Saturday, January 29, 2011

What are you telling me?

What are you telling me? What are you saying to me?

These are phrases that Ace has been using almost every time after we've asked him to do something, or have told him something. He's trying to understand more in depth what we mean when we ask something and I find it endearing... mostly. Sometimes he uses it as a stall tactic in not doing what we've asked him to do. Although a good portion of the time he has a genuine curiosity about the why of what we're asking of him.

He is such a quick learner and truly enjoys to learn and understand how things work, why they are done in a certain way. I love to watch his brain work. I hope he continues to have an appetite for knowledge.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back Floating!

Ace has been in swim lessons since he was five months old. Once a week (with a few exceptions for vacations and breaks between sessions) for nearly two years we have enjoyed our 30 minutes of swim lessons. He's had his advances and set backs with 'dips' and a struggle with independence and wanting to do things - but the one area he has always fought against was the back float! EVERY class there is at least one song worth of back floating practice... and EVERY class there is a fight against the back float by my son. Every. single. one. of. them. He just DOES NOT LIKE IT! Doesn't want his ears in the water, doesn't want the loss of control he feels on his back, a combo of both? He just will squirm and twist until he's back on his belly. Occasionally for mere moments he can be distracted by a mirror, but only in recent months.

However, I am proud, elated, stoked to report that Ace has now been used as the EXAMPLE! on how to back float! YIPEE!

He may look like he's wincing in this picture,
but he's mostly just keeping his eyes
shut tight so that water doesn't get in them.

Overall, back floating is not his favorite. He'd much prefer to do something else, but he's done so well the last two weeks with back floating. Not sure if swimming with his father has given him more confidence or if the switch just happened at a time when he decided to stop fighting the back float... but either way, regardless... Ace is back floating! I'm quite proud!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fat Lip

Dear Son,
When you were four months old in the throws of teething one time shoved your finger so far up my nose I swore it was bleeding profusely. In reality, it just hurt a lot. You were in a lot of pain and weren't doing anything malicious other than trying to run away from the pain, flailing limbs and all. Then when you were nine months old you drew your first blood when you somehow smacked your mouth on your crib. Ouchie! A painful but inevitable first in your rambunctious life.

However, this first in your growing life at the age of twenty-nine months, I could have passed on... (ok I could have passed on the other two as well...) and certainly hope not to repeat. Deal? You see in recent days you've been expressing frustration in not being heard getting your way... perhaps it's a little bit of both. Often resulting in meltdowns of epic sad proportions that really are quite silly for the injustice you are protesting. But such is the life of a toddler at times.

So what happened you ask? Well, after brushing your teeth (the start of your bedtime routine) you had it in your head that you had been allotted "5 more minutes" of playing downstairs. Alas the assumption was wrong and you collapsed onto the floor in weeping heartbrokenness. You weren't mad, mostly just over-tired and stalling. In my attempt to show you some grace and leeway I tried to lean down and comfort you and distract you... at the same time that you decided to jump up full force to go from crying to frustrated and angry... right into my canine tooth. You hit my tooth with your head so hard I swore you had a hole in your head from my tooth. Your crying went from tears of protest to legitimate tears of pain. I moved you from the hallway to our bed to assess the damage. Your dad came up to assist. We established no holes in your head, but that I was bleeding. Ultimately the damage was my tooth went through my lip in two places on the inside. We basically pierced the inside of my lip. Super, but not what I was looking for.

You were very concerned for mommy. In fact you asked to pray for mommy's lip with both mom and dad during bedtime prayers and you have asked every morning since the incident if mommy's lip feels better. After three days, I'm happy to reassure you that it is almost nearly healed. :) Your concern and remorse are heartfelt and make me proud of you. I am so happy that you care, remember, and ask about the well being of those you injure. ;-) However, let's work on keeping injuries (personal or inflicted on others) to a minimum, deal?

All my love,

Your forgiving mommy

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Sister?

