Saturday, October 31, 2009

The kid needs a Gibson

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a 2.5 week old kid to sit next to a pumpkin in shorts and a tie? He looks like he's been rocking out for a while, poor kid. Any long time blog readers out there (one of you?) may recall that I love to listen to AC/DC, especially while running and I can't wait to get running with Liam and rocking out with him too. I might get this kid an electric guitar someday, along with some headphones.

And now for a photo grandmas can approve of...
Liam's friend Amanda knitted a pumpkin hat for him AND she brought me a latte this morning. Love her! Love her very much!

Speaking of love, Bill is putting Liam to sleep now. He is very good at it and what a relief! If only he could breastfeed, I could be drinking martinis with my girlfriends right now. I think a lot of men take a passive role in their kid's lives in the beginning but Bill proves to me that not only is he a great husband, but he's a great daddy too. I just need him to put me to sleep too.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Less talk more photos

The baby woke up every hour and a half last night and it was Bill's night off so I was up with the baby most of the night by myself. Apparently, he sleeps better for his father because as soon as daddy took over at 6:30 am, little Liam slept until 10 am.

In other "things that we haven't figured out yet" news... the baby has pooped in the bath the past 2 nights. Any advice on how to prevent his extreme relaxation while bathing.

I took this photo of Marshall and Cassie sleeping in the baby's room in the middle of the night. I did not put them this way, they were sleeping cheek to cheek. Disgusting!

Took this cell phone photo of Liam holding up his bottle during our walk today. I'm sure it's just an accident that he can hold his bottle up but it's dang cute isn't it? Today we walked for an entire hour which was heaven! I had to take the stroller, a pack to carry him in just in case he hated the stroller, a bottle, a pacifier, diapers and changing accessories, the dog and his ball, and of course myself. It was a mission but my legs felt stronger for it and I completely enjoyed the mild weather we are having?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No more stinky baby

Finally! The smelly umbilical cord stump fell off. This is one of the many things they don't tell you when they hand you the baby... that umbilical cord smells awful after 2 weeks. I kept thinking the child had a bad diaper but no that wasn't it.

Once it's gone, you can finally bath your child. Liam loved his 1st bath. I'm hoping it relaxes him, Bill is filing his fingernails right now then it's off to bed which I really hope means sleep. Last night he wouldn't sleep until 11:30 pm and then he was awake again at 1am and I was up with him until 3am when I went and got Bill for backup. He wasn't crying, he was just awake, at 3 am. Help! No more all day snoozing.

Check out Liam's fleece suit, yes, it's one of those costume looking get-ups that are sickeningly cute. I love it. Today we were able to walk for 45 minutes outside with the stroller, it was heaven. Just a few weeks ago I was hugely pregnant and couldn't walk a block because the baby's head was lodged in my pelvis. I couldn't bend over, see my feet, go to the bathroom normally, eat most foods... it's all over now. Sweet relief! I swear I was singing "Amazing Grace" and thinking "I have been healed!" as I was walking today. I can walk! I can walk! I will have a party (beer) when I can start running again. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Liam taking his afternoon nap on mommy who naps soon after taking adoring photos of him...

I saw the OBGYN who performed the c-section today and I'm looking good for recovery and I got the H1N1 vaccine so that was good news. The bad news is that she thinks my pelvis is too small and she doesn't think I'll ever deliver vaginally. Thank goodness we live in modern times, otherwise Bill would have to trade me for someone with child bearing hips!

I breastfed in public for the 1st time today and Bill was like, "Are you going to do that here?" Uh yeah! Crying baby = boobie in mouth. First at the Dr office and then in the parking lot of the grocery store, I had to change his diaper and then break out the boobie. Typically, I would not lift up my shirt and expose myself in the parking lot of the downtown grocery store but this is what happens when you have engorged breasts.

Last night I made it through the night by myself with Liam. I let Bill sleep through the night and I took on little fuss-a-lumps or "Lumps" as I call him. We did pretty well and Bill seemed a little more coherent today. Too bad he's back on night shift again tonight. He'll survive. Or I'll have to trade him in for a man who can hunt with little to no sleep. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Who are we? Where am I?

