August 31, 2009

rollin' solo

Gus went back to work today after a lovely (and way too short) three week vacation. That meant that it was just me and the little one today- and the potential for chaos was high! Fortunately, we did just fine, thanks mostly to the fact that Lincoln is still sleeping the majority of the day.

I had my doubts this morning about how things would go when I woke up to a nice wet spot in the bed where monkey's diaper had leaked, but I was reassured after I successfully managed to take a shower without so much as a peep from the boy as he waited in his bouncy chair on the bath mat for me to finish.

So by 10 am the score was tied 1-1, but then I snuck in a bowl of cereal for breakfast (1-2) just in time to find that Lincoln had soaked through his freshly changed outfit (2-2)! We went back and forth for a while in this way, with each little accomplishment I managed giving me the burst I needed to shake off the next thing he tried to throw my way. Spit up on my arm? No problem! I've done two loads of laundry already! And mailed a bill! And delivered a thank-you note to the neighbor! It might not seem like much, but I feel like a superhero.

The precious little man is currently napping (again), and we've got just over an hour before we need to leave to pick up Daddy from his first day back to the grind. I think I'm counting this one as a success.

August 29, 2009

rough night!

Last night made me realize just how great we've had it since our little bundle arrived on the scene almost three weeks ago.

Since our first night, Lincoln has slept on or very near me, and that has made our nighttime parenting fairly easy. He wakes up hungry, I position him on a breast, and we both fall right back asleep. Once or twice per night, I'll change his diaper in an attempt to get him to wake up just a bit to eat longer, or if he's getting fussy and I think that might be why. Overall, it's been pretty painless and we haven't lost too much sleep.

But then- last night something switched. Our sweet easy-to-placate boy turned into a little monster sometime around 4 am. He decided that he wasn't going to fall back asleep after his meal this time, and he would prefer to cry instead. I tried all my usual tricks: changed his diaper, switched breasts, changed positions, walked around, but nothing helped.

Gus could get him to calm down by walking and bouncing him around, but as soon as he tried to lay him back down again, the crying would start back up. We managed to sneak in another couple of bits of sleep between 4 and 10, but it was by far the most disrupted night we've had. I realize that we're really lucky that it's been this easy so far, and I hope that last night was not an indication of a great change in the works.

I suspect that maybe the three-week growth spurt may be to blame, or maybe it was just one of "those nights" that I'm sure will pop up from time to time. Whatever it was, I'm tired today! Think I'm going to take a little nap.

August 26, 2009

birth story, part I

It's hard for me to decide where to start the official birth story, so I'm going to go back a bit to provide a little context. Be forewarned that this will be the complete, unedited birth story, so if you're not too keen on reading about mucous or the state of my cervix, you may be happier going here and checking out the cute pics instead. Otherwise, enjoy the story and all the messy glory!

Friday, August 7, 2009

We had an appointment with the midwives to administer a non-stress test to assess Lincoln's tolerance of his extended stay in casa mama. He did great, and an exam revealed that my cervix was softening and I was about 1 cm dilated. In an effort to jump-start the dilation that was beginning, we decided to have the midwives insert a foley catheter into my cervix before we left.

The balloon on the catheter, which is typically used to hold it in place inside of the bladder, is filled with saline just inside the cervical opening in the uterus. The gentle pressure of the balloon can help aid dilation, and if it works well enough, the catheter will just fall out after the cervix dilates enough.

So anyway, pretty much the minute that thing was filled and I stood up, I started having contractions. The car ride home was understandably uncomfortable, and as soon as we got home I needed to lay down and try to relax through this new pressure. I requested a bit of massage and we tried some of the relaxation techniques that we learned in class until I felt good enough to get up.

We watched So I Married an Axe Murderer, one of our favorites, and I had contractions the whole time, between four and ten minutes apart. When the movie ended we decided to try going for a walk to see if we could get things to pick up, but it seemed to have the opposite effect. The contractions petered out and we went to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. By eleven that evening, there didn't appear to be any more progress, but there was bloody show leaking from the tube. I decided to remove the catheter before we had a big mess to deal with.

Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9, 2009

I called the midwife in the morning to let her know how the foley adventure had gone. She assured me that although it may have seemed fruitless, my body was doing good work and she was sure that I was more dilated than I had been. She suggested that we rest up and expect to wake up in labor one night soon.

Our doula's advice was that we start some big, messy project around the house, like wallpapering a room, because Baby would surely sense the inopportune moment and choose to arrive right in the thick of it. We don't have any rooms that are currently in need of that kind of redecoration, but we've been wanting to try making pickles, so we decided that would be our project. We went to Third Place Books to find a book to guide us in the process and came away with The Joy of Pickling. Another stop at Uwajimaya for vegetables, and we were ready for our adventure in preservation.

