Friday, August 31, 2007

Rough afternoon...

Oy vey. All week long I've been exhausted to the core by evening, but I'm more than exhausted right now. Not sure the word, but it's been a rough afternoon.

All was well till Cora woke up at four from her long nap, and then everything kinda fell apart. She's usually okay as long as I'm up and moving and she's in the sling - it's as soon as she realizes I had the nerve to sit down that she starts crying again. So I managed to make Chloe a peanut butter and banana sandwich for dinner, and made some macaroni and cheese out of a box for myself. (What will I do when Andrew is home in the evening and I have to cook real dinners again?!) So I made dinner with her in the sling all the while. Of course, I'm not permitted to sit down and eat, so I managed to get down about half a bowl in between strolls through the kitchen. In the meantime, Chloe was playing with the dog in the living room, when all of a sudden she screams something about "Izzy eating Andrew's chair." Yep, she was right. Something possessed our usually well-behaved dog to chew off a corner of the arm rest on the recliner. Lovely.

So Chloe starts coloring, I wash dishes, straighten up, fold laundry, etc. with Cora in the sling. All I wanted was to sit, but the only way she's happy is if I'm walking, so I figured at least get some stuff done. After awhile, it occurred to me I had no movie to watch tonight (it's become a nightly ritual) and I had no more yarn for the project I'm currently working on. I'm not sure I could survive a night of just walking around in silence without something occupying my hands, so I decided a trip to Blockbuster and Michael's was in order. After all, Cora's happy as long as I'm moving, right? She actually was pretty good. So we get to Blockbuster, grab the first movie that looks decent, stand in line halfway til forever and then try to check out. Do I have my card? No, I don't - I never got one when Andrew added me to the account, but it's never been an issue in the year and a half I've been renting movies there. Will an ID work? Nope, not anymore apparently. Awesome. I was really pissed. A lot more upset than the situation called for. I'm blaming it on hormones. But I held it together, got the girls back in the car, and headed to Michael's. Thankfully there were no issues there.

I would like to say though, that over the past few days, I've realized what a wonderfully behaved little girl Chloe is. She has her moments, but she's just been awesome every time we've gone anywhere. Makes me think there is hope for me as a mother yet.

So anyhow, here we are, a couple hours later. Chloe got her bath, had her milk and cookies, we had a spelling/letters/phonics lesson using fridge magnets while I paced the kitchen with Cora in the sling. I'm currently sitting here with her attached to me still, she just hasn't realized that I'm sitting yet. It's coming, I know, so I better hurry up and finish venting. :-P Every so often she does the whole "Look Mom, I'm so hungry I'm actually eating my own hand" thing, so I put her to breast, where she proceeds to lick my nipple a few times, crunch it between her gums a few times, then spit it out and look at me like I've done something utterly offensive and lets out another wail. She's not hungry - she's drained both sides at least 4 times in the past two hours.

Hopefully she'll fall asleep for real sometime in the next hour or so. My back hurts from all this slinging, I have muscles that haven't been used since Chloe was a babe. I really need to finish folding laundry, I haven't showered and I have baby puke in my hair, I'm still hungry, having never finished my pathetic excuse for dinner.... but mostly, I'm just exhausted.

Dejected. i think that's the word for how I feel right now.

It's been a rough afternoon, I need to go to sleep and wake up to a fresh, new day.

Thanks for letting me whine, back to your regularly scheduled programming!

My Thursday

Oh, what a nice day yesterday was. After Chloe went to her dad's house, Cora and I went and visited my mom at bowling so all the ladies could ooh and ahh over her. Then we stopped by another western store near the bowling alley looking for whatever I will be wearing to my wedding. We found absolutely nothing. After that we dropped off a movie to Blockbuster and met with my mom again for lunch at the Mexican restaurant. Then we went to the mall, got some of those velvet coloring posters for Chloe for Christmas, stopped by Target but ended up not buying anything, and then we came home.

After that, we napped. A nice, hour long nap. Then Cora nursed and went right back to sleep for three hours. I scrapbooked a page and a half, got stuff done around the house here and there, wrote my wedding vows (NOT an easy task!) played with the dog a bit, read for awhile, did some crunches and leg lifts... it was really nice. I even got to take a shower! When she woke up she was fussy and wanted to walk, so I put her in the sling and we walked around the neighborhood. After that, I did the outside chores with her in the sling, then we just settled down and snuggled for the rest of the evening.

When I write it all out, it seems like we did a lot yesterday. But really, it felt like a quiet, relaxing day.

Today we're gonna go to my mom's for a bit, then just hang out at home all afternoon. Cora didn't sleep well at all last night, and has pretty much been awake since 3:30 am other than a couple short naps, so I will probably try to get a nap in with the girls this afternoon too.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finding knitting time

I figured out the trick to getting some knitting time during the day! If you can manage to knit while instructing a four year old on how to do a craft project, while standing up with a baby in a sling hanging from your chest, all while rocking back and forth and singing Disney Princess songs, you can have knitting time each day.

I finished the last of her three new soakers yesterday afternoon while doing all of the above. We now have a total of seven soakers, and I officially have no excuse to make any more. :-P

I used the Fern and Faerie free soaker pattern. I did alter the sizes a bit, adjusting the rise and using smaller needles on the two larger ones.

