Friday, June 26, 2009

The least efficient way from point A to B

I breastfed Skyler until he was about six and a half months old. I actually remember the day that he stopped breastfeeding, because he was the one who actually put an end to it. It was October 27th, 2007. A few days before his first Halloween and we were going to the pumpkin patch at the last minute. I was actually relieved, because although I had enjoyed the closeness breastfeeding had brought to our relationship I loathed the idea of being the one to initiate an end to the process. Plus kid had some teeth by then, yowch. Skyler has made a lot of things easy on us, weaning himself was just one of them.


Mason has not been a good breastfeeder. It doesn't really seem right to say it that way, since it's not really his fault. I don't know if it's the latch, or if he is just not into delayed gratification and being willing to wait for my letdown. Whatever it is, it hasn't been working. Two days ago I decided to try a different direction. I still want to provide him with the same nutrients I gave Skyler through my breast milk, so I am pumping. I am pumping a lot for what seems like so little as I only seem to be able to keep up for the next feeding. It's frustrating trying to get ahead of myself with an advanced supply, especially when it would be so much easier if the little guy would drink straight from the tap. Andy reminds me that it has only been a few days since I started down this path, and it will take time. Which of course he is right, but I still cannot help but feel disheartened by this extra (time consuming) step in Mason's feeding process. I will keep pumping and keep trying to make this choice work, I just hope it gets even a little bit easier soon.

In other news, Mason is one week old today. He is the sweetest little baby and is actually asleep for the majority of the day's hours. We actually have been having to wake him up during the night to make sure he gets a feeding. So far he seems to be a pretty laid back baby, something I am pretty sure we don't deserve after having Skyler who was a relatively easy baby himself. Speaking of Skyler, he loves his 'baby brother Mason'. He dotes on him, loves to hold him, and is always coming up to kiss and love on him. I feel so blessed that he has taken to Mason so well, I really expect something far less pleasant. Then again, it has only been a week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mason's birth story

My doctor peered over the surgical curtain separating me from the rest of the action in the room. "Thank goodness we went with a c-section," she said "we can see a big hole in your uterus right now". Not the most reassuring words ever spoken during a surgery, but certainly some validating ones considering the circumstances. When considering the options for how Mason might enter this world, a repeat c-section or attempted VBAC, we weighed the numbers. Though a relatively low number of women who attempt a VBAC experience a rupture (of their previous scar), those that do face some serious and scary consequences for both themselves and baby. The fear of those consequences was enough to direct us towards a repeat c-section. It seemed the right choice for us, and when I heard those words in the ER I discovered how right we were. A hole, in my uterus. This meant that when they went in for Mason they found an open window waiting for them where there out to have been a shut door. Somehow, either before or during this pregnancy, my scar from Skyler's birth had began to rupture creating a nearly fist sized opening where there ought to have been none.

We started out the day of Mason's birth rising early. We needed to be at the hospital by nine for the the surgery which was scheduled at eleven. Before all that we needed to make one last stop to see Skyler who had spent the night previous at Nana and Pa's. We got in some last minute family of three time and then ventured on for all my pre-surgery preparations. Whether it was the stress of the day or lack of sleep the night prior I could not keep my eyes open for the life of me. During the hour or so in which I spent being pumped full of IV fluids to ready me for surgery I found myself fighting drowsiness, I was worried I might fall asleep in the operating room. This was a weird feeling, considering all the nerves I was experiencing at the same time.

The whole process felt very familiar considering we had been through a nearly identical day a few years earlier. They finished monitoring me and led me back to the OR and placed my epidural as Andy waited elsewhere in his surgical haz-mat suit. He was disappointed by the scrubs this time, they weren't take-home worthy. Once they had assured my numbed state and prepared to get underway with the surgery itself Andy got to return to the room. Some jostling ensued and the conversation above occurred, and then, he was out. He sounded just like an angry cat, and I couldn't believe how big he was. Mason really did look like a chunk from the very beginning. I had wagered that he would be about Skyler's size if not a bit smaller. I was wrong. Born at 11:39 am, Mason Alejandro weighed 9lbs 3oz and measured 20.5 inches long. A few ounces heavier and a half an inch shorter than his big brother.

