Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

[Click on the photo to see it larger.]

Lullaby Not Required

Mac has always been a very good sleeper. When we were at the hospital, I assumed he would tell me when he was hungry, but the nurses made me wake him up to eat. That continued when we were home, until our pediatrician told us we could extend the time he could go without eating. Finally, I stopped setting alarms to wake him up in the middle of the night to eat.

The last few days have been strange for Mac's sleep schedule, but it's worked out well for his parents. Wednesday, he slept most of the day.*  But he ate at 9 pm and somehow went to sleep around 10, his normal time. Then he slept until 1:45 am, and only took 2.5 ounces before passing out.

Thursday was a busy day, and because we were out and about, he slept more than usual (again). That night, though, he went to sleep around midnight, and slept until 5:15! I was so thrilled! (Especially because the MacDaddy takes the 5 am feeding, so I got to sleep from about 12:30 to 8:30!)

Now, I know that when babies start changing their schedules, there's a lot of flux during the transition. So I was ready for who-knows-what on Friday night, moreso because Mac hadn't eaten much that day. After eating at 10:30, he was still awake (hanging out quietly in his bassinet) when we went to bed at 11, and then nodded off at midnight. Around 3:55 am, he started to stir. I immediately gave him the binky (after all, 4 am is the cut-off: if he wakes before that, it's my turn, and after that, it's the MacDaddy's), and he was quiet until 4:15!

When he heard Mac cry, the MacDaddy asked when he was last fed. He was shocked when I told him 10:30 the night before. But we are absolutely thrilled that he's now going almost 6 hours between feedings!

I hope we can keep him on this schedule -- eating around 10 or 10:30 and sleeping until 4 or 5. I also hope he'll gradually sleep a little longer. Maybe we could move up the last feeding to 9 or so, and eventually I hope he'll sleep until 6 or 7. But this is a great start!  Mostly, I hope I haven't jinxed it by bragging about it in a blog post...

And now, just to show you how much Mac has grown, a comparison to the photo above. The one at the top of this post was taken on October 29. The one below was taken on September 27.

*I should note that on Wednesday, October 27, he gave me his first real smile! I know it wasn't gas, because his eyes were smiling, too.  He did it again this morning, after play time!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First Day on Our Own

Monday was our first day alone -- Mac and me, that is. Until then, we'd had Gigi and/or the MacDaddy for at least part of the day. It went pretty well -- and was busier than you'd think. Here's what we did:

9-10am Second Breakfast (The MacDaddy does the first breakfast around 6am, then Mac will usually sleep until about 9.)

10-11am Tummy time and play time. (Play time is when Mac hangs out in the activity gym on his back, after he's tired of tummy time.)

11-11:15 Put on Moby wrap and walk the dog. Mac was still wide awake when I put him in the wrap, but sound asleep when we got back from our walk.

11:15-12 I did dishes with Mac in the Moby. It worked well, although I had to hold his head when I bent over to put something in the bottom rack of the dishwasher. But I was mainly doing handwashing at that point.

12-1 Lunch for Mac. I know it seems like a long time, but he's been a slow eater lately, and when you add in burping time and a diaper change, whenever I finally put him down, it's been an hour.

1-1:45 Lunch for the MacMommy while Mac swings and naps.

1:45-2:20 Blog update while Mac swings and naps.

2:20-2:30 I realize that during the next hour and a half, I need to shower so Mac and I can head up to SCC to meet the MacDaddy for an early dinner. Oops! I remember that Mac will be hungry at 3.

2:30-2:35 Move Mac to the bassinet in the bedroom and start shower.

2:35 Mac wakes up and realizes, to his clear dismay, that he is not in the swing and I am not there.

2:36-2:40 I finish my shower while wondering if I'm going to hell for not comforting Mac instead (as he cries miserably).

2:40-3:00 I alternately work on dressing myself and comforting Mac, in repeated, 2-minute cycles. Meanwhile, the MacDaddy calls to chat. I explain that I have less than an hour to get dressed and feed Mac so we can meet him for dinner on time.

3-3:45 Feed Mac, change diaper. Mac only has 2 ounces, and I know if I weren't rushing out the door, he'd have at least another ounce. Another point in the "bad mom" column for me.

