Monday, March 23, 2015

A Word From Gus: Well This Sucks [Thoughts on the New Addition]

Gustifson Garfield here. You can call me Gus.

Sometime around the middle of January I sensed a disturbance in the force. The humans left home one night…and didn’t return. Didn’t return that night anyway. Then they didn’t come home the next day either. Or the next. Three days later they finally returned…
…and I kind of wish they hadn’t.

They came home toting a tiny screaming machine that they like to call Cooper. I call it a nuisance. After a couple of weeks I realized that “Cooper” was actually going to keep living with us. I also realized that Dixie and I have been thoroughly knocked down the attention totem pole. Gone are the evenings of lounging on the couch between the parentals being worshipped and adored. Now nights are spent watching them hold the little monster while he sleeps, makes noise, and eats. Yes. They feed him in their arms. Mother never fed ME in her arms… Also gone are nights spent sleeping on the bed. We’ve been banned from the bedroom and heaven help if we set foot in “Cooper’s” room. Once Mom caught Dixie sitting in the gliding chair in this room. As cats we’re not really afraid of death. We have nine lives after all. But at that moment I’m fairly positive Mother was ready to relinquish Dixie of one of hers.

Seriously. Almost all of their time is taken up with It. If they’re not feeding him, they’re playing with him. If they’re not playing with him, they’re washing his bottles. If they’re not washing his bottles, they’re wiping his butt. They wipe his butt for pity’s sake!

Oh! And if ALL of that wasn’t enough. The icing on the top of this miserable cake? A few days after the new addition came home, they TOOK THE BED OFF THE FRAME. One of our favorite hiding spots was under this bed. No more. No more hiding under the bed. No more clawing the bed frame. Not that it matters since we’re no longer allowed in the room with the bed anyway! GAH!!

This whole thing just sucks.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Return to Normalcy?

Hello, all.
This blog sure has taken a back seat to something. What was it again?  Oh yeah. The little human I made that is completely dependent on me.

That little human will be eight weeks old Thursday. Unbelievable.  He loves to be talked to and one of my favorite things in the world is when he smiles at me.  I dropped him off today for his second half day of daycare.  More for my benefit than his.  This way I'll get sort of used to it and maybe I won't be a wreck when I go back to work next week.  The house seems oddly quiet sitting here by myself with the cats.  (They are LOVING this temporary quiet by the way and they are still quite perturbed about having their lives turned upside down.)

Like I said, I go back to work full-time next week.  Part of me is anxious to get back into a routine and resume some sense of normalcy (and wear makeup and real clothes).  Then part of me just wishes I could stay home with him and not let someone else feed him, change him, soothe him and see those smiles.  The sweet ladies in the nursery gave me a tissue and a "bless your heart" yesterday when I cried dropping him off.  Being a mom is hard.  You know it's going to be hard.  You just don't know it's going to be hard.
Maybe more on that later.

For now I'm going to do some laundry, clean, (it's amazing how little you get done with an infant in the house), and maybe work a jigsaw puzzle of two.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cooper's Birth Story

Cooper's estimated due date was January 9th.  That day came and went with no sign of baby.  Then the next day came and went.  ...And then the next day.  ...And then a couple more days after that.  If he chose to stay put, which he clearly was, we were scheduled to be induced on the night of Wednesday the 14th.  I had really been hoping that he would make his appearance on his own terms but since that wasn't going to happen, Chris and I packed the car, had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, then headed for the hospital.  I was scared out of my mind even though I knew I'd be well taken care of.

We were showed into our room at 8 and got right to it.  They gave me an IV and a gown and strapped a fetal heart monitor to my belly and I tried my best to relax and enjoy an episode of The Big Bang Theory.  Relax I did not.  I was too scared and uncomfortable with the heart monitor strapped to me.  Then in the middle of the night, with the help of whatever medicine was being pumped through the IV, I started having mild contractions.

The next part is a little blurry.  I can't remember the exact sequence of events because it seemed like everything went into high gear and started happening really fast.  At 6 am they got the ball rolling.  In what seemed like a very short amount of time they started pitocin, broke my water, and shoved another heart monitor and some other tube up there.  This is where I'd like to point out that after they shoved the tubes up my lady parts my doctor said something to me that no one has ever said to me in my 27 years: "Wow.  You must have a great pain tolerance.  Most women scream when we do that."  ...Come again?

The pitocin kicked in almost instantly.  Holy mother of pearl.  Worst pain I've ever felt in my life.  I don't have words to describe it and nothing even remotely close to compare it to.  I had said throughout pregnancy that I wanted to start labor with no epidural and just see how far I could go.  The answer to that question was twenty minutes.  I think at this point I was 4 cm dilated.  Apparently I was dilating pretty quickly.  I asked for the epidural and ten minutes later the most wonderful person I've ever met walked into the room: the anesthesiologist.  He had Chris sit in a chair a few feet away and I sat on the edge of the bed slumped over a nurse while he worked his magic.  It wasn't fun but it was nowhere near as painful as I thought it would be.  When it was in I looked up and Chris was looking a little pale so I asked him if he was ok.  The magic doctor said, "I don't think I've ever seen a woman ask the husband if he's ok after that."

