Wednesday, May 22, 2013

One Month Old....

On May 17th, Zooey celebrated her 1 month birthday. Well, more accurately, Adam and I celebrated by commenting on how much she's grown, how cute she is, etc, etc and Zooey continued her regular routine of eating, sleeping, peeing/pooping and other general bodily functions. Note crying is not a typical bodily function for her THANK GOODNESS! She's a great baby, very content, but is still eating every 2-3 hours so we...are...tired. But this too shall pass and we want to make sure we document the heck out of these times because we surely will not remember well due to a sleep deprivation haze!

First, Zooey's size. She appears huge to us and tiny to the rest of the world. She is roughly the size of an American Girl doll. She was 4 lb 10 oz at birth and now, four weeks later, she is up to 6 lb 4 oz so growing more than the anticipated 1 oz/day in the past few weeks. We can see a significant difference. For example, her cheeks have really filled out:

One week old, after a bath

Four weeks old, after a bath

She has grown an inch! While the bison and baby aren't perfectly lined up in the below photos you can see she really has grown! She outgrew the outfit in the first photo during week two! She's a weed!

One week old with bison
Four weeks old with bison

Look at that belly! It's sticking out over her pants!

Zooey's antics are as expected. Not smiling yet and may not for a few more weeks given her prematurity. Not sleeping for more than 3 hours. (Sad face.) But she seems to recognize my voice which is fun and she is starting to make eye contact. She is generally happy unless we do something to insult her like fail to feed her fast enough, take off her clothes if she is cold, or poke and prod her by putting her into a carseat or stroller. Also, the occasional gas or challenging bowel movement gets the best of her (as it does with some adults I know, so who can judge the baby?). For example:

Waaahh! Waahh!

A couple seconds later, staring at Dad, who entertained her with a song.

A content smile a few seconds later. See, she recovers fast:)

Other antics include lots of stroller rides outside which require excellent sun protection:

Too cool for school.

She also enjoys the occasional burp in the "monkey burp pose" causing her Grandpa to quip "Maybe they can find a job for her at a Goose Island 'branch' office".

Monkey burp pose
One surprise is the amount of interesting noises she makes. For example she frequently releases these high pitched air vent noises, similar to a fumarole causing us to call her Zooeystone after the thermal features at our favorite national park. She has occasional fumaroles on top, and occasional mud pots on the bottom!

The parents are hanging in there, looking forward to the time when our little girl can sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a time. I started running again this week so that's a huge step in the right direction. More on that if I ever have another few minutes of free time!

Some more photos:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Mother's Day

Zooey- 25 days old.
My first Mother's Day started dramatically with our usually calm, cool and collected baby vomiting up what appeared to us newbie parents as all her feeds over a 12 hour period. So after a sleepless night, we headed to the pediatrician's office at 10 am on Mother's Day. Luckily, Zooey had continued to gain weight since Thursday and had no fever so we were sent back home with a follow up in a few days. Even more luckily, Zooey continues to have spit up now and again but nothing like that terrible 12 hours. Don't know what it was but glad it stopped!

So, needless to say, Adam and I were VERY sleep deprived. We thought about calling off our planned Mother's Day events but in the end decided it might be better to have adults around to give Zooey attention to give us a little bit of a break! Plus, who wants to call off Mother's Day?

Adam's Mom came up for a few hours to hang out with Zooey and later in the day my parents and my Grandma Nelson came into town with dinner and lots of arms to hold Zooey upright given her reflux. It was Great Grandma Nelson's first time meeting Zooey so that was very special. And having 4 generations of Nelsons in one room was pretty cool as well. It was my first Mother's Day, my mom's 35th Mother's Day and my grandma's 60th Mother's Day!

