Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The new year

It's been a while since I've logged in here, and so much as happened.
Yesterday was my first appointment with a midwife at the Birth and Women's Center. It went well. The baby still has a good strong heartbeat- 145. The birth center is in an old Victorian house, and it's decorated that way as well. There is a sitting room when you first walk in, and then a huge room which is the main birth room. On one end is a massive four poster that creaks a bit when you grab the poles, probably from all the use the poles have been put to as women labor. Next to the bed is a bathroom with a whirlpool tub. That's what I'm looking forward to as pain relief. There's also a kitchen, and next door is a park for walking in, and Leila can play on the play structure if she is around. Upstairs is another birthing room, but it's quite small, and an examining room.
The midwife I met with grew up in Cameroon- she's very nice. She explained everything to me. All over the house walls are little black footprints belonging to the various babies born in the house. On the ten day exam the midwife lifts up the tiny inked feet to press them into a pattern around the moldings. Then she writes the name of the baby and the birth date. The other good thing I learned is that at the 10 day visit they can do circumcisions. (Good to know if this is a boy.) They don't do sonograms, so we probably won't find out ahead of time what the baby is going to be. That's okay. One of my sister's friends gave us a bunch of boy's clothes, so between those and Leila's, we're set.
The birth center is around the corner from Baylor, so if there's a problem I'll be rushed to the hospital. The Dr.s they work with also have offices nearby. If the baby has trouble the neo-natal nurses from Baylor usually come to the birth center, which has well equiped armoires in each birthing room.
The other things that have happened: Leila and I spent 10 days in California with my parents and my sister's family. I think L missed her dad, especially in the beginning, but we talked to him at least once a day. She'd walk around with the phone pressed to her ear babbling or just listening. Then she'd kiss it a couple of times. Sometimes she'd bring me the phone when she wanted to talk to him and say "Baba" and smile hopefully. If I dialed, she'd laugh with anticipation.
Christmas was fun, except that Leila was sick and so rather fussy. She enjoyed her presents, but didn't really get the whole concept. I was so tired because she had nursed throughout the night. Also, she woke up really early there. Sometimes my mother would get up with her and let me go back to sleep. Sometimes my dad would, but she preferred my mom. Because she was sick there were times when she only wanted me, but usually she was very happy with Grandma. Uncle Scott and Grandpa were a lot of fun to wrestle with. She loved watching Claire and Alec wrestle- she'd stand there and jump around while they did, and a couple times pushed them to do some more.
Leila liked to hug and kiss her cousins, and although Alec doesn't like kissing he usually allowed her to kiss him. He was very affectionate with her and held her on his lap. Claire wasn't as interested in her. Also, Leila sometimes pulled her hair.
One night Grandma and Grandpa were hugging, and Leila wanted to get in on it. Then they pulled apart, and she pushed them back together. This happened several times. Mom and I were laughing, and poor Dad was trying to do the dishes.
Leila's vocabulary has increased so much. She repeats words pretty well now, and she also puts words together. "All gone", "no hot". She talks alot. My mom said she's loud, which is true, and thought that I had probably been loud too. In church she would yell "Yeah" when the songs finished. She talks and talks, and asks something, and when you reply you've somehow committed to doing something, but you don't know what.
One of her favorite words is "cookie". Sometimes in the morning she'll get out of bed and say "cookie" or "fish."
The other big news is that I'm finally working on weaning her, and she's been pretty easy. The past three nights I've nursed her before sleep, but she's getting so that she turns away from me before she actually falls asleep. Part of this is because I won't let her hands pinch me, so she gets annoyed. The first two nights I think I nursed her the first time she woke up, then gave her a sippy cup of milk which she accepted pretty readily (we stopped using bottles in Ca, and I think she started drinking more milk. Also, Habib volunteered to be the one to get up and get the cup out of the fridge-sweet.) In the mornings, though, she cried and tried to nurse. Last night I didn't nurse her at all when she woke up, and the one time she wanted something I gave her a sippy cup of water. The other times she was restless she just went back to sleep by herself. This morning she woke up very happy, as did I!
The poor girl tried and tried to go to sleep last night and couldn't, so I finally let her up for a while. She had gotten off the bed crying at the door, and I made her get back on the bed, but when she had nursed for a while, and then lain with her eyes shut and just couldn't sleep she started crying again and I finally let her up.
I'm going to keep nursing her at night for a couple more nights, and then I'm going to cut it out completely. I'm so tender from being pregnant, and she's not very discrete with her teeth sometimes. I also have to quit nursing her down for naps on the weekend. On Sunday she fell asleep with Habib singing to her. He said, didn't you hear me singing? And I had, but I thought she wouldn't fall asleep with the loud music. The problem with not nursing her down is that she won't go to sleep when I want her to.
Someday I may even start putting her to sleep in her own room! I think things will be really different with the next baby. I'm not sure I'll be able to continue nursing past a year, and I want to teach him to sleep on his own. He's moving around a lot now. I can fill the fluttering.

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