Friday, May 28, 2010

Busier Than a Bee

Life as a stay at home mom to 2 kids is more than twice as busy as it was with one. This may improve when Will is eating a little less frequently - or maybe when Leah gets potty trained. But for now my day is a constant stream of feeding and diaper changes. And if I'm lucky enough to time everything right, we all nap at the same time and I get an hour or so to snooze.

I've been doing well keeping up with the normal activities. I managed to get to Leah's last gym class on time and keep Will happy enough in the BabyBjorn while participating in class with Leah. We've been going to music class - Will happily sleeps in the car seat through the entire class. And we've spent lots of time at the playground - also a favorite napping spot for Will. The double stroller has proven to be key - I can easily transfer Will from swing to stroller and wherever else while he sleeps in the carseat.

It definitely takes awhile to get us all ready and out the door in the morning. Will nurses best at home - versus being out and about, which means less comfortable and under the nursing cover. So getting ready involves changing diapers, getting dressed, washing faces, making/eating breakfast with Leah, feeding Will, and packing up whatever we need in the stroller and diaper bag. If I'm lucky and don't have any diaper blow-outs, extra messes to clean up, or tantrums I can do all of that in about an hour and a half.

Leah is continuing to adjust. She's still acting out some with Shafi and I, but it seems to be lessening. And she is very sweet with Will. She wants to cuddle him and see him, and she's glad to help in any way she can.

And Will is still a pretty easy baby. He sleeps most of the time. He nurses well. He had his first bottle last night. I pumped just over 4 ounces and he took the whole thing. He did fight the bottle a bit along the way, but he took it. Shafi gave it to him. When I tried for a bit about halfway, he absolutely refused it, but then he took it again when we shifted him back to Shafi. He is a bit more awake the past few days than he was his first couple of weeks - no more putting him down wide awake and letting him fall asleep on his own - he needs a bit of help. And he seems to be having some gas pain, especially late night and early morning. I've been giving him Mylicon, but I'm not so sure it's making a difference.

I'm definitely getting a bit tired - between the 2-3 night feedings and keeping up with both kids all day - not much time to rest. But luckily it's a 3 day weekend, so hopefully I can catch up on sleep a bit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Announcing William "Will" Zain Imran

Will is now 12 days old and I'm finally getting around to updating the blog. Two kids is definitely more than twice the work of one...and Will still sleeps most of the day, so I imagine that's not changing any time soon.

Here's the recap of the last 12 days:

On Thursday, May 6 I started to get "real" contractions around 3 a.m. I timed them for an hour and they were pretty consistently 12 minutes apart, then 11, then 10. I called my OB's after hours number and got Dr. Schweitzer. He told me to come on in to the hospital rather than waiting for my contractions to get closer together since sometimes 2nd kids come quickly. I called Jackie, the babysitter, and asked her to come out. She was expecting the call to come at some point, so she wasted no time in getting ready and hopping a car service to our place - she arrived about 4:40 a.m. We had her cab wait for us and take us to NYU. The timing worked out great, as Shafi and I had time to get ready without rushing and we were at the hospital around 5 a.m.

I was admitted right away but was only about 3 cm dilated and about 80% effaced. Still, that was progress from just a few days before, so at least I was right that I was actually in labor. Dr. Schweitzer suggested that I go ahead and get the epidural and once it was working he would break my water. I got the epidural around 6 a.m. Unfortunately I had almost as much trouble as last time. The anesthesiologist said my vertebrae are close together so they kept hitting bone when trying to get through to the epidural space. They stuck me 3 times before finally getting in. Not fun at all! But eventually it was working and I was numb. Dr. Schweitzer broke my water just after 7 a.m.

Things progressed fairly slowly for awhile after that. My contractions were a bit irregular and not getting much stronger. Then suddenly we started to run into some complications. The baby's heart rate kept dropping during contractions. It didn't happen every time and as soon as the contraction was over his heart rate went back up. But it was very scary to see the heart rate go from 140 or so down to 50-60. Every time it happened the nurses and doctors came running in - suddenly there would be 5 people in the room. I would be asked to turn over and get on all fours.

After awhile they decided to monitor the baby's heartbeat by putting a monitor on the top of his head and also to monitor my contractions internally. Dr. Ho took over for Dr. Schweitzer just before all of this began. She was very calm and said that this seemed like an umbilical cord issue - either it was kinked or it was wrapped around an arm or leg or something. They tried adding fluid to see if that would relieve the pressure but it did not seem to make a difference. Dr. Ho told us she would give me some time to see if my labor began to progress on its own but that we couldn't use Pitocin to speed it up because of the umbilical cord issue and we couldn't keep going for more than a few hours - at some point we'd have to move on to a cesarean section.

