Thursday, July 21, 2011

Photo Post

Here are some of Cohen's photos from a shoot done in late June!

Go Ducks! :)

We didn't make him eat the hay... he just eats everything.

I'm photoshopped out. I was holding him here.

Little farmer boy just like his GPaw.

lacking is an understatement

Oh, blog.
I've been slightly lacking in the blog department. Which is what all of my blog posts are about, lol.
Between school (over now! holla!) and work and buying a house (we bought a house!) and trying to get my toos h in shape (and let's face it, I get on the forum too much) I haven't written in fo'evaaaa.

What's new?
The last time I posted Cohen had just turned 6 months. He is now 8 months (& 2 days!).
At his 6 month check up he weighed in at 17 lbs 9 oz (48th %) and he was 28.3 inches (94th %) ... still tall and skinny :)

He sits up like a pro and plays with this toys, he rolls over to get something, he's days away from crawling (he'll do the inch worm crawl if he really wants something) and his bottom 2 teeth have finally joined us. Well, the tops of them have.

I wish I could say he's sleeping through the night, but every night is different. Some nights he sleeps 7-5 then has a bottle and sleeps until 7. Those are good nights. Other nights (not quite as often) he'll be up at 2 or 3. I'm assuming his teeth are bothering him.

He loves eating. He's tried a lot of different foods. I've been making his baby food. Right now we're slowly introducing some finger foods. He's eaten a graham cracker, a banana, and a slice of peach all by himself. And some puffs and "crunch grahams" from the baby aisle at Target.

We're also trying to work with the sippy cup, but he just gnaws on it instead of actually drinking from it. He'll get there eventually (I hope).

With the sometimes warm weather kind of here, Cohen has played in his baby pool a few times. He's not as crazy as I expected him to be. He has more fun in the tub. I'm thinking that's because he's so subdued outside. Whenever he's really upset, we take him outside and he calms right down. He just becomes very calm. He loves the breeze on his face. Goofy kid.

We took our first trip last week. He did spectacular on the plane rides, both there and back. In fact, he did better than I did on the way there. We had so much go wrong with planes and delays and storms. We arrived in Atlanta 11 hours later than we were supposed to. That's 20 hours him and I were up, either on a plane or in an airport. That's way too long. Somehow he was fine though. He slept when he wanted to sleep and ate his food and looked around. He kept me exhausted but I was just happy with how well he did. We had a great time visiting my best friend Laura in Alabama. I didn't want to leave her. I only see her once, maybe twice, a year.

Tonight he is staying the night with G'Maw Dee. It will be my 2nd night away from him. The last time he stayed the night there, he was 3 months old and we went to visit some friends. Tonight it's just because his sleeping has been rough (he's still readjusting from our trip, I believe) and I have to open at work tomorrow. I have to get up at 5, and considering last night I was up at 1, 3:15, and 4, my mom thought she'd do me a favor and take him for the night. I'm looking forward to a good night's rest, and maybe an ice cream date with my hubby :)

Here are some pictures of my manzanita. So big!

Playing in his pool :)

Wearing Daddy's shoes.

His first 4th of July!

My little family on the 4th!

Gonna make a run for it.

Cohen & his Auntie LaLa (My best friend Laura) & me!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm the worst blogger. Ever.

It's been over a month since I've posted. This blog is becoming just like my many journals that I've decided I'm going to "write in and keep up with to look back in" and never go longer than a few weeks. Oh well, I will post all of the crazy updates that have happened.

2 days after my last post, Cohen hit 5 months old. He is now 6 months and 2 days, lol. He is a different baby! He now eats oatmeal, bananas, butternut squash, peaches, apples, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Tomorrow he gets to try green beans! I've been waiting to do a few of the greens because of his acid reflux. Pedi suggested waiting until 6 months because green beans have soy in them which I guess can be worse for the A.R. His favorite is definitely apples. He sits unassisted now! Usually for no more than 5 minutes, but I know any day now he will stay sitting like he's been doing it forever. That's how all of his milestones usually show up. He tries to blow raspberries... try being a key word here. He does a goofy little thing with his mouth, it's the cutest thing! I'll post a video.

