Little Things; Big Things

Expect to hear a lot more from me lately because:

1) The kid goes to bed at 7 pm so I have loads more free time.

2) I can only clean the house, SO MUCH

3) the internet is forever so I can remember this stuff for-ev-er.

Due to my friend Marianne’s situation, I’ve been…appreciating life a little bit more. When I think about complaining, I check myself and find the silver lining- I am incredibly lucky to be here, exactly where I am in life, with who I need to be, and I can’t let the trivial things get me down. I read the quote “Enjoy the little things now, because one day they will be the big things.” And so many little things happen day to day that I know I’ll forget them all if I don’t write them down.

Somebody today tweeted at me “In the ugly world of Twitter, witnessing Melissa’s undying love for her daughter is sweet. I think I’m ready for kids.” Which, color me shocked if I’m the one making parenting look easy. (well I mean, for us it is, but still, the fact that I’m the one convincing people). If you had asked me two years ago if I wanted kids I would have cursed you. Kids were not for me. D.I.N.K.s (double income no kids) were for me. But now? Cliche, but yes. I couldn’t imagine life without her. Even though my anxiety is up ten fold-the plusses far outweigh the PPD that I’m dealing with.

Anyway-the thing I wanted to remember this week is Anna’s first hug. I don’t have pictures of it because she only does it for me when Phil’s already left for work.

Since she can now hold her head up she’s gotten much easier to get out of her crib-it’s amazing how once they are less floppy, it’s a bit easier. So anyway, I pick her up, I hug her, and she wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes and I burst. It’s the sweetest most loving hug I’ve ever received. Phil’s hugs use to do it for me, but now, move over. I want munchkin hugs (also her current nickname).

Also, she started doing big belly laughs this month. I use to love watching videos of other babies laughing, but hearing your own? Ohmysqeee. It’s ridiculous.

 

Just keep watching for weekly munchkin updates. Or daily depending on how adorable she is. Here she is these days.

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A dreamfeed in bed with mom. Her chunky wrists. OMGEEE
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Probably on the way to Mrs. Mary’s house.
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Daddy bought me a swing that I don’t fit in, so we stuff it with a blanket. In reality, I’m a super baby.
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Anna’s first real friend Hank. He’s going to teach her all about baseball and Duke Basketball.
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I mean.
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She loves this thing.
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The Happiest baby there ever was.
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Really into this toy.
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Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose. Ever.

 

An Outlet

It’s been three months since I’ve posted (because I have a baby and I’ve been trying to do a zillion other things in my spare time). I’m sorry. Most of you all know us, so you get updates via Facebook or Instagram and for that we are thankful.

But I’m taking to the blogospheres today to ask for your prayers, lights, hope, good juju, everything for a sweet little boy named Hugo.

Hugo turned one just two weeks ago.

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This kid is adorable. And a fighter. You see just a few days after his birthday he was diagnosed with a very rare, very aggressive form of cancer (AT/RT). Science makes the outcome look grim, but for once I’m trying to throw science out the door and believe that miracles do happen. That with the right resources, right minds, and hope–success will prevail.

So shine your light; light some candles; say some prayers because the Canada’s and Hugo need the whole world behind them.

I believe that Hugo will be the miracle doctors talk about for months. If you want to help out this family they are going to have a long, rough, journey ahead of them. The little guy started Chemo today. He will be moving to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital soon (looking at you Ohio family!) .

If you can give this is his donation link .

If you want to follow his journey, here is his facebook page.

Anyway–this is my hope and giving it forward. I have thought of very little else except for this little boy and his family. I have held Anna a little closer each night, snuggled a little longer, and enjoyed each moment with her ten times more than I had the moment before. We never think it will happen to us, and we never want it to be us. So for now, keep the good juju and thoughts coming for this baby.

Anna and I appreciate it!

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One Month!

It’s hard to imagine that it’s been a month (or so) since Anna was born. It’s been a mix of emotions from “I can’t do this” to “This isn’t so bad” back to “I can’t wait for her to be six months so I can do x, y, or z”.

Last week she started to fit into three month clothes. That was the moment I decided  I would sit in the rocker and never get up because if I didn’t get up than she couldn’t grow and would stay tiny forever. I can’t believe I ever wanted her to be six months. Because at six months that means I’ll be back at work and then I’ll never see her again.

Which led me to my second realization. I use to be in disbelief that when my friends had kids they wouldn’t get a baby sitter to go out, or they would rather stay at home than go out. Well, when you are working that means you basically get five hours of awake time with your kid and then the weekend.  I 100% understand why parents stay at in. I don’t necessarily think I could be a stay at home mom, even if we could afford it, but I would want something where I can be home a little bit more with her. Also–maybe it gets better once I’m at work, and the anxiety I have right now will go away.

