Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Week One

Aaron was napping on the couch. Declan was napping on my chest. And they farted simultaneously in their sleep. My life with two boys has officially begun.

The baby is perfect. Tiny fingers, tiny, unfocused eyes, tiny lips that have the power of one thousand Hoover vacuums when they suck on my very sore boobs... Sorry if that was TMI. It's one of the big issues in my life right now. 

The first week has been trying, I won't lie. Not much sleep, lots of learning. But I'm so lucky to have lots of family close by to provide us with food, cleaning, an extra pair of baby-carrying arms so that I can take a shower once in a while. My goal for next week is to actually wear a new, clean outfit every day! I'll let you know how that goes.

Pics from week one: 

Friday, October 23, 2009

School of Motherhood

Here are some things I've learned in the past 48 hours:

- Despite years of believing the opposite, I can fall asleep sitting up. In fact, I can fall asleep sitting up, in the middle of a conversation, while nursing the baby.

- Babies do not recognize a difference between night and day.

- Boobs full of milk are not attractive, nor are they comfortable. They are, however, quite useful.

- Nursing at 4 am is much more enjoyable if you are watching Gossip Girl and eating cake.

- Deflated pregnant bellies are very strange and jiggly.

Will write more later, Declan is crying for food. Which is me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Declan!

He's here!

I went in at 6 am for my induction. By 7:30, the contractions were strong and 2 minutes apart. By noon, I was dilated 6 cm and begging for i.v. pain meds! Unfortunately, they made me sick. So around 1:30, I got an epidural - it was heaven!! I took a nap. When I woke up at 3, I had gone from 6 cm to 9 cm!

So then I suffered through an hour of strong contractions, and reached a full 10 cm. I started pushing at 4 pm. The nurse said, "With first babies, you usually have to push for anywhere from an hour to three hours. So don't expect him before 5 o'clock."

Turns out, I'm a good pusher. Aaron was at my head, counting to ten with each push and being a perfect coach. My mom held up one leg while the nurse held up the other. By 4:30, his head was crowning, I was told to stop pushing, and the doctor was called in. One last push, and his head was out. The hugest sense of relief washed over me as the doctor delivered the rest of his body, then placed him on my chest.

He was wet and a little slimy, his skin was a weird lavender-blue color, and he had a cone-head, but I was immediately in love. I said, "Hi Baby!" He opened one eye and looked at me. I stroked his warm little arms and legs. He didn't cry, just kind of gurgled protests as the nurse rubbed his vigorously.

They took him to the warming table, where he was weighed, measured, and dried off. (Stats: 8 lbs, 13 oz, 20 inches long, head circumference of 15 inches!) They put on a diaper, wrapped him in a blanket, put on his hat, and handed him to Aaron, who practically hasn't put him down since then. Once I was all stitched up, I nursed him for 45 minutes - he was such a hungry boy! He nursed perfectly.

Now we're all settled in our room, Declan is fast asleep, and Aaron and I are just staring at him.

I'll have a lot more pictures soon, but for now, these are the ones Katherine took on her iPhone -

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nearing the End

With my induction scheduled for Monday, I'm trying to live every childless moment to its fullest this weekend, to appreciate my last few days of only being responsible for myself. I still cannot wait for Declan to be born, but now that the event is looming before me, I realize that it's going to be a huge change, and I should savor the way my life is right now, rather than wishing for it to be different. It will be very different soon enough, and then it will never go back to this.

Luckily it's a great weekend to savor. Austin is gorgeous - highs in the 70s, dipping into the 50s at night, clear skies, crisp breezes... Fall is here, and it's better than I remembered. Or maybe I'm just more appreciative, since I've suffered through the summer with lots of extra poundage!

Yesterday Aaron, Melodee, Jeff and I drove out to Fredericksburg to walk up and down the rows of antique shops, ice cream parlors, vintage boutiques, and candle makers. It was very quaint, and I had a good time. Except that one time when a shopkeeper (only half jokingly) told me to "get out of her store!" because she's "like, terrified of blood!" That was after she asked me when I was due, and I gave a good-natured chuckle and said, "Yesterday!" I'm not sure why she thought I was going to give birth right there on her antique rugs, but I left in a hurry.

Tomorrow night we're having "The Last Supper" at my parents' house with Grandma, Melodee and Jeff. Beef stew! And pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting! Because after that, I'm not allowed to eat or drink anything until I successfully give birth.

I'm sure I'll update on Sunday night when I can't sleep because I'm so excited and nervous! If not, and I actually manage to tire myself out enough to sleep despite the anxiety, I guess I'll update next in the P.D. era - post Declan. Love to all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Due Date

Well, no baby today. My blood pressure was high, but not high enough to be an emergency. Just high enough to bump my induction date up to Monday rather than Friday, which I'm thrilled about.

