Nicholas's brother Charlie came into town Tuesday and Wednesday. He was great with Olivia, and she loved him! We just hung out at the house and the trip was probably boring for him, but at least he got to meet his darling niece!
And, yesterday, I took Olivia to the doctor in the morning after seeing some blood in her stool. It was there, and Dr. Roberts said that it has probably been there ever since birth microscopically and it was just now big enough to see. She said that in 95% of cases where there is blood in the stool of infants, it is because of a milk allergy. The other 5% is infection, but because Olivia didn't have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, she ruled that out. So, we have switched formulas to one with out milk protein. It stinks badly, but Olivia doesn't seem to mind it. Dr. Roberts said it will take 4-6 weeks to get the other out of her system and we will still see blood in her stool for a couple of weeks. She also said that most babies grow out of the milk allergy by 6 months and we can transition Olivia back onto regular formula then. Poor little stoic Olivia. She had been having a few bad days, and she had her inconsolable times, but I didn't consider that "colic." I hope this new formula makes her feel better. This does explain why she would curl over her stomach and have lots of gas. My sweet baby.
In better news, Olivia weighed 11 lbs, 11 ounces, so she is still growing well! And the pictures below show her in an adorable dress that I could not pass up at Baby Gap (with my rewards coupons). So cute!
I haven't posted enough about what a great dad Nicholas is! Happy Father's day to a dad who is not afraid of diaper duty, who takes Olivia with a smile even when she is crying, who doesn't mind when I call him in to the room just to look at the funny face Olivia is making, and who let me sleep through the night for the past two nights! Awesome! I feel almost normal!
And, of course, a video of Olivia that has nothing to do with anything except that she is getting so big!
Tummy time is NOT Olivia's favorite time of the day. Sometimes she cries, which makes me turn her back over. And sometimes....she falls asleep, which is so cute, but unsuccessful in terms of tummy time.
This is Olivia looking at herself in the little mirror hanging from the toy thing in her bassinet. Love that smile!
And, sometimes, you just need a hug. This is Olivia's friend, Rinki.
Okay, so that one was staged. But, Olivia really does love Rinki. This one is after she pulled Rinki's leg toward her and held on:
We wake up for about the six o'clock feeding, and I change Olivia's diaper and feed her. Sometimes she stays up, and we go for a walk with Ringo. And sometimes she goes back to sleep, and so do I.
Later, Olivia plays on her play mat, has tummy time, and I read to her or talk to her. After, she kicks around in her portable crib while I make Nicholas's lunch, do laundry, and clean.
Then we have another feeding and diaper change. Say this is the nine o'clock one. Then, we repeat the previous paragraph (except for making Nicholas's lunch). We usually have more diaper changes than feedings, and Olivia now likes being on the changing table. Here is video to show her talking to me about it:
After the twelve o'clock feeding, I rock Olivia, sing to her, and see if she will sleep a little. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. Here is a picture of her in my arms while we are rocking:
After the three o'clock feeding, I try to get a little work done around the house. Yesterday, I vacuumed and mopped with Olivia in the Baby Bjorn. The day before I ran out and did errands with Olivia in tow. Here is Nicholas with Olivia in the Bjorn:
Nicholas usually gets home by around the six o'clock feeding, and Olivia plays with Daddy for a while. Sometime before the next feeding, Olivia, Ringo, and I go for our second walk of the day. And Nicholas and I have dinner.
After the nine o'clock feeding Olivia begins to wind down. We rock and sway and sing and sometimes walk around the house. She has been falling asleep for the night around 10:30-11. Sometimes she stays up for the 12 o'clock feeding and then starts sleeping. She still wakes up every three-four hours, but sometimes has a five hours stretch between feedings. That is, she eats at nine, falls asleep at 10:30, and maybe will wake up to eat at 1:30. So, of course, all those feeding times are estimates as she might eat every 2.5 hours for a few times and then have a five hour stretch at night.
I can't believe that Olivia was one month old on Monday (and will be five weeks tomorrow!!). I took her to the doctor's office and used their scales to weigh her on Monday to get the milestone marked: 10 lbs, 9.5 ounces! So, she gained just over two pounds in a month of life!! Awesome!!
We are starting to get into a better routine. Olivia takes cat naps during the day and is starting to sleep better at night. She has an inconsolable period every day, usually from 4-7. But, Nicholas and I are doing well with walking, rocking, singing, swinging, and just trying to love her.