As fast as the pitocin kicked in, the epidural kicked in faster.  I didn't feel a painful contraction after that.  This was the fastest morning ever.  Before I knew it Kaylen was in the room (I wanted her there to take pictures), I was at 10 cm and it was time to start pushing.  We started at 10:20.  Let me just say that I'm a pretty modest person and the night before it was a little weird having my business all out there.  I got over that REAL quick.  At 10:20 I really didn't care WHO saw anything.  We had a wonderful nurse who made me feel comfortable and was easy to talk to.  Pushing was the weirdest thing ever.  I was pushing but couldn't FEEL I was pushing.  I could feel pressure and could feel myself exerting energy but that was it. 
The nurse said she could see him already and we would probably have a baby around 11.

Fast forward two and half hours later.  Still pushing.  Getting tired.  Still no baby.  Kaylen, who thought she was just there to observe and take pictures, became an active participant.  The nurse had Kaylen on one leg and Chris on the other to push toward me during contractions so I would have something to work against.  That didn't work.  Then our doctor came in with her gaggle of nurses and a table of what looked like medieval torture devices.  I'm getting frustrated at this point and pushing harder than I've pushed yet.  We're nearing three hours.  I heard the doctor, who was already using a vacuum on him, tell someone to "get downstairs ready".  I knew what that meant.  They were getting ready for a c-section.  The one thing I definitely did NOT want.  I looked at Chris and started to cry.  He was so supportive through the whole thing.  For every single contraction and push he was in my ear telling me to keep going, and we were so close to Cooper, and what a great job I was doing.  

Hearing the talk about a c-section made me determined to get him out..  I could feel building pressure and maybe two really hard, long sets of pushes later, at 1:18 in the afternoon, I heard a cry.

He was perfect.  All 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20 inches of him.  Chris and I sobbed and he kept saying, "It's Cooper! It's Cooper!  We have Cooper!"  They gave him a quick rubdown and handed him to me for skin to skin.  Seeing him for the first time was the strangest, most wonderful feeling.  This little being that I'd come to know only through little kicks and nudges and a heartbeat was now in front of me.  I could see him and touch him and kiss him.

A month later and I still can't believe I made that and that he's ours.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Itty Bitty Baby Update

Hello again!
Tomorrow Cooper will be a whole two weeks old.  The past 13 days have gone by so fast it's been a bit of a blur.  He is at the moment sleeping peacefully next to the bed in his rock n' play.  He's been out long enough for me to pump, swap some laundry, eat a cupcake, take my medicine, and wash said pump.  Maybe if I hurry I can get a whole blog post in!  So let's get to it:

Cooper is: a really sweet baby.  Most of the time.  Yesterday was I think our fussiest day yet.  He had his days and nights mixed completely up the first week and I was in full on zombie mode but since Monday we've made some progress.  He's his sweetest in the morning.  The past couple of mornings after nursing we've sat in the nursery with the blinds open in the sunshine.  He likes to look outside.
new mom, newborn, morning
You know how it's so cliche when new parents say, "omg I could stare at him/her all day long!"  Yeah.  It's like that.  And I'm not just talking about how I obsessively look into his rocker while he sleeps to check for the millionth time that he is in fact still breathing.  I just want to look at him.  When he's awake he's wide eyed and looking at everything or staring you right in the eye.  I even got a grin yesterday morning while he was looking at me.  His eyes of course are dark blue right now but Chris and I think when they change they'll lighten to a pretty blue like his daddy's.  Cooper likes kisses, getting his hair wet (but ONLY his hair), watching the lights on the TV, being cradled, and car rides.  He does NOT like getting his diaper changed, getting his clothes changed, getting his body washed, being put down when he's not asleep.

Mama is: slowly feeling more and more human.  The pain is fading and I think my body is getting used to less sleep.  My parents were a huge help in the first few days (and still are).  I was terrified for them to leave us alone with him at night.  The first night was super rough and I nearly called my mother at midnight because he was shaking his head like a crazy person when he screamed.  Now I know that's just what he does when he gets really pissed.
I'm crying really easily.  More than I ever did when I was pregnant.  I cry just thinking about crying.
I've gotten pretty good at changing wet diapers fast and I've only been sprayed once!
We're exclusively breastfeeding and it's no joke.  It's time consuming and limits what you can do and when since he's fed every two to three hours.  But I still like it and I'm so thankful we're able to do it.
newborn, new mom, cuddles

Dad is: in love with his little boy.  It was so hard for me to get in and out of the bed while we were in the hospital that Chris did all the changing and became a swaddling master.  Seriously, I don't know how he gets that blanket so snug.  He went back to work Monday and I SO look forward to him coming home in the evening.  Last night we ate pizza, and watched Celebrity Apprentice with Cooper either in Chris's arms or in his rocker.  It felt very...normal.
new dad, newborn
Isn't it funny how we carry them for nine months go through all the trouble of childbirth and they come out looking just like their dang daddies.

The cats: hate him, hate me, hate life.

Birth story and nursery pictures to come!...just when I'm not sure.  Right now I'm soaking up these sweet newborn days because I know they don't last long and I'll miss them when they're gone!
Thank you all for the congratulations, thoughts, and prayers!

PS.  He did NOT make it through this blog post.  Haha.

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