Monday, February 28, 2011

24 Hours in the Life of Our Baby

I thought it might be fun to document what one of Charlie's days is like. Here is what happened in the past 24 hours:

9:30 PM - bottle from Daddy (eat for about 15 minutes; stay upright for about 30 minutes, go to sleep in my Rock 'n' Play Sleeper)
10:15 PM to 1:20 AM - sleep soundly and peacefully in my nursery! :)
1:20 AM to 2:00 AM - wake up; get my diaper changed; nurse
2:00 AM - back to sleep (Mommy goes in another bedroom to pump; she goes back to sleep at 2:20)
4:20 AM - wake up; get my diaper changed; nurse
5:00 AM - back to sleep
6:30 AM - wake up; get my diaper changed; nurse; go downstairs to hang out with Mommy (Daddy makes Mommy's breakfast)
7:30 AM to 9:00 AM - nap (baby and Mommy sleep!)
9:00 AM - wake up; get my diaper changed (five minutes of "air time" for my tushie); nurse
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM - play with Mommy
10:15 AM - 1:00 PM - baby naps; Mommy pumps, showers and gets dressed (in her pre-pregnancy jeans, thank you very much!), makes the bed, does two loads of laundry and puts away freshly washed cloth diapers, tidies up the main level, sets up for bath time, sterilizes pump parts, runs dishwasher and puts dishes away, eats lunch while watching HGTV (House Hunters International - where I contemplate how a house in The Netherlands can have five bedrooms but only be 1000 sq. ft.); lets the dogs out
1:00 PM - Mommy wakes me up (per pediatrician's recommendation to not let me sleep too long during the day); nurse; bath time; new diaper; get dressed
2:00 PM - head to the mall for some clothing exchanges (sleep in the car)
3:00 PM - nurse; diaper change
3:45 PM - head back home (sleep in the car)
4:15 PM - cuddle with Mommy; get the hiccups
4:45 PM - nurse; diaper change
4:50 PM - diaper change (gotta love when you hear a poopsplosion just after you changed a diaper) ;)
4:55 PM - play time with Mommy
5:15 to 8:00 PM - nap (Mommy and Daddy had a visit with their friend Amanda and ordered sushi); Mommy had to wake me up again
8:00 PM - diaper change; lotion massage; PJs
8:15 PM - bedtime bottle with Daddy (Mommy pumps)
8:40 PM - bed

So there you have it... a day in the life of Charles Henry.

And here's a sneak peek of some of the images our friend took on Saturday. The next time you come over our house, expect to see some rooms wallpapered with these photos. ;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Success! (mostly)

I am very proud of John for feeding Charles his bottle last night. Charlie took about 4 oz. of milk at 11:30 last night - way to go! Of course, he was up after eating until after 1, which was the not-so-great part. We've got to continue to work on that. I think he eats really fast and then gets himself all worked up. I read something today that recommended burping him after 3-5 minutes of eating. I tried this throughout the day today, and while it helped with the digestion, it kind of made him angry to have to stop eating every 3-5 minutes! :)  Seriously, these little ones need to come with an instruction manual!

JA will bottle feed again tonight, though he'll do the first bedtime feeding since he's got to be up to commute into the city at 5 AM. Luckily, I can easily go to bed after I pump, which will hopefully give me four hours or so before he's up to eat again. Even as I type this I'm laughing. Charles is, I think, experiencing his three-week growth spurt. He really likes eating every 1.5-2 hours lately. And he is eating, not just using me as a pacifier. Good thing he's cute!

Breakfast - cinnamon raisin English muffin with natural peanut butter; OJ
Lunch - veggie burger on a deli flat with ketchup, mustard, and BBQ sauce
Snack - organic apple; Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips
Dinner - spinach lasagna; garden salad with romaine and cucumber with light honey mustard dressing
Dessert - two chocolate chip peanut butter Chips Ahoy cookies; organic fat free milk (I needed a treat) :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Charles Is Three Weeks Old!