Things you should know about Anna:

  • She grunts, a lot, like a pig. Most newborns do this but the first week or so it freaked us out.
  • She smiles all the time. Not from gas. She smiles on her own. She is most famous for smiling RIGHT before she falls asleep. it’s a huge toothless gummy grin from ear to ear. We don’t know what she is thinking about or why she does it, but we love it. This morning I was reading to her before she fell asleep and she had big belly laughs with the smile. (she’s adorable)
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  • She likes bath time. By likes I mean, she doesn’t cry, she just looks around big eyed and coos.
  • She likes her alone time. We can place her in her crib, bassinet, or pack and play while she’s awake and she loves to look around and take it all in.
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  • She is a true student of The Happiest Baby on the Blog theory. Swaddle her good and she’s quiet, Loud shushing, quiet. Place her on her side and she’s in heaven. Swaying is the way to get her to sleep, and at night she likes her pacifier. (I felt like the biggest failure two weeks ago when we introduced the pacifier, because I didn’t want a kid who was always walking around with a pacifier. But you learn to get over it. It makes her happy and it calms my nerves)
  •  She likes snuggling.
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  • We’ve not mastered, but we have gotten better at breastfeeding. It’s not QUITE the ordeal it was. I’ve successfully done it in public four times.
  • She has gained 3 lbs. Becoming a little chunky monkey. She has significant fat rolls in her wrists, arms, and legs. Which is fine. Everyone loves a fat baby.
  • She can recognize my voice.
  • The dogs don’t bother her and I think she likes touching them.
  • She can hold her head up on her own sometimes for a solid ten seconds. Last night she was staring at a boy and I think she held it up for a minute.
  • The Moby wrap is our best friend.
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  • She falls asleep the second you put her in the car seat. (Thank god for that)
  • Knock on wood but she’s a really easy baby. She sleeps when she’s supposed to (USUALLY), she eats when she needs to on a 2.5/3 hour schedule. and she really only cries right before she eats. I’ve heard some stories about other babies and I consider myself very lucky.

So that’s Anna.

Phil is on vacation this week so we are going to do zero things but hang out and enjoy our time.

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Things they don’t tell you about labor

Well, it’s been two weeks and I’ve managed to keep Banana alive. This is a big win for us. (I kid, I kid).

I survived the first week mostly by myself. We came home late Saturday night and Sunday/Monday night, Phil was still on night shift (so he was basically useless), and then Tuesday-Saturday he left for Florida and Washington. I did it though. With the help of my mother in law, a few friends here and there, I finally got the swing of things. I also became incredibly overwhelmed with all of the help, to the point that I had to say stop. So..my 100% honest advice is to just dive right in there. Don’t get help from people until week three. Establish routines. The hustle and bustle of people makes you feel like you need to be “on” and causes you to be even more tired. Tell people thanks for the help, but I’ll see you in a month. The baby will still be a baby in a month.

Anyway–on to the point of this post.

There were things about labor I knew (it hurt), and things about labor that I didn’t know. I’m sure I read about it, but it wasn’t until I actually experienced it that it made sense.

1). When your water breaks you don’t have to go in right away. I’m so grateful I asked how soon I had to go in. The sooner you go in, the higher the chances that you won’t progress naturally. If your water breaks and you don’t have contractions, hang out for a while. I told my story to my girlfriend who delivered at an inferior hospital in Richmond, and she was told to come right in, hooked up to pitocin right away, and was confined to her bed her entire delivery. And this was just two years ago. Also, don’t get antsy like we did. Take a nap. Relax. It will happen in due time. If we had taken a nap we might not have been so exhausted.

2) When they check to see how far you have progressed, it hurts. A LOT. This is a great time to practice your breathing and relaxing techniques. Because they will come in handy for when the real “trouble” begins. It’s not like a regular pap smear exam. This is like a whole hand in their jabbing around, I actually don’t even know what’s going on in there. A finger puppet show?

3) Moan with your contractions. I don’t even know how I knew how to do this, but good golly. Think of going into a man’s voice and repeating “low” like “looooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww”, over and over and over again. I don’t think I ever did any lamaze breathing. The moaning was more helpful.

4). Labor on the toilet. I know. Weird. But when you are sitting on the toilet, your body relaxes more and the contractions aren’t as painful (hahahahha). But seriously, they aren’t. I guess it’s just a natural thing to relax when you’re on the toilet. Whatever it is, it works. At one point I was just begging to go sit on the toilet.