You should have seen the extreme measures that Aaron and I took to raise my blood pressure this morning. First I got up and took a brisk walk around the neighborhood, then he screamed along with annoying loud music all the way to the doctors'. We parked far away and walked to the office, all the while Aaron is screaming obscenities at passing traffic - nothing like a healthy dose of embarrassment to raise that BP! When we got there he made me take a lap around the parking lot, then do jumping jacks in the hallway outside the office. And all with a neverending stream of insults, stupid jokes, and playful pinches.

So yeah, we kind of faked it. But karma's a bitch, and we didn't get induced despite our wonderfully successful effort.

Melodee and Jeff (Aaron's mom and stepdad) are here, and we're going to Buffet Palace to have dinner. Wish me luck on not making a pig of myself with the crab rangoon...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jump to the Conclusion

Just got home from my 40 week doctor's appointment.

The stats are: 3 cm dilated, 75% effaced, and Declan's at a -1 station.

Another stat: Blood pressure was 140/70.

While that might seem like a nice number for people who regularly have a higher BP, it's scary for me, because I'm usually like 100/60. My doctor is mildly concerned - I have to go back at 7:45 am (ughhh...) on Thursday to re-check it. If my BP is still high, she'll send me straight over to the hospital to be induced.

Aaron is super pumped and wants to try and keep my blood pressure high on purpose. Honestly, Thursday would be a great day to have him, for many reasons, but I don't think I'm willing to stress myself out and eat lots of high sodium foods just to get induced... although I do like salty food...

The doctor also "stripped my membranes" which is code for "wiggled her fingers around inside my cervix in order to cause as much pain as possible while giggling at the horrified expression on my face."

Luckily the hospital has free wi-fi, so I'll update on Thursday morning whether it's from my couch-nest or my hospital bed.


I think my subconscious is taking "nesting" a little too literally.

Usually it means that a pregnant woman goes around cleaning everything in her "nest", making sure the house is nice and pretty for the new baby.

Me? I built a nest. On the couch. Out of pillows. And I'm not leaving it until I go into labor!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Every day I'm flabbergasted at the way my body looks. I mean, it seems like I'd be used to it, since I grew gradually over the course of nine months, but this end result is really something otherworldly.
Because I'm a huge cheapskate, I only have 4 real maternity shirts and a couple pairs of horrid preggo pants. The rest of my clothes are just regular clothes that have stretched with me. Until a few weeks ago, I could get away with it. Now, even my longest, stretchiest shirts and tanks leave me with a very unflattering strip of stretch-marked, pale underbelly peeking out.

Since I feel pretty good, I sometimes forget that I'm actually huge and very awkward looking. I was at H.E.B. the other day, and I kept noticing people's eyes lingering on me for a moment more than I'm used to... Then I remembered that they're probably either horrified or have pity for me, depending on whether or not they've ever been pregnant before.

Even Aaron is weirded out by my girth. He used to like my belly, and touch it, talk to it, etc. Now that it's got strange purple lines and is bigger than the biggest pumpkin for sale outside the grocery store, he avoids it at all costs. He jumps when the belly accidently brushes his arm. Luckily, he's quick to compliment the rest of my body - in his own words, "It looks like you're just a normal girl trying to shoplift a beach ball."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nothing Yet

Just wanted to update, no baby yet. I still feel it coming. We played a rather vigorous game of Apples to Apples tonight at Elizabeth's birthday party, and I had a contraction or two - I wanted to keep playing, because I think Declan wanted to join us!

I'll let everyone know when I finally find something that can tempt him out. If he takes after his mother, maybe I can just wave a leftover piece of italian cream cake near my hoo-ha...

Friday, October 9, 2009


I can feel it coming.

I've been crampy and contraction-y the past two days. Actually, I just feel like I'm PMS-ing in general. Moody, crampy, craving chocolate, crying when Bear Grylls killed a reindeer on Man Vs. Wild...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Make Your Guess

Forgot to mention earlier - We're taking a poll of what you think Declan's birth weight will be. So far, the guesstimates are as follows:

Natalie - 8 lbs. 8 oz.
Aaron - 9 lbs. 1 oz.
Patti - 7 lbs. 8 oz.
Allen - 8 lbs. 3 oz.
Katherine - 9 lbs. 6 oz.
Melodee - 8 lbs. 2 oz.
Jeff - 7 lbs. 9 oz.
Mary Ann - 7 lbs. 15 oz.
Angie - 8 lbs. 1 oz.
Bill - 7 lbs. 14 oz.
Sue - 8 lbs. 6 oz.
Ragnar - 8lbs. 5 oz.

