Monthly Archives: January 2015

Progress on the WIP’s updates




Brandon is doing well. He will start on bottled feeds of breast milk to help him learn how to nurse properly. For the time being they are leaving his tube in until he learns to keep nursing to keep milking up. He also is liking the taste of milk and is seeking the breast / mouth-feeding even when he is being tube-fed,  and was quite unhappy with not being able to taste and have the comfort of nursing. He actually managed to breastfeed twice today and did so for ten minutes and then maybe 15 minutes of actual latch-on and get milk in him.

And one day he'll be as big and strong as Daddy...!

And one day he’ll be as big and strong as Daddy…!

The neonatal physiotherapist  had a chat with me today about how to help with Brandon’s muscle health and exercises. I showed some photos including the newborn ones where Brandon was sucking on his fist and had arms folded and can move his head from side to side seeking the breast. Also showed that he looks intently at things. She said that it was very good and that he is surprisingly ahead of his gestational age /  expectations of development. Pretty much he is behaving like a normal full term baby.

I'm cute, I'm hungry, feed me?

I’m cute, I’m hungry, feed me?

The nurses tell me that Brandon is the easiest baby in the ward to take care of. He is very quiet and cries only if he is hungry, has soiled his diaper, is gassy or otherwise uncomfortable. Rhys reckons he’s content; I’d have to agree. I’m hoping this will continue to be the case when Brandon comes home!

Brandon's facial expressions have us doubt the 'content' description so often applied to him. (older photo)

Brandon’s facial expressions have us doubt the ‘content’ description so often applied to him. (older photo)

Spent time rocking him and cuddling him while singing to him softly. Brandon seems to like that a lot. He doesn’t mind that I don’t sing very well. I hum most of the time anyway. ^^;;;

Fluffy and warm

Fluffy and warm

The ward was very cold because of the rain outside so the babies got extra blankets. Brandon got an especially cute one!

Jedi Mind tricks: "You will feed me now~!" (older photo)

Jedi Mind tricks: “You will feed me now~!” (older photo)

On the healing front I got the dressing removed from over my stitches. The midwife says it looks very good and is healing beautifully. I still want to get some underwear in the next size up so it will not roll down like my normal undies. The belly has also shrunk a bit and my face looks a little less bloated. So it’s all good progress.

Growth spurts and progress


Getting cuter every day~

Getting cuter every day~

Lots of good news today! Brandon got weighed today and he gained 60g and 2cm since his last weighing. He also had the chest sticker tabs removed – they said that because his breathing was constant and normal in the last 48 hours he is taken off the breathing monitoring. He still has the little foot monitor which tracks his heartbeat and his O2 levels, but eventually he’ll be ‘downgraded’ to one that only checks for breathing apnea.

I gave him his bath today, before he got weighed and measured. After that he was able to properly nurse for about five minutes before getting tired, at which point I felt it would be better that he get the rest of the meal from his feeding tube.

I brought 13 pots of milk to the hospital, which they had to put into the large freezer because the new fridges with the glass front doors had been put in. I wonder what they do with the old little cube fridges? I’ll have to ask, if only for curiosity’s sake.
Going to have a cuppa tea to relax, then extract milk for the evening before going to bed. G’nite!

The best laid plans

So, after the Christmas and New Year and Vincent’s Birthday marathon, I thought I’d actually get some writing done, finish Blessed Hope, which sits at something like 85% completion now and…

Seriously, Murphy, sod off.

Rhys' faith in my tits is fully validated.

Rhys’ faith in my tits is fully validated.

I do have a cutecute son though after all the life-disruptions, so… I guess I really can’t complain too much. The entirety of my schedule at present revolves around the production of enough milk for Brandon. Happily this is improving and my target for every time I’m not at the hospital visiting is 8 little containers containing 35 ml worth. So far I’ve managed at least that.

I need lots of milk to grow big and strong, mum!

I need lots of milk to grow big and strong, mum!

The ward felt rather cold today, because while I was changing Brandon he started to shiver. Rhys bundled him up very nicely and we put a cap on his head, which… kind of makes him look like a little toadstool straight out of Super Mario.

Good thing these are borrowed clothes from the hospital. I don't think he'd ever forgive us if we asked for the hat.

Good thing these are borrowed clothes from the hospital. I don’t think he’d ever forgive us if we asked for the hat.

