Friday, May 28, 2010

Back to Work for A Day - Hydration

Two nights ago, I was ready to throw my laptop out the window!!   For those of you that don't know, I'm a high school business teacher, and I have been out on maternity since February.  Well, yesterday was the last day to input my grades into the computer system, so I was up late last night trying to install the software program to input them... and IT DIDN'T WORK. I was extremely frustrated and as mentioned earlier, ready to hurl my laptop out the window.  I spent two valuable hours of sleep-time trying to fix the problem so I wouldn't have to go into work. (It's a 45 minute drive.)  Well, I guess the "work gods" wanted me to go in (stupid program), so I packed up the diaper bag and drove BJ and I to work yesterday morning.  

I've gotten pretty good at packing BJ's diaper bag.  It's not so hard. Diapers - check. Wipes - check. Receiving blankets - check. Changing pad - check.

Here's what the books don't tell breastfeeding mothers to pack:  Don't forget a bottle of water.  I find that if I don't keep myself hydrated, the amount of breastmilk I have suffers.  When I am at home, I consciously drink tons of water so that BJ can have enough milk.  Well, yesterday, I didn't have drinking water in my classroom, and forgot to keep myself hydrated.  Lucky for me, I didn't have to go into work too long so it worked out, but what would have happened if I had to stay all day?  I think I would have had to run to the store to buy some water... and that's wasted time out of your day.  Save time!  Pack water!!!


BJ made me so proud yesterday... he enjoyed meeting all of his aunties and uncles (i.e., my co-workers) and he was such a good boy!  He always puts on a show for strangers and acts like such a sweetheart, when in reality, mommy and daddy know how cranky he can be. :-)   

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Deep Discussions - Travel

*Sigh* HJ and I are in deep discussions about possibly going on a trip this summer.  It's not like I want to go... it's more like I have to go.  Before I knew I was pregnant, I committed to doing a presentation at a national conference in Philadelphia for my club at school.  It's all expenses paid, so I thought it would be a great chance for HJ and I to celebrate our two year anniversary... little did we know that we would have a 4 month old infant to travel with.

HJ doesn't want to go... but I kind of have to go. I don't want to back out of a commitment and ruin my good name (or what little of a "good name" I have).  haha.  HJ suggested that I consider going by myself... but really? Leaving baby home scares me, even though I know that HJ is a better parent than I am.

We decided that we're going... but we're both nervous.  I never wanted to be that parent that gets stared at on the airplane with the baby crying in her arms.  You all know what I'm talking about. That parent.  You've given them a glare or two before, haven't you?


If there are any baby readers out there that could give me some advice on travelling with an infant, I would be so grateful.  It's a about a 13 hour plane ride total from here to Philly.  Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2 Month Shots

BJ had to go to the doctor yesterday for his 2 month checkup.  Doctor H. seemed extremely happy about BJ's growth. He's 12 lbs 2.5 oz. (big guy) and 22.5 inches long (shorty).

This is the most recent picture I have uploaded on to my computer.  Big Baby! hehe.

A funny thing happened to us when the nurse was taking his measurements... HJ was taking off BJ's onesie and diaper to get his weight, and all of a sudden, I hear "AH!"  I look up to find HJ covering BJ's peepee (lol) with a cloth diaper.  BJ peed all over the scale!  The nurse was nice enough to shrug it off, which I was extremely thankful for.  If she got angry, I don't know what I would've done.  They must see this often with baby boys. hehe.

Okay, so besides his measurements, BJ had to get three shots and drink one vaccine.  If any of you have witnessed a baby getting shots before, you will know this, but HJ was surprised when the nurse jabbed the needle into BJ's thighs.  What I was most shocked about was how much of a trooper BJ was!  Right after the nurse jabbed him with the needles, his face turned red for 2 seconds.  Then, he cried for 10 seconds, stopped crying, and that was it!  I think I would've had a longer cry than him, haha.  He's a brave boy. :-)

Dr. H said that his shots may affect him in different ways, such as diarrhea, fever, and drowsiness.  BJ got super sleepy and warm, so after HJ came home, he gave him some infant tylenol. After his slight fever went away, that was it.  BJ's back to normal today.

