Angus the Mighty

Sorry to leave y’all hanging . . .

Meet Angus Greer: 20170810_085409_001.jpg

Here’s the story:

When we woke up on Wednesday morning, we knew induction was coming – but we thought we might have up to a week to get things finalized. You know, make a few more burritos, clean the house, that kind of thing.

At 9am, we saw the OB (Dr. Butts – NOT a pseudonym) who scheduled L for induction on Friday night at 11pm. Suddenly, our timeline shrunk by a few days. We left there, but the toddler down for a nap, and tried to figure out what we wanted to have happen in the next couple of days.

At 2:00pm, we had a growth scan and BPP with the MFM doctor. We knew as soon as she walked in that we were not waiting until Friday. Tiny was estimated at just 4lbs and had fallen even further behind on his curve. His placenta was also now showing clear signs of insufficiency. So, it was time. We were told L could go home and pack a bag, then she was to report to the hospital to be induced.

Cue panic. Because with 2 days, we were able to get L’s mom out to Tacoma to help u, but not with just a few hours. We went home, called the most amazing MIL ever (c) who made arrangements to get on a red eye from Indy out to us, then sent a group text to all of our (very small pool) of friends to see if someone could come hang at our house until MIL got here/pick MIL up from the airport.

It was looking a little dicey for a while, but finally we found some folks. I dropped L off at the hospital, then Ansel and I went to run the most important before-baby errands. When we got home, I furiously tried to finish the freezer meal prep I’d started while Ansel ate dinner. Via text, L told me that they had decided to do a pitocin stress test to see how well he would tolerate labor before fully inducing.

By 8:30, I was at the hospital, and the doctors had determined that Tiny did not like contractions and they needed to do a c-section. They took L back for a spinal while I got suited up. We have a very similar picture from two and a half years ago, roles reversed.

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One of L’s biggest childbirth fears was getting a needle in the back for an epidural or, in this case, a spinal. I was waiting in the room while they did this and it was taking a LONG time . . .I was getting nervous that something had gone wrong or they’d forgotten me. Turns out, she was a hard stick even here and they needed ultrasound guidance to get it in! She has a nasty bruise on her back to show for it.

The OR environment felt really different for L’s cesarean than it had for mine. For one, there were far fewer people, and ALL of them – save the grumpy but loveable anesthsiologist – were women, which felt amazing. I sat by her head, and the OB talked to her a lot (the doc who did mine talked about his weekend plans . . .) When Angus came out, they dropped the sheet and showed him to us – a tiny but wailing and pink baby!

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They delayed his cord clamping, then brought him over to get wiped down and assessed. He was so tiny, but so perfect, and scored a 9/9 on his apgar (his brother didn’t do as well!) Once cleaned down, I got to cut his cord!

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Right after this, they put him skin-to-skin with L and we all got to enjoy that moment for a little while!

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We went to the transition room, where Angus was weighed and measured – 17″, 4 lbs, 5.4oz! At the ultrasound earlier they’d estimated him at 4lbs even, so I’m glad it was off by a little! L was feeling a little sick in the recovery room, so Gus and I hung out and got acquainted until she got to feeling less nauseated.

L was able to nurse him here, and despite his small size, he did a good job getting latched and nursing for a bit. Once the hospital had confirmed that he didn’t have to visit the NICU based solely on his size, we got transferred down to the postpartum floor. Of course, then there were visits by various people, getting settled and medicated and set up with pumps and told the feeding protocol for late preterm/very small babies. Angus required regular heel pokes to check his blood sugar and his temperature. None of us got to sleep until almost dawn.

During this time, L’s mom had gotten in and our friend had picked her up and dropped her by the hospital to say hi. She went home to relieve the friend hanging out in the house.

The next morning, she brought Ansel over to meet Angus. He was excited for a while, then he wanted to push buttons.

