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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ha! And you thought that I'd slack off on the Tuesday-blogging! How dare you doubt me and my commitment to blogging.

Zachary had his one month check-up today. Pretty nuts, huh? He's already a month old and he's not due until this Saturday, June 3rd. He had a tremendous weight gain which is great news since we've started to nurse more. So, despite the fact that he still seems to sleep-eat through a lot of his feeds, he's doing well and weighs 6lbs.13oz. The man is a giant! He's also grown an inch in the last two weeks. We saw a different doctor today (not my usual best friend!), and she called him "Chicken Legs". How dare she! Obviously she didn't see him when he weighed 4.12 since now he's more like "Thunder Thighs." Anyway, he looks great and since he's been gaining so well we can start increasing nursing until it's all but one feed. He'll still get a bottle once a day with multi-vitamin (and I'm going to plan it strategically, you see, so that I get to sleep through that one -- Mike's a night owl anyway).

I'm continuing to recover from bedrest and have been trying to get out for a walk every other day. I'm up to 25 minutes around the neighborhood now. I hope to keep recooping through June, gaining strength and walking. If all goes well, on July 1st I'll start the 'Couch to 5K in 9 weeks' training program that I did post-Matthew's birth to get running. I can't wait to break in that jogging stroller though it'll still be a while before Zach can fit in it.

Matthew continues to adjust in a rather toddler-not-handling-the-change-so-well kind of way. We think he won't need too much therapy though.

Gotta go feed the wee one!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I never thought that for my birthday I'd want nothing more than to stay in sweats all day and get to take a long nap. But, alas, here we are! My wishes were granted and I haven't been disappointed. I rang in the big 2-6 just the way I wanted! Mike made me breakfast in bed. Well, he didn't make the food in bed, he brought it to me in bed. And of course, my present -- my dreamy jogging stroller -- arrived a couple of weeks ago at our doorstep! One of my dear friends and her daughter came for a playdate and lunch from Matthew's favorite restaurant -- the five star establishment that is McDonalds. Zachary gave me the gift of nursing very well twice today (so far!), and Matthew blessed me with a fairly tantrum-free day and taking a long nap! Hooray! What more could a Mommy ask for?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Blogging Day! Tuesdays, apparently, will have to be my official Update Blog Days as that's when I tend to have news.

Zachary is an enormous baby! Well, maybe enormous isn't the word quite yet, but he's doing very well! As of this morning, he weighs 6 pounds 2 oz! We've passed the six pound mark -- woohoo! He gained 8.5 ounces in seven days which is excellent. He's been eating well (obviously) and we've been able to nurse a couple of times a day though it's still a challenge. Dr. Benda, our pediatrician, was so great today. I really do love her and want an 'I heart my Pediatrician' bumper sticker. She's so down to earth, supportive, she's a runner, AND she frequents our grocery store, Blockbuster and Starbucks (she lives pretty near us, you see). For all of the above reasons, we really should be great friends. She was expressing today how impressed she is that I'm sticking with the whole difficult and frustrating not-quite-nursing, pumping, and bottle-feeding dance. I don't know why but having someone state that they really know how trying it is gave me permission to feel really frustrated by it. I just want to be able to nurse! Is that asking so much?! And now that I am nursing more (2-4 times a day), those feeds are sometimes the most frustrating. Zachary gets so sleepy that he usually doesn't do very much. So, I spend an hour trying to nurse (spending a lot of the time trying to wake him up), then since he didn't do much I still need to pump (an additional 10-15 minutes plus clean-up of supplies), and when that's all said and done he's usually ready to eat OR we need to really try to force him to eat, therefore getting a bottle ready and spending another 30ish minutes feeding and burping him, and then cleaning up. When all is said and done it can take an hour and a half and by the time you're done it's almost time to start up again. Now, yes, I am complaining, but all the while appreciating our baby and his health and the fact that I can nurse even a little bit, that I only have ONE infant, that I've had my Mom and many friends to help out, etc., etc. MEANWHILE I'm so focused on trying to get kid #2 (Zachary) to eat and pack on some pounds that kid #1 (Matthew) is REALLY trying to express his unhappiness, confusion and general toddlerness into the scene in a very toddler-meltdown-tantrumy kind of way. And THAT causes me guilt because I know he's just behaving that way to get our attention, and THAT makes me feel bad since I can't make up for all the attention that I couldn't give him when I was in the hospital and still haven't been able to -- and won't be able to -- make up for now that I'm home. Hmm. Am I going in circles here? Anyway, I know that providing Matthew with a sibling, a playmate, a buddy for life is a very good and healthy thing. I also know that his behavior is perfectly normal and it's way too early to ship him off to Juvie....these are just my thoughts for the day, you see. Scattered, yes, but honest and true. Watch for the book: "The thoughts of a sleep-deprived, bedrest recovering, maternity-clothes-are-too-big-but-regular-clothes are-too small-and-therefore-I-just-feel-fat, why-do-I-have-to-have-a-sore-throat Mother" coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

