Monday, January 30, 2012


there's definitely not trails like this in d.c.

ever since we've moved to colorado there have been times that i desperately miss d.c..  usually those times are random - a weekend night when i wish we were BBQing with family, a perfect sunny june day when i think 'wow this is perfect beach weather', or when we make a trip back to d.c. and have to split a week between our two families.  

it's not the normal times when you would think i would miss them - holidays, birthdays, or when you could just use an extra hand around to watch the dogs or help us juggle something.  i love spending my holidays with charlie.  we celebrate exactly the way we want to, avoid any family drama that i have no desire to be apart of, and frankly i love my time alone with him.  

after avery was born i started thinking how it would be nice to have family around.  not in the 'hey we're next-door-neighbors' sort of way, but in the 'see you every few weeks' sort of way.  i want her to know her grandparents, and aunts and uncle, and cousins.  our families are pretty small, but in a way that makes it even more important for her to know them.  and it's hard to build relationships like that when you're 1,500 miles away.  sure there's phone calls and video chats and visits, and i do believe that if everyone makes an effort you can maintain good relationships, but it is different.  it also doesn't help that in the past year all of the friends that charlie and i met in colorado moved back to where they came from.  colorado is truly a state of transients.  aside from jobs, the rocky mountains, and a great lifestyle there isn't a lot keeping us in colorado.  although those are pretty big factors. 

so the question now is, do we stay in colorado and use our vacation time to see family or do we move back to d.c.?  it would be a lot easier to answer if a. d.c. wasn't so crowded, expensive, and busy or b. we didn't love it so much in colorado.  career-wise it's probably a better move for charlie.  the d.c. market is far bigger than what denver will ever be, however it's not like the move is a promotion for him or staying in colorado would be detrimental to his career.  for me, i'm better off staying in denver since i have no job prospects in d.c..  

i wonder if we move back to d.c. the lure of family will be enough or if all of the reasons that we left in the first place will start to slowly drive me crazy.  will sitting in constant traffic make us both angry people?  will we miss how friendly and laid back everyone is out here? will we never go hiking again because it's too crowded and/or far away (and lets be honest, you can't compare the appalachian mountains to the rockies)?  will i never find a job as flexible as my current job forcing me to lose time with my family which would defeat the whole purpose of moving?  will beltway traffic make us not want to make the drive to see either family?  will we miss how dog friendly it is out here (something that's definitely a factor with 2 huge dogs)? 

i could go on.  and i do in my head. usually when i'm trying to fall immediately asleep because i only have 3 hours before avery wakes up again.  

on the other hand, there are the reasons to move.  we really will see our families more often.  we'll actually have people to invite to avery's first birthday.  we can vacation with 1.2 million other people at the beach.  avery will actually know her cousins, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles.  we'll have people around to help us if she's sick and we both have to work or if charlie and i actually want to go out to dinner alone.  if we stay, we're pretty much limited to early dinners with avery until she's old enough to stay by herself alone because there's no way i'm leaving her with a stranger.  

and then there's all of the little things.  things that should have no bearing on our decision to move, but things i can't help thinking about.  the cost of moving.  it's huge.  huge.  we've worked really hard to save money in the past few years and moving would take a pretty big chunk out of all of that.  there's the cost of breaking our lease, the cost of hiring movers, renting a truck, gas money for the truck and cars (which i grossly underestimated when we moved out here), either deposits on an apartment (huge waste of money) or a down payment on a house (less of a waste of money but much more permanent than an apartment), oh and the factor that i won't have an income for an undetermined period of time.  there's also the pain of finding a place to live.  the fact that we have 4 animals.  yes dad, i know i did this to myself, and frankly no one is going to rent to someone with that many animals.  and there's also this factor that by moving and being unemployed i'll have more time to spend with avery instead of shipping her off to daycare right away (stupid i know, but still something i think about).  

charlie and i have set a deadline of february 13 to make a decision.  until then i'll continue to wake up every day and lean towards the opposite decision that i had made the day before.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012


i have about 2 weeks before i start back to work and i'm not at all ready for it. when i think of dropping my baby off at daycare i start crying, which is one of the reasons that i try not to think about it so much.  i have sort of irrational worries that when she's there she'll be crying and no one will pick her up for hours, or she'll be hungry and they won't feed her or change her, etc..  when i'm thinking logically i know that we chose a good place with a good reputation and good people.  however, when i think about the ratio of 4 babies to 1 adult i know that there will be times that she doesn't get her needs met since there's really no possible way for 1 person to attend to 4 kids at once.  