The pink/green striped yarn is Paton's SWS, a wool/soy combo that is silky soft and I am in love with. The pink/yellow one is Caron Felt-it in Neon, and the bottom pic is Lionbrand Wool. The Lionbrand one is rougher feeling, not my fave, but it works.

FTR, anyone out there who uses or wants to use cloth diapers, wool is definitely the way to go! I can't tell you how much I'm in love with it.

Yesterday overall was just a wonderful day. We got up and did the morning chores, then went to the library for story time. After that we made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to exchange some yarn, then to the western store so Chloe could get new boots. We got home, had lunch, and then spent the whole afternoon just playing and hanging out and giggling and having fun. We watched a movie on the laptop on my bed and she colored while I held the baby. We did ab exercises together, which made for lots of giggles, plus a chance to practice counting. She made a card for her grammy (practiced writing letters) and drew some pictures for her using a drawing book from the library. We read half a dozen library books, played Barbies a little bit, played Follow the Leader while I carried Cora in the sling... Yep, I just spent the afternoon enjoying my two beautiful daughters, and it was so good for all of us.

Around four, Cora started her fussy time. I really don't think it's colic because she's perfectly consolable - you just have to do what she wants, how she wants it, for hours. Thankfully I discovered that she really loves her sling, so she just stays in that. We went for a nice long walk around the neighborhood, had leftover Thai chicken salad for dinner so I didn't have to cook, and spent lots of time walking, rocking, and swaying while she sat there with her eyes wide open looking around. She was pretty much fussy till about eight, when Andrew got home. I did really good, my nerves only really getting frazzled about the last hour of that when I needed to water the garden and do outside chores and get Chloe bathed. But I managed, with the babe in a sling all the while.

I may need to make or buy another sling. She puked on this one yesterday, and I just rinsed it and then put it back on - heaven forbid we be without the sling long enough for it to go through the laundry!

I spent the evening knitting on Andrew's sweater some more and watching the last part of The Family Stone. It's taken four nights to watch the whole thing, but definitely a movie worth watching if you haven't already seen it - it's an older flick. It made me think, and it made me cry. Two great qualities of a movie!

So today Mark has Chloe, if he ever calls to come get her. I have a couple short errands to run, and then we're home all day. If Cora sleeps, I'd love to scrapbook a little. If not, I'll stand and rock while I knit. :-)

'Tis all for now!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Surviving... (lots of rambling)

I seem to be surviving so far. At least, I think I am. :-)

The house is clean, the girls are happy, Chloe is played with, the baby is fed, and I've even managed to shower two days in a row. By the end of the day I'm exhausted, my mind is racing a million miles an hour, and I've consumed at least 6 cups of coffee, but hey, at least we're all taken care of, right?

I've snapped at Chloe a few times when she didn't really deserve it... my patience level drops quickly when she repeats herself a million times as if I haven't heard her. "Do you want to play with me?" is what we hear most often out of her. Yesterday while the baby was crying and I was trying to calm her, she kept asking me to play with her. I explained twice that I needed to take care of Cora first and then I would play, but she just kept asking "Do you want to play with me? Do you want to play with me?" Finally I just said "No! I dont' want to play with you right now." Then I felt bad, and her feelings were hurt. :o( I really need to work on my patience level with her. Today we're going to the library and I'm gonna let her stay later than normal to play with the other kids.I know she's just lonely and needs the interaction.

Cora's doing well. I can't decide if she's a fussy baby, or if most babies cry this much - I just don't remember. If she's awake though, she seems to be fussy more than she's happy. The trick is to hold her on your arm (the Daddy hold) and walk, not to slow, not too fast, and not to stop moving, all while patting her bottom in just the right rhythm. The only problem is that it makes it nearly impossible to do anything else. I put her in the sling last night to try it out, and she seemed really happy there for quite some time, long enough for me to get dishes washed, help Chloe pick up all her toys, and get Chloe ready for bed. Hopefully the sling will continue to be acceptable, so I can keep getting things done. She apparently hates the swing, the bouncer, the playmat, or anything else I have to entertain her with.

The house is all pretty much in order, amazingly. At some point in the morning Cora takes a nap for a couple hours, so I use that time to go through and at least accomplish my normal morning routine plus a few extras, like organizing a cabinet or desk here and there. Laundry is staying caught up, the dishes are usually washed, and everything is mostly in it's place. In addition, I've managed to do schoolwork both days with Chloe, as well as playing Barbies, animals, pretend, etc. with her.

I feel bad about my playing with Chloe. I always thought I'd love the day I got to play Barbies with my daughters. Now that the time is here, I just don't really like it all that much. It feels more like a chore than it does like playing. I'm not sure why that is. I often sit down for ten minutes, play, and then get up to do something else because I'm bored and restless, and there's always so much more to do. I keep trying to remind myself it won't be long before she doesn't want to play Barbies anymore, heck, before she doesn't want to play with me at all anymore! I need to learn to live for the moment more, to enjoy the little things, and spend less time worry about 'getting stuff done'. I'm a results-oriented person though, and that can be hard for me.

I've learned that with two children and a houseful of chores, knitting and other crafting doesn't get as much time anymore. I get approximately 15 minutes of knitting time each day, at night after both girls are asleep. I could probably squeeze in more, but by 9:30 or so I'm so exhausted I can't even focus on the stitches anymore. So I figure at this rate, Andrew's sweater should be finished about this time next year. LOL I have managed to make 3 wool soakers for Cora over the past two weeks, but that was mostly with Andrew home. Still need to put a leg cuff on one of them and haven't found the time to do that yet!