I can't believe he's almost a month!! Crazy how time flies when you're having fun... and when you can't remember what day it is. ;)  I updated our picture pages with some images of Charlie this past week. Lots of fun and exciting things happened - more hiccups, tummy time, time in the playmat, and he took a couple naps in the Baby K'Tan. And as we continue the pacifier debate, here's what arrived in my email inbox today:
Babies love and need to suck, so don't discourage it. In fact, you may have already discovered that a pacifier works wonders in helping your baby calm down. When the "binky" or your finger isn't available, your baby may even be able to find her thumb or fingers to soothe herself.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a pacifier at nap time and bedtime, based on evidence that using a pacifier may reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). That said, there's no need to reinsert the pacifier if it falls out once your baby's asleep.
Either way, we'll definitely wait at least another week (per guidelines for exclusively breastfed babies). In related news, JA is giving his first bottle this evening. Here is our plan: When Charlie wakes for his first feeding after bedtime (most likely between 10:30 and midnight), John will get up to change his diaper while I go downstairs to warm the bottle of breastmilk. By the time he's done with the diaper and re-swaddling, the bottle will be warm and ready to go. I will then go into another room to pump and then go to sleep (cue chorus of angels) while JA feeds Charles and puts him back to sleep. You know what they say about the best laid plans... but hopefully it will all work out. :)

Breakfast - one organic egg with American cheese on a deli flat with organic ketchup; roasted potatoes; OJ
Snack - organic apple
Lunch - garden salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella cheese, and croutons with Italian dressing; Boca burger on a deli flat with ketchup, mustard, and BBQ sauce
Snack - homemade chocolate pudding; piece of dark chocolate
Dinner - mac and cheese
Dessert - Greek blueberry yogurt

Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting Better...

So my attempt at sleeping when Charlie sleeps is definitely helping. I am still significantly sleep-deprived, but I'm coping way better with a few more hours of sleep throughout the day. Last night our crew came over to watch Jersey Shore, but I only hung out for less than an hour to eat dinner before I excused myself to go to bed. I felt kind of bad, but like they say in Nu Joisy "You gotta do what you gotta do."  :)

I'll leave you with some Charlie cuteness... here he is in his first attempt at "playtime." I think he liked it!

Breakfast - one organic egg with American cheese on an English muffin; roasted potatoes with organic ketchup; cranberry juice
Snack - orange
Lunch - spinach lasagna; homemade chocolate pudding
Snack - handful of pita chips; maple and brown sugar oatmeal
Dinner - cheese ravioli; garden salad with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber with Italian dressing; dinner roll

Breakfast - half an English muffin with natural peanut butter; organic apple; cranberry juice
Snack - Greek strawberry yogurt
Lunch - cheese ravioli; dinner roll
Dinner - spinach lasagna; garden salad with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber with Italian dressing; dinner roll

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

While I consider myself a rather intelligent person, I've always been a bit on the stubborn side. Take for instance the bit of baby advice that people love to offer - "Make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps!" Why would I do that? Charlie's naps are the perfect time to make the bed, do laundry, wash dishes, vacuum, play with the dogs, update my blog, organize the baby book... and the list goes on. But truthfully, as I sat in the glider from midnight to 2 AM with a wide awake baby (not sure who was crying more at one point), I decided that today would be the day I started following that advice. So for the first two morning naps, along with one in the afternoon, mommy and baby slept. Charlie was in the newborn napper of his pack and play and mommy was on the couch (with Molly and Maggie, who also love a good nap session). If our little guy is going to insist on being awake for two hours in the middle of night, then I have to be ready!

I also froze my first bag of breastmilk today. Yay! I pump after the first morning feeding while Charlie hangs out with me on his Boppy and JA gets ready for work. So there is one bag of 4 oz. in our freezer. One down, a bajillion to go! ;)  My goal is to get a good stash going so John can take over the first nightime feeding (around 10 or 11 PM). Our pediatrician recommended this so that I can sleep from about 8 PM to 2 AM or so, which sounds pretty fantastic to me! Actually, any sleep at all sounds pretty fantastic to me. If you know me, you know how much I love to sleep. And while I knew that the newborn phase would be rough, I don't think I was quite prepared for the total exhaustion and frustration. It makes me think of the scene from Sex and the City 2 when Charlotte has a breakdown about how hard it is being a mom. She then sobs, "And I have full-time help! I don't know how other women do it!" ;)

So when the frustration gets to be too much, I just have to take a step back and take a deep breath. He won't be a newborn forever, and when he's grown I will long for the moments when his big, beautiful eyes look up at me. I try to focus on what an amazing time this is now.

