Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2 Years

What a week.  Christmas!  The New Year!  Baby B is ONE!  And it is the second anniversary of losing Q (Baby L).  We had a gorgeous white Christmas and B was overwhelmed but loved the ornaments, the paper, the gifts, the music, etc.  We both took B's birthday off of work, took her swimming and out to lunch, and did all of her favorite activities.  It's been such a nice stretch of spending time as a family and having a lot of fun, but lurking in the background are the memories of little Q.  My mind flashes back to scenes from the hospital much more often these days and I find myself hugging Blythe extra hard, rocking her longer, holding her while she sleeps, and constantly thinking of Q and B. 

I'm reminded both of how much we have lost and how lucky we are to be where we are today.  It's unfathomable to me what this anniversary would be like without B in my arms.  This is my not-so-little one-year-old on Christmas enjoying the fresh snow.

I try to remind myself to be grateful and happy when I instead find myself feeling envious of another friend's second or third baby pregnancy announcement.  I know I should always focus on what I have, which is the most wonderful gift I've ever been given. 

Thinking of you today, Quinn, and missing you like I do every day.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, B!

Happiest birthday to our Baby B!  How is it possible that you are one already?  We could not love you more.

Someone loves playing with balloons and eating berry shortcake.

Monday, November 23, 2015

11 Months and Hawaii!

Whoa.  Where did the last few months go?  Summer ended and everyone seemed to remember they had a job and all of a sudden my work flow picked up and, frankly, got totally out of control!  I haven't made time for much outside of spending time with family, work (including lots of travel), exercising (occasionally), and sleep.  And let's be honest... most of my time outside of work is spent with this nugget:

I cannot believe she'll be 11 months old this week.  Apparently I am supposed to start thinking about her first birthday?  Where did the last year go?  Does anyone have any first birthday party tips?  I swore when I was pregnant that we'd always celebrate her birthday so she wouldn't resent the fact that it is sandwiched between Christmas and the New Year, but now I'm wondering what we should do.  Perhaps it is time to get on Pinterest so I can be reminded of my party planning inadequacy!

We've been doing a lot of traveling lately, both for work and pleasure.  I had work trips to Washington, D.C. and Boston and now we are in Hawaii for 2 weeks for vacation.  A break from work and "regular" life could not have come at a better time.  I haven't been checking e-mail or text messagand I feel so refreshed and refocused, which was much needed.  And I've spent a lot of time thinking about just how much we have to be thankful for this year... which is easy to do when I'm playing in the sand with the sweetest little girl.  I've been reading Better than Before (Gretchen Rubin and I seem to be on the same wave length) and trying to stick to good habits and quash bad ones, which includes blogging more frequently and running regularly (I signed up for the Austin Marathon in February so I better).  Does anyone else enjoy Gretchen's books or podcast?

So, as we kick off the holiday season later this week with Thanksgiving, I want those of you who read to know I am thankful for you and your support and your willingness to share and listen.  And if any of you have taken a red-eye with an 11-month-old baby, I'd love to hear any advice you have.  While this vacation has been absolutely amazing, I am dreading the flight home...

Friday, November 20, 2015


Alternative title: better late than never.

I cannot resist sharing that Baby B was a garden gnome for Halloween.  And in my humble and totally biased opinion, she crushed it.  My Mom made her costume and B even left the hat and beard on for several hours.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

If you are reading this blog, I suspect you already know that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and that October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month.  I know that all of us who have lost a baby or babies think of them every day, but I really love that there is a special day to honor those babies and our losses and do hope that awareness grows for these events.

Two weeks ago, we attended the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep walk in Littleton, Colorado. My parents joined us, as did a friend from my support group (and her husband and baby girl).   It was a somber experience (of course) and so wonderful to set aside a few hours to just reflect and both celebrate and allow ourselves to be sad about Quinn.  They read the names of all the babies who had been lost by attendees and it really meant to much to just hear her name.  It was heartbreaking to hear hers and so many others (and so many families with multiple names that were read).

