Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Costumes: Ariel and Ursula

Happy Halloween! This year, I don't have a tutorial for a costume, because I made these while I was largely pregnant and extremely unmotivated to write a tutorial. The Ursula costume was super easy, but the Ariel costume required some major thinking and re-working. 

Here are my little dears in their Little Mermaid costumes: 


I attempted to put baby powder in Amy's hair, but it looks pretty shabby. At one point, I thought I'd buy red hairspray for Daisy, but that never came to fruition. The best laid plans, people. That's a fragment. 


Daisy loves her Ariel costume, especially her fin!



She also loved her personal photo shoot. 



The joint-shoot had some rough points. I haven't mastered the art of photographing a newborn and toddler quickly and effectively yet. This shows the pure emotion of both girls toward the end. They're just a couple of poor, unfortunate souls. 



I'm not sure if we'll get a chance to wear them in public this year, but luckily neither child is old enough to care yet. I also had lofty plans of creating coordinating costumes for Zane and me, but Amy's delivery and Halloween happened to close together this year. I'll aim for family costumes next year. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Little Pumpkin in a Big Pumpkin

Just a sweet newborn in a pumpkin. 


This time last week, Amy was still in my belly. Our "waiting on a baby" activity was going to the pumpkin patch, where we took this picture:  


This morning we did a little photo shoot at home and put Amy in the pumpkin we bought. It's very nice outside today (upper 70's), so actually too cold to attempt a newborn photo shoot outside. 


Amy did pretty well. It was hot by the window, which is great for newborn photos. I was sweating. She mostly stayed asleep, but if her arms touched the pumpkin, she stirred and cried. 


Now Amy's been thoroughly initiated into our little pumpking tradition, like her sister Daisy before her: 

October 2012

Friday, October 24, 2014

Amy's Birth Story

If you read my last post, you'll know that Amy waited a few extra days past her due date to meet us. Here's the story of how she came into the world. Like Daisy's birth story, I'll share some of the gory details, but I'll keep it somewhat civilized. Continue on if you don't mind details.


Saturday night, I was three days late, going on four, and I was at the point of tears because I didn't know what I would do the next day if Amy didn't come. The thought of another week was too overwhelming. 

That night (or Sunday morning) at 1:30am, I woke up with a pretty strong contraction. It woke me out of a dream where I had post-it notes all over my belly. I got up, peed, and had another pretty painful contraction. I started timing at 1:41am, and by 1:53am, I had already had two, and they were both more painful than all my contractions the weeks leading up to that point. 

I woke Zane, "I think this is it." We started timing them. Pretty consistent, coming 2-4 minutes apart. I called the midwife, and she said to take a shower and see if they don't slow down. She also said, "Your doula is here, because her other client just had her baby at midnight. Your whole team's waiting for you!" Pretty convenient for everyone. 


Zane and I started getting things together, packing bags. I labored through packing, on the toilet, on the bed, on the couch. By 3:00am, I was unable to help anymore. I laid on the bed and started moaning through my contractions. Zane called the midwife back and said we'd leave the house by 3:30am. She said they'd have the bathtub ready for me at 4:00am. 

Zane packed the car and got Daisy up. She asked what that noise was (my moaning), and Zane told her mommy was working really hard, because Amy was coming. 


We got in the car and Zane made a 40-minute trip in 23 minutes. Thank God for middle-of-the-night traffic. He ran one stop light. 

I had about six or so contractions in the car, still moaning, clutching my pillow, lying on my side as much as I could in the front seat. I looked up at Daisy between them and waved. She smiled and waved back, totally un-fazed, just watching mommy. 

We arrived at the birth center, and I went straight to the couch to get through a contraction. Then I hit up the bathroom again. When I came out, Angie, my sweet doula, gave me a big hug, and I remember feeling my muscles relax a little more. 

Bea, the midwife, got my information. We discussed how I probably can't do the GBS antibiotics at this point, since I'm so far along, it wouldn't matter. Angie did counter-pressure on my back throughout my contractions. She also gave me relaxing essential oils to smell, like orange, lavender, and I don't even remember what else because I was in labor. 

