Thursday, January 31, 2013

4 Days Old

Welcome!

On her first day she met all of her grandmas.  One by one they came.  Morai, of course, was here from the beginning, then Nana and finally Oma.  How lucky could a girl be?  Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Justin came too.  Emerson brought everyone in and sang  happy birthday.  Sara came back in the evening just to reconfirm that a baby had been born.  It had all happened so fast!

 holding baby Sissie

On her second day she visited the doctor and got the diagnosis of, "She looks beautiful and healthy!"  Then we stopped by Whole Foods and caused many sighs and gasps.

 family resemblance

On day three we went and got her blood work done.  She cried and screamed while they were squeezing her foot and then passed out as soon as they wrapped her foot up in gauze.  She shows a distinct preference for having her feet covered at all times.  Socks are best, footed sleepers are okay.  Bare is unacceptable.

 kittens mittens

She sleeps and sleeps, through noise and silence.  She is just starting to eat really well. She lifts her head.  She peeks at you briefly with dark grey eyes.  She snuggles and snuggles.  She coos and squeaks.  She had hiccups every night like when she was still in the belly.

 a quizzical brow

On her forth day we are lazying around the house while her brother struggles through some strange illness.  Poor guy just can't seem to get over this.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sissie's Story

One day old 1

I’d had a few nights where I really thought she was coming with gentle contractions forming distinct patterns and continuing for hours at a time.  The previous Saturday when I saw my midwife, Sara, she thought I really looked like I was in early labor and expected to get called back that night.  So when I was still pregnant the following Saturday we talked over my previous birth and how I’d never really gone into labor myself.  She offered me the option of taking some cotton root bark the next time I had contractions to help things move along into a more active pattern.  Something that if my body was as ready as she believed it was would help my body commit.  After having such a confusing week I thought it sounded pretty good.
That evening I began having contractions again, stronger than before so I went ahead with the cotton root.  It was also the night of the full moon, called the Wolf Moon by Native Americans and it was bright as a street light shining in our windows.
Around 9 I took the first dose and at 11 we knew it was working (or I was working).  At midnight we called Sara and told her to come over.  At this point I looked at John and said, “Maybe this home thing isn’t such a good idea for me.”  I was only half joking.  The intensity was up and I was remembering how long I was in labor with my son.  He said something along the lines of, “You can do this.” and I started vocalizing through the contractions.  
Sara said she got to the house at about 1am and was startled to see how fast things seemed to have moved.  I told her that I needed a progress report.  I was starting to get afraid of the intensity and really wanted to feel like this was real and I was making progress.  Sara said okay, but she was busy setting up for the birth she could see was imminent and never got a chance to do an internal check.
On the next contraction I spontaneously yelled, “I need to push something!”  As I was saying it I couldn’t believe that I could truly be that far or even understand why I was saying it.  After all, it had just gotten overwhelming.  Sara said, “Try pushing on the next one and see how it feels. You’ll know if it is time.”  
I was on hands and knees on the bed at this point but I suddenly realized that was too intense low in my belly and my feet were asleep.  I got the suggestion of laying on my side and John eased me down.  He had been pressing on my back and talking me through each contraction the whole time and I was starting to worry his arms wouldn’t hold out but I needed him desperately to keep at it.  I’d yell at him he wasn’t in the right place and he would try to find a better way and then I’d yell that that didn’t help either and to do what he had been doing.  I was trying to be as funny or silly as I could be during all of this, but I am not sure my humor came through.  At some point John said, “It’s okay, it’s going well.” to which I responded, “I think you are wrong, it isn’t okay.” He said, “But you are doing great!” and I said, “ I think you are incorrect about that too!!”
Anyway, once I was on my side I really wanted to push, still not believing I could be ready, but unable to do anything else. John had his foot in my back and was holding my leg in a move that must have come straight from wrestling rings.   Sara was there tucking towels around me and I would push through part of each contraction before breathing down for the rest.  Suddenly I felt that I was really pushing something and my water broke in a large, splashing wave that surprised and soaked everyone.  Sara told me that the next contractions would be more intense.  Internally I laughed, I couldn’t really imagine that.  A contraction or two later I could feel her head coming down.  I felt the pressure and then it receded a little and asked if that was really what I was feeling.  Sara said yes, it was the head and it was normal to come down and go back up a little.  I just wanted to be sure.  As soon as I knew we were close to the actual birth I was determined to get her out as fast as I could.  I knew that once she was out I would be done with the real pain.  Sara tells me that it was only ten minutes between the water breaking and the birth.  I felt like it lasted longer than that.  I was surprised that after her head was born I had to push so hard to get the rest of her out, but suddenly she was on my belly and everything was calming down.  Her cord was a little short so I couldn’t see her face right away.  I kept thinking (or saying?) she’s here, it’s okay, she’s here, it’s okay.  I thought enough to ask if anyone had actually checked that she was in fact a girl and was amazed to see for myself it was true.  Everything was busy around me but peaceful.  We had only a small lamp and some candles on the whole time and Sara got out her flashlight to check that everything was okay.  


