Friday, January 22, 2016

All the Things

I thought I'd do a little update post for anyone who might be interested.  I always like reading these kinds of posts, especially for friends who are far away, so here you all go!  (With pictures, and hopefully nobody cares that many of them are also ones from Instagram)

The Adults:

Sam is waiting on his teaching license from the state.  It's a little annoying because there is a mandatory 6-week (minimum) waiting period starting after your classes are finished, and one of his dipstick teachers only JUST submitted grades a few days ago.  Soooo... we are looking at March for a salaried job, at the earliest.  That probably means he won't be teaching at a public school until August at the earliest, but fortunately he's doing well at Heritage, so he can probably get a position there whenever his license comes through-- at least, that's what we're hoping for.  It's actually pretty frustrating to keep meeting all these hurdles and having to be patient (heaven forbid) in waiting for things to happen.  But as people keep pointing out to me, if we look back at the way things have gone in the past for us, it always seems like we keep hitting these hurdles, but we're always able to get over them and things work out and keep moving forward.  I just wish I could close my eyes and wake up and have everything finally be sorted, you know?  But maybe it's a good thing, because it means we won't be moving any time soon, and we won't have that to adjust to on top of a new baby.

In any case, with Sam done with classes, he's home (and not doing homework) a lot more, which is quite lovely.  And I think he enjoys it too-- there're no deadlines lurking, and he could actually do something for fun once in a while if he wanted to.

As for me, I'm just trying to adjust to taking care of two little kids, and myself, and make sure the house isn't a war zone.  It's tricky running around keeping a toddler from wreaking havoc and trying to calm a newborn, but there are plenty of good moments.  Remy is having an easier time nursing than Rosalind did, which is a huge relief.  However, he does eat way more often-- which is anything but relief.  I'm just doing the grin-and-bear-it thing as best I can right now while I'm adjusting.  Two kids is hard.  Again, wouldn't it be nice to just fast forward to when everything has equalized?

Anyway, I think over all, for now, things are okay for me.  There have been some really horrible days that make me wonder, and then are some days when things seem fairly good, but mostly it's a lot of days just getting by.  I think I've felt people's concern & such for me, which I'm grateful for.  But I don't feel like I'm out of the PPD woods just yet.  So there you are.

The Sub-Adults:

Rosalind just turned two!  Her birthday was a pretty good day.  She got a carrier like my Ergo for her doll/bunny from Grandma Wasden, a book from Grandma Wood, and we got her a wooden alligator and some memory card things (she likes the pictures, we will work on matching later).  She also got 3 balloons and a chocolate cupcake from Sweet Tooth Fairy (I was going to make cupcakes, but with the baby and everything, there just isn’t time or energy...I had to get over some guilt on that one).  We made homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner and she got to watch the Lion King, which is probably her favorite movie right now.  Then she got to take a bubble bath and then went to bed.  I think she had a pretty good day, perfect for a two-year-old.

We also took her to the doctor for her checkup last week, and though she hasn’t really gained any weight, she has gotten taller.  I guess that means the chub is finally slowing down!  A little sad to see it go, but that’s ok.  She’s already in 3T clothes (and I'm going to have to move her to size 5 diapers soon, too), so I don’t really need her to be any fatter.

I was keeping a tally of all the words she knows, but I lost track somewhere between 350-400 words.  That is crazy!  She also speaks in sentences, real sentences, not just words paired together into phrases (which are really more like longer words, if that makes sense).  She is talking all day long about any number of things, most of which I understand, but a lot that I don’t—or at least, I can understand what she’s saying, but it sounds more like she’s just listing words she knows or naming everything in sight, which is pretty funny.  She also really loves songs.  She’s always throwing out lines from songs she knows (from us or from nursery or somewhere else), such as “No more monkeys jumping on the bed,” “Twinkle twinkle little star,” "Itsy Bitsy Spider," “Rockabye baby,” “Clean up,” “Happy Birthday,” etc.

She’s also a little bit of a punk.  She’s at that stage where when you tell her not to do something, that’s a prompt to do it as quickly as she can before you come and stop her.  It’s a little frustrating, and can be really obnoxious to sometimes even scary when she’s doing something to helpless little Remy, but it’s all mostly harmless, and comes with the toddler territory.

