Wednesday, June 29, 2005

philosophical wax

Anyone remember houston’s health & spirit magazine? The off-shoot of outsmart? Mari was the editor and tricia was the graphic artist & photographer, and I managed to get my picture on the front cover once.

I was thinking about the annual new years ‘what year is it in your life cycle article’ that ran, and I have had some thoughts about it recently. I kept a copy of it somewhere, probably in my tower of boxes in the corner of my living room. Hmph.

In 1995 (10 years ago) I was living in LA for exactly one year, and figuring out I was not a teenager or student anymore, that I was an adult and a graphic designer starting out my career as such. most of 96 I spent recovering from 95, but in November 96 I gotmy place on west gray and embarked on the real part of my aims, being an independent woman and graphic designer.

NOW, 2005, I am living one year in Athens, and figuring out I am not a graphic designer or an independent woman anymore.. but a mother and an artist, so maybe I’ll spend all of next year figuring out how to negotiate these turns, and god-willing, will enter the meaty part of this decade’s adventure by the end of 2006!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

go pistons!

we really miss the nba and have been watching the news for updates. we cant watch the games here because it's on at 4am, and we dont have cable either. i like SA because of duncan ze fancy frenchy, but detroit is better because they play like a team, not egoistes. and anyway ben wallace has great hair, what's not to love?

Monday, June 13, 2005

hi y'all!!


lucas is 4.3 kilos (like almost 10 lbs now, but dont trust my math... go find an online converter if you need hard facts). we think he''ll be a tall fellow too...he's 22inches tall already & his feet are as long as my middle finger! true infant socks are too small, the heel hits him in the arches. he's just starting to have some neck control & look around everywhere with wide eyes, and props up on my chest with his elbows and in a way, he looks like a turtle. a very very cute turtle.

he eats alot, poos alot and wants to be held all the time..
we did figure out he's a real sucker - he likes his pacifier, and my teat, but i just cannot imagine a better scenario for a 2 week old baby. he really doesnt cry much either - and at night he sleeps about 3 hours between feedings, so mama is getting her rapid-eye-movement. we really feel pretty lucky. i am still a little sore in the stitches but improving rapidly, and am starting to feel mentally anxious to get outdoors for a good walk (i'm not quite there yet physically though!)

now we have to figure out how to get lucas his official name without getting him baptised in the greek church. it turns out that you dont get a name from your parents here, your patriarch christens him with a name. not only are we are not greek orthodox, but we also firmly believe a person should decide for themselves if they want to be baptised, so here we go bucking the system.. those crazy xenis. but at least he'll have the name we chose, not "christos lesageropoulis" or whatever it would be..

we also have to get this taken care of quick because we have a 30-day deadline to get him registered at the french embassy, and then to get him a passport for our upcoming visit to france this august (for philippe's sister's wedding). the american embassy is just as much paperwork, but allows more time, so we;ll do that after. by the way, lucas will not have greek citizenship automatically since we are not greeks, but he will have the right to apply for greek citizenship when he is 18.. if he wants it. naturally, he does have french and american citizenship though!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

the big birth story

thanks to everyone who has called and emailed and blogged me. we've been pretty busy getting acquainted with our new family member. i'm running a bit behind on my storytellin', but i'm sure you can find it in your heart to forgive my lagging. so, here's the birthin' story for those of you who like to know the details.

On Friday the 27th at 8pm I went into real contractions of ten minutes apart and gradually –very gradually- they got stronger and closer together that at 5am they were 5 minutes apart and fairly debilitating in strength. We were at the hospital by 7am and I got pinched poked prodded and shaved.

By 10am I was attached to an IV and baby monitor where they keep watch of how and what my uterus and my baby were up to. They also injected oxytocin because we were progressing too slowly (14 hours of contractions only gave 2cm dilation!). The indications of the monitor readings were not entirely good news either… lucas’ heart rate was dropping (showing stress) each time I had a contraction. The doc let me on the monitor for another hour to ‘give it a chance’ for my cervix to open wider and told me I might seriously consider the epidural, since it looked like it could be up to another 7 hours or more, but minutes later on the next contraction, the baby went into a bit of more serious stress and they put an oxygen mask on me - how scary! - and after the danger was passed and the contraction was over they had to examine my situation more seriously, and decided to not wait another hour.

My midwife and doctor went outside for a conversation and the midwife came back in and we discussed the real possibility of the c-section and what the reasons were since things weren’t going so well. I cried and felt pretty unsure about the whole thing, but I did decide the epidural was a good idea by this point in any case… so I could deal with these developments with a clearer head.

I agreed to the caesarian, mainly because it was my doctor’s professional opinion to be the best way at this point. I reminded him that this was not my field of expertise and that I trusted him to have mine and my baby’s best interests at heart.

They gave me the ultra-power-shot of epidural, wheeled me into the operating room, and philippe went to the waiting room. I got another injection of something local into my hip and they began to prepare themselves for surgery while I became comfortably numb. They were dressed in green scrubs and sterile masks and I was dressed in a blue gown and an oxygen mask. They also hung up a nice big dark green “curtain” right in front of my face so I couldn’t see anything, which was perfect for me. I could feel the sensations of being jiggled and prodded but with no pain at all… I tried to picture what they were doing down there .. a nice bloodless incision and my perfect pink organs and baby. The key part of my imaginations being: ‘bloodless’. Back in reality, I am very happy to have blood inside me.

When he pulled the baby out I could literally feel his weight being lifted off me. it was strange and somehow unexpected, although I cannot tell you why, and I expected to hear a cry. I did hear – “wow, he’s huge!” and “he’s blonde!” (which is unusual in greece) and THEN I heard a cry. It was the most sublime sound in the universe.

Within moments he was on the cleanup table within my view, and I couldn’t believe my crying eyes, the most perfect being. They put him on my chest for me to hold him while they sewed me up.. I wanted to ask the doc to embroider me a doodlebug while he was there, but decided he had more important stuff to think about. I just laid there with my huge blonde baby and marveled.

The doc explained to me that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his foot two times and that was why he couldn’t descend into my pelvis. We decided he either wanted a safety rope in case he didn’t like it out here -or- he’s really into extreme sports like bungee-jumping. Hehe. The doctor said he was glad that we went ahead with the non-emergency caesarian, because it would have certainly turned into an emergency, had I insisted on trying to deliver vaginally.

Philippe asked “what would have happened 200 years ago?”.. The answer was sobering. “the baby probably would have lived, but mom would have hemorrhaged and very possibly would have died.” I will tell you this: I am very grateful for modern medicine.

we are both in perfect physical condition, lucas got a 9/10 apgar score .. and i'm only a little sore with the stitches which are coming out today! doc says i'll have my pre-preg body back within 6 weeks and my belly button is already starting to look "normal".