Gould Baby Blog

Latest Baby News...

  • Baby Wearing
    One of the pictures in my post from this month shows Phoebe strapped to my back in a cloth carrier.  I thought I'd explain a little more about this topic.

    It's becoming a popular thing in some circles to use a variety of these carriers to keep a child close and/or keep a mom free to move around while caring for a baby or early toddler.  There are now lots of online forums to share information/help and even special interest play groups that meet to support people in learning how to use baby carriers effectively.

    I'm not looking to "wear" Phoebe in a carrier all the time, but I do find it helpful when I'm trying to get something done, or chase Elliott around at the playground, and Phoebe is getting fussy.  Staying close and being held up high where she can see things usually helps calm her down in those situations.  I also use my carrier when I do larger grocery shopping trips since most shopping carts have only one child seat and I generally prefer to keep Elliott contained in that unless it's a very short trip.

    We started with something called a Moby wrap, which is stretchy and keeps a baby wrapped close to your body.  It works great for newborns but as a child gets bigger the stretchiness of the fabric causes the weight to hang mostly off the shoulders and it gets pretty uncomfortable. 

    A friend of mine who is getting into "baby wearing" for a child she nannies shared info about a DIY carrier you can sew and I got the plans and put one together for myself.  It's called a Mei Tai and has padded straps in addition to being a different shape to be fairly quick for tying around me and Phoebe.  With being home made, it's a little more simplified than the professionally designed ones (not as adjustable for different sized babies...meaning my friend thought it might be a little wide for Pheobe's size at the moment) but it's working for now in the ways I mentioned above.

    There is part of me that thinks it would be nice to get a professionally-made carrier and/or a different design both for variety of styles to use when doing different tasks and also for the option of keeping one carrier in the car and one in the house.  When Phoebe was small enough for the Moby wrap it was nice to keep that in the car for times when I was running errands with the kids and realized I wanted to carry Phoebe in the wrap, but then I was able to keep the Mei Tai in the house for times Phoebe got fussy and I needed to wrap her up quickly and get back to cooking dinner or things like that.

    It's a little hard to justify buying a new carrier, though, since I have at least the one functional carrier and we also have a backpack carrier that works well for distributing weight of heavier kids, although it's bulky and feels like overkill to use that on short errands around town.  At this point I'm thinking it's a luxury that isn't necessary but if someone wanted to buy one for us it could be a nice addition to our baby gear.

    From the research I've done and talking to friends who use a variety of carriers, I think the three best options would be a woven wrap (very versatile, similar to a Moby but less stretchy so works for heavier babies), an Ergo baby carrier (similar to Mei Tai but uses buckles instead of tying so might fit better, feel less bulky...also similar to the backpack carrier in distributing weight to hips but less bulky) or a BabyHawk (a Mei Tai but designed professionally so it is better at adjusting to size of the baby).
    Posted Nov 25, 2012, 1:10 PM by Cheryl Gould
  • Christmas is coming...

    Personal Reflections

    In Christian circles it seems like every year you hear people talking about trying to make sure Christmas celebrations reflect the meaning behind Christmas - celebrating God’s gift of Jesus to live among us and eventually die for our redemption.  I am no different in reflecting on these things, so I thought I’d start with sharing a few of my musings, but I will try to keep it short and sweet.

    First, I think it’s wise to not try to over-Christianize things.  From everything I understand, the early church didn’t celebrate Christmas.  I believe historical research suggests that it was developed in later years partly as a response to pagan holidays.  That doesn’t mean Christmas is evil and shouldn’t be celebrated, but maybe some things around Christmas can be just family traditions and not necessarily have significance related to Christ's birth.