Breakfast - two organic, scrambled eggs; roasted potatoes with organic ketchup; cranberry juice
Snack - organic apple
Lunch - vegetable, bean, and rice burrito; handful of tortulla chips with salsa
Snack - Fiber One granola bar
Dinner - piece of vegetable lasagna (broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower)
Dessert - PB&J on an English muffin

Breakfast - natural PB on an English muffin
Lunch - "chicken" strips, one slice of American cheese, light honey mustard, and romaine lettuce on a whole wheat tortilla; baked fries
Snack - orange
Dinner - whole grain rice with broccoli and corn and a few pieces of vegan spareribs (too spicy!); bowl of Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oats cereal with organic skim milk

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oink Oink

That's the sound Charlie made as he got weighed in at the doctor's office today. Our (not so) little guy gained a full pound in 9 days and currently weighs 8 lbs. 14 oz. Way to go! It's very reassuring to know that my body is giving him what he needs (though all those wet and dirty diapers were a pretty good indicator too!) Now if we could just get him sleeping longer at night. Dr. G recommends not letting him go more than 2.5 hours during the day in the hopes that he will stretch out longer at night. She also suggests putting him to bed between 7 and 8:30 and establishing a routine (jammies on, quiet and dark room, no talking) that helps him learn that it's bedtime. We've been doing the bedtime routine thing but weren't putting him down until the later feeding (between 10 and 11). I'll keep you posted on how it goes... Mommy is needing some more sleep!

We also discussed Charlie's love of sucking. ;)  If I let him, I'm pretty sure he would surgically attach himself to my boobs. While the ladies of La Leche League would be all for this, it doesn't really work for me. Dr. G suggested sparingly using a clean finger or a pacifier to help soothe him without the use of my chest. I'm so torn on this, because I don't want him to become attached to either of those items. But I also know that I won't be able to function if I continue to have days and nights when he is "nursing" every 1.5-2 hours! This parenting thing is hard sometimes.

Breakfast - two slices of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter; clementine; cranberry juice
Snack - Greek peach yogurt
Lunch - "chicken" pieces, one slice of American cheese, romaine, and light honey mustard on a whole wheat wrap; roasted potatoes
Snack - handful of sourdough pretzels; half a mini quiche with asparagus and peppers
Dinner - piece of vegetable lasagna (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots)
Dessert - one bite of tiramisu

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I did it!!

After Charlie's first "nightime" feeding I decided to try on those pre-pregnancy jeans. They fit!! As mentioned previously, the tummy could use some toning, but I was inspired to pack away all of my maternity clothes and trade them in for my pre-pregnancy stuff. Yippee!

Newborn Photo Shoot

So remember how I told you that Charlie hates being naked? Yeah... it was a rough start to his photo shoot on Saturday morning. After an hour of trying to get him to sleep/cooperate, we finally determined that naked pictures weren't happening. He got to wear a onesie, and then it was lights out! I only have one shot so far, but don't you just want to eat him up??

Charles celebrated his two-week birthday this weekend with a visit from his Vavo, Madrinha, and Prima. He was surrounded by doting Portuguese women. :)  He also has his two-week doctor visit tomorrow, where we hope we'll learn his weight is at least 8 lbs. 6 oz. He eats like a champ, but also spits up like one too. We shall see...  Here's what's new with two-week-olds:
Your womb was a warm and cozy environment, and it takes time for your baby to adjust to the various sights, sounds, and sensations of life outside your body. You may not be able to detect much of a personality just yet as your baby spends his time moving in and out of several different states of sleepiness, quiet alertness, and active alertness.

