Thursday, August 31, 2006

Most gifted

This gorgeous birthstone bracelet from Catherine arrived today! Thanks Catherine!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tales of a babywearer

Natalie celebrated her one month birthday today, while Daddy finally figured out how to make the most of the New Native sling. It literally puts her to sleep in minutes--proof that "wearing the baby down" really works!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Lots to say, but this will have to suffice

A trip to one of America's wealthiest towns to visit a friend in the hospital who'd just had a baby brought up a lot of resentment in me about my labor and delivery experience due to the contrast in quality of the post-partum care we received. To make a long story short, breastfeeding is not happening for us, though Natalie gets breastmilk for about 1/3 of her feedings, all from a bottle. After witnessing how amazing my friend's hospital was and how supportive they are of breastfeeding (and general care for the mother), down to seemingly minor details, I feel especially depressed, disappointed, and blameful of our hospital for ruining it for us.

I won't go into the details at this point, because I promised DH I wouldn't dwell, but I needed to acknowledge my feelings aloud. Sadly, I don't feel like LLL would be of any help to me, because in my experience they are so militantly pro-breastfeeding and anti-pumping and artificial nipples that a) no one returned my calls during my last pregnancy when I was desperate to cut off my milk supply when it came in on Christmas Day 2004 and I didn't know what to do or who to turn to (my doctors were off and no one in the hospital prepared me for what to expect) and b) no one returned my calls just the other day when I thought my pump was on the fritz and I was all engorged and in pain and needed to find a 24 hour pump rental site.

More later, if I feel like I can be bothered to get into it. (Don't even get me started about the completely wrong shaped pacifier the nurses gave Natalie in the hospital without asking me, or the fact that my mom thinks they gave her a bottle, based on their bewildered looks every time they would ask whether or not she was breast or bottle fed...)


Onto a less loaded topic... I got some much needed "me" time this afternoon, under the guise of needing to pick up some things from the baby store. Guess who was in front of me on line at the Buy Buy Baby in Chelsea? America's Next Top Model's "Noted fashion photographer" Nigel Barker, wife Cristen Chin, and gorgeous son Jack. (See photos of the trio at


I'm currently enjoying reading "The Secret Life of Bees," given to me by my aforementioned friend. I discovered today that Natalie enjoys being read aloud to, which is great for both of us, as long as she is comfortable--an easier feat since our trip to the fancy schmancy hospital, where our friends managed to snag us an extra Soothie pacifier--clearly the correct choice for breastfed babies, unlike the plastic-y, flattened nipple monstrosity she was given at our hospital. Grr...

Friday, August 18, 2006

She sure cleans up nice!

Bathtime gets much less traumatic with practice!

Natalie tries on her first dress, a gift from Aunt Rosemary.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Baby bling

Natalie models her luxe new 14K gold baby i.d. bracelet from friends, Ariel & John. Look at that manicure!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

2 weeks, 2 days

Thanks to Pam & Ap for this SoHo style outfit!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On being a "new" mom

I'm taking a break from my rigorous pumping schedule to vent about something that has been really bugging me lately. I know folks mean well, but it hurts when people say things like, "You're going to be a great mom," or "welcome to motherhood," or "how's it feel to be a new mom?" Apparently I haven't stomped my feet and hollered enough for the past two years to let people know that I have been a mother for some time now, and that having Natalie doesn't erase anything that has happened, though it does change our focus.

Yes, I appreciate that I am a new mom to Natalie, and that parenting a live newborn is a completely new, challenging, and somewhat terrifying experience for me, much different than parenting an idealized dead child, but it's upsetting that it's so hard for most people to understand that I have been a mother since Julian was conceived, was born, and died in 2004. If nurturing him in my body for 9.5 months, giving birth to him, overseeing his medical care, fighting with the insurance company over bills, having him cremated, sending out birth/death cards, displaying his photo in our home, and trying to make sure he is remembered don't count for active mothering, I don't know what does.

Yesterday, I had the following response to a birth announcement I sent out, stating that Robert and I were pleased to announce the safe arrival of our second child: "Blessings to you and your two daughters." HUH? I thanked the person and reminded her politely that actually, we have a daughter and a son who died in 2004. Her response was even worse. Basically it went, "Oops, I forgot. Since you only have her, I won't ask if I can have her!" Thanks for the emphasis on the word "only." I am not close with this person (obviously), or I would have had a huge fit.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bringing home baby

I've decided to spare you the blow by blow of my induction and just give you the highlights. I was admitted on a Tuesday night and delivered Natalie on Thursday afternoon. That adds up to about 40 hours of labor. The following interventions were used: Vancomycin (antibiotic to prevent transmission of GBS), Cervadil gel (to ripen cervix), Cytotec (ripens cervix more quickly than Cervadil), Foley catheter (artificially dilates cervix), artificial rupture of membranes, Pitocin (speeds up contractions), epidural (takes the edge off), forceps (to pull the baby out since after I was dilated to 10cm, she still hadn't dropped sufficiently and wasn't tolerating contractions, threatening to qualify us for an emergency c-section--scary). It was certainly not the ideal labor and delivery experience, but the doctors, nurses, and residents at Columbia-Presbyterian could not have been better.

The good news is that Natalie is doing amazingly well despite her semi-traumatic journey into the world (her Apgar scores were 8 and 9 if that means anything to you), and I only required a few stitches after the torture me and my hoo-ha were put through. Our favorite cardiologist, Dr. G., happened to walk into the Labor & Delivery room in her street clothes just as Natalie was being born, so she got to meet her and check her out. We'll see her again this week for another echo, but we expect that everything will continue to look normal.

On the home front, we're starting to get the hang of things, which admittedly got off to a rocky start. Natalie hasn't been latching well, and I haven't been producing enough milk because of that, and I suspect also because of all the drugs I was given during my long labor. I had a home visit with an excellent lactation consultant (LC) last week who confirmed that Natalie's hysterical crying was due to the fact that she was hungry and had lost about 10% of her birth weight, that she wasn't sucking properly b/c of tongue positioning, and that I wasn't producing enough. She suggested that I pump and supplement with formula, so that's what we've been doing. Natalie's been back to her lovely pediatrician, Dr. L., a few times, who agreed with what the LC said and has been impressed with her progress in terms of weight gain, development, etc. The original LC said she'd do a complimentary follow-up to work with Natalie on her latch and I have another LC coming tomorrow evening to figure out what's going on with me. Luckily, she's also a physician and accepts my insurance so I only have to pay a $15 co-pay.

Needless to say, feeding has been a hugely emotional issue, which you'll understand if you've been following the breastfeeding debates. On top of that, I feel like I've been having some general PPD symptoms, complicated by complex feelings about Julian's birth and death. Long story short: I love my daughter, I miss my son, and I'm just trying to keep it together.

The good news, as you can see, is that none of this has seemed to faze Miss Natalie...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happy birthday, Milo!

I'm so thrilled and relieved for Laura & Justin that little Milo has finally arrived! Happy birthday, Milo!