Friday, October 28, 2011

Sushi Time and Tummy Time

Colette turned 3 weeks old yesterday!

It’s amazing how much and how quickly one learns about their baby, themselves and their spouse when they bring home a newborn. Jeff and I spend a good amount of time staring at Colette and studying her like a science experiment.  Oh, yeah, we hold her a lot, too.  We are learning more each day what she likes and dislikes, how many poops to expect, how to perfect stroller moves on crowded city sidewalks, how to shower in 5 minutes or less. With every passing day, we grow more in love with her and more confident that we’re doing it “right”.

We have the dialog below, or something similar to it, often.

Me: Jeff, Colette has a boogie in her nose. What do we do about it?
Jeff: I don’t know, Google it.
Me: Okay, I looked into it. We can leave it, use an aspirator, or a few drops of saline.
Jeff: Okay, I’ll use the aspirator. How does this one work?
Me: I don’t know. I think it says on the package.
Jeff: I figured it out. I’ll take care of it.
Me: Well, let me see, so I know for next time.

This is how we figure out how long to leave the breast milk out for (6 hours), how to get the poop stain of out her white clothes (fucked if I know), how to change the diaper genie (pull down, cut, knot, toss), and how to treat baby acne (leave it alone or wash with water 3x day), etc.  When we don’t know what do to, we Google it, read about it in a book, or ask someone. And then, we know what do next time it occurs.

In addition to our growing confidence, a daily routine has started to form.  Colette and I wake up together (she sleeps in a bassinet in our room) around 9:30AM, I change and feed her and she stays up for an hour or so.  Sometimes I read her a book, sing her a song, or tell her what’s on the agenda for the day. Then, she goes back to sleep, in the living room, for about 3 hours, while I make coffee, write e-mails, complete insurance paperwork, and search for Mommy & Me programs.  She wakes up again around lunchtime for another feeding and changing, and then back to sleep for another 3 hours.  As the day progresses, she gets a little more fussy but she hasn’t thrown any tantrums yet.  If she’s fed and changed, but still unhappy I put on some dance music and her in the Baby Bjorn and we dance around the living room.   Or, I’ll keep her in the Bjorn and run errands to Duane Reade, the post office, or do laundry in the basement.   She’s as happy as a clam in there.  She's usually awake around dinner time and Jeff entertains her or gives her a bath.  She won't go to sleep entirely until somewhere between 11PM - 1AM.  And then, get this, she sleeps until at least 5AM, sometimes even until 10AM. We're amazed and hoping it's not a passing phase. 

She's obviously had enough of storytime
Now that I can anticipate most of her needs, and we have a loose routine, I’ve been looking into more activities for us to take part in outside of the apartment (mostly so I don’t go crazy).  This week we went to our first Stroller Strides class and I am hooked! It’s a workout class for moms and stroller bound babes.  Cole was the youngest baby by far (by like 6 months) and the other Moms were shocked that I was outside and ready to work out.  But, honestly, I’m feeling like my old self and I’m really anxious to start looking like my old self. We also have Mom and Me Yoga that we are starting next week, as well as a Pre-crawlers class (where newborns perfect the art of Tummy Time) that starts when she is 5 weeks old.  I’m working on creating a calendar for the two of us so we can keep track of our weekly activities.   I’m surprised at how many programs are available right in our neighborhood for newborns/parents and how affordable they are…it’s overwhelming, but awesome.

Next week we are taking Colette on her first trip to Connecticut and I can’t wait for her to meet everyone back home.  Jeff and I travel really well together, and I’m curious to see how we manage with our little peach in tow.   If she’s anything like me, which um, she is, ‘cause I made her, she’ll be asleep before the train leaves the station.  Word.

Sushi! Finally!
Cole (in her carrier next to me) didn't make a peep.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And then there were three

Colette Frances Rigby arrived just before 6PM on Thursday, October 6th, 2011.  She arrived with a head full of brown hair, weighing a solid 8 lbs 1 oz and was 20 inches long.

This is the short story of her arrival:

We took a cab to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, which is near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, at 6PM on Wednesday night so that I could get induced.   It was weird to sit there next to Jeff with an empty car seat bouncing around in the back of the car, knowing there would soon be a baby in it.   I was more nervous about not being able to eat once we arrived at the hospital than labor itself, so I snacked on a Snickers bar, while we sat in rush hour traffic.

We got to the labor and delivery waiting area, and I realized we might be there for a while. Patients are admitted based on priority, and there were many women in active labor or with emergency issues who were certainly going to be seen before us.  Jeff and I played Scrabble and read magazines for nearly four hours before we were brought to a room.   Once in the room and settled in, I was given Cervidil, which is supposed to dilate and efface the cervix.  Jeff slept surprisingly well in a hospital chair/bed, while I tossed and turned most of the night.

