Friday, November 9, 2012

Days 7 and 8

Pardon once again the double up of entries. Blogging is a little harder than just dashing off a quick sentence or two and posting on Facebook (perhaps that’s what I should have done).

This week, I’m very glad for the democratic process. Aside from party lines and partisan issues (face it, we’re all tired of those), I just feel very blessed to be able to vote. It’s easy to forget that 100 years ago, women weren’t able to vote. Women’s Suffrage was 150 years in the making and man did we have to work at it. I’m thankful every day that I’m allowed to have some part in the legislative process, even a small one. I vowed early on that I’d never let that go to waste.

Going with the woman-hear-me-roar theme, I’m also thankful to be surrounded by strong, powerful, inspiring women. I work in an office that is comprised of 75-80% women. The roles of leadership are held by mostly women. Glass ceiling be damned! Even in the University, I don’t have to look very far to see powerful women. Now, I just have to choose to be inspired and not feel like I’ve been left behind in the academic/career world.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today’s Thanksvember entry is sponsored by antidepressants!

I have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which means that I have uncontrollable and sometimes irrational anxiety about things (ranging from individual issues to a big-picture type of anxiety that I can’t pinpoint). It's also usually long-term. I have probably had this for a good portion of my life, and most likely will be medicated for the rest of my life for it. In my case, I tend to obsess over minute details. For instance, I may say something to a co-worker while joking around. The other person may forget that we have even done this and just writes it off as part of their day, but I will obsess over this instance - maybe something particular that I said – replaying it for weeks in my mind. I’ll think of every way that my comment may have been interpreted, which would then lead me to worry over hurting someone’s feelings or offending them. I’ll think of every possible way that the situation could have or should have gone and then every reaction to every scenario in each instance. It’s dizzying, isn’t it?

This anxiety also tends to disrupt daily life. A lot of people know that I didn’t start driving until well into my 20s (actually nearing my 30s). What most people don’t know is that crippling anxiety prevented me from ever getting my license. I could never even figure out what it was that I was nervous about, but I was terrified to take the test, buy a car and to drive every day. Even today, I don’t love to drive.

Once I decided to get help (I don’t even really know what prompted me to do so), I felt the difference very quickly. While I still occasionally have generalized anxiety and anxiety attacks, they happen at a very low frequency and aren’t as devastating.

I’ve been off of Lexapro for about two weeks, inadvertently, while my mail-order medication place coordinates with my doctor’s office. Man can I tell the difference. I’m irritable, weepy, unhappy, anxious and restless. I formally apologize to my family, friends and co-workers for my weakened emotional state! ;)

I’m not embarrassed that I have to take anti-anxiety medication. I’m thankful every day for this wonderful medicine that lets me navigate my life without feeling on edge.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thanksvember Days 4 and 5

I'm sorry to say that you might see more of these smushed together posts, since I'm not great at carving out time to write at home. Maybe it's a blessing, since I'm guessing most of you don't want to see a blog post EVERY SINGLE DAY from me!


Scarlett is involved in Girl Scouts, twirling, ballet and tap dance, soccer and sometimes swimming lessons. At this point, she is equally interested in and good at all of these activities. I know that the day will come that she'll have to choose between some of these activities, although I'm guessing that we will have to choose for her.

Now, such a large amount of activities takes very careful and specific planning. As you can imagine, it sometimes gets away from us. I think it would be very easy for me to take it to the next level... stage parenting. I really think those parents start off with good intentions. Everyone wants the best for their children and for their children to try their very best at everything they do. It's just so easy to lose sight of the important things or for priorities to shift. My priority? Scarlett needs to have fun. The second that things get too heavy and she stops having fun, we're done.

At a twirling competition we attended on Saturday, we were surrounded by stage parents. As Scarlett's group performed their dance to the Mario theme song, I could hear some of the parents behind me start to pick apart their dance. I don't think I heard one positive thing come from their mouths. And these were their children out there! Granted, their dance was a little rough. However, it was clear that the children were having a blast and that the crowd was thrilled to be whisked back in time with Mario and Luigi! How could you focus on the negatives of that?! A stage mom I am not. I'm thankful for that.


Yesterday we spent the afternoon at a Girl Scouts event. The girls and their families got to go on a hayrack ride around Pioneers Park. We then convened around a campfire making smores and drinking cocoa. It hit me then how lucky I have become, through my children. Not only have doors been opened to countless opportunities and events through all of the different activities that Scarlett has been involved in, but I've also made some great mom friends and acquaintances through her friends. I hope the same happens with Sullivan.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thanksvember Day 3

I could fill an entire post, every single day with stories of wonderful sisterdom. Today I'm extra thankful for my beautiful Scarlett. We put an overtired Sully to bed and as soon as he realized that we weren't coming back, he started to wail. Ben and I went about our business, intending to give a few minutes before we tried to put him to sleep again. Pretty soon I hear this tiny voice over the monitor. Scarlett was telling Sully that it was time for bed and if he would only lie down, he'd fall right asleep. Since he didn't stop crying (which is pretty unusual for his reactions to her), she ran downstairs to get us. When we explained again that sometimes babies have to learn to put themselves to sleep, she started to cry.

