New Mama Musings

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Came Back For THIS?

Several people now have commented that Henry doesn't really look like a baby. My husband says he thinks Henry is an old soul.

If it's true that Henry is really someone reincarnated in a baby's body, he must have been pretty humiliated yesterday when he peed in his own eye.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Marketeers Got To My Husband

Apparently, Henry has his own song. And it's not a variation on the one my sisters and I sang to my now seventeen-year-old nephew (Henry is a baby/The cutest little baby/Henry is the best little baby in the world...).

No, it's a variation on the Oscar Mayer Bologna Song:

My bologna has a first name,
It's H-E-N-R-Y.
My bologna has a second name,
It's H-O-L-D-E-N.*
I'd love to eat him every day,
And if you ask me why I'll say:
'Cause Henry Holden has a way
With B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

*The fact that Holden contains too many letters only adds to the ridiculousness, don't you think?

Looking on the bright side, I guess he'll learn how to spell not only his first and middle names but the name of one of the more disgusting meat products on the market.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Humor of the Sleep-Deprived

I think my husband is funnier the less sleep he gets. Or maybe it's that he seems funnier the less sleep I get. In any case, these are a few of the things he's said lately that have kept me entertained.

The other day he was holding Henry and talking to him, making up whatever popped into his head as we both do, and I overheard him say, "Henry, you're such a big boy, when you go to the moon you won't need to bring your gravity boots!" When I came out of the next room I said, "Really? Gravity boots?"

And then the other night, during one of Henry's 3am fussy periods, my husband was sitting with him in his room. I came in to check on them and my husband commented, "I think maybe it was a waste of time putting up all those alphabet cards. I mean, he doesn't even know one of them yet."

All I know is, with the scant amount of sleep we've been getting, we have to laugh or we'll cry.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Six Weeks Old Today

Compare Henry's newborn photo with one taken today. Apparently, this is what six weeks of my breastmilk can do.

He's now almost fifteen pounds; yesterday we put him in a size 3-6 month onesie.

Did I mention that he's six weeks old today?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

No One Ever Burps the Mommy

The other night while I was sitting up in bed trying to get Henry to burp, my husband reached over, patted me on the back and said, sadly, "No one ever burps the mommy."

I'm not even sure what that means, but it cracked me up.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Why We Chose Homebirth

Okay, this is long overdue, but newborns have a way of monopolizing time ordinarily spent on things like writing blog entries. (Sure, blame the baby!)

When I first got pregnant my husband and I planned on having the baby in a hospital. I was intrigued by the idea of homebirth but viewed it as something earth mother-types did. And since I'd never given birth before and didn't know how my body would handle childbirth, I figured I'd better do it in a hospital, just in case I needed pain relief or emergency care.

So we chose the most "warm" and "home-like" hospital birthing center in the area. I switched from my initial visit with an ob-gyn (who deemed my pregnancy "high-risk" simply because it resulted from IVF treatment) to a more natural-minded family practioner. We hired a doula to be with us at the birth and to give us private childbirth classes. And we developed a birth plan that in hindsight I see had all the markings of an earth mother's plan.

Over the course of my pregnancy I read, and talked to people, and asked questions, and read some more. I started learning about the domino effect interventions can have in a hospital birth (i.e., when things don't progress on the hospital's timetable the doctor may induce labor with pitocin, which can lead to more painful contractions, which can lead to needing an epidural, which can lead to being strapped down and immobile, which can lead to the baby getting stuck, which can lead to needing a Cesarean section).

I found out that any drugs taken in childbirth can also enter the baby's system, which can cause problems with breastfeeding and bonding. And I heard that while we may be able to get the things we wanted on our birth plan, we might have to fight for them, and there was no guarantee that the hospital staff would honor our wishes.

The more my husband and I learned the more we transferred our fear from the idea of homebirth to the idea of birthing in a hospital. So, at thirty-eight weeks along, we interviewed a midwife.

We had a few concerns, like, "What if something goes wrong?" Helen told us that the majority of the time the midwife has plenty of warning that there may be complications requiring transfer to a hospital; rarely is there a problem that requires immediate medical attention.

Of course, we were worried that our situation would be the exception, but Helen assured us that she (and our doula, Jennifer) were well trained in resuscitation and carried oxygen and other equipment with them. The fact that we live blocks from a good hospital also put our mind at ease. And finally, a recent study showing that homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth, with fewer interventions, clinched the deal.

So, with two weeks to go until the due date, we decided to do a homebirth. You can read about why this decision rocked here.

One of my husband's co-workers and his wife were expecting their first baby around the same time Henry was due. They planned on a hospital birth, however, and while we'll never know for sure if a homebirth would have served them better, their experience was much different from ours.

Their daughter's birth actually followed the domino effect I mentioned earlier: when the woman's water broke they went right to the hospital; she didn't start having contractions "soon enough" so her doctor gave her pitocin; she had an epidural; the baby wasn't descending down the birth canal; the woman ended up having a Cesarean section; the baby was taken away and not returned for many hours; then she had a great deal of trouble breastfeeding.

As I said, maybe they would have had to transfer to a hospital if they'd had a homebirth, and maybe it would have turned out the same. But in my heart I really don't believe that.

What's interesting to me is that it's the women who have a "traditional" hospital birth who think I'm nuts for giving birth at home with no pain medication. Yet I'm thrilled by my experience and they view theirs as an ordeal they had to undergo to have a baby. So who's the crazy one?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Unexpected Benefits of Breastfeeding

Henry is exclusively breastfed (unless he's been sneaking Fritos when I'm not looking) and I'd have to say it's working out very well for both of us, despite a few (occasionally painful) bumps in the road.

For one thing, it's encouraged me to eat healthier. I haven't had a soda since Henry was born and very little candy. Also, I've been losing weight like crazy -- I'm only a few pounds short of my pre-pregnancy weight.

For his part, Henry seems to be thriving on my vegan diet-produced breastmilk, weighing in at almost ten pounds two weeks past his birth date and twelve pounds two weeks after that. His doctor said that most babies lose some of their birth weight in the first week or so and he likes to see them regain it by four weeks. Call my child an overachiever.

One of the unexpected nice things about breastfeeding, though, is that my breast apparently functions as both a food source and a pillow. Sometimes, while we're lying down at night, Henry not only rests his head on my breast and falls asleep after he's done eating, he also throws an arm on it for good measure.

Sweet dreams on your boobie pillow, little one.

"so many of the people in the arena...were underprivileged anyway"

Deviating from my almost all-consuming interest in Henry to the national news -- is anyone else as appalled by Barbara Bush's commentary on the evacuees from New Orleans as I am?

Come down from your ivory tower, Babs, so I can throttle you with your pearls.

At least now we know where W's cluelessness comes from.