i know that i really have no choice and i need to just stuck it up and make the best of it, but i haven't quite gotten to that point yet.  

i haven't started pumping and honestly the only reason why is that i'm sort of in denial that i won't be able to be the person to always feed her.  i'm also a little worried that once she starts taking a bottle she'll want that exclusively which would sort of break my heart since i absolutely love feeding her.  also, i would really like to make it a year of exclusively breast feeding and i know if she decides to only take bottles it would make this a pretty difficult goal.

i'm also not in love with my job. i know, who is, but it makes it harder knowing that i'll be sitting in a cubicle doing boring work and counting down the hours until i can pick her up.  i realized this could be partially resolved by finding a job that i'm actually passionate about but i don't really know if this even exists.  i think work will always just be work to me.  i got an email from my boss a few days ago and it just reminded me of how boring my job really is.  

mostly though, i just don't want to go back because i know that i'll miss her like crazy.  i mean i miss her now when she's sleeping.  i wake up in the middle of the night before she does and look forward to her waking up so that i can hold her.  making it 8 hours a day is going to be hard when 4 hours when i'm sleeping is about my max right now.  

i know i should focus on the positive things, like the fact that i have a job, i'm going back part time at first and therefore the transition should be easier, and she should only be in daycare 3 days a week.  i just wish my time off wasn't going by so fast and even though it has, she still seems like such a tiny baby to me, which makes it harder to imagine dropping her off with strangers for an entire day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

avery's room.

i figure now that she's a month old it's about time to take pictures of her room.
we finished this a while ago, and since we're renting there was no painting or construction involved.
that being said, i probably spent more time on this room than any other in our home and since we'll probably be moving somewhere this year, although we have no idea where yet, i figured i should take some pictures of her first room before it was too late.  

i'm not really a fan of matching furniture which worked out well since the we had so much random furniture that we needed to find a place for.


the room is a funky shape and pretty much only has one wall where there's enough room for furniture.  we managed to fit the crib and dresser on the wall with just enough room left over for a hamper and trash can.

the moose found a home over the crib.  i had other plans for something there but i couldn't figure out where else to put the moose. she hasn't slept in the crib at night yet, but she's taken quite a few naps there when she decides that she'll actually sleep somewhere other than my arms or the swing.
we decided against a bedding set since i knew we would never use most of it and instead just bought a few sheets.  don't look too close at the bed skirt, it's a mess but it's hard making a skirt for those cribs!


the chair is a rocking chair and as much as i insisted we didn't need one i'm glad we got one.  i spend a lot of time in that chair and she really does love being rocked.  obviously ollie is a fan of the chair, too.  he usually tries to jump into my lap when i'm rocking her.  i think he misses all the time he used to sleep in my lap before she came around.


the dresser is huge and holds pretty much everything she needs.  the changing pad on top is one of her favorite places.  she loves to lay there and look at all the pictures on the wall.  we threw a 'travel changing pad' on top of the fabric cover because whoever decided that fabric covers were a good idea was obviously trying to sell a lot of them.  the lamp on the table is from when i was a kid and has seashells from the outer banks.  and the green container holds everything we need to change her. 


i love the burts bees stuff.  the body wash and lotion smell great and aren't too greasy.

the mishmash of frames is my favorite.  i'm sure i'll be switching pictures out as she grows older, but for now i quite like them.  avery likes them too and spends a lot of time staring at them.  


i mod podged scrapbook paper onto the "L" and the "k is for kite" was a free download.


the love frame still needs more pictures of her in it, but the middle picture is the card that charlie got me for christmas.  the picture next to that is supposed to be a dog pulling a kid on a sled.  appropriate for a winter baby with 2 dogs.


charlie insisted on buying the avery brewery sign after we stopped in there on his birthday.  i don't know how i never noticed their beer before but now i see it everywhere.  the frame below is one of my favorite dog quotes with a picture of henry.  he's gotten over his initial jealousy and is now more interested in her than anyone else.  i think he's hoping she'll grow up fast and become another playmate.


this is probably my favorite.  i had plans to paint the lyrics on a big canvas and hang that over the crib, but the moose stole that space.  maybe someday, but until then i knew they had to go somewhere.  bob dylan really knew what he was talking about.

the weird corner ended up with the chair which has been pretty useful.  the container underneath holds board books and a stuffed animal that henry has finally realized is not a toy for him.


the bookshelf holds lots of books (obviously) and i love having a bunch to choose from when we read to her every night.  the baskets hold blankets and larger clothes and someday i'll figure out a way to hang the mobile that's sitting on top.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sleeping baby.

"cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow,
for babies grow up,
we've learned to our sorrow.
so settle down cobwebs.
dust go to sleep.
i'm rocking my baby,
and babies dont' keep."  

Monday, January 23, 2012

it's the little things ...


...  rocking a sleepy baby.
...  a house that smells like coffee.
...  spending an entire snowy wednesday cuddling with avery after being up all night.
...  charlie grilling.
...  the amount of money we've saved by eating at home for every meal.
...  charlie's blueberry pancakes on a saturday morning.
...  watching the broncos in the playoffs (even if they didn't win).
...  an afternoon nap with avery and ollie.
...  walks in the middle of the day with avery and the dogs.
...  laundry and cleaning in the middle of the week.
...  warm january weather.
...  when charlie changes the diaper at 3 am. 
...  the nights when we give avery a bath.
...  bert's bees baby wash and lotion.
...  weekly video chats with family.
...  how happy avery is in the morning.
...  buying things with gift cards.
...  reading a book while feeding the baby.
...  days when i manage to shower, clean, do laundry, go for a walk, and have something for dinner.
...  watching a sleeping baby.
...  when it takes less than 20 minutes to get avery to sleep.
... the 72 hour sale at sprouts.
...  valentines day coming up.
...  clean sheets.
...  small baby clothes = lots of clothes in one load of laundry.
...  baby smiles.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

avery's first month.

wow.  i cannot believe it's been an entire month since she was born.  on one hand it seems like the time is flying by way too fast.  how can i possibly be going back to work in 3 weeks? and on the other hand it seems like she's been a part of our lives forever.  

8 days old
8 days old

as much as she's still a tiny, little newborn i feel like she's gotten so big this month!  when i look back at pictures from the first week or two she looks so much smaller than she is now.  being slightly obsessed with taking pictures of her has definitely paid off when looking at how much she's changed during this month.  

pretty sure there's nothing cuter than baby yawns.

she's definitely chunking up and now is sporting a double chin, rolls on her arms and legs, a small potbelly, and chunky fingers and toes.  when i look at how skinny her arms and legs were when she was first born it makes me feel good to see that she's gaining weight.  

she's so much more alert now than she used to be.  her pediatrician even pointed this out at her two week appointment.  i think he was impressed at how calm and awake she was.  she loves to stare at the pictures on the wall.  the ones behind the couch are  a definite favorite and she'll happily sit in our laps and stare at the pictures (i like to pretend that she's staring at henry) for half an hour or so, depending on how happy she is.  she also loves the ones on the wall in her room, which comes in pretty handy when we're changing her.  she's stopped screaming during diaper changes and now calms down if she's upset as soon as we lay her on the changing pad.  she's also much more interested in us now and will turn her head whenever we start talking to her.  she loves to make eye contact and would win any starting contest with either of us.  i think she has the prettiest eyes (this is no surprise because i also think she's the cutest baby) and hope that they stay blue although i have a feeling they'll probably change to hazel over time.

Cat nap.
hanging out with ollie.

during her first month she's met both sets of grandparents, one aunt, and some friends.  she's been to the mall, the grocery store, the vet a few times, multiple walks with the dogs, and with us as we've started the house hunting process.  she loves the stroller and the car, which have been great when we've been running errands.  i've taken her on walks several times just to get her to nap when everything else has failed and i know she needs a good nap.  unfortunately she hasn't continued those in the house, but it's nice to know if she's upset or tired that a walk will put her to sleep about a minute.  the dogs have been great with the stroller and although we look a little crazy and take up the entire sidewalk it's been great to get outside with both her and the pups.  

her umbilical cord fell off after about a week and a half and since then we've been giving her baths every other night.  she hated the sponge baths (i think she got too cold) but has loved the 'real' baths.  if she's upset they've calmed her down and they seem to help her fall asleep afterwards.  she's not a fan of getting out of the baths.  she gets too cold and will start to shake, but once she's warm again she's a pretty happy girl.  