My OB, Dr. Paka, came in the next morning at the start of her shift and said I had not made any progress.  At that point they started me on an IV drip of Pitocin, which is supposed to increase the frequency and intensity of the contractions (I was having mild ones one my own).  That started working immediately. By 1PM I was wincing in pain, and telling Jeff not to talk to me during contractions.  I always new I was going to get an epidural, but I wasn’t sure when would be the best time to get it. I wanted to feel some labor pains, but just enough to say I felt some pain.  I asked the nurse for advice and she politely hinted to me that it would be a good time to get the anesthesiologist.  Shortly after, the anesthesiologist was in the room, I was hunched over the bed, Jeff was in front of me, and I was numb from mid-back down.    Wow…. epidurals are AMAZING.  From that point on, I felt pressure but no pain or discomfort, not even for Colette’s exit.

Having a contraction without epidural (I was not watching TV)
Around 3PM my OB came back in, said I was making great progress, and broke my water. She returned at 5PM, said the baby’s head was right there and I could start pushing in a few minutes. Even though Dr. Paka’s shift was over, she stayed late to deliver my baby and that thrilled me. Just before I started pushing, Jeff confirmed, that there were 8 couples vying for 5 of the remaining private rooms, so if I could push quickly, that would be ideal.   I put on my game face and my hair up in a ponytail. 

Dr. Paka just told me I was going to start pushing.
Game face. 
 With Jeff, the nurse, and Dr. Paka’s help Colette arrived after about 12 contractions and 30 minutes of pushing.  It’s an incredible, empowering and intimate experience.  They put her on my chest immediately and she cried for the next several hours.  Jeff and I were teary eyed but we never cried. I was thought she was beautiful and perfect right away, just like a good mama should.  

Eying my beautiful baby and the burger behind her. I was HUNGRY!

Then we made our way, to the private (hell ya!) recovery room, we’re we stayed for the next 48 hours.  It was awesome.

I can’t believe that was two weeks ago! 

PS - This blog won't be entirly about Cole from this point forward, but it might be for the next few posts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's Go Time

Ever since I found out I was pregnant; I’ve been getting weekly updates from BabyCenter, my go-to pregnancy web site.  Yesterday’s e-mail filled me in on how much our 1-week old baby is probably eating and sleeping. 

Eh, pump the brakes BabyCenter.  We still don’t have a baby! 

I don’t think there is a pregnant lady in the world that envisions going a week or more past her due date, but it’s so common.  Shawna, my sister, whom delivered 16 days late, after being induced, said that doctors should give you a due month, as opposed to a due date. I agree.

DJ Edie showing us how non-baby proof our pad is.
I’ve been having mild contractions for several weeks now, but they are not consistent or strong enough to propel me into full-blown labor.  My cervix has been just a 1-2 cm dilated for a few weeks now, as well.   So things are progressing, but very slowly.  I would be okay with, even prefer to wait it out and let things take place naturally, however, there’s a conflict with our social calendar.

Jeff’s sister Shana is getting married on Sunday.  Your siblings wedding and your baby’s birth are pretty major events.  He needs to be at both. And therefore, we need to prevent them from happening on the same day.  I’m heading to the hospital at 6PM tonight get induced.  The process may take a while, but my OB said we should have a baby by tomorrow night. For real. A baby. Tomorrow!

Yesterday, at the OBs office, when we made the decision to schedule the induction, I felt the need to rush home a tackle a long to-do list, when in reality I’ve been in “go-mode” for weeks, and there is nothing left in my apartment for me to clean, fix, fold, do, etc.  But regardless, I wanted to re-clean the fridge, re-change the sheets, answer e-mails for a second time, re-pack my hospital bag (Actually, that is the one thing that did need to happen.  It’s been packed for so long now, I’ve started to pick at it).  Jeff on the other hand, wanted to go out to a fancy dinner, which is all he ever wants to do.   Over the past month we’ve had like twenty “last-hurrahs”. 

Shawna & Edie
My favorite “last-hurrah” took place last week, and I wish I took a picture of it.  Jeff’s friend, Connor, scored two, much coveted tickets to Radiohead’s show at the Roseland Ballroom and offered one to Jeff.  Jeff was thrilled, but concerned I would go into labor while he was at the show.  I didn’t mind him going, but given I was a few days past due at that time, I didn’t want to be alone.  Not surprisingly, my rock-star Mom offered to keep me company for the night. But we didn't want to put her out, so Jeff suggested I stay at a hotel, in the city, close to the hospital and music venue so he could get to me quickly, if need be.  I thought it was a little over the top, but obliged.  Very last minute, I asked a few of my girlfriends if they wanted to hang with me at the hotel.  They were down and I loved them for it. We ordered room service, chatted about babies and blind dates.  It was the ultimate staycation and I hope to return the favor someday in the near future.

My Mom.
Good thing she has those guns!
She's gonna have plently of grandbaby lifting to do.

Stay tuned, friends! I’m about to have a baby and that always makes for a good story.