First nurse

I couldn’t believe it happened so fast.  I heard someone say it was just after 2am. Only 5 hours of labor really. I had 18 with Emerson!
The whole labor (and before, through every contraction I had in the end of pregnancy) my mantra to myself was just the word “open” over and over.  When I was overwhelmed and panicking at the beginning of a contraction I could regain control with this word repeated over and over.  It was magical.
So, then she was here, my little wolf baby,  born on the full moon, in peace and love in my own bed.  Anjali Eirwen (On-jhah-lee Air-wen for those who have been asking :), weighing in at 7lbs, 7oz and 18.5 inches long.
We are all doing wonderfully, I am amazed at how great I feel.  E is completely in love with her.  As are we all.


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Papa!

So, there is this guy I know- He is kind and patient and tolerant.  He is loving and thoughtful.  He does so much for us and we almost never give him his own time without throwing in some little task for him.  But he doesn't often complain.  He rubs my back even when his hurts too.  He takes over for me when he comes home, even though E is at his hardest in those hours.  He loses his patience and then goes back for more, so rarely calling for backup.  He works an extrovert's job all day even though his natural inclination is to be an introvert.

guitar shirt 1

I wanted to make a couple t-shirts for his birthday.  Morai provided the shirts.  I asked E what should go on them.  His first answer? A guitar.  That boy is smart.  Since our printer is not functioning I had to draw it myself.  This is unheard of.  I am pretty sure everyone can tell what it is without any prompting.  UNheard of.

guitar shirt

I also wanted to have a shirt that featured E's artwork because he and his papa spend a lot of their time together drawing and painting.  E made the shape and then drew lines for the monster, I did the rest.  I admit to being selective about which lines I traced.  I just traced the eyes, arms and hair and dropped the rest of the scribbles.

Monster shirt

I love this man and I am so happy to have him as my companion.  I couldn't ask for one more thing.  He makes me so very happy, feel so very loved, and I am supported creatively, as a parent and as I grow as a person.
Thank you for being the man of dreams all these (ten!) years later.  I hope this is the happiest year yet for you, too.

Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rambling run ons

I feel like I have a lot to say but I am not sure what it is.  I have a couple things to share but I have to wait until after a certain someone's birthday.  Because I know he is a loyal reader...
Today I went all out, wore my makeup, changed my jewelry and went out and got my eyebrows done.  Because you know in the weeks after the baby comes I will feel like a mess and every little bit helps.  I miss working at Doubledutch and seeing all the new things as they come in.  I am sure in a few months I will be putting in an order with her to make myself look and feel like a hot mama instead of a hot mess.  (She actually has a special deal going on today- check out the website for details!)
I am coming up on 500 posts and starting to think of some kind of giveaway to do... hmmm, what to do??  Something simple but fun.  I'm hoping some inspiration will hit.
Today is cold enough that I am actually feeling it.  I have to say the best part about being pregnant in the winter is the warmth.  I am usually the coldest person in the room.  I find it hilarious that I don't need a coat most days here.
Okay- enough rambling...  I don't even have any random pictures for you... :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Since long ago

I have wanted to make this quilt for a long, long time.  I have thought of it in many ways, imagined it with many fabrics, recreated it in my mind with whole cloth, blocks and different embroidery.  It was made for one of those people who deserves the best and you know that you need to get it "just right" for.  Not that she wouldn't love it no matter what, but you know what I mean.

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With her birthday coming up and the birth day of this baby right around the corner I knew we had arrived at the "now or never" phase.  Or at least, the now or not for another three to five years phase...  And since I have been thinking of it for the last five years....  Obviously, it was time to move this out of the "wish to make" brain pile.

