Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I started to write a lovely, heartfelt Christmas post, but it proved to be too difficult a task for this tired mama. The good news is my sweet husband got me a digital camera for Christmas (he must read my blog), so I can now start posting better quality photos. Yay! It's also exciting because I love practicing photography, but using a film camera makes learning a little more difficult. Especially since I take so long to get film developed. Anyway, for now I'm just going to try to catch up on some rest that my one-month-old didn't let me get last night. I hope you are all enjoying your families on this wonderful holiday. I wish you all lots of love!

My Christmas Cuties!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nine Semi-Holiday and Baby Related Thoughts

1)      My baby’s name is Abram, not Abraham. I don’t understand what’s so hard about that.

2)      "Beebra", however, is still an awesome nickname. But it’s not Hannah using it now…she always refers to him by name or as “Baby Brother.” (It’s almost as though she realized he was a real person once he emerged from my tummy.) Her parents, on the other hand…well, we’ve always had a thing about silly nicknames. We used to call Hannah “Kabookie” for no good reason. We're weird.
3)      Having so much new responsibility at this time of year makes you feel like you’re missing out a little. Christmas will be here and gone before I know it. I don’t have time or energy to bake cookies, cook a big meal, go shopping, or do much else that I would normally be doing, but on the plus side, it forces me to slow down and relax. And I probably won’t get many other opportunities to just hang out with my babies. (Although “hang out” =  feeding, changing diapers, entertaining the toddler, and somewhat managing the household)

4)      My Christmas cards are going out ridiculously late. If I manage to get them out at all.

family christmas card

My kids sure are adorable though.

5)      I have a fantastic film camera, but I am not very timely when it comes to getting film developed. One day we will get a digital SLR, and I will stop posting so many photos from our phones. And one day we will get professional photos done to put on our Christmas cards.

6)      Sleep deprivation makes you silly. And it makes you nearly incapable of putting together a coherent blog post, or even an articulate sentence in most cases. Are you even understanding any of this?

7)      I wish I were as cool as The Pioneer Woman. And I want her to come make us prime rib and duchess potatoes for Christmas dinner.

8)      I can’t believe it’s nearly 2012. I feel like I just got through saying that I can’t believe it’s almost 2010. Start the countdown - Isn’t the world supposedly ending exactly one year from today?

9)      Did I mention I’m sleepy?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Abram's Birth Story

Best. Birth. Ever.

Okay, maybe not, because I didn’t experience one of those crazy “orgasmic” births that I’ve heard about (thank goodness – that’s a little too weird for me), but I really don’t think it could have gone any better!
I noticed the first contraction at 7:45 a.m. on Monday, November 28. I thought it was just one of those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions again, sent forth to get me all excited about nothing. Then I noticed another one at 8:00. And then 8:15.

Hmm…every 15 minutes, I thought. Well, that’s weird. They never did that before.
But they were completely painless. Absurdly painless. Not even uncomfortable. They continued like that all day. Hannah and I went to have lunch with Daddy. I told him not to get his hopes up because it was probably just a fluke…but maybe it meant it would happen in the next few days.

(I never experienced contractions like these on my own with the first labor. My water broke, and I ended up on Pitocin to speed things along. That’s why I seem so na├»ve/in denial in this story.) J
By suppertime the contractions were around 8 minutes apart and a little more noticeable, but I still wasn’t convinced that it was the real thing. (Yes, I know, I’m ridiculous.)

By bedtime we decided to get some sleep and figured if I really was in labor, things would probably pick up later in the night. The second I laid my head on my pillow, I had my first intense contraction. I had to breathe through it. Clint said, “I don’t think we’re going to get any sleep if you keep that up.”
They started coming about 4-5 minutes apart, and I finally called the midwife around 11:30 p.m. She was already at the birth center and said to come in whenever I was ready. We loaded up everything – including our poor, sleepy little Hannah – and arrived at the birth center at about 12:30 a.m. I hurried inside in between contractions and sat down just as one hit. The midwife said, “Oh wow, she’s serious.” (She had just sent someone home who’d had a false alarm.)

Our friend Jen met us there to keep an eye on Hannah, who by then was wired and totally excited about this middle-of-the-night adventure. They stayed in the waiting area, and Clint and I headed to the birthing suite. Turns out I was seven centimeters dilated. I was definitely having a baby, and soon.
Clint started filling the tub for me while I walked around a little and concentrated on breathing. I pictured Hannah’s face during each contraction, which actually really worked to take my focus off the pain. Meanwhile the midwife was running around like crazy while trying not to look like she was running around like crazy. A few times she called the nurse, who was on her way, and basically said, “Hurry.” I was excited because I knew I must be closer than I even realized.

Natural Birth Breathing Through Contractions
Sibling Love
By the time the tub was filled, the contractions were getting pretty painful. I labored in the tub for maybe twenty minutes and started feeling pressure. I had considered delivering in the tub, but by then I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t get into a comfortable position. I decided to move to the bed, and the nurse arrived just as it was time to push.
I’m glad that part doesn’t last very long. Talk about intense. I growled like a mama bear through several pushes, and then the midwife checked Abram’s heartbeat and said, “Okay, let’s get this baby out.” So I got serious.

One final, major push.

And then there he was. My son. He looked so much like his sister. I wondered what she would think of him. When she was brought to the room to meet him, she simply smiled and said, “Hi, Baby Brother.” I don’t think I’ve ever felt more blessed than at that moment.

I’m thrilled to have gotten the natural birth I wanted, but more importantly, I’m so thankful for such a smooth, uncomplicated labor and delivery. He’s here and beautiful, and we’re all healthy. I have nothing else on my Christmas wish list this year. Except a little extra sleep. ;)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two Years Old Today!

Early this morning I was nursing Abram and happened to glance over at the clock. It was 3:22 a.m. I realized that exactly two years ago I had just had another newborn placed on my chest. She was the sweetest little thing I’d ever seen.

How wonderful to be blessed with both of my children at Christmastime! I might be a little tired, I might not have the energy to do all I usually like to do during the holidays, and I might feel like these next few weeks are going by entirely too fast, but I am celebrating with great joy.
This is the season to rejoice, and today I’m rejoicing over the life of my little girl. Happy Birthday, Hannah! Thank you for being the blessing I always dreamed of and the best big sister a new baby boy could ever ask for.