Monday, November 19, 2012

On Gratitude

Oh hey, everyone (and by everyone I mean my computer screen and the thousands of Italians who visit my site each month due to this post)! I kind of fell off the face of the earth recently. Here's the thing: between caring for and loving the cutest baby on the planet (I know, I know, I don't know how I managed to score him, but I did), trying to make money and actually having a life outside of the 1,100 square foot confines of my house, this blog has unfortunately suffered a bit.

Ok, a lot.

A couple years ago, I chatted with a well-known blogger and asked her how she managed to turn what was originally a fun online hobby into a lucrative job. She said consistency is the hardest thing and clearly, I suck at posting five times a week. Or more than twice a month! Not that I am trying to turn this blog into a lucrative job, I just wish I didn't feel guilty for neglecting what is supposed to be a fun online hobby.

Anywho, as it is the week of Thanksgiving, a time that always provides an opportunity to thoroughly reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives, I figured I would do just that, here:

I am grateful for...

... my beautiful, glorious, amazing, hilarious, genius son. He is the ultimate.

... my husband, for working his ass off to support me and said glorious baby at home and understanding why it is important to us both in the first place.

... my family and in-laws, in constantly being a place of love and support. And yes, Moe is definitely included in this bunch.

... my friends, for loving the three of us in the way that they do. The laughter we have with our compadres cannot be purchased, duplicated or appreciated enough.

...  San Diego's heat wave being over (am I jinxing myself by typing that?).

... the holidays, as they are my favorite time of year. I am GIDDY with excitement.

... good health.

... cashmere sweaters, boots and scarves.

... happiness, in all its forms, big and small.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

190 (About Pregnancy Weight Gain and Losing It)

What does 190 mean to you?

To me, it's the number I topped out at before giving birth to Jack.

Mmmmhmmm, yessirree!

I thought I'd write a little something about gaining weight when you're pregnant. Full disclosure: I don't exactly know what weight I was when I became pregnant. I hadn't weighed myself in 6 years before that; I live my life based on how my clothes fit and try not to fixate on numbers. So, I have to guess that I was between 138 and 143 because that's where I've always felt good.

You do the math, people: that's around 50 pounds of weight gain. Every time I went to the doctor, I saw the scale creep to a number I had never before seen in my life.  I should also mention, most OBs say the "healthy weight gain for pregnancies" is around 25 to 30 pounds.

Did I ever feel discouraged or down on myself? No, I didn't and here's why:

(1) I ate healthily, drank a ton of water and exercised regularly. I did not use pregnancy as an excuse to indulge in every food whim I had (although, I did consume a fair amount of prosciutto and limeade during those 9 months), nor did I pretend to be some delicate flower who needed to sit on the couch all day.

(2) My mom told me she gained around 60 pounds with each of us. It was just her natural weight gain for pregnancy (and doctors will tell you, the best predictor for how pregnancy will be for you is how it was for your mother). Sorry for outing you, Mom.

(3) My doctor told me tall, thin women have a tendency to gain more weight when pregnant to make their bodies more hospitable to their babies. Which sounds kind of mean and horrible, like my poor child was relegated to some sort of dungeon as opposed to a master suite.

(4) I've mentioned this before, but I guzzled around a gallon and a half of water a day... that's some serious poundage right there!

(5) I was in the process of doing the most important thing I had ever done in my life: bringing a person into the world.

Once I had Jack, I lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks (ok, well, I guess if we're being analytical here, Jack was almost 7 pounds, so I lost around 23). When I went in for my 6 week check-up, I was shocked to learn I still had 20 pounds to go because I already felt amazingly light for where I was at on the scale.

Since then, I've continued to steadily go down. I'm solely breastfeeding Jack, walk for about an hour and a half a day, eat healthily and don't stress about it. It took 9 months for me to gain the weight and I refuse to get down on myself... being a new mom is challenging enough.

Pregnancy has made me appreciate my body like never before. The extra chubs or skin I would have fixated on in high school (ummm, which was non-existent in high school, I see that now) or college is nothing; I think I look damn good and I am truly proud of what I've been able to do during the last year thanks to my body.


A couple tips that has helped in feeling good about myself since birth:

(1) At 6 weeks, I went and bought two new pairs of jeans. I needed to get out of maternity jeans and yoga pants and feel like a real person again. I simply started trying them on until I found two I felt good in; I did not check the sizes until I was waiting in line to pay for them. Also, I wanted my pants to feel snug... some words of wisdom to live by, "Sweat pants are the most comfortable pants in the world. You never gonna want to lose weight unless you feel uncomfortable." (Shout out to Li-Nan for her insight).

(2) The only exercise I did for the first 6 weeks was walking. I'd strap Jack to my chest, leash up Moe and off we'd go. It was a great way to get out of the house for some fresh air and I truly believe walking to be one of the best things you can do to clear your head (and trim your thighs, eh, eh?).

(3) I'm back to not weighing myself. We don't own a scale, so it's easy for me to do, but I can tell I am already significantly smaller than I was at my check-up a month ago.

(4) I've started going to kickboxing classes at the gym and I kid you not, I can feel the endorphin rush when I'm walking home. Even if it wasn't a hard core workout (which it is), the happiness I experience after that hour is worth it.

