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January 19, 2018

When Matthew comes home from school these days, he bounces into my room.


"I washed my hands! Hand over the baby!" he announces. Or, "I need your phone to take a selfie wif my brudder" (He's ALL about the selfies these days). After all, he's the big BIG brother now.


He thinks he ought to be able to carry Michael around "yike Elizabef" and is dying to show that he's capable so needs to be watched very carefully. So far we let him hold his brother by himself, but only when sitting down and only under supervision. He loves holding him for about twenty seconds or something interesting happens to capture his attention, at which point he's a bit too inclined to dump the baby and bounce away. Needless to say he's not going to get to cart Michael around unsupervised.


January 13, 2018

Matthew got a stripe on his yellow belt! He was pretty proud of himself. I haven't got a great sense of whether he likes karate or not. If you ask him after class, he wants to go back "right away!" or "I have to go tomorrow for sure!". But before class he is all "let's skip this class and go next time". Mom and Dad think that the extra physical activity and discipline building is particularly useful for this rambunctious little boy, so he's stuck with it for the moment.


January 11, 2018

Our plan was to leave the hospital as soon as possible, so we let the nurses know that we wished to have all the bloodwork and various tests done as soon as possible.


In particular, we wanted to have the baby hearing test done because when Amelia was born the hearing test tech assumed we'd still be there after 48 hours and went home before testing her. This meant we had to go to the hearing center to do the test later. The message was passed along and the hearing tech went home anyway. The nurses were a little surprised and we were annoyed but at least we already know what to do.


The heel prick tests used to be done at the nurses station (and that was always Daddy's job). Now they do it while baby nurses in the room. I guess it makes sense but I preferred not being involved. Michael hardly flinched at first but he had to have two heel sticks in order to get enough blood and it took a really long time so after a few minutes of that he had had enough. I didn't blame him.


I was happy to hear that my bloodwork showed that my iron levels had hardly dropped at all ("They are normal") and Michael was showing no signs of jaundice.


I was cleared to go home at around ten in the morning, but we had to wait around a very long time for Michael. The nurses annoyed me very much by repeatedly making comments about how most C-sections stay 48 hours. Eventually the pediatrician showed up to evaluate Michael and explained that the reason for the delay was they were having trouble locating his last ultrasound results.


At Michael's growth check at 32 weeks there was a slight anomaly with his kidneys. Something about the distance between the ureter walls was slightly too big which meant that he could have problems with urine backing up from the bladder into the kidneys. Now, supposedly the problem was only flagged under the old guidelines and the doctor was careful to explain that it was likely that it would self-resolve. Anyway, I went in for another ultrasound at 36 weeks to see if the problem was getting worse. The day of my ultrasound (Dec 19) we had a massive snowstorm. So many people were late for their appointments and so many technicians were either on holidays or sick that the clinic actually called me to ask whether I could possibly come in the following day. So I went in the next day and then promptly forgot all about it at my next two OB appointments since I was much more worried about the whole blood pressure thing. Turns out that the ultrasound clinic was so backed up they forgot to read the results and so the 36 week ultrasound had never been sent to the OB. So we spent hours sitting around waiting for this to happen so that the pediatrician could find out what follow-up treatment he needed to do (eg meds). I was kind of kicking myself for not checking on this before the surgery though, especially since my OB had been on vacation the preceding week. In any case the paperwork eventually came through and it appears that everything is fine. Michael will need a follow-up at CHEO in a couple of weeks (before which I am not allowed to nurse him for two hours, so that's going to be amusing) but we expect that will likely be the end of it.


As soon as we were cleared to go we left. Janice brought Elizabeth and Grandma J along to help us carry all of our stuff out to the car.


It had been a snow day (and none of the kids wanted to go to school!) so they stayed home to play with Grandma H and Auntie Janice and wait for us to come home. They made a lot of puzzles and a pretty amazing welcome home sign. Everyone was pretty excited when we first walked in the door.


I even felt okay to eat supper downstairs before tackling the many many stairs in our house. Everyone gazed adoringly at "dat baby" as Amelia has dubbed him.


January 10, 2018

Mary and Brendan are thrilled to announce the birth of their son Michael Gabriel January 10th at 9:05 am weighing 3331 grams (7 pounds, 1 ounce) and 47cm long.