When Ace came to the hospital to meet his baby sister, shortly after his arrival he asked where his other sister was. He had previously mentioned once or twice wanting two sisters, or that there were two sisters in my stomach. My suspicion was that because my friends Blana have twins that he thinks babies come in pairs... although who knows. In the hospital, since Mae was only about 4 hours old, my stomach was still somewhat large and so Ace, like he had been doing for the last 8+ months, lifted my shirt up and said "I want another sister out. Another sister in there?" I tried to explain to him that she was on the outside now, no more sisters were inside mommy's tummy. He seemed to accept that and continued to play.

Over these last two weeks, he's asked a dozen or so times though about 'another sister' in mommy's tummy. He points at my belly button and says "sister comes out soon?" and again I gently try to explain, nope there's only the one. Trust me, buddy... in a few months you'll be asking me to but the one back in - let alone wanting a second one to come out. ;-) I think it's sweet that he wants another one... although I'd like to think that my stomach doesn't look THAT pregnant still. Oh the way a two year old's mind works. I love that kid.

Two Weeks Old

Mae is doing so well. She continues to be a good eater and sleeper. We as a family of four continue to work through the challenges of sleep and attention balancing as well. In this second week of Mae's life more firsts have been accomplished.

Last Tuesday, we returned to swim lessons with Ace. Loving Husband and him enjoyed swim lessons while Mae slept snuggly in the wrap on my chest. She did great and stayed out until Ace was finished and dressed. I nursed her before we loaded up into the car and headed out. All in all a very successful swim lesson time for everyone.

Another first that followed immediately after swimming was: dining out as a family of four! We headed to a local pancake house (since mom and dad did not get food before we left the house for swim lessons) and ordered food. Mae ate during a good portion of the meal actually being on the table, but it was manageable and everyone was pretty happy and everyone ate a hot meal, so again quite successful!

As previously reported, Mae ventured to her first doctor's appointment and received her first shot (Hep B.) She was a trooper through the pricks and prodding and got a clean bill of health from the doctor. In fact her weight gain was so good that we were told we don't need to bring her in until her 1 month check up (typically we are supposed to make a 2 week appointment visit to do a weight check, as that is when they want babies to be back at their birth weight by.) Mae was only 1.5oz off from that and so the doctor was not concerned in the least with her weight gain.

Mae accomplished quite a feat in her second week of life. At 9 ... yes NINE days old, Mae rolled over tummy to back! We attempted to reset her and have her repeat it for documentation purposes, but she was having none of it. To date, she has yet to do it again... but it was witnessed by both parents - so it is legit! :) She also continues to enjoy limited amounts of tummy time, and like her brother at this age, likes to scoot along the floor by pushing off dad's hands. It's pretty adorable, and impressive considering she's under 7lbs and is scooting and lifting her head so well!

At 10 days old Mae joined the rest of the family and got her picture taken at JCPenny. Both her and Ace did great during the pictures. Little Lady's eyes still are not at full strength so when people (cameras) get really in her face she has a proclivity to cross her eyes. It isn't ideal for the pictures, but we still got some pretty adorable ones of her, the two of them, and all of us together. Looking forward to having that cd in a couple of weeks.

She is a pretty calm baby and really only fusses when she's hungry or gassy. She (again like her brother) doesn't seem bothered if her diaper is wet or dirty, so we're always having to check for it rather than her fussing about it. She's not bothered by loud noises (aka her brother) and while she might startle at a sudden noise, it doesn't reduce her to tears.

Sleep wise, we seem to get 3-4 hours out of her at a time. Although unlike her brother she doesn't just eat and is out again. When she wakes after that 3-4 hour block she's up for at least 30-60 minutes... which if that were during the day is all fine and dandy... but at night, I'm not as huge of a fan. We've eliminated some of the lengthiness, by sitting her up to eat, rather than me nursing her while laying down. She seems to keep the food down better and thus sleep sooner rather than having to refill. So perhaps a bit more practice will reduce that middle of the night awake-window over the course of this next week.

Mae also enjoyed her first visit to church this week. For most of the service I was in the nursing room with her. Which is nice, I get to watch the sermon on a tv on a comfy couch with my feet up. Really can't complain. :) She fell asleep at the end of the service during the singing and overall did great.

