Monday, October 26, 2009

Phoebe Update

Here's the update on Little Phoebe. She is gaining weight - but slowly. She gained 10 grams a day for a few days and finally jumped 35 grams yesterday. She's currently at 4 lb, 2 oz. Yesterday she used those long fingers of hers to claw at her feeding tube and rip it out. Four times. Today the nurse put her in a little straightjacket-like outfit so her fingers are covered and can't get to the tube.

Everyone keeps asking how much longer it will be until she's home. I wish I knew! It will be at least four more days because she had an apnea episode the other day where she just stopped breathing in her sleep (fairly common in preemies, but still pretty scary). And it will probably be more since she is still having trouble staying awake long enough to eat. Bruce came home after 16 days in the NICU, and Phoebe is on day 10. Scott and I still can't believe this is all happening again. Last night we were wondering how it would be to have a baby and actually bring it home right away. Wouldn't it be nice to bond without a dozen nurses looking over your shoulder? Hold your baby without a dozen wires connected to every appendage? Feed your baby without having to wake up in the middle of the night and nurse a cold electric breastpump?

We can't wait to have Phoebe screaming in the middle of the night at home - awake and hungry!

The Siblings

Bruce met Phoebe the day after she was born, but he didn't get to hold her until a few days ago (and with a little help). He kept saying, "Awwww, she's sooooo cute" and "Her fingers are sooooo little, and mine are so much bigger." He went on to say how much bigger his ears, toes, feet, mouth, and hands are than hers.

Grandma Was Here

Grandma left today. She did EVERYTHING for us for an entire week: laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, driving, and lots of babysitting. Bruce went to Dunkin' Donuts to get his cherished pink donut - twice. They watched trains, played at the park, went to McDonald's, watched movies. Bruce got lots of attention. Thanks Grandma!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Phoebe In Living Color

A Break from our Regularly Scheduled Program

Someone needs a little attention.

Because we can't get enough

She does lots of this (that's a yawn).
She's still in the NICU, but should be home within a week or perhaps two.
She makes some really serious faces, but she can be a feisty lady when she's awake. We can't wait to bring her home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bright and Sunny Phoebe

Here she is: beautiful Phoebe being pampered by Grandma, who jumped on a plane when she heard the news of her impending arrival. I called my mom at 7 a.m. on Friday and informed her I was going to have a baby within the next day or two. Here's the story: my water broke on Thursday morning (more like middle of the night) and I went to the hospital that morning to be checked out. It was just a trickle and the doctor that checked me out said it was normal to have a little leakage and she sent me home. I felt stupid since she pretty much thought I peed my pants and I'd just wasted the morning in the hospital. I went throughout the rest of the day leaking slowly and entertaining the occasional contraction. Thursday night the trickle turned to a gush and contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes so we trekked back to the hospital. The same doctor was still on-call and admitted that my water had finally broken and perhaps that morning I just had a "premonition" (no lady, it really did break). I sat in labor for a few hours and then had a detailed ultrasound to see how much fluid was left inside to estimate how much time I had before she needed to come out. When that ultrasound was done, it was discovered that her umbilical cord was squashed below her head. The pressure of the water rushing out had sort of "flushed" it down below her and now her head was close to smashing it and cutting it off. I was really bummed about having another C-section (I'd read all kinds of books and watched a bunch of videos about natural childbirth and was prepared to do the deed unmedicated), but excited just the same to have the baby. The surgery went quick and she came out a healthy pink color and screaming - just perfect.
Phoebe has long, skinny fingers and toes that splay outward when given the chance. She has skinny feet that look much too big for her little body. These traits are inherited from Scott, but she has my ears and nose. And of course, Bruce's puffy mouth. She has really dark brown hair right now. I'm not sure if it will stay that way, but she has a punk rock look going for her right now - the I was just born yesterday hairstyle. Phoebe is doing very well. She's in the NICU for at least a week and perhaps a little more for good measure, but she won't be in for too long. She is doing remarkably well: breathing great, skin tone is great, eating great. All of the nurses are impressed by her resilience. Tonight I helped one of the nurses by holding Phoebe while she placed an IV. My job was to keep her hand from swatting around and to hold a sugar-water-coated pacifier in her mouth while the nurse poked her. A little of that sugar and Phoebe was entranced (much like Bruce and Smarties); she didn't even squirm when the IV was placed.
Phoebe is a name of one of my ancestors and means "bright and sunny" - a fitting name as she was our ray of sunshine on Friday while it rained and snowed outside. The name Lorraine comes from Scott's Grandma Leavitt, who is also a ray of sunshine herself.


Friday, October 16, 2009


She's here: 4 lb, 4 oz, 16 1/4 inches, delivered by C-section at 11:49 AM today. Looks healthy and screams like a banshee.

Emily will have more to say after she's had a little rest ...


3:52 a.m.

...and I'm at the hospital. My water broke.

Stay tuned for baby pictures - supposedly within 48 hours.

I guess I have to decide on a name soon...