    However, we want to have Christ as Lord over all parts of our lives, so there’s still a definite question of how we honor God with our Christmas celebrations, as with every other area.  Recently I was reflecting on what God set up for the Israelite nation in the Old Testament theocracy to look at what holidays were meant to be at that time:
    God set up a number of festivals for the community to celebrate.  It seems that He knows our human nature to forget things and I see these festivals being used as:        
    (1) a reminder or "object lesson" to keep mindful of important things related to our journey with God
    (2) a break from the daily routine - sabbath rest is important to God...He made us and knows we need a change of pace from time to time
    (3) an opportunity to celebrate in community (friends and family)
    (4) at it’s best, always an emphasis on worshipping God with our heart attitude, which was a distinction between the times the Israelites were close to God and times when they were being disobedient

    I've been intrigued working through these musings and the way they can have implications for the Christmas season and throughout the year.  So the first chance to try applying this framework is with communication about plans for Christmas and planning for gifts.

    Christmas Gift Ideas

    I know from my experience in buying gifts for friends and family who live far away that it can be really difficult to get ideas; kids are constantly changing their interests and it’s hard to keep track of development stages.  This is my motivation for providing ideas to family, while also trying to stay away from the mentality of a “Christmas list” where the kids expect to get certain things that they want.

    It's also important to me to say clearly each year that we are grateful for the opportunities we get to interact with our family and friends and welcome everyone to consider that investment of time and love as the most precious gift they could give.

    If you’re wanting to give something above and beyond that...

    Phoebe isn’t going to understand what a “gift” is, but she’ll be going through lots of growth and changing clothes sizes this year.  I expect she’ll grow through the 9 - 12 month, 12 - 18 month and get into the 18 - 24 month sizes.  Here's a page about another idea for baby gear I've been using with Phoebe.

    Elliott enjoys books and is transitioning to small paperback picture books (he likes Curious George and “things that go” like rockets/space, construction machines, flying machines, etc.).
    He’s enjoying learning to play board games (Snail’s Pace Race and Zingo are two I’ve seen recommended for his age).
    Imaginative play is his next development stage - things like animal figurines*, play food, or other creative play resources.
    Elliott's interest in “things that go” and technology make me think this remote control dump truck would probably be a fun treat to bring out sometimes for play.

    While we’re at it, we’ve mentioned to some of you about our yard project and it came up that contributions toward buying trees for our yard could make a fun gift.  If you know of a good supplier and want to provide an actual tree, these are in the plans: 
    (1) Pineapple Guava: 15 gal or 24" box
    (3) Jacaranda: 24" box
    (1) Crape Myrtle: 15 gal or 24" box

    Otherwise a gift card to Armstrong Garden Centers would help us coordinate contributions toward trees.

    *Special note: I was originally thinking of the plastic kind, but was reminded the other day about some of the concerns people are having about the unknown long-term effects of all the chemicals we get exposed to these days, including our widespread use of plastics...so even though they're a lot more expensive I put a link to natural wood figurines.  A small starter set could make a nice gift and be added to over the years.  We also always like trying to limit the number of toys we have to prevent a cluttered house so a small collection is just as good as one of those big tubs of plastic animals.
    Posted Nov 25, 2012, 1:07 PM by Cheryl Gould
  • Development Milestones August 2012
    It's so exciting these days to see what the kids are up to in their development!

    Elliott has been growing tremendously lately in his communication ability.  It's hard to remember but I know that just a little while ago we were using sign language for most of our communication.  Then he started being able to speak some words, but he would only use the words he was comfortable/familiar with.  If you asked him to repeat any other words, he would keep quiet and just look at you.  At some point a few months ago I noticed he was more willing to repeat  words back to you and I think the positive reinforcement he got with seeing people's excited praise for these responses encouraged him to grow in that.  Soon he could repeat back just about any word.  I also noticed that the books and TV shows we exposed him to were encouraging him to learn to recognize alphabet letters as well as their name and the sound they make.  Elliott's excitement for the space shuttle/rockets get him interested in learning to count from 1 to 10 as well as from 10 to 1.  For a while he would always skip the number 7, but now he's able to reliably count, and especially he seems able to recognize numbers as a way of describing the quantity of something, especially for small quantities.

