Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Andrew and Jennifer gave us this outfit when they came to visit us in the hospital just before Torin arrived. Torin hasn't yet warmed up to the camera.

I really wanted this Spider-man costume to work out, but it was way too large for Torin. I think he wore this costume for less than 10 minutes, and he cried for about 7 of those minutes.

Now that he has passed out, it's time for the trick-or-treaters to come by and wake him up.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Working for the weekend.

As we reach the end of the first week of me being by myself with Torin, I have to remind myself to remain positive. These past few days have been...trying. As Joey says, Torin really knows how to teach patience.

The mornings are generally okay, as Torin sleeps during that time. It's the afternoons that stress me out. I spend an average of three hours troubleshooting Torin's crying spells, and I am rarely successful in soothing and calming him. And with no support system in place, I can't take a break or shut my eyes for a few minutes. I can only hope that things will get better as he ages.

There's always next week, and with it, a chance for things to get better.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All by myself.

Today was my first day alone with Torin; Joey went back to work. I was dreading this day. It turned out to be half good and half...not so good.

We made our first outing alone, to my doctor's office, and it was a success. I'm a rookie at using our fancy stroller, but no matter what I rammed into, Torin stayed sound asleep.

It was when we got home that the meltdown commenced. Torin cried; I fed him. He cried; I fed him some more. He cried; I changed his diaper. He cried; I walked him around outside. He cried; I rocked him in the chair in the nursery. It wasn't until Joey got home that Torin finally settled down and fell asleep. I think we'll both be sleeping well tonight.

I suppose this day could have been worse, but I'm hoping for better results tomorrow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Exactly how hormonal am I? I don't even like baseball, but I cried last night when the Texas Rangers won the ALCS.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All in the name of Love.

Tonight, two of my favorite rock bands from the 1990s, Bush and Filter, will be playing a concert not too far from my house. But because of my recent change in priorities, I can't go. Am I sad about this? I'm not going to lie; yes, I am. But I have to remember why I can't go.

This change in priorities is probably the most critical adjustment I've ever had to make in my life. It's more challenging than buying a house, moving, getting married or divorced, going to school, or anything else I can think of. Yes, I am a parent now, and I need to remember to act and think like one.

To make my transition into parenthood even more difficult, Torin seems to have his days and nights reversed. He was awake from midnight till about 7:30 this morning. Joey stayed up with him until 5:00, and I took over from there. I don't know how to rectify this situation, but I need to come up with a remedy--fast. I am having a hard time handling the incessant fussing and crying; my feelings oscillate between intense frustration and crippling insecurity.

Keep your eye on the prize, keep your eye on the prize, keep your eye on the prize...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All aboard S.S. Parenthood!

Torin had his first restaurant experience yesterday: We went to lunch at Chuy's. He did very well--he slept the whole time, even through all of the loud music and hustle and bustle of the crowd. Joey and I are slowly getting our sea legs and gaining the confidence to venture out into the world with our little one.

We seem to have fallen into somewhat of a routine: We both take care of Torin during the day, and when I go to bed around 11 pm, Joey takes over. Since Joey routinely stays up until 3 or 4 am, this doesn't disrupt his schedule to much. From 4 am on, I'm on call and Joey can sleep in until 11 am or noon. True, Joey seems to be getting more sleep than I am, but when he goes back to work, that will change.

A week ago, I didn't know how or if I could ever handle being a mommy. And truth be told, I am still struggling quite a bit. But today I feel worlds better about my abilities and about not losing my entire identity to motherhood. I'm just taking it one day at a time and trying not to let the vast, open sea in front of me intimidate me too much.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Take two.

Okay, let's try this again.

I was released from the hospital yesterday. Now that I am home and have had my first real shower since Torin was born, I feel much better. I have been wondering if I am coming down with postpartum depression, given how overwhelmed and incompetent I've been feeling, but today I feel a bit more empowered and independent. Daddy is getting some much-needed rest while I relearn my diaper-changing and feeding skills.

Oh, and I am already wearing my pre-pregnancy clothing again. Although my abdomen is still flabby, I don't have any stretch marks. I don't know whether to brag about this or be embarrassed about it. I am already back down to 128 pounds, which is a few pounds lighter than I was when I first became pregnant. I don't know whether to chalk it up to genetics or major medical issues. Either way, I certainly wasn't expecting it to happen so soon. Now, if only I could get my belly button to go back in and get the linea nigra to fade away...