I noticed that lately, my hands are much weaker than before, and I’m prone to being very clumsy – I’m often dropping things or knocking things over that I would not have done before this whole pre-eclampsia-ish gravid hypertension thing. My right hand, which is my dominant hand, hasn’t been very strong in gripping things since about three weeks ago and after the last cannula was put in it’s been much worse. Even typing is a chore because I think I’m exerting enough effort to press the keys and somehow it isn’t good enough because most of the time the touch doesn’t register, which is strange because the laptop’s keys are supposed to be those light -touch chicklet keyboards. I spend a lot of time hitting backspace. So if there are more typos and missed spaces between words or missing letters that’s why. And this issue is true regardless of any keyboard I use in the house.

I also find myself constantly terrified of falling over. My legs always feel like they’re about to collapse from under me. That’s not even counting the feel of pulled muscles and strain around the hips that I feel all the time that is the main cause for my awkward limping right now.

I really hope this weird thing with my limbs goes away in time. And that my freaking sleep schedule normalizes itself in due course.

I probably will sleep much better when Brandon relearns how to nurse from the milk source and can come home with us.

And then he was kung fu fighting



Not much of a post because I am totally wiped out and still have a lot to do. Have a cute baby picture instead. Yes, we plan to have him learn martial arts. This is a given after he’s bruised my ribs with those feet from inside.

I shall consider the matter in the manner I feel it should be considered.

I shall consider the matter in the manner I feel it should be considered.

Funny expressions and poses! This will be fun! rubs hands gleefully

Why isn't that chair on fire?! I was sure I got fireball right!

Why isn’t that chair on fire?! I was sure I got fireball right!

I have a cute kid and am not afraid to caption him.




The heart of a name


Tiny baby, strong name

Tiny baby, strong name

(This is a bit expanded from a comment I made over at According to Hoyt)

I like to pick slightly uncommon names for my kids, but names that they could wear and be called by, that wouldn’t be considered too weird or strange that they’d end up bullied. To that end, I chose names that while uncommon, weren’t too outlandish. Rune, Vincent, Brandon – followed by two more names for each child, that when you suss out the meanings of the names, translates to a phrase, or a series of qualities that I feel suit the child growing in my womb, as well as accommodates Rhys’ family’s naming traditions. Rhys liked the idea of being able to yell across a schoolyard and maybe our kid would be the only one to respond. (Except for our girl, this isn’t really the case though.)

The entirety of Brandon’s name translates to ‘Raven Noble Ironspear. Yes, I have fun composing my children’s names. My daughter’s name translates to “Secret Light of Heaven” and the eldest son’s is “Precious Spirit of Victorious Youth.” To some extent their names suit them very well – my daughter Rune (the e is supposed to be accented and is pronounced ‘ru-nay’) is rather quiet, but she brightens my day; Vincent is, as Aff has described on more than one occasion, ‘an incredibly, persistently happy child’, and Brandon’s name has been noted by more than one person to be that of a fighter, a strong name – he’s surprised everyone who has been caring for him with how feisty he is, yet grave and also easy to take care of. More than one nurse has noted that Brandon sometimes will wake up, and is content to lie in bed looking around the room with his large, intent eyes. As if he were ‘surveying his domain.’ I’m told he rarely cries; and usually it’s to indicate he needs a diaper change or he wants food / mummy or he’s uncomfortable in some way.

I had hoped for twins this time, but no luck. I had a backup name though, in case I did have another boy in there, the name translates to Warhawk Dragonhammer. Awesome as that might sound, the first name is actually Gwaine.

I do this because I think names are important, and somewhere along the way I picked up on the idea that names are something of parental wishes of what they hope that their child will be like, or some type of quality or characteristic. Just pick up a name book to see what I mean. I wanted to give my children names that meant something good, as opposed to the odd mishmash of names I have.

I have six given names on my birth certificate. This is due to a superstition that a name = a life; and I was born at 7 months gestation because my mom had severe pre-eclampsia. This was in a hospital that didn’t have a neonatal ward or NICU; so the fact that I survived at all was something of a miracle. My parents kept the trend and my brothers have five or six names each.

To my father’s disappointment I did not keep the tradition of having the first name start with A, which he and his siblings all have, and they continued, but he liked that I gave my daughter a poetic name. Dad even fretted that my mom had said that Vincent looked like an apple as a newborn, decrying to Rhys and I that Apple was a girl’s name, and was vehemently writing on his pad paper what he thought of that – he was in the ICU at the time, being treated for lung cancer. I can’t remember what his reasoning was exactly right now, but he wouldn’t relax until Rhys and I assured him that Vincent would be ‘the plum’ – I know it had to do with a metaphor about achievements and quality. So, although Vincent never ended up with an actual childhood nickname, Rhys and I occasionally refer to him as the Plum.