What I didn't do that I still want to do this month is go back and look through Quinn's box (incidentally, the box that NILMDTS gave us in the hospital). I haven't looked at her photos in months and somehow I feel like I am doing a disservice to her memory.  That said, sometimes I just can't bring myself to open up the floodgates for the grief again.  I know it is good to do from time to time, but it hasn't felt like the right time yet...

I woke up to a very sweet e-mail from a friend this morning telling me she is thinking of me and attaching the image below, which is from a line of cards.  These cards were created by Dr. Jessica Zucker, a psychologist and writer who specializes in women's reproductive and maternal-fetal health.   I'm not one to drop F-bombs often, but I did appreciate the message and the statements certainly resonated with me -- it is amazing what people think will help to say.

What I'm trying to do this month is be especially joyful about my current situation (and particularly for that nugget pictured above).  I have a happy, healthy, fun, beautiful little girl and the best husband.  I have a great job and a comfortable home and life is very, very good.  Every morning when I get B from her crib, I give thanks for her and the joy she has returned to our home and our hearts.  She is such a light.  So even with the sadness that bubbles up more often than I would like, and especially this month after events like the walk, I know just how good things are.

I'm thinking of you all... while I may not know you outside of our online connection, I think of you all often, wonder how you are doing, love reading about your activities and families, and so greatly value this community that has taken me in and pulled me through some really hard times.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

8 Months

My little B has now been on the outside almost as long as she was on the inside.  I can hardly believe it.  Since my last post, it feels like so many things have changed.  She now eats solid food regularly (and some of it actually gets swallowed).  She sits up.  She crawls.  She pulls herself up to standing and does a little Elvis-esque hip movement since she's quite wobbly up on those chubby feet.  She makes fun noises and I have no idea where she hears them.  She adores story time and music class.  She gives "kisses," which are more like open-mouthed slobbers on whatever part of your face she reaches.  She is the best!

We've found an equilibrium at home for the time being (I have accepted that things change from day to day, week to week), and I feel like I have a better grip on home life, work, family, etc.  For me, this means I am finally running regularly (which makes me feel so much more like myself), packing my lunch to take to work and making meals for the family for dinner, reading at night and while I pump at work (just finished this book and loved it and this is me on Goodreads - I'd love to know what you all are reading), and not totally behind at work.  It feels good.  I know the next challenge is just around the bend, but I'm embracing the feeling I have today of just loving life.

Oh, hi! I'm not napping! 
I refuse to accept the idea that summer is ending.  Instead, I'm embracing the fact that September and October are two of the nicest months in Colorado and that we are getting better at weekend trips with B.  This pack has been amazing for taking B hiking and I love that she can join on our adventures (one of which is pictured above).

In a few weeks, our family is joining in the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Remembrance Walk in Littleton, Colorado.  It will be a somber day for sure, but I look forward to celebrating Quinn.  Two of the women from my support group are joining. Is anyone else in Denver and planning to attend?

One hazard of being on top of things at work is that I spend more time reading blogs.  Today I stumbled upon Harry's Joy and Life, Loss and Little Things.  It never ceases to amaze me how my sadness at losing Quinn can be tucked away for a few hours or a day and then - boom - it catches me off-guard and takes my breath away all over again.  Reading both of these blogs did that for me again, as did a call from my vascular surgeon to have a follow-up appointment to check on my blood clot.

I'm just rambling, but there it is.
8 months! Not lacking in thighs :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Amy Klein

Have any of you followed Amy Klein's journey on the Motherlode blog at the NYT?  She has been trying to get pregnant for 3 years and has gone to great lengths, traveled abroad to seek more affordable care, etc.  If you want to read an inspiring story, you should check her's out.

She gave birth to a healthy daughter earlier this month!  I was so excited to see her article in my inbox this morning. Check out her story if you need some good news and some hope.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

6.5 Months & Flexing My Schedule!

Our "little" B is 6 1/2 months old!  She's no longer all that little (50th percentile for height and weight at her six-month appointment), she's moving like crazy (so far rolling all over the place and scooting backwards), she is desperate to crawl forward, and loves trying new foods.  Her first swimming lesson was last night and she loved it.  We only dunked her head under the water once and was surprised by it, but not upset.  She also loves drinking from a small cup she has with a straw.  She's obsessed with straws.  I blame the fact that she sees me and her nanny drinking Starbucks from a straw and is jealous!  She brings us so much joy.