She’s close to wanting to potty train, and if she doesn’t make progress herself in the next 6 months or so, we’ll really knuckle down on it, because it would be nice to have her out of diapers by the time she’s 3.  I’m kind of excited about that, to be honest.  There’s a lot of diaper-changing going on these days.

She loves talking, singing, dancing, playing with (and talking about) her friends (mostly cousins, also my friend Madison’s son Ronan, and others), animals, babies, reading books, and playing and exploring all the time.  I wish we could play outside more, since she really loves that, even in the snow, but it’s very cold and our yard doesn’t have a fence.

A couple funny things: the other night my visiting teacher Liz came over for a few minutes, and after she left, Rosalind said, “Where’d Liz go? Oh, on a picnic.”  And Sam said “No, she went home.  But when it’s warm, we can all go on a picnic together, ok?”  And she looked at him with furrowed brow and said, very seriously, “Why?”  It was pretty funny.  She also is getting pretty good at removing and putting on clothes, which leads to some pretty humorous situations where she’s partially clothed at random times, and we have to try not to laugh because I don't want her to think it's okay to stretch her clothes out.  She also has this funny bow-legged walk she does sometimes when she’s being silly that cracks me up.

Over all, she’s quite a delight, and always makes me laugh.  I’m so glad she’s two, even though it’s kind of a difficult age, and I can’t wait to see her develop her personality even more as she grows.
Sporting her baby carrier and "new hat"

I have a million pictures of her dragging her balloons all over the house that day.  She was obsessed.
So proud it's a fav
"I want chocolate.  Happy day to Rozzie"
Bubble bath!  She was afraid to sit in it at first.

It’s been almost a month since Remy was born now (he'll be one month this coming Tuesday).  I am so glad time seems to be going pretty quickly.  I really don’t enjoy the newborn period, it’s pretty difficult.

At Remy’s 2-week pediatrician visit, they couldn’t hear any issues with his heart, so it seems like we really are in the clear!  That makes me very happy.  Although for some reason I'm still worried, so we'll see at his 2 month visit if it's still clear-- although maybe that's just anxiety talking.  Also, he had grown about an inch and a half in length and gained a pound on top of his birth weight.  That also made me very happy, because he eats quite a lot, and I was worried it was because he wasn’t getting enough milk from nursing—clearly, though, he’s fine, just very hungry and growing quick.

For the first three weeks or so, he was eating every two hours from start to start, which meant that at night we weren’t getting more than an hour and a half of sleep at a time.  It was really starting to wear on both Sam and me, but fortunately, the last couple of nights, he has slept for a few hour stretches between feedings.  I’m hoping to have a five hour stretch regularly soon (in some demented Pediatrician's mind, 5 hours is sleeping through the night...woohoo).  We will see.  We also supplement with bottles of pumped milk sometimes during the day, so some of the burden of feeding him is relieved from me, which is very nice.

He has a horrible case of baby acne right now, which makes me feel kind of bad.  The only thing we can do is wait for it to go away, though.  Some of the pores are very swollen and sometimes he accidentally scratches his face and they pop, and it makes him cry.  But it’s not as bad the last day or two as it has been the last couple of weeks, so hopefully it will start to clear up soon.

Remy does pretty well with tummy time.  Like Rosalind, he has a pretty strong neck for a newborn, and it’s pretty funny to watch him hold himself straight up with a serious look on his face when we hold him, like it’s requiring a lot of his concentration but he’s determined to do it.

He has fuzzy brown hair and brown eyes (you can tell they aren’t as brown as they will be eventually, but they definitely aren’t the “newborn blue” so many babies often have).  His skin is also kind of dark.  Mostly it seems kind of red right now, but again, you can tell it’s going to be darker eventually.  His hair isn’t blackish brown like Sam’s, but more of a medium brown, and when the sunlight shines through it, it looks like golden brown sugar.  He really looks so much like Rosalind did when she was a newborn, though maybe not quite as chubby (sadly).  Actually, I think that's a blessing for me that he looks so much like she did because I feel like it's the same baby, so he doesn't seem quite so foreign, and it's a little easier for me that way, if that makes sense.