(5) Surround yourself with people who do not fixate on weight or body image. At the end of the day, you brought a human into the world, and that should be their focus, not your size. Also, acknowledge the fact that every woman, body and pregnancy is different: comparison truly is the thief of joy.

To all you pregnant ladies out there, enjoy life as it is right now before it changes in the biggest way possible. And to all you new mamas, congratulations! I'm sure you and baby look great.

Mine sure does.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Routines... Good for Children and Working Mothers

I started working again Monday. Who's watching Jack? Oh, I am.

Let the hat wearing begin!

Currently, I'm trying to manage scheduling watching him and getting work accomplished concurrently and thus, I have to start getting Jack into a routine. Some parents dread this word, but honestly, in all the years I've worked with kids, nothing screams a relaxed child than the word 'routine.' Kids thrive on predictability and knowing what comes next. If you set expectations, they know how to meet them and most of the time, will try to rise to the occasion (to the best of their abilities, of course. These days, Jack's doing the best he can if he sleeps, eats and fills his diaper).

On my end, I'm going after new social media accounts and trying to become a freelance writer. The issue I'm facing is that when I have to decide between giving myself time to write and watching my beautiful son, he wins out every time.

As it should be, n'est pas?

Naturally, this makes things sticky. Kyle and I have agreed that I have a year to make a certain amount from home. If Jack turns one and I'm still not bringing in enough, I'll have to go out and get an office job. Which is certainly sentiment enough for me to bust my ass and try to make it happen.

Because I love being at home with my boy more than anything.

Working moms, any suggestions on how to be most successful in the limited time you have? At this point, I welcome any and all tips!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What to Register for with a New Baby (or Things I'm Loving 6 Weeks In)

For some reason when I was pregnant and it was time to create a baby registry, I had major anxiety. As in, it was laughable how much the thought of picking out a car seat and a stroller and a breast pump brought on a severe case of the sweats. It's not that big a deal, right?

But he is my first baby. And I wanted the best. And I love doing research on things like this.

SO, I am imparting all my hard earned wisdom cultivated in the late night hours over the last year to all of you. I have read blogs, product reviews and Amazon descriptions, hit up new and old mamas alike and here's what I have for you: a list of things I could not be living without.

 Le swing: Fisher Price My Little Lamb Platinum Edition Cradle N' Swing

This is the first item on the list because, in some ways, it has helped me get back on track with managing my life. I didn't register for a swing because they are (mainly) huge and our house is (mainly) small. Also, I had read somewhere you should wait until your baby is born before deciding between a bouncy seat and a swing to see which one they prefer. Our friends generously let us borrow their bouncy, but alas, Jack is a swingin' kind of guy. He is not a fussy baby, as long as he's being held most of the time... uh, yeah son, mama has things to do and this arrangement is not gonna work out for long! Enter the swing. It has changed my life. It's like baby crack... fo reals!

Le Miracle: The Miracle Blanket

Some people refer to the first three months after birth as the "fourth trimester" (a bit of an oxymoron, but I digress).  Essentially, the belief is that right out of the womb, babies don't have the coping skills needed to be comfortable on planet earth. The answer? Swaddle the kid like a psycho in a strait jacket. I'm sure plenty of you know about the beautiful muslin Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets and while we use them for a variety of things (keeping the sun out of baby's face, wiping up spit, playing fun games of "Mother Theresa dress-up"), they've been difficult to use as actual swaddles (i.e. the few times we've used them overnight, I've been awfully scared of Jack suffocating). In walks The Miracle Blanket. It's like the muslin swaddle's somewhat plain Jane sister who has a winning personality and ends up getting the guy in the end. We use it Every. Night.

Le Carrier Pour La Bébé: Cybex Aton

Before I wax poetic on this car seat, I should mention I'm almost certain this company decided to stop selling their product in the U.S. (I am SO happy we snagged one before they did!). Designed by those crafty Germans, this seat is not only the lightest on the market, it's also one of the best looking (in my opinion). Also, it clicks into its adapter easy peasy which has made my life one bit easier. No matter what direction you go in the car seat world, make sure this is on your registry... the hospital won't let you leave the hospital without one. ALSO, determine if your car seat works with the stroller you select. We ended up getting a Cybex stroller in addition to our B.O.B. so that we could push baby boy around the first 4-5 months of his life before he can sit up unassisted.

Le Mute Button: Philips Avent Soothies

I was one of those pregnant women who said, "We're gonna try to avoid using a pacifier if we can." HA! Once Jack was alive and doin' his thing, that lasted a total of one week. I had registered for some of these as a "just in case" sort of item, and I thank my lucky stars that I did. Aside from diapers, a change of clothes and the car seat, this is one item we never leave home without. 

Le Best Friend: My Brest Friend

Allow me to weigh in on the Boppy vs. My Brest Friend debate, as I've had the pleasure of using both multiple times at the lactation support group I attend (more on that later): My Brest Friend wins, hands down. While I could see the Boppy being good for tummy time with baby, it wiggles around too much, and I certainly can't get up with it around me. Aside from My Brest Friend's spelling (and oh yes, it drives me completely insane: you couldn't just have it be My Breast Friend? What's so wrong with the 'a'?), it provides back support and Jack's finally getting to the point where he can rest his head on it while having a go at my tits, which means I have a single hand free. What I can do with said free hand, I've yet to determine, but I'll let you know when I figure it out!

