Monday, July 23, 2007

the girl who is celebrating!

After 12 days in captivity (i.e. the NICU, lol), Eli Eleven Martinez is home. Everyone is in love with him and tv and video games have taken second place to our new favorite past time of baby watching!

Pictures to follow, but I'm off to watch again!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

the girl who is finding it hard

It hit me on Wednesday that it had been a week that little Eleven had been in the NICU. It was a good day--he was moved to an open air crib, a graduation of sorts since it meant he could maintain his temperature enough to be out of "the box"--but it was the first day that I cried seeing him and leaving him. It had been a week since he had been born and he wasn't home. It had been a week since he had been born and I was leaving him--again. It hurt. And it has really hurt more every day since that little anniversary.

All in all, though, Eli is doing well: each day is an improvement. Day 5 saw him taken off IV. Day 6, his feedings were increased. Day 7, he graduated to an open air crib. Day 8, he was taken off his monitors. And Day 9--today--he was given a hearing test (he passed) and car seat test (to make sure he wouldn't get apnea at the 45 degree angle of the carseat--he passed that too) and a head ultrasound to check his brain development (waiting on those results.)

About an hour ago I was struck with an urge to go see him. Usually Aramis and I split shifts at the hospital, trying to make it to all of his daytime feedings for some kiss and cuddle time and bonding. Our last visit is usually the 9 o'clock one and Zack and Ian have both made individual visits. (Matthew has had a little cough, so he hasn't had a turn yet.) Tonight I really wanted to just go steal him away and lay down with him. One of the best experiences of a new baby is when you lay down in bed with them and look at all of their little pieces and parts. I haven't really seen my little guy in all of his glory since I handed him off to the EMS guys. The nurses in the NICU are so professional. Nothing wrong with that, and I love them for all they do for my little guy, however--every time I loosen up the baby burrito, one of them comes along and briskly tucks him in again. Exasperating! I had to ask if his umbilical cord had fallen off yet! There is just this loss of control that is so unnerving.

In the Family Room of the NICU they have copies of Preemie magazine. I picked up a copy and took it home with me. Reading this magazine, I realized how good we have it. I don't think a single "miracle story" involved a baby older than 30 weeks. Some of the preemie products they have out there sort of baffled me ( a pair of beanbag hands you are supposed to sleep with to get your scent on and then wrap around your preemie in the NICU so the baby feels like you are holding them--???, really? ) but I found ads for lots of preemie clothes suppliers. Hopefully, I won't feel like ordering some stuff from them though. I sincerely hope he doesn't need a huge preemie wardrobe.

The good news is that if he continues feeding as well as he is today (but not yesterday, yesterday was a step backwards) he may be home by next week. So we are hoping for that. We are slowly getting the house ready for his arrival.

Here's hoping it's soon.

The last few days in pictures:

Day 5: and looking like he's kind of wondering, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"

Day 6: Such a sweet, wide-eyed look!

Day 7: it's a blurry picture, but it's a sweet little half-smile, I have to share!

Graduation Day!

Day 8 and the nurses found me a different hat for him. I was tired of the pink and blue. The pom-pom on top is nearly as large as his head!

Another cute shot later in the day.

And here is a comparison so you can see how tiny his little head is! When I call him an apple head it's not just the shape!

Day 9: Today I managed to unwrap his hands and hold his tiny little fingers without a nurse spotting me, lol. Instinctively his little hands go up to his mouth. I wonder if he'll be a thumbsucker like Zack and Ian, or suck his fingers like Matthew.

That's is for today. I hope that my next update is a joyful announcement that he's coming home!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

the girl who is giving an update

Day 2 in the NICU and peeking out of the baby burrito swaddling

This is how tiny his little feet are! (My hands are not huge, I promise!)

Getting some love from Mommy

Day 3: Such a perfect, sweet, little face! I wonder what he's dreaming of?

Day 4: Eyes open and looking like a grumpy old man.

Another illustration of how teeny this little Slurpee is!

Eli is now off oxygen and antibiotics. He is taking feedings by bottle and I'm about to bring him some Mama Juice. I'd much rather be feeding than pumping, but he's still learning. Apparently the sucking reflex doesn't fully develop until about 34-35 weeks so just the fact he's taking feedings by bottle is noteworthy--I'm not about to frustrate both of us with the breast. We'll let him get a little stronger first and I'll build up my supply in the meantime.

The big thing right now is his weight and inability to maintain his own temperature. One will correct the other so it's not necessarily anything to worry about, just something to watch. The little Slurpee just needs to grow!