I am a proud mommy of how brave BJ was yesterday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Car Rides

Soooo I haven't been on here in awhile. I think BJ was going through another one of his growth spurts or something because he was eating like, every hour! Sheesh.

Today's topic:  Car Rides. So BJ and I have been going on (almost) daily car rides; just the two of us!  I forget if I mentioned that HJ went back to work a couple of weeks ago, so I've been trying to find ways to keep BJ occupied until HJ comes home at around 4:35. (He's a county worker and ends work right at 4:30. Lucky!) So anyway, I was a little nervous to be going out by myself.  What if he cries in the back seat while I'm driving?  Well... I was told by my co-worker to "Let him cry", but gosh I just about die every time I hear him start to sniffle back there.  Lucky for me, BJ rarely cries because he loves his daily drives!  One time, we even drove to visit Obaachan (grandma) in Lahaina; for those of you not from Maui, that's 45 minutes away from where I live!

The hardest part for me is that because it's mandatory for infants to ride in a rear-facing car seat, I can't see him from where I sit.  This is my view:

Sometimes, if I turn my head the right way, I can see his right foot, but that's about it. I think I would feel better if BJ were turned towards me and I could actually see him.  Once, no twice, I got out of the car and looked in, just to make sure he was okay.  Haha, how overprotective.

I'm very lucky, though, that BJ usually likes his car rides so much that he will fall asleep.  In fact, sometimes we'll come home from driving and he'll sleep a good 30 to 60 minutes strapped in his car seat.  I think I could get used to that. hahaha.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day... and I'm a first time mommy on Mother's Day.  Wow.  It certainly feels awkward for someone to be celebrating me on a holiday (besides my birthday, of course.)  I don't think Girl's Day really counts.  We didn't do much today... spent time with family, then came home and took a nap. I suppose my Mother's Day present was a nap; I like to think it was a well-deserved nap.  hehe.

Today makes me appreciate my mother even more.  I'm lucky enough to have her close by whenever I need advise or help.  My mom, however, raised me an ocean away from her own mother, and back then, international phone calls were a rarity.  I call my mom almost every day and ask her what she thinks, even if I know the answer.  The feeling I get when I call my mom is like the feeling you get when you are eating a warm cup of chowder on a cold day:  Comfortable.  Being a mom on Mother's Day makes me realize how much more appreciation I should show my mom because of what she did for me.  I LOVE YOU MOM! You're the best! :-)  ありがとう.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Labor Post

Okay, baby readers. You may not want to read this blog, depending on your tolerance for grossness and quite possibly, your gender.  However, I really need to write this post for me to remember what it was like to give birth to Jacob.  I've been meaning to write on this subject for a long time, but I have been putting it off because I was afraid I would scare away readers. (haha)  I realize, now, that I probably shouldn't have put it off for so long because I want to write down as many details as I can remember... and the longer I put it off, the more I forget. Plus, I was inspired to write this by a friend who recently gave birth to a baby girl.  So here I go...

I've come a long way from this moment:

It has been a whirlwind of a ride from when we first found out I was pregnant in July 2009.  I took lots and lots of belly pictures (HJ made me take one each week) but I'll spare myself the embarrassment of putting those pictures on here. Just know that my tummy got very big!  As you may know from a previous post, I had preeclampsia and the doctor prescribed me to bedrest.  I had to go for a check up every week to make sure my blood pressure and protein levels weren't too high... and at Week 37, they were!  I still remember the moment Dr. L walked into the room and said I needed to go to the hospital to have the baby.  HJ and I just looked at each other in shock.  So we went to the hospital, where Dr. K was waiting for us to come in.  He gave me pitocin through an IV to induce me at around 10:30 am, and kept cranking up the levels of pitocin because I wasn't having strong contractions.  HJ and I kept waiting and waiting, and our family kept waiting for the phone call to come see us at the hospital... but that phone call never happened.  BJ was stubborn and didn't want to come out on that day. (March 1)  At around 11:00 p.m., Dr. K gave us three options:
  1. Continue on with the highest level of pitocin throughout the night (ugh, no thanks)
  2. Stop the pitocin for the night and continue in the morning (eeeek again?)
  3. Wait a week and see if baby will come naturally (natural? sounds like a plan)
So we chose option 3... HJ and I were on high alert the entire week but BJ didn't want to come out. So Dr. K said to go back to the hospital on March 9 for another induction.

