A few weeks of firsts.

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So we’ve had some exciting moments around here with our little peanut. First was her first Halloween. Our little ladybug went out in the cold and rain and came back with some pretty good loot. Our neighbors were so thoughtful and provided some non-candy goodies for little E. My parents came by as well to see their little ladybug as a….well ladybug.

E also had her 4 month checkup. I mentioned to the doctor that I thought she might be teething. I hadn’t felt anything to that point, but she had been a little more fussy than normal. The doctor told me, “Oh, she might be acting like she’s teething, but she won’t actually get teeth until 6 months”. She checked in her mouth anyway and exclaimed, “Oh my, there are two teeth”! Sure enough, we looked in her mouth and you can see and feel two tiny little teeth. That toothless grin I’ve fallen in love with is now slowly transforming into a toothy grin. I’m a little nervous of nursing as she continues to get teeth (and what she does with those teeth during nursing), but it’s exciting to watch this little girl change daily. Guess her two front teeth decided to come before Christmas. Apparently someone else can’t wait for the holiday! :)

Being that E is cutting her first teeth and she is 4 months old, the doctor gave us the go-ahead to try solid food. I was told that single grain cereals, fruits and veggies (one at a time) were ok. I did a little research and started finding quite a bit that discouraged rice cereal (due to the way it is manufactured), so I went ahead with some fruits and veggies.

Sweet Potatoes!

Sweet Potatoes!

When I found out that I was pregnant, there were certain things I knew I wanted to do. Things like cloth diapering (check) and breastfeeding (check). Another was making my own baby food. So this past week, I spent an hour or so during someone’s nap time pulling out the wonderful machine (the Infantino Fresh Squeezed system) that a former co-worker gave me for one of my showers and a couple of sweet potatoes. To the right, you can see the result. I love the little bags. Easy to make, easy to freeze. This was all from 2 sweet potatoes and an hour of time (all total). 4 2oz containers and 9 squeeze bags. Much better than paying over a dollar a piece at the store for those bags. Plus I know exactly what’s in them.

So far, E likes sweet potatoes (I, after trying them again, still do not) and has taken to solid food eating quite well. At first, she wasn’t sure about the whole “spoon” thing and what she was supposed to do, but is now learning to open really wide when it comes near her mouth. Once it’s in her mouth she wants to chew on it more than get the food (another sign of teething) but she’s getting the hang of it. It’s a messy messy process still. Now I know why I have so many bibs! :)

Now on the horizon is our first Thanksgiving with our new addition. With any luck, at dinner, E will be able to have both sweet potatoes and green beans (just a little mashed up) with the rest of her family!

Things I have learned in first weeks/months of motherhood

I started writing this in the first few weeks after we brought E home. How in the world has it been almost 3 months? Some days it seems like we just came home from the hospital and other days, I can’t remember what it was like without our little monkey. Here are some of the things I’ve learned in the first couple of months of motherhood:

1. Breastfeeding is the most natural process that isn’t that natural. E and I are just now really starting to get the hang of it, although in the beginning, I supplemented with formula a little more than I’d wanted to. I just keep remembering, “if at first you don’t succeed…try try again”. We went through several ups and downs the first 6 weeks or so, but are just now really getting to the point where I am enjoying breastfeeding and glad I didn’t give up in those early weeks.

2 months old!

2 months old!

2. It will take an hour longer to get out of the house with a newborn. No matter how well I think I have the diaper bag packed ahead of time, something always happens. E needs a feeding, or a diaper change, or I forgot something…now the more we practice at getting out of the house the better we get. It also gives us a good idea of what needs to go into the diaper bag (read: EVERYTHING). I am usually a pretty good “what if” queen when packing, but E has given me a few instances of ‘I wish I would have packed (more diapers, another change of clothes, etc)’.

3. Being “Supermom” is one of the best feelings in the world. E got her first set of shots at her 2 month checkup. She was fussy (which is unlike her) and didn’t want anyone but Momma to hold her and rock her and let her fall asleep in my arms. I wrote off all productivity for the day and just held her and smiled. While I wasn’t happy that she felt so miserable, it felt AMAZING to be the only one that can solve the problem. I know her problems won’t always be solved as easily, but for the moment, I’m glad I can calm her down and make her feel better.