5) You will try to bite your partner’s hand off. Don’t do it.

6) You will want to give up. You will curse the world. You will wish you weren’t pregnant.

7) More painful than birthing the child, is birthing the placenta. The doctors or midwives will push down very hard on your stomach. They call this a “massage”, I called this the death of me. I ended up having to do more moaning and breathing just to get through this part. It doesn’t last very long, but you feel like there is no end in sight. I had no idea about this. Silly old me just thought the placenta kinda..fell right out. Nope. It is forced out.

8) They really need to provide women who birth children with those silver blankets that marathon runners get. Within 20 minutes of delivery you will be shaking all over. Convulsing. Uncontrollably. Motrin doesn’t help. You just shake. And there is no solution. Except to keep shaking.

9) You might need a catheter to go to the bathroom the first time. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just weird seeing all that pee inside of you in a bucket/bag.

10) The next day you will be sore. Like physically uncontrollably sore. Not just your lady bits, but your whole body. For me it was my arms. I couldn’t lift them up at all. I had to have Phil brush my hair because I psychically could not.

Anyway, those are the highlights. Be prepared.

Introducing…..

Well, actually, I’ll wait on introductions and tell you the story about a birth that is so crazy even I don’t believe it happened.

Last Wednesday (1/29/2014) my water broke. As every other blog will tell you, it didn’t feel like what it does in the movies. It just felt like a constant stream of water. Pouring down my legs. I would say that my water breaking is even more gross than birth. So, at 3pm my water broke in the middle of a meeting. I stood up, alerted the office, everyone was concerned that I needed someone to drive me home, and I assured them–I had a towel in my car, I was fine.

I called Phil. I called my new Doula, I called Labor and Delivery. And I was cool as a cucumber. I wasn’t having contractions, so Labor and Delivery told me it wasn’t urgent to come in, but if they hadn’t started to come in between 6 and 12 hours later. So, we sat around the house and waited. And waited. And waited. And contractions never started. At about 11 pm we went in, because we didn’t want to go in at 3 am.

Luckily we had that dress rehearsal, so we were more prepared, and more comfortable this time around.

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They wanted to hook me up to pitocin right away, but I asked if we could wait until we were officially at 12 hours. And we did. Long and short of it, no matter what we did we couldn’t kick start these contractions. So starting at 5 am we started the pitocin drip. And we increased it every few hours by 2 measurements, until 2 pm. And nothing happened.

I’m serious.

Nothing happened. I would have contractions for like five minutes and then they would stop. But because I was pitocin I had to be monitored constantly. Luckily MCV offers wireless monitoring, so I could walk around, but because I was so round they wouldn’t stay. Basically every time I moved or switched positions the monitors fell off. And the nurses and doctors would freak out. It was a long boring 22 hours.

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At 2 pm I asked if they would check me (oh, I forgot to mention when I checked in I was the same stats as I was a week and a half ago, 4 cmts, 100% effaced and -2). The Dr’s (who were the same doctors as before, bonus!) checked me.

One thing no one tells you is how painful it is when you get checked. Is it more painful than birth? Probably. So they check me and I’m the exact same stats as I was 18 hours ago. WTF.

I turn to Phil and start crying that they are going to make me have  a c-section because I wasn’t progressing. He reassures me that I won’t just relax and let’s get through this.

Within 30 minutes, I go into serious contractions. It turns out I had two bags of water (which is totally normal, but I am too sleep deprived to find an article to explain it better!). Basically when the dr checked me she broke my other bag of water and I was on level 18 pitocin. So I went from nothing to, it’s go time.

And holy hell. I now know why they tied women up when they had babies. Mind you I haven’t had an epidural because I still wasn’t dilated enough and at this point I didn’t want anything that would slow this process down, I was over it. I cried, I moaned, I thrashed, I tried to bite Phil’s hand. I stressed out, I screamed. I went animalistic.

So they gave me a painkiller, that put me to sleep and I only woke up every now and then to moan.

And then I screamed “I feel like something’s coming out of my butt!”. Phil ran and got the doctor, I screamed “Give me that epidural now!”. They check me. Doctor says, “Honey, no time for an epidural, it’s time to push.”

So push I did. Six rounds, of five pushes. Everytime I would get to the fifth push they would say, the baby’s right there. RIGHT there. One more push. And then I would quit. I turned to look at Phil and he had pleading eyes and said “please, just one more push..” and I pushed.

