Monday, May 30, 2011


We are finally getting to our new normal.  Things have calmed down, and I think  I’m starting to see the way things will go around here.  At least for now.  Friday, I got my PICC out….and it made me so happy.  It’s crazy to see such a huge hole in my arm….but I will take the hole over the line any day of the week.  I’ve also decided to stop planning how I think things will go….because nothing has worked out the way I planned or thought.

As of now, we are doing well.  Andy and I have figured out a care/feeding schedule that works for us.  Right now, I am exclusively pumping.  We tried to go back to breastfeeding as soon as possible after my medicine, but we had some issues.  We’ll just say that there is not much advice out there for “my baby had to be formula fed for 14 of the first 16 days of his life and now he’s so used to the bottle that I think he’s going to rip my freaking nipple off and the thought of trying to breastfeed him makes me want to die inside because the pain is so bloody intense.”  I only wish I was being dramatic.  We had a whole family meltdown and came up with a solution that’s working for us.  I’m pumping….and it works.  It’s not ideal by any means, but Liam is getting breastmilk and I don’t cry 36 times a day.  I only had a single electric pump (because we really didn’t plan to bottle feed….we owned like two bottles that came in a gift set and I had the single pump….obviously we’ve gotten a bit more since then), so I ordered a double yesterday….so I can cut my time in half that way.  My supply isn’t quite up to snuff yet (but we’re getting close) so we have had to supplement formula a few times as well.  I’m starting to be okay with these things.  I still don’t love it, but I’m recognizing that it doesn’t make me a failure as a parent, and that it’s okay.  We have to figure out what works for us, and frankly, the last three weeks  have been anything but ideal and we’re dealing with that the best we can. 

Since Liam is eating from a bottle, it does mean we can split up his feedings.  As of now, Andy feeds him his last bottle before bed (because Mommy goes to sleep earlier than Daddy), then I take care of the middle of the night feeding/diaper, and Andy gets the first thing in the morning.  Then whoever does whatever during the day….tomorrow will be my first full day home alone with Liam and Ollie.  Liam and I have to go to the bank and the health department so I will also be driving for the first time (unless I go get groceries tonight, which may happen) AND making my first outing alone with baby.  It seems overwhelming right now, but I’m sure we’ll be fine.

Liam seems to love his carseat and his stroller right now (the boy likes to be moving).  He’s been on two walks in the park.  I think I have overestimated my ability on both walks…..we went to the park Saturday night, and I forgot about the hills the way we went.  I kind of wanted to die by the time we got home.  I keep having to remind myself that I did just have surgery three weeks ago….and I had a very serious infection after surgery….both of which would make it so that I wouldn’t feel great for a few weeks……and I had both, and am caring for a newborn and sleep deprived….so it’s okay to take it a little easier.  Yeah….I keep saying it…but it’s not really happening :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pajama Day

Sometimes, it’s just a good time to stay in your pajamas.  Today is one of those times.  Any night where we are up half the night because of storms, and the other half with feeding and pumping and this mama ends up getting less than 3 hours of sleep overall is a good night to be followed by pajama day.  See?  Liam stayed in his pajamas, and he looks oh-so-fabulous in them! (Liam’s mommy…not so cute)

IMG_3313 LRC 26a LRC 26b

And just for kicks and giggles….here are some of the outtakes.

“Oh…were you taking a picture?  Didn’t you want me in it?”


“Quick….he’s on the ground….I’ve got to sniff him!”


“Mom, seriously, I’ve got this under control…no worries.”


A package deal…two for the price of one.


Someone has beard issues.


Seriously….enough.  Stop taking pictures.

 IMG_3314 IMG_3318

First Outing

Liam got to go on his first outing that wasn’t to the hospital last night.  We went for a walk in the park next to our house.  It was a family affair—Andy’s mom had Keegan, Andy had Ollie, and I got to walk with Liam and his stroller.  Here’s our boy in his stroller (which is way too big for him right now…even with the Snuzzler to tuck him in….I think we’ll be using his carseat attachment until he gets just a bit bigger).



This picture was taken after the walk….when it started sprinkling and we couldn’t get our family shot outside. 

