Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Sister

Baby G. has been home with us for three weeks now. At the end of the first week I was all ready to write a post about how well Valerie was coping. But now that it has become clear to her that he's here to stay... she's struggling.

The first time she saw him up close (rather than through the nursery window), Terry was holding him and she responded exactly as we'd predicted - "no no no no no AAAAAAAAAAAA!" But he passed G. to someone else and she calmed down. Even when I held him, she pretty much ignored him - unless we directed her to say "hi" or to point to his eyes, nose, ears, etc.

But then the shrieking started. She'd been shrieking before, and I'd tried giving time-outs to get her to stop (it worked to quell the biting), but it really took off during the week when her cousins were here. It was hard for her to have other kids in "her" space, playing with her toys, getting attention from her parents. Someday she'll look forward to seeing them and will follow Solana around and imitate everything she does, but right now sharing is very hard. So she'd shriek every time G. or her cousins would make a noise - any noise at all - so you can imagine it was starting to get on my nerves. It's hard to see her unhappy.

I've realized that it helps not only to make a point of spending time with her, but to really give her my focused, undivided attention, even to the point of ignoring G's little grunts (he's very gassy, so they're quite frequent) and waiting to respond to him until it's clear he's ready to eat or needs to be changed. I try to validate her feelings - "you don't like it when Gabriel makes noise" - and reassure her that she's still my baby and I love her very much. I've even stopped referring to Gabriel as "the baby" and just call him Gabriel or "your brother." Someday they will appreciate and be thankful for each other - it might be 30 years, but it will come (hopefully sooner than that!). Right now I figure that what I can ask of her - and of him too, come to that - is that as they grown into social beings they treat each other with respect and kindness. The love and affection will come in time.

I'm missing my mom tremendously right now - realizing in full just how much she was doing for us here, as well as the emotional support. Thankfully there's still another grandmother in town.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Growing Boy

Today was Gabriel's due date - we had a check-up and learned he has gained a whopping 13 oz. in one week! He now weighs 7 lbs. 4 oz. Typically they expect newborns to gain 1/2 - 1 oz a day, and he's gaining almost 2! His jaundice is less too. All good news!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Week

Gabriel is one week old today! Our angelito is sleeping on my lap as I type. He's doing really well. We had a check-up on Monday, where we learned that he'd gained 2 oz. since we left the hospital Friday, which was great news to me since I'd been worried about his sleepiness while nursing. He tends to fall asleep after just 5-10 minutes, although then he'll wake up an hour and a half later for more - especially at night! They had us check his bilirubin levels, which are 13 (22 or higher needs treatment); just to get the blood drawn we had to wait TWO HOURS at the hospital lab which was pretty much NOT our first choice for how to spend the day... but oh well. It worked out.

Our first night home was rough, but we seem to have evened out a bit. Terry re-organized our room (he's sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed) and put in an A/C unit so it's been quite nice, and the system seems to be working well (of course, at this point the system also hinges on Grandma Irma doing a ton of laundry...)

I've found that my recovery has been much easier and faster this second time around, which isn't to say it's been a breeze - I had quite a bit of back pain, especially the first few days, and could only manage to sleep sitting upright. I felt quite like I'd spent the night on an airplane. I can lie flat now and it's heavenly. Yesterday I went to the chiropractor, and today I stopped taking my pain meds altogether and feel quite achy, but nothing unmanageable.

We've also managed two family outings already - a brief foray to our Star Trek group Monday night, and last night to a DREAM Act fundraiser at Qdoba. It felt good to get out and sniff the air - especially since we've been getting rain!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby pictures!

Mom and baby Day 1!

All this and the World Cup too...!

He's here!!!!!

Sorry for the long delay in the announcement- but he's here! We're home, resting and recovering, learning our way around parenting a newborn AND a toddler simultaneously. More on that later... and I promise pictures too...

For now here are the stats:

Gabriel Tobias
born at July 7, 2010, 11:07 a.m.
6 lbs. 12 oz, 19 inches long*

came home Friday July 9, 2010, 2:30 in the afternoon.

Happy day!

* plus a fraction but I'm not sure what the fraction was.

Monday, July 05, 2010

48 hours

Not to make anyone nervous or anything (Terry!), but I just looked at the clock and realized that 48 hours from now - unless I go into labor before then - we'll be in the OR about to meet our son. This ever-present awareness has made it hard to sleep the last few nights as we lie awake thinking about names... deadlines (Terry)... to-do lists and the physical recovery ahead (me)...

I am so thankful that we made it to this date, given the scare we had in May. 7 weeks of bedrest has been both a blessing and a marathon of waiting. But here we are. For me at least it's a lot less scary than last time. I feel more confident, knowledgeable, and prepared. I'm SO glad that I was able to do bedrest at home and not in the hospital this time. I am so thankful that my parents were able to be here taking care of me and Valerie and for all the help we have had from my in-laws and our babysitter! Thankful to all the people who have brought meals over - some more than once - and taken the time to check in and see how we're doing.

It's hard to believe, as I feel Baby Boy kicking around inside, that so little time is left in this gestation. I want to make sure to be mindful of these moments and enjoy them.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Soon and Very Soon

... we are going to meet our son! Hard to believe. He's wiggling away, an active boy, but there are no signs of labor so I'm pretty much assuming we're going to keep our cesarean date at the new hospital Wednesday morning.

Today I dressed V. in her patriotic 4th of July outfit so that people will think she's a local: