Monday, December 31, 2007

more caffeine please

We just got a nice new espresso machine. Ok well it's not brand new but it's gently used. J's coworker bought it, used it a handful of times and then traded up for a 900 dollar model. That's fine because I was really jonesing for an espresso machine... This is the one that I originally pined for:

But it's nearly 500 bucks and it only takes espresso pods. Lame. So we didn't get it.

So J started looking around only to find out that the highly regarded, $400 starbucks barista espresso machine was for sale on craigslist for just $150. So he asked a coworker who is a coffee expert (and former starbucks employee) and what do you know, she was selling the very same espresso machine for just $50!

Hello homemade hazelnut lattes! How I love you so.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

la famiglia

I've had absolutely zero time for the internets over the last week or so. My family has been here visiting from NJ. They came to meet Fee McG and a fun time was had by all. We all took turns preparing delicious meals. We spent lots of time talking, telling stories and watching bad tv. I taught my mom how to knit. It was a blast. I love my family so much and feel extremely blessed to have them in my life. I can't wait til my sister (who is pregnant with twins!) has her little boy and girl. What a great thing that Fee will have little cousins just 6 months younger than him. It will be so cool to see them grow up so close. I hope they can be good friends to each other even if they do live on opposite sides of the country.

Anyways here are a few highlights from their stay with us(click to see the whole set):

Grandma feeds Fee:

With Uncle Johnny and Auntie Lisa:

Momma love:

Friday, December 21, 2007

etsy finds

my faves from a search for the term "phoenix":

how much fabric can i order?

Seriously how much fabric can a person reasonably stock pile before it becomes hoarding? Mind you, I'm not there yet but I can see how this is a very slippery slope that I'm headed down.

So why am I rambling about fabric anyway?
Check out this fabric store:

They have some of the same stuff that repro depot carries but then there are lots of other very cool things that repro depot doesn't have. Also it looks like just about everything is roughly 9 bucks a yard. That is a sweet deal in my book.

Some faves from purl soho:

a round of applause

... For J McG. He now officially has a Project Manager title at his company. This is a tremendous Christmas gift for our family since the promotion also comes with a very very nice raise and increased bonus potential.

I'm so proud of him!

finally legal

After well over a year of procrastination I finally ran down to the social security office and made my McG name change official. I think that I was procrastinating because I envisioned long lines and indifferent staff --- something like the scene at your average NJ DMV office.

However the process was quick and painless. I was in and out of there in 15 mins (or maybe even less).

So I'm legally a McG now!

friday fenix fix

I really do not have time to post much more than every few days now. This dude takes up alot of my time! It's hard to stay in touch... return phone calls, respond to emails, even get general housework done. I'm not complaining though... just an observation.

Anyway I did take some pictures this week. I had J take some with me and the bebe but here are some new ones of F, even one with his dad.

with daddy:

Click to see the whole set.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

blech. night sweats

So as if labor and childbirth are not enough for the woman's body, there is a whole bunch of stuff that happens to you postpartum that one must contend with.

I'm not going to get into most of it because it's very VERY tmi (lets just say that I had a small tear.... down there... from birthing his head). But there is this one thing that is happening to me that is particularly bizarre and annoying. Night sweats.

I wake up every night DRENCHED in sweat. I'm telling you that my tank top is wet to the touch and so are the sheets underneath me, my pillow and my hair. It is totally vile and god how I wish it would stop.

They warned me about this before I was discharged from the birthing center but I honestly had no frame of reference for how gross it would be. Apparently it's one of the ways (besides peeing) that your body gets rid of all the extra water that you retained during pregnancy. What I want to know is, how much farking water have I been holding on to? I feel like I'm getting the fire hose turned on me nightly.

Monday, December 17, 2007

gaining and growing

Not much time to post these days but his royal highness is sleeping now so I thought I'd jump on.

We went to the doctor today and what a big boy we have! He gained 6 oz... I know that doesn't sound like alot but it's a big deal for a little guy that only weighed 4lbs 10oz a week ago.
Apparently babies gain something like an ounce a day if all is going well. And since we saw the doctor exactly one week ago, Fenix is doing great. I am so relieved and happy. The doctor said that he is very very healthy and all is well.

There was one hilarious moment in the newborn waiting room (separate from the regular waiting room to keep the little ones away from the big kid germs). There was another new baby... this guy was 3 weeks old. He was TWICE the size of Fenix. It was really funny. I mean I know that Fenix is small but he looked downright miniature next to this big baby.

The only down note is that we are supposed to limit contact with others until he is 2 months old! The doctor is concerned about him catching RSV and now I am too. If he gets even a little fever he will have to be hospitalized and I REALLY don't want that to happen. It's a bummer, I'd love to have people over to see him and hold him all the time but at the same time it is the height of cold and flu season and I would be so upset if he got sick. I feel like we dodged a bullet getting out of the hospital with no health problems. Sigh. WTF are we gonna do about Christmas?! My family is flying out and staying here. I will have to ask them to wear masks if they want to hold him. :-((( Sacrifices...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

crap. christmas is coming

all this craziness with the baby coming early has really thrown a wrench in my plan to make all of my xmas gifts. luckily i got alot of things done before the drama started but i still have a bit to do. if i am diligent, i can still get it all done before the 25th.