We haven't decided what the prize will be, other than the glory of winning... But if you feel so inclined, I'd love to hear any and all other guesses!

Hurry Up and Wait

My doctor apologized profusely today for putting me on bed rest before. It was kinda funny. Also funny - the nurse TOTALLY loved my mythical-beast-tattoo plan. She saw the unicorn on my belly when she was doing Declan's heart rate, and gave me a funny look. I explained, and she was cracking up and said she completely understood!

The big news (<--sarcasm) - I've dilated one half of a centimeter since last week. Like, 0.5 cm. So for those of you who speak the language of labor, I'm now 2 cm, 80% effaced, and Declan's at a -2 station.

The doctor seemed optimistic that it would happen soon, but I think she's forgotten that it's taken me TEN WEEKS to dilate HALF a centimeter. So I went to Wheatsville and got some Evening Primrose Oil and a box of raspberry tea. Neither actually induce labor, but the EPO is supposed to help the cervix soften, and raspberry tea tones the uterus for contractions and makes labor easier when it does happen.

I'm walking a couple of miles every night, and today in the shower, I held on to the soap-holder and did a bunch of squats. Even if all of this doesn't make me give birth, I'm getting fit!

In other news, we moved the bassinet so that it's beside the bed... I forgot, and totally ate it trying to get out of bed for bathroom break #1 last night. Oops! Everyone is fine, I just have a bruised shin.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Walk It Out

Last night was the full moon, and still, nothing. Everyone kept telling me that he would definitely come during the full moon, and they got my hopes up.

I was so disappointed last night that I resorted to walking laps around the condo complex, trying to somehow "absorb" full moon into my body. After six laps, I thought I might be having a contraction, but it turns out it was just a stitch in my side. As soon as I drank some water and sat down, I felt fine. Boo.

So then Aaron and I tried walking to the gas station and back. Nothing. On the way back to the condo we started discussing induction. I just honestly don't think Declan is going to come on his own at this point. I have absolutely zero symptoms of early labor. I feel fine. I was able to walk about four miles total last night with no results. I mean, if anything was going to put me into labor, four miles under the full moon should have done it, right?!

Anyway, we've decided to talk to the doctor at my appointment tomorrow about possibly getting induced on my due date, Thursday the 15th. If I go before then, fine. But if I don't, at least we'd have a for-sure date to look forward to. And it really would be nice to have him on a Thursday, so that Aaron could have four school-less days with us, and his step-dad, Jeff, could stay for the whole weekend before going back to New Mexico for work.

So we'll see what the doctor says tomorrow. She may say no, or she may let us do it even sooner than that - Aaron's rooting for this Thursday, the 8th. Yikes! I always said I didn't want to be induced, ever, that I'd rather be 42 weeks pregnant than get pitocin, blah blah blah... Yeah, I had obviously never been 39 weeks pregnant. There's just so much anxiety and excitement building up, and I'm scared that if I don't get induced, I'll be pregnant forever.

Not really, but that's what it feels like.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Brilliant Plan

You know how stuff always seems to happen when you're least prepared for it?

Well, thats what I'm counting on.

I really want this baby out. So I decided that the best plan would be to put some really embarrassing temporary tattoos on my belly, so that I would go into labor and not have time to wash them off, and the nurses will laugh at me.

I'm willing to sacrifice my dignity in order to bring on childbirth.

Right now I have a minotaur tattoo. As soon as it starts to fade, I think I'll put on the Sphinx. Or maybe the Medusa.

Thank God Pat had a "Mythical Beast Tattoo" book hidden away on a top shelf. And if my plan takes longer than expected, I'll start using Pat's Celtic Art Tattoos.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello, October

This is it. This is the month that I 100% for sure, no doubt will have a baby.

Lots has happened and I haven't felt like blogging about it, but I'll summarize: Aaron got fired from his job on the same day that Aunt Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, both situations are being resolved quickly.

Aaron is now enrolled in a training academy to become a certified personal trainer. I've never seen him happier. We'll be completely broke for the next few months, but I think it will be worth it in the long run for our family.

And Sue had her lumpectomy on Monday - it was the size of a pea and the cancer hadn't spread to any lymph nodes. So she'll probably start radiation next week, just to be extra sure that no cancer escaped the little lump. Everyone is really optimistic and she's doing well.

Despite the stress that has come with these two major events, I'm still pregnant and doing just fine. Well, just fine if you don't count not sleeping, back pain, peeing every 15 minutes, and a rapidly expanding road map of stretch marks. I'm very, very ready for Declan to be a member of the outside world. Unfortunately, there's been no change in my cervix for weeks now. 1.5 cm dilated, 80% effaced.

But Sunday is a full moon, and we're supposed to be getting a thunderstorm... both are known to bring on labor... I've got my fingers crossed.