Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sister, sister

Just a quick update on what Inara thinks of her little sister.

So far, she's been extremely nice to her and seems to like her. On our way home from the hospital, I told her that maybe she can come to preschool some day, so she can show her to her friends. Her response was: "No, she's my little sister and nobody else can have her." When we were walking to preschool the next day, she brought this up again, saying that nobody is allowed to take the baby away. I assured her that the baby is ours and that nobody can take her from us. She's been very gentle with her, mostly just patting her legs and head and giving her the pacifier. Several times, she's said: "She is so nice." and a couple of times we've peeked into the room finding Inara just watching Alba sleep ( I guess this could also be creepy, but it seemed nice).

So, so far so good. It also helps that Alba is a very easy baby who is happy as long as someone holds her for a few hours every day, feeds her and changes her many, many dirty diapers. 

Just home from the hospital.

Since it's important that the bilirubin is flushed out of her body, we're still supplementing a little bit with formula.
Showing her room.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alba Rose

Let us present: Alba Rose!

Yes, she finally has a name.

We are, however, considering the possibility that the hospital exchanged her for a small terrier. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

And another

So they didn't come home today. The doctor came in and said that if the test tomorrow morning is good they may get to come home on Monday. Part of his reasoning was that Maria may forget to feed the baby otherwise. Pretty offensive reasoning, really. Ya, I can totally see Maria saying forget you baby I'm getting myself another bag of chips. We've decided if the test is good tomorrow morning we'll be checking ourselves out. There is no reason for her to sit there a day doing nothing.

In brighter news, UNNAMED BABY had her feeding tube removed. This was in part to due an event that Maria will explain when she gets back.

Below is a movie of UNNAMED BABY, enjoy:

Also it has come to my attention that some people thought my recommendation that people be better guessers in the future meant that they would have a chance to guess again about my potential future children. This is incorrect. What was meant is that people should become better guessers, because seriously you can do better than you did. Unless you received the email notifying you of your win. In which case, good job!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Another day at the hospital

Update: UNNAMED BABY was 'born in caul' meaning that she was born with a part of the amniotic sac attached. In her cause it was the whole dang thing (popped right after she came out). The Swedes call it Victory Cap (their name is much better). This supposedly means she is destined for fame and fortune or what not.

Well UNNAMED BABY and Maria didn't come home today. UNNAMED BABY's blood tests came back high for bilirubin again and they had to put her back under the lights. The outward signs of high bilirubin, which I failed to describe earlier, are sluggishness, lack of appetite and a general skin tone resembling that of John Boehner (or Snooki). John should probably get tested.

Anyways here are some pictures.

She was pretty lethargic when we where there but still managed the strength to fill her diaper.

Woo. Fun.

Point at the glowing baby.
Inara was still unimpressed with UNNAMED BABY and was very clingy on Maria.

Oh other item of note, Inara is very interested in milking things. Like anything. I've seen her 'milk' trees, wooden horses, benches and snails. You'd think she'd have no bounds based on that but there WAS a limit for her interest and that is when they hooked mom up to the old milker. That was completely unacceptable and resulted in her screaming and hiding. Double standard much?

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Inara vs the NEW BABY (PG for mild bloody bits)

Hello everyone.

Some of you probably don't know but Maria gave birth to a little girl (4245 grams/9lb 5 oz) on Monday at 7:38 pm GMT +1. We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 and she was out fast. So fast the midwife was caught off guard. Good stuff. The water didn't break until JUST as the baby was pushed out. In fact the bag of waters was largely intact when they tossed it. I would have probably liked to keep it with the placenta but that didn't seem to be an option. Who knows what that liquid could have been used for? Something medicy I'm sure.

Done in under and hour.

Still not happy about it.
Language lesson time. In Sweden they call the placenta a moderkaka. Directly translated this means mother cake. Look at the picture below. Does that look like a cake to you? Perhaps a meat pie from Sweeney Todd, but not a cake.

Not a cake. Yet.

Oh warning the above picture may be strong for young viewers. Not really though, I've seen what they have on TV in the States and this ain't nothing. I swear I won't let grandma's dog eat some of this one. Probably.

You may have noticed that I keep referring to the baby as the baby. This is because the baby has not been officially named. I unofficially named her UNNAMED BABY yesterday but there is some resistance to this name. Not from UNNAMED BABY.

Update: Was told to stop lobbying for my name choice or else. Every where name choice was used it has been very artfully replaced. You likely won't even notice. If you have already seen the name that shall not be named, forget it. For now.

About 12 hours after UNNAMED BABY was born we pointed out that she was jaundiced to a nurse and explained that her sister had a similar condition. They said that was normal and not to worry. 9 hours after that they took her blood 'cus she looked jaundiced. At which point I'd like to interject no friggin crap. 3 hours later they ran in and setup a UV light, exactly like what had happened to Inara. This condition, explained simply, is because Maria has inferior O+ blood that is jealous of blood that contains N acetyl-galactosamine and/or an extra galatose protein. In this case UNNAMED BABY has N acetyl-galactosamine (for Inara it was cus she had an extra galatose).