I'm a little nervous about how well my body is healing... they say you shouldn't continue to bleed red blood past a certain point, but every morning that's what I find. It slows down by the end of the day, but it's pretty heavy in the morning. They also say if you start to bleed red again that you need to slow down and stop doing so much, which is pretty near impossible for me. Things at least aren't really sore down there anymore, I can walk without much difficulty. I've been doing crunches and leg lefts and side twists and squats and such, trying to get my belly back to normal, so my abs are a little tender, but it's bearable. Amazingly, I'm back to my prepregnancy weight already - not that my prepregnancy weight was anything I want to brag about. LOL I just need to figure out how to tighten up all the loose skin hanging off my belly. It's so gross. I know how to burn fat, but how do you get rid of extra skin? Blech!

Alright, I'm done rambling. So much going through my head I can't really keep up! I'll write more later when I actually have something to say.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Some babies really like baths...

...and others just don't.

Some other recent pictures:

Our little family

Cora in her fave spot (again)

Big sis checking on her baby

And a quick quote from Chloe:

"Mom, I think Atilla the Hun is so cute."

Absolutely hilarious coming from a four year old.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's Sunday.

This is Cora's spot. Her favorite place in all the house if she isn't nursing. My arm will work if it has to, but Daddy's arm is much better.

And Daddy's arm is going back to work with him tomorrow.

I'm nervous about doing it on my own! So far it's been easy, but he's been here to help make sure chores are done and the baby is cuddled and Chloe is played with and that I get to shower regularly. What am I gonna do?

I'm pretty much back to normal though, at least physically, so that helps. I'm starting to figure out Cora's little quirks, what she likes and doesn't. And Chloe really is a big help as far as running to get me things and stuff. And if things get too overwhelming, well... we'll just go to grandma's house for the day. :-)

Slowly but surely I'm relearning everything I need to, and getting used to having a baby again. And she's doing so great, growing big and strong, already trying to hold her head up and spending lots more time awake. And her cord fell off this morning, yay! I haven't told Chloe yet, she's still asleep, but she'll be so happy to hear that. LOL She's sleeping 8 hours or so at night, waking a time or two but going right back to sleep, so I'm well rested in the morning. Of course, it does help that she's sleeping with us...

I think we're heading to my parents' house this morning for breakfast, as per our usual Sunday tradition. We better really enjoy this last day of having Andrew here with us!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A quarter of a century

I turned 25 on Wednesday. Amazing how time flies, isn't it? I sure don't feel 25 most of the time. 25 was the age that I set so many goals by. I wanted to be married, own a house, have a child or two - really be settled. And I'm so happy that I'm (mostly) there. I won't actually technically be married for another couple weeks, but close enough, eh?

It's funny to think back to other birthdays, to realize how much life has changed for me over the past years.

One year ago, I was jumping out of an airplane, living out a dream and having the time of my life in doing so.

Four years ago I left Chloe with a sitter for the first time (my mother) so I could go to Red Lobster for dinner and my first legal drink. I had a strawberry daquiri. I only had one - I had a baby to nurse when I got home.

Nine years ago I was taking my driving test in my first car, a 1997 Chevy Cavalier named Marv.
Fifteen years ago I was having a swimming party, complete with New Kids on the Block cake.

Twenty one years ago I was having my first birthday party in the house that I would grow up in. We moved just before my birthday. I still miss that house - so many memories there!

Twenty five years ago, I was lying in an isolette, parentless for the first six weeks of my life until the most amazing man and woman were able to adopt me. They gave me such an incredible, full and happy life.

Yep, it's incredible to think of how far I've come, and how much I've grown up! Overall, I'm so happy with my life at 25.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Momma of Two

Yep, this is gonna take some gettin' used to. LOL It's hard already to try to divide my time, and when both of them need me at the same time, I get a little stressed trying to take care of them both. Add to that the housework that I've been making pitiful attempts at, and yep, I'm in over my head at the moment. I'm not worried - I just need time. But it's definitely different with two!
My post pregnancy hormones are very active now too - emotional and stressed and kinda cranky. I feel better today - part of yesteray may have just been how tired I was, and for some reason I feel a lot of pressure to start getting back into the swing of things. I had a few days off, now I need to get back on the ball. There's no good reason for that pressure, but I can't help it. I think I expect too much from myself sometimes. I've been drinking motherwort tincture and taking B-12 complex for my moods, hopefully that'll help a little. I've also been knitting again, which always helps.

Cora's doing great - she's sucking the life out of me, nursing every hour sometimes, but hey, it's a sign of a healthy baby. She sleeps a ton - in fact, Chloe is struggling with that. She thinks Cora should be awake to play with her more often. She pees and poops more than we can keep up with - I swear we change her every hour or more! Chloe never soaked diapers till she was quite a bit older and bigger. My 'tried and true' diapering methods with Chloe are failing miserably. It looks like Cora's gonna wear lots of knitted wool covers. She's sleeping pretty well at night, waking 2 or 3 times in about 8 hours. I just nurse her and fall right back to sleep. The dog is more of a nuisance than the baby is. She seems to have one fussy time each day for about four hours, where she's awake, but sleepy, but not sleepy enough to actually sleep. Thankfully so far we haven't had that fussy time at night yet!

