Apparently it was too high.

Adventures in family-building

July 31, 2008

The Momma

Hasn't Not-the-momma done a great job of blogging? It's been hard for me to do too much because I spend a lot of time sitting around attached to a baby. Not that I'm complaining - he's adorable - but he is time-consuming. N-T-M is back at work today, the big kids are at the grandpaents' house, so it's just me and the little guy at home. You know, when I was home by myself with Trevor in those early weeks, it seemed SO FLIPPING DIFFICULT I didn't know how I would do it by myself. I can completely laugh at myself now; if I had only known how easy it was to be home with only a baby! The little squirt is asleep now, so I'll try to get in a good blog post here.

Ha ha! Just as soon as I typed that, he woke up and started whimpering. I'll be back in a while.

OK... I'm back. Simon's diaper and clothes have been changed. He's been fed. My king-sized comforter is covered in baby pee. He's wide awake, and has the hiccups, but seems for the moment content in his vibrating chair next to me. We'll see how long this lasts.

AS I WAS SAYING, actually what was I saying? I have no idea. 41-year-old Mommy brain, sorry. I'll start in with a new topic: The Big Kids. Trevor and Camille have done very well with Simon. Trevor wants to hold him constantly (until he starts crying or pooping), and Camille likes to go over to him when he's in a bouncy chair and kiss him and take him things. Very sweet, both of them. I know they are suffering a little from the lack of attention, but I'm confident it will even out and get easier in a few weeks as Simon gets a little older and a little less labor-intensive. The biggest benefit of having Paul home has been Trevor and Camille getting most of his attention. I seem to be able to do very little besides baby maintenance, so having a whole other parent here to attend to them has been invaluable. They are at my parents' house right now, getting their attention. A few of my favorite recent pics of The Big Kids:

Trevor (in red) and his Arkansas kinfolk doing his favorite thiing (<--- get it ?):

Camille made us clear off the table so she could spread out the paper and read it. Notice she's reading an ad about bunion relief:

Camille striking a pose in ballet class:

Here's my favorite movie from her ballet class:

OK, this post has taken about 2 hours to write. Simon is, for the moment, asleep. It's noon. I am in my pajamas. Am going to rectify that situation right now!

July 30, 2008

Vacation at last

I, not-the-momma, have been away from work for two weeks on paternity leave. Today is my last day, I go back to work tomorrow. Last night Andrea's parents took Trevor and Camille home with them for a couple of days. So, today only, the parents outnumber the children. THIS is vacation. Still it took more than hour to make a 15 minute blog post because Simon is only happy on my shoulder.

Ten minutes outside and this is the best photo...

This one is good too....

Simon Says 'Hi Y'all'

July 29, 2008

Camille's Bayaay

Camille was in baby ballet this summer. She uses the french pronunciation of ballet, "bayaay". Here are some cute pix from today's visitor/picture day.

I am sure Camille will quickly learn that there are two Ls in ballet and this cute toddler talk will end. Last night she said she was 'cold'. Since forever she would pronounce it 'told'. I worked on her one night "Not 'T-old', 'K - old'. Her response, "I'm K-told".

July 28, 2008

More Simon

Latest news is his cord finally fell off. He now gets a full bath. All is well.
Bath OK
Too much bathing!
Thank goodness it is over

Startle reflex.
I would not have done this if he had not done it a half a dozen times already during this nap. It was like he was cheering every closed door or kids outburst. He never woke up from these.

Number Two

I almost wrote a post titled 'Black and Bountiful Baby Butt Bubbles' about the first night in the hospital with Simon Be glad I did not.

July 23, 2008

Number One

Simon is good at one thing.
Within a few minutes of being born, on the cleanup table, he tried to pee on the nurse. A little fountain of youth.
For the first few days, he seemed to be saving his pee for diaper changes.
As experienced parents we know to cover his wee-wee with a cloth when we take his diaper off. The doctor's realizing that this takes all the fun out of being a baby boy, changed the routine from Trevor's babyhood. We need to squeeze a liberal amount of Vaseline on Simon's wee-wee at every diaper change for a week. You can see where this is going. You can't liberally squeeze Vaseline on his wee-wee AND cover it with a cloth at the same time. So, the typical 3AM changing goes something like this.
1) Lay Simon on pad.
2) Get supplies - diaper pail, new diaper, cloth, wet wipes, Aquaphor (butt polish), Vaseline.
3) Put cloth over Simon's tummy.
4) Open dirty diaper.
5) Wipe up bright red bum. Crying starts here. Poor guy.
6) Put dirty diaper in pail.
7) Put clean diaper under Simon.
8) Apply butt polish to bum with fingers.
9) Clean fingers with wet wipe.
10) Grab Vaseline tube.
11) Lift cloth and Apply Vaseline
12) Gasp in horror as Simon pees on your shirt, his outfit, etc.
13) Quickly cover his wee-wee with the cloth smearing Vaseline on the cloth, his thigh etc.
14) Chuck the cloth in the pail
15) Use several wet wipes to clean up the mess.
16) Put dirty diaper #2 in pail
17) Put clean diaper #2 under Simon
18) Apply Vaseline
19) Close diaper
20) Change Simon's outfit.
21) Change your clothes
22) Hold Simon until he is happy.

