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w November 30, 2006

And This Is Why We Induced

When I went to the doctor's on November 16 for a check up, my blood pressure was 160/110. Not so good. Hence the immediate comment from my OB of "guess where you're headed?".

I went in today for a 2 week check in, and my blood pressure? 118/68.

Clearly, my cardiovascular system? Not so thrilled with pregnancy. Motherhood, on the other hand, not such a problem. I'll take that.

We are doing remarkably well around here---Peebs nurses well (after a two day freak out period where I was either eating something that didn't agree with her, or the milk was coming out like Old Faithful and it was just a leeetle too much to deal with), sleeps for at least one 3 hour stretch at night (nice!) and generally acts like a fairly normal newborn. Bean has been fighting a cold, so I've kept her home for a few days. While on the one hand it's hard to wrangle two of them all day, it's rather easier than trying to get everyone out the door with even a passing nod to punctuality.

I'm managing a shower about every three days, but no one has yet to complain about the stench, so I'll push this envelope as long as necessary. One day, perhaps I will get to take a long leisurely bath all by myself with much unguents from Lush or similar. Perhaps.

by Heather Hoffman at 2:50 PM

w November 24, 2006

Genes Are Ridiculous

When the Bean slithered into the world, the joke was "is Heather actually the mother?" because frankly, she looked *exactly* like Gene. Still does to some degree, although she actually probably looks more like the female members of his family, most amusingly like his great-aunt Belva, who is this pint size 90+ year old dynamo (and deaf as a post).

The Peabo came out with tons of black hair, which even alone made me think "oh thank god, there is at least some of my DNA in this child". My mom said she has the same skin as I did, my grandfather, my great-grandmother (that nice wet, cool climate of Wales is great for keeping the skin hydrated, I suppose), and it was clear that she wasn't entirely Daddy's girl like the Bean.

However. It would appear that she is entirely MOMMY'S girl, as evidenced by a picture I discovered of myself as a newborn. With the exception of the mid-70's floral print blanket, it might as well be a picture of Peabo. Same hair, same nose, same mouth, same ears, same hands. It's almost creepy. Granted, babies change, and even now the Bean is starting to show tiny glimpses of being my child too, but we are definitely going to be taking a photo of Peebs to keep next to the one of me, it's so damn ridiculous.

by Heather Hoffman at 12:46 PM

w November 21, 2006

Oddly Serene

I can't tell whether it's just easier the second time around, or whether it's mostly due to not having all the additional worries and issues that surrounded the Bean from practically Day One, but we are handling life in a pretty chill fashion around here. We did have one mild jaundice worry with Peabo, but the good news is that after a doctor's visit yesterday (at which our extremely cool pediatrician gave me some tactics to "keep her ass out of the hospital"---direct quote), her bilirubin levels are decreasing, she's nursing quite well, and the, ah, elimination is what it should be. All is well in babyland.
Big sister Bean remains a delight, not to mention seemingly ENORMOUS in comparison...and this is my child that everyone thinks is "so small" for her age. She has caught up quite a bit, admittedly, but it's still such a funny contrast.
The one thing I'm having a hard time with is remembering to feed myself, as I spend most of my day trying to make sure everyone else has fuel going in and gas coming out; fortunately Gene did a big snacky cakes run on Sunday, so there IS food if I manage to clue in that it's there.

Truly though, the most amazing thing is watching Peabo, well, watch us. And the dogs. And the lights. I know it sounds a bit disingenuous, but because the Bean was essentially blind from birth (as far as we can tell), neither of us are used to a kid staring intently at our faces, or moving her eyes around to start figuring out this world. It's a profoundly novel experience, and I have to say, in many ways, like a B12 shot for us, thus assisting with the inevitable fatigue and frazzlement. It's not that we love the Bean any less...quite the opposite. It's just such a relief to know that we can continue to devote the attention to Bean and her progress that she needs, and relax a little on Peabo and her development. We're not going to ignore her by any means---we just should be able to let things unfold as they do, and in fact, expect that they should develop pretty much as they are supposed to.

