Welcome back from non-blogger land. For those of you who've missed my presence in the Internets lately, let me just say, Hi Mom, see you soon. The rest of you, I'm sure, hardly noticed the great, gaping, black hole my absence on the Interweb caused because Britney Spears and her bodyguard filled in the space nicely while I was away.

News from this neck of the woods if you haven't been following my recommendations for summer reading?

I had a baby ya'll!

And not just on any day, but on Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Just so you know, the surgeon did not call me "me hearty" or say "yaaar" to me once... a fact for which I am extremely grateful. But all the nurses did, inexplicably go around wearing Hawaiian leis all day.)

All in all, things went very well.

We had about three hours of intake and preparation where I was required to fill out a form and list every symptom of every disease I've had since birth... then the nurse totally ignored the forms I painstakingly filled out and verbally asked me every question again and entered it into the computer. I also had to give them permission to discuss my medical issues with my husband and list any exceptions to that I wished him not to know. (I offered "don't tell him if the baby is Chinese." He offered "don't tell him I'm pregnant." The charge nurse was unamused.)

Ultimately, the entire surgery took less time than it did to check in; I went in for the spinal block at 10:45 and the baby was delivered at 11:22 at a whopping 7 pounds, 13 ounces, which may not seem like much to you, but I just kept thinking, "What would she have been in another three weeks?!?"

One of those pictures I will later use to blackmail her on her Prom night.

It took me a long time to get out of recovery this time (note to self: third subsequent c-section does not get any easier to recover from... consider this for a fourth) and we had a small scare with fluid in the lungs and the baby had to spend a few hours in the NICU. This affected me more than anyone else since it was my decision not do an amniocentesis for lung maturity immediately before the birth. I had an anterior placenta and we discussed pros and cons of attempting an amnio that late in pregnancy. Basically, the choices were: a) don't do it and we don't really know if your three week preemie's lungs are fully developed enough to breathe oxygen on their own or b) do do it and worry about the risk of infection and placental abruption when you poke a needle through the placenta. With The Dormouse, we did the amnio, but weren't able to get a good enough sample for the amnio anyway, so I opted to not go through that procedure again. So when I heard "lung problems" all the fears that I developed when I was pregnant with The Dormouse and working on a book about premature babies in the NICU, came back to rear their ugly heads.

But they ended up watching the baby for several hours, calling it a "slow transition", and then returning her to me, untreated. Wonder what that portion of the hospital bill will look like.

I have much to say about my adventures in the hospital and the level of care I received while there. I enjoyed my stay so much that I bribed the doctor to let me go home on Saturday even though they wanted (and insurance would pay for) me to stay one more day and be monitored. But that's a post for another day. Anyone know where I can find a fool proof tutorial on taking blood pressure?

Brain... mush... here... look... pretty... pictures... instead.

I present, for your approval: The Caterpillar:

We finally did come up with a name for her, by the way. One that, surprisingly, even my mother kind of likes - or at least she's keeping mum about it if she doesn't. And it didn't even take the doctor threatening us with "All unnamed babies after four days go home with me" like he did with The Dormouse. Yay for our side! Unfortunately, it's fairly unusual and I will not be sharing it on the blog due to its Googleability. Sorry, folks; but think of it as an investment in my child's "No stalkers" bullet on her resume when she applies for her first job.

The hospital kindly installs a lojack device on each child, which promptly falls off thirty times in the first day and sets off alarms, requiring a lock down of the entire hospital. More on that later as well.

The Dormouse could not be more pleased with her baby sister and, as I predicted, the hardest thing about dealing with her is wrestling the baby out of her hands... or getting her to stop hanging on the bassinet. Seriously, she was a trooper with all the driving back and forth and alternate plans for day care we worked out when pre-school wasn't in session or we thought someone else might have to pick her up. We did not realize how hard this all had been on her until she and The KingofHearts were in line at the hospital cafeteria on Friday to get dinner before coming up to my room and the lunch lady looked at KoH and said, "Why is she crying?" He looked down to see her suddenly sobbing, "I wanna go see Mommy!" Apparently, she didn't realize that the dinner stop was to get food to bring upstairs and thought she'd been hoodwinked into getting food and sustenance instead.

Oh my goodness, how am I ever going to loose all that pregnancy weight? Why is this not a 60 pound baby?

No more pictures, PLEASE!