The only way your baby knows to communicate is by crying, but you can communicate with him through your voice and your touch. (He can now recognize your voice and pick it out among others.)

Your baby probably loves to be held, caressed, kissed, stroked, massaged, and carried. He may even make an "ah" sound when he hears your voice or sees your face, and he'll be eager to find you in a crowd.
I was supposed to try on my pre-pregnancy jeans this weekend, but I didn't exactly get around to it. In fairness, my mom and cousins were helping me clean out the basement, so I was being somewhat productive. Maybe if I'm feeling ambitious I'll dig them out of the bin and try them on for our outing to the doctor's office. I did manage to dig out an article of clothing that you may remember... the little pink tank top! Here I am, two weeks post-partum.

I have three pounds to go to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, but I also need to do some toning in the tummy area. I'm hoping to get the all-clear to work out at my six-week appointment so I can start running and yoga again. In the meantime, I will start my food journal tomorrow today. Nursing makes me sooo hungry, so I'm trying to get better about eating healthily. Today isn't a great example, but I'll get there... :)

Breakfast - three pancakes with syrup; cranberry juice
Snack - Greek strawberry yogurt; grapefruit juice
Lunch - "chicken" strips with one slice of American cheese on a whole wheat wrap; three slices of Star Tavern pizza (super thin whole wheat crust!)
Snack - homemade chocolate pudding (made with low fat organic milk)
Dinner - squash stuffed with rotini and mixed veggies (carrots, snap peas, and broccoli); piece of vegetable lasagna (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower); roasted potatoes
Dessert - orange

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day One of Cloth Diapering!

Charlie started wearing his cloth diapers today. I couldn't believe how quickly we were going through disposables, and since a big part of my cloth decision was for environmental reasons, I figured we should start sooner rather than later. Our little guy absolutely hates having his diaper changed (and just being naked in general) but I think he looks pretty cute in his little bumgenius diaper. :)

Of course, the big question is how will they wash?? I'll keep you posted...

Newborn Class and Baby Book Update

So I realize this is probably something I should have taken before I had Charles, but better late than never right? Last night, John's mom and I went to a newborn care class at our pediatrician's office. Have I mentioned how much I love Dr. G? She is the perfect balance of practical and nurturing and I really like her personality. There were four groups of us there (the other three were still expecting) and I did feel like the resident expert. ;) Now that Charlie is almost two weeks old, I'm an old pro at this Mom thing.

Yesterday I also worked on updating the baby book. I'm really trying to stay on top of this so that by the end of his first year it will be complete. No procrastination allowed! Here are a few of the pages I updated...

The Cover:

The Birth Story (a relatively child-friendly version) :)

First Photo

Going Home 
His First Week

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Well, it's official. He's all grown up! :)  Charlie lost his umbilical cord stump today. I was changing his diaper and found it in his blanket. Once we get the all-clear from his pediatrcian regarding the healing of his circumcision, we'll be able to start using our cloth diapers. I already do a load of baby laundry each day, so another one won't be too big of a deal I think. It should be interesting...

Look who has a belly button!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happiest Baby on the Block

Friends of ours let us borrow this video the other day and I watched it last night. The whole premise behind the theory is that all babies are born "premature" and the first three months of their lives should be considered "the fourth trimester." The pediatrician who developed the program goes on to teach the 5 S's (swaddle, side, shush, swing, and suck) and how they help calm a baby. Is it working? You tell me...

And as I told JA, even if it only works for a little while, it's totally worth having a happy baby. :)  Hope everyone's day was filled with love and happiness!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Charles is One Week Old!

Well, we made it... one week down! I can't believe he's a week old already. I look back on his pictures from the hospital and I already think he's changed so much. He's not a little baby anymore!!

We had some great news at the doctor's office today. His weight is up to 7 lbs. 11 oz., which is a 6 oz. gain from Tuesday. Dr. G (his pediatrician is also Dr. G, just like Mommy's OB) predicts that he'll be above his birth weight of 8 lbs. 6 oz. at his two-week appointment. He is eating every 3 hours and has just started nursing on both sides at all feedings, so I think she's right too. Way to go buddy!

