Posted by: meanderingmango | 15 March 2010

All Grow’d Up…Well Sort Of

I’ve officially awarded hero status to all of those daily-posting parents.  I’m not one of them.  I thought I would be, but then came the stark realization that being first-time parents — at least for us — means barely enough time to shower some mornings, let alone open the laptop, log onto WordPress, formulate some witty and read-worthy post, and click “publish.”  It’s all a little much when it’s Friday morning and you realize you haven’t washed your hair in three days (OK, that only happened once…but once was more than enough!).  What I have had time for lately is getting to know one cool little dude.

When I was pregnant with “the Bean,” Marc and I used to sit in bed at night and wonder what he would look like.  And now we sit and stare with amazement at this little person who we’ve known for such a short time but can’t remember what it felt like before he arrived.  Everyone has their own opinion about who Max looks like.  Most people say he’s the perfect blend of the two of us — hmm…genetics are a crazy thing, yes? — although a few people swear that he looks “just like” one or the other of us.  I can’t remember who said it, but someone once commented, “He looks like Max,” and I agree.

The craziest thing about being a new parent, though, is the sudden realization that time is so fleeting.  Even when the three of us were in the throes of Max’s worst reflux, and the days and nights seemed endless, time itself passed so quickly.  First we counted in days, then weeks, then months.  And now — just six seven nineteen twenty-five months later — it’s almost hard to remember how it felt to hold Max when he was just a tiny little 6 lb. 14 oz. guy.  In some ways, it makes me want to squeeze him extra tight, although I know it won’t stop the second hand.

So what’s new with us, besides waxing poetically on the passage of time?  Tons!  Max is a rockstar, and we are his groupies!  It’s amazing to watch each day bring a new discovery…a new trick.  He’s a bundle of personality — and a total ham!  During my maternity leave, I was offered a position at our church and decided that I wouldn’t return to my previous job.  Besides a million other wonderful reasons for taking the position, the real clincher was that Max could join me at the office each day.  So on Cinco de Mayo two years ago (2008), we loaded up the car and started our new adventure together.  Almost two years later, we’re still plugging away each day at Broadway…Max running the show while I follow his commands.  (This is only partially a joke!)

With all of that said, here I am…vowing to try harder to spend a few moments on WordPress now and again to keep tabs on the amazing journey that each day with Max brings.  If nothing else, our recent adventures in potty training should be pretty classic material!

Posted by: meanderingmango | 10 March 2008

Hello, My Name Is…

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As many of you already know, Marc and I welcomed the little guy to this big ol’ world six weeks ago today! So why the delay? You’re kidding, right? (**mostly joking**) Anyway, what I’ve learned of parenthood in the last six weeks is that it is the most wonderful and wonderfully difficult thing I’ve ever done. I’ve been pooped on, peed on, thrown up on, faced with inconsolable crying…but then again, I’ve been cuddled with, relied upon, and received more than one adorable “gassy” smile. Alas, pure bliss!

So in the interest of easing myself back into posting, I thought I would share our birth story — no worries, I won’t include any of the really “earthy” stuff — and show off a few photos to anyone who might still be reading this blog. As we start to get our heads above water, I’ll try to post more often; because, believe me, parenthood is fodder for all kinds of blog entries!

Saturday, January 26th — Went to our friends’, Troy & John, house for a birthday dinner and ended up staying until almost 1:00 in the morning…WAY late for us. As we got in the car, I told Marc that I couldn’t believe how late it was, and he said, “Well, we won’t have much longer to be able to stay out this late.” Famous last words!!

Sunday, January 27th (Early Morning) — At 3:00am on Sunday morning (we went to bed at 1:30am), I woke up because I thought I needed to use the restroom. In my half awake/half asleep state, I thought to myself, “I think I peed my pants.” I got up to go to the bathroom thinking that I couldn’t believe that it had actually come to the point where I was peeing my pants. It still hadn’t completely hit me (hey…it was 3 in the morning and I’d had one & 1/2 hours sleep), but then I suddenly realized this was not a moment of toilet training regression. I started yelling for Marc and swear I yelled his name about 10 times, but he couldn’t hear me. Finally I screamed his name as loud as I could, and he came stumbling into the bathroom. The conversation went something like this,

Marc: “What’s going on?” (rubbing sleep from eyes)

Karen: “I think my water broke.” (starting to cry — mind you this was three weeks before my due date, nothing was packed, no newborn size diapers, no little bitty guy Onesies, the list was growing in my head)

Marc: (Insert blank stare, followed by a moment of recognition, followed by moderate panic) “Oh my gosh…okay…let’s go to the hospital…let me get some towels.”

