Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dear February,

We've had a fun relationship over the years. I always looked forward to you due to my love of Valentine's Day. When I was a kid, I looked forward to you because I thought winter ended after Christmas and that you meant spring. (It was a sad day when I discovered how seasons actually work.) We've shared some good times--cute scarves, candy hearts, the beginning of the end of the cold. But this year is so different.

This year, February, you made me a mom. This 2013 February will stay with me the rest of my life. From now on, I will look forward to my daughter's birthday. I'll spend time carefully picking out the perfect birthday present and decorations to make her smile. I will meticulously plan surprises and new traditions. I will cry at the passage of time as every year I get further and further away from the infant I now hold in my arms. Crying will be followed by excitement for all the life I get to witness before my very eyes.

I am grateful, February. As you draw to an end, I must thank you before you go. Thank you for giving me one week to realize my own strength. Thank you for giving me three weeks of wonder and vulnerability and joy and amazement. Thank you for being a lovely and hospitable hostess for this time in my life. Your chilly air and rain and breezes made for excellent baby snuggling weather. Thanks for taking us in after this little girl decided she just could not be born in January. Thank you for making us a family.

A toast to you, February 2013. Thank you for changing my life forever.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


When I was a teenager I used to joke about being my parents' hippie child. I guess I was more of a half-ass hipster with my random little known bands and indie flicks and TOMS and love of transcendental literature....ok, I still love all those things. But I wouldn't say I was ever obscure enough for the truly hipsta-fied. I rocked the white v-neck, cardigan, and skinny jeans look with the best of them, but I was a few beanies and decorative glasses short of a club membership.
goofball already.
So now here I am in this new world of mama-dom. And--same shit, different setting. I have found that my ideals mostly fall in hippie-mom category. But in this world of crunchy granola moms I am.......


Oh yes. Oatmeal. I've got the oats and grains, but it's watered down as all hell and not even close to hardcore. I have my leanings and tendencies, but sometimes expectation and reality are two verrry different things. I'll give ya a few big, fat for instances:

I birthed med free and naturally. BUT, on the way to my recovery room, my nurse asked if I would like any pain killers. I believe my exact words were "Labor's over, the baby's out--shoot me up." (Because, ya know, Motrin is such hard stuff). She got a kick out of it.

I like the idea of cloth diapering. I think I'd like to try it. Juuuust not this time. I thought about it while I was pregnant and the conclusion I came to--one thing at a time. I'll try to get this mom thing figured out before throwing that into the mix. Maybe for volume 2. This time around, it's Earth's Best and "ain't nobody got time (or space) for that!"

I cosleep/bed share. BUT, soo not my original plan. I have a crib and a rocker for this little lady. I thought she was bound to love one of them. And actually, she loves both! For naps. Night--fuhgettaboutit. If I want to hope for more than 1 hour of sleep at a time, it's with her on my chest or next to me or nothing at all. Can't say that I mind having a little snuggle bunny, though :) Even if she does snore like a bear.

I breastfeed. Didn't think I'd use a bottle for another few months and even then, only when I needed to leave her with my husband for a couple hours. Ha. As of last night, I am officially doing one pumped bottle per night. Didn't see that happening, but at this point it's better for all involved--happy baby, more mentally stable mama, husband...ok, maybe he lost out on this one. Now he wakes up too to hold her while I prep the goods. Muahaha. And I seriously can't wait to start introducing solids so I can catch a break with feedings.

I baby wear and we both like it. It's so cozy! But with warmer weather coming, I'm counting the days til she's big enough for her stroller. Mostly because I think she'll love it because she's so curious and nosy. Partly because it would just be nice and convenient.

So there you have it. I try, but at the end of the day, I's a big bowl of squishy oatmeal. Whatevs. Who's keeping score?

In other news, here's the latest and greatest from Babylandia:

She loves to talk to her stuffed animals. She stares at them and smiles and giggles. AH-dorable.

Someone's tolerating headbands quite well. Oh, honey. Give mama an inch...
And finally! I bought these shorts in the fall and basically ever since I've been counting the seconds til I could put her in them! It's everything I hoped it'd be and more. Why didn't I buy every size?!
My new favorite outfit.

hehehe I die.

cozy toes!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Newborn life--harder than you think.

16 days in and we're alive!
Tiny rage!! Cuz ish is tough!
Miss Thing is officially 9lbs. and growing like crazy. Today she's wearing some jammies that she was swimming in just 2 weeks ago. They just about fit now. Sooo fast! We tell her all the time that she's big for a baby but small for a person.

