Letters to a daughter from her parents, starting from before she was born

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I love to laugh

I've been trying to get this on camera since you started and I finally caught it!

Friday, May 23, 2014

4 months of awesome

Today, by the date (not weeks) you're four months old. I think instead of weeks I might change this to month plus week. The weeks start to get confusing at this point.

Weight : We find out next week! You're getting so long though.

Diaper size: 2's in disposables, and in cloth we usually leave one or two sets of buttons in the middle, on the highest rise.

Clothing: You can fit in all your 3-6 month stuff, but 6-9 month shirts and pants fit you as well.

Diet : momma milk

Sleep : We're transitioning you to the crib and while you don't mind (you haven't cried about it at all) you are waking up every couple of hours, but quickly and happily going back to sleep. The problem is that I'm then awake and can't get back to sleep. You're finally getting a regular napping schedule that I routinely mess up by having to take you out of the house.

Baby gear love : You're really starting to like your toys. You love your swing. We are starting to try out the bumbo seat with you but your crinkly monkey chew toy is an absolute favorite.

Milestones/firsts: You started to laugh but earlier dad was giving your belly raspberries and you were serious full out giggling. It was AWESOME.   You're also finding your feet, and trying unsuccessfully to eat them.

Likes: food, sleep, mom, dad playing with you, going for walks. You love to nap in your stroller.

Dislikes: Being over tired.

Things I don't want to forget: How awesome that first giggle was, and all the fun visitors we've had.

Fun with friends! 
Dad's head make a perfect arm rest...and
apparently tastes yummy

the cycle of tummy time. Happy to not so happy
I'm having fun making picture collages, so look forward to more of those :)

p.s. thanks for taking a nap!! It makes the afternoon so much less...whiny.  I think we'll go for a second walk after you wake up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The things natural childbirth taught me

I frequently have difficulty falling asleep at night, and more often than not lay there composing blog posts in my head that I never remember, or have time to write down.  Since the baby is actually taking a nap in her swing, I thought I would share last night's ramblings.

Some of what natural childbirth taught me, in no particular order.

1. I can do it.  I sometimes think that I chose to have her at a birthing center out of sheer tenacity. I've been told my whole life that I didn't deal well with pain and that I was a wimp. Here's my way to prove that I could deal with, what people claim is some of the worst pain that someone could experience, aaannnnnd my kid was almost 10 pounds thank you very much. I have to admit that I remember having contractions while in the whirlpool (hanging off of the handicap bar because for some reason suspension felt good), telling myself to remind myself later how much this sucked when I had the urge to have another child. I knew the 'omg squishy' hormone would hit again.

2. You need to be your own advocate. I did something that not everyone agreed with, and thanks to having an amazingly supportive husband, family and doula, I didn't chicken out despite people frequently telling that there was no way they could do it, and had no idea how I would manage.  Since I had borderline gestational diabetes I had to be my own advocate to keep them from trying to induce me before I reached 41 weeks. I went into labor at 40+3, which is the average time baby. It turns out the ultrasound place had told the midwives to induce, but when we went back to them, they said it was fine to wait. If I hadn't asked, I would have been scheduled to be induced 3 hours after she ended up being born.

3. People can be assholes. Those people that tell you that you're going to kill your child by not having a doctor present? They're assholes, and you need to ignore them. Do your research, talk to professionals and do you.  I had no tolerance for negativity from the outside at the end of my pregnancy. I was already so stressed out by the entire experience that I was done.  I think I lost some friends at that point. Don't tell a pregnant lady how much everything is going to suck. You deserve to be punched in the throat if you do.
4. That ride, in the the car, while in labor? One the worst parts of the entire experience and I was only dilated to 4 at that point. When your doula tells you to get in the back of the car and you think you'll just sit up front, smack yourself..hard. I was miserable up front and that's really the only time I got angry. I may have sworn at the other cars.

5. I didn't get angry (except at other drivers on the way there), or throw up.  My husband has never seen me throw up and for some reason was convinced I would while I was in labor. He was also convinced that I'd have this Hollywood type delivery where I'd be blaming him for everything under the sun. Yeah...apparently I get really thankful and lovey when I'm in pain because I just kept telling him how much I loved him (and um...hated labor). I felt so incredibly close to him, and wouldn't let him leave the room.
early labor

6. While in labor, don't expect to want to do much.  In early labor, I had all of these plans of things I would do, including figuring out foods to take to the birthing center. None of that happened. Actually I had them trying to feed me between contractions because I was starving, but I couldn't really eat before another hit, so I gave up. What I did do was sit on the birthing ball listening to bad 80's music, take a bath while my husband read to me (dammit I was going to labor in our huge tub if it killed me), watched some Star Trek, had contractions while on the phone with my doula and learned that my 'happy place' of an island sanctuary would suddenly be hit by a hurricane during contractions. I failed at hypobirthing, but yoga breathing was an invaluable asset.