July 22, 2008

Everything is going fine...

Family Picture
Simon loves his bath...NOT
....and content.

Who knew it would be this busy. Since Simon is our third, you would think "we" (Andrea on him and I on the other two) had a handle on things. And in some ways we do. Even the really big 'Crises' are not as bad and don't last long. It is the start of a marathon, but we have done two already, so we are confident. However, this time our two older kids are like 110 pounds of (well loved) excess baggage we have to carry on our marathon. It is not that we won't finish, we just won't set any record times.

That is why it was day 4 before Simon got a bath and he and Andrea were the only ones completely focused on the bath.

This would be a longer post if I had more time...


July 19, 2008

Home at Last

Not pregnant anymore
New car seat
At the sidewalk
Front door
Camille has been waiting to hold Simon

The older kids had other priorities

Andrea's Birthday Present

Simon has been discharged. He is ready to go. Hopefully Andrea will be discharged soon and this will be the last hospital blog post. The top picture is Simon taken minutes ago. The bottom is Andrea enjoying her birthday Krispy Kreme donut. Her real present is going home with Simon today. (I timed it that way 9 months ago to top last year's birthday present)

July 18, 2008

Simon James

Simon James was born at 3.36PM on the 17th. He was 7 pounds 5 ounces. Both Simon and Andrea are doing well.

July 17, 2008

He's here!

Baby boy is here... we will post his name later. Everything went beautifully... labor was actually much quicker than we expected.

Don't have a weight yet - they have just taken him to the nursery to do all that stuff.

He is beautiful!!!!!!!

Update at 1400

It's a little after 2 p.m. I've had the pitocin in my system for about 4 hours now, and we are making progress. My right leg is WAY number than my left leg, a very odd sensation (due to the epidural). Currently my parents and our kids are here visiting with us.

Currently my prediction is baby around 5 p.m.

Did I mention that epidurals are great? I am having a contraction as I type this, but I don't have any pain... only pressure. I would have preferred to do natural labor, but induced labor is not a natural process so I decided not to attempt it.

Blogging from the hospital

Well, now, isn't this fancy pants! We're admitted to the hospital, blogging from the room on our laptop using the hospital's Wi-Fi. The times, they are a-changin'.

Let's see what tubes are coming off my body so far:

1. IV
2. baby's heartrate monitor
3. contraction monitor
4. blood pressure cuff

I know we have at least 2 more tubes on the way. What fun!

Baby boy is doing some serious tango this morning... he must know something is going on. I have to fairly wince with just about every move he makes.

They'll be starting the pitocin (to induce contractions) here in a few minutes. Then, it's off to the races!

Updates will arrive as the situation allows.

July 16, 2008

Not long now....

Well as you enjoy your morning coffee, Andrea are at the hospital. Wish us well.

This post was sent from the labor and delivery room. Lots of questions and lots of signing forms, for Andrea.


Four Limerick oysters

While you are waiting for the youngest of member of the family. Try to memorize this. Trevor won a $10 card for being the only one of his group to complete it. When he said 'four limerick oysters' we thought he had mis-heard that line, but no that is really it. He must of gotten momma's memory.

In case you can't follow it, here is the grown up, Sponge Bob free version.

One hen , Two ducks, Three squawking geese, Four Limerick oysters, Five corpulent porpoises, Six pairs of Don Alverzo's tweezers, Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array, Eight brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred crypts of Egypt, Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth, Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who haul stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time

Last Day - No Baby, maybe tomorrow

No baby today though we did have a false alarm. Even Trevor is on strike today. Andrea was off strike and the house is as clean is every other day, of course. :-) Now Andrea's parents are here for the blessed, and now scheduled event. Andrea and I are preparing for the early morning trip to the hospital. One last meal before a day of ice chips. Note: Internet frustrated dad. Not really me.