I can hold my head up!

I can hold my head up!

4. I never get tired of staring at my little one. I love her faces and her features. There is something new every day to discover and she changes just as often! I have a screen saver on our TV at home that shows all my favorite pictures of my family. It really shows how much she changes from day to day. I am really trying to focus on being in the moment and not wish away her “baby days” with dreaming about her crawling, or walking, or eating solid foods. While I am excited for those stages, I’m really trying to just enjoy who she is right now. She will grow soon enough.

5. Babies are messy…plan on extra outfits for baby and yourself!

A Baby Story

Well, it’s been 2 and a 1/2 weeks of craziness here. We welcomed our little baby girl into the world.

Many have been asking for her birth story: So where to start…I guess it all started around the end of May. I went in for my normal doctor appt where I was told that I had started to dilate. I remember the words, “I don’t think you’ll make it to your due date” very vividly…and I got very optimistic and hopeful. I was done being pregnant and even more excited to get my little baby in my arms. Each week that followed, I continued to dilate only 1/2cm each week. I started to get frustrated and attempted to “get the show on the road” in any way I could: spicy food, a glass of wine, physical activity…nothing seemed to help.

Almost to week 39, dilated 2cm, doc recommended an ultrasound to make sure all was well. I remember being amazed at how different my little pumpkin looked than she did at the 20 week ultrasound. Features were much more defined, heartbeat still steady, and it made me even more anxious to meet my little one. Only “issue”: Baby was estimated at 8lbs, 9oz  and I still had a week and a half to go. Now I was getting nervous. Was baby going to be too big to come “through the front door?” Knowing I wanted to avoid a c-section at all costs, doc wanted to wait until after the 40 weeks, but an induction sounded like the way to go. We scheduled one for 40 weeks, 3 days.

We arrived at the hospital at 6am and filled out our paperwork and I was shown to my “suite”. I was hooked up to two monitors. One to monitor contractions, the other to monitor baby’s heartbeat and an IV was started (although that took 2 attempts–I was not a happy camper.) Then we waited…and waited…and waited. By 3:00pm, contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, but not painful. Doc decided to check to see where we were. After nearly 8 hours on drugs, I optimistically expected to be somewhere more than the 2.5cm I was at my final docs appointment a week prior. I thought 4…maybe 5cm. Nope. 3cm. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I felt like the day had been a waste of time.

At 5:30, the on call doctor broke my water, at which point I knew there was no turning back. Our baby would come one way or another. It was then that I was grateful I was in a hospital bed. I knew there needed to be a lot of water for the baby, but it felt like a waterfall was coming out of me. It was the strangest feeling and seemed never ending. Obviously, that’s all baby needed to get the message that ‘its time to go’. Contractions were still 2-3 mins apart, but I now was well aware when they were happening. The next few hours passed in a pain-induced blur. By 8:00 I decided that enough was enough. I was in pain, I was cranky and not being nice to my nurses (sorry, Vickie), and I was really tired of people telling me to “breathe” (Seriously: I had been breathing just fine for 31 years, I didn’t need the help). I asked for the epidural. After that, life got a lot more pleasant. I could feel the contractions, but it was something if I just stopped talking for a few seconds and closed my eyes, I could handle painwise.

Around 10pm, it was time to push. At this point, I was exhausted already from the long day, but still anxious to have this whole thing done with and have my baby in my arms. Many times over hubby counted to 10 while I held my breath. I remember being halfway through and wondering how long this could go on. I needed a countdown clock or something to motivate me.

3 hours later, I felt an immediate sense of physical relief and the littlest cry in the world. Our daughter was finally here. They put her in my arms and the first thing I thought was “Why is she blue?” I was expecting the bodily fluids, but not such an extreme different color of skin. Of course this is normal and she quickly adapted to her new environment. The second thing I did as I held her was hold (and count) her fingers and toes. 10 fingers, 10 toes, she a keeper. She cried, as did I, as I held her 7lb, 13oz body for the first time.

 

Mom and Daughter meet for the first time

Mom and Daughter meet for the first time

I finally understood what other mothers had been telling me about the pain of labor. I couldn’t wrap my head around how you could just forget it all once that baby was in your arms. I get it now and while I’m not ready to relive it again anytime soon, to see the results…totally worth it.

