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Showing posts from February, 2012

VisualEyes

Recently, I've been reading up on other new mommas' blogs and about infant development.  This led to feelings of great guilt on my part, because I discovered (much to my horror) that I wasn't stimulating my baby enough.  Some bloggers already knew that babies like 100% contrast images best, so they had prepared a bunch of black-and-white "stuff" for their newborns to look at.  Keeners. This would, in theory, help build visual acuity and also stimulate learning in their wee ones.

Well, I hadn't done any of that up until yesterday, when the guilt sank in deep and I decided to print off some black-and-white patterns to make into a sign and a bunch of flash cards for Baby Loquacious.  Here she is enjoying the sign as it hangs from her playpen:

Of course, she enjoyed it (for nearly 30 minutes!), and my guilt was sufficiently eased.  However, much as she liked looking at the patterns during her "alert time" post-feeding/changing/burping, it wasn't lik…

Didn't

During my labour, I was so busy focusing on what was going wrong and not happening according to my birth plan that I didn't get much of a chance to think about what was going right with the birth.  This came to mind the other day when my mom was reading an email about a Pastor So from HK whose son lost his wife during childbirth, and whose baby was in critical condition for a while following birth. 

It made me think of all of the things that didn't happen to us, but could have.  These are all reasons to give thanks to my gracious God.

I didn't die from an amniotic fluid embolism or some other freaky rare condition.
Baby L didn't die.
I didn't have any perineal tearing.
I didn't have super bad side effects from the epidural.
Baby L didn't have any ill effects from the interventions.
Baby L didn't have any freaky health conditions or Down's syndrome.
I didn't feel the "ring of fire" that is supposed to be brutally painful.
I didn't get lai…

All right, enough of this estrogen fest

Finally.  After all the "skin to skin", "what's my milk production like" and whatever other lady part-related stuff had been going on here, this is Baby L's dad here in a guest post to talk about how my daughter is growing up to be a REAL MAN.  So proud!!  In addition to hating shopping almost as much as her father, she is also trying to emulate many of the other ways in which his masculinity is UNCHAINED...but in a feminine way.


This photo occurred after I came home from the gym and told my daughter that her father busted out 20 chinups in a row.  As you can tell by the positioning of her hands my daughter obviously was ready to bust out a set of her own.  What enthusiasm!!  It would have brought a tear to my eye if I was capable of crying, but I can't.  Apparently according to "Baby's Best Chance" Baby L cannot either, another way she is just like her dad. 

Anyway, I'm nothing if not a responsible parent so I explained to her that s…

Curioser and Curioser

Something is happening with my little baby.  She is not sleeping as much anymore (though she does still sleep and is getting a teensy bit better during the night), and now after a feed she wants to be entertained for a couple of hours rather than head straight back into a peaceful slumber.  I think she's getting more curious about her world.


She'll crane her neck to look around the room during this "alert time," and will spend countless minutes gazing into our faces or the lights in the room with her big round eyes.  When you lay her down on the Baby Einstein play mat (gift from Auntie VanillaCon and Uncle Ben), she'll look at her reflection in the mirror (a trait inherited from Hubbs) or listen attentively to the various globally-inspired melodies being broadcast from the glowing star toy suspended above.

Is she really just two weeks old? Sometimes I swear she's two months.

***
Selfishly, I love skin-to-skin time with Baby Loquacious.  Maybe it's the rel…

I'll Do It My Way

Today was another family doc appointment, during which time we learned that Baby Loquacious is perfectly healthy and sitting at the 75th percentile for weight, height and head circumference.

Then, as my doc asked me about the birth (she was in Maui when it happened) and our nursing adventures, I innocently told her what I was doing to help my little one stay fed.  Bad mistake.  She proceeded to give me breastfeeding advice on what I should be doing and what she wants me to do for the next week, before our next visit.

