Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Last minute trip.

We are in beautiful Duluth, Minnesota right now. We left last minute on Saturday and drove 24 hours across the Midwest without stopping in order to get here before Mike's grandpa Buzzy passes away. Any day will be his last. I've never seen so many people come together like this, it seems like he was an incredible man.

Quinn and I will be flying back to Texas tomorrow so we can get home in time to move to our new house on Saturday. I'm nervous about flying with her without Mike's help and worried about him driving all the way home by himself. Hopefully everything goes smoothly.

Back to blogging in a few days.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Doppelganger- Part 1

We've been noticing some strange resemblances to celebrities and pop culture icons during Quinn's burping sessions lately....

Christian Slater, anyone?

Monday, July 19, 2010

My newest functional accessory...

is Quinn! I picked up this Hava sling the other day and I absolutely love wearing her in it. I think it reminds both of us of when she was in the womb. Or maybe I just like it a lot because I feel like a kangaroo. Either way, she falls asleep in it really quickly and I'm able to hold her and get things done around the house at the same time. Great success!!

Our friend Jonathan was having a birthday party Saturday night and it seemed like a perfect opporunity for Mike and I to try to socialize for the first time in months. I called him earlier that morning while I was getting our oil changed to ask if he'd be interested in attempting to bring Quinn to a party. He was down! That night, we tried to time everything right so that we could make the most of our time while we were out. We fed her around 9pm, packed up Mike's diaperdude with baby essentials (and beer!) and got the baby into the car, where she immediately went into a milk-coma. When we arrived to the party, I put her into the sling and she continued sleeping for the entire time we were there!! I couldn't believe it. She was an angel! The talking and loud music didn't fluster her it all. I'm glad we decided to go to all of those shows and get an extremely loud barking puppy while she was in my stomach...I think it conditioned her to sleep through anything!

I was anxious about bringing her to a party of 20-something year olds, all of whom have NO kids, but the night went really well and everyone was so accepting of the fact that there was a three-week-old there. It was awesome! It felt so good to be out with Mike and be around friends. Finally!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gone Fishin!

Mike decided to cut work short yesterday so we could venture outside to catch some rays while he broke in his new fishing pole. I was getting stir crazy being in the house!!! He had bought me a fishing pole, too (it's pink!) but I decided that I'd rather chill with Quinn on the grass and just enjoy watching him this time around. He caught a bass within five minutes! Thatta boy! Yesterday was the first time that we actually took Quinn somewhere fun, besides the doctors office (which uh, is never fun. She has been sick for the last week...we've seen doctors a-plenty!)It was cute looking over the backseat and seeing her little Mary-Jane socks poking out. We drove toward Town Lake and plopped down in a peaceful, shady spot near a long walking trail covered by droopy trees. Quinn could barely keep her eyes open. Her little retinas were like, "WOAH dawg, what is this?! The light of day?! Could it really be??!" I also noticed that she unfortunately inherited my pasty, white, iridescent skin. Mike and I are both Italian yet it's funny how he was fortunate enough to inherit the gift of gorgeous, olive, easily-tannable skin yet I inherited the genes of Powder. Looks like Quinn will enjoy a lifetime full of 1,203,39724x SPF sunscreen caked over every pore of her body, just like me! Okay, okay, so she's only two weeks old and I'm sure most babies are pretty pale until who knows how long...but the odds are favoring against her. On a side note, did I mention that the first thing Mike said when he could see her little head during labor was "Tara! Guess what! She's not a ginger!!!!" Haha! Phew! Thanks, Mike!

Today was nice, too. I borrowed my brother's car early in the morning since we had a birthing appointment this afternoon and Mike is in Houston all day. Although I had a little bit of a hectic time getting Quinn ready to go by myself, we arrived to the appointment on time and Vickie checked both of us out to make sure we were both on the road to recovery (we're good! whoohoo!) Then Quinn and I drove down to the mall to pick Robby up from work. We stopped and sat down for a bite to eat and then went to see the new Lego store that he is working at. It felt really good to be in a restaurant and heck, in a mall! It also felt pretty amazing to know that I can actually go out with Quinn. It was like having a little mini-me companion that I kept forgetting was sitting in the back seat while I was driving. I've had the whole "I have a baby but am still a human who needs to fulfill her desire of not being a hermit mole woman that sits in the darkness of her dimly-lit living room 24-hours a day" mentality for the last two and a half weeks and it has been taking a toll on me. Mike has been travelling each day, which has increased my loneliness and desire for human interaction. Not that Quinn isn't a blast to hang out with, she's sweet as pie and I just want to gobble her up. It's just that... when I do things like tell her jokes out of boredom, I think she's smiling at my punchlines but she's only smiling because of gas and it can be a little disappointing to my morale.