We called my doctor to have her advise us. When the doctor on-call (not my doctor, of course) called back, she said that I should stay home until either noon or whenever my contractions were five minutes apart (whichever came first). I explained to her that Marc and I were nervous nellies, so she said that if I wanted to come in then (about 3:30 am) then we could. Well…since we didn’t have our hospital bags packed yet, we quickly tried to get everything together — iPod, check…I [heart] Huckabees, check…diaper bag, car seat, check — and then called the doctor back around 7:00 AM to tell her that we were coming in. On the way, we stopped at Starbucks (Marc needed his caffeine!), Marc’s office (to pick up our cameras), and CVS (for magazines that I still haven’t even turned a page in!).

Sunday, January 27th (Mid-Morning/Early Afternoon) — Once at the hospital, they had us check into maternity triage to see if I was really in labor and if my water really broke. They told us that my water had definitely broken (duh!) and that I was showing very mild contractions on the monitor. I was 1 cm and 50% effaced. They admitted us to LDR (labor/delivery/recovery) around 9:45 AM. We called our parents at that point (they were SHOCKED!), called our pastor to give him the scoop, and called Troy who had graciously agreed to help get Barkley to the kennel. We started walking the unit trying to get things going. They came to check me again around 11:00 AM, and I was contracting once every four to five minutes. The doctor suggested Cytotec (an oral medication to help increase my contractions), but I told her I wanted to see what my body would do on its own. They checked me again at 1:00 PM, and the contractions were still 5 minutes apart, still only 1 cm dilated & 50% effaced, so I gave in and took the Cytotec at 1:10 PM. Within 5 minutes, my contractions jumped to once every two minutes. I was still able to be up walking, which was nice.

Sunday, January 27th (Afternoon) – They checked me around 4:30 PM, and I was STILL 1 cm and 50%, and she couldn’t feel any amniotic sac left. So she basically demanded that I start Pitocin. As she was leaving the room, I told her that if I had to have Pitocin then I wanted an epidural, but she said that I wasn’t even to the point of thinking about an epidural yet. The administered the Pitocin, got me hooked up to the monitors, IVs, etc. and there we were…stuck in bed (or within about 4 feet of the bed) from that point forward.

Sunday, January 27th (Evening) – I had been contracting at two minutes apart from 1:15 PM until they came in to check me again at about 9:45 PM (8 1/2 hours!!) without anything to manage the pain — unless you count Marc’s and my sheer willpower and a big orange yoga ball (neither of which should be underestimated). The nurse checked, and after all of that…I was only 2 to 3 cm dilated. I was crushed, and I started bawling! I told Marc and the nurse that I couldn’t do it anymore. I was beat and totally disheartened. The nurse said that she would go check with the doctor to see if I could get the epidural. She came back and said that it was okay, but that if I wanted to I could try the other birth ball a little longer. I was like, “YOU’RE CRAZY!! GET THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST IN HERE RIGHT NOW!!” They placed the epidural just after 9:45 PM, and it was like a gift from God.

Sunday, January 27th (Late Night) – With the epidural, I was able to rest for awhile and try to get some strength back. When they checked me around 11:00 PM, I was at 6 cm and 85% effaced. Yippee!!

Monday, January 28th (Early Morning) – They checked me again just before 1:00 AM, and the nurse said, “You’re ready to push!” I asked, “Are you serious…I’m at 10 cm and 100%?” It was the best news ever!! She said that his head was WAY down and the she needed to call the doctor because she didn’t think it would take very long. She came back and showed Marc how to hold my leg and explained to me how to push (since I couldn’t feel anything). She wanted to do a couple of trial runs before the doctor arrived. We did two sets of three pushes, and she stopped me because he was so close. When the doctor got there, I pushed about four more sets of three, and he was born at 1:24 AM!! It was awesome! They brought Max to my chest immediately, and he was so alert…looking around everywhere. We enjoyed our time just the three of us for awhile and gave nursing a shot before we invited our families into the room around 3:30 AM.