Here's what Baby Center has to say about one-week old babies:
Your baby's eyesight is still pretty fuzzy. Babies are born nearsighted and can see things best when they're about 8 to 10 inches away, so she can see your face clearly only when you're holding her close.

Don't worry if your baby doesn't look you right in the eye from the start: Newborns tend to look at your eyebrows, your hairline, or your moving mouth. As she gets to know you in the first month, she'll be more interested in having eye-to-eye exchanges. Studies show that newborns prefer human faces to all other patterns or colors. (High-contrast items, like a checkerboard, are next in line.)

Give your baby plenty of opportunities to study your features by looking at her up close. As you or your partner feeds her, move your head slowly from side to side and see whether her eyes follow you. This exercise can help strengthen the eye muscles. (Don't be alarmed if your baby looks at you with crossed eyes: It's normal for a newborn's eyes to wander or cross now and then during the first month or so of life.)

Babies are sensitive to light and can see in three dimensions. Notice how your baby blinks when you bring an object close to her.
I've noticed that Charlie is very alert and focused when he's awake. I totally understand what it's like to be nearsighted, and I hope Charlie gets better eyesight. But if he inherits mine, just think how cute he'll look in glasses!

In honor of the first week, here's another video we shot this morning. I remember when JA bought me that flipcam for my birthday last year. I knew I'd be recording our baby pretty regularly, but this every day stuff is just crazy. And you know what... I don't care! ;)

Oh, and I plan to start my food journal again after Week 2. We are still establishing our nursing routine and I want to make sure I'm getting enough high-quality calories for us. I can share that I'm down 20 pounds since delivery, so just about 10 to go to pre-pregnancy weight. Not sure how those pre-pregnancy jeans will fit, but I'm waiting to try them until week 2 is over as well. I'll keep you posted...

And one more thing... you know you're a new mom when you get an email from Amazon about a sale on pumps, and your head immediately goes to breast pumps and not shoes (which the email was actually about). ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Busy Day for Charlie

The life of a six-day-old is filled with exciting events. Here's what's on the agenda for Sir Charles today:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Recovery at Day 5

Now that I'm a mom of a five-day-old, I have some expertise to share. ;)  Really though, this is just a quick round-up of what has helped me survive these past five days. Much like my pregnancy, my recovery has gone amazingly well. I feel like I'm 90% healed already. My bleeding is pretty light, and my stitches feel like they are ready to dissolve and I'll be good as new in no time. The peri bottle they gave me at the hospital feels great after I pee (we're all friends here, right?) and I haven't had to use any other of the "comfort measures" they provided (witch hazel pads, Dermaplast, and some other chemical cream). I have been using Earth Mama, Angel Baby's New Mama Bottom Spray to help relieve any discomfort. I also have their Bottom Balm, but haven't used it yet. Finally, I've used their Natural Nipple Butter whenever they get a little sore, but honestly, rubbing a bit of expressed milk on them seems to work just fine. I know it's still early, but so far, so good! My delivery may not have been med-free, but my recovery is! :)

The two other crucial items for success are also known as JA and my mom. They have been, by far, the best at keeping me fed and hydrated. Plus, my mom had single-handedly done about 17 loads of laundry and cleaned up a storm!

And for your comedic enjoyment... Charlie gets the hiccups! :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Birth Story

**Advanced warning - This story is not terribly graphic, but I do tell the truth about the labor and delivery process.**

On Thursday night (February 4) our usual crew was over to watch Jersey Shore. We ordered take out and I got cheese tortellini, salad, and bread. Nothing too crazy, though I did put red pepper flakes in my pasta for a spicy kick (couldn't hurt right?) As the night progressed, I started feeling "funny" which is the best way I can describe it. My belly felt different and I jokingly said to everyone, "You guys, I'm totally in labor right now." We laughed, and continued to watch Snookie embarrass herself down the shore. Good times...