Le Dog Walking Assistant: The Moby Wrap

We received two types of wearable baby carriers: the Beco Gemini (structured) and the Moby (simply fabric). Jack was much smaller than we were anticipating and was unable to use the Beco right away, so we started using the Moby. Now that I've finally mastered how to tie it, I can say I love wearing Jack in it. Not only was it a lifesaver for the first six weeks during "the witching hours" from 4 to 8pm (he immediately zonks once we start moving), it's also been handy as a helper for walking Moe when Kyle's at work. In addition, seeing Kyle wear Jack in it? Holy moly, he's never been more attractive. Because, really ladies, is there anything better than seeing your husband be a kick ass father? I don't think so.

Le Pump: Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Double Electric Breast Pump

My friend Micaela sent me her breast pump to use before I had Jack and I'll admit, I thought I'd be using it once and a while. Like most of the things I'm discovering about motherhood, I was completely wrong and have used it non-stop. I had milk supply issues right out the gate with breastfeeding (it turns out my boobs wanted to be disappointing from high school right up to now), and the first month of Jack's life, I was essentially chained to this thing. Breastfeeding is easier than before so it's not AS important as it was in the beginning, but it does allow me to have some extra milk in the diaper bag should we need it.

Le Diapers: Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive
Yes, they're the most expensive diaper I'm aware of. Yes, they are totally and completely worth it. Do you want yellow poop shooting out the sides of your kid's onesie? Didn't think so. If you can afford it, these are the way to go.

I could go on and on about the items I'm loving (as well as the ones I think are kinda meh), but this write-up has to have an end at some point. If you want to ask me about any of it, feel free to email me at In addition, I can't recommend Lucie's List enough for any first time parent trying to navigate "baby gear hell."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The First Month

Surprises from the first month of being a parent (and things seasoned parents don't tell you):

1. Babies are a time suck.

I think we're starting to get closer to the "set routine" portion of baby life, but the first thirty days went something like this: wake up, feed, try to do something but ultimately soothe fussy baby, change diaper, feed, try to do something but ultimately soothe fussy baby... You get the idea. I'd look at the clock and suddenly it would be 4 o'clock and all I'd have to show for my day's output was keeping another human alive.

Which is actually a pretty big deal, am I right?

2. You feel like a phony.

I must admit I still feel like a bit of a fake when it comes to this whole "mom" thing. When I pass Jack off to Kyle, I call him "Daddy" which is additionally weird and doesn't feel genuine. It's not that I don't look at my son and feel like his mother. It's more that it feels incredibly surreal and I don't put myself in any sort of "Mom" classification. I know at some point, I'll start to feel like this whole thing is not a dream, I'm just not sure when.

3. Recovering from having a baby blows... especially in the summer.

Since Jack was born in August, we've been "surviving" the worst heat wave I can remember as of the last few years. I am not built for hot weather. I wilt in the heat like a southern belle and would prefer a good winter storm any day. But can I go swimming to cool off? Nope, I have to wait until my six week check up. Have I been sweating profusely, more than I normally would in this weather? Of course! Also, sorry, a bit TMI, but having to wear maxi pads for a month and a half? All sorts of not fun. If you thought you hated them in middle school, just wait until you have a baby! It seems like a never-ending drag.

4. Your house will experience many states of non-clean.

This kind of ties into number one, but it deserves its own section. People tell you to let your house go to crap as you get used to your new routines as a parent ("Focus on your baby! Don't worry about folding the laundry or doing the dishes!"), and while this advice is all well and good, it can only get to a point of disrepair before health codes start to fail and public health nurses get called in. I imagined having a ton of time to clean while Jack was "sleeping" during the day, but I laugh at my naivete, friends... what a fool was I!

5. If you're lucky, you'll get to enjoy all sorts of free food!

While I think we are reaching the tail end of this perk, I have to say it's been pretty awesome. Our friends and family have brought take-out, homemade meals, groceries, dessert, even some booze... and it has been all kinds of helpful. Remember number one? Forget any kind of decent cooking  coming out of your kitchen for at least the first month.

6. It's not as hard as everyone says.

Don't get ahead of yourself- I am by no means saying being a mom is easy. Good god, no. What I'm trying to say is that many, MANY people will tell you the horror stories and make it sound like having a newborn is akin to trying to teach a panda how to roller-skate or surviving some sort of scary Indonesian prison. Yes, I'm not getting as much sleep as I did pre-Jack. Yes, it is work keeping a helpless human alive (I mean, the kid can't even hold his head up for christssake). However, Kyle and I have talked about it and agree: it's totally manageable and not that bad. I'm hoping this is reassuring to some readers, but I will mention that if you're a complainer or a "glass is half empty" kind of person, it will probably be quite hellish for you.

7. Babies are incredibly talented at producing loud, audible farts.

I mean, seriously, it's impressive.

8. They're not as delicate as you anticipate they'll be. 

Going into this whole "newborn" thing, I was slightly afraid of breaking my child. I imagined that one false move and baby boy would end up in the emergency room. It turns out babies are incredibly resilient (and thank god for that, because Kyle and I aren't exactly delicate people)! As long as their basic needs are being met and their head is supported, you pretty much get an A+.

9.  Baby poop smells like rotten popcorn.

This is for breastfed babies... I can't attest to the formula fed set.

10. You will think they are perfect, you will spend an inordinate amount of time staring and it will always feel like it's flying by too quickly.

