Keeping on keeping on

Things seem easier this week. Nighttime at least is a lot easier. Zeke has been sleeping most of the night in his moses basket now all by himself, at least the last 3 nights he has. I've been changing and feeding him sometime between 10 and 11 and putting him in his basket right next to my bed and he sleeps till 2, eats and (wait for it, this is the new part) goes BACK in his basket until 5 or so when he gets hungry again. At this point he decides he wants to wake up and he ends up in bed with Josh and I so that we can get another few hours...he'll stay there until 8 usually. Its a huge improvement from sleeping with us almost all night. Last week he only put up with 2 or 3 hours in his basket if I was lucky and I was afraid he'd never sleep he's more like 6 hours and I have huge confidence that in a few months when he's feeding once a night instead of twice we can start to transition him into his own room. And he's sleeping so deep too. Maybe 1 or 2 times do I have to reach down and put my hand on his tummy to settle him back down, and before I was having to do it constantly when he was in the basket.

Days are easier too. He still wants to be held almost every waking second, the longest I've gotten so far is 15 minutes he sat in his vibrating chair and watched me iron Josh's shirts. But its easier to deal with now that I'm not holding him all night as well. And we're getting a rhythm to our days, not a schedule but at least a rhythm. He eats every 3 hours or so until the evening when he likes to cluster a good 3 or 4 feedings in as many hours sometimes. He usually has a good balance of sleep and alertness, although every few days he still has a day when he almost never wakes up except to eat. And the same events happen everyday, just not necessarily in the same order. Every day we read, we just finished the Great Gatsby (my child will have read more classic literature in his first 6 months than most Americans in their life, I'm willing to bet. After 6 months they say it starts to matter what you read them but right now it doesn't so I don't see why I should suffer Hop on Pop quite yet). Everyday we get out of the house for a little while whether its to the park with my mommy and me group or yoga or MOPS, everyday we dance or sing because Zeke LOVES music. In his bad moments its all that will calm him down and he cries between tracks when it stops to switch songs. He got mad at church this Sunday when the worship stopped, it was so funny.

He lost his cord FINALLY, and we also FINALLY ordered birth announcements so they should get here this week and out there next week. I hope its not too late but hey I've been busy. Anyways they are super cute and totally worth it. Trust me. Also I am totally convinced he giggled yesterday. I was smiling and making faces at him and he was smiling back and then he GIGGLED. He is obviously a genius way above the curve, no matter what Josh says. He's socially doing things he shouldn't for another 6 weeks. He smiles back at you, he will stick his tongue out if you do it, and he laughs.

Not much else is going on, however. I'm just keeping on keeping on. Enjoying my perfect baby and trying not to die in the heat.

When you are 12 days old everything's a first

Highlights this week are mostly a long string of firsts. Zeke had his first bath at home, peed on daddy for the first time, played his first computer game, his first game of risk, and his first game of scrabble. He had his first explosive poop to fly at least 2 feet before it hit the wall (Josh wants me to post pictures but I will spare you, if you've had children you can imagine, if you haven't then you don't want to). He's also winning his first battle, he sleeps more in our bed than in his. At 2 o clock in the morning Id just rather him be quiet and spoiled with us than in his bed like a good baby and crying. He spends part of every night alone and I hope to slowly increase it. When his days and nights are a little more stable and he lasts over 2 hours between feedings it will be easier.

I am afraid I'm spoiling him terribly, he just wont abide being put down, even during the day. Lonliness will wake him from even the deepest sleep. But I honestly don't know what to do about it, even the meanest most Ferber-friendly people say you cant use a cry it out method until they are a bit older than this. And I'm not sure I really want to throw my child into the pure terror of singleness just for the sake of a free arm. For now I do everything one handed, attempt putting him down several times a day when he seems calmest, and hope that he likes the carrier my friend Annali is being good enough to make me. Also I hope he grows out of this a bit. He IS fairly new after all.

Wednesday he will be 2 weeks and normal life will be allowed to commence. I promised Josh we'd stay home for 2 weeks recovering and though not getting dressed most days has been nice, and though I did cheat slightly with going to church and to the mall, I'm getting bored. I'm never home this much. Wednesday I get to go out to a potluck with my mommy and me group, and then Thursday my impossibly hippie mindful mothers group meets. We also have doctors appointments each of those days, so it might be much but I don't want to wait another week. Friday I have my church MOPS group.