It's funny how a baby is making me rethink life at its most basic. There are many things that I realize must be scary to her. I know people always joke about the simple "good life" of eat, sleep, poop, repeat, but I of course prefer to over think it. Think about it--being a newborn sucks. It's hard and it's stressful.

Exhibit A: On day two at home, around 4am breakfast time, it crossed my mind--she's never really been hungry before. WEIRD. To go from having a constant flow of nutrients to having a rumbly tummy. I mean, if I experienced an empty stomach feeling for the first time and didn't know how to fix it, I'd cry too. Add that to the fact that this new world is all at once too hot, too cold, too bright, too dark, too loud and too quiet--it's scary to be a tiny person! Don't even get me started on constantly waking up in a different place. I'd freak the f*$% out. How bout a hazy understanding of object permanence? Every time she can't see me or feel me, it's like her primary source of food and snuggles is gone forever. For months her tiny body was all wrapped up tight, now it's a free-for-all of limbs and phalanges. Whenever she's not swaddled or she's all nake for a bath, she gets so startled by her little arms and legs. Pretty much the same phenomenon that scares the bejezus out of Chandler.
All of this while simultaneously going through the most ridiculously long growth spurt ever!
Being a new mom is tough, but I guess it's no picnic for her either. Usually during our early morning feedings, I look at the fuzzy haired chicklet in my arms and sigh and tell her, "We'll figure this out eventually." Probably not tonight or tomorrow, but, ya know, eventually.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My baby's hands make me cry (and other findings)

I don't have any good shots of her hands yet, but this is close.
My sleepy baby and her little lady hands.
One of the first things I noticed about Scarlett was her hands. This is going to sound very strange, but she has my hands. I don't really see much of me in her face. I see my husband's nose (round, bouncy ball perfection), I see my family, maaaaybe my eyes, just not necessarily me. But her hands--now those are all me. Long, skinny fingers, super long nail beds, those look familiar. In every ultrasound I have, in any shot of her face, her hands are right there all cozy next to her chubby cheeks. The same place they are when she eats now. They're either folded in a little praying position, balled up in fists by her ears or folded like a little lady across her chest. Or, my personal favorite, her thinking finger. She must've done this a lot on the inside because at least five times a day, she puts her little pointer finger right next to her mouth like she's pondering the deep questions of baby world. I die.
So last night after she was good and milk drunk, giving me some goofy smiles, her hands were in little lady position. Aaaaand hormones took over from there. I friggin lost it. She's just so...perfect. So I cried. Eric tried to figure it out, but I could hardly put together an intelligible sentence. As he stood there looking a bit confused, I finally managed to get out, "Damn hormones." He laughed and got me to move from the rocking chair to the couch so we could split a beer and snuggle our little baby and her monster hands. We set aside our laptop and phones and curled up to "watch" Ice Age (duh) and point out all of our little girl's perfection. It was exactly what I needed.
At that point I had already had a few "who am I now?" moments. At 3am the night before I was thinking about the girl I used to be. Me in all my former sunroof open, spontaneous trips to LA just for tacos, suntanned, gym loving, tequila shooting, late night adventuring glory. I feel like she got left behind 9 months ago. She certainly disappeared in the delivery room. And now I'm coming to terms with the fact that while bits of her remain (I'd kill for some chilled Patron right now), a new version of her is taking over. I felt it when I wanted to rip the phlebotomist's head off the other day when she was taking forever to do a simple jaundice test and making my baby cry ( the previous 2 ladies were quick and patient. This lady was annoyed that we came in so close to closing time. Mama bear says grrrrrr.) I feel it every time she wakes up at night and something kicks my butt into gear and after 10 minutes, I don't mind being awake anymore. I notice it when I miss my little girl and she's a couch cushion away in my husband's arms. I'm getting used to this new beast who cries over baby hands and eats ridiculously fast. I like her so far. She's got a little more moxie and a little more strength. I guess this is just transition time. While I was all snuggled up last night with my sweet sleeping babe in my arms and my husband's arms around us, I felt at peace. All of my mourning for my former self disappeared and was replaced with absolute bliss. And while soaking up this beautiful moment, I of course had a song stuck in my head. (I still refuse to believe that my life isn't one big music video.) Some AWE-some 90's throwback country and one of my favorite childhood songs--I was a sap even then:

"And when they carve my stone all they need to write on it
Is once lived a man who got all he ever wanted
Tell me something who could ask for more
Than to be living in a moment you would die for"

Life is definitely changed. But once I get past all the anxiety and overwhelmed-ness a single moment can hold, I remember that this is the most incredible change I've ever been through. It's rough, it's magical, it's beautiful, it's making me cry right now (happy tears). In the last week I fell in love with my husband in a different way that I didn't even know existed. And I am daily falling so insanely in love with this gorgeous, squeaky, fiery little girl of mine. It really is everything I've ever wanted, so suddenly. But as we all know, according to Willy Wonka, that means I will live happily ever after.

