Thursday, August 28, 2008

Three Months Old Today!?

In the top photo little punkin is about two weeks old and the bottom one was taken this week. Lots of changes--more chub, more widow's peak and a lot more leg! Some things have stayed the same though. Susannah still hates that blue seat and still digs dad's jam sessions.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yo Mom, I got sand in my diaper

Quick geography lesson: Brooklyn is actually a part of an island, and today we packed up A-Lo's Camry and went to the beach! It's called Jacob Riis Park and it wasn't crowded or covered with condominiums or condoms.

The only challenge was the high tide that kept threatening to wash our stuff away (see water mark in the background). Susannah snoozed in the shade with the ocean waves crashing near us but luckily not on us.

There was a little sand in the breastmilk today and she was none too pleased.

Look mom, no sunburn! She says next time she's bringing her own lunch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Aunt A-Lo to the Rescue

Around 7 this morning, Susannah started making her squeaking noises. Ben was getting ready for work and went to get her. I rolled over in bed to get ready to feed her and realized I could not move my neck. I must have slept weird because I could move it (carefully) side to side but more than a few inches up or down was not doable without an incredible amount of pain. Those of you who know about nursing know that it basically requires you to look down so you can see your baby. This was suddenly very difficult. And super painful. It felt like someone had dumped a ton of concrete on my head. It was not good.

So I am not a happy camper. Ben's like, what's wrong, and I'm like, I can't move my neck. I have to move my neck to feed her and I can't move my neck and she has to eat. He shrugs and offers me some Advil. Oh wait, we don't have any Advil. It's all gone. Meanwhile I am nursing Susannah and I start to cry a little bit. It really really hurts. Someone had taken my neck muscles and replaced them with rebar. Ben goes, are you okay. I'm like, no I'm not okay. I can't move my neck but I have to move my neck because she has to eat and I have to repeat this very painful act 10 more times today. So no I am definitely not okay. He says it's going to get better, this is the worst it is going to feel all day. I say it is killing me now and I don't care about later and I start to cry a little more. He gives me the heating pad and says why are you acting like you just found out you have cancer? I hand him the baby and tell him it would be best if he Left The Room. NOW. And then I really start to boohoo because my neck is cement rebar and motherhood is a 24-hour job and no one can help me because we live in a crappy rental apartment in Brooklyn hundreds of miles away from all our family who would stampede our door if I called at 7 am to say that I needed help because my neck was not moving.

Eventually Susannah goes back to sleep and Ben leaves for work and the thing that makes me stop crying is I remember that my sister Anne Louise now lives in Yonkers, and she said she'd come over. When I call her she's magically already on her way to our place. She rubs Arnica gel into my skin and digs her fingers into the knots that used to be my neck and left shoulder. She changes Susannah's diaper and burps her between feedings and watches her while I take a hot shower and then go to a drugstore and buy 200 tablets of Advil.

For someone who couldn't move her neck very much it turned out to be a pretty good day. We took S out in the stroller and went to say hi to Anna and her babies, who just happen to be being looked after by her sister Ashley, who is in town from North Carolina. When Ben got home from work, much was the same. Susannah was asleep and I was in bed with the heating pad. But I was no longer crying and Anne Louise was chilling on the couch.

Long story short, Anne Louise saved our marriage. And I need a new pillow.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Queen Susannah and Her Chattanooga Subjects

On her first big trip to her parents' hometown, Susannah had no trouble attracting attention and photo ops. She basically was held by like 750 people and listened politely to baby goo-goo talk from all of them. Someone mentioned renaming her "Queen Susannah" since she was practically on parade for a week straight. The first stop was a visit with the "Queen of Lookout Mountain," aka Susannah's great-grandma Mimi.

Then we had a nice stay at hotel Aplin. Not only do they take good care of us, but they also stepped in as Susannah's first babysitters. That's right, Ben and Beth got to go out for dinner by themselves for the first time. (It was swell until Beth got home and spent the rest of the night with her head in the toilet due to food poisoning. Sorry no pictures of that special moment.)

Jill however makes good eggs; something for Susannah to look forward to.

Jill was big on "brain development". Something Susannah's parents are still working on.

Beth and Susannah dropped in the nursing home to see the other great grandmother, Ibbe. Lizzie stopped by and confirmed that S was a better baby than her mother was at that age.

We dropped by Shay Shay and Grandaddy John to see their 480th place of residence. They have plans to build Susannah a play house--I mean play castle-- in the back yard. Here they are discussing the plans.

Eventually Queen S mastered the art of visiting while sleeping. Grandma Moonpie didn't seem to mind.

Last but not least the Mcdonalds came over for a meet and greet - Aunt Sally and Cousin Miles below.

And after waking up at 5am this morning in Chattanooga, we returned to our apartment around 1pm. We put S down on the floor and she immediately began to smile. We aren't sure if she was just glad to be just another baby back in Brooklyn or just glad to be out of the sweaty airplane and taxi. Nonetheless, she is an amazing traveler so far. This is a good thing because visits to Chatty are a must, or else it will be off with her parents' heads.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Can't Judge a Kidney By Its Cover

So here's our little punkin yesterday at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she underwent her second renal scan since she was born. A renal scan is a test that measures the function of the kidneys. The nurse inserts an IV and then injects a radioactive dye that can be watched on a computer as it travels through the kidneys. After about 25 minutes a diuretic is issued so that the bladder can be observed emptying as well. Technologically speaking, it is pretty cool. From a mommy standpoint, it is not so cool to watch your wittle baby get stuck with a needle.

Susannah was a total champ though, as always. She cried some while the nurse got the needle in her hand (not nearly as bad as two weeks ago when they took some from a vein in the crook of her arm and I had to hold her down while she screamed her head off--that's another story). But she fell right asleep during the test and acted like she was having a nice nap.

The results that we got from this test are very, very positive. Susannah's kidneys have been a bit of a conundrum since she was diagnosed with bilateral hydronephrosis during a 20-week sonogram in utero. Many subsequent sonograms have shown that the area where the urine collects before it drains and her ureters are much more dilated than they should be, indicating a blockage somewhere, which could be a real problem down the road. However she has always looked and acted like a very healthy baby, peeing and pooping and gaining weight and showing no signs of distress. And sonograms aren't the best diagnostic tool; results can vary based on how much someone has had to eat or drink, for example.

The head of Nuclear Medicine at Lenox Hill was present for Susannah's scan yesterday and he was really pleased with what he saw. He seems to think that what we are seeing is congenital abnormality--this is just the way her kidneys and ureters are shaped right now. They appeared to function and drain just fine. The blood work from that awful needle experience two weeks ago revealed more good news: her creatinine levels are very low, which also indicates that her kidneys are not in distress.

So all in all, Susannah's in great shape inside and out. The whole situation has been mysterious and complicated since the beginning, so if you are feeling a little confused, don't worry, so are we. The good news is that surgery won't be necessary for a while. If Susannah could speak she probably could have told us that herself.

Here's a happy picture to end on. How bout them thighs?!

Friday, August 1, 2008