Thursday, May 28, 2015

Making Her Debut

For the first two weeks of her life, Virginia had a lot of trouble gaining weight.  We were at the doctor and/or the hospital almost every day.  We met with a lactation consultant and bought herbal remedies with strange names.  I learned that I had more dignity to lose when I spent hours a day hooked up to a pump like a jersey cow with a hands-free bra that made me feel like Lady Gaga.  And we all (my mom included - she was our saving grace for the first two weeks) were exhausted from round the clock feeding and pumping.

Thankfully little V is doing great now and has chunked up to the 50th percentile for weight.  We are so grateful for all the help - medical and otherwise- we received.  Who would have ever thought it would be so darn hard to keep one tiny person alive?

So without further ado, I 'd like to joyfully introduce you to our beautiful little girl: Virginia Ashton.  She's named after Blake's maternal grandmother, Virginia, and my best friend from growing up, Ashton.  We love that she shares the names of two incredibly strong and loving women who mean so much to us.

ONE DAY
BORN WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2015
2:05 PM
7 pounds 9 ounces, 20 inches long

ONE WEEK 

TWO WEEKS

THREE WEEKS

FOUR WEEKS

ONE MONTH

FIVE WEEKS

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baby V

It's hard to believe that little Virginia joined us six weeks ago (time flies!).  I've been meaning to sit down to catch up with the world for quite some time now, but of course every time I sit down at the computer, Baby V has other plans for me.

V had her six-week appointment today and got several shots, so she's still sleeping it off and I'm taking the opportunity to get the laundry done, the dishes unloaded, and some words on the screen.  It's been a whirlwind the last six weeks, and I feel like I'm just starting to get a handle on life with a baby.  She's now sleeping 10 pm - 5 am, so I feel much less haggard all the time (though recent photos would argue that I'm still looking haggard).

As I previously mentioned, baby girl remained stubbornly transverse until the end, so we went ahead with the scheduled c-section.  I had mostly come to terms with the idea, so I tried to enjoy the fact that there was no tedious waiting game.  My mom flew in the night before, and I took a leisurely approach to the morning of: I slept in, took a long shower, and even dried my hair.  I had Blake take a before picture of my enormous stomach, and then had my Mom take a before picture of our family of three.  Yes, three.  We count Bear.

Our check-in time was 10:45, so at 10:40 we got in the car and drove the approximately 2 minutes to the hospital and waddled in with our bags.  I'm glad I wasn't in labor, because the check-in process took a while (I guess it was a big day for babies?).

We spent the next several hours in the labor and delivery room where I was hooked up to monitors and IVs, watched my feet and legs slowly swell to epic proportions, and Blake had a grand old time in his fancy doctor scrubs.  The surgery was scheduled for 12:45 p.m., but I guess our nurses decided to take a long lunch or something because we didn't walk down to the OR until about 2:00.

It was surreal to walk into an operating theater with the bright lights, sterile everything, and Black Eyed Peas playing over the speaker system.  Not really the way anyone expects to give birth, right?

I'll spare you all the gory details, but in a nutshell: the spinal didn't work the way it was supposed to, so I felt quite a lot of what was going on (the horror! the horror!), something went wrong with my organs at one point, leading to me losing lots of blood (lots of which I could see splattering up on the sheet separating me from the surgery. Again, the horror! the horror!), and I basically spent the entire 45 minutes crying and wishing I could get up and run away while Blake held my hand and tried not to look panicked.

Also, I hope V is happy being an only child. No more c-sections for me, thank-you-very-much.

But in the end, it was worth it.  Because that little squish on the right, came out of that big squish (me - check out those chins!) on the left.

Little V cried for about two seconds when the wiped her off, then as soon as they gave her to Blake, she quieted right down and stared at him.  She peacefully stared at her daddy for the rest of the surgery, which was probably the sweetest thing I've ever seen.


 I'll also spare you the tedious details of our three day hospital stay, but by the time we left I think I'd gained more weight than I walked in with.  Those IV fluids really stuck with me for about a week after I came home.  For your viewing pleasure - or displeasure- here's our first photo as a family of four.  Makeup-less and swollen to epic proportions, but happy as can be to be home with our darling baby girl.  All those years of work, doctors, and medicines were worth it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In Full Bloom

It really is pathetic how slow I've been to record any recent events in my life.  All I can say is that I'm very slow, very waddle, and it's taken a very long time to get my house somewhat recovered from the bathroom renovations.  I have a new a profound dislike of drywall dust.  That stuff gets in every crevice and demands to be scrubbed off rather than simply dusted.  I'm convinced I'll be finding the stuff hiding in corners for the next three years.

But I digress.

A couple of weeks ago, my friends threw me the loveliest baby shower (my Mother-in-Law hosted it at her house).  The theme was "In Full Bloom," which was perfect for the first sunny day we'd had in weeks.  Adrienne is an interior designer and Tiffany is a party planner, so as you can imagine, it was a gorgeous shower and I felt incredibly lucky to be celebrating Maybe Baby's arrival.

One of my favorite blogs is a hilarious but also terrible place on the internet called GOMI (Get Off My Internets) where people go to snark on other people's blogs.  It can be quite cruel, but it's often extremely funny.  My favorite is when snarkers begin calling bloggers "Cara de Pan."  For the longest time, I thought it was a reference to a specific fashion blogger, but then I finally realized that it's a translation of "Bread Face."  Well, look at these photos and call me Cara.  I'm positively puffy.

Also, I make the funniest faces when left to my own devices/when I don't realize I'm being photographed.  I've spared you most of my funny faces, but just believe me when I tell you there were quite a few pictures that had me giggling to myself as I flipped through them.  This is all proving to me the underlying/subconscious reason I don't "remember" to take many photos with me in them.  Oh well.  There's a certain charm to being able to remember oneself just as puffy as one actually was during month nine of pregnancy.

