March 2006

2006-03-31 20:58:23

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Hi all. We certainly had this baby at just the right time of year. We’ve been enjoying getting out in the wonderful weather to take walks with our little butter bean. Today hit a balmy 80 degrees! Yes, people on Park Ave were wearing shorts, but for a valid reason at least. (Those of you familiar with this neighborhood know there is almost always some jamoke in shorts any time the weather gets above 45.)

Here are some pictures we took with Greta on a recent walk. You can't really see her in the massive stroller, but you get the idea.

Yesterday, we had a checkup with Greta’s orthopedic specialist. Pat and I are cautious to get too excited as of yet, but he said that it appears, based on his physical exam, that her hip is healing perfectly and that it seems to be right where it should be. We have the sonogram on Tuesday, which will be the true test. Once we have the sonogram, he’ll be able to tell us if she can just start wearing the brace part-time or if she can get rid of it entirely! The doctor needed to adjust the brace quite a bit, because Greta has grown so much in the last week and a half.

Speaking of Greta growing, she is almost up to eight pounds now. I can definitely tell her cheeks are fuller now, and she even feels heavier to me. I am super excited to get “mom arms.” You know, muscular arms from lifting tubby babies.

Oh, after Greta’s appointment with the specialist, Pat suggested we get some bagels. As I was going in to Bruegger’s, there was a homeless man standing by the door, and he asked me for some change. I was in a particularly good mood, so I gave him some. He thanked me and then said, “Don’t ever age past 33.” I said, “Excuse me?” And he said, “You’re 33, right?” I said, “Um, no.” So he said, “35?” And I said, “Uhh, wrong direction; I’m 29.” At that, I quickly walked into Bruegger’s. If you’re ever homeless, and you are hitting people up for change, and you try to give them a compliment, at least make sure it’s a compliment! I don’t feel too bad though; I have seen this guy on numerous occasions, and he usually seems pretty out of it. One time, I even saw him walking down South Clinton with his pants down around his ankles. So, there you go.

Yesterday, we also made a trip out to the RIT library. Pat had to go there for a quick meeting, and Greta and I went along so he could introduce us both to his co-workers. Pat and I are both amazed, because he hasn’t even worked there all that long, and so many of his co-workers have sent us nice cards and even some presents (books, of course) for Greta. It was wonderful to meet them, and everybody was so unbelievably nice.

-Fran

Greta's first big trip

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The weather was super nice today and I was going just a wee bit stir-crazy in the house, so Pat suggested we take a trip out to get a hotdog. We ended up going to the Bill Gray's in Strong Museum, which seems to be the hangout for young families. Check out these pics of Greta's first trip out (other than to her doctors' offices) and my first red hot since August. (It was delicious.)

-Fran

2006-03-26 20:06:02

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Sorry we've been remiss about posting pictures. Here are some of the latest.

Greta can't seem to get away from the paparazzi.

Greta and her handsome daddy.

Greta's head is still quite lumpy.

I expect we'll see this face more as she approaches becoming a teenager.

Greta and her grandma McCarthy.

Greta does actually have eyes, although she doesn't open them often yet.

Greta's mad face.

Firsts

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We have had some firsts lately, so I thought I would share.

Greta got her first manicure yesterday. She was born with these tiny little daggers for nails, and Pat and I were terrified to cut them. We mostly keep her in those shirts with the long arms so she can’t scratch herself (they look like a straight jacket for babies), but every time we had it off for a bath or wardrobe change, she would get in a good scratch or two. All of the literature I read said to cut them while the baby is sleeping…riiiight, I’m gonna torture my baby in her sleep. Yesterday, I figured enough was enough, and I used the softer side of an emery board to just file them down. She actually seemed to enjoy herself! We may have a diva on our hands.

