Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sumimasen, baking soda wa doko desu ka

Since Julie has been here she has been cooking up a storm. Yesterday we went to the commissary on base to get supplies and they were completely out of baking soda. How do you make peanut butter cookies without baking soda? Impossible. So today on our walk we went down the hill to the local grocery store and scanned the aisles for baking soda. My Japanese is still limited to polite conversation and my Kanji interpretation is limited to numbers and days of the week. I found a clerk and asked, "Sumimasen, baking soda wa doko desu ka", which is "Excuse me, where is the baking soda?" She escorted me one aisle over and pointed out this:

Thank goodness I asked...otherwise I would have never figured this one out. I was also excited to find out that the store carries many of the items I use and their produce is much nicer than the commissaries and reasonably priced. I want to avoid the base as much as I can since an aircraft carrier pulled in earlier this week increasing the base population by 2500 people. It took us an hour to get off of the base yesterday. Yikes! Keith may want to ride his bike to work to avoid that nonsense.

Jack had a great tummy time session today. It was short since his appetite is insatiable these days...after all he's a growing boy. He is holding his head up for 2 to 3 second at a time at has much more control. His focus is also getting better, I can tell he is seeing me clearer and he was fixated on the mobile above his changing table this morning. He doesn't let me get away for too long...it's feeding time again I can hear him calling. Nona Julie and Papa T can only console him for so long, especially when he has milk on the brain. We are going to the aquarium tomorrow, it should prove to be a great photo opportunity.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reinforcements have arrived

Nona Julie and Papa T arrived last week and it has been an absolute blessing having them here. I do not know how women do this all on their own. Even on three to five hours of sleep each night I feel great because I am able to take decent showers and Julie has been cooking up a storm. Keith left on Monday morning and will be gone until the beginning of October. We are taking pictures of Jack every day and sending Dad updates via email.

Other than the usual...sleeping all day, staying up all night, changing diapers and constant feedings...Jack is turning into quite the little character. Every day he seems to grow a little more while becoming more aware of his surroundings. Last night we were having a little conversation and I was getting smiles and kissy faces in exchange for my faces and funny noises. I am jealous of Keith who can come up with the greatest songs on the fly to sing to Jack, I am not nearly as creative. I should record them when he's here so that I can have them to play back when Keith is away at sea.

I understand now how parents say that children grow up so quickly, Jack is only three weeks and three days and he is already so different then from when we brought him home. His next check up is not until two months when he will be getting his first batch of immunizations. I am sure that he will be tougher than Mommy will, I don't know how I will get through teething or someday those inevitable boyhood stitches.

Another good note; I met my next door neighbors today. They are American and moved-in in June so they will be here for the same amount of time that we are. Also, Alice is due with their first son in November so Jack will have a playmate who will only be two months younger. It will be great to have a neighbor that has so much in common.

So life is great and we are all doing fantastic...more pictures will be on the way soon!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My prayers were answered

Silly me, I was always under the impression that I would give birth and instantaneously have breast milk. This is one area I did not do enough research in. At first I was told that it would take three to four days and that Jack would be fine getting the colostrum that preceded the breast milk. For the first three days...nothing...since I couldn't feel or see any physical changes I was beginning to think I was broken. On the morning of the fourth day we had something clear...by the end of the fourth day we had milk. Not just a little milk either.

Remember Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away when he finally made fire?

That's exactly how I felt..."I have made milk"...followed by a celebration dance similar to that of Hanks.

Feedings have been going well since then, sometimes it's five minutes sometimes it's twenty. Either way I am way more confident now that he is getting what he needs.

...I just had to run downstairs to a distress call from Keith..."Honey come quick!" Currently Typhoon Fitow is spinning right off the coast and we are experiencing some crazy wind and rain, so of course I think something is wrong and I bolted downstairs. As I get to the bottom of the stairs I see Keith, relaxed on the couch with Jack on his lap and Keith asks, "do you notice anything different?" I look at Jack and to my surprise...no more umbilical cord! It was getting a little stinky, being rotting flesh and all, so good riddance. I am sure this is the first of many milestones we will have this year. Oh, and if you're wondering...I am not keeping it...that's gross.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

...and Jack makes three

The last 11 days have been quite a whirlwind for the Webber family as the doctors decided to bring Jack into the world three weeks early. My blood pressure has been running a little high since we arrived in Japan so the doctors were testing me twice a week to make sure that I didn't develop pre-eclampsia. On Saturday the 25th, around 10 p.m., we received the dreaded phone call from the hospital telling us that we needed to come in to be induced because the pre-eclampsia had set in. They were especially worried because it onset very quickly which put me at a higher risk for seizures.

So, after a deep breath, a quick shower and the realization that this was really happening, we packed, showered and left for the hospital around midnight. As soon as I was admitted they hooked up an I.V. with Magnesium Sulfate, or as they referred to it, "flu in a bag". Immediately I felt like I had the worst flu ever and ever muscle in my body completely relaxed...sort of the opposite effect you want to have in order to have a baby. Coupled with the Mag was the Pitocin and then an assortment of other fluids to keep me hydrated. The side effects of the Mag prevented me from getting out of bed so I had the lovely experience of my first catheter as well. It's from this point on that Keith has to fill in the holes for me as the next thirty-six hours are a little fuzzy.

Eventually the anesthesiologist came in and administered my epidural, which was either really weak or didn't work at all. With the Mag working against the Pitocin it took quite awhile for full dilation and effacement but lucky for me as the contractions got worse they were giving me this great shot called Nubane.

The Nubane allowed me to sleep through some of the contractions giving Keith a break from listening to me whine. I really thought I was tougher, but it turns out I am a pretty big wimp.

Around 11 a.m. on the 27th the nurse came in to check and I was fully dilated, fully effaced but Jack was at minus three...basically too high. They sat me upright in the bed which caused the most tremendous pain I have ever experienced in my life. From the time they put in the epidural I had felt a pressure on the right side of my pelvis which until this point was bearable...but this is where it got bad. It only took 90 minutes for Jack to descend to where I could start pushing but that 90 minutes was very...let's say...vocal. After months of preparation, Lamaze classes, books and Internet research I thought the breathing thing would be a piece of cake. Breathing in was going okay, breathing out was more of a howling "owwwwwww", over and over until the contractions ended.

Once we were ready to push the nurse was very relaxed and wanted to see how effective my pushing was. On the first contraction I pushed and Keith asked how long it might take. The nurse replied that the pushing could take up to two hours. This triggered something inside me because when I pushed on the next contraction I heard "oh wow, he's coming, call pediatrics, get everyone ready". It was only about 20 minutes and five or six contractions before Jack Henry Webber entered the world on August 27th, 2007 at 1:05 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs 4 oz and 19-1/2" long.

Keith cut the cord and helped the corpsman give Jack his first bath while the Midwife stitched up a few small tears and got me all cleaned up. Then I was given what we refer to as a Jack Bean Burrito, which has turned into "Bean" for short.

They gave us ample time for bonding before they moved us over to the recovery room where we had to spend the next three days so they could monitor my blood pressure and allow the Mag to get out of my system. Jack was having trouble breaking down the bilirubin and was a little jaundiced so he had to spend 24 hours under the bilirubin lights, not his favorite thing. Between Keith and I cuddling with him as much as possible and jimmy rigging the light contraption so we could hold him, we made it though and the Pediatrician let us go home on Thursday night, the 30th.

Now that we are home we are enjoying every second of poopy diapers and one-hour sleep intervals. We are so lucky to have been chosen by such a perfect angel. Where at times it feels so different having a baby in our lives it also feels like it has always been the three of us, we couldn't be happier.