Dr. Ho suggested that I stop the epidural meds to see if my labor would speed up. At around 11 a.m. I still had very irregular contractions and was only 4-5 cm dilated. Shortly thereafter my contractions started to get stronger and closer together - every 2 minutes and then even more frequent than that. I was starting to have a lot of pain but we were still seeing a drop in the baby's heart rate several times an hour, so I opted to continue without the epidural meds. At about 11:40 a.m. his heart rate dropped down very low again and everyone came running in. At that point I felt the pressure and the urge to push. Dr. Ho checked and sure enough I was fully dilated. Everyone was shocked that I had progressed so quickly at that point.

Dr. Ho scrambled a bit to get her gear on. The nurse scrambled to get everything ready. And a few minutes later I was ready to push. Two sets of pushes - about 4 minutes - and Will was born at 11:59 a.m. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck. Luckily everyone was prepared and it did not cause any complications at that point. He cried after only a few seconds and his APGAR was 8/9. Because of the wrapped cord, Shafi did not get to be the one to cut it, but of course we were just happy that Will was healthy.

He weighed in at 7 pounds 6 ounces and measured 21 inches. He's long and skinny - and he has a fairly thick head of black hair. From the moment I held him he was ready to nurse - and it seems like he hasn't stopped since.

Since Will and I were both healthy and I was recovering well, we only stayed 1 day in the hospital - we were discharged 24 hours after he was born. His discharge weight was 7 pounds 4 ounces. We had his first pediatrician appointment on Monday the 10th. He had only lost another ounce and was doing great overall.

Last week already seems a bit of a blur. He ate well and slept well. We had his bris on Thursday and that went well. Friday we went in for a weight check and he was already up to 7 pounds 9 ounces. The doctor was thrilled with that and we don't have to go back until his one month check-up.

Leah has had her ups and downs since Will was born. She is very sweet with him...but she's very jealous and has been acting out with Shafi and I a lot more than usual. I've been making an effort to spend some good quality time with her to try to help get past this stage. Shafi took a week and a half off of work, but while usually she would be thrilled by that, what she really wants is time with me. Obviously the 3 or so hours a day I spend nursing Will is quite noticeable to her.

She was very excited and sweet when we first came home from the hospital. But about an hour later she told us to go put Will in his crib. Smart girl. Luckily he has been a great sleeper so far, so we've been able to tote him around with us.

My parents have been here since last Wednesday and Leah has definitely enjoyed the extra attention and time with them. My father left this morning and my mother leaves late Thursday, so after that we will see how it goes.

You can see lots of pictures of the last couple weeks on my Picasa site. And hopefully I'll be able to blog a bit more over the next few days/weeks/months so that I can document more about Will.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Contractions contractions contractions

But still just Braxton Hicks...I think. I have been having much stronger (i.e., somewhat painful) contractions for a couple of days. I have spent lots of time checking the clock to see if there is any regularity to them. There isn't. So no true signs of labor yet. Just serious discomfort. Since it's now after midnight, I am now officially 39 weeks pregnant. And yes, I'm up in the middle of the night because the contractions woke me.

On a brighter note, I bought a new used temporary double stroller today. Yes, it's as confusing as it sounds. I decided a couple months ago that I want to get the Baby Jogger City Select double stroller. Unfortunately it just came out at the beginning of the year and was more popular than anticipated and everyone is out of it. Having tested it out on the floor at Buy Buy Baby, I thought it was fair to buy it there, plus it'll be helpful to get it locally and thus be able to take it in if I have a problem. My very generous Uncle Howard offered it up as a baby gift and got us the stroller, double kit, car seat adapter and parent console. The order was place in March and I was told it would be in late April or early May. Well, now BBB says it will be another 4 to 8 weeks. I expressed to them my frustration with that - and on the bright side they are going to ship me each item as they come in - for free (saving me the hassle of pickup or expense of home delivery).

