Wish we could catch a break. Been awhile since I've written, so here is the Cliff Notes version of how life is with a newborn during the hoidays as you move from one continent to another,...
Dec 8 - Yay! Daddy made it home before the end of the pregnancy. Bummer is he is grumpy because he has to start prepping for the colonoscopy he has scheduled for Monday and subsequently can't eat for two days.
Dec 10 - Spend day up in Seattle making 8 year old's dream come true by taking him to cool 3D Imax Dinosaur movie. Lots of walking and then visiting Bro-in-law who had successful liver surgery to remove cancerous tumor and 40% of his liver. (He is doing very well by reports from home. Have to call you Michelle, I am SO sorry I'm so delinquent). Go to Mass with Rob's parents up in Seattle, then head home to get kids fed and in bed in time for school the next day.
But, wait! Is that a contraction I feel? Start timing them on the hour drive from Seattle back to Olympia. They start at 40 minutes steadily decreasing in time between until we arrive home. I get through making the kids sandwiches for dinner before I 'fess up that I am having contractions. They are about 5 minutes apart, but not too painful. But what do I know? Only my fifth kid. I think maybe it'll be easier and faster this time and we make a decision to go to the hospital at 9:30pm.
Go to hospital with hastily packed bag and hubby's gallon sized colon cleansing prep drink, only to let down entire nursing staff because I am totally relaxed and not about to blow out a kid like they had envisioned. Between my contractions and hubby running to the rest room (all part of the prep for that fun colonoscopy!) have lots going on. So much for visions of him lovingly holding my hand, he's got other business to tend to. Figures.
I can't help but keep thinking of an exit strategy. I'm supposed to get the kids to school and take hubby to his procedure at 8am the next morning.I haven't finished the grandparents' Christmas present (only a scrapbook detailing the past year,...) OR wrapping presents,.. I have 100 sugar cookies waiting to be frosted at home. An article and a press release to finish. I can't have the baby NOW! Besides, I really can't wait to sit by myself in his hospital waiting room for an hour and read a magazine - the only 'me' time I've had since June. I don't want to give that up! The baby can't take that away from me! So unfair.
Decide we are staying for the long haul and hubby sacks out on the couch as best he can with legs dangling over the arm and scraping the floor. As anticipated my contractions peter out about 3 am. Hubby departs at 6 am to go to his procedure. My understanding doctor not only allows me to eat breakfast, but will wait until hubby is on his way back from his procedure (30 miles away) and lucid before starting my pitocin. Spend rest of morning prowling the hallways as the nurses cattle prod me out of bed in hopes of starting things naturally. Hubby calls at 11:30 and we are off to the races!
After an entirely icky labor, Sophia is delivered around 5:30pm.
She screams bloody murder the entire night prompting hubby and me to ask the powers that be why we were given the advanced model of baby when clearly, even after four precious ones, we still only rate the beginner version.
Dec 13 - 16 - The baby decides she doesn't like the boobs and also doesn't want to poop. Spend many late night hours trying to get 7 pounds of spit fire to eat the way God intended. This requires two adults. Take her back to see doc who schedules lactation consultant to help with the issue.
Dec 17 - Poop! Never thought I'd be so happy to see poop in my life. Perhaps I'm not starving the baby like I'd thought.
Dec 18 - Find out that although the little stinker is eating, she needs to eat MORE. Obviously can't be my kid, how could I have a kid who doesn't want to eat? The beginnings of feeding tubes, pumps and supplement bottles. Barely enough time left over after nursing, pumping and bottle feeding to breathe.
Dec 19 - 21 - A blur of the above.
Dec 22 - We baptize the little girl. Very nice ceremony and family and friends attended. My dreams of making party food and decorations never come to fruition. Thank goodness for Costco.
Dec 24 - Christmas Eve! Start the day by dowsing the B and the 8 year old with Tylenol; they both are sporting fevers. Go to Tacoma for 5pm Vigil Mass with Rob's family. 8 year old has been feeling funky all day. By the time twe get to Grandma aand Grandpa's house 8 year old is begging us to take him to the doctor. Bad sign that he'd rather to seek medical attention than open presents. Leave at 10:30 pm, race other kids in beds and hubby takes 8 year old to urgent care. 1 am they call; he's got the croup, but after a breathing treatment all is well. I've been wrapping presents between nursings, but hubby is up unitl 4:30am finishing up.
Dec 25 - Christmas! SSSSooooo incredibly tired. Kids happy little clams; got everything put together and wrapped. Family comes over starting at 2pm. I change baby's diaper and find she has a diaper rash. I decide she's too young to have a rash and this would never have happened if I was a good mother, have complete meltdown.
Dec 26 - Baby hasn't pooped again, but at doc. visit to get the all clear to cross state lines, I'm told not to freak out quite so much. Baby is looking good.
Dec 27 - finish packing and wedging everything into the U Haul trailer at 1:30 am. Hubby is truly a miracle worker.
Dec 28 - Leave in the morning. Honestly takes 30 minutes to get out of the vehicle every time we stop, we are packed so tight. Stop at first hotel. Baby finally poops,... enough for the last 2 weeks.
Dec 29 - Stay at awesome friend's house in Fresno; they even cook us an amazing Prime Rib dinner they were gracious enough to keep until 9 pm when we arrived. Those are true friends, by the way. Not only did they let us stay at their house knowing we had five kids, but even after hubby called them in route, "By the way, did I tell you we have a dog?...."
Dec 30 - Touch down! Get to house at 7pmish. Woops, don't have a key. Thankfully awesome friend Wendy has one and races over. Not only does she let us into our house, she and her husband installed a toilet for us. That is another sign of a true friend. : ) Have had house totally redone inside as monster tenants destroyed everything inside. Many boxes, but mattresses are on the floors, kitchen is pretty much unpacked and we have a toilet!!!
Dec 31 - Ready to make the house a home, but 10 year old comes down with,.. croup. Spend next six hours in waiting area of urgent care clinic with him and the newborn. By the time we get to the doctor am in tears completely convinced baby will die of some horrible disease. Tells me to keep on nursing. Thankfully it seems to be working.
Jan 1 - Ahhhh, the beginnings of a new year. My motto for the year? 'It's bound to get better because it can't get any worse.' Honestly, we are doing well, are treating unpacking like a hobby and are so happy to be back in the swing of things in Yucaipa.