Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm no great thinker

In fact, although I was a skeptic, I am noticing baby brain is a very real phenomenon. I could not think of the name Harry Connick Jr. for the life of me today! Why? I'm not sure. I used to think deep thoughts, now I ponder formula, pee, poo, and how can I get outside into the sunshine today. Not much else. I'm sure it's reflected here on my blog since I have no time to peruse the 'interwebs' in search of interesting tidbits to amuse you with these days. I bet you'd settle for baby pictures. Hm. I knew it! Everyone's a sucker for cuteness.

Cora had her 2 month checkup yesterday and was 8lb 8oz and 20 1/4 inches long. What a hoss!! She's only in the 10th percentile, but that is to be expected for a preemie. She also had to have her shots and we had her frenulum clipped so she could eat better. It was a rough day. Thank goodness for baby Tylenol!

And now for the cuteness:

Bathtime! (with modesty washcoth :) )

Napping with Papa at Gramma's house. (notice how there are rarely photos of 'napping with mama? That's cause I'm the picture taker around here)

Napping with Uncle Jessie in her Christmas sleeper (there's a lot of napping going on lately)

Being entertained by the graphics I made! Yay for photoshop to make stuff to entertain the baby! She's 2 months old in this picture and can't get enough of the changing table graphics.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas means carnage!

Remember that from Babe? I do. Christmas isn't like when I was a kid, it's crazy!

We decided that the Geek's family was close enough to visit without too much chaos and crying baby. We intended to rent a car, but due to new policies about having a credit card (and we have none) we weren't able to. So, with a prayer for the car and our safety we took off for Atlanta into a storm that we kept driving back into. We'd stop to feed the baby and the rain would stop, then we'd take off and catch up to the storm. I drove the first leg, slowly and nervously since I'm a little night blind and with rain added, it's only worse, then the Geek drove the second leg. We made it all in one piece and with only minimal poop, spit-up and crying baby in the car.

Then it was a whirlwind of family, food, feedings, fun, freaking out, and frazzled mamas (and other things that start with F, I'm sure.) I got most of my Christmas postcards addressed and in the mail. Cora was passed around enough to make even the happiest baby have a little meltdown from being handled too much. (All in all, she did ok, but we are recovering none the less and she has been grumpier than usual for the last couple of days.) I got to spend great time with my nieces and nephews, plus have good and connecting conversation with my sisters in law. The Geek read the Christmas story to me as I fed our little girl at midnight on Christmas day.

The Geek disappeared into the basement with his brothers for hours on end to play some game which involved a load of fiddly bits of cardboard, dice, and plastic men. Two days (not continuously) and into the wee hours of the night later, he came back to his mom's house tired and a little worse for wear, but had fun.

Worn out, we decided to head back a day early, but not before meeting with some friends for dinner. It was wonderful to catch up with Nick and Sarah, see how big their babies have gotten and have them oooo and aaah over how small ours is still. I forgot to take pictures. (sigh)

Now we are back home with our fuzzy children, still not tackling the laundry that we acquired while away and I am longing for leftovers! Merry Christmas to you all. Sorry I didn't get this posted sooner. If you think of it, pray for a job for the Geek soon. Severence won't last forever!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Better than Cookies...Homemade English Toffee

Believe it or not, this recipe is actually very quick. Once you know your way around candy making, it's quite enjoyable to whip up a batch of this stuff.

Here's the recipe I use which is actually a combination of several recipes I reviewed and tested. This is very simple, but comes out great every time, as long as I make it on a sunny day.

English Toffee

Things to know and things you'll need ahead of time:
  • You need a candy thermometer. Test it. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit so boil some water and check to make sure you thermometer is acurate. Mine is about 8 degrees off and I adjust when I cook. Temps listed are for actual temperature, not my adjusted one.
  • Candy making is FAST. Once the water boils out of the mix the temp will rise very quickly and you must keep an eye on the thermometer at all times. Burnt candy is nasty and unusable.
  • Make it on a sunny day. Candy making is about how much water is boiled out. Humid days make for questionable candy.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almonds or hazelnuts (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp water
8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate - chopped up or in morstles

