Wednesday, December 8, 2010

my wirey baby.

Have you ever been so tired that when you finally get the chance to sleep, you're so excited that your brain goes into overdrive and you can't sleep?

That's where I'm at.

We have, what my mom likes to call, a "wirey baby." She pretty much wants to be wide-eyed all during the day. Even when I'm holding her while she's asleep, her eyes will randomly pop open and stare at me. I have no idea why. But just as I was writing this earlier, she woke up from her nap in her swing, so I'm continuing this post 3 hours after starting it.


The most common remark we get about Adalyn is, "Wow, she's so alert!" She is constantly looking around and bobbing her head around.. If she isn't asleep, then she looks just like this:

And she likes to stand up too. And not be held like a baby. And she likes to face out and look around. What is up with that!? Where did my baby go, and why does she think she's already 2 years old!? Why! :)

But really, back to the "wirey" business. She is insanely alert and is, what Dr. Sears likes to call, a "high-needs baby." Babies that refuse to be in make-shift mommy gadgets, like swings. She really only wants to be held by me these days, which leads to me never, ever getting a break. Ever. During the day, I can hold her until she is TOTALLY asleep, limp-limbed and everything. Yet, when I place her down (GENTLY!!!!), she still wakes up after 5 minutes of being out of my arms.

If you know how to cure this, let me know. Please? Pretty please, folks. I've tried all of Dr. Sears's techniques too - and they DO work for her, but only at night!

But back to my sweet Adalyn - she's sitting in my lap right now watching the computer screen, learning all about blogging. She stole the hearts of two female tech sergeants yesterday at the deployment briefing. I started to cry when she received her recordable, The Night Before Christmas, and ended up making one of the tech sergeants cry too! Whoops! She had to leave the room to keep from crying in front of everyone! We move home on the 23rd and have our plane ticket booked. I'm not nervous about flying with her at all.. but I am nervous about getting through security with her and carrying everything by myself. Hopefully the lines won't be long, and things will go quickly.


And for a quick update:
She was sleeping 5 hours, then 3 hours, then 2 hours (in that order) at night. Though last night she did a 3 hour stretch, then a 2 hour, then a 1 hour. Mommy does not approve of that schedule.

She's back to hating bath time. She loved bath time in KY and hates it in VA, and we use the exact same tub. What's the difference?! Who knows.

It takes an insane amount of coaching to get her to take a pacifier. My midwife says that breastfed babies usually reject pacifiers until they're older. She'll take a Nuk if she's desperate. And if she's desperate, we are really desperate!

I suppose we'll be celebrating Christmas on Saturday. Though we only bought presents for Adalyn, it will be fun to give them to her in front of our little Christmas tree. She told me earlier that what she really wants is for Daddy's deployment orders to be canceled.

Mark is due home any minute. Actually, he just arrived. Adios!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

this just in:

I'm so tired.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

our Christmas card!

I finally got around to making and ordering our first family Christmas card! Here's the one we chose:

Peppermint Bliss Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Can't wait to send them out to friends and family!!! I couldn't be happier with it - especially since we got 50 FREE ones (a savings of $104!!!) from Shutterfly! Woo!!

oh gosh.

oh gosh, guys, I'm the world's worst blogger. I might as well go ahead and delete this thing; it's THAT sad! But I won't. Because I know that when Mark is gone, I'll be blogging like crazy for him. But until then, I'll just give some updates.

Yesterday we went to the Holly Dazzle, which is a local holiday festival, and packed Adalyn in the Ergo. It was frigid, but she mysteriously stayed warmer than a fritter all snuggled on me. It turns out that we really love the Ergo, and so does our babe. Now all I need is a Mei Tai, and my collection will be complete!

Ad is 6 weeks old and started loving bath time at 5 weeks. She tracks us so much better with her eyes now and has started really smiling at us. She generally hates the car and cries in her car seat about 85% of the time. She's only content in the car if she is already asleep when we leave. Sigh.

We're officially done with Ad's Christmas present. We've gotten her Melissa & Doug puzzles, a Melissa & Doug picnic set, a special monkey, and two Manhattan Toys. She'll be 8 weeks old when we celebrate Christmas (early), and 8-week old babies aren't too into toys :) But we'll save them for when she's ready!

I just bought our plane ticket home, so it's official: I really am going to move back home for 6 months! I'm not worried at all about our plane ride. Breastmilk cures all of Adalyn's tears. Hopefully they don't decide to pat Ad down in the airport ;]

I officially started Weight Watchers today. For real this time. So far, it's gone smashingly. I even got a great assortment of Yoplait Light yogurts from the commissary and a bunch of oatmeal. I'm pretty excited. I have 6 months to lose 30 pounds and I will make it happen. Somehow.