They said reach down and pull your baby out (once the head and shoulders were out, I was told to reach down and pull it up). So I reached down, they said what is it, and I looked and couldn’t focus and finally came too…

And It’s a girl!!!

Anne Rae Taylor was born at 5:15 pm on January 30, 2014. She was 6.14 lbs and 20 inches long. And she’s beautiful. And we love her. And I’ll tell you all about the what to expect when you’re in labor another day. But for now. Look at my beautiful daughter.

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PS. In case you were wondering. D finally pooped/threw up all the underwear. She ate three full bowls of food today. She will be the death of me. 🙂

Now Reading

I mentioned in this post that I’m a sucker for  “You must read these books before you die” type of lists.

Well, wouldn’t you know that Buzzfeed came out with a 16 books to Read Before They are Movies list, and with a month and half left (at the time) until baby, I said why not! I’m up for the challenge.

Here’s the list, plus I’ve linked the title to the preview (if available),  in case you were interested.

1) Labor Day by Joyce Maynard-You’ve seen the preview, it has the always fabulous Kate Winslet in it. My library doesn’t have the book, and I highly doubt I’m getting to the movies to see this one in the next few weeks, so I’m tabling this one for now.
2) The Monuments Men by Robert M Edsel and Bret Witter. Boring. So, so, boring. I could not keep up with all the details. I bet it’s good for someone who can follow all those characters, but I could not.
3) Vampire Academy– Richelle Mead: I’ll be honest. This was really enjoyable for a quick dumb, teenage read. It’s 1,000 times better than the Twilight Saga. When I first read reviews it was Twilight meets Hogwarts. Which, is not true. It’s about Vampires and their protectors, at a school for Vampires, but it lacks the finesse and smarts that the Harry Potter series had. It’s still an enjoyable easy read for when you just want something dumb. This is my version of reality TV since I refuse to get sucked into that shit. At least reading dumb reads still expands my vocabulary, uses my imagination, and can help with grammar..or so I tell myself. It’s about a Vampire and her protector, and it’s part one of seven books. I’ve already downloaded the second book to my Kindle. I’m also convincing myself that I will be doing a lot of reading while breastfeeding. (Other moms, feel free to laugh at me for that).
4) Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin : I hate this book. I hate it a thousand times over. This was one of the worst books I have ever had the displeasure of reading. At no point during all of Helprin’s rambling could I begin to even tell you the point of this story. Helprin is a very vivid, picturesque writer–which is great when there is a plot that makes sense. I found myself constantly re reading parts of the book because I had no idea what was going on. I am intrigued to see how they will make a movie out of this because I truly cannot see anyone sitting through it. I have read others reviews, and I am saddened to have missed the point of the book–but it did not grab me as it grabbed other readers. It was 800 pages, and about 400 pages too long. If you read it and loved it, please convince me.
5) A Long Way Down– Nick Hornby: I’ll be honest, I just watched the preview and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book/eyes on this movie. I’m crying already. (hormones?)
6) DivergentVeronica Roth: Loved! But– I can’t bring myself to read the rest of the series.
7) The Fault in our Stars- John Green Someone hold me forever.
8)The Hundred-Foot Journey- Richard Morais
9) The Giver-Lois Lowry: I read this book in eighth grade and instantly fell in love. It is where my love with Dystopian novels started. Following The Giver I loved Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games, Logan’s Run, 1984, A Clockwork Orange, etc. These novels always make me realize that life is about choices, and you don’t have to conform, and there’s always more to know, more to do, more to rebel. They are obviously far fetched, but always, after reading them, I feel such a rush, a surge of power/energy, to fight the power. I just can’t help loving them.
10) Dark Places-Gillian Flynn: Gillian Flynn is good until you get to the last chapter, and then you hate her.
11) This is where I Leave You-Jonathan Tropper. I thought the movie was better. Neither were out of this world great. But, would spend an hour and a half watching the movie.
12) The Maze Runner-James Dashner: I’m on chapter 2. Its Dystopian. I already feel myself falling in love. It too is part of a 3 book series.
13) Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn: I actually read this book last year for my one time book club. I couldn’t put it down. It was soo good. And then I got to the ending. And I hated it. I HATED IT. The book was a page turner, so promising, so well written, so I don’t know. I was just enamored with this book. And then, THEN, I got to the last chapter and I was so disappointed. I’m hoping the movie changes the ending like they sometimes do. Also, I wish Bradley Cooper was playing the lead character. He seems like a MUCH better fit for the lead role. We’ll see Ben. We shall see.
14) Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand: I finished this yesterday. and OHMYGOD. A) I am ashamed and how little I know about WW2. One week ago if you asked me about the Pacific side of the war, I would have said “They bombed Pearl Harbor; we dropped an A bomb; we won.” I had no idea about the POW’s in Japan, I had no idea about the fighting, sub scanning, rescues, I had no idea about the people who died just in training. I just had no clue. And B) What the book really did for me was humanized soldiers. And I don’t think I’ve ever done that. It really opened my eyes to why that was the great war, and the type of people American’s use to be. It was really amazing. I couldn’t put it down. I still can’ stop talking about it. It makes me sad that I wasn’t interested in this while my grandfather was alive because I would have loved to talk to him about his time in the Pacific and then his time in the Atlantic/Caribbean. This book is why I am excited for The Monument Men.  (Coincidentally is this is also the book I tried to read during our dress rehearsal, and I couldn’t concentrate).
15) Wild- Cheryl Strayed –
16) Serena-Ron Rash: All I know is it’s Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Which always equals Oscar gold to me.

