Wednesday, August 29, 2012

auntie kate came for a visit

My twin sister just left this morning.  Our goodbye was tearful and I would have done anything to have had just a few more minutes with her...I think we may have even felt extra sad this time.  Now there is another little person in her life who is 2,000 miles away.  Sure we Skype almost every day, but somehow seeing your one month old niece and nine month old nephew on a computer screen and actually feeling their soft baby skin against yours is so incredibly different. 

I was secretly hoping hurricane Isaac would hit southern Florida even more than it did so she would have no choice but to stay with us a few extra days...but no such luck. So now we just look forward to the next time she gets to come home...we're already counting down the days.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

one month

:) I think we'll be trying this again tomorrow...

But for now, my baby girl is exactly one month old today. Where did those four weeks go?  Martin and I still can't believe we have been blessed with such a sweet, sweet baby.  We just sit and stare at her every evening after dinner and give her a million kisses and she smiles back. 

It makes our hearts melt. 

I love my new family of three.  I feel like it's always been this way...that I've always known Everdeen. I can't remember what it was like before we brought this baby girl into our lives. 

I wish she would stay this tiny forever.

Birth Story {Part I}

Our baby girl's due date: Thursday, July 12th...our three year wedding anniversary.  It came and went. I had been having contractions on and off again, but nothing significant.  The weekend came and Sunday night I experienced real contractions.  The kind that take your breath away, the kind that come in a rhythm. Martin and I were excited..we knew this meant progress. But by morning the contractions had slowed way down and their intensity had gone away.

 We headed into the work week. I promised Martin I would call him at work the moment my contractions started up again.  This time it was Tuesday night.  And this time my contractions were even stronger and even closer together.  We began to get excited again.  We kept thinking to ourselves that maybe by morning we would have our little girl.  As the night progressed we decided to get some rest incase we would be heading into a long labor. I laid down and closed my eyes only to wake up hours later to the birds chirping and no contractions. 
 I was beginning to feel frustrated.  Why was my body not wanting to go into active labor...and why was I only getting contractions at night? I felt like my body was going into its primal state, only laboring in the safety and cover of darkness and as soon as the sun began to rise it stopped. I talked everyday with our doula, Faith. She kept giving me the pep talks I needed and reassured me over and over that these contractions weren't false labor.  Every contraction I had was one more I could check off and each one was helping my body prepare.  It was just taking its time and maybe that would mean that when I did go into active labor it would move quickly.   

On Wednesday morning, July 18, Martin and I headed to my 41 week appointment. I had been hoping the whole week that I wouldn't have to go, but our baby girl was still comfortable inside of me.  We completed the fluid level check and stress test and all of our results came back great.  They would let me continue to progress on my own and I would be checked again on Monday to make sure things were still safe for the baby.  

The rest of the week was more of the same.  Each night around dinner time my contractions would start and last until the early morning hours. We were becoming exhausted from the very little sleep we were getting. During the day I would try every trick to try to get my contractions to intensify, but nothing seemed to be working. 
A new weekend quickly approached. Saturday brought with it a new bought of contractions around dinner time.  But these were different.  These were even more powerful.  By midnight my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.  We called Faith and she came right over.  I crawled into bed and buried my face into my pillow with each contraction that came. I had never felt such intense pain. Each contraction swept over my entire body and the couple minutes that they lasted felt incredibly long.  Faith showed me how to breathe and use my voice to get through each contraction, telling me when the peak was over and when I could relax again. Martin held my hand and stroked my hair while Faith rubbed my feet.  As the sun began to rise I was relieved that my contractions had not gone away! 
Around breakfast time our backup Doula, Mary, came to relieve Faith for a while. We continued to labor, but soon my contractions slowed way down again. I was exahusted, sad, and emotional. I took a long hot shower, Martin and I took a long nap, went for a long walk, and realized that that particular day was not going to be our baby's birthday. 

Monday morning, July 23, I prepared to go in for my second round of tests and for my 42 week midwife appointment.  I met the new midwife, Leigh, and she joked that hopefully I would have my baby tomorrow so she would be there to deliver it.  We scheduled my induction for July 25th. I felt my eyes well up with tears and prayed that I would have this baby before then. As I waited for my older sister to meet me for the stress test and fluid level test I began to feel my contractions beginning...again.  I didn't get my hopes up as I walked into the ultrasound room and got strapped to the monitors. 

The ultrasound tech was very quiet as she moved the device around on my belly.  "Hmmm," she finally said. "Well, I'm just not seeing any pockets of fluid in here."  I knew that meant that my placenta was beginning to calcify and wouldn't be providing the support my baby needed.

