Category: Books

Our First Real Outing

My days were a blur of pumping (and reading) in the bathroom and trying to sneak in naps (not always voluntarily; I was passing out everywhere) whenever Emily slept. She was great during the day; it was during the night that she had her moments where she was up 2 hours straight at no particular time.

We were still having a bit of trouble with Alaethia at night. We’d have to wait for her to fall asleep in our bed, and then Mario would have to transfer her over to her crib in her bedroom. When Mario wasn’t around (usually outside drinking with the guys) I’d have to sleep with her (and Emily) in my bed.

I woke up around 10-ish that morning. Mom watched Alaethia (somewhat) so I got to sleep a bit more on the sofa, which is really one of the comfiest places to sleep. Emily cried from 11am-2:45pm straight. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her for the life of me. She’s always such a happy baby, really only crying when she’s hungry or while she’s having her diaper changed (not when she’s soiled, she rather likes the warm feeling, methinks).

She drank 4 ounces in one hour, which is crazy because she’s only 1 ½ weeks old and drinks 2 ounces in 2-3 hours. When I changed her diaper right after her bottle, I noticed that her umbilical cord stump had pulled and was bleeding a little. It looked “gray” and slimy where it’d pulled, like a fresh umbilical cord. I was worried. Nothing like that had ever happened with the other three. I called everyone I could think of that could possibly drive us to the doctor. I didn’t want to have to call and bother Sonia again. We couldn’t find anyone, so Mario eventually came home and we took her to the doctor.

She’d finally calmed down by the time we got her to the doctor’s office. She was so exhausted she slept quite peacefully. Mario and I joked around and laughed to pass the time. When we were called in she was weighed. She weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz, an ounce more than Monday’s appointment. Elizabeth was the one checking her and she said not to worry, that she probably wasn’t crying because it hurt. She didn’t know why she’d been crying because she seemed fine now, but she was going to try and cut the part that had come loose with these weird scissors. My heart sank when I saw them. She said she didn’t have the heart to do it; that was Dr. C.’s job but he wasn’t there LOL. So she carefully rubbed the edge of the stump with alcohol swabs hoping it would fall off on its own, but it didn’t. She said to keep doing it at home and if it seemed infected to take her back in. If it didn’t fall off by Friday then I should take her in to get it removed.

We got home and got the rest of the kids ready to go to El Patio for Cat’s birthday. Mario had already known about it and was trying to get out of it. I didn’t know why, he just kept saying he didn’t want to go. I was a little upset because it was my first time out since I’d had Emily and would have liked for him to be a little enthusiastic about it. I didn’t let it bother me. I was in a good mood, especially since I’d dressed the girls up in their matching dresses.

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The girls both needed diaper changes at the same time. I took Emily and Mary took Alaethia. As I was pulling Emily’s dress over her tummy I heard something fall. Her umbilical cord stump had fallen off! Now all she had left was a tiny piece that needed to dry up.

When I went back to the table with the girls, Mario was nowhere in sight. And he’d conveniently left his phone behind. I figured he was out in the truck, sleeping. I had when he does that because it’s embarrassing when everyone’s asking me what happened and I have no idea!

I tried not to let it bother me and had a good time with the whole family, passing Emily around and talking. We sang “Happy Birthday” and had cake and then we packed up and got into our vehicles. Mario most definitely had been sleeping. I tried keeping my mouth shut, but I couldn’t hold in the verbal vomit when he got a call from Chris and he said sure, he’d pick up some beers and go over. I hate when he does that! How can he be so bothered to go out to eat with his family, but they bring up chilling out and beers and he’s all for it? I had an “oh hell no” moment and told him off. Of course he was going to turn around and leave once we got home, but I was too exhausted to care. My biggest concern was trying to get some sleep. I was so peeved inside though that I couldn’t sleep, even after the girls fell asleep. I read a little bit of Eclipse and finally found sleep.

