Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Updated Belly Video

I finally got a chance to update the video of Darcy's amazing belly transformation with the shots from the last trimester. You've got to see it to believe it!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day, from Mina

Last year Mommy made Poppy a really cute Valentine's Day Card out of felt and embroidery. She hoped to do so again this year, but I changed her plan by coming 2 weeks early. So Mommy made a great big card for Poppy and hung it on the wall. It's really from her & I, and we thought we'd share it with you.

Attached are a few photos of the 'card' with me in front of it. I wasn't really in the mood for photos so I apologize for not looking my best. :)

Happy Valentines Day.
Mina (Greg & Darcy, too)


Friday, February 13, 2009

Mina's first 2 weeks

Wow! It's for real... we're parents.

So, we were lucky to leave UCLA after staying only 2 nights. The ride home was exciting, G was extra careful driving in the 5:00 rush hour traffic while I sat in the backseat staring at our beautiful little girl. We made it home safe and sound to be greeted by our 3 cats, all curious about where we'd been and who the little human was.

It's amazing how easily we've adjusted to our new life and new erratic schedule. Everything revolves around Mina - we sleep when she sleeps, eat when she's calm, feed her when she wants the boob juice and keep her in clean diapers. There have been a few tough nights, when nothing we do seems to calm her down, but only a few... I think she's fairly mellow, but maybe I'm biased. :) I'm sure there will be many more long, fussy nights to come. Breast feeding was painful at first, after almost 2 weeks it's finally becoming easier. My toes still curl during the initial latching on, but that ouch subsides quickly. Mina has a healthy appetite and my boobs are huge and full of boob juice. We are using cloth diapers. That took some getting used to, since we were using disposables at the hospital. Mina is so tiny even the newborn disposables were big, imagine how huge the infant cloth pre-fold seemed to us!! (if you've never seen a cloth diaper, they are approx 12" x 14".) We got the hang of it, though. Had to up our diaper service delivery from 80 per week to 120 per week. Lots of poopies and peepees. G does most of the diaper duty because I'm handing the boob juice duty. I will certainly miss him when he goes back to work. :(

We left the house for our first outing on Monday - to visit the pediatrician. It was raining - cold and dreary. A little stressful to drive in, but we made it safely to and fro. I nursed Mina in the waiting room at the doctor's office, our first feeding on-the-go. The dr. was nice, said Mina looked good. She was weighed and measured, ears and nose prodded. He answered our questions and asked us to come back in a week. We may try out a few more dr.'s before we settle on one. This guy was flexible with vaccines, said he would do whatever we wanted but if it were up to him he'd do the conservative CDC vax reccomendations. He suggested we do our own research. We've done research, enough to ask educated questions but would like more guidance when deciding how to vaccinate. Also, we'd like to find someone with a bit more of a wholistic approach in general. Wish us luck - you'd think it would be easy here in LA to find a hippie md. pediatrician who takes our insurance....

Tuesday was Mina's very first Spa Day. She had a lovely sponge bath followed by a mini-massage. Products by Weleda, all natural - of course! She wasn't really happy about the bath, but I'm sure she'll grow to love them. She had her second Spa Day today (Friday) and was still fussy, but not as bad. Her skin is peeling, the pediatrician said it was normal... she's molting. :) Anyway, her wrists & ankles are where it's peeling the most. She seems fine with it, but I bet it sort of itches. The sponge bath helped release some of the dead skin and the moisturizer will help keep her perfect babyskin extra soft.

Tuesday was a big day for Miss Mina -- it was also her first neighborhood walk. We bundled her up and placed her in the stroller for a little walk to the grocery store. It was great for us to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine and stretch our legs. Mina was silent and mellow, the motion of the stroller kept her calm. Being in the grocery store seemed surreal, G commented about the amount of freaks that were there. We decided it's because we'd been in a bubble with the baby for over a week and being out in public was just a shock to us. I think G was just feeling his daddy protector instinct kicking in, too. I was just in a total daze. We went for another walk on Wednesday to a local cafe for a decaf and slice of coconut cake. Not as many freaks at the cafe as were at the market the day before. I find the walking is helping me in my recovery.

