Wednesday, June 20, 2007


It's 1:00 am, and I am totally not packing, which I should be. I'm not completely goofing off, I'm making a list of stuff for Max to do when he gets up at 6:00 am. I am on the night shift with Piper, and in the morning I will sleep for a bit while he baby-wrangles and attempts to put a dent in the chaos that is our apartment. There is stuff everywhere, stuff piled on stuff piled on stuff stacked on things piled on stuff. We have no furniture except a fold-up table, a couch, a mattress, and a living-room chair. We sold some things, and donated the rest to a family that needed it. Most of it was too big to take with us and we were happy to give it to people that could use it. However, this means that all the stuff that was on the bed, desks, coffee tables, night-stands, and so forth is now ALL OVER THE FLOOR. My job tonight is to sort the big piles into smaller piles so in the morning my husband can attack one pile at a time.

I should probably be napping if I'm not packing, since Piper is asleep. Normally she wakes up around midnight and wants to be up until 4:00, 5:00, or even 6:00 a.m. and insists on being held or fed or otherwise interacted with during that entire span, thus ruling out any chance of me a)sleeping, b)pumping out some more of my toxic-to-babies-antibiotic-laden-breastmilk, or c)doing anything even remotely useful.

Instead, I am working on my list and watching The Family Stone. I have loved this movie from the first time I watched it. I passed on it in the theater because I thought oh, no, Sarah Jessica Parker. But I turned it on one night for something to watch while I folded laundry, and was instantly charmed. I think it's a sweet and funny film, and it's on my list of favorite "non-traditional" (for lack of a better term) Christmas movies (a list which also includes Love Actually and The Ref). The Family Stone makes me laugh because I've been there, on both sides of the equation - both as a member of the family peering curiously at a sibling's chosen partner, and as the outsider who has a hard time connecting with her partner's family. This year, holidays should be a whole new sea of treacherous waters, since we now have the first/only grandchild on either side and will be living back in Michigan, but don't know exactly where in the state we'll be at the end of the year.

Right now I'm watching this movie because it's funny and I feel less stressed about the move when I can laugh. It's also giving me a small amount of warm-fuzzy feelings about living near family and friends, which I really need right now because all I can think is this better be fucking worth it. Moving back had better be the best thing we've ever done, because I don't want to give up matching furniture we actually liked and uproot our lives and do all this shit just to get back to a crappy hellhole we can't wait to get out of again.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Donkey Kong's balls, maybe?

Life with Piper is settling down. She is still getting used to us and us to her, but every day it gets a little easier. Not that it's hard in the first place; so far she's been a really easy baby. I have come to accept the fact that she does not sleep between midnight and four a.m. - at all. But it's okay, because then she crashes for a big long stretch, and I can get a few hours' solid sleep in before the day starts.

Far more stressful than the baby is our impending move and my medical status. I am constantly freaking about about how we're going to get everything done in time, and I run into the bathroom ten times a day to look at my incision and make sure it's getting less red and angry-looking instead of more. My husband keeps telling me not to stress because that won't help anyone or anything, but I can't stop it.

Pumping sucks donkey balls. It's difficult enough taking care of a tiny baby, but also finding the time every 2-6 hours to attach cones to my boobs so they can get drained of their poisonous milk is a pain in the ass. Doing all this while trying not to rupture my stitches and pack for a cross-country move is not fun, either. What is the next level of suckage above donkey balls?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Well, I have an infection. In my c-section incision. Over the weekend, I noticed it getting a little red, and then it started weeping yellowish fluid. On Monday I called the doctor. They wanted me to come in and see the surgeon who did my c-section, but I can't drive yet and Max was at work so we couldn't get there in time. They told me to go to the urgent care place ASAP. I showered, got the baby ready, and we took off. When we arrived at the urgent care center, I got out of the car and felt something wet on the front of my clothes. I looked down and saw that fluid from my incision had soaked through the front part of my yoga pants, tank top, AND hoodie on the fifteen-minute car ride over. I started to panic.