He also found his feet and likes to put them in his mouth... ew. He kicks around and splashes like a crazy kid in the bath. I think he will love the pool/beach this summer. He babbles and coos a lot and laughs at everything. I'm so lucky he is such a happy baby! He discovered he can actually bounce when he's in his jumperoo and he goes CRAZY in it. I mean I swear he's going to fly out of that thing. He grabs onto one of the boys like they're handlebars and just bounces his life away.

 Just last night we started "ferberzing" Cohen to ditch the swaddle. We've tried everything else and he started flipping over onto his tummy while swaddled which is not okay, so we did progressive waiting. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting. It was hard, as I knew it would be, and I was exhausted all night and the entire day today. He went down at 8 and only cried for 3 minutes before falling asleep. He was up 2 hours later, I fed him a little bit, he fell asleep before he even hit the 3 minute mark, but was up 2 hours later. That's when I woke up Darren to help, but I guess Cohen was overtired because Darren was up with him for an hour. I tried to get some sleep but couldn't while listening to Cohen cry. Darren fed him a little bit, burped him, then put him down and went in at 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and he was asleep before he reached 7 minutes and slept for almost 5 hours. So that's progress. Today's first nap was good, but he barely napped the entire day so I guess the day time will be worse. He was still a happy camper even with no naps! But it's 9:50 PM now and he went to bed without a peep at 8:15 with no swaddle or binky (double bonus!) so we'll see how tonight goes.

We had a great Easter, he got spoiled of course. His grandmas have enjoyed watching him even more because he's so much fun at this age. The weather has finally started getting nice and Cohen gets a walk in his stroller almost every day! I bought a lightweight stroller that I love! I can throw it in the back of the car and take it in MIL's or my mom's so Cohen can get walks in with them. It'll come in handy in July when we take our visit airplane ride to Alabama! We are going to visit my best friend in the entire world which is so exciting to me. Flying with Cohen while he's 8 months old will be interesting, but I think we'll be okay. It will be worth it: 5 days in hot weather with my best friend. We're thinking we might go down to Destin, FL to enjoy the beach while we're there. Lots of baby sunblock!

Mother's day was great--I got some flowers for the yard and a picture collage of pictures of my sweet baby. I got to spend the day with Darren and Cohen, then with my parents for a bit, and then with the in-laws for a bit. Perfect day!

We got some family photos done which I am so happy with! They were 100% free by a family friend! I feel so blessed. It was a sunny day, we had a bbq, shot some photos, Cohen took a nap, we shot some more... the day ended up being perfect! I'll post a few of them. We're getting some more of Cohen in a few weeks at a picture party with lots of fun little props since he'll be sitting up really well at this point. It'll be by the same photographer who did his newborn photos that I am obsessed with. I need to print the new pics and frame them all over the house:):)

Well, I've got less than a month of school left and then I'll have so much less stress in my life! I'm so excited. Maybe I will start blogging more when school is over... hm, we'll see :)

new pics:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

updates & pics!

Not much has actually happened since I last posted, aside from school, school, and school. Yet somehow it seems Cohen has changed dramatically in the last few days. Although he's been batting/trying to touch things for a while now, he's really mastered reaching out and touching things. I can no longer take a drink while holding him because he goes right for it. We've also tried avocados and peaches since I last posted. I didn't want to add in any fruits until we mastered the vegetables, but Cohen's Grandma put a peach in his mesh feeder, and since I didn't want to feed him anything else for a few days (to watch for reactions) I just fed him some pureed peaches and he really loved them. Butternut squash is next on our list. He's really attentive to Tucker Pug now and every time he walks by he reaches out to pet him. Once he grabs a hold of Tucker's fur/skin he is all over him. He even tries to put the handful of Tuck's skin in his mouth (as everything else that comes into his grasp). He's still sleeping well, but still dependent on the swaddle and the bink. I'm thinking another month and we try modified Ferber to break him of it; at least of the swaddle. He gets out of the that thing every night, and is so upset after busting out of it. I don't know what else to do. He's been holding his own bottle, usually for the majority of his whole feeding time, but only when there's 4 or less oz. in it. I'm still pretty proud of him, though!

School sucks :[ It's not all that stressful, and I surprisingly find Microbiology to be easier than the Anatomy classes. I'm also taking an Allied Health class that's so easy it's boring. It's just the scheduling that is stressing me out. I went from working 20 hours a week, to working 20 hours a week + going to class 10 or so hours a week. Plus the time in between school and work means more time away from Cohen. Pumping has been a nightmare, but I'm still pulling through. I hope to at least EP until C is 6 months old, but I just realized that's only another month, so maybe I will make it to 8 months.