    Most recently I've noticed that we're transitioning from using 2 words together to now stringing full sentences together, although sometimes the pronunciation or the requisite conjunction words may be lacking.  In addition to counting, Elliott can pretty reliably say the entire alphabet and is now learning to sing the alphabet song, as well as sing any other song he's heard and knows well (Jesus Loves Me, If You're Happy and You Know It, Hokey Pokey, and various potty training songs).  Elliott recognizes stop signs and loves to point them out when he sees them.  He is doing great with motor skills as well.  He can hop, jump (including jumping off furniture although this is generally not allowed), spin and dance, run, balance on beams, kick a ball, and play catch.  Fine motor skills are the milestone we're looking to develop at this age and he's progressing well in that, too.  We got him a toy drill and he is able to fit the bit into a screw and control the drill to make the screw go up and down.  The computer skills continue to advance along with every thing else.  Elliott managed to drop our iPod touch from his seat in a shopping cart, breaking the display glass, so that device is out of commission until we get it fixed, but we've set up an account with limited access on our computer so he can play some educational games.  I see his motor skills developing in being able to "drag and drop" things and manipulate the controls for various games and activities on the computer.

    Elliott's interaction with Phoebe are very cute.  He continues to be a good big brother.  He will often give her "hugs" and "kisses" on the forehead when he's saying good night before going to bed.  He also enthusiastically says, "Hi Phoebe!" when I bring her out in the morning.  I think he's getting a bit better at understanding that he's supposed to give her some space, although lately sometimes we've had to call him out about trying to lay on her.  Phoebe has grown too big to be held on Elliott's lap, so now we sit her next to him on the couch and he props her up and/or puts his arm around her shoulders.  What's more amazing to me is that Phoebe seems to understand a special bond with Elliott and recognizes something special in him.  When Elliott is being silly, like hopping around repeatedly, if Phoebe is sitting up and can see him do that, she will start giggling!  Elliott is the only one who makes her laugh out loud like that and she does it pretty reliably when Elliott is moving around and making noises within her field of vision.  Phoebe will also smile at Elliott when he brings his face close to her, but that's something that others can get her to do as well.  Just like Elliott was at her age, Phoebe seems to have a very pleasant natural disposition and smiles easily and readily when people smile and talk to her.  We get comments from people that they generally only see her smiling (or sleeping).

    In fact, she's so pleasant that we were taken off guard a bit when we left her for the first time with a baby sitter to go out for an evening and found out that she wouldn't take a bottle from her.  Our baby sitter had come over during the week for a dry run and Phoebe had taken a bottle then, but we think the timing didn't work our right and Phoebe might have been more finicky with an evening feeding and being close to bed time, so we ended up coming home and helping get her settled down before going out again for a short walk (after which we came home to find that the baby sitter had successfully gotten her to go to sleep).  We have noticed that Phoebe has been a little less cooperative than we remember Elliott being with taking a pacifier and sleeping through the night, but when she wakes up during the night she nurses for a few minutes and then goes right back to sleep, so I really don't think we have much right to complain.  From what I understand, things could be a lot worse!

    Phoebe has also been achieving her motor skill development milestones - including a few times of rolling over from back to front (usually needing a little bit of help to pull her arm the final little bit to be fully on her stomach), holding her head up with good control, and grasping at toys.  It's fun that she's now able to grasp the rings hanging from her bouncy chair (one of which makes music when pulled).  We've been working particularly on the head/neck control per recommendations by a physical therapist after an evaluation we had related to the cranial orthotic.  Tummy time and holding her in a sitting up position without supporting her head has helped this develop well over the last few weeks.  Phoebe also likes to move her legs a lot - sometime surprising me with the loud thumping I hear as she kicks the ground.  A few times I've even found that she has pushed so hard with her feet that she has scooted herself off of her mat (while laying on her back).  She likes trying to get her hands/fingers in her mouth to suck on, so with not wanting to take pacifiers we're hoping that as she learns to grasp toys we can encourage sucking on toys rather than on hands.  Already she's found a few toys that seem to be favorites to grasp and try to put parts in her mouth.

