Thursday, March 26, 2009

That's A Cute Concept

In Carmen's first four weeks of life, she has been blessed with many, many visitors. Auntie Jo Jo paid us a visit all the way from San Francisco and did a great job of caring for all four of us. Since last I blogged, we celebrated Meredith's birthday, had a quick visit from Auntie Mia and even managed to go out to dinner. Sorry for the lapse in posts, but between the newborn, trips to the hospital for various members of the family and doctors visits for every member of the family for various ailments, we have had our hands FULL. Luckily, Lucia is diving headlong into her big sister role, and has started helping us with chores around the house. Jury is still out as to whether this is helping or creating more work. We are sitting for our first family photo shoot tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed for good moods and good hair for all. P.S., the title is a quote from a sales lady at a children's clothing store today. Upon check-out, she looked at both of us with baby Carmen and said "Oh, you are both the mothers? That's a cute concept."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2 Weeks Down, 1300 To Go...

As I type this, I am holding baby Carmen who is delightfully asleep. I say this not because she is happy to be asleep (although I'm sure she is), but because I AM happy she is asleep. You may recall that Lucia was not a sleeper. Ever. In fact we had a battle royale tonight with her at bedtime - 2 year olds with new siblings... testing limits anyone? (Don't worry, we won). Anyway, so far Carmen seems to be the opposite of Lucia as an infant so Mer and I are having a great time watching our baby sleep. It is amazing. And speaking of baby Carmen, Mama Mer wanted to be sure I capture her birth story before we forget it... so here it is from 2 weeks ago (picture it Sicily, 1942):
Monday, February 23 - 3:00am
Mer gently shakes me awake and says, "I think I'm having some cramping." My first reaction is, well honestly I don't think I had one - I was pretty out of it. So she gets up and waddles off to walk around, drink water, etc. I am half awake, half asleep when Mer suggests I get "the book" (What to Expect of course). Being the helpful wife I am, I retrieve the book and set it at her feet. The cramps are increasing by this point and with a touch of pain/annoyance in her voice Meredith suggests I look up "labor signs." I flip to the page and we check off each sign as it's happening to Mer. Crap. We did not prepare for this. What's the point of a scheduled c-section after all?? sheesh. (FYI, Mer was induced with Lucia so we never went through this before). By this point it's around 4am and Mer tells me to call Mimi and have her come down to be there for Luce. Now Mimi lives about 20 minutes away and the frequency of the winces coming from Mer tell us we can't wait that long. We call for back up. I ring our good friend Cathy (who we can never repay for this) at 4:10am and she is here in a flash. Oh, did I mention we had an ice storm and we all had to spend precious minutes scraping our cars?? Talk about llama drama. So we get to the hospital at 4:30am and away we go...
B&W Hospital - 4:30am
I pull up into the valet parking area and no one is there to do the key hand off. I'm in full on panic mode (helpful I know) so I just grab our bags and leave the car running. The 16 year old security guard at the front desk says he'll watch it. Um, not feeling confident about that but no time to argue with Skippy. We make our way up to labor and delivery where we meet our on call doctor (very nice woman in the practice, but a complete stranger to us). Meredith discusses her need to have the "highest ranking anesthesiologist in the hospital" perform her spinal because last time there was a leak and blood patches and repeat visits and pain and it was BAD. Of course then in walks the unsuspecting anesthesiologist Resident... Mer takes one look at him and says, "Are you a Resident? I'm sorry but you're not doing my spinal. No." It was classic Meredith... in full on labor no less. We finally got a Fellow paged and on the job but by now Mer was at 9cm and time for a c-section was running out.
OR Waiting Area - 6:05am
I'm sitting around in my
scrubs trying to process everything that's happened and is about to. I'm failing miserably. Instead I focus my attention on an ant crawling around on the floor. An ant? In the OR? That can't be good can it?
OR - 6:18am
If any of you have witnessed a c-section you know it is a hectic affair. There were a ton of people in there (including the dejected Resident) milling around and then all of a sudden we hear... "you have another girl!" Wait! I wasn't ready! You didn't tell me to get my camera ready! Arrrrrgh! Meredith and I were both stunned. We really thought we were having a boy. Really, really, really.

So there you have it Carmen - there's your birth story. You were so excited to meet us you just had to wake us up (and Mimi and Cathy) and make an early appearance. That's ok, we won't hold it against you (but we will remind you of it every chance we get).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let the Sibling Rivalry Commence!

In case any of you are wondering where we've been this week, the short answer is in the hospital - all of us. Not content to let Carmen steal the spotlight for even a second, Lucia decided to come down with a nasty case of the croup on Tuesday night (yes, a mere 24 hours after the birth of her sister) that landed her in the hospital (a different one) for an overnight stay. Awesome. So poor Mama Mer and brand spankin new Carmen had to go it alone sans sister and Mama Fran while we enjoyed an all night bender of Thomas the Train hospital videos and sampled their breakfast fare. Lucia was a trooper through the whole ordeal and I was a Thomas the Trainwreck. Luce and I left her hospital around 1ish on Wednesday and luckily Nonne arrived shortly thereafter to cheer her up. Meanwhile back at the other hospital, Mimi was taking care of Mama Mer and Carmen (we were quarantined of course) and holding down the fort until we could all be reunited on Friday. Whew.
Back at home the sisters seemed to get along just fine - of course, the exchanging of presents always helps. I have a million other things to blog about - remind me to tell you about Lucia's Wizard of Oz obsession - but right now, I have to go nab some sleep. We'll all be up very, very soon.