The whole thing was such a crazy experience….completely contrary to my “plan” but so amazing nonetheless. Now we just can’t believe that he is here with us after waiting for so long. Enjoy the photos; more to follow, but for now I have a couple of other pressing things to tend to!

 

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Posted by: meanderingmango | 25 January 2008

The Other Jealous Brother (aka Baby Envy) — 36W 6D

Even before I became pregnant, everyone had their worries about our big beast of a dog and how he would adjust to a baby in the house.  And I can see where they’re coming from, because Barkley is kind of a brute.  When it all boils down, however, Barkley is really just eighty pounds of black, furry, puppy-brained attitude.  Truthfully, I believe it’s his sheer size–the EIGHTY pounds part–that gives him his bad reputation.  Shall I dare say, “I think he’s ‘misunderstood'”?

Lately, though, it’s another four-legged furry brother who is causing me some concern.  A couple of weeks ago, Marc decided that it was time to put together the Pack-n-Play.  For any readers removed a generation or more from Marc and me, you might have called this a “playpen.”  Today’s “playpens” are a little more complex.  Ours, for instance, has a bassinet feature, which will actually serve as Max’s bed for the first few months (or first 15 pounds…whichever comes first).  We want to keep him in the room with us at first, and this seemed like a much better option given the fact that we planned to get a Pack-n-Play anyway.  Plus, the guy at Babies-R-Us sold us on the fact that he and his wife had their infant sleep in one until four months and loved it.  But now I’m way off-track.  Why the concern about Kelso?  Well, as Marc pieced together the appropriate parts, Kelso sat on the edge of the bed paying close attention to each move.  When it came time to attach the mobile to the side, it was all downhill from there.  Kelso’s eyes widened, he let out his “that’s mine…all mine” meow, and jumped off the bed to follow Marc over to the Pack-n-Play.  As Marc clipped the device onto the side, Kelso stretched his front paws as high as he could towards the top of the side.  Then he put all four paws on the floor and started to do his little tushy wiggle, which (for any of you who know cats) signifies an impending leap…usually into or onto someplace they really shouldn’t be.  Marc laughed…I was appalled.

A short time later, after getting myself ready for bed, I glanced over at the Pack-n-Play just in time to notice Kelso making himself cozy in the bassinet while preparing to give the dangling bears a good swat.  I quickly shooed him out, resulting in one frantic kitty trying desperately to find his way out while still maintaining his cool guy appearance.  When I turned around, Marc gave me a wide-eyed stare. 

“You made him feel bad,” he said, “when all he wanted to do was have a little fun!”

“Oh…don’t even go there,” I replied, “I don’t want cat hair all over Max’s bed!”

Within a couple of seconds, we were both laughing–mainly at Kelso’s frenzied response to my complete dismay.  He knew he was busted, and like most cats, he was going to try to find a way to make it look like it was someone else’s fault.  Since then, I’ve noticed a few more instances that make me think Kelso might be the more jealous of the two furry brothers.  Take for instance, the time that I was removing all of Max’s towels and washcloths from the bottom dresser drawer to wash them.  As I took them out, Kelso casually jumped in as though it was a new bed designated just for him.  Then there are the times I’ve opened the closet door in the nursery only to have Kelso scurry past to jump up onto the shelf beneath the clothes.  Or how about the fact that he just can’t seem to keep his paws off of the new “musical mat” toy that our friends bought for the Bean?  Each time we’re in the nursery, Kelso typically follows us in, takes his place on the polka-dot rug and looks at us adoringly as if to say, “Thanks, guys, for the awesome new bedroom.”  Boy, does he have another thing coming?