The idea of Sully crying just bothered her much. Not only is she concerned for her brother, she's just a sensitive empathetic little girl.

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thanks, Days 1 and 2

I've seen quite a few blogs and posts on Facebook about giving thanks. Of course, it's the month of Thanksgiving! I'm a little late, as always, to this party. However, better late than never!

It's been a crazy couple of months and I've been way too focused on the negative. I have a great life, but it's hard to remember that in the heat of the moment. So here goes my attempt at being thankful for things that I have.

Day One

First and foremost, I'm thankful for my family. I have the cutest kids and the greatest husband. Even more, my extended family are some of the most loving and supportive people I know. I'm thankful to be a Nutter and a Coleman! Sometimes I take that for granted, but I shouldn't. Neither should you.

Day Two

I'm thankful for the great new friends I've made. I had a bad falling out with some of my friends a few years back. I'm so thankful that I still have friends, for one, and those friends are incredibly supportive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sleep: The Follow-Up

The mournful pleas from a tired mommy weren’t really successful in their call for help. Although I did get a lot of camaraderie from other mothers who had been there and are still there, there were only two suggestions from the last blog: let Sully cry it out and try playing music. 

As for crying it out, I’m a little leery. I see that more as a “going to bed” solution, rather than a “wake up in the night” solution. I’m worried that an early morning wail session might lead not only to an exhausted mom and dad, but a tired and grumpy six year-old. While Scarlett does manage to sleep through most of Sully’s midnight feedings, I’m afraid that his prolonged crying would wake her right up. I also think it would make her feel bad for Sully. We tried this method a couple of times when he wouldn’t fall asleep in his crib. Even though we had prepared Scarlett for this method by explaining that Sully was okay and that we would check on him and soothe him along the way while he learned to fall asleep on his own, she looked at me with a pained expression as he wailed from his room and asked “Are you going to save Sully, Mommy?” That just about broke my heart. I haven’t had the desire to try that again in her presence. 

The other suggestion wasn’t quite as pervasive. Sound is a constant in Sully and Scarlett’s lives. I’m not proud of it, but we’re television people. We don’t necessarily use the TV to placate our children (although I think it has its place); we just function most days with background noise. Sometimes it’s music – more often than not it’s music from the music channels on television – other times we listen to sitcoms, the news or cartoons. We try our best to have moments when we don’t turn on the television, but most of the time we cave. Negative connotations aside, Sully is used to hearing some sort of sound throughout the day. So, having Sully fall asleep to music is a great idea, and one that we already utilize occasionally. 

What we ended up with was something very much out of our comfort zone. We got Sully some amber teething beads. I personally have a natural skepticism of homeopathic healing. I don’t think that it doesn’t work for some people; I just don’t really believe that it would work for me because I don’t believe in the general idea. However, we have several friends that use teething necklaces on their young’uns’ and they’ve all raved about them. So, I took myself down to the neighborhood natural parenting store and bought a set.

The idea behind amber being a soother for teething pain isn’t a new one. It’s been used in folk medicine as a healing agent/crystal. Apparently, the amber resin warms with the body’s temperature and releases oils, including succinic acid. This acid was historically used to treat aches and pains and is now used as a sweetener in food. 

In conclusion, Sully has slept through the night for almost a week now. Coincidence? Probably. Do I care what it was that finally worked? Nope!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Business of Bedtime

Perhaps it’s because Sully’s getting older or maybe it’s because he’s teething, but going to bed isn’t the easy laid-back routine it used to be.

I used to be able to tuck his little arm under mine, turn him to the side, pat his bum and give him a pacifier. Two minutes and he would be out! I knew in time that I would have to redo our bedtime routine, but I really enjoyed our little quiet time with him staring into my eyes as they drifted closed. I love the idea of me being the very last thing he saw at night.

There was also a period of time, at about two months of age, where Sully was nearly sleeping through the night. I say nearly because he was waking at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m., but I really think that counts. A lot of people start their day that early, although I’m not one of them!

Starting about 2 months ago, things started to go downhill. Even though we started solid foods, which should be filling his little tummy, he started to wake up more and more. (He eats about six different solid food meals, including a snack right before bed with his milk.) And suddenly, he wasn’t content to fall asleep to mommy’s rhythmic patting or even while drinking milk. How dare! In fact, he’s been downright fussy up to an hour before bedtime.

For a while I blamed it on teething. I’m sure it was the cause of his distress for a while, since two little pearly points broke through. But how long can I blame this lack of a full night’s sleep on teething? I feel like I’m making excuses. I’m not sure why I’m embarrassed about him not sleeping, as a lot of my friends have babies that don’t sleep well or kids that never slept well when they were little. I think it may have something to do with Scarlett. She was nearly the perfect baby. I can remember exactly two times where she was fussing uncontrollably and she was sleeping well through the night since about three months old.