It's 6:30 pm and I feel like it's 1 am. Having a newborn baby is disorienting. I didn't realize how much I like structure until Liam decided to show us how everyday can be completely different than yesterday! If he went to sleep at 9:30 pm one night, he'll stay up until 11:30 pm the next night. If he stays up most of the day, he'll sleep all day the next day.

Despite that, he's still a good baby who snoozes way more than he fusses or whines. I actually miss him when he's sleeping and have to hold myself back from waking him up. Disturbing, I know! Tomorrow he will be 2 weeks old and supposedly things start to change at 2 weeks. I almost don't want him to change which is more ridiculous talk, I know.

Actually, just about anything I say we'll be ridiculous so I should probably go. I think Liam wants me to go wake him up right now ;)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The La Leche League will not be happy

You can't tell from this pudgy looking tummy but I've lost 25 pounds since giving birth. That leaves me with another 20 more to lose before I get back to where I want to be for triathlon-ing. This last 20 might be a little more difficult. We had lovely fall weather today but the rain is coming to Oregon and I think it might hang around for a few months.

We are starting to get a handle on how to live with this baby. My milk supply for breast feeding is still low so we are feeding him a bottle 3 times a night (after breast feeding) and I'm breast feeding during the day. The bottle feedings are like drugging the kid, he gets all loopy and then passes out with milk drool all over his face. The best part is he sleeps for 3 hours or more at a time which is amazing considering breastfeeding gets us 2 hours at the most.

Bill trying to get 11 day old Liam to stand using his legs. I know, I know, Bill thinks Liam will graduate from college and dominate the Ultimate Fighter by the time he's 12. I just want him to smile at me because he recognizes me, not because he's making bad noises in his pants.

I took this photo with my cell phone of Liam snoozing this afternoon. He likes to sleep with his arms straight up in the air like he's under arrest. He shouldn't take those drugs daddy puts in his milk. Last night we drove to the next town over and went to Costco for our hot Friday night date. Liam slept through the whole thing so it was pretty uneventful except we bought Cinnabon rolls you heat in the oven which Bill made for me this morning. Yum! That's the way to do it. I might have a lot of trouble losing this weight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Baby and the beasts

We were slightly concerned about how the animals would react to the baby. Marshall dog seemed to sense something was up with me during the pregnancy, he would occasionally nudge my belly while begging to be taken for a walk. I promised Marshall that his life would get better after the baby came because we would be sure to walk everyday and we have been and we'll walk a little farther each day.

Since we've been home Marshall has barely let the baby out of his sight and frequently smells the baby's head, then his diaper, and then my breast. He seems to be making the connection, of course, he is a genius dog. Marshall has been sleeping with me in the baby's room and he is totally exhausted from the late night activity. It's hilarious, he barely lifts his head when the baby screams.

The cats started out with a look on their kitty faces like, "that thing won't be here long so let's stay outside until he's gone." Once they realized the baby was staying, they went back to their regular routine and try to avoid the baby. I caught Cassie jumping into his crib in the middle of the night but I don't think she would have stayed. I'll try to get some photos of the beasts with the baby but woo! I'm still adjusting to life with a baby so you'll have to forgive me if my blogs are sparse or don't make sense for a while.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

On the 5th day of Liam

Some photos of the baby... I will try to get it together this week and write some things about the labor and delivery and what a joy our little dude has been.

Right now we are trying to find a method for dealing with his 2.5 hour sleep cycle. I feed the baby, Bill burps the baby, handles the diaper and swaddles him and hopefully he goes to sleep after. Then we repeat until something goes awry. I have been peed on twice already and Bill has been on the receiving end of some powerful spit-ups so we are even so far.

I am attempting to breast feed but the milk is coming in too slow and poor baby is hungry and frustrated with me. It's heartbreaking! We see the pediatrician tomorrow and don't tell anyone but we're giving him formula tonight. You're not supposed to but I can't take it anymore. It's not that he's fussy, he just gets enough milk to take the edge off (except Friday night when we were up all night) but I just can't stand knowing he's hungry. If you spoke with me right now, I would spontaneously burst into tears over it so we need to get a handle on this one way or another.

Anyway! We took Liam out of the house for the first time today for a walk around the block. He didn't really seem to notice the change in scenery but I did! I've spent the past few days either in the bedroom or bathroom.