Posted by: meanderingmango | 28 November 2007

S-T-R-E-T-C-H — 28W 4D

Yikes!  Six weeks since my last post.  Hopefully I haven’t worried any of you with my long absence.  Things are going great!  And don’t let the title fool you.  This post has nothing to do with prenatal flexibility exercises and everything to do with the fact that I can feel my belly stretching out more and more each day.  The past week brought my first experience with actually feeling a bit cumbersome, which freaks me out a little since I know that I still have so much growing to do in the next two and half months.  It’s already getting more difficult to get comfortable in bed, despite the fact that dear Marc has so graciously shared our bed with a four foot body pillow for the past three months.  Anymore, my night’s sleep looks like a study in how many times a person can flip from side to side before (a) getting up to pee, or (b) getting up to eat large amounts of Tums.  Last night, I think I may have strained a muscle from simply rolling over in bed.  I keep telling myself, though, that I asked — no, in fact, begged — for this.

The Bean has also stepped up the game in the activity department as of late.  In fact, the constant acrobatics — I’ve decided the baby will be either a synchronized swimmer, a Karate master, or a river dancer — provide hours of belly-gazing fun.  Marc and I sit in bed at night and watch my belly move around.  The other night, as we watched an elbow poke out or my entire belly roll like a wave as the Bean practiced backflips, Marc decided that he would put his ear to my tummy.  While I wondered what in the world he thought he might hear (perhaps Jazzercise music?), Bean gave Marc a swift kick to the head.  Alas, already stubborn…just like mom.

So truly we’re just plugging along.  The nursery is painted, the crib and dresser are in their places.  After a fiasco with the armoire not fitting up the stairwell (darn old houses), we’ve decided to install an extra hanging rod in the closet and move a six-cubby bookshelf into the nursery from the den to fill with canvas totes.  It’s all coming together.  Friday is the infamous glucose tolerance test, and then it’s on to every-two-week appointments. 

Just 80 more days until my due date!  (And yes, to all of you veteran parents out there…I know, I know, they come on their own time.)  For now, we’ll fill the days pondering hair or no hair? (I was bald ’til 3 years, Marc had a full head of hair)…blonde or brown?…chubby or average? (I was a 10lb 1oz!, Marc was 7lb even)…on-time or late/early? (I was nearly three weeks late, Marc was 4 days early).  It’s all so fun to think about!

Posted by: meanderingmango | 17 October 2007

Squirmy Wormy — 22W 4D

Just a quick check-in to let everyone know that we’re all doing great. Baby Bean is just growing away in there to the tune of my now 9.5 – 1olb. weight gain. When I had my 20 week appointment, the doctor said that I had gained 9lb., which in her opinion was “perfect.” After a bout with a stomach bug last week — one which sent me to the OB/GYN for an unscheduled appointment — I was actually down two pounds. But with the help of some McDonald’s and a couple of extra soy hot chocolates from Starbucks, I’m right back to where I was before. Yes, I know, nothing says “I love my baby,” quite like hot, salty french fries.

In other news, this baby is a Tae Kwon Do master! Lots of folks have asked if I’ve felt Bean kick, and the answer is, “Yes!” In retrospect, I think that I felt the baby move for the first time around 17.5 weeks, but I wasn’t sure until later that what I was feeling was really movement. Now, it’s unmistakable. In fact, while we were at the hospital yesterday waiting on the arrival of my sister’s baby, the Bean was going bonkers in there. So much so, in fact, that my dad, mom, and sister all got to feel it. As anyone who has ever been pregnant could attest, it is the craziest feeling. Marc was excited to finally get in on the baby movement action about a week and a half ago. We were resting in bed…Marc on his laptop while I watched TV. All of a sudden, Bean started moving like a champ, so I told Marc to put his hand on my belly. He left it there for a minute and said, “I can’t feel anything.” (Now, I should note that Marc was feeling a little left out since I had been feeling the baby move for a couple of weeks.) He finally put his hand back on my belly and said, “Oh my gosh! I felt it!” He was thrilled.

So that’s where we are. Things seem to be moving along smoothly. It’s hard to believe that yesterday was four months until our due date. We got a phone call today saying that crib is in, although they’re not sure why the dresser isn’t there with it. Ah, the joys of furniture shopping. Mind you, this is furniture that is meant to go in the guest room/future nursery that currently has a full sized bed, dresser, and roll top desk in it. I’m not sure where the time goes or how in the world we’ll ever get things ready for Bean in time — although Marc assured me that we will.

