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I'm very sleep deprived at the moment because since right after Thanksgiving Tanya entered a lovely stage called 4 month sleep regression. Basically,she wakes up every hour or two at night, asking for pacifier which is not something she used to do. Occasionally she can manage three hours at a time. So while I do sleep, my sleep is very broken. It should pass soon, according to all the books. She is starting with REM sleep so she is learning how to fall asleep on her own. Meanwhile, I'm just very grateful I don't go back to work until Jan 20th, so I can be a zombie.

But this also basically means that her brain is progressing nicely. She is rolling over all over the place now and can drag herself around on her gym and play mat and she is trying to sit up.

I'm almost done with my Harry Potter reread. I have so many books on my wish list that are coming out next year. I don't watch a lot of TV anymore, so I do want to read more.

It's weird but even a few years ago I had so many shows I was watching on TV.
Now I'm just watching 'Supernatural', 'Grimm' and 'Modern Family' in regular season. In January I will also add 'Glee' and 'Downton Abbey' to the roster, with 'Teen Wolf' in the summer. That's pretry much it. I tried 'Marco Polo' on Netflix but found the first episode boring. I did like the casting at least. Still, it is weird for me not to have TV nights anymore. I watch everything after the fact online or onDemand. Oh, I did watch Season 8 of ' Doctor Who', I liked it much more that Eleven seasons.
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A very rainy day. We got a brief dry window when my parents were driving Tanya and I back to Brooklyn, so I got to stay dry and my Dad could walk with Tanya in her stroller a little while I did chores like cleaning the bathroom, but otherwise a very rainy day.

Otherwise, a very ordinary day. My parents stayed until 1pm. They got pizza and desert from an Italian bakery and Mama made salad. Tanya, played, napped, played, napped etc in repetition. She had another teaspoon of rice cereal and she does like eating from a spoon - she is getting a hang of it. I'm still paranoid that she would get a reaction from it - the cheeks are a little pink - but that can be from the heat of the apartment.

I downloaded a few more apps for my phone: I figure they should be mostly useful not silly. I did get Solitaire but I also got TED talks, NASA, Star charts, Piano Teacher and Biblical Hebrew lessons. I already listened to Gladwell's TED talk - it was pretty fun.

Milestone noticed: Tanya hold her head up if you pull her from the floor by her hands. Before this her head lingered back.
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I'm typing this from my new phone. It is still very weird and awkward to type. Still, it is convenient.

Features I like: livejournal app I can use to read my friends page and I easily read all new RS Small Gifts stories and I can easily comment; checking Tumblr is easier (I only check one account all the time which aggregates fanfic and news about a show); reading Kindle; seeing that my yahoo mail and Gmail came in and what about without going on the Internet; transportation apps and weather apps; ability to use Google chat without going to my computer; Skype; attaching pictures to text messages; taking pictures if my camera is not handy.

Don't like: need to recharge often; new memory card didn't work so I have to wait to get my music on it; typing is awkward at times and autocorrect is silly.

My mom bought a crockpot on sale at Costco and we tried it out today. Mama made a whole chicken with some veggies. 6 hours, plug it into the outlet and out comes very tender and delicious chicken. I do wonder how much energy it is using but it is very promising and many recommend it.

This week we were trying to start Tanya on some solid foods since she is 4 months already. Just a little, to get her to learn how. Her main meal is still my milk, although every 4 hours now, instead of every 2 it was in the beginning. Plus twice at night.

Anyway, we are going slowly. Starting with rice cereal mixed in my milk as doctor recommended. On wed we tried giving her 1 tbsp with 2oz in a bottle but she wouldn't have it. Just milk she can take from the bottle just fine. We didn't push.