July 15, 2008

2 Days Left - No baby

Yup, no baby again today. Andrea is on strike today. We will return tomorrow for our regularly Note: Internet dog. Not really our dog.

July 14, 2008

Count Down 3 Days Left - Not much going on

by Not-the-momma

OK I am ready now. Yesterday I was not. Today I am. Andrea has been ready for a couple of weeks. She is reading about about materinity accupressure. I am going to go have a talk with the boy. For now, nooooo baby. :-(

July 13, 2008

Cutest thing...

Sometimes the blog gives you a reason to do what you know you need to. In this case, we needed to record Camille's ABC song. So cute.

Count Down 4 Days Left

by Not the Momma

In four days (or less) we will be a family of five. It is still kind of surreal.

Camille's reaction to finding out that she will not get all momma's attention and that she will have to cry on daddy's shoulder too.

Trevor helped dad paint his new room!

Baby brother will even get a hand-me-down room.
It seems to be missing something. Hmmm.

July 11, 2008

A Brief History of Time

Paul and I met when we were 29 and 28. We married about 2 ½ years later, and didn't want to wait long to start a family. I'm glad we didn't. In spring of 1999 we began trying and got pregnant the 2nd month. "Of course," I thought, "that's exactly what I expected." I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy and delivered Trevor at full term in November 1999.

When Trevor was 18 months old, in the summer of 2001, we decided to start trying again. I was pregnant the first month we tried. "Exactly as I planned," I smugly thought. The sonogram at 7 weeks showed a 6-week embryo with a heartbeat. I was concerned, but my OB assured us the difference was minimal at this point and the fact that we'd seen a heartbeat meant our chances of miscarriage were small. We went in 4 weeks later and there was no heartbeat; the baby had died 1 ½ weeks earlier. Due to some minor complications following the miscarriage, we didn't start trying again until January 2002.

I was confident we would be pregnant within 2 or 3 months. The months crept by with no pregnancy. In July of 2002, I hit two auspicious milestones: I turned 35, and we hit the 6-month mark for trying to conceive. I mentioned it to my OB that same month, and she ran a few nominal tests and told me to try 6 more months before considering treatment. Those 6 months went by and we found ourselves in January 2003 with 1 year of unsuccessful trying behind us.

We sought out an RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist, i.e., infertility specialist) and began seeing him. Over the course of the next 2 years, we did a variety of tests, cycles, surgeries, and "breaks" as we continued trying. We were never given a definitive diagnosis. The best he could tell us was that my body was not performing at optimum fertility. In November of 2004, our 7th and final treatment cycle and final attempt to get pregnant after 3 ½ years of trying, I became pregnant. 9 days later, the pregnancy was declared over. I felt defeated, dejected, and devastated. We had spent 3 ½ years and thousands upon thousands of dollars, and I was pregnant for a week. We were through trying, and threw in the towel. No more.

By that point, we'd spent the last several months exploring adoption, realizing it may be how we grew our family. So when we quit trying to get pregnant, we were ready to move on, and had chosen our path, Chinese adoption. In February 2005 we began the process to adopt from China. We were told at the time to expect an 8 to 13 month process, but it unexpectedly stretched out to 21 months. It was arduous and at times heartbreaking, as month after month drew on with no baby, but finally, in September 2006, we traveled to China and adopted our then 9-month-old daughter, Camille. Paul and I were 40 and 39 years old, respectively, when we finally brought home our 2nd child.

I turned 40 in the summer of 2007. In September 2007, we celebrated our 1-year anniversary of adopting Camille. We were 40 and 41 years old by this point, had our boy and our girl, our 2 kids, and felt after 6 ½ years, we had finally moved on from the endless years of family-building and could look forward to our future with a measure of confidence that we knew what to expect. We had lived in limbo since that summer of 2001, but no more. Our family was complete. Infertility was a sad memory at that point.

The week of Thanksgiving 2007, our children turned 8 and 2 years old (birthdays 2 days apart!). The day after Thanksgiving, my sister and mom wanted to go shopping all day. I woke up feeling terribly nauseous, but braved it and shopped all day. I hardly had any appetite. I found myself with that same nauseous feeling the next several days in a row. The fifth day in a row of this, I considered the facts: I was sick to my stomach and had no appetitie for 5 straight days, with no obvious signs of a virus. I got the idea in my head that I *might* be pregnant, and I couldn't get it out, so I ran out on a Tuesday morning at 9:30 to get a test. I laugh now that I bought the test and a pack of gum, as if I were fooling the check-out person with that pack of gum. "Oh, I was in the mood for some gum, and while I'm here, oh what the heck I'll buy a pregnancy test too." Delirium was already setting in.

