Wednesday, September 29, 2010

fancy new things

I've been complaining to my husband for weeks, months, possibly even over a year about the condition of my laptop. It's not even that old! I got it in 2006 as a birthday gift from Paul. 4 years is not old. Well, I guess in computer years it kind of is, but anyway. It doesn't stay connected to the internet and the screen is so dim, even plugged in, that I had a hard time reading it. He kept telling me I should just get a new one. Just get a new one, Sam. You need a new one, Sam.

Well, I had a rough day at work one day and came home and bought myself a shiny new laptop with a big screen and lots and lots of memory. Did I mention that my old one couldn't even hold all my itunes stuff? I had to stop adding long ago. Anyway. It arrived today. Shiny, black, slick, beautiful. I quickly added my favorite websites and haven't spent a moment away from it. I have a really hard time parting with money. When I was pregnant, we were diligently saving up for my maternity leave and birthin' costs, so we lived like paupers. I am exaggerating. Not quite like paupers because of course we still had the essentials, you know, cable tv and internet, but we did limit our spending drastically. I have a hard time spending money, even if we have it, on things I don't feel I *need*. Now that I have this laptop, I remember that I do need it. My library of pictures of the last 4 months is staggering and I know it'll only grow. My point is, I needed this, dammit, and I'm so glad I got it. Its soooooo pretty.

In other news...I know I've mentioned my friend Courtney and the recent loss of her son, Noah. Her situation really hit home with me. I decided that I needed another monitor for Ryan. We ordered the Angelcare Monitor from Amazon. It's very popular among moms. Its purpose is to notify you should your baby stop breathing in their sleep. It has censors that go under the crib and those suckers are super sensitive. It detected the air from our fan in Ryan's room. We finally were able to find a setting that worked and were so excited to have it all set up. They recommend putting a piece of plywood under the mattress to prevent false alarms. Who knew a 1/4 inch thick piece of plywood would cause such chaos. Ryan somehow could feel it. He slept horribly. So we tried it without the plywood. Two false alarms at 1:30 AM later, we turned the stupid thing off and decided to get rid of it. It's so hard to wrap your head around SIDS and people will grasp onto anything to give them some peace of mind, hence the popularity of this monitor. But, I think there comes a time when you just have to let go and trust that he (or she) will be okay. So we're back down to just the video monitor and we're all sleeping better because of it. You just have to do the best you can.

Well, as much as I want to sit here glued to this shiny new, fast, amazing laptop, I'm yawning (at 8:20 PM...I'm OLD) and I really want to take my makeup off and get in bed. So away I go.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I was reading a friend's latest blog post about the naming of her sons. This inspired me to sit and write out why I named my son what I did. First, though, you should check out her blog: Bootsie Q. McGromblestein.

I somehow knew Ryan was a boy long before we had the BIG ultrasound that told us. I had dreams where I saw him and in my dreams, his name wasn't Ryan. It was Ian. I don't know why, but it was always Ian. And not the gay way that the guy from 90210 pronounces it, either. I'm talking about "eeee-ann". I love that gmail logs my chats because I was able to find exactly when I knew that I was having a boy. It was my dad's birthday, 9/22 and I commented to my friend (whose blog I mention above) at 9:35 AM "Did I tell you I think I'm having a boy? I had a dream the other day that we had a boy and we named him Ian. Well, the dream wasn't about me having a boy and naming him Ian. There was a toddler in the dream who was a boy named Ian who was my son."

I had known I was pregnant for 22 days at that point. Anyways, I just knew he was a boy. Paul and I never considered girl names, really. I kept an excel spreadsheet of name possibilities and ranked them by favorite. Ryan was always at the top of the list. I'd always thought I'd name my son Andrew. I love the name Andrew and I thought having a little Andy would be so cute. It just never seemed right, though. I clearly remember picking up our living room one day and holding something in my hand that was for him and thinking, "This goes in Ryan's room". And so it was. His name was never anything different. I don't know anyone named Ryan. Well, I know an old internet friend whose name is Ryan, but there's no relation to why I named my son that.