    All in all, we are so grateful for the blessing of our children and their continued growth and development.  They are generally happy and healthy and provide us much joy to spend time with them and watch them grow.
    Posted Sep 2, 2012, 3:55 PM by Cheryl Gould
  • Phoebe's Homecoming (more details)
    On Wednesday morning we took turns showering and getting dressed, packing up our things, etc. but eventually found out from our nurse that our pediatrician had run out of time to check on all the newborns before needing to get to his office, so we were going to have to wait until he could come back during his lunch hour to examine Phoebe and sign her discharge papers.  So it was a little frustrating to have to wait around when we were ready to go home, but we made the best of it - resting more and having a 2nd session of consultation with a lactation consultant. Chris went off to find food and eventually the pediatrician showed up and we were cleared for going home.  Phoebe didn't particularly like getting secured in the carseat, but she fell asleep while we drove on the freeway and stayed asleep for a while when we got home.

    At home,  we unloaded the car and Chris put together a bouncy seat we like using as a spot to set newborns down when not needing attention. Our neighbors stopped in for a quick visit and then Chris worked on arranging to pick up Elliott from his Mom's.  When they got home, I had just finished nursing Phoebe and left her inside while I went out to meet Elliott.  I spent some time givingof Elliott my undivided attention and doing some of the things we normally did together, like going down to the mailbox to pick up mail and stopping by to say hi to the neighbors.  Then we arranged with our neighbors to have them take video of Elliott meeting Phoebe.  I was going to take Elliott into the house, where Chris was staying with Phoebe, but when we got to the door I realized it was going to upset Elliott to make him go inside, so I asked Chris to bring Phoebe out to the porch.  Pretty quick once Elliott saw Phoebe, he gestured that he'd like to try holding her.  So we had him sit on the porch steps and I showed him how to hold his arms while Chris supported Phoebe at brought her close to his arms. Elliott looked at her, looked around a bit, and then decided he'd had enough and gestured that Chris should take her back.

    Since that initial meeting we have found that Elliott is good at understanding that he needs to be gentle when touching Phoebe.  With
    permission from us, he'll lean over Phoebe in the bouncy seat and give her "hugs" and/or gently kiss her forehead. :)
    By the time he came home from his Granny's, Elliott had already learned how to say Phoebe's name (and can pronounce it more clearly than he says his own name).  A few of the expected setbacks: he had gotten good at responding correctly to someone asking him what his name is, but now half of the time he responds that his name is "Phoebe".  Elliott is now also expressing more 2 year old independence (i.e. saying "No", running away when we tell him to come to us), which might be just normal development or might be exasperated by Phoebe's arrival.  We already had a discipline system set up and the choice between obeying and going to "time out" usually results in Elliott making the choice to obey.  At this point, Phoebe sleeps so much during the day I'm also finding that I have lots of opportunities for giving Elliott my full attention, so I think he doesn't see Phoebe as a threat to his position in the family.  He'll ask to hold her pretty frequently (arms out while a parent supports her) but be done and ready to "give her back" after about 30 seconds.

    Other "big brother, little sis" interactions: Elliott will point out Phoebe to us or ask to see her when he gets up in the morning.  When
    Phoebe is crying we've taught Elliott to say to her, "It's okay, Phoebe.". When changing Phoebe's diaper, Elliott will "help" by
    pulling out a fresh diaper for her and then will take to dirty diaper to his room and put it in the diaper genie ("trash!") when we ask him to.  After picking Phoebe up from the diaper changing mat or the play mat, Elliott will sometimes lay down in those and say, "My turn!"

    On our first evening home and many of the subsequent evenings we've been able to arrange schedules so that Chris can watch Phoebe while I put Elliott to bed, which he's gotten attached to having me do and generally responds better than Chris puts him to bed. Phoebe continued her practice of sleeping well during the night when we got home.  For the most part so far she's done a late evening feeding (10 or 11pm), then woken up around 1 or 2am, usually goes back to sleep pretty easily, and then wakes up again around 4 or 5am.  Getting those blocks of 2 - 3 hours of sleep between nursing sessions has been working pretty well for me to keep me from being a complete zombie. After the 5am feeding, Phoebe usually goes back to sleep, but for us that's the time Elliott is waking up so our day starts then too.