Greta had her first impromptu visit with the pediatrician. In the hospital, we noticed her breathing seemed a little wheezy. Each nurse that came in would check her lungs, and they’d say they sounded great. Babies born early have extra mucus in their lungs that just needs to work its way out. It hasn’t gotten better though, and we tried quite a few things with no success. This morning, we decided it was time to call the doctor, and we were able to get her in right away. The doctor said she’s just fine. We just need to give her saline drops in her nose and keep a humidifier going. Putting the drops in her nose was definitely stressful on me, but again, she seemed unfazed.

I tried to put the Brita in the microwave. I’m tired. Really really really tired. I know everyone says to sleep when the baby sleeps, but how would I get anything else done? People who say to sleep when the baby sleep are clearly lazy. Just kidding, those people are smart (and lazy).

Greta just completed her first week of life. I think that’s pretty fantastic. To celebrate, she woke me up at 1:30 – the exact time my water broke last week. I thought that was pretty neat, until she didn’t let us get back to sleep until 3:30.

-Fran

2006-03-23 07:40:47

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Not unlike her mommy and daddy, Greta is slightly irregular. The morning she was born, her pediatrician came to check her over and said she is in great health, but she does have hip dysplasia in her right hip. He said that it can often correct itself, but that it’s best to make sure it’s taken care of before she’s crawling/walking. He said that she would need to wear a brace for up to six months to correct it. Pat seemed a little more upset about it at the time than I was. I just figured if that’s the worst thing wrong with her, I could handle that.

We took her to an orthopedic specialist Wednesday morning to have him confirm the hip dysplasia and get her set up with the brace. The doctor did indeed confirm it and put the brace on her. The good news is that he thinks she’ll only need to wear it 10 days. She will need to go back in a week for a physical from the specialist, and then go back in another couple days for a sonogram and a following physical to confirm that she is in good working order. The bad news is, the brace is about 100 times more barbaric-looking and intrusive than I was expecting. It has mostly soft parts, but it does have some rough parts that are already chaffing her skin, and we’re not allowed to take it off of her at all. Additionally, it covers much more of her body than I anticipated. I can only imagine how she and it are going to look after the 10 days (and hopefully no more). It broke my heart so much to see her in it. I know she’ll be fine, and I have no doubt that it hurts me more than it hurts her, but every time I see it or think about it, I want to burst into tears. And most of yesterday, that’s exactly what I did.

Here's the dreaded brace. Greta doesn't seem to mind it too much yet.

On a happier note, we hit our first milestone yesterday. Her umbilical stump fell off. That bizarre little thing freaked us right out. Symbolically, I know the stump is a beautiful thing, but realistically, that thing is just plain nasty.

In addition, things are going really great in general. The nursing is extremely time-consuming. I really didn’t know just how time-consuming that was going to be, but it is what it is. When it’s going well, I love it, but it can be one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever experienced (when coupled with the hormone fluctuation and sleep deprivation).

We’ll be posting a ton more pictures soon. We'll probably set up a Flickr account or something like that, so you can just go check for update periodically. And course, course, we'll post the best ones here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have sent cards, emails, and commented. It means so much to us right now. And although we’ve been horrendous about replying, please know we appreciate hearing from you!

-Fran

This took me a day and a half to write, so I hope you like it.

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Thanks so much to everyone who has sent emails and left comments. It's good to hear from everybody.

So, I thought I'd give the more detailed report of the last four or five days. One thing I can say for sure is that time has been a blur.

Thursday: I worked all day long. I was having contractions all day without any consistency. They tended to flare up during meetings, of course. At one point during a meeting, my palms were covered in sweat and I had to dig my nails into my legs to keep from crying. Why was I still at work? Because I'm a very self-important and I like to think they can't survive without me. Anyhoo, after work on Thursday, I felt really "off." I didn't feel like nesting for the first time in months, and really I had the strong urge to throw things. I was just pissy. I made dinner, Pat and I went for a long walk, I went to Wegmans to get a few things and just walk around, we watched TV, and went to bed. The entire night, I didn't have any big contractions.

WARNING: This next part may be a little graphic for weaklings.

