Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dear Julian...

Oh my goodness, 6 month old Julian! You are such a little handful! Your energy and spunk amaze me! Did I mention how gosh darn adorable you are? Everytime I look at you, I think to myself, "WOW, you couldn't be any cuter!"  What amazes me the most is your personality. You are a very funny guy. You like making the silliest noises and imitating me all the time. You love to laugh. You actually crack up at me all the time...like the real belly laughter. You have the brightest smile and you definitely make your presence known in a room....or building.  People are drawn to you and I really think you are going to shine LIGHT into people's lives throughout your lifetime. You are passionate and you love life. You love getting into everything and don't want to miss a thing...which is why it can be hard to contain you and to get you to sleep. While this wears Mommy out sometimes, I don't want you to lose your zeal.

I am praying that you'll be a passionate lover of Jesus all your days and you'll bring His light to dark places. I'm praying that you will be a great influencer for Christ and lives will change because of the HOPE that you can show people.

Love you, precious boy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Food, Glorious Food.

When Julian was just about 6 months old, we introduced him to "solid food". We wanted to exclusively breastfeed him for 6 months as the AAP recommends and then start building his food repertoire. We first introduced him to an avocado. I mashed it up and mixed it with breastmilk until it was a puree consistency and fed it to him with a spoon. In this first experience, Julian had no idea what to do with the food in his mouth. His tongue immediately pushed it back out upon several of the offers and the other times the puree just kind of floated around in there before being drooled out. I decided he maybe wasn't totally ready for solids yet, but that we could keep trying a little each day just for fun and to give him the practice of moving food around in his mouth. Since then we've tried purees of the following: more avocado, peas, squash, carrots, and bananas. He has made some progress. He no longer demonstrates tongue thrust and he opens his mouth to receive the food more frequently. However, he just hasn't seemed too interested in spoon feeding and only eats a few offers before leaning back/closing lips/playing with whatever he can reach. Our best experience with purees was with the bananas (I'm guessing because they are sweeter). Another technique I used was giving him food that he could hold and manipulate on his own without me doing any of the work (other than supervising and guiding). I gave him large pieces of banana and avocado and also some mashed up banana and avocado to play with. The goal was to let him explore independently and let the feeding experience be more baby-led. It was fun although not much "eating" happened.  Today was our most successful experience so far. I cut up slices of apples and let him hold them and suck on them himself. He LOVED it and sucked on them for several minutes. Then to combine textures and tastes, I smeared avocado puree on the apples for him to lick and suck.  To my surprise, he liked it too. Then I was able to give him mashed up avocado bites on a spoon in between his apple sucks. Once again, he readily accepted. We are having so much fun playing with our food!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Breast Success.

In my last post, I wrote about my woes with breastfeeding. Julian wasn't nursing well and I was so exhausted from pumping all the time. Since then there's been a HUGE turn-around! On October 31, upon Ross's and my return from our nightmarish trip to Boston, Julian readily accepted my breast when I offered it to him. It was the best welcome home gift I could have ever asked for! From that moment on, he began nursing. What?? Who ever heard of a 5 month old, go back to the breast after being bottle-fed most of his life. It's like he knew exactly what I needed. Even though we had just returned from Boston, we were leaving the very next day to fly to St. Louis to see my dad in the hospital. While we were in Boston, he was in a work accident, was electrocuted with 7200 watts of electricity, and although, badly burned, survived.  Julian, my family, and I were basically living in the waiting room of the Burn Unit in the hospital waiting on updates from doctors and nurses on how he was doing. It would have been a nightmare trying to pump in the hospital, keep bottles sanitized, and keep milk refrigerated and Julian must have known that I needed him. He nursed the whole trip! I felt such a sense of accomplishment...not that I did anything special for this to happen, but just accomplished that I didn't give up. And I felt sooo proud, and still feel so proud, of Julian every time he nuzzles up to me to eat. There is such a payoff now. Before, breastfeeding was like a thorn in my side but now it brings me so much joy. I have a renewed passion for breastfeeding and a renewed confidence to nurse in public. On all of our trips home to Illinois, I get some sort of criticism about breastfeeding. From, "Ewww" + gagging face and noises to "Just give him some formula".  But it just fuels my fire to keep doing it. I am loving this poem from Peaceful Parenting....Breastfeeding to the tune of Dr. Suess. (Author Unknown)

Would you nurse him in the park?
Would you nurse him in the dark?
Would you nurse him with a Boppy?
And when your boobs are feeling floppy?