Also—can I tell you how much I love little boys in striped onesies—that one is from Baby Gap and it makes me all sorts of happy….especially since he got it in 0-3 mos. from Andy’s parents neighbors, and 6-12 mos. from a cousin of the Cooks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

7The State of :Things: Two Weeks In

Liam  is two weeks old today.  It’s kind of hard to believe we’ve been parents for an entire two weeks.  So I thought I’d give an update on how things are going here.

--Liam now weighs 7 lbs. 14.5 oz.  He had gained six ounces from last Wednesday to yesterday, so our boy is on a healthy little growth streak.  Also…he was two inches longer than he was at birth.

--Liam is starting to figure out the joy of stretching out.  Our boy still lays like a frog for most of the time, but occasionally, he’ll kick out and stretch.

--Liam has made himself a nice little schedule.  He wakes up every 3-4 hours and gets his diaper changed, eats, and hangs out a bit before going back to sleep.  Except at 2 AM.  At 2 AM he wants to hang out for a long time.  And possibly poop in his brand new clean diaper.  He likes to talk politics and celebrity gossip and anything else under the sun at 2 AM.  I blame Andy.  He did that to me all the time while I was pregnant….he would come to bed and wake me up to talk in the middle of the night.  I don’t find it to be a charming trait in either of them…but they are both so darn cute.

--During his hang out time, Liam has started looking around more.  He has this black and white pattern card that came in one of his toys, and he can follow it all the way around with his eyes.  He also likes just being held and talked to.  He and I talk about ridiculous things…”Ollie just moved his left paw.  Ollie is biting his leg fur.  Ollie stop biting your leg fur.  Liam, you are making a funny face.  Is Mama insane?”

--Andy’s mom came back to help for the week, and I am so thankful.  I don’t think I could do everything without her right now.

--My PICC line comes out on Friday….and I am so excited.  I think it will change our whole world.  I definitely feel like our schedule will be freer.  THhe things we will be able to stop doing soon: my iv line each afternoon…which takes a full hour.  I will be able to stop pumping and dumping…which will free up a few hours a day…and definitely allow for more nighttime sleep.  No more preparing formula and warming bottles and sterilizing nipples.  Next week, we won’t have to apply Liam’s mouth and rash creams four times a day.  We’ll just have a lot less to do every day.

--As a side note on that last point, I think Andy finally realized why I’m so much more tired than he is.  He and his mom had changed Liam’s diaper at 2, and brought him to me to feed.  They fell asleep around 2:20…and I stayed up to feed him, try to get him to fall back to sleep, and to pump.    At 3:50 I woke Andy up and asked him to take Liam  back to his bed….I think it was the first time he realized how long it takes to do everything I do in the middle of the night.

--In a surprising twist, Andy is gung ho in love with Liam’s cloth diapers.  To the point that he made the decision to stop using disposable over the weekend.  And since he’s the primary diaper changer right now, he’s the one that gets to make that call.  He likes them because they are super absorbent—they keep the wetness off our boy, he likes the way they cover him, and they seem to really be good for his rash.  He has also taken care of all poop removal in the cloth, and seems to be totally okay with it.  He told me the other day that he was really hesitant about it…but he’s really glad I made the call on them because he feels like they are so much better for Liam.

--I’m recovering well.  No more fevers.  My medicine seems to be working well.  I’ve gotten the hang of giving myself an iv treatment.  I hate my PICC line with a passion.  It gets in the way.  I can’t hold Liam in my right arm because the lumens dig into the back of his head.  If I leave my elbow crooked for too long (like holding a bottle or pump) it hurts when I straighten it.  My left arm, neck, and shoulder are super sore from doing all the baby work, since I can do very little with the right side.  I don’t have two necks.  I meant the left side of my neck.

--My c-section scar is healing up well.  It only hurts a little, and sometimes more itches than anything.  My pain has lessened significantly in the last few days…I’d say I’ll be recovered from that pretty shortly.  And that’s exciting. (Shannon—thank you so much for telling me about the brace thing---I ordered one and it has been my absolute best friend)

--Also…just to keep things interesting, I ended up with some bruising in the vein in my right hand where the iv was in the hospital.  I had no idea it could appear so much later.  But it hurts like heck and I have to use hot compresses to help it go down.  Now how funny is that?