1. Prepare your pan. I use a large cookie sheet with edges or a jelly roll pan covered with parchment paper.
2. Melt butter, sugar, salt and water over a low heat until melted together. Stir constantly, but slowly with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula
3. Raise heat to medium. At 260 degrees you can add in the nuts. Stir constantly but slowly until mixture reaches hard crack stage (300-305 degrees)
4. Remove from heat before mixture gets to 320 degrees and add the vanilla. It will boil rapidly so stir it in and then pour it out onto the pan, using a silicone spatula to spread it around into a large rectangle.
5. Before it cools, use a pizza cutter to score it into long bars. This is optional!
6. Temper your chocolate by microwaving in a glass measuring cup for 30 seconds at a time until it begins to melt. It only has to reach 86 degrees so once it begins to melt, just stir it. The lumps will melt into the mix.
7. With a silicone spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. Let it cool completely in the fridge. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cookies for Christmas

I make these and they are gone in a day, so I thought I'd catch a photo while they are still around. This is all the holiday baking I can muster and it's gingerbread dough from a tube before anyone gets too excited. I can't get enough of this stuff! I bought all I could find and now will have to hit another store to find more so I can make some for neighbors. No icing, just raisins like Mama used to do.

I'm gonna miss this hair (favorite photos of recent weeks)

Snuggle with Mama

Naptime with Papa

Rock Star hair

Friday, December 19, 2008


My friend Mandy posted about how she felt quiet about this Christmas and I have to say, I feel the same way. I don't want to get presents. I don't want to give presents. I don't want Santa or hubbub, or shopping (although I'm still keen on the food). I just want to be with people I love and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

It's pretty concrete to have a little one in our house, and it brings new realism while thinking of Mary, giving birth in a stable and then the worries of keeping a little one warm and fed, far from her family, in a foreign country with a guy she was betrothed to and probably didn't know all that well. I live in a large warm house, my husband is here and loves us, we have food and friends and support and although the Geek got 'put in the resource pool' (ie laid off with severance pay for a few months) at work we still have it pretty great. My angel baby sleeps like a dream for a 2 week old (adjusted age)/7 week old baby. (In fact, she sleeps a little TOO much! I'm such a worry wart...)

The clouds are racing across the December sky today, giving me flashes of much needed sunshine and honestly, I am feeling much better. Still, how can I celebrate my Jesus? My life is still a flurry of 3 hour segments, but in the quiet moments when she's asleep, my heart asks that question. I'm still thinking on it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just say yesto drugs (a few notes about the day)

It's official. The 'baby blues' and 'winter blues' aka Seasonal Affective Disorder combined with sleep deprivation pack a wallop. My OB/Gyn put me on meds today to get me through the winter and I can't say I'm protesting. Plus apparently my thyroid is enlarged. Had to give a little red blood cell donation to figure out what's going on with that. The hits just keep on comin'! It's really hard not see my old bod as defective when they have to keep me on a cocktail of meds just to keep me going. But maybe that's just the postpartum depression talking.

Christmas is next week and I am trying to let go of the fact that we won't be unpacking the decorations this year. It's just the way it has to be with a new baby. Neither of us are up for a decorating spree. Instead I just enjoy other peoples pretty lights and spend snippets of time with friends, all the while enjoying the fact that gingerbread dough comes in a roll that I can make into fabulous and stress free cookies.

Alecia (a friend from church) came over and brought yummy lentil and cous cous soup. She also did my dishes! I swear it felt like a 20 lb weight every time I went into the kitchen. Thanks friend! Next I'll tackle the dust buffaloes that are tumbling around my kitchen floor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Death by 'shoulda'

Have you heard this? "Don't should yourself to death." I can very easily head that way. I'm the queen of shoulda coulda woulda.
  • I should be out and about by now. My friends with new babies are! What's wrong with me?
  • I should have a clean house. The dust buffaloes are scaring off company and making me crazy!
  • I should have decorated for Christmas by now. It's next week for crum's sake!
  • I shouldn't need people to bring me food by now (and the guilt for asking from a certain party isn't helping! Honestly)
  • It's noon and I haven't done anything. I should get up, get dressed and be productive.
I'm sitting here with my baby girl who is not going to sleep because of excess gas, reading a blog about a mom who has 4 kids (one of them a newborn) and is parenting, taking photos, blogging, cooking, and get this...knitting! All with children and life swirling about her. I can't even manage to get out of bed before 9am or make sure I have clean clothes! Much less cook or knit. Sheesh. SO the shoulds come in and I start to feel guilty.