In my family we also had the tradition of having a childhood / family nickname – basically, a nickname only our family used so that if they called, the only child who would respond out of a crowd would be my siblings or I. I did this with my daughter, but we didn’t continue it with Brandon or Vincent.

Another criterion we had for selecting at least the first name was that we could imagine ourselves shouting it, or using it to call for the child, or roaring it to get a kid to stop being naughty. If we could picture ourselves doing the above, it went on a list of potential names. This time around, we stumbled on Brandon because Rhys misheard me suggesting Ranon for a first name. We looked up the meaning and decided to keep it.


Hello World

Say hello to Brandon!

Say hello to Brandon! The WIP still has, as Aff puts it, ‘some updates to finish downloading and installing.’ Also: ‘holy crap, he has hair?!’ Picture taken Jan 24 2015.

So on the 17th, I go in for a scheduled checkup of bub’s heart rate / movements etc, and for my blood pressure to be monitored. I thought hey, I’ll be in for a couple of hours, and then Rhys and I could go run errands to make things easier for me while the bun in my proverbial oven bakes a bit more.

I end up not going home at all, and am instead admitted to the hospital, because, long story short, I’m having a c-section the next day; because Brandon’s lack of heart rate variance plus my blood pressure deciding to shoot up to something insane (I think it was 160 or so over 110) that had them decide “OK, it’ safer for you and baby if baby were born.” I was also starting to show signs of pre-eclampsia trending, so they decided to head that off at the pass. I’d also had a cannula in again for fluids. I really, really hate the things at this point, and I hope that I never need them again after I birth the baby.

Rhys hurried home to grab a few things for me (clothes, my pillow, a book, and my statue with the expectant Virgin Mary) so he could still make it back by the maternity ward’s visiting hours. While he was gone the head of the special care / NICU named Mohammed came to talk to me and gave me the warnings and cautions and hopeful words and trying not to get into hospital jargon when I interrupted him, smiled and said I was a preemie baby myself, and was born at 28 weeks at a hospital with no NICU, and I knew most of what he was trying to tell me. He looked relieved and said that well, Brandon’s chances were much, much higher than mine were back then, and that I could also likely have him home very soon if he rallies and matures fast enough. Then he also added that premature babies tend to look rather thin and not like full term babies at all. After that I was transferred to Maternity ward, where Rhys met up with me.

We were told that we were likely to get into theater in the early morning, ‘if all goes well,’ so Rhys went to sleep while he could – both of us figured he could use it – and was back 7 am. I was told not to eat anything past midnight, so one of the things I did was to make sure I ate as much as I could, stocking up on strength and… I had a feeling I’d need it.

Anyone who’s known me for a long time will know that NOTHING ever goes smoothly or as planned with me. I mean, we’re talking about someone who’d only been discharged from the hospital a couple of days before and told “We’re not worried at this point and there’s no need to monitor baby constantly.” Uh huh. Naturally on this trend, we actually didn’t end up in theater until LONG after lunch on the 18th. By this point I was ravenous, plus multiple blood samples being taken had me craving meat dishes like a crazy thing. I wanted the baby born so I could eat. That said I urged Rhys to have lunch at the Subway really quickly.

When we were finally told we were going to theater we cheered. Rhys got scrubbed up to go with me. We found out that there had been two emergency cesareans before me – one a baby who got stuck while being birthed – eeeeek!!!!!!!1 – and a couple of accidents that required the patients being airlifted in. We’d figured we’d have good reasons to be bumped down the queue anyway and since it was our turn already we had no complaints.

The anesthesiologist was very good getting my spinal block in; I barely felt anything more than a pressure on the spot. Once that was done, Rhys was allowed to come into the theater. Everyone remarked at how tiny I was, and how easy this made me to move around once I’d gotten legs numbed up. Myself, I was quite surprised at how calm I was given that I’d been all KINDS of jumpy about ever having surgery.

Rhys and I wanted to see – well, given where the cut was going to be I wasn’t going to see the actual cut but I was keen to see my baby born. I think we weirded out the doctors quite  bit, and they went with ‘no, it would be too disturbing.’ Amusingly one of the younger anesthesiologists there, sitting next to me whispered that I could probably see a blurry reflection off of the big reflective light above my belly. I guess she figured out what I’d actually wanted to see. XD

They did talk out what they were doing while they were doing it though; overall the actual cut to birth was about ten minutes; counting putting in my spinal block, that was twenty, give or take a few minutes. Feeling them poke around my womb was weird. Most of the time though, it just felt like someone was shoving my lower half around trying to make my gravid belly wriggle like jello.I deeply apologize, but that’s how it felt.