--And lastly, Oliver.  Ollie has adjusted well.  He loves Liam, and is very protective of him.  He just wants to watch him (and lick him…but we try to stop that) and love him.  He’s very sweet.  He did learn this weekend that he doesn’t have to wake up for diaper changes and feedings overnight and now stays firmly planted in bed and asleep whenever we get up with Liam.  So I’d say he’s the best rested member of the family.   He never showed any signs of jealousy, and has done crazy well considering the chaos our house has been in.  He goes to the groomer this afternoon, and he LOVES the girl who does his hair…so I’m hoping she showers him with some extra special attention (she always does…Andy sometimes has to pick him and carry him out to get him to leave because he loves his groomer so much)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

4 years

4 years ago today, this was happening:

IMG_5149 IMG_5175

And it was awesome.  Perfect really…everything I could have imagined.

But today?  Better than I could have imagined.  Far more than I could have ever hoped for.

Because I married my best friend.

And he’s only getting better.

Even today, as I’m on my third shirt (after being peed on and spit up on), fifty pounds heavier than on that day, sitting on the sofa with an iv dripping into my arm, and a mess on the sofa where I accidentally dumped my pump a little early….I know that he loves me more than he did on that day.  After the week and a half we’ve had, there’s not a doubt in my mind.  My husband would lay down his life for me, and for our son.  I can’t think about the way he’s shown love to both of us without breaking down into tears….it’s a beautiful, wonderful thing.  I have always loved my husband, but I have to tell you….I really love watching my husband as the father of our children.    That sweet boy I married has become an the incredible man that I love being married to.  So this anniversary, it’s a special one.  It’s a real good one…and not because of any extravagant gifts or vacations or awesome dinners out….because it’s the anniversary we get to celebrate as parents for the first time….the anniversary we get to celebrate after being tried by a bit of fire….and the anniversary that we get to celebrate today as best friends and as husband and wife and as parents. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today….or parenting failure :)

Okay….so I will go back and cover what has happened up until now.  But I kind of need some time to process through the events of the past week.  In a lot of ways, it was the best week of my life, but it was also the worst.  It was a traumatic week, and I need some time sort through it in my head.  So I’ll get there.  But this is a lighter moment.

Liam had his first doctor’s appointment today.  He saw the pediatrician that I love, so I was so excited.  He has gained all birth weight back, and grown a half-inch in the past week.  Sadly, the poor boy had thrush and a diaper rash, so he got his first antibiotics.  As we left the doctor’s office, I realized my house keys weren’t in my purse.  They were on the table at home.  The last time I had checked my purse was before Liam was born, and I just assumed I had my keys…but I didn’t.  So I had to call Andy and ask him to run and grab Liam’s prescriptions and to let us in the house.

Andy ran to Walgreens and they only had one of his prescriptions available, so he had to go to CVS to get it.  In the meantime, my mom and Liam and I were sitting in the car in the driveway waiting for him.  It was time for Liam to eat, and we had accidentally left his bottle at home.  I thought Mom grabbed it, and she thought I did (which was fair…since I packed the rest of the diaper bag).  So my poor boy had to sit in the car and wait for his lunch while his daddy had to run around town….luckily they are both pretty easy-going and we all had a good laugh about it (well…Liam didn’t laugh..he had a good sleep about it :)).

So here’s to hoping I can get my act together a little bit better next time.

Oh…and Andy apparently left his house keys this morning for my mom…but we didn’t realize it…so he had to break in through a window to get in the house when he got back.  Good times.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday Night

Today has been a hard day.  A really hard day.  I'll be honest.  It's involved a lot of crying, probably mostly from hormones.
I got a diagnosis today.  I have a fungal infection that was in the umbilical cord...they found it because they run a pathology report on c-sections.  So I got started on a treatment today.  But I was feeling worse.  I kept getting high fever spikes and started having aches and pains all over.  My doctor called an internal medicine doctor and an infectious disease doctor to see what to do about me.  Right now, I'm a human pincushion.  I have had all sorts of lab work...with a lot more coming tomorrow.  I got a chest x-ray...and I may have a CT scan tomorrow....I'm not really sure right now.
Long story infection was not going away.  I am very sick right now.  They had to switch my medicne tonight to a new medicine that's not conducive to I have to pump and dump for the next several days....and Liam has to go on formula.  This has been the hardest thing for me....and the part I've cried over the most.  If I felt like a failure as a mother before....this has really iced the cake.
I will have to be at the hospital until at least Saturday...but longer if my fever continues to spike.  I have to go 24 hours without a high fever before they will release me.
Please pray for us.

