Posts Tagged ‘Dana’

February 7, 2018

Courage and Confidence

I’d be lying if I said there were never times when the prospect of 3 kids didn’t overwhelm me. Pregnancy is 9 months, and no matter how on top and in control I feel when we start trying for another baby, inevitably there are moments that make me question my sanity. When I was pregnant with Alexis, Nicole went through a very difficult sleep phase, which meant no sleep for any of us. This time around it was coordinating two different school schedules that made the prospect of another child feel completely unmanageable. How in the world was I going to make this work?

Someone told me that while the three can seem overwhelming since the adults are out number, in practice you’re so experienced by this point that it’s no big deal. That is proving true for us. Domingo is back at work (kind of, he’s home sick) and my parents have flown back to their home. It’s just me and Dana during the day.

The first time Domingo returned to work leaving me home alone with a baby I remember being overwhelmed. I was unsure of myself and my abilities. When Alexis was born I was nervous about the first time watching both a toddler and a baby by myself. What if they both needed me at the same exact moment? Even when I was more sure of myself I still relied on a helping hand from Domingo on days he’d work from home.

This time around has been very different. Whether it’s Dana and I hiding out on the weekend to (unsuccessfully) avoid the family cold, the middle of the night wakings wakings for food and diaper changes, or just Dana and me during the week, I got this. I am the master of one handed sponge baths. Domingo can work from home without fear of frequent interruptions. Today I even managed to take footprints on my own. The trick, I found, was not facing baby’s feet. When I did that, I had to hold the paper in front of me and pull her feet towards it. It’s awkward, difficult to see and leads to a lot of smearing. It was far easier to sit parallel to baby so I could see what I was doing. We’re still working on handprints. I have no idea how I managed them with Alexis, even with the extra help.

Here are my tips for saving your sanity when adding another baby to the mix:

  • Buy gear in duplicates, overstock. Yes, I know it seems wasteful, especially if this is your last baby, but you can’t put a price on sanity. I have a rock n play, pile of burp cloths and binkies, diapers and changing pads by the upstairs and downstairs rocking chairs. (Yes, I have multiple rocking chairs – 3 to be exact.) If I need to go upstairs because it’s big kid movie time, or downstairs because it’s big kid bath time I know I will have everything I need. As a first time mom it makes sense to prefer quality over quantity. Beyond, my advice is to go the other way – buy cheaper if it means you can have multiple. Gently used stuff can always be resold or donated for a tax write off.
  • Get ride of anything that wasn’t used the last time. Yes those hideous onesies from great aunt Edna’s dentist are in great shape. They’ve been holding up well since they’ve never been worn. What makes you think you’ll put them on this baby if you didn’t put them on the last one? They’re just clutter at this point. The more you have, the more time is wasted looking for the ones you are willing to put on the baby. Save yourself the effort, give them to someone who will use them. Same goes for any baby item you haven’t used yet, no matter how expensive.
  • When it comes to time and attention, quality beats quantity. When kids are old enough to hold on to their jealousy, rather than just feel it in the moment I really like our one-in-one special time to be things they can do that the baby can’t to reiterate how much fun it is to be big. Currently I’m working on a treasure hunt we’re the final clue leads them to my little pony lip gloss.
February 4, 2018

Neonate’s First Cold

A couple days after bringing Dana home from the hospital, the Alexis’ cold crested. I called the advice nurse wanting to get ahead of the germs and spare my 6-day-old her first cold. It may have been overkill, but with all the news articles about the worst flu in decades, and associated deaths, I was not about to chance it. Not to worry, the nurse assured me, neonates rarely get colds. To steady my nerves and as a precaution, she gave me some tips and warning signs to watch out for.

The week passed, Domingo and my mom caught the cold but Dana, Nicki and I avoided it.

Then, on Saturday morning I noticed some of the funny rapid breath breathing sounds coming from Dana I had been warned to watch out for. The episode was short lived. Her breathing quickly returned to normal, and she otherwise seemed fine. No nasal discharge, no cough. At noon, each breath became audible as they were forced through the now obvious congestion. My baby was sick. The moment that realization struck me, as if on cue, she cried and everything got so much worse.

Dana couldn’t both breath and cry at the simultaneously, so each cry was punctuated by a grunting snort which made her even madder, which then made the breathing sound that much more labored. I couldn’t calm her, not with singing or rocking, couldn’t get her to latch or take the binky.

