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Back and Ready to Party!

25 Oct

Hi world πŸ™‚

Good to see you again. I’m back. For real this time. So get ready for a little TMI coming your way. I don’t really feel like it’s TMI, but I have heard from a certain friend of Michael’s that the contents of my blog are a tad bit explicit. All the talk about uteri and cervices (I finally learned the plural forms of these words. Horray for literacy!) made him a little squeamish, apparently. But until I’m pregnant again I don’t really see any conversation about either of those organs happening, so feel free to read away.Β Either way, I’m going to start writing regularly again.

He's been relentless in his attempts to find his way to our shoes...

James has been relentless in his attempts to fight his way to our shoes… Not one of his toys carries the same allure as dirty, sweaty leather shoe against the gums, apparently.

To catch you up on what’s been going on for the past 5 months, here’s what you need to know:

1. James started sleeping and life got a LOT better

2. We moved back to Utah for a few months while Michael took the CPA exam (and PASSED!), but we’re back in the Seattle area now

3. James is fully mobile. Heaven help us all.

That pretty much covers it.

He even tried to go THROUGH my blockade and got high-centered. I let him squirm for a little to make sure the lesson sunk in.

He even tried to go THROUGH my blockade and got high-centered. I let him squirm here for a while to let the lesson sink in.

These days I feel like a sheepdog herding one very determined, slobbery sheep. Usually he confines his play to our living room, but other times he makes a mad break for the toilet. Or, as I like to call it, the Holy Grail. He’s only gotten close one time, and I managed to stop him right before his little tongue started licking the porcelain furiously. Ever since, he lurks outside the bathroom door, pawing at it like a hungry puppy.

I can tell that he’s dangerously close to walking, at which point it is only a matter of time before he’s stacking chairs and looking for knives, finally achieving his goal of drinking from the toilet bowl, and breaking out of our apartment to roam, stark naked, around the parking lot. When I complain to my mom about this, she has the strangest reaction. Instead of concern, she sounds oddly (and alarmingly) amused. I have a theory that grandparents love grandchildren not because they are adorable, but because they are their children’s personal, unrelenting tormentors. Like built-in revenge for the 18 (plus) years of suffering we put them through. They’re sick people, grandparents.

All in a day's work... He clears shelves, escapes diaper changes, and empties laundry baskets like a boss.

All in a day’s work… He clears shelves, escapes diaper changes (okay, I guess this picture could count as explicit. Sorry Seth!), and empties laundry baskets like a boss.

Since it’s usually dark by t he time Michael gets home, James has been my running buddy for the past few months. It’s hard work pushing that jogging stroller when it’s loaded down with 20 lbs. of blubber, but I like to think that it’s getting me in better shape. We have yet to see whether or not this is actually true though…

We're both pretty tired by the time we get done.

We’re both pretty tired by the time we get done.

Also, if you’re in the mood for a really, really good book, check out Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong. I love to read books about running, but when it comes to the bunch, runners aren’t generally the best writers out there. Entertaining? Yes. Appreciative of well-conceived prose? Not so much. But this book is grrrreat. I’ve been recommending it to everybody I talk to. And I didn’t realize it until I got halfway through, but the author is Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife. Kind of weird, huh? I just love her though. This book made me want to move to Austin and be her best friend.

Anyway, I need to go corral my baby… he’s probably found an interesting-looking electrical socket to explore or something exciting like that.

GO COUGS!!

Still Alive!

9 May

Hey guys πŸ™‚ Prepare yourselves for an unabashed photo-dump of my little cutie!

james 1

Contrary to what everyone must have assumed, I did not die. Though there have been a few nights when I wanted to… tell you what. If you haven’t experienced the desperation and misery of an all-night party with a crying newborn, you haven’t lived.

These two are best pals. I just love watching them play together, it's the sweetest thing ever.

These two are best pals. I just love watching them play together, it’s the sweetest.

I’ve reemerged from my life of momming every moment of the day to report some gooood news:

1. James has started sleeping through the night. [Insert happy tears here] One night he was up pretty much every moment from 11pm to 9am and the next he slept all the way through! Like 11 entire hours. It was magical. I actually couldn’t sleep at all because I was worried there was something wrong with him. But I’ve gotten used to it and am feeling quiteΒ well-rested these days.

2. I’ve been running πŸ™‚ Yes, it’s true. Feel free to be as impressed as you’ve ever been. It took me forever to get ready to head out the door (ahem… I may or may not have had trouble finding running clothes that fit my body. And I may or may not have settled on some of Michael’s clothes), but it felt so awesome to lace up my Asics and hit the road, leaving my husband and son to fend for themselves.