Chloe's hanging in there too - I'm feeling bad because I still can't move around fast enough to play a lot of her games with her, so instead of that I took her to Michael's yesterday and picked out a couple of crafty things to do so I can sit with her while she does them.

Anyhow, I guess I better go, I think my girls will be up soon. Here's a quick pick of Chloe - she keeps stealing this blanket that someone gave us for Cora. She really, really loves it. :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A big difference!

Such a difference 5 pounds can make! Chloe was 2 lbs 14 oz when she was born. Cora was 8 lbs 3 oz. The picture above is with the doll that was made to Chloe's birth size. Isn't that incredible? She didn't weigh eight pounds till she was about 6 months old. Cora is wearing clothes that Chloe had to grow into.

The difference between my two babies is so tremendous. Just having Cora here at home, instead of in a hospital for months, is so nice. She eats without choking, she breathes without being stimulated to do so. She isn't plugged into the wall! Chloe was literally plugged in at all times unless we were bathing her and even then she was still on 15 feet of oxygen tubing. She had a 6 foot radius - she didn't leave the living room. We can pick Cora up and carry her into any room we want without thinking twice about it. When Chloe would get mad and really cry, her heart rate monitor would start beeping at us because it was too high. That meant at ever diaper change, in the middle of the night, when she was hungry, whenever, we would wake to a beeping that sounded frightfully similar to a fire alarm. Now all we have to deal with is a baby crying, and that sound is like music compared to that awful beeping. There aren't nurses and respiratory therapists and physical therapists coming each day - it's up to us to make sure Cora is really healthy instead of having her checked constantly by strangers. Cora can wear outfits of Chloe's that were never worn because they weren't conducive to monitors and feeding tubes. Anything with a zipper was out of the question for Chloe, we needed gaps between snaps to let the tubes come out. Instead of hooking up special tubes and feeding and burping her, Cora just latches on, nurses for a bit, then burps heartily before nodding off to sleep. No waking up every 3 hours on the dot to pump more milk into her belly. If she spits up, we clean it up. We don't have to worry about whether her surgery worked properly as we did with Chloe. If we want to go somewhere, we just pack up a diaper bag, put the girls in the car and go. No checking to make sure there's enough oxygen left in the canister, packing feeding tubes and breastmilk jars and heart monitors and whatnot around her, driving somewhere with the fear that she may stop breathing in the middle of traffic and oh my god, what do I do if she does?

Every little thing is so different now. It's easy to forget how hard it was to be a preemie mama. Having Cora reminds me of all the little things we had to do with Chloe that 'normal' mamas just don't have to worry about. Having Cora is SO easy compared to Chloe. Chloe's babyhood was one that we just couldn't enjoy like other parents get to. There was always a worry or fear in the back of your mind. We enjoyed Chloe as fully as we could, but all that added responsibility, especially for two young and inexperienced parents, was so hard! And for the past couple years, amazingly, I've been able to look back on it and just kind of forget all that hard stuff, and only remember the wonderful, happy times, which I'm thankful for. But yeah, it's all coming back to me now, having another infant to care for.

There are some similarities between the two, too. Chloe always hated having her diaper changed - so does Cora. Watching Cora nurse reminds me of when Chloe finally went to breast - the rooting, the 'milk drunk' look in their eyes, the chin quivering and leaking milk out the side of their mouth as they fall asleep. The crazy baby hair in the morning. The look of pure innocence in their eyes. The way they can just listen to your voice and suddenly calm down and relax.

Ahhhh. Babies are so wonderful!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some pictures

Some pictures of the girls. Can you tell how Chloe is just glowing? :o)

This is a pic of my belly cast, which I realized I never posted. It was actually done at 36 weeks since we didn't know how much longer I'd carry her!

And here's a pic of her inside it :o) I can't believe she actually fit in there!

Three days already?!

I can't believe our baby girl is already 3 days old!

She's such a healthy little girl. She's nursing like crazy now that my milk is in. Yesterday she was kinda fussy all day, but she wasn't getting anything but colostrum to fill her belly. Now that she gets a full belly whenever she wants she's so content and peaceful. She happily lies awake for awhile at a time now, just looking around and listening. She spent a lot of time last night doing that while we slept. I really am getting quite a bit of sleep at night, she wakes 2 or 3 times to nurse and then settles right back down. We have the co-sleeper set up right next to our bed so i don't even have to get up to nurse her. She already knows the difference between the co-sleeper and our bed though, and definitely prefers to be right between mommy and daddy while she sleeps. She starts out in the co-sleeper, but ends up between us.

I'm doing well too - still a little sore but hey, I did just birth an eight pound baby. My lower back/tail bone is my biggest complaint, though my boobs are hurtin' pretty bad right now too. I forgot how full they get! My after pains seem to be subsiding now, those were pretty miserable the first couple days, and they happened every time I put any pressure on my abdomen, every time I peed, and every time she nursed. Our midwife came again yesterday for a post partum check, and Cora and I are both doing fine according to them. They gave me my rhogam shot since her blood type is positive and I'm negative, and checked us both out. I'm having a hard time letting Andrew handle all the household stuff, but boy is he doing a great job of it. As I get more energy I'm doing some of it, but by noon or so I'm usually exhausted and ready for a nap. Slowly but surely we'll situate, I have no doubt.