The Swing of Things

Mon., Mar. 2nd – I woke up feeling better physically, even though I was still worried about my incision becoming infected. I felt really guilty about Mario getting to work late, and although he did get a little chewed up about it, he didn’t hold it against me. I had my post-natal follow-up with Dr. C. that day and since I was already going to be there I took Eenan in since he’d had a fever and sore throat over the weekend. Sonia dropped Jaylen off after school and picked Emily and I up to go to the doctor. Alaethia threw a fit because she wanted to go to the doctor, too, but had to stay behind with Mom.

I couldn’t carry Emily around in the car seat because it’s so heavy, so I was glad Sonia stayed and got down with us. It didn’t take long at all, surprisingly, before they called us in to the vitals room. I weighed 129, so I’d lost 11 lbs. since I’d had Emily. Emily weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. I was a little shocked by how “much” she’d lost, even though it’s normal. But I don’t remember the other kids actually losing any weight at my first post-natal visit.

Dr. C. was busy with OB patients, but ran in, took a seat while he held Emily, and I showed him my incision. He said yes, it was indeed infected but it didn’t rip open the way I thought I had. He said to continue cleaning it and covering it up like I had been and prescribed antibiotics. He handed Emily to me and let me know another doctor would come in to check Eenan. The new doctor was Dr. P. I’d never met him before. He checked Eenan and didn’t find a thing wrong with him. Eenan said, “I told you so, Mom!” I thought he was just saying that because he didn’t want to get swabbed for Strep. He said he’d be calling in a prescription for him anyway since he had a fever and sore throat over the weekend.

As I was giving my payment I ran into Laura and asked her about the numbness and tingling I’d felt the night before. She said she’d ask Dr. C., because they were odd symptoms. He said he didn’t think it was a big deal because I hadn’t had any more since that time, but to give them a call or go in if I felt them again. He looked at my left arm, where I still had a large bruise from where they’d drawn blood at the hospital, and was alarmed at how purple and red the area was. He said the tingling in that arm may have been because the bruise was infected, but I think it was just from carrying Emily’s car seat (Sonia had gone back to the waiting room so I had no choice but to carry it on my own. Laura said it was okay, though, just to not overdo it).

It took forever at the pharmacy and I was really pissed because they never called in Eenan’s prescription! We were there over an hour and I felt really bad for making Sonia wait so long so I just left it alone. When I called again later and when Yadira went to pick it up for me after work, they still hadn’t called anything in! I was so pissed, not to mention worried because Eenan had his TAKS test the next day and that’s all I needed: for him to be overcome with Strep and have to miss his test and re-take just like he did last year.

I actually got to make dinner that night, lasagna! The kiddos behaved perfectly while I worked and it was delicious :).

We (Mario, Aly, Emmy amd me; the boys had school the next day and were asleep with Mary watching them) went to Jorge and Maggie’s that night. I think it was my first night over there since I’d had Emily. I felt a little awkward, since Maggie’s family was over. I felt like I was intruding. Aide and Belle came over too and we sat in the living room with the girls. Alaethia started acting up, following Belle and the other kids everywhere and getting into everything, so I was quickly getting frustrated. Alaethia almost got squashed by a desk and was rescued by Maggie’s cousin’s little boy (he’d been shaking the cage of a poor Siamese hamster about an hour before). I tried being patient as possible, but that didn’t last long and I texted Mario that I wanted to come home.

Tues., Mar. 3rd – Night 2 of sleeping with Emily in the crook of my arm paid off, somewhat: I slept for 5 hours. I felt better than most of the other days when I woke up. What wasn’t so good was the reason I woke up; Emily was doing that weird gagging again. I can’t help but panicking when she does that, even though they did tell me it has to do with her neurological system and so on. If she kept doing it, I’d have to tell Dr. C. about it.

I actually got up to make Mario breakfast. Eenan came in and told us he’d gotten sick that morning, with diarrhea. My poor dude. I was more than sure it was nerves due to the TAKS test, but I still prayed and prayed that he’d be okay.