Here's my prayer for today:
Help me be in the moment. Help me take each little smile and erp as a gift. So what if we have no 'baby's first christmas' ornament. So what if we don't do a tree this year. So what if I am in desperate need of a shower and haircut. So what if money is tight. I am where I am. It is where I am supposed to be! Help me find joy in the moment and not should myself to death.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grieving for nursing

After nearly 6 weeks, I am approaching the time when I will have to give up attempting to nurse my baby girl. My body is not on board with this project and I just cannot make milk. I've tried every method, every doctor and lactation nurse's advice, every medicine, every herb, every machine (pumps) there is and nothing worked, or if it worked, it brought disastrous other results that made me have to abandon that course of action (Reglan - severe depression, or Mother's Milk Tea - caused my blood pressure medicine to not work).

As much as I have hated breastfeeding at times, like when I was so tired from trying to heal from surgery and wanted to give up, it breaks my heart to actually have to give it up. Until now there was always one other option to try, one more drug, one more method. Now there is nothing. I am using a supplemental system to 'nurse' her, but really she's mostly living on formula. Soon she will outgrow the bottles that fit onto the system and I'll have to give her bigger bottles, but not ones that are attached to me. We can pretend for awhile longer and have sweet bonding times at all hours of the night and day, but soon, too soon, I'll have to surrender this too. I still have some grief over missing so much of her first hours, not actually getting to 'birth' her, just basically have her removed from my body and a few other things. I never thought that this would be something that would never happen. I come from a family of champion nursers!

As long as I am on my blood pressure medicine, the dopamine and prolactin (milk making hormone) will continue to compete and the medicine that raises my dopamine level to control my blood pressure will always win out over the prolactin. I have beat myself up for this since I'm pretty sure my hypertension is weight related and I have yet to make choices to fix that. It could be just how my body is, but it could be just one more consequence of my lifestyle. I'm not in shame about that, but still there is sadness there.

There is no more to say. No magic pill that will fix it. I have cried over it, asked for healing, asked for grace for this one thing, but the answer and the blessing I get is having her. Alive and in my arms. Not just as I would want it, but still here. So I grieve for the things that will never happen and I enjoy the last sweet times with my daughter in my arms like this.

This is not a video of me nursing, just a little clip of Cora, awake and alert just after we finish nursing. (AT 12:45 am!)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's my due date!

And she's already here. 5 weeks old today. I can't believe that much time has passed. We went to an LLL meeting today and attempted to get to Target, but halfway there realized that we are not ready for this kind of outing on our own. Hooray for online shopping! Even diapers! I may think I'm physically ready, but her ability to eat while we are out is very not relaxed and a frantic baby is not fun, so we'll reign in my exuberance and keep it close to home for a few more weeks.

My computer charger chord broke so I'm borrowing one of the Geek's spare 'puters. I miss mine! Ah well. No new photos for now.

I have a whole new respect for parents that I never had before. I just never knew how hard it was. I stare in wonder at people who have more than one, amazed that the children are all alive, fed and happy and that the parents have not ripped all of their hair out! They look normal! How do they do it?

Ooop. I hear fussing. I'm off!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things I wish I had known, but never could have known, because, honestly, you never know (notes to me for next time before I forget)