Hence, serenity.

by Heather Hoffman at 4:37 PM

w November 19, 2006

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin

Just got home from the hospital with Peabo in tow about fifteen minutes ago...it is SO NICE to be home. Everyone was very lovely in the hospital, but it's sure nice to be in my own environs.

Peebs came out at 10:14 am, Friday, November 17 (after only 20 minutes of pushing, go me) and has TONS of dark hair. It's a comfort to see my DNA showing up in at least one of our daughters. She weighed 6 lbs, 3 oz, and was (is?) 19 inches long. All in all, a super sweetie, and wowzapalooza, is it easier the second time around. Yeah, they cry, but you can cope with it. And yeah, you have to learn 'em how to nurse, but you can cope with it, plus you have tricks up your sleeve now. And on that front, she's actually doing quite well; we'll keep plugging away.

Not super tired, but still a little out of it---will fill in the gory details at a later date, but thank you to everyone for all your good wishes and cyber support.

We are a family of four now. Good god. Send reinforcements!

by Heather Hoffman at 12:36 PM

w November 13, 2006


As you can all see by the posting date and time, I'm at home. And still pregnant. Happily so, fortunately, but it was a bit of a surreal day.
So we go in, and get basically set up, discover that our nurse is the same one that was there when Bean was delivered, which was pretty damn cool, as she was fantastic---my blood pressure gets taken, and it's not so horrible. Well, it's not great, but for me and my present state, not so horrible. Okay. So I nap for a bit because, you know, it's pretty boring, and my blood pressure goes even further down. Hm. It does elevate back to the original reading after I was awake for a while, but no higher. Hm. I don't have any other issues going on, either with, ah, kidney functions or blood work. Double hm.
My doctor finally cruises by and we have a chat about where on earth we go from here. One of the things I do appreciate greatly is her prudence in either direction, as the situation warrants. She said that she really found herself on the fence at this particular point, primarily because while 37 weeks is most always fine, there is still a slight chance the baby could have respiratory issues. Had anything been off in any of my labwork, the decision would have been easy---go forward. However, we all agreed that given the current state of affairs, it probably was beneficial to let Peabo cook as long as we could hold off, accepting the fact that this is a set of circumstances that *could* change at any time and we'd just have to keep playing it by ear, and inching forward.

It's not often that good news is this anti-climactic, but there we are, although honestly, I'm not super disappointed.
It is what it is, and I do recognize that so long as things with me stay stable, this is all in Peabo's best interest. If they change at all, well, that's a different story, and we go back and encourage her to come out. Plus we were able to have a dry run of everything, including our friend T picking Bean up from school and dealing with all that stuff. Lasagna is in the freezer, bag is packed, grandparents put on yellow alert, etc.
Now, if I don't go into labor on my own in the interim, we DO have a hard stop at 39 weeks (November 27th), so that we know at least is a guarantee, straight from the doctor's mouth. We'll either go in the night before to get started slowly, or if, ah, "conditions are favorable" (I won't go into the details here...go check a pregnancy website if you are interested), I can wait until the next morning. Oh, and the nurse insisted that I eat a good meal before I come in, which is just awesome to know.

Apologies for keeping everyone on tenterhooks, such as they were...ah, babies.

by Heather Hoffman at 4:30 PM


Double Feh

My O/B's nurse made sure I knew to call Labor & Delivery before leaving the house this morning, and lo and behold, they are "super busy". So we're still at home (at 8 am). The very nice L & D nurse I spoke with told me to call back at 9:30 or 10, and they'd "probably" have me come in at 11---my only comfort is that my doctor told me to keep my scheduled appointment with her today at 9:45 so they could basically force the hospital's hand and send me straight over afterwards with instructions to go to it. I think. I hope. At this rate, I'm starting to think tomorrow may be the new Hoffman birthday, but if so, there are actually far more interesting people sharing it, like Claude Monet, Jawarhalal Nehru, Mamie Eisenhower, Aaron Copland, Louise Brooks, William Steig, Prince Charles, Condoleezza Rice...November 13 only has Whoopi Goldberg and St Augustine.