I would nurse him in the park,
I would nurse him in the dark.
I’d nurse with or without a Boppy.
Floppy boobs will never stop me!

Can you nurse with your seat belt on?
Can you nurse from dusk till dawn?
Though he may pinch me, bite me, pull,
I will nurse him 'till he’s full.

Can you nurse and make some soup?
Can you nurse and feed the group?
It makes him healthy strong and smart,
Momma’s milk is the right start!



Would you nurse him at the game?
Would you nurse him in the rain?
In front of those who dare complain?
I would nurse him at the game.
I would nurse him in the rain.

As for those who protest lactation,
I have the perfect explanation:
Momma’s milk is tailor made
It’s the perfect food, you need no aid.

Some may scoff and some may wriggle,
Avert their eyes or even giggle.
To those who can be cruel and rude,
Remind them breast’s the perfect food!

I would never scoff or giggle,
Roll my eyes or even wiggle!
I would not be so crass or crude,
I KNOW that this milk’s the perfect food!

Making just the amount that we need
Perfect temp for every feed.
There’s no compare to milk from breast -
It's real baby food! No contest.


Those sweet nursing smiles are oh so sweet,
Momma’s milk is such a treat.
Human milk just can’t be beat.

Oh, I will nurse, in any case,
On the street or in your face.
I will not let my baby cry,
I’ll meet his needs, I’ll always try.
It’s not about what’s good for you,
It’s for my babies, through and through.

I will nurse him in my home,
I will nurse him when I roam.
Leave me be lads and ma’am.
I will nurse him, MOM I AM.

Haha..here we are in the hospital with our first battle with breastfeeding. Julian was in the deepest sleep and could not be woken up to eat. Here we are trying skin to skin and syringe feeding...because I felt so pressured to feed the baby! I had pumped some colostrum to feed him and the nurses backed off about giving him formula or sugar-water. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

EP-ing: the good, the bad, and the ugly.


EP-ing, a term I wish I didn't even know, stands for "Exclusive Pumping". My Medela Pump In Style Advanced was at one time my best friend. When my baby wasn't latching when we were still in the hospital and I didn't want to be accused of starving my child, I was able to pump some of my liquid gold and give it to Julian in a syringe. When one of my nipples became so cracked and the open wound made it unbearable to nurse, the pump made it possible for me to still express milk and keep up with giving Julian my milk. But on the other hand, all that drama has made Julian prefer the bottle to the breast from the beginning of his life and making it a battle between him and I from day one.  I would LOVE nothing more than to be able to nurse this child for as long as my milk is flowing, but it's just near impossible to nurse him! Sometimes he'll nurse in the middle of the night and sometimes if I've been home with him all day he'll be patient enough for the breast, but the vast majority of the time, he will just refuse by arching his back, crying, head butting me, hitting me, and doing whatever he can to try to escape me.  So, the pump, although a double-edged sword, has allowed me to keep giving my baby breast-milk.

Now, let's just talk about the picture I shared above. It is sooo not like this. Unless you wear button down shirts and bras with holes in the front...this is not how it looks! Also, are you really going to just sit out in the living room with your shirt wide open and suction cups sucking milk from your body and your stomach that has just birthed a baby out there for all the world to see? I guess if it's just you and the baby maybe so, but it seemed like for me, there was always someone in and out of my house, which puts me back in a bedroom alone with my pump. Sob story, sorry.