HJ and I nervously excitedly arrived at the hospital around  8am on March 9, but we weren't sure if the inducing was going to work, so we told our family members to be on standby.  When we first got there, there weren't many patients; as the day went on, however, the hospital rooms were filled with women in labor.  As soon as I heard that the rooms were full, I asked Nurse M to reserve a single room for me.  It cost extra but was so worth it!  

Okay, so it's 8:30 am and they hook me up to the IV and start dripping in the pitocin.  At first, it wasn't kicking in again.  I was having contractions but they weren't strong and they weren't consistent.  As mentioned earlier, there were many women in labor, so Nurse M and Dr. K came in every once in a while but not every hour like they were supposed to.  (They were busy helping other moms give birth, which I don't blame them.) So anyway, they weren't coming in to check my dilation, which was fine because the pain wasn't that bad and when they did check, I was always stuck at 3 centimeters.  

However, at around maybe 3 o'clock, my contractions started getting worse, painful, and closer together...  I kept telling HJ to tell the nurse to come and check, but whenever he would go outside to find Nurse M, she was in another room helping another patient.  You often hear stories of women going crazy during labor and telling their partner all sorts of mean things... well, I admit I threatened my hubby.  I was getting angry at him for not finding Nurse M, and I remember looking in his eyes and saying, "If I'm more than 7 centimeters, I'm going to kill you!"  (Oops!)  So at around 4:30pm, Nurse M finally came in to check me after helping Dr. K. with a c-section... she checks me, looks up in shock, and says, "You know... I think you're at 9 centimeters!" If looks could have killed... I think HJ would've been a gonner.

At that time, I asked Nurse M if I could have the intrathecal (which is similar to an epidural) and she said she would have to ask Dr. K because I was so far along.  THANK GOODNESS Dr. K said yes.  I had to have two shots of the intrathecal in my spine because the first one didn't work so well, and after that, I couldn't feel much pain.  The contractions kept coming and Nurse M asked me if I felt like pushing.  My reply: "I think so?" haha, I wasn't sure.... but I pushed.  Nurse M said I was a good pusher, and that she didn't think I would have to push for long... and I didn't!  I think only pushed for 10 minutes before Dr. K came in and said he could see hair a full head of hair!  I felt so overwhelmed... thoughts that were going through my head included: "What? Baby's coming now?"  "His hair? Why? Is he right there??"  So after a bit more pushing, Dr. K looked up and said, "Well, it must be a good sign! He's winking at me."  HJ said his head was out.  One more push and he was out at 6:02 p.m.  

It's such a surreal moment when the doctor plops YOUR  baby onto your tummy.  "What? He came out of me???"  The picture above is of BJ, of course, when he was all cleaned up.  When he came out, he was all covered in white sticky stuff.  And (sorry if it's gross, but...) I tore.  Apparently, there are 4 degrees of tearing, 4 being the worst, and I was at 3.  FUN. Dr. K said it was lucky he let me have the intrathecal because otherwise, the tearing would have been extremely painful.  Since I was numb 'down there', I was smiling and didn't feel a thing. Dr. K, Nurse M, and I were joking around... while Daddy HJ got to hold baby.  It took about an hour or so for Dr. K to sew me up, and our families were anxiously waiting outside.  They were finally let in around 7pm.  *Happy Family*... The end :-P

You know what I think is funny?  No one really talks about what happens to a woman's body after they give birth.  Before I got pregnant, I thought that your belly shrinks back as soon as baby comes out... boy was I wrong! 3 weeks after I gave birth, an acquaintance asked me when baby was due... I wanted to hurt her but I just smiled and said baby's already here.  Ugh.  And... I have never seen so much blood in my life!   It's like having your period but 10x worse.  And I won't even begin to talk about the first poop after giving birth.  I'll just say, it SUCKS.... but I would do it all over again if this wonderful baby boy is the outcome: (hahaha to the picture)