Monday, November 30, 2009

chub chub chub

Ollie has focused his recent efforts on packing on weight. We were at the doctor for a weight check this morning and they asked me if the number could be correct because he has gained so much since we left the hospital.
He's starting to stretch out his sleeping and waking a bit more, which makes mommy less grumpy.

Dylan is showing signs of settling in a bit, and she really does seem to think he's excellent company. She reads to him and covers him up and babysits while mommy and daddy hit the town. There are just so many (2) children in the house, it's really weird.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One week

Thanks everyone for all the comments and e-mails. It was so much fun to have you all following along with us.

This really does seem to be easier the second time. We feel like we know what we're doing, the nursing is going well, and I'm starting to be able to walk farther without getting dizzy and tired. Ollie is sleeping about 20 hours a day, but is highly strategic with the other four so as to prevent me from sleeping more than 2.5 hours in a row.

Dylan is doing great with Ollie. She really likes having him around and helping to take care of him, and has apparently not made any connection between her emotional upheaval and the actual baby. She is not doing great with me, however, and maintains a laser-like focus on trying to keep me from napping or being away from her for any amount of time. Aaron has to pretty much tackle her to let me get any sleep at all during the day. If she realizes there is a choice between being with me, or even near me while I sleep, and leaving the house to do something fun, she will always choose not to leave. And forget about trying to distract her if you are someone who is not Aaron. I am looking forward to preschool this week. Perhaps being off for four days in a row has contributed to some of the intensity.

I turned out to be right about Ollie being big, but it may have been sort of a coincidence because he's mostly really tall, which isn't usually what happens with diabetes. The pediatrician said he didn't look like the babies of diabetic mothers usually do, which I thought also, and he's actually sort of scrawny looking, although chubbing up quickly. None of the newborn stuff fits (Kate: Aaron, do you think this outfit fits? Aaron: Well, only if it's supposed to be culottes) because he's so tall and his shoulders are really wide. The doctor actually offered to be his agent, but I'm not sure this is going to persist into adulthood. He's been easy to take care of so far, especially in comparison to the anxious and emotionally volatile bigger one attached to my leg.

Friday, November 27, 2009

deja vu

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

birth story

This is an easy birth story to write because all I have to say is that pretty much everything was the opposite of our experience with Dylan. In retrospect that was even worse than it seemed at the time, even without the hemorrhage part and accounting for the second babies are easier to get out than first babies part. Except for the enormous baby staging a sit-in and having to be negotiated with to come out, that was about the same, this time with a half pound more enormity.

Seriously though, this was so straightforward it's boring (= not complaining). We went in at 8:30am and did logistical-type things for a couple hours. I started having contractions right away when they started the pitocin late in the morning. They broke my water. I could barely feel the contractions, but they still seemed to be working. I got an epidural pretty soon anyway because Aaron and I still think so fondly of the last one. I contracted away all afternoon while we hung out and watched tv. Aaron alternated between pacing restlessly and sitting restlessly in the rocking chair. I mostly had this odd feeling that I could tell when the contractions were changing my cervix, but that I otherwise couldn't feel anything -- I could have predicted each check before they did it (and did, in my head, but it would have been more impressive had I said it out loud). I started getting uncomfortable around 6:30pm and was ready to push a little after 7. The attending and the nurse both stayed with me the whole time I was pushing, which lasted about a half hour. This time they kindly removed the whole placenta. Then the baby was out and they let him just hang out on my stomach and snack for an hour before doing all the meds and measuring, except for doing the weight right away because we were all dying to know how chunky he was. I didn't think he looked as big as Dylan did, but that was incorrect. And...that was that. Everyone was so nice and supportive and communicative the whole time, and the whole thing was over in less than 12 hours, and now I don't have to be pregnant anymore, which was starting to seem unsustainable anyway.

I couldn't let things go without a little drama and tried to pass out when I stood up a few hours later, but they revived me with modern medical smelling salts. Seriously, they shoved an ammonia wand in my face. No one had mentioned that I had lost a borderline-excessive amount of blood during the delivery because they didn't want to worry me, so I had no idea that I might be pretty anemic. I took to my bed for the night, but I can walk around a bit now. I have actually felt great the whole time, but anticipate grumping out later this week as I get less and less sleep.