Even though we wanted her to stay and be our au pair, she is on her way back. Go figure!! A HUGE thank you to her for cooking, cleaning, taking care of Olivia, and being a wonderful encourager to me! Thanks to Heidi, Olivia was read to everyday:
Also, we found out that Olivia's favorite toy is named Rinki:
Not to mention that Heidi made awesome dinners every night: Chicken Tortellini Salad, Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Potatoes, Well-seasoned hamburgers and fries, Beef and Bean Soft Tacos, and also Peanut Butter Cookies. Yummy! Now you think that is good...Alex, Heidi's husband, sent four meals for our freezer so that we have meals even after Heidi leaves: Lasagna, Baked Ziti, Shephard's pie, and Franklin pie. You two rock!! Are you sure you don't want to move to Alabama? Please?
May 6 was the second-to-last day of finals week. I spent all afternoon in meetings and scheduling problem demonstrations for the next day. By the time I left the office, I had lined up about five hours worth of demos for May 7. I included a disclaimer in all of my emails stating that I might have to cancel, but I really did not believe that I would. Dr. Chwe had been saying for weeks that the baby would be late, and Christine was pretty convinced. Thus, I was convinced. I was also happy to have the extra time to finish up all of my end-of-semester work.
As I often do, I worked through the night of the 6th --- until about 6:00 AM on the 7th. I was in bed and asleep by about 6:30 AM, expecting to be about to sleep until about noon. Christine woke me up at around 8:00 AM, and I could see the excitement and worry in her eyes. She told me that she thought that her water had broken and that we needed to go to the doctor. She also told me to take my time, because she wanted to send some emails and put on make-up. I was shocked and a bit nervous.
We loaded up and headed for the doctor at about 9:30 AM. Once we got there we did not stay long. After a quick test, Dr. Chwe told us that it was time and that he was going to use pitocin to speed things along (to avoid infection). A nurse wheeled Christine down to a labor and delivery room, and after she was settled, I brought things in from the van. It was quite a while before they started the pitocin --- close to two hours. In the meantime, Christine was uncomfortable but not in pain. After the pitocin started, we began the wait. We called our parents then Christine read and I checked email.
Before too long the pitocin started to take effect. Christine had the monitor that allowed her to walk around, so she started walking the hall every 30 to 45 minutes. At first I just walked along side her. As the contractions started to get stronger, she walked along the rail and I held her hand. At this point, if she was not walking, she was sitting in the glider that was in the room. We brought her exercise ball, but she found the glider to be more comfortable. I sat across the room at the little round table and read the news and kept an eye on her.
As it got to be late afternoon, Christine was in noticeable pain during the contractions. When we walked the halls she would lay her head on my shoulder each time one came. However, we were still talking and she was handling the pain really well, though she did start using the bed between walks (rather than the glider). I felt like my main job was just to remind her to relax, because she had a tendency to tense up when the contractions came. I just whispered to her to relax whichever body part (usually her shoulders) that was tense. I also reminded her to focus on her breathing (instead of the pain), even though she was doing a good job with it at that point. All of her practice breathing during yoga was clearly a big help.
At around 6:40 PM, we embarked on what would be the last walk. Christine was beginning to hurt pretty badly during the contractions, and walking was beginning to cause more discomfort than relief. As we reached the nurses' station on the way back to the room, a Bomb Pop and some Sierra Mist decided to make a return appearance. Christine had mentioned that she might throw up before we left the room, so this was not surprising. However, her timing was a bit insulting, because I had just told a hilarious joke. Unfortunately for her, while expressing her dislike for my joke, her monkey slippers suffered collateral damage. Once we returned to the room, the bed was Christine's primary location for the rest of the evening.
Things really started to get intense around 7:00 PM. My job remained the same (whispering breathing and relaxation cues along with hilarious jokes). At some point she started to breath too shallow, which caused her to hyperventilate. I tried to help her even out her breathing and she was mostly successful in doing so. Unfortunately, Christine started to vomit quite a bit, so she had to wear an oxygen mask for a while (to keep the baby safe). They also gave her a bit of nausea medicine in her IV to help slow down (or stop) the vomiting. I think Christine only took the medicine because she was worried about the baby, but I am glad she did, because it helped quite a bit...for a couple of minutes. However, while she still vomited a few more times, the drowsy effect seemed to help her relax a little bit.