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Honest to Blog"

My friend, Tiffany, tagged me as an "honest blogger," so here are ten honest facts about me. And I figured as long as I was putting up this "honest" post, I might as well put up a picture of my big fat belly since all my far-away family has been asking to see it. Yep, it's for real. Doesn't get more honest than that.

1. I ate a piece of cake tonight. And it wasn't vegan. I went to a birthday party and abstained from the cake because I knew it wasn't cholesterol-free. Then the hosts sent some cake home with me. I gave one piece to Scott and was going to put the other in the fridge for him for later. Then I made the mistake of smelling it. Lemon. Dangit, I love lemons. Screw heart disease. I ate it.

2. I can be a cheapskate. Tonight I did all the dishes rather than run the dishwasher because I wanted to use cooler water and conserve oil (the water in this house is heated by oil and once this tank is gone, it's gone. I do not want to pay a few hundred bucks to fill it right before we move out!). On a related note, I'm convinced that we're not going to turn on the heaters in this house for that same reason; let's hope it doesn't get too cold before mid-November.

3. But I'm not a cheapskate about other things. Olives, for instance. I bought cheapo black olives because Bruce was eating all my expensive kalamata olives. Unfortunately we discovered today that he only likes putting those on his fingers, but does not want to eat them. He still wants to eat the pricey olives.

4. I own fake Uggs. My parents got them on eBay for my little sister, but when they received them they discovered that they were fakes. So they bought a new real pair for my sister and filed a complaint about the other pair. They got their money back and were told to get rid of the boots - but not by selling them on eBay. They gave them to me. I lovingly call them my "fUggs."

5. I just wrote out a Thank You note today for someone that did me a favor in July. And that's not my worst: I gave someone a Thank You note for something from Bruce's baby shower when he was almost three years old. I really am grateful, people. I'm just a little slow.

6. I cut Scott's and Bruce's hair myself. Scott's looks good most of the time. Bruce, however, has been very wiggly the past two haircuts and so has a few shaggy spots and a few super-closely-shaved spots. He's young and doesn't care, right?

7. I don't mind Scott being in school forever. I've heard the term "thesis widow" a few times, and it makes me cringe every time I hear it. Sure, there were some lonely moments and lots of long hours and late nights, but when Scott did come home he was happy. And now that the PhD is over and we're on to the MD, I still have no complaints. Scott comes home giddy with all the cool stuff he's learning. I can't ask for more.

8. I love being pregnant. I had a long conversation with someone today about how awesome it is. I love feeling the baby move around. I love getting a seat on the subway and having people ask if they can help me carry my groceries out. I love love love it.

9. Here it is: I honestly didn't care about the baby's gender. A few people have asked, "You really didn't have a preference?" Nope. At that point, I didn't care what kind of baby it was. I was/am so baby-crazy that dressing it in blue or pink was beside the point. She's a girl and I'm thrilled that she's a girl, but I would have been just as thrilled with a boy. Really.

10. I hate speaking in public. I've done it a few times, but only when I was asked to and only when I had every word written beforehand. Most recently I was asked to speak in church. Scott laughed at me for writing down, "Good morning." But I don't trust my brains to remember even that short phrase when I'm at the microphone.

There it is. "Honest to blog." (a quote from Juno)

Friday, October 09, 2009

We won the lottery!

We won the lottery. Not the Megamillion Powerball or whatever. We won the Affordable Housing Lottery - a chance to buy a place at a reasonable price (which is hard to come by in this city!). We applied for the lottery in April or May but didn't hear anything until late August, and have since been working on mountains and mountains of paperwork to get the deal done. It's still not a done deal, but it's close: we have a closing date. November 13. That will make those last few weeks in November pretty crazy.
Our condo is in a new development that is outfitted with green features like solar panels and Energy Star appliances and such. To say we're excited is an understatement, but we're a little nervous too. If for some reason it doesn't work out, we are going to be homeless on December 1 with a new baby!
Bruce is excited about the new place. It has three bedrooms, supposedly lots of insulation so we won't have grouchy neighbors (we'll be testing this out), an elevator (I've already warned Bruce we are not riding the elevator up and down all day), and close proximity to trains and museums (two of his favorite things).

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pretend Camping

Here is today's forecast: "Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 55. Light east wind. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible."

Scott is running the Presidential Range Relay Race today. He will run between 5-10 miles of a relay across a mountain range with a few other MIT students. In the rain.

Last night Scott camped with his team and a bunch of others. Bruce and I were going to go, but bagged once we saw how awful the weather was going to be. We'd been looking forward to this trip for a few weeks, so Bruce was disappointed that we didn't end up going camping.

So we went "pretend camping." We set up a tent in our living room, put out our sleeping pads, and laid out our sleeping bags. We ate popcorn, pretzels, and M&Ms while watching Ralph S. Mouse, a library video about a book we read a few weeks ago. We usually don't do that while camping, but we had to compensate for not having a campfire somehow. After the movie, we read a book with a flashlight and then finally went to sleep.

Bruce got up at 5:12 a.m. He asked me to tickle him every five minutes for the next hour, then we got up and made french toast. I just checked the weather to see what Scott is running in, and now I'm heading for a hot shower. I do like camping, but "pretend camping" is pretty fun too.