Tag: little miss

The long night has come again*

I remember when I was in college thinking on occasion that pulling an all-nighter would be a good idea in order to finish a paper or study for an exam. It always seemed like a good idea before-hand. I still seemed like a good idea at 11pm when you made a burger run. But at 3am, it stopped seeming like a good idea. At 3am, it seemed like a downright bad idea, but it was too late to do anything about it. If I went to sleep, I’d get only 2 or 3 hours which often seemed worse than none at all. Each time at 3am, I’d curse the sleep gods and say, “Never again!” Each time.

Having a baby is no a dissimilar experience. The first time, you really don’t know what to expect from those first few nights, despite the countless warnings you receive from friends and family. Like most things in life, experience, not advice, is the best teacher. That said, I looked forward to being up with the Little Miss last night, and letting Kelly get some well-deserved rest.

Those feelings melted away pretty quickly as the night drew on. The Little Miss was generally quiet. I changed a few diapers, burped her a few times, cleaned up some spit-up. I held her and rocked her. And in between, I found it very difficult to get any sleep at all.

You build up some wisdom the second time around. I tried catching snipets of sleep during the day yesterday, 20 minutes here and there. I tried getting some sleep around 9:30pm while Kelly was nursing. But the universe was working against me. Despite having a bed, I wasn’t comfortable. Then, too, I like a dark, quiet room when I sleep and our hospital room is neither. Each time it seemed as if I was finally on the verge of sleep, some device in the room would start beeping or whirring; some nurse would come in to check Kelly’s vital signs, or ask how the baby was doing. It wasn’t until sometime well after 4am that I finally fell into some semblance of sleep.

I sleep fitfully until about 8am and felt pretty bad when I finally woke up. Some food, caffeine and Advil finally helped with that; but seeing and holding the Little Miss helped the most. And so it goes, wash, rinse repeat. Hopefully it will be better tonight. Come on, stop laughing. One can hope.

* Bonus points for science fiction fans who can identify the story from which the title of the post comes. Hint: I’m pretty sure it is the last line of the story.

When a brother meets a sister coming through the rye

After months of build-up and anticipation, the Little Man finally got to meet the Little Miss in-person last night. I suspect it was a bitter letdown for him.

We’ve been building up to this point for some time. The Little Man knew he had a sister coming. He knew her name and that she was in mommy’s tummy. After we set up the Little Miss’s room, I’d ask him, “Whose room is this?” and he would say, “Baby sister!” When he got to the hospital yesterday, the Little Miss had been taken to the nursery to get cleaned up. (She wanted to look good for her big brother.) Meanwhile, the Little Man got to open some presents from his little sister, something he was very excited about.

He wasn’t so excited when she was brought back into the room. I’m not sure what he’d built up in his mind to expect, but whatever it was, it wasn’t that wrinkled thing wrapped up like a burrito. He didn’t really want to have anything to do with her. At first.

Over the next few hours, however, he warmed up to her a little. But just a little. He still didn’t want to try to hold her or kiss her or even touch her. But he did try to share some of his toys with her. And by the time he was getting ready to go home with his grandparents, he said goodbye to her repeatedly, and wished her a good night’s sleep.

I can only barely remember when my brother came home from the hospital. I was about the same age as the Little Man is, and I was excited because I knew a baby was coming, but I don’t remember any other emotion I might have had. I feel for the Little Man because so much is changing for him so rapidly. For more than two years he’s been the center of our attention and now we have to shift focus to the Little Miss. I’m trying to think of ways to make sure we include him (giving him little jobs to help out) but also to make sure that he doesn’t feel neglected.

I’m looking forward to him coming back today and hoping that he’ll warm up a little more to his sister. Stay-tuned…

Introducing the Little Miss!

The Little Miss was born this morning at 8:11am. There was a pool going on in the OR as to how much she was going to weigh. I had thought she would barely make 6 pounds. Kelly guesses 6 pounds, 5 ounces. Turns out of anesthesiologist had the closest guess without going over. He guessed 6 pounds, 11 ounces. The Little Miss weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces–just a hair under 7 pounds.