3:45-4:10 Load up the car and drive to meet the MacDaddy.

4:10-5:20 Dinner with the MacDaddy. The MacDaddy even offered to do the diaper change, but we didn't think there was a changing table in the men's room. Turned out (long after the diaper change) we were wrong. I'll remember next time, though!

5:20-6 Drop the MacDaddy back at work and head home in rush hour traffic.

6-6:45 Put Mac in the stroller to wheel him inside. Feed Mr. McKitty (who is demonstrably furious that his dinner is nearly 2 hours late). Mac and I walk the Doggie-wog, who is thrilled to have a long walk, but wishes he could walk ahead of the stroller to protect us from those running children, bicycles, and cocker spaniels. I try to use the binky to hold off on Mac's dinner so we can finish the walk. A third "bad mom" point for me.

6:45-7:45 Feed Mac.

7:45-8:15 Hold Mac.

8:15-9:15 Test out the bouncy chair, just to see if it's equivalent to the swing for travel purposes. Result inconclusive. Mac is soothed, but stays awake. Could be effective or it could be Mac's in a good mood.

9:15 The MacDaddy gets home! 

Of course, we didn't get to bed until after 11 (though Mac was asleep by 10), but it's infinitely easier when you have backup.

All in all, a successful day.  Not perfect, but everyone survived!

Monday, October 25, 2010

So Cute I Can't Stand It!

The reason I started this blog is to update friends and family who want to know about the Mac Man. I know what that really means is that y'all want to see lots of photos of him. To address that demand, periodically I'll post gratuitous pictures of his cuteness. No particular reason and no story behind it; just so you can ooh and aah over him.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We Miss You, Gigi!

Gigi left us yesterday. As you can see, we miss her terribly.

She got here the night before Mac was born and stayed with us for 5 wonderful weeks.

She taught us a lot about how to help a tiny little baby grow into a big boy, how to bathe him, how to soothe him, how to get him to eat...  She also took LOTS of pictures (I'll post some eventually) and even cooked for us. In fact, she left us with 4 meatloaves and 4 spaghetti meals in our freezer! I won't even mention all the laundry and cleaning she did.

We've managed to survive the first 24 hours without her, but we can't wait for her to come back and see us!  (And don't worry, Gigi, Mac has not been crying nonstop since you left. It took some time for me to catch that first photo.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One Month Old!

Yesterday, Mac turned one month old!  He really is growing so fast!  We had lots of fun taking his one month pictures.

Over the past month, Mac has learned to:
  • Start picking his head up when he's on his tummy.
  • Start pushing up from his tummy.
  • Roll over from his tummy to his back.
  • Focus on faces and objects. (He loves our black and white photos of San Francisco!)
  • Sleep for a five-hour stretch.
  • Stay awake for a couple of hours, a couple of times a day.
  • Make noises other than crying. 
And I have learned that sleep is a luxury, not a necessity.

I'm really looking forward to this next month. I'm hoping that Mac will learn to smile spontaneously and to sleep through the night. (I'll be happy if he sleeps for 7 or 8 hours at a stretch.)  Also over this next month: a bigger wardrobe!  For the first month, Mac only had a few outfits tiny enough to fit him. But now he's getting bigger, and more things are fitting him. There are a few outfits that are just a tad too big for him, but I can see he'll be growing into them in a couple of weeks.

Happy birthday Mac! Here's to another great month!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Day of Firsts

For Mac: He rolled over for the first (and second, and third) time today.

Yes, he is 3 weeks and 5 days old. That's right; he's amazing.

For the MacMommy: I bragged about my baby for the first time today.


Special thanks to Gigi for catching it on video!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mac's Birth Story

Better late than never, right? I wanted to capture the story of Mac's birth for everyone. I think this will be reader-friendly, without the gory details. But the nice thing about doing this a few weeks after the fact is that I don't really remember many of the gory details!

So let's just say that on Friday, September 17, I woke up and started to get ready for my 10:30 doctor's appointment. Over the course of the morning, I had reason to believe that my water may have broken. It wasn't obvious at first -- it's wasn't a gushing waterfall like you see in the movies.  So I figured my doctor would tell me when I got there. And she did. She was going to perform a couple of tests, but immediately confirmed. Yes, my water broke.

