Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Apologies in advance for the blurry photos...

Yes, our camera is on the fritz again, so we've been using an iPod Touch to take pictures. Unless you are outside in bright light, they come out pretty fuzzy. I'm going to try and keep working on the old camera. No funds for a new one at the moment, so please don't get dizzy from looking at these blurry pictures! It's the best we can do for now. :)
Here's Nadine modeling one of her fancy BumGenius cloth diapers! We are so lucky that we were given enough to cloth diaper. I still use disposables sometimes for overnight or when we go out, but we're moving towards full-time use of them. They really are wonderful, and we can't thank our generous family and friends enough for helping us get set up with 12 of them. I might pick up some more here and there, but 12 is a great number to start with. They are on the smallest setting now, and fit her wonderfully. And lots of room to grow! They are supposed to fit until 35 pounds. Which should definitely be potty-training weight. Yay!
Here's a fuzzy close-up from the same diaper photo shoot tonight. Her eyes are the prettiest purpley/blue/gray right now. I know they will change soon, but I wanted to try and catch them in their newborn shade. And I know there is no cover on our changing pad. Awful, but she spits up a LOT and loves to pee on the changing pad during diaper changes. I gave up on trying to keep a cover on it for now.
Here's Roxanne feeding a parakeet at the zoo this morning. I took her and Nadine and we had a lovely time. This is our last week before Roxanne starts pre-school next week!
And here's Nadine enjoying the zoo from inside the sling... What a muffin.
Here's Justin reading to his girls this week. He reads to Roxanne every night, but Nadine only sits in once or twice a week. Roxanne loves it when all four of us sit together for story time. Of course, then we have to sit on the couch or her bed. We don't all pile up in that rocker.
It really almost looks like Nadine is listening...
One of Roxanne's favorite things to do during the morning/day with me and her and Nadine at home is read to the baby. Here she is reading Owl Babies, one of her favorites as a baby. Of course, she's not actually "reading." Just making up words that actually are close to the real ones. She sometimes gets absorbed in the books and forgets to say anything out loud. Then Nadine gets bored and fusses.
Here they are both being camera hams.
Here's Roxanne and I playing in the Chattahoochee on Sunday. We went to a park in Norcross with river access. It was gorgeous. Roxanne had a dress on, but since we had a spare in the car, we let her get soaked. Her favorite part was digging in the "sand" on one area of the shoreline. It was mostly dirt. Red dirt. Ew.
Justin was on baby duty. We've tried to be creative about taking the girls places that are fun and get her out of the house but don't expose Nadine to lots of germs (ie: no jumpy places!).
Here's Roxanne all dressed up for her pre-school playdate last week! School starts next Wednesday, but the room moms organized a playdate at a park near the pre-school. She got to meet some of her classmates and we met her lead teacher. Her teacher is really really sweet. She nannies in the afternoons, so we talked a bit about that. Roxanne played a little with some of the kids (especially Ben, who will be in her class) but she also loves swinging. I noticed two other kids in her class who wanted to just stay on the swings. Their moms kept urging them to go play with the other kids, which I did, too, but I finally just left it alone. She wasn't being shy or anything, she just really likes swinging. :)
Here she is at the playground, playing in the dirt. Sigh. She was burying treasure apparently. A little boy came over and started digging with her, and the two of them had a really elaborate conversation about buried treasure and whether or not to mark the spot with an X. She really is a social little thing, she just doesn't seem to feel the need to have someone play with her all the time. I think she'll like pre-school though. Oh, and she'll be going 5 mornings a week from 9-12. She'll do yoga and Spanish and music on rotating days. Fun!
And here's one last Nadine photo. This was probably the middle of the night during one of her peaceful but wakeful periods. We're working on getting nights and days straight. In the meantime, there's coffee for mama and the basement bedroom for daddy. Thank goodness for that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I know it's gas and/or a nice baby dream, but even involuntary smiles are cute.

