Monday, August 17, 2009

Ready or not

So with Eric going back to work (well, new teacher orientation) and Chloe turning four weeks old this week, I was thinking that it was time to start working on my non-baby life. And someone had contacted me about doing freelance work for a new e-zine about Ohio high-tech businesses, which sounded good to me. But now he's sent me the information and two assignments that he wants back by the end of the week, and I'm realizing that (a) there's a bunch of information he hasn't included, like rates (he's given me general ranges, but the contract he sent has a blank where the fee should be), and (b) it's going to be iffy scheduling an interview, even a phone interview, while caring for a baby who may start crying at any moment. Admittedly Chloe has started taking more of an interest in her surroundings and is less likely to cry out of loneliness at least, but still. I'll see if I can schedule things for when Eric's going to be home. Also, (c) I'm not so sure I'm really ready to start working on things with deadlines yet. But I've already agreed to do this (although that was before he sprung the deadlines on me--he originally said this was starting up around Labor Day), so I guess I'm going to be doing it whether I'm ready or not.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The new normal

Eric has a new job! Again. Ahem. Anyway, he's employed, or will be once he fills out the paperwork, and we have to figure out daycare. I'm not so enthused about the daycare, but we did agree that Eric getting a full-time job was the most preferable option and I don't have to worry about finances anymore (and maybe I can think about getting a netbook/laptop for Christmas, once we've seen the damage of the hospital bills). And I'll be home alone with Chloe after August 24. It'll be interesting. When do babies learn to entertain themselves? Because currently whenever I have to use the bathroom I hand the baby to Eric, but that's not going to be an option in a couple of weeks here and it will be sad to have to put her in the crib and listen to her cry whenever I'm on the toilet.

My parents left Tuesday, and we're getting into a somewhat normal schedule again. It's revolving around the baby and her feedings and naps, of course, but I've actually done some e-mail correspondence and some cleaning, and I intend to go out and pick things in the garden once Eric gets up from his nap. Next week I may even start thinking about my hobbies again. So far I've mostly been reading in my spare time (and eating and drinking; I hadn't realized that lactating was going to make me so hungry and thirsty all the time), but it's about time to reintegrate my old life with the new. And it would be nice to finish Chloe's quilt before my maternity leave is over.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I am a mother.

I've been trying to write about having a baby, and it isn't working. (Also, typing feels weird. I haven't been on my computer in days and days.) Relatively briefly, then: Chloe was born on Thursday, July 23, after 20.5 hours of labor (starting with my water breaking, which seemed to annoy the midwives inordinately--once that happens, they start worrying about infection) and a tech who asked to observe me at the hospital because she'd never seen anyone trying to do a no-drugs labor before. She was eight pounds, three ounces, supposedly 21 inches (but the pediatrician measured her at 19.75 at her four-day checkup). After the delivery, we got to see the placenta and amniotic sac, which was pretty cool, while I got stitched up; and then I was both ravenous and the sleepiest I've ever been; and then I got food and a nap, and so did Chloe.

We took her home, where we adored her and she was fussy and difficult at feeding times and developed jaundice. It and the fussiness got bad enough that we called the pediatrician, and on the next Friday they looked her over, got a bilirubin and weight check, and ended up sending us to the NICU for phototherapy for her jaundice and weight loss and dehydration. As far as we know it was caused by not feeding her enough, which was caused by a shallow latch and tongue thrust preventing her from feeding well. So I've been feeling horribly guilty. But I'm getting better, and it helps that the phototherapy cleared up the jaundice for the most part and we're now stuffing her full of food, so much so that she gained ten ounces in five days and is back to her birth weight at the two-week mark, right on schedule. The pediatrician says if this keeps up he'll have to have the obesity talk with us sooner than planned.

I enjoy her very much, but I'm still a bit ambivalent about being a mother. I hope this is normal. I'm definitely enjoying being at home, except that my parents are staying with us and my mom is getting on my nerves slightly, which hasn't happened before. (Also she's taken over my kitchen, but since this means I don't have to cook meals it's not so bad.) She's two weeks old today, and I'm starting to feel like it's time to get back to a somewhat normal schedule, rather than spending most of my time reading and napping between feedings. Being a mother definitely doesn't change my interest in my hobbies or my attitude towards housework; it just adds an extra responsibility that has to take precedence. It's weird. But I think I can make it work.