We had Matthew's last appointment with midwife Laurence today. Matthew weighed 4.9 kg (10 lbs 13 oz).
The appointment itself was rather uneventful - Matthew is obviously growing fine and I feel great. I had assumed that one implication of my repeat c-section was the end of midwifery care (in the unlikely event that we are blessed with another child) as I've been told that further children will have to be delivered by c-section. So we were surprised to hear Laurence say that we could still opt for midwifery care in the future, space permitting. Of course women who aren't planning to transfer to an OB for the last week of the pregnancy would get preference, but I was very pleased to hear that midwifery care isn't automatically ruled out.
There is no question that my recovery was easier this time due in part to being able to come home earlier. There is also no question that I could not have checked out of the hospital so soon without Laurence's help.
Elizabeth had her annual checkup for her hemangiomas today. Since they've decided that the only one that is really of concern is the one on her nose (and then only really from a cosmetic perspective) the last few appointments have just been to monitor this one hemangioma with the understanding that we're working towards a surgery date likely before she starts school (to reduce the risk of bullying). Although it has lightened considerably and is slowly shrinking, its size and position mean that even a complete involution will leave behind a pocket of skin on the nose. Actually, we're not all that concerned about bullying any more. Although Elizabeth has participated in numerous group activities, she hasn't been asked about her birthmarks very frequently in the last year. The few times it came up, she handled the question fine. We haven't had anyone ask about Elizabeth's life expectancy or run after us to demand what is wrong with her face in a very long time.
Last year we were told that the next appointment would basically be to set a date for the surgery. With all of this in mind Mommy and Daddy have been doing a lot of thinking about what is about to be done and why. We've also told Elizabeth that since it is her nose and she is a big girl now, she gets to be part of the process. She seems to be unable to separate the concept of the removal of the hemangeoma from the thought that it might involve a needle (which she is apparently not all that fond of after her recent shots). After much pondering and debates with various and sundry as to whether or not it would be ok to leave it alone we came up with a list of questions and headed off to see the good doctor.
Things we wanted to know:
Can the surgery be done under a local instead of a general? Apparently yes but most people are simply not comfortable having this done and certainly not until she is an adult.
Is there any cost to have the surgery done? Yes - parking.
There was also some discussion on the actual process which would be followed and the recovery period (no swimming for a couple of weeks apparently). The doctor also mentioned that she was not one to push elective surgery but that she fully expected there to be a request to have it done in the next 10 years and as such would recommend doing it now.
One angle that we felt was important (and the doctor agreed) was that it is quite likely that Elizabeth will require corrective lenses, eg glasses, and likely before she would be old enough to consider the posibility of a local. In the end it was decided that we would go ahead and put our names down on the list and wait for the call - likely for a June surgery date.
At eight weeks, Matthew is noticeably more alert. He loves to stand up holding on to Mom or Dad's fingers. It's a very wobbly sort of standing with a lot of leg crunches thrown in but it's by far his favourite activity. It looks exhausting. He's head butted Daddy in the chest quite vigorously a few times now. Mom's chest tends to be distracting so I haven't had that problem yet!
We've started parking him in the bumbo during mealtimes as he is able to sit with assistance now, but not for terribly long. We can tell when he's getting tired; he starts listing to one side.
His sleep schedule is much more predictable. He's up in the night only once or twice, usually around 2 and 4am. Unfortunately, he then wants to nurse for half an hour and needs multiple diaper changes. I was able to stay mostly asleep with Elizabeth and she went back to bed immediately upon waking. Matthew seems to have his waking and sleeping times more consolidated.
Sill eating LOTS. Grandma J looked after both kids for FIVE hours on Saturday while Brendan and I went on a rather geeky date to judge the regional science fair. Matthew does NOT drink from a bottle, but sneaky Grandma managed to get him to drink approximately three ounces of milk one drop at a time and he didn't appear to be starving too badly upon my return.
He's a very grabby baby. He's batted at toys nearly since birth but now he's taken to grabbing glasses, necklaces and my hair to the point that I've started wearing it tied back!
As reward for putting up with cranken-baby in the evenings, we are now frequently favoured with big toothless smiles. The endless fussing is actually subsiding, but last time we said that Matthew blessed us with the worst screaming fit yet. Hopefully he doesn't read the blog yet...
He does seem to be starting to communicate. Lots of coos and very emphatic babbling, which both Elizabeth and Brendan have taken to "interpreting". We are halfway convinced that he has started signing milk (and diaper, less consistently), despite still having nearly newborn level limb control over his arms.
Alleluia - He is risen! He is risen indeed - Alleluia!
Yukiko hosted eighteen (and a half) family members for Easter dinner. We couldn't agree on the meat, so we had both ham and lamb. There were both kinds of mint sauce and multiple mustards. For dessert, I made my first trifle. Grandma J helped with the booze sprinkling part. Elizabeth made the cake part by herself - I only got out ingredients and put it into the oven. Aside from the meat and dessert, we tend to have the same dishes at our family holiday meals. So salad, homemade rolls, Karen's famous potatoes, green beans oriental, sweet potato all made their expected appearance. Indeed, why mess with tradition?