Ace continues to love his sister, wanting to give her kisses and hugs every morning. He also loves to say good night to her. When she's fussy he wants to help calm her down, and he wants her to play legos with him too. It's very sweet. She loves to look at him and watch all he's doing when she is awake. I hope they continue to get along so well. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First Doctor's Appointment

Mae had her first doctor's appointment yesterday. She received her first vaccination (we are delayers and don't get that one done hours after she is born) and also got her follow up PICU test done, so another heel prick for her. :( She did great with both and calmed down very quickly. Her eyes are good, her reflexes are good, her color is good, and she is doing great! She weighs 6lbs 6.5oz (9.23%) and her height is 19.5" long (33.31%) Her next visit will be at one month.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Week Old

How has a week passed already?! I know I said almost the exact same thing with Ace and look at the heights he's soared to these days. Mae has been a doll. She is a very good sleeper (Praise the Lord!) and wakes every 3-4 hours to eat. In fact she is a SOUND sleeper. Today, Loving Husband turned the vacuum on in the same room that she had recently started snoozing in (we wanted to see how she would do) and she didn't even budge. Guess all that yelling and noise making that her brother did while she was on the inside conditioned her. In fact if she hadn't passed her hearing test I'd be a tad worried. :) But as it is, she's just a good sound sleeper.

Mae entered this world weighing 6lbs and 8oz. She was weighed again on Thursday last week and weighed 6lbs and 2oz. She's doing great and well above the 10% weight loss window that they want all newborns in. She is TINY. So tiny in fact that she is wearing preemie diapers and onesies. She's a tad too long for preemie feetie pjs, but the onesies - while they say they only go to 5lbs are cozy on her. Although I suspect their days are numbered. She has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and we'll find out then how her weight is going. Although she is a great eater, so I suspect she'll be closer to her birth weight than further away. She still wears preemie diapers but the newborns aren't falling off of her - so she can wear those as well.

She has started to become more aware of her surroundings. Spending more time looking around and adjusting to daytime vs. nighttime. Her first two nights at home she was awake from 2am-4am nearly wide awake. That seems to be short lived and she is more only awake at night to get her food and then fall back asleep.

Our little girl enjoyed her first (at home) bath this week - and overall loved when the warm water was being poured on her, but if it wasn't actively being poured she was pretty unhappy... can't really blame her - it was probably pretty chilly - inspite of our best efforts to keep her warm.

She enjoyed tummy time for the first time two nights ago. Her big brother helped show her how to do it - and she did great! She even was kicking her legs up and moving her head from one side to the other - even with hiccups she wasn't too frustrated. We are guessing she's going to be an early roller like her brother was.

Today she enjoyed her first shopping trip with her momma to BRU. We needed to get a few more newborn sleepers - I didn't have many because Ace didn't stay in them for very long because he came out 21" (NB size goes to 21.5") so he really wasn't in them for much time, so we only had 2 that really worked for her - and with it being so chilly we needed a few more. She fell asleep in the car on the drive there and snoozed during the excursion.

Car trips so far have been great. Today she fussed a little bit when we weren't moving, but once we were cruising without stopping for a bit, she was a-ok and fell asleep. Ace never was content in the car until we found out Kokomo was our soothing agent... and my oh my how many times we listened to that song. I know there is still time for her to 'grow into' discontentment with the car rides - but I'm hopeful for a more mellow indifference to the car.

Our first week as a family of four has been wonderful. Sleep has been obtained by all parties, with only one night for each parent of really needing some recharging... Big brother has been a great help and loves to hug and kiss his sister... and Mae is thriving! We can't wait for the weeks to come!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


It was always an unknown answer how Ace would truly react to having his sister 'on the outside' - as much as he liked her on the inside, would he truly like her once she was around, taking away from his attention? All signs so far point to yes. He loves to talk to sister - although his most common phrase is "Wake up, Sister!" Mae does tend to sleep an awful lot for his liking and he'd much rather her be awake - because when she is awake she stares at Ace with great fascination!

