Friday, March 26, 2010

Jude is one month old!

He's starting to smile. This is the closest thing to photographic evidence I've gotten so far:

He weighs almost 8 and a half pounds now, which means he's gained more than two pounds in less than a month, counting from his lowest weight, which was 6 lbs. 2 oz. This is amazing to me and very gratifying. Isobel never gained weight as quickly as she was supposed to. She weighed only 7 lbs. at her one-month checkup. So yay! Good job, Jude. And good job, me! I provided the food.
And here we have domestic bliss with Nana:

Nana (my mom) leaves on Sunday and I don't know what I'm going to do! I'm spoiled. I've loved not having to cook or clean or entertain Isobel. My mom RULES. She even brought The Princess and the Frog for Isobel. We hadn't seen it, and had a cozy movie night together.
(Yes, that's our macbook, sitting on a chair in front of the couch. You get creative when you don't have a TV.)

Nana took us to the zoo! Isobel got to brush goats and sheep. I politely declined.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Grandma (Brooke's mom) came to visit us and help with the adjustment period after Jude was born. She planned and made our meals, entertained Isobel full-time, and generally kept everything from getting totally out of control. She made it so easy for us to get used to life with a newborn, and Isobel LOVED having Grandma all to herself for two and a half weeks.

I wish I would have gotten a photo and/or video of Grandma and Isobel playing. I loved hearing them make-believe together as I was nursing Jude for hours on end. And Grandma was endlessly patient with Isobel's demands and tantrums- far more patient than I am.
When we left Grandma at the airport, Isobel was totally heartbroken. She cried all the way home, and continued to cry, "I don't want Grandma to go!" as we walked through the door. The only distraction significant enough that I could come up with was the introduction of the idea that Nana (my mom) is coming to visit, too. So now she's excited about that, and also our trip to Pennsylvania for Easter! I'm not going to lie- I'm at least as excited as Isobel is about both of those things.

Monday, March 15, 2010

two and a half weeks

First things first: The Firstborn. She says, "TRAIN TRACK!"

And have you ever seen anything more beautiful than this? No. You haven't.

Jude looks a bit like my little cousin Kimball here, which is funny because generally I think he looks like Brooke and Isobel, and nothing like anyone in my family.

We celebrated his being two weeks old by going to Harris Teeter! Woohoo! It's surprising, the things that become exciting/taxing when you have a newborn. He wore an actual outfit for the occasion, complete with PANTS and SHOES!!!!!!!

Shoes detail:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Naptime FAIL

The trouble with being born into a family full of girls is that you have to suffer indignities like this: a pink baby swing.

(he doesn't really seem to mind yet)
And here we have Isobel in a summery outfit, complete with kerchief decorated by Johanna. The lovely Isobel has turned her nose up at naps for almost two weeks now, and Mommy is finally coming to terms with the fact that there may never be down time in the afternoon again.

In other news, I find that the only non-baby things I can concentrate on these days are videos of the PS 22 Chorus and this music video:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Rest of the Story