I was so thrilled that this time around Andy and Mason got to stay with me for the rest of the surgery's duration. When Skyler was born he was whisked away, after an initial view, for bathing and measuring in another room. I told Andy to go with him, since at least I knew I wouldn't get lost in the hospital. Our little yet unknown baby boy seemed a more valuable asset to be monitored. This time however Mason and Andy stayed with me the whole time. Once he was wiped off and measured Andy brought him over for me to adore and we spent the end of the surgery cooing over what we thought was an adorable little noise he was making. He seemed to be emitting a constant stream of 'eh-eh-ehs' which we chalked up to a talkative nature. The nurses knew differently though and became concerned by his "singing", as they called it. Turns out that that little noise was an indication of fluid present in his lungs, something Mason was trying in his own little way to remedy. Unfortunately it was nearly twenty four hours after his birth that we received solid confirmation that this was the case, a period in which we spent worrying and Mason endured endless pokes, prodding, and blood draws. We spent a much longer time in recovery because of this and almost sent family home since we weren't sure Mason would be up for visitors. Ultimately the tests did reveal that his noises were caused by fluid, a common occurrence in c-section babies, by which time the grunts had all but resolved themselves. We are grateful for the outcome, but the time in between was not something I would ever want to repeat.

The rest of our hospital stay was uneventful and blessedly short. We came home after two days instead of the three we had been expecting since both Mason and I were recovering rapidly from the trauma of birth. We were very fortunate to be on the receiving end of a lot of familial support during this time and pleasantly surprised by Skyler's embrace of big brotherhood. He loves Mason and is very protective of him, showering him with lots of kisses and coos. He seems to understand very well that baby brother Mason, as he calls him, requires gentle handling. So far the expected swing to the head or all out rejection hasn't occurred yet, but then it is only day four.

Mason himself has so far been a pretty calm baby. He enjoys his sleep and will even maintain slumber while his father and two year old brother rumble around him. He resembles Skyler in the vaguest of details, though it is clear that he possesses some strong characteristics of his own. We feel very lucky to have another health and beautiful baby boy on our hands.The rest of the story can be told in pictures. There is one short video at the end of Mason's actual birth. It's not very graphic, for those who might be concerned, especially considering it was shot by Andy who is notably squeamish and faints at the sight of blood. He apparently makes exceptions for the birth of his son.





Sunday, June 21, 2009

He's here

We are healthy, happy, tired and home. I have quite the story to tell, but no energy to tell it at present. Here's pictures for now. Mason Alejandro was born on Friday June 19th at 11:39 am, he was 9lbs and 3oz and 20.5 inches long.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bittersweet

Today is my last day as a mother of one. One could (very strongly) argue that my huge pregnant belly already constitutes my status as a mother of two. But what I really mean here is that today is my last day with one child on the outside. Just one little man to keep track of, Mason never strays far from my rib cage so it's just not the same.

I am excited to meet this second son of ours tomorrow. I have been waiting for this moment for almost forty weeks, the wait seems even longer since I knew we were expecting before a pee stick would tell me so. I also cannot wait to be done with this pregnancy deal. I am bloated, I am achy, I literally must have about 4 inches left between my stomach and the back of my throat because it feels like nothing every really goes down but just sits and burns there. Nice. So you see, I am ready. I am also scared though, of what this will mean for son number one and everything that I have become so attached to in the past two years of his life. Surely I know that everything will be twice as wonderful in the end, but right now all I can focus on is that today is my last day of singular devotion to this guy:


So today is bittersweet. I have been spending all day trying to think of ways to take in all his oneness so that tomorrow when our load doubles I can feel a little bit better about springing a sibling on him. A little brother will bring lots of good things for Skyler, a chance to share and opportunities to bond. A little playmate with whom to gang up on mom with, and another male to share fart jokes with. I will look forward to these too, if I love this one little boy so much I can hardly fathom how wide my heart will have to open for two. So here's to today, my final of solo childness, and to what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My two year old...

...says and does the funniest things.

-This morning I heard pounding coming from the kitchen. What was he doing, I wondered. He was using my deodorant (that he had purloined from upstairs) to smash a stray piece of mandarin orange. Why? Because he thought it was a spider, or so he said.

-I was changing the diaper bag out of his pail as Skyler looked on. He announced, "Yucky, yucky poopy. Yuck, don't eat it". Correct my dear, and don't worry I won't.

-He was "helping" out in the yard today with his little green rake. He began to swing it a little wilder than appropriate and I suggested he not, since he didn't want to hurt himself. He raised the tool skyward and announced, "Skyler hurt the sky?", and looked concerned. He's empathetic and apparently much taller in his own head.

Just to mention a few :).

Better late than never

So we had another baby shower for Mason man this past weekend, with five days to d-day no less. Better late than never right? It ended up being so close due to several factors, including some slow planning on our mom's parts and it being an ideal weekend for several out of town guests who would be attending. Either way, it happened and it was lovely. I was just enormously pregnant (still am) and completely wiped by the end. It's sad how sitting and talking can be exhausting at this point. We did get some more very useful items to help us in preparation for the arrival of son number two in *three* more days. Yikes, but yay. I am so worn out, my body hurts so bad. I am scared and anxious about what it will mean to have two children, and worried about how this will affect Skyler... but sweet jebus I am so completely done being pregnant. If I have it, it hurts and it doesn't work very well anymore. Blech. Anyways, here's some lovely pictures from MIL's camera (except for the first two) of our get together. Presents, chocolate, and friends is never too trying after all.





