Update in Pictures

It’s been a couple of crazy busy weeks.

We celebrated CJ’s birthday.

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Had a family baby shower!

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Saw The Lion King with Isabella, my mom, sister and nephew!

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Isabella looks really evil there…I think it was her “Mom leave me alone” look.

I had my 36 and 37 week doctor appointments (not on the same day obviously). All is well but still no progress on moving the baby out!

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Quite a difference from when I wore this same shirt at 11 weeks!

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We took a tour of the hospital where the baby will be born.

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I may or may not have created a panic when I checked in on Foursquare from the hospital, without explaining why we were there. Oops. Guess that’s probably not a cool thing to do to your friends when you’re this far along!

My work friends threw us a surprise baby shower and we got this amazing quilt that my friend’s mom made!

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Here it is all unfurled.

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And in the nursery…Isn’t it gorgeous!

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Also, I was driving to work and realized that I have forgotten how to swaddle a baby. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

OH MY GOD HOW DO YOU SWADDLE A BABY???

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Google for how-to videos on “swaddling”.

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Twinkle Twinkle

I am not very musically inclined. I don’t play any instruments and the only singing I do is in the safety of my own car.

Trust me, no one wants to hear me sing.

I took piano lessons in 6th grade but quit after about 6 months. I hated it. Mostly I was undisciplined in practicing and got frustrated if I wasn’t perfect. Plus the idea of performing solo in a recital scared the bejeezus out of me. So I dropped out.

An ex-boyfriend tried to teach me to play guitar once but I quit that because it hurt my fingers too much.

So it looks like Isabella got her musical gifts from her Daddy. CJ sang in his high school choir, played drums in marching band and was in many musical theatre productions in both high school and college. In fact, he was going to college to study Music and Theatre.

Isabella has shown that she’s musically inclined from a very young age. She was singing Beatles songs when she was 2. She could play out the correct beat of a song after just hearing it a couple times. She could memorize lyrics quickly and recognize voices (for example – when we played her a song from “The Sound of Music”, she instantly recognized Julie Andrews voice as being that of Mary Poppins).

And now she’s learning to read music!

One of the toys that we dug out of the basement the other day is a little piano that she had as a baby. She was excited to see it and wanted to play with it again. The piano has a little book on it that shows the notes of the song and ties them in to the colors and numbers on the keyboard. The other day CJ showed her how to read what was in the book and then play the note. And she caught on immediately!

Isabella playing the piano

She’s also learned “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Michael Row Your Boat”.

One of the toys she wanted for Christmas was a pink piano. We didn’t get it for her but if she keeps showing this kind of interest and aptitude for it, we might just have to oblige!

And then she can teach me how to play piano. So long as I don’t have to give a recital.

Check out some previous posts!

Dancing Queen | The Translator | Singing for her Supper

Isabella’s Birth Story

I got to thinking the other day about how I want to chronicle the birth story of our new little one and have also been reading about the experiences of other moms. It’s neat to hear about each person’s experience and it made me realize that I never really wrote down Isabella’s birth story because I didn’t have a blog then.

So, I’m going to remedy that today!

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With Isabella, I was a new mom and very nervous/excited/confused, especially given my history.  I had no idea what to expect but had a clear birth plan in mind. I was adamant that I was going to have a vaginal birth with no drugs.

Oh how naïve I was…

She was a week overdue. At the point we surpassed her due date (9/25/09), we went ahead and made an appointment to induce on 9/30 if she hadn’t come on her own by then. The doctor didn’t want to go too much longer than that and I was certainly ready to be done with pregnancy.

CJ and I had been sneaking in several date nights knowing that those would slow down dramatically once a little one came in to the picture.

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One date night, on a carriage ride. I was so big and miserable.

date night 9.12.09-2 By the way, that mark on my forehead is a scar from a procedure I had done just a week before to remove a possibly cancerous mole.

 

On the night before the induction, CJ and I decided to go out for one last date night. We had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse and I ate all kinds of yummy things including an appetizer, lots of bread (mmm, cinnamon butter….), all of my entrée and dessert. I specifically remember making the choice to get a Diet Coke too. I had been pretty strict about not having caffeine during the pregnancy but by this point I thought, why the heck not!

The food was yummy and we enjoyed ourselves but it was getting late and I was tired and anxious. On the drive home I felt some wetness down below, which wasn’t entirely strange (hey, these things happen in pregnancy) but it felt like more than usual. I was just sure that my water had broken.

I called my doctor and she said to be safe I should go in to the hospital. So we grabbed our stuff and off we went! We got checked in and led to a room where the nurse did a litmus test to check the fluid and discovered that, no, my water had NOT broken. By this time it was nearly 10 p.m. So we had a choice – go home and come back in 7 hours or stay the night. We decided to have me stay the night while CJ went home to sleep. We said our good-byes and then I was alone.

