Monday, March 24, 2008

look alike?



Friday, March 21, 2008


there isn't much time!!

The bebe is asleep! So here's a quick update:
1. No picture of my hair will be posted until the large & angry blemish on my forehead disappears. Sorry, folks. (I thought maybe being a 27yo mama would mean that I don't need to deal with zits anymore... alas, I was mistaken)
2. The best sleep trick we've found so far is the heating pad (Thanks, Mary C.!) We are trying pretty much everything, with varying degrees of success. She's a stubborn soul, that daughter of mine.
3. Yesterday was the first day of spring. It's only fitting that today, we have a snow advisory for the next 48 hours or so.
4. Today, I will do my best to remember that everything (EVERYTHING) in my life - the good, the bad, the fun, the hard... all of it is a gift made possible only because of Christ's sacrifice. The blood He shed for me allows me to enjoy this life to the fullest, and more importantly - gives me a seat in eternity with the Father. Hallelujah! That is more important than any frustration I have, any things I might want, or any task I want to accomplish today. Today, I will remember God's love for the world.
Have a joyful Easter!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

tummies, salons & lists, oh my!

It's probably a terrible thing to post this on my blog - full evidence of my treachery as a Mama - but here's my sweet little bean napping (on her belly!!) on the living room floor. She only stayed asleep for about a half hour or so, but it was so. cute.
We're making little bits of progress with the sleeping thing - she doesn't appear to like the wedge-side sleeping thing much, although I'll probably give it at least a couple more tries. She has, however, slept for at least 4.5 hours straight the past 2 nights in a row. Mama is absolutely in love with that new trend. Makes me feel like a new woman.
In other news, I cut my hair yesterday. Not too drastically - maybe 4 inches off - and I can still pull it back (so it's not completely Mom Hair). But it's much easier to do. Hazel came to the salon with me, and was a sleepy little angel in her carseat the whole time. She tricks everyone by being so well behaved when we're out - she saves all her fussiness for home. Which is good - I'd rather have it that way than not be able to take her anywhere.
Also, I have a daunting pile of thank-you notes that must be attacked. I was telling myself that I was OK waiting because I didn't have the cute little pictures of Hazel to put in each one yet, so I couldn't mail them anyway, so what's the rush? Well... I'm expecting the pictures I ordered to turn up any day now, and I've officially written ONE thank you. I have some work to do.
If only I could find a way to stop snuggling my daughter... or maybe it's okay to let the laundry, dishes and thank-you notes wait just a little bit longer while I soak up the moment.

Monday, March 17, 2008

open to suggestions

Here's the deal:
My beautiful, precious baby daughter, light of my life, apple of my eye... absolutely detests sleeping on her back. She falls asleep like a champ curled up on your chest or snuggled in your arms, but within minutes of laying her down on her back (in the crib, in the pack & play, on the Boppy, on the floor... doesn't matter), she's awake and unhappy. I am afraid that we have a tummy sleeper on our hands. And since every doctor and website out there pretty much tells you that you're a bad parent if you put your baby to sleep on his/her tummy, and scares you with statistics about SIDS - I'm at a bit of a loss.
Now - we've tried swaddling, tried laying her down slowly and not taking your hands away for awhile, tried letting her cry a little to see if she goes back to sleep... nada.
I have no idea how many mamas and daddies read this blog, but I'm ready (begging) for any suggestions - because I'd love to be able to sleep in my own bed again. Instead of in the bed in my daughter's room. With my daughter.
Any good ideas for a sleepy mama?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

ways my new job is different from my old job

10. There is no "start" or "end" to the workday - the bonus is that I don't have to worry about being late. The downside - going home doesn't mean I'm leaving work.

9. College students rarely cried and screamed at me. Hazel does this daily.

8. Academic advising did not require that I be responsible for anyone else's bodily functions.

7. If I feel like it, I can wear my pajamas all day now. Bye-bye, "casual Friday!"

6. I always used to want a couch in my office. Now - the couch IS my office, being that it's where I normally feed my daughter.

5. Instead of being accountable to a couple hundred young adults, I now answer to one very small little lady. It's not easier.

4. I can take a nap in the middle of the day if I want to. (theoretically).

3. It is now OK if I don't get around to brushing my teeth until 11:00 am.

2. My new job requires me to do many things with only one hand. I was always allowed to use both hands before...

1. I get to spend all day with a beautiful little girl - her wiggles and smiles bring me incredible joy. And while she's not yet a great conversationalist... she is phenomenal company.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

to know your mind

On Saturday, my baby girl will be one month old. I turned 27 in October. A little bit of difference there. But it’s incredible to me how much of ourselves we are born with – how much of us God has knit together in a specific way prior to our births. Because let me tell you – this gal knows her mind.