So, given that it will be hot, and I really want the freedom afforded by a double stroller, I was thrilled when someone posted their Joovy Caboose Tandem for sale on the local parents' listserve. She lives just a few blocks away and used the stroller only for a year or so. It's really in good condition and she was asking only $45 for what retails at over $150. Once I was in contact with her, I found that there's one problem. She never used the car seat adapter that comes with the stroller, which would allow me to put the car seat on the stroller - the only way it is suitable for a newborn - and she don't know if she still has it. She is going to look for it this weekend. So we settled on $35 instead. And if she finds the missing piece I will buy it from her for $10. If not, I can order it from Joovy for $21 plus $9 shipping. I may be able to find someone in the neighborhood willing to sell or loan me theirs, but if not, even for another $30 I think it will be worth it to buy it. And hey - when the Baby Jogger stroller comes in, I can probably turn around and sell the Joovy stroller on the parents' listserve for about the same price I bought it for.

Meanwhile, I am proud to say that my growing discomfort isn't slowing me down too much. I have been taking Leah to her classes, running errands, hitting the playground, and being a pretty fun mommy for being this pregnant. And Leah has been repaying me by sleeping pretty well. She slept through the night last night, which she had not done for awhile. And she's been going to sleep without a fight both at night and for naps the last few days. I actually had to wake her after just over 2 hours yesterday - if I let her sleep longer I risk her not going to bed easily at night. She woke up happy - just sat up in bed and said, "Mommy, do you want to do my pigtails now?" She's loving having pigtails - both for the relief from the heat and the look - and also because she gets to watch about 15 minutes of Sesame Street while I do them.

Leah with her pigtails in ready to hit the playground Tuesday afternoon:
Leah having fun experimenting with her dot paints after a thunderstorm sent us home early from the playground:
Leah sleeping soundly just before I woke her from her nap on Wednesday - note puppy clutched in her arm (his usual spot) and Dolly tucked in neatly next to her (I did not do that - Leah must have decided on that position for Dolly, as she was in her arms when Leah went to bed):
Leah enjoying the playground - and proving that she definitely runs faster than the camera's shutter speed:
Leah and Avery give each other the best hugs - and I managed to capture this one pretty perfectly:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 days...or less

I had my 39 week check-up yesterday...although technically I have 10 days remaining until my due date. Finally - a little more progress - 2 cm dilated and around 50% effaced - maybe a little more. Once again Dr. Markoff told me he thinks I'll progress fast and I should come in on the early side to be safe. But all is well - and maybe he'll see me next week. Fairly uneventful.

The family seems to be recovering, so I think it's safe to start hoping this baby arrives soon. I've still got some lingering congestion and pain in my ribs from all the coughing - but overall I'm feeling much better. Now I've just got the aches and pains (mostly in my back) of being over 38 weeks pregnant. Shafi has a little bit of a sore throat, achiness, sinus pressure - but so far it doesn't seem to be anything serious. He's probably a bit run down from my keeping him up at night - coughing, tossing and turning, snoring - he may actually sleep better after the baby is born.

Leah's eyes appear to be completely normal now, although we'll continue the drops for a couple days to be safe. We did have an extra visit to the pediatrician Monday morning as she woke up with hives on her legs. She was up a few times in the night, so maybe they started much earlier, but around 7:15 she said, "Mommy, I'm scratching myself. Do you want to scratch me?" I asked her to show me where it itched and noticed these little raised welts up and down her legs. Having little familiarity with hives, I called the pediatrician to ask what to do for a rash that was quickly spreading. It suddenly went from a small patch to many patches up and down both legs, from bum to ankle. They told me it was okay to give her Benadryl and to go ahead and bring her into the office. I got a mid-morning appointment - but by the time we got there, the hives were all gone. I showed the doctor a couple pictures I took, but it was hard for her to tell from that. She said that hives that come and go so quickly are not likely an allergic reaction to the antibiotic, which is what I was worried about. So we're continuing as usual and will see whether they reappear, get worse, etc. She did have a few instances in the afternoon and evening of hives showing up on her shoulder/arm and again on her legs, but just like in the morning, they went away quickly. Later today I will be buying Children's Benadryl to give her if they come back. But unless they get really bad, I'm not sure there's a need to return to the doctor - as most likely she's not going to be able to do much else for us anyway. Good news is they're not contagious and mostly just an annoyance. And if there is something environmental that is causing them eventually we will figure it out.

Unfortunately, when the doctor rechecked Leah's ears, she said that the infection isn't gone yet, so we do have to continue giving her the antibiotic - not really a surprise since it's only been 2 days. But Leah absolutely hates the medicine - no bribe seems to work anymore. She fights us and spits much of it out and cries every time we give it to her. The pediatrician said it was fine to mix it with anything. I tried chocolate pudding - one bite and she wouldn't have any more. Going to try yogurt with breakfast. But if that doesn't work, I guess we'll be stuck forcing it down her throat - can't keep wasting doses.

