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Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Okay, everyone…I am officially ending my rants (on this website, anyway).  I will have a  new journal on from now on.  This will be our family site, as well as my personal site.  Hopefully, I can save this url for my jewelry business in the (maybe near) future.  Hope to see everyone on the shutterfly page!!

For All The JHD Enthusiasts…

Sunday, October 12th, 2008 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Check us out.  Since Chris never showed me how to post pics on this site, I opened a shutterfly account after seeing Beck’s great class site (thanks Laura!). 

If you need another hit of Jonathan:

The Tears Came Down

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

There are three types of cries that go on in our house.  1) Obviously, the baby cries.  I’m starting to learn which cries mean what.  For instance, the piercing screams combined with rooting around on whoever is holding him definitely mean hunger, and the little whimpers that turn to a big cry mean he has wet or dirty diapers.  Time of day plays a role, too. 

2) Then there are mommy cries, which are less and less frequent.  I know I joked about the randomness of my weeping, but truthfully, there is always a reason for it.  Be it guilt, fear, or pain, mommy tears usually fall into one of those categories.  I’m turning the corner on the pain, getting less and less fearful, and REALLY starting to feel guilty for any little ailment he develops!!  It’s amazing to me how guilty I can feel in certain moments….and I’m Catholic!

3)  Then there are those baby cries I think I hear.  Usually when I’m trying to fall asleep, in a half-dreaming, half-awake state, I only THINK I hear the baby crying.  It wakes me up, only to realize he’s sound asleep, and I get no sound sleep at all.  But, hey, I’ve been told I have years and years to get used to having no sleep, right??

My New Theme…

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Chrissy changed my theme for me!  I hope everyone likes it…I’m going to try out a few.  Next lesson…Chris will show me how to post pictures!!

Sometimes You’re the Windshield, Sometimes You’re the Bug

Monday, August 11th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Today was rough.  And I didn’t really even do anything…my mom did all the “dirty” work.  But, Jonathan needed to eat every 1 1/2 hours today instead of his usual 2-3 hour stretches.  He also didn’t sleep very much, and cried and cried and cried.  He was very unhappy unless he was eating.  That means that everytime I lay down to take a nap, I got about 20 minutes, and he would need to eat again. 

When he cries and screams, it is excruciating to me.  Not because I can’t stand the crying and it annoys or angers me, but because it’s like someone’s hand around my heart and squeezing as tight as they can.  I NEVER thought I would be this way.  I did not think I would be such a sap about all this.  His crying just kills me!!  Especially when I can’t figure out what he wants. I just feel so sorry for him…he’s SO pitiful.  I still know that all the behavior management stuff I talked a lot about will work when he’s bigger, but now he’s just so tiny.  I think you just have to attend to a newborn’s needs…behavior management when he’s this tiny would be cruel and feels wrong.  So, I just pick him up and walk with him or rock him.  He’s probably going to have blisters all over his face since I can’t stop kissing him!  I’m glad he’s a baby who doesn’t mind when you touch his face.  Eating always works, so I guess he’ll be like 50 pounds by next week if he keeps this up…If none of that works, I give him to my mom…she has a magic touch.

It makes me very afraid for when my mom leaves.  Someone told me once that during their experience, both he and his wife cried the entire day when her mother left!! That may happen at our house, but, my mom has to leave.  She has her life and we need to continue to adjust to and create our new life.  Intellectually, I understand this and it needs to happen.  Just when I was fearing this, I go a text from Frannie.  She didn’t know the magic of her timing, but she gave a bit of a confidence boost right when I needed it.  She is so good at sending a quick “you can do it” text for whatever the need.  So, I think I’m going to try to remember what she said…that I already know what to do, I just have to be confident in my abilities.  I’m going to approach this last week with my mom in that way…just trying to be less frustrated, more calm in face of my little baby’s heartbreaking tears, and more confident.  Maybe that way I’ll also start to feel back to myself.  I used to be a very confident person!!  On top of all that, I know that Chris and I will be able to handle it all, and even thrive together in our new parenthood.  It’s the days home by myself that worry me, but that’s where my confidence has to come in.  Plus, that time alone with the baby will be invaluable in learning what all he needs, how to attend to him in the best way, and what his likes and dislikes are.  I just can’t wait til he raises his hands up at me because he wants picked up.  But, I don’t want to wish his newborn-ness away…he’s so precious and tiny!!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better in the sense that either he’ll be a little more satisfied with life or I’ll have more patience and confidence with mine.  Patience and confidence shall squash the fear and anxiety!!  That’s my mission now, wish me luck! 🙂