His middle name, though, is Zachary. Zachary is my brother and my best friend. Yeah, I have my husband who is my best friend and one or two girlfriends that I consider to be my best friend...but at the end of the day, Zach is my true best friend. He has been my constant companion for as long as I can remember and even though we don't spend a lot of time together, he gets me like no one else does. There have always been two men in my life who were more important to me than any other, my dad and my brother. And I have two more: my husband and my son. I wanted to give Ryan a middle name that honored my dad or my brother. I felt bad because I didn't want Paul to feel like we weren't honoring his side of the family. Another moment when I knew I married the greatest man alive is when I mentioned this and he said that our children will carry his last name, and that honors his side and we should decide on a name that I like that comes from my side of the family. So we chose Zachary. I initially actually wanted Zachary to be Ryan's first name, but I thought it might be a bit confusing and the fact that Ryan's name seemed to always be Ryan couldn't be overridden by my brother's name.

So, we have our Ryan Zachary. I can't imagine him with any other name. I think his name suits him. It's simply who he is. Should we ever have a little girl, I don't know wtf we're going to do. I found boy names so easy to pick, and maybe that's because I knew somehow that he was a boy all along and somehow I knew his name would be Ryan. I do think if we ever have a daughter that she'll be someone's namesake as well.

Well, it's Sunday and it seems like fall has reached north Texas. I actually put pants on Ryan this morning. We have our windows open and fall scented candles burning. Ryan's at his grandpa's for a few hours and I'm nesting. I don't think I ever got out of the whole nesting thing. Something about Sundays and preparing for the upcoming week fills me with excitement. What do you like to spend your Sundays doing?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I remember when I went back to work, I kind of dreaded the weekends. I mean, what kind of mother dreads spending time with her newborn baby? It was just so exhausting to come home on Fridays and know that I'd do more work taking care of Ryan on the weekends than I did during my regular office hours. I've only been back at work for 2 months. It seems like it's been much much longer. But, I no longer dread the weekends. I love Fridays, not only for the free donuts at work and ability to wear jeans, but now I can't wait to see my baby boy and play with him all weekend. It's just easier now. I don't know at what point it changed. I'm not sure when it just seemed to be easier, more fun. But it is and I love weekends now.

A typical Saturday starts with a trip to the Farmer's Market. Sadly, it was raining this morning and we didn't go. I also happened to have plans. My coworker and newfound friend, Erica, invited me over to create glitter pumpkins. We had a great time. She is always talking about her two cats, Kodie and Isaac, so it was nice to meet them. True to his reputation, Isaac (aka Satan) lured me in with his cuteness and sweetness and then bit my hand. Erica's told me stories of Isaac cornering her house guests and clawing them or biting them. She warned me not to pet him and couldn't give me a tour of her upstairs because Isaac would freak out and might hurt me. He sure was cute though! Kodie was also true to her stories. He perched on her kitchen counter begging for treats. He is a Maine Coon and is gorgeous! Anyways, after doing our pumpkins, we went to a greek restaurant. I had hummus, pitas, pasta salad, some sort of zucchini salad, and some sort of fish. I didn't like it. I guess I kind of did because I ate it, but I definitely wouldn't go there again.

Afterwards, I came home and spent the afternoon with my two boys. We played and I snuck in a little nap. Since Ryan is naturally an early riser, Paul and I take turns on the weekend getting up early. I typically get up with him Saturday morning around 6 and Paul takes Sundays. So I try to sneak in a Saturday nap so I can stay up late watching movies and recorded tv shows. Tomorrow, we hope to take Ryan to Toys R Us and get him a fun new toy. He's going to his grandpa's house in the morning though. For now, I'm going to eat my Alfredo's sub and settle in to watch hours of tv. Maybe I can even stay up until 11! I hope you all are having a good weekend.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Food (for Babies)

I was thinking this morning about the Similac recall and how so many breastfeeding moms must be so grateful that they can breastfeed. I work with a lady who breastfed for the first year! Her youngest son is 2.5 years old. I know women do this all the time, but I don't personally know anyone who exclusively breastfeeds or exclusively gives breastmilk in a bottle. I think its amazing that these women are able to do it. I had an awful breastfeeding experience. Much like everything else when you're a first time mom, I envisioned my child latching perfectly and lovingly gazing into my eyes as he nursed. It was soooo not what I expected. And I wasn't one of those women who just thought it would happen. I read books. I read the internet. I read the LLL messageboards. I felt confident! I knew what to do! Well, you can know all the information but when your body (or your baby) doesn't cooperate, there's not much you can do about it. So many breastfeeding moms truly believe that most times, women CAN breastfeed and that there are only very few who can't. I don't know how true that is, but I do know that I physically could not do it. Yes, the latch hurt. And I'm 99% sure he was on there right. But I had no milk. 2 weeks after delivery, still no milk. Pumping and trying to nurse like crazy, and never any milk. And when I decided to stop trying (which was a heartwrenching decision), I never got engorged. I never leaked. I just never had milk. And that breaks my heart. I don't think you can truly understand what it feels like to want to do the absolute best for your child and then have to make the decision to do second best. I believe formula is as close to breastmilk as possible, and I happily give Ryan several bottles of it a day, but it doesn't mean that I don't wish I was giving him breastmilk. My hope is that next time around, maybe I can breastfeed.