My not yet two weeker had her first cold, and it was terrifying.

While juggling the phone to call the pediatrician I somehow managed to get her calm enough to stop crying, and while the snorting temporarily subsided I watched her clavicle rise and fall with each breath as she struggled against the congestion.

Since Dana was so young, and I had reported fussiness while nursing, the pediatrician wanted to see her to rule out possible dehydration and confirm no fluid in the lungs. When babies are so tiny small problems can develop into big ones fast. Little passageways can become blocked easily. Thankfully everything checked out well. Her lungs were clear, oxygen level was fine. The pediatrician even confirmed it is just a cold and the scary flu. Just a cold. Dana will be fine in a couple of weeks. We are just going to be in for some long, sleepless and stress filled nights in the meantime.

January 25, 2018

Tiny but Mighty

Dana is my smallest baby. She was 6 lbs, 4 oz at birth, exactly a lbs less than Nicole, and a lbs and change less than Alexis. But don’t let her small size full you. She may be tiny, but she is mighty!

At the hospital the staff checked her bilirubin levels to rule out jaundice by pricking her heal and collecting the blood. Dana wasn’t having it. She kept pulling her foot away, denying the nurse a sample. She even used her other foot to push against the nurse’s hand for additional leverage. After the fourth or fifth time Dana pulled herself free the nurse remarked on Dana’s strength and, turning to me said “how are your ribs, mama?”

Dana has also been able to propel herself forward by pushing off on objects with her feet. She already made it off the changing pad a couple of times (which was thankfully on the floor) by using her feet to push her away from us. It’s something she’s down out of frustration, and unlikely to be a coordinated effort, but still impressive.

Now, just shy of two weeks old she’s even able to hold her head upright, and can get it up on her own when lying on an incline (ie on mommy). The above photo is real, not a trick of the angle. I have the video to prove it! She’s a bit wobbly keeping the head up. It is 98th percentile after all. Proportionally, it’s a large part of her body mass.

Like her big sisters, Dana seems capable of focusing on objects far away. At home it’s the ceiling fan. At the hospital it was the computer screen. She also seems to focus on me when she’s looking to eat, something that amazed my nurse during my recovery.

So far no early smiles like Alexis, but we are seeing the start of some happy faces. Like Alexis Dana can furor her brow has mastered ‘concern face’. She’s regained her birth weight and just last night went 5 hours between feeds, so I have hope she’ll master baby sleep early like Nicole.

I just wish my kids weren’t always in such a hurry to grow up fast. Except for the sleep thing. The sooner they get that down, the happier I am.

January 17, 2018

Welcoming Dana!

Look who finally arrived! I say “finally” even though she was just 9 days late (Nicole and Alexis were 10 and 11 days late) because I was convinced she would come on her own, and possibly before her due date. The week leading up to the induction I kept having bouts of contractions that would last for a few hours, and grew closer together before stopping completely. The day prior to the induction contractions lasted 13 hours, starting 20 minutes apart and growing to just five minutes apart. In the end, Dana decided she’d rather be an induction baby, just like her big sisters.

I can’t really say that her birth didn’t go as planned since our plan was literately “have baby”, and have a baby we did. Still there were a few unexpected hurtles. She’s doing great, but I have a longer recovery ahead of me. The added stress of it all also meant very few photos were taken at the hospital since I wasn’t in much of a state to use my camera. The one above is from my cell phone.

The girls were very excited to meet their little sister. They have been waiting for this moment almost as long as I have.

For weeks now Nicole has been asking when Dana was going to come out of my tummy, and has been whispering into my belly how much fun the two of them will have together when she comes out. Nicole thought Dana was going to come out my mouth and would occasionally push up on my belly to get her little sister started.

I’m surprised Alexis has shown as much interest in the baby as she has, given she’s only 3. She has been eagerly telling everyone at school that she was getting a brother, and would even correct me if I said the baby in my tummy was a girl. Now that Dana is her she seems to accept that Dana is a girl. Alexis internalized “use soft touches” as “softing” and keeps asking to “soft the baby.” She also desperately wants to hold Dana, but has a bit of a cold so we’re holding off. For now it’s just Purell and softing.

The kids are back at school, and I have a lot of help to get through the next to weeks. I’m supposed to take it easy, but I’m eager to pick up my camera again.