With the risk of writing a vague blog (I've got a bit of a nap hangover, but I happily got a good nap!), I've got to to do it while I have the time. We're all doing very well! Zachary weighed in today at 5 pounds 9 ounces....though I think he probably lost a few ounces when he peed on me after being taken off the scale. I really need to start packing extra clothes for me! He's such a big, strapping boy now that we may have to graduate to the 'big boy' diapers (Newborn Size). It would probably be a wise move as the Preemie diapers I think are just for show as they seem to do us no good what-so-ever. We still have to pull the tabs WAY over and they tend to absorb pretty much nothing all the time. Zachary continues to eat well (thus the excellent weight gain, you see), and we're hoping to gradually start increasing the number of times we nurse (still only once a day).

Matthew continues to amaze us with his increasing verbal skills and mischieviousness. He's gotten very good at removing his diaper at naptime and bedtime (uh oh!). And successfully got up and over a gate during the night because he wanted to go 'visit' Zachy. Luckily Zachy was downstairs with us at the time or who knows what kind of extra-special brotherly-lovin' the kid would have received.

At Church on Sunday we watched triplets get baptised. Three boys! I feel I'm never allowed to complain about fatigue or doing too much laundry ever again! As some of you know, we have twins and triplets on both sides of the fam. Scary thought. Can you imagine how much bedrest I'd be on if we were 'blessed' with multiples?! When I told one of the doctors that when I was in the hospital she said, "I don't even want to THINK about that pregnancy." I don't even want to THINK about that post-pregnancy! God bless 'em!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I climbed Mount Everest today. Meaning: We walked all the way to our neighborhood park and back! That's by far the longest trek I've made in a couple of months. I was feeling so good afterwards that I proceeded to pull some weeds in the flowerbed, do the dishes, clean the toilets and then vacuum the whole house. Yes, I went a little nuts, and I'm sure I'll be paying for it the next couple of days, but oh well. It needed to get done, it felt good (at the time) getting it done, and tomorrow is Mother's Day and therefore I believe I have the right -- nay, the obligation -- to do absolutely nothing. Mike also got the grass cut and fertilized, so I had my first trial time with two kids on my own. I thought things were going swimmingly well; Matthew was playing quietly whilst I fed Zachary. However, it didn't take long for me to realize that Matthew was playing so quietly because he was playing behind the couch in the fireplace. Doh!

Friday, May 12, 2006

New pictures up on our website!!! The diaper picture is a comparison between Matthew's and Zachary's. However, keep in mind that Zachary is wearing Preemie diapers which is the smallest they sell, and they're WAY too big for him. We have to pull the tabs back over his opposite hip and he pees out all the time since they're just too loose.

Zachary weighed in at our Lactation appointment today at 5 pounds 4 ounces. He's passed his birth weight at two weeks old today! Our appointment was good although frustrating. I was really hoping since he's been eating pretty well and gaining weight that we could start nursing more, but it looks like I'll be married to the pump for a while longer. He's just still not strong enough or big enough to nurse more. I know I need to be patient, that technically he hasn't even reached 'full term' yet, but it's still frustrating. I don't know how some women never nurse and only's amazing! One very interesting thing that the lactation consultant (the 'nipple nazi' as my friend calls them) told me today is that she has seen that babies who were kept cooking with the help of the Magnesium Solfate IV (remember, the loopy miserable drug I was on?) tend to be weaker and just not as robust as their non-Magged baby peers. Isn't that interesting? All along we were wondering what, if any, effect all the drugs would have on us, and really who knows about the long-term still. She said that, while it's good that it keeps the babies in the womb for longer, it really appears that the Mag tends to zap out some of the strength and energy of babies, especially when it comes to the ability to nurse right away.