This whole Similac thing pisses me off. I've been signed up for their Strong Moms program for MONTHS and I haven't received an email or anything in regular mail about this recall. In fact, I haven't heard shit from them on this recall. All the information I've gotten has been through Babycenter, who, thankfully, is filled with women who know their shit. Now, I don't feed Ryan Similac. I feed him Parent's Choice because its cheaper, its the same shit, and generics don't have nearly as many recalls as name brand stuff (Infant Tylenol, anyone?). However, I know several moms who DO use Similac, one of which didn't know anything about the recall and learned about it through another friend's facebook status update. I guess they don't feel the need to blast it out there because allegedly, it doesn't pose any "immediate health risk" and infants should only experience "symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat." Oh, ONLY those things. And who knows about what the long term effects are. Dude, these people's babies are eating BUGS and BUG LARVAE. That's fucking gross.

Anyways, in other news...its Friday and today is the funeral of Noah, who was 4 months old when he passed last week. I am thinking of Noah's family and my friend Courtney. Courtney, you are in my thoughts today and always. May Noah rest in peace.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Thankfully, I've never experienced a really traumatic event in my life. No one close to me has ever died. I've never suffered any sort of devastating blow. I've been so fortunate. A woman on a message board that I frequent lost her 4 month old son on Saturday. I cannot even fathom what she is going through. I sat here for a few minutes with my blog window open wondering what I would do if suddenly Ryan were gone. I spent a lot of time today contemplating that very idea and it seems so utterly ridiculous that I can't even imagine it. Looking around my living room now, I see his bumbo, his basket of toys, a dirty burp cloth, the bottles in the kitchen, and I cannot imagine having to face those things and continue living life without him. I've often thought the same of losing my husband, Paul. What if I had to come home one day to his clothes on the floor on his side of the bed, his body wash in the shower, the scent of his cologne lingering in the air? The thought of living a life without either of these people is preposterous and absurd. It brings to mind the story of Matt, Liz, and Madeline Loelgin. Its a great blog if you've never read it. My point is that we can't imagine, cannot even come close, until it happens. My thoughts are with all of these people and I hope that time washes over them and heals their hearts.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


So I've been away for awhile because my in-laws were in town. They've been gone for awhile now, but they were here last Thursday through mid Sunday. I love my in-laws. They're really great people and aside from being cool parents and awesome grandparents, they always re-stock our pantry!

So they got here Thursday evening and we ordered pizza. Friday, Paul and I had to work, so we left his parents with Ryan for the day. They had a great time. Paul's mom has a home babysitting gig and has been doing it for at least the last 20 years, so I completely trusted her. She's had kids from as young as 2 months old through teenagers. Friday, we came home and Paul's dad had gone to the grocery store and his mom had dinner waiting to go into the oven. It. Was. Awesome. Saturday, I took my mom to the oh so awesome sample sale that my company has for it's corporate employees. I'd rather not say what company I work for, but every month, they have a sample sale in a warehouse. The proceeds go to The Company's charity. Big shopping bags packed to the gills go for $10 and large items also are $10. MIL had a great time. After the SS, we met up with Paul, his dad, and Ryan. I went to lunch with my good friend Gina and her exchange student, Em, while MIL went with Paul to the Farmer's Market.

I guess I haven't talked much about our weekly Farmer's Market trips. We go to the Coppell Farmer's Market weekly on Saturdays. Over the last several weeks, we've decided to take a healthier approach to our food. Rather than shopping for the lowest price on junk that's filled with artificial ingredients, we decided we'd shell out the extra cash to know what we're putting into our bodies. So we primarily shop at the farmer's markets in the area, mostly Coppell. They have dairy, breads, pastas, ethnic foods (tamales, tortillas, chips, salsa), meats, fruits, and veggies. There are a few things we can't get there since they are all local growers, so we do still have to shop at the grocery store for some things. I've become a bit obsessed lately and really enjoy our trips. We've gotten to know some of the vendors there and I'll be sad when October comes and the farmer's market isn't there anymore until the spring.