And now, to reward you for wading through my sea of emotions, I give you 90's country music video magic. You. Are. Welcome.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sweet Baby Girl

She's here! She's here! She's here! And she's giving me a quick break so I better type fast.
After almost 48 hours of consistent ten minute or less contractions and 7 hours in the hospital, Scarlett Christine made her entrance.
So, birth story fun: First I must preface this by saying that my goal from day one was to go med free and....I actually did it!!! And when I say I did it, I really mean I DID IT, BITCHES!!!...I'm a bit excited.
(Remember the fine print at the bottom of the page that says you don't judge me? Me either, but if I had one, I'd direct you there now.)
I'm typing this up because, not gonna lie, I'm a little proud. Not in a superior "Oh it's the only way to deliver" sort of way, just in a "major life goal/challenge accomplished" kind of way.
Ok, here it is, super looong version of birth story. Major props if you actually make it through:

So, on Wednesday I went to the doctor, feeling pretty good because I'd had some light contractions the day before and I was hoping for a little progress. Whoooommp Wahhhhh. Negative. Doc wasn't even able to get a decent check, but said he was pretty sure I was at least at 1cm. Same as the week before. He started talking about even if I go past 42 weeks, it was cool. He was really awesome about rolling with me and my goal. Of course hearing "maybe another 2 weeks or more" is hardly what any 40 week pregnant girl wants to hear, so I decided to ramp up my efforts to evict this baby. I was a walking a couple miles a day, popping evening primrose oil with every meal, drinking water like it was my job and compulsively bouncing on a yoga ball. Good times. Finally on Saturday contractions picked up. Sporadic in the morning, but at 6pm on the dot, they went to consistently 10 minutes apart. I called my mom and sister to let them know that I was pretty sure miss lady would be here in a few days. I went to bed and barely slept as things got more painful. Sunday! I got up, took a long walk and went to Mass. While at Mass, I scared the hell out of the sweet old lady next to me because I sat the whole time, breathing through contractions. She asked if I was sick and I quietly told her that I was in labor and I was fine. Her face was uh-mazing.We came home and watched the Super Bowl and thennnnnn shit got real.
I called my mom again and let her know that I was pretty sure Monday would be thee day! I tried to sleep again but at 2am contractions woke me up and kept me up for the rest of the day. I timed, took a bath, did some last minute packing, ate a big breakfast and finally, when I hit the noted 5-1-1, woke Eric up at 4:30. I thought we should be going soon, but he asked me if I could wait longer, reminding me that I had wanted to stay home as long as possible. He was right so I agreed to wait til 6. Time distortion took over and suddenly, it was 8am and Mom and Jen were walking through my front door. We watched TV, ate a bunch of snacks and waited for things to pick up more. Around 4pm I had one contraction hit me hard and made me finally decide that it was time to go. After some more buzzing around and eating a quick dinner, we loaded up and made the incredible 2 mile journey to the hospital. I was deathly afraid of getting sent home.
At 5:30 I entered triage praying for progress. ANY progress. I had been telling myself the whole time at home that I was only at 1, maybe 2 so I wouldn't get my hopes up. So when I heard, "Oh're at 6 and you're not going anywhere," I cried. Things were actually moving!
7cm. Still calm, still relaxed. About 1 hour away from "Eff that, I'm having back labor" o'clock.
From 6cm-8cm, all of my hypnobirthing research served me well. I felt calm and relaxed and was breathing easy. After that...gone. My doctor arrived and broke my water and things went from "Ouch" and some moaning to a full-on  guttural Tarzan experience. I had been up for almost 48 hours with a 2 hour nap, I couldn't breathe and back labor was raging.

