Monday, February 28, 2011

A few deaf men

They don't care that the baby is crying.

"Who?" you ask.

My boys--namely, my husband and my son.

Ninna is screaming and crying, ...crying and screaming.

They don't cringe, their heart rates don't sky rocket, they don't breathe faster, they don't shift in their seats, NOR do they press on the invisible gas pedal on the passenger side of the car so we can get-there-get-there-get-there and pick up the baby so she STOPS CRYING.

They don't seem to hear it.

I look over at my Doodle, who seems to be driving *just* under the speed limit; seems to be slowing down at green lights in anticipation of those lights turning yellow; seems to be totally engrossed in the conversation we're trying to have over the screaming child. He seems not to hear. the. screaming.

I glance back at my son in his car seat, legs dangling just shy of Doodle's seat. He's barely three feet away from the crying baby girl, flailing in her own car seat. But he is placidly looking out the window, holding his stuffed lamb. When he feels my gaze, his eyes shift to meet mine. Now that he has my brief attention, he points to the ribbon on his stuffed friend.

"Bwoo!" he states, showing me he knows the color of the ribbon.

"Great job!" my husband responds, as I shake my head in wonderment. "And tell Mama what color your hat is," my husband continues to encourage him.

"Bwoo!" Tigger shouts now, proud of his word.

"That's right!" my husband crows.

"Very good!" I say enthusiastically, hoping my smile masks the wince on my face. Because I can hear the crying. Screaming. Hunger? Gas? Pain? She needs me. How can they be completely unfazed by the noise coming from that little being?

It must be a mothering phenomenon. I cannot sit at peace when I hear that particular noise. I shift, fidget, wince, and press my foot on the invisible gas pedal.

Get home. Get home. Let's go.

Good thing we only live 1.7 miles from church.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Exclusive Footage

In our family, my dear husband is the one in charge of most visual media. When he recently organized and uploaded all the videos he's taken over the past few months, this one was tucked, like a secret treasure, in amongst the scenes of park swings, snow sledding, and family Christmas highlights.
This is the morning of little Ninna's birth, shortly after Tigger awoke to meet her for the first time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Thursday Challenge

Thursday is "floor day."

At least, I like to pretend that it happens every week. I make sure to vacuum the entire house, at minimum. But on the ideal Thursday, the mop bucket comes out as well; the kitchen floors are left without scuffs and stains, and the wood floors shine by the time Doodle comes home from work.

The biggest challenge lies within this Challenge: timing the two tasks of vacuuming and mopping close enough together so that the dog and cat don't shed in the meantime. Otherwise, there is infiltration of black hair into the mop threads, and unnecessary clouding up of mop water.

Unfortunately, vacuuming is easiest early in the morning, before too many of Tigger's toys have found their way to the floor. And the mopping is best saved for the afternoon, when little ones are (ideally) nappng at the same time, and the dog also senses that it's time to mellow out on his cushy bed.

Alas, the stars did not align today; but tomorrow is Thursday, so that's when the official attempt will commence!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Myself and the two children celebrated today by going grocery shopping for the first time without my mother's help, to TWO different stores!!

We survived (wa-hoo!). Of course, what's the worst that could happen?

Oh, yes.


And it did.

It happened.

Somewhere between the two stores (that happen to rhyme with Bosco and Star-jet, respectively), Little Miss decided to make up for her recent lack of bowel activity. As in, lack of activity, I mean that we've been starting to worry after about 5 days of only wet diapers.
So she finally let it all come out. She was a mess. I mean, all over. I'll have to remember to put her car seat cushion in the laundry, actually. Blech. And since the weather is so lovely today, I didn't bring a blanket to wrap her in, so I had nothing civilized within which to transport her from the car to the Star-jet restroom. Guess what else? Yesterday, while gallivanting around the city as a family, we realized there were no baby wipes in the diaper bag. Well, we actually fixed that problem yesterday by stopping to buy a new box. However, we brought that new box of baby wipes inside the house upon our return home yesterday afternoon. So they weren't in the diaper bag! All I can say is that it's a good thing I was at Star-jet...

I somehow led Tigger by the hand (no easy feat these days) into the store and up into a cart. Meanwhile, I had Ninna-in-arms, with a jungle-animal-print changing pad wrapped around her. We went "shopping" for wipes and a new outfit for Ninna (I was doing this all one-handed, since I wasn't about to put her into the Sleepy Wrap!). As we went, I heard and felt further emissions into her diaper region. I say "region," because there definitely wasn't any more holding room in her diaper! I discreetly checked my shirt a few times, to make sure the output hadn't seeped through the changing pad onto me. I finally managed to shove our shopping cart into the narrow ladies' restroom, completely ignoring the sign that restricts bringing in "unpaid merchandise."

And that was half the battle. Tigger was so patient; it probably took me a good 10 minutes to get Ninna changed--there was nothing solid in that diaper, and I had to be extra careful not to let it all pour onto the changing pad as I removed the diaper, then her clothes. Tigger sat in the front of the cart the whole time, watching people come in and out, checking himself out in the mirror, and wincing every time the hand dryer starting roaring.