We took Cora to Chloe's first dance recital yesterday, her first outing. It was a little stressful because we started too late on getting ready since we had company. Next time I'm kicking the company out. LOL All went well though, I kept her in the sling most of the time so I could help Chloe get dressed and whatnot. Our camera was out of batteries and had no memory card, so we didnt' get pics of this one, but there's another one coming in September that's the same routine so I'll get pictures then. For the record, Chloe did wonderfully at her recital, as good as most of the other girls. I was so proud I had tears in my eyes, you could just tell she loved it. After it was over she wanted to do it again. :-)

I guess that's all for now. I'm gonna go have some breakfast while the baby sleeps and Chloe is coloring. I plan to take some fun pics today, I'll post them when I do.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chloe's thoughts about Cora

"I have a new baby sister. But I don't like her cord."

"My baby sister doesn't have bottles. She has my mom's boobs."

As I was putting her to bed the night Cora was born... "Don't wake me up in the morning when the boy comes out." (She was convinced I was having twins.)

"Aww! She's so cute!"

"Let's put a bow on her so she can be pretty."

Andrew was holding Cora while Chloe was coloring... "Hey Andrew... wanna trade?" She loves to hold her baby.

Me: "Chloe, what are you doing?"
Chloe: "Hi Mom. I'm not wakin' up Cora."
Me: "What are you doing?"
Chloe: "Just pettin' her on the head."

"Mom!!!" (The sound of alarm ringing in her voice.) "She doesn't have any teeth!!!"

And last but not least:

"I love her."

It's a....


Cora Lee Miller was born August 15, 2007 at 5:25 a.m. She was born at home in our living room in a big tub of water, and I can't imagine a more beautiful and gentle way to bring her into the world. She weighs 8 pounds, 3 ounces and is 21 inches long - a big, perfect, healthy little girl.

Tuesday night I started having some contractions, but nothing really time-able. I read for awhile, sipped a glass of red wine, and went to bed around 10:30. Isabel - our dog - woke me up at 3:00 to go outside. I got up to let her out when I realized I was having some pretty strong contractions so I timed them - every 4 minutes. I woke Andrew up about 3:15 and we called our midwife. He said to wait an hour and call him back and let him know how things were going, whether I was progressing at all. At 4 am I called and let him know contractions were about 2 minutes apart, if that, and very strong, along with some bloody show.

Hard labor was just starting about then. Andrew helped me get into the tub. I must say, I will NEVER give birth out of water again. The relief when I got in was instantaneous, so much pressure relieved. It didn't take away the pain, not by any means, but it sure did help tremendously! So I held on to the edge of the tub and sat on my knees, biting the foam on the side of the tub through the contractions. I got pretty nauseous and actually threw up a few times into the trash can Andrew was holding for me. Throwing up actually helped me get through a couple of those contractions. It was amazing how fast the time flew from 3am to 4 am and how slooooowly it went from 4 to 5. We called my mom and let her know she ought to come soon, and kept in touch with Bill, who was driving as fast as humanly possible all the way from Montrose, about an hour and a half away if you stick to the speed limit. He didn't. ;o)

Chloe woke up about 5:05, I was rather noisy and loud and she heard me. She was a little nervous, but held on to Andrew's leg and stood there with us. My mom came right after Chloe woke up and took her in the bedroom, and Bill showed up right after that. He checked me, found my water sac right there, and could feel the head. He told me as soon as my water broke, her head would come down and she'd be on her way out. He guessed about 10 more minutes. He went out to the car to get a few more things, and my water broke when he walked out the door. My water breaking was more relief - just felt like a little bubble popping inside of me, I couldn't feel a gush or anything since I was in water. But there was lots of relief! At that point I reached down and could feel her crowning. Bill made it back inside just in time for me to push her head out. We called my mom and Chloe to come back and they did. Then one more contraction and she was out!

She didn't start breathing right away and made us a little nervous, but with lots of rubbing and a bit of oxygen from the mask and she started crying and breathing just fine. It took us a few minutes to even look at see if she was a boy or a girl! We stayed in the tub together till I birthed the placenta, and then went into the bedroom where we could all snuggle up. She stayed attached to her cord for about an hour before they cut it, making sure she got all the good stuff out of it.

It was just the most amazing, perfect, wonderful experience. At one point, right around 5:00, I did say to Andrew "Remind me that I don't want to go to the hospital and get drugs." He reminded me and I agreed. It was hard - what labor isn't? But to have done it at home that way is something I will never forget, and something I wouldn't trade for the world. It felt so good to get out of the water and just get in bed and love my baby and my family. Everything was so relaxed, there was no rush, the most important thing was for all of us to be together and enjoy those first moments with our new little girl.

Two days later, things are great. Cora is nursing like a champ, practically 'round the clock, trying to get my milk to come down. She is just so beautiful, we all sit and just watch her sleep and smile at each other. I'm pretty sore, but really am recovering quickly. I was up walking around within an hour of her birth, though most of my time is spent laying down in bed with her or sitting in the recliner. I'm happy to report that I didn't tear at all - almost certainly thanks to being at home where there was no pressure from doctors for an episiotomy or to hurry and push her out.