She is 19-3/4 inches long and she looks so pink! And despite the alien-like look to her (to all newborns, really), she is absolutely adorable.

After she was born we spent about 2 hours in post-op recovery and then we were moved up to our room. We requested a private room, which we got, and there are two beds in it, as opposed to last time when there was one bed (for Kelly) and a fold-out chair for me. The nurses have all been great and the Little Miss’s pediatrician was here to check her out and she looks good, too.

I’ve posted a few pictures on Facebook and will be posting more pictures as I have time.

One amusing thing: not long ago, Kelly was sleeping with the Little Miss on her, and I was laying down catching a short nap. When the Little Man was born, we’d never been through this before and neither of us wanted to sleep. We wanted to hover over the baby at all times. Now, we are both wiser and hopefully that means we’ll be slightly better rested than last time.

Later this afternoon, the Little Man will be coming over to see his little sister for the first time. I can’t wait for that.

And that’s the news!

Oh, and hey, WorldCon people: where are all the WorldCon reports? We had a baby and I still managed to find time to post about it. Surely you can find time to post about how things are going at WorldCon! ūüėČ

Denial is a river in Egypt (t-minus 1 day until the Little Miss arrives)

The day before the Little Man was born, I was in denial. People would tell me that “your life is going to change forever” and I didn’t really believe them. ¬†I knew it would change, but I figured folks were being melodramatic because that’s how people are. They were especially careful to tell me just how much sleep I’d no longer get. I didn’t really believe that either. I was in denial.

I’m still in denial, I think. Tomorrow, the Little Miss arrives and I am still thinking to myself that maybe it won’t be quite as bad as last time. After all, I’ve been through this once before, I have one infant experience under my belt. I’m better prepared. We’ll be more efficient. We’ll get more sleep than we did the last time around. Forget the fact that we didn’t have a two-year old toddler to contend with lats time around. Forget the fact that it has been two years since we’ve dealt with an infant. It’ll be okay. It won’t be like last time.

Yeah, denial.

This day creeps up on you no matter how much you are aware of it. It’s nine months away, then it’s three months away, then it’s a few weeks away, then a week, then a few days and here we are! Roughly twenty-four hours from when the Little Miss will be born. How does that happen?

I am trying to reverse the denial. I keep trying to prepare myself. I’ve been collecting sleep. We’ll see how it goes.

Of course, the first day isn’t bad. She’ll arrive around 7:30am, immediately after we’ve had a full night’s sleep. The excitement of the day helps carry you through. In fact, it won’t be until the day after¬†she is born that those sleep effects will start to be felt. By that time, you’ve been up a few times with her during the night. You’ve managed to get some sleep but probably not more than four hours at a stretch. We’ll be at the hospital for a few days, but hopefully home by Monday and then we can start settling into a routine. Doing that sooner, rather than later, helps.

At some point tomorrow, I’ll get a post out announcing her birth. I don’t post pictures of the kids here, but there will be pictures and other information in other places, like Facebook, so if you are a Facebook friend, you’ll see them there. It’s hard to say how the frequency of my posting will change over these next few weeks and I’m not going to try to predict it, other than to say I’ll be doing my best to get out one post a day. The next Vacation in the Golden Age episode will be out on schedule this week and the next Wayward Time Traveler column will be out on schedule next week.

I’ll tell you this, in addition to being excited over the Little Miss’s arrival, I’m also excited that I’ll have a month off work. Today is my last day at the day job until September 19. I really need the break. I realize that it’s not really a vacation, since I’ll have an infant and a two-year old at home to take care of, but it is most certainly a mental vacation from the strain of the day job and that is something that I can really use.

The false alarm

The false alarm began at around 11am with a call from Kelly. There were some symptoms of impending labor. She’d called the doctor and the doctor told her to head into the hospital. I left work, headed home, collected our things (which were already packed and stacked by the door), and off we went to the hospital. Our hospital is, conveniently, only five miles from our house.When the Little Man was born, it was a leisurely drive at 6am, not the melodramatic thing you see on TV.