Yesterday we gave 1/2 teaspoon with 2oz with a little silver spoon and she ate it. But I'm not sure if rice agrees with her since she was super gassy and a little red cheaked. We are going to wait a bit and then try her on a little oatmeal cereal. We got organic brand for both. She stares at us as we eat in fascination when we eat, so she is ready for a bit. Today we also gave her a little water in a spoon. Again she wouldn't have it in a bottle. Still new things. She is 14 pounds 8 Oz now and 65cm or 25in or so.
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I've been home since Friday a week ago. The super fixed the leak upstairs but still hasn't fixed our kitchen ceiling. We keep reminding him about it with the baby and all, but he always been like this, taking forever.

Otherwise, it was a quiet week. My Mom came over Wednesday and Thursday to cook for me a bit and to help out since Bear was gone from Tuesday to Saturday. And I had my first 40 hours straight alone with the baby, which went well. Tanya was the best baby last Friday, with minimal fussiness, when I was all alone. It was very nice of her! I make pea soup last week and white bean soup yesterday and will make meatballs and green onion/egg/cucumber salad today.

We are going to the pediatrician on Wednesday, and I really need to ask if I can stop waking her up at night around 3am for her night feed. Tanya sometimes wakes up on her own to eat but lately I've been waking her up. You are supposed to not go more than 6 hours or so without feeding, but that is up to a certain weight and everyone has a different opinion on it. So I'll ask on Wednesday if we can try to just let her sleep through the whole night - which will be great for me. She did stop creaking and being noisy in her sleep that much, which lets me sleep better lately. I still feel sleepy most of the time, though, probably because of milk hormones.

Otherwise, I'm still reading Harry Potter. I've finished watching "True Blood" Season 7. It certainly felt like the last season and while the end was a bit too pat and happy and hetero-normative, I actually liked it. Those characters deserved some happiness. I can understand why many didn't like this last season, but I just enjoy the crackiness of this show and also, Eric. I will miss my summer fix. I'm watching "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix now. I haven't seen Season 7 properly, and even though it sucks in a lot of ways, I'm working my way through it.
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As every week passes, this parenting thing is getting a little easier. Or at least, I'm much calmer about it and learning what to do. At two months, we have a routine, which helps a lot to regulate our day. And according to every single mother I've talked too, months three is where the magical time begins once their stomachs settle down.

Right now Tanya eats every three hours. After each feeding she then plays a bit and then tries to sleep. She sleeps best during the day when she is out for a walk in her pram. She refuses to sleep in a crib during the day, so other times she needs a nap, it usually is in someone arms. When I'm home, I settle down in a swirling chair in front of a TV. Right now I'm catching up on the last season of "True Blood" that my Dad copied for me from some Russian internet website. She sleeps well at night, just settling her down takes a while, but we have a routine for that too. And then she sleeps and only needs to eat one time during the night and goes back to sleep easily. (Of course, then I have a very hard time going back to sleep once I wake up at 2 or 3am. So usually, I go to sleep at 9:30 now, with her and hope for a deeper sleep.)

At two month, Tanya can hold her head up for a bit, when she is on her stomach and she started touching toys and put both her hands together. She smiles now. The best part is definitely watching her learn every day and try new things - to see a person emerging. Bear is much more likely to find adorable things about her expressions and sounds than he used to and he is not afraid of her crying anymore (early on, when she cried, he thought something was wrong. It took a bit to adjust to the fact that babies communicate through crying). She still has gas pains. I really can't wait for that to settle so she doesn't cry in pain, poor child.

My brain can't hold much right now nor do I have time, so I've been rereading Harry Potter - I've never done a reread of all books together. And Bear also got "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkings in his library and I wanted to read that, especially after watching a documentary on Netflix called "Unbelievers." So I got the book out of the library on my Kindle for myself.

The reason I'm really enjoying this book is that Dawkins perfectly encapsulates my feelings about God and puts many things into words. I have always been an atheist in terms of belief in God or the afterlife (I think we just die). I grew up in an atheist country which didn't emphasize religion, while learning about religious stories as literature and stories. Religion is interesting to me from literary, mythological and social standpoint. I've never been interested in thinking about whether there is a God or not, and to me the purpose of life is to live it and have a good, decent life full of experiences. I love learning about religion. But I'm also Jewish. To me Judaism is not about God but about culture and ancestors and tradition. So I celebrate the holidays and it is important to me to keep Passover and to fast on Yom Kippur (just not this year, since I'm breastfeeding). But Judaism to me is not really about God and I also like it since it is a religion that lets you ask questions and it is about following the life, being a good person rather than belief by itself. So I'm enjoying the book a lot.