Sweat is the best fashion accessory, no?

Looking and feeling a little sweaty and blurry after 2.5 miles.

IT FELT AWESOME. Seriously, if you just had a baby (and by ‘just’ I mean if you’ve ever had a baby period) and are wishing you had your pre-pregnancy body back, go running. I hear it takes awhile to get rid of that wretched pregnancy fat, but at least it will make you feel a better. Well, it made me feel better. And I’m cautiously optimistic that it will make you feel better as well.

We went on a picnic a few weeks ago when it was really cold outside. James guarded the lunch while we packed everything else up.

We went on a picnic a few weeks ago when it was cold outside. James guarded the lunch while we packed everything up.

While I’ve been starting to get into running, Baby James is learning that communication is a thing. Lately he’s been babbling back at us when we talk to him and greeting us with smiles after a nap. And holding conversations with the little stuffed animals in his mobile. Those moments make me really want to keep him.

I mean really. Have you ever seen a cuter member of a wedding party? I haven't either.

I mean really.
Have you ever seen a cuter young man?
I certainly haven’t.

The other day we were in the bathroom and he caught a glimpse of his reflection and was transfixed. He just stared and stared at his cute little self. I brought him up really close and asked if he could smile for the baby in the mirror and when he heard the word smile he flashed a shy little smile to his new friend and made a friendly gurgling sound. It was maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And it made up for the fact that he had been a little monster all day long. And has been a little monster every day since. Turns out the rumors about babies turning evil when they’re going through growth spurts are very, very true.

We hiked to Twin Falls in North Bend last weekend because it was so nice outside. James slept the entire time. No surprise there.

We hiked to Twin Falls in North Bend last weekend because it was so nice outside and James slept the entire time. No surprise there.

It’s crazy that this little person is the same as the one I posted pictures of last month. I can’t believe how fast he has grown! He’s a bit of a chunk these days, if you really want to know. His multiple chins are a testament of what a generous diet of breast milk can do for a kid. It seems fair to me though. He can have all that fat my body stored during pregnancy. You’re welcome, son. Take it all.

I swear he could sleep anywhere...

I swear he and his two chins could sleep anywhere…

In other news: I’M AN AUNT! MICHAEL’S AN UNCLE! JAMES HAS A COUSIN!! Okay, we’re already an aunt, uncle, and cousin to two seriously adorable cuties living in North Carolina, but there’s a new little person on Michael’s side of the family as of about 17 hours ago. There’s nothing on earth quite as miraculous as a newborn baby, tell you what.

Birth Story :)

15 Mar

Hello blogosphere! So sorry for my long vacation from blogging and social media… I know it was pretty ill-timed, but I really felt like I needed to settle in (and get some sleep) before recounting everything that has happened over the past two weeks. Which, btw, is quite a lot.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m a mom! Enough about me, though, let’s get to the little guy that everyone is really here to see:

So I know I already posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook, but I just can't help posting it again. It's just too cute.

So I know I already posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook, but I just can’t help but use it again. Is he not the sweetest little boy? I just love him.

James David Everton
Born March 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm
8 lbs 2 oz
20.5″ long

So let’s get down to business, shall we? If you are a little squeamish, you should probably stop reading now… Also, this is probably the longest post you will ever read. I’ve been working on it since I was in the hospital. True story.

Saturday, March 2
I got a call around 5:30am telling me to come in for my (second) induction. It was a tad bit anticlimactic, considering that I had received the same call for the same situation just three days earlier, but I figured my doctor wouldn’t let me leave without a baby this time around.

My very last belly shot at almost 42 weeks. That's a good time right there.

My very last belly shot at almost 42 weeks. That’s a good time right there. And please note the neon orange bra showing through my shirt. Classy classy.

After checking in and getting a really impressive IV stuck into one of my really impressive veins, the doctor came in and checked my progress. Now, over the course of the three days since my first induction, I had been having a lot of cramping and a little bit of bleeding, so I was really hoping for something significant in terms of cervical dilation. Unfortunately, it was stuck at 1.5 cm. Still. After 2.5 weeks.

Obviously that thing was determined to stay closed.

So doctor decided to force it open. Which, by the way, is just as fun as it sounds. He used a cervical ripening balloon, which is a long tube inserted through my cervix into my uterus and then filled with saline. Once that first balloon was filled, a second balloon on the other side of my cervix was filled with saline as well so the two balloons squeezed together, forcing it open.

