Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're managing :)

Day 3 or so of being solitos....and things appear to be going well. Its about 1,000 times easier when Pat is around to help, but since he has to go out and work and bring home the bacon, I suppose I should just suck it up and learn how to do it well on my own.

That doesn't mean I have to like it though.

I don't like anything really that I don't excel at right off the bat. And believe you me, although I thought I was a pretty good Mom to Liam, juggling two is definitely an acquired area of expertise. I'm short tempered, angry, and in general, Super Seniorita Crankypants. I suppose it stems from many, many things in life coming pretty easy to me....(sports, education, etc.) so when things aren't natural I tend to bitch and whine and kick dirt in your general direction.

Just like the sport of golf (which I also sucked at big time at first...and now the only thing I continue to pursue despite my mediocrity), I'm sure I'll grow to love being a mother of two (even when I'm all by myself) and enjoy it, even when it continues to push me and kick my ass.

:::::::::::::::::::::::: EMOTIONS ::::::::::::::::::::::::

Emotionally I'm still hanging in there - I've only managed to break down and bawl my eyes out once since Lola's arrival (well, unless you count when my Mom left to go back home...but that's different). It was at the end of the first day, and I was so angry at the world. Mostly I was mad at myself for allowing the effin' up of Liam's life. I know, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but I was in no condition to be argued against. I just felt like I spent 95% of the day yelling at him because he wouldn't listen to me. Its like my mind completely forgot that he's TWO and not an 18 year old PFC. *sigh* Pat is a smart man...he just let me vent, and gently reminded me that tomorrow is a new day.

:::::::::::::::::::::::: BIG BOY BED ::::::::::::::::::::::::

We went to IKEA and purchased Liam a new big boy bed. We were just going to buy a mattress and put it on the floor (so he couldn't fall down very far if he fell out) but we found a cute little frame to drop it in as well. Hopefully, he'll start taking naps in it without too much trouble, then we'll move him into it for night time as well. He thinks its cool, and has started spending time laying on it and reading books. The hardest part is going to be getting him to lay / sleep / sit on it and not jump on it. I think we made the right decision on not getting a spring mattress - we went with foam instead - which cuts down on the jumpability factor right off the bat.

:::::::::::::::::::::::: HALLOWEEN ::::::::::::::::::::::::

Liam has a slight fascination with pumpkins / jack-o-lanterns, which I think stems from a couple of great books given to him by his Grandmas. He loves looking at them from afar when he's in the car, and he loves to carry them around (or at least try). He likes to tell us what kind of face they have on - happy, sad, angry or even surprised! He was actually devastated when we carved ours and left them out on the front porch....he really, really, wanted them to come back inside!

So we were so excited when Aunt Moe said we could borrow the Pumpkin Costume that Grandma O'Brien had made. He's worn it every day for the past couple of days! The cutest thing is when he says he's NOT a pumpkin, he's a Jack-O-Lantern. Or, when he practices his "Trick Or Treat!". He's generally a pretty shy kid, so it will be interesting to see if he actually says it while we're out in the 'hood.

Here's a quick photo of our practicing pumpkin, and another of our spooky halloween decorations! I'm so excited to finally have them out!

:::::::::::::::::::::::: LOLA'S SICK :( ::::::::::::::::::::::::

Liam had a slight little cold last week, and has since given it to his little sister. No fever or anything, and she's still eating like a champ - so we haven't done much about it. However, last night she started getting a little too congested for my taste, so I think we'll finally head to the doctor today. It just breaks my heart to hear her struggle to get her nose cleared up! I wish she had the brains to know it is much, much easier to breathe clearly when she sucks on her binky, but she doesn't appear to care much.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's the Point???

I ask you, dear readers....

What is the point of creating a fantabulous website and getting people all addicted to its fantastic games and connecting with people all across God's Green Earth....

....and then treating the addicts like crap by continually performing "maintenance" that makes said website perform like big, fat, hairy ass?


Is it because they know we'll keep coming back?

***fist up to sky*** CURSE YOU FACEBOOK!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Lets see.....

I've covered my anxiety before the surgery, the surgery itsself and the rest of the birthday.....what's left to talk about.

Oh, well, the hospital stay was fabulous. We didn't score a lakeview room, but we did have a nice city view and a view of a Green Roof, and the construction of Children's Memorial Hospital. A construction zone isn't normally fun to look at, but considering our background, and our son's current fascination with all things construction, it actually worked out relatively well. And it was also fun to trapse around naked-nude in front of the windows, taunting the construction workers that couldn't see me. Or at least I thought they couldn't see me.