After the worst of the vomiting, Christine closed her eyes for the remainder of the delivery. Actually, she opened them once after that, and when she did, the look in her eyes was wild. I was a bit surprised by that, because although I knew that she was in pain, she was handling it so well that I did not have an indication of how badly it actually hurt. Anyhow, I continued to whisper into her ear, though it was hard to tell if anything I was saying was actually being received. She did seem to respond to most breathing cues, but I am not sure how much of that was due to my reminders.
At about 8:00 or 8:30 PM the nurse, Laurie, asked Christine if she wanted to try some pain meds. She said that meds would help to control the pain but that they would not eliminate the pain. I think she was reacting to Christine questioning, for the first time, whether she could keep going naturally. However, Christine passed, because she is an amazingly strong woman. She continued to take only my breathing cues, water, and chapstick. No pain meds. She clearly did not see the point in taking them if they would not take the pain away entirely. Also, she was determined to finish the delivery with no pain meds, because that had been her goal since the very beginning of the pregnancy.
At around 9:00 PM Christine got permission to push. At first, pushing did not seem to do much, but Laurie said that she was doing a good job. All I did was hold her leg during the pushing and tell her that she was doing great. She was. Unfortunately, I could not do very much to help. Fortunately, though, the initial pushing seemed to relieve some of the worst pain that she had (when Laurie offered the pain meds). It was not too long before I could see a hairy head become visible. They brought in a big mirror so that Christine could see, but she was a bit busy at that moment and did not get to look.
After the first appearance of the hair, there was not much progress for a while. Apparently, the baby's head was not making it past Christine's pubic bone. I was worried for the first time that something was wrong. I was afraid that there might end up being a C-section, which was not only worrisome, but also disappointing. Luckily, after more pushing, the head managed to slide by the pubic bone and the nurse called Dr. Edwards into the room. Soon after that, Dorothy and Stephanie arrived and waited outside the door. Christine was being quite vocal at that point, so I was sure that they were hearing the progress through the door. While Christine did say a couple of times that she was not sure that she could keep going, she always did keep going. I continue to be impressed by that.
After more intense pushing, Dr. Edwards asked me if I wanted to see what Christine was doing. I looked, and it took several seconds to realize what I was seeing. However, after some assessment, I realized that it was Olivia's face! It was very purple and very chubby. I went back to Christine quickly, because I did not want her to be alone. I also tried to explain to her that Olivia was almost out, though it probably came out as "whoa." A couple of more pushes, and Olivia was all of the way out. Dr. Edwards got her to cry pretty quickly, so I cut the cord and Christine got Olivia.
After a bunch of commotion (rubbing, wrapping, etc), Dr. Edwards mentioned that he heard a pop during delivery. He thought that Olivia might have broken her right clavicle. Luckily, that turned out not to be true. Dr. Edwards and Laurie went to work on Christine (three stitches and uterus rubbing), and another nurse weighed and measured Olivia. I went out in the hall to fill in Dorothy and Stephanie, and after I returned we called my parents.
The next morning, Dorothy and Stephanie came for a visit. I went home to shower and pet the dogs. On my drive home, I decided that Christine deserved a prize for being so strong. I could not believe that I had ever considered her to have a low tolerance for pain, and I wanted it to be something spectacular. I checked out the birthstone for May, took a shower, pet the dogs, and headed back towards town. After turning onto Highway 69, I did what I always do when I want to surprise Christine --- I called her and lied about my whereabouts. I told her that I was held up by a wreck and headed for the jewelry store. I had planned to go to every store in town if necessary (it was the day before mother's day, so I thought the selection might be poor), but I found just what I was looking for at the first store I tried. I knew that I was on the right track when I saw a Porsche parked out front. Luckily, they had a decent selection of emerald jewelry, and they even had some in white gold. When I got back to the hospital, Christine was thrilled with the "push" gift. I had thought of it as more of an "oh my god, that was fucking incredible" gift, but I suppose her term was more family friendly.
At several of the parenting classes, the nurses mentioned that mothers can be a bit "difficult" during delivery. I think that some husbands learn during delivery how mean their wives can really be. The only things that I learned about Christine are that she is stronger than I ever imagined and that she is sweet under pressure.