Pretty much they left that bad boy in place until my cervix opened enough to allow the balloons to slide on out, which would be when I had dilated to around a 4 or 5. If this sounds incredibly painful, it’s because it was! Painful and uncomfortable. At least with contractions you get a break between them (kind of), but those balloons huuuuurt the entire time.

Me, trying to look cheerful while the balloons did their worst/For the curious, here's how the evil balloons worked...

Me, trying to look cheerful while the balloons did their worst/For the curious, this is how they worked.

Much to everyone’s surprise, after several hours the balloons dilated me to between a 4 and 5! They hurt like you can’t even imagine for about six hours, but they got that cervix to open a little. I had no idea how sensitive cervixes (cervices? cervii?) are, but wow. Pain, pain, pain. Fortunately I was able to walk around with Michael while they were working their magic, which helped to distract me. I also chewed a LOT of sugar-free bubble gum to pass the time.

After the balloons were removed, my doctor pulled out all the stops. He broke my water and then started Pitocin to stimulate contractions. I had always heard that this drug causes really hard contractions, so I was a little terrified of what it would do (and not a little opposed to it initially…), but my nurse started it at a really, really low dosage and then came in every half hour to increase the amount, which simulates the natural release of oxytocin and mimics natural contractions. After several hours I was definitely in labor and having really painful contractions.

Breathing through contractions like a boss.

Breathing through contractions like a boss.

I seriously underestimated just how painful hard contractions would be. But I guess there really is no way to know what’s coming if you’ve never been in labor before. At first I felt like I had them under control, but after a few hours, I was really having to concentrate on breathing and relaxing through them.

Part of my initial birth plan was lots and lots of walking around. I just know that I deal better with pain and discomfort when the scenery changes and I have something different to focus on (in case you’re curious, it’s for this exact reason that I haaaate running on a treadmill). Unfortunately, my nurse told me I had to stay hooked up to the monitor in my room because my water had been broken. Boo.

After sitting in the same position for a few hours though I started to lose it. It got harder and harder to make it through them without tensing up, so my nurse brought in a birthing ball. Just getting out of bed and changing positions helped so much! It helped to get Β me in a better place mentally and feel like I had more energy and tolerance to deal with the rest of labor. I sat on the birthing ball with my upper body draped over the bed while Michael lightly rubbed my lower back and helped me to feel comfortable.

Right when I was starting to feel like I was getting on top of the contractions, my doctor came in to check my progress (now, remember that it had been about eight hours since he had broken my water and I had been in hard labor).

At this point I started to realize that there was a lot going wrong. After the balloons had been taken out, despite eight hours of hard labor, my cervix had stayed exactly where it was. Not only that, but my little guy’s station was a -2. In case you don’t know, a baby’s station refers to how far down the pelvis he has descended. Since I was dilated between a 4 and 5, he should have been at least at a 0.

When I learned that during the last several (excruciatingly painful) hours I had made absolutely zero progress, I almost lost it. Honestly, if I had progressed even a single centimeter, it would have made all of those contractions worth it and I would have been happy going on for several more hours.

But.

My water had been broken.

Once this happened, I was on the clock. When that membrane breaks, the barrier between the uterus and the outside world is removed, which means that bacteria can enter and cause infection, making a c-section necessary and increasing the risk of a whole lot more complications. I think if I had made any progress at all, my doctor would have allowed me to continue as I was, but he came in and told me my options:

1. Get an epidural. The idea behind this was that it could potentially relax the muscles in my pelvis and help my little guy begin to descend and open up my cervix.

2. Have a c-section. A quick evacuation, if you will.

One thing I just love about my doctor is that he has been on the same page as me throughout my entire pregnancy. He had told me his number one priority (aside from making sure me and my little guy are healthy) is to do everything he could to help me have a vaginal delivery. We had talked about this a few times, so when he came in and gave me my options I knew he believed there was no way my labor would progress on its own.

I took option number 1.

After he left I just kind of gave up on my contractions. They weren’t doing a single thing to get my baby out and were just causing excruciating pain. I was pretty ticked off at this point. I really got discouraged and couldn’t help but think that the last few days had all been a waste because I would likely end up having a c-section anyway. When I realized this, I couldn’t wait to get the epidural so I could stop feeling all of the pain.

