6 Comments

one month

By one month, your baby…

…should be able to:

-lift head briefly when on stomach on a flat surface CHECK

-focus on a face CHECK

…will probably be able to:

-respond to a bell in some way, such as startling, crying, quieting DIDN’T CHECK

2009-02-08-1-month-3a

…may possibly be able to:

lift head 45 degrees when on stomach CHECK

-vocalize in ways other than crying (e.g. cooing) CHECK- he often sounds like he’s trying to talk!

-smile in response to your smile NOT SURE- we couldn’t be sure if it was a true smile, but he did copy us sticking our tongues out (one of the exercises post-frenectomy)

…may even be able to:

lift head 90 degrees when on stomach NOT THAT HIGH

-hold head steady when upright TEMPORARILY

-bring both hands together CHECK

-smile spontaneously NOT SURE

2009-02-08-1-month-6a

Henri’s first month was, as you can guess, trying and stressful.  But it was also a month of great joy, as we welcomed our second son into the family, and got to know his unique personality, and got to kiss his little face.  We were able to watch as his “normal” ear pointed itself to match his brother’s “Vulcan” ear.  We witnessed how Jakob always wants to kiss Henri, and how his little brother tends to stop crying when he’s around.  It was a hell of a month- and I would do it again in a minute.


4 Comments

week 4

Week 4 is a bit of a blur.  All I really remember is a lot more struggling with the shield, trying to get sleep where I could (ha!) and trying to be patient and remind myself that everything gets better with time.  I still had weekly visits with the doctor/lactation consultant, and she’d check his latch and tell me to keep working on it.  I was also in phone contact with the private lactation consultant I’d met with, and everyone kept assuring me that Henri’s wanting to feed every 2 hours (and that would be after major stalling him) was normal, and would change as he grew older.  We were also struggling with putting Henri down after feeds- much like Jakob, he would bring up his legs and squirm and appear to be in so much pain.  We ended up bringing him to the doctor to see if he had acid reflux (like Jakob did) and started him on a small dose of Zantac.

2009-02-05-01-4wksa

Mommy with Henri at 4 weeks old.

I still couldn’t lift Jakob (or drive, etc…) but I made sure to spend a lot of time with him in my lap or next to me on the couch.  It was important for me to give Henri to Yannick or my mom or sister, and spend some 1-on-1 time with Jakob too, so he wouldn’t be used to always seeing Henri in my arms.  I’m still HIS mommy too!

Although Henri and I usually hibernate in the den, surrounded by magazines, the TV and VCR remotes, the phone and the bfeeding pillow (knitting?  what’s THAT?), occassionally we did surface to hang out in other areas of the house.

2009-02-05-02a

If I wasn’t feeding during Jakob’s own dinner time, I brought Henri upstairs and we’d hang out with Jakob and Yannick.  You can see how taken Jakob is with having us there!  🙂 

Oh- you can’t really tell (or can you?) but back in January we finally did something people had been bugging us to do for a long time and took Jakob for his first-ever haircut!  He was an angel and didn’t cry or fuss.  He even picked up the brush once the lady was done “styling” his hair, and brushed it out then took his hand and re-mussed it himself!

2009-02-05-03a

My boys.