Bust busy busy and I love it. Post natal yoga has to wait until 5 weeks and I'm sad but also a little relieved, all these groups might be more than I can chew. I'll wait and see, I can always drop something and at least I wont be lonely or bored.


Zeke went to see his pediatrician today and checked out just fine. His heart rate, breathing, and coloring are all worlds better and he has lost weight since he was born but has gained since being released from the hospital, so that's a relief. I've been worried about his eating, breastfeeding has been a challenge since my milk came in. I'm not really sure what's wrong but the local La Leche League has a meeting tomorrow that I'm going to try to take him to. They might have some ideas for what I can do to make it easier for both of us.

Mostly this post is just to share some of the pictures we've taken since coming home, there will be many more to come in the next days and weeks. Daddy is a little camera obsessed.

We're home

What an emotional rollercoaster of a week. I dont even have the energy to think about it, let alone post all the ups and downs of the last 5 days.

Let's call it enough to say that Zeke and I were both released from the hospital this afternoon and are now home at last. He is doing so much better already, just being home has made a huge difference.

Still in the hospital

Well we are still here. Zeke picked up an infection, the tests will show exactly what kind tomorrow, and has to be on IV antibiotics for anywhere between 2 and 10 days. So far we have been able to keep him in our room with us and only take him to the nursery for his half hour treatments but Im going to be released at some point tomorrow and the earliest Zeke can get out is Saturday afternoon.

Please just keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Neither Josh or I want to go home without our baby, even for a single night and especially not for over a week. last

First let me say my beautiful son, Ezekiel, was born today at 10:35 am. 9 pounds 7 ounces, 21.5 inches long. He is as healthy as could possibly be imagined, breast fed within the first hour of being born and Josh and I are more blessed then we can express.

Next let me admit that nothing, and I mean nothing, went according to plan. I wanted to birth naturally without any interventions and instead had every single intervention possible except c-section. I feel like a failure, I failed every step along the way. And I know I got a beautiful baby and that should be enough, and it is enough, but at the same time I cant help wishing it could have gone differently.

So here it goes. We arrived at the hospital for our induction at 7 pm Monday. I was 3 centimeters dilated and the baby was at 0 station so they decided that cervical ripening wouldn't be necessary and I could start on low dose Pitocin right away. By 9 pm I was all set up and the game had begun. Josh and I watched some TV and tried to sleep.

In the morning, around 7 am or so, my contractions were still weak, I couldn't even feel them very much. I ate a small breakfast and we started to raise the Pitocin levels, which seemed to work pretty well. At least I was now getting medium strong contractions. Josh and I tried walking the halls, sitting on the birth ball, rocking in a rocking chair...everything to get things going faster and stronger. At noon my midwife decided to check me again and see what progress I had made after 15 hours of Pit. I was 3 centimeters...still.

We decided the Pit alone obviously wasn't doing enough. The next step was to break my water and see if maybe that could get things going faster, maybe even enough to turn the Pit down or even off. So break the waters we did. There was a little meconium, but not enough to stress about, and the contractions became much stronger. More walking, rocking, sitting, kneeling, swaying, and everything else under the sun ensued.

Still when I was checked about 3 hours later no progress had been made. Still 3 centimeters, so we started turning the Pit up again. Contractions became steadily harder and harder to deal with at that point and I became more and more tired. Josh and I pushed on, we tried every position and comfort procedure in the book, got in the jacuzzi, ect. By 9 pm the contractions were 1 minute on to 2 minutes off and about as strong as I could handle. My whole body was shaking and exhaustion was setting in. My midwife decided to check again. 3 centimeters. We all decided that my body was too tired to be able to go on any longer. We had to start an epidural.

After placing the epidural we tried to calm down and get some sleep. They put in an intra-uterine moniter so they could see how strong the contractions were and kept raising the Pitocin levels through the night, it didn't look promising but at some point in the middle of the night I was checked and found to be 5 centimeters. Only a 2 centimeter change after over 24 hours but at least we were over the hump. My midwife's shift ended at 7 so she checked again right before leaving, hallelujah I was at 10 centimeters and she thought I'd be able to push soon.