For pregnancy:
  • Get a massage often. It's worth it.
  • Do your pre-natal yoga. It's more than worth it.
  • Swim, a lot. Your joints will thank you.
  • Have shoes that will fit you when your feet look like the pillsbury dough boy. Not just flip flops!
  • Sodium is never your friend. (unless you dig looking like a toad)
  • Set a reminder on your phone to take your vitamins. Baby brain is a real thing!
In the hospital:
  • Bring more than one robe. If by some random chance you end up having to stay longer than 3 days, that one robe is gonna be funky. Cotton, not flannel or fleece so you can sleep in it and not sweat your face off. And it could be pretty and not that raggedy old man robe you've had for years. Very un-sexy. (not that being sexy post partum is remotely on or near my mind)
  • Waddle on over (or send hubby) to the Lactation boutique (while in the hospital) and BUY a second set of pump flanges and valves. It's only 10 bucks. Really. After 4 weeks of washing out the same set every 3 hours (to skip the washing is to risk thrush), I finally did this. Now I can go 6 hours! Weeeee! (Better yet, ask the lactation nurses for another set. It's covered by your insurance and they are happy to help.)
  • They may give you an Ameda pump in the hospital but good luck finding parts for it at Target (see previous note about pump flanges)! Go with the Medela if you can, but know that the bottles for Medela fit the Ameda flanges. (discovered this yesterday)
  • Bring slippers. The kind that slip on. Scuffs, I believe they are called. Better than compression socks and flip flops. It was a very Geisha look, let me tell ya.
  • Shave your legs when contractions start (or your water breaks!). It's gonna be a long time before you can do it again.
  • Bring something to put on the door to help visitors find you and to help people whom you don't know from wandering into the wrong room while your hubby very nearly stands naked in the hospital room fresh from a shower. (yes, this happened. He had just gotten pants on!)
  • That sign that says 'no visitors right now' is a beautiful thing. Use it and sleep.
  • Take (and wear) a pair of earrings. It helps to see something pretty in the mirror to go with all of that swelling.
  • Modesty with L&D or Recovery nurses is wasted. They've seen it all! If they want to help you get dried off from your first shower post partum, it's actually nice and in a way feels like being a kid again.
  • Ask for what you need and don't worry about what people think. If it is time for meds and they aren't there yet, buzz the nurses. If you are hungry, ask for a snack.
  • Buy a meal ticket for hubby. Sending him off to forage every 4-5 hrs can be stressful. At least breakfast!
Post partum:
  • Give yourself 6 weeks to start feeling normal. Your body is not 18 any more!
  • A tiny fridge upstairs is your best friend!
  • Buy some bottles. You may think you'll be a champion nurser, but your body may have different ideas.
  • Maternity underwear. Buy them, wear them, both before and after delivery (after you are no longer wearing the hospital issue mesh undies and mattress sized pads!). Ignore comments from hubby about 'granny panties'. You try wearing underwear that hit you where your stomach was recently cut open!
  • When people ask what you need, be honest... Tell them to bring food!
  • Trips to the pediatrician are hard those first coupla weeks. Take a friend or family member to help you carry things like, say, the car seat and diaper bag.
  • You can never have enough burp cloths!
  • Formula will mold on baby clothes if allowed to stay damp and those stains will never come out.
  • When they say rest when the baby rests, find a way to do it. Laundry, dishes and dinner be damned! No one will die or starve if you don't do those things, but you will feel like crap if you do them.
  • Hubbies are great for ordering take out or rummaging through the fridge to find a feast of leftovers.
In general:
  • Buy a car seat at the end of the second trimester, because anything beyond 30 (28 really) weeks is fair game. Just leave it in the box if you think you might get one at at a baby shower. It's very returnable!
  • Likewise, pick a 'going home outfit' for the wee smidge and wash it. Doing a load of laundry while sitting on a towel after your water breaks sucks.
  • Read up about possible delivery scenarios, instead of thinking 'this will never happen to me' and winding up relying on a vague memory of the video from birthing class when a C-Section comes your way.
  • Your feet WILL eventually go back to NOT looking like refrigerator biscuits. Even though it seems impossible. You do, in fact, have ankle bones.
I'm sure all this will go right out the window when it's baby number 2 and I have to take care of them AND take care of me when the Geek goes back to work!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Beginning to see the light

SO I'm now 3 plus weeks post partum and I'm realizing that a good chunk of the the 'hard' part of the last few weeks was really the recovering from the surgery. I am so impatient with myself to heal that I didn't know how to relax and rest. I'm learning. Bedtime is currently nine pm most nights. I used to think my sister was CRAZY for going to bed that early. Life just was just getting started at that time. No more!

I'm entering a different phase now and it's amazing how much I weigh out the pros and cons of everything right now. Take purchasing things for example. I can see how attractive online shopping is as compared to driving around looking for the best deal. That takes a lot of energy! I mean really.