The next morning I got up to get ready for my last day of work. As I went to stand from bed, a noticed a stream of fluid run down my legs. I immediately thought, "Either my water just broke, or I peed myself." I also shared this with John. :)  I went to the bathroom to clean up, but nothing much else happened. I had read that if you lay down again the fluid will pool and you'd notice a larger gush. I went back to bed for about 30 minutes. When I got up again, they was more fluid, but nothing like the movies show. I wanted that puddle on the floor! Either way, I knew something was up, so I called my principal and told her I wouldn't be in. I went downstairs and sent a few more work emails, including one to my poor sub who'd be getting an earlier start in the classroom. When I stood up from the computer to use the bathroom again, I got my movie gush! My pants were soaked and I knew this was it. I was officially in labor.

The funny thing about all the preparations I had done is that none of it involved this particular situation. So few people have their water break before contractions that I didn't ever envision this. After I called the doctor and he confirmed that he thought my water had broken we decided I would hang out at home and wait for contractions to start. They did around 10 AM, but were very mild. I felt "crampy." This continued for several hours with increasing intensity, but nothing major. I checked in with the doctor every few hours as well. I got my first "holy crap that hurts" contraction in the late afternoon. The next few were similar, and by dinner time, I was in tears. I held off as long as I could, and we eventually decided to head to the hospital around 7:30 PM. I was hoping and praying that the contractions had done their job and I'd be pretty far along in the process. So you can imagine my disappointment when I got my first internal and the nurse said I was three centimeters dilated and the baby was at -3 station. Oh no! My immediate thought was to go back home, but I was told that since my membranes had been ruptured since 6:30 that morning, they would need to start me on antibiotics to ward off infection for both me and Charlie. And here we have medical intervention #1, which I know was totally necessary for Charlie's well-being. Unfortunately, it also meant I was tied to an IV for the remainder of labor. I continued to experience those I-think-I'm-gonna-die contractions for about four more hours. A little after midnight, I got checked again. I was only 4-5 centimeters and he was still at -2. Yikes!! At this point, I was crying through every contraction and I was trying not to think of the e-word, but I wasn't sure what I was going to do for the next eight hours (which was how long they estimated it would be before I started pushing). I also hadn't slept since waking up at 6:30 and couldn't fathom pushing after another eight hours of these contractions with no rest. John was trying to convince me to do what was best for me, and was worried about me. Ultimately, I decided I needed help. There was no way I was going to have the strength and energy to deliver if I didn't rest. So at 12:30 AM, I asked for the epidural. I was ultimately comfortable with the decision, since I knew it would help me rest and gather strength for the delivery. Medical intervention #2 was completed by the anesthesiologist, who shall also be named "Favorite-Doctor-Ever!" :)  Watching the contractions on the monitor peak, but not being able to feel them was so nice. I slept until 3:40 when the nurse came in. I still wasn't progressing well - Charlie just did not want to move down! So next came medical intervention #3 - Pitocin. At this point, my dreams of a med-free birth were long gone, and I just wanted to deliver our baby safely. He was doing well and his heart rate was good, so I wanted that to continue. They started Pitocin a little before four and my contractions became much more regular. They were coming about every minute and were very strong (based on what I could see on the monitor). I slept a little bit more and when I was next checked (about an hour later) I was 8-9 centimeters and baby was lower. Yay - almost there! John called our parents, who had gone home around 11 the night before. I couldn't believe we would be meeting our son soon. Unfortunately, I also started to feel contractions again. I debated even saying anything, since we were so close, but it was pretty hard to hide the fact that I was feeling them again. They were indescribable now, probably because of the Pitocin. Favorite-Doctor-Ever came back in and gave me a bolus, which was great because it took the edge off, but I still felt the pressure in my bottom to push. A little after seven, my OB came in and we did a few "practice pushes." They were fun. :) I still could not believe we were at this stage. Dr. G continued to work with me and we got ready for the real thing. (As I type this, I'm starting to tear up, which is probably a combination of these crazy hormones and getting ready to relive the most amazing moment of my life.)