6 Comments

first week

Ack…I don’t know what it is…I’m sucked in!  I think I’ve watched another 3 more episodes.  I can’t turn it off!  It’s like an addiction…I can’t wait to see what challenge Paris will put her faux-friends through next, what humiliation they will endure (seriously- being called her “pet” is a priviledge?  WTF?) all for the publicity stunt of being called her BFF (best friend forever).  Forever, in celebrity land?  That’s what, like a week and a half?  Guaranteed the winning chick (I’m rooting for Brittany or Vanessa) will be dumped long before casting begins for the next season.  Anyhoo…

~~~

Anyone want to hear more baby stuff?  Our first week home from the hospital was stressful.  In addition to the usual stress of bringing home a newborn, not sleeping, barely eating and also having a toddler to care for and a house to run, we had feeding issues.  I’d never entertained the idea of NOT breastfeeding Henri and when it didn’t work well in the hospital I figured it was just because I’d spent so long in recovery.  I’d had similar problems with Jakob, but once he regained his birth weight he bfed successfully until I weaned him at 7.5 months (due to a family trip, otherwise I’d have continued until at least I returned to work).

In Henri’s case, he never lost weight outside of the normal realms, but his latched just sucked.  (Or didn’t- pardon the pun!)  By the time we’d left the hospital the few times I’d managed to get him to feed were behind us, and he didn’t latch again.  I had to pump and feed him with bottles, and supplement with formula when I didn’t have enough pumped milk.  It was rough!  Let me tell you- any woman who pumps exclusively to feed has my utmost respect, because it is tiring!  The animosity I feel towards my pump right now…

The CLSC nurse came to the house 2 days after we got home to take out my staples.  My surgical site wasn’t healed as well as she would have liked, so she only took out every 2nd staple, and said she’d come back 2 more days later to remove the rest.  After the feeding issues I wasn’t thrilled to have something else become an issue, but I didn’t have a choice.  The nurse tried to help us with the bfeeding, but it didn’t work.  The best she was able to do for us was to give me some feeding tubes so I could finger-feed him to avoid some bottles.  The hectic around-the-clock struggles of feeding and caring for the cut area were added to that evening.  My mom and I were home alone with the kids while Yannick was at bowling and I’d left her with a sleeping Henri (Jakob was already in bed) while I went to lie down for a little bit. 

Next thing you know she hears Jakob through the baby monitors coughing and then he threw up.  She put Henri in his crib and went to care for Jakob, when Henri started screaming.  That’s what woke me up.  What a rough night- I was caring for Henri while my mom was cleaning up Jakob and his crib, and he was crying and then started retching again and she was holding him over the toilet while I was pacing the hallway, bawling my eyes out because I couldn’t take care of my first baby.  It’s a really hard thing to be there but not be able to help because that’s MY child and I wanted to take care of him.  At that point Yannick got home and helped us with the linens and stuff, and soon enough Jakob was back into his crib and fell asleep instantly. 

The next day (Wed) Yannick checked out the cut area and said it was still bleeding and some spots were oozing.  Great!  My mom brought me to the CLSC and they took out the remaining staples and cleaned everything up.  They didn’t seem alarmed, and said to have the nurse take a look at it the next day when she came over.  Jakob had been fine the rest of the previous night and was perfect this morning, so we’d sent him to school.  He’d had a great day and had a good evening, although we were careful with what we gave him to eat because we didn’t want to irritate his stomach.  All seemed well until about 11:00pm when we started hearing Jakob through the monitor again.  It was like a repeat of the night before- a few coughs and then he threw up.  Yannick ran upstairs and I followed with Henri.  This time the cleanup wasn’t as bad- Jakob had the foresight to stand up and throw up over the edge of his crib, so it was only the floor and opposite wall to clean up.  But he started retching again and Yannick brought him to the bathroom, and again I couldn’t help.  I felt horrible, but I knew that I’d at least be able to be with him the next day as he was going to be staying home from school since Thursday was a special day.  I didn’t know what I’d do if he was sick, but once he was back in bed he was asleep instantly, just like the previous night.

The next day (Thurs) was not only 1 week after Henri’s birth- it was also the day of his bris!  In addition to taking care of both boys and me struggling with feeding Henri and making sure we had the clothes and ourselves dressed and everything ready to leave for the synagogue by 11, at 8:30 am the CLSC nurse rang the doorbell.  She couldn’t have picked a worse moment- Jakob, who had been fine and sitting happily in his high chair eating breakfast and babbling away, had just leaned slightly to his left and thrown up over the side of his high chair…directly onto our cat Sam.

*sigh*

What a fun day.  This recap is getting a little long, but suffice it to say that poor Yannick was caring for Jakob and cleaning up his 3rd (and later 4th and 5th) round of vomit, after chasing down the cat and scrubbing him down.  He got Jakob dressed all nicely for the bris and then we covered him with one of those long-sleeved, smock-like bibs to protect his clothes just in case he threw up again.  While Yannick was doing that, I was with the nurse showing her my c-section site, strugging again (unsuccessfully) to get Henri to bfeed, then trying to get both of us dressed for the party and making sure the diaper bag was packed, then packing a bag for Jakob with toys and Pedialyte… and the whole time I’m keeping an eye on Jakob and thinking what kind of mother am I for bringing him out when something’s clearly wrong. 

Luckily Jakob didn’t throw up again, and his mood, while a little cranky, was great.  He was a perfect angel the whole time (we joked with the Moyel that it was a good thing he didn’t remember him from HIS bris!) and hasn’t thrown up again since…so it must have just been something in his system.  Henri was also a real trouper.  He cried a little more than Jakob had, but only briefly, and then slept through the rest of the ceremony and the party.  As soon as it would be polite we got both boys back home, we all changed into pjs and spent the rest of the day just hanging out at home and taking care of our kids.

And THAT was the end of the first week of Henri’s life. 

2009-01-15-01

Mommy with Henri at 1 week old.