When they checked me in, the nurse who did my intake took one look at my soaked clothes and the now very-angry-looking wound and said she'd find me a room right away. The look on her face made me want to throw up because oh, shit was written there plain as day. We got a room, but then we waited over an hour before a doctor saw us. And when he did, he scared the shit out of me by saying I'd have to be hospitalized and they would probably transfer me right away, tonight, right now. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done to maintain any semblance of calm, because I really just wanted to freak out and cry. We are moving back to Michigan in less than two weeks. I can't be sick right now, I just can't.

But they called the OB on call, who happened to be my regular OB (though not the one who did my surgery) and he said that since I had no fever and my white cell count was normal, I should be managed as an outpatient. So they gave me some IV antibiotics and some super-strong oral antibiotics to take home. Hopefully these will clear it up. Unfortunately, they're all too strong for the baby, so I can't breast-feed until I'm done with them. I have to pump & dump for the next two and a half weeks so my milk doesn't dry up. Which is fabulous, because now am I not only taking care of a baby and trying to coordinate a cross-country move while recovering from major abdominal surgery, I have to find the time to pump. Piper's still so young, we hadn't quite worked out the breastfeeding thing yet, so I'm not even sure how often/how much to pump. She's doing okay on the formula, although the first couple times she looked at us like "what the hell is THIS?!" It will be frustrating, though, because when I'm done with the antibiotics we'll basically be starting all over with the breastfeeding. It wasn't going badly, it was just not easy. I never knew so many things could prevent a baby from getting milk out of a boob properly.

Friday, June 08, 2007


My mother and sister are leaving today, and although I've loved having them here it's been two and a half weeks of their constant company and I think we all need a break. I want to get to know our tiny little girl and we need some time to bond as a family. That is in short supply - in two weeks, my dad and my sister are coming out to help us move. My sister and I will take the baby and fly back to Michigan; my dad and Max will drive our car (with all 9 cats inside) across the country. It's the same drive Max and I made almost two years ago, in reverse. I don't envy them their journey. It is a long, hot, exhausting drive with animals who don't like to travel.

I am so tired. I can't sleep. I barely slept in the hospital because there was always someone coming in to check on me or check the baby or some monitor going off or noises outside. When I got home, I couldn't get comfortable. When we bought our bed, it seemed like a good idea to get the cool-looking (and more importantly, cheap) one that was only a foot and a half off the ground. Turns out having a bed at calf-height is something of a problem when they had to slice you open to get a baby out. My mother has been in the guest-room bed, which is at hip height and really too high for me to get in and out of comfortably. My sister is on the couch. I slept in 10-minute bursts in the hospital, sitting straight up because it was too painful to lay down. I could feel my stitches pulling every time I moved. At home it's no different. Getting into our low bed is a painful, slow process, and getting up again means rolling to the edge of the mattress (ouch), sitting up (ouch), and vaulting myself over the hard (ouch) side-rail then using the wall for support while I pull myself up (ouch).

I am so, so tired. I am terrified I'm going to fall asleep while I'm holding the baby and drop her. I have actually almost done this on five seperate occasions (three of them while I was still in the hospital), but luckily I caught myself as my arms started to relax. I have started spontaneously crying several times because I'm so exhausted. Our experience at the hospital was so awful I start to cry every time I think about it. I feel like I'm losing my mind. And it's so hard to have people around, even my mom and sister, because I can't just let go and cry it out like I want to. I can do this in front of my husband, but all these other people expect something more from me. And they want my baby. Everybody wants a turn, and I don't really mind most of it, but it's hard to have so much "help" 24 hours a day. I don't know how this is going to go in a couple of weeks when we get to my parents' house and I have to face the rest of the summer with all this "help."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hello, Baby. Welcome to Earth.

Piper Reid was born at 9:33 am on June 2nd. She weighed 5lbs, 8oz and was 19 inches long.

It was an emergency c-section after 19 hours of labor. To say that things did not go as planned is an understatement, and to say that things did not go as we wanted is an even larger one. Everything about bringing her into this world was difficult and unexpected.

But she is perfect and healthy and I am doing well. We got home from the hospital late yesterday afternoon and so far the cats seem mostly scared of her, except Ellie who had to be informed repeatedly that you can sniff the baby, but you can't walk on the baby in order to sniff.