Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1 Month Old!

Where on Earth does the time go? Lincoln turned one month on the 26th! At his doctor appointment they said he was 20 1/4 inches long and 8 pounds, 11 ounces, which is a decent growth from his birth (6 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 1/4 inches.)

He thinks he can hold a bottle himself:

He finally fell asleep after that epic night when I tried to photograph him at 4 weeks old and all he'd do is scream:

This is on his actual month-birthday. I know people don't like crying shots but I think it is adorable!:

He's like, "You lookin' at me?":

Lastly, just because it is my blog and I can, here is my cute son:

My First Scare

For a few weeks now Lincoln has been projectile vomiting. Not like what I imagine normal baby "spit up" to be, but ounces at a time. He does an excellent impersonation of the girl from The Exorcist!

I have heard theories that he is not burped enough (not true, we do a minimum of twenty minutes, even in the middle of the night, and sometimes we even interrupt a feeding to burp.) That he is at the wrong angle (we never nurse flat unless we're in bed.) A lactation consultant told me he may be getting too quick of a flow on one side (nothing I can do about that! Changing positions didn't help!) Regardless of what I do, he barfs A LOT each meal and I often have to re-feed him. I will cry if they tell me it is because he is eating too much because he will eat voraciously after he barfs. Good grief.

All this to say, I'm taking him to the doctor today to ensure he is not losing weight. He is plumping up nicely but he could potentially gain more and I won't know until I rule out reflux, etc. All warm wishes are greatly appreciated. We are very nervous!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Naming Lincoln

A couple of people have asked how we came about choosing the name Lincoln for our son. Let me first say that Rob and I did not agree for most our my pregnancy. He would suggest names like "Mordecai" (baby wizard, anyone?) and I would get angry and tell him he wouldn't get a vote if kept up those shenanigans!

Initially we said we'd pick our top favorite two names and name him once we met him. That would've worked had we been able to agree on more than one name. My entire pregnancy I wanted to name him "Atticus" after Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. However, people were vehemently against this. At my first baby shower, I literally had three guests comment on how "horrific" of a choice it was. One yelled to me as she was leaving, (in front of everyone!), "Make sure you don't go with that stoopid name of Atticus! Dreadful!" (Side note, have to love British people, LOL!)

Since this was our first child and a beloved son, I wanted my husband to feel like he chose the name. So, I dragged him to a bookstore and we attempted to compile a list. He was bored within minutes, which only served to infuriate me. Choosing a name is important business and should be a respected process! My son could be President one day so his name better be one that can be taken seriously! (it would be sooo ironic if he were President given, well, his name. Ha!)

Most people don't know this about me but I am a huge civil war buff. Not to mention, I hope my son one day eschews some of the virtues President Lincoln possessed; he was a complicated man who survived and flourished through the loss of a child, a bi-polar wife, and much, much more. He was also pretty kooky by all accounts. Weird but brilliant sounds like a perfect person to me!

So, there you have it! My husband solidified it as the name of choice. Before we were married we discussed potential baby names and we had said for five years that our son would have a particular name. Leave it to my husband to renege on that agreement once I actually got pregnant with a son. Harumph! Doesn't matter now because I love and adore the name Lincoln, it has special meaning to me, and I wouldn't change it for the world!

Oh, and as a side note, in exchange for getting to find out Lincoln's gender in anticipation of his birth, my husband had to allow all subsequent babies to be "surprises" ANNNNNND he agreed to let me give all our children two middle names. My husband and father both think having two middle names (like myself!) is totally lame. How nice for them then that his two middle names are their names. Maybe they'll be quiet about the notion now!


I ordered Lincoln's birth announcements from Tiny Prints and I am honestly disappointed in them. I spent a small fortune and I didn't realize they'd look like something I made from home (and not in the good, crafty way!) If you're a new mom I would avoid them. Blah. Lesson learned! I am not going to express my disappointment to Rob since he basically has to work SEVERAL hours in the heat to justify me purchasing them. Sadness. I just had to vent somewhere. If you get one of my announcements, please pretend you love it, LOL! I have gotten a higher quality product from Vista Print, yikes!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lincoln's Birth Story

***Warning: Graphic c-section pictures to follow!***

The day before Lincoln's birthday, I feel I was still very much in denial about what was about to take place. To wit, I did laundry, nested a little, grabbed lunch from Subway, etc. In other words, I acted like it was No Big Deal. I was so wrong! By 10 p.m. that night the panic set in! We were about to have a baby! To distract myself I straightened my hair at 11 p.m., thinking I wanted to look presentable for pictures the next day. Ha! Vanity thy name is woman! My surgery had already been pushed back another hour so in my mind I didn't really think we would kick off on time.

