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December 2009

Happy new year!

Happy new year!, originally uploaded by PutYourFlareOn.

I had good intentions to write a post to end 2009 but right now I am enjoy my end of the year meal with my family if four. Right now we are taking a break from the feasting to watch Alixe sleep, a rare moment in our house at the moment.

I am grateful for our health and happy spirits. Even though the last month has been very hard for me but I can still see all the good I have in my life. I hug my son and he tells me without hesitation that he loves me. I love my husband and the progress we have made in the 7 years of marriage makes me realize that what we have is the real deal. And now I have a daughter.

I am looking forward to 2010. This is going to be a busy year for us but now that the children are here such is our life now. I would not change a thing, except maybe a bit more sleep ;)

Happy New Year to you and yours. Excuse me while I take a quick nap before the actual new year arrives because as 2010 rolls in Alixe will be wailing her way into the new year.


Mama et Alixe

We've been home just over a week now and life is starting to take a familiar routine. The late nights have started as Alixe seems to be a night owl and I repeat to myself everyday, "when baby sleeps, Mama sleeps." As hard as that is because sometimes I just want to knit or have a bit of face time with my husband, I am reminded at midnight when the night feedings begin that I should have taken that nap in the early evening. It's all a new learning curve for me. I have let go of "Max did this when he was this age" type of thinking because all it does it frustrate me because I think it would be easier if Alixe just did what I knew. Talking with a girlfriend on the phone, we reminded ourselves that we have to let go of the comparisons even though they are innocent on our part.  Alixe is a whole different baby. She doesn't get colicky like Max (thank goodness) but she is much more awake and aware than Max was at this stage. (There I am comparing again...) I enjoy the awake time with her but sometimes I run of things to sing and do with her because she's awake for like 4 hours straight sometimes.  I've taken to swaddling her when I notice she's getting tired but fighting sleep. I am finally getting good use out of the Miracle Blanket I bought for Max which didn't work because he was  brut and he'd break out of it. But with Alixe, she likes it just fine. We call her the burrito baby now. 

Snapshot: Wednesday Morning

So, the weather has turned quite cold in Paris. And in turn, we've been hibernating in our apt. Our bedroom has become command central of our apartment. I spend probably 85 percent of my day here, either laying in bed or sitting in the rocker by the heater and window.  Julien has stocked our frige and freezer full of food so that we wouldn't have to run out for anything (except fresh mlik) and we've had continuous pajama days at the Gille house. Maximilien is feeling much better. It turns out he had an ear infection on top of the lung congestion he was battling and was finally prescribed antibiotics for his ear. He is completely smitten with his sister. Everday after the Creche he comes home and immediately asks where Alixe is and goes to see her. We have a routine of him taking off his shoes, washign his hands and then kissing his sister. It's so very cute. Now instead of Mommy getting the first morning kiss, it's Alixe who gets kisses first. 

December 17th: SNOW!

We were teased all this week with low temperatures but no snow! What's the point of it being so cold if there's no snow?! Growing up in Kansas, we always had snow at this time of the year. Always had a white Christmas and probably much to the chagrin of our parents snow days from school! And snow always makes me think about my mother. She loved the snow. Today is her birthday and always for her birthday there was snow. I still have vivid memories of my mother bundling up with a homemade scarf wrapped around her standing at the door waving goodbye to us as the school bus would take us to school. Winter time always meant fires in the fire place, homemade cookies and pies and her birthday. I was down this morning when I woke up. I shuffled to the kitchen to get a drink without even looking out the window. I then came back to the bedroom, scooped up Alixe and walked over to the window and saw the snow. I immediately felt better because I felt like it was a little wink from Omma saying hello. 

Hopefully I will forget this...

Let’s just forget about Day 5, ok?