Cloth diapering is still going great! I officially love Best Bottoms! The interchangeable inserts and reuseable covers are just too easy, and I can use my prefolds inside the covers too. I'm also loving the Working Horse diapers from Green Moutain Diapers. They're basically fitted prefolds that require a cover. We've been using Pockets at night and he's had a few leaks, but only when I didn't make sure the inserts weren't bunches around his legs.

My mom has been so helpful through all of this, and she's going a little crazy with the spending. She comes over on Mondays and Wednesdays to watch Cohen. While he's napping she will do all of my laundry and prepare a dinner for me. She makes my life so much easier. She decided I needed new pots and pans because mine aren't a set so she went out and bought me a brand new set. She also said she doesn't like my heavy dishes, so I should pick out a Corningware pattern and she will buy me a set. Wtf? A couple months ago I mentioned the high chair we were getting Cohen, and she shows up at my house with it, as well as a new jumperoo and some clothes for him. Yesterday she found some swaddleme's in size L which I was just going to order on Amazon, so she bought 2 of them, some new bibs, some Ella's Kitchen and Revolution Foods squeezable baby food, some washing soda and borax (I mentioned how I've been making my own cleaning products) and some "Guilt-free" tortilla chips from Trader Joe's. She just hands me bags of stuff! She's crazy, I tell you. Of course I appreciate it, but I feel guilty. She already has Cohen for basically 15-18 hours a week, without pay, and she spoils us both. What would we do without her? I also can't forget about MIL, she watches Cohen on Tuesdays and Thursdays for about 4 hours each day, and she's been great about buying stuff to keep at her house so Cohen is comfortable. She bought a great Chicco pack and play, some toys, a baby crack machine (the Homedics Soundspa, which my mom always bought for her house), and a jumperoo for Cohen while he's there. I feel really blessed and lucky to have all of this support.

Now onto the cute boy:

Holding his Ba.

New Tye-Dye Happy Heiny's!

Trying to grab the mobile :)

Already getting into trouble! He would have pulled out the whole roll if I let him.

Lovin on my boy.

My guys

Shoe shopping with Dad. 

Crackin' up.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cloth diapering so far

I've been doing the Jillian Drawers cloth diaper trial for a week or so and I really love it. The trial came with 4 prefolds-2 bleached and 2 unbleached, a Thirsties duo wrap (a reusable cover), a Thirsties fab fitted, a Thirsties duo diaper (a pocket), a FuzziBuns pocket, 2 Bum Genious Pockets (one snap, one aplix), a GroVia AI2 (a reusable shell with a snap-in insert), and a Econobum pocket. I think that's it? I really like all of them. As for my own stash, I think I will keep 2 or 3 of the pockets from the trial for nighttime, because I can stuff some extra inserts in them and they'll hold up for the 12 hours Cohen usually sleeps. Other than that, I think I'm going to do more of the prefold/AI2 route.

I had a couple leaks with the prefolds, but I think it's because there are so many different types of folds, and you have to try out a few to find the ones that fit your baby. I've had a few successful ones. Also I think the Thirsties cover is too small. It's so tight on C and always comes un-velcro'd (new word? lol). I was on and read that although the size 1 of the Thirsties cover says it'll go to 18 lbs. it's more like 15 lbs. Cohen is just about 15 lbs, so I ordered two of the size 2 of the Thirsties cover from Nicki's diapers, and they fit great on the smaller setting (they have snaps to make them smaller). I also ordered a Bummis whisper wrap because I've heard pretty good things about it. I haven't used it, yet. I ordered 2 Best Bottoms shells, 2 Stay Dry inserts for them, and a hemp insert for them. I think Best Bottoms will be my favorite because there is only 1 size of a shell that adjust with snaps, and the inserts come in different sizes for absorbency. That makes it really affordable! Also, the shell can be used all day until soiled. I think it'll be easier for my MIL and my mom to change just the insert on him. The same goes with prefolds--I can just use a reusable cover (they're waterproof) and change his prefolds. I think I will use prefolds while I'm at home, and AI2's while he's being babysat.