Having a serious chat with Daddy. Roxanne picked this outfit out for Nadine at Target. We let her pick out two, and of course one is pink and the other is purple. She keeps asking me why Nadine doesn't have any dresses to wear. Oh, and they had newborn sized pink tutus at Target. Roxanne really really wanted to get one for Nadine, but we convinced her we should wait a little while.
Cloth diapers are WONDERFUL, but my favorite part is how they make her little booty look so big.
Story time with Daddy. Look how tiny Nadine is compared to Roxanne!
This was taken while Nadine was in the sling. It was her first trip to the park! We went for a nice long walk at Mason Mill Park. Nadine did this the entire time. :) Roxanne found lots of "nature" that she made Justin take home in his pocket. If we had a dollar for every acorn, tiny stick, rock, leaf, etc., that gets brought into this house, we could re-do our bathroom.
She's getting her chubs back. She's been nursing like a champ!
I know these are dark, but she has her longest wakeful period at night. Of course.
So many fun faces to try out!
Here's Roxanne and Daddy on our walk at Mason Mill Park. We've also been taking long walks around the neighborhood. We took our Joovy double stroller on one and it was perfect. Nadine's baby seat fits into it, and Roxanne can hop on and off whenever she wants. Poor Nadine is getting dragged around way more than Roxanne did she was a baby. We've just been trying to keep Roxanne doing at least one fun thing each day so she doesn't go nuts at home. Story time at Little Shop of Stories, lots of walks, and Justin has been taking her to the pool some. We are going to miss him when he goes back to work next week...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nadine Patricia's Birth Story

Fair warning! I'm going to post baby Nadine's birth story before I forget it. Don't worry, I won't be too graphic or anything. But I have to say that everything went so wonderfully that I want to be sure and write it down. Obviously, my birth with Roxanne was also wonderful and amazing because it resulted in our wonderful and amazing daughter, but in terms of the details, it was difficult and painful and scary. Nadine's birth was kind of a walk in the park in comparison! So apologies in advance for a long and rambling post. And I'm sure some of you might think this is way too much personal information to share, so I apologize for that, too.

For the whole week before Nadine's birth (my 37th week of pregnancy) I was feeling lots of contractions and just generally had the idea that things were moving along nicely. The week before, I had been checked (at 36 weeks) and was already 2cm dilated and 50% effaced, so I was really thinking I'd go early. But, a whole week later, Friday the 5th, my midwife checked me and reported that I was still 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. I have to admit that I was disappointed. But I tried not to worry about it since I was supposed to work on Monday. I kept thinking that maybe I'd go into labor on Monday or Tuesday and that would be perfect. On the flip side, I felt really sure that the baby had dropped, which seemed weird to me since I read about fifty times that your second baby drops only once active labor has started. On Friday night, I felt fairly sure that I saw my mucus plug, (sorry, gross detail) but not positive. On Saturday the 6th, I felt a funny feeling, and continued having contractions irregularly throughout the day. I was really emotional (ie: cranky and annoyed at everything) and felt this need to get some things done. I washed all of Nadine's cloth diapers, ran some shopping errands with Roxanne, etc. Thank goodness I took a long afternoon nap during a thunderstorm. When I woke up, we all went to Fellini's (on LaVista, where they have frozen yogurt inside...yum) and ate dinner. I was still irritable, and my appetite was really weird. I ate a salad but couldn't even finish one slice of pizza. Somehow I found room for frozen yogurt...

Back at home, I was just resting and felt exhausted, but I could not fall asleep. Justin was in the dining room working on work work, as he had been doing for most of the day. He had been "nesting" worse than me I think, bringing home work often to try and tie up loose strings before taking leave. He seemed to know even more than I did that the baby was coming soon. Anyways, sometime around 11:45pm, I was just laying down and playing on pinterest.com and looking at cute nursery photos. I felt a pop, and then a gush. There was absolutely no doubting that my water had broken. I yelled to Justin and told him my water had broken and asked him for some towels. I called my midwife's office, then started calling my mom to let her know we were probably headed to the hospital soon. Of course, the midwife called back while I was making other calls, and I had to wait for her to call back. She did, and I explained to her my history with Roxanne and shoulder dystocia, etc. etc. I had not met her, but she was very nice and calming on the phone. She asked me if I wanted to come to the hospital or wait at home for a while longer. Because I was nervous and felt like things might end up moving fast, I told her I wanted to come in. I guess I was also freaked out about how much water I was losing.