Thursday Morning

Liam is here.  And he's sweet.  Andy and I can't stop looking at him.  Andy has pronounced him our sweet boy no fewer than 45 times a day.  He is completely head over heels—and so am I.  The only pictures that have been loaded to my computer are the ones from before his bath Tuesday night, but Andy's mom took a few more today where he's clean.  I'll try to get those up sometime may have to wait until after we get home.

A few noteworthy things (and really, prayer requests)

-I have an infection.  My fever keeps spiking periodically (up to 104.1 at one point today…and 103.8 another) and they are working to get it figured out.  I had a lot of bloodwork done today so they will get the results soon and find out what it is.  Until then I get iv antibiotics a few times a day.  And a lot of Tylenol, Motrin, and Percoset.

-Liam met with the physical therapist today.  Because he was breech, he likes to lay in a frog position, so we have some exercises to do with him each time he gets his diaper changed to help him get centered and his muscles develop properly.  He hates getting his diaper changed, and really his exercises and cries when Andy does them with him (I haven't changed a diaper or done the exercises yet).  We will also have to get an ultrasound on his hips at one month and six to make sure they are okay, but both the pediatrician and physical therapist thought he looked okay there.

-Feeding….it's going, but not well.  Liam won't latch and stay on.  I am supposed to meet with the lactation consultant today and see if she can help me out.  One of the problems we are having is probably from the c-section too, and should work itself out….but a lot of is our boy is stubborn.  He doesn't really want to work for his meal, and he gets frustrated and quits easily.

-And lastly—showering. I haven't showered since Monday night before I went into labor.  I am a hot mess, especially with the sweating I've been doing as my fever comes down.  So here's to hoping I get to take my first shower today :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Maternity Leave

It’s my first official day of my maternity leave.  I gave myself a bit of time off, because I know myself.    First, it would have driven me crazy to not have a set date.  Second, I would have never been able to do the amount of lesson planning and prepping without the date in mind.  As it stands, I left an enormous binder filled with every possible bit of information my sub will need, as well as every sheet of paper she should need photocopied through the end of the school year.  And the keys to every assignment, as well as whether to check it for credit or to grade it for real.  And my very detailed instructions on how to run each of my classes and what sort of personality/discipline works best with each.  And I had all of that finished last Monday.  Anal retentive much?  So…yeah.  I honestly made myself fairly sick the last two weeks preparing to be out for the next three.  It didn’t help that the other ninth grade teacher had emergency surgery last Monday and was out sick the whole week….so I took care of all of her lesson plans and checking on her sub too.  So, you know, I added a bit more to my already full plate.  But now it’s over.  Of course, I’m itching to know what’s going on in my room right now…if everything is going okay, if everything I left makes sense, etc.  But I’m not checking today.  I need to give myself some distance, to calm down.  My blood pressure was steadily creeping up at my last few appointments, and I think my work crazy was probably a part of it.

So now I’m home.  This week it’s just Ollie and me.  He is laying on the sofa trying to take a nap, and he keeps looking over at me like, “Woman, what are you doing here?”  It’s a bit funny.  I have a list of things to accomplish this week as well—groceries, license branch, bank, and a few last minute baby things.  Nothing too terrible, but enough to keep me busy each day this week.  At my appointment this Thursday, my doctor will decide when to do my c-section.  It will either be Saturday or Wednesday (as in…..this weekend or middle of next week).  Andy and I would prefer Saturday for a lot of reasons…. but I’ll do what she says.  It’s a really bizarre feeling.  I know that I’m pregnant.  I know that I’m about to have a child.  But it’s like my mind can’t quite fathom what’s really happening.  I kind of remember this feeling from getting married too….it’s like I knew I had a wedding coming up, and I could focus in on the details of that because everything that came after seemed so inconceivable.  Only here, even the birth details feel inconceivable….so I’m just kind of a mess :)