7. You will lose any modesty you had. Total honesty? I live with a dude that wears only underwear 90% of the time he's home. I'm used to nudity. However, I wasn't expecting that I'd want to spend most of my labor naked, but between getting checked, getting in the shower, tub and pool, I had no desire to put on clothing. I only wish I was wearing a robe after she was born so that most of our pictures didn't include quite so much boob.

8. Time...it just passes and you don't realize it. I went into labor at 2am, Ada was born at 5:30pm. I only remember looking at the clock once in the  ~8 hours we were at the birthing center, and that was when I got into the birthing pool right as I was about to start pushing. I thought I was only laying on Aaron for like 5 minutes and it turns out it was closer to 20.

9. Getting up, moving, using the bathroom SUCKS. Basically moving triggers strong contractions.  Using the bathroom was hellacious because the toilet seat was shaped weirdly (like a hospital toilet) and not comfortable at all.

10. If you're baby is super low and your water breaks...nothing really comes out.  I sat down to pee (and couldn't because oh wait...10lb kid pushing on my urethra made it impossible), and Aaron and I both heard a 'pop! fizzzzz' sound.  I thought to myself, 'well that's pretty anti-climatic.'  However...after she was born? A least a gallon of fluid came out. It was... insane.

11. I couldn't see ANYTHING. I was actually pretty annoyed about that and told my doula to utterly ignore what I told her before and start taking pictures. I never occurred to me to ask for a mirror...and oddly it wasn't proffered. Also, the gross factor I thought I'd have looking at those pictures? It doesn't exist. I also don't find watching childbirth gross to start with, so I guess I'm starting with the bar a bit higher.

12. Babies head while delivering? Omg...it felt so weird I pulled my hand back.  I don't think I expected it to feel so soft.

13. Poop. It happens. Get over it.  Elephants poop, snakes poop, and you probably will too. It's really not a big deal.

14. Hard contractions are good. They mean that your body is making progress. My doula kept telling me this.  It was the most focusing thing she told me all day.

15. Move.  You're supposed to change positions every half hour, and I was shocked at how often that seemed to happen. It seemed like I only had three contractions and I had to move. But I had just gotten comfortable! Do side squats, kneel on a pillow (we brought a couch cushion, it saved my knees), rock over a birthing ball, do stairs etc. It makes a huge difference. Ada was really high and out, and one of the things they did was rebozo my belly (with short wide wrap) so they could pull her in and down during each contraction. It radically shortened my labor.  We left the room to go walk the stairs and discovered they were painting them and scrapped that idea quickly.

16. I can't remember the first thing I said to Ada. But wow...she's an amazing kid and I can't believe she's ours.
Our first picture, right before we left the birth center

This was pretty random but I think I got most of what I was thinking about last night down.  I'm not sure I'll ever be able to sit and write down the entire birth story, but this list encompasses a lot of what I wanted to remember. I have a lot of friends that have been down this road. Do your experiences ring true to mine? What would you add?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

16 week Grandma visit

This past week has been a flurry of activity. On Saturday we went to our first Wrap Geeks. Dad barely let me hold you, Sunday was Mother's Day, and Grandma arrived on Monday.

I'm sharing this health update on my mom because she gave me permission.  I hadn't updated Facebook about what was going on this last week, but I want to thank the few friends I've told that have offered wonderful support and  prayers.

Three generations!
When we went to Wegman's Tuesday afternoon my mom realized she was having difficulty seeing out of one eye. She got an appointment with our eye doctor at Costco on Wednesday who was very alarmed at she had pressure on her optic nerve. My mom originally was concerned that she scratched a cornea. Instead, she was immediately sent to a ophthalmologist, who wanted her to see a retinal specialist, and get am MRI and blood work. All of this happened extremely quickly...like within 24 hours. Even after all of this happened they still don't know what is causing the pressure, or what they can do to stop it.

While this was really scary, especially for mom, I feel very fortunate that she was here when it happened and was able to get into see three specialists AND get an MRI within 24 hours.  There definitely isn't a glut of eye specialists in the corner of Ohio where they live. Her next step is to visit specialists in Michigan when she gets home.  She got to snuggle Ada between her appointments, and we have been able to spend quality time together.  Despite all of this, we did actually have a wonderful time together, and I'm happy that my mom got to witness all of the wonderful Ada smiles.

My sweet Ada,

Little babe...please do us a solid and STOP the screaming when you're tired trend. You know that random 'I'm going to scream and refuse to nurse so that I can go to sleep but omg I need to go to sleep now' scream.  It got old...before it started.  The drooling has reach hilarious proportions.

Tired Mama
p.s. omg my new phone takes AWESOME pictures.
Oh Hai! I can has eat camera?

I make mommy tired and blow
bubbles all day

Peek a boo!