Anyways, I had a great time having breakfast and came home to Ryan sleeping peacefully. He napped and we had intended to go to lunch once he woke up. Well, at 2:00 he was still sleeping, so Paul and his dad ran out to Chicken Express and got a late lunch. We spent the rest of the day playing together with Ryan. Saturday night, I took my MIL to Michaels. She is an avid scrapbooker and card maker, and I had asked her to teach me how to make an envelope book. I am not really a craftsy type of person, but I had an awesome time making this with her. It was so easy and my husband is always nagging me about getting a hobby. I think I may have found something I really like doing! Here are some pictures of the one I made for my very pregnant friend Lindsay:






Sunday, they wanted to hit the road after lunch. We left Ryan with my mom and took them out for some yummy Texas BBQ at Randy White's Hall of Fame BBQ. Delicious as always. Sadly, they had to hit the road right after lunch and are now safely back in Chicago.

Anyways, that's where I've been. Things at work have been crazy and I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine so I can update more frequently!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Everyone talks about how having a child changes you. Changes your life. Changes everything. Mostly, you hear about all the "negative" changes. How much less you'll sleep, how little time you'll have to yourself or with your your life will never be the same.

Sure, you hear these things and you know they're all probably true to some extent but you can never really understand until it happens to you.

Those changes are not what this post is about. This is about how having a baby has changed MY life for the better and made ME a better person. This evening, my husband and I were cooking dinner together and it occurred to me that we've changed, as a couple since Ryan was born. We're healthier in almost every way. Physically and certainly emotionally. It was a rough start for us after Ryan came, especially me, but we pulled through and our bond is stronger than it ever has been. Before Ryan, there's no way we would've cooked dinner together. More than likely, we would've had something like a box of mac and cheese. Since Ryan was born, I think we've both realized the importance of being healthy, both physically and emotionally. We spend more time together. Even though yeah, we are tired, our time in the evenings together is spent with meaning.

I have learned to appreciate my husband. When I say we were cooking dinner together, it was really me standing there talking while he cooked the sausage, made the pasta, and got plates and stuff ready. He is awesome and takes care of us. I don't think I would have found this appreciation had we not had a baby together. He is an amazing father and I aspire to be as great of a parent as he is.

Ryan has taught me patience. Love. Love. I knew love before Ryan, but there's a specific kind of love only your child can teach you. You learn it through their tears, smiles, when they find their little voices and you hear it for the first time. Love. My son has taught me what it is to love someone unconditionally, without fail.

Our lives are so enriched because of this tiny person. He's changed us, and everyone in our family, in ways we couldn't have imagined. Change is hard. No matter what, but in the end, sometimes its for the best. And while change is hard, sometimes the changes are good and you learn to appreciate the person you've become because of those changes.

I guess I've reached that point everyone talks about where I can't imagine my life without him. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I've always known I wanted children. At least two. After Ryan was born, I went through a period that I think most moms go through, the "What have I done...I'm never doing this again" period. My husband was ecstatic. It took him awhile to come around to the idea of one child, and he definitely didn't want any more. Since I'm out of my postpartum baby blues haze, I've realized how much of a blessing Ryan is, and I'm back to my old self, which means BABIES!! I am extremely close with my brother and I think siblings are important. So while I'm already planning when I'd like to conceive #2, Paul is still in the "hell no" place. When I started thinking about a new car seat for Ryan, it just so happened that Babies R Us was having a great trade in event. Trade in any used car seat, crib, bassinet, stroller, etc and receive 25% off of a new car seat, crib, whatever. I told Paul we should trade in Ryan's infant seat for a convertible one. And then the unimaginable happened. Paul said to me, "Why would we trade in the infant seat if we could use it for baby #2". This was a miracle. Now, while he still doesn't really want another one, I can see that the remote possibility is there. And that excites me. No more babies for awhile, but the possibility is there!