We went home for a week and a half, but you wouldn't know, since I didn't blog about it at all. Much fun was had, many kisses were shared, and everyone fell in love with our little Reesie Cup. It was fantastic; we just love being home.

You know, it's almost insane how quickly Adalyn falls asleep in the Ergo. 5 seconds after we put her in the Ergo, she's asleep. LITERALLY. It's almost hilarious. I'll have to capture it on video. One second she's screaming her head off.. then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... she's asleep. This same scenario played out today in Panera Bread, and the woman in front of us turned around and asked Mark how he got her to sleep so quickly! He smiled and said "The Ergo!!" :) Mark actually prefers the Ergo to the Moby, in case any of you to-be mamas were curious. It's dang expensive but sooooo worth it.

It's 4pm, we have a sleeping babe, and I'm going to relax :) Adios!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

a bunch of little paragraphs.

I have this new little obsession with Yoplait Light yogurt. You know the commercial where the husband calls his best friend and is talking about all the "dessert" they have in the house? But it's really all the yogurt in the fridge? Yeah. That yogurt. Apparently the rest of the world has caught on too, because it's always sold out at Walmart.

Today was A's pediatrician appointment. She got a shot. I cried. I always tell myself that I won't cry (ok. this is only her second appointment. but they stuck her to test her blood at her first one, and I cried then too...) but she does a different kind of cry when they poke her. The saddest little pain-ridden cry you ever did hear. Breaks my little heart.

Oh, and she weighs 9lbs 12oz!

Soon, we'll be trucking back home for Thanksgiving, and everyone will get to meet Adalyn. I'm most excited for Hudsie and Clayton to meet her. I can't imagine how sweet it will be to see her in Clayton's arms. I'm so, so excited!

I really want an Ergo. I love my Moby - true story - but I also want an Ergo. The ease of just slipping it on just seems like a dream. Plus I want to carry her on my back. It's currently the only thing on my Christmas wish list.

Oh, and I also want a personalized necklace from Etsy.

Mark is "working late" right now, and boy I tell you what... you never realize how much your spouse helps out until your spouse is no longer there. I'm doomed for this winter, because he's the biggest help ever, and I'm really gonna miss it. Family photos are scheduled for next week, and I couldn't be more excited. Our little sproutlet is not very photogenic at all and doesn't like to be posed, but hopefully she'll tolerate things, and it won't turn into shambles.

Thursday night television is the pits, so I guess I'll just sit and stare at my sleeping baby :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

my little 4-weeker

4 weeks ago this very second, I was in labor and the contractions were killing me. I was doubling over in pain, leaning on your daddy, and I was so ready for you to be born. Part of me can't believe that you are already four weeks old, but another part of me can, because I've really been living in the moment.

Life with you is full of snuggling with you asleep on my chest, nursing you like crazy, and trying to gently put you down without waking you up. You have a bad habit of popping your eyes open about 3 minutes after we put you down. And you look around for a few seconds and then start your "eh eh eh" noises. You really don't cry much at all, which we love!

Bath time is a disaster and you cry like we're torturing you. You hate pacifiers - and we've tried four brands. You make a disgusted face and start gagging on them. I'm the only pacifier you want, apparently! Around 6am, you like to wake up and stare at me with your bright blue eyes. I try my hardest to get you back to sleep for a couple more hours, but you want nothing to do with that. You like for me to stand you up and bounce you around while I make noises at you! I think it's fun too :)

When you nurse, I like to call you my baby bird. You open your mouth and bob your head around in the cutest fashion. You get pretty mad when you lose your latch, and it's adorable to watch. I also call you my Koala Mammal Baby, which daddy makes fun of.. but you like to cling to me like a baby koala bear! And you still have fuzzy ears and shoulders, so the name fits!! :)

Right now you wake up every 3-ish hours at night to eat. Sometimes you're so easy to put back down to sleep, but sometimes you get gassy, and things turn rough. Right now, you sleep in a special little baby chair all scrunched up in your Miracle Blanket. You love it, and so do we. You'll probably spend a couple more months in that chair!

I'm blogging with you nuzzled in my chest, and you're the most precious thing I've ever seen. I really look forward to the days when I can play with you and interact with you more, but I hate to see you growing up, honestly. Right now we have a super tight bond that Daddy often talks about, and I never want it to end. You're everything I ever dreamed about, and I love you.. my little koala baby!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

our love of cloth diapering

Well, we've finally made the big "leap" to full-time cloth diapers.

And, guys, I couldn't be happier.

I was a little "worried" that cloth might be too hard. That there might be too much laundry. Too big of a mess. Too much to fiddle with. Not enough diapers to last her. But I couldn't have been more wrong. I am IN LOVE WITH our FuzziBunz, and that's no joke! I know a lot of you to-be mamas are prospective cloth diaperers, so I thought I'd give you insight on how we do it. It's so simple that you'll be shocked.