As we drove to the hospital, the only word to describe my feelings is "surreal." I was going through the motions, but still very much in denial. I don't know who I was fooling! I think Rob must've been more nervous than he let on because despite numerous visits to the hospital prior, he made a wrong turn on our short route! We casually chit-chatted and continued pretending it was business as usual.

When we checked in my husband was a total gentleman and left the room all twenty times they asked for my weight. To my surprise, there were very few forms to fill out. How that is possible, I'll never know, but I had been hoping for a longer distraction! The Nurse Anesthetist came in and further frightened me on the epidural procedures. Now, let me just say, I like to be informed when making medical decisions but when there are no other options, less can be more. For my next baby, I will kindly ask them to tell me the bare minimum required by law so I don't have to marinate on paralysis, etc. I had talked with him on the phone the night before and he'd had me crying in fear in the Walmart parking lot as he explained that they do a "double numbing." I had what I believe was a spinal block and an epidural. I might be writing that out wrong but in any case, they numbed me two ways via the spine, whereas I suppose the more routine procedure is to numb one way. To the delight of the hospital staff, I came prepared with my own Power of Attorney, Living Wills, etc. Rob kept telling me it was morbid to bring all that stuff but coming from my prior career, I wanted to be in charge of my own health decisions even if I was incapacitated. Several nurses commented that they'd never seen someone as young as myself with all their "affairs in order." I took this as a massive compliment, naturally.

This might seem odd but I was never scared of the surgery itself. What frightened me most was the idea of the catheter. I insisted they not do it till the last possible moment and they obliged. Thank GOD! Here is Rob and I before I walked into the operating room:

When we got into the operating room I suddenly felt very emotional. I suspect I was having a mild panic attack of sorts. The hospital I delivered at encourages your spouse to be there for literally every step, so while many hospitals prohibit people from being present for anesthesia, prep, etc., that was not the case now.

The first thing I noticed was how tiny the room was. It struck me as odd but with no prior experience maybe they're all small? I was also expecting it to be very cold but it wasn't. I had literally walked from my pre-op room into the o.r. and the o.r. had lots of windows for any random person to take a gander as they walked to their recovery room. Recovery was built off of the o.r. so to get to the o.r. you had to pass through it, and I was surprised when I saw a woman in there. No such thing as privacy, I guess. The hospital might seem janky the way I'm poorly describing it but in actuality it is a top hospital and it is brand new. It is the nicest hospital I have ever been to. (Side note: the cafeteria makes amazing food and lots of random people go there for lunch, as I may have mentioned. Several of our friends all asked if they could visit during dinner hours, LOL!)

So, anyway, here I am in the o.r. and things start moving quickly. They swapped Rob out for another support person during my epidural. I was miffed because the nurse was texting while offering her "support." I guess in the end we got the job done but I was displeased with the distraction!

Getting the epidural was stressful. There was a placement problem due to some mild scoliosis so it was always too far to the right. The clicking feeling was extremely unnerving. While I wouldn't say it "hurt" I would definitely say it was an entirely uncomfortable sensation. It definitely increased my anxiety that the Nurse Anesthetist couldn't place it. Meanwhile, an actual Anesthesiologist was sitting directly next to me fussing with his Blackberry. He finally stepped in and had it placed in seconds. This annoyed me greatly as I now sit in anticipation from separate bills from them, LOL.

Whatever drugs they gave me were good. I definitely turned into a chatterbox, after telling my doctor, 'This sucks, I feel like garbage.' They quickly remedied the "garbage" feeling with some anti-nausea drugs. Next I said, "Am I being cauterized? I smell me burning!' My doctor thought I said "meat burning" not "me burning" and she was quick to tell me, "Don't worry, we're getting to the baby part soon, nobody is eating you!"

Now, normally video cameras and such are not allowed in the o.r. for liability reasons but the Nurse Anesthetist offered to take some photos for us. This was a very relaxed surgery, let me tell you. Throughout the entire procedure the two surgeons and other staff all discussed who got drunk at who's wedding. Ha! As an aside, the lady took some very graphic photos. I have my placenta shot from multiple angles, if that tells you anything. (After my surgery someone put my placenta, in a bucket, on my bed, then promptly forgot about it. Someone came looking for it later in recovery. Whoops!)

Here is the first shot she offered to take, as Lincoln's head is pulled from my abdomen (I just now noticed the doctor's finger in his mouth):

Annnnd he's OUT:

I absolutely HATE when newborns are held in this position but it is par for the course:

Now, I had no real concept of time during the surgery but it seemed to me to be over quite quickly. Like, shockingly quick! Here we are in our first photo as a family:

And of course, my gorgeous cherub:

Many women have told me that with their c-sections they did not get access to their baby right away. My hospital is adamant that mothers get their babies right away and I was only apart for him long enough for him to be cleaned off. Mere minutes. Immediately after leaving the delivery room he was placed on my breast. His temperature was poor so shortly after Rob left with him to the nursery to give him some supplemental formula. This had me in tears, immediately, of course. I was left alone in the recovery room so of course I called my mom to cry that they took him and he was eating from something other than me. Thankfully he came back quickly.