Friday: At 1:30 AM, I woke up to go to the bathroom and my water broke. Within a minute or two, I felt a horrendously strong contraction. About two minutes later, I had another, two minutes later, another, and so on (Normally you to go the hospital once contractions are five minutes apart). All of the labor stuff we read said to time contractions for a full hour before calling the doctor, but after 45 minutes, I knew we couldn't wait any longer and we called the doc. She told me I had better get there ASAP. We got to the hospital around 2:30, and we got up to triage, where they said I was 7 cm dilated (out of 10). They got me into the labor and delivery room very quickly and started me on fluids. I was having contractions right on top of each other, and the fluids and adrenaline were making me shake like crazy. I had wanted an epidural, but it was too late. Luckily, by the time they told me that, I was fully dilated and it was time to push anyway. Greta was in a perfect position, and I had the good luck to not be totally tired by this point, so I pushed like a champ. About 45 minutes later, at 4:21, we had our slimy little baby.

Here's how we looked right after she popped out. Err, just kidding.

They got the baby and me all situated, and then wheeled us into my recovery room. I was still totally full of adrenaline, but pretty ouchy. I had Pat ask them to get me something for the pain, and I got a whopping three Ibuprophen. Sweet times. We made a couple phone calls, we ate some breakfast (best damn breakfast of my life), and then family started rolling in for visits. Greta was unwakeable all day, whereas I couldn't sleep a bit. Around midnight, we realized we would never get to sleep with Greta in the room, since we were too occupied with staring at her breathing. So, we sent her into the nursery for the night. We felt pretty guilty, but after only 2 hours of sleep the night before, we figured we had to do it to be productive parents the next day.

Saturday: Greta was much livelier on day 2. She was the hungriest little monkey. She got to meet some more of her family and she spent the night with us.

Here's Greta looking lovingly at her daddy.

Sunday: We got some things situated at the hospital, and then we all got to go home. I don't know why, but I had been terrified about what we were supposed to do with her right when we got home. Turns out, she did the same things at home as she did at the hospital: eat, poop, pee, and repeat. You wouldn’t think those things would be so time-consuming, but they are. Right around midnight, she decided it was time to party. Oh yeah.

Here's Greta on day 3. I'm starting to look a little more tired.

Monday: More eating, pooping, and peeing. Wait, I’m starting to sense a theme here. Pat’s mom is here helping out, so she and Pat were doing some cleaning and stuff around the house while I mostly tended to G. Rock. Once again, around 11 or 12, it was “go” time. Sweet mother of Mary, we’re tired!

Here's Greta after her first bath.

Tuesday: Did I mention we’re tired. Really, really tired? Hey, I know; we knew what we were signing on for. It does get really frustrating when she’s crying and nothing seems to console her, but when I see Greta’s little face, even if it’s red and tear-streaked, and I smell her misshapen head, it makes it worth it all.

Here's a glamour shot of Greta Olive.

-Fran

St. Patrick’s Day Baby

File under: birthday | greta

I am happy to report that Fran delivered Greta Early this morning. It was an amazingly quick birth. In fact, it was so quick that Fran had to do it without any pain medication. Her water broke at 1:30AM. Immediately after that she started to have strong contractions right on top of each other. We arrived at the hospital around 2:30AM. At this point she was 7cm dilated. By the time she was transferred to the delivery room, had her iv hooked up, and the anesthesiologist arrived for the epidural, she was fully dilated and it was time to start pushing. Our hearts sank when they told us that she would have to do it the old fashioned way, but she stepped up to the plate and pushed Greta out in record time. Fran and Greta are both doing extremely well and will go home on Sunday.

-Pat

Greta Olive Reed
03/17/2006
04:21 AM
7lb 0oz
21"

Greta Olive Reed

Fran, Greta, and Pat

Probably time for another update...

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Hi all, not much news really. I've been having contractions throughout the last couple days, but they're still pretty irregular. I woke up quite a few times during the night having them, but just went back to sleep, figuring if they got bad enough, they'd keep me up and then I'd know to go to the hospital.