Now, Eric and I didn't take any birthing prep classes. I read  a couple of books, talked to some people and we giggled through a a video together (because we're super mature like that), but that's it. And he was AMAZING. Seriously, I'm considering buying him a cape. A few weeks ago I told him that at some point, I would look at him and tell him I that I couldn't do it and that I would possibly ask for meds. What I needed was for him to tell me no. At the time he just said okay. In the delivery room, he was my saving grace. He talked me down when I told him multiple times that I couldn't do it any more. When I crawled half way out of bed while going through a crazy contraction, he scooped me up and held me through it. A few of the nurses asked him who our instructor was that we had studied with and they were super surprised when he told them that we didn't. He just knew what to do and I will be forever grateful that he was there to get me through it.
Around 10:30 I told the nurse that I needed to push and she just said go for it. Sweet. So I pushed. And pushed. They brought in a squat bar. I pushed some more. I was quite a sight to see. My eyes were rolling in different directions. I passed out twice. It was only for a split second, but it felt weird.  Thank God for time distortion because if I knew that I would be pushing for 2 hours, I would've flipped. I did notice every time the nurse prepped something else. The doctor's table, the check up station. Finally after one monster push, my nurse looked at me and said, "She's got some dark hair!" She flipped the lights on and I heard, "Doctor and tech. NOW!" Sooo much relief! I knew my little girl would be here soon. In came my doctor and I was so happy to see him, I wanted to kiss him just for entering the room. Game on. With my husband, my mom, and my big sister around me and actually physically holding me up, I got through a few more major pushes and I heard the sweetest sound I'd ever heard. Scarlett Christine came into the world, eyes WIDE open and screaming her cute little head off. 8lbs. 13oz. 21 inches long with a 14in. head. Ouch baby, very ouch.They gave her to me and it was instant tears and love at first sight. Easily the most beautiful moment of my life.

My dad surprised us and drove the hour and a half to be there when the baby was born. He came in the room once I was all put back together again. It was indescribable to introduce my parents to my own little girl. One of those things that just blows you away. We all took her in. So much peace and so much pure joy.

Real quick, I must rave about my hospital and the staff. My L&D nurse kicked ass. Seriously, I loved her. I had typed a birth plan just in case and I never needed to get it out. As soon as I got there the nurse who checked me in asked for my preferences and if I wanted to decline anything. I told her what I was hoping for and that was that. I asked for a saline lock and no IV.  Done. They gave me a huge cup of water and told me to drink up so that I could avoid needing an IV. I said no drugs and no one offered me a thing. There wasn't an "Are you suuurrreee??" or "Well, just in case..." or "This is your last chance...." Nothing! They let me be even though I know it meant that my nurse needed to stay and keep a closer eye on me. My nurse never BSed me or tried to make light of things. She was a straight shooter--love that. I asked to change positions a few times to see if it helped with the pain. As long as she could monitor the baby, she let me try. When they didn't work for me, she didn't say a word. I've loved my doctor from day one and he was fantastic during delivery, even though I was screaming like a banshee into his face. My recovery nurses were saints--super helpful and gentle. They noted my appreciation for a good chocolate pudding cup and kept me stocked. I was put on a list of in-house Catholics and a minister from the church was sent to our room both mornings of our stay so we could receive Eucharist. We were so blessed with such a pleasant experience. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

And now we're home. It's chilly outside and raining. Scarlett is happily passed out post-feeding and is snuggled up next to her daddy. I've already had to wash a ton of blankets and burp clothes and outfits. We're going through stuff fast!  This is our life now. It's oh so blessed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Keeping Busy Chronicles

So today
Baby woke me up at 5, I got up at 6 and had breakfast. Back in bed by 6:30 and slept til 10.

In an effort to feel remotely human, I took the time to blow out my hair and put on makeup.
Hash tag quasi-put together.

I went grocery shopping. I (probably) unnecessarily made it a 3 store extravaganza. If only Costco, Trader Joe's and Vons were all in the same parking lot. Who do I write to about this?

I decided to kill an hour and walk the mile to the third store for a grand total of 2 miles walked today. 2 very slow miles. It made me miss running in the worst way. That's definitely a new one for me.

Laundry is conquered....sort of. I might leave folding for tomorrow. Can't leave myself with nothing to do then.

I made myself a huge bowl of spaghetti squash with avocado pesto sauce, roasted tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms. I'm getting seriously desperate for stuff to do because when Eric's not home, I usually don't cook much for myself. Especially since all  I really want for any meals these days is fruit.

And now I have my very sore feetsies up while watching crap TV. And rambling. Contemplating a massive bowl of strawberries and kiwi for dessert.

I  keep telling myself that these Alllll byyyy myyyyyseeellllfffff  days are limited.
But still. Come on munchkin. Come out, come out wherever you are. I'm boring the nice people with these "blogging for something to do" posts.