Overall, I'd say thus far the transition to 'official' big brother has been great. He has been a bit more whiny this week, but nothing that is so awful or impossible to manage. Unfortunately for him - the arrival of his sister was timed along with a very common road toward independence and then infamous phase of saying "No" to everything. He says it so much that he says it even when he really does want to do the thing we asked of him, so he quickly changes his mind. We're attempting to train him to say "Let me think about it" as his initial response - since he is so desperate to have a knee jerk reaction - we're hoping to avoid the "no" and provide him with a more thought provoking avenue of response. We also think that while a phrase will take a tad longer to implement it will be far less annoying that teaching him to say "maybe" as his knee-jerk response. Ultimately we'd prefer him to quietly think about it prior to answering, but that won't happen. ;-)

Ace continues to nap and sleep very well. It amazes me how far we've come from September when he FIRST began sleeping through the night on his own, followed by the end of October finally sleeping every night in his bed. We haven't continued to sticker program past December. He is doing great to simply sleep in his own bed all by his self because it is just what he is supposed to do. So we're very proud of him. His sister's crying in general is thankfully minimal in the night - she really only fusses when she wants to eat, which is a natural plug ;-) so Ace continues to sleep well in the night. We try to curb loudness during night/nap time diaper changes by closing her door to do them. So far so good in uninterrupted brother sleep.

It is great having Loving Husband home for paternity leave. It certainly allows for Ace to have two parents around to balance the attention and maybe even provide a bit more extra that we otherwise wouldn't have prior to Mae's arrival. They seem to have a good time playing pretend and cooking 'Ace soup' or 'Ace steak' - they love to run around - Ace has recently begun to learn the idea of hide-n-seek and enjoys playing that as well.

If you ask Ace if he likes having his sister here he'll giggle and smile and say "I do!" He is doing great and is a very loving big brother!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Welcome Home, Mae!

With snow still looming over our commute home, we got on the freeway in rush hour traffic. Thankfully there was no snow and surprisingly not too much traffic either for 5pm. Mae did great in the car, Ace loved having his sister in the back seat and mom sitting in the middle... and impressive feat considering we have a simple 4-door sedan. Ace wanted to be able to touch sister, but he's not quite long enough. Mae was cozy and content in her heirloom blanket and hat made by my grandmother. The same one Ace was wrapped in when he came home, the same that I and my brother were wrapped in when we came home, and the same that my mom and uncle were wrapped in when they came home. It was nice to carry on that tradition.

We arrived home and headed inside. Ace spotted some goodies that Vanessa had left for us after feeding our kitties the day before (thanks, girlie!) some beautiful flowers and the newspaper from the day of her birth. We then proceeded to introduce Mae to our kitties. They seemed interested that there was again another little person in the room - but by no means did they bold when she squealed. The first time Ace cried when we brought him home sent the cats bolting in escape... they've since been accustomed to loud noises from smaller people. :)

We then enjoyed dinner and allowed Ace to play some for a bit before starting the bedtime routine. Little lady got to enjoy her swing for the first time (not on, just a cozy seat) while both mom and dad participated in the bed time routine. Helping to ensure that Ace still felt like a priority. He went to sleep well and aside from a few in-sleep fusses slept through the night without issue.

Loving Husband headed to bed and stayed up with Mae who was still awake a little. A little after 8 she fell asleep after nursing and we headed up to bed around 9. We slept from 9-11:30 before she woke again and was wide awake - a little mixed up I'd say - she'd dose off, but then wake back up wanting more milk... which hadn't quite come in yet. We finally got back into some solid sleep around 5:30. Loving Husband took Ace who had woken at 7:40 and took him downstairs. We woke at 9am to a good ol' fashion blowout. Through the diaper the cozy (thick) pjs and onto her waterproof pad. Impressive, little girl!

Overall a good first night. Mae didn't really fuss or cry. She wasn't a fan of diaper changes in the night - but mostly because of cold hands and wipes - and she calms right down if you talk to her. Mae's first night at home and the snow fell. 5" of snow that finally fell... which was beautiful, but by the time we woke it was windy and raining and melting away all of that snow. So while Mae's first official snow has occurred, she never saw it, so I'd say it didn't really count. Heck mom didn't even get a picture of it - so it really doesn't count. ;-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day One

Mae's first day of life was filled with all sorts of excitement - well business - nothing that she found truly exciting or fun really.