This afternoon we hit traffic and what normally takes 15 minutes took twice that long.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in. Preregistration made this a breeze, and we headed up to the “bunny desk” where delivery triage is located. From there we were whisked into a triage room and Kelly was hooked up to a dozen or so monitors. There was a nice dashboard display of readouts, and for the next two hours, we played the game of See If Jamie Can Guess When the Contraction Is Starting Before Kelly Feels It. For some reason, I never won a round. The machine seems to lag a few seconds behind reality.

Blood was drawn and various tests were run and in the end, we were sent packing. The Little Miss was not, in fact, imminently arriving. More than likely, she will arrive when she is scheduled to arrive first thing Friday morning.

It was not an entire loss, however:

  1. It made for an exciting afternoon.
  2. It allowed us to see how well our backup plan for the Little Man would work (since Kelly’s parents have not yet arrived).
  3. It gave us an experience we never had the first time around

And, perhaps most exciting of all, while we were there at the hospital, we got word that my sister-in-law gave birth to a new niece, their fourth child and second daughter. She is adorable and that is a nice consolation prize in my book.

We’re back in the countdown, t-minus about 86 hours and counting.

(Important?) updates for a Friday afternoon

A consolidated post of several updates that have come about today that will save you (and your RSS feed) from a post explosion:

  1. Two weeks and counting before the Little Miss arrives. She arrives two weeks from today. Those careful readers out there will be saying: wait, last week didn’t you say it was four¬†weeks and counting? And you would be right to question this math¬†discrepancy. At our doctor appointment this morning we learned that the c-section will be performed about a week earlier, on August 19 instead of August 25. It means everything moves up by a week and I have four less days at work to cram before I go on leave for a month. But it also means we’ll get to see the Little Miss sooner and that’s pretty exciting. I’m getting a lot of questions from friends about our overall readiness and I will probably do a separate post on that. Officially, my leave will be from August 19 – September 18.
  2. I’m testing out a trial subscription to the New York Times¬†on my iPad.¬†I read the “paper” this morning while at the waiting room at the doctor’s office and it wasn’t bad, but it was not entirely what I expected. The trial lasts four weeks and after that I’ll decide whether or not to keep it. If I manage to read it each morning, I’ll probably keep it. If not, I won’t. Remember that I also have Time¬†magazine on the iPad each week now, as well. I’ll tell you one thing, the Times¬†was depressing this morning.
  3. I purposely ordered a Diet Coke for the first time ever. I gave up caffeine once, for seven years, and fell off the wagon. I’m not likely to give it up again. But I could do without the calories. That is also fodder for another post. The Diet Coke was a absolutely disgusting, but I drank it. That’s how desperate I am. I’m hoping that, like beer, it is an acquired taste. I will continue to believe this for the time being.
  4. I am working on the next two¬†Wayward Time Traveler pieces. The next one, which will come out Tuesday, is apropos of some upcoming events in the science fiction world. But I’m working on two because I normally write these things every other Thursday and two weeks from yesterday my mind will probably be elsewhere. I’m trying to be proactive here. Truth is, I should probably try to write the next three¬†columns since having a newborn infant in the house may not be entirely conducive to writing.
  5. With two weeks before the Little Miss arrives, I am racing to finish A Storm of Swords. I’ve been reading the book on and off this past week and am now more than a quarter of the way through it. I’d like to finish it up before the Little Miss arrives, but I’m fighting an uphill battle. I’ve also got reading for Vacation in the Golden Age episodes 21 and 22 to finish up. And there’s this novelette that I’ve been making good progress on, too. So we’ll see what actually happens. That said, I continue to enjoy the book and when I find 15 or 20 minutes of time to fill and pick it up, I find that I don’t want to put it down.
  6. How about those Yankees? Seven wins in a row, and a 4-game sweep of Chicago. Tied for first and we play the Red Sox this weekend. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: what about A-Rod and this whole gambling thing? Well, clearly he’s not making good decisions. ¬†But the fact is the Yanks have been winning without him so I’m not overly concerned. And speaking of the Yankees, my brother-in-law has worked on an ad campaign for MasterCard in New York City. Throughout the City, you can “check in” to seats from the stadium for a chance to win tickets to a game. If you are a Yankees fan in New York (and why wouldn’t you be?), go check it out.
  7. The RSS feed for this blog was broken, but now it is fixed. Thanks to a savvy commenter for making the discovery. Turns out that when I made an update to make the site more compatible with Readability, I broke the RSS feed. But the feed is now fixed and I apologize to anyone who ran into problems because of it. I should know better than making changes like that without testing. After all, I am a software developer by day.
Now, get back to work, all of you!

