Seriously, sleep already.

I've been up with V since 10am. It is now 7pm and she has refused to take a nap ALL DAY LONG. Gah. Going insane! Someone send oreos, STAT!

It's the little things...

I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans today! Woooooot!

I have no idea how much weight I've lost though. At my checkup one week after my c-section I had dropped 26 (!) pounds of the 40 that I gained in my pregnancy. My jeans didn't even button up a week yahoo!

I've been so sick of wearing the same clothing for the past year or so. I gathered up most all of my clothing and threw them out. This week I got a few cute sweaters and cardigans from JCPenny, some ballerina flats (in red and bronze), and a few long sleeved colored tees, and I am set to go for winter. It has been a LONG time since shopping for clothes brought me any joy.

Hurrah. I can wear jeans like a normal person again!

Monthly Letters: Month One

Good Lord child. What can I say other than we made it through the first month! I've never had such a hard job in my life. I mean, I worked at Orange Julius for something like $6.00/hr that summer when I was 17, and this is SO much harder.

I had no idea that you could cry so much. Hours and hours of inconsolable crying. We change you, feed you, burp you, swing you, bounce you, sing to you, swaddle you, and your little lungs just take a deep breath and wail even louder. SUP with that little girl??

I came to the realization this month that I really don't know any nursery rhymes to sing to you. This has lead to some really interesting songs that I sing with gusto, in hopes distract you long enough that you'll forget what you were crying about.

I sing this "Milkshake" song when I feed you, which is incredibly embarrassing. Or this song, except instead of singing "Fergalicious" I say "She's Chunkalicious" and then I tend to mumble the rest of the song 'cause Lord only knows what Fergie is saying.

Oh and perhaps the most embarrassing of all is the German nursery rhyme that I remember from my foreign language class in high school. It is about a little chickadee that is leaving his mothers nest, and the mother is very, very upset. But little chickadee puts on his travelling hat, and he is looking GOOD (Sehr gut!) and leaves his momma anyways. I often run out of breath and nearly pass out singing that song. Those Germans can sure string together a long sentence!

You were weighed a few days ago and my little/big chunky baby is up to 10lbs 10 ounces. That means you've gained well over a pound since we brought you home at 9lbs 5 ounces. Way to eat girl! Since you are such a girthy little gal, does this mean you will start sleeping longer at night? The books say so, but what do books know.

This month was filled with a lot of emotional breakdowns. I think either myself or your dad have one every other day. You have the attitude that if you are crying, EVERYONE MUST CRY. It is cool though. We are slowly getting use to the crying and are looking forward to the time when we are only being emotionally crushed every 3 or 4 days.

While I was feeding you this morning you smiled at me, twice. Not the sleep smiles you do all the time, with your zombie eyes rolling around in your head, but REAL smiles. You looked at me, I smiled at you, I said "Good morning sweet little girl!" and you smiled. UGH. I almost cried. You see? You are toughening me up. Normally I'd blubber. After a month at the hands of Commandant Violet, I can hold myself together.

I can't wait for you to get bigger. I look forward to the day when we can cook in the kitchen together. When you can ride the pug and terrorize him with glee. When we can go to the zoo or the library and have fun together. At the same time, PLEASE CHILD, don't grow up! Stay this small forever. Or, if you do have to grow up, just let me rock you to sleep and cradle you to my chest every night, at least until you are 16, okay?




So worth it.

Violet will be 1 month old this Wednesday. Even though it was a hellacious and LONG first month, I'm sad to see it go. It was also the most wonderful month of my life. Since she was a few days old I've been telling her not to grow up. She is so wonderful and darling and little. *sigh*

This website got, like, SO totally serious all of the sudden.

This is what happens when your mom is taking your picture while you are fussing and just waking up from a nap. Also, when she forgets to brush your hair after giving you a bath. Babies are a lot of fun. What a chunky meat-sauce-a-saurus!

The light at the end of the tunnel.

What a day y'all.

Thank you to everyone for your comments and support. I truly did need them.