I finally worked up the courage to talk to my boss about flexing my schedule at work.  Since I don't really want to reduce my hours, just work in the evening after B goes to sleep and sometimes go home early or arrive late, I just asked if I could occasionally do that - leave at 3, hang out with B and then work for a few hours after 7:30 PM when she is asleep.  Before I even finished my sentence , he said it was fine. All of that stress and anxiety about this on my part and the conversation could not have gone better.  Last Friday I worked from home for the first time and it was awesome.  I worked the night before to clear my plate and took 2 calls while B was napping, but I also went to music class with her, went for a run with her in the stroller, and spent a lot of time just playing.  Thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts on this with me and gave me the courage to ask.

That's really the update from here. Life is so, so good.

I think of Quinn often.  I also think often about having another baby (yes, so soon).  I don't know if I have the appetite for IVF, doctors, etc. after finally being healthy again after such a long time.  But then I look at Blythe and I know we'd love to have another. Who knows.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Shared Experiences

We've had a bit too much going on at home lately, so I have had little to no time to myself and hence no time to blog. My husband ruptured his achilles and has been on crutches for the last 6 weeks (2 more weeks to go).  I am now even more in awe of single parents or those of you with a spouse who is deployed or away for long periods of time.  It is hard to be the sole caregiver for a baby (and to take care of an injured adult on top of that).

If you haven't seen Sheryl Sandberg's post on Facebook about losing her husband, check it out.  Her thoughts and advice and experience with such a tremendous loss will likely resonate.  I particularly related to her loathing of the question "How are you?"  I used to want to scream at people who asked me that.  And I also loved how she said  the following:

"Option A is not available.  So let's just kick the shit out of Option B."

When I catch myself thinking of Option A (Lemon), I let myself dream of what she would be like, but also remind myself how utterly amazing it is that we have Blythe.  I wouldn't want to think of her as Option B, but you know what I mean... arriving at B was not what we planned, but it certainly is sweet.

On a completely separate subject, I've had two people in the last few weeks approach me to talk about their losses. The first was a woman with whom I connected through our acupuncturist who lost her baby at 30 weeks due to a cord accident. The second is a woman with whom I work who stopped by my desk sobbing last week.  Her daughter-in-law (who also works at our company) had just found out at 20 weeks that her baby had anencephaly and they had to terminate the pregnancy.  I don't know this woman, but she knew I had been through something similar and just wanted to talk.  It just broke my heart and it stirred up so many crazy emotions and sent me running home early to snuggle B.  Every day I am so thankful for her.  Speaking of work, I still haven't figured out working less or asking for reduced hours.  I plan to do something about it this week, but thank you all for your thoughts and feedback on the subject.


B, by the way, is SO big!  I'm sure she is still in the 30th percentile somewhere, but she seems just huge to me!  She is rolling over like crazy (I still panic when I see her sleeping on her stomach in the monitor), talking constantly, and just so much fun.   She also has, in my wholly biased opinion, the best hair.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

You'll never know unless you ask!

This is how I feel about motherhood.  It's overwhelming how much I love our little nugget.
I'm just about finished with my third week of work.  I promised myself that I'd give work a full four weeks before I thought seriously about, or made any decisions about, asking to reduce my hours or work from home occasionally.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it is on my mind ALL the time.  I am fortunate in that I live close to my office (9 minutes) and don't have rigid hours, so I generally arrive at 8:00 AM and leave at 5:00 PM.  However, this means I get about an hour in the morning with B (during which time I am also getting ready for work, so it isn't quality time) and when I get home I get about an hour before she is ready to eat and get ready for bed.  Sometimes she is napping, so I get even less.

And it just isn't feeling like enough.

As a lawyer, I don't have the kind of job that can be shared with someone else so I can't just go part-time (the work arises when it does and often cannot be pushed off for a day or two).  But I am productive and focused when I am at work and I think I could get my work done in a shorter period of time, which would allow me to see more of B.  Right now I am considering asking to work 8 to 3 and to finish up anything that needs to get done urgently after B goes to bed.