But other than the minor ailments, all is well. And we're not being slowed down much by all of it - we still had a nice weekend taking in some sun.

Leah was up and running and ready to go out at 9 a.m. on Sunday:
Blowing bubbles in the park - slowly but surely Leah is getting more adept at this:
Leah loved the Abby Cadabby cupcake at Cooper's birthday party:
And she also loved being tickled by her friends Avery and Jack:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

38 weeks and counting

Been a bit of a rough week here at the Imran house. My check-up on Monday was uneventful - still no change since the 2 previous weeks. But then what I thought was a cold began to get worse. I called my OB to see about getting an antibiotic and he sent me to an ENT. I've got sinus pain/pressure, feels like my ears are stuffed with cotton, nose is running something awful, and I'm coughing up not-so-lovely green gunk. The ENT said he wasn't sure if it was a sinus infection or not, but obviously at the least a bad cold. He was more concerned about my productive cough though...but since he's an ENT, that's not his area. He suggested I see my internist. But he did prescribe an antibiotic and give me a regimen of Robitussin and Sudafed, along with a nasal wash (like a neti pot but from a squeeze bottle).

I wouldn't say that all gave me instant relief, but I guess it wasn't expected to. My sinuses are much better than they were Thursday when I saw the doctor and my cough is less productive although still a bit painful and causing me sleeplessness. In any case, the antibiotic and other meds are certainly helping. Maybe I can actually be in decent health by the time the baby comes.

Meanwhile, Leah started getting crusty/gunky eyes on Friday afternoon and we took her in to the pediatrician Saturday morning. She's also been up quite a bit at night, but we've been unsure whether it's bad dreams or teething or something more. Indeed, she has mild conjunctivitis (i.e. pink eye). Her eyes are not actually pink but they are oozing quite a lot of yellow gunk. And she has an infection in her left ear. We were just in a few days ago checking her ears, so we were a bit surprised. The pediatrician thought this might be the beginning of an ear infection and might be related to the eye infection.

So Leah has been given antibiotic eye drops to take 3 times a day for 5 days. Luckily they said she wouldn't be contagious once she has been on them for 24 hours, so we're not quarantined for too long. And she's actually been really good about letting me put the drops in her eyes. I think they must be bothering her enough that she really wants the medicine to work. She is also taking a liquid antibiotic twice a day for 10 days for the ear infection. Unfortunately this medicine isn't going so well. She really hates it. I'm supposed to give her 4 ml using a syringe dropper. I can get about half of it into her before she pushes it away. Then she shudders and gags and is very unhappy to be only halfway through. For dose #2 I bribed her with juice - she got a little in the middle and the got to finish it after. But even with the bribe she fought the 2nd half and ended up spitting much of it out...and then proceeded to cry. It smells like bubble gum, which most kids her age apparently love - so we're not sure if it's the bubble gum taste or if there's a more medicine-like taste with it that is bothering her. Might be a bit rough getting this into her for 9 more days! The pediatrician said usually they would schedule a follow up after the 10 days of antibiotics but that we can just plan to bring Leah along for our newborn checkup, which will most likely be in approximately that timeframe anyway.

Other than the woes of taking medication, though, she is in pretty good spirits - you wouldn't even know she is sick. And thankfully I seem to be on the mend, although I may have some lingering symptoms for quite awhile (the ENT said these coughs can linger for a month or so). Hopefully we're all on the mend and Shafi won't join our infirmary.

On a brighter note, we have been getting some great weather and have been enjoying the great outdoors.

Asher and Leah had a great time walking home together after Tot Shabbat:
Leah decided she was ready to ride her scooter to the playground - note the look of intensity on her face - she ended up pushing it there and riding it a little once we were safely within the playground gates:
We spent some family time enjoying the newly opened lawns at Pier 1:
Cooper and Leah had a blast exploring the Pier 1 lawn - I even let Leah go barefoot in the lush grass:
We didn't feel too quarantined on this gorgeous Saturday - our first real chance to enjoy the new deck furniture - we spent the afternoon out under the umbrellas and Shafi grilled dinner - Leah seemed to enjoy imitating our lounging poses almost as much as exploring her outdoor kitchen: