Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The thing about babies? The more you put in 'em, the more that comes out :) What with the 2 hour feedings, we're changing a lot of diapers. But things are getting better. I'm getting a lot more milk when I pump and didn't have to supplement with formula at all yesterday. Today's L.C. appt. confirmed it. The Fry's back up to within an ounce of his birthweight which means he's gaining well and we're on the right track. She's letting us increase time between feedings to 2 1/2 - 3 hours, thank Maude, but tells me I still need to pump more. Blah. But do-able.

Today was also his 2 week pediatrician check up, and circumcision. Yes, circumcision. I agonized over whether to do it or not, and read all the pro's and con's on all the blogs (discussion gets quite heated about the subject) and found myself agreeing with both sides of the argument. I really don't like unnecessary mutilation but also really don't like the higher incidence of STD's/ genital warts and possibly cervical cancer for sexual partners of uncut men. Yes, I know the jury is still out on the latter. But Curt was pretty set on doing it and I was swayed by the anecdotal evidence of family. To whit: from my step-Dad (ex-merchant mariner) apparently there are lots of guys in the Navy who were uncut for whom erections were incredibly painful. Basically, the foreskin doesn't expand along with the penis inside and it tears/cracks. From my Mom (E.R. nurse) , for elderly men who are uncut it get's very difficult to keep it as clean as is necessary and they are prone to getting very painful adhesions/lesions. And if you're going to do it, much better to do so as an infant than later in life when it's more painful/traumatic if those problems develop.

I only had to step outside for the initial shot of anesthetic (I just couldn't stand the gut-wrenching, unconsolable crying) but watched the rest of the procedure. The doctor used a method with minimal cutting - he makes one little incision to insert a bell like device under the foreskin that has a groove on it where a string tied tightly around the outside of the foreskin rests, cutting off blood flow to the part to be excised. It will fall off in 5 - 7 days. Curt managed to console him very well throughout.

The pediatrician says he's the picture of good health. He can already raise his head a little and is getting really strong - he'll be rolling over in no time. I'm falling more and more in love every day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Fry is 1 week old and couldn't be more adorable. Well, letting us sleep for more than an hour at a time would raise his cherubian status quite a bit. According to the lactation consultant we saw for the 2nd time yesterday, my milk volume has not increased yet to the level he needs. So she's put us on a 2 hour feeding schedule and a Fenugreek (sp?) and Blessed Thistle herbal combo that's supposed to do the trick. In the meantime we're supplementing with formula and whatever pumped breastmilk I can provide. Which Daddy likes since it means he can participate in feedings. Gramma went home Sunday amidst many grateful tears.

I'm finding it amazing how well you can function when sleep deprived....

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Finally, the Rest of the Story....

We just got home around 3 hours ago. Wonderful, but scary, too. Thankfully my wonderful mother is here and will be staying with us for a few days or a week to help out - thank Maude we all get along great and it's truly a joy to have her around.

So the abbreviated birth story is... they admitted me to the Birthplace Monday a little before noon. The plan was to have my doc break my water as soon as she was available, and see if that got things moving. It didn't. So the new plan was to get an epidural, then begin pushing low amounts of pitocin & gradually ramping up the dosage to move things along as needed ( I was still only dilated 2 cm and the contractions weren't getting closer together - though they were getting much, much more painful). But just as the pitocin began working it's charm, my epidural wore off. The anesthetist thought she might have been a little off-center the first time around and she was right. So we got a 2nd epidural (around 5 pm?) - and once they confirmed it was a really good block they started to ramp up the pitocin. The Fry's vitals were great up to that point, but sometime around 6pm I think his heartrate begain dipping right *after* the contractions which apparently is a "very bad sign". Then it REALLY dipped - from about 135 to 60 and all of a sudden the room got VERY crowded and I got an oxygen mask to "help the baby". I was half looped from the drugs (some kind of morphine derivative I think on top of the epidural) so the details are sketchy - but remember the crushing disappointment when I heard the worst from the doc - she thought I should get a C-section immediately, but offered to wait 15 minutes to see if things began to improve first. I'd been very calm and feeling decidedly zen (thanks in no part to the drugs) beforehand but this was devestating.

I felt like such a failure... we didn't care too much about having a "perfect" natural birth plan but the one thing we did feel strongly about was we did not want to do a C-section. A few years ago my best friend had tragically lost her first baby *at* delivery even after having an emergency C-section (placenta had detached from the uterus) . Of course the following 2 babies had to be delivered via C-section as well; and during the last one we nearly lost her due to massive bleeding. So needless to say I've always been very aware that even with full advantage of today's modern medicine bad things can still happen. As a result the one thing I was fearful of with this pregnancy was being wheeled unconscious into an operating room.

Anyway - I opted to give it another 15 minutes, but then the next 2 contractions I felt a really strange, almost losing conscious wave-like feeling that coincided with the dips in the babie's heartrate. So the fear kicked in and I changed my mind & said "never mind - let's do it now". Then they told me I would be completely aware - they'd just expand the epidural I already had and wouldn't put me under. And Curt could scrub in, of course. Which was a huge relief.

Surgery went perfectly fine - I was numb from the chest down and fully aware. The Fry arrived screaming as they pulled him out of his cozy little nest. He was alert and beautiful from the start. Color was peachy-pink, he had a head full of dark hair and no conehead. They couldn't find any tell-tale sign of what caused his distress. Cord wasn't around his neck, placenta was perfectly attached and there was nothing wrong with him. They think he was just too far post-term and his skull had already partially fused... so it couldn't squish as it needed to get into the birth canal. He's got a little triange-shaped bruise mark on his forehead that seems to support that theory.

More tomorow - I'm exhausted. Thanks for all your well-wishes. I feel so blessed to have such a booster section of support in my corner.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Mr. Stang and Fry Posted by Hello

Riverfry Has Arrived

Baby D has been born. He arrived 3.14.05 via emergency C-Section (will post about this later). He was 8 lbs and 8 oz at birth. He was 20.5 inches long. He had lots of hair on his little head. Sally and Fry are doing fine. Mr. Stang is happy as a lark. Sally has no internet access for the next 3 days, but will post after she returns home.

Mr. Stang

Monday, March 14, 2005

Long Night... and loving the drugs

and probably not over yet. Big time contractions started again about 9:00 pm last night.... with really, really bad backache and "show" this time around. 10:30 we called the hospital - they suggested I give it another hour before coming in. 11:30 pain was REALLY bad and contractions were still coming about 6 min apart and lasting 1 - 1/30 or longer. So we headed to the hospital to catch the midnight shift change. They put us on the monitors - the RiverFry is doing just fine and I was termed as being in "very beginning" labor, though I still hadn't dilated more than 1 1/2 cm, and was still only 60% effaced (Friday's stats). They gave me a shot of morphine and some kind of relaxer, let us hang out for a little over an hour to try to catch a reprieve. At 2:30 I was about 90% effaced but still less than 2 cm dilated. Not far enough to admit me. So they sent me home with a strong suggestion to take some vicodin I had when the morphine wore off and instructions to try to get some sleep - then come back when either the pain got too intolerable again or when I felt something has changed...

I've caught a few winks in between contractions (now about 7 min apart) and the bloody mucus "show" has continued throughout the night.... Now I'm debating when to head back. Contractions are now tolerable either thanks to the Fry making his way further downstream or the vicodin (or both). At this point I've pretty much made up my mind to get an epidural, though so don't want to risk missing that window.

Anyway - looks like it's finally happening (yay!) and without inducing (cross fingers - my biggest fear right now is it will stall again...)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

ok this had better be it - pretty painful contractions (and backpain...ugh) , finally got some "show" and mucus...we're heading to the birthing center now to get checked out and see what's going on.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Keep your fingers crossed.... the ancient inducement trick my chiropractor suggested I try this morning may have worked. Or not. I've been having contractions since 5:30 - they were pretty regular @ 6 min apart for about an hour, but have been erratic since then. Nothing for 20 min, then a couple at 7 or 8 min apart, then 4, then nothing for another 30. No water breaking or other signs of emminent labor. I'm going to try to go to sleep and see what happens tonight.

Oh - one cool thing I wish I'd seen. A meteor apparently did a fly-by over the Pac. NW this evening creating a rather spectacular fireball visible up the coast from S. Oregon to B.C. If I was one that believed in omens and the Fry does make his appearance tonight/ tomorow I'd be wondering what the astrologers would make of this little phenomenon... born under a wandering star :) Would make a neat story anyway!

Update: Still here, no baby. Had one hour of good ones around 3:00 am but they, too fizzled out after I got up for a snack and was on my feet for a few minutes.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Rivka's back! And writing about the bankruptcy bill, too.

Dude - my hometown's famous!!

So says Atrios: Wanker's Corner. For the record, I grew up about 5 miles from this place. Corner of Stafford Rd. and Borland Rd. in what was once rural Clackamas County but was saved from encrouchment by the Urban Growth Boundary by millionaires who bought up huge 3-5 acre lots and built picturesque country homes in the vicinity - complete with tennis courts and pools. They got around the supposed "agricultural" zoning by planting an acre of Christmas trees in the back yard.

Growing up the "corner" was the saloon, a convenience store and a feed store where we bought alfalfa and oats for our critters. Also for the record - the locals never pronounced it "wain-ker" until some bright member of the family decided to capitalize on the influx of Aussie-slang about a decade ago. It was "wohn-ker" to us as kids (like "aah"), and "wohn-ker" to my Grandmother (who was born & raised in the same house I was) going back as far as she could remember. And the only thing notorious about the saloon was the carpet of peanut shells on the floor.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Once again Echidne comes through with some great analysis of current efforts by the Repugs to overhaul federal bankruptcy law. And reminds us of the Christian hypocrisy - unlike abortion the Bible is pretty specific about the issue of usury. ****************************************************************

Volcano Update: We had the most spectacular steam/ash eruption of Mt. St. Helens last evening since she came back to life last fall. Local news station KGW has some great video clips and photos. Still pretty minor, as far as eruptions go (lasted only about 30 minutes). There didn't appear to be much seismicity involved, or force to the eruption itself. Prevailing winds were light which is why the column went so high, then it drifted out over mostly uninhabited wilderness.

One sort of good thing - we've been griping about our California-like winter weather for weeks - they've been getting all our usual nasty storms and rain this year and we're left with fire conditions at the beginning of March that are as dry as a typical August. Which also means we have pretty much no snow pack in the mountains.... which means the risk for lahars and superheated flooding this spring due to any eruption are about nil. It also means less violent eruptions since snowmelt/rainwater is usually needed to fuel the type of steam eruptions St. Helens generally produces.

Prego Update: Nothing new happening on RiverFry watch... he's bound and determined to take his own sweet time. I don't want to induce, but if he's not on his way by next Monday we'll take the doctor's advice and do it. Every additional week I take off is hurting us financially, and I'm already going nuts being off work and sitting around doing nothing for the last few days. Well, not exactly nothing - alternating trying to be active (we went for a lovely walk on the Waterfront yesterday) to encourage the little tyke to begin his journey and getting lots of rest in case those attemps actually work.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Minimum Wage Bill defeated by Republican majority in Senate. This quote is priceless: "Wages do not cause sales. Sales are needed to provide wages. Wages do not cause revenue. Revenue drives wages," said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

If wages don't cause sales, what do the idiots think the middle & working classes will use to buy the tennis shoes and new cars and power tools that drive this economy? Oh yeah... credit cards. I forget. And I forget, too that *every* employer is just dying to raise the wages of their employees if they just made a few more million in sales. That's what shareholders demand as a return on their investment... higher wages for the working stiffs.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Friday Fun

Need a little ego-boost? Here you go: I Like You! (thanks to Lance).

Doc update: Despite miserable evening last night with more BH contractions etc., which we were *almost* thinking might indicate the real thing, doc says I'm not any farther along than last week. Parental units are calling on a daily basis: "Is it time yet? Is it time yet? Tonight would be great, you know...." Hey - he'll get here when he's damned good and ready!! If I could speed it along I would (short of chemical inducement). And if I hear one more person tell me to go for a long drive on a bumpy road without giving me any freaking *directions* to these hypothetical horrors of modern paving I might lose it. They're harder to find than you think! Trust me - we took a very long detour home this morning through the country after the doc. appt. and couldn't find one.

Yes, I'm getting a little grumpy. Why do you ask?

Thursday, March 03, 2005


For a fake news show my baby John Stewart does a pretty fine job. Almost makes me want to sign up for expanded cable just so I can watch him when he airs and not via the little 5 minute blurbs Comedy Central makes available on their website. Almost.

So per last night's blurb (3/2/05, you'll have to navigate to it from the above link), NBC & Brian Williams really screwed the pooch. In an NBC Nightly News exclusive, they erroneously reported that the presiding judge of the Saddam Hussein trial was assassinated this week when, in actuality it was one of the other judges. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except they (thinking the presiding judge was dead) went ahead and aired pictures of the presumed deceased while saying "we've never aired this guy's photo before because were his face known, his life would be in incredible danger". Yeah, I'll say oops! At least when CBS screwed up, they didn't hand the terrorists a "do one assassination, get a 2nd one free!" card.

Quick prego update

No RiverFry yet. Though I've been having more and more Braxton-Hicks type contractions and digestive cramping, I think in the last 24 hours. But nothing of the magic "longer, stronger & closer together" variety. Tomorow's going to be my last day at work, regardless. The Doc says she'll induce if I haven't gone into labor within a week after the due date (Mar 6) so worst case, I'll get an extra week's vacation before the blessed event.

We're just ready and waiting - telling the Fry about all the wonderful stuff he needs to get out here to enjoy. Beautiful spring weather, flowers blooming all over. Dog eager and willing to lick his face (and retrieve his toys), kitties waiting to keep him warm and soothe him with purrs (OK, maybe not at first. Probably a lot of perching on high furniture and intense observation to begin with). Mom & Dad very anxious to meet him and play with his little hands and feet. We can't wait to see if he has hair, or if the poor little bugger really did get Curt's nose.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Update about those wild & reckless College Republicans: College Republicans finally ending relationship with questionnable fund raising firm. Though I'm as happy to see grossly ineffective Republican fund raising attempts as the next progressive (90 percent of donations went back to fund-raising costs and fees to Response Dynamics and affiliated firms??); I hate to see some private company making a huge profit from laying on the high pressure tactics to 80 and 90 yr old donars and lying to them about where the money was going.