She loves to snuggle and be held.

She hates sleeping on her back.

Diaper changes are OK as long as she can look at the calendar on the wall.

She can tell within minutes that she’s in her crib – and she doesn’t like it!

She loves light, and looking out windows.

She’s a good traveler.

She loves to make funny faces.

Turning down food? Never.

She doesn’t like being buckled into her carseat.

She likes going for walks around the neighborhood.

When she’s mad, she’s mad. But she reserves the right to change her mind (and mood) instantly.

I could keep going… but the point is really that God didn’t give us a shell of a person. Our job is not to make her into a “successful” or “happy” or “good” person. What He gave us is already whole. Hazel was shaped and knit together by a Creator who knows her better than we ever will. His plans for her are intricately woven – and they are perfect. We get to watch – to love her, protect her, cherish her and encourage her, and hopefully – lead her to know her God and Savior – the One who made her. And the relationship that she will one day know with Him… that will be what makes her complete.

It’s cool to see that in my daughter, and also cool to realize that even though I’m an adult now (eek!) – the same still applies to me. No one makes me who I am – it all boils down to me, as the person God made me from the beginning, and God. And the fact that my daughter will be watching... that just brings it all home.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Saturday, March 08, 2008

bone deep

I feel it.
Way down in my bones.
I think it's gotten into the marrow.
I'm tired.
I knew I would be. I've watched many good friends and family members go through the "newborn" stage. I was under no delusion that it would be easy.
But that doesn't change the fact that it's hard.
It's been three weeks since I've slept for more than 2.5 hours at a time. I don't even know what it would feel like to get more than that. And honestly - I probably wouldn't sleep much longer since I would wake myself up and listen for my girl.
We have great support. My family has been incredible, and our friends are loving us well. And I can draw strength from a God who is much bigger than I, whose power is perfect in all my weakness.
And He gives me moments to keep me going throughout the day. Fussy afternoons are sprinkled with quiet moments of nursing. Sleepless nights are peppered with the preciousness of a warm baby resting on my chest.
And I am learning.
Learning how much sleep I really need in order to function. Learning that showers are a luxury, not a given. Learning how to change diapers without turning on any lights.
And I'm learning what it really means to know that "it's not all about me."
And so, I welcome the sleepless nights. God has given us a child of His to care for - and I want to rise up to the challenges of that task. Not just because He loves her. But because He loves us, and is teaching me so much through this experience. His plans for us are big, beyond my comprehension. And they are perfect.
Part of becoming the woman God has in mind for me to become is being a mother to Hazel. That fact stops me in my tracks. It's so awesome.
I don't know that this post really has a point - it's a bit rambly. But I'm sleep-deprived, and for what it's worth, it's the genuine outpouring of my heart at this moment in time.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hazel's Story

drumroll please...
(be careful... this is LONG)
Hazel’s Story

It had been a week since Funny Dr. Man had told me I’d “have the baby in the next few days.” As many of you know from reading the blog – I was getting more & more excited to meet our baby, and more & more weary of people asking “any baby yet?” and “where’s the baby?” As if I had something to do with the timing of our little one’s arrival. (And for the record, we tried pretty much everything that’s supposed to “jump start” labor – except the castor oil. The side effects of that one were enough to keep me away…)

The morning of Friday the 15th, I woke up feeling completely normal, which was disappointing, given that I’d felt a lot of downward pressure the night before, and was hoping those would amount to something. It seemed like just another day – Mark went to work, I got up & showered. It was a little after 8:00am and I was just sitting down to the computer to figure out a new & unique way to announce to my bloggie world that there was still no Little B when my contractions started.

I’d had contractions off and on all week long – never intense or regular, but enough to be noticed. This one was different. It was tighter and much more crampy-feeling than the others. I made a mental note of the time, then kept putzing around – although I (happily) delayed writing the blog post for the day.

By 9:00am I’d had 5 regular contractions – and I decided it was time to call Mark. His office is only about 7 miles away, so there was no big rush – but I figured it was fair to warn him that he may be on his way to becoming a daddy. (Plus Funny Dr. Man had warned against waiting around the house too long once the contractions began to be regular). Mark had had a big conference the day before (we were happy no baby decided to come while he was 2.5 hours away!), so he was still unloading all the conference materials from his car when I called.

K: Hey – I think you made need to come home sometime today… I’ve had 5 contractions in the last 45 minutes. I think things may be getting started.
M: Ok – I’m still unloading the car. I’ll finish up here, and give you a call back to see how you’re doing. Is that okay?
K: Sure.

(ten minutes later)
K: (answering the phone in the middle of a contraction) Come home.
M: I’m on my way.
K: Okay.