I came home, took the test, and laid it down on the bathroom floor and left the room. I couldn't bear to watch it while it changed (or didn't change). I counted out to 60 three times, probably too fast, and went back into the bathroom with great trepidation. I picked up the test. I saw nothing. No lines at all. "Swell," I thought, "I bought a dud test." Then I realized I was holding it upside-down. Doh. I turned it over, and there they were: TWO. LINES. No squinting required.

My hands were shaking so much I could barely dial the phone to call Paul. "I started wondering what was going on, so I went and bought a test, and there are TWO LINES!" I screamed to him. "What do two lines mean?" he asked. I said, "I think I am pregnant!" He was SO EXCITED. I was SO FREAKED OUT. He left work, bought me roses, and came home. He agreed that no squinting was required, and it appeared that at age 40, after 6 ½ years, we were pregnant on our own.

I called my OB's office and they said to come in the next Monday for a sonogram and we'd have a better chance of seeing something, since we weren't sure how far along I was. The days between Tuesday and Monday crept by at a snail's pace, but it finally arrived. The last time I'd lay on that bed and had the sonogram, it was to be told that our baby had died. Paul held my hand. I looked straight ahead in terror. After a few seconds, the sonogram technician, the same one who had announced our miscarriage to us in 2001, said, "There's the heartbeat." I cannot even explain the emotions that flooded over me at that point. I was 40 years old, infertile, and I was pregnant and going to have a baby. To say it was surreal doesn't do it justice.

I am 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant as of today. This pregnancy has been blessed - complication free, very healthy for me and for the baby. He will be born by next Thursday, July 17, if he does not decide to make an appearance before then. We hope he comes a few days earlier, when he's ready. We'll keep you updated.

July 9, 2008

First Picture of Baby Oops

Ok, it is not the first picture of baby Oops, but it is the coolest. It is a 37week 3D Sonogram. Technology is cool.

FYI in the lower end Microsoft Vista versions the lowly Paint can talk to your scanner. :-) That is good 'cause our old scanner software no workie.

- Not-the-momma

July 8, 2008

Baby Oops by Not the momma

All our kids had project names before they were born. Trevor was Cimmaron, Camille was Baby GoGo and our unborn son is Baby Oops.

When Andrea told me she was pregnant, it was not a total shock to me. I had suspected she was before she tested. Andrea was so adamant to not get her hopes up that she would not let herself go down that path. The possibility of another baby was a very romantic fantasy. Since it was a scientifically remote chance we thought 'Wouldn't it be great to have another child'.

The total shock for me came as I started to realize the ramifications. I would be nearly 42 when the boy was born, meaning I would be in my sixties before he left the house and entered college. So, much for early retirement. Andrea is at a certain age that makes the pregnancy 'high risk'. The car is now too small, so we need another one. The kids all need their own room so dad's TV/junk room has to go. (The house is too small, but don't tell my family). I can’t count on Andrea to bring in any extra money any time soon. Lastly, we have to go through childbirth again. I did not enjoy the process last time until the moment I saw Trevor.

For those who don't remember... Trevor’s birth was far from picture perfect. There was the anti-helpful nurse, Andrea's fever, seven tubes in Andrea, the panicked second nurse, alarms going off for Andrea who was also losing consciousness as I reassured her, alarms going off for loss of Trevor's pulse and then finally lots of unnecessary blood. I recall walking out to the family emotionally exhausted to tell them "Its over and both Mom and child are OK" instead of jumping around "Its a boy! A boy! A beautiful beautiful boy!"

While I am looking forward to putting the birth behind us, I am sure it will be different this time and I am older and wiser this time.

I look forward to meeting my new son. It has both made me appreciate what I already have in Trevor and Camille and to be thankful that we are blessed with a pleasant surprise, another boy of our own to complete our family.

July 5, 2008

Anyone still reading this?

So I changed my blog address, haven't posted in over a year, but I've had a request to blog over the next few weeks. So I'm just pinging the world out there to see if anyone has us on bloglines or other updating services to see if we're still alive in the blog world. If you're so inclined, please comment and let us know.

A picture to pique your interest, taken on the day of our 10th wedding anniversary last week.

OH. I guess you wanted pictures of the kids too. OK.