We have had a few visitors... Cheri, our doula, was here for a long afternoon the first week to help with breastfeeding. She's a lactation specialist and her help has been invaluable. She'll come visit us again next week. Our friend Matt (Jasper's daddy) brought us Thai food for dinner Saturday and stayed for a few minutes. Last nite Cece, G's friend from work, came to visit the whole family. She brought mice for Scooby the snake, bitter apple for Littlelittle's tail nomming habit and clippers for Luna's bum. It is nice to have visitors, but it's also tiring. Baby steps!

Milestones so far:
  • Poops graduated from meconium to green stuff to mustardy.
  • Mina found her thumb.
  • Mommy's nipples got sore, formed scabs then the scabs fell off. I saved the scabs. Now there is a bleb in the right one.
  • Mina loves being in the sling, either on mommy or poppy.
  • Monday was her first boogey - nose booger. I did not save this, although the thought did cross my mind.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Birth Story, pt. 2

Ok, so where were we? Ah... The Birth!

She was delivered without a hitch. I didn't see her immediately but heard her beautiful little voice. G cut the umbilical cord. As typical for a breech baby her legs were up in the air, ankles by ears for a while. We requested they not bathe her and to leave the vernix on her skin. It's supposed to be very good for the skin, so of course I was all for leaving it on!

By the time I saw her she was all swaddled up like a burrito with a pink and blue cap on her head. And amazingly precious. The first thing G said was that her ears were kind of funny, one of them was my ear and the other was his ear! (My ears are tiny and the top edges are rough and unfinished, do not roll over. G's are normal and larger.) At this point things are hazy... I don't know how long we were there in the OR with her while they put me back together because G & I were floating on a cloud with our darling little girl in our arms. G's arms, kind of placed by my left shoulder.

Eventually we went back to that same room where it all began to recover and wait for a real room in the post partum wing.

Mina was placed on my chest, bare skin to bare skin, and she slowly but steadily found her way to my left breast and started nursing. It was so cool - our doula told us it would happen like that, newborn instinct to find the food source.

Again, more haziness. Heavenly haziness!! Maybe G can add more to this.... I do remember the time after the delivery being the most difficult for me. You're not allowed to drink any liquids for a long time, and there were no liquids allowed for 6 hours prior to surgery either, it was hard for me to be so damn thirsty. When they did allow liquids it was in a teasing fashion - only ice chips. ACK! Gradually they allow liquid, but not too much too soon for fear of vomit. I complained a lot during this thirsty phase.

When we finally got to the post partum room (it was a busy birthing weekend at UCLA) we were welcomed with a cheerful message on the wall. We stayed at the hospital for 2 nights. Our nurses were all very nice and very different. UCLA is a teaching hospital so we were attended by many people, at times this became quite tedious and frustrating. The food was pretty gross. There is a self-serve snack room in the post-partum wing called the Nourishment Center. Funny name, the only stuff available was fruit juices, ice cream, pudding, sherbet, apple sauce and coffee. Oh yeah, also white saltine crackers and graham crackers. I ate this stuff. Craved the ice cold apple sauce and enjoyed apple juice as well as grape juice. Sugar overload!

G remained with me the entire time, which was amazing. There was a narrow but long day bed/sofa by the window in our room which is where he napped. I do not say sleep, because we only rested when we could... not for long periods of time. And not necessarily due to the baby, more due to the parade of residents and nurses visiting us constantly. Checking my vitals or baby's vitals or asking questions like: "are you sleeping?"

Our doula encouraged G to wear Mina in our Moby Wrap sling, which she took to immediately. (I can't wait to start wearing her myself, but need to allow my zipper to fully heal before I do that.)

Our recovery was swift and we were allowed early departure. :) Oh, and the details. Apgar scores were high, hearing and all the other tests normal. She was 7 lbs. 19.5 inches at birth. If I can think of more stuff I will update. Right now I feel a bit frazzled, but wanted to complete this! Hopefully G can add more as well, since he was slightly more coherent than I was during the whole adventure.

By the way, Mina's ears are cute and adorable and not strange. Mommy's ear is the left ear, Poppy's ear is on the right. She is absolutely perfect.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Birth Story, pt. 1

Wow. It's been an amazing week.... We are now officially parents!
Wilhelmina Grace Wiatroski was born February 1st, 2009 at 10:40 am. We love our little Mina!