Three words… that was all I could get out at the time, laying face down on our bed. (It’s funny that at that point, I thought the contractions took some focus to get through…)

Mark got home, we gathered our bags, put the car seat in the car, and headed out the door. On the way, I asked Mark to call my doctor’s office to cancel my appointment for that morning, and let them know that we’d be going to the hospital to have a baby instead. He asked who was on call – and Cool Dr. Lady (my favorite!) turned out to be the one on for the whole weekend. I was thrilled, and Mark was thrilled for me. We got to the hospital a bit after 10:00am, and were checked into a triage room by 10:30.

Our nurse Aimee was the first person to get us settled in – she hooked me up to the monitors and let me know a doctor would be in to check my progress soon. A few minutes and a quick exam later revealed that I was 100% effaced and 7cm dilated. The doctor was pretty surprised – he said that I “looked like I was in labor, but I was handling things so well that he figured I was only at 3 or 4 cm.” I took that as a compliment, and was happy to hear that he thought I was in excellent position to deliver this baby naturally.

We’d taken a natural childbirth class through the local birth center in preparation for our little one’s arrival, but still opted to have the baby at the hospital (first time jitters). I knew that I didn’t want drugs, I didn’t want to have an IV, and I didn’t want to be hooked up to fetal monitors more than was absolutely necessary. I wanted freedom to move, walk, and basically do what I needed to do to get through labor. The hospital staff was really accommodating – they placed a hep lock in my arm (in case I needed an IV quickly) and told me they’d take the monitors off as soon as the baby settled into a heart rhythm they were comfortable with. (They wanted to see her heartbeat peak with each contraction, and in the beginning, it would dip just a tiny bit). I was moved to a labor & delivery room… and the game was truly on.

After about an hour, baby’s heartbeat evened out and they took me off the monitor (which was great – I’d been pacing a 5ft diameter circle, and was happy to have more mobility). It seemed that each time they checked me, I was making good progress – 7.5 cm (11:30), 8cm (12:30), 9cm (1:30)… and Mark was great. For the most part, he left me to be “in the zone” but was ready to do anything I needed. By 2:00 I was almost completely dilated, except for a little lip on the right side. My doctor was called in to the hospital, and once she checked me out, she decided it would be a good idea to break my water and move things along. (I tell you what – that warm gush is a weird feeling…) The contractions had been pretty intense for awhile – I felt nauseous and dizzy when they came, but they were manageable as long as I was upright and focused. Of course, breaking the water ramped things up another notch, and I spent the last hour before pushing lying on my right side on the bed (the nurse said it may help with getting the last bit of cervix out of the way). I pulled a page out of the Bradley method book, and focused all my energy on relaxing every part of my body so that the contractions could be totally effective. I breathed slowly, kept my eyes closed, and didn’t say a word. Mark kept a cool washcloth on my neck and forehead, and ran his fingers through my hair. It was incredible to feel his silent, strong support.

By a little after 3:00 I was ready to push – and a whole crew piled into the room (Cool Dr. Lady, Nurse Aimee, Nursing Student Bridget, OB Resident Gal, and Med Student Gal) to get things rolling. I’d met them all throughout the day – and my absolute only complaint was that the 2 students were a little intrusive in their desire to be helpful. Other than that – the staff was fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

Initially, pushing was tiring and a little embarrassing (hanging out with your legs in the air and your rear end on display to a room full of people) – and it was a funny mix of Feeling Good to be Doing Something Other Than Surviving Contractions and Oh My This Hurts a Lot. However – once the baby’s head was getting closer to crowning – the embarrassment factor totally disappeared, and my whole mind was consumed with pushing her out. The minutes and pushes while she was crowning were more intense than anything I’d experienced before. But the feeling I got the moment her head was out was absolutely incredible. Relief. Awe. Accomplishment. The rest of her (not so) little body was a piece of cake, and suddenly there was a warm, wet little person laying on my chest. Her cry was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. (I might not quite say that now, after 2 weeks *smile*).

Hazel joined us at 3:53pm on February 15, 2008. She weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce and was 23 inches long. God was so faithful to us – His strength got me through delivery naturally, and I was able to bring our daughter into the world with no medication or intervention (other than breaking my water). He kept us both healthy and safe – and He continues to do so.

The past two weeks have been full – full of people loving on her and on us, full of joy, full of moments where I think “Am I really this blessed?”, full of growth, full of frustrations, triumphs, tears, and victories. My head and my heart are still reeling, and my emotions still overcome me from time to time. And though Life With My Husband AND My Daughter is incredibly different from Life With My Husband – it’s a good different. We are so blessed.