Saturday, October 31, 2009


This week has felt like at least two. Everyone in the house is sick (except me, knock on every wood surface available). Lana was first and she is still battling it. She is still super congested and has decided she does not like to wipe her nose with tissues--she prefers her blanket, which is like biohazard material now. She also has a cough--the barking seal kind. She has never had a cough like this before--she generally clears colds quickly, but this one is hanging on. Bill and my mom got it next. Then Lacey. My poor, tiny, helpless newborn is full of gunk, choking and gagging on it. Puking it up sometimes (fun times). She has no runny nose, so using the booger sucker is pointless. The good news is she is nursing okay, a little less, but she is staying hydrated. Her fever has been no higher than 99, so far, so we don't need to run to the ER (yet). I took both girls to the pediatrician twice this week to make sure their ears, throats and lungs were clear. All good, we just have to wait this one out.

But I am tired. At least I am not sick (knocking again on wood). My house is a mess. I am doing laundry every day. My hands are raw from handwashing and Purell. I feel sad for Lacey b/c she is so tiny and obviously uncomfortable. But the difference this time, compared to when Lana was a baby, is that I know that this too shall pass.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over

What a week! The tides have turned. We were doing great, I was in that super happy--everything is going super--mood and then last weekend it all started with Lana having a case of the 3.5 year old crazies. She was just so sour--she woke up pissed off and Bill and I were just counting down until bedtime. There was little improvement all week. It didn't help that it rained and was gloomy all week. We blew through probably $50 in crafts by about Wednesday. Listening? Obedience? Out the window! Me yelling? You betcha! Me losing my shit? At times, a little overboard I admit. It all peaked on Thursday after she came back from a school field trip that I didn't attend. She lost it, I lost it and when Bill came home I begged him to take her out to give me a time out. I ate 8 pieces of chocolate and I would have had some wine if I wasn't still taking narcotics (dammit).

It was tough, but I expected tough days. And so it was. But what I didn't know is that Friday would be an extra tough day.

Friday morning Lana woke up sweet. Ahhhh, thank goodness! To celebrate, I took Lana (and Lacey) to the pet store to look at the fish, birds, cats, etc. We are not a pet household, so this is all pretty novel for her. We walked around for a while and decided to get lunch at a taco place down the street. We piled in the car, drove down the street and I was thinking that this would be my first restaurant experience with both girls on my own and I would probably need to nurse at some point during our lunch. No biggie, I can do this. I can do TWO kids. When we got there, we got out of the car, I put Lacey's infant seat in the snap n go and I pushed while Lana walked next to me. I usually hold Lana's hand when we walk in parking lots, but this time I didn't. She was being obedient and it wasn't crowded. Then Lana tripped on the curb. She landed on her face. There was blood, a lot of blood. She was hysterical and inside, so was I. But I tried to remain as calm as I could, which was not very calm. I immediately let go of the stroller, which started to roll a little. There was a man who grabbed it. (WHY THE EFF DID I DO THAT?) I grabbed Lana and held her. She wouldn't let me look in her mouth to see how bad it was. I instructed the man to get me some ice and napkins from the restaurant. I briefly checked Lana for the presence of her teeth and I put the ice on her bleeding mouth. This whole time, Lacey is sleeping and I have to grab everything and get us to Bill's office. We are about 20 min away. I don't recall driving there, I just drove so fast. I am not good with medical emergencies--I looked back a few times at Lana and her lips were swollen twice the size. The blood! Her nose was scraped up too.

We got to Bill's office and he took her to the exam room and was so calm. Zen-like even. I guess that's why he is a real doctor and I am a fake one--LOL. I just don't have the personality for it. Plus, when its your kid with a bleeding owie, its a whole different ballgame. Probably those of you with boys have been through bleeding injuries before, but this was our first one (likely not our last), so it was new territory for me. Lana is also the kid who cries like crazy when she gets a hangnail. You can imagine the crying associated with this one! Bill cleaned her up, determined there was no major injury, put some lidocaine on her lip and gave her a piece of gauze to hold to her mouth until the bleeding stopped. When we got home, we could not get her to drink any water or anything, so forget about food. She held the gauze to her mouth for hours. We could not convince her to take it off. Its the quietest she has ever been. No talking for hours? Wow. As I am cuddling her on the sofa, I notice she feels warm, so I take her temp and its 99. Goodie, a fever too? Maybe its just the crying or related to the injury. It continues all evening and gets no higher than 100. This totally kills my plan for us getting the H1N1 vax on Saturday. And it makes me stressed about Lacey getting a fever virus.

