Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's a good day

The baby slept most of the night last night, which meant that the Texan and I got around 6 hours each. AWE-SOME.  La Principessa came home from the NICU on a 24/7 schedule, but was still sleeping okay when we first got her here. Then her sleeping deteriorated until a few days ago it was completely the opposite of ours: she would sleep all day and be awake all night.*  So we decided to really work on differentiating day and night for her - turning on lights and making noise all day, exposing her to sunlight as much as possible (which is harder than you might think in a rowhouse), then quieting things down and darkening everything at night. 

Plus I started taking her for walks in the early afternoon, which I read helps establish regular circadian rhythms. It is amazing how animalistic we really are, when it comes down to it: in the end, we all turn toward the sun. It is driving my next door neighbor crazy, who keeps going after me about how cold it is and that the baby needs to go inside. It's not like I have her out there in her bare skin - she's got herself all covered up, even her big head**, plus multiple blankets.  And we're out there just for a short walk, but I guess it takes a village. Or something.

*Every single person, and I mean, EVERY SINGLE PERSON that I know who has kids got a desperate text/email from me in the darkest hours of Tuesday night about wtf how do you get kids to get themselves to sleep KILL ME NOW. Apologies for bothering you! 

** I'm not being coy here - her head really is big for her size. The doctor at the NICU told us very seriously that the one thing we had to do when we took her outside in the cold was to cover her head, as it has a large amount of territory of which heat can escape. I keep thinking of "So I Married an Axe Murderer" and Mike Meyers burring about his kid's "giant heed".

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yesterday with La Principessa: by the numbers

1: spectacular spit-up
2: shall we say, stools
4: clothing changes
1: emergency sponge bath
1: dead mouse dropped crib-side (ON THE FLOOR) by Scratchel while I was trying to feed the baby
1: live mouse subsequently dropped crib-side so that Scratchel could play with it before finishing it off
0: drinks I have had
*insert infinity symbol here*: drinks I need

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How quickly things change

Since this has rapidly evolved (or devolved, to be entirely accurate) into a mommyblog, let me just lean into it.  One of the things the Texan and I talked about when we were prepping for the baby was whether we wanted to do cloth or disposable diapers. We both fell on the end of the spectrum that disposable diapers were really awful for the environment, we were both raised with cloth diapers, and cloth diapers are a lot cheaper than disposables. So cloth it is!  I registered for several different types, figuring we could play around with what worked for us.

Turns out, what works for us is, you guessed it, disposables.  In our defense, we did get used to disposables since that's what they use at the NICU. And La Principessa is still not even three months old - we can always change our mind later on when we are less shell-shocked* and see how they work for us.  But goddamn if they aren't convenient. Plus when you're done, into the Diapor Doktor (sp) they go (a friend who'd had several kids told me, as soon as she heard I was pregnant, that if I did nothing else, I invest in a solid trash bin. Words to live by). 

* We are still figuring out the shift-work and what the baby needs in terms of sleeping/eating. I have been doing the midnight feedings but last night was brutal: I was so tired that I fell asleep while waiting for it to be time for the feed and then, while waiting for her to digest so she wouldn't spit everything up the minute I laid her down in her crib, fell asleep again. And she still managed to wake up about 20 minutes after I went to bed. Fortunately the Texan fell down on that grenade and went to go comfort her, something he is better at anyways. I woke up this morning and realized that there was no chance at all that I would be up for going to her doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I called to reschedule.  Hooray for flexible schedules!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Actually we're doing okay with the baby home.  The first couple of days were rough, no lie.  I was so excited to have La Principessa home from the NICU that I stayed up with her for every feeding for her first day.  That is not something that you can do long-term. We figured out pretty quickly that it was better to sleep in shifts and to have two feedings-on, two-off during the night (we had been alternating it but it is nearly impossible to get a good night's sleep that way). Sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep.  We had a follow-up with her pediatrician today* and she said that we can expect to deal with this crazy schedule for a couple of months.  Ah well, what are you going to do.

* During the visit I kept surreptitiously picking stray pieces of fur off of the baby.  I swear we give her baths!

Anyways, I think I'm doing fine - I get probably 5 or so hours each night, which isn't bad (although for most of that, I'm focusing very hard on the baby monitor) - but then I do things like completely, and I mean completely, forget my work email password.  Or I find that I am doing stupid typos.  Or writing boring blog entries.

Everyone wants to know how the pets are doing with all this.  The cat sticks near except when the baby cries, at which point he hightails it.  The dog thinks it's all a game and wants to be part of it when we change the baby. Man, if only we could train him to do it.  It would be even better than when we used to talk about how awesome it would be if we could get the dog to run drinks up and down the stairs. 

La Principessa, being a proper city kid, had her first bus and metro ride today.  It was during rush hour - a great time to bring bulky items onto the bus - and I was all nervous about how it would go down.  Flawlessly, as it turned out.  Our baby is not a morning person and will sleep through pretty much anything, including metro trains roaring by and buses honking next to her.  One of the unexpected benefits of spending the first 2.5 months of your life in the NICU: noise does not bother you.  She started to wake up when we were coming back to the house as it was feeding time, which worked out perfectly.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


For the two of you who read this blog who I haven't already told, La Principessa was finally, FINALLY released from the NICU yesterday.  11 weeks to the day after she was born. 11 freaking long weeks.

It seems surreal. I still feel strange being able to just walk around with her - in the NICU, she was always attached to monitors. It's also weird because in the NICU, there was always a very knowledgeable nurse hovering in the background in case there were any issues. At home, the pets hover* but they're not really providing a lot of usable baby advice.  How did nervous parents survive without Google?

We are still getting in our groove and figuring everything out.  We have not, for example, given the baby a bath yet, but I'm guessing tonight's the night.  But we have realized the point where I need to stop what I'm doing and take a nap: it's when I accidentally pour out the formula on the baby's bed three times in a row.  Thank god the Texan has managed to hold onto his logic - my brain is already taxed enough by figuring out the math on mixing up the baby's formula (one to one ratio of powder to water, btw).

* The dog is uncertain about what's going on but very curious about the baby. The cat is confused as hell why I am using my voice for him for someone else.  Of course, that goes both ways.  There have been a couple of times where I'm talking to the baby and Shrapnel comes up, purring, assuming that I'm talking to him. And a few others where I call Shrapnel "Puffin" and the baby looks up to see what I want.