I'm wondering if any of you have asked for reduced hours or a big change in your work situation?  Do you have any suggestions for how best to approach the conversation?

One thing I keep reminding myself is that I'll never know what is possible unless I ask.  The answer may be "no," but it may not be.

And the following quote reminded me why finding the balance that works for me is so very important.  I don't want to lose myself, but what matters most to my heart is spending time with B.

By the way, both of these posters are from the artist Susan O'Malley who did an amazing project where she asked people on the street to give the advice they thought their 80-year-old self would give.  I love the responses.  In heart-wrenching news, she passed away in March at 39 weeks pregnant with twins and lost both of her girls, too.  I cannot even imagine how her husband is surviving.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Babies & Due Dates

I finally wanted to share my baby's full names.  Not sure what is inspiring me to do this today, but I was just thinking about the anonymity of this blog and that I might be changing my tune about whether it it is necessary.


Baby L is referred to as "L" because we called her Lemon through my pregnancy. I'm not sure why, but it was an early nickname and it stuck.  But her real name is Quinn.  Beautiful, sweet Quinn.  I often think of her as my little Q.  But I do also still think of her as Lemon and think it would have been one of her nicknames.  Or maybe it is still her nickname?  I get tripped up in tenses when I think of Quinn.

And our Baby B!  The love of my life who brings me so much joy -- more than I thought we might ever feel again after we lost Quinn.  Baby B's real name is Blythe.  It means happy.  We hope she is happy and she certainly makes us the happiest we've ever been.  It has been my favorite name for ages and it just fit her (even though it took us 3 days in the hospital to actually commit).

So there it is.  You have now officially met my Baby B and Baby L.


Last week was also the one-year anniversary of L's due date.  Little Lemon would be one year old.  I would have a one-year-old.  My due date anniversary and my last week of maternity leave combined to make it an emotional week.  Mostly I cuddled Miss B as much as possible, gave her many kisses, let her nap in my arms, and enjoyed every second with her.  But I also told her about her sister and had a few good cries thinking about the last two years and everything we have been through, lost, and gained.

As we all know, anniversaries are tough.

Working for the Weekend

Happy Friday!  This one is especially happy since it is my first week back at work and I am counting the minutes until I can go home and snuggle with B (6 hours, 14 minutes).  B is home with a nanny who I think it taking wonderful care of her.  I suppose I have to trust my instincts on this one (and my husband's, since we hired her), but it is SO hard to leave her at home with someone who I really do not know well, no matter that she had great references and we loved her in her interview.  Any advice on this one?  I told my husband I wanted to install a nanny cam and he officially thinks I am off my rocker and has warned me not to frighten the nanny away.

The emotions of this first week back are intense.  Truthfully, it feels really nice to get up, shower, blow dry my hair, and go to work!  I get a coffee on the way, I get a lot done, I converse with adults, and I have some freedom and feel a bit more like myself.  I try to squeeze in a workout and to remember what I am like as an individual rather than just who I am as a Mom.  And I have some time to catch up on blogging and reading other blogs (I am sure my employer would be thrilled to hear that).

But, I spend a great deal of my day thinking about B.  What is she up to?  When can we snuggle?  Will she be awake when I am home?  What are she and the nanny up to?  Is she happy?  Is she being properly cared for?  Will she resent me for not having stayed home with her?  The list goes on and on...

B will be four months old next week and we are having so much fun together so I just hate missing out on things.  She has rolled over a few times and laughs and smiles and loves being read to and sung to. And I am not there to see it happen.  This weekend we are taking her swimming for the first time. I cannot wait.

I know we all struggle with these emotions and there is a completely other side of them for those of us who stay home with our babies full-time.  I knew it would be hard, but perhaps not *this* hard.  Any thoughts or advice from those of you who have been doing this longer?

Crazy hair!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Time Flies! 10 Weeks!