In the meantime, I’ve got a small request. I’ve learned that the Bean loves soup! (Or at least causes me to want to eat soup all of the time.) So my request is that if you’ve got any tasty — and not super complicated — soup or stew recipes, please send them my way. Must…feed…the Bean (at least something other than fries).

Posted by: meanderingmango | 11 October 2007

Proud Papa Blog

Yes, I know.  I’m totally lame for not keeping up with this blog.  I promise that I’ll try to better, but then again you’ve all heard that before.  For now, get your fix over at Marc’s new blog:  dad.to.the.max.  If you’re one of our friends who doesn’t want to know the gender, though, you might want to steer clear.  (That was for you, Barb!)

Posted by: meanderingmango | 21 September 2007

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby — 18W 6D

So yesterday was the big appointment with Dr. S, the Maternal/Fetal Specialist — the mega ultra-sound where they took inventory of all the important parts (are there any unimportant parts?) and determined if Bean measured up the way they would expect.  Turns out, everything looked great!

When we got to the appointment, I knew we were in for it.  We arrived just before 3:00 for our appointment, which was scheduled for 3PM.  As I signed my name on the check-in sheet, I noticed that the name above mine had not yet been crossed off, and her appointment time was listed at 2:00pm!  And while I glanced around the waiting room and observed a pregnant woman camped out reading magazines on the loveseat along with her husband sprawled out sleeping and snoring loudly on the bench, I knew that we weren’t getting called back anytime soon.  One of the greatest injustices of this arrangement was the request sent forth in the introductory letter asking me to show up with a full bladder.  Now, for anyone who has not been pregnant, let me just tell you that it is cruel to ask a pregnant woman to show up for an appointment having just downed 24 fluid ounces and then make her wait for endless minutes with said full bladder.  Finally, at about 3:30, I told Marc that I couldn’t hold out…I had to find the restroom.   When the ultra-sound technician finally called us back, I sheepishly informed her that I hadn’t been able to hold up my end of the no pee-pee deal, taking great care to let her know that “with the long wait” I wasn’t able to abstain.  Thankfully, it wasn’t an issue, and she was apologetic about the delay.

Once the u/s tech got me all lubed up — than heavens for the gel warmer I spied on the counter — we were off to the races.  As she ran the probe over my belly, we could see Bean on the screen.  It was amazing!  The last time we saw Bean, we were looking at an embryo about the size of a skittle with a fetal pole and a yolk sac.  Yesterday, we saw a baby that actually looked human!  An arm here…a butt there…eyes, nose, mouth and chin.  **GENDER SPOILER ALERT**  And when she got the probe just right, we got visual confirmation coupled with technician/baby mama/baby daddy dialogue that went something like this:

Tech:  Now you guys have already been told the sex?

BM/BD:  No, we don’t know yet!

Tech:  Well, I don’t know if I’ll be able to tell, but I’ll see if I can find it.  (Searching)  Ah!  Okay…now you should be able to tell me.  What do you think it is?  Think of it like the baby is sitting on a copy machine.

BM/BD:  It’s a boy, isn’t it?

Tech:  Yes!!

BD:  Are you completely certain?

Tech:  Yeah…about 99.9% certain.

BD:  Oh my gosh…we have a Max!!!  (High-fives Baby Mama)

And that’s how it went down.  In a quick second, Bean went from a he/she or him/her to a boy…our little guy.  It’s still so crazy to know for sure that Bean is a he! 

As far as the rest of the findings, the doctor was happy to report that everything looked normal.  All of Bean’s measurements came back in the appropriate range for his gestational age, and he ended up measuring just a tad bigger than how far along I am currently — 19.6 weeks, compared to 18.7 weeks.  And he weighs in at a whopping 10.9 ounces!  I can hardly believe that this little fella who was only about 6 millimeters crown to rump the first time we saw him is now about 7.5 inches just twelve weeks later.  The specialist said that based on the findings yesterday, there isn’t a need to see us again.  So from here on out…it should just be routine visits with Dr. L, the OB/GYN.