About halfway through that I started having a bizarre craving for lollipops. The big, spirally round ones that you get at candy shops and fairs, and peppermint sticks, hard sugar candies and more.

I held my breath as I felt them take out my baby, breech birthing him. For the length of another breath, there was silence, then that blessed, blessed first cry. I worked HARD not to tear up – I really wanted to be able to see him! The senior obstetrician held him up briefly; I saw baby butt, legs and …equipment, and a glimpse of part of an angry infant face. I remember squeezing Rhys’ hand really hard, I was so happy. Then I told him to go with our son while he was being weighed and such, because he couldn’t decide between staying with me or going. “Go, go, go,” I said. I could not remember if he was allowed to take the camera in or not.

I was allowed to suck on ice cubes at this point, which was really, really good. I felt thirsty and my mouth finally stopped feeling dry as the ice melted in my mouth. Rhys came back, carrying our son, who was warmly swaddled and cleaned up, and very much fast asleep. I didn’t get a chance to really admire him though because they needed to get him into an incubator as soon as possible.

The next 40 minutes were spent both cleaning out my womb and stitching me up, whereupon they moved me onto a gurney and to the recovery room to wait for my legs to regain enough movement again to show I was shaking off the spinal block, a lengthy process that took more than an hour. I was allowed to have a frozen juice stick and then later, a coffee while waiting, because all I could have for a while were liquids and extremely soft foods; which is what I ended up with on my tray when I got returned to Maternity. They were basically a blended creamy chicken soup of some kind, jello, custard and something else. I wasn’t going to be able to see Brandon that night, and Rhys coaxed me to sleep and I’d see him the next day. So I did.

I got to visit him the next morning, wheeled in on wheelchair. I was a little surprised at how small he was… and how perfect he looked. He had chubby, round little cheeks, a full head of hair, perfect little long-fingered hands with the tiniest fingernails, and even his toenails were there on his minute little toes. Contrary to all the usual expectations, he looked like a full term infant, only tiny. I could football carry him in my whole arm! I tried putting him to breast and he did latch on but I had no milk and very little colostrum. He seemed happy with what he got though. I was happy to be able to hold him at last. There was lots of good news too – he was breathing completely independently and hadn’t needed any help from birth, and he was quite feisty and wriggly – he liked to wriggle himself down one side of his incubator, often removing the monitoring tags stuck to his belly and chest in the process. Other than that, he was ‘happily a very boring baby with no medical issues to take care of.’

The next day, he was game to just ‘nuzzle’ – which is what they call latching on but not getting any milk, it seems. They put in a feeding tube – that’s what that green wire like thing is at his nose – so he can be fed without being woken up and disturbed from sleep every three hours. Since my milk or colostrum hadn’t come in yet, Rhys and I decided to allow him to be fed formula. I’m a big advocate of breastfeeding, because breast milk is best for babies, but I’m not one of the ones who have near fanatical devotion to ‘breast milk only, all natural’. Supplementing a baby’s feed time with it isn’t a problem. My painful lack of much colostrum though had me worrying. Brandon was starting to become jaundiced, but that’s normal for babes and I wasn’t worried. They put him under a UV lamp.

The third day had me be affected by what they call ‘third day blues.’ Basically my hormones were coming off the pregnancy setting and I was suddenly, almost insanely depressed. I was in a lot of pain; I’d torn stitches trying to get back into bed the first day they had me trying to move around more (they put in a little platform for me to climb onto first, that made it possible for me to get into bed) and I was crying at the drop of a hat. Rhys was away most of the time because of work and I was upset that I couldn’t have my baby sleeping next to me like everyone else in the ward. I was going nuts a the thought that I couldn’t have milk and Brandon wouldn’t have the opportunity that his elder siblings had. It lasted well into the fifth day, but I was able to encourage my milk to come in.

Speaking of my milk, that’s actually no longer a worry. My boobs are back into epic modes of production and I generally am able to try extract a feed or three. The biggest amount was when I was able to extract six feeds worth of milk. I’m down to maybe two to four. Brandon seems to have thrown one of the only real crying fits he had when the doctors tried to give him the standard preemie first meal of 3 ml of milk. He ‘got right mad,’ the nurses told me, prompting the doctor in charge to say ‘just give him the full feed for his size!’ which is 33ml then (he’s up to 35 ml now.) My biggest problem is trying to keep up with the feed schedule they have, because its’ every 3 hours. @[email protected] It takes me about an hour to try get as much milk out of my breasts as I can because any longer than that and it hurts too much to try extract. I haven’t gotten the left one as empty as the right and I’m hoping that will change soon.