Where does the time go?  Baby B was 10 weeks old on Sunday and my maternity leave is flying by.  I am not always sure what I get "done" every day (sometimes nothing), but the days seem to pass quickly and, frankly, in the most wonderful way that usually involves walks with B in the Ergo, a jog with her in the car seat and running stroller, a nap or two on my chest, some tummy time, and our new nighttime routine (we finally seem to be developing one that works).  Of course there is also crying, blow out diapers, fussiness, and a lack of sleep, but the good stuff just overshadows those things.  I am repeatedly overwhelmed by how much I love her, spending time with her, snuggling with her, smelling her head, kissing her cheeks, and generally smothering her with love.
Yeah!  My current favorite photo of Baby B!
I am sometimes amazed by how all of the little tasks I intend to get done just do fall to the wayside. For example, I have been reading all of your wonderful blogs on my iPhone during feedings, but I have yet to find a way to read AND respond in a timely manner. I actually think I'll have a lot more time to do personal things upon my return to work.  I'm sure my employer will love that.

Some other things I have come across in my late night blog reading.  Not that I shop at Dolce & Gabbana, but if you do, now is the time to stop.  So upsetting.  So ignorant.  This story about a woman's experience with stillbirth made me well up with emotion and sadness.  Sometimes I hold B and just think about how much I love her and how I feel so incredibly fortunate, lucky, blessed, etc. to have her in my life.  Oh, and my parents were visiting a few weeks ago and we watched the movie "Labor Day."  Have you all seen it?  I had no idea before watching it (or I wouldn't have), but the main character has multiple miscarriages and a stillborn baby.  It was gut-wrenching to watch.

There are just three weeks remaining in my maternity leave.  It's funny - I have always been a hard-charging, goal-oriented career woman.  After college and law school I took a job at one of the largest law firms in the world and have always just pushed toward having a "high powered" career (whatever that means).  I've dialed it back a bit since we moved to Colorado, but never before have I felt so disinterested in my job.  And I LOVE my job, I really do.  But I kind of just want to stay home with B.  I've been focused for so long on having a baby and here she is!  And now I am going to leave her? R and I decided I would go back full time for at least a month and see how it goes before I make any decisions, so that is the plan.

And to cap off this incredibly random post, I've been thinking about removing the anonymity associated with this blog.  I'm not planning to shout from the rooftops to friends and family that I have it, but I might just start using full names, etc.  We'll see.  Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

Oh, and one more cute two month shot just because.  B has caught up in weight and height and is starting to get chubby cheeks and folds in her thighs.  I love it.

I've never been so happy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

How was your birth experience?

Last week, B and I walked to the grocery store for a few things.  While we were waiting in the checkout line, the woman behind me said, "I'm studying to become a doula.  How was your birth experience?"

[deep breath]

I know there is always a choice in how we respond to questions like this.  I could have just said that it was great and left it at that, but I think this is an intensely personal question and is it really appropriate to ask random people at the grocery store?  

I decided to just answer but to be straightforward: "She's happy and healthy and that is all that we wanted."  I then turned back to face the other way and hoped that was the end of the conversation.

It wasn't.  She then asked where we delivered and how.  Seriously?  So I told her the name of the hospital and said that I'd had a c-section.  I got the classic disappointed look and a "Oh... well did you schedule it?"  And then I got irked.  So what if I had?  Even if I had just scheduled it because I wanted a c-section and not because of a medical reason.  Is it any of her business.  

"No," I said.  "I didn't schedule it.  I was induced and ended up needing a c-section."  [Again, hoping this would end the conversation.]

"Why were you induced if you don't mind me asking?"  Really?  I thought I was abundantly clear with my tone that I DID mind, but apparently not.  And I thought I could just tell this woman that I was induced because I have a clotting disorder or I could just be completely honest and hopefully make her feel a bit uncomfortable so she might not harass other women in the store in the future.  So, I went for it.

"I had a daughter that was stillborn," I said.  "And I have a clotting disorder."  I then went on to make a point of telling her that I didn't care one bit about having a c-section and actually thought it was pretty great.

That look that people get on their face when you mention losing a child.  It gets me every time.  She looked (finally) horrified that she had pushed so far and kept asking questions and also sad and a little shocked and then she *finally* stopped asking about my birth and started asking me questions about B.

