31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011!

2011 was by far the biggest year of my life, as well as the busiest and most expensive. A wedding, honeymoon, pregnancy and finally baby have kept me occupied for almost 12 months straight! It's been awesome sharing everything on this blog. Thanks to everyone who has read along and supported me through this wonderful year! Have a great New Years Eve. See ya in 2012!

25 December 2011

The Best Gift of All

Merry Christmas!

Sean, Matt and Natalie

22 December 2011

Relationships: Ex's

How do you define knowing someone? Is it because you make small talk with them at work everyday, or let them vent to you when they’re in one of those moods, or know their favorite song is “Womanizer” because, shamefully, they are not embarrassed to belt it out in front of you? When do we lose sight of our friendships and start becoming different people? When we lose connection for six months? Have a baby? Get married? Go through hardships? When are we suppose to rekindle a lost relationship and try to make up for the time spent apart? When do we decide we care enough to try and get it back, instead of leaving it preserved as a memory in the past? What about past loves? Clearly there is a definite point when the intimacy deteriorates and things are “over.“ So why is it people feel the need to check up on their ex’s and drop in to say hello? To see where they are today? Because there is some feeling left? To see if (and secretly wish) you did, in fact, leave a giant void in their life that no one else has been able to fill? Is it REALLY because there is some deep connection that is worth a friendship? Do you have a point to prove that you're better off without them? Relationships are fragile. Ex's only make things awkward when someone in the relationship is willing to feed into whatever motives the evildoer is hiding. (Yes, ex's are "evildoers".) Still, there are so many questions that follow an ex's reappearance and I am not convinced people are above suspicion. Why leave any room for questioning and jealousy at the expense of your now partner? Everyone says how important trust is in a relationship but chances are your better half is going to feel rejected and like second choice if you continue to correspond with an ex. From the very beginning my husband and I knew it couldn’t work if past flames were involved in any way, even in the form of an occasional text message or email. This was the easiest thing for me to do because I was enamored with my husband. Completely fascinated. I mean stalker type obsessed. It was a little disturbing. I’m sure not all relationships are off to the same start as mine and certainly everyone isn’t as psychotic as me. Still, not everyone shares the same views on relationships as I do. This is shocking, because I have some great ideas on how one should sufficiently function. The only thing to do is ignore and dismiss any encounter an ex tries to make with you, unless you are not satisfied with your current attention situation and need extra. In that case, you should consider re-living your bar hopping glory days and forget about anything serious.

20 December 2011

2 Week Check Up

Today Natalie had her two week check up and everything is looking great! She was 7 pounds 6 ounces at birth and at her three day appointment she had lost 4 ounces. By two weeks babies should gain the weight they lost back. My baby is an overachiever. She has gained an entire pound weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces! That seemed like a lot to me but the doctor was happy about it. She has also grown in length and is 21 inches long. The doctor said she's in the 50th percentile as far as weight and 75th percentile for height. Since my husband is 6'7" and I'm 5'4" I think she gets it from his side. I'm actually the tallest girl in my immediate family so it will be interesting to see how tall she ends up being. She got some shots in the hospital so we didn't have to go through that torment today but she'll have to get some more at 2 months. She is such a strong baby and pretty much from day one was able to lift her head on her own for a few seconds before it flopped back down. I had her on my tummy the other day and put my hands under her feet and she lifted herself while kicking off of my palms and actually moved up my chest a little. We have a healthy baby and I am so happy about that! Plus, look at how darn cute she is! We are truly lucky.