~~~

Coming soon…weeks 2 through 6, some knitting, and a finished item!


5 Comments

henri’s birth story

Whoo boy…trying to remember almost 5 weeks ago with New-Baby Brain.  I don’t promise to remember everything, but I’ll try!

We went to the hospital on the Thursday morning for a scheduled repeat c-section.  Just like Jakob’s birth day, it was on the Thursday exactly a week before the baby’s due date.  I believe that, just like Jakob’s, it was raining or at least crappy weather (but my favorite).  Unlike Jakob’s, we were the second of the day, not the first.  So they put me into a bed, gown and IV and we waited.  And waited.  I knit a little while waiting and Yannick slept in the chair at my side.  Finally they were ready for us, and at 11:29 am Henri was born!

2009-01-10-15a

I’ll never forget hearing the doctor say “it’s a boy”.  After going through it, I’m so glad we waited to find out the baby’s sex, especially since the anticipation gave me something to focus on other than my nerves.

~~~

As a side note- I now FULLY believe that everything happens for a reason.  I know I had been very upset when I first thought I’d have a c-section when Henri was temporarily breech.  When he’d turned I was so focused on getting a chance to do a VBAC that I didn’t fully consider the risks involved.  Well, while they were performing the c-section I asked the doctor how my uterus looked, and told her I had been planning a VBAC until they estimated the baby as being too large (don’t forget, it wasn’t my doctor doing the operation, she’d had a family emergency come up).  Her answer was that the uterine wall was so thin that she’d already had to repair it. 

Had I gone through with a VBAC I would most probably have ruptured, and who knows if either Henri or I would be here right now, or in what condition.  AND, after all the hype, Henri was born at only 8 lbs 11 oz- NOT the estimated 9 lbs 8 oz – to – 10 lbs 3 oz that they’d estimated, which was the reason for the surgery after all.  Had they done an accurate ultrasound I would have done a VBAC and who knows what could have happened.  I couldn’t believe that news, and that information will now always be like a touchstone for me- no matter the circumstance, no matter how upsetting an outcome might be…there is ALWAYS a reason and just go with it.  I’ll never forget that.

~~~

Unlike last time, they didn’t weigh the baby in the operating room.  They did give him to Yannick to hold and I got to give him a few kisses, but then they took him away to the nursery to clean, weigh and measure and such.  Yannick stayed with me for a little bit and then went to follow Henri and find my family. 

2009-01-08-04a

Once I was all stitched up they sent me off to recovery.  I thought I was smart and had remembered how last time I had a strong allergic reaction to the morphine they’d given me, so this time there were allergy warnings all over my file.  Unfortunately whatever they were able to give me wasn’t strong enough and every 20 minutes or so the pain killers would wear off and I was in agony!  Instead of a quick 2 hour stay in recovery I was there until just after 6pm!!  It wasn’t until they found a pain killer that worked that they would let me leave, even though I’d been able to move my legs for hours.  By the time I made it to my room my parents had left because they’d had to go pick Jakob up from daycare but I was able to see Yannick’s parents for a few minutes, and one of my brothers.  And finally able to properly see and hold Henri.

I was in the hospital until Sunday afternoon.  Yannick came every day and went home each night to be there for Jakob and bring him to school in the mornings.  A bunch of family and friends came by to visit, and the best part was when Jakob came by to meet his brother.

