Monday, February 23, 2009

More Tales from Motherhood

Suffice it to say, I have learned more over the last month of my life than all the other months of my life combined!! Having been a mommy for one month now, I've practiced my patience skills, become immune to bodily fluids (pee, poop, snot/boogers/nasal mucus, spit up, blood, sweat, and tears), learned to live on very little sleep, honed my listening skills ("is that crying upstairs?!!??"), learned to shave my legs in about 3 minutes flat, and learned how to eat VERY fast also (for those of you that know me well, this is a very big deal for a formerly slow eater), and much more. I'm sure that I'll continue to grow and change as much as my little one as time goes on...

I'd like to talk a little bit about pee fountains. Have you seen the diaper commercial on TV right now that shows the dad changing his son's diaper and when the diaper is removed, there's a spray of pee that comes out like a firehose? Well, that commercial is NO JOKE!! My little one has a trajectory like you wouldn't believe... He's sprayed me in the face, himself in the face, gotten every inch of the changing area, the lamp, wall, carpet beside the changing table, etc. etc. etc. multiple times! (Disclaimer for our landlord, who reads my blog - we're very friendly - I swear we're very sanitary people and cleaning up after the little guy religiously with lots of great products! hahaha) My favorite is when he spouts a pee fountain in the bathtub - it's like a little baby Bellagio show!

And why does Patrick love to pee and poop so much as soon as we open the diaper?? Let me just say - I'm glad we're using a diaper service that allows for unlimited nappies and not disposables... I'd be crying for mother earth, given how many diapers this kid goes through per day, given that he dirties 2 or 3 just while getting changed!! I'm guessing 20 or more in one day... it's unbelievable.

Otherwise, we had some problems helping Patrick get enough milk to help him through the 3 week growth spurt - he just never seemed satisfied after nursing. He would eat and then scream not too much later wanting more - it was not only frustrating, but PAINFUL and I was starting to feel like a major failure!!! I went to his pediatrician's appointment last Wednesday ready to beg her for advice and help with producing enough milk to satisfy the little guy - I felt like I was starving him and was ready to just switch to formula... But after weighing him, we found that he weighed 7 lbs, 5 oz and had gained almost 2 pounds in 2 weeks; he had also grown over 2 inches in length!! No wonder he couldn't get enough milk in his face - he was growing like a weed! And no, he was definitely not starving... he was just really HUNGRY! I was really relieved... I *was* doing everything right!

We're definitely getting the hang of things and catching our snap! When we first got home, we were both quite tentative with holding the baby, changing him, comforting him, feeding, etc. etc. etc. But with time and practice - it's been a crash course - we both feel much more comfortable with being parents. We're starting to understand Patrick's needs, cries, and signals better every day. And we've been working very hard on getting a routine established... I called last week the "formula intervention" because Patrick and I worked really hard to get my milk production up to satisfy him, wean him from formula supplementation, and to get him on a more predictable feeding schedule (he's gotten himself on a very reliable every 3 hour schedule during the day and is starting to space out the feedings at night). It was a challenging week, but we were successful and as a result, it's a much happier household this week. He seems more satisfied, is crying less, and sleeping better. :)))

All in all, I'm so in love with this sweet little man with his cute little sideburns, pink toes, expressive eyes and baby coos! Watching him grow and change has been the experience of a lifetime, and to think that it's never going to stop is overwhelmingly wonderful! We've taken hundreds of photos in just 4.5 short weeks, but here are some of our favorites... I hope you enjoy seeing the progression of our little dude's growth and maturation. More stories and photos to come... stay tuned!

Love, Mer xo

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Month Old

Our little angel is one month old today. Happy birthday, buddy!! We took a mini photo shoot tonight to commemorate this special day. Enjoy!

Love, Mer


Suzie Q, Snoozy, Suzemeister, Snorezie, Boozie (Boozie is retired, though), Slutzie (that one was just funny because it wasn't true), etc. etc. etc. - the girl has more nicknames than my puppy - is gettin' married! :D

Congratulations to my lovely friend, Suzie, who deserves so much happiness in her life. I'm so proud of her and wish her many years of love, joy, hope, and dreams come true with her Prince Charming.

Cheers to the happy couple, who got engaged last weekend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Felicidades, Susanita (there's another one)!!

Love, Mer xo

Friday, February 20, 2009

Please Follow Me!

I just added a Blogger gadget that allows my blog groupies to follow my content... I hope you'll consider following The Mer Show by clicking on the link to the bottom right of the page. You can also sign up for a daily email via Feedblitz, too, if you'd prefer that. :)

Thanks!! Mer xo

Rockabye Baby

I just came across the *coolest thing* and just had to share it with you all. I was looking on iTunes for children's music to supplement Patrick's music collection (right now he has one Baby Beethoven CD and it's starting to get old), and found something I love!!