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I went with super simple.  Two fabrics I thought she'd love and a super neutral opposite side.  I am not sure which side is the front and which side is the back.  I guess that means it is reversible.   I already knew it had to have some of the left over rocket ship fabric (which I use so sparingly, trying to make it last forever) on it and I had just enough time and energy left to add a little note in the perfect shade of red.  I love the fancy stretch stitch used to secure the binding.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Full

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Tomorrow night John and I are planning on our last planned date forever. :-)  Indian food and a show.  I am going to see if I can still fit into my skinny (maternity) jeans.  I've been wearing nothing but old navy fleece pants and a maxi skirt for weeks now.
It has been raining for days here.  I usually love the rain but this isn't stormy or that warm, just endless drizzle.  We saw blue sky for a few minutes yesterday and I didn't put on my sunglasses because I was enjoying squinting into the little bit of sun.  
Today is 38 weeks.  I've been having contractions every night for the last week and keep thinking, maybe, maybe...  But probably we are waiting it out.  In a few days I will be more pregnant than I ever have been since E came in the middle of week 38.
I've had the energy to finish a few things this last week and at my awesome craft group with childcare, where I get to go every other Friday, I plan to put all the buttons on the crocheted items that are just waiting.  Like me.
I love this bunny.  If we ever have a farm, I am going to have a bunny.  A cuddle bunny.

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I put a little item in the sidebar for recipes I am finding that are gluten free and good.  Partly so I can find them again and also for you, if you'd like to try something new.  I am not usually good at recipes, but I also almost never bake.  Because I've never been good at it.  It is more exact and science like than my usual m.o.  I fly from the seat of my pants usually...

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Plague

Last weekend, John was sick.  I even let him nap on Sunday afternoon, which means you know he looked really bad.  Pregnant mama's always have things for the papa to do right at the end...
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday E had a fever.  Friday I got it but E seemed better.  This morning E's turned into a horrible cough and by this evening his fever was back.  Luckily, I only had the fever for a few hours on Friday.
My mother in law came by Friday and brought soup and this stuff  which seems to have worked a miracle for me.  I am trying to get it into E too, but he is refusing everything but Hyland's Cough and Cold.  And now that he is wheezing we are using his inhaler too.
My friend wrote up this great blog for expectant mamas.  She has other great recipes all over her site, too.
We have to get rid of this.  I need to have a baby soon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Baby crochet

I've been hooking a whole bunch for this baby.  I love making baby things because they are so small and you feel truly accomplished in a short time.  Also, I don't have to follow much of a pattern with these things anymore.  I'm not all that keen on directions...

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I'd like to let you know that all the pink was chosen by E.  He loves it and hopes for Sissie to come out everyday now.  The sweetness is killing me and between the gluten thing and my hormones I am totally in love with him all over again right now.  Sometimes I just want to snuggle kiss him until he can't stand it any  more.

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Last night he fell asleep on Papa and me while Papa was reading in front of the fireplace.  I could have eaten him.

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{this is still waiting for buttons}

See?  I am supposed to be writing about the things I crocheted for Sissie, but I can't stop thinking of Emerson!  He just told me she should be out in time for dinner.  When Papa gets home.  Morai can catch the baby, he'll cut the cord.

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Anyway, I used Little Crochet for the bonnet and I've made several other things from it.  I like the patterns in there but I have to say, the sizing seems a little off.  Or my gauge is way wackier than I think (a great possibility- see the note about following directions...)

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The other things are from ravelry.

I am really starting to wonder what this girl will look like.  Will she have the coloring like E?  Or will she keep her blue eyes?  Is she going to have dark hair, or be blonde?  Or strawberry even?  Will she be bigger or smaller than E was?

I guess we'll all know soon enough.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Gluten Experiment

