Monthly Archives: February 2011

First Week Survival Guide

It’s hard to believe that a week ago today we welcomed Henry into the world. To describe all the ways that his birth has changed our lives would be impossible.

I’ve put together this list of the things that have helped us transition into parenthood during this first week and I hope it helps any of the expecting moms out there.

1. Tucks

Hello, my little God send. Friends of mine recommended stocking up on these and I’m so glad I did. If you’ve had any tearing or an episiotomy these are a welcome relief.

2. Witch Hazel and Heavy Flow Pads (Sanitary Napkins)

Recipe for relief – Take some witch hazel, pour it on the pad, place in freezer for 30 minutes or so. Voila.

This may sound like torture, but in the first few days these were blissful.

3. A Good Lactation Consultant

Between 48-72 hours after birth, your milk comes in. This is when engorgement becomes an issue and when getting your baby to latch can get complicated. After a day of feeling like my baby was going to starve to death, I called Starfish Lactation and made an appointment.

I’m so glad I did. Speaking to someone on the phone was a big relief as she reassured me that my baby wasn’t going to starve and they got me in the next morning to see the consultant.

Within an hour and half she helped us to relearn latching techniques and prescribed a regime for the engorgement. Getting this boost of confidence was huge to helping us to continue to breast feed. And talk about relief. I finally felt like the two boulders on my chest were becoming normal boobs again.

4. Pacifiers

Our first night in the hospital I nursed Henry on demand. Little did I know that he was using me as a human pacifier. The next morning I woke up with cracked, sore nipples. Yeah, that was a lesson learned.

A lot of people will tell you not to give pacifiers because of nipple confusion, but our lactation consultant and pediatrician both said they don’t believe in nipple confusion and we’ve had no problems.

5. Nipple Cream

See above.

6. Swaddlers

We’ve used both blankets and the swaddlers that are sold with the Velcro shortcuts. I like the shortcut version. It’s easy to get a squirmy baby into and you can assure that they are tight. We also use the Sleep Sack swaddler every night and it works really well.

7. Breast Pump

When the engorgement happened my precious baby boy stopped latching. This left me with two breasts full of milk and no consumer. The lactation consultant recommended pumping to relieve the engorgement and feeding all of the milk that I pumped to the baby using bottles. This was such a relief as I was scared to give him a bottle because I feared he would never take the breast again.

8. Google/The Baby Book by Dr. Sears

If I told you how many times we looked up baby care questions this week it may set a record. We were habitual Googlers before having the baby. Now? Fuggedaboutit.

I also reference The Baby Book by Dr. Sears about 400 million times a day. It’s comprehensive and easy to find answers quickly.

9. A really super amazing husband

In one week my husband became a labor coach, lactation consultant, master diaper changer, preparer of quick delicious cuisine, psychiatrist, and all around all-star father.

I’m lucky. I couldn’t imagine doing this without him.

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For Henry

The pregnancy books and websites say that you are supposed to record pregnancy memories. Things that you may not remember as the months progress. My solution is to keep my memories on this blog.

October 11, 2010

I got into work this morning and I read a really sad article. It doesn’t take much to push me to tears these days, but this article was exceptionally tough to get through. Lately, I’ve been complaining about gaining weight, losing sleep, and the utter unfairness of being a pregnant woman. This article stopped me in my tracks. How lucky your daddy and I are to have you on the way when so many couples struggle for what was so easily given to us.

Last night we were getting ready for bed and we watched a show where a woman gave birth to a little girl. Daddy turned to me and said, “I just want him to get here.”

Later he started talking to you. He said, “Just hurry up and get here, Henry. I can’t wait to play.”

Once your dad learned that you might be able to hear us he started talking to you through my stomach. He wouldn’t speak in a normal voice though. He always says, “Hellllllloooooo in there!” Like you are on the other side of the Grand Canyon, and not nestled inside my womb.

Moving and Shaking

I’ve been lucky to feel you move since about 16 weeks, but your daddy hasn’t been able to feel your kicks yet. Now that you are getting bigger he can feel you when I lay down. You must ball yourself up or head butt me because we can always feel a big, round hard spot. You move from side to side, but you like to stay on the left the most. The baby books say that you are sleeping up to 20 hours a day now and that you will double in size in the next four weeks.

It’s a Boy!