As I got into bed last night after such a nutty day and hard week overall, I think about how I had so many regrets about how I handled the injury and myself as a mom. Why didn't I hold her hand? Why did I let go of Lacey's stroller? Why can't I be more collected in these moments? She is so perceptive, I know I made it worse when I picked her off the sidewalk and saw the blood--the look on my face was NOT reassuring. I know I am being a little hard on myself, but I can't help it. I wish I did things differently. It also made me think about how I pray that nothing seriously bad ever happens to my girls. This was a minor injury, but the thought of something worse? I can't even go there.

Saturday AM, Lana is fever-free, so we go get our H1N1 vax--whew! At least that is over and is one less thing I need to worry about. But when we get home, Lana starts sneezing and is super boogery. Great! A cold!!! I took her temp again and its 99. Even better, I just got her a vax during an illness--another banner parenting move by me. She continued to have the drippy nose and fever on and off all day. Poor thing was so pathetic between the illness and the injury. We gave her ice pops, jello and a lot of noodle soup and tofu. Of course, now I am super stressed about Lacey getting the cold and more importantly the fever. Over 100 and we are going to the ER for a spinal tap. Poor Lana kept trying to hug and kiss Lacey and of course I told her not to, which led to her crying about how I think that Lana doesn't love Lacey anymore. I tried to explain to her why she can't be near Lacey, but she doesn't understand how illness is transmitted. I spend so much time trying to get Lana to dig her sister and now I am telling her to stay away from her.

Lacey is a little fussy and her nose is a little drippy, but she doesn't have a fever--yet. Lana is still feverish on and off, which could be the cold or the vax. Lana's nose is a faucet and she is sneezing everywhere. i am trying to contain the germs, but it seems a little pointless.

I am so annoyed b/c we have literally been at home for a month. I have made one trip to Walmart, one to Trader Joes and that's about it. Lana has only been to my inlaws and school. We did everything we could to be isolated and stay at home and we STILL got sick. Grr. Ah, well I just hope if Lacey gets the cold she doesn't get a fever, but at this point I wouldn't be surprised if my next post is about our first trip to the ER.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stir crazy Part 2 and Post partum report

When I posted about going nuts being stuck in the house, I must have been really tired or out of it (damn narcotics--still taking them--ugh!) b/c I forgot half of what I intended to say. Thanks to Desi for her idea about baking cookies, yesterday Lana and I made Halloween cut out cookies, complete with frosting and sprinkles and a holy hell of a mess. I figured if I must craft, an edible craft is a plus for sure. Aside from a few incidents of not listening, or complete lack of recognition that I am speaking--i.e. pretending to have a hearing deficit, we had a fun time. I only had to raise my voice once or twice, which takes the fun out of things, but whatever, I think Lana is going as batty as I am. We made some delicious and beautiful (ugly) pumpkins, bats and ghosts. The cleanup took longer than the project itself and Lana was high on sugar when we were done. But it killed the morning, so mission accomplished.