    On our first full day home it was one of the days the hospital hosts a breast feeding support group, which I found helpful with Elliott as a newborn.  So we got ready and piled in the car to go to that.  Chris and Elliott were going to drop us off and then find a place for
    Elliott to run around while waiting for us, but when we got to the hospital entrance and I started to take Phoebe out of the car Elliott
    started to cry and signed "more" and pointed to Phoebe, shaking his head and saying ,"No...Phoebe...". Pretty cute and totally
    understandable that to his little 2 year old mind we might be taking Phoebe back and leaving her at the place he had seen a few nights
    before.  So we did our best to reassure Elliott that we weren't going to leave Phoebe there but that both of us would be back in a little
    bit.  At support group I found that Phoebe's weight loss had leveled out, since she weighed the same as the day before when we had checked out of the hospital (7 pounds, 2 ounces).  She took in 1 ounce (30 mL) and then we left to meet Chris and Elliott.  We then tested out going to the store with two kids in tow,stopping at the Target to pick up some supplies and groceries.  By the time we finished that, with me trying to think about what we needed and Chris and Elliott playing games to keep entertained, we were tired out and ready to go home for lunch and nap.

    During the first weeks we had Phoebe at home, there was still a private contractor working on finishing up our bathroom remodel, so
    some of the time while Chris was home on leave/vacation he worked on small projects in the bathroom and we also did some outings to pick up the last of the hardware and decor items that were needed for the project.  We were blessed with having some family and church friends bring meals for us so that we didn't need to worry about preparing meals each night.  On Saturday morning we had a check-up at the pediatrician for Phoebe, where she measured at 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20.5 inches.  Although a bit nervous about going to a place with lots of people who would want to see Phoebe up close, we decided to go to church on Sunday, which was Mother's Day.  We figured that I'd probably spend most of the time in the nursing room with Phoebe, which would help limit her exposure to the general group and any colds people might have.  The pastor had some gifts for mothers in the congregation, including one for the mother with the newest baby, which of course Phoebe was almost as new as you could get.  Chris spoke up for me since I was in the nursing room, but Phoebe was sleeping and hadn't woken up to nurse yet, so I was able to go around to the sanctuary and accept the gift myself - a Jamba Juice gift card.  The only thing is that I felt kind of guilty taking the gift because I had also been given a gift two years ago when Elliott was the newest baby.

    In the 2nd week home we started trying some times on our own with each of the kids - Chris taking them both together to go out for donuts one morning, me staying home with them while Chris did his morning rock climbing.  Chris also found it fairly easy to take Elliott out for various outings, which gave me more opportunities to nap when Phoebe slept, so Elliott went to the hardware store a number of times and also went to Balboa Park for "free Tuesday", visiting a couple of museums and the Japanese friendship garden. On Thursday we did another visit to the breast feeding support group, finding that she weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and took in almost 3 ounces (85 mL). At the end of the 2nd week we spent a little bit of time working on getting some nice family pictures to use in a birth announcement and other printed picture items we might want.  It is challenging to try to get two children, at very differ development stages, to cooperate for something like photos, but we took lots of pictures and did a number of short sessions at different locations and different times of day and came away with a couple of pictures that looked pretty good.