So, we bought 15 FuzziBunz from I was concerned that 15 wouldn't be enough, but it's completely fine. We bought a wide variety of bright colors, and I love them to death. You might know that FuzziBunz is unique because of the elastic in the legs and waist. They fit perfectly to our daughter's body, and poop never ever ever escapes. And, let me tell you, our daughter can really go...

FuzziBunz has 5 "settings" 1 through 5. 5 is the tightest and smallest elastic setting, used for newborns. As of now, we have her legs on 4s and 3s (there's two sets) and her waist is at a 3. So we snap them on her - and the snaps are GREAT, by the way - and off we go!

When we have a dirty diaper, I remove it and place it in a designated area. Right now they go on top of the washing machine, because I do a load of diapers daily. As she grows, and goes less often, I'll put them in our Arm & Hammer diaper pail. But newborns go quite frequently, so I wash diapers daily. Now, I'm not washing them ALL daily. I wash about 5 per day. So once I have 5 (or so) dirty diapers, I remove the insert and throw them in the washing machine.

Run a cold rinse with no detergent.
Then run a hot normal wash with 3 tablespoons of Rockin Green detergent.

When they're done washing, I dry the inserts on low heat.


Guys, the washing machine does it all. It's the easiest thing ever. Our diapers don't have a SPECK of a stain. Rockin Green is AMAZING, and I *highly* recommend it. Our beautiful FuzziBunz are completely spotless, and they smell so fresh. I would like to add a note that using cloth isn't gross at all. I exclusively breastfeed, so her poop doesn't even have an odor. At all. It doesn't even begin to gross us out. Once she starts solids, it will be a different story :) But right now it is so easy and there is absolutely no ick-factor.

Now I'm off to stare at my beautiful daughter, who is sleeping in my arms as I type this blog post. Oh, and relish the thought of how much money we're saving by not buying those expensive disposables. We use our cloth diapers at night, too, so our disposable days are over!! Yahoo!!

The best decision we ever made.

Edited to add: Since I breastfeed her, there's no need to remove poop before I throw the diapers in the washing machine. Breastfed poop is water soluble, so I toss them in. It sounds gross, but that's how things roll. Once she starts solids, I'll have to knock off the solid poop into the toilet (or use rice paper, which I will). But for now, it just all gets thrown in.

free Christmas cards!!!

Guess what, guys? I have the coolest news: If you're a blogger, you're eligible to receive 50 FREE (totally free. for real. no gimmicks.) Christmas cards from Shutterfly! I kid you not. Too good to be true?! It isn't!!

My best friend, Brittney told me all about it in her blog post. She always finds the neatest things and always tells me. Thanks, Britt!!!!!

So, we always use Shutterfly for our photo needs. And I'm not just saying this because I'm blogging about the free photos. We really do, and so does my sister. They're super cheap. And, if you want, you can send them to be printed at Target, and you don't have to pay for shipping! And I order hundreds (literally) of photos at a time, so that really helps!

But back to the free Christmas cards -

They have zillions of Christmas card layouts - the best I've seen anywhere - and it's SO hard to choose which one I like best! I really like this one:

Since I can add a personal touch, especially about our upcoming family situations, so that's a nice option.. but I'm waiting to see our photos that our friend Lindsay took before I make a final decision. Mark and I will have to sit and look through them all and figure out which one we want! A super hard task :)

They also have gift tags and calendars that you can make too! How neat!!

All YOU have to do is blog about their awesome deal, and you can get in on the 50 free cards yourself!! Easy peasy, folks! Sign up HERE and get started!!! I sooo cannot wait to send out our very first Christmas cards as a family of three! How precious :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

your baby needs this.

To all my (many) pregnant friends out there:

Your baby needs a Miracle Blanket. No exaggeration here. And, actually, YOU need the Miracle Blanket.

I first heard about the Miracle Blanket from MckMama, and boy I am so glad I did. We brought our pink camo blanket to the hospital and used it on Adalyn in her first day of life. Since then, we have used it and I cannot imagine our lives without it.

I probably sound dramatic here. But, guys, this thing just about saves our lives. I can't stress it enough!

What makes this blanket different from an average blanket is that it has these folds of fabric that tuck under your baby's arms and over their legs. So, essentially, it's kind of like a baby straight-jacket. But your baby will love it.

I can't imagine putting her to sleep at night without it. It keeps her so tight, warm, and secure. Her instant calmness is proof that this swaddling blanket really does work miracles. When she naps without her blanket, her little arms will flail and wake her up EVERY single time. The startle reflex always wakes her, and the Miracle Blanket prevents that. I'm so, SO glad that we have this awesome product.

snug as a bug in a rug :D

visit their website HERE!
you can thank me later :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

life with my baby :)

I'm the worst mommy blogger ever. I have to change that.