Almost immediately after being born I got her started on nursing and she was a natural. She ate for an average of 20-30 minutes and right around every 3 hours or so - which made the nurses happy. However, she didn't pee. The nurses say the rule is 1 wet diaper for every day of life so as long as she peed in the first 24 hours or so that was good enough. And so we waited for that to show up. Now as far as poopy diapers she had plenty stored up on that. In fact the second she escaped the womb she let it loose all over our doctor, the nurse... everywhere! Quite the mess... and she continued to have a handful of those diapers through the night.

She did relatively well sleeping on her momma that first night in the hospital bed. Her vitals throughout the night were good - she was running a tad hot, but still within a temperature that the doctors were comfortable with (99.2-99.6) that was her in a feetie pj outfit and laying on mom. If we took her out of it and put her just in a diaper with a receiving blanket she would be a tad too chilly - so we opted for a tad too warm - she was pretty content and cozy that way. My blood pressure was still oddly (to the nurses) low... but pretty average for me. 90/60... usually after pregnancy they see 130/90 and aren't concerned at all - so to see the 90/60 was baffling to them.

We woke for the day around 8am when my breakfast came - Mae continued to snooze. We spoke to the nurse about wishing to be discharged a tad earlier than the 24hour mark of 3pm in the hopes to avoid the forecasted 4pm snow storm that was looming. They said they'd do their best and so we started to gather all the necessary parties to come and take care of what we needed to do. Loving Husband filled out the birth certificate paperwork and whatnot necessary for the social security card.

Next up was the hearing test. The test was slightly different from 2.5 years ago with Ace, but basically the same as far as invasiveness. Mae was out cold during it - which they prefer - and so the test went super fast. The test on average takes 8 minutes - Mae was complete in 2.5 minutes. And she passed with flying colors. No worries for her ears. :)

After that we had the pediatrician come by and do her check up on Mae. She listened to her heart for a long time and eventually said that she detected a murmur and wanted to have an ultrasound/echo run on her heart to rule anything more serious out and that she'd prefer us to wait until we had those results before discharging us. The ultrasound tech came in and began what was a 40 minute ultrasound on our baby girl's heart. Lots of clicking, measuring, pictures were taken and all the while our little girl did GREAT to lay there and allow the tech to do her job. She only fussed when the cold gel was put on her... and there was a LOT of it all over her.

The test was sent over to Children's hospital to be read, and we continued to just relax and wait. The likelihood of us being able to leave by noon was long gone - but ah well - the weather forecast seemed to be hooey just the same so the threat of snow was pretty minimal. ;)

My doctor stopped in to visit and check up on us - and then we enjoyed some lunch. After that we continued to wait. Around 2:30pm the nurses came in and did the PICU test, checked her jaundice levels (all happy), and did 24hr weigh in. She was 6lbs 4oz - only having lost 4oz from birth and she had a good wet diaper... well it would have been if she had a diaper on - but it counted so she was one step closer to discharge having accomplished that task. Finally around 3pm, Loving Husband went and picked up Ace from the grandparents - in the hopes to avoid at least an additional commute there and then a further one home even later. He was gone about an hour, at the end of which the pediatrician came back in and gave us the results of the ultrasound. She has a small PDA and a PFO hole - these are pretty common - and can occur because flow is transitioning from the placenta to the lungs. The doctor said she wouldn't be surprised if she couldn't even hear it the next day and that they would close on their own. So on the dawn of her second day of life, with that happy news provided to us - we were discharged from the hospital as a family of four and we headed home with not a snowflake in sight!

And finally they meet...

This pregnancy wasn't been just about me and Loving Husband this time. It was uniquely more involving our son. Finding ways to help him understand that another person was inside mommy, that another person would be coming to live with us and share his world that had been exclusively his, and help him learn to love his sister before her arrival. Throughout my pregnancy I was very happy with how well he took to his sister. In fact, he knew it was a sister well before any confirmation of that fact.