I went to my doctor today and long story short, I am now on Prozac. I don't know that she ever said that I officially had postpartum depression, or just regular ol' depression. I have a history with depression, so I guess it is sort of a bonus that I can recognize the difference between just being overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated as opposed to being actually depressed. I had taken Prozac when I was 18 or so, and for a year it worked really well. I had gone off of it and had stayed happy, so it did its job. I'm hoping since I had success with it then that I will have success now. I guess I will have to let you know in about a month if I'm feeling better, cause unfortunately it takes a while to kick in.

Violet seems to be doing a lot better today. She had been constipated for about 4 days and FINALLY this morning she got it all taken care of, if you know what I'm sayin'. Poor girl must have been SO uncomfortable. She is gassy on top of that, so I can only imagine the pain she was in. Fortunately now I have some tips from the nurses on how to get her more regular incase this happens again, so it hopefully wont ever be that bad again. The evening time is always her fussiest, so although she has been an angel so far today, I'm holding my breath that this evening will go well.

So onto the really exciting news.

My FIL told us today that he is giving us a check tomorrow. A check for enough money for us to get moved to wherever we want, and to live on until I am doing better and can handle being with the baby on my own. Those are my words, not his. I cannot begin to tell you how much that will help. First of all, hello, we are broke. Second, although my husband just started a new job, we were faced with a very difficult situation where I didn't feel like I could handle being at home alone with the baby yet, but yet we needed the money to pay our bills. This way we can get settled into our own apartment and my husband can stay with me until I am ready.

Can I get a WOOT WOOT?!

Excuse me while I make plans to buy moving boxes.

Money doesn't solve your problems, but sometimes, it sure does help.

*I meant to address an anonymous comment that had recommended reading Dooce's site because she had dealt with a lot of depression issues after having her daughter Leta. I laughed when I read your comment because I had actually looked up her site a few days ago, after not having visited in I don't know how long, because I had remembered that she had gone through what I am starting to go through. The internet is a wonderful thing. When you feel like you are going it alone, there are so many people out there to show you that you can make it through the hard times. Thanks again everyone.

I think my brain is broken.

Wow. What a day. It was bad. The worst I've ever had.

Last night was so good. Violet slept like a champ. We were so thrilled to have gotten 4 hrs of sleep at one time.

Today...very, very bad. Non stop screaming from about 12-6pm. She was inconsolable. Nothing I did made a difference. I had about 10 nervous breakdowns. So much crying, on both our parts.

God, I need help. Somewhere inside of me I know I have to get through this. I just feel like I can't. I'm not cut out for it. I'm not strong enough.

Tomorrow I go to the doctor to talk about postpartum depression. I'm so ashamed.

Gah! I'm going freaking crazy.

The last week has been rough. Sure, I have good days, I have bad days. They usually even out. The last week though has been primarily bad.

There was a huge blow up with my insane step mother in law. I seriously thought she was going to put her hands on me -- while I was holding Violet. I almost put her head through a wall. Since then, I have been avoiding her like the plague. I would really hate to have to go to prison for murdering an inconsiderate woman that isn't worth the effort. So, I stay out of the way.

My days consist of being cooped up in my bedroom, with my dogs who are annoying the crap out of me, and the baby. I have to admit, I am not dealing very well.

While I was pregnant I often wondered what kind of mom I'd be. Would I somehow learn patience? Would I instantly have a cooler temperament? Would I instantly feel all those lovely dovey feelings about my baby that other moms felt about their kids?

I love Violet so much. That can't be denied. She is the most important thing in my life and I would do anything for her. It is just when the screaming, the fussiness, the crying won't end and I feel like I'm gonna lose my mind.

You know how babies have normal crying, and then they have the INTENSE, piercing your eardrums, shrieking like they are being murdered, sort of crying? It is the latter that I can't deal with. I have to put her down, or give her to my husband and walk away for a few minutes. Not always, but sometimes.

It is hard to tap into your patience when you are going on little sleep, are irritated with your in-laws who you resent because they give you no privacy, and a baby whom you can't make happy. I'm trying so hard to keep it together. I'll admit I've had my fair share of breakdowns this week though.

On top of the stupid drama with my in-laws, there is the money factor. That alone would be enough to trigger a breakdown on my part. My husband decided to change jobs after Violet was born, which I originally encouraged because he hated his job, but it has been nearly 3 weeks now with no money coming in and we're circling the drain. The good news is that today he was offered what we hope will be a much better job, financially and much better suited for his talents.