Ok, I guess this really isn't a surprise.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Birth Story: Follow Up

It seems many of you were able to appreciate the lightness of my son's birth. I come from a family that enjoys seeing the humor in things, and dear lord, the day of Jack McKay's debut was certainly filled with many opportunities to do so.

However, I realized after sharing my dramatic tale that there were a few things I forgot to mention and I decided that some follow-up is needed.

(1) All the noise I was making was not necessarily from the pain I was in. Yes, giving birth was very painful at times, however, up until some nurses taught me how to rein in my vocals, I was using being loud to actually get through the contractions in a positive way. It helped me keep my focus. I'm going to do a different write-up about natural child birth in the near future, but until I do, hear this: many natural childbirth advocates believe that an open mouth equals an open cervix. Sounds crazy, but I totally buy into the idea that if your body tenses up (like clenching your jaw), you're less likely to progress as well in labor. If you let go in regards to what your body is doing, things happen faster.

(2) The birth I had was AWESOME. I realized after a few friends commented on how terrified they now were of having a baby after reading my story that I hadn't adequately conveyed my satisfaction. Almost everything I could have envisioned about how it would go down, did. Granted, I didn't expect to show up at the hospital at the last minute, shoot amniotic fluid at some nurses and I CERTAINLY didn't think the midget from Poltergeist would be the doctor on-call delivering my child, but you can't get everything you hope for in this life!

(3) I have never felt more proud of myself or my body. Bringing another HUMAN (!) into this world the way nature intended... I did what I set out to do and no one can take it away from me. And I have the world's cutest baby to thank for it.

(4) Kyle did not get major props in my last write-up. I won't deny it: I was a little skeptical about how he would be as a birth partner leading up to "the big day." I had asked him to read three books, most of which he did not because he thought the cesarean was definitely happening. The night he started scrambling to catch up was the night I went into labor (oops). But you guys, he pulled it out. He, more than anyone else on the planet it seems, has a way of keeping me calm when things seem their most chaotic. And aside from his choice of parking space and his incorrect use of a certain "contraction tracker" app, he was awesome. I was (and still am) super proud of how he handled everything that day.

(5) I forgot to mention the world's most delicious oatmeal cookie can be found at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital. It was the first thing I ate after giving birth and I have never loved a cookie more.

In the coming weeks (because it seems I am still having difficulties getting posts up; sorry about that), I will be writing a slew of things about birth, life with baby and officially starting out as a working mom. I hope you'll join me in all my new adventures!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Birth Story

It started on the Wednesday I found out I wouldn't be having a c-section. That morning, I had woken up resigned to the fact that I would, most likely, be going in to the hospital Friday morning to have my son. He was breech (nowadays, it is very rare to find anyone who will deliver a breech baby vaginally) and I had been told over and over again that the odds of him flipping were slim to none.

They were wrong: flip he did.

Elation does not even begin to describe how I felt walking out of my OB's office that day. I had spent the majority of my pregnancy mentally preparing myself for a natural birth (sans drugs) and to have been dealt the hand of having a baby on the completely opposite end of the medical spectrum was a bit hard to swallow. I want to say it sent me into a mild depression for a while, actually.

I tried to stay positive. August 10th had been the date on the calendar for the c-section, and in the days leading up, when people would call to tell me how he would almost be here (!), I would tell them he could still flip. There was still a chance he wouldn't be born that day. And some people thought I was crazy, but I ended up being right. I am a firm believer in positive thinking.

I feel I should also mention that when my doctor determined with an ultrasound that Baby Boy had flipped, he finally checked me for the first time. They hadn't been doing that at prior visits due to the fact that they all assumed he would stay breech and that there wasn't any point. My doctor told me that I probably wouldn't be giving birth for at least a week; there was no sign of progress downstairs, as it were.

Fast forward to Wednesday evening. I was still on Cloud 9 about getting the birth I wanted and chatting with my friend Matt on the phone when I started getting cramps in my lower abdomen. They went away, but about 10 minutes later, returned. This pattern continued up until dinner when I finally decided to tell Kyle about them. He told me he thought my happiness over not having the c-section had tricked my brain into thinking I was going into labor. I told him he was probably right, but nonetheless, I was just keeping him informed.

They continued for hours; we watched an episode of Game of Thrones on the computer and were timing them, but they weren't bad at all and I finally told Kyle we should go to bed. He slept well that night, and though I was up a few times, going to sleep was one of the best decisions we made. If we had tried pushing it through the night, we would have been exhausted for Thursday's events.

Thursday morning rolled around and I told Kyle to go to work. The contractions were still super manageable and about 6 minutes apart, and at this point I figured there was even a chance the whole process would continue to Friday. I spent the early hours of August 9th walking Moe, watching "The Walking Dead," and drinking/eating as much as I could. I knew that if I wanted to have a natural birth, I was going to need to be well hydrated and nourished when I got to the hospital so that I could avoid interventions (and standard procedures, like an IV).

Kyle came home at lunch because he couldn't stand being at work knowing what was happening at home: he had finally accepted that I was actually in labor. I find this to be an endearing fact!

My contractions continued to be manageable for a few hours, and I spent the majority of this time on an exercise ball. The crazy thing about them is that there really is a start, a peak and an end, which helped me mentally in getting through the intensity of them because I knew they wouldn't last forever. Another thing I wasn't expecting is that they're somewhat like waves... They get stronger and stronger and stronger and then begin to fade. I can't describe them any other way, really.