By the time we got everything assembled and home, it was time for dinner, so we decided to save the pickles for Sunday. With no notable contractions or labor activity, we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and spent Sunday morning putting up our spicy Italian giardiniera. (I'll share more about our pickles once they've cured enough for us to sample them.)

Just about the time that we finished our pickles, another round of contractions started. That was around 2 pm, and they were between five and ten minutes apart for the next four hours. We took another walk, hoping once again to encourage the process, but once again they went away and we were left babyless for yet another day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We woke up early on Monday because we had to get to Swedish by 9 am for our Biophysical Profile ultrasound appointment. This ultrasound is commonly done on post-dates pregnancies to make sure that there are still adequate levels of amniotic fluid and to ensure the health of the fetus and vitality of the placenta. Unlike the two previous and awful ultrasound experiences, this one was a breeze thanks to the fact that I was propped up on the table instead of being forced to lie flat on my back. The screen was also positioned at the foot of the bed, rather than off to the right, so it was much easier to see without craning my neck, which I appreciated. No more ultrasounds anywhere else! Obstetrix is the place, despite their questionable spelling choices.

The ultrasound revealed one vital and healthy baby, plenty of amniotic fluid, and a placenta that would continue to support the pregnancy should it carry on (and on, and on). We were told that they would be providing us an estimated birth weight based on the measurements that had been taken, and while the tech was out of the room I jokingly commented that it would be pretty funny if they came in and said it looked like we were going to have an eleven pound baby. Ha! That would be hilarious! Right? A couple minutes later, the doctor came in and said that everything looked great, gave us a printout to take to our midwife, and said that they estimated the weight of our son to be 10 lbs 12 oz. That's an overestimate, of course, but yeah~ have fun with that giant baby! And then they left us, mouths agape.

From Swedish we went to breakfast before heading to the midwife for another non-stress test and exam. She assured us that the weight estimates based on ultrasound are often wildly inaccurate, and she wouldn't be surprised if he was closer to 8.5 pounds or so. Once again, the non-stress test was passed with flying colors, and an internal exam revealed that my cervix was soft and pliable, but still only about 2 cm dilated.

We discussed our plans for the day and decided that castor oil should play a starring role in our afternoon. We stopped at the drug store on the way home to pick up the fixings for my labor-inducing cocktail: chocolate Ensure and a bottle of castor oil. Delish! I downed the mixture at about 2 pm and we left immediately for a walk before it was too late and I was tied to the house (well, specifically the bathroom). I had a few contractions, but nothing out of the ordinary, and just as predicted, spent the next few hours visiting the bathroom and kneeling on the yoga ball between trips.

We started getting really frustrated after a few hours, because it seemed like the castor oil had been yet another futile attempt at starting the labor that was determined not to begin. I was getting hungry, so we had dinner and prepared ourselves for another uneventful evening.

Continued here and here.

August 25, 2009

two weeks

Monkey is two weeks old today! He's growing up so quickly. His umbilical cord stump fell off last Thursday to reveal his cute little big-boy belly button, and he's gaining weight at an astonishing rate. Today at the pediatrician he weighed in at 10 lbs 11 oz, a full 10 oz over his birth weight. I don't find it too surprising, as he spends about 80% of his awake time attached to my boob.

Along with eating, Lincoln also enjoys peeing on freshly changed diapers before we even get him off the changing table. And that's an improvement over the times when he pees on himself or sends explosive poo across the room just as the dirty diaper is coming off.

With a face like this though, you just can't hold it against him.

We've given him a few baths now, and he can't quite decide whether he likes it or not.

It's been an amazing time so far, and we're loving our boy. It's so wonderful to get to know him and spend our day just hanging out as a family. We can't wait for the smiles and the giggles to come along, and for his personality to reveal itself.

We love you baby boy! Thanks for being so wonderful.

August 20, 2009


In the event that you too are suffering from "can't get enough of the cutest little baby in all the land" syndrome, I've finally uploaded a small selection of the forty-million photos we've taken of Lincoln so far. Go here and enjoy!

August 18, 2009

one week!

Sweet Baby James is one week old today! To celebrate, we slept in until 11 and spent the day staring at him and taking his picture like we do every day.
Here's one in the cute little vest that mama knitted for him. He looks so handsome I could just eat him up.
Today was also our first adventure out of the house together as a family. We went to visit Daddy's coworkers and they were all impressed by what an adorable and sweet little guy we had. He slept almost the whole time, and was perfectly content to be handed around to everyone in turn while they cooed at him and admired his long eyelashes and general cuteness.

It was a successful first trip, and it's been a great first week. We're looking forward to many more fun days and weeks! We love you little monkey!

August 14, 2009

just a quickie

Hello all!

Just a quick update in case you haven't already heard.

Lincoln Harrison James joined us on Tuesday, August 11th at 12:25 pm after quite an amazing adventure. I'll post a full birth story once I get it written up, but for now just know that he's here, he's obviously the cutest thing I've ever seen, and I'm going to have to work on my one-handed typing if you're ever going to hear from me again!