We're 4 1/2 months into this mothering thing and I'm so glad he's gotten the food that nature has intended for him. I am just wondering how much more of this I can take!!! I feel sooo tied down to this pump.    It makes it so hard to just relax because I'm always trying to squeeze in pumping session and making sure I have enough milk ready to go for him. That noise, and if you've ever pumped, you know what I'm talking about, just makes me cringe. Hauling around that stupid bag , washing the flanges a bajillion times a day, and then having to wash bottles as well, is sucking the life out of me. (no pun intended).

So are there any other moms out there who also have this dilemma. Anyone else out there pumping in silence? Well, I just wanna say, that we're in this together...if you exist. And I'm still not giving up! When I think I can't hook myself up to that darn machine one more time...I just do it and then again and again, because what's the alternative? I am not ready to deprive my baby of the best source of nutrition out there. Knowing that I willingly stopped giving Julian all the enzymes and antibodies that fight off infection is just not something I can let myself do right now. So, I'll keep pumping away and be thankful that I am able to give my baby the health benefits of breastmilk. Just look at this healthy boy! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cry It Out...no more.


After 2 sleepless weeks of trying to get Julian to Cry It Out. I am reverting to our more peaceful previous approach. Maybe I'll be waking up to feed him more, but at least he won't be damaging his vocal folds from crying for hours.  Julian, Mommy's num nums are back. Here's my new inspiration:  

Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. "She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."   Proverbs 31:25


A friend shared this with me today and I was very blessed by it. There are so many times in mommyhood when I'm feeling lots of anxiety, but I am working to find a positive confession each day even when I'm not totally feeling it. This verse is what I'm striving for. 



2. Coos and goos.


Even though Julian has a runny nose, cough, and fever for the first time today, he has been singing a sweet and tired tune all day. I love this little man. 





3. My sister.


She is the ultimate servant and has helped me in countless ways the past 4 months without a grumble.  I do not deserve her, but I am so blessed by her and thankful for her presence here in Dallas. This week she babysat Julian for me on Wednesday. Then she stayed all night because I wanted her to watch a tv show with me but we weren't able to start it until super late (courtesy of Julian). Then she helped Ross and I in the wee hours of the morning, when Julian decided to cry from 4am-6am.  It doesn't end there...she ended up staying most of Thursday with me even though she needed to prepare for her friend coming into town because I was in a total funk and she just knew I needed a companion. She did my laundry, my dishes, and washed Julian's bottles numerous times. 



4. Cookie dough. 


When all else fails:  pre-made cookie dough. Probably not the best choice, but it met a need for me yesterday.



Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Accidental Parent

I recently read a book by "The Baby Whisperer" since we're struggling a little in the sleep department. Julian was taking some long stretches while sleeping in his swing, but sadly he is going to outgrow it soon! We decided we have to just draw the line and make him sleep in his crib.  My sister-in-law has had some success with this book and had found lots of helpful tips in it. The main idea I got from the book, though, is that I'm a victim of "accidental parenting". When I told Ross, his response was "Oops, I'm a parent". Very funny... My interpretation of our parenting was more like "Trial and Error Parenting" or "Instinctual Parenting", but, no, it's "accidental" meaning we do what works for us in the moment.

He slept better in my arms as a newborn, so I let him.
He slept more peacefully in his swing, so I let him.
He likes a bottle to soothe himself to sleep, so I give it to him.

However, now I have a baby that sleeps for short stretches in the night and wakes up frequently only to want to eat and even then stays awake for hours because he's not able to soothe himself back to sleep.

All that to say, we are undergoing a modified "baby bootcamp" right now. It would be waaaayyyy to much for us to follow this book's total philosophy. Even though the idea of having a baby who sleeps from 11pm to 7am and who takes two 1 1/2 hour naps a day and a little "hour catnap" in the evening sounds super tempting. I just don't know if it's realistic for us and I don't want to just totally pull out the rug from under Julian all at once. We are starting with just getting him to sleep in his crib at night and during naps. When he wakes up we can rock him and shush him, but ultimately he has to go back in the crib. I'll let you know how things go after a week of this.