Hat made by Marcus.
getting ready for a walk.

as far as eating goes she's not the pig that i was as a baby.  her eating sessions are much shorter than the recommended average but when she's done she makes it clear that she doesn't want any more.  she'll make the funniest faces, my favorite is this fake gag that she'll do when i suggest that she's not quite done.  the doctor wasn't worried about her shorter sessions since her weight gain was fine and said that she was probably just a very efficient eater.  i'm still waking her up to eat during the day so that she doesn't go longer than 3 hours without a meal.  during the night i'll let her sleep as long as she wants which is usually about 3 hours although we've had a few 4 and 5 hour stretches which were amazing.

Check out the belly!
pretty sure she'll never be a big baby but she's definitely growing.

at night she's sleeping in her cosleeper next to our bed.  this has been great for the both of us.  i don't worry about her since she's right next to me and i can hear her wake up and feed her before she gets really upset.  it's also allowed me to get more rest since i just bring her into bed with us to feed her.  during the day her naps aren't very consistent.  she's still sleeping much more than a morning and afternoon nap.  some days she'll sleep really well on her own, usually swaddled in her crib. other days i can't get her to fall asleep anywhere but in my arms.  the moby wrap has been a lifesaver during those times.  it lets her sleep and lets me get things done around the house.  she likes the moby much better than the bjorn although i've used both.  the moby is great, but i like the bjorn for the ease of getting her in and out which is great when we're out running around.  

she loves being rocked in the rocking chair and swaddled when she sleeps.  we've been reading her books before bedtime and naptime and i think i've pretty much memorized oh, the places you'll go which is charlie's favorite to read and hear and what he always picks to read or listen to.  i've heard him read it to her 3 times in a row before when he's trying to get her to fall asleep.  

i have loved this month so much and am so grateful that i've been able to spend every minute with her.  i can't wait to see how big she gets over the next few months although i hope the time doesn't fly by too fast.  there's nothing i love more than cuddling her in my arms and i'm definitely not looking forward to the day when she thinks she's too big for that.  


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


... i have been loving all of this time with avery.  we've been lucky that charlie's been able to spend so much time with us even though he's working again.  since he mostly works from home even though he was back to work last week he was still around all week and this monday was actually the first day he wasn't around.

Not a fan of the cat.

...  i am amazed at how much of my time is spent just taking care of her and picking up messes that seem to follow me every room we go.  if i manage to get a load or two of laundry done and cook dinner then i consider it a very productive day.

3 weeks

...  her napping schedule has been all over the place which makes it hard to plan things.  she'll almost always sleep if she's in the car or out on a walk but i sometimes wish she would sleep more in the house so i could get things done around there.  the moby wrap has been a lifesaver for getting anything done around the house.  even if she's not sleeping in it she's pretty content in it which lets me get some things done.  if i never had to get anything done i'd be content just to watch her sleep all day long.   

...  she's been getting out of her swaddle at night between feedings and then uses her hands to smack herself in the face and wake herself up.  i'd stop swaddling her but anytime i put her down unswaddled she wakes up in about 10 minutes.  this has meant that i don't get a lot of sleep at night.

...  we've been talking lots of walks with the dogs whenever the weather is warm enough.  she loves the stroller and the dogs love walking.  
First walk. The dogs were happy.

...  i've been drinking a lot of hot chocolate.

...  i'm dreading going back to work.  i try not to think about it too much.