Yes, Ninna will be getting a bath tonight!!

In unrelated news, I also bought another box of diapers for her, and a training potty for Tigger. No, I'm not preoccupied with toilet issues, I swear. :P

Time Warp! 2 kids now...

I haven't written out Tigger's entire birth story yet. It's in the making, but not complete. And here, already, is the birth story of our second child. But it took a lot longer for Tigger to be born. So I'm justified. (Right?)

Baby Colette Moninne (Mo-NEEN) was born at home in the water early on Wednesday morning, January 19th at 12:49am after about 5 hours of labor, start-to-finish. 8lb 9oz, 19-1/2 inches.

Tigger slept through the whole thing, and awoke the next morning to a new baby sister!

Yes, this was a planned home birth. I love my midwife, Rebecca--she was awesome throughout all the prenatal care, the labor and delivery, and then the postnatal care, which was more adventurous than any of us would have liked.
I'd been having strong BH contractions for about 2 weeks, so from about 7:45pm when they felt a little stronger than usual, I didn't think too much about it--maybe I'm a little dehydrated, I did quite a bit today so maybe I'm more tired, etc--but Rebecca counts this time as "early labor."
I suspected that subsequent contractions were "the real thing" around 9:45pm, but since my experience with Tigger was long, slow, back labor, I was still waiting for the really difficult and painful contractions to start when Rebecca and my doula arrived around 11:45pm! I didn't believe I was in full-blown labor, even when she told me I could get into the birthing pool, and that I was "about to have a baby." Besides, my water never broke. Colette might have been born in her amniotic sac, if Rebecca hadn't needed to break through it to help her shoulders jiggle through.
I think I went through transition in the birthing pool (even with Tigger, it was the one contraction I couldn't bring myself to greet with a welcoming breath). Then I told Rebecca I was going to poop in her tub.
"That's okay," she replied. "But I think that's just the baby coming."
I gave a push and when I reached down, I could feel the amniotic sac coming forth like a bubble. Which freaked me out, actually. With the next contraction, I could feel her head. It was happening so fast. Rebecca, my doula, and Doodle all assured me that I could slow it down by blowing through a few contractions. That was the scariest part--I just wanted her out, Rebecca reminded me I didn't want her out too fast so that I wouldn't tear, and of course, I didn't want her to retreat backwards (is that even possible?). I also didn't want her where she was, because that, too, was highly uncomfortable!! I panicked and screeched that I was going to die. I didn't, though :). Her head came out, then the contractions stopped. Rebecca saw that the cord was around her neck, so she told me to stand (I had been half-kneeling up to this point). Rebecca went around the tub behind me and that's when she broke the sac and pulled Colette down a little bit to elicit another contraction, then helped her shoulders get through. The cord started pulsing again soon after she was released, but she was a little blue right at the beginning. Being born in the water, though, she was much cleaner than Tigger was when I first held him.

I lost a lot of blood, but Rebecca gave me methergine orally, and later pitocin by injection, to help contract the uterus. I stabilized by around 5 in the morning on Wednesday. However, I started losing a lot more blood on Thursday, and she came over Thursday evening around 10pm in response to a call from us updating her on my heart rate of 138 at rest, and uncontrollable headache. After she checked my blood count, it was decided that I should go to the ER. Some huge clots were removed from my uterus by manual extraction (ouch!), and I was admitted with a diagnosis of acute endometritis. The only pain I had, though, was a severe headache (which they ultimately diagnosed as a migraine); this was kind of weird because an inflamed uterus is supposed to be extremely tender, even if just touched lightly. However, 48 hours of heavy antibiotics, plus a blood transfusion, put me on my feet again. So whatever it was, I'm alive and grateful for the important role that modern medicine can play. I discharged Sunday afternoon to home, and since then I've been feeling better and better.

Colette is a very quiet, calm baby. We've been very blessed through this ordeal with that, as well as with wonderful neighbors and friends. They let me keep her with me when I was admitted to the hospital, but I needed to have another adult in the room with us at all times, in case something were to happen to me and I couldn't take care of her. So Doodle got neighbors to stay with Tigger overnight, and his boss spent some significant daytime hours with me while he went home to relieve the neighbors. My Mom changed her flight so that she arrived Saturday morning, and she stayed until February 7th.

Colette is a 14th century French saint who reformed the Poor Clares; there is actually still a branch (?) of the Poor Clares known as the Colettines. She was known to love animals, and is sometimes pictured with a lamb or a bird. My husband especially loves that piece of trivia. :)
My husband's name is Colin, my middle name is Colleen, and her godparents are from Louisiana and have French heritage. So we thought the first name really fit well.
Moninne is the nickname of an Irish saint, St. Brinne (BRIN-yeh) who is said to have been baptized & confirmed by St. Patrick. Mo-ninna actually means "my daughter" or "my little girl" in Irish. Depending on which legend you read, she got the name "Moninne" when she cured a dumb man and the first word he uttered was "Ninna Ninna," or it came about because her first word as a baby was "Ninna."

So from here on out, she will be referred to on this blog as Ninna (NEE-na).