The phone started ringing around 9am. To my horror, the stupid phone wasn’t working correctly. Someone would call and the phone would automatically hang up. I started panicking, wondering if it was Eenan calling from the nurse’s office because he got worse. Mary had called to my cell phone as I was thinking about that and told me she’d called the school just in case and no, Eenan, nor any other 4th grader, had been to the nurse or office that morning. Whew.

I took advantage of the girls’ late morning and cleaned my incision carefully. I was going to pump but felt too tired. I figured I still had some time before I became engorged. I fed Emily and hoped to catch a few Z’s with her but Fed Aly woke up. I made her breakfast and had her sit at the table to eat. She took a few bites and decided she was done. When I had my back turned (I was changing Emmy’s diaper) she threw her whole plate, including her fork, into the trash. She got a scolding and soon after she started asking for juice. She always does that when she doesn’t want to eat; she drinks to make up for it. I told her she couldn’t have any juice because she threw her food away, she could have water. So what does she do? She took a handful of her bacon and eggs out of the trash, put them on her old paper plate, began to eat it and asked, “Now can I have juice?” She’s really something!

I waited all day for a call from Eenan but never got one. The kid who did call was Jaylen. The nurse said he’d had a tummy ache. I called around looking for someone to pick him up. I hated not being able to drive myself anywhere. I didn’t want to call Sonia, because I still felt bad that she’d had to wait so long with us at the pharmacy the day before, but Mary called her and she ended up being the one to bring him home. When Jaylen got here he asked if he could go outside and play. I said no, he was sick, right? So he needed to go to bed and get better. And the truth came out: he said, “But I’m not sick! My stomach doesn’t hurt anymore!” Grr. I lectured him about how it’s not right to lie to get picked up and how he inconvenienced Tia Sonia, who would now have to go back and pick Eenan up at 3, also. He was genuinely remorseful and went to my room to rest.

I took a nap from 1-3 with Emily while Mom watched Alaethia, which wasn’t a good idea. I woke up with a headache from the phone ringing and hearing Alaethia scream. I got up and pumped while I read the last few pages of New Moon. I pumped again about an hour later and was thrilled to have actually made 3 ounces of milk for once. Mario got home with my 316 pics I’d ordered from Walgreens online. We went to Dollar General with the middle kiddos while Mom stayed with Emily and Mary had Eenan. We picked up some McDonald’s on the way home. I really need to quit doing that—eating fast food–although I got a chicken sandwich. We went over to eat at Mary’s where we ate with the whole family. I felt perfectly at ease and just in total bliss at that moment, surrounded by the people I love. I felt like I needed to pinch myself.

When we came back home I blogged a bit, fed, changed and gave Emily a little washcloth bath (she hated every minute of it). Then I showered and pumped again. When I was ready to go to bed at 12am, she woke up and didn’t go back to sleep till 2 am. Then she was up from 5-7. I was beginning to notice a pattern.

And Then It Exploded

Fri., Feb. 27th – I woke up with breasts the size of soccer balls and hard as boulders. Putting Emily on the breast was torture, as I’d fallen asleep with her breastfeeding the night before and she’d fallen asleep too, lost the latch and scraped up my nip. Owie. So no relief there.

As reluctant as he was to do so, John took me to get a breast pump. I was in so much pain I couldn’t even pump correctly. My right breast couldn’t get any relief, no matter how much I pumped. And to top it off, I felt like a failure because these huge things would only make half an ounce to an ounce of milk together after an hour to an hour and a half of pumping. That wasn’t even enough to feed her because she drinks anywhere from 2-3 ounces of milk!

The whole next week and a half is a blur of pumping. I spent most of my days feeding Emily breast milk from bottles and supplementing with formula when I didn’t make enough. I’d just lock myself in the bathroom with New Moon open on my lap and pumped away. I will always associate New Moon with Emily. I read the first half at my doctor’s appointments, a fourth of it while I was in labor at the hospital and the last fourth while pumping :).