Ace has been very attentive to his sister during pregnancy. He has wanted to rock 'her' and he sat in my lap, holding my stomach and we'd rock in the rocking chair. He gave her kisses, hugs, said good morning to her - almost every day. He wanted to see sister ALL the time and constantly was pulling up my shirt to say 'hi' to his sister. He wanted to buy her presents all the time. On one occasion while we were in the Baby Gap - he came over to me with a tiny stuffed bunny in his hands and asked "I get this for sister?" He was very loving - he didn't ask so he could have it for himself, he truly wanted to give it to his sister... and so we bought the tiny little white bunny. He pressed it to my tummy. I suggested that we put it in her bag so that he could give it to her at the hospital when he came to meet her. As soon as we got home that's what we did. For weeks after that - he would ask to make sure we had her present. He'd want to verify it was in the bag. After verification he'd smile and wander off.

I spend endless time talking to him about what would happen upon his sister's arrival. He knew that he got to go to Gran and Pop Pop's house and that he would be spending the night for a couple of nights. He knew that he would come and visit sister in the hospital and then still go home to Gran and Pop Pop's while mom and dad stayed with sister in the hospital. He knew that sister would come home with us after we left the hospital... and as much as I would have hoped for a more natural occurrence of labor - an induction was just what we needed to truly make this an easy transition for Ace.

On Sunday evening we finished dinner and packed up the car and headed over to the grandparents. Ace was so excited to be there and played around for a bit. I got all his stuff laid out for bed - Tiger, Chip & Dale all accompanied us as snuggly bed companions - not that he really snuggles with stuffed animals, but they do sleep in his bed with him at home - so the comfort of them at Pop Pop's was important to have too. We assisted in the bedtime process and there was some mild fussing and protest to sleeping there - he calmed down and we left. After we left there was one more round of sadness and then ultimately he slept through the night. Upon waking he enjoyed breakfast, some Mickey, and walks in the snow with Pop Pop.

His sister arrived just shy of 3pm and we called and said to come on over anytime after 4:30pm. We readied ourselves and the present - I had told Loving Husband that I would be disappointed (although not surprised) if after all that build up he shied away from wanting to give it to her now - the family arrived and Ace was all smiles. He came right up to the bed and wanted to meet his sister. He said "Hi sister" and rubbed her leg. It was so sweet... we captured a few family photos and then let him run around the room for a moment.

A few minutes of exploring and we asked him if he wanted to give the bunny to his sister and indeed he did. He climbed back onto the bed and handed it to his sister. Sister 'took' it and hugged it. We took some family photos with everyone, then Ace scampered down to run around some more. Gran and Pop Pop took over oogling our little girl some and then Gran and Pop Pop headed down to the cafeteria to get some dinner for themselves and bring us some back up when they were complete with theirs. Loving Husband and Ace went exploring around the hospital. Mae and mommy stayed in bed and snuggled with her bunny.

Upon return of everyone - we ate some dinner. Ace ate my meal that was provided by the hospital - and LH and I enjoyed the food the grandparents had brought up from the cafeteria for us. I scarfed mine down pretty quick. During our eating, Ace wanted to get a burp cloth to 'wipe sister' - he had helped pack the diaper bag and had decided that she needed two burp cloths in there and knew where they were - so he went and grabbed one. Sister didn't particularly NEED to be wiped, but we allowed him to 'help'. It was very sweet.

After we finished eating and around 6pm - Ace was getting ancy to go back to Pop Pop and Gran's. He understood he had one more night at their house. He gave sister back her bunny, gave her a kiss, said goodbye to mom and dad and left with the grandparents happily. It was very sweet and an excellent first meeting between siblings.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mae's Arrival

Mae was quite content to remain inside and that is why an induction was scheduled for Monday, January 10th at 5am - two days after my estimated due date. Since 37 weeks had had been having clustered contractions, but alas nothing that was terribly productive or progress that was a sign of our little girl coming on her own. So on Sunday night we took Ace to Gran and Pop Pop's - we stayed and got him settled into bed (the report back from the grandparents was that he woke and cried for us - but settled down and slept through the night until 7:30 the next morning! Good job, little guy!) After we left the grandparents - we headed home to finish packing, do another load of dishes, and got to bed.