And speaking of being a mess….I think I’m coming to terms with having to have a c-section.  I really didn’t want one.  I really wanted to be a good mommy who did everything right and had a great pregnancy and delivery.  And then I got a rash that has made me miserable for over a month.  And then my blood pressure started creeping up.  And then I found out I had the strep thing that would require antibiotics if I was delivering vaginally.  And then my boy was “as breech as breech can be.”  And then it was really too risky to turn him because my fluid is lower than it should be for that, and my placenta is in the wrong place and could be more easily ruptured if we tried to turn him.  And then we settled on the c-section.  But it wasn’t an easy thing for me.  To be honest, I left that doctor’s appointment, walked out to the car, and started sobbing.  I felt like a failure.  Like my body was working against my child, and I couldn’t do what the whole world says is best…so I had to settle for next best.  Hear me out here….I know that my emotions were wrong.  I know that my feelings were the result of hormones, exhaustion, and lies in my head.  But it was something I had to deal with, to work through.  I have come to a place where I am fine with having a c-section.  I recognize that there are a whole lot of babies born that way (including my own husband) and that there is nothing wrong with it.

It has made me realize that there really is a fine line in a lot of things dealing with childbirth and even baby care and especially in the way that information is presented and things are said.  I think a lot of times people will say things in hopes of encouraging others…but they don’t come out that way.  Everyone has their own opinion on every topic under the sun, and pregnancy/birth/baby care decisions seem to be so controversial.  I am so thankful for a husband, a mom, and a mother-in-law who have been so supportive in these last few weeks.  I have talked this over with each of them a few times as I’ve struggled through what’s going on here.  The sweet teachers in my hallway at school were wonderful as well…encouraging me when I felt the most discouraged.  Because there are people who will say things, who will be rude, who will question the decisions you have made.  It’s happened.  And it’s taken every ounce of willpower inside of me not to shout “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HEAR ABOUT MY AMNIOTIC FLUID AND MY PLACENTA AND WHY I CHOSE WHAT I CHOSE BECAUSE THOSE ARE NOT TOPICS FOR POLITE CONVERSATION BUT I’M GETTING CLOSE TO LOSING EVERY BIT OF POLITE INSIDE OF ME.” Thankfully, that’s really only happened once.  And it was a person who has often made me think, “Some people just don’t think like I do.”  So it was fine.  

But you had better believe that I am going to be careful in how I treat other people—because I never want anyone else to feel like I am judging their decision.  I want to help and support other mothers and mothers-to-be in the same way that the women in our small group, the teachers in my hall at school, and my sweet moms have helped and supported me through these last few weeks.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Unimportant Update

I have lots to update on…but this is just a quick note.

If you are anywhere near a Starbucks and like coconut, do yourself a favor and get a mocha coconut Frapuccino.  Seriously.  They were the special summer drink of the year six years ago when we were in Freiburg and it was one of my favorite things in Germany.  I just saw on their website that they are the US summer drink this year…and now I’m desperate for one.  I’m going to have to figure out a way to get to Clarksville or Columbus this week to get one before Liam comes.

And yes, I’m fully aware how pitiful it is that I have to drive nearly an hour to get to the nearest Starbucks…it’s the same reason I had to crave the iced green tea from Panera for several weeks before getting to indulge.

Feel free to pity me.  I certainly do.

(Please read the sarcasm in that).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rotten Dog

I am down to my last week of work.  This Friday will be my last day at school…because odds are pretty good that Liam will be coming the week after.  Andy and I are in crazy planning/finish up everything mode right now (including a list for Target tomorrow night that may be the longest non-grocery list of my life).  We have a few other things on the list too…like installing car seat bases, Andy getting a whooping cough vaccine, packing hospital bags, making a baby book, and deciding what to do about newborn photos….and you know, a healthy dose of staring at each other and freaking out.

As we processed our list this afternoon, I was really thankful that I got all of my school lesson plans done last week.  It will be one less thing to worry about this week.  I was talking to Andy about what a relief it is to not be worrying about school stuff…and I bent down and picked Ollie up.  I started talking to him, and I told him, “Ollie, guess what?  This is the last Monday that Mommy has to go to work.  She’ll be home to play with you and Liam after this week!”

And he started to make a whining, crying noise.  Andy nearly fell off the sofa laughing so hard.

Ungrateful dog.  See if I share my Cheerios with him in the morning. :)