Mommyhood is going just as I thought it would. Some days are easy and some days are more challenging. I think my "exposure" to my 3 nephews has helped, since I've learned a few "techniques" from my sister on calming and caring for babies. I think she's a pretty relaxed baby.. most of the time. She's pretty fond of me :) and loves breastmilk more than any child I've ever known. She gulps it down like she's chugging coke. If she could chug coke, that is. And she won't be chugging coke for years to come.. I hope. Haha.. ahem.

We obviously have no routine right now, but she generally wakes up every 2.5 hours at night to eat. We've transferred her to her bassinet (she was sleeping in Hudson's "special" chair), and she seems to like it more. At night, she doesn't cry. I wake up to a little..

eh eh eh

lips smack smack smack

*annoyed sound*

eh eh eh

..and that's my sign to wake up and get her! I feed her and she falls right back to sleep. Hopefully me typing this isn't jinxing me.. if jinxing existed.. but nighttime goes pretty great. The biggest struggle, for us, is getting her to stay asleep initially.

And earlier when I said that she loved breastmilk, I wasn't joking. She gained 15 ounces in one week, which we found out at her second pediatrician's appointment on Wednesday. And her belly button fell off when she was just 6 days old. She's growing up on us! ;)

So these days are full of lots of feedings, lots of "shhing," lots of pats on her bottom, and me plotting my next nap. I really, really try to consciously remember that I'm going to miss this, and that I shouldn't wish away her newborn days. Sometimes I catch myself dreaming about the day when she can sit up and play and sleep for longer stretches.. but woah woah woah. I need to enjoy her right this second. Because I guarantee myself that I'll look back at her photos and miss her being so teeny tiny and vulnerable. I'm just sentimental like that :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

things no one ever told me!

I thought for sure that once our baby girl was born, I'd have LOADS to blog about.

But I don't!

I really just want to sit around with my husband and child and enjoy our time as a family. Our days are full of feedings, diaper changes, and a multitude of kisses and cuddles. Our baby girl is so edible and snuggly - as are all newborns - and we just can't get enough of her. I'm pretty sure I spend a ton of time each day just staring at her and stroking her sweet little face.

Seriously, no one ever told me that having a newborn would be such a joy. She came along and fit right into our family and we always talk about how we're so, SO glad we had her. Thank God we didn't decide to wait and wait to have kids. Then we wouldn't have our precious Adalyn!

Today she went to Cracker Barrel for the very first time - although she didn't know it, because she slept soundly in her Moby Wrap throughout the entire meal. Our good friend (and labor buddy and photographer), Lindsay, took pictures of our newborn yesterday.. here are a few:

She totally peed on Lindsay and cried for 2 hours during her photo session. It turns out that Adalyn hates to be put on her stomach and really just likes to hang out with mommy and daddy... oh well, who can blame her!? :]

The next exciting thing, for us, will be putting her in her "Daddy's Little Pumpkin" onesie and taking her to church for the first time on Sunday. The little things in life :D

Thursday, October 28, 2010

what's up with Adalyn.

Since having Adalyn, we've been a pretty "active" family. I hate the thought of just sitting at home with our newborn and never getting out of the house. So, despite the rules that my midwife gave me, we've gone out a few times. And we loved it.

She had her first pediatrician's appointment on Monday and weighed 7lbs 14oz, so she only lost 4 pounds. Afterward, we went and celebrated her bill of good health with a trip to Pizza Hut for the lunch buffet:

She had a poopie diaper and enjoyed an entire meal of breastmilk all while mama and daddy ate pizza and salad. Since then, we've ventured to Panera Bread and Barnes and Noble. She pretty much just hangs out in the Moby and loves it.

She loves stroller rides.

She loves her Miracle Blanket.

But most of all...

She loves her mom.

I mean, like, she really loves me. I was pretty scared about her newborn photoshoot today. And, as it turns out, I had every reason to be nervous. She wouldn't have anything to do with it. She just wanted to be attached to me (literally). I was sweating and getting pretty wound up inside, and we never did get the shots we wanted.

But now that I look back on it, how precious is it that she is SO attached to me that she doesn't want to be put down? It's the sweetest thing on earth. I'm blogging with a baby sleeping on my chest and it's the best feeling in the world. Actually, I'm sitting here crying because I realize she won't be like this forever. I love that she needs me so much and I want to soak up every single second of this age.

I love her so much. And if we only end up having photos of her crying in her 1-week photoshoot, I'll just tell her (when she's older) that it was because she missed me so much and needed me. And that's the best memory in the world to have -- a time when I could totally and completely comfort her.

I really, really hope she never grows up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

in which I brag on my husband. a lot!

For Mark and myself, child birth was an amazing experience. Well, amazing doesn't really begin to scratch the surface. Even though practically everything that could go wrong did go wrong, our daughter's birth was just phenomenal. As is every birth of a child, of course!

