Saturday, December 18, 2010

6 months! Half a year! AH!

Pretty sure the bear shrunk this month.

Pre-food practice time

A christmas elf!

Eli's first snowstorm - he was unimpressed. We left him sitting there for about 15 minutes and he didn't make a peep. Probably overwhelmed by our parenting skills.

His lack of enthusiasm continues

And here he's just giving me the stink eye. You live in Minnesota kid, get used to the weather.

First trip to Underwater World at MOA - he loved it!

Vikings Cheerleaders. All Eli could pay attention to was BOOBS. Typical boy!


Thumbs up to apples mom - I had no idea toys could taste so good!

6 months. How has it been half a year since you were born. You look oh so big to me now, even though I already know I'll look back and wonder at how small you once were! You are so able, and you're not even walking. You're reaching, stretching, twisting, throwing, crying, laughing, smiling, screaming, grabbing your way into whatever you want. And we help you. We let you. We want you too but at the same time don't. I want you to stay my baby, to be this sweet and this exciting and new forever. But that would be a disservice, because you are ready to get into everything, and I can't wait to see you grow. Grabbing our plates, our phones, our cups, our hands, my hair, my lips, my heart. You play now, all by yourself - you take your toys and hit them together and fling them to the floor. You're so surprised at what you can do! I can see the amusement in your eyes when you make something happen....the fact that you can manipulate the world! I can see the little boy you are slowly becoming, your face matured this month, your body is so much longer, so much bigger. You got your first tooth and I've never been so excited about a tooth in my life. You ate your first food and thought it was a little weird...sweet potatoes...I adore them so I figured you'd immediately love them. But I think you need to try it a couple more times to get the hang of what food is, you're going to love food if you're anything like me! You're sitting now, and almost getting into crawling positions, you get your little butt up in the air, but you're not quite there yet. We'll wait. It's all going so fast. You adore the cat and the dog - that cat is going to be your motivation to crawl!

You can be quite serious. It takes you a second to warm up to people. But you get in moods where you'll crack up at one thing over and over. Your dad is best at this, apparently he's hilarious. You played peek-a-boo for the first time, laughing over and over as you hid your face and popped back up and we yelled peek-a-boo. Your dad makes monkey noises and you are rolling in giggles. We all make fools out of ourselves for you. You had your first thanksgiving, and quite enjoyed the party. You love being busy, being entertained, any sort of stimulation! Christmas is coming and I can't wait. You already love staring at the lights on the tree - you'll love wrapping paper. Merry Christmas little man. 2011 look out - it's gonna be a big year for you!
16 lbs, 15 oz
25.25 inches
46 cm head

Thursday, November 18, 2010

5, 6, 31

Eliot, 5 months
I will eat this bear. I AM A BIG BOY MAMA
These two....loves of my life

The neglected one - 6 years old today!

Just chilling.Trick or Treat. Now how do I get over there...

31. Happy birthday to me too.
Could you get any cooler Eli? We're having a blast watching you grow. Lots of new stuff this month - your babbling continues to get more and more diverse. You have little conversations with yourself all the time. You "sing" when we do, especially when we're rocking you. You love music - love us to sing to you. Your favorites are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Old McDonald. You get this huge smile on your face every time we sing either one. So we sing them a lot. I never get sick of making you smile and giggle, so I'm often acting like a complete fool. You love it though - wait til you're a teenager....just remember, you started this habit! You're better at rolling, can roll from your back to your side, but never bother to roll to your tummy, but you don't really love being on your tummy, so I think it's a choice. You can almost sit up on your own, and do it for short periods of time, but you topple pretty quick. You love your saucer, and your little einstein music toy. You are not such a fan of your carseat lately. You play with a sippy cup now, and grab for our cups and food. You're pretty close to eating real food yourself...and I can't believe how fast that's coming up. You've got an awesome laugh, and join in when people around you are laughing...trying to be part of the group already. You are so freaking cute - people stop me to tell me how cute you are. You're still pretty gross though. Daycare talks about how gassy you are, you cover everything with spitup, and you are great at having ill-timed explosive poops. Like I said, it's a good thing you're cute, we'll keep ya.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


So, having had a baby, I have learned that I would not judge other peoples parenting decisions (parenting decisions within reason of course). I think some of this parenting thing is just treading water and doing the best you can with what you have and the insane amount of conflicting information.

Me? Right now? I'm going with my gut.

So sleep. Ever since I got pregnant it's become HUGE. Like I need it, I love it, I gotta have it. After Eli was born, sleep was even more important. And for a while, it felt like all we both did even though there was never enough of it. When Eli first got home, I couldn't bear for him to be apart from me, I couldn't sleep if he was away from me and *I* didn't know that he was ok. I was his mama and only I could be sure he'd be ok. But he kept on breathing, he was fine while other people were holding him, and my crazy brain settled down on that part. We tried co-sleeping a few times, but our little man had some serious gas issues and wiggled and kicked like nobody's business. So he slept in lots of different places, many times on us. Mostly, we stole sleep wherever we could get it, on the couch, bed, floor, etc. Chris used to let him sleep on his stomach (GASP!) while he watched him so I could get at least a 3-4 hour stretch before he went to bed himself. Babies are hard on a breastfeeding woman, desperate times and whatnot. One night, Chris discovered the swing. And oh, what a wonderous tool that was. From about 7 weeks until about 12-13 weeks our little bug would sleep in his swing, sometimes 9 hours at a stretch, and every so often I worried that we would be rigging up a swing for a 16 year old boy to sleep in, but I got over it. It was sleep, it was LONG sleep, and I was human again. Around 13 weeks, something changed. He had a major growth spurt and all of a sudden the swing was EVIL no good very rotten and scream-inducing. Oh swing, even though I worried about what we were doing to our baby with you, I miss you so much for your sleep inducing ways. So, Eli would suddenly sleep nowhere but in the bed. With me! Which, because he was growth spurting and I was back to work was totally fine, because that little guy was up every 2 hours eating. We were both a little crabby about it too. There was no way I was getting my ass outta bed 5 times a night to go feed him. Growth spurts are hard on everyone. That settled down, although he still wouldn't sleep in his swing. He started going to bed earlier and earlier, until it moved to 6:30, which is where it's at now. He slept in his pack n play for about a day until I went to bed, and then would come sleep with us, and then that was not the answer either. White noise worked for a while, but for about 2 weeks we couldn't figure out anything that worked other than holding him until I decided to go to sleep, where he would sleep pretty well, only waking up about 2-3 times to eat. So now, I put him down in our bed at 6:30, where he sleeps until I come to bed. If you move him to his pack n play, he wakes up screaming within seconds. Not sure why he's decided it's evil, but whatever for now. He's sleeping. I'm sleeping. Chris is sleeping. Yes, he's in our bed, yes my pediatrician has berated me for this. But do you know what? It's working. We're all sleeping. He's not going to sleep in our bed forever. It's safe. And I get to cuddle with my little man every night, which is important for this working mama. People have been doing this since the beginning, it feels like the most natural thing in the world for us right now, and I just don't have the energy to get up every 5 minutes to calm him down from screaming in his pack n play, and I refuse to let him cry it out...he's an escalator (stairs? ha.), and he would only pass out from exhaustion and our hearts couldn't take it.