18 December 2011

14 Days of Baby

Newborns sleep a lot throughout the day and I have had plenty of time to blog, I just have been enjoying myself and life as a new mom that I don't have much interest in anything else. Natalie is doing well. She is a typical baby and her hobbies include eating, sleeping and pooping. She has been an absolute dream. So far she doesn't cry too much and when she needs something she just kind of fusses and makes little noises. She has been having some trouble with gassiness and that's when she does get upset and wail. I hate seeing her uncomfortable and really hope the problem gets better soon. Last night was particularly bad. She didn't want to sleep on her back so we held her on our chests tummy to tummy but while we held her we couldn't sleep out of fear of dropping her or rolling over. Matt took two weeks off of work to be with us and all day we adore her and anything she does. He's been such a big help. Changing diapers, feeding, burping, putting her to sleep. All the typical things a good dad does. We both have been working together to make sure the other one's needs are met and I think we're adjusting pretty well. There have been the rough nights when she doesn't sleep much but I am shocked at how little sleep I can run on and feel okay through the day without. I know everyone says to sleep when the baby does but once I'm up it's hard to nap during the day and usually I feel too excited to sleep. I definitely have more energy now than when I was pregnant. As much as I enjoyed housing her in my belly, it feels great to not have 7 1/2 lbs sitting on my bladder and spine and in my arms instead. Parenting seems to come naturally to me. It feels so right to be a mom and like nothing else is more meant to be. I do have moments where I feel a little lost and scared but thankfully I have people to turn to. Babies often breath either really slow and you have to watch their chest for movement or really fast to the point you think they're having trouble. Even though I know this is normal I always freak out a little, especially when she's too quiet. Matt is definitely going to be a little over protective of her but not in an annoying way like nothing is good enough for his baby. He just thinks she's so precious and fragile (because she and all babies are) and wants to make sure she is happy and safe. I obviously want the same thing but am a little bit more relaxed since I've been around newborns before. I can't explain how happy and lucky we feel to finally have her here. I'm also still so thankful about how well labor went. My body is slowing but surely healing. I still look like I'm about 5 months pregnant but I know that takes months to change. I'm not sore or in any pain which is the most important thing. Emotionally I am doing well too. I was terrified of postpartum depression and so sure I'd experience it. The first few days were a little hard. I had some crying spells and way too many feelings to process. The very first day in the hospital was the most exhausting day. All the excitement throughout the day drained me. I was really tired and never got a moments rest since giving birth. The hospital "encourages" moms and babies to be together at all times and never offered to take her to the nursery so I could sleep. This made me feel extremely guilty for wanting someone else to look after my brand new baby and by eight o'clock I was having a little breakdown. My mother in law was with me in the room when I just started sobbing. I explained to her how I felt and she took good care of me. She talked to the staff and they said they would take the baby while I slept that I night. I was so relieved but somehow the nurse seemed like she was reprimanding me for it when they came to get her. I was miserable in the hospital and felt like no one was of any help and not just because of this. They hardly checked on me and didn't teach me the basics like swaddling or how to change a diaper. (I knew how to change a diaper beforehand, just so you know.) All that's behind me though and I'm so happy to be home with my husband and daughter and to have gotten through these first couple of weeks pretty easily. Life is as good as ever!