After lots of researching, I decided to go with the Evenflo Triumph Advance 65 car seat. Its now perfectly installed in the center of my backseat thanks to my awesome husband. I'm a little nervous about trying to get Ryan in it in the mornings when we're rushing out the door and in the late afternoons when its peak crankiness time, but I think it'll be okay. I noticed in the weekly Target ad that the Britax Roundabout 50 was on sale for $100, which is a great price for a Britax, but the only not-girl print Roundabout they have is "Cowmooflage"which is horrible. Its awful. And after researching, I really think the ETA65 is the best choice for us. And we got a great deal at BRU. We decided to keep the infant seat for our unconceived baby #2, but we had a bassinet to trade in. The best part was that the bassinet was bought for $15 at a garage sale and ended up saving us about $35 at BRU. Here's Ryan enjoying his new ride in our living room before we installed it:

I feel like this has been a long weekend, and we still have a whole day off before going back to work. I have no idea what we'll do tomorrow, but I do know that the days of 3 day weekends spent in bed watching movies and tv without showering are long gone.

Also exciting: Ryan is trying rice cereal for the first time tomorrow! I am nervous and excited and kind of sad that he is growing up so fast! He will be 4 months old in 5 more days and while I really wanted to wait until 6 months, it just doesn't seem like formula alone is cutting it anymore. Pictures to follow!

In other exciting news, football season is upon us! I love this time of year...when baseball season and football season overlap. I love fall!

What am I doing?

I have no idea what I'm doing half the time. It's kind of funny, kind of frustrating. For example: Ryan is getting a bit big for his infant carseat. He could go another couple of months in it, and probably will, but he is definitely growing. His 4 month pediatrician appointment is on the 13th and I am looking forward to seeing what his height and weight is. I weighed him about a week and a half ago and I think he was about 15 lbs then and coming in at about 26 inches tall. The limit on our carseat is 29 inches tall and 22 lbs. We're taking a road trip to Chicago in November to visit Paul's family for Thanksgiving and so we'll definitely need a new carseat by then. Anyways, so I started researching.

First of all, our budget is pretty much nonexistent. Second of all, there are 10,000 carseats out there to choose from! I am specifically looking for a convertible carseat, which narrows it down to 9,000 to choose from. I really want him rear-facing as long as possible. At least two years, anyways, so we need something with a pretty high rear facing weight limit and a decently high front facing weight limit because I REALLY don't want to go buy another seat too soon. Babycenter has a great carseats board, and I got a lot of great input from those moms. My point is, that I am LAZY. My idea of research is asking my husband to look stuff up. He hasn't been stellar at satisfying my curiosity when it comes to baby stuff, so I essentially asked these ladies to tell me what to do. Since Ryan is with his grandma all day (hi, mom!), he needs two carseats. See, with an infant seat, its easy...pop 'em in, and you're good to go. Convertibles aren't the kind that you just pop in, so we essentially need one for each car he'll be in. The search continues! We still have a little time.

Today, Ryan had his first bath in the sink. Who DIDN'T get a bath in the kitchen sink at some point in their life? We don't have a baby bath tub and the mesh seat we got at the shower isn't doing the trick anymore. It's called the Summer Infant Baby Bather by the way, and its pretty awesome. So instead of co-bathing again, I decided to try the sink. It was slippery, bubbly, and really really wet. I think I'll stick with putting on my swimsuit and jumping in the tub with him moving forward. When I was a kid, we had these bath seats that were just rings that the kid sat in. Do they make those anymore? I need one of those. I am still waiting to get my happy splashy bath time baby moment. Ryan still isn't keen on taking a bath. Today, he looked at me as if to say, "wtf, mom. Why are we in the kitchen?"

Well, its Sunday and lucky for both Paul and I, we have tomorrow off in observance of Labor Day. I can't help but feel like I've reached the end of a long race when September 1st comes. Summer in Texas is brutal and when it's FINALLY September, it feels like a huge relief. We've made it through another summer and fall is coming. I am very much looking forward to crisp air, wearing hoodies, changing leaves, and seeing my infant grow into a baby. By Thanksgiving, he'll be 6 months old. We're already over halfway there. It seems unreal. Time keeps going. I love fall, and I think this year will be made even more special by our beautiful son who will be experiencing his first fall. I hope he grows to love it as much as I do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.

Today I went to see my OB/GYN. It was that lovely time of the year that every woman looks forward to, but I was excited. I was excited to see her because it'd been about 2 months since my last visit with her for my post partum checkup and I love her. She is a great doctor and was supportive in every way possible before, during, and after my pregnancy.