He's starting to be alert for longer periods during the day-- though since he was a post-date baby, he's been pretty alert from the beginning.  Mostly he just sits there and grunts (he is seriously the gruntiest baby), but once-- one glorious time!-- he smiled and cooed at me.  That was wonderful.  Of course, I almost cried.

Anyway, again, I really can't wait for him to get older.  I'm really glad we're just about a third of the way through the "Fourth Trimester" and I'm kind of excited to go through some of the milestones again with him.  Mostly I'm very curious to see what he will look like as he grows!  And I'm still holding out for another chub baby-- though if he's not, that's okay, I'll mourn my losses and move on.
I love this picture.
This one too.
His head looks giant in this-- I promise it's not
You might not see it, but he totally looks like Rosalind did
Tummy time
Consternation and baby acne
My view as of late.  He just wants to be held-- sleeping or nursing

Fed is Best

I've been having a lot of thoughts about this random topic lately-- probably because my life currently revolves around feeding a baby.  I just wanted to throw a few thoughts out there, so bear with me.

My "friend" the pump-- also somehow now I have two electric pumps and a manual one...What am I going to do with all these pumps??

I don't have many friends or family members that breastfeed.  I can count on one hand the number of people I know who do or did so exclusively.  Most people I know formula feed.  Personally, I don't love either option.  Nursing is hard, especially at the very beginning when you're just so sore and the baby is still learning and your supply is evening out and the baby eats frequently anyway, etc etc.  But I love the benefits of breast milk.  So it's a sacrifice I made as long as I could with Ros (and yes, there are pleasant moments, the pain doesn't last forever, and eventually that oxytocin release when the baby nurses is something to look forward to).  Formula was a huge blessing for me, too.  And it's a huge blessing for a lot of people, and I recognize that and totally do not judge.  It's just that it can really block up a baby and be hard to digest, etc etc.  As an added lovely bonus, a lot of formula companies put stupid things in formula that really make me scratch my head.  So, like I said, for me, neither option was perfect.

Only when I had Rosalind did I realize there were actually more than just those two options.  As I've mentioned numerous times, Ros had a really difficult time with breastfeeding.  There were multiple reasons for it, I'm sure.  But after a month of struggling to feed her, I started pumping milk to bottle feed her.  Because it's hard to keep up with casual pumping AND nursing a baby with a voracious appetite, at 6 weeks I started supplementing with formula.  Soon after that, I was only nursing her at night when she was too sleepy to fight me, and she was getting both pumped milk and formula during the day.  It was a LOT of work.  I thought originally "Hey, exclusive pumping seems like the way for me!"  I had a pump and a bunch of bottles and pumped and bagged milk like crazy.  But because of PPD and her insatiable appetite, pumping often enough wasn't really feasible.  So by the time she was 3 or 4 months old, my supply was pretty much dwindling to nothing.  I remember one night in the middle of the night, she was trying to nurse and get a let-down and nothing happened.  Absolutely nothing.  It was heart-breaking for me.  And she was screaming from hunger so we had to go make a bottle, and that was hard too.

After that, I tried relactation a couple of times (if you've ever tried this, you know how impossible it can be).  I pumped and pumped and even tried to get her to nurse during the day, but she just chewed on me as if it were a joke.  I remember after a collective 2 hours of pumping one day, I was able to get almost 2 ounces-- pure liquid gold.  I was so proud, but simultaneously felt pathetic.  And then when I was warming it up the next day in a bottle, a well-meaning but misguided individual dumped it down the sink, thinking it was a dirty bottle, and I cried for 45 minutes.  That really was pathetic.  So I quit trying, and resigned myself to feeding Rosalind formula-- which would have been fine if she had tolerated it well, which she didn't.  Formula made her super constipated, and it was just something we had to deal with.  We tried a handful of different varieties, and I remember one afternoon, I was alone with her and she was trying so, so hard to poop, and I had to sit there with her and hold her legs with her diaper off and talk to her soothingly while she screamed and pushed and started to bleed.  Again-- heartbreaking.