Who would have thought this little nugget could be such a handful??

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Every good and perfect gift is from above!

The wild ride of life as Julian's mommy continues. At 14 weeks (just over 3 months), he is doing so many wonderful things! He just started rolling over from tummy to back and from back to tummy. He is starting to support his head, neck, and trunk while sitting up on his own, too. Of course we have to prop him quite a bit, but he is constantly showing us in new ways how strong he is! I included a sweet little video of one of his first times rolling from tummy to back.

video

My biggest challenge (second to breastfeeding), is sleeping, well, the lack-there-of. I am really hoping he starts sleeping for longer stretches soon. I have been so tired, dirty, unproductive, and crabby which lead me to having not-so-good feelings.  However, I am hopeful. I can see that he changes every day and this is just something else that I know will come to pass. Last night, I let him sleep in his swing (after trying to keep him in his crib for the past couple of weeks) and he slept until 4:50 am. It was beautiful and I am so thankful to God for that gift!

I started back to work 2 full days a week and so far I think I'm going to like it. I felt a little guilty the first day of work because I enjoyed being away from home and from Julian. I am realizing though that work may provide me with the balance I need to be a good mommy too.  Every one is different and I think each mom just has to find what works for her family. For the time being, working part time is what works for us. It totally helps me knowing that he is with his Mimi, who would go to the ends of the earth for him,  when he's not with me, too. What a blessing!

Well, so much for "me" time, it's time to tidy up the house a bit before baby stirs from his nap. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dear Julian...


Dear Julian,
Tomorrow you will be 10 weeks old. You are a 2 month old now...not a newborn! You bring me so much joy every day with your sweet little hands and feet, your giant smile, and your baby blue eyes. Your coos and goos just melt my heart.

You wake up each morning with a sweet smile on your face. Even though I'm usually exhausted, you just light up the room with your joy. I can't help but love on you.

You are starting to get interested in your activity mat and are able to even occupy yourself for a bit playing with your hanging animals. You are just learning to grasp objects and I can tell you are working really hard to gain more hand-eye coordination. You are really into your hands now and you have been drooling so much! Surely you aren't teething yet...right??

Even though you don't like tummy time for too long, you are soooo good at it! You can hold your head up so high for so long. I am so proud of how strong you are.

You have the most gorgeous long eyelashes. They are a nice complement to your big shining baby blues. Your doctor even called you "handsome" and "a flirt". I was so glad she got to see what a sweet personality you have.

I like to call you "Curious George" sometimes because you are so curious about your environment. You like to face outwards when we hold you so you can see the world. I can tell you are studying everything around you by the way you look at things so carefully.

You have a beautiful voice. Daddy and I love having "conversations" with you. The back and forth noise making is so fun. We've also caught you singing along with me when I'm singing. You are very good!

I am excited to see how you'll change over the next month and feel so blessed that you are developing so wonderfully. I can't believe how fast it's all going!! I'll love you forever and ever and you'll always be my baby boy.

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baby Bounce Basics: some babies bounce, my baby sleeps


Today I mustered up the courage to take Julian on an outing to the mall. I needed a little exercise and we both needed a new environment. We ventured to the mall and they just so happened to have a baby class happening in the mall library. Of course, we decided to join in.

I first noticed all of the strollers parked outside the library. Is this ok? I felt a little exposed just leaving my stroller and babies goodies out in the hallway of the mall, but it seemed like it was the thing to do. Silly mommy didn't bring a purse or diaper bag inside and so I just left everything in the basket under the stroller and covered it up. Then I parked my stroller alongside the other 25 strollers and picked up my sweet boy to go inside.