I've been thinking a lot lately about all the things I'd do differently next time around. I know its still giving birth when you have a cesarean, but part of me is so sad I won't ever have that pushing experience. I asked my doc today about the possibility of a VBAC and she was not receptive to the idea. I know there are a lot of women out there who'd tell me to go for it and find a new doctor, but I love my doctor. I trust her opinion. I believe that she has my best interests at heart. So I think, even though I have no intention of getting pregnant for years, that I need to realize that a VBAC probably will not happen. I had this vision of laboring and pushing and then being handed my baby and feeding him. I guess this gives me time to mourn the fact that things will probably never happen that way.

I think its natural for a mother to blame herself for almost anything. I blame myself for Ryan's stay in the NICU. For his breathing issues at birth. For breastfeeding not working out. For almost everything. I feel like had I not been induced, maybe all of that wouldn't have happened. And maybe it would've. Who knows. Learning to live with guilt, real or imagined, is something all mothers go though.

I am a planner by nature. The thought of being able to schedule my child's birth excited me. One of the reasons I agreed to being induced (aside from my doctor's recommendation) was that I didn't want to be sitting at home for another week or two on maternity leave waiting around for him to be born. I wanted the maximum amount of time possible with him before heading back to work. So when she said we should induce, I was happy about it. Sure, I'd read the horror stories of pitocin and the statistics of the likelihood of a cesarean due to a failed induction but I thought that surely that wouldn't happen to me. Oh, how naive I was! Knowing what I know now, I think I would have asked her about just waiting a little bit longer. I don't think he was quite ready to join the outside world.

I wish I could tell other moms or expectant moms that the guilt goes away. But, much like worrying, it fades and comes and goes in waves. I think the best any of us can do is just try our hardest to be good moms. If that means that my next child is born via cesarean, then that's what's best for us. For some moms, the best for them is an natural, unmediated birth. What's best for one isn't always best for another. That's all that we can hope to give, our best.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How did we end up here?

I haven't really taken the time to think about or document in any way Ryan's birth story. I'm one of those people who desperately tries to remember every tiny detail yet end up forgetting most everything. I find time to be really complex. It baffles me that minutes slip away and then they're just gone. forever. And firsts are only firsts once. Not long after giving birth, right before I returned to work, I realized that a huge chapter of my life was ending. I had done all of the things I had hoped to do in my life. It seemed like all of my firsts were over. I had met the man I'd marry, moved away from home, started a career, married my partner, came home again, and had my very first pregnancy and baby and maternity leave. And it was suddenly over. It took a week of self pity and words of comfort from those closest, but I came to the realization that I had done all the things I thought I'd do and now I get to do all the things I never thought I'd do. And while some of my firsts were over, I had so many more to look forward to. And with that, here are some of Ryan's firsts:

Coincidentally, it was exactly a year ago today that I found out I was expecting. My husband and I had been trying and I knew before I took the pregnancy test. Nonetheless, seeing that "pregnant" appear, overjoyed me. I had a really uneventful pregnancy. It was some of the easiest 9 months of my life. No morning sickness, no really restless nights, no horrible pains. The only markedly different thing was my constant heartburn and my evergrowing belly. I loved every second of it.

Ryan was due 5/11/10. They thought he was quite big, so I had an ultrasound at about 38 weeks. They estimated him to be over 8 lbs at that time, so my doctor recommended that we induce. I am a very scheduled person, so I loved that idea. I left my doctor's office on May 6th with instructions to be at the hospital at 5 AM on May 10th for induction. I was so excited. I spent those 4 days watching movies and tv in bed and enjoying my pregnant body. Sunday was mother's day and we celebrated at my mom's. I wasn't allowed to eat anything after midnight, so I had dinner at my mom's and then a small bowl of applesauce around 8 PM. I went to bed around 10 foolishly thinking I'd be able to sleep. It was one of the worst nights of sleep I've ever gotten. We had to leave at about 4:45 to get to the hospital by 5:00, so we were up by 4:20. When you already have your bags packed and there's no reason to wear makeup, you don't need a lot of time to get ready.

We got to the hospital at 5 and checked in with the L&D nurse. She took me to my labor room where I changed and she asked me a million questions. Then she started my pitocin. I was having contractions when I arrived at the hospital, but they were so mild that I wasn't feeling them. They started the pit very low and then increased it little by little. My doctor came in around 8 AM and checked me. She said she would be back after lunch and by then I will have had my epidural and that hopefully we'd be done by dinnertime. I knew going into it that I wanted an epidural. Around noon, I was really feeling the pit. Contractions HURT. For any pregnant moms reading this, I'll say it again: Contractions HURT. Something they should tell you beforehand: you have to go through an entire iv bag before they'll give you the epi, so ask for it a little while before the contractions become unbearable. I remember getting the epidural and feeling so much better. The worst part of the epidural is the lidocane shot they give you to numb your back. I loved my epidural. So much that I felt compelled to update facebook with "I love my epidural".

