Saturday, March 22, 2014


February was a fun month, as we tried to fit in all sorts of activities that we were anticipating we wouldn't be doing again anytime soon, once the new addition arrived :) So we ate out like it was our job, and Josie suddenly realized that she really enjoyed eating out too, asking quite frequently if we could go eat at a restaurant (which is super adorable when she says it). We also survived another snowstorm, which had an added level of stress since we were trying to juggle work and watching Josie (since her school was closed), AND we were hoping the baby wouldn't decide to come then too.
[Ryan's snowman]
[Josie's snowman]
[Contemplating how she'd get up the stairs]

And then the next weekend was beautiful out again, so we pretended like spring was finally coming as we took a walk down to the river for snack time.
We went to a birthday party at an indoor water park for one of Josie's friends from her old daycare. As it turns out, Josie really likes swimming too. She kept asking to go swimming again when we were getting ready to leave, and even tried to trick us by saying that she wanted to walk now as we were going to the car, and then promptly turned around, saying "walk this way" as she tried to head back to the rec center :)
We also took advantage of Parents' Night Out for the first time at Josie's preschool. So although I was worried that Josie would be upset about being left at preschool for a few hours longer, I apparently had nothing to worry about. We got to eat out at one of our favorite restaurants, and then got to deal with a massive, hysterical fit with Josie when we got home since she didn't want to leave school, and then we capped it off by not giving her the precise number of ice cubes she wanted in her water :-\
[I feel like she's giving me this face a lot lately...]
Josie finally got the rest of her baby teeth in now too - three molars at once, which she did awesome with. She also went to her first formal meeting, as we met with county staff to discuss some projects that will be affecting our neighborhood. She did very well and sat mostly quietly for almost two hours - although she did work on perfecting her fake cough and fake sneeze, claimed things were funny that weren't intended to be, and got some giggles from our neighbors as she joined in for some clapping... after everyone else had stopped :)

Josie's drawing and coloring has been rather impressive lately. I'm not sure what other 2.5-year-olds are doing, but we're pretty blown away by her at least. I'm pretty sure she stays within the lines better than I do at this point ;) We also decorated Valentine's Day cards for her teachers and friends at school, and she did an awesome job with adding flowers to her teachers' cards, and then drawing and putting stickers on each of the cards for her friends.
Josie has also been full of ridiculousness lately. For a while, she was enamored with dancing around in a skirt she'd put on after school, and once she asked me to get out of her room so she could shut herself in there and sing and dance to herself in the mirror (despite telling me that she was not going to do that). She also yelled "You're a yucca! I'm a big girl, I'm a big sister!" I like to think that this was apropos to nothing, but I probably baited her by telling her she was yucca ;) I apparently call Ryan by his name a little more than I realized, since Josie now knows that Daddy's other name is Ryan, and she's not afraid to use it. And despite not really being scared of anything before (except for not being too sure about the vacuum), she has decided that she is scared of Roomba... and my armpit. This involves her telling us that she is scared of these things, and then giving a dainty little shriek when faced with them. Silly girl.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Audra is here!

Audra Lynn decided to join us at 6:07pm on March 5th, one week and four days past her due date :) She measured in at 20" long and 9lbs 15oz after a very efficient (and intense) labor, born at home in our sun room overlooking a beautiful sunset... followed by a unplanned trip to the hospital to address my blood loss. Audra is doing wonderfully, I'm on the mend, and we're all so in love with the new addition to our family... even Josie, who has shown none of the jealousy (yet!) that I was so worried about, and has instead been a fantastic, observant, and caring big sister :)

I'll post a birth story later (much later, most likely), but in the meantime, here is the shorter version. I had had another ultrasound on Tuesday to check on Audra and do another Biophysical Profile, and she unfortunately lost a couple of points since they weren't able to assess fetal tone (clenching and unclenching her fists), and almost lost two more points since they didn't see any movement at first (this is what I get for scheduling appointments in the mornings, despite her being far more active in the afternoons!). I then went to an appointment with my midwife, where we were slightly concerned about the BPP results to the extent that she had me schedule another one for Thursday. I also had my first ever chiropractic adjustment with the birth center's on-site chiropractor since my back was hurting so much from the position I was in during the morning's ultrasound, and to help ensure everything was lined up and open for the pending birth.