We went through BirthWorks, which was an 8-week class to prepare us for birth. And, boy, I am SO glad - beyond glad - that we did. Not only was I mentally prepared for what was to come, but Mark knew exactly what to do, what to say, and exactly how to help me. Days before her birth, he was re-reading our gigantic birth manual just to make sure that he was prepared to be the best coach ever. It was the cutest thing, really...

And when I realized that I had to have Pitocin and an epidural, I sort of lost it and cried and told him that I was a failure. I really had the "perfect" birth set up in my head, and I was pretty sad that it wouldn't work out. But my husband stepped right up and was there for me, and he never left my side.

Pushing was seriously the hardest thing ever, and I'm not sure if her being sunny side up made it worse or not. While my sister and friend held my legs up in position, my eyes were glued on my husband's for the entire hour and a half of pushing. I seriously don't know what happened to him, but as soon as I began to push, he turned into Super Doula and was remarkable. Everyone in the room was seriously shocked at how awesome he was. I fell in love with him all over again that day. I'm so, so proud that he's the daddy of my daughter.

right after she was born!

To this day, Mark still mentions how "beautiful" I was during labor and how amazing he thinks I am. But I think he's the amazing one. I really don't know any (many?) guys that take the responsibility of a birthing coach that seriously. He's my everything, and I love him to death.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

our little newborn :)

My family just left, our baby is fed, and Mark is cuddling her.

...So, time to blog (really fast!)

Things are going just amazing around here. Our baby is so sweet and content. The Miracle Blanket is her favorite thing on earth... next to breastmilk! We pretty much just sit around cuddling her, feeding her, photographing her, and enjoying life as a little family. Our first night at home went alright -- she woke up fairly often, but I could feed her right to sleep. Last night, she woke up 3 times to eat. She never cries at night. We hear her waking up and starting to root/smack her lips, and I feed her right away. Then she just drifts off to sleep.. for 2 hours, anyway :)

Mommyhood is everything I dreamed it would be. She's just absolutely perfect, and we're already best friends. Piper likes to stare at her and sniff her.. but, besides that, she's her old usual self! We love our life as a new family, and I swear that Mark and I love each other even more now that we're parents. He is such a big help and zipped into fatherhood like it was his calling in life. He loves to change diapers, wear her in the Moby, snuggle with her, and do anything he can to help.

Tomorrow is her first pediatrician's appointment! She breastfeeds like a pro, so I'm anxious to see how much she weighs! I love love LOVE being a mama. There's nothing better in life :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adalyn's birth story.

Adalyn Reese
8lbs 1 oz
20 1/2 in

I'm writing this from the hospital bed, because I feel myself already forgetting everything that happened. In fact, I know it's slipping from my mind because it takes me and Mark to remember the events accurately. So I thought I'd better get this down before it became one big blur :]

So my water broke at 5:30am on Wednesday morning - the day before her scheduled induction. I felt a small gush of fluid, and my eyes popped open. I was sure of what it was, so I looked over in bed and realized that Mark had already left! I reached for my phone, and then a huge gush came out. I called him and thankfully he was downstairs and hadn't actually left the house yet. Whew! After calling my midwife, showering, and packing the last-minute items, we headed out the door to the hospital.

We arrived, got checked, and I was still only a finger-tip dilated and 80% effaced. Not what I wanted to hear, but okay. They started me on Cytotec. I would have had Cervidil if I had to have been induced. But, since I was on a time crunch (risk of infection due to water breaking), they went with that. I started contracting fairly regularly, but the pain was totally tolerable, and I walked the hallways with Mark. After my two hours of Cytotec was "up," I got re-checked and was still only a finger-tip dilated. You have got to be kidding me. So then I got an enema.

Which, let me say, sucked. Really bad. That brought on pretty hard contractions. By that time, I was breathing heavy through them. Not talking. Doing the baby dance with Mark. Swaying. Moaning. It was rough. I hated that blasted birthing ball. I hated being on my hands and knees. I just wanted to stand and lean on Mark through every contraction. This went on for about 4 hours [so I was contracting for a total of 6 hours] and got re-checked. I was a 1-2cm. OMG! Gah!

At this point, two of my midwives suggested I be put on pitocin since I had to deliver within 24 hours because of infection risks. I was really holding it together, but I was dying inside. It wouldn't have been so bad if the contractions were making me dilate. But they weren't. I was having contractions every 2 minutes, and they were doing NOTHING. So Pitocin it was. And they jacked me full of fluid, and then I was restricted to that stupid bed.