I had three contractions in a row without any break on that couch. I heard Angie tell that to Bea. Bea said something about bringing a pad out there. 

Then I had a break, and I said, "If I'm going to get in the tub, I better do it now." So I did. 


Daisy followed me into the bedroom to the birthing tub. I stepped in and had a majorly painful contraction. My face was all crunched up as I clenched the side of the tub and moaned through it. As soon as it ended, I shook out my face muscles, and Angie suggested I lie down on my side. She poured warm water over the part of my body that was exposed. 

The water felt awesome. It definitely helped calm me and distract me from the pain of contractions. 

Bea stepped in and said she was going to check on the other girl who had had her baby a few hours earlier, then come back and check my cervix. I asked her to check my cervix now, because I was between contractions, so she did. I was 9-10 cm dilated. 

I think I said, "Praise the Lord." But maybe I just thought it. 

As soon as she walked out of the room, my body started pushing. I said, "There's the push!" Another "Praise the Lord" in my head. But I was also like, "Oh crap, this part is hard." 


I had a few pushing contractions on my side, and Bea suggested I get on my hands and knees to have more control over the pushing. I was really grunting and groaning, so Angie told me not to groan like that or I'd hurt my throat (She was right. My throat hurt later on). I tried to silently push, but it was hard, because the change of position and the pushing in general made me lose my concentration. 

Two good pushes, and I felt the stinging "ring of fire" and Amy's head. I was thinking, "There's no way. That was so fast." 

One more push and her head was out. SUCH relief! Another "Praise the Lord!"

At this point, I heard Daisy and Bea talking about the baby's head. Daisy was watching from behind. I found out later that Zane was taking a video. I heard the birth assistant say, "2 minutes" (meaning the baby's head was exposed that long). I tried to push without a contraction, but it wasn't going to happen. A few seconds later, the contraction came, and I pushed out her body. 


Bea quickly passed her through my legs. I pulled Amy up out of the water and sat down against the side of the tub. I was crying and saying, "Oh my God!" over and over just like when Daisy was born. So much euphoria! I said, "Thank God" so many times over, because the labor was done and because it was so fast. 

Amy was born at 4:43am, just about three hours from the time I woke up with contractions. I only had to push for 13 minutes. It was insanely quick, Praise the Lord. 


I held Amy for a short period right there in the tub. But soon, Bea said something like, "She needs oxygen. Cut the cord." So they quickly cut the cord and took Amy over to the bed to put the little oxygen mask on her. Zane and the birth assistant went over there, and Angie stayed with me next to the tub. Angie kept telling me it would be okay. I prayed aloud that God would let Amy live. I wasn't anxious or worried, but I had this thought: "I don't want Amy's story to be that she only lived a few minutes." 

Daisy asked me questions, which kept my mind busy too, like, "Mommy, are you in the bathtub?" "What is that red?" "Is your hair wet?"

Very quickly, I heard Amy crying, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Bea asked if she could call the chiropractor to adjust Amy, and I said yes. They weren't sure why she was so lethargic - possibly the quick labor - but they wanted to make sure her spine was adjusted and that there was nothing blocking her neurological pathways. 

By that point, I had another contraction and delivered the placenta in the tub. That's when the tub got really gross, but they drained it and sprayed me down. 

Angie, my wonderful doula!

Angie and the birth assistant, Nicole, helped me to the bed, and I held my sweet little Amy on my chest. Within about 20 minutes she was breastfeeding. 

The next hours were basically spent resting with Amy on my chest and eating food. Daisy watched movies and played with her toys in the living room. She had the ladies laughing at her when she was watching The Little Mermaid and saying the lines along with the movie. She came in and said hi to me every once in a while, but she wasn't that interested, now that Amy had arrived. 

Zane got to trim the cord later, since they first cut it in the tub. 

