Category “musings”

29

May

somebody had a first birthday

wolf

and he had the best time.

the days before Wolf’s party, we looked at the weather and cringed.  80% chance of rain + 16 mph winds = a recipe for yuckiness at an outdoor BBQ party in the park.  so at 10am the day of the party, we canned plan A and moved on to plan B: an indoor pizza party.  I still made Wolf his birthday cupcakes and all of our guests still wore stripes.  we sipped our sodas from stripey straws and chowed down on all you can eat pizza.  we giggled and watched as Wolf ate his cupcake. when his hands got too sticky, he simply smashed his whole face into it.  he unwrapped every present by himself {mostly} and got “big excited face” when he unearthed each toy.  he was an absolute delight the entire time and even took a rare second nap he was so worn out!

striped family

I learned a big parent lesson, too.  when things don’t go as planned, you must must must make the best of it.  of course I had visions of beautiful, sunny photos of the set up and pictures of all our striped guests but you know, it just didn’t happen.  and yes, I was terribly bummed when we had to move the party indoors. {and even more bummed once I had a 4am realization that I’d had the settings wrong on my film camera and most likely underexposed ALL the photos I took at the party}  but I told myself, there might be other parties that get rained out or other things that just don’t go as planned.  and rather than being upset, I need to be happy, if not happier than Wolf so that he’s as happy as a clam when we move on to plan B.

happy birthday, Wolf.  congrats on your first trip around the sun.  here’s to many more.

10

May

to be a mother

mother

when I was pregnant with Wolf, I knew I was madly in love with the baby inside of me.  I was SO anxious to meet him, to feel his tiny hands and kiss his sweet head.  I felt like, the second that he’d be born, I’d get butterflies in my stomach because I loved him so much, my body would swell over with indescribable emotion and that my head would virtually explode from all the love I had for him.  but to my surprise, after we brought our tiny new baby home from the hospital, it didn’t.

ok, step back a second.  yes, when Wolf was born, stars and moon beams were shooting out of my eyeballs and I could not believe that this tiny person was mine and we had created him.  I couldn’t believe that I’d given birth to him and there he was, outside my body, tiny and pink and impossibly cute.  I loved him.  but in the beginning, the hard outweighed the love and for me, love didn’t feel like it came easy.

there were nights when I’d cry because I was struggling so hard with breastfeeding or I was just plain tired.  I’d tell Levi that I wasn’t sure if I could do this, to be a good mother.  and I’d just continue to make myself more and more upset.  he’d assure me over and over again that things would get easier and indeed, they did.  I got into the swing of things and my heart started to burst with love a little more each day.

I’m writing this because I know that there are others out there like me, for whom motherhood didn’t come easy.  I always pictured myself as a mother but I never had baby fever and never dreamt of having babies.  I’d never even held a baby before Wolf was born.  but I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood these past few days and I can’t imagine my life any other way.  I’m so dang proud of Wolf.  every day he makes me smile and laugh and just watching him learning new tasks makes my heart explode.

so the love is there.  and it’s been there all along.  it just took my body a little while to get adjusted to my new role of Mom.

p.s.  I love you Mom, more than you know.

22

Feb

babies away!

babiesaway

Dads and their kids. it’s a totally different relationship than moms and their kids, right? my Dad used to catapult me off his shoulders into the pool when I was a kid. it was SO fun but I’m sure it drove my mom crazy. Levi loves to horse around with Wolf, from dashing out from behind a door and shouting BOO! to tossing him playfully in the air. Wolf laughs and smiles the entire time while I say things like, “not so high!” or “that makes me nervous!”. we often joke that Levi is Cool Dad and I’m Mean Mom. Levi will always look out for Wolf’s safety but I’m sure my heart will stop a few times while Wolf grows up snowboarding and trying out the newest tricks.