Great Grandma Nelson and Zooey
4 generations of Nelsons: Zooey, Me, Grandma Nelson, Great Grandma Nelson

Adam, despite a new low in the sleep department, snuck out to Michigan Avenue under the guise of "going to the grocery store" and returned with gifts for all the Moms, myself included. Let's just say he set the bar pretty high for Father's Day next month with his gift of Zooey's birthstone in earring and necklace form (i.e. diamonds).
Diamonds, Champagne and Red Velvet Cake for Mother's Day
 (plus homemade shrimp and grits and a great red wine the night before!)

All in all it was a great day and the best part was that Zooey is healthy and still gaining weight. But the diamonds were nice too;)

Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013: Babybison's Due Date

Today was babybison's due date. Instead of hoping labor will start soon and move quickly (I'm sure I would have been none too pleased to go past my due date), we are the proud parents of a little 23 day old girl. And she is indeed little! But growing! She's already outgrown most of her preemie clothes and is gaining the expected ounce a day so is already 5 lbs 5 oz! She's finally on the so-called growth charts though at less than the 3rd percentile:) But at least she's on the chart!

Zooey and I have been keeping busy- we've joined a weekly Chicago New Moms Group. (Well, I've joined and she has to tag along. She seemed very alarmed by all the crying babies. She kept looking at me questioningly and I told her not to get any ideas- she does not need to start crying, I like my quiet baby just fine!). We've been taking walks most days. We have various doctor and lactation consultant appointments to attend. I put books, mirrors and rattles 8-12 inches in front of her face for a few minutes each day. We do tummy time (which I hate and she doesn't seem to mind). I sing songs (mostly made up because I don't know any baby songs) and narrate the day to help her with language acquisition. We are reading The Great Gatsby (more accurately, I am reading it in quiet tones and she is staring off into space.) You know, we check off the list of stimulating activities you are supposed to do for newborns (thankfully this list isn't actually that long, just being alive is stimulating enough at this age). Yesterday I took "a break" for the first time since her birth and actually watched a movie. I don't think Zooey minded or felt ignored so maybe that will be a weekly activity as well. 

I don't have much else to report. Eating, burping, napping, pooping, bathing, putting on and taking off clothes a few times a day, staring off into space, making various cute expressions completely unintentionally but really darn cute nonetheless, these are the expected activities of a three week old and she does them like a champ. I'll alert you when things get more interesting:) But for now, I'll leave you with some pictures:

Back from week 1.

Week 3: Crazy face Zooey!

Week 3: The Monkey Burp pose with Grandpa Nelson

Week 3: Zooey's first Chicago style hot dog and visit to the Bean.

Week 3: Babybison with a bison. We'll keep taking this for size reference until she goes to
college,  she'll love it...well, we'll love it and that's all that matters. Ha!

Hard to believe my next requisite post will be 1 month! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Turns Out I'm Just Like Everyone Else.....

Yesterday marked three weeks since Zooey made her grand entrance via c section. Initially I was quite pleased with my surgical recovery. I was out of bed within 12 hours (mostly because those hours were overnight, I imagine I would have been up even sooner otherwise), and I finished a walking mile within 20 hours of the delivery, ensuring I did not miss a single dailymile. Eating and normal bodily functions resumed on day one. I was up and about spending very minimal time in bed. Sure I had some pain but a very occasional norco and around the clock ibuprofen took care of it enough that I could carefully function. However I quickly became impatient with my recovery after leaving the hospital. I assumed my recovery over the first few days was a sign that I'd be almost good as new in a week or so. I assumed that since I exercised throughout my pregnancy, I'd have a leg up and recovery at the speed of light. Not true. Apparently being an exerciser doesn't have any particular skin healing benefits becuse my incision site continued to cause some pain for about 10 days. Not bad pain, but enough that I knew I needed to be careful. I decided that c-section recovery is a bit of a cruel joke. I felt fine energy wise, I really felt great overall, except for the incisional (and a bit of uterine) pain. And the very simple daily activities required to take care of a new baby are the exact ones that I couldn't do comfortably (and would jeopardize my long term recovery). Picking up baby from a low position (think day bed or pack and play), no can do. Getting up from couch or bed without using hands (i.e. while holding baby), no can do. Picking up items (ex burp cloth) from the floor, impossible. I learned how to use my toes to pick stuff up but even this was painful for a couple days. Honestly, I could have returned to work by day 5- sit at a computer and type? No problem. Walk from patient room to patient room? Fine. Sit in a hard backed chair with armrests to push off of to get up? A-okay. But taking care of baby? Painful. Thank god for Adam and my Mom. I felt RIDICULOUS sitting on the couch, a totally usually able bodied person, asking others to get me a glass of water or a bottle just out of reach. I would be a terrible sick person, let's hope I stay healthy.