I ordered a fitted "Workinghorse" diaper from GMD that is made out of the material of the prefolds. I haven't used it yet, but it's prepped and ready to go, so if I like it, I think I will order a few of them because they're pretty affordable, so I can reuse a cover on them during a day.

I like the idea of not buying diapers again! Laundering the cloth diapers is not a hassle like it is with other laundry, because there's not much folding or putting away to them. I hate folding clothes and hanging them up! The diapers I just pull out of the dryer and stuff into a drawer :) Loving it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Well, I suck at blogging.

I really need to be better about posting. I always sit down to blog but end up bumping and/or facebooking and not getting it done. Well what is new since I last posted? The 4 month wakeful has left the building. Cohen is back to his usual sleep schedule. He goes to bed around 8 or 8:30, fusses for his binky usually twice between 3-5, and is up anywhere from 7-9. I'm getting really tired of the binky and the swaddle. I've been reading more and more about Ferber and I think we're going to give it a go next weekend.. </3

I had a few opening shifts last week, which was nice because I could be home by 1 or 2 and have the whole day with my boy. I'm back to closing 4 days a week, and I start school tomorrow. I'm feeling somewhat excited for school just because I'll get to see a few friends I haven't seen in a while, and I can start going to the gym 3 days a week. I'm not looking forward to an extra day without my baby, though. My schedule will be hectic. On Mondays and Wednesdays my mom will be at my house at 9:30 for me to leave and be to class by 10. I will have class until 11:50. On Mondays I work at 1, so I will have an hour to work out. On Wednesdays I work at 2, sometimes 3, so I will be able to work out, tan, and maybe study if I need to. I get off at 6:30 which gets me home around 7, so I can do Cohen's bedtime routine and put him to bed. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I will at least have the morning with Cohen. I will drop him off with MIL at 1, be to class at 1:20 and be out around 2:30. On Tuesdays I don't have my evening class until 5, so I will have over two hours to get errands done, work out, etc. I'll then have my class from 5 until 7:15, so I probably won't get to see Cohen before he goes to bed :( On Thursdays I work at 3 so I'll go right to work after class, and be home at 7. FRIDAYS are my savior days--just me and Cohen all day long until Daddy gets home. I work a 6 hour shift on Saturdays so that's Cohen & Daddy days, and Sunday is our family day--the best day of all!

I ordered the Jillian Drawers cloth diaper trial, and I'm loving it so far. I will post a separate blog to review which cloth diapers I love/like/hate. I ordered some to start my own stash, and I'm pretty excited about it.

I went to the chiro for my back pain. It's helped quite a bit, but it still feels strained and it will probably stay that way as long as I have a little boy to pick up. At least it's better though.

Cohen has been his usual squealing, rolling, crazy self. I love him more and more each day. I'll end this post with some pics of him!

OH, and some giggles :):):) Only 7 seconds-my silly camera turned off.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

4 month stats

I'm a little late on this. But Cohen had his 4 month appt. on Wednesday the 23rd. It went really well. He gained 3 lbs. and grew 3 in. since his 2 month appt. He weighs 14 lbs. and 11 oz. (in the 46th percentile) and he is 26.2 in. long (in the 93rd percentile). So I have a tall, skinny bean pole. Just like his Daddy :] He had to get more vaccines, which sucks, but he did alright. There were just 2. He was smiling at me and the nurse who was sweet talkin' him. I saw the needle go in out of the corner of my eye, and his face went red. He didn't even make any sounds, but his mouth was open, and tears were falling. Then the scream came out with the second poke. It was SO sad! He knows how to make me cry. Luckily he calmed down quick and I got him home fast so he could nap it off. The pedi cleared us for solids. In fact she encouraged it. She couldn't believe how much Cohen eats. But if he's hungry, I feed him! He usually has a 7-8 oz. bottle of breast milk every 3 hours. He usually eats once in 10 hours through the night. We tried some brown rice cereal, and he was definitely intrigued, but not used to it. We added a little bit of sweet potato to the rice cereal and I think he got maybe 2 bites out of it. We'll try again in a few days or a week. In the meanwhile here are some cute pics of him being a big boy in his high chair :)

The unwelcome 4 month wakeful is still residing in our house. It's only been a week or maybe a little more, but I'm so tired of it. I hope it doesn't last much longer. I guess it could be worse-he's usually up one or two times a night, and then really early in the morning, you could call that another wake-up. He's hard to settle down in the early morning, he just wants to get up and play. But I know at 5 AM, he still needs his sleep so I usually rock him or let him chat himself back to sleep. I just sleep in to make up the sleep, but I open 3 days this week, and leaving the house at 5 AM, as opposed to waking up at 9 AM, is going to be a bit of a change for me. Luckily, it's just 3 days.