Rockabye Baby! is a collection of CDs that covers rock bands' albums in lullaby style. It's so soothing and familiar and I'm sure that I'll end up enjoying the music just as much as Patrick will. I bought the ACDC album (Sheridan's fave) and the No Doubt album too, and can't wait to see what little P Diddy thinks of it! Some other bands they cover are Led Zeppelin, The Pixies, U2, Greenday, The Beatles, Nirvana, Coldplay and more... (I don't know about you, but the real Coldplay puts me to sleep, but that's another conversation!)

Check it out:

Love, Mer

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Patrick's Nursery

A Baby Story Continues

So where did we leave off last time? The birth, that's right.

OK, so a couple hours after the birth of our sweet little baby boy, I decided to send home my very sleepy hubby for a nap, to let out the doggie out of the crate for a bathroom break, and to pick up anything embarrassing since my parents would be coming to stay for a few days. I had called my parents around midnight - about 4.5 hours before Patrick was born - to alert them that the baby was on his way, but not to bother jumping in the car immediately since he would most definitely arrive before they could get there (I was right).

With that, I was alone in the delivery room for a couple of hours (with so many babies - 8 others - having been born the night of Patrick's arrival, there were no post partem rooms available) and was told that I should relax and rest. YEAH RIGHT! I had a million thoughts running through my head and just couldn't wait to send out a text message to my closest buddies and family announcing the birth and of course, I had to update my Facebook status and share a couple of photos of the little dude... I also realized that I needed to pick a pediatrician and make an appointment for him, call the diaper service to initiate deliveries, call to cancel my ultrasound appointment that day, and call the glass company to let them know that I wasn't going to be picking up the glass I ordered for the top of Patrick's changing table/ dresser (I had told them I'd come get it that day). So I'm literally making phone calls from the delivery bed, all hopped up on drugs... Seriously??!!? I'm such a freak!

When they wheeled in Patrick from checking him out in the nursery, we also had some personal time to share, so I introduced myself and had a little chat with him all about his new family, my big dreams for him, and explained to him that we'll probably see our share of ups and downs, but promised to him that I'll always be there for him and will love him no matter what. He smiled for me the first time (or perhaps that was gas, but who cares?!) and he had me wrapped around his finger...

Once I finally got moved to the post partem room, my nurse Patti (pictured) got me all settled and comfortable and I had a couple more hours of Patrick time before Sheridan and my parents arrived at the hospital. I confided in Patti that I had no idea what I was doing and that I'd probably have a lot of questions, and she took GREAT care of us - she showed me how to hold the guy, breastfeed, diaper change, and all sorts of helpful things. And she brought me lots of great Percocets, so she was my BFF that day. :) AND Patti's birthday was also January 21st, so she was very excited to have been assigned to support Patrick and me... that was cool.

As we were preparing to head home from the hospital on Thursday night, Patrick was taken for some tests and it was shown that he was starting to develop jaundice. ACH! So we ended up having to keep him in the hospital for a couple of extra days while he spent time in the bililights, which breaks down the bilirubin enzyme that causes jaundice. It was so heartbreaking watching our little dude in his baby tanning bed with his little sunglasses on, but we knew he needed it, so I tried to manage my hormones and stay strong... And although I was technically discharged, we were able to stay in "Patrick's room" until he was released. All the "free" pudding cups and Sprite we could consume - woo hooo!

Alas, we finally got to leave the hospital on Sunday and get home with our son. If we had left on Friday, as planned, I may not have been ready... so perhaps our couple of extra days was helpful in getting me prepared for the idea of taking care of our little one.

And actually, once we got home, the REAL fun began!!! Stay tuned for more tales from mommy hood...

Love, Mer xo

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Baby Story

On the morning of January 20th, I got up and called my father (one of Patrick's namesakes) and wished him a very happy birthday and watched, with hope and optimism, the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington. I had gone to the doctor the day prior, who had told me that the status of my cervix was the exact same as it was the day before, yet I felt a few changes that indicated that perhaps our little guy would be arriving sooner than later... but then again, what did I know?!

So I figured to myself that I should probably prepare for an early arrival, just in case... I needed to frame the lovely watercolors that Sheridan's mom painted for us, put together my post-partem kit of goodies, pack my hospital bag, and make sure that Baci had everything he needed, etc. etc. etc. I was feeling really exhausted and my back was hurting, and I felt like maybe I had been overdoing it the last few days with unpacking, organizing, and preparing for baby, so I decided that this was going to be my last push of activity, and that as of January 21st, I was grounding myself!So once I got my fill of inauguration media, I got dressed and set out for my day of errands. I started with lunch at Schlotzsky's (YUM), Petco for dog food, the dollar store for cheap baby washcloths, Aaron Brothers for frames, and Target for postpartem toiletries. Right around Aaron Brothers, my back started getting VERY sore and I started feeling really bad, so I decided to pick up the pace of my shopping. The guy that worked at the store brought me a stool because I looked like I was in so much pain; how pathetic is that? I asked myself, "Hmm, could I be in the early stages of labor? Well, the doctor said yesterday that nothing had changed, so I guess I'm just tired, or something...".