Sweet little boy had a nice surprise for me in his diaper though...and on his onesie...and in the carseat. I thought it probably wasn't good manners to bring my poopy pants boy into the library, so we loaded back up in the stroller and found the nearest bathroom. We cleaned ourselves up (for the most part) and headed back to the library.

Just then my sweetness remembered he was hungry. Never fear...super-mommy had the bottle ready to go and I carried my little bugger and his bottle into the library where songs had already begun and a woman was handing out scarves and egg-shakers. Hmmm...where is my third arm when I need it?

Baby boy and I sat in the back row and started our bottle. It started getting pretty loud with the music playing, mommies singing, and kids yelling. It didn't seem to bother my baby at all. He just sucked down his bottle and then fell right asleep. It just didn't seem right to wake him up so I just sat there and took a mental note of all the songs so I could try to learn them all for the next week. I was surprised that we weren't the youngest there. There were several babies that looked about Julian's age or younger. In fact, there was one 3 week old there. I made sure to tell that mommy "way to go!".

Even though my little bug didn't participate the same way the others did, I felt like it was a success. We got out of the house. We dealt with everything that came our way. And I had a good time. Even though Julian slept for the most part, he was so laid back and enjoyed his experience. Maybe he'll even stay awake next time! So proud of this boy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sing a song of.....how's that go again???


I love to sing. Mostly in my car and in the shower...but I love to sing. I've always dreamed of all the great songs I'd be able to sing to Julian from Christian songs that are rich with Biblical truths to Broadway showtunes to popular radio hits. But now that he's here, when it comes time to sing a lullaby my mind goes BLANK!! What is going on??? I sit down in the rocker to soothe my baby to sleep and the only songs that come to mind are soooo strange like "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and "The Ants Go Marching". What's the deal? Has anyone else experienced this wierd phenomenon?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dear Julian...


Dear Julian,
Today you are 6 weeks and 1 day old. You are such a sweet boy and mommy loves you. I am completely shocked at how time has flown by since you were born. I can't believe how big you are already and how you change each and every day. I love how you make such good eye contact with me and I love the way your little lips look when you smile. I love how you make little ooo's and ahh's and grunts to talk to me. I am so proud of all your accomplishments. You have a strong neck and you make great efforts to hold your head up all the time. When I lay you on your tummy you can turn your head from side to side and lift your neck up. You are so social. When we talk to you, you turn your head and look at our faces. You even look back and forth between two people who are talking. For the last few weeks, you've been pretty fussy in the evenings, but I can tell you are starting to grow out of that. Last night you only fussed for about an hour and were soothed by sucking, shushing, swaying, swaddling, and being on your side. I'm always thankful when we find things that can soothe you. You really enjoy being outside. Someday you'll have to tell me why. Is it because of the heat? Or do you like the noises the cicadas make? Or do you just like looking up at the sky and at the trees? Soon it will be cooler and I'll let you stay outside longer, I promise. You are the most amazing thing that has ever happened to your daddy and me and we are so thankful and blessed that God has allowed us to bring you into this world and raise you. You are our little angel baby.

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our Birth Story


On June 4th, the very next day after my last posting, my water began leaking. At first I wasn't certain if that's what it was but as it continued throughout the day I became more confident that was what was happening. We waited and waited for contractions to come and nothing at all was happening. We decided not to call the doctor yet, as we didn't want to be "on the clock". Hospitals will tell you that you have to have a baby within 18-24 hours of your water breaking. So we kept waiting. We went on walks in our neighborhood, walked stairs, experimented with acupressure and nipple stimulation with the pump. Still I felt nothing except an occasional gush of water. We went to bed that night feeling a bit nervous, but we prayed about it and felt a peace about staying at home.