I'm guessing around 4 or 5 in the afternoon is when things started to pick up. I had no concept of time, making this an absolute guess. Kyle had to start helping me through the contractions and I was in and out of the shower because the heat of the water seemed to help marginally. Up until this point, I had been able to breathe through them, completely pausing and relaxing through each one. However, as they got more intense and I started feeling them in my back, I was having trouble focusing and dealing with them. Kyle suggested I try audibly moaning as they picked up and it helped.

I'm pretty certain the entire street could hear me. And I'm almost positive they thought a cow was being butchered in our bedroom.

Kyle had been keeping track of them with this app he had downloaded on the Internet. A wise word to any husband with an expectant wife: don't ask her to keep telling you when a contraction is starting. Just pay attention. It will make her less likely to murder you. As the hours progressed, Kyle kept telling me they were only 4-5 minutes apart, which I took to be fact, even though they felt incredibly close and definitely harder to manage. Again, I had no concept of time.

The sun had gone down when I started to feel pain. In my ass. As in, I felt like I was going to shit out a baby. I mentioned this to Kyle, but he told me (based on the app), that he didn't think we were anywhere near close. It was after catching me sitting on the toilet, gripping the sink that we decided to go to the hospital to be checked.

If you're sitting at home, wondering why we waited so long, here's the deal: for couples who want a natural birth experience in a hospital, most doctors and nurses tell you to wait at home as long as possible. Once you get to the hospital, the odds of you needing medications like Pitocin, epidurals, etc. increase. Not only that, it felt more comfortable to us to labor at home.

Once we got in the car, things progressed like a movie. I stupidly sat in the front seat, and through every contraction, had to use the "Oh Shit" bar and center console to lift my body off the seat. I couldn't handle it otherwise. Kyle turned to me and said, "Babe, if you're only 4 or 5 centimeters, we're gonna go back home, right?" I should have known I was in a phase most call "transition" (the point where you are almost fully dilated) because even though I answered, "Sure," I was thinking in my head, "There is no fucking way I am going back home."

We pull up to the hospital, and to my dismay, I watch Kyle bypass the front of the hospital and hightail it to the parking garage. At this point, the barrage of curse words that flew out of my mouth were impressive, even for me. In addition, he chose to park on the second level of the structure, meaning I had to book it down two flights of stairs to get to the entrance of the hospital. In the aftermath, he explained that he was afraid to leave me alone while he parked the car- afraid for me and afraid for the helpless security guard that would have to deal with my crazy animalistic sounds.

Honestly, I kind of blacked out during our journey from the parking garage to the third level of the hospital (triage). I barely remember anything, except for a poor unsuspecting bystander who got stuck in the elevator with us. Sir, I apologize to you now for the 15 seconds you had to endure me.

We roll up to triage and even though I filled out all the "pre-admission forms" to expedite checking into the hospital, the nurses started hitting me with questions I wasn't prepared to answer. Mainly those like, "What is your name?", "What is your date of birth?" and my all time favorite, "What is your social security number?" Now friends, I know my social security number. I've known it since elementary school. However, when they shot that question at me, all I could muster was, "I can't answer that question right now!"

The nurses, luckily, didn't push it and let us into triage to be checked to see how dilated I was. I was almost at 10 and the nurse later admitted she could feel my son's head when she checked. Bad ass, Elizabeth, bad ass!

They rolled me into a labor and delivery room and tried putting the fetal heart rate belt on to get an accurate read of his vitals. Unfortunately, he was already so low in my pelvis, it was difficult to get the number. It also didn't help that I couldn't stand still long enough for them to get it (moving from side to side while leaning over the bed was the only thing that felt decent, and by decent, I mean not like death in my ass). After a few attempts, the nurses brought in the big guns, a woman we shall refer to as Nurse Ratchett, who told me if I didn't stand still long enough to get his heart rate, they would either drill an electrode into his head or wheel me in to have a c-section. Looking back, there's no way they could have drilled an electrode into his head in the amount of time before he made his debut, but I was not a rational woman at this point.

Finally, they said his vitals looked great and told me I could get on the hospital bed. They had me strip to put on a hospital gown, which I promptly ripped off. I had no shame being buck naked in a room full of 10 strangers, and I also felt no embarrassment when I got on all fours on the bed. The nurses were telling me I couldn't push until the doctor arrived, which I completely ignored. The second I started to bear down, my water broke.

It was not a trickle. It was not a pour. Friends, my water shot three feet behind me and two nurses had to duck out of it's gnarly path. Kyle likened it to a Super Soaker.

At this point, my band of nurses told me I was now able to start pushing and that if I had the baby before the doctor arrived, it was ok.

Truly, I wish I had been able to push Jack out before the on-call doctor arrived. Why, you ask? Because the doctor that delivered my baby looked like this:

Yep. She looked like Tangina from Poltergeist. She may or may not have been wearing an ensemble similar to this, too.

Not only was her appearance frightening as hell, she had the personality of a cardboard box. If she had had a sparkling demeanor or a southern accent like Tangina, I may have been able to overlook her deep set eyes and deathly white pallor, but alas, no such luck.