And then I made the decision to get an epidural, and I cried. A lot. I seriously felt like a failure, and that my birthing "plan" was out the window. It just wasn't what we wanted. But whatever. We got the epidural, and then I felt like I was on cloud 9. Contractions were booming! And I didn't feel a thing. Within 3 hours, I felt like I had to poop - so I knew her head was RIGHT there. I asked to be checked, and I was at a 9, +1 station. Hooray! Obviously, pit worked its wonders.

Somewhere during all of this, my blood pressure started going all over the place, and I would get dizzy and feel weak. In fact, my blood pressure is still kinda iffy, but it's alright. Also, by this point, I was STARVING and my stomach was growling insanely loud. I was getting so nauseous from hunger that I began throwing up... and didn't stop until she was born.

But back to the story:

Around 7, I was able to do a few practice pushes. I was doing so so so well with those, because I could oddly feel everything "down there." I made her move down a lot and was feeling wonderful about it. At 8, my midwife walked in and things got going. And when I say they "got going," I mean that they suddenly took a dive for the worst. All of a sudden, I got a fever of 101. Not good. I was feeling nauseous, but I was still able to push. I started out semi-on my back [not really.. It was more like sitting?] and my WONDERFUL husband and photographer, Lindsay, held back my legs. I made lots and lots of progress. We then switched to the sideline position and, again, great progress. And then we noticed that our sweet daughter pooped inside me.


During all of this, I'd stop and puke a little, and then went back to pushing. We did hands and knees pushing, squatting, and my all time favorite: two people holding up my legs, and Mark holding a sheet and pulling against me so that I would pull a sheet and push at the same time. Hard to explain, but it worked wonders. Meanwhile, our baby's heart rate started to skyrocket and she wasn't looking too hot. Around 9, my sister and mom walked in, and that was great!

And by this point, I could feel everything. I felt the ring of fire, I felt myself tear, I felt her move down [and scoot back up every time I'd take a breath of air between pushes..] and it was horrible. But I worked with my body and pushed effectively. Eventually, she was getting pretty stuck. She was sunny side up with the cord around her neck, and she just wasn't budging. My midwife eventually gave me "one more push" before she called the doctor in to use forceps or the vacuum, because my baby was in serious distress with a high heart rate and meconium.

So that was all it took, and I pushed her out!

And then they whisked her over to the station of nurses and the hospital pediatrician on call and I watched my baby be pumped for 5 minutes. They put tubes down her throat and nose and sucked everything out. They wiggled her and jostled her and put an oxygen mask on her. For 5 minutes we all just stared at her, and I was freaking out inside. Well, "freaking out" is an understatement. It was pretty horrific, but eventually she did cry, and Mark was able to bring her to me. I only got to spend a little while with her, because she had to go to the nursery and be completely checked out [for like 4 hours..] and get a TON of blood work and tests run because of the meconium.


Long story short: Today she is fine and dandy. All her blood work and tests came back absolutely normal, and she's great! We pretty much had to teach ourselves to breastfeed, because they handed her to me at 3am and it was just me, Mark, and our daughter. The football hold is our favorite, and she's doing fantastic. She hasn't left my sight all day long, which is exactly what we want. Right now she's laying in her bassinet and rooting, so that's my call!

I really feel like I'm leaving out major details of our birth story. I'll have Mark read it in the morning and see if I forgot anything. It was absolutely the most traumatic experience ever and I hate that her life got such a rough start. But, thankfully, she's healthy and okay! And that's all that matters, ultimately. I didn't get the natural birth I wanted.. mostly due to my water breaking and me just not progressing at ALL, despite everything I tried. We're okay with it. At first, I wasn't. But when I look at our daughter, wiggling around in her Miracle Blanket, I just don't really care about all the interventions anymore :]

We're totally in love with her :]

PS. Our friend and birth photographer, Lindsay, blogged about Adalyn's birth HERE

^there's the link. in case you want it.

I forgot to mention how awesomely amazing my husband was during birth. He seriously kept me alive. Words can't even describe it and he shocked every single person in the room. I've never in my life seen a doula work better than him. I'm pretty sure he should take up a second job as a doula ;] I'll blog about THAT some other time. But he's truly amazing and I'm insanely in love with the father of my child.

Monday, October 18, 2010

a bunch of medical talk.

As promised [via Facebook], I'm here to update you on little Adalyn Cox.

AKA the girl who never wanted to be born.

Today I am three days over due [yep - I know for sure since we used digital ovulation tests!] so I was scheduled for a non-stress test. If you're unfamiliar with what this is, it's basically me being hooked up to a heart-rate monitor and a contraction monitor for 20 minutes to see if our baby is.. well, stressed.

Good news: She isn't!

Bad news: The electronic blood pressure cuff said my blood pressure was 135/91. Lame.

So after my NST, I had to lay on my left side for 5 minutes and get it retested. This time, it was 127/89. Still too high for their standards. I then had my regular appointment (still not dilated, over 70% effaced, and she is very low). I measured 41 weeks, and my baby is NOT posterior. HOORAH! I'll just cut to the chase and summarize it all: induction was brought up by me. I can request induction any old time I want.