We found out you were a boy on September 30, 2010. We had waited anxiously and thought the day would never get here. At the doctor’s office we got situated in the room and then anxiously waited for the doctor. She came in and asked us if we wanted to know the sex. We couldn’t shout, “Yes!” loud or fast enough. She started to do the ultrasound and it didn’t take long for her to see that you were a boy. She said, “Looks like we have a third leg.” We have a very funny doctor. I immediately thought, “Oh! It’s a boy!” I looked up at your daddy’s face, thinking he would be ecstatic. Instead, all the color had drained out of his face and he looked completely bewildered. Your daddy thought that you actually had a third leg or that there was another baby in there with you. I said, “Trav, it’s a boy!” He said, “Ohhhhhh,” and looked relieved instantly.

October 18, 2010

Yesterday, your daddy felt you move for the first time. He’s been able to feel you occasionally when I lay down, but yesterday he could feel and see you moving. It was a big step. I think you might be hosting a little dance party in there because over the last week you’ve gotten stronger and more active. Now I can see you moving a couple of times a day. It’s crazy, really.  I don’t know if they are your little hands or feet, but you’re putting that pound and a half of strength to good use.

When I was sure that I could see you moving I told your dad to watch closely. He sat next to me and stood vigil over my belly. Sure enough, you delivered and your dad said, “I felt something.” Then, being the funny guy he is, said, “OK, now I believe that there is a baby in there!” Like your ultrasound pictures haven’t been proof enough.

Now you’re moving like crazy several times a day. I like feeling you getting down in my womb – I think you’re going to like to boogie.

December 1, 2010

Well, little man you made it through your first Thanksgiving and were spoiled by your grandparents for the first time. They truly cannot wait for you to get here and they treated us to many things for your nursery while they were visiting. That crib you will sleep in? Grandma and Grandpa got that for us.  The cabinets where your books are? They got those too. You’re a lucky baby – I’m sometimes overwhelmed by all the people in this world who love you so much already.

Over the last month you have become far more active and strong. Daddy can feel you moving almost everyday and I think you might have started recognizing his voice. In the evening, when we sit on the couch and have a conversation, you seem to move even more. Maybe it’s your way of being part of the conversation or letting us know that you’re listening. We talk to you a lot more than we used to. We’re getting so excited to meet you and hold you. Sometimes I get nervous about delivering you and then I remember what a gift you will be. I know I can handle any pain or discomfort because the reward of being your mom is so great.

December 6, 2010

Last night your daddy started singing to you. He really can’t wait for you to be here. He has so many things he wants to share with you – like The Island of Misfit Toys, rock climbing, the great outdoors, crazy dance moves and toys. Sometimes I think he is more excited about new toys than you will be. He’s already planning for your first Christmas. He wants to get you lots of things so he can play with them and put them together on Christmas morning.

You’re entering a busy household. One day your dad and I will need a farm. You will be joining Daisy, Louie, Hans, Pearl and Dutch. Each of them have adjusted to my growing tummy and seem to know what’s going on. They are far more affectionate and cuddly with me than they used to be. Hans loves to lay on my belly and feel you move. Sometimes I think he is listening to your heartbeat. Pearl has been your daddy’s dog since she came home with us, but since I got pregnant she wants to lay with me on the couch or greet me in the morning by jumping into bed and snuggling. We think they are going to be very excited for your arrival. Pearl and Dutch will be so excited to give you kisses.

January 3, 2011

This is your dad and I’s half-aversary. We’ve been married for six months (don’t do the math kiddo).  Two years ago today he proposed and we started off on this crazy journey as man and wife. I love him more every day. And that’s not just something I ripped off of a Hallmark card.

Over the holiday weekend we worked on finishing your room. It looks awesome if I do say so myself. Your Grandma Durnan (moo-moo) has sent a lot of my childhood books and we’ve lined the new book shelves with them. I can’t wait to read to you. I hope you love it as much as I do. Even if Daddy calls us book worms.

As I was getting the room ready, I unpacked the diapers that we bought for you and they are so teeny tiny. I called your dad in and made him look at them. We stared in awe at how small babies are. These diapers look like they belong on a doll, but I guess you really will be that small.