By the time I hit Target and got home from my day of errands, I thought I was going to DIE. I had a lot of pressure on my pelvis and was experiencing a couple of other unmentionable changes, but I *still* insisted on denying that... HELLO!! I WAS IN LABOR!

Sheridan got home from work and I shared with him that I was feeling really weird, experiencing weird pains and such, and he asked me "Are you having contractions?", to which I answered "I'm not sure. How would I know?!". We googled "signs of early labor" and we recognized some symptoms, but given that the doctor JUST said that things were status quo less than 24 hours prior... we just had a hard time believing that I was in labor.

Sheridan started timing my "OUCH"es and we realized that I was indeed having contractions about 7 minutes apart, but the internet said not to bother calling the doctor until they were 5 minutes apart, so we decided we'd call the doctor in the morning (it was about 9:00 p.m. at that point) and have them check me out to see what was going on.

I took a long, hot bath in our jetted tub, with lots of vanilla bubble bath, then got in bed with my mind racing. I sat and made lists in my head, reviewing what I still needed to do to be prepared for Patrick's arrival. I had decided I was more ready than I thought I was... So I laid down and tried to relax myself to sleep; this was 9:30 p.m.

However, right after I laid down to rest, I realized that the foot that had been living in my ribs for the prior 8 months wasn't there anymore, and I panicked, realizing that I had "dropped". I rolled over in bed to investigate further... and POP!!! My water broke; this was 10:00 p.m.

And this is where the real excitement began. :)

I SPRANG out of bed and exclaimed "Oh my God, my water broke!" and Sheridan sprang out of bed with a huge smile on his face. He said "OK, what do we do now?!" and I asked him to get on the phone and call the doctor's after hours number and he did; he also called his brother, Brandon, and asked him to alert the family that the baby was coming. At one point, I looked over in between VERY strong contractions and he was chatting with his brother saying things like "Yeah, Austin's great. Yeah, we love the house. Yeah, the job is great - I really like it..." and I yelled "ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!" and he wrapped up the conversation and came over to help me get myself together, since I could hardly move. Apparently contractions get *much stronger* after the water breaks...

Now, since I was planning all along to have a C section, these are things that I had absolutely no idea about. How do you breathe through ridiculously strong contractions? What are they supposed to feel like? When do you push/ not push? Uh... no idea. ??? So I went into this having absolutely no idea what to expect or what to do. I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A C SECTION!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, we finally got into the car and headed to the hospital 20 minutes away. We got there and had absolutely no idea where to go, since we had NEVER been to this hospital before. I mean, we just moved to Austin 11 days prior!!! In fact, we were supposed to go to the hospital on Wednesday night for a tour of the maternity ward, to know where we were supposed to check in, where the rooms and nurseries were, etc. It would have been helpful to have done this tour before I went into labor, because when we arrived, we had NO idea where to go! We ended up going to the Emergency Room and they had to wheel me to Labor and Delivery, me in very active labor the whole time...

It was like a cheesy movie... I was huffing and puffing, moaning, practically crying and being wheeled through the hallways of this hospital and when we arrive to the Labor and Delivery ward, they see that I'm clearly in active labor (by this time, it's 10:40 p.m. and my contractions were 3 minutes apart!) and whisk me away to a room. My doctor wasn't available, but one in her practice was, so she came in to check out my progress.

And the result was........ I was already 5 cm dilated!! OMG, had I been in labor ALL DAY, throughout my little shopping marathon? Apparently! DUH. So I reminded the doctor that I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A C SECTION and she said "darling, you're already 5 cm dilated and you're in active labor - why would we do that?" and I responded that's what I really wanted! Meanwhile, she said "let's give it an hour or so, after we get your epidural done and you're more comfortable, and we'll talk again". OK, I guess that's fine, I thought...

So meanwhile, the contractions are coming one after the other and I'm getting very frustrated, so I started asking for the anesthesiologist... More like "where the F is that epidural?!?!" - again, like a bad movie, and I was *that girl*. Ooops! Finally the guy got there and although I'm terrified of needles, I sat still and took my medicine. I wanted to be numb, and stat!

And once I was comfortable and the epidural kicked in (thank GOD), the doc came in to check me again and I was at 10 cm!! OMG!! This was about 11:30/11:45 p.m. What the heck just happened? The doctor talked me into giving birth the old fashioned way, and once again, I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect, but let the nurses just walk me through the process.

Because there were EIGHT other babies being born that night (did inauguration fever provoke lots of babies that night, or something?), I had to sit on the table and wait for the doctor a while, because she was busy delivering babies! Finally, about 2:30 a.m. I was able to start pushing.

Fast forward two hours of pushing and a few embarassing and heartwarming moments, and Patrick Sheridan arrived!! It happened so fast that we hardly had time to process all of it... This little guy arrived 4.5 hours after the birthday of his grandfather (Pat) and 3 weeks, 2 days earlier than expecting. Yay!

And so he's arrived... I guess technically, THIS is really where the fun has begun. :D More updates and photos to come.

Welcome, Patrick! Mommy LOVES YOU!!!!