Our income tax refund came in that day and I couldn’t even go anywhere to celebrate, heh. I really wanted to go to Chili’s and Mario said let’s go for it, but I still couldn’t walk around very well. We decided to just stay home. I was quickly feeling cabin fever set in.

I was so exhausted and ready for sleep (while the girls weren’t) and in such immense pain in my back, chest and incision that I just broke down and cried while I was changing Emily’s diaper on the sofa. Mario had no idea what was going on. I just told him the truth: I was tired and in pain. I was so glad it was the weekend and that he was home. He helped me so much that night. He stayed up entertaining a restless Alaethia while I slept with Emily. My incision felt like it would rip apart every time I tried to get out of bed and he saw that, so he volunteered to prepare Emily’s bottles when she’d wake up. He’s such a good husband and daddy.

I woke up with chills again that night. It was so weird. I’d felt hot when I’d first fallen asleep and woke up with my teeth chattering and feeling really uncomfortable, just like the night before. I was worried that my incision had gotten infected or maybe the pain in my right breast was Mastitis.

Sat., Feb. 28th – I woke up to Emily gagging and gasping for air. It was the 3rd time it had happened; the first two were at the hospital and when I asked the nurse about it he said it was something newborns did—along with constant sneezing, which she was doing–because their neurological system was still developing. I don’t remember the other three kiddos doing anything like that, which made me even more paranoid while she slept.

My boobs were still really sore and my incision was really starting to bother me. I noticed that it looked pink around the area and the incision looked weird—nothing like it did just the day before. I even made sure to take a picture, just in case it started to get worse. I’ll spare you the gore.

Mario’s Tia Amelia came by around noon to meet Emily. She held her while she shared some wisdom about taking care of myself and what to do for my aching boobs and so on.

I had a coupon for 10cent prints from Walgreens and had every intention of using it. I’d let all the other good coupons pass me by. So whatever chance I had, I uploaded pictures.

AVOID THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU’RE SQUEAMISH!
Emily woke up around 9:30 or so for a feeding so I prepared one and sat with her on the loveseat in the living room. I couldn’t sit anywhere without feeling this horrible tugging pain in my abdomen, but the weirdest thing happened when I sat there talking to Mario: I felt relief. I told him, “Woah, I suddenly feel really good, Babe. My stomach doesn’t feel that painful pull anymore.” And that’s when I felt my shorts completely wet from the front and something dripping down my thigh. The darn incision had popped open and was oozing all over me. That was the relief and wetness I felt. I was surprised by just how much liquid came out of that tiny bubble. I tried not to panic and called my doctor’s answering service. I get a call much quicker than I thought I would and speak to a doctor who’s on-call since Dr. C. is out of town. He asks me to describe the wound and then tells me to wash it with soap and water, put Neosporin if I want and cover it up with some gauze and tape. If the pain was unbearable, the pus turned green, or I got a fever I should go to the hospital. Great.

I always made fun of Mario’s emergency kit (or as I affectionately call it, his End-of-the-World-Kit) but I was so grateful he had it that night. He had every single thing we needed. He sat me on the sofa and told me not to move and prepared everything, keeping everything as sterile as possible. He washed me up and covered the wound as the doctor suggested. I tell you, I love this man.

This reminds me: everywhere I went I was being asked if I had a C-section, probably because of the way I was walking. I would tell them nope: 4 kids delivered vaginally and then I got the tubal. The ladies would make a face and then say, You poor thing! I hear that’s worse than a C-section! or I had 2 C-sections and the pain was nothing compared to the tubal! Had I known this lovely piece of advice I wouldn’t have done it! When I was doing my research while I was pregnant everyone told me it felt like a little pinch and only hurt for a few days, or that it didn’t hurt at all. I would have seriously rather been on birth control the rest of my life and risk getting pregnant for missing a pill than getting the darn tubal had I known it was going to cause me so many problems.

Even after that ordeal I finished uploading my pictures at 11:20pm and, with 10 minutes to spare before the deadline of 11:59pm, I entered the order for 316 pictures for $32. Woo! Pictures always make me feel worlds better.