It’s funny — I’ve had a few dreams about Bean in the past, which usually involve Marc and I finding out the baby’s gender.  But last night, I had a dream where Bean was here (albeit a little early), and we already knew he was a boy.  No great unveiling of the gender, no big surprise.  The funny part was that we were at my parents’ house, and my mom kept asking us if we had done things like change Bean’s diaper or breastfed the baby.  Each time, our response was something along the lines of, “Oh crap!  No we haven’t!”  Then we would scramble to do what it was that we had forgotten and amazingly enough, every time, it all worked out.  Like we had done it all before.  I woke up this morning feeling good about things — looking forward to the changes to come and thinking “yes, we will probably spaz out about things and forget things and generally not know what in the hell we’re doing, but it will be okay.”  It will all be okay.

Posted by: meanderingmango | 17 September 2007

Quad Screen Results are In — 18W 2D

I just heard back from Dr. L’s office today, and it looks like the Quad Screen blood work all came back in the normal range!  I was a little stressed just because it was taking so long for them to get back with me.  What was that about not being a worry wart?

Posted by: meanderingmango | 14 September 2007

Belated Appointment Recap — 17W 6D

Goodness.  Has it really been a week since my appointment?  I’m not really sure where the time goes.  I’ve joked with folks that if the second half of pregnancy goes as quickly as the first, then February 16th will be here before I know it.  But many have affirmed that the closer it gets, the slower the time seems to go.  I’ll let you know.

So the appointment last week was another quickie.  Just an in and out — pee in the cup, Doppler on the belly…you know the routine.  The doctor was able to pick up Bean’s heartbeat right away again and even commented that the baby must have kicked, punched or otherwise assaulted the Doppler, evidenced by the small thud you can hear early on in the recording posted below.  Marc was especially excited to tape the Bean’s heartbeat and has spent the last week working on a couple of different songs that feature the heartbeat as the rhythm of the song.  I’ll be sure to post his final creation once it’s finished.  For anyone keeping track of the statistics…looks like the heart rate this time came in around 158-162 beats per minute.

We also opted to have the Quad Screen done at this appointment.  This is a blood test that helps to assess the level of risk that a woman is carrying a child with certain birth defects.  If you want to know more about this diagnostic test, feel free to click on the link above.  We’re still waiting for the results, which she said typically take at least a week.  If I haven’t heard back by early next week, then I’ll probably give them a call.  Part of me wishes that we wouldn’t have gotten this test.  It’s not like it’s going to change our minds about little Bean.  And we’ve already decided that if something comes back in the abnormal range then we’re not going to submit to further, more invasive tests like amniocentesis, which can increase the risk of preterm labor or miscarriage.  I guess maybe it’s just the planner in me that wanted to know.  The funny thing is, for as big of a researcher/planner/”obsessor” as I am about most things…I’ve been relatively calm about my pregnancy.  And I think that Marc would even vouch for this (right, honey?).  I think maybe it’s just the fact that I spent so much time planning and researching about trying to become pregnant that actually being pregnant just feels like a big relief…Ahhhh!  I’ve been pretty happy to just sit back and enjoy it, go to my appointments and listen to the doctor, and generally just have faith that everything will work out the way it should.  (No, I haven’t been abducted by aliens in case you were wondering!)

The only other big part of my appointment was getting the referral to the Maternal/Fetal Specialist (MFS).  We will visit Dr. S on Thursday, September 20th so that he can take a good look at Bean and let us know how things are going.  We’re under the impression that he will do a Level II ultrasound at the appointment, which means that we might get to find out Bean’s gender — provided the baby isn’t being modest that day.  We’re really excited about seing Bean look a little more human and a little less blob-like since we haven’t been able to take a good peek since 6W 3D.  This is definitely a highlight for next week!  We’ll keep you posted…

Posted by: meanderingmango | 7 September 2007

The Heart of the Matter — 16W 6D

As a doting mother-to-be, this is probably much cooler to me than to the rest of the blogosphere. But I wanted to share this with you all from our appointment today. (I’ll post more about that over the weekend, but for now it’s pretty late.) Just click on the link below, and you’ll hear Bean’s sweet little heartbeat! It might take a little while to load (during which time it seems like it’s not doing anything), but after that it should start playing on it’s own. Enjoy!

http://www.twango.com/media/beansfamily.public/beansfamily.10001

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