Except, as you know, we wanted a completely natural, non-medicated birth.

But that was before I suddenly got high blood pressure. So we all talked about it, weighing the pros and cons. Basically, if my blood pressure stays where it is, I'll risk-out of the midwifery center. And I'll have to go to the floor above and be in the regular L&D unit. She said that, for the most part, once blood pressure gets this high this late in the game, it doesn't ever really go back down. To wait and wait for my body to finally kick in gear is kind of a risk. Because if my blood pressure gets even higher, that would be bad.

So we opted for induction on Thursday afternoon.. starting with Cervidil and moving to Pitocin on Friday morning. Note: Pitocin is something I never, ever wanted to see in my birth story. And please don't give me crap about it. We just didn't want it for OUR birth. But ultimately, her health (and mine) is most important. And high blood pressure isn't something we want to play around with. I had plenty of signs this morning that my blood pressure was high, so I expected i this afternoon.

And, after all, I still have 3 days to go into labor naturally. It could easily happen. We're hoping it happens. The only differences between the midwifery center and regular L&D are: no birthing tub, not as much freedom of being off the monitors, they'll bug me a TON more, Mark won't be able to do as much, and they'll take my kid do the nursery. But my midwife will still deliver my baby.

I'm not really bummed. Our baby is still healthy, and my pregnancy is still moving along in full swing. All is good. And, ultimately, it doesn't matter where we give birth. We just really, really wanted a very low-intervention birth for our daughter. But we don't always get what we want :]

Oh. I forgot to mention that I also had to have my reflexes tested and have my blood drawn for liver and kidney failure. They never called me back with the results, so I'm assuming I'm a-okay.

So we'll definitely be having a baby by Friday. But hopefully sooner. And hopefully with lower blood pressure.

**I'll only publish nice comments. So don't bother being a meanie! :]

Friday, October 15, 2010

on the day of our due date.

I figured that maybe I should blog today - the day of our due date - to create a memory for myself. In just a few short hours/days, we'll be a family of 3.. and things will never be the same. And I have a feeling that this life, of just the two of us, will be a blurry memory. And I'll be one of those moms that says, "I can't remember what life was like without her!"

So I'm blogging about how I'm feeling today.

Sometimes I can sort of imagine having a baby. But, really, I can't. It's been just us since 2006! Well, technically, we've been a family of 3 since January. But taking care of a baby from inside a womb is pretty easy ;] Mark isn't anxious at all. He's as cool as a cucumber and is more than ready for her to make her appearance. I'm most looking forward to seeing him with our daughter, for the record. I'm positive that it will be the sweetest thing on earth.

I've been completely "calm" about labor since I found out I was pregnant. I didn't really worry about it at all! We both share the belief that God made me for this and that we should simply trust Him. But as my due date has approached this past week, these stupid little fears are creeping into my head -- what if the baby is posterior and gives me unmanageable back pain? What if I never go into labor and HAVE to be put on Cervidil or Pitocin? And - my biggest fear of all: what if I fail to progress?


We worked on "overcoming fears" pretty extensively in our birthing class. I never really got much of those exercises. Since, if I'm seriously fearing something, I'd just pray about it.. not "visualize" like they wanted us to. Ultimately, I just want to emerge from labor with a healthy baby and for me to be healthy, as well. So if that includes pitocin and a walking epidural, then that's that! And until then, I'll just be sitting here remaining positive, knowing that I have the best doula [Mark] in the world! And I'm as ready as I'll ever be... right? :]

My "little" belly is completely lopsided right now. Oh, I'm sooo going to miss my belly when it's gone. The only real complaints I have about pregnancy are the constant peeing and the weird back pains. But really? The miracle of life squirming around inside me is completely worth the discomfort. Right now we have a special bond, and she's all to myself. I know that once she's here, I'll be completely in love and happier than ever. But.. I'll miss pregnancy. Most definitely.

When nighttime rolls around, I get super antsy. My heart rate is through the roof and I am FULL of adrenaline. Because I think, "What if TONIGHT is the night?!" or "What if TONIGHT is the last night without her?!" It's a weird feeling to go through your days wondering, "Will today be the day??"

Hopefully our daughter got the memo and decides to come on her due date. I don't really feel like this pregnancy has flown by at all. I feel like I've totally embraced and LOVED every single minute of these past 9 months. It seems like just yesterday that I heard her little heartbeat at 8 weeks with our personal doppler.. beating away at 173 beats per minute. And it seems like just last week that we got our first ultrasound and saw her little body with such amazing detail.