While I was pregnant, I wondered what position I would end up feeling comfortable in to push my baby out. I was surprised to find it was most comfortable to lay on my side, with one leg in the air (how very stripper of me!). Due to the fact that nurses starting having back issues because of holding up patients legs while pushing, they're no longer allowed to. Thus, Kyle helped me with my bottom leg, and I held on to the top. Again, how very stripper of me!

What can I say about pushing? It's very much like shitting out a toy fire engine. You wait for a contraction to begin, then you push steadily without letting it fade. It's like taking the largest crap of your life. The strange thing is, for a while, you feel it in your bum, but then, when the baby starts to crown, the pain has migrated to your hoo-ha.

Again, I had no concept of time when I was pushing, but Kyle said it was about 30-45 minutes. I couldn't look in that direction either, because every time I did, I'd see this staring back at me:

When I hit "the ring of fire" I actually got excited, because even though it burned like the dickens, I knew we were moments away from meeting our son.

Then his head was out. And a push or two later, the rest of him.

Now, due to my immense amount of amniotic fluid, Jack took a couple gulps on his way out, so they actually had to pump his stomach almost immediately after they put him on my chest. Poor Kyle had to maneuver back and forth between me and the baby, and finally, they gave him back to me.

Perfect does not even begin to describe.

And then we were three. It was a surreal and exciting and scary feeling. Once it sunk in though, it felt like it had always been that way.

Our little family.

{Photos courtesy of Shooting the Dream Photography}

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 41

I'm guessing the cat's out of the bag... I'm no longer sporting a bump these days. Actually, I take it back. I'm sporting a hobbit like bulge that hints at too many beers, but I carry no baby around in it.

That's because Jack McKay Sutherland is finally here!

He was born at 11:55 pm on Thursday, August 9, and he is all sorts of wonderful. There's so much I want to share with all of you, his birth story, the challenges and joys thus far, however, it turns out I am not one of those bloggers that can maintain it after becoming a new mom.

Kudos to those of you who are; how do you do it? I can barely find time to eat and shower, let alone type on my computer.

Kyle goes back to work tomorrow, and at that point, I hope to be picking up where I let off pre-pregnancy (i.e. posting more than just once a week and good god, no more photos of me up in here!).  Ok, Jack's crying, my time here is done for the moment.

Over and out... xoxoxoxox.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 39

This has been a mind blowingly wonderful day. I stopped talking about BBS being breech a couple weeks ago, because he wasn't turning and the closer we got to this week, the more likely it appeared he would be born via c-section. It was scheduled for Friday morning, and I didn't want to share it with the entire world.

It took days and weeks for me to wrap my head around the possibility of a C. I had been prepping myself mentally for it and had made peace with the chances of it happening. That being said, I still held out hope he would flip.

And flip he did!

We confirmed it on the ultrasound this morning, so with the c-section officially cancelled, we can play the waiting game for real.

I mean, he's coming in the next two weeks, one way or another. Holy crap, I am actually going to be someone's mother.

On to my frightening photos!

Musings on weekly photo: While the last photo of this bunch is frightening, it's meant to convey my excitement that BBS did what he was told. Congratulations little one! Also, this was written yesterday (and the photos were taken as well), however, iPhoto crashed... thus, a late posting.

Size of baby: They say he's the size of a small watermelon. It's weird, because sometimes, it feels like I'm carrying a 20 pound bowling ball, and other times, it's as though I'm still my pre-pregnancy weight. Even this far in the game, I still occasionally forget I'm having a baby.

Movement: Clearly, the only movement I'm concerned about is the movement he's made in the right direction. I'm ever so proud of him. I know it wasn't easy.

Cravings: With this stagnant and oppressive heat, water, water, water has been the bee's knees for me.

Annoyance: It's still the buckets of sweat I produce daily.

Highlight of the week: Cancelling our c-section this morning was the highlight, although an afternoon at the races with Kyle (that included a chili cook-off, a lot of bad predictions, and a free Cake concert), comes in second place. Oh, and you saw that the nursery is officially DONE, right?

Non-Highlight of the week: I'm drawing a blank here... which is a great thing!

Fears: This isn't really a fear, but I had mentally accepted that I was having a c-section, so now going back to having a baby naturally is a bit of a challenge.

Nursery: Like I mentioned, DONE!

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day everyone!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Room for Baby

I think there are some skeptics out there who thought this post wouldn't happen. Alas, the nursery is officially complete! At least, it is for me. If you think there's something missing in this room, by all means, keep it to yourself.

My hormones are such that if you said anything negative about this room I WOULD track you down and I would break your knee caps.

There are a couple things about Baby Boy's room I would like to mention.

One, I'm not a person who loves super matchy things. By the photos below, I'm pretty sure you've deduced this. Don't get me wrong; I love a well curated room. However, I enjoy spaces that are interesting and fun to be in. I've had the luck of knowing people who have an eye for what unexpectedly looks good together, people who know how to pair items that others wouldn't and I like to think (hope? Pray?!) that some of their natural skill has rubbed off on me. Please note, I am by no means saying I am a talented interior decorator.

Two, I do not have a favorite color, but I'll tell ya what I don't like: pink for girls and blue for boys. Maybe I should rescind that statement; what I mean to say is color is color and it should be celebrated, gender be damned! Yellow is such a happy color, and when plopped next to gray and white, I feel you can't go wrong.

Three, this room would not nearly look as good as it does if it weren't for our generous family and friends... y'all rock.