So yes, I co-sleep. I'm not going to be ashamed of it either. I've found that most people ask me if I'm going to roll over onto him...I just won't and I just don't. There's some sort of 6th sense with sounds crazy but there is. From admitting what we're doing, I've found other parents who do it too. It's all hush-hush and not socially acceptable, but I saw a statistic that 70% of parents do it in some shape or form at one time or another. My baby will still be independent one day, and will grow up way too fast. If he needs to be close to his mama when he's only 4 months old, so be it. So I'm giving it time. It may not work for us tomorrow, it may still work for us in a year. Either way, it works for now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

4 months

4 months

This last month was the greatest thing I've ever seen. All the time I tell you, I demand, to just stop. Just stop right there. Because this. THIS. This is the best it's ever been and it can't get any better. Just freeze, just for a minute. But you don't and it keeps getting better. You are no longer a newborn, this month you became a baby. Your neck popped out and you can look at anything you want now, swinging that big noggin around. You are still a talker, your noises get more and more diverse, and I hear new ones all the time. You will talk to anyone, and love to join in conversations or talk to the books too while we're reading. You're talking to me right now, as I'm typing. Sitting in your exersaucer trying to get my attention while I try and at least capture this last month. It just felt like such a huge month! Your hands can grab most anything now, you need a toy when we leave the house or when you're in your carseat. You love to stand, like to sit up, and always need to be facing out....such an independent little man don't really like to cuddle, but love being held. You're ticklish now and you have a throaty giggle that we can't get enough of. We also have definitive proof that you're your fathers' son, as you like to sit out on the front stoop at night and watch the cars go by, your little neck craning to see the tail lights on each one. You learned to roll over from your tummy to your back, and I have never seen so much pride in your eyes when you do! Your daddy and I just can't get enough of you, our entire family just can't get enough of you, and we are enjoying every minute we get to spend with you.

Stats -
Weight: 15 lbs 8 oz
Height: 25"
Head: 44 cm

Sunday, September 19, 2010

3 Months

And in the blink of an eye, you're 3 months old! And cute as a button. He looks exactly the same, except taller!

This month has been a great one. You've become even more talkative, cooing and gurgling back at us. You've even added some consonants to your cooing - I've heard some G's and M's in there lately. You actually say mama when you are crying really hard. But never when you're happy! It's all ooh's and aah's then. You laugh and squeal now too! This is my new favorite thing. This month your hands have really started to work. You've been grabbing and batting at things. The first time you went to grab something, you put your hands behind it and tried to open and close your fingers! I had no idea it took so much work to learn to use our hands, and it is amazing to watch you learn. You sometimes grab onto what you want, but mostly you just get close to it or bat it.

You're much more awake lately, you're so very curious! Your new thing is that you do not want to be held facing towards us, but facing out. You need to see what's going on around you at all times. I love that you have that curiosity, that you seem interested in so much, and seem to love to learn. Don't lose that! You are a really good baby, always happy unless you're tired or hungry. We are so lucky to have you.

It was a challenging month too. You had your first week of daycare and I had my first week back at work. It was hugely emotional, and hard on both of us. You wouldn't take a bottle at daycare, which broke my heart. I came to get you and you felt about a pound lighter...then you ate all evening. By the end of the week though, after trying out some new bottles, you were sucking down bottles like nobody's business! I miss you like crazy during the week and call the daycare every day to see how you're doing.
You are getting to be more fun every day. You love going out! We spent your 3 month birthday at an apple orchard picking apples. We'll be making apple crisp tonight...and I'm sad you can't join in! Next year for sure. Let's make it a good one little man.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One more week - back to work.

So although I'm having a hard time grappling with the fact that I have to go back to work, I'm trying to think of the good. There are positives to this maternity leave ending.
  • Daytime TV sucks, and when I'm home and Eliot is eating...that's all there is to do. I won't miss the TV at all.
  • Eliot will get to cultivate an amazing relationship with his grandparents. It's going to be awesome for all of them.
  • I miss the people at work, and I look forward to seeing them regularly!
  • I love Eli to death, but I do get a little bored sometimes. Infants are not known as great conversationalists. Winter would probably compound the boredness by a million since we spend a lot of time outside right now.
  • Eliot will get to meet other kids. He loves watching bigger kids play, and hopefully this will make him less shy as he grows since he has no siblings.
  • I'll be able to go to the bathroom without the fear of someone starting to scream and need my attention mid-stream.
  • Eli will be more used to taking a bottle, which means that I'll be able to leave the house more confidently. Right now he will take one, but sometimes nursing is the only answer. It will be nice to get out and know that he'll be ok without me.
  • I need an excuse to put on makeup and wear pants that don't have elastic waistbands. I miss getting myself ready!
  • I'm going back part time. More balance, 3 day weekends.

