Friday, September 4, 2009

A Conglomeration of Information

I thought I would somehow have the opportunity to blog every single day of Brystol's life, but as babies (and two older siblings and homeschooling and chores and sleeping) consume quite a bit of time, I've had no such luck. Not that I'm complaining or anything. Still, it's high time for an update.

Brystol is now six weeks old, and she's growing like a weed. By one month, she'd surpassed her birth weight, weighing in at 8 pounds 5 ounces. She's not been weighed again, but since her fat rolls are developing fat rolls, I'm certain she's doing quite well with her diet. We've been nursing exclusively since sometime in week three (supplementing until then by syringe, feeding expressed milk during or after a nursing session), and life began to sort of smooth out when the entirety of it didn't revolve around feeding. Not to say that we've not been feeding often, we have. It's just easier for me to nurse a hungry baby on demand than to nurse and pump and wake and feed and nurse and pump and wake and feed, ad nauseum. I'm resting, she's resting, and we're both the happier for it.

Brystol spends a good bit of time awake and alert each day visually exploring her environment, hanging out in the mei tai as I do chores, lying on the couch beside me as I grade papers, napping in her crib upstairs as I teach lessons. She does well in meetings, at appointments, and at events for the big kids. She fits nicely into our lives. She loves being engaged by each of us and particularly enjoys "conversations" with dad each evening.

Last week, at about five-and-a-half weeks, she began smiling at us -- not the sweet, gassy smile she's done all along, but the deliberate grin. She did it for the first time on Tuesday when I just happened to ask her if she might smile soon. I thought that was too much of a coincidence, but she did it again for James and the next day for Gracie. I have to say, I'm a big, big fan of the cute milestones.

As for the rest of us, we're adapting nicely. James is working full-force once again and has several out-of-town trips scheduled for this month. The kids are enjoying the routine of school and are anxious for The Cube (the homeschool co-op) to begin next week. I, too, am enjoying our routine, though there are many areas that need to be refined. I've held fast to a minimum number of extracurricular activities for this stage in our lives, which I'm quite happy about, but I'm questioning our curriculum choices, considering the addition of some independent learning programs. I'm learning more about being flexible as I raise these children, trusting God for His direction in even the smallest area.

Regarding my physical condition, I'm also faring nicely. I still have a small wound to deal with, but I'm dealing with that on my own. About a week-and-a-half ago, I refused home health care. When I reached the point that the majority of the wound care need was at the surface level, I felt that there was no point in further dealing with an agency that I found to be remarkably incompetent. Lots of issues justify my position, and none are really worth rehashing -- I would just never recommend this agency to anyone and suggested the same to my doctor.

I followed up with the doctor today and what remains of the wound is healing very well. He modified the wound care I've been doing at home and thinks everything should be completely healed in no more than two weeks (only eight weeks post-delivery. Sigh.). During my visit today, the doctor mentioned he used a new product when he originally closed my wound post-surgery -- a product proven to reduce bleeding and fluid build-up and to virtually eliminate the risk of a hematoma. Ha! I think next time I'll request something different.

And speaking of "next time," the doctor mentioned we could begin trying for number four as early as next month. What?! First of all, that was a total, absolute surprise. After all of my losses, the transabdominal cerclage, all the work it takes to get pregnant, all the work it takes to stay pregnant, a heterotopic pregnancy, biweekly visits from the beginning, increased fluid, elevated pressures, a c-section, anesthesia issues, a hematoma and weeks and weeks of wound care, I was CERTAIN he would recommend permanent sterilization, or at the very least, an aggressive method of birth control. I was sure he would say, "Enjoy your three and don't look back." But he didn't. He essentially signed on for the roller coaster ride whenever, if ever, we're ready again, and that deepens my respect for him in so many ways. Not to say that we're ready to try again -- we have no plans for Irish twins -- it's just wonderful to know that whenever we feel the press to open that door again, he'll be standing right there with us.

Visiting with Aunt Ruby

Kisses from Daddy

Conversations with Mommy

Laying in the Grass

Sunning with Sister

Beautiful Girl

Happy Baby

So Excited

Big Smile

Sweet Baby Face

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