So here's the back story: on our first ER visit, we learned that we had been underfeeding Baby Loquacious (a feat I didn't think possible considering that I usually overfeed everyone).  The lactation consultant and the attending pediatrician (who, by the way, is the most amazingly competent doc ever, and I wish he was my family doc) both made some recommendations that Hubbs and I tried to incorporate into our feeding routine.  By adapting their advice to suit our …

Almost Crying Over Spilled Milk

For some, milk production is second nature.  It's like gas production; it just sort of happens and you deal with it.  For others (of which I am one), milk production doesn't quite keep up with demand on most days, so the resource is sort of like gold (read: really valuable), which is why the sight of wasted boob juice is about as pleasant as watching brand new $100 bills get shredded and tossed. 

Tonight, my "stockpile" of breast milk was going to be used to soothe and coax a potentially-fussy Baby Loquacious back to a deep and peaceful slumber during the middle of the night.  However, we totally misread her cues (a theme that may be recurrent on this blog and in this life) and warmed that precious bottle of booby goodness before we had established that she was actually awake enough to want it.  She...wasn't.  In fact, she was so fast asleep that teasing her with drops of it caused zero reaction.  Nada, nil, nothing.  Immediately my brain flashed back to all of …

Figuring It Out

Transitioning into parenthood has been challenging, to say the least.  Lack of sleep coupled with baby's crying fits of unknown origin have made the nights unbearably long and the naps unbelievably short.  There seems to be an endless list of "to do's" from laundry to sterilizing bottles to cleaning up projectile poop, and not nearly enough hours to complete any of this stuff (thank God that my mom is bearing the load right now, but when she goes...well, the ball will drop).  Of course, two trips to the ER at the local children's hospital (in three days) don't help either.**  Suffice to say, we are tired.

It has also been an adventure trying to figure out Baby Loquacious' cues and preferences.  Not unlike a difficult logic problem or a good mystery novel, we need to piece together a whole bunch of little tidbits of information over a period of time in order to form some sort of coherent snapshot of our kid.  Only by trial and error have we discovered a fe…

Every Girl Needs Her Mommy

...or so I'd like to believe.  Some days, when I gaze upon my disgruntled newborn screaming her head off after being cleaned and fed and cuddled and rocked, I have my doubts. ;)

But I need my mommy.  Maybe I screamed her ear off too when I was a week old; I don't remember anymore, and perhaps she has blocked that out of her mind too.  But as a new mom, I can think of no one I want more to be here to comfort me (aside from Hubbs) than my mommy.
 When I arrived home from the hospital, with great concern etched on her face Mommy immediately remarked on how pale I looked, because this is something she would notice and want to remedy with some Chinese herbs and soups.  I almost wanted to cry right then and there.  Even though I'm well into my 30's, my mom still wanted to take care of me.  That moved me.

Since that evening, adjusting to having Baby Loquacious at home has been challenging.  My mommy has worked tirelessly to try to make my life easier during this transition. 

Birth Saga - Part Two

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Keep in mind that I had been in labour since 3:30 am the previous morning, so being approached with this proposition at 30-something hours into labour (with one whole hour of sleep, total) was not altogether unappealing.  After we consented to the rupture of the amniotic sac, it set off a series of gross gushes and increasingly intense waves of contractions.  I was sucking the laughing gas (which does not make anyone laugh, FYI) like my life depended on it; every time another wave hit, I lost my ability to speak, and could only yell out to Hubbs, "Gas! Now!" with my arm outstretched.  He got really good at handing me the gas mask and then heading straight to my back to apply pressure.

Further into the day, subsequent checks to the ol' hooha (which had by now been used and abused by far too many prying hands) further confirmed the swollen cervix and lack of progress diagnoses.  Enter another team, the &…

Birth Saga - Part One

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long...

On Saturday morning at 3:30 am, I woke up with cramp-like sensations that felt off, and which I later concluded to be contractions.  It hurt, but not in a "stub your toe" sharp shooting pain sort of way.  It was a little more dull but at the same time, quite intense, and I had to focus on my breathing and relaxing my body muscles in order to ride through each "wave."  These waves began to increase in frequency and duration throughout the day, but wasn't consistent enough to warrant a call to the doctor or a trip to Labour & Delivery, so our waiting-in-anticipation began.