Believe me, there's a whole list of negatives staring me in the face that I'm not listing here - only the good stuff today. I'll miss my little bug like crazy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2 Months

Eliot, 2 months

Eliot is 2 months old today. Oh. My. God. Too fast little man. Oh, and is there anything cuter than a baby in a plain white onesie?!?!
What have you learned this month? You have become quite the talker - but only when you're in a good mood! You'll coo in response to our coos...and give us the biggest smiles ever while you're doing it! We've heard you laugh now too. It's so fun to see you try and communicate with us. You're part fish - you LOVE your baths, just sit and stare and splash. Your daddy is the same way - I can never get him out of the pool either. You're a big boy - last week you were weighed at the Dr's office and you weigh 13.3 lbs - that's 96 percentile! I find out how tall you are next week - you may take after your uncle Brian! You don't look big though - you look just perfect. You've gotten tons better at moving your head around, still love to look at windows, love to look at ceiling fans, love new faces, and are starting to get interested in toys. Your swing is your favorite thing ever. Thank god for that swing. You have a fussy time every evening and the only things that calm you down is to go outside (earlier in the evening), nurse, and then put you in your swing. You fall right asleep. I sometimes feel bad because I can't calm you down...but we're doing what works. You've started sleeping tons more - 6-8 hours a night. It is amazing, let me tell you. After the 6-8 hours you usually sleep another 1-3! We all feel more human. I am having a great time staying home with you, loving on you, and just spending time with you. I am dreading going back to work, but I know your grandma will take great care of's daycare I worry about. I hope that they pay enough attention to you...that they remember to come see you and smile at you when you're happy, and not just when you're sad. You've got me wrapped around your little finger Eli, good thing you're too young to take advantage of it yet.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back in the saddle again!

I started working out again.

Do you hear that? That's the sound of my psyche realigning itself.

I feel so much better. I actually started last week. Slowly. Lifting some weights, doing a 15 minute post-natal video, taking some walks. It was hard when I was feeling fairly sleep deprived. But Eliot's sleeping better and I'm learning to sleep in more. I've played tennis (albeit horribly, it's been over a year since I've held a racket), rode the spin bike, taken really long walks, and upped my weight routine. I am horrendously out of shape, it's a strange feeling. I also keep having phantom pregnancy experiences. I hesitate before picking something up off the ground, or bending in a certain way because I'm looking out for my belly. It is so great to move how I want to again!! I am bound and determined to at least fit back into my looser work pants before I get back. I can't wear maternity clothing and elastic waistbands forever. I am so excited to be biking again too! That means I can bike into work when I go back!Working out has improved my mood so much. I had a breakdown Monday because I just didn't feel good about myself anymore. It's not completely about weight, although that is some of it, but it's about endorphins and health and just simply feeling like I could walk home if I got stranded 5 miles away. I hope I'll be able to keep this up when I go back to's going to be hard to balance work, a baby, and my need to work out. Thank god for the jogging stroller, but winters are going to be hard. I want to figure out a way to include Eliot in my workouts, so that I'm not shorting an area of my life...but it's often too cold to bring the baby jogging. Sigh. Shifting priorities here I suppose - even though working out ensures my sanity and patience. I'll have to find time to fit it in.

For 7 weeks postpartum I feel pretty good though. My belly is fairly gone, even though I don't think my belly button will ever be the's all stretched out and weird! I've dropped all but 10 pounds from where I started, even though I want to be about 10 pounds below that. I don't diet though, just try not to overindulge, and work out as much as possible. I know it's possible that my hips have widened forever, but I really believe that if I lose this weight I'll fit back into most of my pants no problem.

I hope so anyways. There's no money for a whole new wardrobe no matter how much fun that sounds!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The strangest things!

So motherhood has made some strange things happen for me....
  • I have broken 4 cups, 1 bowl, and 1 coffee mug (filled with the last bit of ice cream in the house - sigh) since bringing Eliot home. We had to go buy more cups, unfortunately the bowl and coffee mug are discontinued. I haven't broken that many dishes since we got them at our wedding 5 years ago. Being one-handed is not my style.
  • I am constantly covered in some sort of baby fluid. Mother nature really counts on the cuteness factor to overcome the ick factor of these really gross babies.
  • I put the butter in the freezer after making toast and laughed at Chris for putting the butter in the freezer. It was me.
  • It seems like all I eat, and all I have time to eat, is toast.
  • I must always remember to at least glance in a mirror before leaving the house. I've left with a giant gob of peanut butter on my face (from toast), and a giant smear of charcoal from some wood fired pizza that my lovely friends brought for me. Both times I have had conversations with people while looking like a hot mess.
  • I'm nursing. I'm so worried I'm going to forget and walk outside without my shirt completely done up. This is not far out of the realm of possibilities because it feels like I'm constantly feeding him and therefore constantly have my shirt undone.
  • The cat started chewing on my shoes since we brought the baby home. Now I also have to remember to put them in the closet. Sadly, my favorite sandals have cat bite marks all over them because I'm so used to just walking in the door and taking off my shoes.

I'm sure I'll get a routine going...for now, on with the strangeness!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One Month

Eliot - newborn

Eliot - 1 month

Today you are one month old Eliot. This month went so fast, I'm sure the next 11 will fly by too. You have changed so much! It seems like most of your developments have happened in the last week. You've smiled at us (ah! My heart melted at this), you will actually look at our faces now and study us. You love to look out the windows, and enjoy your toy with the blinking lights. You are noisy! You've still got a lot of gas little guy and you're constantly trying to work it out. You spend most nights keeping us awake with your grunts and straining noises. Otherwise you are a perfect baby. Your fussiness is usually short lived. You're getting really good at getting your fists to your mouth, and really love it when you find your thumb. You don't often find your thumb though! You're so much more aware now! Your eyes are open so much more lately. It's a great thing, other than when I want to take a shower or shove some food into my mouth. You're somewhat scheduled on your own doing (believe me, I have almost no ability to affect when you're hungry, awake, or sleepy). Most of the time we get one 4 hour stretch of sleep at night. Otherwise it's 2 hour stretches. I love that 4 hour stretch and am very crabby when it doesn't appear! You love to sleep on our chests and love your back patted. You love your Ergo carrier too!! Your daddy likes to carry you in stores sometimes - all the ladies make a big deal out of you. You get a lot of comments on how beautiful your coloring is too - you look like I left you in the sun to tan! You're a beautiful boy Eliot, I can't wait to see more of your personality. I can't wait to make you laugh and giggle!

It's going so fast already....slow your roll little man.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Only and Already

How can you only be 19 days old? How can you already be 19 days old?