The Geek and I finally bit the bullet and collected all of our gift cards and baby gift money and bought a stroller and car seat. We have been using a loaner since we left the hospital. The Geek planned the entire day so we could work in the Baby Bear's feedings plus eat at our favorite breakfast eatery (Noshville), make a Target run and be home in time to avoid fussy babies and fussy mamas. I still get so tired I can feel it in my teeth! Weird huh?

OK, now for the fun part. It's weird to think I used to have time to do this every day! Not just when I had a spare second. How do you mommy bloggers do it?! If you feel like slogging through all of the recent photos they are all over at my flickr page (see sidebar badge) It's been awhile since I uploaded so there are over 100 photos between me and my mama (who was here last week and now I'm on my own! Mmgggiih!)

Cora and her bear. She stuck out her tongue at it.

That seems to be a theme here!

Yes, I admit it, I take photos of us on the timer setting when the Geek isn't around. And yes, we are in the bathroom.

My little froggie baby!

So sweet. I am blessed to have such a good baby.

She looks like a little flower here.

Gramma came to visit. Cora was having a 'mo' (short for moment)

This is post-bath hair. It's like a fuzzy peach!

And last but not least, the little smile she gave to her Gramma right before she headed back to Texas.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thoughts on transitioning from pregnancy to motherhood

I may have my body back but I've traded it for my mind.

Who knew this kid could get so much bigger in 3 weeks?!

I have never loved this deeply. Not even my husband who I love with all my heart. It feels like I need to explode, implode, get quiet and still, shout with joy from the highest of places, laugh and cry...all at once. It's too big to take in some days.

A small baby asleep on my chest is reason enough to pause life for an hour (or 3).


When the Geek and I did this for marriage counseling I was an ENFJ and he was and IFNJ. I wonder if I've changed? Plus, I don't think I'm a flirt (although before I got married others would have said I was).

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.
You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. You break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

In case I forget

At 2 weeks Cora was 4lb 12 oz and 18 inches
At 2 weeks and 6 days she was 5lb 5.5oz and they didn't measure her.

But her long skinny feet are now chubby. Which I think is amazing and oh so cute. It's hard to keep a kid warm and take pictures of their naked (and not crying and squirmy) self so I'm still working on it.

The Geek and I referred to her as a 'single scoop' (like ice cream or raisin bran which has 2 scoops! hee hee!) when we brought her home since we both could handle her with one hand when we scooped her up from her bassinet or when we passed her back and forth. Especially when she was swaddled. I think we are up to a scoop and a half now. I swear I'm working on uploading more photos. Gramma was recently here so there are mine and hers to share.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When you can't do anything else, laugh.

Sigh. I'm making it. Thanks for all the comforting words. Glad menfolk don't have to do this. Here's what happens when they just get the sniffles!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Help! I'm going under! The last of my family help left this morning. The Geek is back at work as of last week. The meals have stopped (except for 2 days/week which frankly isn't enough, but what can a gal do. I'm grateful for it!). My milk still isn't in and if I have to look at that pump again I will cry (more that I have been already). If the Geek didn't make me eat I wouldn't remember to. Low sodium diet restrictions rule out a lot of processed food so I have to make food, wash out bottles and breast pump bottles and the somewhere in that haul my recently cut open self up and down stairs (WHY DID WE BUY A 2 STORY HOUSE?!) and try to get some rest. (HA!) I can't do this!

Friday, November 07, 2008

How much she is loved

I have been getting these emails from about where my baby is and what is going on with her, gestation-wise and as I was trying to find a way to change her due date I stumbled across her calendar, which notes activities that could be happening during pregnancy. This struck me.

"Wednesday November 5th: Your baby will soon start to drop down lower in your pelvis, a process called lightening or engagement. You should get relief from heartburn and find it easier to breathe when this happens."