She told me to go home, get my stuff (fortunately, I had packed that week) and head to the hospital. I asked if I could get some lunch first, and she said that was fine. I called the MacDaddy to let him know it was go-time, which got him out of a boring meeting. I also called Gigi, who had already rescheduled her flight to arrive that night.

Then I went to Jamba Juice to get my favorite -- a Peanut Butter Moo'd. The girls behind the counter said I looked like I was ready to pop. I told them I was, in fact, ready to pop and that my water broke that morning. It was fun watching their chins drop to the ground. I explained that everything was fine, I had just come from the doctor's office and I had time before I had to go to the hospital.

Once I got home, the MacDaddy informed me that someone wanted to show the place. I said that was fine, but it would have to be AS-IS. Well, the MacDaddy didn't seem to understand "as-is" and spent the next hour and a half getting the place ready to show. When I told him he didn't need to vacuum, he said he was doing it for Gigi, who would be sleeping on the floor (on an air mattress, of course). Basically, he was frantic, and he was releasing his energy by cleaning. Oh, and it didn't help that he had slept for about 2 hours the night before -- he was up reading all night.

Finally, the MacDaddy got his bag together and we left for the hospital.  He was still tense -- he told me that he expected the next 24 hours to be alternately boring and stressful. It was about an hour from check-in at admissions until we got to my room, and the MacDaddy actually fell asleep. I was relieved -- he needed it.

Once we got into a room, we pulled out the computer and started watching Supernatural, Season 5.  At that point, the MacDaddy realized the whole labor thing would not be what he was expecting. In fact, it was kinda fun.  Around 5, my doctor stopped by and determined that, based on the smile on my face, I was not having contractions and would require pitocin to induce labor. I knew that would mean no food, so I asked if I could have dinner first. She said I could, if I did it within the hour, so I sent the MacDaddy off to get me In 'n Out Burger.

So it was 7 pm, about 12 hours after my water broke, that they started the pitocin. Gigi got to the hospital about 2 hours after that, and things were still pretty quiet. Then, about an hour after Gigi got there, the pitocin finally kicked in, and I started feeling the contractions.

After my nurse determined that I had made some progress, she offered me the epidural. For a split second, I considered deviating from my original plan ("epi-ASAP") because the contractions weren't that bad. Then I remembered my reasoning: if I waited until I needed it, I'd have to live for another hour and a half wishing I'd asked earlier. Thankfully, I stuck to the plan. It was only about half an hour to push the fluids, and then maybe another half hour for the anesthesiologist to get there. But by the time he showed up, I was definitely ready. Definitely. And it was definitely a relief.

Then Gigi, the MacDaddy and I settled in for the night at around 11, and I hadn't made much more progress. Until we woke up around 2:30 or so. At that point, the MacDaddy wanted to go home and take a nap in a real bed. But Gigi suggested that we should have the nurse check my progress first. Fortunately for us -- I was pretty much ready to start pushing!

At that point, the MacDaddy left to call Nana and invited her to join us. I was thankful to have her there to help -- it freed Gigi to take photos. And, of course, how special for Mac that he got to meet both of his grandmothers when he was born!

I won't go into too much detail, except to say that the pushing was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. Probably for three reasons. First, my nurse (Beverly) was fantastic -- a great coach and a great guide. She made sure I knew exactly what I needed to do. Second, I only had to push for an hour and nine minutes (Apparently, the MacDaddy was counting). Third, my contractions were several minutes apart at that point, so I had time to rest -- almost fall asleep -- in between.  (In fact, if my contractions had been 2 minutes apart, I probably would have pushed for about 20 minutes.)  (Well, there's also a fourth reason -- Mac was only 6 pounds, 4 ounces.)

I will always remember the moment that I first saw Alexander McKay. I will always remember that rush of emotion. But I will never have words to describe it, so I won't even try.

Mac was born less than 24 hours after my water broke. I had expected labor to be, well, laborious. Pretty miserable. But it really wasn't at all. In fact, it was a pretty positive experience. And the end was the best part.