Most of these images are repetitive, but I'm not a photographer, nor do I claim to be, so it was the best I could do to provide you with a full "feel" of the layout.

I plan on posting links to some of the items that are available online, but won't have a chance to until tomorrow. Let me know if something catches your eye and I'll let you  know where I found it!

PS Moe loves the rug the most.

Awesome Animals
Woven Baskets
Lamb Chair
Changing Topper

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 38

Oh, Bump Day was supposed to be yesterday? I literally forgot until about 7pm last night that it was even Wednesday... and this was certainly not going to happen at that hour!

Truth be told, my life kind of feels like this these days: I have all the time in the world and no time at all. My mom put it perfectly when she said you feel like a fat hen sitting around, hanging out and waiting, waiting, waiting.

Photo fun? Shall we? Dare we? DO IT!

Musings on weekly photo: I hope you're soaking this all in, because there is a time limit for this gorgeousness. A short time limit of showstopping belly love.

Size of baby: I'm hoping he's at least at the 7.5 pound mark, but we shall see. He loves stretching his long legs out on my right side and putting his (what are sure to be the ugliest cute) feet all bundled up.

Movement: He started moving when I put on dance music this afternoon; thank goodness he is agreeable to the boogeyman in him.

Cravings: My trip to the farmer's market, as well as a generous box of produce from Kyle's grandparents' garden, quelled any tomato and stone fruit cravings I may have had last week. I am still trying to down them as quickly as I can before they go bad.

Annoyance: I sweat like a linebacker in the Texas heat. Like a whore in church, if you will.

Highlight of the week: Pretty much any one on one time with Kyle is appreciated wholeheartedly these days. I know it has an expiration date on it and I am trying to get my fill before we are forever a threesome.

Non-Highlight of the week: Cleaning has become one of those things that I MUST DO, but physically exhausts me. Not to the point of sleeping well at night, but what can you do?

Fears: No fears this week, folks.

Nursery: All we have to do is hang our pictures and some curtains and we're done! Nursery photos coming soon.

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day everyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 37

I'm reporting to you, once again, from Breech City. I can confirm that BBS is all kinds of comfortable and sticking his ground. This week has been a series of all sorts of fun activities, including acupuncture, moxibustion, headstands in the pool, vitamin B pills, inversions AND hanging out in the bathtub with an ice block on my stomach.

I never thought I'd be one of those people who had to resort to such measures.

And he still isn't turning! Start sending positive head down vibes my way everyone...

Who's ready to be dazzled by my beauty?

Musings on weekly photo: You're speechless right? The hotness has stolen your ability to think straight. It happens to me every time I look in the mirror. Just can't get enough, let me tell ya.
PS This is me being sarcastic.

Size of baby: Who knows? My acupuncturist has been calling him a "mysterious shrimp" because of how he likes to be curled up like, well, a shrimp. It's difficult to make out where he is most of the time (although the fetal heart monitor at today's doctor's appointment did show him to be hanging upright).

Movement: Yes, we get it. We've got a hellion on our hands. He refuses to sit still, yet won't move in the direction expected of him. We are screwed, friends.

Cravings: I'm making a special trip to the farmer's market this weekend just for tomatoes. Have you seen Bon Appetit's August cover? Be still my heart. And don't even get me started on the stone fruit that's been turning up.

Annoyance: That hideous slut heartburn continues to plague me. Be gone, wench!

Highlight of the week: The Dark Knight Rises at 8am on Sunday morning followed by a lovely lunch with some lovely ladies in Solana Beach. It was a good Sunday until...

Non-Highlight of the week: Organizing the bathroom on Sunday night was all sorts of hideous. HOWEVER, Netflix recently released Season 4 of Breaking Bad, so at least I was being kept entertained.

Fears: I'm not necessarily afraid, but a little weary of my nurse practitioner's reaction to my questions regarding a "gentle c-section."

Nursery: We're waiting on the rug to arrive from and we still need to buy a chair and ottoman. Aside from that, hanging up the artwork on the wall is all we have to do! Photos... maybe... next week?

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 36

Ok, ok, you got me. Hump Day was technically yesterday, and I'm a day late in getting this up. What can I say about the last 24 hours? A trip to the doctor confirmed BBS is still breech and while I'm staying positive, the fact that I accidentally discovered they had scheduled me for a c-section without even talking to me about it kind of sent me into a spiraling depression. Believe me when I say if I had written this yesterday, it'd be awfully morose. The gloom lasted about 6 hours, but was luckily assuaged by my favorite Childbirth Prep Class couple.

Their nickname is ScrunchMo (short for Scrunchie Moan). Yes, they were entertaining as hell. No, I won't be explaining why (because then I'd really be an asshole).

Onto the shockingly large photos...

Musings on weekly photo: HELLO neon orange. These pics get more and more painful to take as time goes on, but I hope my son appreciates them someday. I don't have many photos of my mom pregnant with me or my sister, so I figure maybe (just maybe?) it'll be a hoot to see how he progressed from point A to point human.

Size of baby: Ok, so this is all a guesstimate, but I'm thinking around the 6-6.5 pound mark and between 18 to 20 inches? I'm no pregnancy wizard, so this is based on my readings (for the record, I cannot WAIT to be done reading about babies and birth and pregnancy).