Sleeping, playing, chewing

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy mother's day and 15 week update

Thank you to you and your awesome dad for the wonderful Mother's Day!  It was so special.

We slept in, and dad brought me breakfast in bed.  Rather...you slept in because you stayed up half of the night and wanted to nap the morning away. After you woke up, we went to the mall because I thought I could buy myself some clothing that fit as a gift...turns out I still hate shopping for clothing.  We headed over to a restaurant for lunch afterwards and ran into our good friends, the Carty's who were finishing up their lunch and invited us over for some board games. We happily left the over crowded mall at that point and went to their house where we stayed until your bedtime forced us home.

My big present was a new phone. It's an unlocked nexus 5, so I'm not stuck on anyone's contract now. It's very similar to my nexus 10 tablet and takes incredible quality pictures. It is the best camera we own now, which blows my mind.  Technology is advancing so quickly. I can't wait to see what your generation comes up with.

Here are some personal updates. I borrowed this from a friend's blog, and really like the format.

diaper size: mostly cloth, but at night we're finishing up our size ones and using size 2's.
clothing: while you can fit into 3-6 month stuff, you can also fit into 6-9 month clothing pretty well.
diet: mama milk
sleep: hahaha...sadly unpredictable. Some nights you're awesome, so nights you're up every few hours to eat.
baby gear love: your swing. I'm scared of when you outgrow it! You love your play mat too
milestones/firsts: laughing!! It's so awesome
likes: Being held, wrapped, people watching, lots of kisses
dislikes: getting out of the bath (you love being in it), getting your nails clipped, waking up
things I don't want to forget: My first mother's Day, all of your wonderful snuggles, and your great laugh. I don't want to forget all of your burbling and how much fun you and dad have talking to each other.

hanging out with daddy

More pictures?
She looks so amused

They were both talking to each other

That blissful morning nap

It totally looks like she's waving.

Hanging out with mommy

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A year ago

One year ago we were at James and Julia's wedding weekend celebration. We had a really excellent time.  The wedding was on a Saturday, so we packed up to leave on a Sunday.  We wished the moms there a happy Mother's Day and went on our way. It was going to be another bittersweet day for me, since I longed for a baby and it didn't seem like it was going to ever happen. Each year Mother's Day was getting more and more difficult to cope with.  

I felt sick on the way home. Sick enough that I made your dad drive. We got home, I took a nap. A friend called and I asked if she'd grab me some sprite.  She came over and I went upstairs to use the bathroom and took a pregnancy test on this weird whim. I'm still not sure why I decided to.  To my stunned joy...I thought I saw a second line. That had never happened before, so I ran into the your father's office (which used to be where your bedroom is now) and we had this conversation:
"Can you come tell me if you see pink on this...oh shit...you can't see pink!" See...your dad is pretty colorblind and not terribly helpful when looking at light colors.  He, obviously confused, responded with, "pink in what? Minecraft?"
"No! The pregnancy test I just took!"
He obviously ran into the bathroom with me, and we looked with stunned wonderment at the positive pregnancy test.  I then proceeded to drink as much fluid as I could and take 3 more. Each of them, indeed had a faint pink line. The line got stronger each day.
So that's the story of how we found out we were having you...on Mother's Day.  
We called James and Julia at 4am before they left the country (in our defense they'd flown to California and it was 1am for them), to tell them our news, because we'd agreed that they should be the first to know.

So my sweet, just as we'd given up hope at having a baby. You came along to turn our live upside down in the most delightful way.  You bring joy to us every day.  You laughed for the first time yesterday, and it was the sweetest, and funniest thing I think I've ever witnessed.

4 weeks pregnant and didn't know it :)
Tomorrow...tomorrow I'm going to sleep in, eat a bagel, and go shopping for some new clothing, because you didn't take all the weight I'd gained with you when you were born, and I'd foolishly gotten rid of all of my 'fat' clothing a couple of months before I got pregnant. Silly me.

Happy Mother's Day to all those mother's out there.

p.s. please sleep well tonight. kthanx.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

14 weeks

Sorry I'm still on a loaner phone, so the picture situation is annoying...and you decided that bedtimes weren't your thing unless I was going to bed with you, so evenings aren't as predictable anymore.
Our new mom's group ended today, which is sad, but we're going to stay in touch. It's going to be great to see all these babies your age grow up.

Last weekend we had an excellent time at the great cloth diaper change. I let daddy change you, and he ended up having to do it on his lap. See if you can spot him in the pictures!!

new wrap!
I'm currently writing this as I wear you in my (our) gorgeous new wrap called natibaby cogs. It's so beautiful!!

Here ya go:

I loved your face as you chomped down on Sophie that poor giraffe.

Beautiful onesie made my Kristen, and a pretty diaper


tummy time is more fun if I can chew on things

holding up the clean diapers at the Great Cloth Diaper Change.
We put you in Lovelace, of course

After the change

Playing with Daddy