Shout out…

Monday, August 11th, 2008 | Uncategorized | No Comments

I realized something today.  As I write about my experience, I wanted to notice my friend Missy who deserves many props and is a mom I have learned a lot from by just watching her.  She handles everything in a very cool way.  She had her second baby in May, the cutest little girl with the cutest name:  Piper.  She doesn’t just have one baby, like me.  Her job is incredibly harder than mine, as she has a toddler, a new baby, works full time, and moved to new house at the time of her baby’s birth!!!  I just have one baby. 

She’s an inspiration.

A Lesson in Female Anatomy…

Monday, August 11th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Now, Bob, if that title doesn’t cause you to look away…you’re on your own.  Go get the bag of frozen peas and read on….

Okay…how do I say this?  I have always had an understanding with my female “area.”  She does her thing, and I do mine, and we don’t really bother each other.  Until now.  She’s bothering me.  I have never had any problems with this before.  No bladder infections, no intestinal problems, not even a yeast infection (sorry fellas!)  So I’m not exactly sure how much to panic when something is weird “down there.”  I can’t really tell what’s what, kind of like the delivery.  I did not require an episiotomy (if you don’t know what that is, DO NOT investigate), but I did tear, and therefore required stitches.  I’m not exactly sure where they are.  All the doctor told me was that they were “inside.”  He didn’t tell me how many I got, but I saw him pull that hook-looking needle out several times….what seemed like a lot.  But, hey, no hemorrhoids!  Awesome.

No one really ever told me the specifics of delivery.  It’s really private and not the kind of thing you ask detailed questions about…unless you have your own blog dedicated to the topic.  It is a hazy blur of 2 hours, which seemed like about 10 minutes at the time.  I had this vision of Chris, one nurse, my doctor and me in the room, listening to classical music on the iPod while I grunted and pushed a bit with a very classy demeanor.  This is how it really went:  I pushed for about an hour and half with Chris and the nurse, my mother and mother in law both tried to barge in while I was in the stirrups, the doctor came into check me and started to put scrubs on, about 10 other nurses came into the room, and mass chaos and my screaming ensued.  It was out of body, that’s the only way I can describe it.  I was not in control of the screams, and it was only at the very end for the last push.  Needless to say, a little different than I thought.  And the doctor doesn’t just sit there and “catch.”  He puts some effort into it, too.  He does a lot of pushing on me, yanking, promising that this would be the last push (about 15 times), and then on the actual last push, he did something to my lower back to help the baby escape that hurt like hell.  Mental note…when you are offered a 2nd epidural top off, TAKE IT!!!  But, I gotta hand it to him, the baby was really clean when I got him.

I kept my eyes closed the whole time towards the end.  I didn’t see anything.  They had to tell me to open my eyes when the doctor held the baby up for us to see.  And it is so disappointing to be told “this could be it,” and then push and push and push and then nothing but the knowing that you have to do it all again.  Chris on the other hand, saw everything and is handling it very well, like war vet.  He has only waken in the night with the shakes a few times, screaming “no more babies!” (wink, wink)

After I got the baby for a few minutes, I was definitely in shock.  I looked over at Chris and we had our moment of relief together.  Then they took the baby about 10 feet away from me to clean him up and do some tests, where he peed on anyone who dared come close.  Chris was snapping 10-20 pics a minute, and I looking around, but remember it in flashes of images, rather than a complete memory.  They gave me the baby back and the doctor sat between my legs in an umpire stance waiting for the 3rd stage of labor to commence (if you don’t know what the 3rd stage of labor is, DO NOT investigate).  Once that was over, I began getting cleaned up and tried to gain my bearings….still waiting for those. 