As soon as we have some money put together for a place to rent we are going to get the hell out of here. Which is good, cause I feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I have to be here any longer.

The scary aspect for me is that starting tomorrow morning, when my husband starts his new job, I will be on my own with Violet for the first time. Honestly, I'm scared shitless. I won't even deny it. Will I be able to handle it? What if she cries for hours on end and I can't figure out how to make her happy? What if I break down?

When I was a teenager I had some bouts with depression that I took medication for, and it helped. I'm not certain if what I'm feeling is just the normal, "baby blues" as it is called, or the beginning signs of postpartum depression. I'm keeping tabs on it either way, believe me. I have good days, and bad, and on the good days I feel like what I'm going through is very normal, especially for first time moms. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed.

All I can do for now is hang in there.

1st Checkup - 15 days old

V, Daddy and I just got back from her first checkup. Everything looked good! She is up to 10lbs 1oz. and is 21 1/2" long. I wish you could see how pretty her blue eyes are in these pics...ah well.

My husband has come up with the funniest phrase EVA in regards to Violet. You see, her head is round, really really round, and her neck, it has ROLLS. Acres and acres of rolls. Out of the blue my husband referred to her chubsie neck as being a "gooey neck" and the nickname has stuck ever since.


Oh well. Maybe tomorrow

V's first trip in her bumbleride stroller was short lived. We pretty much went straight back into the house to deal with mucho fussiness for several hours on end. At least she looked pimpin' in the stroller!

Enough already. I baked.

by Divine Domesticity on October 9th, 2008

What do you do when you feel like something festive and don't want to put in any effort? You make cupcakes from a spiced cake mix. I mixed in canned pumpkin puree with premade frosting and topped with gingerbread men sprinkles from Crate&Barrel. Tada. Tell your friends.

Watch out for bears and hormonal women.

I'm going through a tough phase at the moment. The first few days at home were so exciting and I was running on adrenaline. I had no problem being deliriously happy and relatively stress free. The last few days, not so much.

I think I've broken down and cried 3 or 4 times today. Over small, inconsequential things. What has me in this state is that Violet has been more fussy than I'm use to, and I find myself quickly becoming overwhelmed when I can't figure out why she is crying. I know this is normal...but it still takes a toll on your emotions. I'm trying very hard to remember that things will get better, the crying will eventually end, and someday we'll be able to sleep better. I'm not depressed, but just a little overwhelmed.

My husband has been my life saver. He has been stepping in and taking over when I feel like I can't cope with my emotions and a fussy baby. He was up with Violet for several hours straight last night and let me sleep until, finally, he was at his breaking point as well. Thank God for him. I couldn't do this alone.

Uh. Just. Seriously.

Cutest baby ever.

She's wearing an outfit my husband picked out for her months and months ago. Squeeeeak. So cute.

*Edited to add: We just got back from the surgeons office where my incision was checked ( it looked good) and Violet was weighed. She is back up to her birth weight, plus an ounce, (9lbs 14 ounces now) and she is 8 days old. Way to go little girl.

I think I've mentioned a few times that when you are plus sized the majority of doctors only want you to gain 0-15 pounds during pregnancy. Well. I gained 40. There it is. 8 days after having Violet, I'm down 26 pounds. My goal is to lose the last 14 lbs by my 6 week checkup. Ugh I just hate dieting, but I've got to lose way more than 14 lbs to be healthy again. I better get my butt motivated!

She likes the night life. She likes to boogey.

Holy cow. I had no idea how hard it was to get simple tasks accomplished with a newborn at your side! I even have my husband at home with me and we both feel like very little gets done beyond changing diapers and filling bottles. I suspect that that is normal and I wont worry much about it though.

Violet certainly is a night owl. She sleeps most of the day away, absolutely content, but come about 9 or 10pm she is fussy as all get out. She wont sleep in her bassinet, so the night consists of my husband and I taking turns sleeping in a recliner with her. Somewhere from 3am to 5am we can put her in her bassinet and finally get some sleep for a few hours. It makes for long nights.

I managed to make dinner last night. What an accomplishment! Hamburger Helper, oh yes. Heh. I also had no idea that it would be so hard to remember to do the simple things, like eat at least one or two meals a day.