Incidentally, I do find that is is hard for many people born here, in the US, like Bear's parents who are staunch Catholics, to understand what it is like to not believe in God, to be born without religious things. They accepted that I'm Jewish - I think his Mom took comfort when she looked at the Seder Haggadah that so many prayers were the same (duh), but I think they would not understand how I could be just socially Jewish.
bearshorty: (Default)
I'm slowly adjusting to this whole being a parent thing. It helps a lot that I'm feeling much better physically. Yesterday, I managed a 40 minute walk with my Mom and Tanya in her pram. I can't lie on my side yet, but I'm moving much better. The biggest factor for the mood during the day is how much sleep I get. If it is 4 hours or so, I'm pretty good. When Tanya has a good night with good sleep, I can manage that - I still hyper-vigilant to tiny noises from her, so I don't sleep as much as I could.

My Mom is over during the day - she comes around 7am and leaves around 5pm, and I'm so, so lucky in this regard, especially during this first month. She takes over, and I feed Tanya but that is mostly it. I do help bathe her or rock her occasionally during the day, but my Mom pretty much steals her. In the evening and night, it is all Bear and I, and Tanya needs much more soothing then. But we are getting used to it. Bear changes the diapers and burps her and I feed her every 2-3 hours and rock her and swaddle her etc. Yesterday, Bear's parents came to visit and on Saturday, his brother and brother's girlfriend. But otherwise the days are settling in a bit of a routine.

Now Bear left for his first season meeting at work - so he is away from Tuesday to Saturday. Both my parents are staying with me, since I still can't lift her a lot - one more week, and I'd be able to take over. And we have a pediatrician check-up on Thursday. (I have a list of questions) Next week, we will just go to my parents' house for half a week, while Bear is away and split up the week that way. And that way, my parents can spoil my baby and Bear can get sleep half the week too, which will help everyone's sanity. That's the plan for the rest of August, at least, and then, we'll see.

I'm rereading Harry Potter right now, since that is all my tired and sleepy brain can handle.
bearshorty: (Default)
Tanya is a week old today and we are slowly adjusting to her presence and feeding her and rocking her to sleep and all the baby stuff. We got home on Wednesday after two nights in the hospital. My Mom, and sometimes my Dad, are here during the day and Bear and I are alone with her at night - which was very terrifying at first. Bear is back to work today - he was home all week with us.

I'm very grateful for my Mom's help because I really can't do much other than feed her and be by her side at night, because it is very, very painful to walk right now. I'm hoping it is just the stitches, which should heal in another week and not a pulled muscle or pubic pain that would require longer healing. I want to be able to pick her up myself from the crib, not just have her placed in my arms.

Postpartum, I decided, is the worst thing - worse than any pregnancy complications or even labor. Let me count the ways it sucks: 1. stitches 2. inability to really walk or lay on the side 3. trouble sleeping - I'm averaging 2-3 hours a day not because of the baby - she slept well last night but because of hip pain and that pulled muscle and/or crotch pain 4. the postpartum bleeding and all the conflicting info on what is normal and how long each color of it should last 5. swollen ankles 6. gas pains 7. hormones that make me cry all the time especially at being frustrated at my inability to do much etc, etc

Of course, on the plus side, I do have milk and can feed the baby, and she is very adorable and has the cutest expressions. I know I'll adjust - I just need to be patient for my body to heel.