Matthew continues to adjust to life as a big brother. He has certainly caught on to one thing though. Pretty much anyone who comes in the door is asked, "You have a present for me? A truck?" It's probably a good thing that the last few visitors have come in empty-handed or we'd have a very spoiled, truck-happy big brother! He's also woken up the last two mornings saying that it's Santa's birthday. Hmmm...yesterday he also was convinced that it was Christmas and that we should get presents. Is that my kid or what?!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Slowly but surely we're helping Zachary pack on the pounds (well, ounces). He weighed in today at 5pounds 1 ounce. We're over the five pound mark! He's gained 4.5 ounces in the last three days which is really great. (One ounce a day was the goal). Yesterday was a bit of a crisis day. Zachary had two major choking incidents. He just doesn't pace himself well when drinking from the bottle. He choked and started to turn purple before sputtering and breathing again. Once we'd all recovered from the scare he proceded to vomit up everything that he'd eaten. Yikes. Our pediatrician said that it's nothing to be too alarmed about. That's definitely a preemie thing -- not pacing. Figuring out the breath, suck, swallow skill is tricky for the little guys. So, we just need to force him to take breaks and to burp him a lot. We had a much better day today though, thankfully. He was very alert for part of the afternoon and even had big brother Matthew join in on the floor for his first 'tummy time'.

Matthew is doing as well as can be expected with his life in total upheaval. He's gotten fairly whiney and has truly mastered the art of the two year-old melt down and tantrum. (Although, let's face it, that's a skill that most toddlers are good at). But all things considered, he's doing well and had a good laugh today when Zachary sneezed several times in a row. (It is a very cute and amusing sight). He's also done really well in the 'big brother toy and gift department'. I think we'll need to be sure not to mention to Zachary that with his birth came lots of gifts...mostly for his big brother!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment at the Women's Clinic for Lactation Consulting and Zachary's Newborn Hearing Screen test (he passed with flying colors). Mr. Zachy weighed in at a whopping 4 pounds 13 ounces. Crazy! Have I mentioned his butt wrinkles? Yes, it sounds strange to discuss such a thing, but just to give you an idea as to how tiny he is, I must discuss his derriere wrinklage. The peanut just didn't have time to chub himself out in the womb and so has all this loose flesh on his little bum and thighs. We're doing our best to pack it on, but he's often tired at feedings, so it's a lot of work to get him to take the whole bottle. He's still too little and gets too fatigued to nurse much, so it'll probably be another month or so before we can really start doing that more.

I had a big day today. We went to church this morning, and then I went to the grocery store this afternoon. My first time in a store in two months! (While the hospital bills certainly did rack up, Mike was a little glad to have me locked up and kept from shopping). It was good to go (and nice to have the shopping cart to lean on when my legs got tired). I was feeling so normal that I even vacuumed a little when I got home. Yes, all of the above activities probably fall under the description of 'over doing it in bedrest recovery' but it sure felt good at the time. Who'd a thought that vacuuming could be so exhilerating?!

Matthew was pretty good around Zach today. He wants to see him a lot and was very intrigued (but mostly disturbed) by Zachy's 'yucky belly button' (he still has his umbilical cord stub). I tried reassuring Matthew that his was like that as a baby too and that Zach's will turn out fine, but I don't think he bought it. Oh well, just another thing he can discuss in counseling years from now.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

HE'S HOME!!! We brought Zachary home yesterday in the early afternoon to a very excited (and wound-up) big brother Matthew.

We all had a big day. Zach's began with a circumcision; poor kid. The doc said he fussed a little when placed on the table but then didn't cry at all during the procedure. What a champ! I still can't believe that they let us take this little tiny thing home. He's SO unbelievably small that preemie clothes just dwarf him. Matthew was very eager to hold Zachary ('Zachy'), however within about an hour he was saying things like, "don't like that baby boy." Ahhh, yes, now the fun really begins. This should be interesting.

Right now, Mike and Matthew are out doing Matthew's 'Big Brother Surprise Activity" -- Build a Bear. Hopefully Matthew won't be too disappointed that it's not truck-related. If he's not impressed, Mike will can the bear theme and head to ToysRUs where Matthew would probably be happier getting a $5 truck.

We had a good first night with all of us at home, though the sleep deprivation has really begun. I woke up at 5am in a panic that we'd slept through Zachary's 2am feeding (we have to get him up every three hours as he's gotta start packing on the chub), only to be reminded by Mike that we had, indeed, fed Zach at 2. Mike had weird tornado dreams during the night. Huh. I wonder what that means...stormy weather ahead?!

So, now that we're in the beginning of life with two boys, blogging will be more sporadic. But do keep checking in occasionally. (I know some of you will go through serious withdrawals from your daily ‘Jenny's Thoughts’ fix, but please try to hang in there). Also, check our website for new pictures. We'll probably get them posted once a week or every couple.