Last weekend we went to Trader Joes (all 4 of us) and this nutjob approaches me and scolds me for bringing my baby to the store and that I should not take her out of the house until she is 3 months old! Okay lady, would you like to do my shopping for me? Who does this? I basically told her that it was none of her business, but I said it nicely and she smiled back. I told you--nutjob. I did learn however that TJs on the weekend is overly crowded and that the weekdays are better for us all to be out. What the crazy lady didn't realize is that she was talking to a germaphobe and I have already been obsessing plenty about germ exposure and my clean, unimmunized newborn in the middle of not just your average flu season, but H1N1 hysteria flu season. But I cannot possibly stay literally inside my home for 3 months--I will lose my noodle. I could probably isolate myself if it was just a newborn, but with the toddler, no way, not possible--we will drive each other totally nuts. So I spoke to my pediatrician about it. She is great--reasonable, rational and she has a way of calming me down when I am a wee bit tightly wound. She recommended we abstain from toddler playdates until Lacey is one month old and after that, to remind friends that if anyone in their house has even a runny nose, we should postpone. Luckily my friends are very understanding of my phobia and concerns, so that shouldn't be a problem. Of course, Lana is in preschool, so it is inevitable that she will get sick and bring it home and we will pass it around. My ped put it this way: there are things you can control and you should and then there is the stuff you can't control, so live your life. She also said we should all be immunized for seasonal AND H1N1 shots, since Lacey can't receive either vaccine, this should prevent us from bringing it home and infecting her (theoretically at least). Winter sickness is inevitable. Lacey will get sick. Heck, we will all get sick. But a fever in a newborn means a trip to the ER and the ER is a germaphobe's hell on earth.

Here I am almost 3 weeks post partum and I am doing great! Except for the whole pain in the belly part. The other day I was thinking that I had great pain control and I would start decreasing my meds. But after I re-injured myself carrying Lacey in her car seat, I am back to where I started. I can handle taking the car seat and snapping it into the snap n go, but I can't haul that bucket around. Lesson learned. So physically, its still slow going and I feel like wimp. At least my incision looks good and healthy, although I am scared to rip off those tapes.

But mentally, I am fantastic! After Lana was born, I was a mess. Nothing was going right. I remember going to my 2 week post-op appointment and I was crying to my OB. I cried a lot, every day. It was harder than I expected. I wasn't good at it. I didn't understand my baby. Newborns are a puzzle I couldn't solve and I didn't understand why people had babies. I felt like my life as I knew it was over, I would never sleep again, I would never eat a meal without shoveling it in. Who cared about eating anyway, I just wanted to sleep. Plus my boobies were so sore that I couldn't even wear a shirt--the chafing! My neighbors (we lived in an apartment) got a free show, but I didn't care. Miserable didn't cover how I felt. This experience haunted me the entire time I was pregnant with Lacey. I did NOT want to do newborn again. I was wishing we could just fast forward to 6 months old. I braced myself.

I braced myself for nothing. This time, I feel happy, elated even. I thought maybe I was just in the honeymoon period or something, so I keep waiting for my normal anxious self to show up. But she is not here. I am just happy. So far, it hasn't been so hard (Sorry, Desi, I feel like I am stealing your post). I love snuggling Lacey, I love feeding her, I love looking at her. I love love love watching Lana interact with Lacey. I feel so relieved that Lana seems to like her (so far). I am relieved that I can handle both girls by myself (so far) and we haven't had any major meltdowns (myself included). Even in the morning, getting Lana ready and all of us out the door by 8am has worked out okay. A little harried, but we made it on time. I actually feel like I can do this. I have TWO kids! Wow! I never thought I would have any kids, let alone two. I look at my girls when they are not watching me and I am so taken by the miracle that they are. The miracle that we created these beautiful children, two new lives. Its amazing that two little cells become a whole being and that this lump of baby turns into a walking, talking, creative, intelligent little person. I know its cliche, but this miracle of life business is no joke. An unbelievable miracle indeed! I know its still early and it could still show up, but my fears of the return of PPD or PP anxiety or whatever are unfounded so far. Because of this, I am able to really enjoy this newborn phase in a way I did not think was possible for me. This is truly one hell of a do-over! Yay to that! I predict that the first winter sickness in our house will be my buzzkill, but we will get through it b/c now I know something I didn't know 3.5 years ago--everything is a phase and we will be okay.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stir crazy

I am starting to lose it. I have been in the house for going on 3 weeks. As a stay at home mom, you may think we are always at home, so what's the big deal? The big deal is that we are rarely at home all day every day. We have playdates, errands, outings. We go to parks, the library, even the pet store (i.e. the zoo). We socialize with friends, we eat out at lunch time--ladies lunch, as we call it.