The stats:

Birth weight: 10 lbs, 1 oz. Yes, that's 10, as in ten. The one that comes after nine.
Length: 22 inches.

He's got a head full of curly dark hair, long beautiful eyelashes, and he's just precious. We're totally in love.

The proof:

August 10, 2009

three days

Well, we've got three days left for Lincoln to arrive in the comfort of our home before we are required to move our operation to the hospital. Every day, we think: "okay, this must be the day, right?!" and then nothing.

Yesterday was especially promising because I started having contractions at 2pm that were coming every five to ten minutes and lasting a minute, but by 11 o'clock or so they petered out. I was able to sleep through the night (well, with normal pee-breaks every couple of hours) and this morning things aren't any more exciting.

On Friday we had a non-stress test to make sure that Baby is still responding well to life in the womb and that he will be able to handle labor. He passed with flying colors, kicking and flopping around and displaying his fantastic heart rate- assuring everyone that he's a perfectly happy camper in there.

This morning we have an ultrasound to check the level of amniotic fluid and the condition of the placenta, to make sure that I'm still providing a hospitable environment for him for the time being. They assure me that this ultrasound will be much shorter than the last, and I really hope that's the case so we can avoid that unpleasant near-faint that I experienced last time.

The midwife assures me that he isn't going to be in there forever, despite appearances! All the contractions yesterday are a great sign that things are progressing and we should be parents before our time expires on the home birth plan. Hopefully the ultrasound and today's visit will yield promising results, and we'll just come back home and have ourselves a baby!

We'll keep you updated as there is more to share.

August 6, 2009

more mixer covers!

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a customer on Etsy wondering if I could do a custom mixer cover for her. Of course I said yes, and then she replied that she would be on vacation for a couple of weeks and would contact me when she got back...

I figured that I would be up to my neck in baby by the time she returned, but fortunately that wasn't the case, and the fabric that she selected arrived yesterday. I busted my buns last night and this morning to make sure that they would be done and out of the way in case Lincoln decided to arrive (hint, hint, little guy!) and I made it.

I think they turned out well. It's not fabric that I would select myself, but I know that she likes it because she picked it! Hopefully she's pleased with the results.

Last week I had also decided to experiment with a more tailored version and created a cover for my own kitchen.

I've had the black and white fabric for a while and had planned to make a skirt from it, but decided that it would make a good cover instead. The striped fabric was stolen from a maternity shirt that I thrifted, altered, and then never ended up wearing.

I think I like this version as well- it's nice to have a more refined style for certain fabrics and kitchens that don't lend themselves as easily to ruffles.

Since I'm apparently going to be pregnant for another few million years, maybe I'll be able to get a couple more up in the shop soon!

August 4, 2009

one step forward!

We're officially getting somewhere with this whole pregnancy thing!

At my appointment today our midwife confirmed that my cervix is softening and I'm at least 50% effaced. I was also dilated enough that she was able to feel Baby's head and determined that he's at a -2 station, so he's dropped more than we thought. I had her sweep my membranes in the hopes that we can get the party started sooner than later. We'll see if that proves to be effective or not.

We're up against a new timeline now, as we are only "allowed" to have the baby at home with the midwives in attendance up to the 42 week mark. That's next Wednesday, so we've got a little over a week to see serious action! At this point, I refuse to accept that we will go that long, but we discussed the plan-b today just in case it does come to that.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping that the signs all point toward a baby in our very near future. And if he arrives tomorrow, he'll be a very special one-year anniversary gift! Cross your fingers.

August 2, 2009

playing tricks

In what I can only assume is a taste of things to come, I'm finding that this kid really knows how to push my buttons! I imagine him in there all snug and cozy with no plans to go anywhere any time soon, but loving the fact that he can set off just a few contractions once in a while so he can get me thinking that we're actually making progress.

Take for example: Saturday morning I woke up at 1:30 for one of my many nightly bladder-maintenance breaks and felt an unusual, almost painful tightness in my uterus. I went back to sleep until 3:10, when I had to pee again, and the tightness was back. I decided that this new sensation must be the fabled labor contraction that I have been waiting for, and so of course I couldn't fall back to sleep until after five. When David woke up a few hours later I told him that maybe that was the day, but then a few hours passed and nothing had developed.

We left for Lincoln Park to take a nice long walk and try to get things moving, but nope- nothing.

Sunday morning I felt another contraction when I got up for my 6am bladder break, and of course we took another fruitless walk.

I know that he'll come when he's ready, but it isn't stopping me from trying to help the process along. Evening primrose oil, raspberry leaf tea, chiropractic, walks- if someone has suggested something that might help get things going, I'm giving it a try.

But, it looks like we're dealing with a stubborn little guy here. He's not letting anything change his plans, which is fine I guess. I just wish he would let me in on what they were!

Can't wait to meet you little guy. Any time now. Mommy and Daddy are ready.