Another Mass Update

17 Feb

It’s amazing how difficult it can be just to make a phone call these days, let alone try to get online to make a blog posting.  I’ve been trying to at least keep up with writing down my thoughts, though, so here they are…

February 9
I had a great night last night; Jade slept and ate like clockwork and didn’t cry once.  It had been a long and busy day, so I went to bed at 8:30 while Michael cuddled Jade.  He brought her to me for a feeding (freshly diapered!) at 10:30, and we were back to sleep about an hour later.  She woke quietly at 2:30 and I tried the side-lying position to feed her.  She suckled away happily and I slept while she did.  One more quiet wake-up call at 5:30 which involved another feed and a diaper change and we were back in dreamland until 8:30.  Both Michael and I felt like we had slept enough – wow!  This was doubly wonderful because the two previous nights Jade fed non-stop from 2:00 a.m. until 5:30 a.m.. 

At yesterday’s "Weigh and Measure Clinic" at the Whitehorse Health Centre, we found out she had put those marathon feeds to good use: her head grew by a centimetre (it is now 35 cm around), her length grew by a centimetre (she’s now 49 cm long – although some of this might be because of relaxing limbs), and her weight went up by a whopping 7 oz since her birthday.  While this isn’t an abnormal amount of weight for a baby to put on, it was about 3 times the baseline amount the nurse was looking for.  She congratulated us on doing a great job (ha ha!) and noted that Jade is putting on the "brown fat" that she needs.  I can see why some doctors say a woman is actually pregnant for 18 months – 9 months in the womb, and 9 months outside.

After the clinic visit, we headed over to my office to introduce Jade to my colleagues at the Public Service Commission.  It was meant to be a quick tour, but we ended up spending about an hour there.  Michael carried Jade in his arms for much of the time – he’s such a proud papa!

Today Michael is at work for most of the day because of meetings.  Jade and I plan to go downtown to participate in the "Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies" drop-in, which goes from 11:00 to 2:00 – it will be her first time there.  Unfortunately, the bus schedule at this time of day kind of sucks.  I missed the 10:30 bus, and the next one doesn’t come until 12:50.  On the bright side, that gives me about an hour to feed the little miss and get her bundled up and we’ll be able to catch the last hour of the drop in.  She’s actually sleeping in her crib right now, so I guess she’s feeling a little more secure that we’ll be there when she needs us.

February 10
For the last few days, Jade has been staying awake for some time between feedings, so we can actually share a bit of time of quiet interaction.  The fat she’s putting on is showing up in little rolls on her arms and neck, and dimples in her knuckles.  She also seems to be staying warmer by herself.  She’s still in our bed at night, but I’ve been taking off her sleeper so she has just her diaper and undershirt on; that seems to keep her at a more comfortable temperature.

Last night I gave jade some grip water because she seemed to be having such terrible gas pains.  There was a look of such surprise when the flavour first hit her tongue!  I was horrified afterward to note that the non-medicinal ingredients include ethanol.  I felt terrible – I just gave my baby alcohol!  How many brain cells did I kill?!

This morning when I was talking to my mom, whe happened to mention that she used to give us gripe water.  Nem got pretty regular doses because she used to cry quite a bit.  Well, if thoses IQ tests we took as children mean anything, Nem’s smarter than I am , so I guess the stuff can’t be that bad.

We had an appointment this afternoon with a new doctor in Whitehorse; it was basically just an introduction so that we can get him to be our family doctor.  Doctors are just as scarce here as the are in the rest of the country.  Afterward, I stopped at "Alpine Bra" to see about getting another nursing bra; the woman who runs the store is a certified bra-fitting expert (whatever they’re called).  I got an awesome bra from her in the fall, so I knew I’d be in good hands, so to speak.  I dont know why I found it so shocking, but I was stunned when she told me that I’m between a D and a DD cup.  No wonder I feel huge!  If only I could go back in time and tell my self-conscious teenage self to stop worrying about being flat-chested . . .