...  we've been reading oh, the places you'll go about 4 times a day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

avery's birth story

i'm mostly writing this so that i don't forget how amazing and terrifying this experience was. 
i'm also hoping that it will remind me why i need to look for a new doctor and place of delivery for any future children.  
but mostly, i want to write this so that i can remember just how lucky we are to have a healthy baby girl.  things definitely could have turned out differently and i'm so thankful that they didn't. 

my due date was december 7th.  all throughout the pregnancy i was expecting to be late, probably because statistically most new moms are.  however, i still started thinking "any day now" at 37 weeks, which meant by the time my due date arrived i felt like she was already 3 weeks late.  my plan had always been to work until i had the baby, and i felt very fortunate to have a job that was willing to let me take it one day at a time.  for a few weeks people weren't sure if i was showing up the next day, which i'm sure was a little difficult for them.  it's made a huge difference to me though because instead of wasting 2 weeks of maternity leave waiting for a baby i was able to save it all for when she was here.  

i had always assumed that if i was pregnant at my 41 week appointment then my doctor would induce me.  he had made it very clear all along that he didn't want me to go past 41 weeks because after 40 weeks the placenta gets 'old'.  although, i wasn't sure how i felt about that.  i know that there were many people who delivered late and had healthy babies and i really wanted to give my body and this baby the time they needed.  i also wasn't thrilled about having an induction and was concerned about an increased risk of a c-section if i had to be induced.  at my 41 week appointment we did a non-stress test on the baby and i opted out of an ultrasound to check amniotic fluid levels.  the baby did fine on the non-stress test and when i met with the doctor he basically told us that there was no advantage to being induced at that point versus waiting another week to see if i would go into labor on my own.  he was also leaving to go on vacation so at that point i knew that whoever was going to deliver my baby was going to be someone i had never met before.  while i had never been thrilled with my doctor, it was a little unnerving knowing that the doctor making decisions with me the following week would be someone i had never met.  

i went in for my 42 week appointment and met a brand new doctor who was pretty clean about the fact that she wasn't happy that a) i hadn't been induced the previous week and b) my previous doctor had 'dumped' me on her.  she made it very clear that despite the fact that the baby passed the non-stress test again at 42 weeks, i should have been induced the week before.  her advice was that i should go into the hospital that night to be induced, although she said we could wait a few more days if we really felt strongly about it.  at that point, i felt like an induction was inevitable and decided to go into the hospital that night.  the good news was that i liked her better than my previous doctor and she was the doctor on call that night, which meant at least i would know who was going to deliver my baby.  

charlie and i spent the rest of that monday, december 19th, running errands and trying to keep relatively busy.  we gave the dogs baths, cleaned the house, i tried to nap knowing that i wouldn't get any sleep for a while, and charlie made my my 'last meal'.  we dropped the dogs off with a friend around 9 pm and headed to the hospital for our 10 pm induction.  once we got to the hospital, i met our labor and delivery nurse for the night (who i didn't like at all) and i was hooked up to an IV, a blood pressure cuff, and fetal monitors.  while, i was expecting all of the following once they started administering pitocin, i wasn't prepared for being hooked up to the monitors as soon as i went in.  i definitely was having a hard time because i knew that this meant that regardless of what drugs i would receive i was essentially bed bound.  they then gave me cytotec, which was supposed to ripen my cervix.  the plan was to give me 2 doses of the cytotec, each four hours apart, and then start pitocin in the morning.  the first dose of cytotec essentially induced labor.  i started having contractions about a half hour after the first dose and never received the second dose.  about an hour after contractions started the baby's heart rate dropped to about 60 bpm.  since i was on an external monitor, the nurse spent the next several hours in my room adjusting the monitor and then instructing me not to move.  they also put me on oxygen which i wasn't able to take off for the next 14 hours.  the baby seemed to do much better when i was on my right side, so i was told not to move from that side.  at this point the contractions were getting stronger and more frequent and being stuck in one position made it even harder to deal with them.  they were definitely a lot more painful than i had anticipated and knowing that i had at least 12 more hours of them was mentally exhausting.  

after about 8 hours, i decided that i wanted the epidural.  i know charlie was hoping i would do it naturally, but i was exhausted and only about 3 cm dilated at that point.  also, the fact that they kept losing the baby's heartbeat and dealing with not being able to switch positions was making them even more difficult.  when they came to do the epidural, i was having a hard time relaxing enough during the contractions so that they could actually get a needle in my back.  once they finally got it in it took about 3 contractions for it to completely set in.  i was expecting the epidural to dull the pain but i wasn't expecting it to completely take away all of it.  after a bit charlie would watch the monitor for when i was having a contraction and ask if i could feel it, and i felt nothing at this point.  the best part was that i could sleep a bit, however after the epidural they hooked me up to even more monitors, a pulse monitor, heart rate monitors all over my chest, my blood pressure was being taken every 5 minutes and the cuff got so tight that i literally ripped it off twice because it wasn't loosening. 