They took my baby to the nursery after almost 2 hours.  My mom, mom in law, and aunt in law all came to see the baby in the delivery room while Chris went out to the waiting room to get his congratulatory pats on the back.  After they took the baby, they brought another bed for me to transfer to, since my epidural hadn’t worn off yet.  They rolled me to my room where I would stay from dinnertime on Wednesday to late Friday afternoon.  We waited with some welcomed visitors for what seemed like forever until the baby was brought back to me.  Then it was like the paparrazzi on the red carpet with about 10 cameras flashing in his face.  He didn’t seem to mind…he was ready for his close up.  Everyone who was there (Sonya, Frannie, Buffy & Craig, Hannah, mom, & dad) all got to hold him and coo at him.  No one even said anything about his MASSIVE cone head.  We look at those pictures now and it’s scary, he looks totally different with a normal looking baby head.  

Alright, take a breather…that’s as bad as it gets until I start talking about how constipated I am…..

Diaper Dandy…

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

You know that commercial for Huggies (I think) where the dad is changing the baby on the bed and he goes off like a water hose?  Not really an exaggeration.  As it turns out, it’s pretty accurate.  Today Jonathan peed all over his own face while Chris was changing him.  I’m sure it didn’t help that Mommy, Daddy, and Grammy were laughing at him on top of his embarrassing faux pas.  He didn’t like that and will hopefully close his mouth when he cries from now on.  He hates to have his diaper changed and screams through the whole thing, but as a bonus, after that performance, he earned himself a quick sponge bath.  I’m not sure how he managed to spray poo twice on Daddy and then pee on himself all in one diaper change, but what can I say…that’s my boy! He also burps like a frat boy, but that’s for a different post.

I get by with a little help from my friends…

Saturday, August 9th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I have wonderful friends.  I knew that before Jonathan was born, but I guess with my current & raw emotional state, it hits home even more.  My friends have shown support in so many ways, so many generous ways, that Chris and are kind of beside ourselves with thankfulness and gratitude.  The other day I was thinking, I have so many people that want to come over to see me and the baby…how am I going to schedule it all?  I worry that some folks may not understand the amount of energy a visit, even from great friends, takes out of me.  Plus, the whole thing with the feedings.  I’m not really good at the timing of it all yet and there is a very short window that will work for visitors right now.  But then I realized how lucky it is to have so many people who care about me, and I remembered Erie.

 It occured to me that when I was in Erie, all I wanted was a group of friends, just a few friends that I could do stuff with.  I talked about it all the time.  It was wet and gray and cold all the time there and we were house bound a lot of the time.  We were so lonely up there and we met a great couple (Hi, Jen and Chris!) right before we left, but then we left.  I realized this week that I have even more than I ever dreamt of in Erie and my life is full of wonderful people that care about me even when I don’t deserve it.  I’ve made two truly regrettable mistakes when it comes to two of the greatest of my friends.  And both of them have forgiven me and are allowing repairs to be made, which I am so very grateful for. 

I have friends who are supporting me through this, without such support, I would be at risk of sinking into a very low state of baby blues.  The look on everyone’s faces when they hold our baby is so heartwarming.  I remember Crystal in the hospital, for example, with such a huge smile on her face as she held him.  And the love beaming out of Steve and Kelly as they stared down at him.  Everyone is so happy, it fills my heart.  I have friends who regularly check on me everyday (Hi, Frannie & Michele!), I have friends who make sure I eat (Yummy lasagne, Craig and Buff!), I have friends who visit to help & cheer me up with adult contact (Hey, ya’ll!) and friends who don’t even know they are showing support by NOT visiting.  They are being so patient with me.  The space that these people are giving me to learn and understand my newborn in these first weeks is an invaluable gift.  One by one, I’m starting to have people over, maybe one or two visitors a week.  Soon, I’ll be back on my feet and this painful recovery will dwindle down to nothing and I’ll be begging them all to come over!!  Or I’ll just show up at Benton and Jonathan and I will help grade papers in the afternoons 🙂 

My family is another awesome support system.  My husband, of course, who I’ve probably been too hard on, my Dad and brother who check on me daily and are willing to go get anything I need, and my mom.  What do you do for your mom who takes the best care of you during this time?  How can you show thanks to her?  I mean I can say all the time or get her a great present, but all my ideas seem really stupid in comparision with what she is doing for me.  We’ll figure something out, since her birthday is coming up, too, but maybe I’ll just do the best I can to raise my kid to be a great person and hope I came somewhat close to how she and my dad raised me.  I hope I’m just like her.