Happy News

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 04:55 am
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On, Monday, July 28, 2014 I gave birth to a daughter, named Tatyana Carolina (or Tanya, for short) at 12:49pm. She is named after my grandmother and Bear's grandmother. At birth, she was 3615 gr or 7 pounds 15.5 ounces and 21.5 inches tall. I went into labor at 5am on Monday morning and left for the hospital at 7. The hardest part was over two hours of pushing with no epidural (if I have more kids, I will so get one! At least this is me on sleepy brain at 5am after getting maybe 4 hours of sleep in the last three days. And with hurting stitches. (I can't wait for next two weeks to pass to be able to walk properly and sleep on my side again. Or for my Mom to get here in the morning so I could get a few hours of sleep at all). She is very adorable and I'm sure I'd forget all this hardship later. It is pretty terrifying to be alone with a newborn - well, not alone, Bear is home all week, of course, but both of us are pretty clueless.
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Yesterday, for like 4 hours, we had to make a decision that we went back and forth on. My parents were hanging out with me most of the day, since my Dad had a day off and I have someone on baby/drive to the hospital duty most of the time. My doctor called around 11:30. He has to go out of town for most Saturday eve/Sunday/ early Monday for whatever reason and while he lined up a substitute doctor, since I'm pretty dilated already and can really go at any moment, he offered for me to come to the hospital that evening and he can break the water and let my labor start, etc.

It had the appeal of controlled drive to the hospital in Manhattan, which with traffic, is going to be tricky enough. And both my aunt and cousin, who is a doctor, thought it would be a good idea (my aunt had to have her water broken to start labor with one of hers). But it is still a week to due date, it is not like she is late. And my thought was, what if breaking the water won't immediately start labor and will lead to more intervention, which I really want to try to avoid.

My parents and I were both ambivalent and so was Bear - but Bear was pretty much letting me decide. So we consulted many people and thought about it and finally I went with my gut, like Yeva suggested and decided to wait for labor to start naturally. The only reason to do this is doctor's schedule really, not medical necessity. The baby is doing ok and she is not ready to come out yet. And it is not past due date. And, ultimately, I'm ok with having a different doctor do the delivery, if it comes to that, and if she want to come out before Tuesday.

So now we wait some more.

And this morning, after waking up at 6, as usual, I watched the final episodes of Season 8 of "Supernatural" which means I have now seen all the episodes and have officially caught up. Season 6 was my least favorite, the show started lagging then and didn't pick up for me until a little into Season 7. I did like Season 8 overall. So now I'm done with this project. I started in October, according to this blog, so this was a long project. Now I'm just watching the original Star Trek episodes with Bear when we eat dinner and SYTYCD on Wednesdays. I feel pretty good about stepping away from TV, which is not something I thought I would say even 4 years ago. But every year I watch less and less. I want to focus on books more and with the baby I won't have much time anyway.
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I've been playing a waiting day since Tuesday and I'm getting very tired of it. I just want to go into labor already and get it over with. During my weekly doctor's appointment on Tuesday, my doctor discovered that I was already dilated and pretty much told me I could go into labor even that night or pretty much at any moment. Which, of course, put us all on alert. But after my Mom talked to some other family members, I think it is pretty genetic in our family. My aunt's doctor told her that she was dilated and would give birth soon and then she was pregnant for two more weeks. My second cousin - a week after the doctor told her. So this rush for me isn't really necessary. I had to go to the doctor Thursday again, just in case, and not much has changed. But I do have instructions to go to hospital right away when any contractions start, not to wait to call the doctor first. My stomach is getting more and more uncomfortable, though, so I do just want to start already.

When Bear is not at work, my Mom or both my parents have been hanging out with me, so they could drive me to the hospital, if necessary. And last week, well from Thursday to this Tuesday, I was staying with my parents in Staten Island because Bear had one of those meetings at work where he works really late and stays at his parents' house. I go for little walks - 20 minutes is maximum for me. I'm trying to finish up "Supernatural" on Netflix - 6 episodes left of Season 8 (and I watched Season 9 live), and I finished reading Sharon Kay Penman's "Lionheart" which I wanted to get to for several years (when it came out in hardback I read 50 pages before returning the book to the library and then I waited to buy it in paperback, since I own all her books in paperback.) I finished the book last night - I've been doing great with reading this summer.