Between 8 and 8:30 I started to push with the help of the hospital nurses and back-up OB, they were absolutely wonderful. Let me add now that actually everyone was wonderful during this whole time, and that's saying something because we went thru 4 nurse shifts while we were there! So I pushed. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed. My epidural was starting to wear off so I was even able to feel a lot of it. By 10 the baby's heart-rate was starting to show a lot of distress though, they said I had to get an episiotomy to try to speed up labor, I just wasn't big enough. By 10:30 I was so close and they were so worried that they had to use the forceps. They barely tugged him and out he came all of a sudden in 2 pushes. Causing a 4th degree tear in the process.

NICU was waiting in the room to whisk the baby away if needed but right away he gave a good yell and a good poop. His 1 minute Apgar was a 6 and his 5 minute a 9. He was just fine and by the time I had pushed out the placenta they gave him to me to hold. I was just glad to be done. They stitched me up, I fed the baby. We both had our vitals taken and everything was fine.

There was a little concern about Zeke's blood sugar levels but after a second feeding he was fine.
Then there was some worry about me hemoraging, especially after such a long labor, but that seems to be fixing itself now as well. So now I'm just trying to take everything that's happened in the last 3 days in. My son and my husband are asleep, I should probably be too but my adrenaline is still high.

42 weeks

Well tonight I go into the hospital at 7pm to start the induction process. First, after getting checked in and all that good stuff, they will apply the cervical gel to "ripen" my cervix. Then I get to try to go to sleep at the hospital, and Josh gets to try to go to sleep at the hospital too but in that horrid pull-out couch so I guess I'm the lucky one. If I'm close enough to labor already the cervical gel itself might get things started, its been known to happen if not quite often. More likely in the morning, around 6 or 7 am, they will start me on an IV of pitocin to get contractions started. So if all goes according to plan the baby will be born tomorrow afternoon/early evening. Valerie Ewert is the midwife on call on Tuesdays, and I like her a lot, so that's good.

I don't know. I'm excited. And scared. For some reason I was never scared of spontaneous labor but I'm really really scared of being induced. I think it's because inductions are so much more painful, and the contractions hit harder faster. When you go into labor on your own your body kind of builds up and lets you get used to the idea before the real baddies hit. Inductions are generally faster, and that's a plus I suppose, but give me a slow gradual labor any day I think over a faster and harder one. I'm no sprinter, I've always preferred long distance.

I don't have a choice though, so I'm just praying for the strength to be able to do what I get. God never gives us more than we can handle right? Right.

Anyways, Josh is going to bring the laptop to the hospital so we will update a quick picture and some info either tomorrow night or Wed morning, depending on when the baby comes and how crazy it is and ect.

41 weeks (and then some)

Wow, am I big. And Wow, am I amazed that I've made it this far. That baby was due 10 days ago, after all. I'm amazed and I'll admit anxious. I only have 4 days left until the big I-day and I'm trying to get myself around to a point where I can accept being induced without disappointment. It's a little difficult. I had my heart pretty set on a "natural" birth and that moment when you realize that you are in labor.

In my spare time, to reduce boredom, I've come up with a rather extravagant and very Courtney-like theory on why the baby hasn't come yet. In the end I decided that it's all Hilary Clinton's fault. I would think, after explaining, that my husband suspected I was going insane if it wasn't for the fact that after almost 3 years of marriage I know that he knows I'm insane. He cant fake surprise any longer. And anyways, my conspiracy theories are nothing compared to his, don't even get me started.

A more logical person to blame, now that I think about it, would be Josh himself. After all, I am NEVER late for ANYTHING. I'm always early, always have been. Josh on the other hand is always always ALWAYS late. I guess, on a second thought, though, that's not exactly fair because, in reality, he's more often procrastinating, starting late, never conceivably going to make it, and then right on time. This irritates his classmates as much if not more than it does me because he starts papers and projects mere hours before deadlines and then finishes them sometimes seconds before they are due. I've gotten used to it, and with several "warnings" have even managed to make it to most movies these days before the previews. Although never before the new pre-pre-views.

I guess if the baby is just taking after his daddy I will go into labor an hour or two before I'm supposed to be at the hospital on Monday. That would be in true Josh Clark style. If my Hilary Clinton theory is correct, then I will go into labor sometime Saturday night after her big party... We will see.