    And before we knew it, our two weeks of "family vacation" was over and Chris was going back to work, with all of us trying to get back into something of our normal daily routines. The first few days have gone fairly well, although of course there will be times when one or the other child (or Mom and/or Dad) are not able to have his/her need or want eat in the optimal time or way, but we'll deal with each of those situations as best we can when they come and focus on all that we have to be thankful for in each day, like Chris supporting me to be able to stay home with our kids, the warm sunny days that allow us to sit on the front porch and let Elliott play the yard while Phoebe nurses or naps, and the sweet moments of family time like baths for both kids...joking that Phoebe saw how much big brother likes baths and this helped her cry less when she got put in the baby bathtub.
    Posted May 29, 2012, 1:19 PM by Cheryl Gould
  • Phoebe's Arrival - at the hospital (more details)
    When Chris had everything almost ready, I worked on finding gaps between contractions to get myself from bedroom to living room and then from living room to the car.  When I got to the car I saw that Elliott looked confused but not overly upset.  We drove to the
    hospital and Chris went to get a wheelchair for me.  He pushed me in and carried Elliott (barefoot and in his summer lightweight pajamas) to the check in area.  We did our best to answer their check-in questions, Chris answering what he knew of my information and me answering the others in between contractions.  The nurses quickly decided based on my behavior that they would take me straight to a delivery room to check me for progression.  I think they could tell they weren't going to be sending me home at this point.

    Chris had gone back with Elliott to get our bag from the car and then met me in the room after I had changed into a hospital gown.  Again, Elliott looked a bit confused but wasn't scared enough to start crying.  I pointed out the bathtub in the bathroom, knowing he loves any reference to "bath".  At that point I lost track for a bit of what was going on with Chris and Elliott because I was getting in the bed and getting checked by the nurse.  In an experience eerily similar to what happened with Elliott's delivery, the nurse got done checking and said, with some surprise and an air of needing to get down to business, "Well, you're at 9cm, so you're pretty much ready to go." The nurse then started making calls to other nurses for the supplies they would need.  Within the next few minutes a lot happened - I briefly saw Chris' mom walk in, collect Elliott, and take him out.  As she left, our Doula arrived.  I told her about being at 9cm and she realized that some of the supplies, like an exercise ball she was carrying, wouldn't be needed at this stage.  So she looked for a place to put her things down and she and Chris came over to my side to start helping with coaching and encouragement.

    With the short notice, the nurses kept busy working on getting set up and by the time they were ready for the delivery phase, they checked and I was also fully dilated and ready to go.  They had paged the doctor on call but it was going to take him a few minutes to get there.  In the meantime, I heard them say something about needing to reposition the fetal heart monitor and they told me they needed me to roll on my side.  I didn't like the idea of having to move and of course I was focused on hoping that the baby would be coming out soon and I'd be done with the worst of the contractions, but of course I wanted to cooperate as best as I could with the instructions of the medical staff, so I rolled on my side and clung to the bed rail while doing my best to breathe through the pain of each contraction.  Shortly after, the doctor arrived and one of the early things he asked was whether I wanted some kind of local anesthetic that would help with some of the pain, which was definitely a difficult decision to make in the midst of the contractions and pain.  My first thought was that I wanted to get done with delivery as quickly as possible and wondered about just moving ahead without medication, but the doctor said it would just take a minute, would help control some of the pain and assured me that it was a local, so that reassured me it shouldn't affect the baby.  However, when the doctor went to administer the medication, he found that the baby's head was in the way and we were crowning, so the option was no longer valid.

    Our Doula told us that she was aware that the doctor took his time and seemed to be very skillful in trying to ease the baby's head out to minimize trauma and tearing.  From my perspective, I wanted to cooperate with his instructions as best as I could, but it was of
    course difficult to concentrate on that.  I remember that even though I was numb from epidural during Elliott's delivery I felt like I was able to concentrate on cooperating with pushing for his delivery, but this time it was harder to think about operating the correct muscle groups.  The doctor for Phoebe's delivery gave more specific directions (push now, stop pushing, give a gentle/slow push) but I trusted he had his reasons and afterward I did find I had less discomfort from tearing/stretching.  I also found the cliche "You're
    almost there" encouraging to hear, then heard " Okay the head's out." Then, "and the shoulders"...and then the doctor was holding up our new baby girl.