This damn surgery recovery is taking forever. I am still on pain meds b/c unless I sit on the sofa all day, my belly hurts and I start walking all hunched over. I am getting better, but impatient b/c I want to get back to my life. I am allowed to drive now, but lifting the infant car seat is a little rough on me with the lifting and the more I rest, the quicker I heal, so I don't want to over-do it. The weather last week was beautiful, but I was too sore to take walks. Of course this week I am ready to be outside and its raining cats and dogs. Seems it will rain the rest of the week. Grr.

Okay, so I am impatient, but entertaining Lana indoors all day every day is starting to get old. We have been doing crafts. Lots of crafts. I am not crafty at all. I am officially all crafted out. Lana has been taking an interest in how words are spelled. She will ask "How do you spell grocery store?" So I have been trying to incorporate spelling into craft time with foam letter stickers to at least make it educational. I like how she likes crafts--its good for her creativity and at least we are not watching TV all day long. But I am getting bored with it and its messy. There are bits of paper, sequins, glue remnants, glitter, paper backing from stickers, etc. everywhere! Plus she hates to clean up, like most 3 year olds, so we fight about it. When she gets bored, she asks for snacks, so we have been snacking way too much too. When someone stops by the house, I can truly see how bored Lana is--she talks and talks and wants the visitor to play and she will not let you get a word in edge-wise. Snacks, TV, crafts, playdoh. This has been all we have been up to for the past 3 weeks, so you can see why I have not posted any thought-provoking or mildly interesting blog posts. I know that there will be a time in the not so distant future where I will be missing our craft days b/c she will be too busy or cool to hang with her mom all day.

Lacey is good. She eats, sleeps and poops. She snorts and grunts and only cries when she is REALLY pissed off, which is not that much. She definitely doesn't like her car seat. She loves to be held. Lana is so sweet with her, even when she is not sweet with the rest of us. Lacey is a sweet baby and she smells so good.

So that's it. Tomorrow, more crafts. Is it the weekend yet?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My first day with both girls

Yesterday my inlaws came over and wanted to take Lana to the library and other various activities that she was excited about on Tuesday. But she took one look at them and burst into tears--she did NOT want to go. She wanted to stay at home with mommy. She pitched a big enough fit that my inlaws gave in, went home and I was unexpectedly flying solo (as Laura would say). I felt like I could do it as long as I had good pain control and could keep up with Miss Whirlwind Lana. Did I mention she was in a very contrary mood?

Overall it went well. We mainly did crafts at the dining table and we watched tv and ate way more snacks then I generally give, but we made it unscathed! Lana never complained that I was spending too much time with the baby. She was super defiant about picking up her toys or activity before moving on to the next one and I had to pull out the threats, overall she was happy, she smiled, we laughed. We even made ghosts with tissue and tootsie pops, which is saying something b/c I am not crafty at all. She made 4 of them, one for each of us in the family.

Lana has been very sweet toward Lacey. I put Lacey in the baby pappasan and asked Lana to keep an eye on her while I use the bathroom. I was a little nervous about leaving her alone with the baby for even a few minutes, but she is not very aggressive. I told her to never pick her up, just to look at her and talk to her. When I came back, this is what I saw:

She was sitting very close to her, literally watching her and she told me that Lacey wanted to play with some toys.

Around 3pm, I started to get tired and my pain was coming back from over doing it a little. Luckily my dear friend brought over some Indian take out, so I didn't even have to think about dinner and neither did Bill, which was good b/c as soon as he came home, he was called back to the hospital.