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Because of his small size and “preemie” status (he was born at 36w4d), he had to undergo additional monitoring – regular blood sugar monitoring, temperature checks, vital signs, car seat test – and he just kept passing with flying colors. Nurse shift changes would come on and being sort of shocked and horrified at his size, get cold and hard with us about rules and then . . .they’d soften because he was just doing so well. No jaundice, no temperature issues, nothing . . .just so, so small.

He did so well that L and Gus were released on Friday morning, less than 48 hours after he was born – shocking both for a cesarean and for such a small baby. But we were all happy to break out of the hospital – L needed to quit having people barge in, Gus needed people to quit poking him in the heel, I needed to not be sleeping on a lumpy cot, and Ansel needed to wake up to his moms at home.

Life has been a blur since then. Angus is, like most early and small babies, very sleepy. We have to wake him up to eat, otherwise he’d just snooze all day. He also has to get supplements after eating in order to boost his calorie intake. At the hospital, we got donor milk to supplement nursing. L started pumping the night Gus was born, and managed to get 3 cc’s of colostrum that night (hello, milk maid!) So as she’s built up her small stash, we’ve been able to cross over to just using her pumped milk to supplement his feeds. The first night we were home I also pumped a little to help – but barely managed to squeeze out 5 cc’s, so either Ansel is getting next to nothing or I just really don’t respond to a pump anymore. In any case, it was a special thing but ultimately is no longer necessary because L’s milk is fully in and she is very easily feeding him exclusively on her milk.

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But, the process of nursing + supplement feeding + pumping is exhausting for everyone. Because Angus doesn’t wake up on his own, we have to set alarms to feed him. We both get up to feed him – L nurses then hands him off to me to supplement feed (with a SNS on my finger) and pumps. The whole process can take an hour +, which then leaves just two hours for sleeping.

And unlike when Ansel was born, we now also have to be on our game to raise a toddler who is having a LOT of feelings about having his schedule interrupted, his mommy unable to play with him in the same way, and a new baby brother taking up time and space.

It’s nice to be a two mom family with two gestational and breastfeeding parents in this case. I have taken on the bulk of caring for Ansel, both because it’s more physical work and L is recovering from a cesarean, but also because he seeks me out for comfort nursing. I’m glad we are able to split the ‘work’ in this way and give Ansel some focused energy and resources.

But, the downside is that I am not getting a lot of time with Gus. Ansel has been struggling if he sees me handling or feeding Angus, although he now seems to believe me when I assure him that Angus only gets the milk from mommy’s boobs – not any of his milk from me. It’s improving slightly, but still rough. His sleep has been tough – nighttime wake-ups that require me to sit next to him until he falls asleep, naps that are deeply delayed even when I am rocking/nursing him to sleep – and he is generally quicker to tantrums and frustrations, sadder at times and not handling transitions between activities well. That said, he’s still joyful and happy and kind on the whole, and I very much trust that he will adjust soon. Tonight he was able to tell me he was sad that L wasn’t reading stories with us, as she has usually done during his bedtime routine. We compromised by taking the books to her and reading.

So right now, I’m beyond tired. But I am also deeply grateful for my amazing mother in law, who is making life possible right now. She’s cooking and hanging out with Ansel (she took him to the zoo this morning so we could have some time just moms + Angus) and in all her ‘free time’ she also built Ansel a custom red and blue sandbox. Because midwest virgo.

Tomorrow Gus goes back to the pediatrician to check weight. He was released from the hospital at 4 lbs 1 oz, and had dropped another half ounce by the following day at the doctor. All told, he’s done really well with weight loss but, obviously, we don’t have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to his weight. Fingers crossed he’s gained, not lost. I cannot imagine he hasn’t gained weight – dude eats all the time. 

I’m sure I’m forgetting things I wanted to talk about here but . . .that’s the breaks. 2 kids is no joke . . .but I truly believe once L has healed a bit and Angus gas gained some weight, we’ll settle into things a bit more. And, I have 6 weeks of full time leave ahead (then another 12 part time) so we’ll have space to figure things out!