11 December 2011

Sunday Morning

Last Sunday changed my life forever. Around 5:40 in the morning I noticed fluid seeping down my leg. After much consideration I realized it was my water leaking and not me uncontrollably peeing myself. I called the midwife at the hospital and she said to take a shower, eat breakfast and then come in. I lied back down and the cramping began. It wasn't severe and there was no pattern or consistency. I kept brushing it off and closing my eyes. Meanwhile my husband was violently ill in the bathroom with what was either food poisoning from dinner the night before or a stomach bug. I won't go into what was going on with his body but you can use your imagination. I let him know I might be in labor and he tried his hardest to pull himself together. There was nothing we could do to fix him though so once my contractions became strong enough I called my sister. She came to my rescue and Matt stayed home wishing he were the one driving me to the hospital. I told him that even if I were having the baby that day it would take hours and hours so not to worry about missing much. We got to the hospital around 8:00 or 8:30 am. I filled out paperwork, got asked a bunch of questions and was hooked up to monitors. By this time the pain grew in intensity and in frequency. The doctor came in to see me and said she wasn't going to bother checking how dilated I was since at my last appointment I was 3 cm. I was relieved to hear that as soon as I said the word they would administer the epidural. I wanted to wait until things became too much to handle on my own before I got it because even though they assured me it would not wear off by the time I started pushing I was cautious of that. It didn't take long until I asked for it. My sister was on the phone with Matt giving him updates about what was taking place. I was really nervous about getting the epidural and my body was shaking uncontrollably. I knew I was suppose to sit as still as possible and this made it even harder to stop. The nurse was great though and helped calm me down through it all. They said it would take 10-20 minutes for it to kick in. I got really nauseous and told them I was going to be sick. The nurse held a bag and I threw up. The sick feeling went away. They checked to see how dilated I was and I was at 7 cm. My mom arrived and my sister continued to update Matt. Some interval of time ticked by, it could have been 10, 15 or 30 minutes, I don't know but the pain was then unbearable. I started to feel a burning sensation and knew things were progressing pretty fast. The doctor checked me again and said, "Oh, yep, there's her head!" I couldn't believe it. "Does that mean it's time to push?" I asked. Sure enough it was. They prepared me by having nurses hold my completely numb legs. The doctor told me to push when the contractions came along. I really didn't know how to and had no urge. I couldn't feel anything below the waist (thankfully!) so this was very difficult. Basically it was like doing a sit up though. A very painful sit up. They got Matt on the phone and I let him know she was on her way. He promised to get there as soon as he could. I knew he felt terrible and I did wish he was there but I was on a mission to get my baby out. 20 minutes later at 11:09 am she was in my arms. It was so strange and unreal to finally hold her and see her face. I talked to Matt again and gave him the news. By this time he managed to work up the strength to call his mom and she was by his side with crackers and Pepto Bismol. My mom cut the cord and they cleaned the baby up. She was nice and swaddled as his dad arrived. Soon after that Matt and his mom made it. He held her for a bit before needing to run to the bathroom again. We both were a bit disappointed that he wasn't there. Some things are beyond your control and I guarantee they would have made him leave the room anyway. The whole process went so smoothly and was considerably easy. The labor and delivery staff were wonderful and so supportive. Honestly labor was not how I anticipated. There was so much I expected and definitely a big part I didn't anticipate (my husband not being there) but I flew threw it. It wasn't nearly as emotional as I thought it would be either. I guess it all passed so quickly that I didn't have much time to feel anything other than pain. I feel so proud of myself for getting through it. Even though the circumstances for our family were not ideal the day she was born we certainly have been making it up to her everyday this past week. On top of everything we have a healthy, beautiful, happy baby and there is nothing more we could ask for.

05 December 2011

Welcome to Existence

Yesterday at 11:09 am we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world! Her name is Natalie Mae. She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and is 20 inches long. I will post the birth story and all the details (well, most of them) in the next few days.

01 December 2011

Any Day Now

Yesterday was my official due date! I knew it would come and go but I am feeling hopeful that she will come on her own. I had my routine check up on Monday and the doctor seemed optimistic that I won't have to be induced. I am 3 cm dilated and just need to start having regular contractions. I have been feeling especially crampy and wonder if these are contractions. Since Monday I've been expecting to go into labor at any minute. I think it was a good idea to continue working to keep me occupied. I even have more energy fueled by the excitement of knowing she is going to make her debut soon! I had an ultrasound today to check on her and make sure my fluid levels are okay. Everything was good and this was the first ultrasound I've had since 20 weeks. Apparently that's standard unless there is a problem but some women get ultrasounds more frequently even in healthy pregnancies. I've always been jealous of that since I would have loved to see her more. I couldn't really see anything since she is so smushed in there but the sonographer confirmed she's in fact a girl and a pretty good sized one. She guessed that she's about 7.5 lbs but considering how fat I was as a baby I think she could very well be a solid 8. Their estimates aren't always accurate though and can be up to a pound off so we will see. My stomach has been itching like crazy and is really tore up. Stretch marks galore and it's red and irritated. At times I have found myself more easily frustrated and feel like I'm PMS'ing but overall I am in a great mood. I've been having trouble sleeping since my mind is constantly racing and thinking about the days to come. All that's left is to be calm and patient while keeping myself busy and before I know it she will be in my arms!