So there you have it. It’s now 2 weeks later. Recovery was an interesting ordeal, but I’m finally feeling more like myself again. Being able to go from sitting to standing without pain or walk down the hallway without waddling were wonderful little wins for me. The best part of the past two weeks is just looking at the result. This little person who liked to stretch and move inside me is now my daughter who I can watch stretch and move on the outside. Hubby has been amazing as well, not only in the delivery room, but as I was recovering as well. We are now a family of three, and it feels amazing.

 

A new addition

A new addition

 

It’s the final countdown!

37 weeks along! Baby Pety is full term and this Momma is ready to get this show on the road! :) While I’m anxious about being a Mom (not to mention going through labor), I’m so excited to meet this little one who has been punching and kicking and dancing around inside me. I attended my first Mom 2 Mom sale with a friend (and mother of 2) this past weekend where I managed to get some clothes for a steal, some of them with the tags still on! I came home to wash clothes and put everything away (in the dresser that Marc re-stained and finished). As I was putting everything away, it suddenly hit me that sometime soon, there will be a little person in those little onesies and sleepers and socks. I am trying to enjoy the last days of pregnancy: where it’s just me and Baby Pety or where Hubby and I are just a two-some. However, I am looking forward to the next chapter as well: where Lightning has a little brother or sister and our lives are changed forever.

How far along? 37 (almost 38) weeks!

Due Date: June 22, 2013

Total weight gain/loss: +30

Maternity clothes? For the most part, yes. With the weather turning warmer I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of my pre-pregnancy stretchy skirts could still be worn.

Sleep: Still some good and some bad nights. It seems that I will either sleep through the whole night, or it’ll be a bad one where I toss and turn all night long trying to find a comfy spot.

Best moment this week: The Mom 2 Mom sale that I went to was great. So fun to look at all the “stuff”. The couponing part of me was in heaven thinking of all the savings. I will definitely be looking for more of those sales as time goes on.

Hubby and I have also been walking a lot more. We usually take Lightning for a longer walk in the evening (hoping that the physical activity signals baby that it’s time to come out!). I think she enjoys the long walk and it’s been nice to enjoy the time as a two-some (as those days are numbered).

Movement: My little soccer player is doing a lot of practicing! Lots of kicks, punches, and sliding motions.

Food cravings: CEREAL! Doesn’t seem to matter the type or flavor, but I usually go through a couple bowls of cereal a day.

Gender: Team Green, Baby!

Labor Signs: No false alarms yet. A few practice contractions (Braxton Hicks), but nothing that has really bothered me.

Belly Button in or out? The turkey timer has popped out…just a little bit.

What I miss: My walking speed. I’m in full waddle most of the time now and it seems that it takes me twice as long to get everywhere I want to go. I also miss the ability to move without groaning.

What I am looking forward to: On the home front, I’m looking forward to wrapping up all these little house projects (which should be done in the next week or so). On baby front, I’m looking forward to meeting our little addition.

Milestones: Doc and I are seeing one another every week now. She checks on the little pumpkin (who is the size of a pumpkin now) and we get to hear the heartbeat (which always makes me happy). Baby is anywhere in between 6 and 9 lbs now and is just finishing cooking. It’s all coming together!

Holy Crap, 5 Weeks to Go!

Yes, I have been a little remiss from the blog here. Hitting the third trimester means I’ve gone back to being sleepy more times than being awake. A full day of work takes most my energy, so I usually come home and head to bed. I know it’s all for a good cause, but I will be grateful to have Baby on the outside. At least then it’ll be a different kind of tired! :)

Emily Senior Shoot 563 I spent a day this weekend watching my cousin, Emily, dance at a local competition. She’s a senior in high school this year, so it may well be the last time she competes and I will have to pass on watching her recital this year (after great debate) due to being due. :)  She has turned into quite a remarkable little dancer. See evidence on left!

 

 

 

 

In baby news, I had two baby showers in late April. One thrown by my mother, the other by two coworkers. Both lovely and wonderful in their own way. :) Now comes the process of thank you notes, which are coming slowly, but surely. If you attended one of these showers, know how wonderfully received and blessed I felt by your presence and presents. Of course, formal thank yous are coming too! :) I have throughly enjoyed going through my “present pile” which is currently in our family room (as nursery is still being worked on). Putting away what I can, looking to see where holes might be, dreaming of what little one will look like in some of the smallest outfits I have ever seen…some call the process “nesting”, I just call it “is Baby here yet?”