    Throughout the process, Chris was a great help, especially considering he, like me, doesn't do this every day.  I realized early on that a
    cool wet cloth on my forehead would feel good, so he worked regularly on keeping a cool cloth moving around and being replaced as needed, which felt good.  He advocated for me with the staff when needed and gave encouragement when he could.  Our Doula was also a nice support, especially because she does see this kind of stuff regularly and could be a source of information and coaching about what was going on with the labor process and what I should be doing.  I felt it was important for me to keep others informed about what I was feeling & would ask questions about whether I was doing things right or needed to respond differently to what was going on.  Mostly they responded that I was doing well, although of course there wasn't much they could do or say
    in response to comments about being in pain.  We did all start to realize that my feeling of light-headedness was due to the way I was
    practicing breathing through the pain, so Chris and Jennifer also kept busy coaching and reminding me about slowing down my breathing, taking deep breaths, and breathing in through my nose.

    Once we delivered Phoebe, I knew that the worst of the pain would be over but that there was still the placenta to deliver and there would be afterbirth pains for a while.  So it was still somewhat painful, but my mind started to clear and I was better able to enjoy what was going on.  The doctor checked with Chris about cutting the umbilical chord, which he did.  They put Phoebe on my lap as they worked on cleaning her off and we started to get to know her.  They did their weight & other measurements (APGAR scores 8 & 9) and then gave her back for me to try nursing.  Phoebe took to that well and looked to have a good latch for someone who was just learning, although I eventually found out that she tends toward an overly aggressive sucking style - such that within
    the first few days, despite my best efforts to do everything right, my nipples were very sore and starting to crack.

    We stayed in the delivery room for a while to do cleaning up, have the doctor do stitches for some minor tearing after administering a local anesthetic, and to finish up their admitting procedures.  The nurse apologetically said that we were doing things sort of backwards, since Phoebe came so fast they didn't have to complete their questions ahead of time.  I was ready for any pain relief they could give me at that point, but they had to wait for the hospital pharmacy to record the doctor's prescription and they wanted to make sure I was stable before giving me something to stomach.  I was told I needed to eat a full set of crackers before they'd give me the Motrin.  Chris was also good about frequently offering and encouraging me to drink ice water.  Due to it being a slow night and the speed of my labor progression, the security guard had agreed to let Chris leave our car in the short term parking spot (reserved for dropping off laboring women), but at this point he needed to move to the parking structure, so our Doula stayed with me and we reflected on the evening's events while Chris moved the car.

    When Chris got back, he had more of a chance to hold Phoebe and I worked on eating my graham crackers.  I had eaten food somewhat regularly during the day at home but I found that labor and delivery had taken a lot out of me and I was pretty hungry.  I also found that my legs were shaking pretty badly for the next several hours, but otherwise I was feeling reasonably well.  I learned that it's standard practice to administer IV Pitocin after delivery to help with uterus contraction & stemming blood loss.  It confused me a lot at first when they told what they were going to give me - why give Pitocin...I don't need help getting labor started after I just gave birth to a baby! Apparently the Pitocin did it's job, though, because after one IV bag the nurses said my uterus was getting firm enough and my bleeding was slowing down such that they could switch to a regular IV.  We also used time in recovery to send the first announcement email out to family and friends.  Then I was helped out of bed to try going to the bathroom & to move to a wheelchair for going to our postpartum room.

    The rest of the hospital stay was pretty standard.  In the postpartum room Chris pulled out his chair/bed and worked on napping while I got settled and took the nurses up on the offer of a turkey sandwich, finding that I was surprisingly hungry for 5am.  We spent the day resting, caring for Phoebe (who slept a lot), went to a class about newborn & mother care that was recommended for all to attend before being discharged, and kept up on communicating with friends and family over phone & internet as we felt up for it.  I found this hospital's food to be more like the stereotypical bad hospital food than I had experienced when Elliott was born, so I was glad for the snacks we had brought and for the food Chris was able to bring back when he went out to get food for himself.  Similar to my experience when we had Elliott, my adrenaline and the novelty of the situation caused me to have a hard time feeling my tiredness and I probably didn't rest as much as I should have.  When I rested I mostly just relaxed & couldn't actually fall asleep.