UNNAMED BABY prior to the needling and feeding tube. She looks pretty dang chill here (in the I wouldn't want to meet that in a dark alley kinda way).

 They decided it was pretty serious and took her down to a special room where she could be under two special lights. They also decided she needed and IV. Three separate people preceded to break every vein in UNNAMED BABY's hand, arm, leg and feet. As you can imagine there is nothing more heart warming than watching three old ladies dig at your daughter with a needle for 45 minutes. They gave up, took some blood from one many open holes they'd made and called it a night. No, wait they didn't, they then decided that UNNAMED BABY needed to eat. She was understandably a little upset by the nearly hour long stab fest and refused to take the scoop feeding that is preferred in Sweden so the nurses ran a tub down her nose and throat into her stomach. Again this was a touching sight with all the gagging and force feeding of formula. They topped it off by wrapping her head in gauze to protect them from the UV lights. As you can see (above) this is awesome!

These eyes have known pain. Revenge is likely being the form of horrible, horrible blow out diapers.
The next morning they decided to give the IV another go and burst a few more veins before calling it and just stabbing her in her heels to take the blood. After enjoying that I went home to help Inara who was refusing to go to daycare. Late that evening apparently the bilirubin levels (the trouble maker) had dropped, but not enough. This morning the levels were good enough for her to be removed from the lights but not enough to go home. I'm actually waiting on word from Maria on how that test went to see if they can come home because I had to go home to take care of Inara.

Update: She is coming home.

Another item of minor note is that there seems to be some hostility between the childcare ward and the birthing ward of the hospital. This displayed itself when they talked about letting UNNAMED BABY stay up in the birthing ward but that she is still being fed through her nose tube a bit. The boss nurse of the birthing ward (who just showed up today) said to the childcare ward they wouldn't help with this because, "The children here are healthy. If she needs to be taken care of you will have to send a nurse." When I left there was currently one baby staying in the birthing ward, UNNAMED BABY. There were  no less than 6 nurses sitting in the birthing break room while the childcare ward was over capacity. I guess you gots to protect your turf, infants be damned.

UPDATE: They REALLY dislike each other. They are all nice to us but they REALLY dislike each other.

Another interesting thing was that the Swedes are rabidly free feed advocates. This means letting the baby feed whenever it wants. We are not free feeders. Baby has gots to work for their food. Anyways, this means they are by extension anti-pacifier. When the boss nurse (from above) noticed we had a pacifier she expressed her displeasure, made worse by the fact that the folks in childcare ward (seemingly her sworn enemies) had even given us one. Maria mentioned this to the childcare nurse in passing during a checkup (which happens every three hours) the nurse agreed that pacifiers were bad and took OUR pacifier from OUR daughter. Not even the one they'd given us. I was displeased when I found out but Maria had already corrected it, or so she said. We will see if Maria gets back what is UNNAMED BABY's. Totally got it back.

You may be wondering where the name of the post comes in. Well Inara and the baby did meet very briefly. The most interesting thing from that meeting for Inara was the feeding tube and that the baby had pooped and I got some of that poop on my arm. Which was sticky and green black. A more accurate description of the meeting would have been the interlude to looking at the fish in the aquarium again, cus little sisters, meh and fish are amazing. They seriously are, look on Youtube.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Still Inside

So, no baby today either. We went to see our midwife and she said everything looks fine and that there is no reason to worry. I'm still in week 40 and they don't induce labor until week 42. We're getting really antsy though. Inara talks a lot about all the things she's going to do with the baby once it comes, but I'm not sure she actually believes it will ever get here. She's going to carry it, push it in the stroller, read to it, show it how she can jump, give it it's toy bunny, put clothes on it... Oh, and she told me the other night that she actually has a baby in her belly too. What a good big sister!

Oh, and as far as the guessing game goes, no one has guessed a date later than the 10th, so now it'll be up to who guessed the gender and the weight correctly! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why my Daughter is not a Princess

So, since I’m basically just sitting around waiting for baby to come out (although it seems to have very little interest in doing so) I will go on another one of my spiels about parenting. If you don’t enjoy these, just skip this post.

Now that Inara is getting a bit older and could probably sit through a movie if we let her, I’ve been scrolling through kid’s movies online and finding that I’m not comfortable with her watching barely any of them. In my not so humble opinion, the majority are gender stereotype laden, violent, ADHD-inducing pieces of garbage. Especially Disney.

Let me explain. When it comes to the classical fairytale movies, such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, I cannot stand the gender stereotypes being forced down our gullets. Young girls are taught that they must be pretty (and very skinny), passive and weak to reach their end goal in life – finding a man. Things aren’t any better for young boys who are taught that they must be handsome (or possibly just extremely rich), strong and forceful and not take no for an answer in their pursuits of a beautiful bride, which in their case is not the main goal in life, but still a very important one.