After dealing with that perfection, people warned us that the next one was going to be a hellion. Scarlett slept well, so the next one wouldn’t sleep at all. Scarlett is gentle and polite, so Sully would be rambunctious and tiresome. A lot of our friends and family have been good-naturedly waiting for this time. That’s probably why I don’t want to admit that we’re having trouble with bed.

Going to bed isn’t really what’s driving me crazy. It’s keeping Sully asleep. Right now he often wakes at midnight to eat and then again at 3:30-4 a.m. Sometimes he wakes up a few times between them and I’m able to pat him back to sleep. BUT MOMMY NEEDS SLEEP!! I cannot function this way for much longer – sleep deprivation is truly torturous! So that’s why I’m asking for help. I’m open to pretty much anything. Please don’t hesitate to make suggestions and I’ll do an update blog in a week or two letting everyone know the results.

Thanks Dave Vrbas for the ultra-cute naked Sully shot!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Size differential

Although this post is a month overdue, I'm going to write it anyway!

I've managed to dig up Scarlett's old growth chart. I thought it would be fun to compare Sullivan's size to Scarlett's at the same age. To my astonishment, the actual numbers aren't as far off as I expected. It's amazing that at such a young age, an inch or two makes such a huge difference in percentages.

Scarlett                                           Sullivan
Height: 25 in                                  27 in
Weight: 13.3                                  19.5
Head Circum: 16 1/4                     17.5

So that's the 75th percentile in height verses Sully's 100+. Scarlett's 50th % in weight verses Sully's 100+ (the biggest difference) Lastly, Scarlett's 60th % in head circumference verses Sully's, again, 100+. Notice in the pictures below that we still had to use a car seat head guard for Scarlett at 4 months old. Sully's legs hang off of the end of that same car seat and his head grazes the top.

On a side note, Sullivan is no longer sleeping through the night. Boo! First it was the teething that kept getting him up. Now it's the rolling over and getting stuck. I'm getting jealous of other mom's I know with babes his age (or younger!) who are sleeping through the night. I know it's a phase because Scarlett went through it too and she was an extremely good sleeper. It's hard to remember that when I wake up looking at the clock through bleary eyes at 2:30 a.m.

He's also up on all fours rocking quite a bit. He's given up on scooting forward (which we were counting as crawling) and has now resigned himself to working his way backwards across the room. It's quite surprising to find him underneath the coffee table or near the front door when I leave the room!

Here's another picture of Scarlett, which shows her skinny little arms and legs!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy near Friday from a happy baby!

I don't really have much to share lately.

It's been a whirlwind of activities this summer, for both Scarlett and Sully. We've been shuttling Scarlett to and from event and clubs, which has put a little bit of a bend in Sully's routine. Our niece is also staying with us, so that's been a scheduling challenge too.

Overall, Bacon has handled the change of pace nicely. In between naps, he's worked in two teeth and a bit of crawling! Things are happening very quickly!

Friday, July 13, 2012


It's been nearly 4 months since Sully was born. I've had four months to "settle in." Yet, I still don't feel like we've hit a routine. I'm not sure if that's due to the busy Summer months or maybe just the fact that we have a baby. When does it kick in? At some point I feel like we should get to the point of following nightly routines and schedules - normalcy, but nearly every night I feel overwhelmed. Like this has all just happened. It's a strange feeling. It's somewhat like being on this roller coaster or Speed-like bus that hasn't slowed down enough for me to jump off!

* I'm still producing a little milk, which makes for fun shirt fronts if I forget to wear the little protective pads.
* Sully is now sometimes eating 7 and 8 ounces at a time. It's clear that he's going to eat us out of house and home.
* My hair is still coming out, a little less now. Enough to make quite a hairball, though, each time I shower.
* We recently had family portraits taken. I seriously have the most gorgeous children known to man.
* After seeing my co-worker's 3-week old baby, I now have newborn fever. I know, I know... I have a baby! He's so tiny though! No, Casey! This is it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Post-partum suckiness

My hair is falling out. Not just a few strands, but entire clumps. Every morning I pull a small rodent-sized mass out of the drain. That’s just one of the many fun things that have happened to my body post-pregnancy. (And post-pumping)

  • Hair loss
  • Ginormous breasts (Insert smart-ass comment by Ben)
  • Leaky breasts
  • Weight gain
    • That nice weight loss that I experienced after birth and next two months has gone away. L Super hungry and still eating the same amount as when I was pumping. Ugh.
  • Attack of the hormones!
    • Happy? Yes! Crying? Yes! Pissed? Yes! All at once!
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lugging around the baby, getting up at night/early morning, hormones etc.
  • Night sweats
Gotta love all of these changes!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Facing the inevitable

Well, the day has come. The lake has dried up. The cups aren’t runneth over. I have run out of steam. Idioms and cliches aside, the breast milk has come and gone. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I didn’t last this long with Scarlett and my supply has never been strong.