Day 4 was going so well! You read it on my blog, the morning was excellent. I had a nice visit with a friend. A nap. The sun was out. Then all of sudden in the afternoon I didn’t feel very well. I started having semi-intense pain around my cesarean scar. I called the nurse and was instructed to lie down and relax. My doctor came to see me and examined me and told me that I had a hematoma developing probably due to the Lovenox that I have to take for the blood clot I developed during my travels to the US. There was nothing to do but wait for the hematoma to drain itself. But things started to get worse and worse through the afternoon. The pain became unbearable and I suddenly had the sensation that my scar was going to explode. This continued into the early evening when the on call doctor came to see me. They removed a few of the staples to relieve some of the pressure and then suddenly I felt like a warm water ballon exploded all over me. The hematoma was released. The nurses and doctor were pleased and said that I would feel better now and that everything was going to be fine. Well, things were not fine after that. Quickly after dinner things started to degenerate. My body formed another hematoma in the same spot but this time it was growing at a much faster pace and literally my incision scar was tearing open. I suffered the most intense physical pain of my life that night. I hope to never feel that ever again. In the middle of the night, I was whisked off for emergency surgery to remove the hematoma. My doctor says that a blood vessel had exploded at the incision site and the fact that I am on Lovenox which makes my blood very fluid the blood started to collect again and my body was incapable of coagulating fast enough.

Talk about scary, exhausting and disappointing. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have known this would have happened. My doctor and I are very disappointed because we had worked so hard to get things right this time.

So, now I’m back to square one. Two surgeries in 4 days and my body is pretty wrecked. At least today, I was able to get up out of bed without help. So, here’s to day 7 being better than today…

How quickly I forgot...

Alixe, Day 4, originally uploaded by PutYourFlareOn.

Today was a better day. I’m glad that yesterday is done and over with. How quickly I’ve forgotten the newborn stage. I was feeling confident because I’ve been here before. Coming back to the same Maternité that I had Max it brought back all the memories of the hardships I had suffered the first time around and I was determined not to repeat them again. The cesarean went extremely well. The anestisiologist ordered a different, more intricate, technique for prepping me for the operation, which left me with sensation in my legs through out the entire procedure. I could wiggle my toes while the doctor operated on me! Trippy. I had full use of my upper body and got to experience skin to skin contact with Alixe and nurse her immediately after the cesarean. Something I wasn’t able to do with Maximilien.

Breastfeeding Alixe is going very, very well. My milk came in yesterday where as with Max it didn’t come in until 4 days after his birth. I felt very confident nursing Alixe. I breastfed Max for the first 12 months of his life and every time the sage femmes would ask how long I nursed Max for and I’d tell them they congratulate me and I must say that boosted my confidence. So, yesterday was day 3 of Alixe’s life. Day 3 after birth. And I had forgotten that day 3 after Max was born I had an emotional meltdown. And yesterday I had the same emotional breakdown. Things just started piling up on themselves. My milk came in. But all of a sudden Alixe had stopped nursing because she was having a hard time transitioning from meconium poops to regular poops. So, she refuses to breastfeed most of the day and my breasts become engorged. The nurses were offering me unsolicited advice about nursing. I missed Max. My incision started to bother me. Tea house business needed to be tended to and I wasn't capable of doing that. I missed Max. Max was diagnosed with Bronchiolite (sort of RSV type sickness), Julien tells me he has a cold and has to be on antibiotics, My stay in the hospital is extended from 5 days to 7 days. I missed Max. There is loud constant banging going on outside my window. The sun won’t come out. I missed Max. I can’t sleep at night because I’m uncomfortable from my incision. I’m hungry and I can’t eat what I want. I need to poop and I can’t. I am sweating profusely and… and…I was missing my mom like crazy. Then the crying started and I couldn’t stop it.

Day 3 after birth. I had forgotten. The drop of hormones. The baby blues. Depression. The night nurse came to see me and she said nothing but offered a her hand on my shoulder and said to let it out. 15 minutes later she returns with two choices in her hand. A pill to sleep. A pill to take the anxiety away but no sleep. I chose the second because I didn’t want to send Alixe to the nursery because my milk had come in and needed to breastfeed her. And after 4 hours of straight pooping on her part, Alixe starts to nurse again. And I sleep. She slept for 4.5 hours straight and so did I. I woke up and the sun came out. And it was Day 4 and everything was better.

Alixe and I basked in the day’s sun. Getting some much needed vitamin D.

And I am reminded of the fact of how quickly us Mamas forget these early days of motherhood. But it’s the little victories that help us get through and make it to the next stage. Alixe nursed like a champ today. Pooped and peed like normal. As I type this, I am laughing at how loud my daughter farts. I had forgotten how dramatic newborn bowl mouvements are. I can’t wait to get home and let Max hear his sister fart and poop in his presence. I can already hear his infectious laugh ringing through my ears. Here’s hoping that the sun comes out again tomorrow.