I guess the whole point of this rant is... for someone who is accustomed to spending 50 hours of their week talking to random people and staying productive, I've caught myself feeling a little anxious and lonely sitting at home all of the time without Mike here to keep me company. It was nice to get out briefly these last two days and to spend time with little Quinn and to know that it's possible to do it on my own!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Twelve days old today!

First lesson of parenthood: Be sure to feed and hydrate your child.

The first night we had Quinn home, Mike and I were totally impressed by how much she was sleeping. The three of us slept a good six hour stretch that evening together in our cozy bed and were able to take multiple naps the next day (which was nice considering we had been awake for 24 hours prior to coming home!) We were thinking, "holy cow! Miracle child over here! Who said babies don't sleep?! She's an angel!" Well, when our midwives called to check up on us, we told them the good news and they FREAKED out. "You have to feed her every three hours!! No wonder she is sleeping so much!! Have you checked her for jaundice?!" Mike and I looked at each other with "ut oh, how did we manage to forget to feed her?" faces. Whoooooooooooooopsies! So needless to say, since that phone call we've been on an every three-hour feeding schedule. We wake the little bean up, whether she wants to or not, every three hours for nursing and a bottle. Our little itzbeen gadget that our awesome neighbors bought us has been a huge help. It's like a swiss army pocket knife... but for parents! It helps you keep track of her last feedings, diaper changes, sleep schedules, etc. We've mostly been using it to help us remember when she needs to be woken up. However, the last few days she's been waking up on her own and letting us know that she is hungry. We're slowly but surely developing a little schedule. We'll see how long this lasts...haha. But it seems to work well so far. Mike and I take turns feeding and changing her and have developed a little tag team system. Maybe I should get some t-shirts made or something..."Team Burp and Poop!"

Second lesson in parenthood: When a baby's hoo-haa is exposed to cold, he or she may or may not urinate/poop on you! It's a toss up. Figuring out the changing table situation has been interesting, that's for sure!

Quinn enjoys urinating and/or projectile pooping at the most inconvenient times:
-when we have just removed her dirty diaper and are reaching for a clean one.
-when we have wiped her down completely and are in the midst of applying diaper rash cream.
-when we have just changed her clothes into fresh, non stale milk-smelling ones and the poop squirts up the back of her diaper into her dress.
-when we think she is finished projectile pooping and we have wiped the table and all surrounding objects down...and then she super squirts it all over something inconvenient that we need in that exact moment, like the diaper wipes.

Third lesson in parenthood: It feels surprisingly good to be thrown up on.

Never thought I'd utter that or the following statement out of my mouth, but I anxiously await creamy milk to squirt out of my child each time I feed her. Seeing a little baby struggle with gas is so difficult to watch...they have no control over their ability to get that fluid down without air bubbles invading their insides. She arches her back and gets extremely frustrated. You can tell she's still hungry but there's no room left in her little sugar-sack looking body. I hate seeing her in pain! Therefore, I am like an air bubble bursting assailant!! I like sitting her up and resting her chubster cheeks in my hand as I pat her back...waiting for the moment where I will hear a big belch out of her mouth (or bum) so that we can go back to feeding. Mike enjoys it too, as well as the old "lay her over the shoulder like a bag of rice and pat the back" move. He's a pro at it! Many a shirt have been destroyed by these methods but they are well worth it! Spit up, burps and farts are now welcomed in this house!

All in all, things are getting better and easier each day! The last three days have been quite a bit easier, but each day before that has been pretty difficult, not because of Quinn but because of how tired and crappy I had felt physically. Not only did I catch a bad cold the day after I had her, but I also wasn't expecting how much my body would hurt. Everyone talks about the struggles of labor but no one talks about how difficult things are afterwards. What's that about?? Three or four days post-pardom, muscles that I didn't know I had were aching, it hurt to bend down, lay down, sit up, go to the bathroom, lift anything, take a shower. I had no energy at all...I have never felt so lethargic! I'm not sure how I could have taken care of Quinn if it weren't for Mike constantly helping and for the friends and family that we had in town who were cooking, cleaning and taking care of the animals/house/etc! (THANK YOU!!!!!!!!) I also started taking my placenta pills once my cold started to go away. We had taken our placenta home after the birth (eeeeek! Sounds creepy, I know! I couldn't really look at it...haha!) and Katie arranged for Lindsey to come and dehydrate it and grind it up to be encapsulated and consumed. It contains tons of beneficial hormones and vitamins that are lost after pregnancy. I'm not sure if me taking them has contributed to me feeling so much better...but I'd like to think so! Thanks again Katie for doing that for us :) I'm glad that the road to recovery is finally taking shape, especially since Mike has been travelling each day and I've had to take care of Quinn without his help while he is in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. We are slowly but surely developing a routine and it feels good!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quinn finally made it!