I’ve known that I was getting close to the end for about two weeks. No matter how much water I drink or how regularly I pump, my production was taking a nose-dive. The last few days I only pumped about one ounce per day, which we all know, won’t feed my little piggy!

So… I’m done.

On one hand, I’m sad to be done so soon. I liked the idea of giving Sullivan a little of my milk every day. It made me feel a little closer to him – a little more bonded. I also liked the thought that the little bit of milk that I produced gave us a little bit of savings in the formula department. Formula is insanely expensive and we don’t have the hookup to cheap formula that we did with Scarlett. Things are tight around our house with two daycare payments and all of the formula to buy!

On the other hand, I’m experiencing a new freedom that I haven’t known with Sully. I’m not tied down to anything or any time, which is really nice. I don’t have to shut myself into an empty office at work and spend three 15-20 minute stretches shirking my work responsibilities. I don’t have to worry about the effects of anything that I eat or drink, which means… BRING ON THE MARGARITAS!

So on this day, my first day of not pumping, I both mourn and celebrate. I did what I could for Sullivan and I feel good about it. I may regret this decision once I start to get engorged and sore!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Michelin Man

Continuing to grow - both up and out! Our sweet little baby is sleeping well (from about 9 to 4:30 a.m.), eating well and delighting us with smiles and giggles! Scarlett never ceases to amaze me with her patience and pleasure with Sully. We are truly blessed.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Survivor’s Guilt

In the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to put into words the complex range of emotions that I’ve been feeling. I’m not entirely sure that I’ll be successful doing so. However, I’ve always found writing to be cathartic, so I hope to just get it out of my head onto paper (or into the blogosphere, as it were).

On March 19th, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy. Sully really has been a pure joy in every way. He tops the growth charts at the 97th percentile because of his healthy eating habit and already seems to be on his way to sleeping through the night, maybe also due to the large appetite. We were extremely lucky with both of our children, as they have so far remained healthy and happy. “So what’s the problem,” you ask?

A few of our friends and family have been plagued with misfortune when it comes to young ones. In one instance, a sweet little baby boy passed away after only 10 weeks and a grim prognosis. In another, a little girl passed away after a couple of years and a late diagnosis. Most recently, there’s a little one-year-old baby boy fighting to gain weight, losing his energy and burning with fevers every day. I know that the families don’t see it as misfortune; they’ve each been blessed to know their child as long as they have and are sure that the passing (or in the last case – illness) was part of a larger plan.

I can’t read about these situations or view any of the pictures of these precious little ones without extreme sadness and extreme guilt. I feel guilty celebrating my son’s healthy, flaunting it almost, while so many have had such heartache. On the other hand, it’s certainly not fair to Sully or to Scarlett to underplay their achievements and successes. I can’t find a balance between being elated that nothing awful has happened to my children or guilty that they are healthy and that I feel happy about it.

Right now, the best I can do is hope for the best for little Carter and remember Samantha and Lucas fondly. Tonight my babies get extra hugs.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pump, pump… pump it up

I’m just going to make a quick update from the trenches. It’s my third week back to work and it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. When I had Scarlett, I was more than ready to go back to work. In fact, it was then that I decided that a stay-at-home mom was not in my nature. When I was younger, it’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. (That was also when I wanted six children!!) It took me a while to realize that I probably wanted to go back to work so badly because I didn’t have a good experience. I had a moderate case of post-partum depression that was expounded by a negative nursing experience and being home bound.
This maternity leave couldn’t have been more different. I had baby blues, not post-partum depression. I got out of house quite a bit thanks to the unseasonably nice weather. I have a very supportive network of friends that made sure that I didn’t fall into any slump of any kind. It was a little harder this time to accept that my two months of leave were over.

That being said, I wasn’t sad. Sullivan was going to best place possible next to being at home – his grandma’s. I returned to work knowing that I could call at any time and Sullivan would have his every whim catered to!
Already, I’ve fed Sullivan more breast milk than Scarlett ever got, and not just because he eats three times as much! I’ve last about three times longer than I did the first time around. Pumping at work is definitely easier than pumping at home. I’ve got a schedule that I can stick to and no interruptions from kids, babies, chores, etc. Despite the consistency of schedule, my supply is slowly decreasing. I’m only able to pump enough for Sully to have one full bottle a day. I expected the decrease since I didn’t have a large supply with Scarlett either, but I’m definitely trying to keep it up by pumping often and drinking tons of water. I don’t think I want to go the Fenugreek route because I’d have to take 12 pills or more a day. I think I’ll just pump as long as I have something to give and not feel bad about it. I’m actually pretty proud of myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two months in

After reading Ben's guest post, I really feel like I should count my blessings. I am blessed to have had Scarlett, after a very long fertile dry spell. I'm blessed to have 6 long years with her being the focus of my life. I'm blessed to have gotten pregnant again, following another fertility lapse. I'm blessed to have known my condition ahead of time so that I didn't have to go through labor with a breech baby who was stuck under my ribs. I'm lucky to have given birth to a very healthy baby boy, in spite of a tough C-Section. Lastly, I'm blessed to have so much support. Ben has been an amazing support to me and a fabulous dad and my friends and family have been great. I love my life!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Guest post from Ben

Hey all! I asked Ben to write an entry detailing the birth morning, since I was a little less than lucid. Enjoy!