2009-01-10-09a

My mom brought him by Saturday morning and then again that afternoon after his nap, and he stayed through until his bedtime.  He was so incredible with Henri- on his own he’d just walk up and kiss him, then go off and play with a toy, seemingly uncaring that his Mommy was holding another baby or couldn’t pick him up.  That attitude hasn’t changed since we’ve been home, and if anything he is even more loving with his brother.  When Henri cries in the play pen Jakob runs over, tries to rock the play pen and calls out “shhh shhh”, and when he’s in my lap Jakob pulls on Henri’s clothes trying to get him into HIS lap so he can hold him.  He is insanely good with his brother, and we are extremely relieved and thrilled.

2009-01-10-12a

After we left the hospital we came home and tried to get back into a routine here, hard as it is when one of us is mostly incapacitated.  We’ve had to rely on family and friends to help us out on a daily basis, because I can’t drive or lift Jakob (or Henri in his bucket, or even my too-heavy diaper bag) until 6 weeks after the surgery.  I know sometimes if you feel up to it people only wait 4 weeks or so, but because of the uterine repair I am going to wait until I’ve seen my doctor to make sure the lifting, etc is ok.

2009-01-09-24a

What this means is that every day my mom or sister or my friend Debbie (hi Debbie!) has to go pick up Jakob from daycare since they close at 6pm and Yannick has been replacing me at work and the store only closes at 6pm (and 8pm on Thursdays).  Each night someone has to stay here with me until Yannick gets home from work (or bowling) because I can’t take care of Jakob on my own.  It’s been tough, and we’ve been very lucky for all the help we’ve recieved because we wouldn’t have been able to do this on our own.  For Jakob’s sake I’m just glad to get a few minutes each evening to play with him one-on-one, or color, or whatever, and have him see that I’m not ALWAYS with Henri, so having other family around to hold Henri during that time helps out as well.

It’s been tough (especially for my poor family who has been stuck here every night!) but it’s temporary as I see my doctor next week for the postpartum checkup.  Assuming everything looks good then I will be able to take care of the nights on my own.  Hmm…shlepping Henri to the daycare to pick Jakob up, getting both kids home, fed, into bed by the time Yannick gets back…do I really want my family to leave?  🙂

In any case, there’s more coming, we had Henri’s bris and other experiences over the last 5 weeks.  But this is his birth story, and I’ll get to the rest soon enough.  And of course, one more photo…

2009-01-09-21a

Until next time…


7 Comments

baby v.2

Hey look- a few minutes where there’s nobody in my arms!  I’ll get to Henri’s birth story soon, but let’s face it- most of you are here for photos, right? 

Around here we’ve been joking that my body is a photocopier and when I got pregnant a second time something internal just hit “repeat” and sent out a Jakob clone.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re not identical, but they look more alike than just brothers.  It’s hard for people to believe that my pale, blond little Jakob was born so dark, but he really was!  Check these out:

proof1

proof2

proof3

proof4


14 Comments

introducing…

Mommy, Daddy and Jakob are thrilled to present…

2009-01-08-02a

Henri Mikail

Born Thursday, January 8 2009, 11:29 am

8 lbs, 11 oz        21.25″

—–

Baby Henri (pronounced “Henry” but we liked the French spelling) was born last Thursday via repeat, planned c-section.  We’re all doing well, and Jakob is wonderful with his little brother and insists on kissing him every time they are within a foot of each other. 

The bris was today and it’s been a long week, so I’m off to try and sleep.  Birth story and more photos to come soon.

 

 


5 Comments

huh.

Divine intervention?  The good thoughts of family and friends?  A well-timed sneeze?  The sloshing about in my last prenatal aquafitness class?  Boredom?

Whatever you want to claim as the cause, something caused my little kiddo to be on the move, because when I went to my latest OBGYN check-up on Tuesday, I found out (and had it confirmed via ultrasound) that the baby had turned!  It is, or at least on Tuesday it was, head down.  Yay!

So what does this mean?  Well, I didn’t automatically cancel my c-section date.  I’ll be seeing my doctor again first, and then I will be having a 38 week ultrasound to try and get a final estimation of the baby’s size.  The ultrasound date is shortly before the c-section date, so if the baby is predicted to be too large to pass safely, then I will have the c-section.  Should the baby NOT be deemed excessively large, and should no other factors come up that would pose a threat, then I will cancel the c-section and wait to go into labor, and will be attempting a VBAC.