This is one week exactly after she was born and from all we know about her state inside my uterus, the lightening would have very probably put her in distress and there was a chance she could have been stillborn. It is just another reminder for me how much her being here is a miracle. I take it for granted at 4 am.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bounty of Friends

We had had such an inundation of love, help and, nearly best of all, food from friends. Tracy made me pumpkin bread AND pumpkin cookies. How did she know I love and crave pumpkin? Soups and pot pie carefully stashed in the freezer (cause tired Papa Bears (the Geek) and Mama Bears (me) need lunch too). Carol coming over with tiny preemie onsies to borrow, and proof that they do indeed grow bigger with her small daughter in tow (being around 3 lbs when she was born!) and comforting conversation about the woes of breast pumps!

Even the trees put on their Sunday best to welcome my small girl to the world. The street is ablaze with reds, oranges, and golds as the Geek and I sit in the afternoon sunshine on the porch of our home. Yummy Lentil and Venison Sausage soup for lunch from Jan, cooked in my own pot and waiting for us when we got home Sunday (although I was a bit confused and could not remember making a soup so why was there a pot in the fridge?)!

And now, for your daily dose of our Baby Bear:

My and the baby bears hands

Papa Bear holds the baby bears tiny feet

I can hardly resist these Papa Bear and Baby Bear moments in the mornings.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

First 'Playdate' and other things

Cora (whom we have dubbed Baby Bear) and Elijah (AKA Eichelbaby) had a 'playdate' while the mamas talked. I can't get over it! He's only 6 weeks old, but look a the size difference!! WOW. I guess techically he is 10 weeks older since she was 5 weeks early and he was a week early.

IN other news, we spent the day at the ER for me with shortness of breath and wheezing. Oodles of tests later, my breastmilk (which still has not really come in yet) is radioactive for 24 hrs and must be 'pumped and dumped' as the tech put it so nicely. I tried the dark beer method of helping my milk supply last night and about a third of a way through it I remembered that alcohol and pain meds are a bad combo. Panicked, I called Poison Control and they said not to take any more for 6 hrs, and that I would feel very sleepy. But I started feeling short of breath last night and wheezy this morning so we went to the ER. After all that, I came home and there on the side of the bottle was a warning that taking too much of this med could result in breathing problems and in fact, the night before I had taken a dose too close to the other one. Hmmm... We laughed at the irony of it all. Sigh.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A wink and a spook

Jan brought by a little costume for Cora to wear for Halloween since we didn't expect to have a baby by Halloween! So here's a wink for ya and her 'I love my Mummy' outfit.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cora Kathleen (part 2)

You'll forgive me if I'm a little distracted by this angel baby...So where was I, oh yes! On our way to the hospital on Tuesday morning!

So the Geek and I drove to the hospital and by this time it was nearly noon, him a little frazzled and me a little nervous because we had waited nearly 3 hours to head out. But we stopped for food for him since it would be a long day and I decided to eat too. (Yes, yes, I've heard this was stupid, but honestly I thought my labor would start on it's own and I'd need the energy since I planned to labor naturally thanks to my fabulous doctor)

We arrived and checked in and were ushered back to OB triage to confirm our story of 'water breaking.' I love how they don't believe you! A blue strip later and I was shuffled off to a Labor and Delivery room to get ready to deliver. Some monitoring later told them that I was not having any contractions and in fact, if my water was not broken, I'd be going back home! But since I had eaten at noon, we had to wait to begin inducing labor. Silly me.

Telling friends it has begun!

6pm -I got a chip of Cytotech to get my cervix to soften up - strapped in to monitors and belts and BP cuff.

Just a little bit of hormones

12am - Started on Pitocin drip and now can only go pee in a bedpan. Yick!
I was up and down all night and they kept losing the baby on the monitor and I was nearly being cut in half by the belts to keep the monitors on! Not a lot of sleep and I'm pretty upset that I am basically having the antithesis of my birth plan. I cried a lot and could not get comfy since every time I moved the lost the baby's hearbeat and every time I dozed off, the wretched blood pressure cuff goes off!

8am - I'm at 1 cm and my OB comes in and we talk about an internal monitor for both me and the babe, and with the addition of possibly the most amazing L&D nurse (Bonnie!), I actually get to labor much like I wanted to in my birth plan. Stand up, sit down, lie down, manage contractions with breathing and position. They check me periodically and I'm hopeful that all this labor is opening my cervix, but at 1pm I'm barely at 2cm.