We checked in at St. E’s @ 7:30 a.m. and went through the standard 30 minute “Let’s make sure these schmucks can pay us” admission process. After clearing our insurance info, we were lead down to our pre-op room, which is usually reserved for deliveries. A middle-aged nurse stepped in and got the ball rolling with oral NSAIDs, IV and some stylish OR clothes. Casey was rocking the dignified backless gown and the nurse gave me some very large scrubs. Before I could don my scrubs, though, the nurse rather tersely pointed to me and said, “You go down the hall and get some breakfast.” Not being much of a breakfast person, I replied that I was doing just fine. Our nurse quite abruptly stated, “I already have one patient to care for. I don’t need two. Now go eat. I can’t have you passing out in there.” Sheepishly, I replied, “Yes ma’am,” ducked behind the curtain and down the hall for some cereal. Once the IV was administered, fetal monitors attached and basic admissions hurdles were cleared, family started to arrive. Timmy arrived with Scarlett in tow from the house, as well as Heather, Casey’s mom and sister and my mom and brother.

Soon after, a hulking gent in scrubs stepped in and introduced himself as the anesthesiologist. After reviewing the spinal procedure, he got up to head to the OR and bonked his head on the overhead light. I made the observation that the anesthesiologist looked as though he should be in the business of breaking kneecaps or chasing quarterbacks.

Finally, the time arrived to head to the operating room for the C-section. The nurses lead Casey, covered in a blanket, and I through the halls towards the room. As per usual, the OR was fluorescently over-lit, bustling with medical professionals counting sharp objects and fiddling with electronic devices and warmed to a comfortable 29 degrees. Casey had a seat on the operating table with her backless gown, poofy hat and hospital-issued socks. She had been excited to wear her shamrock Sock-It-To-Me socks for the big day, but our cranky admissions nurse stated that they might get blood-stained. Really?!

When Lou Ferrigno, I mean, the anesthesiologist, entered the OR, we knew it was time for the ever-so-pleasant spinal procedure. At this point, Ben was busy making sure he wasn’t in the way for the twentieth time. The pain was evident as Casey braced and then grimaced as the heavy gauge needle was inserted into her spinal column at the L2 level. The line was secured and she was eased onto her back by the nurses and anesthesiologist, since her legs were already buzzing. Dr. Feelgood sat at a stool by Casey’s head to adjust the flow of drugs as her OB Dr. Fiala and the assistant Dr. Bowers walked into the OR fully scrubbed-in and clad in surgical pastels.

Dr. Fiala made small talk sprinkled with words of encouragement while nurses prepped and draped Casey’s belly. The orange of the iodine was vaguely noticeable as I spewed my usual wisecracks that accompany my high level of nervousness. One of the nurses had noticed my black shamrock tattoo through my scrubs and mentioned that she had a son who played football at Notre Dame. No kidding. She then asked me if I was okay and if I needed to sit down. Actually, I voiced my interest in watching the procedure, just like when Scarlett was born via C-Section. Before we knew it, Dr. Fiala said, “Here we go.” Casey was numb from the belly button down and her vision hindered due to the all-encompassing curtain drape. Her left arm, which still held the IV was strapped down to a board. We could smell the burning flesh from the electro-cautery and could hear the chatter of the doctors and nurses as they made their cuts through the existing scar. Although Casey was numb to the cuts, the doctor warned her that she’d be able to feel the pressure in her abdomen. I kept watch over the drape and offered updates on the procedure, although due to the IV pain meds, confusion and muted pain, Casey didn’t really want to hear them. Once the incisions were completed, the doctors braced themselves on either side of the operating table and pulled with both hands in opposite directions to spread out the musculature. This Casey felt. I heard her gasp and saw the tears well up, which caused the anesthesiologist to ask her if everything was okay. She replied through her tears that she could feel a great deal of what was being done. When asked what she would rate her pain on a scale of 0-10 she bravely said 8, when it was clear to me that she was in quite a deal more. The anesthesiologist administered another push of drugs while I did my best to translate what was happening.
The amniotic sac was lanced and immediately a gush of liquid spilled out. Based on the look on Casey’s face, the pain hadn’t subsided, even as the second spinal took hold. Dr. Fiala checked in with the anesthesiologist about pain levels and he indicated that he administered all that he could.  Dr. Fiala informed the whole team that the baby was indeed breech, but that his head was lodged under Casey’s ribs on the left side, which was beyond the reach of her spinal. The anesthesiologist stated that he couldn’t administer a spinal at a higher level due to issues of diaphragm and lung functioning.  I asked if there were any other options and he stated that the only thing that he could do would be to put Casey completely out. Dr. Fiala informed everyone that they were going to go for it and told Casey to hang in there. Casey held my hand tight and prepared for the worst. The incision was pulled up near her sternum as Dr. Fiala attempted to dislodge the baby’s head. At this point, the procedure was essentially being conducted without anesthesia. Several pairs of hands pulled and prodded for something that seemed to be in Casey’s throat via her incision just below her belly button.
Suddenly, I saw a foot and leg. And then another. Dr. Fiala gave a few tugs and with a scoop of a gloved hand, the baby’s head emerged from what seemed like a six-foot wide hole. The baby let out that newborn shriek and we knew that everything would be okay. Casey got her first look at the baby as the nurses brought him around the curtain prior to his primary check. The nurses cleaned him up, but he stopped crying and just lied there, blue and still. The nurses rubbed his back and head and he gasped and cried but returned to lying still. A mask the size of an egg was placed on the little fellow with 100% Oxygen and he turned from blue to beet red in literally two seconds. I also started breathing at this point, turning from green back to my ruddy self. After my tenth “Is that normal?” the nurses told me to relax and that everything was fine. I couldn’t bring myself to tell this part of the process to Casey until we were home and she was well on her way to recovery. I didn’t think she could handle that thought.