{this AMAZING photo is from mricon via the yard pdx}

 

16

Feb

games of make believe

waddler1

I loved browsing though these images from Waddler.  seeing the kids smiling and laughing while playing instantly brought back memories of my childhood.  the games I used to play and the adventures I would take.   when I was a kid, I loved pretending.  one day I’d be a gymnast, tumbling around my parent’s giant bedroom floor and the next I was a spy on a secret mission, hiding high in the trees in my front yard.  another time I set up a post office in my dining room, using the slatted windows and sill as my work space.  and just like most kids, I’d build massive forts in the living room, with couch cushions and nearly every sheet in the house.  then my best friend and I would pretend we were queens, each from an opposing nation, defending our fort.

it makes me excited for Wolf to grow up.  he’s got lots of games of make believe waiting for him and days where playtime and exploration consume every ounce of his being.

waddler2

{images from Waddler}

7

Oct

the 4th month sleep regression

wolf sleep regression

Wolf has been a good sleeper for as long as I can remember.  honestly, I can’t even remember when he first started sleeping through the night, it was so long ago.  first it was 6 hours – yahoo!  then 7, 8, 9 and even one night he slept for 11 blissful hours.  like whoa.  he would fall asleep anywhere from 8:00-9:00, and stay asleep until I woke him up at 5:30-6:00 in the morning.  but recently, he’s begun waking up in the middle of the night again.  I feel kind of like we’re back at phase 1 in the newborn-itty-bitty-baby days where he’d wake up numerous times in the night.  except now I’m forced to get out of my bed as the sun peeks over the horizon to start my day and sleepily head off to work.

I was doing some research today and came across a blog post where someone made a comment about “the 4th month sleep regression” and it was as if someone smacked me.  I read her comment and could feel my head nodding in agreement.  3 month old baby sleeps through the night then WHAM that 4th month hits and something changes.  was it his vaccines last week?  or the fact that he just got over a little cold?  is it the change in the weather?  is it his desire to test out new tricks?  is it a growth spurt?  what gives?

I’ve just recently started a semi sleep routine.  we play after I finish eating dinner, then wind down with a little baby massage while I sing songs to him {mostly made up, they are pretty hilarious}, then it’s story time, bottle time, swaddle time and ocean noises that lull him to sleep.  but I admit, we don’t do it exactly like this every night.  {hello return of Dexter!!}  so I guess I’m asking your advice on a few topics.  the 4th month sleep regression – does it exist?  what could it be?  and I’d love to hear your thoughts on sleep training and how important is a routine?

last night however, I’m happy to report that Wolf slept from 8:45pm until 5:30 this morning.  thank you, Mister.

{picture by levi}

 

13

Jul

babble babble…

me and wolf

we’re back from a great trip to Idaho.  we had such a good time and weren’t ready to come home.  Wolf went on his first hike plus he got to meet lots of family including his aunts and uncles, grandparents and great grandparents!  he simply loved all the attention.  you can see a few pictures here.

::

here are some posts from Babble you might enjoy:
more sewing books & patterns I’m eying
the dirty details of diapering
Wolf loves music!
celebrating our 1 year anniversary meant leaving the baby with a sitter.

pssst… do you instagram?  I’m @unrulythings if you’d like to follow me!

17

Jun

Wolf’s birth story

hiya Wolf.

There will be moments in your life that you choose to forget and moments that you choose to cherish in your heart forever.  Your birth was one of those “remember forever moments” and I think about little pieces of it every time I gaze into your little eyes.  In short, it was incredibly monumental – like no other thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.  The entire 34 hours from when my water broke to when you entered the world was a complete whirlwind of emotion.  We were packed full of fear, anxiety, love, joy and even sadness. But now you’re here and I want to write this all down so that I can hopefully share with you one day.  Here goes…

wolf

Wolf, minutes old, holding onto his Dad’s finger.

I was over 41 weeks pregnant and 5 days from facing induction.  Every night I’d go to sleep hoping to wake up to contractions or something that meant this baby was on his way.  So Wednesday night at 4:45 am when I got up out of bed to go to the bathroom sans labor signals, I didn’t think much of it.  Mid-night bathroom trips meant peeing in the dark so when I wiped and noticed that something felt a little different, I got up and flipped on the light to investigate.  I saw at the time what I thought might be my mucous plug, but in retrospect, I think it had been the first bits of my water breaking.  A rush of emotion came over me and I was excited that this meant things might be starting!  I finished up and went back to bed.