Seems kinda scary to think about, now that I had adjusted to the idea of another cesarean.  I added a few items to my hospital bag to help during labor, and will now also need to add some clothes and snacks for Yannick, because the last thing I’d want is for him to have to leave before the baby is born!

In honor of the baby turning (and because I just realized I never made this baby a toy yet!) I’m knitting another Sheldon.  The first one I made (Rav, non-Rav) has been in Jakob’s crib since he left our bed, and I still catch him sleeping with his fingers around its neck.

shel2wip1

 p.s. I think it’s because of all the gut-busting coughing I’ve been doing for the last 3 weeks…but who knows?


5 Comments

back with a finished object and an 18 month old!

See, even when away, I still get knitting done!  Of course…in keeping with the way things have been lately, especially with my “why bother?” post…the first of 3 neckwarmers for Jakob’s daycare teachers that I complete is pink.  The pink one is for a specific teacher (we’d found out their favorite colors).  I got a call on Monday that she would be leaving his class for another class, and a replacement teacher would be starting this week.  I sure hope this new girl likes pink!

cffsfo8

Pattern:  Flower Scarf by Robyn Diliberto (Ravelry link and direct link)

Size:  one size. 

cffsfo1

Yarn:  Dream in Color Smooshy, in the colorway Cool Fire.  Exactly 150 yards.

Needles: 3.75mm needle and crochet hook

cffsfo4

Dates:  November 20 – 23 2008

Modifications:  None!  I used the garter variation from the pattern itself, and did everything else as written.

cffsfo6

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here

I wanted to thank everyone for the comments over the weekend, and to explain a few reasons behind what I’d said.  When we had found out that Jakob was breech (I think it was early, like 28 weeks) we were repeatedly told that there was plenty of time for him to turn. 

I had been really hearbroken back then about getting “cheated” (my opinion only) out of a natural birth, and looked up all the different ways to turn a breech baby around.  We found many websites, including the Spinning Babies one.  With Yannick’s help I tried most of the non-invasive ones, including, but not limited to: ice packs, music, standing on my head, lying on a board at a 45 degree angle head-down, visualization, talking to the baby, lights and a few more.  We didn’t try acupuncture or moxibustion (is that what it’s called?) and after consulting with my OB-GYN we decided against attempting the version technique.  I know it can be successful but it can also lead to an emergency c-section, and because I had a number of extra pounds on my belly to begin with and was hard to “feel” the baby, my doctor was really doubtful it would be successful with me.  Plus the baby could still reverse afterwards, making it have been for nothing.

Despite our efforts, nothing worked.  They kept doing ultrasounds, right up until 5 minutes before the c-section, just to make sure.   Obviously, he never turned.  When my doctor was doing the surgery she told me that while his body was small (he weighed 8lbs 0 oz) his head was large, and was wedged into my ribs.  She actually had a slightly hard time getting him out because he’d made himself such a home in there.  Also, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.  It was loose and not life-threatening, but I still wonder if he HAD turned, would the cord’s placement have resulted in a possible tragedy?

My c-section went very well, I was awake the whole time and saw Jakob the moment he came out.  Once he was cleaned up and weighed he was given to Yannick who held him at my face and let me kiss him and nuzzle him until they left for our room and I went to recovery.  My actual recovery was relatively painless for my first-ever surgery, and my scar is small, neat and tidy.

So what does this mean for this child?  I won’t be trying any turning techniques.  My desire to have a “natural” delivery (as opposed to surgery) is a desire, but not an all-consuming one that would trump a baby’s safety.  I know there are many mostly risk-free ways to attempt a turn, but after the experience with Jakob, Yannick and I both agreed it wasn’t worth the possible risk to the baby.  I know many babies have the cords wrapped around them and it doesn’t always pose a danger, but I don’t want to know that any risk was caused by my intervention.  As well, I know for a fact that a version won’t work on me.  I have only gained 8 lbs with this pregnancy (so far) and there simply isn’t room for the baby to be turned manually without force, which I am not willing to subject myself or the baby to. 

I know the options are there and I really appreciate that some of you would write to me with suggestions, but I have come to a sort of peace with the fact that I will most likely end up having a second c-section.  My doctor is going to keep checking, though, just in case.