For the next hour, the nurse and my OB helped me push. JA was right there at my side and was incredible. He was so worried about not being able to handle the delivery, but he was outstanding. Best labor coach ever! I pushed for a little over an hour. I don't remember how many pushes we needed, but I do remember they came in sets of three. Every so often the nurse would throw a fourth one in there and I would think, "I may be in labor lady, but I can still count!" Pushing was hard work. In fact, my arms were sore the next day from pulling my legs back. My legs had remained in tip-top shape with all my walking workouts, but I kind of forgot to work out my arms. As we continued pushing, there were a lot of mentions of Charlie's big head. JA and I both sport significantly-sized noggins, so this was not surprising to me. :) Medical intervention #4 - the episiotomy. Dr. G asked if he could make a few little cuts since I was starting to tear and not in an effective way. Sure thing Doc - you do what you gotta do! I felt the cuts, but they weren't too bad. I continued to push, and was totally exhausted. I remember saying, "I can't do this anymore!" but everyone assured me that I was doing it. My eyes were closed during each push and I suddenly heard Dr. G say "Open your eyes! He's here!" And there in front of me was the most amazing sight ever. I will never be able to describe the feeling so I'm not going to even try. If you are a mom, then you know. If you aren't yet, but will be some day, I hope you experience the same overwhelming joy. They placed him on my chest and we bonded instantly. He was perfect!

I delivered the placenta very easily after a few minutes. I don't remember having to really push... kind of felt it just slide right out. Dr. G used a few stitches to put me back together while JA went over with Charlie to get weighed and toweled off a bit. He was back quickly and we bonded again, this time as a family of three. I felt like my life was complete. We hung out in the labor and delivery room for a couple of hours. The grandparents came in and got to meet their grandson. They held him and fell in love. We were all pretty blissed out. After a little while, they had to leave until visiting hours started at noon. John and I headed over to the recovery room around 11ish with Charlie. He stopped in the nursery to get his bath and a few tests while the mom nurse tended to me. She showed me how to clean up with the peri-bottle (love this thing!) and introduced me to these very interesting looking white pantyhose underwear. Thankfully, my bleeding has been pretty minimal, so I am wearing regular old cotton undergarments and only one normal sized pad. I fell asleep for a little bit and then Charlie came back. We started trying to nurse and we were somewhat successful I think. I have a hard time remembering these moments... I think I was out of it from the whole experience. Over the next day, we did have some trouble latching and there were about five different nurses who gave me all sorts of different advice. On Monday, I finally met the lactation consultant, who worked some sort of voodoo magic and he latched in a second - literally! I offered her lots of money to come home with me, which she said happens all the time. :)  I am happy to report that we are getting better and better at each feeding and he is becoming a nursing pro.

So that's our story... I could continue to write for a long, long time about everything that's happened since we got home, but someone is going to need to eat soon and I have to be ready! Until next time... thanks for reading!

I'm Ready for My Closeup!

Here's a link to the pictures the hospital photographer took of our little guy. I'm biased, but I think they are adorable! And here are some others we've snapped over the past few days...

Our first family photo

Proud daddy in the delivery room

Naked baby!

Day 3 - resting in my pack and play

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Introducing Charles Henry!

I am honored and proud to introduce to you our son! I am way too busy/exhausted/in love to update with a birth story just yet, but will try to get to it this week. It was nothing like I had planned, but it all worked out perfectly in the end. :)  And speaking of perfect...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Jinxed Myself!!

Hahahahaha... In yesterday's post I was all proud of myself for making it to my last day of work. Don't count your chickens before they're hatched!! My water broke this morning (well, I'm 99% sure and the doctor thinks so too based on our conversation). JA is home with me and we're going to hang out here until I start contracting. The doc will give me 24 hours to start contracting on my own and then we'd have to head in to the hospital. So let's say a little prayer that my body does its job... I am so ready to meet Charles Henry!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Almost There...