What else is new? Well, Cohen found his voice... or, his squealer I should say. He will shriek and squeal the day away.

He's still napping really well; falling asleep on his own and sleeping 1-2 hours. He's also been doing a lot better if we skip a nap, which is only when we're out of the house. He doesn't sleep great in the car, so I used to rush to get errands done during his wake time. Nowadays he'll stay pretty content if there's something new to look at (like in the grocery store or in a restaurant) so I can get out a little bit more on my days off. We put him in his Johnny Jump-Up today! He really liked it. He didn't jump before he spit up all over it, but he'll get the hang of it soon :)

My back is completely strained. I'm guessing from leaning over his crib all the time, and bending over to pick him up. And for some stupid reason I sit on the floor while I pump. I've moved my pump station to the loveseat, and I've been rotating ice and heat on my back. It's a dull ache that just radiates between my shoulder blades and it's been driving me crazy. It makes me such a lazy bum.

I ordered my Jillian Drawers cloth diaper trial a few days ago, and I'm so excited to get it! I will post pics of his fluffy bottom when I get them. Nothing else is new... school starts April 5th and I'm truly dreading it. It's still rainy here, although the sun peaks out for an hour or two everyday. I'm so read for sunshine everyday!
That's all for now :)


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baby items & my thoughts on them.

Cohen has so much stuff! We have a pretty good sized house and it is being taken over by all of Cohen's "necessities". I was thinking about it today, and baby items must be one of the biggest markets out there. I know I took forever deciding what brands of things to get him. I spent so much time reading reviews, comparing prices, and considering future use. I decided to post all of his stuff and write my own little reviews about them.

First off, the items that took me longest to decide on, were his car seat & stroller. We got the Baby Trend car seat, in Phantom, and the jogger stroller to go with it.
I really wanted a jogger because I do a lot of light jogging, and where we live, most of our walks will be on gravel or on the beach. I figured the rubber wheels would be more sensible than a regular stroller. I will consider getting a lightweight umbrella stroller when the weather is nicer and I will actually need it. I really love the jogger, though. Although it's a little bulky, it's not that heavy, and it's easy to fold up and out. I've used it for jogging a couple times (although I am supposed to weight until Cohen is 6 months old). It was just a light, slow, jog and I really liked it. I'm not the biggest fan of the car seat. It's a little heavier than some of the others, and it doesn't seem to bode well with Cohen's long body. He is 26.5 inches tall and his feet are already almost over the edge. We will move him to a convertible car seat as soon as he's probably about 6 months. I also tend to carry his carrier in the crease my elbow, like a bag, kind of like the pic below. The triangle top on this car seat handle doesn't really conform on my arm well, although I've heard it's great  for those who carry the car seat with their hand. Anyway, I think next time we'll get a Chicco travel system, or maybe even spring for a Peg Perego.

Luckily I don't carry Cohen's car seat too often because we bought the Chicco Infant Carrier. At first, I wanted a sling because they seem easier to get on and off and easier to get baby in and out of it. I bought the Balboa Baby ring sling. Cohen and I both hated it. So when I took it back to BRU, I decided I would get a Baby Bjorn. When looking at the carriers, I saw the Chicco one, and I've heard such great things about Chicco products, and it was about 40 dollars cheaper than the Bjorn, so I went for it. Darren and I both really like it. Cohen can face in or out, and it's not too difficult getting him in and out of it. We've used this item a lot, and I really love it! I would die without it when we go grocery shopping or on long walks because Cohen isn't a big fan of his car seat.