I've never been happier for my turn to check out at a store.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

6 Weeks & A Weekend Getaway

Greetings from Vail!  We packed up the car this morning and are on our first "getaway" as a family.  Friends kindly lent us their beautiful home in the mountains and it is so nice to be out of the city and in new surroundings.  I can't ski this year because I still have to take blood thinners, but we'll snowshoe, hike, pursue the village, etc.

My dad calls this my jailbird outfit.

Baby B is 6 weeks old... almost 7, actually.  I can hardly believe it.  Time is flying.  There are some really, really hard moments, but mostly being home with her is absolutely wonderful.  I love when she falls asleep on my chest and I no longer feel like I should be doing something else (emptying the dishwasher, doing laundry, making the bed, making dinner). I just embrace it (and her) and enjoy the snuggles.  They are so precious and I am so very thankful for her.  I seriously spend a lot of time just marveling at her tiny fingers and toes, her eyelashes, her soft skin.  To say I'm obsessed is an understatement.

One thing I have been feeling that I didn't really expect is absolute dread about going back to work.  Is this familiar to any of you?  I'm a lawyer by day and love my job.  I don't work crazy hours anymore and I can absolutely have my career and be a Mom... but the mere thought of going back to work is terrifying to me!  I have another 6 weeks, but it just does not feel like enough and I can't bear the idea of leaving B with someone else (even though we are set to join a nanny share with a woman who seems fantastic).  I'm going to give it a try and see how things go being back at work, but for the first time in my life I am thinking that being home with B full time would be awesome. I've just never thought that was the path for me, but maybe it is?

I also had my 6-week appointment with my OB.  My c-section incision is healing and I'm cleared to exercise (I ran yesterday and it felt awesome).  She only briefly mentioned birth control to me and I told her I wasn't going to take any.  Given my history, AMH, FSH, etc., if we got pregnant again, even sometime soon, it would be a miracle.  My OB did ask that we give her a few month break from the stress of having me as a patient :)  The conversation went better than I thought -- I expected her to push a bit and suggest I take something for awhile.

Sometimes when I am feeding B in the wee hours of the night/morning, I read on my phone and I recently came across this article: "I'm 41, Single, and Pregnant."  Definitely recommend reading it.  I've also been reading all of your blogs (those of you who comment), but I can't seem to comment from my phone while breastfeeding so I'm hoping that this weekend I can catch up and actually leave comments.  You are all in my thoughts.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One Month & Pregnancy and Parenting Pressures

Baby B is one month old today!  It's hard to believe but I can tell she is growing and changing all the time and I am starting to pick up on what her different cries mean, how to soothe her, etc. (ha - even as I write this I know she is plotting some way to confuse me this afternoon).  I still marvel at her existence on a daily basis.  Her eyelashes.  Her soft skin.  Her skinny legs and tiny feet.  Her long fingers.  Her blue eyes.  Anyway...
The frog legs.  The hair.  Love her so much.
First, I've been listening to "The Longest Shortest Time" podcast and am hooked.  Do any of you listen?  If not, give it a try if podcasts are your thing.  It is all about the early months of parenting and I'm loving the topics and interviews.

In our walks around the neighborhood and late-night feeding sessions, I've had a lot of time to think about pregnancy, birth, being a Mom to a living baby (wow, never thought I'd write that), and just how life is so different.  Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my best friends who is also a pediatrician at a hospital.  We were discussing two things I have found to be totally crazy about giving birth and having a baby: c-sections and breastfeeding.

I had a c-section.  You can read my delivery story here if you'd like, but mine was medically necessary to save Baby B who was having decelerations.  It was terrifying (the decelerations) and I could not have cared less about how she came out of me, as long as she was alive.  That said, I didn't care ahead of the birth, either, except for the fact that I was on massive quantities of blood thinners, so a c-section was riskier for me than it normally us.

What I'm trying to get around to saying is that I have been astonished by the number of people who have expressed disappointment on my behalf because I had a c-section.  She is here safe and sound! Sure, would I have liked to avoid major abdominal surgery?  Of course!  But am I upset because I didn't get to have a vaginal delivery?  No, not at all. I don't feel like I had a worse experience or that I failed in some way.  My baby is alive.  I'm fine.  Mission accomplished.  I've just been really struck by this cultural bias towards vaginal birth and the desire to do so at all costs and then feeling disappointment or guilt after the fact if you end up with a c-section.  Obviously everyone is entitled to feel how they do personally, but do you really need to project your opinion onto other people!