It's like some sort of crazy time warp, where I can't imagine life without you, but I can see how fast this is going. How you immediately started catapaulting towards toddlerhood, childhood, adulthood. How each moment I get to hold you and cuddle with you is precious, a moment in time I will never get back, a moment you may not allow me to have in a few short years.

Oh Eliot. What have we learned since you got here? You love to stare at lights. You'll quietly enjoy windows or lights with your big brown eyes for long periods of time. You'll look at your dad and I, but for shorter periods of time. We figure you're bored by us already. You smile sometimes when you're full...maybe it's gas...but it's the right muscles and your smile is beautiful. You're strong, so very very strong! You can hold your head up, turn it around and to where you want it, and you place it back down on our chests instead of letting it flop. And you have a huge head kid, so this is no small feat! You can roll from your back onto your side, which scares your mama quite regularly. You make the funniest noises. You often sound like a dolphin. Chris and I can't even reproduce some of the sounds you make. I've tried to catch them on video, but you're making them more rarely now....and unpredictably of course. You sleep a ton...and don't care where you are once you're asleep. If you're fussy, you want to be held, love to be rocked, and to have your back patted or rubbed. It's good for all of us. I love rocking you, even if there are things I'm supposed to be getting done. I love that you make me slow down and help you relax. The ultimate is if we'll let you suck on one of our fingers, we reserve that for when you're almost're either not interested or don't get the pacifier thing. Which is ok with us! You're still a great eater, and we're both getting more comfortable with setting up to eat. Your dad is a pro at calming you down, and I'm the one with the food. You can definitely identify me, the milk lady. You love walks and mostly fall asleep every time we leave the house. If you're in the stroller or ergo carrier you're most likely asleep. If not asleep, you're just quietly awake...unless you're hungry....but that's an easy fix. It's been great for getting out of the house, which is awesome because I'm getting a little stir crazy. You've had a heck of a time learning how to fart and poop. You strain constantly and I feel so bad for'll strain for hours and then let out one little toot. New guts must be incredibly hard to break in. You're getting better though, learning already! Sometimes I feel like I should be "doing" more with you. Infants aren't really interested in much. Cuddles and's pretty easy actually unless you get fussy. You're amazing. I spend more time watching you than tv. I love being with you, love watching you try and process things, love it that you calm down if you're hungry and I call out to you, love when you let out your little contented sigh when you're full, or curl up on my chest to fall asleep.

I love you Eliot, my little Eli, my little bug. Forgive your mama for all the sap....she's new at this.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The birth story

If you don't want to read a birth story, stop here. I'm writing this down for me. It may have information that you never wanted to know. So the above picture? That was it - the most pregnant I ever was, at 40 weeks, 5 days. It was taken about 5 minutes before we left for the hospital on Wednesday, June 16th. It's about 7pm. I had been having contractions since that morning, and had been to the dr earlier in the day to get checked and was 2 cm dialated and she confirmed I was in early labor. I had gone in because I had my bloody show - which was the first of the most disgusting things I have ever seen my body produce experiences. By 6 pm I had contractions 3-5 minutes apart that I couldn't walk or talk through for about the last 3 hours, so I called into the hospital to see if I should come in. Unfortunately the midwife on call had a family emergency so I ended up with an OBGYN, which made me nervous, but proved to be an interesting comparison between styles later on. We were admitted to triage around 8pm Wednesday night, I was checked and was confirmed to be 2.5 cm dialated (progress!). So they had me walk around for a couple of hours to see if I would make any more of that "progress" we were looking for. There was no place to walk really, just a couple of hallways to pace back and forth on, but Chris and I paced them for hours. We had the nurse let us off the unit to wander the hospital at one point because oh my god it was boring....other than the contractions which had become a lot more irregular at this point. The contractions themselves? Well yes, they were painful, and yes, you have to concentrate to get through them....but strangely, I didn't really mind them. I could totally deal with them one by one. My yoga breathing helped, as did staying positive. The nurses even commented how well I was breathing through them. After a couple of hours of walking, they checked me again and I was at a 3. We were all disappointed with my progress, but I was officially progressing and in labor with my contractions 3 minutes apart, so they admitted me. They knew it was moving slowly (normal labor progresses at about a cm an hour, I'd gone a cm in about 10 hours). They wanted me to get some sleep, so they offered morphine and some medicine to help me sleep. This is the only thing I think I regret, I wish I would've not taken it...but at the same time, I wouldn't have slept at all if I hadn't, or only about 2 minutes at a time. Hindsight, who knows what would've happened had I chosen another path. So we were given a room, given drugs and I slept fitfully through contractions that I could mostly still feel. In the morning I was checked again and I think I had made it to a 3.5 (things are a little fuzzy in my mind). Since it was morning, the midwife on call was going to take over. Before he did (yes! He! The only male midwife and exactly what I didn't want, but that's who I got - worked out awesome, but still freaked me out at that point) the OB came in and told me I needed pitocin, my water broken, and an epidural. I was glad she was leaving. When my midwife got there, I had tried the bath, the birthing ball, and been walking again. He checked me, I think I was at a 4 (quick progress!), and I asked him what he thought. He said although I was making slow progress, it was still progress, and we should see what my body would do. It was exactly what I needed to hear. The contractions stayed irregular, and I started to have a lot of back pain, which I attributed to sleeping on a crappy hospital bed, but apparently was back labor because the baby was kind of off-kilter...which is also why I wasn't progressing. He was looking up, and should've been looking down, so his head wasn't hitting my cervix, which meant I was dialating incredibly slowly. He had me try some positions to turn the baby, and explained that breaking my water would actually hinder progress at this point because the baby wouldn't have any cushion to turn. Someone mentioned that my midwife, John, had a knack for predicting a baby's weight. I told him that I was 9lbs 1oz at birth, and asked him what he thought my baby was. He thought 8lbs, 5oz, which he said he cheated and adjusted for my higher birth weight. Under 9lbs sounded great to me. About 1pm John checked me again and I had made no progress. None. Still at a 4, and I had been in labor for approximatey 27 hours at this point. I was exhausted and slightly hung-over feeling from the morphine. John went out and when he came back I was crying and slightly freaking out....I was just so frustrated that nothing was moving and I was so very tired. He said that he thought we needed to use pitocin to get labor going. Although I had told myself I really wanted to try and go without an epidural, the words were on the tip of my tongue. John did a really good job of calming me down, and worked me through the fact that my birth plan was not set in stone (which I knew). Labor is intensely emotional, and you don't necessarily get another chance, and I really wanted to try and do it myself. When they said that the contractions would get stronger and closer together, and I still had 6 cm to go, I knew that I needed a break. I broke down, I asked for the epidural. Getting the epidural itself is no big deal, the scariest part is the side effects (hypotension, a headache for weeks, hitting something in your spine, infection). They had to try and put it in twice because I have small spaces between my spine. Again, everyone was so nice and commented how well I was staying still during the contractions (already had the pitocin), and how a lot of people wouldn't have gone this long. Of course, I became hypotensive immediately after getting the epidural (I knew I would). But that quickly passed. I could no longer feel anything except a sometimes tightening high up in my abdomen. Luckily it didn't deaden my legs totally and the nurse was greatful for how well I could move my legs around. So was I. Once you get an epidural, they put in a catheter (fun times) and you basically wait until you feel like you have to poop. I did not like the epidural, it was an awful feeling to have people touch you and sort of feel it, and to not have full control over your limbs. I hope to never get one again if I do go into labor, but I'm not against them. I believe that if I hadn't had it, the outcome to my labor would've been very different. One good thing - I was hungry. I hadn't eaten anything since about lunchtime on Wednesday and I was allowed jello, juice, soda, anything liquid. I binged on jello and frozen ice pops. My water broke on its own a few hours later (embarassing to have to ask a nurse to come clean that up since you can't move) and around 9pm I felt like I needed to push with my contractions (I could feel them more and more). They checked me and I was at 10 cm. It took 6 hours - 6 hours that I was able to rest up for pushing. They let me labor down until I felt like I couldn't handle it anymore (and you'll know, it feels like you HAVE to push, there's no choice with each contraction). So the nurse I'd been with all day starts talking about how she's excited to meet my baby (she's 26 weeks pregnant with her 3rd child herself) and John starts talking about how the 17th is a great day for a birthday. At 9:30 pm they turn off my epidural and take out my catheter and let me push in a couple of positions (still lying down though). I start pushing and after about 2-3 contractions I felt like I was in another world. The nurse really helped me relax between each contraction, and during each one I pushed 3 times (3 breaths) for 10 seconds each. Pushing was insane. I pushed for 2 hours, 45 minutes, and I was exhausted. I have never been so exhausted in my life. I ran a marathon in 2005, and I think pushing was harder. The crazy thing is that your body doesn't let you stop. I don't remember much during pushing. Just little things. I remember being upset that John kept coming in, looking at me, and leaving again. I knew that meant my baby wasn't close to being born. I remember saying that nothing was happening over and over. What I meant was that why the hell is this taking so long, I knew things were moving (oh, I knew, ouch), but it was taking forever. They had me reach down and feel his head, which I then got really upset and said "oh god, don't push him back in." They all laughed, but what I meant was I thought by touching him I might accidentally push him back in. And dear god I was working too hard to get him out for that. I remember saying "you've got to be kidding me" at the beginning of one contraction and everyone laughed. Otherwise I felt like I was going to puke at one point and I remember being really hot. I remember the pregnant nurse leaving, which I then realized it was 11pm and I was so sad that I was still pushing. I remember everyone yelling at me to push, and being incredibly annoyed at the new nurse for where she was putting the heart monitor for the baby. It was so uncomfortable to have that monitor there, and I just kept asking her to stop, and even took her hand off me at one time. I remember the new nurse kept repeating "that's a lot of baby down there" and I was really annoyed by that too. Like I didn't know that already. I remember the feeling of him coming out - it was insane and painful and weird. I will never forget that.