While the baby was getting weighed, measured and freed of excessive umbilical cord, Casey was starting the long trek that is a post-op course. I glanced to the floor next to the operating table and noticed the suction receptacle about ¼ full and the surrounding floor and occasional pant-leg or sleeve spattered with blood. Since the placenta was also lodged under Casey’s ribs, the removal procedure was also conducted with little more than 800 mg of Ibuprofen between pain receptors and the cold surgical tools. In order to reach the placenta, a good number of her visceral organs had to be pulled laterally and forced toward the incision, making her look as though she had taken a cannon ball at short range. She once again bit her lip, grasped the curtain rods that held the drape and took the pain with as much tolerance as she could muster.

Just as the doctor was depositing her organs back into place and preparing to close her incision, I approached with our little man. The anesthesiologist adjusted several cords and hoses to make room as I placed our baby next to her on the operating table. She looked at me and said, “What do you think… Sullivan?” I agreed. “Sullivan Patrick Coleman.” Closure was completed, dressings applied and compression girdle fitted. I placed Sully in the bassinet cart and followed the mobile operating table to the post-operative care/neo-natal intake room. Four nurses spent what felt like an hour conducting numerous tests, taking readings, administering drugs and discussing paperwork. At this point Casey continued on the pain train as the nurses palpated her stomach and incision site to check for uterine hardening.

Originally, Casey was supposed to be moved straight to Ibuprofen and Percocet for her pain management, but the nursing staff alerted the doctor that Morphine was a better option for her, considering the amount of pain she was still in. The analgesic of last resort, the drug of “hold on Private, you took a musket ball to the shin. We have to amputate.” It took Morphine, of all things, to bring the pain down to a more comfortable 6 out of 10.

While Casey was being harangued, prodded and moved to the postpartum room, I was denied permission to wheel Sully out to the waiting room to see the family for the third time. I informed the nurses that if we didn’t come out soon, the family would roll in a keg and start a campfire. At last the nurses finished post-op requirements and let me push Sully out to meet the family.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Welcome Sullivan Patrick Coleman!

On Monday, March 19th, we welcomed Sullivan Patrick to the world via C-Section at 9:19 a.m. At 8 pounds and 8 ounces, he wasn't quite as big as we imagined he would be. The C-Section was a tough one (even more than normal C-Sections should be), but I'll write more about that in a later post. In fact, I might let Ben handle that one, since he was the one that witnessed everything in a really lucid state.

Since we've come home, it's been a blur of sleeping, pumping, feeding, diapering and staring absentmindedly at the television. After two days in the hospital, I decided that nursing just wasn't for me. The physical issues that made it problematic were only part of the problem. I think between the hormones, poor latching, insecurity and a host of other things - it just seemed like a better idea to pump my milk. Although that puts me into a constant cycle of feeding and pumping, it's rewarding to me to see how much milk goes into Sullivan and to be able to rely on others, like Ben, to help. I'm not sure how long I'll last and if I'll ever get ahead enough on my milk supply to stop giving about one formula bottle a day, but I feel confident in my decision. I really feel it was the right decision for me and for Sully too.

Getting back onto Lexapro has been a plus, although I still have some crazy post-partum hormones and some baby blues. At least I know it's not serious and I feel like I have a little control over them. It's amazing what small, ridiculous things make me cry!

Lastly, Scarlett has been such an amazing helper! Worries about how she'll adjust just frittered away. Yes, she has been angling for a little more attention and has been a little hyper-active, but she's also incredibly proud of her little brother and gives him loads of kisses. She wants to carry him everywhere, be involved in every diaper change and even helps me set up my pumping gear whenever I'm ready. The first few days I was home from the hospital she cried when she had to leave for school because she was going to miss Sully!

Well, forgive the rambling and any grammar issues - I'm still in a bit of a Percocet haze. I just wanted to give a quick update. I hope to have another soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

One Week!