Thanks for all of the comments and well wishes. It was quite an experience and, looking back, I myself wonder how I did it without freaking out completely. (Do not doubt there was some freaking out! Things just moved too fast for the panic to actually set in and interfere!) The human body is just completely amazing. My body was able to take over and do what needed to be done without my mind getting in the way.

I will admit to a slight feeling of superiority while in the hospital, lol. A totally uncharitable thing and I'd be highly offended if anyone approached me with this attitude, but when I heard the poor woman in the next L&D suite over moaning and crying for a solid hour before she got her epidural (I assume, since she stopped and I didn't hear the baby cry until about two hours after that) I couldn't help but feel slightly smug. Of course, it was probably her first child and it was probably term. Everyone is different--still, I really felt superior! (And then, of course instantly guilty. Too much of a Catholic upbringing to maintain that arrogance, lol.)

Anyway, I'm off to see my little "baby in the box" as Ian calls him. I'll add anything pertinent as it happens.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

the girl who thanks heaven

What a morning I had! I am happy to announce the arrival of Eli, our newest son. Yes, he is early, but he was determined to meet everyone ahead of schedule...and that is a story in itself.

I woke up around 3:30 this morning when Aramis kicked Matthew out of our bed. I realized then that I was having labor pains. I waited until about 4:20 to get a good idea of the timing and then I had to get up. I took a shower and woke up Aramis about 5. Called my OB who told me to go ahead and get checked out at the hospital and started to brainstorm what to do with the kiddos. Initially, I tried to get a hold of Larry to come watch the kiddos until it was a more reasonable hour to impose on the sitter. He was not answering his phone and the pains were becoming more insistent. Finally I broke down and called the sitter, woke her up and asked if I could bring the boys by.

Fast forward to actually leaving the house. We left about 6:15, dropped the boys off about 6:30, and stopped at a nearby 7-11 so Aramis could get the all important Red Bull and some cash back for tolls and hospital parking. At 6:40, in the 7-11 parking lot, my water broke.

Gushed actually.

Aramis asked me if we should go back to the house and call an ambulance or just go on to the hospital (at least 30 min away). I was in pain and knew I was close but had divine faith in an epidural so I told him to just go!

Aramis pulled out and the big one hit, I felt "the ring of fire" and knew it was too late. I told him, "He's not going to wait! Pull over! He's crowning!"

The 7-11 we were at was on a corner so we ended up just turning the corner and pulling back in. As we crossed the curb I felt a huge contraction and quite involuntarily, I pushed. I felt the head come out and then the shoulders. I was half-way out of my seat and wearing pants! Aramis pulled into a parking space, I unbuckled my seat belt, yanked down my pants, and there he was! I slid him out and just held him, too stupefyed to really absorb what had happened.

Aramis was in shock too. He dialed 911 and took off his shirt for me to wrap Eli in. Then he pulled out a shoelace from his shoe and tied off the umbilical cord while I cleared out his mouth.

He cried and my heart leapt!

About five min later the ambulance arrived. They clamped the cord off correctly and were going to cut it but I insisted that I be allowed to cut it. After all, I delivered this kid on my own!

After some delicate maneuvering on the part of the EMS guys to get me out of the front seat of the van with my pants still around my thighs and the umbilical cord dangling while trying to avoid all the curious looks of all the construction workers getting their morning Big Gulps, I got an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital--not the one I was heading to, but I was technically in the next county by about a quarter mile so the ambulance had to take me to that county's nearest maternity ward.

We arrived, Eli got whisked off to the NICU and I got to do all the post-delivery stuff and then admitting. It took longer to admit me than it did to deliver! lol!

Don't believe me? Wel, I AM a scrapper, of course I took pictures!

(Note the t-shirt swaddling, the van interior, and the waistband of my pants half-way down my thighs.)

So, Eli is in the NICU and will likely be there for anywhere from a week to 6 weeks, depending on his progress..

So, by the numbers:
  • On July 11, 2007 (07/11/07)
  • I delivered Eli 7 weeks early
  • in the 7-11 parking lot
  • at 11 minutes to 7
Oh Thank Heaven, indeed! this ought to earn me free gas (or at least Slurpees) for Life! I am definitely sending this to the good folks at 7-11 Corporate offices!

He weighs 4 lbs, 9 oz and is 18 in long. He has the cutest little apple head and definitely has the "Martinez/Merson Blend" look.