And the day we got our "educated guess" that she was, in fact, a SHE.
And the day we saw her in 3D and got a gender confirmation!
And the day we went shopping for her nursery furniture.
And the day I felt her move for the very first time.
And the day Mark felt her move for the very first time.
And the day Clayton felt her move, and he called her a shark.
And our baby shower.
And seeing her at 30 weeks and falling in love with her lips.
And the day we started birthing class.

9 months of massages from my husband.
9 months of peeing entirely too much.
9 months of back pain.
9 months of constantly being thirsty.
9 months of feeling like my body is not my own!
9 months of odd aches in different locations...
9 months of planning for our first child.
9 months of blogging about pregnancy.
9 months of dreaming daily about our miracle daughter.
9 months of my heart bursting with love for our little one :)

I am really, really sad for this pregnancy to be over.

Just for the record.

But I cannot wait to meet her. You have no idea!*

*Well, you probably do if you have a child of your own :D Hehe!

Monday, October 11, 2010

as promised..

A few days ago, I mentioned making chicken spaghetti. And I promised to share it (the recipe) with you. Then I forgot about it.. but I'm finally getting around to it today.

I got the recipe from News Channel 5 in Nashville and my mom suggested that I try it out! It's pretty much a typical casserole and includes all of our favorite things: chicken, pasta, mushroom soup, and cheese.



The great thing about this recipe is that it actually makes a huge pan of food. Normally, Mark eats every.single.bite. of the food I cook. But with this jumbo recipe, we actually had leftovers! I just used one tray of chicken tenderloins (super cheap at the commissary) and I guesstimated 8oz of pasta. I ended up only needing about half a cup of chicken broth.. but otherwise, this recipe was a hit!!! I normally hate mushrooms, but I loved them in this recipe.


Mark gave me a high-five for this meal.. which is the ultimate response from my husband :] Just click HERE for the recipe. Yummy!


I'm less than a week away from my due date, and I'm extremely anxious! Well, if you go by ultrasound dating, I'm due today! And if you go by my digital ovulation tests, I'm due Friday. And if you go by my last menstrual period, I'm due Sunday.

Capish? :]

I'm going by the ClearBlue digital ovulation tests, so I know exactly when I conceived. Just for the record!

I actually thought that I was going into labor last night. While in Target, I started having many (MANY) consistent, powerful, long-lasting contractions. And they lasted for hours. While in the car on the way home, I got so tired that I couldn't even keep my head up. Then I came home and laid on the couch and slept like a rock. Contractions continued and eventually fizzled out in the middle of the night. I knew not to say anything, because I doubted that it was the real deal. And I was right!

But I have an appointment later today, so we'll see how things go! Our bags are kind of packed. Our pillows (we have to bring our own), suitcase, and diaper bag are sitting in the hallway.. just waiting to go! I'm so excited that I could explode. Piper has started completely ignoring me. She won't even sit next to me now. Last week, she would curl up around my belly and refused to leave my side. Now? She's at the opposite end of the couch. I wonder what this means!

Mark and I have been going on lots of dates. And, thanks to Columbus Day, I get the day off with him today too! So now we're just waiting and waiting and waiting. And I'm trying to soak up every single kick, wiggle, and roll that my baby girl does. Because pretty soon, she'll be born! And I can't imagine how much I'm going to miss this pregnancy.

Sniff! :\

Friday, October 8, 2010

39 weeks!


Total weight gain/loss:
I'm still not telling.

Maternity clothes? Some of my shirts are almost too small. Good thing I'm at the end of my pregnancy!

Stretch marks? I'm the poster child for stretch marks.

Sleep: It's actually better! I still flip from side to side all night long, and I wake up about 3 times to use the bathroom.. but otherwise, it's great! Well, I take take that back. About half the time, I wake up at 5am and am awake until 7:30. It's really bizarre.

Best moment this week: Being told I'm 1cm and 60% effaced and at a -2 station. At least we're making progress over here.

Movement: Movin and groovin.

Food cravings: I don't have cravings.

Gender: Our darling daughter.

Labor Signs: Ohh cramping and BH contractions. Nothing new over here!

Belly Button in or out? You'd die if you saw my belly button. It looks like a Cheerio.

Wedding rings on or off? They're currently off, but they totally still fit just fine. But sometimes they're a smidge snug, so I'm just taking them off as a precautionary thing.

What I miss: not having puke come up my throat when I lay down :)

What I am looking forward to: seeing my husband with our precious daughter. I cannot wait for that.

Weekly Wisdom: They'll come when they're good and ready.

Milestones: We're LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!

So I had an appointment earlier this week. My uterus was measuring 37 weeks.. even though I'm sure some of you might think my uterus is HUGE. It really isn't :] But I'm still feeling fine as a fritter. I'm just so excited for her to come! It really is a bizarre feeling to know that she can come at any minute. We can't wait!

I've changed a little since 32 weeks, don't you think?



Just a smidge of growth ;]