And then, one evening my visiting teachers were over, and we were talking about how hard all this had been (I have no idea how we got on the subject, seeing as I barely knew these women, and we were actually meeting for the first time), and one of them suggested as they were walking out the door to leave, "Hey, I know it's kind of taboo and not really for everyone, but have you considered donated milk?  Not through the milk bank, since that's reserved for really sick babies, but donated milk from other nursing women."  I was intrigued, and she said she would hook me up with the group she had previously donated to.  I talked it over with Sam and did a mound of research, and we decided that as long as we met the women we got the milk from and knew they were legit, that it would be something we should take advantage of.

We never got a regular donor, just a few people who had a bunch of frozen breastmilk taking up space in their freezer, but through those generous donations, we were able to give Ros partial breastmilk and partial formula for a few more months.  As she got older, fewer people took pity on us, but her digestion improved, so it worked out okay.  Several of the people that I mentioned the path we took to thought it was a little disgusting, though for the life of me, I could never really figure out why.  These people had to disclose their diets and medications, etc, and I met every one of the women who gave us any milk, and they were all kind people with children of their own, who understood the need.  The group was private, and every member was vetted by a moderator for legitimacy.  While we did occasionally get a bag of spoiled milk, there was really nothing disturbing about any of it, and really seemed to me a wonderful act of service that we were lucky to take advantage of.

This time around, I did (and do) not have high hopes for nursing Remy.  I am nursing him as long as I feel able, especially since it's flu/RSV season and he needs all the help he can get, especially with an older sister and a dad who's a teacher.  We get a lot more germs coming through here than my OCD/anxious self can handle at times.  But I'm also realistic.  I know nursing is not my thing.  I know I'm not cut out for the long term (I'm just not, you guys).  I know that medication I will have to take soon is not breastfeeding-friendly.  I have felt horribly guilty about my inability to provide for my babies at times, since if it were a hundred or more years ago, my babies would simply die.  But, as Sam pointed out during a tearful conversation recently, it's not a long time ago.  It's today.  And it's okay to take advantage of other options for the sake of my mental health.  I need to take care of myself so that I can take care of my family.  That is incredibly important.

I don't know yet where this feeding path will take Remy and me, but I'm doing what I can to balance his health and mine.  If that means formula, fine.  If that means trying to find a milk donor again, I'm glad for that too.  But through this whole thing, through all the guilt I've felt and shame I've perceived from others, there's one thing I've learned:  Fed is Best.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy Birth Day Remy

The morning of the 29th (Tuesday), was the first day over the break (I think) that we didn't have anything planned.  I spent the morning coloring while I waited for Sam & Rosalind to wake up, then we all had breakfast.  It was snowing pretty well, so Rosalind asked to go outside and build a snowman.  It was 17 degrees so I bundled Rosalind up and sent her out with Sam.  I really just wanted the day to be a good day where we did lots of fun things, because I knew this would probably be the last day we had together, just us three.  I remember standing in the living room looking out the window watching Sam & Ros play in the snow (too dry and powdery for a snowman bigger than 6 inches tall, unfortunately) and had an uncomfortable contraction.  I think I had only had one or two other ones that whole morning, but it was noticeable enough that time that I thought maybe that night or the next day could be the day Remy came.  And honestly, I figured with how contrary everything else had been to my original hopes & expectations, I thought labor was going to be long and arduous this time.

After playing in the snow for a while, Sam suggested we go for a walk at the mall (can't really go for a walk anywhere else in this weather).  So, out we went.  I turned on my Strava app while we walked around, and by the end we had walked about 9/10 of a mile, so it was a pretty good walk.  After walking, we went to the Gap and took advantage of their semi-annual sale (60% off clearance!!) to get a few clothes for the kids, then we had lunch at Chick-fil-A.

About this time, my stomach started hurting, and I was thinking that exerting myself with all that walking and eating a bunch of chicken and french fries might not have been the best idea, but the stomachache sort of came and went (it didn't bother me much, but then a wave would hit me that made me feel really sick for a minute, and then it would go away for a didn't occur to me at the time that it could've been related to labor).