And scared. I knew I was in good hands and safe but there was a big fear of the unknown. I watched a little TV and then closed my eyes but got very little rest. You try sleeping in a hospital bed while 41 weeks pregnant and see how comfortable you can get! Plus the nurse came in every few hours to check on me.

When 5 a.m. rolled around I was already tired but ready to get the whole thing over with.

They hooked me up to the machines and then gave me the Pitocin. I don’t remember the timing of everything but it does take a couple hours for the contractions to really kick in. In the meantime, I waited.

You’re not allowed to eat or drink anything but ice chips and the occasional popsicle during labor. And the popsicles are limited to like 1 every couple hours or so. The 2 popsicles I had were like heaven on a stick. I’m actually not a huge fan of them but that day, they were a gift from God.

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Soon I started to feel the contractions. They were manageable at first and CJ and I did some laps of the maternity ward, stopping occasionally when a contraction would hit.

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At some point the doctor came and manually broke my waters. The warm gush of fluid felt very strange. The contractions became more frequent and severe and I just wanted to stay in my room and cry. Oddly, the most comfortable place was sitting on the toilet! The nurse said that was normal as sitting over the opening helps to relieve some pressure. I sat in the bathroom for a long time…until they made me come out. At one point my mom came in the room and sat with me while I rocked in the rocking chair.

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I remember one point where mom was chatting away and I was in another world. The contractions were really close together by then and I was in constant pain. It felt never ending.

I tossed the idea of a drug-free delivery out the window at that point and asked for an epidural. I was only 2 cm dilated though so it was too soon. But they could give me something that would essentially put me to sleep for a while so that I wouldn’t feel anything. Yes please!

I think I slept for a couple hours. A few times I awoke to the sound of CJ and my mom talking but then went right back to sleep.

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Finally they woke me up, checked again and said I was ok to get an epidural. The anesthesiologist came, put the epidural in and a few minutes later I was much more comfortable.

Another surprise I had was that my doctor was hardly around, other than when she broke my water. I was working strictly with the nurses, who would call and update the doc. In the movies and on TV, the doc is there for everything but in real life they just come in for the end. I was disappointed by this at first because I love my doctor but the nurses were amazing and I was in very good hands.

Around 3 p.m., I was dilated enough to start active labor. They told me to push when instructed (since I had an epidural I couldn’t feel the contractions so we had to rely on the machines hooked up to my uterus to tell us when they were coming) and I did. But because everything south of the border is numb, it’s hard to tell what you’re pushing and how hard! We tried many different positions and techniques but to no avail. They had me rest for a while and try again. Still no progress.

At this point, I had lost all modesty. When you’re pushing, you basically have your legs spread eagle and the whole world can see your business. There are nurses and residents coming in and out of the room so privacy is thrown out the window. One of the positions they had me try was to get on my elbows and knees on the bed and push that way – butt straight up in the air. There was one resident who walked in as I was like that and boy did he get a full moon! Poor kid will probably never be the same again…

After 5 or 6 hours of pushing and getting nowhere, they called the doctor in. She checked and discovered that Isabella was turned backward and was essentially stuck in the birth canal. She said I could try some more pushing or just have them do a C-section. She recommended the C-section. By that point it had been 16 hours since they induced me and I was ready to be done. I opted for the surgery.

From there everything moved super fast. They whisked CJ away to get him gowned up and ready while at the same time prepped me.

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The doctor left to get scrubbed in and make sure the room was set and 10 minutes later, we were headed to surgery. CJ almost missed it. He got back to the room as they were getting ready to move me and quickly hopped on his phone to update Facebook with the latest news (he had been posting throughout the day). They were like, come on dad – there’s no time for that!

We got in to the room and they transferred me to the table and then strapped my arms down (which is normal procedure). The combination of the epidural and other anesthesia they gave me did something weird that caused my body to shake. Like I was uncontrollably cold and shivering non-stop. They said that happens sometimes and not to worry. They started the procedure and the next thing I knew the doctor was saying, “Oh what a beautiful baby!” And I heard what would soon become a familiar cry.

The nurse took Isabella, wrapped her up and handed her to CJ. He brought her over to me and leaned her close so that I could kiss her (since my arms were strapped down I was unable to hold or touch her). I whispered “Happy Birthday baby!” through tears and a quaking voice. They asked what her name was and we looked at each other and both said “Isabella Kathleen”. We had 2 names picked out but we instantly knew when we saw her that Isabella was the perfect one. Unfortunately we were both so caught up in the moment that we forgot to ask someone to take a picture! The nurse whisked Isabella away then. CJ didn’t know if he should stay with me or go with the baby. I told him to go.

They took her off and did all the testing and physical exams. Of course I was not there for any of it but CJ took lots of pics and I’ve heard that she was wide awake and alert the whole time.

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Her poor little face was swollen from being stuck in the birth canal for so long!

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She still makes this face sometimes when she cries. I hope she never loses that little turned down lip because it’s so darn cute!