Justin had to finish up what he was working on before we left, so I paced around the house, which seemed to get my contractions going. Before then, they had still been irregular. After my water broke, they got to be around 15 to 20 minutes apart but got farther apart if I wasn't walking. After Justin finished, he gathered up our bags and scooped up Roxanne who was completely asleep, and we all got on the road. About ten minutes into our drive, we realized that we had forgotten shoes for Roxanne. Oops. We had her little suitcase, but no shoes. So once we got the hospital, Justin had to carry her everywhere. We waited in the triage area for a while before being brought back to a room. We settled Roxanne onto the "couch" with her pillow and blanket in our room, but of course she didn't fall asleep... Fortunately, my mom and Mike and Leah got there soon after we did, and waited with Roxanne while so we could figure out an approximate time line for when and how things would happen. I saw a nurse who came and did a few things while we waited for the midwife. Kate, the midwife (who again, I had never met before) came in and I immediately liked her a lot. She was very friendly and calming. She checked me, and I was only 3 cm dilated and about 60% effaced. She suggested I try and rest for a few hours and then she'd come back around 6am to check me again. I think by this time it was around 1:30 or 2am. I told her that was fine, and we told my mom and Mike and Leah to go ahead home with Roxanne since it would be a while. Justin settled in and tried to sleep, and I tried to relax, but my contractions were roughly 5-7 minutes apart by then and were very uncomfortable. I was still able to just breathe through them and distracted myself watching HGTV shows. I was also lucky that although I had an IV in, I wasn't hooked to anything, so I could unplug myself from the fetal monitor and blood pressure machine and move around. I was in and out of the bathroom constantly, and just generally felt really uncomfortable. I was definitely not able to rest, but I tried to at least keep quiet enough for Justin to sleep a little.

By about 4am, I was really really hurting. The contractions were much much closer together and they kept double peaking, so that I would get one, then one second later get another. I was exhausted, too. I called the nurse and asked her to send in the midwife to check me again. She came in and said that I was 6cm dilated and 90% effaced. She helped me into the glider chair in the room, which was MUCH more comfortable for my contractions, but I was really getting scared that without any rest, I would not be able to actually push when the time came. Because of my experience with Roxanne, I was just terrified that I would end up pushing for hours again. I was afraid to get an epidural because I thought it might slow things down. The midwife talked me through everything, and assured me that things were moving fast enough that a C-section was really not on the table, and that she didn't think an epidural would slow things down at all. After a particularly awful contraction, I opted to get the epidural. I think they placed it sometime around 4:30am, and I immediately fell asleep.

I woke up at 6:30am feeling a lot of pressure and discomfort. I felt like it had to be time to push, but the midwife had promised to be back at 7am, so I tried to just wait it out. I woke Justin up with my laboring, and asked him to start calling people. He was really out of it, but called people and told them he thought they might want to head to the hospital if they were coming. He didn't understand that I thought it was going to be any minute, but when he talked to my mom (who had Roxanne) I tried to make it clear that I wanted them to come ASAP. By about 7:10, my midwife still wasn't there, but I was REALLY uncomfortable. I felt the urge to push very strongly, and when the nurse came in and saw me, she said she'd get the midwife immediately. She did, and the midwife agreed that I was ready. Everyone got assembled and got things ready, and I started pushing. The midwife suggested I lay on my side, which was a million times better than laying on my back. After a few rounds of pushes, I was feeling frustrated and kept saying "I feel like I'm not doing anything!" but everyone did the usual reassuring that I was doing great. About 20 minutes into pushing, the midwife yelled, "look down! look down!" and I looked down to see Nadine being laid on my chest. They told us she was a girl, and Justin and I were both happy beyond words. She had lots of dark hair, and looked just like baby Roxanne.

The midwife told me that Nadine was bigger than she had previously thought. And the nurse who was going to weigh her guestimated that Nadine was a "hot 8." I'm kind of in love with that phrase... In the end, she was 8 pounds 12 ounces and 20.5 inches. A big girl! I'm so glad that she decided to arrive when she did, since another week or so could have ended in a very different birth situation. Everything seemed to happen exactly as it was supposed to, and we couldn't be happier with our new baby girl. We are a lucky family.