Liam loves the swing and Bill is already trying to expose him to sports. He likes to tell people that Liam will be a mixed martial artist (cage fighter) but don't worry, I've been amassing books and have every intention of turning him into a brainiac. Enjoy sleep for me!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Labor and delivery

It's been a week now since Liam was born and I'm starting to forget how hard the labor and delivery experience was so I better write this down now before Bill convinces me to get pregnant again.


2pm my belly contracts almost constantly while we are at the movies watching "Couples Retreat" with my pregnant friend Bridgette who is due 1 week after me

4pm I ask Bill to make a quick dinner just in case I am truly in labor, the contractions are coming regularly and I am experiencing back pain

6pm I take a hot bath and after getting out I think I might have peed myself

7pm uhhhh am I peeing myself or is my water breaking? We call the midwife on call and she advises us to come in to the hospital so she can examine me. I am Group B strep positive and if my water has broken they have to start antibiotics right away

8pm Bill and I run around the house panicking and doing chores. I think he even cleaned the toilets I have no idea what we were doing...

10 pm check in at emergency and I refuse to sit in case my water breaks even more on the chair... or if I pee on the chair

11pm mid wife and nurse try to determine if my water has broken and via examine BAM the water breaks in earnest. Thank goodness it wasn't pee, I would have been so embarrassed. Game on!

12 am they hook me up to a fetal heart rate monitor that shows contractions about 4 minutes apart and the baby's heart rate which looks great!

1 am they tell me to go to sleep and give me an Ambien. My contractions are not close enough to worry about me yet

2-6 am Bill puts a mattress on the floor and I lay in the nice bed but don't sleep. I'm too nervous and the contractions keep me awake. Plus the nurses monitor you every hour.

7 am contractions are feeling more intense but they are not getting closer together. They examine me and I am dilated to one (out of ten). The watch is ticking because they don't want me to stay in this state too long now that my water has broken.

9 am I can talk through contractions--I would give the pain about a 4 out of 10. But things stay the same all morning. Bill and I walk the halls to assist with labor.

12 pm they insert an IV and start Picotin, a drug that induces labor. They start me at a 2 and increases slowly up to 20 over the next 7 hours. Picotin is known to cause the pain from contractions to be more intense.

3 pm I think of the IV as a pain delivery mechanism. The pain increases to a 6 out of 10 as the afternoon wears on. A contraction feels like a deep muscle inside of you is clenching. I have to focus on breathing and try not to think about the next contraction that is coming.

6 pm contractions are not getting closer together. They attempt to insert a device up my cervix to measure the contractions inside but they cannot get the device in after 20 minutes of wrangling. I break out into a cold sweat from the pain. The midwife manages to stretch my cervix with her hand to a 3 but I am in intense pain now.

7 pm the pain sky rockets and I can no longer think straight. They examine me and determine that the baby's head is in the wrong position and that he has a hemotoma on his head from where his head has been banging into my cervix. They want me to sit on the toilet to try to weight the baby so he rotates (I was in bed prior to this). The pain is so intense that I cannot sit on the toilet, I cannot stand, I cannot lay on the bed, basically, I can no longer function.

I request on epidural because there is no end in sight to the labor since I am not progressing and I can no longer keep up with the pain. When you get an epidural you also get a catheter so I no longer have to get up to pee. Sweet!

I lose track of time after this... but the epidural is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me, at least that is how I felt at that moment. The pain vanished and I was finally able to relax.

They were able to insert the device into my cervix to monitor the contractions. They determine that my hips have not opened up and the babies head is still in a bad position for vaginal delivery.

I relax in bed and watch the monitor. I am dilated to a six now but the contractions are not progressing.


12 am the midwife brings up the possibility of a c section. My body temperature has risen close to 100 and the baby's heart rate is starting to slow. They treat the fever but there is nothing to do for the baby except get him out.

1 am I clearly state that a c section is fine with me, that the health of the baby is the most important thing and that I am not disappointed to have a c section.

1:30 am they prep me for a c section and I try not to get nervous.

2 am they wheel me into OR and put up a drape so I cannot see the procedure. All I can see is the anesthesiologist (who I love!) and my mom and Bill.

2:20 am the procedure is supposed to take 15 minutes but it is taking longer. The Dr. exclaims that I have tight muscles (I would be flattered but now is not the time).