Next on the "took-forever-to-decide" list is Cohen's swing. It's a swing! How hard could it be to decide? But I wanted something with a subtle color so that we could use it for baby #2, and for some reason I insisted on it matching the bouncer we got. So I found these at Target and really liked them. My favorite thing about the swing is that it can it can go both. You just never know, your baby may have a preference! I've heard from some moms that their baby liked swinging one way and not the other. Cohen doesn't mind which way, but maybe the next one will. Anyway, we got the Bright Starts Ingenuity bouncer and swing in "Bella Vista" ... I love both items. The swing was a complete lifesaver for the first 3 months of Cohen's life. He slept in it more than he did anywhere else. The batteries last a pretty good amount of time, considering how often we used it. The bouncer is an automatic bouncer which was great when Cohen was a teeny fella, that bounce put him to sleep a lot, and it has nature sounds and lullabies, just as the swing does. The batteries lasted a decent amount in this as well. Both have timers for 30, 45, and 60 minutes. Both are easy to clean and they're really cute for being a unisex pattern. I'm glad we have both items for the next baby.

There are some items we haven't got much use out of but are scattered about our house. We have the Baby Einstein Jumperoo. It is big and has a lot of fun little activities on it, and it makes noise. Baby loves that. Cohen has sat in it and talked to a few of the toys but he isn't quite to the jumping phase yet. Although a little big, this jumperoo is easy to take apart and store. Right now we have it in between our spare bed and desk in our guest room because once taken apart, it only need a narrow space to store it.

He also has the Bright Starts Bounce Bounce Baby exersaucer, because apparently the jumperoo just wasn't enough, lol! Well, his GMaw bought him this, and he fits in it a little better than the jumperoo. It was easy to put together, it is light weight, and easy to clean. Cohen can almost touch the bottom to bounce, and I know once he can reach it, he will love this thing. 

The last item I'm reviewing today is the Fisher Price Spacesaver High Chair. I really love this because it just snaps onto a chair we already have in the dining room. This way we don't have to have another infamous baby item taking up a bunch of space. This comes in a few different patterns to choose from, and we got a unisex one just in case we have a little lady in the future. So far, I really like this. It seems sturdy when fastened onto the chair, and Cohen is safe and secure when we have him buckled in. We have pushed him up to the table with us while we eat, and he really likes it. The tray is easily removed. The fabric cover comes off easily to be machine washed. It was easy to assemble. It can recline for a smaller baby, and be more upright for someone Cohen's age or older. The base also extends a little higher to it can fit the height of your table. The best part is it it can later be used as a booster seat for when Cohen is a little older. Who doesn't love a 2-in-1?

These are just a few of the way too many items that Cohen brought a long with him. :] We can't forget his play mat, bumbo, and all of the other little items that we "couldn't live without" ... Luckily, once you get all of this stuff, if you take care of it, you can have it for the next one!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

4 months old / Cohen's birth story

My baby boy turned 4 months old yesterday! I cried... twice. I just look at him and I can't believe how quick he's growing. I swear I just brought it home yesterday. I can't believe how fast it's going by. I need to savor every minute with him. Especially when I start class up in a couple weeks-I will be so busy. It just seems so unfair :(

As fast as it's going by, I find myself looking back at the day he was born. Who am I kidding? I think about that night at least once a day. Sometimes while I'm rocking him, I try and remember what it feels like to hold him as just a little 8 lb. baby, but for the life of me, I can't. It feels like he's been this size forever. Will I still feel like that when he's 6 months? Or a year? I hope I can at least remember the night he was born. I feel blessed to have it on video, so I can relive the moment I met my first child, the new love of my life, the center of my world. I will admit, I watch the video a few times a week. It's been a few days, I think maybe I will watch it after I share Cohen's birth story.

  In the last few weeks of my pregnancy I had 4 bouts of false labor. I would feel some contractions, they would be every 20 minutes, then 15, then even 10, and I would be so excited. Each time, they fizzled away and I was back to waiting impatiently. 2 days after my due date, I was dilated to a 2.5 cm. I had a non-stress test and asked my OB to strip my membranes. She did at about 10 AM, and within an hour I was having contractions. Was it because she stripped my membranes, or because I truly was due to have this baby? I didn't know. I decided not to get my hopes up this time. I ran a few errands with my mom and sister and was still contracting hours later. 