I'm rocking my Lady Gaga shirt today, for the first time since I bought it. I'm holding my head up a bit higher today. I'm determined to overcome my anxieties and be the best mommy I can be today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coming to you live from the hospital!

So it turns out that the delivery-related blood loss and the subsequent transfusion I received were not the end of my blood woes. Ever since I had been discharged from the hospital last Friday, I had been experiencing bouts of shortness of breath. Over the weekend, I chalked it up to anxiety (Torin was jaundiced and had to sleep under bili lights on his second night at home). But by Monday, I knew something wasn't right. I would find myself doubled over in discomfort.

I visited my OB on Tuesday afternoon, and he ordered a spiral CT scan of my lungs (a very uncomfortable experience in and of itself--I.V. contrast dye burns!). The scan showed pulmonary embolism--blood clots in my lungs. Therefore, my OB admitted me back into the hospital right then and there. And so I've been resting in a telemetry bed since Tuesday evening. They're monitoring my heart activity and giving me blood thinners. I officially feel like a senior citizen. But at least my life is no longer in danger.

The doctors say I might get to go home tomorrow. I certainly hope so. It has broken my heart to be away from Torin, but Joey and I feel it's best not to bring him up here to the pulmonary ward, where lethal germs abound. Joey has been dropping Torin off at my parents' house every evening this week so that he can stop by and deliver me some real food for dinner. The only other thing that is keeping me sane is the fact that Joey has been sending me plenty of pictures and videos of Torin.

I feel bad for Joey having to take care of Torin basically all on his own during these past few days. We hadn't even begun to get the hang of caring for a newborn when this crisis happened. He has been doing a phenomenal job--I don't think I would be able to do as well as he has been doing with Torin. I look forward to getting back home and starting to learn about caring for Torin again and giving Joey a much-deserved break.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Torin's here! The birth story.

Although today was Torin's original due date, it has already been a week since our baby boy got here. But because I've been living in a blur of feedings and diapers and doctor appointments, I am just now able to sit down and document how he arrived.

As arranged by my doctor, I arrived at the labor and delivery department of the hospital at 7:30 pm on Monday, October 5. He administered Cervidil, a drug to ripen my cervix. We waited for 12 hours, and in the morning, the doctor determined that the drug had not worked at all. Then he began the administration of pitocin, a drug that induces labor, via I.V. From that point forward, I was not allowed to drink or eat anything other than ice chips, and I was tethered to the bed while the monitored the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. Bedpans are the worst!

At first, the pitocin wasn't working. My cervix remained sealed shut. They kept increasing the pitocin dose, and by midday, things finally got going. However, the progress was still slower than my doctor preferred, and although he wanted to avoid doing a c-section, he wanted me to get an epidural so that I'd be prepared in the event that surgery was necessary. At 2:30 pm, as the epidural was being applied to my spine, my water broke. Then the REAL contractions began!

That evening was actually enjoyable, as I had plenty of company and plenty of pain-killing medicine in my epidural. My aunt Cherie and her husband Mike came by, as did my sister, my parents, and my good friends Andrew and Jennifer. They all stayed until around 8 or 9 pm. Then only my mother and Joey (of course) stayed on.

My cervix finally began to give way at a quick enough rate that my doctor officially ruled out the c-section. However, he had to leave for the night, and another doctor in his practice, Dr. Jones (whom I also adore), took over. As the night progressed, so did my condition. Around 2:00 am on Wednesday, my contractions were strong enough that I couldn't get enough relief out of my epidural. The doctor checked my cervix at that point and--it was time to push!

After an hour of my pushing, a perfectly healthy Torin Parker came into our world at 3:03 am, weighing 7 pounds and 12 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. I cried--out of relief, out of joy, out of wonder, out of exhaustion.

Then came the more difficult part--the afterbirth. I lost a lot of blood. A lot. Dr. Jones had to manually remove the placenta, which was far more painful than the birth of the baby himself. After what seemed like hours, she finally stitched me up and was finished. However, with my empty stomach and dire thirst, I kept vomiting all of the various pills they were trying to give me. Between bouts of vomiting, I drifted in and out of a deep sleep.