after the epidural, they were still having problems with the baby's heart rate.  it would be fine for a bit and then drop again.  previously, the nurse had been concerned enough that she got the doctor twice.  i remember telling charlie that i thought i'd end up with a c-section that night because the heart rate kept dropping.  instead, they kept adjusting the monitors.  at one point after the epidural, the heart rate dropped and then the monitors lost the hear beat.  within minutes we had 6 nurses and the doctor in the room and they were all frantically trying to find a heart beat.  at this point they ripped off the external monitors and inserted internal monitors.  after the internal monitors, they weren't able to find the connection piece to the machine and were all running around trying to locate the correct wire while there was still no way to track the heart beat.  at this point the doctor got pretty annoyed and i remember thinking that if i wasn't so exhausted i would have been a lot more worried.  they finally found the heart beat, but it definitely made me nervous.

when they give me the epidural they also started a pitocin drip.  however, when the baby's heart rate dropped again they had to turn the drip off since you can't use pitocin when there are any signs of fetal distress.  luckily, once labor started my body continued to have contractions and progress.  once i got the epidural i was progressing at about 1 cm an hour despite all of the other issues.  the doctor had basically told me that it was a race to see who would win first either my body (as in i would progress enough to be complete and start pushing) or the baby (as in it wouldn't be able to handle the labor any more and would have to be delivered via a c-section).  she also made it very clear that the reason that i was having all of these issues with the baby's heartbeat was because i had waited too long to be induced, therefore the placenta was too old and wasn't able to supply the baby with enough oxygen.  she told me that when i delivered she was betting that the placenta had calcifications all over it and even at one point came up to me and said "repeat after me: for my next baby i will schedule an induction at 39 weeks".  despite being out of it, i remember saying "39 weeks? that seems a little crazy".  the nurses all made similar comments to me about waiting too long to be induced.  let me tell you, there is nothing worse than being in labor, repeatedly watching your baby's heart rate drop, and then having the entire medical staff blame you for the drop in heart rate.    

despite all of the heart rate issues, i continued to progress and was at 10 cm around 11 am the next day.  the doctor water the baby out as soon as possible, but there was a small part of my cervix that was still in the way and it didn't recede when i was pushing.  they decided to give me another hour and see if it would disappear before pushing.  at this point i was feeling a ton of pressure, and despite the epidural it felt like the baby was coming out on it's own.  it had dropped really low at that point and i remember the doctor saying that she could actually see the hair on it's head.  after an hour the nurse came and checked me and found that i was ready to push.  unfortunately the doctor was delivering another baby at that time and since there had been so many issues with the baby's heart rate they didn't want to start without her.  at this point she left to get my doctor, the baby's doctor, and other staff and charlie started to flip out.  he was already nervous after all of the previous issues but was really angry that we were waiting on staff to deliver the baby especially considering she wasn't handling labor terribly well.  

when the doctor came in she told us that she thought the baby was going to have a difficult time during delivery and that we didn't have much time to get the baby out.  she also said that if the heart rate dropped again we would need to make a decision between having a c-section and using a vacuum delivery.  i opted for the vacuum delivery if everything else was still okay.  i pushed for about an hour at which point the baby was about to crown.  it's heart rate dropped right as it was crowning, the doctor grabbed the vacuum to use through those last few pushes.  the vacuum popped off at one point but the baby's head was essentially out.  once it's head was out they found that the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck 3 times.  the doctor cut the cord right away and blood went flying everywhere.  i pushed one more time and she came out.  they laid her on top of me for a minute while they rubbed her and hearing her cry was definitely reassuring.  charlie was essentially speechless, when he saw the cord wrapped around her neck and her face was all blue (something he didn't realize was normal) he thought she wasn't going to make it.  the nurses had to tell me that it was a girl before he recovered enough to talk.  they took her right away and monitored her for a bit.  despite the cord issues she was fine, and had apgar scores of 7/9.  they finally gave her to me and told me her stats:  19.5 inches and 6.0 pounds.  she weighed less than i was expecting, but for some reason was bigger than i was expecting.  