12:13 am, June 18th Eliot Michael arrives. When he came out, he wasn't breathing very well and was very gray, the umbilical cord was wrapped around him and his neck and John commented that they never heard a heart decel, which I attributed to the strength of my little man. They placed him on my belly and he looked right at me. Big open eyes, staring right for me. I don't know if that's a baby's reflex, but I will never forget him looking up at me, I would know my baby anywhere by his face right after that....I have tears in my eyes right now....he knew to look for his mommy. I didn't expect to, I really didn't, I thought it would take some time for me, I'm not a person to fall into anything quickly, but I was in love. They took him away and had him under the warmer (not part of my birth plan, but I didn't realize at the time that he was seriously having trouble breathing), so I kept asking them for my baby and seriously nobody responded to me. It was really frustrating. Finally the lady was done checking him and starts to get him dressed (after confirming that we were waiting on eye drops and the vitamin k shot thank god), and I got kind of snippy and said, just give me my baby like he is, don't dress him! She did, finally, and the first picture of the last post is me meeting Eliot. My little boy. The whole time John is stitching me up, I had a minor first degree tear, he said less than an episiotomy would've been. They weighed Eliot and everyone was very surprised to hear he was 9lbs, 5 oz. My big strong little man. He also had a 14 3/4 inch head. So yea, there was a reason he took so long to get out. Eliot is an eater, he took to nursing like a champ....nursed for 45 minutes about a half hour after he was born. Thank god for that, I was so worried breastfeeding would be a challenge. The only challenge is finding time to do things like write in my blog! This baby eats often!!!

I have to mention that Chris watched the whole thing, coached me through much of it, survived on little to no sleep, hospital food, was our contact to the outside world and our crazy impatient parents, and cut the cord...and he still finds me sexy. I love that man. He's also taken to fatherhood so well. I married the perfect person.

The first few days with Eliot were amazing and challenging. I had a lot of anxiety and was/am still worried that it could turn into post partum depression, but I'm doing really well this week. He's changed so much already, only 12 days later. I knew it would go fast, but I can't even keep up with his daily changes!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Words cannot describe

Welcome to the world Eliot Michael Barnes.
Born 6/18/10 at 12:13 AM. 9lbs, 5 oz; 21 3/4 inches long.
So in love. More to come.

Monday, June 14, 2010

40 weeks, 3 days. GET. OUT.