We woke around 4am and I called to verify we were still on the schedule, and we were. So we got up, grabbed some breakfast, and headed off to the hospital. We got checked in and we met our nurse, Luba and I got all hooked up and ready to roll. At my appointment the previous Tuesday I was 1.75cm dilated and 0% effaced - so we had a ways to go. The IV was put in and pitocin started to flow at 5:45am at 1mm per minute. I sat for about an hour in bed and then Loving Husband and I got up and started to walk the halls - the contractions were closer together when I walked around, but were milder. Every 30 minutes the drip was kicked up by 1mm.

Around 8:30am, our doctor came in to check on us and established that I was 3cm and 50% effaced - it was at that time she broke my water. The contractions definitely increased in intensity after she broke the water and I pretty much decided I was set in the bed. I could have still walked around if I so chose, but I wasn't interested. We put on some Gilmore Girls that I had brought along and relaxed between contractions. Mae's heart rate fluctuated between 130 and 160 during most of the laboring - with an average around 130 most of the time. Unlike her brother who was a steady 150 all through labor.

One of my bigger contractions

After a few more hours of the pitocin being kicked up every 30 minutes or so, around 11am, I finally requested the epidural. After all there are no bonus points for holding out any extra time. At 11:30 epidural was in place and I was 4cm and 50% effaced. A little more time went by and Mae's heart rate started to decelerate with contractions - down to around 100. The doctor was notified and she came and observed and wasn't worried since it wasn't every contraction or consistent.

At 12:30 I was 6cm and 90% - little girl was still -2 station (so relatively high up.) The doctor said to turn the pitocin down from 8 to 4 and she predicted that I would be pushing at 2pm. Our nurse went to lunch a little before 2pm and I informed the relief nurse, Sarah that I was starting to feel the urge to push. She checked me and I was complete. We did one set of pushes through the next contraction and then she called our doctor who came over. After our doctor arrived we did a few more and then Mae's heart rate decelerated a lot (down to the low 80s) through the next couple of contractions. So we gave her a break, put me on a little oxygen and discussed that Mae was a bit too high for the vacuum, but that pushing wasn't good for her heart - they were certain it was cord compression issues - whether it was because it was around a leg, neck, etc - they weren't sure. The ultimate decision was to have me get on my hands and knees had push a few contractions in that manner to help rotate her some. Ultimately, that did the trick. She did great through those contractions and then again she did well once I was back on my back.

In just under an hour of pushing and a total labor time of 9 hours, Mae entered this world at 2:53pm weighing 6lbs and 8oz and 18" long. She did enter this world 'sunny side up' - so she has a bit of a bloodshot right eye due to some pressure from pushing against the pelvis on her way out - but ultimately the cord wasn't wrapped around any of her - and she scored a 9 on the apgar tests.


Mae was due on the 8th according to the doctors and the 9th according to my calculations... both dates past and induction day arrived before she decided she was going to. :) Here is the final documentation and comparison shots of the belly.

Final comparison between Ace at 40 weeks and Mae at 40 weeks

Final picture of our family of 3.5.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Books of 2010

By far one of my lightest reading years since I started keeping track. Only 14 books in 2010. A few were sizeable, didn't keep track of pages though this go around.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
What Every Mom Needs
The Help
An Irish Country Doctor
Big Stone Gap
The Thing About Georgie
Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest
Cocktails for Three
Picture Perfect
Let the Great World Spin
The Appeal
Julie & Julia
Light on Snow

Happy New Year!

I know, I'm a tad out of order on my posts - but eh sue me. ;-)

Our new year was extremely low key. Compared to past years of festivities. Last year we had a quieter event with some of our family, this year it was just the 3.5 of us.

We allowed Ace to stay up and enjoy the New York New Year. He enjoyed playing around much past his normal 7:30 bedtime and enjoying some bubbly of his own (Sprite and apple juice.) We watched the ball drop in Time Square, snapped one final family photo of 2010 - and Ace helped count down to the new year.

After we got him tucked into bed, I searched the tv for anything to watch - Men in Black ended up being the winner - but it was only the last 15 minutes of the movies... so after that was over - I went and grabbed MiB2 and we tossed that in the DVD player. Loving Husband I enjoyed watching that while crocheting and playing on the computer (I'll let you figure out whom enjoyed which secondary activity.)