Last night was kind of interesting in a bodily function kind of way. Lacey was sleeping at 9:30pm and I wanted to go to sleep, but she was almost due for a feeding, so we woke her up for a diaper change and a snack in hopes I could get a solid 3-3.5h (i know i am so lucky). Bill did the honors and as soon as the diaper came off, Lacey pooped all over his hand and the changing pad. Just as he is calling SOS, she pees on him as well. So we change her and I feed her and she sleeps well for 3.5h (!). When I feed her in the middle of the night, she is starving. She eats. She poops. I change her and re-swaddle. I feed. She promptly poops again. I change, I feed a little more and re-swaddle. She poops again! I change her, re-swaddle, give her a little comfort boob, lay her down and she pukes copiously. I grab blankets as fast as possible, but her tummy is empty and the mattress is wet. The miracle blanket is soaked. Now I need to find regular blankets that are large enough to swaddle and I can't find any. Grrr. She is fast asleep. When I managed to get the bed cleaned up and her re-swaddled, she is hungry again! We finally got back to sleep but it was like a 2h feeding. I can't complain though b/c she sleeps for such long stretches for a newborn. I am definitely not like the walking dead the way I was the first time around.

Here are some more pics b/c my faraway family and friends need to see her.

The lighting is not right here, but at least her eyes are open.Ignore the clutter please. Oy, my whole house is a mess right now. If you stop by, close your eyes.
Sisterly love...
Proud Papa...

Me and my little bug...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Now this is what I expected

So things are still good. Baby sleeps like she is addicted to sleep--she may have received this gene from her father, since his hobby is napping. She is only awake to eat and look around for 5 minutes and then she is out again. My friend told me her second baby was like this and she was so concerned she asked her pediatrician if something was wrong. Of course, nothing was wrong, she just got lucky. I have to say, the thought, "Is something wrong with her?" has crossed my mind more than once. But she is eating like a champ and pooping, so I guess everything is A-OK.

Lana on the other hand is having a tough time. Not with jealousy. Not anything directed toward Lacey at all. But she is completely panicked and fearful of me leaving. She is in general having a hard time with the changes that are a result of my recovering from surgery. For example, I am not putting her to bed at night b/c I cannot lie in her bed to read--she rolls and jumps and its just not safe with my tender incision in her path. So Bill has been doing it. When she says goodnight to me downstairs, she bursts into tears begging me to put her to bed. She thinks when she wakes up I won't be there--I will either be in the hospital or on an airplane (?). No matter how much I reassure her, she just cries and cries. When my inlaws come over, she gets really anxious. They have been here a lot, helping me out with meals and trying to entertain Lana, but she wants me and me only. Luckily since Lacey is so easy going, I can actually spend a lot of time with Lana, as long as I am in a comfy chair. Even so, she does not want to be more than 10 feet away from me. It all culminated last night in a monster tantrum/cry that involved rolling on the floor, her begging me for one more hug and kiss (it killed me not to give in and walk up the stairs to do it) and Bill raising his voice, which is something he never does with her.

Yesterday was a real challenge with Lana. I felt like everything out of my mouth was me either yelling at her or at least using a stern directive voice or threat. Everything out of her mouth was "NO!" And Bill, the fun parent, the one who never yells, raised his voice to her more than once. Its a fine line because as much as I want to nurture her a little extra so she doesn't feel displaced, if you give her an inch, she takes a mile and will manipulate the hell out of you. I also don't want her to feel like as soon as her sister arrived, everyone is yelling at her. Then there is the issue with my inlaws. They want to take Lana to their house, so that I can rest but also b/c Lana is happier to hang with them when I am not there. But when they come over, she runs to me and cries that she wants them to go away. So I thinks she feels like she is being sent away. We tried yesterday to have my inlaws here with us at our house, but it was kind of a disaster. Lana wanted to play with me (which I did--we did crafts and playdoh at the dining table) and wanted nothing to do with my inlaws (which made me feel bad for them). Plus, my inlaws didn't have Chinese TV or books, so they were bored out of their minds. I thought it was great to have them here to fetch things for me in other rooms or upstairs, so I didn't have to walk all over the house and get sore.

I am probably making more of this than needs to be, since things will be more stabilized once I am healed and not hobbling around. Hopefully in another few days I will be able to hang with both girls by myself and she can feel like we are almost normal and that no one is coming to take her away and that I am still here, not in the hospital or on a trip. I feel bad for Lana, although she frustrated me to the max yesterday. I just love her so much I don't want her to feel like she lost me somewhere.