    One other problem for me on that first night was my concern for Elliott - how did he fare with having been woken up and brought to the hospital, seeing his Mom struggling so much with pain?  I also all of a sudden had the thought that Chris had taken Elliott out in his pajamas, without shoes or socks, so I wondered if Chris' mom would find in the morning that Elliott had no shoes to wear.  I knew she could handle taking him out to buy a new pair, but I found I felt bad as a mother that I hadn't taken care of planning for a middle of the night delivery by packing an extra pair of shoes ahead of time in Elliott's bag.  I knew it would put my mind at ease if we could call Chris' mom in the morning and talk to Elliott, hopefully reassuring him that his mom was okay, etc.  I wondered how early would be okay to call, but then Chris' mom took care of it by calling us instead.

    Apparently when Elliott woke up he asked for Mom and Dad, so she figured he'd like to talk to us on the phone.  He sounded cheerful
    enough and I was glad for being able to talk to him.  I also found out that Chris had packed a pair of shoes for Elliott.  As with other
    times when Elliott has stayed with his grandma or others, I'm always glad for a break from the constant caretaking but I also start to miss Elliott and looked forward to seeing him again, not wanting to stay away any longer than necessary.

    The length of our stay was determined by a requirement that newborns be observed for at least 24 hours, since the test for jaundice has to be done after that length of time.  The medical staff was happy with my recovery and the decreasing of uterus size and bleeding, so we were told we should be able to leave the hospital on Wednesday morning.  I knew of the warning that babies tend to keep their parents up most of the night during their 2nd night outside the womb, and tried to prepare by resting whenever possible on Tuesday, but I found that 2nd night pretty do-able.  Chris mentioned also that from his perspective taking care of a newborn felt a lot more comfortable the 2nd time around.  I remember when we were in the hospital with Elliott, and beyond when we came home, I relied on Chris to do a lot of soothing & diaper changing, but once I got my IV line out this time, I felt comfortable with getting up to change diapers for myself & let Chris sleep through most of the night (as much as possible when sharing room with a newborn).  I think Phoebe generally settled down to sleep after nursing better than Elliott did.
    Posted May 29, 2012, 1:18 PM by Cheryl Gould
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Kid Items

Part of our communication about what's going on in our household, here are items we're considering buying for the kids:

A few girl outfits (limited text/ruffles/lace)
sizes 9-12 month and above

Curious George Books

Preschool teaching books/games

Book organizer

See also this post about Christmas gifts

Regarding toys for gifts:
Our preference is for toys that are small/easy-to-store, checked for choking hazard safety, non-electronic or a "sound off" switch, made of natural materials (especially no lead or BPA)

Examples: PlanToys, Wonderworld, HABA


The following are books we have in our library:

  • Roaring Rockets
  • The Cheerios Play Book
  • Animal Homes (a lift-the-flap book)
  • Push and Pop Jungle
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?
  • Wave Hello to Thomas (the Tank Engine)
  • Who's Laughing? (little Suzy's Zoo)
  • Snuggle Bunny (puppet book)
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Fox in Sox
  • Hop on Pop
  • Green Eggs & Ham
  • One Fish, Two Fish...
  • Marvin K. Mooney...

  • Richard Scary's Best Word Book Ever, Cars and Trucks from A to Z, Pig Will and Pig Won't, A Day at the Airport
  • Thomas and the Freight Train
  • Find the Duck
  • If You Give a Moose a Muffin
  • Frederick
  • Moo, Baa, La La La

  • Peek-a-Boo, I Love You
  • Jessie Bear, What Will You Wear?
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes...
  • Good Night Little One
  • "Tales From Fern Hollow" series
  • Jesus Loves Me (sing-along)
  • The Story of Christmas
  • Tell Me About Easter

Subpages (1): Baby News
Christopher Gould,
Oct 5, 2009, 8:23 PM
Christopher Gould,
Oct 5, 2009, 8:23 PM
Christopher Gould,
Oct 5, 2009, 8:23 PM
Christopher Gould,
Oct 5, 2009, 8:24 PM