We're really aiming to have this kid tomorrow. At first, we thought it would be fun to have her on St. Patty's Day, and we knew my dad would get a kick out of that. And then last night, we found out that Pat's great-grandpa's birthday is actually tomorrow as well. We are excited to have all five generations together at some point, and it would be even cooler if Greta and her great-great-grandpa shared the same birthday. Hey, we might even make Rnews. (For those of you non-Rochestarians, Rnews is the dregs of society as far as our local news goes.)

Since we're aiming for tomorrow, let me know of any wives tales for inducing labor in the comments section. Let's keep it clean though. We all know about "that one." ;-)

-Fran

Quick! Someone call Mark's and tell them to get a garbage plate ready, STAT!

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Hmm, I guess I'm in labor sort of. I'm a little fuzzy on the whole thing, to tell you the truth.

So, I went to my doctor's today and it turns out I'm 4 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. In laymen's terms, I'm damn near close to having this baby! When my doctor said I was 4 cm, I blurted out, "Shut up!" I was really stunned by this news. I immediately apologized, and she accepted and gave me a hug.

She said she expects I'll have the baby within the week. Um, so yeah. I am excited, but feeling not quite ready and pretty overwhelmed.

My doctor was like, "Haven't you been feeling your contractions?" And I said I thought maybe I was having contractions, but I wasn't sure. I described what I had been feeling, and she did indicate that those were indeed contractions. She also noted that I "must have a high tolerance for pain." Yo, I told you I was hard as nails.

UPDATE:

I woke up at 1:30 am this morning having contractions. Pat timed them for about an hour. At first, they were sporadic and super long and close together (scary). They started to get very regular (40 seconds, 3 minutes apart), and then around 2:45ish, they stopped completely. False labor. I went into work today, was in a meeting, having more contractions. They stopped again. Anyone want to change or place bets?

-Fran

Such a perfect day

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Yesterday, Pat and I headed out to Skaneateles for my final baby shower. This one was my "high school girls shower" thrown by my best friend, Taryn. One thing I immediately loved about this shower was how low-maintenance it was for me. I didn't need to do a darn thing other than show up. Taryn handled every detail, up to and including the invite list! My brain has been so muddled by so many details lately, it was nice to just be able to relax.

Here are my ladies, clockwise from top-left: Jordan, Marisa, Laura, Jenny, Taryn, Preggers, and Allegra.

Taryn arranged for the shower to be at a beautiful little inn in Skaneateles, called Hobbit Hollow. Everything was so lovely. Almost all of my high school girls made it out - even one from Boston and another from Philly! We enjoyed some tea and coffee in the sitting room while we hung out and caught up for a bit. Then, we had an amazing meal that was catered by the Sherwood Inn. After the meal, I got to open all of the fantastic presents. The girls also had a book theme for this shower. (Greta is seriously going to be a super genius with all of the books we're going to be reading to her.) Greta got so many amazing presents that represented each of my different friends, and it was so nice. After presents, we had these tasty, gi-normous cupcakes from Patisserie.

There were no shower games at this shower (oh darn ;-)), but Taryn did bring a scrapbook for Greta. In it, she put the invite from my shower, as well as placeholders for each of my friends. Then, she took a picture of each friend and had them each write a little something. That way, Greta will know who they all are, even though we're all spread out all over.

We were all having way too much fun and really didn't want to go. We, of course, talked about our lives, babies, high school, SU basketball, reality TV, and all of the other important things best girlfriends talk about. It was honestly one of the best days of my life. I feel so lucky. Thanks so much to Taryn for organizing everything and spoiling me silly.

My only disappointment was that I did not see any actual hobbits at Hobbit Hollow. Sigh.

In other news, I have cankles. For those of you who are not familiar, those are a calf-ankle hybrid. Not that I even put much thought into it, but I guess I always kind of prided myself on my slender ankles. Now, they're so swollen, I can barely make them out. My hands are also super swollen; I haven't been able to get my wedding band off for weeks...not that it ever should come off, but I do like the option to be available to me.

-Fran