February 11
I was thinking today about how many tests they did on me and on Jade at the hospital.  Besides regularly checking our heart rates and temperature, they took blood from Jade for a number of tests, they checked her eyes, they took a meconium sample, and they also did a hearing test.  The hearing test was the most nerve-wracking because the machine they use can be so finicky and it took a few attempts to get the green lights that showed her eardrums respond as expected.  It was a bit silly to fret, since we’d seen her startle at a loud and sudden noise, but since they had already tried the test on her without success on the previous day, it made me a bit tense.  For most of the months I was pregnant, I was pretty relaxed that everything would turn out fine, but in the last while I started to get a bit anxious that something might be wrong.  I knew it was silly to worry, but you just want everything to be okay.

Yeterday I noticed I was having trouble moving around as my whole middle felt kind of sore.  At fist I felt a bit alarmed (a woman I know who recently gave birth developed a nasty uterine infection) but then I realized that it was my abs that were sore.  I have pretty much zero muscle tone in that area right now, and I guess doing sit-ups with a baby on my chest in the middle of the night has taken its toll.  I’m taking it easier on them now and they’re already feeling a bit better.

February 13
We had an appointment with Dr. Ikeji today for a follow-up on Jade.  The doctor listened to Jade’s heart and bowels and lungs, then shone a light in her eyes, and finally checked her hip joints, then pronounced her to be perfect.  Of course, we already knew that!

Dr. Ikeji prescribed some antibiotics for me to ensure that the little lump on the side of my nipple doesn’t develop into mastitis.  I feel pretty ambivalent about taking them – I don’t like being on medication, I don’t like the idea of it passing into my breast milk, and I don’t like the fact that it makes me more vulnerable to getting a yeast infection.  But I also don’t like the idea of getting a breast infection, and now that I’ve started them, I’ve got to finish them.  At least it’s only for a week.

A thought about breastfeeding: the books describ the "milk ejection reflex" as a tingling sensation.  I guess that is the best word for it, but it doesn’t feel as good as it sounds – ouch!  I mean it’s not really painful – kind of like a cramp in the breasts, I guess.  Apparently it becomes less pronounced over time.

February 14
Happy Valentine’s Day!  Michael made us his classic Cornish hens, with flavoured rice and a vegetable medley.  He couldn’t find red currant jelly for the glaze, so he subtituted saskatoon berry, which I fouond made a nice little change.

February 16
Jade and I went to the Women’s Centre today to attend the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies drop-in.  We found out that another one of the couples in our prenatal class had a baby boy on the weekend.  Another one is scheduled to have a c-section on Friday, so that’s five couples down and three to go!

It was the first day we dressed Jade in "real" clothes.  A friend at work gave us an adorable outfit that she was anxious we receive before Jade outgrew it.  I put it on her yesterday and she patiently bore all the pullings and tuggings.  It turns out that the outfit is actually still too big for her, but after the effort of getting it on, I didn’t think it was fair to get her all undressed and redressed in a sleeper, so she kept it on for the day.  Even with the tights protruding past her feet, it looked pretty adorable.  Hmm, I hope I don’t get carried away with the baby girl outfits…

February 17
Today was another big day.  I slept through most of the night because I decided to let Jade latch on in the side-lying position sometime in the wee hours of the morning.  I fell asleep, and I guess she just went ahead and nursed whenever she wanted.  When we got up, her diaper was soaking, so I stripped her right down and then decided it was a good time for a bath.  I had scrubbed the tub out a few days ago, thinking Michael might like to try having a bath with Jade.  He hadn’t had a chance yet, but I thought I’d go ahead.  I cleaned the tub out again and got in the tub with Jade and was surprised to find out that she floats!  I mean, I was holding onto her head the whole time, but the rest of her body just kept floating up.  You learn something new every day.    Jade seemed to enjoy the bath, except for when I accidentally put her face in the water when I flipped her over to wash her back and her bum.  She didn’t cry, but she didn’t look too impressed, either!

My friend Mary came to visit at 11:00 (bringing homemade muffins – mmm!), and then just as she was leaving, Mike T and Kim dropped by.  All the activity in the morning must have been a bit tiring because I needed a nap in the afternoon.  Or maybe it’s the antibiotics.

This evening after supper, I gave a sleeping Jade to Michael and took Nanuq out for a 15-minute walk.  It’s the first time I’ve left Jade since she was born, but it wasn’t as earth-shattering as I might have thought.  Nanuq and I had a nice walk and Jade was still sleeping when we got back.

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