Baby Bacon has exactly one week of "baking" to do. There were definitely times that I didn't think I'd get this far along. There were also times that I didn't feel like I could make it this far. However, as I approach the final week, I'm feeling pretty good. I've only had one instance of Braxton Hicks contractions and no other signs of labor, so I'm considering myself lucky. I do have concerns, as every soon-to-be mom does. Some may result from nesting, some from my extremely obsessive personality. Whatever the cause, I'm thinking about them a lot.

1. Getting everything done; both at work and at home. I've got one last big project to tackle at work, which is looming over my head. I've also been trying desperately to keep up with everything coming in - which will make it easier for my co-workers after I've gone. It's a losing battle and I know it, but it doesn't lessen my struggle.

At home, it's less of a big deal, but there are things we just need to get done. I need to clean for an upcoming St Patrick's Day party and houseguests. We also need to install our car seats and other sensible things. I've got a list and I'm whittling it down, but it feels like so much to do.

2. I worry a lot about going into labor before our C-Section date. I know if it happens, it happens and we'll deal with it. The planner in me is going crazy, though, because everything I have planned hinges on Baby coming the day that he's supposed to. Interestingly enough, I worry more about the planning aspect than I do about the physical aspect. My doctor has stressed how important it is to call if I experience any labor symptoms and what to say in the hospital to get the quickest treatment: "I have a bicornate uterus and my baby has always been breach." That apparently makes this happen pretty quickly. Despite that, I seem to be more concerned about displacing party guests and being adequately prepared.

3. Scarlett's place in this post-baby life does make me worry. I'm nervous about keeping her on schedule with school and all of her activities. But I also need to balance that with baby bonding, because I want to her to be as involved as possible. Trying to prevent melt-downs with special activities, but trying to keep her grounded will be difficult. I want to approach this situation as carefully and thoughtfully as possible. I'm willing to accept any suggestions! A From Bacon to Scarlett gift has already been purchased, wrapped and packed and Ben knows how important it will be for her to be the first person who gets to hold the baby.

4. Nursing vs. pumping. This issue has weighed on my mind since Scarlett was born. With Scarlett I nursed for a little bit, pumped for a little bit and then gave up and formula fed. Nursing contributed to a hefty case of baby blues because it didn't go well for me. Due to physical problems, it just wasn't very feasible. I didn't feel guilty when I stopped, after all Scarlett turned out just fine, but trying to figure out how to approach the situation with the new one has caused me a little stress.

I'm honestly not too keen on nursing. I want Bacon to have the benefits of it, which is why I'm willing to try nursing for a little while and pumping for a long while. My hope is that I can build up a nice supply of milk by pumping so that the little one can have the benefits of the breastmilk and I won't have any of the stress. We'll see. My experience with some people is that "breast is best" and that is the bottom line. I don't disagree, but I want to be open minded. I hope that everyone else will be too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Room with a view

Our very talented friend Heather finished painting the walls of Bacon's nursery last week. We love the way it turned out!

Monday, February 27, 2012

22 days and counting

A very eventful 36-week appointment! We were scheduled for a full ultrasound on Friday to measure the baby's size and to get some decent photos of his beautiful face! Although the pictures took some manipulating (picture the ultrasound tech bouncing the wand up and down on my belly forcefully to get him to turn over - ouch!), we did end up with some great face pics. I'll post those pictures in the next few days.

Size? Well, not surprisingly given the girth of my belly, we've got a bigun'. Currently, Baby Bacon weighs 7 lbs, 9 oz (give or take 3/4ths of a pound according to the tech). At a growth rate of a 1/2 lb a week, we could certainly be looking at a 9 pound baby at birth. Thank goodness for C-sections! The first thing that we focused was the femur, which measured at a whopping 97% and then the head, which measured at 92%! No little waif of a baby, like Scarlett was.

Thankfully, we haven't had any signs of labor or distress, so it's business as usual. Although I'd rather that he wait until his assigned date to arrive, I'll be happy if Bacon waits until after this weekend. I've got a scrapbook weekend with my sister that I'd hate to miss! I'm on weekly appointments now, so I'll get a good idea of progress at my next appointment, a day before I leave.

Another note: Our 7:30 C-section time has been moved to 9 a.m. Woot! I'm very happy not to have to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m.!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

That's not my name...

We have narrowed down our name choices to four! If you ask, though, we're still not telling!

Just thought I'd share some of the names that we didn't go with for one reason or another.

* Callum
* Cassidy
* Clancy
* Cormac
* Darby
* Larkin
* Murphy

Please refrain from commenting negatively on them, since they were all under serious consideration! I'll have more to share this weekend after my 36-week appointment!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

No news is good news

As the old adage goes, no news is good news. My 34-week appointment today was largely uneventful. Tried unsuccessfully, I may add, to get a good picture of Bacon. He continues to pose with his back to us and his arms covering his face. At this point I’m not sure if he does this on purpose every time he feels that cold ultrasound gel or if he’s permanently stuck that way!