The next morning at 9 am when contractions still hadn't started I called the on-call doctor to see what she thought. Of course she wanted me to come in right away even though she thought I had just started leaking that morning. I still didn't want to go in to the hospital and decided to go get professional acupressure and a massage done instead. When I left the acupressure session, I had a missed call from the on-call doctor urging me to call her. When I did, she kept reinforcing the risk of infection and the need to "get labor going". She knew I wanted to go natural and said there were other options besides pitocin. I was still not happy about the options she gave me as I knew they would potentially have the same effect as pitocin. I asked about naturally inducing with a foley-catheter but she didn't agree to it due to the "infection risk"....I know I'm not a doctor, but wouldn't the risk be the same as the other options which also involved sticking things inside me?? Anyway, I kept waiting and we got all the bags ready to go and my family and Ross basically had to push me out the door at 4 pm (20 hours since my water began leaking).

Once at the hospital, they put me in a "temporary room" which became my "permanent room" as soon as they determined my water had indeed broken. So, there I was...at the hospital and not happy about it at all. Still no contractions and I already felt pressured and controlled by nurses and doctors. The doctors decided I needed to be induced and I was given the option of a cervical gel called prepodil which is supposed to stimulate contractions and ripen the cervix. It was promptly inserted and I was told I would have to lay in bed for 2 hours with fetal monitors strapped on. Within an hour, small contractions began. So little I could barely feel them but I could see them on the monitoring screen. 2 hours passed and I was dying to get out of the bed and get moving, however the nurse informed us that Julian's heart rate was dropping every time I had a contraction. We asked if we could try sitting up to alter the position and see if that helped. She said that would only make things worse and made me stay on the bed longer. Every time the nurse came back to check on me we pleaded our case to be able to sit up right next to the bed while still strapped to the monitors. We just really felt that they needed to let us at least TRY something else besides laying there uncomfortably on the bed. Finally, she agreed, but made sure we knew it was not going to help anything. So we got a birth ball and got me set up next to the bed where all my attachments could still reach the machines. An hour later, lo and behold, Julian's heartrate was doing just fine with each contraction! The nurse commented that we were right about trying the new position and that baby liked it! Hooray, now we were given the go ahead to get off of the continuous monitors and walk around as we please.

Ross and I began walking the halls and timing the contractions. They would sneak up on me slowly and I would feel tightening in my lower back. At the peak of the contraction I was pretty uncomfortable but then it would start to subside and I could walk and talk and laugh again. This went on for a few hours. Contractions were about 5 minutes apart. Around 10 pm, my friend Jenny showed up to help us. At first, I thought she was there too early and that she would get bored....but things really started picking up then. My contractions were getting stronger and my moaning was getting louder. I was no longer able to walk during the contractions as they would stop me in my tracks and I had to hold on to the rails on the wall or lean back against the wall. But once it subsided I could walk and talk again. Contractions were about 3 minutes apart.

At some point, I went back into the room...I don't remember why probably to go to the bathroom or something but that's when things started getting ugly. I had to get hooked up to fluids which made it difficult to get around. Going to the bathroom was a 2 person job. I needed someone to hold the bag of fluid out of my way while I got my pants on and off. And at this point, contractions were coming faster and when they would catch me in a less than optimal position such as sitting on the toilet I was in major pain. I was doing my best to try to find positions that would relieve any of the pain.

There was a rail in the bathroom that I found to be a good height for me to hold onto while squatting. Then I got the bed in a position where I could get on my knees and lean forward. It also helped to hold onto Ross's shoulders like we were dancing (kind of) and have him hold me up while Jenny massaged my lower back. This was ultimately the best position. But after several contractions in each of these positions I was needing something different.

Thus begins the hydrotherapy phase. I got in the shower and Ross sprayed hot water on my lower back. It felt wonderful. I am still in the worst pain of my life, but it did provide some relief as I was crying and starting to feel like I couldn't continue any longer. Contractions were 1 minute apart and lasting 1 minute.

