Monthly Archives: January 2009

Birth Story

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In honor of Sherrie’s impending delivery, I’ve finally got our birth story ready for you all. Try not to think of my lady parts when reading this, please, it makes me uncomfortable.

I’ll try to keep this short. It was a short day, after all. My water broke at 5am on Tuesday (I was born on a Tuesday!), October 7th, 4 days before my due date. Oddly, I was NOT READY! The feeling of it woke me up, even though it was only a small gush and I immediately woke up Jesse and told him my water broke. It made a bit of a mess in bed, and then on the bathroom floor. Actually, it dribbled out here and there all day. I couldn’t get back to sleep after calling the doctor and pacing and worrying and waiting for her call back, so I got up and did the dishes (with a towel under my feet). We were asked to go in sometime before 10am for a non-stress test and I wasn’t having contractions or anything, so we were in no hurry. We packed some stuff in the car and at 10:45 we got to the hospital, where they exclaimed, “There you are, we were getting worried!” My belly was strapped with a couple doodads and was monitored for an hour. I tried to do some sudoku, but was too distracted by watching the baby’s heart rate and my (small, still couldn’t feel them) contractions. We were told to go home and wait for contractions to start. We were told we’d need an induction the next morning if they hadn’t started by then and scheduled one with the doctor.

We stopped at the campus on the way home while Jesse got some stuff ready for missing class the next few days, when my contractions started up suddenly and quickly (about 1pm) about 5 minutes apart. We got home, I tried eating something (cold, naked pasta from the night before), but was distracted by the frequent pain and breathing and relax, breathe, relax, massage my back, etc.. We were trying to time the contractions, but it seemed so erratic until my husband said something about 3.5 minutes and should we call the dr? who said to come right on in. When we got to the hospital, I must have looked quite ready. I was put into a wheel chair and Jesse took me upstairs while the car was taken care of by a valet dude who seemed to be there just exactly for such purposes. We got there at 4pm, were put straight in a room (No triage, etc..), and then calmly hooked up to this and that monitor, tube, and whatnot. I let the nurse know I rather felt like pushing sometimes, so she offered to check my cervix and exclaimed that it was 9.5 or 10cm (that’s all the way) and then things went into high gear. She called the doctor, tried to get the rest of the cords and monitors and iv’s set up and then I pushed for what seemed like forever, but was about 2 hours. I started on my side, but ended up pushing on my back just like in the movies, only not, because I was gripping my knees by my ears. Through it all Jesse was completely cool, reassuring, and an amazing birth partner. He never looked below the waist, for which we are both very glad. When her head was halfway out, they asked if I wanted to feel it, and I did, and it was gross. I was afraid after feeling her head that she was going to come out weird and squishy. Elena Mae was born at 6:55pm, 6lbs, 6 oz, 19.5″ long, apgar scores of 9.5 and 10. After she was born, the doctor showed me my placenta, it was cool. I broke all sorts of blood vessels in my face and eyes and bruised the nerves going through my hips with my hard pushing. The nerve thing was odd, as it caused my thighs and knees to be numb for about a week and a half.

All in all, it was amazing! From the beginning of my contractions, the labor was only about 6 hours long. From the birth classes and from hearing other’s stories, I would have thought that the contractions are the worst part of labor, but they were nothing compared to the pain during pushing. It was all so fast, though, I think next time (hoping there will be a next time), we’ll have to go to the hospital pretty early in.

Datenight

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Last night Jesse and I went out on a date. Baby-less. It was a Christmas present from my sweetheart, he got tickets for the musical, “Footloose”, it’s 10 year anniversary tour (10 years since the musical, not since the movie, obviously) and we went out to dinner. We got dressed up, me in a black dress and boots and Jesse in a tie. I wore a new necklace and earrings from santa and a bra that was not built for nursing (it was strapless and I took it off halfway through the night). First we went to dinner at Cheers and had fish and chips and a smokey burger. Then we sat in the car in 17 degree weather while I pumped a whopping 1.5 ounces (it was too cold) before walking down the street to the show.

We had a wonderful time, but in the 5 hours we were gone, I missed my baby so much! I worried that she was having trouble eating from a bottle. I worried that I hadn’t gotten enough milk ready for her for the evening. I worried that she wouldn’t want me when we got home. I worried about nonsense.

When we got home, I was so happy to see her, she was more beautiful than I remembered. She was happy to see me, too, we sat on the couch and gazed into each others eyes (no, seriously) for awhile before going to sleep. It was the longest I’ve been away from that baby since she was born. The longest by, oh, about 4.5 hours! I kept wanting to tell people about Elena, that I was a mom and that she was the best baby, ever.

Geez, having a kid makes you weird.

3 Months

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Our baby has grown up so much in the past month. She talks, laughs, squeeks, coos and goos, all the while connecting to your soul through her bright eyes. She seems to talk with her whole body; her fingers, arms and legs waving and her eyes and eyebrows raised in curiousity. She’s reaching out and grabbing at toys and stuffs her fists in her mouth. She prefers to talk to you while standing, balancing on her feet daintily, and often stomping one foot up and down. She turns her head violently, bonking her parents in the face. When she stretches, her arms reach straight out and her fists shake, while her legs reach down with her feet cocked at an angle.

She is so bright eyed and curious, it is the primary compliment we hear from strangers. She is always looking, checking everything out, taking everything in. When somebody else is holding her, though, she keeps her eyes out for me, like a compass. She likes to watch Christmas tree lights and TV and snow falling.

She has a slight hint of a dimple on her right cheek when she grins and her ears seem to be sticking further and further out. She has a centimeter of fresh blond hair on top of her head and the same inch of brown hair that she was born with on the back. Her eyes sometimes appear greenish, though they are still mostly a grey/blue. Her rosy chipmonk cheeks only have about 4 white specks of milia left, most of them have flaked off over the last few days.

She’ll be hungry like a monster for a few days, and then only graze for the next few, which means my milk supply is constantly out of whack. She’s still small for her age, remaining in the 25th precentile for all her measurements. She doesn’t much like riding in the car, but was an amazing travel partner on the plane rides to New Hampshire. She slept from Oakland to Denver, then, when we stood up to leave the plane after the second leg of our trip to Baltimore, the couple behind us exclaimed that they hadn’t even known there was a baby with us.

She smells sweet and gently sighs into your ear when relaxed on your shoulder. She sticks her tongue out when she smiles and her eyes squint into an almost evil grin. She could care less about watching cats and dogs, but loves other babies. She grins and coos at the baby in the mirror.

How can it only be 3 months since I became a mom? It seems like Elena has been with me forever. Her warm body fits just right next to mine, her voice sounded familiar even the first time I heard it, and her smile blooms in my heart in a special chamber that has always been reserved for her.