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When we first moved I started looking for an acupuncturist right away.  I knew I was holding a lot of stress from the move (and from parenting and for the miscarriage and, and, and...) and I knew that is was important to treat it in whatever way would be fastest.  I felt like having a baby when you already above your threshold is just a bad idea.  Because first, you have to relax to get the baby out and then you use up everything you have left with sleepless nights and (no doubt) the stressed out only child becoming a sibling.
I found a really warm and friendly place here called Asheville Community Acupuncture. I'd seen them when looking around for a low cost option and then my midwife sent me that way too.  Perfect.  For the first month and half and cried every time I got there.  The relief of being in a place where people only cared about  me and what I needed was overwhelming.  And then getting to lay down for 45 minutes or more in silence where I could meditate or drift or continue to cry as needed?  Well, let's just say I was a believer from day one.  I am not usually the type to cry.  I usually grit my teeth and make sarcastic comments that I pretend are funny.  But while they were helping me unwind the tears just flowed in the best way.
A few weeks ago I went in after a particularly horrific day with E.  When they asked me how the day was I pretty much dissolved. She said, "What is going on??"  I told her about how violent and wild E can get, how it is like his ears shut down completely, how it seemed like a complete impossibility for him to sit still for even one minute when asked.
She suggested a few things- an herbal tincture for me (so I could rest), a visit to her for E and an experiment with removing gluten for from E's diet.
I was surprised at first when she said that gluten can make a big difference in behavior in kids.  Call me blind, I am trained as a health coach, but I may never have gotten to this thought without her help.  If he had a skin problem, complained of stomach trouble, even seemed depressed, maybe- but for wildness?  For hyper activity?  I just thought he was being who he was and I was not able to handle it.  Or my parenting was all wrong for him.  All the reasons I could think of came back to one thing: I was an inadequate parent for this child. This lack of confidence is not like me, but I have been worn down and down.  Nothing we tried seemed to work.
Gluten free is an easy solution, really.  The day to day of it takes some planning but I knew it would be easier than wondering if it might work.  Right after Christmas we took him off gluten.  In days I felt like I could see a difference.  Days.  He began to be able to sit with me through a few books at a time.  He started to come back to me when I asked him even if he knew he'd done something I was going to correct him on.  He asked to do activities that involved sitting and focusing.  He became more fun to work with in the kitchen as his focus increased and he stopped arguing over every step.
He is no angel.  He is still very much a three year old, and now that I see what that is supposed to mean, I wouldn't want it any other way.  He is obstinate, he gets wildly upset, he wants to do things his own way.  But I have not been driven to yell, scream or physically remove him from a situation since then.  I have seen him upset others and then truly think through and see what he did.  And want to find a way to make it better.
We are two weeks in.  I'm not looking back.  We've added acupuncture for a few weeks and a little herbal supplement for him too.  Things are only looking up.  Yesterday was one of those rare days for a parent of a young child, where everything went so smoothly and you just have to soak in the goodness of it. So we'll be keeping it up. :)

Preparing for becoming a big sibling

Over here we have a house full of preparations.  Gathering birthing and newborn supplies, lanolizing diaper covers, and now just starting to think of storing some food away.  John and I are each at our "assigned" reading each night and Emerson has his own "work."
We have three particular books that have been a lot of fun and spark great discussions and pride in his new coming role.  It is interesting to hear his thoughts and questions.  I always love the ones that start out, "Well, you, know, when I was a baby....."

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I'll start at the bottom of the stack.  My midwife gave us "Welcome with Love" to read.  The pictures are sweet, the one telling the story is a boy about E's age.  It is calm and full of little bits about how it will really be.  Mom makes a lot of noise, people cry when the baby is born, there is a picture of the placenta.  All things he may see and hear.  I like that it also is a birth that takes place in the winter and so is even more like what he might really experience.

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Next is "What Baby Needs" which is really great in that it shows co-sleeping, nursing and baby wearing.  It also talks about how Mama and Papa will be busy with baby but it doesn't mean they don't love you too.  And it features a little boy just about E's age.  It talks about ways for him to help and all the things he can do that a baby can't.  The conversations this book starts are really helpful.

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The top one is E's favorite.  "The Big Sibling Book" was given to me by my friend Sherry.  I didn't know if E would even be into it.  He loves it.  Even though we haven't been able to complete very much he likes to look at it often.  He can't wait to add the details of Sissie's birth.

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He loved being "interviewed" to complete the sections so far.

He asks me if Sissie can come out now so he can hold her.  I told him that he had to ask the midwife if the baby is ready and so he helps her measure and listen to the heartbeat at each visit.  He tells us that Sissie will sleep in his bed with him.  He told me he is going to teach Sissie to jump on the trampoline by holding her and jumping (!).  He hugs and kisses my belly and puts his cold hands on me to make her move.  I hope he likes her half as much out of the belly as in.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Drawing

for Sissie 2

Grainy pictures from a rainy day.  But I wanted to share these because I think they are so cute.  E decorated some shirts for Sissie.  I drew the circle and had him add the eyes and arms and legs.  He added the mouth (over the eyes), nose and hair.
He also wanted to decorate the one where you open it so when you change her diaper, "It will be pretty!"  I just tried to keep a straight face.

for Sissie

This was about a 5 minute art project.  Just the right length to keep it happy.

Happy New Year!