Now, more pictures!20170814_110746.jpg

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20 thoughts on “Angus the Mighty

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  1. So many congratulations, and welcome little Angus! A lot of these early days sound very familiar – it is hard and wonderful and scary and exhilarating, and mostly a lot of exhausting. Also, I was a 36 weeker myself, we’re a tough bunch 🙂

  2. Happy birth day, AG!

    It’s wonderful news that he’s doing so well. I hope you can all settle in to a new rhythm soon once L is healed and it’s all a little less new.

    Also, may I recommend The Very Tiny Baby by Sylvie Kantorovitz. It is about a premature, very tiny baby who does go to the NICU for a page or two, but it mostly handles sibling relationships and feelings about new routines. It’s pretty cute and informative and probably a bit over A’s head but it has great pictures and I think two year olds catch on more than they are credited with so if your library has it (mine did) it may help.

    Best to all!

  3. He is absolutely fantastic. I hope L’s recovery continues to go smoothly and that there are soon some extra ounces on the scale for the tiniest member of the family!

  4. Longtime reader, First time commenter – Oh congratulations! My little one came into the world very like this. He’s now tripled his birthweight at 7 mos. So happy for you four. (PS, if you’re wondering where I came from, think we met in an offshoot TTC group of FR many years past…)

  5. Wow. Just wow. I’m so so glad everyone is healthy (ish). My heart strings are aching for all of you in the transition. I can safely say that adding a child was the hardest shit I’ve ever survived – and it isn’t over yet, 2 years in. Kinda sneaks up on me from both boys now! I love the first photo of Angus – and the nick “Gus” – so much. He also has an awesome pout. You ladies make cute kids. Calling on the rest and recovery gods for you and L (and the boys too).

  6. Congratulations! Welcome, Angus! Sounds like all of you are doing an amazing job with the craziness involved in adding a new family member. I’m way impressed. And I love the pics–Angus has such an expressive little face!

  7. Congratulations! I’m so glad Angus and L are healthy and doing well and all of you are adjusting all around. He is beautiful. You have a wonderful family.

  8. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you, Angus is so cute! When you didn’t post for a few days I got a little nervous, but told myself you guys were just busy with a new baby and to stop freaking myself out about it. I also want to say you are rocking those scrubs (or whatever they call that get up). I found that for the first three months with my daughter, B was very jealous when my spouse would hold her and would yell “that not your baby! That Mama baby, give baby to Mama!” It was hard because my spouse didn’t really get to hold the baby very much until he went to bed. Four months seems to be the sweet spot, we are able to divide and conquer with the kids and each get our moments in with them. My mom made a point that I thought was an interesting perspective. She said that my son knew that I needed to take care of the baby and he had to sacrifice my attention, but he wasn’t willing to sacrifice his other parent’s attention, it would be too much for him. I’m just happy that he and I have reconnected now, because it was hard not being able to be physical with him while I was pregnant and then right after the baby was born. Now I can swing him around and have all the tickle fights I want.

  9. Omg so precious!! I cheated and scrolled down to look at pics before reading 😛 Couldn’t wait! Good luck with these tough but amazing days ahead and congratulations to the whole family!

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and baby makes 3

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the snearses

some vegetables, some cats

The MD & Me

~ my not so glamorous but oh so blessed life ~

Star In Her Eye

raising a rare girl

Mama et Maman

A blog about two moms trying to conceive

Becoming Mommy and Mama

Two ladies on a baby adventure

YoungIVFerChantelle

My journey to get my Miracle.

(not) pregnant in rezza

a single queer's TTC quest in Melbourne, Australia

babamimi

"Your family needs a reality TV show"

Our Egg, Her Nest?

My journey to Motherhood through gestational surrogacy

Raising Race Conscious Children

a resource for talking about race with young children

Three Hearts Beating

Two lesbian mamas make some queer spawn...

Papa Bear

how two boys made a baby

midwestmammas

lesbian, parenting, ttc, lgbt, baby

and baby makes 3

two moms and a new baby

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