We went home and put Rosalind down for her nap, and I finished coloring my picture.  While we were sitting there, I noticed that every now and then I would have one of those uncomfortable contractions like I'd felt while watching them play in the snow earlier, and thought perhaps they might be worth timing, just to see if anything worth noting was happening.  I told Sam I was going to go lie down for a while, but didn't tell him I suspected anything was going on, because I didn't want anybody to get excited.

I started timing contractions some time between 1:15 and 1:30.  When I started, they were about 10 minutes apart and lasting about a minute.  Over the course of the hour I timed them, they went to about 4 minutes apart and lasted about a minute.  In case you didn't know, four minutes apart and lasting one minute is past when they tell you you're in active labor.  The thing was, though, it totally didn't feel like the real thing.  The contractions required my concentration and I had to breathe through them, but after the peak, they didn't really feel like a big deal, and between them, everything was totally normal and I felt just fine.

Finally, I went in and told Sam what was happening, opening with the caveat "Don't get excited because it's probably nothing" and then told him I was going to take a shower, mostly to distract myself.  I figured if the baby did come that night or the next morning, it might be easier to have Rosalind out of the way in advance, so I told Sam's parents to come get her.  I then texted my mom and asked her to be on alert, but that it was probably not the real deal.  I didn't call the midwife yet, even.

Sam's parents came while I was taking a shower, and finally Sam came in and said it was probably best to keep the midwife appraised, just in case.  I agreed, so he called, but she was in clinic, so she had to call back later.  In the mean time, we ran out of hot water (I wasn't even in there that long, we just have a stupid water heater), but I didn't want to get out because I didn't know if I should dress for the birth center or not, so I was standing there almost cold wondering why the midwife didn't hurry up and call back, when finally she did, and told us to come in.  Actually, I was a little disappointed, because I was certain I was only dilated maybe 3 centimeters max, and I didn't want to have a false alarm and ruin everybody's day by going in too early.

So, Sam called my mom and gave her the head's up, and we got ourselves into the car and made our way down to the birth center.  I had a contraction in the parking lot on our way walking to the door, so Sam hugged me until it finished.  His coat was really cold, I remember for some reason, and I think at that point I started to get a little excited about the prospect of FINALLY having a baby!  I still didn't let him get our bag out of the car though, just in case.

Anyway, we went inside, and my mom was waiting there.  They were already filling the tub, which I thought was silly since I wasn't even really in labor (so I thought), but I didn't say anything.  Honestly, I think part of the reason things didn't feel "real" was because I was expecting to handle it rather like I did last time (I was very, er...vocal), but I think partly because I knew what to expect since I'd done it before, and partly because my voice was raw from getting over a cold, it was a lot easier to just breathe through the contractions without vocalizing at all.

The first thing they did was ask if I wanted a cervical check, and I said yes, since I didn't want to wait around for no reason if we could just be leaving in a few minutes.  They checked me and announced I was at 6 centimeters.  Everybody smiled and laughed excitedly, but I was actually a little disappointed because with Ros I was already past transition and trying not to push on our way up to the birth center (although I was much further along than I expected!).  I asked, "So do we get to stay, or do we go home?" They laughed and said we could stay, of course.

I tested positive for Group B Strep this time around, but because we expected labor would be quick, I had to prepare for the fact that there might not be time for antibiotics.  I had been taking an extra probiotic for the last month, and once we knew I was really in labor, I had to wash with chlorhexidine (aka Hibiclens).  After we did that, they let me get into the tub.

Honestly, I do not like to be wet.  But I knew warm water would feel nice, so I considered the tub.  I also knew in advance that some research shows that babies born in water to moms with GBS have a much lower risk of infection, so I wanted it for that reason too.