Chloe is already a wonderful big sister. She is so, so happy that we have a little girl. She loves to hold her, and give her snuggles and kisses on the forehead. The only thing she doesn't like is the umbilical cord stump, and she'll tell you all about it! But she's been great from the beginning. I was so worried about having two, being able to share my love between them after having only Chloe for so long, but that just all disappears when the second one is born. You can just feel your heart growing with love for both of them.

And Andrew. Oh, what a wonderful daddy and husband he is! To see him with Cora just melts my heart - he is a natural. So sweet and gentle, and the smile on his face is one of pure love and joy. For the past two days he has cooked, cleaned, waited on me hand and foot, and spent plenty of time cuddling up with his new daughter. So happy am I to have him as the father of my child, and to have been able to give him this amazing gift. We're so happy he'll be able to take plenty of time off work to spend at home with us.

Thanks to all for the sweet comments and congratulations. I probably won't be able to message everyone back, but I appreciate your kind words!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Still no baby.

I'm gonna whine real quick, and then I'll be done. :oP

My back hurts, my thighs hurt, my pubic bone is killing me. I can't walk without waddling now, and even then it hurts. My feet hurt from walking so much yesterday - I can't even make it up the stairs without moaning. And this baby does NOT want to come out! First I can't carry a baby long enough, now I can't seem to get it to come out. :::sigh:::

And (no offense to everyone) I am so sick of everyone asking me if there's a baby yet. I had 6 calls this morning before 10 am. After the 5th, I changed my phone's voice mail. "Hi, you've reached Julie. No, there's no baby yet and yes, everything is fine. We'll let you know when something happens." Is that rude? Yeah, probably. I know everyone is just excited for us, anxious to find out what it is, etc. But ever since last night, every little thing has set me to tears, and each call this morning did the same. I'm sick of crying and acting so pitiful, so I just decided I'm not answering my phone anymore. If someone needs something other than to know if there's a baby, they can leave a message and I'll call back.

I've spent most of the day alternating between sitting up to knit and laying down to read, with a bit of coloring and chloe's school work. Standing is just miserable at this point, and sitting is supposedly not conducive to bringing on contractions, so laying down seems to be the best position, but then I feel like a lazy bum for laying around all day. Poor Andrew - he's just not sure what to do with me. I'm all weepy and gay, and he knows he can't fix it. I know he's gotta feel helpless, and i feel bad for being crabby with him.

Alright. I'm done whining now. At least this baby is full term - much better than too early, even if it is making me crazy. Thanks to all for the kind comments and helpful suggestions. I appreciate your reading and caring, and I'm sorry if I come across as bitchy. :o)

Monday, August 13, 2007


So labor's slowed down. Not stopped, but pretty darn slow. They came and checked me, I'm only 2 cm but nearly completely effaced. They're betting on sometime tonight. I'm frustrated, but dealing with it. We went and had spicy Mexican food, now we're gonna nap (I'm exhausted) and then go for a nice long walk. Walking earlier helped speed things up, at least for awhile, so hopefully more of that will keep things moving along. Once I get to about a 4, I'll start more active labor.

So much for quick labor vibes! LOL

They say I'm supposed to sleep...

Ha! There is no way I'm gonna fall asleep!

Contractions are about 8 minutes apart, have been since around 10 pm. I called my midwife, he called 'the girls' - his assistant and apprentice. It'll take them about two hours to get to his house, then another hour and a half for them to get here, but they won't come till I call. In the meantime, he says, make sure I get some sleep so I'm rested. Yeah right. I also called Andrew, his crew had just left for the day, but he's gonna turn around and come home. It takes a few hours to get the birth tub filled.

Funny, all day yesterday I was weepy and emotional and restless and frustrated. I was convinced by 9:00 last night that this baby was just never going to come out on his/her own and I'd be forced to go to the hospital. LOL I have a way of overreacting when impatience gets in the way.

Now I just have to hope it's not a false alarm! I'd feel awful silly calling all these people in the middle of the night and have it turn out to be nothing. LOL I don't think it is though.

Any 'quick labor' vibes you all want to send out would be great! I'm sure I'll be blogging more as the day progresses just to keep myself occupied.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My mama loves me.

So my mom called first thing this morning while I was having my daily cup of half-caf coffee and enjoying some quiet computer time. My phone was in my bedroom on vibrate. She called twice, and I didn't answer either time. I did call her right back the second time, and she said "Where were you??" She sounded kind of upset. I explained, but she lectured me about keeping my phone on me so I'll hear it ring. She was convinced I was passed out and couldn't answer it, or had gone to the hopsital and had it turned off. She was getting ready to call Andrew but was afraid to worry him too. She determined instead to come over to my house to check on me. It's a good thing I answered when I did! Silly mama. :-) And ya know what? It feels so good to know she loves me enough to worry like that. I worry about her like that sometimes too. But all is better now, I reassured her that I'm fine and the baby is fine and we are all still alive and well. LOL

So I've spent the whole morning cleaning and letting Chloe watch Sprout on TV while she colors. I've gotten two loads of laundry washed and dried and folded, cleaned and dusted and vaccuumed the master bedroom, scrubbed the bathroom, even did the floors on my hands and knees, and got it all pretty and clean. Then I cleaned up the kitchen, swept and mopped that floor, and mopped the hallway for good measure. I've got another load of laundry to fold as soon as the floor dries so i can go get it. Then I'll do the living room and Chloe's room. I'm all hot and sweaty, and my whole body hurts, but I feel good about myself. Mopping is hard work when you're this pregnant - all that squatting and kneeling and bending and standing makes for lots of thigh and leg cramps and a sore tummy!