About 15 minutes later my tummy started cramping just a bit.  I’d been laying on my right side and decided to flip over to my left when – OMG.  Levi stirred in bed and I said to him, “Holy crap, I think my water just broke.”  Then I got up and ran back into the bathroom to confirm and yep, I was dripping fluid everywhere.  Luckily I’d gotten some humongous pads from a friend in a care package so I slapped on of them on and went back into the bedroom to tell Levi things were starting!

If you’ve been following my posts on Being Pregnant, you’d remember that I’d tested positive for Group B Strep.  That meant if labor started with my water breaking, I had to go into the hospital right away so that I could be hooked up to an intermittent IV of antibiotics.  So of course, having labor start with my water breaking was not plan A of “labor at home for as long as possible”, but I was over due and at least something was happening!

I got in the shower while Levi started making us a smoothie for breakfast.  When I got out I called labor and delivery to let them know I was on my way.  I text my doula Angela to let her know my water had broken, then started packing things up around the house to make our way to the hospital.  I was so excited and yet so nervous!  Our baby was on his way and would enter our lives very very soon!  I couldn’t stop thinking about how things would play out, what he’d look like when placed on my chest or what would be the first thing I’d say to him.  At about 6:30 am we headed out the door and excitedly walked the 3 blocks to the hospital.

Once we got checked into our room, our nurse came in to check my blood pressure, the baby’s heart beat, contractions and set up my IV of antibiotics.  Penicillin was the antibiotic of choice to treat the GBS, however I’d had an allergic reaction to it when I was 14 which caused me to break out in hives.  So my doctor had recommended that I was given Ancef, even though it could cause a similar reaction in some patients.  Turns out I was one of those patients and sure enough, my face began itching and tiny hives started popping up all over it.  The nurse called in my doctor and she immediately took me off the antibiotic and gave me Benadryl.

Now it was about 10:00 or 11:00 am.  I’d only begun feeling mild contractions so far and they were coming about 5 to 10 minutes apart.  And this was how things continued to be for hours.  {The main reason I’d wanted to labor at home, remember?}  Levi had downloaded some tv shows for us to watch on my laptop so we killed some time waiting for things to progress.

Sometime after lunch, my doctor came back in and said that she wanted to try another antibiotic on me called Vancomycin to treat the GBS.  So back to the bed I went to be hooked up to the IV and monitored intermittently.  Things were going well, aka no hives, and almost 80% of the antibiotic was in my system when I started getting really hot.  I looked in the mirror and not only was my face bright red but my chest was bright red too and my lips were swollen.  My nurse immediately called the doctor in and again I was taken off the IV and given Benadryl to calm the allergic reaction.

By the third tv show and later into the evening, contractions had started to come stronger and more frequently.  They still weren’t super strong but they were strong enough that I was having a hard time concentrating on the show.  I was excited that things were moving along, but I also knew that time was of the essence, especially as it had now been established that my body wasn’t responding to antibiotics and the longer I’d been ruptured, there was more of a danger of the GBS getting to the baby.

It was almost 8:00 pm when my doctor suggested that we start Pitocin.  My heart sank.  I’d been hoping for a natural delivery with no pain medication so her suggestion hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’d learned that one thing that could keep me going through the intense pain ahead was my natural endorphins telling me to hunker down and beat the pain.  Pitocin would essentially be blocking my natural coping mechanism along with bringing me contractions that would eventually come on stronger and quicker than natural contractions.  My labor was progressing slowly and because I wasn’t on antibiotics my doctor explained that she specifically wanted to get things moving to protect the baby.  While I really really didn’t want to give in to Pitocin, at 12:00 am, I finally decided it was time.

From the time that I was first given Pitocin at 12:30 am to almost 7:00 am was a complete blur of intensified contractions that went from being tolerable to downright unbearable.  I was feeling most of the contractions in my lower back so every position I was in just hurt.  I’d go from hunching over the bed to sitting on the birth ball, and paced around the room in between.  My doula Angela and Levi went back and forth massaging my lower back through each contraction but nothing seemed to help relieve the pain.  Angela would breath with me and Levi would hold my hands in encouragement.  Since I’m not had any cervical exams yet due to my water breaking, I had no idea where I was in labor.

