Saturday, May 31, 2008

WANTED For Being Too Cute!



A lady from the church I grew up in recently gave us several outfits for D.L.F. and Cupcake. This is one of D.L.F.'s...the shirt has a cowboy on it and reads, "WANTED for being too cute!"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Too Busy

I have been too busy to blog. Everything is going well around here, though. Cupcake was up to 8 lbs., 7 oz. at her 2-week checkup, so she has regained her birth weight and then some. Dear Little Fellow is doing really well now with having a little sister. He is getting better at entertaining himself while I take care of Cupcake. She still sleeps a lot, but my midwives say that's fine--since she's gaining plenty of weight--and that I should enjoy it while it lasts!

Some friends of ours (who just got engaged--yay!) brought dinner over to share with us last night, and we had such a nice time together.

I took both kids out by myself for the first time on Monday. Wow! It took so much preparation...getting myself ready, getting D.L.F. and Cupcake dressed, nursing Cupcake, figuring out the double stroller, packing everything required for a trip out with a baby and toddler, and then hauling everything down a flight of stairs! Oh, and Cupcake spit up all over me right before we were ready to go out the door! I figured, since we were only going to the park, no one would really get that close to me, so I just wiped it off as well as I could, and we were on our way. Five years ago, the thought of doing that probably would have disgusted me to no end, but...things change when you become a mom. :-) It's been too rainy the past couple of days to go anywhere, but if the weather clears up today, I would like try to take the kids to the library. We'll see.

Friday, May 16, 2008

One of Life's Little Mysteries

How is it that, by adding one child to our family, our dirty laundry has quadrupled?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The First Week

I am not as utterly, totally exhausted after Cupcake’s quick birth than I was after my long, very difficult labor with D.L.F. Aside from the normal discomforts of the early days of nursing, I physically feel pretty good. Cupcake is proving to be a good nurser, but she is quite the sleepyhead. I sometimes have to tickle her or pat a cool, damp washcloth on her face to get her to wake up enough to nurse. I am working really hard to get her to nurse eight times a day, which is the minimum number of times recommended. She seems to be getting plenty of milk, though, based on her, uh, diaper output. I am starting to get Cupcake on a routine (more about that later), which is helpful for her and the whole family. In general, she is so far a pretty “easy” baby and not very fussy.

D.L.F. is adjusting to being a big brother. I try to spend lots of time with him while Cupcake is sleeping. It is obvious that he is craving attention from T and me. He loves for me to rock him in the rocking chair and sing to him (he often requests particular songs and helps with the words!). Today he went grocery shopping with T in the morning, and this afternoon, he and T went to church, which met tonight at the home of a family who has a trampoline in their backyard. D.L.F. was excited to hear that he would get to bounce on the trampoline.

Now, about the “routine” we are working on for Cupcake: in the first days of D.L.F.’s life, I refused to even read Babywise, by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I had heard of the controversy surrounding the book and the Ezzo’s ministry, and I had read so many “attachment parenting” books that I was quite biased against the concept of putting a young baby on a routine. But then I read about how Jess and Gretchen had successfully implemented Babywise with their children, and I decided it couldn’t hurt to read the book and see if I could glean at least a scrap of useful information from it.

I was surprised to find that the advice in Babywise is very practical, and not cruel or extreme as some reviewers on the internet would make it out to be. The most helpful thing I learned from the book was to make sure that baby is really getting a full feeding, and not just "snacking" here and there. Gretchen does a great job of explaining the basic tenets of the Babywise philosophy, so I will not repeat what she has written, but will direct you to her article here. (Also, it seems that at least some of the negative things said about the Ezzos and Babywise have been proven false. See this web site.)

We have started applying the Babywise concepts with Cupcake, and I am hopeful that they will help her become a content, well-rested, happy baby who understands that we love her dearly and will meet her needs.

Cupcake with Her Papa


A Man in the Kitchen


Hubby, whom I have decided to refer to as "T" on this blog because I feel goofy always calling him "Hubby," came up with a creative solution to a problem the other night. My parents were over, and Mom had made some shortcakes and sugared some strawberries, and all that was left to do was whip up some whipping cream. She didn't know when she bought all the ingredients for strawberry shortcake that I had burned up the motor in my electric mixer a while back trying to mix a batch of peanut butter cookie dough. Mom and T took turns trying to whip the cream by hand with a whisk, but after several minutes of doing that with no apparent progress, T went and got his electric drill, inserted a whisk, and voila! Whipped cream in moments! (By the way, T bought me a new mixer, as well as three different kinds of dark chocolate, for Mother's Day!)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

3 Days Old

My Cupcake


I Have Two Children Now!


Cupcake with Her Grandma (My Mom)


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Birth of Our Daughter


Here is the birth story of our daughter, who will henceforth be referred to on this blog as "Cupcake," because she's cute, little, and sweet. :-)

I woke up at 12:30 A.M. having some moderate contractions. They weren’t extremely painful, but I thought they seemed stronger than Braxton-Hicks. After a while, I started timing them, and they were about ten minutes apart. I lay awake for several hours and then managed to doze a bit between the contractions, which had slowed down.

I continued to have light to moderate contractions throughout the morning and early afternoon. I wasn’t very diligent to time them, because they weren’t even requiring my full concentration at that point—I was able to continue doing whatever I was doing through them.

I managed to take a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which I guess meant that I didn’t have contractions during that time, or they were so light they were unnoticeable.