When the hydrotherapy wasn't helping any more we decided to change positions but before we could find another one another contraction came and then another and another. I am not clothed at this point...having been in the shower just prior. Somehow my pants were missing too. And then I ended up on the floor. Things are starting to get hazy now. I am now in a different reality. And what do you know, it was time for another "check". yippee. Everyone thought I had to be getting close to transition. Even the nurse had the delivery table out and ready to go. But everyone's faces dropped to the ground when we found out I was only at 6cm dilated. Each contraction was bringing me to the ground in pain and there was hardly any time in between to rest. I had been laboring for about 14 hours and it was probably 9 am or so (remember I got to the hospital at 4 pm the evening prior).

I'll try to zip thru the next 10 hours...
Drugs were given...epidural was given...I was able to rest for awhile...and finally after 6 more hours, it was time to push!

After about a half hour, the nurse informed me that she has seen someone push for 4 hours before and not to worry about how long it was taking. Haha, little did she know that her shift would end before I ever delivered. Julian took 4 hours to make his way all the way down. Seriously, every contraction he would move millimeters if even that. And just when I thought I couldn't take it any longer, out he came. All the pain I was in just melted away as they put him in my arms. He was slimy and purply-colored. His face was red and blotchy and his skin was so wrinkly, but nonetheless, perfect. His little lips were curled up and his cry sounded like "hoo-aa, hoo-aa". The sweetest noise I had ever heard. Soon after being placed on my chest, he found his thumb and stopped crying. Absolutely precious. The whole hospital experience still haunts us, and even though we didn't have the drug-free birth that we had hoped for, we feel like having a vaginal delivery was a success. And certainly our ultimate goal was a healthy boy, so we were so blessed. Julian was a trooper and did so great the whole labor and delivery!

Julian Ross Barry-born on June 6th at 8:18pm, 7 lbs 10 oz, 20 1/2 inches long, sweet, cuddly, new, precious, wonderful. Praise the Lord!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The 40-week update

Here I am, 40 weeks pregnant and still waiting for our little guy. I have to say the past 9 months have flown by! About a week ago people started asking me more increasingly, "Now when is your due date again?" and sending me emails and texts asking "Have you had the baby yet?" So far, I'm ok with all that and I know everyone is just excited for us and to meet the baby. It's not going to change the fact that no matter what I know his due date is June 5th and have that day looming over my head. It's crazy how I just assumed for some reason all throughout pregnancy that I would have him early and maybe even miss the last week of school. But that day has come and gone and here I am.

Although I know that cervix dilation is really a non-predictive measure, I still eagerly jump up on the doctor's table each week to hear what, if any, changes have taken place since the week prior. As of this Wednesday I was still about 1 cm dilated...which like I said, really means nothing as some women can linger at 3 cm for weeks and some women go from 1 to 10 within hours. My cervix is approximately 50% thinned out and baby Julian's head is engaged in my pelvis. It's crazy to think that my doctor has been able to touch his head!

I still have not had any true labor contractions and to date no lower back pain. In the evenings it seems I am feeling more pressure down there and Braxton Hicks contractions come more frequently. For that reason, every evening lately I've been thinking...tonight could be the night! And I wouldn't be surprised if I wake up having true labor contractions...but every morning I wake up feeling normal and another day pursues.

Ross and I are extremely excited. We've read our Bradley workbook, packed our bags, and gone over a plethora of different scenarios of what we think it might be like when it really does happen. We like acting out different birthing positions and coming up with hypothetical texts that we can send to people announcing that we're in labor. We're silly like that.

There is a lot of uncertainty about WHEN baby will arrive, but other than that, I feel ready. Not that I feel like I'm equipped to be the perfect mom or that I'll even know how to do anything "right". But what I do know is that I'm well supported by friends, family, and most of all my loving husband and that is one fact that I know with all my heart. Ross has been the ultimate husband to me and already has shown how awesome of a daddy he is going to be. I have grown even more and more in love with Ross over the past 9+ months. It's amazing how this pregnancy has brought out even more shining qualities in him when he was already so wonderful.

Enough for now...I have to get ready for a date with my hubby.