And breastfeeding!  It is going well for us and I am extremely grateful for this fact.  It is so nice to be able to easily soothe her when she is hungry and to feed her on demand.  Perhaps I'd have a different perspective on this subject if it weren't going well for us, but I was astonished by the pressure in the hospital to breastfeed, the number of visits we had from the lactation consultants, and the realization that if B weren't latching, eating enough, etc., I would have been made to feel terrible about it.  I get that there are benefits to breastfeeding, but the pressure and the judgment is just so extreme these days.  Isn't the most important thing a happy, healthy, well-fed baby? If that requires formula, so be it!  I just listened to a great podcast on this subject if you want to hear more.

Just my thoughts on two early motherhood observations.  It would be easier if we could all just be nice to each other.  Everyone is doing their best!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Home, Sweet Home

We've been home now for almost two weeks and it is so wonderful to have little B in our home.  Our first week home, R was also off of work and it was just the best possible week (despite the lack of sleep and spending a lot of time worrying during the night if she had stopped breathing).  We didn't do much, but we were able to just hang out as a family and spend time together and take B for walks. We treated ourselves to a trip to our favorite brewery, we went out for oysters (I've been craving them for months), and we had friends and family visit (and bring meals - amazing).

I have a lot to learn as far as parenting goes, but I have never loved someone in such an all-encompassing way.  Wow, is it overwhelming.  I'll be home with B for 12 weeks and it already feels like it will be much too short.

Yup, I am already one of those moms who dresses her child like an animal.  I cannot get enough of this hat.  We go for walks each day and she rides in the Ergo with the infant insert and all you can see of her are the tiny bunny ears that poke out the top.

On a completely separate topic, I saw this really cool infographic about pregnancy and the development of a fetus that is worth checking out.

Sorry for the seriously random post.  I should be sleeping and then I might be able to write a more coherent post!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 & B's Birth Story

First of all, thank you all so much for the love and support.  I've found it more difficult than I remember to find 10 minutes to myself in the hospital (we are still here), but I just logged in and read comments and was just overwhelmed to receive so much support and love from all over.  Thank you, thank you.

Second, Happy New Year!  Somehow 2014 is behind me and it is a New Year.  R and I were talking about how neither of us really made any resolutions last year.  I am a huge resolution person, but I just couldn't bring myself to strive for much in 2014 beyond my health and trying to get pregnant.  I'm looking forward to a year that focuses on getting to know Baby B, taking good care of her, being  a great wife, and taking care of myself and getting back into the things I love.

Finally, B is here!  Our little miracle is here, safe and sound.  I want to write down how she arrived before I forget, so here it goes...

It's a girl! She returned from the nursery today with this bow on her hat!
We checked into the hospital at 8 AM on December 27th.  R and I treated ourselves to breakfast at a favorite neighborhood spot beforehand and then we got settled in the room.  My cervical check revealed that I wasn't dilated or effaced, so we started with the Cytotec.  Things were very slow going until the late evening on the 27th when I finally dilated a little bit (after 3 rounds of Cytotec), so my OB inserted a Foley catheter into my uterus to speed up the induction.  The day was otherwise uneventful.  R and I responded to e-mails and read and continued to clear our to-do list.  It was kind of a weird way to start things.  My nurse was one I had twice when I was hospitalized with L and she was one of my favorites, so it was so nice to see a familiar face.

Around midnight, things finally started to get interesting.  I started having some pretty intense contractions and eventually the Foley catheter fell out (this is supposed to happen), meaning I had dilated a bit.  At this point, we switched to a Pitocin drip and things started to move.  Around 4 AM, I was sitting on the labor ball and super uncomfortable, when the anesthesiologist stopped by to talk about how I could have an epidural since I'd been off the blood thinners long enough.  Yes, please!  He gave me one, but oddly I could still feel my legs and, frankly, it didn't help the pain much at all.  I said something, but I felt weird complaining about it and thought maybe friends who had one had oversold how awesome they are!