Chloe and I need to go to the store to get some produce and a few other things. We'll probably go soon before it gets too hot. We didn't go to farmer's market this thursday, went to my cousin's gymkhana instead, so we have no good fresh produce in the house. Not good for a child who is addicted to fresh fruits and veggies! There's a farmer's market tonight out in Fruita, about 20 minutes from here. Might go see what they have. I want more fresh peaches.

Other than that, should be yet another quiet day at home. I thought about inviting some friends from down the street to come over to play, but I just don't think I have the patience for any extra kids in the house right now. Instead maybe we'll do some extra school worksheets (since she loves them so) and perhaps do some coloring and such. All those fun, no running required activities. :-) Or maybe we should go play some soccer. Perhaps that'd convince this baby to hurry up and come out!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Spotted Child - Update

We went to the doctor tonight. I hate doctors. Ugh.

He has no idea what the spots are, other than that they are definitely bites. They *could be scabies or bed bugs or mosquito bites, but none of those he said are terribly likely. So he told me to buy hydocortisone cream to put on them and to wash her sheets and bedding and maybe spray the house with a pesticide. Because, you know, chemicals fix everything. Argh.

So we still have no idea why she is spotted. He didn't seem terribly concerned, he didn't really bother to listen to me when I spoke, and he doesn't know what the problem is. Lovely. I feel kinda bad for Mark, he's pretty upset that this is coming from his house, and I know Felicia feels bad too. I just wish we could identify it so we could get rid of them! Hopefully come fall/winter with the cold weather, they'll go away.

And of course, while we were there, I got to explain to first the nurse, then the doctor, why we haven't had her to the doctor for almost three years. (Because she's healthy, and no, we don't vaccinate, thanks.) And the nurse was asking what I'm having (a baby?) and who my doctor is, blah blah. When I told her my midwife's name and she hadn't heard of him, I said "yeah, he's a homebirth midwife". So she decided to tell me some horror story about a homebirth baby who wasn't healthy. Hey, thanks! That is just what any mom needs to hear. So I just said "yes, there are horror stories about homebirths, but there are plenty more that happen at the hospital, so I'm not too worried." Hmphh.

Frustrations of a divorced mama

Oy vey, I am frustrated!

For the past some odd weeks, every time Chloe comes back from her dad's house with these spots on her that are pretty obviously bug bites of some kind. We've ruled out mosquitoes and fleas, but still aren't sure what they are. On the weeks that I have her for 5 days in a row, they all start to fade and nearly go away, but as soon as she goes back over there they show up again. Today they are all over her face and arms, and she looks like she has chicken pox or something! I hate to even take her anywhere for fear people will think she's contagious. I wish he'd do something about it - call an exterminator and have them spray maybe? But he just says they cleaned and didn't see anything, there's nothing else they can do. I wonder if his house isn't maybe infested with bed bugs or something. I could understand maybe an occasional mosquito bite or something - she even gets those from our house - but to have several of these spots every time she comes home is just getting plain ridiculous. I hate sending her over there because she's getting eaten alive.

Today in general she's having a hard time. She came home from his house a little after noon and my friend Jessica was here with her daughter Alyssa and also Sophia. Chloe and Alyssa usually play so beautifully today, but Chloe just kept having little melt downs the whole time. Alyssa put her tea set away in the wrong place - she came running out crying. Alyssa wanted to be the dad instead of the baby while they played house - she came running out crying. She bumped her head on something, it didn't appear to be that bad, but she held her breath till she passed out, something she hasn't done in nearly a year. Every little thing is just really setting her off. After her friend left I laid down with her hoping some snuggle time with mama would lead to a nap (it almost always does.) After 45 minutes of laying there, she still didn't fall asleep so I let her get up. She's still overly sensitive though - she just asked to take her markers downstairs (something she hasn't been allowed to do for awhile now) and I said no, so she's throwing yet another fit. She's so full of anger and unhappiness right now, and just is not being herself on so many levels.

Her dad did find that his girlfriend will be having a baby boy (not till January sometime), and Chloe was disappointed because she wanted it to be a girl. Not sure if that could have something to do with it. I asked about it a little but she didn't want to talk about it, just said she didn't want a boy. I hope we have a girl for her sake, she wants a girl so, so bad. Two boys would just break her little heart. I asked if anything else happened at dad's house, but she just said "everything" and threw herself at me crying. I asked her "like what?" but again she didnt' want to talk about it. She's always a little off when she comes home from there, but today is just way different.

I wish I knew what was so wrong with my little girl :-(

In other news, I had my 40 week midwife appointment this morning. Everything still looks great, my uterus has grown to 40 cm, which is right on. He estimated approximately an 8 lb baby, but that's just a guess, he could be pretty far off. I may have lost part of my mucous plug this morning, but I'm not completely sure. Tested for amniotic fluid leaking and there isn't any. We're right there - everything is ready, my body is ready, the baby is big enough, it just needs to come out already! I'll have Andrew take some belly pics this afternoon so I can show y'all how huge I am. LOL

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Inducing Exhaustion

I spent the morning running errands and shopping, hoping that walking would help bring on more contractions. All I did was exhaust myself!