I finally gave birth to our baby girl on Thursday, July 1st 2010.

A day earlier, Mike and I had a 9:00am appointment at the birthing center. I was really anxious because I was not having any indications of contractions or oncoming labor. My body wasn't doing anything and we were running out of time. I was so exhausted. Quinn was on day 11 of being over-due and I would have to be induced three days later if we weren't able to stir up contractions. Jean, the owner of the birthing center met with Mike and I and did an internal exam. To our dismay, I was still only at about 1 1/2 cm's and 40% effaced. To top it off, Quinn hadn't even dropped yet. She was floating above my pelvic bone and not putting any pressure on the nerves that stimulate contractions. Not very good for being almost 42 weeks pregnant. They had advised for me to drink castor oil at our previous appointment but I was hesitant and neglected to follow their instructions (stupid Tara!). Jean gave me a bit of a lecture (eeek!) telling me that at this point I would HAVE to try the castor oil since it was one of the only homeopathic natural remedies that could help push my body into labor if I were to remain a patient at the birthing center. It was more about getting Quinn out at this point, mostly because after 42 weeks the placenta starts to break down, the amniotic fluid starts to dry up and the baby continues to grow bigger and bigger. They were estimating she would be around nine or ten pounds at this point so the pressure was on!

I was nervous about taking the castor oil, only because the repercussions can be a bit intense (it's a natural laxative soooo... I'll let you use your imaginations, haha.) So I stopped by the grocery store and picked up the most fatty, chocolatey, rich Rocky Road ice cream that I could find and mixed it with the castor oil and some soy milk in the blender once I got home. I put that sucker in a giant beer glass and downed it as quickly as I could....BLECH! Nothing on the face of the earth can mask that taste of thick, goobery, cooking-oil-smelling lipgloss-consistency grossness, but I got it down and tried to fall asleep as quickly as possible before I could let my brain realize what I had just ingested. About two hours later at 1:30, I woke up with some grumbles and about twenty minutes after that a few contractions started. By 3:00 or so, I started to feel consistent contractions happening every six minutes. I walked around the house for a bit and fell back asleep watching The Sand Lot on Netflix. About an hour later I awoke to much stronger contractions. I used my trusty iPhone app to time how closely together they were happening...two to three minutes apart! Holy! I was a bit in shock and really wondering if my body could possibly be going into labor so quickly. I remembered the midwives telling me that I would know when to call them when I was having trouble talking through contractions...and that time had come! We were planning on having a nice dinner with our families that evening and I emerged from our room, having trouble talking, right as Mike's parents had walked through the door. I walked over to his desk and asked if he could call the birthing center right as he was finishing his last email for work...perfect timing! A few minutes later, Jean was on the phone with me trying to confirm that I in fact was having contractions two minutes apart. She told us to come to the birthing center with our bags but to not be disappointed if we get sent home considering that I could be in false labor since I had absolutely no signs of labor earlier that morning. Mike calmly grabbed all of our things and we got into the car.

After getting stuck in some traffic and avoiding as many speed bumps/train tracks as possible, we arrived to the birthing center and made it inside by 5:00. Everyone was waiting for us and Jean excitedly brought me into the exam room. I was having trouble paying attention to everything they were talking about, only because my contractions were coming two at a time by that point. But...the great news was that I was at 3 1/2 cm, 100% effaced and Quinn had dropped at was at zero station! Jean was laughing and in complete shock. It was time to go to our birthing room! As we made our way down the hallway, all of the midwives were excitedly talking and in disbelief at how quickly my labor had progressed. I felt really encouraged and excited too, but was actively concentrating on staying as relaxed as possible. When we made it into our room, Mike busted out his iPod and put on some relaxing music as Jean helped me into the hot shower to try to soothe the pain I was in. That wound up being my favorite place to be! I must have sat in there for hours....the hot water on my back while I sat on the birthing ball was incredibly soothing. It helped me relax my muscles through each contraction.