I looked at the clock at 12:13-I will always remember being in the backseat of my mom's car and seeing that time on the clock. I decided to start timing the contractions. They were coming every 10 minutes. Once I arrived home, I started to watch a movie and noticed I felt a bit of back pain with each one. At about 1:30 I started to write down the times of each one, and they were roughly 8-10 minutes apart, 30-45 seconds long. I love looking at the piece of paper with times written down on it. You can see my handwriting get worse and worse, as the times get closer together. The last few times written down I was writing fast and sloppy due to the pain. I did a quick clean up of my house, just in case this was it, and double-checked my hospital bag. I recall vacuuming my duvet cover with an attachment, because it was covered in Tucker's pug hair, and I didn't want to come home to such a furry bed. I vividly remember stopping every few minutes to talk myself through a contraction while holding the vacuum attachment. It's a weird memory, but it's a very clear one. 

At 3 o'clock I had to turn the movie off to focus more on the contractions. I had studied the Bradley Method, so I lied on one side and relaxed with each one. They still weren't too bad. I called my husband and told him in detail what I had been feeling, and he was very relaxed, and said he'd be home soon. He got home around 4 and we talked as I bounced on my yoga ball and ate some peanut butter toast. My contractions were averaging 5-7 minutes. We couldn't believe they were this close together so soon. I have to admit that I still didn't know if this was it. Were the contractions going to fizzle away like they had before? After a few painful contractions, I decided to relax in the bath tub for a bit. We lit some candles, played some peaceful music, and I lied in the tub on my side for a few contractions. He was timing them and they were already 3-4 minutes apart, sometimes 2-3 minutes, and about 50 seconds long. I was a bit vocal during one contraction and he said, "We better get going!" This was about 5:15 PM. We dropped our dog off at his parent's house and drove the 30 minute trip to the hospital. The car was the worst part! I hated the sitting position, and was moaning into my pillow with each contraction. Each one was 2-3 minutes apart, some even less than that. When Darren was thinking he needed to call a few friends, I still insisted he waited until I was checked, because even though my contractions were right on top of each other, I wasn't sure if this was the real thing. Stories of women being sent away for not "really" being in labor haunted me.

We got to the hospital and walked to admitting. It took only a minute to register, and the woman sent us to Labor and Delivery. When we got there, the nurse checked me, and I was only 3 cm. I was so disappointed! My contractions were one minute apart, lasting a minute, and I was only a 3! The nurse asked me what pain intervention I would like, and I responded, "None." She looked at me like I was crazy, but she didn't doubt me. It was my goal to have an non-medicated birth and I had to at least try. 

She had me walk a few laps, and I probably only made it 2 laps before I was in tears, moaning through my contractions. She checked me again, only 30 minutes later, and I was at a 5. She showed me to my room, I had my blood drawn, and I tried a few different positions to labor in. All of the pain was in my back so my favorite laboring position was a "hula hoop" where I stood, knees locked, with my arms on the bed and I circled my hips around through each contraction. My husband was a fantastic coach, reminding me to breathe and relax all of my muscles. I visualized my uterus was wrapped up in bows and with each contraction, a bow was coming untied to bring my baby closer to me. I was writing the word "temporary" in cursive, all in my head, to remind myself it was just temporary pain. Another 45 minutes went by, and my contractions were only seconds apart. I longed for those seconds of short relief. My nurse wanted to check me, and even though I requested not be checked often, I needed to believe I was making progress. Just an hour after finding out I was 5 cm, I was a 7. I was so relieved I was almost to the end. I knew I could do it, even though somewhere in the back of my mind I knew getting from a 7 to a 10 could take a long time. I tried all fours, but did not like it. I tried sitting in the shower with the water running down my back, but all I wanted to do was the hula hoop moves. I had peaceful Christmas music on (I love Christmas) but hardly remember hearing any of it. In fact, I barely remember anything besides hula-hooping and my visualizations. I do remember saying, "I don't want to do this anymore." 