I did like "Lionheart" quite a lot but then I love Penman - she is my favorite historical fiction writer and reading "When Christ and His Saints Slept" quite randomly when I was 15 (it was on a library shelf of new books and I just picked it up) is what sold me on studying English medieval history in the first place. She does a lot of research and most of her stuff is very historically accurate and she makes it easy to understand complicated medieval relationships. In this case, I feel I got a great handle on the Third Crusade - much more than when I was even teaching it and she did have a good take on Richard I. Reading the Author's note made me miss history and studying it - reading that bibliography in the back of her book just makes me want to read all the books.
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This week went quickly despite mostly just being home, and going for a walk in the morning before it gets too hot. I am getting a little restless but I know it would get super busy soon, so I just need to be patient. I hit 37 weeks of pregnancy yesterday, which is a good milestone since the baby is now considered early term. She is a big baby too - at last doctor's appointment on Tuesday, they approximated that she weighs 6 pounds 7 ounces already. (She is not even born yet and already people are making comments on appropriate weight and her looks - like whether the sonogram showed a long nose or not, like it matters. Argh. Even fetuses can't escape all the pressure put on girls in our culture).

Last Sunday, Bear and I got to do something different. Marianna, Adama and little Galya came to Brooklyn, since they got a car now and it is easier for then to travel (especially with Marianna being in the last month of pregnancy too). We went to a Uzbek restaurant called "Nargis," which was super delicious. The chicken kebob was so soft and melting in the mouth. Then, after dropping leftovers at home, we met up again at Coney Island. Bear wanted to go on the new rollercoaster, but the line was too long, so he went on a different one and Marianna and Adama took Galya on all kinds of children's rides. She is a pretty fierce 3 year old - she was not afraid of any high rides even.

This week I'm trying to finish the book "Hild." I have 60 pages left and will probably finish it today, tomorrow at the latest. The use of horses in the 7th century fighting in Anglo-Saxon England is driving me a little nuts but I do like the atmosphere she creates. And I like that the main character is bisexual, which is not usual in the popular books. But still, I continued reading it only because it was a present, it is not my favorite historical fiction by any account. Mostly because Hild, as a child, is written older than her age.

I've also started watching "Supernatural" again. I'm in the middle of Season 7, after a month hiatus. And more "Star Trek: TOS" with dinner with Bear.

And, of course, I'm cooking. I tried two new recipes this week - risotto and pasta bake. Both came out very well. With left over chicken stock from risotto, I improvised a soup with vegetables and vermicelli. I make chicken legs and cabbage stir fry. And I baked butterscotch brownies and banana muffin/bread from my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook. I was going to do chocolate chip cookies but banana were going too mushy and I didn't want to waste it. When my Mom was here last Tuesday to go to the doctor with me, we were looking over various baking recipes, and picked some to try next week, when I'll go over to stay with my parents next weekend while Bear is at work. And my parents went to a farm yesterday to gather peaches, so I'm going to make a peach cobbler too. Can't wait.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 10:24 pm
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Summer heat is here with 86F and air conditioner. Having an air conditioner is wonderful. I did leave the house today - I had a doctor's check-up today (I go every two weeks now). That meant that walking from the bus and then around the office until my appointment time became my walk for the day. It is starting to be a bit harder to walk, with my giant belly, especially right after lunch, but I know I need to make the effort. My blood pressure was a little high, probably because of the weather and how it will drop 20 degrees tomorrow, but otherwise, everything is looking good. I do need to take some iron supplements - hopefully, I can keep them down.

In the doctor's office, while waiting for the appointment, I got to talking with a new patient, who is only about 5 weeks pregnant and she was asking me questions. It is strange to be the one with experience now and be able to reassure her that some pain and discomfort in the first trimester is pretty normal, especially, if her hormone levels are fine and rising.