Thank you pamguin!

This brown and tan blanket was made by a wonderful woman that I met on a craigslist forum where I used to post. I have met so many nice people through craigslist forums. If you are bored and looking to interact with people that have similar interests check them out.

Anyway thanks pamguin!!!


I can't stop taking pictures of this kid. Someone save me from baby pic overload!
The trouble is that I take all these farking photos and I have like no time to upload them. Uploading to my Flickr account is hardly a priority over pumping breast milk.

Anyways here are a few recent ones to satisfy your cuteness fix for the day.

um. i'm tired

So this whole 24/7 baby care thing is interesting. I certainly was warned enough that it would be hard so no surprise there. The funny thing is that it's not just an issue of sleep deprivation. There is also this thing that happens where you totally lose track of days and hours... night time and day time are a forgotten notion. You sleep when you can... when the baby lets you.

It's cool though. I am sort of enjoying the fact that the only commitment I have is caring for Fenix. I do not have to be anywhere. I don't even have to pick out an outfit. No meetings. No tasks due. No release to get out or bugs to regress. My life was consumed with those things before so a break from all that is just what I needed.

And you know... I am just loving every single moment of motherhood, yes even the poop diapers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

with fruit

Last night J thought it would be cool to do a picture showing the juxtaposition of the baby and some pieces of fruit. You can really see how small he is with this photo composition. The orange is almost the same size as his head!

Also notice how he is swimming in that onesie... and it's even preemie sized!

Monday, December 10, 2007

birth story

Thursday around 2 am I woke up with very frequent and painful contractions. I counted/timed them for about half an hour and when I realized that they were roughly 4 minutes apart I decided to wake up Jason.

I called the midwife on call and when she called back she told me to run a hot bath, drink a lot of water and relax in the tub. If within 1 hour the contractions had not stopped, I should get ready and come in to the birthing center.
I took the bath and though it felt good these contractions were really starting to hurt. They were painful enough that I could not speak thru them. I began to sweat profusely and started to feel really nauseated.

I got out of the bathtub (I needed help because every time a contraction hit I felt like I couldn't continue. I sat down on the toilet because I felt like I had to go... That's when I noticed the blood.....

We scrambled to get things together - after the last preterm labor scare I was put on strict bedrest so none of my stuff was packed :-(
I can say that I did have some moments of INSANE IMPATIENCE with my husband during those 15/20 mins that he rushed around to get everything ready. I believe that I even threw a piece of clothing at him that I deemed inappropriate to pack in my hospital bag :-/

By the time we were ready to walk out of the door I was in the fetal position on the living room floor. This is how intense my contractions had become.
On the drive to the birthing center (about 10 mins door to door) I threw up several times in the car. Awful.

When we finally got there Jason ran up, got a wheelchair and wheeled me in.

They were waiting for me and pretty much admitted me right away and got me all hooked up to the monitors.

For the next 12 hours or so I labored hard.... I threw up over and over again even though i hadn't eaten anything except water since 8pm the night before.
The pains were horrible. Awful. I was totally gone in laborland. I remember at one point breathing thru the pains and focusing on the space needle which could be seen from the window in our birthing room.
I also remember focusing on the blue tiles on the floor of the bathroom to center myself. Sounds crazy but it works when you are desperate to focus on anything except the pain.

At hour number 13 i started giving up.... the pain was too much. I begged and pleaded with Jason thru tears saying how I could not take it anymore. He pushed me on for another hour or so. Then finally I used our "safe word" to indicate that I was done begging.
I wanted pain relief and I didn't want to ask again.

I should also mention a bit of TMI.... thru the entire labor I was bleeding... passing large blood clots... one after the other. This was troubling to the nurses, midwives and doctor on call. They didn't know the source of the bleeding and it didn't seem to stop.

I finally got an epidural. It was nice for about an hour. They checked me and I was at 8 centimeters.
The baby was nowhere near my birth canal and my bag of waters was still intact! Weird.

They did 3 ultrasounds to see what was up. Apparently there was an extra bit of membrane with water that was blocking Fenix's head from descending.
After this they talked thru 3 scenarios.
1. pierce my bag of waters with a very tiny needle. let the water slowly come out and see if the baby slips down into the birth canal
2. wait and let the bag break on it's own, risking a prolapsed cord from the gush and then of course i would have to have an emergency c-section if that happened
3. go ahead and just get the c-section

I'll take door number 1! So that's what we did. They prepped me and took me to the OR in case when they pierced the bag it ended up gushing anyway. They had everything staged for a c-section in the event that it was needed.
They broke the bag and I felt the warm water arc and splash on my foot! That was bizarre.