2:30 am They can't get the baby out. They have to give me a blood transfusion due to blood loss. I can tell things are not going well so I try not to listen to what is going on. His head is wedged into my pelvis and they have to suction the baby out.

2:49 am William "Liam" Kerr Fleck Jr. is born. I see them walking the baby across the room and all I can think is WOW! That baby is huge.

Additional procedures are done on me and the baby is taken to the nursery. Bill and my mom go with him. I try to keep it together but I was pretty scared. The anesthesiologist stays with me and keeps me calm while they suction and vacuum and do all sorts of horrible sounding things to me. Eventually I am sewn up and returned to my room where I wait for Liam. I get to breast feed him when he arrives and sweet relief... my baby is alive and breathing and we are officially a family.

Baby Liam in bed with mommy who is completely done but dreaming of being a lovely future.

I have no regrets about anything that happened. A vaginal delivery was not meant to be given Liam's position. I have zero guilt about asking for an epidural, it saved me from several hours of painful hell. This was the most intense experience of my life, a day I will not forget, and hopefully not one to repeated in this way. But little of that matters now that we have Liam!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

He's here!

Baby Liam Fleck was born on 10/13/09 at 2:49 am weighing 8 pounds 13 ounces and measuring just under 22 inches. The Flecks are all healthy and happy and totally in love with Liam. Photos and more when we get home from the hospital!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last time up Mary's Peak in 2009

Here is a short video of Bill ending the 9.3 mile climb with 4,000 foot elevation gain this Saturday. I wanted to drive up there and see if the elevation would help push the baby down (it didn't) and he wanted to do the climb since it's his favorite and see if he could PR his time for the year (he did). So one of us is happy!

I am happy for him and it was nice to get out of the house and be in nature. It is getting harder for me to watch him leave me behind for bike rides now that I am fast approaching my due date. I might just follow him around in the car everywhere he goes in case I go into labor. Check out the belly! This is what 9 months pregnant looks like...

Friday, October 09, 2009

The waiting is not the hardest part

Cassie chilling out on Bill's infamous blue socks

I always thought that if I took an extended break from work that it would involve travel and lots of drinks. HA! I started maternity leave on Tuesday and it has been nothing but sleepless nights, naps, back pain, and small contractions since I left work. Yesterday, I marched around a field at the park so I could get some exercise in the sun but still remain close to a bathroom. I really couldn't have more fun than this.

So! Nothing to report here. Just lack of sleep and gigantic bags under my eyes. Eventually, this journey will end with a little baby, whose head is now lodged into my pelvis. Until then, I will be hanging out here, with the dog looking at me expectantly and the cat napping on Bill's dirty socks.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Dress rehearsal for baby

I ended up in the hospital today, but it was short lived! Long story short: I didn't sleep last night and had a lot of little contractions so I mentioned this at a regularly scheduled appointment this morning and they put me on a fetal monitor to observe the baby. After 20 minutes, they kept me on it and observed him more. Then the nurse comes in and asks us to head over to the hospital to admissions, they want to monitor me there.

I looked at Bill with wide eyes, he looked at me with mild panic, and we walked over to the hospital and checked in. Luckily, I'm ore-registered at the hospital and before I knew it I was on the maternity ward with my clothes off and another fetal monitor on. The nurse indicated that I would either end up going home or they would induce labor depending on the baby's condition. Yikes!

Even though I was alarmed, I didn't panic and was kind of comforted to be there even though there was a woman moaning down the hall "She's pushing right now" the nurse said. Can't get more real than that! The drama was over soon enough, the baby checked out fine there. His heart rate was up and he was moving around. Apparently he was napping earlier. I think our baby likes to nap during the day and party at night. This must be payback for my early 20s.

They quickly discharged me and told me to take an Ambien and get some sleep. They did observe that I am having lots of contractions but they are the "false labor" type that help get your body ready to give birth but don't mean you're in labor.

It was a dramatic morning but basically we are where we started. I'm tired, the baby is still inside, and Bill is passed out in the bed right now. Which, by the way, I was able to observe my husband in action at the hospital and let's just say he kept sneaking onto the bed and nice chair they have for the pregnant woman and he somehow managed to find a movie on the TV that had Hooter's girls in it. Something tells me he will enjoy this process...