Just look away, Jay…

Friday, August 8th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Our cousin Jay couldn’t make it through my previous posts, so I thought a warning was in order.  This will be very graphic for the faint of hear (that means you, Bobby)….I think it may be time to talk about the labor and delivery experience.  I’ve been waiting until I had a bit of time to write about this experience.  The little boy is sleeping (for now) and I’m gonna give it a try. 

I was in labor for 12 hours and in what can be considered “delivery” for 2.  I consider delivery the active pushing after the full 10 cm dialation.  Chris and I got to the hospital with my dad at 6pm for a scheduled induction.  I was not in labor at the time.  I was immediately checked in and the induction began with a dose of cervadil around 8:30ish, a suppository that is supposed to soften the cervix and get it dialating.  There is an outside chance that it can also start labor, which it did for me.  My mom got there and she and my dad went to get Chris a golden bowl from the Grit that I got to watch him eat.  I still maintain that the worst torture for a pregnant lady is to not allow her to eat during labor.  Luckily for me, the nurses in the delivery unit snuck me popsicles even though my mean doctor said I could only have ice chips and water.  Those were the best popsicles I’d ever had. 

We went to sleep and I woke up around 2:30am with what I thought were cramps.  I’m still not convinced that I even felt contractions at all.  The cramps eventually got so bad (and the monitor concurred) at around 5:00am, that the nurse told me I could get the epidural.  I gladly accepted and within the 1/2 hour, the epidural guy was there and I practically asked him if he would be my boyfriend on the side.  Epidurals are good…pain is bad.  We went back to sleep, I think, but eventually my parents got there and, once again, I ate a popsicle while watching the three of them eat McDonalds for breakfast.  They wouldn’t even give me a bite, a tiny bite!!!  That damn McDonalds sign was a beacon in the night down Prince Avenue through my room window, too.  All I could do was stare at it longingly.  Ice chips and water…whatever. 

During all this, before the epidural, the nurse checked me for dialation once or twice and those exams hurt like hell.  Especially if you have a very posterior cervix like I did.  After the epidural, however, I didn’t care what they shoved up there…cut my legs off, I was happy.  I was checked a couple times, I got a few straight catheters, I didn’t feel a thing.  I was around 5cm by around 8am

Now the timeline gets a little fuzzy.  I think around 10:30am, the doctor, who I love now after being snuck popsicles and getting an epidural, came in and check me and he said I was 9cm and that he could feel hair.  Okay, that made it very, very real.  I had worked up a good bit of denial during the whole night and morning and was pretty convinced that I could somehow get out of this.  But now, with the phrase, “her water has broken and I feel hair,” Chris had to take a pause and sit down, and I began throwing up all over the place.  Then we were over it and the nurses helped me clean up.  I was pretty pissed because they told me that if I ate, I would throw up, so I begrudgingly agreed not to eat.  But, if I was gonna throw up anyway, I could’ve had some of that damn McDonalds…just a tiny bite!!!  Again, whatever.

My water breaking turned out to be quite a mystery, because (I’m totally serious), no one could find it.  I never felt it break, I never noticed any water anywhere, and the nurse said that the bed was dry.  But when the doctor checked me, it was gone!  Duh nuh!!!  There’s no reward for the missing water and if anyone finds it, I don’t want it back…

It took me from 10:30am and 2pm to dialate one more centimeter to 10cm.  That was a long wait for everyone, but to me, it didn’t feel like that long.  I had been in labor basically all day, but it seemed to go pretty fast.  My mom only tried to bust in twice and Chris’ mom tried twice too.  I was adimant that my mom not see me like that, because I didn’t want her to see her own child in pain and struggling.  If my mom couldn’t come in, nobody else could either.  Chris and my nurse Donna did a good job of keeping the worried grandmas away.  So we started pushing at 2 and the baby was born at 4:04pm. 

I’m tired walking down this memory lane.  We’ll talk about pushing and delivery later….I have a few more minutes before Jonathan wakes up to take a quick nap….