The decor was beautiful - especially the bathrooms! Corian countertops, beautiful blue green glass tile and travetine-esque tile in the bathrooms. I realized during the last day of my stay that the view from my bed prevented me from seeing very little any medical equipment at all. I'm sure this was intentional, and makes for a quite pleasant (aesthetically) stay. Most importantly, every single thing worked as planned during our entire visit ;) During our last hospital stay (which was during the last month of that hospital's existence before they opened the new one), we called maintenance for some reason at least once a day. The most annoying of which was the bathroom light, which kept on burning out. The staff was still good, but it was annoying overall.

We took home all sorts of awesome supplies - diapers, breast feeding gear, gigantic maxi-pads, receiving blankets, etc. It was like a medical supplied Christmas!

Since we've been home Lola has been an angel - eating like a trooper and sleeping just as well. I realize it might be short lived, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts. There are no shortage of arms that want to snuggle her, but she's perfectly content to sleep by herself in the bassinet. This is night and day from Liam, who refused to be put down for any period of time for his first six weeks of life.

Thanks to the breastfeeding, my boobs are in mega-pornstar mode having swelled to 50x their original size. OK, maybe I exaggerate a little, but you get the idea. I've always been relatively well endowed to begin with, so you can imagine how big they are now. They are, in the words of a friend, officially Milk Boulders. Rock Hard and GIANT. To be honest, they look pretty cool :) Pat and I took a photo, although we're not going to share with the general public. Shocking, I know, since I'm not one to withold TMI. They hurt like a MoFo, and although it feels better than yesterday there are still a few days to go before my milk supply stabilizes. Until then, its a lot of compression (warm and cold), a lot of massage and long warm showers to try to relieve the pressure.

::::::::::: Liam and Lola :::::::::::

One more hospital event: Liam meeting Lola. He was pretty much disinterested - and much more engaged in trying to push all the buttons on the bed (he called the nurse twice) and marveling at the construction equipment next door. What I wanted to see is a proud brother sitting on the couch, excited to hold his baby sister for the first time.....which is a pretty unrealistic expectation. I don't know why I conjured up the image in my head (I'm lying, I do...because it would make a good photo), but I think his actual reaction was pretty normal. I even bought a balloon for him from Baby Lola, which he liked, but that was about it.

After we got home, he was a little more welcoming. He acknowledged when Lola was crying ("OhhH! Baby cryyying!") and occasionally pointed and said "Baby Seester" or "Baby OhhLa". But for the most part he tried to avoid her (and us) and played by himself or with Mema. At one point, I remember him running down the hall full speed, stopping in his tracks when he got to the living room, looking straight to the baby bassinet (with a baby sleeping comfortably inside), and then turned right back around to run and play in his room.

Mema & Daddy have been giving him lots of love and attention, but I really haven't as much. Mostly because its dangerous for me! He's a very active (read: CRAZY!) two year old, and he doesn't understand that he can really hurt me!! I try to give him hugs and kisses when I can, but its not nearly as many as I feel like I should. I think it will all work out OK eventually. Today, he actually wanted to see and hug her...and he actually held Lola for the first time today (just like the photo I wanted!). It didn't last long. She started rooting and sucking his face - he freaked out saying "no more kisses baby Lola!" But it certainly was adorable while it lasted :)


You can see the rest of the set on flickr HERE

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Birth Story

Pat & I managed to get a decent night's sleep on Thurday evening, with the exception of about an hour where we both woke up at the same time and couldn't get back to sleep. During that hour we caught the Chicago 2016 Olympic pitch live from Copenhagen, which was actually kind of cool. Then the speeches got a little boring, lucky for us, and lulled us back into sleep until the morning.

Friday morning was nice and relaxed. Pat & I gathered everything together and Liam was more than happy to ignore us and play with Mema & Papa, who arrived erlier on Thursday. We gave big hugs to our little man, then headed into the city to the Hospital. We got there right on time at 8:30AM, waited a short while in the Labor & Delivery lounge, and then were escorted back to prep for surgery.

I must say, we had a rockin' team getting us ready. I'm not sure if I was just in such better spirits because everything was planned andsuch or if the staff were just that good...but in any case the experience was quite nice. Scary? Absolutely - what major surgery isn't scary?!? But the doctors / nurses / residents did their best to explain everything that was happening and keep us calm and relaxed as well. The spinal block was pretty easy. Strapping me down wasn't too bad either. I was nervous for most of the process, but was settled as soon as Pat came back to the OR :) Lucky for me, he has very, very kind eyes....and I like to look at them. Its just soothing and calming, even though that's the only part of his face I could see. I don't remember what we talked about during the actual operation, but I know there was chuckling and laughter involved, which was also very calming as well.

Then, before we knew it, Lola was pulled out into the world! I found out later they had to use forcepts to pull her giant noggin out. I had no idea they used forcepts for c-sections. But I suppose that's better than cutting me more.

I think the process took about two and a half hours total. We went back to prep around 9:30AM, and I was back in the recovery room at about 12:00. Then we spent a good three hours or so in recovery.