I thought Ollie would look just like Dylan, but he really doesn't. He has a very round face and Aaron's ears and a lot less hair, although it's the same reddish blond as hers. He acts just like she did as a newborn though. He is really alert and can hold his head up and track stuff. They gave him a 10 on his second APGAR score, which they don't usually do for sort of superstitious reasons but they couldn't resist because he was so pink and happy. He ate great for the first hour, then took the next 14 hours off from eating as he gurgled out fluid all night. He has been doing great with the nursing since then, also unlike his sister, although such was his enthusiasm that he only let me sleep for an hour last night. You're not supposed to compare your kids, right? That's not going to work out here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

born yesterday

we are limiting his access to credit so opportunistic salespeople can't take advantage of his obvious inexperience.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


  • Oliver Wright Blumkin

  • 7:37 pm

  • 22 inches

  • 9 lbs 3 oz

Everyone is healthy and doing fine.

hanging out

they broke my water ~noon

i have a lovely epidural

i was 5cm last time they checked an hour and a half ago

we have spent the afternoon following nfl games -- i'm still in survivor for next week

and...dylan took a nap for the first time in weeks. all that anxiety wears a girl out. plus she heard us rustling around at 6am and got up too.

getting show on road

We're in the hospital, all checked in, with all the paperwork, IV, ultrasound, etc out of the way. The latest is that we're going straight to pitocin. Aaron is going to have some too out of solidarity.

Dylan is reportedly doing very well now that we've gone ahead and left already.

T minus 2 hours

Going in at 8:30 this AM. Was told "there are two of you vying to come in." Aaron or I will update from hospital, but not sure when.

Friday, November 20, 2009

40.5 weeks: the dumbening

I've been trying to think of something to say besides about my current state of not birthing a baby, but apparently that's the best I can come up with. I spent most of the day staring vacantly at a selection of walls, tv, family members, and the internet.

The car, you'll be pleased to learn, is working again, and we have logged our second visit to our (now beloved) mechanic that resulted in no charge because they felt sorry for us for being so stupid. And! Now we have an HD radio in the car, as soon as we figure out how to work it.

I'll try to think of something of substance for tomorrow, but I might get tripped up on the "think" part. Otherwise I'll give a status update Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

another item checked off the to do list

have car towed from driveway

days = numbered

  • nonstress test = good
  • cervix = 2cm, from 1cm last week
  • doctor's assessment = he doesn't seem that big
  • ultrasound done anyway to humor me (i know they're not that accurate, but it worked for my purposes) = estimated 8lbs 14oz --> let's check on when they can get me in for induction --> call 6am sunday to see if they have room
  • also, I think I have walking pneumonia

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chattering on

Dylan is really losing it. She cried for two hours before bed last night and then woke up three hours later to cry some more. I feel like most three-year-olds are not quite this tuned in, and I think it's about the same as Snuffy being so smart, which is that it would be for her own good to be slightly more oblivious. She has big plans after the baby is born to take advantage of my new lap space and to feed me treats. Works for me. She also plans to be able to button her own jeans at some point.

Aaron volunteered to call the car place tomorrow. It's nice when dividing up the household tasks is relatively cut and dry. I have big plans to have absolutely no involvement in pursuit of operation: make the subaru run again.

The deadline to submit abstracts for the big pediatrics conference is today, so Aaron has been all focused and worky and can relax tomorrow. I told him I would not get in the way of the deadline, which his co-workers didn't believe. I actually signed up to do some work at school through this past Monday. It's worked pretty well thus far to assume I won't go into labor and go about my business. I got through all the work I wanted to, and am now onto the dregs of my to do list, including estimating how much tax withholding we should have next year. It's just as well about the work because I did a clean install of windows 7 thinking I had the disk for microsoft office, but really it turns out I just have the box so doing actual work is unpossible for the time being. But my computer's all shiny and clean and I finally found and deleted the hidden lenovo files that have been taking up 50% of my hard drive since I got this computer.


And now for some fun links

Newest item on my to do list

Review of our favorite restaurant, sadly revealing its existence to the general public. Aaron may or may not have had a role in this.

Bio-Diversity from the NY Times

Slate's index to Going Rogue

Daily Show episode with a segment on our children's museum and an entreaty to Rochester to "get your heads out of your garbage plates."

Starting to lose it 9 days after Dylan's due date


Baby check tomorrow AM, with ultrasound.


Dylan, as she is being strapped into her car seat: Mommy, what are you eating?

Kate: Um...raisins.

D: No...I think it's a treat.

Kate goes around to driver's seat

D, thoughtful: I think it's peanut butter. No, I think it's peanut butter with chocolate.

K: Fine. Take one. I guess you deserve it if you can do that.