Brandon for his part, has the most fascinating and varied expressions I’ve seen on an infant before. He smiles in his sleep… but when he’s awake he has interestingly intent gazes around his environment, which his nurses report that he also did when he was lying in the incubator. He would periodically wake up, and instead of crying, he’d lie there and look around with his big, big eyes (which are a dark blue-gray color at the moment, and I hope he will keep!) both curious and frowning at the same time, then go back to sleep. He sleeps a lot right now. Anyway, one evening Rhys and I were holding him and enjoying the fact that he was staying awake for a while, when he suddenly started frowning as he looked around. He had his eyebrow raised again in perfect imitation of Mr. Spock, while somehow managing to look vastly displeased with whatever it was he was staring at. He had his face turned toward the doorway so Rhys and I were quite curious.

For the time being though, I need to get some rest.  G’nite all.


So they went after metal and failed, and now they’re going after Linux?

And Linus Torvalds?

Oh man. I seriously need to buy me that popcorn machine, stat. It is now a necessity.


First off, you pretentious fucking douchebag SJWs, code, of ANY type will not give two shits of a rat’s ass about your hurt feelings, who you fuck, what you chop off or stick onto you, or what political opinions you hold. You fuck up your code no amount of crying and whining and throwing ickle tanties will make it forgive you and work. I’m no programmer, but just fuck up basic HTML tags and well, we’ve all been there. Type in the wrong command – oh wait maybe most of them don’t even know that. Never mind!

But seriously now, there’s nothing more coldly uncaring of gender, race, social or economic class or any of those silly irrelevant things as programming. Either your code works, or it doesn’t. Either your program works, or it fails miserably and needs debugging – in which case fuck you, find it, fix it. All it cares about is whether or not you have the skill to make it work. It does not care whether the fingers that typed across the keys belong to a white or black or green skinned person, nor does it care whether you have a penis or a vagina, or neither, or both, or like to suck cock or lick twat or dress up in a fursuit. It does not care if you are in a wheelchair or have massive tits and swing both ways.

None of that matters. What DOES matter is the pure, unadulterated unforgiving meritocracy of being able to make the hardware and software interact in the way it needs to, to bring about a result.

Really, it boils down to the simple reality that unmasks SJWs and the left with the cold hard truth: When it comes to true, brutally blind equality, they can’t handle it. They don’t want to deal with meritocracy, or skill, or truly even ground, they want everything handed to them on demand, or tantrums, life destroying and slander shall ensue!

Boo de Q_Q harder.

Linus Torvalds does not care about your fucking little fee fees. All he cares about “is quality and merit comes first and everything else comes second, and he doesn’t care if he offends people in this regard” – and frankly, that’s pretty fucking fair of him. None of this diversity in programming bullshit – I don’t give a crap if the person doing the code or writing the program is a girl or a guy, or likes to fuck a guy or not, or what their political opinion is. I really don’t. All I care about is ‘can this person do the job? Does that shit work? Is that program legit or does it have hidden malware?’

Don’t like that? Then make your own fork or program.. oh wait, no you can’t unless you have the skills, and since there’s more Q_Qing than actual skills to make stuff happen… we’re left with people just throwing massive tanties again.

edited to add this quote:

This is triply true in engineering/development. It’s not like marketing or HR where everyone is special and an all-day meeting constitutes productive work, technical work is very well-defined with quantifiable, testable results where there’s not much room for second place. The winners in this space are those who Get Shit Done, not those who have the most friends or the most politically-correct agenda. And you will not Get Shit Done if you prioritize your team’s DNA over their skillset. Seriously, social skills do not mean a damn thing here–either your robot is the biggest, baddest mofo in the room and it crushes everyone else’s souls with its godlike power, or it’s not and its your souls getting crushed by someone else’s godbot. There’s something to be said for being able to deal with other humans when necessary but it’s a secondary skill, and one not generally used as companies tend to keep engineers as far away from the customers as possible.

Linus is the ultimate non-discriminating manager. He does not care who you are or what you look like as long as you’re good at what you do, and he won’t tolerate excuses. Which is exactly why diversity fanboys hate him so much–they don’t actually want an identity-blind society, they want an identify-focused society which simply flips the discrimination in favor of gender-studies weasels. They have to tear him down because, like Trotsky to Stalin, he vividly shows that what they claim to want is vastly different from what they’re actually implementing.