1pm - I am open to an epidural at this point, but my doc is concerned that the baby isn't dropping at all after 5 hrs of hard labor. We discuss a C-Section and I am open to it, but scared too. Who wants to be cut open!? I think what scared me the most was I hadn't done any reading on it, and once I agreed to it, the flood of activity and people to get me ready was the human powered freight train! AND I'm still having contractions through all the shaving, consenting, prepping, cleaning up our room to move, putting in a new IV etc! I'm off to the OR before I know it and actually and having a contraction while the are doing the epidural which felt fast and furious. I cried and breathed as they held still so I wouldn't jerk around while the needle went in. The numbness was instant and I had to lie down fast. Needless to say, I was pretty shaken up by the time they let the Geek in. The anesthesiologist, Rhonda, was so kind wiping my tears away.

The Geek sat by my head, found my strapped down hand as I was pushed and pulled around. (inside me!) I heard the doc say, "Oh, that's why you wouldn't drop down!" then I heard the baby cry and saw her briefly as the Geek joined her at the warming bed. Pink and crying. A great sign. She was fine, just needed a little breathing treatment.

Fresh into the world

Mama and baby

Papa and baby


As much as I whined and complained about how this (birthing process) wasn't what I wanted, God had a different idea. The chord was around her neck 3 times. If she had gotten too much bigger she would have dropped on her own and gone into distress and as a nurse friend of mine said, 'That is how you lose last trimester babies.' If she had been able to drop during all of my contractions, the same thing could have happened. Instead of an epidural C-Section, I would have had to have an emergency one and be put completely under. As it was, it was just as it should have been to give us the healthiest possible baby and healthiest me too.

The most beautiful girl I've ever seen!

So welcome to the world Cora Kathleen, born October 29th, 2008. 4lbs 10.5 oz, 17.5 inches long and a beautiful miraculous gift.

Check this link for more photos as the days go on! Baby Cora

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cora Kathleen (part 1)

Well. It's a bright beautiful October morning and we have a baby! She was due December 3rd, but I had a feeling we weren't gonna make it all the way to her due date anyway. Here's the story:

Monday I felt something shift and felt like something was different, but never having done this before, didn't think it was out of the ordinary. I figured it was from the yoga I had done that day. I had just had a baby shower on Saturday and a couple of the attendees noticed I was different from even Saturday.

Tuesday morning about 8:30 or so, I got up, had a little cranberry juice, went potty, and started my pre-natal yoga. I was just doing cat's breath when I felt like I peed my pants a little. My thoughts went like this:
Oh crap, I just peed my pants.
Oh crap, it's not stopping!
Oh crap, I gotta get to the bathroom!
Oh CRAP, this is my water breaking!

Then, very quickly, my brain started telling me all the things I needed to get done and organized and canceled before we went to the hospital. I was supposed to record background vocals for a friend that day at 11, so she was the first one I called. (In retrospect, that should have been the Geek, but I was on a roll!) The pets needed taking care of. The two people I was supposed to meet with from Craigslist on Wednesday to buy baby things from had to be called. I hadn't washed a stitch of baby clothes! We had no car seat to bring her home in!

So...I finally called the Geek and told him to come home, my water had broken. He rushed right home while I wrote a list of things I needed to take to the hospital and threw a load of of baby clothes in the washer. A shower, wait for the clothes to dry and off we went!
Blissfully on our way to the hospital! Little did we know...
To be continued...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not as we planned...

My water broke at 9am. I am tying up loose ends and headed to the hospital. It's gonna be a long day! Prayers for her heath and a good labor. Thanks!! Contact info is on mattlovesariana dot com and we are delivering at Baptist Hospital.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby explosion of pink

I'm very glad we found out what we were having. I love that I get to have girly clothes for my baby girl! Although I was forced to wear pink as a child (thanks Laura Ingalls Wilder!) my girl won't have to. She just can if she wants too.

I'm just gonna put the photos up. They speak for themselves. I do want to say that the best gift I got was, as I opened each present, the person giving told a funny story about me, or had a prayer or a wish for me, the Geek and our baby girl. It was the most encouraging time I have ever spent! I was nearly full to bursting with all of the love I heard from my dear friends yesterday. Thank you all! And now for photos:

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