Fortunately, my first attempt at induction had failed (though I didn’t appreciate it as a good thing at the time. Remember this emo post?), which allowed me to start to come to terms with the inevitability of a c-section. Part of the reason I was so disappointed on Wednesday was because I knew that there might be a bigger chance than I had thought of having one. By the time the anesthesiologist with a terrible bedside manner came into my room, I had just accepted that it was going to happen. I would be so happy if the epidural worked, but I thought the logic behind it was pretty shaky. At the very least I would be prepped and ready to go for surgery.

For some reason the epidural hit me pretty hard. I felt really loopy during those few hours so I just tried to get some rest. No one was terribly shocked to hear the same news when my doctor came back in to check me: no progress. So I waved the white flag and got ready for surgery.

Rocking the IV-induced double chin. It's a pretty great look.

Rocking the IV-induced double chin. It’s a pretty great look.

Having a c-section is probably the weirdest experience I have ever had. I was splayed out on the operating table for the world to see while the afore-mentioned anesthesiologist gave me even stronger drugs to make sure I wouldn’t feel a thing. I should have seen this coming because the epidural made me so loopy, but the second round of anesthesia hit me hard. Michael is probably the most squeamish person on earth and I knew he was kind of freaking out about what was going on on the other side of the drapes, so I tried to stay awake to talk to him and keep his mind off of it but I just could not. I was really knocked out. The few moments when I wasn’t asleep felt like a really weird dream.

All of a sudden (and I am so glad I was able to open my eyes for this), there was a slimy, screaming baby being held above the drapes. That was the most surreal moment of my life. Surreal because of the drugs and surreal because I was seeing my baby for the first time. That is one thing that I wish I could change about my birth story. Seeing my baby for the first time is a pretty hazy memory. And I may or may not have started sobbing the moment I realized what I was seeing…

Mister James, not terribly thrilled to be out of me. I guess he has a lot more Buster Bluth in him than I thought...

Mister James, not terribly thrilled to be outside of me. I guess he was just suffering from a classic case of Buster Bluth Syndrome…

Another thing that makes me a little sad looking back is that I didn’t get to hold him right after he was born. But I do love that Michael was the first person to hold him πŸ™‚ I just know those two are going to be such great pals.

James meeting his dad :) These two are going to be such good pals.

I love these two boys so much.

One thing I will remember for the rest of my life was the moment Michael held James’ little face up to mine for the first time. Our faces were about six inches apart and he just calmly and curiously looked into my eyes and examined my face. It only lasted for a few seconds but I felt like he was looking into my soul. That moment made everything worth it. The failed inductions, the hours of contractions that didn’t lead anywhere, the haze of the epidural, and finally having a c-section. None of it mattered anymore.

Even though I wasn't the first (or second) person to hold my sweet little guy, I finally did get to hold him :)

Even though I wasn’t the first (or second) person to hold my sweet little guy, I finally did get to hold him πŸ™‚

Maybe I should have held out for longer before I got the epidural and maybe I should have waited before agreeing to the c-section, but I was exhausted (more mentally and emotionally) from hours of unproductive labor. I also could not stop thinking about women in my situation around the world who do not have the ability to go to a hospital for delivery. Or women who had this problem before medicine was equipped to handle it. Looking back, my labor did not follow my birth plan at all. In fact, literally everything I wanted didn’t work out. But I feel so incredibly blessed.

I have a happy, healthy little boy who just melts my heart every day (but not so much at night… he doesn’t exactly sleep at night).
I am alive. Thanks to modern medicine.
I have probably the sweetest husband on earth who was so supportive during pregnancy and labor and is becoming quite a great dad. That has probably been my favorite thing to watch.

And with that 2,000 word post, I will leave you for today. More coming later, there has been a lot going on in the past few weeks (including, but not limited to, a call to the paramedics, 24 hours spend under light therapy, and a baby who has peed in his own mouth multiple times).

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the little monster πŸ™‚

We were relieved to learn that his lungs are incredibly healthy.

We were relieved to learn that his lungs are incredibly healthy.

:)

πŸ™‚

james 13

Coming home! There should really be a more open and honest discussion about the bloating effects of IV fluid... Just so you know, I have lost 15 lbs. since this picture was taken less than 2 weeks ago.

Coming home! There should really be a more open and honest discussion about the bloating effects of IV fluid… Just so you know, I have lost 15 lbs. since this picture was taken less than 2 weeks ago.

I have the cutest baby in the world. True story.

I have the cutest baby in the world. True story.

Mister James post-bath. His right eye is a little stubborn and likes to stay closed...

Mister James, post-bath. His right eye is a little stubborn and likes to stay closed…

We just love this little boy :)

We just love this little boy πŸ™‚