My heart began to beat faster and a lump began to form in my throat. My sister came over to hold my hand tightly. She asked the technician all the questions I would have if my mind hadn't been racing.  She assured me my baby was still safe and had a good strong heartbeat.  She went to show the results to my midwife and came back to tell me that I was going to have my baby today and that I needed to head upstairs right away to the labor and delivery floor to talk about induction.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Smells Like School

My sisters and I walked to elementary school everyday.  We would meet our friends at the stop sign on the corner and walk the familiar path to school; capturing rolly polly bugs to keep in our desks or seeing how long we could kick the same rock to and from school. 

When school began in the late summer, the mornings would all of a sudden become crisp and cool.  It was like a switch was turned on and "school weather" started. The air smelled different. It smelled like corduroy pants, new trapper keepers, and new pencils. It simply smelled like school. 

This morning I woke up for our 4am feeding and felt a chill in the air. I stuck my nose to the window screen and breathed in smelled like school.  When did the switch happen? While I fed Everdeen I felt a little sad that this wasn't my first day of school eve. All of my Kinder teammates would be getting up soon, choosing their first day of school outfits, and setting off to begin a new school year. A clean slate...a new year with new adventures, new possibilities, new opportunities. 
{First day of Kindergarten 2009}

This year I have a long term sub starting my class for me. I can't be there to greet my new little friends.  I can't help them through the lunch line for the first time or make sure their tears stop when they realize mom and dad aren't staying.  

I am of course beyond thrilled to be staying home with our little girl for as long as I can. When I complain that I had to get up every two hours in the wee morning hours my sister reminds me that, "At least you don't have to go to work in the morning!" It's true. I am thankful.  

And soon enough I will have my first day of school...just a little later than normal.  So for now, I will continue to snuggle with my baby and breathe in her baby smell and think only occasionally of the class that is waiting for me. 

And to my teammates...Happy First Day of Kindergarten! It's going to be a great year :) 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Stroll in our Pajamas

We found a tiny park not too far from our place.  At least it's quiet and has a nice little trail around it. We plopped Everdeen into her stroller early this morning before it got too hot. She doesn't quite fit into her sun hat yet, but she sure looks like a cute little mushroom head :) 
This is my new look 99.9% of the time :) Pajamas, no makeup, no shower. I guess I'm officially a mommy now. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We Went On An Adventure

It had been months since we'd been out of the city. Martin was dying for some fresh mountain we decided to go on our first family outing, our first adventure together as a family of three. 

We began our day early at Everdeen's 2 week appointment. Baby girl is growing like a weed and even wore her big girl pants to prove it :) We now have a 7lb 6oz baby...I hope she doesn't grow up too fast. 
We didn't drive far...just to the nearby town of Golden to see Lookout Mountain and Buffalo Bill's grave.  It was still hot, even high up, but we welcomed the fresh air and filled our lungs with the scent of pine. I feel like I've been a little bit stuck inside for the past two weeks.  Martin and I go on our evening walks around a nearby neighborhood, but it just isn't the same as walking along a quiet path or through a peaceful park. Our latest apartment nestles up to a busy street and somehow that doesn't seem suitable for newborn ears.  Needless to say, we all three welcomed our mountain adventure. 
Everdeen slept the entire time, except for an occasional one-eyed peek. She wasn't too interested in being a cowgirl or sitting in a teepee.
We found a quiet picnic area and took some new family pictures.
 And what's an adventure without a few diaper changes?

Friday, August 3, 2012

2 Belly Buttons

One belly button is tiny and much cuter than the other, but I have to say, seeing my belly button almost back to its original self after all these months is like seeing an old friend.  Oh, and my feet and ankles are back. I missed them too. 
It's amazing how much your body can change within one week of giving birth.  The first few days I felt like I had run a marathon. My whole body was sore and getting off the couch was an accomplishment in itself.  I keep wondering why I don't feel one hundred percent back to my old self and then I remember what I did just one week ago. Oh...I think I'll be sore for a while :)  

Yesterday as Martin was bouncing baby Everdeen on the exercise ball I exclaimed, "Look at me! I'm laying on my stomach!" It was an amazing feeling. I've been able to shave all parts of my legs instead of just the small patches I could reach before and I can even towel off my feet after a shower! Not having a watermelon for a belly is a nice change...except when I realize my baby girl is no longer inside of me...then I feel a little empty inside.  
As the days have gone by I see small glimpses of my old self in the mirror. I'm not sure I'll truly ever be my old self again. But that's okay because now I have this amazing story to add to who I am.  Everything my body has gone through has been worth it, especially when I get to kiss that tiny belly button and see my baby smile back at me. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wrapped Around Her Finger

Oh my, our little girl sure has her daddy wrapped around her itty bitty finger :)