Me vs The Walking Man
And walking continued to hurt for way longer than I anticipated. Again, the pain wasn't bad. It was totally bearable, so I tried to avoid taking pain medicine except at night because to me the pain was a reminder to take it easy. I knew my tendency would be to overdo activity without the physical reminder (i.e. pain) that I needed to heal. But my walking speed was a bit of a joke. For example, one week after delivery, I had a pre-existing hair cut appointment. I decided to keep it because I don't want to let having a baby destroy my attempts at maintaining personal upkeep (mani/pedi is on the agenda for this weekend, and a day hasn't gone by where I don't put on make-up, even if it's just for my own sake). So I walked the 1.3 miles to the salon. I'm glad I did but man was I walking slow. Embarrassingly slow. Like, I almost didn't make it across some of the streets in time even though I started walking right when the light turned green. I felt ridiculous. One day I walked my mile on the treadmill at 1.8 mph. One point eight! I told myself that the people in the gym must remember that I was just pregnant a few days ago hence my pace. Not that it matters what they think, but still, I have some pride and it was wounded!

Now I'm three weeks out and have been pain free for well over a week. The incision is healing nicely though still with small areas with scabbing so I agree with my very cautious husband that I shouldn't run yet. The last thing I want is to re-open the incision and set myself back. I have the Chicago Triathlon in August to train for! But I sure do wish I could run- beautiful spring days, I've lost all of the baby weight so my joints should be thrilled- I have 9 months of pent up motivation just aching to be released!

Another irony of the whole c-section thing: while pregnant I had virtually no activity limitations- I could run, spin, lift weights, swim- and did up until the day of delivery (I was at a spinning class the night before her birthday and I never missed a running mile). The limitations were regarding intensity, not type of activity. So I was careful to not be short of breath for too long and to never "go anaerobic". Now, post c-section, the restrictions are the exact opposite! I can get as short of breath as I want- there are no specific limitations on how hard I push myself cardiovascularly- but my activity limitations are so restrictive that it's really hard to get in a solid work-out. I can't lift weights, I can't run, I can't spin or swim. I'd be happy to take up a new activity, but basically all of them are verboten until after 6 weeks. Now I'm certainly not one to follow rules just to follow them, but since my incision is still not completely healed I agree I need to continue to be cautions. I'm hoping 4 weeks will be the day I test out running. Everyone says walking is fine, but I can speed walk a 15 minute mile and feel like I'm on the couch exertion wise so that's not super helpful. So I'm hill walking. Aggressively. On the treadmill. 10-12 grade and increasing daily. As far as I can tell, that's the only activity I'm "allowed to do". But even with that, I'm being cautions because I do start to feel a little pulling on the incision if I go past 20 minutes or so. So frustrating.

This is my blog, so from time to time (like today) I take the opportunity to vent and usually feel better afterwards. But I do want to say that I know I'm lucky I didn't have any complications (thus far) surrounding my c-section. No infections, no blood loss, I didn't have to labor first so I'm not dealing with the consequences of both. And Zooey is wonderful and healthy and I'm so happy to have her. So I know not being able to train yet is not the end of the world. But I also know myself and soon it will start to feel like the end of the world emotionally and physically even if rationally I know it's just a small amount of time in a whole lifetime of training and fitness. So, yes, I'm feeling a little sorry for myself but know that I do realize how lucky I really am. Let's just say I will be so, so grateful when I can run again. A 20 miler sounds like an absolute dream!