Still, at this rate, who knows? I'm hopeful it's not going to drag out for days, but being a veteran parent, I at least accept the fact that the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees!

We'll keep everyone posted as we ourselves are kept posted...thanks again for all the good wishes.

by Heather Hoffman at 8:00 AM

w November 10, 2006

The Who in the What Now?

This is sort of a preemptive strike of a blog post, but for any who are interested, we will be going into the hospital Monday morning for an induction, presumably resulting in a baby. I went pretty fast with the Bean, so hope is springing eternal that both Peabo and I will be eating a hearty lunch, or at least dinner. That's the rankest thing about induction, not being able to eat anything (in case you have to have a C-section, which really makes no sense, since general anesthesia is rarely a necessity, but whatever). I remember being hungry enough to eat the plastic tray after having Bean, and the hospital food tasted...good. I know, I know.

There is no reason to think that the induction won't "take", considering this is round two, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say we will likely have Hoffman Four by Monday night, but any quick labor vibes people feel like sending, I'm receptive. This is of course due to the fact that my blood pressure and I are not the best of friends right now, though actually it's probably been better than it was with Bean, or at least started cropping cranky a bit later, so it is what it is. My doctor was not thrilled with the fact that even after lying down yesterday for 20 minutes on the fetal monitor, my pressure didn't decrease at all, and feels that it would be a bit foolhardy to push the envelope anymore past Monday, which is 37 weeks (which is term, though according to some sanctimonious hags, not "full term"...whatever. I'd rather not have seizures or go into a coma or like, die). It was a little frazzling to be told "oh hey, guess what you'll be doing in four days", but we're good to go. I mean, all you really need right away is the car seat and diapers, both of which are covered; thanks in large part to friends who recently had a baby, we won't even need to do infant laundry for months, and Bean care can be comfortably covered now without anyone having to be called at 3 am. As well, unlike last time, I don't have to go in the night before, so we should all get a reasonably decent last night's sleep before the screeching poop monster descends into our lives.

Anyway, I guess the biggest point of this long winded post was to say thank you to all the well wishers through this pregnancy, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can with all the gory details. An early Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends as well...

by Heather Hoffman at 11:29 AM

w November 02, 2006

Huzzah For Winnie

Had to go into the doctor for the second time this week (see previous entries), and lo and behold, after lying down for about 15 minutes, hooked up to the fetal heartbeat monitor, and reading a book, my blood pressure was a perfectly acceptable (for me) 132/88. My doctor was pleasantly surprised, and thus said, "well, you're holding steady, if not doing somewhat better, so let's just ride this one out. If everything stays stable, and there are no other changes (as in, liver problems, kidney changes, etc), we'll let you go down to once a week bloodwork and just see how we do."
When I asked about induction, she said "we'll see...I don't like to do them before 39 weeks if we absolutely can help it"...and there is why I love my O/B. She is not inducing as a Chicken Little, she is not doing it to make it convenient for her or her staff, she's holding it out as a *possible* option depending on how my body goes, but it is most certainly not the primary choice as we stand right now. Good on you, Dr. Rothstein. Granted, I still have to keep my life as lowkey as possible, which makes sense, because it appears to be working, but this is such a better spot to find myself in than I was anticipating after Monday's visit. I also still need to go in to see her twice a week, but as she pointed out, "I'd rather have you see me 400 times and have everything go smoothly than ignore it and have a disaster on our hands". Agreed.

So where does Winnie fit into all this? Well, the book I took with me to pass the time was volume I of Sir Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain. A very sonorous read, and I'm firmly convinced it helped keep my blood pressure at a happy level. Perhaps this new baby should be named Winifred Clementine...

by Heather Hoffman at 12:06 PM