We were moved to a massive post-partum room thanks to my girlfriend who works at the hospital. My parents showed up and everyone remarked on how well I was doing post-op. I was chatting, texting and emailing, etc. I felt no pain, but I was sure tired! I didn't want to be rude and ask anyone to leave so I just toughed it out.

Many people told me to stand as soon as I could and at first I was resistant to them leaving the sedation in till the next day, but the staff promised me it would not be detrimental to my recovery. I was dying to get that catheter out so I requested they pull the meds first thing the next morning. I stood up within twenty minutes of it wearing off.

I really only had one bad time when Nurse Ratchet forced me to walk when I was under-medicated. At our hospital all patients are assigned a nurse and all babies are assigned a nurse. There is a constant parade of people, as I expected there would be. Lincoln had one miserable nurse who man-handled him and I so I immediately requested she be removed from caring for him. I guess word spread quickly that I had "fired" her, despite my best efforts to be professional. Oh well. Later, Rob was walking down the hall and since she didn't know he was my husband, she had no problem openly complaining about me in front of him! Ha ha!

Everyone told me I would get over my fears and modesty issues after giving birth. They were right. I will nurse in front of everyone except my male family members, and I even allowed a sweet woman from Trinidad named Corinne to give me a shower. Hey, no pride here! I was dying to bathe!

The pain has been totally fine. I quit the pain meds cold turkey the day I left the hospital and I don't regret it. Two things have happened post-surgery that are worth mentioning. 1. I ripped my incision open over this past weekend. My incision was fine and pain-free until I did this, and now it is sore. My doctor did an excellent job with my incision and it is very, very tiny. Hardly noticeable! 2. Sorry to be graphic, but my bowels are on strike. I am hoping they return to normalcy in the near future. In the meantime, I am choking down SunSweets like it's my job. Gah!

I was second-guessing my decisions to have a c-section right until I walked into the o.r. but I am thrilled I had it. The recovery was extremely easy and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I would do it over the same way time and again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Yesterday after Lincoln's doctor appointment I wanted to write his birth story. But then, he was being a cutie so I figured I'd just write about his appointment and post a sweet picture explaining that I preferred to spend my time sniffing his hair and kissing his cheeks.

But then...

Some of the magic wore off or something because yesterday was not such a good day. By the time Rob got home from work I was in tears over my perceived ineptitude in caring for Lincoln, my exhaustion, etc. I put myself to bed early and tried to promise myself to do better the next day. I know this is bad, but I put him in his babysitter, er, the swing so I could type this up. I didn't have a baby so I could shirk my duties in caring for him but Rob bought a swing over the weekend and it has afforded me the tiniest bit of freedom, and I am thankful.

Yesterday was so bad, in fact, that the only photos I got were of him screaming his head off.

Please pray and maybe send chocolate, LOL.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gah! Guilt!

I promise I am working on Lincoln's birth story! I wanted to include lots of the pictures we took from the day as well as some recent ones, but as things happen to go I use a MAC and I am not quite sure of what I am doing. My usual go-to person offered some suggestions so as soon as I get a moment I will finish it up before I forget. As it is, I birthed a baby who doesn't like to sleep so free time is few and far between.

And, um, motherhood is HARD. I am frequently second-guessing myself. More so, when I am unable to soothe him I really feel insecure. I don't think I know him well enough to know what is wrong some times.

In other news, breast feeding is going really well. I am almost 7 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I also credit the Belly Bandit for saving my guts, literally. I underestimated how much loose skin would jiggle during every day activities such as moving or laughing. I know a lot of people think compression binding is silly but it holds my guts in place and makes me feel like my incision is safe and secure.

I also never posted my final week of pregnancy post. The guilt is killing me over all this so I just keep reminding myself I am doing the best I can. It is more important to be present in the moment with my son than worry about the other stuff, right? Right! Aside from the blog, I have started my own personal journal to recall his milestones, my random thoughts, etc. so that has been getting a bit more attention.

More to come...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

He's Here!!!

Introducing, the Great Love of My Life, Lincoln:

Today is his two-week birthday and I don't know where the time went! He's growing so fast! There is a lot of eating, sleeping and pooping going down 'round these parts but not much else, including blogging (obviously.) Here is a photo from a shoot we had done over the weekend:

I know everybody likes to see the "perfect" photos to show off their bundle of joy, but this is a real life photo! Lincoln was NOT enjoying being photographed; he's very good-natured but he was O-V-E-R it!

I am so in love. All I want to do is stare at him all day. We seem to be on the same page because that's about the extent of what he allows me to do! Ha!

Thank you so much, everyone, for the prayers and well wishes. I really appreciate all the support-it has meant the world to me!