Hubbs packed and loaded the car and then played a marathon of Streetfighter IV games on his PS3, I tried to bake cookies (the pre-formed variety) and read blogs and chart my contractions, my folks played game after game of cribbage, and everyone stopped making sound each time I had to breathe through another wave.  I te…

Love

It has been a mere 5 days since Baby Loquacious entered our lives, but already I've learned so much about my Father through her.

God is love.  Jesus loves us.  That is what the Bible teaches, and what we learn to sing about from any early age.  However, to know that in our heads and to understand it in our hearts are two totally different things, and so often we define love as a feeling, a noun.  Sometimes we are challenged to love others, and it becomes a verb and an action that we can take.

I am learning about love as a state of being - God's being.  Because He is love, it is encompassed in all that He does.  God is our Father, and as Hubbs & I enter into our sixth day as parents, we are beginning to better understand what loving like a parent looks like:
You never want to see your child cry or be in pain.  You never want to watch as others hurt your baby, even if it is just to give her a needle that is good for her.You always want to watch over your little one, even whe…

SHE - Arrived!

The birth story will have to wait.  Sleep calls, as does my newly arrived darling.  Baby Loquacious was born on Monday morning, just a few minutes too late to celebrate her Ye-Ye's birthday.  But she arrived (after much difficulty), and is a healthy 8 pounds 11.5 ounce, 19" round-eyed bundle of milk-loving, loud-crying joy.


Let me just say, before I eventually find time to hammer out the birth story, that the best laid plans of man are nothing compared to the plans of God.  For all the time I spent researching and making up my birth plan, the ROI was really quite disappointing.  If my plan had been a checklist, I probably would have hit...um...maybe 4 out of 50 things, and the rest would have gone in just about the complete opposite direction of anything I would have ideally wished for.  So for the few of you who ready this blog daily or know me outside the blog world, you probably already know what that means ;)

My baby wants to nurse...again.  So begins this next awesome, …

Hide and Seek and Baby's Test Results

Today we had our 41 week ultrasound and non-stress test for baby.  We arrived early for our appointment, having misjudged how long it would take us to get to the hospital after brunch.  The reception area was surprisingly understaffed for a Friday, so we had to wait to check in.  It was a little unnerving watching the new mommas leaving the hospital; so many looked like they were walking with great pain and caution.  I wondered, in a hospital with a 30% C-section rate, how many of these ladies had undergone surgery to deliver their little ones.

After I was "processed," we headed to the ultrasound area.  Despite being 30 minutes early, the staff were kind enough to take us in with little delay.  Dad opted to wait in the sitting area while Mom and Hubbs and I squeezed into the U/S room.  I had to be properly positioned on the bed, which took some effort, before the tech began running her little sensor over my very bloated tummy.  We could see the shape of baby's head (it l…

Good Reads for the Waiting Momma

Just some light reading as I hang out on all fours on my bed, trying to block out all the Chinese opera being enjoyed by my folks ;)



"Due Date Statistics" an informal study by SpaceFem.com (2010).

"Saying No to Induction" (from the Journal of Perinatal Education, 2006).

"Inducing Labor: When to Wait, When to Induce" (from the Mayo Clinic)

"Induction of Labor" article (from Childbirth Connection)

"Estimated Due Dates" blog post from Birth Without Fear

"Best and Worst Reasons to Induce Labor" from Giving Birth Naturally blog

Blessed (and Not Living in Need)

I wrote this over three years ago, but since my Dad's birthday would have been Sunday, I just wanted to repost it again. I miss you, Daddy!

Since I've had some serious free time on my hands, I've been chatting it up with my folks these past few days.  One topic of conversation has been my dad's childhood living in China during and immediately after the Chinese Civil War (1949-1952) and the rationing of food resources and political oppression that followed this conflict.  I learned much about Dad, and about me, during these fascinating conversations.

For one, my Dad had to make tough choices early in life, choices that would forever determine his professions and education and fate.  He had to choose between education and freedom, between a better life in Canada and a comfortable life in Hong Kong.  He had to choose between leaving members of his family "behind" in the motherland or staying to care for them and risking his entire future.  He had to make these d…