I also watched part of an online child labor class today - it's free and I don't feel like going somewhere and paying money for things I can learn from books or for free. Also, I'm not really anxious about labor (it has to happen and it is temporary), so just watching online is fine. It was informative enough. I liked the animation that shows labor from the baby's perspective.
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I was not really in the mood to write in the last few weeks, so I'm going to catch up a little bit.

Mostly it was because a few Tuesdays ago, I got a call from my doctor (which is always worrying when you get out of class and there is a message from your doctor asking you to call him back). On my previous OB visit four weeks ago, he finally did the Jewish panel blood test to see if I'm a carrier for any of the 19 Jewish genetic diseases. I probably should have done this before I got pregnant as an Ashkenazi Jew. Long story short, he called me on March 11 to let me know that, if fact, I am a carrier for Tay-Sacks, of all things, and he wanted for my husband to come it to do a blood test. Which Bear went in to do that day. Now, Bear is not Jewish so his chances of being a carrier were 1 in 250 unlike my 1 in 30. But his great-grandparents did come from Russia and maybe there was some Jewishness there - it is all pretty unclear. So while the odds were pretty good that everything is fine, since you need two carriers and then 1/4 odd of the disease, you can't help but worry. I just want everything to be good. So we just had to wait for Bear's test.

I had my check-up today and Bear's test was negative. So I can stop thinking about this. Yay. And my Dad too who is over worried. (For my parents, it is like it is their next baby. They are going nuts in a good way, excited over all the baby stuff they want to buy). Everything else looks good too. Mama came with me today because Bear was working and she wanted to watch the ultrasound. The baby was a bit shy today. She put both hands in front of her face, so the technician couldn't get a clear shot at her face and nose. But everything else was fine. She has started to kick a little - it is still different every day - two days ago she was super active, today isn't moving too much. But that is pretty normal at this stage.

And on the way home, we saw two women with really nice strollers, the kind like a pram where the baby can lie down all the way. And my parents just loved them since it reminded them of my baby stroller. So we talked to them and got the info, so now we picked out the stroller to buy in June. Well, my parents are going to buy it is June, since they insisted.

In other, non-baby related news, I was on Spring Break this week, which I spent pretty much at home, grading some, but mostly relaxing. I finished reading "Twelve Years a Slave" since I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie (it was a very good narrative) and I also read "Ella Enchanted" both of which I got in the library on Kindle. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that the latter book is based on Cinderella. I did enjoy it very much. Now I started an autobiography of Frederick Pohl, all about sci-fi from 1930s to 1970s and it is glorious.

I've tried watching "Silver Lining Playbook" and after a bit of it, I realized that I couldn't care less about the characters and their problems, so I stopped. Bear brought back "Wolverine" today to watch, so that should be fun.
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The best part of a Sunday on a holiday weekend is knowing there is another day off. Bear and I usually go grocery shopping on Sundays but we are going tomorrow instead. So it feels like a Saturday.

I spent most morning grading papers and watching Olympics (ice dancing and bobsled mostly) and then in the afternoon we left to get a subway to the city to meet up with the girls for our monthly get together. We met up in a Japanese restaurant this time - Bear, I, Yeva, her boyfriend Jonathan, Marianna, Adama and their little girl Galya (who at 2 and 1/2 is such a bundle of energy). Janna was going to come but we had to switch from Saturday to Sunday, so her husband couldn't make it and she didn't want to venture out with a 4 month old baby by herself. So after our dinner, Marianna, Adama, Galya, Bear and I went to visit her and baby Jo, since they live nearby in Manhattan. And Janna gave me some baby stuff already, since she had so much extra, even though it is a bit early to accumulate baby things. Still, in Russian mentality you never turn down free stuff.

The best news today is that Marianna is pregnant too! She is actually due with her second child a week or so before me (She is due July 23 and I'm due August 2) so we get to be pregnant at the same time! She hasn't even told her parents yet but Yeva got it out of her. And it's funny, when I first saw her today I did have a thought that her belly was looking similar to mine - I got a little bump in the last few weeks. I just dismissed it but I shouldn't have. This is going to be fun.


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