as it turned out my placenta was just fine.  the reason for her heart rate dropping consistently was the cord that was wrapped around her neck 3 times.  we delivered at a pretty small hospital and it was clear that this was a big deal to them.  i had doctors and nurses coming in and talking about how they heard all about her delivery.  

i am so thankful that she was born healthy.  the combination of sleep deprivation, drugs, and being hooked up to so many monitors was so overwhelming that i didn't really realize how scary the situation was until after she was born.  on one hand it's a good thing because it meant that i was relatively calm during the whole process but it's also scary looking back and realizing how serious the situation was.  

a few other things:  

1.  i am very thankful that i was able to have a vaginal birth.  despite the epidural i was up and walking that evening and never took anything aside from motrin for the pain.  also, at two weeks postpartum i'm cleared for any type of activity and feel a hundred times better than i did when i left the hospital.  

2.  during labor they pumped me so full of fluids i left probably weighing more than i did when i came in.  because of the epidural and the baby's heart rate they ran fluids into me really fast trying to keep my blood pressure up (which was never a problem and keep her fluid levels up).  by the time she was delivered they had given me 7 bags of fluids.  during the delivery my feet were so swollen from all of the fluids i couldn't even bend them.  in fact they were more painful that night and the next morning than recovering from the actual delivery.   

3.  i declined the flu shot this year, just like i do every year.  there are many reasons for this, but in addition to the usual reasons there was an article that came out that showed that this year's vaccine had much higher levels of mercury than other years.  i figure that's a good thing to avoid all of the time but especially when i'm pregnant.  everyone at the hospital was asking me about the vaccine.  my doctor, avery's doctor, each nurse that i had (7 shifts), and each nurse that avery had.  i wanted to make a sign for our door:  "yes, i declined the flu shot.  yes i know what it does.  no i don't want to get one now."

despite everything we ended up with all we really cared about: a healthy baby.  yes, i think i'll probably look for another doctor.  i definitely don't think that the way i was treated regarding when to have the baby was professional but more than that, i was being blamed for a decision that was essentially recommended to me by a partner doctor.  i also think i'll look for another hospital.  the one we delivered at was fine, and i really liked the majority of the staff, but it did seem like they couldn't get their shit together when it actually mattered and ideally i'd like to deliver at a larger facility that sees some of these things more often.  i realize it's not that common to have the cord wrapped around her neck three times, but the fact that we were being 'talked about' makes me think they don't see these things very often which also means they're probably not as good at dealing with them.  but the bottom line is that we're both healthy and happy and right now, that's really all that matters. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

it's the little things ...

christmas 2011

...  christmas with family
...  rocking a baby in the middle of the night
...  pizza for dinner when plans to make dinner were abandoned after it took 4 hours to put the baby to sleep
...  aden + anais swaddle blankets
...  getting out of the house after a week and a half
...  when henry comes into avery's room in the middle of the night when i'm feeding her
...  how clean the house feels after putting away all the christmas decorations
...  watching charlie hold avery
...  a new year
...  clean laundry
...  pecan pie for breakfast
...  a fridge full of leftovers
...  charlie bringing me decaf coffee
...  napping with avery
...  football sundays
...  hot chocolate
...  showering before noon
...  drinking hot tea before it gets cold
...  watching a sleeping baby
...  seeing how much avery has changed in the past 2 weeks
...  spending the holidays with family
...  charlie being off for almost 2 weeks
...  pancakes on a saturday morning    


2011 was such a great year.  we were blessed with so many things this year and i couldn't imagine 2012 being able to top it except that now we get to spend the year watching avery grow up and that's pretty amazing.  2011 brought the end of grad school (yay!), a few weekend trips to the mountains, family visits, and of course a baby.  we are very lucky people and i try to remind myself of this every day.  

in january we said goodbye to my family after a wonderful christmas visit, i started my last semester of grad school, we visited hawaii again, and we experienced some record cold temperatures during which our pipes froze and eventually burst.

in february we celebrated valentines day with lots of cheese and wine, said goodbye to some friends, and  charlie got used to me studying all the time again.

no tv on the mantle!

in march i studied, worked, made cupcakes, and hiked sanitas on a random afternoon with the dogs.

top of sanitas

in april i found out i was pregnant which meant that i did nothing other than work, study, sleep and attempt to find food that didn't make me sick.

in may i started feeling much better.  i graduated (although i didn't attend my graduation), we told family and friends we were expecting a baby, and celebrated our second anniversary with a weekend in glenwood springs.