By 7:00pm, I was at 5cm dilated and by 10:00 I was at 7cm! No one could believe it....but I could!! The rushes that I was feeling were getting stronger and stronger. It was difficult to relax sometimes, only because they were occurring one on top of the other with little resting time in between. At the same time, I was willing them to come quickly so I would be that much closer to having the baby. Our midwives Vickie and Charlotte drew me a bath hoping to help me cope a little more comfortably. The water felt awesome and allowed me to contort my body in different ways to help with the growing intensity but man, by 11:00 I was in the transition phase and was having a lot of trouble fighting the urge to push! That was by far the most awkward feeling I've ever had. My body was practically convulsing....struggling to push while my brain was telling it not to. In between these crazy urges, Mike said I kept falling asleep. I was leaning on the edge of the tub and my face would fall down into the water, waking me back up. I remember feeling incredibly thirsty and exhausted during this point.

Vickie had me get out of the tub and lay down on the bed so she could examine me again. I was fully dilated at this point but apparently a part of my cervix had still not pushed back over Quinn's head so she was urging me to resist pushing to avoid inflammation of any tissues. Holding back was so excruciatingly difficult! I was trying to quickly blow air out while fighting the pushing urges but it was getting so tough. Mike was trying so hard to comfort me and keep me relaxed... I remember him softly rubbing my shoulders and running his fingers through my hair. He kept feeding me water through a straw too, hehe. About thirty minutes later, I knew my body was ready, whether my cervix was or not! After no progress during this time, Vickie finally decided to let me go with the pushing urges to see if that might push the cervix back. The second I was allowed to push....it felt AMAZING! Such a weird feeling! This rolling wave of momentum would thunder and roll through my chest, down through my stomach and pelvis and toward my legs. At the end of each push, I could feel this rush of pressure release and slowly push the baby down. Through each contraction, I strived to reach that last point where I could feel Quinn slowly moving through the birth canal. It was the only sign that indicated that I was making progress getting her out.

After about forty five minutes of pushing was when things got REALLY intense. Quinn was lodged in the birth canal and not moving. Mike and the three midwives were hovering over me at that point...encouraging me to push as hard as I could. In between contractions, Mike would put the oxygen mask on me and encourage me to drink to stay hydrated. Apparently I was turning colors, haha. I was trying SO hard to push at this point...I wanted to see her so badly! My body almost had a mind of its own because I can't remember very much. The only thing that stands out to me was Mike excitedly shouting "You've got this Tara!!!!!!!! Come on!!! You can do it!!!!" and helping to hold my legs while I pushed. I remember Vickie saying something about how the baby was coming out with one of her arms up by her head and that her shoulders were stuck. They had to get her out NOW. And I really remember the extreme pressure once she used her hands to physically twist Quinn's body around inside of me to pull her out one shoulder at a time at 1:02am.

I vaguely remember a little grey body on my chest and looking at Mike to try to figure out what was going on. I was so exhausted and delirious, the only thing that made sense to me was seeing him there beside me. I looked up at some point to see Vickie putting an oxygen mask on Quinn and rubbing her little body vigorously. They then put a little tube down her throat to start sucking out fluid. I rested while all this was happening, too confused and tired to understand that there was eventually a (8lb 11oz!!!!) baby laying on my chest again. They even had me cut her umbilical cord! I can barely remember doing it! But what I do remember is the sweet sound of a baby crying. I immediately snapped out of my post delivery trance that I was in and I looked over to see my sweet Mike holding a little bundle of flailing arms and legs! Whewwwwwww!!

It was such an incredible experience....I just can't believe I did it. I DID IT!!! I had her just the way that I wanted and it really wasn't that bad. Of course there were some incredibly intense parts but I am proud of myself for staying calm and letting my body do what it was meant to do. It felt extremely encouraging to have faith that my body knew what to do....and I think that's what helped my labor progress so quickly. I am also so grateful for Mike and how wonderful of a partner and coach that he was. He stayed so calm and attentive, constantly encouraging me and embracing me when I was struggling through contractions. I couldn't have gone through this without him. What an amazing man!!

That's Quinn's birth story. I wanted to write it down before time encourages forgetfulness. Mike and I are both so happy, Quinn is so incredibly precious, sweet and beautiful.

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