Violet got her first bath at home last night. I think she looks awfully adorable and I love the expression on her face:

Recovery from the c-section seems to be going pretty well. Besides the normal pain from the surgery, I got a bladder infection from the catheter and I pinched a nerve in my back which has rendered me kinda useless when it comes to caring for the little girl. I can't bend over to change her, carry her around to soothe her when she just stinks. I'm just about out of pain killers as well, so I am not looking forward to the next few days. Violet and I go into the surgeons office tomorrow to check my incision and to check her weight, so I am going to ask about getting a refill on the drugs. I really hope he says yes.

I'm not physically able to breastfeed, which is a long story I don't want to get into. I did try to make it work, but it just was not happening. Not even in the least little bit. Having to see and hear her scream because she was hungry was too much for me -- I was not going to wait it out any longer and hope that it would work. I wanted her to be nourished, and if that meant formula, so be it. I knew before I got pregnant that the possibly of breast feeding was very slim, so I'm trying to take it all in stride.

I am hoping to get out baby announcements today or tomorrow, which has been my main project since I got home from the hospital. Where or where does the time go? It seems like I've been working on them for weeks.

There isn't a whole lot going on that isn't baby related. Someday I'll get back to posting about food and ugly dogs and what not, but for a bit I expect this blog to be mostly baby centered. Apologies to those that aren't a fan of baby blogs. I just can't help myself!

The Story

So, where were we?

Oh right, I had a baby!

What an experience. Before I start off the labor story, let me just mention that as I type this little Violet is sleeping beside me in her bassinet and life could not be more perfect. I am so blessed to have this child. I am so absolutely in love with her.

Tuesday morning at 5:45am my husband and I were checked into the hospital for the induction. Things started slow. Very slow. I wasn't put on pitocin right away -- instead my doctor started me off with a pill (put in your who-haw) and after 4 and 8 hours (and a second pill) they checked to see if I had dilated any further. Now, I started off already 1cm dilated, so when I heard that after 8 hours I was only 2cm dilated, I got a little worried.

Then the pitocin was started. I had wondered throughout my pregnancy what 'real' contractions would feel like. I would very soon find out. Many hours later, I can't recall when exactly, maybe 10 to 12 hours into it, I was at about 3 1/2 cm dilated. The contractions were really starting to hurt. I had the worst stomach cramps from not having eaten in a long time, and the pain was very bad in my back. So I decided it was about time to get my epidural.

I knew that if I had to see the enormous needle used for the epidural I would freak. I'm a wuss when it comes to needles. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, but the sight of needles going on -- *cringe*. So I kept my eyes closed most of the time and tried not to think about it. As it turned out, the epidural experience was the 2nd most painful part of my labor, with only hard pushing surpassing it. What happened was 3 things:
  1. I had to sit at the edge of the bed, hunched over my belly as far as I could, which was very uncomfortable. While I did this I was getting hard contractions, about 30 seconds from one to the next.
  2. They ended up poking me with the needle more times than I can recall. The pain really wasn't much worse than any old shot though. If they got me in the wrong spot I would end up jumping in surprise (and pain) and that is a very bad thing to do with the worlds biggest needle in your spine.
  3. The blood pressure cuff. Now before you call me a wuss, let me explain. The machine that worked my blood pressure cuff was all fugged up. It wasn't registering when to stop inflating, which meant that the pain in my arm was INSANE. A time or two I even ripped it off because the pain was just too much. So, that just sucked.
Things were more comfortable for a while after the epidural. I honestly am drawing a blank when I try to remember those next 10 to 12 hours. The blood pressure cuff went off every 15 minutes, which was less than fun. I got checked by many, many nurses. Finally as we approached the end, my dilation was picking up, about 1 cm per half hour. I started to feel like the baby was down there, FAR down there, and like I needed to push. It ended up that I still had to wait a few hours before pushing started.

So with perfect timing (not), the epidural wore off. Now, the funny thing about this was that for as many times as I told the nurses, my doctor, anyone who would listen, that I was in SO MUCH PAIN, I would get the pat reply that, "That is just the pressure you are feeling." Pregnant women -- don't let them tell you that! I wish I had put my foot down and demanded more drugs at this point, before it was entirely too late.