The most annoying part was the shivering caused by the anesthesia. It was like being out on a cold Chicago morning, but not actually being cold. Its so annoying because when you are shivering long enough, your jaw starts to hurt. They have medicine the help off set these kinds of side effects, but of course, those have their own side effects.....and we didn't think the cummulative effect would be good for me.

One of the things I thought I would be very concerned about but ended up not being an issue was the blue curtain in my face. During Liam's surgery I remember it really bothering me and being too close to my face, despite my request to pull it away on multiple occasions. This time, they actually made it a point to keep it nice and tight and away from my head. Seems like a silly thing to be worried about in the grand scheme of things, but alas, that is what I focused on.

:::::::::::: Recovery ::::::::::::

Recovery wasn't too bad. The whole waiting for your legs to come too is pretty strange....especially when they ask you to try to move your legs and toes, and you do your damnedest to try, but you can't. Ugh. It feels so strange. The only issue I had was a pretty high heart rate that wouldn't come down even though I didn't feel anxious or like my heart was racing. That pretty much didn't go away until we were well settled in our room.

For Lola, she was nice and healthy. Due to standard protocol for babies "Large for their Gestational age" or LG, they had to do a series of glucose tests to make sure her blood sugar was behaving appropriately. The first test came back kind of low, but the rest from there on out were great, so there were no issues to deal with further. Well, we did have to endure a couple of pokies on her sweet little heels, but I can deal with that :)

:::::::::::: What's in a name? ::::::::::::

Up until this point, we didn't actually have a name for her. Actually, if she was a boy, we didn't have ANY names picked out at all! I felt pretty certain it was a feminine energy to begin with, so most of our focus went to girls names. Our middle name was easy - it would be Cecilia. That's my mom's middle name, and I've always thought it was beautiful. Its also my great grandmother's name, and as we later found out, the name of Pat's Mom's Great Grandmother. First names were a whole other story. I've always loved Lola, in fact, that was going to be Liam's name if he were a girl. (Lola is actually my Great Aunt's name....well, its Delores, but she's always been known as Lola). Pat does not really like the name at all, primarily because of the song by The Kinks. So we tried to hash it out, but still always kept Lola in the mix. As of the morning of the c-section, the list was Lola, Elena, Marlena, and Elsa. Lola was always #1, but I never thought Pat would go for it.

When she was pulled into the world and brought around the blue curtain, I took one look at her and said "Oh my goodness - Pat, she's SUCH a Lola - I'm so sorry but she's totally a Lola!". Imagine my surprise when he agreed! So he might not love the name, but I'm hoping it grows on him just like Liam grew on me.

*whew* that was a long story! As of now, we're both healing and doing well. Breastfeeding is going along pretty well (about 10,000 times better than what we went through with Liam - thank GOODNESS!) although we are supplementing with formula so we can get a decent nights stretch of sleep while we're in the hospital.

Also, another really great thing is that I love her. I really, really, REALLY love her! This might seem like a given, but I had a very tough time bonding with Liam for about six weeks or so....struggling with that on top of depression, lets just say I didn't have the easiest go of it for a while, and was dreading dealing with similar feelings this go round. As each moment passes, I'm less and less worried. I know it will be difficult in its own way, but I feel like this isn't going to be as scary or hopeless as I felt before. And I'm so very thankful!

So you may have heard :)

We welcomed baby O'Brien Numero Dos into the world on Friday, October 2 at 11:23 AM via C-Section :) She tipped the scales a mere 9 pounds, and was 20 3/4 inches long. She's got a slightly fuzzy dark head of hair, the sweetest pink skin and adorable dark baby blue eyes. In short, she's beautiful!

Hooray for Lola Cecilia O'Brien!!

You also may be wondering - Karin, where the heck are the photos?? Well, we'll have to wait until after Monday for those, dear readers. I've got them all on camera, but we don't have our computer here. The couple of photos that we have are on that we took with phones, sent to Mom & Sissy, and they posted it for us! I promise, once we're discharged and settled in at home, there will be plenty of Lola cuteness that I'll be more than anxious to share.

Our internet situation at the moment - not the most convenient, but definitely better than nothing at all! The hospital is equipt with wi-fi, but frankly, I didn't want to lug my giant ass laptop around. Each room has a nice 42" flatscreen TV, and you can hook up a keyboard and surf the web (which is what I'm doing at the moment). Its functional, but kind of tempermental, and not lightning quick like I'm used to. The mouse is slow and quirky....and, well, you can see how this would make trying to spend a lot of time on the internet annoying. Its like using dial upafter being on a cable modem for a while....just plain frustrating!

I'm going to try to do a series of short posts, and hopefully I get to cover everything while Lola & Daddy are snoozing and before the drugs kick in enough to knock me out!