Charlie & Sopris

in june we made a trip home to see my sister graduate high school and meet our new nephew.  we also bought a new grill and spent almost every weekend either hiking or at the reservoir.

boulder res.

happy graduation


we celebrated the fourth of july by camping at glendo state park in wyoming.  we also had friends and family visit, and saw steve miller band at red rocks.


we spent august watching thunderstorms and getting things ready for baby avery.  i also made a trip back to maryland for a really nice baby shower thrown by my mom.

baby shower

in september i turned 28 and charlie made me fajitas, we kept getting things ready for avery, grilled more meals, and soaked in the last of the warm weather.


we continued our halloween tradition of making riceballs and carving pumpkins in october and spent a relaxing weekend in steamboat springs.

cookin riceballs.

gold creek waterfall

we cooked our second thanksgiving dinner in november, decorated for christmas, and started to count down the days until avery arrived.


december was spent waiting for avery, we were so happy to finally have her here on the 20th and to have my family here to celebrate christmas with.  we couldn't have asked for a better end to 2011.



Sunday, January 1, 2012

avery's first week.


wow did that first week fly by!  i feel like she's no longer my brand new baby but now a newborn with chubby cheeks who's starting to figure things out in this world.  as much as it's so good to see her growing i wish i could freeze time because it's all flying by way too fast.  
the first week was not nearly as bad as i expected it to be.  i got much more sleep than i thought i would and charlie was absolutely amazing about taking care of everything (avery and i included) so that all i had to worry about was feeding her and recovering myself.  there were so many memories from that first week that i don't want to forget. and while this is not nearly a complete list it's some of the bigger things that i want to look back and remember.  it's amazing that i've even been able to type this because all i want to do is hold her all day long.  but i know it's good for both of us if she gets some quality sleep and that's something she can't do in my arms.

Baby A.

... listening to charlie sing her  to sleep with his 3 line white noise lullaby "go to sleep baby Avery" in the hospital.  i have that lullaby stuck in my head but it was the sweetest thing.
... looking down on her while she ate those first few meals
... watching her sleep in her bassinet in the hospital
... attempting to swaddle her in a way she couldn't get out of and eventually becoming expert swaddlers
... charlie becoming an expert on car seats
... falling asleep holding her the first night after she was born
... watching the sun rise in the hospital because we'd been up all night
... getting healthy reports from the doctor
... watching charlie change her and hold her
... leaving the hospital during a snow storm using the pink blanket made by hospital volunteers to cover her from the cold (watching charlie carry her out)
... bringing her home. Watching the cats sniff the back of her head very cautiously
... her first hat in the hospital, white with a pink pompom and how cute she looked in it
... when they laid her on my chest for the first time seeing her look up at me with her big blue eyes 
... holding her in the hospital all bundled up, watching the snow fall outside
... laying her in the boppy on the second day, talking to you and seeing you smile (daddy is my witness on this one)
... the way her hair is slightly longer in back:  a little baby mullet
... trying to decide who she looks like
... watching all her little faces after she eats, her scrunched up face, angry face, her little smiles that look like she's plotting something
... how charlie has made it his mission to change every diaper, be the 'wake her up when she's nursing' guy, laundry guy, and just about everything else
... how she struggles to stay awake while eating
... writing her name on her birth certificate form and filling out my relationship to her as 'mother'
... how scared i was during the delivery when her heart rate kept dropping, how terrified i was when i heard the cord was wrapped around her neck three times, saw charlie's face and the panic on the doctor and nurses' faces, and the relief i felt when she started crying.
... when she gets all squirmy while nursing and then relaxes and let out a huge sigh
... playing with her hair while she nurses
... middle of the night feedings when her daddy tries to keep her from falling asleep
... watching her grandma and grandpa hold her for the first time
... how clean she was after her first sponge bath charlie gave her
... how she fits perfectly in the middle of the boppy
... how cute she looks all swaddled up
... taking her first nap in her crib at home
... our first night at home and how great you she in her cosleeper
... 12 am feedings and 2 am feedings and 4 am feedings
... waking up just to check on her
... wanting to do nothing but stare at her all day long