This picture was technically 34 weeks.

This picture was technically 34 weeks.

 

One physical change that has happened is I have really started to pop out. I feel like I woke up one morning, looked down, and my feet were gone. Although some say I am still small for being 30 days away (yikes), it is definitely a change for me. Go back to my Week 30 update if you want to see a difference!

 

How far along? 35 weeks!

Due Date: June 22, 2013

Total weight gain/loss: +25 all total.

Maternity clothes? Oh yes. Just went to the store to get some new clothes as some of my tops were getting a bit worn.

Sleep: Some good nights, some bad. I found with the hotter weather coming, it was more difficult to get comfortable. Hubby finally said “okay” to a window A/C unit for our room. I had the most glorious night of sleep that first night we had it, and look forward to many more!

Best moment this week: Finally getting the results from my A1C test and finding out I was not diabetic. This was quite a long, emotional process that will be another post for another time.

Movement: A ton! It’s funny to watch baby push on certain areas of my belly (alien belly). She’s head down now (has been for a few weeks actually) and has enjoyed kicking up into my lungs it seems.

(Note: use of male pronoun above does not indicate gender of our child. I just don’t like calling her “it”. Those who know me well know I will switch from male to female pronouns from time to time/day to day.)

Food cravings: Sweet things. Fruit, cookies, cakes, pies…I think I know why the weight gain! And now I’m hungry!

Gender: Team Green, Baby!

Labor Signs: Nope. Doc says Baby needs to cook a little longer.

Belly Button in or out? The little turkey timer (as I have been referring to my belly button) has just started to pop out.

What I miss: My walking speed. I’m in full waddle most of the time now and it seems that it takes me twice as long to get everywhere I want to go.

What I am looking forward to: I just want to meet the little one! I know she still needs to cook for a few more weeks, but I am getting impatient (that will not surprise anyone who knows me well).

Milestones: Me and my Doc are seeing each other every week now. Baby is the size of a coconut now and is just working on gaining weight and body fat. Getting close now! Hoping to see baby soon!

Baby Update: Week 31

How far along? 31 weeks! Single digits of weeks left to go!

Due Date: June 22, 2013

Maternity clothes? If I have to wear something…maternity it is.

Sleep: Once I get to sleep, I’m usually okay. I wake up once for various reasons. A little difficulty in falling asleep. I toss and turn and flip and arrange pillows and count sheep and I’m still awake an hour or two after “going to bed”. Because of this, I’ve been turning in as early as possible in hopes of getting something akin to a normal amount of sleep once all is said and done. Some days this means coming home from work, having dinner and heading to bed a little bit later…I think Hubby wishes he had his wife back.

Movement: Oh yes! I’m starting to play “Guess the Body Part” as the little monkey moves around. I thought it might have been a foot that had found it’s way into my side and was pushing like it wanted to get out, but one of the ladies from work said it was probably a knee, which I hadn’t thought of…and made more sense. Either way, I definitely prefer the kicks to the pushing.

Food cravings: Strawberries! I can’t seem to get enough of them. Actually, most fruit. Not sure that it’s a craving really, just something I particularly enjoy.

Food aversions: Nope. I like food. Such a different response than week 10 of my pregnancy where it seemed EVERYTHING was an aversion.

Gender: I’m Female, Hubby is Male, Baby is Baby…. :)

Labor Signs: Nope. Still don’t want to think about it.

Belly Button in or out? In…but just barely. The little turkey timer is starting to pop out.

What I miss: My walking speed. I noticed this week that I’m waddling more and more and can’t walk as fast as I used to without getting out of breath. I will be grateful to get my pre-pregnancy body back.

What I am looking forward to: Baby Showers are this week! Family celebrates tonight and work will have a little shindig on Sunday night after close.

Milestones: Baby is the size of a pineapple now! (Mmmm…pineapple sounds good). The little monkey has all five senses in working order (although smell won’t take place until after birth). Eyes are reacting to light and the head can turn from side to side.