Overdue. What an ugly word to me right now!
This is one of the hardest things I've ever done! Just to wait, to constantly think that maybe these Braxton-Hicks contractions might turn into something, to have people constantly calling and asking if the baby is here yet, to have Chris jump every time I call him to see if he needs me to pick up anything from the store. Sigh. I start every conversation on the phone with people saying "No baby." It's tough.
I have been alternating between complete misery at being pregnant for one more second even, and really trying to enjoy and appreciate this short time baby and I have left together like this. It's hard to enjoy when you're uncomfortable, exhausted, and huge. Not to mention feel like a ticking time bomb. People see me out and ask me when my due date is. I get varied responses when I answer "last friday." One guy told me I should probably just stay home. Obviously I made him nervous. But I do realize that this time is special. The time with the baby is something I'll never get back. He'll never be this close to me again, and it'll never be just the two of us. It's nice in some ways, feeling him move and talking to him. I'm trying to enjoy the Chris and me time too. This is the end of just us. We're going to have a some ways I'm mourning the end of the two of us, but ecstatic to begin our life as 3 (plus two furballs). I feel like we're ready for this, but it's still a huge change.
A friend who also went overdue said it well. It feels like you've done something wrong. Like everyone is waiting for this baby and you haven't had it. It's frustrating because believe me when I say I've tried talking my body into labor! Apparently this is one of those things people have no control over. Go figure.
I'm working 6 hour days this week, and then I'm starting my leave next week whether he decides to show or not. I'm tired, it hurts to sit for 9-10 hours and I need a nap every day, also I'm kind of phasing out of the work we have - doesn't make sense for me to be too plugged in when I'm going to leave for 12 weeks.
Because I want to remember if I'm ever pregnant again (I can't even THINK about being pregnant again right now), I have made progress. 1 cm dialated, 50% effaced, and 0 station. That was on my due date. They will let me go 2 weeks overdue. There will be a baby by the end of this month!
I'm so anxious to meet this little guy! I want to see him, meet him, snuggle him. It's so hard to imagine this person who's just been a series of kicks and punches to me! I'm also strangely not that nervous about labor. I'm sure I'll change my tune but I just want it over with already. I'll take whatever comes. It means I'll have my baby here, I'll get to start getting my body back, start eating what I want again without worrying about it, and enjoy a glass of wine every now and then....or pop a couple ibuprofren when I need to! It can't be long now...nobody is pregnant forever. Right?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

38 weeks

I cannot believe it's been 4 weeks since I updated this blog. You'd figure there must be good reason, right? Well, not really. Let's see....a short recap:
  • I finally got over being sick as I had reported from my last post
  • I installed the car seat in my car
  • Had said car seat inspected, we had installed it incorrectly. When being embarassed about not being able to install according to directions was told not to worry because "only an engineer could understand these directions." Embarassment worsened. Sigh.
  • Have become more and more body bound by the day. Can no longer reach feet, twist, get up off the ground unassisted, or roll over in bed without waking up and performing a series of moves which include much loud grunting. According to Chris anyways.
  • Had my family shower, it was wonderful. Once again marveled at the generosity of people. Still haven't written thank you notes.
  • Had a surprise work shower. I truly was surprised. Again with the marveling at generosity. Again with the lack of thank you notes.
  • I am uncomfortable or sore much of the time. Pregnancy has become painful (and awkward). Thankful that my family taught me to laugh at myself from an early age.
  • Completely finished buying all of our "needs" for baby, and, with my moms (and Target and the Container Store) help, finished organizing the nursery and all those adorable little baby clothes.
  • Bought and framed pictures for babys room, dining room, and living room.
  • Gratuitous waddling. Nuff said.
  • Got sick again this past Thursday. Stayed home from work Thursday and Friday (I'm sure prompting much guessing that baby is here...I wish) and spent my appointment Thursday bawling in my midwifes office. I was So. Tired. And sure that I was going to go into labor sick, which really made me doubt my abilities to try for a natural labor. Unlike the last cold, which lasted 4 weeks, I am feeling much better today. FOUR DAYS LATER! CELEBRATE!

So you see, there has been lots going on, but really, no good excuse to not be posting other than I should be writing thank you notes because I'm sure once the baby comes I won't be wanting to do that at all. I feel very ready to have this baby, and I really hope he's ready soon and I don't end up being overdue. Please come out little peanut - we are all ready to meet you!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

34 weeks and I have been sick for what seems like forever

Siiiiiicccckkkkkk. I've been sick for 3 weeks now. It may be some sort of cold, but most likely it's allergies. You can't really take anything when you're pregnant. I think the nurse recommended tylenol. Just plain tylenol. Awesome. Sleeping with a cold that you can't medicate while you're pregnant is not something I'd recommend to anyone. Especially not for 3 weeks straight. Truthfully, I'm scared to even say this, but I'm feeling a little bit better today. Not great, just better. So I haven't been to yoga in 3 weeks, I haven't really done much of anything physical these last 3 weeks. I missed a La Leche League meeting I wanted to attend because I was sick. They have another one next Monday. I really hope I can make that one! We did attend an infant/child cpr class though. If my baby chokes I can confidently scream for help.
Let's see. I'm very pregnant looking now, but the camera is in the other room and pictures will have to wait. We bought a really cool bicycle poster for the baby's room. We DECIDED on a name. We did! This baby's going to have a name and I like it. Work has been really tough lately. I'm tired again, not feeling well, and kind of looking forward to just being able to focus on baby for a while. Did you know that most babies born between 34-37 weeks have no long term effects from prematurity?! That is awesome to know. I am so thankful to have made it this far.
I think that's it this week. My brain doesn't work so good lately - blame baby.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