Finally at 7:00 am, I decided I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I asked my doctor to check my cervix for the first time and decided to make a decision on pain relief based on how far into labor I was.  She checked me, announced that I was only 4cm dilated and I made the decision right there to get an epidural.  Looking back, I really can’t remember how painful it was.  I probably could have endured the pain longer if I’d been able to truly focus but I was so tired and the contractions were so close and strong that I just gave in.

By 8:00 am the anesthesiologist had the epidural in place and I was in the hospital bed resting.  I was in and out of sleep all morning until 11:00 am when my doctor wanted to check my cervix again.  I was shocked when she said that I was dilated 8cm already!  Plus, they told me that my body had finally kicked into labor on it on it’s own and they’d turned off the Pitocin mid morning.  All I could think was, hooray!  I’m doing it!  Something was happening!

Then the hours went by like minutes.  The epidural I was on was set to a very low dose so not only could I feel my legs but I could feel the contractions growing stronger and stronger.  Even though hours went by, to me it felt like I’d only blinked an eye when my doctor came back to check my cervix again around 5:00 pm.  She smiled and said I was 10cm dilated and it was time to push!  I felt an intense amount of relief.  This was it!  That’s when things started to get exciting.  I could feel the emotion in the room change considerably.  All I could think about was that I’d get to meet our baby soon.

In my birth plan, there were a few things that I said I wanted to be asked if I’d like when the time came.  One of them was whether or not I wanted a mirror at the end of the bed so that I could see things progressing.  While I was writing my the plan I thought, really?  Why would I want to stare at my vagina?  But when the time came, to literally watch myself give birth and to see the progression as our baby’s head entered the world was incredibly motivating.

Since I was on a really low dose epidural, I could feel every contraction building up.  My doctor and the nurses told me to push when I felt ready and I got two to three good pushes with each contraction.  Every time I pushed, my body was muffling the baby’s heart rate monitor, making it appear that his heart rate was dropping.  So every once in awhile they’d have me sit through a contraction if I could manage not pushing.

wolf me

Me and Wolf, having an incredible bonding moment.

I pushed for about an hour and 20 minutes before Wolf was born.  Levi and Angela were up by my head, cheering me on.  My doctor and nurses said I was a natural born pusher!  And man did I feel like it.  I felt so strong.  Like I was born ready to push.  I tilted my hips and pushed with all my strength and Wolf’s head was born at 6:48 pm.  The cord was wrapped around his neck once so my doctor gently unwrapped him while the nurses suctioned his mouth and nose because of the GBS and meconium in my water.  Then with the next contraction I took a deep breath and pushed as hard as I could and out he came.  His warm, wiggling, pink body was placed on my chest immediately while they wiped him off.

I just remember everything being so surreal.  One minute this little person was inside my body and the next he’s crying and looking at me with big newborn eyes while lying naked on my chest.  I’ve never felt so much happiness and love at one moment in my entire life.  I looked over at Levi and we kissed and gazed at our little man – our son Wolf.

levi wolf

Levi and tiny Wolf.

Now you’re 3 weeks old.  These three weeks have been a blur yet it seems like so long ago this story began.  Writing this brought back so many memories and emotions.  To be completely honest with you, adjusting to our new life with you has been really tough for me.  From challenges with breastfeeding to no longer being on “my schedule”, I’ve had many sobby moments.  But you know what?  I look at you, this tiny person that your Dad and I created and even in the hardest moments, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything.  I now know what my Dad was talking about when he told me about the love I’d feel for you.  I wasn’t sure what I was feeling in those first few days – perhaps a mixture of delirium and overwhelming love.  But when I look at you, teary eyed, swaddled up snug as a bug or falling asleep with your mouth slightly open, hearts and stars shoot out of my eyeballs.  You’re quite possibly the most incredible thing in the entire world and I love you to pieces.

xoxoxo mom