I have to say, I have never been so thirsty in my entire life. I have never known such a thirst. I was allowed a minimal number of ice chips, which did nothing to satisfy this degree of thirst. Finally, around 6 am, the nurse allowed me to have a Sprite, albeit only a couple of sips at a time. That was the best-tasting drink I have ever had.

A few hours later, I was moved to my postpartum recovery room, where Joey and I stayed until I was released, on Friday, October 8. During that time, the doctors were concerned with my low blood count and finally gave me a blood transfusion. After receiving two units of blood, my count was high enough for me to be able to go home.

Being discharged was a bittersweet ordeal for me. As the baby blues set in and my hormones took over, I found myself crying as the nurse wheeled me downstairs to our waiting car. I was so afraid to be on my own, alone with this precious, fragile new life. But there we were, suddenly out in the world as three, rather than two, people. And like so many people do every day all over the world, we set off to begin our new life as a family, with one eye on the rear-view mirror and another eye on the winding road ahead.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear Torin,

I'm about to leave for the hospital, where I will begin the process of inducing labor. You are about to make your entrance into our world. I tried to think of what to say to you here, but words can't really convey how I am feeling and what I am thinking.

I've never been more nervous to meet anyone in my entire life. All I know about you so far is that you hiccup a lot and you have very strong legs. For someone I don't know yet, you sure have taken control over me. You are totally the boss of me, and I'm not normally a person who gives up control easily. Everything I've done for the past nine months has been for you, as will everything else from your birthday forward. You've already changed me forever.

Your dad doesn't seem to be anxious at all. He's excited for you to get here, to be sure, but he's remaining calm during all of the preparation and chaos. And that's good--I need that rock, that stability.

We have daydreamed about you since January. We have discussed our hopes and dreams for you. We have wondered what you will look like and whom you will take after as far as tastes, talents, and overall personality.

Our wondering and waiting is coming to an end. We'll be holding you soon, and our lives will finally be complete. We don't know you, but we already love you more than anything in the world.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

On my last Sunday as a childless woman...

...I was productive! I cleaned a little, did all of our laundry, did some studying on the parenting gadgets we have accumulated (e.g., the "itzbeen" baby care timer and the bottle warmer), read a bit in my breastfeeding book, and put the finishing touches on the nursery. Joey assembled the furniture we bought yesterday, and he helped me clean up.

I had hoped to have a new phone that takes better pictures by now, but alas, I am still on a waiting list. Anyway, here are the low-quality pictures of Torin's room that I took today:

We're ready and waiting for our precious little boy to get here.

I talked with my mom on the phone for a little while today. She might be more nervous than I am! Of course, I am indeed nervous, but I have to keep reminding myself that thousands and thousands of women all over the world go through childbirth every day, and the odds are in my favor that everything will be fine.

This evening, before I watch all of my Sunday night television shows, I plan on making the symbolic switch from my beloved Coach purse to my diaper bag (I refuse to carry more than one bag at a time). The transition shouldn't be painful for me at all. I've had nine whole months to prepare for it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On my last Saturday as a childless woman...

...I did lots of running around! Joey and I had lots of last-minute shopping to do today. We started out with brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe, then we headed to IKEA for some storage furniture for the nursery. After that, it was the Container Store. We then stopped for a snack at Freddy's Frozen Custard, and then we hit up Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath & Beyond, Babies R Us, and Target before having dinner at Kostas (their spanakopita is my favorite!).

Now we're at home, where I am doing laundry and getting ready to settle in to watch Saturday Night Live (one of my favorite actors, Bryan Cranston, is the host tonight).

What a refreshingly busy and happy day...Knowing our baby is just about to be here, it definitely puts a spring in my swollen-footed step!

Friday, October 1, 2010

On my last Friday as a childless woman...

...I took it easy, but not as easy as yesterday. I did clean one of our two bathrooms today. This bathroom will be Torin's. I wanted to make sure I get it as clean as I could (achy back and shortness of breath notwithstanding) so that it's ready for him and his very first sponge bath. I guess bathing is really the only thing he'll be doing in there for quite a while, huh?

Other than that, I took a nap, played around on The Bump and other parts of the Internet, and munched on Sonic ice. I'm looking forward to dinner with Joey and probably more television this evening. We know how to play it low key around here, to be sure.