Oh, and about future VBACs…I don’t know if it is an official practice here, but after 2 c-sections, my hospital won’t allow a VBAC attempt.  Could I switch hospitals, find a midwife or other practitioner who would allow it (or who would even allow a breech delivery)?  Possibly.  But my doctor is a high-risk specialist who I trust with mine and my babies’ lives.  If I didn’t trust her opinion I would have switched a long time ago, and I’m not going to run to someone else because she gave me information I don’t like.

That being said…I still have 7 weeks for this baby to possibly turn.  Either way, I’ll still end up starting the new year with a new, wonderful addition to our family, the support of my friends and loved ones, and a year to stay home and get to know the new person in the world.  Things really aren’t as bad as they had seemed last week.

I’ll end this post with one of the shots we took during Jakob’s 18 month chair photo (forgotten about those?) last weekend.  He was getting over the residual fever and had broken out in roseola from it, was tired and a little cranky, but is still as cute as ever!  Enjoy!

2008-11-17-18mo-1


6 Comments

good news

I just got some great news!

Long-time readers will remember that I had to be followed for my sugars when pregnant with Jakob.  I had Impaired Glucose Tolerance, which is treated the same way as Gestational Diabetes- many, many visits to the perinatal center at the hospital (paying for parking each time!), monitoring my sugars daily with a finger-prick kit, and, in the case of my pregnancy with Jakob – taking nightly insulin to control the first-thing-in-the-morning sugar level- the one I couldn’t control with diet.

When you have sugar issues in one pregnancy, my hospital’s policy is to start monitoring you almost as soon as you hit the second trimester in your subsequent pregnancies.  (This is starting to sound familiar…have I typed this up before?)  In any case, they’ve been keeping an eye on me since my 14th week.  My sugars have been so perfect, that instead of pricking 4 times/day as usual (first thing in the am, then 1 hour after each meal), they said I could simply do a morning test since it was the morning I had problems with last time, and only test the rest of the day every 2-3 days.  Also, instead of going in for weekly visits with the perinatal center nurses, doctor and dietician, I was able to go every 3-4 weeks since they trusted me to call if the numbers ever started to look funny.

The biggest issue to me right now, in terms of the sugars, has to do with the baby’s size.  I had a c-section with Jakob, and would like to not have another one, and if the new baby is too big, a VBAC* wouldn’t be recommended, and with IGT or GD, it is very likely that one would have a large(r) baby.

Last week I saw my ob-gyn for my regular monthly pregnancy checkup, and she said that since my sugars have been normal to date, that she might as well send me for a glucose test to see if I was testing for nothing.

I got my results today- my sugars are normal!  Absolutely perfect!  She told me to go ahead and cancel my next appointment with the perinatal center, because I won’t need to check any more!

I’m so thrilled, you have no idea.  I will still probably check the morning sugars once a week or so, just to make sure nothing pops up.  (As the pregnancy progresses and the placenta gets stronger, it isn’t uncommon for the sugar issues to commence).  But barring anything suprising, my doctor says checking any more than that is overkill, since I’m fine!

This is such good news for me, since no sugar issues=smaller odds of having a large(r) baby=better odds of having a successful VBAC, should the rest of the pregnancy go ok and dictate that a VBAC will be safe to attempt.

Whew!

Tonight I’ve got the October Montreal Knitting Guild meeting, so I’m looking forwards to a nice night of relaxing with some knitting…Hallowe’en is creeping up fast!

 

*Vaginal Birth After Cesarean


5 Comments

19 week ultrasound

As the title so aptly states, I had my 19 week ultrasound today. Everything looks good, and we were able to resist finding out the sex of our new little one. Unfortunately, the baby was being quite unphotogenic (not sonogeic, as the technician put it), and the technician wasn’t able to get all the measurements she needed. Fortunately, that means I get to go back in another 4 weeks and have another little peek at the baby!
You can tell the photos came out quite crappy. The green writing you can’t read says that you are looking at the baby’s profile (head on the left, facing to the right) with the body down below and an arm raised with the hand resting between the nose and eyes.
This is the same angle, but a closer shot at the baby’s profile.

And it just wouldn’t be fair to give you 2(!) new-to-be baby photos, and not put at least 1 of Jakob, so here is a photo my mom took the same day as the popsicle photos.
It’s a little over-exposed, but he’s still a cutie to me!