Friday, June 12, 2009

Veinte y seis

Dear Skyler,Alright, so for now I am keeping the monthly letters. Who knows if I will manage it after this month though, in eight days you aren't going to be the only one whose milestones I will need to take notice of. Eight more days and you are going to be a big brother kiddo. There will be two of us (parents) and two of you (little monkeys).


This past month has just been a blur of cognitive advances for you. I realized today that when you sing the ABC song you actually sing the ABC's. Before it was just the tune and an occasional intelligible vowel. Now you clearly say each letter, and even finish off the ditty by requesting that next time we sing with meeeee! It's amazing, and I am not sure I can pinpoint exactly when that change took place. You are so much better at putting thoughts and sentences together. You clearly understand what is going on around you and can even think outside of what is there and present. You continue to love being active and above all else outside. I think you would be perfectly content to spend hours 'mowing' the lawn and dragging your tools around behind you. Daddy even took advantage of your enthusiasm for outdoor chores the other day and put you to work gathering rocks out of the lawn. Very few people would gain as much pleasure from collecting and then disposing of rocks, running back and forth across the back lawn to do so, as you did. You love to be a helper.


We also sprung something pretty big on you this month, a brand new bed. We let it sit side by side with your crib for a few nights before making the grand switch, but truly it seems our greatest of fears are yet unfounded since you are sleeping quite well in it (even now as I type). At night you like to sit on the end of 'Skye-guy car bed' and let your feet dangle as we read your nightly stories to you. Then, all of your night time ablutions attended to, you willingly climb right in and lay down for the night. I am still marvelling at your acceptance of this change, perhaps you are more willing to grow up than we are to let you.


I won't say that two months past two has been all roses, you have been providing us with a fair amount of disciplinary challenges and general toddler trouble. But with all your big hugs, 'need' kisses, and willingness to share any treat you come across I can see how parents (and their children) survive to year three. Happy 26 big man, and I hope you enjoyed it as your last as a single child.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On again, off again

Not that my body hasn't been slowly betraying me over the last few months, but the last week has really made me want to put up the white flag. I surrender, I am done. Time for baby, my body is tired. I never experienced sciatic nerve pain last time with Skyler, and thank the gods that I am only just now experiencing it with the end so very close (11 more days!). Seriously though, ouch! I was already tired and achy in the pelvic region, but now my right leg has decided to abandon me and sends shooting pains every once and a while up the back. Even sitting doesn't provide relief all the time. I thought things had righted themselves yesterday, but it seems Mason was just testing out a different position and has now resumed his camp out right on my sciatic nerve. Thanks kiddo. Looking forward to seeing you and getting you off of my more sensitive internal assets.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ch-ch-changes

We are doing our best to get some big changes in Skyler's life out of the way before the greatest shift of them all occurs with Mason's arrival in just a few *gulp* short weeks. We are "pursuing" potty training, though not on an overly active basis. We moved out Skyler's dresser into Mason's room. And now, now we have removed his crib and replaced it with this:


Skyler's big boy bed, his race car chariot to dreamland. We made the transition slowly, partially out of our desire to be sensitive to Skyler's dislike of change though largely due to lack of courage and love for our own sleep. We had no idea what this new bed would bring out in Skyler, we still don't really as this is only day three of it being in full use. So far so good, though I am not sure he has fully grasped just how much freedom he truly has in this new bed. It frightened him a bit the first night, though only when we got down to the business of getting him to sleep in the bed. He loved the idea of a bed he could 'drive' and he didn't really seem to notice (or at least mention) the lack of his crib. He has slept as he usually has otherwise, which frankly I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am sure it can't be this easy.


I also made some changes to the decor in Skye's room. It has always been largely dominated by dinosaurs, but it has become quite clear over the last year that his true love is cars. So with the introduction of the car bed I thought some more car themed decoration would be appropriate. I painted the roads onto his walls and still plan to get some little cars up there as well. It's a work in progress. Hopefully it will all pull together before Mason arrives, including Skyler's full acceptance of this new sleeping arrangement.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The reason I love summer

This:





How do I love sunny days and my little boy, let me count the ways. I love how excited he gets when he figures out the nozzle on the hose. I love how he runs manically in circles with his lawnmower, stopping every five minutes or so to run up and tell me he 'needs kiss'. I love watching my husband chase his son, knowing that he is squealing on the inside as much as our little boy is on the outside. This is a good time of year.