The movie ended right around 11:30, just in time to switch it to some NYE 'entertainment' New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys together??? What every 1990's-pre-teen's dream was... back in the 90s. Seriously, guys?! Wow. The NKOTB looked like men from wall street ... as they should be since they're pushing 40! In the final moments we switched over to the local feed and watched the firework show at the Space Needle. Loving Husband and I enjoyed ringing in the new year just the two of us... while Mae squirmed around on the inside... making her mommy happy by finally ensuring that she would in fact be a January baby!

Loving Husband and I headed to bed around 1am... and around 5:30, Ace woke up and threw up. Ugh! What a way to ring in the new year. It wasn't much and after he calmed down he wanted to go back to sleep in his own bed. I asked twice if he was sure... and he was sleepy already and said "I'm sure, mommy." Made me a little sad that he didn't want to come snuggle with him after getting sick. I went back to my bed and prayed it was a fluke. However, I couldn't fall asleep much before 6am and I awoke again to him coughing (his tell) at 6:20... LH got to him with the bowl and he threw up again a tad more than before, but not much. At that point he was all done sleeping and ready to be awake. He was his chipper happy self. So I got up with him and LH went back to bed for a bit. Odd to me what he threw up was his lunch from the day before... not his dinner or any subsequent snacks he had after lunch... just the hot dog. Aside from being tired later in the day - he's had no more issues... so I guess it was just the hot dog, but still odd and not the way I wanted to begin the new year!

We being up at 6:20am put on a movie and he played around while I sleepily sat observing him to make sure he really was ok. Then around 8am I turned on the Rose Parade. I tradition that I absolutely love on New Year's morning. Ace was compliant when I'd try to show him something, but overall wasn't terribly interested. Our day remained low key and Ace continued to feel fine.

We're very much enjoying 2011 so far, and are excited to see what this year has to hold for our family!

Friday, January 7, 2011

History Keeps Moving On....

It doesn't seem possible that five years has gone by since my dad left this earth. Today isn't marred by sadness, a twinge certainly. After my dad passed I found comfort in a song and it is still a favorite of mine - because it's so true - life isn't always beautiful but it's a beautiful ride. In memory of the five years gone - I put together of the many years we had before that with him.

I miss my dad on many different days and occassions - but I am so thankful for the time and memories that I had with him.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

An Only Child

Ace for the last 2 years, 4 months, 13 days (and counting!) has been an only child. He has received the benefit of having mommy and dad's undivided attention. We've tried really hard - even before the impending birth of his sister - to socialize him, to provide him with ample opportunity to learn to free-play, and to be ok doing things on his own. However, Ace in very short order is going to be going from 'only child' status to 'oldest child' status. While I hope and expect (for the most part) this to be an easy transition - I (as well as he) will be sad that we will be losing that special status of 'only child.'

Having spent 4 months and 13 days in the 'terrible twos' I can't consciously call to memory repeated bad behavior that makes me groan 'when will this phase be over?!' Ace for the most part has been a joy rather than a job. I love spending time with him, helping him learn. We are currently learning the days of the week, months of the year, and the ABC song. You can hear him muttering these during his free-play time. While of course even after Mae is here, we'll still be able to do these things - there will be interruptions, there will be distractions that didn't previously exisit. I think he'll weather the transition well - but I am trying to enjoy these final moments of 'concentration' that we have left.

Mae is due on Sunday. I am scheduled for induction on Monday. I am thrilled that there is an end date set for this pregnancy. I'm anxious for her arrival - because I want her here with us. I am not worried or stressed about the prospect of taking care of two kids. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the excitement that comes with having another member of the family! Ace still is very excited to be a big brother, and he's equally as excited to get to spend time with Gran and Pop Pop while mommy goes to the hospital to get Mae out.

Loving Husband had to go back to work this week - so it's just the boy and I - and part of me loves that we get these last few days to have some one on one time. Although my uber pregnant body is craving the help that I had while LH was on vacation the last two weeks of December. It's only a few more days. Ultimately we're down to 5 days or less that Ace is an only child. I look forward to a spectacular end to what has been a great chapter in our lives and the beginning that is sure to be equally as grand and adventurous.