Tomorrow is my last day of work. Not many people thought I'd make it to this point, but I was pretty confident I could do it. My maternity leave replacement has been with me since Tuesday and she's doing an awesome job! I feel very confident leaving her in charge. I can safely say that at 3:30 PM tomorrow afternoon, I will be totally focused on Charles Henry and not worried about my 22 other little angels. (Well, I'm sure I'll be thinking of them just a little now and then...)

So now starts the real waiting game. My dad is hoping I hold out another week because he'd really like to be able to visit when Charlie is born but his work schedule is pretty crazy until the 11th. John is hoping for a Monday delivery, because that was his grandma's birthday, and he knows that she's looking down from heaven and would have loved Charles so much. My father-in-law thinks he might come on Saturday, since that is his due date and he wants to be perfect. :)  I think he's going to come sometime the week after next. I anticipate still being pregnant at 41 weeks, but hope that I go sometime that week so we don't have to do an induction. Whatever happens, we just want a happy, healthy baby. He'll come when he's ready. In the meantime, when people ask, "Have you had that baby yet?" I'll just send them to this site.

Breakfast - Fiber One toaster pastry
Lunch - two slices of organic spinach and tomato pizza; organic romaine, grape tomatoes and cucumbers with light honey mustard dressing; cantaloupe; 100-calorie fat-free pudding
Snack - handful of tortilla chips with shredded cheese and salsa
Dinner - take out with my "Jersey Shore view crew"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Ice Baby

I'm home again! Mother Nature is taking pity on me and not making me work any full weeks in this last month of pregnancy. Seriously... she rocks! I know everyone is totally sick of this snow and ice, but a small part of me is quite happy to be home today and safely tucked onto the couch with my getting-more-swollen-by-the-day feet up on the ottoman. My right foot in particular is swelling a bit. At least my toes are perfectly pedicured... maybe I should go stick them outside in the ice! ;)

I'm spending the day writing thank you notes, doing laundry, and planning for my last two days of work. I even managed to squeeze in a workout. I can't believe how close we are getting! So excited! I watched Lifetime's new show last night. One Born Every Minute is a reality show that chronicles the Labor and Delivery ward of a hospital. Last night we watched three babies being born - one with an epidural, one via C-section, and one natural childbirth. While we all know I'm aiming for the latter, the couple that they showed were, as I told JA, hippy jerks to the nurses. It seriously made me rethink even bringing my birth preferences to the hospital because they came across as obnoxious and ungrateful. It was good to see though, because while I am sure I do want a med-free birth, I don't want to risk my child's health by refusing monitoring. Jeesh!

Breakfast - two organic eggs with a slice of American cheese on whole grain toast with natural ketchup; all natural cranberry/grape juice; decaf vanilla chai latte
Lunch - veggie burger on a whole wheat tortilla with natural katchup and mustard; baked fries; 100-calorie, fat free pudding
Dinner - garden salad with organic romaine, tomato, and cucumber with all natural chipotle ranch dressing; two slices of organic spinach and tomato pizza
Dessert - canteloupe (which a nurse told me is a natural way to help with the swelling!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Following Doctor's Orders

Today Molly, Maggie and I took our afternoon nap together. I came home from school, fed the dogs, and we all laid down on the couch. I made sure to set my alarm so I didn't sleep for more than an hour or so. Perfect! Following doctor's orders was never so easy!

The nurse at school was out today so my principal called over to the other elementary school to ask about her baby-delivering skills. Everyone is expecting me to deliver this baby in the next few days at school, but they should trust me when I say it's not going to happen. Even JA is asking when I'm going to give him his baby. Ha ha ha... around 41w3d, like most first time moms. Less than 5% deliver on their due date, though Dr. G. did say he's at the hospital all day on Saturday so that day would work well for him. I'll see what I can do...

Breakfast - egg and cheese on a croissant; hash browns; decaf tea with honey
Lunch - soy "chicken" patty on a whole wheat tortilla with a slice of American cheese and light honey mustard dressing; Greek raspberry yogurt; handful of pretzel sticks
Snack - Kashi granola bar
Dinner - Annie's organic white cheddar mac and cheese; garden salad with organic romaine, tomato, and cucumber with all natural chipotle ranch dressing