Movement: Baby Boy has been a mover and shaker from the get-go... I wish he would bust a move in the right direction though. I do like to envision him sitting like a contemplative Buddha, legs crossed with his head by my ribs. However, meditation is over, son... get thee south for the winter! 

 Cravings: The heat and humidity of this week have left me craving, you guessed it, water. Over the weekend, we celebrated Kyle's grandpa's 80th birthday, and his grandmother made him a carrot cake. The cake was good, but the cream cheese frosting was, how do I put it, heavenly. Serious heaven. I could eat an entire bowl of it right now.

Annoyance: There's really only one way to describe what it feels like to get up in the middle of the night now. Imagine you're in an alley, and you stumble upon the world's most disgruntled midget (little person, for the politically correct readers). Said smaller human takes his anger out on you by forcefully punching you over and over again at his eye level (i.e. your nether regions). It is a strange thing to hobble to the bathroom like you've been attacked, granted, only from the waist down.

Highlight of the week: Baby shower numero tres was an amazing good time! I still can't get over how blessed I've been to have these celebrations for Mr. Man. He is one truly loved cookie, let me tell you. Lindsay, Micaela, Chris and Caity, if you're reading this, thank you so much for all your hard work and effort; I will never forget it. I'll be posting some pics tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Non-Highlight of the week: Accidentally finding out about my scheduled c-section totally threw me. Of course, it also lit a fire within me to go balls to the wall agro on getting him flipped. And flip he will!

Fears: None to speak of this week... honest!

Nursery: Almost done! Can you believe it? Checking things off my list like an actual grown-up, hoozah!

Additional Notes: At the end of the day, I'm going to get to meet my son in the next 5 weeks; it could even be as soon as 3 (it could even be tomorrow, truly). And I'm so, so, so excited.

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day everyone! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 35

I can remember this countdown point before Kyle and I got married. Someone told me that the six weeks leading up to your wedding are called "the vortex" because no matter how much time you think you have, it goes by incredibly quickly.

Similar to sand falling through a sieve, maybe?

Either way, whenever I can start to visualize upcoming weekends, I know the event I'm looking towards is closer than I may have originally thought. So goes it with Baby Boy's arrival. With our last baby shower this Sunday (and, of course, I'm over the moon excited for it!), I feel like the tick tock, tick tock, will become deafening until the alarm sounds.

The alarm being his debut, naturally.

Onto the photos?

Musings on weekly photo: From waking up this morning to right now, I have donned four different shirts. Four! It is officially summer in San Diego and the weather, it appears, has agreed to keep up his hot end of the bargain. So much for all my hoping that it was going to be a cool summer like two years ago. Due to the muggy heat, my gray maternity tank top and leggings is what you get... sorry for the lack of originality.

Size of baby: According to all the guessin' experts, he's at least 5.5 pounds and between 18.5 and 20 inches. That's a legit baby right there. Truthfully, I only have a week and a half until I'm considered "full term," which means, gulp, I really am about to have my boy one day soon.

Movement: I won't go on and on about him being breech like I did last week, but he has been moving a ton per usual, so maybe (MAYBE?!) he's doing his "Turn, Baby, Turn" dance. Or his "Dance, Magic, Dance" dance. Who's to say?

Cravings: Cravings? Glad you asked, friends! Last week, I managed to buy the world's worst watermelon from Trader Joe's. It was a let down, because TJ's usually manages to offer decent goods (although, granted, their produce is often lacking a tad). Though it was truly inedible, I didn't want it to go to waste, so I blended that sucker up in the Vitamix and strained out the pulp. It offered enough juice to fill a pitcher and the fun doesn't stop there, folks! I created a delicious mocktail: into a pint sized mason jar, squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon, then fill it with 2/3 watermelon juice and 1/3 Hansen's Mandarin Lime soda. Holy refreshing, it is damn good!

Annoyance:  Over the course of the last week, a somewhat older lady has moved in with our neighbors (there's a good chance she's in her forties and has spent way too much time in the sun). They're on the stranger side themselves but manageable, and while I don't think she's there to stay, she gets up to some weird stuff. Case in point, she sold all her furniture during a "fire sale" she hosted over the weekend, and everything that didn't sell is now, naturally, strewn about our shared corridor, including a wooden box that makes it very difficult for me to do laundry. To paint a picture, she walks around in cutoff jeans, bikini tops and let us not forget her straw cowboy hat, loudly talking on her phone about NOTHING to god knows who, at all hours. We've had a few conversations and my favorite thus far includes her detailed telling of all three of the births her daughter has had. Good times.

Highlight of the week: This was such a productive week, y'all. The nursery looks like a nursery. The snozzberries taste like snozzberries! Kyle and I have been working our booties off and it's to the point now where I can actually imagine our son in his room. Which is exciting and surreal in the biggest way.

Non-Highlight of the week: The anxiety I've been feeling over him being breech has been a little difficult to manage at times, but ain't no thang; it'll work itself out. I can just feel him being cooperative!

Fears: Similar to my first trimester, my emotions have been all over the board with the third. It makes me a little afraid for me (and Kyle) in regards to postpartum hormones. Mainly, I fear for Kyle.

Nursery: I may actually be rolling out a tour of his nursery in the coming weeks! I should have taken some "before" pictures when it was our bedroom, but c'est la vie.

Additional Notes: In addition, we had our first hypnobirthing class last night which was an informative and surprisingly enjoyable evening. More on that down the road. 

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day everyone!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...