We are now two weeks out from you being full term. That means we are two weeks out from being in the safe zone when it’s ok for you to enter this world. The zone where your tiny body will be fully mature, covered in luscious baby fat and ready to test out your lungs. While you could debut in two weeks – right after my birthday, we think it would be better if you stay in the womb for a weeks after that. See, Mom has a big work project due on February 2. Dad is still saving up sick time so he can stay home with us for a week after you arrive. And quite frankly, little guy, we don’t have much in the way of baby preparation. We’ve got some clothes, your crib, bedding, diapers and wipes. That’s about it. And I’m not really sure if we need more.

January 6, 2011

Well, kiddo, you’re really putting mommy through the ringer these days. I hardly sleep. My joints ache and I’m fairly certain that you have squirmed your way deep into my pelvis. I know you are doing exactly what you are supposed to. I’m glad for that. Really. But I want you here. I’m ready to have my body back as my own and ready to meet you. I’m so curious as to what you look like. We haven’t seen you since our 20 week ultrasound and unfortunately, those fancy 3-D ultrasounds are just too expensive.

Technically, we need you to stay put for a few more weeks. Your dad needs to get a few more vacation days saved and I need to finish some big projects at work.

January 24, 2011

The house is clean. Your nursery is stocked with diapers and the latest baby fashions. I’ve done a lot of laundry. Your dad has vacuumed so much that I think we may have permanent vacuum lines in the living room. We have a freezer stocked with food to eat after you arrive. Now, it feels a bit like we are just biding our time. I’m still trying to wrap up a big work project and your due date is a little over 2 weeks away so we have time, but part of me can’t help but think that your dad and I will look back on this time as the end of one phase of our life together. It’s a little bittersweet and I find myself wondering what this new future will be like. Don’t get me wrong: we want you here badly. We imagine holding you, dressing you, taking you hiking with us. Your dad can hardly wait to get you on the ski slopes and I can hardly wait to cuddle and read to you. You still kick at your dad when we lay in bed at night and you are so strong.

I’ve moved from reading about birth to reading about your development and how to take care of you. You will be the first born of two first borns. Two kids who were the experimental children. We’re going to do our best, little man. We’re going to try our hardest to give you everything you deserve and to not eff you up too much.

So as bad as I want you here, I’m also battling a nasty cold this week and need more rest. So hang tight. We’re going to meet soon.

February 15, 2011

We’re five days past your due date little man. I’m assured by our midwife that this is totally normal, but I can’t help but feel anxious. In addition to just wanting to meet you, I feel a whole new set of worries. I want you to be ok. I want you to be healthy. I want to see your face. Believe it or not I want to hear your cries.

We’ve been blessed with a relatively, easy pregnancy. You’ve been a strong little baby with a good heart beat and we’re considered low-risk. So while I know that you are perfectly ok baking a little bit longer in my womb, it doesn’t help that I really, really want to have some real contractions and get this party started. Mmmkay?

Your dad gave you a stern talking to this morning and asked if you would please come out already. Don’t make him come down there.

February 21, 2011

3 days ago after 12 hours of labor that pushed your mom’s mind and body past any limits she thought she had, you entered this world. As I write this, you are next to me in your baby swing. It’s the first time your dad or I have not held you. You are an amazing baby. Your little body is strong and beautiful. One minute we think your nose is our favorite body part. The next minute it’s your lips. We just can’t really decide. Your cheeks are so sweet too – so plump and rosy. And that baby butt! OMGosh. Baby butts just get me.

We are overwhelmed with how much we love you. How much our lives make more sense now that you are here. How little sleep we really need. Overall, we’re just so dang excited to show you this world.

Well, it looks like you are having some sweet, sleepy baby dreams. I think I’ll just sit here and watch you for awhile.

Henry James


Henry James
February, 18 ~ 12:59 p.m.
8 pounds 9 ounces
20 3/4 inches long

Womb Watch 2011

Despite the snowy weather and all that barometricness, we’ve hit Week 41 friends and fam.

No baby yet, but Travis reassures me that the odds are on my side and each day gets us closer to the little bun in the oven.

It’s not easy waiting. It actually really sucks.

And that is all I have in me today.


Estimated Time of Arrival

If I had to guess….

Due Date Snow Storm

I would say that my due date is likely to be the day that we have 100% chance of snow and a severe weather warning. Because the month of 60 degree plus weather with sunny skies obviously hasn’t been working for Angus.

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