Sorry for the Delay

Hi y’all. I could blame this break in posting on a number of things, the holidays, having mini time off with my husband, being pregnant, whatever…but I’m back.

Where did we leave off? Oh, I broke the internet with D and her being the most adorable dog ever.

So high-level recap on my life:

1. 2 weeks ago I flew to St. Louis for my baby shower. Unbeknownst to me, my mom who lives in Japan flew in and surprised me (Thanks Dad!). It was great to see my mom, spend time with the family, see my cousins, and start plotting my move to St. Louis. It really was a wonderful shower, with delicious food, and Baby T and I are completely spoiled.

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2. Christmas! This could honestly be the first Christmas that I wasn’t disappointed in a single gift that I received. They were all great, and wonderful, and it was a really relaxing day with my in laws. Food was also included and it was delicious.

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3. I became lazy. I’m pregnant, so I can do that. Phil was on a mild vacation, so we cleaned house (barely), watched a lot of movies and TV, and just vegged. Call it a staycation.

4. New Years Eve. We went to a wedding. It was beautiful. We were beautiful.

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5. Now the countdown is on. 6 more weeks of work and then this little person arrives. To be frank, I’d be okay with 4-5 more weeks of work (but who’s counting!)

I will say, upon all of these things–we’ve ran into friends who had questions etc about pregnancy. Which like –I get. I get that people are polite and want to ask and whatever. But literally, every time I see someone and their first question is “How are you feeling?” It enrages me. I will tell you and talk about it if I want to, but if you ask me about it I immediately shut down. Mostly because I feel like there is more to me. Remember me? I’m a person. I have real things going on in my life.

Also, I FEEL FINE. I FEEL NORMAL. So as I’ve mentioned I feel like people want me to complain, but anything I have I feel like I can’t complain about it.

1. I have had heartburn twice. It’s not enough for me to bring it up and talk about because a) I don’t want to hear “just wait it gets worse” and b) people get heartburn all the time. Like people are actually on medicine for it, so no. I don’t feel like this is something to bring up.
2. The baby kicks me and it hurts. Still not going to complain. My baby is moving. It’s healthy. It will be out of here in 6 weeks.
3. Swelling. I take my rings off at night. Not worth discussing, or complaining about.
4. I get out of breath going up the stairs. But I’m in better shape than like 75% of the population, so I don’t feel like I should complain about this stuff, because I know other women have it far worse.
5. I wake up in the middle of the night and pee. Do you really want to hear me discuss my bodily functions with you?
6. I’m having trouble sleeping. BECAUSE THERE IS A 5LB BABY INSIDE OF ME. What is worth discussing about this? So you can say, oh I’m sorry that sucks?

I know all of these things suck, I don’t want to talk about them. My New Years Eve resolution was not to complain as much. In fact this the quote I hope to live by:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain”

When people ask you how your day is, and if its going great, don’t find something to complain about just to make conversation. Say you are having a great day, don’t say, it’s going great but it sucked this morning because this asshole cut me off. That’s irrelevant.

I digress. I digress because I got some unhappy news today and I just want to vent about it–but venting won’t change anything. So, I’m looking at all my silver linings, and hoping for a happy 6 more weeks.

Updates on us:

Baby is head down, yeah! Baby is about 5lbs? 17 inches? Baby is very very active. Hiccuping all the time–which I read is a good sign because it says it will be good at swallowing once it’s born, helpful for feeding situations. Baby’s legs really like hanging out underneath my right rib cage.

Next week, when I don’t feel rushed–I’ll be a bit more cheery 🙂