Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Need to Write, Even If It's Rambling Garbage

It's New Year's Eve. Since December 12, the day my daughter was born, I've written approximately one and a half pages in my journal, three thank-you notes, a couple of notes in Anne's baby book, some lame blog entries, a few half-finished grocery lists, and a smattering of ten-words-or-less status updates on Facebook.

It hasn't been a good month for writing. Heck, it hasn't been a good year for writing.

Still, I need to write. I need to write like I need to breathe. When I go this long without writing, I start to feel like I'm suffocating mentally--can't think straight, can't make decisions, can't speak intelligently.

The sleep deprivation of the last few weeks hasn't helped much either.

What kinds of things have I wanted to write? Nothing deep, I'm afraid. I'm simply not in a season of deep thinking, creativity, or intellectual curiosity. My reading materials have strayed little from pregnancy and baby-care books. My goals right now are to be a good mom and to make the most of my maternity leave, cuddling and snuggling with Baby Anne as much as possible. Other goals include getting a daily shower, brushing my teeth sometime before dinner, and remembering to pee.

Here are some things I've been thinking:

- The sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn is nothing compared to the insomnia that comes with depression and stress.

- I have a beautiful baby. (I know, I should be more modest. But she's just so beautiful ...)

- I'm trying not to think about work, and the day I have to go back. I love being at home with my baby.

- Everyone showered me with unsolicited advice when I was pregnant. It was incredibly annoying, and much of it was either wrong or didn't apply to me. Next time I meet a pregnant person, I'm going to remain happily silent unless I'm specifically asked for advice.

- To those who said I'd get stretch marks: Ha! I didn't get a single one!

- To those who think they have the world's greatest husband: Sorry. You're wrong. The Hubster is the world's greatest. I feel very lucky and blessed to have him, especially at 3 a.m. when he comes into the baby's room after I've fed Anne and offers to rock her to sleep for me.

- I'm already a little tired of the unsolicited baby-care advice.

- I try to "sleep when the baby sleeps," but Anne seems to have an internal monitor that tells her when I'm trying to sleep because she always manages to wake up just as I'm drifting off. By the time I finally give up trying to sleep, she conks out.

- I have a beautiful baby. Oh, did I mention that already?

- Anne's doctor had nice things to say about her, such as: "This is the least jaundiced baby I've ever seen!" "This is one of the most alert babies (at 3 days old) I've met." "She's gained almost a pound and a half in two weeks! I don't know if I've ever seen such phenomenal weight gain!"

- Anne loves Bach, and she loves to hear me play the piano.

- Anne also loves "Hush Little Baby, Don't Say a Word." I'm getting really sick of singing that song, but I guess I'll keep singing it for a few more years.

- We're calling her Anne (not Annie, and not Scout ... though we do refer to her as Scout from time to time, and it'll probably be her trail name for now). Just one look at her intent little eyes, her thoughtful little brow, her serious little mouth, and you realize that she's an "Anne."

- Anne loves to be sung to. I mostly sing "Bible School" songs (Seek Ye First, Jesus Loves Me, etc.) to her, because they're simple and I know all the words to them. I think it's so sweet that she likes to hear me sing. She may be the only person in existence who does. Poor, misguided kid. :)

- I have no idea what's going on in the world, at least in the world of news and politics. I haven't read or watched the news in weeks. All I know about the outside world right now are that (1) a lot of people are getting snow; (2) my friend Jammie J's husband is going to be on a float in the Rose parade; and (3) LSU plays Saturday afternoon, and Ohio plays after the LSU game. I know, pretty pathetic.

- I haven't read another person's blog in a long, long time.

So, those are just a few thoughts and things I'd like to share. Life is good, very good, right now. I'm as happy as I've ever been. So is the Hubster.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update

Hi, everyone! Sorry I haven't updated in so long. Things are going great with Baby Anne, but I've been too tired to do much online, other than posting the occasional status update on Facebook and responding to a few e-mails. I want to write an account of Anne's birth story on here before I forget it, so maybe I'll work on that this afternoon.

Motherhood has been overwhelming but wonderful. I am so in love with my sweet little daughter. I think breastfeeding must be one of the most fulfilling activities in the entire world. I can't even begin to describe how much I love being able to feed my little one and give her what she needs, nutrition-wise. It helps that she's a world-champion nurser who started nursing within five minutes of birth. Hubster said she nursed so well because she takes after him with his appetite. I said she takes after me because she obviously read the breastfeeding manual while in the womb.

Here are a few pictures we've taken recently:

Our little angel:



Hubster and Waterfall, marveling at the little miracle:



Father and daughter. She's already a daddy's girl, and he's already smitten.



See what I mean?



Ella is getting to know her cousin:



The Baxley women: Waterfall, Anne, Grandma Gwen ("GG"), Ella, and Megan



I'll try to write more later, but I don't know when. This post alone took me 45 minutes because I had to take a break to go nurse Miss Anne!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Welcome to the World, Little Scout!

Anne Megan Rogers entered the world on Saturday, December 12, 2009, at 8:51 p.m. Baby is healthy and beautiful!

Anne Megan Rogers:



Mommy, Daddy, and Baby Anne:



Mommy and Daddy are tired but happy. Birth story to be posted soon!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Maybe Tomorrow



I'm 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Maybe tomorrow? Little Scout, are you ever going to come out of there?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Last Few Days

The last few days of my life have been pretty uneventful. Basically, we're sitting here, using up the last of my paid time off at work, waiting for Scout to get here. I spent one day playing piano, making cookies, and concocting a lovely dinner for the Hubster. I spent yesterday watching movies, playing putt-putt, playing piano, and walking on the treadmill Santa brought us for our early Christmas present. I'm not sure what I'll do today. Probably the same thing as yesterday.