They checked my cervix again in about 10 mins and I was complete, baby's head was way down (+3) and it was time to push!

I pushed for an hour in the OR. They had a big mirror so i could see. Jason held one leg, the nurse held the other and our midwife sat on the edge of the bed looking at the baby.
We saw his head and hair within that first hour of pushing. They suggested that we go back to the birthing room since everything was fine now. So that's what we did.
I had a few very strong contractions on our way to the room. They call this 'laboring down' since I didn't push at all during those. Well the pressure was so intense that by the time I got to the room I knew he would be here within the hour
I pushed for about 5 more contractions and BAM there he was! I started crying and hyperventilating with joy. It was incredible. Jason was able to catch him and cut the cord.
My little boy had arrived.

Oh and as for the bleeding, my placenta had an extra lobe! That extra lobe had abrupted which is probably what started labor and was the source of all the blood clots/bleeding. I saw it and it was very bizarre looking... like an extra piece of liver hanging off of the placenta. Eww.

home again!

We were discharged from the birthing center today. W00t!
We actually ended up spending one night on another floor of the same building in a 'boarding room' that is used for parents whose babies need to spend time in the special care nursery. Thankfully Fenix did not need this type of care however given how early he was, the staff wanted to watch him for one more night even though they had already discharged me as a patient.

I will say that I was pretty frustrated with how things went for this one night in the boarding room. The nurses on that floor were not particular interested in supporting my efforts to breastfeed and supplement with formula. While I understand that the extra calories from the formula are a necessity given his low weight, I didn't appreciate the condescending attitude and overall dismissive tone that I was given every time the idea of breast feeding or even bottle fed breast milk came up. It was a total 180 degree change from the type of care we received just hours prior on a different floor of the same building. Bizarre...

Even worse still this morning we learned that parents of babies needing special care are only permitted to board for one night! It doesn't matter that there were NO OTHER BABIES in the nursery. One night is all you get. What if he needed 2 days? Or a week?!? I feel so blessed that he is thriving in spite of all the odds and that he was sent home with us today. I have my work cut out for me... making sure he gets everything he needs to keep gaining weight and growing but I am SO up for the challenge.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the votes are in

42% of you said that you thought that Fenix would arrive on christmas day. Well I guess you technically win because he came even well before that date.

Who would have thought?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

hooray he is here!!!

Thats right. Born on decemer 6th 2007 at 6:59 pm.... Fenix Sebastian McG is here in the flesh. Weighing in at a whopping 4lbs 11oz and measuring 17.5 inches long, he is a total trooper. I would write more but he won't let me put him down. so look at these pics, I'll post a birth story later... p.s. we are still at the birthing ctr and will be here till Monday so they can watch him closely for signs of jaundice.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Release me


Theresa's contractions have stopped! We are being discharged / released in a little bit. Theresa will be on bed rest for about 3 weeks.

We'll send an update soon.

Thanks for all the well wishes!


Saturday at the birth center

Greetings from the birth center! We had an eventful last day or so & things are going well.

Theresa was on an i.v. of magnesium sulfate all day to put the brakes on the contractions. That worked for quite some time, long enough for her to get the 2nd shot of the steriods that are designed to speed up lung development in preemies.

I forget the name of the steriod, but they only give it when pre-term birth seems inevitible. It comes in a big needle and they give you a shot in the ass with it. The first shot Tee had went in a bit better than the second one, which made her bum hurt for a time.

Maybe it's no surprise, but there are only women that work here. I've seen one dude since I got here and the rest are ladies.

So, the magnesium! Holy shit. When it's brought up around here, the staff get a pained look on their face. Then, softly, they'd ask, "Did they tell you what to expect with that?"

Um, they did, and you're supposed to expect, it seems, to get your ass kicked. Tight chest, headache, overheating. Deep, deep malaise.

It did its job, though, at least for a while, and she had minimal contractions yesterday and throughout the night.

Most babies, when their mom's are on magnesium!, absorb some of the side effects of the meds and are listless, don't move around much, and sometimes have lowered heart rate. Not my son! He's been in there playing tic-tac-toe with himself and jump rope with the umbilical cord. It's been kind of a wow factor with the nurses when they see his heartrate and stuff - pretty cool. Regardless of what else is happening, Fenix is super healthy.

After a time - oh dark thirty this morning - the magnesium! wore off and the contractions returned. Not returned in a "oh gosh this baby is about to come out" but "yyyyyep, that's a contraction. yyyep, that's another one", etc. So, thankfully, they removed the magnesium! i.v. and T started to feel better in pretty short order.

So here we are, Saturday morning. Been here at the birthing center since Thursday afternoon. Theresa is on bed rest, which not only means that she's in bed except for trips to the bathroom, but that she needs to be in bed in such a manner that does not put weight, and therefore stress, on her cervix. = lying down. = boring.

We're in the "wait and see what happens next" phase. Either labor will begin in earnest, or not.

Stay tuned!