Its hard because I haven't been able to hold him since the ambulance ride, but I've been visiting every couple hours. I will probably be home tomorrow, Eli is a little less certain, but is doing well, all things considered.

One more pic of the little guy and I'm off to sleep and beg the nurse for some more pain pills.

Eli Eleven Martinez

Yes, we have decided on Eleven as his middle name. It's not official yet and is subject to change (could end up as Seven) or as the number in another language. We'll see. But you can be darn sure Aramis went back to that 7-11 and bought lottery tickets!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

the girl who needs a nanny...but not THAT nanny!

So I'm driving to work on Friday and Larry suggests going for a drive after work with the kiddos. Whenever Larry suggests something (especially something involving bringing the kids) I am usually a bit suspicious. And, as usual, my suspicions were correct.

Apparently, ABC was holding a casting call for Super Nanny. You know, the show where a stranger comes to your house and on the basis of "hidden camera" footage that has probably been edited to show your family in the worst possible light tells you everything you are doing wrong as a parent and then broadcasts it on national tv.

Listen to me: I know I am not the "perfect" parent. I do not have perfect children, a perfect marriage, and I damn sure do not have a perfect house. However, I am quite aware I am not the parent I would like to be. I am also quite aware that to be the parent I want to be will require resources I don't have. There alot of things I can do without being a SAHM and until I have the resources to be a SAHM, I'll do the best I can with what I got. I know my children are not perfect--but that would make them clones of Dick and Jane and totally NOT what I want them to be. Each of my kids is unique and each one makes me happy to be their Mom at least once a day. I don't have the perfect marriage. We bicker, we argue and we don't agree on a ton of stuff. We do agree that we love each other and our kids and we are ultimately in this together. He loves me with my faults and failings and I return the favor. I constantly say we are the only people on the planet who would put up with each other, so that makes us pretty darn lucky. As for my housekeeping--I'm not even going to go there. I'll just leave that with a simple, "It could be improved."

I am not a fan of reality tv. (Although I do admit to being an American Idol junkie) It just seems the whole point of reality tv is to embarrass the people who participate in it. I've never been the type of person who revels in other people's discomforture, and I'm not about to start now. I have been known to change the channel or walk out of the room if someone is getting embarrassed--simply because I am too empathic and I feel embarrassed to witness their embarrassment. This includes fictional characters!

So Larry, sorry. I don't think that my family would be perfect for the casting call. I think SuperNanny should loosen up, realize families who LOVE each other don't always need a stranger butting in and telling them they are "doing it wrong" and I certainly think I will NOT be "auditioning."

But I wouldn't turn down a regular Nanny! (along with the huge house that would justify me even hiring one, lol!)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

the girl who is NOT a sucker

Ok, somewhere along the way SOMEONE got hold of my email addy and sold it around the world. I have never really had a serious issue with spam--my Yahoo filter blocks most of it--but somehow I got on some list somewhere and now every time I open my email inbox I have someone telling me my email addy has been picked for the UK lottery, or would I be someone's agent? there's a part-time job (laundering money) waiting for me, or someone I've never heard of has passed away and I could be named the next of kin to avoid an unscrupulous government claiming the money to fund terrorism. Here is what showed up in my in-box today:


Mr Patrick K.W Chan. FROM PATRICK K.W CHAN..........BUSINESS PROPOSAL Thu Jul 05, 2007 3k

peter djaba From Peter Djaba Thu Jul 05, 2007 7k

annenkova Iosifovna can i trust you? Thu Jul 05, 2007 4k


ub.uba33@ URGENT REPLY Wed Jul 04, 2007 3k


I wonder who actually falls for this crap, but then figure someone out there must be that gulliable as these scams keep popping up. I actually got one linked to my bank site--and it was damn convincing too! Only because I am aware such scams are out there (and I actually read my bank emails that tell me they will ALWAYS address me by name and ALWAYS use my security question) did I not fall for that one.

My mind just doesn't think this way, I could never come up with this crap. However, my naivete is mixed with just enough cynicism that I know that when someone is promising you huge amounts of money for nothing, is really is too good to be true. And if I EVER think something just *might* be plausible, I usually research it on (my best friend) and then feel stupid for nearly falling for it in the first place!

That being said, I was lucky enough recently to win a lottery...but I can't claim it due to the fact the government might deport my husband. If you forward me all of your personal info (including ss#) and your bank account #, I'll put it in YOUR account and pay you a percentage for the trouble of transferring it to me.

Plus I have some beautiful oceanfront property in Arizona I've been just itching to sell!