Getting bloodwork done the day before was largely uneventful aside from taking nearly an hour and a half waiting around. They still have the little blinking coaster to tell you when it's time to have your blood work. The other main task was to pay for a private room. I was surprised by how little information they otherwise wanted the day before.


The surgery had been originally scheduled for 10am but a few days earlier I was asked if 7:50am would work for me. I figured that less time being hungry in the morning was probably preferable and so said yes, although we did wonder what we were thinking when we had to be at the hospital for quarter to six! It was so early that Tim Horton's was closed and the nurses station was deserted!


In any event, we were soon set up in the triage room and the nurse began entering all of my information. I have to say that given I've done this at the Montfort FOUR times now, it's a bit strange that the hospital got a nurse to spend time re-entering all of the information rather than having the admissions staff simply verify and update the information in advance. Surely that would be more efficient and less likely to result in errors? In any case I got my various bracelets and then it was time for the dreaded IV.


It turns out that putting in an IV is much more difficult if you are extremely swollen. The nurse took her time locating a vein, but it promptly burst, spraying blood all over the sheets. Nurse number two managed to get it in with only two tries. I will say that once it was in, it was the least painful IV I've ever had.


Dr Gravelle came by to say hello, and the anesthetist did too. Since I had an itchy allergic reaction to something after Matthew's C-section, I told the anesthetist that I wanted her to avoid whatever drug it was. This was complicated by not knowing what it was I reacted to! Unfortunately, the files have since been digitized but only the surgeon's report was available. So we had to wait while they located my file from the "vault". Of course the doctor last time didn't write down what he had avoided, and in fact no one even noted that I had had a reaction in 2013. Poor doctor was all "I'm sorry if you have an anaphylactic reaction!!!" I assured her that it had been a mild reaction and that I was only hoping to avoid discomfort rather than being worried about dying. So we proceeded to the operating room, after a slight delay when we realized Brendan hadn't yet been given any scrubs to wear.


I got up on the table and then we sort of awkwardly waited around for Dr. Gravelle who had meanwhile gone missing (it turned out that her phone had died). Soon enough they located her and started the various meds. I got to keep my glasses and they didn't strap my arms down. The reflective light gave me the best view yet to watch the operation, but after the first cut I actually felt so terrible I was sure I was about to throw up - I gather my blood pressure was all over the place. They adjusted something and I felt better, but after that I didn't watch for a bit. I was quite anxious that they were going to forget to bring Brendan in, but he did show up.


The surgery itself went well; I gather it takes longer for every subsequent C-section but they worked away busily and soon enough I got to watch baby being lifted out.


We spent less time in recovery than usual because there was another C-section immediately after ours. They waited until I was just able to start moving my legs and then whisked us back to our room where Grandma J was waiting for us. Sadly there was no private room available, but the other occupant of the room was very quiet. Michael was quiet as well and latched fine.


Soon Grandma J headed out, but Grandma H, Auntie Janice and the kids were en route from school to meet their latest sibling. Amelia was very solemn - not quite sure what to make of the baby. She cuddled next to me for a while and finally was coaxed into saying something. "Dat baby is liddler dan I fought he would be"


Matthew and Elizabeth (especially Elizabeth) were over the moon. We had a slightly scaled back birthday party with cupcakes and decorations before the visitors headed out to Swiss Chalet to finish celebrating!


Not too long later the other occupants of our room left. We kind of hoped their replacements would be equally quiet. We were just settling down for the night when a nurse came along to let us know a private room had opened up, so we decided to move. In the morning all the rooms were full so we were glad we did!


Michael is so far a very obliging baby, and the nurses mostly left us alone once they realized we basically knew what we were doing so we had a pretty good first night. 


January 7, 2018

Auntie Janice invited us all over to celebrate her birthday with bubble tea.


We made bubbles out of tapioca dough and then carbonated flavoured watered. I liked the blueberry juice best.


Of course it isn't a party without someone throwing up around here. I was a little dismayed at supper when Elizabeth picked at her food. She burst into tears, declared she was "too hungry" and then after I convinced her to come upstairs she promptly threw up.




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