As I mentioned in a previous post, yesterday was my weekly visit with the midwife at my OBGYN's office. She stripped my membranes, which is supposed to "encourage labor." It doesn't work for everyone, and some recent studies have shown that it doesn't have any effect. But I decided to go ahead and have her do it, since the later Scout is, the greater the chance of health-related problems arising due to my aging placenta.

Supposedly, once the membranes are stripped, you will go into labor within the next 24 hours if the process is working. The midwife was optimistic, since I'm already dilated 3 cm, am 80% effaced and have a "very soft" cervix. Well, it's been 24 hours and I'm still pregnant. So I guess it didn't work, though I've read that it's more realistic to expect labor in the next 24-36 hours, instead of just 24. We'll see.

I kind of wish we hadn't stripped the membranes. I'm fine with Scout being late, but all the "false hopes" do is set me up for disappointment the following day. Two Mondays ago, I was cramping all day ... but no baby, so I was depressed on Tuesday. Friday I had contractions for 11 hours ... but no baby, so I was depressed all day Saturday. Then yesterday, the membranes ... and no baby. So instead of having the attitude of, "Well, I guess Scout will come when he/she is ready," I find myself feeling depressed and disappointed today, even though I know the membrane-stripping isn't 100% effective.

I'm getting tired of people asking me why I haven't had the baby yet. I have no idea why. I guess Scout just isn't ready. I suppose I could go to the hospital and have them pump me up with pitocin to induce labor so I could have Scout now, but I don't want to force Scout out of the womb before his/her time.

Meanwhile, I have an appointment set up for a fetal non-stress test (NST) on Friday, though I'm pretty sure Scout is just fine. He/she moves so much that lately I feel like I'm carrying the Tasmanian devil (the Looney Tunes one) instead of a little human.

In Case You're Wondering ...

Have You Had That Baby Yet?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

40.5 Weeks Pregnant

I haven't posted a belly pic in a long time, so here's one:



This is how I look at 40.5 weeks pregnant. Scout was due last Friday but decided his/her 98.6-degree home is preferable to the upper 40's and rain we've been getting in the western NC mountains. So we wait.

I went to the midwife today and Scout's heartbeat was the usual 140 bpm. I'm 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced--not a huge change after my 11-hour contraction marathon Friday night, but oh well. When she did the cervical exam, the midwife said she could feel Scout's little head. Pretty cool!

My body is apparently ready for Little Scout. Now we're just waiting for Little Scout to make his/her move.

Monday, December 7, 2009

No Baby Yet



I just realized I last posted on the day before Scout's due date and haven't posted since, probably giving people the impression that Scout is here.

Oops.

Scout isn't here yet. I had contractions for 11 hours Friday, but then they stopped around 2:30 a.m. and I haven't had a contraction since.

So we're in the waiting game. I'm doing fine, just wondering when the little bugger will get here.

Just wanted to post an update!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scout: Not a Full Moon Baby

Well, all the predictions that Scout would come on a full moon have turned out to be wrong. Scout resisted the pull of gravity and is still snug in the womb at 39 weeks and 6 days of gestation.

I've been having some signs that my body is "preparing" for labor, but haven't gone into labor yet. I have the Contraction Master up and running for when the real contractions begin. Who knows when that will be--it could be tomorrow, next week, or two weeks from now.

I really don't want to medically induce the little Scout unless it's medically necessary. To me, not knowing the birthday is every bit as exciting as not knowing the sex. I want little Scout to be born when he/she is ready--not when I lose patience.

Still, it's hard to wait. I'm ready to meet this little one. I've been drinking lots of raspberry leaf tea and taking evening primrose oil--both of which are supposed to help with labor. I'm also walking when I can, though a few days of bad weather have prevented that. Most of my maternity leave (so far) has been spent resting and relaxing, reading, playing piano, writing thank-you notes for baby gifts, and working on Scout's baby book.

No "nesting" instinct for me (yet), though. I don't know if that's going to happen. If it is, it had better start soon!

One thing I have noticed: I've definitely felt more anti-social than usual. I've been staying cooped up in the house and haven't had any desire to leave. I've been needing to go to Wal-Mart for three days now, but I just don't want to leave the house. Part of me is treasuring, and grieving, my "me" time--treasuring what little of it I have left, and grieving that life as I know it is about to change forever. It's a lot to deal with. As excited as I am about Scout, I'm a little wary of the unknown that lies ahead of us.

OK, enough of that. Scout's official due date is tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Scout Yet

Scout's due date is Friday, and I'm happy to say that Scout didn't come on Thanksgiving and didn't come in November, granting me my humble wishes of a relaxing holiday and a December baby.

Thanks, Scout! So considerate already!

Today was my 39-week appointment with my midwife. Baby's heart rate was the usual 140, and I'm two centimeters dilated and 75% effaced. The high level of effacement is really good news because it means it'll be easier for me to dilate. It doesn't, however, mean I'll go into labor anytime soon (though I'm hoping I will).

The goal is to get to ten centimeters. So, eight small centimers from now, little Scout will be ready to enter the world.

Yesterday I was feeling like I was on the verge of labor, but I'm feeling a little more normal today. So it doesn't look like Scout will get here today ... but you never know. :-)