I realize that not everyone is interested in birth stories, but I LOVE them, and I think that Jude's is a particularly good one. I'll do what I can to give you the whole story without getting too gory. If you're squeamish about labor/birth/women's bodies, though, you probably want to skip down to the bottom of this post, where there are cute photos of the baby.
So, on Thursday morning I woke up at a little before 6 a.m. with a contraction that I was pretty sure right away was the real thing. A few minutes later, I felt a strange pop in my belly, and I wondered "did my water just break?" It being 6 a.m. and all, I just laid there wondering and didn't get up. I downloaded Contraction Master for the iphone and started timing the contractions I was having, which were about a minute long and 5-7 minutes apart. After an hour of those bad boys, I woke up Brooke and told him I thought I was in labor. He said something to make me laugh and that was when I felt a little gush of fluid. I stood up to go to the bathroom, and there was no question- I was definitely leaking a lot of amniotic fluid.
So I called the hospital and said "I'm pretty sure my water has broken, but my contractions are still pretty manageable. Should I come right in, or can I take a shower first?" The nurse on the other end of the line asked about the color of the fluid and whether the baby was still moving, and then said I could take a shower. So I got in the shower while Brooke got Isobel up and dressed. We ate breakfast, checked to make sure we had everything for the hospital, etc., and then left. All the while I was having contractions which were definitely painful and progressive, but not unbearable.
We got to the hospital at about 8:30. In triage they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and checked to make sure my water had really broken, then told me I was dilated to a 4 or 5. The nurse said "looks like you're staying!" Brooke left to take Isobel to our friends' house, the Buchanans, where Isobel would be hanging out. I told him to stop and get a snack because I thought I'd be laboring for a while and he'd need sustenance. HA! The contractions were definitely more serious now, and I was starting to question my "try for a natural birth" ideas.
Anyway, I was assigned a room and got up there at about 9:30 a.m. As I was being wheeled into the room, I had a really intense contraction that made me feel nauseated. I thought "this is weird- I thought nausea was a Transition-stage type thing." But I felt better with the next one as I stood and paced the room. During that next contraction, my nurse came in and asked me to get into bed whenever that one was over so that she could start an IV. I did, and she tried to start the IV but apparently the veins in my hands are full of valves and things were difficult for her. While she poked around in both hands my contractions were starting to come very quickly, they hurt A LOT, and I was extremely uncomfortable sitting immobile in the bed.
This is where things start to get fuzzy. I know that my nurse called in another nurse to help with the IV, but by that point these contractions were VERY painful, I couldn't hold still, and I couldn't help moaning. I remember asking to get out of bed, but they were still trying to get an IV in. It felt like the contractions didn't stop. They were like waves, coming right on top of each other, not stopping and then starting again like the earlier ones. I couldn't process it at the time, but looking back this is definitely when I was in transition. I couldn't believe the pain, and I couldn't think about anything else. I was pretty out of it and definitely making some noise, but all the while the nurses were STILL trying to put in the IV.
Suddenly, along with all the pain, I felt a strong urge to PUSH. I didn't think I could control that urge, and I said "I'm gonna have to push!" My nurse checked me and said to the other nurse "She's complete." It's really blurry in my memory, but they must have called the doctor in at that point. All I can really remember is the PAIN and the discomfort of trying not to push. Brooke came in around that time and one of the nurses said "you're about to have a baby!" He says I was screaming when he came in, but I think it was probably more like very, very loud moaning. About a minute later my doctor got there, and a minute or two after that they were putting little Jude on my chest, at 10:10 a.m.

I was so out of it from the whole experience, I couldn't really even process what was happening at first. He was so small, and he was peeing. Dr. Marshall offered to let Brooke cut the cord, and Brooke handed the scissors to me so that I could do it (I love you, Brooke). Jude was there! I couldn't believe it! I kept thinking "how bizarre, he's already here."
I never even pushed. I was trying all along to resist pushing, and I guess it's a good thing I did because if I had pushed when I first got that urge, Brooke would have missed the birth of his own son.

He weighed 6 lbs., 12 oz., and was 19.5 inches long. He's a wonderful baby- he's enthusiastic about nursing, and when he's not nursing he's sleeping or looking around calmly. He hardly ever cries and he seems so patient and laid-back. I hope all of these great personality traits are really him and not just the sleepy newborn phase.
We all love him so much and can't wait to watch him grow up. Actually, to be honest I keep thinking "He's so perfect, I wish he could stay just like this." I never felt that way about Isobel because I was always so stressed out about everything. Now I really understand why people say the second baby is easier. Not just easier, but more enjoyable. I can really ENJOY how much I love him this time because I have the confidence and perspective that I didn't have with Isobel.

(he was the talk of the nursery in his fashionable babylegs. One of the nurses teased me because she thought they were too girly- she called him little Richard Simmons. Ha!)
And that's the rest of the story.