I know from all of my blogfriends posts about bringing home a new sibling that this too shall pass and that the adjustment period is hard, but the whole family adjusts and a new "normal" is established.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Totally doing the happy dance over here!

Lacey Ru-Ling was born Monday September 28th, 7:58am, weighing in at 6 lbs, 4 oz, 19.5 inches long.

Underneath that cap is a head full of black hair. When she first came out, I thought--wow she looks nothing like Lana, but now I think she totally looks like Lana.

Anyway, looks aside, Lacey is different from Lana--yes, I can tell already. First off, she is breastfeeding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that is a lot of exclamation points, but I am that excited! In recovery, she just latched right on and suckled for 15 minutes--woo hoo! She has been a nursing champ ever since. Great latch, very little pain and soreness on my end (at least in the boob region) and overall, just so great at it. This is the best gift ever. I struggled so much nursing Lana and ultimately after 2 weeks of frustration and failure, I switched over to pumping and bottle feeding. This was fine, but a lot of dishwashing and extra time hooked up to that damn pump. Middle of the night pumping is no fun, let me tell ya. This time around, I just pick her up, nurse, re-swaddle and we are done. I can't believe how easy it is. My milk came in full force yesterday (OMG, I have huge boobs) and she is going to town eating and then sleeping in between. Sleeping well and for long stretches. I often have to wake her for the next feeding. I am so not bragging or rubbing it in to those who have not had this experience with their newborn, b/c I have been on the other side of things. Lana was never a happy camper--she was up screaming her head off every 2 h around the clock, sometimes out of hunger, sometimes we didn't know why. I know its early still and Lacey may change tomorrow, but so far, I am on cloud 9. My ped said colic starts at 3 weeks--so we are enjoying the potential calm before the storm. If colic shows up this time though, I am prepared like a girl scout. Right now, I am so joyful and excited and thankful. So very thankful.

Healing from my surgery is slow going. I am a wimp. I have very low pain tolerance. I made the mistake of leaping out of bed the first night I was home. I think I forgot I just had belly surgery. I strained one of the muscles on my right side, so now everytime I twist a little in the waist, I get a shooting pain, in addition to the stabbing pains in my incision area. I am not exactly rebounding quickly. I love my pain meds, although they make me feel a little wacky. Right now, its a balance between pain control and not feeling too stoned. I know in 2 weeks I will be moving around much better, but its driving me nuts to sit still and not be able to bend over and pick things up, or walk upstairs to grab a change of clothes or my lanolin cream.

Lana, sweet Lana is doing so well. She is very focused on being big. We point out all the things she can do that the baby can't. I gave her a gift from Lacey--her first princess dress up costume--Snow White. She put it right on over her clothes! She touches her sister very gently and brings me her own very special blankie to cover up Lacey when she is sleeping. We have had no acts of aggression or crazy 3 year old behavior so far. She had some tears when I was in the hospital b/c she wanted me to come home and she cries at night when I can't put her to sleep, but other than that, she is rolling with the punches and making me proud.
The biggest difference I notice this time around is that I can enjoy the baby. I am not so stressed out. I can look at her, cuddle her, talk to her and its not always about business. With Lana, I was a mess. I never held a baby, let alone cared for one or fed one or figured out how to have a baby around and still find the time to brush my teeth or eat. This time, it feels so much more natural, easy and even relaxing at times. Of course it helps that she is feeding well and doesn't have jaundice and isn't as intense of a crier, but I think there is a real change in me. I was so terrified and now I feel contentment. Plus I am high from these drugs.

I think the baby has my dad's feet. Long and skinny, with long toes. My dad wore a size 12 shoe. All the rest of us have short stubby feet. Many people told me that the baby would help me feel joy again. Its true, so very true. I know my dad is looking down from heaven with that twinkle in his eye, saying to Lacey, "Hi baby girl". He always said that.