The Birth Story

We went to the hospital on Tuesday January 27 in hopes of turning the baby with an External Version. The ob tried 2 times to get her head down, once clockwise once counter-clockwise (widdershins). The 2nd attempt had her 90 degrees in the proper direction, but she moved right back to the original place of comfort right afterwards. We were hooked up to a fetal monitor and ultrasound the entire time and her heart rate remained strong and consistent throughout the entire experience. Experience it was.... discomfort, for sure!!! G & the doula were there to give support. G was great - coaching me with breathing while the 2 docs were manually moving the baby. I was not worried about myself or the pain, just concerned about stressing Ducky out or injuring her or something awful. It was easily on my mind since the room we were in was right next to the OR, in case we went into labor. The anesthesiologist had consulted with me prior to the Version and I signed zillions of forms regarding surgery. Just in case.

<------- Me prior to the Version.

After our unsuccessful attempts at turning our little gymnast breech baby, we gave in and made an appointment for her birth with an ob at UCLA. The same ob that delivered Jasper, our friends Viviene & Matt's baby boy, last October. It felt kind of strange to have an appointment for the birth, but after consulting an ephemeris and determining all the potential astrological combinations for that day it seemed like a good day to us. Yup, we talked ourselves into being ok with it. Knowing exactly how much time we had left to get our act together at home, etc. They like to deliver the baby (note I say deliver... instead of take, but really that's what it is) a week before due date to minimize the chance of labor happening. That way it's easiest on all parties - babe, mom, doctor. We were scheduled for February 9th. Saturday, January 31st we went to dinner then to Target to pick up a few baby related items. In Target I felt off... an urgency to either pee or poo but not really having to, either. At one point I was tired and sat down on a relatively empty display rack in the kitchen goods area. I figured I was just exhausted - carrying around the extra 38 lbs of baby and water and blood is hard work! We left Target to grab gelato, and I was feeling fine. But by the time I got home I knew something was up. After checking things out I realized I had lost my mucus plug. No bloody show for me, just a bunch of something different. I called our doula and she said it was fine, yes I could take a bath, sometimes it's weeks before labor starts after losing the plug and to get some rest. I took my bath and rested. Then put a waterproof pad on my side of the bed. Better safe than sorry. At 3am on Sunday February 1st I woke up & rolled over. Then water rushed out. I gingerly hopped out of bed - ha! - I flopped out of bed and stood there bent over listening to the water hit the floor. G & I both knew it wasn't pee.... my bag of water had broken. Good thing I put that pad down earlier in the evening! G called UCLA and spoke with the midwife on duty - she told us to come to the hospital immediately. We called our doula, grabbed the already packed suitcase, our brand new laptop and a few snacks and off we went. Driving thru Hollywood at 3am on a Sat nite/Sun morning is quite interesting... no traffic, lots of transexual prostitutes. We called The Moms - luckily the 3hour time change was to our advantage at this time - let them know that we were starting labor and the baby was soon to be with us, somehow. Of course we hoped she had somehow flipped and would have a full labor and vaginal delivery birth.

At UCLA we were admitted and quickly put into a room in Labor & Delivery. The same room and bed where we were only a few days earlier for our External Version. They hooked me up to IV and fetal monitor. All was ok. Then the ultrasound. Still ok, still definitely breech. I was queued up for c-section. After that it was a million questions and forms and doctors and residents. Oops, a bit of a snag. I had eaten 1/2 a Lara bar and drank water on the way to the hospital. No surgery allowed for 6 hours to avoid any risk of asphyxiation due to meds or whatever. So there we were. Me and the babe, G & our doula... waiting it out. The fetal monitor showed I was having regular contractions but I never felt any discomfort. The baby's heartbeat was very strong. I was dying of thirst but remained patient and calm. It really wasn't that stressful, probably due to G being so calm and the doula there as well. Eventually the time came and they wheeled me in to the OR.

I had a spinal for the pain and they gave me anti-nausea meds as well. It was fairly painless to get drugged and prepared for the surgery, the bummer was that G couldn't be in the room until we were totally ready. Finally they hung the curtain (blue paper towel thingie) so I couldn't see the gory stuff and let G in with me. He sat to the left of my shoulder and was there the whole time. I never really felt anything but a bit of pressure at times, although G said it seemed like my whole body was jerked a few times and he could tell that things were definitely moving around. A few moments were emotional, I recall tearing up once or twice. I expected to hear a slushy exiting sound when they 'delivered' the baby, but it wasn't like that.

---Mina is awake. To be continued.....