Love to you all!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Unless there are any major set-backs, Zachary is scheduled to come home tomorrow on his one week birthday! I can't believe that we'll have a five-pound wee one home with us in under 24 hours. So much to do and so little energy to do it! I've stayed up too late tonight already and have done too much, I'm sure, so must sign off. Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My 2nd blogging session in one day! Pretty impressive. I just had to share the good news: Zachary got his feeding tube taken out and is due to have his IV taken out tonight. He nursed for the first time today at both of the feedings I was at. He did so well this afternoon that we didn't have to supplement with a bottle afterwards. The nurses are saying that he's quite the over-achiever and that he's sure acting like a bigger boy than the under-five-pounder that he is now. If he continues doing as well as he is, he might come home as soon as Friday!!

We received one of many medical bills today. Thank God for insurance. One ultrasound in the hospital cost $188. (I had at least one every week I was there). And an under five minute consultation with one of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists cost $150. That's $30 a minute! Maybe I should start charging that for my toddler music classes. I think if I call myself a Music Specialist instead of a Music Teacher that must entitle me to charge a ridiculous amount of money.
Hello! What a busy, busy time we're having with all the trips to and from the hospital. I've been able to make it for two of Zach's feedings a day (11am and 5pm), but I wish I could be there more (all the while having guilt when I'm away from Matthew now that he has Mommy back...ahhh, life with two -- a balance that it'll take a while to figure out, me thinks).

Zachary continues to do well. He's been too sleepy to eat at some of his feedings, so they use the feeding tube to let him rest. His jaundice level has continued to creep up but so far hasn't been high enough to require time in the tanning bed. He was fairly alert for me yesterday afternoon and we even successfully nursed for, mmm, about a minute. That's a huge accomplishment for such a little guy though.

Matthew LOVES to visit Zach and likes to call him Zachy. He rubs his head and tells him 'Shhh, Zachy, shhh' if the wee one starts to fuss. Very cute!

My legs are slowly starting to regain strength. They're really sore when I first stand up from sitting or lying down, but they gradually loosen up as I walk on them. I managed to take a shower this morning without feeling like I was standing on spaghetti noodles.

I had a good nap yesterday afternoon at my parents' house (they've continued to help watch Matthew for us most days and chauffeur me around). So, I had a lot of energy last night and attempted to clean up the kitchen a bit. I was on my feet for all of two minutes when I needed to sit down and rest. It's a bit frustrating that when I do have the time and energy to do stuff around the house, I just physically can't!

An early birthday present arrived for me yesterday. Mike bought me my dream double jogging stroller!!! I'm thinking if we put it together soon, we can have a trial run around the block (Mike pushing Matthew and me, of course). I was going to have a baby shower at which the plan was for people just to pitch in for the stroller, but now I think we'll just need to raise money for a shed/2nd house for the stroller as there's no way it'll fit in our already-too-crowded garage!

My friend Katherine (hi!!) accidentally called my hospital room. Turns out there's a man named Gary living in my old quarters. Hmm, how the labor and delivery floor has changed since I left! (I imagine that Mr. Gary is the significant other of an el preggo mama).

It's off to the hospital now!

Monday, May 01, 2006

My sad, atrophied chicken legs HURT! A year ago today I ran a marathon. I think I might be in as much pain today as I was then...well, maybe not quite as much. There's no epidural for running a marathon, that's for sure. (Or you know I would've gotten one!)

Zachary is doing really well. He's completely breathing on his own and has been moved back into a crib where he has successfully maintained his body temperature for about 24 hours now. He's a little bit jaundiced and therefore pretty sleepy. If he's more jaundiced tomorrow they'll put him under the bili lights (little mini tanning bed). We had a rough time getting him to eat much today, so unfortunately he had to get a feeding (NG) tube put in. Pretty standard for his age/size.

Mike's going to try to get pictures up on the website tonight or tomorrow. The address is:
I'm home! It's weird and wonderful all at the same time. Not much time to write (yes, reality has caught up with's hard doing the back and forth to the hospital so much especially as my legs are starting to feel like rubber). We're about to head out to Mom and Dad's and then to go see Zachary. He's doing great. Off oxygen, totally breathing room air on his own, and got moved out of the incubator back into a crib where he'll need to prove he's a big boy and can maintain his body temperature. He's lost a little weight, but that's normal. And he's really starting to chow on his bottles of pumped milk/formula (to fatten him up). We're hoping to attempt nursing again today.

We'll keep you posted as best we can!