Went to Kohl's looking for good deals on clothes for Chloe for next summer. All I got was one skirt and a tank top, and not even at that great of a price ($8.00 for both, but I prefer more like $1-2 each, which I often find there.) Then I went to Target and bought a car seat for the baby and a bathtub that fits into the sink. Funny, the car seat is one of the first and most important things most parents buy, since you can't bring a baby home from the hospital without one. But I haven't been in a rush to buy one at all - I wasn't even sure we'd have one before the baby came! After Target I went down to Main Street, purposely parked 4 blocks away from the toy store and walked all the way down there. I bought a Calico Critters family of dalmations to go with Chloe's doll house as a Christmas present. I saw a baby bedroom set that comes with twin baby animals, and was tempted to buy it as Chloe's 'big sister' present. I might still do that, we'll see. I think it'd be nice to give her a little something. After Main Street I went to Wal Mart, bought some groceries, a diaper pail, and a few other things.

And after all that, I now feel like I need a very long nap. I'm starving, I'm nauseous, my whole body hurts, especially "down there" since the baby keeps dropping more and more and my pelvis separates as well. I am definitely done walking for today. I walked about an hour and a half last night too when I went to the mall. Apparently this baby just isn't ready to come meet the world yet. My patience is waning!

Mark has Chloe today, until sometime after noon tomorrow. Part of me wants to be crafty all day and really enjoy the time I have, but a bigger part of me wants to take a nap first, so I think that's what I'll do, as soon as I get some food in this big ol' belly of mine!

"High Needs"

One of the most common terms I read on any area of the message boards is "high needs". Babies who cry often, toddlers who throw tantrums, older children who are hyper and rambunctious - these are what they deem "high needs" and, funny, every mother there seems to have high needs kids.

It just makes me laugh. Aren't all children 'high needs'? They need to be held constantly, engaged constantly, chased around and cleaned up after and diapers changed and yeah, a lot of babies are fussy till you figure out what's wrong. If I used their standards, Chloe would be a high needs child. But wait... isn't she just normal? Kids have needs, it's our job as parents to meet them.

I'm gonna say this at the risk of sounding like a bitch: The whole "high needs" thing is to me, a cop out. It's a pitiful excuse as to why being the parent of that particular child is just SO hard, much harder than other children. Poor me, life is so hard, wah.

Hmphh. And that's my brief little rant for the day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Note to self:

*Do not fall down stairs when you are 39 1/2 weeks pregnant. It hurts.

Arghh. I slipped on the way down the stairs yesterday morning carrying a full laundry basket. We have very steep carpeted basement stairs, and flip flops have little grip on carpet, and down I went, bouncing on my butt the last 3 or 4 stairs. I'm fine, really - the baby is okay, and I didn't break my leg or anything, but my tail bone and whole, err, 'bottom region' are just killin' me. It was hard enough to sit or lay down comfortably before, but now it just hurts! Oy, I need to be more careful.

We did go and sit in my parents' hot tub last night, which was WONDERFUL. I dont' know why I haven't used it more during this pregnancy, I just don't always remember that they have it. But boy, it takes all the pressure off my back and legs and feet and the water just supports all that extra belly weight. It's amazing. I'm so glad we have a birthing tub! I can already imagine the relief from that.

Some relatives came into town last night, my cousin Hoss and his wife and daughters from California - Nanny's son. Her other son Tracy is coming with his wife on Thursday. One of the daughters is here to ride in a gymkhana Thursday evening so all us Colorado folk can see her perform. :o) I'm looking forward to it, I'm just sad Chloe can't be there to watch her (Mark has her.) We may spend some time with them today, not sure yet. I figure we better see 'em while we can since there might be a baby coming while they're here.

Other than that, just story time today at the library, and some regular housecleaning and chores to do. I really need to bake some banana muffins from the extra-ripe bananas in there, and I think we'd all like some cookies so I might make some of those too. And I wanna run some more laundry through, though I don't have full loads. It occurred to me I better really keep up on that because I don't want anyone else doing my laundry after the baby comes. I hate letting anyone else wash my laundry. LOL

Anyhow, there's a sleepy girl who needs some snuggling laying on the floor next to me, I guess I'm gonna go get some lovin' from her before our day takes off. :o)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Moving in...

Okay, so we're gonna try Blogger for a bit and see how we like it. I'm sick of Myspace being so difficult to navigate after your post isn't on the main page anymore. They need a better archives feature. I'm not sure how I'll like it here, but thought it was worth a try.

First things first, gotta try posting some pictures. Miss Chloe had fun outside last night!

Should be a quiet day around here today - Andrew's taking my car to work, he dropped his off at the shop to be looked at since the 'check engine' light is on. Hopefully it'll be an easy fix. So that means Chloe and I will just be home today. The weather looks nice and cloudy, at least for now, so we might get some outside time before 7:00 for once, we'll see. I'll probably just spend the day knitting, scrapbooking, and playing with her once I get all my regular chores done.

I found this pattern that I would really love to start on, but alas, I must finish the sweater first so it will be quite some time before I can start on it. I need a new purse desperately though, so I think it'll definitely be the next thing I make. I hate finding patterns to make right after I start a big new project - makes me antsy!

Aside from that, not really anything new to report. Just sitting around impatiently waiting for some labor pains to start!