After I woke up, I decided to take a walk to see if that would help the contractions become more intense. I walked briskly around the neighborhood for about twenty or twenty-five minutes and had four fairly strong contractions during that time. When I got home, I started to make dinner. I had all the ingredients for potato-broccoli-bacon soup, and I wanted to use them up before they spoiled, so I started making the soup, even though the temperature was in the seventies and I already felt hot. I started chopping up vegetables and realized that my contractions were getting closer together and stronger. My water broke at with a gush at 5:00 P.M. while I was standing at the kitchen sink peeling potatoes. I found a contraction timer on the internet and started using that every time I had a contraction. Within forty-five minutes or so, the contractions went from moderate intensity and about five minutes apart to extremely strong and about three-and-a-half minutes apart. My water gushed a couple more times during contractions. By this time, Hubby had called my mom, who was staying nearby, and she said she would be right over. I guess I should have realized how close I was to having a baby at that point, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up of having a short labor, so I continued trying to make the soup. I told myself all these contractions were probably a false alarm, and the baby probably wouldn’t actually come for a couple more days. Finally, Hubby told me to stop making soup and come pack my bag! He had already put in a lot of my things for me, but I tossed in a few more things between contractions, which had me yelling and pounding on the wall. My mom arrived and took charge of D.L.F., who was becoming a little upset about seeing Mama acting so strangely (at first, he thought it was just a game and tried to imitate the sounds I was making, but after a while, he realized I wasn’t playing around). As we were heading out the door, I was giving my mom instructions on how to finish the soup! She said she would figure it out just fine, and I should go get in the car.

We made it down the stairs and about halfway out to the car when a big contraction hit. I was a bit embarrassed to have to moan so loudly while there were other people in the parking lot of our apartment complex, but I couldn’t help it.

We left our house around 6:30 P.M. and got to the birth center at 6:50. During the ride, I sat in the backseat and clenched the handle grip above the door with all my might during contractions, which were getting closer and closer together. The breeze from the open windows felt great. My method of distracting myself during contractions at this time was to slowly sing the ABC song in my head and mentally write the letters in swirly cursive.

When we arrived, Hubby opened my car door for me and extended his hand to help me out, but I was in the middle of having a contraction, so he stood there waiting until the contraction finished. Then I got out of the car and had another contraction. There were three men talking together on the sidewalk at the bottom of the stairway up to the birth center. I tried to ignore them, but was again embarrassed to be making such animalistic noises. We made it up the stairs and into the birth center. I saw my midwives, but couldn’t bring myself to even greet them, as the contractions were right on top of each other and were all I could concentrate on. I requested the room D.L.F. was born in. I collapsed on my side on the bed, and Midwife L. did a quick exam and said I was at ten centimeters and ready to push. Wow! What a different experience from the hours and hours and hours we spent at the birth center awaiting the birth of D.L.F.

Someone asked if I wanted the tub filled. I said sure, but I was beyond caring where the baby would be born. I was just ready to get her out. While the tub was being filled, I sat on a horseshoe-shaped wooden birth stool, gripped the handles, and pushed. Hubby was right behind me rubbing my back the whole time. I didn’t need the back massage this time in the same way I needed it with D.L.F., who was posterior, but it was still nice to feel Hubby’s touch and know he was there supporting me. He kept telling me what a great job I was doing and reminding me that we would see our baby very soon.

I started pushing at 7:07. At first, I was yelling a low “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” every time I pushed, but Midwife L. suggested changing to a more grunty yell, which would help get the baby out more easily. And it did—Cupcake was born at 7:27 P.M., weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and measuring 20 ¼ inches long. It was only thirty-seven minutes from the time we walked in the door of the birth center until she was in my arms. Whew! Her APGAR scores were 9 and 10.

I bled quite a bit, approximately 450 milliliters, and so one of the midwives gave me a shot of pitocin in my right thigh to help control the bleeding.

I pushed the placenta out at 7:36. It was large, healthy-looking, and complete. Cupcake’s cord was extremely long—“Enough cord for two babies,” as one of the midwives put it. Hubby cut the cord at 7:41. I got into the tub and cleaned up a bit.

I started nursing Cupcake at 8:00. She was more interested in trying to get her fingers in her mouth than in nursing, but she did manage to latch on and suck for about forty-five minutes.

Midwife D. brought us take-out from a Thai restaurant. I had cashew chicken, and Hubby had teriyaki chicken. We were hungry, as we never had gotten to eat our soup! Hubby fed my dinner to me, as my hands were busy with Cupcake.

After we ate, Midwife L. examined me and found that I had a small first-degree tear which did not require stitches. I was so grateful for that, as getting my third-degree tear after D.L.F.’s birth stitched up was physically and emotionally as hard or harder on me than the actual birth.

We left the birth center at 10:50 P.M.—exactly four hours after our arrival. Midwife D. said, “What a great way to spend an evening. It only took the same amount of time as going out for dinner and a movie, but you got a baby!”

Hubby and I thank God for our precious, sweet baby daughter. It was a blessing to have such a quick, natural, peaceful, beautiful, relatively easy birth. Mama and Baby are both doing great.




Saturday, May 03, 2008

More Weekend Fun

My mom and I took D.L.F. to the zoo this morning. It was his first time to go, and he enjoyed it. I think his favorite exhibit was the sea otters. He kept calling them doggies....they did kind of look that way. We also saw elephants, tigers, bears, and various types of monkeys, birds, and sea life.

My parents are coming back later tonight and bringing Thai food from our favorite local joint. I asked them to make mine mild, but now that I think about it, maybe I should have said to get hot, as I've heard spicy foods can help a woman go into labor! Still no progress in that department....

Hubby and my dad stayed at our house and worked on organizing and clearing excess "stuff" out of our "stuff room"--basically, a room that up until this point, has been used exclusively for storage, but we now want to use it for the baby's room. They made some good progress.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Family Weekend

My parents are in town. Mom and I took D.L.F. to the park this morning to see the ducks, and now Mom and Dad are on their way over and should be here in a few minutes. It surely would be handy if I would just go into labor tonight or tomorrow, since my parents are already here!