I want to guess that from about 8cm dilation and on I was having contractions very close together, and eventually one right on top of another with no break in between. They were very strong (thanks a lot, pitocin) and I was frankly just miserable. Cranky, exhausted, hungry, my sciatic nerve was on fire, the contractions just wouldn't let up.

Finally I felt like I couldn't NOT push for any longer. The pressure, (and yes I knew what that felt like as compared to PAIN), was so strong that I couldn't help myself any longer. I asked to be checked again and they said that I was 9 1/2 cm dilated, just almost 10. It was go time.

As I started pushing, I had my husband holding my hand, two nurses on each side of me, and the doctor at the receiving end. You push 3 times, ten seconds each, then take a deep breath, and start again. Fast forward about 1 1/2 hours later, and there I am, still pushing. Only the pain was much worse.

I was desperate to get this little girl out. I asked, between contractions and pushing, if they had something to help her move down, as I had heard of babies being "vacuumed" which is kinda like sticking a plunger up your who-haw, suctioning it to the babies head, and as I push, the doctor tries to pull the baby down. The doctor said they could do that, and got ready to try it.

The first attempt was heart breaking. The pain, and pressure, was so intense and felt so low that I was sure that she was close to being born. I was pushing with everything I had, and at the last push, I felt an insane amount of pressure (again, and pain) and heard a loud POP, and I thought for sure the baby was out. Uh, no! The plunger deal had popped off. I am pretty sure I cried and had in internal panic attack.

We had to wait to make sure the baby was alright after that stress, and after we were sure she was fine, we tried again. No luck. My doctor looked at me and said that the baby was just too big, her head couldn't fit, and I would have to have a c-section.

Thank you GOD! I was about to lose my mind from the pain. Of course, it was very early in the morning and we had to wait for the surgeon and staff to be called in from home. I remember that as feeling like the longest 20 minute wait of my life.

I got more drugs (another epidural and morphine) and was wheeled across the hallway to the operating room. I got even more shots, IVs, and they put up the blue curtain so I couldn't see what they were doing. I was sooo happy once the drugs took effect. WHEW!

I didn't know where in the world my husband was, but it turns out that he couldn't come in the room until they had made the first incision. So I was kinda just laying there, thinking about meeting little Violet, and wondering when the surgery would start when the surgeon told me that the first incision had been made. What?? I had no idea! Thank you drugs.

My husband came in, sat next to me and was very supportive as the surgery progressed. It only took a few minutes before they told us that Violet was out -- and she was a big girl! I heard her cry and I felt so happy, just deliriously happy. The staff started working on her, cleaning her up. I got to see her for the first time, for a precious few seconds, before they whisked her away. She had straight, dark hair and grey-blue eyes like her dad.

I'll also note that the drugs did make my stomach very nauseas, so after seeing her for only a few seconds, I had to whimper that I had to look away from her so I could puke. And puke I did. Hehe.

What I didn't know (and wasn't told until later) was that the reason she was being whisked away was that she was 1.) having trouble breathing from fluid in her lungs and 2.) she wasn't getting blood to her arms and legs and a purple/blue color was moving up her lower body towards her chest.

I remember laying there and realizing after a minute that I couldn't hear her crying anymore. That is such a scary realization. When I heard her cry again I was so relieved. She was taken to the nursery and my husband followed to watch them take care of her. I was stitched up and taken back to my room. It would be hours before I could see her again.

Since she had breathing problems, she had to have an oxygen hood put on for what I think was a few hours. The oxygen hood sort of looks like a baby sized astronaut helmet. Before they could bring her in to see me she had to be off of the hood for a half hour. Time was moving slow but I was so excited to see her.

I finally was able to hold her, to kiss her, to meet the little girl who would be mine for the rest of her life.

The next few days went by so fast. Lots of pain killers, drugs for this and that. Waking up every few hours for more medication and to ask how Violet was doing in the nursery. Saturday in the late morning we came home for the first time. Which is scary for first time parents, but it also feels very good.

I feel like I love her more and more each day. Each day she is more beautiful, more charming, just more a part of my heart. I am trying to rest and take it easy, and I find myself waking up from a nap and missing my little girl for that short time I was asleep.

She is perfection. She is our world.

She also sleeps during the day and is up all night. It is okay though. She is worth it.