Sunday, March 28, 2010

Boring Adoring Mommy Post

My mom left today, after almost 4 weeks! She was so incredibly helpful and made every single meal, did all the laundry, even stayed up with the baby some nights. And yet I already feel like I have more time now that she is gone! I guess more "me" time, if that even exists anymore.

My baby boy is doing fabulously well. He is getting round and pudgy, and already about to burst out of his newborn size clothes. At our next appointment on Tuesday I am already predicting that he has gained at least a lb, if not more. It's exciting and astonishing to see him grow and change every day. I wish you could somehow bottle the feeling of gazing into your newborn's eyes as he gazes back. Thank goodness for video...but still, that feeling could never be captured on film!

I'm afraid to jinx it by writing it down, but I think I have an "easy" baby on my hands! But I have to give some credit to the 'baby whisperer' book, which had me getting him on a routine immediately. I've gotten so, in 3-1/2 weeks, I can already read almost all of his cries (at least those that he's had so early in life!). He barely wails at all--has gotten over the diaper change wailing--and even enjoys his bath. He gives me a few pointed waa waa waas when he's hungry, but seems to be able to easily soothe himself. I must say, the pacifier is my best friend though. He really needs to suckle, a lot, even when he's not hungry. It's like a drug, the change that comes over his face when I plug him in, as I call it. Ahhh...sweet relief...thanks mommy! Now I'm just hanging on until he sleeps more than 3 hours at a stretch.

I am enjoying every minute. My tears thus far have been of joy. Except yesterday, a bit of anger. My dad was here to pick up my mom and take her home. All of a sudden there were two babies in the house. But oh well. I could deal with it for one short day I guess. And my parents have been more than generous overall, mostly my mom, but my dad, too.

Mom left the fridge stocked with at least a month's worth of food. So now all I have to do is spend every precious moment with my little boy! Next week I start a 'new moms group'. I was in a 'pregnancy group' held at the same place and the ladies were all younger than me, all partnered (surprise), but still very interested and supportive of my story. Let's hope the same holds true for this group.

Ok, a rather boring update, but there's not much going on here but oogling and googling and lots and lots of diaper changes! (I even take pleasure in the diaper changes! And don't even get me started with the outfits...I can't fit into a thing, but he looks adorable every day).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Birth Story

Owen is 8 days old! Where does the time go? He's already huge! :) These pics are actually in descending order (ie the first one was taken today; the last one was taken on his birthday). He's changed already. It's amazing!

We're doing great. Owen is an incredibly calm baby. His nickname so far is Squeaky---his preferred mode of communication. He squeaks a bit when he's hungry...that's about it. He wails like crazy when he gets his diaper changed though! We are bonding like crazy. I weep daily--out of joy--just by looking at him.

I want to share my birth story. I feel SO LUCKY to have had an uneventful, amazing birth...Something I hoped for, and planned for, but also something I approached realistically, knowing that labor and delivery is about the last thing a person can expect to control.

Last Tuesday night (after posting a blog entry pre-labor!) I got into bed at exactly 10:00. The moment I got into bed I felt the first contraction. Wasn't sure what it was, of course. My mom was set to arrive the following day, so I called my friend Maya to ask if she would mind spending the night. I was kind of feeling like, oh, this might be the beginning...there's a long way to go. I then called my doula, who said we should keep in touch and speak in an hour to see if it's progressing, or not. Well...within an hour, my contractions were 2-1/2 minutes apart, and I could barely speak through them. Basically what appears to have happened is that I skipped early labor altogether. I was definitely in active labor by 11:00 or 11:30.

My doula came over, watched me go through 2 contractions, and told me to call the OB. The OB told me to get to the hospital! So at about 12:30 we arrived at triage. By this point I was having extremely strong contractions almost continually---maybe one minute apart, maybe less. They checked me out and....drumroll...I was NINE CM dilated. At that point, the triage nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. The doctor chimed in "gosh, it may not even be worth it at this're kind of almost there already." I was somewhat delirious but I knew that I didn't want the epidural if I was so far along.

So up to L & D I went with Maya and my doula by my side. What an amazing team. My doula talked me through every contraction. She made me see with each pain how my body was working to birth my baby--pain with purpose. Of course you know this intellectually but believe me there ain't a lot of intellect going on at that point. I needed that help to focus because oh, boy, did it HURT!

Up in L & D I went through the final stage of labor---ohmyohmy that is the truly traumatic part because it feels like your body is going to break, as the pressure on your lower parts gets so intense. I say traumatic but I don't mean insurmountable. I mean, obviously it's no cake walk for your body but at the same time, your body CAN DO IT. It's really pretty freakin incredible.

One crazy thing that happened is that the aminotic sac bulged outward, meaning (sorry TMI here!) bulged outside of my body without breaking. Most likely my bulging amniotic sac is what allowed the dilation to progress so quickly. But seriously the OB and nurses were like "Woa--you don't see that every day!" The OB broke the sac and there was a bit of meconium, which just meant that the baby would have to be suctioned, etc, immediately. No need to panic.

So by 2:45 I was fully dilated and ready to push! I started pushing, which I must say I didn't ever think I 'd be able to do, I mean, it seemed truly impossible. And yet I was doing it. Definitely the hardest part for me, and not a "relief" as I hear some women describe it. Let me tell you, there were primal screams that got me through that.

Incredibly, by 3:20, Owen was here! He came out WAILING; I cut the cord (this part is a blur), and he was taken away for about 3 minutes to be cleaned up, but was on my chest very shortly thereafter. The moment it was over, I felt AMAZING. I was so glad that I did it without meds, so extremely surprised, too, and on such an adrenaline high for hours and hours and hours. I couldn't believe it was over---that it came and went so quickly--!

Since then I have experienced the most intense euphoria, even through the haze of exhaustion.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Everyone, my son, Owen Christopher Harley [last name] arrived at 3:20 am on March 3 (yes, on my birthday) forever after known as OUR birthday. He is 7 lbs exactly and 19 inches and beautiful and perfect in every way! I can't wait to share more with you when I'm home from the hospital. The birth was fast. I went into labor and had Owen 5 hours and 2o minutes later. Full birth story to follow!

I don't know if I've ever said this before and really meant it...but now I do: Hallelujah!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

LAST day of work (yippee!!) and Still Pregnant

I know, I still have 9 days until my due date, so this shouldn't be a surprise! But I've always had a feeling that he would come early. Long ago I predicted March 4. Recently I've been thinking more like March 9.

Whatever it is, I'll let ya'll know!!

I can't tell you how lovely it feels not to have to go to work tomorrow. 4-1/2 months without going into the office are ahead of me. WOO HOO!!

And a whole new world awaits (slightly more intimidated and anxious-sounding but excited "wooo hooo!")

Mom arrives tomorrow (with Dad temporarily--I'm blocking that part out). Also the ole' 39th birthday. Turning 39 feels darn OK under the current circumstances.

Things seem to be happening "down there." The baby is low. Very low. Like every-1/2-hour-to-the-bathroom-to-pee low. He's punching me in places I never knew could actually be punched. "Other things" on the list of classic pre-labor indicators have also started to happen down there but I'll spare you the details.

I truly look like a stick with a basketball strapped to her stomach. I mean I'm not ridiculously skinny but I have a tall frame and haven't gained much weight except right at the belly. It's a somewhat strange experience to view my reflection in the mirror. I'll have my mom take a picture tomorrow and try to post it.

Updates imminent...