4 weeks until the Little Miss arrives

It’s been a busy week, but it didn’t pass my notice that four weeks from today is the scheduled arrival of the Little Miss. We are reasonably confident in the date, seeing as how it is a scheduled c-section and those tend to be done a week or so before the normal due date. But it also makes me think: only four weeks! Four weeks before the Little Man was born, I wrote about how time seemed to slow down for the expecting couple, like some kind of time dilation during gestation. In many ways, this second time around has had the opposite effect. I feel like we are hurtling toward this D-day at an ever faster pace. I suspect it is because we’ve been through it once before.

We have finally settled on a name, which will be announced in due course. That happened more than a week ago, and we have all be referring to her by her name. Even the Little Man has taking to recognizing the name, despite lacking a face to put to it.

Her room is in the process of being set up. Kelly got a dresser for her, and will be painting it. We’re getting some additional shelves as well. Various parental visits have been scheduled. But in many ways, the event that takes place in four weeks is just as abstract as the first time around. I don’t feel nearly as rushed this time. Time doesn’t seem to be crawling along, although Kelly, who is bearing the full brunt of this event may beg to differ.

I imagine things will speed up as we get closer. And of course, the big routine changes will start up again. Little sleep, midnight feedings. I’ll stop going to writers group for a while and I imagine the amount of time I’ll be able to spend writing will dwindle some. But I will have a full month off to spend with Kelly, the Little Miss and the Little Man and that will be nice.

All-in-all, I feel more ready at the t-minus four week mark this time around than I did the first time, but I suspect because I know what to expect this time. Of course, the Little Miss could turn out to have a completely different¬†temperament¬†from the Little Man. We’ll know that soon enough.

Paternity Leave

We are five weeks and one day away from the birth of the Little Miss. (It is a scheduled c-section and I’m fairly confident about the date, but things can¬†change.) That’s a mere 36 days and as I recall from last time, these last few weeks fly by in the blink of an eye.

I will be taking a month off from work when the baby is born. I want to be there to help out with the baby when she first arrives. It will also be nice to get a substantial mental break from the day job. If things stick to the schedule, therefore, my last day at the day job will be August 24. I will return to the office on Monday, September 26.

Naturally, during this time, a lot of my time will be dedicated to taking care of the newborn, bonding with her, and doing things around the house. However, I also won’t have the full time day job to contend with. The Little Man will continue to go to school so he won’t be home during the day. Assume that the Little Miss is no more difficult than the Little Man was, I fully expect to be able to keep up with the blog, continuing to post on a daily basis. There may only be one post each day, and it may be shorter, but nevertheless, I expect to keep posting here.

For those following along with the Vacation in the Golden Age, I also fully expect to keep up with those episodes. Episode 23 should come out on Monday, September 5, as currently scheduled (there is a slight chance it will come out in Tuesday since Monday is Labor Day and I don’t yet know what plans, if any, we’ll have for that day.) Episode 24 should come out on schedule on Monday, September 19. Those are the only two episodes scheduled during my paternity leave.

Finally, I am hoping that I just might be able to squeeze in a little more writing. This, of course, will depend on how much sleep I am getting, for as anyone who has had kids knows, the cardinal rule of those early days is: sleep when they sleep. But assuming I can wrangle up enough sleep, I’m going to try to complete a story or two during that month off.

I expect my other social networking activities to diminish slightly during that month, especially in that first week while I get a grip on the new reality, but I will try to keep up with email as best I can.

We’re still five weeks out, but I am starting to think about this now and plan ahead, thus the heads-up on the matter this morning.