D: Mommy, you're not supposed to have treats until the baby comes out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cooked (=40 Weeks)

As I mentioned, one of our cars is, ahem, out of commission. Aaron drives to work two days a week, so Dylan and I dropped him off this morning so as to have access to a vehicle during the day. As we were leaving Aaron called out that I would have to come pick him up if I went into labor, see you later. Luckily going into labor isn't something I do very often.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Plunging ahead

There is something embarrassing about being hugely pregnant and walking into a store at 9pm to purchase only a plunger. But at that point in the evening the cabbage smell was threatening to suffocate us all. Attempts to clear the drain using an allen wrench on the disposal (aaron) or a baking soda and vinegar volcano (me) (the internet told me to) having been unsuccessful, Action had to be taken. We deduced that for sanitary purposes the sink should perhaps have its own dedicated plunger, so off I went. While I was out Aaron requested that I buy one, or possibly several, fuses for the subaru, which I learned at that point has been rendered undriveable due to the Multiday Stereo Installation Process. Aaron made up for this in part with a highly successful declogging operation once the plunger made it home, and I have to say it is fun to poke around an auto supply store in the absence of any knowledge of the needs and wants of autos.


I told Aaron a couple days ago that time had stopped, but it turned out I was wrong. At that point it had only slowed. You may have noticed that it stopped entirely from 5-7pm today, for which you can thank Dylan. Her steady whine of Mommy is intimately connected to the spacetime continuum and she has no qualms about using her power to ill effect. She has been very clear with me that she is not worried about the baby, who she is looking forward to having around. She is mostly worried that we her parents are going to take off for the hospital for an undetermined number of days without any prior notice. Yeah, about that... She is also having some discomfort that a little dried fruit couldn't hurt if you know what I mean, so hopefully I cleared that up for tomorrow with a few well placed snacks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Original compositions

Dylan, singing, at dinner: I'm all done, I'm all done, I don't want any more food.

Kate: Great, let's go upstairs.

D: No, I'm still hungry. That was just a song.

Aaron, singing: I'm having contractions, I'm going to the hospital, I had the baby.


Actually, I may have guaranteed labor tonight by clogging up the garbage disposal and not figuring out how to deal with it yet. Aaron has maxed out on manly tasks by replacing the car stereo (the buttons all stopped working besides the CD eject, so we had to choose between listening to the one CD in the car, from the beginning, at high volume, or total silence), retooling our wifi, and contemplating replacing a light fixture, so it appears to be up to me. Never make homemade cole slaw.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Refreshingly less gross

Let us all keep in mind that I was pregnant with Dylan for 15 more days at this point, and she still took some convincing to get out. I have therefore given up on going into labor. I called to try to change my appointment (made yesterday, you will recall) to a little earlier in the week, only to be told I had no appointment to change, and they would have to try to fit me in somewhere. I really think I shouldn't go too much longer than another week so the baby doesn't get 'UGE, so my plan is to lobby for being induced by the end of next week, much as I don't want to go through that again.

In the meantime, we got another Dylan. I think Snuffy likes her.

He's doing a lot better today, but has bought himself a bunch of days of antibiotics.

I'm getting enough stuff wrapped up that if I have a few more days next week I can really just hang out and see movies and spend time with the already-birthed creatures.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'll see your yuck and raise you one disgusting

You know what is (presumably) grosser than reading about my cervix? Reading about Snuffy's anal fissure. The vet said that the collar drives most dogs crazy for a few days, then they get used to it and it's fine. That's not really Snuffy's MO. He will morosely accept whatever it is you have to do to him, then continue to be morose until you stop doing it. I had to have a baggie to carry all his meds home.

The People Want to Know

About my cervix. Yuck, I know. Yet, that's why you're here, isn't it?

No change since last week. Received: one H1N1 vaccine, one order to go into labor.

I have to say, there is something satisfying about having time to get everything I can think of taken care of. The phrase "putting my affairs in order" comes to mind, but I thought that might be alarming to sensitive readers who are my parents.

The phone was ringing as I walked into the house after my appointment, with the OB's office on the caller ID. Had they made a mistake? And needed to call to tell me I actually am in labor? No, just a receptionist calling to make sure she had made the appointment at the right time, for next Friday. Shall we take bets on whether I will be able to attend? The baby pool consensus seems to be Yes, including a contingent going for late November despite my claim to be unwilling to go more than a week late. I'm not sure what information you all have, but it makes be nervous.

Keep checking back to see whether our extended families begin to crack under the strain of not making any definite plans.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

104 Weeks

Aaron said someone from his work said that they thought I would have the baby at some point. Current evidence points to the contrary. Just because someone is a "doctor" doesn't mean they know everything.

My OB said last week, "I don't think you'll be pregnant for three more weeks." We took that to mean that leaving town last weekend as we had planned was a bad idea (it was mostly the idea of delivering on the thruway that got us) but in fact interpreting that statement as "any minute now" as we did was probably overly optimistic.