33 Weeks

For me, my entire childhood was all about getting to 18 years old, once I got to 18, I focused on turning 21. I remember when I turned 22 I had this small nagging thought of, but why? What's my next milestone? I'm starting to feel a little like I turn 22 every week. Not that I feel I've hit some important milestone and I can just stop now, but that I feel like this is going so fast (but oh so very slow at the same time). I have 47 days until I'm 40 weeks. In under 4 weeks I will be considered full term. I could have a baby next month, 25 days from now. It blows my mind.
Good news at the doctors this week. I don't think I mentioned it on here but I was measuring about 4 weeks ahead at my last appointment. This, understandably, scared me as my family has a solid history of big babies. Of enormously noggined, big headed, 9-plus pound little bundles of joy. Turns out I (he?) had a growth spurt and I'm now only measuring 1 week ahead, which is totally within normal ranges. Did you hear that? That was me sighing with relief. I know this doesn't mean he isn't going to be a big baby, but I have a little more hope that I will have a little boy safely in the 8 pound range. My disclaimer of healthy is first, no matter what he weighs, should be assumed with everything I say!
My dreams are getting weirder. Last night, while sleeping, I had a meeting with an entire team of doctors to discuss my upcoming delivery. The main doc (who wasn't my real life doctor) assured me I would have time to go to the bathroom before the actual delivery. Well then, glad we got that cleared up. I was very confused and anxious during the meeting because they kept using all these acronyms I didn't understand and there was no opportunity to ask them what they meant. After our meeting we all toasted to my babies health. Them with wine, me with my glass of water. See how responsible I am? Even in my dreams. Mama loves you little man.
I had a dream about seeing my babies face. This was the first time I'd seen it in my dreams. He had the body of a baby, but the face of a 40 year old male with nerdy glasses. I kept telling myself he would grow into it. It was more than a little creepy.
Here I am, reminding myself that next week I will be 34 weeks and that time will keep going. I've got to start mentally preparing myself for each week!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

32 weeks

Wow, really. 8 weeks left...It seems like I was only just 8 weeks pregnant. The last two weeks have been crazy! My little man has been moving a ton and getting the hiccups at least twice a day. Usually at night. Do you know how hard it is to sleep with hiccups in your belly? It's taken some getting used to.
I know I promised you special 29 week pictures - well there they are on the sidebar slideshow! A friend of mine who runs her own photography business did them and she is a miracle worker. I absolutely love them and didn't know I could look like that. This is her blog: I am amazed at her ability, and I cannot decide for the life of me which of these photos to frame!!! They are all so good!
Otherwise I keep getting bigger, and he keeps getting bigger, and all is right with the world.
I came down with either a head cold or allergies last Monday. It's been...awful. There's not much I can take and I'm feeling pretty miserable. It's definitely preparing me for waking up every two hours with a baby - I'm up every 1-3 hours to blow my nose and clear my lungs. There has been much tea-partying in our house. Tea is the best I can come up with right now to make me feel better.
But! I had my first baby shower!!! It was AMAZING. I seriously have the best mom and sister in the world. Really. They put on an amazing party, planned everything, put everything together, made games, and then cleaned up everything afterwards because I was exhausted by the party. Who knew? My friends are also awesome. They are some of the most generous people ever, and I cannot believe how much more ready I am for this baby to come. Seriously. I have 1 more shower and I'm really not sure I need anything else. Other than a sense that I will be able to keep a miniature human alive. Do they sell that at Target? Truly though, it was a great time. We do have to find space for all this stuff - our house is shrinking by the minute.
Four of my friends brought their little boys, all under the age of 1, and I hope that one day he'll be hanging out with all these guys. It was great to have them at the party, and the moms there are all such inspirations too. It's so cool that I have so many experienced moms to rely on. Hopefully they don't mind late night phone calls! The worst part of the shower? I have completely lost my voice. I am actually reduced to talking in a whisper. It sucks (for me I guess. Maybe Chris is enjoying this?). I haven't tried to speak yet this morning, but it doesn't feel any better yet. I hope I feel better soon, being pregnant is enough of an illness without all this!

Little boy, you are coming into a world of love for you. Your family, your friends (!!! Isn't he lucky, he's got friends already!!!), and your parents. We can't wait to meet you and show you all we know in this crazy world! And as my dad would say, that shouldn't take very long. Ha!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Seriously, these pictures are backwards. Blogger hates me. This is 28 weeks. But check out the new hair! I LOVE it. Once again I have rocked the dogs world by standing on his bed. 27 weeks here...pretty sure we missed 26, and my week 29 pictures will be super special. Just wait!! In my defense, I had just woken up here. Maybe it's good these pictures are backwards so you could appreciate the haircut.
Baby's room! With carpet, paint, and the dresser/changing table. We are in love with his furniture. Seriously the best furniture in the house.
Here's his crib. See what I mean about the furniture? Gorgeous.
Chris and I have done a little decorating. I giggled so hard while we were doing this. It's kind of his changing table mobile. These monkeys are magnetic, so we hung a "trapeeze" bar from the ceiling. This may be my favorite thing in the room so far.
This! This is our imported poster. In Italy we went and saw the Ducati Museum, where we learned about the Cucciolo bike (cucciolo means puppy in Italian). I fell head over heels in love with the bike, and I just realized I should have put some pictures up here of the bike too. Well, it's on my facebook. It is red and it is awesome.

We've got these great built-ins on either side of the doorway in his room. I found this bear at a cute little shop in Uptown and had to have it. It also induced a fit of giggles in me. Can you see his little snaggletooth?
The family room/workout room. Finished! I love this new setup, very functional!
Other direction. Love it! This carpet is really great.
It has been an early spring this year. The leaves are starting to bud, we've seen 80 degrees already (seriously, weird), and it didn't snow once in March. The snowiest month of the year and we didn't see a flake. I feel like the rest of this winter more than made up for it. I'm fine with it. Unfortunately Chris has developed late in life allergies. He's not feeling real well right now. I am really hoping it's allergies because I haven't been sick once this pregnancy (well, other than the whole pregnancy makes me sick thing) and I plan to keep it that way.

This baby has been a-moving and a-gyrating and a-gallavanting all over the place lately! It's so fun, when I poke him, he pokes back now. Chris laid an arm across me the other day and he definitely hit back. He's very protective of his space.
The third trimester has all sorts of new problems for me. I'm much more body-bound. Uncomfortable, awkward. I don't fit in spaces I used to fit through fine. My appetite switches from monsterly ravenous, to birdlike and I'm barely able to eat anything. Sometimes I feel morning sick again. Walks have shortened themselves to about 4 blocks, not because I'm out of breath, but because I can't be that far from a bathroom. I pee all the time. I love feeling my baby though. It makes me happy to know that he's doing well in there. Questions from strangers have switched from "How are you feeling?" to "Are you ready?" No, not ready. I'll be ready when he's ready. I can see an end to this now though. Brings alternate feelings of elation and fear. I'm nervous to meet my little man, I really hope he likes us.
We ordered a jogging stroller! I am so excited. I can't wait to test this baby out. I took my bike out around the block yesterday, just to try it out. I earned a "Be careful" from Chris. Around the block people. I know, he's concerned about more than just me, but it gets frustrating...the limits on me.
I mentioned to Chris yesterday that we only have 10 weeks left while we were taking a walk. He just replied "hmmm...10 weeks, wow." We get back, and he's down in the babies room putting up closet doors and mounting the babycam. Cracked me up, he totally nests every time I mention how much time I have left. I love that man.
And that's all for now folks. Happy Easter and I'm out to enjoy the weather.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The good stuff

So my itchy feet...are just that. Itchy feet. Celebrate!! I also got news that my request to go part time at work has been accepted. Yesterday was a good day.