Around 8:30, just an hour after learning I was a 7, I slightly grunted which the nurse warned could be a sign I wanted to push. My husband ran out to the hallway and yelled, "She wants to push!" My nurse came in to check me and she said I was 8 cm, 9 during contractions. The doctor then came in-the first time I saw him the whole evening-and checked me. He said my bag of waters was right there, and if I let him break it, we could move things right along. I agreed, and when he broke it there was a bit of meconium. He said not to worry, and within minutes, I was 10 cm. It was all a blur-they turned on some bright overhead lights, adjusted me in the bed so I was sitting, legs back, and put some chuck pads and a cold plastic sheet underneath me. The pushing contractions were nothing like I expected. There was no pain at all-it was sweet relief. They would come over me and there was not a thing I could do to stop them (not that I would want to). My body just took over and although it was hard work, the pushing felt so good compared to the contractions I had felt earlier. The first big push was a crazy feeling. I literally felt my baby moving down through my body. My husband was a great coach, holding my hand and reminding me to relax my face and my body through each push. My eyes were closed the whole time as I tried to focus with each push, and when I opened my eyes after my third push, I saw my baby's head in between my legs. I never even felt the "ring of fire" as he crowned. One more push, and his little body wiggled right out. I only pushed a few times, and it had only been about 10 minutes. I couldn't believe it. I started to cry, and said, "My baby. My boy. There you are. My baby. I did it!" I looked at my husband he was crying-and he swore he wouldn't. They were wiping him off and they set him on my chest. He was the most perfect little boy I had ever seen. He weighed 8 lbs. 4 oz. and was 20 and 1/2 inches long. He was born at 9 PM on the dot. I was so happy I had a drug-free birth. It was the best decision I could have made. I think every woman should experience the amazing process that their body was made to do. I hope I can have my next baby naturally--I just pray it will as fast and easy as this birth was.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Paddy's day and a happy Friday.

Thursday was St. Patrick's Day, and while we didn't really celebrate, our little Irishman did have a presh little outfit for the day!

We had a really good day at home on this day, followed by a fun evening at K & B's house. We enjoyed pizza and drinks, and Cohen was a really happy camper and took a little nap while we were there. He was so sleepy when we left that I figured he would sleep in the car. I figured wrong. He was a fuss monster so there I was in the Safeway parking lot feeding my little one in the back seat of a truck. He fussed a little more and finally fell asleep about 10 minutes before we got home. He was a giddy little fool when I was getting him ready for bed, but he was down about 9:30-a little late for him-and slept until 7:30.

9:30-7:30 ... doesn't that sound like a beautiful 10 hours. Um, wrong. Cohen actually did pretty well, he only woke up for that damn binky at 3:30 and 4:30. Darren and I, however, had a terrible night. Mostly because of this little stink:

Oh, Tucker pug. How I love you. My first baby. But last night, was just BS. 
Tucker began the night by barking at every little sound. He's like that during the day, but he normally knows it's bedtime and to just STFU so we can all go to sleep. Then he was so indecisive all night. He'd go under the covers, then come back out, then go back underneath. Urghh it was annoying! Then, just as I'm so happily falling asleep, he started "ferociously" barking at something. It scared me... I wondered if somebody was in the house. But as usual, it was just him hearing things. I probably shouldn't put all of the blame on poor little Tuck. Darren was being so dramatic about not being able to sleep. He, too, was in and out of bed, thrashing the covers off of him because "it's too hot!" or "Tucker, stop scratching all night!" Blahblahblah. He got up and went out into the living room, then woke me up (accidentally, but still) when he got back in bed. Then he angrily got up and went into the spare room, opening and closing the door so loud! That was around 3:30 and I know he had to get up at 6 or so. I feel bad for him, but I honestly think he worked himself into a frenzy, so obviously it was difficult to get back to sleep.

Oh well, even with a bad night of sleep, I had a good Friday. Cohen and I played and during his naps, I dinked around on the internet, made lunch, did some laundry, and drank probably 2 cups off coffee (oops). Then my mom arrived with oodles of goodies-she bought new baby monitors because the Sony ones we have just randomly stopped working. She bought a little jumperoo toy. Even though Cohen already has one, this one is much more petite and he fits into his nicely vs. the huge Baby Einstein one we have, which he can use when he's a bit older. She also bought Cohen the Fisher Price Spacesave high chair. Well, okay, that is more for me. Cohen will be 4 months old tomorrow, and contingent upon his pedi appt, I think we're going to start him on some rice cereal soon! I left for work and according to GMaw, she and Cohen had a great day :)

Now it's 10:15 and I'm sleepy, waiting for Darren to get home. He foolishly decided to go out on a job today, and now he's working late. He hasn't been home past 6 in months... not since we've had little manzanita (<-current nickname for Cohen). I'm tired, but I can't fall asleep until he calls me to tell me he's alright. Cohen is fast asleep in his crib, and I wish I could crawl in there and snuggle with him. I know if I picked him up he'd wake up, so I will leave him be.

That's all for now :)