Meanwhile, they stitched me up and wheeled me away to recovery. After about an hour or so the medicine wore off and the shaking stopped. I was so glad. The whole day was tiresome enough but the constant shivers really exhausted me. They eventually took me up to our room at which point I was finally able to hold my little girl.

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She seemed so tiny to me and I was scared (I knew absolutely nothing about babies – didn’t even know how to change a diaper!) but yet, it all felt right.

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None of it was what I pictured or imagined but it was how it was supposed to be. Looking back, I know that one can have the best laid plans but in the end, we really have no choice in how the delivery goes. It was hard and exhausting and scary but also something I will never forget and would do again in a second because it brought me my very special, smart, sweet and silly Isabella.

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For more TTM, follow these links!

1 Year Later | Home Sweet Home | Weeks 12 and 13

Busted

Normally I don’t talk a whole lot about my sex life because, well, it’s private and I’m just not the kind of person to be all up in your face with my private business.

Well except of course for bowel movements or icing down my vajayjay. That’s totally fair game!

Obviously CJ and I have “marital relations” on a regular basis. I mean, I am pregnant and we have another child so we’ve at least done it twice right?

We’re always very careful to make sure  Isabella is sleeping or out of the house and lock our bedroom door. Well it’s a good thing we did last weekend because someone caught us in the act.

Or rather, overheard us in the act.

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We were doing our thang – door locked and monitor on so that we could hear her if she woke up – and once we were done, got dressed and ready to head downstairs for some quality TV and ice cream time. Who needs a post coital cigarette when you have brownie sundaes, amiright?

Anyway, I opened the door to the bedroom and noticed that Isabella’s door was open. We always close her door when we put her down so that meant she had been up and about. Then I heard crying. Now mind you, we did not hear any noise or crying on the monitor which had me slightly confused. Turns out she started the waterworks just as I was opening the door. I soon found out why.

I went in her room to see what was the matter and she was all upset and couldn’t talk. She wanted me to hold her, so I did. I asked her if she had a nightmare and she said no. I asked if she was sick and she said no. I asked if something scared her and she said yes.

“What scared you, sweetheart?”

“I wasn’t sure what that noise was you and Daddy were making.”

“What noise?”

And she proceeded to make a sound that was a child’s version of heavy breathing mixed with a squeak.

Then it dawned on me. Oh dear God.

I asked if we woke her up and she nodded yes (believe me, we were not THAT loud so she must have been in a very light sleep, if she was asleep at all). I then asked if she had come down the hall to our room and listened at the door. Again she said yes.

I have no idea how long she stood there or how much she heard. And honestly, I don’t think I want to know. It’s mortifying enough!

I explained to her that Mommy and Daddy were have a private moment but that we were ok and there was nothing to worry or be scared about. And I was sorry that we woke her up. She seemed satisfied by that explanation and went right back to sleep.

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I darted downstairs and made an extra-large brownie sundae.

Thank goodness for ice cream and bedroom doors that lock!

 

While you’re here, why not stay and read some more!

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Isabella Baby Moments

Took Isabella to volleyball tryouts last night (CJ was running them so he had to be there and we just tagged along for a while). For one, it got us out of the house and two, gave her a chance to run around in a gym, explore and basically tire her out. “Blow the stink off of her” as my mom would say.

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Always a win!

An added bonus was that I got to see many friends whom I haven’t in a while due to not playing and it being wintertime when everyone hibernates. Many of these people hadn’t seen Munchkin in ages either and the overall consensus is that she’s really growing up, has a good fashion sense (I’ll take credit for that one…oh wait, CJ dressed her yesterday so I guess I have to give him credit. Fine.) and has cute curly hair.

One friend asked if she was excited to be a big sister. She said yes and then before I could stop her, proceeded to pull my shirt up and point to my belly saying, “There’s a baby in there!”

Yes sweetie, everyone is well aware of that just by looking at me…no one needs to see naked pictures as evidence!

Fortunately I had the kind of maternity jeans on which go up over your belly so people weren’t subjected to seeing my stretched out skin. High five to that!

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Another friend asked if she wanted a baby brother or sister. Her response? “I’ve been asking God for a baby sister.”

Cue the collective “aw…”

I had no idea that this is what she was hoping for! She’s never really shown much of a preference either way. I also didn’t know that she talks to God. We’re not an overly religious family so while we talk about God we don’t make a point of praying together every night or pushing any certain religion on her.

But man oh man will this earn her major points with the grandparents!

She’s also getting VERY excited about painting both her room and the nursery. She has specific ideas too which is great. The whole point of getting her involved in picking out colors and such was to generate excitement and I’m relieved that it’s working.

Tonight’s outing? A trip to Lowe’s to pick up paint samples! Oh boy, oh boy! (or maybe oh girl, oh girl!)

 

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The Translator | Out with the old, in with the new! | 26 weeks