We decided to go forward with doing a labor stimulation kit Wednesday morning, which I referred to as "four hours of unpleasantness"... I kicked it off with a dose of castor oil at 8am, followed by herbs, pumping, walking, and homeopathics every 15 minutes for an hour, repeated for four hours. I didn't think it had worked at first, and then decided to time my completely painless "Braxton-Hicks" contractions around 11:30am... and was surprised to see they were coming consistently about every 5 minutes and were perhaps not practice contractions after all. Everyone started gathering at the house around 3pm, and while we were still getting everything set up, contractions quickly started getting more intense. My water broke at 5pm (with an audible "pop!" while doing cat-cow), and I settled into the birth pool just before 6pm and was shocked to push Audra out within the next 15 minutes after that!

Everything was fantastic at first and Ryan and I were reveling in our new daughter, but I started losing a lot of blood after delivering the placenta. The midwives called for an ambulance, and although it seemed I stabilized at first, I decided I did want to be transferred after it felt like I was going to pass out again. Several hours, four units of blood, and a couple rounds of antibiotics later, I was in much better shape. The first few days were hard on us all, but things are getting back on track now, with Audra doing super well regaining the weight she lost since birth and I'm continuing to feel a bit better each day.

I hope to finish and post the February update soon, but will probably be taking a few weeks' break from posting after that until we really get our feet under ourselves again. Audra seems to be waking now, so I'm off to love on her :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

41 Weeks

Nope, no baby yet. I started out the week in a good place physically and mentally, perfectly content to wait until the baby was ready, and ended the week quite a bit more uncomfortable physically and more anxious about getting this baby out in time to avoid a hospital induction.

I had an ultrasound last week, which was the first time I had seen the baby since 20 weeks! What a change from the monthly ultrasounds I had with Josie. But of course, new baby was so squished that I basically just saw leg bones, its abdomen (with organs), and the outline of its head. No cute pictures to take home from that visit. But new baby was breathing and moving well, which is what they were checking for, and measured right on target size-wise, although I really don't believe the 9lb 4oz weight they're estimating. I just don't think this baby is that big, although I guess I could be proven wrong soon enough. I have another ultrasound scheduled for Monday, and then I'll continue getting them every other day next week until the baby comes to keep a close eye on it since it's now postdates.

I also had an appointment with the midwives following the ultrasound, and everything looked good at that visit too. My belly was measuring 39cm again, heartbeat was fine, my blood pressure was fine. I asked them to do a stretch and sweep, so I started at 2cm dilated and they were able to get me up another centimeter. We were hoping that would help kickstart labor, and while I was woken up that night with contractions every 3-5 minutes for about an hour, they apparently fizzled out since I fell back asleep and haven't had the baby yet. :-\

I decided to call it quits with yoga after this past week. It's just too hard to focus and relax when the baby is moving in such distinctly uncomfortable ways, and I'm now having some nerve issues. That is, shooting pains in my back, hips, and legs, usually in the evenings. It's pretty awful. So far, the only things that make it not hurt as bad are sitting on the physio ball, brisk walking (if I can work through the nerve pain at first), and sleeping. The edema is also getting a bit worse, at least in my right leg, which starts the day swollen and just gets more elephantine from there.
[Lopsided belly]

Trying to focus on the positive side, though, we are even more ready now for this baby than we were a week ago, the baby looks great, and I am not falling apart too terribly yet. I should be able to make it another week, if needed :)
[Quite excited about my last full day in the office]

And while I'm now working from home until the baby comes, I did go into the office on Monday and at least got to entertain our legal counsel with the baby's movements and even hiccups, which were clearly visible from the outside for the first time that I've seen :)
IMG_0830     IMG_0853