They rubbed my belly to get my uterus down and checked me for tearing (one teeny tiny tear that didn't require stitches. For the win!). The chiropractor came and adjusted Amy, which basically meant she strategically pressed Amy's neck gently with her fingers. There were no crazy back cracks or anything like that. I took a shower on a shower chair with help from Nicole. That was awesome too, though I did get a little too hot in the shower and had to sit on the floor until I felt less light-headed. 

My awesome team! 

Hours after her birth, they weighed Amy at 8 pounds 14 oz. and measured her at 22 inches long. They tested her reflexes, etc. We rested a little longer before I changed clothes, and we went through discharge papers. 

We headed home around 9:00am. We had visitors all day, but I was high on adrenaline and oxytocin. It was fun to celebrate and share baby Amy news with friends and family. 



Welcome to the world, Amy Jubilee!


If you live in the Tampa area and are interested in the birth center or my doula, here's links for more information on both. I really loved my delivery. I believe the care I received was much more caring and personal than I would have had at a hospital. (I'm not being compensated; I just love them!) 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Overdue at the Pumpkin Patch

Babies are like wizards. They are never late. Nor are they early. They arrive precisely when they mean to. 

This week has been a week of waiting and trying to be patient as the days continue on past my due date. Each night I say, "If she doesn't come tonight, then tomorrow I'll do this and this." Last night, Zane and I decided we'd hit up a pumpkin patch if Amy didn't come, and so this morning we did. 


We met Grandma at the Plant City Methodist Church pumpkin patch and took lots of photos. Daisy had a great time, except for the bugs. She hates bugs, so she got spooked a few times from flies or lady bugs or wasps. 


We picked out a nice, big pumpkin to put Amy in for a Fall hazing photo shoot, like we did with Daisy a couple years ago. Daisy loves those pictures of herself in a pumpkin. "Did you put me in a pumpkin when I was a little baby?" 



Zane and I are both surprised Amy has waited this long to be born. I went through weeks of fear that I'd go into preterm labor, and now I'm three days past my due date. What a waste of anxiety! I'm getting the full pregnancy experience, plus some. 


Taking photos of Zane with a pumpkin over his belly was my consolation if I had to go one more day. I don't have a consolation for tomorrow, so I'll have to think of something. 


I'm trying have fun with this belly, while I still have it. But, boy, am I ready to go through the fire to get a baby instead! I've had plenty of contractions over the past couple weeks, but they're always spaced way apart. One of these times will be THE time. 


The sweet ladies working the pumpkin patch said I didn't look overdue. I appreciate that, but it also makes me wonder if I have even more days to go until I look overdue enough for Amy to actually come. How much longer? We shall see. 


We had a fun morning outing. We got our pumpkin for Amy and our pictures. Daisy picked a mini-pumpkin for herself. I even scavenged some pumpkin stems for future craft projects. Nothing else on the agenda but having a baby! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fort DeSoto Family Day

Everyone is all, "Yay, Fall! Pumpkins, corn mazes, Halloween!" Well, we did a fall beach trip, because we're Floridians, and we can.

Daisy had been asking to go to the beach last week. She found her beach toys and really wanted to play with them. We decided to skip church and go to the beach, since it would be the last opportunity of the year. It could even be our last family adventure before Amy arrives.

Daisy was pumped!

We chose Fort DeSoto because I wanted something less touristy. We definitely got what we wanted. We were the ONLY people on the beach from about 10:00AM to 11:30AM.


We did, however, get to spend lots of time with birds. There was a lovely sandbar that we lounged on under the watchful eye of an egret (or heron or crane...not sure). We watched pelicans floating and diving not too far from us. Then a flock of some other little birds flew closely by us and landed on the beach right in front of us. I guess our little party of three didn't bother any of them too much.


We had a nice little picnic lunch on the blanket and relaxed in the warm sun. 


There was a very pleasant breeze and plenty of birds and boats to watch. 


Daisy got to play with her beach toys. She thoroughly covered Zane with sand. 


I built some castles with her, but she's not quite to that stage yet. 


After another quick excursion to the sand bar to rinse off, we packed up our things and headed home. 

It was a perfect beach day and a nice ending to September.