Back to the main event: as I said, the shower was beautiful.  The food was amazing. I have the most talented friends who can bake and cook with the best of them.  There were dark chocolate coconut macaroons, fruit tarts, turkey and brie sandwiches, raspberry french macarons, Italian sodas... I'm getting hungry just thinking about all of the delicious food I ate that morning.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have the most generous friends.  Maybe Baby will be the best dressed and most well-read baby around.  A lot of the women at the shower were members of my book group and it was fun that so many of them brought their favorite baby books to add to Maybe's collection.  It's fun to have old favorites that I remember from my childhood, and so many new others that I hadn't read before.  I can tell I'm going to have lots of fun reading to her every day (or to myself at the beginning?).

It's hard to believe (but extremely exciting) that we'll be meeting her in less than a week!













Thursday, March 26, 2015

Transverse

Well hello nearly defunct blog.  It's been a while.

Mostly it's been a while because every time I sit down and write I end up complaining about something.  And really, my life is quite cushy and I have no reasons to complain, so therein lies the conundrum of personal blogging.

Objectively, I look at the past few weeks and things have been pretty awesome:

Maybe Baby is almost here.
Maybe Baby is healthy.
We're getting a brand new bathroom and fixing other issues in our house that have long been on our list.

I'll admit, we're pretty spoiled.

But then there are the little things like our renovations dragging out a week later than expected because of the awful March ice storms we've had, and the cabinetry orders getting messed up and costing us more time and money.

And the bigger things, like this baby being stubbornly transverse.  I had no idea that was even a thing until the ultrasound tech told us that baby girl is laying with her head on my left, her bum on my right, and her feet dangling down and around "like a little doughnut."  Her positioning makes things fairly uncomfortable for me (my ribs feel like a hot poker is being pushed up against them at all times..hooray!), but mostly what it means is an automatic c-section.

We're crossing our fingers that she'll surprise us and flip into position, but we've scheduled a date just in case she is just as stubborn as I am.  It was surreal to schedule with the hospital the exact date and time for baby's arrival (April 15th at 12:45 p.m. in case you're wondering - Best tax day ever!).

I know it's ridiculous to complain about not getting the birth experience I was hoping for when the baby is healthy and c-sections are so safe, but it's been a hard mental/emotional adjustment to make.  I think what's been hardest is that the entire pregnancy process has been so, for lack of a better word, medicalized.

A doctor created the baby in a petri dish.  A doctor put the baby in me.  A doctor is going to cut the baby out of me.

Some good friends of ours used to joke that they were working on a new invention called the "Incu-baby" that would gestate a baby for you so that you didn't have to be pregnant.  A sort of gestational carrier that you could set up in your living room and dump feed into every once in a while like a fish tank.  Well, I've been joking with them lately that the Incubaby (TM) already exists.  It's me!  Put an embryo in.  Feed it anti-nausea pills and the occasional milkshake.  Take the baby out when it's ready.   Voila!

All joking aside, I've been surprised at how difficult it has been emotionally.  To feel like a gestational carrier instead of a mother.  I'm sure that'll change the moment the baby makes her debut, but man, am I ready to have that day come.

I vow to get my writing mojo back soon so that I can share all about the fabulous baby shower that my friends put on for us last weekend, and the finished product bathroom (if it ever gets to that point), but until then, this is the Incubaby (TM) signing off.  I need a nap. And maybe a milkshake.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Six Years

Blake and I celebrated our six year anniversary this past Saturday.  It's hard to believe that it's been six years since we got married, and over seven years since we started dating.  Time truly does fly.

Before I regale you with tales of our anniversary celebration, let me was mushy for just a moment.  Blake is a truly wonderful human being.  Anyone who knows him will heartily agree that he is one of the nicest people they've ever met.  You know how some people have resting grumpy face (always with a frown)?, well, Blake has resting happy face. There are very few times when I've ever seen him without a smile.  He is incredibly socially gifted and is able to talk with anyone and make them feel at ease.  He makes up for my awkwardness (and all my other shortcomings) in spades and has helped temper my anxious nature.  He puts up with my constant projects and odd ideas and the fact that I never laugh out loud (I only shake and occasionally giggle/snort).  He gallantly survived the past couple years when my hormones would have made most people head for the hills.  In short: he's the best.  There's no denying it.  He's just the best.

But before I bore you all with more declarations of my affections...

Because I'm rarely making it past 9 p.m. these days and because Blake was recovering from a cold, we decided to do our celebrating during the day rather than the evening.  Neither of us had done much adventuring in National Harbor, so we made reservations at Redstone American Grill and had a late lunch.  The food was good (our favorite was the complimentary "morning bread" that they bring you, which was more like an entire blueberry poundcake with frosting - yum!), the service was great, and it was right on the water, so the view was beautiful.  It was a gray and icy day, but that made it all the more peaceful to look out at the boats and the snow in the marina.

After lunch we rode the Capital Wheel, from which you can see more of Alexandria and the Potomac than you can of the Capital...but it was still fun.  Of course the only picture we took together that day was the promotional one that the folks at the Capital Wheels try to make you buy for some outlandish price.  Let me tell you, that was not our best photo.  Not even close.  Needless to say, we did not purchase it.

So here's a photo of us from this fall where we are not bundled up to the gills, and where we actually look somewhat normal.  I further resolve to take more photos this year - I'm hoping that once Maybe arrives we'll have more of an incentive to document our lives and I'll worry less about how un-photogenic I am.