My mom and Sam sat on a little sofa bench thing next to the tub, and we laughed and chatted for a bit, pausing for contractions every now and then, while the midwives bustled around getting things ready.  After a few minutes (or I guess a little longer, since I had already had a couple of contractions in the tub), one of them came in and asked if I wanted the antibiotics.  I asked her how long it took to administer, and she guessed probably about half an hour if they could do it quickly, and I asked to talk it over with Sam and my mom for a second, and she left.  We talked about it briefly, decided that unless things progressed more within a little bit longer, we would do them (at least I think that was the conclusion; as you'll see, we didn't end up having time), and then started laughing about how we should have brought a deck of cards.  Sam asked if I wanted some music to pass the time, and started looking for planetarium music as a joke, when all of a sudden I had a major pushing contraction that totally caught me off guard.  I almost squeezed the life out of Sam's hand, I'm sure.

I asked to be checked again, since I didn't want to push if I wasn't fully dilated yet, since it had only been maybe 20 minutes or so since I was last checked (maybe longer-- it's hard to gauge time).  Someone (the reason all this is so vague is because we had a midwife, an apprentice midwife, an intern midwife, and a birth assistant there; thank you "teaching birth center") checked me and she said "You're between a 9 and a 10.  Like it's mostly a 10, but you have just a little bit of lip left.  So just listen to your body, and do whatever you like."  That was pretty surprising to hear, to say the least.

I think I had one more really strong pushing contraction during which my water broke (which I did not feel at all, it's just what everybody was saying had happened), and on the next one, all of a sudden, I could feel his head, and it seemed like people were just standing there watching me (there really were a lot of midwives there...) so I kind of just yelled, "His head is right there!  Somebody do something!" (actually, I was worried about tearing, so by "do something" I kind of meant "support my perineum," but it's kind of hard to be specific in that sort of situation).  On the next push, his head came out, and I remembered that Sam had said he really wanted to catch the baby this time, since Ros being born en caul and with a nuchal cord sort of made that hard last time, but there was no way I could wait for him to get to the other side of the tub or get into a different position (I was on my hands and knees with my head towards Sam), so I just pushed again and grabbed Remy myself.  I pulled him out of the water and held him face down so he could spit out any fluid better, and a few seconds later he took a breath and cried.  Success!  Somebody mentioned it was 4:27pm.

We sat in the tub for a few minutes, and I just felt so relieved.  Sure, labor and delivery were a bit easier this time than with Ros (at the very least, less dramatic), and being in the water basically took all the burning from pushing away, but labor is still hard, you guys.  Personally, I am very relieved to be "done."  I also have to say that I really feel like labor being calmer this time was a huge blessing for me. Last time was quick, and I was pretty prepared from classes and reading, which helped, but it was so quick it scared me pretty bad after the fact, and I was worried about things being stressful this time around-- either in length, difficulty, or anything else. I feel so lucky that I was able to handle things so well this time. Anyway, we sat there for a while waiting for the placenta to deliver, but that took me a while again, like with Ros.  Finally, I was able to deliver the placenta, and Sam cut the cord.  Somebody took the baby, and I got up out of my blood bath and made my way to the bed to have some skin-to-skin time, and eventually get cleaned up and checked out.

For that first hour, we just cuddled and Remy nursed basically the whole time.  He had an amazing latch (a huge deal, especially compared to Rosalind's difficulties) and was content just to suck away the entire hour.  Eventually, after I was still having a ton of cramping, they needed to check me, so I gave up the baby for our exams.  Much to my relief, I only had 3 tiny tears, none of which warranted needing stitches, so I made out like a bandit in that way.  However, I did have a majorly swollen bruise that I will spare you the details on.  I had also retained more stuff like last time, so they gave me a little something for the bleeding again.

During the first hour, Remy had two major poops.  I'm only mentioning this because he didn't get weighed until after that, and so I feel like he deserves a little more credit than the 8 pounds 10 ounces at which he weighed in!  In any case, they checked all his reflexes, etc, and everything was fantastic.  I do remember though that while I was in the bathroom they talked about "wanting to listen to his heart again" or something, which kind of piqued my interest a bit.  After I got him back and we were having skin time again, there was apparently a small conference of the midwives in the other room, and they came back in and said they heard something a little unusual with his heart.  They said it probably wasn't anything to worry about, since newborns often are still working out their cardiovascular system in the first few hours (things work differently in versus out of the womb), but they'd check him every so often until we left.