Dylan is on edge lately. I think it's the impending baby, but I also think she's going through a growth spurt. Outgrowing all her clothes in a two week span was a clue, but it was more that she started eating again for the first time in a year. I can suddenly put just about anything down in front of her and she will at least try it without a fight. Rigorous "no thank you bite" training in her new preschool room has also been helpful. She's on the verge of stopping napping entirely and she is SO SENSITIVE to everything. She was about to climb on my back last night and Aaron told her not to rather urgently since it's been bothering me and she burst into tears. She wakes up crying for mommy and goes to bed crying for mommy and spends most of the rest of her time with and without me whining for mommy, even if she's already on my lap, such as it is. At school last week they asked if I was out of town.

The volume of inquiries re: have you had the baby yet is entertaining. I think I am actually less focused on this topic than at least a few others I could name. I just have one more work project I want to finish and then I am hoping to have a couple days to just relax and hang out with Dylan and finish the house stuff. Aaron is having trouble living with the uncertainty, but has been impressively restrained about interpreting my every move as a possible contraction.

I have an appointment tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

ps. I took down the baby name polls. Interpret that as you will.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

name game

Dylan sometimes goes around muttering D-Y-L-A-N like some kind of incantation. Last night she looked at me and asked, "What about B-Y-L-A-N?" I said I supposed it would be pronounced Bylan, which prompted about five minutes of guffaws on her end. Plus, now we know what to name the baby! Works for everyone.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Wingardium Leviosa

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Four Corners

I've covered the house with a layer of baby stuff. It's hard to walk, but at least when we are stumbling around without sleep we'll have a better chance of tripping over something useful. We now have a corner of the living room with the theme "Spots to Put the Baby."

The swing and the crib are preferable to the kitchen set as options, but in a pinch I'm sure Dylan could clear out some extra cabinet space. I also made Dylan a play area in another corner of the room.
The third corner is the stairs and the fourth is for me to go curl up behind the couch when I get too grumpy.

Our baby preparations have expanded well beyond the necessary to include decluttering and rearranging most rooms in the house, putting in a new router with a terabyte of storage as a backup system for the computers, getting my diploma framed, wrapping up work on two of my research projects, not to mention the new car. I seem to think I will be capable of very little for a while. One thing I have not managed to do is pack a bag for the hospital. There's nothing I actually need besides a toothbrush, right?

Dylan has had a lot of fun helping me go through everything, and likes hearing all the stories about what she liked when she was a baby. She was particularly fond of the bubbling bouncy seat, which turns out to still be the case. We put some batteries in it last night and she wouldn't let us turn it off for much of the day today.
Hopefully it will hold her interest and we can use it to babysit both children at once.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Plausible Deniability

With the last kid (Dylan) we knew what we wanted to name her (Dylan) pretty early on. We had to spend most of the pregnancy coyly deflecting the inquiries of friends, family, and strangers, all of whom grew increasingly determined to extract this information as the pregnancy progressed. This time we took a different strategy: not talking about it with each other. At all. For a whole bunch of months. That way when people have asked about our thoughts on names we can shrug and act like thinking of a name hasn't occurred to us. Which is possible, in one of our cases.

We have recently realized that time is short, and that this decision is possibly one task that would be good to accomplish soonish. Thusly we have been trying to focus in past few days. Here is our current status:

Kate: "Here is my list and these are my favorites and I especially like this one and this one and remember last time we talked you said you didn't like this for this reason and that for that reason and actually you don't remember that do you and I am ready to decide right now this very second okay?"

Aaron: **percolates**

Your votes in the polls have, of course, been enormously helpful, although there were suggestions of irregularities at times. The winner of each heat will be incorporated into our decision, and I'm sure little Onyong Tommy Humphrey Blumkin will enjoy hearing the origin of his name.

The baby pool is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. Aaron was hedging his bets because he secretly thought things would get rolling last weekend and missed the deadline entirely. I told him he could still enter and not be eligible for the prize, although I have some suspicion that he will use his insider knowledge and wait until I go into labor to enter. Maybe I should cut him out of the phone tree?

There weren't too many people betting against it being a boy. Public opinion also overwhelmingly approves of this option either because we need one ("Your husband must be so happy!") or because now we will have one of each, which greatly pleases people. Or maybe people just need something to say after they enthusiastically inquire about the sex, and it's a tough one to comment on without making yourself look a little silly.

I don't have anything left that I really need to do before the baby is born, but I still have a whole bunch of stuff I would like to do, so I an torn between being done done done (I got to the point today of switching to a rolling suitcase in place of a backpack to save my back, much to the amusement of my adoring husband and his coworkers) and just wanting another couple weeks to work. I've heard it may not actually be up to me how this goes, but that could be a rumor.