Random aside - we were walking the halls at some point on Saturday when I realized that the room next to me had a purple ribbon on the door, which signifies someone laboring for a child that has died.  It stopped me in my tracks and I had a bit of a meltdown just feeling so very sad for this woman (we were in the exact same spot last year).  I wanted to talk to her and to tell her that I understood, share resources, etc.  Obviously I didn't, but it just caught me so off-guard and made me so very sad.

The next morning (Sunday, the 28th), I was having incredibly intense contractions and was in excruciating pain.  The nurses and doctors were confused because I had an epidural so we called the new anesthesiologist and she came by to discover that the doctor from the night before had given me one, but dosed me at 1/100th of what he ought to have (certainly just an oversight, but seriously?!).  So, I basically hadn't had one at all.  She re-did it and I instantly felt better -- and at this point I was 8 CM already!  Just an hour or so later, I was fully dilated and the nurse could feel B's head easily.  We got the table ready for delivery and started practicing how to push with contractions.

But then the contractions slowed and B's heart rate started dropping along with contractions (she was having "decelerations" according to the internal fetal heart rate monitor).  They were terrifying.  I could see them on the monitor and was starting to freak out a bit (as were the nurses - I could just tell).  My OB arrived and we re-group and she recommended we just have a c-section.  She felt like the decelerations were worrisome and I have a very narrow pelvis apparently so she was nervous about the birth anyway.  She said we'd been through enough and she thought this delivery was going to be stressful so why make it more so?  Rob and I couldn't have agreed more so into the OR we went.

The c-section went smoothly but was pretty intense, despite the lack of pain.  I loved that at the beginning (it was all women except my husband), my OB asked everyone to introduce themselves and let me know who they are and then told me that everyone in the room was a Mom (except R, of course) and were so excited for me.  It made the whole thing seem a little less medical and sterile.  Rob put some music on and we got to work.  For those of you who haven't had one, there is a LOT of tugging and pushing and pressure on what you can tell are your insides and you can hear everything being said so even though I couldn't see what was going on, I know my bladder was super full and in the way (and thus knew the doc was looking at all of my organs - weird).  They had to use a vacuum to get B's head back out of my birth canal.  And I know that as they pulled her out and told me she was okay (but she wasn't crying yet), they said that the cord was wrapped around her neck (thus causing the decelerations) and that her umbilical cord was abnormally short - at the time I heard 4 cm (ha), but it wasn't that short.

All of this occurred in a matter of minutes, but it felt like ages.  Finally I heard B cry from across the room (R was with her) and she was wrapped up and laid on my chest while I was stitched up.  She was quite bruised on her face from getting squeezed as she tried to get out and she has the most incredible head of dark hair.  The moment took my breath away and both R and I started crying while she just looked at us in surprise (well, probably just in our general direction).  We didn't get much time with her before we were wheeled away to recovery (R went with her again) and then we all were reunited in a recovery room while they did B's newborn checks, gave her a bath, etc.

Officially, she arrived at 5:47 PM on December 28th.  She weighs 6 pounds, 4 ounces and is 19 1/2 inches long.

My OB joined us in recovery and commented that I could not have had a successful vaginal delivery and we were all just so grateful that we hadn't tried.  She also said that she has never been happier to have a patient no longer be pregnant!

So... here we are now.  Unfortunately, B has had spells of jaundice and has had to spend time in phototherapy, but we are really, really hoping to take her home tomorrow.


I've been feeling pretty good since delivery and B and I are figuring out breastfeeding and doing pretty well so far.  I have to admit that I have been overwhelmed in the best way possible by how much I love her.  It really is overpowering and add some post-partum hormones into the mix and things are a bit out of control.  I worry all the time that something is going to happen to her, but mostly I just stare at her in awe and R and I talk about how incredible it is that she is ours.  I kiss her cheeks and smell her head (she really has this incredible baby smell).  We talk about her full head of dark hair.  We made her and she is here for us to hopefully love and care for for years to come.

Sorry for the extraordinarily long post!