Everything else is normal. Only one contraction I think, and very little swelling. I have had a couple of pre-migraine auras, although they haven’t turned into full-blown migraines. No excess protein in my urine and a steady blood-pressure, so very low chance of pre-eclampsia. I’m also going to hold off going back on meds and see if I experience any more attacks. As with my anxiety, everything is on a wait-and-see cycle.

During my next appointment in two weeks, we’ll do a full ultrasound with the trained ultrasound tech. The hope is that we can not only get a really good size reading, but also some good pictures. My baby book is really lacking! We’ll also be doing a Group B Strep test and a general exam to check my cervix.

Lastly, we're talking about moving the time of the C-Section on March 19th. It's entirely due to scheduling. I don't think I'll be sad if I get to show up at the hospital at 9 for an 11 a.m. birth instead of 5:30 a.m. for a 7:30 birth!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Missing my meds

Within the last week or so I've been experiencing some anxiety. I'm not talking just nervousness; I'm talking the keeping-you-up-at-night type of anxiety that caused me to start taking anti-anxiety medicine about 3 years ago.

When I found out I was pregnant, I tapered off my current medication. I know that there's not a lot of research concerning the effects of Lexapro on babies. While my doctor assured me that if I really needed to be on it (if it were crippling enough without it), things would be just fine; it was enough of an unknown that I passed. As most pregnant women would testify to, it's just better not to take anything that you really don't need. Up until last week, I didn't really feel any anxiety that wasn't considered normal pregnancy nervousness.

I'm really trying to decide now whether I can still get by not having it. I think that I would feel guilty if I started taking it now. I got by for so long without it. On the other hand, I can't handle more sleepless nights of unreasonable worrying. Worrying about things like getting Scarlett's cookie order in on time, whether I'll have time to pack my overnight bag, whether I'll remember to put out fresh sheets for our houseguests during my hospital stay and other silly things. Things that should not keep me up at night, but still did.

On a side note, while I don't have any reason to think that I won't make it to 39 weeks, I'm starting to get nervous about going early. I've realized how little we actually have done in preparation for the baby and how much I've stupidly planned around this date. Here's hoping I make it to the final stretch!

Monday, January 30, 2012

10 Random Things About Me

1. I’m extremely obsessive. Not on the clinical, need to be medicated scale, but enough that it interrupts my daily life. My work desk is usually pretty immaculate. My DVDs are alphabetized, my books are in size order, my underwear is lined up neatly in my drawer, and my clothes are hung in color order – short sleeve to long sleeve. Yet, you can walk in our house and it looks like a tornado just hit it. I’m trying really hard not to pass this unreasonable trait onto Scarlett, though I may have already failed.
2. I’m obsessed with reality television. It used to mostly be limited to MTV shows (The Real World, Road Rules, etc.) but I now watch everything from the RR/RW Challenge to Extreme Couponing to Hoarders to The Kardashians.
3. I’m terrified of not having a close relationship with my kids. I’m not sure why, because I don’t have anything to base it on, but I just am.
4. I’ve never had a career goal in life. I’m not sure if it’s because I could never think of anything that I loved enough to want to do or if I’m just lazy. Even now – I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
5. I really enjoy entertaining – even though I have a generous helping of anxiety when I do it.
6. I hate milk. HATE IT.
7. I have a major disbelief in organized religion. I don’t agree with most things that most religions preach. Yet, there is some part of me that really wants to join a church and wants Scarlett to be part of one too. Chances are slim that we’ll find one that Ben and I both agree on. Me for the beliefs, him for the historical aspects. (If they’ve persecuted Irish at any point in their history, they’re out.)
8. I’m very needy and have very little self-confidence. I really hate that I constantly seek reassurance and validation from people, even my own family. Lexapro made that a little better.
9. I clean out my ears neurotically. I know it’s not good for me, but if I don’t do it every day, I feel totally gross.
10. My two favorite movies when I was a pre-teen were Cobra and Commando. I still adore watching them!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Less than two months... or even less than that!

I just came back from the OB's office for my 31-week evaluation. (It was supposed to be 30, but got rescheduled.) Everything is going along well, as it should be. Even though my appointment was incredibly short - mostly due to the baby's unwillingness to pose for pictures - I did learn some things.

* The baby is 4 1/2 - 5 pounds right now, which is about perfect. Not overly big as they first thought. I could still have a 10-lb baby, but it isn't looking so right now. We'll get official measurements at my next appointment in two weeks.

*Although I am a normal size, outwardly, my doctor has high doubts that we'll make it to our due date, even moved up to 39 weeks. Due to the shape of my uterus, the position of the baby and history of pregnancies like this, Doc thinks that it's likely that I'll go into labor early. As much as going early appeals to me, I really don't want to.

* I do not have gestational diabetes. Barely. I was two points below the cutoff. I really need to curb my sugar.

* I have a slightly low iron count. It's not surprising, given my intolerance for some meats. Something else for me to work on.

I guess we'll keep on trucking!