MIL came to get Katie, because the girls were spending the day with her.  J was still really fussy, and sounding congested, so I tried to bulb suction him and didn't get anything.  I passed him off to Stephen and went to get in the shower.  It passed through my mind that I should bring him in the bathroom with me, and maybe the steam would loosen something up, but I sort of forgot it as soon as I thought it (I should also mention it was his second night in a row of not sleeping AND for the last two days, he has decided to wake up right when the girls go down for their naps.  So, you know, me = not the sharpest knife today.)

I was about 3/4 through my shower when Stephen came in and told me he was worried about J's breathing.  I finished up and went to check on him, but by the time I got out he was sleeping comfortably.  Stephen said, yeah, he's fine now, but when he wakes up, he makes a ton of noise.  A few minutes later, sure enough, he woke up and was panting, snoring (even though he was wide awake), head-bobbing, and generally looking distressed.  Ummmm, okay. I don't like this.  I decided to watch him awhile.  And it didn't get better.  And when I peeked under his shirt, I could see him sucking in his ribs, which is no good.  At all.  Sigh.  So after a few minutes of total denial, I made a pediatrician appointment for a few hours later.  In the meantime, I sat on the couch with him, watching him like a hawk.  He didn't change- didn't get worse, but also didn't get better.  Until, oh, five minutes before we left for the doctor, when he fell asleep was completely and totally fine.  Really, kid?  REALLY?  I told Stephen, they will tell us we are crazy and I really don't care, because he will start up with this crap again tonight and then I won't know WHAT to do.  Bonus: I've known the doctor we were seeing today since her residency, and we always got along really well, so I can flat-out tell her I know I'm crazy.  And honestly, it's really hard to think of horses when you already have a zebra at home.

Initially, as we told her our story, she was kind of smiling at me, like, awww, yes, third time around, you're still a new mom, and patiently said a few times, "It's okay!  Babies do funny things!"  Then she opened his t shirt and sort of quietly said, "Yeah.  He's working pretty hard," when she saw him sucking in his ribs.  She left the room for saline and suction.  Squirted some saline in his nose and let it sit.  When she came back, she suctioned his nose and said, "Whoa!!!  That's adult-sized!"  And held up a chunk of mucous the size of a cheerio.  Yay!  We celebrated.  She left to get a nurse and a pulse ox, and Stephen said, "So....we brought him to the doctor for a booger?"  And I said, "Um.  Well, no, I mean, he...*sigh*...yeah.  We did."  "well," he joked, "I have a feeling she just left to call Children's and question your employment."  Snerk.

When they brought in the pulse ox, he was initially registering about 94%, which is genuinely fine, but really?  Too low for a healthy baby.  So we waited a minute and eventually he rose to 99%, where he should be.  But obviously, that boogie was giving him some trouble.

Once they were done, poor little dude nursed like he'd never been fed and promptly passed the heck out, staying asleep for the next, like, five hours, waking only to nurse one more time.  He's gonna be up all night again, but whatever.  Just glad it was a horse.  In the form of a booger.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

When Maternity Leave and Furlough Collide

Overheard in our house three times today:

S: Is today Saturday?

me: Um.  I think so?


So far, life with three is good.  I remember when Katie was born, it was a long time before two felt like more work than one.  I mean, no, it was a long time before two felt like a LOT more work than one.  And that is mostly true here, but not as much, simply because I don't have enough hands.  I'm feeling a little like Goldilocks these days.  When Katie was born, if you could have bottled my mood and sold it, it would put every antidepressant in existence off the market.  If you could bottle my mood when Gracie was born, you could destroy nations.  This time, I am somewhere in between.  I am a lot, lot, LOT more hormonal than I was when Katie was born, but not as crushed as I was when Gracie was born.  He does not sleep as well as Katie did, but better than Gracie did (this is largely a function of willingness to bedshare, really)- that is actually okay, even though it is hard right now, because Katie then grew up to be the Worst Sleeper In The History of Ever OMFG, and Gracie did really well until a few months ago when she started having night terrors (and let's be real here, girlfriend has had a ridiculous year, she's entitled to some choppy waters).  He cries more than Katie did, but not as much as Gracie did.  The whole experience just feels very in the middle, so to speak.

Don't get me wrong, I am trying to soak in every moment and I fight hard not to wish the days away (though I will be honest, when 4pm rolls around, I get really antsy for bedtime- the girls are both crabby and out of sorts and bored and it's hard to think of things to do to fill the late afternoons while the weather is still so crappy).  Knowing he is my last baby is so hard.  I really, really did try to savor the pregnancy, and that was just not happening, between all the stress we had and how utterly horrendous I felt for nine straight months, but I really am just basking in his babyhood.  He's more alert every day and I just stare at his little eyes and try to memorize every little expression on his little nugget face and I nuzzle his fuzzy hair a billion times a day and his cheeks are so chubby and soft and warm and have I mentioned, the little turd already outgrew his newborn clothes?!?!  I WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER NEWBORN-SIZED BABY EVER.  I knew it would be hard, in that sense, but I had no idea how hard- I had an unpleasant pregnancy (it was not difficult, but it was not the blissed-out 38 weeks of love I had with Katie, either, not by a long shot), an absolutely miserable labor and recovery, and I have never in the history of ever had an easy newborn.  But then his duck fluff hair brushes my cheek and he bobs his head, struggling to lift it up and look around and tries to latch onto my shoulder and makes his funny robot noises and finishes nursing and rests his cheek on my bewb and his whole face is completely relaxed and content and ohhhhh....I want to do this every two years from now until menopause.  

I never said I was rational.  But come on, can you blame me?