So I got a prenatal massage this weekend. It was awesome. They have a special pillow so you can lay on your stomach…and it’s been MONTHS since I’ve laid on my stomach. Felt great. But the little guy was going absolutely nuts the whole time, and he’d been really crazy the night before, woke me up 2 times he was flipping around so much, I started rubbing my stomach to try and calm him down. The masseuse said she was watching my belly move when they had me on my back. I couldn’t figure out what was going on that he had become so crazy, then my mom brought up food, and we had Indian food for probably only the second time this pregnancy the night before. I’m not sure if he loved it or hated it, but I definitely know how to get him going now! I’ve heard that babies will gravitate towards the foods you eat. I'm trying to be pretty varied in my diet...maybe more Indian food is in order.

We also started decorating the nursery! It looks awesome and needs pictures to do it justice. Not quite done, but almost.

Sunday Chris painted the living room. It's the only room in the house that we haven't painted yet. It was supposed to be a gray/brown, and has come out rather gray/blue/purple. It's a gorgeous color, but not exactly right for our pictures...we may have some retooling to do. I love gray - and I'm so happy to finally have a gray room. I hope to put up a couple newborn pics of the babe in there. I'm sure they will go with anything.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have never handled lack of control well. I am a fairly classic first born overacheiver type. Well, if I don't/can't overacheive, I become the best underacheiver! Just ask me about high school...but that's another story. Part of my personality is that I like to have control over things. I like to feel that I make a difference in the outcome of my life. Those existential questions about predestination? I am a huge believer that we are all in control of our own destinies, and dammit, I will take control over every last little annoying part. It can be exhausting.
My feet started itching, only at night, a little over a week ago. I thought it was dry skin....put some lotion on. But that itching didn't change in the slightest. Itching bad enough that you could sit there and draw blood just to make the itching stop. So, I called the Dr. because I wasn't sure what I could put on it. Their answer? You'd better come in. I figured this was for some sort of prescription cream or something, but they told me about a condition called ICP, no, not the band, there are no clowns..but it has to do with my liver. Apparently one of the bigger symptoms of this condition is itchy hands and feet that are worse at night. ICP is pregnancy related and fairly harmless to me. To the baby? It could result in premature labor and stillbirth. They did a blood test, they have to send it to Utah and I may not be able to find out until Wednesday if I have this. It's rare, it's possible that swelling is causing this itching. I hope so. But right now? While people tell me to calm down and focus on the fact that it's probably nothing? I want to scream. This is my baby, my body that could be harming my baby. How can I calm down when my body could be hurting my baby? Pregnancy has taught me that my body is definitely in control of more things than my mind is aware of. The first trimester worries of will this baby make it pounded that lesson in. You have no control, zero. So I sit here and wait, pretending it's nothing, waiting for a phone call that will end this endless questioning in my mind.
I love you kid.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

26 Weeks

PICTURES! PICTURES! PICTURES!!! I know you know better than to expect order and sense out of me, so I will explain.
Here is where Chris proves he loves me on Valentines Day by grilling outside. Can you see his breath? This is good stuff.

Look at all the cute little clothes hanging up in there!!! Get out here baby so I can nibble on your knees! This is the nursery, with the old carpet ripped out. I hope you weren't expecting finished nursery pictures. They're not on the camera and this 1200 square foot house is just way to big for me to go down and take some now.

I wish that I could have experienced the joy that was this room before we painted the wood paneling. All it needs is a disco ball...look at all that powder on the floor? It's like we're halfway there already. Thank god for new carpet.

Oh! It gets better...and can you see around the stairs? Yes, they had the walls painted bright yellow at one time. And yes, that is a SHINY green paint on those stairs. There was an interior decorator living here for SHUR!

Yup, me. I'm beginning to hate these pictures. 17 weeks here.

18 weeks with a puppy foot warmer. We take the pictures on top of his bed. I guess he didn't feel like moving this time.

Now, here is 19 weeks. I would like to explain that sometimes, during pregnancy, it's been said that some women deal with things like constipation. So yes, this is a food baby. See week 20 for proof.
Where'd it go? Week 20.

Week 21...working our way back out.

22....yea. Looking a bit like a grey blob here. Big motivation to never wear this outfit again.

Hello week 23! I think I've officially popped.

Yup, no food baby. Week 24

Week 25. See how happy I am?
Wait until you see my new week 26 haircut! Hell, I'll probably have pictures of the baby up here before you see week 26 knowing me! You'll just have to die from suspense.
Saying that I only have 14 weeks left sounds incredibly short. I want to be sure we're ready for the little man once he arrives! Nothing incredibly exciting or new happened this week baby-wise. He's still active as ever and he's still growing...I can tell because I'm still growing. Girl scout cookies may have fueled both of our growths a bit in the last 2 weeks. I've become more awkward and it's getting hard to bend over, or reach my feet, or walk too far. I tend to get really sore about 2 miles into a walk, which sucks because all the lakes are about 3 miles around. I've missed yoga the last two weeks in a row because I keep sleeping through it...I hate the thought of setting my alarm on a Sunday. yoga lately. I'll go back though. Yesterday, we went for a 3 mile walk, then went to Ikea, Home Depot and Target. I was dying after Ikea...hell, I was dying after the walk. It sucks that I feel so sore so soon, and I'm not used to not being able to do what I want. I remember mornings where I would run 10 miles, take the dog for a walk, and go to all those stores and still have energy to go out that night. Yesterday? I was almost asleep at 5 pm my body was so tired. So yea, I'm still learning to work within my limits. It's not easy when they're constantly changing.