This brings me to what I think I find most disturbing about a majority of kid’s movies: They’re centered around adult (always heterosexual) love relationships. Why are movies for kids frequently not about kids and the stuff that kids like? What interest does a child have in the life of adults trying to pursue a mate? Should they even be interested in it? Why are kid’s movies not more often about friendship, exploring the world around us and play? Granted, there are movies like Finding Nemo where the plot is centered more around the relationship between father and son. It’s unfortunate that one of the only female characters suffers short term memory loss.

I’m not an expert on this topic by any means, but it also seems that as soon as a movie is about something other than a princess, it has no female leads at all. Think the Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh etc. I’m guessing it would be difficult to find a movie where all characters are female and where they happily go about their business without ever pursuing a man, but if you can think of one, I would be very interested. So, half the population is either excluded from the plot, included as a side character, or in pursuit of a love interest (I use pursuit loosely, since it would never be appropriate for a princess to be the one pursuing).

Violence is another issue. I once let Inara watch an older clip of Pluto on youtube and actually had to turn it off. I had totally forgotten how violent the older Disney stuff is. Nothing but electrocution and dismemberment. More recent shows seem to have improved somewhat, but violence is still an essential theme.

The one Disney movie that I have slightly higher hopes for is Brave, which seems to be more about finding yourself and the relationship between mother and daughter without the end goal of marrying. Has anyone seen it and if so, what did you think?

Lastly, I’m concerned with the extremely fast pace in many shows. Several times when Inara has been watching clips on youtube, her eyes have been drawn to shows like Cars, which I’ve never watched more than a few minutes of, but man, are we trying to give kids ADHD? It’s so fast-paced my head spins.

The only movies that I’ve felt completely at ease with so far are the Miyazaki films (although some of them are certainly for older kids since they can be a bit scary). My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo are both about kids and seen from a child’s point of view, full of magic in everyday life. Then there is also Doctor Seuss, although there are issues there too.

Lastly, as far as I know, Inara does not know a princess from a cucumber. She doesn’t know what marriage is and has no interest in being pretty. However, both Andrew and I realize that it’s just a matter of time before she catches on to that people think she’s pretty when she wears certain clothes or acts a certain way. I’m certainly guilty of having said that she’s cute, although I try to keep my complements referring to her being smart, kind and strong. I’m also guilty of choosing a certain wardrobe that I find appealing for her, but rarely say anything about her clothes to her.

She will see other kids playing princesses and princes and she will start to learn what’s expected of her versus two of her best friends who happen to be boys.  We can’t shield her from the norms of society forever and probably shouldn’t. If she wants a princess dress, I’m not going to say no. But I will talk to her a lot about how being pretty can be fun, but how it’s secondary and try to counteract all the outside influences she will get. And I will certainly not let her watch garbage shows just because it’s easy.

Can anyone recommend other movies/shows that are free of (or at least have fewer) gender stereotypes, that are not about adult love relationships, non- violent and not too fast-paced? It seems impossible, but maybe someone knows of something?

As always, I enjoy hearing your opinions! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

No Baby

Still no baby! I really had not expected to go passed my due date.

This morning, Inara found a tiny heart that she put on my belly. Not sure she meant anything in particular by it, but it was very cute.

At least we had a fun day at the harvest festvival today. For those of you who might not know this, Inara is fascinated with anything that has to do with farming. Not just the animals, but she's watched hours worth of youtube clips of milking, shoeing horses, how to make silage, harvesting, bailing, sheering... You name it. Today , finally she got to see a milking barn in action along with sheep, pigs and various farming equipment. It was pretty much her own little paradise. We didn't get a lot of pictures of that, but when she came home she entertained us by putting a pillowcase on her head and walking around the apartment. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to Preschool

Inara went back to preschool this week. We figured we would get her into the groove of things before baby arrives. She was super excited about wearing her new backpack there. One of those little things that I thought maybe she was too little to care about.

When I told her I wanted to get a picture of her wearing her backpack, she turned around to show it to the camera.

She seems to have had a really good time at preschool and I'm really grateful to be able to drop her off there for a few hours now that I'm too tired to be able to get out with her as much as she needs. 

I also think that Inara is sensing a disturbance in the force. She's been mostly positive about the baby coming, but yesterday was one of those days when you ponder giving your child away to the next circus traveling through town.  If I told her not to touch something, she would smash it. If I told her not to throw her pens on the floor, she would sweep everything off the table. If I told her not to hit me, she would hit me again. Well, you get it. I'm thinking she might be acting out because she knows something is up. Or maybe she's just being two years old. Who knows.

Luckily, she is still mostly her fun, sweet and energetic self and there is nothing some really nice hugs can't fix. 

Other than that, we're just waiting for baby to arrive and I actually finally finished packing the hospital bag. Well, almost anyways.