After my epidural, the hours seem to have just slipped by. I remember my doctor coming in and breaking my water. That was not fun. It took her a couple of tries and I didn't have that big splash that you think you'll have. They inserted a fetal monitor inside me and then gave me a catheter. The catheter was hilarious. I was completely numb and couldn't move my legs at all. It took two nurses to get the catheter in. So I had that coming out of my hoo-ha as well as the fetal monitor, add to that the epidural catheter in my back as well as the iv in my arm. And I was wearing a blood pressure cuff the whole time. I was wired for sound!

I labored for the rest of the day without really feeling it. I slipped in and out of sleep. My doctor came back around 6:30 or so and checked me. She said she was going home for dinner but would be ready if it became time to push. Sadly, that time would never come. I truly believe Ryan was just not ready to come, and, should I ever have another baby, I will do everything in my power not to be induced. My doctor came back around 8:15 PM and checked me again. Ryan's heart rate was becoming erratic and I had developed a fever. She told me that we needed to move forward with a cesarean. I didn't realize how upset I'd be. I always said I'd go into labor with an open mind and as long as he came out healthy, I'd be happy. Its hard though when you've been laboring for 14 hours with very little progress to accept that you won't be pushing your baby out. I was scared. I had never had surgery. I cried. My doctor, husband and mom all comforted me. Even now, typing this, I think, "I should have left him in there...I shouldn't have been induced". There wasn't ever a chance. I was 100% effaced but only ever was dilated to a 6.

My doctor went to scrub in and the anesthesia nurse came back and upped my epi. I had to swallow some gross grape stuff, like liquid tums. By the time I was in surgery, I couldn't feel anything, including the palms of my hands. The epidural made me shake really bad, like I was standing outside in 20 degree weather naked. I threw up twice on the operating table. Of course, it'd been over 24 hours since I'd eaten, so there was nothing to throw up except the gape stuff. The nurses were so nice and took care of me. My husband looked dapper in the scrubs they'd given him and I momentarily wondered if he had chosen the wrong profession. I don't remember a lot of the surgery. I remember them telling me that they were pulling him out and me saying, "Oh my god, we're going to be parents!".

And then our family was 3 and not 2 anymore. They held him up over the curtain and he was beautiful. Covered in goo, but the first time I ever saw him.

His breathing was erratic. They whisked him away and I didn't even get to see him except for when they were walking out of the room. I sent my husband with strict orders not to leave him alone. Looking back, I don't remember hearing him cry. My husband reminds me that he did cry and I was overjoyed at the sound. I had to stay and get my uterus put back in and get stitched up, but Paul went with Ryan. He had to be on a CPAP for about 8 minutes because his breathing was so erratic. They had to give him IV antibiotics and inserted a tube down his throat to get the air out of his tummy. I didn't get to see him right after surgery. I still had a fever and they thought I might have a uterine infection, so I was wheeled into recovery and had to stay there for an hour. My parents came to visit me and so did Paul. He showed me Ryan's pictures on his iphone. I was shaking pretty badly from the epidural. After a long hour, they wheeled me down to the NICU to see him.

Then I had to go to my room. I loved my night nurse, Carla. She gave me juice and percocet and was a nice lady. The next day, they took me off my epi and removed my catheter. My day nurse was awesome too, her name was Mindy. I was so excited to go see Ryan, but I couldn't walk so Mindy wheeled me down. By the day after, I could walk slowly while holding onto my wheelchair. I walked back and forth over and over to see my baby.

Oh there are so many things I'd do differently. I didn't realize that I should have been going down to the NICU every 3 hours to try and breastfeed. Instead, I set an alarm and pumped for 15 minutes around the clock. I loved being in the hospital. By Tuesday afternoon, Ryan was off of the antibiotics and all tubes were removed. I attempted breastfeeding earnestly, but Ryan also needed formula to keep his glucose levels up. I am grateful for the care Ryan received in the hospital. For the care we both received.

Thursday, May 13th, we went home. Ryan's first car ride was a success:

So while a chapter of my life is complete, Ryan's first chapter is just beginning.