At about 8:00pm, we started getting ready to go.  They did a final exam on everybody (well, the baby and me), but kept coming back to check Remy's temperature with different thermometers.  They also listened to his heart a couple more times.  Eventually, Hannah, the main midwife, said that Remy's temperature was consistently low, like just above the threshold of normal, and with his heart and the fact that I'd tested positive for GBS, she was going to call the pediatrician at the hospital just down the street.  I'll admit, I was a little worried at that point.  They brought us lots of warm towels and we got skin-to-skin again, and we sat there on the bed waiting to hear the results of the phone call.  I asked Sam if he was worried, and he said he was.  I then suggested he give Remy a blessing, and he did so.  Even though we were both a little worried, that was a very sweet moment for us, and, I felt, a nice way to welcome Remy to the world (although, yeah, I wish it hadn't been necessary).  Hannah came back in and said that after talking everything over with the Pediatrician, it wouldn't be necessary to take him to the hospital.  We were, however, instructed to check his temperature every few hours through the night and take him to our pediatrician first thing in the morning.  So we got dressed again, packed up, and went home.

My mom met us at home, and Sam went to get us dinner from Cafe Rio (because Cafe Rio, you guys).  I filled my mom in, and she didn't seem worried, which made me feel a little better.  Also, I knew we had good care, and no one would have let us go home if there had been a real reason to worry.  So, we checked his temp every few hours through the night, as instructed, texting the results to Hannah as we got them.  Fortunately, his temp went up and was normal some time in the middle of the night, much to everyone's relief.

The next morning we went in to see the pediatrician.  We brought him up to date, and he checked weight, temperature, and listened to Remy's heart.  Weight and temperature were fantastic, and when he listened to Remy's heart, it took him a while to pick up on the weird beat issue.  This was good, because it meant the problem was healing itself.  He said everything looked just fine, and said that if, for some reason, he could still hear the thing with his heart at the 2 week visit, he'd send us to the hospital for an ECG, but hopefully it wouldn't be necessary.  We went home collectively relieved.

The day after that, the midwife came by for our 2-day visit.  When she listened to Remy's heart, she couldn't hear the issue at all, so we think at this point it looks like his heart is healed.  Hooray!  Also, he only lost like 1 or 2 ounces of weight, which is pretty stellar.  She checked my swelling and that was considerably reduced as well, so when the visit was over, everybody was pleased as punch.

It's been a week, yesterday, since Remy's birth, and I think over all things are going fairly well-- at least, enormously better than I expected.  Rosalind is having a bit of a hard time, but she's a little better every day.  It didn't help that she's been recovering from a stomach bug the past few days, so she's been pretty short-tempered anyway.  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with the way I feel-- the PPD hit immediately with Rosalind, so I'm still not sure if it's just a delayed start this time or if I'll be lucky enough that it won't be so bad this time (I mean, I don't feel amazing and chipper, but there is a marked difference between this time and last time, so far).  Remy's perfect latch deteriorated and got stupid and painful after the first couple of days, but I've started pumping milk already, so it's easier for me to deal with his cluster feeding even with nursing feeling like Satan's Teeth.  I don't know how long I'll be able to nurse this time, so I just make little goals for myself ("let's see if I can make it to Wednesday without using a nipple shield" etc), and I'm pumping whenever I can so that there will be milk on hand.

Another thing we're doing differently this time is Sam is taking extra time off of work.  It'll suck next paycheck since he's still hourly, but it's a sacrifice we are all willing to make so that we can get through the first couple of weeks together.  Having two kids instead of one is a major adjustment, but it's not as big of a shock as having your first, so we are not totally surprised by everything that happens, it's just a matter of getting through it, this time totally together.  We are open with each other about how we are feeling about everything (dads can get PPD too, you know!), and because Remy is so dang squirmy and hates having his clothes/diaper changed, those are a group effort in the middle of the night, and I really do feel like we're balancing the work as evenly as possible.  Sam is a terrific husband and father, and really makes me feel good this time around about being a "co-parent"-- he's not a "help," he doesn't "babysit"-- he's a father.  And I love that.